Yona, Yonā: 5 definitions


Yona means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A country and its people. The name is probably the Pali equivalent for Ionians, the Baktrian Greeks. The Yonas are mentioned with the Kambojas in Rock Edicts v. and xii of Asoka, as a subject people, forming a frontier district of his empire. The country was converted by the Thera Maharakkhita, who was sent there after the Third Council (Mhv.xii.5; Dpv.viii.9; Sp.i.67). In the time of Milinda the capital of the Yona country was Sagala (Mil.1). It is said (Mhv.xxix.39) that at the Foundation Ceremony of the Maha Thupa, thirty thousand monks, under Yona Mahadhammarakkhita, came from Alasanda in the Yona country. Alasanda was evidently the headquarters of the Buddhist monks at that time. Alasanda is generally identified (See, e.g., Geiger, Mhv. Trs. 194, n.3) with the Alexandria founded by the Macedonian king (Alexander) in the country of the Paropanisadae near Kabul.

In the Assalayana Sutta (M.ii.149), Yona and Kamboja are mentioned as places in which there were only two classes of people, masters and slaves, and the master could become a slave or vice versa. The Commentary (MA.ii.784) explains this by saying that supposing a brahmin goes there and dies, his children might consort with slaves, in which case their children would be slaves. In later times, the name Yavana or Yona seems to have included all westerners living in India and especially those of Arabian origin (Cv.Trs.ii.87, n.1). Yonaka, statues, holding lamps, were among the decorations used by the Sakyans of Kapilavatthu (MA.ii.575). The language of the Yavanas is classed with the Milakkhabhasa (E.g., DA.i.276; VibhA.388).

The Anguttara Commentary (AA.i.51) records that from the time of Kassapa Buddha the Yonakas went about clad in white robes, because of the memory of the religion which was once prevalent there.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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India history and geography

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Yona (योन) or Yonaka is the name of a locality situated in Uttarāpatha (Northern District) of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—The Yonaka or Yona country was visited, according to the Dīpavaṃsa and Mahāvaṃsa by the Thera Mahārakkhita. According to the Sāsanavaṃsa the Yonakaraṭṭha is the country of the Yavana or Yona people. The Rock Edicts V and XIII of Asoka mention the Yonas as a subject people, forming a frontier district of Asoka’s Empire. The exact situation of the Yonaka country is difficult to be determined. According to the Mahāvaṃsa, its chief city was Alasanda identified with Alexandria near Kabul in the Paropanisadae country (cf. Mahāvaṃsa).

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Yona (योन).—a. Regarding race; तैर्यग्योनश्च पञ्चधा भवति (tairyagyonaśca pañcadhā bhavati) Sāṅkhya K.53.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Yona (योन) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Joṇa.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Yōna (ಯೋನ):—

1) [noun] a man belonging to a foreign country esp. to Greece or Turky; a foreigner.

2) [noun] an adherent of Islam; a muslim.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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