Zen, aka: Chan, Chaṇ; 4 Definition(s)


Zen means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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 Hinduism

Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Chaṇ (छण्).—tad. affix ईय (īya) causing the vrddhi substitute for the first vowel of the word to which it is added. छण् (chaṇ) is added (1) to the words पितृत्वसृ (pitṛtvasṛ) and मातृप्वसृ (mātṛpvasṛ) in the sense of अपत्य (apatya); cf. P IV. 1.132, 134; (2) to the words कृशाश्व,अरिष्ट (kṛśāśva, ariṣṭa) and others as a चातुरर्थिक (cāturarthika) affix: cf. P. IV. 2.80; (3) to the words तित्तिरि, वरतन्तु, खण्डिक (tittiri, varatantu, khaṇḍika) and उख (ukha) in the sense of 'instructed by', cf. P.IV.3.102; and (4) to the word शलातुर (śalātura) in the sense of 'being a national of' or 'having as a domicile.' e. g. शालातुरीयः (śālāturīyaḥ) cf. P. IV. 3.94,

(Source): Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

also called Chan; see Contemplation and Meditation.(Source): Buddhist Door: Glossary

Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism, referred to in Chinese as Chan. Chan is itself derived from the Sanskrit Dhyana, which means "meditation".

Zen emphasizes experiential wisdom and mdash;particularly as realized in the form of meditation known as zazen and mdash;in the attainment of awakening, often simply called the path of enlightenment. As such, it de emphasizes both theoretical knowledge and the study of religious texts in favor of direct, experiential realization through meditation and dharma practice.

Within Zen, there are various legends and mythologies, largely a part of Chinese and Japanese folklore, which must be carefully distinguished from Zen history.

(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism

Zen Jap., an abbreviation of the word zen­na (also zenno), the Japanese way of reading Chinese ch’an-na (short form, ch’an). This in turn is the Chinese version of the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which refers to collectedness of mind or meditative absorption in which all dualistic distinctions like I/you, subject/object, and true/ false are eliminated. Zen can be defined both ex­oterically and esoterically.

Exoterically regarded, Zen, or Ch’an as it is called when referring to its history in China, is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism that developed in China in the 6th and 7th centuries from the meeting of Dhyāna Buddhism, which was brought to China by Bodhidharma, and Tao­ism. In this sense Zen is a religion, the teachings and practices of which are directed toward self-realization and lead finally to complete awakening as experienced by Shākyamuni Buddha after in­tensive meditative self-discipline under the Bodhi-tree. More than any other school, Zen stresses the prime importance of the enlighten­ment experience and the uselessness of ritual re­ligious practices and intellectual analysis of doc­trine for the attainment of liberation. Zen teaches the practice of zazen, sitting in meditative absorption as the shortest, but also the steepest, way to awakening.

The essential nature of Zen can be summa­rized in four short statements:

  1. “[a] special transmission outside the [orthodox] teaching”;
  2. nondependence on [sa­cred] writings”; and
  3. “direct pointing [to the] human heart”; leading to
  4. realization of [one’s own] nature [and] becoming a buddha.”

This pregnant characterization of Zen is attributed by tradition to Bodhidhar­ma, its first patriarch; however, many modern scholars suspect that it originated rather with the later Ch’an master Nan-ch’uan P’u-yuan (Jap., Nansen Fugan).

(Source): Shambala Publications: General

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