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Prajna means something in Buddhism , Pali, Hinduism , Sanskrit, Jainism , Prakrit, Marathi. 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.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[ «previous (P) next» ] — Prajna in Purana glossary

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index 1a) Prajña (प्रज्ञ).—An Amitābha god. *

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 53.

1b) (ety): all the senses came out of Īśvara. *

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 4. 37.

Purana book cover context information The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source : Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism Prajñā (प्रज्ञा) is the name of Vidyārājñī (i.e., “wisdom queen”) mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Prajñā).

Tibetan Buddhism book cover context information Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques ( vajrayāna ) are collected indepently.

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source : Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra 1) Prajñā (प्रज्ञा, “wisdom”) refers to one of ten constituents ( dravya ) of the thirty-seven auxiliaries to enlightenment ( bodhipākṣika ) , according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XXXI .—Accordingly, “these thirty-seven auxiliaries ( bodhipākṣika ) have ten things ( dravya ) as roots ( mūla ). Wisdom ( prajñā ) constitutes: a. the four foundations of mindfulness ( smṛtyupasthāna ); b. the faculty of wisdom ( prajñendriya ); c. the power of wisdom ( prajñābala ); d. the factor-of-enlightenment called discernment of dharmas ( dharmapravicaya-saṃbodhyaṅga ); e. the [factor-of-the-path] called right view ( samyagdṛṣṭi )”.

2) Prajñā (प्रज्ञा, “wisdom”) refers to one of the twenty-two faculties ( indriya ) , according to chapter 38 . The word indriya , derived from the root id or ind , is synonymous with great power, with control. The twenty-two Dharmas in question [viz., prajñā ] have the characteristic of being dominant in regard to the living being ( sattva ) in that which concerns: his primary constitution, his distinctiveness, his duration, his moral defilement and his purification.

Mahayana book cover context information Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source : Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha 1) Prajñā (प्रज्ञा, “wisdom”) or prajñāpāramitā represents the last of the “six perferctions” ( ṣaṭpāramitā ) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 17). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., ṣaṣ-pāramitā and prajñā ). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Prajñā forms, besides a part of the “six perferctions” ( ṣaṭpāramitā ), also a part of the “ten perfections” ( daśa-pāramitā ) and the “five super-mundane components” ( lokottara-skandha ) .

Prajñā also refers to one of the “five faculties” ( pañcendriya ) as well as one of the “five strengths” ( pañcabala ) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 47-48), both forming part of the “thirty-seven things on the side of awakening” ( bodhipākṣika-dharma ).

Prajñā or Prajñācakṣus refers to one the “five eyes” ( cakṣus ) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 65).

2) Prajñā (ध्यान, “wisdom”) also refers to the “three kinds of wisdom” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 110):

  1. śruta-mayī (by way of learning),
  2. cintā-mayī (by way of thinking),
  3. bhāvanā-mayī (by way of meditation).

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source : Trisastisalakapurusacaritra Prajñā (प्रज्ञा, “knowledge”) refers to one of the hardships ( parīṣaha ) , or “series of trials hard to endure” according to the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra 10.1 ( Incarnation as Nandana ). While practicing penance for a lac of years, Muni Nandana also endured a series of trials hard to endure (e.g., prajñā ). Nandana is the name of a king as well as one of Mahāvīra’s previous births.

General definition book cover context information Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness ( ahimsa ) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana , ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source : DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary prajñā (प्रज्ञा).—f S Understanding. 2 Genius, sharpness of intellect.

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prājña (प्राज्ञ).—a S Wise, sensible, sagacious, very intelligent or knowing.

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prājñā (प्राज्ञा).—f S Great intelligence or acute understanding; profound knowledge or sagacity. 2 Used freely, as prāpti and the words grouped under kimata, in the general sense of Competency or capacity for or unto. Neg. con. as sabhēmadhyēṃ majaśīṃ bhāṇḍāyālā kāya tujhī prājñā ?

Source : DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English prajñā (प्रज्ञा).— f Understanding. Genius.

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prājña (प्राज्ञ).— a Wise, sensible, sagacious.

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prājñā (प्राज्ञा).— f Great intelligence, profound knowledge. Competency.

context information Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source : DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary Prajñā (प्रज्ञा).—9 U.

1) To know, know about, be acquainted with.

2) To be aware of, find out.

3) To discern, distinguish. -Caus. ( prajñapayati )

1) To show, point out (as way).

2) To discover.

3) To call, summon, invite.

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Prajña (प्रज्ञ).— a.

1) Wise, intelligent, learned.

2) (At the end of comp.) conversant with.

-jñaḥ A wise or learned man.

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Prajñā (प्रज्ञा).—

1) Intelligence, understanding, intellect, wisdom; आकारसदृशप्रज्ञः प्रज्ञया सदृशागमः ( ākārasadṛśaprajñaḥ prajñayā sadṛśāgamaḥ ) R.1.15; नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ( nābhinandati na dveṣṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ) Bg.2.57; शस्त्रं निहन्ति पुरुषस्य शरीरमेकं प्रज्ञा कुलं च विभवं यशश्च हन्ति ( śastraṃ nihanti puruṣasya śarīramekaṃ prajñā kulaṃ ca vibhavaṃ yaśaśca hanti ) || Subhāṣ.

2) Discernment, discrimination, judgment; इयं निष्ठा बहुविधा प्रज्ञया त्वध्यवस्यति ( iyaṃ niṣṭhā bahuvidhā prajñayā tvadhyavasyati ) Mb.14.3.24.

3) Device or design.

4) A wise or learned woman.

5) Longing for ( vāsanā ); impression ( saṃskāra ); तं विद्याकर्मणि समन्वारभेते पूर्वप्रज्ञा च ( taṃ vidyākarmaṇi samanvārabhete pūrvaprajñā ca ) Bṛ. Up.4.4.2.

6) Name of the goddess Sarasvatī.

7) A particular Śakti or energy.

8) A true or transcendental wisdom; Buddh.

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Prājña (प्राज्ञ).— a. ( - jñā, -jñī f. ) [ प्रज्ञ एव स्वार्थे अण् ( prajña eva svārthe aṇ ) ]

1) Intellectual.

2) Wise, learned, clever; किमुच्यते प्राज्ञः खलु कुमारः ( kimucyate prājñaḥ khalu kumāraḥ ) U.4.

-jñaḥ 1 A wise or learned man; तेभ्यः प्राज्ञा न बिभ्यति ( tebhyaḥ prājñā na bibhyati ) Ve.2.14; देवद्विजगुरुप्राज्ञपूजनं शौचमार्जवम् ब्रह्मचर्यमहिंसा च शारीरं तप उच्यते ( devadvijaguruprājñapūjanaṃ śaucamārjavam brahmacaryamahiṃsā ca śārīraṃ tapa ucyate ) || Bg.17.14.

2) A kind of parrot.

3) Intelligence dependent on individuality; Vedāntasāra.

4) Supreme Being (Almighty); अयं पुरुषः प्राज्ञेनात्मना संपरिष्वक्तो न बाह्यं किंचन वेद नान्तरम् ( ayaṃ puruṣaḥ prājñenātmanā saṃpariṣvakto na bāhyaṃ kiṃcana veda nāntaram ) Bṛ. Up.4.3.21.

-jñā 1 Intelligence, understanding.

2) A clever or intelligent woman.

-jñī 1 A clever or learned woman.

2) The wife of a learned man.

3) Name of a wife of the sun ( sūryapatnī ).

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary Prajñā (प्रज्ञा).—(Sanskrit, and Pali paññā), knowledge : three kinds, śrutamayī, cintāmayī, bhāvanāmayī (so in Pali cintāmayā, sutamayā, and bhāvanāmayā paññā, Childers ): Mahāvyutpatti 1550-3; Dharmasaṃgraha 110.

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary Prajña (प्रज्ञ).—mfn.

( -jñaḥ-jñā-jñaṃ ) 1. Wise, learned; also prājña . 2. Bandy-legged, having the knees for apart: see prajñu . f.

( -jñā ) 1. A clever or sensible woman. 2. Understanding, wisdom, knowledge. 3. The goddess of arts and eloquence, Saraswati. 4. Discrimination, judgment. 5. Power of device or design. E. pra before, jñā to know, aff. ka .

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Prājña (प्राज्ञ).—mfn.

( -jñaḥ-jñā-jñaṃ ) 1. Patient in investigation. 2. Wise, clever, sensible. m.

( -jñaḥ ) 1. A Pandit, a learned or wise man. 2. A skilful or clever person. f.

( -jñā ) Knowledge, understanding. f. ( -jñā-jñī ) A clever or intelligent woman. f. ( -jñī ) The wife of a Pandit. E. pra and āṅ before, jñā to know, ka aff.

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary Prajña (प्रज्ञ).—[ pra-jña ], I. adj. 1. (vb. jñā ), Intelligent. 2. i. e. pra-jānu , Bandylegged, having the knees far apart. Ii. f. jñā , Understanding, wisdom, [ Pañcatantra ] i. [distich] 475; knowledge, [ Mānavadharmaśāstra ] 4, 41.

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Prājña (प्राज्ञ).—i. e. prajñā + a , I. adj. Wise, [ Pañcatantra ] i. [distich] 129. Ii. m. A learned man, [ Mānavadharmaśāstra ] 2, 123. Iii. f. jñā , Knowledge. Iv. f. jñī and jñā , A clever woman.

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary Prajña (प्रज्ञ).—[adjective] intelligent, wise, knowing (—°); [feminine] prajñā intelligence, wisdom, discernment, judgment, reason.

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Prājña (प्राज्ञ).—[adjective] intellectual; intelligent, wise, clever ([abstract] tva † [neuter]). [masculine] a wise man.

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Prajñā (प्रज्ञा).—understand, distinguish, discern, be clever or wise, perceive, become aware of, find out.

Prajñā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms pra and jñā (ज्ञा).

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary 1) Prajña (प्रज्ञ):—[= pra-jña ] 1. pra-jña mfn. = pra-jñu , [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

2) Prajñā (प्रज्ञा):—[= pra-√jñā ] a [Parasmaipada] -jānāti , to know, understand ([especially] a way or mode of action), discern, distinguish, know about, be acquainted with ([accusative]), [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.;

2) —to find out, discover, perceive, learn, [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.:

2) —[Causal] -jYapayati, to show or point out (the way), [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa];

2) —to summon, invite, [Lalita-vistara]

3) Prajña (प्रज्ञ):—[= pra-jña ] [from pra-jñā ] 2. pra-jña mf( ā ) n. (for 1. See above) wise, prudent, [Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad, 12 mantra]

4) [ v.s. ...] ( ifc. ) knowing, conversant with ( cf. nikṛti -, pathi -)

5) Prajñā (प्रज्ञा):—[= pra-jñā ] [from pra-jña ] b f. See [column]2

6) [= pra-jñā ] c f. wisdom, intelligence, knowledge, discrimination, judgement, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa] etc. etc.

7) [ v.s. ...] device, design, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Śāṅkhāyana-śrauta-sūtra]

8) [ v.s. ...] a clever or sensible woman, [Horace H. Wilson]

9) [ v.s. ...] Wisdom personified as the goddess of arts and eloquence, Sarasvatī, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

10) [ v.s. ...] a [particular] Śakti or energy, [Hemādri’s Caturvarga-cintāmaṇi]

11) [ v.s. ...] (with, [Buddhist literature]) true or transcendental wisdom (which is three fold, [Dharmasaṃgraha 110]), [ Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 126; 128]

12) [ v.s. ...] the energy of Ādi-buddha (through the union with whom the latter produced all things), [ Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 204.]

13) Prājña (प्राज्ञ):—[= prā-jña ] [from prā ] a mf( ā and ī ) n. ([from] jñā ) intellectual (opp. to śārīra , taijasa ), [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Nirukta, by Yāska; Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad, 12 mantra]

14) [ v.s. ...] intelligent, wise, clever, [Kaṭha-upaniṣad; Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

15) [ v.s. ...] m. a wise or learned man, [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

16) [ v.s. ...] intelligence dependent on individuality, [Vedāntasāra]

17) [ v.s. ...] a kind of parrot with red stripes on the neck and wings, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

18) Prājñā (प्राज्ञा):—[= prā-jñā ] [from prā-jña > prā ] f. intelligence, understanding, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

19) Prājña (प्राज्ञ):—b etc. See p. 702, col. 1.

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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See also (Relevant definitions)

Item last updated: 24 October, 2020