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Samatha 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.

The Sanskrit terms Śamatha and Śamaṭha can be transliterated into English as Samatha or Shamatha, using the IAST transliteration scheme [Javascript:void(0) (?)] .

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[ «previous (S) next» ] — Samatha in Purana glossary

Source : Puranic Encyclopedia Śamaṭha (शमठ).—A learned brahmin. He once gave Yudhiṣṭhira a description of the yajña performed by King Gaya, son of Amūrtarayas. (Vana Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 17).

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

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source : Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary M (Tranquillity, serenity). Concentration bringing about calm and mental clarity. The practice of samatha lies in focusing ones concentration on a single object so as to lessen the flow of discursive thoughts, which cause hindrances (nivaranas), in a first stage, and then to experience a jhana.

The practice of samatha alone does not lead to nibbana.

Source : Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines 'tranquillity', serenity, is a synonym of

  • samādhi (concentration),
  • cittekaggatā (one-pointed ness of mind) and
  • avikkhepa (undistracted ness).

It is one of the mental factors in wholesome consciousness. Cf. foll. and bhāvanā.

Source : Dhamma Study: Cetasikas calm;

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

[ «previous (S) next» ] — Samatha in Buddhism glossary

Source : Shambala Publications: General Shamatha (śamatha), Skt., lit., “dwelling in tranquillity.” In the Gelug school of Tibet­an Buddhism it is stressed that the precondition of “concentration” (samādhi) is intentional development of “dwelling in tranquillity” and “special insight” (vipashyanā ). Dwelling in tranquillity calms the mind, while special in­sight, through analytical examination, leads to vision of genuine reality, which is emptiness (shūnyatā). Shamatha is first developed in preliminary practice and later further refined in connection with vipashyanā. Dwelling in tranquillity is compared to a still, clear lake in which the “fish of special insight” plays.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[ «previous (S) next» ] — Samatha in Pali glossary

Source : BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary samatha : (m.) calm; quietude of heart; settlement of legal questions.

Source : Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary Samatha, (fr. śam , cp. BSk. śamatha) 1. calm, quietude of heart M. I, 33; A. I, 61, 95; II, 140; III, 86 sq. (ceto°), 116 sq. , 449; IV, 360; V, 99; D. III, 54, 213, 273; DhA. II, 177; S. IV, 362; Dhs. 11, 15, 54; cessation of the Saṅkhāras S. I, 136; III, 133; A. I, 133; Sn. 732; Vin. I, 5. ‹-› 2. settlement of legal questions (adhikaraṇa) Vin. II, 93; IV, 207; cp. DhsA. 144; s. paṭivijjhati Pts. I, 180.

Pali book cover context information Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit dictionary

[ «previous (S) next» ] — Samatha in Sanskrit glossary

Source : DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary Śamatha (शमथ).—[ śam-athac ]

1) Tranquillity, calmness; especially mental calmness, absence of passion.

2) A counsellor, minister.

Derivable forms: śamathaḥ (शमथः).

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary Śamatha (शमथ).—often written sa°, m. (= Sanskrit Lex. id., Pali samatha), (1) tranquillity, tranquillization ; especially often associated with vipaśyanā or (less often) its syn. vidarśanā, see these two; when [compound] they form a dvandva, never a tatp. as suggested erroneously in [Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary] (in every passage there quoted samatha and vipassanā are parallel and coordinate, usually not even [compound]); also often with dama- (tha): dama-śamatham ākāṅkṣamāṇā(ḥ) Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 80.9; dama- samathe Lalitavistara 169.5 (verse); paramadama-samatha- 427.22; [Page523-b+ 71] ātma-dama-(iii.52.18 °damatha-) -śamatha-pariṇirvāṇār- thaṃ Mahāvastu ii.157.5; iii.52.18; uttama-damatha (so Senart, but mss. dama) -śamatha-pāramitā- iii.64.6; śamatha- saṃbhāra Lalitavistara 35.14; 427.21; śamatha-sukha-vyavasthitaḥ Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra 15.4; smara…śamathaṃ Lalitavistara 11.14; samatha- dhanu gṛhītvā Lalitavistara 156.5 (verse), taking the bow of… ; samatha- nirvāṇa-puram anupravekṣyāmi Mahāvastu ii.148.6; tranquilliza- tion of the mind as a process, a course of practice, dvāda- śavarṣābhyastaḥ śamathaś (or sa°) cittasya Divyāvadāna 47.3; 461.20; adhyātmaṃ (adv.) cetaḥśamathaṃ (riñcanti) Mūla-Sarvāstivāda-Vinaya iii.11.18; sarva(iii.314.5 pūrva)-saṃskāra-samatho (so read in ii.285.20) or °tha- Mahāvastu ii.285.20; iii.314.5, the tranquillizing of (all) the (former) saṃskāra , compare Pali sabbasaṃkhārasa- matho Vin. i.5.2; (2) (= Pali adhikaraṇa-sa°) adhikaraṇa- śamathā(ḥ), settling, appeasement, of disputed questions : Mahāvyutpatti 8630 (see adhikaraṇa 1).

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Samatha (समथ).—often written for śamatha, q.v.

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary Śamatha (शमथ).—m.

( -thaḥ ) 1. Quiet, tranquillity: (see the last) 2. A counsellor, a minister. E. śam to be calm, Unadi aff. athac .

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary Śamatha (शमथ).—[ śam + atha ], m. 1. Quiet, tranquillity of mind, absence of passion. 2. A counsellor.

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary Śamatha (शमथ).—[masculine] quiet, tranquillity, rest, calm, peace; cessation, extinction.

Source : Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary 1) Śamaṭha (शमठ):—[from śam ] m. ( cf. [Uṇādi-sūtra i, 102 [Scholiast or Commentator]]) Name of a Brahman, [Mahābhārata]

2) Śamatha (शमथ):—[from śam ] m. quiet, tranquillity, absence of passion, [Lalita-vistara]

3) [ v.s. ...] a counsellor, minister, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) Samatha (समथ):—[wrong reading] for śamatha , [Lalita-vistara]

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: 15 September, 2020