84000 Glossary of Terms

Our trilingual glossary combining entries from all of our publications into one useful resource, giving translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

དགེ་སྦྱོང་། | Glossary of Terms

    དགེ་སྦྱོང་།

    dge sbyong

    śramaṇa

  • Term
Publications: 20

The Sanskrit term literally means “one who toils,” i.e., an ascetic, and the term is applied to spiritual renunciants who live their life as mendicants. In Buddhist contexts the term usually refers to a Buddhist monk, although it can also designate a renunciant practitioner from other spiritual traditions. The epithet Great Śramaṇa is often applied to the Buddha.

The common phrase “śramaṇas and brahmins” sometimes refers to Buddhist practitioners but can also mean any religious practitioners, the brahmins being the settled hereditary priestly caste following the ancient Vedic practices while the śramaṇas are the itinerant followers (often of kṣatriya caste) of the newer, non-Vedic spiritual trends.