By Swami Harshananda
Caraṇa literally means ‘that by which one moves’.
Caraṇa, General Meaning
The word ‘caraṇa’ has been used in several senses like:
- A quarter of verse
- Pillar of a temple
- Part of a musical composition in Carnatic music
Caraṇa as per Vedas
In the Vedic terminology, it refers to a branch of the Veda in a much larger sense and the group of people who study it. It includes not only the particular śākhā but also its allied literature like the law-books.
Caraṇa as per Buddhism
In Buddhism, it refers to the eight aspects of character like fearlessness and self-control, fit to be cultivated.
- Śākhā means the branch or recension of Veda traditionally allotted to them for specialization.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore