Difference between revisions of "Pañcajana"

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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
 
<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
  
pañcajana (‘five [kinds or types of] people’)
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Pañcajana literally means ‘five kinds or types of people’.
  
This is one of the archaic words used in the Vedas, the Upaniṣads and allied literature, whose interpretations vary widely.
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Pañcajana is one of the archaic words used in the Vedas, the Upaniṣads and allied literature, whose interpretations vary widely. It can be delineated as belows:
 +
* In the Ṛgveda<ref>Ṛgveda 10.53.4</ref> this word forms a part of the mantra to be chanted by the hotṛ priest during the Darśapurṇa-māsa sacrifice.
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* Pañcajanas are the five types of persons to whom the hotṛ priest is appealing to accept his duly discharged duties. They are:
 +
# Devas - gods
 +
# Manuṣyas - human beings
 +
# Pitṛs - manes
 +
# Paśus - animals
 +
# Pakṣis - birds
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* According to another interpretation they are the members of the four varṇas:
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# Brāhmaṇas
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# Kṣattriyās
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# Vaiśyas
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# Śudras along with the niṣādas<ref>Niṣādas means hunters.</ref>
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* A third interpretation is that it refers to:
 +
# Gandharvas - a kind of semigods
 +
# Pitṛs - manes
 +
# Devas - gods
 +
# Asuras - antigods
 +
# Rākṣasas - demons
  
In the Rgveda (10.53.4), this word forms a part of the mantra to be chanted by the hotṛ priest during the Darśapurṇa-māsa sacrifice. Pañcajanas are the five types of persons to whom the hotṛ priest is appealing to accept his duly discharged duties. They are: devas (gods); manuṣyas (human beings); pitṛs (manes); paśus (animals) and pakṣis (birds).
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In the Brhadāranyaka Upaniṣad<ref>Brhadāranyaka Upaniṣad 4.4.17</ref> this word has been used to indicate five kinds of beings who also are established in the Ātman/Brahman as their support. Here too, the interpretations given by the commentators are the same as the third and the second ones given above for the word in the Ṛgveda.
 
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* Pañcajana is also the name of a demon.
According to another interpretation they are the members of the four varṇas— brāhmaṇas, kṣattriyās, vaiśyas and śudras —along with the niṣādas (hunters).
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A third interpretation is that it refers to gandharvas (a kind of semigods), pitṛs (manes), devas (gods), asuras (antigods) and rākṣasas (demons).
+
 
+
In the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad (4.4.17) this word has been used to indicate five kinds of beings who also are established in the Ātman/Brahman as their support. Here too, the interpretations given by the commentators are the same as the third and the second ones given above for the word in the Rgveda.
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Pañcajana is also the name of a demon. See PāñCAJANYA for details.
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{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
 
* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
 
* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
== OLD CONTENT ==
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pañcajana (‘five [kinds or types of] people’)
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[[Category:Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism]]
This is one of the archaic words used in the Vedas, the Upaniṣads and allied literature, whose interpretations vary widely.
+
In the Rgveda (10.53.4), this word forms a part of the mantra to be chanted by the hotṛ priest during the Darśapurṇa- māsa sacrifice. Pañcajanas are the five types of persons to whom the hotṛ priest is appealing to accept his duly discharged duties. They are: devas (gods); manuṣyas (human beings); pitṛs (manes); paśus (animals) and pakṣis (birds).
+
According to another interpretation they are the members of the four varṇas— brāhmaṇas, kṣattriyās, vaiśyas and śudras —along with the niṣādas (hunters).
+
A third interpretation is that it refers to gandharvas (a kind of semigods), pitṛs (manes), devas (gods), asuras (antigods) and rākṣasas (demons).
+
In the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad (4.4.17) this word has been used to indicate five kinds of beings who also are estab¬lished in the Ātman/Brahman as their support. Here too, the interpretations given by the commentators are the same as the third and the second ones given above for the word in the Rgveda.
+
Pañcajana is also the name of a demon. See PĀÑCAJANYA for details.
+

Revision as of 10:05, 14 June 2016

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Pancajana, PaJcajana, Paycajana


Pañcajana literally means ‘five kinds or types of people’.

Pañcajana is one of the archaic words used in the Vedas, the Upaniṣads and allied literature, whose interpretations vary widely. It can be delineated as belows:

  • In the Ṛgveda[1] this word forms a part of the mantra to be chanted by the hotṛ priest during the Darśapurṇa-māsa sacrifice.
  • Pañcajanas are the five types of persons to whom the hotṛ priest is appealing to accept his duly discharged duties. They are:
  1. Devas - gods
  2. Manuṣyas - human beings
  3. Pitṛs - manes
  4. Paśus - animals
  5. Pakṣis - birds
  • According to another interpretation they are the members of the four varṇas:
  1. Brāhmaṇas
  2. Kṣattriyās
  3. Vaiśyas
  4. Śudras along with the niṣādas[2]
  • A third interpretation is that it refers to:
  1. Gandharvas - a kind of semigods
  2. Pitṛs - manes
  3. Devas - gods
  4. Asuras - antigods
  5. Rākṣasas - demons

In the Brhadāranyaka Upaniṣad[3] this word has been used to indicate five kinds of beings who also are established in the Ātman/Brahman as their support. Here too, the interpretations given by the commentators are the same as the third and the second ones given above for the word in the Ṛgveda.

  • Pañcajana is also the name of a demon.


References

  1. Ṛgveda 10.53.4
  2. Niṣādas means hunters.
  3. Brhadāranyaka Upaniṣad 4.4.17
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore