From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Caraṇa literally means ‘that by which one moves’.

Usage of Caraṇa[edit]

The word ‘caraṇa’ has been used in several senses like:

  • Foot
  • A quarter of verse
  • Pillar of a temple
  • A part of a musical composition (in Carnatic music)0

Caraṇa as per Vedas[edit]

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 (the branch or recension of Veda traditionally allotted to them for specialization) but also its allied literature like the law-books.

Caraṇa as per Buddhism[edit]

In Buddhism it refers to the eight aspects of character like fearlessness and self-control which are fit to be cultivated.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore