views updated May 29 2018

Aṅga (Skt., ‘limb, part’).
1. The eight steps of Rāja-Yoga in Hinduism.

2. A Jain term to denote the twelve ‘limbs’ of revered and basic texts. Among Jains, ‘scripture’ is a fluid, even a contested, concept (see DIGAMBARA). The Śvetāmbara have a ‘canon’, defined by 19th-cent, European scholars as the ‘45 text canon’, but while this defines the core texts, more texts are revered, and groups among the Śvetāmbara do not identify identical texts. Nevertheless, the basic texts for both Digambara and Śvetāmbara are the Twelve Aṅgas, but Śvetāmbara believe (xii) below to be lost: (i) Ācāra-aṅga (‘Behaviour’, rules for ascetics); (ii) Sūtrakṛta-aṅga (‘On Heretical Views’, attitudes to rituals, and to other views); (iii) Sthāna-aṅga (‘Possibilities’, options especially, in relation to jīva, and numerical descriptions; (iv) Samavāya-aṅga (‘Combinations’, similarities, as in (iii), also describing the aṅgas); (v) Digambara, Vyākhyā-prajñapti-aṅga; Svetāmbara, Bhagavatī-aṅga (‘Explanations Expounded’, 60,000 questions, and answers, to, and from, the tīrthaṅkaras); (vi) Jñātradharma-katha-aṅga (‘Accounts of Jñāna and Dharma’); (vii) Upāsa-kādhayna-aṅga (‘Ten Chapters on Lay Responsibilities’, the vows and rules of conduct for lay people, especially for the eleven stages of a householder's life); (viii) Antakṛddaśā-aṅga (‘Ten Chapters on End-Achievers’, the extreme methods of ten ascetics who freed themselves from karma); (ix) Anuttaraupapādikadaśa-aṅga (‘Ten Chapters on Arisers in Heaven’, on ten ascetics who are reborn in the five heavens, anuttaravimāna); (x) Praśnavyākaraṇa-aṅga (‘Questions and Expositions’, instructions on how to reply to questions); (xi) Vipākasūtra-aṅga (‘Text on Ripening’, an exploration of Karma); (xii) Dṛṣṭipravāda-aṅga (‘Disputation about Views, parts only, divided into five parts, Parikarma (on the geography of earth and sky), Sūtra (on false views), Prathamānuyoga (on sixty-three illustrious figures), fourteen Pūrvagata (in fourteen sections), and five Cūlikā (on magical skills).

Associated with the twelve aṇgas, are for Śvetāmbara, twelve dependent texts (upaṅgas). Also revered are six Cedasūtras, four Mūlas (‘Root’) sūtras (the foundation of an ascetic life), ten Prakīrṇakas and two Cūikāsūtras. The Śvetāmbara ‘canon’ is said to have been fixed at the Assembly at Valabhī (453 or 466 CE), but there is no list of what was actually agreed.

3. In Buddhism, the nine (or twelve) ‘branches’ within the canon of literary types: sutta (sūtra), geyya (recitation), veyyākaraṇa (prophecies), gāthā (verse), udāna (solemn pronouncement), ittivuttaka (discourses beginning, ‘This has been said by the master’), jātaka, abhutadhamma (stories of accomplishments), vedalla (analysis and explication). In N. (Skt.) Buddhism the three additional aṅgas are nidāna (linking introduction), avadāna (biographies), and upadeśa (explanations).


views updated May 08 2018


AGA , family name of Crimean Karaites, originating in the title given to the holder of an important office (Turk.). The first person to go under this name was Samuel ben Abraham (1717–1770), the son of *Abraham ben Josiah Yerushalmi, the prominent Karaite scholar of the Crimea. Samuel lived in Chufut-Kale and was the leader of its community, also known by the title rosh ha-golah (exilarch). He was a "court Jew" in the court of Tatar Khan Qirim Giray, who appointed Samuel to mint coins for the Khanate in 1768. Samuel protected the interests of his community before the officials. He wrote a number of liturgical poems and some of them were included in the Karaite siddurs. Unknown persons murdered him on his way from Bakhchisarai, the capital of the Khanate, near Chufut-Kale. He had three sons: Eliezer, Benjamin, and Simḥah.

His son benjamin aga (d. 1824) was a leader and intercessor for the community of Chufut-Kale. He also was appointed to mint coins for the Khanate in the court by the new Khan, Shahin Giray. In 1781 Benjamin leased the custom duties on the sale of wine. He became one of the Khan's unofficial court advisers. Like his father, he protected his community's interests. In 1777 he succeeded in annulling a harmful decree of Devlet Giray, the pretender to the Khan's throne, who falsely accused the Karaites of stealing the Khan's money. Benjamin corresponded with Karaite leaders of Poland, Lithuania, Constantinople, and Jerusalem and financially supported their communities in times of distress. Following the Russian annexation of the Crimea he continued to serve as the official head of the community and to represent it before the Russian authorities. In 1795 Benjamin was chosen together with two other community leaders of the Crimean Karaites to travel to St. Petersburg on a special mission to the government. Their delegation won exemption for Crimean Karaites from the double taxation imposed on all the Jews of the Russian Empire, and to secure other rights, such as the purchase of immovable property. In 1806 Benjamin reestablished, together with his brother Simḥah, a publishing house in Chufut-Kale. Benjamin was an expert in Karaite halakhah and an authority on the Karaite calendar.


G. Akhiezer, in: M.Polliack (ed.), Karaite Judaism (2003), 737–39; F.E. Miller and J.S. Luzki, Iggeret Teshu'at Yisrael (1993); S. Poznanski, Ha-Kara'i Avraham ben Yoshiyahu Yerushalmi (1894), 5; S. Pigit, Iggeret Nidhḥei Shemuel (1894), 6–10; Mann, Texts, 2 (1935), 1535, 1582, index.

[Golda Akhiezer (2nd ed.)]


views updated May 23 2018

AGA Military air-to-ground-to-air
• Amateur Gymnastics Association
• American Gas Association
• American Genetic Association
• Obstetrics appropriate for gestational age
• Australian Garrison Artillery


views updated May 09 2018

aga, agha Ottoman title. XVI. — Turk. ağa master, lord.


views updated Jun 11 2018

Aga (ˈɑːgə) Aktiebolaget Gasackumulator (cooker)


views updated Jun 11 2018

AGA adj. appropriate for gestational age.