From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Caraṇa literally means ‘that by which one moves’.

Caraṇa, General Meaning

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

  • Foot
  • 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[1] 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.


  1. 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