Vaya1 & vayo

neuter age, especially young age, prime, youth; meaning “old age” when characterized as such or contrasted to youth (the ord. term for old age being jarā). Three “ages” or “periods of life” are usually distinguished, viz. paṭhama˚; youth, majjhima˚; middle age, pacchima˚; old age, e.g. at Ja.i.79; Vism.619; Dhp-a.iii.133
vayo anuppatta one who has attained old age, old DN.i.48 (= pacchima-vayaṃ anuppatta DN-a.i.143) Snp.p.50, 92
■ Cp. Dhp.260; Ja.i.138 (vayo-harā kesā) Vism.619 (the 3 vayas with subdivisions into dasakas or decades of life); Mhvs.2, Mhvs.26 (ekūnatiṃso vayasā 29 years of age); Pv-a.5 (paṭhama-vaye when quite young), Pv-a.36 (id.; just grown up). In compounds vaya˚.

  • -kalyāṇa charm of youth Dhp-a.i.387.
  • -ppatta come of age, fit to marry (at 16) Vv-a.120; Pv-a.3, Pv-a.112; Thag-a.266.

Vedic vayas vitality, age; to be distinguished from another vayas meaning “fowl.” The latter is probably meant at Dhtp.232 (& Dhtm.332) with defn “gamane.” The etym. of vayo (age) is connected with Sk. vīra = Lat. vir. man, hero, vīs strength; Gr. ι ̓́ς sinew, ι ̓́φιος strong; Sk. vīḍayati to make fast, also veśati; whereas vayas (fowl) corresponds with Sk. vayasa (bird) & viḥ to Gr. αἰετός eagle, οἰωνός bird of prey, Lat. avis bird


  1. loss, want, expense (opp. āya) AN.iv.282 (bhogānaṃ); Snp.739; Pv-a.130
    avyayena safely DN.i.72.
  2. decay (opp. uppāda) DN.ii.157 = Ja.i.392 (aniccā vata sankhārā uppāda-vaya-dhammino); SN.iv.28; AN.i.152 AN.i.299.
  • -karaṇa expense, expenditure Ja.iv.355; Vin.ii.321 (Sam. Pās on C. V. vi.4, 6, explaining veyyāsika or veyyāyika of Vin.ii.157).

Sk. vyaya, vi + i; occasionally as vyaya in Pāli as well