Acala, aka: Acalā; 18 Definition(s)


Acala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Achala.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

1) Acala (अचल).—General. Acala was the son of Subala, a King of Gāndhāra. He was Śakuni’s brother and a heroic Charioteer on the side of the Kauravas. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 168, Verse 1).

Acala had also taken part in Yudhiṣṭhira’s Rājasūya. (A very expensive sacrifice—yāga—performed by an emperor.) (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 34, Verse 7).

Acala had a brother named Vṛṣaka. In the battle between the Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas, Arjuna killed Acala and Vṛṣaka. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 30, Verse 11).

One night Vyāsa summoned the departed holy souls and Acala also was among them. (Mahābhārata Āśvamedhika Parva, Chapter 32, Verse 12). (See full article at Story of Acala from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Acala (अचल).—Name of a bull. Among the pārṣadas of Skanda we see the bull named Acala. (Mahābhārata Śalya Parva, Chapter 85, Verse 74).

3) Acala (अचल).—An epithet of Mahāviṣṇu. Among the thousand names of Mahāviṣṇu we see the name Acala also. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 92).

4) Acala (अचल).—Subrahmaṇya, who was born from Śiva’s semen which fell into the fire, was made Commander-in-Chief (Generalissimo) by the gods to kill Tārakāsura. A large number of warriors and mothers were assigned to assist him. A woman named Acalā was included among those mothers. (Mahābhārata Śalya Parva, Chapter 40, Verse 14).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Acala (अचल).—ety.—immovable, hence a mountain.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. 11.

1b) The name of Bhairava in the kiricakra.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 20. 82.

1c) The son of Mahīnetra; ruled for 32 years.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 271. 28.

1d) A devaṛṣi.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 84.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Acala (अचल) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. II.31.7, VIII.4.39, IX.44.69) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Acala) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Acala in Yoga glossary... [A] · next »

Acala is one of the eighty-four Siddhas associated with eighty-four Yogic postures (āsanas), according to popular tradition in Jodhpur, Rājasthān. These posture-performing Siddhas are drawn from illustrative sources known as the Nava-nātha-caurāsī-siddha from Vȧrāṇasī and the Nava-nātha-caruāsī-siddha-bālāsundarī-yogamāyā from Puṇe. They bear some similarity between the eighty-four Siddhas painted on the walls of the sanctum of the temple in Mahāmandir.

The names of these Siddhas (eg., Acala) to 19th-century inscription on a painting from Jodhpur, which is labelled as “Maharaja Mansing and eighty-four Yogis”. The association of Siddhas with yogis reveals the tradition of seeing Matsyendra and his disciple Gorakṣa as the founders of haṭhayoga.

Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga
Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Acalā (अचला) is the name of a Sanskrit metre (chandas) to which Hemacandra (1088-1173 C.E.) assigned the alternative name of Suvaktrā in his auto-commentary on the second chapter of the Chandonuśāsana. Hemacandra gives these alternative names for the metres by other authorities (like Bharata), even though the number of gaṇas or letters do not differ.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Acalā (अचला) refers to “earth” and is mentioned in a list of 53 synonyms for dharaṇi (“earth”), according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia).  The Dharaṇyādi-varga covers the lands, soil [viz., Acalā], mountains, jungles and vegetation’s relations between trees and plants and substances, with their various kinds.

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Acala (अचल) refers to one of the major divisions of Hindu images, as defined in the texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The Hindu images are divided into three classes–chala (movable), achala (immovable), and chalāchala (movable-immovable). The immovable (acala) images cannot be moved from the particular place where they are installed. They are made up of mṛnmaya (terracotta) or sārkara (laterite), and sauyaja (stucco). The dhruva or yoga-bera or mūla-vigraha that are permanently established in a shrine come under this category.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

One of the 108 names of Krishna; Meaning: "Still Lord"

Source: humindian: 108 names of Lord Krishna

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Assistant to the architect of the Maha Thupa. MT.535.

2. One of the eminent monks present at the foundation of the Maha Thupa. MT.526.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

1) Acalā (अचला) refers to the unshakeable one” and represents one of the Bodhisattva bhūmis, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 38. Accordingly, “being supported by these nine indriyas, the Bodhisattva will enter into the assurance of the ultimate attainment of enlightenment of the bodhisattva (bodhisattva-niyāma)”. In other words, the Bodhisattva will enter into the eighth Bodhisattva bhūmi, the Acalā, the “unshakeable one”. According to most sources, the Acalā marks an important turning point in the Bodhisattva’s career [...].

2) Acalā (अचला) or Acalābhūmi refers to the “unshakable bhūmi” and represents one of the ten Bodhisattva grounds (bodhisattabhūmi), according to the Daśabhūmikasūtra, or Daśabhūmīśvara, as mentioned in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 52.—Acalā-bhūmi is also known as “mi gyo ba, pou tong”.

The Bodhisattva-mahāsattva in the eighth bhūmi (acalā) must completely fulfill five dharmas.

What are these five?

  1. Penetrating the minds of all beings.
  2. Playing with the superknowledges.
  3. Seeing the buddha-fields.
  4. Constructing his own field on the model of the buddha-fields previously seen.
  5. Seeing the body of the Buddhas in conformity with reality.

Those are the five dharmas to be completely fulfilled. [...]

[...] Furthermore, O Subhūti, the Bodhisattva-mahāsattva in the eighth ground (acalā-bhūmi) should completely fulfill five dharmas, namely:

  1. Knowing the extent of the spiritual faculties.
  2. Purifying the buddha-field.
  3. Concentrating oneself in the magic-like concentration.
  4. Perpetual concentration.
  5. According to such and such a degree of achievement that the roots of good of beings have, the Bodhisattva assumes such and such a form of existence.

These, O Subhūti, are the five dharmas which the bodhisattva-mahāsattva residing in the eighth ground (acalā-bhūmi) must fulfill completely.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

1) Acalā (अचला, “immovable”) or Acalābhūmi refers to the eighth of the “ten stages of the Bodhisattva” (bhūmi) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 64). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., acalā). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D. Arciṣmatī is also included in the “thirteen stages of the Bodhisattva” (trayodaśa-bhūmi).

2) Acalā (अचला, “mountain”) refers to one of the “seven lower regions” (pātāla ) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 123).

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Acala (अचल) is the name of the first Baladeva according to Śvetāmbara, while the Digambara tradition mentions him as the second Baladeva. Jain legends describe nine such Baladevas (“gentle heroes”) usually appearing together with their “violent” twin-brothers known as the Vāsudevas. The legends of these twin-heroes usually involve their antagonistic counterpart known as the Prativāsudevas (anti-heroes).

The mother of Acala is known by the name Bhadrā according to the Samavāyāṅga-sūtra, and their stories are related in texts such as the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacarita (“the lives of the sixty-three illustrious persons”), a twelfth-century Śvetāmbara work by Hemacandra.

The nine Baladevas (such as Acala) are also known as Balabhadra and are further described in various Jain sources, such as the Bhagavatīsūtra and Jambūdvīpaprajñapti in Śvetāmbara, or the Tiloyapaṇṇatti and Ādipurāṇa in the Digambara tradition. The appearance of a Baladeva is described as follows: their body is of a white complexion, they wear a blue-black robe, and the mark of the palm-tree (tāla) is seen on their banners.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Acala in Pali glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

acala : (adj.) not moving; unshakeable.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

acala (अचल).—a (S) Fixed, stationary, not locomotive.

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acala (अचल).—m (S a priv. cala That moves.) A mountain or hill.

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acalā (अचला).—f S (Because supposed to be fixed.) The earth.

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acalā (अचला).—m A handkerchief.

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acaḷa (अचळ) [or अंचूळ, añcūḷa].—m (Commonly āñcūḷa) A teat or dug.

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acaḷa (अचळ).—a (acala S) Slow, gentle, mild, of quiet disposition. 2 Steady, still, settled, tranquil--water &c. 3 Stable, fixed, enduring. 4 Of fixed or firm purpose. 5 Unmoved, untouched, unaffected by use or touch--articles of food &c. 6 ad Steadily--carrying, moving, placing.

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acāla (अचाल).—f (a & cāla Progress.) Stoppage, stopped state. Ex. tujhī a0 asalyāsa dōna divasa mājhī kōyatī ghēūna jā.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

acala (अचल).—m A mountain. a Fixed.

--- OR ---

acaḷa (अचळ).—m A teat or dug.

--- OR ---

acaḷa (अचळ).—a Steady; slow. ad Steadily.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Acala (अचल).—a. Steady, immovable, motionless, fixed, permanent; चित्रन्यस्तमिवाचलं चामरम् (citranyastamivācalaṃ cāmaram) V.1.5; तपसेऽधिवस्तु- मचलामचलः (tapase'dhivastu- macalāmacalaḥ) Ki.6.18; समाधावचला बुद्धिस्तदा योगमवाप्स्यसि (samādhāvacalā buddhistadā yogamavāpsyasi) Bg. 2.53.; यत्र स्थाणुरिवाचलः (yatra sthāṇurivācalaḥ) Ś.7.11. immovable.

-laḥ 1 A mountain; (rarely) a rock.

2) A bolt or pin (śaṅku).

3) The number seven.

4) Name of Śiva, of the soul, of the first of the 9 deified persons among Jainas.

-lā The earth (so called because the earth is immovable according to one view, or, according to Ārya Bhaṭṭa who rejects this view, acalāḥ parvatāḥ santyatra, astyarthe ac; acalatvāt svakakṣāto bahirgamanābhāvādvā). cf. अचलः पर्वते वृक्षे कीलावसुधयोः स्त्रियाम् (acalaḥ parvate vṛkṣe kīlāvasudhayoḥ striyām) Nm.

-lam Brahman.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Acala (अचल).—mfn.

(-laḥ-lā-laṃ) Fixed, immoveable. m. (laḥ) 1. A mountain. 2. A pin or bolt. f.

(-lā) The earth. E. a not, and cala who, goes from cala and ac aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 95 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Himācala (हिमाचल).—the Himālaya mountain; प्रस्थं हिमाद्रे- र्मृगनाभिगन्धि किंचित् क्वणत् किंनर...
Kulācala (कुलाचल).—(kulaparvata) Kulaparvatas are seven in number, Viz. Mahendra, Malaya, Sahy...
Calācala (चलाचल, “movable-immovable”) refers to one of the major divisions of Hindu images, as ...
Dakṣiṇācala (दक्षिणाचल).—m. (-laḥ) The Malaya mountain. E. dakṣiṇa south, and acala mountain.
Kanakācala (कनकाचल).—m. (-laḥ) The mountain Sumeru. E. kanaka, and acala a mountain; the golden...
Astācala (अस्ताचल).—the setting or western mountain. अधिरोढुमस्तगिरिमभ्यपतत् (adhiroḍhumastagir...
Caraṇācala (चरणाचल).—The setting mountain; यातोऽस्तमेष चरमाचलचूड- चुम्बी (yāto'stameṣa caramāca...
Acalakīlā (अचलकीला).—f. (-lā) The earth. E. acala a mountain, kīla a bolt.
Acaladhṛti (अचलधृति).—f. a metre of four lines of 16 short syllables each (gītyāryā) Derivable ...
Kuverācala (कुवेराचल).—m. (-laḥ) Mount Kailasa. E. kuvera and acala a mountain; the capital of ...
Candanācala (चन्दनाचल).—m. (-laḥ) The Malaya mountain, part of the southern range of the Ghats,...
Dhānyācala (धान्याचल).—m. (-laḥ) A pile of grain for presentation to Brahmans. E. dhānya, and a...
Karṇikācala (कर्णिकाचल).—Name of the mountain सुमेरु (sumeru).Derivable forms: karṇikācalaḥ (कर...
Caramācala (चरमाचल).—m. (-laḥ) See the preceding.
Mathanācala (मथनाचल).—m. (-laḥ) The mountain Mandara.

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