Alaka, Āḷaka, Alakā: 22 definitions



Alaka means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi, Jainism, Prakrit, Hindi. 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.

The Sanskrit term Āḷaka can be transliterated into English as Alaka or Aliaka, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Alak.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Alakā (अलका) refers to the “capital of Kubera”, as mentioned in the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.18.—“[...] with this act of piety alone, as long as he lived, the king Dama acquired ample prosperity. Finally he passed away. The impression of lamps persisted in his mind. He caused many lamps to be lighted. Finally he became the lord of Alakā with gem-set lamps (ratnadīpa) to his credit. Thus even the smallest service rendered to Śiva bears rich fruit in time. Let all persons seeking happiness realise this and continue the worship of Śiva”.

Note: Alakā is the capital of Kubera, the chief of the Yakṣas and Guhyakas. It is also called Prabhā, Vasudharā and Vasusthalī and is fabled to be situated on a peak of the Himālayas, inhabited also by Śiva.

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Alakā (अलका).—The city of Kubera.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1) Alaka (अलक).—A Śrutaṛṣi.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 33. 4.

2) Alakā (अलका).—The city of Yakṣas in Kailāsa. Capital of Kubera.1 Purūravas and Urvaśī sported here for a time;2 as seen by Bhārgava Rāma.3

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 18. 2; III. 7. 163; Vāyu-purāṇa 47. 1; Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 6. 23.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 91. 6; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 66. 6; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 6. 48.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 41. 18-23.
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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Kavya (poetry)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Alakā (अलका) is the name of a kingdom that was conquered by Udayana (king of Vatsa) during his campaign to obtain sovereignty over the whole earth, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 19. Accordingly, “Then he went to Alakā, distinguished by the presence of Kuvera, displaying its beauties before him—that is to say, to the quarter made lovely by the smile of Kailāsa—and having subdued the King of Sindh, at the head of his cavalry he destroyed the Mlecchas as Rāma destroyed the Rākṣasas at the head of the army of monkeys”.

Alakā (अलका) as situated in the country Niṣadha, is also mentioned in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 101. Accordingly, as Muni Kaṇva said to Mṛgāṅkadatta in his hermitage: “... there is a country named Niṣadha, that adorns the face of the northern quarter; in it there was of old a city of the name of Alakā. In this city the people were always happy in abundance of all things, and the only things that never enjoyed repose were the jewel-lamps”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Alakā, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Alaka - A country on the banks of the Godhavari River. It was at a spot between the territories of the Alaka and the Assaka kings that Bavari lived (Sn.977). To the north of Alaka was Patitthana. Sn.1011.

2. Alaka - An Andhaka king of the Alaka country. See Alaka (1). SnA.ii.580-1.

-- or --

The town of the god Kubera (Cv.lxxiv.207; lxxx.5), evidently another name for Alakamanda.

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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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Alakā (अलका) is the name of an ancient city, according to chapter 5.4 [śāntinātha-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra (“lives of the 63 illustrious persons”): a Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three important persons in Jainism.

Accordingly, as Megharatha related:—“In this Jambūdvīpa in Bharata in the northern row on Vaitāḍhya there is a fine city Alakā. A Vidhyādhara-king, Vidyudratha, and his agreeable wife, Mānasavegā, lived there. He had a son by her, the tree of whose arm was blooming with power, named Siṃharatha, because of a dream of a chariot with lions for steeds. [...]”.

General definition book cover
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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

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Āḷaka, (or °ā f.) (Dimin of aḷa (?) or of ārā 1 (?). See Morris J.P.T.S. 1886, 158) — 1. a thorn, sting, dart, spike, used either as arrow-straightener Miln.418; DhA.I, 288; or (perhaps also for piece of bone, fishbone) in making up a comb VvA.349 (°sandhāpana = comb; how Hardy got the meaning of “alum” in Ind. to incomprehensible). — 2 a peg, spike, stake or post (to tie an elephant to, cp. ālāna). Cp. II.13. (Page 110)

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

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

aḷakā (अळका).—a (āḷa) Mad after; longing or hankering after; set eagerly and vehemently upon. Ex. bhukēcā a0 Ravenous after food; jhōpēcā a0 Ever drowsy; sleepy headed.

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

alaka (अलक).—m A hair, a lock of hair.

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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Alaka (अलक).—[ala-kvun, alati bhūṣayati mukham]

1) A curl lock of hair, hair in general; ललाटिकाचन्दनधूसरालका (lalāṭikācandanadhūsarālakā) Ku.5. 55; अस्पृष्टालकवेष्टनौ (aspṛṣṭālakaveṣṭanau) R.1,42;4.54; अलकभङ्गतां गतः (alakabhaṅgatāṃ gataḥ) K.4; अलके बालकुन्दानुविद्धम् (alake bālakundānuviddham) Me.67 (the word is n. also, as appears from a quotation of Malli. : svabhāvavakrāṇyalakāni tāsām).

2) Curls on the fore-head; ...अलकः पुरोलम्बनकुन्तले (alakaḥ purolambanakuntale) Nm.

3) Saffron besmeared on the body.

4) mad dog (for alarka).

-kā A girl from eight to ten years of age.

2) Name of the capital of Kubera (situated on a peak of the Himālaya above the peak of Meru, inhabited also by Śiva), and of the lord of the Yakśas; अलकामतिवाह्यैव (alakāmativāhyaiva) Ku.6.37; विभाति यस्यां ललितालकायां मनोहरा वैश्रवणस्य लक्ष्मीः (vibhāti yasyāṃ lalitālakāyāṃ manoharā vaiśravaṇasya lakṣmīḥ) Bv.2.1; गन्तव्या ते वसतिरलका नाम यक्षेश्वराणाम् (gantavyā te vasatiralakā nāma yakṣeśvarāṇām) Me.7.

Derivable forms: alakaḥ (अलकः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Alaka (अलक).—name of a yakṣa (probably really a generic name, an inhabitant of Alakā or °kā-pura, q.v.; pl. so used in Sanskrit): Mahā-Māyūrī 103.

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

Alaka (अलक).—mn.

(-kaḥ-kaṃ) A curl. m.

(-kaḥ) A mad dog. See alarka f.

(-kā) 1. Alaka, the capital of Kuvera. 2. A young girl from eight to ten years of age. E. ala to adorn, &c. vun affix, and fem. ṭāp.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Alaka (अलक).—. I. m. and n. A curl, [Ṛtusaṃhāra] 6, 6. Ii. f. , The capital of Kuvera, [Meghadūta, (ed. Gildemeister.)] 7.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Alaka (अलक).—[masculine] [neuter] curl. [feminine] ā Kubera's residence.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Alaka (अलक) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—son of Jayānaka:
—[commentary] on Alaṃkārasarvasva. Quoted by Ratnakaṇṭha. Peters. 2, 17. He finished the Kāvyaprakāśa from the Parikara chapter. Peters. 2, 15. Viṣamapadoddyota Haravijayaṭīkā. Report. Xiv. Peters. 1, 13.

2) Alaka (अलक):—as the continuator of the Kāvyaprakāśa is, according to Stein.(Introduction to his Catalogue p. 24) to be spelled Allaṭa.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Alaka (अलक):—mn. (ifc. f(ā). ) a curl, lock, [Raghuvaṃśa] etc.

2) m. (= alarka q.v.) a mad dog, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) m. [plural] Name of a people, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā]

4) m. of the Inhabitants of Kubera’s residence Alakā, [Mahābhārata iii, 11813]

5) Alakā (अलका):—[from alaka] f. ([gana] kṣipakādi q.v.) a girl from eight to ten years of age, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

6) [v.s. ...] Name of the capital of Kubera (situated on a peak of the Himālaya inhabited also by Śiva), [Kumāra-sambhava vi, 37, etc.]

7) [v.s. ...] Name of a town in Niṣadha, [Kathāsaritsāgara]

8) Alāka (अलाक):—m. (= alarka) the plant Calotropis Gigantea, [Caraka]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Alaka (अलक):—[(kaḥ-kaṃ)] 1. m. A curl; a mad dog. kā f. Kuvera’s capital.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Alakā (अलका) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Alakā, Alaya, Alayā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Alaka in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Alaka (अलक) [Also spelled alak]:—(nf) a curl, a lock of hair; [alakīvalī] locks of hair, hairdo.

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Prakrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary

Alakā (अलका) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Alakā.

context information

Prakrit is an ancient language closely associated with both Pali and Sanskrit. Jain literature is often composed in this language or sub-dialects, such as the Agamas and their commentaries which are written in Ardhamagadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit. The earliest extant texts can be dated to as early as the 4th century BCE although core portions might be older.

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