Alaka, Ālakā, Alakā, Āḷaka: 28 definitions


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

1) 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.

2) Alakā (अलका) signifies the heaven of Indra which is supposed to be situated on Mount Meru.

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
context information

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.

Kavya book cover
context information

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Ālakā (आलका) (i.e., “the lock of hair”) refers to one of the six energies accompanying Nagnakubjikā (Naked Kubjikā) according to Tantric texts such as the Kubjikāmata-tantra, the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—Accordingly, “Form (rūpa) is the Transmission of the Sacred Seats (pīṭhakrama). (There) the goddess (shines with the) lustre of a blue cloud and collyrium. She has twelve arms and six faces. She is accompanied by six energies: [i.e., Ālakā (the Lock of Hair), ...]. The Naked (nagnā) Kubjikā, established in Form, is in the midst of the Transmission of the Child. Aflame with the Doomsday Fire, she is extremely fierce and frightening. The bestower of the divine Command, she can be approached (only) by means of the master’s teaching”.

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (shaktism)

Alakā (अलका) refers to “(curly) locks (of hair)”, according to the King Vatsarāja’s Pūjāstuti called the Kāmasiddhistuti (also Vāmakeśvarīstuti), guiding one through the worship of the Goddess Nityā.—Accordingly, “[...] I honour Padmā, [beautiful and tender like] a lotus plant. Her eyes are lotus-like and she dwells in a bed of lotuses. Her four arms look splendid with two lotuses [in two hands] and the gestures of grace and safety [in two others]. May the virgin goddess Durgā annihilate my hardships, I pray. Her hands are marked by the conch and discus. She has curly locks (kuṭila-alakā) and rides [a lion,] the king of wild animals. [...]

Shaktism book cover
context information

Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

1) Alaka (अलक) refers to “feminine tresses”, according to the Guhyasūtra chapter 9.—Accordingly, “[...] [The Lord spoke]:—Wearing half the dress of a woman and half [that of] a man, on one half, he should place [feminine] tresses (alakaardhena alakaṃ), on one half, he should wear matted locks. On one half, there should be a forehead mark; on one half a [forehead] eye. A ring [should be] in one ear; a [pendant] ear-ornament in one ear. [...]”.

2) Alaka (अलक) refers to “locks” (=‘hair’), according to the 13th-century Matsyendrasaṃhitā: a Kubjikā-Tripurā oriented Tantric Yoga text of the Ṣaḍanvayaśāmbhava tradition from South India.—Accordingly, “[Visualisation of Śakti]:—On his left side, [he should visualise] Śakti, who infatuates the world. She has all the auspicious characteristics. She is in the prime of her youth. She has bees longing for the garland tied in her black locks (nīla-alaka). [...]”.

Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (vastu)

Alaka (अलक) refers to a “eight-storied” variety of the hundred types of Temples (in ancient Indian architecture), according to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, an ancient Sanskrit text which (being encyclopedic in nature) deals with a variety of cultural topics such as arts, architecture, music, grammar and astronomy.—It is quite difficult to say about a definite number of varieties of Hindu temples but in the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa hundred varieties of temples have been enumerated. For example, Alaka. These temples are classified according to the particular shape, amount of storeys and other common elements, such as the number of pavilions, doors and roofs.

Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Alaka (अलक) or “Rājānaka Alaka” is the son of Rājānaka Jayānaka according to the colophons of the commentary on the Harivijaya by Rājānaka Ratnākara.—There is a Rājānaka Jayānaka who wrote a Kāvya called the Pṛthvīrājavijaya, possibly composed in the late twelfth century when King Pṛthvīrāja reigned, for Jayānaka may have been one of his court poets (Lienhard 1984: 219).

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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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.

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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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: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious 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) Kumārasambhava 5. 55; अस्पृष्टालकवेष्टनौ (aspṛṣṭālakaveṣṭanau) R.1,42;4.54; अलकभङ्गतां गतः (alakabhaṅgatāṃ gataḥ) K.4; अलके बालकुन्दानुविद्धम् (alake bālakundānuviddham) Meghadūta 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) Kumārasambhava 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) Meghadūta 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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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Alaka (ಅಲಕ):—

1) [noun] curly hair, (esp. dangling on the forehead); lock.

2) [noun] a mad dog.

3) [noun] a hunting dog that finds game either by scenting and tracking; a hound.

4) [noun] a kind of headgear of gods or kings.

--- OR ---

Aḷaka (ಅಳಕ):—

1) [noun] the quality of being loose; looseness; bagginess.

2) [noun] the quality or condition of being lax; laxity.

--- OR ---

Aḷaka (ಅಳಕ):—

1) [noun] a board or pad used while writing or for writing on.

2) [noun] a palm leaf used to write on.

--- OR ---

Aḷaka (ಅಳಕ):—[noun] curly hair, (esp. dangling on the forehead); lock.

--- OR ---

Aḷaka (ಅಳಕ):—[noun] a very young or unripe fruit.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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