Alamkrita, Alaṃkṛta: 10 definitions


Alamkrita means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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 Alaṃkṛta can be transliterated into English as Alamkrta or Alamkrita, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Alamkrita in Shaivism glossary
Source: Shodhganga: Temple management in the Āgamas

Alaṃkṛta (अलंकृत) or Alaṅkṛta refers to a division of Ādiśaiva priests, as defined in Śaivāgama literature.—In the temple, the Ādiśaiva priests are classified by the āgama into five levels—Ācārya, Arcaka, Sādhaka, Alaṅkṛta and Vācaka. The Alaṅkṛta performs the alaṅkāra of the main deities and utsava deities.

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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Alamkrita in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Lokottaravāda

Alaṃkṛta (अलंकृत) or Alaṅkṛta is the name of a Buddha under whom Śākyamuni (or Gautama, ‘the historical Buddha’) acquired merit along the first through nine bhūmis, according to the Mahāvastu. There are in total ten bhūmis representing the ten stages of the Bodhisattva’s path towards enlightenment. His name can also be spelled as Alaṃkṛta (अलंकृत).

Alaṃkṛta is but one among the 500 Buddhas enumerated in the Mahāvastu during a conversation between Mahākātyāyana and Mahākāśyapa, both principle disciples of Gautama Buddha. The Mahāvastu is an important text of the Lokottaravāda school of buddhism, dating from the 2nd century BCE.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Alaṃkṛta (अलंकृत) refers to the “adorations” of the Buddha’s body with the thirty-two marks according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter VII).—“The Buddha whose body is adorned (alaṃkṛta) with the thirty-two marks is beautiful (abhirūpa) and well-arranged (avikṣipta). If he had less than thirty-two marks his body would be ugly; if he had more than thirty-two marks he would be untidy. Thanks to the thirty-two marks, he is beautiful and well-arranged. Their number cannot be increased or decreased. The bodily marks are like the other attributes of the Buddha (buddhadharma) which cannot be increased or decreased”.

Why does the Bodhisattva adorn (alaṃkṛta) his body with marks?

1) Some people have attained purity of faith by seeing the bodily marks of the Buddha. This is why he adorns his body with marks.

2. Furthermore, the Buddhas triumph in every way: they triumph by means of their physical beauty (kāyarūpa), power (prabhāva), clan (gotra), family (jāti), wisdom (prajñā), dhyāna, deliverance (vimukti), etc. But if the Buddhas did not adorn themselves with marks, these superiorities would not be as numerous.

3. Finally, some say that supreme perfect enlightenment (anuttara-samyaksaṃbodhi) resides in the body of the Buddhas but that if the corporeal marks did not adorn their body anuttara-samyaksaṃbodhi would not reside in them. This is why the Bodhisattva cultivates the thirty-two marks and adorns his body with them, to attain anuttara-samyaksaṃbodhi.

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Alaṃkṛta (अलंकृत) refers to “adornation”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly as The Lord said: “O Śāriputra, in the buddha-field of the Tathāgata Ekaratnavyūha, there is a Bodhisattva, the great being Gaganagañja who is resplendent by the splendor of merit (puṇya-tejas), [...] who enters the intention of thought of all living beings as adorned with knowledge (jñāna), penetrates the roots of good of all living beings as adorned with consciousness (buddhi-alaṃkṛta), is purified in the realm of five eyes adorned with the [divine] sight (cakṣus), [...]”.

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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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Alaṃkṛta (अलंकृत) refers to “(being) adorned” (by a crown of skulls), according to the Cakrasaṃvara Samādhi [i.e., Cakrasamvara Meditation] ritual often performed in combination with the Cakrasaṃvara Samādhi, which refers to the primary pūjā and sādhanā practice of Newah Mahāyāna-Vajrayāna Buddhists in Nepal.—Accordingly, “Standing on top of Mahābhairava and Kālirātrī, embracing Vajravārāhī, With both arms holding a vajra and bell, adorned by a crest of dreadlocks, Decorated by a crown of skulls (kapālamālā-alaṃkṛta), holding a half moon on top of the head, Topped by the form of the Viśva Vajra, a fierce face, horrible gigantic fangs, Possessing the emotions beginning with the erotic, putting on a tiger skin, Wearing a garland of half a hundred human heads together, Possessing the six seals, adorned with a necklace, bracelets, Ear-rings, girdle, a crest jewel, (and) covered in ashes”.

Source: MDPI Books: The Ocean of Heroes

Alaṃkṛta (अलंकृत) refers to “being adorned” (with mantras and mudrās), according to the 10th-century Ḍākārṇava-tantra: one of the last Tibetan Tantric scriptures belonging to the Buddhist Saṃvara tradition consisting of 51 chapters.—Accordingly: “[...] Adorned (alaṃkṛta) with mantras and seals [mantramudrādyalaṃkṛtām], a great yoga practitioner should make bali offering The great accomplishment is [attained] through the recitation [of mantras] ten million times, also a hundred thousand times and below. If he makes offering of various pledge [articles] according to rule, afterwards, yogic accomplishment can be attained, [and] he can wander for pleasure anywhere. [...]”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Alamkrita in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Alaṃkṛta (अलंकृत).—name of a former Buddha: Mahāvastu i.137.2.

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

Alaṃkṛta (अलंकृत):—[=alaṃ-kṛta] [from alaṃ > alam] (ataṃ-) mfn. adorned, decorated, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa etc.], (cf. araṃ-kṛta sub voce aram,)

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

Alaṃkṛta (अलंकृत) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Alaṃkariya, Alaṃkiya.

[Sanskrit to German]

Alamkrita 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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