Alara, aka: Āḷāra, Aḷāra, Alāra, Ālāra; 3 Definition(s)


Alara 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 terms Āḷāra and Aḷāra can be transliterated into English as Alara or Aliara, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

General definition (in Hinduism)

[Alara in Hinduism glossaries]

Alara (अलर) : A famous sage, sought out by Buddha

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Alara in Theravada glossaries]

A landowner of Mithila, described also as Videha and Videhiputta, an inhabitant of the Videha country (J.v.166, 167). While journeying on business, in a carriage, attended by five hundred wagons, he saw the Naga king, Sankhapala, being ill treated by lewd men who had captured him and, feeling sorry for the Naga, Alara gave gifts to the men and their wives and thus obtained his release. Sankhapala, thereupon, invited Alara to the Naga kingdom where, for a whole year, Alara lived in all splendour.

Later, realising that the Nagas wonderful possessions were the fruit of good deeds done in the past, he became an ascetic in Himava and afterwards took up his abode in the kings park in Benares. The king, seeing him on his begging rounds, was pleased with his deportment and invited him to the palace. There, at the kings request, he told him the story of his encounter with Sankhapala and his subsequent life and exhorted the king to do acts of piety.

Later he was born in the Brahma world. See the Sankhapala Jataka. (v.161ff.).

Alara was a previous birth of Sariputta (Ibid., 177). (Alara.)

-- or --

See Alara.

(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).

Discover the meaning of alara in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Alara in Pali glossaries]

Aḷāra, (adj.) (Is it the same as uḷāra?) only used with ref. to the eyelashes, & usually expld. by visāla, i.e. extended, wide, but also by bahala, i.e. thick. The meaning & etym. is as yet uncertain. Kern, (Toev. s.v.) transls. by “bent, crooked, arched”. °akkhin with wide eyes (eyelashes?) J.I, 306 (= visāla-netta C.); °pamha with thick eye-lashes Vv 357 (= bahala-saṃyata-pakhuma C.; v.l. °pamukha); °bhamuka having thick eyebrows or °lashes J.VI, 503 (so read for °pamukha; C. expls by visāl-akkhigaṇḍa). Cp. āḷāra. (Page 80)

— or —

Āḷāra, (adj.) (= aḷāra or uḷāra or = Sk. arāla?) thick, massed, dense or crooked, arched (?), only in cpd. °pamha with thick eyelashes Vv 6411 (= gopakhuma VvA.279); Pv III, 35 (= vellita-dīgha-nīla-pamukha). Cp. alāra. (Page 110)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

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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