Alata, aka: Alāta, Alatā; 9 Definition(s)


Alata means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

In Hinduism


[Alata in Purana glossaries]

Alatā (अलता).—A daughter of Irā, and mother of trees.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 460-1.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

[Alata in Natyashastra glossaries]

1a) Alāta (अलात).—One of the 108 karaṇas (minor dance movement) mentioned in the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 4. The instructions for this alāta-karaṇa is as follows, “after making Alāta Cārī taking down hand from [the level of] the shoulder, then making Ūrdhvajānu Cārī.”.

A karaṇa represents a minor dance movements and combines sthāna (standing position), cārī (foot and leg movement) and nṛttahasta (hands in dancing position).

1b) Alāta (अलात) also refers to a one of the twenty maṇḍalas, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 12. It is also known by the name alātaka. The Alāta-maṇḍala is classified as a ākāśa, or “aerial”, of which there are ten in total. A maṇḍala is a combination of cārīs (“dance-steps”), which refers refers to the simultaneous movement of the feet (pāda), shanks (jaṅghā) and the hip (ūru). From these cārīs proceed dance as well as movements in general.

2) Alātā (अलाता) refers to a one of the thirty-two cārīs, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 11. The Alātā-cārī is classified as a ākāśikī, or “aerial”, of which there are sixteen in total. The term cārī  refers to a “dance-step” and refers to the simultaneous movement of the feet (pāda), shanks (jaṅghā) and the hip (ūru). From these cārīs proceed dance as well as movements in general.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

1) Alātā (अलाता).—A type of aerial (ākāśikī) dance-step (cārī);—Instructions: one foot stretched backwards and then put in and afterwards caused to fall on its heel.

2) Alāta (अलात).—A type of maṇḍala (series of cārīs) classified as aerial (ākāśa);—Instructions:

1) The right foot to be moved in the sūcī-cārī and the left foot in the apakrāntā-cārī,
2a) The right foot in the pārśvakrāntā-cārī and the left foot in the alātā-cārī,
2b) after moving by turn in these [two]-cārīs six or seven times with graceful steps,
3) The right foot in the apakrāntā-cārī and the left foot successively in the atikrāntā and the bhramarī-cārīs.

(Source): Natya Shastra
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Alata in Theravada glossaries]

A minister and general of Angati, King of Videha. He is described as wise, smiling, a father of sons and full of experience. When Angati consulted his ministers as to ways and means of finding diversion for himself and his subjects, Alatas counsel was that they should set out to battle with a countless host of men. The suggestion of another minister, Vijaya, was that the king should visit some samana or brahmin, and this idea it was that won the kings approval. Thereupon Alata persuaded Angati to visit the Ajivika Guna of the Kassapa family, who evidently enjoyed Alatas patronage. When Guna preached his doctrine that good and evil actions were alike fruitless, he was supported by Alata, who stated that in a previous birth he had been Pingala, a cowkilling huntsman in Benares, and that he had committed many sins for which, however, he had never suffered any evil consequences.

Later, Angatis daughter Ruja explains that Alatas present prosperity is the result of certain past acts of righteousness and that time will eventually bring him suffering on account of his evil deeds. Alata himself, she says, is not aware of this because he can remember only one previous birth, while she herself can recall seven. See the Maha Narada Kasappa Jataka (

Alata was a previous birth of Devadatta (

In the text he is sometimes (E.g., pp.221, 230) also called Alataka, perhaps for the purposes of metre.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Alata in Pali glossaries]

alāta : (nt.) firebrand.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Alāta, (nt.) (Sk. alāta, related to Lat. altāre altar, adoleo to burn) a firebrand A.II, 95 (chava° a burning corpse, see chava); J.I, 68; Pug.36; DhA.III, 442. (Page 79)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's 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

[Alata in Marathi glossaries]

alāta (अलात).—n The blade of an oar. 2 S A firebrand.

--- OR ---

aḷatā (अळता).—m (alaktaka S) A dye of lac, lodhra &c.; used as red ink, or by women to stain their feet. 2 The cotton imbued with it.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

alāta (अलात).—n The blade of an oar. A firebrand.

--- OR ---

aḷatā (अळता).—m A dye of lâc, lodhra, &c. used as red ink or by women to stain their feet.

(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

[Alata in Sanskrit glossaries]

Alāta (अलात).—[lā-kta, na. ta] A firebrand, half-burnt wood; निवार्णालातलाघवम् (nivārṇālātalāghavam) Ku.2.23. coal; °सदृशेक्षणा (sadṛśekṣaṇā) Rām.; °चक्रप्रतिमम् (cakrapratimam) V.5.2.

Derivable forms: alātaḥ (अलातः), alātam (अलातम्).

(Source): DDSA: The practical 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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