Alata, Alāta, Alatā: 22 definitions


Alata means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi, biology. 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Alat.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Alāta (अलात) refers to a “fire-brand” and represents the weapons of the Ṛbhus, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.30. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] while the sage Bhṛgu was pouring the offerings, thousands of powerful demons—Ṛbhus rose up. O excellent sage, a terrible fight ensued between Śiva’s attendants and the demons who had firebrands (alāta) for their weapons (āyudha). Their hair stood on end when people heard the uproar. The attendants were killed by the Ṛbhus of powerful valour and favoured with Brahminical splendour. They were forced to run without difficulty”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 460-1.
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

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: Natya Shastra

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.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Ālāta (आलात) or Ālātacakra refers to a “whirling firebrand” according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, “[...] (2) Above it is the Self—supported (svādhiṣṭhāna), (brilliant) as a whirling firebrand [i.e., ālāta-cakra-sannibha]. There, in the middle, is the one called the living being (jīva). One should think that it is as (nourishing) like nectar. [...] (Perfect) contemplation (samādhi) is with (these) sixteen aspects and is (attained) within the form of the sixfold deposition (ṣoḍhānyāsa). He who knows this is (a veritable) Lord of Yogis, the others (who do not) are (just) quoting from books. Once attained the plane that is Void and Non-void, the yogi is freed from bondage”.

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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

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.

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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Biology (plants and animals)

Source: Google Books: CRC World Dictionary (Regional names)

Alata in India is the name of a plant defined with Senna alata in various botanical sources. This page contains potential references in Ayurveda, modern medicine, and other folk traditions or local practices It has the synonym Cassia rumphiana (DC.) Bojer (among others).

Example references for further research on medicinal uses or toxicity (see latin names for full list):

· Supplementum Plantarum (1781)
· Journal of Cytology and Genetics (1993)
· Flora Indica (1832)
· Blumea (2006)
· Species Plantarum (1753)
· Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2008)

If you are looking for specific details regarding Alata, for example chemical composition, health benefits, extract dosage, pregnancy safety, side effects, diet and recipes, have a look at these references.

Biology book cover
context information

This sections includes definitions from the five kingdoms of living things: Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera. It will include both the official binomial nomenclature (scientific names usually in Latin) as well as regional spellings and variants.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

alāta : (nt.) firebrand.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's 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)

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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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

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 Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

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.

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

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

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

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

Alāta (अलात).—n.

(-taṃ) A fire brand, weather burning or extinguished. E. a neg. to take, and kta aff.

--- OR ---

Ālāta (आलात).—n.

(-taṃ) A firebrand, a coal burning or extinguished. E. alāta and aṇ aff.

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

Alāta (अलात).—n. A firebrand, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 24, 18.

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

Alāta (अलात).—[neuter] a fire-brand.

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

1) Alāta (अलात):—n. a fire-brand, coal, [Mahābhārata etc.]

2) Ālāta (आलात):—n. = alāta q.v., [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

1) Alāta (अलात):—(taṃ) 1. n. A fire-brand.

2) Ālāta (आलात):—[ā-lāta] (taṃ) 1. n. A fire-brand.

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

Alāta (अलात) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Alāya.

[Sanskrit to German]

Alata 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

1) Alatā (अलता):—(nm) a lack-dye used by Hindu women for staining their feet red.

2) Alāta (अलात) [Also spelled alat]:—(nm) a fire-brand; -[cakra] a circle caused by whirling firebrand.

context information


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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Alāta (ಅಲಾತ):—[noun] a burning or half-burnt wooden piece; a fire brand.

--- OR ---

Ālāṭa (ಆಲಾಟ):—[noun] a shouting; a crying aloud.

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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