Bala, aka: Bāla, Balā, Bālā; 30 Definition(s)


Bala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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

Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

bala (Strength) this is omnipotence; defined as the total absence of fatigue, and the power to manifest and sustain all things.

(Source): SriMatham: Vaiṣṇava Iconology based on Pañcarātra Āgama
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Balā (बला):—One of the sixty-seven Mahauṣadhi, as per Rasaśāstra texts (rasa literature). These drugs are useful for processing mercury (rasa), such as the alchemical processes known as sūta-bandhana and māraṇa.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra
Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Balā (बला):—Sanskrit name of one of the thirty-two female deities of the Somamaṇḍala (second maṇḍala of the Khecarīcakra) according to the kubjikāmata-tantra. These goddesses are situated on a ring of sixteen petals and represent the thirty-two syllables of the Aghoramantra. Each deity (including Balā) is small, plump and large-bellied. They can assume any form at will, have sixteen arms each, and are all mounted on a different animal.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra
Shaivism book cover
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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.

Ayurveda (science of life)

1) Balā (बला) is a Sanskrit word referring Sida cordifolia (flannel weed), a plant species in the Malvaceae family. Certain plant parts of Balā are eaten as a vegetable (śāka), according to Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. The plant is therefore part of the Śākavarga group of medicinal plants, referring to the “group of vegetables/pot-herbs”. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic value of the plant.

According to the Mādhavacikitsā (7th-century Āyurvedic work), this plant (Balā) is also mentioned as a medicine used for the treatment of all major fevers, as described in the Jvaracikitsā (or “the treatment of fever”) chapter.

2) Balā (बाल) is another name for Balāka, which is a Sanskrit word referring to Pavonia odorata (fragement mallow plant), from the Malvaceae family. It is classified as a medicinal plant in the system of Āyurveda (science of Indian medicine) and is used throughout literature such as the Suśrutasaṃhita and the Carakasaṃhitā.

2) Bala (बल) is another name for Rājamāṣa (Vigna unguiculata “cow-peas”) according to the Bhāvaprakāśa, which is a 16th century medicinal thesaurus authored by Bhāvamiśra. The term is used throughout Āyurvedic literature

(Source): Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Bala (बल, “strength”) is the power generated by development of the body. According to degree it is of three types—

  1. Pravara (superior),
  2. Madhya (average)
  3. and Avara (inferior).

It is again of three types according to source—

  1. Sahaja (congenital),
  2. Kālaja (derived from the time-factor) and
  3. Yuktikṛta (produced from application of drugs etc.)
(Source): Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Bala (बल) refers to the “forces”, as in, the forces of an army. It is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti and the Baudhāyana-dharmasūtra.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.


Balā (बला) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (eg., Balā) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

(Source): Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

1) Bala (बल).—A sacred incantation. (See Atibala).

2) Bala (बल).—(vala) A demon born to Kaśyapa Prajāpati of his wife Danāyu. This demon had three brothers: Vikṣara, Vīra and Vṛtra. It was this Bala who later on became the king of Pāṇḍyadeśa. (Śloka 42, Chapter 67, Śloka 33; Chapter 65, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).

2) Chapter 168 of Vana Parva states that this Bala was killed by Indra. (For details see Vala).

3) Bala (बल).—A deva born to Varuṇa of his elder brother’s wife. (Śloka 52, Chapter 66, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).

4) Bala (बल).—The son born to Parīkṣit of the Ikṣvāku dynasty of the daughter of Maṇḍūkarāja. This Bala had two wives, Śalā and Dalā. (Śloka 38, Chapter 192, Vana Parva, Mahābhārata).

5) Bala (बल).—A monkey. In the battle with Kumbhakarṇa this monkey did many brave deeds. (Śloka 6, Chapter 287, Vana Parva, Mahābhārata).

6) Bala (बल).—One of the two warriors whom Vāyu Bhagavān gave as a gift to Subrahmaṇya. The name of the other was Atibala. (Śloka 44, Chapter 91, Śalya Parva, Mahābhārata).

7) Bala (बल).—A Maharṣi of ancient Bhārata. He was the son of Maharṣi Aṅgiras. (Śloka 27, Chapter 208, Śānti Parva, Mahābhārata).

8) Bala (बल).—A sanātana Viśvadeva. (Śloka 30, Chapter 91, Anuśāsana Parva, Mahābhārata).

9) Bala (बल).—A pārṣada of Viṣṇu. When Vāmana trampled over the head of emperor Bali and sent him to the underworld, the followers of Bali ascended the yajña maṇḍala and created a commotion. Bala was one of the pārṣadas who then came to the scene to quell the trouble. (Aṣṭama Skandha, Bhāgavata).

10) Bala (बल).—A son of Māyāsura. He lived in a place in the netherlands called Atala. He created ninetysix different kinds of magic and gave them to the asura magicians who by the use of them gave the devas immense trouble.

Once when Balāsura yawned three bad women, Svairiṇī, Kāminī and Puṃścalī were born. They had with them a potable substance called Hāṭaka which they gave to men whom they liked and after enlivening the sex impulse in them enjoyed a sexual life with them to their heart’s content. (Pañcama Skandha, Bhāgavata). Once during a fight between Indra and Jalandhara Bala defeated Indra in a pathetic way. Indra then sought refuge in him and praised him with songs. Flattered by this Bala asked Indra to ask of him whatever he wanted and the sly Indra requested for the physical body of Bala. Without the least hesitation Bala cut his body into pieces and gave him. Indra threw away the cut pieces to different sides and all the places where these pieces fell were at once transformed into Diamond mines.

"taṃ tālumūlam pradahantamagnivad gopālasūnum pitaraṃ jagadguroḥ cacchardda sadyo 'tiruṣākṣatam baka-stuṇḍena hantum punarabhyapadyata tamāpatantam sa nigṛhya tuṇḍayor dorbhyām bakaṃ kaṃsasakhaṃ satām patiḥ paśyatsu bāleṣu dadāra līlayā mudāvaho vīraṇavaddivaukasām." (Chapter II, Daśama Skandha, Bhāgavata). After the death of Balāsura his wife Prabhāvatī went to their preceptor (Kulaguru) Śukrācārya and told him all that took place and requested to bring back to life her lost husband. But Śukrācārya regretted that he could not give life again to her dead husband but could by his powers make her hear his voice again. Prabhāvatī agreed to that and then she heard her husband say "Leave your body and join me". Prabhāvatī immediately courted death and joining Bala became a river. (Padma Purāṇa, Uttara Khaṇḍa, Chapter 6).

11) Bala (बल).—To know what are Daśabalas see under Pattu.

(Source): Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Bala (बल).—A son of Maya residing in Atala; created 96 magical performances some of which are practised even now; when he yawned, out of his mouth came three groups of women—Svairiṇī, Kāminī, and Puṃścalyā who administered Hāṭakarasa to frequenters of those regions and made them enjoy like Siddhas; resisted Indra in the Devāsura war and was slain.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 24. 16; VIII. 11. 19-21, 28.

1b) A son of Rohiṇī and Vasudeva;1 attacked the Asura followers of Bali;2 see Balarāma.

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 24. 46; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 71. 171; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 8. 1; 33. 12.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 21. 16.

1c) A son of Kṛṣṇa and Mādrī.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 61. 15.

1d) A son of Anāyuṣa and father of Nikumbha and Cakravarman.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 6. 31.

1e) A son of Śukī and Garuḍa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 450.

1f) A son of Dala and father of Aunka.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 204; Vāyu-purāṇa 88. 204.

1g) A son of Havirdhāna.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 4. 45.

1h) A Kauśika Brahmiṣṭha.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 145. 111.

1i) A son of Nārāyaṇa and Śrī;1 father of Tejas.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 28. 2.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 11. 3.

2a) Balā (बला).—One of the ten wives of Atri.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 8. 75.

2b) A mind-born mother.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 179. 12.

2c) A medicinal plant;1 used in the first bathing of the deity.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 218. 23.
  • 2) Ib. 267. 14.

3a) Bāla (बाल).—A son of Gargya, put to trouble by Janamejaya.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 68. 22.

3b) A son of Viśveśā; a sage.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 171. 50; 200. 14.

3c) A son of Maṇivara.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 160.

4) Bālā (बाला).—A daughter of Prajāpati, fell down upon the earth while going across the sky.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 75. 40.
(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.

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Bāla (बाल) refers to “boys”, whose mask should be represented as having three śikhaṇḍa (tuft of hair at the sides of the head), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 23. Providing masks is a component of nepathya (costumes and make-up) and is to be done in accordance with the science of āhāryābhinaya (extraneous representation).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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).

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Bala (बल) refers to one of the forty-seven tānas (tone) used in Indian music.—The illustration of Bala (as a deity) according to 15th-century Indian art is as follows.—The colour of his body is yellow. His face is similar to the face of a Krauñca. A viṇā is held with both hands.

The illustrations (of, for example Bala) are found scattered throughout ancient Jain manuscripts from Gujarat. The descriptions of these illustrations of this citrāvalī are based on the ślokas of Vācanācārya Gaṇi Sudhākalaśa’s Saṅgītopaniṣatsāroddhāra (14th century) and Śārṅgadeva’s Saṅgītaratnākara (13th century).

(Source): Illustrations of Indian Music and Dance in Western Indian Style
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Balā (बला) or Balatithi is the name of the third of fifteen tithis (cycle of time) according to the Gārgīyajyotiṣa while the Śārdūlakarṇāvadāna considers Calā or Calatithi as the third. The associated deity for Balā or Calā according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā is Hari. A tithi was defined as one thirtieth of a synodic month (c. 29.5 days), resulting in an average tithi being slightly less than a day.

Accordingly, “(15) The third tithi is said to be Balā. One may have an army on this tithi. One should perform the taming of tamable cows, horses, elephant and servants. (16) One should perform all kinds of rites and sow seeds. Or, one should engage in the act of strength. One should know Viṣṇu as the deity”.

(Source): Tithikarmaguṇa in Gārgīyajyotiṣa
Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotiṣa (ज्योतिष, jyotisha or jyotish) basically refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents one of the six additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas. Jyotiṣa concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

Itihasa (narrative history)

Bala (बल) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.32, I.65, I.60.50) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Bala) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Balā also refers to the name of a Lady mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.45.14).

(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

General definition (in Hinduism)

Bāla (बाल, “strength”):—One of the sons of Varuṇa, who is the presiding deity of the invisible world and represents the inner reality of things.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

N (Strength, stability) Immovable stability of dhamma. Unavoidable factor when we practice dhamma.

The five balas
  1. saddha: faith
  2. viriya: effort
  3. sati: attention
  4. samadhi: concentration
  5. panna: wisdom

(Source): Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary


Among various groups of powers the following five are most frequently met with in the texts:

  • (1) faith (saddhā),
  • (2) energy (viriya),
  • (3) mindfulness (sati),
  • (4) concentration (samādhi),
  • (5) wisdom (paññā).

Their particular aspect, distinguishing them from the corresponding 5 spiritual faculties (indriya), is that they are unshakable by their opposites:

  • (1) the power of faith is unshakable by faithlessness (unbelief);
  • (2) energy, by laziness;
  • (3) mindfulness, by forgetfulness;
  • (4) concentration, by distractedness;
  • (5) wisdom, by ignorance (see Pts.M., Ñāna Kathā).

They represent, therefore, the aspect of firmness in the spiritual faculties.

According to A.V.15,

  • (1) the power becomes manifest in the 4 qualities of the Stream-winner (sotāpannassa angāni),
  • (2) in the 4 right efforts (s. padhāna),
  • (3) in the 4 foundations of mindfulness (satipatthāna),
  • (4) in the 4 absorptions (jhāna),
  • (5) in the (full comprehension of the) 4 Noble Truths (sacca).

Cf. S.XLVIII.43; S.L. (Bala Samyutta).

In A.VII.3, the powers of moral shame (hiri) and moral dread (ottappa) are added to the aforementioned five Several other groups of 2 (s. patisankhāna-bala), 4, 5 and more powers are mentioned in the texts. -

About the 10 powers of a Buddha, s. dasa-bala.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

the 5 spiritual: s. bala. -

  • For the 6 higher p., s. abhiññna.
  • For the 10 p. of a Buddha, s. dasabala. -
  • For the 4 roads to p., s. iddhipāda.
  • For magical p., s. iddhi.
(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines


(Source): Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
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).

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Bala (बल, “powers”) or Pañcabala refers to one of the seven classes of the thirty-seven auxiliaries to enlightenment (bodhipākṣika), according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XXXI.—Accordingly, “when a mind of sharp knowledge (tīkṣṇajñāna-citta) is acquired, there is “powers” (bala)”. Note: Śraddhā, vīrya, smṛti and prajñā are called faculties (indriya) when they are weak, called powers or strengths (bala) when they are strong.

Also, “when the five faculties (pañcendriya) have been developed (vṛddha), they are able to intercept the afflictions (kleśa): this is like the power of a big tree (mahāvṛkṣa) that is able to block off water. These five faculties, when they have been developed, are able to gradually penetrate the profound Dharma (gambhīradharma): this is called ‘power’ (bala)”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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.

General definition (in Buddhism)

1) Bala (बल, “strength”) or balapāramitā represents the ninth of the “ten perferctions” (daśapāramitā) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 18). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., daśa-pāramitā and bala). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

2) Bala (बल, “strength”) or Daśabala refers to the “ten strengths of the Bodhisattvas” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 75):

  1. adhimukti-bala (the strength of resolution),
  2. pratisaṃkhyāna-bala (the strength of observation),
  3. bhāva-bala (the strength of behaviour),
  4. kṣānti-bala (the strength of patience),
  5. jñāna-bala (the strength of knowledge),
  6. prahāṇa-bala (the strength of abandoning),
  7. samādhi-bala (the strength of concentration),
  8. pratibhāna-bala (the strength of inspired speech),
  9. puṇya-bala (the strength of merit),
  10. pratipatti-bala (the strength of practice).

3) Bala (बल) or Tribala also refers to “three kinds of strengths” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 113):

  1. karma-vyāvartaka (revolution through deeds),
  2. kleśopakarṣaka (the torment of the defilements),
  3. māna-pramādādi-vyāvartaka (revolution through heedlessness of mind and so on).
(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Bala (बल) is the forty-fourth of sixty digits (decimal place) in an special enumeration system mentioned by Vasubandhu in his Abhidharmakośa (“treasury of knowledge”). The explanations of the measure of years, eons, and so forth must be comprehended through calculation based on a numerical system. Enumeration begins from one and increases by a factor of ten for each shift in decimal place. The sixtieth number in this series is called “countless”.

Among these decimal positions (eg., bala), the first nine positions from one to one hundred million are called ‘single set enumeration’. From a billion up to, but not including countless is “the enumeration of the great companion” and is called the ‘recurring enumeration’.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Buddhism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Bala (बल, “strength”) as in bala-mada refers to “pride in one’s strength” and represents one of the eight forms of vainglory (mada), according to Samantabhadra in his Ratna-Karaṇḍa-śrāvakācāra (with commentary of Prabhācandra). These eight madas are included in the twenty-five blemishes (dṛg-doṣas), which are generally held to be the eight madas, the three mūḍhatās, the six anāyatanas, and the eight doṣas.

(Source): Jaina Yoga

Bala (बल) is the father of Prabhāsa: the twelfth of the eleven gaṇadharas (group-leader) of Mahāvīra.—Śramaṇa Lord Mahāvīra’s congregation had 11 gaṇadharas. All these were Brahmin householders from different places. All these gaṇadharas (for example, Prabhāsa) were Brahmins by caste and Vedic scholars. After taking initiation, they all studied the 11 Aṅgas. Hence, all of them had the knowledge of the 14 pūrvas and possessed special attainments (labdhis).

(Source): HereNow4u: Lord Śrī Mahāvīra

Bala (बल, “strength”) or Balariddhi refers to “extraordinary strength of mind, body and speech to achieve the desired objectives” and represents one of the eight types of ṛddhi (extraordinary powers), that can be obtained by the Ārya (civilized people): one of the two classes of human beings, according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.46.—Some ascetics attain extraordinary powers to produce worldly miracles. Such attainments are called ṛddhi. There are eight types of such extraordinary powers (eg., Bala).

Bala-ṛddhi (extraordinary power of strength) is of three types, namely: mind, body and speech.

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds
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.

India history and geogprahy

Bala refers to one of the thirty-six Rajput clans, according to various inscriptions and literature. They are possible part Padmanabha list, who compiled the 15th-century Kanhadadeprabandha, a work describing the Muslim invasion of Gujarat of 1298 AD. The kingdom or dynasty of the Balas had their own princes and nobles and were further separated into sub-clans and families. Their name can also be spelled as Balā.

The Rajputs are a Hindu race claiming to be descendants of the ancient Kṣatriya-varṇa (warrior caste). Originally, the Rajputs consisted of two principal branches: the Sūryavaṃśa (solar race) and the Candravaṃśa (lunar race), to which later was added the Agnivaṃśa (fire-born race).

(Source): Wisdom Library: India History
India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

bala : (nt.) strength; power; force; an army; military force. || bāla (adj.) young in years; ignorant; foolish. (m.) a child; a fool. bālā (f.) a girl.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

1) Bala, 2 (cp. *Sk. bala: Halāyudha 5, 23; & P. balākā) a species of carrion crow J. V, 268; also in cpd. Bal’aṅkapāda having crow’s feet, i.e. spreading feet (perhaps for balāka°?) J. VI, 548 (C. explns by pattharita-pāda, read patthārita°). (Page 483)

2) Bala, 1 (nt.) (Vedic bala, most likely to Lat. de-bilis “without strength" (cp. E. debility, P. dubbala), and Gr. bέltistos (superl.)=Sk. baliṣṭha the strongest. The Dhātupāṭha (273) defines b. with pāṇane. At DhsA. 124 bala is understood as “na kampati") 1. strength, power, force D. II, 73; A. I, 244; Th. 1, 188; Dh. 109 (one of the 4 blessings, viz. āyu, vaṇṇa, sukha, bala; cp. DhA. II, 239); Pv. I, 512 (=kāya-bala PvA. 30); I, 76; VvA. 4 (iddhi°); PvA. 71 (id.), 82 (kamma°).—Of cases used as adv. balasā (Instr.) is mentioned by Trenckner at Miln. 430 (notes), cp. Prk. balasā (Pischel, Gr. § 364). yathā balaṃ according to one’s power, i.e. as much as possible PvA. 1, 54. The compn form of bala in conn. with kṛ is balī°, e.g. dubbalīkaraṇa making weak M. III, 4; Pug. 59, 68; °karaṇin id. D. III, 183.—adj. bala strong J. V, 268, abala weak Sn. 770, 1120, dubbala id. S. I, 222; J. II, 154; Nd1 12; PvA. 55; compar. °tara M. I, 244, nt. n. abalaṃ weakness S. I, 222.—2. an army, military force Mhvs 25, 57; SnA 357. See cpds. below.—Eight balāni or strong points are 1. of young children (ruṇṇa-balaṃ).—2. of womanhood (kodha°).—3. of robbers (āvudha°).—4. of kings (issariya°), — 5. of fools (ujjhatti°).—6. of wise men (nijjhatti°).—7. of the deeply learned (paṭisaṅkhāna°).—8. of samaṇas & brāhmaṇas (khanti°) A. IV, 223 (where used as adj.—° strong in ... ); cp. Sn. 212, 623.—Five balāni of women are: rūpabalaṃ, bhoga°, ñāti°, putta°, sīla° S. IV, 246—8. The five-fold force (balaṃ pañca-vidhaṃ) of a king J. V, 120, 121 consists of bāhābalaṃ strength of arms, bhoga° of wealth, amacca° of counsellors, abhijacca° of high birth, paññā° the force of wisdom; in the religious sense five balāni or powers are commonly enumd: saddhābalaṃ, viriya°, sati°, samādhi°, paññā° A. III, 12; D. II, 120; M. II, 12, III, 296; S. III, 96, 153; IV, 366, V, 219, 249; Ps. II, 56, 86, 166, 174, 223; II, 84, 133, 168 etc. They correspond to the 5 indriyāni and are developed with them. S. V, 219, 220; Nett 31; they are cultivated to destroy the five uddhambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni S. V, 251. They are freq. referred to in instructions of the Buddha about the constituents of the “Dhamma, " culminating in the eightfold Path, viz. cattāro satipaṭṭhānā, samappadhānā, cattāro iddhipādā, pañcindriyani, p. balāni, sattabojjhaṅgāni, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo e.g. S. III, 96; Ps. II, 56; Nd1 13=360 =Nd2 420; Nd2 s. v. satipaṭṭhāna; and passim. (Cp. BSk. catvāra ṛddhipādāḥ pañc’endriyāni p. balāni, sapta bodhyaṅgāni etc. Divy 208. ) Two balāni are specially mentioned A. I, 52 (paṭisaṅkhānabalaṃ and bhāvanā°), also D. III, 213, followed here by the other “pair" satibalaṃ and samādhi°. There are four balāni of the ariyasāvaka, by which he overcomes the five fears (pañca bhayāni q. v.); the four are paññābalaṃ, viriya°, anavajja° saṅgāha° A. IV, 363 sq. , as given at A. II, 141, also the foll. 3 groups of cattāri balāni: ‹-› (1) saddhābalaṃ, viriya°, sati°, samādhi°, cp. D. III, 229.—(2) sati° samādhi, anavajja°, saṅgāha°. (3) paṭisaṅkhāna°, bhāvanā°, anavajja°, saṅgāha°.—For 4 balāni see also D. III, 229 note, and for paṭisaṅkhānabala (power of computation) see Dhs. trsl. 1353. The ten balāni of the Tathāgata consist of his perfect comprehension in ten fields of knowledge A. V, 32 sq. ; M. I, 69; Nd2 466; Miln. 105, 285; VbhA. 397.—In a similar setting 10 powers are given as consisting in the knowledge of the Paṭiccasamuppāda at S. II, 27, 28. ‹-› The balāni of the sāvaka are distinct from those of the Tathāgatha: Kvu 228 sq.—There are seven balāni D. III, 253, and seven khīṇāsava-balāni 283 i.e. saddhābalaṃ, viriya°, sati°, samādhi°, paññā°, hiri° and ottappa°. The same group is repeated in the Abhidhamma; Dhs. 58, 95, 102; DhsA. 126. The Ps. also enumerates seven khīṇāsavabalāni I. 35; and sixty-eight balāni II. 168 sq.—agga front of an army, troops in array D. I, 6; Vin. IV, 107, cp. DA. I, 85.—ânīka (adj.) with strong array Sn. 623; Dh. 399 (cp. DhA. IV, 164).—kāya a body of troops, an army cp. Fick, Sociale Gliederung p. 52 note; (also in BSk. e.g. Divy 63, 315) A. I, 109; IV, 107, 110; S. I, 58; J. I, 437 (°ṃ saṃharati to draw up troops); II, 76; III, 319; V, 124; VI, 224, 451; DhA. I, 393; PugA 249.—koṭṭhaka fortress, camp J. I, 179; Mhvs 25, 29.—(k)kāra application of force, violence J. I, 476; II, 421; III, 447; Instr. °ena by force PvA. 68, 113.—gumba a serried troop J. II, 406.—cakka wheel of power, of sovereignty Dpvs VI, 2.—ṭṭha a military official, palace guard, royal messenger Miln. 234, 241, 264, 314; Mhvs 34, 17.—da strength-giving S. I, 32; Sn. 297.—dāyin id. A. II, 64.—deva “God of strength" N. of the elder brother of Kaṇha J. IV, 82; Nd1 89, 92 (Vāsudeva+); Vism. 233 (id).—(p)patta grown-strong DhsA. 118 (v. l. phala°).—vāhana troops, an army J. II, 319, IV. 170, 433; VI, 391, 458.—vīra a hero in strength Vv 531, cp. VvA. 231.—sata for palāsata, q. v. (cp. J. P. T. S. 1908, 108 note). (Page 482)

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1) Bāla, 2 (for vāla) the hair of the head PvA. 285 (°koṭimatta not even one tip of the hair; gloss BB vālagga°). (Page 486)

2) Bāla, 1 (adj.) (cp. Sk. bāla (rarely Vedic, more freq. in Ep. & Class. Sk.); its orig. meaning is “young, unable to speak, " cp. Lat. infans, hence “like a child, childish; infantile") 1. ignorant (often with ref. to ignorance in a moral sense, of the common people, the puthujjana), foolish (as contrasted with paṇḍita cp. the Bālapaṇḍita-sutta M. III, 163 sq. ; D. II, 305 sq. ; Vism. 499, and contrasts at Sn. 578; Dh. 63, 64; Pv IV. 332; Dhs. 1300), lacking in reason, devoid of the power to think & act right. In the latter sense sometimes coupled with andha (spiritually blind), as andhabāla stupid & ignorant, mentally dull, e.g. at DhA. I, 143; II, 89; PvA. 254.—A fanciful etym. of b. at KhA 124 is “balanti ananti ti bālā. " Other refs. : D. I, 59, 108; S. I, 23; A. I, 59, 68, 84; II, 51, 180; Sn. 199, 259, 318, 578, 879; It. 68; Dh. 28, 60 sq. , 71 sq. , 206 sq. , 330; J. I, 124 (lola° greedy-foolish); V, 366 (bālo āmaka-pakkaṃ va); Vv 835; Pv. I, 82; IV, 129; Pug. 33; Nd1 163, 286 sq. , 290; SnA 509 (=aviddasu); PvA. 193. Compar. bālatara J. III, 278, 279; VvA. 326.—2. young, new; newly risen (of the sun): °ātāpa the morning sun DA. I, 287; DhA. I, 164; Mhbv 25; °vasanta “early spring" (=Citramāsa), N. of the first one of the 4 summer months (gimha-māsā) KhA 192;—suriya the newly risen sun J. V, 284; PvA. 137, 211.—3. a child; in wider application meaning a youth under 16 years of age (cp. Abhp 251) DA. I, 134. Cp. bālaka.—nakkhatta N. of a certain “feast of fools, " i.e. carnival DhA. I, 256.—saṅgatacārin one who keeps company with a fool Dh. 207. (Page 485)

(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.

Marathi-English dictionary

bala (बल).—n (S) Strength, force, might, power, ability, lit. fig. Applied with the latitude of these English words. candrabala, tārābala, grahabala, lagnabala, gurubala The benign or favorable influence, the auspiciousness (of moon, stars &c.) dravyabala, vidyā- bala, buddhibala, bāhubala, manuṣyabala, puṇyabala and other useful compounds are common. 2 An army, a force, a power.

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baḷa (बळ).—f (bali S) A religious sacrifice or offering in general; any oblation (whether of life or bloodless). v vāha, lōṭa, arpa.

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baḷa (बळ).—n (bala S) Force, strength, might, power, ability. Used freely as bala q. v. baḷa karaṇēṃ To come to force; to use compulsory or violent measures. 2 To make great exertion; to apply or put out one's strength. baḷa dharaṇēṃ To gather strength; to become vigorous and flourishing. baḷa bāndhaṇēṃ To gather strength or force. 2 To buckle to; to prepare for a contest or an effort. baḷācā Strong. 2 That has the support of another--a piece at chess. baḷāsa yēṇēṃ To come to force; to begin to use compulsion or violence. N. B. For compounds not occurring below see under bala.

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bāla (बाल).—n (S) A child. For compounds with bāla other than these occurring below see in order under bāḷa. 2 m A boy. 3 In comp. Young, immature.

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bāla (बाल).—m ( H) Hair. bāla bāla khūṣa hōṇēṃ To be highly delighted; to be in horripilation or ecstasy. bāla bāla bōlaṇēṃ -sāṅgaṇēṃ To chatter, prate, run on with incessant clack.

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bālā (बाला).—f (S) A female from the age of five to that of sixteen; a girl or young woman. There are three stages,--bālā, mugdhā, prauḍhā.

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bālā (बाला).—m A stamp for coins: also the impression made by it. bālā dēṇēṃ -māraṇēṃ -hākaṇēṃ To cheat and give the slip; to impose upon (i. e. make one's impression) and run off.

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bāḷa (बाळ) [or बाळक, bāḷaka].—n (bāla S) A child. 2 m A boy.

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bāḷa (बाळ).—a (bāla) Young, immature. For compounds with bāḷa other than these occurring below see in order under bāla.

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bāḷā (बाळा).—f (Poetry. bālā S) A young woman. Ex. prasūta jhālī bāḷā || vājavā mhaṇatī thāḷā ||.

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bāḷā (बाळा).—m (bāḷa Child.) A term of endearment or coaxing to a bullock. Hence bāḷyā hākaṇēṃ -māraṇēṃ- dēṇēṃ To run off. Because the mōṭakarī, when his mōṭa (water-bucket) is filled in the well, utters this word bāḷyā to his bullocks as signal for them to move on and draw it up. By some this phrase is affirmed to be but a mistaken form of the phrase bālā dēṇēṃ under bālā. The wise will judge.

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bāḷā (बाळा).—a (Commonly bāhaḷā) Streaked--cattle &c.

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

bala (बल).—n Strength. The benign or favour- able influence. An army.

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baḷa (बळ).—f Oblation.

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baḷa (बळ).—n Force. Army. baḷa karaṇēṃ To come to force; to use compulsory or violent measures. To make great exertion. baḷa dharaṇēṃ To gather strength. baḷa bāndhaṇēṃ To gather strength or force. To buckle to. baḷācā Strong. That has the support of another-a piece at chess. baḷāsa yēṇēṃ To come to force.

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bāla (बाल).—n A child. m A boy. Hair. bāla bāla khuṣa hōṇēṃ To be in ecstasy.

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bālā (बाला).—f A girl. m A stamp for coins.

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bāḷa (बाळ).—n A child. m A boy.

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bāḷā (बाळा).—f A young woman.

(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.

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Bala (बल).—[bal-ac]

1) Strength, power, might, vigour; क्षत्त्रियाणां बलं युद्धम् (kṣattriyāṇāṃ balaṃ yuddham) Brav. P.

2) Force, violence; as in बलात् (balāt) q. v.

3) An army, host, forces, troops; भवेदभीष्म- मद्रोणं धृतराष्ट्रबलं कथम् (bhavedabhīṣma- madroṇaṃ dhṛtarāṣṭrabalaṃ katham) Ve.3.24,43; बलं भीष्मा (balaṃ bhīṣmā)(bhīmā)भिरक्षितम् (bhirakṣitam) Bg.1.1; R.16.37.

4) Bulkiness, stoutness (of the body).

5) Body, figure, shape.

6) Semen virile.

7) Blood,

8) Gum myrrh.

9) A shoot, sprout.

1) Force or power of articulation; वर्णः स्वरः । मात्रा बलम् । साम संतानः । इत्युक्तः शीक्षाध्यायः (varṇaḥ svaraḥ | mātrā balam | sāma saṃtānaḥ | ityuktaḥ śīkṣādhyāyaḥ) T. Up.1.2.1.

11) The deity of power (such as Indra); नमो बलप्रमथनाय (namo balapramathanāya) Mb.12.284. 94.

12) The hand; क्रान्ते विष्णुर्बले शक्रः कोष्ठेऽग्निर्भोक्तुमिच्छति (krānte viṣṇurbale śakraḥ koṣṭhe'gnirbhoktumicchati) Mb.12.239.8.

13) Effort (yatna); विधिः शुक्रं बलं चेति त्रय एते गुणाः परे (vidhiḥ śukraṃ balaṃ ceti traya ete guṇāḥ pare) Mb.12.32.11 (com. balaṃ vāsanāviṣayaprāptyanu- kūlo yatnaḥ). (balena means 'on the strength of', 'by means or virtue of'; bāhubalena jitaḥ, vīryabalena &c.; balāt 'perforce', 'forcibly', 'violently', 'against one's will'; balānnidrā samāyātā Pt.1; hṛdayamadaye tasminnevaṃ punarvalate balāt Gīt.7.).

-laḥ 1 A crow; Rām.6.54.9.

2) Name of the elder brother of Kṛṣṇa; see बलराम (balarāma) below.

3) Name of a demon killed by Indra.

Derivable forms: balam (बलम्).

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Balā (बला).—

1) Name of a powerful lore or incantation (taught by Viśvāmitra to Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa); तौ बलाति- बलयोः प्रभावतः (tau balāti- balayoḥ prabhāvataḥ) R.11.9. (For some description see the quotation under atibalā).

2) Name of medicinal herbs नागबेल (nāgabela) and जयन्ती (jayantī).

3) The earth; Gīrvāṇa.

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Bāla (बाल).—a.

1) Young, infantine, not full-grown or developed (of persons or things); बालेन स्थविरेण वा (bālena sthavireṇa vā) Ms. 8.7; बालाशोकमुपोढरागसुभगं भेदोन्मुखं तिष्ठति (bālāśokamupoḍharāgasubhagaṃ bhedonmukhaṃ tiṣṭhati) V.2.7; so बालमन्दारवृक्षः (bālamandāravṛkṣaḥ) Me.77; R.2.45;13.24.

2) Newly risen, young (as the sun or its rays); बालार्कप्रतिमे- वाप्सु वीचिभिन्ना पतिष्यतः (bālārkapratime- vāpsu vīcibhinnā patiṣyataḥ) R.12.1.

3) New, waxing (as the moon); पुपोष वृद्धिं हरिदश्वदीधितेरनुप्रवेशादिव बाल- चन्द्रमाः (pupoṣa vṛddhiṃ haridaśvadīdhiteranupraveśādiva bāla- candramāḥ) R.3.22; Ku.3.29.

4) Puerile.

5) Ignorant, unwise; अनर्थकुशला ह्येते बालाः पण्डितमानिनः (anarthakuśalā hyete bālāḥ paṇḍitamāninaḥ) Rām.2.1.38.

6) Pure (as an animal fit for sacrifice).

-laḥ 1 A child, an infant; बालादपि सुभाषितम् (bālādapi subhāṣitam) (grāhyam); Ms.2.239.

2) A boy, youth, young person.

3) A minor (under 16 years of age); बाल आषोडशाद्वर्षात् (bāla āṣoḍaśādvarṣāt) Nārada.

4) A colt, foal.

5) A fool, simpleton; नीरसायां रसं बालो बालिकायां विकल्पयेत् (nīrasāyāṃ rasaṃ bālo bālikāyāṃ vikalpayet) Pt.4.91.

6) (a) A tail. (b) An elephant's or a horse's tail.

7) Hair; तं केशपाशं प्रसमीक्ष्य कुर्युर्बालप्रियत्वं शिथिलं चमर्यः (taṃ keśapāśaṃ prasamīkṣya kuryurbālapriyatvaṃ śithilaṃ camaryaḥ) Ku.1.48.

8) An elephant five years old; 'पञ्चवर्षो गजो बालः पोतस्तु दशवार्षिकः (pañcavarṣo gajo bālaḥ potastu daśavārṣikaḥ)' Vaijayantī. According to Mātaṅga L. (5.2.) however it means an elephant in the first year.

9) A kind of perfume.

1) The cocoa-nut.

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Bālā (बाला).—

1) A girl, a female child.

2) A young woman under sixteen years of age.

3) A young woman (in general); जाने तपसो वीर्यं सा बाला परवतीति मे विदितम् (jāne tapaso vīryaṃ sā bālā paravatīti me viditam) Ś.3.2; इयं बालां मां प्रत्यनवरतमिन्दीवरदलप्रभाचोरं चक्षुः क्षिपति (iyaṃ bālāṃ māṃ pratyanavaratamindīvaradalaprabhācoraṃ cakṣuḥ kṣipati) Bh.3.67; Me.85.

4) A variety of jasmine.

5) The cocoanut.

6) The plant घृतकुमारी (ghṛtakumārī).

7) Small cardamoms.

8) Turmeric.

(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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