Capala, aka: Cāpala, Capalā, Cāpāla; 9 Definition(s)


Capala 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Chapala.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Capala (चपल) 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
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.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Capala (चपल, “inconsiderate”).—One of the thirty-three vyabhicāribhāva (transitory states), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 7. These ‘transitory states’ accompany the ‘permanent state’ in co-operation. The term is used throughout nāṭyaśāstra literature. It is also known as Cāpala. (Also see the Daśarūpa 4.8-9)

2a) Capalā (चपला) refers to a type of syllabic metre (vṛtta), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 16. Capalā falls in the Anuṣṭup (Anuṣṭubh) class of chandas (rhythm-type), which implies that verses constructed with this metre have four pādas (‘foot’ or ‘quarter-verse’) containing eighteen syllables each.

2b) Capalā (चपला) refers to a type of āryā syllabic metre (vṛtta), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 16. The Capalā variation is one amongst five types of āryā-meters.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
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Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).


1) Capala (चपल).—A son of mṛga elephant.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 333.

2) Capalā (चपला).—A śakti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 75.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

1) Capalā (चपला) is a type of mātrāvṛtta (quantitative verse) described in the Āryāprakaraṇa section of the second chapter of Kedārabhaṭṭa’s Vṛttaratnākara. The Vṛttaratnākara is considered as most popular work in Sanskrit prosody, because of its rich and number of commentaries. Kedārabhaṭṭa (C. 950-1050 C.E.) was a celebrated author in Sanskrit prosody.

2) Capalā (चपला) is the name of a Sanskrit metre (chandas) to which Hemacandra (1088-1173 C.E.) assigned the alternative name of Hari-vilasita, Tvarita-gati in his auto-commentary on the second chapter of the Chandonuśāsana. Capalā also corresponds to Drutagati according to Bharata. Hemacandra gives these alternative names for the metres by other authorities (like Bharata), even though the number of gaṇas or letters do not differ. This is a peculiar feature of Sanskrit prosody.

(Source): Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

A Yakkha. See Capala cetiya.

(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).


capala : (adj.) fickle; wavering; unsteady.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Capala, (adj.) (Sk. capala cp. cāpa bow; from *qep to shake or quiver, see Walde Lat. Wtb. under caperro) moving to & fro, wavering, trembling, unsteady, fickle S. I, 204; V, 269; M. I, 470 (and a° steady); A. III, 199, 355, 391; Dh. 33; Pug. 35; J. I, 295; II, 360. At J. VI, 548 it means one who lets the saliva flow out of his mouth (expld by paggharita-lāla “trickle-spit"). (Page 262)

(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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

capala (चपल).—a (S) pop. capaḷa a Active, agile, nimble, quick, smart. 2 Fickle, volatile, restless, fidgety. 3 Wanton--a woman.

--- OR ---

capala (चपल) [or ळ, ḷa].—f ē capaḷī f ( H) A sandal.

--- OR ---

capalā (चपला).—f S Lightning. Ex. aṅgāvarī ca0 paḍē ||. 2 A wanton woman, a rig.

--- OR ---

capaḷā (चपळा).—a (capaḷa) Smart, active, lively, agile.

--- OR ---

capaḷā (चपळा).—m A shrub of the Mimosa tribe.

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

capala (चपल).—a Active, agile, nimble, quick, smart. Fickle, volatile, restless, fid- gety. Wanton-a woman.

--- OR ---

capalā (चपला).—f Lightning. A wanton woman, a rig.

(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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