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Capala, aka: Cāpala, Capalā; 6 Definition(s)


Capala 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.

In Hinduism

Āyurveda (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 botanyĀyurveda 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-śāstraNāṭyaśāstra 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 IndexPurāṇa 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.

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 DictionaryPali 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.

Relevant definitions

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1) Āryā (आर्या) refers to a type of syllabic metre (vṛtta), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapte...
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Cāpa (चाप) refers to a weapon (“bow”). It is a Sanskrit word defined in the Dhan...
Capalatā (चपलता, “inconstancy”) is caused by determinants (vibhāva) such as love...
Rājamāṣa (राजमाष).—Unfit for śrāddha.** Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 16. 7.
Vyabhicāribhāva (व्यभिचारिभाव, “complementary psychological states”).—&ldq...
Vyabhicārin (व्यभिचारिन्) refers to “transitory state”. The term is used through...
Cāpalla, (nt.) (Der. fr. capala, Sk. cāpalya) fickleness D. I, 115 (=DA. I, 286). Also as cāpal...

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