Dhanapala, Dhanapāla, Dhana-pala: 12 definitions



Dhanapala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (D) next»] — Dhanapala in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Dhanapāla (धनपाल).—A Vaiśya who lived in the city of Ayodhyā. He built in Ayodhyā a temple for the Sun-god and appointed, for a year, paying his wages in advance, a scholar well versed in Purāṇas to read aloud the Purāṇas in the temple. After six months Dhanapāla died and as a result of the goodness accrued to him by his worthy deeds the Sun-god came to him with his chariot and took him to his place and seating him on his seat paid respects to him. Later he was taken to Brahmaloka. (Bhaviṣya Purāṇa, Brahma Kāṇḍa, Chapter 94).

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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous (D) next»] — Dhanapala in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Dhanapāla (धनपाल) is the name of a merchant (vaṇij) from Tāmraliptī, according to the nineteenth story of the Vetālapañcaviṃśati in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 93. Accordingly, “... there was a merchant, of the name of Dhanapāla, in the great city of Tāmraliptī, the wealthiest of the wealthy. And he had born to him one daughter only, and her name was Dhanavatī, who was shown by her beauty to be a Vidyādharī fallen by a curse”.

The story of Dhanapāla is mentioned in the Vetālapañcaviṃśati (twenty-five tales of a vetāla) which is embedded in the twelfth book of the Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’). The main book is a famous Sanskrit epic detailing the exploits of prince Naravāhanadatta in his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The Kathā-sarit-sāgara is is explained to be an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā which consisted of 100,000 verses and in turn forms part of an even larger work containing 700,000 verses.

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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Dhanapala (Dhanapalaka) - Another name for Nalagiri (q.v.). J.i.66; iii.293, etc.

2. Dhanapala - A setthi of Erakaccha in Dasanna. He was a miser and, after death, was born as a peta. Some merchants, travelling to Uttarapatha, saw his sufferings and, at his request, gave alms to the Buddha on his behalf. Pv.ii.7; PvA.99ff.

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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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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (D) next»] — Dhanapala in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Dhanapāla (धनपाल) or Dhanapālaka or Nālāgiri is the name of an elephant, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLII.—accordingly, “A-chö-che (Ajātaśatru) unleashed drunken elephants intending to kill the Buddha, but the latter was not afraid and tamed the mad elephants. When the inhabitants of Rājagṛha, redoubling their respect (gurukāra), came out with perfumed flowers and ornaments (ābharaṇa) to offer to the Buddha, the latter experienced no joy”.

Notes: A brief allusion to the miracle of the subjugation of the elephant Nālāgiri or Dhanapāla. The stories of this miracle can be arranged into three groups: 1) the sources that present it as a miracle of loving-kindness; 2) those that make it into a miracle of magic; 3) the late versions, somewhat aberrant, where the meaning of the miracle does not appear clearly.

According to the Kaśmirian Vinaya and Sarvāstivādin Vinaya: To convert the elephant Dhanapāla, the Buddha entered into the concentration on loving-kindness (maitrī-samādhi), caressed its forehead and taught it the Dharma. Finally, for the edification of the crowd who were cheering him, he entered into the concentration of the brilliance of fire (tejodhātu-samādhi) and, emitting all kinds of rays, he accomplished the twin miracle (yamakaprātihārya) of water and fire. [...] Returning to Dhanapāla, the Kaśmir Vinaya, l.c., has it that once it was converted, it abstained from eating grass for seven days and, after its death, it was reborn among the Cāturmahārājikas.

According to the Mahāvibhāṣā: On the invitation of a Vaiśya, accompanied by a crowd of monks, the Blessed One came down from Gṛdhrakuṭaparvata and went to Rājagṛha. King Ajātaśatru, instigated by Devadatta, loosed the mad drunken elephant Dhanapāla against him. The Tathāgata extended his right hand and, from the ends of his five fingers, there sprang forth five lions. At the sight of them, the elephant looked about, took fright and fled. At once the Buddha created magically a deep ditch five hundred cubits in width. Seeing this, the astonished elephant looked from right to left, but from right to left the Buddha magically created high walls ready to collapse.

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.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous (D) next»] — Dhanapala in Jainism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Dhanapāla (धनपाल) refers to a class of yakṣa deities according to Digambara while the Śvetāmbara tradition does not reccognize this class. The yakṣas refer to a category of vyantaras gods which represents one of the four classes of celestial beings (devas). The assigned color of yakṣas is black and their caitya-vṛkṣa (sacred tree) is the “banyan tree” (vaṭa).

The deities such as the Dhanapālas are defined in ancient Jain cosmological texts such as the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapaṇṇati by Yativṛṣabha (5th century) in the Digambara tradition.

Source: archive.org: Jainism In Rajasthan

Dhanapāla (धनपाल).—Dhanapāla is the famous poet of the tenth century a.d. In his last days, he seems to have settled at Sanchor where he composed his Apabhraṃśa poem “satyapurīya-śrī-mahāvīra-utsāha” in praise of the Satyapura image of Mahāvīra. Earlier probably at Dhārā, he had written the Ṛṣabhapañcāśikā, Mahāvīrastava and a Sanskrit commentary on a poem written by his younger brother, Śobhana, in honour of the 24 Tīrthaṅkaras. Both the style and the language of his poetry are elegant and charming.

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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous (D) next»] — Dhanapala in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dhanapāla (धनपाल).—

1) a treasurer.

2) an epithet of Kubera.

Derivable forms: dhanapālaḥ (धनपालः).

Dhanapāla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms dhana and pāla (पाल).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Dhanapāla (धनपाल).—(= Pali id.), name of an elephant let loose by Devadatta, or by Ajātaśatru at his instigation, to kill the Buddha: Karmavibhaṅga (and Karmavibhaṅgopadeśa) 49.21; see also next. In Pali oftener called Nālāgiri.

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

Dhanapāla (धनपाल).—[masculine] guardian of treasure.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Dhanapāla (धनपाल) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—poet. Śp. p. 41. [Sūktikarṇāmṛta by Śrīdharadāsa] Bhojaprabandha Oxf. 150^b.

2) Dhanapāla (धनपाल):—grammarian. He mentions Āryāḥ and Draviḍāḥ and precedes in time Maitreyarakṣita, Kāśyapa and the Puruṣakāra. He is often quoted in the Mādhavīyadhātuvṛtti.

3) Dhanapāla (धनपाल):—Tilakamañjarī. Quoted by Nami on Kāvyālaṃkāra 16, 3.

4) Dhanapāla (धनपाल):—son of Sarvadeva, brother of Śobhana, a Jaina: Pāiyalacchi Nāmamālā, a Prākṛt vocabulary, written in 972-973. Ba. 20. Bl. 16. Bühler in Bezzenberger's Beitra7ge Iv, 70. As a lexicographer he is quoted by Hemacandra Oxf. 185^b, by Bhānujī Oxf. 182^b.

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

1) Dhanapāla (धनपाल):—[=dhana-pāla] [from dhana > dhan] m. guardian of treasure, treasurer, [Atharva-veda]

2) [v.s. ...] king, [Demetrius Galanos’s Lexiko: sanskritikes, anglikes, hellenikes]

3) [v.s. ...] Name of a grammarian

4) [v.s. ...] of the author of the Pālya-lacchi etc., [Catalogue(s)]

5) [v.s. ...] of other men, [Hemacandra’s Pariśiṣṭaparvan]

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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