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Ela, aka: Eḷa, Elā; 8 Definition(s)


Ela means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article.

The Sanskrit term Eḷa can be transliterated into English as Ela or Elia, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Elā (एला).—The important subgenre of song known as elā (“cardamon”) provides another opportunity to see the process of categorical expansion at work; it is also instructive in the efforts of authors and compilers to “map” this species of song across the entire universe of Indian culture and civilization. Mataṅga’s account of the elās occupies almost 45 percent of the Bṛhaddeśī’s prabandha canto.

Twenty-eight separate versions of the elā are grouped into four primary categories, following a brief description of their general characteristics. By the time of the Saṅgītaratnākara the elās have grown to 356, with an “infinite” number of mixed varieties.

Elā was regarded as auspicious and as one of the most important of the prabandhas. Its name is explained in a typical passage of nirukta analysis in which each of the phonetic elements signifies a member of an illustrious family group: analyzing the inital e as a diphthong (ai), a represents Viṣṇu, i his “flower-armed” son Kāmadeva, the god of love, and la his wife Lakṣmī.

Source: Google Books: Music and Musical Thought in Early India

Elā (एला).—Name of a musical composition (subgenre of song);—The start (graha=pāṇi) of the musical metre (tāla) should take place before (anāgata) or after (atīta) the start of the melody, but not at the same time (sama) as the latter. In this way all characteristics of the elā compositions have been preserved by the ancient experts. There are sixteen words in the elā composition, viz.: six words in the udgrāha, the same number in the pallava; traditionally, the melāpaka has one word; in the dhruva there are three words. In this connection the word (pada) is the subdivision (khaṇḍa). This is the rule.

These are the respective names of the sixteen words of the elā compositions:

  1. kāma (longing),
  2. manmathavat (enamoured),
  3. kānta (lovely),
  4. jita (subdued),
  5. matta (ecstatic),
  6. vikāravat (variegated),
  7. māndhātṛ (thoughtful),
  8. sumatī (devotional),
  9. śobhī (brilliant),
  10. suśobhī (very brilliant),
  11. gītaka (melodious),
  12. añcita (honorific lit. “bent”),
  13. vicitra (diverse),
  14. vāsava (supreme),
  15. mṛdu (tender),
  16. sucitra (extremely diverse),

The first word of the second line is called vikāravat. The next ten words, i.e. the seventh to the sixteenth word, correspond to the following types of musical expression: homogeneous (samāna), sweet (madhura), intense (sāndra), lovely (kānta), brilliant (dīpta), harmonious (samāhita), wild (agrāmya), delicate (sukumāra) distinct (prasanna) and vigorous (ojasvin)

These are the respective deities of the words of the elā composition:

  1. lokamātā (mother of the world),
  2. patriṇī (the feathered one),
  3. rañjanī (the charming one),
  4. sumukhī (the fair-faced one)
  5. śacī (the powerful one),
  6. vareṇya (the desirable one),
  7. vāyuvegā (swift as the wind),
  8. medinī (the earth),
  9. mohinī (the bewildering one),
  10. jayā (the victorious one),
  11. gaurī (the brilliant one),
  12. vāṇī (=Sarasvatī, ‘speech’),
  13. mātaṅgī (female elephant),
  14. caṇḍikā (the passionate one),
  15. vijayā (the triumphant one),
  16. cāmuṇḍā (a particular form of Durgā),

Some people mention here, immediately after caṇḍikā, devatāhara (the divine destructor, i.e. Śiva).

Source: Google Books: Saṅgītaśiromaṇi: A Medieval Handbook of Indian Music

about this context:

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).

Śāktism (Śākta philosophy)

Elā (एला) is the name of a tree found in Maṇidvīpa, according to the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa 12.10. Accordingly, these trees always bear flowers, fruits and new leaves, and the sweet fragrance of their scent is spread across all the quarters in this place. The trees (eg. Elā) attract bees and birds of various species and rivers are seen flowing through their forests carrying many juicy liquids. Maṇidvīpa is defined as the home of Devī, built according to her will. It is compared with Sarvaloka, as it is superior to all other lokas.

The Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa, or Śrīmad-devī-bhāgavatam, is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, a type of Sanskrit literature containing cultural information on ancient India, religious/spiritual prescriptions and a range of topics concerning the various arts and sciences. The whole text is composed of 18,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 6th century.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam

about this context:

Śākta (शाक्त, shakta) or Śāktism (shaktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devī) is revered and worshipped. Śāka literature includes a range of scriptures, including various tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

Āyurveda (science of life)

Elā (एला) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “Cardamom” spice, made from the seeds of plants in the Zingiberaceae family, and is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā. According to ayurveda, cardamom is good for balancing all the three doshas, and is also used for reducing intestinal gas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Elā (एला).—The Sanskrit name for an important Āyurvedic drug.—Elā plant grows in South India. It is fragrant and cold and is used in consumption and dysuria and for purifying mouth.

Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

about this context:

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.

Rasaśāstra (chemistry and alchemy)

Elā (एला):—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

about this context:

Rasaśāstra (रसशास्त्र, rasa-shastra) is an important branch of Āyurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasaśāstra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

In Buddhism


Eḷa, (nt.) (Sk. enas) in eḷamūga deaf & dumb A.II, 252; III, 436; IV, 226; Miln.20, 251 (cp. Miln.trsl. II.71). A rather strange use and expln. of eḷamūga (with ref. to a snake “spitting”) we find at J.III, 347, where it is expld. as “eḷa-paggharantena mukhena eḷamūgaṃ” i.e. called eḷamūga because of the saliva (foam?) dripping from its mouth, v. l. elamukha.—Cp. neḷa & aneḷa. (Page 161)

— or —

Ela, (nt.) (?) salt(?) or water(?) in elambiya (= el°ambu-ja) born in (salt) water Sn.845 (= ela-saññaka ambumhi jāta); Nd1 202 (elaṃ vuccati udakaṃ). (Page 161)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

elā : (f.) 1. saliva; 2. the seed or plant of cardamom. || eḷā (f.), saliva.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

about this context:

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

Search found 52 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Elādi (एलादि) is the Sanskrit name for a group of medicinal plants, classified being a cosme...
Vijayā (विजया) refers to “the triumphant one” and is the presiding deity of mṛdu (‘tender’), ac...
Jayā (जया) refers to “the victorious one” and is the presiding deity of suśobhī (‘very brillian...
Kāma (काम, “longing”) refers to one of the sixteen words that together make up the elā musical ...
Kānta (कान्त, “lovely”) refers to a musical expression corresponding with suśobhī (very brillia...
Cāmuṇḍā (चामुण्डा) refers to a particular form of Durgā and is the presiding deity of sucitra (...
Gaurī (गौरी) refers to “the brilliant one” and is the presiding deity of gītaka (‘melodious’), ...
Sumatī (सुमती, “devotional”) refers to one of the sixteen words that together make up the elā m...
Mātaṅgī (मातङ्गी) refers to a “female elephant” and is the presiding deity of vicitra (‘diverse...
Śacī (शची) refers to “the powerful one” and is the presiding deity of matta (‘ecstatic’), accor...
Mohinī (मोहिनी) refers to “the bewildering one” and is the presiding deity of śobhī (‘brilliant...
Vāsava (वासव, “supreme”) refers to one of the sixteen words that together make up the elā music...
Matta (मत्त, “ecstatic”) refers to one of the sixteen words that together make up the elā music...
Medinī (मेदिनी) refers to “the earth” and is the presiding deity of sumatī (‘devotional’), acco...
Vāṇī (वाणी) refers to Sarasvatī, (‘speech’) and is the presiding deity of añcita (honorific lit...

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