Gopala, aka: Gopāla, Go-pala; 16 Definition(s)


Gopala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Gopāla (गोपाल, “cow protector”) is the infant/child form of Lord Krishna, the Cowherd Boy who enchanted the Cowherd Maidens (Gopinis) with the divine sound of his flute, attracting even Kāmadeva (the Hindu god of love and passion). Historically one of the earliest forms of worship in Krishnaism or Vaishnava dharma, it is believed to be a key element of the early history of the worship of Krishna.

Source: Wikipedia: Vaishnava dharma
Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Gopala in Purana glossary... « previous · [G] · next »

1a) Gopāla (गोपाल).—A name of Kṛṣṇa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 33. 8; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 20. 49.

1b) (Gopas)—Ābhiras and Dasyus;1 chief weapons of, staves and cudgels.2

  • 1) Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 38, 24 and 49.
  • 2) Ib. 38. 50-5.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Gopāla (गोपाल).—(देव (deva)) known more by the nickname of मन्नुदेव (mannudeva) or मन्तुदेव (mantudeva) who lived in the eighteenth century and wrote several commentary works on well-known grammatical treatises such as the Vaiyakaranabhusanasara, Laghusabdendusekhara, Paribhasendusekhara etc. He is believed to have written a treatise on Ganasutras also; (2) a grammarian different from the above मन्नुदेव (mannudeva) who has written an explanatory work on the Pratisakhyas;.(3) a scholar of grammar, different from the above who is believed to have written a gloss named Visamarthadipika on the Sarasvata Vyakarana at the end of the sixteenth century.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Gopāla (गोपाल): Name of Krishna indicating his origin as a god of flocks and herds.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Gopāla (गोपाल).—A name of Kṛṣṇa as a young boy; the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, who protects the cows.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

King Gopala (70-110 CE) and Odantapuri.—Vihara Gaudavaho of Vakpatiraja records that Kanyakubja king Yashovarman killed the king of Bengal. Taranatha says that there was no king in Bengal for many years. Later, people elected Gopala as the king of Bengal at the end of 1st century. Thus, Gopala founded the rule of Pala dynasty. King Gopala built Odantapuri Vihara.

King Gopala also conquered Magadha and ruled for 45 years. According to Indradutta, Gopala became king immediately after the death of Acharya Charin (Krishnacharya?) whereas Kshemendrabhadra says that Gopala became king seven years later.

Source: The Chronological History of Buddhism

India history and geogprahy

Gopāla (गोपाल) is an example of a Vaiṣṇavite name mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. Classification of personal names according to deities (eg., from Vaiṣṇavism) were sometimes used by more than one person and somehow seem to have been popular. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Derivation of personal names (eg., Gopāla) during the rule of the Guptas followed patterns such as tribes, places, rivers and mountains.

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Gopāla is the name of a king from Nalapura hailing from the Yajvapāla dynasty, as mentioned in inscriptions from Baṅglā (1281 A.D.). The Dāhi grant mentions Nalapura-pati Gopāla as one of the rulers vanquished by Mallāya who was probably a general of Vīravarman.

Source: What is India: Epigraphia Indica volume XXXI (1955-56)

Gopāla.—(IE 8-8), a milkman or cowherd. Note: gopāla is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
India history book cover
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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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Gopala in Pali glossary... « previous · [G] · next »

gopāla : (m.) a cowherd.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise 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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

gōpāla (गोपाल).—m (S) pop. gōpāḷa m A cowherd. 2 A king. 3 A name of kṛṣṇa. 4 A caste or an individual of it. They are leapers and tumblers. They break stones with the bare arm, lift great weights, and perform feats of strength.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gōpāla (गोपाल) [-ḷa, -ळ].—m A cowherd. A name of kṛṣṇa. A king.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gopāla (गोपाल).—

1) a cowherd; Ms.4.253.

2) a king.

3) an epithet of Śiva.

4) an epithet of Kṛṣṇa. °धानी (dhānī) a cow-pen, cow-shed.

Derivable forms: gopālaḥ (गोपालः).

Gopāla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms go and pāla (पाल).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gopāla (गोपाल).—(= Pali id.), n. of a yakṣa: Māy 103; 237.1.

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

Gopāla (गोपाल).—m.

(-laḥ) 1. A King, a sovereign. 2. A cowherd. 3. A name of Krishna. E. go the earth, &c. and pāla who preserves or protects. gāṃ bhūmiṃ paśubhedaṃ vā pālayati pāli aṇ .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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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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