Jala, aka: Jalā, Jālā, Jāla, Jaḷa; 20 Definition(s)


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

The Sanskrit term Jaḷa can be transliterated into English as Jala or Jalia, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Water (जल, jala) is one of the five primary elements (pañcabhūta) forming the basic components of the world, according to Vāstu-śāstra literature. It is because of the presence and balance of these five elements that our planet thrives with life.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

1) Jala (जल).—A deity of water. In Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza 20 it is mentioned that this deva was a luminary in the durbar of Brahmā.

2) Jalā (जला).—A tributary of river Jamunā. The King Uśīnara performed a yāga (sacrifice) on the bank of this river and attained a position higher than Indra. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 13, Stanza 21).

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Jala (जल).—As a deity with its adhīdevata Bhava; worshipped in founding a new temple.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 265. 39 and 41.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Jāla (जाल) refers to “lattice”, “snare” or “perforated”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Jalā (जला) is the name of a meter belonging to the Gāyatrī class of Dhruvā (songs) described in the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 32:—“the metre which has in its feet of six syllables the first four and the last one long, is jalā”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, 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 (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Jalā (जला) refers to one of the twenty-four names of the Lāmās, according to the 8th-centry Jayadratha-yāmala.—While describing the special practices of the Lāmās mentions the special language to be used with them. This language is described as monosyllabic (ekākṣara-samullāpa) and may thus be considered to have belonged to the Sino-Tibetan family as the Lamas themselves belonged to the Tibetan group of mystics. The Lāmās [viz., Jalā], according to this language, had 24 different names.

Source: archive.org: Indian Historical Quarterly Vol. 7 (shaivism)
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Jāla (जाल) is a Sanskrit word referring to (as an adjective) “watery”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Jala (जल) is the name of a country classified as Hādi (a type of Tantrik division), according to the 13th century Sammoha-tantra (fol. 7).—There are ample evidences to prove that the zone of heterodox Tantras went far beyond the natural limits of India. [...] The zones in the Sammoha-tantra [viz., Jala] are here fixed according to two different Tantrik modes, known as Kādi and Hādi.

Source: archive.org: Indian Historical Quarterly Vol. 7

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Jāla (जाल) refers to one of the twenty-two fishing methods applied by Saurikadatta, according to the Vipākasūtra (or, Vivāgasuya). Fishing was carried on by a certain class of people to earn their livlihood in ancient India. The fishermen (macchabandhā / matsyabandha) went out to the rivers and ponds early in the morning for fishing with their fishing hooks and nets. This occupation was carried on a large scale by some rich personswho engaged hired labour for fishing. Fish (matsya) was an important food of a large section of the people.

 The methods (eg., Jāla) included roaming in the river on the boat and catching fishes by filtering water through a cloth, by different kinds of nets, by ropes, by diverting water through small water courses, catching fishes in muds, etc. The fishes were brought on boats, piled up at some place on the river side and sent to different places for sale. A large quantity of them were dried up, presumably for being preserved for sometime.

Source: archive.org: Economic Life In Ancient India (as depicted in Jain canonical literature)

Jala (जल).—One of the five types of retentions (dhāraṇā) of saṃsthānavicaya (contemplation of objects of structure of the universe);—What is meant by water (jala) retention? After the air retention contemplate that the area above the brain is covered with a thick shield of clouds. It has started drizzles as large water droplets all over you. This washes away even the stains left behind by the ashes of karmas and body particles leaving behind just pure and clean soul. This is called water retention.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 6: Influx of karmas

Jala (जल, “water”), Ap or Āpas refers to one of the five types of immobile beings (sthāvara), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 2.13. The sthāvara is a type of empirical (saṃsārī) soul, or sentient (jīva). The state of empirical souls due to the rise of ‘stationery-body-making karma’/ sthāvara-nāmakarma, having only one type of sense organ namely body and which cannot move around freely are called with stationery bodies (sthāvara), eg., jala.

What is the meaning of water (jala)? The crust of the water having coolness as its own nature but no consciousness is called water. What is the meaning of water-bodied living beings? The living being which has water as its body is called water bodied living being. How many types of water are there? There are four types of water namely water, water-bodied, life in water body and life tending towards a water body.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 2: the Category of the living
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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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India history and geogprahy

Jala (जल) is the name of a king belonging to the line of Yadu (the yādavas), according to the Praśasti (eulogy or panegyric) of the temple of Lakkhā Maṇḍal at Maḍhā in the Jaunsār Bāwar district on the Upper Jamnā. Accordingly, the yādava kings of the lunar race (candravaṃśa) had ruled over the Siṅghapura country “since the beginning of the Yuga”.

The father of Jala was named Siṅghavarman, while his son was named Yajñavarman whose own son was named Acalavarman (or Achalavarman). Accordingly, “His son was he who is named the illustrious Jala, a prince whose peculiar action was the filling of the regions (with his fame), who removed the torments of his people, and who rained water (as it were) for (quenching) the forest-fire of the Kaliyuga. His son was the king named the illustrious Yajñavarman, by whom the peacocks were ever made to cry aloud on account of the smoke-clouds (arising) from the sacrificial butter”.

The Praśasti (600-800 AD) was composed by Bhaṭṭa Vasudeva and incised in the stone by the mason Īśvaraṇāga. It records the dedication of a temple of Śiva by a princess, Īśvarā, who belonged to the royal race of Siṅghapura, for the spiritual welfare of her deceased husband. The latter, called Śrī-Candragupta, was the son of a king of Jālandhara. The greater part of the inscription is taken up by an account of the ancestors.

Source: Epigraphia Indica Vol. 1: The Praśasti of Lakkhā Maṇḍal

Jala.—cf. sa-jala-sthala (IE 8-5); the waters [in a village]. (IE 7-1-2), used in the sense of jaladhi to indicate ‘four’. Note: jala is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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Jāla.—(Ep. Ind., Vol. XIV, p. 309), cf. Sanskrit jālaka, ‘a bunch of buds’; a load. Note: jāla 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
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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

jala : (nt.) water. || jaḷa (adj.) slow; stupid. (m.) a stupid person. jāla (nt.) a net; entanglement. jālā (f.) flame.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Jala, (nt.) (Sk. jala, conn. with gala drop (?), prob. dialectical; cp. udaka) water Sn. 845; J. I, 222; III, 188; IV, 137.

— or —

1) Jāla, 2 (Sk. jvāla, from jalati) glow, blaze J. V, 326; PvA. 52 (=tejas), 154 (raṃsi°); Miln. 357; Vism. 419 (kappavināsaka°).

2) Jāla, 1 (nt.) (Vedic jāla, prob. from jaṭ to plait, make a tangle cp. jaṭita & jaṭā; on l: ṭ cp. phulla: sphuṭa; cāru: cāṭu; cela: ceṭa) a net; netting, entanglement (lit. or fig.): snare, deceptíon (=māyā).—A. I, it. Nd2 260 (=suttajāla, a plaiting of threads); SnA 115, 263 (=suttamaya) D. I, 45 (anto-jālikata caught in a net); Sn. 62, 71, 213, 669; J. I, 52; VI, 139.—kiṅkiṇika° a row of bells D. II, 183; muttā° a net of pearls J. I, 9; VvA. 40; loha° PvA. 153; hema° Vv 35; a fowler’s net Dh. 174; a spider’s web Dh. 347; nets for hair J. VI, 188; pabbata° a chain of mountains J. II, 399; sirā° network of veins J. V, 69; PvA. 68.—frequent in similes: see J. P. T. S. 1907, 90.—B. Fig. Very often applied to the snares of Māra: S. I, 48 (maccuno); Sn. 357 (id.); DhA. III, 175 (Māra°); Sn. 527 (deception); taṇhā° the snare of worldly thirst (cp. °tanhā) M. I, 271; Th. 1, 306; SnA 351; kāma° Th. 1, 355; moha° S. III, 83; mohasama Dh. 251; diṭṭhi° the fallacies of heresy D. I, 46; J. VI, 220; ñāṇa° the net of knowledge VvA. 63; DhA. III, 171. bhumma° (vijjā) “earthly net, ” i.e. gift of clearsight extending over the earth SnA 353.

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Jālā, (f.) (see jāla2) a flame J. I, 216, 322; Miln. 148, 357. (Page 283)

— or —

Jaḷa, (adj.) (Sk. jaḍa) dull, slow, stupid D. III, 265 (a°); A. II, 252; Pug. 13; Miln. 251; DA. I, 290. (Page 280)

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

jala (जल).—n (S) Water. Pr. jalānta rāhūna māśāṃsīṃ vaira. jalīṃ sthalīṃ kāṣṭīṃ pāṣāṇīṃ (In water, in space, in wood, in stone.) Used primarily of the Deity; and hence of one who has a finger in every one's dish, or of one whom you meet at every turn.

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jaḷa (जळ).—f (jaḷaṇēṃ) Waste (of metals, butter, wax &c.) on being melted or heated. 2 The soot at the bottom of pots, crock. 3 m fig. Anger, passion, wrath. 4 Spirit (in a bad sense); proudness of spirit, stout-heartedness, contumaciousness, indomitable resisting and burning against.

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jaḷa (जळ).—n (jala S) Water. For the compounds with this word see those with jala.

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jaḷa (जळ).—f The lath or slip which covers the junction-line of two planks in a flooring.

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jāla (जाल).—n (S) A net. 2 A number of things strung or gathered together; as kēśajāla Dressed hair; varṇajāla The alphabet; vṛkṣajāla A forest or grove; śabdajāla A vocabulary. Also nakṣatrajāla, grahajāla, pakṣajāla, padajāla, gṛhajāla, tṛṇajāla, bāṇajāla or śarajāla, tantujāla, śastrajāla, mēghajāla, dhūmajāla. 3 Used fig. in the significations of Net or entanglement; as karmajāla, bhavajāla, māyājāla, mōhajāla, viṣayajāla.

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jāḷa (जाळ).—f (jāla S) A natural and close bower; a thicket; a thick bush.

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jāḷa (जाळ).—m (jvālā S) Fire or flame. Pr. jāḷāvāṃ- cūna kaḍha nāhīṃ māyēvāñcūna raḍa nāhīṃ. 2 A fever. v . 3 Passion or anger. jāḷa uṭhaṇēṃ m pl with or sa of s. To become hot and fiery--eyes, hands, feet.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

jala (जल).—n Water.

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jaḷa (जळ).—n Water. m Anger. f Waste on being heated or melted. The soot at bottom of pots.

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jāla (जाल).—n A net. A number of things strung together; as kēśajāla Dressed hair.

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jāḷa (जाळ).—m Fire or flame. A fever. Anger. f A thicket. jāḷa uṭhaṇēṃ Become hot and fiery-feet, &c.

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Jala (जल).—a. [jal ac ḍasya lo vā]

1) Dull, cold, frigid = जड (jaḍa) q. v.

2) Stupid, idiotic.

-lam 1 Water; तातस्य कूपोऽ- यमिति ब्रुवाणाः क्षारं जलं कापुरुषाः पिबन्ति (tātasya kūpo'- yamiti bruvāṇāḥ kṣāraṃ jalaṃ kāpuruṣāḥ pibanti) | Pt.1.322.

2) A kind of fragrant medicinal plant or perfume (hrīvera).

3) The embryo or uterus of a cow.

5) The constellation called पूर्वाषाढा (pūrvāṣāḍhā).

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Jāla (जाल).—1 A net, snare.

2) (a) A web, cob-web. (b) Any woven texture.

3) A coat of mail, a helmet made of wire.

4) An eye-hole, lattice, window; जाला- न्तरप्रेषितदृष्टिरन्या (jālā- ntarapreṣitadṛṣṭiranyā) R.7.9; धूपैर्जालविनिः सृतैर्वलभयः संदिग्धपारा- वताः (dhūpairjālaviniḥ sṛtairvalabhayaḥ saṃdigdhapārā- vatāḥ) V.3.2; Ku.7.6.

5) A collection, an assemblage, number, mass; गभस्तिजालैः प्रदिशो दिशश्च (gabhastijālaiḥ pradiśo diśaśca) Mb.3.164.1; चिन्तासन्ततितन्तुजालनिबिडस्यूतेव (cintāsantatitantujālanibiḍasyūteva) Māl.5.1; Ku.7.89; Śi. 4.56; Amaru.58.

6) Magic.

7) Illusion, deception.

8) An unblown flower.

9) The membrane which unites the toes of many water-birds.

1) A disease of the eyes.

11) Pride, arrogance.

-laḥ The Kadamba tree.

Derivable forms: jālam (जालम्).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Jalā (जला).—n. of a princess: Mv i.348.13.

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Jāla (जाल) or Jālaka.—nt., probably bouquet of flowers (here withered ones, to be removed from caityas); so jālaka is used in Sanskrit; the only plausible alternative would be spider-web, which jāla also means in Sanskrit (compare Schmidt, Nachträge) and Pali. In any case it means something the removal of which from caityas is a work of merit: yo jālakāni apanaye (so read with v.l. for Senart upanaye) cetiyeṣu Mv ii.391.3; choretva jālaṃ jinacetiyeṣu 391.22, repeated in the sequel; parallel Śikṣ 306.2, 4 choritva jālaṃ; 6, 8, 10 apanīya (ed. em. upa°) jālaṃ. On the passage, misunderstood by Senart and Bendall, see s.v. chorayati. In the immediately following verses, Mv ii.392.21 ff., Śikṣ 306.11 ff., the meritorious removal of withered flowers is unambiguously mentioned.

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Jālā (जाला).—(fem.!), net = jāla (nt.): jālā-vitānāvanaddhena (pāṇinā) LV 318.14 (prose), with his hand bound by a web- canopy (between the fingers). The only v.l. is jālo- for jālā-, which is senseless. Both edd. jālā-.

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

Jala (जल).—mfn.

(-laḥ-lā-laṃ) Cold stupid, apathetic, idiotic, &c. n.

(-laṃ) 1. Water. 2. A kind of perfume: see hrīvera. 3. The uterus of a cow. 4. Frigidity, (moral, mental, or physical.) 5. The constellation called Purvashada. E. jal to hide, to encompass, &c. affix ac; also la being changed to its congener ḍa, jaḍa q. v.

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Jāla (जाल).—n.

(-laṃ) 1. A net. 2. A window, a lattice, an eyelet or loophole. 3. A multitude, an assemblage. 4. An unblown flower. 5. Pride, arrogance. 6. Magic, conjuring, illusion, supernatural deception m.

(-laḥ) 1. The Kadamba-tree. 2. The young fruit of a gourd or cucumber. f. (-lī) 1. A small cucumber, (Trichosanthes diœca, Rox.) 2. Any medicament or drug. E. jal to encompass, to hide or screen, affix aṇ.

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

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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Relevant definitions

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Jaladhārā (जलधारा) refers to the “water-currents”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.6, while exp...
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