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Kala, aka: Kālā, Kāla, Kalā; 32 Definition(s)


Kala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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

Śāktism (Śākta philosophy)

Following are the sixty four arts:

  1. gītam,
  2. vādyam,
  3. nṛtyam,
  4. nātyam,
  5. ālekhyam,
  6. viśeṣaka-cchedyam,
  7. taṇḍula-kusuma-balivikārāḥ,
  8. puṣpāstaranam,
  9. daśana-vasanāṅgarāgāḥ,
  10. maṇi-bhūmikā-karma,
  11. śayana-racanam,
  12. udaka-vādyam,
  13. udaka-ghātaḥ,
  14. citrā-yogāḥ,
  15. mālya-granthana-vikalpāḥ,
  16. keśa-śekharāpīḍayojanam,
  17. nepathya-yogāḥ,
  18. karṇa-pattra-bhaṅgāḥ,
  19. gandha-yuktiḥ,
  20. bhūṣaṇa-yojanam,
  21. indrajālam,
  22. kaucumāra-yogāḥ,
  23. hasta-lāghavam,
  24. citraśākāpūpa-bhakṣya-vikāra-kriyā,
  25. pānaka-rasarāgāsava-yojanam,
  26. sūcīvāpa-karma,
  27. vīṇā-ḍama-ruka-sūtra-krīḍā,
  28. prahelikā,
  29. pratimā,
  30. durvacakayogāḥ,
  31. pustaka-vācanam,
  32. nāṭakākhyāyikā-darśanam,
  33. kāvya-samasyā-pūraṇam,
  34. paṭṭikā-vetrabāṇa-vikalpāḥ,
  35. tarkū-karmāṇi,
  36. takṣaṇam,
  37. vāstu-vidyā,
  38. rūpya-ratna-parīkṣā,
  39. dhātu-vādaḥ,
  40. maṇi-rāga-jñānam,
  41. ākara-jñānam,
  42. vṛkṣāyur-veda-yogāḥ,
  43. meṣa-kukkuṭa-lāvaka-yuddha-vidhiḥ,
  44. śuka-sārikā-pralāpanam,
  45. utsādanam,
  46. keśa-mārjana-kauśalam,
  47. akṣara-muṣṭikā-kathanam,
  48. mlechitaka-vikalpāḥ,
  49. deśa-bhāṣā-jñānam,
  50. puṣpa-śakaṭikā-nimitta-jñānam,
  51. yantra-mātṛkā,
  52. dhāraṇa-mātṛkā,
  53. saṃpāṭyam,
  54. mānasī-kāvya-kriyā,
  55. kriyā-vikalpāḥ,
  56. chalitakayogāḥ,
  57. abhidhāna-koṣa-cchando-jñānam,
  58. vastra-gopanāni,
  59. dyūta-viśeṣaḥ,
  60. ākarṣaṇa-krīḍā,
  61. bālaka-krīḍanakāni,
  62. vaināyikīnāṃ-vidyāṇāṃ-jñānam,
  63. vaijayikīnāṃ-vidyānāṃ-jñānam,
  64. vaitālakīnāṃ-vidyānāṃ-jñānaṃ.

However, the list varies from text to text.

Source: Google Books: Lalita SahasranamaŚāktism book cover
context information

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

Śaivism (Śaiva philosophy)

1) Kalā (कला):—First of the five factors of limitation (kañcuka) that occur in the second stage during the unity of Śiva and Śakti (subject and object). Their unity is initiated upon the cosmic process of creation.

2) Kāla (काल):—Fourth of the five factors of limitation (kañcuka) that occur in the second stage during the unity of Śiva and Śakti (subject and object). Their unity is initiated upon the cosmic process of creation.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Kāla (काल) is the name of a teacher to whom the Kāpālika doctrine was revelead, mentioned in the Śābaratantra. The disciple of Kāla is mentioned as being Hariścandra. The Śābara-tantra is an early tantra of the Kāpālika sect containing important information about the evolution of the Nātha sect. It also lists the tweleve original Kāpālika teachers (eg., Kāla). Several of these names appear in the Nātha lists of eighty-four Siddhas and nine Nāthas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

1) Kalā: is normally the omnipotence of Siva, the power to do anything (Sarva Kartrtva) in this universe and also the Light of His Consciousness. KalA of the individual soul behaves as if its ability is severely restricted by the Maya. There is limited capacity to action, limited capacity for knowing, and impure knowledge. Abhi says that Siva goes into deep sleep (supthasthanin) and thus in his individual soul form, he is incapable of any action. The Kancuka KalA comes to his rescue and gives him a limited capacity for action and a limited knowledge.

2) Kāla: Siva has no Time element in Him; He is eternal. The individual soul has become subject to time, past, present and future.

Source: bhagavadgitausa.com: Kashmir Saivism

Kalā (कला), the primary adhvan, has five modes that constitute the entire framework of evolution from the transcendental to the phenomenal. They are:

  1. śāntyātīta, transcendent pacific;
  2. śānti, pacific;
  3. vidyā, knowing;
  4. pratiṣṭhā, establishing;
  5. nivṛtti, obscuring.

Corresponding ta the five kalādhavans of siva, divine agency, are five modes of śākti, divine instrumentality:

  1. parāśakti, transcendent;
  2. ādiśakti, originant;
  3. icchāśakti, intentiona1;
  4. jñānaśakti, knowing (discerning);
  5. kriyāśakti, active.

Of these, the latter three are modes of causality in cosmic evolution.

Source: McGill: The architectural theory of the Mānasāra (shaivism)Śaivism book cover
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Śaiva (शैव, shaiva) or Śaivism (shaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Śiva as the supreme being. Closeley related to Śāktism, Śaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

Āyurveda (science of life)

1) Kalā (कला, “membrane”) refers to the intermediary septa (a dividing wall or partition) between dhātu and āśaya. They are seven in number. The term is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Suśruta-saṃhitā and the Caraka-saṃhitā.

2) Kāla (काल) is another name (synonym) for Kāsamarda, which is a Sanskrit name for the plant Cassia occidentalis (septicweed). This synonym was identified by Narahari in his 13th-century Rājanighaṇṭu (verses 4.171-172), which is an Āyurvedic medicinal thesaurus.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Kāla (काल, “time”):—According to position of the sun e.g. summer solstice and winter solstice (uttarāyaṇa and dakṣiṇāyana) the year is divided into two—ādāna and visarga. In the former the sun is dominant and as such draws out the nutrient essence of the living being, while in the latter the moon is predominant releasing the same to them. According to features, tme is divided into three—cold, hot and rainy which have variations in different geographical regions.

Again there are six seasons in a year—

Visarga (‘release’) phase:

  1. Varṣā (‘rainy’),
  2. Śarad (‘autumn’)
  3. and Hemanta (‘early winter’).

Ādāna (‘accumulation’) phase:

  1. Śiśira (‘late winter’),
  2. Vasanta (‘spring’)
  3. and Grīṣma (‘summer’).
Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

Kala is a unique Ayurveda concept explained by Sushrutacharya in Sushruta samhita. Seven kalas are present in the body. Kalas are the covering between dhatu and Aashay. These are extremely minute particles and invisible to naked eye, similar to cells. They can be understood by their functions in the body. The specif ic kalas are located at specific sites. We can co-relate kalas as formative elements similar to the cell.

Even though Kalas are explained in embryonic life they are found to be functioning throughout the life. Reference of ‘Kalas’ are also found in kalpa sthana during the treatment (chikitsa) of snake bite. Hence we can say that kalas are present and functioning in the body from the time of birth up t o the end of the life.

We can correlate the kalas structurally with fascia, septum, fibrous membrane; mucous membrane or serous membrane but functionally, we can correlate them with cells or formative elements.

Source: Internation Journal of Ayurveda: Basic concept of Kala (membrane)Āyurveda book cover
context information

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.

Yoga (school of philosophy)

Kalā (कला):—The basic meaning of kalā is “a part”, especially “sixteenth part of the moon” (e.g. Bṛhadāraṇyakopaniṣad 1.5.14). The moon waxes and wanes in periods of fifteen days; each day it gains or loses one kalā. The sixteenth kalā is the amṛtakalā which never dies, even at the dark of the moon.

Kalā can also mean “tongue” and, in tantric descriptions of the phonematic emanation of reality, “vowel”.

Source: Google Books: The Khecarividya of AdinathaYoga book cover
context information

Originally, Yoga is considered a branch of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Kalā (कला) refers to a “unit of the time measure in music” according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 5.

2a) Kāla (काल) is a Sanskrit word referring to “time”. Acording to the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.88-93, when Brahmā, Indra and all other gods went to inspect the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa) designed by Viśvakarmā, he assigned different deities for the protection of the playhouse itself, as well as for the objects relating to dramatic performance (prayoga). As such, Brahmā assigned Kāla and Kṛtānta to the door complex (entrance, dvāraśālā). The protection of the playhouse was enacted because of the jealous Vighnas (malevolent spirits), who began to create terror for the actors.

2b) Kāla (काल), as a deity, is to be worshipped during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (eg., to Kāla).

3) Kala (कल) refers to one of the four kinds of vyañjana (indication), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 29. Vyañjana represents one of the four classes of dhātu (stroke), which relate to different aspects of strokes in playing stringed instruments (tata).

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra, “kala is touching a string simultaneously with the two thumbs”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Kāla (काल).—The three kinds of units of measure (kāla) that were employed in the Gandharva Music were:

  1. laghu (short),
  2. guru (long)
  3. and pluta (extended).

Laghu is equal to one matra; Guru to two matras; and Pluta to three matras.

Source: Sreenivasarao’s blog: Music of IndiaNāṭyaśāstra 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).


Kāla (काल, “death and time”) refers to one of the fifty-six vināyakas located at Kāśī (Vārāṇasī), and forms part of a sacred pilgrimage (yātrā), described in the Kāśīkhaṇḍa (Skanda-purāṇa 4.2.57). He is also known as Kālavināyaka, Kālagaṇeśa and Kālavighneśa. These fifty-six vināyakas are positioned at the eight cardinal points in seven concentric circles (8x7). They center around a deity named Ḍhuṇḍhirāja (or Ḍhuṇḍhi-vināyaka) positioned near the Viśvanātha temple, which lies at the heart of Kāśī, near the Gaṅges. This arrangement symbolises the interconnecting relationship of the macrocosmos, the mesocosmos and the microcosmos.

Kāla is positioned in the North-Eastern corner of the fifth circle of the kāśī-maṇḍala. According to Rana Singh (source), his shrine is located at “at the steps of Ramaghat, K 24 / 10”. Worshippers of Kāla will benefit from his quality, which is defined as “the remover of fear from death and strife”. His coordinates are: Lat. 25.18843, Lon. 83.00996 (or, 25°11'18.4"N, 83°00'35.9"E) (Google maps)

Kāśī (Vārāṇasī) is a holy city in India and represents the personified form of the universe deluded by the Māyā of Viṣṇu. It is described as a fascinating city which is beyond the range of vision of Giriśa (Śiva) having both the power to destroy great delusion, as well as creating it.

Kāla, and the other vināyakas, are described in the Skandapurāṇa (the largest of the eighteen mahāpurāṇas). This book narrates the details and legends surrounding numerous holy pilgrimages (tīrtha-māhātmya) throughout India. It is composed of over 81,000 metrical verses with the core text dating from the before the 4th-century CE.

Source: Wisdom Library: Skanda-purāṇa

Kāla (काल).—One of the eleven rākṣasas facing the eleven rudras in the battle of the gods (devas) between the demons (asuras), according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 94. This battle was initiated by Mahiṣāsura in order to win over the hand of Vaiṣṇavī, the form of Trikalā having a red body representing the energy of Viṣṇu. Trikalā is the name of a Goddess born from the combined looks of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara (Śiva).

The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century. It is composed of two parts and Sūta is the main narrator.

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

1a) Kala (कल).—Sixty in number:1 a period of time;2 30 lavas according to a calculation;3 33 kāṭhas;4 30 kalas make a muhūrta or 160 mātras.5

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 34. 70.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 13; 70. 15; Matsya-purāṇa 34. 9.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 216.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 57. 6; 100. 218; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 3. 8; II. 8. 59; VI. 3. 6.
  • 5) Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 179; 93. 72; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. 19; 13. 14.

1b) A Janapada of the Ketumāla country.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 44. 15.

1c) Digits of Soma recovered by propitiating Dakṣa:1 one-sixteenth part.

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 24; Matsya-purāṇa 34. 9; 142. 4.

2a) Kalā (कला).—A svara śakti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 57.

2b) A daughter of Kardama married to Marīci; bore two sons, Kaśyapa and Pūrṇiman.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 24. 22; IV. 1. 13.

3a) Kāla (काल).—Time as the phase of the Universal Spirit.1 Is īśvara, and only rūpabheda.2 Lord of creation and destruction; fearful to look at.3 Vanquished by Kṛṣṇa;4 makes and unmakes things by keeping all things under control.5

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 6. 4; 11. 6; 13. 45; II. 10. 43; VIII. 17. 27.
  • 2) Ib. III. 12. 12; 29. 4, 37 & 45; X. 51. 19.
  • 3) Ib. IV. 12. 3; Vāyu-purāṇa 32. 11, 22.
  • 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 3. 10; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 82; Vāyu-purāṇa 32. 29.
  • 5) Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 38. 55-64.

3b) A name for Mṛtyu: ety. as Lord of Death; adhidevata for Rāhu the planet;1 described as having four faces each comprising a yuga.2 One origin of.3

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 128; Matsya-purāṇa 93. 14; 213. 5 & 18.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 32. 8-67.
  • 3) Ib. 21. 52, 73.

3c) A son of Dhanva; a Vasava; a Viśvedeva.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 23, 30; Matsya-purāṇa 5. 23; 203. 4; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 21, 31; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 15. 111.

3d) A Bhairva god.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 20. 82.

3e) One from brahman; see also Avyakta.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 2. 14, 15 and 27.

3f) A mountain west of the Sitoda lake.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 36. 27.

3g) Division of time—Paramāṇu defined:*

  • * 1 Yuga make 5 years. 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. ch. 11 (whole); Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 24. 58; 13. 109; Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 179-82; 97. 30-31. based on Sūrya. 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 31. 24; 53. 39.

4a) Kālā (काला).—A goddess enshrined at Candrabhāgā.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 13. 49.

4b) A daughter of Dakṣa, and wife of Kaśyapa.1 Mother of Kālakeyas.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 171. 29; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 54.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 171. 59.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana IndexPurāṇa book cover
context information

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.

Vaiśeṣika (school of philosophy)

Kāla (काल, “time”) is one of the nine dravyas (‘substances’), according to the Vaiśeṣika-sūtras. These dravyas are considered as a category of padārtha (“metaphysical correlate”). These padārthas represent everything that exists which can be cognized and named. Together with their subdivisions, they attempt to explain the nature of the universe and the existence of living beings.

Source: Wikipedia: VaisheshikaVaiśeṣika book cover
context information

Vaiśeṣika (वैशेषिक, vaisheshika) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (āstika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upaniṣads. Vaiśeṣika deals with subjects such as logic, epistemology, philosophy and expounds concepts similair to Buddhism in nature

Sāṃkhya (school of philosophy)

Kāla (काल, “time”) is a type tuṣṭi (complacence), classified internal (ādhyātmika) according to the Sāṃkhya theory of evolution. Tuṣṭi refers to a category of pratyayasarga (intellectual products), which represents the first of two types of sarga (products) that come into being during tattvapariṇāma (elemental manifestations), which in turn, evolve out of the two types of pariṇāma (change, modification).

Source: Wisdom Library: Sāṃkhya philosophy
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Sāṃkhya (सांख्य, samkhya) is a dualistic school of Hindu philosophy (āstika) and is closeley related to the Yoga school. Sāṃkhya philosophy accepts three pramāṇas (‘proofs’) only as valid means of gaining knowledge. Another important concept is their theory of evolution, revolving around prakṛti (matter) and puruṣa (consciousness).

Mīmāṃsā (school of philosophy)

Kāla (काल, “time”) refers to one of the six factors through which positive ethical precepts (regarding Dharma) are conditioned. The discerning student is required to distinguish between grades of vidhi or to compare their levels of authority or applicability. The primary distinction is derived from their motivation and goals, thus producing the concepts of puruṣārtha and kratvārtha.

Source: Srimatham: Mīmāṃsa: The Study of Hindu Exegesis
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Mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा, mimamsa) refers to one of the six orthodox Hindu schools of philosophy, emphasizing the nature of dharma and the philosophy of language. The literature in this school is also known for its in-depth study of ritual actions and social duties.

General definition (in Hinduism)

1) Kalā (कला, “membrane”) is a sanskrit term used in Ayurveda.

2) Kāla (काल)—One of the eleven other names of Rudra, according to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa 3.12.12.

3) Kāla (काल, “time”):—One of the epiteths of Yama, the vedic God of death, who is the embodiment of Dharma. Yama rules over the kingdom of the dead and binds humankind according to the fruits of their karma.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Kalā means performing art in Sanskrit.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

The concept of kalā is refractory to easy understanding. Sometimes it means just ‘force’ which evolves into the world under the direction of Parashiva; sometimes it is said to be the purer form of the Shakti, the raw material of the world. Occasionally it stands for the spiritual force, which makes a mystic (śivayogi) what he is. While most of Vachana-writers recognise only five kalās, namely,

  1. nivṛtti-kalā,
  2. pratiṣṭhā-kalā,
  3. vidyā-kalā,
  4. śānti-kalā and
  5. śāntyatīta-kalā,

Tōntada Siddhalinga śivayogi recognises a sixth, namely, śāntyatītottarā-kalā.

Source: Lingayat: Kalas and Shakti

Kāla (काल):—Period of 90 minutes is one Kāla (as in kālachakra). The exact lunar transit in one kāla (90min) is 0°50’ arc.

Source: Daivi Varnashram: Nakṣatra Gaṇḍānta

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Kala - Son of Anathapindika - As he showed no signs of piety his father, feeling very distressed, made a solemn promise to give him a thousand if he kept the fast day. Kala won the money, and the next day he was promised a thousand if he would listen to the Buddha preaching and learn a single verse of the Dhamma. He listened to the Buddhas sermon, but by the will of the Buddha he could not keep in mind a single verse until the sermon came to an end. He then became a sotapanna and accompanied the Buddha and the monks to his fathers house. There, when in the presence of them all Anathapindika gave Kala the money, he refused to accept it, and the Buddha explained what had happened. DhA.iii.189ff

2. Kala - An Elder. A certain woman ministered to him as though he were her son, but when she expressed her desire to see the Buddha, Kala tried to dissuade her from doing so. One day she visited the Buddha without telling Kala of her intention, and when he learnt where she had gone he hurried to the Buddha and tried to prevent him from preaching to her, in case she should stop caring for him. DhA.iii.155f

3. Kala - Minister of Pasenadi. He was grieved when the king spent his fortune in giving alms to the Buddha and his monks at the Asadisa dana ; the Buddha, knowing his thoughts, spoke but a single stanza by way of thank offering at the end of the dana lest Kalas head should split in seven pieces in anger. When the king learnt, on inquiry, why the Buddha had so acted, he dismissed Kala from his service. DA.ii.654f; DhA.iii.186-8; also ii.89.

4. Kala - An Elder of Kosala. He joined the Order in his old age and lived in the forest with his friend Junha. Once the question arose between them as to which part of the month was cold, and being unable to decide the question, they sought the Buddha, who preached to them the Maluta Jataka (q.v.). (J.i.165)

5. Kala. The name given by his wife to the Ajivaka Upaka (ThigA.i.223) because he was dark in complexion (ThigA.i.226).

6. Kala - King of the Nagas; see Mahakala.

7. Kala - A young stag, son of the Bodhisatta; a previous birth of Devadatta. The story is given in the Lakkhana Jataka. J.i.142f

8. Kala - See Kalahatthi.

9. Kala - One of the Nirayas. J.vi.248.

10. Kala - A Pacceka Buddha, mentioned in a list of Pacceka Buddhas. M.iii.70; ApA.i.107.

11. Kala - Brother of Pasenadi, king of Kosala. Dvy.153.

12. Kala - See also Cullakala, Maha Kala and Kaludayi.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

M (Moment, period). / time (how many)

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
context information

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).


Kala means time.

Source: Buddhist Information: A Survey of Paramattha DhammasAbhidhamma book cover
context information

Abhidhamma (अभिधम्म) usually refers to the last section (piṭaka) of the Pali canon and includes schematic classifications of scholastic literature dealing with Theravāda Buddhism. Primary topics include psychology, philosophy, methodology and metaphysics which are rendered into exhaustive enumerations and commentaries.


kala : (m.) a sweet low sound. || kalā (f.), a fraction of a whole; an art. kāla (m.), time. kāḷa (adj.), black; dark. (m.), black colour.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

1) Kalā, (1a). a small fraction of a whole, generally the 16th part; the 16th part of the moon’s disk; often the 16th part again subdivided into 16 parts and so on: one infinitesimal part (see VvA. 103; DhA. II, 63), in this sense in the expression kalaṃ nâgghati soḷasiṃ “not worth an infinitesimal portion of”=very much inferior to S. I, 19; III, 156=V. 44=It. 20; A. I, 166, 213; IV, 252; Ud. 11; Dh. 70; Vv 437; DhA. II, 63 (=koṭṭhāsa) DhA. IV, 74.—

(1b). an art, a trick (lit. part, turn) J. I, 163. -kalaṃ upeti to be divided or separated Miln. 106; DhA. I, 119; see sakala.—In cpd. with bhū as kalī —bhavati to be divided, broken up J. I, 467 (=bhijjati). Cp. vikala. (Page 198. Kāḷa, see kāla 1. (Page 212)

2) Kāla, (and Kāḷa) — Preliminary. (2a). dark (syn. kaṇha, which cp. for meaning and applications), black, blueblack, misty, cloudy. Its proper sphere of application is the dark as opposed to light, and it is therefore characteristic of all phenomena or beings belonging to the realm of darkness, as the night, the new moon, death, ghosts, etc.

(2b). the morning mist, or darkness preceding light, daybreak, morning (cp. E. morning=Goth. maúrgins twilight, Sk. marka eclipse, darkness; and also gloaming= gleaming=twilight), then: time in general, esp. a fixed time, a point from or to which to reckon, i.e. term or terminus (a quo or ad quem).

3) Kāḷa, dark, black, etc., in enumn of colours;

4) Kāla time, etc.;

(4.a) Morning: kāle early Pv. II, 941 (=pāto PvA. 128), kālassa in the morning (Gen. of time), early VvA. 256. Cp. paccūsa-kāle at dawn DhA. III, 242. Opposed to evening or night in kāḷena in the morning Pv. I, 63 (opp. sāyaṃ). Kāle juṇhe by day and by night Nd2 631.

(4.b) time in general;

(4.c) Time in special, either (1) appointed time, date, fixed time, or (2) suitable time, proper time, good time, opportunity. Cp. Gr. kairiζ and w(=ra; or (3) time of death, death. ‹-›

  1. Mealtime;
  2. Proper time, right time: also season, as in utu° favourable time (of the year);
  3. The day, as appointed by fate or kamma, point of time (for death), the “last hour”;

Note: this is an except of the full article on Kalā, Kāla, Kāḷa.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English DictionaryPali book cover
context information

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.

Vajrayāna (Tibetan Buddhism)

Kāla (काल) is another name for Vaivasvata: protector deity of the southern cremation ground.—Yama is associated with the south and with the sun (vivasvat, descended from Sūrya), hence he is also Vaivasvata (Guhyasamayasādhanamālā 34) or “Yamavaivasvata”. He is also god of death, Kāla, whose agents brings departed souls to Yamapurī. Iconographically, the Śmaśānavidhi describes Yama as mounted on a buffalo (mahiṣārūḍha), black, red-eyed, fat, fearsome, holding a stick/cudgel (daṇḍa) and a skull bowl.

Source: Google Books: VajrayoginiTibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Kāla (काल) refers to a class of piśāca deities according to both the Digambara and Śvetāmbara traditions of Jainism. The piśācas refer to a category of vyantaras gods which represents one of the four classes of celestial beings (devas).

The deities such as Kālas 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: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Time; Also see: Kala Dravya.

Source: Atma Dharma: Principles of Jainism

Kāla (काल, “time”).—What is the meaning of ‘continuity /time’ (kāla)? Duration of the existence of an entity is called time.

According to Tattvārthasūtra 1.8, “the categories and their details are undefrstood in detail in terms of existence, number (enumeration), place or abode, extent of space touched (pervasion), continuity /time (kāla), interval of time, thought-activity, and reciprocal comparison”.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 1

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

kala (कल).—m (S) Inclination, bearing, tendency; bent or leaning towards lit. fig.; inclining or propension of mind or will; bent of genius or disposition. 2 Turn or commencement of decline (of the day, a malady, a paroxysm, a flood or any exorbitance). v khā. kala pāhūna vāgaṇēṃ g. of o. To conduct one's self with obsequious conformity to the will of; to steer according to the wind. 2 To observe the bearing and requirement of the times &c.

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kalā (कला).—f (S) An art (as writing, reading, singing, riding); a mechanical art, of which sixty-four are enumerated. See causaṣṭakalā. 2 The art (as of an ingenious contrivance); the plan of its construction, the mode of its operation, the manner of applying or using it; the secret trick, key, spring, turning pin. 3 Skill, ingenuity, cleverness. Ex. tukā mhaṇē hyācī kōṇa jāṇē kalā || vāgavī pāṅguḷā pāyāṃviṇēṃ. 4 A digit, or one-sixteenth of the moon's diameter. Used in translations for Phase. 5 A division of time; nearly equal to 8 seconds. 6 A 1&2044;60th or minute of a degree. 7 (A sixteenth or a smaller part.) A whit, jot, tittle, grain, particle. 8 Freshness, clearness, comeliness, grace, lustre (of the countenance or person): also cleanness, tidiness, trimness (of places). Pr. gharācī kaḷā āṅgaṇa sāṅgatēṃ.

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kaḷa (कळ).—f Sharp lancinating pain (in the head, belly, or trunk gen.) v uṭha, hō See dhamaka.

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kaḷa (कळ).—f (kalā S) Any little contrivance wherewith to shut and open, to close and unclose; as a stopcock, doorball or lockhandle &c. 2 The art, plan, trick, secret (of a machine or device). See kalā for this sense. kaḷa dābaṇēṃ To press the spring; to touch the home or seat or prime fountain of.

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kaḷa (कळ).—f (kalaha S) Quarreling, brawling, contending. v kāḍha. Pr. bōlatā kaḷa dhutā maḷa Quarrel is aggravated by speaking (answering again): dirt is brought out by washing.

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kaḷā (कळा).—m (kalī S) A large kaḷī or bud: an ornamental bud-form knob (as that of the handle of cauphulā &c. &c.): a large kaḷī in some other senses. See kaḷī, of which word this is the intensive or enhancing form. 2 From kalā and used in all its senses.

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kāla (काल).—n The tender core of the lower part of the stem of kēḷakūla.

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kāla (काल).—m (S) Time. 2 Season or fit time. 3 A calamitous period. 4 A name of Yama, the Judge of the dead or Death personified; and applied to any thing formidable, endangering life, as a serpent, tiger &c.; to any danger; and to death or dissolution, or to the hour of it. 5 The will or decrees of the Supreme Being. kāladēśatārtamya karaṇēṃ & kāla dēśa pāhūna karāvēṃ or varttāvēṃ To act with regard to the proprieties of time, place, and circumstances. kāla sādhaṇēṃ To bring about or hit the favorable or fit time.

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kāla (काल).—n & ad Yesterday.

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kālā (काला).—m (kālaviṇēṃ) Bread, rice &c. squeezed up into a mass with buttermilk or curds. 2 A preparation from pompion-scrapings variously peppered and salted. 3 Elliptically for dahīṅkālā.

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kāḷa (काळ).—m See kāla and its numerous compounds. 2 (kāla Death.) A term for a widely-consuming or destroying person or thing. Ex. hī mulagī kharcāsa kāḷa āhē; hā tupāsa kāḷa-tēlāsa kāḷa-lāka- ḍāsa kāḷa &c. Pr. kuṛhāḍīcā dāṇḍā gōtālā kāḷa. Pr. khāṇyālā kāḷa bhūmīlā bhāra. Pr. māratyācā gulāma paḷatyācā kāḷa. kāḷōkāḷa bhaviṣyati (A phrase from the Sanskrit kālēkālē bhaviṣyati) It will be some time or other. kāḷācī gāṇḍa māraṇēṃ To kill time. kāḷācyā tōṇḍī dēṇēṃ or ghālaṇēṃ (& v i -paḍaṇēṃ-jāṇēṃ-sāmpaḍaṇēṃ) or kāḷācyā dāḍhēnta dēṇēṃ &c. To give, bring, sink &c. into the jaws of death, the brink of the grave &c. To cast (or fall) into great peril or evil; to kill or to die. kāḷāvara dṛṣṭa dēṇēṃ or ṭhēvaṇēṃ To have regard to one's destiny or necessity; to conform to one's condition or circumstances. kāḷa ālā hōtā paṇa vēḷa ālī navhatī (Death came, but not the Time. A paronomasia upon kāḷa in its two senses.) Escape from some extreme peril. kāḷa vinmukha hōṇēṃ, kāḷānēṃ ghēraṇēṃ, or vēḍhā ghāḷaṇēṃ To be adverse; to beleaguer &c.--one's fortune. kāḷānēṃ ōḍhaṇēṃ or bōlāviṇēṃ Expresses the drawing of destiny (to the death or evil appointed). kāḷānēṃ hātīṃ dharaṇēṃ To become favorable unto. kāḷānēṃ māgēṃ pāhaṇēṃ To change unfavorably; to turn against.

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kāḷā (काळा).—a (kalā S) Black. kāḷēṃ karaṇēṃ (For tōṇḍa kāḷēṃ karaṇēṃ) To take one's self off; to make one's self scarce: also to run off into concealment; to abscond. kāḷyācē pāṇḍharē hōṇēṃ g. of s. To have one's black hairs turning gray; to be getting old. pāṇḍhaṛyāñcē kāḷē hōṇēṃ g. of s. To turn back, in hoary age, to the lewd courses of youth. 2 To decline from one's integrity or propriety.

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kāḷā (काळा).—m (Because black.) A covert term for the marking nut.

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kāḷā (काळा).—m (kālā. So named because he is black.) A name of terror or of disdain for Yama. Ex. manānta parama hōtasē kaṣṭī || mhaṇē kāḷyānēṃ ithēṃ ghētalī pāṭhī ||. Also a name of the black idol viṭhṭhala at Panḍharpur. Ex. kāḷyāpuḍhēṃ nṛtya karīta || agaḍadhūta miḷavūniyā ||. Applied also angrily or scornfully to the god Krishn̤a.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kala (कल).—m Inclination, bearing, tendency; turn of decline (of the day, &c.)., kala pāhūna vāgaṇēṃ Steer according to the wind. kala khāṇēṃ To be on the decline- a malady, &c.

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kalā (कला).—f Skill. An art. A digit. A division of time. Amiminute (of an arc).

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kaḷa (कळ).—f Sharp, lancinating pain. Any little contrivance. The secret of a machine. Quarrelling. kaḷa lāvaṇēṃ Breed a quarrel. kaḷa dābaṇēṃ To press the spring, to touch the home.

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kaḷā (कळा).—m A large bud. f An art, &c. See kalā.

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kāla (काल).—m Time, season; app. to anything endangering life-as a tiger, &c.; to death. ad Yesterday.

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kālā (काला).—m Bread, rice, &c., squeezed up into a mass with curds.

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kāḷa (काळ).—m A term for a widely-consuming person or thing. See kāla. kāḷa ālā hōtā paṇa vēḷa ālī navhatī Just had a narrow escape from some disaster.

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kāḷā (काळा).—a Black. kāḷēṃ karaṇēṃ Take one's self off; abscond. kāḷyācē pāṇḍharē hōṇēṃ Be getting old.

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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