Kalasutra, aka: Kala-sutra, Kālasūtra; 8 Definition(s)

Introduction

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

Purana

[Kalasutra in Purana glossaries]

Kālasūtra (कालसूत्र).—One of the twenty-eight hells. Those who treacherously behave towards Pitṛs, Brāhmaṇas, etc., are sent to this;1 a hell under the earth: also mahāhī2 the third hell under the earth: also known as mahāhavividhi; haunted by a fierce serpent.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 26. 7 & 14; Vāyu-purāṇa 110. 42; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 6. 41; II. 6. 4.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 2. 181, 184; 33. 60.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 178.
(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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[Kalasutra in Shaktism glossaries]

Kālasūtra (कालसूत्र) refers to one of the thirty hells (naraka) mentioned in the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa 8.21 (on the narrative of hells). The hells are destinations where dead beings brought by messengers of Yama (the God of the Pitṛs), and get punished by him according to their karmas and faults.

The Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa or Śrīmad-devī-bhāgavatam (mentioning Kālasūtra), 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
Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[Kalasutra in Mahayana glossaries]

Kālasūtra (कालसूत्र) refers to one of the eight great hells according to the “world of transmigration” section in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVII).—Accordingly, “the Bodhisattva sees the damned in the great Kālasūtra hell. Wicked Rākṣasas, guardians of the hell (nirayapāla) and worker-demons ceaselessly measure the damned with a black cord (kālasūtra); with an iron axe (kuṭhāra) they put them to death and cut them to pieces; they shorten what is long (dīrgha), they lengthen what is short (hrasva); they round off what is square (varga), they square off what is round (vṛtta); they cut their arms and legs, tear out their ears and noses and cut off their hands and feet with a great iron saw (krakaca); they amputate them and cut them up. They cut their flesh into pieces and weigh the quarters of meat”.

Also, “in the course of their earlier lives, these unfortunate people used to slander honest people and cause innocent people to die by means of lies (mṛṣāvāda), harmful words (pāruṣyavāda), malicious gossip (paiśunyavāda) and idle comments (saṃbhinnapalāpa). Or else, as perverted officials, they were cruel, violent, dishonest and harmful. It is as a result of their wrong-doings and calumnies that they undergo these punishments”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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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General definition (in Buddhism)

[Kalasutra in Buddhism glossaries]

Kālasūtra (कालसूत्र) refers to the “black-thread hell” and represents one of the “eight hot hells” (uṣṇa-naraka) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 121). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., kāla-sūtra). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[Kalasutra in Marathi glossaries]

kaḷasūtra (कळसूत्र).—& kaḷasūtrī See kaḷāsūtra & kaḷāsūtrī.

--- OR ---

kaḷāsūtra (कळासूत्र).—n The string or mechanism of a puppet. kaḷāsūtrācā khēḷa A puppet-show. kaḷāsūtrācī bāhulī A puppet.

--- OR ---

kālasūtra (कालसूत्र).—n (S) The thread, line, or course of Fate.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kaḷasūtra (कळसूत्र).—n The string of a puppet.

--- OR ---

kaḷāsūtra (कळासूत्र).—n The string of a puppet.

(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

[Kalasutra in Sanskrit glossaries]

Kālasūtra (कालसूत्र).—

1) thread of time or death.

2) Name of a particular hell; Y.3.222; Ms.4.88.

Derivable forms: kālasūtram (कालसूत्रम्).

Kālasūtra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms kāla and sūtra (सूत्र). See also (synonyms): kālasūtraka.

(Source): DDSA: The practical 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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Relevant definitions

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