Kalpasutra, aka: Kalpasūtra, Kalpa-sutra; 6 Definition(s)


Kalpasutra means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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


[Kalpasutra in Purana glossaries]

Kalpasūtra (कल्पसूत्र).—A branch of Vedic literature, arranged by lomaharṣaṇa;1 begun in Dvāpara.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 31. 14 & 24; 34. 16; Vāyu-purāṇa 58. 14.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 144. 13-14.
(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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General definition (in Hinduism)

[Kalpasutra in Hinduism glossaries]

Kalpa Sūtrās deal with the rules, regulations and austerities of yajña, the geometry of altars, and the rites to be undertaken at each stage of life.

(Source): Hindupedia: The Hindu Encyclopedia

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[Kalpasutra in Jainism glossaries]

The Kalpa Sūtra (कल्पसूत्र) is a Jain text containing the biographies of the Jain Tirthankaras, notably Parshvanath and Mahavira, including the latter's Nirvana. Bhadrabahu I is considered the author of the text and it is traditionally said to have been composed about one hundred and fifty years after Nirvāṇa of Mahavira (traditionally 599 – 527 BCE).

Within the six sections of the Jain literary corpus belonging to the Svetambara school, it is classed as one of the Cheda Sūtras. This Sutra contains detailed life histories and, from the mid-15th century, was frequently illustrated with miniature painting. The oldest surviving copies are written on paper in western India in the 14th century.

(Source): WikiPedia: Jainism

Kalpasūtra (कल्पसूत्र).—The Jain kalpasūtra manuscripts transcribe the text ascribed to Bhadrabāhu who compiled his version during the 7th century. Many Jain donors’ families commissioned illustrated manuscripts as part of their sacred texts. The kalpasūtra text is full of detailed descriptions which enable us to identify the different components of the pictorial compositions and episodes. The birth of Mahāvīra is an epochal event which is in the form of an embryo placed in the womb of Brāhmaṇī Devānandā who was the wife of the Brāhmin Ṛṣabhadutta and they resided in Mahānkundagrāma.

(Source): Shodhganga: A cultural study on the jain western Indian illustrated manuscripts

Kalpasutra is the earliest Jain text which gives the account of 24 Tirthankaras. Though many historians doubted the historicity of early Tirthankaras, but it appears that all 24 Tirthankaras were historic personalities. All of them were Kshatriyas and belonged to Ikshvaku dynasty except Munisuvrata (20th) and Nami (21st) who belonged to Harivamsa.

(Source): academia.edu: The epoch of the Mahavira-nirvana
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Kalpasutra in Sanskrit glossaries]

Kalpasūtra (कल्पसूत्र).—a manual of ritual in the form of Sūtras. Mb.14.54.9. Name of a sacred Jaina book written by भद्रबाहु (bhadrabāhu) sketching the life of महावीर (mahāvīra).

Derivable forms: kalpasūtram (कल्पसूत्रम्).

Kalpasūtra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms kalpa and sūtra (सूत्र).

(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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