Kama, Kāmā, Kāma, Kamā: 31 definitions

Introduction

Kama 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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

1) Kāma (काम, “love/desire”):—Second seat of the Svādhiṣṭhāna (2nd chakra), according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. It is identified with the second of the seven worlds, named bhuvarloka. Together, these seven seats they form the Brahmāṇḍa (cosmic egg). The Kāma seat points to the north-east.

The associated pura is called dhī (or, buddhi), at the head of which is the Siddha named Anugrahīśāna. These Siddhas are considered to have been the expounders of the kula doctrine in former times.

The associated dhātu (constituents of the physical body) is the Blood (rakta).

2) Kāmā (कामा):—One of the twelve guṇas associated with Kāma, the second seat of the Svādhiṣṭhāna-chakra. According to tantric sources such as the Śrīmatottara-tantra and the Gorakṣasaṃhitā (Kādiprakaraṇa), these twelve guṇas are represented as female deities. According to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā however, they are explained as particular syllables. They (eg. Kāmā) only seem to play an minor role with regard to the interpretation of the Devīcakra (first of five chakras, as taught in the Kubjikāmata-tantra).

3) Kāmā (कामा, “Desire”):—Fourth of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Vahni, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ), including Kāmā, symbolize mental dispositions or emotions and are considered as obstructing the attainment of liberating knowledge. They are presided over by the Bhairava Unmatta. Vahni is the fourth of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents fire.

Source: Shodhganga: Mantra-sādhana: Chapter One of the Kakṣapuṭatantra

Kāma (काम, “love”) is accomplished by performing mantrasādhana (preparatory procedures) beginning with japamālā using a rosary bead made of rudrākṣa or lotus seed beads, according to the Kakṣapuṭatantra verse 1.43. Accordingly, “for the accomplishment of all kinds of kāma (love), one should recite a mantra using a rosary made of rudrākṣa beads. For the accomplishment of dharma (virtue), artha (wealth), kāma (love), and mokṣa (liberation), one should recite a mantra using a rosary made of lotus seed beads”.

Note: Rudrākṣa refers to the seed of Elaeocarpus ganitrus: a large evergreen broad-leafed tree. Its seed is traditionally used for prayer beads in Hinduism and Buddhism.

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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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

Kāma (काम, “lust”).—According to the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, Kāma is the daughter of Hrī (“beauty”). 

Shaktism book cover
context information

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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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra

Kāma (काम) is a Sanskrit technical term, used in jurisdiction, referring to “longing for intercourse with women”. It is mentioned as one of the causes for giving false evidence. The word is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti. (See the Manubhāṣya 8.120)

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Viṣṇu-purāṇa

Kāma (काम) refers to “love” and represents a type of Ādhyātmika pain of the mental (mānasa) type, according to the Viṣṇu-purāṇa 6.5.1-6. Accordingly, “the wise man having investigated the three kinds of worldly pain, or mental and bodily affliction and the like, and having acquired true wisdom, and detachment from human objects, obtains final dissolution.”

Ādhyātmika and its subdivisions (eg., kāma) represents one of the three types of worldly pain (the other two being ādhibhautika and ādhidaivika) and correspond to three kinds of affliction described in the Sāṃkhyakārikā.

The Viṣṇupurāṇa is one of the eighteen Mahāpurāṇas which, according to tradition was composed of over 23,000 metrical verses dating from at least the 1st-millennium BCE. There are six chapters (aṃśas) containing typical puranic literature but the contents primarily revolve around Viṣṇu and his avatars.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Kāma (काम).—God of beauty in Indian mythology. General. A Prajāpati named Dharma was born from the right breast of Brahmā. Dharma was very handsome. Three sons, Śama, Kāma and Harṣa who were exceedingly handsome, were born to him. Of them, Kāma became the god of beauty. His wife was Rati. Śama became the husband of Prāpti. Harṣa had Nandā for his wife. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 66, Verses 31-33). (See full article at Story of Kāma from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Kāma (काम).—An Agni who was the son of Svāhādevī. Mahābhārata, Vana Parva. Chapter 219, Verse 23 says that this agni was of inimitable beauty.

3) Kāma (काम).—Another name for Parameśvara. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 17, Verse 42).

4) Kāma (काम).—Another name for Mahāviṣṇu. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 45).

5) Kāma (काम).—A great sage. There is a reference to this sage in Mahābhārata, Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 150, Verse 41.

6) Kāmā (कामा).—Daughter of Pṛthuśravas. She was the wife of Ayutanāyi, a king of the Pūru dynasty and mother of Akrodhana. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 177).

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Kāma (काम) is the name of a deity that arose after Brahmā mentally created his daughter Sandhyā, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.2.—“[...] O best of sages, when I Brahmā, thought like this, a wonderfully Beautiful Being appeared as my mental creation. He [viz., Kāma] had a golden complexion. His chest was stout and firm. His nose was fine. His thigh, hips and calves were round and plump. He had blue wavelets of hair. His eyebrows were thickset and tremulous. His face shone like the full moon. His hairy chest was broad like a door. He was as huge as the celestial elephant Airāvata. He was wearing a blue cloth. His hands, eyes, face, legs and fingers were red in colour. He had a slender waist. His teeth were fine. He smelt like an elephant in its rut. His eyes were like the petals of a full-bown lotus. He was fragrant like the filaments. His neck was like the conch. He had the emblem of a fish. He was tall. He had the Makara fish for his vehicle. He was armed with a bow and five flowers for his arrows. His loving glance was very attractive as he rolled his eyes here and there. O dear one, his very breath was a fragrant wind. He was accompanied by the sentiment of love. On seeing that Being, my sons, Dakṣa and others, were struck with wonder and became eager and inquisitive”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Kāma (काम).—God of Love (s.v.); born of Brahmā's heart. Burnt by Śiva, was reborn as Pradyumna, son of Kṛṣṇa, an aṃśa of Vāsudeva.1 Sent by Indra to spoil Nara's penance;2 to induce Śiva to marry Umā.3 For having observed vibhūtidvādaśīvrata, Anaṅgavatī the courtesan became co-wife with Rati, and her name was Prīti.4 Icon of.5 Worshipped Śiva in Siddheśvaram and attained divinity again.6 His arrow afflicted Brahmā who was made to love his own daughter, cursed by Brahmā to be burnt by Rudra; when pointed out that he only discharged his duty, he modified the curse to be born as son of Kṛṣṇa, then of Vasu in Bharata line, to get overlordship of Vidyādharas and finally attain godhood; afflicted the nine devīs.7

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 12. 26; VIII. 7. 32; X. 55. [2]; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 27. 28.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XI. 4. 7.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 154. 209-239.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 7. 13; 100. 329.
  • 5) Matsya-purāṇa 261. 53-6.
  • 6) Matsya-purāṇa 191. 110.
  • 7) Matsya-purāṇa 3. 33; 4. 12-21; 23. 23.

1b) A son of Samkalpa.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 10.

1c) A Viśvedeva.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 30; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 31.

1d) The son of Śraddhā and Dharma and father of Harṣa (joy) through his wife Rati (siddhi-br. p.).*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 9. 58, 62; Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 34, 38.

1e) The Apsaras clan of Sobhayantya, originated from.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 24; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 58.

1f) Place of, in life;1 does not end in spite of bhoga or enjoyment, but grows like fire with oblation; cf. rāmāyaṇa; notwithstanding old age desire to live and to amass wealth does not go.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 2. 9-10;
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 93. 95, 100.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Kāma (काम) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.31) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Kāma) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Kāma (काम) refers to the “god of love” who was burned by Śiva, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—The burning of Kāma the god of love is narrated in many Purāṇas.

According to the Saurapurāṇa 53.17ff:—

“[...] Kāma appeared before Indra and boasted that he would be able to create passion in Śiva for Kālī (Pārvatī). Then Kāma tried to instigate passion in the mind of Śiva by shooting an arrow at him. Śiva’s mind became agitated and he knew that it was Kāma doing the mischief. Then Śiva became angry and burnt Kāma to ashes with the fire from his third eye”.

Note: In this version of the story Pārvatī is responsible for the revival of Kāma. In order to make love to her, Śiva must revive the deity of sexual pleasure. And Pārvatī considers the revival of Kāma even without a body to be the equivalent of obtaining Śiva for her husband even though Śiva does not actually promise to marry her.

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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Saṅgītaśiromaṇi

Kāma (काम, “longing”) refers to one of the sixteen words that together make up the elā musical composition (prabandha), according to the Saṅgītaśiromaṇi 67-84. Elā is an important subgenre of song and was regarded as an auspicious and important prabandha (composition) in ancient Indian music (gāndharva). According to nirukta analysis, the etymological meaning of elā can be explained as follows: a represents Viṣṇu, i represents Kāmadeva, la represents Lakṣmī.

Kāma is one of the sixteen words of elā and has a presiding deity named lokamātā (mother of the world) defined in the Saṅgītaśiromaṇi (“crest-jewel of music”), which is a 15th-century Sanskrit work on Indian musicology (gāndharvaśāstra).

Source: archive.org: Natya Shastra

1) Kāma (काम, “passion”).—Almost all the psychological states (bhāva) proceed from “erotic passion” (kāma) and which combined with acts proceeding from desire which is regarded as having many forms such as,

  1. dharmakāma (passion for virtue),
  2. arthakāma (passion for wealth),
  3. mokṣakāma (passion for liberation).

The union of a man and a woman is called sensual passion (kāma). This love which may end in joy or sorrow for all people, is mostly to be observed as leading to happiness even in unhappy situations.

2) Kāma (काम, “love”) of the superior, the middling or the inferior kind arises in men and women, from various causes. Love (for a person) grows from hearing about one and hearing the charming conversation, seeing the personal beauty, or the sportive movement of limbs.

Signs of love: A woman (strī) becomes overpowered with love on seeing a young man who has personal beauty as well as other innate qualities, and has besides the knowledge of various arts and crafts. An expert in this matter should then observe the various indications of love in men and women who desire one another’s company.

Various stages of her love:

  1. ābhilāsa (there will be a longing),
  2. cintā (anxiety),
  3. anusmṛti (recollection),
  4. guṇakīrtana (enumeration of the beloved one’s merits),
  5. udvega (distress),
  6. vilāpa (lamentation),
  7. unmāda (insanity),
  8. vyādhi (sickness),
  9. jaḍatā (stupor),
  10. maraṇa (death).

These are the stages of love in case of men as well as of women.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)

Kāma (काम) is depicted as a sculpture on the first pillar of the southern half of the maṇḍapa of the temple of Trailokyeśvara.—The god of love Kāma has, for vehicle, a parrot. In the central portion of the same bas-relief, there is a bird which represents Cupid. Her caressing the bird can be taken to mean that she has come under the spell of Kāma’s arrows. The bird, although figured in successive times, is the same at different positions, near and far. Each time, it is carved with such minute details that even the eyes can be noticed well. At the extreme right is a person worshipping a liṅga decorated with a lotus flower on the top.

Kāma (काम) is also found as a sculpture on the eastern wall of the outer maṇḍapa of the temple of Pāpanātha.—In the south portion after the eastern entrance a pilaster bears the image of Kāma and Rati. The male figure of a standing couple holds a bouquet of flowers in his right hand and a sugarcane in the left. The presence of flowers and sugarcane in his hands makes us to think of Kāma and his consort Rati, but there is no guarantee for our interpretation.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Kāma (काम) refers to “(1) Desire (2) Sense enjoyment (3) The third of the four goals of human society. Those who have no desire other than for the satisfaction of the gross senses aspire for such pleasure. Their puruṣārtha is known as kāma (See dharma, ārta and mokṣa)”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Kāma (काम) refers to:—(1) lust to gratify the urges of the material senses; (2) the gopīs’ transcendental desire to enjoy amorous pastimes with Śrī Kṛṣṇa. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Kama is the God of Love and Lust. He is also referred to as Manamatha. He is the most handsome among both men and Gods. He is equivalent to the Greek/Roman Cupid. He uses a bow of sugarcane, and shoots flower tipped arrows at humans to make them fall in love. He is married to Rati, one of the daugters of Daksha.

There is some confusion as to his origin. Vishnu Purana says that he is the son of Dharma (Yama), and Shradha, a daughter of Daksha. However, a more popular report, based on the Sh.P. makes him the wish born son of Brahma.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Kāma means desire, wish, longing in Indian literature. Kāma often connotes sexual desire and longing in contemporary literature, but the concept more broadly refers to any desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, with or without sexual connotations.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

T Sensuous pleasure.

Source: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

Kama means sensual things that are related to 5 sense doors.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

may denote:

1. subjective sensuality, 'sense-desire'; 2. objective sensuality, the five sense-objects.

1. Subjective sensuality, or sense-desire, is directed to all five sense-objects, and is synonymous with

  • kāma-cchanda, 'sensuous desire', one of the 5 hindrances (nīvarana);
  • kāma-rāga, sensuous lust', one of the ten fetters (samyojana);
  • kāma-tanhā, 'sensuous craving', one of the 3 cravings (tanhā);
  • kāma-vitakka, 'sensuous thought', one of the 3 wrong thoughts (micchā-sankappa; s. vitakka).
  • Sense-desire is also one of the cankers (āsava) and clinging (upādāna).

2. Objective sensuality is, in the canonical texts, mostly called kāma-guna, 'cords (or strands) of sensuality'.

"There are 5 cords of sensuality: the visible objects, cognizable by eye-consciousness, that are desirable, cherished, pleasant, lovely, sensuous and alluring; the sounds ... smells ... tastes ... bodily impressions cognizable by body-consciousness, that are desirable .... " (D.33; M.13, 26, 59, 66).

These two kinds of kāma are called

1. kilesa-kāma, i.e. kāma as a mental defilement, 2. vatthu-kāma, i.e. kāma as the object-base of sensuality; first in MNid.. I, p. 1, and frequently in the commentaries.

Sense-desire is finally eliminated at the stage of the Non-Returner (Anāgāmi; s. ariya-puggala, samyojana).

The peril and misery of sense-desire is often described in the texts, e.g. in stirring similes at M. 22, 54, and in the 'gradual instruction' (s. ānupubbī-kathā). See further M.13, M.45, M.75; Sn.v.766ff.; Dhp.186, 215.

The texts often stress the fact that what fetters man to the world of the senses are not the sense-organs nor the sense-objects but lustful desire (chandarāga). On this see A.VI.63; S.XXXV.122, 191. - (App.).

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).

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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Kāma.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘thirteen’. Note: kāma is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

kama : (m.) order; manner; proceeding; way. || kāma (m.), pleasure; lust; enjoyment; an object of sexual enjoyment.

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

Kāma, (m. nt.) (Dhtp (603) & Dhtm (843) paraphrase by “icchāyaṃ, ” cp. Vedic kāma, kam=Idg. *qā) to desire, cp. Lat. carus, Goth. hōrs, E whore.—1. Objective: pleasantness, pleasure-giving, an object of sensual enjoyment;— 2. subjective: (a) enjoyment, pleasure on occasion of sense, (b) sense-desire. Buddhist commentators express 1 and 2 by kāmiyatī ti kāmo, and kametī ti kāmo Cpd. 81, n. 2. Kāma as sense-desire and enjoyment plus objects of the same is a collective name for all but the very higher or refined conditions of life. The kāma-bhava or —loka (worlds of sensedesire) includes 4 of the 5 modes (gati’s) of existence and part of the fifth or deva-loka. See Bhava. The term is not found analyzed till the later books of the Canon are consulted, thus, Nd1 1 distinguishes (1) vatthukāmā: desires relating to a base, i.e. physical organ or external object, and (2) kilesakāmā: desire considered subjectively. So also Nd2 202, quoted DhA. II, 162; III, 240; and very often as ubho kāmā. A more logical definition is given by Dhammapāla on Vv 11 (VvA. 11). He classifies as follows: 1. manāpiyā rūpādi-visayā.—2. chandarāga.—3. sabbasmiṃ lobha.—4. gāmadhamma.—5. hitacchanda.—6. serībhāva, i.e. k. concerned with (1) pleasant objects, (2) impulsive desire, (3) greed for anything, (4) sexual lust, (5) effort to do good, (6) self-determination.

In all enumerations of obstacles to perfection, or of general divisions and definitions of mental conditions, kāma occupies the leading position. It is the first of the five obstacles (nīvaraṇāni), the three esanās (longings), the four upādānas (attachments), the four oghas (floods of worldly turbulence), the four āsavas (intoxicants of mind), the three taṇhās, the four yogas; and k. stands first on the list of the six factors of existence: kāmā, vedanā, saññā, āsavā, kamma, dukkha, which are discussed at A. III, 410 sq. as regards their origin, difference, consequences, destruction and remedy. ‹-› Kāma is most frequently connected with rāga (passion), with chanda (impulse) and gedha (greed), all expressing the active, clinging, and impulsive character of desire. ‹-› The foll. is the list of synonyms given at various places for kāma-cchanda: (1) chanda, impulse; (2) rāga, excitement; (3) nandī, enjoyment; (4) taṇhā, thirst; (5) sineha, love; (6) pipāsā, thirst; (7) pariḷāha, consuming passion; (8) gedha, greed; (9) mucchā, swoon, or confused state of mind; (10) ajjhosāna, hanging on, or attachment Nd1. At Nd2 200; Dhs. 1097 (omitting No. 8), cp. DhsA. 370; similarly at Vism. 569 (omitting Nos. 6 and 8), cp. Dhs. 1214; Vbh. 375. This set of 10 characteristics is followed by kām-ogha, kāma-yoga, kām-upādāna at Nd2 200, cp. Vism. 141 (kām-ogha, °āsava, °upādāna). Similarly at D. III, 238: kāme avigata-rāga, °chanda, °pema, °pipāsa, °pariḷāha, °taṇha. See also kāma-chanda below under cpds. In connection with synonyms it may be noticed that most of the verbs used in a kāma-context are verbs the primary meaning of which is “adhering to” or “grasping, ” hence, attachment; viz. esanā (iṣ to Lat ira), upādāna (upa + ā + dā taking up), taṇhā (tṛṣ, Lat. torreo=thirst) pipāsā (the wish to drink), sineha (snih, Lat. nix=melting), etc.—On the other hand, the reaction of the passions on the subject is expressed by khajjati “to be eaten up” pariḍayhati “to be burnt, ” etc. The foll. passage also illustrates the various synonymic expressions: kāme paribhuñjati, kāmamajjhe vasati, kāma-pariḷāhena pariḍayhati, kāmavitakkehi khajjati, kāma-pariyesanāyā ussukko, A. I, 68; cp. M. I, 463; III, 129. Under this aspect kāma is essentially an evil, but to the popular view it is one of the indispensable attributes of bliss and happiness to be enjoyed as a reward of virtue in this world (mānussakāmā) as well as in the next (dibbā kāmā). See kāmāvacara about the various stages of next-world happiness. Numerous examples are to be found in Pv and Vv, where a standing Ep. of the Blest is sabbakāmasamiddha “fully equipped with all objects of pleasure, ” e.g. Pv. I, 105; PvA. 46. The other-world pleasures are greater than the earthly ones: S. V, 409; but to the Wise even these are unsatisfactory, since they still are signs of, and lead to, rebirth (kāmûpapatti, It (4): api dibbesu kāmesu ratiṃ so nâdhigacchati Dh. 187; rāgaṃ vinayetha mānusesu dibbesu kāmesu cāpi bhikkhu Sn. 361, see also It. 94.—Kāma as sensual pleasure finds its most marked application in the sphere of the sexual: kāmesu micchācārin, transgressing in lusts, sinning in the lusts of the flesh, or violating the third rule of conduct equivalent to abrahmacariyā, inchastity (see sīla) Pug. 38, 39; It. 63, etc. itthi-kāmehi paricāreti “he enjoys himself with the charms of woman” S. IV, 343. Kāmesu brahmacariyavā practising chastity Sn. 1041. Kāmatthā for sexual amusement A. III, 229.

Redemption from kāma is to be effected by selfcontrol (saṃyama) and meditation (jhāna), by knowledge, right effort and renunciation. “To give up passion” as a practice of him who wishes to enter on the Path is expressed by: kāmānaṃ pahānaṃ, kāmasaññānaṃ pariññā, kāma-pipāsānaṃ-paṭivinayo, kāmavitakkānaṃ samugghāto kāma-pariḷāhānaṃ vūpasamo Vin. III, 111;—kāmesu (ca) appaṭibaddhacitto “uddhaṃsoto” ti vuccati: he whose mind is not in the bonds of desire is called “one who is above the stream” Dh. 218; cp. Th. 2, 12;— tasmā jantu sadā sato kāmāni parivajjaye Sn. 771;— yo kāme parivajjeti Sn. 768=Nett 69.—nikkhamma gharā panujja kāme Sn. 359;— ye ca kāme pariññāya caranti akutobhayā te ve pāragatā loke ye pattā āsavakkhayaṃ A. III, 69.—Kāmānaṃ pariññaṃ paññāpeti Gotamo M. I, 84; cp. A. V, 64; kāme pajahati: S. I, 12=31; Sn. 704; kāmānaṃ vippahāna S. I, 47;— ye kāme hitvā agihā caranti Sn. 464;— kāmā nirujjhanti (through jhāna) A. IV, 410; kāme panudati Dh. 383=S. I, 15 (context broken), cp. kāmasukhaṃ analaṃkaritvā Sn. 59;— kāmesu anapekkhin Sn. 166=Ś I. 16 (abbrev.); S. II, 281; Sn. 857;— cp. rāgaṃ vinayetha ... Sn. 361. vivicc’eva kāmehi, aloof from sensuous joys is the prescription for all Jhāna-exercise.

Applications of these expressions: —kāmesu palāḷita A. III, 5; kāmesu mucchita S. I, 74; kāmālaye asatta S. I, 33; kāmesu kathaṃ nameyya S. I, 117; kāmesu anikīḷitāvin S. I, 9 (cp. kela); kittassa munino carato kāmesu anapekhino oghatiṇṇassa pihayanti kāmesu gathitā pajā Sn. 823 (gadhitā Nd1);— kāmesu asaññata Sn. 243;— yo na lippati kāmesu tam ahaṃ brūmi brāhmaṇaṃ Dh. 401;— Muni santivādo agiddho kāme ca loke ca anûpalitto Sn. 845; kāmesu giddha D. III, 107; Sn. 774; kāmesu gedhaṃ āpajjati S. I, 73;— na so rajjati kāmesu Sn. 161;— kāmānaṃ vasam upāgamum Sn. 315 (=kāmānaṃ āsattataṃ pāpuniṃsu SnA 325); kāme parivajjeti Sn. 768, kāme anugijjhati Sn. 769.

Character of Kāmā. The pleasures of the senses are evanescent, transient (sabbe kāmā aniccā, etc. A. II, 177), and of no real taste (appāsādā); they do not give permanent satisfaction; the happiness which they yield is only a deception, or a dream, from which the dreamer awakens with sorrow and regret. Therefore the Buddha says “Even though the pleasure is great, the regret is greater: ādīnavo ettha bhīyyo” (see k-sukha). Thus kāmā as kālikā (needing time) S. I, 9, 117; aniccā (transitory) S. I, 22; kāmā citrā madhurā “pleasures are manifold and sweet” (i.e. tasty) Sn. 50; but also appassādā bahudukkhā bahupāyāsā: quot. M. I, 91; see Nd2 71. Another passage with var. descriptions and comparisons of kāma, beginning with app’assādā dukkhā kāmā is found at J. IV, 118. —atittaṃ yeva kāmesu antako kurute vasaṃ Dh. 48;— na kahāpaṇavassena titti kāmesu vijjati appasādā dukkhā kāmā iti viññāya paṇḍito “not for showers of coins is satisfaction to be found in pleasures-of no taste and full of misery are pleasures: thus say the wise and they understand” Dh. 186; cp. M. I, 130; Vin. II, 25 (cp. Divy 224).—Kāmato jāyatī soko kāmato jāyatī bhayaṃ kāmato vippamuttassa n’atthi soko kuto bhayan ti “of pleasure is born sorrow, of pleasure is born fear” Dh. 215. ‹-› Kāmānam adhivacanāni, attributes of kāma are: bhaya, dukkha, roga, gaṇḍa, salla, saṅga, paṅka, gabbha A. IV, 289; Nd2 p. 62 on Sn. 51; same, except salla & gabbha: A. III, 310. The misery of such pleasures is painted in vivid colours in the Buddha’s discourse on pains of pleasures M. I, 85 and parallel passages (see e.g. Nd2 199), how kāma is the cause of egoism, avarice, quarrels between kings, nations, families, how it leads to warfare, murder, lasciviousness, torture and madness. Kāmānaṃ ādīnavo (the danger of passions) M. I, 85 sq. =Nd2 199, quot. SnA 114 (on Sn. 61); as one of the five anupubbikathās: K° ādīnavaṃ okāraṃ saṃkilesaṃ A. IV, 186, 209, 439;— they are the leaders in the army of Māra: kāmā te paṭhamā senā Sn. 436;— yo evamvādī ... n’atthi kāmesu doso ti so kāmesu pātavyataṃ āpajjati A. I, 266=M. I, 305 sq.

Similes.—In the foll. passage (following on appassādā bahudukkhā, etc.) the pleasures of the senses are likened to: (1) aṭṭhi-kaṅkhala, a chain of bones; ‹-› (2) maṃsapesi, a piece of (decaying) flesh;— (3) tiṇ’ukkā, a torch of grass; (4) aṅgāra-kāsu, a pit of glowing cinders;— (5) supina, a dream; (6) yācita, beggings;— (7) rukkha-phala, the fruit of a tree;— (8) asisūna, a slaughter-house;— (9) satti-sūla, a sharp stake;— (10) sappa-sira, a snake’s head, i.e. the bite of a snake at Vin. II, 25; M. I, 130; A. III, 97 (where aṭṭhisaṅkhala); Nd2 71 (leaving out No. 10). Out of this list are taken single quotations of No. 4 at D. III, 283; A. IV, 224=V. 175; No. 5 at DhA. III, 240; No. 8 at M. I, 144; No. 9 at S. I, 128=Th. 2, 58 & 141 (with khandhānaṃ for khandhāsaṃ); No. 10 as āsīvisa (poisonous fangs of a snake) yesu mucchitā bālā Th. 2, 451, and several at many other places of the Canon.

Cases used adverbially: —kāmaṃ Acc. as adv. (a) yathā kāmaṃ according to inclination, at will, as much as one chooses S. I, 227; J. I, 203; PvA. 63, 113, 176; yena kāmaṃ wherever he likes, just as he pleases A. IV, 194; Vv I. 11 (=icchānurūpaṃ VvA. 11) — (b) willingly, gladly, let it be that, usually with imper. S. I, 222; J. I, 233; III, 147; IV, 273; VvA. 95; kāmaṃ taco nahāru ca aṭṭhi ca avasissatu (avasussatu in J) sarīre upasussatu maṃsa-lohitaṃ “willingly shall skin, sinews and bone remain, whilst flesh and blood shall wither in the body” M. I, 481; A. I, 50; S. II, 28; J. I, 71, 110; —kāmasā (Instr.) in same sense J. IV, 320; VI, 181; —kāmena (Instr.) do. J. V, 222, 226; —kāmā for the love of, longing after (often with hi) J. III, 466; IV, 285, 365; V, 294; VI, 563, 589; cp. Mhv III, 18, 467. —akāmā unwillingly D. I, 94; J. VI, 506; involuntarily J. V, 237.

°kāma (adj.) desiring, striving after, fond of, pursuing, in kāma-kāma pleasure-loving Sn. 239 (kāme kāmayanto SnA 284); Dh. 83 (cp. on this passage Morris, J. P. T. S. 1893, 39—41); same explanation as prec. at DhA. II, 156; Th. 2, 506.—atthakāma well-wishing, desirous of good, benevolent J. I, 241; V, 504 (anukampakā +); sic lege for attakāmarūpā, M. I, 205, III, 155, cf. S i. 44 with ib. 75; A. II, 21; Pv IV. 351; VvA. 11 (in quotation); PvA. 25, 112; mānakāma proud S. I, 4; lābhakāma fond of taking; grasping, selfish A. II, 240; dūsetu° desiring to molest Vin. IV, 212; dhamma° Sn. 92; pasaṃsa° Sn. 825. So frequently in comb. w. inf. , meaning, willing to, wishing to, going to, desirous of: jīvitu°, amaritu°, dātu°, daṭṭhu°, dassana°, kātu°, pattu°, netu°, gantu°, bhojetu°, etc. —sakāma (-adj.) willing J. V, 295. —akāma 1. not desiring, i.e. unwilling: M. II, 181; mayhaṃ akāmāya against my wish (=mama anicchantiyā) Pv. II, 107, J. V, 121, 183, etc. 2. without desire, desireless, passionless Sn. 445. —nikkāma same Sn. 1131.

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Kama, (fr. kram, cp. Vedic krama (-°) step, in uru°, BSk. krama reprieve, Divy 505) — 1. (nt.) going, proceeding, course, step, way, manner, e.g. sabbatth’âvihatakkama “having a course on all sides unobstructed” Sdhp. 425; vaḍḍhana° process of development Bdhd 96 paṭiloma° (going) the opposite way Bdhd 106; cp. also Bdhd 107, 111. a fivefold kama or process (of development or division), succession, is given at Vism. 476 with uppattik°, pahāna°, patipattik°, bhūmik°, desanāk°, where they are illustrated by examples. Threefold applied to upādāna at Vism. 570 (viz. uppattik°, pahānak°, desanāk°) — 2. oblique cases (late and technical) “by way of going, ” i.e. in order or in due course, in succession: kamato Vism. 476, 483, 497; Bdhd 70, 103; kamena by & by, gradually Mhvs 3, 33; 5, 136; 13, 6; Dāvs. I, 30; SnA 455; Bdhd 88; yathākkamaṃ Bdhd 96.—3. (adj.) (-°) having a certain way of going: catukkama walking on all fours (=catuppāda) Pv. I, 113. (Page 188)

Pali 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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kama (कम).—a ( P) Less, wanting, short of. Used as per Ex. āṇyākama rūpayā, śērākama maṇa.

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kāma (काम).—n (karma S) An action or act, a deed. 2 A work, a business, a job. 3 Action, work, doing. 4 Applied loosely to an affair, matter, or transaction gen. 5 Need of; occasion for. Ex. sadyaḥ malā cākūcēṃ kāma nāhīṃ. 6 Use, fitness, adaptedness, serviceableness. 7 m (kāma S) Lust or carnal desire, the sexual passion. 8 The name of the Hindu Cupid. 9 S Wish or desire. 10 S One of the four (dharma, artha, kāma, mōkṣa) grand objects of the human affections and faculties; viz. the pleasures of sense. 11 ind (In Sanskrit composition.) Following one's own desire; as kāmavāda Speaking what one lists; kāmabhakṣa Eating what one likes; kāmacāra Doing whatever one chooses. 12 ind (In comp. with Sanskrit roots inflected by the affix tumun) Desirous, wishing to do; as gantukāma Wishing to go; marttukāma Wishing to die; bhōktukāma Wishing to eat. kāma kāḍhaṇēṃ g. of o. To work or use violently or roughly. 2 (Freely.) To take the conceit out of; to pose, non-plus, settle. 3 To slay or kill. kāma cōraṇēṃ To work idlingly or dawdlingly. kāma nāhīṃ g. of s. (It &c.) is of no use--no avail--no advantage--no propriety. kāmācā Useful. 2 Having work or employment; engaged for work. kāmānta kāma (karuna ghēṇēṃ-urakaṇēṃ &c.) To despatch or do work within work. kāmāntūna jāṇēṃ (To go out of use.) To become useless or unserviceable. kāmā- madhyēṃ kāma bhaja manā rāma Worship God mentally whilst in the midst of your business. kāmāsa or kāmīṃ yēṇēṃ or paḍaṇēṃ To be killed in battle. 2 also kāmāvara paḍaṇēṃ To become useful; to turn to use or advantage. 3 To become, befit, suit; to be correct and proper--actions, procedure.

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

kama (कम).—a Less, wanting, short of.

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kāma (काम).—n An action. A work. Use. Need of. m Lust. Cupid. Desire. kāma kāḍhaṇēṃ Work or use violently. kāmācā Useful. Having work. kāmāntūna jāṇēṃ Become useless.

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kamā (कमा).—Beauty, loveliness, radiance.

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Kāma (काम).—[kam-ghañ]

1) Wish, desire; संतानकामाय (saṃtānakāmāya) R.2.65, 3.67; oft. used with the inf. form; गन्तुकामः (gantukāmaḥ) desirous to go; संगात्संजायते कामः (saṃgātsaṃjāyate kāmaḥ) Bg.2.62; Ms.2.94.

2) Object of desire; सर्वान् कामान् समश्नुते (sarvān kāmān samaśnute) Ms.2.5; Bṛ. Up.1.3.28. Kaṭh. Up.1.25.

3) Affection, love.

4) Love or desire of sensual enjoyments, considered as one of the ends of life (puruṣārtha); cf. अर्थ (artha) and अर्थकाम (arthakāma).

5) Desire of carnal gratification, lust; Ms.2.214; न मय्यावेशितधियां कामः कामाय कल्पते (na mayyāveśitadhiyāṃ kāmaḥ kāmāya kalpate) Bhāg.1.22.26.

6) The god of love.

7) Name of Pradyumna.

8) Name of Balarāma.

9) A kind of mango tree.

1) The Supreme Being.

-mā Desire, wish; उवाच च महासर्पं कामया ब्रूहि पन्नग (uvāca ca mahāsarpaṃ kāmayā brūhi pannaga) Mb.3.179.2.

-mam 1 Object of desire.

2) Semen virile. [Kāma is the Cupid of the Hindu mythologythe son of Kṛṣṇa and Rukmiṇī. His wife is Rati. When the gods wanted a commander for their forces in their war with Tāraka, they sought the aid of Kāma in drawing the mind of Śiva towards Pārvatī, whose issue alone could vanquish the demon. Kāma undertook the mission; but Śiva, being offended at the disturbance of his penance, burnt him down with the fire of his third eye. Subsequently he was allowed by Śiva to be born again in the form of Pradyumna at the request of Rati. His intimate friend is Vasanta or the spring; and his son is Aniruddha. He is armed with a bow and arrows--the bow-string being a line of bees, and arrows of flowers of five different plants].

Derivable forms: kāmaḥ (कामः).

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

Kama (कम).—(m.c. for MIndic kamma, Sanskrit karma-n), action, rite: read veda-kamāpanītam (= vedakarma-apa°) Daśabhūmikasūtra.g. 29(55).2, with Rahder (see note), for text °karmā° (unmetrical(ly)).

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Kāma (काम).—nt. (so cited Sanskrit Lex. object of desire, [Boehtlingk and Roth]; according to [Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary] nt. as well as m. in Pali), (ovject of) desire: Lalitavistara 215.7 (verse) bhukta kāmāni (so Lefm. with only ms. A, the best; the others kāmān imāṃ which is bad in meter and sense and seems an attempt to ‘correct’ the form) rūpāś ca śabdāś ca…nānāvidhā.

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

Kamā (कमा).—f.

(-mā) Beauty, rediance. E. kam to desire, aṅ and ṭāp affs.

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Kāma (काम).—m.

(-maḥ) 1. Kama the Hindu Cupid or deity of love. 2. Wish, desire. 3. Balarama the brother of Krishna. 4. The mango tree. f.

(-mā) Love, desire. n.

(-maṃ) 1. Semen virile. 2. An object of desire. 3. Willingly, voluntarily. 4. A particle of assent or agreement: see kāmam. ind. (in composition.) Following one’s own desire, as kāmavāda speaking what one lists; kāmabhakṣa eating whatever one likes; kāmacāra doing whatever one chuses; in law, a child previous to the imposition of the characteristic cord is all these. E. kam to desire, ghañ aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kāma (काम).—i. e. kam + a, I. m. 1. Wish, [Rāmāyaṇa] 2, 90, 23. 2. Desire, [Indralokāgamana] 5, 61. 3. Love, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 94; 214. 4. Intention, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 9, 248. 5. A desired object, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 9, 304. 6. The god of love, [Indralokāgamana] 5, 49. Ii. acc. kāmam, adv. 1. At one’s pleasure, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 189. 2. Willingly, Mahābhārata 3, 298; [Raghuvaṃśa, (ed. Stenzler.)] 12, 75. 3. With following na, Rather than, [Hitopadeśa] i. [distich] 125; [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 9, 89. 4. Indeed, Śak. 26, 16. 5. Only, [Rāmāyaṇa] 5, 94; 21. Iii. When the latter part of a comp. adj., f. . 1. Deairing, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 37. 2. Loving, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 55, 29. 3. An infin. ending in tum drops its final before it; cf. kartukāma.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kāma (काम).—[masculine] wish, desire, longing for ([genetive], [dative], or [locative]); love, inclination, lust, pleasure; [person or personal] as the god of desire or of love; adj. —° ([especially] after an [infinitive] stem in tu) wishing for, intending to.

kāmāya or kāme according to one’s wish, out of love for or for the sake of ([genetive] or [dative]) kāmāt & kāmatas voluntarily, intentionally. kāmayā ([instrumental] [feminine]) only after brūhi & prabrūhi freely, unreservedly.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Kamā (कमा):—[from kam] f. loveliness, beauty, radiance, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

2) Kāma (काम):—[from kam] a etc. See sub voce

3) b m. ([from] √2. kam; once kāma, [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā xx, 60]), wish, desire, longing (kāmo me bhuñjīta bhavān, my wish is that you should eat, [Pāṇini 3-3, 153]), desire for, longing after ([genitive case] [dative case], or [locative case]), love, affection, object of desire or of love or of pleasure, [Ṛg-veda; Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Taittirīya-saṃhitā; Atharva-veda; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa] etc.

4) pleasure, enjoyment

5) love, especially sexual love or sensuality

6) Love or Desire personified, [Atharva-veda ix, xii, xix] (cf. [Ṛg-veda x, 129, 4]), [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Pāraskara-gṛhya-sūtra]

7) Name of the god of love, [Atharva-veda iii. 25, 1; Mahābhārata; Lalita-vistara]

8) (represented as son of Dharma and husband of Rati [Mahābhārata i, 2596 ff.; Harivaṃśa; Viṣṇu-purāṇa]; or as a son of Brahmā, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]; or sometimes of Saṃkalpa, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa vi, 6, 10]; cf. kāma-deva)

9) Name of Agni, [Sāma-veda ii, 8, 2, 19, 3; Atharva-veda; Taittirīya-saṃhitā; Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra; Śāṅkhāyana-śrauta-sūtra]

10) of Viṣṇu, [Demetrius Galanos’s Lexiko: sanskritikes, anglikes, hellenikes]

11) of Baladeva (cf. kāma-pāla), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

12) a stake in gambling, [Nārada-smṛti, nāradīya-dharma-śāstra xvi, 9]

13) a species of mango tree (= mahā-rāja-cūta), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

14) Name of a metre consisting of four lines of two long syllables each

15) a kind of bean, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

16) a particular form of temple, [Hemādri’s Caturvarga-cintāmaṇi]

17) Name of several men

18) Kāmā (कामा):—[from kāma] f. ‘wish, desire’ (only [instrumental case] kāmayā q.v.)

19) [v.s. ...] Name of a daughter of Pṛthuśravas and wife of Ayuta-nāyin, [Mahābhārata i, 3774]

20) Kāma (काम):—n. object of desire, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

21) semen virile, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

22) Name of a Tīrtha, [Mahābhārata iii, 5047]

23) mfn. wishing, desiring, [Ṛg-veda ix, 113, 11]

24) n. (ifc.) desirous of, desiring, having a desire or intention (cf. go-k, dharma-k; frequently with [infinitive mood] in tu cf. tyaktu-k.)

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.

Discover the meaning of kama in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

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