Kanakhala, aka: Kanakhāla, Kanakhalā; 5 Definition(s)

Introduction

Kanakhala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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)

Kanakhāla (कनखाल) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The presiding deity residing over the liṅga in this place (Kanakhāla) is named Rudra. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas is found in the commentary of the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śaivism
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.

Purāṇa

1a) Kanakhala (कनखल).—A sacred place on the Ganges, where Garuḍa performed tapas. Here Śiva danced with a yoginī. Bath here leads to Rudralokam.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 186. 10; 192. 11; 193. 69-71; Vāyu-purāṇa 83. 21.

1b) A tīrtha in Gaya; on its right side is Dakṣiṇamānasa.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 111. 7.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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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.

Kathā (narrative stories)

Kanakhala (कनखल) is the name of a place of pilgrimage, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara chapter III. Accordingly, “There is a sanctifying place of pilgrimage, named Kanakhala, at the point where the Ganges issues from the hills, where the sacred stream was brought down from the tableland of Mount Uśīnara by Kāñcanapāta, the elephant of the gods, having cleft it asunder.”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Kanakhala, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Kathā book cover
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Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Kanakhala (कनखल)—One of the several gaṭhas (bathing places) in the twelve forests on the banks of the Yamunā.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Vajrayāna (Tibetan Buddhism)

Kanakhalā is the name of a mahāsiddha, of which eighty-four in total are recognized in Vajrayāna (tantric buddhism). His title is “the younger severed-headed sister”. He lived somewhere between the 8th and the 12th century AD.

These mahāsiddhas (eg., Kanakhalā) are defined according to the Abhayadatta Sri (possibly Abhayākaragupta) tradition. Its textual origin traces to the 11th century caturāsiti-siddha-pravṛtti, or “the lives of the eighty-four siddhas”, of which only Tibetan translations remains. Kanakhalā (and other Mahāsiddhas) are the ancient propounders of the textual tradition of tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism.

(Source): Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayana
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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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.

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