Kanta, aka: Kānta, Kaṇṭa, Kāntā; 18 Definition(s)

Introduction

Kanta 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

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

1) Kānta (कान्त) is one of the variations of Iron (Loha), according to the Rasaprakāśasudhākara: a 13th century Sanskrit book on Indian alchemy, or, Rasaśāstra. It is considered superior to the other variations of Iron named Tīkṣṇa and Muṇḍa.

Kānta can be further divided into four variations:

  1. Romaka (obtained from mines),
  2. Bhrāmaka (obtained from mountains),
  3. Cumbaka (obtained from Vindhya hills)
  4. and Drāvaka (obtained from Himālaya hills)

2) Kānta (कान्त) or Kāntarasa is the name of an Ayurvedic recipe defined in the fourth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 2, dealing with jvara: fever). These remedies are classified as Iatrochemistry and form part of the ancient Indian science known as Rasaśāstra (medical alchemy). Pārvatīśaṅkara is an ayurveda treatment and should be taken with caution and in accordance with rules laid down in the texts.

Accordingly, when using such recipes (eg., kānta-rasa): “the minerals (uparasa), poisons (viṣa), and other drugs (except herbs), referred to as ingredients of medicines, are to be duly purified and incinerated, as the case may be, in accordance with the processes laid out in the texts.” (see introduction to Iatro chemical medicines)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Kānta (कान्त) refers to a variety of iron—an oxide of iron of which load stone is & variety (see the Rasajalanidhi by Bhudeb Mookerji volume 3)

Source: archive.org: Rasa-Jala-Nidhi: Or Ocean of indian chemistry and alchemy
Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Kāntā (कान्ता) is a synonym for Priyaṅgu, which is a Sanskrit name for a medicinal plant (Callicarpa macrophylla). It is a technical term used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Suśruta-saṃhitā. This synonym was identified by Amarasiṃha in his Amarakośa (a Sanskrit botanical thesaurus from the 4th century). It is also mentioned as a synonym in the Bhāvaprakāśa-nighaṇṭu (medicinal thesareus) authored by Bhāvamiśra 16th century.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Kaṇṭa (कण्ट) is another name for Kṣudragokṣura, a medicinal plant related with Gokṣura (Tribulus terrestris Linn.), according to verse 4.40-43 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. Note: Gokṣura is of two kinds i.e. with smaller and bigger fruits. Both these species have more than three spikes. The fourth chapter (śatāhvādi-varga) of this book enumerates eighty varieties of small plants (pṛthu-kṣupa). Together with the names Kaṇṭa and Kṣudragokṣura, there are a total of sixteen Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu
Ayurveda book cover
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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.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Kānta (कान्त) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Kailāśa, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 49. The Kailāśa group contains ten out of a sixty-four total prāsādas (temples) classified under five prime vimānas (aerial car/palace), which were created by Brahmā for as many gods (including himself). This group represents temples (eg. Kānta) that are to be globular shaped. The prāsādas, or ‘temples’, represent the dwelling place of God and are to be built in towns. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Kānta (कान्त).—One of the ten branches of the Sukarmaṇa group of devas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 88; Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 93.
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1a) Kāntā (कान्ता, “pleasing”) refers to a specific “glance” (dṛṣṭi), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. This is a type of glance that expresses the ‘erotic sentiment’ (śṛṅgārarasa). There are a total thirty-six glances defined.

(Description of Kāntā): When with a feeling of love a person contracts his eyebrows and castes a sidelong look, he is said to have a Kāntā (pleasing) Glance which has its origin in joy and pleasure. It is used in the Erotic Sentiment.

1b) Kāntā (कान्ता) is the name of a meter belonging to the Gāyatrī class of Dhruvā (songs) described in the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 32:—“the metre which has in its feet of six syllables the first, the fourth, fifth and the sixth long, is kāntā”.

2) Kānta (कान्त, “beloved”) refers to a term to be used by women in love addressing their beloved during amorous union, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24. Accordingly, “he in whose lips or other parts of the body no sign of amorous union with another woman is visible is called ‘beloved’ (kānta)”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Kānta (कान्त, “lovely”) 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.

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

Source: Wisdom Library: Saṅgītaśiromaṇi

Kānta (कान्त, “lovely”) refers to a musical expression corresponding with suśobhī (very brilliant), the tenth word of the elā composition (prabandha).—A sound is called lovely (kānta), when loveliness is accomplished in the three registers (sthāna).

Source: Google Books: Saṅgītaśiromaṇi: A Medieval Handbook of Indian Music
Natyashastra book cover
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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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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Kāntā (कान्ता) is the name of a Sanskrit metre (chandas) to which Hemacandra (1088-1173 C.E.) assigned the alternative name of Skhalita in his auto-commentary on the second chapter of the Chandonuśāsana. Hemacandra gives these alternative names for the metres by other authorities (like Bharata), even though the number of gaṇas or letters do not differ.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Kāntā (कान्ता) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Kānta forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Jñānacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the jñānacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the saṃbhoga-puṭa (‘enjoyment layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Kāntā] and Vīras are white in color; the shapes of their faces are in accordance with their names; they have four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala
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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Kānta (कान्त) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Kānta] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: archive.org: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu
General definition book cover
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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

Pali-English dictionary

Kanta in Pali glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

kanta : (adj.) pleasant; lovely; agreeable. (m.), the beloved one; husband. (pp. of kamati), gone; entered into. || kantā (f.), a woman; the wife.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Kaṇṭa, (cp. next) a thorn Miln. 351. (Page 178)

— or —

1) Kanta, 2 (pp. of kantati2, Sk. kṛtta. kanta is analogyform. after pres. kantati, regularly we should expect katta. See also avakanta. It may be simply misreading for katta, cp. Kern, Toev. under parikanta. ) cut, cut out or off Th. 2, 223 (°salla=samucchinna-rāg’—ādisalla ThA. 179) cp. katta & pari°. (Page 185)

2) Kanta, 1 (Sk. kānta, pp. of kāmeti) — 1. (adj.) in special sense an attribute of worldly pleasure (cp. kāma, kāmaguṇā): pleasant, lovely, enjoyable; frequent in form. iṭṭhā kantā manāpā, referring to the pleasures of the senses S. I, 245; II, 192; IV, 60, 158, 235 sq.; V, 22, 60, 147; A. II, 66 sq.; M. I, 85; Sn. 759; It. 15; Vbh. 2, 100, 337; bāla° (lovely in the opinion of the ignorant) Sn. 399. ‹-› D. II, 265; III, 227 (ariya°); J. III, 264; V, 447; with ref. to the fruit of action as giving pleasure: °phala Kvu 35, 211, PvA. 277 (hatthi-) k° pleasing to elephants; of manta DhA. I, 163; of vīṇā J. VI, 255, 262; DhA. I, 163.—2. beloved by, favourite of, charming J. VI, 255, 262; DhA. I, 163.—3. (n.) the beloved one, the husband J. VI, 370 (wrongly written kan tena); of a precious stone Miln. 118; Sdhp. 608, cp. suriya°, canda°-kantā (f.) the beloved one, the wife J. V, 295; kantena (Instr.) agreeably, with kind words A. II, 213; J. V, 486 (where porisādassa kante should be read as porisādassak’ante).—a° undesired, disagreeable, unpleasant, in same form as kanta, e.g. D. II, 192; in other combination J. V, 295; Vbh. 100; Nett 180; PvA. 193.—akantena with unpleasant words A. II, 213.—kantatara compar. J. III, 260.

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

kāṇṭa (कांट).—n A leech-like creature appearing in the rains. 2 f C A phāṭā or single stick of a mass of loppings (as of the bābhaḷa, bōra, mōgalī ēraṇḍa, śēra, kaṇhērī &c.) to form kumpaṇa or hedge.

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kāṇṭā (कांटा) [or काटा, kāṭā].—m (kaṇṭaka S) A thorn. 2 fig. A troublesome fellow, a pest, plague, bore, a prick in the side. 3 The tongue of a balance. 4 A balance having a tongue, esp. the balance of a shroff or goldsmith. 5 pl Erection of the hairs of the body (from fright, cold &c.), horripilation. 6 pl Eruptions or roughnesses remaining after fever. 7 pl Shivering preceding fever, rigors. 8 The sting of a scorpion. 9 The tongue or bolt (of a lock, padlock, spring, or catch), the portion which shoots out and retires. 10 The efflorescence (of the bamboo and some other plants). 11 The back-bone. 12 The cross drawn when a multiplication is to be proved. kāṇṭā karaṇēṃ To prove by this cross. 13 A disease in the throat incidental to parrots, starlings &c. 14 A quantity deducted or given on certain articles sold by weight. See under kaḍatā. 15 A rock in the sea or a river. 16 This term is applied generally to any thing resembling a thorn--to a fish bone, the rowel of a spur, the hand of a watch, the spikes or points of a rough bit, a saw &c., to a fork or prong, to bristles or stiff hairs on animals or vegetables &c. &c. 17 The congelations or crystals (of halavā or other candy). v yē, umaṭa, vaṭa, uṭha. kāṇṭā upaṭaṇēṃ g. of s. To lose one's thorn, i. e. one's troubler or trouble, one's tormentor or plague. kāṇṭā upaṭaṇēṃ g. of o. (as of a troubler &c. or of a malady.) To pluck up the very root or deepest spring of. kāṇṭā karaṇēṃ g. of o. To (esteem as a thorn and) withdraw from the company of. kāṇṭyācā nāyaṭā hōṇēṃ. (Ringworm arising from a thorn-puncture.) Expresses the rising of a great evil out of a small one. kāṇṭyānēṃ kāṇṭā kāḍhaṇēṃ To employ one hateful person or thing to destroy another.

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kānta (कांत).—f (kānti S) Lustre, gloss, glitter, brilliancy. 2 fig. Freshness, clearness, healthiness (of complexion or look). 3 fig. (Because of its glistening.) The exuvies or slough of a snake.

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kānta (कांत).—m (kātaṇa) Shavings of wood, ivory &c., under the turning lathe. 2 C (Corr. from kāṇṭha) Edge, verge, brink.

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kānta (कांत).—m (S) A husband. Abridged from lōha- kānta) The loadstone: also a calx prepared from it. Boilers &c. are made of it.

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kāntā (कांता).—f (S) A beloved or lovely woman, a mistress.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kāṇṭā (कांटा).—m A thorn. Balance. A pest. Erection of the hair of the body. The tongue (of a lock). The back-bone The hand of a watch. Congelations or crystals. kāṇṭā upaṭaṇēṃ Pluck up the very root of–any mischief or mischievous person. kāṇṭyācā nāyaṭā hōṇēṃ The rising of a great evil from a small one.

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kānta (कांत).—m A husband. f Lustre, gloss, glit ter. Shavings of wood, ivory &c. under the turning lathe. Freshness. See kānti.

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kāntā (कांता).—f A beloved or lovely woman. A mistress.

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

Kaṇṭa (कण्ट).—a. Thorny.

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Kanta (कन्त).—a. Happy.

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Kānta (कान्त).—p. p. [kam-kta]

1) Desired, favourite, loved, dear; कान्तं क्रतुं चाक्षुषम् (kāntaṃ kratuṃ cākṣuṣam) M.1.4.

2) Pleasing, agreeable; भीमकान्तैर्नृपगुणैः (bhīmakāntairnṛpaguṇaiḥ) R.1.16.

3) Lovely, beautiful; सर्वः कान्तमात्मीयं पश्यति (sarvaḥ kāntamātmīyaṃ paśyati) Ś.2.

-taḥ 1 A lover.

2) A husband; कान्तोदन्तः सुहृदुपगतः संगमात् किंचिदूनः (kāntodantaḥ suhṛdupagataḥ saṃgamāt kiṃcidūnaḥ) Me.12; Śi.1.3, 29.

3) Any beloved person.

4) The moon.

5) The spring.

6) A kind of iron.

7) A precious stone (in comp. with sūrya, candra and ayas).

8) An epithet of (1) Kārttikeya, (2) Kṛṣṇa.

-tam 1 Saffron.

2) A kind of iron.

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Kāntā (कान्ता).—

1) A beloved or lovely woman.

2) A mistress, wife in general; कान्तासखस्य शयनीयशिलातलं ते (kāntāsakhasya śayanīyaśilātalaṃ te) U.3.21; Śi.1.73.

3) The Priyaṅgu creeper.

4) Large cardamoms.

5) A kind of perfume.

6) The earth.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kanta (कन्त).—mfn.

(-ntaḥ-ntā-ntaṃ) Happy. E. kaṃ and ta aff.

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Kānta (कान्त).—mfn.

(-ntaḥ-ntā-ntaṃ) 1. Pleasing, agreeable. 2. Lovely, beautiful. 3. Dear, beloved. m.

(-ntaḥ) 1. A name of Krishna. 2. The moon. 3. A husband. 4. Spring. 5. A precious stone; in which case it is compounded with sūrya, candra or ayas, as sūryakānta a crystal lens, &c. f.

(-ntā) 1. A wife, a mistress, any beloved or lovely woman. 2. A plant, commonly Priyangu: see priyaṅgu. 3. A grass, (Cyperus pertenuis.) n.

(-ntaṃ) 1. Iron. 2. Saffron. E. kam to desire, affix kta.

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

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