Kanta, aka: Kānta, Kaṇṭa, Kāntā; 14 Definition(s)


Kanta 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

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
context information

Rasaśāstra (रसशास्त्र, rasashastra) 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.

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
Ayurveda book cover
context information

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.

Vāstuśāstra (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
Vāstuśāstra book cover
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Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.


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
Purāṇa book cover
context information

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.

Nāṭyaśāstra (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
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
context information

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

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.

In Buddhism


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; freq. 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 combn J. V, 295; Vbh. 100; Nett 180; PvA. 193.—akantena with unpleasant words A. II, 213.—kantatara compar. J. III, 260.

—bhāva the state of being pleasant DA. I, 76; VvA. 323. (Page 185)

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

Languages of India and abroad

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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