Kapali, Kapālī, Kapāli: 10 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Kapali means something in 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Agni Purāṇa

Kapālī (कपाली):—One of the Eleven Rudras (ekādaśa-rudra), according to the Agni-purāṇa. The Agni Purāṇa is a religious text containing details on Viṣṇu’s different incarnations (avatar), but also deals with various cultural subjects such as Cosmology, Grammar and Astrology.

Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

Kapālī (कपाली) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (e.g., Kapālī) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Kapālī (कपाली).—One of the eleven Rudras. This Rudra was the son of Sthāṇu, son of Brahmā. (Chapter 66, Ādi Parva). According to the Mahābhārata the eleven Rudras are the following: Mṛgavyādha, Sarpa, Nirṛti, Ajaikapāt, Ahirbudhnya, Pinākī, Īśvara, Kapālī, Sthāṇu, Bharga and Dahana. (See under Kapardī). The eleven Rudras are referred to in different ways in Agni Purāṇa and Viṣṇu Purāṇa.

2) Kapālī (कपाली).—Śiva. The Mahābhārata gives the following story regarding the reason for Śiva’s getting the name of Kapālī.

2) Once a great controversy arose regarding the supreme sovereignty of the three worlds between Brahmā and Viṣṇu. Then there came to their midst an effulgence of Śiva and a voice from heaven said "He who finds the source of this brilliance is the real sovereign of the three worlds". Brahmā went up to find the upper end and Viṣṇu went down to find the lower end. They travelled for a very long time without finding the end when Brahmā saw a Ketakī flower coming down. On enquiry the flower said it was coming from the origin of the brilliance and that three Brahmā deluges had elapsed since its starting from there. Brahmā took that flower and went to Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu asked Brahmā whether he had seen the end of the effulgence and Brahmā said 'yes'. Immediately the flower in the hand of Brahmā turned into the figure of Śiva and cut off one of the heads of Brahmā making five-headed Brahmā into fourheaded. The angered Brahmā cursed Śiva "May you go begging with a Kapāla (human skull) in your hand." Thus Śiva became a Kapālī. Śiva cursed Brahmā back saying "You will not be worshipped by anyone" (See under Śiva, Brahmā).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1) Kapāli (कपालि).—A name of Śiva: a Rudra.1 A Bhairava god;2 killed Gajāsura;3 Śiva had to become Kapāli for having destroyed the fifth face of Brahmā, but released through Hari's grace.4

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 25. 68; III. 3. 71; 25. 8.
  • 2) Ib. IV. 19. 79; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 15. 123.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 153. 19-68; 171. 39.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 183. 87-100.

2) Kapālī (कपाली).—A mother goddess.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 179. 16.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Kapālī (कपाली) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.3) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Kapālī) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Purana book cover
context information

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: The Yoginis of Narasimha Vyuha

Kapālī (कपाली) is the name of a Mātṛkā-Śakti created by Mahārudra in order to control the plague of demons created by Andhakāsura.—Accordingly, Andhaka-Asura tried to kidnap Umā (Devī Pārvatī), and was fiercely attacked by Mahārudra who shot arrows at him from his mahāpināka. when the arrows pierced the body of Andhakāsura, drops of blood fell to earth and from those drops, thousands of Andhakas arose. To control this plague of demons, Mahārudra created Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Kapālī] and ordered them to drink the blood of the demons and drain them dry.

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: Nrisimha matrika-mandala

Kapālī (कपाली) refers to one of the various Mātṛkā-Śaktis created by Rudra in order to destroy the clones that spawned from Andhaka’s body.—Accordingly, [...] Andhakāsura attempted to abduct Girājanandinī (Pārvatī) and thus ensued a fierce battle between Andhakāsura and the great Rudra, the Lord of Umā. Like raktabīja, every drop of blood that fell from the body of Andhaka created another Asura like him and in no time, the entire world was filled with Andhakas. To destroy the growing number of Andhakas, Rudra created innumerable Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Kapālī]. These Śaktis of immense power at once began to drink every drop of blood that flowed from the body of Andhaka, but they could still not effectively contain the emergence of more and more demons.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kapāli (कपालि).—Name of Śiva.

Derivable forms: kapāliḥ (कपालिः).

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

1) Kapālī (कपाली):—[from kapāla] f. a beggar’s bowl, [Bhartṛhari]

2) Kapāli (कपालि):—[from kapāla] m. Name of Śiva (cf. the next).

3) Kāpālī (कापाली):—[from kāpāla] f. the Embelia Ribes, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] a clever woman, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) Kāpāli (कापालि):—[from kāpāla] m. Name of a Siddha, [Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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