Karnikara, Karṇikārā, Karṇikāra: 21 definitions


Karnikara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, biology. 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)

[«previous next»] — Karnikara in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार) refers to the “pericarp” of the lotus (paṅkaja) that sprang from the navel of Nārāyaṇa while sleeping, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.7:—“when lord Nārāyaṇa continued to sleep, an excellent lotus (paṅkaja) of huge size came out of his navel as desired by Śiva. It was many Yojanas wide and high. It had an endless stalk. The pericarp (karṇikāra) was of a brilliant hue. It was very beautiful with the brilliance of ten million suns. It was wonderful, excellent and worthy of vision containing Tattvas”.

2) Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार) is the name of a plant which is used in the worship of Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.14:—“[...] Karavīra flowers measure three times that. Scholars say that the flowers of Nirguṇḍī too measure likewise. In Karṇikāra and Śirīṣa flowers too, the same mode of calculation holds good. Ten prasthas of Bandhujīva flowers constitute a hundred thousand. [...] The devotee shall perform the worship of Śiva with different flowers after considering these modes of calculation for the fulfilment of desires if he has any or for the sake of salvation if he has no desire”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार).—A son of Jaṭāyu.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 6. 36.
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Karnikara in Shaivism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार) 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 (Karṇikāra) is named Gajādhyakṣa. 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.

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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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार) refers to a variety of maṇḍapa (halls attached to the temple), according to the Matsya-purāṇa (verses 270.1-30). The karṇikāra-maṇḍapa is to be built with 20 pillars (stambha). The Matsyapurāṇa is one of the eighteen major purāṇas dating from the 1st-millennium BCE.

Accordingly (verse 270.15-17), “These maṇḍapas (e.g., karṇikāra) should be either made triangular, circular, octagonal or with 16 sides or they are square. They promote kingdoms, victory, longevity, sons, wife and nourishment respecitvely. Temples of other shape than these are inauspicious.”

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Karnikara in Shaktism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार) is the name of a tree found in maṇidvīpa (Śakti’s abode), according to the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa 12.10. Accordingly, these trees always bear flowers, fruits and new leaves, and the sweet fragrance of their scent is spread across all the quarters in this place. The trees (e.g. Karṇikāra) attract bees and birds of various species and rivers are seen flowing through their forests carrying many juicy liquids. Maṇidvīpa is defined as the home of Devī, built according to her will. It is compared with Sarvaloka, as it is superior to all other lokas.

The Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa, or Śrīmad-devī-bhāgavatam, is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, a type of Sanskrit literature containing cultural information on ancient India, religious/spiritual prescriptions and a range of topics concerning the various arts and sciences. The whole text is composed of 18,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 6th century.

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार) is a name of a tree, according to the Śrīmatottara-tantra, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—Accordingly, “Having decided (to do this), those gods did as Brahmā suggested; (and so) having taken (this) order from them, Kāma reached Hara’s hermitage. Kāma, along with Spring, Passion (Rati) and Love (prīti), entered the forest where the Lord himself was. There were great Putrāṅga, Karṇikāra, Kadamba, Aśoka, mango, Arjuna and Campaka trees (there). (All of them) blossomed profusely due to Kāma’s arrival. These new flowers stimulated the god Hara. Gathering many (of them), the goddess come close to Hara. [...]”.

Shaktism book cover
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Karnikara in Hinduism glossary
Source: Sanskrit Literature: Karnikara

The karṇikāra is difficult to pin down with certainty. In most instances it seems to be a tree with distinctive yellow flowers that are often compared to torches or oil lamps.

karṇikāra-latāḥ phulla-kusum’-ākula-ṣaṭpadāḥ |
sa-kajjala-śikhā rejur dīpa-mālā iv’ ojjvalāḥ ||
    (Verse 1655 in the Subhashitavali, attributed to Indradatta)

“The karṇikāra tendrils with bees thronging the full blown flowers shone like blazing strings of soot-tipped lamps. ”

puṣpit-āgrāṃś ca paśy’ emān karṇikārān samantataḥ |
hāṭaka-pratisamchannān narān pīt’ambarān iva ||
    (Chapter 1 of Kiṣkhindhā Kāṇḍa of the Rāmāyaṇa – Valmīki)

“And look at these flower-tipped karṇikāras everywhere – they look like men robed in yellow and laden with golden jewellery.”

The karṇikāra also appears with red flowers at times and Kale, in his gloss on the tree’s appearance in the Ṛtusaṃhāra, notes that it can have either red or yellow flowers.

varṇa-prakarṣe sati karṇikāraṃ dunoti nirgandatayā sma cetaḥ |
prāyeṇa sāmagrya-vidhau guṇānāṃ prāṅ-mukhī viśva-sṛjaḥ pravṛttiḥ ||
    (3.26 Kumārasaṃbhava – Kālidāsa)

“For all its magnificent colour the karṇikāra troubled the mind – for it gave out no smell. The creator tends not to favour bestowing a complete set of qualities on a thing.”


The Amarakoṣa gives only two alternative names for the karṇikāra: drumotpala and parivyādha. In Monier Williams, all three are identified with the Pterospermum Acerifolium. The karṇikāra is also though identified as the Cathartocarpus Fistula. Apte says that the karṇikāra is the Cassia Fistula, which could be another name for the Carthartocarpus Fistula. The Pandanus database says that the Cassia Fistula is either āgravadha or kṛtmāla in Sanskrit, which the Amarakośa corroborates listing eight names for the tree – none of which is karṇikāra (or indeed drumotpala or parivyādha). It does not thus seem possible to say for sure that the karṇikāra is the cassia fistula, but this seems the most likely fit.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Karnikara in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

The karnikāra flower (Pterospermum acerifolium);

Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Karnikara in Buddhism glossary
Source: Google Books: Divine Stories: Divyavadana

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार) refers to a tree from the island of Uttarakuru, where trees are said to bear perpetual fruit and foliage.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Karnikara in Jainism glossary
Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार) is the name of a tree mentioned in chapter 1.4 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.—Accordingly: “[...] the deodar trees growing on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī served as tying posts (ready) without effort for the king-elephants of the army. In a moment the elephant-keepers cut with axes sprouts of the pippal-tree, of śallakī, karṇikāra, and udumbara for the elephants”.

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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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Biology (plants and animals)

[«previous next»] — Karnikara in Biology glossary
Source: Google Books: CRC World Dictionary (Regional names)

1) Karnikara in India is the name of a plant defined with Garuga pinnata in various botanical sources. This page contains potential references in Ayurveda, modern medicine, and other folk traditions or local practices.

2) Karnikara is also identified with Pavetta indica It has the synonym Ixora pavetta Roxb., nom. illeg. (etc.).

3) Karnikara is also identified with Pterospermum acerifolium It has the synonym Pentapetes acerifolia Linn. (etc.).

Example references for further research on medicinal uses or toxicity (see latin names for full list):

· Cytologia (1988)
· For. Fl. Punj. (1956)
· Genera Plantarum (1791)
· Species Plantarum (1753)
· Flora Indica, or ‘Descriptions of Indian Plants’ (1832)
· Hist. Pl. (Baillon) (1880)

If you are looking for specific details regarding Karnikara, for example extract dosage, pregnancy safety, side effects, diet and recipes, health benefits, chemical composition, have a look at these references.

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This sections includes definitions from the five kingdoms of living things: Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera. It will include both the official binomial nomenclature (scientific names usually in Latin) as well as regional spellings and variants.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Karnikara in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार).—

1) Name of a tree; Cassia fistula. The golden yellow flower of this tree has its petals bending inwards so that the flower looks like a saucer. Its stamens and style are longer than the petals and looks like so many wicks juttling out of an oil lamp. cf. Vikra.3.3. निर्भिद्योपरि कर्णिकारमुकुलान्यालीयते षट्पदः (nirbhidyopari karṇikāramukulānyālīyate ṣaṭpadaḥ) V.2.23; Ṛtusaṃhāra 6.6, 2.

2) The pericarp of a lotus.

-ram A flower of the Karṇikāra tree. (This flower, though it has an excellent colour, has no smell and hence it is not liked; cf. Kumārasambhava 3.28. :-varṇaprakarṣe sati karṇikāraṃ dunoti nirgandhatayā sma cetaḥ | prāyeṇa sāmagryavidhau guṇānāṃ parāṅmukhī viśvasṛjaḥ pravṛttiḥ ||).

Derivable forms: karṇikāraḥ (कर्णिकारः).

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

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार).—m.

(-raḥ) 1. The name of a tree, commonly Kaniyar, (Pterospermum acerifolium.) 2. A sort of Cassia, (Cassia fistula.) 3. The pericarp of a lotus. E. karṇikā an ornament of the ear, to go, aṇ affix; also with kan added karṇikāraka.

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

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार).—I. m. The name of a plant, Pterospermum acerifolium, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 21, 15. Ii. n. Its flower, [Ṛtusaṃhāra] 6, 6.

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

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार).—[masculine] [Name] of [several] plants.

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

1) Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार):—[from karṇa] mfn. ([from] karṇikā, [Boehtlingk & Roth’s Sanskrit-Woerterbuch]; karṇiṃ bhedanaṃ karoti, [Tārānātha tarkavācaspati’s Vācaspatyam, Sanskrit dictionary]), Pterospermum acerifolium, [Mahābhārata; Suśruta] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] Cathartocarpus fistula, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) [v.s. ...] n. the flower of Pterospermum acerifolium, [Ṛtusaṃhāra]

4) [v.s. ...] the pericarp of a lotus, [Hemādri’s Caturvarga-cintāmaṇi; Rājataraṅgiṇī]

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

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार):—[karṇikā+ra] (raḥ) 1. m. The name of a tree; pericarp of a lotus.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Kaṇaira.

[Sanskrit to German]

Karnikara in German

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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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Karnikara in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Karṇikāra (ಕರ್ಣಿಕಾರ):—

1) [noun] the tree Pterospermum acerifolium (= P. aceroides) of Sterculiaceae family.

2) [noun] the plant Macaranga indica of Euphorbiaceae family; Indian lotus croton.

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Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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