Katu, aka: Kaṭu, Kātu; 6 Definition(s)


Katu 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

Ayurveda (science of life)

Pungent (Katu) increases vata and pitta, decreases kapha—Air and fire give rise to the pungent rasa whose virya is heating and vipak is pungent. The hottest of all the rasas, the pungent taste improves appetite, clears sinuses, stimulates blood circulation, and motivates the senses. The pungent rasa will taste hot and stay hot from start to finish, thereby benefiting kapha more than vata. The pungent taste, with its light and dry qualities, will aggravate pitta quickly. It is sure to balance wet, heavy kapha, but it can be too hot and dry for vata when taken in excess or paired with too many other drying foods. Vata does best when the pungent taste is combined with sour, sweet, or salty foods. Fresh ginger, hot peppers, onions, garlic, mustard, and hot spices all share the quality of pungency.

Source: Gaiam life: The Six Tastes of Ayurveda

Kaṭu (कटु) is another name for Kaṭvī, a medicinal plant possibly identified with Picrorhiza kurroa (kutki) from the Plantaginaceae or “plantain” family of flowering plants, according to verse 3.139-140 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. The third chapter (guḍūcyādi-varga) of this book contains climbers and creepers (vīrudh). Vaidyaka Śabda Sindhu identifies Kaṭvī with Kaṭukī (Picrorhiza kurroa), which on account of its laxative role does not tally with the Kaṭvī of the Raj Nighantu. Together with the names Kaṭu and Kaṭvī, there are a total of eight Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu
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.

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In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

Kaṭu (कटु, “acidic”) refers to one of the “six kinds of tastes” (rasa) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 36). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., kaṭu). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

kaṭu (कटु).—a (S) Pungent, sharp, acrid. 2 Sharply bitter. 3 fig. Offensive, keen, cutting--speech. 4 fig. Fierce or fiery: also impetuous, vehement, ardent, smart.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kaṭu (कटु).—a Pungent, sharp, acrid. Sharply bitter.

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

Kaṭu (कटु).—a. [(ṭu or ṭvī] f.)

1) Pungent, acrid; (said of a rasa or flavour; the rasas are six; madhura, kaṭu, amla, tikta, kaṣāya, and lavaṇa); कट्वम्ललवणात्युष्णतीक्ष्णरूक्षविदाहिनः । आहारा राजसस्येष्टा दुःखशोकाभयप्रदाः (kaṭvamlalavaṇātyuṣṇatīkṣṇarūkṣavidāhinaḥ | āhārā rājasasyeṣṭā duḥkhaśokābhayapradāḥ) || Bg.17.9.

2) Fragrant, exhaling strong odour; सप्तच्छदक्षीरकटुप्रवाहम् (saptacchadakṣīrakaṭupravāham) R.5.48.

3) Ill-smelling, having a bad smell.

4) (a) Bitter. This sense is found qiven to the words कटु (kaṭu) and कटुक (kaṭuka) in Prākrit and later sanskrit works; cf. अतिकटुः कारवेल्लादिः अतितीक्ष्णो मरिचादिः (atikaṭuḥ kāravellādiḥ atitīkṣṇo maricādiḥ); अमृततरङ्गिणी (amṛtataraṅgiṇī) on Bg.17.9,-नीलकण्ठ (nīlakaṇṭha) gives the same sense.

5) caustic (words); Y.3.142. (b) Disagreeable, unpleasant; श्रवणकटु नृपाणामेकवाक्यं विवव्रुः (śravaṇakaṭu nṛpāṇāmekavākyaṃ vivavruḥ) R.6.85.

6) Envious.

7) Hot, impetuous.

-ṭuḥ 1 Pungency, acerbity (one of the six flavours).

2) Name of several plants.

-ṭuḥ f. A medical plant (kaṭurohiṇī).

-ṭu n.

1) An improper action.

2) Blaming, reviling, scandal.

--- OR ---

Kātu (कातु).—A well.

Derivable forms: kātuḥ (कातुः).

Source: DDSA: The practical 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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Relevant definitions

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Kaṭugranthi (कटुग्रन्थि).—n. dried ginger; so °भङ्गः, °भद्रम् (bhaṅgaḥ, °bhadram) dried ginger ...
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Kaṭutaila (कटुतैल).—White mustard; अभ्यङ्गः कटु तैलेन निर्वातस्थानबन्धनम् (abhyaṅgaḥ kaṭu taile...
Kaṭucāturjātaka (कटुचातुर्जातक).—an aggregate of four pungent substances, as of cardamoms, the ...
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Kaṭuja (कटुज).—a. prepared from acid substances. Kaṭuja is a Sanskrit compound consisting of th...
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