Kesa, aka: Kesha, Keśā, Keśa; 11 Definition(s)


Kesa 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.

The Sanskrit terms Keśā and Keśa can be transliterated into English as Kesa or Kesha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Keśa (केश) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. XIV.8.14, XIV.8) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Keśa) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Keśā (केशा) is the alternative name of a Sanskrit metre (chandas) mentioned by Hemacandra (1088-1173 C.E.) in his auto-commentary on the second chapter of the Chandonuśāsana. Keśā corresponds to Dhū (according to Barata). 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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Kesha is a sanskrit term which means “long hair”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

See Kesi.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Kesa (केस) or Keśa refers to the “hair of the head” and is mentioned in a list of thirty-substances of the human body according to the Visuddhimagga, as mentioned in an appendix of the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 32-34. The Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra mentions thirty-six substances [viz., kesa or keśa]; the Sanskrit sources of both the Lesser and the Greater Vehicles, physical substances are 26 in number while the Pāli suttas list thirty-once substances.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

kesa : (m.) hair of the head.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Kesa, (Vedic keśa; cp. kesara hair, mane=Lat. caesaries, hair of the head, Ags. heord=E. hair) the hair of the head S. I, 115 (haṭa-haṭa-k°, with dishevelled hair); A. I, 138 (palita-kesa with grey hair; also at J. I, 59); Sn. 456 (nivutta°), 608; Th. 1, 169; J. I, 59, 138; III, 393; Miln. 26; KhA 42; Vism. 353 (in detail). The wearing of long hair was forbidden to the Bhikkhus: Vin. II, 107 sq.; 133 (cp. kesa-massu);— dark (glossy) hair is a distinction of beauty: susukāḷa-keso (of Gotama) D. I, 115; cp. kaṇha and kalyāṇa; PvA. 26.—The hair of Petas is long and dishevelled PvA. 56; Sdhp. 103; it is the only cover of their nakedness: kesehi paṭicchanna “covered only with my hair” Pv. I, 102.—kesesu gahetvā to take by the hair (in Niraya) D. I, 234;— kesaṃ oropeti to have one’s hair cut Vin. II, 133.

—oropaṇa (-satthaka) (a) hair-cutting (knife), i.e. a razor DhA. I, 431; —ohāraka one who cuts the hair, a barber Vism. 413. —kambala a hair blanket (according to Bdhgh human hair) D. I, 167=A. I, 240, 295=II. 206= Vin. I, 305=M. I, 78=Pug. 55; A. I, 286. —kambalin wearing a hair blanket (of Ajita) D. I, 55. —kalāpā (pl.) (atimanohara°) beautiful tresses PvA. 46; —kalyāṇa beauty of hair DhA. I, 387;—kārika hairdresser Vv 175; —dhātu the hair-relic (of the Buddha) J. I, 81; —nivāsin covered only with hair of Petas (: keseh’eva paṭicchā‹-› dita-kopīnā) Pv III, 16. °massu hair and beard; kappita-k°-m° (adj.) with h. and b. dressed D. I, 104; A. IV, 94; J. VI, 268. Esp. freq. in form kesa-massuṃ ohāretvā kāsāyāni vatthāni acchādetvā agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajati “to shave off hair & beard, dress in yellow robes and leave the home for the homeless state, ” i.e. renounce the world and take up the life of a Wanderer D. I, 60, 115; III, 60, 64, 76; A. I, 107; III, 386; It. 75; Pug. 57; similarly A. II, 207=Pug. 56. —sobha the splendour or beauty of the hair PvA. 46. —hattha a tuft of hair PvA. 157; VvA. 167. (Page 226)

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

kēśa (केश).—m (S) A hair: and pl the hair. Pr. hātāsa (or maṇagaṭāsa) kāya kēśa ālē? What am I superannuated and knocked up? kēśāñcyā ambāḍyā hōṇēṃ Used of the hair turning gray. suṭalēlē kēśa pāṭhīlā śaraṇa (Hairs falling loose seek refuge upon the back.) Used of or by some helpless wretch who has no alternative, but must remain as he is.

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kēsa (केस) [or केंस, kēṃsa].—m (kēśa S) A hair: also pl The hair. kēsāsa dhakkā na lāgūṃ dēṇēṃ Not to hurt a hair of the head.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kēśa (केश) [-sa, -स].—m A hair; the hair.kēsāñcyā ambāḍyā hōṇē Used of the hair turning grey.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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

Keśa (केश).—[kliśyate kliśnāti vā kliś-an lo lopaśca Uṇ 5.33]

1) Hair in general; विकीर्णकेशासु परेतभूमिषु (vikīrṇakeśāsu paretabhūmiṣu) Ku.5.68.

2) Especially, the hair of the head; केशेषु गृहीत्वा (keśeṣu gṛhītvā) or केश- ग्राहं युध्यन्ते (keśa- grāhaṃ yudhyante) Sk.; मुक्तकेशा (muktakeśā) Ms.7.91; केशव्यपरोपणादिव (keśavyaparopaṇādiva) R.3.56;2.8.

3) The mane of a horse or lion.

4) A ray of light.

5) An epithet of Varuṇa.

6) A kind of perfume.

7) An epithet of Viṣṇu.

-śī 1 A lock of hair (on the crown of the head.)

2) An epithet of Durgā.

Derivable forms: keśaḥ (केशः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Keśa (केश).—m.

(-śaḥ) 1. Hair. 2. A name of Varuna. 3. A kind of perfume: see vālā, 4. The name of a demon. 5. A name of Vishnu. f. (-śo) 1. A lock of hair on the crown of the head. 2. The indigo plant 3. Indian spikenard. E. kliś to bind, aṇ affix, and la rejected; or ka the head, and īś to rule, affix ac; again, ka water or happiness, and īśa the lord or master.

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

Search found 205 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Keśāri (केशारि).—m. (-riḥ) A tree, (Mesua ferrea.)
Muñjakeśa (मुञ्जकेश).—m. (-śaḥ) 1. Vishnu. 2. Siva. E. muñja a sort of grass, and keśa hair.
Harikeśa (हरिकेश).—m. (-śaḥ) Siva. E. hari Vishnu, ka Brahma, and īśa lord.
Keśabandha (केशबन्ध).—1) a hair-band; (virājase) मुकुटेन विचित्रेण केशबन्धेन शोभिना (mukuṭena v...
Keśapāśa (केशपाश).—m. (-śaḥ) Much or ornamented hair. f. (-śī) A lock of hair on the top of the...
Kāḷa-kesa (adj.) with glossy or shiny hair, by itself (kāḷa-kesa) rare, e.g. at J. VI, 578; ...
Chinnakeśa (छिन्नकेश).—mfn. (-śaḥ-śā-śaṃ) Shorn, shaven. E. chinna, and keśa the hair.
Vyomakeśa (व्योमकेश).—m. (-śaḥ) Siva. E. vyoma heaven, and keśa hair; also with ini poss. aff. ...
Keśagraha (केशग्रह).—m. (-haḥ) Pulling the hair. E. keśa, and graha seizing; also keśagrahaṇaṃ.
Keśakāra (केशकार).—m. (-raḥ) A sort of sugar cane. E. keśa, and kāra what makes.
Keśaveśa (केशवेश).—m. (-śaḥ) A tress or fillet of hair. E. keśa hair, and veśa ornament.
Keśapakṣa (केशपक्ष).—m. (-kṣaḥ) Much or ornamented hair. E. keśa hair, pakṣa quantity, in this ...
Keśahasta (केशहस्त).—m. (-staḥ) Much ornamented hair. E. keśa hair, and hasta here implying muc...
Jalakeśa (जलकेश).—m. (-śaḥ) 1. A plant, (Vallisneria.) E. jala, and keśa hair; spreading over t...
Citrakeśa (चित्रकेश).—[, error for cita-, see s.v. cita.]

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