Kesa, Keśā, Keśa, Kesha: 20 definitions



Kesa means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi. 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 (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Kesh.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

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.

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)

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature

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 Bharata). Hemacandra gives these alternative names for the metres by other authorities (like Bharata), even though the number of gaṇas or letters do not differ.

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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Vagbhata’s Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita (first 5 chapters)

Keśa (केश) refers to the “long hair of the head”.—Roman, strictly speaking, denotes the short hair on the body (Tibetan: spu; a fine example is the following kha-spu, lit. “face-hair”, which stands for śmaśru, “beard”), whereas keśa signifies the long hair of the head (Tibetan: skra). This differentiation, though neglected in the original, has been re-established by the Tibetans.

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

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

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

See Kesi.

context information

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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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.

Mahayana book cover
context information

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

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

kesa : (m.) hair of the head.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's 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.

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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

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

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

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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical 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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Keśa (केश).—m. 1. Hair, [Hitopadeśa] i. [distich] 102. 2. A lion’s mane, Sch. ad [Śākuntala, (ed. Böhtlingk.)] 6.

— Comp. adj. end in the fem. in śā or śī. Añjana-, adj., f. śī, having manes as smooth as ointment, Mahābhārata 1, 8008. Bhūta-, m., and f. śī, root of sweet flag. Miśra-keśī, f. an Apsaras. Mukta- (vb. muc), adj., f. śī, one whose hair is loose, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 7, 91; Mahābhārata 1, 782. Muñja-, m. Viṣṇu. vi-, I. adj., f. śī, bald. Ii. f. śī, a small braid or dress of hair, tied up severally and then collected into the larger braid. Vyomakº, i. e. vyoman-, m. Śiva. Vi-kīrṇa- (vb. kṛ10), and vi-galita-, adj., fem. śā, with dishevelled hair, [Kumārasaṃbhava, (ed. Stenzler.)] 5, 68. Śukla-, adj. hoary-haired. Su-, adj., f. śī, having beautiful hair, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 52, 35.

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

Keśa (केश).—[masculine] (adj. —° [feminine] ā & ī) hair (of the head), mane, tail (of the Yak).

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

1) Keśa (केश):—1. keśa m. (√kliś, [Uṇādi-sūtra]; ifc. ā or ī, [Pāṇini 4-1, 54]) the hair of the head, [Atharva-veda; Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa] etc.

2) the mane (of a horse or lion), [Mahābhārata i, 8008; Śakuntalā [Scholiast or Commentator]]

3) a kind of perfume (hrīvera), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) Name of a mineral, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā lxxvii, 23]

5) Name of Varuṇa, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

6) of Viṣṇu, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) of a Daitya, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

8) of a locality, [Romakasiddhānta]

9) ([plural]) the tail (of the Bos grunniens), [Pāṇini 2-3, 36; Kāśikā-vṛtti] ([varia lectio] vāla)

10) 2. keśa n. ‘whose lord is Prajā-pati (See 3. ka)’, the lunar mansion Rohiṇī.

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

Keśa (केश):—(śaḥ) 1. m. Hair; Varuna; Vishnu; a perfume; a demon. (śī) f. A lock of hair on the crown of the head; indigo; spikenard.

[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch

Keśa (केश):—

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Keśa (केश):—

1) a) [Z. 17] beide Ausgg. lesen [Vetālapañcaviṃśati 5, 9 (4, 12)] ardhakeśa . — b) [Z. 3] lies añjana und schwarzer st. salbenglatter. — g) ein best. Mineral [Varāhamihira’s Bṛhajjātaka S. 77, 23.] — h) Nomen proprium einer Oertlichkeit [Oxforder Handschriften 339,a,8.] deśa [352,b,17.]

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Keśa (केश):—2. (2. ka + īśa) n. das unter Prajāpati stehende Nakṣatra Rohiṇī [WEBER, Nakṣ. 1, 310. 2, 368.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Sanskrit-Wörterbuch in kürzerer Fassung

Keśa (केश):—1. —

1) m. (adj. Comp. f. ā und ī) — a) Haupthaar. — b) Mähne. — c) Pl. Schweif (des Bos grunniens) [233,16.] — d) *eine Art Andropogon. — e) ein best. Mineral. — f) *Beiname — α) Varuṇa's. — β) Viṣṇu's. — g) Nomen proprium — α) *eines Daitya. — β) einer Oertlichkeit. —

2) *f. keśī — a) ein Büschel von Haaren auf dem Scheitel des Kopfes. — b) die Indigopflanze. — c) Carpopogon pruriens. — d) = bhūtakeśī eine best. Pflanze. — e) Beiname der Durgā.

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Keśa (केश):—2. n. das unter Prajāpati (ka) stehende Mondhaus Rohiṇī.

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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