Kundala, aka: Kuṇḍala, Kundalā; 16 Definition(s)


Kundala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Kundala in Purana glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल)—One of the Heavenly ornaments according to the Vāyu Purāṇa. Used by the Rākṣasas and by the people of the Kuru country. Bali, Lord of Pātāla, is called Kuṇḍalin.

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

1) Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल).—A serpent born in the Kaurava dynasty. It was burnt to death at the serpent yajña of Janamejaya. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 57, Verse 16).

2) Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल).—An urban region in ancient India. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 63).

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल).—The ear-ornament is known by the general name of Kuṇḍala. At least five different kinds of Kuṇḍalas are known, namely,

  1. the patrakuṇḍala,
  2. the nakrakuṇḍala (which is the same as the makarakuṇḍala),
  3. the śaṅkhapatrakuṇḍala,
  4. the ratnakuṇḍala
  5. and the sarpakuṇḍala.

It appears to be probable that in the early periouds of India civilization men and women considered it a beauty to have large ear-ornaments attached to the ear-lobes, which were often specially bored and dilated for the purpose.

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल) refers to an “ear-ring” and is classified as an ornament (ābharaṇa) for the ears (karṇa) to be worn by males, according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 23. It is of the āvedhya type, or “ornaments that are to be fixed by piercing the limbs”. It is to be worn in the lower lobe of the ear. Such ornaments for males should be used in cases of gods and kings.

Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल) also refers to a type of ornament (ābharaṇa) for the ears (karṇa) to be worn by females. Such ornaments for females should be used in cases of human females and celestial beings (gods and goddesses).

Ābharaṇa (‘ornaments’, eg., kuṇḍala) is a category of alaṃkāra, or “decorations”, which in turn is a category of nepathya, or “costumes and make-up”, the perfection of which forms the main concern of the Āhāryābhinaya, or “extraneous representation”, a critical component for a successful dramatic play.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Kundala: Daughter of the king of Devaputta. Once she was a bitch in Kakubandhakandara and a samanera, Tissa, had given her a little food. Later, when Tissa was on his way to the Bodhi tree (in Gaya) she saw him, and, remembering her past existence, invited him to the palace and entertained him. Later she built a vihara for him, where he attained arahantship. Ras.i.103f.

2. An arahant. He came of a brahmin family of Savatthi and entered the Order, but from want of mental balance he could not concentrate his thoughts. Then, one day, while begging for alms, he saw how men conducted water whither they wished by digging channels, how the fletcher fixed the arrow shaft in his lathe surveying it from the corner of his eye, how the chariot makers planed axle and tire and hub. Dwelling on these things, he soon attained arahantship.

In the past he was a park keeper, and gave a coconut to the Buddha Vipassi, which the Buddha accepted while travelling through the air (ThagA.i.71f). Perhaps he is to be identified with Nalikeradayaka Thera of the Apadana (ii.447f). The same Apadana verses, however, are also ascribed to Khitaka Thera (ThagA.i.315f). The verse attributed to Kundala in the Theragatha (Thag.19) occurs twice in the Dhammapada, and is in the Dhammapada Commentary mentioned as having been preached once in reference to Pandita Samanera (DhA.ii.147), and once in reference to Sukha Samanera (DhA.iii.99).

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल) refers to “earrings” and represents one of the five mudrās (tantric ornaments) of Vajravārāhī, according to the Abhisamayamañjarī. These mudrās are depicted upon Vajravārāhī’s body and are all made of human bone. They are made to represent the five signs of kāpālika observance.

Source: Google Books: Vajrayogini
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल) is the shorter name of Kuṇḍaladvīpa, one of the continents (dvīpa) of the middle-world (madhyaloka) which is encircled by the ocean named Kuṇḍalasamudra (or simply Kuṇḍala), according to Jain cosmology. The middle-world contains innumerable concentric dvīpas and, as opposed to the upper-world (adhaloka) and the lower-world (ūrdhvaloka), is the only world where humans can be born.

Kuṇḍala is recorded in ancient Jaina canonical texts dealing with cosmology and geography of the universe. Examples of such texts are the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapannatti and the Trilokasāra in the Digambara tradition.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Kuṇḍala] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: archive.org: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu
General definition book cover
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Kundala in Pali glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

kuṇḍala : (nt.) an earring; a curl.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Kuṇḍala, (cp. kuṇḍa, orig. bending, i.e. winding) a ring esp. earring A. I, 254=III, 16; J. IV, 358 (su° with beautiful earrings); DhA. I, 25. Frequent as maṇi°, a jewelled earring Vin. II, 156; S. I, 77; M. I, 366; Pv. II, 950; sīha° or sīhamukha° an earring with a jewel called “lion’s mouth” J. V, 205 (=kuñcita), 438. In sāgara° it means the ocean belt Miln. 220=J. III, 32 (where expl. as sāgaramajjhe dīpavasena ṭhitattā tassa kuṇḍalabhūtaṃ). Cp. also rajju° a rope as belt VvA. 212.—kuṇḍalavatta turning, twisting round D. II, 18 (of the hair of a Mahāpurisa). (Page 220)

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

Kundala in Marathi glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

kuṇḍala (कुंडल).—n (S) An ear-ring. 2 A ring or circle (of metal &c.)

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kuṇḍalā (कुंडला).—m (kuṇḍala S) A bowl of stone or earth (for grinding snuff &c.)

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kuṇḍalā (कुंडला).—m A bowl of stone or earth.

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

Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल).—[kuṇḍa-matvarthe la]

1) An ear-ring; श्रोत्रं श्रुतेनैव न कुण्डलेन (śrotraṃ śrutenaiva na kuṇḍalena) Bh.2.71; Ch. P.11; Ṛs.2.2,3.19; R.11.15.

2) A bracelet; Śi.6.27.

3) The coil of a rope.

4) A fetter, tie, collar.

Derivable forms: kuṇḍalaḥ (कुण्डलः), kuṇḍalam (कुण्डलम्).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल).—(1) (nt.) coil (of rope): Jm 23.11 anyatra rajju-kuṇḍalād dātrāc caikasmāt; see next (1); (2) in LV 276.22 nīla-mṛdu-kuṇḍala-jāta-pradakṣiṇa-nandyā- [Page186-a+ 71] varta-kācilindika-sukhasaṃsparśaiś ca tṛṇair, the word kuṇḍala (vv.ll. kuntala, kuṇṭaka) is obscure; it is omitted from the cpd. in Foucaux's Tibetan; a late Sanskrit Lex. records the meaning thick for kuṇṭaka; this meaning would fit here but there is no other support for a word kuṇṭaka. On the other hand, perhaps kuṇḍala-jāta-means simply curling (of blades of grass, tṛṇa); compare kuṇḍalaka (2) -jāta, of hair; Foucaux's Note p. 167, bottom, actually cites this form of the cpd. as the reading of one ms., but adds that Tibetan indicates a reading kuśa-jāta (of this his Tibetan text and its transl. contain no trace); curling seems to me a curious epithet to be applied to grass; (3) (compare Sanskrit Lex. id. = pāśa), a ring as a kind of fetter: Gv 353.12, see s.v. kaṭaka; (4) m., n. of a form of a mendicant, created magically by Māra to obstruct Buddha: Mv i.270.13.

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Kuṇḍalā (कुण्डला).—n. of a yakṣiṇī: Mv i.253.1.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Kuṇḍala (कुण्डल).—n.

(-laṃ) 1. An earring. 2. A bracelet. 3. A fetter, a tie, a collar. f. (-lī) 1. Mountain ebony: see kāñcana. 2. Guruchi, a plant, (Menispermum glabrum.) see guḍūcī. 3. Cowach. E. kuḍi to preserve, kalac aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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

Search found 34 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Makarakuṇḍala (मकरकुण्डल).—an ear-ring in the shape of a Makara; हेमाङ्गदलसद्- बाहुः स्फुरन्मकर...
Kuṇḍalasamudra (कुण्डलसमुद्र) is the name of an ocean (samudra) surrouding the continent of Kuṇ...
Kuṇḍaladvīpa (कुण्डलद्वीप) is one of the continents (dvīpa) of the middle-world (madhyaloka), e...
Śaṅkhakuṇḍala (शङ्खकुण्डल):—One of the five kinds of commonly known ear-ornaments (kuṇ...
Sarpakuṇḍala (सर्पकुण्डल):—One of the five kinds of commonly known ear-ornaments (kuṇḍ...
Ratnakuṇḍala (रत्नकुण्डल):—One of the five kinds of commonly known ear-ornaments (kuṇḍ...
Patrakuṇḍala (पत्रकुण्डल):—One of the five kinds of commonly known ear-ornaments (kuṇḍ...
Mṛṣṭakuṇḍala (मृष्टकुण्डल).—a. wearing bright earrings. Mṛṣṭakuṇḍala is a Sanskrit compound con...
Nakrakuṇḍala (नक्रकुण्डल):—Another name for the Makarakuṇḍala, which is a kind of comm...
Kuṇḍalapura (कुण्डलपुर) is situated in Damoha District. According to the Tiloyapaṇṇati of Yativ...
Mudrā (मुद्रा) of three kinds, as defined in the ‘mantra-utpatti’ chapter of the 9th-century Va...
Maṇi (मणि).—(in Pali n. of a yakkha), (1) n. of a kiṃnara-king: Kv 3.3; (2) n. of a yakṣa: Māy ...
Sagara.—(IE 7-1-2), confused with sāgara and rarely used to indicate ‘seven’. Note: sagara is d...
Kaṭaka (कटक).—mn. (-kaḥ-kaṃ) 1. The side or ridge of a hill or mountain. 2. Table land. 3. Sea-...
Kula.—(LL), Jain; a particular section of the Jains. Cf. udhad8īyā-jhumpad8īya-kula (LP), ‘farm...

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