Kundala, aka: Kuṇḍala, Kundalā; 10 Definition(s)

Introduction

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

Purāṇa

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
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Śilpaśāstra (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
Śilpaśāstra book cover
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Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

Nāṭyaśāstra (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
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
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Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

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
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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).

Pali

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.

Vajrayāna (Tibetan 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.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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
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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

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

--- OR ---

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

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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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.

Relevant definitions

Search found 26 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Makarakundala
makarakuṇḍala (मकरकुंडल).—n An ear-ring of the form of makara.
Kundalasamudra
Kuṇḍalasamudra (कुण्डलसमुद्र) is the name of an ocean (samudra) surrouding the continent of Kuṇ...
Kundaladvipa
Kuṇḍaladvīpa (कुण्डलद्वीप) is one of the continents (dvīpa) of the middle-world (madhyaloka), e...
Shankhakundala
Śaṅkhakuṇḍala (शङ्खकुण्डल):—One of the five kinds of commonly known ear-ornaments (kuṇ...
Sarpakundala
Sarpakuṇḍala (सर्पकुण्डल):—One of the five kinds of commonly known ear-ornaments (kuṇḍ...
Ratnakundala
Ratnakuṇḍala (रत्नकुण्डल):—One of the five kinds of commonly known ear-ornaments (kuṇḍ...
Patrakundala
Patrakuṇḍala (पत्रकुण्डल):—One of the five kinds of commonly known ear-ornaments (kuṇḍ...
Nakrakundala
Nakrakuṇḍala (नक्रकुण्डल):—Another name for the Makarakuṇḍala, which is a kind of comm...
Mudra
Mudrā (मुद्रा) is the alternative name of a Sanskrit metre (chandas) mentioned by Hemacandra (1...
Mani
Maṇi (मणि, “gem”) or Maṇiratna refers to the “gem jewel” and represents the fourth of the “seve...
Sagara
Sāgara (सागर) or Saptasāgara refers to the “seven oceans” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (se...
Siha
Sīha (सीह, “lion”).—The third of “fourteen dreams” of Triśalā.—The Lion appeared like a heap of...
Kula
Kūla (कूल) refers to a name-ending for place-names according to Pāṇini VI.2.129. Pāṇini also ca...
Stotra
Stotra (स्तोत्र).—[stu-ṣṭran]1) Praise, eulogium.2) A hymn of praise, panegyric; सकलगणवरिष्ठः प...
Siha Sutta
Sīha, (Vedic siṃha) 1. a lion D. II, 255; S. I, 16; A. II, 33, 245; III, 121; Sn. 72; J. I...

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