Kushala, aka: Kusala, Kuśala, Kuṣala; 19 Definition(s)
Kushala 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 Kuśala and Kuṣala can be transliterated into English as Kusala or Kushala, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
Kuśala (कुशल) is the Sanskrit name of one of Bharata’s sons, mentioned in the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.26-33. After Brahmā created the Nāṭyaveda (nāṭyaśāstra), he ordered Bharata to teach the science to his (one hundred) sons. Bharata thus learned the Nāṭyaveda from Brahmā, and then made his sons study and learn its proper application. After their study, Bharata assigned his sons (eg., Kuśala) various roles suitable to them.(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Kuśala is one of the saṃyutta-hastāni (Twenty-seven combined Hands).(Source): archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
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).
1) Kuśala (कुशल).—One of the seven sons of Dyutimān, who was a son of Priyavrata, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 74.
2) Kuśala (कुशल).—One of the seven regions situated in Krauñcadvīpa, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 88. It is also known by the name Mādhava. Krauñcadvīpa is one of the seven islands (dvīpa), ruled over by Jyotiṣmān, one of the ten sons of Priyavrata.
3) Kuśala (कुशल).—One of the seven major mountains in Śālmalidvīpa, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 89. These mountains are big, yellow in colour and filled with gold. Śālmalidvīpa is one of the seven islands (dvīpa), ruled over by Dyutimān.
Priyavrata and Dyutimān are both sons of Priyavrata, who is the son of Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.
The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century. It is composed of two parts and Sūta is the main narrator.(Source): Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa
Kuśala (कुशल).—A holy place near mount Krauñca. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 21).(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
1a) Kuśala (कुशल).—A son of Dyutimat after whom Kauśala deśa came to be called.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 14. 22-24; Vāyu-purāṇa 33. 21; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 4. 48
1b) The name of the forest where Diti performed penance to get a son to slay Indra.*
- * Vāyu-purāṇa 67. 94.
1c) A class of people in Kuśadvīpa.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 20. 16.
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.
Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)
Kuśala (कुशल).—Name of a grammarian who wrote a commentary on the Kātantra Vyākaraṇa; see कातन्त्रपञ्जिक्रा (kātantrapañjikrā).(Source): Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.
Itihasa (narrative history)
Kuśala (कुशल) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. VI.10.50) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Kuśala) 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
Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)(Source): Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms
T ((That which is) good, free from fault). Proper, convenient, skilful. N Good action, benevolent deed, meritorious action.
Any positive action by means of thought, speech and body is a kusala. It does naturally beget some benefit to the one who does perform it.(Source): Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
Kusala is wholesome.(Source): Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama
'karmically wholesome' or 'profitable', salutary, morally good, (skillful)
Connotations of the term, according to Com. (Atthasālini), are: of good health, blameless, productive of favourable karma-result, skillful. It should be noted that Com. excludes the meaning 'skillful', when the term is applied to states of consciousness.
It is defined in M.9 as the 10 wholesome courses of action (s. kammapatha). In psychological terms, 'karmically wholesome' are all those karmical volitions (kamma-cetanā) and the consciousness and mental factors associated therewith, which are accompanied by 2 or 3 wholesome roots (s. mūla), i.e. by greedlessness (alobha) and hatelessness (adosa), and in some cases also by non-delusion (amoha: wisdom, understanding). Such states of consciousness are regarded as 'karmically wholesome' as they are causes of favourable karma results and contain the seeds of a happy destiny or rebirth. From this explanation, two facts should be noted:
(1) it is volition that makes a state of consciousness, or an act, 'good' or 'bad';
(2) the moral criterion in Buddhism is the presence or absence of the 3 wholesome or moral roots (s. mūla).
The above explanations refer to mundane (lokiya, q.v.) wholesome consciousness. Supermundane wholesome (lokuttara-kusala) states, i.e. the four paths of sanctity (s. ariyapuggala), have as results only the corresponding four fruitions; they do not constitute karma, nor do they lead to rebirth, and this applies also to the good actions of an Arahat (Tab. I, 73-80) and his meditative states (Tab. 1, 81-89), which are all karmically inoperative (functional; s. kiriya).
Kusala belongs to a threefold division of all consciousness, as found in the Abhidhamma (Dhs.), into
unwholesome (akusala) and
karmically neutral (avyākata),
which is the first of the triads (tika) in the Abhidhamma schedule (mātikā); s. Guide, pp. 4ff., 12ff; Vis.M. XIV, 83ff.(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
By kusala is meant (moral) "good " in the sense of destroying or disturbing contemptible states; or in the sense of wholesomeness, faultlessness, and accomplishment by skill...
The Atthasalini, in the same section (63), defines kusala as follows :
- its characteristic is that it has faultless. happy results,
- its function is the destruction of immoralities,
- its manifestation is purity.
- its proximate cause is wise attention
The Atthasalini gives a second method of defining kusala:
- its characteristic is faultlessness by being opposed to fault,
- its function is purity.
- its manifestation is desirable results,
- its proximate cause is wise attention.
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).
General definition (in Buddhism)
1) Kuśala (कुशल) or Daśakuśala refers to the “ten unwholesome things” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 56):
- prāṇātipāta (killing living creatures),
- adattādāna (taking what has not been given),
- kāmamithyācāra (sexual misconduct),
- mṛṣāvāda (false speech),
- paiśunya (malicious speech),
- pāruṣya (rough speech),
- sambhinnapralāpa (frivolous talk),
- abhidhyā (avarice),
- vyāpāda (ill-will),
- mithyādṛṣṭi (wrong view).
The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., kuśala). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.
2) Kuśala (कुशल, “wholesomeness”) or Kuśalamātsarya refers to “selfishness regarding wholesomeness” and represents one of the “five selfishnesses” (mātsarya) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 78).(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha
Sanskrit word. It means good Karma.(Source): Buddhist Door: Glossary
Languages of India and abroad
kusala : (nt.) good action; merit; virtue. (adj.), clever.(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Kusala, (adj.) (cp. Sk. kuśala) 1. (adj.) clever, skilful, expert; good, right, meritorious M. I, 226; Dh. 44; J. I, 222. Esp. appl. in moral sense (=puñña), whereas akusala is practically equivalent to pāpa. ekam pi ce pāṇaṃ aduṭṭhacitto mettāyati kusalo tena hoti It. 21; sappañño paṇḍito kusalo naro Sn. 591, cp. 523; Pv. I, 33 (=nipuṇa). With kamma=a meritorious action, in kammaṃ katvā kusalaṃ D. III, 157; Vv III, 27; Pv. I, 1011 see cpds.—ācāra-k° good in conduct Dh. 376; parappavāda° skilled in disputation Dpvs. IV, 19; magga° (and opp. amagga°) one who is an expert as regards the Path (lit. & fig.) S. III, 108; samāpatti°, etc. A. V, 156 sq.; sālittaka-payoge k° skilled in the art of throwing pot‹-› sherds PvA. 282.—In derivation k. is expld by Dhpāla & Bdhgh by kucchita and salana, viz. kucchita-salanādi atthena kusalaṃ VvA. 169; kucchite pāpadhamme salayanti calayanti kappenti viddhaṃsenti ti kusalā DhsA. 39; where four alternative derivations are given (cp. Mrs. Rh. D. , Dhs. trsl. p. lxxxii).—2. (nt.) a good thing, good deeds, virtue, merit, good consciousness (citta omitted; cp. DhsA. 162, 200, etc.): yassa pāpaṃ kataṃ kammaṃ kusalena pithīyati, so imaṃ lokaṃ pabhāseti “he makes this world shine, who covers an evil deed with a good one” M. II, 104=Dh. 173=Th. 1, 872; sukhañ ca k. pucchi (fitness) Sn. 981; Vv 301 (=ārogyaṃ); D. I, 24; J. VI, 367; Pv. I, 13 (=puñña); PvA. 75; Miln. 25.—In special sense as ten kusalāni equivalent to the dasasīlaṃ (cp. sīla) M. I, 47; A. V, 241, 274. All good qualities (dhammā) which constitute right and meritorious conduct are comprised in the phrase —kusala-dhammā Sn. 1039, 1078, expld. in extenso Nd2 s. v. See also cpd. °dhamma.—Kusalaṃ karoti to do what is good and righteous, i.e. kāyena, vācāya, manasā It. 78; cp. Dh. 53; sabba-pāpassa akaraṇaṃ kusalassa upasampadā sacittapariyodapanaṃ etaṃ Buddhānusāsanaṃ D. II, 49=Dh. 183; cp. Nett 43, 81, 171, 186. Kusalaṃ bhāveti to pursue righteousness (together with akusalaṃ pajahati to give up wrong habits) A. I, 58; IV, 109 sq.; It. 9.—akusala adj. : improper, wrong, bad; nt. : demerit, evil deed D. I, 37, 163; bālo+akusalo Sn. 879, 887; =pāpa PvA. 60, cp. pāpapasuto akatakusalo ib. 6. kusalaṃ & akusalaṃ are discussed in detail (with ref. to rūpâvacara° fivefold, to arūpâvacara° & lokuttara° fourfold, to kāmâvacara° eight & twelvefold) at Vism. 452—454.—kusalâkusala good and bad M. I, 489; S. V, 91; Miln. 25; Nett 161, 192; Dhs. 1124 sq.—sukusala (dhammānaṃ) highly skilled D. I, 180 (cp. M. II. 31).
—anuesin striving after righteousness Sn. 965; cp. kiṅkusalānuesin D. II, 151 and kiṅkusalagavesin M. I, 163 sq.; —abhisanda overflow of merit (+puñña°) A. II, 54 sq.; III, 51; 337; —kamma meritorious action, right conduct A. I, 104; 292 sq.; Ps. I, 85; II, 72 sq.; PvA. 9, 26; —cittā (pl.) good thoughts Vbh. 169—173, 184, 285 sq. , 294 sq.; —cetanā right volition Vbh. 135; —dhammā (pl.) (all) points of righteousness, good qualities of character S. II, 206; M. I, 98; A. IV, 11 sq.; V, 90 sq.; 123 sq.; Pug. 68, 71; Vbh. 105; Ps. I, 101, 132; II, 15, 230; VvA. 74, 127; —pakkha “the side of virtue, ” all that belongs to good character M. III, 77 (and a°) with adj. °pakkhika S. V, 91; —macchariya Dhs. 1122 is to be corrected to kula° instead of kusala° (meanness as regards family) cp. Nd2 on veviccha; —mūla the basis or root of goodness or merit; there are three: alobha, adosa, amoha M. I, 47, 489=A. I, 203=Nett 183; D. III, 214; Dhs. 32, 313, 981; Vbh. 169 sq. , 210; Nett 126. Cp. °paccaya Vbh. 169; °ropanā Nett 50; —vitakka good reasoning, of which there are three: nekkhamma°, avyāpāda°, avihiṃsā° D. III, 215; It. 82; Nett 126; —vipāka being a fruit of good kamma Dhs. 454; Vism. 454 (twofold, viz. ahetuka & sahetuka). —vedanā good, pure feeling Vbh. 3 sq.; cp. °saññā and °saṅkhārā Vbh. 6 sq.; Nett 126 (three °saññā, same as under °vitakkā); —sīla good, proper conduct of life M. II, 25 sq.; adj. °sīlin D. I, 115 (=DA. I, 286). (Page 223)
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.
kuśala (कुशल).—n (S) pop. kuśaḷa n Well-being, happiness, ease; state of comfort and security.
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kuśala (कुशल).—a Happy, well, that is in ease and comfort. 2 also kuśalabuddhi a Expert, skilful, clever.
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kusaḷa (कुसळ).—n The beard, awn, or bristles of grains and grasses. v bōca, śira, lāga, aḍaka, mōḍa. Pr. dusaṛyācē ḍōḷyāntalēṃ ku0 (disatēṃ) āpalyā ḍōḷyāntalēṃ musaḷa (disata nāhīṃ). Matt. vii. 3.
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kusaḷa (कुसळ).—, f (kuśaḷa) A witch or cunning woman: also a clever or skilful woman gen.(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
kuśala (कुशल).—n Well-being, happiness. a Happy.Expert.
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kusaḷa (कुसळ).—n The bristles of grains and grasses.(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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.
1) Right, proper, good, auspicious; कुशलं खलु तुभ्यमेव तद्वचनं कृष्ण यदभ्यधामहम् (kuśalaṃ khalu tubhyameva tadvacanaṃ kṛṣṇa yadabhyadhāmaham) Śi.16.41; न द्वेष्ट्यकुशलं कर्म कुशले नानुषज्यते (na dveṣṭyakuśalaṃ karma kuśale nānuṣajyate) Bg.18.1.
2) Happy, prosperous.
3) Able, skilful, clever, proficient, wellversed; कृतान्तः कुशलः पुत्र येनास्मि व्यसनीकृतः (kṛtāntaḥ kuśalaḥ putra yenāsmi vyasanīkṛtaḥ) Rām.7.54.16. with loc. or in comp.; दण्डनीत्यां च कुशलम् (daṇḍanītyāṃ ca kuśalam) Y.1.313,2.181; Ms.7.19; R.3.12.
-lam 1 Welfare, a happy or prosperous condition, happiness; पप्रच्छ कुशलं राज्ये राज्याश्रममुनिं मुनिः (papraccha kuśalaṃ rājye rājyāśramamuniṃ muniḥ) R.1.58; अव्यापन्नः कुशलमबले पृच्छति त्वाम् (avyāpannaḥ kuśalamabale pṛcchati tvām) Me.13; अपि कुशलं भवतः (api kuśalaṃ bhavataḥ) 'are you doing well' (how do you do?).
3) Cleverness, ability.
-laḥ An epithet of Śiva.
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Kuṣala (कुषल).—a. Clever, expert.(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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Kuśalamūla (कुशलमूल) refers to the “three roots of wholesomeness” as defined in the Dharma-saṃg...
Dhātukuśala (धातुकुशल).—a. skilful in working in metals, metallurgist. Dhātukuśala is a Sanskri...
Kuśalapraśna (कुशलप्रश्न).—friendly inquiry after a person's health or welfare; cf. ब्राह्मणं क...
When the citta is wholesome, kusala, all accompanying cetasikas are also kusala, even those kin...
Kuśalamātsarya (कुशलमात्सर्य) or simply Kuśala refers to the “selfishness regarding wholesomene...
Kuśalasaṅgrāha (कुशलसङ्ग्राह) or Kuśalasaṅgrāhaśīla refers to the “virtue of holding to wholeso...
hātācā-kuśaḷa (हाताचा-कुशळ).—a Expert, dexterous.
Kuśalasaṃgrāha (कुशलसंग्राह) or Kuśalasaṃgrāhaśīla refers to the “virtue of holding to wholesom...
hātācā kuśaḷa (हाताचा कुशळ).—a Skilful or clever of hand; expert, dexterous.
Aśvakuśala (अश्वकुशल).—a. skilled in managing horses. Aśvakuśala is a Sanskrit compound consist...
Mantrakuśala (मन्त्रकुशल).—a. skilled in giving advice. Derivable forms: mantrakuśalaḥ (मन्त्रक...
Prajananakuśala (प्रजननकुशल).—a. skilled in midwifery.Prajananakuśala is a Sanskrit compound co...
Nītikuśala (नीतिकुशल).—a. 1) one versed in policits, a statesman, politician. 2) prudent, wise;...
the (mental) 'karma-result of wholesome karma' (s. karma).
There are kama kusala which arise in kama bhumis. (Kama, Kusala) To differentiate kama kusala ...
Search found 71 books and stories containing Kushala, Kusala, Kuśala or Kuṣala. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
List of Mahabharata people and places (by Laxman Burdak)
Patthana Dhamma (by Htoo Naing)
Abhidhamma in Daily Life (by Nina Van Gorkom)
Cetasikas (by Nina van Gorkom)
Chapter 4 - Volition < [Part I - The Universals]
Appendix 2 - Appendix To Chapter 5 < [Appendix And Glossary]
Chapter 24 - Introduction < [Part IV - Beautiful Cetasikas]
Conditions (by Nina van Gorkom)
A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas (by Sujin Boriharnwanaket)