Kutaja, Kuṭaja, Kuta-ja: 16 definitions

Introduction

Kutaja means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali. 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

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Kuṭaja (कुटज):—One of the sixty-four Divyauṣadhi, which are powerful drugs for solidifying mercury (rasa), according to Rasaprakāśa-sudhākara (chapter 9).

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Kuṭaja (कुटज):—A Sanskrit word referring to Holarrhena antidysenterica / Wrightia antidysenterica (“Kurchi fruit”) and is used throughout Ayurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā. It is also known Kuḍaya in Prakrit, and as Kurcī or Kuḍā in the Hindi language. The word is derived from Kuṭa, which means mountain, as the tree is usually found in mountain regions.

According to the Amarakośa, the plant has the following synonyms: Śakra, Śakrāsana, Vatsaka and Girimallikā. The Amarakośa is a 4th century Sanskrit botanical thesaurus authored by Amarasiṃha. The seeds of the plant are also known by various names: Vatsakabīja, Indrayava, Śakrabīja and Bhadrayava.

According to the Mādhavacikitsā (7th century Ayurvedic work), the plant (Kuṭaja) is mentioned as a medicine used for the treatment of all major fevers, as described in the Jvaracikitsā (or “the treatment of fever”) chapter. In this work, the plant is also known by the names Indrayava, Kaliṅga, Vatsaka and Indrabīja.

Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

Kuṭaja (कुटज).—The Sanskrit name for an important Ayurvedic drug.—It is also known as Śakravṛkṣa (Indra’s tree) because of its abundance in the area of Mahendra hills in Orissa. The tree blossoms in early rains (as to welcome the monsoon) and its (barley-like) seeds are known as ‘Indrayava’. Kuṭaja is astringent, bitter, absorbent and anthelmintic and pacifies kapha and pitta. It is useful in grahaṇī disorders, bleeding piles and diarrhoea.

Source: Ancient Science of Life: Botanical identification of plants described in Mādhava Cikitsā

Kuṭaja (कुटज) (or Indrayava, Kaliṅga, Vatsaka) refers to the medicinal plant Holarrhena antidysenterica (Roth) A. DC, and is used in the treatment of atisāra (diarrhoea), according to the 7th century Mādhavacikitsā chapter 2. Atisāra refers to a condition where there are three or more loose or liquid stools (bowel movements) per day or more stool than normal.  The second chapter of the Mādhavacikitsā explains several preparations [including Kuṭaja] through 60 Sanskrit verses about treating this problem.

Note: The fruit of Kuṭaja is known as Indrayava.

Ayurveda book cover
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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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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra

Kuṭaja (कुटज) is a Sanskrit word, identified with Holarrhena antidysenterica (coral swirl) by various scholars in their translation of the Śukranīti. This tree is mentioned as having thorns, and should therefore be considered as wild. The King shoud place such trees in forests (not in or near villages). He should nourish them by stoole of goats, sheep and cows, water as well as meat. Note that Holarrhena antidysenterica is a synonym of Wrightia antidysenterica.

The following is an ancient Indian horticultural recipe for the nourishment of such trees:

According to Śukranīti 4.4.110-112: “The powder of the dungs of goats and sheep, the powder of Yava (barley), Tila (seeds), beef as well as water should be kept together (undisturbed) for seven nights. The application of this water leads very much to the growth in flowers and fruits of all trees (such as kuṭaja).”

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam

Kuṭaja (कुटज) is the name of a tree found in maṇidvīpa (Śakti’s abode), according to the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa 12.10. Accordingly, these trees always bear flowers, fruits and new leaves, and the sweet fragrance of their scent is spread across all the quarters in this place. The trees (eg. Kuṭaja) attract bees and birds of various species and rivers are seen flowing through their forests carrying many juicy liquids. Maṇidvīpa is defined as the home of Devī, built according to her will. It is compared with Sarvaloka, as it is superior to all other lokas.

The Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa, or Śrīmad-devī-bhāgavatam, is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, a type of Sanskrit literature containing cultural information on ancient India, religious/spiritual prescriptions and a range of topics concerning the various arts and sciences. The whole text is composed of 18,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 6th century.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature

Kuṭaja (कुटज) 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. Kuṭaja corresponds to Bhramara. 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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Sanskrit Literature: Kutaja

Kuṭaja, ‘born in a pitcher’, is not a obvious name for a flower. In its literal sense the word is applied to the legendary sage Agastya, who was in fact born in a pot and became famous for a variety of feats including digesting an asura and drinking the ocean.

The Kuṭaja also makes several appearances before this moment in the Rāmāyaṇa, most notably in Rāma’s description of the monsoon, when the Kuṭajas, delighted at the rain, bloom. Rāma imagines offering the small white flowers to the sun; the yakṣa in the Meghadūta uses them to propitiate his would-be messenger, the cloud.

Kuṭajas, like the Ketakī and the Kadamba, are an intrinsic part of the poetic Varṣā; the wind is always scented, and lovers garlanded, with them.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: Economic Life In Ancient India (as depicted in Jain canonical literature)

Kuṭaja (कुटज) refers to a kind of tree (vṛkṣa) commonly found in the forests (vaṇa) of ancient India, mentioned in the 1st century Uvavāiya-sutta (sanksrit: Aupapātika-sūtra). Forests have been a significant part of the Indian economy since ancient days. They have been considered essential for economic development in as much as, besides bestowing many geographical advantages, they provide basic materials for building, furniture and various industries. The most important forest products are wood and timber which have been used by the mankind to fulfil his various needs—domestic, agricultural and industrial.

Different kinds of trees (eg., the Kuṭaja tree) provided firewood and timber. The latter was used for furniture, building materials, enclosures, staircases, pillars, agricultural purposes, e. g. for making ploughs, transportation e. g. for making carts, chariots, boats, ships, and for various industrial needs. Vaṇa-kamma was an occupation dealing in wood and in various otherforest products. Iṅgāla-kamma was another occupation which was concerned with preparing charcoal from firewood.

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

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

kuṭaja : (m.) a kind of medicinal herb.

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

Kuṭaja, a kind of root (Wrightia antidysenterica or Nericum antidysentericum), used as a medicine Vin. I, 201 (cp. Vin. Texts II. 45). (Page 219)

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kuṭaja (कुटज).—

1) Name of a tree; Māl.9.15; Me.4; R.19.37; Ṛs.3.13; Bh.1.35.

2) Name of Agastya.

3) Name of Droṇa.

Derivable forms: kuṭajaḥ (कुटजः).

Kuṭaja is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms kuṭa and ja (ज).

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

Kuṭaja (कुटज).—m.

(-jaḥ) A medicinal plant, commonly Coraya, (Echites antidy- senterica, Rox.) the seeds are used as a vermifuge: see indrayava. 2. A name of the saint Agastya. 3. Also of Drona a sage and warrior: see droṇa E. kūṭa a mountain peak, and ja what is produced; the vowel of kūṭa being made short.

--- OR ---

Kūṭaja (कूटज).—m.

(-jaḥ) A medicinal plant: see kuṭaja.

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

Kuṭaja (कुटज).—[kuṭa-ja] (vb. jan), m. A medicinal plant, Wrightia antidysenterica, [Meghadūta, (ed. Gildemeister.)] 4.

--- OR ---

Kūṭaja (कूटज).—[kūṭa-ja = kuṭaja], [Rāmāyaṇa] 4, 29, 10.

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

Kuṭaja (कुटज).—[masculine] [Name] of a tree.

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

1) Kuṭaja (कुटज):—[=kuṭa-ja] [from kuṭa > kuṭ] a m. Wrightia antidysenterica (having seeds used as a vermifuge; cf. indra-yava), [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] ‘born in a pitcher’, Name of the sage Agastya (cf. [Nirukta, by Yāska v, 13 and 14]), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) [v.s. ...] of Droṇa, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [=kuṭa-ja] b m. See sub voce kuṭa.

5) Kūṭaja (कूटज):—[=kūṭa-ja] [from kūṭa] m. (= kuṭ) the tree Wrightia antidysenterica, [Rāmāyaṇa iv, 29, 10.]

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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