Laya; 8 Definition(s)


Laya 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.

In Hinduism

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

1) Laya (लय) is a Sanskrit technical term denoting a “residence” in general, according to the lists of synonyms given in the Mayamata XIX.10-12, which is a populair treatise on Vāstuśāstra literature.

2) Laya (लय) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Triviṣṭapa, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 49. The Triviṣṭapa group contains ten out of a sixty-four total prāsādas (temples) classified under five prime vimānas (aerial car/palace), which were created by Brahmā for as many gods (including himself). This group represents temples (eg. Laya) that are to be octangular in shape. The prāsādas, or ‘temples’, represent the dwelling place of God and are to be built in towns. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vāstuśāstra book cover
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Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Laya (लय) refers to “speech-tempo”. According to the Nāṭyaśāstra, it is part of the ‘vocal representation’ (vācika), which is used in communicating the meaning of the drama and calling forth the sentiment (rasa)

2) Laya (लय) refers to one of the twenty aspects of tāla (time-measure), according to the Nāṭyaśāstrahapter chapter 28. In musical performance, tāla refers to any rhythmic beat or strike that measures musical time. It is an important concept in ancient Indian musical theory (gāndharvaśāstra) traceable to the Vedic era.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Laya (लय, “tempo”).—That which is known as completion of metres, syllables and words, is called the Laya or Māna (measure) depending on the variation of timing in Kalās [in its Tāla].

There are three kinds of Laya (tempo) such as quick (druta), medium (madhya), and slow (vilambita). This tempo is made manifest in different Mārgas of songs and playing of instruments, and it is an essential aspect (lit. the soul) of these two (i.e. singing, and playing of musical instruments). In these Mārgas there are, besides, three Yatis related to the tempo.

(Source): Natya Shastra
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).


Laya (लय).—The dissolution pertaining to Prakṛti; a state in which there is no rain for a century, famine rages and the fire of deluge consumes all spaces, accompanied by violent winds and so on. It is of four kinds; nitya, naimittika, prākṛtika, and ātyantika; deluge, when the universe merges when the guṇas are in a balanced state.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 4. (whole); Matsya-purāṇa 1. 33; Vāyu-purāṇa 5. 9.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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.

In Buddhism


laya : (m.) a brief measure of time.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Laya, (cp. Sk. laya: see līyati) 1. a brief measure of time, usually combd with other expressions denoting a short moment, esp. frequent as khaṇa laya muhutta Vin. I, 12; III, 92; A. IV, 137; cp. Dpvs. I, 16 (khaṇe khaṇe laye Buddho sabbalokaṃ avekkhati).—Vism. 136 (īsakam pi layaṃ yantaṃ paggaṇheth’eva mānasaṃ).—2. time in music, equal time, rhythm Dāvs. IV, 50; VvA. 183 (dvādasannaṃ laya-bhedānaṃ vasena pabheda). Laḷati (lal, onomat; . cp. Lat. lallo “lull”; Sk. lalallā; Gr. laλos talkative; lalέw talk; Ger. lallen. The Dhtp distinguishes 2 roots: lal (=icchā) & laḷ (=vilāsa & upasevā)) to dally, sport, sing J. II, 121 (ppr. laḷamānā); VvA. 41 (laḷantī; with kīḷati), 57 (id.).—Caus. laḷeti J. I, 362 (ppr. lāḷentā); Vism. 365; cp. upa° — pp. laḷita: see pa°. (Page 582)

(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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

laya (लय).—m f (S) Lingering and gradually fading sound of a musical instrument. 2 m A pause or rest in music. 3 Equal time in music (and in dancing, marching, or stepping). 4 Extinction, absorption, destruction through being swallowed up in or confounded with: consumption, dissipation, destruction or exhaustion through expenditure or use. 5 m n Destruction (reduction into its original state) of the Universe. See notice under utpatti or sthiti. 6 n Attention, absorbedness of mind, the mind as attent or intent. v lāga, hō.

--- OR ---

laya (लय).—a & ad (Vulgar. From laya S in the sense of Extinction or destruction, as a state suited to represent or image forth the conception of a wonderstruck and overwhelmed mind on beholding a magnitude, an extent, or a number utterly overbearing attempt at determination or computation or reasonable conjecture. laya is thus rather an interjection or an ejaculation of laboring emotion agreeing with Prodigious! monstrous! amazing! and, in Maraṭhi, akin to pralaya, anartha, ākānta, julūma &c. The word is dear to the kuṇabīmāḷī class, and is in incessant use.) Very many or very much; exceedingly numerous or abundant: also, as prefixed to an adjective, exceedingly or very; as layamōṭhā, layauñca, layalāmba.

--- OR ---

laya (लय).—f layalūṭa f (Vulgar.) Overflowing abundance; vast quantities; heaps upon heaps, lots, piles.

--- OR ---

lāya (लाय) [or लायलाय, lāyalāya].—ad & f See lahālahā.

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

laya (लय).—m Extinction. A pause in music. m n Destruction of the Universe. n Atten- tion.

--- OR ---

laya (लय).—f Overflowing abundanne.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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