Loha: 21 definitions


Loha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India, 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

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

1) Loha (लोह) is a synonym for the Sanskrit word Dhātu, translating to “metal”, a term often used in Rasaśāstra literature (eg. the Rasaprakāśasudhākara).

2) Loha (लोह, “Iron”) is the name for a variation of ‘metal’ (dhātu/loha) from the sub-group named Pūtiloha, according to the Rasaprakāśasudhākara: a 13th century Sanskrit book on Indian alchemy, or, Rasaśāstra.

Iron has 3 main varieties:

  1. Kānta,
  2. Tīkṣṇa,
  3. Muṇḍa
Source: Indian Journal of History of Science: Rasaprakāśa-sudhākara, chapter 4-5

The three main varieties of Loha (iron) are:

  1. Kānta (further subdivided in Romaka, Bhrāmaka, Cumbaka and Drāvaka),
  2. Tīkṣṇa
  3. and Muṇḍa .

These three are inferior in colour and properties strictly in preceeding order i.e. tīkṣṇa is inferior to kānta and muṇḍa to tīkṣṇa. It has been claimed by the experts.

Niruttha-loha-bhasma used internally mixed with vyosa (trikaṭu powder), vella (veḍaṅga) cūrṇa, madhu, and ghee in a dose of one taṅka (3 māṣakas–3gms) prevent jarā (old age), mṛtyu (death) and vyādhi (diseases), it gives putras (male child) to both the sexes and cures the diseases caused due to the effect of old age of the persons, as said by experts.

Source: PMC: Therapeutic potentials of metals in ancient India

Loha or Ayasa (Iron) is another metal known during the period of Charaka; it was used in different dosage forms named Curna, Vati, Avaleha, Varti, Asavarishta etc. Rasa Shastra classics explain that Loha is par excellence a rejuvenator as it stimulates functional activity of all the organs, promotes life, strength, destroys a number of diseases, and acts as a restorative. The utility of this metal in therapeutics was only identified modern medicine in the first half of the 17th century, when its salts were recognized as the best haematenics. According to descriptions in Rasa Vagbhata, there are three varieties of Loha viz. Munda, Tikshna and Kanta, the latter being the best variety to use.

Different formulations of ‘Loha’ are useful in a wide range of diseases: Sula, Arsha, Gulma, Pliha Roga, Yakrit Roga, Ksaya, Pandu, Kamala etc. Normal dose levels given for ‘Loha Bhasma’ are 30 mg. to 240 mg.

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

Loha (लोह) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “aloe”, a species of plant from the Thymelaeaceae family of flowering plants, and is used throughout Ayurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā. The official botanical name is Aquilaria agallocha (synonyms: Aquilaria malaccensis and Aquilaria secundaria) and is commonly referred to in English as the “Agarwood” among others. Aquilaria has been used to enhance cerebral function, balance the mind/body connection and the nervous system

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Loha (लोह).—An Asura. When the Pāṇḍavas were living incognito they kept their weapons in a secret place. Availing of this opportunity Loha made an attack on the Pāṇḍavas. At once the devas made him blind and thus helped the Pāṇḍavas. That place later became famous as Lohaṇapura. (Skanda Purāṇa 1, 2, 65)

2) Loha (लोह).—An ancient place of India. Arjuna conquered this place during his victory march. (Śloka 25, Chapter 27, Sabhā Parva).

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Loha (लोह) or Lauha refers to “metal”, representing a type of material for construction of a Liṅga, according to the Śivapurāṇa 1.22 while explaining the importance of the partaking of the Naivedya of Śiva:—“[...] in regard to Bāṇaliṅga, metallic Liṅga [viz., Loha-liṅga], Siddhaliṅga and Svayambhūliṅga and in all other idols, Caṇḍa, one of the attendants of Śiva, is not authorised. Where Caṇḍa is not authorised, the food-offering can be partaken of by men with devotion. But no man shall partake of the food-offering where Caṇḍa is authorised. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Loha (लोह).—The sixth hell under the earth.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 2. 150, 182-5; Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 149.

1b) The loadstone attracting iron, illustrative of the supreme spirit attracting one who meditates on it.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa VI. 7. 30.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Loha (लोह) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. II.24.24, IX.44.70) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Loha) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Purana book cover
context information

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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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga

Lohā is one of the eighty-four Siddhas associated with eighty-four Yogic postures (āsanas), according to popular tradition in Jodhpur, Rājasthān. These posture-performing Siddhas are drawn from illustrative sources known as the Nava-nātha-caurāsī-siddha from Vȧrāṇasī and the Nava-nātha-caruāsī-siddha-bālāsundarī-yogamāyā from Puṇe. They bear some similarity between the eighty-four Siddhas painted on the walls of the sanctum of the temple in Mahāmandir.

The names of these Siddhas (eg., Lohā) to 19th-century inscription on a painting from Jodhpur, which is labelled as “Maharaja Mansing and eighty-four Yogis”. The association of Siddhas with yogis reveals the tradition of seeing Matsyendra and his disciple Gorakṣa as the founders of haṭhayoga.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

Loha (लोह) refers to “metal”, representing materials used for the making of images (Hindu icons), as defined in the texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The materials listed in the Āgamas for the making of images are wood, stone, precious gems, metals, terracotta, laterite, earth, and a combination of two or three or more of the materials specified above. Icons are made from the mixture of pañca-loha (five metals), namely, copper, gold, silver, brass and white lead. The materials recommended in the śilpaśāstra for the fashioning of images are unburnt clay, burnt clay as in brick or terracotta, sudhā (a special kind of mortar/plaster), composite earth, wood, stone, metal (loha), ivory, dhātu (mineral), pigment, and precious stones. Wood is considered superior to earth, stone as better than wood, metal (loha) better than stone, and precious stone is the most preferred of all. In case of loha (metal) icons, gold is accorded the first place, second comes silver, then copper.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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

Loha (लोह) refers to “iron”: a metal that was typically mined, extracted and used (both domestic and industrial) in ancient India. Mining was an important industry at that time as well. It is also known as Ayas. The Jaina canonical texts mention about the extraction of various kinds of minerals, metals (eg., loha) and precious stones. The term ‘āgara’ occurring intire texts denotes the mines which provided many kinds of mineral products. The references in the texts of various professions and trade in metallic commodities clearly show a highly developed industry of mining and metallurgy in that period.

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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Loha.—cf. so-loha-lavaṇa-akara (IE 8-5), ‘together with mines of metals and salt pits [the right of which normally belonged to the king]’. Note: loha is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

loha : (nt.) metal; copper.

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

Loha, (nt.) (Cp. Vedic loha, of Idg. *(e)reudh “red”; see also rohita & lohita) metal, esp. copper, brass or bronze. It is often used as a general term & the individual application is not always sharply defined. Its comprehensiveness is evident from the classification of loha at VbhA. 63, where it is said lohan ti jātilohaṃ, vijāti°, kittima°, pisāca° or natural metal, produced metal, artificial (i.e. alloys), & metal from the Pisāca district. Each is subdivided as follows: jāti°=ayo, sajjhaṃ, suvaṇṇaṃ, tipu, sīsaṃ, tambalohaṃ, vekantakalohaṃ; vijāti°=nāga-nāsika°; kittima°=kaṃsalohaṃ, vaṭṭa°, ārakūṭaṃ; pisāca°=morakkhakaṃ, puthukaṃ, malinakaṃ, capalakaṃ, selakaṃ, āṭakaṃ, bhallakaṃ, dūsilohan. The description ends “Tesu pañca jātilohāni pāḷiyaṃ visuṃ vuttān’eva (i.e. the first category are severally spoken of in the Canon). Tambalohaṃ vekantakan ti imehi pana dvīhi jātilohehi saddhiṃ sesaṃ sabbam pi idha lohan ti veditabbaṃ. ” — On loha in similes see J. P. T. S. 1907, 131. Cp. A. III, 16=S. V, 92 (five alloys of gold: ayo, loha, tipu, sīsaṃ, sajjhaṃ); J. V, 45 (asi°); Miln. 161 (suvaṇṇam pi jātivantaṃ lohena bhijjati); PvA. 44, 95 (tamba°=loha), 221 (tatta-loha-secanaṃ pouring out of boiling metal, one of the five ordeals in Niraya).

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

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

lōha (लोह).—n S Iron, crude or wrought. 2 m Abridged from lōhabhasma. A medicinal preparation from rust of iron.

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

lōha (लोह).—n Iron. lōhacumbaka m The loadstone. A term for a perseveringly importu- nate applicant; also for a churlish, miserly fellow.

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Loha (लोह).—a.

1) Red, reddish.

2) Made of copper, coppery.

3) Made of iron; भ्रमतश्च वराहस्य लोहस्य प्रमुखे समम् (bhramataśca varāhasya lohasya pramukhe samam) Mb.1. 135.23.

-haḥ, -ham 1 Copper.

2) Iron.

3) Steel.

4) Any metal; वस्तून्योषधयः स्नेहा रसलोहमृदो जलम् (vastūnyoṣadhayaḥ snehā rasalohamṛdo jalam) Bhāg.2. 6.24.

5) Gold; यथा सौम्यैकेन लोहमणिना (yathā saumyaikena lohamaṇinā) Ch. Up.6.1.5.

6) Blood.

7) A weapon; अद्भ्योऽग्निर्त्रह्मतः क्षत्रमश्मनो लोह- मुत्थितम् (adbhyo'gnirtrahmataḥ kṣatramaśmano loha- mutthitam) Ms.9.321.

8) A fish-hook.

-haḥ The red goat; कालशाकं महाशल्काः खड्गलोहामिषं मधु (kālaśākaṃ mahāśalkāḥ khaḍgalohāmiṣaṃ madhu) Ms.3.272.

-ham Aloewood.

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

Loha (लोह).—mn.

(-haḥ-haṃ) 1. Iron, either crude or wrought. 2. Steel. 3. Any metal. 4. A weapon. 5. Aloe-wood or Agallochum. 6. Blood. m.

(-haḥ) A red coloured goat. f.

(-hā) 1. Red, redish. 2. Made of copper or iron. E. to cut, aff. ha .

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

Loha (लोह).—i. e. luh, instead of rudh (see rudhira), + a, I. m. and n. 1. Iron, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 9, 321; [Pañcatantra] 100, 23 (cf. my transl.). 2. Steel. 3. Any metal, [Hitopadeśa] i. [distich] 92, M.M. 4. A weapon. 5. A fish-hook, Kām. Nītis. 1, 44. 6. Blood. 7. Aloe-wood. Ii. m. An iron-coloured kid, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 272.

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

Loha (लोह).—[adjective] reddish, of copper or iron. [masculine] [neuter] reddish metal, copper, also iron & metal i.[grammar]; [neuter] an iron vessel.

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

1) Loha (लोह):—mfn. ([probably] [from] a √ruh for a lost √rudh, ‘to be red’; cf. rohi, rohiṇa etc.) red, reddish, copper-coloured, [???; Mahābhārata]

2) made of copper, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa] ([Scholiast or Commentator])

3) made of iron, [Kauśika-sūtra]

4) m. n. red metal, copper, [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā] etc. etc.

5) m. (in later language) iron (either crude or wrought) or steel or gold or any metal

6) a weapon, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) a fish-hook, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

8) blood, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

9) the red goat (cf. lohāja), [Gautama-dharma-śāstra; Manu-smṛti; Yājñavalkya]

10) ([probably]) a kind of bird, [Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa]

11) Name of a man [gana] naḍādi

12) ([plural]) Name of a people, [Mahābhārata]

13) n. any object or vessel made of iron, [Kāvya literature]

14) aloe wood, Agallochum, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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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