Lokapala, Lokapālā, Lokapāla, Loka-pala: 29 definitions


Lokapala 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

Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Lokapala in Kavya glossary
Source: archive.org: The ocean of story. vol. 8

The Lokapālas are the guardians of the four cardinal and intermediate points of the compass. They appear to be usually reckoned as

  1. Indra, guardian of the East,
  2. Agni of the South-East,
  3. Varuṇa of the West,
  4. Yama of the South,
  5. Sūrya of the South-West,
  6. Pavana or Vāyu of the North-West,
  7. Kuvera of the North,
  8. Soma or Chandra of the North-East.

Some substitute Nirṛti for Sūrya and Īśānī or Pṛthivī for Soma.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

1) Lokapāla (लोकपाल) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “guardians of the worlds”. Acording to the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.82-88, when Brahmā, Indra and all other gods went to inspect the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa) designed by Viśvakarmā, he assigned different deities for the protection of the playhouse itself, as well as for the objects relating to dramatic performance (prayoga).

As such, Brahmā assigned the Lokapālas to the protection of the sides of the main building. The protection of the playhouse was enacted because of the jealous Vighnas (malevolent spirits), who began to create terror for the actors.

2) Lokapāla is to be worshipped during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (e.g., to Lokapāla).

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Lokapāla (लोकपाल).—A generic term for the deity presiding over one of the directions: Indra for the east, Agni for the southeast. Yama for the south, Sūrya for the southwest, Varuṇa for the west, Vāyu for the northwest, Kuvera for the north, and Candra for the northeast.

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Lokapala in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Lokapāla (लोकपाल).—Indra, Agni, Yama and Varuṇa are called lokapālas. (Śloka 35, Chapter 57, Vana Parva).

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Lokapāla (लोकपाल) refers to the “guardians of the quarters”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.27 (“Description of the fraudulent words of the Brahmacārin”).—Accordingly, as Śiva (in guise of a Brahmacārin) said to Pārvatī: “[...] Leaving off the guardians of the quarters [i.e., indrādi-lokapāla] you run after Śiva. This is not well said. It is against the conventions of the world. Where you with eyes like the petals of a lotus? Where this three-eyed creature—Śiva? You are moon-faced while Śiva is five-faced. On your head the divine plaited hair shines with glossy splendour like a serpent. But Śiva has only the matted hair to boast of? [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Lokapālā (लोकपाला).—Eight in number, each with a city of his own situated in the eight cardinal points, surrounding the outskirts of Brahmā's city;1 stand in the midst of Lokāloka, on the four sides of Meru in their respective towns: EastIndia in Vasvaukasāra: South-Yama in Samyamana: WestVaruṇa in Sukha and North-Candra in Vibhāvari. These are stationed round the Mānasa lake for the protection of Dharma and progress of the world;2 an aṃśa of the Supreme Lord;3 served Tāraka as servants; beaten by Tāraka;4 served in the battle of Tripura;5 requested Soma to restore Tārā back to Bṛhaspati;6 oblations to, in rituals of digging tanks and planting gardens;7 invoked in making the 16 gifts;8 function until the Pralaya.9

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 16. 29.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 21. 28-34, 156; III. 3. 102; Matsya-purāṇa 124. 94; Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 86, 91; 111. 25.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 52. 21.
  • 4) Ib. 148. 27; 153. 183.
  • 5) Ib. 24. 5; 138. 1.
  • 6) Ib. 23. 35.
  • 7) Ib. 58. 33; 59. 10.
  • 8) Ib. 274. 41f; 285. 9; 291. 3.
  • 9) Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 155 and 205.
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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: JSTOR: Tāntric Dīkṣā by Surya Kanta

Lokapāla (लोकपाल) refers to a set of ten deities, the worship of whom forms part of the rituals performed one day before Dīkṣā: an important ritual of Śāktism described in the Śāradātilaka-tantra, chapters III-V.—Then he should worship the Lokapālas along with their attendants and their equipments, the Lokapālas mentioned being Indra, Agni, Yama, Rakṣas, Varuṇa, Pavana, Vidhu, Īśāna, Pannagādhīśa and Pitāmaha. Then he should enkindle fire on a sthaṇḍila and perform the Vaiśvadeva sacrifice. Having worshipped his deity he should offer oblations of pāyasa with Vyāhṛtis.

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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Rasashastra (Alchemy and Herbo-Mineral preparations)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Lokapāla (लोकपाल) or Lokapālarasa is the name of an Ayurvedic recipe defined in the fifth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 2, Rajayakshma: phthisis). These remedies are classified as Iatrochemistry and form part of the ancient Indian science known as Rasaśāstra (medical alchemy). However, since it is an ayurveda treatment it should be taken with caution and in accordance with rules laid down in the texts.

Accordingly, when using such recipes (e.g., lokapāla-rasa): “the minerals (uparasa), poisons (viṣa), and other drugs (except herbs), referred to as ingredients of medicines, are to be duly purified and incinerated, as the case may be, in accordance with the processes laid out in the texts.” (see introduction to Iatro chemical medicines)

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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (vastu)

Lokapāla (लोकपाल) refers to one of the hundred types of Temples (in ancient Indian architecture), according to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, an ancient Sanskrit text which (being encyclopedic in nature) deals with a variety of cultural topics such as arts, architecture, music, grammar and astronomy.—It is quite difficult to say about a definite number of varieties of Hindu temples but in the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa hundred varieties of temples have been enumerated. For example, Lokapāla. These temples are classified according to the particular shape, amount of storeys and other common elements, such as the number of pavilions, doors and roofs.

Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Lokapāla (लोकपाल):—In Hinduism the Guardians of the eight cardinal directions are called the Lokapālas or Ashta Dikpalakas. They are:

  1. Indra (east)
  2. Agni (south - east)
  3. Yama (south)
  4. Nirṛti ( South - west)
  5. Varuṇa (west)
  6. Vayu (North west)
  7. Kubera (north)
  8. Īśāna (north east)

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Lokapāla (लोकपाल).—One of the ten sub-types of gods (devas), according to Jain cosmology. The occupation of the lokapālas is to act as border-guards.

Source: archive.org: The Jaina Iconography

Lokapāla (लोकपाल) or Dikpāla refers to a class of deities who are supposed to guard the quarters.—[They are] subservient to that of the Tīrthaṃkaras, who like the Buddhas were served and cared for by the chiefs of the quarters. [...] Another feature regarding the Dikpālas, who are also called Lokapālas, is their worship as Vāstudevatās, One Śvetāmbara text makes them functioning as Kumāras, who differ very little in nature from the Gods of the quarters.

Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Lokapāla (लोकपाल) refers to one of the ten divisions of Gods, situated in the “upper World” (ūrdhvaloka), according to chapter 2.3 [ajitanātha-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.—Accordingly:—“[...] The 10 divisions of the gods are: Indras, Sāmānikas, Trāyastriṃśas, Pārṣadyas, Rakṣakas, Lokapālas, Anīkas, Prakīrṇas, Ābhiyogikas, Kilbiṣikas. [....] The Lokapālas have the place of spies for the sake of protection. [...] The Jyotiṣkas and Vyantaras do not have the Trāyastriṃśas and Lokapas”.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)

Lokapāla (लोकपाल, “custodian”) refers to one of the ten grades (ranks) of celestial beings (deva), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.4. These celestial beings (devas, gods) are of four orders /classes” and each class of celestial beings has ten grades (e.g., Lokapāla).

Who are called custodians (lokapāla)? The ‘police’ are like police who protect the citizens and their property. The ministers (trāyastriṃśa) and the custodians (lokapāla) do not exist in the peripatetic (vyantara) and stellar (jyotiṣī) celestial beings classes.

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Lokapāla (लोकपाल) refers to “world-protectors”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “I think, that doctrine, whose progress is unimpeded, has arisen for the benefit of the world of living souls in the guise of world-protectors (lokapāla). If, because of the power of the doctrine, it is not received by those whose minds are boundless, then there is not a cause for enjoyment and liberation in the three worlds”.

General definition book cover
context information

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 geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Lokapāla.—(CII 3, etc.), a guardian of one of the quarters of the world, originally conceived as four in number and later as eight. (EI 15), cf. the king called ‘the fifth Lokapāla’, the four Lokapālas (guardians of the four quarters) being originally Yama of the south, Varuṇa of the west, Kubera of the north and Vāsava of the east. In the same sense, the king was also called madhyama-loka-pāla, though madhyama-loka may also mean ‘the earth’ standing midway between the heavens and the netherworld. See Suc. Sāt., pp. 196, 202; Ep. Ind., Vol. XXXII, p. 93. Cf. Pañcama-lokapāla. M Note: lokapāla 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 mythology, zoology, 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

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

lōkapāla (लोकपाल).—m (S) pop. lōkapāḷa m A king. 2 A regent of a lok or region.

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

lōkapāla (लोकपाल) [-ḷa, -ळ].—m A king; a regent of a region.

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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Lokapāla (लोकपाल).—

1) a regent or guardian of a quarter of the world; ललिताभिनयं तमद्य भर्ता मरुतां द्रष्टुमनाः सलोकपालः (lalitābhinayaṃ tamadya bhartā marutāṃ draṣṭumanāḥ salokapālaḥ) V.2.18; R.2.75;12.89;17.78; (the lokapālas are eight; see aṣṭadikpāla).

2) a king, sovereign.

Derivable forms: lokapālaḥ (लोकपालः).

Lokapāla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms loka and pāla (पाल). See also (synonyms): lokapa.

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

Lokapāla (लोकपाल).—m.

(-laḥ) 1. A king, a sovereign. 2. A divinity who protects the regions, or the sun, moon, fire, wind, Indra, Yama, Varuna, and Kuvera. E. loka the world, pāla a cherisher; also lokapālaka .

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

Lokapāla (लोकपाल).—[loka-pāla], m. 1. A king. 2. The name of certain divinities, guardians of the world, as Indra, Soma, etc.; cf. a list of them in Wilson’s Specimens of the Theatre of the Hindus, i. 2. ed. 219, n. ad [Vikramorvaśī, (ed. Bollensen.)] [distich] 36.

--- OR ---

Lokapāla (लोकपाल).—see s. v.

Lokapāla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms loka and pāla (पाल).

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

Lokapāla (लोकपाल).—[masculine] world-protector (4 or 8); prince, king.

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

1) Lokapāla (लोकपाल):—[=loka-pāla] [from loka > lok] m. a world-protector, guardian of the w°, regent of a quarter of the w° (the Loka-pālas are sometimes regarded as the guardian deities of different orders of beings, but more commonly of the four cardinal and four intermediate points of the w°, viz. [according to] to [Manu-smṛti v, 96], 1. Indra, of the East; 2. Agni, of South-east; 3. Yama, of South; 4. Sūrya, of South-west; 5. Varuṇa, of West; 6. Pavana or Vāyu, of North-west; 7. Kubera, of North; 8. Soma or Candra of North-east; others substitute Nir-ṛti for 4 and Īśānī or Pṛthivī for 8; according to, [Dharmasaṃgraha] the Buddhists enumerate 4 or 8 or 10 or 14 Loka-pālas), [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa] etc. etc.

2) [v.s. ...] a protector or ruler of the people, king, prince, [Raghuvaṃśa; Rājataraṅgiṇī]

3) [v.s. ...] Name of various kings, [Bhadrabāhu-caritra; Colebrooke]

4) [v.s. ...] of Avalokiteśvara, [Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 198]

5) [v.s. ...] protection of the people (?), [Rāmāyaṇa]

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

Lokapāla (लोकपाल):—[loka-pāla] (laḥ) 1. m. A king, a sovereign; a divinity.

[Sanskrit to German]

Lokapala in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Lokapala in Pali glossary
Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Lokapāla refers to: (°devatā) guardian (governor) of the world, which are usually sepcified as four, viz. Kuvera (=Vessavaṇa), Dhataraṭṭha, Virūpakkha, Virūḷhaka, alias the 4 mahārājāno Pv. I, 42; J. I, 48 (announce the future birth of a Buddha).

Note: lokapāla is a Pali compound consisting of the words loka and pāla.

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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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Lōkapāla (ಲೋಕಪಾಲ):—

1) [noun] = ಲೋಕನಾಥ - [lokanatha -] 1 & 3.

2) [noun] (myth.) any of the eight regents of eight directions.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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Nepali dictionary

[«previous next»] — Lokapala in Nepali glossary
Source: unoes: Nepali-English Dictionary

Lokapāla (लोकपाल):—n. 1. regent/guardian of a quarter of the world; 2. a king; sovereign;

context information

Nepali is the primary language of the Nepalese people counting almost 20 million native speakers. The country of Nepal is situated in the Himalaya mountain range to the north of India.

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