Mekhala, Mekhalā: 22 definitions


Mekhala 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.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

Mekhalā (मेखला)—One of the Heavenly ornaments according to the Vāyu Purāṇa. A brahmacārin in the Tretā age was expected to use mekhalā. Śiva is called muñja-mekhalin (i.e., havin a girdle made of muñja grass).

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Mekhala (मेखल).—(mekala) Mekhala was a country which had attained Purāṇic fame in ancient India. The inhabitants of this place were called Mekhalas. They were the bodyguards of Bhīṣma. (Chapter 51, Bhīṣma Parva). They formed a separate division in the army of Bṛhannala, King of Kosala. (Chapter 87, Bhīṣma Parva). Once Karṇa conquered this country. (Śloka 8, Chapter 4, Droṇa Parva). Mekhalas were Kṣatriyas formerly. But they became persons of low caste when they showed jealousy towards the brahmins. (Śloka 17, Chapter 35, Anuśāsana Parva).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Mekhalā (मेखला).—A Śakti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 36. 76.

1b) The shrine of Śārṅgadhara in Meghakara.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 22. 41.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Mekhalā (मेखला) refers to the name of a Lady mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.45.10). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Mekhalā) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Purana book cover
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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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Mekhala (मेखल) 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. Mekhala) 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.

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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Mekhalā (मेखला) refers to a “girdle of eight strings” and is a type of ornament (ābharaṇa) for the hips (śroṇī) to be worn by females, according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 23. Such ornaments for females should be used in cases of human females and celestial beings (gods and goddesses).

Ābharaṇa (‘ornaments’, eg., mekhalā) is a category of alaṃkāra, or “decorations”, which in turn is a category of nepathya, or “costumes and make-up”, the perfection of which forms the main concern of the Āhāryābhinaya, or “extraneous representation”, a critical component for a successful dramatic play.

Natyashastra book cover
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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).

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Yakṣiṇī-sādhana in the Kakṣapuṭa tantra

Mekhalā (मेखला) is the name of one of the thirty-six Yakṣiṇīs mentioned in the Uḍḍāmareśvaratantra. In the yakṣiṇī-sādhana, the Yakṣiṇī is regarded as the guardian spirit who provides worldly benefits to the practitioner. The Yakṣiṇī (eg., Mekhalā) provides, inter alia, daily food, clothing and money, tells the future, and bestows a long life, but she seldom becomes a partner in sexual practices.

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous (M) next»] — Mekhala in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Mekhalā (मेखला) is the wife of Yaśaskara, a Brāhman from Śobhāvatī, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 104. Accordingly, as a young Brāhman said to Naravāhanadatta: “... in it [Śobhāvatī] there was a wise and rich Brāhman, of the name of Yaśaskara, who had offered many sacrifices, and he had an excellent wife named Mekhalā. I was born to them as an only son, when they were already in middle life, and I was in due course reared up by them, and invested with the sacrificial thread”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Mekhalā, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

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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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu

Mekhalā (मेखला) refers to the “middle part” of a mountain (giri) according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia). The Dharaṇyādi-varga covers the lands, soil, mountains [viz., Mekhalā], jungles and vegetation’s relations between trees and plants and substances, with their various kinds.

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu

Mekhalā (मेखला) is another name for Pṛśniparṇī, a medicinal plant identified with Uraria picta Desv. from the Fabaceae or “legume” family of flowering plants, according to verse 4.37-39 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. The fourth chapter (śatāhvādi-varga) of this book enumerates eighty varieties of small plants (pṛthu-kṣupa). Together with the names Mekhalā and Pṛśniparṇī, there are a total of twenty-four Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

The city of birth of Sumana Buddha and the scene of his first sermon to Sarana and Bhavitatta (Bu.v.21; BuA.125f). It was there that Mangala Buddha converted his chief disciples, Sudeva and Dhammasena (BuA.120). Revata Buddha once preached there to an assembly of one thousand crores of people (BuA.134), while later, King Uggata built, for Sobhita Buddha, the Dhammaganarama in the same city (BuA.139).

context information

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).

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayana

Mekhalā is the name of a mahāsiddha, of which eighty-four in total are recognized in Vajrayāna (tantric buddhism). His title is “the elder severed-headed sister”. He lived somewhere between the 8th and the 12th century AD.

These mahāsiddhas (eg., Mekhalā) are defined according to the Abhayadatta Sri (possibly Abhayākaragupta) tradition. Its textual origin traces to the 11th century caturāsiti-siddha-pravṛtti, or “the lives of the eighty-four siddhas”, of which only Tibetan translations remains. Mekhalā (and other Mahāsiddhas) are the ancient propounders of the textual tradition of tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous (M) next»] — Mekhala in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

mekhalā : (f.) a girdle for women.

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

Mekhalā, (f.) (cp. Vedic mekhalā) a girdle J. V, 202, 294 (su°, adj.); VI, 456; ThA. 35; KhA 109; DhA. I, 39; PvA. 46. (Page 540)

Pali book cover
context information

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

mēkhalā (मेखला).—f (S) pop. mēkhaḷā f A triple zone or string worn round the loins by the three first classes of Hindus. 2 A woman's gridle or zone. 3 A string or chain fastened to the hilt of a sword. 4 A sort of cloak or body-garment without sleeves. See kaphanī.

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

mēkhalā (मेखला) [-ḷā, -ळा].—f A woman's girdle. A sort of cloak.

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

Mekhalā (मेखला).—1 A belt, girdle, waist-band, zone in general (fig. also); anything which girds or surrounds; मही सागरमेखला (mahī sāgaramekhalā) 'the sea-girt earth'; रत्नानुविद्धार्णवमेखलाया दिशः सपत्नी भव दक्षिणस्याः (ratnānuviddhārṇavamekhalāyā diśaḥ sapatnī bhava dakṣiṇasyāḥ) R.6.63; Ṛs.6.3.

2) Particularly, the girdle or zone of a woman; नितम्बबिम्बैः सदुकूलमेखलैः (nitambabimbaiḥ sadukūlamekhalaiḥ) Ṛs. 1.4,6; R.8.64; मेखलागुणैरुत गोत्रस्खलितेषु बन्धनम् (mekhalāguṇairuta gotraskhaliteṣu bandhanam) Ku.4.8.

3) The triple girdle worn by the first three castes; मौञ्जी त्रिवृत् समा श्लक्ष्णा कार्या विप्रस्य मेखला । क्षत्रियस्य तु मौर्वी ज्या वैश्यस्य शणतान्तवी (mauñjī trivṛt samā ślakṣṇā kāryā viprasya mekhalā | kṣatriyasya tu maurvī jyā vaiśyasya śaṇatāntavī) || Ms.2.42.

4) The slope of a mountain (nitamba); आमेखलं संचरतां घनानाम् (āmekhalaṃ saṃcaratāṃ ghanānām) Ku.1.5; Me.12.

5) The hips.

6) A sword-belt.

7) A sword-knot or string fastened to the hilt.

8) The girth of a horse.

9) Name of the river Narmadā.

1) The cords or lines drawn round an alter; विधिना विहिते कुण्डे मेखलागर्तवेदिभिः (vidhinā vihite kuṇḍe mekhalāgartavedibhiḥ) Bhāg.11.27.36.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Mekhala (मेखल).—n. of a pupil of 1 Dharma (4): Laṅk 365.3 f.

--- OR ---

Mekhalā (मेखला).—n. of a yakṣiṇī: Mmk 564.26; 566.9.

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

Mekhalā (मेखला).—f.

(-lā) 1. A woman’s girdle or zone. 2. A sword-knot, a string or chain fastened to the hilt, and in fighting bound round the wrist to secure the weapon. 3. A sword-belt. 4. The slope of a mountain. 5. The Narmada river. 6. The sacrificial string of a Brahmana when made of deer-skin. 7. A sort of figure, made on the four sides of the hole in which sacrificial fire is offered. 8. A triple zone or string worn round the loins by the three first classes; the girdle of the Brahmana should be of the fibres of the Munja or of Kuśa grass, that of the Kshetriya of a Murva, and that of the Vaiśya of a thread of the Sana, &c. 9. The girth of a horse. 10. The hips. E. mi to scatter, khalac aff., deriv. irr.

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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