Pala, aka: Pāla; 16 Definition(s)


Pala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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)

Pala (पल) is a Sanskrit unit of weight corresponding to “50 grams”. It is commonly used in Rasaśāstra literature (Medicinal Alchemy) such as the Rasaprakāśasudhākara or the Rasaratna-samuccaya. Pala is a weight unit often used in various Āyurvedic recipes and Alchemical preparations.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra
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.

Ayurveda (science of life)

Pala (पल) is the Sanskrit name for a weight unit corresponding to ‘40 grams’ used in Āyurvedic literature, according to the Ṣoḍaśāṅgahṛdayam. A single Pala unit corresponds to 2 Śukti units (a single Śukti unit equals 20 grams). You need 2 Pala units to make a single Prasṛta unit (1 Prasṛta equals 80 grams). You need a 100 Pala units to make a single Tulā unit (1 Tulā equals 4 kilograms).

Below follows a table of the different weight units in relation to one another and their corresponding values in brackets:

  • Guñjā (Raktikā) = 1 seed of Guñjā
  • 8 Raktikā = 1 Māṣa (1 gram)
  • 10 Māṣa = 1 Karṣa (10 grams)
  • 2 Karṣa = 1 Śukti (20 grams)
  • 2 Śukti = 1 Pala (40 grams)
  • 2 Pala = 1 Prasṛta (80 grams)
  • 2 Prasṛta = 1 Kuḍava (Añjali) (160 grams)
  • 2 Kuḍava = 1 Śarāva (320 grams)
  • 2 Śarāva = 1 Prastha (640 grams)
  • 4 Prastha = 1 Āḍhaka (Pātra) (2.56 kilograms)
  • 4 Āḍhaka = 1 Droṇa (10.24 kilograms)
  • 4 Droṇa = 1 Droṇī (40.96 kilograms)
  • 100 Pala = 1 Tulā (4 kilograms).
(Source): Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
Ayurveda book cover
context information

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.


1) Pala (पल).—A measure of ancient times. (See under Trasareṇu).

2) Pāla (पाल).—A serpent born of the race of Vāsuki. This serpent committed suicide at the Sarpasatra of Janamejaya. (Śloka 51, Chapter 57, Ādi Parva).

(Source): Puranic Encyclopaedia

Pala (पल).—A measurement: thirteen palas make one Māgadha measure, (jalaprastha, Vāyu-purāṇa): [n.b. 40 palas make at present one Madras measure.]*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 217; Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 219; Viṣṇu-purāṇa VI. 3. 8.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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.

Kavya (poetry)

Pāla (पाल) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—In the Kāvyamīmāṃsā the words Pāla and Mañjara occur in two places. These both places appear joined together and said to be the Janapadas as well as mountains situated in the Dakṣināpatha. Therefore, these two also be taken as one word and identified with Pāla near Mahad.

(Source): Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
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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’.

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Pala (पल).—1. Latitude. 2. Unit of time equivalent to 24 seconds. Note: Pala is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

(Source): Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotiṣa (ज्योतिष, jyotisha or jyotish) basically refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents one of the six additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas. Jyotiṣa concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Pāla (पाल) is a Sanskrit word referring to ‘herdsman’. Also see avipāla, ‘shepherd ’.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

See Cullapala, Mahapala, and Cakkhupala.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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).

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Pāla (पाल) is a Prakrit ending for deriving proper personal names, mentioned as an example in the Aṅgavijjā chapter 26. This chapter includes general rules to follow when deriving proper names. The Aṅgavijjā (mentioning pāla) is an ancient treatise from the 3rd century CE dealing with physiognomic readings, bodily gestures and predictions and was written by a Jain ascetic in 9000 Prakrit stanzas.

(Source): Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions (jainism)
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.

India history and geogprahy

Pala is the name of a tank that was situated in the Upalabijaka district: a locality that existed in the ancient kingdom of Anurādhapura, Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

(Source): Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 1963

Pala (“milk”) is one of the exogamous septs (divisions) among the Malas (considered the Pariahs of the Telugu country) of the Daindla section. The Mala people are almost equally inferior in position to the Madigas and have, in their various sub-divisions, many exogamous septs (eg., Pala).

(Source): Project Gutenberg: Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 1
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.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

pala : (nt.) a certain weight (of about 4 ounces). || pāla (m.) a guard; keeper; protector.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Pala, (-°) (classical Sk. pala) a certain weight (or measure), spelt also phala (see phala2), only in cpd. sata° a hundred (carat) in weight Th. 1, 97 (of kaṃsa); J. VI, 510 (sataphala kaṃsa=phalasatena katā kañcana-pātī C.). Also in combn catuppala — tippala — dvipala — ekapala — sāṭikā Vism. 339. (Page 439)

— or —

Pāla, (-°) (fr. pā, see pāleti) a guard, keeper, guardian, protector S. I, 185 (vihāra°); J. V, 222 (dhamma°); VvA. 288 (ārāma°); Sdhp. 285. See also go°, loka°. (Page 455)

(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.

Marathi-English dictionary

pala (पल).—n (S) The sixtieth part of a ghaṭikā. Two and a half are one minute. 2 m S Terrestrial latitude.

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paḷa (पळ).—n (pala S) The sixtieth part of a ghaṭikā or the 160th part of an hour. 2 A weight of twenty-eight ḍhabū;--used in weighing butter, ghee &c.

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paḷa (पळ).—m (paḷaṇēṃ) A general flight (as of the people of a town, village, or country, of a routed army &c.) v suṭa. Also, by meton., the fleeing people. Ex. āmacyā gāṃvānta paḷa ālā āhē. 2 f A run, a wild running from. v ghē. Also a run or race; a run as struck up. v māra. 3 f C A course or channel to drain fields. paḷa kāḍhaṇēṃ To take to flight; to scamper off. 2 g. of o. To make to run or to flee. paḷa suṭaṇēṃ in. con. To fall a scampering, fleeing, or running.

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paḷā (पळा).—m ( H) A large metal ladle. paḷī f A ladle gen.

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pāla (पाल).—f (palli S) The common house-lizard.

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pāla (पाल).—n A cloth or a large blanket &c. stretched across a pole, forming a sort of tent with two sloping sides and two open ends. 2 A thick sort of cloth used as carpeting. 3 m A large fighting vessel. 4 (pallava) The tender shoots (of grass or trees). v phuṭa, nigha, yē, hō. pāla ghālaṇēṃ or māṇḍaṇēṃ To set up openly the trade of a prostitute.

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pāla (पाल) [or पालक, pālaka].—a (S) That supports, cherishes, protects. In comp. as bhūpāla, mahīpāla.

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pālā (पाला).—m (pallava S) Leaves, blades, tufts of leaves, foliage.

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pāḷa (पाळ).—n pāḷaka n A ramification of the root of a tree. 2 fig. Scattered, diffused, or outspread state (of things gen.) v ghāla, māṇḍa, pasara, paḍa. pāḷēmpāḷēṃ khaṇūna ṭākaṇēṃ g. of o. To hoist out, oust, uproost; to turn out root and branch, neck and crop.

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pāḷa (पाळ).—f (pāli S) A parapet or marginal wall (as built around wells or tanks). 2 The raised edge of the mouth of a handmill. 3 The outer and curving edge of the auricle, the helix: the lower edge of the nose &c. 4 The ring of bundles (of kaḍabā, sarama &c.) which, at thrashing time, is made around the khaḷēṃ or thrashing floor to confine the corn from being scattered: the ring (of earth, lime &c.) around the cavity wherein water is to be poured: the similar ring of the āḷēṃ or cavity around the foot of a tree: the circle of flour around a mill: the ring or crown of the glacis around a fort: an encircling line of trees, stakes, men &c.: a ring in many similar applications. 5 A furrow (as made by a rush of water).

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pāḷa (पाळ).—a Free from taxation, exempt--a beast &c.; as cāra mhaśī pāḷa āhēta. Also remitted or waved--a tax; as gharadēṇēṃ pāḷa āhē. Also released from the payment of a tax--a person or family.

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pāḷa (पाळ) [or पाळक, pāḷaka].—a (Properly pāla & pālaka) That supports, cherishes, protects, defends. Esp. in comp. as bhūpāḷa, lōkapāḷa.

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pāḷā (पाळा).—m A small wood-bill. 2 W (pāḷaṇēṃ) Obedience, keeping of commands. 3 (Poetry. pāli S) An encircling body or line. Ex. hātīṃ ghēūnī ghana- sāṃvaḷā || vrajāṅganā dharitī pāḷā. 4 An encircling body; a band, troop, party, company gen. Ex. bhūtāñcē pāḷē apāra || mandarācaḷīṃ miḷālē ||. Also a flock or herd or any assemblage or multitude. Ex. jaisē gurāñcē pāḷē bahuta || ēka gurākhī rākhīta ||. 5 Scattered or outspread state (of things in general). v ghāla, māṇḍa, pasara, pāḍa & paḍa. 6 The name of a small white-reddish sea-fish.

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

pala (पल).—n The sixtieth part of a ghaṭikā. Two and a half are one minute. m Terres- trial latitude.

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paḷa (पळ).—n The sixtieth part of a ghaṭikā. m A general flight, The feeling people paḷa kāḍhaṇēṃ To take to flight; to scamper off. To make to run or to flee. paḷa suṭaṇēṃ in con. To fall a feeling.

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paḷā (पळा).—m A large metal ladle.

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pāla (पाल).—f The common house-lizard.

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pāla (पाल).—n A piece of cloth stretched across a pole, forming a sort of tent with two sloping sides and two open ends. A thick cloth used as carpeting.

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pāla (पाल) [or pālaka, or पालक].—a That supports, protects.

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pālā (पाला).—m Leaves, foliage.

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pāḷa (पाळ).—n pāḷaka n A root of a tree. pāḷēṃ muḷēṃ khaṇūna kāḍhaṇēṃ To uproot; to turn out root and branch.

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pāḷa (पाळ).—f A parapet or marginal wall (as built around wells or tanks).

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pāḷa (पाळ).—a Free from taxation, exempt-a beast &c., as cāra mhaśī pāḷa āhēta. Remit- ted-a tax; as ghara dēṇēṃ pāḷa āhē.

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pāḷa (पाळ) [or pāḷaka, or पाळक].—a That supports, protects.

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pāḷā (पाळा).—m A small wood-bill. Obedience. An encircling body or line. A flock or herd.

(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.

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pala (पल).—[pal-ac] Straw, husk.

-lam 1 Flesh, meat.

2) A particular weight equal to four karṣas.

3) A particular measure of fluids.

4) A particular measure of time.

5) A small measure; लवणपलमिव क्षिप्तमन्तर्ह्रदस्य (lavaṇapalamiva kṣiptamantarhradasya) Nāg.5.24.

Derivable forms: palaḥ (पलः).

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Palā (पला).—The plant जटामांसी (jaṭāmāṃsī), Indian spikenard; ग्रन्थिकं च पलां चव्यं (granthikaṃ ca palāṃ cavyaṃ)...... Śiva B.3.16.

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Pāla (पाल).—1 [पाल्-अच् (pāl-ac)] A protector, guardian, keeper; as in गोपालः, वृष्णिपालः (gopālaḥ, vṛṣṇipālaḥ), &c.

2) A herdsman; विवादः स्वामि- पालयोः (vivādaḥ svāmi- pālayoḥ) Ms.8.5,229,24.

3) A kind; अहो अधर्मः पालानाम् (aho adharmaḥ pālānām) Bhāg.1.18.33.

4) A spitting-pot.

-lī 1 A herdsman's wife; Mb.5.

2) An oblong pond.

Derivable forms: pālaḥ (पालः).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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