Pitta, Pītta: 33 definitions


Pitta means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Jainism, Prakrit, Hindi, biology. 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Pitt.

In Hinduism

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Pitta (पित्त, “bile”) refers to one of the three doors of the Santānabhuvana triangle, according to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—The Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā identifies this triangle with the whole of the Western Tradition (paścimāmnāya), as the House of the Moon (candragṛha). It is also called Candrapurī as is the Triangle described in chapter three of the Kumārikākhaṇḍa. But note that although they are similar, they are not the same. Both are made up of a series of triads. The one described in the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā has a few more compared to the one described in the Kumārikākhaṇḍa, namely, the doorkeepers, Bhairavas, doors [i.e., Pitta], and bolts.

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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu

Pitta (पित्त) refers to one of the three doṣas (the other being Vāta and Kapha), according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga), verses 67-68. Accordingly, “the substances, which alleviate vāta, are good digestive and appetizers. Similarly, a drug which alleviates kapha, is also appetizer and slightly digestive stimulant. But, a drug reducing the action of pitta, is not a good digestive. A substance which is heavy (guru), śīta, vīrya and anti-pitta, will aggravate vāta-doṣa. Similarly, a substance which is light, uṣṇa, vīrya, anti-vāta, will alleviate kapha and increase pitta-doṣa”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Pitta (पित्त) refers to one of the three Doṣas (tridoṣa), representing the “fire element” of the human body. It is used throughout Ayurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Suśruta-saṃhitā. The three doṣas are three bodily humors, which when in balance, sustain perfect human health. According to Dṛḍhabala, Pitta-doṣa is situated in the hṛdaya (cardiac region). The quantum of Pitta-doṣa fluctuates during youthful age, midday and midnight and food under digestion. It also fluctuates according to the different seasons: during during monsoon (varṣā) it accumulates, during autumn (śarada) it aggrevates and during pre-winter (hemanta) it pacifies. It is important to keep track of these fluctuations in order to prevent seasonal disorders.

Source: Google Books: Exploring Mantric Ayurveda

Pitta – Fire or Bile, composed of Fire and Water (see Tridosha).

Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

Pitta (पित्त):—The word ‘pitta’ is derived from the verb-root ‘tapa’ meaning ‘to heat’, thus pitta is concerned with various physiological functions relating to agni (heat). Digestion of food, body-heat, thirst and hunger, vision, lustre, cheerfulness and intellect—these are normal functions of Pitta. Pitta represents fire-principle and as such is concerned with processes of conversion, consumption and other chemical changes taking place in the living body.

Causes of aggravation:—Pitta is aggravated by excessive intake of pungent, sour, hot and irritant substances, anger, sun-heat, during digestion, midday, midnight, in youtful age and autumn season.

Symptoms:—Aggravated Pitta causes excessive perspiration, burning sensation, pyrexia, loss of consciousness, thirst, yellowishness in skin, eye, urine etc.

Treatment:—Vāta, Pitta and Kapha should be treated with eliminative therapy (known as ‘pañcakarma’). Thereafter they should be pacified with prescribed measures relating to diet, drug and activity. Pitta gets pacified with sweets, bitters and astringents, friendly consolation, intake and sprinkling cold water.

Source: Google Books: A Practical Approach to the Science of Ayurveda

Pitta (पित्त).—One of the three biological humors (tridoṣa).—Pitta is responsible for all aspects of heat, light and color in the body. The one that generates heat in the body is called pitta. Pitta is a source of thermal energy in the body. Sometimes pitta is translated as bile, which is one important aspect of its functions.

Pitta-doṣa regulates the enzymes and hormones in the body. It is responsible for digestion and metabolism. Whatever is ingested as food and the oxygen we breathe in are converted to body constituents (doṣas, dhātus and malas) by the action of pitta.

There are five types of pitta on the basis of location and function:

  1. pācaka (located in the lower part of the stomach and central part of the small intestine),
  2. rañjaka (located in the red blood cells, liver, spleen and stomach),
  3. sādhaka (located in the heart),
  4. ālocaka (located in the eyes),
  5. bhrājaka (located in the skin).
Source: archive.org: Sushruta samhita, Volume I

The Pittam owes its origin to the bodily heat (Āgneya)

Source: Easy Ayurveda: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Pitta can be checked by not consuming foods which are hot, spicy, rich in salt and sour tastes, avoiding excess exposure to heat and fire, keeping away from anger and extremes of emotion and stress, managing spring season and summer etc – This will prevent the further inflammatory process taking place in the joints, bones, soft tissues, tendons and nerves and help in recovery process

Source: Cogprints: Concepts of Human Physiology in Ayurveda

Pitta performs the activities like digestion, metabolism, production of heat and that is why it is called ‘Agni’ meaning ‘Fire’. For all practical purposes, ‘Agni’ and ‘Pitta’ are to be considered as identical entities (Suśrutasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 21/9, Carakasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 12/11). ‘Agni’ itself is present in the body in the form of Pitta. When it is normal, it performs the functions like maintenance of normal digestion, normal vision, normal body temperature, normal complexion, valor, happiness and nutrition. When it is abnormal, all these functions also will be abnormal (Carakasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 12/11). Other functions of endocrine system are described under the functions of ‘Pitta’.

Formation of Bilirubin: Byproduct of metabolism of ‘Rakta’ is ‘Pitta’. (Carakasaṃhitā Cikitsāsthāna 15/18). This ‘Pitta’ is Bilirubin, the product of hemoglobin metabolism. This is formed in the monocyte- macrophage system, mainly in the spleen.

Hyperbilirubinemia: When the ‘Pitta’ exceeds its normal levels, there is manifestation of symptoms like yellowish discoloration of feces, urine, eyes and skin (Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 11/7). When the total serum bilirubin level exceeds 2mg/dl, usually there is manifestation of clinical jaundice.

Source: Hand book of domestic medicine: Basic principles of Āyurveda

The word Pitta is derived from the root ‘Tapa’ which means heat (Santāpa). This Doṣa is responsible for digestion and metabolism of the body. It is of 5 types viz.

  1. Pācaka Pitta,
  2. Rañjaka Pitta,
  3. Bhrājaka Pitta,
  4. Ālocaka Pitta
  5. and Sādhaka Pitta.
Source: gurumukhi.ru: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Pitta (पित्त):—One of the three bodily Doṣas that is responsible for digestion and metabolism in the body. It is situated in umbilicus, stomach, sweat, lymph, blood, watery fluids of the body, eye and skin. It is predominant of Agni mahābhūta. Its attributes are: Sasneha (slightly unctuous), Tīkṣṇa (sharp), Uṣṇa (hot), Laghu (light), Visra (of pungent odour), Sara (flowing) and Drava (liquid). Pitta is of five types: Pācaka, Ālocaka, Raṅjaka, Bhrājaka and Sādhaka.

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa

1) Pītta (पीत्त) refers to one of the sixteen varieties of Maṇḍalī snakes, according to the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā: an ancient Sanskrit text from the Pāñcarātra tradition dealing with both Tantra and Viṣacikitsā—an important topic from Āyurveda which deals with the study of Toxicology (Viṣavidyā or Sarpavidyā).—Kāśyapa sources his antidotes from a multitude plants, a few minerals, salts and animal products available in nature. All these plants fall under various groups called gaṇas, as pronounced by the Ayurvedic Nigaṇṭus.

Symptoms of Pītta snake-bite: Pitta predominates causing profuse sweating, hiccup and unconciousness

Treatment of Pītta snake-bite: A drink prepared from butter, curd, salt, honey and Kaṭutraya is the generic treatment for Maṇḍalī snakes. Cooked Kadamba mixed with ghee and water must be consumed. White sesame also helps in alleviating this poison. Paste made out of ginger, pepper, long pepper, and salt in equal measures mixed with butter , when applied , forms an efficacious antidote.

2) Pitta (पित्त) refers to the “bile” (of certain animals), used as an ingredient in the treatment (cikitsā) of immobile or plant poison (sthāvaraviṣa), according to the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā.—Sage Kāśyapa recommends potent drugs to treat sthāvara or plant-poison. According to the Kāśyapasaṃhitā (8.29-30), “The bile (pītta) of pigeon, monkey, cat, iguana, mongoose, boar, and peacock, mixed with honey and stored in cow’s horn can effectively cure snake and plant poisons when used as nasal application,ointment, and so on”.

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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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Pitta (पित्त) refers to the “heat (in water)”, according to the Haṭhapradīpikā 3.96-98.—Accordingly, “Having discarded the first flow of water because of its excessive heat (pitta) and the last flow because it is worthless, [the Yogin] should use the middle flow [which is] cool. In the Khaṇḍakāpālika sect, this is [called] Amarolī. If he regularly drinks the [middle flow called] Amarī; snorts [it] everyday and correctly practices Vajrolī Mudrā [in order to draw it up his urethra], it is called Amarolī. He should mix the lunar fluid which is emitted because of [this] practice, with ashes and [then,] put it on the upper body (i.e., the head, eyes, shoulders, throat, chest, arms and so on). [As a result], divine sight arises”.

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Pitta is the bilious humour, or that secreted between the stomach and bowels and flowing through the liver and permeating spleen, heart, eyes, and skin; its chief quality is heat. It is the energy principle which uses bile to direct digestion and hence metabolism.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Pitta (पित्त, “bile”) refers to one of the thirty-substances of the human body according to the Visuddhimagga, as mentioned in an appendix of the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 32-34. The Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra mentions thirty-six substances [viz., pitta]; the Sanskrit sources of both the Lesser and the Greater Vehicles, physical substances are 26 in number while the Pāli suttas list thirty-once substances.

Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Pitta (पित्त) or “bile” is associated with Mahābhairavā and Vajrajaṭila, according to the Cakrasaṃvara-maṇḍala or Saṃvaramaṇḍala of Abhayākaragupta’s Niṣpannayogāvalī, p. 45 and n. 145; (Cf. Cakrasaṃvaratantra, Gray, David B., 2007).—The Cakrasaṃvara mandala has a total of sixty-two deities. [...] Three concentric circles going outward, the body, speech and mind wheels (kāya-vāka-citta), in the order: mind (blue), speech (red), and body (white), with eight Ḍākinīs each in non-dual union with their Ḍākas, "male consorts".

Associated elements of Mahābhairavā and Vajrajaṭila:

Circle: vākacakra [=vākcakra?] (speech-wheel) (red);
Ḍākinī (female consort): Mahābhairavā;
Ḍāka (male consort): Vajrajaṭila;
Bīja: oṃ;
Body-part: breasts;
Pīṭha: Oḍra;
Bodily constituent: pitta (bile);
Bodhipakṣa (wings of enlightenment): śraddhābala (power of conviction).

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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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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Biology (plants and animals)

Source: Google Books: CRC World Dictionary (Regional names)

Pitta in India is the name of a plant defined with Carmona microphylla in various botanical sources. This page contains potential references in Ayurveda, modern medicine, and other folk traditions or local practices It has the synonym Ehretia buxifolia var. latisepala Gagnepain (among others).

Example references for further research on medicinal uses or toxicity (see latin names for full list):

· Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2004)
· Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis (1845)
· Flore Générale de l’Indo-Chine (1914)
· Icon. (1799)
· A General History of the Dichlamydeous Plants (1838)
· Plants of the Coast of Coromandel (1795)

If you are looking for specific details regarding Pitta, for example pregnancy safety, chemical composition, diet and recipes, extract dosage, health benefits, side effects, have a look at these references.

Biology book cover
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This sections includes definitions from the five kingdoms of living things: Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera. It will include both the official binomial nomenclature (scientific names usually in Latin) as well as regional spellings and variants.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

pitta : (nt.) the bile.

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

Pitta, (nt.) (cp. Vedic pitta) 1. the bile, gall; the bile also as seat of the bilious temperament, excitement or anger. Two kinds are distinguished at KhA 60= Vism. 260, viz. baddha° & abaddha°, bile as organ & bile as fluid. See also in detail Vism. 359; VbhA. 65, 243.—In enumerations of the parts or affections of the body pitta is as a rule combd with semha (cp. Vin. II, 137; Kh 111; Vism. 260, 344; Miln. 298).—Vin. II, 137; M. III, 90; S. IV, 230, 231 (+semha); A. II, 87; III, 101, 131; Sn. 198 (+semha), 434 (id. , expld as the two kinds at SnA 388); Nd1 370; J. I, 146 (+semha); II, 114 (pittan te kupitaṃ your bile is upset or out of order, i.e. you are in a bad mood); Miln. 112 (vāta-pittasemha ... ), 304 (roga, +semha), 382 (+semha); DhsA. 190 (as blue-green); DhA. III, 15 (cittaṃ n’atthi pittaṃ n’atthi has no heart and no bile, i.e. does not feel & get excited; vv. ll. vitta & nimitta).—2. (according to Morris, J. P. T. S. 1893, 4 for *phitta=phīta, Sk. sphīta) swelling, a gathering Vin. II, 188 (Vin. Texts III, 237 “a burst gall, i.e. bladder”); S. II, 242. The passage is not clear, in C. on Ud. I, 7 we read cittaṃ, see Morris Loc. cit. May the meaning be “muzzle”? —kosaka gall-bladder KhA 61; Vism. 263; VbhA. 246. (Page 459)

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

pitta (पित्त).—n (S) Bile, the bilious humor. 2 fig. Choler, fieriness, irascibility. pitta usaḷaṇēṃ-khavaḷaṇēṃ-caḍhaṇēṃ. To work hot; to have one's choler stirred, lit. fig. pittācī jōta bharaṇēṃ (urānta) To have the heartburn: (ghaśānta) To have bilious burning in the throat. Also pittānēṃ jaḷa- jaḷatēṃ or ucamaḷatēṃ impersonally in both the above senses. pitta tāpaviṇēṃ g. of o. To incense, irritate, anger.

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

pitta (पित्त).—n Bile, the bilious humor. Choler, irascibility. pitta usaḷaṇēṃ-khavaḷaṇēṃ-caḍhaṇēṃ To work hot; to have one's choler stirred, lit. fig. pittācī jōta bharaṇēṃ (urānta) To have the heartburn: (ghaśānta) To have bilious burning in the throat. pitta tāpaviṇēṃ To incense, irritate,

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

Pitta (पित्त).—Bile, one of the three humours of the body (the other two being vāta and kapha and its chief quality (heat); पित्तं यदि शर्करया शाम्यति कोऽर्थः पटोलेन (pittaṃ yadi śarkarayā śāmyati ko'rthaḥ paṭolena) Pañcatantra (Bombay) 1.378; पित्तमुष्णं द्रवं पीतं नीलं सत्त्वगुणोत्तरम् । सरं कटु (pittamuṣṇaṃ dravaṃ pītaṃ nīlaṃ sattvaguṇottaram | saraṃ kaṭu) घु स्निग्धं तीक्ष्ण- मम्ले तु पाकतः (ghu snigdhaṃ tīkṣṇa- mamle tu pākataḥ) ||; मध्याह्ने च यथार्धरात्रसमये पित्तप्रकोपो भवेत् (madhyāhne ca yathārdharātrasamaye pittaprakopo bhavet) Bhāva. P.

Derivable forms: pittam (पित्तम्).

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

Pitta (पित्त).—n.

(-ttaṃ) Bile, the bilious humour. E. api certainly, do to destroy, or deṅ to nourish, aff. kta, deriv. irr., or tap to inflame, aff. kta, and the radical letters transposed.

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

Pitta (पित्त).—n. Bile, Mahābhārata 6, 3736.

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

Pitta (पित्त).—[neuter] the bile.

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

Pitta (पित्त):—n. ([etymology] unknown) bile, the bilious humour (one of the three humours cf. kapha and vāyu or that secreted between the stomach and bowels and flowing through the liver and permeating spleen, heart, eyes, and skin; its chief quality is heat), [Atharva-veda]; etc.

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

Pitta (पित्त):—(ttaṃ) 1. n. Bile.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Piṭṭa (पिट्ट) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Piṭṭa, Pitta.

[Sanskrit to German]

Pitta 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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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

1) Pitta (पित्त) [Also spelled pitt]:—(nm) bile, gall; bilious humour; ~[kara] bilious;—[jvara] bilious fever; ~[dāha] bilious fever; ~[nāśaka] antibilious; —[prakṛti] of bilious temperament, petulant; —[prakopa] the bilious humour to be in a disturbed state; ~[hara] antibilious; —[ubalanā/khaulanā] to be bilious/fretful.

2) Pittā (पित्ता):—(nm) the gall bladder; ~[māra] dry and full of drudgery; [ubālanā/khaulanā] to be bilious/enraged; —[pānī karanā] to drudge; to work very hard; —[māranā] to subside one’s wrath.

context information


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Prakrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary

1) Piṭṭa (पिट्ट) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Pīḍa.

2) Piṭṭa (पिट्ट) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Piṭṭa.

3) Pitta (पित्त) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Pitta.

context information

Prakrit is an ancient language closely associated with both Pali and Sanskrit. Jain literature is often composed in this language or sub-dialects, such as the Agamas and their commentaries which are written in Ardhamagadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit. The earliest extant texts can be dated to as early as the 4th century BCE although core portions might be older.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Piṭṭa (ಪಿಟ್ಟ):—[noun] = ಪಿಟ್ಟು [pittu].

--- OR ---

Pitta (ಪಿತ್ತ):—

1) [noun] the bitter, alkaline, yellow-brown or greenish fluid secreted by the liver and stored in the gall-bladder that helps in digestion, esp. of fats; bile.

2) [noun] any disease in the body caused by the disorder in this system.

3) [noun] (fig.) a tendency to become angry readily; bad temperment.

4) [noun] a losing of one’s mental balance temporarily, as from excitment, rage, disappointment, etc.

5) [noun] a man of unsound mental health; a mad fellow.

6) [noun] arrogance; disdain; disdainfulness; haughtiness.

7) [noun] ಕ್ಷಣ ಚಿತ್ತ, ಕ್ಷಣ ಪಿತ್ತ [kshana citta, kshana pitta] kṣaṇa citta, kṣaṇa pitta the quality of being fickle, inconsistent, indecisive; fickleness; ಪಿತ್ತ ತಲೆಗೇರು [pitta talegeru] pitta talegēru to become crazy or mad; 2. to become very much enraged.

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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