Shala, aka: Sālā, Sāla, Śala, Śālā, Śāla, Sala; 21 Definition(s)


Shala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

The Sanskrit terms Śala and Śālā and Śāla can be transliterated into English as Sala or Shala, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Śāla (शाल)—Sanskrit word for a plant (Shorea robusta). Śāla is a hardwood tree found in northern India.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Śāla (शाल) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “sal tree”, a species of tree from the Dipterocarpaceae family of tropical trees. It is also known by the name Sāla or Aśvakarṇa. It is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Suśruta-saṃhitā. The official botanical name is Shorea robusta but is commonly referred to in English as “shala tree”. The literal translation of Śāla is “being in a house” or “at home”.

(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.

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

Śālā (शाला):—The Sanskrit name for a classification of a ‘temple’, according to the Agnipurāṇa, featuring a list of 45 temple types. It is listed under the group named Puṣpaka, featuring rectangular-shaped temples. This list represents the classification of temples in North-India.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Śāla (शाल).—Type of pavillion found sculptured on the hāra (parapet of the temple);—Śāla is a pavilion oblong on plan. The Texts mention that it should be of the “sabhākāra” i.e., an oblong or rectangular hall. The synonym of śāla is ‘koṣṭaka’, the use of which may lead to confusion. In the elevation it consists of a moulded plinth, four pillars placed on the four comers supporting an oblong wagon-vaulted roof The two ends of the wagon vault are made semi-circular or horseshoe-shaped or gabled. It is crovmed by a prominent kīrtimukha, therefore it is called by the name mahānāsi. number starting from three. The two oblong sides also are provided with mahānāsis.

(Source): Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD
Vāstuśāstra book cover
context information

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

Dharmaśāstra (religious law)

Śāla (शाल) is a Sanskrit word, identified with Shorea robusta (shala tree) by various scholars in their translation of the Śukranīti. This tree is mentioned as having thorns, and should therefore be considerd as wild. The King shoud place such trees in forests (not in or near villages). He should nourish them by stoole of goats, sheep and cows, water as well as meat.

The following is an ancient Indian horticultural recipe for the nourishment of such trees:

According to Śukranīti 4.4.110-112: “The powder of the dungs of goats and sheep, the powder of Yava (barley), Tila (seeds), beef as well as water should be kept together (undisturbed) for seven nights. The application of this water leads very much to the growth in flowers and fruits of all trees (such as śāla).”

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
Dharmaśāstra book cover
context information

Dharmaśāstra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharma-shastra) is a category of Hindu literature containing important instructions regarding religious law, ethics, economics, jurisprudence and more. It is categorised as smṛti, an important and authorative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.


Śala (शल):—One of the three sons of Somadatta (son of Bāhlīka). (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.22.18-19)

(Source): Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

1a) Śala (शल).—An athlete of Kaṃsa: could not vanquish Arjuna as he was supported by Kṛṣṇa: Resented Śāmba's action in seizing Lakṣmaṇā: had his allotted seat in the arena but was killed by Kṛṣṇa.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 15. 16; X. 36. 21; 68. 5; 42. 37; 44. 27.

1b) A son of Somadatta.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 22. 19; X. 68. 5; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 235.

1c) A son of Durvākṣī and Vṛka.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 24. 43.

1d) A Saimhikeya asura.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 6. 19.

1e) A Kṣatriya who became a dvija.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 66. 87.

1f) A son of Sutahotra.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 92. 3.

2) Śāla (शाल).—Of elephants, horses and chariots.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 279.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Śāktism (Śākta philosophy)

Sāla (साल) is the name of a tree found in maṇidvīpa (Śakti’s abode), according to the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa 12.10. Accordingly, these trees always bear flowers, fruits and new leaves, and the sweet fragrance of their scent is spread across all the quarters in this place. The trees (eg. Sāla) attract bees and birds of various species and rivers are seen flowing through their forests carrying many juicy liquids. Maṇidvīpa is defined as the home of Devī, built according to her will. It is compared with Sarvaloka, as it is superior to all other lokas.

The Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa, or Śrīmad-devī-bhāgavatam, is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, a type of Sanskrit literature containing cultural information on ancient India, religious/spiritual prescriptions and a range of topics concerning the various arts and sciences. The whole text is composed of 18,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 6th century.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam
Śāktism book cover
context information

Śākta (शाक्त, shakta) or Śāktism (shaktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devī) is revered and worshipped. Śākta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Sāla (साल) means any tree. But while narrating the story (Fight of Vālin and Sugrīva), the story tellers say that there were seven palm trees. In the image on the seventeenth pillar of the southern half of the maṇḍapa of the temple of Lokeśvara also, the trees seem to be pertaining to a kind of palm trees. Already, in those days, it was believed that sāla represents palm tree.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)
Śilpaśāstra book cover
context information

Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Śālā (शाला) in the Atharvaveda and later denotes a ‘house’ in the wide sense of the word, including such meanings as ‘stall’ for cattle, ‘shed’ for corn, etc. See Gṛha. The householder is called Śālāpati, ‘lord of the house’, in the Atharvaveda.

(Source): Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Śala (शल).—He was one of the sons of Somadatta, a Kuru King. His brothers were Bhūri and Bhūriśravas. He was killed by Sātyaki during the Kurukṣetra war.

(Source): ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Sala. A brahmin village of Kosala, its inhabitants were called Saleyyaka. The Apannaka Sutta and the Saleyyaka Sutta were preached there M.i.285, 400. See also Sala Sutta.

2. Sala. One of the two chief women disciples of Phussa Buddha. BuA.194; but see Phussa.

1. Sala Sutta. The Buddha, while staying at Sala, addresses the monks, teaching them the necessity of the preaching the four satipatthanas by novices, sekhas and arahants. S.v.144f.

2. Sala Sutta. Preached at Sala. Just as the lion is the chief of animals, so is insight chief of the bodhipakkhiya dhamma (a list of which is given in the sutta). S.v.227; on the title of the sutta, see KS.v.202, n.3.

-- or --

. Brother of Paduma Buddha and, later, his Chief Disciple. The people of Usabhavati gave him a special kathina robe, in the making of which the Buddha himself assisted. Bu.ix.21; BuA.147f.

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


sāla : (m.) brother-in-law; a Sal tree. || sālā (f.) a hall; a shed.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Sālā, (f.) (cv. Vedic śālā, cp. Gr. kali/a hut, Lat. cella cell, Ohg. halla, E. hall) a large (covered & enclosed) hall, large room, house; shed, stable etc., as seen fr. foll. examples: aggi° a hall with a fire Vin. I, 25, 49=II. 210; āsana° hall with seats DhA. II, 65; udapāna° a shed over the well Vin. I, 139; II, 122; upaṭṭhāna° á service hall Vin. I, 49, 139; II, 153, 208, 210; S. II, 280; V, 321; J. I, 160; kaṭhina° a hall for the kaṭhina Vin. II, 117. kīḷa° playhouse J. VI, 332; kutūhala° a common room D. I, 179= S. IV, 398. kumbhakāra° potter’s hall DhA. I, 39; gilāna° sick room, hospital S. IV, 210; Vism. 259; jantāghāra° (large) bath room Vin. I, 140; II, 122; dāna° a hall for donations J. I, 262; dvāra° hall with doors M. I, 382; II, 66; pāniya° a water-room Vin. II, 153; bhatta° refectory Vism. 72; yañña° hall of sacrifice PugA 233; rajana° dyeing workshop Vism. 65; ratha° car shed DhA. III, 121; hatthi° an elephant stable Vin. I, 277, 345; II, 194; J. I, 187. (Page 706)

— or —

Sāla, (cp. Sk. śāla & sāla) a Sal tree (Shorea robusta) M. I, 488; D. II, 134; A. I, 202; III, 49, 214; Dh. 162.

—māḷaka an enclosure of Sal trees J. I, 316. —rukkha Sal tree VvA. 176. —laṭṭhi Sal sprout A. II, 200. —vana Sal grove D. II, 134; M. I, 124; S. I, 157; Vv 392. (Page 706)

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

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Śālā (शाला) is the name of a Brahmin village (brāhmaṇa-grāma) to which the Buddha traveled according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV). Accodingly, “Once, having spent the Rains Retreat (varṣa) in the country of Chö p’o t’i (Śrāvastī), the Buddha started out to travel followed by Ānanda and was about to enter a village of Brahmins (brāhmaṇa-grāma). Knowing that the miraculous power of the Buddha would convert his subjects, the king was very worried and agitated”.

Note: In the Sanskrit and Chinese sources, this Brahmin village is called Śālā; in the Pāli sources, Pañcasālā ‘the five sālā trees’; it was a place in Magadha (Saṃyutta). The Buddha came there during the visitors’ festival (pāhuṇakāni) during which the young boys and the young girls exchanged gifts. The villagers refused alms to the Buddha because they were possessed (anvāviṭṭha) by Māra pāpimat.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

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.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Śāla (शाल) is the name of the caitya-tree (identified with Shorea robusta) under which the parents of Saṃbhava are often depicted in Jaina iconography, according to the Śvetāmbara tradition. According to the Digambara tradition the tree is known as Sarala.

Śāla (शाल) is also the name of the caitya-tree under which the parents of Mahāvīra are often depicted in Jaina iconography, according to both the Śvetāmbara and Digambara tradition.

The term caitya refers to “sacred shrine”, an important place of pelgrimage and meditation in Jainism. Sculptures with such caitya-trees generally shows a male and a female couple seated under a tree with the female having a child on her lap. Usually there is a seated Jina figure on top of the tree.

Saṃbhava is the third tirthankara and Mahāvīra is the twenty-fourth tirthankara. The twenty-four tīrthaṅkaras are enlightened beings who, having conquered saṃsāra (cycle of birth and death), leave a path behind for others to follow. His father is Jitari and his mother is Senā according to Śvetāmbara but Suṣeṇā according to Digambara, according to the Ācāradinakara (14th century work on Jain conduct written by Vardhamāna Sūri).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Jainism

Śāla (शाल) refers to a kind of tree (vṛkṣa) commonly found in the forests (vaṇa) of ancient India, mentioned in the Uvavāiya-sutta (sanksrit: Aupapātika-sūtra). Forests have been a significant part of the Indian economy since ancient days. They have been considered essential for economic development in as much as, besides bestowing many geographical advantages, they provide basic materials for building, furniture and various industries. The most important forest products are wood and timber which have been used by the mankind to fulfil his various needs—domestic, agricultural and industrial.

Different kinds of trees (eg., the Śāla tree) provided firewood and timber. The latter was used for furniture, building materials, enclosures, staircases, pillars, agricultural purposes, e. g. for making ploughs, transportation e. g. for making carts, chariots, boats, ships, and for various industrial needs. Vaṇa-kamma was an occupation dealing in wood and in various otherforest products. Iṅgāla-kamma was another occupation which was concerned with preparing charcoal from firewood.

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

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

śāla (शाल).—f ē or ī ( P) A shawl.

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śāla (शाल).—m S A tree, Shorea robusta. Rox.

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śālā (शाला).—f (S) A house, an apartment, or a place in general. In comp. as hōmaśālā The house or place in which sacrifices are performed; gōśālā A cow-house; pākaśālā A cooking house or place, a kitchen; pāṭhaśālā A reading place, a school, a college; nṛtyaśālā A house or place for dancing and dramatic entertainments; ratnaśālā A jewelry; aśvaśālā A stable; ṭaṅkaśālā A mint; vittaśālā A treasury. 2 A place of studying science or the arts, or of practising the gymnastic exercises &c., a school. 3 A system of doctrine as delivered by a particular teacher, or a particular form or fahion of instruction and discipline, a school. 4 A body or company as united by one system or form of doctrine or discipline: and, familiarly, a body or party banded or characterized by anything; as tyā kuḷācī śālā aśīca kīṃ sarva manuṣya garība. śālā suṭaṇēṃ To be dissolved, closed, ended: also to be prorogued, or closed for the day or a season--a school. 2 in. con. or acc. of s. To lose (i. e. be dismissed from) school.

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śāḷa (शाळ).—f ē From śālā and used in all the senses of it.

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śāḷā (शाळा).—& śāḷāśuddha Properly śālā & śālāśuddha.

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sala (सल).—m n (śalya S) A dead fœtus remaining in the womb. Ex. parācēṃ lagna mōḍīta || tarīṃ strīsa sala rāhē pōṭānta||. 2 A splint or fragment remaining in the flesh. 3 fig. An injury or insult remaining rankling and festering in the mind; an occurrence or an act of painful remembrance; a troublesome or an afflictive occurrence; a plague, pest, bore; a thorn in its figurative senses. 4 A dried tree or branch. 5 m The cord by which the scabbard of a sword is connected with the hilt and secured. 6 A disease of cattle. See kiraḷa. Ex. sala khāūna (or lāgūna) gurēṃ mēlīṃ. salīṃ lāgaṇēṃ To be affected with sickliness and wasting from having a dead fœtus in the womb.

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sala (सल).—f salaka f C (sala) A sharp, shooting, or piercing pain (as in rheumatism).

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salā (सला).—m f (Commonly sallā) Peace or truce. 2 Advice. 3 An ornament for the little finger or the little toe. 4 Used adverbially in the sense of Well, good, be it so, let us have peace about it. Ex. tumhī mhaṇatāṃ kīṃ hōtēṃ āmhī mhaṇatōṃ hōta nāhīṃ tyāsa salā tumacēñca kāṃ hōīnā?

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saḷa (सळ).—m (Or sala) The cord or other fastener of the scabbard of a sword with the hilt. 2 The crease or line of duplicature of a fold. 3 (Poetry. For chaḷa) Teasing, tormenting, irritating or vexing acts. Ex. puḍhēṃ vasiṣṭhācēniṃ saḷēṃ kāya kēlēṃ pariyēsā.

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saḷā (सळा).—f C (Commonly saḷaī) A piece of wire; a pin, spike, skewer; a pricker generally of bambroom. boo or of metal.

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sāla (साल).—f n ( H) Bark, rind, husk (of trees, fruits, grains). This word is commonly feminine when it expresses the bark of trees, the peel or rind of certain large fruits &c. and neuter when it expresses the skin of fruits, the husk of grains, nuts, beans, berries &c. 2 The skin (of man or beast) as rubbed or peeled off. 3 n A dried rind of mangostein. 4 n C A board or slip of wood used to smooth the muck of rice-fields after working the ground.

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sāla (साल).—m S A tree, Shorea robusta.

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sāla (साल).—n ( P) A year. 2 Annual stipend or pay, salary.

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sālā (साला).—m (śyāla S through H) A wife's brother. 2 Applied also to a sister's husband.

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sāḷa (साळ).—f ē (śālā S) A school. 2 A work-shop. 3 In composition with the designating noun prefixed, Place; as ghōḍasāḷa Place for horses, a stable, ṭaṅkasāḷa A mint. sāḷa ghālaṇēṃ (rēśīma, sūta, ityādikāñcī) To lay or form a warp. 2 also sāḷa māṇḍaṇēṃ To set up a school.

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sāḷa (साळ).—f (śāli S) Uncleaned rice.

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sāḷa (साळ).—f ī or ē (Or sāyāḷa from śalya S) A porcupine.

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sāḷā (साळा).—m (śyāla S through H) A wife's brother.

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