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Tāla, aka: Tāḷa, Tala, Talā; 11 Definition(s)


Tāla means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article.

The Sanskrit term Tāla can be transliterated into English as Tala, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Tāla (ताल) refers to the “time beat” used in dance, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

about this context:

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

Śāktism (Śākta philosophy)

Tāla (ताल) is the name of a tree found in Maṇidvīpa, 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. Tāla) 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

about this context:

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


1) Talā (तला).—One of the ten daughters of Raudrāśva.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 126.

2a) Tāla (ताल).—Span, employed in describing measurement in iconography; nine tālas generally for deities, dānavas and kinnaras; measurement made usually by the middle finger.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 7. 97; Matsya-purāṇa 258. 16 and 75; 259. 1-2; Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 103.

2b) —(c)—kingdom watered by the R. Cakṣa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 18. 46.

2c) A hell into which falls one, who murders a Kṣatriya or Vaiśya or Brahmana, or one who defiles a preceptor's bed.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 2. 146; Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 146, 153; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 6. 2.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

about this context:

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.

Āyurveda (science of life)

Tāla (ताल) is a Sanskrit word referring to Borassus flabellifer (palmyra palm), a plant species in the Arecaceae family. It was identified by Satish Chandra Sankhyadhar in his translation of the Rājanighaṇṭu (verse 9.83), which lists the following synonyms: Tāladruma, Patrī, Dīrghaskandha, Dhvajadruma, Tṛṇarāja, Madhurasa, Madāḍhya, Dīrghapādapa, Cirāyu, Tarurāja, Gajabhakṣya, Dṛḍhacchada, Dīrghapatra, Gucchapatra and Āsavadruma.

According to the Carakasaṃhitā (sūtrasthāna 27), Tālapralamba (tender top portion of tāla stem) forms part of the Śākavarga (vegetables) group of medicinal plants.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

about this context:

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Hindu science dealing with subjects such as health, medicine, anatomy, etc. and has been in use throughout India since ancient times.

Dharmaśāstra (religious law)

The term ‘tala’ stands for the inner part (the palm). That inner portion of the hand which extends up to the long palm-line and faces one’s own eyes is the part ‘dedicated to Brahmā.’

Tala’ is the palm; and that part of the palm which extends from the base of the thumb to the first long line in it constitutes the ‘Brāhma-tīrtha’; (Vīramitrodaya (Āhnika, p. 77))

Source: Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya

The term ‘tala’ stands for the inner part (the palm). That inner portion of the hand which extends up to the long palm-line and faces one’s own eyes is the part ‘dedicated to Brahmā.’ (Manubhāṣya, II.62)

Source: Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya, Volume 3

about this context:

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.

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

Tala (तल) is a Sanskrit technical term denoting a “residence” in general, according to the lists of synonyms given in the Mānasāra XIX.108-12, which is a populair treatise on Vāstuśāstra literature.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

about this context:

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.

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Tala (तल) is a synonym for adhiṣṭhāna (‘platform’), according to the Mayamata 14.40. The word adhiṣṭhāna is Sanskrit technical term referring to the “base” or “platform” on which a structure is built.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra

Tāla: one of the two basic units of measurement, according to the Viṣṇudharmottara Purāṇa; the other being called Aṅgula. But not all the early texts use the word tāla; in the Bṛhat Saṃhitā and Citralakṣaṇa of Nagnajit, for example, the term tāla was not employed but what is important is that the concept of a palm length as module for computing parts of the body was implicit.

Source: Google Books: The Theory of Citrasutras in Indian Painting

about this context:

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.

In Buddhism


1) Tāḷa, 2 (nt.) (Sk. tālaka=tāḍa AvŚ II. 56, tāḍaka Divy 577) a key (orig. a “knocker”?) Vin. II, 148 (3 kinds: loha°, kaṭṭha°, visāṇa°); Bdhd 1.

—cchiggala a key-hole S. IV, 290; V, 453; Vism. 500. —cchidda id. Vin. II, 120, 148, 153 (all tāla°); III, 118; DhA. III, 8 (l). (Page 300)

2) Tāḷa, 1 (taḍ, cp. Sk. tāla a blow, or musical time; tālīyaka cymbal) beating, striking, the thing beaten or struck, i.e. a musical instrument which is beaten, an Instr. of percussion, as a cymbal, gong, or tambourine (for tāḷa= gong cp. thāla): (a) gong, etc. J. I, 3; VI, 60; Th. 1, 893; DA. I, 85; DhsA. 319 (kaṃsa°).—(b) music in general DhA. IV, 67.

—âvacara musical time or measure, music, a musician D. II, 159 (v. l. tāla°); J. I, 60 (l); IV, 41; VvA. 257 (°parivuta, of an angel). (Page 300)

— or —

Tāla, (Sk. tāla, cp. Gr. ta_lis & thleqάw (be green, sprout up) Lat. talea shoot, sprout) 1. the palmyra tree (fan palm), Borassus flabelliformis; freq. in comparisons & similes M. I, 187; J. I, 202 (°vana), 273 (°matta as tall as a palm): VvA. 162; PvA. 100 (chinnamūlo viya tālo).—2. a strip, stripe, streak J. V, 372 (=raji).

—aṭṭhika a kernel of the palm fruit DhA. II, 53, cp. 60 (°aṭṭhi-khaṇḍa); —kanda a bulbous plant J. IV, 46 (=kalamba); —kkhandha the trunk of a palm J. IV, 351; VvA. 227 (°parimāṇā mukhatuṇḍā: beaks of vultures in Niraya); PvA. 56; —cchidda see tāḷa°; —taruṇa a young shoot of the p. Vin. I, 189; —pakka palm fruit It. 84; —paṇṇa a palm-leaf DhA. I, 391; II, 249; III, 328; Bdhd 62; also used as a fan (tālapattehi kata-maṇḍalavījanī VvA. 147) Vv 3343 (Hardy for °vaṇṭha of Goon. ed. p. 30); VvA. 147 (v. l. °vaṇṭa q. v.); Nd2 562 (+vidhūpana); —patta a palm-leaf Vin. I, 189; VvA. 147; —miñja the pith of a p. J. IV, 402; —vaṇṭa (Sk. tālavṛṇta) a fan Vin. II, 130 (+vidhūpana), 137; J. I, 265; VvA. 44, cp. °paṇṇa; —vatthu (more correct tālâvatthu=tāla-avatthu) in tālâvatthukata a palm rendered groundless, i.e. uprooted; freq. as simile to denote complete destruction or removal (of passions, faults, etc.). Nearly always in formula pahīna ucchinna-mūla t° anabhāvaṃ-kata “given up, with roots cut out, like a palm with its base destroyed, rendered unable to sprout again” (Kern, Toev. II. 88: as een wijnpalm die niet meer geschiķt is om weêr uit te schieten). This phrase was misunderstood in BSk. : M Vastu III, 360 has kālavastuṃ.—The readings vary: tālāvatthu e.g. at M. I, 370; S. I, 69; IV, 84; A. I, 135; II, 38; J. V, 267; tālav° S. III, 10; V, 327; Th. 2, 478 (ThA. 286: tālassa chindita‹-› —ṭṭhāna-sadisa); Nd2 freq. (see under pahīna); tālāvatthukatā at Vin. III, 3.—In other combn tālāvatthu bhavati (to be pulled out by the roots & thrown away) J. V, 267 (=chinnamūla-tālo viya niraye nibbattanti p. 273), cp. M. I, 250; —vāra “palm-time” (?) or is it tāḷa° (gong-turn?) DhA. II, 49 (note: from tala-pratiṣṭhāyāṃ?). (Page 299)

— or —

Tala, (nt.) (Derivation uncertain. Cp. Sk. tala m. & nt.; cp. Gr. thli/Q (dice-board), Lat. tellus (earth), tabula (=table). Oir. talam (earth), Ags. pel (=deal), Ohg. dili=Ger. diele) (a) flat surface (w. ref. to either top or bottom: cp. Ger. boden), level, ground, base J. I, 60, 62 (pāsāda° flat roof); III, 60 (id.); paṭhavī° (level ground) J. II, 111, cp. bhūmi° PvA. 176; ādāsa° surface of a mirror Vism. 450, 456, 489; salila° (surface of pond) PvA. 157; VvA. 160; heṭṭhima° (the lowest level) J. I, 202; PvA. 281;— J. I, 233 (base); 266 (khagga° the flat of the sword); II, 102 (bheri°).—(b) the palm of the hand or the sole of the foot J. II, 223; Vism. 250; & cpds.—See also taṭa, tāla, tālu.

—ghātaka a slap with the palm of the hand Vin. IV, 260, 261; —sattika in °ṃ uggirati to lift up the palm of the hand Vin. IV, 147; DhA. III, 50; cp. Vin. Texts I. 51. (Page 298)

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

tala : (nt.) a flat surface; level ground; a base; a flat roof; a stage; the blade of a weapon; the palm or sole. || tāla (m.) the palmyra tree. tāḷa (m.) a key; a cymbal; music (in general).

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

about this context:

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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