Tilottama, Tilottamā, Tila-uttama: 17 definitions


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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Tilottama in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा).—A prominent celestial maiden. Birth. Tilottamā was born to Pradhā, wife of Kaśyapa, grandson of Brahmā and son of Marīci. Alambuṣā, Miśrakeśī, Vidyutparṇā, Aruṇā, Rakṣitā, Rambhā, Manoramā, Subāhu, Keśinī, Suratā, Surajā and Supriyā were all sisters of Tilottamā. (Chapter 65, Ādi Parva). (See full article at Story of Tilottamā from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा).—The Apsaras1 presiding over the month of Iṣa (Māgha and Phālguna, Vāyu-purāṇa); born out of the fire altar of Brahmā;2 resides in the Sun's chariot in the month of Māgha; cursed by Aṣtāvakra.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 43; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 22; III. 7. 6; IV. 33. 20; Matsya-purāṇa 13. 53; Vāyu-purāṇa 52. 22; 69. 5.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 59.
  • 3) Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 10. 16; V. 38. 73 and 77.
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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Tilottama in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

1) Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा) is the name of an Apsara who cursed King Sahasrānīka after he ignored her appeal, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 9. The curse was uttered as follows: “King, thou shalt be separated for fourteen years from her (Mṛgāvatī) who has so engrossed thy mind that thou dost not hear my speech.”

2) Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा) is the name of a heavenly women created by Viśvakarman at the command of Brahmā, in order to destroy Sunda and Upasunda, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 15. Sunda and Upasunda are two Asura brothers, surpassing the three worlds in valour, whose story is told by sage Nārada to Udayana (king of Vatsa) and Yaugandharāyaṇa, at an auspicious hour, before starting their journey to Lāvānaka.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Tilottamā, 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.

Kavya book cover
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Tilottama in Hinduism glossary
Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Tilottama is an Apsara in Indra's court. In Sanskrit, Tila means seasme, and since Vishwakarma created her from from seasme seeds (on the advice of Lord Brahma), she is known as Tilottama.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा) is an Apsara (celestial nymph) described in Hindu mythology. "Tila" is the Sanskrit word for sesame seed or a bit and "uttama" means better or higher. Tilottama therefore means the being whose smallest particle is the finest or one who is composed of the finest and highest qualities.

In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Tilottama is described to have been created by the divine architect Vishwakarma, at Brahma's request, by taking the best quality of everything as the ingredients. She was responsible for bringing about the mutual destruction of the Asuras (demons), Sunda and Upasunda. Even gods like Shiva and Indra are described to be enamoured of Tilottama.

While a legend talks about a pre-birth as an ugly widow, another narrates how she was cursed to be born as a Daitya (demon) princess Usha by sage Durvasa.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Tilottama forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Jñānacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the jñānacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the saṃbhoga-puṭa (‘enjoyment layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Tilottamā] and Vīras are white in color; the shapes of their faces are in accordance with their names; they have four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Tilottama in Jainism glossary
Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा) is the name of an Apsaras, instructed by Śakra to help in the preparations of Ṛṣabha’s wedding-preparations, according to chapter 1.2 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.


“[...] Then having ascertained the Lord’s purpose, Purandara at once summoned gods for the tasks of the wedding-preparations.—‘[...] Mañjughoṣā, have women-friends sing sweetly auspicious songs; Sugandhā, prepare the perfumes. Tilottamā put the best svastikas on the door. [...]’. From the bustling of the Apsarases instructing each other in this way, and frequently calling names, a mighty tumult arose”.

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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Tilottama in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा).—Name of an Apsaras.

Tilottamā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms tila and uttamā (उत्तमा).

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

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा).—f.

(-mā) One of the courtezans of Swarga. E. tila a mole, and uttama excellent, beatiful.

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

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा).—i. e. tila-uttama, f. The name of an Apsaras, [Daśakumāracarita] in Chr. 182, 8.

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

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा).—[feminine] [Name] of an Apsaras.

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

1) Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा):—[from tila > til] f. Name of an Apsaras, [Mahābhārata] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] of a woman, [Rājataraṅgiṇī vii, 120]

3) [v.s. ...] a form of Dākṣāyaṇī, [Matsya-purāṇa xiii, 53]

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

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा):—[tilo+ttamā] (mā) 1. f. One of the beautiful celestial courtezans.

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

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Tilottamā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Tilottama 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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Prakrit-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Tilottama in Prakrit glossary
Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary

Tilottamā (तिलोत्तमा) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Tilottamā.

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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