Ulka, Ulkā: 21 definitions


Ulka means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi. 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

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra

Ulkā (उल्का, “torch”):—In Hindu iconology (śilpaśāstra), this symbol represents the kindling of the fire, or, enthusiasm for the dharma and enlightenment. It is also one of six items that Agni is displayed carrying. Agni, one of the most important Vedic gods, represents divine illumination

Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Ulkā (उल्का) refers to “meteoric falls”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 2), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “A true Astrologer is also one who has thoroughly mastered the Science of Saṃhitā. [...] It treats of the prediction of immediate rain from surrounding phenomena; of judging the nature of the future crops from the growth of plants and flowers; of the halos round the sun and moon; of lines of clouds crossing the solar disc at rising and setting; of the winds; of meteoric falls [i.e., ulkā]; of false fires; of earthquakes; of the red sky immediately before sunrise and after sunset; of the fanciful shapes of clouds; of dust storms; of thunderbolts; of the price of food grains; of gardening; [...]”.

Source: Google Books: Studies in the History of the Exact Sciences (Astronomy)

Ulkā (उल्का) refers to a “meteor”.—Since the expression nakṣatram ulkābhihataṃ (‘the meteor smitten asterism’) is found in the ninth verse of the same hymn [i.e., Atharvaveda 19.9], it seems that the author of the hymn intended to give mantras for appeasing the inauspicious phenomena in the sky.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Ulka (उल्क) refers to “comets”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.15 (“The penance and reign of Tārakāsura”).—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated: “[...] At the same time, several phenomena of evil portent forboding misery and distress happened, when the son of Varāṅgī was born making the gods miserable. O dear, the phenomena of three varieties indicating great calamity and terrifying the worlds occurred in the sky, heaven and earth. I shall narrate them. With a terrifying noise, thunderbolts fell along with comets [i.e., ulka]; shooting meteors rose up, making the world miserable. [...]”.

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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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: University of Vienna: Sudarśana's Worship at the Royal Court According to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā

Ulkā (उल्का) refers to “meteors”, according to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā, belonging to the Pāñcarātra tradition which deals with theology, rituals, iconography, narrative mythology and others.—Accordingly, “An abnormal modification caused by a aggressive ritual against Kings, occurring at the improper time, dreadful and all-reaching, is characterized by the these signs: [...] meteors fall violently (mahā-ulkānipatanti maholkāḥ bhṛśaṃ) making dreadful sounds; ministers fight with each other out of greediness; in the night a terrifying rainbow shines, even if there are no clouds; here and there in the city great danger arises because of fire; [...] from such and other signs he should understand that the enemy is performing a aggressive ritual”.

Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Ulkā (उल्का) refers to “meteors”, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 19.121-128, while describing the prevention of natural disasters]—“[The Mantrin] should [perform] rites and recitations to avert evil and famine, in times of great dangers, [such as] destructive earthquakes, meteors (ulkā-nipātana), massive rainfall and drought as well as threats of mice and other pests. He should conduct the ritual when flowers, etc., grow out of season, [when images of gods] are lost or break. [...]”.

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

1) Ulkā (उल्का) refers to a “shooting star”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, as Bodhisattva Gaganagañja explains to Bodhisattva Ratnaśrī what kind of concentration should be purified: “[...] (22) [when the Bodhisattvas attain] the concentration called ‘Being endowed with shooting star (ulkā)’ they will overcome all habitual tendencies; (23) [when the Bodhisattvas attain] the concentration called ‘Sunshine’, there will be no darkness; (24) [when the Bodhisattvas attain] the concentration called ‘Turning of the sun’, they will look at the thoughts of all living beings; [...]”.

2) Ulkā (उल्का) refers to the “lamp (of the dharma)”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā.—Accordingly: “[...] Then, son of good family, the Tathāgata Vimalaprabhānantaraśmirāja, having known the king Puṇyālaṃkāra’ thought, said this to Siṃhavikrāntagāmin: ‘By teaching the power of insight, supernatural knowledges , merits, and knowledges, son of good family, make all the assembly happy, make all abodes of Māra darken, illuminate the way of awakening, satisfy all living beings, defeat all opponents, light the lamp of the dharma (dharma-ulkā), purify all vices, and demonstrate the miraculous play of the Bodhisattva’”.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ulkā (उल्का).—f S Fire falling from heaven; a meteor or falling star. 2 A fire-brand.

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

ulkā (उल्का).—f Fire falling from heaven, a meteor. A firebrand.

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

Ulkā (उल्का).—[Uṇādi-sūtra 3.42]

1) A fiery phenomenon in the sky, a meteor; विरराज काचन समं महोल्कया (virarāja kācana samaṃ maholkayā) Śiśupālavadha 15.92; Manusmṛti 1.38,4.13; Y.1.145.

2) A fire-brand, torch; न हि तापयितुं शक्यं सागराम्भस्तृणोल्कया (na hi tāpayituṃ śakyaṃ sāgarāmbhastṛṇolkayā) H.1.83.

3) Fire, flame; बाधेतोल्काक्षपितचमरीबालभारो दवाग्निः (bādhetolkākṣapitacamarībālabhāro davāgniḥ) Meghadūta 55.

4) Name of a grammar.

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

Ulkā (उल्का).—f.

(-lkā) 1. A fire-brand. 2. Fire falling from heaven, a meteor, &c. 3. Flame. 4. Fire. E. uṣ to burn, kak Unadi affix, la substituted for ṣa; or the root is a Sautra root, ula to burn.

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

Ulkā (उल्का).—i. e. probably jval + ka, f. 1. A firebrand, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 75, 51. 2. Fire falling from heaven, a meteor, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 1, 38.

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

Ulkā (उल्का).—[feminine] meteor, firebrand, flame.

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

1) Ulka (उल्क):—m. Name of a king, [Harivaṃśa]

2) Ulkā (उल्का):—f. (√uṣ, [Uṇādi-sūtra iii, 42]), a fiery phenomenon in the sky, a meteor, fire falling from heaven, [Ṛg-veda iv, 4, 2; x, 68, 4; Atharva-veda xix, 9, 9; Mahābhārata; Yājñavalkya; Suśruta] etc.

3) a firebrand, dry grass etc. set on fire, a torch, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa v; Rāmāyaṇa; Kathāsaritsāgara] etc.

4) (in [astrology]) one of the eight principal Daśās or aspect of planets indicating the fate of men, Jyotiṣa ([Tārānātha tarkavācaspati’s Vācaspatyam, Sanskrit dictionary])

5) Name of a grammar.

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

Ulkā (उल्का):—(lkā) 1. f. A firebrand; a meteor, fire, flame.

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

Ulkā (उल्का) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Ukkā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Ulka 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

Ulkā (उल्का):—(nf) a falling star, meteor; flame; firebrand; ~[dhārī] a torch-bearer; ~[pāta] the falling of a meteor; disaster, devastation.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Ulka (ಉಲ್ಕ):—[noun] = ಉಲ್ಕೆ [ulke].

--- OR ---

Uḷka (ಉಳ್ಕ):—[noun] = ಉಳ್ಕೆ [ulke]2.

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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Nepali dictionary

Source: unoes: Nepali-English Dictionary

Ulkā (उल्का):—n. 1. meteorite; a piece of rock/other matter from space that has landed on earth; 2. surprise; wonder;

context information

Nepali is the primary language of the Nepalese people counting almost 20 million native speakers. The country of Nepal is situated in the Himalaya mountain range to the north of India.

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