Uluka, aka: Ulūka, Ūlūka; 16 Definition(s)


Uluka means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

1) Ulūka (उलूक).—The son of Śakuni. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 57, Stanza 25). It is stated in Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 182, Stanza 22, that Ulūka was present at the Svayaṃvara (the Bride choosing a husband) of Draupadī. In the Bhārata Battle Ulūka was sent as a messenger to the camp of the Pāṇḍavas by Duryodhana. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 161). After that he returned to Duryodhana with the message of the Pāṇḍavas. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 163). He combated with the King of Cedi on the first day of the battle. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 45). After that Sahadeva attacked Ulūka. (Mahābhārata Bhīsma Parva, Chapter 72, Stanza 5). Arjuna defeated Ulūka. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 171, Stanza 40). After the death of the teacher Droṇa, Ulūka fled from the battle-field. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 193, Stanza 14). It is mentioned in Mahābhārata, Karṇa Parva, Chapter 25, Stanzas 9 to 11, that Ulūka defeated Yuyutsu. Next fight was between Sahadeva and Ulūka in which Sahadeva killed Ulūka. (Mahābhārata Śalya Parva, Chapter 28, Stanzas 32 and 33). The following are the synonyms of Ulūka, given in the Mahābhārata:—Śākuni, Kaitaka, Saubalyasuta and Kaitavya.

2) Ulūka (उलूक).—A Yakṣa (a demi-god). It is stated in Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 32, that Garuḍa and this Yakṣa fought with each other.

3) Ulūka (उलूक).—A son of Viśvāmitra. He became a hermit. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 51). It is mentioned in the Mahābhārata, Śānti Parva, Chapter 47, Stanza 11, that this Ulūka visited Bhīṣma on his Bed of arrows.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Ulūka (उलूक).—The son of Bala, and a righteous person; Father of Vajranābha.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 205.

1b) A son of Hiraṇyākṣa.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 6. 14.

1c) A son of Sahiṣṇu of the 26th dvapara.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 213.

1d) A son of Somaśarma; an avatār of the Lord.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 216.

1e) A Vidyādhara chief in the Veṇumanta hill.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 39. 38.

1f) Son of Bhāsi, owls as children of Śukī;1 of Tāmrā line.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 455; Matsya-purāṇa 6. 31; 237. 12; 240. 18.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 21. 16.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Ulūka (उलूक) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.28.19, I.60.55) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Ulūka) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Ulūka (उलूक) is a Sanskrit word referring to the animal “owl”. The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature. The animal Ulūka is part of the sub-group named prasaha, refering to animals “who take their food by snatching”. It was classified by Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic properties of the substance.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Ulūka (उलूक)—Sanskrit word for a bird corresponding to “owl”. This animal is from the group called Prasaha (‘carnivorous birds’). Prasaha itself is a sub-group of the group of animals known as Jāṅghala (living in high ground and in a jungle).

Source: archive.org: Sushruta samhita, Volume I
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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Katha (narrative stories)

Ulūka (उलूक) is the name of a Dānava who was reborn as Śubhaṅkara: one of the minister of Sūryaprabha, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 45. Accordingly, as Kaśyapa said to Maya, Sunītha and Sūryaprabha: “... and the other Asuras, who were your companions, have been born as his friends; for instance,... the Dānava named Ulūka is now his companion named Śubhaṅkara”.

The story of Ulūka was narrated by the Vidyādhara king Vajraprabha to prince Naravāhanadatta in order to relate how “Sūryaprabha, being a man, obtain of old time the sovereignty over the Vidyādharas”.

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

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Ulūka (उलूक): 'An owl.' Son of Kitava. He was king of a country and people of the same name. He was an ally of the Kauravas, and acted as their envoy to the Pandavas.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Ulūka (उलूक).—The son of Śakuni. He was killed by Sahadeva during the battle of Kurukṣetra. (Śalya Parva in Mahābhārata)

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Ulūka (उलूक, “owl”) represents an incarnation destination of the tiryaggati (animal realm) according to the “world of transmigration” section in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVII).—The Bodhisattva sees the animals (tiryak) undergoing all the torments: they are made to gallop by blows of the whip or stick; they are made to make long journeys carrying burdens; their harness is damaged; they are branded with hot iron. If delusion (moha) is abundant, they [people] are reborn as [for example] an owl (ulūka).

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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)

Ulūka (उलूक) is the name of a Vīra (hero) who, together with the Ḍākinī named Ulūkī forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Vāyucakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the vāyucakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs and Vīras [viz., Ulūka] are dark blue in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

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

Pali-English dictionary

Uluka in Pali glossary... « previous · [U] · next »

Ulūka, (Sk. ulūka; cp. Lat. ulucus & ulula owl, ululāre to howl, Ger. uhu; onomat. *ul, as in Gr. o)lolu/zw, Sk. ululi, Lith. ulůti) an owl Vin. I, 186 (°camma, sandals of owl’s skin); III, 34; A. V, 289 sq.; J. II, 208, 352 (as king of the birds); Miln. 403; DhA. I, 50 (kāka° crows & owls).

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

ulūka (उलूक).—m S An owl.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ulūka (उलूक).—m An owl.

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

Ulūka (उलूक).—1 An owl; नोलूकोप्यवलोकते यदि दिवा सूर्यस्य किं दूषणम् (nolūkopyavalokate yadi divā sūryasya kiṃ dūṣaṇam) Bh.2.93; त्यजति मुदमुलूकः प्रीतिमांश्चक्रवाकः (tyajati mudamulūkaḥ prītimāṃścakravākaḥ) Śi.11.64. cf. also कथमुलूकशब्द उलूकवचनः । रल्योः समान- वृत्तित्वात् (kathamulūkaśabda ulūkavacanaḥ | ralyoḥ samāna- vṛttitvāt) | ŚB. on MS.9.4.22.

2) Name of Indra.

3) Name of a Muni (perhaps identical with kaṇāda, whose vaiśeṣika- darśana is called ālūkya-darśana).

4) (pl.) Name of a country and its king who was an ally of the Kurus.

-kam 1 Name of the reed Saccharum Cylindricum; see उलप (ulapa).

2) Fat; वनिष्टुसन्निधानादुरूकेण वपाभिधानम् (vaniṣṭusannidhānādurūkeṇa vapābhidhānam) | (v. l.) MS.9.4.22.

-jit A crow.

-yātuḥ A demon in the shape of an owl; उलूकयातुं शुशुलूकयातुम् (ulūkayātuṃ śuśulūkayātum) Rv.7.14.22.

Derivable forms: ulūkaḥ (उलूकः).

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Ūlūka (ऊलूक).—= उलूक (ulūka) q. v.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Uluka (उलुक).—v.l. for Huluka, q.v.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Ulūka (उलूक).—m.

(-kaḥ) 1. An owl. 2. A name of Indra. 3. One of the heroes of the Mahabharata. n.

(-kaṃ) A kind of reed, (Saccharum cylindricum.) E. bal to be strong, ūka aff.

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Ūlūka (ऊलूक).—m.

(-kaḥ) An owl. E. bal to be strong, and ūka affix; ba become ū.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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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