Vikalpa: 25 definitions



Vikalpa 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Vikalp.

In Hinduism

Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

Source: Wisdom Library: Arthaśāstra

Vikalpa (विकल्प) refers to “alternative” and is the name of a yukti, or ‘technical division’, according to which the contents of the Arthaśāstra by Cāṇakya are grouped. Cāṇakya (4th-century BCE), aka Kauṭilya, was the chief minister of Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the famous Maurya Empire.

Arthashastra book cover
context information

Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

Vikalpa (विकल्प).—Choice or option re: the application of a rule as stated by the word वा, विभाषा, अन्यतरस्याम् (, vibhāṣā, anyatarasyām) or the like; cf.नेति प्रतिषेधो वेति विकल्पः तयोः प्रतिषेधविकल्पयोः (neti pratiṣedho veti vikalpaḥ tayoḥ pratiṣedhavikalpayoḥ) 'विभाषा (vibhāṣā)' इति संज्ञा भवति विभाषाप्रकरणे प्रतिपधेविकल्पौ उपतिष्टेते । तत्र प्रतिपेधेन समीकृते विषये प्रश्चद्विकल्पः प्रवर्तते (iti saṃjñā bhavati vibhāṣāprakaraṇe pratipadhevikalpau upatiṣṭete | tatra pratipedhena samīkṛte viṣaye praścadvikalpaḥ pravartate) Kas. on P, I. 1 44.

context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Vikalpa (विकल्प).—An ancient country of India famous in the Purāṇas. (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 59).

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Vikalpa (विकल्प) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. VI.10.57) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Vikalpa) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyavilasa of Ciranjiva Bhattacarya (natyashastra)

Vikalpa (विकल्प) refers to one of the 93 alaṃkāras (“figures of speech”) mentioned by Cirañjīva Bhaṭṭācārya (fl. 17th century) in his Kāvyavilāsa and is listed as one of the 89 arthālaṃkāras (figure of speech determined by the sense, as opposed to sound).

Cirañjīva defines vikalpa-alaṃkāra as follows—“vākārādairvikalpaścedalaṅkāraḥ sa eva hi”.—“When alternative is mean by the use of the word etc. the figure of speech vikalpa takes place”.

Example of the vikalpa-alaṃkāra:—

abandho bandho vā bhavatu bhavakārāgṛhamanu stutirvā nindā vā prasaratu satāṃ saṃsadi sadā |
sarojālīśaṅkākṣaṇamiladalivrātamalināḥ kaṭākṣāste sākṣātkhathamapi na yāsyanti hṛdayāt ||

“Let the prison in the form of this world be fruitful or fuetile in future. Let praise or censure always be spread out in the assembly of virtuous people; but your direct sidelong glances which are dark as multitude of bees and which are opened for a while due to fear from the friend of lotuses (bees) will never subside from my heart”.

Notes: In this verse the prison in the form of world has been described to be fruitful or futile alternatively with the use of the word in the first line. This word has again been used to mention praise or censure alternatively, so it is an example of vikalpa.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, 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 (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Vikalpa in Kavya glossary
Source: Shodhganga: Bhismacaritam a critical study

Vikalpa (विकल्प, “alternative”) refers to one of the various Alaṅkāras (‘figures of speech’) classified as Artha (‘sense’), as employed in the Bhīṣmacarita (Bhishma Charitra) which is a mahākāvya (‘epic poem’) written by Hari Narayan Dikshit.—The poet has made the use of ‘vikalpa-alaṅkāra’ in his poem. In X.6 of the Bhīṣmacarita the poet has deliberately described the agony of King Śāntanu as a result of sacrificing the life of Bhīṣma for the happiness of his father. Śāntanu finds it difficult to accept.

context information

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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Vikalpa (विकल्प):—Proportional variation their are many kinds of preprations.

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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: OpenEdition books: Architectural terms contained in Ajitāgama and Rauravāgama

Vikalpa (विकल्प) refers to “n. of a prāsāda class § 4.5.”.—(For paragraphs cf. Les enseignements architecturaux de l'Ajitāgama et du Rauravāgama by Bruno Dagens)

Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

1) Vikalpa (विकल्प) refers to “thought” (viz., all thought born of Māyā), according to the second recension of the Yogakhaṇḍa of the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, as the Goddess said to Bhairava: “By virtue of (your intense) desire to achieve (this) in (our) friendship, I have given (you) the accomplishment of the Command. O lord of the gods, your (Command now) shines radiantly; (this is) the truth. (It is indeed) the truth, it is not otherwise. Endowed with the triply pure Command, abandon (all) thought born of Māyā [i.e., vikalpa]. O Kujīśa, I have made you into the Lord of Yoga, one who has attained the Command”.

2) Vikalpa (विकल्प) (Cf. Saṃvit) refers to “perception-cum-cogitation”, according to the Tantrāloka.—[...] There are two aspects of consciousness (saṃvit). One is temporal and the other is not. The latter is the sphere of pure manifestation (prakāśamātra) and consciousness (saṃvinmātra). The former is the sphere of the activity of its reflective awareness. This activity is divided up into moments of perception-cum-cogitation (vikalpa) by the power of time that belongs to non-temporal pure consciousness.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Religious Inclusivism in the Writings of an Early Modern Sanskrit Intellectual (Shaivism)

Vikalpa (विकल्प) (Cf. Vyavasthā) refers to “options” (that result from conflicting injunctions).—[...] This principle of interpretation is commonly used in commentarial literature on dharmaśāstra in contexts where commentators have to deal with ‘options’ (vikalpa) that result from conflicting injunctions. The principle states that the alternatives provided by an option are not open to everyone but instead restricted to definite groups of people. In this way, there is no conflict between injunctions, each injunction being only intended for a specific group of people. Originally, however, the vikalpa theory along with its vyavasthā corollary goes back to Mīmāṃsā exegesis. Kumārila, for instance, relies on vyavasthā (or vyavasthitavikalpa in his terminology) in contexts where smṛti and Vedic injunctions contradict each other. The solution to this ‘option’ is to accept that different injunctions concern different kinds of people: while Vedic injunctions are meant for Brahmins, the injunctions found in smṛti texts are meant for members of other classes.

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

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram (tantric buddhism)

Vikalpa (विकल्प) refers to “discriminating thought” which do not arises at a śmaśāna (‘cemetery’), according to the Netravibhaṅga, a commentary on the Hevajratantra by Dharmakīrti.—Accordingly, “It is called a ‘seat’ (pīṭha) because one always stays there and performs the practice, also because the yogis stay there. Because it is near to that place, it is called ‘nearby seat’ (upapīṭha). It is called ‘field’ (kṣetra), because it produces good qualities, also because the mother-goddesses stay there. Because it is near to there, it is called ‘near-by field’ (upakṣetra). Because one desires and yearns, it is called Chando. Because it is near there, it is called ‘near-by Chando’. It is called ‘meeting place’ (melāpaka) because it is the site of a place, [for example] Magadha and Aṅgamagadha. It is called ‘near-by meeting place’ because it is near there. It is called ‘cemetery’ (śmaśāna) because no discriminating thought (vikalpa) arises and because there are many corpses. It is called ‘near-by cemetery’ [i.e., upaśmaśāna][?], because it is near to there”.

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Vikalpa (विकल्प) refers to the “three kinds of discrimination” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 135):

  1. anusmaraṇa-vikalpa (discrimination through recollection),
  2. saṃtīrana-vikalpa (discrimination through investigation),
  3. sahaja-vikalpa (innate discrimination).

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., vikalpa). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vikalpa (विकल्प).—m (S) Opposition or difference of opinion respecting. 2 An opposite or a different opinion. 3 An alternative, a sphere or a subject of option. 4 Suspicion, surmise, evil apprehension concerning: also an evil, bad, or wrong surmise or thought. 5 Dubiety, doubt, indecision, doubleness of opinion or of intention regarding. Ex. aisē divasa lōṭatāṃ phāra || avalīsa vi0 pātalā thōra ||. 6 A thought, fancy, notion about. Generally pl. 7 In grammar. Admission of more than one form or rule. vi0 ghālaṇēṃ To cast doubt upon; or to inject doubtfulness. Ex. āmucēṃ tēthēṃ rata hōtēṃ citta || tyānta vi0 ghātalā tuṃvā ||.

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

vikalpa (विकल्प).—m A different opinion. An alter- native. Suspicion. A fancy. vikalpa pālaṇēṃ To cast doubt upon.

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

Vikalpa (विकल्प).—1 Doubt, uncertainty, indecision, hesitation; तत् सिषेवे नियोगेन स विकल्पपराङ्मुखः (tat siṣeve niyogena sa vikalpaparāṅmukhaḥ) R.17.49.

2) Suspicion; Mu.1.

3) Contrivance, art; मायाविकल्परचितैः (māyāvikalparacitaiḥ) R.13.75.

4) Option, alternative (in gram.); तुल्यार्थयोर्हि तुल्यविषययो- र्विकल्पो भवति न नानार्थयोः (tulyārthayorhi tulyaviṣayayo- rvikalpo bhavati na nānārthayoḥ) ŚB. on MS.1.6.33.

5) Sort, variety; दण्डविकल्पः (daṇḍavikalpaḥ) Ms.9.228; भूषणानां विकल्पम् (bhūṣaṇānāṃ vikalpam) Me.76.

6) An error, a mistake, ignorance.

7) Distinction; एवं सुरासुरगणाः समदेशकालहेत्वर्थकर्ममतयोऽपि फलेऽविकल्पाः (evaṃ surāsuragaṇāḥ samadeśakālahetvarthakarmamatayo'pi phale'vikalpāḥ) Bhāg.8.9.28.

8) A division of Kalpa; यावान् कल्पो विकल्पो वा यथा कालोऽनुमीयते (yāvān kalpo vikalpo vā yathā kālo'numīyate) Bhāg.2.8.12.

9) A god; वैकारिको विकल्पानाम् (vaikāriko vikalpānām) Bhāg.1.85.11.

1) Origin (utpatti); आत्मा केवल आत्मस्थो विकल्पापायलक्षणः (ātmā kevala ātmastho vikalpāpāyalakṣaṇaḥ) Bhāg.11.25.27.

11) Admission, statement.

12) Fancy, imagination.

13) Mental occupation.

Derivable forms: vikalpaḥ (विकल्पः).

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

Vikalpa (विकल्प).—m. (1) (Sanskrit id., [Boehtlingk and Roth] s.v. 1 g, at least in very similar meaning, but in [Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit] more technical; whether Pali vikappa occurs in this sense is not clear; compare vikalpayati 1), (vain) imagining, especially false discrimination between true and false, real and unreal; seems substantially identical with kalpa 3 and parikalpa 1: compounded or associated with one or both of them, qq.v., Lalitavistara 34.11; Śikṣāsamuccaya 272.7; Kāśyapa Parivarta 94.3; Lalitavistara 250.16; 420.11; 422.20; Gaṇḍavyūha 350.5—6; eṣo asaṅgaprājñaḥ kalpair vikalpamukto Lalitavistara 223.21 (kalpair here = long periods of time; in next line kalpair is Lefm.'s insertion, mss. defective); in Dharmasaṃgraha 135 three vikalpāḥ, viz. anusmaraṇa-vi°, saṃtiraṇa-vi° (read saṃtīraṇa-, q.v., with v.l.), sahaja-vi° (compare Abhidharmakośa LaV-P. i.60); eight vi° Bodhisattvabhūmi 50.23, listed 25—27, svabhāva-vi°, viśeṣa-, piṇḍagrāha-, aham iti vi°, mameti vi°, priya-, apriya-, tadubhayaviparītaś ca vikalpaḥ (all expl. in the sequel); Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra 227.18—19 also says, vikalpo 'ṣṭadhā bhidyate, but I find no evidence as to what the eight kinds are (are they connected with the eight vijñāna, mentioned in 227.10?); vikalpa is a common and important word in Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra, one of the five dharma (2, q.v. 3); kleśendhana- vikalpa-kṣayakaraṃ Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra 12.3—4, (Buddha) who destroys (false) discrimination, the fuel of the depravities (wrongly Suzuki); Suzuki's translation(s) seems also wrong in Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra 9.7 ff. (verses) anyatra hi vikalpo 'yaṃ buddhadharmākṛtisthitiḥ, ye paśyanti yathādṛṣṭaṃ na te paśyanti nāyakaṃ, apra- vṛttivikalpaś ca yadā buddhaṃ na paśyati, apravṛttibhave buddhaḥ saṃbuddho yadi paśyati, on the contrary (anya- tra) this is a false discrimination, viz. abiding in (resting upon) the external form of the Buddha and Doctrine. Those who see him as seen (with worldly sight), they do not (truly) see the Buddha. And when, having no productive-(false-)- discrimination, one does not see the Buddha (as an earthly figure), in non-originative condition, he is a Buddha, a Perfectly Enlightened One, if he sees (thus; the Wei rendering cited in Suzuki's note seems to me to support this); (2) (to vikalpayati 2; the noun not recorded in Pali) gift, provision (for a monk or saint or Buddha), especially of garments: vayaṃ bhagavato divyāṃ vikalpāṃ duṣyāṇi (so mss.) dāsyāmaḥ. bhagavāṃ teṣāṃ devatānāṃ vikalpaṃ (Senart em. °pa; mss. kalpaṃ) duṣyapradānāni nādhivāsa- yati Mahāvastu iii.312.10—11, (let not the Lord accept a garment of linen rags;) we will give the Lord supernatural gifts, fine cloth garments. The Lord did not accept the present of those [Page480-b+ 71] gods, the gifts of fine garments; vikalpa-hetoḥ Bodhisattvabhūmi 128.16, as a gift (see the preceding passage s.v. vikalpayati 2).

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Vikalpā (विकल्पा).—(1): paraspara-vikalpayā Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra 287.7 (verse); perhaps m.c. for °pena, which would not fit metrical(ly) here.

Vikalpā can also be spelled as Vikalpa (विकल्प).

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

Vikalpa (विकल्प).—m.

(-lpaḥ) 1. Error, ignorance, mistake. 2. Alternative, option. 3. Doubt, indecision. 4. (In rhetoric,) Antithesis of opposites. 5. (In grammar, &c.,) Admission of more than one form or rule. 6. Device. E. vi distinction, and kalpa making, &c.

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

Vikalpa (विकल्प).—i. e. vi-kḷp + a, m. 1. Option, [Daśakumāracarita] in. Chr. 181, 20 (-upahāra-karman, Optional offerings, not prescribed); alternative, distinction, [Vedāntasāra, (in my Chrestomathy.)] in Chr. 217, 2. 2. Alternation, [Mālavikāgnimitra, (ed. Tullberg.)] [distich] 29. 3. Doubt, [Pañcatantra] i. [distich] 411; indecision, ib. 71, 20; hesitation, [Raghuvaṃśa, (ed. Stenzler.)] 17, 49. 4. Error, mistake. 5. Ignorance.

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

Vikalpa (विकल्प).—[masculine] alternative, choice between two or more; difference, variety; supposition, (false) conception; uncertainty, doubt.

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

1) Vikalpa (विकल्प):—[=vi-kalpa] [from vi] 1. vi-kalpa m. (for 2. See under vi-√kḷp) an intermediate Kalpa, the interval between two Kalpas. (q.v.), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

2) [=vi-kalpa] a etc. See under vi-√kḷp.

3) [=vi-kalpa] [from vi-kḷp] 2. vi-kalpa m. (for 1. See p. 950, col. 1) alternation, alternative, option, [???; Manu-smṛti; Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā] etc. (pena ind. ‘optionally’)

4) [v.s. ...] variation, combination, variety, diversity, manifoldness, [Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra; Mahābhārata] etc.

5) [v.s. ...] contrivance, art, [Raghuvaṃśa]

6) [v.s. ...] difference of perception, distinction, [Nyāyasūtra; Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

7) [v.s. ...] indecision, irresolution, doubt, hesitation, [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

8) [v.s. ...] admission, statement, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

9) [v.s. ...] false notion, fancy, imagination, [Yoga-sūtra; Gīta-govinda]

10) [v.s. ...] calculation, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā]

11) [v.s. ...] mental occupation, thinking, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

12) [v.s. ...] = kalpa-sthāna, [Caraka]

13) [v.s. ...] a god, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa] ([Scholiast or Commentator])

14) [v.s. ...] (in [rhetoric]) antithesis of opposites, [Pratāparudrīya]

15) [v.s. ...] (in gram.) admission of an option or alternative, the allowing a rule to be observed or not at pleasure (veti vikalpaḥ, [Pāṇini 1-1, 44 [Scholiast or Commentator]])

16) [v.s. ...] a collateral form, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā]

17) [v.s. ...] [plural] Name of a people, [Mahābhārata] ([Calcutta edition] vikalya)

18) [v.s. ...] mfn. different, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

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

Vikalpa (विकल्प):—[vi-kalpa] (lpaḥ) 1. m. Error, ignorance; alternative; doubt.

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

Vikalpa (विकल्प) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Viappa, Vigappa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Vikalpa in German

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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 (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

[«previous next»] — Vikalpa in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Vikalpa (विकल्प) [Also spelled vikalp]:—(nm) an option, alternative; uncertainty; -[jāla] a web of uncertainties.

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