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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Kalpa \Kal"pa\, n. [Skr.] (Hind. Myth.) One of the Brahmanic eons, a period of 4,320,000,000 years. At the end of each Kalpa the world is annihilated.


Kalpa may refer to

  • Kalpa (Vedanga) "proper practice", "ritual", one of the six disciplines of Vedanga in Hinduism
  • Kalpa (aeon) a Sanskrit word referring to a great length of time (Aeon) in Buddhist and Hindu cosmology
  • Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh, a town in Himachal Pradesh, India
  • KalPa, a Finnish ice hockey team
Kalpa (Vedanga)

Kalpa means "proper, fit" and is one of the six disciplines of the Vedānga, or ancillary science connected with the Vedas – the scriptures of Hinduism. This field of study focussed on procedures and ceremonies associated with Vedic ritual practice.

The major texts of Kalpa Vedanga are called Kalpa Sutras in Hinduism. The scope of these texts included Vedic rituals, rites of passage rituals associated with major life events such as birth, wedding and death in family, as well as personal conduct and proper duties in the life of an individual. Most Kalpasutras texts have experienced interpolation, changes and consequent corruption over their history, and Apasthamba Kalpasutra ancillary to the Yajurveda may be the best preserved text in this genre.

Kalpa Sutras are also found in other Indian traditions such as Jainism.

Kalpa (aeon)

Kalpa ( kalpa) is a Sanskrit word meaning an aeon, or a relatively long period of time (by human calculation) in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. The concept is first mentioned in the Mahabharata. Romila Thapar holds that "the kalpa is first referred to in the inscriptions of Asoka". In the Pali (= early Buddhist) form the word kappa is mentioned in the assumed oldest scripture of Buddhism, the Sutta Nipata, where it speaks of "Kappâtita: one who has gone beyond time, an Arahant". This part of the Buddhist manuscripts dates back to the middle part of the last millennium BC.

Generally speaking, a kalpa is the period of time between the creation and recreation of a world or universe. The definition of a kalpa equaling 4.32 billion years is found in the Puranas—specifically Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana.

Usage examples of "kalpa".

The Shudra Ahir were formerly one of the thirty-seven, until after the Third Incarnation of Lord Kalpa, when they came up from Anhalwara by way of Lower Oond, and intermarried with a tribe of degenerated Mulgrassias.

To give you an idea of just how degenerate they were, these Dhangs, in an earlier age, had intermarried with the Kalpa Salkh of Kalapur, of whom almost nothing is known save that not even the ape-men of Hari would allow themselves to be overshadowed by them.

Eleven Manvantaras and one Krita make one Kalpa, she repeated to herself.

Fourteen Manvantaras and one Krita make one Kalpa, Harriet thought to herself as she listened to the dialling tone.

Last time I felt this chilled was back on Kalpa, when we had to go in hand-to-hand combat across a series of snow bridges against a Cylon attacking force.

She smiles, and in the curve of her crescent lips ineffable lore is manifest, as if an entire kalpa of summers were epitomizes in a single rose.

Then the time coordinate becomes cyclic, as in Hindu mythology, where Brahma recreates the universe every kalpa, a period of 4.

Then in the slow creeping course of eternity the utmost cycle of the cosmos churned itself into another futile completion, and all things became again as they were unreckoned kalpas before.

These periods are called kalpas, and each one covers a duration of thousands of millions of years.

It had reminded Marguerite dismayingly of the Hindu idea of the kalpas, the sacred circle, eternal return.

According to the system of Brahmanism, the creation is regularly called into being and again destroyed at the beginning and end of certain stupendous epochs called kalpas.