From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Kalā literally means ‘that which increases’. It is a Sanskrit word and has several meanings. It's interpretation depends on the context in which it is used. The word kalā denotes to be a 'part' of anything on a general note, though it has a wide usage with other meanings as well.
Meaning as Arts and Science
The word kalā is also referred to as art or science. There are 64 types of arts listed. Some of them are:
- Gītam - music
- Nṛtyam - dancing
- Puṣpā- staraṇam - decoration with flowers
- Aindrajāla - magic
- Prahelikā - giving riddles for solving
- Takṣakarma - carpentry
- Vāstuvidyā - architecture
- Nimitta jñāna - futurology with the help of omens
- Dhātuvāda - metallurgy
Meaning in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, it refers to the seven human body parts.
Meaning in Upaniṣads
The Upaniṣads sometimes refer to 16 kalās or parts. Some of them are:
These kalās are associated with a living being and responsible for his bondage.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore