84000 Glossary of Terms

Our trilingual glossary combining entries from all of our publications into one useful resource, giving translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

ཀ་ལ་པིང་ཀ | Glossary of Terms

    ཀ་ལ་པིང་ཀ

    ka la ping ka

    kalaviṅka

  • Term
Publications: 14

In Buddhist literature refers to a mythical bird whose call is said to be far more beautiful than that of all other birds, and so compelling that it can be heard even before the bird has hatched. The call of the kalaviṅka is thus used as an analogy to describe the sound of the discourse of bodhisattvas as being far superior to that of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas, even before bodhisattvas attain awakening. In some cases, the kalaviṅka also takes on mythical characteristics, being depicted as part human, part bird. It is also the sixteenth of the eighty designs on the palms and soles of a tathāgata.

While it is equated to an Indian bird renowned for its beautiful song, there is some uncertainty regarding the identity of the kalaviṅka; some dictionaries declare it to be a type of Indian cuckoo (probably Eudynamys scolopacea, also known as the asian koel) or a red and green sparrow (possibly Amandava amandava, also known as the red avadavat).