Definition - What does Kaala mean?

Kaala is a Sanskrit term with dual meanings. The first meaning is translated as "black" or "dark colored," and the second as "time," "destiny," "fate" or "death." Kaala is also used in reference to one of the forms of Yama, the Hindu god of death.

Generally, in Hinduism, kaala stands for both time and death, determining the time that a person will spend on Earth. Kaala is also one of the 36 tattvas, or principles of reality. Kaala-tattva is the stage at which one realizes the limitations of the endless individual soul.

Yogapedia explains Kaala

In Kashmir Shaivism, there are three classifications of tattva: pure tattvas, pure-impure tattvas and impure tattvas. Kaala, together with power, knowledge, space and passion, belongs to the second group of the pure-impure tattvas, describing the soul and the limitations of the soul.

In Hinduism, kaala is sometimes personified as Yama because death ends one's time on Earth. The soul, however, has no time, no beginning or end; therefore, it cannot die. One must go beyond the limitations of time and the other 35 tattvas in order to achieve pure consciousness and liberation.

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