adjective dark, black, as attr. of darkness, opposed to light, syn. with kāḷa (q.v. for etym.); opp. sukka. In general it is hard to separate the lit. and fig. meanings, an ethical implication is to be found in nearly all cases (except 1.). The contrast with sukka (brightness) goes through all applications with ref. to light as well as quality.

I. Of the sense of sight

k-sukka dark & bright (about black white see nīla & seta), forming one system of coloursensations (the colourless, as distinguished from the red-green and yellow-blue systems). As such enumerated in connection with quasi definition of vision, together with nīla, pīta, lohita, mañjeṭṭha at DN.ii.328 = MN.i.509 sq = MN.i.ii.201 (see also mañjeṭṭha)

II. (objective)

  1. of dark (black), poisonous snakes: kaṇhā (f.) Ja.ii.215 (= kāḷa-sappa C); -sappa Ja.i.336; Ja.iii.269, Ja.iii.347; Ja.v.446 Vism.664 (in simile); Mil.149; Pv-a.62; -sīsā with black heads AN.iii.241 (kimī).
  2. of (an abundance of smooth, dark (= shiny) hair (cp. in meaning E. gloom gloss = black: shiny), as epithet of King Vasudeva Pv.ii.6#1 syn. with Kesavā (the Hairy, cp. ̓*Απόλλων *Οὐλαϊος Samson, etc., see also siniddha-, nīla-, kāla-kesa) sukaṇha-sīsa with very dark hair Ja.v.205, also as sukaṇha-kaṇha-sīsa Ja.v.202 (cp. susukāḷa). -jaṭi an ascetic with dark & glossy hair Ja.vi.507, cp. Ja.v.205 sukaṇhajaṭila. -añjana glossy polish Ja.v.155 (explained as sukhumakaṇha-lom’ ācitattā).
  3. of the black trail of fire in -vattanin (cp. Vedic kṛṣṇa-vartaniṃ agniṃ R.V. viii.23, 19) SN.i.69 = Ja.iii.140 (cp. Ja.iii.9); Ja.v.63.
  4. of the black (fertile) soil of Avanti “kaṇh-uttara black on the surface Vin.i.195

III. (Applied)

  1. -pakkha the dark (moonless) half of the month during which the spirits of the departed suffer and the powers of darkness prevail Pv-a.135, cp. Pv.iii.6#4, see also pakkha1 3.
  2. attr. of all dark powers and anything belonging to their sphere, e.g. of Māra Snp.355 Snp.439 (= Namuci); of demons, goblins (pisācā) DN.i.93 with ref. to the “black-born” ancestor of the Kaṇhāyanas (cp. Dhp.i.263 kāḷa-vaṇṇa), cp. also kāḷa in ˚sunakha, the Dog of Purgatory Pv-a.152.
  3. of a dark, i.e. miserable, unfortunate birth, or social condition DN.iii.81 sq. (brāhmano va sukko vaṇṇo, kaṇho añño vaṇṇo). -abhijāti a special species of men according to the doctrine of Gosāla DN-a.i.162; AN.iii.383 sq. -abhijātika “of black birth,” of low social grade DN.iii.251 = AN.iii.384; Snp.563; cp. Thag.833 and J.P.T.S. 1893, 11; in the sense of “evil disposition” at Ja.v.87 (explained as kāḷaka-sabhāva).
  4. of dark, evil actions or qualities: -dhamma AN.v.232 = Dhp.87; DN.iii.82; Snp.967; Pp.30; Mil.200, Mil.337; -paṭipadā Ja.i.105, and -magga the evil way AN.v.244, AN.v.278; -bhāvakara causing a low (re-)birth Ja.iv.9 (+ pāpa-kammāni), and in same context as dhamma combined with -sukka at AN.iv.33; Snp.526 (where kaṇhā˚ for kaṇha˚) Mil.37; -kamma “black action” MN.i.39; -vipāka black result, 4 kinds of actions and 4 results, viz kaṇha˚, sukka˚, kaṇha-sukka˚, akaṇha-asukka˚; DN.iii.230 = MN.i.389 sq. = AN.ii.230 sq.; Ne.232. akaṇha 1 not dark, i.e. light, in -netta with bright eyes, Esp of King Pingala-netta Ja.ii.242 in contrast with Māra (although pingala-cakkhu is also epithet of Māra or his representatives, cp. Ja.v.42; Pv.ii.4#1). 2 not evil i.e. good AN.ii.230, AN.ii.231
    atikaṇha very dark Vin.iv.7 sukaṇha id. see above ii.2.

cp. Vedic kṛṣṇa, Lith. kérszas