While I was reading the book "Bangkok Tattoo" I came across a reference to a "Kalpa" in one of the entries and from the gist of the paragraph I understood this word to be a "story" or an "account". Is this indeed the meaning of the word in Thai?
Kalpa.....how does the word look like?... กัลป, or something close? If so, it means a period of time about 4 400 million years. It is almost a conotation of the word nirandra นิรันดรwhich means eternity.
If someone says rao jarak kan chua kalpawasar เราจะรักกันชั่วกาลปวสาร it means until the end of everything. This is a very cheesy way of saying We will love each other until the end of time.
Nirandra (read like Nirandon) is a more proper way to say forever but not as cheesy as kalpawasar (read kalpawasan)
It was simply written "Kalpa" in the book. I would think they would use standard transliteration but maybe not.. Unfortunately I did have to return the book the library yesterday(for the past week I was in NYC and miraculously did have time to finish the Da Vinci code along with this book..) so I cannot supply you with the paragraph word for word.
It starts out somewhat like this: "At the beginning of our Kalpa, a Christian, a Muslim, and a Buddhist were long time friends and they came across a hill from which they could see the vast expanse of the village below. The Christian says that he sees two villages. In the first, the villagers are very industrious and content while in the second they are indulged in lascivious debauchery. The muslim cries out that his friend is wrong and that in the second village everyone is sleeping. The Buddhist angrily shouts out that both of them are wrong and that there is only a single village in which everyone is dreaming themselves in and out of existence.
I may have gotten a few points incorrect but that was the gist of the paragraph...
I particularly enjoyed this quote so that's why I am so intrigued by the word "Kalpa" and because in Bengali "Galpa(Golpo)" is the word for a story.
Kalpa is a word from Buddhism which has been borrowed from Hinduism. As Pivra said it denotes a very long period of time. It could be translated by age or era. The universe is going through a succession of kalpas and each of those eras had its own Buddhas.
So the author specifies that the story is taking place in our kalpa, during which the Buddha Gautama Sakyamuni came into existence.