Kalaviṅka (Sanskrit kalaviṅka कलविङ्क; Japanese Karyōbinga (迦陵頻迦?), Burmese ကရဝိက်, Thai นกการเวก) is a fantastical immortal creature in Buddhism, possessed of a human head and a bird's torso, with long flowing tail.
The kalaviṅka is said to dwell in Buddhist paradise (gokuraku-jōdo, nirvana), and reputed to preach the Buddhist scripture with its fine voice. It is said to sing while still unhatched within its eggshell. Its voice is a descriptor of the Buddha's voice. In Japanese text, it is sometimes written not phonetically, but under translated names myōonchō (妙音鳥 "exquisite sounding bird"?), kōonchō (好音鳥 "goodly sounding bird"?) among other rendered names.
In Chinese art
In Chinese mural art, it is portrayed as a human-headed, bird-bodied being (i.e. armless?), but in Japanese Buddhist art, it has been portrayed with an upper torso of a winged boddhisatva (i.e., having hands and arms), with a birdlike lower extremity. In the murals of Dunhuang (敦煌) they appear as figures both dancing and playing music.
In Japanese art
A well-known example is the pair of kalaviṅka carved in openwork (sukashibori) onto a Buddhist hanging ornament called the keman, used in the golden hall of Chūson-ji temple in Iwate Prefecture. The kalaviṅka from this ornament was commemorated on a 120-yen definitive stamp issued Nov. 1, 1962. The pose and general appearance on this piece is similar to the ones seen on the octagonal pedestal of the same temple (pictured right).
- In another keman from the Tokugawa period (see keman page), the creatures stand more bipedally erect and hence more humanlike.
- In the ancient courtly dance performance Gagaku - karyobin (迦陵頻?) is the name of dance expressive of the kalaviṅka, and is danced in pair with the kochō (胡蝶?), a dance of butterfly motif. The paired dancing is called tsugai-mai (番舞?).
- A kalaviṅka painting by the brushstrokes of Hasegawa Tōhaku resides in Daitoku-ji (Kyoto), inside the Kinmōkaku (金毛閣?) erected by tea-master Sen no Rikyū.
- Painted on the ceiling of Tōfuku-ji's Sanmon gate (Kyoto).
- Painted on the ceiling of Myōshin-ji's Sanmon gate (Kyoto), normally not open to public.
- The Mizusawa Kannon(ja) at 214 Mizusawa, in the former city of Ikaho, Gunma, Main Hall, front right ceiling, painting of a heavenly woman with eagle-like talons, anonymous.
- Kawakami Sadayakko (Sada Yacco), billed as the first overseas Japanese actress, late in her life, built a villa located at Unumahōshakujichō, Kagamihara, Gifu. The villa was christened Banshōen (萬松園?) by Itō Hirobumi, and the room with the Buddhist altar has a ceiling painting of kalaviṅka, which may be peered from outside (but access to premises only on Tuesday mornings).
In Tangut art
- Harpie (Greek mythology)
- Gumyōchō (共命鳥), phoneticized: Chinese: 耆婆耆婆迦; pinyin: ɡònɡ mìnɡ niǎo, Skr.:Jīvajīvaka - twin-headed human-bird.
- RG Veda by CLAMP: Ancient Hindu mythology theme. A sickly princess character.
- Dream Saga (夢幻伝説 タカマガハラ Mugen Densetsu Takamagahara?) by Megumi Tachikawa : based on Amano-Iwato legend. A sacred bird character.
- Nightingale no chinmoku(ja) (ナイチンゲールの沈黙 Nightingale's silence) by Takeru Kaidō(ja), bestselling medical fiction author:
- Takaoka Shnno Kokai ki(ja)(高丘親王航海記 Prince Takaoka's voyages) by Tatsuhiko Shibusawa
- Akame shijū ya taki shinjū misui(ja) (赤目四十八瀧心中未遂 Akame forty-eight waterfall suicide pact attempt) by Chōkitsu Kurumatani(ja): Tattooed on the back of Aya, a female character.
- Hepburn, James Curtis (1903). A Japanese-English and English-Japanese dictionary (google). p. 270.
- Shinchosha (1985). 新潮世界美術事典 (Shincho Encyclopedia of World Art). Shinchosha. ISBN 4-10-730206-7.
- Kojien dictionary, 2nd rev. ed., 1976,
- The American Philatelist, volume 76, number ?, 1962, p.70: "A 120-yen stamp in one-color photogravure will be released Nov. 1. 1962, depicting Keman-no-karyōbinga