Kanishtha, Kaniṣṭha, Kaṇiṣṭha: 16 definitions



Kanishtha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit terms Kaniṣṭha and Kaṇiṣṭha can be transliterated into English as Kanistha or Kanishtha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Kanishth.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Kanishtha in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Purāṇas

Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ, “inferior”) refers to a classifications of maṇḍapa (halls attached to the temple), according to the Matsya-purāṇa (verses 270.1-30). The Matsyapurāṇa is one of the eighteen major purāṇas dating from the 1st-millennium BCE.

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ) refers to the “yougest” (i.e., sibling), according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.2.—Accordingly, as Sanatkumāra said to the three daughters of Svadhā (i.e., Menā, Dhanyā, Kalāvatī) after cursing them:—“[...] O ye three daughters of forefathers (i.e., Kalāvatī), listen with pleasure to my words that will dispel your sorrow and bestow happiness on you. [...] The youngest (i.e., kaniṣṭha) Kalāvatī shall be the wife of the Vaiśya—Vṛṣabhāna. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ).—One of the five deva-gaṇas of the 14th epoch of Bhautya Manu. These are the seven sāmas commencing with bṛhat.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 106 & 108; Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 111-2; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 2. 43.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Arcana-dipika - 3rd Edition

Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ) refers to the “neophyte stage”, according to the Arcana-dīpikā (manual on deity worship).—Exalted devotees of Śrī Bhagavān have commented on [Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 11.237] as follows: To become eligible to genuinely enter the chanting of the holy name (nāma-bhajana), the living entity must first be elevated from the kaniṣṭha (neophyte) stage to the madhyama (intermediate) stage, by rendering service to the deity form of the Supreme Lord. The process of deity worship has been mentioned in both the Pañcarātra and the Bhāgavatam.

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ) is the name of a Tathāgata (Buddha) mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Kaniṣṭha).

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Kanishtha in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ).—a (S) Younger. 2 Inferior (in merit &c.) 3 The least, last, lowest, worst; the third of the three stages uttama, madhyama, kaniṣṭha. 4 Small or little.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ).—a Younger. Inferior. The least, merciful.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Kanishtha in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kaṇiṣṭha (कणिष्ठ).—a. The smallest, the most minute.

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Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ).—a. (Superl. of alpa or yuvan)

1) The smallest, least.

2) The youngest; पुत्र एषामुतैषां ज्येष्ठ उत वा कनिष्ठः (putra eṣāmutaiṣāṃ jyeṣṭha uta vā kaniṣṭhaḥ) Rv.1.8.28.

3) Lower.

4) Having the feet downwards.

-ṣṭhaḥ Name of Śiva.

-ṣṭhā 1 The little finger.

2) A kind of heroine.

3) The wife of a younger brother.

4) A younger wife, one married later (than another); पुत्रः कनिष्ठो ज्येष्ठायां कनिष्ठायां च पूर्वजः (putraḥ kaniṣṭho jyeṣṭhāyāṃ kaniṣṭhāyāṃ ca pūrvajaḥ) Ms.9.122.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ).—mfn.

(-ṣṭhaḥ-ṣṭhā-ṣṭhaṃ) 1. Small, little. 2. Younger, younger born. 3. Young. f.

(-ṣṭhā) The little finger. E. kan to shine, &c. and iṣṭhac affix, or kaṇa small, the ṇa being changed, or kana substituted for yuvan and alpa.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ).—superl. of alpa and yuvan, f. ṣṭhā. 1. Smallest, very small, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 51, 7. 2. Youngest, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 9, 113. 3. with and without aṅguli, f. The little finger, [Yājñavalkya, (ed. Stenzler.)] 1, 19.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ).—([superlative]) the smallest, least, lowest, youngest, younger; [feminine] ā the youngest wife, (±anguli) the little finger.

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Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ).—([superlative]) the smallest, least, lowest, youngest, younger; [feminine] ā the youngest wife, (±anguli) the little finger.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ):—[from kana] a kaniṣṭha and kaniṣṭha mfn. the youngest, younger born (opposed to jyeṣṭha and vṛddha), [Ṛg-veda iv, 33, 5; Atharva-veda x, 8, 28; Aitareya-brāhmaṇa; Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] the smallest, lowest, least (opposed to bhūyiṣṭha), [Taittirīya-saṃhitā; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] m. a younger brother, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] ([scilicet] ghaṭa) the descending bucket of a well, [Kuvalayānanda]

5) [v.s. ...] Name of a class of deities of the fourteenth Manvantara, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

6) Kaniṣṭhā (कनिष्ठा):—[from kaniṣṭha > kana] f. (with or without aṅguli) the little finger, [Yājñavalkya i, 19; Rāmāyaṇa; Suśruta]

7) [v.s. ...] a younger wife, one married later (than another), [Manu-smṛti ix, 122]

8) [v.s. ...] an inferior wife, [Vātsyāyana] (cf. kaṇa and kanyā.)

9) Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ):—b etc. See p. 248, col. 3.

[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch

Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ):—in ältern Büchern, kaniṣṭha in jüngern (vgl. die Betonung von jyeṣṭha); nach [Śāntanācārya’s Phiṭsūtrāṇi 1, 23] in der zweiten adj. Bed. oxyt., sonst proparoxyt.

1) adj. f. ā gaṇa ajādi zu [Pāṇini’s acht Bücher 4, 1, 4.] am Ende eines comp. [Pāṇini’s acht Bücher 6, 2, 25.] vacanakaniṣṭham [Scholiast] a) der kleinste, geringste, wenigste (Gegens. bhūyiṣṭha) [Pāṇini’s acht Bücher 5, 3, 64.] [Vopadeva’s Grammatik 7, 60.] [Amarakoṣa 3, 4, 10, 44.] [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 1428,] [Scholiast] [Anekārthasaṃgraha 3, 174.] [Medinīkoṣa ṭh. 12.] gā.a.rī kaniṣṭhā.chandasām [Taittirīyasaṃhitā 6, 1, 6, 3.] ga.da.haḥ kaniṣṭhaṃ paśū.āṃ prajāyate [5, 1, 5, 5.] [The Śatapathabrāhmaṇa 1, 8, 2, 10. 2, 2, 3, 10. 4, 5, 5, 9.] kaniṣṭhapada oder kaniṣṭhamūla least root; that quantity, of which the square multiplied by the given multiplicator and having the given addend added, or subtrahend subtracted, is capable of affording an exact square root, [Algebra 363.] — — b) der jüngste, der jüngere (Gegens. jyeṣṭha, bṛhant, vṛddha) [Pāṇini’s acht Bücher] [Vopadeva’s Grammatik] [Amarakoṣa 2, 6, 1, 43. 3, 4, 10, 44.] [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 552.] [Hemacandra’s Anekārthasaṃgraha] [Medinīkoṣa] [Ṛgveda 4, 33, 5.] [Vājasaneyisaṃhitā 16, 32.] [Atharvavedasaṃhitā 10, 8, 28.] [Aitareyabrāhmaṇa 7, 15.] [Kātyāyana’s Śrautasūtrāṇi 22, 4, 5.] jyeṣṭhaprathamāḥ kaniṣṭhajaghanyāḥ [ĀŚV. GṚHY. 4, 2.] [Śāṅkhāyana’s Śrautasūtrāṇi 4, 15, 18. 15, 20, 6.] yathākaniṣṭham [Pāraskara’s Gṛhyasūtrāṇi 3, 10.] jyeṣṭhaścaiva kaniṣṭhaśca [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 9, 113. 211. 214.] [Hiḍimbavadha 2, 32.] [Viśvāmitra’s Kampf 11, 17.] Citat beim [Scholiast] zu [Śākuntala 51, 16.] putraḥ kaniṣṭho jyeṣṭhāyāṃ ([Kullūka]: = prathamoḍhāyāṃ) kaniṣṭhāyāṃ ([Kullūka]: = paścādūḍhāyāṃ) pūrvajaḥ [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 9, 122.] kaniṣṭhātreya im Gegens. zu bṛhadātreya und vṛddhātreya [Akademische Vorlesungen 237.] — c) aṅguliḥ kaniṣṭhā oder kaniṣṭhā allein der kleine Finger [Amarakoṣa 2, 6, 2, 33.] [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 593.] [Hemacandra’s Anekārthasaṃgraha] [Medinīkoṣa] kaniṣṭhāyāmapyaṅgulyāṃ bhrāturmama sa rākṣasaḥ . duḥkhaṃ kartumaparyāptaḥ [Rāmāyaṇa 3, 51, 7.] [Yājñavalkya’s Gesetzbuch 1, 19.] [Suśruta 1, 126, 6.] —

2) m. pl. Name einer Götterordnung im 14ten Manvantara [Viṣṇupurāṇa 269.] —

3) f. Bez. einer bes. Art von Heroine: dhīrāditisṛṇāṃ dvidhābhedāntargatanāyikāviśeṣaḥ . asyā lakṣaṇam pariṇītatve sati bharturnyūnasnehā .. [Rasamañjarī im Śabdakalpadruma] — Vgl. akaniṣṭha . Superl. zum compar. kanīyaṃs und desselben Ursprungs wie kanā, kanyā u.s.w.

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Kaniṣṭha (कनिष्ठ):—

1) a) der geringste, niedrigste: kaniṣṭha, dvitīya, tṛtīya, caturtha, śreṣṭha [Spr. 4612. fgg.] — b) m. ein jüngerer Bruder [Halāyudha 2, 351.] — c) [Varāhamihira’s Bṛhajjātaka S. 58, 27.] — d) Bez. der niedersteigenden Töpfe oder Eimer an einem Brunnenrade (Gegens. jyeṣṭha) [Spr. 4080.] —

3) eine hintanstehende Gattin oder Geliebte: sapatnīṣu jyeṣṭhāvṛttam, kaniṣṭhāvṛttam [Oxforder Handschriften 215,b,39. fg.]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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