Nagara, aka: Nāgara, Naga-ra; 21 Definition(s)


Nagara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. 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.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Nāgara (नागर):—Another name for Śuṇṭhī (Zingiber officinale), a species of medicinal plant and used in the treatment of fever (jvara), as described in the Jvaracikitsā (or “the treatment of fever”) which is part of the 7th-century Mādhavacikitsā, a Sanskrit classical work on Āyurveda. In this work, the plant is mentioned being part of the Kirātatiktādigaṇa group of medicinal drugs.

According to the Rājanighaṇṭu (verses 5.24-28), Nāgara is a synonym for Śṛṅgavera, which is the Sanskrit word referring to fresh ginger (the same Zingiber officinale). The Rājanighaṇṭu is a 13th-century medicinal thesaurus.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Nagara (नगर):—Another name for Caitrakaccha, one of the twenty-four pītha (‘sacred sites’) of the Sūryamaṇḍala according to the Śrīmatottara-tantra and the kubjikāmata-tantra.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Nagara (नगर) is the name of a sacred site (pīṭha) to be assigned to the right buttock (sakthi) during the pīṭhavidhi (‘ritual of sacred sites’) according to the Tantrāloka chapter 29. This chapter of the Tantrāloka by Abhinavagupta expounds details regarding the Kula initiation ritual. Kula or Kaula is a specific tradition within Śaivism, closely related to Siddhānta and Śaktism. In the Jñānārṇava-tantra it is also mentioned as a pīṭha and is also called Kolvagiri.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Nāgara (नागर, “townsmen”):—The Sanskrit name for a group of Prāsādas (‘town buildings’), according to the 11th-century Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra (chapter 63). This work, authored by Bhojadeva, is an encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.āsāda.

The names of the twenty buildings/temples (prāsādas) mentioned in this group are as follows:

  1. Meru,
  2. Mandara,
  3. Kailāśa,
  4. Kumbha,
  5. Mṛgarāja,
  6. Gaja,
  7. Vimānacchanda,
  8. Caturaśra,
  9. Aṣṭāśra,
  10. Ṣoḍaśāśra,
  11. Vartula,
  12. Sarvatodaka,
  13. Siṃhāsya,
  14. Nandana,
  15. Nandivardhana,
  16. Haṃsaka,
  17. Vṛṣa,
  18. Garuḍa (Garutmaḍ),
  19. Padmaka,
  20. Samudra.
Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Nāgara (नागर).—A classification of prāsada (‘superstructure of a temple’);—Nāgara, according to texts, is a building, wiiich is square up to its finial. See the Suprabhedhāgama, Kriya 30.40, Padmasaṃhita 9.1-2 and the Mayamata 19.37.

Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD
Vastushastra book cover
context information

Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Nagara in Purana glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

Nagara (नगर).—In ancient days there were rules and principles regulating the construction of a city. The name 'city' could be applied to them only if they conformed to the rules and principles in vogue. The principles and rules of the erection of a proper city are given below:—

One yojana or a half of land should be selected as site.* The planning of the city should be commenced after worshipping the deity of Vāstu. There should be four main gates on the four sides, East, West, North and South. The South gate should be in the position of Gandharvapada, West gate in the place of Varuṇa, the North gate in the place of Soma (Moon) and the East fort gate in the place of Sūryapada (the position of the Sun). The haṭṭas (minor gates) should be wide enough for elephants etc. to pass through. The main gates should be six rods wide. (See full article at Story of Nagara from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Nagara (नगर).—In Śākadvīpa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 19. 101; III. 70. 10.

1b) A son of Manyu, and father of Samkṛti.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 19. 21-2.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Nagara (city): A nagara or pura covers an area of a yojana (1 yojana = ~13km).

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Dried ginger is called nagaram in Sanskrit and south in Hindi. Ayurveda calls dried ginger 'the great medicament' against colds, cough, rhinitis, bronchitis and indigestion. It is a strong aromatic stimulant, prescribed for abdominal distension, colic, diarrhoea and nausea. Ayurvedic physicians used an infusion of dried ginger in hot water to induce sweating for breaking fevers. They also applied it externally to relieve rheumatic pain. However, they stressed that ginger should be avoided by those who suffer from hyperacidity and gastric ulcers.

Source: Yoga Magazine: 2005

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

The name of King Maddas capital (?) J.v.310.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Nagara (नगर) is the name of a sacred site (pīṭha) presided over by Suvīrā, according to the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala. Suvīrā is a deity situated in one of the six petals of the southern lotus, of which the presiding deity is kuleśvarī (presiding lady) named Pāṇḍaravāsinī. The central deity of the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala is the twelve-armed Vajravarāhī.

Nagara is one of the twenty-four pīṭhas, or ‘sacred-site’ (six lotuses each having six petals), each corresponding with a part of the human body. Nagara is to be contemplated as situated in the toes. Besides being associated with a bodily spot, each pīṭha represents an actual place of ancient India frequented particularly by advanced tantric practitioners

The Vārāhyabhyudayatantra is an explanatory tantra on the Laghuśaṃvara, but its verses are largerly extracted from the 10th century Abhidhānottaratantra, a scriputre describing various sādhanas (path towards spiritual realization).

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini
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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India history and geogprahy

Nagara (or, Nāgara) refers to one of the 84 castes (gaccha) in the Jain community according to various sources. The associated place of origin is known as Nagarachala (or, Nāgarachāla). The Jain caste and sub-caste system was a comparatively later development within their community, and it may have arisen from the ancient classification of Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra. Before distinction of these classes (such as Nagara), the society was not divided into distinct separate sections, but all were considered as different ways of life and utmost importance was attached to individual chartacter and mode of behaviour.

According to Dr. Vilas Adinath Sangava, “Jainism does not recognise castes (viz., Nagara) as such and at the same time the Jaina books do not specifically obstruct the observance of caste rules by the members of the Jaina community. The attitude of Jainism towards caste is that it is one of the social practices, unconnected with religion, observed by people; and it was none of its business to regulate the working of the caste system” (source).

The legendary account of the origin of these 84 Jain castes (eg., Nagara) relate that once a rich Jain invited members of the Jain community in order to establish a vaiśya-mahāsabhā (i.e. Central Association of Traders). In response, 84 representatives came from different places (eg., Nagarachala), and they were later seen as the progenitors of these castes. Various sources however mention differences in the list.

Source: Wisdom Library: India History

Nagara (नगर) or Nagarī means a “town”, a “city” and refers to a name-ending for place-names mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions (reigned from 3rd century CE). We find the term being used by Pāṇini (IV.2.142). The word Nāgaraka (or Nāgarika) also occurs in Sanskrit literature as standing for “an inhabitant of a town” but sometimes its use was restricted for the chief of a town or a police-officer. In modern times nāgarika is used to refer to “a citizen of a state whether living in city or village”.

The word Nagara is changed into:

  1. nar as Kuśīnagara, Kusinar, Girinagara, Girnar;
  2. ner as Jīrṇanagara, Jooner.

In modern times the suffix nagara is sometimes used to denote an inhabitation or Mohalla e. g. Tilak Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Patel Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Lajapat Nagar.

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Nagara (towns) refers to administrative divsions of viṣayas and khollas of during the rule of Kannaḍa-speaking Śilāhāra dynasty (r. 765-1215 A.D.).—The viṣayas and khollas comprised nagaras or towns, and grāmas or villages. Very few towns in the kingdoms of the Śilāhāras find mention in their inscriptions. The deśa (administrative unit) was there divided into nāḍas or khollas.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras

Nāgara Temples.—In Orissa, from the 7th century up to the 13th century temples of the Nāgara order were built. These temples, while retaining the blueprint of the earlier ones of this style, became far larger and more ornate. This regional school, called the Kalinga or Orissan style, had a long period of evolution. The curvilinear śikhara over the sanctum sanctorum is the most eye-catching feature as also the hall called the jagmohana. The walls are profusely decorated with sculptures.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Architecture (1): Early and Classical Architecture (h)

Nagara (नगर) or Nagari is the name of an ancient locality situated in Majjhimadesa (Middle Country) of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—The place is mentioned in the Barhut inscriptions. The location of the place is unknown. Is it identical with Nagarahāra mentioned in the Parāsaratantra, the Nang-go-lo-ho-lo of the Chinese, the Nagara or Dionysopolis of Ptolemy and identified with Jelalabad? If so, then it should be located in the Uttarāpatha division. But it may also be held to he identical with Nagarī or Nagara, 8 miles north of Chitorgadh State in Udaipur in Rajputana.

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism
India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Nagara in Pali glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

nagara : (nt.) town; a citadel. || nāgara (adj. & n.), belonging to a city; urbane; polite; a citizen.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Nāgara, (Sk. nāgara, see nagara) a citizen J. I, 150; IV, 404; V, 385; Dāvs II. 85; VvA. 31; PvA. 19; DhA. I, 41. (Page 349)

— or —

Nagara, (nt.) (Ved. nagara, Non-aryan? Connection with agāra is very problematic) a stronghold, citadel, fortress; a (fortified) town, city. As seat of the government & as important centre of trade contrasted with gāma & nigama (village & market-place or township) Vin. III, 47 (°bandhana), 184; cp. gāma 3 b. deva° deva-city JI. 3, 168, 202; DhA. I, 280 etc.; cp. yakkha° J. II, 127.—Vin. I, 277, 342, 344; II, 155, 184; D. II, 7; S. II, 105 sq.; IV, 194 (kāyassa adhivacanaṃ); V, 160; A. I, 168, 178; IV, 106 sq. (paccantima); V, 194 (id.) Dh. 150 (aṭṭhīnaṃ); Sn. 414, 1013 (Bhoga°); J. I, 3, 50 (Kapilavatthu°); II, 5; III, 188; VI, 368 etc.; Pug. 56; DhA. IV, 2; PvA. 3, 39, 73; Dpvs XIV. 51 (+pura). Cp. nāgara.

—ûpakārikā a town fortified with a wall covered with cement at its base D. I, 105, cp. DA. I, 274; —ûpama like a citadel (of citta) Dh. 40, cp. DhA. I, 317 & Nagaropama sūtra Divy 340; —kathā town-gossip D. I, 7; —guttika superintendent of the city police J. III, 30, 436; IV, 279; Miln. 345 (dhammanagare n-g.), DhA. IV, 55. Cp. Kern, Toev. p. 167; —vara the noble town (of Rājagaha) Vv 166, cp. VvA. 82; —vīthi a city street J. II, 416; —sobhinī the city belle, a town courtesan J. II, 367 (°anā); III, 435 (Sulasā), 475 (°anī); DhA. I, 174; II, 201; PvA. 4 (Sulasā); Miln. 350. (Page 345)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

nagara (नगर).—n (S) A city or town. 2 Applied by eminence to Ahmednugger, Satara &c.

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nagārā (नगारा).—m ( A) A kettledrum. na0 vājaṇēṃ or nagāṛyāvara ṭiparūṃ paḍaṇēṃ g. of s. To be noised abroad; to become notorious. nagāṛyāvara ṭiparūṃ ṭākaṇēṃ-vājaviṇēṃ To make a noise in the world.

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nāgara (नागर).—m (S) A tribe of the gujarāthī brāhmaṇa or an individual of it.

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nāgara (नागर).—a (S) Relating to a city or town, urban, oppidan. Hence Clever, sharp, knowing, knavish.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nagara (नगर).—n A city or town.

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nagārā (नगारा).—m A kettle-drum. nagārā vājaṇēṃ or nagāṛyā- vara ṭiparūṃ paḍaṇēṃ To be noised abroad; to become notorious. nagāṛyāvara ṭiparūṃ ṭākaṇēṃ- vājaviṇēṃ To make a noise in the world.

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nāgara (नागर).—m A tribe of the gujarāthī brāhmaṇa or an individual of it.

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nāgara (नागर).—a Relating to a city or town, urban. Clever, sharp.

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

Nagara (नगर).—[nagā iva prāsādāḥ santyatra bā° ra; cf. P.V.2.17 Vārt.] A town, city (opp. grāma); नगरगमनाय मतिं न करोति (nagaragamanāya matiṃ na karoti) Ś2. पण्यक्रियादिनिपुणैश्चातुर्वर्ण्यजनैर्युतम् । अनेकजातिसंबद्धं नैकशिल्पिसमाकुलम् । सर्वदैवतसंबद्धं नगरं त्वभिधीयते (paṇyakriyādinipuṇaiścāturvarṇyajanairyutam | anekajātisaṃbaddhaṃ naikaśilpisamākulam | sarvadaivatasaṃbaddhaṃ nagaraṃ tvabhidhīyate) ||

Derivable forms: nagaram (नगरम्).

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Nāgara (नागर).—a. (- f.) [नगरे भवः अण् (nagare bhavaḥ aṇ)]

1) Town-born, town-bred.

2) Relating to a town, civic.

3) Spoken in a town.

4) Polite, civil.

5) Clever, sharp.

6) Bad, vile, one who has contracted the vices of a town. नाग- नागरयोर्मध्ये वरं नागो न नागरः । नागो दशति कालेन नागरस्तु पुनः पुनः (nāga- nāgarayormadhye varaṃ nāgo na nāgaraḥ | nāgo daśati kālena nāgarastu punaḥ punaḥ) || Subhāṣita.

7) Nameless.

-raḥ 1 A citizen (paura); यः पण्यस्त्रीरतिपरिमलोद्गारिभिर्नागराणामुद्दामानि प्रथयति शिलावेश्मभि- र्यौवनानि (yaḥ paṇyastrīratiparimalodgāribhirnāgarāṇāmuddāmāni prathayati śilāveśmabhi- ryauvanāni) Me.25; Śānti.4.19; Bhāg.1.56.17.

2) A husband's brother.

3) A lecturer.

4) An orange.

5) Fatigue; hardship, toil.

6) Desire of final beatitude.

7) A term applied to a prince engaged in war under certain circumstances and also to a planet when in opposition to other planets (in astrol.)

8) Denial of knowledge.

-ram 1 Dry ginger; खर्बूरं मरिचं पूर्णं देवदारु च नागरम् (kharbūraṃ maricaṃ pūrṇaṃ devadāru ca nāgaram) Śiva B.3.16. पिप्पली सैन्धवं चैव नागरं च गुडान्वितम् । प्रातर्दत्तं तुरङ्गाणां नस्यं श्लेष्मविनाशनम् (pippalī saindhavaṃ caiva nāgaraṃ ca guḍānvitam | prātardattaṃ turaṅgāṇāṃ nasyaṃ śleṣmavināśanam) || Śālihotra.

2) A kind of coitus.

3) One of the three styles of architecture; it is quadrangular in shape; चतुरस्राकृतिं यत्तु नागरं तत् प्रकीर्तितम् (caturasrākṛtiṃ yattu nāgaraṃ tat prakīrtitam) Māna.18.94.

-rī 1 The character in which Sanskrit is generally written; cf. देवनागरी (devanāgarī).

2) A clever, intriguing or shrewd woman; हन्ताभीरीः स्मरतु स कथं संवृतो नागरीभिः (hantābhīrīḥ smaratu sa kathaṃ saṃvṛto nāgarībhiḥ) Ud. D.16.

3) The plant स्नुही (snuhī)

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Nāgara (नागर).—a kind of steel.

Derivable forms: nāgaram (नागरम्).

Nāgara is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms nāga and ra (र).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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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