Nara, aka: Nārā, Narā; 17 Definition(s)


Nara means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

1) Nara (नर):—Son of Sudhṛti (son of Rājyavardhana). He had a son named Kevala. He had a son named Saṅkṛti. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.2)

2) Nara (नर):—One of the five sons of Manyu (son of Vitatha, another name for Bharadvāja). He had a son named Saṅkṛti. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.21.1)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

1) Nara (नर).—A hermit of divine power. Birth. Brahmā created Dharmadeva from his breast. Truthful and righteous Dharma married ten daughters of Dakṣa. Several sons were born to Dharma of his ten wives. But foremost among them were Hari, Kṛṣṇa, Nara and Nārāyaṇa. Hari and Kṛṣṇa became great yogins and Nara and Nārāyaṇa became great hermits of penance. The Nara-Nārāyaṇas lived in the holy Asylum of Badarikāśrama in the vicinity of the Himālayas for a thousand years performing penance to Brahmā. (Devī Bhāgavata. Skandha 4). (See full article at Story of Nara from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Nara (नर).—A Gandharva (semigod). It is stated in Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 10, stanza 14 that this Nara stays in the presence of Kubera.

3) Nāra (नार).—A King of Ancient India. He never tasted meat in his life. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 115, Stanza 64).

4) Narā (नरा).—One of the wives of Uśīnara, a King of the family of the Aṅga Kings. Uśīnara had several wives such as Nṛgā, Narā, Kṛmī, Daśā. Dṛṣadvatī and so on. Nṛga was born from Nṛgā, Nara from Narā, Kṛmi from Kṛmī, Suvrata from Daśā and Śibi from Dṛṣadvatī. All these sons became Kings. (Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 277).

5) Nara (नर).—An ancient place in South India. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 60).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Nara (नर).—(nārāyaṇa)—an avatār of Viṣṇu, born of Dharma and Mūrtī, a daughter of Dakṣa; Ādiśeṣa form of Hari, distinguished for tapas;1 a friend and associate of Nārāyaṇa said to have performed tapas at Badarī;2 seeing the sage's penance Indra got afraid and sent the God of Love and the Apsarasas to disturb his contemplation. Nara invited him and was hospitable by creating a number of beautiful women who served them; Nara asked them to choose one among them as an ornament of Heaven. So they took Ūrvaśi and narrated to Indra the superior powers of the sage;3 was seen with Nārāyaṇa by Mārkaṇḍeya and was praised by him.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 2. 4; 3. 9; II. 7. 6-7; XII. 8. 32, 35. Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35-93; Matsya-purāṇa 1. 2.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 4. 22; IV. 1. 52; VII. 6. 27.
  • 3) Ib. XI. 4. 6-16; 7. 18.
  • 4) Ib. XII. 8. 32, 35, 40-49; 9. 1.

1b) A son of Tāmasa Manu.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. I. 27; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 49. Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 1. 19.

1c) A son of Sudhṛti and father of Kevala (Candra Viṣṇu-purāṇa).*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 2. 29. 30; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 8. 35; 61. 9; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 1. 40-1; Vāyu-purāṇa 86. 13-14.

1d) A son of Manyu and father of Samkṛti.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 21. 1.

1e) A son of Gaya and father of Virāt.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 14. 68; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 1. 38; Vāyu-purāṇa 33. 58.

1f) One of the ten horses of the moon's chariot.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 35; Matsya-purāṇa 126. 52.

1g) A sādhya; is satya in the Svārociṣa epoch.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 16-7; Matsya-purāṇa 203. 11; 251; 24-5; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 15; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 50.

1h) A son of Bhuvamanyu.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 49. 36; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 159.

1i) The riding vehicle of Naiṛti and drawer of Kubera's chariot.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 261. 15 and 22.

1j) A son of Tāmasa Manu.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 62. 43.

1k) A devaṛṣi.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 83.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
context information

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Nārā (नारा):—One of the twelve guṇas associated with Gola, the sixth seat of the Svādhiṣṭhāna-chakra. According to tantric sources such as the Śrīmatottara-tantra and the Gorakṣasaṃhitā (Kādiprakaraṇa), these twelve guṇas are represented as female deities. According to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā however, they are explained as particular syllables. They (eg. Nārā) only seem to play an minor role with regard to the interpretation of the Devīcakra (first of five chakras, as taught in the Kubjikāmata-tantra).

Source: Wisdom Library: Ṣaṭsāhasra-saṃhitā
Shaivism book cover
context information

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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Nara (नर).—Description of a women of human (nara) type;—A woman who loves uprightness, is always clever and very virtuous, has regular features (vibhaktāṅgī), is grateful to her benefactors, disposed to worship the elders and gods, always careful about duty (dharma) as well as material gain, and is free from pride and fond of friends and has good habits is said to have the nature of a human being (nara or mānuṣa).

Source: Natya Shastra
Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Nara (नर).—Person; personal ending; the term is used in connection with (the affixes of) the three persons प्रथम, मध्यम (prathama, madhyama), and उत्तम (uttama) which are promiscuously seen sometimes in the Vedic Literature cf. सुतिङुपग्रह-लिङ्गनराणां (sutiṅupagraha-liṅganarāṇāṃ) ... व्यत्ययमिच्छति (vyatyayamicchati) ... M. Bh. on III.1.85.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Nara (नर) refers to one of the 23 types of dohā metres (a part of mātrā type) described in the 1st chapter of the Vṛttamauktika by Candraśekhara (17th century): author of many metrical compositions and the son of Lakṣmīnātha Bhaṭṭa and Lopāmudrā.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Nara (नर).—Gnomon. Note: Nara is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Nara (नर) refers to one of the various Vibhava manifestations according to the Īśvarasaṃhitā 24.331-333.—Accordingly, “Nara is of the splendor of the coral, has His eyes half-closed, his feelings (knowledge) are kept within, His mind is fixed only on Śabdabrahman, uttering the mantra of the Pada kind unnoticed (by others) shining with the garland of rosaries made of crystal in His hand and counting of the rotation of the rosaries with the left hand”. These Vibhavas (eg., Nara) represent the third of the five-fold manifestation of the Supreme Consciousness the Pāñcarātrins believe in.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 1
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Nara (नर), Nṛ.—The general name for ‘man’ in the Rigveda1 and later is Nṛ, while Nara is found occasionally in the later Saṃhitās and the Brāhmaṇas.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Nara is the primordial man. He is also said to be one of the divine twins Nara and Naryana, who represent Man and God respectively. They are shown as great sages, who once performed a great penance. Indra sent his Apsaras to disract them. However, the sages created Urvashi from their thighs. Urvashi was more beautiful than all the Apsaras put together. When they beheld her flawless beauty, they ran away. Indra realized the power of the sages and begged their forgiveness.

Arjuna is said to be an incarnation of Nara.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Nara (नर): Arjuna or Dhananjaya.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

nara : (m.) man; a human being.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Nara, (Ved. nara, cp. nṛtu; Idg. *ner to be strong or valiant =Gr. a)nήr, a)g-ήnwr (valiant), drw/y (*nrw/y); Lat. neriosus (muscuḷar), Nero (Sabinian, cp. Oscan ner= Lat. vir); Oir. nert) man (in poetry esp. a brave, strong, heroic man), pl. either “men” or “people” (the latter e.g. at Sn. 776, 1082; Pv. I, 1112).—A. I, 130; II, 5; III, 53; Sn. 39, 96, 116, 329, 591, 676, 865 etc.; Dh. 47, 48, 262, 309, 341; J. III, 295; Nd1 12=Nd2 335 (definition); VvA. 42 (popular etymology: narati netī ti naro puriso, i.e. a “leading” man); PvA. 116=Dh. 125.

—âdhama vilest of men Sn. 246; —âsabha “man bull, ” i.e. lord of men Sn. 684, 996; —inda “man lord, ” i.e. king Sn. 836; J. I, 151; —uttama best of men (Ep. of the Buddha) S. I, 23; D. III, 147; Sn. 1021; —deva god-man or man-god (pl.) gods, also Ep. of the B. “king of men” S. I, 5; Pv IV. 350; —nārī (pl.) men & women, appl. to male & female angelic servants (of the Yakkhas) Vv 324, 337, 538; Pv. II, 112; —vīra a hero (?), a skilled man (?) Th. 1, 736 (naravīrakata “by human skill & wit” Mrs. Rh. D.). —sīha lion of men J. I, 89. (Page 347)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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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

nara (नर).—m (S) Man, individually or generally. Pr. narā harahunnarā Man has a thousand busy schemes and devices. 2 The male or he of any species; and, laxly, the larger, stronger, better one of any pair or couple (of things). 3 fig. The spike which fits into the ring (mādī) of the other portion; forming together a hinge (naramādī); a male screw; and similar things. 4 The middle or (if but two) the larger beam-screw of a sugarmill. 5 A man or piece at chess, draughts &c. 6 A horse. 7 The divine male or spirit pervading the universe. 8 The sine of the altitude of a heavenly body. 9 R A hangnail. Hind. Pr. nara karē tō narakā nārāyaṇa hōigā If Man please to act, Man may become God. (A sentiment in unison with the present estimate of Man in Europe!) nara mōḍūna nārāyaṇa ghaḍaṇēṃ To break up (the image of) man, and make (the image of) God; to make and make again; to break up, and form and fashion (continually or with absolute arbitrariness). See Jer. xviii. 3, 4.

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nāra (नार).—f (Poetry. nārī S) A woman or female.

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nāra (नार).—m The heart or core of wood. 2 The core of a horn.

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nārā (नारा).—m (or nāhīṃ No.) No-ing, negativing. Used of a denying or a dissenting which is constant. v kara, lāva, cālava.

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nārā (नारा).—m A boy-dancer in female attire. Hence nārā nācaṇēṃ g. of s. To be publicly exposed and disgraced. nārā nācaviṇēṃ To wanton in wild acts of wilfulness; to raise an uproar; to make a riot or disturbance; to kick up a row. 2 Husband. Only in the Pr. mī āṇi gājhā nārā dusaṛyācā na lagē vārā.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nara (नर).—m Man, individually or generally. The male of any species. The spike which fits into the ring (mādī) of the other portion, forming together a hinge (naramādī) a male screw; and similar things.

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nāra (नार).—f A woman or female.

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nāra (नार).—m The heart or core of wood. The core of a horn.

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nārā (नारा).—m A boy-dancer in female attire. Hence ?Bnācaṇēṃ To be publicly exposed and disgraced. nārā nācaviṇēṃ To wan- ton in wild acts of wilfulness; to kick up a row. Husband. Only in the Pr. mī āṇi mājhā nārā dusaṛyācā na lāgē vārā.

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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Relevant definitions

Search found 207 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Narāyaṇa (नरायण).—m. (-ṇaḥ) A name of Vishnu. E. nara man, and ayaṇa going; see nārāyaṇa .--- O...
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Narādhama (नराधम).—m. (-maḥ) A low or vile man, a wretch. E. nara, and adhama low.
Nareśvara (नरेश्वर).—m. (-raḥ) A king. E. nara, and īśvara a sovereign.
Narabhū (नरभू).—f. (-bhūḥ) Bharata Varsha, India, or the central of the known continent. 2. The...
Narabali (नरबलि).—a human sacrifice. Derivable forms: narabaliḥ (नरबलिः).Narabali is a Sanskrit...
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Naravīrā (नरवीरा).—n. of a yakṣiṇī: Mmk 567.11; 568.22.

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