Naraka, Nāraka: 26 definitions
Naraka means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia
1) Naraka (नरक).—(NARAKĀSURA). A valiant Asura. Birth. Once the Asura Hiraṇyākṣa was amusing himself by wading through the ocean and beating at the waves with his club. Varuṇa, the god of water, was alarmed at this and ran to Mahāviṣṇu and told him every thing. Hearing this Mahāviṣṇu got up to kill Hiraṇyākṣa. Hiraṇyākṣa who had assumed the form of a Boar carried the earth on his tusks and ran to Pātāla. As the goddess earth had come into contact with the tusks of Hiraṇyākṣa she became pregnant and gave birth to an asura infant of immense might and power. That infant was Narakāsura. (See full article at Story of Naraka from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)
2) Naraka (नरक).—Mention is made about another Narakāsura who was born to Prajāpati Kaśyapa by his wife Danu, in Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 28. Once Indra defeated this Narakāsura. It is seen in Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 9 that this asura after his death, stayed in the palace of Varuṇa worshipping him.
3) Naraka (नरक).—Bhagadatta the son of Narakāsura ruled over the part of Pātāla called Naraka, and being the ruler of Naraka, Bhagadatta seems to have been known by the name of Naraka also.
4) Naraka (नरक).—See under Kāla I.Source: Sacred Texts: The Vishnu Purana
Naraka (नरक) refers to the hells which are situated beneath the earth and beneath the waters, and into which sinners are finally sent.
The names of the different narakas are as follows:
These and many other fearful hells are the awful provinces of the kingdom of Yama, terrible with instruments of torture and with fire; into which are hurled all those who are addicted when alive to sinful practicesSource: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
1a) Naraka (नरक).—A son of Anṛta; another name of Raurava.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 9. 64; Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 39.
1b) A nephew of Hiraṇyakaśipu and son of the Earth and Vipracitti; lived in Prāgjyotiṣa;1 took away a number of women belonging to sages and kings to his palace, robbed Mandara of its crest jewel, Aditi of her earrings and Varuṇa of his umbrella; demanded the Airāvata from Indra; at Indra's request was cut in twain by Kṛṣṇa in his own city Prāgjyotiṣa;2 spoils distributed among his followers while all women were appropriated to Kṛṣṇa's harem.3 Friend of Vānara Dvivida who was killed by Baladeva.4
- 1) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 27; 161. 78; 163. 81-2; 245. 12. Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 21. 128; V. 1. 24; 12. 21.
- 2) Ib. V. 29. 8-21.
- 3) Ib. V. 31. 14-15.
- 4) Ib. V. 36. 2-21.
1d) Is bhaumam (earth).*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 39. 4, 7-8; 41. 6.
1e) 27 hells under Yama; to them go the unrighteous according to their respective sins; after a certain period they are born as low beings according to their karma.1 Seven under the earth below the Śeṣaloka— Raurava, Śītastapa, Kālasūtu, Apratiṣṭha, Avīcī, Lohapṛṣṭha, and Avidhya.2Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Naraka (नरक) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.28, I.65, II.9.12, II.13.13) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Naraka) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.
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.
Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)Source: Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam
Naraka (नरक) refers to the “hells” mentioned in the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa 8.21 (on the narrative of hells). The hells are destinations where dead beings brought by messengers of Yama (the God of the Pitṛs), and get punished by him according to their karmas and faults.
There are variously twenty-one or twenty-eight hells described. The following is a list of thirty:
The Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa, or Śrīmad-devī-bhāgavatam, is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, a type of Sanskrit literature containing cultural information on ancient India, religious/spiritual prescriptions and a range of topics concerning the various arts and sciences. The whole text is composed of 18,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 6th century.
Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.
Dhanurveda (science of warfare)Source: Shodhganga: Kakati Ganapatideva and his times (weapons)
Nāraka refers to a kind of weapon employed in warfare by the soldiers, according to Śrīnātha’s 15th century Palanāṭivīra-caritra. Nāraka refers to the instrument used for wounding the infernal regions. The Vardhmānapuram inscription states that the king should be proficient in dealing several varieties of weapons.
Dhanurveda (धनुर्वेद) refers to the “knowledge of warfare” and, as an upaveda, is associated with the Ṛgveda. It contains instructions on warfare, archery and ancient Indian martial arts, dating back to the 2nd-3rd millennium BCE.
Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)Source: VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam
Naraka (नरक) means “hell”. Similarly, everyone who exists in this material world is called Nāraka because this material existence itself is known as a hellish condition of life.
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’).
Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism
Naraka (नरक) is the name of a Rāśi (zodiac sign) 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 Naraka).Source: academia.edu: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)
Naraka (नरक) is the name of a Vākchomā (‘verbal secrect sign’) which has its meaning defined as ‘maṇḍala’ according to chapter 8 of the 9th-century Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja, a scripture belonging to the Buddhist Cakrasaṃvara (or Saṃvara) scriptural cycle. These Vākchomās (viz., naraka) are meant for verbal communication and can be regarded as popular signs, since they can be found in the three biggest works of the Cakrasaṃvara literature.Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala
Nāraka (नारक) is the name of a Vīra (hero) who, together with the Ḍākinī named Nārakī forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Cittacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the cittacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the nirmāṇa-puṭa (‘emanation layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs and Vīras [viz., Nāraka] are black in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.
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.
General definition (in Buddhism)Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha
1) Naraka (नरक, “hell”) refers to one of the “six destinations” (gata) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 57). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., naraka). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.
2) Naraka also refers to one of the “seven lower regions” (pātāla ) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 123).Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism
Naraka or Niraya (Tib: dmyal.ba) is the name given to one of the worlds of greatest suffering, usually translated into English as "hell" or "purgatory". As with the other realms, a being is born into one of these worlds as a result of his karma, and resides there for a finite length of time until his karma has achieved its full result, after which he will be reborn in one of the higher worlds as the result of an earlier karma that had not yet ripened. The mentality of a being in the hells corresponds to states of extreme fear and helpless anguish in humans.
Physically, Naraka is thought of as a series of layers extending below Jambudvipa into the earth. There are several schemes for counting these Narakas and enumerating their torments. One of the more common is that of the Eight Cold Narakas and Eight Hot Narakas.
- Arbuda and – the "blister" Naraka
- Nirarbuda and – the "burst blister" Naraka
- Atata and – the Naraka of shivering
- Hahava and – the Naraka of lamentation
- Huhuva and – the Naraka of chattering teeth
- Utpala and – the "blue lotus" Naraka
- Padma and – the "lotus" Naraka
- Mahapadma and – the "great lotus" Naraka
Each lifetime in these Narakas is twenty times the length of the one before it.
- Sanjiva and – the "reviving" Naraka.
- Kalasutra and – the "black thread" Naraka.
- Samghata and – the "crushing" Naraka.
- Raurava and – the "screaming" Naraka.
- Maharaurava and – the "great screaming" Naraka.
- Tapana and – the "heating" Naraka.
- Pratapana and – the "great heating" Naraka.
- Avici and – the "uninterrupted" Naraka.
General definition (in Jainism)Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds
Nāraka (नारक) refers to “infernal beings”: those living beings that cannot be happy in any state or moment (i.e. naraka), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.3. The infernal beings have incessantly more and more inauspicious / impure thought-colouration (leśyā), environment (pariṇāma), body (śarīra), suffering (vedanā), and shape of body or deeds (vikriyā) in successive lands (bhumī). The infernal beings think of undertaking auspicious activities but always end up performing inauspicious activities i.e. they transform their bodies as deformed. Similarly they think of happiness but only end up being unhappy.
Infernal beings (nāraka) cause misery and suffering to each other. Extreme environment (heat and cold) are some of the other examples of causes of their sufferings. How do the infernal beings cause misery and sufferings to each others? As they are able to foresee the causes of sufferings by their wrong clairvoyant knowledge (ku-avadhi) by birth, they change their body in the form of lethal weapons, sharp objects, frightening animals, etc to cause misery to others. The infernal beings suffer miserys also inflicted by the wicked demons (malevolent / mean demons / (asurakumaras). Infernal beings have to live full life determined by their life-span-karma and suffer miserys all through (i.e. miserys and sufferings cannot cause death to infernal beings).Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 8: Bondage of karmas
1) Nāraka (नारक) or Nārakāyu refers to “infernal /hellish realms or states of existence” and represents one of the four divisions of Āyu, or “life determining (karmas)”, which represents one of the eight types of Prakṛti-bandha (species bondage): one of the four kinds of bondage (bandha) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra chapter 8. What is meant by life in hell or hellish life (naraka-āyu)? The karmas rise of which causes the body of the living beings stay in the infernal realm to suffer intense miserys due to heat, cold, hunger, thurst etc is life in hell.
2) Nāraka (नारक) refers to “infernal state of existence body-making karma” and represents one of the four types of Gati (state of existence), which represents one of the various kinds of Nāma, or “physique-making (karmas)”, which in turn represents one of the eight types of Prakṛti-bandha (species bondage): one of the four kinds of bondage (bandha) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra chapter 8. What is meant by infernal (nāraka) state of existence (gati) body-making (nāma) karmas? The karmas, rise of which causes birth in the hellish realm are called infernal state of existence body-making karma.
3) Nāraka (नारक, “infernal”) or Nārakānupūrvī refers to the “infernal migratory form” and represents one of the four types of Ānupūrvī (migratory form), representing one of the various kinds of Nāma, or “physique-making (karmas)”, which represents one of the eight types of Prakṛti-bandha (species bondage): one of the four kinds of bondage (bandha) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra chapter 8. What is the migratory form (ānupūrvī) body-making (nāma) karma for movement to infernal existence (nāraka)? When a human or sub human dies and heads towards infernal existence in his next birth, the soul retains its old form during the transitory period (i.e. from previous existence to infernal existence). This is due to the rise of infernal migratory form body-making karma.
Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.
Languages of India and abroad
Pali-English dictionarySource: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
naraka : purgatory; the hell.Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Naraka, (Sk. naraka; etym. doubtful, problematic whether to Gr. nέrteros (=inferus), Ags. nord=north as region of the underworld) 1. a pit D. I, 234; Th. 1, 869; J. IV, 268 (°āvāṭa PvA. 225).—2. a name for Niraya, i.e. purgatory; a place of torment for the deceased (see niraya & cp. list of narakas at Divy 67) S. I, 209; Sn. 706; PvA. 52; Sdhp. 492 (saṃsāraghora°), 612.
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.
Marathi-English dictionarySource: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
naraka (नरक).—m (S) Hell; a hell or a division of the infernal regions; of which there are eighty-four. 2 fig. A mass or heap of ordure and filth. na0 aṅgāvara ghēṇēṃ To take up any bad business of another. na0 upasaṇēṃ To stir any disgusting question or foul affair. na0 tōṇḍānta sāṇṭhaviṇēṃ To be very scurrilous or obscene. narakācī vāṭa dākhaviṇēṃ To exhibit (the road to hell) a bad example. narakānta dhōṇḍā ṭākūna śintōḍā ghēṇēṃ-uḍaviṇēṃ To delight one's self in dirty doings. narakānta jībha ghālaṇēṃ To tell lies: also to promise something disgusting in the performance. narakānta pacaṇēṃ To lie soaking or lingering in any bad place, case, or condition. narakānēṃ aṅga bharaṇēṃ To be deeply in debt. narakāsārakhā ghāṇērā or ghāṇaṇēṃ Used of a spirit-drinker or other stinkard, of a dun, taskmaster, disagreeable business &c. narakīṃ dhajā lāvaṇēṃ To achieve exploits leading to eminence in hell. lōkācyā narakānta buḍaṇēṃ To be extensively involved in debt.
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nāraka (नारक).—, or nārakīya a S Relating to naraka the infernal regions.Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
naraka (नरक).—m Hell. A mass or heap of ordure and filth. naraka aṅgāvara ghēṇēṃ To take up any bad business of another. naraka upasaṇēṃ To stir any disgusting question or foul affair. naraka tōṇḍānta sāṇṭhaviṇēṃ To be very scur- rilous or obscene. narakācī vāṭa dākhaviṇēṃ To exhibit (the road to hell) a bad ex- ample. narakānta dhōṇḍā ṭākūna śintōḍā ghēṇēṃ-uḍaviṇēṃ. To delight one's self in dirty doings. narakānta jībha ghālaṇēṃ To tell lies: also to pro- mise something disgusting in the performance. narakānta pacaṇēṃ To lie soak- ing or lingering in any bad place, case or condition. narakānēṃ aṅga bharaṇēṃ To be deeply in debt. narakīṃ dhvajā lāvaṇēṃ To
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nāraka (नारक).—a Relating to naraka the infernal regions.
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.
Sanskrit dictionarySource: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
1) Hell, infernal regions (corresponding to the realm of Pluto; there are said to be 21 different parts of these regions where different kinds of tortures are inflicted upon sinners tāmisra, andhatāmisra, mahāraurava, raurava, naraka, kālasūtra, mahānaraka, saṃjīvana, māhavīci, tapana, saṃpratāpana, saṃhāta, kākola, kuḍmala, pratimūrtika, lohaśaṅku, ṛjīṣa, panthā, śālmalī, asitapatravana, lohadāraka are the 21 Narakas; cf. Ms.4. 88-9).
2) A liquor-vessel; नरकं मद्यभाजने (narakaṃ madyabhājane) Nm.
-kaḥ Name of a demon, king of Prāgjyotiṣa. [According to one account he carried off Aditi's ear-rings and Kṛṣna at the request of the gods killed him in a single combat and recovered the jewels. According to another account, Naraka assumed the form of an elephant and carried off the daughter of Viśvakarman and outraged her. He also seized the daughters of Gandharvas, gods, men and the nymphs themselves, and collected more than 16 damsels in his harem. These, it is related, were transferred by Kṛṣṇa to his own harem after he had slain Naraka. The demon was born of earth, and hence called 'Bhauma']
Derivable forms: narakaḥ (नरकः), narakam (नरकम्).
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Nāraka (नारक).—a. (-kī f.) [नरक एव प्रज्ञा° अण् नरकस्येदम् अण् वा (naraka eva prajñā° aṇ narakasyedam aṇ vā)] Hellish, relating to hell, infernal.
-kaḥ 1 The infernal regions, hell; कुभ्मीपाकं गुरुमपि हरे नारकं नापनेतुम् (kubhmīpākaṃ gurumapi hare nārakaṃ nāpanetum) Mukundamālā 6.
2) An inhabitant of hell.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
(-kaḥ-kaṃ) Hell, the infernal regions, including a number of places of torture of various descriptions. m.
(-kaḥ) The name of a Daitya or demon. E. nṛ to guide or lead, affix vun, whither the wicked are conducted: It is sometimes read nāraka .
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(-kaḥ-kī-kaṃ) Infernal, hellish. m.
(-kaḥ) Hell or the infernal regions. E. naraka hell. aṇ aff.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Naraka (नरक).—m. 1. Hell, the infernal regions, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 116. 2. The name of a demon, Mahābhārata 1, 2537. 3. The name of a country, Mahābhārata 2, 578.
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Nāraka (नारक).—i. e. naraka + a, I. adj., f. kī, Infernal, hellish, [Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, (ed. Burnouf.)] 3, 30, 30. Ii. m. 1. An inhabitant of the infernal regions, 2, 10, 41. 2. Hell.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Naraka (नरक).—[masculine] ([neuter]) the lower world, hell (also personif.); [masculine] [Name] of a demon killed by Kṛṣṇa.
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Naraka (नरक).—[masculine] ([neuter]) the lower world, hell (also personif.); [masculine] [Name] of a demon killed by Kṛṣṇa.
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Nāraka (नारक).—1. [feminine] ī hellish, infernal; [masculine] inhabitant or lord of the infernal regions.
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Nāraka (नारक).—2. [masculine] hell or the infernal regions.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
1) Naraka (नरक):—mn. ([Nirukta, by Yāska]; naraka, [Taittirīya-āraṇyaka]) hell, place of torment, [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.
2) (distinguished from pātāla q.v.; personified as a son of Anṛta and Nirṛti or Nirkṛti, [Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa]; there are many different hells, generally 21 [Manu-smṛti iv, 88-90; Yājñavalkya; Purāṇa] etc.)
3) m. Name of a demon (son of Viṣṇu and Bhūmi or the Earth, and therefore called Bhauma, haunting Prāg-jyotiṣa and slain by Kṛṣṇa), [Mahābhārata; Purāṇa; Rājataraṅgiṇī] etc.
4) of a son of Vipra-citti, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]
5) = deva-rātriprabheda (?), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
6) mn. Name of a place of pilgrimage, [Mahābhārata] ([varia lectio] anaraka)
7) Nāraka (नारक):—mf(ī)n. ([from] naraka) relating to hell, hellish, infernal
8) m. (with loka) hell, [Atharva-veda] (also nāraka m., [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā])
9) m. inhabitant of hell, [Purāṇa]
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.
See also (Relevant definitions)