Nataka, aka: Naṭaka, Nāṭaka, Ñātaka; 10 Definition(s)


Nataka 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Nāṭaka (नाटक) refers to one of the “ten kinds of dramatic plays” (daśarūpa), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 20. These different types of dramas are considered to have originated from the various styles (vṛtti), which is discussed in chapter 22 of the same work. The Nāṭaka type of drama includes all styles: Verbal (bhāratī), Grand (sāttvatī), Graceful (kaiśikī) and Energetic (ārabhaṭī).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

One of the Ten Types of Play (nāṭya).—Nāṭaka: the Nāṭaka is the most important of the ten kinds of play described in the Nāṭyaśāstra. The Nāṭaka is a play having for its subject-matter a well-known story and for its Hero a celebrated person of exalted nature. It describes the character of a person descending from a royal seer, the divine protection for him, and his many superhuman powers and exploits, such as success in different undertakings and amorous pastimes; and this play should have an appropriate number of Acts.

As the exploits of the Hero of the Nāṭaka have been restricted to his success in different undertakings including love-matters, it is a sort of ‘comedy’, and as such it can never permit the representation of the Hero’s defeat, flight or capture by the enemy or a treaty with him under compulsion. Such a representation would negative the subject of the play which is the triumph or the prosperity of the Hero. But all these except his (the Hero’s) death, could be reported in an Introductory Scene which may come before an Act. The presentation of the Hero’s death was for obvious reasons impossible in a comedy.

The first thing that attracts the attention of reader on opening a Nāṭaka, is its Prologue (stāpanā or prastavanā). But according to the Nāṭyaśāstra this was a part of the Preliminaries (pūrvaraṅga) and was outside the scope of the play proper. That famous playwrights like Bhāsa, Kālidāsa and others wrote it themselves and made it the formal beginning of their dramas, seems to show that they made in thios matter an innovation which as great creative geniuses they were fully entitled to.

Source: Natya Shastra
Natyashastra book cover
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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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Kosha (encyclopedic lexicons)

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Nāṭaka (नाटक):—“Nāṭaka (drama) should be composed after observing the nature of people and the strength and weakness of men, as well as their enjoyment and usage.” (See the Nāṭyaśāstra XIX.149)

Source: Google Books: Kalātattvakośa, volume 2
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Kosha (कोश, kośa) refers to Sanskrit lexicons intended to provide additional information regarding technical terms used in religion, philosophy and the various sciences (shastra). The oldest extant thesaurus (kosha) dates to the 4th century AD.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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Nāṭaka (नाटक).—Connected with Vāgīśī.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 37. 8.
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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

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ñātaka : (m.) a relation; kinsman.

-- or --

naṭaka : (m.) dancer; actor.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Nāṭaka, (Sk. nāṭaka; see naccati) 1. (m.) a dancer, actor, player J. I, 206; V, 373; DhA. III, 88; IV, 59, 130; nāṭakitthi a dancing-girl, nautch-girl DhA. III, 166; VvA. 131.—2. (nt.) a play, pantomime J. I, 59; V, 279, also used coll. =dancing-woman J. I, 59 (?) II. 395. (Page 349)

— or —

Naṭaka, (Sk. naṭaka)=naṭa Vin. IV, 285; Miln. 331; PvA. 3.—f. naṭikā DA. I, 239. (Page 345)

— or —

Ñātaka, (for *ñātika from ñāti) a relation, relative, kinsman Vin. II, 194; M. II, 67; Dh. 43; Sn. 263 (=KhA 140: ñāyante amhākaṃ ime ti ñātakā), 296, 579; Pv. II, 14 (Minayeff, but Hardy °ika); PvA. 19, 21, 31, 62, 69; DA. I, 90. (Page 288)

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

nāṭaka (नाटक).—n m (S) A play or drama. 2 A measure of verse.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nāṭaka (नाटक).—n A play or drama.

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

Naṭaka (नटक).—An actor.

Derivable forms: naṭakaḥ (नटकः).

--- OR ---

Nāṭaka (नाटक).—[naṭ-ṇvul]

1) A play, drama (in general).

2) The first of the 1 principal kinds of dramatic composition; for definition and other information see S. D.277, where 36 लक्षण (lakṣaṇa)s of a नाटक (nāṭaka) are given.

-kaḥ An actor, a dancer; वधूनाटकसंघैश्च संयुक्तां सर्वतः पुरीम् (vadhūnāṭakasaṃghaiśca saṃyuktāṃ sarvataḥ purīm) Rām. 1.5.12.

-kī The court of Indra.

Derivable forms: nāṭakam (नाटकम्).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Nāṭaka (नाटक).—mfn.

(-kaḥ-kī-kaṃ) An actor, acting, dancing, &c. m.

(-kaḥ) a play, a drama: the first of the ten species of dramatic compositions of the first order. f. (-kī) The court of Indra. E. naṭ to act or perform, ṇvul aff.

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

Search found 205 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Nāṭaka-śālā.—(SII 3; 11-1), a theatre hall. Note: nāṭaka-śālā is defined in the “Indian epigrap...
Nāṭakaprapañca (नाटकप्रपञ्च).—m. (-ñcaḥ) Course or arrangement of a drama. E. nāṭaka, and prapa...
Nāṭakaviyal refers to “dramatology” as defined in the Tolkāppiyam (2nd century BC): a source bo...
Mahānāṭaka (महानाटक).—'the great drama', Name of a drama, also called Hanumannāṭaka, (being pop...
Naṭakamelaka (नटकमेलक).—Name of a comedy; a variety of दृश्यकाव्य (dṛśyakāvya) with laughter as...
Nāṭakavidhi (नाटकविधि).—dramatic action.Derivable forms: nāṭakavidhiḥ (नाटकविधिः).Nāṭakavidhi i...
śōkaparyavasāyī-nāṭaka (शोकपर्यवसायी-नाटक).—n A tragedy.
Nāganāṭaka refers to: snakes as actors DhA. IV, 130; Note: nāganāṭaka is a Pali compound consi...
Hanumannāṭaka (हनुमन्नाटक).—Śrī Dāmodara Miśra’s Hanuman-nāṭaka is a Mahānāṭaka (a fourteen act...
Pārvatīkalyāṇanāṭaka (पार्वतीकल्याणनाटक) is the name of a work ascribed to Kṛṣṇāvadhūta (1835-1...
Nāṭakacandrikā (नाटकचन्द्रिका) is the name of a work ascribed to Rūpagosvāmin (C. 1470-1583 C.E...
Sāmā (सामा) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Sāma forms one of ...
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1) Māyā (माया) refers to the “power of illusion”, according to the Śivapurāṇa chapter 2.1.2:—“[...

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