Nayaka, aka: Nāyaka; 11 Definition(s)


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


[Nayaka in Purana glossaries]

Nāyaka (नायक).—An army leader; ten in Tāraka's army; their names, ensigns, chariots, etc., detailed.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 148. 43-56.
(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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Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

[Nayaka in Arthashastra glossaries]

Nāyaka (नायक) literally means royal officer or a ruling chief or a local leader or a person of prominence. The term nāyaka is a general designation of power or warrior who was at tiroes associated with military enterprises of the king’s but who at all times was a territorial chief in his own right.

(Source): Shodhganga: Kakati Ganapatideva and his times (artha)
Arthashastra book cover
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Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

[Nayaka in Natyashastra glossaries]

Nāyaka (नायक) refers to “heroes” of which there are four classes defined (according to their conduct), defined to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 34. Accordingly, “heroes (nāyaka) are known to be of four classes, and they belong to the superior and the middling types and have various characteristics”.

The four kinds of heroes (nāyaka) are as follows:

  1. the self-controlled and vehement (dhīroddhata),
  2. the self-controlled and light-hearted (dhīralalita),
  3. the self-controlled and exalted (dhīrodātta),
  4. the self-controlled and calm (dhīrapraśānta).

Gods are self-controlled and vehement, kings are self-controlled and light-hearted, ministers are self-controlled and exalted, and Brahmins and merchants are self-controlled and calm Heroes.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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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India history and geogprahy

[Nayaka in India history glossaries]

Total four Nayaka kings reigned in Kandy. The last Nayaka king Kannasamy surrendered to British in 1815. In fact, the cunning British started provoking Simhalese against Nayaka king Kannasamy. Simhalese saw Nayaka kings as Tamil. British cleverly made Nayaka king Kannasamy villainous. Finally, Kannasamy had no other option to sign the Kandy convention in 1815 and lived in exile in Vellore. Thus, Kandy became a princely state under British colonial rule of Sri Lanka. HMS Cornwalis brought Kannasamy and his family to Vellore in 1816. Kannasamy died in 1832 in Vellore. His descendants are still living in Tamilnadu.

(Source): The Chronological History of Ancient Sri Lanka

Nāyaka (commissioner) is the official title of a minister belonging of the administration of the state during, the rule of the Śilāhāra dynasty (r. 765-1215 A.D.).—The administration of the State was carried on with the help of Governors (rāṣṭrapati), Collectors (viṣayapatis) and village headmen (grāmapati). In some later records like the Dive Āgar plate of Mummuṇi, they are called sāmanta (Governor), nāyaka (the Commissioner of a division) and ṭhākura (the Collector of a district). The Governors of provinces were often military officers, who were called daṇḍādhīpati.

(Source): What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras

Nayaka dynasty.—After the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565, the Nāyakas ruled from the 16th to the 18th century and left behind a prolific collection of mural and wall paintings whose best example is the painted ceiling of the Thiruvarur temple in Tamil Nadu, depicting the story of Mucukunda, a legendary Cola king.

(Source): Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Painting: A Survey (h)
India history book cover
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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

[Nayaka in Pali glossaries]

nāyaka : (m.) leader; master.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Nāyaka, (BSk. nāyaka (cp. anāyaka without guide AvŚ I. 210); fr. neti; cp. naya) a leader, guide, lord, mostly as Ep. of the Buddha (loka° “Lord of the World”) Sn. 991 (loka°); Mhvs VII. 1 (id.); Sdhp. 491 (tilokassa); bala-nāyakā gang leaders J. I, 103. (Page 350)

(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

[Nayaka in Marathi glossaries]

nāyaka (नायक).—m (S) A chief, head, leader, conductor, commander; a head or principal gen. Ex. sēnā- nāyaka, grāmanāyaka, naṭanāyaka, nakṣatranāyaka. 2 In dramatic or amatory composition. The man; the husband or lover; as disting. from nāyikā The female or mistress. Ex. karuni vandana jānakī nāyakā. 3 The hero of a drama or poem. 4 The chief gem (of a necklace &c.) 5 See nāīka.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nāyaka (नायक).—m A chief, head, leader. In dra- matic or amatory composition. The man; the husband or lover; as disting. from nāyikā The female or mistress. The hero of a drama or poem.

(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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Relevant definitions

Search found 116 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Daṇḍanāyaka (दण्डनायक).—1) a judge, a head police-officer, a magistrate. 2) the leader of an ar...
Sabhānāyaka (सभानायक).—1) the president of a society, chairman. 2) the keeper of a gaming-house...
Dvāranāyaka (द्वारनायक).—a door-keeper, porter, warder. -paḥ Name of Viṣṇu. Derivable forms: dv...
Ṛkṣanāyaka (ऋक्षनायक).—A kind of round building. (Agnipurāṇa ch. 14; V.19.2). Derivable forms: ...
Lokaṇa Nāyaka (fl. 1182 A.D.) is the name of a brāhmaṇa mentioned in the “Kolhāpur stone inscri...
Kāliyaṇanāyaka (fl. 1191 A.D.), son of Lokaṇanāyaka, is the name of a Brāhmaṇa mentioned i...
Nāvikanāyaka (नाविकनायक).—The captain of a vessel.Derivable forms: nāvikanāyakaḥ (नाविकनायकः).N...
Pratināyaka (प्रतिनायक).—the adversary of the hero of any poetic composition; धीरोद्धतः पापकारी...
Ratnanāyaka (रत्ननायक).—a ruby. Derivable forms: ratnanāyakaḥ (रत्ननायकः).Ratnanāyaka is a Sans...
Cakranāyaka (चक्रनायक).—1) the leader of a troop. 2) a kind of perfume. Derivable forms: cakran...
Gaṇapatināyaka (fl. 1254 A.D.) is the name of a person mentioned in the “Dive Āgar stone inscri...
Amlanāyaka (अम्लनायक).—= °वेतसः (vetasaḥ) q. v. Derivable forms: amlanāyakaḥ (अम्लनायकः).Amlanā...
Kumudinīnāyaka (कुमुदिनीनायक).—-m. The moon; दृष्ट्वा कुमुद्वन्तमखण्डमण्डलम् (dṛṣṭvā kumudvanta...
Vyāghranāyaka (व्याघ्रनायक).—a jackal. Derivable forms: vyāghranāyakaḥ (व्याघ्रनायकः).Vyāghranā...
Tārkṣyanāyaka (तार्क्ष्यनायक).—an epithet of Garuda. Derivable forms: tārkṣyanāyakaḥ (तार्क्ष्य...

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