Nayaka, aka: Nāyaka; 10 Definition(s)


Nayaka 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


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
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Arthaśāstra (politics and welfare)

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)
Arthaśāstra book cover
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Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र, artha-shastra) literature concers itself with subjects such as statecraft, economics politics and military tactics. The term arthaśāstra 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 Kauṭilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

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
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
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Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

In Buddhism


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.

India history and geogprahy

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
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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

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
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.

Relevant definitions

Search found 99 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Dvāranāyaka (द्वारनायक).—a door-keeper, porter, warder. -paḥ Name of Viṣṇu. Derivable forms: dv...
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Lokaṇa Nāyaka (fl. 1182 A.D.) is the name of a brāhmaṇa mentioned in the “Kolhāpur stone inscri...
The Chief of the Audience (sabhā-nāyaka)—He who is Chief of the Audience should be wea...
Kāliyaṇanāyaka (fl. 1191 A.D.), son of Lokaṇanāyaka, is the name of a Brāhmaṇa mentioned i...
Vyāghranāyaka (व्याघ्रनायक).—a jackal. Derivable forms: vyāghranāyakaḥ (व्याघ्रनायकः).Vyāghranā...
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...
Sūnanāyaka (सूननायक).—the god of love; सून- नायकनिदेशविभ्रमैरप्रतीतचरवेदनोदयम् (sūna- nāyakanid...
Kathānāyaka (कथानायक).—the hero or leading character of a story; रामायण° (rāmāyaṇa°) U.4,6. Der...
Grahanāyaka (ग्रहनायक).—1) the sun. 2) an epithet of Saturn. Derivable forms: grahanāyakaḥ (ग्र...
Nāganāyaka (नागनायक).—the constellation called Āśleṣā. -kaḥ the lord of serpents; अनन्तो वासुकि...
Svacchandanāyaka (स्वच्छन्दनायक) is the name of an Ayurvedic recipe defined in the fourth volum...
Kośanāyaka (कोशनायक) or Koṣanāyaka (कोषनायक).—1) a treasurer. 2) An epithet of Kubera. Derivabl...
Ratnanāyaka (रत्ननायक).—a ruby. Derivable forms: ratnanāyakaḥ (रत्ननायकः).Ratnanāyaka is a Sans...

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