Nidana, aka: Nidāna; 13 Definition(s)

Introduction

Nidana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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

Ayurveda (science of life)

Nidāna (निदान):—A Sanskrit technical term translating to “etiology”, or “cause”, referring to one of the “five characteristics of diagnosis” (pañcalakṣaṇanidāna). It is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Suśruta-saṃhitā. These five characteristics are regarded as very important clues for diagnosis (nidāna) within Āyurveda.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

The term Nidānam, usually translated as Pathology, is meant to include factors, which fall within the respective provinces of Pathology, Ætiology, Symptomology and Pathognomy as well.

Source: archive.org: Sushruta samhita, Volume II
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Nidāna (निदान, “circumstance”) refers to one of the twelve members of Buddhist texts (dvādaśāṅga), according to a note attached to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 51.—The nidānas set out the circumstances (nidāna) that are at the origin of the Buddha’s teachings. Under what circumstances did the Buddha say a certain thing? In the sūtras, it is because a man asked him that he said a certain thing; in the Vinaya, it is because a man committed a certain wrong-dong (adhyācāra) that he promulgated a certain rule (śikṣāpada). The facts of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) set forth by the Buddha are also called nidāna.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

These Nidānas appear one from the other in order as cause and effect, and being capable of reappearance as consequent upon that which is before it, assume the form of a never-ending circle. Thus arranged these twelve Nidānas fall into four divisions, showing three joints.

These twelve are:

  1. Ignorance (T. Pēdamai, S. Avidyā),
  2. Action (T. Śeykai, S. Karma),
  3. Consciousness (T. Uṇarvu, S. Vijñāna),
  4. Name and form (T. Aru-uru, S. Nāmarūpa),
  5. Six organs of sense (T. Vāyil, S. Ṣaḍāyatana),
  6. Contact (T. Ūṟu, S. Sparśa).
  7. Sensation (T. Nuharvu, S. Vēdanā),
  8. Thirst or craving (T. Vēṭkai, S. Tṛṣṇa),
  9. Attachment (T. Paṟṟu, S. Upādāna),
  10. Becoming or existence (T. Pavam, S. Bhava),
  11. Birth (T. Tōṟṟam, S. Jāti),
  12. The result of action, old age and death (T. Vinaippayan, S. Jarāmaraṇam),

1st division: Of these twelve nidānas, the first two ignorance and action are regarded as belonging to the first section. All those that follow spring from these two.

2nd division: The following five, namely, name and form, organs of sense, contact and experience, these five, as springing from the former two, are regarded as constituting the second division.

3rd division: Thirst, attachment, and the collection of deeds constitute the third division as they result as evil in the enjoyment of the previous five, and, in consequence, as action resulting therefrom. It is from the folly of desire and consequent attachment that becoming arises.

4th division: The fourth division includes birth, disease, age and death, since these four are experienced as a result of birth.

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: The Bhikṣuṇī Maṇimēkhalai

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Nidāna (निदान).—What is meant by ‘sting’ or ‘intense anxiety’ (nidāna) mournful-concentration (ārtha-dhyāna)? To be engrossed in achieving pleasure (not attained till now) in future is called ‘sting or intense anxiety’ (nidāna) mournful concentration. What is the nature of ‘sting or intense anxiety’ mournful concentration? Wishing and thinking repeatedly (intense anxiety) is the nature of this concentration. The monks in the sixth stage of spiritual purification (guṇasthāna) cannot have this ‘sting mournful concentration’ (nidāna-ārta-dhyāna).

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 9: Influx of karmas
General definition book cover
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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.

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India history and geogprahy

Nidāna.—(CITD), Telugu; same as Sanskrit nidhāna; a treasure; a hoard or fund; store, wealth or property. Note: nidāna is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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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

Nidana in Pali glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

nidāna : (nt.) source; cause; origin.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Nidāna, (nt.) (Sk. nidāna, ni+*dāna of , dyati to bind, cp. Gr. dέsma, dhμa (fetter) & see dāma) (a) (n.) tying down to; ground (lit. or fig.), foundation, occasion; source, origin, cause; reason, reference, subject (“sujet”) M. I, 261; A. I, 134 sq.; 263 sq. , 338; II, 196; IV, 128 sq.; Dhs. 1059 (dukkha°, source of pain), 1136; Nett 3, 32; Miln. 272 (of disease: pathology, ætiology), 344 (°paṭhanakusala, of lawyers); PvA. 132, 253. ‹-› (b) (adj. -°) founded on, caused by, originating in, relating to S. V, 213 sq. (a° & sa°); A. I, 82 (id.); Sn. 271 (ito°), 866 (kuto°), 1050 (upadhi°=hetuka, paccayā, kāraṇā Nd2 346); 872 (icchā°) etc.; VvA. 117 (vimānāni Rājagaha° playing at or referring to R.).—(c) nidānaṃ (Acc. as adv.) by means of, in consequence of, through, usually with tato° through this, yato° through which D. I, 52, 73; M. I, 112; Pv IV. 161 (through whom=yaṃ nimittaṃ PvA. 242); PvA. 281; ito° by this Nd2 2912. (Page 358)

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

nidaṇa (निदण) [or न, na].—or na n Weeding (of a cornfield). 2 Grass and weeds growing amidst corn.

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nidāna (निदान).—n (S) A first cause; a primary or remote cause. 2 The state of extremity; the state of one reduced to his last resource, refuge, shift. Ex. hē dōna rūpayē nidānāsa kāmāsa yētīla. 3 The highest or lowest extremity; the uttermost (sum &c.); referring esp. to price or terms. Ex. tyā dhōtara- jōḍyāsa dāhā rupayē paḍatīla hēṃ ni0 pāhijē tara ghyā. 4 Ascertaining the causes of disease; study of symptoms to trace the causes; pathology. nidāna is divided into five departments; viz. pūrvarūpa, rūpa, lakṣaṇa, cinha, anta Premonitions, Form, Symptoms, Characters, Issue. nidānacā Valuable or useful in or reserved for extremity; as nidānacā sōbatī-mitra-mātrā-cikitsā- upacāra-upāya-vāṭa. 2 Relating to the extremity or end; as nidānacā prasaṅga-samaya-vēḷa-kimata. nidānīṃ At the last; at the utmost.

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nidāna (निदान).—ad At the last; at the highest or lowest (price or terms); after all; at the last extremity; at the very end. Ex. hyā ghōḍyālā ni0 śambhara rupayē ghēīna; hēṃ kāma tulā lōṭēla taṃvavara tū lōṭa ni0 mī āhēṃ.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nidāna (निदान).—n A first cause. The state of ex- tremity. Diagnosis.

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nidāna (निदान).—ad At the last; at the highest or lowest (price or terms).

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

Nidāna (निदान).—

1) A band, rope, halter; उदुस्रियाणामसृजन्निदानम् (udusriyāṇāmasṛjannidānam) Rv.6.32.2.

2) A rope for tying up a calf; बालजेन निदानेन कांस्यं भवतु दोहनम् (bālajena nidānena kāṃsyaṃ bhavatu dohanam) Mb.13.94.41.

3) A primary cause, the first or essential cause; निदानमिक्ष्वाकुकुलस्य सन्ततेः (nidānamikṣvākukulasya santateḥ) R.3.1; अथवा बलमारम्भो निदानं क्षयसम्पदः (athavā balamārambho nidānaṃ kṣayasampadaḥ) Śi.2.94.

4) A cause in general; मुञ्च मयि मानमनिदानम् (muñca mayi mānamanidānam) Gīt.5.

5) (in medicine) Inquiry into the causes of a disease, pathology.

6) Diagnosis of a disease.

7) End, termination.

8) Purity, purification, correctness.

9) Claiming the reward of penitential acts.

Derivable forms: nidānam (निदानम्).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Nidāna (निदान).—nt. (Sanskrit id. in meaning 1, but even here BHS develops the word differently from Sanskrit; most, perhaps all, mgs. found in Pali id.), (1) cause, underlying and determining factor; may be associated with virtual synonyms hetu, pratyaya, nimitta: paribhoga-nimittaṃ ca kāma- hetu-nidānaṃ ca…dṛṣṭadhārmikaṃ ca paryeṣṭi-nidānaṃ parigraha-nidānaṃ ca SP 77.14—15; sa-hetu sa-pratyayaṃ ca sa-nidānaṃ LV 376.21; jātī-nidāna jaravyādhiduḥkhāni bhonti LV 420.7 (verse), in the pratītya-samutpāda, where the regular term is pratyaya; Tibetan here gzhi, underlying cause; dāne nidāne ca sukhodayānāṃ Jm 24.25 (verse), and since giving is the cause of happiness and advancement (word-play on dāna); (bodhisattvāḥ…) mahantānām utpādānāṃ nidānam anuprāpnuvanti, bhūtānām (true) utpādānāṃ nidānam anuprā° Mv ii.260.16, 17; sākāraṃ soddeśaṃ sa-nidānaṃ pūrvanivāsam anusmarati sma Mvy 229, he recalled his former births with their forms, locations, and underlying causes (i.e. what made them what they were; Tibetan gzhi ci las ḥgyur ba daṅ bcas pa, together with from-what-cause-origination); the acc. sg. nidānaṃ is used adverbially, because of…, sometimes with dependent gen. preceding, mama nidānaṃ Mv ii.111.1, on my account; asmākam eva ni° Mv iii.221.9, tava…ni° 13; or in comp. with preceding pronominal stem, tan-nidānaṃ, for that reason, Bbh 29.2, 7; 72.18, etc.; Laṅk 251.2; (kasya [Page296-a+ 71] hetoḥ, so read with v.l.) kiṃnidānaṃ vā baddhaṃ SP 211.4, for what reason or cause was it tied on?; yan-nidānaṃ, inasmuch as, MSV ii.191.1 (= yad, 190.14), 11, and ff.; esp. commonly preceded by tato, yato, less often ato, ito, it being open to question whether these latter forms are compounded with nidānaṃ (like tan-, kiṃ-, yan-, above), or are dependent ablatives (like the gens. mama, etc., above); editors vary in printing them as one word or two (and so in Pali, tato-, yato-nidānaṃ): tato-nidānaṃ SP 347.12; Mv i.351.12; iii.66.5, 11; Śikṣ 84.6; Vaj 24.15; Bbh 46.25; ato-ni° Divy 448.4; MSV i.51.4; yato-ni° Śikṣ 100.12; Bbh 163.12; Ud ii.20 (duḥkhaṃ hi yo veda yatonidānaṃ, who knows misery, whence it is caused, = Pali id. in SN i.117.3; same line in Divy 224.18 reads yaḥ prekṣati duḥkham ito nidānaṃ, as caused from this); (2) (cause of action, so) motive, motivation, in tri-nidāna, q.v.; also probably in Av i.169.14, teṣāṃ sattvānāṃ nidānam āśayānuśayaṃ copalakṣya svayam ārabdhaś cikitsāṃ… kartum, noting the motives, the disposition and inclination (see anuśaya) of these creatures (who were afflicted with a pestilence; i.e. finding them worthy), himself undertook to give them medical treatment; otherwise Feer, who under- stands cause (of the disease) of these creatures; it is true that Pali nidāna means cause (aetiology) of disease in Miln. 272.13, but it seems to me forcing the Av passage to read that meaning into it, esp. since the coordinated āśayānuśaya can hardly be applied to disease (tho Feer makes the attempt); (3) beginning, introduction (compare Pali Nidāna- kathā, the introduction to Jāt.): nidāna-parivartaḥ prathamaḥ Suv 5.6, colophon to Chap. 1, the first, Intro- ductory Chapter; nidāna-namaskarāṇi samāptāni Mv i.2.12, colophon, the introductory salutations; iti śrīmahāvastu- nidāna-gāthā samāptā Mv i.4.11, colophon, the first gāthā of the Mv (lines 9—10, which Senart prints as prose but which obviously were a verse, and the first one in Mv); (4) theme, content, subject-matter: vaipulyasūtraṃ hi mahānidānam LV 7.9 (verse),…having an exalted theme, Tibetan gleṅ gzhi (subject of discourse) chen po (great); yathā Śrāvastyāṃ tatra vinaye tantravāyasya) nidānaṃ varṇa- yanti Karmav 71.(10—)11, as here in the Vinaya they describe the theme (matter, account) of the weaver at Śrāvastī; Śrāvastyāṃ nidānaṃ Divy 123.16; 198.1: MSV i.v.4, at the beginning of a story, the theme (subject-matter) is (laid) in Ś. (so also Pali, e.g. SN v.12.9); yad-yat tvayā- bhihitaṃ nidāne Divy 626.29 (verse),…on (this) theme, subject; uktaṃ nu te saumya guṇe nidānaṃ 627.1,…the subject-matter (theme, account) on (the subject of) quality; …vadāmi dharmaṃ, bodhiṃ nidānaṃ kariyāna nityam SP 128.7 (verse), I declare the doctrine, making enlightenment my constant theme; sanidānaṃ ahaṃ…śrāvakāṇāṃ dharmaṃ deśayāmi na anidānaṃ Mv iii.51.12—13, I preach to my disciples the doctrine including its content, not devoid of content; vistareṇa nidānaṃ kṛtvā, a phrase indicating abbreviation of a cliché, making the content (theme, subject- matter) in full, Mv i.4.13—14 (here Senart em. kṛtyaṃ, all 6 mss. kṛtvā, which he keeps in the rest); ii.115.7; iii.224.12; 377.1, 8; 382.9; 389.14; 401.20; in all these reference is to the cliché given in full e.g. Mv i.34.1 ff.; (5) as title of a class or type of work or subdivision of the Buddhist canon, acc. to Tibetan on Mvy = gleṅ gzhiḥi (ed. bzhiḥi) sde, statement of subject-matter, table of contents, summary (of a work): Mvy 1272, in list of dvādaśaka- dharma-pravacanam (omitted in Dharmas 62, navāṅga- pravacanāni, see Müller's note); in more informal lists of the same kind SP 45.8; Kv 81.21; (6) theme, subject, hence virtually occasion, parallel with prakaraṇa and velā, once also utpatti, vastu: etasmiṃ nidāne etasmiṃ prakaraṇe tāye velāye (Divy tasyāṃ, misprinted tasyaṃ, velāyāṃ) Mv iii.91.17—18; Divy 654.21, on this occasion, in this connexion, at this time; (asyām utpattau) asmin nidāne (asmin pra- karaṇe asmin vastuni) Mvy (9209,) 9210, (9211—12).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit 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

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