Niddesa: 4 definitions


Niddesa means something in Buddhism, Pali, Jainism, Prakrit. 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 Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A commentarial work included in the Canon as part of the Khuddaka Nikaya. It is generally divided into two books: the Culla Niddesa and the Maha Niddesa.

The Culla Niddesa contains comments on the Khaggavisana Sutta and the sixteen suttas of the Parayana Vagga of the Sutta Nipata, while the Maha Niddesa deals with the sixteen suttas of the Atthaka Vagga.

It is significant that the Culla Niddesa contains no comments on the fifty six (Vatthugatha) introductory stanzas, which preface the Parayana Vagga as at present found in the Sutta Nipata. This lends support to the suggestion that at the time the Culla Niddesa was written the Parayana Vagga, was a separate anthology, and that the Khaggavisana Sutta did not belong to any particular group. Similarly with the Maha Niddesa and the Atthaka Vagga.

The comments in the Niddesa seem to have been modeled on exegetical explanations such as are attributed here and there in the Pitakas to Maha Kaccana (E.g., Madhupindika Sutta (M.i.110f); also S.iii.9) and to Sariputta (E.g., Sangiti Sutta, D.iii.207f).

There is a tradition (NidA. p.1), which ascribes the authorship of the Niddesa to Sariputta. There exists a Commentary on it, called the Saddhammapajjotika, by Upasena. It was written in Ceylon at the request of a monk called Deva Thera.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Niddesa in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

niddesa : (m.) description; analytic explanation.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Niddesa, (Sk. nirdeśa, fr. niddisati, cp. desa, desaka etc. ) 1. description, attribute, distinction PvA. 7 (ukkaṭṭha°); °vatthu object of distinction or praise D. III, 253= A. IV, 15 (where reading is niddasa, which also as v. l. at D. III, 253 & Ps. I, 5).—2. descriptive exposition, analytic explanation by way of question & answer, interpretation, exegesis Vin. V, 114 (sa°); Nett 4, 8 38 sq.; Vism. 26; DhsA. 54; VvA. 78; PvA. 71, 147. ‹-› 3. N. of an old commentary (ascribed to Sāriputta) on parts of the Sutta Nipāta (Aṭṭhaka-vagga, interpreted in the Mahā-Niddesa; Pārāyana-vagga and, as a sort of appendix, the Khaggavisāṇa-sutta, interpreted in the Culla-Niddesa); as one of the canonical texts included in the Khuddaka Nikāya; editions in P. T. S. Quoted often in the Visuddhimagga, e.g. p. 140, 208 sq. etc. (Page 358)

Pali book cover
context information

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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Prakrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary

Ṇiddesa (णिद्देस) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Nirdeśa.

context information

Prakrit is an ancient language closely associated with both Pali and Sanskrit. Jain literature is often composed in this language or sub-dialects, such as the Agamas and their commentaries which are written in Ardhamagadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit. The earliest extant texts can be dated to as early as the 4th century BCE although core portions might be older.

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