Nidra, aka: Nidrā; 13 Definition(s)


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

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Nidrā (निद्रा, “Sleep”):—One of the names of Mahākālī (tamas-form of Mahādevī). Mahākālī is one of the three primary forms of Devī. Not to be confused with Kālī, she is a more powerful cosmic aspect (vyaṣṭi) of Devi and represents the guṇa (universal energy) named tamas. For reference, see the Devī Māhātmya, a Sanskrit work from the 5th century, incorporated into the Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Nidrā (निद्रा, “sleeping”).—One of the thirty-three ‘transitory states’ (vyabhicāribhāva), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 7. These ‘transitory states’ accompany the ‘permanent state’ in co-operation. The term is used throughout nāṭyaśāstra literature. (Also see the Daśarūpa 4.8-9)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Nidrā (निद्रा, “sleeping”) is caused by determinants (vibhāva) such as weakness, fatigue, exhaustion, intoxication, indolence, [too much] thinking, too much eating, [soporific] nature and the like. It is to be represented on the stage by consequents (anubhāva) such as heaviness of the face, stretching the limbs, rolling of the eyes, yawning, rubbing of the body, deep breathing, relaxed body, closing the eyes, bewilderment, and the like.

Source: Natya Shastra
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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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Nidrā (निद्रा, “sleep”).—One of the thee supporting pillars of the body.—After whole day’s routine, when one’s body and mind are completely tired, the sensory and motor organs become relaxed, then one goes to sleep. By means of sleep, the body and mind get rest which compensates the loss during activities. Sleep is invaluable. When one falls asleep, all the lax and inactive sensory and motor organs along with the mind get refreshed and energetic.

Source: Google Books: A Practical Approach to the Science of Ayurveda
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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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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Nidra (निद्र, “sleep”).—In sleeping disease (nidra), the fatigue of the mind is followed by the fatigue of the sense-organs and their consequent withdrawal from the objective world.

Source: Rasa-Jala-Nidhi: Or Ocean of indian chemistry and alchemy
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Nidrā (निद्रा) is the name of a female Goddess mentioned in the Harivaṃśa commonly identified with Ekānaṃśā. The role of [Ekānaṃśā] is closely linked to that of her two male companions (Kṛṣṇa and Saṃkarṣaṇa). The interactions of the Saṃkarṣaṇa-Ekānaṃśā-Kṛṣṇa triad are in fact presented in at least three different circumstances in the Harivaṃśa.

The Harivaṃśa consists of a long speech in which Viṣṇu tells Nidrā what she must do if he is to complete the mission he has undertaken. He promises her the most remarkable favors in return for her cooperation. [...] In any case, this passage clearly links Viṣṇu to the goddess Nidrā (or Ekānaṃśā). Viṣṇu is the only one who knows this woman’s power and thus the only one who has recourse to her. When he decides to intervene in favor of Earth and manifest himself in order to satisfy her grievances, he immediately orders the goddess to help him. The goddess Nidrā merely acts on Viṣṇu’s decision.

Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society: The Harivaṃśa, the Goddess Ekānaṃśā
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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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Nidrā (निद्रा) or Nidrāhasta refers to “supportive, sleepy, meditative” and represents one of the twenty-four gestures with a single hand, as defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—Accordingly, pratimā-lakṣaṇa (body postures of the icons) is comprised of hand gestures (hasta, mudrā or kai-amaiti), stances/poses (āsanas) and inflexions of the body (bhaṅgas). There are thirty-two types of hands [viz., nidrā-hasta] classified into two major groups known as tolirkai (functional and expressive gestures) and elirkai (graceful posture of the hand).

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Nidrā (निद्रा) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Nidrācinta forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Vākcakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the vākcakra refers to one of the three divisions of the nirmāṇa-puṭa (emanation layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Nidrā] and Vīras are reddish madder in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

Source: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Nidrā (निद्रा, “sleep”) refers to one of the eight divisions of Darśanāvaraṇa, or “perception obscuring (karmas)”, which represents one of the eight types of Prakṛti-bandha (species bondage): one of the four kinds of bondage (bandha) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra chapter 8.—What is meant by sleep (nidrā)? To sleep induced by pride, sorrow or hard efforts is called sleep. What is meant by obscuring perception due to sleep (nidrā)? Perception obscured by the general sleep induced by the rise of perception obscuring karmas is obscuring perception due to sleep. Nidrā is also known as Nidrādarśanāvaraṇa or Nidrādarśanāvaraṇīya.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 8: Bondage of karmas
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

nidrā (निद्रा).—f (S) Sleep. nidrākula, nidrākrānta, nidrāgrasta, nidrātura, nidrānvita (S) Overcome with sleep.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nidrā (निद्रा).—f Sleep. nidrākula, nidrākānta, nidrāgrasta, nidrātura, nidrānvita Overcome with sleep.

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

Nidrā (निद्रा).—2 P. To fall asleep, sleep.

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Nidrā (निद्रा).—

1) Sleep, sleepiness; प्रच्छायसुलभनिद्रा दिवसाः (pracchāyasulabhanidrā divasāḥ) Ś.1.3; निद्रामुद्रां क्षिपन् (nidrāmudrāṃ kṣipan) Māl.2.12.

2) Sloth; निद्रां च प्रतिभां चैव ज्ञानाभ्यासेन तत्त्ववित् (nidrāṃ ca pratibhāṃ caiva jñānābhyāsena tattvavit) (nivartayet) Mb.12.274.7.

3) Shutting, budding state.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Nidrā (निद्रा).—f.

(-drā) 1. Sleep, sleepiness, sloth. 2. Dream. E. ṇid to condemn or censure, Unadi affix rak; or drai to sleep, affix kvip and ni prefixed. or more correctly. ni + drā bhāve a .

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

Yoganidrā (योगनिद्रा).—f. (-drā) 1. The sleep of Vishnu during the deluge. 2. A state of half c...
Nidrābhaṅga (निद्राभङ्ग).—mfn. (-ṅgaḥ-ṅgā-ṅgaṃ) Awaked, aroused from sleep. E. nidrā, bhaṅga br...
Dīrghanidrā (दीर्घनिद्रा).—f. (-drā) Death. E. dīrgha long, and nidrā sleep.
Śvānanidrā (श्वाननिद्रा).—f. (-drā) A light slumber.
Yoginidrā (योगिनिद्रा).—f. (-drā) Light sleep, wakefulness. E. yogin a saint, nidrā sleep.
Nidrāvṛkṣa (निद्रावृक्ष).—m. (-kṣaḥ) Darkness. E. nidrā sleep, and vṛkṣa a tree, (whose fruit i...
Nidrānidrā (निद्रानिद्रा, “deep-sleep”) refers to one of the eight divisions of Darśa...
Nidrāhasta (निद्राहस्त) or simply Nidrā refers to “supportive, sleepy, meditative” and represen...
Nidrā-kalasa.—a pūrṇa-ghaṭa kept near the head of the bed (Matsya Purāṇa, 265. 14; Harṣacarita,...
Pītanidra (पीतनिद्र).—1) a milch cow. 2) a cow whose milk has been pledged. 3) a cow tied up to...
Nidrācinta (निद्राचिन्त) is the name of a Vīra (hero) who, together with the Ḍākinī named Nidrā...
Bhagnanidra (भग्ननिद्र).—a. whose sleep is interrupted. Bhagnanidra is a Sanskrit compound cons...
Nidrālasa (निद्रालस).—a. dull or languid with drowsiness, fast asleep; निद्रालसा बर्हिणः (nidrā...
Nidrāsajanana (निद्रासजनन).—phlegm, phlegmatic humour.Derivable forms: nidrāsajananam (निद्रासज...
Nirnidra (निर्निद्र).—a. sleepless, wakeful. Nirnidra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the ...

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