Nidra, Nidrā: 31 definitions


Nidra means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi, Hindi. 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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

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: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Nidrā (निद्रा) refers to “sleep”, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, while discussing the outer signs of initiation: “The disciple who has been pierced by the (Supreme) Principle (experiences) the five-fold state. This is, joy (ānanda), an upward movement (udbhava), a tremor (kampa), sleep (nidrā) and inebriation (ghūrṇi) as the fifth”.

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (shaktism)

Nidrā (निद्रा) or Kālarātri refers to the Kṛṣṇa’s sister which was worshiped as part of the Navarātra Tantric rituals.—Various 4th century  sources refer to the worship of Kṛṣṇa’s sister Kālarātri/Nidrā, a dark, blood-thirsty, alcohol-loving goddess associated with night, sleep, hallucination and enchantment (māyā).—Sources for rituals such as the worship of Nidrā include: Harivaṃśa 57.35–36; Mahābhārata 4.5.29ff. and 6.22.6ff., old Skandapurāṇa 60.46; Kādambarī pp. 30–31; Harṣacarita p. 126; Caṇḍīśataka 16; Gaüḍavaho 318, 319, Purāṇic citations in Dharmaśāstric compendia from Mithilā and Bengal.)

Shaktism book cover
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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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

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: Natya Shastra

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.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Rasashastra (Alchemy and Herbo-Mineral preparations)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Nidrā (निद्रा) refers to “sleeping disease” according to the fifth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 23). Accordingly, “In sleep (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

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.

Toxicology (Study and Treatment of poison)

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa

Nidrā (निद्रा) refers to “sleep” and is a symptom of a (venemous) bite caused by the Bhṛtaka rats, according to the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā: an ancient Sanskrit text from the Pāñcarātra tradition dealing with both Tantra and Viṣacikitsā—an important topic from Āyurveda which deals with the study of Toxicology (Viṣavidyā or Sarpavidyā).—[Cf. bhṛtakasyārucirnidrā śiroruggauravoṣṇate]

Unclassified Ayurveda definitions

Source: Google Books: A Practical Approach to the Science of Ayurveda

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: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Nidrā (निद्रा):—Sleep; When the Mana (mind) & Indriya’s (sense organs) get exhausted, they withdraw them selves from the objects & the individual get sleep. Sleep is caused by Tamas, Kapha, physical and mental exertion, adventitious, as a sequelae to diseases and normally at night.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Nidrā (निद्रा) refers to “sleep” (e.g., in all living beings) and is used to describe Goddess Umā, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.3.—Accordingly, as the Gods eulogized Umā (Durgā/Satī) with devotion:—“[...] you are sleep in all living beings (i.e., nidrānidrā tvaṃ sarvabhūteṣu); you are hunger, satiety, thirst, splendour, brilliance and contentment. You are the delighter of every one for ever. To those who perform meritorious actions you are the goddess of fortune. To the sinners you are the eldest sister, the deity of Ignominy; you are peace for the universe, and the mother sustaining lives”.

Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society: The Harivaṃśa, the Goddess Ekānaṃśā

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.

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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

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).

Shilpashastra book cover
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

1) Nidrā (निद्रा) refers to “(the urge to) sleep”, according to the Guhyasūtra chapter 3.—Accordingly, “[...] One may perform the Block-of-Wood Observance in a forest full of bears, tigers and lions, conquering the urges to sleep (nidrā) and eat, [constantly] reciting. If one takes on the appearance of a woman and sings and dances, adorned with bracelets, with a winnowing fan, ball and plait, one observes the Colourful Observance. With a weapon in hand, full of compassion, if one wanders like a saviour of creatures (?) focussed upon recitation, meditation and worship, one performs the Warrior Observance. [...]”.

2) Nidrā (निद्रा) refers to “sleep” representing one of the the Five Mystic States, according to the Īśvarapratyabhijñāvimarśinī (KSTS vol. 65, 330).—Accordingly, “[...] Thus, due to practicing [this insight], the qualities of His consciousness, which are aspects of Śakti, fully penetrate [those various levels], causing the [various] powers to arise. But even without practice, in the [rare] case of an instantaneous immersion into That, one obtains the state of liberation-in-life through the process of the direct experience of [the Five Mystic States]: Bliss, Ascent, Trembling, Sleep (nidrā), and ‘Whirling,’ which means Pervasion”.

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Nidrā (निद्रा) refers to “sleep”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 16) (“On the planets—graha-bhaktiyoga”), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “[...] Rāhu also presides over notorious sinners, fops, Rākṣasas, excessive sleepers (nidrā-bahula), all sentient beings and wicked persons; over black gram and gingelly seed. [...]”.

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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Nidra (निद्र) refers to “sleep” (as oppose to Anidra—‘being free from sleep’), according to the Śivayogadīpikā, an ancient Sanskrit text dealing with Yoga possibly corresponding to the Śivayoga quoted in Śivānanda’s Yogacintāmaṇi.—Accordingly, [while describing a sequence of Haṭhayoga practices]: “Thus, by means of this Haṭhayoga which has eight auxiliaries, those [students who are] life-long celibates obtain the Siddhis of the [best of Sages] because of their untiring practice. [...] Then, in the third year, he is not hurt by noxious [animals] such as snakes. In the fourth year, he is free from [any] torment, thirst, sleep (anidra), cold and heat. [...]”.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

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: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): (Tibetan Buddhism)

Nidrā (निद्रा) refers to “sleep”, according to the Ciñcinīmatasārasamuccaya.—In the Amanaska, the term yoganidrā is a synonym for the no-mind state. [...] In contrast to the paucity of its occurrences in Yoga texts, yoganidrā is well attested in epic, Tantric and Pauranic literature that predates the Amanaska. [...] In Ratnākaraśānti's commentary (i.e., the Guṇavatī) on the Mahāmāyātantra, he glossed yoganidrā as follows; “Because it resembles sleep inasmuch as it is absolutely free from distraction, the sleep [of Yoganidrā] is like sleep (nidrā); [thus,] Yoganidrā is both yoga and sleep”

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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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)

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 8: Bondage of karmas

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.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

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

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

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

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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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical 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) Mālatīmādhava (Bombay) 2.12.

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

3) Shutting, budding state.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Nidrā (निद्रा).—[ni-2. drā], f. 1. Sleep, [Rāmāyaṇa] 4, 26, 9. 2. Sleepiness, [Hiḍimbavadha] 1, 4.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Nidrā (निद्रा).—[feminine] sleep, kara† [adjective] causing sleep.

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Nidrā (निद्रा).—go to sleep, sleep. — Cf. nidrāṇa & nidrita.

Nidrā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms ni and drā (द्रा).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Nidrā (निद्रा):—[=ni-drā] a. ni-√1. drā (or √drai) [Parasmaipada] [Ātmanepada] -drāyati, te (-drāti, [Śāntiśataka]; [perfect tense] -dadrau, [Naiṣadha-carita]), to fall asleep, sleep, slumber, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature etc.]

2) [v.s. ...] b f. sleep, slumber, sleepiness, sloth, [Ṛg-veda; Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] the budding state of a flower (hence drāṃ-√tyaj, to bloom), [Śārṅgadhara-paddhati]

4) [v.s. ...] a mystic. Name of the letter bh, [Upaniṣad]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Nidrā (निद्रा):—[ni-drā] (drā) 1. f. Sleep.

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

Nidrā (निद्रा) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Uṃgha, Ohīra, Ṇiddā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Nidra in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Nidrā (निद्रा):—(nf) sleep; slumber; —[devī] Somnus; goddess of sleep; •[kī goda meṃ/śaraṇa meṃ jānā] lit. to be consigned to the care of Somnus (the goddess of sleep)—to go to sleep; —[roga] narcolepsy; ~[vijñāna] hypnology.

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