Nila, aka: Nīlā, Nīḷa, Nīla; 26 Definition(s)
Nila 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.
The Sanskrit term Nīḷa can be transliterated into English as Nila or Nilia, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Nīla (नील):—Son of Ajamīḍha (one of the three sons of Hastī) and his wife Nalinī. He had a son named Śānti. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.21.30)(Source): Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana
1) Nīla (नील).—One of the seven mountains located in Jambūdvīpa, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 75. Jambūdvīpa is ruled over by Āgnīdhra, one of the ten sons of Priyavrata was a son of Svāyambhuva Manu.
2) Nīla (नील) is the name of a mountain situated at lake Mahābhadra and mount Supārśva, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 75. The Supārśva mountain lies on the western side of mount Meru, which is one of the seven mountains located in Jambūdvīpa, ruled over by Āgnīdhra, a grandson of Svāyambhuva Manu.
3) Nīla (नील).—One of the five mountains situated near Bhadrāśva, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 82.
Svāyambhuva Manu was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.(Source): Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa
Nīla (नील), an ancestor of Pṛṣata was a king of Pañcāla. He was killed by king Kṛta, who was a compiler of the twenty-four Sāma-Saṃhitās.(Source): Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna
1) Nīla (नील).—A prominent nāga born to Kaśyapa Prajāpati of Kadrū. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 35, Verse 7). (See full article at Story of Nīla from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)
2) Nīla (नील).—General. A King born in the Hehaya dynasty. His was a rebirth of the asura called Krodhavaśa. Nīla was called Duryodhana also. Māhiṣmatī was the capital of his kingdom. He attended the Svayaṃvara of Draupadī. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 61). Other Information
2) (i) Once he fought a fierce battle with Sahadeva, but ultimately yielded to the latter at the instance of Agnideva. (See under Agni, Para 8).
2) (ii) He gave his daughter Sudarśanā in marriage to Agnideva. (See under Agni, Para 8).
2) (iii) During his triumphal tour, Karṇa defeated Nīla. (Vana Parva, Chapter 254, Verse 15).
2) (iv) In the battle of Kurukṣetra he fought on the side of the Kauravas. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 19, Verse 23).
2) (v) He was reckoned as one of the mahārathis on the side of Duryodhana. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 164, Verse 4).
2) (vi) Sudarśanā was a daughter born to him of his wife Narmadā. (Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 2).
3) Nīla (नील).—A monkey-chief, who was a dependant of Śrī Rāma. He was Agni’s son. 'Nīla, son of Pāvaka (fire) shone forth like agni (fire). He stood foremost among the monkeys in the matter of effulgence, reputation and prowess'. (Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Bālakāṇḍa, Canto 17).
This monkey-chief was also included in the set of monkeys deputed by Śrī Rāma to search for Sītā. In the Rāma-Rāvaṇa war Nīla killed Pramāthī, the younger brother of the Rākṣasa called Dūṣaṇa. (Vana Parva, Chapter 287, Verse 27).
4) Nīla (नील).—A warrior who fought on the Pāṇḍava side. He was king of Anūpadeśa. He fought against Durjaya and Aśvatthāmā and was killed by Aśvatthāmā. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 31, Verse 25).
5) Nīla (नील).—A famous king in nothern Pāñcāla. The Purāṇas refer to sixteen famous kings of this royal dynasty from Nīla to Pṛṣata.
6) Nīlā (नीला).—A daughter born to Kapiśa of Keśinī. (Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, Chapter 3).
7) Nīlā (नीला).—A Gopikā. Śrī Kṛṣṇa was one day picnicking in Vṛndāvana with the Gopī women, and they were proud that he was mad after them. To dispel their pride Kṛṣṇa disappeared abruptly from their midst and sported with the woman called Nīlā. Then she also became proud that Kṛṣṇa loved her more than the others, and she asked him to carry her on his shoulders. He stood there ready stretching his neck to carry her. But, when she stood with her legs parted to mount on Kṛṣṇa’s neck and looked for him he was missing; he had already disappeared. The Gopikās ultimately shed their pride and then Kṛṣṇa appeared before them. (Ceruśśeri’s Malayālam Epic Kṛṣṇa Gāthā).(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
Nīla (नील) is the name of a Nāga and narrator of the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The very name “Nīlamata” i.e. Teachings of Nīla is associated with a Nāga named Nīla through whose mouth is related more than two-thirds of the whole Nīlamata-purāṇa.
The Nāga king Nīla was very considerate towards the Mānavas who had come from different parts of the country to inhabit the valley of Kaśmīra. He gave a nice welcome to the old Brāhmaṇa Candradeva and took action against the Nāga Ṣaḍaṅgula to please people of Kaśmīra.(Source): archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study
1a) Nīla (नील).—A mountain range in Bhāratavarṣa and to the north of Ilāvṛta; formed the boundary limit of Ramyaka;1 one of the six varṣaparvatas in Jambūdvīpa; diamond like;2 residence of the monkey tribes;3 the residence of Brahmaṛṣis.
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 16. 8; 19. 16; Matsya-purāṇa 113. 22; Vāyu-purāṇa 34. 20, 25; 35. 8.
- 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 1. 69; II. 15. 22, 28; 17. 35; Vāyu-purāṇa 1. 85; 42. 67; 46. 34.
- 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 194; IV. 31. 17.
1b) A monkey chief, a friend of Rāma; followed Rāma in the Lankā expedition.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 10. 16, 19.
1c) A Rākṣasa resident in Sutalam.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 20. 22; Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 22.
1d) One of the five sons of Yadu.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 69. 2; Matsya-purāṇa 43. 7; Vāyu-purāṇa 94. 2.
- 1) Matsya-purāṇa 49. 78; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 192.
- 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 21. 30; Matsya-purāṇa 50. 1; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 194; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 19. 56-7.
1f) A Bhārgava gotrakara.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 195. 19.
1h) A son of Pāra; father of a hundred sons.*
- * Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 19. 38-39.
1i) Of Vānarajāti, born of Hari and Pulaha.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 176, 319.
1j) A Parāśara clan.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 8. 95; Vāyu-purāṇa 70. 87.
1k) The kingdom of Ramya.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 14. 50; 15. 33; Vāyu-purāṇa 33. 44.
1l) To be uttered in installing an image.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 265. 28.
2a) Nīlā (नीला).—One of the eight nidhis of Kubera.*
- * Vāyu-purāṇa 41. 10.
2b) A daughter of Keśinī, and a low type of Rākṣasī; gave birth to Kṣudra Rākṣasas called after her the Naila clan.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 7. 147. Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 178, 181.
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.
Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)
Nīlā (नीला):—One of the twelve guṇas associated with Randhra, the first seat of the Svādhiṣṭhāna-chakra. According to tantric sources such as the Śrīmatottara-tantra and the Gorakṣasaṃhitā (Kādiprakaraṇa), these twelve guṇas are represented as female deities. According to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā however, they are explained as particular syllables. They (eg. Nīlā) only seem to play an minor role with regard to the interpretation of the Devīcakra (first of five chakras, as taught in the Kubjikāmata-tantra).(Source): Wisdom Library: Ṣaṭsāhasra-saṃhitā
Nīla (नील) is the name of a mountain-range situated to the north of Ilāvṛta, according to the Parākhyatantra 5.76. Ilāvṛta is a region (navakhaṇḍa) situated within Jambūdvīpa: one of the seven continents situated within the world of the earth (pṛthivī). These continents are located above the seven pātālas and may contain even more sub-continents within them, are round in shape, and are encircled within seven concentric oceans.
According to the Parākhyatantra, “to the north of Ilāvṛta is the mountain-range Nīla, extending from east to west, two thousand yojanas broad, frequented by Siddhas (celestial beings) and Gandharvas. Śani became dark-bodied (sunīlāṅga) there, and so it is known as Nīla”.
The Parākhyatantra is an old Śaiva-siddhānta tantra dating from before the 10th century.(Source): Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Nīla (नील) or Nīlāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Kiraṇāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Nīla Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Kiraṇa-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.(Source): Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
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.
Nīla (नील):—The Sanskrit name for a classification of a ‘temple’, according to the Suprabhedāgama, which describes a list of 13 types. This list represents the earliest form of the classification of temples in the South Indian Vāstuśāstra literature. The name is also mentioned in the Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati which features a list of 52 temple types. This list represents the classification of temples in South-India.(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.
Katha (narrative stories)
Nīla (नील).—Nīla, Śveta and Śṛṅgavān are three varṣaparvatas to the north of Jambūdvīpa and they divide the three continents namely Ramyaka, Hiraṇmaya and Uttarakurudeśa respectively.(Source): Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
Nīla (नील, “blue”) refers to one of the found original (natural) colors (varṇa), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 23. From these colors come numerous derivative and minor colors (upavarṇa).(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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).
Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)
Nīla (नील) refers to one of the 130 varṇavṛttas (syllabo-quantitative verse) dealt with in the second chapter of the Vṛttamuktāvalī, ascribed to Durgādatta (19th century), author of eight Sanskrit work and patronised by Hindupati: an ancient king of the Bundela tribe (presently Bundelkhand of Uttar Pradesh). A Varṇavṛtta (eg., nīla) refers to a type of classical Sanskrit metre depending on syllable count where the light-heavy patterns are fixed.(Source): Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.
Itihasa (narrative history)
Nīla (नील) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.35.7, I.59.25, I.65, I.61.56) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Nīla) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).
General definition (in Hinduism)
Nīla (नील): Son of Agni; One of the monkey host placed at the gate guarded by Prahasta.(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)
A friend of Mahinda I. He died early, and Mahinda refused the kingship out of sorrow for his friend. Cv.xlviii. 27ff.2. Nila Thera
He belonged to a family of flower sweepers. He joined the Order and became an arahant in the tonsure hall. When he came to Savatthi in search of a rag robe a Mahabrahma saw him and stood worshipping him. Other brahmas heard of this, and all worshipped him. SA.ii.217.(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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).
General definition (in Buddhism)
Nīla (नील, “black”) refers to one of the “twenty form objects” (rūpa) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 34). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., nīla). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha
General definition (in Jainism)
Nīla (नील).—One of the seven mountain ranges (varṣadharaparvata) of Jambūdvīpa according to Jaina cosmology. On top of Nīla lies a lake named Kesari, having at its centre a large padmahrada (lotus-island), home to the Goddess Kīrti. Jambūdvīpa sits at the centre of madhyaloka (‘middle world’) is the most important of all continents and it is here where human beings reside.(Source): Wisdom Library: Jainism
Nīla (नील) is the name of a mountain in Jambūdvīpa separating the regions Videha and Ramyaka. Jambūdvīpa refers to the first continent of the Madhya-loka (middle-word), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.10. The hues of the six mountains (eg., Niṣadha and Nīla) are hot gold/ rising sun and blue (like the neck of peacock) respectively. Why do the mountains Niṣadha and Nīla have their specific hues? They have the hues as the sand and stones which constitute these mountains have the colour of molten gold or the rising sun and blue (like the neck of peacock) respectively.
Which lakes are there on tops of the Nīla, Rukmi and Śikhari (Śikharin) mountains? The lakes on the summits of Nīla, Rukmī and Śikharī mountains are Kesari, Mahāpuṇḍarīka and Puṇḍarīka respectively.
Jambūdvīpa (where stands the Nīla mountain) is in the centre of all continents and oceans; all continents and oceans are concentric circles with Jambūdvīpa in the centre. Like the navel is in the centre of the body, Jambūdvīpa is in the centre of all continents and oceans. Sumeru Mount is in the centre of Jambūdvīpa. It is also called Mount Sudarśana.
Nīla (नील, “blue”) refers to one of the five types of Varṇa (color) and represents one of the various kinds of Nāma, or “physique-making (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. The karmas rise of which gives the colour attributes to the body are called colour body-making karma (nīla).(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 8: Bondage of karmas
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.
India history and geogprahy
Nila (“blue”) refers to one of the exogamous septs (divisions) among the Medaras: workers in bamboo in the Telugu, Canarese, Oriya and Tamil countries. The Medara people believe that they came from Mahendrachala mountain, the mountain of Indra. They are also known as the Meda, Medarlu or Medarakaran.(Source): Project Gutenberg: Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 1
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
nīla : (adj.) blue; m. the blue colour. || nīḷa (nt.), a nest.(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Nīḷa, (Vedic nīḍa) a nest (J. V, 92): see niḍḍha: cp. °pacchi bird cage J. II, 361; roga° It. 37; vadharoga° Th. I, 1093. (Page 376)
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Nīla, (adj.) (Vedic nīla, perhaps conn. with Lat. nites to shine, see Walde, Lat. Wtb. s. v. ) dark-blue, blue-black, blue-green. Nīla serves as a general term to designate the “coloured-black, ” as opposed to the “colouredwhite” (pīta yellow), which pairs (nīla-pīta) are both set off against the “pure” colour-sensations of red (lohitaka) & white (odāta), besides the distinct black or dark (see kaṇha). Therefore n. has a fluctuating connotation (cp. Mrs. Rh. D. Buddh. Psych. p. 49 & Dhs. trsl. p. 62), its only standard combn being that with pīta, e.g. in the enumn of the ten kasiṇa practices (see kasiṇa): nīla pīta lohita odāta; in the description of the 5 colours of the Buddha’s eye: nīla pītaka lohitaka kaṇha odāta (Nd2 235, Ia under cakkhumā); which goes even so far as to be used simply in the sense of “black & white, ” e.g. VvA. 320. Applied to hair (lomāni) D. II, 144; M. II, 136. See further enumn at VvA. 111 & under kaṇha.—A. III, 239; IV, 263 sq. , 305, 349; V, 61; Vism. 110, 156, 173; ThA. 42 (mahā° great blue lotus); Dhs. 617; Pv. II, 25; PvA. 32, 46, 158; Sdhp. 246, 270, 360.
—abbha a black cloud Pv IV. 39. —abhijāti a dark (unfortunate) birth (cp. kaṇh°) A. III, 383; —uppala blue lotus J. III, 394; Vv 454 (=kuvalaya); DhA. I, 384; —kasiṇa the “blue” kasiṇa (q. v.) D. III, 248; Dhs. 203; (Vam 172 etc.; —gīva “blue neck, ” a peacock Sn. 221 =maṇi-daṇḍa-sadisāya gīvāya n. ti SnA 277); —pupphī N. of plant (“blue-blossom”) J. VI, 53; —bījaka a waterplant (“blue-seed”) Bdhgh at Vin. III, 276; —maṇi a sapphire (“blue-stone”) J. II, 112; IV, 140; DhA. III, 254; —vaṇṇa blue colour, coloured blue or green J. IV, 140 (of the ocean); Dhs. 246. (Page 376)
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.
niḷā (निळा).—a (nīla) Dark blue; indigo blue. 2 Of a white color;--used of horses. 3 Green, young, tender;--used of standing crops, grass &c. Pr. iḷyācē ghāyīṃ niḷēṃ kāpaṇēṃ.
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niḷā (निळा).—m f (nīḷa) Freshness of look or appearance.
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nīla (नील).—a (S) Dark blue.
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nīla (नील).—m or nīlakānta m (S) A sapphire.
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nīḷa (नीळ).—f (nīla S) Indigo plant. 2 Indigo. 3 m A species of monkey. 4 A sapphire. 5 f The green matter of stagnant water. nīḷa nāsalī or rāmpalī or niḷīcā raṅganāsalā Phrases founded upon a popular story, and used in rejecting any report or statement as utterly fabulous and incredible.
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nīḷa (नीळ).—a (nīla S) Dark blue, indigo blue.(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
niḷā (निळा).—a Dark blue; indigo blue. Young tender-used of standing crops, &c.
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nīla (नील).—a Dark blue.
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nīla (नील).—m nīlakānta m A sapphire.
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nīḷa (नीळ).—f Indigo plant. Indigo. m A spe- cies of monkey. A sapphire. f The green matter of stagnant water.(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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Search found 57 books and stories containing Nila, Nīlā, Nīḷa or Nīla. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
List of Mahabharata people and places (by Laxman Burdak)
The Brahmanda Purana (by G.V. Tagare)
Chapter 15 - The length and extent of the Earth: Description of Jambūdvīpa < [Section 1.2 - Anuṣaṅga-pāda]
Chapter 17 - Varṣas of Jambūdvīpa, Kimpuruṣā, Hari and Ilāvṛta < [Section 1.2 - Anuṣaṅga-pāda]
Chapter 14 - The race of Priyavrata < [Section 1.2 - Anuṣaṅga-pāda]
The Markandeya Purana (by Frederick Eden Pargiter)
The Garuda Purana (by Manmatha Nath Dutt)
Chapter LXXII - Tests of Sapphires < [Agastya Samhita]
Chapter LIII - Traits of conduct of men marked by the several kinds of Nidhis < [Agastya Samhita]
Chapter LXXIV - Tests of topas (puspa-raga) < [Agastya Samhita]
Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 3: Metals, Gems and other substances (by Bhudeb Mookerjee)
Part 1 - Characteristics of Sapphire (nila) < [Chapter XVII - Gems (5): Nila (sapphire)]
Part 2 - Uparatna (2): Rudhra (carnelian) < [Chapter XXVII - Uparatna (minor gems)]
The Nilamata Purana (by Dr. Ved Kumari)