Nila, aka: Nīlā, Nīḷa, Nīla; 18 Definition(s)


Nila 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.

The Sanskrit term Nīḷa can be transliterated into English as Nila or Nilia, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism


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.

The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century. It is composed of two parts and Sūta is the main narrator.

(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

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.

1e) A king of Pāñcāla, slain by Ugrāyudha;1 son of Ajamidha and Nīlinī; by great austerities Suśānti (Śanti) was born.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.

1g) A Kulaparvata of the Bhadrāśva;1 bordering on Jambūdvīpa.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 43. 14; 48. 8; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 4. 26; II. 2. 39.
  • 2) Ib. II. 1. 20; 2. 11.

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.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (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
Shaivism book cover
context information

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.

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

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
Vāstuśāstra book cover
context information

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

Kathā (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
Kathā book cover
context information

Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.

Nāṭyaśāstra (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
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
context information

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

General definition (in Hinduism)

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: Hinduism

Nīla (नील): Son of Agni; One of the monkey host placed at the gate guarded by Prahasta.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Nila

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
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).


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)

— or —

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)

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

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

In Jainism

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.

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds
General definition book cover
context information

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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

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.

--- OR ---

niḷā (निळा).—m f (nīḷa) Freshness of look or appearance.

--- OR ---

nīla (नील).—a (S) Dark blue.

--- OR ---

nīla (नील).—m or nīlakānta m (S) A sapphire.

--- OR ---

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.

--- OR ---

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.

--- OR ---

nīla (नील).—a Dark blue.

--- OR ---

nīla (नील).—m nīlakānta m A sapphire.

--- OR ---

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
context information

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.

Relevant definitions

Search found 179 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Nīlalohita (नीललोहित) is another name for Īśāna: protector deity of the north-eastern cremation...
nīlāñjana (नीलांजन).—n See nīrāñjana.--- OR --- nīlāñjana (नीलांजन).—n Blue vitriol.
Mahānīla (महानील) is the name of a mountain situated at lake Aruṇoda and mount Mandara, acco...
Nīlā-devī (भूदेवी):—In most Śrī vaiṣṇava temples Lord Nārāyaṇa is usually accompanied ...
Nilanidhi (निलनिधि) or simply nila, refers to one of the eight nidhis that are under the contro...
Hirava Nila
hiravā niḷā (हिरवा निळा).—a (Green and blue.) hiravā pivaḷā a (Green and yellow.) Of discolored...
Nīlaphalā (नीलफला) is another name (synonym) for Vārttākī, which is the Sanskrit word for So...
Nīlamāṣa (नीलमाष) is another name for Rājamāṣa, which is a Sanskrit word referring to Vigna ...
Nila Kasina
'blue-kasina exercise' s. kasina.
haṃśā (हंशा).—m Laughter or laughing.--- OR --- haṃsa (हंस).—m A swan or goose; a duck. A gande...
Jambūdvīpa (जम्बूद्वीप) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīm...
Harita (हरित, “green”) refers to one of the “twenty form objects” (rūpa) as defined in the Dhar...
Kāmarūpa (कामरूप) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—...
śvēta (श्वेत).—a (S) White. śvētakṛṣṇa hōṇēṃ (To become white and black.) To die.--- OR --- śvē...
Śiva (शिव) is the name of a ancient authority on the science of Sanskrit metrics (chandaśāstra)...

Relevant text

- Was this explanation helpful? Leave a comment:

Make this page a better place for research and define the term yourself in your own words.

You have to be a member in order to post comments. Click here to login or click here to become a member.