Nilakantha, aka: Nila-kantha, Nīlakaṇṭha; 14 Definition(s)


Nilakantha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Nilakantha in Shaivism glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

1) Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ, “blue throat”):—One of the eleven epithets of Rudra, as adressed to in the second chapter of Śrī-rudram. These names represent his various attributes.

2) Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ) is the Sanskrit name of a deity presiding over Kālañjara, one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, which is one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas and presiding deities (eg., Nīlakaṇṭha) is found in the commentary on the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ).—The God enshrined in Kālañjara hill; an epithet of Śiva;1 narrated to Pārvatī that at the request of Brahmā and other gods he devoured the Kālakūṭa poison that came out of the churning of the ocean;2 praise of, by Rāma;3 by gods.4

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 20. 15; 157. 23.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 25. 90; Vāyu-purāṇa 54. 3-94.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 24. 25-31.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 54. 97-101.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.44.99, IX.44.103) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Nīlakaṇṭha) 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
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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)

Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ) is a Sanskrit name referring to one of the eight manifestations of Caṇḍa, who is a form of Bhairava. According to the Rudrayāmala, there are eight main forms of Bhairava who control the eight directions of this universe. Each form (eg., Caṇḍa) has a further eight sub-manifestations (eg., Nīlakaṇṭha), thus resulting in a total of 64 Bhairavas.

When depicting Nīlakaṇṭha according to traditional iconographic rules (śilpaśāstra), one should depcit him (and other forms of Caṇḍa) having a blue color and good looks; he should carry agni, śakti, gadā and kuṇḍa. The word Śilpaśāstra refers to an ancient Hindu science of arts and crafts, dealing with subjects such as painting, sculpture and iconography.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra
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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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Kavya (poetry)

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Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ) was the grandfather of Bhavabhūti. The name of his father was Nīlakaṇṭha and his mother’s name was Jātukarṇī.

Source: Shodhganga: Mālatīmādhava of Bhavabhūti
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

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Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ).—Author of वैयाकरणसिद्धान्तरहस्य (vaiyākaraṇasiddhāntarahasya) a commentary on the Siddhanta Kaumudi of Bhattoji Diksita.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

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Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ) is the name of an Ayurvedic recipe defined in the fourth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 2, dealing with jvara: fever). These remedies are classified as Iatrochemistry and form part of the ancient Indian science known as Rasaśāstra (medical alchemy). Pārvatīśaṅkara is an ayurveda treatment and should be taken with caution and in accordance with rules laid down in the texts.

Accordingly, when using such recipes (eg., nīla-kaṇṭha-rasa): “the minerals (uparasa), poisons (viṣa), and other drugs (except herbs), referred to as ingredients of medicines, are to be duly purified and incinerated, as the case may be, in accordance with the processes laid out in the texts.” (see introduction to Iatro chemical medicines)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra
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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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Katha (narrative stories)

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Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ) is the name of a Brāhman from Vārāṇasī, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 74. Accordingly, as a Nīlakaṇṭha said to Bhīmabhaṭa: “... I am Nīlakaṇṭha, the son of a Brāhman named Śrīkaṇṭha, who lived at Vārāṇasī; and after all the ceremonies had been performed for me, and I had learnt knowledge in the family of my spiritual preceptor, I returned home and found all my relations dead...”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Nīlakaṇṭha, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
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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.

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India history and geogprahy

Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ) is the father of Jānījayadeva and grandfather of Jānī Mahāpātra (2nd half of 17th century): a disciple of Paṇḍitarāja. Jānīmahāpātra was a Gurjaragauḍa of Melatavāla family. As the manuscripts of his works are found in Bikaner, probably he was a native of Rajasthan.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature (history)

Nīlakaṇṭha is the name of a king mentioned in the “Bhārat Kalā Bhavan of Harirāja” (984 A.D.). Nīlakaṇṭha who belonged to the Pratihāra dynasty. An inscription from Chanderi in the Guna District (in the former Gwalior State) of Madhya Bhārat (11th century A.D.)  mentions Nīlakaṇṭha who was followed in succession by Harirāja, Bhīmadeva, Raṇapāla, Vatsarāja, Svarṇapāla, Kīrttipāla, Abhayapāla, Govindarāja, Rājarāja, Vīrarāja and Jaitravarman.

This inscribed copper plate (mentioning  Nīlakaṇṭha) was purchased from a resident of Tikamgarh (formerly Orchha State), now in Madhya Pradesh. It is dated in V.S. 1040 on the occasion of a solar eclipse (corresponding to 30th July 984 A.D.). The grant was made in favour of the Brāhmaṇa Deda who belonged to the Bhāradvāja-gotra, the three pravaras and the Vājasaneya-śākhā.

Source: What is India: Epigraphia Indica volume XXXI (1955-56)

Nīlakaṇṭha (Rajora Garh or Rājorgarh) is situated forty-five kms. to the south-west of Alwar. In the tenth century A.D., its name was Rājyapura and it was capital of the Baḍa Gurjara Rājputs. Jainism made marked progress during the reign of the Baḍa-Gurjaras. Jaina saints performed penances in some caves. By their inspiration, their followers constructed magnificent temples, and images in them.

Source: Jainworld: Jain History (h)
India history book cover
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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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Nilakantha in Marathi glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकंठ).—m (S Blue-throated.) A name of śiva. So called because his throat was stained blue by the poison produced on churning the ocean, and which he swallowed. 2 The Indian jay, Coracias Indica or Bengalensis.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकंठ).—m A name of śiva. The Indian jay, Coracias Indica or Bengalensis.

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

Nilakantha in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

Nīlakaṇṭha (नीलकण्ठ).—

1) a peackock; केकाभिर्निलकण्ठस्तिर- यति वचनम् (kekābhirnilakaṇṭhastira- yati vacanam) Māl.9.3; Me.81; कस्त्वं, शृली, मृगय भिषजं, नीलकण्ठः प्रियेऽहम् (kastvaṃ, śṛlī, mṛgaya bhiṣajaṃ, nīlakaṇṭhaḥ priye'ham) Subhāṣ.

2) an epithet of Śiva.

3) a kind of gallinule.

4) a blue-necked jay.

5) a wag-tail

6) a sparrow.

7) a bee.

-ṭham a radish. °अक्ष (akṣa) = रुद्राक्ष (rudrākṣa) q. v.

Derivable forms: nīlakaṇṭhaḥ (नीलकण्ठः).

Nīlakaṇṭha is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms nīla and kaṇṭha (कण्ठ).

Source: DDSA: The practical 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

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Nīla (नील) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as menti...
Kaṇṭha (कण्ठ, “throat”) refers to one of the sixteen types of “locus” or “support” (ādhāra) acc...
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Kaṇṭhamaṇi (कण्ठमणि) is the father of Harivallabha and grand-father of Kumāramaṇi (1703 C.E.): ...
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Kālakaṇṭha (कालकण्ठ) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.44.64) and represents one ...
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Sunīla (सुनील).—a. very black or blue. -laḥ the pomegranate tree. -lā common flax. (-lam), -नील...

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