Nimitta: 43 definitions


Nimitta means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Nimitt.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Nimitta (निमित्त).—The son of Daṇḍapāṇi and father of Kṣemaka.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 21. 15-6.

1b) Science of astrology;1 throbbing of limbs on the right, auspicious, and on the left, inauspicious; the results of such movements;2 gifts of suvarṇa to the Brahmana;3 a list of things that must not come against or cross the path when the king goes on a march; if seen, prayer to Keśava, mitigates effects;4 in connection with the installation of images.5

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 215. 9.
  • 2) Ib. 240. 15; 241. 1 ff.
  • 3) Ib. 241. 4-12.
  • 4) Ib. 243. 2-3.
  • 5) Ib. 264. 9.
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Nimitta (निमित्त) is another name (synonym) for vibhāva, referring to “determinants”, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 6.31 and chapter 7.

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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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

1) Nimitta (निमित्त).—The formal cause of a grammatical operation; cf. निमित्ताभावे नैमित्तिकस्याप्यभाव (nimittābhāve naimittikasyāpyabhāva); given as a Paribhasa by many grammarians like Vyadi, Siradeva and others; cf. also प्रकृत्युपपदोपाधयो निमित्तं प्रत्यये निमित्ती (prakṛtyupapadopādhayo nimittaṃ pratyaye nimittī) M.Bh. on III.1.1 Vart. 2;

2) Nimitta.—Distinguishing sign यः प्रेक्षापूर्वकारी भवति सः अध्रुवेण निमित्तेन ध्रुवं निमित्तमुपादत्ते वेदिकां पुण्डरीकं वा (yaḥ prekṣāpūrvakārī bhavati saḥ adhruveṇa nimittena dhruvaṃ nimittamupādatte vedikāṃ puṇḍarīkaṃ vā), M.Bh. on I.1.26 Vart.5.

Vyakarana book cover
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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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Nimitta (निमित्त):—Means; the cause of anything.

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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Shaiva philosophy

Source: Religious Inclusivism in the Writings of an Early Modern Sanskrit Intellectual (SP)

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to the “efficient cause of the world”.—One major concern for Appaya, and for Śrīkaṇṭha as well, is to avoid any conflict between Śaiva and Vedic/Vedāntic positions. The pāśupatādhikaraṇa deals with such a conflict. One of the central tenets of Vedānta is that Brahman is both the efficient (nimitta) and material (upādāna) cause of the world; that is, Brahman is both the creator and the material out of which the world is fashioned. In the pāśupatādhikaraṇa, the author of the Brahmasūtra refutes the Śaiva(/Pāśupata) position precisely on the grounds that it does not accept Śiva as the material cause of the world; it is on this basis that Śaṅkara, for instance, rejects the Śaiva-Pāśupata view in his bhāṣya.

In Brahmamīmāṃsābhāṣya 2.2.38, Śrīkaṇṭha summarizes this view as follows: “In some Śaivāgamas, it is taught that Śiva, the supreme Brahman, is only the efficient cause of the world. Previous teachers have [then] come up with the following interpretation: ‘This adhikaraṇa aims to refute this [namely, the view that Śiva is only the efficient cause of the world].’ However, we do not see any difference between the Veda and Śaivāgamas”.

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

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to a “cause”, according to the Utpaladeva’s Vivṛti on Īśvarapratyabhijñākārikā 1.5.8-9.—Accordingly, “Even a sense organ has already been experienced before [being inferred]; for this [sense organ] is not inferred in its own specific form, but rather, as a [mere] generality. This is what [I] say in the Vṛtti [with the words] ‘a cause (nimitta) that is a mere indeterminate thing’. The object [inferred in this inference of the sense organs] is a generality [that simply consists in] being a cause (nimitta); [and this generality] was manifested before [the inference] in the cognition that the seed is a cause of the sprout, [or] in the cognition that clay for instance is a cause of the pot and [other such objects]. [...]”.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “portents”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 5), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “If there should be both lunar and solar eclipses in one month, princes will suffer both from dissensions among their own army and from wars. [...] If during the eclipse, there should occur portents [i.e., nimitta], meteoric fails, dust storms, earthquakes, universal darkness or thunderbolt, the eclipse will re-occur after six, twelve, eighteen, twenty-four, thirty, or thirty-six months respectively”.

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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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Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

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

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “(divine) omens”, according to the Arthaśāstra verse 1.9.9-10.—Accordingly, “He should appoint as chaplain a man who comes from a very distinguished family and has an equally distinguished character, who is thoroughly trained in the Veda together with the limbs, in divine omens (daiva-nimittadaive nimitte), and in government, and who could counteract divine and human adversities through Atharvan means. He should follow him as a pupil his teacher, a son his father, and a servant his master”.

Arthashastra book cover
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Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

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

Nimitta (निमित्त) (Cf. Śakuna) refers to an “omen”, according to the Devyāmata (in the section śalyoddhāra-paṭala or “excavation of extraneous substances”).—Accordingly, “[...] When the division of [the sites for] a house and a shrine with cords has been commenced, the wise man [i.e. the officiant] should notice an omen (nimittalakṣayecchakunaṃ samyag nimittaṃ) and observe it correctly. [The omens are] seeing [someone or something], announcing [a creature’s name], cries [of animals], and the actions of a donor. [The officiant] should carefully notice an extraneous substance as situated beneath the site. [...]”.

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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.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “special occasions”, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 19.101cd-105ab, while describing the ritual that protect the king and his kingdom]—“Thus says Lord Siva, The Mantrin should worship Amṛteśa on all special occasions (nimittanimitteṣu ca) [and] on special dates in the form of Kāma [i.e., any deity that one wishes or is called for by a particular festival]. [He] shall always attain what he desires. He should worship [Amṛteśa] in the form of Indra in order to achieve the protection of the population, to assure [an abundance of] grains of rice, for the sake of protection in respect to wives and offspring, for the prosperity of his kingdom and for royal victory”.

Source: eScholarship: The descent of scripture: a history of the Kamikagama

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “(favourable and unfavourable) omens”, according to the Kāmikāgama: an ancient Śaiva Āgama scripture in 12,000 Sanskrit verses dating to at least the 5th century and represented as an encyclopedic account of ritual instructions (kriyāpāda).—In modern print editions, the Kāmika-āgama is structured in two major parts. The Pūrvabhāga consists of 75 chapters (paṭalas) [...] Chapters 9 to 34 present a general account of the principles and preliminary rites for the construction of temples, houses, buildings, and settlements. More specifically, in Chapter 9, we find an account of particular times (kāla) favourable for specific constructions and ceremonies. Chapter 10 provides instructions for the interpretation of favourable and unfavourable omens (nimitta-parīkṣā).

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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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Kama-shastra (the science of Love-making)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (kama)

Nimitta (निमित्त) or Nimittajñāna refers to “art of addressing spells, charms, auspicious and bad signs etc.” and represents one of the “sixty four kinds of Art”, according to the Kāmasūtra of Vātsyāyaṇa.—Indian tradition, basically includes sixty four Art forms are acknowledged. The references of sixty four kinds of kalā are found in the Bhāgavatapurāṇa, Śaiva-Tantras, Kāmasūtra of Vātsyāyaṇa etc.

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Kamashastra (कामशास्त्र, kāmaśāstra) deals with ancient Indian science of love-making, passion, emotions and other related topics dealing with the pleasures of the senses.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Catalogue of Pancaratra Agama Texts

1) Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “omens”, as discussed in the sixth chapter of the Kapiñjalasaṃhitā: a Pāñcarātra work consisting of 1550 verses dealing with a variety of topics such as worship in a temple, choosing an Ācārya, architecture, town-planning and iconography.—Description of the chapter [nimitta-parīkṣā]:—This chapter turns to an examination of omens of various kinds. General omens (nimitta) are first listed (1-5) and depending when one sees them, and under what circumstances, they may be either good (6-12) or bad (13-15). Then specific omens (nimitta) are listed for particular activities, like digging in the earth, taking a bath, performing certain rituals, brushing the teeth [?], etc. (16-24). A section is also included on dreams at the time of dīkṣā ( 25-28 ).

2) Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “omens” (to be observed during dīkṣā—initiatory rites), as discussed in the ninth chapter of the Paramasaṃhitā: one of the older texts of the Pāñcarātra canon consisting of over 2100 verses in 31 chapters which, being encyclopedic in scope, deals with philosophy, worship routines, mantras, initiation, social behavior, temple-building, etc.—Description of the chapter [nimitta-jñāna]: In dīkṣā, or at the commencement of any important undertaking, it is important to be alert to certain omens (nimitta) (1). For example, after brushing his teeth the initiate tosses his toothbrush-stick and, depending on the way it falls and the direction it points, much can be foretold (2-10). [...] In all, one should be prepared to read all signs (nimitta) with care for what they can tell of the outcome of an important undertaking (40-44).

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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist TermsMental sign, image, or vision that may arise in meditation. Uggaha nimitta refers to any image that arises spontaneously in the course of meditation. Paribhaga nimitta refers to an image that has been subjected to mental manipulation.Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

N (Image, object, sign). Steady meditation support, on which the mind does focus so as to develop samatha concentration (which brings about tranquillity).

Source: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

The object in samatha bhavana is called nimitta.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

mark, sign; image; target, object; cause, condition. These meanings are used in, and adapted to, many contexts of which only the doctrinal ones are mentioned here.

1. 'Mental (reflex-) image', obtained in meditation. In full clarity, it will appear in the mind by successful practice of certain concentration-exercises and will then appear as vividly as if seen by the eye. The object perceived at the very beginning of concentration is called the preparatory image (parikamma-nimitta). The still unsteady and unclear image, which arises when the mind has reached a weak degree of concentration, is called the acquired image (uggaha-nimitta). An entirely clear and immovable image arising at a higher degree of concentration is the counter-image (patibhāga-nimitta). As soon as this image arises, the stage of neighbourhood (or access) concentration (upacāra-samādhi) is reached. For further details, s. kasina, samādhi.

2. 'Sign of (previous) kamma' (kamma-nimitta) and 'sign of (the future) destiny' (gati-nimitta); these arise as mental objects of the last karmic consciousness before death (maranāsanna-kamma; s. karma, III, 3).

Usages (1) and (2) are commentarial (s. App.). In sutta usage, the term occurs, e.g. as:

3. 'Outward appearance': of one who has sense-control it is said- that "he does not seize upon the general appearance' of an object (na nimittaggāhī; M. 38, D. 2; expl. Vis I, 54f; see sīla).

4. 'Object': the six objects, i.e. visual, etc. (rūpa-nimitta; S. XXII, 3). Also, when in explanation of animitta-cetovimutti, signless deliverance of mind (s. cetovimutti, vimokkha), it is said, 'sabba-nimittānam amanasikārā', it refers to the 6 sense-objects (Com. to M. 43), and has therefore to be rendered "by paying no attention to any object (or object-ideas)." - A pleasant or beautiful object (subha-nimitta, q.v.) is a condition to the arising of the hindrance of sense-desire; a 'repellent object' (patigha-nimitta) for the hindrance of ill-will; contemplation on the impurity of an object (asubha-nimitta; s. asubha) is an antidote to sense-desire.

5. In Pts.M. II, in a repetitive series of terms, nimitta appears together with uppādo (origin of existence), pavattam (continuity of existence), and may then be rendered by 'condition of existence' (s. Path, 194f.).

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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).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to a “mark”, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter 31).—Accordingly, “Pure happiness (anāsravasukha) is inseparable from the sixteen noble aspects (ṣoḍaśākāra) of the three concentrations (samādhi) and is always without the mark of a self (sattva-nimitta). If it were endowed with the mark of a self, it would produce minds of attachment (abhiniveśacitta). Thus pure happiness, although excellent, does not give rise to attachment. For many reasons of this kind, the Yogin considers pleasant worldly feeling as suffering. [...]”.

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “distinguishing marks”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “[...] The Bodhisattva Gaganagañja then sustained the jewel-canopy of ten thousand yojanas high over the Lord’s lion throne in the sky, joined the palms of his hands, saluted, and praised the Lord with these suitable verses: ‘[...] (7) When the whole assembly regard the body of the Victorious One, his form and distinguishing marks (rūpa-nimitta) appear as different (bhinna), though incomparable (atulya), and even not part of any particular group (asabhāga). Even though his body is changeless (nirvikāra), beyond thought-constructions (nirvikalpa), and without distinguishing marks (animitta), he gladdens the assemblies in accordance with their particular way of thinking and their intentions (yathācittāśaya)”.

Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (tantric Buddhism)

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “omens” (of extraneous things), according to the Bhūśalyasūtrapātananimittavidhi section of Jagaddarpaṇa’s Ācāryakriyāsamuccaya, a text within Tantric Buddhism dealing with construction manual for monasteries etc.—Accordingly, “[...] If [someone] touches [a particular part of] his body and [the site] is quickly dug to a depth up to that [particular part of the body] according to the rules, then there is the [extraneous thing corresponding to the omen]. [With regard to bodily sensations,] various omens of extraneous things (nimittatacchalyānāṃ bahudhā nimittam) [beneath the site] are taught. In this [short section], however, [the explanation is] just abridged. [...]”.

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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Buddhist philosophy

Source: Google Books: The Treasury of Knowledge: Book six, parts one and two (philosophy)

Nimitta (निमित्त) or Nimittavikalpa refers to “symbolic imaginations that apprehend objects”, and represents a further explanation of the ten aspects of distracting false imagination (daśa-vikṣepa-vikalpa), according to Khewang Yeshe Gyatso, Exegetical Memorandum chapter 5 (Cf. Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkārakārikā, chapter 11). These [e.g., Nimitta] are related to the imaginary nature (parikalpita). These ten are enumerated as aspects of false imagination which may be imputed in all sorts of contexts, and it is on this basis that the process of reification actually comes to partake of the imaginary nature.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra

Nimitta (निमित्त, “cause”).—What is the meaning of cause (nimitta)? Any event or object which is conducive to successfully complete an activity is called the nimitta.

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “that which causes (the cycle of rebirth)”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “That, which is the cessation of the acquisition of karmic material of an ascetic, is declared by those whose sins are removed by meditation to be the physical stopping of the influx of karma. That which is evidently cessation of action causing the cycle of rebirth (saṃsāra-nimitta) is to be considered as the mental stopping of the influx of karma by those who know about that from the most excellent scripture”.

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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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Nimitta.—(SII 1), a sign. Note: nimitta is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Singhi Jain Series: Ratnaprabha-suri’s Kuvalayamala-katha (history)

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to one of the seventy-two arts and sixty-four sciences, being part of the Ancient Indian Education, as depicted in the Kathās (narrative poems) such as Uddyotanasūri in his 8th-century Kuvalayamālā (a Prakrit Campū, similar to Kāvya poetry).—Page 150.17 f. & 151.1-5: There is described an educational institution. [...] At another place (151.6-11) the prince came across persons who cultivated the seventy-two arts and sixty-four sciences, such as, [e.g., Nimitta], [...].

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 mythology, zoology, 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

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Nimitta in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

nimitta : (nt.) sign; omen; portent; cause.

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

Nimitta, (nt.) (cp. Sk. nimitta, to , although etym. uncertain) 1. sign, omen, portent, prognostication D. I, 9 (study of omens=n. satthaṃ DA. I, 92, q. v. for detailed explanation); J. I, 11 (caturo nimitte nâddasaṃ); Miln. 79, 178. Esp. as pubba° signs preceding an event, portents, warnings, foreshadowings S. V, 154, 278, 442; It. 76 (cp. Divy 193, of the waning of a god); J. I, 48, 50 (32 signs before birth, some at DA. I, 61), 59; Miln. 298; Vism. 577. ‹-› 2. outward appearance, mark, characteristic, attribute, phenomenon (opp. essence) D. III, 249; A. I, 256; III, 319, 375 sq.; IV, 33, 418 sq.; J. I, 420; Ps. I, 60, 91 sq. , 164, 170; II, 39, 64; Vbh. 193 sq.—Mental reflex, image (with ref. to jhāna) Vism. 123, cp. DhsA. 167.—Specified e.g. as foll. : oḷārika S. V, 259; pasādaniya S. V, 156; paccavekkhana° D. III, 278; Vbh. 334; bahiddhā-saṅkhārā° Ps. I, 66 sq.; bāla° (opp. paṇḍita°) M. III, 163; A. I, 102; mukha° (=face) D. I, 80; S. III, 103; V, 121; A. V, 92, 97 sq. , 103; rūpa°, sadda° etc. S. III, 10; M. I, 296; Ps. I, 92, 112; samatha° D. III, 213; samādhi° etc. A. I, 256 sq.; subha° (& asubha°) S. V, 64, 103 sq.; A. I, 3 sq. , 87, 200; V, 134; Vism. 178 sq. nimittaṃ gaṇhāti to make something the object of a thought, to catch up a theme for reflection Vin. I, 183, cp. S. V, 150 sq. (°ṃ uggaṇhāti); M. I, 119 (=five sorts of mental images); Nd2 659; DhsA. 53 (=ākāra). See below n-gāhin & animitta. ‹-› nimittaṃ parivajjeti to discard the phenomenal S. I, 188; Sn. 341.—3. mark, aim: in nimittaṃ karoti to pick out the aim, to mark out J. V, 436; Nd2 235, 1d; Miln. 418. ‹-› 4. sexual organ (cp. lakkhaṇa) Vin. III, 129 (n. & a°, as term of abuse); see also kāṭa & koṭacikā.—5. ground, reason, condition, in nimittena (Instr.) and nimittaṃ (Acc.) as adv. =by means of, on account of DhA. III, 175 (Instr.) PvA. 8, 97 (jāti-nimittaṃ), 106 (kiṃ n°ṃ=kissa hetu), 242 (yaṃ n°ṃ=yato nidānaṃ). gahita-nimittena “by means of being caught” Vism. 144=DhsA. 116 (read translation 154 accordingly!). adj. nimitta (-°) caused by, referring to PvA. 64 (maraṇa-nimittaṃ rodanaṃ).—animitta free from marks or attributes, not contaminated by outward signs or appearance, undefiled, unaffected, unconditioned (opp. sa°) S. I, 188; IV, 225 (phassa), 268, 360 (samādhi); M. I, 296 (cetovimutti); A. I, 82; III, 292; IV, 78; Vin. III, 129; Th. 1, 92; D. III, 219, 249; Dh. 92; Sn. 342; Ps. I, 60, 91; II, 36, 59 sq. (vimokha), 65 sq. , 99; Dhs. 530 (read a° for appa°); Vism. 236; DhsA. 223 (absence of the 3 lakkhaṇas); Miln. 333, 413; DhA. II, 172; ThA. 50. See also Cpd. 199, 2115. sanimitta S. V, 213 sq.; A. I, 82.

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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nimitta (निमित्त).—n (S) Object, purpose, aim, intention, view. Ex. pōṭa bharāyācē nimittānēṃ māṇasēṃ cākarī karitāta. 2 Cause, reason, account, ground. Ex. tō cōrīcē nimittānēṃ phāṃśīṃ gēlā. 3 Instrumental cause. 4 A false plea; a pretence, pretext, sham. Ex. pōṭadukhīcēṃ ni0 karūna gharīṃ rāhilā. 5 False imputation. v yē, lāga, ṭaḷa, lāva, āṇa, ṭhēva, ghē, kāḍha. Ex. tyānēṃ cōrī kēlī nasatāṃ cōrīcēṃ ni0 ālēṃ. 6 Used as prep On account of; for the sake of. Ex. cōrīnimitta māralēṃ; vidyēnimitta śrama kēlā. nimittācā That will furnish pretext for accusation or blame;--said of an article or a business which, although it seems good or fair, is in reality bad or intricate; and which, therefore, by its susceptibility of detriment in the use or management, is likely to bring unmerited censure upon the borrower or manager. 2 That will serve the occasion; that will do for a pretence; as nimittācī dēvapūjā-snāna-bhōjana-dānadharna. nimittācī bāyakō A woman that will pass as a wife: also nimittācā navarā-cākara-putra-ghōḍā &c. nimittāsa For appearance' sake; as a blind; as a make-believe. Ex. hyā kāmānta kōṇhī mōṭhā nimittāsa pāhijē. nimittāsa ṭēṅkaṇēṃ To watch or wait for a pretext; to seek occasion.

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

nimitta (निमित्त).—n Object, aim. Cause, reason A false plea; a pretext. False impu- tation. prep. On account of; for the sake of. nimittācā That will furnish pretext for accusation or blame. ni- mittācī bāyakō A woman that will pass as a wife. nimittāsa For appearance's sake; as a blind. nimittāsa ḍhēṅkaṇēṃ To wait for a pretext.

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.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Nimitta (निमित्त).—[ni-mid-kta Tv.]

1) A cause, motive, ground reason; निमित्तनैमित्तिकयोरयं क्रमः (nimittanaimittikayorayaṃ kramaḥ) Ś.7.3.

2) The instrumental or efficient cause (opp. upādāna); धर्मार्थकाममोक्षाणां निमित्तान्यविरोधतः (dharmārthakāmamokṣāṇāṃ nimittānyavirodhataḥ) Bhāgavata 3.7.32.

3) Any apparent cause, pretext; निमित्तमात्रं भव सव्यसाचिन् (nimittamātraṃ bhava savyasācin) Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 11.33; निमित्तमात्रेण पाण्डवक्रोधेन भवितव्यम् (nimittamātreṇa pāṇḍavakrodhena bhavitavyam) Ve.1.

4) A mark, sign, token.

5) A butt, mark, target; निमित्ते दूरपातित्वे लघुत्वे दृढवेधने (nimitte dūrapātitve laghutve dṛḍhavedhane) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 7.74.23; निमित्तादपराद्धेषोर्धानुष्कस्येव वल्गितम् (nimittādaparāddheṣordhānuṣkasyeva valgitam) Śiśupālavadha 2.27.

6) An omen, prognostic (good or bad); निमित्तं सूचयित्वा (nimittaṃ sūcayitvā) Ś.1; निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव (nimittāni ca paśyāmi viparītāni keśava) Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 1.31; R.1.86; Manusmṛti 6.5; Y.1.23;3.171.

7) Means of knowledge; तस्य निमित्तपरीष्टिः (tasya nimittaparīṣṭiḥ) MS.1.1.3.

8) Function, ceremony; एतान्येव निमित्तानि मुनीनामूर्ध्वरेतसाम् (etānyeva nimittāni munīnāmūrdhvaretasām) (kartavyāni); Mahābhārata (Bombay) 12.61.6. (nimitta is used at the end of comp. in the sense of 'caused or occasioned by'; kinnimitto'yamātaṅkaḥ Ś.3. nimittam, nimittena, nimittān 'because of', 'on occount of'.)

Derivable forms: nimittam (निमित्तम्).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Nimitta (निमित्त).—nt. (masc., nimittā ime Lalitavistara 109.8, 193.16, verses; besides the Sanskrit mgs., the following seem worthy of distinct listings; all seem to be also in Pali, for which Childers must be consulted to correct and supplement [Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary]), (1) (sign, mark, and so) external aspect or feature, appearance (but not only visual; compare Abhidharmakośa La V-P. i.28 saṃjñā nimittodgrahaṇātmikā, la notion consiste dans la préhension des caractères; commentary nimitta = vastuno 'vasthāviśeṣa, les diverses conditions ou manières d'être de la chose; quite similarly Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra), defined, yat saṃsthānā- kṛtiviśeṣākārarūpādilakṣaṇaṃ dṛśyate, tan nimittam Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra 228.6—7; each of the 5 objects of sense-perception has or consists of a nimitta, compare Suzuki, Studies, 156, end: na jātu rūpa-nimittam udgṛhītavān na śabda-ni° na gandha- ni° na rasa-ni° na sparśa-ni° Rāṣṭrapālaparipṛcchā 42.3—4; na nimitta- saṃjñāyām api pratitiṣṭhet Vajracchedikā 21.10, 19; compare 8—9 above, na rūpapratiṣṭhitena…na śabda-(etc.); duḥśraddadhaṃ etu…nimittasaṃjñīn’ (gen. pl., for °inām) iha bāla- buddhinām Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 57.7 (verse)…for fools who form notions based on appearances; nimittacārīṇa (gen. pl.) bravīti dharmam Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 120.3 (verse) …to men who follow appearances; anitya-saṃjñānimitta-kāmehi Mahāvastu i.54.6, desires for what is impermanent, (mere) name and appearance (wrongly Senart's note); (for the Bodhisattva about to attain enlightenment) śūnyā nimittā Mahāvastu ii.341.12; 344.9, appear- ances (especially probably as objects of the senses) are void (wrongly Senart); so (Buddha) cakṣuṣā rūpaṃ dṛṣṭvā na ca nimitta- grāhī bhaviṣyan na cānuvyañjanagrāhī Mahāvastu iii.52.6, and with the other senses, incl. manasā dharmāṃ vijñāya, na ca etc. (10—)11, when he perceives the objects of sense he is not one who grasps appearances or minor marks (Pali also associates nimittaggāhin and anuvyañjanaggāhin in the same way); similarly Śikṣāsamuccaya 357.2, of Bodhisattvas; saced…bodhisattvo…rūpe (and below with vedanāyāṃ, saṃjñāyāṃ, saṃskāreṣu, vijñāne, the 5 skandhas) carati, nimitte carati (he operates in, on superficial appearance) Śatasāhasrikā-prajñāpāramitā 683.4 ff., also…rūpaṃ nityam iti carati, nimitte [Page298-a+ 71] carati 8, etc.; (2) personal, physical mark or trait or characteristic, especially of the body, but also of dress or orna- ment: mūrdhāto upādāya yāvat pādeṣu nimittaṃ paśyati Mahāvastu iii.148.3 (the following details include muñja-mekha- laṃ!); nimittāni 19; as basis for prognostication by soothsayers (compare nimittika, nai°), te tasya nimittam udgṛhītum ārabdhā(ḥ) Divyāvadāna 579.20; (3) (sign, in sense of) hint, suggestion of something wanted; sometimes with avabhāsa, q.v., as in Pali, see Childers s.v. obhāsa, 298; avabhāsa-nimittaṃ Śikṣāsamuccaya 131.6 (designed by a monk to extract donations); na bodhisattvo dānapatiṃ vā dṛṣṭvā nimittaṃ karoti Śikṣāsamuccaya 268.6; so probably Mūla-Sarvāstivāda-Vinaya ii.36.12 sā kāmarāgādhyavasitā nimittam upadarśayati, showed an intimation (of her desire). Cf. naimittika(-tā, -tva).

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

Nimitta (निमित्त).—n.

(-ttaṃ) 1. Cause, motive, instrumental cause. 2. Mark, sign, spot, trace, token. 3. Omen. 4. A butt, a target. 5. Pretext. E. ni before, mi to measure, kta affix, also with kan added nimittaka .

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

Nimitta (निमित्त).—[ni-mitta] (vb. ), n. 1. Aim, mark, Mahābhārata 5, 3480. 2. Sign, omen, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 6, 50; [Śākuntala, (ed. Böhtlingk.)] 8, 17. 3. Cause, motive, [Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, (ed. Burnouf.)] 8, 20, 6. 4. Instrumental cause, Mahābhārata 3, 10743 (the cause on which the life of a prince was dependent, cf. 10744 and 10739). 5. ºtam acc., ºtena instr., ºtāya dat., adverbially, On account of, [Rāmāyaṇa] 2, 48, 28; 90, 12; 30, 1.

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

Nimitta (निमित्त).—[neuter] mark, aim, sign, token; presage, omen; reason, cause, [especially] the efficient cause; in the obl. cases = because or on account of; adj. caused, produced, occasioned by (—°).

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

1) Nimitta (निमित्त):—n. (possibly connected with ni-√mā above) a butt, mark, target, [Mahābhārata]

2) sign, omen, [Manu-smṛti; Yājñavalkya; Mahābhārata] etc. (cf. dur-n)

3) cause, motive, ground, reason, [Upaniṣad; Kapila; Varāha-mihira; Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc. (in all oblique cases = because of, on account of cf. [Pāṇini 2-3, 23; Patañjali]; mfn. ifc. caused or occasioned by; ttaṃ√yā, to be the cause of anything, [Kādambarī])

4) (in [philosophy]) instrumental or efficient cause (opp. to upādāna, the operative or material cause), [Vedāntasāra; Bhāṣāpariccheda]

5) = āgantu

6) deha

7) ādeśa

8) parvan, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

Nimitta (निमित्त):—(ttaṃ) 1. n. Cause; mark; omen. adv. For the sake of.

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

Nimitta (निमित्त) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Ṇimitta.

[Sanskrit to German]

Nimitta 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

[«previous next»] — Nimitta in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Nimitta (निमित्त) [Also spelled nimitt]:—(nm) a cause, reason; factor; purpose, motive; (ind) for the sake of, on account of; —[kāraṇa] instrumental/efficient cause; —[mātra] only an instrument, only instrumental.

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Prakrit-English dictionary

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

Ṇimitta (णिमित्त) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Nimitta.

context information

Prakrit is an ancient language closely associated with both Pali and Sanskrit. Jain literature is often composed in this language or sub-dialects, such as the Agamas and their commentaries which are written in Ardhamagadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit. The earliest extant texts can be dated to as early as the 4th century BCE although core portions might be older.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Nimitta (ನಿಮಿತ್ತ):—

1) [noun] anything producing an effect or result; a cause.

2) [noun] anything intended or planned; intention.

3) [noun] the aim; end.

4) [noun] an explanation or justification of an act, idea, etc.; a reason.

5) [noun] an object, incident that is supposed to foretell a future event; an omen.

6) [noun] a mark; a sign.

7) [noun] an instrumental or efficient cause.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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Nepali dictionary

Source: unoes: Nepali-English Dictionary

1) Nimitta (निमित्त):—pp. for; for the sake of; adv. for;

2) Nimitta (निमित्त):—n. 1. cause; motive; reason; 2. excitement; thrill; vigor; enthusiasm; 3. aim; goal; objective; 4. symptom; reaction;

context information

Nepali is the primary language of the Nepalese people counting almost 20 million native speakers. The country of Nepal is situated in the Himalaya mountain range to the north of India.

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