Nirakara, Nirākāra, Nirākārā: 17 definitions

Introduction:

Nirakara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Jainism, Prakrit, 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 Nirakar.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Nirakara in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Nirākāra (निराकार) refers to “that which has no specific form”, and represents an epithet of Śiva used in Sandhyā’s eulogy of Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.6. Accordingly:—“[...] Directly perceiving the lord of Durgā she [viz., Sandhyā] eulogised the lord of the worlds: [...] That which has no specific form (nirākāra), that which can be known through perfect knowledge; that which is neither gross, nor subtle, nor high; that which is to be meditated upon by Yogins within themselves—obeisance be to Thee who art of this sort and the creator of the worlds.”.

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

1) Nirākārā (निराकारा) refers to “she who is formless”, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, “[...] The groups of six [i.e., ṣaṭka/ṣaṭprakārā], deployed and worshipped in the six corners of the hexagon in the core of the maṇḍala, are primary emanations of the goddess who ‘spreads herself out’ (vikāsikā, vikāsinī) from the centre of the Triangle. There, in the dimensionless point (bindu) in the centre, she abides formless (nirākārā) and undifferentiated (niṣkalā) as the genderless absolute (napuṃsakā) both as and within the transcendent which, as the very absence of phenomenal existence (abhāva), is void (śūnya) like space (ākāśa) or the sky (kha). [...]”.

2) Nirākārā (निराकारा) refers to one of the six Goddesses (parā-ṣaṭka) associated with Avyaktapīṭha (i.e., ‘the unmanifest seat’ representing the act of churning—manthāna), according to the Manthānabhairavatantra.—[...] The six Goddesses (parāṣaṭka): Sākārā, Nirākārā, Ekamātrā, Dvimātrā, Trimātrā, Ardhamātrā

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Nirākāra (निराकार) refers to “those who are beyond forms”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “The Lord said [to Pradīpapāṇi]: “Son of good family, the Bodhisattvas, the great beings who are beyond forms (nirākāra) because they are pure of form (ākāraviśuddha), who have the appearance of living beings because [they see] the purity of living beings (satvaviśuddhi), who have the appearance of the dharma because [they see] the purity of the dharma (dharmaviśuddhi), who have the appearance of knowledge (jñāna) because [they see] the purity of knowledge, [...]”.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nirākāra (निराकार).—a (S) Void of form or figure.

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

nirākāra (निराकार).—a Void of form or figure.

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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Nirākāra (निराकार).—Reproach, censure; see under निर् (nir) also.

Derivable forms: nirākāraḥ (निराकारः).

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Nirākāra (निराकार).—a.

1) devoid of form, formless, without form.

2) ugly, deformed.

3) disguised.

4) unassuming, modest. (-raḥ) 1 the universal spirit, Almighty.

2) an epithet of Śiva.

3) of Viṣṇu. °ज्ञानवादः (jñānavādaḥ) the doctrine that the perception of the outer world does not arise from images impressed on the mind; Sarva. S.

Nirākāra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms nir and ākāra (आकार).

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

Nirākāra (निराकार).—mfn.

(-raḥ-rā-raṃ) 1. Devoid of form or figure. 2. Formless. 3 Disguise. m.

(-raḥ) 1. Heaven. 2. Vishnu. 3. Siva. 4. The divine spirit, God. 5. Reproach, censure. E. nira. implying negative or depreciation, and ākāra shape, &c.

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

Nirākāra (निराकार).—adj. 1. deprived of one’s natural form, [Rāmāyaṇa] 2, 124, 24 Gorr. 2. disguised, Mahābhārata 1, 5787. 3. unassuming, ib. 5, 1395.

Nirākāra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms nis and ākāra (आकार).

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

Nirākāra (निराकार).—[adjective] shapeless, formless; insignificant, unassuming, modest.

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

1) Nirākāra (निराकार):—[=nir-ākāra] [from nir > niḥ] 1. nir-ākāra mfn. formless, shapeless, incorporeal (brahman), making no appearance or show, insignificant, unimportant, [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] having no object (cf. below)

3) [v.s. ...] m. Name of Śiva, [Śivagītā, ascribed to the padma-purāṇa]

4) [v.s. ...] of Viṣṇu, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) [v.s. ...] heaven, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

6) [v.s. ...] the universal spirit, god, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) [=nir-ā-kāra] [from nirā-kṛ] 2. nir-ā-kāra (for 1. See p. 540, col. 1) m. rebuke, reproach, censure, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

Nirākāra (निराकार):—[nirā+kāra] (raḥ-rā-raṃ) a. Without form or figure. m. Heaven, Vishnu; Shiva; God; reproach.

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

Nirākāra (निराकार) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Ṇiragāra, Ṇirāgāra.

[Sanskrit to German]

Nirakara 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»] — Nirakara in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Nirākāra (निराकार) [Also spelled nirakar]:—(a) shapeless, formless; incorporeal; (nm) The Formless (God).

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Prakrit-English dictionary

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

Ṇirākara (णिराकर) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Nirākṛ.

Ṇirākara has the following synonyms: Ṇirāgara.

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

Nirākāra (ನಿರಾಕಾರ):—[adjective] having no shape or form; formless; shapeless.

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Nirākāra (ನಿರಾಕಾರ):—

1) [noun] that which is formless or shapeless.

2) [noun] the being that has no particular shape or form or not bound by a physical structure; the Supreme Being.

3) [noun] (jain.) a religious vow of obstaining from food till one’s death, without having desire for anything.

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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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