Niraya, Nirāya, Nir-aya: 21 definitions


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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Niraya (निरय) refers to “hell”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.54 (“Description of the duties of the chaste wife”).—Accordingly, as a Brahmin lady said to Pārvatī: “[...] O Goddess, the husband is superior to Brahmā, Viṣṇu or Śiva, for a chaste lady her husband is on a par with Śiva. She who transgresses (ullaṅghya) her husband and observes fast and other rites wrecks the longevity of her husband and after death goes to hell (niraya) [nirayamṛcchati]. If she furiously retorts to her husband she is born as a bitch in a village or as a vixen in a secluded place. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Niraya (निरय).—A son of Bhaya and Mṛtyu.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 8. 4.

1b) One of the seven seers of the Svārociṣa epoch.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 1. 11.
Purana book cover
context information

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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

Niraya (hell)

Various lists of Nirayas are found in the books. In the Jataka Commentary* occurs the following:

Sanjiva, Kalasutta, Sanghata, Jalaroruva, Dhumaroruva, Mahavici, Tapana, Patapana.

The Samyutta and Anguttara Nikayas and the Sutta Nipata contain a different list:

Abbuda, Nirabbuda, Ababa, Atata, Ahaha, Kumuda, Sogandhika, Uppala, Pundarika, Paduma (S.i.149; A.v.173; SN.p.126; see also Dvy. 67).

The Commentaries explain (E.g., AA.ii.853) that these are not separate Nirayas but specified periods of suffering in Avici. The Devaduta Sutta (M.iii.185) of the Majjhima Nikaya contains yet another list:

Gutha, Kukkula, Simbalivana, Asipattavana and Kharodakanadi.

Other names, also, occur sporadically e.g.,

Khuradhara (J.v.269), Kakola (, Sataporisa (J.v.269) and Sattisula (J.v.143).

The most fearful of the Nirayas is, however, the Avici maha niraya (see s.v. Avici).

* J.v.266, 271; the same list is found in Dvy.67, except that Raurava is substituted for Jalaroruva and Maharaurava for Dhumaroruva.

Niraya Vagga

The twenty second chapter of the Dhammapada.

1. Niraya Sutta

Five things that lead to hell: destruction of life, theft, lust, falsehood, liquor. A.iii.170; also 204.

2. Niraya Sutta

Six things that lead to hell: (A.iii.432)

taking life, theft, living carnally, falsehood, evil desires and wrong views.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

lit. 'the downward-path', the nether or infernal world, usually translated by 'hell', is one of the 4 lower courses of existence (apāya).

The Buddhists are well aware that on account of the universal sway of impermanence a life in hell, just as in heaven, cannot last eternally, but will after exhaustion of the karma which has caused the respective form of rebirth, necessarily be followed again by a new death and a new rebirth, according to the stored-up karma.

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).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Niraya (निरय) refers to “hell”, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter 36).—Accordingly, “If the Bhikṣu thinks about his own virtues of abandonment and discipline, his fear also disappears. Actually, immoral beings fear falling into hell [i.e., niraya] and misers fear being reborn among the hungry ghosts or among poor people. The Bhikṣu himself remembers that he has pure morality and generosity-abandonment. If he recollects his pure discipline or his own abandonment, his mind is joyful and he says to himself: ‘As long as my life is not exhausted, I will still increase my virtues and, at the end of my life, I will not be afraid of falling into the unfortunate destinies’.This is why the recollection of discipline and the recollection of renunciation can also prevent fear from arising”.

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Niraya (निरय) refers to “hell-beings”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “[Characteristics of behavior of all beings] [...] The behaviour’s essence, essential character, the essential character of cause, the essential character of condition, the essential character of productive cause, the essential character of combination, the essential character of difference, the essential character of discordance, the essential character of passion, the essential character of aversion, the essential character of delusion, the essential character of the three together, the essential character of hell-beings (niraya-lakṣaṇa), the essential character of animals [...]—he knows all the essential characters of behavior truly as they are, and there is no fault at all in his understanding”.

Mahayana book cover
context information

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

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

niraya : (m.) the purgatory; hell.

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

Niraya, (BSk. niraya, nis+aya of i=to go asunder, to go to destruction, to die, cp. in meaning Vedic nirṛti. The popular etym. given by Dhammapāla at PvA. 53 is “n’atthi ettha ayo sukhan ti”=there is no good; that given by Bdhgh at Vism. 427 “n’atthi ettha assādasaññito ayo” (no refreshment)) purgatory, hell, a place of punishment & torture, where sin is atoned (i.e. kamma ripens=paccati, is literally boiled) by terrible ordeals (kāraṇāni) similar to & partly identical with those of Hades & Tartarus. There are a great number of hells, of which the most fearful is the Avīcimahāniraya (see Avīci). Names of other purgatories occur frequently in the Jātaka collection, e.g. Kākola VI, 247; Khuradhāra V, 269 sq.; Dhūma-roruva V, 271; Patāpana V, 266, 271, 453; Paduma IV. 245; Roruva III, 299; V, 266; VI, 237; Saṅghāta V, 266; Sañjīva ibid.; Sataporisa V, 269; Sattisūla V, 143. As the principal one n. is often mentioned with the other apāyas (states of suffering), viz. tiracchānayoni (animal world) & pittivisaya (the manes), e.g. at Nd1 489; Nd2 517, 550; Pv IV. 11; ThA. 282; PvA. 27 sq. (see apāya).—There is a great variety of qualifying adjectives connected with niraya, all of which abound in notions of fearful pain, awful misery & continuous suffering, e.g. kaṭuka, ghora, dāruṇa, bhayānaka, mahābhitāpa, sattussada etc.—Descriptions of N. in glowing terms of frightfulness are frequent found from the earliest books down to the late Peta-Vatthu, Pañcagati-dīpana & Saddhammopāyana. Of these the foll. may be quoted as characteristic: S. I, 152 (10 nirayas); M. III, 183; A. I, 141; Sn. p. 126=A. V, 173; Nd1 404 sq. =Nd2 304III, c; J. IV, 4 (Mittavindaka); Vv 52 (Revatī); Pv. I, 10; III, 10; IV, 1; 7; DhA. I, 148.—See on the whole subject, esp. L. Scherman, Materialen zur indischen Visionsliteratur, Leipzig 1792; & W. Stede, Die Gespenstergeschichten des Peta Vatthu, Leipzig 1914, pp. 33—39.—References: Vin. I, 227 (apāya duggati vinipāta niraya); D. I, 82, 107 (id.); Vin. II, 198 (yo kho saṅghaṃ bhindati kappaṃ nirayamhi paccati), 204; II, 203=It. 86; D. I, 228 (+tiracchānayoni), 54 (read nirayasate for niriyasate); III, 111; S. IV, 126; V, 356, 450; M. I, 73, 285, 308, 334; II, 86, 149, 186; III, 166, 203, 209; A. IV, 405; V, 76, 182, 184; Sn. 248 (patanti sattā nirayaṃ avaṃsirā), 333, 660 sq. , 677 sq.; Dh. 126, 140, 306, 311, 315; Th. 1, 304 (adhammo nirayaṃ neti dhammo pāpeti suggatiṃ)=DhsA. 38=DA. I, 99 =DhA. I, 22; Th. 2, 456; It. 12; J. IV, 463; Pug. 60; Ps. I, 83 (Avīci°); Vbh. 86, 337; Vism. 102; Miln. 148; DhA. I, 22; III, 71; Sdhp. 7, 285.—See also nerayika.

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

niraya (निरय).—m S The name of a hell. Ex. hōsī sadā nirayadārūṇalōkavāsī ||.

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

niraya (निरय).—m The name of a hell.

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

Niraya (निरय).—

1) Hell; निरयनगरद्वारमुद्घाटयन्ती (nirayanagaradvāramudghāṭayantī) Bhartṛhari 1.63; Ms. 6.61.

2) Sorrow, unhappiness; सततं निरयं प्राप्तः परपिण्डोप- जीविनः (satataṃ nirayaṃ prāptaḥ parapiṇḍopa- jīvinaḥ) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 1.141.37.

3) Sin; दुर्लभो ह्यस्य निरयः शशाङ्- कस्येव कल्मषम् (durlabho hyasya nirayaḥ śaśāṅ- kasyeva kalmaṣam) Rām.2.36.27.

Derivable forms: nirayaḥ (निरयः).

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Nirāya (निराय).—a. yielding no income or revenue, profitless.

Nirāya is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms nir and āya (आय).

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

Niraya (निरय).—m.

(-yaḥ) Hell. E. nir out, beyound, aya good fortune.

--- OR ---

Nirāya (निराय).—mfn.

(-yaḥ-yā-yaṃ) Having no income or profit, yielding none &c. E. nir neg. āya receipt.

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

Niraya (निरय).—i. e. nis-i + a, m. Hell, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 6, 61.

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

Niraya (निरय).—[masculine] hell (also personif.).

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

1) Nirāya (निराय):—[=nir-āya] [from nir > niḥ] mfn. having or yielding no income, profitless, [Horace H. Wilson]

2) Niraya (निरय):—[=nir-aya] m. (either [from] nis + √i = egression, sc. from earthly life, or [from] nir + aya ‘without happiness’) Niraya or Hell (personified as a child of fear and death, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]), [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature etc.]

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

1) Niraya (निरय):—[nira+ya] (yaḥ) 1. m. Hell.

2) Nirāya (निराय):—[nirā+ya] (yaḥ-yā-yaṃ) a. Without income.

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

Niraya (निरय) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Ṇiraya.

[Sanskrit to German]

Niraya 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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Prakrit-English dictionary

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

1) Ṇiraya (णिरय) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Niraya.

2) Ṇiraya (णिरय) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Nirata.

3) Ṇiraya (णिरय) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Nirajas.

4) Ṇīraya (णीरय) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Nīrajas.

5) Ṇīrāya (णीराय) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Nīrāga.

Ṇīrāya has the following synonyms: Ṇīrāga.

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

Niraya (ನಿರಯ):—

1) [noun] (myth.) the place where the souls of wicked persons are believed to be punished after their death; a hell.

2) [noun] any place or state of severe pain, anguish, deep distress, etc.

3) [noun] an act of religious transgression; a sin.

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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