Nirukta; 10 Definition(s)

Introduction

Nirukta means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

[Nirukta in Natyashastra glossaries]

Nirukta (निरुक्त, “etymology”) refers to one of the thirty-six “characteristic features” (lakṣaṇa) of perfect ‘poetic compositions’ (kāvyabandha) and ‘dramatic compositions’ (dṛśyakāvya, or simply kāvya). According to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 17, these thirty-six lakṣaṇas act as instructions for composing playwrights. The term is used throughout nāṭyaśāstra literature.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

1) Nirukta (निरुक्त, “etymology”).—Etymology (nirukta) is the definitive meaning which arises in connexion with various nouns, is helped by dictionaries (lit. vocabularies), and the rules of grammatical interpretation, includes the significance of the root involved as well as the reasons modifying it, and is helped by various findings [of śāstras], and this meaning [of a noun] is established [mainly] from a consideration of its root [and pratyaya or affix].

2) Nirukta (निरुक्त, “additional explanation”).—One of the thirty-six lakṣaṇa, or “excellent points of a dramatic composition”;—Description of nirukta: Words that ate spoken in support some unobjectionable statement made before, constitute Additional Explanation (nirukta, lit. “etymology”).

(Source): archive.org: Natya Shastra
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, 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 (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Purana

[Nirukta in Purana glossaries]

Nirukta (निरुक्त).—The commentary of Jatukarṇya: Its author was Ratḥitara;1 rearranged by a pupil of Śākapūrṇa under his guidance;2 part of Viṣṇu;3 said to be the fourth saṃhita;4 authorship of, attributed to Rathitara.5

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 6. 58; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 3.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 4. 23.
  • 3) Ib. V. 1. 37.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 2; 65. 28.
  • 5) Ib. 60. 65.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Kosha (encyclopedic lexicons)

[Nirukta in Kosha glossaries]

Nirukta (निरुक्त) is a commentary on the Nighaṇṭu. It provides meanings for the words occurring in the Nighaṇṭu and conveys the references to the terms as they are used in the Vedic literature. Yāska who lived between 800 and 700 B.C., is the author of the Nirukta. He quotes Vedic passages and gives derivation of the words found in the Nighaṇṭu. The Nirukta is not merely a commentary but also a good repository of some original information in the form of discussion on etymology of words. He derives all the words from original roots.

(Source): Shodhganga: Technical study of the dictionaries published in Sanskrit language since 1800 AD
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Kosha (कोश, kośa) refers to Sanskrit lexicons intended to provide additional information regarding technical terms used in religion, philosophy and the various sciences (shastra). The oldest extant thesaurus (kosha) dates to the 4th century AD.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

[Nirukta in Vyakarana glossaries]

Nirukta (निरुक्त).—Name of a class of works which were composed to explain the collections of Vedic words by means of proposing derivations of those words from roots as would suit the sense. The Nirukta works are looked upon as supplementary to grammar works and there must have been a good many works of this kind in ancient times as shown by references to the writers of these viz. Upamanyu, Sakatayana,Sakapuni,Sakapurti and others, but, out of them only one work composed by Yaska has survived; the word, hence has been applied by scholars to the Nirukta of Yaska which is believed to have been written in the seventh or the eighth century B. C. i. e. a century or two before Panini. The Nirukta works were looked upon as subsidiary to the study of the Vedas along with works on phonetics (शिक्षा (śikṣā)), rituals (कल्प (kalpa)), grammar (व्याकरण (vyākaraṇa)) prosody (छन्दस् (chandas)) and astronomy(ज्योतिष (jyotiṣa))and a mention of them is found made in the Chandogyopanisad. As many of the derivations in the Nirukta appear to be forced and fanciful, it is doubtful whether the Nirukta works could be called scientific treatises. The work of Yaska, however, has got its own importance and place among works subsidiary to the Veda, being a very old work of that kind and quoted by later commentators. There were some glosses and commentary works written upon Yaska's Nirukta out of which the one by Durgacarya is a scholarly one.It is doubtful whether Durgacarya is the same as Durgasimha, who wrote a Vrtti or gloss on the Katantra Vyakarana. The word निरुक्त (nirukta) is found in the Pratisakhya works in the sense of 'explained' and not in the sense of derived; cf. R. Pr. XV 6; V.Pr. IV. 19, 195.

(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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Nirukta (Sanskrit etymology)

[Nirukta in Nirukta glossaries]

Nirukta (निरुक्त, “etymology”) refers to the “study of the meaning of words” and represents one of the six vedāṅgas: disciplines developed in order to articulate and interpret sacred texts (such as the Ṛgveda).—Nirukta is the science of study of the meaning of words used in texts. It was composed by Yāska (9th century BCE). It is a commentary on Nighaṇṭu, a classified list of Vedic words compiled by Yāska himself. The text is composed in the form of a discussion. By the time of Yāska, the language of the Vedas had become difficult to understand because many words had gone out of use and their meanings were no longer clear. So some scholars, such as Kautsa, argued that Vedic hymns are meaningless. So Yāska prepared a list of such difficult words (Nighaṇṭu) and then explained their origin and meaning (in Nirukta).

(Source): Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Language and Grammar (nirukta)
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Nirukta (निरुक्त) or “etymology” refers to the linguistic analysis of the Sanskrit language. This branch studies the interpretation of common and ancient words and explains them in their proper context. Nirukta is one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

[Nirukta in Dharmashastra glossaries]

Nirukta (निरुक्त, “etymology”) refers to “exposition of words” and represents one of the six divisions of the Vedāṅga texts, a type of Śāstra categorised as Apaurūṣeya; all part of the ancient Indian education system, which aimed at both the inner and the outer dimension of a person.

(Source): Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Education: Systems & Practices
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[Nirukta in Hinduism glossaries]

Nirukta (निरुक्त, "explanation, etymological interpretation") is one of the six Vedānga disciplines of Hinduism, treating etymology, particularly of obscure words, especially those occurring in the Vedas.

Nirukta is also the name given to a celebrated commentary by Yāska on the Nighantu, an even older glossary (dated before 14th Century CE) which was already traditional in his time.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[Nirukta in Marathi glossaries]

nirukta (निरुक्त).—p S Described by statement of its properties and circumstances; defined.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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-English dictionary

[Nirukta in Sanskrit glossaries]

Nirukta (निरुक्त).—a.

1) Expressed, pronounced, explained, defined.

2) Loud, distinct.

3) Enjoined, decided; पात्रं त्वत्र निरुक्तं वै कविभिः पात्रवित्तमैः (pātraṃ tvatra niruktaṃ vai kavibhiḥ pātravittamaiḥ) Bhāg.7.14.34.

4) Interpreted, accomplished (as a word); proved from शब्दप्रमाण (śabdapramāṇa) (as śabdaikagamya); वेदांश्च वेद्यं तु विधिं च कृत्स्नमथो निरुक्तं परमार्थतां च (vedāṃśca vedyaṃ tu vidhiṃ ca kṛtsnamatho niruktaṃ paramārthatāṃ ca) Mb.12.245.3.

-ktam 1 Explanation, derivation, etymological interpretation. स वा एष आत्मा हृदि तस्यैतदेव निरुक्तं हदयमिति (sa vā eṣa ātmā hṛdi tasyaitadeva niruktaṃ hadayamiti) Ch. Up.8.3.3; महत्त्वाद्भारवत्त्वाच्च महाभारत- मुच्यते । निरुक्तमस्य यो वेद सर्वपापैः प्रमुच्यते (mahattvādbhāravattvācca mahābhārata- mucyate | niruktamasya yo veda sarvapāpaiḥ pramucyate) || Mb.1.1.274.

2) Name of one of the six Vedāṅgas, that which contains glossarial explanation of obscure words, especially those occurring in the Vedas; नाम च धातुजमाह निरुक्ते (nāma ca dhātujamāha nirukte) Nir.

3) Name of a celebrated commentary on the Nighaṇṭus by Yāska.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

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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