Nishkama, Niṣkāma, Niṣkāmā, Nitkama: 15 definitions


Nishkama means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

The Sanskrit terms Niṣkāma and Niṣkāmā can be transliterated into English as Niskama or Nishkama, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Nishkam.

In Hinduism

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Niṣkāma (निष्काम) refers to “without selfish desire”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam

Niṣkāma (निष्काम) refers to:—Free from desire. (cf. Glossary page from Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta).

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Nishkama in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Niṣkāma (निष्काम) refers to “(being) free from lust”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.24 (“Śiva consents to marry Pārvatī”).—Accordingly, as Śiva said to Viṣṇu and others: “[...] O lord of gods, O intelligent one, it is your duty not to be obdurate after considering the situation of what shall be done and what not. O Viṣṇu, a great favour to the gods has been done by me when Kāma was burnt. May ye all stay free from lust [i.e., niṣkāma] certainly along with me. Just as I, so also you, O gods, can without effort perform difficult tasks being endowed with the energy of great penance. [...]”.

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

Niṣkāmā (निष्कामा) refers to “she who is devoid of desire”, according to the Lalitāsahasranāma.—Lalitā’s thousand names are eulogized in the Lalitāsahasranāma, describing the goddess’s spiritual beauty on the analogy of physical, sensuous beauty. [...] In short, the Kula rites—sexual yet chaste—share in the same ambiguity as the goddess who presides over them. One way that the apparent contradiction is resolved is to accommodate the two conditions into the two aspects of deity. Tripurā in her immanent, manifest form ‘with qualities’ (saguṇa) is passionate, while her unmanifest form `devoid of qualities’ (nirguṇa) is passionless. To indicate this ambiguity in her nature she is called ‘Devoid of Qualities’ (nirguṇā) (130), which is thus the same as calling her ‘Devoid of Desire’ (niṣkāmā) (142) and ‘Devoid of Passion’ (nīrāgā) (156). So even though from one point of view she is highly passionate, she remains free of desire. Although, she gives passion (kāmadā) and arouses attachment (rāga-mathanī) (157), she also frees from it.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

niṣkāma (निष्काम).—a (S) Free from desire, disinterested.

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

niṣkāma (निष्काम).—a Free from desire, disinterested

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Niṣkāma (निष्काम).—adj. disinterested, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 12, 89.

Niṣkāma is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms nis and kāma (काम).

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

Niṣkāma (निष्काम).—[adjective] desireless, disinterested.

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

Niṣkāma (निष्काम):—[=niṣ-kāma] [from niṣ > niḥ] mfn. (niṣ-) desireless, disinterested, unselfish, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Manu-smṛti] etc.

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

Niṣkāma (निष्काम):—[ni-ṣkāma] (maḥ-mā-maṃ) a. Without wishing. n. Involuntarily.

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

Niṣkāma (निष्काम) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Ṇikkāma.

[Sanskrit to German]

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

Niṣkāma (निष्काम) [Also spelled nishkam]:—(a) without attachment, disinterested, free from desires/wishes, desireless, unselfish; ~[] state of being without attachment, disinterestedness, unselfishness.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Niṣkāma (ನಿಷ್ಕಾಮ):—

1) [adjective] not desiring; not selfish; unselfish.

2) [adjective] not sensual; turned aside from lust.

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Niṣkāma (ನಿಷ್ಕಾಮ):—

1) [noun] absence of desires; unselfishness.

2) [noun] absence of lust.

3) [noun] an unselfish or lustless man.

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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