Nishumbha, Niśumbha: 14 definitions


Nishumbha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

The Sanskrit term Niśumbha can be transliterated into English as Nisumbha or Nishumbha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Nishumbha in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Niśumbha (निशुम्भ).—An asura. Two of the sons of Kaśyapa Prajāpati by his wife. Diti became notorious fellows called Śumbha and Niśumbha. They were born and brought up in Pātāla. But as young men thay came to the earth and began rigorous tapas taking neither food nor drink. After ten thousand years Brahmā appeared and asked them to choose their boons. They requested for eternity, deathlessness. But, Brahmā refused to grant that boon. Then they thought of another boon, which would in effect be as goodas the first one; they wanted death to come, but to come in a manner impossible to happen. So, they requested Brahmā as follows: "We shall not meet with death at the hands of males among Devas, human beings as also by birds, animals etc. In short we should be killed only by women; we fear them not."

Brahmā granted them such a boon and they returned to Pātāla. They lost their head over the boon and appointed Śukra as their preceptor. Śukra was so pleased at this that he made Śumbha sit on a golden throne and crowned him King of Daityas. Following this, lesser Kings began coming to salute the great King and pay tributes. Great daityas like the Caṇḍamuṇḍas, Dhūmralocana, Raktabīja etc., became attendants of Śumbha and Niśumbha. (See full article at Story of Niśumbha from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Niśumbha (निशुम्भ).—The Mahābhārata mentions another Niśumbha, a dependant of Narakāsura. Śrī Kṛṣṇa killed this asura who towered upto the path of the devas (devayāna) from the earth. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 38).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Niśumbha (निशुम्भ).—The son of Gaveṣṭhi;1 took part in the Devāsura war between Bali and Indra;2 fought with Bhadrakāli and was killed;3 killed by Yoganidrā.4

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 67. 77.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 10. 21, 31.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 29. 76.
  • 4) Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 1. 82.
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 Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Nishumbha in Jainism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Niśumbha (निशुम्भ) is the name of the fifth Prativāsudeva according to both Śvetāmbara and Digambara sources. Jain legends describe nine such Prativāsudevas (anti-heroes) usually appearing as powerful but evil antagonists instigating Vāsudeva by subjugating large portions of Bharata-land. As such, they are closely related with the twin brothers known as the Vāsudevas (“violent heroes”) and the Baladevas (“gentle heroes”).

The Prativāsudevas (such as Niśumbha) fight against the twin-heroes with their cakra-weapon but at the final moment are killed by the Vāsudevas. Their stories are narrated in the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacarita (“the lives of the sixty-three illustrious persons”), a twelfth-century Śvetāmbara work by Hemacandra.

Source: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu

Niśumbha (निशुम्भ) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Niśumbha] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Niśumbha (निशुम्भ) refers to one of the nine Prativāsudevas (enemies of Vāsudevas), according to chapter 1.6 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism. Accordingly: “[...] Aśvagrīva, Tāraka, Meraka, Madhu, Niśumbha, Bali, Pralhāda (Prahlāda), Laṅkeśa, Magadheśvara, rivals of the Vāsudevas, all fighting with the cakra, will perish from their own cakras which have gone to the hands of the Vāsudevas”.

General definition book cover
context information

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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Nishumbha in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Niśumbha (निशुम्भ).—

1) Killing, slaughter.

2) उद्दर्पदुन्दुभिनिशुम्भपटु प्रचण्ड (uddarpadundubhiniśumbhapaṭu pracaṇḍa) Mv.5.61; सावष्टम्भनिशुम्भसंभ्रमनमत् (sāvaṣṭambhaniśumbhasaṃbhramanamat) Mālatīmādhava (Bombay) 5.22.

2) Breaking, bending (as of a bow); प्रागप्राप्तनिशुम्भशाम्भव- धनुर्द्वेधाक्रियाविर्भवत् (prāgaprāptaniśumbhaśāmbhava- dhanurdvedhākriyāvirbhavat) Mv.2.33.

3) Name of a demon killed by Durgā. शक्तिः शुम्भनिशुम्भदैत्यदलनी (śaktiḥ śumbhaniśumbhadaityadalanī) Devī-stotram.

Derivable forms: niśumbhaḥ (निशुम्भः).

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

Niśumbha (निशुम्भ).—m.

(-mbhaḥ) 1. Killing, slaughter. 2. The name of a giant slain by Durga. E. ni before, śumbh to hurt or kill, aff. bhāve ghañ.

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

Niśumbha (निशुम्भ).—[masculine] killing, slaughter, [Name] of a Dānava.

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

1) Niśumbha (निशुम्भ):—[=ni-śumbha] [from ni-śumbh] m. killing, slaughter, [Mālatīmādhava]

2) [v.s. ...] Name of a Dānava (brother of Śumbha), [Harivaṃśa; Purāṇa] (also -ka, [Rāmāyaṇa])

3) Nisumbha (निसुम्भ):—[=ni-sumbha] See ni-s.

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

Niśumbha (निशुम्भ):—[ni-śumbha] (mbhaḥ) 1. m. Killing; a giant killed by Durgā.

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

Niśumbha (निशुम्भ) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Ṇisuṃbha, Ṇisuṃbhā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Nishumbha 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

[«previous next»] — Nishumbha in Prakrit glossary
Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary

1) Ṇisuṃbha (णिसुंभ) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Niśumbh.

2) Ṇisuṃbha (णिसुंभ) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Niśumbha.

3) Ṇisuṃbhā (णिसुंभा) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Niśumbhā.

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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