Niti, Nīti: 17 definitions



Niti means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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.

In Hinduism

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra

Nīti (नीति) refers to “polity” (political organization). The word is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti. (See the Nītiprakāśikā 8.87)

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Nīti (नीति).—The policy taught by Śukra to the Asuras and sought by him from Maheśvara;1 according to Bṛhaspati, it commences with sāma for a conquering monarch; other aṅgas are bheda, dāna, and daṇḍa; but the application depends on the place, time and resources of the enemy; in the case of Asuras only daṇḍa can be recommended.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 47. 74, 75; Vāyu-purāṇa 97. 105.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 148. 65-71.
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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Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

Source: Shodhganga: Rajadharma in the Mahabharata

Nīti (नीति) is the very essential part of a king and it is stated by various examples in the first chapter of the Śukranītisāra. The protection of the subjects and destruction of evils are the main duty of a king, which is possible through the proper knowledge of nīti. The king, who has the knowledge of nīti and full of strength, he can attain all prosperity in his life.

Arthashastra book cover
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Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

nīti : (f.) law; guidance.

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

Nīti, (f.) (Sk. nīti, fr. nīta) guidance, practice, conduct, esp. right conduct, propriety; statesmanship, polity PvA. 114 (°maṅgala commonsense), 129 (°sattha science of statecraft, or of prudent behaviour), 130 (°cintaka a lawgiver), 131 (°naya polity & law), 132 (°kusala versed in the wisdom of life); Miln. 3 (here meaning the Nyāyaphilosophy, cp. Trenckner, Notes p. 58). (Page 375)

Pali book cover
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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

nīti (नीति).—f (S) pop. nīta f Moral philosophy, ethics, the laws and rules for dealing and conduct. 2 Propriety, fitness, justness, equity. 3 The fitness of things, the law of Rectitude, the laws, order, or course of nature. 4 Political ethics or science. 5 (Freely.) Law, limit, definiteness, prescribed amount or quantity. Ex. kiṃvā mēgha dhārā varṣiti || nāhīṃ nīti tyātēṃ ||. Some compounds, more or less serviceable, are dharmanīti, prapañcanīti, lōkanīti, vyavahāranīti, śāstranīti; also aṅgada- kanaka-nārada-bṛhaspati-vidūra-vṛddhacāṇākhya-śukra-nīti.

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

nīti (नीति).—f nīta f Moral philosophy, ethics. Propriety, fitness. Science. Law, limit, definiteness.

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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

Nīti (नीति).—f.

1) Guidance, direction, management.

2) Conduct, manner of conducting oneself, behaviour, course of action.

3) propriety, decorum.

4) Policy, prudence, wisdom, right course; आर्जवं हि कुटिलेषु न नीतिः (ārjavaṃ hi kuṭileṣu na nītiḥ) N.5.13; R.13.69; Ku.1.22.

5) A plan, contrivance, scheme; भूयः स्नेहविचेष्टितैर्मृगदृशो नीतस्य कोटिं पराम् (bhūyaḥ snehaviceṣṭitairmṛgadṛśo nītasya koṭiṃ parām) Māl.6.3.

6) Politics, political scicence, statesmanship, political wisdom; आत्मोदयः परग्लानिर्द्वयं नीतिरितीयती (ātmodayaḥ paraglānirdvayaṃ nītiritīyatī) Śi.2.3; दण्डो दमयतामस्मि नीतिरस्मि जिगीषताम् (daṇḍo damayatāmasmi nītirasmi jigīṣatām) Bg.1.38.

7) Righteousness, moral conduct, morality.

8) The science of morality, morals, ethics, moral philosophy; निन्दन्तु नीति- निपुणा यदि वा स्तुवन्तु (nindantu nīti- nipuṇā yadi vā stuvantu) Bh.2.83.

9) Acquirement, acquisition.

1) Giving, offering, presenting.

11) Relation, support.

Derivable forms: nītiḥ (नीतिः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Nīti (नीति).—f. (seems not used in quite this sense elsewhere), management, control, and so object of management, thing under control: sarvā eṣā bodhisattvānāṃ nīti Mahāvastu i.135.4; sarvāṇy etāni bo° nītiḥ 9 (prose).

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

Nīti (नीति).—f.

(-tiḥ) 1. Guiding, directing. 2. Obtaining, acquirement, acquisition. 3. Polity, political science, treating especially of the administrating of government, including the practice of morality in private life, both by the sovereign and his subjects. E. to guide or gain, aff. ktin.

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

Nīti (नीति).—[nī + ti], f. 1. Guidance. 2. Moral behaviour, Sāh. D. 489. 3. Prudent behaviour, Mahābhārata 1, 7612. 4. Prudence, [Yājñavalkya, (ed. Stenzler.)] 1, 316. 5. A prudent counsel, [Raghuvaṃśa, (ed. Stenzler.)] 12, 69. 6. Policy, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 7, 177. 7. Relation, support, Mahābhārata 3, 1292.

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

Nīti (नीति).—[feminine] conduct, [especially] right or wise conduct; also = nītividyā q.v.

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

1) Nīti (नीति):—[from ] f. leading or bringing, guidance, management, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

2) [v.s. ...] conduct, ([especially]) right or wise or moral c° or behaviour, prudence, policy (also personified), political wisdom or science, moral philosophy or precept (also [plural]), [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] relation to, dependence on (itaretarayoḥ), [Mahābhārata]

4) [v.s. ...] presenting, offering (?), [Pāṇini 5-3, 77]

5) [v.s. ...] acquirement, acquisition, [Horace H. Wilson]

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

Nīti (नीति):—[nī-ti] (tiḥ) 2. f. Guiding; obtaining; polity, policy, ethics.

[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch

Nīti (नीति):—(von ) f.

1) Führung, Leitung; = prāpaṇa (Hinschaffung; obtaining, acquirement, acquisition [Wilson’s Wörterbuch]) [Hemacandra’s Anekārthasaṃgraha 2, 176.] [Medinīkoṣa t. 30.] —

2) richtiges, kluges Benehmen, Lebensklugheit, Politik, Staatsklugheit [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 743,] [Scholiast] [Hemacandra’s Anekārthasaṃgraha] [Medinīkoṣa] nītiḥ śāstreṇa vartanam [Sāhityadarpana 489.] yathā vo nātra bhedaḥ syāttathā nītirvidhīyatām [Mahābhārata 1, 7612. 4, 833.] nītirasmi jigīṣatām [Bhagavadgītā 10, 38.] [Kumārasaṃbhava 1, 22.] pālitaṃ vardhayennītyā (v. l. vardhayennityam) auf eine kluge Weise [Yājñavalkya’s Gesetzbuch 1, 316.] ārjavaṃ hi kuṭileṣu na nītiḥ [Mallinātha] zu [Kirātārjunīya 1, 30.] kāle khalu samārabdhāḥ phalaṃ vadhnanti nītayaḥ [Raghuvaṃśa 12, 69.] iyaṃ kimapi nītistu prayuktā mantribhirbhavet [Kathāsaritsāgara 16, 55. 5, 44. 12, 44.] [Pañcatantra 24, 22.] [Prooemium im Hitopadeśa 7. 15, 18.] [Mārkāṇḍeyapurāṇa 27, 19.] [Sāhityadarpana 71, 14.] [Spr. 335.] [Bhaṭṭikavya 1, 2.] jña [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 7, 177.] [Varāhamihira’s Bṛhajjātaka S. 16, 24.] [Rājataraṅgiṇī 5, 389.] vid [Hitopadeśa 15, 13.] kuśala [I, 193. 207.] vedin [Amarakoṣa 2, 8, 1, 19.] nipuṇa [Bhartṛhari 2, 81.] vyatikrama [Rājataraṅgiṇī 5, 398.] nṛpa [Bhartṛhari 2, 39.] rāja [Mahābhārata 15, 978.] [Pañcatantra 188, 4.] udakāntaṃ (oda?) snigdho nugamyata iti nītiḥ smaryatām Vorschrift des richtigen Benehmens [Chezy’s Ausgabe des Śākuntala 85, 11.] śataka n. heissen die 100 Sprüche ethischen Inhalts von Bhartṛhari. Die Niti als Göttin personificirt [Harivaṃśa 14035.] —

3) Verhältniss: sarvathā dharmamūlo rtho dharmaścārthaparigrahaḥ . itaretarayornītau viddhi meghodadhī yathā .. [Mahābhārata 3, 1292.] —

4) das Darreichen [Pāṇini’s acht Bücher 5, 3, 77.] nach der [Kāśikīvṛtti] = sāmadānādirupāyaḥ, was nicht passt. — Vgl. agraṇīti, adabdhanīti, asu, ṛju, ku, daṇḍa, deva, varpa, vasu, śardha, sahasra .

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Nīti (नीति):—

2) evaṃ kulīnā vyasanābhibhūtā na nītimārgaṃ parilaṅghayanti [Spr. 2718.] narapatiḥ ko namranītiṃ vinā ohnes kluges Benehmen gegen Unterwürfige [PRASAṄGĀBH.7,b.] adhītya nītiśāstrāṇi nītiyukto na dṛśyate so v. a. am Ruder des Staats [Mahābhārata 13, 7603.] mayūkha m. Titel des 5ten Abschnitts im Bhagavadbhāskara [Oxforder Handschriften 280,a, Nalopākhyāna 3.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Sanskrit-Wörterbuch in kürzerer Fassung

Nīti (नीति):—f.

1) *Herbeischaffung.

2) *Darreichung.

3) richtiges , kluges Benehmen , — gegen (im Comp. vorangehend) , Lebensklugheit , Politik , Staatsklugheit , eine Vorschrift des richtigen Benehmens. Ausnahmsweise Pl. —

4) Verhältniss oder Abhängigkeit. itaretarayoḥ des Einen zum Andern oder vom A.

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

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Nīti (नीति):—(nf) policy; expediency; morality, ethics; —[kāvya] didactic poetry; ~[kuśala/catura/nipuṇa] politic; sagacious; ~[mattā] adherence to ethical laws; ~[māna] one who knows and follows ethical laws, just and fair; -[vidyā/śāstra] ethics, the science of morality.

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