Niti, Nīti: 22 definitions

Introduction:

Niti means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, Marathi, Hindi, biology. 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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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Nīti (नीति) refers to “ministers”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 10), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “If the course of Saturn should lie through the constellations of Śatabhiṣaj and Pūrvabhādra, physicians, poets, drunkards or those that deal in liquor, tradesmen and ministers [i.e., nīti-vṛtti], will be afflicted with miseries; if it should lie through the constellation of Uttarabhādra, dancers, travellers, women and gold will suffer. If the course of Saturn should lie through Revatī, the servants of the reigning sovereigns, the people of Krauñcadvīpa, the crops of Śarat, barbarians and the Yavanas will suffer”.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Nīti (नीति) refers to the “(proclaimed) procedure”, according to Kṣemarāja’s commentary on the Svacchandatantra verse 4.142b.—Accordingly, “For the purpose of supernatural powers, from the past pure and impure [karma] that maintains the [current] body he should only purify the impure [portion] for him, for in this way (evam) the achievement of enjoyment comes about without any obstacles. As for the pure and impure [karma] that is accumulated in other [past] births and which he will do in a [future] birth, all those should be purified for him according to the proclaimed procedure (ukta-nīti), like in the case of the Putraka, apart from [those karmas for] the propitiation of mantras. Therefore he said, [prākkarmāgāmi caikasthaṃ bhāvayitvā ca dīkṣayet (Svacchanda 4.142cd)]”.

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (shaktism)

Nīti (नीति) is another name for Goddess Nityā, according to the King Vatsarāja’s Pūjāstuti called the Kāmasiddhistuti (also Vāmakeśvarīstuti), guiding one through the worship of the Goddess Nityā.—Accordingly, “[...] O mother! Even the kings of gods bow to the feet of those men who have acquired a drop of the grace of seeing you. [...] Mindful men call you Kledanī, Kulakuṇḍalinī, Kā, Nityā, Nīti, Nau, Nāvikā, Vidyā, Saṃvid, Vīśvamayī, Umā, Kāmeśvarī, and Kamalā”.

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

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.

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

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; Kumārasambhava 1.22.

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

6) Politics, political scicence, statesmanship, political wisdom; आत्मोदयः परग्लानिर्द्वयं नीतिरितीयती (ātmodayaḥ paraglānirdvayaṃ nītiritīyatī) Śiśupālavadha 2.3; दण्डो दमयतामस्मि नीतिरस्मि जिगीषताम् (daṇḍo damayatāmasmi nītirasmi jigīṣatām) Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 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) Bhartṛhari 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.

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

Nīti (नीति) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Ṇīi.

[Sanskrit to German]

Niti 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

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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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Nīti (ನೀತಿ):—

1) [noun] a carrying or conveying.

2) [noun] the act or process of guiding.

3) [noun] the direction provided by a guide.

4) [noun] moral quality or character; rightness or wrongness, as of an action.

5) [noun] the character of being in accord with the principles or standards of right conduct; right conduct.

6) [noun] principles of right and wrong in conduct; ethics.

7) [noun] moral instruction or a moral lesson.

8) [noun] political methods, tactics, etc., including crafty or unprincipled methods; politics.

9) [noun] a carefully arranged and systematic program of action for attaining some object or end.

10) [noun] a principle, plan or course of action, as pursued by a government organisation, individual, etc.

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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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