Nitya, Nityā: 22 definitions

Introduction

Nitya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Nitya (नित्य) refers to “daily prayers” and represents one of the three rites of virtue, according to the Śivapurāṇa 1.13.—Accordingly, “everyone shall set apart a third of his wealth for Dharma, another third for Vṛddhi (flourishing) and the rest for his Bhoga (enjoyment). With the part intended for Dharma he shall perform the three rites of virtue viz. Nitya (daily prayers etc.), Naimittika (casual acts of piety) and Kāmya (specific rites for the fulfilment of desires). By means of the second part he shall increase his wealth. By utilising the third part he shall enjoy with restraint in pure and wholesome ways.”.

2) Nitya (नित्य) refers to “eternal”, and represents an epithet of Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.10. Accordingly as Viṣṇu said to Brahmā:—“[...] Śiva is the creator of everything, the sustainer and destroyer. He is greater than the great. He is the supreme Brahman, the greatest lord (pareśa), the attributeless, the eternal”.

Nitya (eternal) also represents an epithet of Goddess Durgā, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.11. Accordingly as Brahmā said to Nārada:—“[...] O Brahmin, best of my sons, listen attentively to what I did when the lord Viṣṇu went away. I began a continuous laudatory prayer of the Goddess Durgā, [...] I salute the Goddess who is omnipresent, eternal (nitya), for whom there is no support, who is never distressed, who is the mother of the three deities, who is the grossest of the gross and yet has no form”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Nitya (नित्य).—A brahmavādin.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 145. 106.

1b) (Śrāddham) nothing of arghya and āvāhana.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 16. 5.

2) Nityā (नित्या).—An Akṣara devī.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 19. 59.
Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Nitya (नित्य) refers to one of the four kinds of destruction, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, chapter thirty-two contains accounts of Manvantaras while the chapter thirty-three contains descriptions of four kinds of destruction viz. Nitya, Naimittika, Prākṛta and Ātyantika.

Nitya refers to “constant destruction”.—The destruction of beings which is constantly going on in this world is regarded as nitya-pralaya (nitya-pratisañcara). Every moment the objects here on this earth undergo constant change and modification. Kāla is manifestation of the Almighty and impelled by this kāla there occurs the successive stages of growth and decay of created beings. The stream flows by, though apparently it is the same stream. The water flowing in it are not the same. Likewise the flame of the lamp though apparently steady and unchanging changes every moment. As this change in the stream or the flame is not noticeable to the naked eye, the growth and decay going on every moment in this world is not noticed by us. Like the stream or the flame of a lamp, there is constant appearance and dissolution of the created beings.

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Nitya (नित्य) is one of the three types of rites ācāryas (“Śaiva preceptor”) are qualified to perform, according to Nigamajñāna (Śaiva teacher of the 16th century) in his Śaivāgamaparibhāṣāmañjarī. Nitya includes snāna, tarpaṇa, śivapūjā, agnikārya, etc

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva

Nitya (नित्य) or Nityāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Vātulāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Nitya Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Vātula-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.

Shaivism book cover
context information

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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Samkhya (school of philosophy)

Source: Shodhganga: Prakrti and purusa in Samkhyakarika an analytical review

1) Nitya (नित्य, “eternal”).—Mūlaprakṛti or avyakta is eternal (nitya) because, it has no beginning (anādi) and it has no end (ananta). When the elements dissolve into their respective causes it is called destruction. But as prakṛti has no cause so it is unable to dissolve into any thing and for this reason it is the ultimate cause. As space and time are the derivative of avyakta, so avyakta is not bounded by space and time. As avyakta transcends time, so it is eternal (nitya).

2) Nitya (नित्य, “eternal”).—“na prakṛtirna vikṛtiḥ puruṣaḥ”—This is how Īśsvarakṛṣṇa describes puruṣa in the third kārikā. This means, puruṣa is neither caused, nor is itself a cause. That which is neither caused, nor is itself a cause is beyond any change. Whatever is beyond any change is eternal. As puruṣa is beyond any change, so it is eternal. Even during dissolution, puruṣa continues to witness prakṛti as an eternal conscious entity (nitya-tattva).

context information

Samkhya (सांख्य, Sāṃkhya) is a dualistic school of Hindu philosophy (astika) and is closeley related to the Yoga school. Samkhya philosophy accepts three pramanas (‘proofs’) only as valid means of gaining knowledge. Another important concept is their theory of evolution, revolving around prakriti (matter) and purusha (consciousness).

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

1) Nitya (नित्य).—Eternal, as applied to word or Sabda in contrast with sound or dhvani which is evanescent (कार्य (kārya)). The sound with meaning or without meaning,made by men and animals is impermanent; but the sense or idea awakened in the mind by the evanescent audible words on reaching the mind is of a permanent or eternal nature; cf. स्फोटः शब्दो ध्वनिस्तस्य व्यायामादुपजायते (sphoṭaḥ śabdo dhvanistasya vyāyāmādupajāyate); cf. also व्याप्तिमत्त्वा्त्तु शब्दस्य (vyāptimattvā्ttu śabdasya) Nir.I.1 ;

2) Nitya.—Constant; not liable to be set aside by another; cf. उपबन्धस्तु देशाय नित्यम्, न रुन्धे नित्यम्। नित्यशब्दः प्राप्त्यन्तरानिषेधार्थः (upabandhastu deśāya nityam, na rundhe nityam| nityaśabdaḥ prāptyantarāniṣedhārthaḥ) T.Pr.I.59, IV.14;

3) Nitya.—Original as constrasted with one introduced anew such as an augment; cf. T. Pr. VI.14;

4) Nitya.—Permanently functioning, as opposed to tentatively doing so; cf. नित्यविरते द्विमात्रम् (nityavirate dvimātram) R. T.37;

5) Nitya.—Unchangeable, permanent, imperishable; cf. अयं नित्यशब्दो-स्त्येव कूटस्थेष्वविचालिषु भावेषु वर्तते (ayaṃ nityaśabdo-styeva kūṭastheṣvavicāliṣu bhāveṣu vartate) M.Bh. on P. VIII. 1.4;

6) Nitya.—Always or invariably applying, as opposed to optional; the word in this sense is used in connection with rules or operations that do not optionally apply; cf. उपपदसमासो नित्यसमासः, षष्ठीसमासः पुनार्वेभाषा (upapadasamāso nityasamāsaḥ, ṣaṣṭhīsamāsaḥ punārvebhāṣā); M. Bh. on P.II.2.19;

7) Nitya.—Constant,as applied to a rule which applies if another simultaneously applying rule were to have taken effect, as well as when that other rule does not take effect; cf. क्वचित्कृताकृतप्रसङ्गमा-त्रेणापि नित्यता (kvacitkṛtākṛtaprasaṅgamā-treṇāpi nityatā) Par. Sek. Pari 46. The operations which are nitya according to this Paribhasa take effect in preference to others which are not 'nitya', although they may even be 'para'; cf. परान्नित्यं बलवत् (parānnityaṃ balavat) Par. Sek. Pari. 42.

context information

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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Vaisheshika (school of philosophy)

Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (vaisesika)

Nitya (नित्य, “eternal”) or Nityaguṇa refers to a classification of the twenty-four guṇas (qualities).—Guṇas are again divided into nitya (eternal) and anitya (non-eternal). The qualities of eternal substances are known as eternal qualities and the qualities of noneternal substances are known as non-eternal qualities. Eternal substances are the atoms of earth etc., ether, time, space, self and mind.

Vaisheshika book cover
context information

Vaisheshika (वैशेषिक, vaiśeṣika) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. Vaisheshika deals with subjects such as logic, epistemology, philosophy and expounds concepts similar to Buddhism in nature

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

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

Nitya (नित्य) refers to “(1) Eternal (2) Regulated”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

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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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study (dharma)

Nitya (नित्य) or Nityadāna refers to “daily donation” and represents one of the four types of Dāna (“gift”) according to the Dharmaśāstra taught in the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—The Saurapurāṇa describes the importance and enumeration of dāna in chapters nine and ten. It classifies dāna into four types.—Nitya-dāna consists in the daily offering of gifts to the deserving in a spirit of duty without expecting any reward.

Dharmashastra book cover
context information

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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Nitya (नित्य, “eternal”).—According to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV), there are people who claim that the great earth (mahāpṛthivī), the sun and the moon (sūryacandramas), Sumeru and the great ocean (mahāsamudra) are all eternal (nitya). This is why the Bhagavat shakes the earth six times and gives the reason (hetupratyaya) for it: Beings will know that it is not eternal.

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 5: The category of the non-living

Nitya (नित्य, “eternal”) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.4.—The substances (dravya) are eternal (nitya), fixed in number (avasthita) and colourless (arūpa, non-material). What is the meaning of eternal? It means indestructible i.e. the generic and specific attributes of each substance are never destroyed. Why are substances eternal? From substance view point, they are never destroyed and so are called as eternal.

According to Tattvārthasūtra 5.31, eternal (nitya) does not mean that an entity stays same (same state / mode) always or is not transforming continuously. But it implies that even while going through transformation it does not leave its intrinsic nature, else the entire universe will come to a standstill being eternal. Transformation is cognized by remembrance e.g. when we see a person after a long time, we still recollect him to be he same person whom we met a long time ago.

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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Nitya.—(EI 19), compulsory. Note: nitya is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nitya (नित्य).—a (S) Everlasting, perpetual, continual. 2 Of regular and close recurrence. 3 Used as ad Always, ever, continually. Pr. nitya marē tyāsa kōṇa raḍē Who cares for troubles when they come thick and close (too thick to be cried for)? Also who can cry with one who is crying all the day long? Compounds are nitya-carcā-japa-naivēdya-maṅgala-pūjā-snāna -hōma &c. Others in order. nityākhālīṃ paḍaṇēṃ-yēṇēṃ To come under one's constant use, practice, observance &c. nityāntalā Of one's daily or constant use, exercise, experience &c.

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

nitya (नित्य).—a Everlasting, perpetual. Of regular recurrence. ad Always, ever. Pr. nitya marē tyāsa kōṇa raḍē Who cares for troubles when they come thick and close (too thick to be cried for)? Also who can cry with one who is crying all the day long? nityākhālīṃ pa़ḍaṇēṃ-yēṇēṃ To come under one's constant use, &c. nityāntala Of one's daily or constant use, &c.

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Nitya (नित्य).—a. [niyamena niyataṃ vā bhavaṃ ni-tya-p; cf. P.IV.2.14. Vārt.]

1) (a.) Continual, perpetual, constant, everlasting, eternal, uninterrupted; यथा त्वमसि दुर्धर्षो धर्मनित्यः प्रजाहितः (yathā tvamasi durdharṣo dharmanityaḥ prajāhitaḥ) Rām.7.37.8; यदि नित्यमनित्येन लभ्यते (yadi nityamanityena labhyate) H.1.48; नित्यज्योत्स्नाः प्रतिहततमोवृत्तिरम्याः प्रदोषाः (nityajyotsnāḥ pratihatatamovṛttiramyāḥ pradoṣāḥ) Me. (regarded by Malli. as an interpolation); Ms.2.26. (b) Imperishable, indestructible; पृथिवी द्विविधा नित्याऽनित्या च (pṛthivī dvividhā nityā'nityā ca) Tarka K.

2) Invariable, regular, fixed, not optional, regularly prescribed (opp. kāmya).

3) Necessary, obligatory, essential.

4) Ordinary, usual (opp. naumittika).

5) (At the end of comp.) Constantly dwelling in, perpetually engaged in or busy with; जाह्नवीतीर°, अरण्य°, आदान°, ध्यान° (jāhnavītīra°, araṇya°, ādāna°, dhyāna°) &c.

-tyaḥ The ocean.

-syā 1 An epithet of the goddess Durgā.

2) A plough-share.

-tyam An indispensable or inevitable act.

-tyam ind. Daily, constantly, always, ever, perpetually, enternally.

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

Nitya (नित्य).—[, according to Senart used as synonym for nirvāṇa, Mahāvastu ii.140.16 (verse), see his note, comparing ii.144.4. But this seems hardly sufficient evidence, and I have been unable to find elsewhere in Pali or [Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit] or Sanskrit any such use of nitya. Text: nityāntareṇa manasā kṛtamokṣa- buddhiḥ, mārgaṃ (? mss. āryaṃ) va (mss. ca) tāva mama putra cara prasīda, jīvāmi yāvac ca ahaṃ (so mss.)…, (Śuddhodana pleads with the Bodhisattva to wait for his own death before renouncing the world; text in part uncertain;) with constantly internal mind fixing your will on salvation (i.e. keeping it to yourself, not doing any- thing about it yet)…as long as I live… The word nitya, at any rate, seems to have its Sanskrit meaning.]

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

Nitya (नित्य).—mfn. adj.

(-tyaḥ-tyā-tyaṃ) 1. Eternal, everlasting, continual, perpetual, past, present, and future. 2. Regular, fixed, invariable. 3. Ordinary. 4. Necessary. n. adv.

(-tyaṃ) Always, eternally, continually. sub. Indispensable rite or act. m.

(-tyaḥ) The ocean. f.

(-tyā) 1. A name of Parvati. 2. The goddess Manasa. 3. A Sakti, a form of Durga, or personified energy of Siva. E. ni particle implying perpetually, and tyapa aff.

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

Nitya (नित्य).—[ni + tya], adj., f. . 1. Constant, perpetual, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 206; 58 (nityakālam, adv. At all times). 2. Eternal, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 1, 11. 3. Essential, regular, 11, 203; [Vedāntasāra, (in my Chrestomathy.)] in Chr. 202, 11. 4. 4. ºyam, adv. Perpetually, constantly, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 1, 108.

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

Nitya (नित्य).—[adjective] inner, interior, indigenous, own; constant, continual, eternal (nitya °— & [neuter] [adverb]); abiding or persevering in, devoted to (—°); regular, essential, necessary, obligatory. Abstr. † [feminine], tva† [neuter]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Nitya (नित्य) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—vedānta, by Rāmānuja. Rice. 150. See Nityapaddhati.

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

1) Nitya (नित्य):—mf(ā)n. ([from] ni; cf. ni-ja) innate, native, [Mahābhārata iii, 13941]

2) one’s own (opp. to araṇa), [Ṛg-veda]

3) continual, perpetual, eternal, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

4) ifc. constantly dwelling or engaged in, intent upon, devoted or used to (cf. tapo-n, dharma-n, dhyāna-n, śastra-n), [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

5) ordinary, usual, invariable, fixed, necessary, obligatory (opp. to kāmya, naimittika etc.), [Brāhmaṇa; ???; Manu-smṛti] etc. (with samāsa m. a compound the meaning of which is not expressed by its members when not compounded, [Pāṇini 2-1, 3 [Scholiast or Commentator]]; with svarita m. = jātya, the independent Svarita, [Taittirīya-prātiśākhya ii, 8])

6) m. the sea, ocean, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) Nityā (नित्या):—[from nitya] f. a plough-share, [Demetrius Galanos’s Lexiko: sanskritikes, anglikes, hellenikes]

8) [v.s. ...] Name of Durgā, [Brahma-purāṇa]

9) [v.s. ...] of a Śakti, [Tantrasāra]

10) [v.s. ...] of the goddess Manasā, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

11) Nitya (नित्य):—n. constant and indispensable rite or act, [Horace H. Wilson]

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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