Nivarana, aka: Nīvaraṇa, Nivāraṇa, Nivaraṇa; 9 Definition(s)


Nivarana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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 Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Nivarana in Theravada glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

Nīvarana (“hindrances”) are 5 qualities which are obstacles to the mind and blind our mental vision. In the presence of them we cannot reach neighbourhood-concentration (upacāra-samādhi) and full concentration (appanā-samādhi), and are unable to discern clearly the truth. They are:

  1. sensuous desire (kāmacchanda),
  2. ill-will (vyāpāda),
  3. sloth and torpor (thīna-middha),
  4. restlessness and scruples (uddhacca-kukkucca), and
  5. skeptical doubt (vicikicchā).

In the beautiful similes in A.V.193, sensuous desire is compared with water mixed with manifold colours, ill-will with boiling water, sloth and torpor with water covered by moss, restlessness and scruples with agitated water whipped by the wind, skeptical doubt with turbid and muddy water. Just as in such water one cannot perceive one's own reflection, so in the presence of these 5 mental hindrances, one cannot clearly discern one's own benefit, nor that of others, nor that of both.

Regarding the temporary suspension of the 5 hindrances on entering the first absorption, the stereotype sutta text (e g. A.IX.40) runs as follows:

"He has cast away sensuous desire; he dwells with a heart free from sensuous desire; from desire he cleanses his heart.

"He has cast away ill-will; he dwells with a heart free from ill-will, cherishing love and compassion toward all living beings, he cleanses his heart from ill-will.

"He has cast away sloth and torpor; he dwells free from sloth and torpor; loving the light, with watchful mind, with clear consciousness, he cleanses his mind from sloth and torpor.

"He has cast away restlessness and scruples; dwelling with mind undisturbed, with heart full of peace, he cleanses his mind from restlessness and scruples.

"He has cast away skeptical doubt; dwelling free from doubt, full of confidence in the good, he cleanses his heart from doubt.

"He has put aside these 5 hindrances, and come to know these paralysing defilements of the mind. And far from sensual impressions, far from unwholesome things, he enters into the first absorption, etc."

The overcoming of these 5 hindrances by the absorptions is, as already pointed out, a merely temporary suspension, called 'overcoming through repression' (vikkhambhana-pahāna). They disappear forever on entering the 4 supermundane paths (s. ariyapuggala), i.e. skeptical doubt on reaching Sotāpanship; sensuous desire, ill-will and mental worry on reaching Anāgāmiship; sloth, torpor and restlessness on reaching Arahantship.

For their origination and their overcoming, s. A. I, 2; VI, 21; S. XLVI, 51. See The Five Mental Hindrances, by Nyanaponika Thera (WHEEL 26).

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

Nivarana (or Hindrances) are another group of defilements. There are six nirvaranas:

  1. sensuous desire (kamacchanda),
  2. ill-will (vyapada),
  3. sloth and torpor (thina-middha),
  4. restlessness and regret (uddhacca-kukkucca),
  5. doubt (vicikiccha),
  6. ignorance (avijja).
Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Nivarana in Mahayana glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

Nīvaraṇa (नीवरण, “obstacles”) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVIII). Accordingly, “having thus condemned the five sensual desires, it is necessary to remove the five obstacles (nīvaraṇa)”. Note: In order to succeed in the first stage of meditation, it is not enough to keep way from desires.

It is also necessary to stay away from bad dharmas; the latter constitute the five obstacles to dhyāna, which are

  1. envy (kāmacchanda-nīvaraṇa),
  2. malevolence (vyāpāda-nīvaraṇa),
  3. laziness-torpor (styānamiddha-nīvaraṇa),
  4. excitement and regret (auddhatyakaukṛtya-nīvaraṇa),
  5. doubt (vicikitsā-nīvaraṇa).

If he has been able to reject the five sense objects (kāmaguṇa) and remove the five obstacles (nīvaraṇa), the ascetic practices the five dharmas:

  1. aspiration (chanda),
  2. exertion (vīrya),
  3. mindfulness (smṛti),
  4. clear seeing (saṃprajñāna),
  5. concentration of mind (cittaikāgratā).

By practicing these five dharmas, he acquires the first dhyāna furnished with five members (pañcāṅga-samanvāgata).

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Nivarana in Pali glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

nivāraṇa : (nt.) prevention; warding off; refusal. || nīvaraṇa (nt.), obstacle or hindrance (to the progress of mind).

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Nivaraṇa, see vi°. (Page 372)

— or —

Nivāraṇa, (nt. & adj.) (fr. nivāreti) warding off, keeping back, preventing; refusal Sn. 1034, 1035, 1106 (=Nd2 363 āvāraṇa rakkhaṇa gopana); DhsA. 259; PvA. 102, 278; Sdhp. 396. (Page 372)

— or —

Nīvaraṇa, (nt. occasionally m.) (Sk. *nivāraṇa, nis+ varaṇa of vṛ (vṛṇoti), see nibbuta & cp. nivāraṇa) an obstacle, hindrance, only as tt. applied to obstacles in an ethical sense & usually enumd or referred to in a set of 5 (as pañca nīvaraṇāni and p. āvaraṇāni), viz. kāmacchanda, (abhijjhā-)vyāpāda, thīna-middha, uddhaccakukkucca, vicikicchā i.e. sensuality, ill-will, torpor of mind or body, worry, wavering (cp. Dhs. trsl. p. 310): D. I, 73 (°e, Acc. pl.), 246; II, 83, 300; III, 49 sq. , 101, 234, 278; S. II, 23; III, 149; V, 60, 84 sq. , 93 sq. , 145, 160, 226, 327, 439; M. I, 60, 144, 276; III, 4, 295; A. I, 3, 161; III, 16, 63, 230 sq.; 386; IV, 457; V, 16, 195, 322; Sn. 17; Nd1 13; Nd2 379; Ps. I, 31, 129, 163; Pug. 68; Dhs. 1059, 1136, 1495; Vbh. 199, 244, 378; Nett 11, 13, 94; Vism. 146, 189; DA. I, 213; Sdhp. 459, 493 and passim. ‹-› Other enumns are occasionally found e.g. 10 at S. V, 110; 8 at M. I, 360 sq.; 6 at Dhs. 1152. (Page 376)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

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

Nivarana in Marathi glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

nivāraṇa (निवारण).—n (S) Turning back; and fig. prohibiting, preventing, precluding, averting, warding off &c. 2 or nivāraṇapatra n (S) A prohibitory note, from his employer, to one employed to demand payment of debts.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nivāraṇa (निवारण).—m Turning back. Prohibiting.

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

Nivarana in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

Nivāraṇa (निवारण).—

1) Keeping off, preventing, warding off; दंशनिवारणैश्च (daṃśanivāraṇaiśca) R.2.5.

2) Prohibition, impediment.

Derivable forms: nivāraṇam (निवारणम्).

See also (synonyms): nivāra.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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