Niyama, aka: Niyāma; 18 Definition(s)

Introduction

Niyama 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 Hinduism

Yoga (school of philosophy)

Niyama in Yoga glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

Self-disciplines; Second step of the Ashtanga;

In Yoga philosophy, these are 5 disciplinary rules meant for self-development.

The five niyamas are:

  1. Purity
  2. Contentment
  3. Self-control
  4. Self-study
  5. Devotion
Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga

Niyama (नियम, “religious restraint”) is a Sanskrit word referring to “respect for yourself”. It is one of the eight brances of yoga, also known as the eightfold-path (aṣṭānga). Also see the fifth section of the Varāha-upaniṣad.

  1. tapas (persistence, perseverance in one’s purpose, penance austerity)
  2. santoṣa (contentment, acceptance of others and of one's circumstances as they are, joy)
  3. āstika (conviction in Vedas/Upaniṣads)
  4. dāna (generosity, charity, sharing with others)
  5. īśvarapūjana (worship of the Īśvara)
  6. siddhāntaśrāvaṇa (listening to the ancient scriptures, texts about ethics, values, and principles)
  7. hrī (remorse and acceptance of one's past, modesty, humility)
  8. mati (think and reflect to understand, reconcile conflicting ideas)
  9. japa (mantra repetition, reciting prayers or knowledge)
  10. vrata (keeping promises, fast rituals, observing pilgrimage and yajña)
Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga
Yoga book cover
context information

Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Purana

Niyama in Purana glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

1a) Niyama (नियम).—A son of Dhṛti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 9. 59. 10. 34.

1b) A god of Ābhūtaraya group.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 55.

1c) A mukhya clan.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 19.

1d) A Sukha God.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 19.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Mīmāṃsā (school of philosophy)

Niyama (नियम) refers to “restrictive injunction”. It is sub-division of vidhi (injunciton).—Niyama-vidhi means that the text lays down one mode of doing a thing that could be done in several ways. eg. “pound the corn to remove the husk”.

Source: Srimatham: Mīmāṃsa: The Study of Hindu Exegesis
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Mimamsa (मीमांसा, mīmāṃsā) refers to one of the six orthodox Hindu schools of philosophy, emphasizing the nature of dharma and the philosophy of language. The literature in this school is also known for its in-depth study of ritual actions and social duties.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

1) Niyama (नियम).—Restriction; regulation; binding; the term is very frequently used by grammarians in connection with a restriction laid down with reference to the application of a grammatical rule generally on the strength of that rule, or a part of it, liable to become superfluous if the restriction has not been laid down; cf. M.Bh. on I. 1. 3, Kas. on I. 3.63, VI. 4.11; cf. also the frequently quoted dictum अनियमे नियमकारिणी परिभाषा (aniyame niyamakāriṇī paribhāṣā);

2) Niyama.—Limitation as contrasted with विकल्प (vikalpa) or कामचार (kāmacāra); cf. अनेकप्राप्तावेकस्य नियमो भवति शेषेष्वनियम (anekaprāptāvekasya niyamo bhavati śeṣeṣvaniyama); पटुमृदुशुक्लाः पटुशुक्लमृदव इति (paṭumṛduśuklāḥ paṭuśuklamṛdava iti); M. Bh. on II. 2. 34 Vart. 2;

3) Niyama.—A regulating rule; a restrictive rule, corresponding to the Parisamkhya statement of the Mimamsakas, e. g. the rule अनुदात्तङित आत्मनेपदम् (anudāttaṅita ātmanepadam) P. I.3.12; the grammarians generally take a rule as a positive injunction avoiding a restrictive sense as far as possible; cf. the dictum विधिनियमसंभवे विधिरेव ज्यायान् (vidhiniyamasaṃbhave vidhireva jyāyān). Par. Sek. Pari. 100; the commentators have given various kinds of restrictions,. such as प्रयोगनियम,अभिधेयनियम,अर्थनियम, प्रत्ययनियम, प्रकृतिनियम, संज्ञानियम (prayoganiyama, abhidheyaniyama, arthaniyama, pratyayaniyama, prakṛtiniyama, saṃjñāniyama) etc.etc.;

4) Niyama.—Grave accent or anudatta; cf. उदात्तपूर्वं नियतम् (udāttapūrvaṃ niyatam) R. Pr. III. 9; see नियत (niyata)

2) Niyama.—.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Niyama (नियम) is explained by Lakṣmaṇadeśika in his 11th-century Śaradātilaka.—While the Yogasūtras list five yamas and five niyamas (2.30, 2.32), the Śaradātilaka lists ten each (7–9ab). The ten niyamas are listed as austerity, contentment, acceptance of the Vedic tradition (āstikya), charity, worship of the deity, listening to the doctrines, modesty, discernment, repetition of the mantra, and offering of oblations in the fire. Lakṣmaṇadeśika’s lists are similar to the ones found in later texts, such as the Yogakāṇḍa of the Vasiṣṭha-saṃhitā, and in Yoga-upaniṣads (e.g. Darśana-upaniṣad 1.6 and 2.1, Śāṇḍilya-upaniṣad 1.4 and 2.1, Varāha-upaniṣad 5.12cd–14ab and Triśikhibrāhmaṇa-upaniṣad 2.32cd–34ab).

Source: academia.edu: The Śāradātilakatantra on Yoga
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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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Niyama (नियम) is one of the yogāṅgas and is of five kinds. Niyama is restraining and regulating life so that yogic practise could be successful.

Source: archive.org: Isvara Samhita Vol 1
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Niyama (नियम) refers to “five observances” and forms part of the ancient Indian education system, which aimed at both the inner and the outer dimension of a person. Students living with the teacher (Guru or Ācārya) led a life of self-control, abstinence, obedience and devotion and regulated their lives by adhering to yama (self-restraint) and niyama (five observances), that is, śauca — purity of body, mind, thought; santoṣa — positive contentment; tapas — austerity; svādhyāya — self-study, introspection; and īśvarapraṇidhāna — faith in and surrender to the gods.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Education: Systems & Practices
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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Katha (narrative stories)

Niyama in Katha glossary... « previous · [N] · next »

Niyama (नियम) and Dama were two Vidyādharas who fought on Śrutaśarman’s side in the war against Sūryaprabha, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 48. Accordingly: “... when Śrutaśarman saw that, he quickly sent other ten lords of the Vidyādharas, chiefs of lords of hosts or lords of hosts of warriors,... Two called Dama and Niyama, who exactly resembled one another in appearance, two sons born to the Aśvins in the house of the lord of Ketumālā”.

The story of Niyama was narrated by the Vidyādhara king Vajraprabha to prince Naravāhanadatta in order to relate how “Sūryaprabha, being a man, obtain of old time the sovereignty over the Vidyādharas”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Niyama, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

A district in South India. Cv.lxxvii.15, 101.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

the 'fixedness of law' regarding all things; cf. tathatā. -

Pañca-niyāma is a commentarial term, signifying the 'fivefold lawfulness' or 'natural order' that governs:

  • (1) temperature, seasons and other physical events (utu-niyāma);

  • (2) the plant life (bīja-n.);

  • (3) karma (kamma-n.);

  • (4) the mind (citta-n.), e.g. the lawful sequence of the functions of consciousness (s. viññāna-kicca) in the process of cognition;

  • (5) certain events connected with the Dhamma (dhamma-n.), e.g. the typical events occurring in the lives of the Buddhas. (App.).

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
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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)

Niyāma (नियाम).—The term niyāma is difficult because the Sanskrit and Pāli texts spell it is three different ways: niyāma, niyama and nyāma, for which the Tibetan and Chinese versions propose distinct translations

1. Niyāma, position, determination, is a noun derived from the root ni-yam, and appears alone or in composition in many sources. Niyāma is given as ṅes par ḥgyur ba in Tibetan, as kiue-ting ‘determination, fixation’ in Chinese. Kumārajīva always gives samyaktvaniyāma – and undoubtedly also samyaktvanyāma – as tcheng-wei, ‘correct position’, whereas Hiuan-tsang, who carefully distinguishes it from samyaktvanyāma, gives it as tcheng-kiue-ting ‘position in uprightness’

2. Niyama, less frequent than niyāma, has exactly the same meaning and is also derived from the root ni-yam. It is usually rendered in Tibetan by ṅes pa, ‘determination’ and not by mi ḥgyur ba, ‘non-transformation’ as proposed by Mahāvyut., no. 6500. Niyama is just a grammatical variant of niyāma.

3. Nyāma (sometimes wrongly corrected to nyāya in the editions at our disposal) seems itself to be an erroneous spelling for niyāma or niyama. It occurs often in the Sanskrit texts

An imaginary etymology proposed by the Indian writers themselves has modified the meaning profoundly. According to them, nyāma would come from ni-āma and would mean ‘absence of coarseness’ in the proper sense and ‘absence of error’ in the figurative sense. Hence the Tibetan translation skyon med pa ‘absence of error’ and the Chinese translation li cheng ‘absence of coarseness’.

For the Sarvāstivādins, āma, ‘coarsenesses, defects’, are the passions to be abandoned by seeing (darśanaheyakleśa), the belief in the indiviual (satkāyadṛṣṭi), the quality of the worldly person (pṛthagjana), etc.; ny-āma, ‘rejection of coarsenesses’, is the path of seeing the truths (satyadarśanamārga) that makes one go beyond these coarsenesses, which transforms the pṛthagjana śrāvaka into an ārya and destines him for nirvāṇa

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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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

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

niyama : (m.) limitation; certainty; definition. || niyāma (m.), certainty; fixed method; regular order.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Niyama, (cp. Sk. niyama, ni+yam; often confused with niyāma) 1. restraint, constraint, training, self-control Miln. 116 (yama+); PvA. 98 (yama+).—2. definiteness, certainty, limitation DhA. III, 83 (catumagga°, v. l. niyāma); SnA 124 (niyāma); DhsA. 154; PvA. 166 (ayaṃ n. saṃsāren’atthi: law, necessity).—aniyama indefiniteness, choice, generality DhsA. 57; VvA. 16 (yaṃ kiñci=aniyame, i.e. in a general sense), 17 (same of ye keci); PvA. 175 (vā saddo aniyamattho=indefinite).—niyamena (Instr.) adv. by necessity, necessarily PvA. 287; niyamato (Abl.) id. DhsA. 145, 304 (so read). ‹-› 3. natural law, cosmic order; in Commentarial literature this was fivefold: utu-, bīja-, kamma-, ćitta-, dhammaDA. on D. II, 11; Dial. II. 8; DhsA. 272; trs. 360. (Page 368)

— or —

Niyāma, (Sk. niyama & niyāma) way, way to an end or aim, esp. to salvation, right way (sammatta°); method, manner, practice S. I, 196; III, 225 (sammatta°); A. I, 122; Sn. 371 (°dassin=sammatta-niyāmabhūtassa maggassa dassāvin SnA 365); Nd1 314 (°avakkanti); Nd2 358 (=cattāro maggā); Ps. II, 236 sq. (sammatta° okkamati); Pug. 13, 15; Vbh. 342.—niyāmena (Instr.) adv. in this way, by way of, according to J. I, 278; IV, 139, 414 (suta° as he had heard); DhA. I, 79; II, 9, 21; VvA. 4; PvA. 260; Kvu trs. 383.—aniyāmena (see also aniyāmena) without order, aimlessly, at random J. V, 337. (Page 368)

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

niyama (नियम).—m (S) A rule, law, ordinance, appointment, regulation, statute. 2 A regular practice or custom. 3 Established order or method. 4 Any religious observance voluntarily practised; as fasting, watching, pilgrimage &c., any act of supererogatory piety: also any obligatory religious observance. 5 An engagement; an appointment; a matter fixed or settled.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

niyama (नियम).—m A rule, law. A regular practice Any religious observance voluntarily practised or obligatory.

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

Niyama (नियम).—1 Restraining, checking.

2) Taming, subduing.

3) Confining, preventing.

4) A restraint, check; वाचि नियमः (vāci niyamaḥ) U.2.2; अधर्मानियमः (adharmāniyamaḥ) Ms.8.122.

5) Restriction, limitation; Mb.14.13.11.

6) A rule or precept, law (in general), usage; नायमेकान्ततो नियमः (nāyamekāntato niyamaḥ) Ś. B.

7) Regularity; कुसुमसुकुमारमूर्तिर्दधती नियमेन तनुतरं मध्यम् (kusumasukumāramūrtirdadhatī niyamena tanutaraṃ madhyam) Ratn. 1.2.

8) Certainty, ascertainment.

9) An agreement, promise, vow, engagement.

1) Necessity, obligation.

11) Any voluntary or self-imposed religious observance (dependent on external conditions); [The earliest explanation of this expression is the one found in the ŚB. on MS.4.2.24. cf. कोऽयं नियमः । अनियतस्य नियतता । प्रयोगाङ्गतया सर्वे देशाः प्राप्नुवन्ति, न तु समच्चयेन । यदा समो न तदा विषमः । यदा विषमो न तदा समः । स एष समः प्राप्तश्चाप्राप्तश्च । यदा न प्राप्तः स पक्षो विधिं प्रयोजयति (ko'yaṃ niyamaḥ | aniyatasya niyatatā | prayogāṅgatayā sarve deśāḥ prāpnuvanti, na tu samaccayena | yadā samo na tadā viṣamaḥ | yadā viṣamo na tadā samaḥ | sa eṣa samaḥ prāptaścāprāptaśca | yadā na prāptaḥ sa pakṣo vidhiṃ prayojayati). This is very nicely stated in the Vārttika--'नियमः पाक्षिके सति (niyamaḥ pākṣike sati)']; R.1.94; Ki.5.4; (see Malli. on Śi.13.23).

12) Any minor observance or lesser vow, a duty prescribed to be done, but which is not so obligatory as a यम (yama) q. v. शौचमिज्या तपो दानं स्वाध्यायोपस्थनिग्रहः । व्रतमौनोपवासं च स्नानं च नियमा दशा (śaucamijyā tapo dānaṃ svādhyāyopasthanigrahaḥ | vratamaunopavāsaṃ ca snānaṃ ca niyamā daśā) || Atri.

13) Penance, devotion, religious austerities; नियमविघ्न- कारिणी (niyamavighna- kāriṇī) Ś.1; R.15.74.

14) (In Mīm. phil.) A rule or precept which lays down or specifies something which, in the absence of that rule, would be optional; विधिरत्यन्तमप्राप्तौ नियमः पाक्षिके सति (vidhiratyantamaprāptau niyamaḥ pākṣike sati).

15) (In Yoga phil.) Restraint of the mind, the second of the 8 principal steps of meditation in Yoga; दशैते नियमाः प्रोक्ता योगशास्त्र- विशारदैः (daśaite niyamāḥ proktā yogaśāstra- viśāradaiḥ) Tantrasāra.

16) (In Rhet.) A poetical commonp lace or convention, as the description of the cuckoo in spring, peacocks in the rains &c.

17) Defining, definition.

18) Keeping down, lowering (as the voice).

19) Keeping secret; मन्त्रस्य नियमं कुर्याः (mantrasya niyamaṃ kuryāḥ) Mb.5. 141.2.

2) Effort (yatna); यथैते नियमं पौराः कुर्वन्त्यस्मिन्निवर्तने (yathaite niyamaṃ paurāḥ kurvantyasminnivartane) Mb.2.46.2. (niyamena as a rule, invariably).

Derivable forms: niyamaḥ (नियमः).

--- OR ---

Niyāma (नियाम).—

1) Restraint.

2) A religious vow.

3) A boatman.

Derivable forms: niyāmaḥ (नियामः).

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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Relevant definitions

Search found 74 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Niyamanishtha
Niyamaniṣṭhā (नियमनिष्ठा).—rigid observance of prescribed rites. Niyamaniṣṭhā is a Sanskrit com...
Nityaniyama
Nityaniyama (नित्यनियम).—an invariable rule. Derivable forms: nityaniyamaḥ (नित्यनियमः).Nityani...
Niyamapatra
Niyamapatra (नियमपत्र).—a written agreement. Derivable forms: niyamapatram (नियमपत्रम्).Niyamap...
Van Niyama
vāṅ niyama (वाङ् नियम).—m S (vāk & niyama) vāṅ niścaya m S (vāk & niścaya) A rule imposed or fo...
Dharmaniyama
Dharmaniyama (धर्मनियम) refers to “restriction for an efficacious transfer of meaning” accordin...
Mahaniyama
Mahāniyama (महानियम).—an epithet of Viṣṇu. Derivable forms: mahāniyamaḥ (महानियमः).Mahāniyama i...
Sahacaryaniyama
Sāhacaryaniyama (साहचर्यनियम).—a rule of invariable concomitance.Derivable forms: sāhacaryaniya...
Niyamastha
Niyamastha (नियमस्थ).—a. observing penance; Ku.5.13. Niyamastha is a Sanskrit compound consisti...
Purushaniyama
Puruṣaniyama (पुरुषनियम).—(in gram.) a restriction to a person. Derivable forms: puruṣaniyamaḥ ...
Niyamadharma
Niyamadharma (नियमधर्म).—a law prescribing restraints. Derivable forms: niyamadharmaḥ (नियमधर्म...
Niyamasthiti
Niyamasthiti (नियमस्थिति).—f. steady observance of religious obligations, asceticism. Derivable...
Niyamopama
Niyamopamā (नियमोपमा).—a simile which expressly states that something can be compared only with...
Ishrvari-niyama
īśrvarī-niyama (ईश्र्वरी-नियम) [-nēma-nēmānēma, -नेम-नेमानेम].—m A divine ordi- nance.
Niyamavidhi
Niyamavidhi (नियमविधि).—a religious rite, daily ritual; नियमविधिजलानां बर्हिषां चोप- नेत्री (ni...
Niyamahetu
Niyamahetu (नियमहेतु).—a regulating cause.Derivable forms: niyamahetuḥ (नियमहेतुः).Niyamahetu i...

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