Niyama, Niyāma: 27 definitions

Introduction

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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga

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)
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 and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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: valmikiramayan.net: Srimad Valmiki Ramayana

Niyama (नियम) refers to “one’s mind kept in restraint”, according to the Rāmāyaṇa chapter 2.28. Accordingly:—“[...] soothening with kind words to Sītā, when eyes were blemished with tears, the virtuous Rāma spoke again as follows, for the purpose of waking her turn back: ‘[...] The celestials, the ancestors, the guests who arrive are to be worshiped always according to the prescribed rites. Bath is to be performed three times a day at appropriate time by the one moving in the forest, with one’s mind kept in restraint (niyama). Hence, living in a forest is very much a misery’”.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Niyama (नियम) refers to one of the various limbs of Yoga, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, the eleventh chapter contains the dialogue of Śiva and Skanda; the glories of the devotees of Śiva and the devotion to Śiva. The systems of Yoga along with its limbs Yama, Niyama, Ahiṃsā, Brahmacarya, Aparigraha, Svādhāya, Saṃtoṣa, Śauca, Prāṇāyāma and Samādhi are described while various kinds of impediments to the practice of Yoga and the means of overcoming them are explained in the thirteenth chapter.

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)

Source: Srimatham: Mīmāṃsa: The Study of Hindu Exegesis

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”.

context information

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)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of 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.—.

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)

Source: academia.edu: The Śāradātilakatantra on Yoga

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).

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)

Source: archive.org: Isvara Samhita Vol 1

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.

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)

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Education: Systems & Practices

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.

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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Kavya (poetry)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

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.

context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Niyama (नियम) refers to:—One of the practices of aṣṭāṅga-yoga (see Aṣṭāṅga-yoga). (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

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

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

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.).

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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

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

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

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

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's 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)

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

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

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

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

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Niyāma (नियाम).—also nyāma, q.v., m. (= Pali and Sanskrit Gr. niyāma; Sanskrit niyama), fixed regulation; certainty, unchangeableness: °maḥ Mahāvyutpatti 6501 = Tibetan ṅes par ḥgyur ba, what is certain to come to be; dharma-niyāma-tā Mahāvyutpatti 1714 = Tibetan chos mi ḥgyur ba ñid, the doctrine's being unchangeably the same; Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 53.9 (verse); Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra 143.13; citta- nagaraniyāma-vidhijñena Gaṇḍavyūha 431.8 (fixed, established rules; text °vidha°, but compare -vidhijñena line 9); bodhisattva- niyāma Daśabhūmikasūtra 11.27 (°maṃ jāto, born into the fixed way of Bodhisattvas); Daśabhūmikasūtra.g. 54(80).11; sattvān niyāmam avakrā- mayitum Daśabhūmikasūtra 63.14 (see Śikṣāsamuccaya, below, and compare Pali (niyāma)- avakkanti, Critical Pali Dictionary), to make creatures enter into the fixed course, or unchangeable condition; yaiś ca…bhikṣubhir anavakrānta-niyāmair etad bhojanaṃ bhuktaṃ teṣām evāvakrāntaniyāmānāṃ pariṇaṃsyati Śikṣāsamuccaya 270.4—5. See on this and nyāma Wogihara, Lex. 28 ff. There is no doubt that these two words are the same, tho Tibetan and Chin. have a different (and fantastic) explanation of nyāma; indeed, according to Wogihara, still other interpretations occur in northern Buddhist (Chin.) texts. They are certainly negligible. Most of the above passages are prose.

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

Niyama (नियम).—m.

(-maḥ) 1. Agreement, contract, engagement, assent, promise. 2. Any religious observance voluntarily practised, as fasting, watching, pilgrimage, praying, &c. voluntary penance, meritorious or supererogatory piety. 3. A religious observanace or obligation in general. 4. Certainty, ascertainment. 5. Rule, precept. 6. Usage, practice. 7. Common places in poetry, conventional expression, as notice of the Birch in describing the Himalaya, of the Sandal tree in describing the Malaya mountain, the whiteness of vesture, blackness of hair, the cry of the peacock in the rains, of the kokila in spring, &c, E. ni before, yam to refrain, affix ghañ vā hrasvaḥ .

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Niyāma (नियाम).—m.

(-maḥ) 1. Religious act, penance, fasting, &c. especially if an act of supererogation. 2. Restraint. E. ni before, yam to restrain, affix ghañḥ see niyama.

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

Niyama (नियम).—[ni-yam + a], m. 1. Restraining, preventing, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 8, 122. 2. Restriction, Mahābhārata 1, 6452. 3. Certainty, [Pañcatantra] ii. [distich] 53. 4. Any religious observance voluntarily practised, as fasting, pilgrimage, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 4, 204.

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

Niyama (नियम).—[masculine] = [preceding] + limitation, restriction to ([locative] or prati); definition, statement; fixed rule or law, strict necessity; promise, vow; voluntary restraint, minor duty ([ritual or religion]); common-place ([rhetorie]). Instr. & [ablative] necessarily, absolutely, by all means.

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

1) Niyama (नियम):—[=ni-yama] [from ni-yam] m. restraining, checking, holding back, preventing, controlling, [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] keeping down, lowering (as the voice), [Ṛgveda-prātiśākhya]

3) [v.s. ...] limitation, restriction (mena ind. with restrictions id est. under certain conditions, [Caraka])

4) [v.s. ...] reduction or restriction to (with [locative case] or prati), determination, definition, [Gṛhya-sūtra and śrauta-sūtra; Prātiśākhya; Mahābhārata; Rājataraṅgiṇī]

5) [v.s. ...] any fixed rule or law, necessity, obligation (mena ind. and māt ind. as a rule, necessarily, invariably, surely), [Varāha-mihira; Rāmāyaṇa; Suśruta] etc.

6) [v.s. ...] agreement, contract, promise, vow, [Rāmāyaṇa; Kathāsaritsāgara]

7) [v.s. ...] any act of voluntary penance or meritorious piety ([especially] a lesser vow or minor observance dependent on external conditions and not so obligatory as yama q.v.), [Taittirīya-āraṇyaka; Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

8) [v.s. ...] a [particular] process applied to minerals ([especially] to quicksilver [wrong reading] yāma), [Catalogue(s)]

9) [v.s. ...] (in [rhetoric]) a common-place, any conventional expression or usual comparison

10) [v.s. ...] (in Mīmāṃsā [philosophy]) a rule or precept (laying down or specifying something otherwise optional)

11) [v.s. ...] restraint of the mind (the 2nd of the 8 steps of meditation in Yoga)

12) [v.s. ...] performing five positive duties, [Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 239]

13) [v.s. ...] Name of Viṣṇu, [Mahābhārata]

14) [v.s. ...] Necessity or Law personified as a son of Dharma and Dhṛti, [Purāṇa]

15) Niyāma (नियाम):—[=ni-yāma] [from ni-yam] m. = niyama, [Pāṇini 3-3, 63]

16) [v.s. ...] a sailor, boatman (cf. next and nir-yāma).

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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