Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Nalu included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Nālu

(four) Various things mentioned in the Purāṇas having some association with four (Nālu) are given below:—

Four distances.

In the case of an elephant one must keep a distance of 1000 kols, a horse 100 kols, horned animals 10 kols, evil people, unli mited number of kols. (1 kol is equal to a metre).

Four Adhikārins.

Manda (the very ordinary), Madhyama (medium standard), Uttama (best) and Uttamottama (the very best).

Four Anubandhas. (Factors).

In philosophy there are four factors called Viṣaya (subject matter), Prayojana (purpose), Śambandha (relationship between factors) and Adhikārin (the deserving or eligible person).

Four Antaḥkaraṇas (Internal organs).

Manas (mind), Buddhi (intellect), Cittam (heart) and Ahaṅkāra (ego). Imagination is the function of the mind, decision that of Buddhi; to retain knowledge gained in orderly form is the function of Cittam and self-respect that of Ahaṅkāra.

Four Anvavāyas.

Satyam (truthfulness), Dama (Self control), Ārjavam (straightforwardness) and Ānṛśaṃsyam (not to be cruel).

Anvavedas Four.

Yajña (sacrifical offerings), Dāna (alms-giving, gifts), Adhyayana (learning) and Tapas (penance).

Four Apātrīkaraṇas.

(Not suited to the particular station or place in life). Brahmins are forbidden from receiving bribes, engaging in trades, service of Śūdras and uttering lies.

Abhinayas Four. (Acting).

Āṅgikam (where gestures and bodily actions are used to convey ideas). Sāttvika Subjective feelings expressed by perpiration etc. Āhāryam (extraneous), Vācikam (by words of mouth).

Abhyāsaviṣayas Four.

(Subjects for practice and training). Vinaya (humility), Damana (control of mind), Indriyanigraha (controlling the sense-organs) and Bhūtadayā (kindness).

Amṛtas Four. (Nectar).

Good wife, talk of children, present from King and honourable food.

Alaṅkāras Four. (Ornaments).

For the stars, Moon; for women, husband; for earth, King and for all, education (learning).

Alaṅkārasādhanas Four.

According to rhetorics, Atiśaya (excellence), Sāmya (simile), Vāstavam (matter of fact, as it is) and Śleṣa (one word with two meanings) are the Alaṅkārasādhanas.

Avasthās Four. (States, conditions).

A. Śaiśavam (childhood), Kaumāram (boyhood), Yauvanam (youth) and Vārdhakyam (old age). B. Jāgrat (wakefulness), Svapnam (dream), Suṣupti (sleep) and Turīyam (being one with the supreme soul).

Astraprayogalakṣyas Four. (Objects of shooting arrows).

Sthiram, Calam, Calācalam, Dvayacalam.

When the archer and the object of his shooting remain motionless the object is called Sthiram. When the object is moving but the archer is not, the object is called Calam. When the case is just the opposite of the above it is Calācalam. When both are moving it is called Dvayacalam.

Ākhyāyikāguṇas Four. (Factors of the novel).

Kathābandha (plot or theme), Pātraprakaṭanam (exposition of characters), Rasapuṣṭi (sentiment) and Gadyarīti (prose style).

Ābharaṇas Four (Ornaments).

For man, shape or form; for form, quality or merit; for quality, knowledge or wisdom and for wisdom, patience or forbearance.

Āyudhas Four. (Weapons).

Mukta, Amukta, Muktāmukta and Yantramukta. (See under Dhanurveda).

Āvaraṇas Four. (Covering, Protection).

For earth the sea, for house the compound wall, for country the King, for women chastity.

Āhārādis Four.

(Food etc.). Āhāra (food), Nīhāra (Evacuation), Maithuna (sexual act), Nidrā (sleep).

Āhāravastus Four. (edibles).

Khādyam (eaten by munching with teeth and chewing), Peyam (that which is drunk), Lehyam (licked with the tongue) and Bhojyam (that which is not included in the above three).

Ṛṇas Four.

(Obligations, debts). Debts due to Devas, Ṛṣis, Pitṛs and Men. One pays back one’s debts to Devas by performing yajñas. By Svādhyāya (selfstudy) and tapas one pays the debt due to Ṛṣis; by procreation of children and libation offerings that due to Pitṛs and by truthfulness, hospitality etc. that due to people are repaid.

Ṛtviks Four.

Adhvaryu, Udgātā, Hotā and Brahmā. The first of the four should be an erudite scholar in Yajurveda, the second in Sāmaveda, the third in Atharvaveda and the fourth in all the four Vedas.

Kavis Four. (Poets).

He who boasts about himself in secret is called Udātta; he who cries down others and indulges in self-praise is known as Uddhata; he who proclaims others' merits is called Prauḍha and he who shows humility is called Vinīta.

Kukkuṭaguṇas Four. (Traits of the Cock).

To rise early in the morning, to struggle for existence, to share whatever is got with relations and to work and earn one’s own food—these are the qualities of the Cock.

Grāhyas Four. (Acceptables).


Nectar even from poison, good advice even from boys, good action even from enemies and noble and chaste brides even from low families are to be welcomed.


Literacy (learning of alphabets) should be accepted from brahmins, food from mother, pan from wife and bangles from King.

Caturaṅgas Four.

Elephant, Horse, Chariot and Infantry.

Āśramas Four.

Brahmacarya (student life), Gārhasthya (married life), Vānaprastha (anchorite, forest-life) and Sannyāsa (Renunciation).

Yugas Four.

Kṛta, Tretā, Dvāpara and Kali.

Vargas Four.

Dharma, Artha, Kāma and Mokṣa.

Upāyas Four.

(Expedients). Sāma, Dāna, Bheda, Daṇḍa.

Cikitsāpādas Four.

(Four elements in the treatment of patients). Vaidya (doctor), Rogin (patient), Auṣadham (medicine) and Paricāraka (attendant).

Jātis Four. (Castes).

Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra.

Tyājyas Four. (things to be shunned).


Horse returning after bath, elephant in its rut, love-lorn bull and wicked scholar.


Evil action, unhealthy region, evil wife and bad foods.

Dānas Four. (Gifts).

Gifts daily given without expecting return or result is Nityadāna. Gifts given to scholars (pundits) for the sake of alleviation of or redemption from sin is Naimittikadāna. Gifts given for welfare and prosperity is Kāmyakadāna. Offering made to propitiate God is Vimala.

Nāyakas Four. (Heroes)

Dhīrodātta, Dhīroddhata, Dhīralalita, Dhīraśānta.

Nārīs Four. (Women).

Padminī, Śaṅkhinī, Citriṇī, and Hastinī.

Pramāṇas Four. (Means of valid knowledge),

Pratyakṣa, Anumāna, Upamāna, and Śabda.

Mokṣas Four. (Salvation).

Sālokya, Sāmīpya, Sārūpya and Sāyujya.

Four Yogas.

Jñānayoga, Bhaktiyoga, Karmayoga and Dhyānayoga.

Four Śatrus (Enemies).

Mother leading an immoral life; father who incurs debt; foolish son and beautiful wife.

Four Śāstras.

Nītiśāstra, Tarkaśāstra, Manusmṛti and Kāmaśāstra.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: