Eastern Spirituality

Glossary Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Nachiketa (Sanskrit: Naciketa), is the child protagonist in an ancient Hindu fable about the nature of the soul and Brahman. The story is told in the Katha Upanishad (c. 5th century BCE), though the name has several earlier references. He was taught Self-knowledge, the separation of the human soul (the supreme Self) from the body, by the god of Death, Yama. Nachiketa is noted for his rejection of material desires which are ephemeral, and for his single-minded pursuit of the path of realising Brahman / Moksha i.e. emancipation of the soul from rebirth.

The name Nachiketa, (nAchiketas, that which is unperceived) "refers to the quickening Spirit that lies within all things like fire, latent in wood, the spirit that gives, the unquenchable thirst for the unknown." Nachiketa was a son of the sage Vājashravasa (famed for donations).

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Nāda yoga is an ancient Indian metaphysical system. It is both a philosophical system, a medicine, and a form of yoga. The system's theoretical and practical aspects are based on the premise that the entire cosmos and all that exists in the cosmos, including human beings, consists of sound vibrations, called nāda. This concept holds that it is the sound energy in motion rather than of matter and particles which form the building blocks of the cosmos.

Nāda yoga is also a way to approach with reverence and respond to sound. Sound and music is in this context, something more than just the sensory properties and sources of sensuous pleasure, sound and music is considered also to play the role as a potential medium to achieve a deeper unity with both the outer and the inner cosmos.

Nāda yoga's use of sound vibrations and resonances are also used to pursue palliative effects on various problematic psychological and spiritual conditions. It is also employed to raise the level of awareness of the postulated energy centers called chakra.

Music has been used by most Indian saints, prophets as an important and powerful tool in the quest for the achievement of nirvana; notable name to be mentioned here include Thyagaraja, Kabir, Meerabai, Namdeo, Purandaradasa and Tukaram.

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Nerve channel.

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Nag Panchami is a traditional worship of snakes or serpents observed by Hindus throughout India and also in Nepal. The worship is offered on the fifth day of bright half of Lunar month of Shravan (July/August), according to the Hindu calendar. The abode of snakes is believed to be patal lok, (the seven realms of the universe located below the earth) and lowest of them is also called Naga-loka, the region of the Nagas, as part of the creation force and their blessings are sought for the welfare of the family. Serpent deity made of silver, stone or wood or the painting of snakes on the wall are given a bath with milk and then revered.

According to Hindu puranic literature, Kashyapa, son of Lord Brahma, the creator had four consorts and the third wife was Kadroo who belonged to the Naga race of the Pitru Loka and she gave birth to the Nagas; among the other three, the first wife gave birth to Devas, the second to Garuda and the fourth to Daityas.

In the Mahabharata epic story, Astika, the Brahmin son of Jaratkarus, who stopped the Sarpa Satra of Janamejaya, king of the Kuru empire which lasted for 12 years is well documented. This yagna was performed by Janamejaya to decimate the race of all snakes, to avenge for the death of his father Parikshit due to snake bite of Takshaka, the king of snakes. The day that the yagna (fire sacrifice) was stopped, due to the intervention of the Astika, was on the Shukla Paksha Panchami day in the month of Shravan when Takshaka, the king of snakes and his remaining race at that time were saved from decimation by the Sarpa Satra yagna. Since that day, the festival is observed as Nag Panchami.

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Nāga is the Sanskrit and Pāli word for a minor deity taking the form of a very large snake—specifically the king cobra, found in Hindu and Buddhist mythology, Jainism and Sikhism. The use of the term nāga is often ambiguous, as the word may also refer, in similar contexts, to one of several human tribes known as or nicknamed "Nāgas"; to elephants; and to ordinary snakes, particularly the King Cobra and the Indian Cobra, the latter of which is still called nāg in Hindi and other languages of India. A female nāga is a nāgī or nāgiṇī.

Example via www.ramdass.org: Story About Sombari Maharaj

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The Naga are traditionally considered one of the ancient most kshatriya (warrior) tribes of India and to have spread throughout India during the period of the epic Mahabharata. The demi-god tribe called Suparnas (in which Garuda belonged) were arch-rivals of the Nagas.

  • The Great Serpent Ananta (Shesha) was the first among all the Naga kings. Thiru-Anantha-Puram is known as the adobe of Great Serpent Ananta. References are found as Kerala was mentioned as Patala the Nether world in far ancient history. The Nair and pedireddla clans are known as the descendants of Great Serpent Ananta.
  • The second Naga chief Vasuki had the kingdom near Kailasa (hence the connection of Vasuki with lord Siva).
  • The third chief Takshaka, in Takshasila both not far from Anantnag.
  • The kingdoms of other Nagas like Karkotaka and Airavata (near Iravati River (Ravi), one among the five rivers of Punjab) were also not far away.
  • Arjuna's wife Ulupi was from one of such Naga kingdom, located presumably in the Gangetic Plain. There are now many Naga worshiping places in South India, especially in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

Naga race belonging to northern region of present India was almost exterminated in a genocide by Janamejaya, the Kuru king in Arjuna's line, who conducted the massacre of Nagas at Takshasila. As a result, a large number of people from Northern Naga clan has sought refuge in Kerala and inhabited in places called Mannarasala Nagaraja Temple and Puranattukara. This massacre was stopped by Astika, a Brahmin whose mother was a Naga (Vasuki's sister Jaratkaru).

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Nagavanshi dynasty is one of the Kshatriya dynasties of India. It includes a number of Jats and Rajput clans. The worshippers of Nāga (serpent) were known as Nāgā or Nāgil. The descendants of Nagas were called Nagavanshi.

The Nagavanshi (Sanskrit: nāgavaṃśī "of nāga-descent) or Nagavanshi dynasty were rulers in the area of the present Chhattisgarh state from around the 11th century CE to the 14th century. A copper plate inscription from the Gupta Empire era relates that nāgas were elevated to the kshatriya caste. The copper plates of this period relate to the Nagas being defeated by the Guptas and subsequently being married into them. One example is that of King Chandragupta II, who married Queen Kuberanaga. The Nagas were mentioned as an snake-worshipping tribe of ancient India. Puranic legends constructed the genealogy of the Nagavanshis as a sub-clan of the Suryavansha. Nāga-worshippers were supposedly known as Nāgā or Nāgil. Nair, Bunt and some Rajput and Jat people claim to be of Nagvanshi origin.

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Nahusha was a well-known king of the Aila dynasty. He was the son of Ayu, the eldest son of Pururavas and Prabha, the daughter of Svarbhanu. Nahusha reigned from Pratishthana. He married Viraja, the daughter of the Pitrs. They had six or seven sons, according to different Puranas. His eldest son Yati became a muni (ascetic). He was succeeded by his second son Yayati. In another variation of his story, he is said to have married Ashokasundari, a regional goddess who is said to be daughter of Shiva and Parvati and is said to have given birth to Yayati and a hundred daughters of Nahusha.

This king is mentioned by Manu as having come into conflict with the Brahmins, and his story is repeated several times with variations in different parts of the Mahabharata as well as in the Puranas. According to Manu "By sacrifices, austere fervour, sacred study, self-restraint, and valour, Nahusha acquired the undisturbed sovereignty of the three worlds. Through want of virtuous humility the great king Nahusha was utterly ruined".

One version of the narrative says that he aspired to the possession of Indrani, wife of Indra, when that god had concealed himself for having killed a Brahmin, Vritra. A thousand great Rishis bore the palanquin of Nahusha, and on one occasion he touched with his foot the great Agastya, who was carrying him. The sage in his anger cried out, "Fall, thou serpent," and Nahusha fell from his glorious car and became a serpent.

Agastya, at the supplication of Nahusha, put a limit to the curse; and according to one version, the doomed man was released from it by the instrumentality of Yudhishthira, when he threw off "his huge reptile form, became clothed in a celestial body, and ascended to heaven."

Sister Nivedita also has mentioned about the king Nahusa in one story "The Worth of Kine" in relation to the great sage Bharadwaja who was accidentally caught in a net along with fish by fishermen who were fishing in a river. The fishermen took the rishi Chyavana to king Nahusha and asked him to pay the price for the fish and the rishi, with the king offering a cow in return for the sage.

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Naimisha Forest or Naimiṣāraṇya was an ancient forest mentioned in the epic Mahabharata and the Puranas. It lay on the banks of the Gomati River (in Uttar Pradesh) . It lay between the Panchala Kingdom and the Kosala Kingdom. The whole narration of Mahabharata took place at Naimisha forests, during a conclave of sages headed by sage Saunaka, who gathered for a sacrifice to the cause of world peace. In this conclave Ugrasrava Sauti narrated the entire Mahabharata, the story of the great kings of Bharata dynasty to Saunaka. The central part of this story was the history of Kauravas and Pandavas and their battle at Kurukshetra known as Kurukshetra War.

In this forest, the famous Shaunaka rishi, who also wrote the shlokas in praise of Lord Shiva, chanted all the verses of the modern day Mahabharata, which was written by sage Ugrasravas Sauti, in one breath.

Earlier mention of Naimiṣāraṇya is found in Rāmāyaṇa. The colophon of yuddha-kanda (sixth) of Rāmāyaṇa mentions that Lav and Kush, the sons of Ram narrated the epic by Valmiki in the Naimiṣāraṇya in His Ashvamedha-yajna.

Geographically mapping to a presently known location, Naimisha forest is said to be in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh state in India.

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Naivedhya a Sanskrit word meaning 'offering to God' in the stricter sense of the words. It could be any offering, tangible or intangible. A resolution, a promise or even a willingness to do, perform or restrict from certain things can also be connoted as offering to God.

Naivedyam means, is food offered to a Hindu deity as part of a worship ritual, before eating it. As such, tasting during preparation or eating the food before offering it to God is forbidden. The food is placed before a deity and prayers are offered. Then the food is consumed as a holy offering. The offerings may include cooked food, sugarcane, and fruits. Vegetarian food is usually offered to the deity and later distributed to the devotees who are present in the temple. Non-Vegetarian is prohibited in most of the temples as of now, but there are evidences for non-vegetarian food as offerings to God. Offering to Goddess Kali include animals, such as goats or roosters,which are slaughtered in the temple precincts and offered. Many Hindus offer cooked food or some fruits to a picture or idol of a deity before they eat it.

God, prayers and wishes are more a belief and hence an offering to God is an extension of this belief. However, one needs to differentiate Naivedhya from 'Prasad'. Prasad is actually what one get from the God. The meaning of these words is usually attributed to food as we invariably offer to and receive from the house of Gods in the form of eatables.

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Fourth brother of the Pandavas. In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Nakula ('most handsome in the lineage') was fourth of the five Pandava brothers. Nakula and Sahadeva were twins born to Madri, who had invoked the Ashwini Kumaras using Kunti's boon. Nakula and Sahadeva are referred as Asvineya, as the two physicicans of gods.

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King of Nishadha who lost his kingdom in a game of dice and deserted his wife Damayanti because of a curse.

Nala, a character in Hindu mythology, is the king of Nishadha Kingdom, son of Veerasena. Nala is known for his skill with horses and culinary expertise. He marries princess Damayanti, of Vidarbha Kingdom, and their story is told in the Mahabharata. His main weakness is gambling. He is possessed by the Kali (demon).

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An exclamation showing reverence; devotion. Often placed in front of the name of an object of veneration, e.g., a Buddha's name or a sutra (Nam(u) Myōhō Renge Kyō), to express devotion to it. Defined in Sino-Japanese as kimyō: to base one's life upon, to devote (or submit) one's life to.

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Nanda is head of a tribe of cowherds referred as Holy Gwals and foster-father of Krishna, who was allegedly given to him by Vasudeva. Nanda was married to Yasoda. Krishna derives his name Nandalal (meaning son of Nanda) from him.

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Nandi is the white bull which Shiva rides, and the leader of the Ganas. The white color of the bull symbolizes purity and justice.

Nandi is the name for the bull which serves as the mount (Sanskrit: Vahana) of the god Shiva and as the gatekeeper of Shiva and Parvati. In Hindu Religion, he is the chief guru of eighteen masters (18 Siddhar) including Patanjali and Thirumular. Temples venerating Shiva display stone images of a seated Nandi, generally facing the main shrine. There are also a number of temples dedicated solely to Nandi.

The application of the name Nandi to the bull (Sanskrit: vṛṣabha) is in fact a development of recent centuries, as Gouriswar Bhattacharya has documented in an illustrated article entitled "Nandin and Vṛṣabha". The name Nandi was earlier widely used instead for an anthropomorphic deity who was one of Shiva’s two door-keepers, the other being Mahākāla. The doorways of pre-tenth-century North Indian temples are frequently flanked by images of Mahākāla and Nandi, and it is in this role of Shiva’s watchman that Nandi figures in Kālidāsa’s poem the Kumārasambhava.

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Vasishtha's divinely beautiful cow, child of Kamadhenu.

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Arjuna or Dhananjaya.

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Narada (Sanskrit: Nārada, possibly derived from "năra", meaning man) is a Vedic sage who plays a prominent role in a number of Hindu texts, notably the Ramayana and the Bhagavata Purana. Narada is arguably ancient India's most travelled sage with the ability to visit distant worlds and realms (Sanskrit lokas). He is depicted carrying a Veena, with the name Mahathi and is generally regarded as one of the great masters of the ancient musical instrument. This instrument is known by the name "mahathi" which he uses to accompany his singing of hymns, prayers and mantras as an act of devotion to Lord Vishnu. Narada is described as both wise and mischievous, creating some of Vedic literature's more humorous tales. Vaishnav enthusiasts depict him as a pure, elevated soul who glorifies Vishnu through his devotional songs, singing the names Hari and Narayana, and therein demonstrating bhakti yoga. The Narada Bhakti Sutra is attributed to him.

Narada is also said to have orated the maxims of the Nāradasmṛti (100 BC – 400 CE), which has been called the "juridical text par excellence" and represents the only Dharmaśāstra text which deals solely with juridical matters and ignoring those of righteous conduct and penance.

Karnataka sangita pitamaha ,The great adi purandaradasaru is said to be the incarnation of the sage narada.

Tamil cultural proponents insist that sage Narada was invoked by legendary Carnatic musician, Thyagaraja, to produce his various compositions.

In the Mahabharata, Narada plays a critical role in many instances - his knowledge is used in critical situations to arrive at right conclusions. For example, it is Narada who requests the Pandava brothers to create a rule for sharing their wife Draupadi, so that they do not end up fighting for her company.

The Mahabharata explains Narada's qualifications and experience in vivid detail - He was conversant with the Vedas and the Upanishads and was acquainted with history and Puranas. He had thorough knowledge of the six Angas - Pronunciation, grammar, prosody, explanation of basic terms, description of religious rites and astronomy. All celestial beings worshiped him for his knowledge - he is supposed to be well versed in all that occurred in ancient Kalpas (time cycles) and is termed to be conversant with Nyaya (logic) and the truth of moral science. He was a perfect master in re-conciliatory texts and differentiating in applying general principles to particular cases. He could swiftly interpret contraries by references to differences in situation. He was eloquent, resolute, intelligent and possessor of powerful memory. He knew the science of morals, politics, skilled in drawing inference from evidence, and very proficient in distinguishing inferior things from superior ones. He was competent in judging the correctness and incorrectness of complex syllogistic statements consisting of 5 proponents. He was capable of arriving at definite conclusions about religion, wealth, pleasure and salvation. He possessed knowledge of this whole universe, above it, below it and everything surrounding it. He was capable of answering successively at Vrihaspati himself, while arguing. He was the master of the Sankhya and Yoga systems of philosophy, conversant with sciences of war and treaty and proficient in drawing conclusions of judging things not within a direct knowledge. He knew about the six sciences of treaty, war, military campaigns, maintenance of posts against the enemy and strategies of ambushes and reserves. He was a thorough master of every branch of learning. He was fond of war and music and was incapable of being repulsed by any science or any course of action.

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Narasimha (IAST: Narasiṁha), Narasingh, Narsingh and Narasingha in derivative languages is an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu and one of Hinduism's most popular deities, as evidenced in early epics, iconography, and temple and festival worship for over a millennium.

Narasiṁha is often visualised as having a human-like torso and lower body, with a lion-like face and claws. This image is widely worshipped in deity form by a significant number of Vaiṣṇava groups. Vishnu assumed this form on top of Himvat mountain(Harivamsa). He is known primarily as the 'Great Protector' who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need. Vishnu is believed to have taken the avatar to destroy the demon king Hiranyakashipu.

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Narayana (Sanskrit: Nārāyaṇa) is the Supreme God (including his different avatars) in Hinduism, venerated as the Supreme Being in Vaishnavism. He is also known as Vishnu and Hari and is venerated as Purushottama or Supreme Purusha in Hindu sacred texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas and the Puranas.

Narayana is the name of God in his infinite all pervading form. Narayana is one of the names of bhagwan shri vishnu or krishna. He is the Supreme Purusha of Purusha Sukta. The Puranas present a seemingly divergent, but accurate description of Narayana (as an Enlightened Supreme Being). The fifth verse of the Narayana Sukta, a hymn in Yajurveda, states that Narayana pervades whatever is seen or heard in this universe from inside and outside alike. Another important translation of Narayana is The One who rests on Water. The waters are called narah, [for] the waters are, indeed, produced by Nara-Narayana (the first Being); as they were his first residence [ayana], he is called Narayana. In Sanskrit, "Nara" can also refer to all human beings or living entities (Jivas). Therefore, another meaning of Narayana is Resting place for all living entities. The close association of Narayana with water explains the frequent depiction of Narayana in Hindu art as standing or sitting on an ocean.

In Hindu sacred texts like Vedas, Puranas etc., Narayana is described as having the divine blue colour of water-filled clouds, four-armed, holding a Padma (lotus flower), mace Kaumodaki, Panchajanya shankha (conch) and a discus weapon Sudarshana Chakra. Narayana is also described in the Bhagavad Gita as having a 'Universal Form' (Vishvarupa)Vishvarupa which is beyond the ordinary limits of human perception or imagination.

Bhagavata Purana declares Narayana as Para Brahman Supreme Lord who creates unlimited universes and enters each one of them as Lord of Universe. Narayana engages in creation of 14 worlds within the universe as Brahma when he deliberately accepts rajas guna. Narayana himself sustains, maintains and preserves the universe as Vishnu when he accepts sattva guna and annihilates the universe at the end of maha-kalpa as Shiva or Rudra when he accepts tamas guna. According to this reference, the holy Trimurti is non-different from Narayana.

Narayana is also venerated as Mukunda which means God who is giver of mukti or Moksha or liberation from cycle of births and deaths in the material world.

Narayana's eternal and supreme abode beyond the material universe is Vaikuntha which is a realm of bliss and happiness. It is also known as Paramapadha, which means final or highest place for liberated souls, where they enjoy bliss and happiness for eternity in the company of supreme lord. Vaikuntha is situated beyond the material universe and hence, cannot be perceived or measured by material science or logic. Sometimes, Ksheera Sagara where Narayana or Vishnu rests on Ananta Shesha is also perceived as local Vaikuntha with in the material universe.

In the Mahabharata, Krishna is often referred to as Narayana and Arjuna as Nara. The epic identifies them both in plural 'Krishnas', or as part incarnations of the earlier incarnations of Vishnu, recalling their mystical identity as Nara-Narayana.

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A charming forest where the Pandavas had halted during their wanderings.

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Narayanastra is the personal missile weapon of Vishnu in his Narayana form, this astra lets loose a powerful tirade of millions of deadly missiles simultaneously.

The Narayanastra (IAST: nārāyaṇastra)(or Narainastra) was the personal weapon of lord Vishnu in his Narayana(or Naraina) form. This astra ("weapon" in Sanskrit) in turn fires a powerful tirade of millions of deadly missiles simultaneously. The intensity of the shower increases with increase in resistance. The only way of defense towards this missile, is to show total submission before the missiles hit. This in turn will cause this weapon to stop and spare the target.

Ashwathama, a Kuru warrior-hero in the epic Mahabharata unleashes this weapon on the Pandava forces. Lord Krishna, who is an Avatar of Vishnu tells the Pandavas and their warriors to drop their weapons and lie down on the ground, so that they all surrender completely to the power of the weapon. It was also said that this weapon can be used only once in a war and if one tries to use it twice, then it would devour the user's own army.

When it was used, Ekadasha (Eleven) Rudras appeared in the sky to destroy Pandavas. Millions of types of weapons like Chakra, Gadha, ultra sharp arrows appeared in rage to destroy them.Who ever tried to offend were destroyed. Shri Krishna who knew how to cool down the Narayanastra advised Pandavas and their army to immediately drop all types and sorts of weapons from their hands and utterly surrender to the great astra of Lord Vishnu. Everybody does the same and survives.

When targeted, the Pandava hero Bhima refuses to surrender thinking that it a cowardice act, and attacks the downpour of fiery arrows. The Narayana weapon concentrates its shower on him, and he gets steadily exhausted. However, he was not killed as Krishna and his brothers restrain him at the right time.

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Narishyanta, in Hindu mythology, was son of Vaivasvata Manu and belongs to solar race of Kshatriyas.

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The Nerbudda river, one of the most important sacred rivers, originating from Amarkantak is believed to have descended from the sky by the order of Lord Shiva. The personified river is variously represented as being daughter of a Rishi named Mekala (from whom she is called Mekala and Mekala-kanya), as a daughter of the moon, as a 'mind-born daughter' of the Somapas, and as sister of the Nagas. It was she who brought Purukutsa to the aid of the Nagas against the Gandharvas, and the grateful snake-gods made her name a charm against the venom of snakes.

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Navadurga, which literally means Nine forms of Goddess Durga, constitute, according to Hindu mythology, the manifestation of Parvati in nine different forms. These nine forms of manifestation are Śailaputrī, Brahmachāriṇī, Chandraghaṇṭā, Kuṣhmāṇḍā, Skandamātā, Kārtyāyanī, Kālarātrī, Mahāgaurī and Siddhidātrī; together worshipped during the Navratri (Nine Divine Nights) celebration in Autumn each year.

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Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navaratri means 'nine nights' in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or "Dussehra" (also spelled Dasara). Navaratri is an important major festival and is celebrated all over India. Diwali the festival of lights is celebrated twenty days after Dasara. Though there are total five types of Navratri that come in a year, but Sharad Navratri is the most popular one. Hence, the term Navratri is being used for Sharad Navratri here.

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Neem Karoli Baba or Neeb Karori Baba (died September 11, 1973), also known to followers as Maharaj-ji, was a Hindu guru and devotee of the Hindu deity Hanuman. He is known outside India for being the guru of a number of Americans who travelled to India in the 1960s and 1970s, the most well-known being the spiritual teachers Ram Dass and Bhagavan Das, and the musicians Krishna Das and Jai Uttal. His ashrams are in Kainchi, Vrindavan, Rishikesh, Shimla, Bhumiadhar, Hanuman Gadi, Lucknow, Delhi in India and in Taos, New Mexico, USA.

Neem Karoli Baba left his home around the time when his youngest child (daughter) was eleven (1958) and wandered extensively throughout northern India as a sadhu. During this time he was known under many names including Lakshman Das, Handi Wallah Baba, and Tikonia Walla Baba. When he did tapasya and sadhana at Bavania in Gujarat, he was known as Tallaiya Baba. In Vrindavan, local inhabitants addressed him by the name of Chamatkari Baba (miracle baba).

He was a lifelong adept of bhakti yoga, and encouraged service to others (seva) as the highest form of unconditional devotion to God.

Neem Karoli Baba Ashram, Taos, New Mexico: www.nkbashram.org

Example video: Maharajji tells Raghvindra Das to "Meditate like Christ"

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Nekkhamma is a Pali word generally translated as "renunciation" or "the pleasure of renunciation" while also conveying more specifically "giving up the world and leading a holy life" or "freedom from lust, craving and desires." In Buddhism's Noble Eightfold Path, nekkhamma is the first practice associated with "Right Intention." In the Theravada list of ten perfections, nekkhamma is the third practice of "perfection." It involves non-attachment (detachment).

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Netā was daughter of Shiva and friend of Manasa Devi.

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Nikāya is a Pāḷi word meaning "volume." It is used like the Sanskrit word āgama "basket" to mean "collection," "assemblage," "class" or "group" in both Pāḷi and Sanskrit. It is most commonly used in reference to the Buddhist texts of the Sutta Piṭaka but can also refer to the monastic divisions of Theravāda Buddhism.

In addition, the term Nikāya is sometimes used in contemporary scholarship to refer to early Buddhist schools.

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Nikumbha is a demon in Hindu mythology and is the son of Kumbhakarna. He was instructed by Kubera to watch over the Pisacas, (a type of evil spirit) and the Nilamata Purana refers to him as "the noble and strong lord of the Pisacas."

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Son of Agni; One of the monkey host placed at the gate guarded by Prahasta.

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Literally "extinction" and/or "extinguishing", is the culmination of the yogi's pursuit of liberation. Nirvana (Sanskrit, also nirvāṇa; Pali: nibbana, nibbāna ) is the earliest and most common term used to describe the goal of the Buddhist path. The term is ambiguous, and has several meanings. The literal meaning is "blowing out" or "quenching."

Hinduism uses the word nirvana to describe the state of moksha, roughly equivalent to heaven. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union with Brahman, the divine ground of existence, and the experience of blissful egolessness.

In Indian religions, the attainment of nirvana is moksha, liberation from samsara, the repeating cycle of birth, life and death.

Example video: Thích Nhất Hạnh discusses the Buddhist concept of Nirvana, fear, mindfulness and more in this short clip.

Example via www.mindpodnetwork.com: Nirvana & Buddhism

Extinction or extinguishing; ultimate enlightenment in the Buddhist tradition. In the Buddhist context nirvana refers to the imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been finally extinguished. This term has commonly been interpreted as the extinction of the "three fires", or "three poisons", passion, (raga), aversion (dvesha) and ignorance (moha or avidyā). When these fires are extinguished, release from the cycle of rebirth (saṃsāra) is attained.

In time, with the development of Buddhist doctrine, other interpretations were given, such as the absence of the weaving (vana) of activity of the mind, the elimination of desire, and escape from the woods, cq. the five skandhas or aggregates.

Buddhist tradition distinguishes between nirvana in this lifetime and nirvana after death. In "nirvana-in-this-lifetime" physical life continues, but with a state of mind that is free from negative mental states, peaceful, happy, and non-reactive. With "nirvana-after-death", paranirvana, the last remains of physical life vanish, and no further rebirth takes place.

Nirvana is the highest aim of the Theravada-tradition. In the Mahayana tradition, the highest goal is Buddhahood, in which there is no abiding in Nirvana, but a Buddha re-enters the world to work for the salvation of all sentient beings.

Although "non-self" and "impermanence" are accepted doctrines within most Buddhist schools, the teachings on nirvana reflect a strand of thought in which nirvana is seen as a transcendental, "deathless" realm, in which there is no time and no "re-death." This strand of thought may reflect pre-Buddhist influences, and has survived especially in Mahayana-Buddhism and the idea of the Buddha-nature.

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Nirvikalpa is a Sanskrit adjective with the general sense of "not admitting an alternative", formed by applying the contra-existential prepositional prefix ("away, without, not") to the term ("alternative, variant thought or conception").

In Raja Yoga, nirvikalpa samadhi is a synonym for Asamprajnata Samadhi, the highest stage of samadhi. Heinrich Zimmer in his book distinguishes Nirvikalpa Samadhi from other states as follows:

Nirvikalpa samādhi, on the other hand, absorption without self-consciousness, is a mergence of the mental activity (cittavṛtti) in the Self, to such a degree, or in such a way, that the distinction (vikalpa) of knower, act of knowing, and object known becomes dissolved — as waves vanish in water, and as foam vanishes into the sea.

Example via www.ramdass.org: Entering the Stream

According to Swami Sivananda, it is also called Nirbija Samadhi:

"Without seeds or Samskaras [...] All the seeds or impressions are burnt by the fire of knowledge [...] all the Samskaras and Vasanas which bring on rebirths are totally fried up. All Vrittis or mental modifications that arise from the mind-lake come under restraint. The five afflictions, viz., Avidya (ignorance), Asmita (egoism), Raga-dvesha (love and hatred) and Abhinivesha (clinging to life) are destroyed and the bonds of Karma are annihilated [...] It gives Moksha (deliverance from the wheel of births and deaths). With the advent of the knowledge of the Self, ignorance vanishes. With the disappearance of the root-cause, viz., ignorance, egoism, etc., also disappear."

In Buddhist philosophy, the technical term nirvikalpa-jñāna is translated by Edward Conze as "undifferentiated cognition". Conze notes that only the actual experience of nirvikalpa-jñāna can prove the reports given of it in scriptures. He describes the term as used in the Buddhist context as follows:

The "undiscriminate cognition" knows first the unreality of all objects, then realizes that without them also the knowledge itself falls to the ground, and finally directly intuits the supreme reality. Great efforts are made to maintain the paradoxical nature of this gnosis. Though without concepts, judgements and discrimination, it is nevertheless not just mere thoughtlessness. It is neither a cognition nor a non-cognition; its basis is neither thought nor non-thought.... There is here no duality of subject and object. The cognition is not different from that which is cognized, but completely identical with it.

A different sense in Buddhist usage occurs in the Sanskrit expression nirvikalpayati (Pali: nibbikappa) that means "makes free from uncertainty (or false discrimination)" = distinguishes, considers carefully.

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A country where Indra, Lord of the gods had lived once disguised as a brahmana. King of the Nishadha was Guha who guarded Rama after he crossed Koshala kingdom on his exile.

The Nishādha peoples were indigenous tribes inhabiting ancient India. The Indo-Aryan peoples of ancient India's Vedic civilization saw the Nishadhas as uncivilized and barbarian peoples. Nishadhas did not follow the Vedic religion, and were involved in a number of wars with Indo-Aryan kingdoms.

Nishada (niśāda) is the name of a kingdom mentioned in the Indian epic Mahabharata. The kingdom belonged to a tribe of the same name.

In the Mahabarata, Nishadas are mentioned as tribes that have the hills and the forests for their abode. They are linked with a king called Vena (See Saraswata Kingdom) who became a slave of wrath and malice, and became unrighteous. Brahmanas slew him. Some of Vena's descendants became Nishadas and some others were called Mlechchhas, who resided on the Vindhya mountains (12,58).

Ekalavya was a king of a Nishada tribe. He attacked Dwaraka once, and was killed by Vasudeva Krishna in the battle. This kingdom was located in Aravalli ranges in Rajasthan state of India, possibly the district named Bhilwara. Other than the kingdom of Ekalavya there were many other Nishada kingdoms.

An 18th century Pahari painting of Nala-Damayanti

Nishadha was the kingdom of the celebrated king Nala, who loved and married Damayanti the princess of Vidarbha Kingdom. The territory of the kingdom is identified with area around the present-day Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh. Nishadha was connected to Dasarna and Kosala as well as with Vidarbha through trade routes.

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The Noble Eightfold Path (Pali: ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo, Sanskrit: āryāṣṭāṅgamārga) is one of the principal teachings of the Buddha, who described it as the way leading to the cessation of suffering (dukkha) and the achievement of self-awakening. It is used to develop insight into the true nature of phenomena (or reality) and to eradicate greed, hatred, and delusion. The Noble Eightfold Path is the fourth of the Buddha's Four Noble Truths; the first element of the Noble Eightfold Path is, in turn, an understanding of the Four Noble Truths. It is also known as the Middle Path or Middle Way.

Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – The Eightfold Path:

All eight elements of the Path begin with the word "right," which translates the word samyañc (in Sanskrit) or sammā (in Pāli). These denote completion, togetherness, and coherence, and can also suggest the senses of "perfect" or "ideal." 'Samma' is also translated as "wholesome," "wise" and "skillful."

In Buddhist symbolism, the Noble Eightfold Path is often represented by means of the dharma wheel (dharmachakra), whose eight spokes represent the eight elements of the path.

  1. Right View
  2. Right Thought
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Living
  6. Right Effort.
  7. Right Mindfulness.
  8. Right Concentration. The last 3 constitute the path of Concentration (Pāli, Sanskrit: samādhi)
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The Nyingma tradition is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism (the other three being the Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug). "Nyingma" literally means "ancient," and is often referred to as Ngagyur (Wylie: snga 'gyur, "school of the ancient translations" or "old school") because it is founded on the first translations of Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Old Tibetan in the eighth century. The Tibetan alphabet and grammar was actually created for this endeavour.

In modern times, the Nyingma lineage has been centered in Kham.

Example via www.ramdass.org: The 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje

Example via www.mindpodnetwork.com: Jiddu Krishnamurti Talks With Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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