Sanskrit: Navanish

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by gole, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. gole Member

    I would like to know the meaning of the sanskrit word Navanish.

    According to the Sanskrit Dictionary found here

    Navan=nine + ish=lord, So, Navanish=Nine Gods/Lords
    Nava=new + nish=night, So, Navanish=New night

    Still, from this site

    Nish = Supreme, So, would that make Navanish=New Supreme

    Could somebody please tell me what meaning(s) the name Navanish holds?
  2. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    There is a possibility that it's a contraction of nava "new, young" (or nava "nine" or nava "praise") + niishah "overpowering," but that seems unlikely. I don't think any of the possible meanings you provided would be correct. I'm tempted to say that it's a modern, nonsensical name. Most baby naming sites also leave that name undefined.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  3. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    Hi :)

    Could we possibly have it in Devanagari?

    I don't really buy the second posibility. निशा niśā- is 'night'. This can become निश niśa- as a final memeber of a compound, but this could only be if it were a bahuvrīhi compound referring to some other entity. Now, this is perfectly appropriate for names, for example, there is a sage in the Mahābhārata called बृहदश्व bṛhadaśva-, which means "(he who has) a great horse". Literally, the compound just means "great horse," but - applied to a person - it gains the meaning "someone who has a great horse." In English, it's similar to "the great-horsed-one." But it's difficult to imagine what meaning you could gain from "the new-nighted-one" or "he who has/is/is related to a new night." I could be wrong, but I can't really make this interpretation work. As for निश् niś-, the paradigm is defective. In the case of निश् niś-, the word is not present in Vedic Sanskrit and - according to Monier Williams - it occurs only in some weak cases as "निशि niśi, °शस् -śas, °शौ -śau, °शोस् -śos [and निड्भ्यस् niḍbhyas Pāṇini 6-1 , 63]"

    I checked every variant of "nish" I could think of (viz. निश् niś, निश niśa, निशा niśā, निष् niṣ, निष niṣa, निषा niṣā, नीश् nīś, नीश nīśa, नीशा nīśā, नीष् nīṣ, नीष nīṣa, नीषा nīṣā) and found no mention of "supreme". ईश् īś- does mean "master, lord, the supreme spirit."

    Which brings me to the first suggestion. Monier William's dictionary doesn't actually give any form of "Navanish," so if I had to make a guess, I'd say नवन् navan- "nine" + ईश् īś- "lord" is probably the most reasonable - although I'm still not really sure how to interpret this as a name.

    N.B.: नवन् navan- "nine" forms compounds with the stem नव nava-, so I suppose "nine nights" is also a possibility; but, again, I'm not really sure what it would mean. I mean, I suppose it's possible that it really is just a name, but there's probably some cultural or literary background to it, I'm afraid I just don't really know what it is.
  4. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    "Lord of nine" is quite a good interpretation - I never thought of that; that's a possibility, but - again - I agree with Wolverine9 that it's hard to know what that would mean/refer to.
  5. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    ^ I edited my post. I realized navan "nine" is not a possibility because it takes the form nava in compounds. For a meaning of "lord of 9" the name would hypothetically be *navesha in Sanskrit.
  6. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    You're quite right, I did note this, but I thought that perhaps the न् n was simply retained before the vowel. On reflection, however, I don't think this happens very often. William Dwight Whitney mentions that the न् n can be retained, but it seems pretty unlikely in this case.
  7. gole Member

    Wolverine9 and Au101, thanks a lot for your responses. In devanagari, it would be नवनिश or नवनिश्

    Modern nonsensical name seems to be the conclusion, is it? I am confused, can you please again list all the possible meanings? It is a very common Hindu male name (googling out Navanish in images reveals it) but I would like to know the meaning of the word itself.
  8. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    If you're certain that it's spelled the way you wrote it in Devanagari, it would mean "new night" or perhaps more likely "9 nights," in which case it would be a synonym for the Hindu festival of navaraatrii and would explain the significance of the name.

    Based on the usual pronunciation, I was under the impression that it was spelled नवनीश or नवनीष.
  9. gole Member

    Thank you. I am certain that Navanish is नवनिश in Devanagari. नवनीश or नवनीष would be written Navaneesh in English. I am just curious what these other names would mean. Can you list them here? I hope this is still on topic.
  10. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    A Google search reveals that the name Navanish is also spelled Navaneesh by some. The latter form, however, is a poor transliteration of नवनिश.

    As I mentioned,
    नवनीश is nonsensical. It has no meaning as far as I can tell. नवनीष is also nonsensical unless it's a combination of नव and नीषह्, with the latter word contracted to नीष, in which case it would mean "overcoming nine/new/praise." But such a contraction is unlikely to be the case.
  11. gole Member

    Thank you for your interest. You appear to have a deep knowledge of Sanskrit Grammar. I, on the other hand, only have some contextual/cultural knowledge of Sanskrit words in my own language - Nepali. Just one comment that नवनिश as you seem to have interpreted to mean "Nine nights" might also mean "Ninth Night" - the auspicious night falling on the ninth day of "Navaraatri". Could I be correct? By the way, in Nepal, it is called Dashain where it is the biggest national festival with celebrations lasting a full fortnight - from No Moon to Full Moon.
  12. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    I just did a Google search in Devanagari. The only common form is नवनीश, which is puzzling because it would point to either a nonsensical meaning or a dubious "lord of 9."

    Ninth would be navama or navamii
  13. gole Member

    That sure is puzzling. But this could be because people writing Devanagari often do not pay attention to grammar. I know this because my own language Nepali uses the Devanagari alphabet and Nepali material, especially on the internet, is full of grammatical and syntactic mistakes.
  14. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    Are you sure it's from Sanskrit?
  15. gole Member

    I am positive about the name नवनिश

    The origin cannot be anything other than Sanskrit. When it comes to names, this is almost always true. A large number of Sanskrit words are used as is in Nepali. However, some Sanskrit words have lost their original form and changed somewhat in Nepali. Perhaps, the same is true of Hindi.
  16. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    I think I figured it out finally. If my theory is correct, the name is in fact नवनीश and is composed of navanii (नवनी) + iish (ईश). नवनी means the same as नवनीत "fresh butter," which at one time would've been symbolic of wealth. So नवनीश would mean "lord of fresh butter (lord of wealth)."

    Even if Nepali material on the internet is full of mistakes, I don't think the name can be नवनिश because it had 0 results on Google. The only spelling with significant results was नवनीश.
  17. gole Member

    Very interesting. But is it common in Sanskrit for the final "t" to get dropped to mean the same thing? I found "navaniit" but did not find "navanii" in the dictionary:
  18. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    Both navaniita and navanii are Sanskrit words and are listed in Monier Williams' Sanskrit Dictionary. The dictionary at the link you provided is not a comprehensive Sanskrit dictionary.

    I wouldn't be surprised if navaniish is a nickname for Krishna given his fondness for butter in legends.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  19. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    Remember that in Sanskrit नवनीत is pronounounced navanīta, नवनीत् is how we write navanīt in Sanskrit. The dropping of the final a is a development of the modern Indo-Aryan languages called "schwa-deletion" and it is this that is responsible for rāma becoming rām, bhārata becoming bhārat, lakṣmaṇa becoming lakṣmaṇ, śiva becoming śiv, etc. so it is not the mere dropping of a final t. As for whether it being common to find two words with the same meaning differing only in a final त ta, I doubt that there is any rule like this. I really don't know, but I imagine this is just a specific case, I would be very cautious about inferring a general rule from it.

    As Wolverine9 says, both नवनी navanī and नवनीत navanīta are listed in the more comprehensive Monier Williams dictionary.

    Wikipedia lists "Navanitachora" (presumably this is नवनीतचोर navanītacora), meaning "thief of butter" as a name of Kṛṣṇa and also gives the following:

    ॐ नवनीत विलिप्ताङ्गाय नमः Oṃ navanīta viliptāṅgāya namaḥ
    ॐ नवनीत नटनाय नमः Oṃ navanīta naṭanāya namaḥ

    Under "Krishna Ashtottaram."

    So, I think your suggestion, wolverine9, is a good one, but this is clearly not an original name for kṛṣṇa. I can only assume it must be more recent.
  20. gole Member


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