Nitya

Definition - What does Nitya mean?

Nitya is a Sanskrit word meaning “eternal” or “permanent.” Its opposite is anitya, which refers to the Hindu concept of impermanence, in that suffering does not last, but neither do the material comforts of life.

Hindu and yogic philosophy asserts that humans are trapped in a cycling of suffering, death and rebirth. To achieve liberation from this cycle, the yogi must overcome anitya by finding the nitya (permanence) within oneself. In yoga, that means union with the universal Self, or Brahman.

Yogapedia explains Nitya

Nitya karma refers to those duties that a Hindu is expected to perform daily. Not performing one's nitya karma is said to lead to sin. The nitya karmas may include such daily duties as:

  • Snana (bathing)
  • Sandhyavandanam (religious ritual at specified times of the day)
  • Aupasanam (fire offering)
  • Agnihotram (heated milk offering)
  • Japa (chanting of mantras)

The nitya karmas are a form of self-purification that helps the yogi remain humble as he/she sees his/her connection to the universe and his/her place in it. The rituals arise out of an obligation to repay debts to parents, ancestors, teachers and God – all of which have provided him/her with life, food, air, water, education and opportunities.

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