1. Lokaniti (Ln); 8. Kavidappananiti
2. Dhammaniti (Dhn); (Kdn);
3. Maharahaniti 9. Nitimanjari (Nm); (Mhn);
10. Suttantaniti (Stn); 4. Raijaniti (Rn);
11. Naradakkhadipani 5. Sutavaddhananiti (Ndd); (Svn);
12. Caturakkandipani 6. Pali-Cemakyaniti (Crd); (Pcn);
13. Lokaneyyappakar- 7 . Gihivinayasa- ana (Lnp). ngahaniti (Gvsn);
A brief introduction of principle niti texts in Pali is given in Lokaniti: Devanagari Sarnsakarana Evarn Hindi Anuvada (Kumar 2015, 1-56), ramaradharma-vimarga (Kumar 2016, 9-26) and Pali-Ceinakyaniti: Devanagari Sarnsakarana Evarn Hindi Anuvada (Kumar 2018, 23-44). Hence, to avoid repetition, detailed account of only the Mhn is given here.
It seems that the title Mhn might have been given to the text on the basis of the first word of the first verse of the book, mahamaharaharn sakyamunirn invariant-rand. According to Heinz BECHERT and Heinz BRAUN (1981: lviii), "As for the title of Maharahaniti, in stanza 3 the word lokaniti is found in a way to suggest that it was the original name of the book which was later replaced by the same Maharahaniti derived from the first word of the work (Braun 1975: 26). This was probably done to avoid confusion of the text with the work now known as Lokaniti."
Though this is only an inference which may be right too, but the first verse, on the basis of which the author of Mhn has given the title, Mhn to the text, as Bechart and Braun pointed out, was not the composition of the author himself-lf. The author of Mhn had taken the first verse from the Saddaniti (Dhatumala 11.559) the book of a Pali grammar. Thus, we can say that the title of the work is given on the basis of a verse taken from the work Saddaniti.
The word maharaha has been used in various meanings in the Pali Canons and their auxiliary texts (see Therigaitha 343, Apadana 1.2, and Buddhavarnsa 2.354). This word is made by a combination of two words: maha araha. The word maha is an adjective, which can be used in the sense of 'big', 'huge' etc. The word, araha is also an adjective that means 'right', 'worthy', 'authoritative', 'venerable', 'proper' and 'useful'. According to the Buddhist tradition, the person who has destroyed the asrava-s or mental defilements, who has crossed over the path of purity, who has become perfect, who has almost reached the state of the Buddha, who has attained the state of higher mental purity than the noble non-adept states of being a stream-enterer, once-returner and non-returner (Pali Hindi Dictionary I. I. 560) is called an arahant. Thus, the meaning of maharaha (Sanskrit maharha) can be, 'very venerable' or `very worthy'.
The word, niti is widely used in the Indian languages. This word has been used through various interpretations in Modern Indian languages apart from Sanskrit and Pali. The word, niti is derived from the root in in both Sanskrit and Pali. The meanings of the word niti given in Sanskrit and Pali dictionaries are, 'guidance', `direction', 'organizing', 'practice', 'behavior', 'propriety', `limit', 'moral practice', 'morality' etc. The word niti appearing in the Pali Grammar Saddaniti expresses, 'ordinance' or 'rule'. Padarapasiddhi, another Pali grammar text, explains the word niti as derived from the root in with the feminine suffix it which means 'to carry', 'niyati eteiyati vet" ?lid'. In the form of a scripture, the word niti refers an art that suggests the nature of conduct, manner of behavior, code of conduct regulated for social behavior, rules and customs regarding moral behavior, principles and doctrines established for the maintenance and security of govern-acne, and cleverly carried out practices. In totality, niti scripture is conjoined with mundane actions that introduce one to the pragmatism of the world. We can mark it as a science connected with secular doctrines/teachings. Aphorisms (subhasita), wise sayings (sukti), proverbs (lokyati) etc. can also be included in niti. Thus, Mhn may be attribute-ted the meaning, "A Great Revered or an Excellent Book of Ethics."
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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