adjective dark-blue, blue-black blue-green. Nīla serves as a general term to designate the “coloured-black,” as opposed to the “colouredwhite” (pīta yellow), which pairs (nīla-pīta) are both set off against the “pure” colour-sensations of red (lohitaka) & white (odāta), besides the distinct black or dark (see kaṇha). Therefore n. has a fluctuating connotation (cp. Mrs. Rh. D.; Buddh. Psych. p. 49; Dhs. trsl. p. 62), its only standard combination being that with pīta, e.g. in the enumn of the ten kasiṇa practices (see kasiṇa): nīla pīta lohita odāta; in the description of the 5 colours of the Buddha’s eye: nīla pītaka lohitaka kaṇha odāta (Cnd.235, Ia under cakkhumā); which goes even so far as to be used simply in the sense of “black & white,” e.g. Vv-a.320. Applied to hair (lomāni DN.ii.144; MN.ii.136. See further enumn at Vv-a.111 & under kaṇha
■ AN.iii.239; AN.iv.263 sq., AN.iv.305, AN.iv.349, AN.v.61; Vism.110, Vism.156, Vism.173; Thag-a.42 (mahā˚ great blue lotus); Dhs.617; Pv.ii.2#5; Pv-a.32, Pv-a.46, Pv-a.158; Sdhp.246 Sdhp.270, Sdhp.360.

  • -abbha a black cloud Pv.iv.3#9.
  • -abhijāti a dark (unfortunate) birth (cp. kaṇh˚) AN.iii.383;
  • -uppala blue lotus Ja.iii.394; Vv.45#4 (= kuvalaya); Dhp-a.i.384
  • -kasiṇa the “blue” kasiṇa (q.v.) DN.iii.248; Dhs.203 (Vam 172 etc.;
  • -gīva “blue neck,” a peacock Snp.221 = maṇi-daṇḍa-sadisāya gīvāya n. ti Snp-a.277);
  • -pupphī Name of plant (“blue-blossom”) Ja.vi.53;
  • -bījaka a waterplant (“blue-seed”) Bdhgh at Vin.iii.276;
  • -maṇi a sapphire (“blue-stone”) Ja.ii.112; Ja.iv.140; Dhp-a.iii.254
  • -vaṇṇa blue colour, coloured blue or green Ja.iv.140 (of the ocean); Dhs.246.

Vedic nīla, perhaps conn. with Lat. nites to shine, see Walde, Lat. Wtb. s. v.