From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Niṣka, Definition[edit]

Using coins as money was a practice in ancient India. Suvarṇa, śatamāna and niṣka are some of the words used to indicate these. The word ‘niṣka’ occurs in the Atharvaveda[1] and refers to a necklace of niṣka.[2] The Ṛgveda[3] refers to Rudra as wearing a ‘Viśvarupaniṣka’.[4]

Niṣka by Weight[edit]

The following table can give an idea of the niṣka by weight:

Weight of 5 liquorice seeds 1 māsa
16 māṣas 1 suvarṇa
108 suvarṇas 1 niṣka

‘Dināra’ seems to be another name used for niṣka.


  1. Atharvaveda 5.14.3
  2. Niṣka means may be a gold-coin or a thin plate of gold.
  3. Ṛgveda 2.33.10
  4. Viśvarupaniṣka means the golden pieces stamped with various figures.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore