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By Swami Harshananda

Niti literally means ‘that which leads towards the good’.

Various meanings or inferences of the word are as follows:

  • In the most general sense, the word ‘nīti’ means ‘morality’ and ‘ethics’.
  • In course of time, it came to be considered as an abbreviation of rājanīti or political science.
  • The word is also used to indicate any systematized form of thought like Śukra-nīti and Viduranīti.
  • Dharma, which is a more comprehensive word includes nīti.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore