Magha, aka: Māgha, Maghā, Māghā; 15 Definition(s)
Magha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)
Maghā (मघा):—Name for a particular section of the ecliptic. It is also known as Maghānakṣatra. Nakṣatra means “Lunar mansion” and corresponds to a specific region of the sky through which the moon passes each day. Maghā means “the bountiful” and is associated with the deity known as Pitṛ (Ancestral spirits). The presiding Lord of this lunar house is Ketu (south lunar node).
Indian zodiac: |0°| – |13°20' Siṃha|
Siṃha (सिंह, “lion”) corresponds with Leo.
Western zodiac: |26° Leo| – |9°20' Virgo|
Leo corresponds with Siṃha (सिंह, “lion”) and Virgo corresponds with Kanyā (कन्या, “girl”).
Jyotiṣa (ज्योतिष, jyotisha or jyotish) basically refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents one of the six additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas. Jyotiṣa concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.
Māgha (माघ) is the name of a Nakṣatra mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa verse 689. As regards the heavenly bodies, the Nīlamata refers to the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars. The divisions of the time are also mentioned as objects of worship.
Maghā Pūrṇimā is the name of a festival that once existed in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—Māgha Pūrṇimā proceeds as follows: Performance of Śrāddha with sesame and offerings of food for the crows are the only rites prescribed for this day.(Source): archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study
1) Maghā (मघा).—A sacred place. If one visits this place one would get the benefit of performing the yajñas like Agniṣṭoma and Atirātra. (Śloka 51, Chapter 84, Vana Parva).
2) Maghā (मघा).—One of the twentyseven constellations. The importance of this constellation is mentioned in the Mahābhārata in several places.
2) (i) When the planet Kuja (Mars), during its retrograde motion, comes near the constellation of Maghā many unhappy incidents occur in the world. (Śloka 14, Chapter 3, Bhīṣma Parva).
2) (ii) If Candra stays near Maghā it is an ill omen. (Śloka 2, Chapter 17, Bhīṣma Parva).
2) (iii) If one gives away land in charity on the day of Maghā one will be rich in children and cattle. (Śloka 12, Chapter 64, Anuśāsana Parva).
2) (iv) If one gives pudding to the poor on the day of Maghā which comes in the black half of the month of Tulā (October) the Manes will be pleased. (Śloka 7, Chapter 88, Anuśāsana Parva).
2) (v) If one worships the Manes on the day of Maghā sitting in the shade of an elephant, the manes will be satisfied. (Śloka 8, Chapter 88, Anuśāsana Parva).
2) (vi) If one conducts the obsequial rites and acts of charity on the day of Maghā one would become the most excellent member of the family. (Śloka 5. Chapter 89, Anuśāsana Parva).
3) Māgha (माघ).—A Sanskrit poet who lived in the 7th Century A.D. The only work of his which has come to light is Śiśupālavadha known popularly as Māgha.
"upamā kālidāsasya bhāraverarthagauravam / daṇḍinaḥ padalālityaṃ māghe santi trayo guṇāḥ //"
This is a very famous verse meaning thus: "The simile of Kālidāsa, the depth of meaning of the words of Bhāravi and the simplicity of language of Daṇḍin are all present in Māgha". This indicates how great a poet Māgha was.
From the last part of this Kāvya it can be surmised that Māgha was the son of Dattaka and grandson of Suprabhadeva. Suprabhadeva was the minister of a King called Dharmadeva. Māgha was born in Gujarat. A literary critic named Jacobi fixes the period of Māgha as the 6th century A.D. while others fix it as the 8th century A.D Māgha has made references to the drama 'Nāgānanda' written by Harṣa. Harṣa was a King during the period 606 to 649 and that is why the period of Māgha is fixed after that period.
4) Māgha (माघ).—A month (February). This is so called because it is closely associated with the constellation Maghā. This month is between the months of Pauṣa and Phālguna. Mahābhārata makes some statements about the importance of the month of Māgha.
(i) He who bathes at Prayāga during this month will be free from all sins. (Śloka 37, Chapter 25, Anuśāsana Parva).
(ii) He who gives gingelly as gift to Brahmins during this month will never go to hell. (Śloka 8, Chapter 66, Anuśāsana Parva).
(iii) If one takes food only once a day during the whole of this month one will be born very rich in the next birth. (Śloka 31, Chapter 106, Anuśāsana Parva).
(iv) If one worships Śrī Kṛṣṇa fasting on the Dvādaśī day of Māgha one will get the benefit of conducting a Rājasūya yajña. (Śloka 5, Chapter 109, Anuśāsana Parva).
(v) Bhīṣma expressed his desire to Kṛṣṇa to end his life on the aṣṭamī day falling in the bright fortnight of the month of Māgha. (Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 167, Śloka 28).(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 23. 6; VII. 14. 22; XII. 2. 28-9. Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 49; 80. 44; 81. 25; 82. 6; 99. 423.
- 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 17. 21; 18. 5; Matsya-purāṇa 17. 3; 54. 18; 55. 14; 204. 5.
- 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 24. 141.
- 2) Matsya-purāṇa 53. 36.
- 3) Ib. 56. 2; 60. 36; Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 122; 53. 113.
2b) (Pañcadaśi): a yugādi for śrāddha; (saptami) a manvantarādi for śrāddha.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 17. 4, 7.
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
Maghā (मघा) is the Sanskrit name for an asterism (Regulus). According to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.14-15, the master of the dramatic art (nāṭyācārya) should perform raṅgapūjā after offering pūjā to the Jarjara (Indra’s staff). Accordingly, “After proceeding thus according to rules and staying in the phayhouse for the night, he should begin pūjā as soon as it is morning. This pūjā connected with the stage should take place under the asterism Ārdrā, Maghā, Yāmyā, Pūrvaphalgunī, Pūrvāṣāḍhā, Pūrvabhādrapadā, Aśleṣā or Mūlā”.(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).
Māghā (माघा) refers to the tenth of twenty-seven constellations (ṛkṣa), according to the Mānasāra. Ṛkṣa is the third of the āyādiṣaḍvarga, or “six principles” that constitute the “horoscope” of an architectural or iconographic object. Their application is intended to “verify” the measurements of the architectural and iconographic object against the dictates of astrology that lay out the conditions of auspiciousness.
The particular nakṣatra, also known as ṛkṣa (eg., māghā) of all architectural and iconographic objects (settlement, building, image) must be calculated and ascertained. This process is based on the principle of the remainder. An arithmetical formula to be used in each case is stipulated, which engages one of the basic dimensions of the object (breadth, length, or perimeter/circumference). In the context of village planning and measurement, the text sates that among the stars (ṛkṣa), the ones that are pūrṇa (odd), are auspicious and the ones that are karṇa (even), inauspicious.(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.
Itihasa (narrative history)
Magha (मघ) refers to the name of a Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. III.82.46). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Magha) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).
General definition (in Hinduism)
Maghā (मघा, the ‘bounties’) are the Sickle, or α, η, γ, ζ, μ, ε Leonis. The variants Anaghā, the ‘sinless one’, etc., clearly refer to the auspicious influence of the constellation.(Source): archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)
The name Sakka bore in a previous birth when he was born as a man in Macalagama in Magadha.
The usual form of the name is a derivative- e.g., J.vi.212; he is often called Maghava Sujampati - e.g., J.iii.146; iv.403; v.137, 139; vi.102, 481, 573; or Maghava Sakko - e.g., J.v.141; see also Mtu.i.165, 167 (sahasranetro Maghavan va sobhase) and Mtu.iii.366 (Sakro aha: Maghavan ti me ahu syaloke).
His story is given in the Kulavaka Jataka. For a slightly different version see DhA.i.264ff. Because of his birth as Magha, Sakka came to be known as Maghava. Maghava was, perhaps, not the personal name of any particular Sakka, but a title of all Sakkas, because the Sakka who was the real Magha is identified with the Bodhisatta (J.i.207), while the Buddha says (S.i.231; DhA.i.264) that the Sakka, who visited him, and whose conversation is recorded in the Sakkapanha Sutta, was also known as Maghava. The title probably originated from the time when Magha became Sakka.
The Samyutta Commentary (SA.i.267; this is supported by the story as given in DA.iii.710 ff. and DhA.i.264ff., where no mention is made of the Bodhisatta), however, says that Magha was not the Bodhistatta, but that his life was like that of a Bodhisatta (Bodhisattacariya viyassa cariya ahosi); in which case the name Maghava belongs only to the present Sakka. Magha took upon himself seven vows (vatapadani), which brought him birth as Sakka: to maintain his parents, to revere his elders, to use gentle language, to utter no slander, to be free from avarice, to practise generosity and open handed liberality and kindness, to speak the truth, to be free from anger (S.i.227f.; SA.i.267).
For this and other titles of Sakka, see Sakka.
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1. Magha. A sage of old. J.vi.99.
2. Magha. A youth of Rajagaha. He visited the Buddha at Gijjhakuta and asked if he would gain greatly by the gifts he made to various people, gifts which were rightly obtained. The Buddha answered that his gifts would bear great fruit. At the end of the Buddhas discourse, Magha became his follower. SN. pp. 86ff.; SNA.ii.413ff.
3. Magha. See Sakka and Magha.
4. Magha. A usurper from Kalinga who came to Ceylon with a band of Kerala warriors in about 1215 A.C., deposed the reigning king, Parakkamapandu II., blinded him, and occupied the throne at Pulatthipura. Being a bigoted Hindu, he destroyed the Buddhist religious buildings and burnt their books. He persecuted the people in various ways and distributed their land among his warriors. He ruled for twenty one years, and seems to have been succeeded at Pulatthipura by Jayabahu (q.v.) (Cv.lxxx.58ff). During part of his reign, Vijayabahu III. (q.v.) ruled over a portion of Ceylon. Cv.lxxxi.10ff.(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)
Maghā (मघा) refers to one of the twenty-seven constellations (nakṣatra) according to according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—Maghā is the Sanskrit equivalent of Chinese Sing, Tibetan Mchu and modern Leonis.
Maghā is classified in the third group: “The moon revolves around the earth in 28 days. If the moon enters one of the six following constellations (eg., Maghā), then at that moment the earth trembles as if it would collapse, this trembling extends as far as the Garuḍa. Then there is no more rain, the rivers dry up, the year is bad for grain, the emperor (T’ien tseu) is cruel and the great ministers are unjust”.(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.
Languages of India and abroad
māgha : (m.) name of a month, January-February.(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Maghā, (f.) (cp. *Sk. maghā) N. of a nakkhatta, in cpd. °deva SnA 352 (cp. M. II, 74, n. 6, where spelling Makkādeva; we also find Makhadeva at Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa XIV. I. 1). (Page 513)(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.
maghā (मघा).—f pl (S) The tenth lunar mansion.
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māgha (माघ).—m (S) The eleventh month of the Hindu year, January-February.
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māghā (माघा).—a Pertaining or relating to the month māgha.(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
maghā (मघा).—f pl The tenth lunar mansion.
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māgha (माघ).—m The 11th month of the Hindu year.(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
Magha (मघ).—1 Name of one of the Dvīpas or divisions of the universe.
2) Name of a country.
3) A kind of drug or medicine.
5) Name of the tenth lunar mansion; see मघा (maghā).
6) See मघम् (magham).
-gham 1 A kind of flower.
2) a gift, present.
3) Wealth, riches (Ved.).
Derivable forms: maghaḥ (मघः).
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Maghā (मघा).—Name of the tenth lunar mansion containing five stars.
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Maghā (मघा).—A kind of corn.
See also (synonyms): maghī.
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Māgha (माघ).—[maghānakṣatrayuktā paurṇamāsī māghī sā'tra māsa aṇ]
1) Name of a lunar month (corresponding to January-February).
2) Name of a poet, the author of the Śiśupālavadha or Māgha-kāvya; (the poet describes his family in Śi.2.8-84 and thus concludes:-śrīśabdaramyakṛtasarga- samāptilakṣma lakṣmīpateścaritakīrtanacāru māghaḥ | tasyātmajaḥ sukavikīrti- durāśayādaḥ kāvyaṃ vyadhatta śiśupālavadhābhidhānam ||); उपमा कालिदासस्य भारवेरर्थगौरवम् । दण्डिनः पदलालित्यं माघे सन्ति त्रयो गुणाः (upamā kālidāsasya bhāraverarthagauravam | daṇḍinaḥ padalālityaṃ māghe santi trayo guṇāḥ) ||; तावद्भा भारवेर्भाति यावन्माघस्य नोदयः (tāvadbhā bhāraverbhāti yāvanmāghasya nodayaḥ) Udb.
-ghī the day of full moon in the month of Māgha.
Derivable forms: māghaḥ (माघः).(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
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Search found 52 books and stories containing Magha, Māgha, Maghā or Māghā. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Brahmanda Purana (by G.V. Tagare)
Chapter 17 - Appropriate Tithis for performing Śrāddha < [Section 3 - Upodghāta-pāda]
Chapter 18 - Performance of Śrāddha under different Constellations (Nakṣatra) < [Section 3 - Upodghāta-pāda]
Chapter 19 - Qualifications of a Brāhmaṇa for Śrāddha gifts < [Section 3 - Upodghāta-pāda]
Brihat Samhita (by N. Chidambaram Iyer)
Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi (by Ganganatha Jha)
Verse 3.273 < [Section XXI - Relative Merits of the Offering-Materials]
Verse 3.274 < [Section XXI - Relative Merits of the Offering-Materials]
Verse 4.96 < [Section XII - Vedic Study]
Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 5: Treatment of various afflictions (by Bhudeb Mookerjee)
Part 3 - The Age of the Mahabharata War < [A Brief History of Indian Chemistry and Medicine]
Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra (by Helen M. Johnson)
Part 14: Sumatinātha’s conception < [Chapter III - Sumatināthacaritra]
Part 16: Sumatinātha’s birth < [Chapter III - Sumatināthacaritra]
Part 19: Sumatinātha’s initiation < [Chapter III - Sumatināthacaritra]
The Brahma Purana (by G. P. Bhatt)