Mahabhaya, Mahābhayā, Mahābhaya, Maha-bhaya: 14 definitions

Introduction:

Mahabhaya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Mahabhaya in Shaivism glossary
Source: academia.edu: Yakṣiṇī-sādhana in the Kakṣapuṭa tantra

Mahābhayā (महाभया) is the name of one of the thirty-two Yakṣiṇīs mentioned in the Kakṣapuṭatantra, as well as one of the thirty-six Yakṣiṇīs mentioned in the Uḍḍāmareśvaratantra. In the yakṣiṇī-sādhana, the Yakṣiṇī is regarded as the guardian spirit who provides worldly benefits to the practitioner. The Yakṣiṇī (e.g., Mahābhayā) provides, inter alia, daily food, clothing and money, tells the future, and bestows a long life, but she seldom becomes a partner in sexual practices.

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Mahābhaya (महाभय) refers to “times of great dangers”, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 19.121-128, while describing the prevention of natural disasters]—“[The Mantrin] should [perform] rites and recitations to avert evil and famine, in times of great dangers (mahābhaya), [such as] destructive earthquakes, meteors, massive rainfall and drought as well as threats of mice and other pests. He should conduct the ritual when flowers, etc., grow out of season, [when images of gods] are lost or break. [...]”.

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Mahabhaya in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Mahābhaya (महाभय) refers to “(harbingers of) great fear”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.15 (“The penance and reign of Tārakāsura”).—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated: “[...] At the same time, several phenomena of evil portent forboding misery and distress happened, when the son of Varāṅgī was born making the gods miserable. [...] O great Brahmin, the misty haloes around the sun and the moon in the grip of Rāhu became the harbingers of great fear [i.e., mahābhaya] and unhappiness. At that time terrifying sounds that resembled those of the chariot issued forth from cracks and crevices in the mountains. [...]”.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Mahābhaya (महाभय).—A Rākṣasa. He was born to Adharma by his wife Nirṛti. Mahābhaya had two brothers named Bhaya and Mṛtyu. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 66, Verse 54).

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Mahābhaya (महाभय) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.53) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Mahābhaya) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Purana book cover
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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.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Mahabhaya in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Mahābhaya (महाभय) refers to “great fear”, according to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—Accordingly, “One should institute a great sacrifice at times of great fear [i.e., mahābhaya], when in conflict with a powerful enemy, when the land is afflicted with drought, when locusts and soldiers come (to ravage it), when (one seeks to) remedy disease and suffering, when there is a fight between relatives for kingdom, when the king is deposed, during solitary combat in a great battle, in order to (get a) son, when one fails to gets a young virgin (bride), during a marriage, in order to gain victory, (or) when a fort is under attack. [...]”.

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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Mahabhaya in Hinduism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Mahābhaya (महाभय, “terror”):—In Vedic hinduism, he is one of the three sons of Adharma (‘sin’) and his wife Nirṛti (‘misery’).

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Mahābhaya (महाभय) refers to one of the eight charnel grounds (śmaśāna) of the Medinīcakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the medinīcakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. Mahābhaya is associated with the tree (vṛkṣa) named Nālīra; with the female world-guardian (lokapālinī) named Rudrā; with a female serpent (nāginī) and with a female cloud (meghinī).

Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Mahābhaya (महाभय) or Aṣṭamahābhaya refers to the “(eight) great fears” [i.e., aṣṭamahābhaya-tāraṇārthaṃ], according to the Guru Mandala Worship (maṇḍalārcana) ritual often performed in combination with the Cakrasaṃvara Samādhi, which refers to the primary pūjā and sādhanā practice of Newah Mahāyāna-Vajrayāna Buddhists in Nepal.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Mahabhaya in Mahayana glossary
Source: De Gruyter: A Buddhist Ritual Manual on Agriculture

Mahābhaya (महाभय) refers to “great dangers”, according to the Vajratuṇḍasamayakalparāja, an ancient Buddhist ritual manual on agriculture from the 5th-century (or earlier), containing various instructions for the Sangha to provide agriculture-related services to laypeople including rain-making, weather control and crop protection.—Accordingly, [after the Bhagavān entered the assembly of Nāgas], “Then the Four Great Kings bowed to the Bhagavān with their hands put together and addressed him, “O Bhagavān, extremely frightening great dangers (mahābhaya) have arisen in the world. Namely, drought, famine, calamities. O Bhagavān, all beings have become defenceless and refugeless because of this misfortune. [...]’”.

Mahayana book cover
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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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahabhaya in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mahābhaya (महाभय).—[neuter] great danger or dread; [adjective] very dangerous or dreadful.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Mahābhaya (महाभय):—[=mahā-bhaya] [from mahā > mah] n. great danger or peril, [Aitareya-brāhmaṇa; Mahābhārata] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] m. Great Danger personified as a son of Adharma by Nirṛti, [Mahābhārata] (cf. bhaya)

3) [v.s. ...] mf(ā)n. accompanied with gr° d° or peril, very dangerous or formidable, [Mahābhārata]

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahabhaya in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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