Mahacakra, Mahācakrā, Mahācakra, Maha-cakra: 8 definitions


Mahacakra means something in 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Mahachakra.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Mahacakra in Purana glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Mahācakrā (महाचक्रा).—A river of Bhadrā country.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 43. 25.
Source: Wisdomlib Libary: The Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa

Mahācakra (महाचक्र) refers to “great discuses” and represents one of the various weapons equipped by the Daityas in their war against Lalitā, according to the Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa 4.22. Accordingly, “[...] thereupon, crores of Daityas producing reverberating chattering noise furiously prepared themselves (to fight) against Parameśvarī (Lalitā). [...] Crores of Daityas were fully equipped with coats of mail and had the following weapons and missiles in their hands [viz.:  Mahācakras (great discuses)], and thousands of similar weapons and missiles very dreadful and capable of destroying living beings”.

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»] — Mahacakra in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Mahācakra (महाचक्र) refers to the “great gathering”, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, “May they, whom I have recollected and are satisfied, accept the vessel of the bali. All that is the Great Gathering [i.e., mahācakra] and (these are) the divine beings in the gathering. Present in gross and subtle bodies, they are incarnated in women and their forms are mantras”.

Shaktism book cover
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Mahacakra in Shaivism glossary
Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Mahācakra (महाचक्र) refers to a “great wheel”, 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 6.28-32ab, while describing the śaśimaṇḍala]—“[The Mantrin] should write the name [of the afflicted] in the middle of a great wheel (mahācakra) [that] has sixteen petals. [He] adorns [the wheel] with the sixteen vowels, and encloses it with the mantra using the ādyanta pattern. The Mantrin should draw, as before, the jīva in the middle of saḥ, etc., protected at the end with the covering [i.e., the mantra]. The amṛteśa-mantra envelops [him] on all sides, at each syllable, in the middle of all petals, in the middle of the lunar orb. [...]”.

Shaivism book cover
context information

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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahacakra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mahācakra (महाचक्र).—the mystic circle in the शाक्त (śākta) ceremonial.

Derivable forms: mahācakram (महाचक्रम्).

Mahācakra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and cakra (चक्र).

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

1) Mahācakra (महाचक्र):—[=mahā-cakra] [from mahā > mah] n. a great wheel, a gr° discus, [Rāmatāpanīya-upaniṣad; Mahābhārata]

2) [v.s. ...] the mystic circle or assembly in the Śākta ceremonial, [Religious Thought and Life in India 196]

3) [v.s. ...] m. ‘having a gr° wh° or d°’, Name of a Dānava, [Harivaṃśa] ([varia lectio] -vaktra)

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahacakra 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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