Mahadevi, Mahādevī: 16 definitions


Mahadevi means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, biology. 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

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

Mahādevī (महादेवी, “the consort of the great Lord”).—One of the names of the Goddess, Devī, who is regarded as the female principle of the divine; the embodiement of the energies of the Gods.

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Mahādevī (महादेवी) refers to the “great Goddess”, according to the Kulakaulinīmata verse 20.505cd-508ab.—Accordingly, “Akula is said to be Kaula. It is Maheśvara, the womb in the womb of the most excellent body. O mistress of the gods, he is present everywhere. The abode of Kula is in Kaula, that is, in one's own divine Kula, one’s own nature and form devoid of the body. One should enter into the Self by the Self. The Great Goddess (mahādevī) engaged in intercourse within the great Śiva is Pārvatī. By means of the bliss (of this union one) attains the supreme principle and by (that) principle, the supreme (state)”.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Mahadevi in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

Mahādevī (महादेवी) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (e.g., Mahādevī) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Mahādevī (महादेवी) refers to the “great Goddess” and is an epithet of the Goddess (Devī), who incarnated as Satī, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.14. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] On seeing the mother of the universe born of Vīriṇī, Dakṣa joined his palms in reverence, paid respects to her and eulogised her. [...] O Goddess, the eternal mother of the universe, obeisance to Thee. O great Goddess (Mahādevī), the Truthful and truth-featured, be pleased”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Mahādevī (महादेवी).—A mother Goddess; a name of Lalitā, as originating from Agnikuṇḍa of Indra and gods who propitiated Devī to get rid of Bhaṇḍa.1 The goddess enshrined at Śālagrāma.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 6. 3; 12. 74; 13. 29; 14. 26; 15. 3; 18. 15; 36. 4; Matsya-purāṇa 179. 31.
  • 2) Ib. 13. 33.
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Mahādevī (महादेवी, “chief queen”) refers to one of the classes of “women” (strī) who have dealings with the king, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 34. Accordingly, “the chief queen (mahādevī) is one who has been consecrated on her head, is of high birth and character, possessed of accomplishments; advanced in age, indifferent to her rivals, free from anger and malice, and who fully understands the king’s character, shares equally his joys and sorrows, is always engaged in propitiatory rites for the good of the royal husband, and is calm, affectionate, patient, and benevolent to the inmates of the harem”.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

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

Mahādevī (महादेवी) is another name for Amṛtalakṣmī, 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 18.63-68, while describing the iconography of Mṛtyujit and the consort Amṛtalakṣmī]—“After [the Mantrin] has meditated on the beautiful form as indicated earlier, he should worship Mṛtyujit and Śrī Devī [Amṛtalakṣmī], [...]. She is charming [and] wears a pure white crown. [She has] one face, three eyes, [and is] seated in the baddhapadmāsana, adorned with a Yoga strap, a conch and lotus in [her] hand, the hands [forming the gestures of] wish-granting and protection. Four armed, Mahādevī is marked with all auspicious signs. [...]”.

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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

An eminent Theri of Ceylon. Dpv.xviii.24.

context information

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).

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: MDPI Books: The Ocean of Heroes

Mahādevī (महादेवी) refers to a “great goddess”, according to the 10th-century Ḍākārṇava-tantra: one of the last Tibetan Tantric scriptures belonging to the Buddhist Saṃvara tradition consisting of 51 chapters.—Accordingly, “[...] [He should visualize Heruka] [...] The weaponry in the seventy-two hands is thus to be discerned in order. A decoration (headband) made of five hairless heads, an ornament of the six seals, a garland of a hundred hairless heads [as a necklace], sounding armlets and anklets, a garment [made of] some tiger skin, and a romāvalī (or line of bodily hair) are on [his] body. Before him is a great goddess (mahādevī) [named] Vajravārāhī, [who is] as previously. [...]”.

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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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Mahādevī.—(IE 8-2; EI 7; CII 3, 4; HD), a queen; often wrongly taken as the first wife of a king or his chief queen (SITI); a title of the wives originally of paramount sovereigns and later also of feudatory rulers; cf. Devī, Agra- mahādevī, Mahāmahādevī. Note: mahādevī is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Biology (plants and animals)

Source: Wisdom Library: Local Names of Plants and Drugs

Mahadevi [महादेवी] in the Marathi language is the name of a plant identified with Diplocyclos palmatus (L.) C.Jeffrey from the Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin) family having the following synonyms: Bryonia palmata, Zehneria erythrocarpa, Bryonopsis laciniosa. For the possible medicinal usage of mahadevi, you can check this page for potential sources and references, although be aware that any some or none of the side-effects may not be mentioned here, wether they be harmful or beneficial to health.

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This sections includes definitions from the five kingdoms of living things: Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera. It will include both the official binomial nomenclature (scientific names usually in Latin) as well as regional spellings and variants.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mahādēvī (महादेवी).—f (S) Durga, the wife of Shiva.

--- OR ---

mahādēvī (महादेवी).—f A species of cucurbitaceous plant of the genus Bryonia. Its seed resembles the lingam of Mahadeva. Hence its name.

context information

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.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Mahādevī (महादेवी) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—and—[commentary] jy. by Mahādeva. B. 4, 172. Laghumahādevī. B. 4, 192.
—[commentary] by Dhanarāja. B. 4, 172.
—[commentary] by Mādhava. B. 4, 172. Mahādevīkoṣṭhaka. B. 4, 172. Mahādevīsāraṇī, and—[commentary] by Dhanarāja. P. 14.

2) Mahādevī (महादेवी):—astronomical tables for Śāka (1600-1780). Fl. 268.

3) Mahādevī (महादेवी):—astronomical tables. Bd. 845. Tod 24. 45. C. by Dhanarājagaṇi. Bd. 845. Mahādevasāraṇī by Mahādeva. Peters. 5, 497. 6, 429. The same as above. C. by Dhanarāja. Peters. 5, 497.

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

1) Mahādevī (महादेवी):—[=mahā-devī] [from mahā-deva > mahā > mah] f. Name of Śiva’s wife Pārvatī, [Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa] etc. ([Religious Thought and Life in India 186])

2) [v.s. ...] of Lakṣmī, [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa]

3) [v.s. ...] of Dākṣāyaṇī in the Śālagrāma, [Catalogue(s)]

4) [v.s. ...] the chief wife of a king, [Mahābhārata; Kathāsaritsāgara] etc. (vī-tva n. the rank of chief wife, [Kathāsaritsāgara])

5) [v.s. ...] a kind of colocynth, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

6) [v.s. ...] Name of various women, [Vetāla-pañcaviṃśatikā; Catalogue(s)]

7) [v.s. ...] Name of sub voce works.

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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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Mahādēvi (ಮಹಾದೇವಿ):—

1) [noun] Pārvati.

2) [noun] Lakṣmi, the Goddess of Wealth.

3) [noun] the principal wife of a king.

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Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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Nepali dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahadevi in Nepali glossary
Source: unoes: Nepali-English Dictionary

Mahādevī (महादेवी):—n. Mythol. fem. Great Goddess; the Mother Goddess;

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Nepali is the primary language of the Nepalese people counting almost 20 million native speakers. The country of Nepal is situated in the Himalaya mountain range to the north of India.

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