Mahadhana, Mahādhana, Maha-dhana: 16 definitions


Mahadhana 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

Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Mahadhana in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Mahādhana (वसुदत्त) is the name of a rich merchant from Vallabhī and father of Vasudatta: a previous human incarnation of Jīmūtavāhana, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 22. The tale of his previous incarnation was told by Jīmūtavāhana to Mitrāvasu (son of Viśvāvasu) for the sake of his curiosity.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Mahādhana, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Universität Wien: Sudarśana's Worship at the Royal Court According to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā

Mahādhana (महाधन) refers to “large masses of wealth”, according to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā, belonging to the Pāñcarātra tradition which deals with theology, rituals, iconography, narrative mythology and others.—Accordingly, “One desirous of a kingdom, one who has been deprived of it or one conquered by [other] rulers, after having paid respect with large masses of wealth (mahādhana) to the supreme Guru, the giver of Sudarśana’s Yantra, considering [him] superior to all, should propitiate God Nārāyaṇa - who has large eyes like lotuses, is [of] dark [complexion], clad in a yellow garment, adorned with all ornaments and with four arms - following the rules given by the teacher. [...]”.

Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Mahadhana in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Mahādhana (महाधन) refers to “being rich”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.43 (“Description of Śiva’s wonderful sport”).—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada: “On hearing your words, Menā thought her daughter auspicious, rich (mahādhana), fortunate and harbinger of happiness for the three families. Her face was beaming with pleasure and her heart was delighted. Frequently congratulating herself on her good luck she said:— [Menā said:—] ‘By the birth of Pārvatī, I have become blessed in every respect. The lord of mountains too is blessed. Every thing connected with me is blessed. Her would-be-husband is the lord of these leaders of great lustre whom I have seen now. How can I describe her good luck even in hundred years? It is impossible to describe it when I see the lustre of these leaders’”.

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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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

[«previous next»] — Mahadhana in Jyotisha glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Mahādhana (महाधन) refers to “rich men”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 16) (“On the planets—graha-bhaktiyoga”), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “[...] Jupiter also presides over elephants, horses, priests, rulers, ministers, marriages and health; over mercy, truthfulness, cleanliness, religious observances; over learning, gifts and charity; over citizens, rich men (mahādhana), grammarians, Vedic students, sorcerers, lawyers, the ensigns of royalty—the umbrella, the flag-staff, the Cāmara and the like; over Śaileyaka, Mānsī, Tagara, Kuṣṭha, quicksilver, salt, beans, sweet flavour, wax and Coraka”.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Mahadhana. The son of the Treasurer of Benares. His parents possessed eighty crores, and, for all education, he learnt music and singing. He married the daughter of an equally rich family and of similar education. After the death of their parents, they were very rich. One night, as the husband was on his way from the palace, some knaves tempted him to drink. He soon fell a victim to the habit and all his wealth was squandered. Then he spent his wifes money, and finally sold all his belongings, and used to go about begging, a potsherd in his hand. One day the Buddha, seeing him waiting outside the refectory for leavings of food, smiled. In answer to Ananda, who asked him the reason for his smile, the Buddha said that there was a man who had had the power of becoming chief Treasurer or attaining arahantship, if he did but use his opportunities, but he was now reduced to beggary, like a heron in a dried up pond. DhA.iii.129ff.

2. Mahadhana. A merchant of Savatthi. Five hundred thieves once attempted unsuccessfully to enter his house, but hearing that he was about to travel through a forest with five hundred carts laden with goods, they lay in wait for him. The merchant took with him five hundred monks and entertained them in a village at the entrance to the forest. As he tarried there several days, the thieves sent a man to find out when he might be setting out, which he learnt would be soon. The villagers warned the merchant of the thieves intention, and he gave up the idea of the journey and decided to return home. But on hearing that the thieves were lying in ambush on tile homeward road, he stayed in the village. The monks returned to Jetavana and told the Buddha, who taught them that men should avoid evil even as Mahadhana avoided thieves. DhA.iii.21f.

3. Mahadhana. A merchant of Benares. On his way to Savatthi with five hundred carts filled with cloth of the colour of safflower, he came to the river and unyoked his oxen, thinking to cross on the morrow. In the night it rained and there was a flood. For seven days the rain continued, and Mahadhana decided to stay until his wares were sold and then return home. The Buddha, on his begging rounds, saw him and smiled. When asked the reason by Ananda, he said that the man, in spite of all his plans, had only seven days to live. With the Buddhas permission, Ananda warned Mahadhana, who thereupon invited the Buddha and his monks and entertained them. At the end of the meal the Buddha preached to him and he became a Sotapanna. Shortly after he was seized with pain in the head and died immediately, to be re born in Tusita. DhA.iii.429f.

4. Mahadhana. A very rich man of Rajagaha. He had only one son, to whom he taught nothing, in case he should weary of learning. The boy, when grown up, married a woman likewise of no education. After the death of his father,

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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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Mahadhana in Mahayana glossary
Source: Bulletin of the French School of the Far East (volume 5)

Mahādhana (महाधन) is the name of a Kumbhāṇḍa appointed as one of the Divine protector deities of Śroṇa, according to chapter 17 of the Candragarbha: the 55th section of the Mahāsaṃnipāta-sūtra, a large compilation of Sūtras (texts) in Mahāyāna Buddhism partly available in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.—In the Candragarbhasūtra, the Bhagavat invites all classes of Gods and Deities to protect the Law [dharma?] and the faithful in their respective kingdoms of Jambudvīpa [e.g., the Kumbhāṇḍa Mahādhana in Śroṇa], resembling the time of the past Buddhas.

Source: De Gruyter: A Buddhist Ritual Manual on Agriculture

Mahādhana (महाधन) refers to “great wealth”, 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, “Now there lived a Brahmin called Viṣṇudatta in Navanagara. He was wealthy (mahādhana) with great riches, great revenues; he was endowed with copious acquisitions and means of subsistence. He had mastered the Vedas and Vedāṅgas. He was a mantra-reciter and mantra-practitioner. He summoned Nāgas again and again. He sacrificed fire oblations. [...]”.

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

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahadhana in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

mahādhana : (nt.) immense wealth.

Pali book cover
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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.

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Sanskrit dictionary

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

Mahādhana (महाधन).—a.

1) rich.

2) expensive, costly; हेमदण्डैर्महाधनैः (hemadaṇḍairmahādhanaiḥ) Rām.7. 77.13. (-nam) 1 gold.

2) incense.

3) a costly or rich dress.

4) agriculture, husbandry.

5) anything costly or precious.

6) great booty.

7) a great battle (Ved.).

Mahādhana is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and dhana (धन).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Mahādhana (महाधन).—name of a king: Divyāvadāna 435.5. Later called Dhana, q.v.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mahādhana (महाधन).—mfn.

(-naḥ-nā-naṃ) 1. Rich, opulent. 2. Costly, precious, valuable. n.

(-naṃ) 1. Any thing costly or precious. 2. Gold. 3. Incense. 4. Costly raiment. 5. Agriculture. E. mahā great, dhana wealth or price.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mahādhana (महाधन).—1. [neuter] great contest or booty; great wealth.

--- OR ---

Mahādhana (महाधन).—2. [adjective] having or costing much money; rich, wealthy, costly, precious.

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

1) Mahādhana (महाधन):—[=mahā-dhana] [from mahā > mah] n. great spoil or booty (taken in battle), [Ṛg-veda]

2) [v.s. ...] a gr° contest, gr° battle, [ib.; Naighaṇṭuka, commented on by Yāska]

3) [v.s. ...] great wealth or riches, [Varāha-mihira; Kathāsaritsāgara]

4) [v.s. ...] agriculture, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) [v.s. ...] mf(ā)n. costing much money, very costly or precious or valuable, [Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa; Rāmāyaṇa; Cāṇakya]

6) [v.s. ...] having much money, rich, wealthy, [Rāmāyaṇa; Pañcatantra; Hitopadeśa] etc.

7) [v.s. ...] m. Name of a merchant, [Kathāsaritsāgara; Vetāla-pañcaviṃśatikā]

8) [v.s. ...] n. anything costly or precious, [Horace H. Wilson]

9) [v.s. ...] gold, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

10) [v.s. ...] incense, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

11) [v.s. ...] costly raiment, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mahādhana (महाधन):—[mahā-dhana] (naḥ-nā-naṃ) a. Rich, valuable. n. Any thing costly; gold; incense; raiment; agriculture.

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahadhana 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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