Mahaganga, Maha-ganga, Mahāgaṅgā: 6 definitions



Mahaganga means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Mahaganga in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Mahāgaṅgā (महागङ्गा).—A holy place. Mahābhārata, Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 22 says that abstaining from food for a fortnight after a bath in this place will secure admission to Svargaloka.

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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

Mahaganga, Mahavalukaganga or Mahavalukanadi.—The chief river of Ceylon, the modern Mahaveliganga. Viewed from the city of Anuradhapura, the right bank was called paraganga and the left oraganga. The river was of great strategic importance, and is mentioned in various accounts of campaigns between opposing armies. It was always regarded as the boundary between North Ceylon, with Anuradhapura (and later, Pulatthipura) as the centre, and the South east province of Rohana.

Various fords on this river are mentioned in the books, the chief among these being Kacchakatittha, Ganthambatittha, Maharukkhatittha, Malagamatittha, Yakkhasukaratittha, Sarogamatittha, Sahassatittha and Suvannatthambhatittha. There were evidently other fords at the bends of the river with no particular names (e.g., Cv.lxxii.285).

The kings of Ceylon constructed various canals branching off from the river to help in their irrigation schemes. One such was the Pabbatanta Canal, built by Mahasena (Mhv.xxxvii.50); while the Aciravati, the Gomati, and the Malapaharani were constructed by Parakkamabahu I. (Cv.lxxix.51f). Dhatusena irrigated the surrounding fields by means of damming up the river (Cv.xxxviii.12), as did Sena II. by the construction of the Manimekhala dam ( In the time of Parakkamabahu II. and, later, of Vijayabahu IV., great ordination ceremonies were held on the river at Sahassatittha (Cv.lxxxvii.72; lxxxix.70f), and again at Ganthambatittha in the time of Vimaladhammasuriya I. Cv.xciv.17; also Vimaladhammasuriya II. (Cv.xcvii.12).

The river rises in Samantakuta (Cv.c.82). The Mahanagavana of the Yakkhas, where, later, was erected the Mahiyangathupa, was on the right bank of the river. Cv.lxxxix.70; Mhv.Trs., p.3.


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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India history and geography

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Mahāgaṅgā (महागङ्गा) is the name of a river as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—Mahāgaṅgā (cf. Mahāvaṃsa) is identical with the modern Mahāwaeligaṅgā river in Ceylon.

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 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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahaganga in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mahāgaṅgā (महागङ्गा):—[=mahā-gaṅgā] [from mahā > mah] f. ‘the great Gaṅgā’, Name of a river, [Mahābhārata]

[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch

Mahāgaṅgā (महागङ्गा):—f. die grosse Gaṃgā, Nomen proprium eines Flusses [Mahābhārata 13, 1708.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Sanskrit-Wörterbuch in kürzerer Fassung

Mahāgaṅgā (महागङ्गा):—f. Nomen proprium eines Flusses.

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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