Mahakala, Mahākāla, Mahākalā, Maha-kala: 35 definitions


Mahakala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

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In Hinduism

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam

Mahākāla (महाकाल):—One of the persons joining Śiva during the preparations of the war between Śankhacūḍa and the Devas, according to the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa (9.20.22-53). All persons attending were remained seated on beautiful aerial cars, built of jewels and gems. The war was initiated by Puṣpadanta (messenger of Śiva) who was ordered to restore the rights of the Devas. .

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

1) Mahākāla (महाकाल) refers to one of the eight sacred fields (kṣetra), according to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—Accordingly, “The man of knowledge should mark the sacred fields located in the towns. [...] Now listen (to how it is) in the home. [...] (The adept) abides in (each) place in the (eight) sacred fields, (namely) Gaṇikā, Śiras, Kālī, Kāla, Ālaya, Śiva, Kāliñjara, and Mahākāla”.

2) Mahākāla (महाकाल) refers to one of the eight Guardians (kṣetrapāla-aṣṭaka) associated with Jālandhara (which is in the southern quarter), according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—[...] The eight guardians: Agnivetāla, Jayanta, Jvālāmukha, Bhīmanāda, Ghora, Meghanāda, Mahākāla, Khaga.

3) Mahākāla (महाकाल) refers to one of the nine Bhairava associated with the nine energies of Navātman, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra.—[Note: this passage is drawn from the Gurukramasūtra]—Another way in which the nine energies of Navātman may be understood are as nine aspects of the Command that generates the Bhairavas corresponding to its nine letters.  [...] In this case Navātman is SHKṢMLVRYŪ(Ṃ): [...] Mahākāla (Ma) is born of Energy (śakti). [...] (This) is the excellent teacher within the tradition. He who knows the teacher here is the delight of Kula.

Source: Red Zambala: The 10 Great Wisdom Goddesses

Śiva, as Mahā-kāla is eternal time, he’s the substratum from which arise all the secondary cycles of time and the energies which rule them — beginning with the cycles of evolution and involution of the cosmos and including all the cycles which govern everything from the sub-atomic particles to the galaxies, including the cycles which rule the existence of every single species of life, and it’s each and every moment. The most representative division of the cycle of time is the alternation of day and night which are constant reminders of the rhythmic universal patterns of projection and dissolution of all that exists.

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»] — Mahakala in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Skanda-purana

Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of a gaṇa (attendant of Śiva), mentioned in the Skandapurāṇa 4.2.53. In this chapter, Śiva (Giriśa) summons his attendants (gaṇas) and ask them to venture towards the city Vārāṇasī (Kāśī) in order to find out what the yoginīs, the sun-god, Vidhi (Brahmā) were doing there.

While the gaṇas such as Mahākāla were staying at Kāśī, they were desirous but unable of finding a weakness in king Divodaśa who was ruling there. Kāśī is described as a fascinating place beyond the range of Giriśa’s vision, and as a place where yoginīs become ayoginīs, after having come in contact with it. Kāśī is described as having both the power to destroy great delusion, as well as creating it.

The Skandapurāṇa narrates the details and legends surrounding numerous holy pilgrimages (tīrtha-māhātmya) throughout India. It is the largest Mahāpurāṇa composed of over 81,000 metrical verses, with the core text dating from the before the 4th-century CE.

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Mahākāla (महाकाल).—A Śiva pārṣada. Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 10, Verse 34 mentions that Śiva Pārṣadas known as Mahākālas flourished in the assembly of Kubera.

2) Mahākāla (महाकाल).—A sacred place situated in the Śiprā river valley in Ujjain. The Śivaliṅga installed in this place is called "Mahākāla." Mahābhārata, Vana Parva, Chapter 82, Verse 49 says that those who take a bath in the Koṭitīrtha at this place, get the same effect as that of an Aśvamedha yāga.

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Mahākāla (महाकाल) or Mahākāleśvara refers to one of twelve Jyotirliṅgas, according to the Śivapurāṇa 1.22 while explaining the importance of the partaking of the Naivedya of Śiva. Mahākāla is located at Ujjain.

2) Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of a leader of Gaṇas (Gaṇapa or Gaṇeśvara or Gaṇādhipa) who came to Kailāsa, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.20. Accordingly, after Śiva decided to become the friend of Kubera:—“[...] The leaders of Gaṇas revered by the whole world and of high fortune arrived there. [...] Kuṇḍin, Vāha and the auspicious Parvataka with twelve crores each, Kāla, Kālaka and Mahākāla each with a hundred crores. [...]”.

These [viz., Mahākāla] and other leaders of Gaṇas [viz., Gaṇapas] were all powerful (mahābala) and innumerable (asaṃkhyāta). [...] The Gaṇa chiefs and other noble souls of spotless splendour eagerly reached there desirous of seeing Śiva. Reaching the spot they saw Śiva, bowed to and eulogised him.

Mahākāla participated in Vīrabhadra’s campaign against Dakṣa, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.33. Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“O Nārada, listen to the numerical strength of the most important and courageous of those groups. [...] Kāla, Kālaka and Mahākāla went to the sacrifice of Dakṣa with a hundred crores. [...] Thus at the bidding of Śiva, the heroic Vīrabhadra went ahead followed by crores and crores, thousands and thousands, hundreds and hundreds of Gaṇas [viz., Mahākāla]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Mahākāla (महाकाल).—A son of Guhāvasa, the avatār of the 17th dvāpara.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 177.

1b) A Gaṇeśvara; an attendant of Śiva; with Mahākāli engaged in the service of Lalitā as one of her guardsmen; he is served by servants like Kālamṛtyu; in charge of the first entrance to Śrīpuram; other Śaktis attached to him are Mahāsandhya and Mahāniśā in the Trikoṇa and five Śaktis on the Pañcakoṇa as also those on the ṣoḍaśa patra and nāga patra; his seat is Kālacakra.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 41. 26; Matsya-purāṇa 183. 64; 192. 6; 266. 42; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 32. 23; IV. 30. 75; 32. 2, 40; 34. 89.

1c) Sacred to Maheśvarī.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 13. 41.

1d) A place sacred to Śiva.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 181. 26.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Mahākāla (महाकाल) refers to the name of a Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. ). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Mahākāla) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Mahākāla (महाकाल) or Mahākālatīrtha is the name of a Tīrtha (holy places) mentioned in the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—The Saurapurāṇa refers to a tīrtha named Mahākāla which is very dear to Kālakāla Śiva. There the feet of lord Śiva is stated to be established on earth. Bathing at this tīrtha if a person perceives the feet of Śiva, attains Śaivapada.

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

1) Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the Sanskrit name of a deity presiding over Ujjayini, one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, which is one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas and presiding deities (e.g., Mahākāla) is found in the commentary on the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

2) Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of a teacher to whom the Kāpālika doctrine was revelead, mentioned in the Śābaratantra. The disciple of Mahākāla is mentioned as being Carpaṭa. The Śābara-tantra is an early tantra of the Kāpālika sect containing important information about the evolution of the Nātha sect. It also lists the twelve original Kāpālika teachers (eg., Mahākāla). Several of these names appear in the Nātha lists of eighty-four Siddhas and nine Nāthas.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva

Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of a deity who received the Vātulāgama from Śiva through the mahānsambandha relation, according to the pratisaṃhitā theory of Āgama origin and relationship (sambandha). The vātula-āgama, being part of the eighteen Rudrabhedāgamas, refers to one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgamas: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu.

Mahākāla obtained the Vātulāgama from Devavibhava who in turn obtained it from Sadāśiva through parasambandha. Mahākāla in turn, transmitted it to through divya-sambandha to the Devas who, through divyādivya-sambandha, transmitted it to the Ṛṣis who finally, through adivya-sambandha, revealed the Vātulāgama to human beings (Manuṣya). (also see Anantaśambhu’s commentary on the Siddhāntasārāvali of Trilocanaśivācārya)

Source: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II) (shaivism)

Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of a Kṣetrapāla (field-protector) and together with Mahāmāyā Devī they preside over Ujjayinī: one of the twenty-four sacred districts mentioned in the Kubjikāmatatantra (chapter 22). Their weapon is the pāśa and their abode is the aśvattha-tree. A similar system appears in the 9th century Vajraḍākatantra (chapter 18).

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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Kavya (poetry)

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

Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of a deity and/or his cementary (śmaśāna) near the river Gandhavatī near Ujjayinī, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 102. Accordingly, “... then he [Mṛgāṅkadatta] reached the River Gandhavatī, and dispelled his fatigue by bathing in it; and after crossing it, he arrived with his companions in that cemetery of Mahākāla. There he beheld the image of mighty Bhairava, black with the smoke from neighbouring pyres, surrounded with many fragments of bones and skulls, terrible with the skeletons of men which it held in its grasp, worshipped by heroes, frequented by many troops of demons, dear to sporting witches”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Mahākāla, 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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Kalpa (Formulas, Drug prescriptions and other Medicinal preparations)

Source: Science And Technology In Medievel India (kalpa)

Mahākāla (महाकाल) or Mahākālataila refers to Kalpa (medicinal preparation) described in the Auṣadhikalpa, as mentioned in A. Rahman’s Science and Technology in Medievel India: A bibliography of source materials in Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian.—Ancient and medieval India produced a wide range of scientific manuscripts and major contributions lie in the field of medicine, astronomy and mathematics, besides covering encyclopedic glossaries and technical dictionaries.—The Auṣadhikalpa is a medical work of the type of Materia Medica giving twenty-six medical preparations [e.g., Mahākāla-taila] to be used as patent medicines against various diseases.

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (natya)

Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of the deity associated with Bībhatsa or the “odious sentiment”, which represents one of the nine kinds of Rasa (“soul of Drama”), according to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, an ancient Sanskrit text which (being encyclopedic in nature) deals with a variety of cultural topics such as arts, architecture, music, grammar and astronomy.—According to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, the sentiment of bībhatsa arises from jugupsā i.e., disgusting sight and it is showed by shaking of nose. [...] Nīla i.e., blue is the colour and Mahākāla is the god of this sentiment.

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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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

1) Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of a deity mentioned in both the 5th-century Sādhanamālā and the 11th-century Niṣpannayogāvalī of Mahāpaṇḍita Abhayākara.—Mahākāla has been given a variety of forms in these two works. He may have one face with two, four or six arms, or eight faces with sixteen arms. He is one of the many terrible deities of the Buddhist pantheon with ornaments of snakes, canine teeth, protruding belly and garment of tiger-skin.

Mahākāla (two-armed variety).—[His Colour is blue; his Symbols are the kartri and kapāla].—The Dhyāna (meditation instructions) of Mahākāla is described in the Sādhanamālā as follows:—

“The worshipper should conceive himself as Śrī Mahākāla Bhaṭṭāraka who is two-armed and one-faced and has blue colour. He is three-eyed, has fiery radiance, and carries the kartri and the kapāla in his right and left hands respectively. He bears five skulls on his brown hair which rises up on his head and is decorated with a chain of severed heads. He looks terrible with bare fangs, and is decked in ornaments of serpents and a sacred thread made out of a snake. He is short and from his mouth trickles forth blood. Thus quickly meditating...”

Mahākāla (four-armed variety).—[His Colour is blue; his Symbols are the kartri, kapāla, sword and khaṭvāṅga].—He is described in the Sādhanamālā as follows:—

[When four-armed Mahākāla resembles the two-armed one in all details except in the number of arms and the symbols he displays in his hands. Here he carries the kartri and the kapāla in the first or the principal pair of hands, and the sword and the khaṭvāṅga in the second pair.]

Mahākāla (six-armed variety).—[His Colour is blue; his Symbols are the kartri, rosary, ḍamaru, kapāla, śūla and vajrapāśa].—He is described in the Sādhanamālā as follows:—

[When six-armed the form of Mahākāla resembles the two-armed variety already described, with the difference that here he has six arms carrying six different symbols. In his six hands he exhibits the kartri, the rosary and the ḍamaru in the right and the kapāla, the śūla and the vajrapāśa in the left.]

Mahākāla (sixteen-armed variety).—[His Colour is blue; he has eight faces and four legs].—He is described in the Sādhanamālā as follows:—

“The worshipper should conceive himself as sixteen-armed Mahākāla with eight faces, twenty-four eyes, four legs, and sixteen arms. He carries in his (seven) right hands the kartri, the vajra, the elephant-hide, the mudgara, the triśūla, the sword and the staff of Yama, and in the (seven) left hands the kapāla full of blood, elephant-hide, the bell, the goad, the white chowrie, the ḍamaru and the human head. The two remaining hands are engaged in embracing the prajñā. He is short and blue in complexion, utters laughing sounds, such as hā hā, hī hī, he he, and looks terribly fierce. He is the essence of the Three kāyas, bears the images of the five Dhyāni Buddhas on his crown, is decked in garlands of heads as ornaments, and is more awe-inspiring than Awe itself.”

[The sādhana further adds that Mahākāla should be surrounded by seven goddesses, three in the three cardinal points, (the fourth being occupied by his own Śakti) and the other four in the four corners.

To the East is Mahāmāyā (consort of Maheśvara); To the South is Yamadūtī; To the West is Kāladūtī; The four corners are occupied by the following Goddesses: Kālikā (South-east); Carcikā (South-west); Caṇḍeśvarī (North-west); Kuliśeśvarī (North-east).

Surrounded by all these deities Mahākāla should be meditated uponas trampling upon Vajrabhairava in the form of a corpse.]

Mahākāla is a ferocious god who is generally worshipped in the Tantric rite of Māraṇa and for the destruction of enemies, Mahākāla was also regarded as a terrible spirit, and was calculated to inspire awe in the minds of those Buddhists, who were not reverential to their Gurus, and did not care much for the Three Jewels. He is supposed to eat these culprits raw, and the process of eating has been minutely described in almost all the sādhanas.

The sādhanas generally contain the following verses in order to show the terrible nature of Mahākāla:

“He who hates his preceptor, is adversely disposed to the Three Jewels, and destroys many animals is eaten up raw by Mahākāla. He, (Mahākāla) cuts his flesh to pieces, drinks his blood, and (after) entering into his head breaks it into small bits”.

Mahākāla is described in the Niṣpannayogāvalī (dharmadhātuvāgīśvara-maṇḍala) as follows:—

“Mahākāla is blue in colour and carries the triśūla and the kapāla in his two hands”.

2) Mahākāla (महाकाल) is another name for Mahābala: one of the ten deities of the quarters (Dikpāla) presiding over the Vāyu-corner, commonly depicted in Buddhist Iconography, and mentioned in the Niṣpannayogāvalī.—His Colour is blue; he has three faces and six arms.—The seventh deity in the series is Mahābala, who is the presiding deity of the intermediate corner of Vāyu. [...] In the vajrahūṃkāra-maṇḍala he is given the name of Mahākāla. But in the dharmadhātuvagīśvara-maṇḍala he is known as Paramāśva.

Source: A Collection of Tantric Ritual Texts

Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of an ancient Tibetan tantric deity.—Mahākāla was probably borrowed by the Buddhists from the Shivaite Tantras and reinterpreted as an emanation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. He belongs to the class of the Dharma Protectors, those of the supramundane type. His functions are to eliminate both outer and inner obstacles for life and practice of the Buddhists such as enemies, diseases, personal afflictions, etc.

Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of a deity [i.e., oṃ maṃ to mahākāla svāhā; oṃ to mahākālī svāhā], according to the Kalaśa Pūjā [i.e., Kalasha Worship] 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
context information

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Mahākāla (महाकाल) refers to a class of piśāca deities according to both the Digambara and Śvetāmbara traditions of Jainism. The piśācas refer to a category of vyantaras gods which represents one of the four classes of celestial beings (devas).

The deities such as Mahākālas are defined in ancient Jain cosmological texts such as the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapaṇṇati by Yativṛṣabha (5th century) in the Digambara tradition

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

1) Mahākāla (महाकाल) and Kāla are the two Indras (i.e., lords or kings) of the Piśācas who came to the peak of Meru for partaking in the birth-ceremonies of Ṛṣabha, according to chapter 1.2 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

2) Mahākāla (महाकाल) refers to one of the nine treasures mentioned in chapter 1.4 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

Accordingly: “At the end of the four days’ fast, the nine famous treasures approached him (i.e., king Bharata), each always attended by one thousand Yakṣas, Naisarpa, Pāṇḍuka, Piṅgala, Sarvaratnaka, Mahāpadma, Kāla, Mahākāla, Māṇava, Śaṅkhaka. They were mounted on eight wheels, eight yojanas high, nine yojanas broad, twelve yojanas long, their faces concealed by doors of cat’s-eye, smooth, golden, filled with jewels, marked with the cakra, sun, and moon. [...] As their guardians, Nāgakumāra-gods with names the same as theirs, with life-periods of a palyopama, inhabited them. [...] The origin of coral, slabs of silver and gold, pearls, and iron, of mines of iron, etc., is in Mahākāla”.

3) Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the presiding deity of Keyūpa: one of the four Pātāla-vessels in the Lavaṇoda surrounding Jambūdvīpa which is situated in the “middle world” (madhyaloka), according to chapter 2.2.—Accordingly, “[...] In it (i.e., Lavaṇoda), in the directions, east, etc., there are 4 Pātāla-vessels, named Vaḍavāmukha, Keyūpa, Yūpaka, Īśvara, respectively, beginning with the east. They are 100,000 yojanas high; have walls of diamond 1,000 yojanas thick; are 10,000 yojanas wide at top and bottom; and have water in the third part supported by wind, resembling large clay water-jars. In them, the gods Kāla, Mahākāla, Velamba, and Prabhañjana, respectively, live in pleasure-houses”.

4) Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of a ram, according to chapter 5.4 [śāntinātha-caritra].—Accordingly, as King Ghanaratha said:—“[...] The two buffaloes (i.e., incarnations of Tāmrakalaśa and Kāñcanakalaśa), arrogant as buffaloes of Kṛtānta, were made to fight by the sons of the king of Ayodhyā out of curiosity. After they had fought a long time, they died, and became strong-bodied rams, Kāla and Mahākāla. Meeting by chance in the same place they fought because of former hostility, died, and were born as these cocks with equal strength. One was not conquered by the other. Now as before one will not be conquered by the other. [...]”.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)

Mahākāla (महाकाल) refers to one of the two Indras (lords) of the Piśāca class of “peripatetic celestial beings” (vyantara), itself a main division of devas (celestial beings) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.6. Kāla and Mahākāla are the two lords in the class ‘goblin’ peripatetic celestial beings.

Source: Tessitori Collection I

Mahākāla (महाकाल) refers to one of the  fifteen Paramādhārmīs causing suffering in the hells (naraka), according to Rājasoma’s “Naraka ko coḍhālyo”, which is included in the collection of manuscripts at the ‘Vincenzo Joppi’ library, collected by Luigi Pio Tessitori during his visit to Rajasthan between 1914 and 1919.—No name of any source is given in the text but the three stages followed in the exposition correspond closely to those found in a handbook such as Nemicandrasūri’s Pravacanasāroddhāra, [e.g.,] 3) sufferings inflicted by the fifteen Paramādhārmīs [e.g., Mahākāla]. [...] These gods (here Sūra or Deva) form a sub-class of the Asurakumāras and perform their tasks in the first, second and third hells.

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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geography

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Mahākāla (महाकाल) is the name of a mountain situated in Majjhimadesa (Middle Country) of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—Mahākāla is a mountain in the Himavanta.

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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

Mahakala [ମହାକାଳ] in the Odia language is the name of a plant identified with Trichosanthes tricuspidata Lour. from the Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin) family having the following synonyms: Trichosanthes palmata, Trichosanthes bracteata, Modecca bracteata. For the possible medicinal usage of mahakala, 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.

Mahakala [महाकाल] in the Sanskrit language, ibid. previous identification.

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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

mahākāla (महाकाल).—m (S) in poetry mahākāḷa m A name or form of Shiva in his character of the destroying deity, Time personified. Ex. ma0 ubhā cirīna bāṇīṃ ||. 2 One of the lingams of Shiva.

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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: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mahākalā (महाकला).—the night of the new moon.

Mahākalā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and kalā (कला).

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Mahākāla (महाकाल).—

1) a form of Śiva in his character as the destroyer of the world; महाकालं यजेद्देव्या दक्षिणे धूम्रवर्णकम् (mahākālaṃ yajeddevyā dakṣiṇe dhūmravarṇakam) Kālītantram.

2) Name of a celebrated shrine or temple of Śiva (Mahākāla) (one of the 12 celebrated Jyotirliṅgas) established at Ujjayinī (immortalized by Kālidāsa in his Meghadūta, which gives a very beautiful description of the god, his temple, worship &c., together with a graphic picture of the city; cf. Meghadūta 3-38; also R.6.34); महाकालनिवासिनं कालीविलासिनमनश्वरं महेश्वरं समाराध्य (mahākālanivāsinaṃ kālīvilāsinamanaśvaraṃ maheśvaraṃ samārādhya) Daśakumāracarita 1.1.

3) an epithet of Viṣṇu.

4) Name of a kind of gourd.

5) Name of Śiva's servant (nandi). °पुरम् (puram) the city of Ujjayinī. °फलम् (phalam) a red fruit with black seeds; पक्वं महाकालफलं किलासीत् (pakvaṃ mahākālaphalaṃ kilāsīt) N.22.29.

Derivable forms: mahākālaḥ (महाकालः).

Mahākāla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and kāla (काल).

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

Mahākāla (महाकाल).—(compare Pali Mahākāḷa, name of a nāga king and of a mountain; see s.vv. kāla, kālaka), (1) name of a yakṣa: Mahā-Māyūrī 12; (2) name of a gandharva: Suvarṇabhāsottamasūtra 161.18; (3) name of a deity, doubtless borrowed from Hinduism (Mah° = Śiva): Sādhanamālā 583.1 (here Vajra-Mah°), etc.; (4) name of a mountain: Kāraṇḍavvūha 91.13 (see s.v. Kāla).

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

Mahākalā (महाकला).—f.

(-lā) The night of the new moon.

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Mahākāla (महाकाल).—m.

(-laḥ) 1. A name or rather a form of Siva, in his character of the destroying deity, being then represented of a black colour, and of aspect more or less terrific. 2. A name of Nandi, Siva'S porter and attendant. 3. The mango tree. f. (-lī) 1. The wife of the preceding deity, and a terrific form of Durga. 2. A goddess peculiar to the Jainas. 3. One of the Vidya-devis of the same sect. E. mahā great, excessively, kāla black, or time; in one capacity that of jagadbhakṣakaḥ the world-eater, Siva or Mahakala may be considered as a personification of time that destroys all things.

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

Mahākāla (महाकाल).—I. m. a name of Śiva. Ii. f. , Durgā.

— Cf. etc., under kalaṅka.

Mahākāla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and kāla (काल).

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

Mahākāla (महाकाल).—[masculine] a form and a temple of Śiva; [feminine] ī a form of Durgā.

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

1) Mahākalā (महाकला):—[=mahā-kalā] [from mahā > mah] f. the night of the new moon, [Catalogue(s)]

2) Mahākāla (महाकाल):—[=mahā-kāla] [from mahā > mah] m. a form of Śiva in his character of destroyer (being then represented black and of terrific aspect) or a place sacred to that form of Śiva, [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] Name of one of Śiva’s attendants, [Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa; Kathāsaritsāgara] etc. (-tva n., [Harivaṃśa])

4) [v.s. ...] of Viṣṇu, [Dhyānabindu-upaniṣad]

5) [v.s. ...] = viṣṇu-rūpākhaṇḍa-daṇḍāyamāna-samaya (?), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

6) [v.s. ...] Name of a teacher, [Catalogue(s)]

7) [v.s. ...] of a species of cucumber, Trichosanthes Palmata, [Kāvya literature]

8) [v.s. ...] the mango tree (?), [Horace H. Wilson]

9) [v.s. ...] (with Jainas) one of the 9 treasures, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

10) [v.s. ...] Name of a mythical mountain, [Kāraṇḍa-vyūha]

11) [=mahā-kāla] [from mahā > mah] n. Name of a Liṅga in Ujjayinī, [Kathāsaritsāgara]

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

Mahākāla (महाकाल):—[mahā+kāla] (laḥ) 1. m. A name or form of Shiva; Nandi, his door-keeper; a mango tree. f. Durgā as terrific; a Jaina goddess.

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahakala 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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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Mahākāla (ಮಹಾಕಾಲ):—

1) [noun] the most formidable, terrific form of Śiva.

2) [noun] a class of attendants of Śiva.

3) [noun] a member of this class.

4) [noun] the darkest black colour.

5) [noun] a cloudy day on which sun is not seen.

6) [noun] a wicked fellow.

7) [noun] the tree Anacardium occidentale of Anacardiaceae family.

8) [noun] the tree Strychnos nux-vomica of Loganiaceae family.

9) [noun] its poisonous nut containing strychnine, brucine and other alkaloids; nux-vomica.

10) [noun] Viṣṇu.

11) [noun] Nandi, a principal attendant of Śiva.

12) [noun] the incessant flow of time.

13) [noun] pitch-darkness.

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Mahākāḷa (ಮಹಾಕಾಳ):—[noun] = ಮಹಾಕಾಲ [mahakala].

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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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