Mahakashta, Mahākaṣṭa, Maha-kashta: 2 definitions


Mahakashta means something in Buddhism, Pali, Jainism, Prakrit. 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.

The Sanskrit term Mahākaṣṭa can be transliterated into English as Mahakasta or Mahakashta, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Mahakashta in Mahayana glossary
Source: De Gruyter: A Buddhist Ritual Manual on Agriculture

Mahākaṣṭa (महाकष्ट) refers to a “very bad thing”, 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, [after Vairambhaka spoke to the Bhagavān], “Then, having heard this voice, all the Devas, Nāgas, Yakṣas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garuḍas, Kiṃnaras, Mahoragas, humans and non-humans said, ‘Alas, alas, woe, woe, so bad (mahākaṣṭakaṣṭataraṃ mahākaṣṭaṃ) that destroyers have arisen in the world’”.

Mahayana book cover
context information

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Mahakashta in Jainism glossary
Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Mahākaṣṭa (महाकष्ट) refers to “great misery”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Indeed, alone, the self roams about in the impassable wilderness of the world which is full of great misfortune [com.mahākaṣṭa-saṃkoca—‘that which has binding with great misery’] [and] inflamed by the fire of suffering. The same [self] always takes hold of the interior of a body entirely to experience the good and bad result developed from its own action by itself”.

Synonyms: Mahāvyasana.

General definition book cover
context information

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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