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 (?).
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)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 (mahākaṣṭa—kaṣṭataraṃ mahākaṣṭaṃ) that destroyers have arisen in the world’”.
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.
General definition (in Jainism)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”.
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.
See also (Relevant definitions)
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