Mahakashyapa, Mahakasyapa, Mahākāśyapa, Maha-kashyapa: 8 definitions



Mahakashyapa 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.

The Sanskrit term Mahākāśyapa can be transliterated into English as Mahakasyapa or Mahakashyapa, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Mahākāśyapa (महाकाश्यप) is the name of a Śrāvaka mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Mahākāśyapa).

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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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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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Mahakashyapa in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Mahākāśyapa (महाकाश्यप) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 51, “when Mahākāśyapa saw the Buddha, he obtained the first fruit of the Path, then eight days later he became Arhat”.—Disgusted by lay life, Mahākāśyapa made himself an under-robe from pieces of cloth (paṭapilotokānaṃ saṃghāti). Like the Arhats in this world, he cut his hair and his beard, put on the yellow robe and went forth from home into homelessness. Having gone forth, half-way he saw the Blessed One seated near the Bahuputta-Cetiya, between Rājagṛha and Nālandā. Having seen him, he wanted to bow to him. Kāśyapa prostrated to the feet of the Blessed One and said: “The Blessed One is my teacher; I am his disciple” The Blessed One encouraged Kāśyapa and, having encouraged him, he arose from his seat and went away. Then Kāśyapa said: “For seven days while I was imperfect, I enjoyed the food offered by the land; on the eighth day, perfect knowledge was produced in me” .

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Mahakashyapa in Buddhism glossary
Source: Buddhist Door: GlossaryMahakassapa in Pali, Mahakasyapa in Sanskrit. He was a Brahman in Magadha, who became one of the Ten Great Disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha. He was the foremost in ascetism. He is regarded as the First Patriarch because he responded with a smile when Shakyamuni Buddha held up a golden flower in a sermon. This is known to be the transmission of heart seal. After the death of Shakyamuni, he was the leader of the disciples. He convened the First Council to compile the Buddhist canon, i.e. Tripitika. Mahakassapa is supposed to be living in Kukkutapada (Cock Foot Mountain) in Magadha, on which he enters into Nirvana.Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

Mahākāśyapa (महाकाश्यप) in Sanskrit, or Mahākassapa in Pali was one of the principal disciples of Gautama Buddha. He came from the kingdom of Magadha. He became an Arhat and was the disciple of the Buddha who was foremost in ascetic practice. Mahākāśyapa assumed the leadership of the Sangha following the death of the Buddha, presiding over the First Buddhist Council. He is considered to be the first patriarch in a number of Mahayana School dharma lineages. In the Theravada tradition, he is considered to be the Buddha's third foremost disciple, surpassed only by the chief disciples Sariputta and Maha Moggallana.

Mahākāśyapa’s entire body was enshrined underneath the mountain Kukkutapada where it is said to remain until the appearance of Maitreya. Pali sources say that beings in Maitreya’s time will be much bigger than during the time of Sakyamuni. In one prophecy, his disciples are contemptuous of Mahākāśyapa, whose head is no larger than an insect to them. Gautama Buddha's robe would barely cover two of their fingers, making them wonder how tiny Gautama Buddha was. Mahākāśyapa is said to be small enough in comparison to cremate in the palm of Maitreya's hand. Mahākāśyapa wears a paṃsukūla robe.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahakashyapa in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Mahākāśyapa (महाकाश्यप).—(= Pali Mahākassapa) = Kāśyapa (2), q.v., one of the Buddha's leading disciples: Mahāvastu i.80.3; ii.114.12; iii.47.14 ff., 48.4 ff. (rebukes Ānanda and tells him the story of his own ordination; corresp. to Pali SN ii.218 ff.); Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 2.1; 100.1; 110.11; 121.1 ff.; 206.8; Lalitavistara 1.13; 443.6; Divyāvadāna 81.25 ff.; 395.21; (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 586.1; Sukhāvatīvyūha 2.6; 92.5; Karmavibhaṅga (and Karmavibhaṅgopadeśa) 45.1; as a mahāśrāvaka, Lalitavistara 444.13; Divyāvadāna 361.18; (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 40.25 etc.

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

Mahākāśyapa (महाकाश्यप):—[=mahā-kāśyapa] [from mahā > mah] m. Name of a disciple of Buddha, [Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 193; 510.]

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahakashyapa 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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