Mahalakshmi, aka: Mahālakṣmī, Maha-lakshmi; 13 Definition(s)

Introduction

Mahalakshmi means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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 Mahālakṣmī can be transliterated into English as Mahalaksmi or Mahalakshmi, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Mahalakshmi in Shaivism glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mahālakṣmī (महालक्ष्मी):—Sanskrit name of one of the twenty-four goddesses of the Sūryamaṇḍala (first maṇḍala of the Khecarīcakra) according to the kubjikāmata-tantra. The Khecarīcakra is the fifth cakra (‘internal mystic center’) of the five (pañcacakra) and is located on or above the head. She presides over the pītha (‘sacred site’) called Kolāgiri.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra
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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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

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Mahālakṣmī (महालक्ष्मी, “great beauty”):—Name of one of the sixty-four mātṛs to be worshipped during Āvaraṇapūjā (“Worship of the Circuit of Goddesses”, or “Durgā’s Retinue”), according to the Durgāpūjātattva. They should be worshipped with either the five upācāras or perfume and flowers.

Her mantra is as follows:

ॐ महालक्ष्म्यै नमः
oṃ mahālakṣmyai namaḥ.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

Mahalakshmi refers to one of the seven mother-like goddesses (Matrika).—Mahalakshmi is counted as the eighth Matrika in the Asta-matrika tradition followed in the Nepal region. Mahalakshmi, as Matrka, is not derived from Devi Mahatmya, although she is described as “Universal Mother” in other contexts. As Matrika, Mahalakshmi is regarded as an aspect of Durga; not as Lakshmi the consort of Vishnu. Mahalakshmi here represents her subtle aspect as Mind, specially her Sovereignty. In the Shaktha tradition, Mahalakshmi is an independent Supreme Divinity manifesting herself as Maha-Sarasvathi (Sattva), Mahalakshmi (Rajas) and as Maha-Kali (Tamas).

The Bhavanopanishad (9) recognizes Matrikas as eight types of un-favourable dispositions, such as: desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride, jealousy, demerit and merit. Tantra-raja-tantra (36; 15-16) expands on that and identifies Mahalakshmi with doing good (punya) with other than altruistic reasons.

According to Khadgamala (vamachara) tradition of Sri Vidya, the eight Matrkas are located along the wall (four at the doors and four at the corners) guarding the city (Tripura) on all eight directions: Mahalakshmi on the South-west.

Source: Sreenivasarao's blog: Saptamatrka (part 4)
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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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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

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Mahālakṣmī (महालक्ष्मी, “Great Lakṣmī”):—Another name for Ādilakṣmī, one of the eight primary forms of Lakṣmī (aṣṭhalakṣmī).

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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Mahālakṣmī (महालक्ष्मी).—Kāmākṣī;1 mother of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Īśa;2 is Trīpurāmbikā;3 the goddess enshrined at Karavīra.4

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 19. 8.
  • 2) Ib. IV. 36. 58; 39. 21, 111; 40. 5; Vāyu-purāṇa 109. 23.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 41. 3; 44. 111; 43. 85.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 13. 41.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

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Mahalakshmi is counted as the eighth Matrika in the Asta-matrika tradition followed in the Nepal region.—Mahalakshmi described as having been created by the effulgence of all the gods is depicted as Ashtadasha Bhuja Mahalakshmi, with eighteen arms.

Skanda Purana (Sahyadri khanda) describes Mahalakshmi as: “She who springs from the body of all gods has a thousand or indeed countless arms, although her image is shown with eighteen hands. Her face is white made from the light streaming from the face of Shiva. Her arms are made of substance of Vishnu are deep blue; her round breasts made of Soma are white. Her waist is Indra and is red. Her feet sprung from Brahma are also red; while her calves’ and thigh sprung from Varuna are blue. She wears a gaily coloured lower garment, brilliant garlands and a veil. In her eighteen arms, starting from the lower left, she holds in her hands: a rosary, a lotus, an arrow, a sword, a hatchet, a club, a discus, an ax, a trident, a conch, a bell, , a noose, a sphere, a stick, a hide, a bow, a chalice and a water pot.”

The Candi-kalpa adds that Mahalakshmi should be seated upon a lotus (saroja-sthitha) and her complexion must be that of coral (pravala-prabha).

The Shilpa text Rupa-mandana suggests Mahalakshmi with four arms (chatur-bhuja) should be depicted in the colour of molten-gold and decorated with golden ornaments (kancana-bhushana). She is also described as having complexion of coral; and seated on a lotus. Her four hands carry matulunga fruit, mace, shield and bowl of liquor. Her head must be adorned with snake-hood and a linga.

Source: Sreenivasarao's blog: Saptamatrka (part 4) (shilpa)

Mahālakṣmī (महालक्ष्मी) is the name of a deity depicted in various temples:

The Jambukeswarar Temple in Tiruvānaikoyil (Thiruvanaikaval), [Śiva temple].—Mahālakṣmī is found in standing posture with four hands. The upper two hands hold the lotus in kaṭaka-hasta. The lower right hand is in abhaya and the lower left hand is in varada.

The Adi Kumbeswarar Temple (Ādi Kumbheśvara), [another Śiva temple].—Mahālakṣmī is found in ardhapadmāsana posture with four hands. The upper hands are in kaṭaka-hasta and the lower right and left hands in abhaya and varada-hasta respectively.

Mahālakṣmī as part of the Aṣṭaśakti, or “eight powers” is depicted in the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai (or Madura), [Devī or Goddess temple].—The entrance on the eastern side of the temple leads to the Aṣṭaśakti-maṇḍapa. On the left there are four śakti (powers) [viz., Mahālakṣmī].

The Subramanya Swamy Temple (or Subramaṇya Svāmi Temple) in Thiruparankundram or Parankundram (Paraṅkuṉṟam), [Murugan temple].—Mahālakṣmī is seen behind the image of Vināyaka. She is represented as seated with one pair of hands. The sitting posture is ardha-padmāsana. In iconographic description, Mahālakṣmī is seated in padmāsana posture. In the Kampatati Maṇḍapa, there are steps that lead straight to the main sanctum. On either side of the steps are the images of Andarabharanar Svāmi, also known as Bhūta Sumathi Pati, and Śrī Anukkai Vināyaka to the left of the devotee and Ugramūrti Svāmi to the right of the devotee.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

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Mahālakṣmī (महालक्ष्मी) refers to one of the 130 varṇavṛttas (syllabo-quantitative verse) dealt with in the second chapter of the Vṛttamuktāvalī, ascribed to Durgādatta (19th century), author of eight Sanskrit work and patronised by Hindupati: an ancient king of the Bundela tribe (presently Bundelkhand of Uttar Pradesh). A Varṇavṛtta (eg., mahā-lakṣmī) refers to a type of classical Sanskrit metre depending on syllable count where the light-heavy patterns are fixed.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Katha (narrative stories)

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Mahālakṣmī (महालक्ष्मी) is one of the epithets of Durgā, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 53. Accordingly, as Vīravara praised Durgā: “... thou art the principle of life in creatures; by thee this world moves. In the beginning of creation Śiva beheld thee self-produced, blazing and illuminating the world with brightness hard to behold, like ten million orbs of fiery suddenly produced infant suns rising at once, filling the whole horizon with the circle of thy arms, bearing a sword, a club, a bow, arrows and a spear. And thou wast praised by that god Śiva in the following words ... [Mahālakṣmī, etc...]”.

Also, “... when Skanda, and Vasiṣṭha, and Brahmā, and the others heard thee praised, under these [eg., Mahālakṣmī] and other titles, by Śiva well skilled in praising, they also praised thee. And by praising thee, O adorable one, immortals, Ṛṣis and men obtained, and do now obtain, boons above their desire. ”

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Mahālakṣmī, 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.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

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mahālakṣmī (महालक्ष्मी).—f (S) Saraswati, the wife of Brahma. 2 The festival in honor of her on the eighth of āśvina.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mahālakṣmī (महालक्ष्मी).—f The goddess Lakshmi.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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-English dictionary

Mahalakshmi in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mahālakṣmī (महालक्ष्मी).—f.

(-kṣmīḥ) 1. Saraswati the wife of Brahma. 2. A young girl who personates Durga at the festival of that goddess. E. mahā great, and lakṣmī the goddess Lakshmi.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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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