Mahamantra, Maha-mantra, Mahāmantra: 8 definitions


Mahamantra means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

In Hinduism

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 9.14.48

Mahāmantra (महामन्त्र):—Oṃkāra is a mantra, or mahā-mantra, and Hare Kṛṣṇa is also a mahā-mantra. Unless one is a brāhmaṇa, one cannot utter oṃkāra and get the desired result. But in Kali-yuga almost everyone is a śūdra, unfit for pronouncing the praṇava, oṃkāra.

Therefore the Śāstras have recommended the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.

“Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare /
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare”

The purpose of pronouncing oṃkāra is to address the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva (oṃ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya).

Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, one becomes free from the bondage of material existence and thus becomes eligible to return home, back to Godhead.

Source: Pure Bhakti: Arcana-dipika - 3rd Edition

Mahāmantra (महामन्त्र) refers to:—Sixteen names of the Lord that contain the potency of all other mantras; also known as the hare kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. (cf. Glossary page from Arcana-dīpikā).

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Mahamantra in Jainism glossary
Source: Is the Jain Mantra for an Enlightened Soul Arhaṃ or Arhraṃ?

1) Mahāmantra (महामन्त्र) refers to the “great mantra”, according to Śubhacandra’s Jñānārṇava (11th-century), an influential Digambara text describing mantric purification rites.—Accordingly, while describing a lotus diagram with a Mantra for the Arhat (i.e., ‘great mantra’—mahāmantra): “Then he [the meditator], with unwavering focus, imagines a beautiful, sixteen-petalled lotus in his navel. He should imagine the mahāmantra filling the pericarp of the lotus [and] a line of vowels [svaramālā: a ā i ī u ū ṛ ṝ ḷ ḹ e ai o au aṃ aḥ] shining in each of the petals. The syllable (akṣara) śūnya (ha) is covered with a ra [and] ornamented with a line (kalā) and a dot. It fills the directions with millions of rays, shining like the splendor of the moon. [The meditator] should imagine a column of smoke slowly rising from the ra (repha) of the mantra, then a spark, and then a blazing fire. The fire grows continuously. It slowly burns the eight-petalled lotus situated in [his] heart. A powerful fire that arises from meditation on the mahāmantra burns the eight petals that represent the eight types of karma”.

2) Mahāmantra (महामन्त्र) refers to the “great mantra”, according to Hemacandra’s Yogaśāstra, an influential Śvetāmbara text in Sanskrit describing the lay-path to liberation which was composed at the request of the Cālukya ruler Kumārapāla.—Accordingly, “Then he should envision a sixteen-petalled lotus in his navel that has in the pericarp the great mantra (mahāmantra) [and] a series of vowels on the petals. In this mahāmantra, there is a syllable [ha] on which a ra, a dot, and a crescent are extended. [The meditator] should imagine a column of smoke slowly rising from the ra (repha) of the syllable. He should imagine an uninterrupted series of blazing fires, continuously throwing out sparks. Then, with these flames, he should burn the lotus located in the heart. The fierce fire, which emanates from meditation on the mahāmantra, burns the eight petals [of the lotus] that face downward and represent the eight types of karma”.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahamantra in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mahāmantra (महामंत्र).—m (S) The great Mantra of the deities respectively; as gāyatrī is the mahāmantra of Brahmans. Ex. ma0 ātmaprāptīcī khāṇī ||.

context information

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

[«previous next»] — Mahamantra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mahāmantra (महामन्त्र).—

1) any sacred text of the Vedas.

2) a great or efficacious charm, a powerful spell.

Derivable forms: mahāmantraḥ (महामन्त्रः).

Mahāmantra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and mantra (मन्त्र).

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

1) Mahāmantra (महामन्त्र):—[=mahā-mantra] [from mahā > mah] m. any very sacred or efficacious text (of the Veda etc.), [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]

2) [v.s. ...] a great spell, very eff° charm (used [especially] against a serpent’s venom), [Kādambarī; Gīta-govinda]

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahamantra 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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