Mahamudra, Maha-mudra, Mahāmudrā: 9 definitions



Mahamudra 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.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Mahamudra in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Mahāmudrā (महामुद्रा) is the name of a gesture (mudrā) mentioned in the Śivapurāṇa 1.20, while explaining the mode of worshipping an earthen phallic image (pārthiva-liṅga) according to the Vedic rites:—“[...] the Mahāmudrā shall be shown with the mantra ‘Namaḥ Senā-’ etc. He shall then show the Dhenumudrā with the mantra ‘Namo Gobhyaḥ’ etc.”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Mahāmudrā (महामुद्रा).—Served by a number of Rudras: the presiding deity of the cakra.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 42. 2.
Purana book cover
context information

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Mahamudra in Hinduism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

From the Haṭha Yogha Pradīpikā (chapter III): “Pressing the Yoni (perineum) with the heel of the left foot, and stretching forth the right foot, its toe should be grasped by the thumb and first finger.” (śl. 10) and “By stopping the throat (by Jālandhara Bandha) the air is drawn in from the outside and carried down. Just as a snake struck with a stick becomes straight like a stick, in the same way, śakti (suṣumnā) becomes straight at once. Then the Kuṇḍalinī, becoming as it were dead, and, leaving both the Idā and the Pingalā, enters the suṣumnā (the middle passage).” (śl. 11) and “It should be expelled then, slowly only and not violently. For this very reason, the best of the wise men call it the Mahā Mudrā. This Mahā Mudrā has been propounded by great masters.” (śl. 12)

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Mahamudra in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Buddhism

Mahāmudrā (महामुद्रा) is the forty-third of sixty digits (decimal place) in an special enumeration system mentioned by Vasubandhu in his Abhidharmakośa (“treasury of knowledge”). The explanations of the measure of years, eons, and so forth must be comprehended through calculation based on a numerical system. Enumeration begins from one and increases by a factor of ten for each shift in decimal place. The sixtieth number in this series is called “countless”.

Among these decimal positions (e.g., mahāmudrā), the first nine positions from one to one hundred million are called ‘single set enumeration’. From a billion up to, but not including countless is “the enumeration of the great companion” and is called the ‘recurring enumeration’.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

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

Mahāmudrā (महामुद्रा).—a particular position of hands or feet (in practice of yoga).

Mahāmudrā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and mudrā (मुद्रा).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Mahāmudrā (महामुद्रा).—(1) according to Lalou, Iconographie, 19 n. 6, in (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa regularly = pañcaśikhā (q.v. for citations) mudrā; also (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 56.7 et alibi; (2) a high number: Mahāvyutpatti 8031 (compare mudrā 3).

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

1) Mahāmudrā (महामुद्रा):—[=mahā-mudrā] [from mahā > mah] f. a [particular] posture or position of the hands or feet (in the practice of Yoga q.v.), [Catalogue(s)]

2) [v.s. ...] a [particular] high number, [Buddhist literature]

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahamudra 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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