Mahanaga, aka: Mahānāga; 3 Definition(s)
Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
Mahānāga (महानाग) is a Sanskrit word referring to “great serpents”, a class of deities. Acording to the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.88-93, when Brahmā, Indra and all other gods went to inspect the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa) designed by Viśvakarmā, he assigned different deities for the protection of the playhouse itself, as well as for the objects relating to dramatic performance (prayoga).
As such, Brahmā assigned the Mahānāgas (eg., Śeṣa, Vāsukī and Takṣaka) to the fifth section (joint/knot, parva) of the Jarjara (Indra’s banner staf). The protection of the playhouse was enacted because of the the jealous Vighnas (malevolent spirits), who began to create terror for the actors.Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
about this context:
Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).
mahānāga : (m.) a big elephant.Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
about this context:
Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.
General definition (in Buddhism)
1. Mahanaga Thera. The son of Madhuvasettha of Saketa. While the Buddha was at Anjanavana, Mahanaga saw the wonder wrought by Gavampati and entered the Order under him, attaining to arahantship in due course.
In the past he had given a dadima (pomegranate) fruit to Kakusandha Buddha (ThagA.i.442f).
Several verses uttered by him in admonition of the Chabbaggiya, because of their failure to show regard for their co religionists, are found in the Theragatha. Thag.vss.387-92.
2. Mahanaga. Son of Mutasiva and viceroy of Devanampiyatissa. His wife was Anula, for whose ordination Sanghamitta came over from Jambudipa (Mhv.xiv.56; Dpv.xi.6; xvii.75). His second wife was a foolish woman who tried to poison him in order to get the throne for her son. While he was building the Taraccha tank, she sent him some mangoes, the top one of which, intended for him, was poisoned. But it was her son who ate the mango and died. Mahanaga thereupon went to Rohana, where he founded the dynasty of that name at Mahagama. His son was Yatthalayaka Tissa. Mahanaga built the Nagamaha vihara and the Uddhakandara vihara. Mhv.xxii.2ff.
3. Mahanaga. A resident of Nitthulavitthika in Girijanapada. He was the father of Gothaimbara. Mhv.xxiii.49.
4. Mahanaga. Son of Vattagamani. He later came to be known as Coranaga. Mhv.xxxiii.45.
5. Mahanaga. See Mahadathika Mahanaga.
6. Mahanaga Thera. Incumbent of Bhutarama. As a mark of favour, Kanitthatissa built for him the Ratanapasada at Abhayagiri vihara. Mhv.xxxvi.7.
7. Mahanaga Thera. Incumbent of Samudda vihara. He was among those who accepted the gift of a meal by Prince Saliya, in his birth as a blacksmith. MT. 606.
8. Mahanaga Thera. Incumbent of Kalavallimandapa. He was among those who accepted the meal given by Saliya in his previous birth (MT. 606). He was one of the last to attain arahantship among those who left the world with the Bodhisatta in various births (J.iv.490). He did not sleep for seven years, after which he practised continual meditation for sixteen years, becoming an arahant at the end of that time. SNA.i.56; MA.i.209; SA.iii.155.
His fame was great, and there is a story of a brahmin who came all the way from Pataliputta to Kalavallimandapa in Rohana to visit him. The brahmin entered the Order under him and became an arahant (AA.i.384). Once, while Mahanaga was begging alms at Nakulanagara, he saw a nun and offered her a meal. As she had no bowl, he gave her his, with the food ready in it. After she had eaten and washed the bowl, she gave it back to him saying, Henceforth there will be no fatigue for you when begging for alms. Thereafter the Elder was never given alms worth less than a kahapana. The nun was an arahant. DhSA.399.
9. Mahanaga Thera.Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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Search found 22 books containing Mahanaga or Mahānāga. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the 20 most relevant articles:
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