Mahanaya, Mahānayā, Mahānaya, Maha-anaya: 3 definitions

Introduction:

Mahanaya means something in 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

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Mahānaya (महानय) refers to a division of the Kaula schools, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, “I will tell (you now) about the Northern (tradition) that has authority (in the Tretā Age) at the end of Dvāpara. Along with the Mahānaya division (prabheda) (of the Kaula schools), (the Bhairava of this tradition) is seated on a lotus and a ghost. His form is large and, a hero, he is accompanied by Asitā (the Black One) and is pleasing. [...]”.

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: The Yoginis of Narasimha Vyuha

Mahānayā (महानया) refers to one of the various Nṛsiṃha Yoginīs or Śaktis created for the purpose of pacifying the Rudraśaktis.—Accordingly, [...] Rudra meditated on Mahānṛsiṃha. Pleased with Rudra’s prayers, Narasiṃha created four Vyūhaśaktis [Vāgīśvarī, Mahāmāyā, Bhagamālinī and Atibhadrakālī=Śuṣkarevatī]. The Lord created a group of Nṛsiṃha Yoginīs [viz., Mahānayā] to accompany the three main Śaktis. All of them, under the command of Śuṣkarēvatī, attacked the Rudraśaktis, subdued them and pacified them to attain benevolence.

Shaktism book cover
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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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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Mahānaya (महानय) refers to “one that becomes lawless”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 9), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “If Venus should enter the constellation of Mṛgaśīrṣa, juice and crops will suffer; if she should enter the constellation of Ārdrā, the people of Kośala and of Kaliṅga will suffer and there will be abundance of rain. If Venus should enter the constellation of Punarvasu, the people of Aśmaka and of Vidarbha will become lawless [i.e., mahānaya]. If Venus should enter the constellation of Puṣya, there will be good rain; singing and dancing parties will suffer”.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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