Mahanta, Mahānta: 12 definitions

Introduction

Mahanta means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Mahānta (महान्त).—A son of Dhīman.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 1. 39.
Purana book cover
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva

Mahānta (महान्त) or Mahāntāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Candrajñānāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Mahānta Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Candrajñāna-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.

Shaivism book cover
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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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A stone image of the Buddha set up in the Patima vihara in Kanagama by Aggabodhi, son of Mahatissa and ruler of Rohana. Cv.xlv.44.

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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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India history and geogprahy

Source: What is India: Epigraphia Indica volume XXXI (1955-56)

Mahanta is the name of a locality situated in Koṇḍaguḍi, according to the “Grants from Galavalli” (893 A.D.). As indicated above, the endorsement engraved on the first side of the first plate consists of two stanzas. The first of these, which has been repeated, says that the illustrious Devendravarman, lord of Kaliṅga, received blessings from the god Śiva and that he granted two localities called Yegū or Egu and Mahanta, collectively known as Giṇṭi and situated in Koṇḍaguḍi, in favour of Yogātman.

These plates (mentioning Mahanta) were dug up from the fields of a village in the Bobbili Taluk of the Srikakulam District, Andhra. It records the grant of three villages and is dated Gaṅga year 397 (of the Gāṅgeya dynasty), corresponding to 893-95 A.D. The grant was made in favour of the deity Kauṇḍuka-Guṇḍeśvara.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Mahanta.—(EI 8; BL), head of a monastery; title of a pontiff. (ML), Prakrit form of Sanskrit mahat; ‘the great’; a title. Note: mahanta is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous (M) next»] — Mahanta in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

mahanta : (adj.) great; big; extensive.

Pali book cover
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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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mahanta (महंत).—m (mahat S through H) The chief or head of an order of Gosavis, Byragis &c.; a religious superior. Ex. vivēkēṅkarūni bahuta || kāma krōdha āvariti mahanta || Hence 2 Applied to the head or leading-man among Panḍits, devotees &c.

--- OR ---

mahantā (महंता).—f (Corruptly formed from mahat) Greatness, grandeur, dignity.

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

mahanta (महंत).—m The chief of an order of Gesâvis, &c. Headman among Pandits.

--- OR ---

mahantā (महंता).—f Greatness, grandeur.

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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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mahanta (महन्त).—The superior of a monastery.

Derivable forms: mahantaḥ (महन्तः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mahanta (महन्त).—m.

(-ntaḥ) The head of a monastery.

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

1) Mahanta (महन्त):—[from mah] m. the superior of a monastery, [Inscriptions]

2) Mahānta (महान्त):—[from mah] 1. mahānta mfn. great, [Suparṇādhyāya]

3) [v.s. ...] m. Name of a prince, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

4) [v.s. ...] 2. mahānta mfn. (for mahar-anta) ending with mahar, [Mahābhārata]

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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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See also (Relevant definitions)

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