Mahaprajna, Maha-prajna, Mahāprajñā: 8 definitions


Mahaprajna 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»] — Mahaprajna in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Mahāprājña (महाप्राज्ञ) refers to one of “great intellect” and is used to describe Himācala, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.3.—Accordingly, as the Gods said to Himācala:—“[...] O Himācala of great intellect (mahāprājña), please listen to our beneficent words. We shall gladly tell you why we have come. O Himācala, the mother of the universe Umā, who was born as Dakṣa’s daughter, became Rudra’s wife and sported for a long time on the earth. On being disrespected by her father, Satī remembered her vow, abandoned her body and returned to her own region”.

2) Mahāprājña (महाप्राज्ञ) (lit. “one of great intellect”) is also used to describe Sage Nārada, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.14 (“The Birth of Tāraka and Vajrāṅga”).—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada: “O celestial sage, of great intellect [i.e., mahāprājña], O foremost of my sons, whose sacred rites are laudable, I explain the entire story after thinking on Śiva. Listen. O Nārada, first of all, you hear the birth of Tāraka himself, to secure whose death great effort was made by the gods depending on Śiva. My son Marīci begot Kaśyapa who married thirteen daughters of Dakṣa. [...]”.

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)

[«previous next»] — Mahaprajna in Shaivism glossary
Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Mahāprājña (महाप्राज्ञ) refers to “(one who has) great wisdom”, according to the Kiraṇatantra chapter 49 (dealing with vratacaryā).—Accordingly, “Garuḍa spoke: ‘You have taught me, O great Lord, the activities of the Neophyte, the Putraka and the Ācārya. Tell me those of the Sādhaka’. The Lord spoke: ‘The excellent Sādhaka [should be] full of sattva, firm, capable of endurance, his mind fixed on [his] mantra, unassailable, of great wisdom (mahāprājña), looking impartially on mud, stones and gold engaged, regular in [the performance of] oblations, always devoted to recitation and meditation, dexterous in the dispelling of obstacles, firm in [the practice of his] religious observance, calm, pure. [...]’”.

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

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Mahaprajna in Mahayana glossary
Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Mahāprajña (महाप्रज्ञ) refers to “(one who has) great insight”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “[...] If he is in the state of concentration, but ends up inan unpleasant situation, he is not irritated. Even thought he always manifests peacefulness to noble beings, he makes flaming efforts in order to bring ordinary people to maturity. Being in the state of sameness in concentration, he still teaches those with irregular behaviour by means of various kinds of teachings. He does not see the irregular in terms of sameness, and he does not obstruct the irregular with sameness. Since he is unobstructed, he is called the meditator whose thought is just like open space, without any obstruction, he is called a meditator with great insight (mahāprajña), and he is called the meditator who is not dependent on consciousness. When meditation is understood in this way, then the meditation of the Bodhisattva is like the expanse of open space, which is not dependent on anything”.

Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahaprajna in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Mahāprajñā (महाप्रज्ञा).—name of a female lay-disciple: Gaṇḍavyūha 51.15.

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Mahāprājña (महाप्राज्ञ).—name of a lay-disciple: Gaṇḍavyūha 51.9; name of a householder (the same?): Gaṇḍavyūha 52.1.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mahāprājña (महाप्राज्ञ).—[adjective] very wise.

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

Mahāprājña (महाप्राज्ञ):—[=mahā-prājña] [from mahā > mah] mfn. very wise, very clever or intelligent, [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa]

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahaprajna 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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