Mahapunya, Mahāpuṇya, Maha-punya: 9 definitions

Introduction:

Mahapunya 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»] — Mahapunya in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Mahāpuṇya (महापुण्य) refers to “excessively meritorious”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.40.—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] after going beyond Alakā, the capital of the king of Yakṣas and the Saugandhika park, they saw the fig-tree of Śiva. The fig tree had steady shade all round. It had a number of suspended branches without hanging roots. Its height was a hundred Yojanas. It had no nests on it. It afforded protection from heat. It was the place where Śiva practised Yoga. It was divine. It was resorted to by other Yogins. It was great and excellent. It could be seen only by the excessively meritorious (i.e., mahāpuṇya-vata) persons. It was beautiful and sacred”.

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Mahapunya in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Mahāpuṇya (महापुण्य) refers to a “very holy place” (referring to Kāmarūpa), 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, “[...] Then he (i.e., Siddhanātha) became (a god with a) divine body and went along with the goddess to the very holy (mahāpuṇya) place (where they were to enjoy love) games. Adorned with the sea and other (such beautiful sites) and possessing seven districts (viṣaya), it was called the venerable Kāmākhya. It is the venerable (land of) Kāmarūpa where (the god of) Love (Kāma) himself resides and is supremely beautiful. Thus, (my) descent (into the world) takes place there in (that) land along with you. [...]”.

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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (architecture)

Mahāpuṇya (महापुण्य) refers to “great merit”, according to the Mohacūrottara (verse 4.234-243).—Accordingly, [while describing the construction of the maṭha]—“[...] One should build the dwelling for ascetics with the same measurements and a good design, [and] performing the veneration of the site, out of a desire to attain great merit (mahāpuṇya-jigīṣa). I will now describe to you this great merit (mahāpuṇya) in full. The reward gained from establishing a mobile image [i.e., an ascetic] in a maṭha is the same as the reward gained from establishing a fixed image in a temple. [...]”.

Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Sports, Arts and Entertainment (wordly enjoyments)

[«previous next»] — Mahapunya in Arts glossary
Source: archive.org: Syainika Sastra of Rudradeva with English Translation (art)

Mahāpuṇya (महापुण्य) refers to “great religious merit”, according to the Śyainika-śāstra: a Sanskrit treatise dealing with the divisions and benefits of Hunting and Hawking, written by Rājā Rudradeva (or Candradeva) in possibly the 13th century.—Accordingly, [while discussing the yellow-eyed division of hawks]: “The Vājas are of five kinds. Their descriptions are given separately. [...] Mahārāvaṇa, the king of Vājas, is that in whose tail and feathers are to be found marks like the Aśvatha or pipal leaf. Only one who has heaped up much religious merit (mahāpuṇya) becomes the possessor of such a pleasure-giving bird. It is called Mahārāvaṇa because it makes other birds cry in fear on its approach”.

Arts book cover
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This section covers the skills and profiencies of the Kalas (“performing arts”) and Shastras (“sciences”) involving ancient Indian traditions of sports, games, arts, entertainment, love-making and other means of wordly enjoyments. Traditionally these topics were dealt with in Sanskrit treatises explaing the philosophy and the justification of enjoying the pleasures of the senses.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Mahapunya in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Mahāpuṇya (महापुण्य) refers to “great merit”, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 3.—Accordingly, “The four immeasurable feelings (apramāṇa-citta) are loving-kindness (maitrī), compassion (karuṇā), joy (muditā) and equanimity (upekṣā). [...] For those who want to obtain great merit (mahāpuṇya), one should talk about the four immeasurables. In order to inspire disgust for visibles, like spending time in prison, one should talk about the four formless absorptions. [...]”.

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»] — Mahapunya in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mahāpuṇya (महापुण्य).—[adjective] very auspicious or fortunate; very good, pure, or holy.

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

1) Mahāpuṇya (महापुण्य):—[=mahā-puṇya] [from mahā > mah] mf(ā)n. extremely favourable or auspicious (as a day), [Hemādri’s Caturvarga-cintāmaṇi]

2) [v.s. ...] very good or beautiful

3) [v.s. ...] greatly purifying, very holy, [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa] etc.

4) Mahāpuṇyā (महापुण्या):—[=mahā-puṇyā] [from mahā-puṇya > mahā > mah] f. Name of a river, [Catalogue(s)]

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahapunya 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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