Mahapurusha, Mahāpuruṣa, Maha-purusha, Mahāpurusa: 19 definitions


Mahapurusha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

The Sanskrit term Mahāpuruṣa can be transliterated into English as Mahapurusa or Mahapurusha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

[«previous next»] — Mahapurusha in Vaishnavism glossary
Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष) refers to “liberated soul, specifically a great devotee, who is detached from the material world”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष) refers to:—A great personality; one who is expert in the imports of the scriptures. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam

Mahāpurusa (महापुरुस) refers to:—The Supreme Lord, who is the supreme enjoyer; the presiding Deity of Brahmaloka; a great personality who is expert in the imports of scripture, detached from the world, and who has realized Kṛṣṇa. (cf. Glossary page from Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta).

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

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

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष) refers to the “Great Men”, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter 22).—Accordingly, “Now, as the Buddha said to the Upāsaka Nandika, the killing of living beings has ten punishments. What are these ten? [...] Finally, the ascetic must always cultivate the virtues (dharma) of Great Men (mahāpuruṣa). Of all the Great Men, the Buddha is the greatest. Why? He is omniscient (sarvajñā), he has the fullness of the ten powers, he can save beings and always practices loving-kindness (maitrī) and compassion (karuṇā). By observing morality and abstaining from murder, he has become Buddha; he also teaches his disciples (śrāvaka) the practice of this loving-kindness and compassion. The ascetic who wants to engage in the practices of the Great Man should also avoid murder”.

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष) refers to a “great man”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly: “[...] Since this Bodhisattva Gaganagañja paid homage and respect to the Awakened Lords as numerous as the grains of sand in the river Gaṅgā, Śāriputra, his thought of awakening was purified; [...] then by purifying his thoughts as numerous as the grains of sand in the river Gaṅgā, one characteristic of a great man (mahāpuruṣa-lakṣaṇa) was purified, … by purifying all the thirty-two marks of a great man, his roots of good was purified; by purifying his roots of good as numerous as the grains of sand in the river Gaṅgā, this Bodhisattva Gaganagañja was purified in order to purify this treasury of open space. [...]”.

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Mahapurusha in Jainism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष) refers to a class of kimpuruṣa deities according to both the Digambara and the Śvetāmbara traditions. The kimpuruṣas refer to a category of vyantaras gods which represents one of the four classes of celestial beings (devas). The kimpuruṣas are are golden in appearance according to Digambara, but white in complexion with very bright faces according to Śvetāmbara.

The deities such as the Mahāpuruṣas are defined in ancient Jain cosmological texts such as the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapaṇṇati by Yativṛṣabha (5th century) in the Digambara tradition.

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष) and Satpuruṣa are the two Indras (i.e., lords or kings) of the Kimpuruṣas who came to the peak of Meru for partaking in the birth-ceremonies of Ṛṣabha, according to chapter 1.2 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष) refers to one of the two Indras (lords) of the Kimpuruṣa class of “peripatetic celestial beings” (vyantara), itself a main division of devas (celestial beings) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.6. Satpuruṣa and Mahāpuruṣa are the two lords in the class ‘sex-obsessed’ peripatetic celestial beings.

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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Mahāpuruṣa.—(BL), same as the god Viṣṇu. (EI 7), official designation; probably, the same as Mahā- manuṣya. Note: mahāpuruṣa 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 mythology, zoology, 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

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahapurusha in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष).—m (S) The Supreme Being. 2 Any great saint or sage. 3 A term applied to a Pishach supposed to be the spirit of a deceased Brahman.

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

mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष).—m The Supreme Being. Any great sage.

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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 dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahapurusha in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष).—

1) a great man, an eminent or distinguished personage; शब्दं महापुरुषसंविहितं निशम्य (śabdaṃ mahāpuruṣasaṃvihitaṃ niśamya) U. 6.7.

2) the Supreme Spirit.

3) an epithet of Viṣṇu.

Derivable forms: mahāpuruṣaḥ (महापुरुषः).

Mahāpuruṣa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and puruṣa (पुरुष).

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

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष).—m.

(-ṣaḥ) A great man. E. mahā and puruṣa a man.

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

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष).—[masculine] a great man or the great spirit.

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

1) Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष):—[=mahā-puruṣa] [from mahā > mah] m. a gr° or eminent man (-tā f. the state of being one), [Hitopadeśa; Mahāvīra-caritra; Buddhist literature] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] a gr° saint or sage or ascetic, [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]

3) [v.s. ...] the gr° Soul, the Supreme Spirit (identified with the year, [Aitareya-āraṇyaka]; also as Name of Viṣṇu), [Gautama-dharma-śāstra; Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa] etc.

4) [v.s. ...] Name of Gautama Buddha, [Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 23]

5) Mahāpūruṣa (महापूरुष):—[=mahā-pūruṣa] [from mahā > mah] m. the Supreme Spirit (= -puruṣa above), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa; Pañcarātra]

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

Mahāpuruṣa (महापुरुष):—[mahā-puruṣa] (ṣaḥ) 1. m. A great man.

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahapurusha 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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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahapurusha in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Mahāpuruṣa (ಮಹಾಪುರುಷ):—

1) [noun] a great man whose conduct is worthy of imitation; a very illustrious man.

2) [noun] Viṣṇu.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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