Maharaja, Mahārāja, Maha-raja: 15 definitions

Introduction

Maharaja 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)

[«previous (M) next»] — Maharaja in Purana glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Mahārāja (महाराज).—Veda personified as.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 104. 85.
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Mahārāja (महाराज, “great king”) refers to a specific “mode of address” (nāman) used in drama (nāṭya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19.

Mahārāja is used in the following situations:

  • Addressing the king,
  • By all women addressing their husband if he is the king.
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: archive.org: The religion and philosophy of the Veda and the Upanishads (dharmashastra)

Mahārāja (महाराज) is the name of a deity to be invoked in a certain ritual, according to the Mānavagṛhyasūtra 2.14. Accordingly, the deity is prescribed when one suffers from possession by the Vināyakas, Śālakaṭaṅkaṭa, Kūṣmāṇḍarājaputra, Usmita and Devayajana. The Baijavāpagṛhyasūtra replaces the names of last two vināyakas with Mita and Sammita. According to R. C. Hazra in his Gaṇapati-worship, “this rite is both expiatory and propitiatory in nature and in which various things including meat and fish (both raw and cooked) and wine and cakes are to be offered”..

The gṛhya-sūtras are a branch of dharma-sūtras and refer to a category of Vedic literature dealing with domstic rites and rituals. The Mānava-gṛhya-sūtra belongs to the Kṛṣṇa-yajurveda. The Baijavāpa-gṛhya-sūtra is known only through references to it in other works (eg., Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra).

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Mahārāja (महाराज) or Mahārājarasa is the name of an Ayurvedic recipe defined in the fourth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 2, dealing with jvara: fever). These remedies are classified as Iatrochemistry and form part of the ancient Indian science known as Rasaśāstra (medical alchemy). Pārvatīśaṅkara is an ayurveda treatment and should be taken with caution and in accordance with rules laid down in the texts.

Accordingly, when using such recipes (eg., mahārāja-rasa): “the minerals (uparasa), poisons (viṣa), and other drugs (except herbs), referred to as ingredients of medicines, are to be duly purified and incinerated, as the case may be, in accordance with the processes laid out in the texts.” (see introduction to Iatro chemical medicines)

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Lokottaravāda

Mahārāja (महाराज) is the name of a Buddha under whom Śākyamuni (or Gautama, ‘the historical Buddha’) acquired merit along the first through nine bhūmis, according to the Mahāvastu. There are in total ten bhūmis representing the ten stages of the Bodhisattva’s path towards enlightenment.

Mahārāja is but one among the 500 Buddhas enumerated in the Mahāvastu during a conversation between Mahākātyāyana and Mahākāśyapa, both principle disciples of Gautama Buddha. The Mahāvastu is an important text of the Lokottaravāda school of buddhism, dating from the 2nd century BCE.

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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Mahārāja.—(IE 8-2; EI 30; CII 3, 4; HD), royal title first assumed by the foreign rulers of India and later adopted by indigenous rulers; originally, an imperial title; later (when the emperors assumed more dignified titles), a title of feudatories and smaller rulers; cf. Greek Basileos Megalou and Old Persian Kshāyathiya vazrka. Cf. Ep. Ind., Vol. IV, p. 211. (IE 8-2), one of the designations sometimes included in the pañca-mahāśabda; cf. the case of Maitraka Dhruvasena I. (IE 8-3), sometimes also called Mahāsāmanta, Mahāpratīhāra, Mahāpīlupati, Pañcādhikaraṇ-oparika, Pāṭy-uparika, Purapāl-oparika, etc., additionally. (IE 8-2), often used in the South even when Mahārājā- dhirāja became the popular imperial title in the North. (ASLV), designation of a priest of the members of the Vallabhācārya sect. Cf. Mahanta-mahārāja, title of pontiffs. Note: mahārāja 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»] — Maharaja in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

mahārāja : (m.) a great king.

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

mahārāja (महाराज).—m (S) A sovereign, an emperor, a lord paramount. 2 Applied as a respectful compellation to superiors in general. 3 A deified teacher of the jaina-sect.

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

mahārāja (महाराज).—m A sovereign; a respectful compellation to superiors.

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mahārāja (महाराज).—n The country of the Marathas.

context information

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

Mahārāja (महाराज).—

1) a great king, sovereign or supreme ruler; पञ्चाशल्लक्षपर्यन्तो महाराजः प्रकीर्तितः (pañcāśallakṣaparyanto mahārājaḥ prakīrtitaḥ) Śukra.1.184.

2) a respectful mode of addressing kings or other great personages (my lord, your majesty, your highness); इति सत्यं महाराज बद्धोऽस्म्यर्थेन कौरवैः (iti satyaṃ mahārāja baddho'smyarthena kauravaiḥ) Mb.

3) a deified Jaina teacher.

4) a fingernail. °अधिराजः (adhirājaḥ) a universal emperor, paramount sovereign. °चूतः (cūtaḥ) a kind of mango tree.

Derivable forms: mahārājaḥ (महाराजः).

Mahārāja is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and rāja (राज).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Mahārāja (महाराज).—(n) , (= Pali id.), (1) one of the four guardians of the cardinal directions, corresponding to Sanskrit lokapāla, and called by this name Dharmasaṃgraha 7, Mūla-Sarvāstivāda-Vinaya i.255.17, and Mahāvyutpatti 3145 as sometimes in Pali, but usually mahārāja(n) in both Pali and [Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit]: catvāro (°raś ca) mahārājāno or °rājā Lalitavistara 202.13; 366.11; Divyāvadāna 218.9; Avadāna-śataka i.67.10; ii.104.2, 12; instr. Mahāvastu i.230.12; often, as in some of the above, included in lists of other gods; mahārāja-sthānam Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 264.12, the position of world-guardian, as one of five states [Page425-b+ 71] which a woman cannot attain. Pali and [Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit] differ from Sanskrit in the names assigned to the four individuals, except that Kuvera (Kubera), oftener called Vaiśravaṇa (Pali Vessavaṇa), sometimes Dhanada or other synonyms, is the guardian of the north, as usually in Sanskrit The other three (in Sanskrit normally Indra, Yama, and Varuṇa) are Dhṛtarāṣṭra (east), Virūḍhaka (rarely Virūḍha; south), and Virūpākṣa (west; Pali Dhataraṭṭha, Virūḷha(ka), and Virūpakkha). These four are named, Dharmasaṃgraha 7 (as loka- pāla); Mahāvyutpatti 3146—9 (as prec., lokapālaḥ 3145); Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 4.6—7; Lalitavistara 217.16, 20; 218.4, 9; Suvarṇabhāsottamasūtra 64.2—3; Lalitavistara 382.19 ff. (names 384.6, 10, 11, 15, 16, 20, 21; 385.3); Lalitavistara 388.3, 389.1, 21, 390.19 = Mahāvastu iii.306.9, 307.13, 308.13, 309.13; (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 654.21; the four are mentioned as devādhipatayaḥ among the kāmāvacara gods whom Māra perceives as favoring the Bodhisattva, Lalitavistara 302.5—6; and elsewhere in lists of other gods, e.g. Mahāvastu i.245.8—9 where Vaiśravaṇa is separated in the list of gods from the other three; sometimes not all are named, thus only Virūḍhaka, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Kubera (with other gods) (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 434.27—435.1; only Vaiśravaṇa and Virūḍhaka, both styled mahārājo, Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 398.8, 399.5; only Virūḍhaka Mahāvastu iii.72.3 (mahārājo), and 84.1, 6; Indro Virūḍhakādyāś ca (-ādya including the other three?) Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra 367.14; in some of the above the fact is mentioned that Vaiśravaṇa is lord of the yakṣas, Dhṛtarāṣṭra of gandharvas, Virūḍhaka of kumbhāṇḍas, and Virūpākṣa of nāgas; these functions, rather than their position as mahārāja (lokapāla), are exclusively noted in Mahāvyutpatti 3367 (Vaiśr°, first of yakṣas), 3381 (Dhṛt°, of gandharvas), 3437 (Virūḍhaka, of kumbhāṇḍas; no similar statement in Mahāvyutpatti about Virūp°); and, in longer lists of gods, also in Divyāvadāna 126.6—8; 148.18—19; Avadāna-śataka i.108.8—9; Gaṇḍavyūha 249.24—250.2. The forms of the names Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Virūpākṣa never vary; Virūḍha without final -ka (also recorded in Pali) has been noted only Avadāna-śataka i.108.9 and (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 654.21 (here verse, perhaps m.c.); Vaiśravaṇa (see also °ramaṇa) is the regular form, for which Kuvera or Kub° is found Dharmasaṃgraha 7; Lalitavistara 218.9; 390.19 = Mahāvastu iii.309.13; (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 435.1; Dhanada Divyāvadāna 126.8; 148.19; Avadāna-śataka i.108.9; yakṣarāṭ (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 654.21 (verse). In Mūla-Sarvāstivāda-Vinaya i.258.2 ff. Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Virūḍhaka are said to be Aryans (ārya-jātīya), Virūpākṣa and Vaiśravaṇa Dasyus; the Buddha resolves to convert them using āryā vāc and dasyu-vāc respectively; he then preaches to the first two in normal [Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit], to the others (259.2, 7) using what appear to be meaningless groups of sounds. (2) name of a former Buddha: °jaḥ Mahāvastu i.138.14.

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Mahārājā (महाराजा).—(?) , adj. or subst. f., used (if text is right) with fem. entities: Lalitavistara 391.4 (verse) upasthitā mahārājā (but v.l. mahāvālā) Āśā Śraddhā Hirī Śirī (four of eight deva- kumārikā, the other four named in line 3; compare Mahāvastu iii.309.9, which proves this interpretation); these personages belong to the directions (in this case the north); is mahārājā a fem. equivalent of mahārāja(n), q.v., = Sanskrit lokapāla?

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

Mahārāja (महाराज).—m.

(-jaḥ) 1. A sovereign, an emperor. 2. A finger-nail. 3. A Jaina deified teacher. E. mahā great, rājan a king, aff. ṭac .

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

Mahārāja (महाराज).—[masculine] great king, sovereign.

context information

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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