Maharshi, Maharishi, Mahaṛṣi, Maharṣi, Mahārṣi: 19 definitions


Maharshi means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi, Hindi. 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 terms Mahaṛṣi and Maharṣi and Mahārṣi can be transliterated into English as Maharsi or Maharishi or Maharshi, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Maharshi in Purana glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Mahaṛṣi (महऋषि).—Mind-born sons of Brahmā, seven in number, like Bhṛgu, Marīci, and Angiras;1 ety. from root ṛṣi gatau—meaning knowledge; great jñānins;2 their role in creation.3

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 32. 89, 97; Matsya-purāṇa 145. 85; 247. 10.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 6. 71; Vāyu-purāṇa 7. 74; 59. 82 and 89.
  • 3) Ib. 7. 75-6.
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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Maharṣi (महर्षि) refers to “seer of the Truth. He has seen the worshipable deity of one’s mantra”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

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

Maharṣi (महर्षि) refers to:—A great sage. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam

Maharṣi (महर्षि) refers to:—(also spelled Mahaṛṣi) Great sage. (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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Vedanta (school of philosophy)

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): (Advaita Vedanta)

Maharṣi (महर्षि) refers to a “great sage”, according to Mādhavavidyāraṇya’s Śaṅkaradigvijaya 5.97.—Accordingly, “I [Śaṅkara] desire to know the basis of Brahman from the great sage (maharṣi) Gauḍapāda, [who was] the student of the son of Vyāsa. Because of my devotion to [this] one aim, I have found you [my guru, Govinda,] who is full of all good qualities, who has obtained the supreme truth and whose greatness extends [throughout the land]”.

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Vedanta (वेदान्त, vedānta) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. There are a number of sub-schools of Vedanta, however all of them expound on the basic teaching of the ultimate reality (brahman) and liberation (moksha) of the individual soul (atman).

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Mahārṣi (महार्षि) refers to a group of deities summoned by the Yamāntaka-mantra and mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Mahārṣi).

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: De Gruyter: A Buddhist Ritual Manual on Agriculture

Maharṣi (महर्षि) refers to a “great Ṛṣi” and is used to describe Agastya, according to the Vajratuṇḍasamayakalparāja, an ancient Buddhist ritual manual on agriculture from the 5th-century (or earlier), containing various instructions for the Sangha to provide agriculture-related services to laypeople including rain-making, weather control and crop protection.—Accordingly, “Then Agastya, the Great Ṛṣi (maharṣi), sitting not too far from the Bhagavān, having heard this dhāraṇī, arose from his seat and falling at the feet of the Bhagavān addressed the Bhagavān, ‘O Bhagavān, I will make a beak-sealing for pests of all sorts, malevolent and hostile, poison-holders, destroyers of crops, flowers, fruits, leaves and the best roots; [...]’”.

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)

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Maharṣi (महर्षि) refers to “great seers”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Connections with pleasing sense objects, whose impressions are full of deceit like dreams, perish immediately. Families, armies, empires, decorations and wealth are asserted by the great seers (maharṣi) as acting like a series of clouds”.

Synonyms: Manīṣi.

General definition book cover
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

maharṣi (महर्षि).—m S A ṛṣi or saint of a high order. Ex. tujhā vhāvayā sākṣātkāra || ma0 yajiti thōra thōra ||.

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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

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

Maharṣi (महर्षि).—m.

(-rṣiḥ) A Rishi or saint of a particular order, including Vyasa and others. E. maha for mahat great, and ṛṣi saint: see rājarṣi .

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

Maharṣi (महर्षि).—i. e. mahā-ṛṣi, m. A sage of a pre-eminent class, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 1, 34.

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

Maharṣi (महर्षि).—[masculine] great Ṛṣi.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Maharṣi (महर्षि) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—poet. [Subhāshitāvali by Vallabhadeva]

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

1) Maharṣi (महर्षि):—[=maha-ṛṣi] [from maha > mah] m. = -rṣi, [Atharva-veda]

2) [=maha-rṣi] [from maha > mah] m. a great Ṛṣi, any great sage or saint ([according to] to [Manu-smṛti i, 34] ten Maharṣis were created by Manu Svāyambhuva, viz. Marīci, Atri, Aṅgiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Pracetas, Vasiṣṭha, Bhṛgu, Nārada, also called the 10 Prajāpatis, q.v.; some restrict the number to 7, and some add Dakṣa, Dharma, Gautama, Kaṇva, Vālmīki, Vyāsa, Manu, Vibhāṇḍaka etc.), [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc. ([Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 206 n. 1])

3) [v.s. ...] Name of Śiva, [Śivagītā, ascribed to the padma-purāṇa]

4) [v.s. ...] of Buddha, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) [v.s. ...] of a poet, [Catalogue(s)]

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

Maharṣi (महर्षि):—(rṣiḥ) 2. m. A great sage.

[Sanskrit to German]

Maharshi in German

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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 (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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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Maharshi in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Maharṣi (महर्षि):—(nm) a great sage (seer).

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Maharṣi (ಮಹರ್ಷಿ):—[noun] a superior, respectable sage (often used to denote a sage of higher class).

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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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