Mahasena, Mahāsena, Mahāsenā, Maha-sena: 25 definitions


Mahasena means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India. 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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Mahāsena (महासेन), one of the fifty Rudras according to the Caryāpāda section of the Makuṭāgama (one of the 28 Saiva Siddhanta Agamas).

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study (shaivism)

Mahāsena (महासेन) is another name for Kārttikeya: the son of Śiva, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Kārttikeya is also called Skanda, Mahāsena etc.—The birth of Skanda-Kārttikeya is related in chapter sixty two of the Saurapurāṇa. He is frequently mentioned and indeed is more and more brought into the likeness of his father, Śiva. His position as compared with the other gods is significant; Indra foolishy seeks to war with him, but is defeated with humilation. He accepts the Generalship of the divine army and kills Tāraka. Worship of Skanda in Śaiva temples is enjoined in the Saurapurāṇa.

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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Mahasena in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Mahāsena (महासेन).—Another name for Subrahmaṇya. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 225, Verse 27).

2) Mahāsena (महासेन).—A prince of Ujjayinī. (See under Aṅgāraka I).

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Mahāsena (महासेन) refers to the “vast army” (of the mountains and the gods), according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.42 (“Description of the meeting of the Lord and the Mountain”).—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada: “[...] On seeing the army of the gods Himavat was struck with wonder. Considering himself blessed he appeared in front of them. The gods too were struck with wonder on seeing his army. The gods and the mountains became delighted. The vast army (mahāsena) of the mountains and the gods, O sage, on coming together shone like the eastern and western oceans in juxtaposition. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1) Mahāsena (महासेन).—Mt. a hill.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 163. 80.

2) Mahāsenā (महासेना).—A name of Lalitā.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 17. 19.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Mahāsena (महासेन) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.42.41) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Mahāsena) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

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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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Mahasena in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

1) Mahāsena (महासेन) is the name of a King from Ujjayinī, who later became known as Caṇḍamahāsena, after he made an oferring with pieces of his own flesh to the goddess Durgā, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 11. His father was named Jayasena, who was the son of Mahendravarman. Caṇḍamahāsena had two sons named Gopālaka and Pālaka and a daughter named Vāsavadattā.

2) Mahāsena (महासेन) is the name of an ancient king from Ujjayinī, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 49. Accordingly, as Vītabhīti narrated to Sūryaprabha “... there is a city Ujjayinī, the ornament of this earth, full of numberless jewels of pellucid water. In that city there lived a king named Mahāsena, beloved by the virtuous, an unequalled treasury of accomplishments, having the beauty both of the sun and moon”.

3) Mahāsena (महासेन) is the name of an ancient king from Alakā, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 101. Accordingly, as Muni Kaṇva said to Mṛgāṅkadatta in his hermitage: “... in it [Alakā] there lived a king of the name of Mahāsena, and not without reason was he so named, for his enemies were all consumed by the wonderful and terrible fire of his valour, which resembled that of the God of War”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Mahāsena, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

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

Mahāsena (महासेन) 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 (e.g., Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra).

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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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Mahāsena (महासेन) is the name of a sacred region, according to the Śrīmatottara-tantra verse 3.135-138, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—The eight secondary fields are Kadaṃba, Alamba, Gokarṇa, the Vindhya mountain, Vimaleśvara, Sindhumāla, Mahāsena, and Mātaṅga.

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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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Mahasena. A deva living in Ketumati Palace to the east of Vejayanta. At the request of Sakka and of members of the Order, led by Assagutta, he was born in the world of men as Nagasena. Mil. 6f.

2. Mahasena. A brahmin, friend of Vanganta, father of Sariputta. He was poor, and, out of compassion for him, Sariputta came to his house for alms. Twice Mahasena hid himself, having nothing to give, but, one day, receiving a bowl of rice porridge and a small piece of cloth, he thought of Sariputta. The Elder had just risen from a trance, and, becoming aware of Mahasenas desire, he visited him, and was given the porridge and the piece of cloth with a prayer from Mahasena, May I realize the Truth you have seen. After death, Mahasena was born as the novice and was called Vanavasi Tissa. DhA.ii.84.

3. Mahasena. Younger son of King Gothabhaya. He became king of Ceylon (334-361 A.C.), and under the advice of his teacher Sanghamitta and his minister Sona, he despoiled Mahavihara and enriched Abhayagiri. He issued a decree that no one should give alms to the monks of Mahavihara. But, later, his friend and minister, Meghavannabhaya, convinced him of his error, and he became a supporter of Mahavihara. Soon after, however, he fell under the influence of a monk, named Tissa, and built Jetavanavihara in the precincts of Mahavihara, despite the protests of the monks. Tissa was later expelled from the Order. The king built the Manihira, Gokanna, Erakavilla, Kalandagama, Migagama, Gangasenakapabbata, Dhatusenapabbata, Kokavata, Ruparama, and Hulapitthi viharas and two nunneries Uttara and Abhaya. He also built sixteen tanks and a great canal called Pabbatanta. (Dpv.xxii.66 76; Mhv.xxxvii.1ff).

Sirimeghavanna was the son of Mahasena. Cv.xxxvii.53.

4. Mahasena. A king of India who ruled in Pataliputta. He fed one thousand monks daily; but, not satisfied with that, he went to Uttaramadhura, where he labored in disguise, giving alms with the wages so earned. Cv.xcii.23ff.

5. Mahasena.A king of Pataliputta. He and his sister worked with their own hands and gave alms to 500 monks from Piyangudipa, among whom was Mahasiva (8). The monk wished that they should see their alms being eaten by the monks in Piyangudipa. Ras.i.72f.

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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Mahāsena (महासेन) refers to a “great army”, according to  the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 46.—Accordingly, “Morality is the root of bliss for all beings. It is like a great treasure bringing pearls and jewels. Morality is a great protector that suppresses fears. It is like a great army (mahāsena) that destroys thieves. Morality is an ornament to be worn like a necklace. Morality is a great ship capable of crossing the great ocean of saṃsāra. Morality is a great vehicle capable of transporting heavy jewels to the city of nirvāṇa. [...]”.

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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: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Mahāsena (महासेन) is the father of Candraprabha, the eighth of twenty-four Tīrthaṅkaras in Janism according to the Ācāradinakara (14th century work on Jain conduct written by Vardhamāna Sūri). A Tīrthaṅkara is an enlightened being who has conquered saṃsāra (cycle of birth and death), leaving behind him a path for others to follow.

The wife of Mahāsena is Lakṣmaṇā. It is an ancient Jain practice to worship the Tīrthaṅkara’s parents in various rites, such as the pratiṣṭhāvidhi.

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

1) Mahāsena (महासेन) is an ancient king from Candrānana and father of Candraprabha, according to chapter 3.6 [candraprabha-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

Accordingly, “[...] Now, in the zone Bharata in this Jambūdvīpa there is a city Candrānana, resembling the face of the earth. [...] In this city Mahāsena, by whose army the earth was covered, was king, like the ocean with an invincible crest-jewel. Splendor became devoted to his power constantly, like a servant, doing his work, a sign of conquest over the earth. [...] He had a wife, named Lakṣmaṇā, who had all the favorable marks, surpassing the moon in fascinating beauty of face. [...]”.

2) Mahāsena (महासेन) is the name of an ancient king from Sindhusadana, according to chapter 6.8 [śrī-mahāpadma-cakrin-caritra].—Accordingly:—“[...] With these reflections, Mahāpadma left the hermitage and came to the town Sindhusadana in his wandering. At that time the women of the town were engaged in various sports in a garden outside at a spring-festival, occupied with the commands of Kandarpa. Hearing the tumult of their sport, King Mahāsena’s elephant pulled up his post like a piece of a plantain tree. [...]”.

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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: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Mahāsena (महासेन) is an example of a Śaivite name mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. Classification of personal names according to deities (e.g., from Śaivism) were sometimes used by more than one person and somehow seem to have been popular. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Derivation of personal names (e.g., Mahāsena) during the rule of the Guptas followed patterns such as tribes, places, rivers and mountains.

Source: The Chronological History of Ancient Sri Lanka

Mahasena (fl. 948-921 BCE).—Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa give the chronology of Sri Lanka from King Devanampiya Tissa to King Mahasena. After Mahasena, his son Siri Meghavanna became the king. Jettha Tissa, Buddhadasa and Upatissa succeded Siri Meghavanna. According to Mahavamsa, these four kings after Mahasena reigned for 108 years and Mahanama became the king of Sri Lanka in the 942nd year of Theravada Buddhism (1765 BCE).

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

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mahāsena (महासेन).—

1) an epithet of Kārtikeya; महासेन- प्रसूतिं तद्ययौ शरवणं महत् (mahāsena- prasūtiṃ tadyayau śaravaṇaṃ mahat) Rām.7.16.1.

2) the commander of a large army.

- a great army.

Derivable forms: mahāsenaḥ (महासेनः).

Mahāsena is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and sena (सेन).

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

Mahāsena (महासेन).—(1) name of a yakṣa: Mahā-Māyūrī 62; (2) name of a rich man of Benares: Mūla-Sarvāstivāda-Vinaya i.xiv.10.

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

Mahāsena (महासेन).—m.

(-naḥ) 1. Kartikeya. 2. A general, the commander of a large force. 3. The father of eighth Jina or Jaina saint of the present era. E. mahā great, senā an army.

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

Mahāsenā (महासेना).—I. adj. having a great army, Chr. 52, 12. Ii. m. 1. a general. 2. Kārttikeya, the god of war, [Vikramorvaśī, (ed. Bollensen.)] [distich] 161.

Mahāsenā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and senā (सेना).

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

Mahāsena (महासेन).—[adjective] having a great army; [Epithet] of Skanda, [Name] of [several] kings.

--- OR ---

Mahāsenā (महासेना).—[feminine] great army.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Mahāsena (महासेन) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—a medical authority. Quoted in Mugdhabodha, Catal. Io. p. 944.

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

1) Mahasena (महसेन):—[=maha-sena] [from maha > mah] m. Name of a prince, [Priyadarśikā]

2) Mahāsena (महासेन):—[=mahā-sena] [from mahā > mah] mfn. (mahā-) having a great army, [Ṛg-veda] ([Sāyaṇa]), [Mahābhārata]

3) [v.s. ...] m. the commander of a large force, a general, [Horace H. Wilson]

4) [v.s. ...] Name of Kārttikeya or Skanda, [Taittirīya-āraṇyaka; Mānava-gṛhya-sūtra; Mahābhārata] etc.

5) [v.s. ...] of Śiva, [Mahābhārata]

6) [v.s. ...] the father of the 8th Jina of the present era, [Horace H. Wilson]

7) [v.s. ...] Name of various sovereigns, [Kathāsaritsāgara]

8) Mahāsenā (महासेना):—[=mahā-senā] [from mahā-sena > mahā > mah] f. a gr° army, [Vasiṣṭha]

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

Mahāsena (महासेन):—[mahā-sena] (naḥ) 1. m. Kārtikeya; a generalissimo; a Jaina sage.

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahasena 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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