Mahasena, aka: Mahāsena, Mahāsenā, Maha-sena; 11 Definition(s)

Introduction

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)

[Mahasena in Shaivism glossaries]

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

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Shaivism book cover
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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

[Mahasena in Purana glossaries]

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): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1) Mahāsena (महासेन).—Mt. a hill.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 163. 80.

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

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 17. 19.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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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Katha (narrative stories)

[Mahasena in Katha glossaries]

1) Mahāsena (महासेन) is the name of a King 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”.

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.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

[Mahasena in Dharmashastra glossaries]

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 (eg., Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra).

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

[Mahasena in Itihasa glossaries]

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.

(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Mahasena in Theravada glossaries]

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.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[Mahasena in Jainism glossaries]

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): Wisdom Library: Jainism
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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 geogprahy

[Mahasena in India history glossaries]

Mahāsena (महासेन) is an example of a Śaivite name mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. Classification of personal names according to deities (eg., 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 (eg., Mahāsena) during the rule of the Guptas followed patterns such as tribes, places, rivers and mountains.

(Source): archive.org: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

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).

(Source): academia.edu: The Chronological History of Ancient Sri Lanka
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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

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Mahasena in Sanskrit glossaries]

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): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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