Mahashaiva, Mahāśaiva, Maha-shaiva: 2 definitions


Mahashaiva means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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 Mahāśaiva can be transliterated into English as Mahasaiva or Mahashaiva, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Mahashaiva in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Mahāśaiva (महाशैव) refers to “one who is a great devotee of Śiva” and is used to describe Brahmā, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.14 (“The Birth of Tāraka and Vajrāṅga”).—Accordingly, as Nārada said to Brahmā: “O Brahmā, great devotee of Śiva [i.e., mahāśaiva] and disciple of Viṣṇu, this great story of Śivā and Śiva has been narrated very well by you. Who was this Tāraka demon, O Brahmā, by whom the gods were harassed. Whose son was he? Narrate his story with reference to Śiva. How did Śiva of full control reduce Kāma to ashes? Please narrate that too with pleasure. The story of the lord is indeed wonderful. [...]”.

Purana book cover
context information

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Mahashaiva in Shaivism glossary
Source: Sri Kamakoti Mandali: The Sects of śaivas

Mahāśaiva (महाशैव) refers to one of the seven types of Śaivas, according to the Kriyāpāda of Candrajñāna (Candrajñānāgama).—Those Brāhmaṇās who are initiated by methods of śaiva dīkṣā (from a competent Guru) are termed Mahāśaiva. Similarly, Kṣatriyas and Vaiśyas initiated through śaiva dīkṣā are named Anuśaiva, whereas such initiated Śūdras are called Avāntaraśaiva. Those belonging to categories such as cobblers etc. (kulāla, pārśvaka, etc.), after initiation, are called Pravaraśaiva. Those belonging to other categories come to be known as Antyaśaiva after śaiva dīkṣā.

Shaivism book cover
context information

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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