Mahat: 10 definitions

Introduction

Mahat means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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

Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Mahat (महत्) is a Sanskrit technical term translating to “strong” or “thick”, and is used throughout Ayurvedic literature such as the Suśrutasaṃhitā or the Carakasaṃhitā.

Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Mahat (महत्).—A tatva or principle;1 identified with Brahmā;2 a name of Rudra;3 absorbs the ahaṅkāra4 covered by Pradhāna.5 Ten times greater than bhūtādi; the order of evolution of the universe according to Sānkhya;6 evolution of Prakṛti in its vikāras.7

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 3. 1; II. 1. 35; Matsya-purāṇa 3. 17.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 6. 26; XI. 14. 14; 16. 37-8; 24. 25-26; 28. 16.
  • 3) Ib. III. 12. 12.
  • 4) Ib. XII. 4. 17.
  • 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 21. 27; 32. 76; IV. 3. 6 and 21.
  • 6) Matsya-purāṇa 123. 52-61.
  • 7) Ib. 3. 17-26; Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 243.

1b) (a Rudra), son of Bhūta and Sarūpā.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 18.
Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Mahat (महत्) or Mahattattva refers to a primordial principle of the nature of both pradhāna and puruṣa, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—[...] From the disturbed prakṛti and the puruṣa sprang up the seed of mahat, which is of the nature of both pradhāna and puruṣa. The mahat-tattva is then covered by the pradhāna and being so covered it differentiates itself as the sāttvika, rājasa and tāmasa-mahat. The pradhāna covers the mahat just as a seed is covered by the skin . Being so covered there spring from the three fold mahat the threefold ahaṃkāra called vaikārika, taijasa and bhūtādi or tāmasa.

Mahat, Ahaṃkāra and the five Tanmātras are in themselves unable to produce the orderly universe which is effected through the superintendence of the Puruṣa (puruṣā dhiṣṭhitatvācca) and by the help of Avyakta (avyaktānugraheṇa). As the universe grows up, they form into an egg which gradually expands from within like a water-bubble, and this is called the materialistic body of the Lord.

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds

Mahat (महत्) refers to “observing long fasts” and represents one of the seven types of extraordinary powers of austerity (tapas), which itself is a subclass of the eight ṛddhis (extraordinary powers). These powers can be obtained by the Ārya (civilized people) in order to produce worldly miracles. The Āryas represent one of the two classes of human beings according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.46, the other being Mleccha (barbarians).

What is meant by observing long fasts (mahat-riddhi) extraordinary power? It is the extraordinary power to observe 108 sequential fasts without any obstacles.

General definition book cover
context information

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

mahat (महत्).—a (S This is the neuter termination; mahān & mahatī are the masculine and feminine terminations.) Great, big, large. 2 Great figuratively, having any quality in a high degree; as mahābuddhi- mān, mahālabāḍa, mahāsōdā &c. In composition mahā is generally substituted, ā being inserted in place of t; as mahādēva, mahāpūjā, mahādāna. When, in composition it retains its form mahat, it then qualifies, not the noun with which it is compounded, but the object or subject to which the compound points; as mahatapūjā (Not great worship but) Worship rendered to or by a great person; mahata- kula (Not a great family but) The family of a great man; mahatasēvā Service rendered to or by a great personage; mahadvacana The promise or saying of a great, worthy, or true person. 3 Very, exceeding; as mahāpracaṇḍa, mahātīkṣṇa.

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

mahat (महत्).—a Great, big, large. It becomes in compound mahā, as mahāpūjā, mahāsōdā. When it does not change (as in mahatpūjā or mahatsēvā) it denotes the object or sub- ject to which the compound refers.

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

Mahat (महत्).—a. [mah-ati] (compar. mahīyas; superl. mahiṣṭha; nom. mahān, mahāntau, mahāntaḥ; acc. pl. mahataḥ)

1) Great, big, large, huge, vast; महान् सिंहः, व्याघ्रः (mahān siṃhaḥ, vyāghraḥ) &c.

2) Ample, copious, abundant, many, numerous; महाजनः, महान् द्रव्यराशिः (mahājanaḥ, mahān dravyarāśiḥ).

3) Long, extended, extensive; महान्तौ बाहू यस्य स महाबाहुः (mahāntau bāhū yasya sa mahābāhuḥ); so महती कथा, महानध्वा (mahatī kathā, mahānadhvā).

4) Strong, powerful, mighty; as महान् वीरः (mahān vīraḥ).

5) Violent, intense, excessive; महती शिरोवेदना, महती पिपासा (mahatī śirovedanā, mahatī pipāsā).

6) Gross, thick, dense; महानन्धकारः (mahānandhakāraḥ).

7) Important, weighty, momentous; महत्कार्यमुपस्थितम्, महती वार्ता (mahatkāryamupasthitam, mahatī vārtā).

8) High, lofty, eminent, distinguished, noble; महत्कुलम्, महाञ् जनः (mahatkulam, mahāñ janaḥ).

9) Loud; महान् घोषः-ध्वनिः (mahān ghoṣaḥ-dhvaniḥ).

1) Early or late; महति प्रत्यूषे (mahati pratyūṣe) 'early in the morning'; महत्यपराह्णे (mahatyaparāhṇe) 'late in the afternoon'.

11) High; महार्घ्र (mahārghra). -m.

1) A camel.

2) An epithet of Śiva.

3) (In Sāṅ. phil.) The great principle, the intellect (distinguished from manas), the second of the twenty-five elements or tattvas recognized by the Sāṅkhyas; Ms.1.15;12.14; महदाद्याः प्रकृतिविकृतयः सप्त (mahadādyāḥ prakṛtivikṛtayaḥ sapta) Sāṅ. K.3,8,22 &c.

4) The superior of a monastery. -n.

1) Greatness, infiniteness, numerousness.

2) Kingdom, dominion; 'महद्राज्यविशालयोः (mahadrājyaviśālayoḥ)' Viśva; इन्द्रियाणि महत्प्रेप्सुः (indriyāṇi mahatprepsuḥ) Mb.5.129.26.

3) Sacred knoweldge.

4) The Supreme Being (paramātmā); बुद्धेः परतरं ज्ञानं ज्ञानात् परतरं महत् (buddheḥ parataraṃ jñānaṃ jñānāt parataraṃ mahat) Mb.12.24.1. -ind. Greatly, excessively, very much, exceedingly; त्रैलोक्योद्वेगदं महत् (trailokyodvegadaṃ mahat) Rām.6.111.48. (Note : mahat as the first member of a Tatpuruṣa compound and a few other cases, remains unchanged, while in Karmadhāraya and Bahuvrīhi comp. it is changed to mahā q. v.)

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

Mahat (महत्).—nt. of Sanskrit mahant (possibly adv.), great (greatly?); used in Epic Sanskrit ([Boehtlingk and Roth] s.v.) instead of (acc.) masc., allegedly m.c.; so possibly (but not m.c.; end of line of verse) nom., narako dāruṇo mahat Mahāvastu i.179.14 (or adv., greatly? this usage has not been found recorded); perhaps also mahad viśāradaḥ Mahāvastu i.179.6, but here mahad- may be stem form in composition, = normal Sanskrit mahā-; see § 18.3 for other cases of this.

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

Mahat (महत्).—mfn. (-hān-hatī-hat) 1. Great, large, bulky. 2. Much, many. 3. Best, excellent, illustrious. 4. Loud. 5. Far advanced. 6. Long. 7. Intense. 8. Important. 9. Eminent, high. 10. Dense, thick. 11. Numerous. n. (-t) 1. Kingdom, dominion. 2. The intellectual principle, the second principle in creation. 3. Sacred knowledge. 4. Infinity, greatness. Adv. Much, very, exceeding. f. (-tī) The Vina or lute of Narada, containing seven or one hundred strings. 2. The egg-plant, (Solanum melongena.) m. (-hān) 1. The second of the twenty five principles of creation according to Sankhya philosophy. 2. A camel. 3. An epithet of Rudra. E. mah to worship, ati Unadi aff. In composition mahā is generally substituted, ā being inserted in place of the final.

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

1) Mahat (महत्):—[from mah] a mfn. ([originally] [present participle] of √1. mah; strong form, mahānt f. mahatī; in [Epic] often mahat for mahāntam; [in the beginning of a compound] mostly mahā q.v.) great (in space, time, quantity or degree) id est. large, big, huge, ample, extensive, long, abundant, numerous, considerable, important, high, eminent, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc. (also ind. in mahad-√bhū, to become great or full [said of the moon] [Śiśupāla-vadha])

2) [v.s. ...] abounding on rich in ([instrumental case]), [Chāndogya-upaniṣad]

3) [v.s. ...] (ifc.) distinguished by, [Śakuntalā]

4) [v.s. ...] early (morning), [ib.]

5) [v.s. ...] advanced (afternoon), [Mahābhārata]

6) [v.s. ...] violent (pain or emotion), [ib.]

7) [v.s. ...] thick (as darkness), gross, [ib.]

8) [v.s. ...] loud (as noise), [Lāṭyāyana]

9) [v.s. ...] many (people, with jana sg.), [Mahābhārata] (with uktha n. a [particular] Uktha of 720 verses; with aukthya n. Name of a Sāman, [Mahābhārata]; mahānti bhūtāni, the gross elements, [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata]; cf. mahābhūta)

10) [v.s. ...] m. a great or noble man (opp. to nīca, alpa or dīna), [Kāvya literature; Kāmandakīya-nītisāra; Pañcatantra]

11) [v.s. ...] the leader of a sect or superior of a monastery, [Religious Thought and Life in India 87 n. 1]

12) [v.s. ...] a camel, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

13) [v.s. ...] Name of Rudra or of a [particular] R°, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

14) [v.s. ...] of a Dānava, [Harivaṃśa]

15) [v.s. ...] ([scilicet] gaṇa), a [particular] class of deceased progenitors, [Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa]

16) [v.s. ...] of two princes, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

17) [v.s. ...] m. (rarely n. [scilicet] tattva), ‘the great principle’, Name of Buddhi, ‘Intellect’, or the intellectual principle (according to the Sāṃkhya philosophy the second of the 23 principles produced from Prakṛti and so called as the great source of Ahaṃkāra, ‘self-consciousness’, and Manas, ‘the mind’; cf. [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 83, 91 etc.]), [Maitrī-upaniṣad; Manu-smṛti; Sāṃkhyakārikā; Mahābhārata] etc.

18) [from mah] n. anything great or important, [Chāndogya-upaniṣad]

19) [v.s. ...] greatness, power, might, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Āśvalāyana-gṛhya-sūtra]

20) [v.s. ...] dominion, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

21) [v.s. ...] a great thing, important matter, the greater part, [Āśvalāyana-gṛhya-sūtra]

22) [v.s. ...] advanced state or time (mahati rātriyai or rātryai, in the middle of the night, [Taittirīya-saṃhitā; Brāhmaṇa])

23) [v.s. ...] sacred knowledge, [Mahābhārata]

24) b mahan etc. See p.794, [columns] 2, 3.

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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