Mahat; 7 Definition(s)


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)

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

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
Ayurveda book cover
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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)

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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.

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

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 Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

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.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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-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: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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. 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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