Mahatantra, Mahātantra, Maha-tantra: 8 definitions

Introduction:

Mahatantra means something in 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

Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra

Mahātantra (महातन्त्र) is the name of an ancient Pāñcarātra Saṃhitā mentioned in the Kapiñjalasaṃhitā: a Pāñcarātra work consisting of 1550 verses dealing with a variety of topics such as worship in a temple, choosing an Ācārya, architecture, town-planning and iconography.—For the list of works, see chapter 1, verses 14b-27. The list [including Mahātantra] was said to have comprised “108” titles, these, different saṃhitās named after different manifestations of the Lord or different teachers. They are all said to be authoritative as the ultimate promulgator of all these is the same Nārāyaṇa.

Pancaratra book cover
context information

Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Mahatantra in Hinduism glossary
Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (h)

Mahātantra (महातन्त्र) is defined as “that which explains the three categories in four quarters”. Aghoraśivācārya of 1130-50 A.D. while commenting upon the Tattvaprakāśikā of Bhojadeva, provides the above mentioned definition for Mahātantra. He refers to Vidyāpāda of Mṛgendrāgama, which says that Mahātantra should explain three categories of world viz. Pati, Paśu and Pāśa. The nature of them are explained in four quarters or Pādas viz. Jñāna, Yoga, Kriyā and Caryā. These four are the major sections of Āgama. Here the word Mahātantra is employed as a synonym of Āgamas accordingly to the subject matter dealt in it.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Mahatantra in Jainism glossary
Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Mahātantra (महातन्त्र) refers to the “great scripture” (of the Jain canon), according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Capable soul, for purification of the mind, you must hold strongly in the mind the reflections which are established by the gods of gods (i.e. the Tīrthaṅkaras) in the great scripture (mahātantra) of the [Jain] canon”.

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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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Mahātantra.—(SITI; ASLV), often mentioned in South Indian records in the sense of ‘the army’; the army council; the great assembly of the army. Note: mahātantra is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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

[«previous next»] — Mahatantra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Mahātantra (महातन्त्र) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—Mentioned in Āgamatattvavilāsa.

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

Mahātantra (महातन्त्र):—[=mahā-tantra] [from mahā > mah] n. Name of a Śaiva [work]

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahatantra 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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