Mahatmya, Māhātmya: 17 definitions


Mahatmya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Hindi. 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.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Mahatmya in Purana glossary
Source: CORE: The appearance of the liṅga

Māhātmya (माहात्म्य).—The term māhātmya, which can be translated as “glory” or “greatness”, is also a term for a text genre. Bailey explains this genre in the Purāṇas in the following: “Māhātmya can best be paraphrased as the exaltation of the greatness of a particular place, ritual or implement charged with religious power.”

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 Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

1) Māhātmya (माहात्म्य) refers to “(the awakening of) the great one”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “Then, the Lord went on to speak these verses: ‘(57) After having generated the power by the strength of vigour, you should not hold your body and life (kāyajīvita) dear. Train yourself in the practice of the awakening of the great one (māhātmya) and have an attitude of benefit to living beings. [...]’”.

2) Māhātmya (माहात्म्य) refers to the “greatness” (of a Bodhisattva), according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā.—Accordingly, as Brahmā Prabhāvyūha address himself to the Lord: “O Lord, the greatness (māhātmya) of the Bodhisattva Gaganagañja’s morality, concentration, supernormal knowledge, knowledge, insight, fulfilling vows, skillful means, highest intention, mastery of the dharma, ornaments for body, speech and thought, and mastery over all dharmas are marvelous! Since the Bodhisattva Gaganagañja has purified his former activities, he manifests all activities by body, speech, and thought without any effort [...]”.

Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Māhātmya (माहात्म्य) refers to the “magnanimity (of the doctrine)”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “[com.—Next he speaks about the magnanimity of the doctrine (dharmamāhātmyam)]—The doctrine protects all [beings] that are mobile and immobile with regard to the occurrence of misfortune. It also comforts [them] completely with a stream of the liquid ambrosia of happiness. The rain clouds, wind, sun, moon, earth, ocean and Indra—those, which are protected by the doctrine, are of service to the whole world”.

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

Māhātmya.—(IA 30), a culogistic work on deities or holy places, rivers, etc.; cf. sthala-purāṇa. Note: māhātmya 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

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

māhātmya (माहात्म्य).—n (S) Greatness, grandeur, glory, illustriousness, majesty. 2 A narration of heroic or marvelous deeds; a legend, a romance, an epic. 3 A sort of religious calendar or view of the months; an account of the acts of merit appropriate and of the degrees of meritoriousness arising. Thus each of the twelve months has a māhātmya. 4 The name of a Puran̤.

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

māhātmya (माहात्म्य).—n Greatness, glory. A legend.

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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Māhātmya (माहात्म्य).—[mahātmano bhāvaḥ ṣyañ]

1) Magnanimity, noblemindedness, greatness; गङ्गा च यस्या विदुर्माहात्म्यम् (gaṅgā ca yasyā vidurmāhātmyam) Uttararāmacarita 4.5.

2) Majesty, dignity, exalted position; अजानन्माहात्म्यं पततु शलभो दीपदहने (ajānanmāhātmyaṃ patatu śalabho dīpadahane) Bh.

3) The peculiar virtue of any divinity or sacred shrine; or a work giving an account of the merits of such divinities or shrines; as देवीमाहात्म्य, शनिमाहात्म्य (devīmāhātmya, śanimāhātmya) &c.

4) Largeness, hugeness; ते दृष्ट्वा देहमाहात्म्यं कुम्भकर्णोऽयमुत्थितः । भयार्ता वानराः (te dṛṣṭvā dehamāhātmyaṃ kumbhakarṇo'yamutthitaḥ | bhayārtā vānarāḥ) Rām.6.71.7.

Derivable forms: māhātmyam (माहात्म्यम्).

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

Māhātmya (माहात्म्य).—n.

(-tmyaṃ) 1. Majesty, greatness, might. 2. The peculiar efficacy or virtue of any divinity or sacred shrine, &c. 3. A work, giving an account of the merits of any holy place or object. E. mahātman great, ṣyañ aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Māhātmya (माहात्म्य).—i. e. mahā-ātman + ya, n. 1. Majesty, might, [Uttara Rāmacarita, 2. ed. Calc., 1862.] 96, 3; [Pañcatantra] 48, 18; ii. [distich] 52. 2. The peculiar efficacy or virtue of a deity or sacred shrine. 3. A work giving an account of the merits of any holy object, [Devīmāhātmya, (ed. Poley.)] title.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Māhātmya (माहात्म्य).—[neuter] magnanimity, highness, majesty.

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

1) Mahātmya (महात्म्य):—[=mahā-tmya] [from mahātman > mahā > mah] mfn. magnanimous, [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]

2) [v.s. ...] n. [wrong reading] for māhātmya (q.v.), [Padma-purāṇa; Daśakumāra-carita]

3) Māhātmya (माहात्म्य):—[from māhā] n. ([from] mahātman) magnanimity, highmindedness, [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

4) [=māhā-tmya] [from māhātmya > māhā] exalted state or position, majesty, dignity, [ib.]

5) [v.s. ...] the peculiar efficacy or virtue of any divinity or sacred shrine etc., [Horace H. Wilson] (cf. [Religious Thought and Life in India 433])

6) [v.s. ...] a work giving an account of the merits of any holy place or object, [Horace H. Wilson] (cf. devī-m etc.)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Māhātmya (माहात्म्य):—(tmyaṃ) 1. n. Magnanimity; majesty; a work on holy places.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Māhātmya (माहात्म्य) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Māhappa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahatmya in German

context information

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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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahatmya in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Māhātmya (माहात्म्य):—(nm) greatness, glory; efficacy of a deity or god.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Māhātmya (ಮಾಹಾತ್ಮ್ಯ):—

1) [noun] greatness; the quality of being worthy of respect, honour.

2) [noun] a man of greatness, having no petty qualities as narrow-mindedness, selfishness, partisan view, etc.; a great-soul.

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Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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