Mahattama: 5 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Mahattama means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

Source: Wisdom Library: Arthaśāstra

Mahattama (महत्तम) refers to a “village-headmen” and represents an official title used in the political management of townships in ancient India. Officers, ministers, and sovereigns bearing such titles [eg., Mahattama] were often present in ancient inscriptions when, for example, the king wanted to address his subjects or make an important announcement.

Arthashastra book cover
context information

Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

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India history and geogprahy

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras

Mahattama refers to “head of a committee” and was a title used in the administration during the rule of the Śilāhāra dynasty (r. 765-1215 A.D.).—In towns and villages local administration was carried on with the help of Committees on which merchants, artisans and trade-guilds were represented. Members of the Committees were called mahājanas. Their number sixteen is mentioned in one record. In some records they are called mahattaras (representatives of the towns or villages). In the Cānje inscription they are called mhātārās (Sanskrit, mahattaras), and are cited as witnesses.

The head of such a Committee was called mahattama. In Kananḍa inscriptions he is called prabhu (Mayor). Local religious institutions were also represented on such Committees. One record mentions pañca-maṭha-mahāsthāna, which was probably so called because the five maṭhas comprised in it were dedicated to five Hindu deities (viz. Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva, Sūrya and Dēvī) or to five prominent religious sects such as those of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva, Buddha and Jina. These Town and Village Committees could make grants of land with the consent of the local gāvuṇḍas or officers and the administrative heads.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Mahattama.—(IE 8-3; EI 29; CII 4; BL; HD), probably the village headman or a member of the Pañcāyat board; cf. Mahattara. See Ind. Ant., Vol. XV, p. 306; Ep. Ind., Vol. III, p. 266 (Mahattara and Mahattama occur one after another, Mahattama being senior or superior to Mahattara); Rājataraṅgiṇī, VII. 438. (EI 26), same as Gujarātī Mahetā or Mehtā. Note: mahattama 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
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as 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 (M) next»] — Mahattama in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mahattama (महत्तम).—([superlative]) very great or high; [masculine] an eminent man.

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

Mahattama (महत्तम):—[=mahat-tama] [from mahat > mah] mfn. greatest or very great

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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