Mahattara: 9 definitions



Mahattara 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (M) next»] — Mahattara in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Mahattara (महत्तर).—One of the five sons of the Agni Pāñcajanya. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 22, Verse 9).

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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India history and geogprahy

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras

Mahattara refers to “representatives of towns or villages” 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

Mahattara.—(IE 8-3; EI 23, 29, 30; CII 4; BL; HD), literally, ‘an elder [of a town or village]’; according to Stein (Rājataraṅgiṇī, VII. 659); a chamberlain, a village headman or head of a family or community and a member of the village council; cf. Hindī Mahato; Gujaratī Mahetā. Cf. Ind. Ant., Vol. VI, p. 114 (rāṣṭra-grāma-mahattara); Daśakumāracarita, III, p. 77 (janapada-mahattara). Cf. mahattara-ady-aṣṭakul-ādhikaraṇa (EI 31), ‘office of the administrative board of the aṣṭakula headed by the Mahattara’; see Mahattara and aṣṭakul-ādhikaraṇa. (IE 3-3), official guide. (Beal, Life of Hiuen Tsiang, p. 190). Note: mahattara 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»] — Mahattara in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mahattara (महत्तर).—a. Greater, larger &c.

-raḥ 1 The principal, chief, or oldest person, the most respectable person; रघुकुलमहत्तराणां वधूः (raghukulamahattarāṇāṃ vadhūḥ) U.4; गृहपतिश्च ममान्तरङ्गभूतो जनपदमहत्तरः (gṛhapatiśca mamāntaraṅgabhūto janapadamahattaraḥ) Dk.

2) A chamberlain.

3) A courtier.

4) The head or the oldest man of a village.

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

Mahattara (महत्तर).—mfn.

(-raḥ-rā-raṃ) Greater, more. m.

(-raḥ) 1. A man of the fourth or servile tribe, a Sudra. 2. The headman of a village. 3. A courtier. E. mahat great, and tarap aff. of comparison, perhaps in derision, or in comparison with the mixed tribes.

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

Mahattara (महत्तर).—(compar.) greater, mightier, stronger than ([ablative]); very great etc. [masculine] chief, principal, courtier, chamberlain (also ka [masculine]).

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

1) Mahattara (महत्तर):—[=mahat-tara] [from mahat > mah] mfn. greater or very great or mighty or strong, [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa; Kathāsaritsāgara]

2) [v.s. ...] m. the oldest, most respectable, chief, principal, [Rāmāyaṇa] (f(ā). , [Mṛcchakaṭikā])

3) [v.s. ...] m. the head or oldest man of a village, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] a Śūdra (?), [Horace H. Wilson]

5) [v.s. ...] a courtier, chamberlain, [Kathāsaritsāgara]

6) [v.s. ...] Name of a son of Kaśyapa (or of Kāśyapa), [Mahābhārata]

7) Mahattarā (महत्तरा):—[=mahat-tarā] [from mahat-tara > mahat > mah] f. (in [dramatic language]) a woman superintending the gynaeum, [Bharata-nāṭya-śāstra]

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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