Mahavrata, aka: Maha-vrata, Mahāvrata; 5 Definition(s)


Mahavrata means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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


Mahavrata in Purana glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mahāvrata (महाव्रत).—The performance of this vow leads one to the world of Gaurī.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 101. 53.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Mahavrata in Shaivism glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mahāvrata (महाव्रत) is the Sanskrit name of a deity presiding over Mahendra, one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, which is one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas and presiding deities (eg., Mahāvrata) is found in the commentary on the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Mahāvrata (महाव्रत, “great observance”), also called kapālavrata or “observance of the skull”, lokātītavrata or “observance going beyond the world”, and mahāpāśupatavrata or “great Pāśupata observance”. The Lākulas were the first Śaiva sect to practice the mahāvrata, which required a full assimilation to Bhairava.

Te practice of the mahāvrata was preceded by Lākula initiation, after which the initiate was also required to understand and meditate on the cosmic hierarchy of 11 levels. These levels include and build on those taught by the Pāśupatas, and they are later extended upward and some-what changed by agamic Śaivas.

Source: Kāpālikas
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Mahavrata in Jainism glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mahāvrata (महाव्रत) refers to “minor vows” and represents one of the two types of vows (vrata) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 7.2.—What is meant by major vows (mahāvrata)? Total abstinence from the five sins for ever is called major vows. How many types of major vows are there? There are five types of major vows namely non-violence (ahiṃsāmahāvrata), speaking the truth (satyamahāvrata), non stealing (acauryamahāvrata), celibacy (brahmacaryamahāvrata) and non-possession (aparigrahmahāvrata).

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 7: The Five Vows
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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

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mahavrata in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mahāvrata (महाव्रत).—a. very devotional, rigidly observing vows. (-tam) 1 a great vow, a great religious observance; a vow for not taking even water for a month; महाव्रतं चरेद्यस्तु (mahāvrataṃ caredyastu) Mb.12.35.22 (com. mahāvrataṃ māsamātraṃ jalasyāpi tyāgaḥ).

2) any great or fundamental duty; प्राणैरपि हिता वृत्तिरद्रोहो व्याजवर्जनम् । आत्मनीव प्रियाधानमेतन्मैत्रीमहाव्रतम् (prāṇairapi hitā vṛttiradroho vyājavarjanam | ātmanīva priyādhānametanmaitrīmahāvratam) Mv.5.59; क्रतौ महाव्रते पश्यन् ब्रह्मचारी- त्वरीरतम् (kratau mahāvrate paśyan brahmacārī- tvarīratam) N.17.23.

Mahāvrata is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and vrata (व्रत).

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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