Mahayaksha, aka: Maha-yaksha, Mahāyakṣa; 3 Definition(s)


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

The Sanskrit term Mahāyakṣa can be transliterated into English as Mahayaksa or Mahayaksha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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

Mahāyakṣa (महायक्ष) refers to a class of mahoraga deities gods according to the Śvetāmbara tradition, while the Digambara does not recognize this class. The mahoraga refer to a category of vyantaras gods which represents one of the four classes of celestial beings (devas). The mahoragas are are dark or black in complexion and the Nāga is their caitya-vṛkṣa (sacred-tree).

The deities such as the Mahāyakṣas are defined in ancient Jain cosmological texts such as the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapaṇṇati by Yativṛṣabha (5th century) in the Digambara tradition.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Mahāyakṣa (महायक्ष) is the name of the Yakṣa accompanying Ajitanātha: the second of twenty-four Tīrthaṃkaras or Jinas, commonly depicted in Jaina iconography.—The Jaina original books give him the symbol of elephant (Gaja) and his other symbol, namely his special tree (kevalavṛkṣa) tree both being connected with his images. Further, two other iconographic points by which Ajitanātha’s statues may be differentiated from those of others are the figures of his particular Yakṣa called Mahāyakṣa and his Yakṣiṇī named Ajitabalā. Mention of these is made in the Jaina canonical Literature. His posture is what is technically known as khaḍgāsana i.e., standing with two arms hanging on the sides. His chowrie-bearer is Sagaracakrī.

Mahāyakṣa The Digambara, as well as the Śvetāmbara texts coincidently describe him as riding an elephant and having four faces and eight hands armed with weapons. Only with regard to these weapons the texts vary. The Śvetāmbara books enumerate them as (for right hands) Varada, club rosary, noose, (for left hands) citrus, Abhaya, goad and Śakti. The Digambara texts read for these a disc, trident, lotus, goad (for left arms), a sword, staff, axe and Vara-mudrā (for right arms). Another point of differenec between the texts of the two sects is that the Śvetāmbaras will have green colour, while the Digambaras will have golden colour for the Yakṣa.

Source: The Jaina Iconography
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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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

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

Mahāyakṣa (महायक्ष).—m.

(-kṣaḥ) A sort of demi-god, supposed to attend the Jinas or Jaina saints. E. mahā great, and yakṣa a divine being, attending usually on Kuvera.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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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