Mahesha, Maheśa, Maha-isha: 11 definitions


Mahesha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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 Maheśa can be transliterated into English as Mahesa or Mahesha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Elements of Hindu Iconograpy

This Maheśa (Mahēśa) has one face set with three eyes, the head adorned with a jaṭā-makuṭa, four arms, and is standing on a padmāsana. In tho of his hands are the mṛga and the paraśu and the remaining two hands are held in the abhaya and the varada poses. The Līlāmūrtis of the Maheśa are twenty-five in number and they are:—

  1. Chandraśekhara-mūrti,
  2. Umāsahita-mūrti,
  3. Vṛṣabhārūḍha-mūrti,
  4. Nṛtta-mūrti,
  5. Kalyāṇasundara-mūrti,
  6. Bikṣāṭana-mūrti,
  7. Kāmadahana-mūrti,
  8. Kālāntaka-mūrti,
  9. Tripurāntaka-mūrti,
  10. Jalandharavadha-mūrti,
  11. Gajāri-mūrti,
  12. Vīrabhadra-mūrti,
  13. Śaṅkara-Nārāyaṇa-mūrti,
  14. Ardhanārīśvara-mūrti,
  15. Kirāta-mūrti,
  16. Kaṅkāḷa-mūrti,
  17. Chaṇḍeśanugraha-mūrti,
  18. Viṣāpaharaṇa-mūrti,
  19. Chakradāna-mūrti,
  20. Vighneśvarānugraha-mūrti,
  21. Somāskanda-mūrti,
  22. Ekapāda-mūrti,
  23. Sukhāsana-mūrti,
  24. Dakṣiṇā-mūrti and 
  25. Liṅgodbhava-mūrti.

Again, from Maheśvara were produced the following:

  • Rudradeva who is a thousandth portion of Maheśa;
  • Viṣṇu who is one part out of a crore of Rudra;
  • Brahmā who is one part out of a crore of Viṣṇu
  • and the three luminaries the sun, the moon and the fire, from the three eyes of Maheśa;
  • the wind from his nose; jñāna fro mhis mouth; Gaṇeśa from his neck;
  • Ṣaṇmukha from his chest;
  • fifty crores (!) of divine beings from his navel;
  • and several crores (!) of ṛṣis from his hair.

(Note on crore—from Hindi karoṛ, based on Sanskrit koṭi ‘ten millions’.)

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Maheśa (महेश).—An incarnation of Śiva. When once Vetāla, his gatekeeper was born on earth, Śiva and Pārvatī incarnated as Maheśa and Śāradā on earth. (Śatarudra Saṃhitā, Śiva Purāṇa).

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Maheśa (महेश) is an epithet of Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.15. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] On arrival there, after paying respects to the lord [Śiva] with great excitement we lauded Him with various hymns with palms joined in reverence. The Devas said: [...] Obeisance to Thee, O lord, from whom the mobile and the immobile beings have originated. Obeisance to the great Puruṣa, Maheśa, the supreme Īśa and the great Ātman”.

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva

Maheśa (महेश).—From the 1/1000 part of Karmeśa comes Maheśa, to whom the functions of creation, sustenance, absorption concealment and grace are ascribed. He is known in different forms.

Shaivism book cover
context information

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mahēśa (महेश) [or महेश्वर, mahēśvara].—m S Shiva, the third deity of the Hindu triad.

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

mahēśa (महेश).—m śiva the third deity of the Hindu traid.

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-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Maheśa (महेश).—Name of Śiva; महेशस्त्वां धत्ते शिरसि रसराजस्य जयिनीम् (maheśastvāṃ dhatte śirasi rasarājasya jayinīm) Udb. °बन्धुः (bandhuḥ) the Bilva tree.

Derivable forms: maheśaḥ (महेशः).

Maheśa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and īśa (ईश). See also (synonyms): maheśāna.

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

Maheśa (महेश).—m.

(-śaḥ) Siva. E. maha great, īśa lord or god.

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

Maheśa (महेश).—[masculine] the great lord or god, [Epithet] of Śiva; a man’s name.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Maheśa (महेश) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—son of Candrapati, younger brother of Bhagīratha Megha (Dravyaprakāśikā). Hall. p. 66.

Maheśa has the following synonyms: Mahādeva.

2) Maheśa (महेश):—son of Kāśīnātha, brother of Rājendra and Rāghavendra. W. p. 159.

3) Maheśa (महेश):—son of Candrapati, brother of Bhagīratha Megha (Dravyaprakāśikā) and Dāmodara. Hall. p. 66.

Maheśa has the following synonyms: Mahādeva.

4) Maheśa (महेश):—father of Kṣemakarṇa (Rāgamālā 1570). Oxf. 201^b.

5) Maheśa (महेश):—lexicographer. Mentioned by Keśava in Kalpadru. Oxf. 189^b.

6) Maheśa (महेश):—Prayogacintāmaṇi [grammatical]

7) Maheśa (महेश):—Suvarṇamuktāvivāda.

8) Maheśa (महेश):—Smṛtisāra. Vyavasthāsārasaṃgraha from the author’s Smṛtisārasaṃgraha.

9) Maheśa (महेश):—pupil of Nārāyaṇatīrtha: Rāmāyaṇatattvadīpikā.

Maheśa has the following synonyms: Maheśvaratīrtha.

10) Maheśa (महेश):—Kulapañjikā.

11) Maheśa (महेश):—Dhātumālā.

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

1) Maheśa (महेश):—[from mahā > mah] a m. ‘great lord or god’, Name of Śiva, [Cāṇakya]

2) [v.s. ...] of a Buddhist deity, [Horace H. Wilson]

3) [v.s. ...] of various authors and other men (also with kavi, ṭhakkura, bhaṭṭi and miśra), [Catalogue(s)]

4) b svara etc. See p.802col.2

5) Māheśa (माहेश):—[from māhā] a m. ([from] maheśa) one of the Mānavaughas (q.v.), [Catalogue(s)]

6) b śvara See [column]2.

context information

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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