Mahishi, Mahiṣī: 18 definitions

Introduction:

Mahishi means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Jainism, Prakrit, Hindi. 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 Mahiṣī can be transliterated into English as Mahisi or Mahishi, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

Mahiṣī (महिषी).—Name of a river (nadī) situated near the seven great mountains on the western side of mount Naiṣadha, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 83. These settlements consume the water flowing from these seven great mountains (Viśākha, Kambala, Jayanta, Kṛṣṇa, Harita, Aśoka and Vardhamāna). Niṣadha (Naiṣadha) is one of the seven mountains located in Jambūdvīpa, ruled over by Āgnīdhra, a grandson of Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Mahiṣī (महिषी).—A river of the Ketumālā country.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 44. 22.
Purana book cover
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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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Mahiṣī (महिषी) refers to the “chief queen”, according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19. She should be addressed as Devī by her servants as well as by the king.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Mahiṣī (महिषी) refers to “buffaloes”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 9), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “If the course of Saturn should just precede that of Venus, the Mlecchas, cats, elephants, asses, buffaloes [i.e., mahiṣī], black grains, hogs, Pulindas (barbarians), the Śūdras and travellers in the south will suffer by diseases of the eye and by windy disorders. If the course of Mars should just precede that of Venus, mankind will suffer from fire, from weapons, from hunger, from drought and from thieves; all the creatures and objects of the north will suffer and the sky will be filled with fire, lightning and dust”.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (shaktism)

Mahiṣī (महिषी) refers to a “bride” (e.g., of the god Śiva), according to the King Vatsarāja’s Pūjāstuti called the Kāmasiddhistuti (also Vāmakeśvarīstuti), guiding one through the worship of the Goddess Nityā.—Accordingly, “[...] O goddess, I praise you with mind and speech. Your greatness is primordial. Your limbs are slightly ruddy like the morning sun, and you have made the triple world happy. You are the bride of the god [i.e., Śiva] (deva-mahiṣī), and possess a body inseparable [from his]. You bestow worldly enjoyment and also liberation from [the world]. You are the stream [of consciousness or immortality], O ruler of worlds. [...]”.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Universität Wien: Sudarśana's Worship at the Royal Court According to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā

Mahiṣī (महिषी) refers to the “queen”, according to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā, belonging to the Pāñcarātra tradition which deals with theology, rituals, iconography, narrative mythology and others.—Accordingly, “An abnormal modification caused by a aggressive ritual against Kings, occurring at the improper time, dreadful and all-reaching, is characterized by the these signs: [...] the earth produces less grains and multitudes of cows fall dead; his kingdom suffers again and again from droughts; the Earth-Master’s Queens (mahiṣīmahiṣyastasya bhūpateḥ) are seized by serious illness; snakes and ants appear in the palace, at the main gate and in the pavilion; [...] from such and other signs he should understand that the enemy is performing a aggressive ritual”.

Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Mahiṣī (महिषी) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Mahiṣa forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Medinīcakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the medinīcakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Mahiṣī] and Vīras are yellow in color; the shapes of their faces are in accordance with their names; they have four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Mahiṣī.—cf. Agaramahiṣī Agramahāmahiṣī, Mahāmahiṣī, etc. Note: mahiṣī 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
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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

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mahiṣī (महिषी).—f S A female buffalo. 2 The crowned wife of a king.

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

mahiṣī (महिषी).—f A female buffalo. A queeen.

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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mahiṣī (महिषी).—

1) A she-buffalo, buffalo-cow; Manusmṛti 9.55; माषानष्टौ तु महिषी सस्यघातस्य कारिणी (māṣānaṣṭau tu mahiṣī sasyaghātasya kāriṇī) Y.2.159.

2) The principal queen, queen-consort; महिषीसखः (mahiṣīsakhaḥ) R.1.48;2. 25;3.9.

3) A queen in general.

4) The female of a bird; सासज्जत शिचस्तन्त्यां महिषी कालयन्त्रिता (sāsajjata śicastantyāṃ mahiṣī kālayantritā) Bhāgavata 7.2.52.

5) A lady's maid, female servant (sairandhrī).

6) An immoral woman.

7) Money acquired by the prostitution of one's wife; cf. माहिषिक (māhiṣika)<.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Mahiṣī (महिषी).—name of a rākṣasī: Mahā-Māyūrī 243.9.

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

1) Mahiṣī (महिषी):—[from mahiṣa > mah] a f. See below.

2) Mahiṣi (महिषि):—[from mah] m. [plural] Name of a people, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

3) Mahiṣī (महिषी):—[from mah] b f. a female buffalo, b°-cow, [Brāhmaṇa; Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

4) [v.s. ...] any woman of high rank, ([especially]) the first or consecrated wife of a king (also [plural]) or any queen, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

5) [v.s. ...] the female of a bird, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

6) [v.s. ...] (with samudrasya), Name of the Gaṅgā, [Harivaṃśa]

7) [v.s. ...] an unchaste woman or money gained by a wife’s prostitution, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

8) [v.s. ...] a species of plant, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

9) [v.s. ...] Name of the 15th day of the light half of the month Taiṣa, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Mahiṣī (महिषी) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Mahisī.

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahishi in German

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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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahishi in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Mahiṣī (महिषी):—(nf) a she-buffalo; queen consort.

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Prakrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary

Mahisī (महिसी) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Mahiṣī.

context information

Prakrit is an ancient language closely associated with both Pali and Sanskrit. Jain literature is often composed in this language or sub-dialects, such as the Agamas and their commentaries which are written in Ardhamagadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit. The earliest extant texts can be dated to as early as the 4th century BCE although core portions might be older.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Mahiṣi (ಮಹಿಷಿ):—

1) [noun] a female buffalo.

2) [noun] the crowned wife of a king; a crowned-queen.

3) [noun] a wife.

4) [noun] a woman who is in a high or important position.

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Māhiṣi (ಮಾಹಿಷಿ):—[noun] a female buffalo.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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