Mahishmati, Mahismati, Māhiṣmatī, Mahiṣmatī: 15 definitions


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

The Sanskrit terms Māhiṣmatī and Mahiṣmatī can be transliterated into English as Mahismati or Mahishmati, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Mahishmati in Kavya glossary
Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara

Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—Maheśvara or Maheśa on the right bank of the Narmadā and forty miles to the south of Indore. According to Rājaśekhara from this city onwards to the south begins the Dakṣināpatha.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Mahishmati in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

1) Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती) is the name of a city, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 95.

2) Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती) is the name of an asura princess from the similarly named city, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 95. She was cursed by sage Asvara after she tried to scare him out of his hermitage in the form of a buffalo with sharp horns.

The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century. It is composed of two parts and Sūta is the main narrator.

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Mahiṣmatī (महिष्मती).—Sixth daughter of Aṅgiras. Mahiṣmatī was known as Anumatī also. (Śloka 6, Chapter 218, Vana Parva).

2) Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती).—An ancient city on the banks of river Narmadā. There is reference to this place in many places in the Purāṇas and a few of them are given below:

2) (i) King Nīla was reigning in a country with Māhiṣmatī as its capital. Sahadeva, one of the Pāṇḍavas during his victorious march to the south conquered this country. (Chapter 31, Sabhā Parva).

2) (ii) Daśāśva, tenth son of Ikṣvāku, had made this city his capital. (Śloka 6, Chapter 2, Anuśāsana Parva).

2) (iii) Kārtavīryārjuna who had made Māhiṣmatī the capital of his kingdom had subdued many kings. (Śloka 3, Chapter 152, Anuśāsana Parva). (See under Kārtavīryārjuna.)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1) Mahiṣmati (महिष्मति).—The capital of Kārtavīryārjuna.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 94. 26.

2) Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती).—The capital of the Haihayas, on the Revā (Narmadā). Entered by Paraśurāma who put to sword all the Kṣatriyas to avenge his father's death; visited by Balarāma;1 originally a Nāga capital with Karkoṭaka sabhā;2 the place where Kārtavīrya defeated Karkoṭaka's son;3 the place where Rāvaṇa was imprisoned by Kārtavīryārjuna;4 founded by Māhiṣmān and capital of Kārtavīryārjuna.5

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 15. 22; 16. 17; X. 79. 21.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 38. 2; 46. 11; 69. 26.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 43. 29.
  • 4) Ib. 43. 38.
  • 5) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 11. 9, 19.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती) refers to the name of a City mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. II.28.11, V.19.23). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Māhiṣmatī) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Mahishmati in Hinduism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

1) Mahishmati was an ancient city mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. It was the capital of the kingdom named Heheya. Kartavirya Arjuna, a Yadava king, was the foremost ruler of Mahismati and Haiheya (Mbh 13:52). He was killed by Bhargava Rama. Epic Ramayana mentions about the attack of Rakshasa king Ravana on Mahishmati. Pandava general Sahadeva also has attacked Mahishmati, when King Nila was its ruler (2:30). King Nila of Mahishmati is mentioned as a leader in the Kurukshetra War, rated by Bhishma as a Rathi. His coat of mail had blue colour (Mbh 5:19,167). Mahishmati is identified to be modern day Maheshwar, a town in the Khargone District in Madhya Pradesh state of India.

2) The city callled Māhiṣmatī. Maṇḍanamiśra (author of the Brahmasiddhi) lived in this city. Mandana Misra was chief Pundit of the court in Mahishmati.

3) Māhiṣmatīm: the capital of Kārtavīryārjuna.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Mahishmati in Jainism glossary
Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती) is the name of an ancient city, according to the Jain Ramayana and chapter 7.2 [Rāvaṇa’s expedition of conquest] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

Accordingly, as a Vidyādhara explained to Daśamauli (i.e., Rāvaṇa): “Ahead of here there is a large city Māhiṣmatī. In it there is a powerful king, Sahasrāṃśu, like another sun, served by kings by the thousand. He obstructed the water in the Revā by a dam for the sake of water-sports. What is impossible for the powerful? Now this Sahasrāṃśu is playing comfortably in the water with a thousand queens, like an elephant with cow-elephants [...]”.

General definition book cover
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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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India history and geography

Source: Geography in Ancient Indian inscriptions

1) Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती) occurs in two grants of Subandhu of early fifth century A.D. We find the Prakrit forms Māhasati, Māhisati and Mahisati in the Sanchi Stūpa inscriptions of about second century A.D. Fleet identified Māhiṣmatī with Omkareshvara Mandhata, an island in the river Narmadā in the east Nimar district of Madhya Pradesh. Mr. Wilford, however, proposed the identification of Māhiṣmatī with Maheshwar in the west Nimar district of Madhya Pradesh, about sixty miles south of Indore, facing each other on the southern and northern banks of the Narmadā respectively.

The city of Māhiṣmatī, according to Raghuvaṃśa, was guarded by the Fire God and was encircled by the Revā (i. e., Narmadā) like a girdle round its hip, like ramparts. Maheshwar is a site where a moat might have been made round the city, so that the Narmadā, as it were, formed a girdle round it.

2) Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती).—The Harivaṃśa refers to the city of Māhiṣmatī, the capital of Narmadānūpa as nestling under the shelter of the mount Ṛkṣavat. Nīlakaṇṭha, the commentater of the Harivaṃśa, places the city to the north of the Vindhyas and the south of the Ṛkṣa.

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Mahiṣmatī (महिष्मती).—The Raghuvaṃśa speaks of Mahiṣmatī as the capital of Anūpa on the bank of the Revā (i.e. Narmadā). Narmadā is the name of a river mentioned in the Gupta inscription No. 18. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Paramaras

Māhishmatī (माहिस्ह्मती) (corresponding to the modern Maheshwar in the West Nemāḍ District) is the name of a village mentioned in the “Māndhātā copper-plate inscription of Devapāla”. These copper plates (mentioning Māhishmatī) were discovered in 1905 in the former State of Dhār, near the temple of Siddheśvara at Māndhātā, better known by the longer name Oṃkāra-Māndhātā (an island in the Narmadā attached to the East Nemāḍ District in Madhya Pradesh). It records the donation of the village of Satājunā in the Mahuaḍa Pratijāgaraṇaka, by Devapāla. It is dated on the full moon day of Bhādrapada in the (Vikrama) year 1282, which corresponds to the 19th August, 1225 A.C.

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 mythology, zoology, 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 next»] — Mahishmati in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती).—Name of a city, the hereditary capital of the Haihaya kings; माहिष्मतीवप्रनितम्बकाञ्चीम् (māhiṣmatīvapranitambakāñcīm) (revām) R.6.43.

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

Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती).—(= Pali Māhissatī), name of a city, capital of the Avantis, as in Dīghanikāya (Pali) ii.235.20; originally so in Mahāvastu iii.208.18, where mss. are corrupt; Senart correctly em. to Māhiṣmatī, but leaves a blank for the people-name; mss. ca vartināṃ; read c' Avantīnāṃ with Dīghanikāya (Pali). In Sn 1011 Māhissatī is mentioned along with Ujjenī, which confirms its association with Avanti.

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

1) Mahiṣmatī (महिष्मती):—[from mahiṣmat > mah] f. Name of a [particular] lunar day (personified as a daughter of Aṅgiras), [Mahābhārata]

2) Māhiṣmatī (माहिष्मती):—[from māhiṣma] f. Name of a city (founded by Mahiṣmat or Mucukunda), [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature etc.]

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahishmati in German

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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 (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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