Maitri, aka: Maitrī; 10 Definition(s)


Maitri means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

In Hinduism

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Maitrī (मैत्री) is a Sanskrit technical term, used in jurisdiction, referring to “too much affection”. It is mentioned as one of the causes for giving false evidence. The word is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti. (See the Manubhāṣya 8.120)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Maitrī (मैत्री).—Daughter of Dakṣa. Thirteen daughters of Dakṣa were married to Dharmadeva. Maitrī was one of them. Maitrī bore a son named Abhaya to Dharmadeva. (4th Skandha, Bhāgavata).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Maitrī (मैत्री).—A daughter of Dakṣa and a wife of Dharma; mother of Prasāda.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 1. 49-50.
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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Maitrī (मैत्री) refers to a type of mūrchanā (melodic mode), and its illustration as a Goddess (according to 15th-century Indian art) is as follows.—The colour of her body is golden. She holds an unkown musical instrument with both hands. She wears a bodice of light-green colour and a scarf with crimson-coloured design, and a trouser of light-green colour bearing a black design.

The illustrations (of, for example Maitrī) are found scattered throughout ancient Jain manuscripts from Gujarat. The descriptions of these illustrations of this citrāvalī are based on the ślokas of Vācanācārya Gaṇi Sudhākalaśa’s Saṅgītopaniṣatsāroddhāra (14th century) and Śārṅgadeva’s Saṅgītaratnākara (13th century).

Source: Illustrations of Indian Music and Dance in Western Indian Style
Shilpashastra book cover
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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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Maitrī (मैत्री) is the daughter of Siṃhaśrī, and is included in the list of spiritual friends of Sudhana: the son of a merchant from Sukhākara who received a prophecy from Mañjuśrī, according to the Avataṃsaka-sūtra. Accordingly, Sudhana devoted himself to 110 spiritual friends in a great building adorned with the ornaments of Vairocana. These spiritual friends included monks, bodhisattvas, ṛṣis, brāhmaṇas, girls (eg., Maitrī), kings, youths, goddesses, householders, etc. From these beings, Sudhana took the vows without the need for any formal basis.

Source: Wisdom Library: Mahayana Buddhism

Maitrī (मैत्री, “loving-kindness”) or Maitrā refers to one of the “four immeasurables” (apramāṇa), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 32.—Accordingly, “Maitrī is to think about beings with love and always to seek for the safety (yogakṣema) and happy things in order to bring them good. Maitrī is practiced to remove hostility (vyāpāda) toward beings”.

There are three kinds of maitrī:

  1. that which has beings as object (sattvālambana),
  2. that which has things as object (dharmālambana),
  3. that which has no object (anālambana).

Maitrī is a mental event capable of counteracting the corruptions (kaṣāya) contained in the mind, namely, hatred (dveṣa), hostility (upanāha), avarice (mātsarya), lust (rāga), and the other passions (kleśa). Thus, when the purifying pearl (maṇi) is placed in dirty water, it becomes clear.

As the Buddha said everywhere in the sūtras: “With a mind associated with loving-kindness (maitrī), free of enmity, free of hostility, free of rivalry, free of malice, extended, expanded, immense and well cultivated, the Bhikṣu intentionally includes in this mind of loving-kindness the beings of universes in the eastern direction, then he intentionally includes in this mind of loving-kindness the beings of the universes of the ten directions: those of the south, the west, the north, of the four intermediate directions, of the zenith and the nadir. And in the same way, he includes them by means of a mind associated with compassion (karuṇā), associated with joy (muditā) and associated with equanimity”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Maitrī (मैत्री, “friendliness”) refers to one of the “four spiritual states” (brahmavihāra) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 16). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., brahma-vihāra and Maitrī). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Maitrī (मैत्री, “friendliness”) or Maitrīdāna also refers to the “gift of friendliness” and represents one of the “three kinds of gifts” (dāna) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 105).

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Maitrī (मैत्री, “friendliness”) is a concept defined within Buddhist ethical conduct (nītiśāstra).—In Buddhism, the two most important ethical virtues are compassion (karuṇa) and friendliness (maitrī). One should have deep sympathy and goodwill for the suffering people and should have the qualities of a good friend.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Indian Ethics: Individual and Social (buddhism)

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Maitrī (मैत्री, “benevolence”) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 7.11.—What is meant by benevolence (maitrī) towards all living beings? The desire that others should be free from suffering and not to cause suffering to others is called benevolence towards all living beings. What is the subject of the observance on benevolence towards all? The subject of this observance is the realm of entire living beings. It enhances magnanimous disposition in the observer and eliminates the feelings of mine/ yours.

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

Marathi-English dictionary

maitrī (मैत्री).—f Friendship.

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

Search found 55 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Maitrīdāna (मैत्रीदान) or simply Maitrī also refers to the “gift of friendliness” and represent...
Maitrīmurchanā (मैत्रीमुर्छना) is another name for maitrī: one of the twenty-one mūrchanā (melo...
Koradi Maitri
kōraḍī maitrī (कोरडी मैत्री).—f Empty friendship; superficial attachment.
Mahāmaitrī (महामैत्री) refers to the “three kinds of great friendliness” as defined in the Dhar...
Maitrīcittamaniskāra (मैत्रीचित्तमनिस्कार) refers to “meditation on loving-kindness”, which is ...
Maitrīcitta (मैत्रीचित्त) refers to a “mind of loving-kindness”, according to the 2nd century M...
Maitra (मैत्र).—mfn. (-traḥ-trī-traṃ) Of or belongining to a friend, friendly, amicable. m. (-t...
Karuṇā (करुणा, “compassion”) refers to one of the “four immeasurables” (apramāṇa), according to...
Dāna (दान, “donation”) forms part of the ancient Indian education system, which aimed at both t...
Śakti (शक्ति) or Śivakāmi refers to the wife of Śiva. The primal energy is called puruṣa or Śiv...
Bhavana.—(LL), a temple. Cf. pura, āyatana, ālaya, etc. Note: bhavana is defined in the “Indian...
Rāga.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘six’. Note: rāga is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can ...
Kali (कलि).—m. (in this sense = Pali id., but not in Sanskrit), sin, depravity: Mvy 621, 622, s...
Apramāṇa (अप्रमाण) refers to the “four immeasurables”, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāp...
Muditā (मुदिता).—(1) (= Pali id.; acc. to Senart, Mv i.629 and iii.523, also PTSD s.v., an alt...

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