Malava, aka: Mālava, Mālavā; 12 Definition(s)


Malava means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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


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

1) Mālavā (मालवा).—A Purāṇic river to be remembered. (Śloka 25, Chapter 165, Anuśāsana Parva).

2) Mālava (मालव).—An ancient country on the west coast of India. Mahābhārata contains the following statements regarding Mālava:

2) (i) The people of Mālava participated in the Rājasūya of Yudhiṣṭhira. (Śloka 11, Chapter 34, Sabhā Parva).

2) (ii) Armed young Kṣatriyas of Mālava presented Yudhiṣṭhira with great wealth. (Śloka 15, Chapter 52, Sabhā Parva).

2) (iii) Karṇa conquered Mālavadeśa. (Śloka 20, Chapter 254, Vana Parva).

2) (iv) Mālava was one of the prominent and renowned countries of ancient India (Śloka 60, Chapter 9, Bhīṣma Parva).

2) (v) Obeying the order of Bhīṣma the people of Mālava attacked Arjuna. (Śloka 76, Chapter 59, Bhīṣma Parva).

2) (vi) Śrī Kṛṣṇa once conquered Mālavadeśa. (Śloka 16, Chapter 19, Droṇa Parva).

2) (vii) Paraśurāma exterminated the Kṣatriyas of Mālavadeśa. (Śloka 11, Chapter 70, Droṇa Parva).

3) Mālava (मालव).—The Kṣatriyas born to king Aśvapati of his wife Mālavī are known as Mālavas. (Śloka 49, Chapter 297, Vana Parva).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Mālava (मालव).—(mālva)—sacred to Lalitā.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 95.

1b) (c) dvijas of; became Vrātyas after the days of Purañjaya.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 1. 38; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 3. 17.

1c) A Kṣatriya tribe of the Vindhyas; sons of Aśvapati and Mālavī;1 enlisted by Jarāsandha against the Yadus.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 114. 44. 52; 163. 67; 213. 16; Vāyu-purāṇa 45. 132.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. [50 (V) 2].
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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)

Mālava (मालव) is the name of a country pertaining to the Āvantī local usage (pravṛtti) according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 14. These pravṛttis provide information regarding costumes, languages, and manners in different countries of the world. It is mentioned that this local usage (adopted by these countries) depends on the grand style (sāttvatī) and the graceful style (kaiśikī).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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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Kavya (poetry)

Malava in Kavya glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mālavā (मालवा) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—Mālwā or Avantī, which capital was Ujjayini.

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
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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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

The name of various Damila chiefs, allies of Kulasekhara (Cv.lxxvi. 132, 137, 210, 235, 265ff., 284). Two of them were called Lambakannas. Cv.lxxvii.27.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Mālava (मालव) is the name of a sacred site (pīṭha) presided over by Drumacchāyā, according to the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala. Drumacchāyā is a deity situated in one of the six petals of the northern lotus, of which the presiding deity is kuleśvarī (presiding lady) named Locanā. The central deity of the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala is the twelve-armed Vajravarāhī.

Mālava is one of the twenty-four pīṭhas, or ‘sacred-site’ (six lotuses each having six petals), each corresponding with a part of the human body. Mālava is to be contemplated as situated on the shoulders. Besides being associated with a bodily spot, each pīṭha represents an actual place of ancient India frequented particularly by advanced tantric practitioners

The Vārāhyabhyudayatantra is an explanatory tantra on the Laghuśaṃvara, but its verses are largerly extracted from the 10th century Abhidhānottaratantra, a scriputre describing various sādhanas (path towards spiritual realization).

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini
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 geogprahy

Mālava (मालव) is the name of a tribe mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. 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. These tribes (eg., the Mālavas, latin: Malavas) migrated to places other than their original settlemenets and gave their names to the janapadas they settled. They replaced the old Vedic tribes in Punjab and Rajasthan though some of them are deemed as offshoots of the main tribe..

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Mālava is the name of a locality mentioned in a Jain inscription found at Shergarh. The Mālavas originally lived in the Punjab and later settled in the Jaipur region of Rājasthān. But the application of the name Mālava to the ancient janapadas of Avanti (with its capital at Ujjayinī and comprising the present west Mālwā) and Ākara or Daśārṇa (with its capital at Vidiśā, i.e. modern Besnagar near Bhīlsā, and comprising the present East Mālwā) is not much earlier than the early medieval period. It was, however, widely accepted during the age of the Paramāras. We know that the inclusion of the Shergarh region in the dominions of the Paramāra king Udayāditya of Mālava is indicated by another Shergarh inscription noticed above.

The inscription (mentioning Mālava) was found found on the pedestal below the central figure of a group of three images of Jain Tīrthaṅkaras in a small temple outside the fort at Shergarh (ancient Kośavardhana). The three Tīrthaṅkaras represented are Śānti (Śāntinātha), Kunthu or Kunthanātha and Ara (Aranātha).

Source: What is India: Epigraphia Indica volume XXXI (1955-56)

Mālava probably correspond to the Greek Malloi.—The Malloi of the Greek chronicles have been identified as the people known in Indic sources as Mālava, after whom the north-western region of central India is named (today usually spelt Malwa in English). It does, however, seem that there were indeed Mālavas in the north-western frontier areas at least until the middle of the first millennium CE.

The Bṛhatsaṃhitā of Varāhamihira (mid-sixth century) described Mālavas as living in the north of the Indian subcontinent, from where some of them seem to have migrated in early historic times to present-day Malwa. the Mudrārākṣasa does refer to the Mālava people by name, and though the possibility cannot be excluded, it is unlikely that they are meant to be the same nation as the Malayas.

The nation of the Mālavas lent their name to a region in central India on the northern side of the Vindhya range, known to this day as the Malwa plateau. There is thus good reason to assume that these Mālavan aristocrats were not tribal chieftains of the north, but members of courtly circles in the heartland. This could not have been the case in Candragupta Maurya’s days, and must therefore be an indication of the political conditions in Viśākhadatta’s time.

To summarise the history of the Mālavas up to the period relevant to our problem, they occupied the north-eastern parts of present-day Rajasthan sometime before the first century CE. Here they came under the sway of the Śaka kṣatrapas, but regained independence and began to strike their own coins about 225 CE, from which time they remained autonomous till the reign of Samudragupta. Sometime around the mid 4th century they submitted to Gupta supremacy, as attested by the (posthumous) Allahabad inscription of Samudragupta. However, this praśasti (line 22) only claims that the Mālavas, along with the Yaudheyas and several other, possibly non-monarchical nations, paid Samudragupta tribute and obeisance, i.e. there is a strong probability that their territories did not come under direct control of the Guptas. In the middle of the 5th century they may have been conquered by the Hūṇas, and were then repeatedly claimed by the Vākāṭakas and by the Guptas again.

Source: A Textual and Intertextual Study of the Mudrārākṣasa (history)
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

mālava (मालव).—m A Rag or musical mode; also called māravā.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mālava (मालव).—

1) Name of a country, the modern Mālvā in central India.

2) Name of a Rāga or musical mode.

-vāḥ (pl.) The people of Mālvā.

Derivable forms: mālavaḥ (मालवः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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Relevant definitions

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