Mleccha; 14 Definition(s)


Mleccha means something in 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Mlechchha.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Mleccha (म्लेच्छ).—A tribe of people of ancient India. This tribe was born from the tail of the celestial cow Nandinī, kept by Vasiṣṭha for sacrificial purposes when there was a fight between Viśvāmitra and Vasiṣṭha. Mahābhārata gives the following information regarding them.

The mlecchas who sprang up from the tail of the celestial cow Nandinī sent the army of Viśvāmitra flying in terror. (Śloka 38, Chapter 174, Ādi Parva). (See full article at Story of Mleccha from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Mleccha (म्लेच्छ).—Born out of the left side of Vena's body when the latter's body was churned;1 begin with Anu, son of Yayāti; ruled by Dakṣa; ruled by Turvasu; ruled by the hundred sons of Pracetas of Druhyu family in the east; the rule of the kings;2 not to be seen in Kuśadvīpa; Śakas (Parādas, Viṣṇu-purāṇa), Pallavas (Paplava, Viṣṇu-purāṇa) and Kāmbojas, all Mlecchas; (Ābhiras, Viṣṇu-purāṇa) Guruṇdas and Vṛṣalas, also belonged to this group;3 kingdoms of, found in the lotus coming out of the naval of the Lord;4 their kingdoms side by side with those of the Āryas;5 people who live in their countries are ineligible for Pārvana śrāddha;6 attain salvation at Benares;7 do not molest the women of their enemies;8 to be conquered by Kalki;9 put down by Pramati god.10

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 10. 7;
  • 2) Ib. 34. 30; 4. 54; 33. 14; 48. 9; 50. 76; Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 23. 16.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 12; 19. 60; 31. 79, 84 and 90; III. 20. 5; 48. 48-9; 68. 44; 73. 109; 74. 11-12, 203-6, 215; Matsya-purāṇa 273. 22; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 3. 48; 17. 5; 24. 69; V. 38. 28.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 169. 11;
  • 5) Ib. 273. 25.
  • 6) Ib. 16. 16.
  • 7) Ib. 181. 19.
  • 8) Ib. 188. 51.
  • 9) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 18. 43.
  • 10) Matsya-purāṇa 114. 11-12; 121. 43; 144. 53.

1b) These were the elder Madhucchandasas, who were cursed by Viśvāmitra to become Mlecchas;1 defeated by Bharata; these were the Mlecchas of the north;2 worship progenitors;3 eleven kings ruled for 300 years.4 Then Kolikilas followed;5 their dharma described.6

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 45. 82; 47. 41; 48. 15, 21, 36; 58. 78; 83. 112; 99. 12, 268;
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 16. 33; 20. 30; 23. 16; XII. 1. 40-43.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 93. 44.
  • 4) Ib. 99. 364.
  • 5) Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 364.
  • 6) Ib. 99. 392-400.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Mleccha (म्लेच्छ) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. II.27.23, II.28.44, II.29.15, II.31.10, II.47.12, II.48.33, III.48.19, V.158.20, VI.10.64, VI.10.66, VIII.30.70, VIII.51.19) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Mleccha) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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.

Discover the meaning of mleccha in the context of Purana from relevant books on Exotic India

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Mleccha (म्लेच्छ) refers to “persons whose language is not intelligible”. The word is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti. (also see the Manubhāṣya verse 7.149)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
Dharmashastra book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of mleccha in the context of Dharmashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Mleccha (म्लेच्छ).—(I) a word although correct, yet looked upon as incorrect owing to its faulty utterance; (2) a person like the uncultured people, who is not able to pronounce words correctly cf. म्लेच्छा मा भूमेत्यध्येयं व्याकरणम् (mlecchā mā bhūmetyadhyeyaṃ vyākaraṇam) M. Bh. I. 1, Ahnika 1.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

Discover the meaning of mleccha in the context of Vyakarana from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

Mleccha referred to people of foreign extraction in ancient India. The Sanskrit term Mleccha, referring to the indistinct speech of some non-Aryans. Mleccha is used for one who is impure, dirty or uncultured. It is derived from the root mlich~mlech, meaning to speak indistinctly (like a foreigner or barbarian who does not speak Sanskrit). We find the use of root also in Mahābhāṣya.

Some explanations of the name "mleccha" suggest that the word was derived from the Indo-Aryan perception of the speech of the indigenous peoples. Namely, "mlech" was a word that meant "to speak indistinctly." As such, some suggest that the Indo-Aryans used an onomatopoeic sound to imitate the harshness of alien tongue and to indicate incomprehension, thus coming up with "mleccha".

Mleccha (from Vedic Sanskrit म्लेच्छ mleccha, meaning "non-Vedic" or "non-Aryan", "barbarian", "foreigners"), also spelt Mlechchha or Mlechha.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Mleccha — from ‘mlecch’ to talk confusedly. A term of disrespect for Non-Aryans who do not conform to the Aryan codes of practice or speak Sanskrit. Nowadays used mostly for foreigners such as Europeans and Muslims.

Source: Red Zambala: On the Salvific Activities of God

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Mleccha in Jainism glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mleccha (म्लेच्छ, “barbarian”) refers to one of the two types of human beings according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.36.—Those human beings who have no control over their speech i.e. behave and speak shamelessly without regard to anyone are called barbarians.

How many types of barbarians (mleccha) are there? They are of two types namely: from Antaradvīpa and from Karmabhūmi. Who are the barbarians from Karmabhūmi? These are the human beings from areas like Pulinda, Śabara, Yavana, Śaka, Khasa, Barbara etc of Karmabhūmi (area /region of labour).Who are called inhabitants of Antaradvīpa? The hinter region between Lavaṇa Ocean and Himavāna and Vijayārdha Mountains is called Antaradvīpa. Those born in this region are called Antaradvīpaja.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds
General definition book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of mleccha in the context of General definition from relevant books on Exotic India

India history and geogprahy

Mleccha (म्लेच्छ) were wild ferocious tribes whose acts of violence caused vast devastations and destructions, struck terror in the social life of the country. They are said to have been repulsed and destroyed by lord Śiva.

Source: Siva Purana (history)

Mleccha (म्लेच्छ) 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 Mlecchas) 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
India history book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of mleccha in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Mleccha in Marathi glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

mlēccha (म्लेच्छ).—m (S) corruptly mlēñcha m The generic term for a barbarian or foreigner; that is for one speaking any language but Sanskrit, and not subject to the usual Hindu institutions.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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.

Discover the meaning of mleccha in the context of Marathi from relevant books on Exotic India

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mleccha (म्लेच्छ).—[mlecch-ghañ]

1) A barbarian, a non-Āryan (one not speaking the Sanskṛt language, or not conforming to Hindu or Āryan institutions), a foreigner in general; ग्राह्या म्लेच्छप्रसिद्धिस्तु विरोधादर्शने सति (grāhyā mlecchaprasiddhistu virodhādarśane sati) J. N. V.; म्लेच्छान् मूर्छयते (mlecchān mūrchayate); or म्लेच्छनिवहनिधने कलयसि करवालम् (mlecchanivahanidhane kalayasi karavālam) Gīt.1.

2) An outcast, a very low man; (Baudhāyana thus defines the word:-gomāṃsakhādako yastu viruddhaṃ bahu bhāṣate | sarvā- cāravihīnaśca mleccha ityabhidhīyate ||).

3) A sinner, wicked person.

4) Foreign or barbarous speech.

-ccham 1 Copper.

2) Vermilion.

Derivable forms: mlecchaḥ (म्लेच्छः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mleccha (म्लेच्छ).—m.

(-cchaḥ) 1. The generic term for a barbarian or foreigner; that is, for one speaking any language but Sanskrit, and not subject to the usual Hindu institutions. 2. A sinner, a criminal. 3. Indistinct or barbarous speech. E. mlecch to speak inarticulately, aff. ghañ .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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.

Discover the meaning of mleccha in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

Relevant definitions

Search found 106 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Mleccha Bhasha
Mlecchabhāṣā (म्लेच्छभाषा).—a foreign language. Mlecchabhāṣā is a Sanskrit compound consisting ...
Mlecchavāc (म्लेच्छवाच्).—mfn. (-vāk) Speaking a barbarous dialect. E. mleccha, vāc speech.
Mlecchakanda (म्लेच्छकन्द).—m. (-ndaḥ) Garlic. E. mleccha a barbarian, and kaṇḍa root. “laśune ...
Aparamleccha (अपरम्लेच्छ).—A place in ancient India. (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 9, Ver...
Mlecchadeśa (म्लेच्छदेश) is a place-name classified as a deśa and mentioned in the Gupta inscri...
Mlecchākhya (म्लेच्छाख्य).—copper. Derivable forms: mlecchākhyam (म्लेच्छाख्यम्).Mlecchākhya is...
Mlecchabhojana (म्लेच्छभोजन).—wheat. -nam barley. Derivable forms: mlecchabhojanaḥ (म्लेच्छभोजन...
Mlecchāsya (म्लेच्छास्य).—copper. Derivable forms: mlecchāsyam (म्लेच्छास्यम्).Mlecchāsya is a ...
Mlecchadviṣṭa (म्लेच्छद्विष्ट).—bdellium. Derivable forms: mlecchadviṣṭaḥ (म्लेच्छद्विष्टः).Mle...
Mlecchajāti (म्लेच्छजाति).—f. a savage or barbarian race, a mountaineer; पुलिन्दा नाहला निष्ट्य...
Mlecchamaṇḍala (म्लेच्छमण्डल).—a country inhabited by non-Āryans or barbarians, a foreign or ba...
Mlecchāśa (म्लेच्छाश).—wheat. Derivable forms: mlecchāśaḥ (म्लेच्छाशः).Mlecchāśa is a Sanskrit ...
Mlecchagaṇa (म्लेच्छगण).—Foreign tribes on the Himālayan slopes.** Vāyu-purāṇa 41. 46.
Mlecchaprayoga (म्लेच्छप्रयोग) refers to the “usage of the non-native speakers”, as mentioned b...
Arya.—(CII 1), same as Vaiśya. Note: arya is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as i...

Relevant text

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: