Moha, aka: Mohā; 26 Definition(s)


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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

1) Mohā (मोहा, “Delusion”):—Third of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Vahni, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ), including Mohā, symbolize mental dispositions or emotions and are considered as obstructing the attainment of liberating knowledge. They are presided over by the Bhairava Unmatta. Vahni is the fourth of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents fire.

2) Mohā (मोहा, “Dazzlement”):—Third of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Bhānumatī, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ), including Mohā, embody several qualities expressive of the sun’s burning heat and glaring light. They are presided over by the Bhairava Ruru. Bhānumatī is the sixth of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents the sun.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Moha (मोह) refers to “bewildering enemies”. It is a siddhi (‘supernatural power’) described in chapter one of the Kakṣapuṭatantra (a manual of Tantric practice from the tenth century).

Source: Wisdom Library: Kakṣapuṭa-tantra

Moha (मोह) refers to “bewildering enemies” and represents one of the various siddhis (perfections) mentioned in the Kakṣapuṭatantra verse 1.11-13. Accordingly, “by excellent Sādhakas (tantric practitioners) wishing the Siddhi (eg., moha), the mantrasādhana should be performed in advance, for the sake of the Siddhi. One would not attain any Siddhi without the means of mantra-vidhāna (the classification of mantra)”.

Source: Shodhganga: Mantra-sādhana: Chapter One of the Kakṣapuṭatantra
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Moha (मोह) is a Sanskrit technical term, used in jurisdiction, referring to “wrong information”. 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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Moha (मोह, “distraction”).—One of the thirty-three ‘transitory states’ (vyabhicāribhāva), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 7. These ‘transitory states’ accompany the ‘permanent state’ in co-operation. The term is used throughout nāṭyaśāstra literature. (Also see the Daśarūpa 4.8-9)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Moha (मोह, “distraction”) is caused by determinants (vibhāva) such as accidental injury, adversity, sickness, fear, agitation, remembering past enemity and the like. It is to be represented on the stage by consequents (anubhāva) such as want of movement, [excessive] movement of [a particular] limb, falling down, reeling, not seeing properly and the like.

Source: Natya Shastra
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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Moha (मोह) refers to “stupefaction” and represents a type of Ādhyātmika pain of the mental (mānasa) type, according to the Viṣṇu-purāṇa 6.5.1-6. Accordingly, “the wise man having investigated the three kinds of worldly pain, or mental and bodily affliction and the like, and having acquired true wisdom, and detachment from human objects, obtains final dissolution.”

Ādhyātmika and its subdivisions (eg., moha) represents one of the three types of worldly pain (the other two being ādhibhautika and ādhidaivika) and correspond to three kinds of affliction described in the Sāṃkhyakārikā.

The Viṣṇupurāṇa is one of the eighteen Mahāpurāṇas which, according to tradition was composed of over 23,000 metrical verses dating from at least the 1st-millennium BCE. There are six chapters (aṃśas) containing typical puranic literature but the contents primarily revolve around Viṣṇu and his avatars.

Source: Wisdom Library: Viṣṇu-purāṇa

Moha (मोह).—A son born of the lustre of Brahmā. (3rd Skandha, Bhāgavata).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Moha (मोह).—Born from the buddhi of Brahmā.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 3. 11.
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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Samkhya (school of philosophy)

Moha (मोह, “delusion”) is the second type of viparyaya (ignorance), according to the Sāṃkhya theory of evolution. Viparyaya refers to a category of pratyayasarga (intellectual products), which represents the first of two types of sarga (products) that come into being during tattvapariṇāma (elemental manifestations), which in turn, evolve out of the two types of pariṇāma (change, modification).

Source: Wisdom Library: Sāṃkhya philosophy
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Samkhya (सांख्य, Sāṃkhya) is a dualistic school of Hindu philosophy (astika) and is closeley related to the Yoga school. Samkhya philosophy accepts three pramanas (‘proofs’) only as valid means of gaining knowledge. Another important concept is their theory of evolution, revolving around prakriti (matter) and purusha (consciousness).

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Moha (मोह) refers to “delusion”: a composed state of mind which does not permit scope for discrimination.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 1
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

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Delusion; ignorance (avijja).. One of three unwholesome roots (mula) in the mind.Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

M Ignorance. Failure regarding the knowledge of dhamma. Only an arahanta is no more affected by moha.

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

Part of the Moha Team.


Moha is ignorance. It is delusion. It covers true nature of dhamma and it veils citta not to see realities and truths. It prevents pannas arising. Moha and panna are mutually exclusive in a citta. When moha arises, panna cannot arise and when panna arises moha has gone away.

Source: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

Delusion (moha); also, avijjā.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

'delusion', is one of the 3 unwholesome roots (mūla). The best known synonym is avijjā.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

dullness; Moha is not the same as lack of worldly knowledge such as science or history, but it is ignorance of ultimate realities. There are many degrees of moha. Moha does not know the true nature of the object which is experienced and therefore its essence is, as stated by the Atthasalini non-penetration and its function "covering up" the intrinsic nature of the object.

Moha is ignorant of the true nature of realities. Moha is the root of all that is unprofitable.

Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
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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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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Moha, (मोह, “delusion”):—One of the three poisons (triviṣa).—Delusion is of two kinds:

  1. bad delusion (mithyāmoha)
  2. and simple delusion.
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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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)

Moha (मोह, “delusion”) refers to one of the fourty “conditions” (saṃskāra) that are “associated with mind” (citta-samprayukta) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 30). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., moha). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Moha also refers to the “three roots of unwholesomeness” (akuśalamūla) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 139).

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

moha : (m.) stupidity; delusion.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Moha, (fr. muh, see muyhati; cp. Sk. moha & Vedic mogha) stupidity, dullness of mind & soul, delusion, bewilderment, infatuation D. III, 146, 175, 182, 214, 270; Vin. IV, 144, 145; Sn. 56, 74, 160, 638, 847; Vbh. 208, 341, 391, 402; Pug. 16; Tikp 108, 122, 259.—Defd as “dukkhe aññāṇaṃ etc., moha pamoha, sammoha, avijj’ogha etc., ” by Nd2 99 & Vbh. 362; as “muyhanti tena, sayaṃ vā muyhati, muyhana-mattaṃ eva vā tan ti moho” and “cittassa andha-bhāva-lakkhaṇo, aññāṇalakkhaṇo vā” at Vism. 468.—Often coupled with rāga & dosa as one of the 3 cardinal affects of citta, making a man unable to grasp the higher truths and to enter the Path: see under rāga (& Nd2 p. 237, s. v. rāga where the wide range of application of this set is to be seen). Cp. the 3 fires: rāg-aggi, dos-aggi, moh-aggi It. 92; D. III, 217 also rāga-kkhaya, dosa°, moha° VbhA. 31 sq.—On combn with rāga, lobha & dosa see dosa2 and lobha.—On term see also Dhs. trsl. §§ 33, 362, 441; Cpd 16, 18, 41, 113, 146.—See further D. I, 80 (samoha-cittaṃ); Nd1 15, 16 (with lobha & dosa); VvA. 14; PvA. 3.—amoha absence of bewilderment Vbh. 210 (+alobha, adosa; as the 3 kusala-mūlāni: cp. mūla 3), 402 (id. , as kusala-hetu).—Cp. pa°, sam°.

—antara (personal) quality of bewilderment (lit. having m. inside) Sn. 478 (taken by C. as “cause of m. , ” i.e. °kāraṇa, °paccaya SnA 411; cp. antara= kāraṇa under antara I 2 b.). —ussada quality of dullness Nd1 72, 413. —kkhaya destruction of infatuation Vbh. 73; VbhA. 51. —carita one whose habit is infatuation Nett 90 (+rāgacarita & dosacarita). —tama the darkness of bewilderment MA 1. —dhamma anything that is bewildering or infatuating Sn. 276. —pāruta covered or obstructed by delusion Pv IV. 334. —magga being on the road of infatuation Sn. 347. —salla the sting of bewilderment Nd1 59. (Page 543)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

mōha (मोह).—m (S) Fascination, infatuation, bewitchment; whether the allurement of objects exciting love, affection, pity, sympathy &c.; or the state of being allured and engaged by. 2 Loss of consciousness or sense; fainting, forgetfulness, stupefaction. 3 Ignorance, folly, foolishness;--applied esp. to that spiritual ignorance which leads men to believe in the material reality of worldly objects, and to betake themselves to mundane or sensual enjoyments. 4 Affection, fondness. 5 A tree, Bassia latifolia. From the blossoms of it a spirituous liquor is distilled.

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mōha (मोह).—n m (Commonly mōhō) A bees' nest and comb.

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mōhā (मोहा).—m (mōha S through H) A tree, Bassia latifolia. From its blossoms a spirituous liquor is distilled.

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mōhā (मोहा).—a mōhācā a (mōha) Of enchanting or excellent quality;--used of a species of cocoanut and betelnut. Ex. mō0 nāraḷa-nāraḷī-māḍa-supārī.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mōha (मोह).—m Fascination. Ignorance. Fond- ness. Loss of sense. A tree. n m A bees' nest and comb.

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mōhā (मोहा).—m A kind of tree.

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mōhā (मोहा).—a Of enchanting or excellent quality.

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

Moha (मोह).—[muh ghañ]

1) Loss of consciousness, fainting, a swoon, insensibility; मोहेनान्तर्वरतनुरियं लक्ष्यते मुच्यमाना (mohenāntarvaratanuriyaṃ lakṣyate mucyamānā) V.1.8; मोहादभूत् कष्टतरः प्रबोधः (mohādabhūt kaṣṭataraḥ prabodhaḥ) R.14.56; Ku.3.73; कतिचन पेतुरुपेत्य मोहमुद्राम् (katicana peturupetya mohamudrām) Śiva B.28.88.

2) Perplexity, delusion, embarrassment, confusion; यज्ज्ञात्वा न पुनर्मोहमेवं यास्यसि पाण्डव (yajjñātvā na punarmohamevaṃ yāsyasi pāṇḍava) Bg.4.35.

3) Folly, ignorance, infatuation; तितीर्षुर्दुस्तरं मोहादुडुपेनास्मि सागरम् (titīrṣurdustaraṃ mohāduḍupenāsmi sāgaram) R.1.2; Ś.7.25.

4) Error, mistake.

5) Wonder, astonishment.

6) Affliction, pain.

7) A magical art employed to confound an enemy.

8) (In phil.) Delusion of mind which prevents one from discerning the truth (makes one believe in the reality of worldly objects and to be addicted to the gratification of sensual pleasures); महामोहं च मोहं च तमश्चाज्ञानवृत्तयः (mahāmohaṃ ca mohaṃ ca tamaścājñānavṛttayaḥ) Bhāg.3.12.2.

9) Illusion of attachment or love; स्वगृहोद्यानगतेीऽपि स्निग्धैः पापं विशङ्क्यते मोहात् (svagṛhodyānagateी'pi snigdhaiḥ pāpaṃ viśaṅkyate mohāt) Pt.2.171.

Derivable forms: mohaḥ (मोहः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Moha (मोह).—nt. (Sanskrit only masc.), delusion: LV 258.12 (verse) satyam idaṃ moham anyad iti mūḍhāḥ, foolishly thinking, ‘this is true, all else is delusion’ (is -m ‘Hiatustilger’? for moha anyad? but next is unambiguous); LV 372.5 (verse) mohānī (m.c. for °ni).

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Mohā (मोहा).—n. of a rākṣasī: Māy 240.22.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit 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

Search found 235 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Mohajāla (मोहजाल).—mundane fascination. Derivable forms: mohajālam (मोहजालम्).Mohajāla is a San...
Purīmoha (पुरीमोह).—m. (-haḥ) The thorn-apple, (Dhutura): see dhustūra E. ṣurī a town and moha ...
Mohakalila (मोहकलिल).—n. (-laṃ) The snare of illusion.
Moharātri (मोहरात्रि).—f. the night when the whole universe will be destroyed; कालरात्रि- र्महा...
Mahāmoha (महामोह).—great infatuation or confusion of mind. (sasarja) महामोहं च मोहं च तमश्चाज्ञ...
Nirmoha (निर्मोह).—a. free from illusion. -haḥ an epithet of Śiva. Nirmoha is a Sanskrit compou...
Mohamantra (मोहमन्त्र).—a deluding spell. Derivable forms: mohamantraḥ (मोहमन्त्रः).Mohamantra ...
Mohopamā (मोहोपमा).—(in Rhet.) a figure of speech in which the उपमान (upamāna) and उपमेय (upame...
Cittamoha (चित्तमोह).—infatuation of the mind. Derivable forms: cittamohaḥ (चित्तमोहः).Cittamoh...
Upaśāntamoha (उपशान्तमोह).—Who are referred by upaśānta-moha? It refers to the practitser in th...
Buddhimoha (बुद्धिमोह).—confusion of mind. Derivable forms: buddhimohaḥ (बुद्धिमोहः).Buddhimoha...
Diṅmoha (दिङ्मोह).—mistaking the way or direction. Derivable forms: diṅmohaḥ (दिङ्मोहः).Diṅmoha...
Mohaśāstra (मोहशास्त्र).—a false doctrine or precept.Derivable forms: mohaśāstram (मोहशास्त्रम्...
Smaramoha (स्मरमोह).—infatuation of love, passion. Derivable forms: smaramohaḥ (स्मरमोहः).Smara...
Dvandvamoha (द्वन्द्वमोह).—trouble caused by doubt. Derivable forms: dvandvamohaḥ (द्वन्द्वमोहः...

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