mahā

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See also: maha and māha

English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Sanskrit महा (mahā́), form of महत् (mahát, great, big, high) used in compounds.

Adjective[edit]

mahā (not comparable)

  1. (applied to terms from Indian history or philosophy) great, eminent
    • 1980, T. K. V. Desikachar, Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice, p. 197.
      The next step is to try them in some sitting posture such as mahā mudrā.
    • 2012, N. N., 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect, p. 66
      This is especially true because many Hindus are looking forward to the time of the coming "Kalki" (also known as Maha Avatara, an incarnation of Vishnu, who will come to end the present age of darkness and destruction).
    • 2013, Robert E. Buswell Jr., ‎Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, page 645:
      Believing the Buddha to have canceled out his power through a mastery of mahā (or “greater”) gandhāravijjā (the ability to read the minds of others and fly through the air), he entered the order to learn the Buddha's science.
    • 2014, Thea Mohr, ‎Jampa Tsedroen, Dignity and Discipline: Reviving Full Ordination for Buddhist Nuns, page 45:
      Among all the therīs, it is only her name that bears the prefix mahā- or “great”.
    • 2014, The Seduction of Shiva: Tales of Life and Love →ISBN:
      All are classed among the eighteen mahā or ‘great’ purāṇas.
  2. as a honorific for Indian titles, usually capitalized
    • 1779, Treaty between the Company and Maha Raja Lukindar, Bahadoor, Rana of Gohud, Article III:
      This force shall be employed for the defence of the Maha Raja's dominions, against all foreign or domestic enemies, and for the enlargement of his dominions, by conquest of the Murathas.
    • 1910, Charles William Eliot, Sacred Writings: With Introductions and Notes, page 800:
      The main ancient sources of information with regard to these Hindu beliefs and practises are the two great epics, the "Rāmāyana" and the Mahā Bhārata.
    • 1918, Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, The Dance of Śiva: Essays on Indian Art and Culture, p. 115
      Of special significance is the beautiful doctrine of the Superman-so like the Chinese concept of the Superior Man, and the Indian Mahā Purusha, Bodhisattva and Jīvan-mukta.
    • 1991, Vatsayana, The Kama Sutra of Vatsayana:
      The disturbed Mahā Yogi (Great Ascetic) looked around in anger for the source of his discomfort and, seeing Kāma, at once burned him to ashes with fire that issued from his third eye.

Usage notes[edit]

In modern English, Sanskrit loanwords containing mahā are normally spelled as single words, or are hyphenated. The reason mahā used to be spelled separately, and is still in some cases, is that it is normally pronounced as a separate word in the compounds which contain it, despite having no meaning on its own.

Noun[edit]

mahā (uncountable)

  1. (Buddhism) one of the three vehicles of mastery in means to achieve liberation

Anagrams[edit]


Pali[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

mahā

  1. ablative singular of maha
  2. nominative and vocative plural of maha

Adjective[edit]

mahā

  1. inflection of mahant:
    1. masculine nominative singular
    2. masculine and neuter vocative singular