views updated May 23 2018


(fl. western India, 1316)


The scion of a Brahman family of astronomers and astrologers belonging to the Gautamagotra, a family that began with Bhogadeva and extended through successive generations represented by Mādhava, Padmanābha, and his father, Paraśurāma, mahādeva resided on the banks of the Godāvarī River—probably near its source in Mahārāshtra. He wrote a lengthy set of astronomical tables, the Mahādevī (see essay in Supplement), employing the “true linear” arrangement (see D. Pingree, “On the Classification of Indian Planetary Tables,” in Journal for the History of Astronomy, 1 [1970], 95–108, esp. 103–104) and the parameters of the Brāhmapakṣa (see essay in Supplement); their epoch is 28 March 1316. The extreme popularity of these tables in western India is indicated by the fact that over 100 manuscripts of them originating in that area have been identified. They have also been commented on by Nṛsiṃha of Nandipura in Gujarat (1528) and by Dhanarāja of Padmāvatī in Mārwār (Jodhpur) (1635) and have often been imitated by the astronomers of Gujarat and Rajasthan.


The tables are discussed in detail by O. Neugebauer and D. Pingree, “The Astronomical Tables of Mahādeva,” in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 111 (1967), 69–92. See also D. Pingree, “Sanskrit Astronomical Tables in the United Stated,” in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, n.s. 58 , no. 3 (1968), 37a–39a; and “Sanskrit Astronomical Tables in England,” in Journal of Oriental Research(Madras).

David Pingree


views updated Jun 11 2018

Mahādeva (Skt., ‘great Lord’).
1. In Hinduism, a name of Śiva.

2. In Buddhism, Mahādeva is associated with the first major schism in Buddhist history, the division into Mahāsāṃghika and Sthaviravāda which led to Theravāda. Five theses are attributed to him concerning the exact attainments of the arhat. Nothing certain is known of him or of his life.