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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Mahabhiseka, MahAbhiSeka, Mahaabhisheka

Mahābhiṣeka literally means ‘the great sprinkling [during the coronation of a king'.

The Aitareya Brāhmaṇa[1] describes the coronation of Indra as the king of the gods in heaven. This rite has been called ‘Aindrī Mahābhiṣeka’.

Probably following this, the coronation of a great king, which includes the sprinkling of water from various sacred sources, came to be known as ‘mahābhiṣeka’. Here are the names of some of the great kings who underwent the Mahābhiṣeka ceremony:

  1. Janamejaya
  2. Tura Kāvaṣeya
  3. Cyavana Bhārgava
  4. Ambarīṣa
  5. Bharata (son of Duṣyanta)


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore