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"Mahanta" redirects here. For the genus of moth, see Mahanta (moth).

A mahant /məˈhʌnt/ is a religious superior, in particular the chief priest of a temple or the head of a monastery.[1]


The Hindi word mahant is from Prakrit mahanta-, from Sanskrit mahat "great".[2]


Other titles for the word Mahant, serving in the context of a well known religious place, include priest or pundit, being generally always a Brahmin, gyani or pastor.

In other branches of Hinduism, the mahant is an ascetic who is the head and leader of the temple and has religious Also known as Satnami's responsibilities as a preacher.[3]


Among Sikhs, mahants stood for hereditary managers who controlled Sikh gurdwaras until the formation of SGPC in 1920s.[4]

Secular use[edit]

In Chhuikhadan State, the Mahants were the rulers of the princely state.


  1. ^ New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd ed., 2005), p. 1020.
  2. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary, p. 1361.
  3. ^ Raymond Brady Williams (2001). An Introduction to Swaminarayan Hinduism. Cambridge University Press. p. 239. ISBN 052165422X. 
  4. ^ Mahant

External links[edit]