noun (sometimes initial capital letter)
- a Brahman sage.
- (especially in India) a person who is held in the highest esteem for wisdom and saintliness.
- (in Theosophy) a great sage who has renounced further spiritual development in order to aid those who are less advanced.
- In·di·ra [in-deer–uh] /ɪnˈdɪər ə/, 1917–84, Indian political leader: prime minister 1966–77 and 1980–84 (daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru).
- Mo·han·das Kar·am·chand [moh-huh n-dahs kuhr-uh m-chuhnd] /ˌmoʊ hənˈdɑs ˌkʌr əmˈtʃʌnd/, Mahatma, 1869–1948, Hindu religious leader, nationalist, and social reformer.
- Ra·jiv [rah-jeev] /rɑˈdʒiv/, 1944–91, Indian political leader: prime minister 1984–89 (son of Indira).
noun (sometimes capital)
- Hinduism a Brahman sage
- theosophy an adept or sage
- Indira (Priyadarshini) (ɪnˈdɪərə, ˈɪndərə), daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. 1917–84, Indian stateswoman; prime minister of India (1966–77; 1980–84); assassinated
- Mohandas Karamchand (ˌməʊhənˈdʌs ˌkʌrəmˈtʃʌnd), known as Mahatma Gandhi. 1869–1948, Indian political and spiritual leader and social reformer. He played a major part in India’s struggle for home rule and was frequently imprisoned by the British for organizing acts of civil disobedience. He advocated passive resistance and hunger strikes as means of achieving reform, campaigned for the untouchables, and attempted to unite Muslims and Hindus. He was assassinated by a Hindu extremist
- Rajiv (ræˈdʒiːv), son of Indira Gandhi. 1944–91, Indian statesman; prime minister of India (1984–89); assassinated
n.1884, literally “great-souled,” from Sanskrit mahatman, from maha “great,” from PIE root *meg- “great” (see magnate) + atman, “soul, principle of life,” properly “breath” (see atman). In esoteric Buddhism, “a person of supernatural powers.” In common use, as a title, a mark of love and respect. Said to have been applied to Gandhi (1869-1948) in 1915 by poet Rabrindranath Tagore.