Gahvara; 4 Definition(s)


Gahvara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Gahvara (गह्वर) refers to a “cave” according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia). The Dharaṇyādi-varga covers the lands, soil, mountains [viz., Gahvara], jungles and vegetation’s relations between trees and plants and substances, with their various kinds.

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Gahvara (गह्वर) is the name of the northern cremation ground (śmaśāna) according to the Vajravārāhī-sādhana by Umāpatideva as found in te Guhyasamayasādhanamālā. As a part of this sādhana, the practicioner is to visualize a suitable dwelling place for the goddess inside the circle of protection which takes the form of eight cremation grounds.

Gahvara is mentioned in the Saṃvarodaya-tantra as having various associative characteristics

tree (vṛkṣa) = Bodhi,
protector (dikpati) = Kubera,
serpent (nāga) = Takṣaka,
cloud (megha) = Ghūrṇita,
funeral monuments (caitya) = Saṃskāravajra,
mountain (giri) = Mandara.

The Guhyasamayasādhanamālā by Umāptideva is a 12th century ritualistic manual including forty-six Buddhist tantric sādhanas. The term sādhana refers to “rites” for the contemplation of a divinity.

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gahvara (गह्वर).—a. (- or - f.).

1) Deep, impervious; Bhāg.1.6.13.

2) Confused (in mind); बभूव गह्वरो ग्रामवासी कोऽपि जडः पुमान् (babhūva gahvaro grāmavāsī ko'pi jaḍaḥ pumān) Ks.61.39,41.

-ram 1 An abyss, a depth.

2) A thicket, forest; गुल्मतृणवीरुद्भिर्गह्वरमिव भव- त्येवमेव गृहाश्रमः (gulmatṛṇavīrudbhirgahvaramiva bhava- tyevameva gṛhāśramaḥ) Bhāg.5.14.4.

3) A cave, cavern; गौरीगुरोर्गह्वरमाविवेश (gaurīgurorgahvaramāviveśa) R.2.26.46; Ṛs.1.21.

4) An inaccessible place.

5) A hiding-place.

6) A riddle.

7) Hypocrisy.

8) Weeping, crying.

9) Water.

1) A deep sigh.

-raḥ An arbour, bower.

-rī 1 A cave, cavern, recess in a rock or mountain.

2) The earth.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gahvara (गह्वर).—nf. (-raṃ-rī) A cave, a cavern, a grotto, a recess in a rock or mountain, &c. n.

(-raṃ) 1. A thicket, a wood. 2. Hypocrisy. 3. Weeping, crying, but not violently. m.

(-raḥ) An arbour, a bower. E. gāha to be agitated, and ṣvarac Unadi affix, the radical vowel made short.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

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Mandāra (मन्दार) is the name of plant which when grown in wooden vessel (droṇa) is used in the ...
Kubera (कुबेर) is a name that Guṇanidhi obtained from Umā, as a result of his severe penance, a...
Takṣaka (तक्षक) refers to the “carpenter” dedicated to the Śiva temple.—There was also the Śilp...
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Ghūrṇita (घूर्णित).—mfn. (-taḥ-tā-taṃ) Rolling, turning, tossing. E. ghūrṇa to turn round, affi...
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Gabbhara, (nt.) (Derivation uncertain. Cp. Sk. gahvara) a cavern Sn.416 (giri°); Vv 635 (giri°...
Saṃskāravajra (संस्कारवज्र) is the name of a caitya (funeral monument) associated with Gahvara:...

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