Gajapati, aka: Gaja-pati; 4 Definition(s)

Introduction

Gajapati means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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

Katha (narrative stories)

[Gajapati in Katha glossaries]

Gajapati (गजपति) was a friend of Vikramāditya: an ancient king from Pāṭaliputra, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 38. Accordingly, “there was in Pāṭaliputra a king named Vikramāditya; he had two cherished friends, the King Hayapati, and the King Gajapati, who had large armies of horses and elephants. And that proud sovereign had a mighty enemy named Narasiṃha, the lord of Pratiṣṭhāna, a king who had a large force of infantry”.

The story of Gajapati and Vikramāditya was narrated by Marubhūti in order to demonstrate that “women are generally fickle, but not always, for even courtesans are seen to be rich in good qualities, much more others”, in other words, that “even courtesans are occasionally of noble character and as faithful to kings as their own wives, much more than matrons of high birth”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Gajapati, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
context information

Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[Gajapati in Mahayana glossaries]

Gajapati (गजपति, “keeper of elephants”) refers to a type of gemstone described in the “the second Avalokita-sūtra” of the Mahāvastu. Accordingly, when the Buddha (as a Bodhisattva) visited the bodhi-tree, several hunderd thousands of devas, in their place in the sky, adorned the Bodhisattva with several celestial substances. Then some of them envisioned the bodhi-tree as sparkling with gajapati gems.

The stories found in this part of the Mahāvastu correspond to the stories from the avidūre-nidāna section of the Nidāna-kathā. The Mahāvastu is an important text of the Lokottaravāda school of buddhism, dating from the 2nd century BCE.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Lokottaravāda
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[Gajapati in Marathi glossaries]

gajapati (गजपति).—m (S) Possessor of elephants or an elephant. 2 Provided with the elephant-branch of an army. 3 Jocosely. Having but a gajā (narrow slip) by way of dhōtara.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Gajapati in Sanskrit glossaries]

Gajapati (गजपति).—

1) the lord or keeper of elephants.

2) a very tall and stately elephant; Śi.6.55.

3) an excellent elephant.

Derivable forms: gajapatiḥ (गजपतिः).

Gajapati is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms gaja and pati (पति).

(Source): DDSA: The practical 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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