Gana, aka: Gaṇa, Gāna; 19 Definition(s)


Gana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India, 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

Ayurveda (science of life)

Gaṇa (गण, “group”):—Suśruta, in his Suśrutasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna XXXVIII, classifies medicinal plants under thirty-seven groups, called Gaṇas. It is a Sanskrit technical term used in Āyurvedic literature.

The thirty-seven groups are:

  1. Vidārigandhādi,
  2. Āragvadhādi,
  3. Varuṇādi,
  4. Vīratarvādi,
  5. Sālasārādi,
  6. Rodhrādi,
  7. Arkādi,
  8. Surasādi,
  9. Muṣkakādi,
  10. Pippalyādi,
  11. Elādi,
  12. Vacādi,
  13. Haridrādi,
  14. Śyāmādi,
  15. Bṛhatyādi,
  16. Kākolyādi,
  17. Ūṣakādi,
  18. Sārivādi,
  19. Añjanādi,
  20. Parūṣakādi,
  21. Priyaṅgvādi,
  22. Ambaṣṭhādi,
  23. Nyagrodhādi,
  24. Guḍūcyādi,
  25. Utpalādi,
  26. Mustadi,
  27. Triphalā,
  28. Trikaṭu,
  29. Āmalakyādi,
  30. Trapvādi,
  31. Lākṣādi,
  32. Laghupañcamūla,
  33. Bṛhatpañcamūla,
  34. Daśamūla,
  35. Vallīpañcamūla,
  36. Kaṇṭakapañcamūla,
  37. Tṛṇapañcamūla,

They are classified according to its various characteristics. Most of the groups end with the prefix ādi, translating to “first” and usually refers to the first plant from the group.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
Ayurveda book cover
context information

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Gaṇā (गणा).—A female attendant of Skanda. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 3).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Gaṇa (गण).—Of bhūtas; followers of Śiva, of gods, of Pramathas; attacked Kṛṣṇa at Śoṇitapura;1 eleven celestial gaṇas reckoned.2 Twelve groups of seven living with the sun in different parts of the year; their functions.3 Three clans of sages with twenty branches each. In the first epoch of Sāvarṇī; all of them sons of Mārīca Kaśyapa, with Bali as their Indra.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 6. 13: X. [65 (V) 46], [49]: [66. (V) 49]: 63. 6 and 10: XII. 10. 14.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 44-5: 52. 21.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 52. 24-35.
  • 4) Ib. 100. 13f.

1b) Five groups of; Yavanas, Pāradas, Kāmbojas, Pahlavas and Śakas; defeated by Sagara, these appealed to Vaisiṣṭha who persuaded the king from further slaughter. Sagara changed their dharma and physical features; were degraded Kṣatriyas and debarred from learning Vedas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 127.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Gaṇa (गण) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. ) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Gaṇa) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Gaṇā also refers to the name of a Lady mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.45.26).

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Katha (narrative stories)

Gaṇa (गण) is a Sanskrit name referring to a group of deities, attending Maheśvara at his dwelling place, which is the mountain-peak Kailāsa (located within Himavat), according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 1. Accordingly, “There (Kailāsa) dwells Maheśvara the beloved of Pārvatī, the chief of things animate and inanimate, attended upon by Gaṇas, Vidyādharas and Siddhas.”

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Gaṇa, 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
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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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Gāna (गान) is a Sanskrit technical term referring to “song”, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 28.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Gāna (गान, “popular music”).—That which has been written by the composers (vāggeyakāra), which has special musical characteristics (lakṣaṇa) and is based on regional melodic forms (deśīrāga), etc., all this is popular music (gāna), which pleases the people. Traditionally, the two kinds of popular music (gāna) are:

  1. improvised (anibaddha, lit. “not composed”),
  2. composed (nibaddha).

Improvised music is musical variation (ālapti, from ālap, “to expatiate”). Composed music is formed with phrasal elements (aṅga) such as words, etc., that are present in the main sections (dhātu), viz.: regular words (pada), words of praise (viruda), musical metre (tāla), tone syllables (svara), drum syllables (pāṭa) and invocatory syllables (tenaka). (cf. Saṅgītaśiromaṇi 13.1)

Source: Google Books: Saṅgītaśiromaṇi: A Medieval Handbook of Indian Music

Gaṇa (गण, “triad”).—A verse in Sanskrit is of four feet or quarters or pādas. Each pāda is regulated either by a number of syllables (akṣaras) or by a number of syllabic instant or measures (mātrās). Three successive syllables form a gaṇa (triad).

Source: Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius (natya)
Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Gaṇa (गण, “cluster”).—Besides āyādiṣaḍvarga, three other astrological principles are also mentioned in passing in the text (Mānasāra chapter 9), without always giving their full list or the formula to ascertain them: rāśī, “zodiacal sign”, gaṇa, literally, “cluster”, and nayana, literally, “eye”.

The astrological signification of gaṇa is that of a series of lunar mansions classed under the three heads of deva, god, asura, demon, and manuṣa, man. The text simply states that asura, demonic, and manuṣa, human, are to be avoided.

Source: McGill: The architectural theory of the Mānasāra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Gaṇa (गण).—A class of words, as found in the sūtras of Pāṇini by the mention of the first word followed by the word इति (iti); e.g. स्वरादि, सर्वादि, ऊर्यादि, भ्वादि, अदादि, गर्गादि (svarādi, sarvādi, ūryādi, bhvādi, adādi, gargādi) etc. The ten gaṇas or classes of roots given by Pāṇini in his dhātupātha are given the name Daśagaṇī by later grammarians.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Gaṇa (गण).—All the metres (chandas) are calculated through specific gaṇas. While the Varṇa type metres have eight gaṇas in general consisting of three letters each; the Mātrā type of metres have five gaṇas. The gaṇas of Varṇa metre are ma-ra-ya-sa-ta-ja-bha-na. (Chandomañjarī 1.7)

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Gaṇa (गण).—One of the ten types of ‘nursing services’ (vaiyāvrata)? What is meant by ‘the congregation of aged ascetics’ (gaṇa)? The group of senior and aged ascetics is called the congregation of aged ascetics.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 9: Influx of karmas
General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

gaṇa : (m.) a gang; crowd; sect; a chapter of monks. || ñāṇa (nt.), wisdom; insight.

-- or --

gāna : (nt.) singing; a song.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Gaṇa, (Vedic gaṇa; *ger to comprise, hold, or come together, cp. Gr. a)gεiρw to collect, a)gorά meeting, Lat. grex, flock, Sk. jarante “conveniunt” (see Wackernagel, Altind. Gr. I.193). Another form of this root is grem in Sk. grāma, Lat. gremium; see under gāma)—1. (a) in special sense: a meeting or a chapter of (two or three) bhikkhus, a company (opposed both to saṅgha, the order & puggala, the individual) Vin.I, 58, 74, 195, 197; II, 170, 171; IV, 130, 216, 226, 231, 283, 310, 316, 317; V, 123, 167.—(b) in general: a crowd, a multitude, a great many. See cpds.—2. as —°: a collection of, viz., of gods, men, animals or things; a multitude, mass; flock, herd; host, group, cluster.—(a) deva° J.I, 203; DhA.III, 441; PvA.140 (°parivuta); pisāca° S.I, 33; tidasa° Sn.679.—(b) amacca° suite of ministers J.I, 264; ariya° troup of worthies J.VI, 50; naranarī° crowds of men & women Miln.2; dāsi° a crowd of servants J.II, 127; tāpasa° a group of ascetics J.I, 140 (°parivuta); bhikkhu° J.I, 212 (°parivuta).—(c) dvija° J.I, 152; dija° Pv.II, 124; sakuṇa°, of birds J.I, 207; II, 352; go°, of cows A.I, 229; V, 347, 359; J.II, 128; kākola°, of ravens Sn.675; bhamarā°, of bees J.I, 52; miga° of beasts J.I, 150.—(d) taru° a cluster of trees PvA.154; tāra°, a host of stars A.I, 215; Pv.II, 967; with ref. to the books of the Canon: Suttantika° & Ābhidhammika° Vism.93.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

gaṇa (गण).—m (S) A multitude, number, aggregate body: also an order, a genus, a class, a division, a tribe. 2 A division of the twenty-seven nakṣatra. There are three consisting of nine each, viz. dēvagaṇa, rākṣasagaṇa, manuṣyagaṇa. They are consulted in casting nativities &c. 3 A body of troops equal to three gulma. 4 A common term for certain troops of inferior deities, considered as Shiva's attendants, and under the especial superintendence of Gan̤esh. Hence 5 A term for one (a male, in opp. to suvāsinī, at feasts, religious ceremonies &c.) viewed as included, as necessarily of the gaṇa or party invited. See gaṇasavāśīṇa. 6 In arithmetic. A number, sum, or amount. 7 A sect in philosophy or religion. 8 In grammar. A conjugation. 9 (Abridged from gaṇēśa) The deity Gan̤esh: also a composition in Prakrit verse in praise of him and others. 10 Mind, meaning, intention, real purpose. Ex. tē mājhē mulāsa mulagī dētāta kīṃ nāhīṃ tō gaṇa kāḍhūna yā. 11 A collection, assemblage, congeries, group. In comp. as ahargaṇa, māsagaṇa, varṣagaṇa, bhagaṇa &c. An aggregate of days, months, years, asterisms or stars &c. gaṇa namaṇēṃ or nēmaṇēṃ (To worship or set up for worship Gan̤pati.) To enter upon or set to (a business or work).

--- OR ---

gaṇā (गणा).—m The stem, or a portion of it, of a head of jōndhaḷā or bājarā, or a piece of cane or reed, or a quill, used to receive the thread wound off from the wheel; a spool. 2 A cake baked upon an oiled girdle. 3 The light grains of the winnowing of nikaṇa. See maṇī under madana.

--- OR ---

gāṇa (गाण).—f C A hollow on hilly ground containing water.

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gāna (गान).—n S Singing or song:--the act or the art.

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gaṇa (गण).—n (S) A field of battle: also a palæstra or any arena of contest.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gaṇa (गण).—m A multitude, a number; a class. A division of the 27 nakṣatrēṃ, dēvagaṇa, manuṣyagaṇa &c.

--- OR ---

gāna (गान).—n Singing or song.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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

Gaṇa (गण).—[gaṇ karmaṇi kartari vā ac]

1) A flock, multitude, group, troop, collection; गुणिगणगणना, भगणः (guṇigaṇagaṇanā, bhagaṇaḥ)

2) A series, a class.

3) A body of followers or attendants.

4) Particularly, a troop of demigods considered as Śiva's attendants and under the special superintendence of Gaṇeśa, a demigod of this troop; गणानां त्वा गणपतिं हवामहे कविं कवीनाम् (gaṇānāṃ tvā gaṇapatiṃ havāmahe kaviṃ kavīnām) &c.; गणा नमेरुप्रसवावतंसाः (gaṇā nameruprasavāvataṃsāḥ) Ku.1.55,7.4,71; Me.35.57; Ki.5.13.

5) Any assemblage or society of men formed for the attainment of the same objects.

6) A company, association.

7) A tribe, class.

8) A series of lunar mansions classed under three heads (of god, men and demons).

9) A sect (in philosophy, religion).

10) A small body of troops (a sub-division of akṣauhiṇī), consisting of 27 chariots, as many elephants, 81 horses and 135 foot; Mb.1.2.21.

11) A number (in math.).

12) A foot (in prosody).

13) (In gram.) A series of roots or words belonging to the same rule and called after the first word of that series; e. g. भ्वादिगण (bhvādigaṇa) i. e. the class of roots which begin with भू (bhū).

14) An epithet of Gaṇeśa.

Derivable forms: gaṇaḥ (गणः).

--- OR ---

Gāna (गान).—[gai bhāve lyuṭ]

1) Singing, a song.

2) A sound.

3) Going.

4) Praise.

Derivable forms: gānam (गानम्).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gaṇa (गण).—m.

(-ṇaḥ) 1. A flock, a multitude, a troop, a tribe or class, &c. 2. A body of troops equal to three Gulmas or twenty-seven chariots and as many elephants, eighty-one horses, and 135 foot. 3. Troops of inferior deities considered as Siva'S attendants, and under the especial superintendance of Ganesha. 4. A name of Ganesha. 5. A number (in arithmetic.) 6. A kind of perfume, commonly Chor. 7. A sect in philosophy or religion. 8. A conjugation, a class or ridicals. 2. Series of asterisms which are classed under three heads human, infernal, and divine. E. gaṇ to count to reckon, affix ac.

--- OR ---

Gāna (गान).—n.

(-naṃ) 1. Singing, song in general, or a song. 2. Sound. E. gai to sing affix lyuṭ;

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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