Ganapati, Gaṇapati, Gana-pati: 15 definitions


Ganapati means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (G) next»] — Ganapati in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Gaṇapati (गणपति).—Genealogy. A son of Śiva with face like that of an elephant. As Śiva has appointed this son as chief of the gaṇas (attendants) he is called Gaṇapati. (See full article at Story of Gaṇapati from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Gaṇapati (गणपति).—Also Gaṇeśa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 41. 41.
Purana book cover
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Manblunder: Sri Rudram 4.1-6

Gaṇapati, commonly known as Gaṇeśa is said to be the leader of a class or troop or assemblage of gaṇa-s, who are explained as troops or classes of inferior deities. Each of them attends to one work of creation and sustenance. Hence they are also called inferior deities. Gaṇapati, who is the leader of such gaṇa-s is invoked before commencing any auspicious things.

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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

Gaṇapati is the name of deity as found depicted in the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai (or Madura), which represents a sacred place for the worship of The Goddess (Devī).—On the left side of the other entrance is the statue of Gaṇapati. He is found seated with his left leg folded and the right leg hanging down. This pose is termed in dance aindra-maṇḍala. He is represented with five pairs of hands. The first upper right and left hands are in kapittha-hasta in which the conch is held in the right and the discus in the left. The second upper pair of hands are in kapittha-hasta with the noose and the hook, the third lower pair of hands hold flower arrow and bow. The fourth lower pair of hands hold axe and bunches of flowers. The fifth pair of hands is at the normal chest level where the left hand is in dolā-hasta holding a sugarcane bow and the right hand is in kapittha-hasta holding a broken tusk. A rat, the vehicle of Gaṇapati, is found in front of the statue. When depicted iconographically, Gaṇapati is represented as seated in sukhāsana pose with five pairs of hands where four pairs of hands hold kaṭaka-mudrā and the fifth pair of hands hold kaṭaka in the right and the dolā-hasta in the left hand.

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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Gaṇapati (गणपति): Lord of the territory, The fulfiller of desire, the god of merchants, Second son of Shiva and Pārvati. Scourge of Carpathia and the Sorrow of Moldavia. Amanuensis of Vyasa who agreed to write down without pause or hesitation the story of the Mahabharata dictated by Vyasa.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: The Jaina Iconography

Gaṇapati (गणपति) or Gaṇeśa is the name of a deity commonly depicted in Jaina art and iconography.—Gaṇeśa’s hands vary from two, four, six, nine, eighteen to one-hundred and eight. According to the description of the Ācāradinakara, Gaṇapati should be pot-bellied and should hold, in his hands, an axe, Varada, Modaka (Sweet-meat ball), and Abhaya. His vehicle is a mouse. The form of Gaṇapati with four hands seems to be standard. The symbols of axe, Modaka and mouse are exactly the same with those of the Brahmanic Gaṇeśa. Hence, we may reasonably conclude that the icon of this god is the result of one of the many assimilations which Jainism made from Brahmanism.

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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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Gaṇapati (गणपति) is an example of a Śaivite name mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. Classification of personal names according to deities (eg., from Śaivism) were sometimes used by more than one person and somehow seem to have been popular. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Derivation of personal names (eg., Gaṇapati) during the rule of the Guptas followed patterns such as tribes, places, rivers and mountains.

Source: What is India: Epigraphia Indica volume XXXI (1955-56)

Gaṇapati is one of the Brāhmaṇa donees mentioned in the “Asankhali plates of Narasiṃha II” (1302 A.D.). When a grant was made to a large number of Brāhmaṇas, the chief amongst the donees seems to have been called Pānīyagrāhin especially. In the present record, though all the donees (eg., Gaṇapati) are referred to as Pāṇigrāhi-mahājana, their list is headed by a Brāhmaṇa with Pāṇigrahī as his surname.

These copper plates (mentioning Gaṇapati) were discovered from the house of a Santal inhabitant of Pargana Asankhali in the Mayurbhanj State (Orissa). It was made when king Vīra-Narasiṃhadeva was staying at the Bhairavapura-kaṭaka (city, camp or residence).

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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gaṇapati (गणपति).—m (S) The deity gaṇēśa q. v. 2 At the sugarpress. A quantity of gūḷa set apart in the name of gaṇapati on the pouring of the gūḷa out of the boiler. This is the hakka or due of the gurava. Hence applied to the stone which the purchaser of gūḷa throws into the scale having the weights. gaṇapatīcēṃ kēlēṃ She has conceived. gaṇapatīcēṃ jhālēṃ (There is some of Gan̤pati's work.) Some woman has conceived. gaṇapatīcēṃ nāṃva ghēṇēṃ To make a beginning.

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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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gaṇapati (गणपति).—

1) Name of Śiva.

2) Name of Gaṇeśa. [He is the son of Śiva and Pārvatī, or of Pārvatī only; for according to one legend, he sprang from the scurf of her body. He is the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles; hence he is invoked and worshipped at the commencement of every important undertaking. He is usually represented in a sitting posture, short and fat, with a protuberant belly, and four hands; riding a mouse; and with the head of an elephant. This head has only one tusk, the other having been lost in a scuffle between him and Paraśurāma when he opposed the latter's entrance to Śiva's inner apartments; (whence he is called Ekadanta, Ekadaṃṣṭra &c.). There are several legends accounting for his elephant head. It is said that he wrote the Mahābhārata at the dictation of Vyāsa who secured his services as a scribe from the god Brahman].

3) also an epithet of Bṛhaspati and Indra.

4) the leader of a class or troop.

Derivable forms: gaṇapatiḥ (गणपतिः).

Gaṇapati is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms gaṇa and pati (पति). See also (synonyms): gaṇapa.

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

Gaṇapati (गणपति).—m.

(-tiḥ) Ganesha. E. gaṇ and pati lord: see gaṇeśa.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Gaṇapati (गणपति).—and

Gaṇapati is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms gaṇa and pati (पति).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Gaṇapati (गणपति).—[masculine] chief of a troop; the god Ganeśa.

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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