Gandhaka, Gamdhaka: 20 definitions


Gandhaka means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, biology. 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)

Rasashastra (Alchemy and Herbo-Mineral preparations)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

1) Gandhaka (गन्धक) is a Sanskrit technical term corresponding to “Sulphur”, which is a naturally occurring non-metallic chemical element (symbol S). It is commonly used in Rasaśāstra literature (Medicinal Alchemy) such as the Rasaprakāśasudhākara or the Rasaratna-samuccaya. Gandhaka is an ingredient often used in various Ayurvedic recipes and Alchemical preparations.

2) Gandhaka (गन्धक, “sulphur”):—One of the eight uparasa (‘secondary minerals’), a group of eight minerals, according to the Rasaprakāśasudhākara: a 13th century Sanskrit book on Indian alchemy, or, Rasaśāstra.

There are two varieties of Sulphur (gandhaka)

  1. Śvetagandhaka (‘white sulphur’),
  2. Pītagandhaka (‘yellow sulphur’),
  3. Raktagandhaka (‘red sulphur’),
  4. Kṛṣṇagandhaka (’black sulphur’)

3) Gandhaka (गन्धक) or Gandhakarasa is the name of an Ayurvedic recipe defined in the fourth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 3, grahaṇī: chronic diarrhoea). These remedies are classified as Iatrochemistry and form part of the ancient Indian science known as Rasaśāstra (medical alchemy). However, since it is an ayurveda treatment it should be taken with caution and in accordance with rules laid down in the texts.

Accordingly, when using such recipes (e.g., gandhaka-rasa): “the minerals (uparasa), poisons (viṣa), and other drugs (except herbs), referred to as ingredients of medicines, are to be duly purified and incinerated, as the case may be, in accordance with the processes laid out in the texts.” (see introduction to Iatro chemical medicines)

Source: Google Books: Alchemical Traditions

Gandhaka (गन्धक, ‘sulfur’, lit.: “that which is aromatic”):—According to the Rasārṇava and Rasaratnasamucchaya, sulfur (gandhaka) is the menstrual emission of the great Goddess, which flowed into the Ocean of Milk while she was bathing there. When the Gods and Asuras later churned that ocean, her blood rose to the surface, together with the amṛta (“nectar of immortality”).

Source: Rasa-Jala-Nidhi: Or Ocean of indian chemistry and alchemy

Gandhaka refers to “Sulphur”. (see Bhudeb Mookerji and his Rasajalanidhi)

Source: Indian Journal of History of Science: Rasaprakāśa-sudhākara, chapter 6

Gandhaka (sulphur).—Four varieties of Gandhaka have been told by the ancient Sūrī (scholars):

  1. Śveta (white),
  2. Pīta (yellow),
  3. Rakta (red),
  4. Kṛṣṇa (black).

The Vipāka of sulphur is madhura, its Karmas are rasāyana, dīpana, viṣahā, rasaśoṣaṇa, sūtavīrya-prada (potentiates mercury-powers/effects), destroys kṛmiroga (worms), cures visarpa, kaṇḍu and kuṣṭharogas, and āmājīrṇa (indigestion due to āmādoṣa), if it is mixed with mercury definitely converts it into mūrcchita state (compound suitable for destroying diseases), its origin is similar to the menstrual flow of Goddess Pārvatī. As this very charming Sulphur is taken internally by the king Bali for acquiring more strength hence it is also called Balivasā.

It stimulates kāma (sexual desire), destroys kṣaya, pāṇḍu, duṣṭa-grahaṇī, śūlaroga, śvāsa and kāsa-roga, cures amājīrṇa (indigestion due to āmadoṣa) and induces laghutva (lightness) in the body and what more except lord Śaṅkara none else could describe the properties of sulphur.

Source: Ancient Science of Life: Critical Review of Rasaratna Samuccaya

Gandhaka (गन्धक) refers to “sulphur”, and mentioned in the Rasaratnasamuccaya: a 13th century C.E. alchemical treatise, authored by Vāgbhaṭa, is a useful compilation related to preparation and properties of drugs of mineral and metallic origin.

Kalpa (Formulas, Drug prescriptions and other Medicinal preparations)

Source: Science And Technology In Medievel India (kalpa)

Gandhaka (गन्धक) or Gandhakakalpa refers to Kalpa (medicinal preparation) described in the Auṣadhikalpa, as mentioned in A. Rahman’s Science and Technology in Medievel India: A bibliography of source materials in Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian.—Ancient and medieval India produced a wide range of scientific manuscripts and major contributions lie in the field of medicine, astronomy and mathematics, besides covering encyclopedic glossaries and technical dictionaries.—The Auṣadhikalpa is a medical work of the type of Materia Medica giving twenty-six medical preparations [e.g., Gandhaka-kalpa] to be used as patent medicines against various diseases.

Unclassified Ayurveda definitions

Source: Ancient Science of Life: Vaidyavallabha: An Authoritative Work on Ayurveda Therapeutics

Gandhaka (गन्धक) refers to “sulphur” and is mentioned as an ingredient of metallic drugs for the treatment of Pāma and Dadru, as mentioned in the 17th-century Vaidyavallabha (chapter 3 and 8) written by Hastiruci.—The Vaidyavallabha is a work which deals with the treatment and useful for all 8 branches of Ayurveda. The text Vaidyavallabha (mentioning gandhaka) has been designed based on the need of the period of the author, availability of drugs during that time, disease manifesting in that era, socio-economical-cultural-familial-spiritual-aspects of that period Vaidyavallabha.

Source: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Gandhaka (गन्धक):—[gandhakaṃ] Element sulphur with chemical symbol S with At. no 16

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.

Discover the meaning of gandhaka in the context of Ayurveda from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In the rasaśāstra tradition, sulfur is called gandhaka (गन्धक, literally “the smelly”). Indian alchemists, practitioners of “the science of mercury” (sanskrit rasaśāstra, रसशास्त्र), wrote extensively about the use of sulfur in alchemical operations with mercury (rasa), from the eighth century AD onwards.

Biology (plants and animals)

Source: Google Books: CRC World Dictionary (Regional names)

Gandhaka in India is the name of a plant defined with Moringa ovalifolia in various botanical sources. This page contains potential references in Ayurveda, modern medicine, and other folk traditions or local practices It has the synonym Moringa moringa Small (among others).

Example references for further research on medicinal uses or toxicity (see latin names for full list):

· Synopseos Plantarum (Persoon) (1805)
· Prodr. (DC.) (1825)
· Neue und wenig bekannte Pflanzen Deutsch-SüdwestAfrikas (1914)
· De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum (1791)
· Bulletin de la Société Botanique de France (1963)
· Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae (1984)

If you are looking for specific details regarding Gandhaka, for example side effects, health benefits, diet and recipes, pregnancy safety, chemical composition, extract dosage, have a look at these references.

Biology book cover
context information

This sections includes definitions from the five kingdoms of living things: Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera. It will include both the official binomial nomenclature (scientific names usually in Latin) as well as regional spellings and variants.

Discover the meaning of gandhaka in the context of Biology from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gandhaka (गंधक).—m (S) Sulphur. 2 A certain medicinal compound.

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

gandhaka (गंधक).—m Sulphur.

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.

Discover the meaning of gandhaka in the context of Marathi from relevant books on Exotic India

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gandhaka (गन्धक).—Sulphur.

Derivable forms: gandhakaḥ (गन्धकः).

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

Gandhaka (गन्धक).—m.

(-kaḥ) 1. Sulphur. 2. The morunga tree, (M. hyperanthera, &c.) see śobhāñjana. E. kan added to the preceding.

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

Gandhaka (गन्धक).—[feminine] ikā smelling of (—°).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Gandhaka (गन्धक):—[from gandha] mf(ikā)n. ifc. ‘having the smell of, scenting’ See aja-, avi-

2) [v.s. ...] m. ([gana] sthūlādi, [Gaṇaratna-mahodadhi 182]) ‘perfumes’ See -peṣikā

3) [v.s. ...] sulphur

4) [v.s. ...] Hyperanthera Moringa, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

Gandhaka (गन्धक):—(kaḥ) 1. m. Sulphur; Morunga.

[Sanskrit to German]

Gandhaka in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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.

Discover the meaning of gandhaka in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Gaṃdhaka (ಗಂಧಕ):—[noun] a pale-yellow, non-metallic chemical element found in crystalline or amorphous form, which burns with a blue flame and a stifling odour and is used in vulcanizing rubber and in making matches, paper, gunpowder, insecticides, sulphuric acid, etc. (symbol, S; at. wt., 32.064; at. no., 16; sp. gr. 2.07); sulphur; brimstone.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

Discover the meaning of gandhaka in the context of Kannada from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Related products

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: