Gandhari, aka: Gāndhārī, Gandhārī, Gāndhāri; 12 Definition(s)


Gandhari 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Gāndhārī (गान्धारी) refers to one of the jātis (melodic class) related to the madhyama-grāma, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 28. It is therefore also known as gāndhārījāti. Jāti refers to a recognized melody-type and can be seen as a precursor to rāgas which replaced them.

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra 28.121-123, “in the gāndhārī-jāti the aṃśa (key note) will be the five notes of the grāma (musical scale) dhaivata and ṛṣabha being excluded, and its apanyāsa (semi-terminal note) is ṣaḍja and pañcama, and the nyāsa (terminal note) is gāndhāra. Its hexatonic treatment (ṣāḍava / ṣāḍavita) excludes ṛṣabha, and the pentatonic treatment (auḍava / auḍavita) excludes ṛṣabha and dhaivata. Besides these they (i.e., ṛṣabha and dhaivata) should be skipped over and ṛṣabha should always go to dhaivata, and ṣaḍja and madhyama should be amplified (bahutva) in it”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Gandhari in Purana glossary... « previous · [G] · next »

Gāndhārī (गान्धारी):—The wife of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. She gave birth to one hundred sons and one daughter. The oldest son was named Duryodhana and the daughter was called Duḥśalā. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.22.25-26)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

1) Gāndhārī (गान्धारी).—Wife of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Birth. There was a King called Subala in the family of Turvasu, brother of Yadu. (For genealogy see under Subala). Subala became the King of the land of Gāndhāra. This land extended from the river Sindhu to Kābul. Gāndhārī was the daughter of Subala. (Chapter 111, Ādi Parva). (See full article at Story of Gāndhārī from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Gāndhārī (गान्धारी).—Another Gāndhārī, wife of Ajamīḍha, one of the great Kings of the Pūru dynasty. (Śloka 37, Chapter 95, Ādi Parva).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Gāndhāri (गान्धारि).—The wife of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and mother of hundred sons—Duryodhana and others.1 Daughter of Subala.2 Met by Kṛṣṇa and Rāma after the burning of lac house.3 Heard of Kṛṣṇa's marriage from his wives and was lost in wonder.4 Her grief at Bhīṣma's death; was consoled by Yudhiṣṭhira.5 Felt keenly Kṛṣṇa's separation. Welcomed Vidura to Hastināpura.6 Approved of the anointing of Yudhiṣṭhira.7 Went with her daughter to Syamantapañcaka for solar eclipse, and there met Kṛṣṇa and Vṛṣṇis.8 Settled on the banks of the Ganges with Dhṛtarāṣṭra, following him to the Himalayas. As a chaste queen she ascended his funeral pyre.9

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 22. 26. Matsya-purāṇa 50. 47-8. Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 242. Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 20. 39.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 84. 1.
  • 3) Ib. 57. 2.
  • 4) Ib. X. 84. 1.
  • 5) Ib. I. 9. 48.
  • 6) Ib. 10. 9; 13. 4.
  • 7) Ib. X. 80[5].
  • 8) Ib. 82. 24.
  • 9) Ib. I. 8. 3; 13. 29 and 57.

1b) One of the wives of Dhṛṣṭi. Father of Sumitra.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 71. 18-19.

1c) A daughter of Surabhi and Kaśyapa.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 71.

2a) Gāndhārī (गान्धारी).—The wife of Vṛṣṇi; gave birth to Sumitra.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 45. 1: Vāyu-purāṇa 96. 17.

2b) A queen of Kṛṣṇa.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 47. 13.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Gāndhārī (गान्धारी) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.90.39) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Gāndhārī) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Gandhari in Hinduism glossary... « previous · [G] · next »

Gandhari is the wife of Dhritarashtra. Parents of the Kauravas (who, eventually fought the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra war). Even though Gandhari's sons (the Kauravas) were portrayed evil in the Mahabharata, Gandhari was regarded good as she tried to convince her sons to make peache with the Pandavas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Gāndhārī (गांधारी): Dhritarashtra's wife and queen mother of the Kauravas.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Gāndhārī (गान्धारी).—The saintly and faithful wife of King Dhṛtarāṣṭra and mother of one hundred sons. The daughter of King Subala of Gāndhāra. She was a great devotee of Lord Śiva from her childhood. Lord Śiva blessed her with a benediction she could have one hundred sons. Śrīla Vyāsadeva also blessed her with the same benediction. She was married to Dhṛtarāṣṭra, who was blind. When she found out that her future husband was blind, she voluntarily blindfolded herself for the rest of her life. She is considered one of the most chaste women of all time.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Gandhārī (गन्धारी) or Gandharvī is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Gandhahara forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Ākāśacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the ākāśacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Gandhārī] and Vīras are dark blue in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife. Alternatively, the Ḍākinīs have their own marks and motions according to the taste instead of a small drum and a skull staff.

Source: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala
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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

Pali-English dictionary

Gandhari in Pali glossary... « previous · [G] · next »

gandhārī : (f.) (a magical charm) belonging to Gandhāra.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
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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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gandhari in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [G] · next »

Gāndhāri (गान्धारि).—

1) An epithet of Śakuni, Duryodhana's maternal uncle.

2) An epithet of Duryodhana; Mb.1.22.13.

Derivable forms: gāndhāriḥ (गान्धारिः).

--- OR ---

Gāndhārī (गान्धारी).—1 An [गान्धारस्यापत्यं इञ् (gāndhārasyāpatyaṃ iñ)]

1) Name of the daughter of Subala, king of the Gāndhāras and wife of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. [She bore to her husband 1 sons-- Duryodhana and his 99 brothers. As her husband was blind she always wore a scarf over her face (probably to reduce herself to his state). After the destruction of all the Kauravas, she and her husband lived with their nephew Yudhiṣṭhira].

2) A kind of intoxicant; L. D. B.

3) A particular vein in the left eye; Gorakṣa Śataka 26.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gandhārī (गन्धारी).—n. of a rākṣasī: Māy 243.17.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit 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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Devagāndhārī (देवगान्धारी).—f. (-rī) One of the Raginis, or female personification of the modes...
Gāndhārīgrāma (गान्धारीग्राम).—a kind of musical scale.Derivable forms: gāndhārīgrāmaḥ (गान्धार...
Raktagāndhārī (रक्तगान्धारी) refers to one of the jātis (melodic class) related to the madhyama...
Śakuni (शकुनि).—m. (-niḥ) 1. A bird. 2. The meternal uncle of the Kaurava princes, and counsell...
Gandhāra (गन्धार) is the name of a country (possibly identified with Afghanistan), classified a...
1) Jātī (जाती) is the name of a plant, the powders of which are used in ritualistic worship, ac...
Duryodhana (दुर्योधन).—m. (-naḥ) The elder of the Kuru princes, and leader in the war against h...
Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—m. (-ṣṭraḥ) A proper name; Dhritarashtra, the father of Duryo4Dhana, ...
Lakṣmaṇā (लक्ष्मणा) is another name for Śvetakaṇṭakārī, a medicinal plant related to Kaṇṭakārī,...
1) Subala (सुबल).—General. A King of Gāndhāra. Subala was the father of Śakuni, uncle of the Ka...
Āgama (आगम) or Āgamamantra is the name of a mantra that is chanted during Dhārāpūjā, according ...
Vṛṣṇi (वृष्णि).—mfn. (-ṣṇiḥ-ṣṇiḥ-ṣṇi) 1. Heretical, heterodox. 2. Angry, passionate. m. (-ṇiḥ) ...
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