Gandharva, aka: Gāndharva; 20 Definition(s)
Gandharva means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.
Gandharva (गन्धर्व).—One of the nine divisions of Bhārata, a region south of mount Meru, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 74. Gandharva is surrounded by an ocean (sāgara) and is one thousand yojanas in extent. Meru is one of the seven mountains located in Jambūdvīpa, which is ruled over by Āgnīdhra, a grandson of Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.
The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century. It is composed of two parts and Sūta is the main narrator.(Source): Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa
The Gandharvas of the Vāyu-purāṇa are connected with the ritual especially in connection with the chanting of the Sāmaveda. In the Vedas they are no doubt associated with the ritual and especially with Soma and not with the Sāmaveda.(Source): Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna
- 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 36: Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 79: 62. 100: 69. 73: 100. 159: 101. 3 and 28: 106. 59.
- 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 7. 84: 8. 40.
- 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 16. 17: Matsya-purāṇa 114. 8: 121. 48.
- 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 45. 79: Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 3. 7.
1c) A god to be worshipped in housebuilding.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 253. 25.
1d) The fourteenth kalpa; here Gāndhārasvara and Nāda came into being.*
- * Vāyu-purāṇa 21. 32.
1e) Born of Ariṣṭā and Kaśyapa;1 worshipped for personal beauty;2 sent by Indra to disturb Mārkaṇḍeya's tapaṣ;3 killed in crores by Bharata;4 other references to.5 A gaṇa moving with the sun by turns praising him;6 sang Sāma in Vāruṇī yajña.7 Three steps inferior to gods; semidivine like Yakṣas, Rākṣasas and Piśācas; frequent Kailāsa; vanquished by Rāvaṇa; Citraratha was their overlord.8 milked the earth and preserved its essence Gandha (s.v.); worship Barhiṣad manes; attended with Apsaras at the yajña of Arjuna Kārtavīrya;9 world of;10 live in trees,11 ety. from singing;12
- 1) Matsya-purāṇa 5. 1: 6. 29 and 45: Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 5. 46: 21. 25.
- 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 3. 6.
- 3) Ib. XII. 8. 16.
- 4) Ib. IX. 11. 13.
- 5) Ib. IV. 6. 9: V. 1. 8; VI. 7. 3; VII. 7. 50; 8. 38; X. 3. 6: 4. 11: 25. 31: 55. 23: 62. 19; 85. 41; XI. 6. 3: 12. 3: 14. 5: 16. 33: 31. 2: XII. 11. 47: Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 155: 2. 26: 4. 2: 9. 77: 15. 24: 20. 48 and 101: 33. 15: 39. 56.
- 6) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 27 and 50: 32. 1-2: 35. 191.
- 7) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 1. 25.
- 8) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 167-70, 255: 8. 10: 10. 37: 24. 59. IV. 36. 16: Matsya-purāṇa 8. 6.
- 9) Matsya-purāṇa 10. 24: 13. 17; 15. 3; 37. 2 and 4: 43. 22.
- 10) Matsya-purāṇa 78. 11: 246. 61: 247. 11.
- 11) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. 84: Vāyu-purāṇa 9. 55: 21. 33: 30. 86: 33. 64: 34. 55.
- 12) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II.
13) Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 73.
1f) (Mauneya) in number 60 crores, overcame the Nāgas of Rasātala and deprived them of their jewels, etc.; ultimately defeated by Purukutsa, son of Māndhāta.*
- * Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 3. 4-9.
2a) Gāndharva (गान्धर्व).—One of the nine divisions of Bhāratavarṣa.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 9. Matsya-purāṇa 48. 7.
2b) A form of marriage by which Kṛṣṇa married Rukmiṇī, and Duṣyanta married Śakuntalā. Princesses usually chose their husbands.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 3. 3; IX. 20. 15-16; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 15. 5; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 10. 24.
- 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 86. 26, 36-69. Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 6. 28.
- 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 3. 30; X. 21. 5; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 61. 21, 26-8.
The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
1a) Gandharva (गन्धर्व) refers to a group of deities to be worshipped during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (eg., to gandharvas).
1b) Gandharva (गन्धर्व) refers to a “musician” who can be assigned the role of an assesor (prāśnika) of dramatic plays (nāṭaka) according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24. These assessors (eg., the gandharvas) are to point out the faults of a dramatic performance (nāṭaka) as well as the merits of actors (nartaka) whenever a controversy (saṃgharṣa) arises among persons ignorant of the nāṭyaśāstra.
2) Gāndharva (गान्धर्व) refers to “musical performance” composed of notes, time-measure and verbal themes, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 28. It is a combination of vocal music and the music of instruments:—“that which is made by the stringed instruments (ātodya) and depends as well on various other instruments, and consists of savra (notes), tāla (time-measure) and pada (verbal theme) should be known as the gāndharva. As it is very much desired by gods and as it gives much pleasure to Gandharvas, it is called the gāndharva (i.e. a thing belonging to Gandharvas.)”
Gāndharva (musical performance) is of three kinds:
- that of the notes (svara),
- that of the time-measure (tāla),
- that of the verbal theme (pada).
Gāndharva (गान्धर्व, “music”).—In ancient times music is indicated by the word gāndharva. By later authors, however, it is called gīta or saṃgīta. In Vedic texts the term gāndharva does not occur. We find the following musical terms: vādita for instrumental music, gīta for vocal music and gātha to indicate originally religious, later on also secular musical recitations (“sprechgesang”) or songs in a simple recitative style in contradistinction to the more complicated sāman-melodies.
According to Dattilam, “in the very beginning music (gāndharva) was given by the Self-existing One (Svayambhū) to Nārada and the other gandharvas. Then, it was duly taken down to the earth by Nārada. A collection of notes (svara), which is based on words (pada), which is well-measured by time-measurement (tāla) and which is executed with attentiveness, is called music (gāndharva).”
According to Nāṭyaśāstra 28.9: “as it is very much desired by gods and as it gives much pleasure to Gandharvas, it is called the gāndharva (i.e. a thing belonging to Gandharvas)”.
According to the Saṃgītaratnākara 4.2: “that, which from eternity exists as a traditional and which is always performed by celestial musicians as something which brings happiness, is what the experts call gāndharva”.(Source): Google Books: Dattilam: A Compendium of Ancient Indian Music
Gāndharva (गान्धर्व, “classical music”).—That which master musicians (gandharva) have been performing in an unbroken tradition down to thhis day—prakaraṇa songs and other compositions vased on fundamental melodic forms (grāmarāga), modes (jāti), etc.—is classical music (gāndharva). (cf. Saṅgītaśiromaṇi 13.1)(Source): Google Books: Saṅgītaśiromaṇi: A Medieval Handbook of Indian Music
Gandharva (गन्धर्व).—Description of a women of gandharva type;—A woman who enjoys roaming in many gardens, is adorned with good nails and teeth, speaks with a smile, is slim-bodied, has a slow gait, loves sexual pleasure, is always pleased to hear music (gīta and vādya) and to witness dance, is careful about cleanliness of the body and has soft skin, glossy hairs and charming eyes, is known to possess the nature of a gandharva.(Source): archive.org: Natya Shastra
Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).
Dhanurveda (science of warfare)
Gāndharva (गान्धर्व) refers to a weapon (Arjuna received this weapon from tribe Tumbari (Gandharvas)). It is a Sanskrit word defined in the Dhanurveda-saṃhitā, which contains a list of no less than 117 weapons. The Dhanurveda-saṃhitā is said to have been composed by the sage Vasiṣṭha, who in turn transmitted it trough a tradition of sages, which can eventually be traced to Śiva and Brahmā.(Source): Wisdom Library: Dhanurveda
Dhanurveda (धनुर्वेद) refers to the “knowledge of warfare” and, as an upaveda, is associated with the Ṛgveda. It contains instructions on warfare, archery and ancient Indian martial arts, dating back to the 2nd-3rd millennium BCE.
Śāktism (Śākta philosophy)
Gandharva (गन्धर्व) refers to one of the 53 gods to be worshipped in the southern quarter and given pāyasa (rice boiled in milk) according to the Vāstuyāga rite in Śaktism (cf. Śāradātilaka-tantra III-V). The worship of these 53 gods happens after assigning them to one of the 64 compartment while constructing a Balimaṇḍapa. Vāstu is the name of a prodigious demon, who was killed by 53 gods (eg., Gandharva).(Source): Wisdom Library: Śāktism
Śākta (शाक्त, shakta) or Śāktism (shaktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devī) is revered and worshipped. Śākta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.
Gandharva (गन्धर्व) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—One of the nine parts of the Bhāratavarṣa, in the Kāvyamīmāṃsā. some of the Purāṇas mentioned it as Gāndharva. In the Uttarkanda (ch - cxiii, 10-11 and cxiv-11) in Rāmāyaṇa described this region is the valley of the Kābul, with a small tract of the land to the east of the Indus.(Source): Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
Kāvya (काव्य) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahākāvya, or ‘epic poetry’ and nāṭya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Gandharva (गंधर्व): A class of celestial beings regarded as specialists in music.(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism
Gandharva (गन्धर्व).—The celestial demigod dancers, singers, and musicians of the heavenly planets.(Source): ISKCON Press: Glossary
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)
Gandharva (गन्धर्व) refers to “divine artists” accompanying the gods according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XV). Accordingly, “The Gandharvas are divine artists who accompany the gods; their predispositions are gentle (mañju) but their merits, their qualities and their power are minimal; they are lower than the Devas and the Asuras. They are classed in the Asura destiny (asuragati), wheras the Nāgarājas, ‘dragon-kings’, are classed in the animal destiny (tiryaggati)”.
Also, “The king of the Gandharvas is called T’ong long mo (Druma) (in the Ts’in language, ‘tree’). Gandharvas and Kiṃnaras habitually reside in two places: their usual residence is on the Ten-Jewel Mountain (daśaratnagiri); but sometimes in the heavens, they play music for the gods. These two types of beings are not subject to the alternations of high and low ”.
Notes: The Gandharvas include in their ranks the heavenly musicians, Pañcasikha and Sūriyavaccasā, the daughter of Timbarū. In order to be reborn among the Gandharvas, it is enough to have practiced a lower form of śīla (Dīgha II). The Gandharvas form the lower group of gods (Dīgha II); they are the subjects of Dhṛtrarāṣtra, one of the four Cāturmahārājikadevas.(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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.
General definition (in Buddhism)
A Gandharva (Sanskrit) or Gandhabba (Pali) is one of the lowest ranking devas in Buddhist theology. They are classed among the Caturmaharajikakayika devas, and are subject to the Great King Dhrtarastra, Guardian of the East. Beings are reborn among the Gandharvas as a consequence of having practiced the most basic form of ethics (Janavasabha sutta, DN.18). It was considered embarrassing for a monk to be born in no better birth than that of a gandharva.
Gandharvas can fly through the air, and are known for their skill as musicians. They are connected with trees and flowers, and are described as dwelling in the scents of bark, sap, and blossom. They are among the beings of the wilderness that might disturb a monk meditating alone.
The terms gandharva and yaksa are sometimes used for the same person; yaksa in these cases is the more general term, including a variety of lower deities.Among the notable gandharvas are mentioned (in DN.20 and DN.32) Panada, Opamanna, Nala, Cittasena, Raja. Janesabha is probably the same as Janavasabha, a rebirth of King Bimbisara of Magadha. Matali the Gandharva is the charioteer for Sakra.(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism
General definition (in Jainism)
Gandharva (गन्धर्व).—The gandharvas are a group of deities categorised as belonging to the vyantara class of Gods (devas). The vyantaras represent a class of Gods (devas) comprising eight groups of deities that wander about the three worlds (adhaloka, madhyaloka and ūrdhvaloka).(Source): Wisdom Library: Jainism
Gandharva (गन्धर्व).—A class of vyantara gods;—According to Tiloyapaṇṇatti, the ten Gandharvas are:
Golden in appearance, they have the Tumbaru tree as their Caitya-tree
Accordign to Śvetāmbara Saṃgrahaṇī-sūtra, they are:
The Gandharvas are blackish and beautiful in appearance, have excellent physiognomy, sweet voices and adorned with crowns and neckalces. The Tumbaru tree is their herald mark.(Source): Google Books: Jaina Iconography
Gandharva (गन्धर्व) refers to the “musician” class of “peripatetic celestial beings” (vyantara), itself a category of devas (celestial beings), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.10. Who are the lords amongst the musician (gandharva) class of peripatetic (forest) celestial beings? Gītarati and Gītayaśa are the two lords in the musician class of peripatetic celestial beings.(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)
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.
Languages of India and abroad
gandharva (गंधर्व).—m (S) A celestial chorister. These are a class of demigods. They inhabit Swarga and form the orchestra of the principal deities. 2 fig. An extraordinary vocalist or musician.
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gāndharva (गांधर्व).—n S Song, singing, vocal music.(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
gandharva (गंधर्व).—m A celestial chorister. Fig. An extraordinary vocalist or musician.
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gāndharva (गांधर्व).—n Song, singing, vocal music.(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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.
Search found 235 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:
Gāndharvaśāstra (गान्धर्वशास्त्र).—song, music; यद्गन्धर्वकलासु कौशलम् (yadgandharvakalāsu kauś...
Gandharvanagara (गन्धर्वनगर) refers to a “city of the Gandharvas” and represents one of the ten...
Gandharvaloka (गन्धर्वलोक) refers to the world of the Gāndharvas and represents a division of t...
Manuṣyagandharva (मनुष्यगन्धर्व).—m. (pl.) the human गन्धर्व (gandharva)s (as distinguished fro...
Gandharvapura (गन्धर्वपुर).—the city of the Gandharvas, an imaginary city in the sky, probably ...
Gāndharvavivāha (गान्धर्वविवाह):—The Gāndharva marriage (vivāha).—This is a marr...
Gandharvamantra (गन्धर्वमन्त्र).—Before any dramatic performance (nāṭya) takes place, ...
Gandharvatīrtha (गन्धर्वतीर्थ) is the name of a Tīrtha (sacred bathing place) that is associate...
Devagandharva (देवगन्धर्व).—an epithet of Nārada. -rvam a particular mode of singing. Derivable...
Gāndharvasaṃprārthanāṣṭaka (गान्धर्वसंप्रार्थनाष्टक) is the name of a work ascribed to Rūpagosv...
Gandharvahastaka (गन्धर्वहस्तक) is another name (synonym) for Śvetairaṇḍa: one of the three ...
Gandharvaviṣaya (गन्धर्वविषय).—Bharata in charge of; killed three crores of them.** Viṣṇu...
Gāndharvaveda (गान्धर्ववेद).—Music.** Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 12. 38.
Kāla (काल, “time”) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.21.—Now many types of time (k...
Viśvāvasu (विश्वावसु) refers to the thirty-ninth saṃvatsara (“jovian year)” in Vedic astrology....
Search found 79 books and stories containing Gandharva or Gāndharva. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Brihad Bhagavatamrita (by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī)
Verse 1.2.13 < [Chapter 2 - Divya: In Heaven]
Verse 1.2.4 < [Chapter 2 - Divya: In Heaven]
Verse 1.4.56 < [Chapter 4 - Bhakta: The Devotee]
The Shiva Purana (by J. L. Shastri)
Chapter 28 - The penance and marriage of Śaṅkhacūḍa < [Section 2.5 - Rudra-saṃhitā (5): Yuddha-khaṇḍa]
Chapter 34 - The Story of Anaraṇya < [Section 2.3 - Rudra-saṃhitā (3): Pārvatī-khaṇḍa]
Chapter 23 - The bull incarnation of Śiva (Vṛṣabha) < [Section 3 - Śatarudra-saṃhitā]
Brahma Purana (by G. P. Bhatt)
Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi (by Ganganatha Jha)
Verse 3.24 < [Section IV - The Eight Forms of Marriage]
Verse 3.32 < [Section IV - The Eight Forms of Marriage]
Verse 3.23 < [Section IV - The Eight Forms of Marriage]
Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī)
Verse 2.3.5 < [Part 3 - Involuntary Ecstatic Expressions (sattvika-bhāva)]
Verse 3.3.43 < [Part 3 - Fraternal Devotion (sakhya-rasa)]
Verse 2.1.95 < [Part 1 - Ecstatic Excitants (vibhāva)]
Kathasaritsagara (the Ocean of Story) (by Somadeva)
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