Gandharvanagara, Gandharva-nagara, Gamdharvanagara: 10 definitions


Gandharvanagara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Gandharvanagara in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Gandharvanagara (गन्धर्वनगर).—Vyāsa has compared munis disappearing from sight to the fading out of Gandharva nagara.

"After having thus spoken to the Kurus, and while they were looking on, the band of sages disappeared in a trice like the fading out of Gandharvanagara." (Ādi Parva, Chapter 126, Verses 35 and 36).

What is this Gandharvanagara? The following description occurs in Hindi Śabdasāgara. "Owing to different optical illusions (sight) of man, villages and cities may appear to exist in the sky and also on seas, rivers, etc. When during summer the air on the upper strata of deserts, seas etc. gets heated, expanded, and rises up, the light passing through it becomes multi-coloured and gives reflections in the sky in the form of village parts or cities. Also can be seen therein reflections of trees, boats etc. One such reflection may be cast on earth also. This is a mere optical illusion. This reflection immediately fades out also. This unreal city which is an optical illusion is Gandharvanagara.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Gandharvanagara (गन्धर्वनगर).—(Gandharvapura)—an imaginary city compared to this māyā-ridden universe; seen by the company of merchants (jīvas) wandering in saṃsāra.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 12. 15. V. 13. 3 and 7.
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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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

[«previous next»] — Gandharvanagara in Jyotisha glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Gandharvanagara (गन्धर्वनगर) refers to “fanciful shapes of clouds”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 2), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “A true Astrologer is also one who has thoroughly mastered the Science of Saṃhitā. [...] It treats of the prediction of immediate rain from surrounding phenomena; of judging the nature of the future crops from the growth of plants and flowers; of the halos round the sun and moon; of lines of clouds crossing the solar disc at rising and setting; of the winds; of meteoric falls; of false fires; of earthquakes; of the red sky immediately before sunrise and after sunset; of the fanciful shapes of clouds [i.e., gandharvanagara]; of dust storms; of thunderbolts; of the price of food grains; of gardening; [...]”.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Gandharvanagara in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Gandharvanagara (गन्धर्वनगर) refers to a “city of the Gandharvas” and represents one of the ten comparisons (upamāna) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 11. These upamānas represent a quality of the Bodhisattvas accompanying the Buddha at Rājagṛha on the Gṛdhrakūṭaparvata. They accepted that dharmas are like a “city of the Gandharvas” (gandharvanagara). When the sun rises, we see a city (nagara) of buildings with stories (kūṭāgāra), palaces (rājakula), with people coming in and going out. The higher the sun rises, the more indistinct this city becomes; it is just an optical illusion without any reality. This is what is called a city of the gandharvas. People who have never before seen it and who discover it some morning in the east believe in its reality and hurry towards it; but the closer they come, the more unclear it becomes and when the sun is high, it disappears.

Mahayana book cover
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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.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Gandharvanagara in Jainism glossary
Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Gandharvanagara (गन्धर्वनगर) (Cf. Kiṃnarapura) refers to a “city of Gandharvas”, according to the commentary on the 11th century Jñānārṇava (verse 2.1), a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Is one not disturbed by [family] attachments? Is this body not cut down by diseases? Does death not open its mouth? Do calamities not do harm every day? Are hells not dreadful? Are not sensual pleasures deceiving like a dream? Because of which, having discarded one’s own benefit, you have a desire for the world which is like a city of Kiṃnaras (com.—gandharvanagara-sadṛśa)”.

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

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Gandharvanagara in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gandharvanagara (गन्धर्वनगर).—the city of the Gandharvas, an imaginary city in the sky, probably the result of some natural phenomenon, such as mirage; गन्धर्वनगराकारं तथैवान्तर्हितं पुनः (gandharvanagarākāraṃ tathaivāntarhitaṃ punaḥ) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 1.126.35.

Derivable forms: gandharvanagaram (गन्धर्वनगरम्).

Gandharvanagara is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms gandharva and nagara (नगर). See also (synonyms): gandharvapura.

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

1) Gandharvanagara (गन्धर्वनगर):—[=gandharva-nagara] [from gandharva] n. ‘Gandharva-city’, an imaginary town in the sky, [Mahābhārata ii, 1043; Harivaṃśa; Rāmāyaṇa v etc.]

2) [v.s. ...] Fata Morgana, [Pāṇini 4-1, 3; Kāraṇḍa-vyūha; Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā xxx]

3) [v.s. ...] [xxxvi, 4; Bhāgavata-purāṇa v, 14, 5; Kādambarī]

4) [v.s. ...] the city of the Gandharva people, [Rāmāyaṇa vii.]

[Sanskrit to German]

Gandharvanagara 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.

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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Gandharvanagara in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Gaṃdharvanagara (ಗಂಧರ್ವನಗರ):—

1) [noun] the city of Gandarvas, the celestial singers.

2) [noun] an imaginary city in the sky.

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

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