Gandharvanagara, aka: Gandharva-nagara; 2 Definition(s)


Gandharvanagara 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


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.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
context information

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.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Gandharvanagara (गन्धर्वनगर) refers to a “city of the Gandharvas” and represents one of the ten comparisons (upamāna) according to the 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.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

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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