Ganga, Gaṅgā, Gāṅga: 40 definitions



Ganga means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Hindi. 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.

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In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

One of the Hands of the Famous Rivers.—Gaṅgā, etc., the Tāmracūḍa hand. Also see: Vyāvṛttacāpaveṣṭitau.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा).—The famous and holy Ganges river of India, which runs throughout the entire universe. She originates from the spiritual world, and descended when Lord Vāmanadeva kicked a hole in the top of the universe. One is recommended to bathe in the Ganges for purification. She married Mahārāja Śantanu and begot the famous devotee and warrior, Bhīṣmadeva

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) refers to “the Ganges, the river of divine water that falls from the spiritual sky to this universe”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) refers to:—The holy Ganges River, which flows southeast from the Himālayan Mountains to the Bay of Bengal. Other names include Jāhnavī, Bhāgīrathī, and Alakānanda. (cf. Glossary page from Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta).

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा).—Name of a river originating from Himālaya, a holy mountain (kulaparvata) in Bhārata, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 85. There are settlements (janapada) where Āryas and Mlecchas dwell who drink water from these rivers.

Bhārata is a region south of Hemādri, once ruled over by Bharata (son of Ṛṣabha), whose ancestral lineage can be traced back to Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा):—Wife of Śāntanu (one of the three sons of Pratīpa). They had a son named Bhīṣma. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.22.12, 9.22.18-19)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा).—The famous and holy river of India. Origin and general information. Gaṅgā had its origin during the incarnation of Viṣṇu as Vāmana. When Vāmana measured the three worlds in three steps the nails on his left feet were raised high. They caused a pore on the upper side of the universe. Gaṅgā, starting from the finger of Viṣṇu’s feet fell in heaven (Bhāgavata). (See full article at Story of Gaṅgā from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) is the name of a river (nadī) and mentioned as one of the seven holy Gaṅgas (saptagaṅgā), according to Śivapurāṇa 1.15. Accordingly, regarding the benefit in the rites of Devayajña:—“[...] a temple, the bank of a holy tank, the bank of an ordinary river, the bank of a holy river and the banks of the seven holy Gaṅgās (saptagaṅgā) are each of ten times more benefit than the previous. The seven holy Gaṅgās are Gaṅgā, Godāvarī, Kāverī, Tāmraparṇikā, Sindhu, Sarayū and Revā. The shores of the sea are of ten times more benefit than the previous. The summit of a mountain is of ten times more benefit than the shores of the sea”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Gaṅgā (गङ्गा).—A river source of, sacred to Hari;1 brought to the earth from Heaven; a mahānadī from the Himalayas.2 Originating from the foot of Viṣṇu and watering the region of the moon falls from heaven into Brahmā's city; issuing from the nail of the great toe of Hari's left foot; Dhruva holds her in his crown; the seven sages perform austerities with her waters; issuing again from the moon she falls on Sumeru and thence to the four quarters of the earth; hearing of her, the desire to go to Gangā, see, touch, bathe in her waters—all purify a person; falling in four directions, takes the names of Śītā, Alakanandā, Cakṣu and Bhadrā.3 Effort made by Aṃśumān, Dilīpa and Bhagīratha and hence her name Bhāgīrathī. Held up by Hara and then let; flowed in seven streams through several territories in the four directions, sanctifying the regions and the people there.4 Its waters drunk by Janhu, and let out by his ears and hence called Jānhavī.5 The seed cast off by Śiva in the sky was borne by Gangā and was swallowed by Agni; phoetus left on the Himalayan slopes became gold, which was utilised in building the yagñaśāla at Naimiṣa. At her confluence with Yamunā (s.v.) was the avabhṛta of the sacrifice of Prajāpatis. On its banks Bharata performed horsesacrifice.6 Here Yudhiṣṭhira had his avabhṛta bath after Rājasūya.7 Here were done funeral rites of the dead children of Draupadī.8 Here again Parīkṣit observed vow of fasting unto death.9 Visited by Balarāma.10 The Sagaras sent to heaven by the Ganges waters.11 Gangā as devī.12 Originally of three-fold path, the Chāyāpathā being in the nakṣatramaṇḍala;13 addressed by Agni to bear Rudra's garbha, Gangā accepted the task and gave birth to Kumāra.14 Gangā refilled the ocean, after Agastya drank it dry.15 Manu put the growing fish in; washed off the city of Hastināpuram; contains 3(1/2) crores of tīrthas; forms the cure for all ills; released in seven streams by Śankara, three to the west, three to the north and one Bhagīrathī, sacred in Kanakhala.16 Wife of the ocean;17 Tripathagā;18 a consort of Śiva, served by Trayambaka and other gods.19 Fit for śrāddha;20 the right side of the Veda;21 particularly sacred at three spots—Gangādvāra, Prayāga and Gangā sāgara-sangama.22

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VII. 14. 29, VIII. 4. 23, Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 11, 24.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 42. 39-49: 71. 5.
  • 3) Vī. I. 9. 103: II, 2. 334: 8. 108-13, 120-2: III. 14. 18 IV. 4. 26-30: 18-28.
  • 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 9. 1-13: Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 13. 118: 55. 51: 56. 38-54.
  • 5) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 15. 3: Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 66. 25-6: 73. 117: Matsya-purāṇa 12. 44: 121. 26.
  • 6) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 7. 63-4: Vāyu-purāṇa 2. 17-18: 72. 28-32. Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 11 and 24. Bhāgavata-purāṇa VII. 14. 29; VIII. 4. 23 Vāyu-purāṇa 42. 39-40: 71. 5. Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 9. 1-13. Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 13. 118: 55.51: 56. 38-54. Matsya-purāṇa 15. 3. Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 66. 25. 6: 73. 117: Matsya-purāṇa 12. 44: 121. 26. Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 7. 63-64. Vāyu-purāṇa 2. 17-18: 72. 28-32. Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 2. 35. IX. 20-25: 22. 19: X. 10. 4.
  • 7) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 75. 19.
  • 8) Ib. I. 8. 1.
  • 9) Ib. 3. 43; 4. 10; 12. 28; 18. 3.
  • 10) Ib. X. 78. 20.
  • 11) Ib. IX. 9. 14.
  • 12) Ib. I. 19. 15.
  • 13) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 18. 26-42, 50-52:
  • 14) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 355: 9. 4: 10. 30-5: 14. 84: 37. 5: 54. 49: IV. 9. 78.
  • 15) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 167.
  • 16) Matsya-purāṇa 1. 23: 13. 25: 36. 5: 50. 78: 102. 5-6: 106. 57-8; 114. 20: 121. 38-41; 133. 23: 183. 107: 186. 10; 192. 11; 239-18.
  • 17) Vāyu-purāṇa 13. 35: 30. 32 and 92: 45. 95:
  • 18) Vāyu-purāṇa 2. 7; 51. 21, 46; 58. 88.
  • 19) Vāyu-purāṇa 42. 39-40: 71. 5.
  • 20) Vāyu-purāṇa 77. 68.
  • 21) Vāyu-purāṇa 98. 117: 99. 63: 104. 13, 27, 77: 106. 67: 111. 16.
  • 22) Matsya-purāṇa 106. 53.

1b) (personified) a bearer of flywhisk to Lalitā.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 2. 39: Matsya-purāṇa 22. 10: 246. 92.

2) Gāṅga (गाङ्ग).—A Gandharva.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 26.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) refers to the name of a Lady mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.61.68). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Gaṅgā) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Gaṅgā also refers to the name of a River or Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. III.83.4, III.83.63, III.85.10, III.88.23, III.114.2, VI.10.13, VIII.30.10, IX.36.48).

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) refers to one of the two daughters of Himavān and Menā, according to the Vaṃśa (‘genealogical description’) of the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, Ākūti was married to Ruci and Prasūti to Dakṣa. Dakṣa produced in Prasūti twenty-four daughters. [...] [Svadhā was given to Pitṛs.] Pitṛ and Svadhā had two daughters—Menā and Dhāriṇi. Menā was given in marriage to Himavān who begot two sons—Maināka and Krauñca and two daughters—Gaurī and Gaṅgā.

Purana book cover
context information

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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Kavya (poetry)

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara

1) Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) is the name a river mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—Gaṅgā is the holy river of Hindus. In the Kāvyamīmāṃsā, Rājaśekhara mentions Gaṅgā under the list of rivers of the northern and western India. Because the river Ganges flows through both of the parts.

2) Gaṅgā is also the name of place: This region located in the Dakṣiṇāpatha. May be identified as the Kongu country of the southern India, which is comprises on the districts of Coimbatore and Salem. Therefore, according to Belur inscription, this is the part of south Bengal and known as Gange or Gaṅgā. The name Gaṅgā or Kongu seems to have derived from the name of the dynasty of the Western Gaṅgās ruled over the south of Mysore with Salem, Coimbatore, the Nīlgiris and parts of Mālābār. So the Rājaśekhara mentions Gaṅgā country cannot be taken for the represent to Kaliṅga country, which was ruled over by the Eastern Gaṅgā dynasty. Because Rājaśekhara already described Kaliṅga, the district of Ganjam and Vizag amongst the Eastern region countries of India.

Source: Shodhganga: Bhismacaritam a critical study

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) figures as a female character in the Bhīṣmacarita (Bhishma Charitra) which is a mahākāvya (‘epic poem’) written by Hari Narayan Dikshit.—Gaṅgā was a beautiful woman. She was also a devout wife and looked after the King Śāntanu with love and affection. They were staying happily. After sometime Gaṅgā gave birth to a bright son who was named Devavrata, but she could not bear the pain of post pregnancy and died immediately leaving his son in the hands of king. The King was loving her so much that he could not forget her even after many days of her death and was remaining sad in her memory

context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) 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 mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

1) Gaṅgā (“doll”) refers to one of the several “attributes” (āyudha) or “accessories” of a detiy commonly seen depicted in Hindu iconography, defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The śilpa texts have classified the various accessories under the broad heading of āyudha or karuvi (implement), including even flowers, animals, and musical instruments. The other miscellaneous articles found as attributes in the hands of the deities are, for example, Gaṅgā.

2) Gaṅga is the name of a deity depicted in the Aruṇācaleśvar or Arunachaleswara Temple in Thiruvannamalai (Tiruvaṇṇāmalai) which is one of the Pañcasabhā or “five halls where Śiva is said to have danced”.—Gaṅga is found seated in sukhāsana posture with the right hand in kaṭaka and the left hand in dolā-hasta.

Gaṅga is also found depicted near Maṅgalāmbikai in the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple (Ādi Kumbheśvara) in Kumbakonam (Kumbhakonam), representing a sacred place for the worship of Śiva.—Gaṅga is in standing posture with four hands. The upper right hand holds cakra and the upper left hand holds the flower. The lower right hand is in abhaya-hasta and the lower left hand is in urū-hasta.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Vagbhata’s Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita (first 5 chapters)

Gāṅga (गाङ्ग) refers to “Gangetic water”, as mentioned in verse 5.3 of the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna) by Vāgbhaṭa.—Accordingly, “[...] if, berained [viz., abhivṛṣṭa] by it, stainless rice-pap kept in a silver bowl (remains) unputrid and undiscoloured, it (is) to be drunk [viz. peya] as Gangetic (water) [viz., gāṅga]. Otherwise, (it is) oceanic (water); this (is) not to be drunk except in the month of Āśvayuja”.

Note: Gāṅga [gāṅgam] (sc. ambu) (“Gangetic water”) has been placed at the head of the pāda and rendered by gāṅgai chu (“Ganges water”) (again spelt gaṅ-gāi chu in CD), with the ellipsis duly completed. The following de, which reproduces tat, has been corrupted to ste in NP.

Source: Shodhganga: Dietetics and culinary art in ancient and medieval India

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) is an important river whose water (jala) qualities are described in the Bhojanakutūhala (dravyaguṇāguṇa-kathana), and is commonly found in literature dealing with the topics of dietetics and culinary art, also known as Pākaśāstra or Pākakalā.—Different types of water (jala) and their properties are mentioned here [viz., in jala-prakaraṇa]. The text explains the qualities of the water of certain important rivers like [viz., Gaṅgā].

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.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) is a Sanskrit word referring to a dwelling place or resort of the celestial nymphs (apsaras). They live chiefly on earth around rivers or on mountains, as in the courts of all the gods.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Ganga (Modern Ganges) - One of the five great rivers (Mahanadi) that water Jambudipa, the others being Yamuna, Aciravati, Sarabhu, and Mahi (E.g., Vin.ii.237; S.ii.135; v.401; A.iv.101; v.22; Mil.114 mentions ten).

The Commentaries (E.g., SNA.ii.438f; AA.ii.761ff; MA.ii.586; UdA.301) give a long description of their origin. From the Anotatta lake flow four rivers: that from the south circles the lake three times under the name of Avattaganga, then as Kanhaganga flows straight for sixty leagues along the surface of a rock, comes into violent contact with a vertical rock, and is thrown upwards as a column of water three gavutas in circumference; this column, known as Akasaganga, flows through the air for sixty leagues, falls on to the rock Tiyaggala, excavating it to a depth of fifty leagues, thus forming a lake which is called Tiyaggalapokkharani; then the river, under the name of Bahalaganga, flows through a chasm in the rock for sixty leagues, then, under the name of Ummaggaganga, through a tunnel for a further sixty leagues, and finally coming upon the oblique rock Vijjha, divides into five streams, forming the five rivers above mentioned.

Among places mentioned as being on the banks of the Ganga are Benares, Campa, Ayojjha, Kimbhila, Ukkavela, Payaga, Pataliputta, and Sankassa. The Ganga formed one of the most important means of communication and trade for the districts through which it flowed - e.g., from Rajagaha to Vesali. The district to the north of the river and bordering on the kingdom of Anga was called Anguttarapa (SNA.ii.439). The river was five hundred leagues in length (SA.ii.119).

The name of the Ganga appears again and again in similes and metaphors in the Pali books:

its sands are immeasurable (S.iv.376);

its waters cannot be made bracken by adding to them a grain of salt (A.i.250);

it is full of foam, and yet its foam is empty (S.iii.140);

it were folly to wish to hold up the course of its waters with ones fist (S.iv.298);

as the river finds repose only in the ocean, so do the followers of the Buddha find repose only in nibbana (M.i.493);

some things are as inevitable as that the Ganga should flow into the sea (S.iv.179);

there is no such thing as the Ganga apart from its sand, its water, and its banks;

to be cast on the other side of the Ganga (paragangaya) is great misfortune (see, e.g., S.i.207, SnA.i.228).

The Ganga flows from west to east (pacinaninna, S.iv.191);

during the rains it is so full of water that even a crow could drink water from its bank (Vin.i.230);

sometimes the banks would be flooded and the buildings on them destroyed (SA.i.164), and people would find difficulty in crossing;

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) is the name of a river originating from the eastern corner of lake Anavatapta in mount Himavat (‘the Snowy Mountains’) to the north, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV). Accordingly, The Gaṅgā comes from the mountain in the north and empties into the eastern ocean (pūrvasamudra).

The Ganges is the most important of these four rivers; people come there from the four directions of space and consider it to be a sacred river, the sins (āpatti), stains (mala) and faults (pāpa) of those who bathe there are completely removed. Since all people venerate and know this river, the sands of the Ganges are taken as comparison (“as numerous as the sands of the Ganges”).

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) is the name of a river mentioned as flowing through Bhārata together with the Sindhu river. Bhārata is one of the seven regions (kṣetra) of Jambūdvīpa according to Jaina cosmology. Jambūdvīpa sits at the centre of madhyaloka (‘middle world’) is the most important of all continents and it is here where human beings reside.

Source: HereNow4u: Lord Śrī Mahāvīra

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) is the name of river crossed by Mahāvīra during his second year of spiritual-exertion.—Leaving Śvetāmbikā city, the Lord moved towards Surabhipura. River Gaṅgā came mid-way. The Lord had to sit on a boat to cross Gaṅgā. When Mahāvīra crossed Gaṅgā, two Nāga princes Kambala and Śambala served the Lord to get over this calamity.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds

Gaṅga (गङ्ग) is the name of a river that, coupled with the Sindhu river, separates the Bharata region. Bharata refers to one of the regions of Jambūdvīpa: the first continent of the Madhya-loka (middle-word), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.10. The Gaṅga river flow eastwards. The Gaṅga and Sindhu rivers have 14000 tributaries.

Jambūdvīpa (where flows the Gaṅga river) is in the centre of all continents and oceans; all continents and oceans are concentric circles with Jambūdvīpa in the centre. Like the navel is in the centre of the body, Jambūdvīpa is in the centre of all continents and oceans. Sumeru Mount is in the centre of Jambūdvīpa. It is also called Mount Sudarśana.

General definition book cover
context information

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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Wisdom Library: India History

Gāṅga (गाङ्ग) is the name of a country included within Dakṣiṇapatha which was situated ahead of Māhiṣmatī according to Rājaśekhara (fl. 10th century) in his Kāvyamīmāṃsā (chapter 17). Dakṣiṇāpatha is a place-name ending is patha mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Source: Geography in Ancient Indian inscriptions

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा).—The river is known by the same name even today. Regarding this river, and its tributaries, Arrian observes: “Megasthenes states that of the two (the Ganges and the Indus), the Ganges is much the larger............ It receives, besides the river Sonos and the Sittokatis and Solomatis, which are also navigable and also the Kondochates and the Sambos and the Magon and the Agoranis and the Omalis. Moreover, there falls into it the Kommenases, a great river, and the Kakouthis and the Andomatis.”

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) is the name of a river mentioned in the Gupta inscription No. 1 and 13. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. We do find the word in the Uṇādi affixes. The affix gan comes after the root gaṃ ‘to go’ and the word Gaṅgā is formed.

The Gaṅgā emerges first in the Gangotri in the district of Garhwal and proceeds in different courses from Hardwar to Bulandshahar and from Allahabad to Rajmahal from where it enters Bengal.

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study (history)

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) is the name of a river mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa that corresponds with the Sindh (Sindhu).—Many rivers and rivulets in Kaśmīra are named Gaṅgā but the Nīlamata uses this designation specifically for the Sindhu not to be confused with the Indus. Formed by two streams which unite at Baltal, this river Sind flows over a rocky bed in a westerly direction and receives many tributaries in the way, the principal being Kanakavāhinī joining it near the village of Kijpara in the Jar Pargana. Having reached Kaśmīra, it turns towards the northwest and joins the Vitastā at Shadipur. The Nīlamata praises highly the confluence of the Sindhu with the Kanakavāhinī and the Vitastā.

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा) is the name of a river situated in Majjhimadesa (Middle Country) of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—The river Gaṅga has been mentioned frequently in ancient Pāli literature, and is identical with the great sacred river on the banks of which the drama of Indian History has so often been enacted—the Ganges which is famous in early, mediaeval and modern history of India. According to the Sigāla Jātaka she flowed by the city of Bārāṇasī. There is a confluence between this river and Yamunā (cf. Sumaṅgalavilāsinī).

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

gaṅgā : (f.) river; the Ganges.

Pali book cover
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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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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gaṅgā (गंगा).—f (S) The river Ganges or the personification of it as a goddess. 2 The river Goda or Godavari. 3 A sacred stream gen. Pr. vāhatī gaṅgā āṇi cālatā dharma. 4 Water from a sacred stream or consecrated water, for sacred uses and purposes. gaṅgēntalēṃ pāṇī gaṅgēnta sōḍaṇēṃ A phrase used humbly by a person in repaying kind offices. gaṅgēsa ghōḍē nāhaṇēṃ To accomplish a mighty undertaking or achieve some great feat. vāhatē gaṅgēnta hāta dhuṇēṃ To take a part in, and thus seize a share of the merit of, some puṇyakarma that another is carrying on. vāhilī tī gaṅgā rāhilēṃ tēṃ tīrtha Used of profuse and generous largesses or expenditure. Because both the money spent and the money saved will profit.

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gāṅgā (गांगा).—a White with a reddish cast or tint. A color of horses.

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

gaṅgā (गंगा).—f The river Ganges. Consecrated water. gaṅgēta ghōḍē nāhaṇēṃ Accomplish a mighty undertaking.

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gāṅgā (गांगा).—a White with a reddish t

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.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा).—[gam-gan; Uṇ.1.12]

1) The river Ganges, the most sacred river in India; अधोधो गङ्गेयं पदमुपगता स्तोकमथवा (adhodho gaṅgeyaṃ padamupagatā stokamathavā) Bh.2.1; R.2.26;13.57; (mentioned in Rv.1.75.5, along with other rivers considered sacred in India).

2) The Ganges personified as a goddess. [Gaṅgā is the eldest daughter of Himavat. It is said that a curse of Brahmā made her come down upon earth, where she became the first wife of King Śantanu. She bore him eight sons, of whom Bhīṣma, the youngest, became a well-known personage, renowned for his valour and life-long celibacy. According to another account she came down on earth being propitiated by Bhagīratha; see भगीरथ (bhagīratha) and जह्नु (jahnu) also; and cf. Bh.2. 1]. इमं मे गङ्गे यमुने सरस्वति (imaṃ me gaṅge yamune sarasvati) Mahānār. Up.5.4.

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Gāṅga (गाङ्ग).—a. (-ṅgī f.) [गङ्गाया अपत्यं अण् (gaṅgāyā apatyaṃ aṇ)]

1) Being in or on the Ganges.

2) Coming from or relating to the Ganges; गाङ्गमम्बु सितमम्बु यामुनं कज्जलाभमुभयत्र मज्जतः (gāṅgamambu sitamambu yāmunaṃ kajjalābhamubhayatra majjataḥ) K. P.1; Ku.5.37.

-ṅgaḥ 1 An epithet of Bhīṣma.

2) Of Kārtikeya.

-ṅgam 1 Rain-water of a peculiar kind (supposed to fall down from the heavenly Ganges).

2) Gold.

-ṅgī An epithet of Durgā.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Gaṅga (गङ्ग).—name of a merchant: Avadāna-śataka ii.53.3 ff.

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

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा).—f.

(-ṅgā) The river Ganges, or its personification as a goddess. E. gam to go, Unadi affix gan, or gāṃ the accusative of go the earth, and ga who goes, form irr.

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Gāṅga (गाङ्ग).—mfn.

(-ṅgaḥ-ṅgī-ṅgaṃ) Belonging or relating to the river Ganges. m.

(-ṅgaḥ) 1. A name of Kartikeya. 2. A name of Bhishma E. gaṅgā the Ganga, aṇ aff.

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

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा).— (from *gaṅgam for jaṅgam, frequentat. of gam), f. The river Ganges, supposed to exist also in the sky and in the lower regions, Ram. 1, 44, 14.

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Gāṅga (गाङ्ग).—i. e. gaṅgā + a, I. adj., f. . 1. Belonging to the Gaṅga, Mahābhārata 7, 2215. Ii. n. The name of a kind of rain-water (ascribed to the celestial Gaṅgā), [Suśruta] 1, 170, 2.

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

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा).—[feminine] the river Ganges (often personif.).

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Gāṅga (गाङ्ग).—[feminine] ī being on or in the Ganges, coming from it, etc.; [masculine] metron. of Bhisma.

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

1) Gaṅga (गङ्ग):—(in [compound] for ṅgā, [Pāṇini 6-3, 63]).

2) m. a kind of deer, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) Name of a dynasty, [Inscriptions]

4) Gaṅgā (गङ्गा):—[from gaṅga] f. (√gam, [Uṇādi-sūtra]) ‘swift-goer’, the river Ganges (personified and considered as the eldest daughter of Himavat and Menā, [Rāmāyaṇa i, 36, 15]; as the wife of Śāntanu and mother of Bhīṣma, [Mahābhārata i, 3800; Harivaṃśa 2967 ff.]; or as one of the wives of Dharma, [Padma-purāṇa] ; there is also a Gaṅgā in the sky [ākāśaor vyoma-g, qq.vv.; cf. khāpagā, gaganāpagā etc.] and one below the earth, [Harivaṃśa 12782]; Bhagī-ratha is said to have conducted the heavenly Gaṅgā down to the earth, [810 ff.; Rāmāyaṇa i, [chapter] 44]), [Ṛg-veda x, 75, 5; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa xiii; Taittirīya-āraṇyaka etc.]

5) [v.s. ...] Name of the wife of Nīla-kaṇṭha and mother of Śaṃkara

6) [v.s. ...] ifc. See dviveda-gaṅga.

7) Gāṅga (गाङ्ग):—mf(ī)n. ([from] gaṅgā), being in or on the Ganges, coming from or belonging or relating to the Ganges, [Mahābhārata] (hrada, [v, 996]), [Rāmāyaṇa; Kumāra-sambhava v, 37 etc.]

8) m. ([gana] śivādi) [metronymic] of Bhīṣma (cf. gāṅgāyani), [Harivaṃśa 1824]

9) of Skanda or Kārttikeya, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

10) n. ([scilicet] ambu) rain-water of a peculiar kind (supposed to be from the heavenly Ganges), [Suśruta i, 45, 1, 1]

[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा):—f. [Die Uṇādi-Affixe 1, 122.] der Ganges [Amarakoṣa 1, 2, 3, 30.] [Trikāṇḍaśeṣa 1, 2, 30.] [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 1081.] [Ṛgveda 10, 75, 5.] [The Śatapathabrāhmaṇa 13, 5, 4, 11.] [Kātyāyana’s Śrautasūtrāṇi 13, 3, 20.] [Taittirīyāraṇyaka 2, 20.] [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 8, 92.] [Matsyopākhyāna 18.] [Indralokāgamana 1, 20.] gaṅgāprapāta [Raghuvaṃśa 2, 26.] die Herabkunft der Gaṅgā [Mahābhārata 3, 8831. fgg.] [Rāmāyaṇa 1, 44.] gaṅgā tripathagā (im Luftraum, auf der Erde und in der Unterwelt) [Harivaṃśa 12782.] spaltet sich in 4 Flüsse [Viṣṇupurāṇa 170. 229.] gaṅgā saptavidhā [Mahābhārata 3, 10821.] [Rāmāyaṇa 1, 44, 14. fgg.] [Viṣṇupurāṇa 171,] [Nalopākhyāna 12.] älteste Tochter des Himavant und der Menā [Rāmāyaṇa 1, 36, 15.] Gemahlin Śāntanu’s und Mutter Bhīṣma’s [Mahābhārata 1, 3800.] [Harivaṃśa 2967. fgg.] ihr Verhältniss zu Bhagīratha [810. fgg.] [Rāmāyaṇa 1, 44.] [Viṣṇupurāṇa 379.] zu Jahnu [Harivaṃśa 1417. fgg.] [1757. fgg.] eine der Gemahlinnen Dharma's [Viṣṇupurāṇa 119,] [Nalopākhyāna 12.] ākāśagaṅgā die im Luftraum (vor ihrem Fall zur Erde) strömende G. [Rāmāyaṇa 4, 44, 61.] [Suśruta 1, 114, 5] (wohl die Milchstrasse). vyomagaṅgā [Kumārasaṃbhava 6, 5.] gaṅgāśoṇa n. die Gaṅgā und der Śoṇa [Pāṇini’s acht Bücher 2, 4, 7,] [Scholiast] gaṅgāṣṭaka n. acht Verse an die G. [HAEB.] [Chr. 469. fg.] [Weber’s Verzeichniss No. 1352.] Die 4 Gaṅgā auf Ceylon [Lassen’s Indische Alterthumskunde I, 196.] — Viell. auf gam zurückzuführen.

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Gāṅga (गाङ्ग):—(von gaṅgā)

1) adj. f. ī in oder an der Gaṅgā befindlich, daher kommend u.s.w. [Hemacandra’s Anekārthasaṃgraha 3, 487.] [Medinīkoṣa g. 5.] gāṅgo hradaḥ (vgl. gaṅgāhrada) [Mahābhārata 5, 996.] yāvatyaḥ sikatā gāṅgyaḥ [7, 2215.] āvarta iva gāṅgasya toyasya [Rāmāyaṇa 5, 50, 16.] [Bhartṛhari 3, 88.] [Bhāgavatapurāṇa 3, 20, 5. 8, 6, 13.] gāṅgaiḥ salilairdivaścyutaiḥ [Kumārasaṃbhava 5, 37.] n. (sc. ambu) Regenwasser einer besonderen Art (von der himmlischen Gaṅgā): gāṅgamāśvayuje māsi prāyaśo varṣati [Suśruta 1, 170, 2. fgg.] —

2) m. oxyton. metron. gaṇa śivādi zu [Pāṇini’s acht Bücher 4, 1, 112.] a) Skanda's [Hemacandra’s Anekārthasaṃgraha] [Medinīkoṣa] — b) Bhīṣma’s [Trikāṇḍaśeṣa 2, 8, 12.] [Hemacandra’s Anekārthasaṃgraha] [Medinīkoṣa] [Harivaṃśa 1824.] —

3) f. gāṅgī Beiname der Durgā [Harivaṃśa] [LANGL. 2, 217]; die Calc. Ausg. [10243] : gārgī . — Vgl. gāṅgeya .

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Gaṅga (गङ्ग):—vgl. dviveda .

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Gaṅgā (गङ्गा):—als Frauenname [HALL 175.] [Oxforder Handschriften 281,a,2.]

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Gāṅga (गाङ्ग):—

1) ambu [Spr. 829.] apāṃ pravāho gāṅgaḥ (gāṅgyaḥ v. l.) [3522.]

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Gāṅga (गाङ्ग):—(Nachträge), zur 2ten Stelle vgl. [Spr. (II) 414.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Sanskrit-Wörterbuch in kürzerer Fassung

Gaṅgā (गङ्गा):—f.

1) der Ganges. Hat weisses Wasser [Indische sprüche 7759.] Floss ehemals im Himmel , von woher Bhagīratha sie auf die Erde leitete. Sie ist die Tochter des Himavant. —

2) ein Frauenname.

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Gāṅga (गाङ्ग):——

1) Adj. (f. ī) in oder an der Gaṅgā befindlich , daher kommend u.s.w. —

2) m. Metron. — a) Bhīṣma’s — b) *Skanda's. —

3) f. ī Beiname der Durgā. v.l. gārgī und gaṅgā. —

4) n. Regenwasser einer besonderen Art.

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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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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Ganga in Hindi refers in English to:—(nm) the Ganges (considered to be the most sacred river by the Hindus); —[jamuni] made up of two colours or two metals (like gold and silver); ~[jala] sacred water of the Ganges; ~[jali] a metal goblet to preserve the holy water of the Ganges; •[uthana] to swear by the water of the Ganges; —[nahana] to accomplish a difficult task; to achieve a destination..—ganga (गंगा) is alternatively transliterated as Gaṃgā.

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