Ganika, Gaṇika, Gaṇikā: 16 definitions

Introduction

Ganika means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

In Hinduism

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra

Gaṇikā (गणिका) is a Sanskrit word referring to “prostitute”. The word is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti. (also see the Manubhāṣya verse 4.209)

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Gaṇika (गणिक).—Courtesans.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 27. 14 and 41: 49. 23.
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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam

Gaṇikā (गणिका) is the name of a tree found in maṇidvīpa (Śakti’s abode), according to the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa 12.10. Accordingly, these trees always bear flowers, fruits and new leaves, and the sweet fragrance of their scent is spread across all the quarters in this place. The trees (eg. Gaṇikā) attract bees and birds of various species and rivers are seen flowing through their forests carrying many juicy liquids. Maṇidvīpa is defined as the home of Devī, built according to her will. It is compared with Sarvaloka, as it is superior to all other lokas.

The Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa, or Śrīmad-devī-bhāgavatam, is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, a type of Sanskrit literature containing cultural information on ancient India, religious/spiritual prescriptions and a range of topics concerning the various arts and sciences. The whole text is composed of 18,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 6th century.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Gaṇikā (गणिका, “courtezan”) refers to a character of a theatrical part according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 35. Accordingly, “a woman who is always engaged in attending the teacher (ācārya) in connection with application of various arts and crafts, and is endowed with amorous movements, Emotion (hāva) and Feeling (bhāva), Temperament (sattva), discipline, sweetness of manners, and is conversant with the sixty-four arts and crafts (kalā), is expert in dealing with the king, and free from female diseases, and has sweet and endearing words, is clear in her speech, clever and undaunted by fatigue is called a courtezan (gaṇikā)”.

Natyashastra book cover
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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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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Gaṇikā (गणिका) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Gaṇika forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Guṇacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the guṇacakra refers to one of the four divisions of the sahaja-puṭa (‘innate layer’), situated within the padma (lotus) in the middle of the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Gaṇikā] and Vīras are whitish red in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Gaṇikā.—(EI 33), same as devadāsī. (EI 7), a female elephant. Note: gaṇikā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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

gaṇika : (adj.) having a following. || gaṇikā (f.), harlot; courtesan.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

1) Gaṇikā, 2 (f.)=gaṇanā, arithmetic Miln.3. (Page 241)

2) Gaṇikā, 1 (f.) “one who belongs to the crowd, ” a harlot, a courtesan (cp. gaṇakī) Vin.I, 231 (Ambapālī) 268, (do.); II, 277 (Aḍḍhakāsī); Ud.71; Miln.122; DhA.III, 104; VvA.75 (Sirimā); PvA.195, 199.—Customs of a gaṇikā J.IV, 249; V, 134.—Cp. saṃ°. (Page 241)

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

gaṇikā (गणिका).—f S A courtesan or harlot.

--- OR ---

gaṇīka (गणीक).—prep By, to &c. each severally, per. Ex. vṛkṣāgaṇīka, khiḍakīgaṇīka, gṛhāgaṇīka, khēpēgaṇīka.

--- OR ---

gaṇīka (गणीक).—m Misused for gaṇaka. An astrologer &c.

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

gaṇikā (गणिका).—f A courtesan or harlot.

--- OR ---

gaṇīka (गणीक) [-ta, -त].—prep By, to, &c., each severally, per.

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-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gaṇikā (गणिका).—[gaṇaḥ samūho'styasyāḥ bhartṛtvena gaṇ-ṭhañ]

1) A harlot, courtezan; गुणानुरक्ता गणिका च यस्य वसन्तशोभेव वसन्तसेना (guṇānuraktā gaṇikā ca yasya vasantaśobheva vasantasenā) Mk.1.6; गणिका नाम पादुकान्तरप्रविष्टेव लेष्टुका दुःखेन पुनर्निरा- क्रियते (gaṇikā nāma pādukāntarapraviṣṭeva leṣṭukā duḥkhena punarnirā- kriyate) Mk.5; निरकाशयद्रविमपेतवसुं वियदालयादपरदिग्गाणिका (nirakāśayadravimapetavasuṃ viyadālayādaparadiggāṇikā) Śi. 9.1.

2) A female elephant; कच्चिन्न गणिकाश्वानां कुञ्जराणां च तृप्यसि (kaccinna gaṇikāśvānāṃ kuñjarāṇāṃ ca tṛpyasi) Rām.2.1.5.

3) A kind of flower.

4) A kind of jasmine.

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

Gaṇika (गणिक) or Gaṇin.—teacher: Mv iii.392.7 (prose) -tīr-thika-gaṇikā (v.l. °gaṇi), n. pl., heretical teachers.

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

Gaṇikā (गणिका).—f.

(-kā) 1. A courtezan, a harlot. 2. A sort of Jasmin. (J. auriculatum.) 3. A tree, commonly Ganiyari, (Premnaspinosa.) 4. A female elephant. 5. Counting, enumerating. E. gaṇa to reckon, &c. ṇvul aff.

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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