Gauri, aka: Gaurī; 20 Definition(s)


Gauri means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

1) Gaurī (गौरी, “Shining One”):—One of the female offspring from Mahāsarasvatī (sattva-form of Mahādevī). Mahāsarasvatī is one of the three primary forms of Devī, the other two being Mahālakṣmī and Mahākālī. Not to be confused with Sarasvatī, she is a more powerful cosmic aspect (vyaṣṭi) of Devi and represents the guṇa (universal energy) named sattva. Also see the Devī Māhātmya, a Sanskrit work from the 5th century, incorporated into the Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa.

2) Gaurī (गौरी):—Name of one of the sixty-four mātṛs to be worshipped during Āvaraṇapūjā (“Worship of the Circuit of Goddesses”, or “Durgā’s Retinue”), according to the Durgāpūjātattva. They should be worshipped with either the five upācāras or perfume and flowers.

Her mantra is as follows:

ॐ गौर्यै नमः
oṃ gauryai namaḥ.

3) Gauri (गौरि, “the fair one”).—One of the names of the Goddess, Devī, who is regarded as the female principle of the divine; the embodiement of the energies of the Gods.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Gaurī (गौरी) is another name for Tulasī, which is a Sanskrit word referring to Ocimum tenuiflorum (holy basil), from the Lamiaceae family. It is classified as a medicinal plant in the system of Āyurveda (science of Indian medicine) and is used throughout literature such as the Suśrutasaṃhita and the Carakasaṃhitā. The synonym was identified in the Rājanighaṇṭu (verses 10.148-149), which is a 13th-century medicinal thesaurus.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
Ayurveda book cover
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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Gauri (गौरि).—One of the seven major rivers situated in Krauñcadvīpa, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 88. It is also known by the name Puṣpavahā. Krauñcadvīpa is one of the seven islands (dvīpa), ruled over by Jyotiṣmān, one of the ten sons of Priyavrata, who is the son of Svāyambhuva Manu, 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

1) Gaurī (गौरी).—See Pārvatī.

2) Gaurī (गौरी).—A female attendant (Devī) of Pārvatī. (Vana Parva, Chapter 231, Verse 48).

3) Gaurī (गौरी).—Wife of Varuṇa. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 117, Verse 9).

4) Gaurī (गौरी).—An Indian river. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 25).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Gaurī (गौरी) is the name of a Goddess that was once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—These Goddesses (eg., Gaurī) form the shining galaxy of female deities worshipped by the people of Kaśmīra.

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

1a) Gaurī (गौरी).—Is Pārvatī;1 a śakti;2 the goddess enshrined at Kañya-kubja; Icon of, in a palace.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 53. 25; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 25. 18; Vāyu-purāṇa 43. 38; 106. 58; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 32. 12.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 58.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 13. 29; 60. 17; 155. 30; 193. 24; 269. 54-5; 285. 7.

1b) A daughter of Antinara; the wife of Yuvanāśva; cursed by her husband, became the river Bāhudā; mother of Gaurika Māndhātṛ.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 67; Matsya-purāṇa 49. 8; Vāyu-purāṇa 88. 65-6.

1c) The wife of Virāja;1 son, Sudhāma.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 28. 12.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 11. 14.

1d) A daughter of Raṇti and mother of Māndhāta.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 130.

1e) A river in Krauñcadvīpa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 19. 75; Matsya-purāṇa 122. 88; Vāyu-purāṇa 49. 69; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 4. 55.

2) Gauri (गौरि).—Good to marry; for a son of such marriage would purify twenty-one generations of his and six on his mother's side.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 83. 12, 44.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Gaurī (गौरी) refers to the name of a River mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. VI.10.24). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Gaurī) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Gaurī (गौरी) refers to “the brilliant one” and is the presiding deity of gītaka (‘melodious’), according to the Saṅgītaśiromaṇi 67-84. Gītaka represents one of the sixteen words that together make up the elā musical composition (prabandha). Elā is an important subgenre of song and was regarded as an auspicious and important prabandha (composition) in ancient Indian music (gāndharva). According to nirukta analysis, the etymological meaning of elā can be explained as follows: a represents Viṣṇu, i represents Kāmadeva, la represents Lakṣmī.

Gaurī is one of the sixteen deities presiding over the corresponding sixteen words of the elā-prabandha, all of which are defined in the Saṅgītaśiromaṇi (“crest-jewel of music”): a 15th-century Sanskrit work on Indian musicology (gāndharvaśāstra).

Source: Wisdom Library: Saṅgītaśiromaṇi
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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Kavya (poetry)

Gaurī (गौरी) is the name of an important person (viz., an Ācārya or Kavi) mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—It is another name of Pārvati. She is wife of Lord Śiva and daughter of Himālaya, who also gave birth to Sāhitya-vidyā-vadhū.

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
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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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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

1) Gaurī (गौरी) is the name of a Sanskrit metre (chandas) to which Hemacandra (1088-1173 C.E.) assigned the alternative name of Pramudita-vadanā in his auto-commentary on the second chapter of the Chandonuśāsana. Hemacandra gives these alternative names for the metres by other authorities (like Bharata), even though the number of gaṇas or letters do not differ.

2) Gaurī (गौरी) refers to one of the seventy-two sama-varṇavṛtta (regular syllabo-quantitative verse) mentioned in the 334th chapter of the Agnipurāṇa. The Agnipurāṇa deals with various subjects viz. literature, poetics, grammar, architecture in its 383 chapters and deals with the entire science of prosody (eg., the gaurī metre) in 8 chapters (328-335) in 101 verses in total.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Gaurī (गौरी) is a name of Pārvatī, as mentioned in the 9th century Hayaśīrṣa-pañcarātra (Ādikāṇḍa chapter 1).—“[...] Formerly, it is told, Virūpākṣa-Maheśvara (i.e., Śiva) with Gaurī (i.e., Pārvatī) questioned the four-faced one (Brahmā) who was staying in the above of Vairāja”.

Source: eScholarship: Chapters 1-14 of the Hayasirsa Pancaratra
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Gauri (गौरि, “the fair one”):—Another name for Vāruṇī, the elder of two wifes of Varuṇa, who is the presiding deity of the invisible world and represents the inner reality of things. Vāruṇī is known as the Goddess of liquor. She is also known as Gauri.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Gaurī (गौरी): Gaurī or Dākshāyani is the Goddess of marital felicity and longevity; she is worshipped particularly by ladies to seek the long life of their husbands. An aspect of Devi, Dākshāyani is the consort of Shiva.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Gaurī (गौरी) is also mentioned as the Ḍākinī of the eastern gate in the Jñānacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the jñānacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the saṃbhoga-puṭa (‘enjoyment layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The four gate Ḍākinīs [viz., Gaurī] each has the same physical feature as the four Ḍākinīs starting with Lāmā.

Source: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala
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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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Gaurī (गौरी) (or Mānavī, Śrīvatsā-Devī) is the name of the Yakṣiṇī accompanying Śreyāṃśanātha: the eleventh of twenty-four Tīrthaṃkaras or Jinas, commonly depicted in Jaina iconography.—The Jaina texts concur in giving Śreyāṃśanātha the symbol of a rhinoceros. The Yakṣa and the Yakṣiṇī to serve him as guards of honour, have been named as Yakṣeta and Mānavī (Digambara: Īśvara and Gaurī) respectively. The tree special to him was Tumbara or Tindaka according to some authorities. Rājā Tripiṣṭa Vāsudeva was to act as a Chowri-bearer.

This eleventh Yakṣiṇī belongs to the eleventh Tīrthaṃkara Śreyāṃśanātha. The Digambara representation of the Yakṣiṇī known therein as Gaurī rides, according to their accounts, anantelope and bears a club, lotus, urn and Varada in her hands. The Śvetāmbara variant of the same Yakṣi in the name of Mānavī or Śrīvatsā Devī has been described as riding a lion and holding a Varada club, urn and goad. The name Gaurī originates evidently from the Brahmanic Gaurī, the wife of Śiva. Here, in this instance, the Yakṣa, of whom Gaurī is the consort is called Īśvara. Her other aspect is represented by a Vidyādevī, known by the same name. Now, the Śvetāmbaras give her the name of Śrīvatsā or Mānavī. This name, however, presents an anomaly due to the identity of Mānavī with the Digambara Yakṣiṇī, of Śītalanātha bearing the same name. Thus, it is possible to explain the name Śrīvatsā as originating from the Śrīvatsā figure, the canonical symbol of Śītalanātha. As regards the attributes, which adorn the hands of the Devī some of them are war-like, as worthy of a Yakṣiṇī, and others are benign, as symbolic of a goddess of learning.

Source: The Jaina Iconography
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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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India history and geogprahy

Gaurī.—a virgin; cf. gaurī-varāṭikā. Note: gaurī is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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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

Marathi-English dictionary

gaurī (गौरी).—f (S) A name of pārvatī. 2 A girl prior to menstruation, a maid. 3 An unmarried girl of ten years of age. 4 The vigils and festivities in bhādrapadaśuklapakṣa in honor of pārvatī. v jāgava.

--- OR ---

gaurī (गौरी).—f (Properly gōvarī) A bit of dry cowdung. 2 A cake or pat of cowdung. 3 Crumbled cowdung.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gaurī (गौरी).—f A name of pārvatī. A maid. A cake of cow-dung.

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

Gaurī (गौरी).—1 Name of Pārvatī; as in गौरीनाथ (gaurīnātha).

2) A young girl eight years old; अष्टवर्षा भवेद्गौरी (aṣṭavarṣā bhavedgaurī).

3) A young girl prior to menstruation, virgin, maid; स्त्रीणां सहस्रं गौरीणाम् (strīṇāṃ sahasraṃ gaurīṇām) Mb.1.221.49.

4) A woman with a white or yellowish complexion.

5) The earth; गौर्यां गच्छति सुश्रोणि लोकेष्वेषा गतिः सदा (gauryāṃ gacchati suśroṇi lokeṣveṣā gatiḥ sadā) Mb.13.146.1.

6) Turmeric.

7) A yellow pigment or dye; (called gorocanā).

8) The wife of Varuṇa; वरुणस्य तथा गौरी (varuṇasya tathā gaurī) Mb.13.146.5.

9) The Mallikā creeper.

1) The Tulasī plant

11) The Manjishṭhā plant.

12) Speech.

13) Name of a Nāgakanyā. cf. ...... गौरी तु नागकन्योमयोर्मता (gaurī tu nāgakanyomayormatā) Nm.

14) Name of a river; L. D. B.

15) Night; L. D. B.

16) Name of a Rāgiṇi.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gaurī (गौरी).—(1) n. of a yoginī: Sādh 443.15; (2) n. of a rākṣasī: Māy 243.17.

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