Gaya, aka: Gayā; 18 Definition(s)


Gaya 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


Gaya (गय):—One of the sons of Sudyumna (son of Vaivasvata Manu). (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa )

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Gaya (गय).—The son of Ananta, who was the son of Pṛthu, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 74. Pṛthu was the son of Vibhu, whose ancestral lineage can be traced to Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being. Gaya had a son named Naya.

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

1a) Gaya (गय).—A sage who knew the power of Viṣṇu's yoga.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 7. 44.

1b) A son of Ulmuka and Puṣkariṇī.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 13. 17.

1c) A son of Havirdhāna (Ūsu?) and Āgneyī.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 24. 8: Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 108: 37. 24: Vāyu-purāṇa 63. 23. Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 14. 2.

1d) A son of Nakta and Druti: A rājaṛṣi and an aṃśa of Hari; a mahāpuruṣa who ruled his kingdom righteously and with devotion to Hari. His name is sung in an ancient gāthā, as the upholder of dharma, Vedas, Brahmaṇas and yajñas. His queen was Gāyantī who was mother of three sons Citraratha and others. At the end of his rule, he renounced the throne and sought refuge with Hari.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 15. 6-14: X. 60. 41: Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 14. 68: Vāyu-purāṇa 33. 57. Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 1. 38.

1e) Though lord of seven dvīpas, he was not content. He wanted more territory.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 19. 23; XII. 3. 10.

1f) A son of (Ilā) Sudyumna and Lord of Dakṣiṇāpatha;1 king of the eastern kingdom with its capital Gaya;2 a Rājaṛṣi.3 Performed a big sacrifice and gave lavish gifts to all Brahmaṇas; even gods were pleased and granted a boon perpetuating his name by a city Gayāpuri; attained Viṣṇuloka.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 1. 41. Matsya-purāṇa 12. 17.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 60. 18.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 85. 19.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 112. 1-6.

1g) A son of Angirasa and U7ru.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 4. 43.

1h) A son of Balakāśva.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 91. 61.

2a) Gayā (गया).—A river visited by Balarāma.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 79. 11.

2b) (c) the kingdom of; sacred for śrāddha offering. Dharmapṛṣṭa, Brahmasaras, and Gṛdhravaṭa are chief places here; capital of Gaya; Paraśurāna performed śrāddha here.1 A pitṛtīrtha being the residence of Pitāmaha; a gāthā says that any one son may visit Gayā and satisfy all Pitṛs.2 Fit for śrāddha; a man devoted to Gayāśrāddha must dress himself in beggar's garments, circumambulate the grāma, and the next one with shaving and begging money; śrāddha in Brahmakuṇḍa and other places; going to Dharmaranya after worshipping Gadādhara; feed the Brahmans there without enquiring into their family, conduct or learning; offer piṇḍas in Gayārūpa, even for unknown cognates and names; piṇḍa for one's own self with tila; by this even heinous crimes are mitigated; a superior tīrtha; best in Makara, eclipses of the sun and moon, and Caitra and Pretapakṣa (Mahālaya); others are adhīmāsa, birthday, the evening of Guru and Śukra, the stay of Bṛhaspati in Simha which is once in twelve years.3 The face of the Veda;4 Śambhu, Viṣṇu and Ravi; sacred to Gaya.5

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 12. 17. Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 13. 104: 19-11: 47. 17: 60. 19: Vāyu-purāṇa 85. 19.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 22. 4-6 and 26: 110. 2; 192. 11: 204. 8: 207. 40.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 77. 97: 80. 45: 83. 12-44.
  • 4) Ib. 104. 77.
  • 5) Ib. 112. 20.

2c) Six in number, Gāyāgaya, Gayāditya, Gāyatrī, Gadādhara, Gayā, Gayāsura, all tending to salvation.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 112. 60.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Gayā (गया) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The presiding deity residing over the liṅga in this place (Gayā) is named Prapitāmaba. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas is found in the commentary of the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Itihasa (narrative history)

Gaya (गय) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. II.48.15, II.82.71, XIII.116.65, XIII.115) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Gaya) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Gaya also refers to the name of a Mountain or Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. III.85.6, III.85.8).

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
context information

Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Gaya (गय, ‘house’) is a common word in the Rigveda, and sometimes occurs later. As its sense includes the inmates as well as their belongings, it is equivalent to ‘household.’

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Gaya (गय).—In the Ṛgveda Gaya is a proper name applied to a composer of hymns. In the Atharvaveda Gaya appears to be a wonder-worder or sorcerer along with Asita and Kaśyapa who later on transformed himself into Gayāsura. According to the Vāyu-purāṇa, the city was named Gaya after an Asura, Gaya by name (Gayāsura). Viṣṇu killed this demon but granted him a boon that this city would be held highly sacred.

The Mahābhārata (III.95 and VII.64) describes the performance of sacrifices by Gaya references to which are also found in the Rāmāyaṇa (Ayodhyākāṇḍa 107), Bhāgavata-purāṇa (V.15), Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa (chapter 34), Agni-purāṇa (chapter 107), Viṣṇu-purāṇa (IV.11), Vāmana-purāṇa (chapter 76), etc.

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions (hinduism)

Gayā (गया).—A famous holy place on the bank of the Phalgu River in the state of Bihar, where many pilgrims go to offer worship on behalf of their forefathers. The imprint of the lotus feet of the Lord are enshrined there, and it was there that Lord Caitanya met and was initiated by Isvara Purī. Lord Buddha attained here nirvāṇa. This is one of the four places in India where many pilgrims come to offer oblations to deparated ancestors.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Gaya - A pond in which people bathed, that their sins might be washed away (J.v.388f). Buddhaghosa says (MA.i.145) it was a circular pond in which was a bathing ghat (mandavapisanthanam tittham). But see below, Gaya (2).

2. Gaya - A town in India. It lay on the road between the Bodhi tree and Benares, and was three gavutas from the Bodhi tree and fifteen yojanas from Benares. (MA.i.387f; Fa Hien says the distance from the Bodhi tree to Gaya, was twenty li, or about 3 1/3 miles). It was between the Bodhimanda and Gaya that the Buddha, on his way to Isipatana, met Upaka (Vin.i.8).

The Buddha stayed at Gaya on several occasions: once at Gayasisa (Vin.i.34; S.iv.19; A.iv.302), and also near the Tankitamanca (Sn. p.47; S.i.207, etc.), the residence of Suciloma.

Buddhaghosa says that Gaya was the name given both to the village and a bathing ghat near to it (also called Gayapokkharani). Dhamma pala (UdA.74, 75; cp. SNA.i.301), on the other hand, speaks of a Gayanadi and a Gayapokkharani as being two distinct bathing ghats, both commonly called Gayatittha, and both considered to possess the power of washing away sins. People went there, offered sacrifices to the gods, recited the Vedas, and immersed themselves in the water.

Elsewhere (ThagA.i.388f, 418; Thag.v.287) it is stated that every year, in the earlier half of the month of Phagguna (March), people held a bathing festival at the bathing ghat at Gaya, the festival being called Gayaphagguni. It was at one of these festivals that Senaka Thera was converted by the Buddha. This explanation of Gayaphaggu is, perhaps, not quite correct, for, according to some, the river (Neranjara) which ran by Gaya was itself called Phaggu (Skt. Phaggu). E.g., Cunningham: AGI.524; Bothlinck and Roths Dict. s.v. Phalgu; Neumann (Majh. N. Trans.i.271) says that the village of Gaya itself was called Phaggu.

The town of Gaya is often called Brahmagaya to distinguish it from Buddhagaya (q.v.).

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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General definition (in Buddhism)

Gaya refers to one of the places visited by Dharmapāla during his tour of North India. Anāgārika Dharmapāla (born 1864) was a Ceylonese Buddhist who travelled across India and beyond, spreading Buddhism. According to Bhikkhu Sangharakshita in his Biographical Sketc, “he travelled as a pilgrim, not caring at all for comforts, mixing with the sanyasins, ascetics, Hindu pilgrims, and with passengers of the third and intermediate classes, eating at times the poorest food, sleeping at times in places where the poor sleep and gaining an insight into the characteristics of the poor classes, who are suffering from intense ignorance, superstition and poverty”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Buddhism

Gaya (गय).—Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita XII.87-88 (1st century A.D.) speaks of the Buddha’s visit to the hermitage called “the city of the royal sage Gaya”, who was later conceived as a great giant (see Vāyu-purāṇa chapter 105 ff.).

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions (buddhism)

Gaya, a city of Magadha, was north-west of the present Gayah (lat. 24d 47s N., lon. 85d 1s E). It was here that Sakyamuni lived for seven years, after quitting his family, until he attained to Buddhaship. The place is still frequented by pilgrims. E. H., p. 41.

Source: eBooks@Adelaide: A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms

India history and geogprahy

Gayā (गया) or Gayāviṣaya is a place name ending in viṣaya 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. Gayā is at present headquarters of the Gayā district, 60 miles due south of Patna. It comprises the modern town of Sahebganj on the northern side and the ancient town of Gayā on the southern side.

We can find evidence of the importance of Gayā growing in the period subsequent to A.D. 750. At Gayā while we have only one inscription belonging to the Gupta period, we get numerous inscriptions belonging to the Pāla period. Gayā which was the headquarters of Buddhist faith passed to the Hindus between the second and fourth centuries by A.D. 637 when Hiuen Tsang visited the city it had become a thriving centre of Hindu Brahmanical religion.

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Gayā (गया) is the name of an ancient locality 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).—In the Sutta Nipāta we are told that once the Buddha dwelt at Gayā. The Yakkha Suciloma, it is said, threatened to harm the Blessed One, if he could not answer his questions. The Buddha said, in repay to the questions asked, that all passions proceeded from the body.

Gayā comprises the modern town of Shahebganj on the northern side and the ancient town of Gayā on the southern side. Buddhagayā is six miles to the south of Gayā.

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism
India history book cover
context information

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

gaya (गय).—& compounds, gayagōḷā &c. See under gaī.

--- OR ---

gayā (गया).—f (S) The name of a city in Bahar, a place of pilgrimage.

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gāya (गाय).—f (gau S) A cow. Pr. gāyīnēṃ gāya phaḷata nāhīṃ One poor wretch cannot help another. 2 fig. A soft or mild man. 3 The name of a black sort of beetle. 4 See explained under pārī. 5 A small colocynth. Note. gāyī the plural is, with some, singular, A cow. gāya gōvaṇēṃ g. of s. To have given one's daughter into marriage in an objectionable place. gāya cikhalānta aḍakaṇēṃ g. of s. To be fixed fast in some difficulty, trouble, or adversity. gāya māya sārakhī Cow and mother are one (i. e. as respects their milk-giving or milk). gāya hōṇēṃ To become very humble or mild (as through misfortunes or sickness). gāyīcā khūra tikhaṭa God avenges the feeble. Answering to or to gāyīnēṃ māṇīka giḷaṇēṃ Used where a loss incurred is irreparable but through incurring a greater loss or perpetrating a sin. gāyī pāṇyāvara āṇaṇēṃ or yēṇēṃ To fall a blubbering. gāyīvāsarācī tāḍātōḍa karaṇēṃ To separate near relations or break up intimate connections. gāyīvāsarācī bhēṭa karaṇēṃ To bring together close relations or loving friends. gāyīsārakhā hambāraḍā phōḍaṇēṃ To bellow outrageously--a child &c.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gāya (गाय).—f A cow. Fig. A soft or mild man. The name of a black sort of beetle. gāya hōṇēṃ Become very humble or mild (as through misfortunes or sickness). gāyīsārakhā hambaraḍā phōḍaṇēṃ Bellow outrageous- ly. gāya gōvaṇēṃ To have given one's daughter into marriage in an objec- tionable place. gāya cikhalānta aḍakaṇēṃ To be fixed fast in some difficulty, trouble or adversity. gāyīcā khūra tikhaṭa God avenges the feeble. gāyīnēṃ māṇika giḷaṇēṃ Used where a loss incurred is irrepar- able but through incurring a greater loss or perpetrating a sin. gāyīvāsarācī tāḍātōḍa karaṇēṃ To separate near relations or break up intimate connections.

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

Gaya (गय).—

1) Name of the people living round Gayā and the district inhabited by them.

2) Name of an Asura.

3) Wealth.

4) House, household, family.

5) Offspring, progeny.

6) The sky.

7) One's own place or abode.

-yā Name of a city in Behar which is a place of pilgrimage.

Derivable forms: gayaḥ (गयः).

--- OR ---

Gāya (गाय).—[gai bhāve ghañ] Singing, a song; यथाविधानेन पठन् सामगायमविच्युतम् (yathāvidhānena paṭhan sāmagāyamavicyutam) Y.3.112; Bhāg.1.9.26.

Derivable forms: gāyaḥ (गायः).

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Gāya (गाय).—A song; यथाविधानेन पठन् सामगायमविच्युतम् (yathāvidhānena paṭhan sāmagāyamavicyutam) Y.3.112.

Derivable forms: gāyaḥ (गायः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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Relevant definitions

Search found 287 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Gayāśīrṣa (गयाशीर्ष).—m. (= Pali Gayāsīsa, Sanskrit Gayāśiras, Gaya°), n. of a mountain near Ga...
Aparagayā (अपरगया).—n. of a place, the other (further, or western) Gayā (query: = Buddha-gayā?)...
Gayātīrtha (गयातीर्थ).—The following story is told in the Agni Purāṇa about the origin of this ...
Buddhagayā (बुद्धगया).—Name of a sacred place of pilgrimage. Buddhagayā is a Sanskrit compound ...
Urugāya (उरुगाय).—a. 1) sung or praised by the great; Asvad.16. एष पन्था उरुगायः सुशेवः (eṣa pa...
Bodh Gaya
A city in Bihar state of India where prince Siddharta attained enlightenment.
Gaya Phaggu
One of the two Aggasavika of Narada Buddha. Bu. x. 24; J.i.37.
Gayāviṣaya (गयाविषय) or simply Gayā is a place name ending in viṣaya mentioned in the Gupt...
Gayāsura (गयासुर).—Had a stone over his head on which Brahmā performed sacrifices; Gaya p...
Ṣaḍgayā (षड्गया).—the sixfold gayā; गयागजो गयादित्यो गायत्री च गदाधरः । गया गयासुरश्चैव षड्गया ...
Allaci Gaya
allācī gāya (अल्लाची गाय).—f (gāya & A Because the cow under the slaughter-formula of the Muha...
Dharmaci Gaya
dharmācī gāya (धर्माची गाय).—f A charity-cow. Pr. dha0 dānta nā dāḍhā A charity-article or a gr...
allācī-gāya (अल्लाची-गाय).—f A term for a meek, in- offensive man.
ēkānēṃ-gāya-māralī-mhaṇūna-dusaṛyānēṃ-vāsarūṃ-mārūṃ-nayē (एकानें-गाय-मारली-म्हणून-दुसऱ्यानें-वा...
Bhundi Gaya
bhuṇḍī gāya (भुंडी गाय).—f A cow hornless or with crumpled or back-turned horns. 2 fig. A soft,...

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