gandharva गन्धर्व

Definition: m. a gandharva- [though in later times the gandharva-s are regarded as a class, yet in rarely more than one is mentioned;he is designated as the heavenly gandharva-(divy/a g- ),and is also called viśvā-vasu-()and vāyu-keśa- (in plural );his habitation is the sky, or the region of the air and the heavenly waters( );his especial duty is to guard the heavenly soma-() , which the gods obtain through his intervention( ; see );it is obtained for the human race by indra-, who conquers the gandharva- and takes it by force();the heavenly gandharva- is supposed to be a good physician, because the soma- is considered as the best medicine;possibly, however, the word soma- originally denoted not the beverage so called, but the moon, and the heavenly gandharva- may have been the genius or tutelary deity of the moon;in one passage() the heavenly gandharva- and the soma- are identified;he is also regarded as one of the genii who regulate the course of the Sun's horses (; see );he knows and makes known the secrets of heaven and divine truths generally ( );he is the parent of the first pair of human beings, yama- and yamī-() , and has a peculiar mystical power over women and a right to possess them();for this reason he is invoked in marriage ceremonies();ecstatic states of mind and possession by evil spirits are supposed to be derived from the heavenly gandharva-(see -gṛhīta-, -graha-);the gandharva-s as a class have the same characteristic features as the one gandharva-;they live in the sky( ) , guard the soma-( ),are governed by varuṇa- (just as the āpsarasa-s are governed by soma-) ,know the best medicines( ),regulate the course of the asterisms( ;hence twenty-seven are mentioned ),follow after women and are desirous of intercourse with them( );as soon as a girl becomes marriageable, she belongs to soma-, the gandharva-s, and agni-( );the wives of the gandharva-s are the āpsarasa-s(see gandharvāpsar/as-),and like them the gandharva-s are invoked in gambling with dice();they are also feared as evil beings together with the rākṣasa-s, kimīdin-s, piśāca-s, etc., amulets being worn as a protection against them( );they are said to have revealed the veda-s to vāc-(; see ),and are called the preceptors of the ṛṣi-s(); purūravas- is called among them();in epic poetry the gandharva-s are the celestial musicians or heavenly singers(see )who form the orchestra at the banquets of the gods, and they belong together with the āpsarasa-s to indra-'s heaven, sharing also in his battles( etc.; see );in the more systematic mythology the gandharva-s constitute one of the classes into which the higher creation is divided(id est gods, manes, gandharva-s ;or gods, asura-s, gandharva-s, men ; see ;or gods, men, gandharva-s, āpsarasa-s, sarpa-s, and manes ;for other enumerations see [ ] etc.);divine and human gandharva-s are distinguished(;the divine or deva-gandharva-s are enumerated );another passage names 11 classes of gandharva-s();the chief or leader of the gandharva-s is named citra-ratha-();they are called the creatures of prajāpati-() or of brahmā-() or of kaśyapa- () or of the muni-s( ) or of prādhā-() or of ariṣṭā-( )or of vāc-();with jaina-s the gandharva-s constitute one of the eight classes of the vyantara-s]


Dictionary: Monier-Williams
Literary Sources: RV., RV. ix , 86 , 36 and x , 139 , 5, RV. x , 85 , 21 and 22 ; 139 , 4 and 5, RV. iii , 38 , 6, RV. i , 22 , 14 ; viii , 77 , 5 ; ix , 85 , 12 ; 86 , 36 ; x , 10 , 4, AV. ii , 2 , 3, RV. ix , 83 , 4 and 85 , 12, RV., AV. vii , 73 , 3, RV. i , 22 , 14, RV. viii , 1 , 11 and 77 , 5, RV. ix , 86 , 36, i , 163 , 2 ; x , 177 , 2, 135 , 5, x , 139 , 5 and 6, AV. ii , 1 , 2 ; xx , 128 , 3, VS. xi , 1 ; xxxii , 9, RV. x , 10 , 4, RV. x , 85 , 21 and 22 ; 40 and 41, AV. xiv , 2 , 35 and 36, RV., AV., S3Br. xiv, RV. ix , 113 , 3, S3Br. iii, AitBr. i , 27, S3Br. xiii, A1s3vS3r. x , 7 , 3, AV. viii , 7 , 23, VS. xii , 98, AV. xiii , 1 , 23, BhP. iv , 29 , 21, VS. ix , 7, AV., S3Br. iii, Gr2ihya1s. ii , 19 f., Pan5cat., Sus3r., AV. vii , 109 , 5, AV., Sus3r., S3Br. iii, Pa1rGr2. ii , 12 , 2, S3Br. xi, ib., RV. x , 177 , 2, Ya1jn5. i , 71, MBh., Hariv., RTL. p.238, AV. xi , 5 , 2, TS. vii , 8 , 25 , 2, S3Br. x, AitBr. iii , 31 , 5, Nir. iii , 8, Mn. i , 37, RTL. p.237, iii , 196;vii , 23 ; xii , 47, Nal., TUp. ii , 8, MBh. i , 2550 ff. and 4810 ff., TA1r. i , 9 , 3, Bhag. x , 26, Mn. i , 37, Hariv. 11793, 11850, MBh. i , 2550, Hariv. 11553, MBh. i , 2556, Hariv. 234, VP. i , 21, PadmaP.
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