Gajasura (elephant demon) is the name used to refer to demon Nila when he took the form of an elephant and attacked Shiva. He was destroyed by Ganapati.
Gajasurasamhara ("The Slayer of the elephant demon"), also Gajasamhara, Gajantaka and Gajaha (all three lit. "the Slayer of the elephant") and Matangari ("The Enemy of the elephant"), is a fierce aspect of the Hindu god Shiva as the Destroyer of the elephant demon, Gajasura. The icon is popular in Pallava and Chola art, which portray him dancing vigorously in the flayed elephant hide of Gajasura.
The chief temple of Gajasurasamhara is at Valuvur (Vazhuvur), Tamil Nadu, where the chief icon is an eight-armed bronze Gajasurasamhara. Valuvur is one of the Atta-virattam temples, the eight sites of the heroic acts of Shiva.
Dhritarashtra's wife and queen mother of the Kauravas. Gandhari is a character in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. In the epic, she was an incarnation of Mati, the Goddess of Intelligence, as the daughter of Subala, the king of Gandhara, or the modern Kandahar(a region spanning northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan) from which her name is derived. Gandhari is also known as Gandhararajaduhita, Saubaleyi, Saubali, Subalaja, Subalaputri, Subalatmaja in the Mahabharata. Gandhari's marriage was arranged to Dhritarashtra, the eldest prince of the Kuru kingdom, a region in Delhi and Haryana region.
Gandhari voluntarily blindfolded herself throughout her married life. Her husband Dhritarashtra was born blind and on realizing this, she decided to share the pain of her blind husband. Gandhari, after an unusually long period of pregnancy, bore a hundred sons(collectively known as the Kauravas) and one daughter Dushala, who married Jayadratha. The Kauravas, principally Duryodhana, were the villains of the Mahabharata. When the first son, Duryodhana, was born, he began braying like a jackal and evil omens appeared during his birth year. Kripacharya and Vidura counseled the king and queen to kill the baby, but they refused.
Gandhari made a single exception to her blindfolded state, when she removed her blindfold to see her eldest son Duryodhana. She poured all her power into that one glance, rendering Duryodhana's entire body, except his loins as strong as iron. Krishna foiled Gandhari's plan by meeting Duryodhana and asking him to cover up his privates before meeting his mother. On their decisive encounter on the eighteenth day of the Kurukshetra battle, Bhima smashed Duryodhana's thighs, a move both literally and figuratively below the belt.
All of Gandhari's sons were killed in the war against their cousins, the Pandavas, at Kurukshetra, specifically at the hands of Bhima. Upon hearing the news, it is said that through a small gap in the blindfold, her gaze fell on Yudhisthira's toe. His clean toe was charred black due to her wrath and power. Her wrath extinguished, she embraced the Pandavas and consoled them for their losses.
Gandhari's anguish in the loss of her hundred sons, resulted in her cursing Krishna, in effect ensuring the destruction of the Yadavas.
A class of celestial beings regarded as specialists in music. Gandharva is a name used for distinct heavenly beings in Hinduism and Buddhism; it is also a term for skilled singers in Indian classical music.
Arjuna's most potent bow. Gandiva (IAST: Gāṇḍīva) is the bow of Arjuna, the hero of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The bow was created by Brahma, the Creator of universe, the supreme God in Hindu theology. Brahma held it first for a thousand years, then Prajapati held it for five hundred and three years, Indra, for five hundred and eighty years, and Soma for five hundred years. After that Varuna held it for a hundred years before handing it to Arjuna along with a Kapi/ Hanuman bannered chariot, and two inexhaustible quivers, as requested by Agni during the Khandava-daha Parva. The bow was decorated with hundreds of gold bosses, and had radiant ends. The bow was worshiped by Devas, Gandharvas and Danavas. Arjuna used it in Kurukshetra war and he was invincible. No ordinary person could wield the Gandiva bow. When fired, the bow made the sound of thunder. It has special qualities like being indestructible, having 100 bow strings, etc. Which always gave the wielder a heavy advantage over his opponent. After the war, in Svargarohanika Parva, Agni reappears before Arjuna and asks him to return Gandiva along with the quivers to Varuna.
Ganesh Chaturthi is an occasion or a day on which Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, makes his presence on earth for all his devotees. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi.
Ganesha Chaturthi (Gaṇēśa Caturthī or Vināyaka Caviti) is the Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the god Ganesha, the elephant-headed, remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings and wisdom. The festival, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between August and September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).
The modern festival involves installing clay images of Ganesha in public pandals (temporary shrines), which are worshipped for ten days with different variety of herbal leaves, plants. These are immersed at the end of the festival in a body of water such as a lake, along with the Idol. After adding herbal and medicated plants and leaves(patri) in lakes, the water in the lake becomes purified. This was in practice because, in early days people used to drink lake water, and to protect people from infections and viral diseases especially in this season, this tradition was introduced. Some Hindus also install the clay images of Ganesha in their homes. It is believed that Ganesha bestows his presence on earth for all his devotees during this festival. The festival was celebrated as a public event since the days of Shivaji (1630–1680). However, the public festival as celebrated in Maharashtra today, was introduced by Bhausaheb Laxman Javale in 1892 by installing first Sarvajanik (Public) Ganesh idol- Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati, Bhudwar Peth. 1st meeting regarding starting the Sarvajanik Ganesh utsav took place under the leadership of Bhausaheb Laxman Javale at his residence (Bhudwar Peth) now known as Bhau Rangari Bhavan. In 1893 Lokmany Tilak praised the concept of Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav in Kesari Newspaper. In 1894 Nationalist Leader Lokmany Tilak installed Ganesh idol in Kesari wada too and started preaching Ganesh Utsav Lokmanya Tilak (1856-1920).
While celebrated all over India, it is grandest and most elaborate of them especially in Maharastra, Karnataka and Telangana which lasts for 10 days, ending on the day Anant Chaturdashi. And in other parts of Western India and Southern India it is celebrated. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Terai region of Nepal and by Hindus in the United States, Canada, Mauritius, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Fiji, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago, and Guyana.
Lord of the territory, The fulfiller of desire, the god of merchants, Second son of Shiva and Pārvati. Amanuensis of Vyasa who agreed to write down without pause or hesitation the story of the Mahabharata dictated by Vyasa.
Ganesha (Sanskrit: Gaṇeśa), also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists.
Although he is known by many attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him easy to identify. Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies. Ganesha is also invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits and explain his distinct iconography.
Ganesha emerged as a distinct deity in the 4th and 5th centuries CE, during the Gupta Period, although he inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. He was formally included among the five primary deities of Smartism (a Hindu denomination) in the 9th century. A sect of devotees called the Ganapatya arose, who identified Ganesha as the supreme deity. The principal scriptures dedicated to Ganesha are the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana, and the Ganapati Atharvashirsa.
A place where sage Agastya and his wife performed penance.
A holy river in Northern India, believed to be a goddess by Hindus (see Ganges in Hinduism), Equivalent Ganges, The story of the birth of the Ganges was told to Rama and Laxmana by Vishvamitra.
The Ganges (GANG-geez, also Ganga (Hindustani pronunciation: GUNG-ga), is a trans-boundary river of Asia which flows through the nations of India and Bangladesh. The 2,525 km (1,569 mi) river rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of North India into Bangladesh, where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. It is the third largest river by discharge.
The Ganga is the most sacred river to Hindus. It is also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. It is worshipped as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism. It has also been important historically, with many former provincial or imperial capitals (such as Pataliputra, Kannauj, Kara, Kashi, Allahabad, Murshidabad, Munger, Baharampur, Kampilya, and Kolkata) located on its banks.
The Ganges was ranked as the fifth most polluted river of the world in 2007. Pollution threatens not only humans, but also more than 140 fish species, 90 amphibian species and the endangered Ganges river dolphin. The Ganga Action Plan, an environmental initiative to clean up the river, has been a major failure thus far, due to corruption, lack of technical expertise, poor environmental planning, and lack of support from religious authorities.
The name "Ganges", ending in "-es", came to English via Latin from Ancient Greek sources, particularly from accounts of Alexander the Great's wars, which entered India.
The Garuda is a large bird-like creature, or humanoid bird that appears in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Garuda is the mount (vahana) of the Lord Vishnu. Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila. The brahminy kite and phoenix are considered to be the contemporary representations of garuda. Indonesia adopts a more stylistic approach to the Garuda's depiction as its national symbol, where it depicts a Javanese eagle (being much larger than a kite).
A position used for greeting, with the palms together and fingers pointing upwards in prayer position; used in various Buddhist traditions, but also used in numerous cultures throughout Asia. It expresses greeting, request, thankfulness, reverence and prayer. Also considered a mudra or inkei of Japanese Shingon.
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.
Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni, or simply the Buddha, was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in eastern India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE.
The word Buddha means "awakened one" or "the enlightened one". "Buddha" is also used as a title for the first awakened being in a Yuga era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautama is regarded as the Supreme Buddha (Pali sammāsambuddha, Sanskrit samyaksaṃbuddha) of our age. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region. He later taught throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala.
Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.
Example via www.mindpodnetwork.com: Siddhartha: Everything is Necessary
Equivalent, herd-boys. Gavli is a pastoral community found in the states of Goa and Maharashtra in India. The word Gavli means a milkmen or herdsmen in the Marathi and Konkani language, and refers to a number of communities that practice, or at one time practiced pastoralism in western India.
A revered mantra in Hinduism, found in the Yajur Veda. Gayatri (Sanskrit gāyatrī) is the feminine form of gāyatra, a Sanskrit word for a song or a hymn, having a Vedic meter of three padas or lines of 8 syllables. In particular it refers to the Gayatri Mantra and the goddess Gāyatrī as that mantra personified.
A Tibetan Buddhist academic degree for monks and nuns in the Gelug tradition, awarded at the conclusion of lengthy studies often lasting nine years or more. The degree is emphasized primarily by the Gelug lineage, but is also awarded in the Sakya and Bön traditions.
Example via www.ramdass.org: Thupten Jinpa and “A Fearless Heart”
Son of Bhima from demoness Hidimba. Ghatotkacha (Sanskrit: Ghaṭōtkaca "Bald Pot"), is a character in the Mahabharata, which is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana.
Ghatotkacha is the son of Bhima and the giantess Hidimbi (sister of Hidimba). His maternal parentage made him half-rakshasa and gave him many magical powers such as the ability to fly that made him an important fighter in the Kurukshetra war, the climax of the epic. He got his name from his head, which was hairless (utkaca) and shaped like a ghatam.
A Wealthy city in Kekaya Kingdom also called Rajagriha.
"Public case", A meditative method developed in the Chán/Seon/Zen traditions, generally consisting of a problem that defies solution by means of rational thought.
Name of Krishna indicating his origin as a god of flocks and herds.
Gopi is a word of Sanskrit origin meaning 'cow-herd girls'. Gopi is a word of Sanskrit (गोपी) origin meaning 'cow-herd girl'. In Hinduism specifically the name gopi (sometimes gopika) is used more commonly to refer to the group of cow herding girls famous within Vaishnava Theology for their unconditional devotion (Bhakti) to Krishna as described in the stories of Bhagavata Purana and other Puranic literatures. Of this group, one gopi known as Radha (or Radhika) holds a place of particularly high reverence and importance in a number of religious traditions, especially within Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Govardhan is a hill located near the town of Vrindavan in India. Govardhan or Goverdhan is a key pilgrimage centre in India and a municipal town; a nagar panchayat ; seat of a MLA Member of legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh; a Tehsil, in Mathura district in the India in state of Uttar Pradesh.
One of the epithets of Sri Krishna and Vishnu; it means a cow-keeper and refers to Krishna's occupation in Gokula, the colony of cowherds. Gōviṃda and Gopāla (also known as Govind and Gopal) are the names of Vishnu which mean Cowherd and Protector of Cows. These names are also popularly addressed to Krishna, referring to his youthful activity as a cowherd. This name appears as the 187th and the 539th name of Lord Vishnu in Vishnu Sahasranama. Lord Vishnu or his complete incarnation Krishna are regarded as the Supreme God in the Vaishnava tradition and also by much of the pan-Hindu tradition.
Gopala Krishna of Krishnaism is often contrasted with Vedism when Krishna asks his followers to desist from Vedic demigod worship such as Indra worship. Thus the character of Gopala Krishna is often considered to be non-Vedic in one interpretation, while it can also be based on the popular understanding or rather misunderstanding of the Rig Vedic texts.
According to Klaus Klostermaier, Kumar Gopijanavallabha, Krishna the lover of the Gopis, is the latest stage in the historical process resulting in contemporary Krishnaism, being added to the worship of Bala Krishna (the Divine Child Krishna), and the original cult of Krishna-Vasudeva which may date back to several centuries before the Common Era.
The second of the four phases (Purushartha) of a man, when a person gets married and settles down in life and begets children. Grihastha (Sanskrit: gr̥hastha) literally means "being in and occupied with home, family" or "householder". It refers to the second phase of an individual's life in a four age-based stages of the Hindu ashram system. It follows Brahmacharya (bachelor student) life stage, and embodies a married life, with the duties of maintaining a home, raising a family, educating one's children, and leading a family-centred and a dharmic social life.
This stage of Ashrama is conceptually followed by Vanaprastha (forest dweller, retired) and Sannyasa (renunciation). Combined with other three life stages, Hindu philosophy considers these stages as a facet of Dharma concept, something essential to completing the full development of a human being and fulfilling all the needs of the individual and society.
Ancient and medieval era texts of Hinduism consider Grihastha stage as the most important of all stages in sociological context, as human beings in this stage not only pursue a virtuous life, they produce food and wealth that sustains people in other stages of life, as well as the offsprings that continues mankind. The householder stage is also considered in Indian philosophy as one where the most intense physical, sexual, emotional, occupational, social and material attachments exist in a human being's life.
In Indian traditions, Grihastha stage of life is a recommendation, but not a requirement. Any Brahmacharya may, if he or she wants, skip householder and retirement stage, go straight to Sannyasa stage of life, thereby renouncing worldly and materialistic pursuits and dedicating their lives to spiritual pursuits.
The bodhisattva of compassion in East Asian Buddhism, with full name being Guan Shi Yin. Guan Yin is considered to be the female form of Avalokiteshvara but has been given many more distinctive characteristics. Guanyin is an East Asian deity of mercy, and a bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by Mahayana Buddhists. The name Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin, which means "Perceiving the Sounds (or Cries) of the World". She is also sometimes referred to as Guanyin Bodhisattva. Some Buddhists believe that when one of their adherents departs from this world, they are placed by Guanyin in the heart of a lotus, and then sent to the western pure land of Sukhāvatī.
It is generally accepted among East Asian adherents that Guanyin originated as the Sanskrit Avalokiteśvara. Commonly known in English as the Mercy Goddess or Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin is also revered by Taoists as an immortal. In Chinese folk religion there are mythical accounts about Guanyin's origins that are not associated with the Avalokiteśvara described in Buddhist sutras.
King of Nishādha. Guha is an Indian family name and surname found predominantly amongst Bengali Hindus. It is also another name for the Hindu deity Kartikeya.
Guhas belong to Kayastha caste in Bengal. The Bengali Kayasthas evolved as a caste from a category of officials or scribes, between the 5th/6th century AD and 11th/12th century AD, its component elements being putative Kshatriyas and mostly Brahmins. Guhas are also considered among Bangaja Kayasthas as Kulin along with Boses, Mitras and Ghoshes. Among Dakshin Rahri Kayasthas Guhas belong to Maulika Kayastha community.
A liberated being who serves as a doorway to God. Revered preceptor, A spiritual teacher. In contemporary India, the title and term "Guru" is widely used within the general meaning of "wise man". Guru (Devanagari) is a Sanskrit term for "teacher" or "master", particularly in Indian religions. The Hindu guru-shishya tradition is the oral tradition or religious doctrine or experiential wisdom transmitted from teacher to student. In the United States, the word guru is a newer term, most often used to describe a teacher from the Hindu tradition. In the West some derogatory interpretations of the word have been noted, reflecting certain gurus who have allegedly exploited their followers' naiveté, due to the use of the term in certain new religious movements.
Example via www.ramdass.org: God = Guru = Self
The day of full moon, Purnima, in the month of Ashadh of the Hindu calendar is traditionally celebrated by Hindus as Guru Pūrṇimā. On this day, devotees offer puja (worship) to their Guru.
Guru Purnima (IAST: Guru Pūrṇimā) is an Indian festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. This festival is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, to pay their respects to their teachers and express their gratitude. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Ashadh (June–July) of the Shaka Samvat, which is the Indian national calendar and the Hindu calendar.