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i.ared ;' Lambodara, 'pendant - bellied ;' Dwi - deha, 'doublebodied;' Vighnesa, Vighna-hari, 'remover of obstacles' A peculiar appellation is Dwai-matura,'having two mothers,' in allusion, it is said, to his birth from the scurf of ParvatI's body.
GAiVESA-GITA The Bhagavad-gita, but with the name of Ganesa substituted for that of Krishna It is used by the Ganapatyas or worshippers of Ganesa.
GA/VESA PURANA. An Ups Purana having especial reference to the glory and greatness of Gan&sa.
GANGA The sacred river Ganges . It is said to be mentioned only twice in the iftg-veda. The Puranas represent the Viyadganga, or heavenly Ganges, to flow from the toe of Vishnu, and to have been brought down from heaven, by the prayers of the saint Bhagiratha, to purify the ashes of the sixty thousand sons of King Sagara, who had been burnt by the angry glance of the sage Kapila. From this earthly parent the river is called Bhagirathi. Ganga was angry at being brought down from heaven, and Siva, to save the earth from the shock of her fall, caught the river on his brow, and checked its course with his matted locks. From this action he is called Ganga-dhara, 'upholder of the Ganges.' The river descended from Siva's brow in several streams, four according to some, and ten according to others, but the number generally accepted is seven, being the Sapta-sindhava, the seven sindhus or rivers. The Ganges proper is one of the number. The descent of the Ganges disturbed the sage Jahnu as he was performing a sacrifice, and in his anger he drank up the waters, but he relented and allowed the river to flow from his ear, hence the Ganges has the name of Jahnavi. Personified as a goddess, Ganga is the eldest daughter of Himavat and Mena, and her sister was Uma. She became the wife of King $intanu and bore a son, Bhishma; who is also known by the metronymic Gangeya. Being also, in a peculiar way, the mother of Kartikeya (q.v.), she is called Kumara-su. Gold, according to the Mahabharata, was borne by the goddess Ganga to Agni, by whom she had been impregnated. Other names and titles of the Ganges arc Bhadra-soma, GandinI, KiratI, Deva-bhuti,'produced in heaven;' Hara-sekhara,' crest of Siva;' Khapaga, 'flowing from heaven;' MandakinI, 'gently flowing ;' Tri-patha-ga or Tri-srotaA, 'triple flowing,' running in heaven, earth, and hell .
GANGA-DHABA A name of Siva. See Ganga.
GANGA-DWARA The gate of the Ganges. The opening in the Himalaya mountains through which the river descends into the plains, now known as Hardwar.
GANGA-SAGARA The mouth of the Ganges, a holy bathing-place sacred to Vishnu.
GANGEYA 1. A name of Bhishma, from his reputed mother, the river goddess Ganga. 2. Also of Karttikeya.
GARGA An ancient sage, and one of the oldest writers on astronomy. He was a son of Vitatha. The Vishnu Purana says, "From Garga sprang Sina (or Sini); from them were descended the Gargyas and iSainyas, Brahmans of Kshatriya race." The statement of the Bhagavata is, "From Garga sprang Sina; from them Gargya, who from a Kshatriya became a Brahman." There were many Gargas; one was a priest of Krishna and the Yadavas.
GARGAS, GARGYAS. Descendants of Garga, who, "although Kshatriyas by birth, became Brahmans and great Eishis."
GARGYA, GARGYA BALAKL Son of Baliiki. He was a Brahman, renowned as a teacher and as a grammarian, who dealt especially with etymology, and was well read in the Veda, but still submitted to receive instruction from the Kshatriya Ajata-satru.
GARUDA A mythical bird or vulture, half-man, half-bird, on which Vishnu rides. He is the king of birds, and descended from Kasyapa and Vinata, one of the daughters of Daksha. He is the great enemy of serpents, having inherited his hatred from his mother, who had quarrelled with her co-wife and superior, Kadru, the mother of serpents. His lustre was so brilliant that soon after his birth the gods mistook him for Agni and worshipped him. He is represented as having the head, wings, talons, and beak of an eagle, and the body and limbs of a man. His face is white, his wings red, and his body golden. He had a son named Sampati, and his wife was Unnati or Vinayaka. According to the Maha-bharata, his parents gave him liberty to devour bad men, but he was not to touch Brahmans. Once, however, he swallowed a Brahman and his wife, but the Brahman so burnt his throat that he was glad to disgorge them both.'
Graurfa is said to have stolen the Amrita from the gods in
order to purchase with it the freedom of his mother from Kadni. Indra discovered the theft and fought a fierce battle with Garurfa. The Amrita was recovered, but Indra was worsted in the fight, and his thunderbolt was smashed.
Garurfa has many names and epithets. From his parents he is called Kasyapi and Vainateya. He is the Suparna and the Garutman, or chief of birds. He is also called Dakshaya, Sulmalin, Tarkshya, and Vinayaka, and among his epithets are the following :—Sitanana, 'white faced ;' Rakta-paksha, 'red winged ;' .5>weta-rohita, 'the white and red ;' Suvarna-kaya, 'golden bodied ;' Gaganeswara, 'lord of the sky;' Khageswara, 'king of birds ;' Nagantaka, and Pannaga-nasana, 'destroyer of serpents ;' Sarparati, 'enemy of serpents ;' Taraswin, 'the swift;' Rasiiyana, 'who moves like quicksilver;' Kama-charin, 'who goes where he will;' Kamayus, 'who lives at pleasure;' Chirad, 'eating long;' Vishnu-ratha, 'vehicle of Vishnu ;' Amritaharana and Sudha-hara, 'stealer of the Amnta ;' Surendra-jit, 'vanquisher of Indra ;' Vajra-jit, 'subduer of the thunderbolt,' &c,
GARUDA PURAAA. The description given of this Purana is, "That which Vishnu recited in the Garurfa Kalpa, relating chiefly to the birth of G&mda from Vinata, is called the Garurfa Purana, and in it there are read 19,000 stanzas." The works bearing this name, which were examined by Wilson did not correspond in any respect with this description, and he considered it doubtful if a genuine Garurfa Purana is in existence.
GATHA A song, a verse. A religious verse, but one not taken from the Vedas. Verses interspersed in the Sanskrit Buddhist work called Lalita-vistara, which are composed in a dialect between the Sanskrit and the Prakrit, and have given their name to this the Gatha dialect. The Zend hymns of the Zoroastrians are also called Gathiis.
GATU. A singer, a Gandharva.
GAUDA, GATLftA The ancient name of Central Bengal; also the name of the capital of the country, the ruins of which city are still visible. The great northern nation of Brahmans. See Brahman.
GAUPAYANAS. Sons or descendants of Gopa. Four i?ishis, who were the authors of four remarkable hymns in the /?ig-veda. One of them, named Su-bandhu, was killed and
miraculously brought to life again. The hymns have been translated by Max Miiller in the Journal R A. S., vol . ii. 1866.
GAURL The 'yellow' or 'brilliant,' a name of the consort of Siva. (See Devil) Varuna's wife also is called Gauri.
GAUTAMA 1. A name of the sage iSaradwat, as son of Gotama. He was husband of Ahalya, who was seduced by Indra. This seduction has been explained mythologically as signifying the carrying away of night by the morning sun, Indra being the sun, and Ahalya being explained as meaning night. 2. Author of a Dharma-sastra, which has been edited by Stenzler. 3. A name common to many men.
GAUTAMESA 'Lord of Gautama.' Name of one of the twelve great Lingas. See Linga.
GAUTAML 1. An epithet of Durga. 2. Name of a fierce RakshasI or female demon.
GAYA A city in Bihar. It is one of the seven sacred cities, and is still a place of pilgrimage, though its glory has departed
GAYATRL A most sacred verse of the i?ig-veda, which it is the duty of every Brahman to repeat mentally in his morning and evening devotions. It is addressed to the sun as Savitri, the generator, and so it is called also Savitn. Personified as a goddess, Savitn' is the wife of Brahma, mother of the four Vedas, and also of the twice-born or three superior castes. Colebrooke's translation of the Gayatri is "Earth, sky, heaven. Let us meditate on (these, and on) the most excellent light and power of that generous, sportive, and resplendent sun, (praying that) it may guide our intellects." Wilson's version is, in his translation of the i?tg-veda, "We meditate on that desirable light of the divine Savitn who influences our pious rites." In the Vishnu Purana he had before given a somewhat different version, "We meditate on that excellent light of the divine sun: may he illuminate our minds." A later version by Benfey is, "May we receive the glorious brightness of this, the generator, of the god who shall prosper our works."
Wilson observes of it: "The commentators admit some variety of interpretation; but it probably meant, in its original use, a simple invocation of the sun to shed a benignant influence upon the customary offices of worship; and it is still employed by the unphilosophical Hindus with merely that signification. Later notions, and especially those of the Vedanta, have operated to
attach to the text an import it did not at first possess, and have converted it into a mystical propitiation of the spiritual origin and essence of existence, or Brahma." It is considered so holy that copyists often refrain from transcribing it .
The name given to iSata-rupa (q.v.), Brahma's female half, daughter, and consort, as " the declarer of sacred knowledge." It is also applied to the consort of Siva in the Hari-vansa.
GHATA-KARPARA A poet, who was one of the "nine gems" of the court of Vikramaditya. There is a short artificial poem, descriptive of the rainy season, bearing this name, which has been translated into German by Dursch. The words mean 'potsherds,' and form probably an assumed literary name.
GHAJ'OTKACHA A son of Bhima by the RakshasI Hufonba. He was killed in the great battle by Karna with the fatal lance that warrior had obtained from Indra.
GHOSHA It is said in the Vedas that the Aswins "bestowed a husband upon Ghosha growing old," and the explanatory legend is that she was a daughter of Kakshivat, but being a leper, was incapable of marriage. When she was advanced in years the Aswins gave her health, youth, and beauty, so that she obtained a husband.
GHi?/TACHL An Apsaras or celestial nymph . She had many amours with great sages and mortal men. She was mother of ten sons by Raudraswa or Kiisa-nabha, a descendant of Puru, and the Brahma Vaivartta Purana attributes the origin of some of the mixed castes to her issue by the sage Viswa-karman. The Hari-vansa asserts that she had ten daughters as well as ten sons by Raudraswa. Another legend represents her as mother by Kusa-nabha of a hundred daughters, whom Vayu wished to accompany him to the sky. They refused, and in his rage he cursed them to become deformed; but they recovered their natural shape and beauty, and were married to Brahma-datta, king of Kampala.
GIRI-JA 'Mountain born.' A name of Parvatl or Devi. See Devi.
GIRI-VRAJA A royal city in Magadha, identified with Raja-griha in Bihar.
GITA The Bhagavad-gita (q.v.).
GlTA-GOVINDA A lyrical poem by Jaya-deva on the early life of Krishna as Govinda the cowherd. It is an erotic