The Joyous Meditation Teachings of Lorin Roche


Gandharva - Soma Guard, a singer


I always thought the Gandharvas were just celestial musicians! There is a whole cycle of myth here in just this one word.
tad asāratayā devi vijñeyaṃ śakrajālavat |
māyāsvapnopamaṃ caiva
gandharvanagarabhramam || 9 ||

gandharva
gandharvá [p= 346,1] [L=63278]
a gandharva [though in later times the gandharvas are regarded as a class , yet in RV. rarely more than one is mentioned ; he is designated as the heavenly gandharva (divyá g° RV. ix , 86 , 36 and x , 139 , 5), and is also called viśvā-vasu ( RV. x , 85 , 21 and 22 ; 139 , 4 and 5) and vāyu-keśa (in pl. RV. iii , 38 , 6) ; his habitation is the sky , or the region of the air and the heavenly waters ( RV. i , 22 , 14 ; viii , 77 , 5 ; ix , 85 , 12 ; 86 , 36 ; x , 10 , 4 AV. ii , 2 , 3) ; his especial duty is to guard the heavenly soma ( RV. ix , 83 , 4 and 85 , 12) , which the gods obtain through his intervention ( RV. AV. vii , 73 , 3 ; cf. RV. i , 22 , 14) ; it is obtained for the human race by indra , who conquers the gandharva and takes it by force ( RV. viii , 1 , 11 and 77 , 5) ; 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 ( RV. ix , 86 , 36) 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 (i , 163 , 2 ; x , 177 , 2 ; cf. 135 , 5) ; he knows and makes known the secrets of heaven and divine truths generally (x , 139 , 5 and 6 AV. ii , 1 , 2 ; xx , 128 , 3 VS. xi , 1 ; xxxii , 9) ; he is the parent of the first pair of human beings , yama and yamī ( RV. x , 10 , 4) , and has a peculiar mystical power over women and a right to possess them ( RV. x , 85 , 21 and 22 ; 40 and 41) ; for this reason he is invoked in marriage ceremonies ( AV. xiv , 2 , 35 and 36) ; ecstatic states of mind and possession by evil spirits are supposed to be derived from the heavenly gandharva (cf. -ghīta , -graha) ; the gandharvas as a class have the same characteristic features as the one gandharva ; they live in the sky ( RV. AV. S3Br. xiv) , guard the soma ( RV. ix , 113 , 3 S3Br. iii AitBr. i , 27), are governed by varua (just as the āpsarasas are governed by soma) S3Br. xiii A1s3vS3r. x , 7 , 3, know the best medicines ( AV. viii , 7 , 23 VS. xii , 98), regulate the course of the asterisms ( AV. xiii , 1 , 23 BhP. iv , 29 , 21 ; hence twenty-seven are mentioned VS. ix , 7), follow after women and are desirous of intercourse with them ( AV. S3Br. iii) ; as soon as a girl becomes marriageable , she belongs to soma , the gandharvas , and agni ( Gr2ihya1s. ii , 19 f. Pan5cat. Sus3r. ) ; the wives of the gandharvas are the āpsarasas (cf. gandharvā*psarás) , and like them the gandharvas are invoked in gambling with dice ( AV. vii , 109 , 5) ; they are also feared as evil beings together with the rākasas , kimīdins , piśācas , &c , amulets being worn as a protection against them ( AV. Sus3r. ) ; they are said to have revealed the vedas to vāc ( S3Br. iii ; cf. Pa1rGr2. ii , 12 , 2), and are called the preceptors of the ṛṣis ( S3Br. xi) ; purūravas is called among them (ib.) ; in epic poetry the gandharvas are the celestial musicians or heavenly singers (cf. RV. x , 177 , 2) who form the orchestra at the banquets of the gods , and they belong together with the āpsarasas to indra's heaven , sharing also in his battles ( Ya1jn5. i , 71 MBh. Hariv. &c ; cf. RTL. p.238) ; in the more systematic mythology the gandharvas constitute one of the classes into which the higher creation is divided (i.e. gods , manes , gandharvas AV. xi , 5 , 2 ; or gods , asuras , gandharvas , men TS. vii , 8 , 25 , 2 ; cf. S3Br. x ; or gods , men , gandharvas , āpsarasas , sarpas , and manes AitBr. iii , 31 , 5 ; for other enumerations cf. Nir. iii , 8 Mn. i , 37 [ RTL. p.237] & iii , 196;vii , 23 ; xii , 47 Nal. &c ) ; divine and human gandharvas are distinguished ( TUp. ii , 8 ; the divine or deva-gandharvas are enumerated MBh. i , 2550 ff. and 4810 ff.) ; another passage names 11 classes of gandharvas ( TA1r. i , 9 , 3) ; the chief or leader of the gandharvas is named citra-ratha ( Bhag. x , 26) ; they are called the creatures of prajāpati ( Mn. i , 37) or of brahmā ( Hariv. 11793) or of kaśyapa (11850) or of the munis ( MBh. i , 2550 Hariv. 11553) or of prādhā ( MBh. i , 2556) or of ariṣṭā ( Hariv. 234 VP. i , 21) or of vāc ( PadmaP. ) ; with jainas the gandharvas constitute one of the eight classes of the vyantaras]
346,1] [L=63279]
of the attendant of the 17th arhat of the present avasarpiī L.
346,1] [L=63280]
VarBr2S. lxxxvii , 33 BhP. i , 11 , 21
346,1] [L=63281]
L.
346,1] [L=63282]
Mahi1dh. on VS. xxxii , 9
346,1] [L=63283]
MBh. iii , 11762
346,1] [L=63284]
ii , 1043
346,1] [L=63285]
gandha) L.
346,2] [L=63286]
L.
346,2] [L=63287]
of the 14th kalpa or period of the world Va1yuP. i , 21 , 30
346,2] [L=63288]
muhūrta Su1ryapr.
346,2] [L=63289]
svara or tone (for gāndhāra?) Hariv. ii , 120 , 4
gandharvá [p= 346,2] [L=63290]
the gandharvas (» above )
gandharvá [p= 346,2] [L=63291]
N. of a people (named together with the gāndhāras) R. vii , 100 , 10 f. and 101 , 2 ff. and 11 VarBr2S. xiv , 31
gandharvā [p= 346,2] [L=63292]
durgā Hariv. ii , 120 , 4 (v.l. gāndharvī)
gandharvī́ [p= 346,2] [L=63293]
gandharvī (daughter of surabhi and mother of the race of horses MBh. i , 2631 f. R. iii , 20 , 28 f. Va1yuP. ) RV. x , 11 , 2 R.
gandharvá [p= 346,2] [L=63294]
night BhP. iv , 29 , 21
gandharvá [p= 346,2] [L=63295]
cf. Gk. κένταυρος fr. κενθαρϝο-ς.])
gandharva [p= 1326,1] [L=330020]
comp.)
(H1) m.
[p= N.
[p= a singer
[p= the Koil or black cuckoo
[p= a sage , pious man
[p= a horse
[p= cf.
[p= the musk deer (derived fr.
[p= the soul after death and previous to its being born again (corresponding in some respects to the western notion of a ghost)
[p= N.
[p= of the 21st
[p= of a
(H1B) m. pl.
(H1B) m.
(H1B) f.
(H1B) f.
(H1B) m.
(H1B) ([
(H2) (in


gandharvanagara
gandharvá--nagara [p= 346,2] [L=63303]
" gandharva-city " , an imaginary town in the sky MBh. ii , 1043 Hariv. R. v &c
346,2] [L=63304]
Morgana Pa1n2. 4-1 , 3 Ka1r. VarBr2S. xxx
346,2] [L=63305]
BhP. v , 14 , 5 Ka1d.
346,2] [L=63306]
gandharva people R. vii.
(H3) n.
[p= Fata
[p= xxxvi , 4
[p= the city of the




gandharvagraha
gandharvá--graha [p= 346,2] [L=63299]
the being possessed by a gandharva Sus3r. vi , 60 , 8.
(H3) m.



gandharvadattā
gandharvá--dattā [p= 346,2] [L=63302]
N. of a daughter of the gandharva prince sāgara-datta , cvi , 9.
(H3) f.