Definition - What does Gandharva mean?

In Hinduism and Buddhism, a gandharva is a celestial being, specifically a divine musician. They are associated with creativity, charm and sensuality. According to "Vishnu Purana," the gandharvas are sons of the god, Brahma. The most popular include Vishvavasu, Chitraratha and Tumvuru.

Gandharva also refers to a type of mental attribute associated with sattva, one of the three gunas. This trait manifests itself with the fondness for singing, dancing and poetry. A passion for perfume and women is also an attribute of gandharva.

Yogapedia explains Gandharva

Gandharvas are believed to possess amazing healing powers. According to the "Rig Veda," a gandharva was God's physician. Gandharvas are great entertainers with skills in music and singing. They are often depicted flying with the wings of a bird and/or with the legs of a horse.

One of the eight legitimate forms of Hindu marriage is called the Gandharva Marriage. It refers to the bodily union of a man and a woman before they are legally married. Though this type of union is not normally approved of in the moral sense, calling it a Gandharva Marriage legitimizes it and works to safeguard the woman's reputation and place in society.

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