Gada : club, one of the Ganesh attributes

Gaja : elephant; one finds this word in some compound names such as Gajanâna ("The Lord who has an elephant face"), one of the many Ganesh names, or Gaja-Lakshmî (Lakshmî with the elephants)

Gajavidala : an architectural motive which displays a lion subduing an elephant. It would be an allegory of the Hindu (lion) victory over Buddhism (elephant)

Gana : genies servant of Shiva, who form His army; minor deities, they are Shiva's mates, placed under the orders of Ganapati (Chief of the Gana). They dwell on mount Kailash (= Kailasa), the mountain of gods. There are many kinds of Gana categorized by groups; they are often represented dancing. One translates sometimes Gana by "Dwarfs" because their images on temple friezes and capitals display them as semi-human beings, small in size and endowed with a scarf body. In former times, people were highly afraid of them because one thought them able to create a lot of disorders, if not properly worshipped

Gânapatîya : a sect of exclusive god Ganesh worshippers, who consider Him as the Supreme Self, as Shiva. Indeed, they think that all gods are contained within Ganesh : His navel is Brahmâ, His face is Vishnu, His eyes are Rudra, His left side is Shakti and His right side Sûrya. This sect, a minor one indeed, has developed around year 1000 in the region which is presently the Mahârâshtra. Cult practices emphasize the tantric aspects of the devotion towards Ganesh forms associated to His Shakti. Even in the bosom of the Gânapatîya, there are six sects. Three of them may be differentiated by the worshipped specific Ganesh form : Mahâ Ganapati, Haridra Ganapati, Ucchista Ganapati. The three other follow the Vedic prescriptions and are called Navanîtha, Swarna and Santana

Gandharva : bright celestial beings, symbols of harmony and smell of perfumes. The Gandharva are represented as celestial musicians, partners of the Apsarâ

Ganesh : Elephant-headed God, Ganesh is a son of God Shiva and Goddess Pârvatî. He is the most familiar God, who is invoked before any beginning, any enterprise. He is the home Protector and a symbol of luck in any occasion. He must be prayed and worshipped before any other God

Ganesha Chaturthi : God Ganesh birthday, celebrated in august-september (the date is variable, since based on the lunar calendar). The Ganesha Chaturthi is an opportunity of many rejoicings and parades where the god statues are exhibited throughout the city among a biggest crowd. The most famous of these festivities occurs in Bombay (Mumbay)

Gangâ : the longest river in India (2700 km), having its origin in the Himalaya. Gangâ, the Ganges, is the most sacred river. Although very polluted, pilgrims would not miss to get their ritual ablutions in the Ganges waters, particularly in Varanasi. According to a well-known myth, Gangâ came down from Heavens to Earth, taking the path through the Shiva's hair (this Shiva form is called Gangadhara). Being a goddess, Gangâ is represented as a beautiful woman, standing on a makara

East Ganga : Dynasty from Orissa at the beginning of the first millenium. They were a branch of the Ganga who ruled the Mysore region from the 5th to the 11th century, before they were defeated by the Chola. The East Ganga established themselves in Orissa probably after the 9th century, but the exact date remains unknown. They have left wonderful temples in Bhubaneshvar (Lingaraja temple, etc., 10-11th centuries), Puri (Jagannath temple, 13th century), Konarak (Sûrya temple, 13th century). This dynasty lasted over the 15th century, despite the muslim invasions all along the 13th century

Garbhagriha : "matrix-house", the most sacred part of the sanctuary inside the temple (cella), where the deity of the temple is worshipped; it's a small room, often without any ornement, and only one entrance opening towards the mandapa (columned-hall which precedes the cella).

Garuda : the Vishnu animal-vehicle (vâhana). Garuda is a mythic bird with a human body and an eagle head. He has wings and powerful claws. He may also have a human face and an eagle body. He symbolizes esoteric teachings in the Veda. He is the ennemy of the Naga snakes

Gaurî : another name, which means "The Glittering", of Goddess Pârvatî, the spouse ( Shakti) of Shiva.

Ghat : Large stairs bordering river shores, or near a temple sacred pond, to make an easier access to people. Ghats are daily used by pilgrims who come to carry out their ritual ablutions to purify themselves. But other people come too, for instance to wash their clothes in the river. Varanasi ghats are very famous. The word Ghat designates also the steep slopes between the Dekkan Plateau and the plain areas in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra

Gomateshvara : also known as Bâhubali, this Jain saint is highly worshipped at Sravanabelgola (Karnataka), where a huge 17 meters high statue, 1000 years old, represents Him, standing naked. He is said to be son of Adinath, the first Awake Master among the 24 Tirthankara

Gopuram : (gopura) gateway of south indian temples, in the shape of a steep pyramid, ornamented in profusion with deity, monster and other character statues. The gopuram can reach 60 meters high in certain Tamil Nadu temples. Temples generally own four gopuram, one for each cardinal point; but when several successive enclosures have been erected at different periods, each enclosure can have its own gopuram, smaller and smaller from outside (the most recent) to inside (the most ancient)

Guna : according to hinduism, the Guna are "modalities of expression" of the nature. They are three in number :
Râjas : principle of action, considered as a positive energy
  Tamas : principle of inertia considered as a negative energy (not any moral meaning)
  Sattva : principle of harmony - balance between the two first principles.
Shri Aurobindo describes as follows the interaction between these three principles : "when these three powers of Prakriti are balanced, all things are resting, there is no any movement, neither action nor creation; therefore, there is nothing to reflect in the luminous immutable being of the Conscious Self. But when the balance has been modified, the three Guna ... are fighting and interact each other : then starts the inextricable and ceaseless confusion of creation, transformation"

Gupta : the Gupta dynasty lasted for about three centuries from 5th to 8th century A.D. It left notable remnants throughout several indian regions, sometimes very far from each other (Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh); however, they present an unquestionable cultural kinship. In particular, Ganesh representations show strong similarities in style

Gurjâra-Pratîhâra : in the beginnings, the Gurjâra were a Râjput tribe who had migrated from north-west. A local dynasty resulted, which took the name of Pratîhâra (therefore the compound name). They throve after the 7th century. Their capital was located in Ujjain first, then in Kanauj and, finally, in Gwalior circa year 1000

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