Gaṇarājya

For the African country, see Ghana.
For other uses, see Gana (disambiguation).

The word Gaṇa (Devanagari: गण), in Sanskrit, means "flock, troop, multitude, number, tribe, series, class" (Monier Williams's dictionary). It can also be used to refer to a "body of attendants" and can refer to "a company, any assemblage or association of men formed for the attainment of the same aims".[1]

In Hinduism, the Gaṇas (Devanagari: गण) are attendants of Shiva and live in Kailasa. Ganesha was chosen as their leader by Shiva, hence Ganesha's title gaṇa-īśa or gaṇa-pati, "lord of the gaṇas".[2]

The word "gana" can also refer to councils or assemblies convened to discuss matters of religion or other topics.

As Shiva's attendants

In Hinduism, the gana or bhutagana are attendants of Shiva that reside in chthonic and liminal locations such as cemeteries and charnel grounds. The bhutagana also attend to Shiva on Mount Kailash. The story of creation of Virabhadra from the Shiva's lock and destruction of Daksha by Virabhadra and his ganas is a popular myth.

As assemblies

Many books of Sanskrit literature have used ganas and sanghas frequently. The famous Sanskrit scholar Pāṇini of 900 BCE has mentioned in his Sanskrit grammar known as Aṣṭādhyāyī in the form of shloka as जट झट संघाते or Jata Jhata Sanghate. This means that the terms 'Jata' and 'democratic federation' are synonymous.[3]

Pāṇini in his Sanskrit grammar used gana as:

संघोद्घौ गण प्रशंसयो Sanghoddhau gaṇa praśansayo

Narada smriti in Sanskrit mentions as:

It shows that the ganatantra (republic) system of rule was prevalent in India since ancient period.

In Shanti Parva

A detailed analysis of the GANAS obtains in chapter 108 of Shanti Parva in which Yudhisthira asks Bhisma about the ganas: how do they increase, how do they defend themselves from the dividing-policy of enemies, what are their techniques in conquering enemies and in making friends, how do they hide their secret mantras while in majority. Bhisma's answers to these questions have been recorded in the form of shlokas (verses) from 16 – 32 in Shanti Parva.,[3][4]

In Vedas

Ganas have been narrated in Vedas in the form of assemblies of warriors as is clear from the following sutras of Rigveda (RV 3-26-6):[3]

व्रातं व्रातं गणम् गणम् Vrātam Vrātam gaṇam gaṇam

Gana in brief means an assembly. Ganatantra (republic) means a state run by assemblies.

The representative members of clans were known as ganas and their assembly as sanghas, there chief as ganadhipati or Ganesha and Ganapati.

In Buddhist literature

The Buddhist literature Mahabagga mentions that:

गण पूरकोवा भविस्सामीति Gaṇa pūrkovā bhavissāmīti

It indicates that there was an officer who used to see the number of ganas and their koram in the Rajasabha (state assembly).[3]

During Buddhist period, the Buddhist books like ‘Pali-pitaka’, Majjhamnikaya, mahabagga, Avadana shataka have mentioned ganas and sanghas many times. During Buddhas period there were 116 republics or ganasanghas in India.

In Buddhist times, Gaṇas were assemblies of the Sanghas, early democratic republics known as Gaṇa-rājyas, literally "rule of the assembly", a term paralleling demo-kratia or soviet republic. The term was revived in Bhārata Gaṇarājya, the official name of the Republic of India.

See also

References

http://www.philhine.org.uk/writings/tt_gannas.html

GANAS: Hooligans of Heaven

External links

  • The Ganas: Hooligans of Heaven
  • Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.