Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism

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Subject: Asian Studies

Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen (Editor-in-Chief), University of Bergen, and Helene Basu, University of Münster, Angelika Malinar, University of Zürich, Vasudha Narayanan, University of Florida (Associate Editors)

Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism presents the latest research on all the main aspects of the Hindu traditions. Its essays are original work written by the world’s foremost scholars on Hinduism. The encyclopedia presents a balanced and even-handed view of Hinduism, recognizing the divergent perspectives and methods in the academic study of a religion that is both an ancient historical tradition and a flourishing tradition today. The encyclopedia embraces the greatest possible diversity, plurality, and heterogeneity, thus emphasizing that Hinduism encompasses a variety of regional traditions as well as a global world religion. Presenting all essays and research from the heralded printed edition, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism is now available in a fully searchable, dynamic digital format. The service will include all content from the six printed volumes..

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Gaṇapati / Gaṇeśa

(9,461 words)

Author(s): Greg Bailey
Gaṇeśa is the fat-bellied god, instantly recognizable because of his elephant head set upon a human body. He has enjoyed considerable popularity in western and southern India for many centuries and is also becoming increasingly popular in the north. Additionally, his popularity is on the rise in Western countries, judging from the relatively larger numbers of images of Gaṇeśa than of other gods available in shops selling Indian goods. In the 21st century, he has even become popular in North Am…

Gandharvas and Apsarases

(4,427 words)

Author(s): Thomas Oberlies
Gandharvas and apsarases, often mentioned as being closely associated as either lovers or married couples ( AVŚ. 2.2.5; 4.37.7, 12; AVP. 1.89.2), have been conceived of as a class of semidivine beings throughout the history of Hinduism. According to the Aitareyabrāhmaṇa (3.31), they form a group besides “…

Gaṅgā

(4,729 words)

Author(s): Kelly Alley
For at least two and a half millennia, the Gaṅgā basin has served as the seat of human civilization. Early Buddhist records describe the river valley as a large jungle where agriculturalists worked to slowly colonize the resource base of hunter- gatherer populations (Gadgil & Guha, 1992, 78). By the 4th century BCE, Pāṭaliputra (now near Patna, the capital of the state of Bihar) was one of ten ancient capital cities of India. Supported by heavy trade along the ri…

Gārgī

(4,965 words)

Author(s): Ellison B. Findly

Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism

(10,938 words)

Author(s): Kenneth Valpey
The constellation of persons, communities, texts, doctrines, and practices denoted by the term "Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism" constitutes a distinctive tradition of religious affiliation centered on the worship of Kṛṣṇa (regarded as the source of all Viṣṇu forms and avatāra s) with geographical origination and locus in the region of greater Bengal. “Gauḍīya” is an adjectival derivative of Gauḍa, referring roughly to the areas of present-day West Bengal and Bangladesh. Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism is also referred to as Bengal Vaiṣṇavism …

Gemstones

(4,181 words)

Author(s): James McHugh
Whether in the adornments of temples, in mythologies, as a part of poetic descriptions of gods and heavens, or in consecration rites, gemstones play a number of important roles in Hindu texts and traditions. Gemstones also continue to constitute an important bridge between the theories and practice of Indian astrology and luxurious adornment.  The relati…

Gender

(12,958 words)

Author(s): Karen Pechilis
Hindu tradition, like many others, has constituted itself as having a vested interest in defining gender and classifying every human being…

General Abbreviations I-VI

(291 words)

Author(s): not-specified
app. appendix approx. approximately Arab. Arabic arch. archeological Ardh.  Ardhamagadhi Ass. Assamese astr. astronomical Aves. Avestan b. born Bah.  Bahasa Indonesia Bal. Balinese BCE be…

Germany

(3,094 words)

Author(s): Manfred Hutter
At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, approximately 67,000 people of Indian origin lived in Germany with a German passport, and about 43,000 Indian citizens. Such data can only be a general estimate, because people who originally came as Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka or as “Indians” from Afghanistan are sometimes also included in such numbers. Another inaccuracy appears as persons of the second and partly already the third generation of migrants from the Indian subcontinent are inc…
Date: 2016-04-06