(Hinduism) (Sanskrit)

  1. extraordinarily beautiful demigod singers and musicians (see also Apsara);
  2. a marriage where the "eye meets eye and the marriage is performed". This marriage without rites or rituals was allowed only to kshatriyas, the warrior caste. All the great romances of Sanskrit literature are based on the Gandharva marriage. Also the type of marriage normally prescribed for members of the trititya-prakriti genders.

(Sanskrit, possibly related to Greek kentauros, "centaur")

The gandharvas are semi-divine beings from Hindu mythology. Among them is Vishvavasu, who knows the secrets of heaven, and guards the sacred soma.

Gandharvas are often associated with fertility, and they are often invoked in marriage rituals. The dwelling place of the gandharvas is traditionally considered to be the heaven of Indra, where they entertain the gods with song and music. Their female counterparts are the nymph-like apsaras.

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