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I have heard the name 'Gandharvas', while I was reading Shiva Purana, as the part of the beings in the creation.

What are these? Is there any relation of Humans to them (ancestral basis), or they are simply a different type of beings all together? Can I get a valid link where I can find there description (will be pleased with Sanskrit works and simultaneous translation.)?

  • May be this wiki link will help you – Kedarnath Sep 9 '14 at 10:34
  • @Kedarnath, wiki is ok, but I don't rely on the translation, I was looking forward for some text from our scriptures, describing them. – Mr. K Sep 9 '14 at 10:43
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Gandharvas were a different tribe of creation just like devas, apsaras or rakshasas.

ORIGIN

According to the Vishnu Purāna, they were sons of Brahmā.

"The Gandharvas were next born, imbibing melody; drinking of the goddess of speech, they were born, and thence their appellation. (gām dhayantah, 'drinking speech')."

In another place in the same Purana, it is also mentioned that they were the offspring of Kasyapa and Arishtā, and therefore grandchildren of Brahmā. The Padma Purāna speaks of them as the children of Vach.

In Hindu mythology, the Gandharva was a minor deity in the Rig-Veda, however in later writings they were described as a class of semi divine beings.
In Fact, Vishvavasu is probably the oldest Gandharva mentioned who is also the composer of Rigveda ( 10.139) by the name Vishvavasu Devgandharva

The following is the Ananda Valli from the Taittiriya Upanishad explaining the different levels of happiness among various species of life.

te ye satam manusa anandah | sa eko manusyagandharvanamanandah | srotriyasya cakamahatasya |

"One hundred such units of human joy make up a single unit of joy which the manushya gandharva possesses. A sage full of revelation and free from all cravings also possesses the same joy."

[Gandharva in general refers to a species of heavenly musicians. There are two categories of gandharvas mentioned in these verses. The first is the manushya gandharvas - or human gandharvas, and the second is the deva gandharvas - or heavenly gandharvas. On the earthly planet there are many realms of existence that are inaccessible to the ordinary humans. These realms exist on high dimensions of space. According to the Vedic conception of reality there are 64 dimensions of existence, of which ordinary humans interact with three. The manushya gandharvas live in higher dimensions within the earthly realm of existence. There are many descriptions within the Puranas of lands existing on this planet that are inaccessible to us. For example, there are three different levels of the Himalayas. What we experience as the Himalayas is only the lowest dimensional level. It is described in the Mahabharata that Bhima was able to visit many of these higher dimensional realms when he was collecting wealth for the rajasuya yajna. Also the palace of Yudhishthira Maharaja was created by yakshas, who exist on higher dimensions. The artwork they made for the palace (paintings, carpets, ceiling, etc.) was actually animated and in three dimensions. So much so that it was not possible to distinguish it from reality. For those who are existing in three dimensions, a painting will be done in two dimensions. But for those existing in four dimensions, a painting will be done in three dimensions. This is why Duryodhana was confused when he entered Yudhishthira's palace, and ended up stepping in a pond, thinking it was the floor.]

te ye satam manusya-gandharvanamanandah | sa eko devagandharva-namanandah | srotriyasya cakamahatasya |

"One hundred such units of joy which the manushya gandharva possesses make the joy of the deva gandharva. A sage full of revelation and free from all cravings also possesses the same joy."

[This verse is describing the heavenly gandharvas. They are a heavenly species. Their leader is Vishvavasu, who guards the soma rasa. This category of gandharva mainly makes up the celestial musicians. They entertain the higher devas and perform in Indra's court.]

te ye satam devagandarvanamanandah | sa ekah pitrinam ciralokalokanamanandah | srotriyasya cakamahatasya |

"One hundred such units of joy which the deva gandharva possess make the joy of the Pitrus who inhabit the long enduring would. A sage full of revelation and free from all cravings also possesses the same joy."

References:

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