From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Gandha literally means ‘smell’.

Gandha as per Vedanta[edit]

Though the word's simple meaning is ‘smell’, it has been used in a more technical sense in the Vedānta philosophy. It is one of the five tanmātras or subtle elements indicating the pure and subtle trace of earth.[1]

Gandha as per Literature[edit]

In literature it indicates the slightest tinge of a substance or a quality in metaphorical sense. For instance, in the sentence, ‘Suka did not have even gandhaleśa of kāma’, it means Suka did not have even the least trace of lust.

Gandha as Candana[edit]

The word is also used to denote candana or sandal paste used as an unguent in pujā or ritualistic worship.


  1. Here Earth refers to as sukṣma-prthvī or gandhatanmātra.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore