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MA. This letter has the following three meanings-Prosperity, honour and mother. (Agni Purina, Chapter


MACAKRUTA. A sacred place on the border of Kuruksetra. A Yaksa of name Macakruta keeps guard over this place. If one bows down before this Yaksa one will have to his credit the benefit of a thousand Godanas (giving away cows in charity). (Chapter 83, Vana Parva, M.B.).


MADA I. An Asura. This demon came out of the sacrificial fire of Cyavana to kill Indra. (See under Cyavana).


MADA II. One of the Manasaputras (spiritual sons) of Brahma. Matsya Purina states that Mada was born of the Pride of Brahma.


MADADHARA. A mountain. Bhimasena, while on his victory march to the east conquered this mountain. (Sloka 9, Chapter 30, Sabha Parva).


MADALASA I. A Vidyadhari. She was married to a Vidyadhara named Campaka. (See under Campaka).


MADALASA II, Wife of Rtadhvaja, King of Kasi. Once a demon named Patalaketu carried away Madalasa and Rtadhvaja took her back after defeating Patalaketu in a fight. Alarka was the son of this couple.


MADANAMALA. A celebrated prostitute of the city of Pratisthana. Narasimha, King of Pratisthana, did not surrender himself to Vikramaditya, emperor of Pitaliputra. The resourceful Vikramaditya went to Pratisthana and caught hold of the prostitute Madanama1a first and then through her subdued the King Narasimha. After that Vikramaditya took Madanamdla to his place and made her stay there. (Taranga 4, Ratnaprabhalambaka, Kathasaritsagara).


MADANAMAIVCUKA. A heroine of `Vatsarajacarita'. Her mother was a nymph in her previous birth. By a curse of Devendra she was born on earth as Kalingasena and lived serving in the palace of Udayana, King of Vatsa. She desired to make Udayana her husband. In the meantime a Gandharva named Madanavega fell in love with Kalingasena. Knowing that Kalirigasena was in love with Udayana the Gandharva followed her in the garb of the King Udayana and at last they were married. Kalingasena soon delivered Madanamaficuka, an incarnation of Ratidevi. When she grew up she married Naravahanadatta, son of Udayana. (Madanamaficukalambaka, Kathasaritsagara, Taranga 8) .


MADANAVEGA. A Gandharva. (See under Madanamaficuka).


MADANIKA. A nymph, a daughter of Menaka. A demon named Vidyudrupa married her. But Kandhara of the family of Garuda killed Vidyudrupa and took Madanika for himself. They got a child named Tarksi. (Markandeya Purina, Chapter 2).


MADAYANTI. Wife of King Kalmasapada. He was known as Mitrasaha and Saudasa also. When Kalmasapida lay cursed Vasistha begot a child of Madayanti named Asmaka. Madayanti gave her ear-rings to the sage Uttanka. (For details see under Uttanka and Kalmasapada).


MADHAVA I. A synonym of Sri Krsna. Because Sri Krsna could be properly understood by Manana, Dhyana and Yoga he got the name Madhava. (Sloka 4, Chapter 7, Udyoga Parva).


MADHAVA II. Son of Vikrama, King of Taladhvaja. The Kriya Khanda of Padma Purina gives the following story about him.


Madhava desired to marry a beautiful and good-natured Ksatriya girl named Candrakala.

"There is a princess in the island of Plaksa named Sulocana. She is far more beautiful than myself and is fit to be your consort. Do try to get her."


Madhava accepted the advice of Candrakala and started for the island of Plaksa with a servant of his named Pracesta. The news that welcomed him when he reached the island was that the marriage of Sulocana had been fixed with one Vidyadhara. Undaunted Madhava sent a love-letter to the princess mentioning his arrival in the city, seeking her hand in marriage. In reply to that Sulocana wrote that if Madhava appeared on the marriage-dais in time she would accept him as her husband.


The marriage day arrived and Madhava waited for the time of the function. But when the auspicious hour came Madhava was asleep. Pracesta, his servant, took advantage of the opportunity and carried away Sulocana. But Sulocana was determined to marry only Madhava and she escaped from the custody of Pracesta and reached the palace of a King called Susena and stayed there as a servant wearing the robes of a male, calling himself Viravara.


Viravara, i e Sulocana in disguise, saved Vidyadhara and Pracesta from committing suicide. At that time Madhava also in despair was about to commit suicide when Suiocana appeared before him in time and stopped him from doing it. Sulocana then told him all that had happened and they were happily united as husband and wife.


MADHAVA 111. A son born to Yadu of his Naga wife Dhamravarna. The renowned Yadava dynasty was established by this Yadu and his son Madhava. (Harivannsa).


MADHAVA IV. A virtuous brahmin. Once when he was about to sacrifice a goat in the sacrificial fire the goat in human voice told the story of its previous birth and requested the brahmin to sacrifice it after reciting the ninth chapter of the Gita. Madhava did so and the goat got salvation. (Uttara Khanda, Padma Purana).


MADHAV I I. Daughter of King Yayati. A lady .recluse she always wore deer-hide as her garment and went on observing a Vrata called Mrgavrata: Yayati gave this daughter in marriage to Galava. (Sloka 12, Chapter 145, Udyoga Parva). Madhavi bore a son named Vasuman alias Vasumanas to Haryasva, King of Ayodhya. She got of Divodasa, King of Kasi, another son named Pratardana; of the King of Usinara she got a son named Sibi. Besides these she got a son named Astaka of Visvamitra. (See under Galava). When the accrued merit of Yayati was exhausted and he fell down from heaven Madhavi consented to part with half of her stock of merit to Yayati. (See under Yayati).


MADHU I. One of the Asuras born from the ear-wax of Mahavisnu. The other was named Kaitabha. (For details see under KAITABHA).


MADHU 11. Once there lived in a forest-garden on the shores of the Yamuna an Asura of name. Madhu. Satrughna killed this Madhu and established there a city called Mathurapuri. (Uttara Kanda, Kamba Ramayana). While Indrajit, son of Ravana, was performing penance Madhu carried away a demoness named Kumbhinasi and there ensued a fight on that


account between Madhu and Ravana in which Madhu was killed.


MADHU III. A king who used to sit in the court o f Yama and worship him. (Sloka 16, Chapter 8, Sabha Parva).


MADHUCCHANDAS. A sage who observed correctly the Agrama of Vanaprastha. He was one of the Brahmavadi sons of Visvamitra. (Sloka. 50, Chapter 4, Anusasana Parva). Visvamitra had a hundred sons like Madhucchandas. (10th Skandha, Bhagavata). The first Sukta of Rgveda was written by this sage.


MADHUKAITABHA(S). Two Asuras named Madhu and Kaitabha. (See under KAITABHA).


MADHUKUMBHA. A follower of Subrahmanya. (~loka 19, Chapter 46, $alya Parva).


MADHfJLIKA. A follower of Subrahmanya. (Sloka 19, Chapter 46, Salya Parva).


MADHUMAN. A place of habitation of ancient India. (9loka 53, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MADHUPARKA. One of the children of Garuda. (Sloka 14, Chapter 11, Udyoga Parva).


MADHURA. A soldier of Subrahmanya. (Sloka 71, Chapter 45, Salya Parva).


MADHURASVARA. A celestial maiden. She once conducted a dance performance in honour of Arjuna. (Sloka 30, Chapter 43, Vana Parva).


MADHUSAKTA. An Asura. During the time of the emperor Prthu, the earth was turned into a cow and people milked from her the things they wanted. Madhugakta was the person who did the milking for the Asuras.


MADHUSRAVA. A sacred place in Kuruksetra, situated near another holy place called Prthudaka. If one bathes in a pond there one will have to his credit the benefit of making a thousand Godanas. (~loka 15, Chapter 83, Vana Parva).


MADHUSUDANA. Another name for Sri Krsna. Because he killed an Asura named Madhu he was called Madhusudana. (Sloka 16, Chapter 207, Vana Parva).


MADHUSYANDA. A sage who was the son of Vi9vamitra. (Sarga 62, Bala Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana).


MADHUVANA. A forest-garden owned by the great monkey-King Sugriva. After finding out the whereabouts of Sita, Hanuman and Angada accompanied by other monkeys entered this garden and drank honey to their heart's content. (Chapter 282. Vana Parva and Sundara Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana).


MADHUVARNA. A soldier of Subrahmanya. (Sloka 72, Chapter 42, Salya Parva).


MADHUVATI. A sacred place on the border of Kuruksetra. If one bathes in a sacred pond there and worships the Manes one will have to one's credit the benefit of making a thousand Godanas (giving away cows in charity). (~loka 94, Chapter 83, Vana Parva).


MADHUVIDYA. A special mystical lore of the Devas. This was imparted to the sage Dadhyan by Indra. (See under DADHYAll1).


MADHUVILA (MADHUBILA). A river which flows in  the neighbourhood of Kardamila ksetra. This river has  another name Samanga. This is a very sacred tirtha.  Indra who became a Brahmahatya-sinner by killing  Vrtrasura was absolved of his sins by taking a bath in  this river. Astavakra, the sage with eight bends in his  body, got himself perfect by taking a bath in this river  obeying the orders of his father Kahodaka. (Chapter 135,  Vana Parva) .


MADIRA. Wife of Vasudeva, father of gri Krsna. Vasudeva had seven wives named Rohini, Bhadramanini, Madira, Ila, Rocana, Pauravi and Devaki (9th Skandha, Bhdgavata). Of these Devaki, Rohini, and Bhadrd abandoned their lives by jumping into the funeral pyre of Vasudeva. (81oka 18, Chapter 7, Mausala Parva).


MADIRAKSA (MADIRASVA) I. A brother of Virdta, King of Matsya. When the Kauravas made Trigarta carry away the cattle of Virdta it was Madiraksa who faced Trigarta in a fight. A great fight ensued between Trigarta and Madiraksa. He had shone as one of the chieftains of the army of King Virata. He was a very charitable man well-versed in Dhanurveda (archery). He was killed in the big battle by Dronacarya. Chapters 31, 33, 82 Virata .Parva; 171, Udyoga Parva and 9, Karna Parva).


MADIRAKSA II (MADIRASVA). A king of the dynasty of Iksvaku. He was the son of King Dasasva. Madirasva was a saintly king well-versed in archery. He was a very righteous person also. (27-8, Anusasana Parva). Madirdsva had a son named Dyutiman and a daughter named Sumadhya. (2, 8, AriugdsanaParva.)After giving Sumadhya in marriage to a sage named Hiranyahasta Madirasva attained Svarga. (226: 34 knti Parva, and 137 : 24 Anusasana Parva).


MADOTKATA A ferocious lion mentioned in Pancatantra (See under Pancatantra) .


MADRA. One of the ten wives of Atrimaharsi. Atri got of Madra a son named Soma. (Brahminda Purina).


MADRA (M). An ancient place of habitation in Bharata. This is situated near the river Jhelum. Mddri, the wife of Panda was a princess of this place. Bhisma went to Madra and brought Madri for Pdndu. (Chapter 112, Adi Parva). At the time of Arjuna's birth there was a voice from heaven which said, "This child will grow up and capture many countries like Madra". Asvapati, father of Savitri, was a king of Madra. Karna condemned Madra and Vdhika as countries which had fallen low in virtue. (Chapter 44, Karna Parva).


MADRAKA I. A Ksatriya king of ancient Bhdrata. He was born of the partial spirit of the demon Krodhavag a. 9loka 59, Chapter 67, Adi Parva).


MADRAKA II. Soldiers of the country of Madra were called Madrakas. Madrakas were included in the Kaurava army. ($loka 7, Chapter 51, Bhisma Parva).


MADRAKALA~IGA. A place of habitation of ancient India. (9loka* 42, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MADRAVATT I. Wife of Pariksit, son of Abhimanyu. She was the mother of Janarnejaya. (81oka 85, Chapter 95, Adi Parva).


MADRAVATI II. Another name for Madri, wife of Panda. (81oka 56, Chapter 52, Sabha Parva).


MADREYAJAI~CGALA. A place of habitation of ancient India. (81oka 39, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MADRT. Madri who was the second wife of Panda was a daughter of the King of Madra. She was the sister of Salya. Nakula and Sahadeva took birth from Madri. Panda expired when he embraced his wife Mddri. It was because of a curse of the hermit Kindama. Madri ended her life in the pyre with her husband. (For further details see under the word PANDU).


MADYA. Wine. There is a story in the seventh Skandha of Devi Bhagavata showing how Madya happened to be an intoxicant. Once Indra sent out the Asvinidevas from Devaloka and banned wine to them. They took


refuge in Cyavana a great sage. Cyavana conducted a special Yaga and invited the Asvinidevas to partake of the Yajndmsa. Indra objected to this and Cyavana had to face Indra in a fight. Then Cyavana produced from the sacrificial fire a demon named Mada and he rushed at Indra to kill him. Indra then bowed down before Cyavana and craved for pardon. Cyavana withdrew the demon and tearing him into 'four pieces put one each in dice, hunting, wine and women. That was how all the four became intoxicating.


In ancient India there were certain social conventions regarding drinking of alcoholic preparations. All those drinks which were intoxicants were not listed as `Alcohol'. Wine, honey, toddy, juice of sugarcane, ,juice of Iruppa and Kutampuli, and sweet toddy of palm tree were not considered alcohol. Surd (liquor) chiefly meant Paisti (liquor made out of rice paste). Drinking of Surd was banned to the three castes, Brahmana, Ksatriya and Vaisya. If they drank Surd they had to perform a penance for a year drinking only water or eat long pepper for a year. To be free from the sin of drinking Surd one should wear dress made of animal hair. Even if one drinks water in a pot in which Surd was taken, one should observe Vrata for seven days. (Chapter 173, Agni Purina).


MAGA (S) . The brahmins residing in the island of Saka are generally called Magas. The Brahmaparva of Bhavisya Purina and the Samba Purina speak about the 1Vlae a£ thus


Samba, son of Krsna, did severe penance to please Suryadeva and pleased with the unwavering devotion of Samba, Surya gave him a luminous replica of himself for worship. Samba constructed a beautiful temple by the side of the Candrabhagd river and installed the idol there. He then brought from Sikadvipa the Brahmins called Magas for conducting the ceremonies of the temple. All the eighteen families of Maga Brahmins came and stayed near the temple at the request of Samba.


MAGADHA. A famous city of ancient India. Its present name is Rijagrha. The Purdnas mention many great Kings who had ruled Magadha. Brhadratha was once King of Magadha. (9loka 30, Chapter 63, Adi Parva) Jayatsena one of the Kalakeyas was once the King of Magadha. (Sloka 48, Chapter 67, Adi Parva). Panda father of the Pandavas once attacked Magadha and Dirgha the then king of Magadha was killed by Pdndu. (Chapter 112, Adi Parva). While Brhadratha was ruling Magadha he passed an order that each and every house should worship the demoness Jari as a house-goddess. (81oka 10, Chapter 13, Sabhd Parva). During the time of the Mahdbhdrata Jardsandha was the King of Magadha. Sri Krsna made Bhimasena kill Jarasandha. After his death S`ri Krsna made Sahadeva brother of Jardsandha the King of Magadha. ( $loka 43, Chapter 24, Sabhd Parva). Bhimasena conquered this country during his victory march. The people of Magadha offered gifts to Yudhisthira at his Rdjasuya. ( 8loka 18, Chapter ,~2, Sabhi Parva ) . The King of Magadha and the people there fought on the side of the Pindavas in the great battle. (81oka 2, Chapter 53, Udyoga Parva) .


MAGADHAS. A particular tribe of people. If the work of Sutas was to drive chariots and the work of Pulkasas to hunt, the work of the Mdgadhas was that of an adulator. (Chapter 151, Agni Purdna). This work of a flatterer was given to them by Brahma. When the emperor Prthu was born, Brahma conducted a Yaga. On the day of sutya at the place of Somabhisava of the Yaga a very intelligent Suta was born. At the same yaga a Magadha also- was born. He was a great scholar. Then the sages told Magadha and Suta thus: "Praise this king Prthu, who is the valorous son of Vena. Praising is the fittest work suited to you both. Prthu deserves praise." Then the Sfita-Magadhas placing their hands on their breasts with respect said, "What do we know of the qualities and capabilities of a king just born ? His fame is not known. Based on what should we sing praises of him ?" Hearing this the sages said that they should praise him for the qualities which he would be possessing in future. The king was pleased to hear that. SutaMagadhas started singing eulogistic songs based on the qualities and exploits of a Prthu to be. Prthu then appointed Suta as his charioteer and Magadha as his adulator. From then onwards the Suta family became charioteers and the Magadha family flatterers. (Chapters 13-70 Arilsa 1, Visnu Purana).


MAGADHI. A river which flows through the middle of five mountains. (Sarga 32, Bala Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana).


MAGNA I. A sacred place. If one visits this place one would get the benefit of performing the yajfias like Agnistoma and Atiratra. (Sloka 51, Chapter 84, Vana Parva).


MAGNA 11. One of the twentyseven constellations. The importance of this constellation is mentioned in the Mahabharata in several places.


(i) When the plane. Kuja (Mars), during its retrograde motion, comes near the constellation of Ma ha many unhappy incidents occur in the world. (Sloka 14, Chapter 3, Bhisma Parva).


(ii) If Candra stays near Magha it is an ill omen. (Sloka 2, Chapter 17, Bhisma Parva).


(iii) If one gives away land in charity on the day of Magha one will be rich in children and cattle. (9loka 12, Chapter 64, Anusasana Parva).


(iv) If one gives pudding to the poor on the day of Magha which comes in the black half of the month of Tula (October) the Manes will be pleased. (Sloka 7, Chapter 88, Anufiasana Parva).


(v) if one worships the Manes on the day of Magha sitting in the shade of an elephant, the manes will be satisfied. (~loka 8, Chapter 88, Anu asana Parva) .


(vi) If one conducts the obsequial rites and acts of charity on the day of Magha one would become the most excellent member of the family. 4Sloka 5. Chapter 89, Anugasana Parva).


MAGNA. A Sanskrit poet who lived in the 7th Century A.D. The only work of his which has come to light is Sisupalavadha known popularly as Magha.


This is a very famous verse meaning thus : "The simile of Kalidasa, the depth of meaning of the words of Bharavi and the simplicity of language of Dandin are all present in Magha". This indicates how great a poet Magha was.


From the last part of this Kavya it can be surmised that Magha was the son of Dattaka and grandson of Suprabhadeva. Suprabhadeva was the minister of a King-called Dharmadeva. Magha was born in Gujarat. A literary critic named Jacobi fixes the period of Magha as the 6th centurv A.D. while others fix it as the 8th century A.D Magha has made references to the drama `Nagananda' written by Harsa. Harsa was a King during the period 606 to 649 and that is why the period of Magha is fixed after, that period.


MAGNA. A month (February). This is so called because it is closely associated with the constellation Magha. This month is between the months of Pausa and Phalguna. Mahabharata makes some statements about the importance of the month of Magha.


(i) He who bathes at Prayaga during this month will be free from all sins. (Sloka 37, Chapter 25, Anusasana Parva).


(ii) He who gives gingelly as gift to Brahmins during this month will never go to hell. (Sloka 8, Chapter 66, Anusasana Parva).


(iii) If one takes food only once a day during the whole of this month one will be born very rich in the next birth.- (Sloka 31, Chapter 106, Anusasana Parva).


(iv) If one worships Sri Krsna fasting on the Dvadasi day of Magha one will get the benefit of conducting a Rajasuya yajfia. (Sloka 5, Chapter 109, Anusasana Parva).


(v) Bhisma expressed his desire to Krsna to end his life on the astarni day falling in the bright fortnight of the month of Magha. (Anusasana Parva; Chapter 167, Sloka 28) .


MAHABAHU. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. Bhimasena killed him in the Bharata Yuddha. (1VI.B. Drona Parv a, Chapter 157, Verse 19) .


MAHABALA I. Minister of Sridatta (See under the word ~ridatta).


MAHABALA II. A follower of Lord Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 71).


MAHABALL See under the word Bali.


MAHABHAUMA. Son of Ariha, a King of the Puru dynasty. He had a son Ayutanayi by his wife Suyajfia. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 19).


MAHABHAYA. A Raksasa. He was born to Adharma by his wife Nirrti. Mahabbaya had two brothers named Bhaya and M,rtyu. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 66, Verse 54) .


MAHABHISAK. A King of the Iksvaku dynasty. He had another name Santanu. (For further details see under Santanu).


MAHABHOJA. A Yadava King. (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).


MAHACLJDA. A woman follower of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 5) .


MAHADANA. There are sixteen Mahadanas or "Great gifts". They are : (1) Tulapurusadana, (2) Hiranyagarbha dana, (3) Brahmanda dana, (4) Kalpakavrksadana, (5) Gosahasradana, (6) Hiranyakamadhenudana, (7) Hiranyasva dana, (8) Hiranyasvaratha dana, (9) Hemahastiratha dana, ((0) Paficalangalakadana (11) Dharadana, (12) Visvacakradana (13) Kalpalata dana, (14) Saptasagaraka dana, (15) Ratnadhenu dana, (16) Mahaputaghata dana. (Agni Purdna, Chapter 210) .


MAHADEVA. Siva. (See under Siva).


MAHADHRTI. A King of the Solar dynasty. Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).'


MAHADYUTI. I. A King in ancient India. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 1, Verse 232) .


MAHADYUTI II. One of the sons of the Yaksa Manibhadra by Punyajam.


MAHAGAURI. A prominent river in India. (Mahabharata, Bliisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 33) .


MAHAGO . A. A river (Nada) celebrated in the Puranas. It is also known as `-Sonabhadra" and Mahdsona. It is after crossing this river that Krsna, Bhima and Arjuna entered Magadha, the capital of jarasandha. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 20, Verse 27) .


MAHAHANU. A naga born in the family of Taksaka. In Maliabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 57, Verse 10, we read that this naga was burnt to death in janamejaya's `Sarpasatra'.


MAHAHANUS. One of the sons of Vasudeva by Rohini. (Matsya Purana).


MAHAHAYA. A King of the Yayati dynasty. (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).


MAHAHRADA. A holy place. One who takes a bath here will never be in misfortune. M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 48 says that one who takes bath here and spends a month fasting with a pure heart will attain salvation.


MAHAJANU. A Brahmana. When Pramadvara lay bitten by a serpent, this Brahmana came near her with tearful eyes. (See under Pramadvard).


MAHAJAVA. A woman follower of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 22 ).


MAHAJAYA. One of the two PArsadas presented to Subrahmanya by Vasuki, the King, of serpents. The other one was Jaya. (M.B. ~alya Parva. Chapter 45, Verse 52) .


MAHAJVALA. A hell. (See under KAla I).


MAHAKADAMBA. A tree standing on the tall peak of Supar~va mountain. The Puranas declare that five big rivers take their sources from the hollow trunk of this big tree. These rivers fall on the" top of Suparsva mountain and flow through the western side of Ilavrta. The region around this place to a distance of a -hundred yojanas is filled with the fragrant air breathed out by the gods who feed upon the essence of the waters in these rivers. The Devi who lives in this sacred place is called "Dharesvari". (Devi Bhagavata, 8th Skandha).


MAHAKALA I. A Siva parsada. Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 10, Verse 34 mentions that diva Parsadas known as Mahakalas flourished in the assembly of Kubera.


MAHAKALA 11. A sacred place situated in the ~ipra river valley in Ujjain. The ~ivalinga in,talled in this place is called "Mahakala." Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 82, Verse 49 says that those who take a bath in the Kotitirtha at this place, get the same effect as that of an A'.vamedha yaga.


MAHAKAPALA I. A minister of the Raksasa Dusana. (Valmiki Rdmayana, Aranya Kanda, 23rd Sarga).


MAHAKAPALA II. A Rqksasa who attacked Rama and Laksmana at Pancavati. In VAlmiki Ramayana, Aranya kanda, 26th Sarga we read that when Rama and Laksmana fought with Khara, Dusana and Trisiras


there were three terrible Raksasas named Mahakapala, Sthulaksa and Pramathin.


MAHAKARNI I. A wicked minister. of Ambubica, King of Magadha. There is a reference to him in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 203, Verse .19.


MAHAKAYA. A woman follower of Lord Subralimanya (M.B. ~alya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse, 24) .


MAHAKRAUNCA. A montain in the Kraunca island (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 7).


MAHALAYA. A holy place. Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Verse 54 mentions that one who observes a fast at this holy place for one month, will be absolved of all sins.


MAHAMALI. A Raksasa hero of Ravana's army. He was killed in the battle at Pancavati between Rama and Laksmana on one side and Khara, Dusana and Tt'isiras on the other, over the affair of 8urpanakha. Mahamali appeared on the scene as a commander of Khara's army. (Valmiki Ramayana. Aranya Kanda, 26th Sarga).


MAHAMANAS. Grandson of Janamejaya, a King of the Anga dynasty. Mahasala was the son of janamejaya and Mahamanas was the son of Mahasala. Usinara was the son of Mahamanas. (Agni Purana, Chapter 277)


MAHAMATI. The seventh son of the sage Angiras. There is a reference to him in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 218, Verse 7.


MAHAMERU. The golden coloured peak of Himavan. The seat of Lord diva, according to the Puranas.


1) General features. Mahameru surpasses even the sun in its dazzling golden brilliance. Devas and Gandharvas attend on it on all sides. It is inaccessible to sinners. There are celestial herbs and serpents at its base. It is Mahameru that keeps Heaven in its place by supporting it. The atmosphere there, is always alive with the sweet songs of various kinds of birds. Precious stones are scattered all over its surface. All the 33 crores of gods dwell on the sides of this Mountain. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 17).


Saptarsis like Vasi stha rise and fall on Mahameru. Maha Visnu and Brahma have their places in Mahameru. Visnu's place is in the east. There is a special place there for the residence of Maharsis. Those who go to Mahameru never return. The Sun and Moon go round Mahameru everyday. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 163) .


There are twenty mountains surrounding Mahameru. On the eastern side there are two mountains, Jara and Devakuta. On the western side there are two mountains, Pavamana and Pariyatra. On the southern side are the two mountains, Kailasa and Karavira and on the northern side, the two mountains, Trisrnga and Makaragiri. Thus Mahameru shines like the sun in the midst of eight mountains. In the middle of Mahameru is situated Brahmaloka, the abode of Brahma in a square extending over 10,000 yojanas. This region is of inexpressible splendour. At eight places around this Brahmapuri, are situated the eight posts or abodes of the Astadikpalas, each of the abodes being 25000 yojanas in extent. Thus there are nine Puris or Cities on the top of Mahameru. They are:- (1) Brahma's Manovati in the centre. (2) Due east of. it, Indra's Amaravati. (3) In the south-east corner, Agni's Tejovati. (4) On the southern side; Yama's Samyamani. (5) In the south west corner, Nirrti's Krsnafijana, (6) On the western side, Varuna's Sraddhavati. (7 ) In the north-west corner, Vayu's Gandhavati. (8) On the northern side, Kubera's Mahodaya. (9) In the north cast corner, Isan'as Yasovati. (Devi Bhagavata, 8th Skandha).


2) Mahameru and Lanka. Ravana's place of abode LankA was really a peak of Mahameru. (For further details, see the previous history of Lanka in Para 5 under the word Kubera).


3) How Mahdmeru got its golden colour. The Puranas declare that the sun keeps going round Mahameru. Once, while the sun was thus going round, he wished to take a little rest. He asked permission to place the axle of his chariot for a short while on Mahameru. The mountain agreed to it. The grateful Sungod (Surya) blessed Mahameru that it would thenceforth have golden colour. Until it received this blessing, Mahameru had the colour of ordinary mountains.


4) Other details.


(i) Two daughters named Ayati and Niyati were born to Mahdmeru. They were married by Dhata and Vidhata respectively. (Visnu Purdna, Part I, Chapter 10).


(ii) Vasistha had an 5Srama near Mahameru. (M.B. Adi Parva. Chapter 99, Verse 6).


(iii) Mahameru attends on Kubera in Kubera's assembly. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 73) . (iv) The extensive jambu Vrksa stands on the southern side of Mahameru. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 38).


(v) At the time of Emperor Prthu, the earth was turned into a cow and all living beings obtained all their necessaries by milking her. It was Mahameru who stood as milking man on behalf of the mountains. (M.B. urona Parva, Chapter 69, Verse 18).


(vi) In Tripuradahana, it was Mahameru which was erected as the flag-staff in Siva's chariot. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 202, Verse 78) .


(vii) Mahameru presented two Parsadas named Kaficana and Meghamali to Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 48) .


(viii) Mahdmeru once presented heaps of gold to Emperor Prthu. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 59, Verse 1).


(ix) Mahameru is anointed as the King of mountains. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 222, Verse 18).


(x) Mahabharata, Sand Parva, Chapter 341, Verse 22 says that Vyasa once stayed on Mahameru with his disciples.


(xi) Sthulas:iras and Badavamukha once performed tapas on Mahameru. (M.13. Santi Parva, Chapter 342, Verse 59).


MAHAMUKHA. A warrior of King jayadratha. Mahabhdrata, Vana Parva, Chapter 221, Verse 16 mentions that he was killed by Nakula in the battle which followed the forcible abduction of Paficali by Jayadratha.


MAHAN I. A King of the Puru dynasty. He was the son of Matinara. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 14).


MAHAN II. The son of the Agni Bharata, who was a Prajdpati. Mahdbharata, Vana Parva Chapter 219, -,Terse 8 states that he was a much revered person.


MAHANADA. A Raksasa. In Valmiki Ramdyana, Yuddha Kanda, we see that he was a Minister and the uncle of Ravana.


MAHANADI I. A river, celebrated in the Puranas and flowing through the region Utkala (Orissa). Arjuna once took a bath in it. Mahabharata Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Verse 81, states that those who bathe in this river will obtain "Aksayaloka".


MAHANADI 11. A river in the Saka island. (M.B, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 11, Verse 32).


MAHANANDA I. See under Taraka 11.


MAHANANDA II. A King of Madra land. Dama, the son of Narisyanta killed Mahananda at the Svayariivara of Sumana. (Markandeya Purana, 130.52).


MAHANANDA III. A holy place. Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 45, says that those who worship in this place will obtain entry into Nandanavana.


MAHANANDI. A Magadha King who was the son of Nandivardhana. He was the last King of the Sisunaga dynasty. King Nanda was the son of Mahdnandi by a Sudra woman. According to Matsya Purdna, Vayu Purana and Brahmanda Purana, he ruled the country for 46 years.


MAHAPADMA I. The first King of the Nanda dynasty. According to Vayu Purana and Matsya Purana, Mahapadma was the son of 1VIahanandi, the last King of the Sisunaga dynasty. He was the son of Mahanandi by a Sudra woman. He killed his father and founded the Nanda dynasty.


MAHAPADMA 11. An elephant in Ghatotkaca's elephant army during the Bharata Yuddha. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 60, Vez se 51) .


MAHAPADMA 111. One of the Astadiggajas. (The eight elephants guarding the eight cardinal points). (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 64, Verse 57) .


MAHAPADMAPURA. An ancient place in the south of the Ganga river valley. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 353, Verse 1).


MAHAPAGA. A famous river in ancient India. There is a reference to this river in Mahabhdrata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 28.


MAHAPARISADESVARA. A follower of Lord Subrahmanya. (hM.B: Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 66) .


MAHAPARSVA I. One of the heroic warriors of Ravaiia. In the battle between Rama and Ravana, all those warriors were killed. (Agni Purana, Chapter ,11) .


MAHAPARSVA Ii. A mountain to the north-east of Siva's abode on the top of Mount Kailasa. There is a reference to this mountain in Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 19, Verse 21.


MAHAPRASTHANIKA PARVA. A subsidiary Parva in Mahabharata which describes the Mahaprasthana conducted by the Pandavas after the Bhdrata Yuddha.


MAHAPUMAN. A mountain. (Mahabhdrata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 11, Verse 26) .


MAHAPURA. A holy place. Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 26 states that if one takes a bath in this place and leads a pure life here for three nights, one will become fearless.


MAHARAUDRA. A Raksasa who was the friend of Ghatotkaca. He was killed by Duryodhana at the battle of Kuruksetra. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 91, Verse 20)


MAHARAURAVA (M) . A naraka (hell). (See the section on Naraka under the word Kala I) .


MAHARAVA. A King of the Yadu dynasty. In Mahabharata, Atli Parva, Chapter 218, we read that this Ksatriya King had participated in the festival conducted by Yadavas at the Raivataka mountain.


MAHARLOKA. A world which was believed by the ancient people to be situated one crore yojanas above the "Dhruvapada". Visnu Pur5na, Part lI, Chapter 7 says that it is there that sages like Bhrgu live till the end of Kalpa.


MAHAROMA. A King of the Solar dynasty. He was the son of Krtirata and father of Svarnaroma. (Bhagavata. 9th Skandha).


MAHASALA. A King of the Anga dynasty. He was the son of janamejaya and father of Mahamanas. (Agni Purana, Chapter 277) .


MAHASAi~IKHA 1. A crocodile celebrated in the Puranas. He had a wife named gankhini. The seven children born to Sarikhini became the Maruts in the Svarocisa Manvantara. There is a story in Chapter 72, Vamana Purana about these children who became Maruts.


Rtadhvaja, son of Svarocisa Manu had seven heroic sons. They went to Mahameru and began to worship Brahma for gaining lndra's place. Indra was alarmed. He sent the Apsara woman Putana to the sons of Rtadhvaja to obstruct their tapas. There was a river flowing by the side of their asrama. Rtadhvaja's sons came to the river to take their bath. Just at that time; Putana also came there and began to take bath. At her sight, the young men had an invo1untary emission of semen. 8ankhini, wife of the crocodile Mahasaxikha swallowed it. The princes whose tapas was interrupted returned to the palace. Putana returned to Indra and reported the matter.


After some years, 9ankhin! happened to be caught in a fisherman's net. The fisherman caught her and informed Rtadhvaja's sons about his catch. They took her to the palace and put her in a tank there. In due course Sankhini gave birth to seven children. Immediately after that she attained moksa. The children began to cry for mother's milk, moving about in the water. Then Brahma appeared to them and told them not to cry and assured them that they would become the Devas of "Vayu Skandha". He took them up to the sky and put them in Vayuskandha. These children were the Maruts of the Manvantara.


MAHASA&KHA 11. A Naga. Bhagavata, 10th Skandha says that this Naga revolves along with the sun in the month of Margasirsa.


MAHASENA I. Another name for Subrahmanya. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 225, Verse 27) .


MAHASENA II. A prince of Ujjayini. (See under Angaraka 1) .


MAHASIRAS 1. An ancient sage. In Mahabharata. Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 10 we find that this sage shone in the assembly of Dharmaputra.


MAHASIRAS II. A Naga. Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 9 states that this Naga worships Varuna in Varuna's assembly.


MAHA~RAMA. A holy place. Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 84, says that a person who spends a.


night here observing a fast, would obtain "Subhaloka". One who spends three months like that will become a "Paramasiddha". (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 17) .


MAHASCRA. One of the Asura leaders who fought against Subrahmanya. (Skanda Purana, Asura Kanda ).


MAHASVA. A King celebrated in the Puranas. Mahabharata,., Sabha Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 19 says that this King now lives in Yama's assembly.


MAHASVANA. A follower of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 40, Verse 26).


MAHATALA. A section of Patala. The descendants of the serpent Kadru live here. These serpents are manyheaded and terrible monsters. Chief among them are Kahaka, Taksaka, Susena, Kaliya and others. All these serpents have long and slender bodies, large hoods and are of very cruel nature. Still they are all afraid of Garuda and so live quietly with their families in Mahatala. (Devi Bhagavata, 8th Skandha).


MAHATAPAS. A great sage. Varaha Purana states that this sage advised King Suprabha to worship Visnu.


MAHATEJAS. A warrior of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45; Verse 70).


MAHATI. Narada's Vina (Lute). It was this Mahati which became the lute in the world, as the result of a curse. (See under Narada).


MAHATTARA. One of the five sons of the Agni Pafica.janya. (M.B. Vana Par va, Chapter 22, Verse 9).


MAHAUJAS I. A King of ancient Bharata. The Pandavas had invited this King to take part in the great battle. (Sloka 22, Chapter 4, Udyoga Parva).


MAHAUJAS II. A dynasty of Ksatriyas. King Varayu was born in this dynasty. (Sloka 15, Chapter 74. Udyoga Parva).


MAHAVEGA. A woman follower of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 16) .


MAHAVIRA 1. A son of Priyavrata. Svayambhuva Manu had two famous sons named Priyavrata and Uttanapada. Of them, Priyavrata married Surupa and Barhismati, the two beautiful and virtuous daughters of Visvakarma Prajapati. By his first wife Surupa, Priyavrata had ten sons, name1y, Agnidhra, Idhmajihva,. Yajfiabahu, Mahavira, Rukmasukra, Ghrtaprstha, Savana, Medhatithi, Vitihotra and Kavi. The youngest of his children was a daughter named LTrjjasvati. (Devi Bhagavata, 8th Skandha).


MAHAVIRA 11. Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 68, refers to a Mahavira, who was the re-birth of the Asura Krodhava'sa.


MAHAYASAS. A woman follower of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 28).


MAHENDRA I. Father of the princess Patali. (See under Pataliputra) .


MAHENDRA II. One of the holy mountains. This mountain has great Puranic importance.


( 1) After slaughtering the Ksatriyas to extinction sage Parasurama made Mahendra his place of abode. (Sloka 53, Chapter 129, Atli Parva).


(2) Once Arjuna visited the mountain Mahendra. (Sloka 13, Chapter 214, Adi Parva).


(3) The presiding deity of this mountain sits in the court of Kubera worshipping him. (Sloka 30, Chapter 10, Sabha Parva).


(4) If one bathes in the pond of Ramatirtha on the


top of this mountain one would get the benefit of performing an Mvamedhayaga. (Sloka 16, Chapter 85, Vana Parva).


(5) Brahma once went to this mountain and conducted a yaga there. (Sloka 22, Chapter 87, Vana Parva).


(6) Yudhisthira during his pilgrimage visited this mountain. (Sloka 30, Chapter 114, Vana Parva).


(7) Parasurama gave a darsana (Interview) to Yudhisthira on a Caturdasi day on this mountain. (Sloka 16, Chapter 117, Vana Parva).


(8) Hanuman when he was going in search of Sita visited this mountain also along with the other monkeys. (Sundara Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana).


MAHENDRAVIKRAMAVARMA. A Sanskrit instructor in histrionics who lived in the 7th century A.D. He was a Pallava King and ruled his country during the period 600 to 630 A.D. He is the author of the drama Matta-


vilasa. Many verses from Mattavilasa have been quoted later in many other books. Kafici was the capital of Vikramavarma.


MAHESA. An incarnation of Siva. When once Vetala, his gatekeeper was born on earth, Siva and Parvati incarnated as Mahesa and Sarada on earth. (Satarudra Sarnhita, Siva Purana).


MAHESVARA. Another name of Siva.


MAHESVARAPURA. A holy place. If one worships Sankara (Siva) at this place, all desires would be fulfilled. (Sloka 129, Chapter 84, Vana Parva).


MAHESVARIDHARA. A holy place. He who visits this place would have to his credit the benefit of doing an Asvamedhayajna. (Sloka 117, Chapter 84, Vana Parva).


MAHEYA. A place of habitation of ancient India. (Sloka 49, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MAHIDASA. An acarya (Preceptor). He is believed to be the author of "Aitareya Brahmana" and "Aitarcya Aranyaka".


According to Chandogyopanisad and Jaiminiya Upanisad Brahmana, Mahidasa lived for 117 years. Although this acarya was a victim of diseases he was quite indifferent to the painful sufferings caused by them. (Chandogyopanisad 3; 16; 7 Jaiminiya Upanisad Brahmana, 4; 2; I1).


MAHIJIT. A King of Mahismati who lived in Dvapara Yuga. He was childless and got a son by observing Vrata on the Ekadasi day falling in the bright lunar fortnight in the month of 9ravana (August). (Uttarakhanda, Padma Purana).


MAHIKA. A place of habitation of ancient India: (Sloka 46, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MAHILAROPYA. See under Paficatantra.


MAHIMAN. An Aditya. Bhagavata 6th Skandha says that Mahiman was the son of Bhaga by Siddhi.


MAHIMABHATTA. A Sanskrit critic who lived in India in the 11 ih century A.D. His chief work was entitled "Vyaktiviveka", a treatise on "Alankara". The book is divided into three parts. He was a scholar in logic also. He was the author of another book "Ta ttvoktikos a".


MAHIRATHA. A King who earned great merit by observing Vrata in the month of Vaisakha (May). This King gave to those in hell his one day's punya and, all of them were released from hell.


Mahiratha was a King who became prosperous by accrued punya. Kasyapa was his guru. The King entrusted the affairs of the state to his ministers and led a very immoral life. The country began to decay day by day and one day Kasyapa gave Dharmopadesa to Mahiratha. The Guru said : "Oh King, your body which was in a state of sinning has attained a state of virtue by your association with me. Those well-versed in the Vedas say that the body is of three different kinds. Firstly there is the one which is evil-natured without either virtue or knowledge. Secondly, there is the virtuous one with good conduct. Thirdly, there is the agonising body which hides both virtue and evil. The body without virtue and salvation is always a body of sins. Your body has now become virtuous by becoming devotional to your guru and attending to my words. You are now fit to do virtuous deeds and I shall now make you enjoy the benefits of Vaisakhasnana (a bath with religious rites in the month of Vaisakha (May) .


After that Kasyapa made him take the bath and worship with proper Vedic rites in the month of Vaisakha. The King became old and died. At once the servants of Kala- (King of Death) came to fetch the soul of Mahiratha. But angels from Mahavisnu came and thrusting aside the agents of Kala took charge of the soul of Mahiratha. Nymphs from above sang in praise of the King whose sin had waned because of Vaisakhapratassnana (early morning bath in the month of Vaisakha). The angels from Visnu carrying the sou1 of the King to Svarga took him through hell. The King heard the agonising cries of those suffering from different kinds of torture in hell. The King made enquiries and feeling compassionate requested those in charge of the hell to release those there in hell then by accepting a portion of the punya acquired by him. The angels agreed to that and the King gave away the Punya he had acquired during one day by observing the Vaisakhavrata. At once all those in hell were released from the agony and were sent to heaven. (Vaisakhamahatmyaprakarana, Padma Purana, Patalakhanda).


MAHISA. An Asura.


1) . Birth. Long ago there was a famous Asura King named Danu. Two sons named Rambha and Karambha were born to him. Having no. issue, they decided to worship Malavata yaksa, praying to be blessed with children. They started tapas, Karambha, in the middle of water and Rambha in the middle of Pancagni. Indra was alarmed at their tapas. He took the form of a crocodile and went. into the water in which Karambha was standing and caught hold of his feet, pulling him down. Karambha was drowned. The mighty Rambha who teas enraged at the death of his brother, decided to cut off his own head and offer it as sacrifice in the fire. He drew his sword and was about to cut off his head. when Agni, the god of fire, appeared before him and stopped him saying :-"Do not kill yourself. Killing another person itself is a sin. Suicide is a more serious sin. Ask for any boon you wish to have; I shal1 grant it. Do not put an end to your life."


Then Rambha replied :- "If you are prepared to grant me a boon, let me have a son who is more brilliant than yourself and who will be the conqueror of all the three worlds. He should not be defeated by Devas or Asuras, and he should be as mighty as the wind, handsome and an expert archer." Agni replied :"You will have such a son by the woman who wins your heart".


When god Agni had left after saying this, Rambha went to visit Malayaksa, who was attended to by Yaksas. There, they had a treasure known as Padma and numerous animals like elephants, horses, buffaloes, cows and sheep. Among them was a three-year-old shebuffalo of exceptional charm and Rambha fell in love with her. She was also irresistibly attracted by him. As fate would have it, a sexual union took place between them.


The she-buffalo became pregnant and Rambha took her with him to his own house in Patala. There, the other Danavas, his kinsmen who came to know of his connection with the she-buffalo, expelled him from their midst as one who had committed a forbidden act. So he returned to Malavatayaksa. The pretty shebuffalo accompanied her husband to the holy Yaksamandala.


While they were living there, she gave birth to an attractive buffalo-calf: After that a he-buffalo came across her. But she remained loyal to her Danava husband who drew his sword and rushed towards the he-buffalo. The terrible beast with his mighty horns attacked Rambha who fell dead on the ground. The widowed Mahisi (she-buffalo) sought the protection of the Yaksas. They saved her from the Mahisa (He-buffalo). The disappointed and love-stricken Mahisa drowned himself in a holy lake and was reborn as a mighty and heroic Asura named Namara. The Mahisi spent some time under the protection of the Yaksas. When they cremated Rambha's body, she jumped into the funeral pyre and burnt herself to death. At once from the middle of the fire there arose a monstrous being. That terrible monster, armed with a sword drove away the Yaksas and killed all the Mahisas. Mahisa who was the son of Rambha alone was spared. He was the Asura named Raktabija. He defeated all gods like Indra, Rudra, Surya, Vayu and others.


Mahisasura became the King of the Asuras. The alarmed Devas (gods) abandoned their posts of honour. All the worlds were plunged in darkness. (Vamana Purana, Chapter 17).


2) Mahisasura's Reign. Mahisasura who was intoxicated with pride on account of the boon he had received, became the undisputed and sole emperor of the three worlds. He formed a strong council of Ministers. Ciksura who was puffed with pride and an expert in military Science, was installed as WarMinister and Tamra, the gifted economist as Finance Minister. The Prime Minister was Asiloma. Bidala was Foreign Minister. Udarka became Military Commander. Baskala, Trinetra and Kalabaridhaka were assigned the posts of Members of the Executive Council. gukracarya was the Education Minister. Mahisa strengthened his army. The State Treasury overflowed with wealth. Kings of the neighbouring states paid tribute and bowed their heads to him. The Brahmanas offered the share of yajfia to Mahisasura and prostrated before him. (Devi Bhagavata, 5th Skandha).


3) Outbreak of War. After strengthening his position as Emperor of the world, Mahisa contemplated the conquest of Heaven. He sent a messenger to Indra. The messenger ordered Indra to surrender to Mahisasura. Indra answered with utter contempt to the messenger and his master Mahisa. The messenger returned and reported the matter to Mahi sasura who began to tremble with anger.


Although 1ndra sent away the messenger with scorn, he had no peace of mind. He called together the Devas and discussed what was to be done. They decided to declare war on Mahisasura. Brahma and Indra, accompanied by the other Devas set out to Kailasa. From there, taking Paramasiva with them, they proceeded to Vaikuntha. On arrival there, they offered prayers to Mahavisnu who appeared before them. They submitted to him their grievances and sufferings under the rule of Mahisasura. After deep deliberations, Mahavisnu supported the proposal for war. Thus the war between Devas and Asuras started.


4) Deadsura Tuddha. It was a dreadful war. Mahisa himself appeared on the scene of battle. He struck at Indra with his mighty club. Before he received the blow, Indra broke the club with his Thunderbolt. The Asura named Andhaka encountered Mahavisnu. The five arrows of that Asura were broken to pieces by Mahavisnu in the sky itself. Then they started a terrible fight with various weapons such as sword, spear, axe, arrow, discus etc. It lasted for about 50 days without a break. Baskala fought against Indra, Mahisa against Rudra, Trinetra against Yamadharma, Mahahanu against Srida, and Asiloma against Pracetas. In the course of the battle, Andhaka, struck a blow at Garuda with his cudgel. Garuda, the vehicle of Visnu was stunned by the blow, but Visnu restored his energy by stroking him gently with his right hand. After that he took up his bow 8arnga and tried to kill Andhaka with a shower of arrows. But the Daitya warrior countered all of them with 50 arrows which he shot at Visnu. Visnu smashed all of them and sent his destructive ' weapon "Sudarsana Cakra" against Andhaka. Without the slightest fear, Andhaka stopped it with his own Cakra weapon and kept Visnu's weapon at bay and shouted in triumph. Finding that Visnu's weapon had failed and hearing the scornful shout of Andhaka, the Devas were filled with panic. At this critical moment, Visnu took up his club "KaumodAi" and rushed into the midst of the Asuras and struck Andhaka with it. Under the blow, the Asura hero reeled and fell down unconscious. At his fall, Mahisa himself rushed forward to Visnu with a terrible roar. Then there ensued a bitter fight between Visnu and Mahisa. Each began a shower of arrows on the other. But not a single arrow injured either. In the thick of the battle Visnu struck a blow on Mahisa's head and he dropped down unconscious. But ere long the Danava rose up and taking up his iron pestle aimed a mighty blow at Visnu's head and brought it down with deadly effect Under the blow, even Visnu fell unconscious on Garuda's back. Visnu's condition made Garuda withdraw from the scene of battle temporarily, with Visnu on his back. Indra and the other gods began to cry aloud. Siva, who saw this desperate plight of the Devas, at once came to the battlefield, carrying his trident, ready to fight against Mahisa. When he tried to pierce the Asura's chest with his trident, the latter thwarted the blow with his own lance and aimed it at Siva's breast. Although it actually hit him, Siva disregarded it and gave another thrust to Mahisa with his trident. By this time Mahavisnu had recovered from his swoon. At once he returned to the field of battle and joined Siva in his attack on Mahisa. When Mahisa saw that both Siva and Visnu were launching a combined attack against him, in his wild fury he assumed his own buffalo form and lifting up his tail and shaking his head rushed towards his mighty adversaries. With his terrible horns he lifted up mountain peaks and hurled them at the enemy. But the Deva leaders stopped them with their shower of arrows. Visnu sent his Cakra against him and it made the Asura chief drop down senseless. But he soon recovered and rushed forward to renew his attack with a terrible roar. Visnu then sounded his divine conch "Paficajanya" and drowned the sound of his roar. Just as the roaring of the asura frightened the Devas, the sound of Paficajanya struck terror in the minds of the Asuras.


5) Mahisa's Death. The Asuras were terrified at the sound of Paficajanya. In order to encourage them, Mahisa assumed the form of a lion and rushed into the midst of the army of Devas roaring. Even the Trimurtis were alarmed for a short while when they saw the fierce beast advancing through their battlearray killing and mauling hundreds of the Devas on either side. Mahavisnu at once sent his weapon Cakra against the lion. The 1ion was reduced to ashes by it, but Mahisa rose up again in the form of a buffalo and rushed forward. He gave. a severe cut on Mahavisnu's chest with his long and powerful horn. Mahavisnu started fleeing to Vaikuntha. At the sight of this, Siva concluded that Mahisa was proof against killing and so he also fled to Kaiiasa riding do his bull. When Visnu and Siva took to their heels, Brahma also flew to Satyaloka, riding on this swan. Although the leaders left the field, the rest of the Devas under the leadership of Indra, encountered Mahisa again. Indra drew his Vajra. The Astadikpalakas assisted him. The battle raged fiercely again. The Devas began to flee for life. Taking this opportunity, Mahisasura forced his way into Heaven. He planted his Daitya flag highly. He drove out all the remaining Devas. In this way the Asuras took possession of Devaloka. The Devas took shelter on the tops of mountains.


Several centuries passed. The Devas assembled and prayed to Brahma. He took them again to Vaikuntha. Siva also arrived there. The Devas submitted their grievances to Visnu. They prayed to him to devise some method by which Mahisa could be killed. Brahma had given him a boon that no Man was capable of killing him.


Mahavisnu said to them :-"By Virtue of the boon, Mahisa could be killed only by a woman. If we can create a woman who is part of the Devas with their power and glory, we could kill him with her help. So let us try to create such a mighty woman, concentrating all our powers on her. After her creation, we must give her all our weapons."


As soon as Mahavisnu spoke these words, a figure with dazzling effulgence issued forth from Brahma's face. Both Visnu and Siva were amazed at the sight of this


figure radiating beams of light which were partly coo: and partly warm. Similar figures, embodying the peculiar powers and qualities of Visnu, Siva, Indra; Kubera, Varuna and all other gods, emanated from them. In a moment all these figures merged into a single figure and transformed themselves into a single woman with celestial beauty and having eighteen arms. This woman of exquisite beauty combining all the powers and glories of all the Devas was Devi herself.


The devas supplied her with jewels and ornaments and gorgeous clothes. Decked in all glory and with fascinating beauty, riding on a lion. she took her stand at the entrance of Devaloka and challenged Mahisa. At the very first sight of Devi, Mahisa fell in love with her. She declared she would become the wife of the person who could defeat her in battle.


So Mahisa made up his mind to defeat her in a fight. It was a terrible battle. All the Ministers of Mahisa, like Baskala, Durmukha, Tamra, Ciksura, Asiloma and Bidala were slain. At last Mahisa himself appeared on the scene to fight with Devi. Mahisa started with a shower of arrows and Devi countered them all with her own arrows. In the end she attacked him with Visnu Cakra. The Cakra cutoff his throat and he dropped down dead. The devas raised a thunderous shout of joy and triumph. (Devi Bhagavata, 5th Skandha).


MAHISADA. A woman follower of Lord Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 28) .


MAHISAKA. (MAHISAKA) : A special tribe. They were once Ksatriyas but they became Sudras by their evil mode of living. (Slokas 22, 23, Chapter 33, Anusasana Parva). Arjuna during his victory march conquered this tribe in the south. (Chapter 83, Asvamedha Parva).


MAHISAKA (M). The name given by the Ancient people to modern Mysore. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 59).


MAHISAKSA. An Asura who came into conflict with Subrahmanya. (Skanda Purana).


MAHISANANA. A follower of Subrahmanya. (Sloka 25, Chapter 46, Salya Parva).


MAHISMAN I. A King of the Hehaya royal family. It was this King who constructed on the banks of the river Narmada, Mahismati, the capital city of Kartaviryarjuna. It got the name of Mahismati because it was constructed by Mahisman (Chapter 2, Brahmanda Purana).


MAHISMAN II. A King of the Vrsni dynasty. He was the son of a King called Kuni. (Kuni is called Kunti in some of the Puranas). Kuni had three other sons named Sabhajit, Bhadrasena and Durdama. (9th Skandha, Bhagavata).


MAHISMATI. Sixth daughter of Angiras. Mahismati was known as Anumati also. (Sloka 6, Chapter 218, Vana Parva).


MAHISMATI. An ancient city on the banks of river Narmada. There is reference to this place in many p1aces in the Puranas and a few of them are given below


(i) King Nila was reigning in a country with Mahismati as its capital. Sahadeva, one of the Pandavas during his victorious march to the south conquered this country. (Chapter 31, Sabha Parva).


(ii) Dasasva, tenth son of Iksvaku, had made this city his capital. (Sloka 6, Chapter 2, Anusasana Parva).


(iii) Kartaviryarjuna who had made Mahismati the capital of his kingdom had subdued many kings. (Sloka 3, Chapter 152, Anusasana Parva). (See under Kartaviryarjuna.)


MAHODARA I. A serpent born to Kasyapa of his wife Kadru. (Sloka 16, Chapter 35, Adi Parva ).


MAHODARA II. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtaravtra. Bhimasena killed him in the great battle. (Sloka 19, Chapter 157, Drona Parva).


MAHODARA III. An ancient sage. (See under Kapalamocana ).


MAHODARA IV. An army chief of Ravana. (Uttara Ramayana).


MAHODARA V. A friend of Ghatotkaca son of Bhima. When Ghatotkaca started for Pragjyotisapura to conquer Kamakatankata, Mahodara also followed him. (Skanda Purana).


MAHODARA VT. One of the sons of Ravana. In the Rama-Ravana battle Mahodara fought first with Angada and later in a combat with the monkey soldier Nila, he was killed. (Sargas 70, 81, Yuddha Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana).


MAHODARA VII. The minister of Sumali, grandfather (maternal), of Ravana. In the Rama-Ravana battle Mahodara accompanied Sumali when he came to help Ravana. (UttarasKanda, Valmiki Ramayana).


MAHODARA VIII. One of the sons of Visravas born of his wife Puspotkata. Hanuman killed this demon in the Rama-Ravana battle. (Yuddha Kanda, Chapter 70, Verse 66, Valmiki Ramayana).


MAHODARYA, A King who is worthy of being thought of every morning. (Sloka 55, Chapter 155, Anusasana Parva).


MAHODAYA. One of the sons of Vasistha. Once Trig ariku, King of Ayodhya, conducted a yaga with Visvamitra as Rtvik and for that yaga Visvamitra invited Vasistha and his son Mahodaya also. But Mahodaya refused to respond to the invitation and sent a message picturing both VEvamitra and Trisanku as Candalas. Enraged at this insulting message Visvamitra cursed Mahodaya to become Sudra. (Verses 20-21, Bala Kanda, Chapter 59, Valmiki Ramayana).


MAHODAYAPURI. The capital city of Kubera. This is called Alakapuri also. (8th Skandha, Devi Bhagavata) .


MAHOTTHA. A Janapada of Puranic fame in Bharata. The chief of this pace, Akrosa was conquered by Nakula during his victory march. (Sloka 6, Chapter 32, Sabha Parva.




1) General information. A mountain. This mountain was the son of Himavan and father of Kraunea. (Sloka 13, Chapter 18, Harivarits a) .


2) How the mountain helped Hanumdn. There is an unbreakable tie between Mainaka and the Kings of Iksvaku family. There is a story in Brahmanda Purana that the sagara (ocean) was constructed 6y the sixty thousand sons of the King Sagara of Iksvaku family. This sagara once gave refuge to Mainaka and brought it up. There is a reason for that :-


In the early yugas mountains had wings and they used to fly and drop to the ground as they liked. People used to live in fright always and at the request of the people Indra made the mountains stand in a row and cut off their wings. At that time the god Vayu (wind) took away his friend Mainaka and put him in the ocean. From that day onwards Mainaka and the ocean developed an intimacy which even death could ttot wipe off. Hanuman was the son of Vayu, the friend and saviour of Mainaka. It was because of that that Mainaka gave refuge for Hanumdn on his way to Lanka. Because the ocean gave refuge to Mainaka after its escape from the sword of Indra and because the ocean (Sagara) was the creation of the sons of Sagara, a King of the Iksvaku race, Mainaka felt indebted to Sagara and the entire race to which he belonged. Mainaka thus had great respect for Sri Rama who belonged to the Iksvaku race. This was also responsible for Mainaka giving relief to Hanuman on his way to Lanka. (See under Parvata).


2) Other details.


(i) This mountain is situated near the lake Bindusarovara which was to the north of Kailasa. Bhagiratha did penance to bring Gariga to the earth on this mountain. (Chapter 3, Sabha Parva).


(ii) Pandavas who went to the north crossed the mountain Mainaka and went further. (Sloka 1, Chapter 139, Vana Parva).


(iii) The mountain Mainaka shines with golden peaks. (Sloka 44, Chapter 145, Vana Parva).


MAINAKA II. A holy place on the west coast on the banks of the river Narmada. This is also on a mountain. (Sloka 11, Chapter 89, Vana Parva).


MAINAKA III. Another mountain. .(This is in Krauncadvipa. (Sloka 18, Chapter 12, Bhisma Parva).


MAINDA. One of the monkeys who helped Sri Rama in the search for Sita. Puranas give the following information regarding this monkey


(i) Mainda lived in a cave in Kiskindha. While he was living there Sahadeva one of the Pandavas came that way during his victory campaign in Daksina Bharata and fought with him. Sahad6va was defeated. But Mainda was pleased with him and gave him many valuable presents and advised him that no difficulties should be put against Dharmaputra achieving his object. (Sloka 18, Chapter 31, Sabha Parva) .


(ii) Mainda was the minister of Sugriva, King of the monkeys. He was mighty, intelligent, and kind to others. (S.loka 23, Chapter 28, Vana Parva).


(iii) Mainda was one of the leaders who led the monkeys who went in search of Sita. (Sloka 19, Chapter 283, Vana Parva).


(iv) In the Rama-Ravana battle Mainda and others also fainted along with Laksmana and others. It was only when they washed their faces with the water given by Kubera that they could see things clearly.


(v) Mainda was the son of A vinidevas. (10th Skandha, Bhagavata).


MAITRA I. A demon tribe. Once a sage named Loma: a persuaded Dharmaputra to attack this tribe.


MAITRA LI. An auspicious time (Muhurta). Sri Krsna started on his historic journey to Hastinapura at Maitramuhurta. (Sloka 6, Chapter 83, Udyoga Parva).


MAITRA III. A constellation. Krtavarma joined the Kaurava side on the day of' this constellation. (Sloka 14, Chapter 35, Salya Parva).


MAITRAVARUNA. Another name for Vasistha. Agastya also is-known by this name. Because they were born as the sons of Mitra and Varuna they got this name. How they came to be reborn as the sons of Mitravarunas is told in Devi Bhagavata.


There was once a celebrated emperor named Nimi in the Iksvaku line of Kings. Nimi was the twelfth son of Iksvaku. The agrahara found near the asrama of Gautama Maharsi, called Jayantapura was constructed by Nimi. Once Nimi decided to perform a big yaga and after taking the consent of his father made preparations for the same. He invited such great sages as Bhrgu, Airgiras, Vamadeva, Pulastya, Pulaha and Rcika. He then went to their family preceptor Vasistha


and requested hirer to be the chief priest. But Vasistha had already promised Indra to conduct a yaga for him and so advised Nimi to postpone his yaga to a later date. But Nimi was unwilling to postpone his 'yaga and so he performed it with Gautama Maharsi as the chief priest. It took five hundred years for. Nimi to complete the yaga. After five hundred years Vasistha after competing the yoga of Indra came to see Mini and found that he had already conducted the yaga without him. Vasistha was angry and he cursed Nimi saying that Nimi would become bodiless. But powerful Nimi cursed Vasistha also and separated his soul from his body.


Griefstricken, Vasistha went to Brahma and complained to him. Brahma said; "Oh son, you go and merge with the brilliance of Mitravarunas and stay there. After some time you will be able to be born without being in a womb; you will then have a memory of the past and you will be very learned and will be worshipped by all".


Vasistha was pleased to hear that and he circumambulated Brahma and prostrated before him and then went to the asrama of Mitravarunas. He then abandoned his body there and merged with the brilliance of Mitravarunas. One day Urvasi with her companions came to the asrama of Mitravarunas and attracted by her charm they spent a night with her. Their semen at one time fell into a jar nearby and from it were born two people, Agastya and Vasistha, (Skandha 6, Devi Bhagavata).


MAITREYA. A sage of great brilliance of ancient India.


1) Genealogy. Descending in order from Visnu : -Brahma-Atri-Candra-Budha-Pururavas - Ayus-


Anenas-Pratiksatra-Srfijaya jaya-Vijaya- KrtiHarya'sva-Sahadeva-Nadina jayasena - Sarikrti -Ksatradharma-Sumagotra-Sala-Arstisena-KosaDirghatapas-Dhanvantari--Ketuman-BhimarathaDivodasa-Maitreya.


Somapa was born as the son of Maitreya.


2) Other details.


(i) Once Maitreya went to Hastinapura and told Duryodhana that he should behave kindly to the Pandavas. Duryodhana who did not much relish the advice sat tapping on his thighs with his hands, not seriously attending to the sage. Maitreya was displeased at the discourtesy and cursed that Bhima


would one day break Duryodhana's thighs. (See under Duryodhana).


(ii) Maitreya was a courtier of Yudhisthira. (Sloka 10, Chapter 4, Sabha Parva).


(iii) Maitreya was one among the sages who visited Bhisma while he was lying on his bed of arrow. (Sloka 6, Chapter 4', Santi Parva).


(iv) Once he discussed with Vyasa topics on Dharma. (Chapter 120, Anu°sasana Parva).


(v) When Sri Krsna died, the spiritualistic ideology of Dharmaputra became more dominant and he approached Vidura for Dharmopadesa. Vidura sent him to Maitreya. Dharmaputra went to the Asrama of Maitreya on the banks of the river Gairga and after paying respects to him accepted Dharmopadesa (Instruction in law, duty and morals) from him. (3rd Skandha, Bhagavata).


MAITREYA Wife of the sage Yajfiavalkya. She was one of the most learned and virtuous women in ancient India. There are innumerable references to her in the Puranas. (For details about her splendour see under Candrangada).


MAITRI. Daughter of Daksa. Thirteen daughters of Daksa were married to Dharmadeva. Maitri was one of them. Maitri bore a son named Abliaya to Dharmadeva. (4th Skandha, Bhagavata).


MAJJANA. A soldier of Subrahmanya. ( Sloka 70, Chapter 45, Salya Parva).


MAKANDI. A city of the King Drupada. 'I his city was on the banks of the river Gariga. (Sloka 73, Chapter 137. Adi Parva). See under KAPATABHIKSU.


MAKARADAMSTRA. A prostitute of Mathura, the birth place of Sri Krsna. The story of this woman who had made prostitution and cheating her aim in life was told to Vasavadatta wife of Udayana by Vasantaka. The curbing of the arrogance of Makaradarhstra by a poor brahmin of name Lohajangha with the help of Vibhisana, emperor of the demons, is the theme of the story.


Makaradarhstra had a daughter named Rdpinika. The mother tried to make the daughter also a prostitute. Once Rupinika went to a far-off temple for worship as instructed by her mother: There she met a poor brahmin named Lohajarigha and Rupinika was attracted to him by his handsome features. She sent word through her maid requesting Lohajairgha to come to her house. Rupinika came back and waited for her lover to come. After some time Lohajangha came. Makaradarhstra scrutinised the new-comer with suspicion but Rupinika took him to her bed-room. Both of them remained there making love. Makaradarirstra finding her daughter going against the principles of a prostitute called her to her side and said: "Dear daughter, why do you keep this poor brahmin ? Is this the duty of a prostitute ? Love and prostitution never go together. We are like dusk. The twilight of love remains for a few seconds only. So do send away this brahmin who has no money."


Rupinika discarded the advice of her mother and Makaradarirstra felt annoyed. She decided to send out Lohajangha somehow, One day a prince came that way and Makaradarirstra enticed him to her house and requested the prince to accept Rupinika and send Lohajafrgha out of her house.


The prince accepted the request of the mother-prostitute. At that time Rupinika had gone to the temple and Lohajangha for a walk. After some time Lohajangha came as usual and entered the house. and Makaradariistra introduced Lohajangha to the prince. At once the servants of the prince beat Lohajafigha and carrying him away out of the house put him in an excrement pit. Lohajangha somehow escaped from there and. ran away. He was sorry to part with his love and he went on a pilgrimage. lie walked for a long distance in the hot sun and feeling tired searched for a shady place to take some rest. Then he saw the carcass of an elephant. Jackals entering through the buttocks had eaten all iiesh and the animal lay hollow inside with the skin in tact on the skeleton. Lohajafigha entered the inside of the elephant and slept there. That night it rained heavily and the hole at the buttocks contracted with little space for Lohajangha to get out. The rains continued, the water-level in the river Gangs rose and soon the carcass of the elephant was carried away to the river and it gradually reached the ocean. At that time a great kite taking it to be flesh for food drew it up and took it to the other side of the ocean. When it pecked it open it found a man inside and frightened left it there and flew away. By this time Lohajangha awoke from his slumber and while he was looking around him in surprise he saw two demons approaching him. The demons thought he had come to the place crossing the ocean like Sri Rama to bring disaster to them and so they immediately ran up to Vibhlsana and told him of the incident. Vibhisana asked his servants to bring Lohajangha before him and when he was brought before him enquired very politely who he was and why he had come there and how he had come. In reply to the enquiries Lohajangha said thus : "I am a brahmin from Mathura. I did penance to please Visnu to get relief from my poverty and one day Visnu appeared before me in person and said, `Go to my devotee Vibhisana, and he will give you enough wealth to live happily'. I t was in a dream and when I awoke I found myself on this shore. I do not know how it all happened."


Vibhisana was immensely pleased to hear the story of Lohajangha and gave him immense wealth including many precious diamonds, golden replica of the emblem of Visnu consisting of Safikha, Cakra, Gada and Padma and a small kite from the mountain of Svarnamula. Accepting all these Lohajangha flew on the back of the kite back to Mathura and alighted at a deserted place there. Keeping all his valuable articles in a secret p1ace he took one diamond and selling it acquired some cash and with that purchased some ornamental dress for himself. At dusk he dressed himself and holding the emblem of Visnu flew on the back of the kite to the house of Rupinika and addressing Rupinika in private said, "I am Visnu. I have come to you - for a union because you are virtuous". Hearing that Rupinika respectully surrendered herself to him. Before dawn Lohajangha left the house and flew back to the deserted place. Rupinika felt herself to be a goddess and did not speak to anybody in the morning. The mother was perplexed to find her daughter observing a vow of silence and questioned her. Rupinika then told her mother all that had happened on the previous night. Makaradamstra wanted to confirm the story of her daughter and so she kept awake that night to see what took place. She found Lohajangha arriving as Visnu


on the back of Garuda and fully believing him to be Mahavisnu was overjoyed at the fortune of her daughter and running to her the next morning said "Oh, dear daughter, by the grace of Sri Narayana you have become a goddess. How fortunate am I ? You should do one thing for me. You must send me to heaven with this body of mine along withyour husbandgod."


Rupinika agreed to do so. That night she tbld the fake Visnu the desire of her mother. Then Lohajangha said: "Your mother who is a great sinner is not eligible to go to Svarga in her present state. Day after tomorrow on the Dvadas! day the gates of heaven will open. Early morning on that day the goblins of Siva would enter Svarga. I shall then try to send your mother along with them. But your mother should then appear as a goblin. The hair on the head should be shaved at five places and the remaining hair locked to form five tufts of hair. She should wear a garland of bones and the body should be painted black on one side with charcoal and red on the other side with saffron. The painting should be in oil and she should not wear any clothes. This would make her appear like a goblin of Mahesvara (Siva) and then there will be no difficulty for me to allow her to enter Svarga.


Lohajangha left the place early in the morning and Rupinika told her mother all that her husband told her. Makaradamstra dressed herself as instructed by Lohajangha and awaited the arrival of the fake Mahavisnu. Lohajangha came at night and Rupinika showed him her mother dressed as desired by her husband. Lohajangha took Makaradamstra on the back of his kite and flew up. As he rose high he saw a tall flagstaff of a temple nearby. It had a wheel on its top. Lohajafigha placed her on the wheel and said, "Do sit here for a while. I shall soon come back to you and bless you". To the people assembled in the temple he spoke from the air, "Citizens, today the goddess `Mar!', destroyer of everything, will fall on you. If you want to avoid that, remain in this temple and worship Visnu".


People were frightened when they heard the warning from air and all remained in the temple chanting prayers and reciting devotional songs about Vignu. Makaradaxhstra sat there for a while dreaming about the happiness in store for her in Svarga and awaiting her daughter's husband to come and take her. But LohajaAgha had come to the temple in an ordinary dress and was with the crowd in. the temple. Time dragged on and it became midnight and Makaradamstra sitting on the wheel of the flagstaff felt uneasy. She could not sit there any longer and she cried aloud, "Oh, I am falling". People mistook her for Mar! and cried back, "Oh, goddess, do not fall". It became morning and in the sunlight they saw a figure sitting on the top of the flagstaff and were surprised. The King was informed and he came to the temple and so also all people from the place. When the people on scrutinising the figure knew it was Makaradamstra, they all clapped their hands laughing loudly. Hearing the news Rupinika also came to the temple and she somehow got her mother down from the flagstaff. The King then made the prostitute tell her story and when it was finished he declared thus: "Who has thus played fraud on this prostitute who had throughout her life cheated other people ? If he comes before me now I will give him my crown and Kingdom". Hearing that Lohajangha appeared before the King and confessed that he had done the mischief. He then narrated his story to the king and placed before the king the golden Seal of Visnu's emblem which Vibhisana had given him. The king as per his promise gave Lohajangha his kingdom and Rupinika once more became his. The arrogance of Makaradarimstra was thus curbed. (Kathamukhalambaka, Kathasaritsagara).


MAKARAGIRI. A mountain near Mahameru. Mahameru is two thousand yojanas long and six hundred yojanas high and stands in the midst of eight mountains two on each of the four sides. Makaragiri and Trisrnga are on the north side. On the east are Jathara and Devakuta, on the south are Kailasa and Karavira and on the west are Pavamana and Pariyatra. (8th Skandha, Devi Bhagavata).


MAKARAKSA. Son of the demon Khara. In the epic battle between Rama and Ravana after the death of Kumbha and Nikumbha the most prominent fighter who entered the battle-field on the side of Ravana was Makaraksa. He gave a great fight to Rama but was in the end killed by him. (Sarga 79, Yuddha Kaxida, Valmiki Ramayana).


MAKARADHVAJA I. A son of Hanuman. He was born to a crocodile living in the ocean as the perspiration drops fell on her from Hanuman. (Sarakanda, Ananda Ramayana).


MAKARADHVAJA 11. One of the sons of Dhrtarastra. He was killed in the great battle by Bhimasena. 1 Chapter 92, Drona Parva).


MAKARI. A river of Puranic fame. (Sloka 23, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MAKSOPETA. A dai tya. This dai tya whirls round along with an Aditya, known as Visnu in the month of Karttika. (November) (12th Skandha, Bhagavata)


MALA. A place of habitation of ancient India. (Sloka 39, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MALADA. One of the wives of Sage Atri. (Brabmanda Purana, Chapter 38 Verses 74-87) .


MALAIDA (S) A community of people who lived in ancient India. From Mahabharata, Drona Parva, Chapter 27, we learn that they were the partisans of the Kauravas.


MALAJA. An ancient town celebrated in the Puranas. It is also known as "Angamalaja". (See under (A&GAMALAJA).


MALATIKA. A follower of Subrabmanya. (Sloka 4, Chapter 46, ,;alya Parva )


MALAVA. A Puranic river to be remembered. (Sloka 25, Chapter 165, Anugasana Parva).


MALAVA. An ancient country on the west coast of India. Mahabbarata contains the following statements regarding Malava


(i) The people of Malava participated in the Rajasuya of Yudhisthira. (Sloka 11, Chapter 34, Sabha Parva). (ii) Armed young Ksatriyas of Malava presented Yudhisthira with great wealth. (Sloka 15, Chapter 52, Sabha .Parva) .


(iii) Karna conquered Malavadesa. (Sloka 20, Chapter 254, Vana Parva).


(iv) Malava was one of the prominent and renowned countries of ancient India (Sloka 60, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


(v) Obeying the order of Bhisma the people of Malava attacked Arjuna. (Sloka 76, Chapter 59, Bhisma Parva).


(vi) Sri Krsna once conquered Malavadesa. (Sloka 16, Chapter 19, Drona Parva).


(vii) Parasurama exterminated the Ksatriyas of Malavade'sa. (Sloka 11, Chapter 70, Drona Parva).


MALAVA(S). The Ksatriyas born to king Asvapati of his wife Malavi are known as Mafavas. (Saloka 49, Chapter 297, Vana Parva).


MALAVI. The queen of Asvapati king of Madra. She was the mother of Savitri. Asvapati begot of Malavi a hundred sons called Malavas.


Yama took to Kalapuri the soul of Satyavan who was shortlived. Savitri, wife of Satyavan, followed Yama. Yama blessed Savitri and said she would have many children and gave life to Satyavan again. Yama said "Satyavan will live for four hundred years and you will get a hundred sons of him. Your father Asvapati also will get a hundred sons of Malavi and the earth will get the name of Sdvitri also". Accordingly Malavi got a hundred sons and they were called Malavas. (Chapter 297, Vana Parva).


MALAYA I. A son of King Rsabhadeva belonging to the Priyavrata dynasty. (Bhagavata, 5th Skandha).


MALAYA 11. A son of Garuda (M. B. Sabha Parva Chapter 99, Verse 1 '1) .


MALAYA III. A son of Garuda. (Sloka 14, Chapter 101, Udyoga Parva).


MALAYA IV. A mountain in South India. The following pieces of information are gathered about this mountain from the Puranas :-


(1) The sovereign deity of this mountain attends on Kubera in Kubera's assembly. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 10, Verse 32)


(2) The Pandya and Cola Kings collected Sandal Paste essence from the Malaya and Dardura mountains, filled them in golden pots and presented them to Yudhi sthira. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 52, Verse 33) .


(3) The monkeys who went in search of Sita crossed this mountain. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 289, Verse 44),


(4) Malaya is considered as one of the seven chief mountains of India. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 11)


(5) Once Mrtyu deity performed tapas on this mountain. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 26) .


(6) In Tripuradahana, Siva used this mountain as the flagstaff of his chariot. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 102, Verse 73).


MALAYA V. In Mahabharata there is a description of another Malaya Mountain besides the Malaya mountain of South India. When the -sage Suka ascended Heaven, he saw a Malaya mountain on the way. The celestial women, Urvasi and Vipracitti used to dance there daily. This Malaya is somewhere above Kailasa. (M.B. knti Parva, Chapter 332, Verse 2l ).


MALAYADHVAJA (PANDYA). In Mahabharata, Karna Parva, Chapter 20, we read about a Pandya King named Malayadhvaja who took part in the Kuruksetra battle and was killed in the fight against Asvattbama.


MALAYAPRABHA. A King celebrated in Puranas. He ruled over Kuruksetra. Once when there was a famine in the land, King Malayaprabha exempted his subjects from all taxes. The greedy ministers did not like it and they advised him against it. The King yielded to the advice of his ministers. On one occasion Malayaprabha's son Induprabha pleaded with his father and told him that he should not oppress his subjects at the instigation of his evil ministers. He added that the King was their "Kalpavrksa" and the subjects were his "Kamadhenus." But the King did not heed the advice of his son. He jokingly said that Induprablia was also their "Kalpavrksa". Stung by this taunt, Induprabha took a solemn oath that he would either become a "Kalpavrksa" or lay down his life in the attempt. He left the palace at once and began an austere tapas. Indra was pleased and appeared before him. Receiving his blessing, Induprabha returned to his capital and stood there as a "Kalpavrksa". He fulfilled the desires of the people. A few days later, Indra came to the tree to test Induprabha. He told Induprabha : "Your mission of service is over; now you may come to Heaven". But he insisted that his subjects also should be taken with him to Heaven. Indra was pleased at the devotion and love of Induprabha for his subjects and agreed to take all his subjects also with him. Induprabha gave up the form of the tree and resuming his own shape, accepted "Bodhisa ttvacarya". (Kathasaritsagara, Sasankavati lambaka,.5thTarafiga).


MALEYA(S). The collective name of the ministers of Vibhisana The four ministers were : Anala, Anila, Hara and Sampati. (Uttar Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana)


MALI. A demon of great valour.


1) Genealogy and birth. There were two ,.very brave brothers in the demon tribe named Heti and Praheti. They were inseparable companions of Mahabali. Praheti was unmarried and spent his time in religious pursuits. Heti married Bhaya sister of Kala and got a son named Vidyutkesa. Vidyutkesa married Salakatanka daughter of Sandhya and got a son named Sukesa, Suke: a married Devavati, daughter of Gramani, alias Manimaya. Devavati delivered three sons, Mali Sumall and Malyavan.


2) Boon to Mala. The three brothers, even while young decided to acquire great strength and started performing penance. Wlfen their penance became very fierce Brahma appeared before them in person and asked them what boon they wanted. They said, ` We must be invincible, we must be destroyers, of our enemies, we must have long life, we must become rich and powerful ever remaining friendly with each other". Brahma granted the boon asked for.


3) Family life. After obtaining the boon they went to Vi9vakarma and asked him to construct a place of abode for them. Visvakarma was frightened and he hastened to suggest a beautiful place for them to live. He said, "There is a mountain named Trikuta on the shores of the southern sea. There is a mountain on it called Subala. Its main top grazes the sky. Its four sides have been beautifully chiselled. No birds fly to its top. I have constructed there at the request of Indra a beautiful city surrounded by walls of gold and adorned on all sides with festoons of gold. That city is called Lanka and you, demon-lords, cart stay there. You will get glory and prestige which even India could not acquire in his Amaravati. If you live in Lanka with your followers you will be unconquerable".


The happy demons with their people went to Lanka. They married the daughters of a Gandharva woman named Narmada, Mali married Vasudha ; Sumah7


Ketumati ; and Malyavan, Sundari. Mali begot of his wife Vasudha four sons named Anila, Anala, Hara and Sampati. Sumali got of his wife Ketumati ten sons named Prahasta, Akampana, Vikata, Kalakamukha, Dllumraksa, Danda, Suparsva, Samhrada, Prakvata and Bliasakarna and four daughters named Veka, Puspotkata, Kaikasi and Kumbhinasi.


4) Death. The three brothers attacked Devaloka under the leadership of Mali and a great fight ensued and Mali died by the discus of Mahavisnu. (Uttara Ramayana).


MALIN! I. A river which flowed by the side of the asrama of Kanva Muni. The river Cukka which flows through the district of Saharanpur today was the Malin! of old. Some believe that Malini starts from the Himalayas. gakuntala was born on the shores of this river. (Sloka 10, Chapter 72, Adi Parva).


MALINI II. One of the seven mothers of Subrahmanya. (Sloka 10, Chapter 228, Vana Parva ).


MALINI 111. A demoness. This maiden was sent to serve Vi~ravas, father of Ravana, by Kubera. Vibhisana was the son born to Visravas of Malin!. (Sloka :?, Chapter 275, Vana Parva).


MALIN! IV. A city of Puranic fame in the country of Anga. Jaiasandha gave this city to Karna. (~loka 6, Chapter 5, Sabha Parva).


MALINI V. The name of ~abari in her previous birth. (See under Sabari).


MALINI VI. A nymph born to Puskara of Pramloca. (Chapter 8, Verse 14, Virata Parva). King Ruci married this nymph and they got a son named Raucya. The lord of Raucyamanvantara was this Raucya. (Markandeya Purana).


MALINI VII. A brahmin woman of very bad character. Because of her evil deeds she was born as a dog in her next birth. It observed then the 8ukladvadasi Vrata and so was born again as the nymph Urvas i. (2. 7. 24, Skanda Purana).


MALLARASTRA. A country in ancient India. The capital of 1Vlallarastra was the present city of Kusi. At the time of Mahabharata, this country was ruled by a King named Parthiva. There is a statement in the Mahabharata that this King was defeated by Bhimasena. When the Pandavas discussed the countries in which they were to live "incognito", the name of Mallarastra was also mentioned. (Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 30, Verse 3 ; Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 44; Virata Parva, Chapter 1, Verse 13).


MALYAPINDAKA. A serpent born in the family of Kasyapa. (~.loka 13, Chapter 103, Udyoga Parva).


MALYAVAN I. A Parsada of diva. The most intimate friend of Malyavan was Puspadanta.


1) Curse of Malyaadn. Once diva. was telling Parvati a story of the Gandharvas and Puspadanta heard it as he sat -hiding in a place nearby. .Parvati got angry and was about to curse when Malyavan intervened and recommended for mercy. Parvati got angrier and cursed them both to be born on earth as men. They begged for relief and Parvati said : "In the deep depths of the fbrest of Vindhya mountains there lives a Yaksa named Supratika who has been turned into a devil called Kanabhuti by a curse. Puspadanta should narrate the story he has now heard to Kanabhuti and he will then be released from the curse. Kanabhuti would narrate to Malyavan what he has heard from Puspadanta and Kanabhdti would then be released from his curse. Malyavan should then make public the story he has heard and then he will also be released from the curse". Puspadanta was born as Vararuci in the city of Kaucambi and Malyavan as Gunadhya in the city of Supratisthita. (See under Gunadhya).


2) Another curse to Malyaaan. By another curse XZalyavan was born as a spider and Puspadanta as an elephant in the south of Bharata. (See under Puspadanta)


3) Part in Devdsura battle.Released from curses Malyavan reached the presence of Siva. It was the time of the Devasura battle and Malyavan fought on the side of the devas. Malyavan played a prominent part in the battle. Malyavan had to fight against a fierce archer named Kolahala. Kolahala sent three arrows one each on the forehead and the two shoulders. Malyavan returned the fight with arrows. Then Kolahala showing his swiftness of hand tormented him with several different weapons. Unmindful of this vehement attack Malyavdn plucked a hillock and threw it at Kolahala. Then suddenly a fierce figure blazing with fire having nine pairs of hands and feet and three heads looking yellow in colour jumped out of the demon and made Malyavan faint by the terrible heat it gave out. Malyavan accepted defeat and ran away to the mountain. (Chapter 13, Part 4, Agni Purina).


MALYAVAN 11. Son of the demon Sukesa. He was the brother of Mali and Sumali.


This Malyavan was the father of Ravana's mother. They were all living in Patala but when Ravana obtained his boon he sent away Kubera from Lanka and became the ruler of Lafka. Malyavan and other demons followed Ravana to Lanka and stayed with him confirming his sovereignty over the place.


In the Rama-Ravana battle Sugriva stole the crown of Ravana and kicked him on his face. Ashamed of the insult Ravana went back to his palace and the first person he saw was Malyavan. The old man had come to advise Ravana to give back Sita to Sri Rama. But Ravana did not like the advice and tore to pieces the letter of advice. (For more details see under Mali) .


MALYAVAN 111. A mountain. This mountain is situated between the mountains of Meru and Mandara in the country of Ilavrta. This mountain shines like gold. (Chapter 7, Blrisma Parva).


MALYAVAN IV. Another mountain near the llim<rlayas. The Pandavas visited this mountain on their way to the mountain Gandhanladana from the dsrama of Arstisena. (Chapter 153, Vana Parva).


MALI'AVAN V. A mountain situated in the country of Kisklndha. The fight between Bdli and Sugriva took place near this mountain. This is on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. Uttara Rdmayana states that the palace of Sugriva was on the top of this mountain. Sri Rama stayed on the beautiful peak of this mountain for four months. (Sloka 40, Chapter 280, VanaParva).


MAMAhKAM. Mamankam was a very important national festival of Kerala. This festival used to be conducted on the sandy beach of Tirunavdya. I t represented the crowning ceremony of the sovereign of Kerala. There used to be a grand assembly of all the artistes of Kerala. There was an exhibition of the arts, trade and commerce of the land attracting a huge crowd of people from different parts of Bh5rata. Scholars believe that the word Mamaitkam is derived from the Sanskrit word "Maha-


magha". Some say that it was so called because it was conducted on the day of Magha in the month of Magha.


The festival was conducted under the auspices of the supreme power in Malabar. For a long period Perumals were in power in Malabar and so Mamankam was conducted under the control of the Peruru5zls. The last of the line of Perumals handed over the right to the then mighty chief, the King of Valluvanad and for several years Mamankam was conducted under his auspices. The foreign traders who came to Malabar, the Molrammadans and the Portuguese, persuaded Samutiri (zamorin) to take control of this festival and with the help of the foreigners Samutiri wrested from the King of Valluvanad the right of conducting the Momahkam. After some time the King of Valluvanad made an attempt to get back the right from Samutiri. This enraged Samutiri and there ensued a fight between them resulting in much shedding of blood. An agreement was reached that after twelve years each would relinquish the right in favour of the other. So after twelve years Samutiri was compelled to relinquish his right but by resorting to many sly tactics he retained the right. The strength of Samutiri increased and lie became a great power in Malabar. He was bold enough to send away the Portuguese from the coast and Smutiri maintained his position till the advent of Tippu Sultan to Malabar in the year 1788 A.D. Every twelve years Samutiri had to show his might to retain the right of the Mamankam and those days of exhibiting strength were ghastly.


The place of this Mamarikam was at Tirundvaya in Tirur taluk. A Siva temple of historic fame stands on the shores of the river Bharata flowing through Tirur taluk. There was an expansive sand beach on its shores, become famous by being the scene of many sociopolitical events there. It was the venue of the mighty Nambudiris of Malabar to discuss rnat,ers of sociopolitical importance. Every year on the full-moon day in the month of Magha all the ruling chiefs of Kerala would assemble there and on a special dais there Samutiri would sit with royal robes and a sword in his right hand presiding over the assembly. The sword was given to the Samutiris by Ceraman Perum~-rl and was considered the symbol of undisputed sovereignty of Kerala. It was also a sanction to conduct the Mamarikam. The SamTltirIS came prepared to give a fight if their authority was challenged by anybody. The ruling Samutiri would send an invitation to all chicfs of Kerala. On either side of Sanrutiri would sit the relatives and friends of Samutiri. There would be an army of Nairs and Tiyyas ready outside and only after defeating them could anybody approach the dais of Samutiri. The dais was called Nilapattutara.


The whole atmosphere would resound with drumrnings and shots from pop-guns. Majestic elephants adorned with golden headdresses would be arrayed there. The conference of the chiefs would last for twelve days and the festival for twentyfour days. The Mamankam attracte11 a huge crowd from far and wide because there were then many items of interest and information. The Marnankam commenced on a fixed day at an auspicious lour in the morning when the caparisoned elephants started moving to the accompaniment of drums and pipes. The last Marnahkam was in 1755 A.D. By the time of Marttanda Varma the centre of power shifted from Malabar to the south. Even today the memories of the same are brightening spots in the history of Malabar.


MAMATA. Mother of the sage Dirghatamas. (See under Dirghatamas).


MAMMA'I'A. An Indian scholar who lived about 1100 A.D. He was a great scholar and critic in Sanskrit and was born in Kashmir. His masterpiece was a great book "Kdvya Prakasa". It is divided into ten chapters. Each chapter is entitled "Ullasa". There is a view expressed by some people that Mammata wrote only the first nine chapters of this book and the last chapter was written by another scholar named A1aka.


Numerous commentaries on Mammata's Kavya Prakasa have been published. It is said that Patafijali's commentator Kayyata was the brother of Mammata. "Sabda Vyapara Vicara" is another book written by Mammata.


MAMTI 1. The disciple of Gautama and the guru of Atreya. (Brhadaranyaka Upanisad).


MAMTI II. A devotee of Siva. He was the father of the famous Kalabhiti. (See under Kalabhiti).


MANAGARVA. A celestial maiden who was born as a she-monkey in the vicinity of the Himalayas by a curse of Brahma. She became the wife of a monkey named Kesari. She was named Afijana and was the mother of Hanuman. (For details see under Hanurraan).


MANASA I. A serpent born of the family of Vasuki. This serpent was burnt to death at the Sarpasatra of Janamejaya. (Sloka 5, Chapter 57, Adi Parva).


MANASA II. A serpent born of the family of Dhrta.rastra. This serpent was burnt to death at the Lrpasatra ofJanamejaya. (Sloka 16, Chapter 57, Adi Parva).


MANASA IV. (MANASASARAS). A lake on the peak of the Himalayas. Arjuna visited this lake once. (Sloka 4, Chapter 8, Sabha Parva). In the precincts of this lake many devotees conduct Siva-worship. They believe they would merge with Siva at the end of the yuga. Those who bathe in that pond would acquire moksa. Manasasaras is called Ujjanaka also. Vasistha and Arundhati became realised souls at this place. (Sloka 14, Chapter 130, Vana Parva). A sage who lived in Manasasaras in the form of a swan visited Bhisma while he was lying on his bed of arrows. (Sloka *98, Chapter 119, Bhisma Parva). Once a Devi named Upasruti pointed out Indra who was hiding amongst the lotus stems in Manasasaras. It was Brahma who made this lotus lake and the river Sarayu starts from here. (Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayana).


MANASADEVI. A devi born of the mind of Kasyapa Prajapati. She is known as Jaratkaru also. (For details see under Jaratkaru II).


MANASADVARA. A mountain near Manasasaras. Because the entrance to the lake of Manasasaras was through this mountain it got the name of Manasadvara. In the centre of this was an a~rama of Parasurama. (Sloka 12, Chapter 130, Vana .Parva).


MANASAPUTRAS. The Prajapatis created by Brahma from his mind are called the Manasaputras or spiritual sons of Brahma. They are llhrgu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Angiras, Marici, Daksa, Atri and Vasistha. They are nine in number. (Chapter 7, Arhsa 1, Visnu Purana). They are all Prajapatis and their wives are in order Khyati, Bhuti, Sambhuti, Ksama, Priti, Sannati, Urjja, Anasuya and Prasuti.


MANASVINI. A daughter of Daksaprajapati. She became the wife of Dharmaraja. Candra was born of this Manasvini. (Sloka 19, Chapter 66, Vana Parva).


MANASYU. A King of the Puru dynasty. He was the grandson of Puru and the son of Pravira. His mother was Suraseni. Manasyu begot of his wife Sauviri three sons named Sakta, Sarhhana and Vagmi. (Sloka 6, Chapter 94, Adi Parva).


MANAVA. A scholar and an authority on Dharmasastra. He was the author of three books namely, Manava Upapurana, Manavai;rautasutra and Manavavastulaksana.


MANAVARA. She was the wife of Arthalobha who was the house-keeper of Bahubala, King of Kafici. This Manavard divorced her husband to marry one who was more wealthy. (Kathasaritsagara).


MANAVARJAKA. A place of habitation of ancient India. (Sloka 50, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MANAVI. A prominent river of ancient India. (Sloka 32, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MANDAGA I. A river of Puranic fame. (Sloka 33, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MANDAGA 11. A place in the island of Saka. The Sudras who reside there are all virtuous people. (Sloka 38, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MANDAKA I. One of the sons born to the Yaksa Manibhadra of his wife Pup yajani.


MANDAKA II. A place of habitation of Puranic fame in ancient India. (91oka 43, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva)".


MANDAKINI I. A maid who fell in love with Bhartrhari. (See under Bhartrhari).


MANDAKINI II. A river which flows near the mountain of Citrakuta. If one bathes in this river one will have to one's credit the benefit of performing one Asvamedha yajfia. If one lives there bathing in that river daily, one will become possessed of Rajalaksmi (wealth and majesty of a King). (Sloka 29, Chapter 25, Anus asana Parva).


MANDAKINI III. A river celebrated in the Puranas, taking its source from the chain of Kedara mountains in Uttara khanda. It is also known as Mandagni and Kaliganga. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 89, Verse 34) .


MANDAKINI IV. Kubera's park. Since this park is watered by Ganga, it acquired the name Mandakini. (M.B. Anusdsana Parva, Chapter 19, Verse 82) .


MANDAKINI V. Akasa Gang,;!.


MANDAKINI VI. One of the two wives of Visravas, son of Pulastya. A son, Kubera was born to her by the blessing of Siva. (Padma Puranaa Patala Khanda) .


MANDALAKA. A serpent born of the family of Taksaka. This was burnt to death in the Sarpasatra ofjanamejay•a. (Sloka 8, Chapter 57, Adi Parva).


MAN DAPALA. A sage. This sage went to the land of the Manes by his powers of penance but returned to earth unable to obtain merit there. He then married a bird arid led a family life. (For details see 8th para under Khandavadaha).


MANDARA 3. A tortoise which is a character in the book Paficatantra. (See under Paficatantra) .


MANDARA II. A brahmana who is great1y extolled in Sivapurana. (See under 1sabha) .


MANDARA. One of the' w'wives of Vi~vakarma. The monkey named Nala was the son of Mandara. This monkey was the chief of those who helped Sri Rama to build a bridge to Lanka. Visvakarmahad once blessed Mandara saying that her son would one day become great. (Sarga 22, Valmiki Ramayana).


MANDARA 1. Eldest son of Hiranyakasipu. Receiving a boon from Siva he fought with Indra for crores of years. Maha Visnu's weapon Cakra and Indra's weapon Vajra, were smashed to pieces when they hit his strong body. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 19, Verse 32) .


MANDARA II. A son of the sage Dhaumya. He married Samika, the virgin daughter of the Brahmana Aurva who was a native of Malava land. (Ganesa Purana, 2. 34. 14).


MANDARALAKSMI. Queen of the King named Simhadhvaja. (See under Sirnhadhvaja).


MANDARAPARVATA (MANDARACALA). A mountain of Puranic fame. The following information is gathered from Mahabharata regarding this mountain


(1) This mountain rises up to ten thousand yojanas and also goes down to ten thousand yojanas. (Chapter 18; Sloka 17, Adi Parva).


(2) During the time of the churning of Ksirabdhi (ocean of Milk) the serpent Ananta brought this mountain as per instructions from Mahavisnu. (Sloka 6, Chapter 18, Adi Parva).


(3) It was this mountain that was used as the Mantha (,churning stick) when the milk-ocean was churned. (Sloka 13, Chapter 18, Adi Parva).


(4) During the time of churning the Milk-Ocean many inhabitants of Patala and animals in the ocean were killed because of the rubbing of this mountain. (Sloka 26, Chapter 18, Adi Parva).


(5) This mountain resides in the court of Kubexa as Devatma. (Sloka 81, Chapter 10, Sabha Parva).


(6) This mountain is situated near Kailasa. Eightyeight thousand Gandharvas and four times as much of Yaksakinnaras reside on the top of this mountain. along with Kubera and a yaksa named Manivara.


(Sloka 5, Chapter 139, Vana Parva).


(7) Once in a dream Arjuna conducted a trip to Kailasa accompanied by Sri Krsna and on his way he halted at this mountain. The mountain then shone with the presence of nymphs and heavenly songsters. (S1oka 33, Chapter 80, Drona Parva).


(8) In destroying the notorious demon trio called Tripuras, Siva used this mountain as a bow. (Sloka 76, C'Iapter 202, Drona Parva).


(9) Once when the Sage Astavakra was conducting a tour of the northern parts he stayed on this mountain for some time. (Sloka 54, Chapter 19, Anusasana Parva).


MANDARAVATI. A heroine in Kathasaritsagara. She is the heroine of the story told by the second Vetala to King Trivikramasena. (See under Vetala).


MANDAVI. Wife of Bharata. Rama married Sita; Bharata, Mandavi; Laksmana, Urmila and Satrughna, Srutakirti (Sarga 73, Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayana). Mandavi, Urmila and Srutaliirti were the daughters ofKusadhvaja, brother of Janaka. (Bala Kanda, Kamba Ramayana) .,Bharata got two sons of Mandavi named Subahu and Surasena. Both of them defeated the Gandharvas and established cities one on each side of the river Sindhu. (Uttara Ramayana).


MANDAVYA. A sage. He is known as Animandavya also. Once Ravatta beat Mandavya because of his not respecting Ravana. That day Mandavya cursed him saying "You will also be beaten like this by a brave monkey". (Yuddha Kanda, Kamba Ramayana). (More details can be had from the entry Animandavya). The asrama of Mandavya is considered a holy place. Once the King of Kasi went to this asrama and performed severe penance there. (Chapter 186, UdyogaParva) .


MANDEHA(S). See the 2nd para under Pakal.


MANDHATA. A King of pre-eminence in the dynasty of Iksvaku.


1) Genealogy. Descending in order from Visrtu were born - Brahma - Marici - Kagyapa - Vivasvan -Iksvaku-Vikuksi-Sasada-Purafijaya-Kakutstha -Anenas - Prthulasva - Prasenajit - Yuvanasva -Mandhata.


2) Birth. Yuvanasva, father of Mandhata had a hundred wives. Still he had no children. Greatly griefstricken by the lack of a son he went to the forests to see people of virtue and piety. During his wandering in the forest he happened to reach a club of sages. Yuvanasva went and sat in their midst. He was happy to be in their midst but was worried in his mind and so he sent up deep sighs as he sat there sad and silent. The sages asked him why he looked so sad and the King crying like a child told them the cause of his grief. The sages took pity on him and made him conduct the yaga `Indradaivata'. They brought a jug of water made potent by recitals of mantras to be given to the queens to make them pregnant and placed the pot in the yagasala. The yaga was coming to an end. One day the King felt unusually thirsty and unwilling to disturb the sages who were taking rest the King entered the yagagala and finding a jug there full of water drank from it and quenched his thirst, little knowing that it contained the water made potent for a specific purpose by mantras. The next day when the sages went to the yagasala they found the jug almost empty and were worried and started making enquiries. The King then confessed what he had done. The sages said that it was futile to fight against fate and somehow finished the yaga and went to their asramas.


The King became pregnant and after ten months a child came out bursting open the right side of his stomach. The King consulted his ministers as to what should be done with the child and on their advice the child was taken to the forests and left there. But the child was protected by the Devas and they enquired among themselves as to whose breastfeeding it would get when Indra appeared and said "Maria Dhata", moaning it would drink me. That was how the child got the name `Mdndhata'. Indra thrust the child's big toe into its mouth and the child began to suck milk through it. Mandhata who grew thus drinking its own toe became a mighty man of renown. (7th Skandha, Devi Bhagavata) .


3) Adninistration of die state and naarriage. When Mandhata became a man of great strength his father died and he ascended the throne and became an Empcror of great fame. He conquered many kingdoms. He made his enemies flee from him, Because he intimidated the dasyus he got the name Trasadasyu. He married the perfect-figured chaste daughter Bindumati of Sasabindurija. She got two sons named Purukutsa and Mucukunda.


The Pur&nas state that Mandhata had another son named Ambarisa and fifty daughters who were all married to a sage named Saubhari.


4) How lie caused rains in the country. Mandhata ruled the country very virtuously without at any time going against truth and justice and his country became prosperous. Once it so happened that there were no rains for three successive years in the country and the greatly worried King went to the forests to know from the great sages there the reason for such a calamity. The sages told the King thus : "Oh King, of all yugas Krtayuga is the best. This yuga is a brahmin-predominant one and Dharma stands on four legs. Penance is for brahrnins only and no man of any other caste can do penance in this yuga. But in your country a Sudra is performing penance and that is why the clouds refuse to shower rains. Kill him and then the evil will go". Hearing this Mindhata replied, "I will never kill an innocent ascetic. Teach In" my duty at this time of peril". The sages were pleased at the reply of the King and advised him thus


"Old King, start observing Vrata on the ekadasi day. (Eleventh day in each-half of a month). The ekadasi which falls in the bright Half of Bhadrapada is called `Padmanablra', and if you observe it by its cogency you will get not only rains but prosperity and happiness free from misery of any kind. You must persuade your subjects also to observe this".


7'he King on returning to his palace started observing `ekadasi' along with his subjects of all the four castes and then it started to rain. Rains came in plenty and all the crops were rich. The subjects became happy. (Chapter 59, Padtna Purina).


5) Other details.


(i) Mandhata had to fight once against Lavanasura but had to accept defeat before the god-given spear which Lavanasura possessed. (Uttara Ramayana).


(ii) Asvinidevas once helped Mandhata in his work as an owner of land. (Saakta 112, Anuvaka 16, Maazdala 1, Rgveda).


(iii) Mandhata became pure by yaj6a and attained Svarga. (Sloka 5, Chapter 257, Vana Parva).


(iv) Once Narada spoke toSanjaya about the greatness of M~-,mdliata. (Chapter 62, DroaJa Parva).


(v) At another time Sri Krsna spoke in glowing terms about the yajna of Mandhata. (Sloka 81, Chapter 29, Santa Parva).


(vi) Once Mahavisnu came to MandhRa disguised as Indra and conversed with him on `Rajadharma' (duties and responsibilities of a King.) (Sloka 16, Chapter 64, Santa Parva).


(vii) Utatthya, son of Afigiras, once taught Mandhati the outlines of Rajadharma. (Chapter 90, Sdtrti Parva ).


(viii) Mandhata conquered the whole world in one day. (Sloka 16, Chapter 124, Santa Parva).


(ix) On another occasion Brhaspati conversed with hire on the subject of Godana. (The giving away of cows as gifts). (Sloka 4, Chapter 76, Anusasana Parva) .


(x) Mandhata gave away as gifts millions of cows. (Sloka 5, Chapter 85, Anusasana Parva).


(xi) Mandhata hated non-vegetarian food. (Sloka 61, Chapter 115, Anusasana Parva).


MANDODART I. (MANDODART). (In South India the name Mandodari is current). Wife of Ravana. The Uttara Rimayana contains a story about the previous history of Mandodari.


Maya, an asura, was born to Kasyapaprajapati of his wife Danu. Once Maya went to Devaloka to see the dances of the celestial maidens there. Devas came to know that Maya was in love with the nymph Hema and they married her to Maya. Maya went to the southern valley of Himavan and lived there with Hema constructing there a city called Hemapura. They got two sons Mayaviand Dundubhi. But they grieved over the lack of a daughter and she went to a side of Himavan and started penance there to get the blessings of Siva.


Once a celestial damsel named Madhura after observing Somaviravrata went to Kailasa to pay obeisance to Siva. Parvati was absent from the place then. having gone to attend the birthday celebrations of one of her sons. So Madhura met Siva sitting lonely and this led to a clandestine sexual union betwceai them. When Parvati returned she saw traces of the ashes from the body of Siva oil the naked breast of Madliura and Parvati in her anger cursed Madhura'to live in a well for twelve years as a frog. Siva was stupefied at the curse and he went to the well and consoled her by saying that she would after the twelve years of life as a frog become a very beautiful maiden and would be married by a man of great fame and valour. It was near this well that Maya and his wife were performing penance to get a. daughter.


After twelve years the frog changed itself into a beautiful maiden and cried loudly from the well. Hearing the cry Maya and Hemi, who were nearby peeped into the well and seeing the young girl took her home and brought her up giving her the name Mandodari. Ravana returning after his victory march by that way visited Maya and seeing the girl fell in love with her and married her according to Vedic rites and took her to Lanka. Ravana got three sons of her, Meglranada, Atikaya and Aksakumara.


Mandodari was a very beautiful woman. Hanuman when he entered the bed-room of Ravana in search of Sites was dumb-founded at the beauty of Mandodari and mistook her for a second for Sites. (Vaimiki Ramiyana).


MANDODARI II. A virtuous princess of the kingdom of Sirhhala. She determined to live an unmarried life but was forced by destiny to marry a cruel and uncharitable husband. The story of this Mandodar! as related to Devi by Maliisasura is given below.


Candrasena, King of Sirhhala, got of his wife Gunavati a very beautiful daughter named Mandodari. Even when she was ten years old the King started searching for a suitable husband for her He found out Karribugriva son of Sudhariva, King of Madradesa and informed his daughter about his desire to make him his But Mandodar! replied drat shenever intended to marry and desired to spend her life worshipping God. Candrasena felt miserable at her reply.


Years went by and Mandodar! became a blooming lady and yet she remained firm in her deterrnDration. Oire day she: was playing in the royal gardens with lier companions when tire prince of Kosala, Virasena, came that way by mistake. The extraordinary beauty of the princess attracted him and lie rndcle a rcquest to lien through her companions to marry him. But Mandodari refused.


Time rolled can and soon the marriage of her younger sister Indurnat! came. Candrasena invited all tire neighbouring Kings for that. The King of Madra Carudesna was also present for the marriage. The King was very charming to look at but was very bad in character. Mandodar! was attracted by his external beauty arid she expressed her willingness to marry him. tier lather was immensely pleascd and oil the ncarcst auspicious day she was given ill marriage to Carudesra.


Mandodar! went to the palace of Carudesiia and they lived happily for some time. One day she saw her husband having sexual acts with the wife of one of tire palace servants. She reproached her husband and yet two days later she saw her husband vvith another servant girl. She was greatly disappointed and she left the palace for the forests where she started performing penance.


MANDUKA. A class of horse. These higliclass horses helped Arjuna in his campaign of victory. (Sloka 6, Chapter 213, Sabha Parva) .


MA1-IGALA. A deity in the form of Kuja or Planet Mars. There are different versions in the Purinas regarding the birth of Mafigala.


(1) Sat! committed suicide at the Daksayiga and Siva greatly griefstricken at the loss of his wife started penance. A sweat drop fell from the forehead of Siva doing severe penance and Mangala was the son born of that drop. Siva then installed Maiigala among the Navagrahas and according to the science of astrology this Graha is considered the protector of the landed property and the wife of a person. (Siva Purina, Rudra Sariihiti 1-10 and Skanda Purina 4-1-17).


(2) Siva married Vikes! daughter of Hiranyiksa. One day while they were engaged in sexual, plays, Agni came to their presence. Enraged at this the eyes of Siva blazed with anger and a drop of hot water from his eyes fell on the face of Vikesi and she became pregnant. After some days Vikesi found it impossible to bear the embryo of Siva thus formed and she aborted it. A child was born and the goddess of earth took it aid


fed it with breast milk. It was that child who later on became Marigala. (Skanda Purina) .


(3) Maiwala was born of the blood drops of Siva. (Bhavisya Purina).


(4) Mangala was the son of Bliaradvaja. (Galiesa Purana) .


(5) Mafigala was the son of Blrumidevi. Devas, sages, Brahnianas, Manus and Gandharva.s all worshipped Bhumi at the time of Vandliakalpa. 1 t is also said in the Vedas that Bhumidevi is the wife of 1VIaliavisziu's incarnation as Varaha. Mafigala alias the plant Mars was born to Bhumidevi of Mahavisiru as Varaha. (9th Skandha. Devi Bhagavata) .


MAhIGALACANDIKA. A devi. Vedas acrd Vedavids alike praise this goddess who is always interested in granting the requests of her devotees. Because she showers prosperity on her devotees she became known as Marigalacaridika. There is another version that she got the name because she was worshipped by Marigala (Kuja) and because she grants the requests of Maiigala. Yet another version is drat she got tire name because she was worshipped by the King Matgala chief of the seven islands. Born of the species of Durgidev! sire is very kind and ailcctionate to her devotees. Paranrasiva worshipped this Devi bcforc he went to destroy the demon- trio Tripuras. (9th Skandha, Devi Blragavata).


MANI 1. A serpent born of tlrc farTrify of Dlirtarastra. This serpent was burnt to death in the Sarpasatra of janamejaya. (Sloka 19, Chapter 57,Adi Parva).


MAIM 111. One of the two Purr sadas given to Subrahmanya by Candra. The other one: was named Sumani. (Sloka 32, Chapter 45, Saly:r Parva).


MANIBHADRA I. A Yaksa. He who worships this Yaksa would get his desire fulfilled. 'This Yaksa is installed in a temple near the city of Tarnralipti. If" anybody commits adultery in that place Manibhadrawould take him to the temple and keep him there for tire night. Next morning he would take the couple before the King and exposing the sin would get them killed by the King.


Once a Vaisya named Samudradatta committed adultery and another house-holder found it out and took them to the temple of Manibhadra and kept them there Saktimati, the virtuous wife of Samudradatta came to know of the mishap to her husband and the intelligent woman went to the temple with materials for worship and under the pretext of worshipping made the priest of the temple open the doors. When she entered Samudradatta felt ashamed and sat with his head bent down. Saktimati gave the other wornan her own dress taking hers in return and sent her out as Saktimat! without raising the least suspicion in the priest. Then she remained with Samudradatta., and when in the morning officers of the King came to take them they were surprised to find that the culprits were really husband and wife. The house-holder was punished for giving wrong information and Samudradatta was set free with his wife. (Kathamukhalambaka, Kathasaritsagara).


MAN, IBHADRA II. A King of the Lunar dynasty. This King had many children of his wife Kavika. Of these seven sons learned magic from Maya. The seven palm trees which Sri Raxna broke by an arrow while on his search for Sita were but the cursed forms of these seven sons. The Puranic story relating to Sri Rdma giving them relief from the curse is narrated in the Kiskindh5 Kanda of Kamba Ramayana.


The seven sons of Manibhadra after learning magic from Maya created a huge cobra and travelled all over the world on it. One day they reached a mountain near Rsyamikacala. They saw the sage Agastya coming that way and just to tease him they coiled that cobra and hid it beneath the ground in the form of a circle and they themselves stood on it as seven palm trees in a circle and caused obstruction to the sage in his path. The sage as he came near the trees knew by his spiritual powers what trick had been played on him and said cursing, "May you stand like this for ever". The princes knew the hideousness of the curse and pleaded for redress and the sage said, "After centuries the incarnation of Visnu as Sri would come and give you salvation".


The princes stood there as trees grown to unusual heights with round black trunks casting shades all around. Underneath grew a shrubbage deep and thick and the seven trees stood there presenting to the onlookers a sight of wonder.


Sri Rdma and party reached the place of the seven trees. Suddenly Rdma took his bow and arrows and pressing his foot on a stone beneath sent an arrow and to the wonder of all, the seven trees standing in a circle fell all together and the arrow returned to his quiver.


When Rdma pressed the stone on the ground with his foot he was pressing on a vital point on the head of the cobra lying coiled in a circle under the ground bearing the seven trees. The cobra got a shock and instantly straightened itself for a second and the trees thus came in a row straight on the path of the- arrow of Sri Rama. They were all cut at once and before they had time to fall down the serpent coiled itself again and regained his original position and so the trees fell down in the circle in which they stood. All these happened so quickly that nobody was able to see what happened and so every body was surprised to see all the seven trees in a circle falling down by a single arrow. The princes were thus relieved from the curse.




1) General information. A Yaksa. He was a deity of merchants and travellers. (Sloka 130, Chapter 64, Vana Parva).


2) Other details.


(i) He stays in the court of Kubera. (Sloka 15, Chapter 10, Sabha Parva).


(ii) Once this Yaksa on the request of a cloud named Kundadhara gave a boon to a brahmin. (Sloka 21, Chapter 171, Santi Parva).


(iii) The sage Astavakra once welcomed this Yaksa. (Sloka 33, Chapter 19, Anusasana Parva) .


(iv) When Arjuna went to Marutta to bring his wealth Arjuna worshipped this Yaksa and the Yaksa blessed him. (Sloka 7, Chapter 65, Asvamedha Parva) .


MANIBI-IADRA. A Parsada of Siva. (See under Candrasena II).


MANICARA. and Kubera havoc in the


MANIDVIPA. island which Bhagavata).


MANIGRIVA. A brother of Nalakibara. (See under Nal akibara) .


MANIJALA. A prominent river in Sakadvipa. (Sloka 32, Chapter 11, Bhisma Parva).


MANIKANCANA. A land portion of Sakadvipa situated near Syamagiri. (Sloka 26, Chapter 11, Bhisma Parva).


MANIKUTTIKA. A follower of Subrahmanya. (Slo'ka 20 Chapter 46, Salya Parva).


MAN- IKYAVACAKAR (MANIKKA-VASAHAR). A devotee and poet who lived in Tamilnadu. He is believed to have lived during the period between the eighth and ninth centuries A.D. He was born in Tiruvadavur in an Adisaiva brahmin family. Tiruvadavur was a village near Madura, the capital of Pandya kingdom. His father was Sambhupadasrita and mother givajnanavati. The name given by his parents to M5nikyav5.cakar is still unknown. Because he .vas born in Tiruvadavir everybody called him T iruvadavirar. He became a scholar in his sixteenth year. The Panclya king called him to his palace and appointed him as his minister. He gave him the honour of the title `T ennavar Brahmarayar'. Manikyavacakar showed more interest in devotional matters than in matters of the state.


Once when the King was holding his durbar he got information that in one of the eastern ports had landed a set of good war-horses for sale. He sent Tiruvadavirar to that place. The minister, when near the port of Tirupperundurai, heard a sound of Vedic utterances and It,-- immediately went to the place from where the sound came. He saw Lord Siva sitting under a tree in the guise of a Guru. Forgetting all state affairs lie became engrossed in the meditation of Siva. Suddenly he developed a talent for poetry and music and sweet attractive poems in ,praise of Siva started flowing from his tongue. Siva was immensely pleased and gave him the name Manikyavacakar meaning that every Vacaka (sentence) corning out of his tongue was equal in value to a manikya (Ruby). The guru gave him a ruby too. Manikyavacakar in the garb of a mendicant joined a troop of Siva devotees and spent all the money he had for the service of the devotees of Siva and also for the reconstruction of a dilapidated Siva temple in Tirupperundurai.


Manikyavacakar reached Madura and informed the King that the horses would arrive at the palace on the day Avani-mina (Mula star in the month of Sravana) and presented the king with the ruby which his Guru had given him. The king was not satisfied and he imprisoned him. On the Avani-mit;a day at the stipulated time the horses arrived at the palace. The horses were led by strange foreigners. It was Sri Paramcsvara himself who had come as the chief of the horsemen. Manikyavdcakar was released from jail and he also came to see the horse. The King gave the leader of the troopers a silk shawl as present. The head of the troopers received it by the end of his whip. The King resented this but the


A Yaksa. In the fight between Ravana this Yaksa helping Kubera created great army of Ravana. (Uttara Ramayana).


The abode of Devi. Devi resides in this is far beyond Kailasa. (3rd Skandha, Devi troopers went back without any trouble. The horses were put in stables and Manikyavacakar went to his asrama.


At midnight all the new horses in the stables turned into jackals and roamed about in the streets howling loudly and disturbing everyone. After some time they all disappeared. The anger of the king knew no bounds. He imprisoned Manikyavacakar again. The servants of the king took him to river Vaigai. That day there was an unusual flood in the river and the city of Madura was submerged in waters. The king then realised his mistake and begged pardon of Manikyavacakar. Manikyavaeakar asked the king to repair the dam in the Vaigai. The king assented to the proposal but to save money the work was entrusted to the citizens of Madura.


At that time there was an old woman in Madura called Vanti. She earned her livelihood by selling sweetmeats. The servants of the king ordered her also to join the work of the darn. Sh;: prayed to Paramasiva and then a young man came to the old woman and offered to work for her in her stead. The young man representing Vanti went to Vaigai and started to work for her. When the king came to inspect the work he found the young man not doing his work satisfactorily and struck him on his back with a whip. A basketful of sand the young man was carrying fell down and the work .of the dam was instantly completed. Not only that; all the persons including the king felt as though they were struck. Vanti attained Svarga and Manikyavacakar went to Cidambaram. The king repented.


Manikyavacakar saw Siva in person several times. Many wonderful events happened at the Cidambaram temple after the arrival of Manikyavacakar there. The King of Lafika hearing about the greatness of Manikyavacakar brought his dumb daughter to him and slte gained the power of speech. The Buddhist saints of Lafrka came to Manikyavacakar and entered into philosophical discourse with him. They became dumb. The king of Lanka and his followers became devotees of Siva.


Manikyav5cakar sat in his a:;rama and composed divine songs. Once Siva in the guise of a brahmin came there and copied the songs written by him. Even while he was reciting his divine songs to the devotees his Foul left his body and merged with that of Siva.


The divine songs in praise of Siva by Manikyavacakar constitute the eighth Khanda of Saivite hymns by name "Tirumurai". rI'hey include "Tirrrvacakam" and "Tirukkovaiyar". The Tiruvacakam contains 654 verses in 51 hymns and the Tirukkovaiyar contains 400 verses. All these are songs in praise of Siva sung on different occasions. (Divyacaritam).


MANIMAN 1. A king. Mahabharata gives the following details about him.


(i) Maniman was born of an aspect of Vrtra, son of the asura I~anayu. (Sloka 44, Chapter 67, Adi Parva) .


(ii) This king was present at the marriage of Draupadi. (Sloka 22, Chapter 185, Adi Parva).


(iii) Bhimasena while on his early victory march defeated this king. (Sloka 11, Chapter 30, Sabha Parva) .


(iv) This king fought on the side of the Ddndavas during the great Kuruksetra battle. (Sloka 20, Chapter 4, Udyoga Parva).


(v) Manim5.n was killed in the fight between Maniman and Bhurisravas. (Sloka 53, Chapter 23, Drona Parva ).


MANIMAN II. A serpent. This serpent is a member of the court of Varuna. (Sloka 9, Chapter 9, Sabha Parva) .


MANIMAN III. A sacred place. If one spends a night there one would get the benefit of performing an Agnistoma yaifia. 'Sloka 101, Chapter 82, Vana Parva).


MAILIIMAIV IV. A Yaksa who was a friend of Kubera. Once the sage Agastya cursed him that he would be killed by the hand of a man. The yaksa was killed by Bhimasena. (Sloka 59, Chapter 160, Vana Parva and see under AGASTYA, Para 10).


MAI;IMAN V. A mountain. Once, when Arjuna went on a pilgrimage to Siva's presence with Krsna in a dream, he saw this mountain Maniman. (Sloka 24, Chapter 9, Drona Parva).


MANIMAN VI. A parsada of Siva. This parsada jot.-:ed hands with Virabhadra to injure the sage Bhrgu at the Daksayaga. (4th Skandha, Bhagavata).


MAJYIMATIPURI (MAI~,TIMATPATTANAM). A meeting place of the asuras. The notorious asura Ilvala lived here for some time. (Sloka 4, Chapter 94, Vana Parva). The demons Nivatakavacas hid here in this city and Ravana challenged them to a fight after coming to the gates of the city. (Uttara Ramdyana) .


MAT`IIMAYA. Father-in-law of a demon called Sukesa. Sukesa married Devavati daughter of Manimaya and had three sons, Malyav5n, Sumdli and Mali. (Uttara Ramayana) .-


MANINAGA. I. A serpent born to Kasyapa Prajapati of his wife Kadru. This serpen t resides near Girivraja1, Sloka 50, Chapter 21, Sablia Parva).


MAI0NAGA 11. A sacred place. If one spends a night here one would get the benefit of making a thousand Godanas. If one eats from the offerings made to a deity there one would be free from the effects of any snakepoison. (Sloka 106, Chapter 84, Vana Parva).


MANILA I. Mother of Vigravas, father of Ravana. She was the daughter of the sage Trnabindu. (See under Trnabindu).


MA,-?IPARVATA. A mountain of Puranic fame. Narakasura kept the sixteen thousand and one hundred maidens he had stolen in this mountain. (Daksinatya P5tha, Chapter 38, Sabha Parva).


MANIPRAVALA. A kind of language formed by mixing Sanskrit and Malayalam together. "Bha sasarirskrtayogo manipravalam". This is its definition. A great many of the important literary works it, Malay5lam are in Manipravalam.


MANIPURA (MANIPUR). The birth place of CitrS.ngada wife of Arjuna. Arjuna during his pilgrimage came to this place and after marrying Citrarigadd stayed there for three years. Babhruvahana was the son of Citrarigada. (See under Citrangada).


MANIPUSPAKA. Sahadeva, one of the Pandavas, used to blow a conch named Manipuspaka. (Sloka 16, Chapter 25, Bbisma Parva).


MAYISKANDHA. A serpent born of the family of Dhrtardstra. This serpent was burnt to death in the Sarpasatra of,janam jaya. (Chapter 52; Adi .Parva).


MANTIVAHANA. Another name for King Kusdmba. (Chapter 63, Adi Parva) .


MAio:IVAKRA. One of the sons of the Vasu, Apa.


MANIVARA. One of the sons born to Rajatandtha of his wife Marrivara. This Yaksa married Kratusthala's daughter Devajani. The sons born to them are called `Guhyakas'. (Brahmarlda Purina, 3.7.127-131) .


NIANIVARA. A Y,-rksa. He lives on the mountain of Mandara. (Sloka 5, C:haptcr 139. Vana Parva).


MAR] VA'h T APPARA. A rock of Puranic fame. Ravana spent one night on this rock with RambliA. Rambha was going to her lover Nalakubara one night alone and Ravaiia seeing her on the way carried her away to this place. (Uttara Rarrrayana).


MAN,JULA. A river of Puranic fame. (Sloka 34. Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva) .


MAN,JUGHOSA. A nymph. The sage Medhavi cursed this nymph and made her into a devil. (See under Medhavi).


MANKA. A place of habitation in the island of 8aka. This place is inhabited mostly by dutiful brahmins. (Chapter 11, Bhisma Parva).


MAI\IKA?VA (MA&KANA). A barber of Varanasi who was a great devotee: of Garicsa. During the time of King Divodasa II Siva wanted~to destroy the city of Ka'si and deputed his son Ganesa (Nikurubha) for the same.


Gaiiesa came to Ka;i and appearing in person before his devotee Mahka;ia, asked him to build a temple on the outskirts of Kasi. Mairkara completed the temple and Ganesa (Nikumbha) installed himself in that temple getting for it the name Nikumbhamandira. Devotees began to flow into the temple and Nikumbha sitting there answered the prayers of all. But he never fulfilled the prayer of the King to have a son. This annoyed Divodasa and he destroyed the temple and then Nikumblia cursed that the city of Kasi would become: desolate. Siva's desire thus became fulfilled. (92. 33, Vayu Purana and 3; 67, 43, Brahmanda Purina).




1 ) General information. He was born to Vayubhagavan of his wife Sukanyaka. (8loka. 58, Chapter 38, Salya Parva).


Vamana Purdna, 38th Chapter states that Mahkana was one of the spiritual sons of Kasyapaprajapati.


2) 7u*ce off5otherb ,oozes fronz finer. The sage was living in Saptasarasvatatirtha and one day by accident his thumb was cut off from his hand by the sliirp edge of Ku;'a grass. But instead of blood, the juice of potherb began to flow from the thumb and the sage, overjoyed at this strange phenomenon, started dancing. Along with Mankana the earth and the sky also started dancing and the dancing showed no signs of stopping. Siva then appeared before Mahkana and asked him the cause of his non-stop dancing. Siva was in disguise and Marikarra did not recognise the new-comer and the sage told him about the strange phenomenon. As they were talking Siva touched the thumb of the sage with his little finger and lo! the flow from the finger changed from pot-herb juice to sugar-candy juice. Vamana Purina states that it was ashes which flowed from the finger. The hermit was ashamed. He understood that the guest was Siva arid he fell at his feet. Siva blessed the hermit and granted him'boons,


3) Alazikana falls in love with Sarasaati Devi. One day Sarasvatidevi came to the place of his residence in the guise of a very attractive woman. Marikana had seminal emission on seeing her and the semen fell on the surface of the water. The sage stored the water with semen in a pot and soon seven sons were born from it. They all became sages named Vayuvega, Vayubala, Vayuha, Vayumandala, Vayujvala, Vayuretas and Vayucakra. (Chapter 83, Vana Parva and Chapter 38, 8alya Parva).


4) Birth of Kadali~arbhd. Besides the seven sons Mairkana got a daughter named Kadaligarbha. Menaka was her mother. (See under Kadaligarbha).


5) Ma;'ckana diverts the river Sarasvatl. It was sage Mahkana who invoked the river Sarasvati and made it flow through Kuruksetra. Chapter 38, Vamana Purina) .


MANKI i. A great sage. It was Bhisma, while he was lying on his bed of arrows who narrated the story of this sage. Manki was an aspirant of worldly things and once he got two bullocks. He was ploughing with them one day when a camel came and carried them away. Disappointed he carne to the airama and lamented deeply over it. This lamentation became known later as the famous Marikigita. By the time the gita reached its end the mind of the sage was changed and he became one bereft of all worldly desires and he acquired moksa. (Chapter 177, 8anti Parva).


MAi~TKI 11. A sage who lived in Tretayuga. He was the son of Kausitakibrahmana and was a Vaisnavite of great virtue. This sage had two wives named Surupa and Virdpa. Both had no sons and as per the advice of his guru he went to Sabarmatitata and did penance there. After several years of rigorous austerities he got very many children. The place where Mafrkimaharsi sat and did penance was known later as Mailkitirtha. It is also called Saptasarasvata. In Dvdparayuga the Pdndavas visited the place and gave it the name Saptadhara also. (Uttara Khanda, Padma Purina).


MANMATHAKARA. A warrior of Subrahmanya. There is a reference to this warrior in Mahabharata, 8alya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 72.


MANODARI. Wife of Darukdsura. (See under Ghaiitakarna ).


MANOGUNA. Man may do many things, right or wrong, good or bad, but it is the purity of your mind that matters. The following story is to illustrate how much your life depends on the quality of your thoughts (Manoguna) .


Once on the shores of Gafrga a Brahmana and a Candala sat side 6y side and performed penance. After some days of foodless penance the Brdhmana felt hungry and his thoughts went to the fishermen he had seen earlier. He thought thus, "Oh how happy are these fishermen. They catch good fishes and eat to their heart's content and are happy. They are the luckiest people of this world". The thoughts of the Candala also went to the fishermen. But he thought thus: "Oh how cruel are these fishermen ! How many innocent lives do they destroy to fill their belly. They must be demons to do so." Both of them died after some days and the Brahmana was born as a fisherman and the Candala a prince. Both of them were re-born near their abodes in their previous birth and both remembered their previous lives. The Candala was happy but the Brahmana regretted his fault. (Taranga 1, Madanamancukalambaka, Kathasaritsagara).


MANOHARA I. Wife of the Vasu, Soma. Varcas was born of her first. Then she had three more sons named 8isira, Prana and Ramana. (81oka 22, Chapter 66, Adi Parva).


MANOHARA II. A nymph of Alakapuri. Once when Astavakra went to the court of Kubera this nymph gave a performance in dancing in honour of that sage. (81oka 45, Chapter 19, Anugasana Parva) .


MANOJAVA I. The eldest son of the Vasu Anila. Anila begot this son of his wife 8iva. (81oka 25, Chapter 66, Adi Parva).


MANOJAVA II. During the Manvantara of Caksusa, the sixth Manu, Indra was Manojava, the leader of the Devas. (Ariisa 3, Chapter 160, Visnu Purana).


MANOJAVA III. A follower of Subrahmanya. (Sloka 17, Chapter 46, Salya Parva).


MANOJAVA IV. A sacred place situated in Vyasavana in Kuruksetra. If one bathes in a pond there one will have to one's credit the benefit of making a thousand Godanas. (Sloka 93, Chapter 88, Vana Parva).


MANONUGA. A place near the mountain Vamana in the island of Kraufica. (Sloka 11, Chapter 12, Bhisma Parva).


MANORAMA I. Wife of Dhruvasandhi King of Kosala. (See under Dhruvasandhi for details).


MANORAMA II. A celestial woman. She was the daughter of Kasyapa Prajapati, born of his wife Pradha. ( 8loka 50, Chapter 65, Adi Parva). She participated in the janmotsava of Arjuna. (81oka 62, Chapter 122, Adi Parva).


MANORAMA III. Once by his spiritual powers the sage Uddalaka brought the river Sarasvati to his place of yajfia and that diversion was then known as Manorama. (9loka 25, Chapter 38, ~alya Parva).


MANORATHA. A calf once created by Sri Krsna by his spiritual powers. (See under Surabhi).


MANOVATT. The city of Brahma. This city is situated in the. centre of the nine cities on the top of the mountain Mahameru. Around it are the cities of the Astadikpalakas. (8th Skandha, Devi Bhagavata) .


MANTHARA I. A maid of Kaikeyi the wife of Dasaratha. This hunchbacked woman was born of the species of a Gandharvi named Dundlubhi. (~loka, 10, Chapter 276, Vana Parva). When everything was made ready to crown Sri Rama as the heir-apparent of Ayodhya, it was Manthara who persuaded Kaikeyi to go to Dasaratha and ask him to send Sri Rama to the forests. Had not the cruel tongue of Manthara played like that, the history of the solar dynasty itself would have been different. (See under Kaikeyi).


MANTHARA II. Daughter of Virocana. (Sarga 25, Balakanda, Valmiki Rarnayana). Indra killed this Manthara.


MANTHINf. A follower of Subrahmanya. (81oka 28, Chapter 46, galya Parva).


MANTRA. See under Veda.


MANTRAPALA. One of the eight ministers of the great King DaSaratha. The other seven were : Jayanta, Dhrsti, Vijaya, Asiddhartha, Arthasadhaka, Asoka and Sumantra. (Sarga 7, Bala Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana).


MANU I. See under Manvantara.


MANU II. Son of the Agni Pancajanyi. Pancajanya had three wives Supraja, Brhaclbhasa and NiSd. He got of his first two wives six sons and of his third wife Nis9d, a daughter and seven sons. (Chapter 223, Vana Parva ).


MANU III. A celestial maiden born to Kasyapa of Pradha. (Chapter 59, Verse 44, Adi Parva).


MANUSATIRTHA. A sacred pond lying on the outskirts of .Kuruksetra. There is a legend showing the origin of this pond. Once a hunter wounded a deer with his arrow and the deer ran and dropped itself into the pond. When it rose up from the water it became a man. From that day onwards the pond became holy and got the name Manusatirtha. (Sloka 65, Chapter 86, Vana Parva).


MANUSMRTI. A code of conduct written by Manu alias Manavacarya who was the father of man-kind for the harmonious existence of a social life. The book contains twelve chapters. The first chapter deals with the origin of the Smrti and the origin of the world. No other Smrti begins like this and so it is believed that this chapter must have been added to it later. The contents of each of the other eleven chapters are given below


Second chapter. It deals with the sense organs and stresses the importance of conquering and controlling them. It describes the qualities of a brahmin.


Third chapter. It contains the duties of a householder after his course of study of the Vedas. Eight different kinds of marriages are described in it. It also deals with methods of giving protection to women and children.


Fourth chapter. Duties of a brahmana, study of the Vedas and responsibilities of a Snataka are all described in this chapter.


Fifth chapter. This deals with pure and impure foods, impurity and methods of purification, women and their responsibilities.


Sixth Chapter. This contains the duties of those who have entered the asrama of Vanaprastha and also of ascetics.


Seven.h chapter. It deals with the duties of Kings and ministers.


Eighth chapter. It deals with law and justice. It contains laws for the proper conduct of justice and includes ways and means of settling disputes and handling cases of debts, sale without right, partnership, duels, theft, prostitution, boundary disputes and all such matters as are to be decided by a court of law.


.Ninth chapter. It deals with the duties of a husband and wife. It also contains matters relating to property rights, partition and the duties of a King with regard to these.


Tenth chapter. It deals w?th the duties of the different castes, mixed castes and the duties of one in times of danger.


Eleventh chapter. It deals first with penance, observation of Vratas, Yagas, Yajnas and fee to the priests. It then deals with punishments of crimes, expiation for murder, prostitution etc.


Twelfth chapter. It deals with the theory of births and describes how your deeds in the present life are directive of the nature of life of your next birth. What deeds would fetch you what life is also explained. It contains instructions on Atmajnana and the way to obtain moksa (absolute bliss).


The basis of the present Hindu Law is Manusmrti and it is believed to have been written in B.C. 500,


MANUSYA (MAN) The Puranas have not given a definite explanation regarding the origin of Man, the most important of all living beings. Many stories regarding the origin of Man were current among the ancient people. According to Hindu Puranas Man was born of Svayambhuva Mann who in turn was born of Brahma. According to Valmiki Ramayana (Sarga 14, Aranya Kartda) all the living beings including man were born to Kasyapaprajapati of his eight wives, Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kalika, Tamra, Krodhavasa, Mann and Anala. From Aditi were born the devas; from Diti, the daityas; from Dann, the danavas; from Kali, the asuras Kalaka and Naraka; from Tamra, the birdflock Krauiici, Bhasi, Syeni, Dhrtarastri and Suki; from Krodhavasa the animal flock, Mrgi, Mrgamanda, Hari, Bhadramada, Matangi, Sarduli, Sveta and Surabhi; from Manu, mankind and from Anala, the flora.


There is basis to believe that the Greeks and the people of Bharata accepted with slight modifications the theory of evolution. The Dasavataras of Visnu almost represents the progressive changes in the form of a living thing from a fish into man. The theory of Darwin that life was first formed in water was current among the sages of ancient Bharata, even from very early times.


Apa eva sasarjadau Tasu viryamapasrjat // (He created water first and cast virility therein).


In the Dasavatdras (ten incarnations of Visnu) the first avatara is Matsya (Fish). The next one is Kurma or Tortoise which is a progress in the form of fish. The third is Varaha or boar which is another step forward in evolution. The fourth is Narasirhha (Man cum lion) which is the first step towards the formation of Man. That avatara has got the traits of both man and animal. The next one is Vamana or a small man. Then Sri Rama and Sri Krsna, both fully grown men but with different kinds of culture.




1 ) li alga, Manvvantara and Caturyuga. The Prapanca (universe) is perishable. At one time, it takes its origin, at another time it perishes. Brahma, the creator of the universe has birth and death. The period between the birth and death of a Brahma is known as a "Mahakalpa". The flood that comes at the death of a Brahma is called "Mahapralaya". One day of Brahma is called Kalpakala. In the Puranas one Kalpa or one day of Brahm5, is divided into fourteen part. The master or ruler of each of these divisions is a Manu. There are fourteen Manus. The life span of each Manu is called a. "Manvantaram".


There are seventy one Caturyugas in each Manvantara. The four yugas namely Krtayuga,.Tretayuga, Dv5parayuga and Kaliyuga make up one Caturyuga. At the end of seven tyone such Caturyugas, that is, at the end of every two hundred and eightyfour (71 X 4) yugas, a Manu completes his life-span. Along with that, the Devas who were born at the time of the birth of that Manu, also come to the end of their lives. Fourteen such Manvantaras make one day of Brahma. It is at the end of that day that the original universe perishes. Brahma's life-span is 120 years. At the end of that period, that Brahma perishes. That is to say, at the end of every


42,200 divine days (120 X 360) which is the life-span of a Brahma, a deluge takes place. Thus in one Brahma's time 42,200 Kalpas take place. A Brahma's life span is known as "Mahakalpa" and the close of a Brahma's period is called "Mahapralaya".


2) Human year (Manusya varsa) and Divine year (Deaa varsa). When two leaves are placed one over the other and they are pierced by a needle, the time required for the needle to pass from the first leaf to the second is called "Alpakala". Thirty such alpakalas make one "Truti". Thirty trutis make one "Kala". Thirty Kalas mak a one "Kastha", which is also known as "Nimi sa" "Noti" or "Matra". Four "Nimisas" make one "Ganita". Ten Ganitas, one "Netuvirppu". Six netuvirppus, one "Vinazhika". Sixty vinazhikas one ` Ghatika". Sixty ghatikas one day (day and night together). Fifteen days, one "Paksa". Two Paksas, one "Candra masa" lunar month). One Candramasa for human beings is one "ahoratra" (one day and night making up one full day) for the pitrs. Twelve Candra masas make one year for human beings. One year for human beings is one ahoratra for the gods. Three hundred ahordtras of gods make one "Deva Vatsara" or "Divya vats ara". 4,800 divyavatsaras make one Krtayuga. 3,600 divyavatsaras make one Tretayuga, 2,400 divyavatsaras make one Dvaparayuga. 1,200 divyavatsaras make one Kaliyuga. 12,000 divyavatsaras comprising a set of Krta, Treta. Dvapara and Kaliyugas make one Caturyuga. A Manu's period is completed at the end of 71 Caturyugas. With that, the first group of gods also comes to an end. At the end of fourteen such Manus, one `'Kalpa" is over and a deluge takes place. The whole of this period comprises one night for Brahma. Night is the time of complete inactivity. With the end of the night, creation is started again. When 360 such ahoratras of Brahma, are completed, he completes one year. After completing 120 such years, a Brahma perishes. Again a period of absolute inactivity follows for the length of a Brahma's life-span. After a period of 120 Brahma varsas (the lifespan of a Brahma) anrsther Brahma comes into being.


The life-span of Brahma is shown in the following tabular form


360 days for gods


12,000 Deva vatsaras


71 caturyugas


14 Manvantaras


2 Kalpas


-One Deva vatsara.


-1 caturyuga (36 lakhs years


for human beings).


-1 Manvantaram (One


Manu's life-span).


-1 Kalpa (one day time for




--One day (and night) for


Brahma. (Ahoratra)


360 days of Brahma -1 Brahma Varsa


120 Brahma Varsas -One Brahma's life-span.


This life-span of one Brahma is therefore 30 crores 9 lakhs 17 thousands 376 hundreds of years of human beings.


It is said that a Manu's period of reign is 4,32,000 Manusyarvarsas. (Bhagavata, 3rd Skandha).


3) The caturyuga .scheme. A caturyuga consists of the four yugas, namely Krta, Treta, Dvapara and Kali yugas. At the end of each Caturyuga, the Vedas perish Then the "Saptarsis" (seven sages) come down from heaven to tile earth and restore them again. Mann wino is the propounder of Dharma sastra, is also bowl in every Krtayuga. The Devas of each Manvantaram feed upon the share of Havis (offerings at sacrifices) of the yaga till the end of that Manvantara. During the whole period of the Manvantara, the earth is protected and preserved by the sons of Manu and their descendants. Thus Mann, the Saptarsis, Devas, Indra and the Kings who are the sons of Mann are the authorities of the Manvantara. After 14 Manvantaras a Kalpa of about 1,000 yugas, comes to an end. After that there is a night extending over the same period in duration. At that time Mahavisnu sleeps on his bed Ananta in the ocean of deluge. After that, he wakes up again and performs creation. Manus, Kings, Indra, Devas and Saptarsis are , the Sattvika aspects of Mahavisnu, who performs the work of protecting the world. In Krta yuga, Mahavisnu assumes the form of Kapila and others and preaches "Paramajfiana". In Treta yuga he assumes the form of an emperor and destroys the wicked people. In Dvapara yuga, he assumes the form of Vyasa and after dividing the Veda into 4 sections, classifies each of the sections into the various branches. At the end of Kaliyuga, Mahavisnu assumes the form of Kalki and restores the vicious to the path of righteousness. This is the "Caturyuga scheme" of Mahavisnu. (Visnu Purina. Part III, Chapter 2).


4) The fourteen Wanus. The names of the fourteen Manus of one Kalpa are given below


(1) Svayambhuva (2) Svarocisa (3) Uttama (Auttami) (4) Tamasa (5) Raivata (6) Caksusa (7) Vaivasvata (8) Savarni (9) Daksasavarni (16)* Brahmasavarni (11) Dharmasavarni (12) Rudrasavarni (13) Raucyadevasavarni ( 14) Indrasavarni.


Each of the above Manus is described below (1) Svayambhuva.


(a) General. Svayambhuva was born as the spiritual son of Brahma. This Mann got his name because he was "Svayambhuva" or born from Brahma. He married the goddess Satarupa, the spiritual daughter of Brahma. After that, he went to the shore of the ocean of milk, made an image of Mahadevi there and worshipped her by chanting Vagbhava mantra and performed an austere penance. After a hundred years of such worship the goddess was pleased. She appeared before Svayambhuva and granted him boons. She blessed him to attain the highest place in Heaven (Paramapada) after begetting vast progeny. Then the goddess went to Vindhya mountain and became the deity of V indhya. Svayambhuva returned and started his reign by worshipping the goddess.


This Svayambhuva is regarded as the author of the famous work "Manusmrti". Kalidasa says that the Kings of the Raghu dynasty lived in strict obedience to the laws laid down by this Mann. (Devi Bhagavata, Dasama Skandha).


(b) Other details.


(i) The Saptarsis of first Manvantara were---Marici, Angiras, Atri, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya and Vasistha. Devas are known as Yamas. The first Mann had ten sons namelv Agnidhra, Agnibahu, Medha, Medhatithi, Vasu, Jyotisman, Dyutiman, Havya, Savana and Putra and they ru1ed over the country. (Harivarhsa, Chapter 7) .


(ii) Emperor Prthu turned Svayambhuva Mann into a calf and obtained medicine from Bhumi by milking her as a cow. (Bhagavata, 4th Skandha).


(iii) Born from Virat anda. (M.B. Adi Parva Chapter 1, Verse 32).


(iv) Sage Cyavana married this Manu's daughter. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 66, Verse 46,).


(v) This Manu taught Soma, the art of Caksusi. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 169, Verse 43).


(vi) Since this Manu had blessed the clouds of the Magadha country they sent periodical rains to that region. (M.B. Sabhi Parva, Chapter 21, Verse 10) .


(vii) Manu came to the world, riding in the chariot of the gods to see Arjuna's fight. (M.B. Virata Parva,


Chapter 56, Verse 10).


(viii) This Mann had a wife named Sarasvati (Satarupa). (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 117, Verse 14).


(ix) This Mann lives in 'Bindusaras. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 7, Verse 46).


(x) He came at the time of Subrahmanya's birth. (8alya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 10) .


(xi) Mann held discussions with Siddhas. (Santi Parva, Chapter 36) .


(xii) He yeas the King of men. (Sand Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 21).


(xiii) This Mann is called "Prajapati Manu". Once he had a talk with Brhaspati on the subject of Dharma. (8anti Parva, Chapter 201).


(xiv) Upamanyu saw Svayambhuva Mann sitting by the side of diva. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 14, Verse 280).


(xv) He talked with the sage Suparna about the, greatness of flowers, fumes, lights, offerings and gifts. (AdiParva, Chapter 65, Verse 45) .


(2) Svarocisa.


(a) General. Svayarnbhuva had two great sons Priyavrata and Uttanapada. The second Mann was the son of Priyavrata and his name was Svarocisa. He was a glorious and adventurous man. He went to the banks of the river Kdlindi, made a hermitage there, installed an idol of Devi made of earth and offered worship most fervently. At the end of 12 years of tapas when he ate only dried leaves, Devi appeared before him in her dazzling brilliance and blessed him. The name of this Devi was "Dharinidevi". After a reign of many years this King went to Heaven. (Devi Bbagavata, 10th Skandha).


(b) Other Details.


(i) Paravatas and Tusitas were the Devas in this Manvantara. The mighty Vipascit was Devendra. The Saptarsis were fTrjja, StaIrtbha, Prana, Rama, R_ sabha, Niraya, and Parivan. Caitra, Kimpurusa and others were the sons of Svarocisa Mann. (Visnu Purina, Part 3, Chapter 1) .


(ii) In Harivarirsa, Chapter 7 we read that the Saptarsis of this Manvantaram were Aurva, Stambha, Kasyapa, Prana, Brhaspati, Datta and Niscyavana.


(iii) Brahma taught this Manu, Satvatadharrna. Svarocisa taught this dharma to his son Sarikhavadana. (8anti larva, Chapter 348, Verse 36).


(3) Auttami (Uttarna).


( a) General. Uttama was also the son of Priyavrata. He went to Gatiga tirtha and offered worship to Devi for three years with Vagbija mantra. At the end of it, Devi was pleased and blessed him with worthy sons and a kingdom without the threat of enemies. After a happy reign of many years, at the close of the Manvantara, he reached the highest plAce in Heaven. (Devi Bhagavata, 10th Skandha).


(b) Other details. Susanti was the name of the Devendra of this Manvantara. There were five groups of Devas, namely Sudhamans, Satyas, Japas, Pratardanas and givas, each group consisting of twelve Devas. The seven sons of the sage Vasistha were the saptarsis of this Manvantara. These seven sons of Vasistha by his wife


IJrjja were Rajas, Gotra, Urdhvabahu, Savana, Anagha, Sutapas and gukra. Aja, Parasudipta and others were the sons of the Mann Uttama. (Visnu Purana, Part I. Chapter 1).


(4) Tdmasa.


(a) General. The fourth Manu Tamasa was the son of Priyavrata. That King performed penance to Devi on the northern bank of the river Narmada with Kamaraja mantra. As a result of Devi's blessing, he obtained a prosperous Kingdom and worthy sons. After a long reign he attained heaven. (Devi Bhagavata, 10th Skandha).


(b) Other details. At the time of this Mann, there were four groups of Devas, namely-Suparas, Haris, Satyas, and Sudhis. Each of these groups contained 27 Devas. 8ibi who had performed a hundred yagas was the Indra. The Saptarsis of this Manvantara were Jyotirman, Prthu, Kavya, Caitra, Agnivanaka, and Pivara and Nara. Khyati, Keturupa, janujangha and others were the sons of Tamasa Manu. (Visnu Purana, Part I, Chapter 1) .


(5) Raiaata.


(a) General. The fifth Manu Raivata was the younger brother of Tamasa. He worshipped Devi with Kamabijamantra on the banks of the river Kalindi. With the blessing of Devi he ruled for many years and then attained Heaven. (Devi Bhagavata, 10th Skandha).


(b) Other details. The name of the Indra of this Manvantara was Vibhu. There were four groups of Devas-Amitabhas, Bhutarayas, Vaikunthas and Sumedhas. Each of these groups contained fourteen Devas. The Saptarsis of Raivata Manvantara wereHiranyaroma, Vedasri, LTrdhvabahu, Vedabahu, Sudama, Parjanya and Mahamuni. The sons of Raivata Mann, Balabandhu, Sambhavya, Satyaka and others were mighty Kings. (Visnu Purana, Part 3, Chapter 1).


(6) Cdkswa.


Via) General. This Manu was the son of Anga. Once he went to the Rajarsi (royal saint) Pulaha and prayed for prosperity, mastery of the whole world, invincible power and profound scholarship. Pulaha sent him to Devi. The Rajarsi taught him the worship of Devi. After acquiring the mantra Caksusa went to the banks of the river Viraja and offered worship to Devi. At the end of twelve years, Devi appeared before him and blessed him with "Manuhood", mastery of the Manu kingdom and brilliant sons After many years hedistributed his kingdoms among his sons and at last attained "Devipada". (Devi Bhagavata, Dasama Skandha).


(b) Other details.


(i) The following account is given in Visnu Purapa, Part I, Chapter 13, about the birth of Caksusa Manu. Dhruva and his wife Sambhu had two sons, namely gisti and Bhavya. Succhaya, the wife of Sisti gave birth to five sons, Ripu, Ripufijaya, Vipra, Vrkala and Vrkatejas, who were all sinless. Caksusa was born to


Brhati, the wife of Ripu. Caksusa begot Mann by Puskarini, daughter of Virana Prajapati. This was the sixth Manu. By his wife Nadvala, the daughter of Vairaja Prajapati, he had 10 sons, namely, Kuru, Puru, Satadyumna, Tapasvi, Satyavan, Suci, Agnistoma, Atiratra, Sudyumna and Abhimanyu. Agneyi, wife of Kuru, gave birth to six sons who were Anga, Sumanas, Khyati, Kratu, Angiras and Sibi. Sunitha, wife of Amga, gave birth to Vena. Prthu was the son of Vena. He is also known as "Vainya".


(ii) The Indra of that period was Manojava. There were five groups of Devas-Akhyas, Prasutas, Bhavyas, Prthukas and Lekhas, each group consisting of eight Devas. The Saptarsis of this Manvantara wereSumedhas, Virajas, Havisman, Uttama, Madhu, Atinaman and Sahisnu. Satadyumna and other mighty Kings were the sons of Caksusa Mann. (Visnu Purana, Part I, Chapter 3) .


(iii) The sons of this Mann became famous under the name "Varisthas" (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 18, Verse 20). (7) Paiaasvata. (a) General. He was born from Surya. It is this Manu who rules the world today. All living beings that we see today were born from him. Vaivasvata Mann is Satyavrata Mann who escaped from the last deluge. To save him Visnu took up the incarnation of Matsya (fish). Vaivasvata Manu was also the first of the Kings of the Surya vain: a (Solar Dynasty) who ruled over Ayodhya.


(b) Other details. (i) In Devi Bhagavata,. Saptama Skandha, we see that the sons of Vaivasvata namely Iksvaku, Nabhaga, Dhrsta, Saryati, Narisyanta, Pramsu, Nrga, Dista, Karusa and Prsadhra were also called Manus.


(ii) This Mann worshipped Devi and received her blessing and attained Heaven after a long reign. (Devi Bhagavata, 10th Skandha).


(iii) Vaivasvata Manu had another name, `=Sraddhadeva." The Devas of this Manvantaram are Adityas, Vasus and Rudras. The name of the Indra of .this period is Purandara. The Saptarsis are, Vasistha, Kasyapa, Atri, Jamadagni, Gautaina, Visvamitra and Bharadvaja. The nine Dharmikas (virtuous ones), Iksvaku, Nrga, Dhrsta, Saryati, Narisyanta, Nabhaga, Arista, Kardsa and Prsadhra are the sons of Vaivasvata Manu. (Visnu Purana, Part 8, Chapter 1).


(iv) Ten sons were born to this Manu who were Vena, Dhrsnu, Narisyanta, Nabhaga, Iksvaku, Karusa, Saryati, Ila, Prsadhra, and Nabhagarista. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 75, Verse 15) .


(v) Mahavisnu incarnated as Matsya for the sake of Vaivasvata Manu. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 187) .


(vi) He received Yogavidya from Surya and Iksvaku received it later from him. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 122, Verse 38).


(vii) At the beginning of Tretayuga, Surya taught "Satvata Dharma" to Mann and Manu taught it to lksvaku for the protection of all creatures. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 348, Verse 51) .


(viii) The sage Gautama taught ~ivasahasranama to Vaivasvata Mann. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 17, Verse 177) .


 (8) Saaarni.


(a) General. Even in his previous birth he was a devotee of Devi. In his former birth (during the period of Svarocisa Manvantara) Savarni was born as a King of Caitravarnsa under the name Suratha. The origin of the dynasty known as Ca,itravamsa was as follows :-Atri, son of Brahma had a son named Nisakara. This Nisakara became an emperor by performing Rajasuya. Emperor Nisakara had a son Budha and Budha had a son named Caitra, both of whom were greatly renowned. It was Caitra's family which later on became the reputed Caitra dynasty. The son of that Caitra was Viratha. Suratha was the son of Viratha. This was the previous birth of Savarni Maim. Suratha was a great hero and poet. Once another King besieged his city and defeated him. Suratha left his kingdom and went alone on horseback and took shelter in a dense forest. While wandering in the forest like a mad man with a broken heart, he happened to reach the asrama of the sage Sumedhas. The sage advised him to worship Devi in order to retrieve his lost kingdom and prosperity. Accordingly the King worshipped Devi who was pleased and restored to him his kingdom and prosperity. Besides, she blessed him that in his next birth he would become Savarni, the King of the Solar dynasty and would be revered as the eighth Manu. Thus the eighth Mann Savarni will be the second birth of Suratha. (Devi Bhagavata, 10th Skandha).


(b) Other details. Savarni is also the son of Surya. How he came to be called Savarni is explained below:-Surya had three children Mann, Yama and Yam! by Sarnjna, the daughter of Visvakarma. This Mann was Vaivasvata Maim, the seventh Mann. Unable to bear the intense heat of Surya, Sarhjfia once sent her maid Chaya to Surya in her own disguise and went to the forest for tapas. Surya had three children by Chaya, Sanaiscara, another Manu and Tapati. This Mann is known as Savarni who will become the eighth Mann. In his time there will be three groups of Devas-Sutapas, Amitabhas and Mukhyas. Each of these groups will consist of twelve persons. The Saptarsis of the eighth Manvantara are Dlptiman, Galava, Rama, Krpa, Asvatthama son of Drona, Vyasa son of Parasara and Rsyasrriga. Mahabali, son of Virocana will be the Indra. Virajas, Urvarlyan, Nirmoka and others are the Kings who are the sons of Savarni Mann. (Visnu Purana, Part III, Chapter 2).


(9). Daksa Saaarni.


General. At the time of this Manu there are three groups of Devas namely, Paras, Maricigarbhas and Sudharmans. Each of the groups contains 12 Devas. The Indra who is the king of those Devas, is the mighty Adbhuta. The Saptarsis of this Manvantara are:-Savana, Dyutiman, Bhavya, Vasu, Medhatithi, Jyotisman and Satya: Dhrtaketu. Diptiketu, Pancahasta, Niramaya, Prthusravas are the sons of Daksasavarni Mann. (Visnu Purana, Part III, Chapter 2) .


(10). Brahma'Saaarni.


General.- In this Manvantara, the Devas are Sudhamans and Vis uddhas. Each of these groups will contain 100 Devas. Their Indra will be the heroic Santi. The Saptarsis will be Havisman, Sukrta, Satya, Tapomurti, Nabhaga, Apratimaujas and Satyaketu. Brahma Savarni will have ten sons, three of whom are, Suksetra, Uttam-


aujas and Bhutisena who will become Kings. (Visnu Purana, Part 111, Chapter 2) .


(11) . Dharma Sivarni.


General. In this Manvantara there will be three groups of Devas namely, Vihafigamas, Kamagas and Nirvanaratis, each of the groups consisting of 30 Devas. Vrsa, Agnitejas, Vapusman, Ghrni, Aruni, Havisman, and Anagha will be the Saptarsis. The sons of Dharma Savarni viz., Sarvatraga, Sudharma, Devanika and others will be the kings of that time.


(12) . Rudra Siaarni.


General. This Mann is the son of Rudra. The Indra of this Manvantara will be Rtudhaman. There will be five groups of Devas namely, Haritas, Rohitas, Sumanases, Sukarmans and Suparas. Each group will contain 10 Devas. Saptarsis are Tapasvi, Sutapas, Tapomurti, Taporati, Tapodhrti, Tapodyuti and Tapodhana. The sons of this Mann, Devavan, Upadeva and DevaArestha will be mighty kings. (Visnu Purana, Part 111, Chapter 2).


(13) . Raucyadeaa Saaarni. (Ruci).


General. There will be three groups of Devas during this period called Sutramans, Sukarmans and Sudharmans. Each of these groups will contain 33 Devas. The mighty Divaspati will be their Indra. Nirmoha, Tattvadarsi, Nisprakampya, Nirutsuka, Dhrtiman, Avyaya and Sutapas are the Saptarsis of that period. Citrasena, Vicitra and other sons of this Manu will be kings. (Visnu Purana, Part III, Chapter 2).


(14) . Indra Saaarni (Bhaumi).


General. The India. of this Manvantara will be Suci. Under his control there will be five groups of Devas. They are Caksusas, Pavitras, Kanisthas, Bhrajakas and Vdcavrddhas. The Saptarsis of this period are Agnibahu, Suci, Sukra, Magadha, Agnidhra, Yukta and jita. At that time the sons of the Mann who would rule the earth will be Ura, Gambhirabuddhi and others. (Visnu Purana, Part III, Chapter 2) .


5) . Some more details. Fourteen Manus have been mentioned above. Of them, the seventh Mann, Vaivasvata Manu is the Head of the present Manvantrara. Some general facts about the Manus are given below:1) The six Manus after the eighth one namely, Daksasavarni, Merusavarni, Suryasavarni, Candrasavarni, Rudrasavarni and Visnusavarni are respectively the re-births of Karusa, Prsadhra, Nabhaga, Dista, Saryati and Trisariku wlio were the sons of Vaivasvsata Mann. There is a story about their taking re-births. All the six persons mentioned above were once offering worship to the idol of Devi on the banks of the river Kalindi. After twelve years, Devi appeared, under the name of Bhramarambika and blessed them that in their next births they would become rulers of Manvantaras. (Devi Bhagavata, I Oth Skandha ). 2) It is said that the four Manus, Svarocisa, Uttama, Tamasa and Raivata belonged to Priyavrata's family. It was because Priyavrata who was a Rajarsi offered tapas to Visnu that four Manus were born in his family. (Visnu Purana. Part III, Chapter 1).


3) It is the power of Visnu that dominates all the Manvantaras as the basic divinity. In the first Svayambhuva Manvantara it was a part of that power of Visnu itself that originated as Yajfiapurusa in Abhuti. After that when Svarocisa Manvantara came it was again that divinity that took its origin in Tusita as Ajita among the Tusitas. In Uttama Manvantara that divinity Tusita him self was born again under the name of Satya as the son of Satya in the group of Devas called Satyas. When Tamasa Manvantara began, that divinity was born again as the son of Harya as a Hari in the group of Devas called Haris. It was that divinity Hari himself who was born in Sambhuti under the name of Manasa among the Devas called Raivatas in Raivata Manvantara. In Caksusa Manvantara that Visnu Bhagavan took birth in Vikunthi as one of the Vaikunthas. In the present Vaivasvata Manvantara, Visnu has incarnated in Aditi as Vamana, the son of Kagyapa. That great Vamana conquered all the three worlds and presented them to Devendra. (Visau Purana, Part III, Chapter 2) .


Besides the fourteen Manus mentioned above, certain other Manus are also referred to in the Puranas. Some dctails about them arc given below:-


(1) It is seen from Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, 14th Sarga, verse 11, that Kasyapa had a wife named Manu.


(2) There is a reference to a Rajarsi (Saintly king) named Manu in Rgveda, first Mandala, 16th Anuvaka, 112th Sukta.


(3) A son named Manu was born to the Agni 'Papa or Pdncajanya. This Mann has another name Bhanu. He had three wives named Supraja, Brhadbliasa and Nisa. Six sons were born to him by the first two wives. By his third wife he had one daughter and seven sons. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 221, Verse 4).


(4) In Mahabharata, anti Parva, Chapter 57, verse 43, we find a reference to another Manu named Pracetas.


MANYAVATI. Wife of Aviksit, son of Karandhaina. Manyavati daughter of Bhimaraja was carried away by force by Aviksit from the marriage hall on the marriage day. (Markandeya Purana) .


MANYU I. A Vedic god. The origin of this god is described in Brahma Purana as follows :--


Once a terrible war broke out between Devas and Asuras. The Devas who were defeated, went to the Gautami river valley and performed penance to diva praying for victory. Siva produced Manyu from his third eye and presented him to the Devas. In the battle which followed they defea~ed the Asuras with the help of Manyu.


MANYU 11. A king of the Piiru dynasty. Bhagavata, 9th Skandha states that Ma.nyu, the son of Bharadvaja, had five sons including Brhatksaya.


MANYUMAN. Second son of the zAgni Bhanu. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 221, Verse 11) .


MARANA (M) (DEATH). Death is a goddess whose name is Mrtyu. The Puranas state that there was no death in the world before the birth of this goddess. In Mah5bharata, Drona Parva, Chapter 53 there is the following story about the circumstances in which Brahma created Mrtyu.


Living beings multiplied endless1y on earth. As they had no death, the goddess Earth found their weight too much for her to bear. She went weeping to Brahma and prayed for his help. At that time, Rudra and Narada were present in Brahma's assembly. Brahma said that he did not like destroying living beings. Because of the pressure of Rudra and Narada, Brahma created out of Visvaprakasa (Cosmic Light) a woman. She was born from the south and Brahma gave her the


name "Mrtyu". He gave her permission to destroy human beings.


When she heard that she was to kill living beings, she shed tears and Brahma gathered those tears. She went to Dhenukasrama and other places and performed tapas. At last Brahma called her back and assured her that it was not against Dharma to kill living beings. He changed the tears he had gathered from her face into the various diseases and returned them to her. He gave those diseases and the god Yama as her companions- Thus the goddess Mrtyu started her dance of destruction. (See also under the word PUNARJANMA).


MARDAMAHARSI. One of the sons of Visvamitra who was a Brahmavadi. (Sloka 57, Chapter 4, Anusasana Parva).


MARGANAPRIYA. A daughter born to Kasyapa Prajapati of his wife Pradha. (Sloka 45, Chapter 65, Adi Parva).


MARGASIRSAMASA. The month of Dhanu (December). The month has got great Puranic importance. If one lives taking food only once during the whole of this month one will be free from all sins and diseases. (8loka 17, Chapter 106, Anusasana Parva). If on the Dvada4i day in this month one fasts the whole day and night and worships Kel~ava one will get the benefit of conducting an Asvamedha yajna. (Sloka 3, Chapter 109, Anugasana Parva).,


MARICA. A Danava. There is a reference to him in Uttara Ramayana.


MARICA 1. The uncle of Ravana.


1). Birth. On the banks of the river Sarayu, there were two states lying adjacent called Malada and Karusa. The great sages conducted Jaladhara (showering of water) on the head of Indra to absolve him of his sin of killing Vrtrasura at this place. At that time Mala (excreta) and Karusa(spittings)of Indra fell at those places and so they got the name of Malada and Karusa. At that place was born after a few years a demoriess named TatakS, who had the strength of a thousand elephants. A demon called Sunda married Tataka and she got two sons named Marisa and Subahu. (Sarga 24, Bala Kanda, V5.lmiki Ramdyana and Bala Kanda, Kamba Ramayana).


2) Marisa in .his previous birth. Marisa was the servant of the gate-keeper;, of Vaikuntha. One day Mahavisnu was displeased by a conduct of his and he cursed him to be born as a demon on earth. But he added that Maricawould get salvation from. the curse when he was killed by Sri Rama in which capacity Visnu would incarnate soon. He would then return to Vaikuntha to his original place. That was how Marisa was born as the uncle of Ravana.


3) Jsrama life. Marica and Subahu were two inseparable brothers. They learned all tactics of war and their hobby was to torment the innocent sages of the forests (Sarga 19, Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayana). When the exploits of Marisa became unbearable, Vis vamitra brought Rama and Laksmana from Ayodhya for help. The instant Marisa heard the fierce twang of Rama's bow he fled to the other shore of the sea. From that day onwards Marisa grew matted hair and wore barks of trees and spent his life in an asrama. (Sargas 35 and 36, Aranyakanda, Valmiki Ramayana).


4) Death. When Rama and Laksmana were living in the Dandakaranya with Sita they were annoyed by a demoness named krpanakha. In the fight that ensued very many demons were killed. Sdrpanakha complained to Ravana who decided to kill Rama and carry away Sita. For this he sought the help of his uncle Maxim. Flying in his golden Vimana and crossing mountains and oceans he approached Marica and told him of his plan. Marica who was aware of the force of Ramabana dissuaded Ravana from such a venture. But kavana persisted in his plan and gave Marica the following instructions : "Become a golden deer with beautiful white spots all over the body and roam about near the aSrama of Rama for his wife Sita to see. I am sure Sita will request her husband Rama to catch hold of you. Rama and Laksmana will follow you and Sita will be left alone. I will then carry away Sita as Rahu takes Candrika (moonlight) and live happily with her. I will be contented if I can then tease Rama who will be lamenting over his separation from his wife". Thinking that it would be better to die at the hands of Rama than at the hands of Ravana, Mdrica agreed to do as his nephew desired.


Ravana and Marica came near the asrama of Rama in Ravana's aerial chariot. Marica on alighting from it took the form of a beautiful fawn and entered the precincts of the Asrama. The false fawn was capable of attracting the attention of anybody. It is described thus : `Jt appeared as a wonder to those who saw it. It was golden in colour with blue horns with white lines on it. The ears were like leaves of blue lotus and the face was of the colour of red lotus. The lips were like sapphire and the body beautifully shaped with sides like yellow flowers. The waist was thin and well-shaped and a rain-bow-coloured tail adorned its back. The whole body was silver-spotted and the deer was a feast for the eyes of anybody."


The deer went and grazed in places where it could be seen by Sita. It would run away from the a9rama and graze hidden from Sita but would come back again to the vision of Sita. It would mix with the deer of the asrama for some time and run away from them to distant places. Like a butterfly it flitted about always trying to attract the attention of Sita. Other deer approached it but on getting its scent flew away from it. The false deer suppressing the demon-instinct in him to klll and eat the animals which came near it played well the role of a fawn.


Situ was enamoured of the deer and expressed to Rama her desire to get it. Rama followed it and finding it keeping a distance always got suspicious and shot it down with an arrow. The deer cried "Ha Laksmana" and fell down dead. The cry was intended to mislead Laksmana and draw him also away from Sita. ~(Chapters 43-44, Aranya Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana).


MARICA II. Kasyapaprajapati. Marici was the father of Kasyapa and so Kasyapa was known as Marica also. (Sarga 46, Valmiki Ramayana).


MARICI I. A Maharsi (sage) born from Brahma's mind.


1) Birth and Genealogy. The six great sages born from Brahma's mind were :-Marici, Afigiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu, according to Mahabharata, Adi Parva.


2) Domestic life. Marici had several wives and children. He married Kala, the daughter of Kardama Prajapati by his wife Devahuti. Marici had two sons Kasyapa


and Purniman by Kala, This Kasyapa was the original ancestor of all living beings. But Purniman's family did not become well-known. Purniman had two sons, Virajas and Visvaga and a daughter Devakulya. Devakulya washed the feet of Mahavisnu and merged with Akdsa Ganga.


Urna was another wife of Marici. Six sons were born to Urna. Under a curse of Brahma they were born first as the sons of Hiranyakasipu and in their next birth as the sons of Vasudeva and Devaki. It was these six children who were born as Sri Krsna's elder brothers whom Kamsa killed immediately after their birth. (See under Krsna).


Marici had another wife named Sambhirti. She gave birth to Paurnamasa. In Visnu Purana, Part I, Chapter 10, we see that Paurnamdsa who was a Mahatma had two sons Virajas and Parvata. Dharmavrata was yet another wife of Marici. She was a daughter born to Dharmavati by Dharmadeva.


3) Dharmar~ratd cursed. Marici lived happily for long with his wife Dharmavrata. Once he returned from the forest, carrying darbha grass, flowers etc. He was tired after a long walk. After taking food, he wanted his wife to massage his legs. While she was massaging him Marici fell asleep. Just then Brahma happened to come there. Dharmavrata was in a fix. She had to attend to her husband and at the same time receive Brahma with due respect. She could not leave her husband's guru (Sire). It was her duty to honour him properly.


At last she got up and welcomed Brahma, offering him the customary honours. Meanwhile Marici woke up and not finding his wife near him cursed her to be turned into a stone. Dharmavrata who was distressed at the curse pleaded innocence and explained to him that she had been honouring his guru. She warned him that he would incur the curse of Siva.


Under Marici's curse Dharrrtavrata was separated from him. She performed penance in the midst of fires. Mahavisnu appeared before her and asked her what boon she wanted. She prayed that her curse might be lifted, Visnu replied :-"It was Marici who cursed you. That curse cannot be withdrawn. You will be turned into a sacred stone. Your name "Dharmavrata" will be changed into "Devavrata". In future, that stone will become famous under the name "Devavrata" or "Devagild". Brahma, Visnu, Mahcavara and goddesses like Laksmi will dwell in that stone."


After saying this. Mahavisnu disappeared, Once Dharmadeva held this Devasila above the demon Gaya and the place became famous under the name of "Gaya tirtha". (See under Gay5tirtha).


4) Other details.


(i) Marici had participated in the celebration connected with Arjuna's birth. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 122, Verse 52 ).


(ii) Marici was a member of Indra's assembly. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 7, Verse 17) .


(iii) Marici attended the celebration connected with Subrahmanya's birth. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 10) .


(iv) After the Bharata Yuddha, Marici visited Bhisma who was lying on "Sara Sayya" (bed of arrows). (M.B. Sand Parva, Chapter 47, Verse 10) .


(v) Mahabharata. Santi Parva, Chapter 334, Verse 35, mentions that Marici is a Prajapati.


(vi) Marici is one of the group of sages known as Citrasikhandins. (M.B. Sand Parva, Chapter 335, Verse 29) . (vii) Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 340, Verse 44, describes Marici as one of theAstaprakrtis.


(viii) Marici once visited Dhruva who was performing penance and gave him advice. (Visnu Purana, Part I, Chapter 11).


MARICI II. A celestial woman. In Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 122, Verse 62 we find that she attended a dance at the celebrations at the time of Arjuna's birth.


MARICI III. An author of Dharmagastra. His statements are quoted in Apararka, Smrticandrika, Mitaksara and other works.


MARISA I. A nymph created as a maiden of the Flora (See under Kandu).


MARISA II. A river of Puranic fame. (Sloka, 36, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MARISA. A place of habitation of ancient Bharata. (Sloka 69, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MARJARA. Son of jambavan. I t is said in Brahmapurana that the marjaras (cats) have their origin from this son of jambavan.


MARKA. See under the word Sandamarka.


MARKANDLYA. The son of Mrkandu. He was a great devotee of Siva.


1) Genealogy. Bhrgu, son of Brahma, begot of his wife Khyati a daughter named Laksmi and two sons named Dhata and Vidhata.


Dhata and Vidhata married Ayati and Niyati daughters of Mahameru. Dhata begot of his wife Ayati a son named Prana and Niyati bore Vidhata a son named Mrkandu, Markandeya was the son of Mrkandu and Vedas iras was the son of Markandeya.


2) Birth. Mrkandu did not have sons for a long time and so he performed penance for several years to please Siva to get a son. Siva appeared before him in person and asked him thus "Do you desire to have a virtuous, wise and pious son who would live up to sixteen years or a dullwitted evil-natured son who would live long ?" Mrkandu chose the first type and soon a son was born. He was named Markandeya. Even from boyhood Markandeya knew all the Vedas and sastras. His pleasing manners got the approval of his teachers and the boy was liked by one and all. But the parents were sad and whenever they looked at their son a gloom spread over their face. The secret of the short span of his lift, was hidden from him.


The sixteenth year was fast approaching and one day unable to control their grief they wept before him. Markandeya asked them the reason why they wept. Mrkandu with tears running down his cheeks told him the story. From-that day onwards Markandeya started performing penance wearing barks of trees for his dress and growing matted hair. The boy was soon engrossed in severe austerities.


The day of his death came and the boy sat before the idol of Siva in deep meditation. The servants of the god of Death could not approach Markandeyafor the radiation from him was too hot for them. So Yama, the god of Death, himself came to fetch him. Then Markandeya crying loudly for help embraced the idol before him. Yama threw his rope in a loop and it went and circled round the idol also. Angry Siva rose from the idol and


coming down killed Yama to save the child. From that day onwards Siva got the names Mrtyunjaya and Kalfi.k5la. After that at the request of the devas Siva gave life to Yama again and made Markandeya to be of sixteen years for ever.


3) Penance of Markandeya. The Puranas state that after getting the blessing from Siva, Markandeya lived for ten crores of years. While he was in deep meditation six Manvantaras passed away. When Markandeya continued his meditation to the seventh Manvantara Indra got frightened and he made an attempt to abort the penance of Markandeya. Indra sent his troops of Gandharvas, nymphs, Manmatha and Vasanta to the asrama of Markandeya. The asrama of Markandeya was at a place which was on the northern side of the Himalayas and was famous by the presence there of the river Puspabhadra and the rock Citra. The agents of Indra came there and tried to entice him with many temptations. Beautiful celestial maidens danced around the asrama. Flowers fell from their hair when their waists shook by the v eight of their heavy breasts. Enchanting girls played with balls here and there. As they played the bracelets on their waists fell down and the thin garments that hid their bodies flew up showing an alluring nakedness. Kama (God of Love) sent his arrows at that time against the sage. But Markandeya sat unconcerned as rigid as a rock and Indra accepted defeat. When Indra and his troops returned disappointed Mahavisnu with many sages went to Markandeya. He awoke from his meditation and worshipped Visnu.


4) Vision of Pralaya. On one evening at dusk Markandeya was sitting at Puspabhadratira when from somewhere a wind began to blow. The wind increased in strength and the sky became covered with clouds. The place resounded with peals of thunder and soon it began to rain. Rains became heavy. Rivers became flooded and water-level in the oceans rose. Everything around was submerged in water and Markandeya alone stood there with his matted hair swinging in the wind. It was impossible to know the directions and Markandeya started walking. He fell into whirlpools but was the next instant thrown up on to the top of surging waves. Then he saw on the,top of a high wave a banyan tree. On a branch on the north-east of the tree he saw an infant lying, devouring the darkness by its effulgence. He was attracted to the infant by its vital force and went inside the infant as it inhaled. Inside the belly of the kid Markandeya had a vision of the entire universe. He saw the sky, the horizon, the stars, the oceans, the mountains expanses of land, Suras, Asuras, forests and all that the universe contained in its proper set-up. He saw passing before his eyes the elements, the Yugas and the Manvantaras. After some time he was thrown out by an exhalation of the infant. He stood on the waters. The old banyan tree was still there. An infant was still lying on a leaf on that tree. Markandeya then knew it was Mahavisnu. He rushed to embrace the child; but the child disappeared before he reached it. Markandeya praised Mahavi snu.


5) Parvati and Paramesvara come to Mdrkandeya. When Mahavisnu disappeared from his vision he felt he was sitting at Puspabhadratira and he again went into meditation. At that time Parvati and Paramesvara came that way and appeared before Markandeya. The sage worshipped them and they botl. blessed Markandeya and said "Every desire of yours will be fulfilled. You will never be rugous or grey-haired and will live virtuous and famous till the end of the world. Omniscience will be an asset for you", After having said so much Parvati and Parame~ Vara disappeared. The Puranic belief is that the realised soul of Mdrkandeya is moving about in the universe. (10th Skandha, Chapters 8 to 11, Bhagavata) .


6). Details from Mahdbhdrata relating to Mdrkandeya.


(1) This sage shone in the court of Dharmaputra. (Sloka 15, Chapter 4, Sabha Parva).


(ii) He sits in the court of Brahma and worships him (Sloka 12 , Chapter 11, Sabha Parva).


(iii) Once Markandeya gave Dharmopades a to the Pandavas. (Chapter 25, Vana Parva).


(iv) Markandeya sitting on the banks of the river Payosni sang praises about river Payosni and king Nrga. (Sloka 5, Chapter 88, Vana Parva) .


(v) Once Markandeya narrated to Dharmaputra stories about Kings and Rsis. (Chapters 186 to 232, Vana Parva).


(vi) Markandeya had a vision of the great deluge. (Chapter 188, Vana Parva).


(vii) This sage entered the belly of Balamukunda. (Sloka 100, Chapter 188, Vana Parva).


(viii) Markandeya gave a description of Kaliyuga. (Sloka 7, Chapter 190, Vana Parva).


(ix) He described at another time the incarnation of Kalki. (Sloka-93, Chapter 19, Vana Parva).


(x) Once Markandeya narrated the story of Tripuravadha to Dharmaputra. (Sloka 2, Chapter 33; Karna Parva).


(xi) Markandeya was also one among the several sages. who visited Bhisma lying on his bed of arrows. (Sloka 11, Chapter 47, Santi Parva).


(xii) Markandeya learnt Sahasranama (thousand names) of Siva from Naciketas and taught the same to Upamanyu. (Sloka 79, Chapter 17, Anusasana Parva). (xiii) Once Mdrkandeya discussed with Narada topics on many different subjects. (Mksinatya Patha, Chapter, 22, Anus asana Parva).


(xiv) Once Markandeya explained the evils of taking flesh as food. (Sloka 37, 'Chapter 115, Anusasana Parva) .


(xv) The name of the wife of Markandeya was Dhumorna. (Sloka 4, Chapter 146, Anu~asana Parva) .


(xvi) Yudhisthira worshipped Markandeya also when he worshipped great sages before commencing the Mahaprasthana. (Sloka 12, Chapter 1, Prasthana Parva, M.B. ).


(xvii) Mahabharata gives the following synonyms for Markandeya :-Bhargava, Bhargavasattama, Bhrgukula9ardula, Bhrgunandana, Brahmarsi and Viprarsi.


MARKANDEYA (M). A famous holy place. This place is situated about sixteen miles to the north of Ka9 l at a place where the rivers Gariga and Gomad meet. He who visits this place would get the benefit of doing an Agnistomayajna. Not only that, he would lift the prestige of his family. (Sloka 80, Chapter 34, Vana Parva).


MARKANDEYAPURANA. One of the eighteen Puranas. The number of granthas in it is ninethousand. It contains a critical study of Dharma and Adharma. It is considered to be very good to give this Puraria as


gift on the full-moon day in the month of Karttika (November). (Chapter 272, Agni Pur'ana).


MARMAN. According to Indian 9astras there are 108 Marmans in the body of a living being. Of these the most important are forehead, eyes, eye-brows, armpits, shoulders heart, chin etc._ Bhavisya Purana, Chapter 34 says that a snake-bite or a heavy blow on any one of these marmans would prove fatal.


MARTTIKAVANA (M). An ancient country in Bharata. During the time of the Pdndavas this country was ruled by King Salya. (Sloka 14', Chapter 16, Vana Parva). Parasurama killed all the Ksatriyas of this country. (Sloka 12, Chapter 70, Drona Parva). Arjuna once made the son of Krtavarma the King of this country. (Sloka 69, Chapter 77, Mausala Parva).


MARU I. A king of the Iksvaku dynasty, the father of Prasusruta and son of Sighra. He had become "Ciranjivi" (immortal) by his Yogic power. According to Bhagavata Purana, all Ksatriya families would perish in Kaliyuga. At that time, Maru would come back to the world to revive the Ksatriya race. (Bh5.gavata, 9th Skandha).


MARU II. A Videha king of the Nimi dynasty. (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).


MARU III. One of the chief lieutenants of Narakasura. He was slain by Sri Krsna.


MARUBHOMI (MARUDHANVA). The ancient name of the present Rajasthan. In Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 32, Verse 5 we see that Nakula had won a victory over Marudhanva during his triumphal march over the western country. Kamyakavana in which is included Trnabindu sarovara, is in Marudhanva. (M.I3. Vana Parva, Chapter 258, Verse 13) . Marudhanva was also known as "Marvata". The sage Uttaf.ka lived in Marvata. In Mahabharata, Asvamedha Parva, Chapters 53, 54 and 55 it is stated that once Sri Krsna showed his Vi4varupa to this sage at Marvata:


MARUDHA. A country of Puranic fame. Sahadeva conquered this place while he was on his victory march to the south. (Sloka 14, Chapter 31, Sabha Parva).


MARUTA. The fortynine Vayus. (For details see under DITI).


MARUTA (M). An ancient place of habitation of south Bharata. Those who stood on the right side of the Krauncaruna Vyuha (a battle array) constructed by Dhrstadyumna in the Kuruksetra battle were the people of Maruta from south Bharata. (Sloka 57, Chapter 50, Bhisma Parva).


MARUTAGANATIRTHA. (MARUDGAI;ATIRTHA) A sacred place, (M.B. Anugasana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 38) .


MARUTANTAVYA. One of the sons of Visvamitra. (Sloka 54, Chapter 4, Anusasana Parva) .


MARUTASANA. A soldier of Subrahmanya. (Sloka 62, Chapter 45, Salya Parva).


MARUTASKANDHA. An army of the Devas. The commander of the forces was Subrahmanya. (Sloka 55, Chapter 231, Vana Parva).


MARUTS. In the Puranas there are references to 49 gods who are known as "Maruts". All of them are the sons of Kasyapa. The story of how the child in Diti's womb was cut into 49 pieces which became 49


Maruts. is given in Chapter 71 of Vamana Purana as follows:


Kagyapa's first wife Aditi became the mother of Devas and his second wife Diti became the mother of Daityas The chief of the Devas was 1ndra and the chiefs of Daityas were Hiranyaksa and Hiranyaka'sipu. At the request of Indra, Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakagipu were slain byMahavisnu. Diti who was grieved at the death of her sons, approached Kasyapa and requested him to give her a son who would be strong enough to kill Indra. Kasyapa told her that if she could perform tapasfor1O,OOO Divyavarsas with due observances, she would get a son who would be able to kili Indra and conquer the three worlds. He gave her a long list of conditions to be observed during


the tapes, some of which were as follows :-Do not injure any creature; do not curse; do not tell lies; do not cut nails or hair; do not touch any unclean object; do not get angry, do not speak to wicked people; do not wear soiled clothes; do not wear garlands used by others; do not eat what is left over by another; do not eat meat touched by a Sudra woman. Putting on clean, white dress, carrying auspicious substances, everyday before breakfast, cows, Brahmanas, goddess Laksm3 and Kas.yapa himself should be worshipped." This observance is known as "Puriisavana." He said that if she performed the tapes with this austere observance, a son capable of killing Indra would be born to her.


Did started the observance as advised by her husband. Ka,~ yapa left for Udaya mountain. After his departure, Indra came to the A'srama and pretending friendship offered to serve Did as an attendant. Did accepted his offer and allowed him to serve her. One day Did who was utterly tired fell asleep and Indra took advantage of this opportunity and gained entrance into her womb through her nostrils. He cut the child in Diti's womb with his weapon Vajra into seven pieces. At that time the child cried aloud and Indra said to it "Ma rude" which means "Do not cry". He cut each of the seven pieces again into seven pieces and thus 49 Marutswere born out of the 49 pieces. Since Indra said "Ma rude", they came to be known as "Maruts". All these Maruts subsequently became Indra's servants.


After this, Tndra with his weapon came out of Did's body. With joined palms he begged Did's pardon and exp1ained to her that he destroyed the child in her womb since he was destined to be his (Indra's) enemy.


MARUTTA I. A wealthy king who lived in Krtayuga. Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following order :-Brahma, Marici, Kasyapa, Vivasvan, Vaivasvata Manu, Mahabahu, Prasandhi, Ksupa, Iksvaku, Virirsa, Kalyana, Khaninetra, Suvarcas, Karandhama and Marutta.


2) How Marutta dot gold. As soon as Marutta became king he began to perform a Yaga. Money was required for it. He was puzzled as to how to raise funds. Besides, Indrawas trying to obstruct the Yaga. At last he consulted Narada who told him that Brhaspati's brother Sarirvartaka was performing tapes in the forest and if Marutta approached him, he would give him enough money for this purpose. So Marutta went to Sarirvartaka. He advised Marutta to worship S`iva. Accordingly Marutta event to Kailasa and got plenty of gold by worshipping diva and returned with it anal began his Yaga. In spite of their efforts, Tndra and other gods were not able to spoil Marutta's, Yaga. After the Yaga Marutta stored up the surplus wealth in the neighbourhood of Himalayas where his capital was situated.


After the Bharata Yuddha, Dharmaputra was in need of money to re-establish his administration and for conducting an Asvamedha gaga. At that time sage Vyasa informed him about the gold which Marutta had left in the neighbourhood of the Himalayas. It was byfetching that gold that the Pandavas conducted their A'svamedhayaga. (M.B. Asvamedha Parva, Chapters 3-10).


3) Marutta arid Ravana. Once Ravana started on a triumphal tour in his Puspaka Vimana with his followers. It was at that time that Marutta was performing his famous Yaga. The various gods were also present on that occasion. Alarmed at the sight of Ravana who was invincible by virtue of a boon he had received, the gods assumed the shape of different animals and birds. Indra became a peacock, Dharmaraja (Mama) became a crow; Kubera became a chameleon; Varuna transformed himself into a swan, and so on. Ravana entered the precincts of the Yajna and said to Marutta :-"Either you fight with me, or else admit defeat from me." To this Marutta replied calmly :--"May I know who you are ?" Ravana answered with a smile of contempt :- "I am amused at your strange pretence ! Do you mean to say that you do not know Ravana who is the younger brother of Kubera ? There is no one but you in all the three worlds, who does not know me. I have won the Puspakavimana after defeating my elder brother." Marutta retorted with bitter irony : "As a younger brother who has defeated his elder brother, you are certainly a great man. There is no praiseworthy hero equal to you in all these three worlds. Do you brag that you have defeated your elder brother ? I do not know whether you have received the boon by your righteous conduct. I have not heard the stories which you have told just now. You wicked fellow, stop there! I don't think that you will return alive!" Saying this Marutta took his bow and arfows and got ready for a fight.


But Sarirvartaka stopped Marutta saying "O King ! If you would please heed my advice; do not prepare for a fight here. We have started "Mahe'.varasatra". If we do not bring it to a conclusion, the whole family will come to an end. One who performs this Yaga should not be engaged in a fight. He should not even become a victim to anger. This Raksasa (Ravana) is invincible. Your victory is doubtful." At this, Marutta put down his, bow and began to occupy himself again with the affairs of the Yajna. Just them gukra shouted, "Ravana has won." The Raksasas and their leader Ravana continued their tour after eating the Maharsis who had come to take part in the Yaga.


After Ravana left the place, the Devas resumed their own forms. (Uttara Ramayana).


4) Other Details.


(i ) Marutta flourished in Yama's assembly. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 16) .


(ii) Marutta is considered as one of the "Pancamahasamrats" (five great emperors). The five great emperors are-Yuvana4va, Bhagiratha, Kartavirya, Bharata and Marutta. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 15) .


(iii) Once Siva presented him a golden peak of the Himalayas. Indra, Brhaspati and other Devas attended Marutta's assembly. His Yajnamandapas were al1 golden. His cooks were groups of Maruts. He was able to make all his subjects strong and healthy. In Mahabharata, Drona Parva, Chapter 55, we see that Marutta ruled over the country for 1000 years as an ideal emperor.


(iv) Once Marutta received a sword from King Mucukunda. Marutta gave it to Raivata. (M.B. Sand Parva, Chapter, 166, Verse 77).


(v) Marutta gave his daughter to Angiras and attained Heaven according to Mahabharata, Sand Parva, Chapter 234. Verse 18.


(vi) In Bhagavata, 9th Skandha, we flnd a passage which says that since Marutta had no sons he had adopted Dusyanta, a King of the Puru dynasty, as his son.


MARUTTA 11. A great sage. He entered into a dispute with Sri Krsna, who was on his way to Hastinapura as the messenger of the Pandavas. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 83, Verse 27 ).


MARUTVAMALA. In south India, at the southern tip of the Sahya ranges, a mountain reputed for medicinal herbs; may still be seen. This mountain is known by the name "Marutvamala". A legend connected with the origin of this mountain, is given in Uttara Ramayana, as follows:-


It was the time of the battle between Sri Rama and Ravana. Ravana's younger brother Vibhisana joined the side of Rama and fought against Ravana. The enraged Ravana shot his arrow at Vibhlsana. In his endeavour to save Vibhisana, Laksmana fell down unconscious. Rama and his followers discussed how


Laksmana could be revived. Jambavan observed that there was a herb called "Dronam" in one of the peaks of the Himalayas and if it was brought at once, Laksmana could be restored to his senses. Hanama.n flew to the Himalayas immediately. But although he combed the forests there, he was not able to find the herb Dronam. So he tore away and lifted a whole peak which was full of all kinds of medicinal herb-, and returned to Lanka. Jambavan took the needed herbs from it and deposited the peak at the southern end of India. This is the present Marutvamala. (Mala means mountain) .




MARUTVATI. The mother of two Marutvans. This Marutvat! was the daughter of Daksa, and the wife of Dharma. The ten daughters of Daksa, namely, Arundhatl, Vasu, Yam!, Lamba; Bhanu, Marutvati, Sankalpa, Muhurta, Sadhya, and Visva were the wives of Dharmadeva. Visvadevaswere born to Visva, Siddhas were born to Sadhya, Marutvans were born to Marutvati, Vasus were born to Vasu, Bhanus were born to Bhanu, Ghosa was born to Lamba and Nagavlth! was born to Yam! (Visnu Purana, Part I, Chapter 15) .


MARYADA 1. A princess of Vidarbha. She was married by the king named Arvacina. In Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 18, it is said that a son named Ariha was born to them.


MARYADA II . A daughter of the king of Videha, Devatithi a king of the Puru dynasty married her. Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 95, verse 23 says that a son, Ariha was born to them.


MASA. A measure of weight in ancient Bharata. (See under Trasarenu).




1). General information. It is believed that every where for a year there are twelve months. There are six different kinds of months in force in Bharata. They are the following :-


Malayalam Tamil Arabic Sanskrit English Suriydni


1. Cinnam Avani Muharram gravana August Of


2. Kanni Purattasi Safar Prosthapada September Ilan


3. -Tulam Aippasi Yulavan Asvina October Tasrinkadim


4. Vr'scikam Karttikai Utsani Karttika November  Tesrinhroyi


5. Dhanu Markali Jamadul Margas irsa December Konunka


6. Makaram Tai Jamatutsani Pausa January Konunhroyi


7. Kumbham Masi Rajab Magha February Sibottu


8. Minam PaAkuni Saval Phalguna March Odor


9 Medam Cittirai Ramzan Caitra April Nison


10. Idavam Vaikasi ~avval Vaieakha May Iyor


11, Mithunam Ani Du!had Jyestha June Harson


12. Karkatakam Ati _ Dulhaj Asadha July Tommus




2;. What the names of the months indicate. I). Malayalam months. The months are named based on certain beliefs. It takes twelve months for the earth to go round the Sun once. When the earth passes through the twelve divisions, it faces a separate set of constellataions in the universe in each of these divisions. In the month of Cinnam the earth faces a cluster of constellations in the shape of a lion and so the month is called Sizimha (lion) or Cinnam. In the next division the earth faces the constellations in the shape of a Kanyaka and so the month was called Kanni. The earth faces next the constellations in the shape of a balance and so the month was called Tulam (Tuld =balance). In the next division the earth faces the constellations in the shape of a scorpion and so the month was called Vrscikam (scorpion). The set of constellations which faces the earth in the next division is shaped like a bow (dhanus) and so the month got the name Dhanu. In the next division the earth faces a set of constellations in the shape of a Makaramatsya (makara-fish) and so the month was called Makaram. Kumbha means a jar and Minam means a fish and Medam (Mesa) means a goat and Idavam (Rsabha) means an ox. The shapes of the constellations in those divisions are like the things mentioned and the months were so named after them. In the next two divisions the constellations. appear as twins and a crab respectively and the months were so called Mithunam (twins) and Karkatakam (crab). 2). English months. i) January has come from the word Janus, the name of a Roman devata. Janus is twinfaced, one facing the front and the other back. ii) February means `to purify' and the festival of purification of the Romans is conducted in that month. iii) March is Mars, a devata of War. Rome was built by the brave warrior Romulus. In his time there were only ten months in a year and the number of days in a month varied considerably. There were months with twenty days and thirtyfive days. It was in the year 700 B.C. that the then King of Rbme, Numa, divided the year into twelve months and added January and February to it. Till then March was the first month of the. year. iv) April-Aperio means `blossoming' and since the trees and plants blossom in that month it got the name of April. v) May is named after Maia daughter of the demigod (devata) Atlas. There is an opinion that it is named after Vlaius, another name of Jupiter. vi) June gets its name after the devata Juno .though there is a version that it is named after a Roman tribe called Junius. vii) July.was formerly known as Quintilis meaning the fifth counting from March which -was the first month of the'year till the time of Numa. It was to commemorate the name of Julius Caesar that the name was changed to July. viii) August. This month was formerly known as Sextilis meaning the sixth month. But it was renamed August in honour of Augustus Caesar. But it .still lacked the importance of July as it contained thirtyone days and August only thirty days. So Augustus took one day from February and made the number of days in August thirtyone. ix) September means the seventh month from March.


x) October means the eighth month. xi) N-)vemb--r mans the ninth month. xici~) December means the tenth month.


MASAKA (M) . A place in the ancient island of Saka. Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 11 says that in ancient times, Kings used to live there for the fulfilment of their desires.


MASARSARA. A king of the Rgveda period. Rgveda: 1st Mandala, 18th Anuvaka, 122nd Sukta says that this king used to persecute the Aryans.


MASAVRATOPAVASA. Puranas mention about the months in which Vratas are to be observed with efficacy and the details are given below


(1) He who fasts for half a day in the month of Tulam will get children and vehicles in plenty and would become pure. (Sloka 29, Chapter 106, Anugasana Parva).


(2) He who fasts the whole day of the Dvadas i in Tulam and worships Visnu will. get the benefit of making a Sahasragodana (giving away thousand cows as gift). (Sloka 3, Chapter 106, Anusasana Parva).


(3) He who fasts for one time of the day in Vrscikam will become' a very brave and valorous man and acquire many wives and fame., (aloka 30, Chapter 106, Anusasana Parva).


(4) All men and women who worship Visnu on the dvadasi day in Vrscikam fasting for the whole day will get the benefit of a. Godanayajna. (Sloka 14, Chapter 109, Anusasana Parva).


(5) He who fasts for one time a day during the month of Mesa will get gold, diamonds and pearls in plenty and will be born in a high family in his next birth. (Sloka 23, Chapter 106, Anusasana Parva).


(6) If one, fasts the whole of the Dvadasi day in the month of Mesa one would get the benefit of conducting a Pundarlika. (Sloka 7 Chapter 109, Anusasana Paiva). (7) He who fasts for one time in a day in the month of Mithuna will become very prosperous. (Sloka 25, Chapter 106, Anm'asana Parva).


(8) If one fasts the whole day and night of the Dvadasi in Mithuna and does Trivikrama puja one would not only get the benefit of conducting a Gomedayajna but will be able to enjoy sexual pleasures with celestial maidens. (Sloka 9, Chapter 109, Anusasana Parva).


MASIRAM. A place of habitation in ancient India. There is a reference to this region in Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 53.


MATASIGA I. An ancient sage. The Ramayana in Aranya Kanda describes the aV.rama of Matanga. Ramalaksmanas after crossing the forest of Kraunca came to the 5srama of Matanga. Kabandha was slain at this place After abandoning his demoniac body Kabandha extolled the greatness of Matangasrama to Rama and Laksmana. "The flowers of this 5--rama are never plucked and worn on heads: Even if they are not plucked they never fade. They remain fresh always. There is a reason for this. The disciples of Matanga once brought a heavy load of fruits for their guru and when they reached the asrama they were. tired and drops of perspiration fell on the plants and they became flowers. $abari is performing penance in this asrama."


Matanga once cursed Bali. It happened that while the sage was living on the mountain of Rsyamuka Bali. and the asura Dundubhi fought against each other and blood flowing from the body of Dundubhi by a blow of Bali spurted out and fell on the hands of the sage.


MATANGA II. Another name of Trigahku. The name of. Matafiga is used for Rajarsi Trisanku in Verse 31, of Chapter 71, of Adi Parva. For more detail see under Triganku.


MATANGA III. A maharsi born to a barker of a brahmin woman. This clandestine birth was not known either to the brahmin husband or Matanga for a long time. Once his brahmin father sent him to the fields for ploughing. He put a donkey to the yoke and plough-


ed. When the donkey slowed down its work Matanga beat it hard. The mother of the donkey saw it and wept. She called Matanga to her side and told him that he was the son of a barber and that was why he behaved like a candala showing no kindness towards the animal. Matariga ran to his house and told his parents what the mother-donkey said. After that he left his house and did penance to become a brahmin. Indra was pleased and he asked Matanga what he wanted arid he replied he wanted to become a brahmin. Indra made him a brahmin and sent him back. (Chapter,27, Anusasana Parva).


MATAKTGA Sage Matanga was known by this name also. (See under Matafiga).


MATANGI. The great grandmother of the elephants. Matangi was the daughter of Krodhavasa, daughter of Daksa and wife of Ka~yapaprajapati. Matafigi had nine sisters. Elephants were born of Matarigi. (Sarga 14, Aranya Kanda; Valmiki Ramayana).


MATALI Charioteer of Indra. Chapter 69 of Vamana Purana gives the following story about the birth of Matali.


A child was born to sage Samika. It was the time of Devasura war. A great army of asuras under the leadership of Andhaka attacked bevaloka and conquered it. In the great battle with Andhaka the Vajrayudha of Indra broke into two. Indra was thinking of a new weapon for him. Mahavisnu then appeared before him and advised him to praise the glory of Agni. Indra did so and then a divine weapon rose from the fire. Indra flew at the asuras carrying the new weapon. There was no clever charioteer to drive the chariot of Indra. Still, seated in the golden chariot given to him by the Vasus Indra drove very swiftly against the asuras. The earth shivered by the din of the chariotwheels.


When the earth began to quake the sage Samika following directions of his wife Tapasvini placed the child on the ground outside the herrhitage. An astrologer had told her that a child would become two if it was placed in an open ground at the time of earth-quake. Tapasvini wanted one more child. As soon as her child


was placed on the ground another child identical in every respect with the first one was born by the side of the other. But the second child, as soon as it was born rose up and ran to Indra for driving his chariot.


When the Gandharvas knew he was coming to help Indra, they showered him with brilliance and the child approaching Indra said "Oh, Lord of the Devas, I shall be your charioteer." Indra asked him, "Child, whose son are you ? How will you drive my horse ? I doubt your competence." The child replied, "I am the son born to gamika on the ground. I have been given power and brilliance by the Gandharvas and so I am capable of driving your chariot." Onhearing this, Indra accepted him as his charioteer and named him Matali.


MATARISVAN. A devata (demigod). There are several stories in the Vedas regarding the birth of Agni (fire). Though Agni originating from the clouds reaches the earth as lightning it hides itself making it invisible to man. It was Matarisvan who took its form from the earth and gave it to the Bhxgu family and made it possible for them to make it as and when it was required. (Itgveda) .


This Matarigvan was one of the prominent sons of Garuda. ($loka 14, Chapter 10, Udyoga Parva).


MATHANA. An asura on the side of Tarakasura. Maha-, visnu killed him. (Chapter 152, Matsya Purana).


MATHARA 1. A demigod deputed by Indra to serve Surya (Sun). This demigod always sits on the right side of Surya, (Brahma Parva, Bliavisya PUrana).


MATHARA II. One of the Asladaiavinayakas (Eighteen Vinayakas). (Samba, 16 ).


MATHARA III. An acarya (teacher). He is believed to be the author of the book Sankhyakarikavrtti. (Kausitaki Brahmana).


MATHARAVANA. A holy place in Daksina Bharata. The victory pillar of Malharaka, an aide of Sfirya, is situated here. (Sloka 10, Chapter 88, Vana Parva).


MATHURA. The birth place of Sri Krsna.


MATI. A daughter of Daksaprajapati. She became the wife of Dharmaraja. (Sloka 15, Chapter 66, Adi Parva).


MATINARA. A King of Puruvarksa.. The line from Pfiru is as follows : Pfiru - Janamejaya-Pracinvan-ManasyuVitabhaya - Sundu - Bahuvidha - Samyati-RahovadiBhadrasva-Rkseyu-Krseyu-Sannateyu-Ghrteyu - Sthandileyu-Dharmeyu-Samvidheyu-Krteyu-Matinara. Matinara got two sons, Santurodha and Pratiratha. Dusyanta, husband of 8akuntala, was the. son of Santurodha. (Chapter 278, Adi Parva).


MATKULIKA. A follower of Subrahmanya. (Sloka 19, Chapter 467, Salya Parva).


MATRTIRTHA. A sacred place situated on the outskirts of Kuruksetra. If one bathes in a holy pond there one would be rich in children. (Sloka 58, Chapter 83, Vana Parva).


MATSYA I. The first and foremost incarnation of Mahavisnu. (See under Avatara) .


MATSYA II. An ancient country of Puranic fame. The people of this country are called Matsyas. The details available regarding Matsyadesa from the Mahabharata are given below


(1) The Pandavas wandering through the forests came to Matsyadesa. (Sloka 2, Chapter 155, Adi Parva).


(2) The people of Matsyadesa in fear of jarasandha migrated from the north to the south. (S,ioka 28, Chapter 14, Sabha Parva).

(3) Bhimasena during his victory march to the east conquered this country. (Sloka 8, Chapter 30, Sabha Parva).


(4) Sahadeva during his victory march to the south conquered the people of Matsyadea. (Sloka 4, Chapter 31, Sabha Parva).


(5) Matsyadesa was one of the countries suggested by Arjuna to spend their life incognito. (Sloka 12, Chapter 1, Virata Parva).


(6) Virata was the chief of Matsyade-a during the time of Mahabharata. (Sloka 17, Chapter 1, Virata Parva).


(7) In the Kuruksetra battle Virata, King of Matsyadesa, came to the help of Yudhisthira with an Aksauhini (army). (Sloka 12, Chapter 18, Udyoga Parva).


(8) The Pandavas spent a year of their life incognito at the palace of Virata, king of Matsyadesa. (Chapter 7, Virata Parva).


(9) Matsyarajya was one of the prominent kingdoms of ancient Bharata. (Sloka 40, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva). (10) Bhisma slaughtered many soldiers from Matsyade~; a.


(11) Dronacarya killed at a stretch five hundred Matsyas in the great battle. (Sloka 31 Chapter 190, Drona Parva).


(12) Karna once conquered Matsyadesa. (Sloka 18, Chapter 8, Karna Parva)


(13) The people of Matsyadesa were honest and charitable. (Chapter 45, Sloka 28, Karna Parva).


(14) Those who were left out among the Matsyas in the great battle were killed by A:-vattharna. (9loka 158, Chapter 8, Sauptika Parva).


MATSYA Ill. A King. He was the brother of Satyavati, mother of Vyasa. Satyavati and Matsya were both found in a fish by the same fisherman. (See under Adri. )


MATSYAKALA. A King of Puruvamsa. He was one of the seven celebrated Kings known as Girikaputras. The others were : Brhadratha, Kusa, Yadu, Pratyagra, Bala and Vira. The seven sons were born to Girika of her attendants. (Chapter 278, Agni Purana).


MATSYAPURANA. One of the eighteen Puranas. This Purana was told to Manu Satyavrata by Mahavisnu during his incarnation as Matsyu. There are thirteen thousand slokas in it. For prosperity this Purana should be given as gift on the Visuvat day along with a golden image of Matsya. (Chapters 2 and 272, Agni Purana).


MATSYODARI. Another name for Satyavati, mother of Vyasa. (See under Satyavati) .


MATTA. A demon. He was born to the demon Malyavan of his wife Sundari. Matta had six brothers named Vajramusti, Virupaksa, Durmukha, Suptaghna, Yajfiakosa and Unmatta. This Matta was killed in the Rama-Ravana battle. (Chapter 10, Agni Purana).


MATTAMAYURA(S). A special tribe of Ksatriyas. Nakula, one of the Pandavas, defeated these people during his victory march to the west. (Sloka 5. Chapter 32, Sabha Parva).


MAUDGALYA (MAUDGALA). A maharsi. This maharsi once cursed Ravana.


Once Maudgalya was sitting in Svastikasana resting his shoulders on his yog~c staff in the forest of Kadamba. Ravana returning after his victory march came that way. Seeing the sage sitting in a wonderfully queer posture


Ravana was amused and playfully tapped the staff with his Candrahasa. The staff broke into two and Maudgalya fell flat on the ground breaking his spine. The sage was furious and he cursed Ravana saying that his Candrahasa would thenceforth have no effect at all. (Yuddha Kanda, Kamba Ramayana).


MAUHCRTTIKAGATI. When the Sun passes through the centre of Puskaradvipa it covers a path equivalent to a thirtieth part of the earth and this journey of the Sun is called Mauhurttikagati. (See under Surya).


MAUfVJAYANA. A maharsi. This sage shone in the court of Yudhisthira. (9loka 13, Chapter 4, Sabha Parva).


MAURAVAPASA. See under Mura.


MAURVy. A kind of grass. It is with this grass that ascetics make mekhala (waistlet). .(Sloka 33, Chapter 17, Drona Parva).


MAUSALAPARVA. A Parva of Mahabharata. This Parva contains the story of the end of the Yddavas by killing each other.


MAVELLA. The fourth son of Uparicaravasu. Mavella attended the Rajasuya of Yudhisthira. (Chapter 63, Adi Parva and Chapter 34, Sabha Parva).


MAVELLAKA. An ancient place of habitation in India. Susarma, King of Trigarta, fought against Arjuna taking along with him the warriors of Mavellaka. Arjuna killed them all. (Sloka 20, Chapter 17, Drona Parva).


MAYA. A Danava king who served Devas and Asuras as their architect and builder.


1) General. Kasyapa Prajapati, son of Mariei and grandson of Brahma married the thirteen daughters of Daksa. Among them, the first was Aditi, the second was Did and the third was Danu. Aditeyas were born to Aditi, Daityas were born to Diti and Danavas were born to Danu. The chief among the sons of Dann was Maya.


Maya was found to be very proficient in the art of architecture even from his boyhood. He worshipped Brahma in the Himalayas to gain unrivalled skill in architecture Brahma was pleased and appeared before him. He blessed Maya to become the unequalled architect of the Devas. Asuras and Danavas. After that Maya was engaged in building magnificent mansions for Devas and Auras. He was also anointed King. of the Danavas.


It was a period of friendly co-operation and brotherly rel-itions between Devas and Asuras. Once there was a dancing show in Devaloka. Maya was also invited to see the performance of the women of Devaloka. All the dancers acquitted themselves creditably. But what attracted Maya most, was the dance of Hema, the Apsara woman. Maya and Hema were mutually attracted and fell in love with each other. The Devas who came to know of this, gave Hema in marriage to Maya. (Uttara Ramayana).


2) Domestic life. Maya and Hema went to the valley south of Himavan and built there a city named "Hemapura". While leading a happy life there, two sons, Mayavi and Dundubhi were born to them. But they had no daughter. So they worshipped Siva, praying for a daughter.


At about that time, one day, an Apsara woman, Madhura, after observing Somavara Vrata, came to Siva and did obeisance to him. Parvati was not at home at the moment. Fascinated by Madhura's charm, Siva embraced her. Parvati who came to know of it, cursed Madhura and turned her into a frog. But she said that after twelve years, the curse would be lifted and she would become a woman again. It was in a well near the place where Maya and Hema were performing tapas that Madhura fell as frog. After twelve years, the frog recovered her former shape as a woman. At that time Maya saw her, and taking her to be the daughter given to him by Siva, took her with him to his palace. He gave her the name "Mandodari". It was this "Mandodari" whom Ravana married later.


Besides these three children, Maya had some other sons and daughters. In Devi Bhagavata, 8th Skandha there is a reference to the Danava named Bala, the son of Maya, living in Atala, a section of Patala. In Katha saritsagara, Madanamaficukalambaka, 3rd Taranga we find that Maya had two daughters named Svayamprabha and Somaprabha. Of them, Somaprabha was married by Nalakubara, the son of Va.isravana.


3) Alliance with Arjuna and construction of indraprastha. Once Krsna and Arjuna offered Khandavavana to Agnideva as a feast. (See under the word "Khandavadaha") . While Agni was furiously feeding upon the forests, the human and animal inhabitants in it began to flee from it. Krsna and Arjuna shot them down with arrows. At that time Maya was hiding himself in the disguise of Taksaka. When the flames of fire approached that place Maya left his shelter and r»shed out. Sri Krsna aimed his weapon Cakra at him. Crying aloud with fear, Maya ran to Arjuna praying for protection. Arjuna stopped Agnideva and Sri Krsna and thus saved Maya. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 2440).


From that time, Maya became a loyal follower of Arjuna. After Khandavadaha, Krsna and Arjuna were taking rest when Maya approached them with joined palms and asked Arjuna what he should do in return for saving him from the fury of Krsna and the blazing fire. Arjuna replied that he expected no return from Maya for saving his life but wanted only his friendship. Maya was not satisfied. He insisted that Arjuna should accept some service from him as a token of his deep gratitude. On hearing this, Sri Krsna suggested that Maya should build a beautiful palace for the Pandavas. Accordingly he built a magnificent palace for the Pandavas at the place called Khandavaprastha. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 1) .


4) Maya settled down in Vindhya. Once Maya sought shelter from Mahavisnu. Visnu offered shelter to Maya and so he built a mansion called "Sudharma" for all the Devas. It was a building of inexpressible beauty and rare architectural workmanship. The Asuras who became angry with Maya for his allianee with the Devas made preparations to attack him. Alarmed at it, Maya fled southwards with his family and reached Vindhya. There he built a lovely mansion and settled down in it. (Kathagaritsagara, Madanamancukalambaka, 3rd Tarariga) .


In Va1miki Ramayana, Kiskindha kanda, 50th sarga also there is a reference to this wonderful mansion which Maya built on the Vindhya mountain. In their search for Sita, Hanuman and the other monkeys reached the Vindhya mountain. There they combed the forests and caves to find out Sita. When they carne to the peak to the south west of the mountain, they saw a huge dark cave. They entered it and cautiously moved forward. After a long and tedious walk the monkeys


were exhausted with hunger and thirst. When they proceeded a little further, they came across a bright place. There they saw a woman sitting alone, dressed in deer skin and barks of trees. She greeted them and in the course of her talk with the monkeys she told them that the cave was made by the magician Maya and that her name was Svayamprabha. Her mother was Merusavarn! and that she (Svayamprabha) was entrusted with the task guarding the wonderful mansion. Then she gave them fruits and fresh water.


5) Building of Tripuras. It was Maya who built three magic dwellings for the three Danavas, Kamalaksa, Tarakaksa and Vidyunmali. (For details see under the word Pura).


6) Other details.


(i) Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 227, Verse 41 says that Namuci the Danava was the broth, ,r of Maya. (ii) Maya had two sons named Sunitha and Sudandika They became human beings under a curse. (For details see under the word Suryaprabha).


(iii) In Kathasaritsagara Madanamaficukalambaka, 8th Taranga we see that Maya was an incarnation of Vis vakarma.


(iv) At the time when Mahavisnu as Vamana took the three worlds from Mahabali, Maya joined with other Danavas and fought against Vamana. (M.B. Bhavisya Parva, Chapter 55) .


(v) Once Maya was relaxing with his friends on the Malaya mountain. Knowing about it Mahesvara sent Indra to that mountain. Indra challenged the Danavas for a fight. In the battle that followed, Indra killed the Danava named Paka. Thus he got the name, "PakasAsana". Indra killed Pura, the son of Mahabali also in that battle and so came to be known as "Purandara" The remaining Danavas under the leadership of Maya fled to Patala. (Vamana Purana, Chapter 71) .


1) General information. A consort of Mahavisnu, Maya has got a very prominent place in Hindu Puranas. The Puranas state that this whole universe is unreal, illusory and if we feel it real it is because of the working of this Maya.


2) Birth. How was Maya born? Agni Purana in its twentieth chapter gives a genealogy of Maya. Hirhsa


(injury) is the wife of Adharma (evil). They got two children named Anrta (falsehood) and Nikrti (wickedness). From them were born Bhaya(fear), Naraka(hell) Maya (illusion) and Vedana(pain). Maya in turn gave birth to Death, the destroyer of all pain produced from Hate or Misery. Mrtyu (death) produced Vyadhi (disease), Jara (rugosity),9oka (sorrow), Trsna(desire) and Krodha (anger).


3) Exhibition of Mciyd. Mahavisnu once told Narada thus: "There is nothing like living beings on earth. All is an illusion due to Maya." Narada requested Mahavisnu to show him that and Visnu took Narada to the banks of a river and exhibited the wonderful working of Maya. (For details see under Taladhvaja I ).


4) How Gdthi, a brahrnin, saw Mriya. In the country of Kosala there was once a brahmin named Gathi. He went to the forests and standing there in water in a pond, immersed up to his.neck, started doing penance. For eight months he did penance thus and then Mahavisnu appeared before him and asked him what boon he wanted. The Brahmin said he wanted to see Mayadevi. Visnu granted the boon and disappeared.


Several years passed after that and nothing happened. One day the brahmin as usual went to bathe in a pond. When he took a dip in the waters he forgot all his prayers and mantras. There was a change of mind. He felt he was lying dead in his house. Relatives were sitting around weeping. His wife was in tears and was holding his legs. In an atmosphere of mourning, his own people weeping bitterly carried his body to a frightening burial ground and put it on a funeral pyre. It was burnt to ashes. lie then felt himself in the womb of a Candala woman living in a village near Hunamandala. The foetus developed and a black boy was born. The boy grew passing the stages of infancy, childhood and boyhood and became a man, black and stout. He started enjoying, sexual life with a beautiful candala girl. The amorous plays were done on leaf-beds, in creeper-huts, bushes and in caves and soon many evil-natured sons were born to him. Gradually his health faded and he constructed a hermitage and lived there as a hermit: His children grew up and he became old and then all on a sudden all his children and wife and other members of his family died and he was left alone. He then left the place and travelling much reached the capital city of Kiramandala. The city gates were decorated and inside people stood in groups. The road to the palace from the gate had been beautified and as he reached the palace gates he saw an elephant as big and black as mountain standing there well caparisoned. It was customary in those days to post an elephant well bedecked before the palace gates when a King died. The elephant he saw was one who had been let loose to select a new King in the place of the one who had just died. The elephant on seeing him took him by its trunk and placed him on its back. The people when they saw it shouted "The King", "The King". Drums were beaten and people shouted with joy. He was taken to the palace where he was received by young and beautiful girls. He was dressed in royal robes and he took over the administration of the state. Gradually he accepted as his wives the wives of tote former King and lived there accepting the name of Galava. He ruled the state to the satisfaction of all for eight years. One day the King went out for a stroll dressed as an ordinary man. Just outside the gate of the palace a set of Candalas were sitting singing songs to the accompaniment of a violin. As soon as they saw Galava one of the Candalas, a red-eyed old man, got up from the group aind addressing the King as "Hi, Kalanju" shouted loudly, "Friend, where had you been all this time ? It is a long time since we saw you. It is our luck we saw you at least now". The King of Kira did not like the words of the Candala and he rebuked the old man. The queens and others standing on the terrace of the palace could see this scene. They were shocked. They regretted they had all along been serving a Candala. The news spread like wild fire in the state. The King had to live in the palace without the help and co-operation of anybody inside or outside the palace.


People wanted to atone for the crime they had committed in installing a Candala as their King. They made small firepits throughout the country and started committing suicide by jumping into it. The King


lamented that such a mass suicide was due to him and he also made a fire-pit and jumped into it.


The heat of the fire-pit woke him from his day-dream and Gathi found himself in the pond where he had come to bathe. "What! Who am I? What all roles did I take just now?" These puzzling thoughts filled him and he went back to the asrama and started life as usual. One day an old friend of his came to the asrama and after the daily routine they lay down to sleep. During their conversation Gathi asked his friend why he had become fleshless and so lean. Then his friend narrated a story exactly similar to the experiences which Gathi had in the country of Kira. He added that to atone for the sin of his association with the Candalas he was conducting Prayagasnana (bath in Prayaga), Japa and Candrayanamahavrata. All those things he explained, made him lean.


Gathi knew that the story of the guest related to him and he was eager to visit the country of Kira. When he went to Kira he saw everything there in the same _way as in his dream. Then he realised that it was an exhibition by Visnu of the working of Maya. Gathi then renounced everything and went into a cave and started doing penance there. After some years Maha Visnu appeared before him and blessed him. (Jnanavasistha).


MAYADARSANAPARVA. A subdivision of Adi Parva, in Mahabharata. Chapters 227 to 233 of Adi Parva, are included.


MAYADHARA. An asura. Indra got down Pururavas to fight against this demon who was always giving trouble to the devas. Pururavas killed Mayadhara in a battle. The day the demon was killed Indra gave a banquet in honour of Pururavas. After the banquet there was a dance performance by Rambha and as she was dancing before Acarya Tumburu, Pururavas openly criticised Rambha for the mistake in dancing she committed then. Tumburu did not relish it and he cursed Pururavas saying that Pururavas would bear a separation from his wife Urvasi. It was because of this curse that Urvasi was once carried away from the palace of Pururavas by the Gandharvas. (Kathasaritsagara, Taranga 3, Lavanakalambaka).


MAYAMRGA. Marica, uncle of Ravana, took the form of a beautiful deer to tempt Sita and went to the asrama where Sita was staying. This deer is called Mayamrga. (See under MARICA).


MAYAPURI. A city of the asuras. (See under Kraunca).


MAYASITA. When Rama and Laksmana were in exile in the forests with Sita, Ravana came to carry away Sita. At that time the real sita disappeared in Agni and in her place a false Sita was installed. It was this phantom Sita who was carried away by Ravana and who lived in Lanka till the time of Ravana's death. It was this Mayasita whom Rama asked to jump into the fire to test her purity. At that time Mayasita disappeared and the real Sita came out from the fire. (See under S ITA) .


MAYASIVA. Padma Purana gives a story of how once an asura named Jalandhara approached Parvati as Siva to induce her to surrender to his desires. This Siva was called Mayasiva.


A great battle between the devas and asuras was going on. The asuras were winning and the devas gof frightened at the strength of the asuras and so Siva himself entered the battlefield. Jalandhara who led the army of the asuras found the fight against Siva very tough and smelt defeat. He decided to cheat Parvati, the consort of Siva, to compensate for his defeat in the battle-field and so making an asura named Sumbha as the chief, he left for Kailasa. Sumbha became a mdya Jalandhara and continued the fight.


Taking another asura named Durvarana, Jalandhara went to a cave in Kailasa and there changed himself into an exact replica of Siva. He made Durvarana look like Nandikesa.


Then they went to the top of the mountain where Parvati and her companions were staying. Siva approached Parvati on the shoulders of Nandike.4a with wounds all over his body and blood oozing from them. Parvati seeing Siva thus, with tears rolling down her cheeks asked him, 11Oh, Lord of the gods what happened to your lordship ? Who defeated you in the battle ? Why do you weep like a low-bred man ?" Mayasiva took from his body all his ornaments like Vasuki and gave them, to the companions of Parvati. When Parvati saw the heads of Ganapati and Subrahmanya in the hands of her husband she cried in bitterness. Siva told her that all his parsadas like Manibhadra, Virabhadra, Puspadanta, Damana, Dhumatamra and Kusmanda were killed in the battle. Candi, Bhrrigi, Kiriti, Mahakala, Srnkhali, Candiga and 6uptanetra were all killed. Mayasiva told her that he had picked up the heads of Ganapati and Subrahmanya found lying in the battlefield. He requested Parvati to console him by embracing him. Parvat! resented the request. She said, "What you say is unfit for the situation. Sexual enjoyment is forbidden in times of misery, fear, meditation, vomiting fever, performing offering to the manes, journey, royal visits, marriage festivities and in the presence of elders and teachers. Why do you make this request to me when I am mourning the death of my sons ?


Pretending to be grief-stricken Mayasiva said "She who does not give sexual pleasure to a man in distress would go to hell. I have no parsadas now. I have lost my sons also. I lost my house. Now you also hate me. I am going to my cave. Let me end my life there. Come on, Nandikesa, Vajra, we will go.


Hearing this Parvati went near him.


At this time there happened a few bad omens in the ocean of milk where Visnu was residing, and calling Garuda to his side Visnu asked him to go arid enquire about the battle that was going on between the devas and asuras. To prevent him from being deceived by the magic of the asuras Visnu dropped into the mouth of Garuda a pill of great potency. Garuda reached the battlefield very soon but could not find anything out of the way and so flew to Kailasa. He did not see Parvati first but hearing a noise from somewhere else peeped in and saw Mayasiva. Garuda could understand him because of the power of the pill and so flew swiftly back to Mahavisnu and told him what he saw.


Mahavisnu knew that Parvati had been deceived by Jalandhara. So he decided to cheat Vrnda, wife of Jalandhara. Mahavisnu filled with amorous desires, avoiding Mahalaksmi, covering his head with a yellow scarf and taking the figure of another person by his yogic powers stepped out of his abode taking Ananta for his company. He went to Durgakanana the abode of Vrnda.. They constructed an asrama there and the wild animals like the lion, tiger, boar, bear and monkey


became their disciples taking human form. Then Visnu created mental agony in Vrnda to attract her to his asrama. Vrnda started getting hot and her maids fanned her continuously and anointed her with sandalwood paste. She thought of her husband in the battlefield and often fainted. She had a very bad dream. She saw her husband Jalandhara lying wounded on his head, ears and nose, with his body smeared with ashes and his eyes pecked by vultures. She saw Kali, with her hair lying lose, her face reddened with blood, with a skull in her hand dancing before the body of her husband before starting to eat it. At this moment she was awakened by the music of the Magadhas and loud chanting of family praises by Kimpurusas. She at once stopped the music and prayers and paid them off: Then she sent word for pandits to explain the dream she saw. The Pandits said "Devi, this appears to be a dream giving unimaginable fear. To calm the fear give as gifts to Brahmins, diamonds, garments, cows and elephants." Then the brahmin pandits sprinkled on her, water made potent by mantras. There was no waning of the fever. Dismissing the pandits, queen Vrnda went and sat alone upstairs. She felt the whole palace burning and by the craft employed by Visnu she found living inside the palace unbearable.


She got out of the palace and boarding a chariot drawn by mares she went to her play-garden. The sight of the garden filled with beautiful flowers and celestial maidens where no one else but pleasing breeze could enter made her remember her husband. She then brooded on how to find out Jalandhara, and there also she did not get peace of mind. So she accompanied by her maids started for another garden. That garden gave a ghastly sight with huge trees standing crowded interspersed with black rocks and the place resounding with the roars of lions and tigers. Vrnda got frightened and she hastened to say "Smaraduti, I feel frightened. Please drive back the chariot home."


Hearing this Smaraduti said, "Oh, Devi, I do not know the place. I do not understand the directions also. To which direction am I to drive ? The hor; es look tired. no way here. Anyhow let it go as directed by God. If we stay here we will be eaten by man-eaters."


So saying the maid drove the chariot and soon they reached a forest more grisly than the former. It was a forest where great yogins lived. There was no light there neither water nor wind. No sound came. Even the sounds of the bells on the horses and the chariot stopped. Vrnda moaned, "Where are we to go now, maid ! There is no peace of mind for me anywhere in this world."


Smaraduti looking ahead cried, "Look Devi, there is a great black mountain in front of us. The horses refuse to move, for they are afraid of it."


Cold with fear the queen stood up from the chariot and keeping her hands on the pearl necklace on her breast jumped out of the chariot. Then a very fierce demon came towards them. He was yellow in colour with three legs, five hands, seven eyes -and ears like a tiger's and the shoulders and chin like those of a lion. It was a horrible sight and Vrnda hid her eyes with her hands and trembled like a plantain leaf. The maid jumping out of the chariot cried aloud "Oh, my queen, help me. This demon is going to eat me." The demon approaching them took the chariot with the horses and whirled it round in the air. Both the queen and the maid fainted at this exhibition of strength. The demon ate all the horses and then catching hold of the hands of the queen he roared, "If you want your life make me your husband. Your husband has, been killed by Siva in the battle. If you join me you can live for years together without fear. Come on, drink this sweet liquor with flesh". Vrnda became half dead when she heard that.


At that time Mahavisnu in the guise of an ascetic wearing barks of trees and matted hair appeared before them. An angered look form Visnu sent the demon away from the place. Vrnda took refuge in the ascetic and the false ascetic said, "I am Devasarma, son of Bharadvaja. Renouncing all worldly pleasures I have come here to do penance and if it pleases you, you can come and stay in my asrama and do penance. We can go to another forest far away from here." As soon as they reached the afirama Mahavisnu appeared before her in the figure of ja1andhara. They embraced each other and lived there joyfully for many days. One day at the end of asexual act Vrnda saw instead of Jalandhara the ascetic in embrace with her. She was shocked and stood up separated from him. Then Mahavisnu said "Vrnda, I am Visc a husband of Laksmi. Your husband has gone to conquer Siva and get Parvati for himself. I am Siva also. We appear separate. Your husband Jalandhara has been killed in the battle. Join with me."


Vrnda got angry. She cursed Visnu ; she said, "You cheated me by pretendiug to be an ascetic. Let your wife also be once cheated by a false ascetic." The cursed Visnu disappeared and Vrnda started penance. Many Gandharva ladies came with temptations to dissuade Vrnda from continuing the penance. But a1l such attempts failed and Vrnda ended her life doing penance. The nymphs showered flowers on her from above and the dead body of Vrnda was cremated by Smaraduti and Smaraduti jumped into the funeral pyre of Vrnda and gave away her life. The nymphs made an image of her with the ashes from the funeral pyre and floated it on the river Ganga.


Parvati did not consent to having any sexual enjoyment with Mayas iva and she escaped from the place and went to Akas aganga and started doing penance there. One day Parvati called her maid Jaya to her side and said "Jaya you go in my dress to Siva and find out whether he is really Siva or not. If he kisses you and embraces you he will surely be a danava come in disguise by his Maya. But if he asks you about my welfare he will be real S` iva. Go and te1l me what happens."


Jaya went to Mayan iva. Jalandhara when he saw her mistook her for Parvati and caught hold of her and immediate1y semen flowed out from him. Jaya returned and told Parvati that it was Jalandhara and not Siva, Parvati afraid of Jalandhara hid in a lotus and her companions became beetles sitting on the lotus. In the meantime the guards of the palace finding the queen absent from the palace reported the matter to Sumbha fighting against Siva.


MAYASURA. An asura. He had a daughter named Somaprabha. (Kathasaritsagara) -


MAYAVASISTHA. There was once a King called Mitrasaha among the Kings of the Solar dynasty who ruled Ayodhya. One day while he was hunting he saw two demons roaming about as tigers and Mitrasaha killed one of them. The other demon waited for an opportunity to wreak vengeance and an opportunity presented itself. Mitrasaha was conducting an Asvamedha yaga to which Vasistha was the chief priest. The demon went to the King as Vasistha and privately told him that he desired to eat meat and the King accordingly prepared meat which was greatly resented by the real Vasistha and the sage cursed Mitrasaha to become a demon. The false Vasistha who played the trick on the King is called Mayavasistha. (See for details under Kalmasapada).


MAYAVATI. An incarnation of Ratidevi. An asura named Sambara made her his wife. But Pradyumna, son of Krsna, carried her away to Dvaraka. (See under Pradvumna).


MAYAVI. An asura.


1) Birth. Mayavi was porn to the great architect of the Danavas, Maya, of his wife Hema, a nymph. Maya fell in love with Hema when he once found her dancing in Devaloka and the devas coming to know of it gave her in marriage to Maya. Maya took Hema to the southern side of the Himalayas and constructing a ,city there called Hemapura stayed there happily. They got two sons named Mayavi and Dundubhi. (Uttara Ramayana).


2) Death. Valorous Mayavi fought against anybody and everybody. He once challenged Bali to a fight. But the mighty blows of Bali were unbearable to him and the defeated Mayavi ran away from Bali and hid himself in a big cave. Bali followed him and when he reached the mouth of the cave he posted his brother Sugriva there with instructions to shut tight the opening of the cave in case he died in the cave in the fight. He said that if blood flowed from the cave the dead person was Mayavi and if milk flowed from the cave the dead person was himself. In the cave a great fight ensued in which Mayavi was killed. But Mayavi by his powers of magic made the blood that flowed out look like milk for Sugriva and the latter thinking that it was his brother who was killed shut tight the mouth of the cave and went his way. (Sarga 9, Kiskindha Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana and Purva Kanda, Kamba Ramayana .


MAYIL (PEACOCK). In Uttara kamayana there is a story about how the peacock got its beauty. Mayil in Malayalam means peacock.


Once Ravana set out in his Puspaka Vimana with his army of Raksasas, determined to gain victory over all Kings. They got down on the mountain called Usiravira. Ravana examined the valley to see whether there were any kings doing tapas anywhere there. A King named Marutta was performing a yaga called "Mahesvara" in an asrama. Indra and other gods were also present to receive the share of offerings (Havirbhaga). At the sight of Ravana, the gods took different disguises and fled in panic. At that time Indra assumed the form of a big peacock. As soon as Ravana left the place, the gods reassembled there. From that time, Indra who put on the disguise of a peacock felt a special attachment to that bird. He called the peacock and said:-"Till now you were blue in colour. But from today onwards, your feathers will lave various colours. All my thousand eyes I transfer to you. Besides, you will be immune from all diseases. Whoever kills you, will meet with death, soon after. You will dance at the commencement of the rainy season. People will greet you with enthusiasm."


It is because of Indra's blessin; that Peacocks are so beautiful in appearance and dance at the onset of the rainy season.


MAYGRA. An aura who fought against Subrahmanya. Skanda Purina, Virarnahendra Kanda describes the terrible battle between Maydra and Subrahmanya. Mahabharata, Xdi Parva, Chapter 65 says that after death, Mayura was reborn in the world as a King named Visva.


MAYIJRADHVAJA. A King of Ratnanagara. Afterperforming seven Asvarnedha yagas this King started another Asvamedha in the Narmada river va1ley. The task of protecting the sacrificial horse was undertaken by the King's son Sucitra or Tamradhvaja. He set out for the conquest of the world with the chief minister Bahudhvaja. On his return, he came across Yudhisthira's Asvamedha horse at the city of Manipur. The heroic Sucitra encountered Sri Krsna and Arjuna who were leading the horse. After making them unconscious, he entered the city with the sacrificial horse.


When they recovered their senses, Sri Krsna disguised himself as a Brahmana and Arjuna as a ~rahmana boy and they went to Mayuradhvaja's palace. The King welcomed them respectfully. Sri Krsna, in his disguise as Brahmarra told the King that he was coming from Dharmapuri to meet the King's priest, Krsna who was to officiate at the marriage of his (Brabmana's) son. He added that unfortunately on his way through a forest a lion caught bold of his son. Although he prayed to Lord Narasirhha, the boy could not be rescued. The lion told him that he would release his son, if the Brahmana persuaded Mayuradhvaja to offer one half of his body as food to the lion.


On hearing the Brahmana's story, Mayuradhvaja agreed to give half of his body to the lion. Just then his queen Kumudvati appeared before them and said, "I am the left half (Vamabhaga) of the King. You may take me and offer me as food for the lion." But the Brahmana replied that the lion wanted the right half of the King's body.


When the King heard this, he readily agreed to give the right half of his own body. Accordingly, they started cutting his body into two halves. Just then, seeing tears coming down from Mayuradhvaja's left eye, the Brah= mana said:-"I find that you are in great sorrow ; I do not wish to accept a gift which is not given wholeheartedly." Mayuradhvaja explained that his tears were not caused by pain or sorrow. His left side was disappointed in not being able to be of as much service as the right side.


When Sri Krsna heard these words of the King, he resumed his own shape and embraced him and blessed him. After that Mayuradhvaja completed his yaga and started with Krsna and Arjuna, taking Yudhisthira's sacrificial horse with them. (Jaimini ; Asvamedha 41-46).


MEDA. A serpent of the clan of Airavata. This serpent was burnt to death at the Sarpasatra of janamejaya. (Sloka 11, Chapter 57, Adi Parva).


MEDHA. One of the twentyfour daughters born to Daksaprajapati of his wife Prasuti. Of these, thirteen


daughters including Medha were married by Dharmadeva. (Chapter 7, Visnu Purana).


MEDHATITHI I. Grandson of Svayambhuva Mann. Svayambhuva Manu had two sons named Priyavrata and Uttanapada. Of these Priyavrata married Sarupa and Barhismati, daughters of Vigvakarmaprajapati. Medhatithi was the son born to Priyavrata of Sarupa. Agnidhra. and others were the brothers of Medhatithi. Medhdtithi became the King of Plaksadvipa after the death of Priyavrata. (8tb Skandha, Devi Bhagavata).


Medhdtithi got seven sons named Santahaya, Sisira, Sukhodaya, Ananda, Siva. Ksemaka and Dhruva. They all became Kings of Plaksadvipa. The countries they ruled were named after them as Santahayavarsa, Sisiravarsa, Sukhodayavarsa, Anandavarsa, Sivavarsa, Ksemakavarsa and Dhruvavarsa. There are seven mountains showing the boundaries of these states and they are called Gomeda, Candra, Narada, Dundubhi, Somaka, Sumana and Vaibhraja. In these beautiful countries and grand mountains live a great many Devas, Oandharvas and virtuous men. (Chapter 4; Ariisa 2, Visnu Purana).


MEDHATITHI II. A Rajarsi of the Puru dynasty.


Genealogy. Puru janamejaya Pracinvan-ManasyuVitabhaya--Sundu-Bahuvidha-Sarhyati-RahovadiBhadrasva-Matiriara-Pratiratha- Kanva - Medhatithi.


This Medhdtithi got two sons named Dusyanta and Pravira. It was this Dusyanta who married Sakuntala. (Chapter 278, Agni Purana).


Medhdtithi was a celebrated sage of Bharata. The mahar si referred to in Sukta 12, Anuvaka 4, Mandala 1 of Rgveda is Medhdtithi son of Kanva. Once Indra coming in the form of a goat drank .the soma of Medhatithi and the latter called him `goat' (Mesa) and thenceforth Indra got the name Mesa. (Sukta 51, Anuvaka 10, Mandala 1, Rgveda).


We get the following details about Medhdtithi from the Mahabharata.


(1) He was a King in the court of Indra.


(2) Medhatithi had a son named Kanvamuni who was popular on the east coast of Bharata. (Sloka 23, Chapter 107, Sand Parva).


(3) Medhdtithi observed Vanaprastha and attained Svarga. (Sloka 7, Chapter 336, Santi Parva).


(4) Medhdtithi was considered to be a sage deserving worship and when he went to see Bhisma once Dharmaputra received him with respect and worshipped him. (SIoka 3, Chapter 26, Anusasana Parva).


MEDHATITHI III. A river. This river is the place of birth of Agni. (Sloka 23, Chapter 222, Vana Parva).


MEDHATITHI IV. A sage who was the father of Arundhati, wife of Vasistha. This Medhdtithi who was living in an asrama on the banks of the river Candrabhaga performed a jyotistoma yajna. (Kalika Purana).




1) General information. A fierce sage. His father was a sage known as Baladhi. For a very long time Baladhi had no children and so, griefstricken, Baladhi did penance and Medhavi was born as a result of his penance. Even from boyhood the child showed wonderful powers of grasping things and so he was named Medhavi. (Chapter 135, Vana Parva).


2) How MedhdU2 cursed Q nymph. One day in spring, Manjughosa (gucismita), a nymph, was playing with other companions in the Caitrarathodyana. Medhavi was doing penance in a place nearby and Manjughosa fell in love with the sage and she went near him and made love to him by dance and music. Medhavi was attracted by her and the sage accepted her advances and lived with her for a long time.


One day Manjughosa sought permission to go to Devaloka. "Wait till daybreak" said the sage. When it was morning the nymph renewed her request and the sage said "Wait til1 I finish my evening prayers." Hearing this gucismita said "Oh, best of brahmins, how many mornings and evenings have gone by this time! Fiftyfive years nine months and three days have gone by since we started living together". The sage then counted the years and found she was correct. The astounding fact that his penance had long break made the sage angry and he cursed her and made her into an evil spirit. She begged for pardon and the sage said "If you observe with fasting the Caitrakrsnaikadasi called Papamocini it will absolve you of all sins and give you release from the curse". (Chapter 48, Part 4, Padma Purana).


3) In Rgveda. The A:'vinidevas once gave rice to this sage. (Sukta 117, Anuvaka 17, Mandala 1, Rgveda).


MEDHAVI II. A brahmin boy. This child once gave Tattvopadesa to his father. (The philosophy that the human soul or material world is identical with the supreme spirit pervading the universe). Chapter 377, 9anti Parva).


MEDHYA. A holy place on the west coast. A river flows through this place. This sacred river is.believed to be the place of origin of Agni. This is one of the rivers worthy to be remembered every morning and evening. (Chapter 155, Anu: 5sana Parva).


MEDINI. A synonym for Earth (Bhumi). (See under Kaitabha for details).


MEGHAHASA. A son of Rahu. When he heard that Mahavisnu had cut off the head of his father he went to the banks of the river Gautami and practised severe penance. As a result of that Rahu, his father, got . a place among the other planets in the sky. (Chapter 142, Brahmanda Purana).


MEGHAKARNA. A female follower of Subrahmanya. ($loka 30, Chapter 46, galya Parva).


MEGHAMALA. A female follower of Subrahmanya. ($loka 30, Chapter 46, galya Parva).


MEGHAMALI I. A demon who fought against Rama and Laksmana in the forests. He was one of the captains of the army of the great demon Khara. The other captains were gyenagami, Prthugriva, Yajnasatru, Vihangama., Durjaya, Karaviraksa, Parigha, Kalakamukha, Mahamali, Sarpasya and Rudhirasana. (Sarga 26, Aranya K5nda, Valmiki Ramayaria) .


MEGHAMALI 11. One of the two parsadas given to Subrahmanya by Mahameru. The other was Kancana. (9loka 47, Chapter 45, galya Parva).


MEGHANADA. Indrajit, son of Ravana. (Only portions which were left off under the entry Indrajit are given here.


1) Synonyms of Meghanada. Kanina, Ravani, Ma_yavi, Indrajit. The origin of each name is given below:


(i) kanzna. Son of a virgin. In olden times, once, the Sea of Milk was churned. From it arose a beautiful


maiden called Sulaksana. She became an attendant of Parvati and one day while bathing in a pond in the garden she sent Sulaksana to fetch some clothes for her. Siva who was then in Parvati's chamber alone, lost his control when he saw the beautiful Sulaksana and had intercourse with her. The maid was perplexed and then Siva assured her that she would give birth to a child only after her marriage.


But when Sulaksana returned with the dress Parvati felt suspicious and she cursed her and made hci, into a frog and pushed it into that same pond.


Time passed on. Once Maya performed severe penance to please Siva to get a daughter and Siva persuaded Parvati to release Sulaksana from the curse and she did so turning her into a beautiful maiden named Mandodari and Siva gave her to Maya. Ravana married her and their first son was Kanina.


(ii) Rdvani. Son of Ravana.


(iii) Meghanada. (One having the sound of thunder). When he was born he made a sound as loud as thunder and so he was called Meghanada.


(iv) Mdydai. He accepted Siva as his Guru and learned all the divine arts of magic like Mrgendrajala, Brahmendrajala, Surendrajala, Mahendrajala Khagendrajala, Vayustambha, Jalastambha, Agnistambha, Akasasancara, Parakayapravesa, Rupabhedasvikara and Tirodhana. Because he knew all these tricks he was called Mayavi.


(v) Indrajit. When Ravana attacked svarga he pushed forward too much and so was caught inside an army of the Devas which surrounded him. When Meghanada saw it he broke the army circle of the devas and getting in caught Indra as a prisoner and brought him to Lanka. Indra was later released by the mediation of Brahma and the latter gave him the name Indrajit meaning "Conqueror of Indra".


2) Boons. When Ravana was conducting his world campaign he performed at Nikumbhila many yagas and got from Brahma many boons. Meghanada acquired powers which had not been possible for manavas, danavas, v5naras or raksasas to acquire. He got a Vimana (divine car) which could travel in all directions, backwards and forwards, up or down. He received an armour against which no weapon would be of any use. He possessed a weapon which would be effective against anything. Above all these, he had the power to remain invisible. He could be killed by only one person of his age who had 1ived for fourteen years dutifully and virtuously without sleep. Only Indrajit knew about this.


In a battle Mayavi would show many tricks. If one was found ineffective he would use another. He had in his stock over a thousand such tricks all of which he had acquired with very little effort. (Yuddha Kanda, Kamba Ramayana).


MEGHANADA II. A soldier of Subrahmanya. (~loka 57, Chapter 44, Salya Parva).


MEGHAPUSPA. A horse of divinity drawing the chariot of Sri Krsna. (Sloka 27, Chapter 45, Virata Parva)


MEGHASANDHI. A prince of ancient Magadha. Once Meghasandhi fought against Arjuna and was defeated. (Chapter 82, Asvamedha Parva).


MEGHASARMAN. A brahmin who was a great devotee of Surya. When there was a drought in the country during the reign of 8antanu this brahmin by his worship of Surya brought rains to the country. (Bhavisya Purana, Pratisargasarimhita).


MEGHASVANA. A female follower of Subrahmanya. (~loka 8, Chapter 46, Salya Parva).


MEGHAVAHANA. A King. He was a dependant of Jarasandha. (~loka 13, Chapter 14, Sabha Parva).


MEGHAVAHINI. (1\-IEGHAVASINI). A female follower of Skandadeva. (~loka 17, Chapter 45, S`alya Parva).


MEGHAVARi'YA 1. A character in a story of Paficatantra. (See under Pancatantra).


MEGHAVARNA 11. A son of Ghatotkaca. Meghavarna was also present with Arjuna when he went to protect the sacrificial horse of the Asvamedha conducted by the Pandavas.


MEGIIAVASA. An asura. This asura sits in the council of Varuna and worships him. (Sloka 19, Chapter 9, Sabhd Parva).


MEGHAVEGA. A very brave soldier who fought against the Pandavas on the Kaurava side. Abhimanyu killed him. (~ioka 15, Chapter 48, Drona Parva).


MEKHALA (MEKALA). Mekhala was a country which had attained Purdnic fame in ancient India. The inhabitants of this place were called Mekhalas. Thev were the bodyguh.rds of Bhisma. (Chapter 51, Bhisma Parva). Thcy formed a separate division in the array of Brhannala, King of Kosala. (Chapter 87, Bhisma Parva). Once Karna conquered this country. (Sloka 8, Chapter 4, Drona Parva). Mekhalas were Ksatriyas formerly. But they became persons of low caste when they showed jealousy towards the brahmins. (aloka 17, Chapter 35, Anusasana Parva).


MENA I. Wife of Himavan. Beautiful Mend was the daughter of Mahameru.


Himavan lord of the mountains and the seat of many minerals and fossils had two daughters of unparallelled beauty and their mother was the lovely Mend, daughter of Mahameru and wife of Himavan. (Sarga 35, Bala Kdnda, Valmiki Ramayana).


Ramayana states that Mend had two daughters of extraordinary beauty named Ganga and Uma. 'They were both married by diva.


But Vamana Purana in chapter 51 states that Mend had three beautiful daughters and a son named Sunabha. Mend's first daughter was Ragini with red body and eyes and wearing a red dress. Her second daughter named Kutila was white in colour, had lotus eyes, and wore white dress. The third was a girl of enchanting beauty named Kdli. She was blue-black in colour with eyes like the blue lotus leaf.


It can be surmised that the Uma of Ramdyana and Kdli were otze and the same person by the following verse in the Amarakosa.


Uma Katyayani Gauri Kali Haimavatisvari // When the statements of the two Puranas are taken together Mend should have had four daughters, Ganga, Ragini, Kutila and Kali and a son named Sundbha.


MENA II. Daughter of the Pitrs (Manes). Pitrs are of two kinds : Anagnis and Sagnis. Anagnis are those who do not perform yagas and those who perform ydgas are called Sagnis. Anagnis are called Agnisvdttas and Sdgnis are called Barhisadas. Svadha was the common wife of all the Pitrs. Svadha got two daughters, Mend and Dharini. They were both very well learned, virtuous girls and were Brahmavadini (expounders of Vedanta philosophy). (Chapter 1C Amsa 1, Visnu Purana).


MENAKA. A nymph of extraordinary beauty. Takin; instructions from Indra, Menaka used to entice man: sages and destroy their power of penance. There an innumerable stories of this kind in Purdnas. Som important events connected with Menaka are give. below


1) Mother of Pramadvard. Once Menakd became preg nant by a Gandharva named Vi• vvasu. On the day shi delivered she threw the child on the banks of a rive and went to Svarga. A sage named Sthulakesa who wa: doing penance nearby took the babe and brought it up When she grew up she was named Pramadvard anc Ruru married her. (See under Pramadvard).


2) Birth of Sakuntald. When Visvdmitra was perform ing penance in the forests, Menakd, under instruction; from Indra, went and enticed Visvamitra and broke the continuity of his penance. A girl was born to Menak~ and became later the celebrated gakuntala. (See under Sakuntala).


3) Again with hisadmitra. Once again when Visvamitra was performing penance in Puskaratirtha, Menakd approached him and again Visvamitra fell in love with herand they lived together for ten years. Then one day Vi9vamitra realised his folly and leaving her went again tc the forests for penance.


4) Maikana was enticed See under Mankana 5) Other details.


(i) When once Durvasas visited Devaloka it was Menaka who presented him with a flower garland. This incident led to the churning of the milk ocean at a later period. (See under Amrta).


(ii) Menaka was one among the six prominent celestial maidens. Urv~tsi, Purvacitti, Sahajanya, Menakd, Ghrtaci and Visvdci are the six. *($loka 68, Chapter 74, Adi Parva).


(iii) Menaka attended the Janmotsava of Arjuna and sang on the occasion. (8loka 64, Chapter 122, Adi Parva).


(iv) Menaka was a dancer in the court of Kubera (Sloka 10, Chapter 10, Sabhd Parva).


(v) Menaka once gave a music performance in the court of Indra in honour of Arjuna. (Sloka 29, Chapter 43, Vana Parva).


MEPPATTUR NARAYANA BHATTATIRLA Sanskrit poet who lived in Kerala.


1) General information It is believed that this poet lived during the period from 1560 to 1648 A.D. He was born in the village of Kuruma.ttTlr in Malabar district The illam (house of nambutiris) which became famous by his birth was a mile to the east of the Bhagavati temple, Candanakkdvu, which itself is situated just two furlongs to the north of the well known Tirunavaya temple. Meppattur illam became impoverished and was merged with another illam of name Maravanceri Tekketattu.


Nardyana Bhattatiri had a brother named Matrdatta. He was younger to Ndrdyana and his work was to take down the verses which Narayana composed. Meppattur (Narayana is more well-known under the name of his illam) studied under different preceptors. His father taught him Mimarhsa and such other subjects. He studied Veda under Madhavacarya and Tarka under Damodaracarya. Acyuta Pisaroti taught hirn Vyakarana. The poet became a rheumatic patient in his old age and he stayed in the Guruvayur temple worshipping the deity there. His famous work N5rayaniyam was written sitting in the temple of Guruvayur and the mandapa (raised dais) where he sat and wrote is even now preserved for pilgrims to see. He took hundred days to write the Narayaniyam.


2) His works. It is not yet known how many books Meppattur had written but the following have been recognised as definitely written by him : (1) Narayaniyam (2) ~ripadasaptati (3) Guruvayupures-astotram (4) Go,.`rinagaravarnanam (5) Matarnahisaprasasti (6) gailabdhEvaraprasasti (7) Suktaslokas (8) Asvalayanakriyakrama (9) Prakriyasarvasvam (10) Dhatukavyam (I 1) Apaniniyapramanyasadhanam (12) Manapariccheda of Manameyodaya (13) Tantravarttikanibandhana (14) Rajasuyam (15) Dutavakyam (16) PaiJcalisvayarhvaram (17) Ndlayanicaritam (18) Sundopasundopakhyanam (19) Subhadraharanam (20) Kaunteyastakam (21) Kiratam (22) Kailasavarnanam (23) Matsyavataram (24) Nrgamoksam (25) Niranunasika or 8urpanakhapralapa (26) Raksasotpatti (27) Ahalyamoksa (28) Balakanda story (29) Daksayajna (30) Tripuradahana (31) Astamicampu (32) Svahasudhakaram (33 ) Kotiviraham.


MERUBHUTA. A place of habitation of ancient Bharata. (Sloka 48, Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva).


MERUDANA. Merudanas (gifts of heaps like Meru) are all very effective and productive of good results.


The Merus for the dams are the following


1) Dhdnyameru. A dhanyameru or a thousand dronas of dhanya (grain) is considered the best ; a dana of half that quantity (i.e. 500) was fair and half of the latter, the worst.


2) Lavananaeru. A dana of sixteen dronas of lavana (salt) is considered to be Uttama (best) ; with half of that as Madhyama (fair) and with half of the latter as Adhama (worst).


3) Gudameru. One with ten bharas of guda Jaggery) is considered Uttama ; with half of that as Madhyama and with half of the latter as adhama.


4) Svarnameru. A svarnameru with a thousand palas of Svarna (gold) is considered Uttama ; with half of that as madhyama and with half of the latt--r as adhama.


5) Tilameru. One with ten dronas of tila (gingelly) is considered Uttama ; with half of that as madhyama and with half of the latter as adhama.


6) Ii arpdsameru. A Meru with twenty bharas ofKarpasa (cotton) is considered Uttama ; with ten as madhyama and with five as adhama.


7). Ghrtameru. One with twenty jars of ghrta (ghee) is Uttama ; with ten, madhyama and five, adhama.


8) Rajatameru. One with ten thousand palas of silver is deemed Uttama ; with half of that as madhyama and with half of the latter as adhama.


9) garkardmeru. One with eight bharas of sugar is deemed Uttama ; with half of that as madhyama and


with half of the latter as adhama. (Chapter 210, Agni Purana).


MERUDEVI. A daughter of Mahameru. The nine daughters of Mahameru are : Merudevi, Pratirupa, Ugradarirstri, Lata, Ramya, ~yama, Nari, Bhadra and Devavithi. They were married to Nabhi, Kimpurusa, Hari, Ilavrta, Ramyaka, Hiranmaya, Kuru, Bhadrasva and Ketumala respectively. All these nine Kings were born to a King Agnidhra of the nymph Purvacitti. (Pancama Skandha, Bhagavata)


MERUMANDARA. A mountain. This supports Mahameru. The mountains which support it from the four sides are Mandara, Merumandara, Suparsva and Kumuda. (5th Skandha, Bhdgavata).


MERU PRABHA. A forest. There were three beautiful forests about the waist of the mountain Latavesta, situated to the south of Dvarakapuri. Meruprabha is one of them. The other two are Talavana and Puspa.kavana. (Chapter 26, Sabha Parva, Daksin.atya Patha).


MERUSAVARNI. A Manu. (See under Manvantara). The daughter of this Merusavarni named Svayamprabha was met by Hanumdn on his way in search of Sita. (Sarga 51, Kiskindha kanda, V5.Imiki Ramayana).


MERUVRAJA. A city of ancient India. A demon named Virupaksa lived there. (Sloka 19, Chapter 17, Santi Parva).


MESA I. A synonym for Indr a. Once Indra taking the shape of a goat went and drank the Soma of the sage Medhatithi. Then that sage called Indra `goat' (mesa) and that name of Mesa stuck to him. (Sukta 51, Anuvaka 10, Mandala 11, Rgveda).


MESA II. A soldier of ~ubrahmanya. (Sloka 64, Chapter 45, Salya Parva).


MESAHRI. A son of Garuda. (Sloka 12. Chapter 101, 8alya larva).


MISRAKA I. A special tribe cf horses. (Daksinatya Patha, Chapter 38, Sabha Parva).


MISRAKA II. A garden in the city of Dvaraka. The city shines more by this divine garden. (DSksinatya Patha, Chapter 38, Sabha Parva).


MISRAKA III. A sacred place within the boundaries of Kuruksetra. If one bathes in a holy pond there one would get the benefit of bathing in all the sacred ponds in India. ($loka 91, Chapter 81, Vana Parva).


MISRAKES1 I. A celestial woman. She was the beautiful daughter born to Pradha wife of Kasyapaprajapati. RaudrJisva son of Puru married Misrakesi and begot a son named Anvagbhanu and nine sons more who were all good archers. Wben once Arjuna went to Indraloka Misrakesi gave a dance performance in his honour. (Chapter 65, Adi Parva and Chapter 43, Vana Parva).


MISRAKES! II. Wife of King Vatsaka, brother of Vasudeva. (9th Skandha, Bhagavata, and Chapter 59, Adi Parva).


MISRI. A serpent. This serpent also was among those serpents which came to take away the soul of Balabhadrarama to Patala at the time of his death. (8loka 15, Chapter 4, Mausala Parva).


MITADHVAJA. A King of Videha. According to Bloagavata Mitadhvaja was the son of Dharmadhvaja Janaka.


MITHI (MITHI JANAKA). Son of King Nimi. The sixth chapter of Devi Bhagavata gives the following story about the birth of Mithi. There was once an emperor of great renown in the line of Iksvaku named Nimi. He was the twelfth son of the celebrated lksvaku and was devoted to the welfare of his subjects. He was a very honest, virtuous, righteous and good-natured man of a charitable disposition. The agrahara (village where brahmins reside) named Jayantapura near the asrama of Gautama Maharsi was constructed by this emperor. This emperor of a Rajasic mind decided to perform a yaga which would take years for its conclusion and in which land was to be given as gifts. He went to his father Iksvaku, and took permission from him to conduct the yaga. He made all preparations for the yaga. He invited Bhrgu, Angiras, Vamadeva, Pulastya, Pulaha and Rcika all of whom were well-versed in the Vedas and were worthy of being priests in a Yaga of the kind he was conducting. He then went and invited his Kulaguru (family priest and preceptor) Vasistha for the Yaga. But Vasistha had to officiate at a Yaga conducted by Indra and so he commanded Nimi to postpone the Yaga by five hundred years. Nimi did not act according to it and he performed the Yaga with the help of the other sages and completed it successfully. After five hundred years when the Yaga of Indra came to a close, Vasistha came to see Nimi. Nimi was asleep then and the servants in the palace hesitated to go and inform him of the arrival of the sage. Vasistha got angry and cursed him and made him Videha (without body). At once the body of the King fell to the ground and the soul got out of it. But before the soul separated from the body Nimi cursed Vasistha also and separated his soul from his body. Vasistha was again born as the son of Mitravarunas.


The other sages present there took the lifeless body of Nimi and after sacrificial ceremonies and worship of gods started to churn the body. After some time a mighty and perfect man of great brilliance was born out of it. Because he was born by Mathana (churning) he was named Mithi. Because he was born from his father (Janaka) he was called Mithijanaka and because he was born of Nimi, a Videha, he was called Videha also. The country which was ruled by Mithi got the name of Mithila. It is the country of Sites.




1) General information. A celebrated country of ancient Bharata. This is situated on the north-eastern side of Bharata. Its modern name is Tirhut. Mithila was ruled by the renowned Janaka Kings. See under Mithi to know how the country got the name Mithila.


2) The-wealth of Mithild. Mithila was the capital of the extensive country of Videha. Successive generations of Janaka ruled the country. Mithila was noted more for its sattvic virtues than for the pomp and glory of kings. Everyday on the protruding breasts of an idol of Rajasa-rajalaksmi (embodiment of royal prosperity) bhasma (ashes) and candana (sandalwood paste) would be smeared. In the middle of Tretayuga Videha was ruled by a Janaka who brought fame and prosperity to the successive generations. A devotee of Siva and of a sattvic disposition he was a Nityabrahmacari (observing celibacy throughout life) and his wife a disciple of Maitreyi and well-versed in Advaitavedanta was a Nit abrahmacarini.

 culture was given importance, so much so that the  royal emblem itself was the figure of a plough. Rains  were there in season and in plenty because of the yagas  conducted properly by the King. (Balakanda, Kamba

Ramayana ) .


3 ) Other details.


(i) Once Pandu, father of the Pandavas, attacked this


country and conquered it. (S3oka 28, Chapter 112, Adi  Parva ) .  (ii) Sri Krsna, Arjuna and Bhima once visited this  country when they were on their way to Magadha from  Indrapx°astha. (Sloka 28, Chapter 20, Sabha Parva).  (iii) Karna once conquered and captured the country  of Mithila. (Sloka 8, Chapter 254, Vanes Parva).  (iv) Sites was born in Mithila. (Sloka 9, Chapter 274,  Vanes Parva).  (v) Because she was born in Mithila she is known by  the name of Maithili. ( Sloka 2, Chapter 277. Vanes  Parva).  ( vi ) Once Mithila was ruled by a King called

 Dharmadhvaja. Hearing about his great Dharrnajnana  ( knowledge about virtues and duties) a female ascetic  named Sulabha visited him in the guise of a beggar  woman. ( 9loka 4, Chapter 320, anti Parva).  (vii) ~uka the great sage, with the permission of his  father Vyasa came to Mithila and took Dharmopadesa  from King Janaka. (Sloka 6, Chapter 325. anti  Parva 1.


MITHU. A very valorous danava. Once Bharata son of  Arstisena was making preparations for an Asvamedha  on the banks of the river Sarasvati with Upamanyu as  his priest when Mithu came and took them both to  Patala. Then Devapi, son of Upamanyu, got laic father  and the King released from there by continuous worship  of diva (Brahma Purana-127. 56-57).




I ) General information. One of the twelve Suryas. The  twelve Suryas born to Aditi of Kagyapaprajapati are  Visnu, Sakra, Aryama, Dhata, Tvasta, Pusa, Vivasvar.,  Savita, Mitres, Varuna, Bhaga and Ar~sa. (Chapter 15,  Axilsa 1, Visnu Purana).  Mitravarunas are two devatas of great intimacy. They  are always found together. If you pray to Mitravarunas  you will get plenty of rains. ( Sukta 2, Anuvaka 1,  Mandala 1, Rgveda).  See pares 2 under Agastya to understand the story of  how Mitravarunas became the father of Agastya.

2) Other details.

 (i ) Mitra came and stood in the sky at the time of the  birth of Arjuna. (Sloka 66, Chapter 122, Adi Parva).  (ii) Mitres was one among those sent by Indra to fight  against Krsna and Arjuna at the time of the burning  of the forest Khandava. (Sloka 36, Chapter 226 Adi  Parva).  ( iii ) Mitres was a member of the Indra sabha. (Sloka  21, Chapter 7, Sabha Parva).

(iv) He presented two Parsadas named Suvrata and Satyasandha to Subrahmanya. ( Sloka 41, Chapter 45, Salya Parva).


MITRA. A female companion of Parvati. (Sloka 41, Chapter 23i, Vanes Parva).


MITRABHEDA. See under Pancatantra.


Videha grew prosperous with agricultural wealth by MITRADEVA. Brother of Susarma, King of Trigartta.


hard work put up by the peasants and divine wealth Arjuna killed him in the great battle. (Sloka 3, Chapter


by the virtuous deeds of the King and the people. Agri- 27, Karna Parva>.


MITRADHARMA. Son of the Agni called Pancajanya, (Sloka 12, Chapter 220, Vana Parva) .


MITRAGHNA. A demon who fought on the side of Ravana in the Rama-Ravana battle. Sri Rama killed this demon. (Chap'ter 34, Verse 27, Yuddha Kanda, ValmSki Ramayana).


MITRAJIVA. Son of the Agni named Pancajanya. He was one of the five Devavinayakas. (Sloka 12, Chapter 220, Vana Parva).


MITRASENA. A King who fought on the side of the Kauravas in the great battle. Arjuna killed him. (Sloka 20, Chapter 19, Karna Parva).


MIT'RAVAiV I. Son of the Agni named Pancajanya. He was one of the Pancadevavinayakas. (Sloka . t 2, Chapter 220, Vana Parva) .


MITRAVAN II. An ascetic who lived in the city of Saupura. He acquired complete peace of mind by reading'the second Chapter of the Gita sitting in a Siva temple. Once a Brahmin of name Devasarma approached a sage named Muktakarma seeking advice to obtain peace of mind. The latter directed Devasarma to Mitravan andMitravan advised him to read the second Chapter of the Gita. (Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda, 176).


MITRAVARDHANA. Son of the Agni called Pancajanya. He was one of the Paticadevavinayakas. (Sloka 12, Chapter 220, Vana Parva).


MITRAVARMAN. Brother of SuSarmd, King of Trigarta. Arjuna killed him in the great battle. (Sloka 3, Chapter 27, Karna Parva).


MITRAVARUNA (S) . The combined name of two of the Dvadasadityas (twe1ve Suryas) Mitra and Varuna. These two are always seen together. Agastya and Vasistha were born as sons of Mitravaruna. It was due to a curse by Mitravarunas that Urvasi had to marry King Purtiravas, a man of the earth. Manu had no children and he performed a gaga to placate Mitravarunas.But since there were many faults in the ceremony a girl was born to him. (For details see under Ila, Nimi, Urvasi, Vasistha and Mitra) .


MITRAVINDA. A deva. The havis (clarified butter which is put in the Agni called Rathantara is intended for this deva. (Sloka 19, Chapter 220, Vana Parva).


MITRAVINDA. Daughter of Sri Krsna's father's sister. Mitravinda's mother's name was Rajadhidevi. Rajadhidevi, queen of Avanti, got three children named Vinda, Anuvinda and Mitravinda. In the Svay amvara Mitravinda chose Krsna as her husband. Vinda and Anuvinda did not like it and joining the Kaurava side fought against Krsna.But Krsna defeated them all and took Mitravinda to Dvaraka. (10th Skandha, Bhagavata ) .


MITREYU. A King of the Lunar dynasty. He was the son of Divodasa and father of Cyavana.


MLECCI-IA. A tribe of people of ancient India. This tribe was born from the tail of the celestial cow Nandini, kept by Vasistha for sacrificial purposes when there was a fight between Visvamitra and Vasistha. Mahabharata gives the following information regarding then.


(1) The mlecchas who sprang up from the tail of the celestial cow Nandini sent -the army of Vis%-atnitra flying in terror. (Sloka 38, Chapter 171, Adi Parva).


(2) Bhimasena defeated the mlecchas living in the coastal regions and took from them several valuable diamonds as tax. (Sloka 25, Chapter 30, Sabha Parva).


(3) The mlecchas living in the coastal area were once defeated by Sahadeva, one of the Pandavas. (Sloka 66, Chapter 31, Sabha. Parva).


(4) Nakula also once defeated the mlecchas. (Sloka 16,


Chapter 32, Sabha I'arva).  h


(5) Bhagadatta was the King of the mlecchas. (Sloka 14, Chapter 51, Sabha Parva).


( 6) Bhagadatta accompanied by the mlecchas living on the coasts attended the Rajasuya of Yudhisthira. (Sloka 14, Chapter 51, Sabha Parva).


( 7) Different tribes of mlecchas will be born an earth at the beginning of the era of Pralaya. (9loka 34, Chapter 188, Vana Parva).


(8) Kalki, the incarnation of Visnu, will destroy the mlecchas who are found everywhere in the world. (Sloka 97 Chapter 190, Vana Parva).


(9) Karna during his world campaign conquered many mleccha countries. (Sloka 19, Chapter 254, Vana Parva).


(10 ) A place of habitation in Bharata is called Mleccha. (Sloka 57, Chapter 9. Bhisma Parva).


(11) Atiga, a mleccha warrior was killed in the battle by Bhfmasena. (Sloka 17, Chapter 26, Drona Parva).


(12) Once the mlecchas attacked Arjuna with arrows. Arjuna killed the hairy soldiers. (Sloka 43, Chapter 93, Drona Parva).


(13) Satyaki killed many mleccha soldiers in the great war. ( Sloka 43, Chapter 119, Drona Parva ) .


(14) Nakula killed Anga, a mleccha King. (Sloka 18, Chapter 22, Karna Parva),


(15 ) Arjuna had to face a great army of mlecchas to protect the Yagasva. (Sloka 23, Chapter 73, Asvamedha Parva ) .


(16) The wealth that remained in the Yagagala of Yudhisthira after the distribution as gifts to Brahmins


was taken away by the mlecchas. (Sloka 26, Chapter $9, Asvamedha Parva ) .


(17) The mlecchas drove angered elephants on to the arxn-; of the Pandavas. ( Sloka 10, Chapter 22, Karna Parva).


MODA I. A demon who was a companion of Hiranyaksa. In the Devasura battle Vayu killed him.


MODA II. A serpent born of the clan of Airavata. This serpent was burnt to death in the sarpasatra of Janamejaya. (Sloka 10, Chapter 52, Asramavasika Parva).


MODAKI. A vast area of land in Sakadvipa near the mountain Kesara. (Sloka 26, Chapter 11, Bhisma Parva).


MODAPURA A country of ancient Bharata. Arjuna defeated the King of this country once. (Sloka 11, Chapter 27, Sabha parva).


MOHA. A son born of the lustre of Brahma. (3rd Skandha, Bhagavata) .


MOHAKA. Son of Suratha, a devotee of Sri Rama. When Suratha blocked the Asvamedha horse of Sri Rama, a fight ensued in which Mohaka also .took part ( Padma Putana, Patala Khanda)


MOHANA. An ancient place of habitation in Bharata. This place was conquered by Karna. (Sloka 10, Chapter 254, Vana Parva).


MOHANA. Wife of Sugriva. Mohana helped her husband in bringing water from the Sarayu river to bathe the Asvamedha horse of Sri Rama. (Padma Purana, Patala Khanda).


MOHINI. The female form of Mahavisnu. Devas and Asuras quarrelled with each other over the right of partaking the Amrta (nectar) obtained from the sea of Milk. At that time Mahavisnu appeared before them in the guise of a beautiful maiden of maddening charm and the asuras were guilefully made to turn their attention on her for some time during which time the nectar was carried away by the Devas. The female form of Mahavisu was called Mohini.


Siva fell in* love with Mohini and by the union of the two was born Sasta. (See under Amrtam). (8th Skandha, Bhagavata) .


MOKSA I. One of the seven divisions of the island of Plaksa. The seven divisions are Siva, Yavasa, Subhadra, Santa, Moksa, Amrta and Abhaya. (5th Skandha, Bhagavata).


MOKSA II. rMoksa means liberation and is generally meant to convey the meaning of the deliverance of the soul from recurring births. The jivatma enshrined in the body has the delusion that it enjoys or suffers happiness or woe. In truth it neither suffers nor enjoys anything. It is detached from all. It is the Supreme Being (Parabrahman). When jlvdtmd deserts its woes it gets moksa i.e. Jivatma gets merged with Paramatma. When once Jivatma merges with Paranratma, jlvdtmd is devoid of happiness or woes. It need not be enshrined in any body. A Jivatma getting released from one body joins another new body and thus a jlvdtmd in succession enters thousands of bodies and each time without knowing the absolute Truth laments over its woes. In the words of a Rsi it is explained thus : "Jivatma, which is bliss in itself living in births after births searches for bliss elsewhere just as a person wearing a golden necklace round his neck searches for the same elsewhere." The passage of jivatma from one birth to another and the bodies that enshrine it each time constitutes the worldly life. When once a jlvdtmd thus involved in Sarhsara (mundane existence) gets rea1 knowledge, the knowledge that jivatma and Paramatma are one and the same then that Jivatma gets final emancipation, liberation from recurring births. It merges with Brahman. This is called Moksa.


MOKSADHARMAPARVA. A sub-divisional Parva of Santi Parva. It contains the chapters 174 to 365 of Santi Parva.


MRGADHUMA. A sacred place on the border of Kuruksetra. If one goes there and worships Mahadeva one will get the benefit of conducting an Mvamedhayalfia. (8loka 101, Chapter 83, Vana Parva).


MRGAMANDA. A daughter of KaSvapa. (See under Mr9as). .


MRGAfRKAKA. A sword. Once Kubera cursed a Yaksa and making him a lion posted it to guard the palace-


gates of Mahabali. He said he would be released from the curse when any man on earth defeated it. Once a brahmin warrior named ~ridatta defeated this lion and at once the lion changed into a Yaksa and the Yaksa presented Sridatta with the sword named Mrgafikaka. (Kathapithalambaka, Kathasaritsagara).


MRGAS (DEER). All the animals originated from Kasyapaprajapati. Kasyapaprajapati, son of Marici, married the eight daughters of Daksa named Tamra etc. From Tamra were born birds. Krodhavasa gave birth to ten girls named llvfrgi, Mrgamanda, Hari, Bhadramada, Matafrgi, Sarduli, Sveta, Surabhi, Surasa and Kadru. Mrgas (deer) are the children of Mrgi. (Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, Sarga 4) .


MRGASVAPNODBHAVAPARVA. A subsidiary Parva of the Vana Parva of Mahabharata. Chapter 258 of Vana Parva constitutes this Parva.


MRGAVATI. See under Udayana.


MRGAVYADHA. The disguise Siva took when he went to test the devotion of Parasurama. Parasurama once went to the forests and did penance to please Siva to learn archery from him. Siva in the form of a Mrgavyadha (forest hunter) appeared before Parasurama and tested his sincerity in his penance in several ways. Siva was pleased to find Para'surama's devotion to diva unwavering and blessed him. He gave instructions in archery and also permitted him to go round the earth. (Chapter 65, Brahmanda. Purana).


MRGAVYADHA II. One of the Ekada'arudras (eleven Rudras). (Sloka 2, Chapter 66, Adi Parva).


MRGI. The mother of all types of deer. (See under Mrgas).


MRKANDU. Father of the sage Markandeya. (See under Markandeya).


MRSA. Wife ofAdharma. Adharma begot of Mrsa two children named Dambha and Maya. (4th Slcandha, Bhagavata).


MRTAM. See under Pramrtam.


MRTASAIVJIVANy. This is a medicinal herb to give life to those who are dead. When in the Rama-Ravana battle Laksmana and others fell dead, Sri Rama wanted Mrtasanji.vani to be brought to revive them back to life. Jambavan the oldest arhong the monkeywarriors then instructed Hanuman to get it from the mountain Mahameru explaining to him the way to reach there. He said : "If you go a hundred yojanas (1200 Kilometres) from here to the north you would reach Ramesvara the southernmost point of Bharata. From there if you go to the north another thousand yojanas you would reach the Himalayas which is the northern-most point of Bharata. Himavan is thousand yojanas high, two thousand yojanas wide and is long enough to reach the two oceans on the east and the west.


On that mountain is the marriage-dais of Parvati and Paramesvara and you will find places where Paramesvara had sat for practising penances. On the northern side under a big Kuvala tree lies Kamadhenu. This cow gives milk to the sages and tourists who go there.


r Jivatma=The individual soul enshrined in the human body imparting to it life, motion and sensation as opposed to Paramatma. Paramatma=The Supreme spirit or Brahman


Sarhsara=The circuit of life consisting ( f births 2rd rcbirtks witb sufferings and enjoyments of woes and happiness,Nine thousand yojanas to the north of this there are two mountains named Hemakuta and Ratnakuta. The centre of that is Rsabhavarsa. On a big Karaskara tree there will be hanging a king with his face down wards after being cursed by the sage Durvasas. He will be released from the curse by you. If one eats the fruits of this tree one will be free from g- eying of hairs and rugosity.


If you go farther north from Hemakuta you will reach the mountain Nisadha. There is a lake there. If one bathes there one will be granted all prosperity by Laksmidevi. Farther to the north is situated Mahameru. The greatness of this mountain is indescribable.


Mahameru has got four supporting mountain pillars named Mandara, Merumandara, Suparsva and Kumuda. The abode of the three deities is on the top of this mountain. On a peak in the centre is living Brahma with his wives Vani, Gayatri and Savitri'as creator of the universe. This place is called Satyaloka and to the west of it is Sri Vaikuntha the abode of Mahavisnu. Madevi and Bhudevi.are his two wives. He is the god who protects us all. To the east of Satyaloka is Kailasa, the abode of 8iva. He lives there with his wives Ganga and Parvati and sons Ganesa and Subrahmanya. To the south of Satyaloka is the city Samyamani the abode of Yamadharmaraja. He lives there with his wife Kalini and sons Vidava, Mahima and Dipaka. To the east of this is the wonderful Devaloka. There lives Indra, his wife Sacidevi and son Jayanta with thirtythree crores of Devas. Celestial nymphs like Urvagi, Rambha and Tilottama live there. Kamadbenu, the Kalpa tree, Airavata, Uccaissravas, and Cintamani are all there. You will find Atnaravati the Capital of Indra and Sudharma his court there.


On the northern side of Meru is a tall A~.vattha tree. To the north of that is the Nila-mahagiri (the great blue mountain). Kasyapa has installed a deity named Svetavarahamurti there. Beyond that is the Rsabhadri (ox-shaped mountain). It is believed that a divine ox became a mountain there. Its two horns are like two peaks. This mountain contains many divine medicines of which 8alyaharani, Visalyakarani, Sandhanakarani and Mrtasafijivani are the most important.


Once the asuras defeated the Devas. Then Raramesvara and Mahavisnu gave the Devas these four medicinal herbs. They planted them here and watered


them from the Milk-sea. Around these precious plants stand guard the parsadas of 8iva and the Discus Sudarsana of Visnu." (Yuddha Kanda, Kamba Ramayana).


There is another statement in the Mahabharata that Sanjivani is an art, the use of a mantra. Sukracarya by this art brought to life all the asuras killed in a war with the devas. (Sloka 8, Chapter 76, Adi Parva). Again Sukracarya brought to life three times his disciple Kaca whom the asuras killed three times. Sukra-


carya taught the art to Kaca. (Sloka 28, Chapter 76, Adi Parva ).


MRTTIKAVATI. A place of habitation in ancient Bharata. (Sloka 10, Chapter 254, Vana Parva).


MRTYU. The goddess of Death. Agni Purana gives details about the birth of Death. Hirhsa was the wife of Adharma. They got a son named Anrta and a daughter named Nikrti. From them were born Bhaya,


Naraka, Maya and Vedana. Of these MdS,a gave birth to Mrtyu, the destroyer of matter.


Mrtyu has been described both as a god and goddess in Mahabharata. The statements regarding Mrtyu as a deva are as follows :---


(i) Three sons were born to Nikrti, wife of Adharma. One of them was Mrtyu. Mrtyudeva has neither wife nor children because he is the destroyer of all. (Sloka 54, Chapter 66, Adi Parva).


(ii) Once the son of an old Gautami was bitten by a snake. A hunter seeing it rushed to kill the serpent but Gautami objected to it. She advised him that it was a sin to injure any living being. The serpent then said, "It is not my fault that I bit the boy. I was persuaded by the god of death to do so." The god of death Mrtyudeva also appeared there then. He confirmed the snake's statement and added that God had programmed all events beforehand and the boy's death was not due to any mistake on anybody's part. (Sloka 50, Chapter 1, Anugasana Parva)


(iii) Once Mrtyu followed the King Sudarsanj, but Mrtyudeva had to withdraw after accepting defeat because the King had been living a virtuous life of high standard. (See under Sudar'sana) .


The statements regarding Mrtyu as a goddess are the following


(1) This devata was born from the body of Brahma in the shape of a woman. (Sloka 17, Chapter 53, Drona Parva).


(2) Brahma gave the work of destruction to Mrtyu. When she got that work she wept aloud. (Sloka 21. Chapter 257, Santi Parva).


(3) The goddess of Mrtyu once did severe penance. (Sloka 17, Chapter 54, Drona Parva).


(4) Brahma assured the goddess of death that any destruction by her would not be deemed as a sin. (Sloka 44, Chapter 54, Drona Parva.).


(5) The terrible strength of Mrtyudevata is described in Chapter 819, Santi Parva, Mahabharata.


MUCUKIINDA. A celebrated King of the Solar dynasty.


1) Genealogy. Descending in order from Visnu -Brahma-Marici-Kasyapa - Vivasvan - Vaivasvata Manu-Iksvaku-Sasada - Purafijaya (Kakutstha) -Anenas - Prthulasva - Prasenajit - Yuvana: va -Mandhata-Mucukunda.


Mandhata got three sons named Ambarisa, Mucukunda and Purukutsa and fifty daughters and all the fifty were married to a sage named Saubhari.


2) How Mucukunda attained salvation. (For the story see para 72, under Indra).


3) Other details.


(i) Mucukunda had a daughter named Candramulthi. She was married to Sobhana, son of Candrasena. Once, when Sobhana came to his wife's house it was an Ekadasi day and all were observin,a fasting and so Sobhana also did so. The next day Sobhana was seen lying dead. The soul of Sobhana went to the valley of the mountain of Mandara and started enjoying heavenly bliss. One day a pilgrim from the country of Mucukunda named Somasarma met the soul of Sobhana and coming to know that it was the son-inlaw of their King he started making enquiries about him. Sobhana then said that all his happiness was due to hs observing the Ekadasi Vrata. Orl'hearing the gladdening news about her husband Candramukhi became happy. (Chapter 61, Map 1, Padma Purina).


(ii) This Rajarsi shines in the court of Yama. (Sloka 21, Chapter 8, Sabha Parva).


(iii) Once being greatly pleased with him Kubera offered him all the worlds as gift. But Mucukunda refused to accept it saying that he would enjoy only what was earned by him by his own efforts. (Sloka 97, Chapter 132, Udyoga Parva).


(iv) Once Mucukunda just to try the might of Kubera attacked him. The demons sent by Kubera defeated him. He then meditated on Vasistha and he was able to defeat the army of asuras of Kubera. (Sloka 4, Chapter 74, Sand Parva).


(v) Once Parasurima gave dharmopade~.a (Instruction on morality, piety etc) to Mucukunda. (Sloka 7, Chapter 143, Santi Parva).


(vi) Once the King of Kamboja gave him a sword and he gave that sword to Marutta. (Sloka 77, Chapter 166, Santi Parva).


(vii) He believed in making gifts of cows (Sloka 25, Chapter 76, Anusasana Parva).


(viii) Mucukunda hated eating flesh. (Sloka 61, Chapter 115, Anusasana Parva).


(ix) Mucukunda is listed among those kings who are worthy of being remembered morning and evening. (Sloka 54, Chapter 165, AnusAsana Parv a) .


MUDAVARTA. A King born in the line of Hehaya kings. (Sloka 13, Chapter 74, Udyoga Parva ).


MUDGALA I. A country of ancient Bharata. This country was once conquered by Sri Krsna. (Sloka 16, Chapter 11, Drona Parva).


MUDGALA II. A serpent born of the family of Taksaka. This serpent was burnt to death at the Sarpasatra of Janamejaya. (Sloka 10, Chapter 57, Adi Parva).


MUDGALA III. (MAUDGALYA ). A sage of Puranic fame.


1) Mudgala and Duradsas. Mudgala had never been provoked even once by anger. Durvasas once came to the a~ rama of Mudgala in Kuruksetra where he was living on alms received by begging. Durvasas came naked. Mudgala gave all that he got that day to Durvasas. The latter ate to his heart's content and smeared on his naked body what remained after his meal. Mudgala never got angry. This continued - for days together and not for once did Mudgala get angry. Durvasas was immensely pleased with this behaviour of Mudgala and he offered to send him to heaven with his body, Devas came with a Vimana at once. Mudgala after enquiring about the conveniences and luxuries of heaven refused to go. (Chapter 261, Vana Parva).


2) Other details.


(i) Mudgala, who was well versed in the Vedas, was a priest in the Sarpasatra of Janamejaya. (Sloka 9, Chapter 53, Adi Parva).


(ii) Mudgala visited Bhisma lying on his bed of arrows. (Sloka 9, Chapter 47, Adi Parva ).


(iii) Once Satadyumna gave Mudgala a golden house. (Sloka 21, Chapter 137, Anufasana Parva).


(iv) Once the King of Cola conducted a Yiga making Mudgala the chief' priest. (Chapter 130, Part IV,


Padma Yurana ) .


MUDGARA PARNAKA. A serpent of the family of Kasyapa. (Sloka 13, Chapter 103, Udyoga Parva).


MIJDGARAPINDAKA. A serpent born to Kadru of Kasyapaprajapati. ( Sloka 9, Chapter 35, Adi Parva ).


MUDITA. Wife of the Agni named Saha. ( Sloka 1, Chapter 222, Vana Parva).


MUDRAS. When he recites the mantras a Mantrika should use different kinds of gestures with his hands to suit the recital. They are called Mudras. The Mudras in general are given below


The first mudra is called AnjaIimudra. Anjali means a cavity formed by folding the hands and joining the open hands together. If the hands thus folded are placed on the breast it becomes a Vandini mudra. The hands should be placed on the breast with a slight slant to the left for Vandini mudra. 'the third mudra is called LTrddhva mudra. Hold the left hand first in such a way that the thumb comes on the, top and then with the fingers of the right hand bind the thumb of the left hand. The thumb of the right hand should also come to the top. This is called LTrddhva mudra. The lowering of the left palm opened up is called Varahamudra. ( Chapter 26, Agni Purina ).


MUKA I. A serpent born of the family of Taksaka. This serpent was burnt to death at the Sarpasatra of Janamejaya. ( Sloka 9, Chapter 5, Adi Parva ).


MUKA II. An asura. This demon once went to Arjuna who was engaged in penance in the forests. He had assumed the form of a boar 'and Arjuna killed him. At once diva appeared there in the guise of a forester and contended that the boar was killed by him. A quarrel ensued which ended in a fight between them. In the end diva appeared before Arjuna in his real forte and granted him the missile Pisupata. ( See under Arjuna).


MUKA III. A Candala devoted much to his parents. A Brahmana named Narottama went to this candala to learn moral lessons from him. ( SrstikharLda, Padma Purina).


MUKHAKARN1. A follower of Subrahmanya. ( Sloka 29 Chapter 46, Salya.Parva).


MUKHAMANIOIKA. One of the evil spirits tormenting infants. This is called Diti also. ( Sloka 30, Chapter 23, Vana Parva).


MUKHARA. A serpent of the family of Kasyapa. ( Sloka 16, Chapter 103, Udyoga Parva 1.


MUKHASECAKA. A serpent born of the family of Dhrtarastra. This serpent was burnt to death at the Sarpasatra of Janamejay•a. (Adi Parva, Chapter 47, Sloka 16).


MUKTAPHALAKETU. A Vidyadhara youth. The story of this young man who was born to kill Vidyuddhvaja, a fire-brand of an asura, is told thus in Kathasaritsagara.


An eminent asura of name Vidyutprabha performed penance to propitiate Brahma to get a son. As a result of the blessings of Brahma he got a son invincible to the Devas. He was named Vidyuddhvaja. Even from boyhood he was very brave and daring. Once when he saw some demons standing guard to protect the asura family he said "At present our country is being protected by the hands of others. I shall, therefore, perform penance and obtain boons to remove tFiis disgrace. I will conquer our enemies." Vidyuddhvaja went straight to the forests and performed penance to propitiate Brahma. When the austerities became severe, Vidyuddhvaja observed fasting without break and the whole world became excited due to anxiety. So Brahma appeared before him in person and gave him many divine weapons like Brahmastra. For Brahmastra the only counter-missile was Pasupata and so Brahma warned him that it should be used only when it was found absolutely necessary.


Vidyuddhvaja became arrogant with the. possession of such divine weapons and started for Indraloka with his father and his army to conquer Indra. He knew that Iridra was ready to face him with a big army headed by Candraketu and Padmasekhara.


The battle that ensued was very grim. Even Brahma and Rudra came to see the fight. In a combat with Indra, Vidyutprabha was killed. Vidyuddhvaja saw his father killed, got furious and sent Brahmastra against Indra who in turn opposed it with Pasupata.