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NA. In Agni Purana, Chapter 348, the meaning of this syllable is given as `vrnda' (collection) and `Buddha'


NABHAGA. A brother of Iksvaku, who had ten brothers named Nabhaga, Saryati, Dista, Dhrsta, Narisyanta, Nabhaga, Prsadhra, Kavi, Karusa and Vasuman. (Bhagavata, Skandha 8) .


NABHAGA. A brother of Iksvaku. The famous Arnbarisa was Nabhaga's son. After conquering all the worlds he ruled the kingdom strictly along the path of truth. and righteousness. (Vana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 12). In. the evening of his life Nabhaga gifted away the whole land to Brabmins. Since she could not leave Nabhaga, Bhumidevi herself assumed physical form and went to him on the occasion. This emperor never consumed meat. He lives in Brahmaloka according to Chapter 115, Anu: asana Parva. (Santi Parva, Chapter 96, Verse 124).


NABHAGARISTA. A son of Vaivasvata Manu. (Adi Parva, Chapter 75, Verse 17).


NABHAKANANA. An ancient country in South India. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 59).


NABHASVAN. A son of Narakasura. Tamra, Antariksa, Sravana, Vasu, Vibhavasu, Nabhasvan and Aruna were the seven prominent sons of Narakasura. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10).


NABHODA. An eternal Visvadeva. (A class of gods concerned in the 8raddha offerings to the Manes). (M.B. Anu--asana Parva, Chapter 91, Stanza 34).


NACIKA. One of the Brahmavadin sons of Visvamitra (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 58).


NACIKETA (NACIKETA). A sage of olden days. Son of Uddalaki, he lived for a long time in the asrama serving his father, who devoted his time to performing yajfias. Naciketa, who was once sent into the forest for flowers etc. did not find them anywhere there, and he returned to the asrama without them. Angry at this his father cursed him to be taken to Yamaloka. Accordingly he went to Yamaloka. He waited at the gates for a long time to see Yama, who appeared at last when he sang the praises of Yama. The advice then given by Yama to Naciketa forms the Kathopanisad. After studying the advice he returned to his father, who was pleased to find him a great scholar. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 71 ).


NACIKETAS. A famous hermit. Kathopanisad is the exhortation given by Yamadeva (God of death) to this hermit. There is a story to substantiate this statement. The father of Naciketas was the hermit Vajasravas. This hermit gave as alms, cows which had grown lean by old age and lack of food, at the time of sacrifices. Naciketas felt grieved at this action of his father. He went to his father and sadly asked him "Falher, to Abcm are you going to give xr e-? ' The father got angry at the question of the son, and replied; "You are to be given to Yama."


On hearing these cruel words of his father, the boy went to the palace of Yama who had been away. For three days and nights the boy waited there without food and drank. When Yama returned the boy was happy and cheerful and Yama was pleased with him. Yama promised the boy three boons and asked him what boon he wanted. The first boon he asked for was, "Give me the boon that father will be pleased with me and not angry with me." The second was, "Advise me how to attain heaven." The third was, "Tell me the solution of the mystery, whether the soul remains after death." Yama granted the first two boons and said to him, "Boy, this is a difficult question. So ask for another boon such as long life, power over the world, all the pleasures of the world and so on."


The boy replied: "The things you have promised to give me are useless things because after a while the organs of sense will become fragile. The life also will end. So, please tell me. I want the answer to my question." Being greatly pleased at the reply of the boy Dharmadeva expounded to him about the immortality of the soul and the essence of things regarding God Almighty. (Kathopanisad).


ACINA. An ancient region of the country mentioned in Chapter 38, Sabha. Parva.


ADA. See under Pattu.


ADAGIRA An intelligent elephant with discriminative power. Mention is made about this elephant on several occasions in Kathasaritsagara.


ADICAKRA. The ten nadis where the yogi in meditation retains the five pranas form the nadicakra.


At the bottom of the nabhi (nabhikanda) innumerable nadis or nerves originate or sprout up. 72,000 such nadis exist at the centre of the nabhi (navel). The whole body is filled with these nadis spread out in parallel and horizontal positions, and they exist in the form of circles entwined with one another. Ten nadis are prominent amongst them, i. e. Ida, Pingala, Susumna, Gandhari, Hastijihva, Prtha, Yasa, Alambusa, Kuha and gairkhini. Any defect or harm caused to any one of these ten nadis may lead even to death.


There are ten Vayus (winds) in the body. The five Pranas called Prana, Apana, Samana. Udana and Vyana, and the five Vayus called Naga, Karma, Krkala, Devadatta and Dhanaiijaya together constitute the ten Vayus. Prana is the most important Vayu. This vayu does the emptying as well as the refilling of the other nine vayus and thus sustains life. The pranavayu has its existence ever in the chest of 1iving beings and fills the body with air through breathing in, out, coughing etc. It depends on life and it is called Pranavayu as it moves or travels with life.


Apana leads vayu downwards. It is Apana which directs man's food downwards. Also it keeps in its fold urine and semen. This vayu is called Apana as its function is adhonayana (leading downwards) as mentioned above..


amanavayu conveys to the different parts in the body in equal manner the things which living beings eat, drink and smell as also blood, bile, phlegm and vita. Udana causes the shivering of lips, flushing of face and eyes and excitement of joints etc. Vy~na causes the lambs to be closed and stretched, and is excit, s diseases. Naga exists in nausea, Kurma. in the bulging of the eyes Krkala in food, Devadatta in yawning and Dhananjay in sound. Dhananjaya does not quit the body even afte death.


Life, Prana, travels through the nadicakra depending of ten different courses, i.e. SaAkranti, Visuva, Ahar Ratri, the two ayanas (Daksina and Uttara), Adhivas; Rna, Cnaratra and Dhana. Unaratra means hiccough Rna cough, Dhana breathing and Adhivasa yawning Of the two ayanas, Uttara and Daksina, the former i the course towards the left and the latter towards thi right and Visuva is the centre between the twc Sankranti is the change of position of Visuva. On hi left side of the human body is the nadi called Ida, of the right side Pifrgala and between the two Susumna The prana above these three nadis is Ahar i.e. day anc that below is Apana, i.e. night. Thus every vayu assume; ten different .forms.


There are various kinds of pranayama (control o breaths). Pranayama practised with the pranacontainec in the centre of the body is called Candragrahana that which supersedes physical principles is callec Suryagrahana. To fill the stomach with as much of vayi as is desired is Purakapranayama. To remain like a ful. pot, all breathing stopped, (Pot completely filled; having closed all the openings-`doors'-of the body i! Kumbhaka. The yogi practising Kumbhaka shoulc direct the vayu upwards in 'one breath, and that practic~ is called Recaka. He who does it should be conversant with the yoga of inhalation. Erudite people call ii Japa, because when it is practised Siva resident in one' own body awakes within. Siva, the King of yogins, chants the mantra Japa) 21,6000 times within the course of one day and one night. The soul chants the mantraGayatri-of which Brahma, Vi sntx and Siva are the pre. siding deities, and that is called Ajapa. He who chant; Ajapa will have no future births. Pranayama should be followed by Kundaliniyoga, Kundalini meaning primordial force. The force is a compound of Sun, fire and Moon and its seat is the heart, where it exists in the form of a sprout. Since creation is dependent upon this force power for creation should be invoked on it. The yogin should picture in his mind that nectar flows out o! Kundalini. He should also realise that the soul within the body possesses form while pure soul is formless. He should address this soul as `Harirsa Harhsa'. Hariaga means Siva. Siva exists and functions inside and outside the body just as oil is in the gingelly seed and fragrance in flower. Soul possessing form is of five kinds. Accordingly Brahma's seat is the heart, Visnu's the neck, Rudra's, the centre of the throat; MaheSvara's the forehead; and. Siva's, the tip of the pram. Soul without form is just contrary to the above. Its place is where the pram ends. By pranayama the formless soul may be experienced. (Agni Purina, Chapter 214).


NADIJA. An ancient King. In Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 15, it is mentioned that the Partdavas had sent an invitation to this King to take part in the Bharata battle.


NADVALA. (a) The wife of Manu, the son of C<iksusa Maim. Ten sons named Cru, Puru, Satadyuinna, Tapasvi, Satyav5k, Kavi, Agnistu, Atiratra, SudS,umna and Atunanyu were born to Manu by Naclvala. (Aoni Purana, Chapter 18).


(b) The daughter of Prajapati Vairaja. Manu married this woman. Kuru, Puru, Satadyumna, Tapasvi, Satyavan, Suci, Agnistoma, Atiratra, Sudyumna and Abhimanyu were. the ten sons born to Nadvala from Manu. (Vistui Pur-na, Am~a 1, Chapter 13).


NAGA I. An asura (demon). (Sec under Nagastra).


NAGA II. A class of serpents. It is vtated in Valmiki R'mayana, Aranya Kanda, Sarga 14, that of the ten daughters of Ka~,yapa, from Surasa, the nagas and from Kadru, the Uragas ( both are serpents) came into the world.


NAGADATTA. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. This Nagadatta was killed by Bhimasena. (Maliabharata, Drona Parva, Chapter 157, Stanza 197) .


NAGADHANVATTRTHA. An ancient holy place of bath, situated in the basin of the river Sarasvati. Vasuki stays here. I t was at this holy place that Vasuki was anointed as the King of the Nagas. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 37, Stanza 3).


NAGADVIPA. A region inside the island Sudarsana. This region has the shape of the ear of the hare in the 1\ oon. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 6, Stanza 55) .


NAGALOKA. The world of the Nagas or Patala. Vasuki is its chief. (Atli Parva, Chapter 127, Verse 60). There is a pond in NSgaloka and a drink of its water bestows the strength of a thousand elephants. (Adi Parva, Chapter 127, Verse 68) . Patala is thousands of miles away frorn earth. Its area exceeds a thousand yojanas, and it is surrounded by magnificent forts studded with gems. The steps at the entrance of the fort are also decorated with gold and gems. There are beautiful gardens, fountains and singing birds in Patala. Its outer doors are hundre" yojanas in length and five in width. (A<vamcdha Parva, Chapter 58, Verse 37).


NAGAPURA. A place situated or, the basin of the river Gomati in Naimisaranya. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 355, Stanza 3, that in this place, a Naga named Padmanabha lived.


NAGARA. In ancient days there were rules and principles regulating the construction of a city. The name `city' could be applied to them only if they conformed to the rules and principles in vogue. The principles and rules of the erection of a proper city are, given below:-


One yojana or a half of land should be selected as site.' The planning of the city should be commenced after worshipping the deity of Vdstu. There should be four main gates on the four sides, East, West, North and South. The South gate should be in the position of Gandharvapada, West gate in the place of Varuna, the North gate in the place of Soma (Moon) and the East fort gate in the place of Suryapada (the position of the Sun). The hattas (minor gates) should be wide enough for elephants etc. to pass through. The main gates should be six rods wide.


When the city is completed goldsmiths should be settled in the Agni corner (i. e. South East). The courtesans who live by dancing etc. should have their houses on the south side of the city. The houses of A yojana is approximately twelve Kilometres. z To know the corners see under Astadikpalakas,


actors, those who extract oil, fishermen etc. should be in the corner of Nirrti (South West). Sheds for chariots, weapons, swords etc. should be on the western side. Dealers in liquor, carpenters, blacksmiths, masons etc. and servants should be given houses in the Vayu corner i.e North West. The houses of Brahmins, hermits, sages, saints, and such others should be on the north side. In the Isana corner (North East) merchants of vegetables and on the eastern side, the authorities of the army should have their houses.


The army (Infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants) should. be put up in the Agni corner. On the south the goddesses who are protectors of women-folk should be consecrated. Archers should live in the Nirrti corner. Most honourable people, Treasury officers, Leaders of the people, Brahmin groups and such others should have their abodes on the western side. So also Ksatriyas should have their houses on the eastern side, Vaisyas on the south and Sudras on the west of the city. Vaisyas and horses should be placed on all four


sides. The army also should be placed thus. The movable wealth should be placed on the east side and the funeral place on the south. The cattle etc. should be kept on the west, farmers on. the north, and the outcastes on the corners. This should be the plan of a city as well as that of villages too.


On the east fort-gate of cities and villages Vairavana and Sri Bhagavati should be consecrated. They will confer prosperity upon those who visit them. Temples dedicated to Gods should be erected on the western side facing the east. If temples are erected on the east they should face the west and those erected on the south should face the North. For the protection of the city, there should be temples dedicated to Indra, Visnu and such other Gods. If there is no worshipping place in a city, a village, a fort, or a house, such places will be haunted by devils and troubled by diseases etc. If cities are built according to this plan they will afford both salvation and prosperity.


On the east there should be the house of Laksmi, in the Agni corner, the kitchen on the south, bedrooms in the Nirrti corner the weapon-house, on the west the dining hall, in the Vayu corner, the granary, on the north, the treasury, and the place of worship in the Isana corner.


Houses could be erected with four blocks, three blocks or only one block. Houses with four blocks could be made in two hundred and fiftyfive ways by making changes in each block and the open verandas. Houses with three blocks are of four types; with two blocks are of five types; and houses of only one block are of four types. There are houses and cities with twentyeight open verandas. There are fiftyfive types of houses with four open verandas and seven open verandas. Houses with six open verandas and eight open verandas are of twenty types. In cities houses should have eight open verandas (Agni Purina, Chapter 105) .


NAGARJUNA. Minister of King Cirayus. (For details see under Cirayus).


NAGASRI. Wife of King Dharmadatta of Kosala. Taradatta was their daughter. (See under Dharmadatta ).


NAGASTRA. A destructive weapon (arrow). The following story about the astra is told in the Yuddha Kanda of Kamba Ramayana.


In olden times there was a very powerful and mean asura called NAga. Brahma resorted to virulent black magic to kill Naga, and from the fire-pit arose a terrible goblin called Nagapasa. It was deputed to kill Naga and the Trimurtis followed it. Nagapdsa went to the city of Nagasura called Viramahendra, ascended its tower and made a terrible noise the echo of which caused abortion in all the pregnant naga women. Many children fainted and many died. Nag5sura deputed his army chieftain Virasena with an army to kill the naga goblin. At the sight of the army the goblin raised another terrible cry, which blew off Virasena and his army, reducing them to powder. Then Nagasura's minister with a big army attacked the goblin. But the minister was devoured by him, and the army annihilated. Enraged at this defeat of his minister, Nagasura attacked the goblin with an army of crores of soldiers. But, within seconds the goblin devoured the mighty army. At last Nagapasa and Nagasura engaged themselves in a duel which lasted for years. Ultimately the goblin swallowed up Nagasura also. Then he went to the Trimurtis and saluted them. They granted him many boons, and Siva, in excess of joy, wore it as one of the ornaments round his neck. Some time later Nagapasa set out on a tour to see the fourteen worlds, and Siva specially instructed him not to visit the Salmali island. He visited the various worlds earning all knowledge and started for mount Kailasa. On his way he saw Salmali island, the abode of nagas, and in violation of Siva's instructions, he entered the island. The nagas there did not honour him and his false pride made him tremble with rage. Then the nagas of the island told him thus : "We have a powerful enemy, who visits us every month, and unless we feed him sumptuously he will devour all of us for food He is to come today, and if you are capable enough, you defeat and drive him off and save us. If you do so, eve shah crown you as our King and honour you."


The powerful enemy of the nagas was Garuda and he came. All the nagas ran off at his sight. Garuda then attacked the goblin Nagapa~<'.a, who was standing unperturbed before him. There being no chance of victory for the goblin he ran away and took refuge with Siva. Garuda also followed him, and demanded of


Siva to return to him, his enemy, the goblin. Siva told Garuda thus:-"If, in future he (the goblin) interferes with anybody connected with you, you may either punish or eat him. Do not do anything with him now".


Garuda agreed to the above proposal of Siva. From that day onwards Nagapasa lived in Vaikuntha entwined with nooses. He became the arrow called nagapa9a or nagastra.


NAGATIRTHA I. A holy place situated on the boundary of Kuruksetra. Those who drink the water of this holy bath will obtain the fruit of performing an Agnistoma sacrifice. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 14) .


NAGATIRTHA II. A holy place which is situated near Gaiigadvara or Kanakhala and which keeps up the memory of Kapila, the King of the Nagas. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 66).


NAGAVITHI. Daughter born to Yarni, the daughter of Daksaprajapati. (Visnu Purarta, Part 1, Chapter 1 7).


NAGNAJIT I. A Ksatriya King. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 37, Stanza 21 that this King was born from a portion of an asura called Isupada. This Nagnajit who was the King of G;j.ndhara was killed by Karna and his sons were defeated by Sri Krsna. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 254 and Udyoga Parva, Chapter 43).


NAGNAJIT II. An asura. This asura who had been the disciple of Prahlada took rebirth as a King named Subala. (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 63, Stanza 11).


NAGODBHEDA. A holy place near Vinasana tirtha. Sarasvati is supposed to dwell here in invisible form. He who bathes here will attain nagaloka. (Vana Parva, Chapter 82, Verse 112).


NAHUSA I. A famous King of the Lunar dynasty.


1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following order :-Brahma-Atri - Candra - Budha-Purixravas- AyusNahusa.


2) Birth. Ayus, the- son of Pururavas, married the princess named Indumati (Svarbhanukumari ). Nahu sa was the son born to the couple, thanks to the blessing of the great hermit Dattatreya. Nahusa married Asokasundari, the daughter of Siva,


There is a story about the birth and marriage of Nahusa and Asokasundari in Padma Purina as given below


Once Siva and Parvati were engaged in love-making in Kailasa. Parvati requested Siva to show her the best garden ever created by Braliina. Siva took 1wr to Nandanavana, where she saw the Kalpa tree:, which was beautiful all over, and she asked Siva about its special features. Siva replied that anything asked of it would be granted by the Kalpa tree. Parvati made a request to the Kalpa tree for a girl just for a test. Instantly a very beautiful girl was born from the, tree. Parvati named her Asokasundari and brought her up as her daughter. Once Parvati gave her a boon that she would become the wife of King Nahusa of the Lunar family, who would be equal to Indra.


One day, when the beautiful Asokasundari was walking with celestial maids in the Nandanavana an asura named Hunda the son of Vipracitti, came there. The moment his eyes fell on Asokasundari he fell in love with her. The asura spoke to her of his love and requested her to be his wife. Not only did she refuse his request but also told him that according to the boon given by Parvati she would become the wife of Nahusa, the King of the Lunar dynasty.


Hearing this Hunda smiled and said : "That righteous man named Nahusa is yet to be born in the Lunar dynasty. You will be much older than he. He will not suit you as he will be too young. So don't waste your blooming youth. Come and enjoy life with me." But Asokasundari did not concede. Hunda was disappointed. So he began to think about ways to get her. He disappeared from there and reappeared in the guise of a beautiful womanand told Asokasundari thus:-"Lady, I have taken a fast. Hunda has killed my husband. I am doing penance to curse hin. You may come to my hermitage on the banks of the Gafaga".


Asokasundari believed these false words. She went with her. Both of them walked on and at last entered a palace. Then only did she understand that it was the palace of Hunda, who assumed his original form and tried to violate her chastity. Asokasundari became angry and cursed Hunda that he would die at the hands of Nahusa, and ran away to Kailasa.


Hunda was sad for two reasons. On the one hand he did not get Asokasundari and on the other hand he had incurred the curse that Nahusa wou1d be his slayer. Now what was the way to get out of the trouble ? He asked his minister Kampana to take Indumati the wife of Ayus by stealth and bring her to his palace. They decided to destroy Nahusa in the womb of Indumati, in case it was not possible to carry her away. They waited for an opportunity.


Ayus was an emperor of righteousness. After the marriage, for a long tune he was childless. Once he visited the hermit Dattatreya, in his hermitage. Dattatreya who was the son of Atri and the most famous and the noblest of all the hermits, was quite senseless and red-eyed because of drinking, and without even the Brahmasutra, was playing with a young woman, seating her in his lap. His body was besmeared with sandalwood and aloe and adorned with garlands and necklaces of pearl anal he was surrounded by many women. The King seeing the divine hermit bowed him with reverence and fear. The moment the hermit saw the King, he sat in. deep meditation. This continued for a hundred years, at the end of which period, seeing the devotion of the King, he said, "Oh King ! why do you take this trouble. I have left off the customs and manners of Brahmins. I have no Brahman (Brahminisat) . 1 am immersed in liquor, meat and women. So you had better go and serve another Brahmin."


Ayus refuted all that the hermit said and requested him to bless him that he might get a son.. Finally the hermit ordered the King to bring meat and liquor in a skull. The King obeyed him. Dattatreya was pleased at the devotion and willingness to serve as a disciple and told the King that a son would be born to him ; that the son would be a worshipper of Devatirthas (Holy baths), that he would not be defeated by devas, asuras, Kinnaras giants, and Ksatriyas, that he would be the protector of iris subjects and that he would be a great scholar in Vedas and gastras. Saying this he gave the King a fruit to be given to his wife. The King returned to his palace.


The King gave the fruit to his wife Indu-coati. She ate it and became pregnant. One night sloe gave birth to a son. When the servant-maid went out of the room of confinement Hui rda entered into her body and went in.. When all were asleep he took the child and ran to leis r•Jact at Kancanapura. He gave the child to his wife Vipula and asked her to make a sauce of the child for him. Vipula ga.v -- the child to the servant woman to cook it. With the aid of the cook she hid the child and prepared a sauce with sem.e other flesh. The cook took the child to the hermitage of Vasistha and placed it at the door of the hermitage, in the night. At dawn Vasiatha cane out of the hermitage and `seeing the child took it, named it Nahusa and brought him up. The King and his wife Indumati cried for a long time over the loss of the child. At that time Narada came there and told them that their son would return soon.


Once Nahusa was bringing Samits (butea-fuel) when he heard some devacaranas (heavenly singers) saying among themselves the history of Nahusa. Nahusa heard it. He told Vasistha all that he had heard. Vasistha told him all the stories from the beginning to his being kidnapped by Hunda. Nahusa was amazed at what he heard. He wanted to kill Hunda instantly. So he bowed before Vasistha and taking bow and arrow went away to kill Hunda.


Believing that he had eaten Nahusa, Hunda approached Asdkasundari again and told her that he had actually eaten Nahusa. Asokasundari felt very sad when she heard this. At that time a Kinnara named Vidyuddhara and his wife came there. They consoled Asokasundari and told her that Nahusa was alive. He continued.


"Oh beautiful lady, that great sage will kill Hundasura and marry you, and live with you as an emperor in this. world, as S`akra (Indra) in heaven. From Nahusa will be born to you a son named Yayati, who will be righteous, kind and loving towards his subjects and equal to Indra, and a hundred daughters who would he exceedingly beautiful and of very fine character. Then Nahusa will go to heaven and become Devendra. At that time your son Yayati will be the emperor and will rule his subjects with kindness. Four sons, who would possess prowess and valour, who would be second to none in archery will be born to him. They will be known by the names Turvasu, Puru, Kuru and Yadu. Powerful and mighty sons called Bhoja, Bhima, Andhaka, Kukkura, V.rsni, 8rutasena, Srutadhara and Kaladadistra will be born to Yadu. They will become famous by the name Yadavas. Several sons will be born to them. Thus the family of Nahusa and yourself will increase."


By this time Nahusa had arrived at the spot fully armed and. ready to fight Hunda, who was killed in the terrible battle which ensued. Nahusa married Asokasundari in the midst of devas and after the marriage the couple reached the palace of Nahusa. (Padma Purana, fifteen chapters from 102) .


3) Nahusa became Indru.


Became a python by the curse of Agastya. To get remission from the sin of Brahmahatya, incurred by killing Vrtrasu.ra, Indra hid himself in a cluster lotuses in the Mariam lake.. The devas who were worried due to the absence of Indra, elected Nahusa as Indra temporarily. Nahusa wanted to get Indrani. Agastya cursed Nahusa and changed him to a python. At the sight of the Pandavas he regained his original form and went back to the world of Indra. (For detailed story see under Agastya).


4) Other details.


(i) Nahusa had six sons Yati, Yayati, Sarhyati, Ayati, Ayati and Dhruva. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 75, Stanza 30) .


(ii) Nahusa was allowed to enter heaven because he made himself pure by performing the sacrifice Vaisnava yajfia. (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 257, Stanza 5).


(iii) Nahusa once came down to the world in the aerial chariot of Indra to see the battle of Arjuna. (M.B., Virata Parva, Chapter 56, Stanza 9).


(iv) Nahusa got a famous sword from his father Ayus. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 266, Stanza 7).


(v) Nahusa had once a tails with the hermit Cyavana about the wealth of cows. (M.B. Anus asana Parva, Chapter 51 ).


(vi) On another occasion the hermit Cyavana granted Nahusa a boon. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 51, Stanza 44).


(vii) Once Nahusa gave to Brahmins lakhs of cows as alms. (M.B. Anu'sasana Parva, Chapter 81, Stanza 5).


(viii) It is stated in Mahabharata, SabhaParva, Chapter 8, Stanza 8, that Nahusa, after death, stays in the palace of King Yama (God of death).


(ix) Mention is made in the Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 7, Sukta 31, about Nahusa's becoming Indra. (x) The names Devaraja, Devarat Devendra, Jagatpati, Naga, Nagendra, Suradhipati, Surapati etc, are used in Bharata as synonyms for Nahusa.


NAHUSA II. A famous naga (serpent) born to Kasyapaprajapati by his wife Kadru. (Mahabharau., Adi Parva, Chapter 35, Stanza 9).


NAIDHRUVA. A gotra-originator of the Kasyapa dynasty. He was the grandson of Maharsi Kasyapa and son of Avatsara maharsi. He was one of the six Brahmavadins of the family of Kasyapa the other five being Kasyapa, Avatsara, Raibhya, Asita and Devala. (Vayu Purana, Chapter 52; Matsyapurana, Chapter 145).


NAIGAMEYA. A younger brother of Subrahmanya. He had three younger brothers, i.e., Sakha, Visakha and Naigameya. (Visnu Purana, Part 1. Chapter 15).


NAIKABAHU. A synonym of Parvati. (Agni Purana, Chapter 11).


NAIKAPRSTHA. A particular region in ancient India. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 41).


1) General. Naimisa is very famous in the Puranas. It is considered to be a sacred place. Nimasar is the modern name for the place, and it is in the Sitapur zilla of North India.


Saunaka conducted a yajfia here which lasted for twelve years. All the reputed Rsis participated in it, and there Suta (Sauti) the son of Vyasa recited to the Maharsis Mahabharata composed by Vyasa. (Adi Parva, Chapter 1; also see under Suta).


2) Other infornzation.


Devas once came to this place and conducted a yajna there. (Adi Parva, Chapter 196, Verse 1) .


(ii) Arjuna once visited here the river called Utpalini. (Atli Parva, Chapter 214, Verse 6) .


(iii) Half of the sin of those who visit Naimisa will at once be dispelled. The remaining portion of the sin also will be removed before they return from the place. He who stays for a month and bathes here will derive all the results of Gomeda yajna. He who quits his life here by fasting will attain all the sacred lokas. (Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Verse 59) .


(iv) River Gomati, Yajrrabhumi of the Devas and the yajfiic vessel of Surya are found at this place. (VanaParva, Chapter 87, Verse 6) .


(v) Dharmaputra once came to this place with his


brothers and bathed here and made gifts of cows. (Vana Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 1).


NAIMISAKUTRJA. An ancient sacred place on the borders of Kuruksetra. The Rsis of Naimisaranya built this place. A bath here gives the same results as an agnistomayajna. (Vana, Parva, Chapter 83, Verse 108).


NAIMISEYA. A sacred place. River Sarasvati which flowed westwards changed its course here towards the east so that it (river) might see the sages of Naimisaranya. There is a story about it in Mahabharata as follows:-


The Yajfia conducted by Saunaka at Naimisaranya ended in the twelfth year. The Rsis who came from various parts of the country were put up in asramas built on the banks of river Sarasvati. But, many Ftsis did not get accommodation there and they moved eastwards. The River Sarasvati which felt sorry that the Rsis could not be accommodated also turned and moved eastwards, and thus afforded space for asramas to be built on her banks. (Salya Parva, Chapter 37).


NAIRRTA. An urban region in ancient India. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 51).


NAIRRTI. A Raksasa. His name also occurs in the list ef the ancient guards or protectors of the world. (Saanti Parva, Chapter 227, Verse 52) .


NAKSA. The son born to Prthusena by his wife Akuti


Mention is made in Bhagavata, Skandha 5, that he had a son named Gaya of his wife Druti.


NAKSATRAKALPA. A part of the Atharvaveda. The great hermit Munjakesa had divided the Atharvaveda into five parts called Naksatrakalpa, Vedakalpa, Saiiihitakalpa, Afigirasakalpa and~nti halpa. Naksatra Kalpa deals witP: thu order of worshipping the Naksatras (stars), Veda Kalpa deals with the activities of Brahma as a Rtvik (family priest), the Sariihita Kalpa, the mantras (spells and incantations) In AfigirasaKalpa sorcery and enchantment and in ~antikalpa, Mantis (Alleviation or cure) of horse, elephant etc. are given. (Visnu Purana, Anrsa 3, Chapter 6) .


NAKSATRAYOGA. It is ordained in the Puranas that alms-giving on each star or day will be rewarded by particular attainments. This is called Naksatrayoga. The Naksatrayoga of each star is given below:-


1) A~UUyuk:- Those who give horses and chariots as alms on this day, would be born again in a noble family.


2) BharanT:-- Iflands and cows are given to Brahmins on this day, one would get a large number of cows and will become famous in heaven.


3) hrttika:- If rice-pudding is given to Brahmins to their satisfaction on this day the giver will attain the prominent worlds after death.


4) Rohini:- If milk-rice and venison mingled with ghee is given to Brahmins on this day, his indebtedness to the manes would end.


5) 1Llrgasiras:- (Candra naksatra). If a much-cow is given as amts on this day, one would attain heaven.


6) Ardrd:---- If fast is taken and gingelly oil is given as alms on this day, the giver will become capable oh crossing mountains and trenches.


7) Punurvasu:--- He who gives bread on this day will be born again in a good family.


8) Pusyu:- He who gives gold as alms on this day wlll enter the world of bright planets.


9) ASlesd:- He who gives an ox made of silver as alms on this day, will become fearless.


10) Magha:- He who gives gingelly as alms on this day will become prosperous with cows.


11) PurmJ)halguni:- If ghee-rice is given to Brahmins taking fast on this day, the giver would become happy and prosperous.


12) Uttarabhalguna:- He who givcs rice of Nivara variety mixed with milk and ghee on this day will be Honoured in heaven.


13) Hasta:- If one gives four horses and an elephant as alms, on this day, one will attain the world of bliss.


14) CitrJ:-- He who gives oxen and perfumery as alms on this ( Tay, will enter the parks in which celestial maids p_ay.


15 ). Svcti:- He who gives any sort of wealth as alms on this day will become renowned in the worlds.


16) hi.rakha:-. He who. gives as alms or, this day, oxen, milch-cow, grain-box, cart, paddy and diamond will attain heaven.


17) Anurddhd:- . He who gives cloth, rice and blanket on this day will be honoured in heaven for a hundred yugas,,


18) Jye.,~tha:- If Brahmins are given yams and greens on this day one could realize one's wishes.


19) Mula:-- The manes will be contented, if Brahmins are given roots and nuts on this day.


20) PFrUCl,wdhll:- If Brahmins who are expounders of Vedas are given as alms pots of curd, after observing fast, the givers will take birth again in families with many cows.


21) Uttarasadha:-- He who gives milk and ghee to wise men will be honoured in heaven.


22) Sravana:- Those who give cloth and rug on this day will enter a white conveyance and reach heaven.


23) bsraz)istha:- Those who give cattle, cart and cloth on this day will enter heaven.


24) b`atabhisak:- Those who give sandalwood and aloe wood on this day, will go to the world of devas (gods).


25) Puraapro;s,thapada:- He who gives coins on this day will reach the world of bliss.


26) Uttarapro,s,thapada:- Those who give mutton on this day will be pleasing the manes.


27) Reaatf:- lie who gives cows which could give potfuls of milk, could reach any world. (M.B. AnuEasana Parva, Chapter 64).




1) Birth. The fourth of the Pandavas. Madri, the 'second of the two wives of Pandu meditated on the twin gods Asvinidevas, and recited one of the Mantras given to Kunti by the hermit Durvasas and the two sons Nakula and Sahadeva were born to her from those gods. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 111 that Nakula and Sahadeva were immensely handsome.


2) Story of Nakula till the Bhdrata battle. Naming and such other rituals after birth were performed for Nakula also as in the case of the other Pandava children, by the hermits who lived in gatasrfrga The ceremony of investiture with the Brahma st ng was conducted by Kasyapa the priest of Vasudeva. The royal hermit guka taught Nakula archery and swordsplay, in his boyhood. When Pandu died, Madri jumped into the


funeral pyre and died leaving her two sons with Kunti. After this the hermits of Satan rnga took Kunti and her five sons to Bhisma at Hastinapura.


At Hastinapura, Nakula learned archery under the great teacher Drona. According to the instruction of the teacher, rlrjuna had to fight with him (teacher) on the completion of the teaching and during that fight Nakula and Sahadeva were the guards of Arjuna's chariotwheels. As Nakula was such an expert in wielding t:ie weapons, he got the name `Atirathi'. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 138, Stanza 30 ). When the lac-palace was completed at Varanavata, the Pandavas shifted to that mansion by the instruction of Dhrtarastra. When the lac-palace was set fire to, the Pandavas escaped by way of an underground passage and reached the banks of the Ganga. There Naknla and Sahadeva fell down weary and exhausted. Bhima carried them on his shoulders. After Baka had been killed, they proceeded to Paficalapura; where at the Svayariivara (marriage) Pancali became the wife of the Pandavas. They returned to Hastinapura. A son named 8atanika was born to Nakula by Paficali. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 75 ).


After that Nakula married Karenumati, the daughter of the King of Cedi. A son named Niramitra was born to the couple. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 70) .


Nakula was then sent to the kingdoms of the west for regional conquest, by Dharmaputra. The wealth of the kingdoms he had conquered, was carried on ten thousand camels to the capital Hastinapura. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 32). After the Rajasuya (imperial consecration) of Yudhisthira, Nakula went to Gandhara to escort Subala and his sons. After the defeat of Yudhisthira in the game of dice, the Pandavas went to live in the forest. At that time Nakula put soil all over his body and sat on the ground because of his profound grief. In the forest, once Jatasura carried away Nakula. (See under Jat5sura). Nakula killed Ksemaitkara, Mahamaha and Suratha in the forest At Dvaitavana (a forest) Nakula went to a lake to fetch water and was killed by Dharmadeva who appeared in the form of a crane. At the request of Dharmaputra, who came afterwards, all the Pandavas including Nakula were brought to life again, by Dharma.


During the pseudonymity of the Pandavas at the city of Virata, Nakula assumed the name Granthika. When the period of pseudonymity expired, Nakula fought with the Trigartas on behalf of the King Virata. On the return of the Paridavas after the expiry of their forest-life and pseudonymity, when Duryodhana announced that he would give not even a single dot of land to them, Nakula was very eager to decide the matter by a battle. He proposed that the King Drupada should be made the chief captain of the army.


3) Nakula in th • Bhdrata-battle. The following is the part played by Nakula in the battle of Kuruksetra.


(i) There was a combat between Nakula and Dussasana on the first day of the battle. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 23) .


(ii) Nakula fought with ~alya and was wounded. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 83).


(iii) He fought with gakuni. (M.B. Bhi sma Parva, Chapter 105, Stanza 1 l ).


(iv) He engaged Vikarna in a combat. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter I10, Stanza I1).


(v) Nakuia defeated Vikarzla. (NNI.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 106, Stanza 12).


(vi) Nakula defeated ~akuni. (M.B. Drona Chapter 169, Stanza 16) .


(vii) He defeated Duryodhana in a fight. Drona Parva, Chapter 187, Stanza 50) .


(viii) Nakula killed the King of Anga. (M.B. Parva, Chapter 22, Stanza 13).


(ix) He retreated on being defeated by Karna. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 24, Stanza 45 ).


(x) He fought with Droria. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 48, Stanza 34 ).


(xi) Nakula fought with Duryodhana again and was wounded. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 56, Stanza 7).


(xii) He fought with Vrsasena. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 61, Stanza 36).


(xiii) Nakula killed Citrasena, Satyasena and Susena the sons of Karna. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 10).


4) After the Bhdrata-battle.


(i) After the battle, Nakula explained to Yudhisthira, the duties of a house holder. (M.B. Sand Parva, Chapter 12).


(ii) On the instruction of Yudhisthira, Nakula became the chief captain of the army. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 41, Stanza 12) .


(iii) After the battle, the palace of Durmarsana the son of Dhrtarastra was given to Nakula by Dharmaputra. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 44, Stanza 10).


(iv) After the battle when Yudhisthira performed the horse sacrifice, Nakula and Bhimasena stood as protectors of the city. (M.B. Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 72, Stanza 19).


(v) Nakula went to the forest to see Kunti, who was engaged in penance during her latter days. (M.B. Asramavasi a Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 8) .


5) The end. At the `great departure' (Mahaprasthana) of the Pandavas, Nakula died in the forest. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Svargarohana Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 9, that after death Nakula and Sahadeva attained the position of the Asvinidevas.


6) The name Nakula. It is stated in Mahabharata, Virata Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 25 that the name `Nakula' was given to him because there were none more handsome than he in the family (Kula) of the Pandavas.


NAKULA. An ancient country in India. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 50, Stanza 53) .


NALA I. Nala the King of Nisadha. (As the history of Nala is included under the word Damayanti, some points which are not given there, are mentioned here). (i) Nala was the son of Virasena, the King of Nisadha. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 52, Stanza 56).


(ii) Once the hermit Brhadasva came to the Palace of Virasena and praised Nala a good deal and spoke highly of his good qualities to his father. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 53, Stanza 2 ).


(iii) When Nala was playing in the garden some swans with golden wings flew to the lake in the garden. Nala caught hold of one of them just for fun. The swan said to Nala, "If you will let me off, I will tell Damayanti about you." So it has released.


(iv) After death Nala sat in the aerial chariot of India and witnessed the battle fought by Arjuna with the Kauravas at the end of the forest life of the Yandavas. (M.B. Vana Yarva, Chapter 56, Stanza 10).


(v) Previous birth. Two different stories are narrated about the previous birth of Nala.


1) In the previous birth Nala was a Vaisya of the city of Pippala in the Uauda country. This Vaisya became abstinent and after leaving off everything he had, he went to the forest. There, according to the advice of a hermit he undertook the: fast of Ganesa. As a result he was born as Nala in the next birth. (Gane'sa Purana).


2 ) Nala and Damayanti were foresters named Ahuka and Ahuka. Siva was pleased with the couple. So they were born in royal families in the next birth, and diva in the form of a swan, helped them. (Siva Purana, Satarudra Sarizhita).


NALA II, An ancient hermit. In Sabha Parva; Chapter 7, Stanza 17, it is mentioned that this hermit lives in the palace of India.


NALA III. A monkey. This monkey was the son of Visvakarma. Sri Rama and the monkey-army went to redeem Sita from Lanka and reached the sea-shore. A bridge had to be made to cross the sea and reach Lanka. Immediately Varuna the King of the seas appeared there and said, "Nala who is in the monkeyarmy, is the son of Visvakarmd. His father had given him a blessing that he would become as expert an architect as his father. So let the construction of the bridge be commenced under his supervision." Accordingly tinder the supervision of Nala, Rama's bridge of rock was completed and Sri Rama and the army of monkeys reached Lanka by walking over this bridge (Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Ka.nda, Sarga 22).


In the battle between Rama and, Nala fought with the giant Tundaka. (M.B, Vana Parva, Chaptez 285, Stanza 9) .


NALAKUBARA. A son of Vaisravana. He had a brother called Manigriva.


1) Cursing Ravana, It was the time when Ravana wa ruling over Lanka and terrorising the fourteen worlds As he was carrying on his conquests, once he came t< a round rock near It was night. Rambha hac fixed a rendezvous near the rock that night wirl Nalakubara. The full moon shone bright. The radiancf of the moon rendered Kailasa and its vicinity moss beautiful. Filled with passion Ravana could not sleet at all. In the silence of that calm night he heard the tinkling of bangles. Ravana opened his twenty eyes and looked in that direction. He saw an extremell beautiful woman clad in splendid garments and orna ments going along the way. He ran to her and caugh hold of her hand. She was flurried and confused at hi sudden appearance. So she said, "Oh Lord ! I am tht wife of Nalaktibara who is the son of your brothev Kubera. My name is Rambha. Your brother's son i your son too. So don't do any harm to your son's wife.' But Ravana did not pay any heed to her words. H. lifted her up and placed her on the round rock an( raped her. Before dawn Rambha, who had becom, like the lake of lotus trodden by a mad elephant, wen to Nalakubara and told him everything. Nalakubar; became very angry and cursed Ravana. "You, who have become blind with lust, shall not touch a woman who does not reciprocate your love. If you do


so your head will be split into seven pieces." It was because of this curse that Ravana did not touch Sita though she was kept in his harem. (Uttara Ramayana; Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 28) .


2) Another wife of Nalakubara. It is mentioned in Kathasaritsagara, Madanamancukalambaka, Taranga 3, that, of the two daughters, Svayamprabha and Somaprabha of Maya, Somaprabha was the wife of Nalakubara.


3) The curse of .Ndrada. Nalakubara and Manigriva, the sons of Kubera were playing with celestial maidens in the Ganges in nudity, when Narada came by that way. The hermit was returning after visiting Visnu. The moment the celestial maids saw Narada they put on their clothes and stood aside bowing before Narada. Nalakubara and Manigriva did not see Narada. They ran here and there, playing with no clothes on. At this, Narada got angry and cursed them that they would become two "Marutu" trees (Terminalia alata) on the earth. They became very sad and requested for liberation from the curse. Narada told them they would get liberation from the curse when they saw Sri Krsna, the incarnation of Visnu. Accordingly Nalakubara and his brother took birth near the house of Nandagopa in Ambadi, as double "Marutu" trees. It was the period of the childhood of Sri Krsna. Once Sri Krsna swallowed mud, and Yasoda tied him to a mortar. The child dragged the mortar to the Marutu tree and got himself between the double trees. Immediately the trees regained the original forms of Nalakubara and Manigriva. They paid homage to Sri Krsna, who blessed them, and both of them returned to Vaisravanapuri. (Bhagavata, Skanda 10) .


NALASETU. The rock bridge built by the monkey named Nala. The bridge over which Sri Rama and the monkey-army crossed the sea to Lanka was built under the supervision of Nala and so the bridge came to be called Nalasetu. (M.B. V ana Parva, Chapter 283, Stanza 45).


N ALATANTU . One of Vizvamitra's sons who were expounders of Brahman. (M.B. Anusasana Parva,

Chapter 4, Stanza 58).


NALAYANI. See under I'aficali.


NALAYIRAPRABANDHAM. See under Nammalvar.


NALINI. A branch of the Ganges. When the heavenly Gafiga came down to the earth as a result of the penance of Bhagiratha, Siva received it on his head. It is seen in Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda, Sarga 43, that when the Ganga fell drown from the head of Siva it split ;nrn seven river-arms called Hladini, Pavani, Nalini, 5ucaksus, S:ta, Sindhu and Ganga. The Ganges which flows through North India is one of these seven river-arms.


NALOPAKHYANAPARVA. A sub Parva (section) of Mahabharata. This sub section consists of Vana Parva,

Chapters 52 to 79.


NALU (FOUR). Various things mentioned inathe Puranas having some association with four (Nalu) are given below :---


1) Four distances. In the case of an elephant one must keep a distance of1000 kols, a horse 100 kols, horned animals 10 kols, evil people, unli mited number of kols. (1 kol is equal to a metre).


2) Four Adhikdrins. Manda (the very ordinary), Madhyama (medium standard), Uttama (besz) and Uttamottama (the very best).


3) Four Anubandhas. (Factors). In philosophy there are four factors called Visaya (subject matter), Prayojana (purpose), Sambandha (relationship between factors) and Adhikarin (the deserving or eligible person). 4) Four Antahkaranas (Internal organs). Manas (mind), Buddhi (intellect), Cittam (heart)and Ahankara (ego). Imagination is the function of the mind, decision that of Buddhi; to retain knowledge gained in orderly form is the function of Cittam and self-respect that of Ahankara.


5) Four Anvavdyas. Satyam (truthfulness), Dama (Self control), Arjavarn (straightforwardness) and Anrsamsyam (not to be cruel).


6) Anvavedas Four. Yajna (sacrifical offerings), Dana (alms-giving, gifts), Adhyayana (learning) and Tapas (penance).


7) Four Apdtrikaranas. (Not suited to the particular station or place in life). Brahmins are forbidden from receiving bribes, engaging in trades, service of Sudras and uttering lies.


8) Abhinayas Four. (Acting). Angikam (where gestures and bodily actions are used to convey ideas) . Sattvika Subjective feelings expressed by perpiration etc. Aharyam (extraneous). Vacikam (by words of mouth). 9) Abhydsavisayas Four. (Subjects for practice and training). Vinaya (humility), Damana (control of mind), Indriyanigraha (controlling the sense-organs) and Bhutadaya (kindness).


10) Amrtas Four. (Nectar). Good wife, talk of children.. present from King and honourable food.


11) Alarikdras Four. (Ornaments). For the stars, Moon; for women, husband; for earth, King and for all, education (learning) .


12) Alafikdrasddhanas Four. According to rhetorics, Atisaya (excellence), Samya (simile), Vastavam (matter of fact, as it is) and Slesa (one word with two meanings) are the Alankarasadhanas.


13) Avasthds Four. ( States, conditions).


A. Saisavam (childhood), Kaumaram (boyhood), Yauvanam (youth) and Vardhakyam (old age).


B. Jagrat (wakefulness), Svapnam (dream), Susupti (sleep) and Turiyam (being one with the supreme soul).


14) Astraprayogalak;syas Four. (Objects of shooting arrows).


Sthiram, Calam, Calacalam, Dvayacalam.


When the archer and the object of his shooting remain motionless the object is called Sthiram. When the object is moving but the archer is not, the object is called Calam. When the case is just the opposite of the above it is Calacalam. When both are moving it is called Dvayacalam.


15) Akhydyikdgunas Four. Factors of the novel).


Kathabandha (plot or theme), Patraprakatanam (exposition of characters), Rasapusti (sentiment) and Gadyariti (prose style).


16) Jbharanas Four (Ornaments). For man, shape or form; for form, quality or merit; for quality, knowledge or wisdom and for wisdom, patience or forbearance.


17) Jyudhas Four. (Weafions). Mukta, Amukta, Muktamukta and Yantramukta. (See under Dhanurveda).


18) Jaaranas Four. (Covering, Protection). For earth the sea, for house the compound wall, for country the King, for women chastity.


19) Jhdrddis Four. (Food etc.). Aha.ra (food), Nihara (Evacuation), Maithuna (sexual act), Nidra (sleep).


20) Jharaaastus Four. (edibles). Khadyam (eaten by munching with teeth and chewing). Peyam (that which is drunk), Lehyarn (licked with the tongue )and Bhoj yam (that which is not included in the above three).


21) Rnas Four. (Obligations, debts). Debts due to Devas, Rsis, Pitrs and Men. One pays back one's debts to Devas by performing yajfias. By Svadhyaya (self study) and tapas one pays the debt due to Rsis; by procreation of children and libation offerings that due to Pitrs and by truthfulness, hospitality etc. that due to people are repaid.


22) Rtviks Four. Adhvaryu, Udgata, Hota and Brahma. The first of the four should be an erudite scholar in Yajurveda, the second in Samaveda, the third in Atharvaveda and the fourth in all the four Vedas.


23) Kavis Four. (Poets). He who boasts about himself in secret is called Udatta; he who cries down others and indulges in self praise is known as Uddhata; he who proclaims others' merits is called Praudha and he who shows humility is called Vinita.


24) Kukkutagunas Four. (Traits of the Cock). To rise early in the morning, to struggle for existence, to share whatever is got with relations and to work and earn one's own .food-these are the qualities of the Cock.


25) Grahyas Four. (Acceptables).


A. Nectar even from poison, good advice even from boys, good action even from enemies and noble and chaste brides even from low families are to be welcomed.


B. Literacy (learning of alphabets) should be accepted from brahmins, food from mother, pan from wife and bangles from King.


26) Caturarigas Four. Elephant, Horse, Chariot and Infantry.


27) Asramas Four. Brahmacarya (student life), Garhasthya (married life), Vanaprastha (anchorite, forest-life) and Sannyasa (Renunciation).


28) Yugas Four. Krta, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. 29) Vargas Four. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa.


30) Upayas Four. (Expedients). Sama, Dana, Bheda, Danda.


31) Cikitsjpddas Four. (Four elements in the treatment of patients). Vaidya (doctor), Rogin (patient) , Ausadham (medicine) and Paricaraka (attendant).


32 dtis Four. (Castes). Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaigya and 8udra. 33) Tydjyas Four. (things to be shunned).


A. Horse returning after bath, elephant in its rut, love-lore bull and wicked scholar.


B. Evil action, unhealthy region, evil wife and bad foods.


34) Danas Four. (Gifts). Gifts daily given without expecting return or result is Nityadana. Gifts given to scholars (pundits) for the sake of alleviation of or redemption from sin is Naimittikadana. Gifts given for welfare and prosperity is Kamyakadana. Offering made to propitiate God is Vimala.


35) Ndyakas Four. (Heroes) Dhirodatta, Dhiroddhata, Dhiralalita, Dhirasanta.


36) Ndris Four. (Women). Padmini, ~ankhini, Citrini, and Hastini.


37) Pramdnas Four. (Means of valid knowledge), Pratyaksa, Anumana, Upamana, and Sabda.


38) Moksas Four. (Salvation). Salokya, Samipya, Sarfipya and Sayujya.


39) Four Togas. Jfianayoga, Bhaktiyoga, Karmayoga and Dhyanayoga.


40) Four Satrus (Enemies). Mother leading an immoral life; father who incurs debt; foolish son and beautifuI wi.e.


41 ) Four gastras. Nitisastra, Tarkasastra, Manusmrti and Kamasastra.


NAMASYU. A King of Yayati's family. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9).


NAMBOTIRIS. (Malayala Brahmins). Logan says that the Nambfitiris were the batch of Aryans that settled down in Kerala after the Nairs. The historians like Sankunni Menon and others have stated that the Nambfitiris had come to Kerala from the banks of the rivers Godavari, Narmada and Kaveri. Famous historians have inferred that the progress of the Aryans to the south took place between 1000 and 325 B.C. But Thomas Fawlks thinks that there were Nambfitiri priests and hermits in South India, during the time of Buddha. N.K. Datta, the author of the book "Aryanisation of India", is of opinion that during the time of the invasion of Alexander, the Aryans had spread all over India and Ceylon. Thus historians have not yet come to an agreement as to the correct period of the exodus of the Aryans to the south. Anyhow in the Geography of Ptolemy mention is made that half a degree east to Taibis there was a place called Brahmagara. It may be assumed that Brahmagara may be Brahmagara (settlement of Brahmins). It has been decided definitely that the period of Ptolemy was A.D. 2nd century, and in that case the Brahmins must have settled in the south before that period.


Though the period of the `Sangha poets and their works' has been assessed differently by different scholars, the majority have fixed it as the first few centuries of A.D. In these Sangha poems the gods of the Aryans are praised. The gods Sfirya (the Sun), Candra (the moon), Varuna (god of water), Baladeva (Sri Krsna's elder brother) and Visnu (Supreme God) are specially mentioned in `Cilappadikara'. The Sangha work `Purananfiru' is an encomium to the purity of the Vedas and Agnihotra Brahmins (Brahmins who maintain the holy fire by burnt offering). In those days the King carried on the administration of the country with the advice of Brahmins. Economics, Grammar and law were taught in royal palaces. Paficaksara and such other spells, reading of the scriptures, Aryan ways of marriage, Recitations of Puranic stories etc. were prevalent in those days. Manimekhala is stated to have reached the capital of the Cera King and learned Vedas. and Sankhya doctrines (one of the six systems of Indian Philosophy dealing with evolution) from the prominent teachers here. The diction of both the works `Cilappadikara' and `Manimekhala' is, to a certain extent, indebted to Sanskrit. Many of the Sanskrit poetic traditions are used in these poems. When these proofs are taken into account, it is not wrong to presume that in the period from 1st century to 5th century A.D. Aryan civilization prevailed in south India. If, during this period, Aryan civilization had taken root to such an extent in south India, the advent of the Aryans to south India must have taken place at least two or three centuries prior to this period.


The Nambutiris of Kerala are called Malayala Brahmins. Between them and the Brahmins of other countries there are differences in manners and customs. They are given below:-


1) The Brahmins of other parts of India do not perform agnihotra rites (maintaining the holy fire by burnt offering) so elaborately as the Malayala Brahmins.


2) Among the sixteen purificatory rites, Agnisvikara (or taking up of sacrificial fire) is an important item in Malabar. From Vedic period Agni (Fire) had become a prominent God. Most of the verses in Rgveda are concerned with fire. The attachment of the Brahmins of Kerala to fire shows their antiquity.


3) Much importance is attached to the learning of scriptures and priest-hood in Kerala. There were 18 Mathas and res_Jzntial institutions in Kerala for giving religious education.


4) The peculiar type of recitation of the Vedas of the Malaydla Brahmins and the accompanying gestures of their hands and the movements of the head at the time of recitation are considered by them to be ancient. Even today certain sounds are produced by them in the Vedic way. (For instance Samral-Samrat; VasarVasat; Tde- Ile etc.).


5) In Malabar there is a customary atonement or expiation called Vratyastoma for those Brahmin boys who had not undergone investiture with the sacred thread within the stipulated time. This shows the stress laid on the need of religious education.


6) The custom that all the male members of the family except the family chief should be engaged in `Snatakavrtti' (should remain celibates even after education) is prevalent only in Malabar.


7) Much importance is attached to evening worship in Kerala. At that time the Vedic gods are not hailed. But Brahmins of other places do not seem to attach so much importance to this practice.


8) The Brahmins outside Kerala repeat the mantras uttered by the priest and perform the functions, at the time of meditation and worship. But in Kerala for meditation and worship with or without incantations a priest is not necessary. This indicates the practice in vogue during Vedic period before the priestly class became predominant.


9) The Nambutiris have recognized only three Vedas. 10) The Kerala Brahmins wear only one sacred thread. The Nambutiris became predominant in Kerala and began to have a hand in the various spheres of activities. Z hus the Aryan civilization shook the customary faith and religion of Kerala from top to bottom and the Aryan religion hoisted its flag of victory here. Aryan literature also found its way into Kerala. The authors and scholars in Kerala began to imitate it. The Nambutiris erected temples in Kerala with the help of local chieftains. The sounds of alphabets, sentence pattern, grammar, poetic tradition etc. of Malayalam language underwent a thorough change. Sanskrit education spread far and wide. They spread Aryan civilization through `KTittu and Kutiyattam (Narration of mythological stories with gestures etc. and collective dance) Pathaka and Sanghakkali (Musical lectures and dramatic performances), in connection with festivals in the temples.


They absorbed many of the customs and manners of Kerala. The Nambutiris who had adopted priest-hood as their career had amassed wealth and landed property in the capacities of priests and authorities of the temples. Some of them became Kings (e.g. King of Idappaliy, King of Campakasseri etc.). They kept up the contact with the people of the locality by means of morganatic marriages and made their positions secure. Thus these people, though a small minority, were able to hold sway over the people of Kerala for a long time.


NAMMALVAR. The first of the twelve great Alvars. 'Ilie ,~aivite devotees of South India are called Nayanars and the Vaisnavite devotees, Alvars. The word alvar means, a devotee of God. The Vaisnava religion says that the twelve alvars are the incarnations ofAdisesa and Garuda the followers and the embodied deities of the Conch and the discus the weapons of Visnu. It is mentioned in 8rimad Bhagavata that divine persons who are followers of Visnu will incarnate on the earth in Kaliyuga and that their native places will be the banks of the holy rivers in Dravida such as Tamraparni, Krtamala (Vaigai), Payasvini (I'apanasini) and Kaveri. It is stated about these divine persons in Visnumahatmya that they would take birth in any caste and compose Dravida songs and thereby propagate lofty truths. The collection of Dravida songs thus composed by the alvars is called `Divya Prabandha' (Divine Composition) .


There are four thousand songs in four parts in the Divine composition and hence it has the name Nalayira Prabandham `Four thousand composition'. The theme of the lst and 2nd thousands is a secret known as `Tirumantra' (the divine spell). The third thousand is concerned with the "Caramasloka" (the verse of death) and in the fourth "Dvayamantra" is dealt with. The Tirumantra (the divine spell) is the collection of of three words Orn, namah and Narayanaya.


`Om' and'namah'are explained in the first thousand and the word Narayanaya in the second thousand of the composition. The Caramasloka (the 'verse of death) is the last utterance of the songster-priest. It is a propagation of the theme of seeking refuge. The individual soul has to seek refuge under the universal soul, unconditionally. This is what is called `Prapatti. Dvayamantra (the two fold mantra) deals with the aim and the ways for the realisation of that aim. It would be possible only by the help of Laksmi Bhagavat3 (the goddess Laksmi). It is a verse of only two lines.


The first and foremost among the alvars is Nammalvar. `Tiruvaymoli' is his work. It had been predicted in Vaisnava Purina that at the beginning of Kaliyuga. Visnu Senani named Visvaksena would incarnate as Nammalvar and that he would reinstate the Vaisnavite religion. It is hinted in Brahmanda Purina that Nammalvar would incarnate in 8rinagari (Tirunagari) on the banks of river 'I'amraparni in the Kingdom of Pandva. As was fore-told Nammalvar was born in Tirunagari. The present name of this place is `Alvar tirunagari'.


There is a traditional lore about the birth of Nammalvar. There was a ruling chief named Kariyar in Tirunagari. Udayamankayar was his wife. The couple once went to the Vaisnavite temple near Mahendra mountain known as Tirukkurunkuti temple and prayed to the god consecrated there called Nambi, for a son. Reply was given through the priests that the god himself would take birth as their son. Accordingly Udayamafikayerr gave birth to Namrnalvar. Scholars say that the birth of Namrnalvar was on the 43rd day of Kailyugathat is in B.C.3102.


Nammalvar had another name ParlnkUSa. Some believe that he was the incarnation of portions of Senesa and the jewel Kaustubha. Some say that there are portions of Mahdvisnu, Pancayudha, Adisesa and Senesa in Nammalvdr. The Vaisriavites have given Nammdlvdr a lofty place. The infant born to Kariyar and Udayamankayar was not an ordinary one. Generally infants at birth are covert°d with a case of air called `Satha'. Because of th*; they lose the memory of previous birth. But Naminalvar had no Satha. So he got the name `Sathakopa.'. The parents were amazed at the infant which lay still without beating its legs, and crying or sucking its mother's breasts. The bright infant was taken to the Vaisnavite temple on the twelfth day. Because of his difference from ordinary infants he was named Mara. A golden cradle studded with jewels was hung on the branch of a tamarind tree and laying the child in it, the parents went home. That tamarind tree still stands there. The devotees believe that that tree also is a portion of Adisesa.


Nammdlvdr spent sixteen years under the tamarind tree without opening the eyes or uttering a single word. In the sixteenth year a wise man who could understand the dignity of Nammalvar came there. The person was the Madhura Kavi Alvar. After this Nammdlvdr sat under the tamarind tree and sang songs of praise of Narayana. Madhura Kavi set tunes for them and sang them. Everybody who heard there was struck with wonder and stood still. Nammdlvdr spent his days under the tamarind tree in meditation and contemplation. At the age of 35 lie entered heaven.


NAMUCI 1. A fierce Raksasa (giant). It is stated in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 22, that this giant was the son of Prajapati Kagyapa by his wife Danu. This fierce giant was killed by Indra. There is a story in the Puranas describing how Namuci was killed.


Under the leadership of Namuci a great army of the giants invaded the realm of the gods. Indra came with an army of devas. Though the giants were defeated in the battle Indra was not able to kill Namuci. To save himself from the attack of Indra, Narnuci got into the radiance of the Sun and hid himself 0,ere. lndra found him out and made a treaty with him, the conditions of which were as said by Indra:-


"Oh, noble giant, I will not kill you by wet thing or dry thing, in the night or in the day. What i say is true. "


According to this treaty it became impossible for Indra to kill Namuci either with wet things or with dry things and either in the day time or in the night. Only when Indra had agreed-to these conditions did Namuci come out.


The battle continued and Indra drove away Sumbha and Nisumbha the elder brothers of Namuci, who went to Patala. Indra ran after Namuci and in the evening Indra found him hiding on the sea shore and killed him


with the foam of the sea. As Indra had violated the condition of the treaty the severed head of Namuci followed Indra. With this Indra incurred the sin of Brahmahatya (killing a Brahmin). To get remission from this sin Indra approached Brahma. He was advised to bathe in Arunasangama and doing so Indra got remission of his sin. From that day onwards Arunasarigama became a holy bath (tirtha). (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 40 ).


NAMUCI II. An army-captain of Hiranyaksa. In the battle with Indra, Namuci made him unconscious and the elephant Airavata thrust its tusks on the ground. After that by his magic and sorcery he created many creatures. But Visnu destroyed all those creatures with his discus Sudarsana. At last Indra killed Namuci. (Padma Purina, Srstikhanda).


NAMUCI III. Another valiant captain of Hiranyaksa. He sent five arrows against Indra in a fierce battle. But Indra cut all the five arrows in the midway. Then by his magic and sorcery Namuci spread darkness everywhere. Indra defeated that strategy also. Then Namuci dashed forward and taking hold of the tusks of Airavata shook Indra down. Indra stood up and cut off the head of Namuci with his sword. (Padma Purina, Srsti Khanda).


NANAGABHU. A King of the family of Yayati. (Bhagavata. Skandha 9).


NANDA I. (NANDAKA). See under Nandagopa.


NANDA II. (See under Vararuci).


NANDA III. A son of Dhi-tarastra. In the battle of Kuruksetra, Bhimasena killed him. (M.B. Karna, Parva, Chapter 51, Stanza 19) .


NANDA IV. A serpent born in the family of Kasyapa (Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 103, Stanza 12).


NANDA V. A warrior of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 64).


NANDA VI. A synonym of Bhagavan Visrtu. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 149, Stanza 69) .


NANDA 1. Wife of Harsa the third son of Dharmadeva. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 66, Stanza 33) .


NANDA II. A river. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 214, Stanza 6, that while Arjuna had been engaged in a pilgrimage visiting the holy places in the east, he reached the banks of the rivers Nanda and Aparananda. Many of the scholars are of opinion that this river flowed through the eastern side of the forest Naimisaranya. When the hermit Dhaumya talks about the holy places of the east to Yudhisthira, he says as follows about the river Nanda. "The beautiful mountain `Kundoda' is a place which abounds in roots, fruits and water. Nala the King of Nisadha, who was weary of thirst, rested here. There is a holy temple here called Devavana which is thronged by hermits. Near this temple there is a mountain through the top of which, two rivers Bahuda and Nanda flow." (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 87).


During the time of the forest life of the Pandavas, Yudhisthira travelled with the hermit LomMa, through the basin of the rivers Nanda, anti Aparananda. During the Pauranic times some deities had lived in the basin of the river Nanda, and men began to come there to visit the deities. The devas (gods) did not like this and so they rendered the place inaccessible to men. From that time onwards the river basin of Nanda and the mount Hemakuta have become prohibited area for NANDAKA II. Asword of Mahavisnu. (M.B. Anusahuman beings. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 110) .


NANDABHADRA. A righteous Vaisya. Having been childless for a long time this Vaisya, who was an ardent devotee of God Kapilesvara, got a son in his old age. But he died after his marriage. With this calamity Nandabhadra became a man of abstinence and began to try to acquire spiritual knowledge. After a while a seven-year-old boy appeared before the Vaisya and quenched his thirst for spiritual knowledge. Later with meditation on Siva and the Sun, Nandabhadra attained heaven. (Skanda Purana, Chapters 1, 2 and 46).


NANDAGOPA. Foster-father of Sri Krsna.


1) Previous birth. There are two stories about the previous birth of Nandagopa.


(i) Drona, one of the eight Vasus and his wife Dhara once committed a mistake, not becoming the gods. Brahma who found it out, cursed the couple to take birth in the family of cowherds. Drona and Dhara prayed for remission. Brahma told them that Mahdvisnu would incarnate as their son as Sri Krsna and that after that birth they would be liberated from the curse. Accordingly Drona took birth as Nandagopa and Dhara as Yasoda. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10).


(ii) Once a King named Candrasena sat in the Mahakala temple in 1ljjayini to perform penance. Siva was pleased at his penance and gave him a jewel. That brilliant precious stone fulfilled all his desires. Other kings heard about this jewel and came to war to take possession of the jewel. The King came and took refuge in the temple.


At this time a son named Srikara was born to a cowherdess in Ujjayini. He was god-fearing since childhood. Srikara came to Mahakala temple and sat in worship and meditation. and attained the goodwill of Siva. The Kings who came in chase of Candrasena could not approach the temple because of the unearthly brilliance that radiated from Srikara. Not knowing the reason the kings stood staring and Hanuman instantly appeared before them and said. "Hear this, oh Kings ! Srikara is not a mere cowherd boy. The God is pleased with him. In his eighth birth from today he will be born in Ambadi under the name Nandagopa. Then Mahavisnu will incarnate as the son of Nandagopa under the name Sri Krsna."


Nandagopa was the eighth birth of this Srikara. (Siva Purana, Sanipradosamahatmya).


2) haruna carried away Nandagofia. While Sri Krsna was living in Ambadi as the foster-son of Nandagopa, Nandagopa event to bathe in the river Yamuna. While he was taking a dip under the water a servant of Varuna carried him away to the realm of Varuna. As Nandagopa disappeared the people of Ambadi ran here and there in grief. At last Sri Krsna jumped into the water and reached the city of Varuna, who praised Sri Krsna and said that it was to see Sri Krsna that he had carried Nandagopa away, and requested for pardon. Sri Krsna pardoned Varuna and brought Nandagopa to Ambadi. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10) .


3) Nandagopa swallowed by a great mountain-snake. (See under Krsna, Par a 21) .


NANDAKA I. A tabor. Whenever the flag of Yudhisthira was hoisted, two tabors called Nandaka and Upanandaka used to be beaten. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 27, Stanza 7) .sana Parva, Chapter 147, Stanza 15).


There is a story explaining how Mahavisnu came by this sword Nandaka. In days of old Brahma performed a sacrifice on the banks of the heavenly Ganga on a peak of mount Mahameru. While Brahma was sitting in deep meditation in the sacrifice Lohasura was seen coming to cause disturbance to the sacrifice. Immediately a male being came into existence from the meditation of Brahma. The male being paid homage to Brahma and the devas (gods) became glad and they encouraged the male being. Because the gods greeted the male one, he was changed to a sword called Nandaka (that which is greeted or thanked for). That sword was received by Mahavisnu at the request of the gods. When Mahavisnu slowly took it Lohasura came near. He was an asura of blue complexion, with thousand hands of adamantine fists. By wielding his club he drove away the gods. Mahavisnu cut down his limbs one by one and those organs became metals by the touch of the sword. Then Mahavisnu killed the asura. Then Mahavisnu granted Nandaka a pure body and various boons. Afterwards Nandaka became the deity of weapons on the earth. Thus Brahma, who got rid of the disturbance by the aid of Visnu, completed the sacrifice. (Agni Purana, Chapter 245) .


NANDANA I. Son of Hiranyakasipu. Nandana who had been ruling over the Sveta island had obtained boons from Siva and had become invincible. Ht ruled over the kingdom for ten thousand years and then attained Kailasa and became a gana of Siva. (Siva Purana, Uttara Khanda, Chapter 2 ) .


NANDANA II. One of the two attendants given to Skandadeva by Asvinikumaras. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 44


NANDANA III. A divine park in the world of devas (gods): Mention is made in Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 45, that those who had brought the organs of senses under control and who had not killed, any living being, would be permitted to enter this park.


NANDASRAMA. A holy place. Amba, the daughter of the King of Kas i once performed penance in this holy place. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 186, Stanza 26).


NANDI I. A Deva Gandharva. He was present at the birth celebration of Arjuna. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 12, Stanza 56 ).


NANDI II. One of the divine attendants of viva. (See under Nandikega).


NANDIGRAMA. It is stated in Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhyakanda that while Sri Rama had been leading forest life, Bharata lived in Nandigrama for twelve years worshipping the sandals of Sri Rama. This Nandigrama is situated nearly fourteen miles away from Ayodhya. (Faizabad).


NANDIKESA. The chief of the Bhuta Ganas (the attendants) of Siva. For the story of how Nandike'sa once took the form of a monkey and cursed Ravana, see under Ravana.


NANDIKUNDA. A holy place. In Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 60, it is mentioned that the sin incurred by causing abortion, will be washed away by taking a bath in this holy place.


NANDINI I. A cow of the world of the gods (Devas). ( See under Kamadhenu).


NANDINT II. A holy place. In this place there is a well esteemed by the gods. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 15, that those who bathe in this holy well wil1 obtain the fruits of Naramedhayajna (human sacrifice).


NANDISENA. ~ One of the four attendants given to Subrahmanya by Brahma. Lohitaksa, Ghantakarna and Kumudamali were the other three attendants. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 24) .


NANDISVARA. See under Nandikesssa.


NANDIVARDHANA I. The name of the conch of Satyaki. (M:B. Salya Parva, Chapter 61, Daksinatyapatha).


NANDIVARDHANA II. A King of the solar dynasty. He was the son of Virada and the father of Suketu. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9).


NANDIVEGA. A Ksatriya family of ancient India. A famous King named Sama was born in this family. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 74. Stanza 17) .


NAPTA. An eternal god concerned with offerings to the Manes. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 91, Stanza 37)


NAPUMSAKA. (EUNUCH). Mention is made in Brahmanda Parana, Chapter 48, that the semen introduced into the womb of the woman by the man at the time of coition, will get mixed with the blood in the womb, and that the issue will be male, female or eunuch according to the proportion of the mixture. In the mixture of semen and blood, if blood exceeds semen the issue will be female and if semen exceeds, it will be male child and if both are equal the child will be a eunuch.


NARA I. A hermit of divine power.


1) Birth. Brahma created Dharmadeva from his breast. Truthful and righteous Dharma married ten daughters of Daksa. Several sons were born to Dharma of his ten wives. But foremost among them were Hari, Krsna, Nara and Narayana. Hari and Krsna became great yogins and Nara and Narayana became great hermits of penance. The Nara-Narayanas lived in the holy Asylum of Badarikasrama in the vicinity of the Himalayas for a thousand years performing penance to Brahma. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 4).


2) Giving birth to UrvaH. See under Urva i, Para 1.


3) Keeper of Am rta (Ambrosia). The Devas (gods) and the asuras (demons) together churned the sea of milk and obtained Ambrosia (the celestial nectar of immortality). Mahavisnu took the guise of a fascinating woman and obtained the Amrta by stealth from the asuras and gave it to the devas. The asuras waged a terrible war with the devas. At that time, at the request of the devas, Nara and Narayana took sides with the devas, and fought against the asuras as a consequence of which the asuras were defeated. In Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 19, Stanza 31, it is stated that from that day ownwards Indra entrusted the keeping of the celestial Nectar with the hermit named Nara.


4) Dambhodbhava brought under control. See under Dambhodbhava).


5) Confict with Siva. Because he was not invited to the sacrifice by Daksa, Siva got angry and sent his trident against Daksa's sacrifice. The trident completely destroyed the sacrifice and flew through the air here and there. Then it reached Badaryasrama and hit the breast of Narayana who was sitting engaged in penance. By


the force of the utterance of the sound `Hum', made by Narayana, the trident was ejected from his breast. Finding no accommodation there it flew back to Siva, who getting angry at this rebut approached NaraNarayanas with the intention of exterminating them. Nara took a grass from the ground and discharged it at Siva. Instantly the grass became an axe. It flew round Siva to attack him. Siva broke the axe. From that day onwards Siva got the name `Khandaparasu' (one who broke the axe). In this story it is said that the trident which had returned from the breast of Narayana heated the hair of Siva to such an extent that they were dried as dry grass. So Siva came to be called `Mufijakega' (with hair having the colour of dry grass). (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 343) .


6) Fight with Prahldda. Once Cyavana the son of Bhrgu went to Nakulesvara tirtha (Bath) to take his bath in the river Narmada. As soon as he got into the water the serpent called Kekaralohita caught hold of him. Cyavana meditated on Visnu. So the poison of the serpent did not affect him. The huge serpent dragged Cyavana to Patala (the Nether world). But as his poison did not affect the hermit the serpent left the prey and went away. The Naga damsels welcomed him and showed hospitality. Being greeted by the Naga damsels he travelled through Patala and reached the great city of Danavas. The asura chiefs greeted him with respect. Pralhlada met Cyavana, and received him with pleasure. The hermit said to Prahlada. "I came to bathe in the Mahatirtha and worship Nakulesvara. When I got into the river a serpent caught hold of me and brought me to Patala, and made it possible for me to meet you." Hearing these words of Cyavana the King of the asuras said : "Oh good Lord ! which are the holy baths in the earth, the sky and the Patala? Would you be pleased to tell us?" Cyavana replied : "Oh ! powerful and mighty King! The holy baths are Naimisa on the earth, Puskara on the sky and Cakra tirtha in Patala; these are the most important ones."


The King of the Daityas decided to go to Naimisa and said :-"We must go and bathe in the Naimisa tirtha. We could visit and worship Visnu with eyes as beautiful as lotus." Obeying the words of the King, preparations were made instantly and the asuras started from Rasatala for Naimisa.


The mighty host of Daityas and Danavas reached Naimisa and bathed in the tirtha. After that Prahlada went to the forest for hunting. As he was walking thus he saw the river Sarasvati. Near the river there was a Pine tree with very big branches, all of which were covered with arrows, the head of one at the tail of another. Prahlada saw near the tree two hermits, with matted hair, clad in the hide of black antelope, performing penance. Near them were two perfectly made divine bows named 8arnga and Ajagava and two quivers which would never become empty. Prahlada questioned them without knowing that they were Nara and Narayana. The questioning ended in a contest. The hermit Nara stood up and taking the bow Ajagava began sending showers of arrows at Prahlada. Prahlada checked every one of them. The hermit made his fight more severe. Prahlada also withstood it. At last pushing Nara back Narayana came to the front. The fight between Prahlada and Narayana was fierce. In the end Prahlada fell down, his breast being pierced by the arrow of Narayana.


Prahlada realized that the hermit Narayana was none but Visnu. He praised Narayana (Vamana Purina, Chapter 8)


7) Other information.


(i) On the occasion of the stripping of Paficali of her clothes at the palace of the Kauravas, Paficali cried, calling Nara and Narayana. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 68, Stanza 46 ).


(ii) Arjuria and Sri Krsna were the rebirths of Nara and Narayana. (See under Arjuna).


(iii) It is stated in Mahabharata, Sariti Parva, Chapter 334, Stanza 9, that the hermit Nara was one of the four incarnations taken by Mahavisnu in the Manusya yuga (age of man) of the Svayambhuva Manvantara.


(iv) It is mentioned in Padma Purina, Uttara Khanda, Chapter 2, that, of the two viz. Nara and Nirayana, Nara was of fair complexion and Narayana of dark complexion.


(v) It was because of the curse of the hermit Bhrgu that Nara-Narayanas took birth as Arjuna and Krsna in the Dviparayuga. (Devi Bhdgavata, Skandha 4).


(vi) The meaning of the word 'Nara' is he who is not damaged. The universal soul named Nara has created water and so water got the name `Naram'. Because he lives in that water which has the name Naram, the universal soul got the name Narayana. (Manusmrti, Chapter 1 Stanza 10 ).


(vii) For the other incarnations of Nara see under Raktaja.


NARA Il. A Gandharva (semigod ). It is stated in Mahabh5rata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 10, stanza 14 that this Nara stays in the presence of Kubera.


NARA 111. A King of Ancient India. fie never tasted meat in his life. (M.B. Anu4asana Parva, Chapter 115, Stanza 64) .


NAM, IV. One of the wives of Usinara, a King of the family of the Ariga Kings. Usinara had several wives such as Nrga, Nara, Krmi, Dasa. Drsadvati and so on. Nrga was born from Nrga, Nara from Nara, Krmi from Krmi, Suvrata from Dag a and ~ibi from Drsadvati. All these sons became Kings. (Agni Purina, Chapter 277).


NARA V. An ancient place in South India. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 60).


NARACA. A particular type of arrow.


NARADA I. A very famous sage of the Puranas.


1 ) Birth. Narada was the son of Brahma, born from his lap. Brahma mentally created the famous saptarsis, Marici, Arigiras, Atri, Pulastya, Vasistha, Pulaha and Kratu. From Brahma's anger was born Rudra, from his lap Narada, from his right thumb Daksa, from his mind Sanaka and others and from his left thumb a daughter called Virani. Daksa wedded Virani. (Devi Bhagavata, 5th Skandha).


2) Parlous births of Narada. The Purdnas refer to more than seven prominent births of Narada. He was first born as the son of Brahma, and after that, on account of Brahma's curse he was born as the Gandharva called


Upabarhana. Following that he was born as the son of emperor Drumila and was named Narada. Again born as the son of Brahma under the name Narada, he married Malati and ended his life as a monkey. He was again born as the son of Brahma and was cursed by Daksa. Afterwards he was born as the son of Daksa and also as a worm. All these births did not occur in one and


the same Manvantara. Narada may be noticed doing something or other in connection with the various characters in the Purinas. There is no other character in the Puranas occupying so popular a place in them as Narada. The important five births of Narada are described below.


(i) The Gandharua called Upabarhaiza. Narada born from the lap of Brahma desired to remain a celibate. But, Brahma suggested that he should assume responsibility for procreation as his (Brahma's) other sons like Marici and Sanaka had already become celibates. Nirada did not accept this suggestion of Brahma at which the latter got angry and cursed Narada to lose hi, knowledge and to marry fifty beautiful women. Brahma continued:-"You will be born as a Gandharva known as Upabarhana and will become a great musician. You will be unrivalled in the handling of the Vina. After your death as the Garrdharva you will be born as the son of a servant woman, and as such you will be a great devotee of Visnu. Afterwards you will be born as my son when I will impart knowledge to you."


There was a Gandharva called Citraketu, who performed penance on the banks of the Puskara lake to propitiate Siva for a child. Siva appeared and blessed Citraketu to the effect that Narada, the son of Brahma, would be born as his son. Accordingly the wife of Citraketu delivered a son whom the family priest named Upabarhana. The boy grew up as a devotee of Visnu. Brhaspati taught him the worship of Hari (Visnii ). Upabarhana lived on the slopes of the Himalayas performing penance. While Upabarhana was one day engaged in Samadhi fifty daughters of ~he Gandharva called Citraratha passed that way, and they fell in love with Upabarhana, who was in Samadhi. He awoke from Sam adhi on hearing the melodious songs of the fifty damsels who stood there with palms joined in reverence. Upabarhana too fell in love with them, and he married all the fifty girls. He returned with them to the palace and lived there for thousands of years. Once the Gandlrarvas and the Apsaras were invited to sing the story of Visnu in Brahmaloka. Upabarhana accompanied them. He became lustful towards kambha. The Prajapatis, who noticed it got angry, and Upabarhana well-nigh dead due to their curse returned home. He told his wives all that had happened to him. He spread a darbha grass on the ground and lay on it and died. Malati, the eldest of his wives, got ready to curse Brahma, Yama and Mrtyu. In great consternation they sought refuge under Visnu, who comforted and sent them back to Malati. They saluted her. Then a Brahmin, who went there questioned Brahma about the death of Upabarhana. The Brahmin told him that, according to previous decision, life for another thousand years remained for Upabarhana, but he died in the meantime on account of the curse of Prajapati. Immediately the brahmin assumed the form of Visnu. The Brahmin blessed Upabarhana who woke up from death rubbing his eyes. He lived happily at home with his wives. He was blessed with children and grandchildren. Knowing that his end was near Upabarhana and Malati spent their time in austerities on the banks of the Ganga. At last Upabarhana expired, and Malati ended her life in his funeral pyre. (Bhagavata, 7th Skandha).


(ii) Son of Kalduatf. There lived in Kanyakubja the emperor called Drumila. He, along with his wife Kalavati, performed penance on theb anks of the Ganges for an offspring. Kalavati pleased Kasyapa, by her worship and with his blessing she became pregnant. Drumila, who in the meantime had renounced everything in life, decided to spend the rest of his life in the forest itself. He gifted away all his wealth to brahmins and died in the forest. Though Kalavati got ready to follow him in the funeral pyre, a celestial voice stopped her and she refrained from committing self-immolation. She returned to the village and lived as a slave in a brahmin's house. In due course of time she delivered a son. On the birth of the child it rained in the land which was suffering from failure of rains, and because of that the Brahmin master of Kalavati named the child Narada, meaning he who gives water. When the child Narada grew up he told his mother the story about his former birth. He turned out to be a great devotee of Visnu. Meanwhile, Kalavati, who went to milk the cow one night, was bitten to death by a snake, and Narada was orphaned. Siva and three attendants of his who went there in disguise were pleased at Narada's great devotion for Visnu and his service-mentality. He lived on the left-overs given by them. lie repeated songs sung by them about Visnu. Gradually Narada became perfect devotee of Visnu and a unique master of music. Siva and others imparted Bhagavata to Narada before they left him. Narada who thus attained divine knowledge performed penance for many years on the banks of the Ganges and died there. (Bhagavata, 7th Skandha).


(iii) Birth as Kapi (Monkey). Narada, who expired on the banks of the Ganges was again born as the son of Brahma. Though the father wanted the son to get married the latter preferred to spend his days in the meditation on God. Brahma then told his son as follows:"Why are you so much afraid of the house-holder's life? Many people have attained salvation by following the four asramas (stages in life) like that of the celibate, the house-holder, the anchorite and the sannyasin. In fact, only such people will be able to serve man and God. A girl named Malati alias Damayanti is born to maharsi Sanjaya, and Siva has granted her the boon that in this birth you will become her husband. You, therefore, go to Naranarayanas engaged in penance on the Himalayas. They will give Malati in marriage to you."


Accordingly Narada went to Badarikagrama wherein the presence of Naranarayanas he married Malati.


During those days Narada and sage Parvata started on a pilgrimage in the course of which they went to the palace of emperor Saiijaya to observe Catizrmasya. The emperor left a well-furnished house at the disposal of the pilgrims. He also deputed his daughter Damayanti to serve them. The humble service of Damayanti pleased them both. But, Damayanti's devotion towards Narada was more ardent and both of them noticed this fact. One day Parvata asked Narada whether Damayanti did not take a special interest in him (Narada) and to this Narada answered `Yes, I too think so'. Parvata got angry at this answer of Narada and told him thus: "We had agreed at the time when we started on this tour to divulge all secrets to each other Now you have broken that contract. Why did you not tell me about Damayanti's partiality for you? You become, therefore,


a monkey". Narada, in turn, cursed Parvata as follows: "You will live in hell in Yamaloka for a hundred years."


Accordingly Narada became a monkey and Parvata lived in hell. At this juncture Sarijaya's ministers advised him to marry his daughter to a prince, and the news made her very sad. Safjaya understood the reason for his daughter's sadness from her nurse. The father had ultimately to yield to her wishes and Damayanti married Narada, who had been turned into a monkey. Hundred years rolled by, and Parvata, the period of his curse being over, returned to the palace of Sanjaya. Narada treated Parvata duly well, and pleased at the treatment, he gave redemption to Narada from the curse. Narada lived very happily with Damayanti for a long time at the palace, and after the demise of Damayanti he attained Brahmaloka. (Bliagavata, 7th Skandha ).


(iv) Born as Dak~a's son. After the creation of the Devas was over, Brahma called Daksa to him and asked him to marry Virani and procreate, and Daksa accordingly begot five thousand sons of Virani. They were called Haryasvas Finding that the Haryasvas also were interested in the procreation of children Narada, the Devarai, approached and told them as follows:"Oh ! Haryasvas ! You who are exceptionally vital people seem to be trying to procreate children. But, you have not enquired as to whether there is enough space on earth for such large numbers of people. You are just like children who know nothing about the world. How will you procreate people? Since you could live absolutely free in the sky, why do you not find out the .limit of the earth?"


The Haryasvas thereupon ran away in different places to find out the limit of the earth, and they have not, like the rivers which entered the ocean, returned yet.


At the loss of the Haryasvas in the above manner, Daksa created the Sabalasvas, whom also Narada sent away to various parts of the earth. Daksa again created five thousand people whom also Narada drove away in the above manner. Angry and sad at this, Daksa cursed Narada thus:- "Well, Narada ! my children roam about like this because of you. Therefore, you too in future will be roaming about without a permanent abode. Moreover, you will have rebirth as my son."


Narada became a world-trotter on account of the above curse of Daksa. He was also reborn as the son of Daksa. (Devi Bhagavata, 7th Skandha and Visnu Purana, Part 1, Chapter 15) .


(v) Born as a worm. There is a story about Narada being born as a worm. On the approach of a chariot the worm moved quickly away from its route lest its wheel should crush it to death. The King seated in the chariot burst out into laughter at the above sight when the worm told him as follows:-"There is nothing to be laughed at in my action. In every birth the body is much dear to the atman (soul). just as you love your body I also love and protect my body. (Mahabharata ).


3) hi,snu showed Ndrada the function of Maya. See under Taladhvaja 1


4) Ndrada became a woman. While staying once with Krsna at Dvaraka, Narada and the former went out on a tour in an aerial chariot. On the way they saw a stream and Krsna stopped the chariot there as Narada wanted to quench his thirst at the stream. Narada drank water from the stream disobeying Krsna's injunction that he should bathe before drinking water, and lo! the next moment Narada was turned into a woman and when `she' looked around neither Krsna nor the chariot was to be seen. She wandered about in the forest and at last reached an asrama. When the Rsi of the a9rama awoke from his samadhi he saw standing before him a beautiful woman who requested him to accept her as his disciple. He readily granted her request. The preceptor married the disciple and in due course of time she became the mother of sixty children. One day all the sixty children and their father expired together. The grief-stricken widow felt`too weak to perform the obsequies of the dead. An extraordinary hunger also held htr in its grips. She raised her hand to pluck a fruit from the mango tree that stood nearby but could not reach the mango above. She placed together the corpses one on the other, mounted upon the heap of dead bodies and plucked the mango-fruit Immediatelv a brahmin arrived on the spot and exhorted the widow on the impropriety of taking food without bathing after the death of husband and children. Then the widow entered the stream and dived in its waters holding above water the hand in which was held the mango, and to ! it was Narada who came out from the water. Only the hand, which had been held above water and did not therefore get wet, remained like that of a woman with bangles thereon. The brahmin, who stood thereon the banks of the stream transformed himself into Krsna. As ordered by Krsna Narada again dived with the whoie of his body in the water when the hand also turned into that of a man. The mango held in the hand turned into an excellent Vina. And Krsna told Narada: "The Rsi who lived with you as your husband and who is no more is Kalapurusa; and the sixty children are years Prabhava, Vibhava etc.


Krsna and Narada then returned to Dvaraka. (Bhagavata. 7th Skandha).


5) Narada met the woman called Bhakti. When Kalikala held the earth in its grips Narada, on, a particular occasion, went round the world viewing the evils of Kali, and he saw a young woman immersed in grief sitting on the banks of the Yamuna, the sports field of Krsna. On both sides of her two old men were breathing in an unconscious state, and the woman, weeping was trying to restore them to consciousness. Many other women were fanning the unconscious men and trying to comfort the woman. Narada approached the young woman when she spoke to him as follows: `Oh! great sage, please put an end to my grief, because your words will remove all grief. I am called Bhakti and these two old men are my sons, one of whom is known as Jnana (knowledge) and the other Vairagya (renunciation), and they have become old due to the impact of time. The others found here are sacred rivers, who have come to serve me, But, the service of nobody will do me good.


I was born in the Dravida region, grew up in Karnataka, lived here and there in Maharastra and became old at Gujarat whereat, atheists due to the evil of Kali inflicted wounds on me for a long time so that I became very weak. I did then go with my sons to the worshipful Vrndavana where I regained my old form and became a young woman in the shape of a ghost. My children suffer here in an unconscious state and 1 have


to leave this for another place. I am so very sad that my sons have become old. Why did I become a young woman when my sons were old people? We three were touring together, and how then did this difference arise with regard to us? Is it not the proper thing for the mother to be older, and her children younger? You will please explain the reason for all these."


Narada read out the Vedas and the Vedangas to her, to no purpose. Then Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Sanatsujata and others (all of them the mental offsprings of Brahma and gifted with eternal youth) asked Narada to read out Bhagavata to the sons of Bhakti. Narada did so, and they became immediately young. (Padma Purana, Uttarakhanda).


6) Tested Sri krsna. Krsna was living in Dvaraka with his 16008 wives. Narada once wanted to know how Krsna managed to maintain so many wives without any d.ifficu1ty or quarrels among them. To fPst it he first went to the palace of Rukmini where both Krsna and .herself welcomed and treated him duly. Na.rada next visited Satyabhama's house where also Krsna and herself welcomed and treated him well. In the houses of all the 16008 wives of Krsna, Narada had the same experience as above. He was wonder-struck at the divine powers of Krsna and returned home praising Krsna (Bhagavata, 10th Skandha).


7) A7ahaaisnu put down Ndrada's haughtiness. Narada had been very proud about his greatness as a musician. Visnu decided to put an end to this conceit of Narada for which purpose he took Narada to a forest. There they saw many women, whose limbs had been cut, crying on account of insufferable pain. Mahavisnu asked the women who they were and why their limbs were cut. They answered Visnu that they were Raginis, the presiding deities over the various tunes and that they were reduced to their present plight by the totally erroneous singing of the tunes by Narada.


Narada hung his head down in shame at the above answer of the women and he was cured of his conceit. (Adbhuta Ramayana).


8) Han umdn shamed Ndrada. Narada once met Hanu. man, who sang a song for him. Enjoying the music Narada placed his Vina on a rock which had been melted by the song of Hanuman, and Narada's Vina sank into the melted rock. When the singing by Hanuman was over, the rock, as of old, became hard again and the Vina got stuck up with it. Hanuman asked Narada to melt the rock again with a song of his and take away his Vina. Narada sang and sang, all to no purpose. The rock did not melt again. Then Hanuman sang a song and the rock melted. After praising Hanuman Narada left the place ashamed. (Adbhuta Ramayana) .


9) .~ri K;rsna instructed Narada about Maya. Narada once requested Krsna to teach him about Maya (illusion) and Krsna told him that he would be taught sometime later. Afterwards, one day while Narada was walking about, it began to rain and he took shelter from the rain in a but near at hand. There was a beautiful young woman in the but and Narada fell in love with her. Narada lived with her for many years and a number of children were born to them. But, a flood washed the mother and children off into the sea, and Narada was grief-stricken. Then Krsna appeared there and asked Narada whether he loved Maya. Narada confessed that he understood Maya very well and requested Krsna to save him from attachments on account of Maya.


10) Narada and Sanatkumara. Once Narada went to Sanatkumara and requested him to instruct him in spiritual wisdom telling the latter that he had already learnt the Vedas and all other scriptures and arts. Sanatkumara accordingly taught him about the perfect nature, without either beginning or end, of supreme bliss. He taught Narada thus : "Everything is God. God exists in all animate and inanimate objects, and God is superior to everything." (Chandogyopanisad).


11) Other information about _Vdrada.


(1) Once Brahma advised him sixteen names which would wash off all the evils of Kali, i.e. Hare Rama Hare RSma Rama R5ma Hare Hare, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare. (Ka1isantaranopanisad).


(2) It was Narada who gave the impetus to Vd1m!ki for the composition of Ramayana. Once Valmiki asked N5rada, who had returned after a tour of the three worlds, who the greatest of men was. Narada replied `Sri R5ma' and related to Valmiki a brief history of Rama. Narada departed from there and Valmiki went to the banks of the river Tamasa. It was there that Valmiki, at the sight of a hunter shooting down one of the Kraufica birds, sang the famous verse `Manisada' etc. (See under Valmiki).


(3) Narada once went to Veda Vyasa, who was very unhappy because he had no children. Questioned by Vyasa as to the means to have a son Narada advised him to


worship Parasakti (the supreme power). Accordingly Vyasa worshipped Par5sakti at Kailasa and was gifted with the son 8uka. (Devi Bhagavata, 1st Skandha),


(4) When once Narada came to Vaikuntha playing on his Vines Laksmidevi went bashful1y into the inner apartment. In fact, she felt some love towards Narada who asked Visnu for the reason thereof. Visnu replied


that none existed who had absolutely conquered Maya (illusion) and that Laksmidevi felt love towards Narada for a few moments because of the influence of Maya. (Devi Bhagavata, 6th Skandha ).


(5) Once Agastya kicked down mount Vindhya and N5rada had also a small share in it. Vindhya had risen above the path of the sun as N5rada told him querulously that the Sun was circling Mahameru and was ignoring Vindhya. (Devi Bhagavata, 10th Skandha ).


(6) Narada once went to Patalaloka and returned after having been duly treated as guest by Prahl5da. (Brahma Purana, Chapter 23 ).


(7) Narada once cursed Nalakubara and Manigriva (sons of Kubera) and turned them into two trees. They regained their former form on being touched by the mortar drawn by Krsna as a boy. (See under Nalakubara). .


(8) It was Narada who told Kamsa that Sri Krsna was in Ambadi. He also told Karhsa about his previous history. (Bhagavata, 10th Skandha).


(9) Vrkasura once asked Narada who amongst the Trimurtis used to be pleased most easily and Narada mentioned Siva. It was therefore that the asura performed penance to Siva and pleased him. (Bhagavata, 10th Skandha).


(10) The following story occurs in the Vayu Purana as to how Narada's Vines became the musical instrument of the world. Once Narada was in Indra's court when the latter asked Urvasi to give a dance performance. She did so and in the course of the dance saw Jayanta, son of Indra seated before her. She was swept over by a passion towards Jayanta as a result of which some mistakes were made by her in dancing. Narada, who was playing his Vines called Mahati, also committed some mistakes. Narada did so to attract the attention of the audience to Urvasi's mistakes. Noticing the mistake Agastya, who too was present on the occasion, cursed Urvasi to become a bamboo. He cursed that Narada's Vines should become the Vin5 of the wor1d (Vayu Purana ).


(11) Narada's curse was also one of the causes for Ravana's death. Ravana once requested Ndrada to explain to him the meaning of `Om', and when Narada refused to oblige him he threatened to cut Narada's tongue. Narada in return cursed that the ten heads of Ravana would be cut. (Kamba RSmayana, Yuddha Kanda).


(12) During one Kalpa, Narada was born as a Devagandharva as the son of Ka~yapa by his wife Muni. (Adi Parva, Chapter 1 and Svargwrohana Parva, Chapter 5 ).


(13) On one occasion Narada recited Mahabharata which included three lakhs of slokas. (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 1; Svargarohana Parva, Chapter 5 ). (14) Since he imparted Sankhya wisdom to the sons of Daksa they renounced the world and departed for different places. (Adi Parva, Chapter 75, Verse 7) .


(15) He was present at the birthday celebrations of Arjuna. (Adi Parva, Chapter 122, Verse 57 ).


(16) He also was present in the company of Devas and women, who attended Pafica1i's Svayamvara. (Adi Parva, Chapter 186, Verse 7 ).


(17) After Paficali's Svayamvara he once went to the Pandavas at Indraprastha and advised the five brothers not to quarrel over Paficali. It was he, who told them the story of the Sundopasundas. He also arranged that Paficali should live by turns of one year each with each of the five Pandava brothers. (Adi Parva, Chapter 207, Verse 9).


(18) It was he who consoled and sent the apsaras called Varga, who was in the grip of a curse, to the south. (See under Varga).


(19) In the form of a catechism he gave advice on various topics to Dharmaputra. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 5) .


(20) When proposals for building a palace at Indraprastha for the Pandavas were under discussion Narada went there and gave descriptions of the courts of Indra, Yama, Varuna, Kubera and Brahma. (Sabha Parva, Chapters 5-11) .


(21) He related the story of Haris candra to Dharmaputra. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 23 ).


(22) It was he who conveyed the information to Dvaraka that Krsna's grandson Aniruddha was imprisoned in the house of Bana. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 38) .


(23) He bathed Yudhiisthira's head with holy waters at the Rajasuya Yajfia. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 55, Verse 10).


(24) He prophesied that the Kauravas would get annihilated. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 80, Verse 33) .


(25; When Pradyumna decided to kill Salva it was Narada who saved him. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 19, Verse 22 ).


(26) Narada too was in the company of the Gandharvas who had gone to receive Arjuna at Indraloka.) Vana Parva, Chapter 43, Verse 14).


(27) It was Narada who informed Indra about the Svayamvara of Damayand. (Vana Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 20).


(28) It was he who informed Sagara that his 60,000 children had been burnt to ashes in the fire of $apilamuni's anger. (Vana Parva, Chapter 107, Verse 33 ).


(29.) On another occasion he prevented Arjuna from using divine arrows. (Vans Parva, Chapter 183, Verse 181.


(30) While the Pandavas were living in the Kamyaka forest Narada went there and enjoyed hearing stories related by Sage M5rkandeya. (Vana Parva, Chapter 183, Verse 47).


(31) Once he went to the palace of Asvapati the father of Savitri and described the good qualities and merits of Satyavan as a result of which Savitri was married to Satyavan. (Vana Parva, Chapter 294, Verse 11 ).


(32) Once in the course of a search for a suitable husband for his daughter, Matali was taken by N5rada to Varunaloka and shown many wonderful sights. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 100 ).


( 33) After that he took Matali to Garuda loka. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 101) .


(34) At last he got Matali's daughter married by Aryaka. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 104, Verse 1).


(35) He related Galava's history to Dharmaputra. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 106).


(36) When fighting started between Bhisma and Parasurama Nlrada tried to stop them. (See under Amba).


(37) He consoled Akampana who was grieving over the death of his son. (Drona Parva, Chapter 52).


(38) He demanded Sanjaya's daughter in marriage. (Drona Parva, Chapter 52, Verse 12 ).


(39) Sage Parvata cursed N arada and he, in turn, cursed Parvata. (Drona Parva, Chapter 55, Verse 7 ).


(40) He blessed that a son would be born to King Sanjaya. (Drona Parva, Chapter 55, Verse 24).


(41 ) He consoled Sanjaya who was sad over the absence of children by telling the story of Varuna. (Drona Parva, Chapter 55, Verse 26) .


(42) He spoke about the charitable nature of King Suhotra in the presence of Dharmaputra, who was feeling sad about the great war. (Drona Parva, Chapter 56 ).


(43) He extolled the charitable nature of King Paurava. (Drona Parva, Chapter 57) .


(44) He extolled the yajna conducted by emperor Sibi and also his generosity. (Drona Parva, Chapter 58).


(45) He related the story of Sri Rama to Yudhisxhira. (Drona Parva, Chapter 59).


(47) He convinced Yudhisthira about the reasons for the prosperity of Dilipa. (Drona Parva, Chapter 61) .


(48) He told Yudhisthira the stories of Mandhata, Yayati, Ambar-isa, Sasabindu, Saha, Rantideva, Bharata, Prthu, Parasurama and Sinjaya. (Drona Parva, Chapters 61-70) .


( 49 ) Narada too was present to see the pond created with arrows by Arjuna during the great war. (Drona Parva, Chapter 99, Verse 61).


(50) He lighted the lamp for the Pandavas during, the great war. (Drona Parva, Chapter 163, Verse 15) .


(51) He prompted Vrddhakahya to get married. (See under Vrddhakanya) .


(52) It was he who conveyed the news about the annihilation of the Kauravas to Balabhadrarama. (Salya Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 25) .


(53) He prevented Arjuna and Asvatthama from using Brahrnastra during the great war. (Sauptika Parva, Chapter 14, Verse 11 ).


(54) He informed Yudhisthira about the curse on Karna. (Sand Parva, Chapter 2).


( 55 ) On another occasion he related to Yudhisthira the story of Suvarnaslhili, son of Sanjaya. ( anti Parva, Chapter 31 ).


( 56 ) He was also present in the company of the sages who visited Bhisma on his bed of arrows. (Sand Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 8 ).


(57) It was he who prompted Dharmaputra to question Bhisma on topics of Dharma ( righteousness) (anti Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 3 ).


( 5E ) Once Narada told wind that the Salmali tree claimed itself to be greater than wind. The next morning wind smashed the branches and leaves of the tree. (`anti Parva, Chapter 155, Verse 9).


( 59) Once he entered into a discussion about the creation of the world with Asitadevalamuni. (Santi Parva, Chapter 275, Verse 3 ).


(60) He gave advice to sage Galava about the means to achieve progress and prosperity. (S`anti Parva, Chapter 287, Verse 12) .


(61) Once he advised sage guka on topics of renunciation. ( $anti Parva, Chapter 329 ) .


(62) He praised God once with two hundred names (Santi Parva, Chapter 338 ) .


(63 ) He once explained to the Apsara woman Pa.racacuda the aspects and characteristics of women. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 38, Verse 6).


(64) He related to Bhisma the greatness of feeding people with rice. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 63, Verse 5).


( 65 ) He advised Marutta to appoint sage Samvarta as his priest. (Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 6, Verse 18).


(66) It was he who informed Dharmaputra about the death of Dhrtaraslra, Gandhari and Kunti in a wild fire. (Asramavasika Parva, Chapter 37).


(67) He was also present with the sages who cursed Samba, son of Krsna, to deliver an iron rod. (Mausala Parva, Chapter 1) .


(68) Synonyms for Narada : Devarsi, Parameslhija. Paramesxhi, Parameslhiputra, Surarsi etc.


NARADA II. One of the Brahmavadi sons of Visvamitra(Anu~asana Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 53 ).


(46) He related the story of Bhagiratha. (Drona Parva, NARADAGAMANAPARVA. A sub parva of Agt'arnaChapter 60). vasikaparva, Chapters 37-$9.


NARADI. One of the Brahmavadi sons of Visvamitra. (Anus asana Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 59) .


NARADIYAPURANA. One of the eighteen Puranas. (See under Puranas).


NARAKA I. (NARAKASURA). A valiant Asura.


1) Birth. Once the Asura Hiranyaksa was amusing himself by wading through the ocean and beating at the waves with his club. Varuna, the god of water, was alarmed at this and ran to Mahavisnu and told him every thing. Hearing this Mahavisnu got up to kill Hiranyaksa. Hiranyaksa who had assumed the form of a Boar carried the earth on his tusks and ran to Patala. As the goddess earth .had come into contact with the tusks of Hiranyaksa she became pregnant and gave birth to an asura infant of immense might and power. That infant was Narakasura.


Taking the infant born from impurity the sad goddess Earth went to Mahavisnu and requested him to save the child somehow. Mahavisnu pitied him and gave him Narayanastra (Narayana's weapon) and said: "Naraka 1 So long as this weapon is with you, nobody but me could kill you." Saying this he disappeared. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10).


2) Administration. Narakasura made Pragjyotisa his capital and ruled over the asuras as their emperor for a long time, all the while terrifying the Devas. Once this asura raped Kaseru the daughter of Tvasla. He brought sixteen. thousand arid one hundred maidens from the women of the earth and the world of gods. He made them captives at Audaka on the top of the mountain Manpparvata. :1e appointed four mighty and fearful asuras: Hayagriva, Nisunda, Paficanada and Mura as gate-keepers of Pragjyotisa. As they stood blocking the way up to Devayana, nobody dared to enter Pragjyotisa. The ten sons of Narakasura guarded the harem. At the boundary of the country Murasura had, tied six thousand ropes with a sword at the end of each. So enemies dared not come near the boundary. When Sugriva gave instructions to the monkeys who were sent in search of Sita, about the route they were to follow, he had mentioned about the city of Pragjyotisa. Mention is made in Valmiki Ramayana, Kiskindha Ka,nda, Sarga 42 that Sugriva had given them special instructions to search for Sita in Pragjyotisa. (M.B. Visnu Parva, Chapter S3).


3) Previous birth of Naraka. Long ago a king who was the father of Sixteen thousand daughters, ruled over a country. While the father and daughters were sitting in the parace Mahavisnu came there as a hermit. 'The sixteen thousand damsels gathered round the hermit. Their father got angry and cursed them. The daughters shed tears and entreated their father for liberatidn from the curse. He gave them remission and said that in the next birth they would become wives of Mahavisnu.


Another version of this story says that the damsels had requested Brahma for liberation from the curse according to the advice of the hermit Narada, and that Brahma had given them -liberation from the curse. In some versions it is stated that Narada himself gave them liberation from the curse.


It was this King, who was the father of the sixteen thousand damsels, who took birth again as Narakasura. Those sixteen thousand damels who had been born as princesses in different places were taken captives by Narakasura and were kept in Audaka. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10) .


4) Death. Narakasura who had been causing devastation and terror in the three worlds entered the world of the gods once. The gods were not able to withstand the fury of Naraka, who carried away the ear-rings of Aditi, the mother of Indra, and the large white royal umbrella of Indra to Pragjyotisa. Indra went to Dvarakl and told Sri Krsna of the molestations he had received at the hands of Narakasura. Sri Krsna rode on his Garuda with his *ife Satyabhama to Pragjyotisa. They flew over the city round and understood the lay-out of the city, and the precautions taken by Nara'kasura. The battle began after this reconnaissance. Sri Krsna, Satyabhama and Garuda fought with the asuras. The mighty asuras such as Mura,Tamra,AritarikSa, Sravana, Vasu, Vibhavasu, Nabhasvan, Aruna and others were killed. At last Narakasura himself entered the battlefield. A fierce battle ensued in which Naraka was killed. The divine weapon Narayanastra of Naraka was given to his son Bhagadatta. After the battle Sri Krsna and Satyabhama went to the world of the gods and returned the ear-rings to Aditi and the umbrella to Indra. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10) .


NARAKA II. Mention is made about another Narakasura who was born to Prajapati Kasyapa by his wife Danu, in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 28. Once Indra defeated this Narakasura. It is seen in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 9 that this asura after his death, stayed in the palace of Varuna worshipping him.


NARAKA III. Bhagadatta the son of Narakasura ruled over the part of Patala called Naraka, and being the ruler of Naraka, Bhagadatta seems to have been known by the name of Naraka also.


NARAKA. IV See under Kala I.


NARANARAYANAS. Two hermits Nara and Narayana. These two hermits had spent many thousands of years in Badaryasrama doing penance. Arjuna was the rebirth of Nara and Sri Krsna was the rebirth of Narayana. (For detailed story see under Nara and Narayana) .


NARANTAKA 1. A captain of the army of Ravana. It is stated in Agni Purana, Chapterl0,that the captains of Ravana, viz., Kumbha, Nikumbha, Makaraksa, Mahodara, Mahaparsva, Matta, Unmatta, Praghasa, Bhasakarna, Virupaksa, Devantaka, Narantaka, Trig iras, Atikaya and other Raksasas fought on the side of Ravana against Sri Rama and that all of them were killed.


Of these Devantaka and Narantaka were mighty and valiant warriors. Angada killed Narantaka after a fierce battle. (Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda, Chapter 69).


NARANTAKA II. Son of Rudraketu, an asura. This asura terrorized the three worlds by his wicked and cruel deeds. When the wickedness and cruelty of this asura became unbearable Ganapati incarnated in the house of Kasyapa to protect the three worlds. Knowing this Narantaka resorted to various means to kill Ganapati. But his attempts were futile. Finally he was killed by Ganapati. (canesa Purana).


NARARASTRA. A kingdom of ancient India. In Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 31, Stanza 6, it is mentioned that Sahadeva one of the Pandavas, conquered this country.


NARASIMHA. See under Avatara.


NARAVAHANA. A KsatriyaKing who had obtained remission of the sin of Brahmahatya (slaughter of Brahmin) by taking the fast of Vaisakhavrata.


This man who was a Ksatriya of Pancala once happened to kill a Brahmin with an arrow. To get remission of this sin, he discarded his Sacred thread, mark on the forehead and forelock and had been wandering here and there when he met a Brahmin named Munisarma. Naravahana told him his story. This Brahmana who was a lover of God advised him regarding the importance of the Vai9akha fast. By taking this fast the King obtained remission of sin. (Padma Purana, Chapter 88) .


NARAVAHANADATTA. A famous Vidyadhara. Udayana the King of Vatsa had been spending his time in play and pleasure with his wives Padmavati and Vasavadatta, when once Narada appeared before them. The king greeted the hermit and showed hospitality. The King and the que-ns were childless. Narada told them: "Hear, oh King. Your wife Vasavadatta is the incarnation of Ratidevi blessed by Siva. The son born to her would become the emperor of the Vidyadharas. Not long after this Vasavadatta conceived and gave birth to a radiant son. He was named Naravahana-datta. At this time Kalingasena, who had been transformed into a woman by the curse of Indra, gave birth to an extra-ordinarily beautiful girl. (For detailed story see under Kalingasena). That child was named MadanamaAcuka. Even in infancy she was surrounded by a halo of unearthly beauty. Hearing of this child, Vasavadatta brought Kalirigasena and the infant to the palace. To the wonder of everybody, the infants looked at each other and they were not satisfied how soever long they looked at each other. The king and his wives understood this perfectly well and at the proper time their marriage was conducted.


Naravahanadatta was anointed as the Heir-apparent. Once he was playing in the garden in the spring season, with his ministers Gomukha and others, when the most beautiful Ratnaprabha came there. (See under Ratnaprabha).


Once Naravahanadatta went for hunting with his minister Gomukha and retinue. Somehow or other he was separated from Gomukha and army in the deep forest. Then he heard a divine song and sound of a heavenly lyre. He went in the direction from which the music came. and reached a Saivite temple. Getting in, he saw an. excessively beautiful damsel standing in the midst of her attendants and companions singing and playing on a lute, in praise of Siva. At this time a grown-up Vidyadhara woman came down from the sky and getting near the damsel, gave her to Naravahanadatta. The name of the Vidyadhara damsel was Alankaravati. (For other details see under AlaAkaravati) .


As Naravahanadatta was spending his days, enjoying the pleasing company of his wife Alankaravati, once he went for hunting; with his army. Being very tired they went in search of water, and entered a thick forest. There they saw a lake full of golden lotus flowers and fourmen plucking flowers. Naravahanadatta approached them. They said that they had been plucking flowers to worship Visnu. Naravahana followed them to the presence of Visnu. Mahavisnu was greatly pleased at Naravahanadatta who was standing with folded hands


singing praises of Visnu in intense devotion and blessed him to become the emperor of the Vidyadharas. (Kathasaritsagara ).


NARAYANA. One of the two Rsis famous as Naranarayanas.


1) Birth. Dharma, son of Brahma was Narayana's father. Dharma married ten daughters of Daksa, and four sons, i.e. Hari, Krsna, Nara and Narayana were born to him of them. Of the four, Nara and Narayana were inseparable sannyasins. In the holy Badarikasrama on the slopes of the Himalayas they did tapas to please Brahma for a thousand years.


2) .Nardyana's tapas. The whole world was, so to say,. burnt by the intense tapas of Naranarayanas. Indra was alarmed. Believing that their tapas was for the attainment of Indrahood and fearing his own displace= ment Indra went to Badarikasrama mounted on Airavata to break their tapas, and told them thus: "Oh ascetics, who shine like the rising sun, I am pleased. with your tapas. You may choose any boon you like."


The Naranarayanas did not even recognise the thunderlike voice of Indra; nor did they answer him. This increased Indra's alarm, and he decided to disturb them with Maya, productive of fear, desire etc. and thus break their tapas. Indra began threatening them with cruel animals created by him like wild cat, leopard tiger, lion, elephant etc. and also with aberrations created in nature like storm, rain, wild fire etc. But, none of the above affected or moved them in the least. After all, why should they be moved ? You would threaten only those who are subject to desires, love of comfort, any particular object in life or likes and dislikes. Since Naranarayanas had none of the above,Indra's attempts to threaten them failed. Thus disappointed he returned to Svargaloka and after thinking for a long time he called Kamadeva to him and spoke as follows:-"You should go, along with Rati and the spring, to Badarikasrama. Also take with you any number of apsara women you want. You will find Naranarayanas at the asrama performing tapas and will weaken them from their resolution by using your arrows (erotic shafts) and tempt them into erotic .life. I am also deputing apsara women like Rambha to help you."


Kamadeva accordingly started for Badarikasrama accompanied by all the apsara women. When they reached the place spring season had set in there.


Varieties of beetles flew about from flower to flower humming. Trees like the mango and Palasa were thick with flowers. Creepers (Comparable to young women) entwined and embraced trees (lovers), the former carrying puspas (flowers, in the case of young women, coming of age). A fragrant breeze swept the whole region. In this erotic background Kama and Rati, with their five arrows and accompanied by celestial women came to the asrama, and there they began singing and dancing. The erotic flow enchanted the soul of Naranarayanas. Narayanarsi awoke from his tapas and whispered something in the ears of Nara. By now Kamadeva had entered the presence of Naranarayanas accompanied by the reputed beauties of Svarloka like Menaka, Rambha, Tilottama, Sukesini, Manorama, Mahesvari, Puspagandha, Pramadvara, Ghrtaci, Candraprabha, Somaprabha, Vidyiznmala, Ambujaksi and Kancanamala. These beauties were accompanied by 10080 of their beautiful attendants. Naranarayanas were wonder-struck to see this army of Kama. All those great beauties stood before Naranarayanas in salutation. Some of them began to sing, others to dance and yet others to take up the tunes. Narayanarsi could easily divine the reason for the show. He thought to himself thus-


"None but Devendra could have sent all these people here, and his object must be to hinder our tapas. But I shall prove to Indra that all these mean nothing to me. Let Devendra understand that I can create more beautiful ladies than these women of his here and that I am not in the least attracted by any of them here."


Thinking thus Narayana beat gently on his thigh and immediately arose therefrom. an exceptionally beautiful woman. Since that woman, the most beautiful in all the three worlds, was created from the ITru (thigh) of Narayana she came to be known as Urvasi. Others were wonder-struck by this new creation. He created some other beauties also, and an equal number of other women to serve them. All of them stood before him in humble salutation.


The celestial women almost fainted with fear. In repentance they begged the munis pardon for their mistake. The mums were kindly disposcd towards them. They told them that they ( munis ) cherished no animosity towards them, but in fact were pleased with them, and they further asked them (celestial women) to choose their boons. The munis also asked them to take Urvasi to Devaloka as a present from them to Indra. Let the Devas prosper.


Having heard Nara speak like this the celestial women returned in great humility to Devaloka with Urvasi and the other women. (Devi Bhagavata, 4th Skandha). 3) Other information.


(i) Nara and Narayana were two incarnations of Mahavisnu. (anti Parva, Chapter 384)


(ii) A dark hair of Narayanarsi was born as Krsna and a white one as Balabhadrarama. (Adi Parva, Chapter 196, Verse 32).


(iii) He was a star member in Brahma's assembly. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 11, verse 52)


(iv) Once he appeared before Mandhata in the guise of Indra. (anti Parva, Chapter 64, Verse 14) .


(v) He once fought with Siva and won. (anti Parva, Chapter 382, Verse I I0)


For complete details about Narayanarsi see under Nara Arjuna and Krsna) Chapter 29, Verse 6 )


(SALAGRAMATIRTHA ). A Mahavisnu is always present. Brahma, Devas, Sannyasins, Adityas, Vasus. and Rudras are also ever present here in the service of Visnu. Visnu is called ~alagrama as he is being thus worshipped at ~:alagrama. Those who visit the place will enjoy the fruits of Asvamedha yajna and ascend to Vaikuntha. ( Vanes Parva, Chapter 84, Verse I 15 ).


ARAYANASTRAMOKSAPARVA. A sub parva of Drones Parva comprising of Chapters 193-220.


NARAYANAVARMAMANTRA. Imparted by Visvarupa, son of Tvasta, to Indra, this mantra is competent to destroy enemies. He who dashes to chant this mantra should do so silently after having first washed his hands and feet and holding Kusa grass in his hands with face


turned towards the north. The mantra is to be chanted when some danger is imminent.


NARK. A daughter of Meru. She and her sisters were married by the fo1lowing sons of Agnidhra, i.e. Nabhi, Kimpurusa, Hari, Ilavrta, Ramyaka, Hiranmaya, Kuru, Bhadrasva and Ketumala. (Bhagavata, 5th Skandha).


NARISYANTA I. Son of Vaivasvata Manu. He was a brother of Iksvaku. (Bhagavata, Skandha 8).


NARISYANTA II. A King who was the son of Marutta. Indrasena was his wife; Dames was his son. While Narisyanta was leading the life of a house-holder in the forest, Vapusman killed him. Indrasena jumped into the funeral pyre of her husband and died. (Markaxtdeya Purana).


NARfT IRT'HA. Common name for the five tirthas, i.e. Agastya Tirtha, Saubhadratirtha, Paulomatirtha, Karandhamatirtha and Bharadvajatirtha. Once Arjuna bathed in Bharadvajatirtha. 'the Apsara women called Vargas~ were living in the five tirthas in the form of crocodiles as the result of a curse. With the arrival of Arjuna there, the crocodiles resumed their previous forms as Apsara women and returned to Devaloka. (For the curse etc. see under Varga).


NARMADA I. A famous holy river of South India. This river which springs from Amarakantaka flows through the valley called Khambhata and falls into the ocean.


1) Birth. This river which is considered to be a holy river was the rebirth of T'apati the daughter of the Sun. (To know how Tapati was reborn as Narmada,see under Tapati ) .


2) The divine nature of the river JVarmadd. Mention is made in most of the Puranas about the river Narmada which is one of the holy rivers of Bharata. Once Narada said to Yudhisthira about the river Narmada as follows


"Ganges has more divinity in Kanakhala and Sarasvati has more divinity in Kuruksetra. But Narmada is a holy river everywhere, whether in the villages or in the forests. Sarasvati purifies us in three days and Ganges in one day. But the moment we see Narmada we are purified."


The river Narmada, the former half of which embraces the mountain Amarakantaka in the country of Kalinga, is the purest of rivers in the three worlds. The devas, asuras, Gandharvas and hermits bathe in the river and attain eternal bliss. He who ..controls his organs of senses and takes fast for one night and bathes in this river would be prosperous for hundred generations. This great river is hundred yojanas long and two yojanas wide. There are sixty crores and sixty thousand holy ghats in this river around the mountain Amarakantaka. Anybody who dies by fire, by drowning or by fast on this mountain Amarakantaka, will never have rebirth. (Padma Purana, Chapter 13).


3 ) thlahabharata and JVarmada. Throughout Mahabharata mention is made about Narmada. Important of them are given below


( i ) Goddess Narmada stays in the palace of Varuna worshipping him. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 18).


(ii) While leading forest life Dharmaputra with his brothers visited Narmadadevi. (M.B. Vanes Parva, Chapter 121, Stanza 16).


(iii) Indra and the Asvinidevas once drank Soma sitting on the mountain Vaidurya on the banks of the Narmada. (M.B. Vanes Parva, Chapter 121, Stanza 19) .


(iv) Narmada is the origin of Agni (fire). (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 222, Stanza 21) .


(v) A king named Duryodhana, who ruled over the city called Mahismati on the banks of the Narmada once married Devi Narmada. A daughter named Sudarsana was born to them. She was extremely beautiful. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 2, Stanza 18) .


(vi) He who observes fast for two weeks bathing in the waters of Narmada will be born as a prince in the next birth. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 50). (vii) Once Narmada took Purukutsa, the son * of Mandhdta, ac her husband. (M.B. ASramavdsika Parva, Chapter 20, Stanza 12) . For the importance of Narmada, see under Pramohini).


NARMADA II. See under Puspotkata.


NARMADA III. Wife of Purukutsa, the son of Mandhata. (Visnu Purana).


NARYA. A King of the age of Rgveda. It is mentioned in Rgveda, Mandala I, Anuvaka 10, Sukta 54, that Devendra had rescued the Kings Narya, Turvasu and Yadu.


NASATYA. One of the A~vinikumaras. (Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 208, Verse 17).


NASTKA. The grandson of Lomapada. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9).


NATAKEYA. A particular region in ancient India. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 38) .


NATOTINAT'AKA. A kind of dramatic performance in ancient Kerala. (See Tirayattam) .


NATOTIPPATTU. (FOLK-SONGS ). Every literature has a section known as natotippattus (folk songs). In Kerala (Malayalam) literature the period of folk songs was a golden era. Worship of devatds, honouring heroes, entertainments, philosophy, science, caste-professions, morals, ethics etc., generally formed the themes for folk songs. There are a number of folk-songs in Malayalam called Sanghakkali, Tiyattu, Olappavakkuttu, Ezhamatu Kali, Kanippattu, Nattuppattu, Vattippattn, Purakkalippattu, Ataccuturappattu, (Pulluvarpattu, Nizhalkuttuppattu, Bhadrakalippattu, Tiray5ttu etc.All these songs are reflective of the spiritual thoughts and ideas of the masses. Also, there is a special series of folk-songs called Vatakkanpdttus (songs of the north).


All the Vatakkanpattus are heroic songs. They are ,folk-songs eulogising the heroic deeds and achievements of certain heroes and heroines of exceptional courage and prowess who flourished in olden days in north Malabar. Though there are more than four hundred such songs, only thirtyfive of them have been printed and published yet. These songs, which call for. no special training or gifts for their singing or require any special knowledge in music for their appreciation, take their roots in the hearts of the common people. Almost all these songs are connected with kalaris (schools where gymnastics are taught), Atavu (strategic feats of the duel fight), Payattu (physical training) and Ankam (fight). Descriptions of the challenges by heroes, clashing of arms and the way how youngsters get out of danger by their intelligence and prowess are really exciting and exhilarating to read.


Most of the heroes in the Vatakkanpattus lived either in Katattanadu or its suburbs. A good majority of the songs sings the praises of two powerful families Putturam house and Taccolimanikkattu, the former a Tiya and the latter a Nayar family. Taccolimanikkattu house


was at Meppa in Putuppanam village near Vatakara in Katattanadu, and most of the songs relate to the great hero Otenakkuruppu of this house. Otenakkuruppu was born in 1584-A.D. and lived for thirtytwo years. Therefore, the Vatakkanpattus may generally be placed in the 16th and 17th centuries A.D. Aromalcekavar, Aromalunni, Att.ummanamel Unraiyarcca, Taccoli Otepan, Taccoli Candu, Paldtlu Komappan, Bambayi Alikutty, Putunatan Kelu and Kalppararnpil Kannan are the chief characters in the pattus. Especially the song about Unniyarcca is thrilling. Brief notes about the heroes and their families in the pattus are given below.


1,) Puttiiranz Fitu. (Putturonz House). Aromal Cekavar, Attutiimanamel Unniyarcca and Aromalunni were the star heroes of the house. Unniyarcca was the sister of Aromalcekavar and mother of Aromalun_ ni whose father was Kannappan. It may be understood from the song `puttiriyankam' that Aromalcekavar was born to Kanriappan when he was fortytwo years old. One or two songs about Aromalcekavar are extant, one about his playing a game of dice and the other about his fighting the `puttiriyankam'.


As for the game of dice, Aromalcekavar went to his uncle at Mikavil Mikaccerivittil-an expert in the game of dice-to study the art. There he spent a night with his uncle's daughter Tumpolareca, who became pregnant by him. Though people ridiculed her at this development Aromal cekavar took her as his wife when she had delivered his child. Aromal Cekavar had also another wife called Kuncunnuli of Alattur house.


With regard to the puttiriyankam, Aromar as the Cekavar (Sevakan, one who served) of Unnikkonar,once went to fight with Arifinotar. Candu, his father's nephew, accompanied him as his assistant. Candu hated Aromar from the day the latter stood in his way of marrying Unniy area.


Arinnotar brought over to his side Candu, assistant of Aromar. Aromar killed Arinnotar in combat and on his way home he slept lying on the lap of Candu weary after the combat when the treacherous Candu thrust heated handle of the lamp into a wound in the stomach of Aromar, who managed to reach home only to die there.


2) fl[tummanamel Unniyarcca. Unniyarcca, overruling the opposition of her father-in-law and mother-in-law, one day went with her husband Kunjuraman to witness Kuttu in the Allimalar temple. When they came to Etavattam market after passing Tanur market certain


ruffians confronted them. The coward that he was, Kunjuraman trembled before the ruffians, but Unniyarcca routed them with her skill in combat.


3) Aromalunni. Aromalunni, who as a youth heard from his mother Unniyarcca the story about the treacherous killing of his uncle, Aromal Cekavar, by Candu rushed to Kolattunadu and killed the latter in combat.


4) Taccoli Otenan. Otenan was a powerful Nayar (Kuruppu) born in Taccoli manikkattu house. His father was a nayar chief well-known both as Putuppanattuvazunnor and Cinariivittil Tannal. His mother was Uppatti, daughter of a woman called Teyi. He had an elder brother called Komappan and a younger sister called Unicciruta (Uniccira). Otenan's father begot a son (Kantacceri Cappan) of Makkain, the maid-servant of Uppatti. Cappan grew up to be a constant companion of Otenan. Komappan (Komakkuruppu) brother of Otenan was a peace-loving, sedate person. Otenan mastered all the tricks of Kalarippayattu at the gymnasium of Matiloor Gurukkal. Otenan had also mastered the use of the Urumi (a thin sword). He was such a master in the use of the Urumi that he could, by one sweep of it, graze the throat of a man without cutting and shedding a drop of blood. He was an expert in necromancy also. What could not be managed by the physical strength of Otenan, Cappan used to manage with his intellectual powers.


Otenan was born on the slope of a hill at Meppa one mile east of the present Vatakara railway station. Relics and remnants of Manikkattu family are there yet to be seen. Many songs have been composed about Otenan. One of them is his going to receive presents of cloth on Onam day from a stingy chief who, after the death of Otenan's father, had become `Putuppanattu Vazhunnavar'. Another song relates to his collecting taxes from Kotumala Kunnikkannan on behalf of Raja of Kottayam. Yet another song is about his putting down the conceit and pride of Kunki amma of Kekki house. And, another song is about his killing Kaiteki Otenan Nambiyar. His fight with the mappilas on behalf of the Raja of Cirakkal forms the theme of yet another song. Another interesting song is about his making Kottakkal Kunnali Marakkar, who was a bosom friend of his, though a philanderer put on the attires of a female and thus teaching him a good lesson in life. Another song describes the escape of Otenan, who went to see the construction of the Karimala fort, with the help of Cappan. There are also many other songs about Otenan.


The very marriage of Otenan is an interesting story. Mafevi amma of Kavilum cattottu had a daughter named Ciru. Mateviamma went to Manikkattu house and requested Otenan to marry her daughter Ciru. Otenan refused to oblige her. But, Ciru grew up to be very beautiful girl, and Otenan, who saw her in that state felt a great passion for her. lie sent Cappan to her for a pan (betel leaves for chewing) which she also refused. At last Cappan took Otenan disguised as a blind person to Ciru's house. Ciru and Otenan got married without the knowledge of Ciru's mother, who cursed them when she knew about the marriage.


There is another story about Otenan and Karuttanitam (Katattanatu) Kunnikkanni, the only daugher of the Raja of Katattanatu. A rowdy called Kelappan of Ponnapuram fort forcibly carried her off. The Raja, who tried to bring back his daughter had to return wounded. Otenan came to know that Ponnapuram fort had once been given as dowry to his family and Kelappan was in illegal and forcible occupation of it. Otenan along with Cappan went and captured the fort. He released Kunnikkanni from captivity and took Kelappan captive. The Raja of Katattanatu was very much pleased with this exploit of Otenan and married Kunnikkanni to him.


There is also a story about Otenan fighting with the mappilas of Cirakkal.The mappilas did not honour the Raja of Cirakkal during one of his tours, and the Raja asked Otenan to put down the haughtiness of the ritappilas, and he did so. Kotamala Kunkiamma, the Raja Pulinadu, Matilur Gurukkal and others are referred to in this story.


Katirur Gurukkal was a very powerful enemy of Otenan. The Gurukkal one day kept his new gun leaning against a jack fruit tree, and Otenan, in derision, commented about it thus : "Who is it that has kept the spear made of earth leaning against the tree on which usually spear made of gold is kept so ?" The Gurukkal, angry at the insult challenged Otenan for a combat within three months from Wednesday, the ninth of Kuinbham. On the appointed day Otenan went to Gurukkal's combat field and killed him, Parintukul Emmenpaniykar and others. On his way home after the victory, Otenan remembered that he had forgotten his dagger on the platform of the peepal tree, and paying no heed to the advice of his friends he returned to the combat field and got killed there.


5) Taccoli Candu. Candu was Otenan's nephew and was reputed for his great prowess. Malu of Tazhattumatham was his. wife. One day she went .for worship in the Omallur temple where Kandar Menon of Tulunatar. fort abducted her into his court. Candu was at the time, twentytwo years old. On hearing about his wife's mishap Candu, disguised as a- Sannyasin, entered the fort and fought singlehanded against Menon and his army of 400 soldiers.


6) Pala,ttu Koman. Koman Nayar, another nephew of Otenan, the son of Kunkiamma of Kappullipalattu, became famous under the name Komappan. The family feud between the Kuruppus of Tonnuramvitu and the Nayars of Palatu was a long-standing affair. There were seven Kuruppus during the days of Koman, and they had two sisters named Unnicciruta and Unniamma. Koman felt a great passion towards .Unniamma, who was bathing in the tank, and her brothers rushed to kill Koman. But Koman outlived all obstacles created by the seven brothers of Unniamma and the tale-bearing Unicciruta because of the cleverness of the very intelligent Unniamma. Koman also got settled by Otenan the fortytwo items of family quarrels and married Unniamma.


7) Bambayi Jlikkutti. In the song about Adiraja it is said Alikkutti, an expert in the science relating to elephants, was invited for help when the seventh elephant of the Raja escaped back into the forest. Alikkutti hailed from Bombay. According to the song under reference Alikkutti brought back the elephant from the forest to the Raja, who, greatly pleased with him, gave his daughter, Kunnikkanni, in marriage to him.


8) PutunalanKtelu. Putunatan Candu and Kelu were brothers. Candu married a woman named Matu. One Vattoli Menon became Matu's paramour by bribing her with a golden chain worth three thousand panams, and she got her husband killed by this paramour. Candu had two dogs called Malli and Cokkan, and one of them kept guard over Candu's dead body while the other went and informed Kelu about Candu's death. Kelu, in great rage, rushed to the place, saw the golden chain presented to Matu by Menon and blinded one of her eyes.


9) Kurumparampil Kannan. This tiya youth had a very chaste wife called Arya. One day when Kannan was away from home for tapping coconut palms for toddy Putukolottu raja saw Arya, and having felt a great passion for her he presented her one night four pieces of silk and a gold ring. The next day Arya dressed her husband as a brahmin with the sacred thread on, and deputed him to return to the Raja's wife the presents made by her husband to her (Arva). Kannan succeeded in his mission, but the revengeful Raja ordered him to be executed. Arya went to the Raja and after varous discussions with him returned home.


NAUBANDHANA. A peak of the Himalayas. The peak came to be known by this name on account of the following cause. Once upon a time Hiranyakasipu stole the Vedas and with them hid in the bottom of the ocean. Mahavisnu incarnated himself as fish to restore the Vedas. The world then was submerged in water and the maharsis escaped in a boat attached to the horns of the Makara fish. On earth flood rose upto the peaks of the Himalayas. The Saptarsis attached their boat to a peak of the mountain and that came to be known as Naubandhana. (nau= boat; bandha= tie). (Vana Parva, Chapter 187, Verse 50).


NAVAGVA. The Navagvas are a group of the Afigirases. In Rgveda, mention is made about them in several places.


NAVAKANYAKA(S ). An important item of Navaratripuja (A festival of 9 days, as observed by Sakti worshippers) is the worship of virgins. The nine kinds of virgins (from two to ten years in age) thus worshipped are called Navakanyakas (nine virgins). (See under Kumaripuja).


NAVAMTVRATA. (Fast on the ninth lunar day). This is a special fast taken in the month of Tulam (OctoberNovember) with a view to obtain `Bhukti' (enjoyment or possession) and `Mukti' (Beatitude). The important rite of this worship is to take fast on the ninth night of the bright lunar fortnight in the month of Tulam and worship goddess Gauri. This navami is also called Gaurinavami. Another name of this navami is Pistaka navami. This name is given because on that day Pistam (ground rice) is eaten and the goddess is worshipped. In the bright lunar fortnight of the month of Tulam (Agvina), on the eighth night when the star is Mulam and the Sun is in the zodiac of Kanya if there is the touch of Navami, it is called Aghardananavami or Mahanavami.


Worship could be conducted on the days mentioned, by consecrating the goddess Durga in nine temples or in one temple only. When the goddess is consecrated in nine temples they are meditated upon as nine separate beings. In such cases Goddess Durga should be consecrated with eighteen hands and the rest of the goddesses with sixteen hands. Of the eighteen two should be holding Antimony and damaru (a small drum shaped like an hourglass), and the remaining sixteen hands should hold weapons that the other goddesses hold. The nine goddesses to be worshipped are Rudra, Candor, Pracanda, Candogra, Candanayika, Candavati and Candarupa and in the middle of these eight beings the great goddess Durga who is Ugracanda and the slayer of Mahisasura. Durga is addressed with the spell of ten letters "Om, Durge Durgeksini Svaba." Adoration, offering to ancestors and exclamation in sacrifice (Namaskara, Svadhakara and Vasatkara) should be denoted by six words and the Arigas (organs) beginning with heart also should be imagined. This rootspell should be repeated resting the organs such as heart

etc. on the fingers. He who repeats this secret spell of goddess, will never be troubled by enemies.


'F he goddess should be worshipped by meditating upon her as carrying the weapons such as Kapala (skull), Khetaka (shield) Ghanta (bell), Mirror, Tarjani, bow, dhvaja (flag), damaru (drum) and pas a (rope) in the left hands and Sakti (dart) Mudgara, trident, vajra, sword,, spear, conch, wheel and ~a1dka (antimony) in the right hands. These weapons also should specially be worshipped.


In the worship of the goddess, a cow (sacrificial animal) should be beheaded with a sword repeating the spell Kali Kali and the blood and flesh of that cow should be offered as oblation to the goddess Putana uttering the spell, Kali Kali Vajresvari, lauhadandayai namah." Offering to Putana should be made in the south west corner of the shrine of the Devi. In the. same way offerings of blood and flesh should be made to the goddesses Paparaksasi in the North West corner, Caraki in the North East corner and Vidarika in the South East corner. The same form of offerings should be made to the god Mah7;kau$ika in the south East corner. The King should bathe in front of this god Mahakaugika and making an image of his enemy with rice flour, should break it. Then give that rice flour as oblation to the gods Skanda and Visakha and worship the female ancestors such as Brahmi and such others in the night. As ordained in the Vedas, the Devi should be bathed in Pancamrta (milk, curds, butter, honey and water) and then worship before her, uttering the spell "Jayantimangala Kali, Bhadrakali Kapalini, Durga Siva Ksama Dhatri Svadha Svalia Namostu to". (Agni Purana, Chapter 185) .


NAVARATNAS I. (The nine precious Jewels). The nine precious stones are pearl, ruby, Chrysoprasus, beryl, diamond, coral, jacinth, emerald and sapphire.


Mukta - manikya - vaidurya - gomeda vajra -vidrumau/ Padmarago Mara takam nilasceti yathakramam//


NAVARATNAS 11. Legend says that there were nine scholars who handled philosophy and arts, in the palace of the emperor Vikramaditya. These nine scholars were known by the name Navaratnas (the nine jewels) They were Dhanvantari, Ksapanaka, Amarasirhha, Sakku, Vetalabhatta, Ghatakarpara,Kalidasa,Varahamihira and Vararuci.


NAVARATRI. Navaratripuja (nine nights' worship) is done to goddess Durga. Though this is observed throughout the whole of India, it is more prominent in North India than anywhere else. (To know the details regarding the origin of this worship, see under Sudarsa, Sasikala and Vijayadasami).


As ordained in the Veda.s, the Nine nights' worship is to be made in the seasons of spring and autumn. These two seasons are called Kaladamstras (the tusks of seasons). Diseases and deaths occur in these seasons in excess, and so it is ordained that this fast and worship should be conducted in the months of Medam (Mesa) and T ulam.


Vyasa has ordered that navaratri worship should be conducted as follows. The things necessary for the worship and oblations should be collected on the new moon day. Only clarified butter could be eaten on that day. An open temple should be erected with pillars and flag-posts in an open flat place which is pure. It will be good if the shed has a circumference of sixteen cubits. There should be sixteen pillars. The shed should be floored with the mixture of cowdung and white clay. In the middle of the shed there must be a dais having a height of one cubit and a circumference of four cubits. This is the place for the seat. The shed and the dais should be decorated.


The throne placed on the dais must be covered with a white silk and Devi (goddess) should be consecrated on it. A calm Brahmin should read the Vedas and at that time the worship o" the goddess should begin. This worship will continue for nine days. Another ritual of this `navaratripuja' is the worship of virgins. (See under Kumaripuja)


NAVAVYLTHARCANA. This is a worship conducted to prevent epidemics. In olden days Mahavisnu advised Narada on the form of this worship. The form of this worship is given below:


In the centre of the circular lotus, consecrate Vasudeva with the first syllable of mantra (spell) `A'. To the south of him consecrate and worship Sankarsana and Pradyumna with the syllable `A'; in the S.E. corner, Aniruddha with the syllable `Ah'; in the west,Narayana with the syllable `Om'; Brahma in the N.W. corner with the syllables `Tatsat'; Visnu in the North with the syllable `Hum'; Nrsiriiha with the syllable `Ksau' and Varaha in the N.E. corner with the syllable `bhum'.


Consecrate Garuda with spells having as first syllables `Kam',`tam', "sam" and'sam' at the western entrance of the lotus figure; Purvavaktra, with syllables `Kham' `cham',Vam'and hurri'at the southern entrance of the lotus figure; Gada (club), with the syllables `Kham', °tham' and `Sam' at the Northern entrance; consecrate Isa with the syllables `bam', `nam',`mam'and `Ksam, in the North East corner. Then consecrate Sri with the syllables `Dham', `Dam', `Bham' and `Ham' on the southern side; Vanamalf with the syllables `Gam', `Dam' `Vam' and `Sam', on the northern side; Srivatsa with the syllables `sam', `ham' and `lam', to the west of Vanamali; and Kaustubha, with the syllables, `cham', `Tam' and `yam', to the west of grivatsa.


After having consecrated and worshipped persons as mentioned above, in the order of the ten member-parts of Mahavisnu, Ananta should be consecrated below the seat of the deity and in the order of the ten member parts of Ananta, the four component parts called Mahendra and so on should be consecrated on the four directions such as east and so on, and consecrate in the same way all the decorations, flags, canopy etc. Then the three spheres of Vayu (Air), Agni (fire) and Indu (moon) should be consecrated with the first syllables of the spells suited to each and meditating on them and worshipping them, dip the body in the meditation. Then imagine that the subtle form of the individual soul is staying in the sky. Then meditate that the individual soul is reborn by harmony with the universal soul after having been dipped and washed in the snowwhite ambrosia emanating from the moon. After that saying to yourself `I am Visnu himself reborn", utter the twelve-syllabled mantra or spell. Place heart, head, turban and weapon respectively on chest, head, hindpart of the lock of hair and Netra (eye) Place weapons in both hands. After this your body will become divine. This placing of the individual soul should be repeated in the same way with Deva (god) and diva. When this worship of Visnu is conducted in


heart in imagination (without the aid of materials) it is called `Anirmalyapuja, and when it is done with the aid of lotus figure etc., it is called Sanirmalya puja.


At this puja (worship) the disciple should stand with eyes tied. Then on whichever deity he places flower it should be given that name. Place it on the left side and burn gingelly, paddy and ghee in the sacrificial fire. After performing hundred and eight burnings perform another burning for the purification of the body. To each of the member-parts of the Navavyuha deities also burnt offering should be made, no less than hundred times to each. Then put the entire thing in fire as burnt offer ng. Then the disciples should take fast, and the disciples should offer wealth etc. to the teacher. (Agni Purana, Chapter 201).


NAVYASRAMA. An asrama built by Lomapada Maharsi. Rsyasrnga came to Lomapada's country in a boat. Hence the name Navyasrama (See under Rsyas rfrga.


NAYANAR. The protagonists of Southern ~aivism are known as Nayanars while those of Vaisnavism are called Alvars.


NEMI. The real name of DaSaratha. (See under Das aratha) .


NEMICAKRA. A king, who once ruled Hastinapura. Once, when Hastinapura was washed away by floods of Yamuna Nemicakra built a new city in Kausambi. (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).


NEMIHAMSAPADA. An important place in ancient India. The place is near Aksaprapatanam in the Anarta region. It was here that krsna killed Gopati and Talaketu.


NEPALA. The kingdom of Nepal on the boundaries of the Himalayas has been famous from Puranic times. It is the only- `Hindu' State in the world. Karna, during his triumphal tour, had conquered Nepal also. (Vans Parva, Chapter 254, Verse 7 ).


NIBIDA. A mountain in the Kraufica island. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 19).


NICANDRA. A Raksasa referred to in verse 26, Chapter 65 of Adi Parva.


NICITA. A holy river of ancient India. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 18) .


NIDAGHA. A maharsi. (For details see under Rbhu )


NIDHRUVA. One who actually saw the Suktas. He was the son of Vatsara Rsi born in Kasyapa dynasty. He married Sumedhas the daughter born to Cyavana and Sukanya; and Kundapayins were their sons. (Vayu Purana).


NIGHNA. A King of Ayodhya and son of Anaranya. He had two sons called Anamitra and Raghuttama. (Padma Purana, Srsti Khanda ).


NIKHARVATA. A Raksasa in Ravana's camp. He fought with the monkey called Tara in the RamaRavana war. (Vana Parva, Chapter 235, Verse 80 ).


NIKSUBHA. An Apsara woman about whom the following story occurs in the Brahmaparva of the Bhavisya Purana. On account of the curse of Surya, Niksubha, the great beauty in Svarloka, wasborn on earth as daughter of Sujihva a brahmin of Mihira Gotra. At the instance of her father, she used to keep the yajfia fire ever burning. One day the fire held in her hands abruptly burst into flames, and her unique beauty revealed in the light kindled the passion of Surya.


Next day Surya went to Sujihva and told him that his daughter, Niksubha was carrying since he had married her. As soon as he heard Surya's words Sujihva cursed his daughter thus: "Since the child in your womb is enveloped by fire the chi1d born to you will be despised and rejected by people."


Then Surya went to Niksubha and told her that though her child might be despised he would be a scholar, very well-bred and eligible for the worship of Agni.


As years passed many chi1dren were born to her by Surya. While she was living in the Saka island Samba, the son of Krsna, deputed her sons to perform rites in the Surya temple at Sambapura. Niksubha's sons were married to girls born in the Bhoja family.


NIKUMBHA I. A very mighty Raksasa. Son of Kumbhakarna (Ravana's brother) by his wife Vajramala. He had an elder brother called Kumbha.


When Kumbha was killed in the Ra•na-Ravana war Nikumbha rushed to the front line and fought fiercely, and he was killed by Hanuman. (Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda, Canto 77).


NIKUMBHA II. Third son of Prahlada. (Adi Parva, Chapter 63, Verse 19).


NIKUMBHA III. An asura born in the dynasty of Hiranyakasipu. Sunda and Upasunda were his sons. (Adi Parva, Chapter 208, Verse 2 ).


NIKUMBHA IV. A warrior of Subrahmanya (Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 58).


NIKUMBHA V. A king born in the Iksvaku dynasty.


He was the son of Haryagva and the father -of Samhitasva (Brahmanda Purana, Chapter 1).


NIKUMBHA VI. Another form of Ganapati. The following story about him in the Nikumbha state is told in Vayu Purana.


Suyasa, wife of Divodasa used to worship in the Nikumbha temple of Varanasi for the sake of a child. As the worship did not yield the desired effect, Divodasa smashed the idol in the temple into pieces. Then Nikurr oha cursed that Varanasi should decline. As a result of the curse the Hehayas like Ta1ajangha and others destroyed Varanasi and drove Divodasa away from there. At last the Nikumbha temple was rebuilt and Varanasi became prosperous again.


NIKUMBHILA. A particular spot in the forest outside Lankapuri. (Uttara Ramayana).


NILA. I. A prominent naga born to Kasyapa Prajapati of Kadru. (Adi Parva, Chapter 35, Verse 7).




1) General. A King born in the Hehaya dynasty. His was a rebirth of the asura called Krodhavasa. Nila was called Duryodhana also. Mahismat! was the capital of his kingdom. He attended the Svayadzvara of Draupadl. (Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 61 ).


2) Other Information


(i) Once he fought a fierce battle with Sahadeva, but ultimately yielded to the latter at the instance of Agnideva. (See under Agni, Para 8 ).


(ii) He gave his daughter Sudargana in marriage to Agnideva. (See under Agni, Para 8 ).


(iii) During his triumphal tour, Karna defeated Nila. (Vana Parva, Chapter 254, Verse 15 ).


(iv) In the battle of Kuruksetra he fought on the side of the Kauravas. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 19; Verse 23 ). (v) He was reckoned as one of the maharathis on the side of Duryodhana, (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 164, Verse 4) .


(vi) Sudarsana was a daughter born to him of his wife Narmada. (Anus asana Parva, Chapter 2 ).


NILA III. A monkey-chief, who was a dependant of Sri Rama. 'He-was Agni's son. `Nila, son of Pavaka (fire) shone forth like agni (fire). He stood foremost among the monkeys in the matter of effulgence, reputation and prowess'. (Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, Canto 17).


This monkey-chief was also included in the set of monkeys deputed by Sri Rama to search for Sita. In the Rama-Ravana war Nila killed Pramathi, the younger brother of the kaksasa called Dusana. (Vana Parva, Chapter 287, Verse 27) .


NILA IV. A warrior who fought on the Pandava side. He was king of Anupadesa. He fought against Durjaya and Asvatthama and was killed by Asvatthama. (Drona Paiva, Chapter 31, Verse 25) .


NILA V. A famous king in nothern Puranas refer to sixteen famous kings nasty from Nila to Prsata.


NILA. I. A daughter born to Kapisa of Kesini. (Brahmanda Purana, Chapter 3).


NILA II. A Gopika. Sri Krsna was one day picnicking in Vrndavana with the bopi women, and they were proud that he was mad after them. To -dispel their pride Krsna disappeared abruptly from their midst and sported with the woman called Nila. Then she also became proud that Krsna loved her more than the others, and she asked him to carry her on his shoulders. He stood there ready stretching his neck to carry her. But, when she stood with her legs parted to mount on Krsna's neck and looked for him he was missing; he had already disappeared. The Gopikas ultimately shed their pride and then Krsna appeared before them. (Cerusseri's Malayalam Epic Krsna Gatha).


NILAGIRL Name of a mountain in the region called Ilavrta of Jambu island. In Ilavrta there are three chief mountains called Nilagiri, Svetagiri and Srngavan, and in their midd1c three Varsas (regions) called Ramyaka, Hiranmaya and Kuru. (Devi Bhagavata, 8th Skandha).


NILAKANTHA DIKSITAR. A Sanskrit poet who flourished in the 17th century A.D. He was the court poet of King Tiruinala-Nayaka. He has written works in all the branches of literature. His more important works are Sivalilarnava, Gangavatarana. Nilakanthavijaya Campu, and Kalividambana. Sivalllarnava contains twentytwo cantos. Its theme is the sixtyfour lilas(Divine sports) of Siva installed at Madura. (South India) Gangavatarana is a poem in eight cantos which describes the story of Bhagiratha bringing Ganga down to the earth. In the first canto of Nilakanthavijaya, A.D. 1638-39 is referred to as the period of its composition, and this reference helps us to determine the date of the poet.


NILI. Second wife of King Ajamldha. Two sons called Dusyanta and Paramesth! were born to the king of Nil!. (Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 32) .


NILINI. A wife of Sunassepha. A daughter called 9anti was born to him of Nilini. (Agni Purana, Chapter 278).


NIMESA I. A son of Garuda. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 104, Verse 10).


NIMESA II. See under Kalamana.


NIMI I. A famous emperor who was the son of Ik svaku, Pancala. The of this royal dynasty 1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu thus: BrahmaMarici-Kasyapa - Vivasvan - Vaivasvata ManuIksvaku-Nimi. Among' the sons of Iksvaku, Danda, Vikuksi and Nimi became famous. 2) ITasis,tha's curse.


Emperor Nimi was very generous with his gifts. He was interested in performing yajnas. The feeding hall that can be seen even today near the .srama of Gautamaaharsi was built by emperor Nimi. The emperor, a person of rajasic nature, decided to conduct a Yajna which would take a long time to end and which required much money for gifts; and he got his father Iksvaku's permission for it. Arrangements were made for the Yajna, and Rsis like Bhrgu, Angiras Vaxnadeva, Pulastya, Pulaha and Rcika who were competent to perform yajnaand great scholars in the Vedas were invited for the Yajna. Lastly he met his family preceptor Vasistha and told him thus: "Oh preceptor! I have made all arrangements for a Yajna, which it is my desire should last for five hundred years. You would also come with me and see that the Yajna is duly performed."


Vasistha listened to Nimi's request with great attention. But, he had already been invited by Indra to conduct a Yajna which would last for five hundred years, and he would be able to oblige Nimi only after that period of time. So Vasistha asked the emperor to postpone his proposed yajna by five hundred years. Nimi returned disappointed.


Nimi had no patience to wait for five hundred years. So he started the yajna with Gautama as his preceptor. After Indra's Yajna for 500 years was over, Vasistha came to Nimi's Yajna hall. Nimi, at the time, was in the inner apartment of his palace. Though his servants went to him to tell him that his preceptor Vasistha had come, they waited outside his chamber as he was sleeping then. Within a few moments Vasistha was ablaze with anger. He raised his hands and cursed Nimi thus: "Oh ! Nimi, you have insulted me, your preceptor. You disobeyed my injunction and began the Yajna. Therefore, let your body be parted from the soul and fall on the ground."


This curse of Vasistha alarmed the servants of Nimi so much that they roused him from sleep and told him all about the affair. Nimi hurried to Vasistha and prostrated at his feet. But, he did not shed his anger. This made Nimi also angry. He also raised up his hands and cursed Vasistha thus: "Oh muni !you who got angry without reason are worse than a Candala. Therefore let your body also be parted from the soul and fall to the ground."


Vasistha got alarmed at the above curse. He ran up to and submitted his grievance to Brahma, who told him thus :- "My son, your action was really fool-hardy. Yet, I shall advise you a way out of your troubles. You dissolve your-self in the effulgence of Mitra and Varuna and remain there permanently. After sometime you will be able to be born without being present in the womb of a woman. Then you will


thing about your previous birth will acquire sense of righteousness and knowledge of the Vedas will become respected by all and will be omniscient.


The soul of Vasistha parted from his body on account of the curse of Nimi, saluted Brahma, went to the asrama of Mitravarunas and got mixed with their remember every-


effulgence. Meanwhile Urvasi one day came to the asrama of Mitravarunas, who had seminal emission at her sight. The semen fell into a pot. The pot duly burst open and there emerged from it Agastya and Vasistha.


Nimi returned to the Yajna hall and told the mums about the curse on him of Vasistha. While the mums were helplessly looking on, Nimi's body got separated from the soul and fell down. The mums placed the dead body in an uncovered coffin, kept it free from putrefaction with the help of medicines and mantras and continued with the Yajna. At the close of the Yajna the Devas appeared and asked Nimi which did he prefer to have, a human body or body of a Deva. He preferred to have a Deva body, and accordingly ascended to Svarga along with the Devas.


As Nimi had no sons to perform his obsequies the mums began churning the corpse repeating mantras and there arose from it an ideal person as glowing as Nimi. As he was created by `mathana' (churning) the mums named him Mithi. Again, as he was created from a dead body he came to be known as,Janaka also. Further, as he was born from the body from which the soul had departed he was called Videha also. The famous kingdom of Mithila on the banks of the Ganga was founded by this Janaka.


Janaka, the father of Sita, was a King born in this dynasty. To all the Kings born in this dynasty the surname `,Janaka' came to be applied. This dynasty is known as Janakavamsa and Videhavariisa after emperor Mithi. ( Devi Bhagavata, 6th Skandha).


3) Other information.


(i ) He worships Surya's son Yama in, his court. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 9) .


(ii) He gave gifts of land to Brahmins. (Vana Parva, Chapter 234, Verse 26).


(iii) He did not eat flesh. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 115, Verse 65 ) .


NIMI 11. Son of Dattatreyamuni of the Atri family. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 91, Verse 5) .


NIMI III. Son of the King of Vidarbha. After giving his daughter in marriage to Agastya he attained heaven. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 137, Verse 11) .


NIMNA. A Yadava. (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).


NIMROCI. A King born in the Yadava dynasty. Nimroci, son of Bhoja had two brothers called Kinkana and Vrsni, (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).


NIPA I. A famous King of the Puru dynasty. A son called Brahmadatta was horn to the King by his wife Krti alias Kirtimati. Brahmadatta begot hundred sons like Kirtivardhana and all of them became famous by the name Nipas. (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).


NAPA II. An ancient kingdom in India. The King of this place participated in Yudhisthira's Rajasuya. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 51, Verse 24) .


NIPA III. A Ksatriya dynasty. King Janamejaya belonged to this dynasty. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 74, Verse 13).


NIPATITHI. A Rsi extolled in the Rgveda. He was a Suktadrasta (one who realized the Vedic hymns).


NIRAMARDA. A King of ar cient India. ( Adi Pa.rva, Chapter 1, Verse 237).


NIRAMAYA. A King of ancient India. (Adi Parva, Chapter 1, Verse 137).


NIRAMAYA. A river, the water of which was very dear to the people of ancient India. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 33 ).


NIRAMITRA I. Son of Nakula. His mother was the noble lady called Karenumati. (Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 79) .


NIRAMITRA II. A Trigarta prince killed in the great war by Sahadeva. (DronaParva, Chapter 107, Verse 26).


NIRAVINDA. An ancient mountain. It is believed that he who bathes in the pond on this mountain will attain salvation. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 137) .


NIRMOCANA. The Palace of Murasura. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 48, Verse 83) .


NIRRTI I. A Deva. The Puranas contain the following information about him.


(i) He is one of the Astadikpalas (guards of the eight quarters). He is in charge of the south-western corner. (See under Astadikpalas).


(ii) He is one of the Ekadagarudras. (Adi Parva, Chapter 66, Verse 2).


(iii) Brahma was his grand-father and Sthanu his father. (Adi Parva, Chapter 66, Verse 2).


(iv) He attended the birth-day celebrations of Arjuna. (Adi Parva, Chapter 129, Verse 63).


(v) In temples his idols are installed with sword in hand and seated on an ass. (Agni Purana, Chapter 51) .


NIRRTI II. Wife of the Deva called Adharma. She had three sons called Bhaya, Mahabhaya and Antaka. These Raksasas are known as Nairrtas. (Adi Parva, Chapter 66, Verse 54).


NISA. The third wife of the Agni called Bhanu. To the couple were born seven: sons called Agni, Soma, Vaisvanara, Visvapati, Sannihita, Kapila and Agrani, and a daughter called Rohini. (Vana Parva, Chapter 211).


NISADA I. A forest dweller. The grand sire of the nisada tribe living in forests was one Nisada. Those forestdwellers came to be known as nisadas as they were the descendants of this Nisada. The Puranic story about the origin of Nisada is as follows :-


Once upon a time there lived a King called Vena. A very immoral ruler, he was hated by the people. As dharma declined in the country due to the misrule of Vena the maharsis killed him with darbha grass sanctified by mantras. Then the maharsis saw dust rising up everywhere and people told them that the poor people, in the absence of king, had turned into thieves and the dust was formed by the onrush of the thieves. To remedy the problem thus created the maharsis churned the thigh of Vena, who had died -childless, for a son, and from t-he thigh was born a male child, dark in colour, dwarfish and with a compressed face. Sadly he asked the brahmins (maharsis) what he should do. They asked him to sit (nisida) and hence he became Nisada (forest-dweller). His descendants settled down on mount Vindhya and they by their sinful lives divested Vena of his sins. Vena was absolved of his sins through the Nisadas, and thus the Nisadas became'responsible for the ending of Vena's sins. (Visnu Purana, Part 1, Chapter 13) .


NISADA II. A particu1ar region in ancient India. (Bhigma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 51).


NISADANARESA. A King well known in Bharata. He was born from aspects of the daityas, Kalakeya and Krodhahanta. (Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 50) .


NISADHA I. A King born in Sri Rama's dynasty. Kusa was born as the son of Sri Rama, Aditi as Kusa's son and Nisadha as Aditi's son. This Nisadha was the father of King Nabhas. (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).


NISADHA II. A King of Bharata's dynasty. Nisadha was the grandson of King Puru and the fourth son of Janamejaya. A great humanitarian, Nisadha ruled the country to the satisfaction of everybody. (Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 56).


NISADHA 111. A mountain near mount Meru. During his triumphal tour, Arjuna defeated the people of this region.


NISAKARA I. A maharsi. Honoured even by the Devas he lived in his asrama on the heights of Mount Vindhya. One of those days jatayu and his elder brother Sampati, under a bet, flew up to the Sun's sphere. In his attempt to shield jatayu, who flew with great speed and neared the Sun's sphere, from the scorching heat of the Sun, Sampati's wings got burned and he fell down on the heights of Vindhya where he lay unconscious for six days.


Nisakaramaharsi heard Sampati crying and he saved the bird, which lived there for many years as the maharsi's slave. The maharsi, who could foresee things told Sampati about Sri Rama's incarnation which was to happen in the future. He entered Samadhi after finally telling Sampan that monkeys would go there then in search of Sita, that Sampati would point out to them where Sita was and that on that day his wings would automatically reappear and his legs would become strong. Afterwards for eight thousand years Sampati led a solitary life in the asrama. It was during this period that monkeys, in the course of their search for Sita got information about her from Sampati. (Kamba Ramayana; Valmiki Ramayana, Kiskindha Kanda, Canto 60).


NISAKARA II. A great muni, who attained Svarga after passing through many lives. His story is given below:-


There was a great ascetic and erudite scholar in all branches of knowledge called Kosakara, son of mum Mudgala. Kosakara's wife was Dharmistha, daughter of Vatsyayana. To them was born a son, an idiot and a deaf and dumb child, whom they forsook at the gates of the mother's house. At the same time an evil-minded Raksasa woman called Surpaksi, who was in the habit of lifting children came there with a lean child. She replaced Dharmistha's child with the lean one and returned with it to the Salobharaparvata where her blind husband asked her what she had brought for his food. She told him about the changelling child with her when he said as follows "Return the child at once to where it was found. The child's father is a great man of knowledge and wisdom and when he hears about your action, he will curse us. So, return the child and bring the child of some one else." As soon as she heard these words of her husband she rose up in the sky in great alarm.


Hearing the cries of the Raksasa child left at their gates Dharmistha and her husband came out, and


the child which, in its colour and shape resembled their child exactly, Kosakara said thus : "Oh! Dharmistha !


this must be some ghost. Some one is lying here in the same form as our child to hoodwink and cheat us."


Saying so he tied the child to the ground by chanting mantras with darbha grass in his hands.


At the same time gurpaksi came there in invisible form. She threw Dharmistlia's child from a distance into the courtyard. Kosakara took his child. But all the attempts of the Raksasi to lift her child from the ground failed. The grief-stricken Raksasi reported the matter to her husband.


As soon as Surpaksi left the place the magnanimous Kosakara handed over the Raksasa child to his wife. He brought up his own child by feeding it on cow's milk, curd, juice of sugar-cane etc. Both the children grew up to seven years of age. The Raksasa boy was named Divakara and the other child Nisakara. Both the children were invested with the sacred thread in due course of time. Divakara learned the Vedas. but Nisakara did riot, and he was despised by all. His father pushed him into a neglected well and covered its mouth with stone.


Nisakara lived in the well for many years. The fruits of a cluster of plants in the well served as his food. Some ten years afterwards when Nisakara's mother found the mouth of the well closed with a big stone she asked as to who did so, and from the well came the answer, "Mother, it was father who covered this well with that stone." Alarmed at this the mother asked who was within the well, and she was answered, "Your son, Nis akara." Then she argued that her son was named Divakara and that she had no son called Nisakara. But, Nisakara told her about his past life and what had happened to him during the present life, upon which the mother rolled away the stone and Niakara came out of the well and prostrated before his mother. He then went home with his mother. Questioned as to how and why these things happened by Kosakara his son Nisakara described his previous life as. follows:-


Father, you would please hear about the reason why I became dumb and idiotic. In my previous life I was born in a noble family, my father being called Vrsakapi and mother Mala. My father taught me all the Sastras and theVedas. I became conc:ited over my unique learning and erudition and began doing evil acts. Conceit led to avarice, and I lost all my scholarship. I became indiscreet. Having thus become a fool, I began committing sins. I had to hang myself to death on account of my association with others' women and stealing others' money. I, therefore, fell into the Raurava hell. After a thousand years some sin remained attached to me as a result of which I was born as a tiger, and a King trapped and took me to his city When I was caged Sastras about Dharma, Artha and Kama came up in my mind.


One day the King went out wearing only one piece of cloth and with a club in his hands. Then his wife Ajita, a unique beauty came to me, and because of my taste in my previous life sexual desire arose in my heart. I told her about my feelings. She also felt like me. So, she unchained me and I approached her in great passion and seeing me thus the King's servants tied me to a peepal tree and thrashed me to death.


My soul again returned to hell. After a thousand years I was born as a white ass in the house of a brahmin named Agnivesya, who had many wives. Then all knowledge and wisdom were reflected in my mind. My duty was to carry the brahmin women on my back. One


day the brahmin's wife Vimati of Navarastra started for her father's home mounted on my back. Half-way home she dismounted and went to a stream to bathe. The exquisite beauty of that lady with wet clothes upset me, and I ran up to her on the stream, pushed her into the water and myself fell upon her. Then a person came and tried to tie me down. I escaped from his grips and ran southwards. While thus running the saddle slipped into my mouth and I fell down. And, within six days I died thinking about her. Thus I fell again into hell. My next birth was as a parrot. A hunter caged me in the forest and he sold me to a Vaisya merchant, who put me up in the women's quarters. The young women fed me on rice and fruits. One day the wife of the V aisya merchant hugged me to her breast and petted me. Her touch kindled in me sexual feelings and I embraced her with my wings. In my hurry about the affair I slipped down and got crushed between the doors. Thus I fell again into hell.


Afterwards I was born as an ox in a camp of a Candala. One day he yoked me to his cart and started for the forest in it with his wife. On the way she sang a song, and mentally excited by it I looked back. At once I slipped my feet, fell down and died. Again I returned to hell.


After another one hundred years I was born as your (Ko'sakarad) son in this house. All facts about my previous lives linger in my memory and now I am free from evils and am a virtuous person. I am going to the forest for tapas. Let the good boy, Divakara live here as house-holder. Nisakara thus did tapas for many years and attained Vaikuntha (Vamana Purana, Chapter 91 ).


There is no definite evidence in the Puranas to establish that the Nisakara, the protector of Sampati and the Nisakara mentioned above were the same person.


NISATHA I. A prince of the Vrsni dynasty; son of Balabhadra born of Revati. (Harivam4a) . Nisatha also had participated in the utsava celebrations held at Raivata mountain by the Yadavas. It was Nisatha who went to Khandavaprastha with the dowry of Subhadra. He was present at the Asvamedha and Rajasuya of Yudhisthira. After death he was absorbed into the Visvadevas. (Adi Parva, Chapter 328, Verse 20; Sabha Parva, Chapter 34; Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 66; Svargarohana Parva, Chapter 5).


NISA'I'HA II. A King of ancient India. After death he lived in the court of Yama worshipping him. (Sabha

Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 11 ).


NISCIRA. A river glorified in the Puranas. It is well known in all the three worlds. A bath in the river is as good as performing an asvamedha yajna, Those who bathe in the confluence of Niscira will attain Indralnka. (Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Verse 138) .


NISCYAVANA. Second son of Brhaspati. He was sinless, pure and holy. (Vana Parva, Chapter 209).


NISITHA. A King of Dhruva's dynasty. Pusparna was the son of Utkala, the son of Dhruva, and Nisitha was Pusparna's son by his wife Prabha. Nisitha had two brothers, Pradosa and Vyusa. (Bhagavata, 4th Skandha).


NISKA. One palam (about one-sixth of a pound) of gold. (Manusmrti, Cnapter 8) .


NISKRTI. An agni (fire). A son of Brhaspati; he came to be known as Niskrti as he redeemed (Niskrama) people from unhappiness. (Vana Parva, Chapter 229, Verse 14) .


NISKUMBHA. A great asura. A dependant of the asura called Vrsaparvan, Niskumbha, took part in many Devasura wars. (Bhavisya Parva, Chapter 59) ..


NISKUTA. An ancient region in India. The people of the region were defeated once by Arjuna. (Sahha Parva Chapter 27, Verse 29).


NISKUTIKA. A female attendant of Subrahmanya. (Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 12 ).


NISTANAKA. A prominent naga (serpent) begot by Kasyapaprajapati of his wife Kadru. (Adi Parva, Chapter 35, Verse 9).


NISTHURAKA. A very prominent King, who lived in ancient times in South India. Once he had to depend on Sridatta, a King of North India. (See under Sridatta) .


NISTHLTRIKA. A naga born in the Kasyapa dynasty. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 106, Verse 12) .


NISUMBHA I. An asura. Two of the sons of Kasyapa Piajapati by his wife Diti became notorious fellows called Sumbha and Nigumbha. They were born and brought up in Patala. But as young men thay came to the earth and began rigorous tapas taking neither food nor drink. After ten thousand years Brahma appeared and asked them to choose their boons. They requested for eternity, deathlessness. But, Brahma refused to grant that bcon. Then they thought of another boon, which would in effect. be as goodas the first one; they wanted death to come, but to come in a manner impossible to happen. So, they requested Brahma as follows : "We shall not meet with death at the hands of males among Devas, human beings as also by birds, animals etc. In short we should be killed only by women; we fear them not."


Brahma granted them such a boon and they returned to Patala. They lost their head over the boon and appointed Sukra as their preceptor. Sukra was so pleased at this that he made Sumbha sit on a golden throne and crowned him King of Daityas. Following this, lesser Kings began coming to salute the great King and pay tributes. Great daityas like the Candaxnundas, Dhumralocana, Raktabija etc., became attendants of Sumbha and Nisumbha.


After having established the power of the daityas thus Sumbha-Nisum bhas gradually turned their attention towards extending the boundaries of their kingdom. The whole earth they subjugated. Then Ni'sumbha with a large army marched to Devaloka to conquer Indra. A Devasura war started. In the fight all the Dikpalakas were on one side and Ni<umbha alone on the other side; the latter side was slightly defeated. Smitten by Indra's Vajrayudha Nisumbha fainted; his army also was broken.


As soon as news about the defeat of his brother was reported to him, Sumbha, with the remaining Danavas hurried to Devaloka. In the battle that ensued the Devas were routed. Sumbha assumed Indra-hood by force and the standard (flag) of the daityas was hoisted on the flag-staff of Sudharma, the palace of Indra. Sumbha captured Kamadhenu, Airavata, UccaiSgravas etc. The Nandana garden and the shades of the


Kalpaka tree were turned into resting places of the daityas. Fragrant flowers of the Kalpa tree adorned the hairs of daitya women. Sumbha drove away Kubera and took over Alakapuri also from him. As Yama ran away from the kingdom, Kalapuri also carne wider gumbha. All the Dikpalakas took refuge in forests and caves. Thousand years rolled by thus. By then the Devas worshipped Mahadevi, who appeared before them. Kausiki devi, born from the body of Mahadevi stood before the Devas. As Kausiki was dark in colour she came to be known as Kalika also. Mahadevi, along with Kalika started for the capital of gumbhaNigumbhas. At the capital they ascended a mountain and sat on two rocks. Mahadevi sang such a melodious song that birds and animals lost themselves in its sweetness and stood motionless.


The Candamundas, who were at the time passing that way were also attracted by the music. Having understood what it a1l meant they hurried upto Sumbhasura and gave him a description of the supreme beauty of Mahadevi and Kalika. The description kindled great interest in gumbha and Ni~umbha about the devis and they deputed their minister Sugriva to bring the devis over to them. Having heard Sugriva's mission Mahadevi told him as follows .- "We do not have any objection to becoming the wives of your masters But, in the matter of my marriage there is a special problem. While playing with my friends as a child I had accidentally taken a vow. I was at that age a bit proud about my capabilities and strength, and the vow I took was that I would marry only someone who was stronger than I am. My friends called me a `fool' and ridiculed me about the vow. That only hardened my stubbornness and I stand by my vow even now. Therefore, please tell Sumbha first to defeat me in fighting."


When Sugriva carried this information to Sumbha, and Nisumbha, they felt amused that a woman challenged them to fight. But, they had no alternative but to fight. So they deputed the mighty daitya Dhumraksa with an army to fight Devi, and there ensued a fierce fighting between Devi and Kalikd on one side and the big daitya army on the other side. The whole army and finally Dhumraksa too was killed.


Devi then retired from the battlefield to a place nearby and blew the conch. Sumbha=Nisumbhas heard the sound from it, arid the next moment a messenger came and told them about the fate of the army and of Dhumraksa. They then sent a much greater army under Candamundas against Devi. But Kalika devoured them all. Raktabija, who next encountered Devi with a great force, also became food for Kalika. Then Sumbha-Nisumbhas entered the battlefield and they too were killed. Devas thus victorious regained Svarga. (Devi Bhagavata, 5th Skandha).


NISUMBHA II. The Mahabharata mentions another Nisumbha, a dependant of Narakasura. Sri Krsna killed this asura who towered upto the path of the devas (devayana) from the earth. (Sabhd Parva, Chapter 38) .


NISUNDA. An asura killed by Sri Krsna. (Vana Parva, Chapter 12) .


NITAMBHU. A great maharsi. He too was present in the company of the munis, who visited Bhisma on his bed of arrows. (Anurasana Parva, Chapter 26,Verse 8).


NITHA. A king born in the Vrsni dynasty. (Vana Parva, Chapter 120, Verse 9) .


NITIGOTRA. A king born in the Bhrgu dynasty. (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).


NIVATAKAVACA(S). A sect of Daityas.


1) Birth. Daityas were the off-springs of Kasyapaprajapati by Diti. Two sons called Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakasipu and a daughter called Sirhhika were born to the Prajapati of Diti. Sirithika was married by Vipracitti and to them were born Rahu and others who became famous as the Sairhhikeyas. Hiranyakas ipu had four famous sons called Anuhlada, Hlada, Prahlada (the great devotee of Visnu) and Sarhhlada. (Some texts refer to them as Anuhrada, Hrada, Prahrada and Sarirhrada). Hlada's son was called Hr5da, Sarirhlada's sons were called Ayusman; Sibi and Baskala, and Prahlada's son was called Virocana. Mahabali was Virocana's son and Bana was the eldest of the hundred sons of Mahabali.


Four crores of asuras ca1led Nivatakavacas were born in the family of Prahlada. The army of the Asuras, which routed the Devas many a time, was formed by the Nivatakavacas and Kalakeyas. (Agni Purana, Chapter 19).


2) Tight against Ravana. After securing boons from Brahma Nivatakavacas lived in the city of Manimati and they were a terror to the world. Ravana longed once to defeat them and so besieged their city with his army. The two sides fought fiercely for hundreds of years. At last Brahma intervened and conciliated them. From that day onwards the Nivatakavacas became friends of Ravana. (Uttara Ramayana).


3) Annihilation. The Nivatakavacas in company with the Kalakeyas attached Devaloka. Indra, who could not withstand the attack, sent his charioteer Matali to Arjuna and brought him down. Most of the Nivatakavacas and Kalakeyas were killed in the fight by Arjuna. (See under Kalakeya).


NIVATAKAVACAYUDDHAPARVA. A sub Parva in Vana Parva of Mahabharata comprising of chapters 165 to 175.


NIVIT. A mantra or hymn. `Uktha and Nivit are recited after the offerings in a yaga. (Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 14, Sukta 86).


NIVITA. Brahmin's wearing upper cloth or the sacred thread on the left shoulder and under the right hand is called Upavita; the same on the right shoulder and under the left hand is called pracinavita and the same worn as a garland around the neck is called Nivita.


NIVRTLA king of the Yayati dynasty. (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha).


NIYATAYU. Son of Srutayu. He was killed by Arjuna in the great war. (Drona Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 29).


NIYATI. A daughter called Laksmi and two sons called Dhata and Vidhata were born to maharsi Bhrgu of his wife Khyati. Dhata and Vidhata married Ayati and Niyati, daughters of Meru. A son named Prana was born to Vidhata, and this Pram became father of Mrkandu and grandfather of Markandeya. (Visnu Purana, Part 1, Chapter 10).


Niyati after her death became a Devi, and she continues to worship Brahma in his court. (Sabhd Parva, Chapter 11, Verse 43 ).


NIYOGA. During the Vedic period there prevailed a


system or custom which permitted either the husband or the wife who had no child by his wife or her husband to procreate a child in another woman or beget children by another man. That custom,~called Niyoga fell into disuse after the Vedic period. (Agni Purana, Chapter 256).


NODHAS. A muni who lived in the Rgvedic period. He achieved all his desires by praising the Devas. (Rgveda)


NRCAKSUS. A king of the Yayati dynasty. (Bhagavata, 9th Skapdha).


NRGA. A king born in the dynasty of Vaivasvata Manu. 1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu thus: BrahmaMarici - Kasyapa - Vivasvan - Vaivasvata ManuMahabahu-Prasandhi-Ksupa-Nrga.


Nrga was the younger brother of Iksvaku. From Nrga was born Sumati, from him the king called jyotis, from jyotis Vasu and from Vasu Pratika.


2) N,rga became chameleon. Nrga was an extremely righteous and generous King. Once, at Puskara he gifted away thousands of cows to brahmins. There was a brahmin called Parvata living near Puskara. He too was given a cow and it was after that the brahmin named Anarata came. By then there remained no cow to be gifted. Andrata came after Parvata had gone into the forest after leaving the cow at the pond (Puskara). Nrga had forgotten the fact that the cow had already been gifted away to Parvata and finding it there owner-less he gave it to Anarata, who went away with the cow very much pleased. The King and his ministers also returned to the palace.


A very short time afterwards Parvata returned to the pond and felt very sorry to miss his cow. He searched for it here and there and at last found it at Anarata's house. (Quarrel ensued between the two, Parvata alleging that Andrata had stolen his cow while the latter contended that it had been given to him by the King. Now, it was decided that the question should be submitted for arbitration to the King, and the contending parties went to the capital to see the King. At the palace they asked the gate-keepers to tell the King about their arrival. But, they did not tell the King, nor did he come.


Angered at this the brahmins cursed that Nrga be converted into a chameleon and live as such for a thousand years. The King heard about the curse and ran up to the brahmins and requested for absolution from it. The brahmins then said that after one thousand years Mahavisnu would incarnate as Sri Krsna and that at his touch Nrga, the chameleon would resume his former form aE King. According to this curse Nrga was born as a chameleon in a neglected well at Dvaraka. One day Samba and others who happened to go near the well tried their best to take the chameleon out of it, to no purpose. At last Krsna with his attendants came and took it out of the we 1. At Krsna's touch it resumed its form as King Nrga, and related the story of his curse to the onlookers, who stood there wondering


3) Other information.


(i) After his death Nrga lived in Yama's court worshipping him.. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 8) .


(ii) Nrga once conducted a yajna on the banks of the river Pavosni in Varahatirtha at which Indra drank soma so much as to get intoxicated, and the brahmins danced with pleasure at the very liberal gifts made to them. (Vana Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 5) .


(iii) Nrga was a King very dear to Indians. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9; Verse 7) .


(iv) Krsna granted salvation to Nrga who changed, at his touch, from chameleon to his former form as King Nrga. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 70, Verse 29). (v) He did not eat flesh. (Anut;asana Parva. Chapter 70, Verse 29) .


NRSAD. A maharsi, who was the father of sage Kanva. (Rgveda, Mandala 10) .


NRSART. A Rsi, who lived in the Rgvedic period. His son was deaf. (Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 17) .


NYAGRODHA. A son of Ugrasena. When Krsna killed Karhsa Nyagrodha fought with Krsna and others and was killed by the blow of Balabhadra's shield. (Bhagavata) .


NYAGRODHATIRTHA. A holy p1ace on the banks of the ancient river Drsadvati in North India. (Vana Parva, Chapter 90, Verse I I ).