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VA (a). This letter means Varuna and letter `Vi' means separation (of lovers) (Agni Purana, Chapter 348).


VABHRAVAYANTI (BABHRAVAYA~I). One of Vi9vamitra's sons, who were all Brahmavadins. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 57).


VADANYA. An ancient hermit, under Astavakra).


VADHA. Son of Yatudhana, a giant.(For further details see It is mentioned in Brahmanda Purana that this giant had two sons Vighna and Sama.


VADHRA. A country in ancient India. (Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 55 ).


VADHRIMATT. A princess, praised in Rgveda. This beautiful princess got a hermaphrodite as her husband. She shed a good deal of tears and prayed to the A9vins (Charioteers of Indra, celebrated as Gods of light and helpers) in consequence of which she got a son named Hiranyahasta. ( Rgveda, Mandala M, Sukta 116),.


VADHl7SARA. A river which flowed through the vicinity of the hermitage of Cyavana. This river took its origin from the tears of Puloma, the wife of hermit Bhrgu. (For further details see under Cyavana). Because of a bath taken in this river, the body of Parasurama shone with radiance. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 99, Stanza 68).


VADHYASVA. A king in ancient India. It is mentioned in Malrabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 8; Stanza 12, that the spirit of this king stays in the palace of Yama, praising him.


VAg A son of emperor Prthu. Prthu had two.:ri.ghteous sons called Antardhana and Vadi. A son named Havirdhana was born to Antardhana by gikhandirxi. DhisaVa born in the dynasty of Agni became the wife of Havirdhana. Six sons named Pracinabarhis, Sukra, Gaya, Krsra, Vraja and Ajina were born to the couple. (Visn.u Purara, Arhsa 1, Chapter 14).


VAGBHATA. A Sanskrit scholar who lived in the 12th century A.D. He is the author of the two medical books `Ast:Uiga-safigraha' and `Astaiigahrdaya'. Another work called `Neminirvana' is also written by Vagbhata. This work deals with the story- of Neminatha, a Jain hermit.


Not much is known about Vagbhata. He was a scholar in rhetorical science There are certain stories about his writing the medical books. It was a period when the muslims lead beaten down the Brahmins. They had taken away the medical science also from them. The Brahmins considered this to be a disgrace to them. They decided to select an intelligent boy and send him to a Muslim physician. They selected Vagbhata.. The Brahmins disguised Vagbhata as a Muslim boy and sent him to the Muslim Physician on the other side of the river. The boy went to the physician and told him that he was corning from far away with the intention of learning medical science. The teacher put certain questions and understood that the boy possessed extraordinary intelligence. He began to teach the boy the science of medicine. Seeing the interest of the boy the teacher asked the boy to eat food from his house and to learn day and night. The Brahmin boy did not like to eat the food of Muslims. The boy said that he had a relative on the other side of the river and that he would go there and have his supper and return for the night study. The teacher agreed and thenceforward Vagbhata began to learn day and night. Within a short time he completed learning.


One day the teacher was sleeping on the seventh storey of the building and his disciple Vagbhata was massaging his legs. The boy soliloquised that fate had destined him to massage the legs of a Musalman. Instantly he cried bitterly, and the teacher awoke and understood that the boy was not a Muslim, and tried to cut his head. The boy thought: "The four Vedas and the six Sastras say that there is a god. If it is true no harm will come tome." Then he jumped out of the window. In consequence of this jump, he became a little lame and no ether harm befell him. He swam across the river and reached the other side and told the Brahmins everything. The Brahmins asked him what he imagined when he jumped from the seventh storey. He replied "I jumpFd with this imagination. The four Vedas and the six Sastras say that there is a god. If it is true no harm will come to me." As soon as the boy had finished the Brahmins became angry and they all got up. They said "You went wrong in using the doubtful `if', instead of the affirmative `As'. The Brahmins joined together and expelled him from the society. The boy thought of going away somewhere. "But there won't be another chance for somebody else to go and learn medical science from the Muslim physicians. So before going away from here I must make the fruits of my efforts available to these people." Thinking so he lived there for a little longer. He lived there without mingling with the Brahmins, cooking his food. It is believed that Va.gbhata wrote `Astaiigasangraha' and `Astangahrdaya',during this period.


VAGDUSTA. One of the seven sons of hermit Kausika. (Matsya Purana, 20: 3). The famous Pitrvartti was the youngest brother of Vagdusta.


VAGINDRA. Son of the king Pralcasaka born in the family of Grtsamada. It is stated in Mahabharata, AnuSasana I'arva, Chapter 30, Stanza 63 that he was the father of King Pramiti.


VAGMI. A son born to Man asyu, the grandson of emperor Puru, by his wife Sauviri. This son had two brothers Sakta and Sariihanana. (112.8. Adi Parva, Chapter 24, Stanza 45).


VAHANA (CONVEYANCE). To know about the conveyances of Rudra, Yama and so on, see under Jaladhi.


VAHI. A devil living in the river Vipasa. The devil had a friend called Hika. Their sons are called the Vahikas. The Vahikas are not considered to be the creation of the Prajapatis. (M.B. Karya Parva, Chapter 44, Stanza 1) .


VAHIKA. A Brahmin who was well-versed in the Vedas. This Brahmin earned his bread by selling salt. In his life, he had committed sins. At last he was killed by a lion. The flesh of his dead body fell in the Ganga in consequence of which he got remission of his sins. (Skanda Purana 2 : 4 : 1-28).


VAHINARA. A king who lives in the palace of Yama. (Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 8, Stanza 15).


VAHINI 1. A division of army. (See under Aksauhini).


VAHINI II. Wife of Kuru, a king of the Lunar dynasty. Five sons such as As vavan and others were born to Kuru by his wife Vahini. ( M.B. Adi I'arva, Chapter 94, Stanza 50).


VAHNI I. An asura. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, anti Parva, Chapter 227, Stanza 52 that this asura had been a lokapala ( Indra, Agni, Yama and Varuna were called lokapalas) in olden days.


VAHNI II. The son of the King Turvasu. Vahni had a son named Bharga who became very famous. (Bh5gavata, Skandha 9; Brahmanda Purana, 3: 74. 1 ).


VAHNI III. One of the sons born to Krsna by Mitravinda. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10).


VAHNIJVALAM. A hell. ( See the portion Naraka under Kala ) .


VAHYAKA. The two daughters of King Srnjaya. They were married by Bhajamana, a Yadava Icing. Three sons named Nimi, Krmila and Vrsni were born to them. ( Matsya Purana, 44 : 49-.50) .


VAIBHRAJAKA. A garden. It is stated in Bhagavata, Skandha 5, that this garden is situated on the top of the mountain Suparsva which stands as a prop to Mahameru.


VAIDARBH I I. A wife of King Sagara. This king born of the Solar dynasty, had two wives named Vaidarbhi and Saibya. Vaidarbhi was also called Sumati and gaibya had another name Kesini. Of these two, Vaidarbhi gave birth to sixtythousand sons and Saibya to one son named Asamanjasa. (See under Sagara).


VAIDARBH I I I. Wife of the King Kus a. Four sons named Kusamba, Ku'anabha, Asurtarajasand Vasu were born to Kusa by Vaidarbhi. (Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda, Sarga 32) .


VAIDARBHI III. A king. This King gave his daughter Lopamudra in marriage to Agastya. (M.B. Anu$ asana Parva, Chapter 137: Verse 11 ).


VAIDEHA 1. The King of Videha.


VAIDEHA II. See under Varna.


VAIDEHA III. Another name of the country of Videha. It has the meaning, that which is in Videha. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 57).


VAIDURYAPARVATA. A mountain which stands near Gokarnatirtha (holy place) in the country.of Surparaka (Kerala). Agastya once built a hermitage on this mountain. If one bathes in the river Narmada, after having visited this Vaidurya mountain one could attain the holy worlds. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 33, Verse 13) .


VAIDYA. One of the sons born to Varuna by his wife Sunadevi. His sons Ghrni and Muni fought with each other and died. (Vayu: 84: 6-8) .


VAIHAYASA. A cavity or a sacred pit (kunda) situated near the hermitage of Naranarayanas. (M.-B. anti Parva, Chapter 127, Stanza 3 ).


VAIJAYANTA I. The capital city of an asura named 'Timidhvaja, otherwise called Sambara. (See under Timidhvaja).


VAIJAYANTA II. Name of the flag of Indra. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 42, Stanza 8) .


VAIJAYANTA III. A mountain standing in the middle of the sea of Milk. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 35, Stanza 9, that Brahma comes to this mountain daily for devotion and meditation.


VAIJAYANTI. Two bells of Airavata. Indra presented these two bells to Subrahmanya, who, in his turn, ga`v`e one of them to Visakha. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 231, Stanza 13).


VAIKARTANA. Another name of Karna.


VAIKHANASA. A philosopher. He had written a book known as `Vaikhanasadharmaprasna'. Matters concerning the duties of a forest-house-holder, occupation suitable for children born of wedlocks which are in accordance with natural law as well as contrary to the natural order, etc. are dealt with in detail, in this book. A large number of quotations from Vaikhanasadharmaprasna occur in Manusmrti.


VAIKHANASAS. A group of hermits of the Vedic age. There were hundred hermits in this group. (1Zgveda, 9: 66). They were born from the finger nail of Brahma. (Taittiriya, 1, 23).


VAIKUNTHA 1. The dwelling place of Mahavisnu.


VAIKUN~'THA II. Another name of Mahavisnu. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 342, Stanza 80, that when Visnu made creation with the five elements, his powers did not have any hindrance (Kunthita) and so he got the name Vaikuntha.


VAIKUNTHA III. A Brahmin saint who lived in the Tretayuga. The living things got deliverance from sin, the moment they came into contact with him. This power of Vaikuntha to give living things deliverance, is mentioned in Padma Purana, Brahma khanda, Chapter, 3, as follows:


Vaikuntha once lighted a ghee-lamp in the presence of Visnu in Karttika and returned home. At that time a rat came there and began to drink the ghee. Then the lamp blazed into a flam°. The rat was terrified at this, and ran away. But by the grace of Visnu the rat got deliverance from all its sins.


That rat was killed by snake-bite. The men of Yama came with ropes. Instantly the messengers of Visnu also came on Garuda. Yama's men got afraid of Visnu's messengers and humbly aksed them : "For what goodness of him are you taking this great sinner to Vaikuntha?" They replied: "He had blazed a lamp before the presence of Visnu. That act has earned for him a place in Vaikuntha. The goodncss earned by lighting a lamp with devotion and love in Karttika, could be described only by Mukunda." After that the rat was taken to Vaikuritha.


VAIMANIKA. A holy place. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Atiu: asana Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 23, that those who bathe in this holy place could freely walk about in the world of the celestial maids.


VAIMITRA. One of the Saptamatrs (seven mothers). They are Vaimitra, Kaki, Halima, Malini, Brhada, Arya and Palala. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 228, Stanza 10).


VAINATEYA 1. One of the prominent sons of Garuda. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 101, Stanza 10).


VAINATEYA II. Son of Vinata. (Garuda).


VAINYA. Another name of emperor Prthu.- (See under Prthu).


VAIRAJA One of the Sapta Piths (Seven planes). The Sapta Pitrs are, Vairaja, Agnisvatta, Somap5 ; Garhapatya, Ekasriiga, Caturveda and Kala. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza 46).


VAIRAMAS. A caste of people in Ancient India. The people of this caste gave Dharmaputra, various kinds of jewels and other costly things as presents and then attended the Rajasuya of the Par davas. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 51, Verse 12).


VAIRATA. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 96, Verse 26, that this Vairata was killed in the battle of Bharata by Bhiinasena.


VAISAKHA. A month. This month comes after the month of Caitra and before the month of Jyestha. It is stated in Mahabharata, Anus'asana Parva, Chapter 106, that by observing the fast of taking food only once, daily in this month, one could acquire prominence among kinsmen and people of one's own caste.


VAISALA. A city. This city was founded by King Visala, who belonged to the dynasty of Di,,la. Because Nabhaga, the son of Dista had married a x~ oman from Vaisyacaste, healso became Vaisya. The writings of Vatsa, the son of Bhalandana of this family, are included in the Rgveda. The differentiation of castes was not so strict in those days as today. It is not known in what country Dista and his people Anagas lived. The Kings Karandhama, his son Aviksit and his son Marutta of this dynasty were great and valiant. Marutta had performed both horse sacrifice (asvamedha) and imperial consecration (Rajasuya) . To Tr=iabindu, who has in the tenth generation from Marutta, a son was born named Visala. This Visala founded a city and lived there. That city is called Vai ~ ala. Many of the scholars are of opinion that this city Vaisala is the same as Ujjayini. It is stated in Mahabharata that Somadatta of the seventh generation from Visala had performed ten asvamedhas (horse-sacrifices).


VAISALAKSA. The Law of conduct of Brahma. Since Siva, who is Visalaksa (far-sighted) had collected and abridged them, it came to be called Vaisalaksa. (M.B. ganti Parva, Chapter 59, Stanza 82).


VAISALINI. The daughter of King Visala. She was VAIVAHIKAPARVA I. A sub-section of Adi Parva in married by Aviksit, the son of Karandhama. The Mahabharata. This Comprises chapters 192 to 198 of famous Marutta was the son born to this couple. Adi Parva.


(Markandeya Purana, Chapters 119-126) .




1 ) General information. A prominent disciple of Vyasa.


It is mentioned in Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 1, that


the main disciples of Vyasa were Asita, Devala,


Vaisampayana, Sumantu, Jaimini, Paila and some others. (See under Bharata).


2) Other details.


(i) It was Vaigampayana who told the story of Bharata  composed by Vyasa, to King janamejaya. (M.B. Adi  Parva, Chapter 1, Stanza20).


(ii) Vaigampayana told janamejaya the story of Bharata at the instruction of Vyasa. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 60, Verse 22) .


(iii) Vaigampayana praised Mahabharata and spoke of its greatness. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 62, Stanza



 (iv) Once Vaisampayana was overpowered by igno  ran-,e, and ht- killed a Brahmin. It is mentioned in  MahRbharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 6, Stanza  36, that in spite of it he attained heaven.


VAISNAVACAPA. The bow of Visnu. (For further details see under Visnu, para 7, sub-section 7) .


VAIS~?AVADHARMAPARVA. A sub-section of As vamedhika Parva in Mahabharata.


VAISRAVANA. Kubera. (See under Kubera).


VAISVADEVA (M). A sacrifice. It is mentioned in  Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 11, that a brahmin should  perform this sacrifice to protect himself from hurts  caused by oven, threshing stone, axe, cutting knife, and  other weapons. This sacrifice could be performed in a  cavity for kindling fire on the floor besmeared with  cowdung and mud. It should not be done in an  ordinary oven meant for cooking, in iron oven, in  earthernware or on ordinary floor. As all the deities  are having faces of fire, the sacrificial fire should not be  kindled by fanning the flame with hand, winnow, hide  of black antelope or cloth. By fanning the flame with  cloth, the sacrificer will contract disease; by winnowing  he would sustain loss of wealth; and death, by fanning  with hand. Plums, fruits, roots, curd, ghee etc. could  be used as burnt offerings. When these are not avail  able, firewood, roots of herbs, grass etc. could be used  instead. Things to be offered as burnt-offerings should  be purified, first by sprinkling ghee on them. In the  absence of ghee, milk, .curd and water may be used.  Using things which are unfit as burnt-offerings will  invite bad results.  In Vail vadeva-sacrifice, half-burnt firewood used in  cooking, should never be used. So also salts of any  kind. After finishing Vaisvadeva, Gograsa (giving rice  to cow) also should be done.


VAISVANARA I. A hermit. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 7 Verse 1$, that this  hermit stays in the palace of Indra. (IZgveda, Mandala 1, VA19VANARA 11, Sukta 59).


VAIJVANARA II. The first son of Agni called Bhanu. In Caturmasya-sacrifice, this fire Vai9vanara also is worshipped along with the fire Parjanya. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 221, Stanza 16) .


VA19VANARA III. One of the sons born to Kasyapa by his wife Manu. (Bhagavata, Skandha 6) .


VAIVAHIKAPARVA II. A sub-section of Virata Parva. This comprises Chapters 70 to 72 of Virata Parva.


VAIVASVATA MANU. The seventh Manu. There is a description of Manu Vaivasvata under Manvantara.


I ) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following order:-Brahma-Marici-Kasyapa-Vivasvan- Vaivasvata Manu.


2 ) The incarnation of Matsya and haiuasvata Manu. See under Avatara, Section "Matsya."


3) Wife and children. The wife of Vaivasvata Manu was Sraddha. Many sons were born to the couple. Prominent among them were, Yama, Yam!, As vinikumaras, Revanta, Sudyumna, Iksvaku, Nrga, Saryati, Dicta, Dhrsta, Karusa, Narisyanta, Nabhaga, Prsadhra and Kavi.


VAIVASVATA TIRTHA. A holy place. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 39, that he who bathes in this holy bath would become himself a holy tirtha.


VAISYA. One of the four castes. (For further details see under Varna and Caturvarnya),


VAITALI. A warrior of Subrahmanya. (M.B. galya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 67 ).


VAITANDA. Son of Apa, one of the eight Vasus. Apa had four sons named, Vaitanda, drama, Santa and Dhvani. (Visnu Purina, Amsa 1, Chapter 15).


VAITARAI9T I. A hell. (See under Kala, the Section Naraka ) .


VAITARAI$I II. The name of river Ganges when it flows through the world of the Manes. ( M.B. Adi Parva; Chapter 169, Stanza 22) .


VAITARAN ~ III. A river. The prominence of this river is given below


(i) This river stays in the court of Varuna and glorifies him. (Mahabharata; Sabha Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 20).


(ii) This river gives remission of sins. There is a spot called Virajatirtha, in this river. He who bathes in this holy place would shine like the moon. ( M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter $5, Stanza 6) .


VAJA. A son of Sudhanva, whose father was Angiras. It is mentioned in IZgveda, Mandala I, Astaka, 1, Sukta 111, that Sudhanva had three sons named Rbhu, Vibhvan and Vaja.


VAJASANEYA. A religion or religious book ( scripture) . At the end of Kaliyuga, people will become thieves and lose all good qualities, and moreover fifteen branches of the Veda Vajasaneya alone will be accepted as Regulations of life. (Agni Purana, Chapter 16).


VAJASANEYI (VAJASANEYAS). A group of Priests. Priest Yajnavalkya was one of the disciples of Yajur Veda-group of Vyasa. Of the line of disciples, Yajnavalkya had fifteen disciples. They were called Vajasaneyins or Vajasaneyas.


The Yajus-collection received from the god Sun were divided into fifteen groups by Yajnavalkya and given to each of his disciples. From that day onwards, his disciples became famous by the. name Vajasaneyas. ( Br. U 7-3-7 ) .


VAJASRAVAS. A priest who was the son of Naciketas. (Brhadaranyaka Upanisad,6-4-33).


VAJRA I. Son of Visvamitra. He was an expounder of Vedas. (M.B. Anugasana Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 52 ).


VAJRA II. The son of Aniruddha, who was the grandson of Sri Krsna. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Mausala Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 72, that after the extermination of the Yadavas by the mausala fight (the fight with grass grown from the filings of the iron-pestle), Arjuna anointed Vajra as the King of the remaining Yadavas. When the Pandavas began the Mahaprasthana (the great departure), Yudhisthira called Subhadra and instructed her to look after Vajra with particular care. (M.B. Maha Prasthana Parva, Chapter 1, Stanza 8).


VAJRABAHU I. A notorious asura. Vajrabahu was born of a Vidyadhara-damsel named Caficalaksi, when she was raped by the asura Sahasramukha. This Vajrabahu did penance before Siva and obtained Pasupatastra (a divine arrow) and an impenetrable armour. After this, he caught hold of Indra and bound him. Subrahmanya rescued Indra and killed Vajrabahu. (Kamba Ramayana, Uttara Kanda).


VAJRABAHU Il. A monkey. With other monkeys Vajrabahu got on the body of Kumbhakarna and scratched his face and body and did much harm in the battle between Rama and Ravana. Kumbhakarna caught hold of them and ate them. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 287, Stanza 67) .


VAJRADAMSTRA I. A ferocious giant who was a follower of kavana. In Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda, Sarga 54, mention is made that this giant was killed by Angada in the Rama-Ravana battle.


VAJRADAMSTRA II. A captain of the army of Tripurasura. It is stated in Ganes a Purana that Tripurasura gave his captain clothes, villages etc. as presents, for bringing Patala (netherworld) under control.


VAJRADATTA. The King of Pragjyotisapura. He was the son of Bhagadatta. He attacked the neighbouring Kings and defeated them. He caught hold of the sacrificial horse of Yudhisthira, led by Arjuna, who fought with Vajradatta for three days and defeated him. (M.B. ASvamedba Parva, Chapters 65 and 74).


VAJRAJVALA. A daughter of Mahabali. This Vajrajvala was the wife of Kumbhakarna. (Uttara Ramayana).


VAJRAKANTAKASALI. A hell. (Seethe part Naraka under Kala).


VAJRAMUSTI. A giant. Vajramusti was the son born to Malyavan of his-wife Sundari. Vajramusti had six brothers named Virtzpaksa, Durmukha, Suptaghna,


Yajnakosa, Matta and Unmatta and a sister named Nala. (Uttara Ramayana).


VAJRANABHA I. A warrior of Subrahmanya. (M.B.galya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 63 ).


VAJRANABHA II. A King of the line of Sri Rama. The genealogy is the following. Sri Rama-Kusa-Aditi- Nisadha-Nabhas-Pundarika-Ksemadhanva - Devanika -Rksa-Pariyatra-Bala-Vinda-Vajranabha. Khagana was

the son of Vajranabha. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9).


VAJRANABHA III. An asura. Prabhavati whom Pradyumna the son of Sri Krsna married, was the daughter of this asura. (For details see under Prabhavati) .


VAJRANABHA IV. A King who ruled over Mathura. He was a friend of Pariksit. At the request of hermit Sandilya, Uddhava talked to Vajranabha about the greatness of Bhagavata.


VAJRAIWA. An asura. This asura was born to Kasyapa of his wife Did. Tarakasura was born to Vajrafiga of his wife Varangi (For details see under Parvati, Para 2)


VAJRAPRASADA. A house in heaven. Manidvipa is situated above the world of Brahma. This is an island in the sea of Amrta with an area of several yojanas. All the sand particles on the shore of the sea of Amrta are jewels. Beyond the trees of jewels standing on the seacoast, there is an iron-wall with four towers. Those who come here to see Devi (goddess) should get down from their vehicles here. Beyond this wall of iron, there are seven walls of bronze, copper; lead, brass, a mixture of five metals, silver and gold. They are called SaptasAlas. Between the walls there are several parks such as Kalpavatika, Santanavatika, Haricandanavrksavatika, Mandaravatika, ParijatavatikA, Kadambavati etc. On passing the seven walls, several houses are seen. They are topaz-house, jacinth-house, beryl-house, diamond-house, chrysoprase-house, sapphire-house, ruby-house, emerald-house, etc. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 11).


VAJRA$IRSA. A son of hermit Bhrgu. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 35, Stanza 125, that hermit Bhrgu had seven sons named Cyavana, Vajragirsa, Suci, Aurva, Sukra, Varenya and Savana.


VAJRAVEGA. A giant who was the brother of Khara, Dusana and TriAras. In the battle between Rama and Ravana Vajravega stood as the attendant of Kumbhakarna and fought with Sri Rama and was killed by HaridmAn. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 287 ).


VAJRAVISKAMBHA. A child of Garuda. (Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 101, Stanza 10).


VAJRAYUDHA (Thunderbolt). The famous weapon of Indra.


1) The making of this weapon. In olden days a fierce asura named Vrtra was born. The Kd1akeyas and many other asuras became his followers. They began to create havoc in the world, and cause harm to the Devas. At last under the leadership of Indra, the Devas went to Brahma and informed him of their grievances and requested for advice as to the way of killing Vrtra. Brahma told them that only with a weapon made of the bone of the hermit.Dadhica, could Vrtrasura be killed. The Devas went to the bank of the river Sona and saw the hermit Dadhica, who was the foremost of munificent men, doing penance there. Indra told him the purpose of their visit. He told the Devas to take his bone, if it was useful to them. Saying this he forsook his body. The Devas took the bones of the hermit and gave them to Visvakarma who made a powerful weapon with them and gave that to Indra. They named the weapon the `thunderbolt'. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 100) .


2) The face of Subrahmanya was cut. Once Indra was defeated by Narakasura. He went to the Himalayas and hid himself there. Unable to see their King Indra, the devas went to Subrahmanya. When Indra knew this, he thought that Subrahmanya had taken possession of the world of the gods. So he came and fought with Subrahmanya. The thunderbolt of Indra touched the face of Subrahmanya and wounded him. From the blood which flowed from the face of Subrahmanya two noble men appeared who eventually became warriors of Subrahmanya. (Kathasaritsagara, Lavanakalambaka, Taranga 6) .


3) Daily thunderbolt. In Vignu Purana, Arhsa 1, Chapter 5 and Aritsa 2, Chapter 8, a process by which thunderbolt is made daily in the evening from the water particles thrown by Brahrnins when they recite the spell Gayatri, is described.


In the evening, the fierce giants called the Mandehas wish to eat the Sun. Prajapati had given them a curse that though their bodies would not perish they would daily meet with death. So there is a fight between these giants and the sun daily in the evening. At that time the Brahmins recite the spell Gayatri with the Brahmapervading syllable `OM', and throw up water. This water becomes the Vajra weapon, and burns the giant. 4) The thunderbolt became a tiger. The hermits Narada and Parvata once went to the palace of the King Sritjaya. The King worshipped them and served tliern for a long time, as a result of which. a son was born to him. Indra decided to lessen the superior power of these hermits. Once the son of the King, who was a mere boy, was playing in the forest. At the instruction of Indra, the thunderbold took the form of a tiler and went to the forest and killed the boy. Srfijaya became very sad. Narada and Parvata brought the boy to life again and gave him to the King. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 30) .


VAJRI I. Indra who wields the weapon Vajra (q.v)


VAJRI II. An eternal god concerned in offering to the manes. (Mahabharata, Ann dsana Parva, Chapter 91, Stanza 33).


VAKA (BAKA). See under Baka.


VAKA. The daughter of the giant NIalyavan., Visravas married her. Three sons Trisiras, Dusana and Vidyujjihva and a daughter Anupalika were born to the couple (Brahm<tnda Purana, 3: 8: 39-56; Vayu Purana, 70 34-50). But in maha Bharata, mention is made only about three wives of Visravas, named Puspotkata, Raka and Malini


VAKA DALBHYA (BAKA DALBHYA). A hermit of Ancient India. The information obtained from Mahabharata about this hermit is given below.


(He was a member of the council of Yudhisthira. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 11 ).


(ii) Once Vaka Dalbhya lectured to Yudhisthira about the greatness of Brahmanas. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 26, Stanza 6).


(iii) On another occasion he described the welfare of eternal beings to Indra. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 193).


(iv) Once he stopped Sri Krsna, who was going to Hastinapura, and conversed with him on the way. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 65) .


(v) The hermit Baka Dalbhya once talked about how the kingdom of Dhrtarastra would be made burnt offering to fire. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 41, Stanza 5) .


VAKANAKHA (BAKANAKHA). One of Visvamitra's sons who were expoundert of the Vedas. (Maha Bharata Anus asana Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 58) .


VAKPARUSYA (Using harsh words). One of the wrongs brought under the rule of chastisement in ancient India. Without caring for the truth or falsity, a man praising another with a view to tease or offend him, is Vakparusya. The teasing may be aimed at somebody with disabled members of the body or disabled organs of sense. Besides, using heart-rending words also


comes under this crime. In olden days kings issued orders to fine anybody found guilty of this crime. Ordinarily the fine was 25 Pastas. If the crime was committed against one who was below the level of the culprit the fine to be paid was only half. If harsh words were used against other women or people of a higher level the fine was double. (Agni Purana, Chapter 258).


VAKRA. A King in Ancient India. He is known by the name, Dantavaktra. (For further details see under Dantavaktra ).


VAKSOGRIVA. Visvamitra's son, who was an expounder of Vedas. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 53 ).


VALA (BALA). An asura. It is stated in Padma PurAna, Bhumikhanda, how Indra killed this asura.


One day Vala went to the sea for his evening worship. Devendra saw the asura, shining with the radiance of celibacy and the divine rod and deer-hide, praying on the sea-shore. Instantly Indra cut him into two with his weapon, the thunderbolt. Vala fell down motionless. Mention is made about this asura in Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 4. (For further details see under Bala).


VALAKA (BALAKA). A forester. (For further details see under Balaka) .


VALAKASVA. See under Balakasva.


VALAKHILYAS. See under Balakhilyas.


VALALA. See under Ballava.


VALGUJASIGHA A son of Visvamitra. He was a Brahmavadin. (See under Visvdmitra).


VALIMUKHA. A famous monkey in the army of Sri Rama. (Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda, Sarga 4, Verse 52).


VALISIKHA. See under Balisikha.


VALKALA. See under Balvala.


VALLABHA 1. The husband of Hemaprabha, an unchaste woman. (See under Hemaprabha).


VALLABHA II. Son of Balakasva. He was a righteous King. Vallabha had a son named Kusika. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 5).


VALMIKI 1. A hermit who was the first among poets and the author of Ramayana.


1) General information. Knowledge about this hermit who was the first among the poets of Bharata, is scanty. So we have to depend mainly on some hearsay for the life history of this sage.


It is said that Valmiki was the tenth son of Varuna. But in his younger age he fell into the hands of wicked people and became a wicked man, like his friends. Then his name was not Valmiki. Being a father, he had to support his family. For this purpose he used to plunder travellers. Once he happened to catch the Saptarsis (the seven hermits) who passed by that way. The hermits asked him whether his wife and children would share the sins lie had incurred by plundering. The plunderer could not answer that unexpected question. He ran home and asked his wife and children if they would share the sins incurred by him. They were not prepared to do so. In a moment his life underwent a thorough change. He ran to the Saptarsis and knelt before them. They imparted to the forester, knowledge of the Vedas. The forester sat under a tree and began to sing `Rama Rama'. Days and months and yearn passed, unknown to him. He did not know that white ants had built a shelter above him. After several years the Saptarsis returned by that way. They broke the ant-hill and took the hermit out. Because he came out of Valmika or white-ant-hill he came: to be known as V_.imiki. He built his hermitage on the bank of the river Tamasa and lived there with his disciples. It was at this place that he composed the famous poem Ramiyana. (For further details see under Ramayana).


2) Other details.


(I ) Valmiki shines in the palace of Indra. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 16).


(ii) Mention is made in Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 27, that Valmiki met Sri Krsrra who was going to Iiastinapura as a messenger of the Pandavas.


(iii) Satyaki recited a poem composed by Valmiki, after having killed Bhurigravas in the Bh~urata-battle. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 143, Stanza 57).


(iv) Valmiki told Yudhisthira of the benefits of his devotion to Siva. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 18, Stanza 8) .


VALMIKI II. One of the prominent sons of Garuda. (Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 101, Stanza


VAMA. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 12) .


VAMADEVA. An ancient hermit.


1) Iramadeaa and Sala. Three sons named Sala, Dala and Bala were born to King Pariksit by his wife Susobhana, a princess of Map.duka. In due course, King Pariksit anointed his eldest son Sala as King and went to the forest for penance.


Once Sala went to the forest to hunt. While chasing a deer, the King asked his charioteer to bring horses capable of overtaking the deer. The charioteer told the King that such horses were available at the hermitage of Vamadeva. They went to the hermitage of Vamadeva and got the horses on condition that they would be returned.


After the hunting, Sala reached his capital. Seeing the beauty and the vigorous nature of the horses, the King did not like to part with them. Vamadeva sent his disciple to the court of the King to take the horses back. But the King sent him back empty-handed. Vamadeva got angry. He came in person and demanded his horses. The King replied that Brahmins did not require such horses. While these two were quarrelling with each other, some fierce giants came there and pierced Sala with a trident and killed him. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 192) .


2) Other information.


(i)He was a friend ofVasisthaand a priest ofDagaratha. (Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda. Sarga 7, Stanza 3 ).


(ii) Mai dala 4 of Rgveda was composed by Vamadeva. (iii) Vamadeva was a hermit who had praised the A.'vinidevas when he was in his mother's womb. (Itgveda, Mandala 1, Sukta 1 19) .


(iv) Once Vamadeva tried to eat the flesh of a dog because of hunger, with a view to save Brahmins. (Manusmrti, Chapter 10, Stanza 106).


(v) He was a prominent member in the assembly of Indra. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 17).


(vi) Once Vamadeva gave advice about righteousness to King Vasumanas. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 92 ).


VAMADEVA 11. A King. Arjuna defeated this King during his regional conquest of the North. (M.B, Sabha, Parva, Chapter 27; Stanza 11) -


VAMADEVA III. One of the seven sons born to Manu by his wife Satarupa. It is stated in Matsya Purina, Chapter 4, that the Brahmin was born from the face, Ksatriya from the hand, Vai>ya from the calf of the leg and Sudra from the foot, of Vamadeva, who was an incarnation of Siva. This Vamadeva who bad five faces and a trident in his hand, fought with Candra, when 'Tart the wife of B,haspati was carried away by Candra. (Matsya Purana, 4-13) .


VAMANA I. An incarnation of Mahavisru.


1) General information. There are ten main incarnations of Mahavisnu. Of these, the incarnation of Vamana is the fifth.


2) Two Edmanas. Two different stories occur in the Puranas about the incarnation of Vamana. One story is about how Mahdvi snu took the incarnation of Vamana and thrust Mahabali - an asura, down to the netherworld. This story is more widely known. In the second story the place of Mababali is given to the asura called Dhundhu. This is the main difference. For a comparative study, both stories are given below:


a) The first story of the incarnation of Vamana. 7 he devas (gods)such as Indra and the others were born to Prajapati K,syapa by his wife Aditi and the asuras (demons) such as Mahabali and others, by his wife Diti. The Daityas (asuras) began to harm and harass the Devas to a great extent. Once Aditi, the mother of the Devas, complained to Kasyapa about this. He advised her to take the fast called `Payovrata' fixing the image of Mahavisnu in her heart and that he will take birth through her as Vamana and destroy Mahabali. According to the advice of her husband, Aditi began to take Payovrata, at the end of which Maha visnu appeared before her and asked her what her wish was. She told Visnu, of her grievances and Visnu consoled her and said "You have invoked me by your prayer and fast for the safety of your sons. So I will enter your womb through the penance of Kasyapa and take birth as your son and rescue your sons."


Mahavisnu disappeared. Aditi worshipped her husband with devotion. By contemplation Kasyapa knew everything. He infused the energy he had acquired by penance into Aditi, who gave birth to a son. The birth took place on the twelfth day of the month of Bh5.drapada, in the bright lunar fortnight at the auspicious moment called Abhijit, in the star of Sravana. The infant had four hands. While Kasyapa and Xditi were looking on, the infant changed its form and became a dwarfish Brahmin boy. The Devas brought presents to the child. The Sun taught him the spell called Sivitrimantra. Brhaspati gave the Brahmastring. Kasyapa gave the string worn round the waist. The earth gave the hide of a black antelope. Soma the Vanaspati gave a rod; Aditi gave the cloth over the privities, the sky an umbrella, the seven hermits gave Ku.' a-grass, Brahma gave a waterpot, Sarasvati gave a rosary and Kubera gave a pot.


At that time, the powerful Mahabali had brought the three worlds of heaven, earth and Patala (the netherworld) under his control. That Asura King performed a horse,sacrifice with the help of a Bhargava Brahmin. Hearing about it Vamana started for the place of sacrifice. Mahabali was performing the sacrifice at a place called Bhrgukacchaka on the North bank of river Narmada. The priests who were performing the rites and ceremonies of the sacrifice saw Vamana coming slowly to the sacrificial hall. They wondered whether it was the Sun, Sanatkumara or Agni (Fire) coming to see the sacrifice. While they were standing thus, Vamana with his umbrella, rod and water pot filled with water entered the sacrificial hall. Mahabali welcomed Vamana and asked him the purpose of his visit. Vamana said "Oh King! Your words are sweet. Noble Asura ! give me three feet of ground which I measure with my feet. That is all what I want."


Mahabali agreed. The teacher-priest Sukra felt some doubts regarding the identity of Vamana. So he secretly told Mahabali that the boy Vamana was none other than Mahavisnu and as such, he should not give any promise. But Mahabali had already given the promise. He refused to go back upon his words. The priest Sukra got angry at this and cursed Mahabali thus. "You boast that you are wise and learned. But you are disobedient, slow-witted and unwise. So all your prosperities will be destroyed."


Though he was cursed, he did not deviate from the path of truth. He gave the promised ground to Vamana by pouring water with the water brought in golden pot by his queen Vindhyavali. The names, Asana and Kotara also are used in the Purar_as for Vindhyavall the wife of Mahabali. She came out for the purpose wearing golden ornaments. Mahabali himself washed the feet of Vamana, who instantly began to grow and became large beyond imagination. Everybody on the spot was amazed at the unimaginable bigness of Vamana. On that huge figure, Mahabali saw the priest, the performers of sacrificial rites, the sacrificial hall, the universe, the elements, the qualities the senses, the mind, the individual spirits, and at the feet of the figure the world Rasatala. He saw the earth on its feet, mountains below the knees, birds on its knees, the Maruts on its thighs, evening on its clothes, the Prajapatis on its privities, the noble and mighty asuras on its loins, the sky on its navel, the oceans on itsstomach, Dharma (duty) in its heart, rightness and truth on its breasts, Mahalaksmi holding lotus on its chest, songs of Saman and all other voices in its neck, all the gods beginning with Indra on its hands, the points (directions) on its ears, the ether on its head, the clouds on its hair, breaths in its nose, the sun in its eyes, fire on its face, the Vedas in its words, Varuna in its tongue, day and night agreement and disagreement in its winking and anger on its forehead. In its touch there was desire, in its radiance there was water, in its buttocks lawlessness, sacrifice in its steps, death in its shadow, illusion in its laugh, medicines in its hairs, rivers in its veins, stones in its nails, Brahma in its intelligence, hermits, devas etc. in its life-breaths. Thus the figure was seen by Mahabali. Vamana had trodden on the whole of the earth, which was completely under the cont of of Mahabali, with one foot, filled the whole of the sky with his large body and the four points were filled with his hands. The second step was put on Maharloka, Janaloka and Tapoloka (three worlds). No spot was left in the universe for a third step.


Vamana said :-"You have given me three feet of ground. I have measured two feet of ground. Show me the place to measure the third step. I have measured the earth with one step and the heaven with the second step. You have seen it. If you cannot keep your promise


you had better go down to Patala." Bali requested him to place the third step on his head. Vamana placed his foot on the head of Mahabali and thrust him down to Patala.


Vamana brought Indra to the spot and anointed him as the ruler of heaven, in the presence of all the gods and hermits. Indra sent Vamana with the Lokapalas (Indra, Agni, Yama and Varuna) in a divine Vimana to the world of Vimu. (Bhagavata Skandha 8).


b) The second story .of the incarnation of Vamana. Dhundhu, an asura boy, was born to Kagyapa by his wife Danu. That asura did penance and pleased Brahma. He made a request that he should not be killed by Indra and the other gods or anybody else. Brahma, who was pleased at his penance, gave him the boon -he asked. The boy Dhundhu, at the beginning of the fourth Kaliyuga, during the period of Hiranyakasipu, went to heaven and defeating Indra and the other Devas, established his rule there as Indra. The mighty Hiranyakasipu was travelling on the mountain Mandara as an official under Dhundhu.


The defeated and grief-stricken Devas went to the world of Brahma and lived there. Dhundhu, who knew this, wanted to drive them out of that place also. He requested Sukra, the priest and teacher of asuras, to tell him the means of doing it.


Sukra said. "Devendra was enabled to enter the presence of Brahma, because he had performed one hundred horse-sacrifices. "Hearing this, Dhundhu, with the permission of the teacher ~ukra, began to perform sacrifice in the holy place called Pracina tirtha.


Hearing that Dhundhu had begun the horse-sacrifice, Indra and the Devas trembled with fear and, leaving the world of Brahma, went to the world of Visnu and prayed for protection. Bhagavan came to know of everything and consoled them and sent them back. After this Mahavisnu took the form of a Vamana and jumped into the Devikajala and lay afloat like a piece of dry wood. Dhundhu and the hermits saw by chance, Vamana sinking and coming up in the water. They took the Vamana-Brahmin out of water and asked him how he had fallen in water. Vamana replied with shiver:-"In the family of Varuna there was a Brahmin named Prabhasa, who was a scholar. I am Gatibhasa, the younger of his two sons. After the death of father, I requested my brother to divide the property of our father. My brother quoted several rules and said that I was not entitled to get any portion of my father's wealth. I spoke against him and getting angry he caught me by my hair and threw me into the river. It is a year since I, being. not able to swim, -began to sink and come up in this river. Thus you. have seen me here."


The Bhargavas who were present there, requested Dhundhu thus. "Oh ! King of the asuras ! Be pleased to give this boy a well-furnished house, servant-maids and plenty of wealth." Hearing this Dhundhu said to Vamana. "I will provide you with wealth, servantmaids, house, gold, cows, land, clothes etc."


Vamana humbly said to Dhundhu "Oh Lord ! I do not want any wealth. It is my desire for wealth that has brought me to this plight. I.'xequest you to give me only three feet of ground."


As soon as the asura-King complied with his request, began to grow like the moon, He assumed the shape of Trivikrama to measure each of the three worlds with a foot. In two steps he measured all the


worlds. Vamana whose body was bigger than Mahameru became angry when he did not see place to measure the third step, and fe1l on Dhundhu. By this heavy fall there appeared a great cavity thirty thousand yojanas deep. Bhagavdn Visnu took the asura Dhundhu and threw him into that deep pit with a mighty force, and by a shower of dust he filled the cavity.


Indra with the Devas occupied the world of Gods. Leaving the asura King in the sea of dust, Bhagavan jumped into the river Kalindi and disappeared. (Padma Purana, Chapter 78).


VAMANA II. One of the eight elephants supporting the universe. This elephant was one of the four sons of


Iravati. Airavata, Supratika and Anjana were the other three. (Brahmanda Purana, 3 : 7 : 292) . This V~imana was the conveyance of a famous giant in the army of Ghatotkaca during the battle of Bharata. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 60, Verse 56).


VAMANA 111. A holy place situated on the borders of Kuruksetra. By bathing in the particular spot called Visnupida, in this holy place and worshipping Vamana, one could enter the world of Visnu. (M.B. Vana Parva,

Chapter 86, Stanza 103).


VAMANA IV. A holy place. It is stated in Mahabharat_a, Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 13, that those who worship Hari (Visnu ) in this place will never become miserable.


VAMANA V. A mountain in the Kraunca Island. (Mahabharata. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 12) .


VAMANABHAT'I'ABANA. A great Sanskrit poet. It is believed that he lived in the 15th century. He has written several poems and plays. His poetic works are `Nalabhyudaya' and `Raghunathacarita'. The former consists of eight Kandas and the latter, thirty Kanuas:


It is stated that Vamanabhattabana was the teacher of Vidyaranya. Besides these two major works, he had written several poems and dramas. Imitating the poem `Meghasandesa' of Kalidasa, he had written a poetic work of the same type called `Hariisasandesa'. A minor


Drama called grngarabhusana was written by this V5mana. It is said that this drama was acted at Vijayanagara. The two plays, named-Parvatiparinaya an,d `Kanakarckha' were also written by the same poet.


V,7,.MANAPURAlR:A. One of the eighteen Puranas. (See under Purana).


VAMANIKA. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. ~alya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 23) .


VAMKSU. A river which is famous in the Puranas. The low-caste people who lived on the basin of this river, came to the Rajasuya (imperial consecration) of Yudhisthira. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 51, Stanza 17) .


VAMSA. A daughter born to Prajapati Kasyapa by his wife Pradha. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 45).


VAMSAGULMA. A holy bath. The rivers Sona and Narmada start from this bath. In Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 85, Stanza 9, it is stated that by visiting this holy bath one could obtain the fruits of performing a horse-sacrifice.


VAMSAMULAKA. A holy place situated on the boundary of Kuruksetra. It is stated in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 41, that if a bath is taken in this holy place one could bring about the uplift of one's race.


VAIVISAVALI. (GENEALOGY). The genealogy of the characters in the Puranas is given separately at the end of this book.


VAMYA. Name of the horse of the hermit Vamadeva. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 122, Stanza 41).


VANAPARVA. An important Parva in Mahabharata.


VANAPRAS7-HA. (House-holder in the forest). One of the four stages of life. (See under Asrama.).


VANARA (MONKEY) . Monkeys are given a prominent place in the Puranas. Considering them as born in the family of Hanuman, an ardent devotee of Sri Rama, some worship monkeys. It is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana that the monkeys got a prominent place first among the gods and spirits. It is stated in Valmiki Ramayana, Kiskindha Kanda, Sarga 33, that the leaders of the monkeys were Bali, Sugriva, Angada, Mainda, Gavaya, Dvivida, Gavaksa, Gaja, ~arabha, Suryaksa, Hanuman, Vidyunmali, Virabahu, Subahu, Nala, Kumuda, Jambavan, Tara., Supatala, Sunetra, Nila and Dadhivaktra.


The social life of the monkeys; is described as follows in the Valmiki Ramayana, Kiskindha Kanda, Sarga 33. "Mahendra mountain, the Himalayas, the Vindhya mountain, the peaks of Kailasa and Sveta mountain, Mandara mountain etc. are the places mostly inhabited by monkeys. On the mountains shining like the rising sun, on the east of the western ocean also monkeys live. The Monkeys which inhabit black soil are blue in colour. Monkeys which live in red arsenic caves are yellow in colour. Those which live in Maha Meru and Dhumra (smoky) mountain have the colour of the rising sun and are drunkards."


VANASPATI I. Those trees which produce fruits without flowering are called Vanaspati according to Manusmrti Chapter 1, Stanza 47. Atti (fig tree) is an example. (Apuspah phalavanto ye to vanaspatayas smrtah).


VANASPATI 11. One of the seven sons of the King Ghrtaprstha. (Bhagavata, Skandha 5) .


VANAVA. A country famous in the Puranas. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 54) .


VANAVASIKA. A country in ancient India. ( M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 58).


VANAYU I. A son born to Prajapati Kasyapa of his wife Danu. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva Chapter 65, Stanza 25, that he was the most prominent of the ten sons of Danu.


VANAYU II. A son born to Urvas i from Pururavas. The sons of Urvasi were Ayus, Dhiman, Amavasu, Drdhayu gatayu and Vanayu. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 75, Stanza 25).


VANAYU III. A country in ancient India. Mention is made about this country in Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 56.


VANCULA. A bird. The cry of this bird, is believed to forebode victory. (Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda Sarga 69, Stanza 22) .


VANDANA. A hermit mentioned in Rgveda. Once this hermit was pushed into a well by Asuras. But he was saved by the Asvinidevas. (Itgveda, Mar~dala 1, Anuvaka 1, Sukta 116) .


VANDANA. A river famous in the Puraxxas. (Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 18)


VAND y (BAND!, VAND INA) . A scholar and scientist in the palace of King Janaka. He defeated the hermit Kahodaka in an argument and dipped him in water. (For further details see under Astavakra).


VANDINA. See under Vandi.


VANEYU. A King who was the grandson of emperor Puru and the son of Rudrasva. Vaneyu was born to Rudrasva by a celestial woman named Misrakesi. Ten sons named Vaneyu, Rceyu, Kakseyu, Kr paneyu, Sthandiieyu, Jaleyu, Tejeyu, Satyeyu, Dharmeyu and Santateyu, were born to this celestial woman. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Stanza 8).


VAUGA. An important state in ancient India. The present name of this country is Bengal. Several statements occur in the Puranas about Vanga.


The following are the statements about Vanga given in the Mahabharata.


(i) Arjuna visited this country during his pilgrimage. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 214, Stanza 9).


(ii) Bhimasena attacked Vanga. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 30, Stanza 23 ).


(iii) The Kings of Vanga visited Yudhisthira with presents. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 52, Stanza 18). (iv) Karna conquered this country during his regional conquest. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 254, Stanza 8) . (v) In the Bharata battle the King of Vanga confronted Ghatotkaca and was defeated. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 92, Stanza 6).


(vi) Once gri Krsna conquered the country of Vanga. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza 15).


(vii) Para~.urama exterminated the Ksatriyas ofVanga. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 70, Stanza 12).


(viii) The low castes of Vanga attacked the sacrificial horse led by Arjuna who killed every one of them. (M.B. Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 82, Stanza 29) .


VANGRDA. An asura. It is mentioned in Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 1, Sukta 10, that the Kings Atithigva~and Rjisva, with their armies surrounded the cities of the asuras Karanja, Parnaya and Vaiigrda and that Indra helped the two Kings.


VANJULA. See under Vidura II.


VAPUS I. A daughter of Daksa. Dharmadeva married her. (Visnu Purana, Arhsa 1, Chapter 7).


VAPUS II. A celestial maid. She made a futile attempt to hinder the penance of the hermit Durvasas, and by the curse of the hermit she had to take birth as the daughter of Kundhara by Menaka in the next birth. (Markandeya Purana, 1, 49, 56; 2, 41).


VAPUSMAN. Son of Sankrandana, the King of Vidarbha. Dama, a famous King of Dista dynasty carried away by stealth Sumana, the daughter of Caruvarma, the King of Da6arna, in consequence of which Vapusman and Dama became enemies.


Vapusman waited for an opportunity to take revenge and when a convenient moment came, he killed Narisyanta the father of Dama. Indrasena the mother of Dama told him of his father's murder and then jumping into the funeral pyre of her husband, she died. Because of grief at the loss of his parents and anger towards the slayer, Dama started with a mighty army and engaged Vapusman in a fierce battle. He killed Vapusman in the battle and with his blood he made offerings to the spirits of his parents. (Markandeya Purana, 133) .


VAPUSMATI Daughter of the King of Sindhu. She became the wife of Marutta. (Markandeya Purana, 133).


VAPUSTAMA. The prominent queen of King Janamejaya. She was the daughter of Suvarnavarma, the King of XdO. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 2). Vapustama had two sons, Satanika and Sankukarna. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 86).


VARADA. A warrior of Subrahmanya (Mahabharata, Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 64).


VARADANA. A holy place near Dvaraka. It was here that Durvasas gave Bhagavan Sri Krsna boons (Vara). From that day this became a holy place. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 82, that those who take bath in this holy place would obtain the fruits of giving a thousand cows as alms.


VARADASA&GAMA. A holy place. Those who take bath in this holy place would obtain the fruits of giving a thousand cows as alms. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 85, Stanza 35 ).


VARAHA. An ancient hermit. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 17, that this hermit stayed in the palace of Yudhisthira.


VARAHA II. A holy place in the middlc of Kuruksetra. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 88, that Mahaviunu stayed in this place for a while in the shape of Varaha (Boar) and that those who bathe in this holy bath would obtain the fruits of performing the sacrifice Agnistoma.


VARAHA III. (Boar). One of the ten incarnations of Mahavi snu.


1) .Need for this incarnation. Jaya and Vijaya, two doorkeepers of Mahavisnu showed disrespect towards the famous hermits ~anaka and others who went to visit Mahavisnu. The angry hermits cursed them to take birth as asuras. Accordingly Jaya and Vijava took birth as the two asuras Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakassipu and were born from Prajapati Kagyapa by his wife Diti.


Even their birth itself was inauspicious. Once, while Kasyapa was carrying on evening worship, his wife was filled with libid. She embraced Kasyapa. Because she got pregnancy in an inauspicious moment, two asura sons were born. At the time of their birth darkness spread over the whole of the world, and some ill omens were seen. The Devas (gods) trembled.


The elder son was called Hirany5ksa and the second son was called Hiranyakasipu. As Hirany5kga grew up he began to quarrel with the Devas. When the fight grew fierce, he picked up the earth in his hands as a ball and went under water. There was left only water. The Devas went to Mahavisnu and prayed to him in order to get the earth back.


At this time Manu Svayambhuva, the son of Brahma, was living with his father looking after his welfare. The father, who was pleased with the services of his son said. "My dear son, you should worship Devi, who will be pleased with your devotion and will bless you. If she is pleased with you, you will become a famous Prajapati." Hearing the words of Brahma, Svayambhuva worshipped Devi with ardent devotion, deep meditation and severe vows and penance, at which Jagadamba was pleased. She appeared before him and asked him what boon he wanted. Manu requested that he should be permitted to carry on creation without any obstruction. Devi gave him permission. Manu returned to his father Brahma and said. "Father, point out tome a solitary place. I will sit there and create subjects by the blessings of Devi." Only when he heard the request ef his son, did Brahma begin to think about the exigency of providing his son with such a place. For, the earth was completely under water. For a long time even Brahma was being subjected to much inconvenience to carry on creation. Only Bhagavan Adi Narayana (Visnu) could do anything in this matter. So Brahma, with the Manus, hermits and others began to meditate on Mahavisnu.


2) Incarnation. Instantly the young one of a Boar jumped out of the nose of Brahma through his breath. That divine figure of Boar stood in the air and began to grow. Within a few moments, it became a colossal Being. It grew up as big as an elephant. Soon it became as large as a mountain. Seeing this, Brahma and the others stood in amazement. The Boar made a grunt in a loud roaring sound. The people of Janaloka, Satyaloka etc. understood that it was the sound of Mahavisnu. They raised glory and praise to Bhagavan, who heard all these praises, but without condescending to tell anything, looked at all of them with grace and love, and with a mighty force jumped into the sea. It was immensely troubled by the manes of God Almighty. Varuna prayed to him to save him from them. Bhagvan folded his mane and went down to the deep water and made a search for the earth. The Boar walked smelling and snorting and found out the earth. He slowly lifted it on his tusks and started from there. On the way, the fierce and wicked Hiranyaksa hindered him. Bhagavan Visnu used his club Nandaka and killed Hiranyaksa. It was besmeared with his blood; Mahavisnu came up to the surface of water with the earth. He set the earth firm over the water. Thus Brahma gave Manu a place in the earth which floated on the water like a lotus-leaf, and empowered him to perform creation.


3) Incarnation of Boar again. The goddess Earth, the deity of earth which was raised to the surface of water, fell in love with Mahavisnu and embraced him. He embraced her in return. These mutual embraces continued for one complete Devavarsa (year of God.) and consequently the goddess Earth became tired and weak and unconscious. So the earth slid down a little under water. Bhagavan tools the form of a Boar again and lifted the earth to its original place and returned to Vaikuntha. (Bhagavata, Skandha 3; Devi Bhagavata Skandhas 8 and 9; Agni Purana, Chapter 5; Padma Purana, Bhumikhanda, Chapter 91 ).


VARAHA IV. A mountain near Girivraja, the capital city of Magadha. (Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 21, Stanza 2) .


VARAHAKA. A serpent born in the family of Dhrtarastra. This serpent was burned in the sacrificial fire of Janamejaya. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 57, Stanza 18).


VARAHAKARNA. A Yaksa (demi god). This Yaksa remains in the palace of Kubera. (Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 13, Stanza 16) .


VARAHAMBA. An asura. Mention is made about him in Mahabharata, Santi Parva. Chapter 227, Stanza 52.


VARAHA PURANA .See under Purana.


VARAMANI. A beetle made of jewel. Brahma had given a boon that only he who fought with this jewelbeetle in his mouth could kill Patala Ravana. This


secret was known only to the giants, such as Ravana. and others. This Varamani was kept in an underground cell of a harem near the Kali temple in the Patala.


The battle between Rama and Ravana was going on. Hanuman made a fort coiling his tail like a spring and Rama and Laksmana stayed inside this fort. While they were sleeping, Pataia Ravana made a tunnel under the earth and carried away Rama and Laksmana. Vibhisana knew this, only next day morning. Instantly he sent Hanuman to Patala. In accordance with the advice of Vibhisana, Hanuman went directly to the cell in the harem, took Varamani and put it in his mouth. Then he fought with P2tala Ravana and defeated him. Thus with the help of the Varamani Hanuman rescued Rama and Laksmana. (Kamba Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda).


VARANA. A river famous in the Puranas. It is mentioned in Vamana Purana that the river Varana which flowed from the right leg and the river As!, which started from the left leg of Bhagavan, who lies in contemplation at Prayaga, are two holy rivers. (See under Varanasi ).


VARANA. A country in ancient Bharata. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 19, Stanza 31, that the army of the Kauravas had surrounded this country.




(Before reading the information given here refer to the details given about Ka6i under Kas i and Divodasa).


1 ) The name Varandsf. Formerly this place was known as Prayaga. Later it got the name Varanasi and then Ka9i. The name Varanasi is originated from two rivers. Bhagavan Yogasayi who stays in Prayaga was born from a portion of Mahavisnu. From the right leg of Yogasayi the river Varana started and from his left leg the river As! started. These two rivers are praised and worshipped all over the world. The temple of Yogasayi is situated in the place between these two rivers. As the place is situated between Varana and As! it is called Varanasi. (Vamana Purana, Chapter 3) .


2) Other information.


(i) Bhisma went to ka'si and took Amba, Ambika and Ambalika, the daughters of the King of Kasi, to his kingdom by force. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 102, Stanza 3).


(ii) Varanasi is a holy place of pilgrimage. By bathing in Kapilahrada, a holy bath there, and worshipping Sankara, one could obtain the fruits of performing the sacrifice Rajasuya. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 78) .


(iii) The middle part of Varanasi is called Avimukta. Those who forsake their lives at Avimukta will obtain heaven. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 79) .


(iv) Once Sri Krsna made Varanasi a prey to fire. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 48, Stanza 76).


(v) A very great scholar named Tuladhara Vai:.ya once lived in Varanasi. (M.B. 8anti Parva, Chapter 261, Stanza4l ).


(vi) Once, in ancient days, giva imparted to the hermit Jaigisu at this place, the eight miraculous attainments such as anima, garima etc. (M.B. Anusasana


Parva, Chapter i8, Stanza 37). (vii) Varanasi is equal to the capital city of Indra


(Amaravati). (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 30, Stanza 16 ).


(viii) In ancient days a hermit named Sarhvartta used to come here daily to worship 8iva. It was at this place that the emperor Marutta accepted the hermit Sarhvartta as his priest. (M.B. Asvamedha Parva, Chapters 6 and 7) .


VARANAVATA. The place where Duryodhana built the wax-house for the Pandavas. It is believed that the modern village Varnava, 19 miles north east to Meerut in North India, is the place where this Puranic.Va.ranavata stood. Information about Varanavata found in Mahabharata, is given below ;


(i) Once the ministers of, Dhrtarastra made a consultation about the festival in this .city. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 192, Stanza 3).


(ii) Varanavata was one of the five villages requested for by the 1?andavas, on their return after their life in the forest. (M.B. IJdyoga Parva, Chapter 31, Stanza 19) .


(iii) Yuyutsu, the son of Dhrtarastra, carried on a battle here for six months. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 19, Verse 58) .


VARAIZGT I. The wife of Vajranga, an asura. (For more details see under Parvati, Para 2 ).


VARAi~ZGI II. Wife of Sarilyati, a King of the Lunar dynasty. The father of this Varangi was Drsadvan. A son named Ah3,dzyati was born to Varangi. (M.B. Atli Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 14).


VARARUCI. An ancient Indian scholar in astronomy and astrology. (Some details regarding Vararuci are given under Bhartrhari).


1) Birth. It is stated in Kathasaritsagara, Kathapithalambaka, Taranga 1, that Vararuci was the rebirth of a Gananayaka (guard of 8iva) named Puspadanta. Once 8iva happened to tell Parvati some previous stories of the Vidyadharas. Puspadanta eavesdropped and heard everything. Parvati understood this and cursed him to become a man. Accordingly Puspadanta was born in the city of Kausambi under the name Vararuci or Katyayana. (For details about the curse see under Gun ad'Itya).


2) Of sharp intelligence. Vararuci was born as the son of the Brahmin Somadatta at Kausambi. Agnisikha was another name of Somadatta. Vasudatta was the mother of Vararuci. In the previous birth, Vasudatta was a hermit maid. Due to a curse she lost her hermit-maidhood and took birth as a woman under the name Vasudatta and became the wife of Sornadatta.


As his father died in his childhood, Vararuci was brought up by his mother. She was in great penury after the death of her husband. One day two travellers came to her house. While they were sitting on the veranda, the sound of a conch was heard. Then the mother called Vararuci and said to him. "Son, the dance of Nanda, the friend of your father, is about to begin." Vararuci requested his mother to let him go to the temple and see the dance so that he might learn it. Hearing this, the guests were amazed. How can one learn dance by seeing only once ? That was the doubt in the minds of the travellers. "Vararuci could learn anything by hearing only once", his mother said. As a test, they recited to him a portion from the Vedas. Vararuci repeated the portion to them without any mistake. After this the guests took the boy and


showed him the dance and brought him back. The boy performed every item of the dance he saw, before the guests. They were immensely pleased.


3) Getting a teacher. The guests had actually been searching for a boy who could understand anything at the first hearing. There was reason for it.


In the great. city of Nandaraja, there was a great Brahmin named SaAkarasvami. He had two sons named Varsa and Upavarsa. Both married and lived in separate houses. By and by Varsa became cruel and wicked and poor. Upavar sa became learned and wealthy. The rainy season approached. In those days it was a custom for women to make a sweet food of rice flour with sugar and give it to cruel Brahmins. It was to prevent the extreme cold in the winter and the extreme heat in the summer from afecting them severely. The wife of Upavarsa made this sweet food and gave it to Varsa. When he brought it home, his wife scolded him. Varsa felt very sorry because of his foolishness. He gave up all his desires and began to worship Kumarasvami. Kumarasvami was pleased with him and blessed him with all kinds of knowledge. Kumarasva.mi had ordered him to teach all of this knowledge to one who could learn at first hearing. From that day onwards Varsa had been waiting for a disciple who could learn at first hearing.


During this period there lived two Brahmins named Devasvami and Karambhaka in the city of Vetasapura. They were friends. A son wasborn to each of them. The son of~ Devasvami was named Vyali. The name of the son of Karambhaka was Indradatta. When Vyali was a child, his father died. Seeing their grief the father of Indradatta left the country. Both of the boys, having nobody to look after them, went to perform penance, before Subrahmanyasvami. Subrahmanya ordered them in their sleep to go to Varsa in Patalika, the city of King Nanda, and to learn every thing from him. The boys immediately went to the city of King Nanda and enquired about the teacher Varsa. The people told them that Varsa was a fool. They were sorry to hear it. Still they did not turn back. They reached the house of Varsa, and entered the house which was the abode of rats and bats, the walls of which were crumbling due to rain as it had not been thatched for a long time. The courtyard was full of Cassiatora plants. Inside the house, here and there on the floor, Cyperus-grass was growing. The wife of Varsa who was in utter penury stood up and welcomed them. She told them about her husband. "Ile is waiting for a disciple who would learn everything at first hearing." Vyali and Indradatta agreed to bring such a disciple and they started on a journey in search of such a boy. They were the two travellers who carne to the house of Vararuci.


Vyali said all about these things to the mother of Vararuci. She was very glad and said. "Everything fits well. At the birth of my son, an ethereal voice said : "At first hearing he will learn everything. He will learn everything from the teacher Varsa. He will publish works in grammar and astronomy". If he has interest in good things he will get the name Vararuci. So I had been thinking how and where to find this teacher Varsa."


Next morning, with the permission of his mother, Vararuci started for the house of Varsa, with Vyali and Ind,cadatta. They reached the house of Varsa. Next morning they smeared and purified the floor and the three sincere and simple disciples sat facing the east. The teacher Varsa recited to them the divine spell `Om', and instantly all the Vedas and the ancillaries of Vedas made their appearance. The teacher commenced teaching. The three disciples learned, Vararuci hearing only once. hearing twice and. Indradatta hearing thrice. Hearing these divine recitations and repetitions which were not to be heard anywhere else, Brahmins crowded to the place. King Nanda of Pataliputra praised the teacher Varwa and sent him plenty of wealth and conferred on him ranks and privileges.


4) Marriage. Vararuci learned everything from the teacher Varsa. He went with his friends once to see the Indra-festival. There, Vararuci happened to see Upakosa the daughter of Upavarsa and fell in love with her. That night he did not sleep. At last he slowly closed his eyes. A divine woman clad in white garments appeared before him It seemed to him that the woman said to him. "You need not worry in this matter. Upakoa was your wife in the previous birth. She will marry only you. I am Sarasvati who pervades your body." Vararuci woke up. Next, day the elders came to know of this, and gave her in marriage to Vararuci.


5) Vararuci becoming a Minister. Education was finished. It was time for Vyali and Indradatta to give presents to the teacher Varsa. The teacher demanded a crore of Vilkas (a Venetian ducat us;,°d for neck-ornament) . They were not having so much wealth. They went with Vararuci to Nanda, the King of Ayodhya, and the Brother-in-law of Vararuci. When they reached Ayodhya, they heard that the King had just died. Indradatta said "By the practice of contemplation I shall enter the body of the King. Vararuci should come and beg money of me. Till my return Vyali must keep my body."


The spirit of Indradatta immediately entered the King's body. The dead King rose up. People were struck with wonder. They celebrated a festival. Vyali kept the body of Indradatta within a temple. Vararuci went to the presence of the King and begged for a crore of Vilkas. The King called his minister ~akatala and told him to give Vararuci a crore of Vilkas. Sakatala, who was an intelligent man, felt some doubt in the coming to life of the King. He decided that some one might have entered the body of the King. He ordered that every dead body in the city should be burnt. Along with the bodies, the body of Indradatta also was taken by force from Vyali. At this time the King compelled Sakatala to give the beggar Vilkas. But till the dead bodies were burnt, Sakatala did not obey him. Because his body was burnt Indradatta had to remain in the body of the King. Sakatala gave Vararuci the required amount. But of what use was the money ? Indradatta had become the King. The King and Vyali made a secret consultation, as a result of which Vararuci was made the Prime Minister. 8akatala was charged with Brahmahatya and was put into a dungeon with his hundred sons. They were allowed fried and powdered grain and a `ceratu' (a measure) of water as food for each.


Sakatala said to his sons. "My sons, all of us cannot live with so little food. The most intelligent one among


us should live by eating the whole food, to take revenge on the Yoga Nanda King. Who will do so?"


Sons:--We don't think that we are powerful to do that. So you must live, father !


So Sakatala ate the whole food and lived while his sons, one by one, died of hunger before his eyes. Salcatala sat in the middle of the Skeletons with the sole purpose of taking revenge. Vya!i gave the present to the teacher and went home.


Indradatta and Vararuci lived as king and minister.


6) Loss of ministership. By and by Indradatta had fallen into bad ways. The subjects were beset with famine. The people hated the king and the minister. They made a cry to bring gakatala back. They obtained the permission of the king and brought Sakatala out of the dungeon. gakatala knew that so long as Vararuci was alive, he could do nothing to the King Yoga Natida. So he decided to wait for an opportunity, arid accepted an office under Vararuci. One day Yoga Nanda went out for a walk. He saw in the. Ganges the palm of a hand with five fingers. He called Vararuci and asked him what the sight was. ' Vararuci showed two fingers in that direction. Immediately the palm of the hand disappeared. The King was amazed at this and asked him for its meaning. He said "The meaning of showing fingers was that if five men unite together, they could accomplish anything. I showed twofingers, to mean that if two men unite together they also could achieve anything." At this reply the king was much pleased and Sakatala felt miserable at the intelligence of Vararuci.


On another occasion the King saw his wife looking at a Brahmin guest through the window. He got angry and ordered that Brahmin to be killed. When that Brahmin was being taken to the scaffold, a dead fish, placed for sale, laughed loud. The king asked Vararuci for its reason. Saying that he had to consider about it before giving a reply, he went out and meditated upon Sarasvati. Devi appeared and told him. "If you climb up to the top of this palm tree and sit there to night you will understand why the dead fish laughed." Vararuci did as he was told. A fierce giantess came there with her young ones. The children began to ask her for food. The giantess told them that they would get the flesh of a Brahmin next day, and that he was not killed that day because the dead fish had laughed. The young ones asked her why the dead fish laughed The giantess said "The wives of the kings are not chaste. In all harems men live in the guise of women. Without stopping this the king was going to kill an innocent Brahmin. That is why the dead fish laughed."


Vararuci, who heard this conversation, got down when the giantess was gone. He went to the king and told him why the fish laughed. The king made a sudden search in the harem. He found out some men in tote dress of women. The king honoured Vararuci and released the Brahmin. One day an artist who drew portraits, came to the palace. He drew a portrait of the king and the queen and placed it before the king. The picture was life-like. The king gave the artist several presents. Once Vararuci happened to enter the bed-room of the king. He saw the picture on the wall. The picture was beautiful. Still, considering the appearance of each part of her body the queen ought to have a mole on her loin. Vararuci put that mole in the picture. When Vararuci had gone the king entered the room and saw the mole in the picture. The kingasked his servant, who that person was who had put that mole in the picture. He replied that it was Vararuci. The king thought that Vararuci had nocturnal connections with the queen. Perhaps it was in this way that Vararuci found out men in the dress of women. The king called Sakatala to him and told him to kill Vararuci secretly. Sakatdla felt pity on Vararuci and hid him in a place.


Vararuci told Sakatdla "No body can kill me. My friend is a giant. He will come to me the moment


think of him. If I tell him he will swallow the whole world." When he heard this, Sakatdla desired to see the giant. Vararuci thought of him and the giant appeared. Sakatala was terribly afraid of the giant. Vararuci made him disappear. Sakatdla asked him how he got the friendship of the giant. Vararuci replied.


"While you were in the dungeon, a city chief was disappearing daily from this city. The king asked me to find out the reason. One night, while I was walking through the city, I saw this giant. He asked me. "Who is the most beautiful woman in this city?" I replied "Whoever falls in love with a woman, to him, that woman is the most beautiful. You who do not know this principle, are a fool." The giant had no answer. He said "You alone have defeated me. I am glad of it. The moment you think of me I will come and help you." Saying this the giant disappeared. Thenceforward we became friends."


Sakatala felt great respect for Vararuci. Hiranyagupta, the son of Yoga Nanda, went for hunting. His horse ran fast and he was separated from his army and got into a deep forest far away. He ate some fruits and plums and got on a tree to rest for the night. At that time a lion chased a bear, which climbed on the same tree. The prince trembled with fear. The bear said "Do not fear. I am your friend." Both talked for a while and became fast friends. Shortly, the prince began to sleep. The lion asked the bear to push that man down. The bear said that he would not deceive his friend. The disappointed lion sat under the tree. Then the bear slept and Hiranyagupta sat awake. The lion asked the prince to push the bear down. Thinking that he could save his life by complying with the request of the lion, he pushed the bear down. Fortunately the hold of the bear was firm and so it did not fall. The bear cursed Hiranyagupta. "May you become mad." The king was very sorry when his son returned a mad man. The king repented that he had killed Vararuci. For this was the time when the king needed him most.


Sakatdla went to the .presence of the king and said that Vararuci was still alive. In accordance with the order of the king, Sakatala brought Vararuci. The king showed him his mad son. By the blessing of Sarasvati, Vararuci understood that the prince had deceived his friend, and informed the king of what had happened. Immediately the prince was cured of his madness. Yoga Nanda asked Vararuci, how he knew the cause of the madness of the prince. He replied. "A man of intelligence can understand anything by symptoms and inference." He also said that in this way he knew about the mole of the queen. When the king heard this he bowed down his head.


After this Vararuci left the palace. He did not stop to accept the favours of the king. Nor did he pay any heed to the compulsion of the king to stay. He reached his


house. Everybody who saw Vararuci began to cry. Not knowing the reason, he stood dumbfounded. Upavarsa came to him and said that when the news about the slaughter of Vararuci reached home, Upakosa got into fire and his mother died of broken heart. The griefstricken Vararuci went to the forest for penance.


After this Sakatdla waited for an opportunity to bring Indradatta (Yoga Nanda) down. Once he had been walking out side the city when he saw a Brahmin digging a pit. Sakatala asked him why he was digging the pit. He replied " I stumbled on this Darbha grass. So I am rooting it out." Sakatdla resolved to make use of this Brahmin to achieve his purpose. His name was Canakya. Sakatala took Canakya to the palace. A ceremony of offerings to the manes was being conducted in the Palace. Another Brahmin named Subandhu also came there. The king ordered `agrabhojana' (first meal) to be given to Subandhu. Canakya trembled with fury. At that time his lock of hair was loosened. He took a vow that only after pacifying his anger by killing Yoga Nanda within seven days, would he tie up his lock. Canakya began practising sorcery against the king. The king caught burning fever and died on the seventh day. Sakatala killed Hiranyagupta. After this Sakatala made Candragupta, the son of the real Nanda who died earlier, the king. Making Canakya his minister, Sakatdla ,-.rjt for penance. 7) Sons. See under 1'akkanar. 8) The end. Vararuci began to perform penance in the Vindhya mountain. At that tune a brahmin came to the hermitage of Vararuci. He informed Vararuci of the death of Yoga Nanda. Thinking about the littleness of the pleasures of the world, he began to walk through the Vindhya mountain when he saw the devil called Kanabhuti. Telling everything to the devil Kanabhuti, Vararuci started for Badaryasrama to discard his body. On the way he saw a hermit who lived on water alone. In the meanwhile his finger was cut with the tip of Darbha grass and blood oozed from the wound. Vararuci, by his attainments, changed the blood into the juice of a pot-herb. The hermit cried out "Oh, I have become a man of attainments." With a laugh Vararuci said "You have not yet overcome your egoism. I did so to test you. First of all you must overcome your egoism and become wise."


After saying this Vararuci went to Badaryas.rama and reached there. He did penance there and Devi appeared. According to her advice he made a fire by contemplation and burned his body in it. Then Vararuci became the old Puspadanta and went to the presence of Siva.


VARASTR I. A sister of Brhaspati. The Vasu named Prabhasa married Varastri. This woman who was an expounder of the Vedas, pervaded all the creations by the power of harmony with the Supreme Spirit. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 60, Stanza 96:- Vayu Pura~-.ta, 84, 15).


VARATANTIl. The preceptor of a hermit called Kautsa. (See under Kautsa).


VARATANU. A King of the Kurus. Because of his sinful deeds in the previous birth he was denied the happiness of getting children in the next birth. In the rebirth his name was Sridhara. He lived with his wife Prabhavati for a long tune, but did not get children. When the hermit Vyasa came to his palace once, the King asked him for the reason of his remaining childless. Vyasa replied "Oh King, hear why you have only one wife and why you do not get children. In the previous birth you had been a brahmin named Varatanu. Your wife was called Sankari. When both of you were going somewhere once, you happened to see a lowcaste child falling into water. Without paying any heed to it, you went on your way. The child was drowned. Though both of you have taken births in royal families due to the several good deeds of yours, you have become childless because of that one sinful act."


According to the instruction of Vyasa, he gave Brahmins alms of gold, clothes, oxen, pumpkin etc. and performed Bala vrata, the rite for the sake of children. Thus he got remission of his sin. Within a year he got a son loved and respected by everyone. That handsome prince became an emperor who came to be the founder of a dynasty. (Padma Purana, Brahma Khanda, Chapter 6) .


VARATRI. One of the four sons of Suka. The other three were, Prthurasmi, Brhadangiras and Rajata. Devendra killed them because they were against sacrifice. It is stated in Brahmanda Purana that after a while from the severed heads of these sons date palm trees grew up.


VARAYU. A King born in the family of Mahaujas. (Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 74, Stanza 15) .


VARCAS I. Son of Soma, one of the eight Vasus. Manohara was the mother of Varcas. Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna was the next birth of Varcas. (For further details see and°_r Abhimanyu).


VARCAS II. The son of Sucetas, a Brahmin born in the family of Grtsamada. This Varcas had a son called Vihavya. (M.B. Anu;'asana Parva, Chapter 30, Stanza 61).


VARDHAKSEMI. A mighty King of Vrsni dynasty. The following details about him are taken. from Mahabharata.


(i) He was a great warrior who fought on the side of the Pandavas against the Kauravas. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 171, Stanza 17) .


(ii) He was present at the Svayarnvara (marriage) of Draupadi. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 185, Stanza 9).


(iii) He confronted the Teacher Krpa in the Bharata battle and was killed by him. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 6, Stanza 21) .


VARDHAMANA. A character in the story of Paficatantra. (See under Paficatantra) .


VARDHANA. One of the sons born to Sri Krsna of his wife Mitravinda. (Bhagavat,#, Skandha 10).


VARENYA. One of the seven sons of Bhrgu. The seven sons of Bhrgu were Cyavana, Suci, Aurva, Sukra Vajrasirsa, Savana, and Varenya. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 85, Stanza 126).


VARGA. A celestial maid. There is a story in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 220, describing how Varga and her friends were changed into crocodiles and had to live in water for a long time.


Once there lived an `apsaras' (celestial maid) named Varga in Devaranya. She had four friends called Saurabheyi, Samici, Budbuda and Lata. Once they were going to the house of Kubera their patron. On the way they saw a hermit. They saw the whole forest shining with the radiance of the power of penance of the hermit. They decided to entice the hermit


somehow. With this intention they entered his hermitage. Seeing their dalliance and coquetry, the hermit got angry and cursed them to become crocodiles for a hundred years. They implored him with tears, for liberation from the curse. The hermit told them that in due course a noble man would come and get them out of water and that then they would obtain their original form. They walked towards a lake.


On the way they saw Narada. They told him everything. He told them. "On the coast of the southern ocean there are five tirthas (holy baths) known as Agastya, Saubhadra, Pauloma, Karandhama and Suprasanna. You may go to these lakes and live there as crocodiles one in each. In due course Arjuna, the son of Pandu will come and redeem you."


According to the words of Narada the five celestial maids-walked to the south and reached the Pancatirtha (the five holy baths) and each of them entered a lake as a crocodile. After this nobody dared to live near those holy baths. After some time Arjuna started on hi,pilgrimage. He passed through many places and reached the Pancatirtha. He enquired why the place was forsaken by people. The hermits told him that there was a crocodile in each of the five baths and that they would eat anybody who got into the bath. Arjuna got into a lake. Immediately a crocodile came and caught hold of him. With great difficulty he dragged it out of the lake. Instantly the crocodile changed into a beautiful damsel. The celestial maid Varga told the amazed Arjuna her story and she added that her four friends were lying in the neighbouring four lakes. Arjuna redeemed every one of them. After this, Varga and her friends went to Devaranya and Arjuna to Manalura. From that day onwards the five tirthas came to be known as Naritirthas.


VART. An eternal God concerned with offerings to the manes. (M.B. Anusasana Parva; Chapter 91, Stanza 33).


VARISENA. A King. This King stays in the Palace of Yama and worships him. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 8, Stanza 20).


VARISTHA. The son of Manu Caksusa. The following story, how Varistha cursed the hermit Grtsamada, occurs in Mahabharata, Anug asana Parva, Chapter 18. Indra once performed a sacrifice which lasted for a thousand years. Varistha and Grtsamada, as friends of Indra were present at the sacrifice. Grtsamada committed some mistakes in the recitation of Samans. Varistha got angry and cursed Grtsamada that he would wander in the forest as an animal for ten thousand one hundred and eighteen years. Accordingly Grtsamada wandered through forests in the form of an animal for a very long time.


VARITAKSA. An asura. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, S`anti Parva, Chapter 227, Stanza 52, that he had been a King once and that fate made him an asura.


VARKST. Daughter of the hermit Kandu. It is stated in (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 195, Stanza 15, that she became the wife of the ten Pracetases. It is stated in Bhagavata, Skandha 6, that Daksa was born from this Varksi


VARMA. In ancient days it was the custom to add the word `Varma' to the names of Ksalriy4s. Brahmanas had to add the word karma, Ksatriyas the word Varma Vaigyas the word Gupta and Sudras the word Dasa to their names according to rules. (Agni Purina, Chapter 153) .


VARMACIT. A King of the Lunar dynasty. (Bhagavata Skandha 9).


VARNA. Caste. The four castes of Brahmana Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra and the eleven castes produced by the intermingling of these four castes, only these are taken into account when we speak of Varna. To understand about the four castes of Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra, see under Caturvarnya.


To know about the eleven mixed castes that originated from the four castes, see under Ekadasasankara Varnas.


VARSA I. The teacher of Vararuci. (For details see under Vararuci).


VARSA II. See under Kdlamana.


VARSAGAYA. An ,ancient hermit. The Gandharva King Visvdvasu learned about the connection between the individual soul and the Universal soul, from this hermit. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 318, Verse 59).


VARSAKETU. A King of the Puru dynasty. The father of Varsaketu was Ksemaka, and his son was Vipu. (Agni Purina, Chapter 278).


VARSNEYA. I. A charioteer of King Nala. It was Varsneya who took the prince Indrasena and princess Indrasena to Kundinapura when Nala, after being defeated in the game of dice, went to the forest with Damayanti. After this, Varsneya went to Ayodhya and became the charioteer of King Rtupara. Varsneya played an important part in finding out* Nala. (For more details see under Nala).


VARSNEYA II. Another name of Mahdvisnu. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 27, Stanza 37 ).


VARSNEYA III.. An ancient country. It is mentioned in Mahdbhdrata, Sabhd Parva, Chapter 51, Stanza 24, that the King of Varsneya brought presents to the imperial consecration-sacrifice (R5jasuya) of Yudhisthira.


VARTA. A King of ancient India. This King stays in the palace of Yama praising and worshipping him. (M.B. Sabhd Parva, Chapter 8, Stanza 10) .


VARUIYA I. One of the eight guardians of the quarters. 1) Birth. Varuna was the son of Prajapati, Kwyapa born of Aditi. He was one of the twelve sons of Aditi. So he is considered to be one of the twelve Adityas (Sons of Aditi). The twelve Adityas are Dhata, Aryaman, Mitra, okra, Varuna, Arhsa, Bhaga, Vivasvan, Pusa, Savita,'Tvasti and Visnu. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 15) .


These twelve Adityas were the twelve Devas (gods) known as Tusitas in the Manvantara of Manu Cdksusa. A statement occurs in Visnu Purina, Arh$a 1, Chapter 15, that when Vaivasvata Manvantara was about to begin after the end of CikSUSa Manvantara, the famous Tusitas united together and took birth as the. sons of Kas yapa.


2) Kingship of the waters. In Krtayuga the Devas approached Varuna and said to him. "You must be the lord of all the waters, as Indra is our protector. You can live in the heart of the ocean. All the rivers in the world, and the ocean which is their husband will obey you. You will wax and wane along with Candra (Moon)." Varuna agreed to comply with their request.


All of them anointed Varuna as the King of the waters. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 47).


3) The Guardian of the quarter zest. Brahma appointed Varuna as the guardian of the western zone. Vaisravana once did penance before Brahma, and when Brahma appeared before him, he made a request that he should be appointed as one of the guardians of the quarters. Brahma replied. "I have already selected Indra, Varuna and Yama as guardians of the points. I was thinking who, the fourth, should be, when you came. So from this day onwards, Indra shall be the guardian of the East, Yama that of the South, Varuna, that of the West and you Vaisravana shall be the guardian of the North." After saying this, Brahma disappeared. Thus Varuna became the guardian of the West. (Uttara l~amayana).


4) Family. Varuna had several wives and children. Prominent among them were Gauri and Varundrd. Mention is made about the sons Susena, Vandi and Vasistha and daughter Varuni. Cdrsani was another wife of Varuna. Prajdpati Bhr°gu, who died in the sacrifice of Daksa took birth as the son of Varuna and Carsani. Nevi jyesthd, the daughter of Priest Sukra was another wife of ~aruna. The children of jyestha were Bala, Surd the Suranandini andAdharmaka the destroyer of the elements. The semen of Varuna fell on Valmika (White-ant-hill) from which the great hermit Vdlmiki was born. Besides them, Daksasavarni, the ninth Manu was the son of Varuna. Puskara was another son of Varuna. The handsome Puskara was received as husband .by the daughter of Soma (Candra). Vandi, who was defeated by the hermit Astavakra at the palace of janaka was the son of Varuna. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 117, Stanza 9; Adi Parva, Chapter 66, Stanza 52; Adi Parva, Chapter 99, Stanza 5; Vana Parva, Chapter 134, Stanza 24; ValmTki Ramayana, Balakanda Sarga 17, Stanza 13; Valmiki Ramayana, Bdlakanda, Sarga 46, Stanza 36).


5) Carrying away Utathya's wife. Bhadra, the daughter of Soma (Moon) was extremely beautiful. Soma gave her in marriage to the hermit Utathya. Varuna carried her away. Utathya got angry and drank up the ocean dry. Varuna returned Bhadra to Utathya. (For further details see under Utathya ). ,


6) Theft of Varuna's cow by Ka.cyapa. Kasvapa once decided to perform a sacrifice. He made all preparations. But he did not get the required cow at the stipulated time. So he got the Homadhenu of Varuna by theft and began to perform the yoga (sacrifice) . Varuna knew this. Instantly he went to Kasyapa and demanded his cow. But Kasyapa refused to return the cow. Varuna complained to Brahma, who sent for Kasyapa and asked him about the cow and both Brahma and Varuna cursed Kay>yapa that he who had taken the cow by stealth would take birth as a cowherd in Ambadi. (For further details see under Kasyapa and Nandagopa).


7) Cursing Hariscandra. For detailed story see under Hariscandra.


8) Other information.


(i) The Vaisnava bow received by Sri Rama from Bhargava Rama, was given to Varuna. (Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda, Sarga 77, Stanza 1).


(ii) The capital city of Varuna one of the eight guardians of the universe was called Sraddhavati. (Devi Bhigavata, Skandha 8) .


(iii) At the time of the burning of Khindava forest Krsna and Arjuna helped Agni (1?ire). Agni prayed to Varuna to supply Krsna and Arjuna with weapons so that they might fight with Indra. Varuna appeared and gave Arjuna the bow `Gandiva', a quiver which would never become empty of arrows and a banner with the emblem of a monkey depicted on it. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapters 234 and 237) .


(iv) The image of Varuna should be dedicated in temples as sitting on a horned shark with a rope in hand. (Agni Purina, Chapter 51) .


(v) Once Varuna gave exhortations to Puskara, which he in his turn gave to Parasurama. (Agni Purina, Chapter 151).


(vi) It is stated in Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 2, Sukta 2, that Varuna and Mitra are the Deities of rain.


(vii) Once the King Marutta performed a sacrifice at which the guardians of the eight points were present. Rivana came to the sacrifice and tried to do harm to the hermits. At the beginning of the attack, the guardians of the points assumed forms of various creatures and escaped from the place. Varuna escaped in the form of a swan. (Uttara Ramayana).


(viii) Ravaria defeated Yama. On his return he defeated the Uragas (serpents) of Patala (Nether world). After this, he challenged Varuna, who came out with his sons and army and fought with Ravana, who won the battle. (Uttara Ramayana).


(ix) Varuna is a member of the assembly of Brahma. (M.B. Sabhi Parva, Chapter 117, Stanza 51).


(x) When Arjuna went to the world of Devas, Varuna gave him the weapon Pas a (rope). (M.B. Vanes Parva, Chapter 41, Stanza 27) .


(xi) Indra, Agni, Yama and Varua tested Nala and finally gave him blessings. (For* details see under Damayanti ).


(xii) Once Varuna performed penance alongwith other gods in Visakhayfipa. (M.B. Vanes Parva, Chapter 90, Stanza 16).


(xiii) Varuna once gave Rcika thousand black-eared horses. (For further details see under Rcika).


(xiv) At the coronation of S`ri Rama' , Varuna made his appearance and proclaimed that Sites was chaste and pure. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 291, Stanza 29 ). (xv) Varuna had the bow Gandiva in his possession for hundred years. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 43, Stanza 6).


(xvi) Once Sri Krsna defeated Varuna. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter l 30, Stanza 49) .


(xvii) Parnasa, the mother of the King grutayudha once worshipped Varuna with vow and fast and Varuna gave her boons and a club to Srutayudha. (M.B. Drones Parva, Chapter 92) .


(xviii) Varuna gave Subrahmanya two followers named Yama and Atiyama. (M.B. ga1ya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 45).


(xix) Besides Varuna gave Subrahmanya an elephant. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 52).


(xx) Once Varuna performed a Rijasuya (royal consecration sacrifice) at Yamunatirtha. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter, 49, Stanza 11).


(xxi) When Balabhadra Rimes died and his soul went


to Pitila (under world), there was Varuna also among those who came to receive him. (M.B. Mausala Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 16 ).


(xxii) At the time of his great departure, Arjuna threw the bow Gandiva and the arrows over the sea to return them to Varuna. (M.B. Mahaprasthana Parva, Chapter 1, Stanza 41).


(xxiii) Words such as Aditiputra, Aditya, Ambupa, Ambupati, Amburat, Ambvisa, Apampati, Devadeva, Gopati, Jaladhipa, 3alesvara, Lokapala, Salilaraja, Salilesa, Udakapati, Varipa, Yadasambharta and so on have been used as synonyms of Varuna in Mahabharata.


VARUNA II. A Deva Gandharva. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 42, that this Devagandharva was the son of Prajapati Kasyapa born of his wife Muni.


VARUNA (S). The sons of Aiigiras. (See under Payasya).


VARUNADVIPA. An island famous in the Puranas. Mention is made about this island in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 33.


VARUNAHRADA. A lake of God Varuna. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 98, Stanza 18, that the god Agni (Fire) always shines in this lake.


VARUNANI. A wife of Varuna.


VARUNASROTASA. A holy place situated in Mathara forest in South India. (M.B. Vanes Parva, Chapter 88, Stanza 10) .


VARUNATIRTHA. A holy place at the mouth of river Indus. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 82, Stanza 63, that those who bathe in this place will be filled with radiance and will enter the world of Varuna.


VARUNI I. (Varunibhrgu). The hermit Bhrgu having died in the sacrifice of baksa, took birth again from the sacrifice of Varuna. At this stage the name of Bhrgu way Varunibhrgu. (For further details see under Bhrgu I.


VARUNI II. The daughter of Varuna. When the Devas and the Asuras churned the sea of Milk, four damsels were caused to arise by Varuna and holy pot of Ambrosia, by Sama. The four damsels were Sulaksmi, Varuni, Kamoda and $restha, of whom Varuni was married by Devas. (Padma Purina, Bhfuni Khanda, Chapter 119) .


VARl.DTHA. A King of the family of Ariga. (Agni Purina, Chapter 277) .


VARIOTHINI. A celestial maid This celestial maid performed a dance in the-palace of Indra, in honour of the visit of Arjuna. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 43, Stanza 29).


VASA. A hermit who is praised in the Rgveda. (Rgveda, Mandala 1, Sukta 116) .


VASANA. Wife of the Vasu named Arka. (Bhigavata, Skandha 6).


VASANTAKA. A person in the story of Udayana- (See under Udayana).


VASATALA. A country in India famous in the Purinas. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Sabhd Parva,  Chapter 52, Stanza 15, that the princes of this country gave presents to Yudhisthira at the time of his sacrifice of royal consecration.


VASATI I. A king of the Candra (lunar) dynasty. He was the eighth son of Janamejaya. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Stanza 57) .


VASATI II. A country in ancient India. The Ksatriya kings of this country took the side of the Kauravas in the Bharata Battle and were employed to protect Bhixsma. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 51, Stanza 14).


VASHTI III. A King who fought on the side of Duryodhana. When Abhimanyu entered Cakra-vyuha of the army formed by Drona this King took a vow that he would commit suicide if he did not kill Abhimanyu and then ran to the scene of the battle. In the fight between Vasati and Abhimanyu, Vasati was killed. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 43, Verses 8-10).


VASATIKA. A warrior who fought on the side of the Kauravas against the Pandavas. He was killed in the fight with Abhimanyu. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 44, Stanza 8).


VASAVADATTA. Wife of Udayana. (See under Udayana).


VASAVARTI. A group of devas (gods). It is said that in the thir.l Manvantara there were five groups of Devas, each group containing twelve persons, known as the Sudhamas, the Satyas, the Japas, the Pratardanas and the Vas avartins. (For more details see under Manvantara).


VASAV I. Another name of Satyavati the mother of Vyasa. (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 63 ).


VASAYU. A son born to Pururavas by Urvagi. (Padma Purana, Srsti Khanda, 12 ).


VASISTHA. A hermit who was the son of Brahma. i ) The three births of Vasistha. Vasistha with the radiance of Brahma, is very famous in the Puranas. He had three births.


i) First birth. a) Birth. Vasistha is one of the mental sons of Brahma. This is the first birth of Vasistha.


"Narada was born from the lap, Daksa was born from the right thumb, Vasistha from the breath (pram) Bhx,gu from the skin, Kratu from the hand of Brahma." In this birth, Arundhati was the wife of Vasistha. Arundhati was known by the name Crja also. There is a Puranic story behind the marriage of Vasistha and Arundhati.


In her previous birth the name of Arundhad was Sandhya. She was born from the passion of Brahma. As soon as she was born she grew up. Seeing her exquisite beauty the Prajapatis were filled with excitement. Even Brahma, her father, was some-what excited at her sight. Siva, who understood this, teased Brahma. Sandhya was ashamed. Even after Siva, Brahma, Prajapatis and the others had gone their ways, she remained there blaming her birth. She said to herself: "The moment I was born, I grew up to be a young woman. My father and my brothers looked at me with desire. I also looked at them excitedly. As an atonement for this sin, I will burn my body in fire. I do not want a body desired by my father and brothers. With this decision she went to the mountain Candrabhaga, which is the source of the river Candrabhaga, and began to perform penance. Brahma who came to know of this,


was filled with pity and sent Vasistha to her. He went there in the form of a Brahmin boy and taught her how to perform penance. After the return of Vasistha she continued the severe penance to Vi snu. Her penance became the subject of talk and wonder everywhere. After a short while Visnu appeared before her sitting on his conveyance Garuda. She praised Visnu. Visnu was pleased with her and asked what her desire was. She said: "Lord, creatures should not be sexually excited at their birth. They should have sexual desire only when they are grownup. The three worlds must know that I am chaste. In all my births I should not look at anybody except my husband with sexual desire. The man who looks at me with sexual desire should lose his manliness and become a hermaphrodite."


Mahavisnu agreed to her request. It was from that day onwards that sexual desire appeared in creatures in their grown-up stage only, after they have passed the stages of infancy and childhood. Mahavisnu told her. "It is preordained that this body of yours will be burnt in fire. Medhatithi, (Meghatithi), the son of Priyavrata is performing thegreat sacrifice called Jyotistoma which is to be completed in twelve years. It is coming to a close. There is none equal to him because of this sacrifice. That great hermit's sacrifice is being performed in the- basin of this river Candrabhaga. Unseen by the hermits, you should go there and get into the fire. Because of my blessing you will be born from that fire as the daughter of Medhatithi. You should go into the fire thinking of him whom you want to be your husband in this birth."


Mahavisnu touched Sandhya with the tip of his finger. Sandhya walked to the sacrificial hall. Seen by none, she got down into the fire. She was burnt in the blazing fire. By the order of Visnu; the God fire placed Sandhya who was burnt in the sacrificial fire, in the Solar region. The sun divided that body into two and placed them in his chariot. The upper portion became the pratassandhya (dawn) between the day and the night and the lower portion became the Sayantana Sandhya (the evening twilight) . At the end of the sacrifice, from the centre of the sacrificial fire a girl, like the flame of fire rose up. Medhatithi took that child in his hands and called her Arundhati. The child became famous throughout the three worlds, as the name stood for the principle that on no reason whatsoever will righteousness be obstructed. (Rodha means obstruction. So Arundhati is one who cannot be obstructed). In some other Puranas Arundhati is given as the daughter of Prajapati Kardama and Devahuti.


b) Marriage. Arundhati grew up in the hermitage of Medhatithi. Candrabhaga holy bath which was the playfield of Arundhati, is even today, known as Arundhatitirtha. Arundhati became five years of age. Brahma saw her when she was playing on the ground after having taken her bath. At the instruction of Brahma, Arundhati was entrusted to Savitri and Bahula for education. Savitri is the wife of the Sun. Arundhati lived in Manasa lake with Savitri, Gayatri, Bahula, SarasvatL, Drupada and such other celestial women and completed her education. One day Arundhati happened to see Vasistha who was shining with radiance. They fell in love with each other. Parents and relatives and the elders came to know of this. Savitrl


patting Arundhati blessed her to become the wife of Vasistha. The marriage of Arundhati with Vasistha was conducted in the presence of the Gods.


c) Sons. Seven sons, named Citraketu, Purocis, Viraca,


Mitra, Ulbana, Vasubhrdyana and Dyuman were born to Vasistha by Arundhati. All the seven of them were Brahmarsis.


d) The meaning of the names Vasistha and Arundhati. The meaning of the name Vasistha is given by Vasistha himself as follows:-


I am known as Vasistha for two reasons. I am `Vasuman'. The Srutis say that Air, Earth etc. are Vasus. I have become Vasistha because I have brought under control the Vasus beginning with Anima (the power of reducing the body to an atom). See what Arundhati herself says, about the meaning of the name Arundhati.


"I consider mountains, earth and heaven as elements in which I live, only after considering my husband as the element in which I live. My husband is the first and foremost element in my life. Moreover I conform (anurodha) with the mind of my husband. So know me as Arundhati."


e) Conjugal fidelity of Arundhati. The Saptarsis (the seven hermits) once left Arundhati alone in a forest and went to the Mountain. Himalayas to gather fruits and roots. In those days, due to severe summer, the earth became a wilderness. So the hermits lived in the Himalayas. Arundhati all alone did penance in the forest. On one day 8iva took the form of a Brahmin and going near Arundhati requested her for alms. She replied: "There are only Ziziphus fruits here, and nothing else to eat." The Brahmin asked her to boil them. She placed the pot of Ziziphus fruits on the oven and sat there hearing the good stories told by the Brahmin. Thus without thinking about her hunger or thirst she sat there for twelve years hearing the stories narrated by the Brahmin. When the hermits returned from Himalayas, 8iva assumed his original form and said, "Hermits ! This woman, sitting in the hermitage, has acquired more penance than you have acquired in the Himalayas. Good woman! What boon do you want ?" She requested that that place should be known as the holy place called `Badarapacana (cooking of Ziziphus fruits) . diva allowed it. Even today that place is considered a holy place.


f) Death. When so many devas were dead at the.sacrifice of Daksa, Vasistha also died along with them. Arundhati followed her husband. After death both of them entered the firmament and became two stars.


g) Seeing Arundhati. In India there is a custom of showing the women, the star Arundhati. Arundhati is the first of the women who took only one husband in her life. The meaning of this custom is this that this mentality of Arundhati should be acquired by the married women of India. Moreover, if the star stands in front of the star Vasistha, it is considered to forebode calamities in the world. (Kalika Purana) .


ii) Second birth.


General information. Vasistha who died at the sacrifice of Daksa took birth again from the sacrificial fire of Brahma. Aksamala was the wife of this Vasistha. Aksamala was the rebirth of Arundhati. So, in some


Puranas, both are shown as one. This birth of Vasistha was terminated by the curse of emperor Nimi 4


the Iksvaku dynasty. (For details see under Nimi). (iii) Third birth. In the third birth Vasistha was born from a pot as the son of Mitravarunas. In this birth Vasistha was the brother of Agastya. (For detailed story see under Agastya, para 2) . In this birth the wife of Vasistha was an Arundhati, who was the sister of Narada. Thus according to the Puranas, it took three births for Vasistha to complete his life. It is difficult to ascertain, in which particular birth, a particular story, stated in the Purdnas, took place. It is probable that a large number of episodes might have taken place in the second and third births.


Stories connected with the life of Vasistha are given below


2)Vasi.,vtha and Vifvdmitra. Vasistha and Visvamitra were two herm its who quarrelled with each other throughout their lives. The quarrel between Vasistha a Brahmin hermit and Visvamitra a royal hermit, is given below:


(i) Reason for the enmity. Visvamitra was a King who cared much for the welfare of his subjects. Once he went with his army to hunt. He became tired by the hunt and reached the hermitage of Vasistha who welcomed them with hospitality. He told them that food would be ready when they returned after a bath. The King and his men bathed quickly and when they returned, a grand feast was ready for so many thousands. The King was in great perplexity. After the meals Visvamitra approached the hermit Vasistha and asked him how he got such a grand feast ready. He replied that the.cow Kamadhenu in his hermitage was capable of granting any wish. The king desired to have the cow. He asked the hermit to exchange the cow for a crore of ordinary cows. Vasi stha did not agree to this. Visvamitra said that the noble and superior things of the country belonged to the King. The hermit did not agree to that also. Finally Visvamitra was about to take away the cow by force. Thus the quarrel began. Understanding the wish of Vasistha Kamadhenu held her horns and tail up and stood as a fierce and cruel figure. From the various limbs of the cow so many thousands of warriors jumped out and a fierce battle ensued in which the hundred sons and the huge army of Visvamitra met with defeat. At last Vi6vamitra tried to launch a direct attack against Vasistha. But the arrows of Visvamitra were changed to flowers when they touched the body of Vasistha. At last the King admitted that the power of the penance of a Brahmin hermit was the real power and he admitted defeat from Vasistha. From that day onwards a deep-rooted, hatred against Vasistha arose in the heart of Visvamitra. He left the administration of his Kingdom in the hands of his relatives and went to the south where he erected a hermitage and began :-o do severe penance. He acquired great powers of penance and became a royal hermit of immense attainments and the quarrel between the two great hermits Vasistha and Vi<>vamitra began. (Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda, 5 sargas from 51 ).


(ii) Second confrontation. The next contest between the two hermits was due to the king Tris aiiku of the Solar dynasty. Trisanku wanted bodily attainment of heaven. Vasistha tried to discourage the king. Visvamitra took up the matter. He began to perform a sacrifice to lift up the king bodily to heaven, and Trisanku began to rise up higher and higher. But Indra did not allow him to enter bodily into the heaven. At last Visvamitra, by the power of his penance created an artificial heaven. midway between the heaven and the earth and placed Trisanku in that heaven. With this the gap between the two hermits widened. (For more details see under Trig anku) .


(iii) Third confrontation. By the blessing of Varuna, a son named Lohita was born to Hariscandra. He had promised Varuna to sacrifice his son Lohita. But Lohita came to know of this and he left the palace. Hari9candra was in a difficult situation. Vasistha advised him to buy a son and to sacrifice him. Accordingly a Brahmin boy named Sunassepha was bought. Vasistha decided to sacrifice him. Vig vamitra said that he could not be sacrificed. Hariscandra was loved by Vasistha. So Visvamitra tried to harm him as far as possible. Hariscandra fell in the trap of V1, Vamitra and lost his country, city, wife, everything and'had to live in funeral places. (For detailed story see under Hariscandra.)


(iv) Fourth confrontation. Vasistha did not like the deception practised by Visvamitra, on Hariscandra. Once Visvamitra and Vasistha met in the forest by chance. Vasistha scolded Visvamitra, who had only the guise of a hermit, thus: "You wicked Visvamitra ! Why do you put the truthful Hariscandra into so much misery? You are deceiving him as the stork sits in meditation and deceives the fish. So you will become a stork."


Visvamitra looked at the hermit Vasistha who had cursed him and said. "So long as I am a stork you shall be Kingfisher. Thus they cursed each other.


Both of them became birds and went to the shore of Manasa lake and each building a nest on fine top of trees began to live there. There was nothing but quarrel between the two birds daily. Both pecked and scratched each other to such an extent that they were covered with bleeding wounds. They looked like an Erythrina tree filled with flowers. Everybody who saw them was filled with sadness. Thus they lived there for a long time.


Once the Kind-hearted Brahma, the father of Vasistha, saw their sorry plight. Having pity on them he came there with the other gods and delivered them both from the curse. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 6).


(v) Fflh confrontation. Visvamitra called the river Sarasvati and asked her to bring Vasistha along with her current. Sarasvati did not like the idea. Still, fearing the curse of Visvamitra she agreed to do so. The river-basin where Vasistha had been performing penance was pulled down by the current of the river, and taking Vasistha in the current carried him down. Sarasvati did not wish to leave Vasistha at the mercy of ViAvamitra. So when they reached the door of the hermitage of Vigvamitra, she carried him further down in a swift current. Visvamitra got angry and cursed Sarasvati. "Let blood flow through the river." With that the water of Sarasvati changed to blood-colour. The gods were .perplexed at this. They all gathered on the banks of the river. In the presence of the gods, both the hermits came to a compromise. Thenceforward that place became a holy tirtha under the name Vasisthapavaha. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 42) .


3) Other details.


(i) Vasistha changed Ila a woman, into a man. (For details see under Ila I).


(ii) Wives and children. Seven sons Rajas, Gotra, >Ordhvabahu, Savana, Anagha, Sutapas and gukra, were born co Vasistha by his wife -CIrja. These seven pure and just persons were the Saptarsis (seven hermits) in the first Manvantara. (Visnu Purana, Axiis a I, Chapter 10) .


(Raja, Gatra, Crdhvabahu Savana,Alaghu,Sukra (and Sutapas are the names given in Agni PUrana, Chapter 20, of the sons of Vasistha born by his wife Grja).


(iii) Vasistha and emperor Nimi. (See under Nimi)


(iv) The Kgveda of Vasistha. There are ten Mandalas in Rgveda, of which the seventh Mandala was composed by the sages of Vasistha's hermitage.


(v) Cursing Ravana. Once Ravana asked Vasistha to come as his teacher and teach him the Vedas and the other scriptures. Vasistha did not comply with his request. The angry Ravana got Vasistha a captive. But the King Kuvalayasva of the Solar dynasty, liberated Vasistha from captivity. The rescued Vasistha cursed Ravana. You and your family will be exterminated by those born of the Solar dynasty." (Kamba Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda).


(vi) Vasistha Jumped into the river. See under Adrsyanti.


(vii) In uniting Tapati and Samvarana Vasistha played a very prominent part. (See under Tapati).


(viii) It was Vasistha who put a stop to the sacrifice for the extermination of the Raksasas (giants) performed by Parasara. (See under Parasara).


(ix) Vasistha and Mucukunda. See under Mucukunda. (x) Vasistha told Sri Rama the history of the dynasty of Iksvaku. (Valmiki Ramayana Bala Karida, Sarga 73) .


(xi) The hermitage of Vasistha was situated in the valley of mount Mahameru. (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 29, Stanza 6).


(xii) The cow of Vasistha was stolen by the eight Vasus See under Astavasus.


(xiii) Vasistha was the teacher ofBhisma. (Mahabharata Adi Parva, Chapter 103, Stanza45).


(xiv) Vasistha participated in the Birth festival of Arjuna. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 122, Stanza 51).


(xv) Vasistha tried to commit suicide. (See under Adrsyanti) .


(xvi) Vasistha shone in the assembly of Brahmd. (M.B Sabha Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza 19).


(xvii) In the Bharata-battle an effort was made by Vasistha to dissuade Drona from the battle But it was in vain. (M.B. Drona Parva., Chapter 190, Stanza 33 ).


(xviii) Vasistha was one of the hermits who came to visit Bhisma on his bed of arrows. (Santi Parva, Chapter 47, Stanza 7) .


(xix) Once rain fai1ed in the world and creatures became miserable. At that time Vasistha fed the creatures. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 137) .


(xx) Once Indra lost the Devaloka (the world of the Devas) and he became gloomy and miserable. Vasistha went to him and .consoled him. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 291, Stanza 91) .


(xxi) Vasistha was one of the hermits who were Brahmin tribal workers. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 296, Stanza '_ 7) .


(xxii) Once Vasistha imparted knowledge to King Janaka. This exhortation is given in Mahabharata, (Sant! Parva, six chapters from 302).


(xxiii) Vasistha was one of the twentyone Prajapatis. (M.B. ganti Parva, Chapter 334, Stanza 36).


(xxiv) Vasistha is considered to be one of the Citrasikhandis~aptarsis--seven hermits) (See under Citrasikhandis ,.


(xxv) Unce Vasistha talked about Purusarthas (the objects of life) to Brahma. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 6) .


(xxvi) Vasistha talked to Saudasa about giving cows as alms. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 78, Stanza 5).


(xxvii) On another occasion Vasistha gave advice to


Para'surama and talked about the origin of fold. (M.B. Anufiasana Pdrva, Chapter 84, Stanza 44) .


(xxviii) Vasistha once told Arundhati how weakness was caused. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 93, Stanza 31) .


(xxix) Vasistha avowed that he was not one of them who had stolen the lotus flowers of Agastya. (Anusasaria Parva, Chapter 23, Stanza 114) .


(xxx) Apava, Arundhatipati, Brahmarsi, Devarsi, Hairanyagarbha, Maitra.varuni, Varuni, and such other words are used as synonyms of Vasistha, in the Mahabharata.


VASISTHA. An Agni (fire). (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 220, Stanza 1 ).


VASISTHA (M). Vasistha tirtha. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 84, that he who bathes in this tirtha would become a Brahmin.


VASISTHA PARVATA. A mountain famous in the Puranas. It is mentioned in Adi Pa.rva, Chapter 214, Stanza 2, that Arjuna came and sat on this mountain during his pilgrimage.


VASISTHAPAVAHA. An ancient holy bath on the banks of the river Sarasvati. (See under Vasistha, fifth


confrontation) .


VASISTHBRAMA. A holy place near Ni9cirasaAgama. This holy bath is famous throughout the three worlds. Those who bathe in this place will enjoy the fruits of performing Vajapeya yajfia. (Drinking sacrifice). (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 87, Stanza 140 ).


VASORDHARA. Wife of the Vasu named Agni. (Bhagavata, Skandha 6) .


VASTRAPA. A group of Ksatriyas. The princes belonging to this group brought presents to Yudhisthira. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 52, Stanza 15) .


VASTUPURUSA. In days of yore a ghost of immense size, who was feared by all other ghosts came into existence. This ghost was buried inside the earth by the Devas. This ghost is called Vastupurusa. He is


the deity of whatever we build on the earth. The offering made to this Vastupurusa on completion of a house is called "Puravastubali". (Agni Purana, Chapter 40).


VASU I. A King named Uparicaravasu. For further details see under Uparicaravasu).


VASU II. Astavasus. (The eight Vasus). (For further details see under Astavasus) .


VASU III. 'A son born to Kusa, Kin; of Kanyakubja by his wife Vaidarbtzi. Kusa had four sons, Kusamba, Kusandbha, Asfirtarajas and Vasu. Of there Kusamba built the city of Kausambi, Kusanabha the city of


Mahodayapura, Asurtarajas the city of Dharmdranya and Vasu the city of Girivraja which is erected in the middle

of five hills, The river Magadhi flows around this city. (V almiki Rdmayana, Balakanda Sarga 32 ).


VASU IV. A Vasu is mentioned in Brahmanda Purana Chapter 58,- as the brother of Parasurama. V asu, Rumanvan, Susena, Visvavasu and Parasurama were the five sons born to Jamadagni by his wife Renuka.


VASU V. A son of Murasura. The sons of 1VIurasura were, Tamra, Antariksa, Sravana, Vasu, Vibhavasu, Nabhasvan and Aruna. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10) .


VASU VI. A mighty King of theKrmi dynasty. (Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 74, Stanza 13) .


VASU VII. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Stanza 17, that the King Ilina had five sons, Dusyanta, Sura, Bhima, Pravasu and Vasu by his wife Rathantari.


VASU VIII. A scholarly Brahmin-hermit. The hermit Paila was the son of this Vasu. (M.B. Sabha Parva Chapter 33, Stanza 35) .


VASU IX. Vasu is used as a synonym of Siva in Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 17, Stanza 140.


VASU X. A name of Mahavisnu. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 149, Stanza 25 ).


VASU XI. A King. He was born to Uttanapada by Sunrta. A controversy arose among hermits once, about cow-sacrifice and for a solution of the problem the hermits approached this king Vasu, who told them his perception that the sacrifice of cow was, strictly speaking, a matter of slaughter and as such it was to be forbidden. As the. hermits could not agree with the King, they cursed him "Let the King go to Patala (underworld). Vasu then did very severe penance and attained heaven. (Matsya Purana, 143, 18-25) .


VASUCANDRA. A King who was the supporter and helper of Yudhisthira. He was as mighty as the powerful Indra. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 1585 Stanza 40) .


VASUDAMA. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya f area, Chapter 46, Stanza 5).


VASUDANA I. A Ksatriya King. This King who was a member of the council of Yudhisthira. was the ruler of Pariisu. It is stated in Mahabharata that this King presented Yudhisthira with twentysix elephants and two thousand horses.(Sabha Parva, Chapter 52, Stanza 27) . In the Bharata battle this King was the support of Yudhisthira and Dhrstadyumna. But he was 1ci1led by the arrow of Drona. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapters 151 and 171; Drona Parva, Chapters 23 and 190; Karna Parva, Chapter 6) .


VASUDANA II. A prince of Paficala, who fought on the side of the Pandavas. He was killed by Dronacarya. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 21, Stanza 55).


VASUDANAPUTRA. A King who had taken the side of the Kauravas arid fought against the Pandavas. He killed Abhibhu, the son of King of Kasi. (M:.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 74) .


VASUDATTA I. Mother of Vararuci. (See under Vararuci ).


VASUDATTA II. (VASUDEVA). Father of Sudevd, a woman who had taken rebirth as a hog. (See under Sudeva I1I) .


VASUDEVA 1. Being the son of Vasudeva, Sri Krsna was called Vasudeva.


VASUDEVA II. See under Paundrakavasudeva.


VASUDEVA. Father of Sri Krsna.


1) Genentogy. See under Krsna.


2) Pretiiaus birth and current birth. Vasudeva was the rebirth of Prajapati Kwyapa. Aditi and Surasd, the wives of Kasyapa took birth as Devaki and Rohirii respectively. (For details see under Kasyapa).


3) Marriage and Family. Rohini, the wife of Vasudeva, gave birth to Balarama, the fighter Sdrana, Durdhara, Dama, Pindaraka, and Mahahanu. Of Devaki who was also called Maya and Amavasi, the younger son Krsna and his beautiful sister Subhadra were born. Vijaya, Rocamana, Vardhamdna and Devala were sons born by Upadevi. The two sons Agavaha and Mandaga, otherwise called Angada were born of Vrkadevi. Revanta who could not be defeated in battle, was born from Saptamidevi. The first son of Vasudeva was Kausika, whose birth was from a Vaisya woman called Sraddha Devi when Vasudeva wa's travelling in the forest. Kapila, a mighty son was born by the queen Srutandhara. Saubhadra head of the archers and Abhava were born by his wife Jana. (Padma Purana, P. 1314) .


4) Other details.


(i) Vasudeva was the son of ~urasena, and the husband of Devaki, the father of Sri Krsna, the brother of Kunti, and the minister of Ugrasena. It was Vasudeva who sent the priest Kasyapa to gatasrirga to perform the purification ceremonies such as naming etc. of the Pandavas. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 123, Daksinatyapatha).


(ii) After the Bharata-battle, Vasudeva asked Sri Krsna and learned from him the detailed news about the battle. (Agvamedha Parva, Chapter 60).


(iii) Vasudeva fell into a swoon when he heard that Subhadra had become unconscious. (M.B. Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 61, Stanza 5).


(iv) The ceremony of offering to the manes (Sraddha) of Abhimanyu was performed by Vasudeva. (M.B. Mvamedha Parva, Chapter 62, Stanza 1) .


(v) When the Yadavas fought among themselves after drinking liquor, Sri Krsna went to Dvaraka and visited Vasudeva, and requested him to protect his wives who were awaiting Arjuna. Then after kissing the feet of Vasudeva, Sri Krsna and Balabhadra Rama went to do penance. (M.B.*Mausala Parva, Chapter !,, Stanza 8 ). (vi) When the dynasty of Vrsni was completely destroyed Vasudeva thinking about the Supreme soul in his heart forsook his body. (M.B. Mausala Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 15).


(vii) Arjuna performed the funeral rites of Vasudeva and aided his four wives to enter the funeral pyre. (M.B. Mausala Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 19) .


(viii) Vasudeva entered heaven and took his place among Visvadevas (gods concerned with offering to the manes). (M.B. Svargarohana Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 17).


(ix) The synonyms of Vasudeva, used in MAhabharata are Anakadundubhi, Sauri, ~uraputra, Surasunu, Yadudvaha and so on.


VASUDEVABHATTATIRI. A Sanskrit poet of - Kerala. Vasudevabhattatiri was a poet who used alliteration abundantly. His important works are `Yudhisthiravijaya, Tripuradahana S'aurikatha, Vasudeva Vijaya, G3jendramoksa, Nalodaya etc.


VASUDHA. Daughter of Narmada, a Gandharva woman. Narmada had three daughters Sundarl, Ketu-


mat! and Vasudha. (For more details see under Puspotkata).


VASUDHARA. A holy place. Those who visit this place could enjoy the fruits of performing horse-sacrifice. If one gives offering to the manes after getting oneself purified by bathing in this holy tirtha (bath) , one will attain the world of Visnu. There is a lake of the Astavasus (eight Vasus) in this place. By bathing there, one could become the subject of the love and regard of the eight Vasus. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 82, Stanza 63) .


VASUHOMA. A King of the country of Anga. Once he gave advice to Mdndhata on righteousness. (M. B. Santi Parva, Chapter 122, Stanza 1 ).


VASUJYESTHA. A King. This King was the son of Pusyamitra. (Matsya Purana, 272, 28).


VASUKI. One of the famous Nagas (serpents).


1) Birth. The uragas and nagas (serpents) were born to Prajapati Kasyapa by his wife Kadru. Vasuki, the eldest son of Kadru spent his childhood with his parents.


2 ) Difference of opinion. Vinata and Kadru staked on the colour of the tail of Uccaissravas (A horse obtained at the churning of the sea of' Milk. To win the stake, Kadru asked her sons to hang on the tail of Uccaissravas as black hairs. But the truthful Vasuki was not prepared to do so. Kadru cursed Vasuki and the others who sided with him. From that day onwards Vasuki and those who were cursed, separated from their mother and formed into a serpent group. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapters 37 and 48)


3) The length of IJisuki. The Devas and the asuras decided to get Amrta (Ambrosia-the celestial honey of immortalily) by churning the sea of milk. The Devas went to bring Mandara-mountain, to be used as the churning rod. Their attempt was futile. The asuras made a trial with the same result. The Bhutaganas (Guards) of Siva also made a vain attempt. On the instruction of Visnu, Garuda went and brought the mountain as easily as an eagie takes away a frog. Now Vasuki should be brought. The Devas and Gandharvas failed in that attempt also. Garuda who was haughty of his strength and speed, went to the city of the nagas (serpents) and requested Vasuki to come to the sea of Milk. Vasuki replied that if the matter was so urgent he had no objection for being carried to that place. He took the middle part of Vasuki in his beak and flew up higher and higher and reached beyond the horizon. Still the lower half of Vasuki was lying on the ground. So he took Vasuki in his beak as folded in two. Still the result was the same. Garuda became aware of the impossibility of carrying Vasuki and returned, ashamed and disappointed. Vi snu rebuked him for his arrogance. After this, diva stretched his hand to Patala. Vasuki became a small bangle on that hand. Thus Vasuki was brought to the shore of the sea of Milk. (Kamba Ramayatra, Yuddha Kanda).


4) Other details.


(i) For the safety and protection of the Nagas (serpents) Vasuki gave his sister Jaratkaru as wife to the hermit Jaratkaru. (See under Jaratkaru).


(ii) The nagas anointed Vasuki as their King. ~M.B. Adi Parva, Daksinatyapatlra, Chapter 36).


(iii) When Vasuki saw the serpents, born of his family, falling into the sacrificial fire of Janamejaya and dying in large numbers, he sent his nephew Astika to find out a way to rescue the perishing nagas. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 53, Stanza 20) .


(iv) Vasuki participated in the birth festival of Arjuna. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 122, Stanza 71).


(v) Vasuki advised the Nagas to give the divine juice to Bhimasena, in accordance with the request of Aryaka. (See under Bhimasena).


(vi) Vasuki stays in the palace of Varuna worshipping him. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 0) .


(vii) Arjuna once allured the sister of Vasuki. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 2, Slanza 14).


(viii) In Tripuradahana (the burning of Tripura) Vasuki acted as the bow=string of Siva and as the. axle of his chariot. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 34, Stanza 22).


(ix) In the fight between Arjuna and Karna, Vasuki was a well-wisher of Arjuna. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 87, Stanza 43 ).


(x) The Devas anointed Vasuki as the King of the Nagas. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 37, Stanza 30) .


(xi) Vdsuki gave Subrahmanya two followers named Jaya and Mahajaya. (Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 52).


(xii) Vasuki 3s one of the seven nagas which hold up the earth. (M.B. Anus asana Parva, Chapter 150, Stanza 41).


(xiii) When Balabhadrarama went to Patala after his death, Vasuki had gone there to receive him. (M.B. Mausala Parva, Chapter 4 Stanza 15).


(xiv) Once Vasuki and Vayu tried to find out who was the more powerful of the two, in consequence of which contest Mount Trikuta was broken from the vicinity of Mahameru and was thrown into the southern Sea. (See under Trikuta).


(xv) Words such as Nagarat, Nagaraja, Nagendra, Pannaga, Pannagarat, Sarparaja, and so on are used as synonyms of Vasuki in Mahabharata.


VASUKITIRTHA. A holy place situated on the banks of the Ganga in Prayaga. Bhogavatitirtha is another name of this holy bath. It is mentioned in Mahabharata Vana Parva, Chapter 85, Stanza 86, that by taking bath in this holy tirtha one could attain the fruits of performing the horse-sacrifice.


VASUMAN I. (VASUMANAS). A King of the dynasty of lksvaku.


1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following order. Brahma -Marici-Kasyapa-Vivasvan - Vaivasvata Manu-Iksvaku-Vikuksi-Sasada-Kakutstha (Puranjaya)Anenas - Prthulasva- Visvagasva-Prasenajit-YuvanasvaMandhdta-Purukutsa-Trasadasyu-Anaranya- HaryasvaVasumanas.


2) Birth. Haryas va, the King of Ayodhya married Madhavi, the daughter of Yayati. Vasumanas was their son. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 86, Stanza 56).


3) ATarriagefiroposal. A damsel named Harini was proposed to be given in marriage to Vasumanas. But another man carried her away. To know the story see under Durmada II. 4) Other information. (i) Once Yayati who fell from heaven on the earth met with Vasunianas. Because of the merit of mingling with good people Yayati attained heaven again. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 86, Stanza 56) .


(ii) Vasumanas entered heaven along with Kings


like Astaka and others. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 93, Stanza 16).


(iii) Vasumanas sits in the palace of Yama and praises him. (M.B. Sabha PPaarva., Chapter 8, Stanza 13 ).


(iv) He went on pilgrimages and earned fame and wealth. (M.B. Vana Parva Chapter 94, Stanza 17).


(v) He was present at the horse-sacrifice of Astaka the son of Visvamitra. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 198, Stanza 1).


(vi) He once got into the aerial chariot of Indra and came and stood over the city of Virata and witnessed the battle between Arjuna and the teacher Krpa. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 56, Stanza 9) .


(vii) It was near Vasumanas and others who had been performing the sacrifice of Vajapeya and worshipping Mahavisnu, that Yayati fell from heaven. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 121, Stanza 10) .


(viii) Vasumanas became famous under the name Danapati (lord of donations) because he had given Yaydti, the fruits of his good deeds. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 122, Stanza 9).


(ix) While he was the King of Kosala he conducted a consultation with Brhaspati as to how he could bring about the prosperity of the country. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 68, Stanza 6).


VASUMAN 11. (VASUMANAS). A King who was famous in the council of Yudhisthira. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 32).


VASUMAN (VASUMANAS) III. A fire. It is stated in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 221, Stanza 27, that if a woman during her monthly course happens to touch the holy fire, an astakapala should be offered to the fire Vasuman. This fire called Vasuman now stays in the palace of Brahma. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 11, stanza 30) .


VASUMAN (VASUMANAS) IV. A prince of the family of Janaka. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 309, that a hermit had given him exhortations regarding righteousness.


VASUMITRA I. An ancient Ksatriya King. It is stated in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 41 that this King was born from a portion of the asura named Viksara, the son of Danayu.


VASUMITRA II. A King born of the dynasty of Suizga. It is mentioned in Bhagavata,. Skandha 10, that Bhadraka, otherwise called Udanka was the son of this King.


VASUPRABHA. A warrior of Subrahmanya. (M.B, Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 63) .


VASUSARMA. See under Dharmasarma I.


VASUSENA. A name of Karna at the time of his boyhood. He was called by the name Vasusena by his foster-father Adhiratha and his foster-mother Radha. (See under Karna ).


VASUSRI. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 14).


VASVANANTA. The father of Yuyudha, and the son of Upagupta. He was the King of Videha. (Bhagavata. Skandha 9)


VASVOKASARA. One of the seven branches of the Ganges. -(M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 6, Stanza 48).


VATA. One of the five attendants given to Subrahmanya by the god Ariisa. The five attendants were Vata, Parigha, Bhima, Dahati, and Daharia. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 34) .


VATA. One of the Saptarsis (seven hermits) of the Manvantara (Age of the Manu) of Manu Svarocisa. In this age of the Manu the Devendra was Vipagcit. The Saptarsis of that Age of the Manu were Urja, Stamba, Prina, Vata, Vrsabha, Niraya and Parivin. (Visnu Purina, Arii,'a 3, Chapter 1).


VATf1DHANA. A Ksatriya King. This King was born from a portion of the asura Krodhavasa (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 63, Stanza 67) .


VATADHANA(M). A country in ancient India. The people of this country were called the Vitadhanas. The following information is available about them from the Mahabharata.


(i) Nakula defeated the Vatadhanas who were Ksatriyas at the time of his regional conquest. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 32, Stanza 8).


(ii) Once the Kauravas surrounded this country which abounded in wealth and food. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 19, Stanza 31 ).


(iii) Vatadhana was one of the foremost countries in India. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 47).


(iv) In the Garuda Vyuha of the army formed by Bhisma, Asvatthama and the Vitadhanas stood at the head of disposition, in the Bharata-Battle. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 27, Stanza 4).


(v) Once Sri Krsna defeated the Vitadhanas. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza, 17 ).


(vi) It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Karna Parva, Chapter 73, Stanza 17 that in Bhirata-battle Arjuna destroyed all the armies of the country of Vatadhana.


VATADHIPA. A King who is famous in the Puranas. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Sabhi Parva, Chapter 31, Stanza 15, that this King was subdued by Sahadeva during his southern regional conquest.


VATAGHNA. One of Visvamitra's sons who were expounders of Vedas. (M.B. Anu<"asana Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 54).


VATAJA. A country in Ancient India. (Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 45) .


VATAPI I. A giant. See under Agastya, Para 5, for the story of how this asura was eaten along with his food by Agastya.


VATAPI II. A notorious asura (demon) born to Prajapati Kasyapa by his wife Danu. (Malaibharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 28).


VATARODHA. A hell. For further details see the section Naraka under Kala.


VATASKANDHA. A hermit. It is mentioned in Mahibharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 14, that he sits in the palace of Indra praising and worshipping him.


VATAVEGA I. (VAYUVEGA). One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. It is mentioned in Mahibharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 195, that he had been present at the Svayamvara (marriage) of Draupadi and in the Karna Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 2, that he- was killed by Bhimasena in the Bharata-battle.


VATAVEGA II. One of the famous sons of Garuda. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 101; Stanza 10).


VATIKA. A warrior of Subrahmanya. (M.B.-Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 67) .


VATSA I. Son of Pratardana the King of Kisi. It is stated in Mahabharata, ginti Parva, Chapter 49, Stanza 79, that the name Vatsa was given to him because he was brought up in his childhood by calves of cows.


VATSA II. A King of the fami1y of 8aryati. This King was the father of T ilajangha and Hehaya. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 30, Stanza 7 ).


VATSA III (VATSABHf1MI). A country in ancient. India. The following information is given about this country in the Mahabharata.


(i) Bhimasena conquered this country during his regional conquest. (M.B. Sabhi Parva, Chapter 30, Stanza 10).


(ii) Karna once brought this country under control. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 254, Stanza 9).


(iii) During the battle of Bharata, the people of Vatsa were on the side of the Pandavas. (M.B_ Udyoga Parva, Chapter 53, Stanza 1.


(iv) Deified beings ( semigods) and heavenly singers had lived in this country. There is an asylum there for holy men. Ambi, the princess of Kasi once lived in this hermitage. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 186, Stanza 34).


(v) Amba became a river and still flows through this country under the name Ambi. (M.B. Udyoga Parva Chapter 186, Stanza 40).


(vi) In the battle of Bhirata, the warriors of Vatsa stood on the left side of the disposition of the army called Krauncarunavyuba, formed by Dhrstadyumna. (M.B. Bhisma Parva; Chapter 50, Stanza 53) .


VAT~ALA. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. 8alya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 72) .


VATSANABHA. A hermit. Dharma, once took the form of a she-buffalo and saved Vatsanibha from heavy rain. After this he thought that he was an ungrateful man and so he decided to forsake his body. But Dharma dissuaded him from this attempt. (M.B. Anusisana Parva, Daksinitya Paha, Chapter 12 ).


VATSARA. The' younger of the two sons of Dhruva. Utkala, the elder was a man of abstinence. So the younger brother Vatsara became the prince apparent.


Vatsara married the princess named Svarvithi. Six sons named Pusparna, Tigmaketu, 1sa, Urja, Vasu and Jaya were born to them. (Bhagavata, Skandha 4).


VATSYA I. A hermit belonging to the Guruparampari (the line of teachers). It was this hermit Vatsya who wrote the famous Vatsyayana Sutra (the science of Amour). He was one of the guests at the serpant-sacrifice (Sarpasatra) of janamejaya. (M.B. Adi Parva Chapter 53, Stanza 9 ).He visited Bhisma who lay on the bed of arrows. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 47, Stanza). See under Guruparampara.


VATSYA II. A country famous in the Purinas. This country has the name Vatsa also. (See under Vatsa )


VAYASAVIDYA. The art of making the crow tell the past and foretell the future. (For further details see under Kilakavrksika).


VAYU I.- One of the eight guardians of the world. (Dikpa1akas).


1) General information. Viyu was born from the breath of Visvapurusa. (Rgveda 10, 90). Tvasti was the son in-law of Vayu. The eight dikpalakas are Indra, Vahni (Fire), Yama, Nirrti, Varuna, Viyu, Kubera and Siva. Vayu is the guardian of the North West zone. The palace of Bhag-Avin Viyu is known as Gandhavati.


2) Confrontation with Vasuki. Onre° Viyu and Vasuki tried to find out who of the two was mightier, in consequence of which, Trrikutaparvata, a peak of Mount Himalaya, was broken from its bed and thrown into the southern ocean near Lanka. Later, the city of Lanka was built on this mountain. (For details see under Triktila).


3) Children. Bhimasena and Haniunan are said to be the prominent sons of Bhagavan Vayu. It is mentioned in Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 7, Sfikta 112, that Agni was the son of Vayu. To make fire from wood by attrition, the hands obtain strength by the help of the life breath called Vyana (a breath or vayu). It is from this, that the idea that fire is the son of Vayu, came into existence. To know how Vayu obtained the paternity of Bhima and Hanaman see under Bhima and Hanuman. It is stated in Brahma Purana that a group of celestial maids called 'Mudd' owes its origin to Vayu.


4) Love of Vdyu. Once Bhagavan Vayu happened to see the six beautiful daughters of Kusanabha, a king, and he was excited sexually. As the princesses refused to satisfy his desire, Vayu changed the damsels into hunchbacks, by a curse. (For detailed story see under Kusanabha).


5) The Vdyus (breaths) in the body. (See under Nadicakra). 6) Curbing the arrogance of Silk-cotton tree. Long ago a silk-cotton tree grew up on the top of the Himalayas. It grew up to be a big tree spreading its branches in all directions. Birds built their nests on the branches of that big tree arid hermits and animals found shelter under its shade. The silk-cotton tree became arrogant. Once Narada came there and praised the tree:- "How gigantic, this silk-cotton tree is ! Even in a great storm its branches do not move." The praise of Narada made the tree more haughty. It told Narada that the storm etc. were its servants. Narada told Vayu, what the silk-cotton tree said to him. Vayu got angry and coming to the tree, said thus:- "You, wicked silk-cotton tree, in days of yore, when Brahma was carrying on creation he took rest on you for a while. That is why I keep motionless when I come to you. It is not because I am afraid of you. I knew that you belittled me before NBrada. If you are bold enough, come and fight with me."


The silk-cotton tree accepted the challenge. Next day Bhagavan Vayu changed into a storm and blew against the tree. The tree lost leaves, flowers and fruits and stood bare. Thus within a very short time the arrogance of the tree was curbed.


This story was told to Yudhisthira by Bhisma, to show that rendering help to a foe, will only make him haughty. (M.B. Santi Parva, 3 Chapters from 154) .


Other details.


(i) When Indra cut off the wings of the mountains, Bhagavan Vayu saved the mountain Mainaka from this danger, by hiding it in the ocean, (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kanda, Sarga 1, Stanza 126).


(ii) The image of Bhagavan Vayu should be consecrated as sitting on the haunch of a deer, holding a flag. (Agni Purana, Chapter 51).


(iii) Indra sent Vayu ,also along with Menaka to hinder the penance of Vis vamitra. While Menaka was dancing 112.


in front of Visvamitra, Vayu displaced her cloth. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 72, Stanza 1) . (iv) It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 19, Stanza 22, that Vayu is the messenger of the gods.


(v) Mention is made in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza 20, that Vayu stays in the palace of Brahma, praising him.


(vi) Once Pradyumna tried to kill Salve. At that time Vayu went to Pradyumna as the messenger of Gods. (M.B. Vane Parva, Chapter 19, Stanza 22 ).


(vii) Vayu proved that Damayanti was chaste. (M.B. Vane Parva, Chapter 76, Stanza 36) .


(viii) Va-yu declared that Sita was chaste. (M.B. Vane Parva, Chapter 291, Stanza 27) .


(ix) In Tripuradahana (the burning of Tripura) Vayu acted as the arrow of the bow of diva. ( M.B. Drone Parva, Chapter 202, Stanza 76).


(x) Vayu gave Subrahmanya two attendants called Bale and Atibala. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 44) .


(xi) Once Vayu advised Pururavas about the need of a priest. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 72, Stanzas 10-25 ). (xii) Once Bhagavan Vayu talked elaborately on the secrets- cf goodness and badness. ( M.B. Anus asana Parva, Chapter 128) .


(xiii) Bhagavan Vayu once talked about the greatness of Brahmins to Kartaviryarjuna. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 152) .


VAYU II. An ancient hermit of India. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Sand Parva, Chapter 47, Stanza 9, that this hermit visited Bhisma on his bed of arrows.


VAYUBALA. See under Vayucakra.


VAYUBHAKSA. An ancient hermit. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 13; that this hermit had been a prominent figure in the palace of Yudhisthira.


VAYUCAKRA. A hermit. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, $alya Parva, Chapter 38, Stanza 32, that this Vayucakra was born from the semen kept in a pot by the hermit called Mankanaka. From this same pot some other hermits such as Vayubala, Vayujvala and others were born. (See under Mankanaka, Para 3).


VAYTIHA. A son of the hermit Mankanaka. (See pare 3, under Mankanaka).


VAYUJVALA. See under Vayucakra.


VAYUMANDALA. A son of the hermit Mankanaka. See pare 3, under Mankanaka.


VAYUPURANA. One of the eighteen Puranas. (See under Purana).


VAYURETAS. A son of the hermit Mankanaka. (See pare 3, under Mankanaka) .


VAYUVEGA I. A Ksatriya King in ancient India. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 63 that this King was born from a portion of the asura.named Krodhavag a.


VAYUVEGA I1. A son of the hermit Mankanaka. ( See Pare 3, ut;der Mankanaka).


VAYUVEGA III. One of the sons of Dhrtarastra. He was present at the Svayamvara (marriage) of Draupadi (M.B. Aranya : Chapter 177, Verse 2 ).


VAYYA. A royal hermit of the period of Rgveda. Mention is made about the royal hermits such as Vayya, Karleandhu and others in Rgveda, Mandala 1, Sukta


VEDA. The sun of the hermit Ayodhadhaumya. (For further details see under Ayodhadhaumya).


1) Introduction. The root `Vid' in Sanskrit means `t:~ know'. The books composed of the knowledge of the Aryans, collected anti compiled were ca1led the Vedas.


2) The origin and importance of the Vedas. It is said that Brahma was the creator of the Vedas. Many say that, for the performance of sacrifices Brahma created from A9ni (fire), `Jayu ( Wind i and Ravi (the Sun), the three Vedas Rg, Yajus and Samanwhich are eternal and in accordance with regulations.


The Vedas have two sides, the spiritual and the mundane. Moreover all the. explanations of the Vedas from the Briahmayas to the Bhasya of Sayana, pertain to sacrifices. The literary meaning of Veda is mundane. Considering these two points and the facts that they are religious books and that they reveal the mental and social outlooks of the early Aryans, and as the origin of all the thoughts of Indians, all the Vedas, especially Rgveda, hold a lofty place.


3 ) Parts of the Vedas. Mahavisu incarnated as Vyasa in Dvapara Yuga and divided' the Vedas. The first Veda consisted of four padas and a hundred thousand granthas. Vyasa divided it into four parts known as, Itgveda, Yajurveda, Snmaveda and Atharvaveda. The sage and seer Vyasa thus created by Rg, "Hautra" (a collection of lyrics in praise of different Gods, to be recited by the priest styled the `hotr'), by Yajus "Adhvaryava", ( a book of sacrificial prayer, of prose formulas to be uttered by the `Adhvaryu' priest, who performed the manual work involved in a sacrifice), by Saman, "Audgatra", (Songs meant to be sung at the Soma sacrifice by a special class of priests `') and by Atharva "Brahmatva", ( a collection of songs, spells and incantations, for the healing of disease, the restoration of harmony, the exorcism of evil spirits and to celebrate the power and omniscience of God) and established them separately. Paila, a scholar in Rgveda, and a disciple of Vyasa, gave the original Veda to Indrapramiti and its Saxirhita (collections)to Baskala as gifts. Baskala divided the Sar'nhita into four, and gave each of them to Baudhya and others. Yajurveda was divided into twentyfour branches. Theywere composed by Vaisamp~-Iyana of extraordinary intelligence, a disciple of Vydsa. Kandas (Chapters) such as Vajasaneya etc. were composed later by hermits such as Yajnavalkya and others in the form of Smrtis ( tradition, as handing down only the tradition derived from ancient sages, to whom the Vedas were `revealed'). Jaimini the disciple of Vyasa, divided Samaveda into different branches. Sumantu and Sukarma compiled separate Sarirhitas (collections) from them. Sukarma composed thousand Sarirhitas. Sumantu the disciple of Vyasa tc.ok the Atharvaveda and taught it to thousands of Paippalada disciples. By the blessings of Vyasa, Sfrta made the Purana Sarirhita (the collection of Puranas). (Agni Purana, Chapter 150).


4) Branches of the Vedas. It has already been mentioned that the Vedas are four in number called Itg, Yajus, Sama and Atharva. Each of these Vedas has branches called Samhitas (collections) and Brahmanas (treatises relating to prayer and sacrificial ceremony). Aranyakas are appendices to the Brahmanas. Upanisads (secret or esoteric doctrines) are appendices of the Aranyakas. Thus each of the Vedas has Sarirhitas, Brahmanas, Ara,).yakas and Upanisad:5. All these are, in a way, expositions of the Vedas. Ira all these expositions there are numberless SCactas. All these taken together are called Vedic literature.


In the Sarirhitas there are lyrics in praise of different gods. All these are spells and incantations (mantras) in the form of songs. The under-currents of all these spells are Vedas and stories from the Vedas. Generally speaking the Brahmanas contain prose texts giving practical observations on sacrifice which are mentioned in the songs of praise. Here and there stories from Puranas and epics occur. The Aranyakas (forest-texts) got that name, because they are books of instruction to be given in the forest or writings meant for wood-dwelling hermits. As they contained esoteric spells and incantations which might cause injury even to those who were not concerned with them instruction in them was not given in towns or villages. The contents of the Aranyakas are the allegorical signification of the rites and sacrifices and the mystic meaning of the Vedas.


It has been mentioned that the Upanisads are appendices of the Aranyakas. Still there is not much difference between i:hctwo and hence they cannot be separated from one another so easily. The Upanisads are called Vedantas, (The aim and completion of the Vedas), because they are the end of the Vedas. The Vedantas belong to the later period of the Vedic age. Instruction in Vedantas was given only after completing the study of the mantras ( Vedas) and the Brahmanas.


The Upanjsads contain philosophical speculations about the conception of Brahman and the Vedas. The word Veda includes the Vedangas also. Vedangas (Ancillaries of the Vedas) are ~iksa (phonetics), Vyakarana (grammar), Chandas (metrics), Nirukta (etymology), Joytisa (astronomy), and Kalpa (ritual). At first instruction is given in the study of Brahman and the study of Vedas. When more discussions and expositions on them are needed, the study of Brahmanas and Aranyakas are resorted to. In course of time the Brahmanas and Aranyakas, which contain discussions and expositions of the Vedas became independent branches of study under these names. That is why they contain mainly prose texts.


There are one lakh of mantras or spells and incantations in all the four Vedas taken together. They are for blessing everybody and to make the four objects of 1ife easily attainable. Sarikhyayana and Asvalayana sorted and grouped the mantras. Accordingly there are two thousand one hundred and ten mantras known as Brahmanas. Dvaipayana and other hermits have stated the number of granthas (verses) in Rgveda. It is said that there are one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine mantras in Yajurveda. There are c ne thousand eightysix branches also. The branches in Yajus are known by the names Ka.nvi, Madhyandini, Kalhi, Madhyakathi, Maitrayani, Taittiriya, Vaisampayanika and so on.


In Sama Veda there are branches such as Kauthumi, Atharvanayini and so on; and songs such as Aranyakam, Uktham, >TJham and so on. The number of Samavedic verses are nine thousand four hundred and twentyfive.


Sumantu, Janjali, ~lokayani, ~aunaka, Pippalada, Munjakes a and such others were responsible for the sorting and grouping of the mantras in the Atharvaveda. Altogether there are one thousand six hundred Upanisads. (Agni Purana, Chapter 271).


5) L'x~ositions of the Vedas*. The religion of the Aryans became an established one when Vyasa had created the

Vedasarizhitas. The aim of Vyisa was to bring about  uniformity in the religious observances by performing  rites and rituals, religious ceremonies such as sacrifices  etc. without any flaw. Following this a very wide  Vedic literature grew up. The study of the Vedas,  critical review of meaning, the connection between  mantras and tantras (Chants and rituals), Grammar,  etymology, all these became inevitable. As the Vedas  could be looked at from different points of view, from  very early days, various types of expositions of the  Vedas carne out. Seven types of commentaries,  Nairukta, Yajxiika, Vaiyakarana jyautisa, Sampradayika  Adhyatmika, Aitihasika (pertaining to etymology,  sacrifice, grammar astronomy, customs of a tribe,  Brahma or Spiritual legends and ancient lore) were  the prominent among them. When the westerner  began research work in the Vedas, another branch of  literature also took form, known as the Agamikas  (the historical). Even in the time of' Yaska, who  was an authority on Nirukta (etymology) the Vedas  were expounded on the basis of legends and ancient  lore. Hints to this effect are seen in Yaska's works.  Mention is made about other types of expositions also,  in them. The last book of importance in the Sampra  dayika type of exposition, was Vedarthaprakisa, of  Sayatia. But the commentary of Skandasvami, the  books Rgarthadipiki and Udgithabhisya of Madhavi  carya etc. have spread the sampradayika type of  speculations in India. There is another cult in India  which believes that everything seen in the Vedas is  spiritual and that the spells and incantations are esoteric.


6) The gods of the Vedas. All the gods known today  are not found in the Vedas. Even those who are found  do not have the prominence that is given to them now.  For example, the deity Visriu, worshipped as one of  the three godheads today, is not as omnipotent as the  Indra of the Vedas. Though Visnu is praised in five  spells in Rgveda, when compared with other deities,  he was not of much prominence. In the Vedas the  incarnation of Vamana is not given much importance.  Even though Rudra is a recognized deity and mention  occurs about Kapardi, in the Vedas, there is not a song  of praise of Siva in the Rgveda. There is no mention  at all, about the worship of the Phallus, Devi and so on in the Vedas. The Vedas celebrate the Omniscience  of Varuna, Indra, Agni, Mitra,. the Maruts and so on.  The 4ustre of Indra was gradually dimmed with the  efflux of time and he became a mere libertine in the  Puranas. The imuortance of many deities such as  Varuna, Agni, Mitra, As vin and so on was greatly dimi  nished in the Puranas. Thirtythree deities pertaining  to Earth, Ether and Sky are praised in the Vedas.

7) The rites concerning instruction in Vedas. Manu has 28 : 6) . iven certain instructions as to how the teaching of While Vedasiras was doing penance once, a celestial edas should be conducted. maid named Suci came to make him deviate from pe


8) The teachers of Veda. See under Guruparampara. nance. A daughter was born to him by her. Yamadharma


9) The period of the Vedas. The Indians believe that the wished to kidnap that daughter. Vedasiras cursed pells and incantations and the Brihmanas are not man- Yamadharma to become a river. (Skanda Purina, 4 made, but are revelations by God. So they are con- 259 ).  sidered to be beginningless and endless. The hermits  are considered to be seers of the spells. It is mentioned  "Mantradrastarah na to Kartirah". (They are seers  of Mantra, not makers). In the opinion of one party,  according to this maxim, it is not necessarry to search  for the creators or the period of creation, of mantras. They hold that only the Sutras ( thread, clue, guide, rule, aphorism) are made by man.


The westerners and the modern thinkers of India do not agree completely with this view. They believe that the early Aryans who entered India, first settled down in the Punjab and that the local civilization which they had assumed, broke out as songs of praise. In course of time, these songs of Praise took the form of Rgveda mantras (saying, song, formula). In thebeginning there was only one Veda. Many believe that this state continued up to B.C. 1500. It is a fact universally acknowledged, that this Vedic literature is the most ancient literature of the world. There is difference of opinion as to the period of origin of this V cdic literature. Prof. Macdonell and Prof. Jacobi are foremost among those who have made their opinions. In the opinion of Prof. Macdonell, the Vedic literature, originated in the period between B.C. 1500 and 120. But Jacobi's opinion is that all the Vedas were made before B.C. 4000.


VEDADISA. The son of Brhadratha, the King of Cedi. Mention is made about him in Bhagavata, Skandha 9.


VEDAGARBHA. A name of Devi. When Devi killed Sumbha and such other Asuras, India got pleased with her and praised her as follows Aryi, Durga, Vedagarbha, Ambika, Bhadrakali; Bhadri, Ksemyi semalcari, Naikabahu, I praise you."

(Agni Purina, Chapter 12) .


VEDAKALPA. A section of Atharvaveda. The hermit Murijakesa divided Atharva Veda into five Samhitis ( collections) called Naksatra Kalpa, Veda Kalpa, Samhiti Kalpa, Angirasa Kalpa, and Sand Kalpa. (Visnu Purina, Aritsa 3, Chapter 6) .


VEDAlVA. A goddess who caused pain to living things. Adharma married Hirizsi. Two daughters named Nrta and Nirrti were born to them. From them Bhaya, Naraka, Maya and Vedana were born. Mrtyu was the daughter of Maya. Duhkha was the son of Vedana. (Agni Purina, Chapter 20) .


VEDANIDHI. A hermit. For further details see under Pramohini.


VEDANTA. See under Veda.


VEDASARMA I. The son of a Brahmin named Sivas armi. (See under Sivasarma).


VEDASARMA II. See under Vidura.


VEDA81RAS I. A hermit born in the clan of Bhrgu. He was born to the hermit Markandeya his wife Murdhanya otherwise called DhiAmra.. I'ivari was the wife of Vedasiras. (Brahma : 2, 11, 7; Vayu Purina


VEDASIRAS II. A hermit. He was the son born to Krgasva by his wife Dhisana. Vedasiras learned Visnu Purina from the Nigas ( serpents) in Patala ( underworld) and taught it to his disciple Pramati. ( Visnu Purina, 6 : 8 : 47) .


VEDASMRTA. A river. (Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 17).


VEDASPARSA. A teacher-priest who was a disciple of the hermit Kabandha. This teacher divided Atharvaveda into four parts and gave each of his four disciples, a part. (Vayu Purana 61 : 50) .


VEDASRUTI. A river famous -in- the Puranas. It is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, Sarga 49, that Sri Rama crossed this river and entered the hermitage of Agastya.


VEDASVA. An ancient river. It is mentioned in Mahabharata,, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 28, that the people of Bharata drank the water of this river.


VEDAVATI (DEVAVATI). A previous birth of Sita. (See under Sita ).


VEDAVYASA. See under Vyasa.


VED I. Wife of Brahma. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 117, Verse 10) . '


VEDITIRTHA I. A holy bath impossible to reach. This tirtha is at the origin of river Indus. He who visits this holy place will attain the fruits of horse sacrifice and will enter heaven. (M.B. Vana Parva, . Chapter 84, Stanza 47).


VEDITIRTHA II. A. holy place situated on the border of Kuruksetra. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 59, that those who bathe in this tirtha will obtain the fruits of giving thousand cows as alms.


VEGAVAN I. A naga (serpent) born in the family of Dhrtarastra. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 57, Stanza 17, that this serpent fell in the sacrificial fire of Janamejaya and died.


VEGAVAN II. An asura. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 24, that this asura was the son born to Prajapati Kas`yapa by his wife Danu. It was this Vegavan who took rebirth as the prince of Kekaya later. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 10) .


VEGAVAN III. A daitya (asura). A follower of the King of Salva. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 16, Stanza 17, that this daitya was killed in a fight with Samba, the son of Krsna.


VEGAVAHI.NI. An ancient river in India. This river stays in the palace of Varuna and exalts him. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 18) .


VEHATA. A medicine which helps to fatten the body. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 117, Stanza 17).


VEDA. A woman of the race of Raksasas (giants). This woman was the sister of' Puspotkala and Kaikasi. (See under Akampana).


VENA I. An ancient King who was notorious for his bad rule.


1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following order : Bhrahma - Svayambhuva Manu - Uttanapada -Dhruva-JiSti-Ripu.Caksusa Manu-Kuru-Anga-Vena.


2) Birth. Ten sons including Kuru, were born to Manu Caksusa by his wife Nadvala. Agneyi, the wife of Kuru gave birth to six sons Ariga and others. Anga married Sunitha. The son Vena was born by Sunitha. It is mentioned in Vijnu Puraina, Arhsa 1, Chapter 13, that Sunitha, the mother of Vena was the eldest daughter of Yama, and in Vamana Purana Chapter 47, that this Sunitha was the daughter born to Kala


and Mrtyu. Vena who was born as the son of the daughter of Yama was born a wicked man because of the badness of his grandfather.


Vena grew up as a great sinner. A story occurs in Padma Purana about an incident which caused Vena to become a great sinner.


The story says that Sunitha was the mother of Vena. In her play she used to imitate her father's job which was hurting others. One day when she went to the forest for play with her maids she saw Susankha the son of a Gandharva named Gitakolahala. That youth who was handsome in every part of his body, was doing penance meditating on the goddess Sarasvati for the attainment of the art of music. Sunitha began to annoy him daily. Sus ankha bore this annoyance patiently. He said only this -"Go away, go away." But she did not pay heed to his appeals. Once she became angry and struck him. Getting angry at this, Susankha called out, "You wicked girl ! Why do you annoy me ? You have beaten me, who am engaged iii penance, for no cause." That righteous Gandharva youth curbed his anger considering that she was a woman.


She told him" "My father will beat everybody in the three worlds. He will harm the wicked, and will not do any harm to the good. So he rules the country righteously." Sunitha told all about the story to her father. Though Yama, the incarnation of righteousness, heard all that his daughter said he did not give any reply.


She again went to the forest and struck him with a whip. Susanka rose up, shivering with pain and cursed her thus


"You wicked girl ! When you become a house-holder and join your husband you will get a son who will be a scoffer of Devas and Brahmins and an all-round sinner." Thus cursing her he continued his penance. Vena was born according to this curse.


3) The wicked rule of Vena. The hermits anointed Vena as the King. He became lord of the whole earth. He made a proclamation thus:-":sacrifice is prohibited. Giving alms, is prohibited. Offerings of no kind should be made. Who else, other than I, can be the Yajnapurusa ? (the deity who eats the food of sacrifice) ? I am the only lord and consumer of sacrifices".


Hearing this proclamation, the hermits approached him and told him that the Vedas were the basis of righteousness, that sacrifices were ordained in them, and that if no sacrifice was performed the Devas would not be pleased and so on. But this did not make any change in his behaviour.


The hermits became angry. They all gathered together and recited spells and struck him with Darbha (poa) grass and killed him. As there was no King the world fell into darkness. Because of the troubles caused by plunderers, people gathered round the hermits. Hermits joined together and churned the left hand of Vena, from which a man of short stature came out, to whom the hermits said, `Nisida' (sit). Because the hermits said Nisida', Nisada came into existence from that dwarf born of the sins of Vena. Then the hermits churned the right hand of Vena. At this churning a person as big as a mountain with divine signs came out. He had bow and arrows and in his palm there were marks of a wheel and flag. Seeing this the Devas nointed him the King of the earth. He ruled righteously and brought the goddess earth (Prthvi) who had estranged herself from his father Vena close to him. Because he had conciliated Prthvi he became famous as a King. (Vdmana Purdna, Chapter 47).


VENA II. One of the ten sons of Vaivasvata Manu. (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 75, Stanza 15) .


VENA. A river famous in the Purdnas. Information about this river, taken from Mahabharata, is given below


(i) Vend-river stays in the palace of Varuna serving him. (M.B. Sabhd Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 18) .


(ii) Sahadeva defeated the ruler of the country at the basin of river Vend, during his conquest of the regions of the south. (M.B. Sabhd Parva, Chapter 31, Stanza 12).


(iii) Those who fast on the basin of this river for three days will go to heaven in an aerial chariot yoked with pea-cocks and swans. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 85, Stanza 32) .


(iv) Among the rivers which originate fire, this river also is included. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 224, Stanza 24) .


v) It is mentioned in Mahdbhdrata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 165, Stanza 20, that this is a river worthy to be remembered every morning and evening.


VENASA&GAMA. A holy place in India. It is mentioned in Mahabharata Parva, Chapter 85, Stanza 34, that those who bathe in this place shall obtain the fruits of performing a horse sacrifice.


A small country situated on the southernmost point of India. This country grew in size gradually and became Travancore which forros a part of Kerala State now.


VENT. A naga (serpent) born in the family of Kaurava. This serpent fell in the sacrificial fire of the serpent sacrifice of Janamejaya, and was burnt to death. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 57, Stanza 12).


VENIKA. A holy river in Sdka Island famous in the Puranas. (Mahdbharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza 32) .


VENISKANDA. A naga (serpent) born in the Kaurava family. This serpent also fell in the sacrificial fire of the serpent sacrifice of Janamejaya and was burnt to death. (M.B. Adi Parva; Chapter 57, Stanza 12) .


VENKATADHVARI. A Sanskrit poet who lived in the 17th century A.D. Most important of his works, is `Yadavardghaviya.' This poem is a description of the greatness of Rdma and Krsna.


VENKATANATHA. A Sanskrit poet who lived in the 14th century A.D. He completed nearly hundred and twentyfive poetic works. These are written in Sanskrit and Prdkrta. The major poetic work "Raghavabhyudaya" of Verikatanatha consists of twentyfour kandas. This is a beautiful poetic work. Appayyadiksitar has written a commentary on this work. This poet Venkatandtha, who was also known by the name "Vedantadesika", was a great philosopher too. It is said that his native place was Tuppil, near Khansi. Most of his works are based on theosophy and on the philosophy of oneness of man with God.


Veftkatanatha was born in 1268 and died in November 1369, as critics say. Even today he is esteemed and venerated as a divine person.


VENKATUKU. A measure of weight in ancient India. (See under Trasarenu)


VENUDARI. A Yadava. This Yadava once carried away the wife of Akrura. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 38) .


VENUDARISUTA. A Yddava. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 254, Stanza 15, that this Yadava was defeated by Karna during his regional conquest.


VE ~ UHAYA. A king of the Lunar dynasty (Candravarhs a ). He was the son of Satajit and the brother.of Mahahaya and Hehaya. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9).


VENUJA&GHA. An ancient hermit. This her~iit shone in the assembly of Yudhisthira. (M.B. Sabhd Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 18).


VE-NUMA~TPALA. One of the seven divisions of Kusadvipa. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 12, Stanza 12, that, in all these seven divisions, Devas, Gandharvas and men live like friends and that death has no admission to this island.


VENUMANTA. A mountain very famous in the Purdnas. This mountain is white in colour. It is said that this mountain is on a par with the mountain Mandara in the Northern region. (M.B. Sabhd Parva, Daksindtyapatlta, Chapter 33 ).


VENUPA. A country in ancient India. (Mahdbharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 140, Stanza 26) .


VENUVINADHARA. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 26).


VETALA. An evil spirit. In the branch of fiction Fairy stories have a prominent place. Fairy stories had a good place in India from very early times. In several stories Vetdlas (ghosts) have been introduced as characters. Though Vetdlas have got a place in most of the stories, the Vetala, who had turned to the path of salvation in `Jfianavdsistha' and the narrator of twentyfive (Par7cavitnsati) Vetdla stories of Kathasaritsagara are the most prominent among them.


VETALAJANANT. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. galya Parva., Chapter 46, Stanza 13 ).


VETALAPANCAVIM8AT$. The twentyfive stories told by Vetdla. (See under Vetala).


VETASAVANA. An ancient holy place. The goddess Mrtyu once did penance in this place. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 54, Stanza 23) .


VETASIKA. A holy place glorified by Brahma. It is mentioned in Mahabhdrata, Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 56, that those who visit this place will obtain the fruits of Horse sacrifice and will attain the world of 8ukrdcdrya.


VETRAKTYAGRHA. A place near the city of Ekacakra. (Mahdbharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 159, Stanza 9) .


VETRAKTYAVANA. A forest. It was in this forest that Bhimasena killed Bakasura. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza 30).


VETRAVATI. A river very famous in the Puranas. (Mahabharata Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 16) .


VETRIKA. A country in India. Duryodhana had sent the army of the kingdom of Vetrika for the protection of Bhisma. (Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 51, Stanza 7) .


1) General information. A hermit, born in the family of Ka. yapa. Once he happened to see Urvasi. When he pondered over her, seminal flow occurred to him. An antelope swallowed it and gave birth to a son. That son was known as the hermit IZsyasriiga, when he grew up. (For details see under Iayas _iiga ) .


2) Other details.


(i) Vibhandaka stays in the palace of Indra and glorifies him. (M. B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 18 ).


(ii) Vibhandaka is as radiant as Prajapati. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 110, Stanza 32) .


VIBHAVARI. A mental daughter of Brahma. She is considered to be the personation of Night. It is mentioned in Matsya Purina, Chapter 154, that according to the instruction of Brahma, Vibhavari entered the body of Uma. and from that day onwards the body of Uma became dark.


VIBHAVASU I. A hermit who got angry quickly. This hermit cursed his brother Supratika. (See under Garuda, para 5).


VIBHAVASU 11. A hermit. This hermit respected Yudhisthira much. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 26, Stanza 24).


VIBHAVASU III. One of the sons born to Prajapati Kasyapa by his wife Danu. Vibhavasu also was present at the battle between Vrtrasura and Indra. (Bhdgavata, Sllandha 6).


VIBHINDU. A king who was very liberal. It is mentioned in Rgveda, Mandala 8, that this king had given Medhatithi a gift of fortysix tho!lsand cows.


VIBHISA'-VA 1. Brother of Ravana. The son Visravas was born to Prajapati Pulastya. Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhi sana were born to Visravas by his wife Malini. A daughter named krpanakha also was born to them. Kumbhakarna and Vibhi sana went to do penance under the leadership of their eldest brother Ravana. They did severe penance and obtained various boons. The boon given to Vibh:sana was to live as a righteous roan. After that they came back and defeated Kubera, the ruler of La:iki and brought Lanka under their control. Ravana became the ruler of Lanka. Kumbhakarna and Vibhisana lived with their brother in Lai'Lka. Ravana married Mandodari. Kumbhakarna took Vajrajvald tile daughter of Mahabali and Vibliisana took Sarala, the daughter of SailClsa a Gandharva as their wives, according to Uttara Ramayana. Ravana conquered the three worlds and was ruling as the emperor of the whole world, when Sri Rama and Laksmana went to the forest, with Situ. Ravana carried Sita away to Lanka. Rama and Laksmana, with the help of the monkey-army entered Lanka. At this time Ravana called together his ministers to consider the details about the battle with Sri Rdma. Every one present except Vibhisana voted for the battle. Vibhisana advised Ravan.a to return Sita, the stolen property and beg Sri Rama for pardon. Ravana got angry and expelled Vibh;sana from Lanka. Vibhisana joined the side of Sri Rama and informed him of all the military secrets of Ravana. In the battle which ensued Ravana was killed and Vibhisana was made the king of Laiika by Sri Rama. It is stated in Kambaramayana, Yuddha Kanda that according to the instruction of Sri Rama and at the instance of Indra, Visvakarma -came to Lanka and renovated the city of Lanka.


Sri Rama returned to Ayodhya and became the king. One day Candragupta, the second son of Sahasramukha Rivana (Ravana with thousand heads) stole away the daughter of Sugriva and the daughter-in-law of Vibhi-


saga. Vibhisana informed Sri Rama of this. Sri Rama, with Laksmaila, Vibhisana, Sugriva, Hanuman and the monkey-army went to the city of Sahasramukha Ravana in the middle of Milk-sea. A fierce battle ensued which lasted for three days. All tile Raksasas were killed. (See under Sahasramukharavatza).


It is mentioned in Kamba RAmayana that in the horse sacrifice performed by Sri Rama, the control of the army was in the hands of Sugriva and financial control was vested in the- ha>;ds of Vibhisana.


VIBHISANA 11. Mention is made in Mahabharata, as given below, about another Vibhisa:a who had ruled over Lal:ka.


Once Ghatotkaca went to the palace of Vibhisai-a as the messenger of Sugriva. Vibhiqana who heard from Ghtotkaca ?.bout Yudhisthira Honoured the messenger greatly and gave him a large quantity of valuable presents.


VIBHISANA. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. ~alya'Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 22) .


VIBHRAJA. A King who was the descendant of Yayati. I! is stated in Bhagavata, Skandha 9, that he was the son of Krti and the father of Anuha.


VIBHRAJARr>JA. Father-in-law of the daughter of the hermit 8uka. ~uka, the son of Vyasa married Pivari, who gave birth to four sons named Krsna, Gauraprabha, Bh --;ri and Devasruta and a daughter named Kirti. This daughter Kirti was married by Aauha the son of King Vibhraja. Brahmadatta ,vas the son born to Anuha by Kirti. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 1).


VIBHU I. A King of the family of Bharata. It is mentioned in Bhagavata, Skandlia 5, that he was the son of Prastota and the father of Prthusena.


VIBHU II. Indra of the age of the fifth Manu. (See under Manvantara).


VIBHU III. Brother of Sakuni. Bhimasena killed him in the Bharata-battle. (M.B. Droi-ia Parva, Chapter 157, Stanza 23).


VIBHLJRASI. The son of the Agni (ire) called Adbhuta. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 222, Stanza 26).


VIBHUTI. One of Visvamit:a's sons who were expounders of the Vedas. Anu;a.sana Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 57).


VIBHVA. A son of Sudhanva who was the son of A;igiras. The three sons of Sudhanvi were Rbhu, Vibhva and Vaja. (Rgveda, Mandala 1, Sukta 111).


VICAKHNU. An ancient King of India. He was a protagonist of non-killing. He was of opinion that liquor, alcoholic medicine, honey, flesh,, etc. should .be avoided. It is not ordained in the Vedas that these things should be used. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 265, Stanzas 3-12).


VICARU. One of the sons born to Sri Krsna by Rukmini. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10).


VICITRA. A Ksatriya King. It is mentioned in Mahabhaiata, Adi Parva , Chapter 67, Stanza 61, that this King was born from a portion of the asura Krodhavas a.


VICITRAVIRYA. Father of Dlirtarastra. (For further details see under Dhrtarastra) . -


VIDAIVATA. A devil. In the previous birth, this devil was a Ksatriya King named Harihara. This King lived as a godless man in consequence of which, he was born as a devil in his next birth. (Padma Purina, Patala Khanda, Chapter 95).


VIDALLA. Minister of the king Dhruvasandhi. (For further details see under Dhruvasandhi).


VIDA~TTDA. A king in ancient India. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 182, Stanza 12, that Vidanda and his son Danda were present at the Svayarhvara (marriage) of Draupadi.


VIDARBHA 1. A brother of Bharata. It is stated in Bhagavata, Skandba 5, that Kusavarta, I14varta, Brahmdvarta, ~.ryavarta, Bhadraketu, Sena, lndrasprk, Vidarbha, and so on were brothers of Bharata,- the son of Rsabha. Nimi was his son.


VIDARBHA 11. See under Jyamagha.


V1DARBHA 111. An ancient country in India. The information about this Puranically famous country obtained from Mahabhdrata, is given below:


(i) Once Sahadeva, during his regional conquest, captured Bhojakata, a part ef Vidarblia and expelled the king. Bhismaka from the country. (it.I.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 31, Stanza 11) .


(ii) By the blessing of hermit Damanaka, three sons, Dama, Danta and Damana and a daughter, Damayanti, were born to Bhismaka the king of Vidarbha. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 58, Stanza 5).


(iii) Having heard about the Svayaiiivara (Bride selecting a suitable husband from the candidates present) of the princess Damayanti of Vidarbha, the gods India, Agni, Varuna and Yama came to Vidarbha; (See under Damayanti).


iv) Damayanti is called Vaidarbhi because she was born in Vidar-bha. (M. B. Vana Parva, Chapter 55, Stanza 12)


v) Rukmini, the wife of Sri Krsna, was the daughter of a king of Vidarbha. Bhagavan Sri Krsna carried Rukmini away by force. (M. B. IJclyoga Parva, Chapter 158, Stanza 13)


VIDEGHA MATHAVA A king born of the dynasty of Mathu. There is an interesting story about this king in the 8atapatha Brahmana. It is as follows.


Videgha put Agni in his mouth and lived without talking, fearing that Agni might jump out. His priest Rahugana tried to the utmost, but he could not extricate fire from the mouth of the king.


Once by chance the word Ghrtagot out of the mouth of Rahugana. Instantly the fire in the mouth of the king blazcd into a big flame and burst out of the mouth.


That fire gradually increased and begin to consume the world, Rivers became dry. It seemed that even Videgha and his priest would be burnt to ashes in that blazing fire. At last Videgfia got into the river Sadanira, which flowed through the boundary of his own kingdom, with the intention of not becoming a prey to


the ever -increasing fire. With this the fire abated.


VIDEHA I. Another name of' emperor Nimi. (See under Janaka.


VIDEHA II The kingdom of Mithila. This country which lies on the North East part of India was ruled by Ksatriya kings of the dynasty of Videha. It is stated in Mahabharata; Sabha Parva, Chapter ~29, that Bhimasena had during his eastern regional conquest, conquered this country. About this kingdom which is the native country of Sita, the following information is available in Mahabharata,


(i) The hermitage of Parasurama was on the North of Videha. (M. B. Vwna Parva, Chapter 130, Stanza 13).


(ii) The army of Videha attacked Arjuna in the battle of Bharata. (M. B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 117, Stanza 32).


(iii) Karna defeated the Ksatriya princes of the country of Janaka (M. B. Drona Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 6 ). (iv) Parasurama cut the Ksatriyas of this country into pieces.with his sharp arrows. (M. B. Drona Parva, Chapter 70, Stanza 11).


(v) This country had been giving tribute to Karna. (M. B. Karna Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 33) .


VIDHATA. A son born to Bhrgu. By his wife Khyati two sons Dhata and Vidhata and a daughter named Laksmi were born to Bhrgu. Laksmi was -given in marriage to Visnu. The daughter of Meru, Ayati, was married by Dhata and Niyati by Vidhata. The son Mrkanduwas born to Vidhata by Niyati. This Mrkanau was the father of Mdrkandeya. (Visnu Purzzia, Amsa 1, Chapter 10).


The following statements occur about Dhata and Vidhata in Mahabharata.


(i) At Nakaloka (heaven) Dhata and Vidhata took the form of women and allowed hermit Utta•.Ika to see them. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 3, Stanza 166). (ii) Dhata and Vidhata stood above the city of Virata to see the battle between Arjuna and . Krpa. (M. B. Virata Parva, Chapter 56, Stanza 11).


(iii) Dhata and Vidhata lived with Manu. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 42) .


(iv) Dhata and Vidhata gave to Subrahmanya two followers named Suvrata and Sukarma. (M. B. galya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 42 ).


VIDHAVA A woman whose husband is dead. In ancient India, it was ordained how a widow should live. It was allowed for a widow to get a son by her younger brother -in law to continue the family line in case the death of her husband occurred before the couple had children.. The procedure about this is given in Manusmrti, Chapter 9.


"He who goes to accept the widow with the permission of great people, should besmear his body with ghee and go to her bed in the night in a dark room. She should have only one son in this manner. After she has become pregnant, they should behave to each other as a teacher and a younger brother-in-law."


VIDHRTI. Son of Khagara and the father of Hiranyanabha. He was a King. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9) .


VIDI~A. A river. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 2, Stanza 12, that this river stays in the palace of Varuna serving. him.


VIDRAVAI:A. One of the sons born to Kasyapa by Manu. (Matsya Pur5na 6:18 ).


VIDRUTA. A King born in the family of Yayati. He was the son of Rucaka. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9) .


VIDULA. A heroic Ksatriya woman of India. In Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, there is a story, how this Vidula sent her son, who had fled from the battle-field because of fear, back to the battlefield again.


The Pandavas, who had completed forest-life and Pseudonymity successfully and returned to Hastinapura. were again deceived and put to shame. gri Krsna's argument as a mediator was not successful, in the palace of the Kauravas. Sri Krsna came away from the palace of Duryodhana and entered the house of Vidura and visited Kunti. Sri Krsna asked her opinion on the idea of waging a war against the Kauravas. It is not meet and right on the part of a heroic mother to welcome a son who comes home being defeated in battle. To substantiate this point, she told Sri Krsna the story of Vidula, as given below.


Vidula was a brave woman, who lived in ancient India. Her son Sanjaya fought with the King of Sindhu and was defeated. When he came home Vidula did not receive him. She emboldened him by saying that she would be more proud of a son, who had sacrificed his life, in the battlefield than one who returned home defeated. All his arguments which were excuses for his cowardice, were refuted by his mother. At last Sanjaya engaged again in a battle with the King of Sindhu.


On hearing this story told by Kunti Sri Krsna became immensely pleased. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, 3 Chapters from 134) .




' 1) General information. Vidura was a superhuman being, very famous in the story of Mahabharata, as a brother of Dhrtarastra, as a man of colossal intelligence who had been closely watching the goings and comings of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, as the adviser of Dhrtarastra, and as a man of immense learning and wisdom.


2) Incarnation of Dharmadeva. There is a story in MahaBharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 107, which describes Vidura as born from a portion of Dharmadeva. The story is given below.


Long ago there was a hermit called Mandavya in India. As he was standing in deep meditation near his hermitage, the men of the King chased some thieves and came to the place where the hermit stood. The robbers placed the stolen property near the hermit and ran away. The king's men caught' the hermit, and the thieves. The King ordered them to be placed on a trident. The thieves died on the trident. But Mandavya was not dead. The King sawed the trident and got Mandavya down. The hermit went to Dharmadeva and asked him what his blame was for suffering the punishment of the trident on him. Dharmadeva replied that the punishment was inflicted for a cruel deed he had done in his childhood. He had caught some flies and made a bunch of them by piercing them with the rib of a coconut-palm leaf. But Mandavya argued that Dharmadeva was not right in punishing him because the 8astras and rules of righteousness said that mistakes committed by boys below the age of twelve could not be considered to be sins. Further he cursed Dharmadeva that he would take birth on the earth from the womb of a ~udra. Accordingly Dharmadeva took birth from the womb of the s1-rvant of Ambika and Ambalika.


3) Birth. Vidura was born as the brother of Dhrtarastra and Pandu. (For detailed story see under Dhrtarastra I, para 2) .


4) Up to marriage. Dhrtarastra, Pandu and Vidura spent their younger days in Hastinapura as inseparable brothers. Their teacher was Bhisma. Vidura learned the Vedas, 8astras, Puranas, Itihasas etc. also, along with the education given to a prince such as archery, club-fight, sword-fight, wrestling, controlling elephants etc. He understood that to be righteous was far better


than fighting. It is stated in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 108, that Vidura got the sense of righteousness, and education in fighting, at the same time:


Childhood ended. As Vidura was born to a Brahmin by a kdra woman he had no right to become King. When he grew up, the duty to find a wife for him fell on Bhisma. At that time a damsel born to a Brahmin by a 8Udra woman was being brought up in the palace of King Devaka. With the permission of Devaka, Bhisma brought the girl and gave her in marriage to Vidura. It is stated in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 114, that sons and daughters were born to the couple.


5 )Partiality towards the Pdndavas. Vidura was the most intelligent and wisest man of his time, and he always favoured righteousness. Though he viewed the Kauravas and the Pandavas with equal favour, in his heart he felt, some partiality towards the Pandavas, because they were virtuous, whereas the Kauravas were becoming more and more wicked. As this partiality arose from his sense of righteousness, nobody could blame Vidura for this. His aim was the prosperity of the Lunar dynasty of Kings.


Many ill omens were seen at the time of the birth of Duryodhana. Vidura understood that if that infant grew up he would be a comet to the Lunar dynasty. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 115, that Vidura advised Dhrtarastra that it would be better for him to throw away that infant.


The death of Pandu drew Vidura closer to the Pandavas. Vidura took the lead in performing the funeral rites and other ceremonies which followed. The Pandavas. were very sad and miserable at the death of their father. It was at this time that Duryodhana poisoned Bhimasena, tied him with a rope and threw him into the river Ganges. Bhimasena was carried to the world of nagas (serpents). Kunti felt grieved at the loss of her son Bhima, but Vidura consoled her,


It was due to the wisdom of Vidura that the Pandavas escaped from the disaster in the lac-house. As soon as Duryodhana had completed the lac-house,. Vidura understood the deception lying hidden under it. and he informed the Pandavas of everything about it. Moreover he sent a man named Khanaka and made an underground passage from the Jac-house. When the lac-house was burnt down, the Pandavas escaped by the underground passage and reached the banks of the Ganges. Vidura had sent a ferryman secretly to take them to the other side of the Ganges. When Bhisma got the news that the,Paridavas had been burnt to death in the lac-house he became very sad. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 149, that Vidura informed Bhigma secretly that the ParidavaS were not dead.


After this event the Pandavas come into the scene only at the Svayartvara (marriage) of Pancali. Bhisma and Drona proposed that the Pandavas should be brought back and be given half of the kingdom. Vidura, by his arugments convinced Dhrtarastra that the proposal of Bhisma and Drona was correct. Dhrtarastra asked Vidura to bring the Pandavas back. Vidura went to the city of Drupada .and brought the Pandavas back and consoled their mother Kunti. After this Yudhisthira performed Rajasuya (sacrifice of royal consecration). Vidura took part in it and took the charge of financial part of the sacrifice. It was after this that Duryodhana challenged Yudhisthirafor a game of dice. Vidura saw beforehand that this move on the part of Duryodhana was dangerous. So he talked forcibly against this, and gave warning to all concerned. As Duryodhana did not agree with Vidura, he was scolded. But Duryodhana was firm and the game was conducted. Paficali was harassed by means of stripping and the Pandavas went to the forest. It is stated in Mahabharata, VanarParva, Chapter 3, that Vidura had been witnessing all these scenes with wet eyes.


6) Separated from the Pandaaas. When the Pandavas were driven to the forest, ~Dhrtarastra felt sorry. He became more afraid of the people than he was sorry for the Pandavas. He understood that his subjects would unite and rise against his sons. He called Vidura and asked him for a remedy. Vidura who was full of impatience, mad;: a speech against the wickedness of the sons of Dhrtarastra and advised him to forsake his own sons and to bring the Pandavas back and give them the kingdom. Dhrtarastra did not like this approach. He said that Vidura was partial to the Pandavas and asked him to ge away from the palace. Vidura became grieved at this. He followed the Pandavas, and walking a long distance, reached the forest Kamyaka and met the Pandavas.


When Vidura had gone Dhrtarastra felt miserable. He sent for Vidura and when he returned Dhrtarastra begged for pardon. Vidura again became the adviser of Dhrtarastra. (M. B. Vana Parva, Chapter 6) .


7) Adviser of Dhrtaraytra. The advice of Vidura is famous in Mahabharata. The main duty of Vidura was to console Dhrtarastra by speaking about righteousness when he became troubled in mind because of the constant quarrels between his sons and the Pandavas. Vidura fulfilled his duty well. Duryodhana was firm on the point that not a dot of land would be given to the Pandavas. gri Krsna came to Hastinapura as mediator. Duryodhana showed disrespect to him. Vidura said in strong words that it was wrong on the part of Duryodhana to have done so and compelled Dhrtarastra to show due respect and hospitality to Sri Krsna. Accordingly Dhrtarastra welcomed Sri Krsna and showed respect and hospitality. Knowing this, Duryodhana and his brothers tried to make Sri Krsna a captive. Vidura harshly scolded them for this attempt. Seeing all these impudent actions on the part of his sons, Dhrtarastra became distressed. Vidura consoled him by good exhortations. He told Dhrtarastra about the transience of life and the importance of the soul. When the battle was fiercely going on in the battleground of Kuruksetra, Vidura re ained with Dhrtarastra consoling him and giving him good advice. The death of Bhisma was an unbearable grief to Vidura. He took part in the funeral of Bhisma. He himself placed the body on the funeral pyre. (M. B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 168, Stanza 11).


8) Pilgrimage. When Vidura failed in his attempt to ward off a pitched battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas he felt extremely miserable. Without taking part in the battle, he started on a pilgrimage. Getting the news at Prabhasaksetra about the end of the battle, he went to the basin of river Yamuna. On the way he heard the news of the passing away of gri Krsna; from Uddhava. Before death Sri Kr~na had


revealed that Vidura had heard Uddhavagita from Maitreya. This book which is in the form of a conversation between Vidura and Maitreya contains the talk between Kapila and Devahuti. Description of the line of Manus, sacrifice of Daksa, story of Dhruva, story of Prthu, story of Purafijana etc. were the subjects of the talk. (Bhagavata, 3--4) .


9) End. The Bharata-battle came to an end. The Kauravas were exterminated. Efforts were begun to establish law and order. In all these efforts Vidura was a help to the Pandavas. Still he spent most of his time with the old Dhrtarastra. Yudhisthira came to Dhrtarastra and both embraced each other. Seeing this Vidura cried aloud. Vidura advised Yudhisthira how to carry on the administration of the new government. After this he decided to go to the forest to spend his last days. Dhrtarastra, Gandhari,Kunti, Vidura and Sakuni went to the forest. The Pandavas tried in vain to prevent them from going. When Dhrtarastra, Gandhari, Kunti, Vidura, Sanjaya and others started for the forest, even Bhimasena cried aloud. Pandavas and the people of the city went along with them up to the river Ganges. On the bank of the Ganges near the hermitage of Satayupa, a hermitage was erected and Vidura and the others lived there.


They lived there for nearly six years. The Pandavas became unable to bear the separation from their elders. Once Dharmaputra dreamt about his mother. Next day the Pandavas went to the banks of the Ganges. Paficall, Subhadra, Uttara and many people of the city followed them. They went to the Satayupa-hermitage and saw Dhrtarastra and the others. But the great Vidura was not there. When asked about it he got the reply that having become abstemious and having no more desires he was wandering about. Yudhisthira was greatly troubled.


Next day at dawn when Yudhisthira went to bathe in the Ganges, on the way he saw Vidura sitting in contemplation with a stone in his mouth. Yudhisthira stood with joined palms before the lean and weak form of that sage and said "Look, Dharmaputra bows before you." He . repeated this several times. But there was no change in Vidpra. Yudhisthira's disappointment did not last long. For, in a short while Dharmaputra saw that a divine radiance emanated from the body of Vidura and passed on to his body and that the body of Vidura fell lifeless on the ground. This union took place because both Vidura and Yudhisthira were portions of Dharmadeva. After this Dharmaputra made preparations to burn the body of Vidura. Then an ethereal voice said "Vidura is abstemious. His body should not be burned." Dharmaputra went to the hermitage and informed all, about the death of Vidura. (M.B. Asramavasika Parva, Chapters 26 to 28).


Mention is made in Mahabharata, Svargarohana Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 22, that Vidura entered' Svarga (heaven) and stays there in the form of Dharmadeva.


VIDURA II. A Ksatriya who lived in Paficala. The story of this Vidura, who had killed a Brahmin because of his want, is given in Padma Purana, Bhumikhanda, Chapter 91. The story is given below:


Long ago there lived a Ksatriya, named Vidura, in Paficala. Because of penury he killed a Brahmin. After that the Ksatriya discarded his lock of hair and Brahma string and went to every house saying "Look, here am 1, a slayer of Brahmin. Please, give alms to the drunkard and killer of a Brahmin." Saying thus he walked from house to house and took alms. But he did not get remission of Brahmahatya (killing of a Brahmin).


Filled with grief and sorrow and mental worry the sinner Vidura sat in the shade of a tree. At that time Candrasarma, a Brahmin of Magadha came there. He was a wicked man who had killed his teacher because of inordinate lust in consequence of which he had been forsaken by his own people. Vidura asked Candragarma who wore no sign of a Brahmana, what he was. Candrasarma told his story to Vidura who in return told him his sinful acts.


At this time another Brahmin named Vedagarma came there. He also was a sinner. The three of them told each other about their sinful acts. At this time Vallala, a Vaisya came there. He was a drunkard who had killed cows. These four desperate sinners travelled together and visited several tirthas (holy baths). But they did not get remission of their sins. At last they started for Kdlanjaragiri.


While these desperate sinners were living in Kalanjara a poor Brahmin came there. He asked them why they were so sad. They told him everything. When he heard their stories he felt pity for them. The old Brahmin said "You sinners should go to Prayaga, Puskara, Sarvatirtha and Varanasi and bathe in the Ganga on New Moon days and you will become free from sin." They obeyed the old Brahmin and went to the holy places told by him. Thus Vidura and his friends became sinless.


VIDURA. A king of the Kuru dynasty. He was the son born to the great king Kuru by Subhangi, a damsel of Dasarha family. Vidura married Sampriya, a princess of Madhu royal family. A son named Anasva was born to her. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Stanzas 39-40).


VIDURAGAMANARAJYALABH APARVA. A subsection of Adi Parva, comprising chapters 199 to 217, in Mahabh5rata.


VIDURATHA I. A king of the Vrsni dynasty. Information got from Mahabharata about this king is given below.


(i) Vidtzratha also was present at the Svayamvara marriage of Draupadi. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 185, Stanza 19).


(ii) In Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 218, Stanza 10, mention is made that the brightness of this king increased after his participation in the festival conducted on mount Raivata.


(iii) Viduratha was one of the seven famous and mighty kings of the Yadu dynasty. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 60, Stanza 14).


(iv) Viduratha was a close friend of gisupala, 9alva, Jarasandha and so on. Jarasandha employed this Viduratha as the guardian of the Eastern entrance of the city of Mathura. When Sri Krsna killed his brother Dantavaktra, Salva, Sisupala and others, Viduratha ran to take revenge on Krsna. But he was killed by Sri Krsna. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10).


(v) It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Svargarohana Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 16, that after death he joined the Visvadevas.


VIDURATHA 11. A king of the Puru dynasty. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 49, Stanza


75, that Rksavan hid the son of this king in a mountain and saved him from the Ksatriya-extermination of Parasurama and at that time spotted leopards brought up this child.


VIDIJRATHA III. A king who was the friend of the hermit Bhalanda. This king had two sons named Suniti and Sumati and a daughter named Mudavati. One day while Viduratha was hunting in the forest, he saw a cleavage on the earth caused by the yawning of Kujrmbhasura. The king stood there for a while looking at the cleavage. Then the hermit Suvrata who had been standing close by approached the king and said. "This asuraKujzmbha has a divine pestle with him. Because of the possession of this pestle he has become invincible and is a threat to the whole world."


Viduratha, who knew everything from Suvrata, lived cautiously. One day his daughter was carried away by this Kujrmbhasura. Suniti and Sumati confronted the asura to rescue their sister but were made captives. Finally Vatsapri, she son of the hermit Bhalanda killed the Raksasa (giant) and liberated princess Mudavati. (Markandeya Purana, Chapter 113) .


VIDURATHA I. A king born in the family of Bharata, the son of Dusyanta. The father of this king was Suratha and his son was Sarvabhauma. (Bhagavata, Skandba 10).


VIDURATHA II. Brother of Dantavaktra. When $ri Krsna had defeated Dantavaktra, his brother Viduratha came to fight with Sri Krsna and was killed in the fight. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10) .


VIDUSA. A king of the Anga dynasty. Ghrta was the father of king Vidusa and Pracetas was his son. (Agni Purana, Chapter 277 ).


VIDYA I. A maid of Devi Uma. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 231, Stanza 48).


VIDYA II. A deity. This deity is worshipped as the deity of three Vedas which are the most important of the religious or Vedic literature. Mention is made about this deity in the preface of Rgvedabhasya by Sayana, as follows.


Once Vidya approached a Brahmin and said "I am your wealth. Your duty is to impart me to disciples who are pure, celibate, law-abiding and active, and who protect the treasure. I hate disciples who are jealous."


VIDYADHARA(S). A group of semi-gods. Vidyadharas, Apsarases (celestial maids), Yaksas, Raksasas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras and so on are semigods. Of these Kinnaras are lute-players, and Vidyadharas wear garlands, and all these groups live in the sky. (Agni Purana, Chapter 51). It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 56, Stanza 8, that when attracted by spells and incantations, Indra went to the Sarpasatra (serpent sacrifice) of Janamejaya, the Vidyadharas walked behind him (Indra).


VIDYANATHA (AGASTYA). A Sanskrit writer on rhetorics. He was also called Agastya. He is the author of Prataparudriyam. The real name of Prataparudriyam is Partaparudrayasobhusanam.

He was a member of the court of King Prataparudradeva who ruled over the Kingdom of Warangal from 1295 to 1323 A.D. He has written a drama of five acts, under the name "Prataparudra Kalyana." Pratapa-rudriyam is a book on rhetorical figures.


VIDYASAGARA. Father of Bhartrhari. See under fihart-chari.


VIDYATIRTHA. A holy place in India. It is mentioned in Mahabh.arata, Vana~Parva, Chapter 34, Stanza 52, that those who bathe in this tirtha (bath) would get knowled=-e.


VIDYOTA. The son born to Sage Dharma, by his wife Lamba, the daughter of Daksa. (Bhagavata, Skandha 6).


VIDYOT5,. A celestial maid of Alakapuri. Mention is made in :vIahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 19, Stanza 45, that Vidyota took part in the dance performed in honour of Astavakra, the hermit.


VIDYUDDHARA. A Deva Gandharva. (See under Nahusa).


VIDYUDRUPA. A Yaksa who was the favourite of Kubera. This Yaksa married Madanika, the daughter of Menaka. Once when these two were sitting on mount Kailasa and drinking liquor the bird Kaiika born of the family of Garuda came there. Vidyudrupa killed Kafika after a small fight.


Hearing about the death of Kanka, his brother Kandara came to avenge the death of his brother. A fierce battle ensued between the two, in which VidyudriApa met with death. After this Madanika accepted Kandara as her husband. (Mar-landeya Purana, 2, 4, 28 ).


VIDYUDVARCAS. An eternal god concerned with offerings to the manes. (Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 31).


VIDYUJJIHVA I. A Raksasa (giant). This Vidyujjihva was a friend of Ghatotkaca. He was killed by Duryodhana in the battle of Bharata. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 91, Stanza 29) .


VIDYUJJIHVA II. Husband of Surpanakha. A son named Sambhukumara was born to the couple. As this son Sambhukumara was standing like a young tree in the forest Dandakaranya, Laksmana cut it down by his sword. Thus gambhukumara died. (Kamba Ramayara, Aranya Karda).


VIDYU,UIHVA III. One of the important Raksasa followers of Ravana. This giant, by his sorcery and witch-craft, showed Sita, the head cut off from the body of Sri Rama and his broken bow, to make her consent to become the wife of Rdvana. He repeated this stratagem on several occasions. (Valmiki Ramayana, Uttara Kanda, Sarga 12 ).


VIDYUJJIHVA IV. One of the sons born to Visravas by his wife Vaka. Mention is made in Vayu Purana that this Raksasa lives in the city called Arvaktala in Patala (underworld) known as Mahatala.


VIDYUNMALI I. A son of Tarakasura. He was one of the Tripuras. (For details see under Tripura).


VIDYUNMALI II. A mighty and brave Raksasa who was a friend of Ravana. After the death of Ravana, this asura, who lived in the Pa.tala (underworld) stole away the sacrificial horse of Sri Rama to avenge the death of Ravana. Satrughna killed Vidyunmali and redeemed the sacrificial horse. (Padma Purana, Patala Khanda).


VIDYUTA. A celestial maid of Alakapuri. It is stated in Mahabharata, Anu•; asana Parva, Chapter 19, Stanza 45, that this celestial maid performed a dance in honour of the hermit Astavakra.


VIDYUTAKSA. A warrior of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 62 ).


VIDYUTKESA. A Raksasa (giant). (For details see under Praheti) .


VIDY(JTKESI. A Raksasa King. The notorious Sukesi was the son of this King. (See under Sukes i) .


VIDYUTPARi~A. A celestial maid born to Kai;yapaprajapati by his wife Pradha. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 65, that celestial maids such as Alambusa, Vidyutparra, Misrakesi, Tilottama and such others were famous for their beauty.


VIDYUTPRABHA I. See under Muktaphalaketu.


VIDYUTPRABHA II. A hermit. (Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 125).


VIDYUTPRABHA III. A Danava (Asura). This asura pleased Rudradeva by penance and acquired from him the control of all the three worlds for one lakh of years, the recounition as a follower of Siva and the kingdom of Kugadvipa, as boons. (M.B. Anugasana Parva, Chapter 14).


VIDYUTPRABHA I. Ten celestial maids of Northern quarter .(M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 111, Stanza 21) .


VIDYUTPRABHA II. Grand-daughter of Mahabali. (See under Sridatta) .


VIGAHANA. A famous King, born in Mukuta Varhsa. (Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 74, Stanza 16) .


VIGHANA. A giant on the side of Ravara. (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kanda, Sarga 6) .


VIGRAHA I. One of the two attendants given to Subrahmanya by the ocean. The other one was Sangraha. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 5G) .


VIGRAHA II. One of the six attributes of Kings. (See under Sadguna).




1) General information. God, who is not discernible to the outward senses, is given embodiment and consecrated in places of worship by people. These figures are called Vigrahas (idols or images). People worship Saiagrama, (a kind of ammonite found in the river Gandaki), Banalinga (Phallus), mystical diagrams, animals, birds, trees, rivers, lakes, places of death etc. and so many other things.


2) The different kinds of higrahas. Vigrahas are of three groups. They are :-( 1 ) Mysterious (2) Evident-mysterious (3) Evident. Salagrama, Phallus etc. belong to the group mysterious. The Mukhalinga, considered to be the image of Trimurti (Brahma, Visnu, Siva) in the Elephanta cave, belongs to the group Evident. The image of Phallus is Evident-mysterious. In the first, there is no form or figure. In the second there are parts of the figure. The image which shows the entire figure is Evident.


Some gods and goddesses possess two appearancesy peaceful and fierce. Those who wish to succeed in performing cruel deeds and to vanquish enemies, worship fierce gods whereas those who wish for peace, worship peaceful Gods. Visvarupa, (assuming all shapes), Narasirhha (the man-lion), Vatapatragayi (as lying on banyan-leaf) and ParaSurdma are fierce forms of Visnu. Destroying Kama (cupid) Gaja and Tripura are fierce forms of Siva worshipped by some people. Generally temples with images in this form are erected outside the village or city.


Owing to the differences, in the making and the mater ials used, the images are divided into three groups They are portraits, Half-portraits and corrupted portraits. The whole of the figure will be made in (portraits) citras. In half-citras only the front view will be completed. Corrupted Citras are images done on the wall or rock.


3) Main images. Main images are mostly Saivite or Vaisnavite. There will be one or two other images. Worship of Devi (Goddess) is one of them. The ~aivites will worship Parvati also after Siva and the Vaisnavites Mahalaksmi also after Visnu In South India the worshippers are Saivites and Vaisnavites.


4) gaivites. In India a large number of people worship Siva. There is not much difference in the mode of worship of these various people. There are worships which are in accordance with the Vedas and which are not. Forms of worship which are Sattvika (of goodness) and which are not, could be seen. The 8aiva worship called Para9upada is very ancient. The phallus at Gudimalla is considered to be as old as B.C. 2nd century. From this it could be inferred how old, the Saivite worship is in India.


5) The Saivite images. Of the emblems denoting Siva, the most important is the Phallus, which is of two kinds, movable and immovable. Risen by itself andior erected and set firm and consecrated inside temples are immovable; that which is made of earth, metal, jewel, wood or stone, is movable. There are Phalluses made for the time being. They are fixed on platforms or pedestals. They are of different sizes and shapes. The Phallus is made of male stone and the pedestal of female stone.


6) The portions of Siva. There are various kinds of images meant to reveal various attributes of Siva. Lingodbhava (originated from Phallus), Candrasekhara, Raudra, Umasamhita (with Uma) etc. are some of them. Kamantaka (killing Kama or Cupid), Gajari (enemy of Gaja), Kalari (Enemy of Yama) and Tripuradahaka (burning Tripura) are figures of extermination. Siva has the figures of blessing Candesa, Visnu, Nandisvara, Vighnesa and Arjuna also. There are a large number of images in various dancing poses.


There are four other figures of Daksinamurti, such as the explanation, knowledge, yoga (or meditation, contemplation and other ways of union with the Universal Soul) and Vinadhara (carrying a lute). A few other forms are Bhiksataka (begging alms), Kapaladhari (wearing skulls), Gangadhara (bearing the Ganges), Ardhanaris vara (God half of whom is a woman), Vrsabhavahana (seated on a bull), Visabhaksaka (eating poison) etc. The figures of Sada,,iva, Mahega, Ekadaarudras (eleven Rudras), Vidyesvara and Murtyastaka are seen occasionally here and there. There are scriptures describing these figures.


7) The Devas (gods) connected with ,diva. Among the gods connected with Siva, first place is given to Ganapati. Worship of Ganapati was in vogue from 6th or 7th century B.C. Perhaps the images that we see today were made after this period.


In South India temples dedicated to Ganapati are not scarce. The Position of Ganapati is at the entrance of villages and fortresses, at the foot of banyan trees, at the entrance of temples and at the south-west corner of ,~aivite temples.


There are images of Ganapati in the postures of standing and dancing. Main images are those with the trunk


turned to the right and to the left. The trunk is turned to the right in some and to the left in others.


8) Subrahmanya. Subrahmanya is worshipped only in South India. Subrahmanya is known by various names such as Kumara, Muruka, Karttikeya, Skanda, Arumukha, Guha, and so on. Temples dedicated to Subrahmanya are seen in plenty in Tamil Nadu. They are all situated on the tops of hills.


There is sufficient proof in the poetic works of the Sangha period, to the fact that Subrahmanya-worship was prevalent in South India. On excavation at the place Nagarjunakonda in the District of Guntur, images of Subrahmanya were found under the earth. They were as old as 3rd century B.C.


Images of Subrahmanya are seen in various postures and shapes such as sitting, with six faces, with one face, with two hands, with four hands, sometimes with wife, in the state of having finished investiture with the Brahma-string etc. There are figures sitting on the peacock also.


9) Other images. Images of Sakti, Laksmi, Earth-goddess, Sarasvati, Saptamatrs (Seven Mothers), Jyestha, Visnu, the ten incarnations, the planets such as the sun etc. the deities of the weapon like the thunderbolt, Sakti


(lance), Nandike6vara, Candesvara, 9asta, Ksetrapala, Brahma, Guardians of the zones, Asvinidevas, half gods, etc. are also dedicated and worshipped in temples.


VIHASIGA. A serpent (naga) born in the race of the Naga Airavata. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 57, Stanza 12, that this serpent fell in the sacrificial fire of the serpent-sacrifice performed by Janamejaya and was burnt to death.


VIHAfWAMA. A soldier of the giant Khara. This Khara who confronted Rama and Laksmana in Dandakaranya


(forest Dandaka) had twelve army captains under him, including Vihangama, (Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, Sarga 26) .


VIHAVYA. The son of Varcas who was born in the dynasty of Grtsamada. Vitatya was the son of this Vihavya. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 30, Stanza 61).


VIHUNDA. An asura. This asura was the son of the mighty and great Asura Hunda. At the time of the fierce battle between the devas and the asuras, this, mighty asura Hunda and Nahusa confronted each other and Hunda was killed. After this Vihunda, the son of Hunda fought with Nahusa. In the earlier part of the battle Vihunda and his army suffered defeat. Vihunda began to do penance in order to defeat the Devas who got terrified at this and went to Mahavisrtu and prayed for protection. Visnu consoled them saying that he would take necessary steps. When the Devas were gone, Visnu took the form of a beautiful woman and went in search of Vihunda. They met each other in the garden Nandana. VihurWa fell in love with her. He wanted to marryher. She said, "Oh, Handsome Vihunda, I have no objection to be your wife. But there is a condition, you, must gather seven crores of Kamoda flowers and offer them as oblation to Siva, and then make a garland of Kamoda flowers and put it on my neck. From that day onwards I am yours."


Vihunda agreed to it. He went for the flowers. He wandered over forests and mountains. Nobody had any idea of such a tree or flower. Thinking that this condition, laid by the damsel, was a deceit played upon him,  he stood perplexed when the hermit Sukra saw him. He told the hermit everything. Then Sukra told him, "Kamoda is neither a tree nor a flower. She is goddess who came up from the sea of Milk at the time of the churning. She dwells at Gangadvara. When she laughs pure white fragrant flowers fall from her lips, on the water of Ganga, every moment. When she is sad, the flowers that fall from her lips will be red.."


Vihunda started for Gangadvara. Narada knew this. He came to Vihunda and said, " difficult to reach Gangadvara and please Kamoda, and obtain the flower. So the easiest way is to gather the flowers that come down through the water of Gaiiga." Vihunda agreed. He took his seat on the bank of Ganga and waited for the flowers to come.


Narada decided to cause harm to Vihunda. So he went to Kamoda and by way of telling her news, he informed her that the hermit Bhrgu had cursed Mahavisnu and changed him into a man. On hearing this Kamoda began to cry. Red flowers fell from her lips. They were carried down in cluster by the waterof Ganga. Vihunda ~'athered them and went to the dwelling place of Siva. Siva and Parvati saw this by their inward eyes. Parvati did not like the idea of offering red flowers at the feet of her beloved husband. Siva found out a remedy for it. He advised Parvati to offer pure white flowers at his feet standing as a boy. Vihunda came with red flowers Parvati appeared in the form of a boy. Both began to vie with each other in offering flowers at the feet of Siva. Gradually it changed to a fight between the boy and Vihunda. In the fight Vihunda was killed. (Padma Purana, Bhumi khanda, some chapters from 119).


VIJAYA I. A minister of Dagaratha. (Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, Sarga 7, Stanza 3).


VIJAYA II. A gate-keeper of Vaikuntha. (See under Jaya).


VIJAYA III. A Son of Pururavas. It is mentioned in Bhagavata, Skandha 9, that Ayus, Srutayus. Satyayus, Raya, Vijaya and Jaya were the sons born to Pururavas, by Urvasi.


VIJAYA IV. A King of Kosala. It is stated in Brahmanda Purana, Chapter 73, that this King Vijaya of Kosala confronted Para:;urama and was defeated.


VIJAYA V. This was the secret name given to Arjuna by Dharmaputra during the time of their pseudonymity. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 35),


VIJAYA VI. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. He joined with Jaya and Durjaya, two Kauravas and fought with Nila, Kasya and Jayatsena. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 45 ).


VIJAYA VII. The name Vijaya is used as a synonym of Siva in Mahabharata, Anugasana Parva, Chapter 17, Stanza 51.


VIJAYA VIII. The name Vijaya is used as a synonym of Visnu in Mahabharata, AnuSdsana Parva, Chapter 146, Stanza 21.


VIJAYA IX. A King who ruled over the city ofVaranasi. Vijaya destroyed the city of Khandavi and the forest Khandava rose there. Later he gave the forest to Indra. The most powerful King of this dynasty was Uparicara (Kalika Purana, Chapter 92) .


VIJAYA X. A country of ancient India famous in the Puranas. (Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 45) .


VIJAYA XI. The trident of Siva. During the journey to Bhadravata, of Subrahmanya, this trident Vijaya of diva went behind King Yama. This trident had three prongs. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 231, Stanza 37).


VIJAYA XII. A bow of Indra. This is as bright as Gand.iva and as strong as the bow Sariigadhar;us of Sri Krsna. The bows of the Devas, considered to be most divine, are Vijaya, Gandiva and Sarnga. Vijaya belongs to Indra, Gandiva to Varuna and Saruga to Visnu. Once Druma, a Kimpurusa (demi god) who lived in the mountain Gandhamadana got Vijaya from Indra. After that Rukmi, his disciple got this bow from Druma. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 158, Stanza 3 ).


VIJAYA XIII. The divine bow of Karna. It is said that this bow was the most divine of all weapons. This bow which was made by Visvakarma, originally belonged to Indra. At that time Indra had defeated many asuras with the help of this bow. Indra gave this bow to his loved disciple Parasurama. Karna got it from Parasurama. It is said that this bow was superior to Gandiva. It was with the help of this bow that Parasurama conquered the Ksatriyas twentyone, times. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 31, Stanza 42) .


VIJAYA I.The daughter of King Dasarha. The emperor Bhumanyu married her. A son named Suhotra was born to the couple. ( M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 33 )


VIJAYA II. Daughter of Dyutiman, the King of Madradesa. This Vijaya was the wife of Sahadeva the son of Pandu. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 80, that a son named Suhotra was born to Sahadeva by Vijaya.


VIJAYA III. A synonym of Devi Durga. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 6, Stanza 16) .


VIJAYADASAMI. A festival of Indians. As this festival is celebrated for nine nights from the 1 st to the 9th in the bright lunar fortnight of the month of Kanni (September-October) it is known as Navaratri (Nine nights) and as it continues up to Dag ami (the tenth night) it is called Dasra. The Hindus believe that the Vijayadasami (the victorious tenth) was the day on which Devi Durga killed lViahisasura and got victory. So this day is considered to be a suitable moment to begin the learning of all the arts which would enable one to carry on a successful life. Sarasvati is considered the transfiguration of Durga. As people became less superstitious, they began to consider the story of killing Mahisasura as a metaphorical saying, to mean the killing of ignorance. So the day of victory of Devi Durga (the same as Sarasvati) is considered to be the auspicious moment for the beginning of learning. The warrior places his weapons, the man of literature his books and pen, the musician his musical instruments, at the. feetofDevi and with devotion and worship receives them back from Devi on the Vijayadasami day at an auspicious moment.


This is a festival celebrated everywhere in India. In several native states this festival used to be celebrated under the sponsorship of the royal family as a State festival. As it is believed that Mahisasura had lived in Mysore the celebration of Dasra in that State generally is on a grand scale. In Kerala, from olden times this festival was celebrated under the patronage of the Vanci Royal family.


VIJAYALAKSMI. One of the eight Laksmis. The duty of Vijayalalcsmi was keeping the treasury of Brahma. Once she showed carelessness in her duty. So Brahma cursed her to go and guard the gate tower of Ravana. Accordingly Vijayalaksmi guarded the gate of Lauka under the name Laiikalaksmi. When she was hit by Hanuman she obtained her original form and returned to the world of Devas. (See under La;ikdlaksmi).


VIJITASVA. One of the five sons of emperor Prthu. Vijitasva decided to perform one hundred horsesacrifices and completed ninetynine. Seeing this Indra feared that he might be deposed. So he stealthily took away the sacrificial horse of Vijitasva.


There was a fierce battle between Indra and Vijita6va in which Indra was defeated, and Vijitasva recovered the stolen horse from Indra. It was from that day onwards that this son of Prthu got the name Vijita$va. Being pleased with the King at this expert fighting, Devendra taught him the art of vanishing. (Bhagavata. Skandha 4) .


VIJVALA. Son of the bird Kunjala which was a famous scholar. (For further details see under Subdhu. XIV).


VIKADRU. A noble Yadava. It was this Vikadru who brought to the notice of 'Sri Krsna the fact that Jarasandha had dared to attack Mathurapuri for the eighteenth time. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 17).


VIKALPA. An ancient country of India famous in the Pura;ias. (Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 59) .


VIKAfIKATAPARVATA. A mountain in the vicinity of Mount Meru. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 8) .


VIKARNA I. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. The following information is available in Mahdbharata about this valiant fighter.


(i) Vikarna, the son of Dhr tara stra was one of the eleven maharathas. (great warriors) . (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 63, Stanza 39).


(ii) Among the disciples of Drona, who attacked Drupada, Vikarna was one. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 137, Stanza 19).


(iii) Vikarna was present at the Svayamvara (marriage) of Draupadi (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 185, Stanza 1). (iv) Vikarna was one of those kings who stood silent and sad, being unable to answer the questions put by Draupadi when she was about to be stripped of her clothes. (M.B.Sabha Parva, Chapter 68, Stanza 1) .


(v) Once Karna reviled at Vikarna. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 68, Stanza 80) .


(vi) At the time of the theft of the cows of king Virata by Duryodhana and his brothers. Vikarna fought against Arjuna. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 54, Stanza 9).


(vii) A severe fight followed in which the defeated Vikarna fled from the battle-ground. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 54, Stanza 41).


(viii) Hit by the arrow of Arjuna, Vikarna was wounded and he fell down from the chariot. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 51, Stanza 41 ).


(ix) On the first day of the battle of Bharata, Vikarna entered in a combat with grutasoma. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 58) .


(x) He fought with Sahadeva. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 71, Stanza 21) .


(xi) Abbimanyu defeated Vikarna. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 78, Stanza 21) .


(xii) Ghatotkaca defeated Vikarna. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 92, Stanza 36).


( xiii) There was a combat between Nakula and Vikarna• (Bhiama Parva, Chapter 110, Stanza 11 ).


(xiv) He fought with Bhimasena. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 113 ).


(xv) He fought with Sikhandi. (Drona Parva, Chapter 96, Stanza 31).


(xvi) He fought with Nakula and was defeated. (Drona Parva, Chapter 107, Stanza 30).


(xvii) Bhimasena killed him. (Droiza Parva, Chapter 13 7, Stanza 2 9) .


VIKARi?TA II. A hermit devoted to Siva. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 14, Stanza 99, that Siva was pleased with the devotion of this hermit and appearing before him granted him boons.


VIKARi'.NTA 111. A country of ancient India. The warriors of this country joined the army of Sakuni and fought against the Pandavas. (Mahabharata Bhisma Parva, Chapter 51, Stanza 15) .


VIKARTANA. A king of the Solar dynasty who. was afflicted with leprosy. It is stated in Padma Purana, Uttarakhanda, Chapter 135, that he got recovery from the disease by bathing in the river Sabhramati.


VIKATA 1. A brother of Prahasta. (See under Akampana).


VIKATA II. A character in the story of Pancatantra. (See under Paricatantra).


V1KATA III. (VIKATANANA 1. One of the hundred sons of Dfi~-tarastra. In the Bharata-battle, fourteen sons of Dhrtara~:tra. joined together and wounded Bhimasena. Vikata was one of them. This Vikata was killed by Bhimasena. (1Nlahabhzrata, Kar:.ia Parva, Chapter 51).


VIKATA. A giantess in the harem of Ravana. She tried to entice Sita for Ravaiia. (ValmikiRamayana, Sundara Kanda, Sarga 23, Stanza 15 ).


VIKATHINI. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 18) .


VIKRAMADI TYA. Vikramaditya, who is believed to be one of the mighty emperors of Bharata, was an extraordinarily wise, righteous and valiant ruler. There are several stories in all the languages of India, prevalent everywhere. They are generally called Vihramaditya stories. Vikramaditya was the son of Mahendrdditya, King of Ujjayini. Mahendraditya and his wife Saumyadarsana were in great distress as they were childless. Sumati, the Prime Minister, Vajrayudha., the army commander, and Mahidhara, the priest, were as distressed as the royal couple. The King and the queen engaged them, selves in fast and prayer.


In the meanwhile, the Devas found life extremely difficult due to the wicked d°eds of the barbarians, and they went to Kailasa and told Rudradeva of their grievances. They said, "Oh ! Lord ! All the asuras. exterminated by yourself and Mahavisnu, are borA on the earth as Barbarians. They commit great sins such as killing the Brahmins, obstructing sacrifices carrying away hermit damsels etc. The sacrificial offerings in the sacred fire with Vedic Mantras by Brahmins, is the food of Devas. Because of the troubles caused by the Barbarians in the earth, the sacrifices are hindered and the Devas are in trouble due to lack_ of food. So a being, mighty and strong enough to exterminate all the Barbarians on the earth, should take incarnation."


Siva agreed and sent the devas back to their world. Then he called Malyavan and told him to take birth as the son of Mahendraditya in the city of Ujjayini.


Siva added. "You should exterminate all the Barbarians and reinstate rituals and ceremonies. The Yaksas, Raksasas, ghosts etc. will be under your control. You will be an emperor there with divine powers." Accordingly Malyavan took birth as the son of Mahendraditya. That infant was Vikramaditya who became a mighty emperor later. (Kathasaritsagara, Visamasilalambaka, Taranga 1 ).


VIKRAMASTLA. A King praised in the Markardeya Purina. Kalindi was his wife and Durgama his son.


VIKRANTA. A King who was the father of Sudhrti and the son ef King Dama. It is mentioned in Vayu Purina, Chapter 86, that Vikranta was an ideal King who loved and cared for his subjects.


VIKRTA. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 196, that this was the name adopted by Kamadeva (Cupid) when he argued with Iksvaku, in the form of a Brahmin.


VIKRTI. A King of the family of Yayati. This King's father was Jirnuta, and his son was Bhimaratha. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9).


VIKSARA. A noble asura born to Kasyapa Prajapati by his wife Danu. The: most powerful of the Danavas (asuras) given birth to by Danu, were Viksara, Bala, Vira and Vrtra. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 33) . Of these Vihsara took rebirth later as King Vasumitra. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 41).


VIKUKSI. A son of Iksvaku. It is said that Iksvaku was born from the spittle of Manu. It is stated in Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 7, that after the death of Saryati, the Raksasas (giants) attacked Ayodhya and the sons of the King having fled to different directions, Iksvaku continued the dynasty of Saryati in Ayodhya. Hundred sons beginning with Vikuksi, were born to Iksvaku. Of these hundred sons fifty were employed to rule over the regions of East and North and fortyeight. to rule over the regions in the south and the west. With the remaining two sons the King stayed in Ayodhya, and carried on administration.


One day King Iksvaku resolved to conduct the great sacrifice of oflering to the manes called Mahapralayasraddha, for which preparations were speedily made. The hermits such as Vasistha and others arrived according to invitation. He sent his son Vikuksi to the forest to bring the required amount of flesh for the sacrifice. Vikuksi entered the forest and hunted hare, hog, deer etc. and collected the required quantity of flesh; but on the way home, lie became tired of hunger. To appease his hunger he took a small hare from the collection cooked it and ate it. He took the balance to the King who was much pleased with his son and gave the animals to Vasistha the family priest for proksana (sprinkling of holy water on the animals before sacrifice). But Vasistha got angry and said, "flesh which constitutes remains is not acceptable." The king understood the truth only then. He was filled with anger and distress. He expelled Vikuksi from his country for this misdeed. Thus because he had eaten a Saga (hare) Vikuksi got another name Say ada. Sasada not at all caring about the misfortune that befell him, went to the forest and lived on fruits and roots and worshipped Devi, with ardent devotion.


Iksvaku died. Saada knew this and returned to Ayodhya and assumed reign. He performed several


sacrifices on the banks of river Sarayu. The famous Kakutstha was the son of this Vikuksi. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 7).


VIKUNDALA. A Vaifiya who obtained heaven by bathing during the month Magha in the waters of Kalindi. This Vaisya was a deplorable sinner. Still the men of Kala (Yama) sent Vikundala to heaven without minding his sins. This story occurs in Padma Purina, Adi Khanda, Chapter 30, as follows In days of old there lived a Vaisya named Hema-kundala in the great kingdom of Nisadha. He was a devotee and worshipper of devas and Brahmaras. He carried on trade and agriculture and by plundering he amassed much wealth.


Hemakundala grew old. He thought about the frailty of life and spent a sixth part of his wealth for charitable purposes. For remission of the sins committed throughout the whole of his life, he gave alms as stipulated in the Puranas. After entrusting the family affairs to his sons 8rikundala and Vikundala, he went to the forests for penance.


His sons were young. They turned away from righteous ways and followed a path of pleasures and wickedness. They refused to pay any heed to the advice of their elders. Drinking and going to other women became their routine.


Within a short time they lost their wealth. They had nothing to eat. Their friends and favourites all discarded them. Being forsaken by every body, they engaged themselves in theft or robbery. They were afraid of the king and the people, and so they shifted to the forest. They lived by hunting. At this time the elder brother was caught by a tiger. The younger brother was bitten by a snake. Thus, on the same day, both sinners met with death. The messengers of Yama took both of them to the world of Yama. According to the order of King Dharma, Vikundala got heaven and Sri Kundala got hell.


Vikundala who was glad at obtaining heaven asked the men of Yama on the way, why he was given heaven. They replied, "There was a Brahmin who was wellversed in all branches of knowledge. He was the son of Harimitra. His hermitage was on the southern bank of Yamuna. Yourself and the Brahmin became friends in the forest. Because of that friendship you were enabled to take bath in two Magha months in the holy waters of Kulindi which is capable of washing all the sins away. By the first Magha bath you got remission of your sins. By the second Magha-bath you became eligible for the attainment of heaven."


VIKUNJA. An ancient country in India. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 56, Stanza 9, that it was the warriors of this country who stood with the king Brhadbala on the left wing of the Garuda Vyuha of the army formed by Bhisma, in the battle of Bharata.


VIKUNTHA (VAIKUNTHA). A group of Devas (gods) in the Manvantara of Raivata. There were fourteen Devas in this group. The mother of these gods was Vikuntlia. (Brahmanda Purina, 2, 36, 57).


VIKUNTHANA. . A son born to Hasti, a king of the Lunar dynasty by Ya'sodhara the princess of Trigarta. Sudeva, a princess of the dynasty of Dasarna was his wife. Ajamidha was the son born to Vikunthana by his wife Sudeva. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 35).


VILASA. A hermit who was the friend of Bhasa. This hermit did penance in Pascimatata. It is mentioned in Yogavasistha that Vilasa and Bhasa attained heaven by pure knowledge,


VILOHITA. A Raksasa (giant) who was the son of Kasyapa. It is mentioned in Vayu Purana, Chapter 69, that Vilohita had three heads, three legs and three hands.


VILOHITA (M). A hell. (See the section Naraka under Kala).


VILOMA (VILOMA). A King. In Bhagavata, King Viloma is stated as the son of King Vahni (Fire) and in Visnu Purana, as the son of Ka'potaroma.


VIMAI)A. A truthful King. Once a princess named Kamadyu accepted Vimada as her husband at her Svayamvara marriage. The Kings and princes who were present became jealous of VirVada and prepared for war. The helpless Vimada praised the Asvinidevas. The gods defeated the enemies arid gave the bride to Vimada. (Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 17, Sukta 117) .


VIMALA I. A King. Vimala who was the King of South India was the son of Sudyumna. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9) .


VIMALA II. A King of the city of Ratnatata. At the time of the horse-sacrifice of Sri Rama, this King rendered a good deal of help to Satrughna. (Padma Purana, Patala Khanda, Chapter 17) .


VIMALA. A female calf born from Rohini, the daughter of Surabhi. Rohini had two daughters called Vimala and Anala. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 66, Stanza 67).


VIMALAPII°3DAKA. A naga (serpent) born to Prajapati Kasyapa by his wife Kadru. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 35, Stanza 8).


VIMALASOKATIRTHA. A holy place. It is stated in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 14, Stanza 69, that he who spends a night in this holy place, observing celibacy, would attain heaven.


VIMALATIRTHA. A holy place. In the lakes of this place, fishes having the colour of gold and of silver play. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 82, Stanza 87, that those who bathe in this holy bath would get remission of all their sins and would get to the world of Indra.


VIMALODAKA. Once Brahma performed a sacrifice on the Himalayas. Sarasvati attended this sacrifice, on which occasion she adopted the name Vimalodaka. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 88, Stanza 29).


VIMOCANA. A holy place on the boundary of Kuruksetra. By taking bath in this tirtha and leading a life without anger, the sins incurred by receiving bribes would be remitted. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 161).


VISISA. The eldest son of King lksvaku. It is stated in Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 4; that he had a son named Vivirhga.


VIMUCA. A South Indian hermit. (Mahabharata, ganti Parva, Chapter 208, Stanza 28).


VIMUKHA. A hermit of ancient India. This hermit is member of the assembly of Indra. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 7) .


VINADI. A river of India famous in the Puranas. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 97).


VINASANA I. A tirtha (holy bath). It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 82, that in this holy bath Sarasvati lives in invisible form.


VINASANA Il. Another holy place. In Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 112, mention is made that one could obtain remission of all sins and the fruits of Vajapeyayajfia by visiting this holy place.


VINASANA. An asura born to Prajapati Kagyapa by his wife Kala (Kalika). (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 34) .


VINATA. A captain of the monkey army which fought for Sri Rama. Under Vinata, the son of Sveta, there were eight lakhs of monkey-soldiers. (Valmiki Rdmayana, Yuddha K:nda, Sarga 26) .


VINATA. A wife of Kasyapa. Kasyapa took the daughters of Daksa such as Vinata, Kadru and others as wives. Two sons, Aruna and Garuda and a daughter, Sumati were born to Vinata. (Details relating to Sumati are given in Chapter 19 of Brahmanda Purana). The Nagas (serpents) were horn to Kadru. For details see under Garuda.


VINATASVA. The son of Ila (Sudyumna) and the grandson of Vaivasvata Manu. After the time of his father, he became the ruler of the Western Empire. (Vayu, 85 :19) .


VINAYAKA I. A devata of the Ganas (guards of Siva).(Mahabharata, Anug.,sana Parva, Chapter 150, Stanza 25 ).


VINAYAKA II. Ganapati.


VINAYAKACATURTHI. One of the important festivals of the Hindus. This is called the day of worship of Ganesa. The Caturthi (4th day) of the bright lunar fortnight in the month of Sirhha is the birth day of Ganapati. It is a famous festival in North India. They make the images of Ganapati, every year, and make offerings to them on this particular day.


It is believed, that he who sees the moon on Vinayaka Caturthi, will be subjected to dishonour and derision. This belief is based on the following story.


Ganapati is very fond of sweetmeat especially Kozhukkatta (globular solid sweetmeat, called Modaka). It is the custom in North India to worship Ganapati by offering these sweetmeats, even today, with all kinds of festivities. On one birthday Ganapati went from house to house and ate belly-ful of modakas and returned home on his conveyance, the rat. On the way the rat saw a snake and began to tremble with fear. Due to the shivering of its legs Ganapati fell down. The belly of Ganapati was broken due to the fall and a large quantity of modakas came out. Ganapati gathered everything that fell out of his belly and stuffed them again in the stomach and joining the cut edges entwined the snake tightly round the stomach. Candra who was standing in the sky seeing all these things laughed with contempt. At this, Ganapati got wild and plucked his tusk and throwing it at the moon cursed him. ,"Let nobody look at you on the Ganapati-festival day." (Brahmavaivarta Purana). This story is slightly different according to Ganes a Purana. That story is, that Sri ParameAVara gave a plum to his elder son Subrahmanya without the knowledge of his younger son Ganapati, on the 4th day of a bright lunar fortnight and the moon who smiled at it, was cursed.


VINDA I. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Drona Parva, Chapter 127, Stanza 34, that Vinda was killed by Bhimasena in the battle of Bharata.


VINDA II. A prince of Avand. It is stated that this Vinda had a brother called Anuvinda. The information obtained about Vinda from Mahabharata is given below


(i) Sahadeva defeated this Vinda at the time of his southern regional conquest. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 31, Stanza 10).


(ii) Vinda helped Duryodhana by fighting on his side with an aksauhini of army. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 19, Stanza 24 ).


(iii) Bhisma once said that Vinda was a noble warrior. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 166, Stanza 6) .


(iv) Vinda was one of the ten commanders of Duryodhana in the battle of Bharata. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 16, Stanza 15).


(v) On the first day of the battle of Bharata, Vinda fought with Kuntibhoja. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 72).


(vi) When Sveta, the prince of Virata, surrounded Salya, the King of Madra, Vinda helped Salya. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 47, Stanza 48) .


(vii) Once Vinda and his brother Anuvinda together attacked Iravan. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 81, Stanza 27) .


(viii) In the Bharata-battle, Vinda fought with BhImasena, Arjuna and Virata. Vinda was killed in the fight with Arjuna. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 99, Stanza 17).


VINDA III. A prince of the kingdom of Kekaya. In the battle of Bharata he took the side of the Kauravas and fought with Satyaki, in which fight Satyaki killed Vinda. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 13, Stanza 6).


VINDUMAN. A King born of the dynasty of Bharata. He was the son of Marici and the father of Madhu. (Bhagavata, Skandha 5).


VINDHYA. One of the seven chief mountain chains. This mountain which separates South India from North India is famous in various ways in the Puranas.


(i) Agastya kicked Vindhya down. (See under Agastya). (ii) Sunda and Upasunda, two asuras, did penance on Vindhya and got boons. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 208, Stanza 7).


(iii) Because of the fierce penance of Sunda; the mountain Vindhya became hot and from that day onwards smoke comes out from Vindhya. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 208, Stanza 10) .


(iv) The deity of Vindhya stays in the palace of Kubera serving him. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 10, Stanza 31).


(v) On this mountain there is the eternal abode of Devi Durga. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 6, Stanza 17) .


(vi) Vindhya is one of the seven chief mountain chains. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 11 ).


(vii) In Tripuradahana (the burning of Tripuras) Vindhya appeared behind the chariot of Siva as the emblem on his flag. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 202, Stanza 71) ;


viii) Vindhya once became the axle of the chariot of Siva. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 34, Stanza 22) .


(ix) This mountain gave Subrahmanya two attendants named Ucchrnga and Atisrnga. (NI.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45; Stanza 49).


(x) Mention is made in Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 49, that he who does penance on the Vindhya, for a month without killing any living creature, could obtain all attainments.


VINDHYACULIKA. A Country in ancient India. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 62).


VINDHYAVALI. Wife of Mahabali. A son named Bana and a daughter named Kumbhinasi were born to Bali by Vindhyavali. (Matsya, 187. 40) .


VIPAPMA. An eternal Visvadeva (Semi-god concerned with offering to Manes). Mention is made about this ViSvadeva in Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 91, Stanza 30:


VIPA8A. A Puranically famous river in the region of five rivers (Punjab). Vasistha was stricken with grief at the death of his son Sakti and jumped into this river with the help of a rope to commit suicide. The waves of the river untied the knots of the rope and saved him. From that day onwards this river came to be known as Vipasa. (See under Kalmasapada) Other information about this river given in the Puranas is given below:-


(i) Vipas a stays in the palace of Varuna serving him. (M.B. Chapter 9, Stanza 19).


(ii) Two devils named Bahi and Hika live in this river. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 44, Stanza 41).


(iii) If offering to the Manes is made in this river and celibacy is observed there for three days without anger, one could get away from death and birth. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 24) .


VIPASCIT I. The name of the Indra of the age of Manu Svdrocisa. (See under Manvantara).


VIPASCIT II. Husband of Pivari, the princess of Vidarbha. It is mentioned in Markandeya Purana, that because of the sinful acts done by this man towards his wife he had to go to hell.


VIPATA. A brother of Karna. Arjuna killed him in the battle of Bharata. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 32, Stanza 62).


VIPATHA. An arrow. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 138, Stanza 6, that this arrow _was larger and more powerful than other arrows.


VIPRA. A King born in the family of Dhruva. Two sons named Sisti and Bhavya were born to Dhruva by his wife $ambhu. Succhaya the wife of Sisti gave birth to Ripu, Ripunjaya, Vipra, Vrkala and Vrkatejas. (Visnu Purana, Arh, a I, Chapter 13) .




1) General information. A Danava (asura) born to Prajapati Kasyapa, by his wife Danu. Danu had given birth to thirtythree notorious asuras (demons). VipTacitti was the eldest of them. His younger brothers were Sambara etc. (M.B. Adi Parva Chapter 65; Stanza 25).


2) Other details. (i) Simhika was the wife of Vipracitti. This Simhika was the sister of Hiranyaka ;pu andHiranyaksa and the daughter of Kasyapa and Diti. (Visnu Purana, Arhsa 1, Chapter 15).


(ii) It was this Vipracitti who took rebirth later as Jarasandha. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 4).


(iii) Vipracitti stays in the palace of Varuna praising and glorifying him. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 12 ).


(iv) When Mahavisnu took the form of Vamana and began to measure the three wor1ds, Vipracitti with some asuras surrounded Vamana. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Daksinatya patha, Chapter 38).


(v) In Mahabharata, Salya Parva, Chapter 31, Stanza 12, a statement occurs to the effect that in days of old, Mahavisnu took the form of Indra and killed Vipracitti. (vi) In the war between Devas and asuras, Vipracitti was killed by Indra. (M.B. anti Parva, Chapter 47, Stanza 11).


VIPRTHU. A Ksatriya of Vrsni dynasty. The following information is available about him in Mahabharata.


(i) Viprthu was present at the Svayamvara marriage of Draupadi. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 185, Stanza 18).


(ii) He participated in the festival conducted on the mountain Raivata. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 218, Stanza 10) .


(iii) Viprthu was a member of the group of Yadavas who took the dowry to Hastinapura in the marriage between Arjuna and Subhadra. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 220, Stanza 32).


(iv) Viprthu stayed in the Palace of Yudhisthira. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 30) .


VIPRTHU II. An ancient king in India. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, anti Parva, Chapter 294, Stanza 20, that Viprthu had been the emperor of the world.


VIPULA I. Brother of Balabhadrarama.The sons born to Vasudeva by Rohini were Balabhadrarama, Gada, Samna, Durdama, Vipula, Dhruva and Krta. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10) .


VIPULA II. A mountain near Girivraja, the capital city of Magadha. Mention is made about this mountain in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 21, Stanza 2.


VIPULA III. A hermit who was born in the dynasty of Bhrgu. There is a story showing liow this hermit protected the wife of his teacher from Indra while he was the disciple of the hermit Devasarma, in Mahabharata, Anus asana Parva, Chapter 40. The story is given below: Ruci, the wife of the hermit Devagarma, was extremely beautiful. Devasarma was aware of the fact that Indra had often looked at his wife with covetous eyes. He had to perform a sacrifice. But he feared that if he went away from the hermitage his wife would be carried away by Indra. At last he ca1led his beloved discip1e Vipula and revealed the secret to him. The teacher told his disciple that Indra was a libertine as well as a magician and that he would appear in various forms to entice Ruci, and asked him to protect Ruci even at the cost of his life. Then Devasarma left the hermitage for the sacrifice.


Vipula followed the wife of his teacher, wherever she went. He feared that Indra might come even unseen by anybody. So he decided to get inside Ruci by super-


natural powers of Yoga. He made Ruci to sit in front of him and stare into his eyes and through the rays of her eyes he entered inside her.


Knowing that Deva~arma had left the hermitage, Indra


came in front of Ruci. By the power of Stambhana (suppressing the use of faculties by mantra) Vipula made Ruci stand motionless staring into the face of Indra. She did not give any reply to the questions of Indra. At last Indra looked into Ruci with inward eyes and saw as in a mirror Vipula sitting inside her. With shame Indra left the place instantly.


When the teacher returned on completion of the sacrifice Vipula told him all that had taken place. The teacher was pleased and told his disciple that he might ask for any boon.


He got the boon to be a righteous man throughout his life and left the hermitage.


It was during this period that the marriage of Prabhavati, the sister of Ruci, took place. The marriage of Prabhavati with Citraratha, the king ofAnga, was settled. A messenger from Apga informed Ruci about it. Then some flowers fell from the sky near Ruci. She wore them and went to the marriage. Prabhavatl wanted to have the same flowers. Vipula was sent to bring flowers of the same kind. As Vipula was returning with the flowers, he saw two men turning a wheel. Each of them claimed that he had turned more than the other, and quarrelled with each other. One of them pointing at Vipula, said that he who told lies would get what Vipula would undergo in hell. Vipula was worried at hearing this. He proceeded on his journey. He saw six men gambling. One of them pointed at Vipula and said "A false gamester would get what Vipula would get in hell." Being flurried by these two talks, Vipula ran to his teacher to understand its meaning. He went to Campapuri and saw the teacher and asked him the meaning of what he had heard. The teacher told him, that the two who turned the wheel were day and night and the six who were engaged in gambling were the six Rtus(seasons) and that Rtus and day and night are witnesses of every sinful act committed any time. Vipula became aware of his sin. While he was staying inside the wife of his teacher, his genital touched her genital and face touched face. He had not told the teacher this. But the teacher said that it need not be considered a sin because the deed was done with no bad intention.


VIRA I. An asura born to Pra japati Kasyapa by his wife Danu. (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 33 ).


VIRA II. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 103).


VIRA I I1. Afire. This Agni was the son born to the fire named Bharadvaja by his wife Vira. This fire has other names such as Rathaprabhu, Rathadhvana, Kumbharetas etc. It is said that along with Somadevata, this Agni also would get the second portion of Ajya (ghee offerings). It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 219, Stanza 9, that this mighty fire has a wife named Sarayu and a son named Siddhi.


VIRA IV. Son of a fire called Paficajanya. This agni is considered one of the Vinayakas. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 220, Stanza 13) .


VIRA V. A king in ancient India. Mention is made in Mahabharata, 8anti Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 7, that this king had attended the Svayamvara marriage of the daughter of King Citrarigada of Kalinga.


VIRA VI. A king of the Prim dynasty. Brhadratha, Kus a, Yadu, Pratyagra, Bala and Matsyakala were brothers of this king. Girika was their mother. (Agni Purina, Chapter 278).


VIRA. The wife of the Agni (fire) named Bharadvaja, the son of Samyu. The Agni Vira was the son of this Vira. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 219, Stanza 9).


VIRA II. A river of India, very famous in the Puranas. (Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 22) .


V IRA III. The wife of King Karandhama. She was the mother of Aviksit. Once, when serpents began to do harm to all the living and non-living things in the world, Vira approached her grandson Marutta and advised him to conduct a serpent-sacrifice. Marutta began the sacrifice. The serpents were terrified and sought protection from the wife of Aviksit. She being kind-hearted, made her husband intervene and stop the sacrifice. (Markar~deya Purina, Chapter 126) .


VIRABAHU I. A brother of Subrahmanya. It is stated in Skanda Purina, that this Virabahu stood with Subrahmanya and fought bravely.


VIRABAHU III. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. In the battle of Bharata he fought with Uttara and Bhimasena. Bhimasena killed him with his club. (Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 64, Stanza 35) .


VIRABAHU III. A king of the country of Cedi. The daughter of Sudama the king of Dasarna was his wife. It was this king of Cedi who gave protection to Damayanti when she was forsaken by her husband Nala. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 69, Stanza 13).


VIRABHADRA. One of the guards of Siva.


1) Origin. There are two different opinions in the Puranas, regarding the origin of Virabhadra. There is no doubt that his birth was due to the anger of Siva. When Siva knew that his wife Parvati jumped into the fire and died at the sacrifice of Daksa, he struck his matted hair on the ground and from that, Virabhadra and Bhadrakali came into being. This is the version given in Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 7. According to Mahabharata, Sand Parva, Chapter 284, Virabhadra was born from the mouth of Siva. From each of the hair ores of Virabhadra, who was born from the mouth of Siva to destroy the sacrifice of Daksa a fearful monster was born, all of whom, formed a group of ghosts called the Raumyas. 2) The Destruction of the sacrifice of Daksa. See under Daksa.


3) Attainment of boon. After the destruction of the sacrifice of Daksa, the fearful monster Virabhadra, began to exterminate the entire creation. Then Siva appeared and pacified him and said "You shall become a planet in the sky called Aiigaraksaka (Bodyguard) or Mangala


(well being). Everybody will worship you. Those who thus exalt you, will get health, wealth and long life." (Bhagavata, Skandha 7; Vayu Purana, 101, 209; Padma Purina, Srsti Khanda, 24) .


After the destruction of the sacrifice of Daksa, Virabhadra severed a portion of his radiance, and from that radiance, later Adisankara (Sankaracarya) was born. This story occurs in Bhavisya Purina, Pratisarga Parva. 4) Prowess. Virabhadra was not only a follower of Siva. He was a prominent general of the army. In the battle of the burning of Tripura and the Jalandhara fight, Virabhadra stood with Siva and fought fiercely. (Padma Purina, Patala Khanda and Uttara Khanda). 5) Protector of the Devas. Virabhadra was the destroyer of the Asuras and the protector of the Devas. Once


Kaqapa and all the other hermits and sages with him were burnt to ashes in the wild fire that occurred in the Saukata mountain. Instantly Virabhadra swallowed that wild fire and by the power of incantation, he brought to life from the ashes all the Rsis (hermits) who were burnt to death.


On another occasion a serpent swallowed all the gods. Virabhadra killed the snake and rescued all the Devas.


Once an asura called Paficamedhra put into his mouth all the gods, all the hermits and Bali and Sugriva. Those who escaped from the danger stood agape being powerless to confront the Asura. At last Virabhadra attacked the asura. That great and fierce battle lasted for years. At the end Virabhadra killed the Asura and rescued all.


Because Virabhadra had thus protectcd the Devas and the others on three occasions, Siva became immensely pleased with him and gave him several boons. (Padma Purina, Patala Khanda, 107).


VIRADHA. A fierce ~Raksasa (giant) whom Rama and Laksmana killed in the Dandaka forest. Viradha was the rebirth of Tumburu, a Gandharva who had been cursed to become a Raksasa. The story about Sri Rama's liberating the Gandharva from the curse and sending him back to the world of Gandharvas, occurs in Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, Sargas 2 to 4, as follows.


In days of old, Tumburu, a Gandharva had been serving Kubera. Once Tumburu was asked by Kubera to bring Rambha. Tumburu failed in bringing Rambha at the stipulated time. Kubera got angry and cursed Tumburu to become a Raksasa. Tumburu requested for .liberation from the curse. Kubera granted his request and said "In Tretayuga, Mahavisnu will incarnate as Sri Rama, who with his sword wilt change your Raksasa form. You will regain your former form and will come back to the world of Gandharvas."


Accordingly Tumburu took birth as the son of giant Jaya. This child born to Jaya by his wife Satahrada, grew up and came to be known by the name Viradha. Two extra-ordinarily long hands and the outward appearances of a giant aroused fear in every living creature. He lived in the forest Dandaka. It was at this time that Sri Rama and Laksmarra came with Sita, to live in this forest. As soon as Viradha saw them he ran to them with aloud cry.


"With sunken eyes and swollen stomach, widened mouth and an enormous body, with a fierce appearance, of very great height an uncouth figure, body wet with fat, clad in the hide of a leopard; looking like Yama with open mouth, with three lions, two wolves, four leopards, ten spotted deer and the head of a big tusker with tusks smeared with fat, all these caught pierced in an iron trident, and shouting in a roaring sound", he ran to them and after taking Sita, he began to run. Rama and Laksmana followed him. Viradha placed Sita down and, taking Rama and Laksmana on each of his shoulders he began running. Rama and Laksmana cut off each of his hands. But Viradha did not die. Rama and Laksmana decided to bury him alive. Viradha recognized Sri Rama and told him his story. Instantly his demoniac form changed and he regained his original form of a Gandharva. Thus Tumburu returned to the world of Devas. (See under Tumburu ).


VIRADHANVA I. A warrior of the kingdom of Trgarta. He took the side of the Kauravas in the Bharatabattle and fought with Dhrstadyumna, in which fight he was killed. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 107, Stanza 9).


VIRADHANVA II. A Gandharva. (See under Pundarikamukha).


VIRADHARMA. A King in ancient India. (Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 16) .


VIRADYUMNA. An ancient King in India. He had a son named Bhuridyumna. Once this son was lost in the great forest. Viradyumna wandered everywhere in the forest in search of his son. On the way he met a hermit called Tanu. He talked elaborately to the King about the hopes of human mind. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapters 127 and 128) .


VIRAJA. A cow-herdess. Once Sri Krsna duped Radha and took the cowherdess Viraja to the region of loveplays. A mischievous maid informed Radha of this. Radha ran to the dancing garden and searched for the couple. Sri Krsna had made himself invisible. So she could not find him. She found out Viraja. Radha opened her eyes wide and pretended that she was about to curse her. Viraja was terrified and she melted and became a river; full of anger Radha went home. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 9) .


VIRAJA (S) I. A naga (serpent) born to Prajapati Kasyapa by his wife Kadru. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 35, Stanza 13) .


VIRAJA (S) II. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. He was killed by Bhima in the battle of Bharata. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 157) .


VIRAJA (S) III. A son born from the radiance of Mahavisnu. Havingno desire to rule over a kingdom, he adopted penance. He had a son named Kirtiman. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 59, Stanza 88).


VIRAJA (S) IV. One of the eight sons of Kavi, who was the son of Vaivasvata Manu. He had eight sons. They were Kavi, Kavya, Dhisnu, Sukracarya, Bhrgu, Kasi, Ugra and Virajas. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 85, Stanza 132 ).


VIRAJA. A King of the Kuru dynasty. He was the grandson of Kuru and the son of Aviksit. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 92, Stanza 54).


VIRAJA (M) . A particular tower in Dvaraka. Whenever Sri Krsna wanted to be alone he went to this tower. (Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 38) .


V RAKA (M) . A country. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Karna Parva, Chapter 44, Stanza 43, that this country was to be avoided as the thought and customs and manners of this country were full of defilement.


V IRAKA. A King of the dynasty of Anga. He was the son of Sibi. Viraka had three brothers named Prthudarbha, Kaikaya and Bhadraka. (Agni Purana, Chapter 277).


VIRAKETU I. A son of the King Drupada of Pancala. In the battle of Kuruksetra, Viraketu confionted Drona and was killed by Drona. (M.B. Drona Parv4, Chapter 122, Stanza 33).


VIRAKETU II. A King of Ayodhya.


VIRAMAHENDRA. The dwelling place of the asura named Naga. (See under Nagastra).


VIRAMANI. A King devoted to Siva. grutavati was his wife. One day at the request of Viramani, Siva fought with Yoginis (women doing Sakti worship). In that fight the Yoginis defeated Siva.


VIRAMOKSA. A holy place. I t is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 51, that by visiting this holy place one could attain complete remission of one's sins.


VIRANA. A Prajapati. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Sand Parva, Chapter 348, Stanza 41, that this Prajapati learned the philosophy of purity and righteousness from Sanatkumara and taught the hermit Raibhya what he had learned.


VIRANAKA. A naga (serpent) born in the family of Dhrtarastra. This naga was burnt to death in the sacrificial fire of the serpent sacrifice performed by ,janamejaya. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 57, Stanza 18) ;


VIRANI I (VIRINT) . A daughter of Brahma. First, Brahma created the Saptarsis (the seven hermits) by his mind. After this Rudra was born from the anger of Brahma, Narada from the lap ofBrahma, Daksa from the thumb of Brahma, Sanaka and the others from the mind of Brahma, and the daughter Virani from the left thumb of Brahma. Daksa married this Virani. Narada took rebirth as the son of this couple.


Daksa married Virani at the behest of Brahma. At first this beautiful woman gave birth to five thousand sons. Narada misguided them. Daksa got angry at this. He cursed Narada. Owing to that curse Narada had to take birth again as the son of Daksa and Viram. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 7).


VIRANI II. A teacher-priest. According to VayuPurana, Virani was a disciple of the famous teacher Yajfiavalkya of the Yajurveda- line of disciples of Vyasa.


VIRASA. A naga (serpent) born in the family of Prajapati Kagyapa. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 103, Stanza 16).


VIRASENA I. The father of Nala. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Anu:: asana Parva, Chapter 115, Stanza 65, that this King did not eat meat. (For further details see under Damayanti) .


VIRASENA II. A King of Kosala. (See under Candrasena I) .


VIRASIMHA I. The captain of the army of the asura Vyalimukha, who came to fight with Subrahmanya. (Skanda Purana, Viramahendra kanda).


VIRASIMHA II. A prince who was the son of King Viramani and the relative of Rukmangada. It is stated in Padma Purana, Patala khanda that this prince Virasimha tied the sacrificial horse of Sri Rama and fought with 8atrughna who led the horse.


VIRASAMA. A holy hermitage. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 145, that those who visit this holy hermitage would obtain the fruits of performing a horse sacrifice.


VIRAT I. The son of the daughter of Priyavrata. Svayambhuva Manu married Satarupa. Two sons Priyavrata and Uttanapada were born to them. A daughter was born to Priyavrata. Prajapati Kardama married her. Three sons named Samrat, Kuksi and Virat were born to them. (Agni Purana, Chapter 18).


VIRAT II. (VIRAT PURUSA). Virat Purusa is the first incarnation of Brahma. (For details see under Srsti) .




1 ) General informztion. The King of Matsya country. During the pseudonymity of the Pandavas this King sheltered them. At the end of the pseudonymity of one ear, the Kauravas had stolen the cows of Virata. In the fight which ensued Arjuna entered the battlefield with Uttara, the son of King Virata, and defeated the Kauravas and proclaimed that the life of pseudonymity was over. After that Abhimanyu married Uttara the daughter of Virata. (M.B. Virata Parva).


2) Other details.


(i) This Virata, the King of Matsya was born from a portion of the Marudganas. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 82).


ii) King Virata had two sons named Uttara and ankha. It was with these sons that he attended the Svayariivara marriage of Draupadi. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 185, Stanza 8).


(iii) In the regional conquest conducted by Sahadeva, before the Imperial consecration-sacrifice of the Pandavas, Virata fought with him and was defeated. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 31, Stanza 2 ).


(iv) King Virata attended the Rajasuya (sacrifice of imperial consecration) of Yudhisthira. (M.B. SabhA Parva, Chapter 44, Stanza 20) .


(v) Virata gave as a gift to Yudhisthira two thousand tuskers adorned with gold chains. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 52, Stanza 26).


(vi) The name of the wife of King Virata was Sudesna. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 6).


(vii) During the incognito-life of the Pandavas, King Virata sheltered them in his palace. He took Yudhisthira as a court-favourite, Bhimasena as the over-seer of his dining hall, Arjuna as the dancing master, Nakula as the head of the stables, and Sahadeva as the head of the cow-herds. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapters 7, 8, 10, F1 and 12).


(viii) The first wife of King Virata was Suratha, the princess of Kosala. A son named $veta was born to Virata by Suratha. After the death of Suratha, he married Sudesna the daughter of Suta, King of Kekaya. To Sudesna two sons.named Sankha and Uttara and as the youngest, a daughter named Uttara were born. (M.B. Virata Parva, Daksinatya Patha, Chapter 16).


(ix) It is stated in Mahabharata, Virata Parva, Daksinatyapatha, Chapter 26, that King Virata had ten brothers.


(x) Virata had two brothers named gatanika and Madiraksa. Suryadatta is anqther name of Satanika. He was the commander of the army of V irata. Madiraksa was also called Visalaksa. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapters 31 and 32).


(xi)' At the time of the theft of the cows, King Virata engaged in combat with Susarma. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 32, Stanza 28).


(xii) Susarma caught hold of Virata alive. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 33, Stanza 7) .


(xiii) Virata was one of the seven prominent commanders of the army of Yudhisthira. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 157, Stanza 11) .


(xiv) On the first day of the battle of Bha.rata there was a combat between Virata and Bhagadatta. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 49) .


(xv) Virata attacked Bhisma. (M.B. Bhisma Chapter 73, Stanza 1).


(xvi) In the fght between Virata and Drona, $afikha was killed. With that Virata ran away. (M.B, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 82, Stanza 14) .


(xvii) There was a combat between Virata and arva,As vatthama. ( M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 110, Stanza 16) . (xviii) Virata combatted with Jayadratha. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 116, Stanza 42 ).


(xix) Virata fought with Vinda and Anuvinda. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 20) .


(xx) In the fight with Salya, Virata fell down unconscious. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 167, Stanza 34).


(xxi) In the battle which followed„ Dronacarya killed Virata. (M.B. Karna Parva, Chapter 6, Stanza 6).


(xxii) Mention is made in Mahabharata, Stri Parva,


Chapter 26, Stanza 33, that the funeral ceremony ofVirata was conducted in a befitting manner and in Mahabharata, ginti Parva, Chapter 42, Stanza 4, that Yudhisthira performed offering to the Manes, for him.


(xxiii ) After death, Virata entered heaven and joined the Marudganas. (M.B. Svargarohana Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 15) .


(xxiv) The synonyms used in Mahabharata for Virata are, Matsya, Matsydpati, lvIatsyarat, Matsyaraja etc.


VIRA'I'A (M). The couxitry called Matsya. King Virata was the ruler of this country. (See under Viraia).


VIRA'TAIITAGARA. The Capital of Matsya. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Virata Parva, Chapter 30, Stanza 28, that once the Kauravas and the Trigartas attacked this country.


VIRATAPARVA. A prominent Parva (section) in Mahabharata.


VIRAVA. A horse. The two horses yoked to the chariot given to Agastya by the giant Ilvaia, were called Virava and Surava. (NLB. Vana I'arva, Chapter 99, Stanza 17).


VIRAVAIZM A I. A child born to King Taladhvaja byNarada, when lie assumed the form of an illusive woman of beauty. (For further details see under Taladhvaja I) .


VIRAVARMA II. A King who ruled over the city of Sarasvata. His chief queen was 1Wilini, who was the daughter of a Yaksa. Viravarma stopped the sacrificial horse of the Pandavas. When Krsna and Ad una got ready to fight with Viravarm,a to recover the horse, Viravarma, with the help of Ya.mu_fought with them. At last Krsna entered into a treaty with Viravarma and got the horse back.


Viravarma had five sons named Subhala, Sulabha, qLola. Kuvala and Sarasa. (Jaimiui, Asva : 47 : 49) .


V1RAVRATA. A King born in the family of Bharata. To Viravrata who was the son of Mudlru, two sons named Manthu and Am.anthu were born. (Bhagavata, Fifth Skandha).


VIRINT ( V IRANT) . See under Virani.




1 ) General information. An asura. He was the son of Prahlada and the father of Mahabali. Three sons Virocana, Kumbha and Nikumbha were born to Prahlada by his wife Dhrti. Virocana, though an asura, performed rites and rituals carefully. He was kind towards Brahmins. His son Bali became famous and got the name Mahabali. ( M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 19).


2 ) Other details.


( i ) Once there was a controversy between Virocana and Sudhanva. (See under Sudhanva II ) .


(ii) During the time of emperor Prthu, when the asuras ilked the earth Virocana stood as the calf. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 69, Stanza 20) .


(iii) Virocana is included among the ancient Kings of prominence. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 227, Stanza 50).


(iv) There is a story about the quest for knowledge about universal and individual souls, by Indra and Virocana, in Chandogyopanisad, as given below.


Once the Devas and the asuras approached Prajapati to learn about Brahman, the impersonal God. Prajapati told them : "Atman (soul) is the first tattva (Essential being) which is sinless, eternal, desireless and unimaginable in the earth." Having heard this philosophy about the soul, the Devas selected Indra, and the asuras selected Virocana and to know the details, they sent them to Prajapati as his disciples.


Indra and Virocana stayed with Prajapati for several years to know more about Atman. But Prajapati did riot reveal to them the secret about Brahman. At last to test them Prajapati said "Your reflection that you see in water or mirror is the Atman (soul)."


Virocana, who- mistook what the Prajapati said as truth immediately took his bath, put on costly dress and ornaments and stood near water and saw his reflection in water. After that, taking the reflection for soul, he spread this doctrine among his people. With this the asuras accepted body as soul. But the Devas did not recognize this philosophy. They accepted the doctrine that Atman is that essence of Nature which is alien to body and mind and which is pure.


(v) There are two different statements about the death of Virocana in the Puranas.


( 1) In the battle with Tarakasura, Virocana was killed by Devendra. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 99. Brahmanda 1.20.35; Matsya: 10: 11 ; Padma Purina, Srsti Khanda 16) .


(Y) The Sun God was pleased with Virocana and had given him a crown. The sun told him that death would come only if that crown was removed from the head by some body. Because of this boon Virocana became arrogant. So Mahavisnu took the form of a beautiful woman and enticed Virocana towards him and taking away the crown killed him. (Ganes a Purina 2, 29) .


According to Narada Purina, 1VIahavisnu took the form of a Brahmin and reached the palace of Virocana. There changing the righteous wife of Virocana into a mad woman he killed Virocana.


(vi) Virocana had two wives called Vis alaksi and Devi. Two children, Bala and Ya odhara were born by them. The wife of the famous Tvasta was this Yas odhara. (Brahmanda. 3 : 1 : 86; Narada Purina 2 : 32 : Bhagavata, Skandha 9) .


(vii) Virocana hay- nve brothers named Kumbha, Nikumbha, Ayusman, Sibi and Baskali and a sister named Virocana. (Vayu Purarla. 84, 19 ).


VIROCANA 11. A son of Dhrtarastra. He was also called Durvirocana. This Virocana was present at the Svayarhvara marriage of Draupadi. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 185, Stanza 2 ).


VIROCANA I. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 30).


VIROCANA II. Daughter of Prahlada the asura king. Tvasta married her. A son named Viraja was born to this couple. (Bhagavata, Skandha 5). In Vayu Purina, it is stated that the hermit Trig iras also was born to Tvasta by Virocani.


VIROHANA. A naga (serpent) born in the family of Taksaka. This serpent was burnt to death in the sacrificial fire of Janzmejaya. (M.B. Adi Parya, ( hapter 57, Stanza 9).


VIRUDHA. One of the three daughters of Surasa, the mother of the nagas (serpents). The two other daughters were Anala and Ruha. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Ddksinatya Patha, Chapter 66, that from this daughter Virudh5, the Viruts such as Lata, Gulma, Valli etc were born.


VIRUPA I. A son of Ambarisa,a king of the Solar dynasty. It is stated in Bhagavata, Skandlra 9, that Ambarisa had three sons called Ketuman, ~ambhu and Virupa.


VIRUPA II. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, 8anti Parva, Chapter 199, Stanza 88, that once Krodha (anger) changed its form and assumed the name Virupa and conversed with Iksvaku.


V IRUPA III. An asura (demon) Sri Krsna killed this asura. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Daksinatya Patha, Chapter 38).


VIRUPA IV. One of the eight sons of Afgiras. The eight sons of Arigiras were Virupa, Brhaspati,Utathya, Payasya, Santi, Ghora, Sarhvarta and Sudhanva. These sons are called the V arunas or the Agneyas. (M.B. Anus asana Parva, Chapter 85, Stanzas 130-131) .


VIRUPAKA. An asura. In days of old this asura had ruled over the world. (Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 227, Stanza 51 ).


VIRUPAKSA I. One of the elephants which hold up the earth from Patala (underworld). It is said that earthquake occurs when this elephant shakes its head. (For details see under Astadiggajas) .


VIRUPAKSA II. A Raksasa (giant) who fought on the side of Ravana against Sri Rama and Laksmana. It is mentioned in Uttara Ramayana that this giant was born to Malyavan by a Gandharva damsel called Sundari. Seven sons named Vajramusti, Virupdksa, Durmukha, Suptaghna, Yajnakosa, Matta and Unmatta and a daughter named Nala were born to Malyavan by Sundari.


All these sons held prominent places in the army of Ravana. It is mentioned in Agni Purina, Chapter 10, that in the battle between Rama and Ravana, when Kumbhakarna was killed, the army was commanded by Kumbha, Nikumbha, Makaraksa, Mahodara, Mahap5r9va, Matta, Unmatta, Praghasa, Bhasakarn.a, Virupaksa, Devantaka, Narantaka, Trisiras and Atikaya.


When Sugriva devastated the army of Ravana and caused havoc among the giants, Virupiksa, who was an archer got on an elephant and entered the battlefield. He confronted Sugriva first. He thwarted the stone flung at him by Sugriva, and struck him. For a time Sugriva found it difficult to withstand him. But in the battle which followed, Sugriva struck Virupaksa down and killed him. (Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda, Sarga 97) .


VIRUPAKSA 111. One of the thirtythree notorious Danavas (demons) born . to Prajapati Kas yapa by his wife Danu. It is stated in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 22, that it was this asura called Virupaksa, who had, later, taken rebirth as King Citravarma.


VIRIJPAKSA IV. An asura who was the follower of Narakasura. This Virupaksa was killed on the bank of the river Lohitagafzga. (Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Daksinatyapatha, Chapter 38).


VIRIJPAKSA V. A Raksasa who was the friend of Ghatotkaca. (Mahabharata, Drona Parva, Chapter 175, Stanza 15) .


VIRIJPAKSA VI. This giant named Virupaksa was ~t,he friend of a stork called R ajadharma. (Mahabharata Santi Parva, Chapter 170, Stanza 15). (See under Gautama V).


VIRUPAKSA VII. One of the elevenRudras.


VIRCPUVA. A King. This King had never eaten flesh in his life. (Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 156, Stanza 15) .


VIRUT. See under Virudha.


VIRYASULKA. In ancient days the Kings wanted to give their daughters in marriage to the most valiant youths. The custom of showing their valour before the people, before getting the damsel became more prevalent, than giving money to get the girl. Thus marrying a girl by showing his valour is called Marriage by giving Viryasulka. (~ulka means Nuptial gift). (Agni Purana, Chapter 4) .


VIRYAVAN. An eternal Visvadeva. (god concerned with offerings to the Manes. (M.B. AnuAasana Parva, Chapter 91, Stanza 31 ).


VISACIKITSA. (Treatment for poison). See under Sarpa.


VISADA. A King who was the son of jayadratha and father of King Senajit. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9).


VISAKHA I. One of the three brothers of Skandadeva. The other two were Sakha and Naigameya. There is a story regarding them in Mahabharata, Santi Parva, as follows :-


Skandadeva approached his father Siva. At that time Siva, Parvati, Agni and Gafiga, all wished in their minds that Skanda should come to him or her. Understanding the desire of each, by Yogabala (the power obtained by union with the Universal Soul) Skanda divided himself into four persons, Skanda, Visakha, Sakha and Naigameya and went to each of them respectively and fulfilled their desire. (For further details see under Subrahmanya).


VISAKHA 11. A hermit. Mention is made in M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 19, that this hermit stays in the palace of Indra, glorifying him.


VIgAKHADATTA. A Sanskrit playwright. It is believed that his period was between the centuries five and nine A.D. His prominent play is "Mudra Raksasa". He is known by the name Vis akhadeva also. He was the son of King Bhaskaradatta and the grandson of Vatesvaradatta. Of his works, only Mudraraksasa has been found till now.


VISAKHAYUPA. A holy place of pilgrimage. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 90, Stanza 15, that this spot became a holy place because Indra, Varuna and other gods did penance here.


VISALA. A son of Iksvaku. Mention is made in Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, Sarga 47, that a son named Vi9ala was born to Iksvaku, by the celestial maid Alambusa and that Visala built a city named Vigala. This Visala had a son named Hemacandra. It was near the city Vis ala, that Ahalya, the wife of Gautama, stood as stone, because of a curse, (See under Vifialapuri) .


VISALA 1. The queen of Ajamidha, a King of the Lunar dynasty. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 37 ).


VIJALA II. The King Gaya once performed a sacrifice in the country called Gaya. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Salya Parva, Chapter 38, Stanza 20, that Sarasvati attended this sacrifice assuming the name Visala.


VISALA III. Wife of King Bhima the son ofMahavirya. Three sons, Trayyaruni, Puskari and Kapi were born to Bhima by his wife Vigala. (Vayu: 37 : 158) . In Matsya Purana, Visala is mentioned as the wife of King U tak saga.


VISALAKA I. A Yaksa (semi-god). Mention is made in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 10, Stanza 10, that this Yaksa stays in the palace of Kubera, glorifying him.


VISALAKA II. A King. Vasudeva married this King's daughter Bhadra. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 42, that after the marriage Bhadra was kidnapped by 8isupala.


VIhSALAKSA I. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 88, Stanza 15, that this Visalaksa was killed by Bhimasena in the battle of Bharata.


VISALAKSA II. Younger brother of King Virata. He had another name: Madiraksa. (M.B. Virata Parva, Chapter 32, Stanza 19) .


VIJALAKSA III. A son of Garuda, (Mahabliarata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 101, Stanza 9).


VISALWA IV. A King of Mithila. He was present at the sacrifice of Rajasuya (Imperial consecration) of Yudhisthira. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10).


VISALAKSI. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B. ~alya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 3).


VISALAPURI. A holy place on the basin of the Ganges. This place is in the forest Badari. It is stated in Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 90, that the hermitage of Naranarayanas, stood in this place. This city was built by the King Visala. (See under Visala).


VISALYA I. A river famous in the Puranas. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 20, that this river stays in the Palace of Varuna glorifying him. This is a holy river. One could obtain the fruits of Agnistoma Yajna (a sacrifice) by taking a bath in this river.


VISALYA 11. A medicine. This medicine is used to extricate the arrow-heads that might have stuck on the body. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 289, Stanza 6)


VISALYAKARANI. See under Mrtasafijivani.


VISATHA. A son born to Balarama by Revati. (Vayu Purana, 31 :6) .


VISIKHA. A King of the birds. It is stated in Brahmanda Puraria, that Visikha was one of the sons born to Garuda by Suki.


VISIRA. An attendant of Suhrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 29).


VISKARA. An asura who ruled over the world in days of old. ~ M.B. Sand Parva, Chapter 227, Stanza 53 ).


VISNAPC. A hermit who was the son of hermit Visvaka, This Visnapu was once lost and was found again by the help of the Asvins. This story is given in Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 17, Sukta 116.




1) General information. Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara are the Lords of creation, sustenance and extermination of this perishable universe. These trimurtis three figures) also are perishable. It is said, that one day of Brahma will constitute thousand four-fold (catur) yugas and that during the life of Brahma, fourteen Indras will fall down from heaven and die. This is a Brahma age. The ages of two Brahinas constitute the age of one Visnu. At the end of the age Visnu also will perish. The age of Siva is double the age of Visnu. Siva also will perish at the end of his age. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 5 ).


When everything perishes there comes the deluge (the great flood). After that, for one hundred and twenty Brahma years the universe will be desolate and void. In that deep eternal silence, Visrm will be seen sleeping on a banyan leaf on the surface of water. That is the beginning of the next great age. In this stage, Ba1amukunda is the name bf Mahavisnu. As he remains on Nara or water he will be called Narayana also.


The name Visnu means he who possesses the habit of Vyapana (To pervade). While Visnu, who has the power to spread his control over everything in whatever condition, lies on the banyan-leaf. From his navel, a lotus-stalk grows up, and on the top of the stalk, in the lotus flower. Brahma comes into being. Brahma does penance before Vi snu and extols him. Mahavisnu confers on Brahma the power of creation of the subjects. That Brahma perishes along with the deluge and in his place another Brahma is born. Thus in the life-time of Visnu two Brahmas come into being and perish.


2) Beginning. In days of yore, when Visnu was lying on the banyan leaf as Bala Mukunda, he began to think "Who am I ? Who created me ?Why ? What have I to perform ?" - and soon an ethereal voice was heard, "I am everything. Except me, there is nothing eternal." From behind the voice Mahadevi appeared, and said "Look Visnu..What is there to wonder at ? Whenever the universe is subject to creation, sustenance and extermination, you have taken origin by the glory of the Almighty. The Almighty or the omnipotence is beyond attributes. But we are all subjected to attributes. Your foremost attribute is Sattva (goodness - purity) Brahma whose main attribute is the attribute of rajas (activity - passions), will originate from your navel. From the riddle of the brows of that Brahma, Siva will be born, whose main attribute is Tarnas (inertia darkness). Brahma, by the power of Tapas (penance) will acquire the power of creation -and build the world. You will be the sustainer of that world. Siva will destroy the same world. I am Devi Maya (Illusion -personified as the wife of Brahman), the great power depending on you for the purpose of creation." After hearing these words of Devi, Visnu went into meditation and deep sleep of conternplatiorx.