Hindu Mythology

 

AIRAVATA - APSARA - BHOOT - BRAHMARAKSHASA - CHAKORA - DAWON  - GANDABERUNDA - GANDHARVA - GARUDA - HAMSA - IRAVATI - JARITA - JATAYU - JINNALALUO - KABANDHA - KAMADHENU - LANKINI - MAKARA - MAYURA - NAGA - NANDI - NAVAGUNJARA - PISHACHA - PRETA - RAKSHASA - RAINBOW FISH - ROMPO - SARAMA - SHARABHA  - SUPRATIKA - THANACTH - TIMINGILA - TUMBURU - UCHCHAIHSHRAVAS - VANARA - VETALA - YAKSHA - YAKSHINI - YALI

 

 


 

AIRAVATA
Airavata is a mythological white elephant who carries the Hindu god Indra. It is also called 'abhra-Matanga', meaning "elephant of the clouds"; 'Naga-malla', meaning "the fighting elephant"; and 'Arkasodara', meaning "brother of the sun". 'Abhramu' is the elephant wife of Airavata. Airavata has ten tusks and five trunks and is spotless white. It is also known as Erawan in Thai. Airavata is also the third son of Kashyap and Kadru. In the Mahabharata he is listed as a great serpent.
According to the Ramayana, the elephant's mother was Iravati. According to the Matangalila, Airavata was born when Brahma sang sacred hymns over the halves of the egg shell from which Garuda hatched, followed by seven more male and eight female elephants. Prithu made Airavata king of all elephants. One of his names means "the one who knits or binds the clouds" since myth has it that these elephants are capable of producing clouds. The connection of elephants with water and rain is emphasized in the mythology of Indra, who rides the elephant Airavata when he defeats Vritra. This mighty elephant reaches down his trunk into the watery underworld, sucks up its water, and then sprays it into the clouds, which Indra then causes to rain forth cool water, thereby linking the waters of the sky with those of the underworld.

 

 



APSARA
An Apsara (also spelled as Apsarasa) is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.
In Indian mythology, Apsaras are beautiful, supernatural female beings. They are youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing. They are often wives of the Gandharvas, the court musicians of Indra. They dance to the music made by the Gandharvas, usually in the palaces of the gods, entertain and sometimes seduce gods and men. As ethereal beings who inhabit the skies, and are often depicted taking flight, or at service of a god, they may be compared to angels.
Apsaras are said to be able to change their shape at will, and rule over the fortunes of gaming and gambling. Urvasi, Menaka, Rambha, Tilottama and Ghritachi are the most famous among them. Apsaras are sometimes compared to the muses of ancient Greece, with each of the 26 Apsaras at Indra's court representing a distinct aspect of the performing arts. They are associated with fertility rites.

 

 


 

BHOOT
A bhoot or bhut is a supernatural creature, usually the ghost of a deceased person, in the popular culture, literature and some ancient texts of the Indian subcontinent. Interpretations of how bhoots come into existence vary by region and community, but they are usually considered to be perturbed and restless due to some factor that prevents them from moving on (to transmigration, non-being, nirvana, or heaven or hell, depending on tradition). This could be a violent death, unsettled matters in their lives, or simply the failure of their survivors to perform proper funerals.
The belief in ghosts is deeply ingrained in the minds of the people of India across generations and it still persists even in an era of modern technology and scientific development. The various concepts of ghosts trace their roots in the vast bodies of Hindu mythology, religious texts, literature and folktales. There are many allegedly haunted places in India, such as dilapidated buildings, royal mansions, forts, forest bungalows, burning ghats etc. Ghosts also occupy a significant place in the Bengali culture. Ghosts and various supernatural entities form an integral part of the socio-cultural beliefs of the both Hindu and Muslim communities of rural Bengal. Fairy tales often use the concept of ghost and references to paranormal activities are found amply in modern-day Bengali literature, cinema, radio and TV programmes.

 

 


 

BRAHMARAKSHASA
Brahmarakshasas (Sanskrit:
ब्रह्मराक्षस) are fierce demon spirits in Hindu mythology.
Brahm Rakshas is actually the spirit of a Brahmin, a dead scholar of high birth, who has done evil things in his life or has misused his knowledge, who has to suffer as a Brahm Rakshas after his or her death. The earth-bound duties of such a scholar would be to disappear or impart knowledge to good students. If he did not do so, he would turn into a Brahma Rakshas after death which is a very fierce demonic spirit. The word Brahm means Brahmin and Rakshas, a demon. As per ancient Hindu texts they are powerful demon spirit, who have lot of powers and only few in this world can fight and over-come them or give them salvation from this form of life. It would still retain its high level of learning. But it would eat human beings. They have the knowledge of their past lives and vedas and puranas. In other words they have qualities of both Brahmin and Rakshas.

 


 



CHAKORA
Height: (M) 1'6 Feet , (F) 1'5 Feet
Wings: (M) 5 Feet , (F) 4'10 Feet
Weight: (M) 5 Pounds , (F) 6 Pounds
Chakora, (Sanskrit:
चकोर) a kind of partridge, is a legendary bird described in Hindu mythology. It is believed to reside upon the beams of the moon, that is, the Chandra. The association of Chakora and Chandra has given rise to a number of folk love stories in north India.
 



DAWON
Shoulder-Height: (M) 3'9 Feet , (F) 3'5 Feet
Length: (M) 7 Feet , (F) 6'4 Feet
Weight: (M) 360 Pounds , (F) 290 Pounds
Dawon, a sacred tiger (sometimes drawn as a lion ) originated from Tibetan legend but was later adapted to Hindu mythology. In the later myth, it was offered by gods to serve goddess Durga or Parvati as mount for rewarding her victory. As Durga fought with ten weapons wielded on her arms, Dawon supported its mistress and attacked the foes with its claws and fangs. Also the threatening tiger represented power from the wars its mistress had won over all enemies.
Dawon in traditional and ancient Bengali culture and Indian culture has often been represented in the Ghatokbahini (Bengali:
ঘটকবাহিনী সিংহ) also known as Ghatokbahini Singha form, that is half lion and half tiger.

 


 



GANDABERUNDA
Height: (M) 50 Feet , (F) 46 Feet
Length: (M) 70 Feet , (F) 66 Feet
Wingspan: (M) 100 Feet , (F) 96 Feet
Weight: (M) 17000 Pounds , (F) 16000 Pounds
The bird is generally depicted as clutching elephants in its talons and beaks demonstrating its immense strength. In a coin (kasu) found in Madurai, it is shown holding a snake in its beak. All 2-dimensional depictions show a symmetrical image similar to the Double-headed eagle, other images show the long tail feathers resembling a peacock which is the national bird of India. In the Chennakeshava temple of Belur (1113), Karnataka, Gandaberunda (2-faced bird identified with Vishnu) depiction is a carved scene of "chain of destruction". Initially, a deer is prey to a large python, followed by being lifted by an elephant and a lion attacking the elephant, and the lion shown as devoured by Sharabha. The last scene depicted is of Gandaberunda destroying Sharabha. The Gandaberunda was a physical form displayed by Narasimha, Man-Lion incarnation of Vishnu.
After Narasimha had slain demon Hiranyakashipu, through the taste of blood, Narasimha did not let go of his dreadful form. Demigods were even more afraid of the supreme lord now, than before of the demon. Shiva, the best friend of Vishnu, thus shiva incarnated as Veerabhadra, Rudra and kala bhairava and Narasimha slain all forms of Shiva and thus incarnated himself as Sharabha, a part-lion and part-bird beast which was the terror of the lion. Gandaberunda, having two heads, fearful rows of teeth, black in complexion and with wide blazing wings fought with Shiva-Sharabha for eighteen days and finally held it between his two beaks and killed Sharabha but also exploded and got killed in the process.
 

 


 

GANDHARVA
Gandharva is a name used for distinct heavenly beings in Hinduism and Buddhism; it is also a term for skilled singers in Indian classical music.
In Hinduism, the Gandharvas (Sanskrit:
गन्धर्व, gandharva, Assamese: গন্ধৰ্ব্ব gandharbba, Kannada: ಗಂಧರ್ವ, Tamil: கந்தர்வர், Telugu: గంధర్వ gandharvudu, Malayalam: ഗന്ധർവൻ) are male nature spirits, husbands of the Apsaras. Some are part animal, usually a bird or horse. They have superb musical skills. They guarded the Soma and made beautiful music for the gods in their palaces. Gandharvas are frequently depicted as singers in the court of Gods.
Gandharvas act as messengers between the gods and humans. In Hindu law, a Gandharva marriage is one contracted by mutual consent and without formal rituals.
Gandharvas are mentioned extensively in the epic Mahabharata as associated with the devas (as dancers and singers) and with the Yakshas, as formidable warriors. They are mentioned as spread across various territories.

 

 


 

GARUDA
Height: (M) 12 Feet , (F) 11'1 Feet
Wingspan: (M) 30 Feet , (F) 27'3 Feet
Weight: (M) 1200 Pounds , (F) 880 Pounds
Garuda is depicted as having the body of a strong man with a white face, red wings and eagle’s talons and beak.
The Garuda is a large mythical bird, bird-like creature, or humanoid bird that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Garuda is the mount (vahana) of the Lord Vishnu. Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila. The brahminy kite and phoenix are considered to be the contemporary representations of Garuda. Indonesia adopts a more stylistic approach to the Garuda's depiction as its national symbol, where it depicts a Javanese eagle (being much larger than a kite).

Garuda is known as the eternal sworn enemy of the Nāga serpent race and known for feeding exclusively on snakes, such behavior may have referred to the actual short-toed eagle of India. The image of Garuda is often used as the charm or amulet to protect the bearer from snake attack and its poison, since the king of birds is an implacable enemy and "devourer of serpent". Garudi Vidya is the mantra against snake poison to remove all kinds of evil.

 

 


 

HAMSA (bird)
The hamsa (Sanskrit:
हंस, haṃsa or hansa) is an aquatic bird of passage, such as a goose or a swan. Its icon is used in Indian and Southeast Asian culture as a spiritual symbol and a decorative element.
Monier Williams translates the term from Sanskrit as "goose, gander, swan, flamingo, or other aquatic bird of passage". The word is also used for a mythical or poetical bird with knowledge. In the Rig Veda, it is the bird which is able to separate Soma from water, when mixed; in later Indian literature, the bird separates milk from water when mixed. In Indian philosophical literature, Hamsa represents the individual soul or spirit (typified by the pure sunlight-white like color of a goose or swan), or the "Universal Soul or Supreme Spirit".

 

 



IRAVATI
Height: (M) 5'4 Feet , (F) 5 Feet
Weight: (M) 120 Pounds , (F) 95 Pounds
Human + Chital Horns, Ears, Long-Tail and Feet = Iravati

Iravati (irāvatī) is a daughter of Kadru and Kasyapa. She is the mother of Airavata, the mount of Indra. She is also associated with a sacred river.

 



JARITA
Jarita (Sanskrit:
जरित) was a certain female bird of the species called Sarngika, whose story is told in the Mahabharata. The saint Mandapala, who returned from the shades because he had no son, assumed the form of a male bird, and by her had four sons. He then abandoned her. In the conflagration of the Khandava Forest she showed great devotion in the protection of her children, and they were eventually saved through the influence of Mandapala over the god of fire. Their names were Jaritari, Sarisrikta, Stambamitra, and Drona. They were "interpreters of the Vedas" and there are hymns of the Rigveda bearing the names of the second and the third.
 



JATAYU

Jatayu (Sanskrit: जटायुः Jatāyu) is the youngest son of Aruna. His brother, Sampāti, is a demi-god who has the form of a Vulture and was an old friend of Dasharatha (Rama's father).
In the Epic Ramayana when Jatayu sees Ravana abducting Sita, he tries to rescue Sita from Ravana . Jatayu fought valiantly with Ravana, but as he was very old Ravana soon got the better of him. As Rama and Lakshmana chanced upon the stricken and dying Jatayu in their search for Sita, he informs them of the fight between him and Ravana and tells them that he had gone south.
Jatayu and his brother Sampati, when young, used to compete as to who could fly higher. On one such instance, Jatayu flew so high that he was about to get seared by the sun's flames. Sampati saved his brother by spreading his own wings and thus shielding Jatayu from the hot flames. In the process, Sampati himself got injured and lost his wings. As a result, Sampati lived wingless for the rest of his life.

 

 



JINNALALUO
The jinnalaluo (also called kimnaras, feiren, and yeishen) were divine creatures with human bodies and animal's heads that were featured in Buddhist mythology.
These beings resemble human bodies and have the heads of animals, most notably horses or birds.
They are celestial musicians, whose music is said to fill Heaven. They play a variety of instruments and are linked to a very ancient Indian art form, where they are portrayed as birds-of-paradise.

 

 



KABANDHA
Height: (M) 20 Feet , (F) 18'5 Feet
Weight: (M) 13000 Pounds , (F) 11900 Pounds
In Hindu mythology, Kabandha (
कबन्ध, Kabandha, lit. "headless torso") is a Rakshasa (demon) who is killed and freed from a curse by the god Rama – an Avatar of Vishnu – and his brother Lakshmana. Kabandha's legend appears in the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as in later Ramayana adaptations.
Kabandha was a Gandharva (celestial musician) named Vishvavasu or Danu, who was cursed and made into an ugly, carnivorous demon by Indra, the king of the gods, and/or a sage. In an encounter with Rama and Lakshmana, the brothers sever his arms and proceed to cremate his corpse. Upon his death, Kabandha resumes his gandharva form and directs Rama to the Rsyamukha mountain, where the exiled monkey-chief Sugriva is hiding. Kabandha advises Rama to form an alliance with Sugriva, who would be of assistance in the search for Rama's wife Sita, who had been kidnapped by Ravana, the demon-king of Lanka. Following Kabandha's instructions, Rama befriends Sugriva and rescues Sita with his help.

 


 



KAMADHENU
Shoulder-Height: (M) 5 Feet , (F) 4'7 Feet
Wingspan: 23 Feet
Weight: 1150 Pounds
Brahman and Tail + Peacock-Tail + Colourful-Eagle-Wings + Human-Headed and Two-Nipples = Kamadhenu

Kamadhenu (कामधेनु, Kāmadhenu), also known as Surabhi (सुरभि, Surabhī), is a divine bovine-goddess described in Hinduism as the mother of all cows. She is a miraculous "cow of plenty" who provides her owner whatever he desires and is often portrayed as the mother of other cattle as well as the eleven Rudras. In iconography, she is generally depicted as a white cow with a female head and breasts or as a white cow containing various deities within her body. All cows are venerated in Hinduism as the earthly embodiment of the Kamadhenu. As such, Kamadhenu is not worshipped independently as a goddess, and temples are not dedicated to her honor alone; rather, she is honored by the veneration of cows in general throughout the observant Hindu population.

Hindu scriptures provide diverse accounts of the birth of Kamadhenu. While some narrate that she emerged from the churning of the cosmic ocean, others describe her as the daughter of the creator god Daksha, and as the wife of the sage Kashyapa. Still other scriptures narrate that Kamadhenu was in the possession of either Jamadagni or Vashista (both ancient sages), and that kings who tried to steal her from the sage ultimately faced dire consequences for their actions. Kamadhenu plays the important role of providing milk and milk products to be used in her sage-master's oblations; she is also capable of producing fierce warriors to protect him. In addition to dwelling in the sage's hermitage, she is also described as dwelling in Goloka - the realm of the cows - and Patala, the netherworld.

A cow, identified with Kamadhenu, is often depicted accompanying the god Dattatreya. In relation to the deity's iconography, she denotes the Brahminical aspect and Vaishnava connection of the deity contrasting with the accompanying dogs, symbolizing a non-Brahminical aspect. She also symbolizes the Panch Bhuta (the five classical elements) in the icon. Dattatreya is sometimes depicted holding the divine cow in one of his hands.
 

 



LANKINI
Lankini was a powerful Rakshasa from the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana. Her name literally means "The Deity of Lanka" as she was the female personification of the city itself and was the guardian to the doors of Lanka.
As per Indian mythology, Lankini was once the guardian of the abode of Brahma. As she guarded the home of the creator, Brahma, she became arrogant and egoistic about her position. She treated others in the palace with contempt due to which she was cursed by Brahma to guard the city of Rakshasas forever. Lankini realized her mistake and begged for forgiveness. However it was not possible for Brahma to take back the curse, and instead gave her a boon she will be freed of the curse only when a monkey will defeat her in combat and thus bring to end the age of Rakshasas.

 


 



MAKARA
Height: (M) 4'6 Feet , (F) 4'2 Feet
Length: (M) 18 Feet , (F) 17 Feet
Weight: (M) 1100 Pounds , (F) 940 Pounds

Makara (मकर) is a sea-creature in Hindu culture. It is generally depicted as half terrestrial animal in the frontal part (stag, deer, crocodile, or elephant) and half aquatic animal in the hind part (usually a fish or seal tail, though sometimes a peacock or even a floral tail is depicted.) Makara take many different forms throughout Asia. In Hindu astrology, Makara is equivalent to the sign of Capricorn, tenth of the twelve symbols of the Zodiac.

Makara appears as the vahana (vehicle) of the river goddess Ganga and of the sea god Varuna. Makara are considered guardians of gateways and thresholds, protecting throne rooms as well as entryways to temples; it is the most commonly recurring creature in Hindu and Buddhist temple iconography, and also frequently appears as a Gargoyle or as a spout attached to a natural spring. Makara ornaments are a popular traditional wedding gift for the bride; these makara-shaped earrings called Makarakundalas are sometimes worn by the Hindu gods, for example Shiva, the Destroyer, or the Preserver-god Vishnu, the Sun god Surya, and the Mother Goddess Chandi. Makara is also the insignia of the love god Kamadeva, who has no dedicated temples and is also known as Makaradhvaja, "one whose flag depicts a makara".

 

 



MAYURA
Mayura (Sanskrit:
मयूर) is a Sanskrit word for peacock which is one of the sacred birds of the Hindu mythology. It is referred to in a number of Hindu scriptures. It is also a contemporary Hindu name used in many parts of India.
The legend states that the Mayura was created from the feathers of Garuda, another semi-divine mythical birds of Hindu mythology. Garuda is believed to be a vahana (conveyance) of Vishnu, one of the Trimurti. In images of the mayura as a mythical bird, it is depicted as killing a snake, which according to a number of Hindu scriptures, is a symbol of cycle of time. Many are the gods accompanied by this sacred bird.

 

 



NAGA
Length: (M) 20 Feet , (F) 19'4 Feet
Weight: (M) 400 Pounds , (F) 370 Pounds

Nāga (नाग) is the Sanskrit and Pali word for a deity or class of entity or being, taking the form of a very great snake—specifically the king cobra, found in Indian religions, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. A female nāga is a nāgī or nāgiṇī.

In India, nāgas are considered nature spirits and the protectors of springs, wells and rivers. They bring rain, and thus fertility, but are also thought to bring disasters such as floods and drought.

Nagas are snakes that may take human form. They tend to be very curious. According to traditions nāgas are only malevolent to humans when they have been mistreated. They are susceptible to mankind's disrespectful actions in relation to the environment. They are also associated with waters—rivers, lakes, seas, and wells—and are generally regarded as guardians of treasure.

They are objects of great reverence in some parts of South India, where it is believed that they bring fertility and prosperity to their venerators.

 

 



NANDI
Nandi (Sanskrit:
नन्दि) is the name for the bull which serves as the mount (Sanskrit: Vahana) of the god Shiva and as the gatekeeper of Shiva and Parvati. In Hindu Religion, he is the chief guru of eighteen masters (18 Siddhar) including Patanjali and Thirumular. Temples venerating Shiva display stone images of a seated Nandi, generally facing the main shrine. There are also a number of temples dedicated solely to Nandi.
The application of the name Nandi to the bull (Sanskrit: vṛṣabha) is in fact a development of recent centuries, as Gouriswar Bhattacharya has documented in an illustrated article entitled "Nandin and Vṛṣabha". The name Nandi was earlier widely used instead for an anthropomorphic deity who was one of Shiva’s two door-keepers, the other being Mahākāla. The doorways of pre-tenth-century North Indian temples are frequently flanked by images of Mahākāla and Nandi, and it is in this role of Shiva’s watchman that Nandi figures in Kālidāsa’s poem the Kumārasambhava.

 

 



NAVAGUNJARA
In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Navagunjara is a creature composed of nine different animals. The animal is a common motif in the Pata-Chitra style of painting, of the Indian state of Odisha. The beast is considered a form of the Hindu god Vishnu, or of Krishna, who is considered an Avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu. It is considered a variant of the virat-rupa (Omnipresent or vast) form of Krishna, that he displays to Arjuna, as mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita, a part of the epic Mahabharata.
The version of the Mahabharata, written by the Odia poet Sarala Dasa, narrates the legend of Navagunjara; no other version has the story. Once, when Arjuna was doing penance on a hill, Krishna-Vishnu appears to him as Navagunjara. Navagunjara has the head of a rooster, and stands on three feet, those of an elephant, tiger and deer or horse; the fourth limb is a raised human arm carrying a lotus or a wheel. The beast has the neck of a peacock, the back or hump of a bull and the waist of a lion; the tail is a serpent. Initially, Arjuna was terrified as well as mesmerized by the strange creature and raises his bow to shoot it. Finally, Arjuna realizes that Navagunjara is a manifestation of Vishnu and drops his weapons, bowing before Navagunjara.
The Navagunjara-Arjuna scene is sculpted at the northern side of the Jagannath Temple, Puri. Also, the Nila Chakra disc atop the Jagannath Temple has eight Navagunjaras carved on the outer circumference, with all facing towards the flagpost above.
Navagunjara is also depicted in Ganjifa playing cards as the King card and Arjuna as the minister card, in parts of Orissa, mainly in Puri District and Ath-Rangi Sara in Ganjam District, Orissa. This set is known as Navagunjara.

 

 



PISHACHA
Height: (M) 9 Feet , (F) 8'4 Feet
Weight: (M) 680 Pounds , (F) 500 Pounds
Pishachas (Sanskrit:
पिशाच, Piśāca) are flesh-eating demons in Hindu mythology. Their origin is obscure, although some believe that they were created by Brahma. Another legend describes them as the sons of either Krodha (figuratively "Anger") or as Dakṣa’s daughter Piśāca. They have been described to have a dark complexion with bulging veins and protruding, red eyes. They are believed to have their own languages, known as Paiśāci.
According to one legend, they are sons of Kashyapa and Krodhavasa, one of the daughters of Prajapati Daksha.The Nilamat Puran of the 7th century mentions the valley of Kashmir being inhabited by two tribes: the Nagas and the Pisachas.
Piśācas like darkness and traditionally are depicted as haunting cremation grounds along with other monsters like bhutas and vetālas. Piśācas have the power to assume different forms at will, and may also become invisible. They feed on human energies. Sometimes, they possess human beings and alter their thoughts, and the victims are afflicted with a variety of maladies and abnormalities like insanity. Certain mantras are supposed to cure such afflicted persons, and drive away the Piśāca which may be possessing that particular human being. In order to keep the Piśāca away, they are given their share of offerings during certain religious functions and festivals.

 



PRETA
Preta (Sanskrit:
प्रेत) is the Sanskrit name for a type of supernatural being described in some Indian religions as undergoing suffering greater than that of humans, particularly an extreme level of hunger and thirst. Preta is often translated into English as "hungry ghost" from the Chinese adaptation. In early sources such as the Petavatthu, they are much more varied. The descriptions below apply mainly in this narrower context.
Pretas are believed to have been false, corrupted, compulsive, deceitful, jealous or greedy people in a previous life. As a result of their karma, they are afflicted with an insatiable hunger for a particular substance or object. Traditionally, this is something repugnant or humiliating, such as cadavers or feces, though in more recent stories, it can be anything, however bizarre.
The Sanskrit term preta means "departed, deceased, a dead person", from pra-ita, literally "gone forth, departed". In Classical Sanskrit, the term refers to the spirit of any dead person, but especially before the obsequial rites are performed, but also more narrowly to a ghost or evil being. The Sanskrit term was taken up in Buddhism to describe one of six possible states of rebirth. The Chinese term egui (
餓鬼), literally "starving ghost", is thus not a literal translation of the Sanskrit term.

 

 



RAKSHASA
Height: (M) 7 Feet , (F) 6'6 Feet
Weight: (M) 280 Pounds , (F) 220 Pounds
A Rakshasa (Sanskrit: rākṣasa) is a mythological being in Hindu mythology. As this mythology influenced other religions, the rakshasa was later incorporated into Buddhism. Rakshasas are also called 'maneaters" (Nri-chakshas, Kravyads). A female rakshasa is known as a Rakshasi. A female Rakshasa in human form is a Manushya-Rakshasi. The terms Asura and Rakshasa are sometimes used interchangeably.

Rakshasas were most often depicted as ugly, fierce-looking and enormous creatures, with two fangs protruding from the top of the mouth and having sharp, claw-like fingernails. They are shown as being mean, growling like beasts, and as insatiable cannibals that could smell the scent of human flesh. Some of the more ferocious ones were shown with flaming red eyes and hair, drinking blood with their palms or from a human skull (similar to representations of vampires in later Western mythology). Generally, they could fly, vanish, and had Maya (magical powers of illusion), which enabled them to change size at will and assume the form of any creature.

 

Varaha Avatar killing a Rakshasa

 



RAINBOW FISH
Length: (M) 16 Feet , (F) 14'9 Feet
Weight: (M) 2000 Pounds , (F) 1790 Pounds

In Hinduism, The Rainbow Fish was a fish that was as large as a whale. It ate Buddha, an incarnation of the deity Vishnu. The Rainbow Fish was caught and killed by some fishermen who freed Buddha from its stomach. After The Rainbow Fish was caught, it provided an entire nation with food for a year.

The scales of the rainbow fish were red, blue, green, and yellow. The green scales were made of grass, representing the element Earth. The blue scales were ice, which represented water: the second element. The yellow scales were lightning, representing air. The red scales were made of fire, representing the fourth element. The four elements that made up The Rainbow Fish's scales are also known as Prithvi, Jal, Vayu, and Agni.
 



ROMPO
Height: (M) 7 Feet , (F) 6'6 Feet
Weight: (M) 150 Pounds , (F) 120 Pounds
Rompo is a mythological beast with the head of a hare, human ears, a skeleton-like body, the front arms of a badger, and the rear legs of a bear. It feeds only on human corpses and it is said to croon softly as it eats. Stories about the Rompo are found in India and Africa. The legend of the Rompo may have been inspired from sightings of any of the Old world porcupines.

 

 



SARAMA
In Hindu mythology, Sarama (Sanskrit:
सरमा, Saramā; Tamil: Carapai; Thai: Trichada; Malay: Marcu Dewi) is a mythological being referred to as the female dog of the gods, or Deva-shuni (देव-शुनी, devaśunī). She first appears in one of Hinduism's earliest texts, the Rig Veda, in which she helps the god-king Indra to recover divine cows stolen by the Panis, a class of demons. This legend is alluded to in many later texts, and Sarama is often associated with Indra. The epic Mahabharata, and some Puranas, also make brief reference to Sarama.
Early Rig-Vedic works do not depict Sarama as canine, but later Vedic mythologies and interpretations usually do. She is described as the mother of all dogs, in particular of the two four-eyed brindle dogs of the god Yama, and dogs are given the matronymic Sarameya ("offspring of Sarama"). One scripture further describes Sarama as the mother of all wild animals.
Orientalist Max Müller suggests that the word Sarama may mean "the runner", with the stem originating from the Sanskrit root sar ("to go"), but he is unable to account for the second part of the name, ama. Professor Monier-Williams translates Sarama as "the fleet one". The etymological treatise Nirukta by Yaska mentions that Sarama derives her name from her quick movement. Mahidhara, a commentator of the Vajasaneyi Samhita, states that Sarama is "she who entertains the gods". More broadly, Sarama has also come to mean any female dog.
There are two epithets for Sarama in the original Rig Veda. Firstly, she is described as supadi, which means "having good feet", "fair-footed" or "quick", an epithet only used for Sarama in the text. Her other epithet is subhaga – "the fortunate one", or "the beloved one" – a common epithet of the Ushas, the Dawn. Sarama's other name Deva-shuni means "divine bitch" or "bitch of the gods".
It has been suggested that the Greek Hermes is a cognate of Sarama.
 



SHARABHA
Height: (M) 10 Feet , (F) 9'3 Feet
Shoulder-Height: (M) 6 Feet , (F) 5'6 Feet
Wingspan: (M) 40 Feet , (F) 37 Feet
Weight: (M) 2200 Pounds , (F) 1890 Pounds
In Sanskrit literature, Sharabha is initially described as an animal that roared and scared other animals in the hills and forest areas. In the later epic Mahabharata, this form of Sharabha was exaggerated as a lion-slaying monster with eight legs, eyes on the top; living in the forest and which ate raw flesh. It is also mentioned as residing on Mount Krauncha but not as a monster but as an ordinary beast along with lions and tigers on mount Gandhamandana. The epic also includes Sharabha in the list of edible animals - the mrigajatis- the animal group of antelope, deer, hare, bear, ruru deer, sambar, gayal, boar, and buffalo - which was offered as part of food at dinner to guests. Sharabha also appears as a name of a monkey-king in the epic Ramayana, also as a proper name of heroes, apes, demons (danavas) and serpent Nāgas and one of the names of god Vishnu as well as Buddha. In defining the ecological theme in Hindu medicine related to jungle and the aroma of meats, Sharabha has also been listed among the deer natives of Kashmir, Nepal, and Sikkim. However, the features explained are of an eight legged animal of the size of a camel with huge horns and conjectured as a large Himalayan goat.

Shaiva scriptures narrate that god Shiva assumed the Avatar (incarnation) of Sharabha to pacify Narasimha - the fierce man-lion avatar of Vishnu worshipped by Vaishnava sect. This form is popularly known as Sharabeshwara ("Lord Sharabha") or Sharabeshwaramurti. The Vaishnavas refute the portrayal of Narasimha as being destroyed by Shiva-Sharabha and regard Sharabha as a name of Vishnu. Another tale narrates that Vishnu assumed the form of the ferocious Gandaberunda bird-animal to combat Sharabha. In Buddhism, Sharabha appears in Jataka Tales as a previous birth of the Buddha.

 

 



SUPRATIKA
In Hindu mythology there were three elephants by the name Supratika. The foremost among them is listed as one of the Diggajas, each representing the eight quarters. The Hindu epic Mahabharata describes two more elephants by the same name – a mythical elephant that was an incarnation of a sage, and the one that belonged to Bhagadatta, the king of Pragjyotisha.
The Amarakosha, a thesaurus of Sanskrit, mentions the names of eight male elephants, that bear the world together, as Airavata, Pundarika, Vamana, Kumunda, Anjana, Pushpa-danta, Sarva-bhauma, and Supratika. Supratika represents the north-east direction, the quarter of Soma. Anjanavati is believed to be the wife of Supratika.

 

 



THANACTH
The Thanacth (or Tanacht) is a bizarre cryptid from India, sighted in the 16th century by European travelers and some locals. They are described as a tail-less, tiger-like creatures, covered in tawny fur, featuring a human-like face with long head-hair. It also has a snub nose, is covered in black, frizzly fur, and has tiger-like back paws, and human-like fore hands. French explorer André Thevet claimed to have seen it in the sixteenth century.

 


 

TIMINGILA
Length: 100 Feet and Weight: 200000 Pounds
“The Gopis have fallen into a great ocean of separation and are being devoured by the Timingila fish of their ambition to serve You. The Gopis must be delivered from the mouths of these Timingila, for they are pure devotees. Since they have no material conception of life, why should they aspire for liberation? The Gopis do not want that liberation desired by yogis and jnanis, for they are already liberated from the ocean of material existence." (Cc. Madhya 13.142)
The above verse is quoted from Caitanya-Caritamrta, Madhya-Lila 13.142, wherein Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu equates the Gopis as having fallen into a great ocean and that they are being devoured by their ambition to serve Krsna. Mahaprabhu compares their ambition to the legendary Timingila fish. The Timingila fish is said to have lived in the oceans of this planet as the greatest predator ever known.
The Srimad Bhagavatam, Ramayana, Mahabharata and other Vedic literatures often speak of fantastic places and of creatures that may have once lived on this planet. One such creature was the Timingila fish. The Timingila is said to have been the most formidable predator in the oceans. It was enormous in size and its favorite food was said to have been whales. Whales are also very big creatures of the ocean, but unlike the Timingila, the whale has yet to become extinct. Some whales of our time reach up to 60 feet in length, like the Whale Shark of the Indian Ocean. The Whale Shark is actually a whale that physically resembles a shark but is not a predator. The Timingila, on the other hand, was a fierce predator and used to eat whales in one giant gulp! But did the Timingila actually exist on this planet or did it exist only in the poetic imagination of the writers of the Vedic literatures? Certainly many mundane scholars would have us think so.

Judging by the descriptions, the Timingila could be similar to the Megalodon which was perhaps the most enormous aquatic predator of prehistoric times and lived approximately 15.9 to 2.6 million years ago, during the Cenozoic Era.

 

 



TUMBURU
In Hindu mythology, Tumburu (Sanskrit:
तुम्बुरु), also spelt Tumbaru (तुम्बरु) and Tumbara (तुम्बर) is the best among Gandharvas or celestial musician and is sometimes described as the best of singers. He is described to perform in the courts of gods Kubera and Indra as well as sing praises of god Vishnu. He leads the Gandharvas in their singing.
Tumburu is described the son of sage Kashyapa and his wife Pradha. Among the sons of Kashayapa, his four Gandharva sons Tumburu, Bahu, Haha and Huhu were renowned for their sweet and pleasant speech.

 

 



UCHCHAIHSHRAVAS
In Hindu mythology, Uchchaihshravas (Sanskrit:
उच्चैःश्रवस् Uccaiḥśravas or उच्चैःश्रवा Uccaiḥśravā, "long-ears" or "neighing aloud") is a seven-headed flying horse, created during the churning of the milk ocean. It is considered the best of horses, archetype and king of horses. Uchchaihshravas is often described as a vahana ("vehicle") of Indra - the god-king of heaven, but is also recorded to be the horse of Bali, the king of demons. Uchchaihshravas is said to be snow white in colour.
The Mahabharata mentions that Uchchaihshravas rose from the Samudra manthan ("churning of the milk ocean") and Indra - the god-king of heaven seized it and made it his vehicle (vahana). He rose from the ocean along with other treasures like goddess Lakshmi - the goddess of fortune, taken by god Vishnu as his consort and the amrita - the elixir of life. The legend of Uchchaihshravas, rising from the milk ocean also appears in the Vishnu Purana, the Ramayana, the Matsya Purana, the Vayu Purana etc. While various scriptures give different lists of treasures (ratnas) those appeared from the churning of the milk ocean, most of them agree that Uchchaihshravas was one of them.

 

 



VANARA

Height: (M) 5 Feet , (F) 4'8 Feet
Weight: (M) 110 Pounds , (F) 90 Pounds

Vānara (Sanskrit: वानर) refers to a group of people living in forests in the Hindu epic the Ramayana and its various versions. In the Ramayana, the Vanaras help Rama defeat Ravana.

The Vanaras are depicted as monkeys in the popular art, their exact identity is not clear. Unlike other exotic creatures such as the rakshasas, the Vanaras do not have a precursor in the Vedic literature. The Ramayana presents them as humans with reference to their speech, clothing, habitations, funerals, consecrations etc. It also describes their monkey-like characteristics such as their leaping, hair, fur and a tail.

According to one theory, the Vanaras are strictly mythological creatures. This is based on their supernatural abilities, as well as descriptions of Brahma commanding other deities to either bear Vanara offspring or incarnate as Vanaras to help Rama in his mission. The Jain re-tellings of Ramayana describe them as a clan of the supernatural beings called the Vidyadharas; the flag of this clan bears monkeys as emblems.

Another theory identifies the Vanaras with the tribal people, who dwelled in the forests and used monkey totems. G. Ramdas, based on Ravana's reference to the Vanaras' tail as an ornament, infers that the "tail" was actually an appendage in the dress worn by the men of the Savara tribe. (The female Vanaras are not described as having a tail.) According to this theory, the non-human characteristics of the Vanaras may be considered artistic imagination. In Sri Lanka, the word "Vanara" has been used to describe the Nittaewos mentioned in the Vedda legends. Nittaewos were said to be a small tribe of small bigfoot or Yeti type hominids native to Sri Lanka.

 

 



VETALA
The vetala is another vampire of India. The vetala are a class of demons in Hindu mythology that have the power to enter the bodies of human or animal corpses and reanimate them. They can enter living victims as well, and manipulate them as they please. Generally, though, the vetala stick to inhabiting the bodies of dead people. This myth is also connected with burial rites or, in some cases, the circumstances of a person’s death. If a body is buried improperly or does not receive the proper rites, the body is in danger of becoming possessed by a vetala.
The vetala, also written as vetaal, or baital, use the bodies they inhabit to wreak havoc in the world. It’s a different concept than a human just becoming a vampire, after being bitten, or getting infected by one, or being killed by one. In the lore as we have come to see vampires, they are still the humans they once were, except with some bloodthirsty tendencies. The vetala are not like that at all. The vetala demon is a separate entity that takes the body of a human. These corpses do not have the human’s memories or go after their families and home villages.
The soul of the person whose corpse the vetala is possessing is completely gone. The vetala demon simply puts on the body of the person like a shell. Harming or damaging the corpse that the vetala inhabits does nothing to destroy the vetala. It simply departs from the corpse, and finds a new one to inhabit.
These are not friendly creatures; they’re one of the most vicious vampires of Indian lore. They delight in destruction; killing children, causing miscarriages, and driving people insane.
In some cases, though, the vetala are portrayed in a positive light. The vetala in the Baital Pachisi, for example, is shown as a heroic character, saving the life of the protagonist, the king.
There is a series on Disney Channel India called Vicky and Vetaal which is based on the Baital Pachisi story. It features a young boy named Vicky and his friend the vampire Vetaal, who drinks milk and not blood. The two have many adventures, and the Vetaal certainly isn’t portrayed as a malicious demon creature.

 


 

Kaalkudaa Vetala

(Bhairavakona cave - Nallamala Hills - Prakasam district - Andhra Pradesh)

 



YAKSHA
Height: (M) 18 Feet , (F) 16'7 Feet
Weight: (M) 4500 Pounds , (F) 3400 Pounds
Yaksha (Sanskrit
यक्ष yakṣa, Odia-ଯକ୍ଷ, Pali yakkha) is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist texts. The feminine form of the word is yakṣī or Yakshini (yakṣiṇī).
In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist texts, the yakṣa has a dual personality. On the one hand, a yakṣa may be an inoffensive nature-fairy, associated with woods and mountains; but there is also a darker version of the yakṣa, which is a kind of ghost (bhuta) that haunts the wilderness and waylays and devours travelers, similar to the rakṣasas.
In Kālidāsa's poem Meghadūta, for instance, the yakṣa narrator is a romantic figure, pining with love for his missing beloved. By contrast, in the didactic Hindu dialogue of the Yakṣapraśnāḥ "Questions of the Yakṣa", it is a tutelary spirit of a lake that challenges Yudhiṣṭhira. The yakṣas may have originally been the tutelary gods of forests and villages, and were later viewed as the steward deities of the earth and the wealth buried beneath.
In Indian art, male yakṣas are portrayed either as fearsome warriors or as portly, stout and dwarf-like. Female yakṣas, known as yakṣiṇīs, are portrayed as beautiful young women with happy round faces and full breasts and hips.

 

 

Read More: The Questions of Yaksha

 



YAKSHINI
Yakshini (Sanskrit:
याक्षिणि, also known as Yakshi and Yakkhini in Pali) are mythical beings of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain mythology. Yakshini (Yakshi) is the female counterpart of the male Yaksha, and they are attendees of Kubera, the Hindu god of wealth who rules in the mythical Himalayan kingdom of Alaka. They are the guardians of the treasure hidden in the earth and resemble fairies. Yakshinis are often depicted as beautiful and voluptuous, with wide hips, narrow waists, broad shoulders, and exaggerated, spherical breasts. In Uddamareshvara Tantra, thirty-six Yakshinis are described, including their mantras and ritual prescriptions. A similar list of Yakshas and Yakshinis are given in the Tantraraja Tantra, where it says that these beings are givers of whatever is desired. Although Yakshinis are usually benevolent, there are also yakshinis with malevolent characteristics in Indian folklore.

 

 


YALI
Shoulder-Height: (M) 5 Feet , (F) 4'7 Feet
Length: (M) 9'3 Feet , (F) 8'5 Feet
Weight: (M) 1300 Pounds , (F) 1050 Pounds
Indian Elephant-Headed + Asiatic Lion = Yali

Yali (also known as Vyala or Vidala in Sanskrit) is a mythical creature seen in many Hindu temples, often sculpted onto the pillars. It may be portrayed as part lion, part elephant and part horse, and in similar shapes. Also, it has been sometimes described as a leogryph (part lion and part griffin), with some bird-like features.

Yali is a motif in Indian art and it has been widely used in south Indian sculpture. Descriptions of and references to yalis are very old, but they became prominent in south Indian sculpture in the 16th century. Yalis are believed to be more powerful than the lion/Tiger or the elephant.

 

 

 

 

 


 

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