Eravana, Erāvaṇa, Erāvana: 4 definitions



Eravana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Eravana - Sakkas elephant. He was once the elephant of the king of Magadha, who gave him to Magha and his companions to help them in their good works on earth. As a result, when Magha and the others were reborn in Tavatimsa, Eravana was born there himself and became their companion. Ordinarily he was a deva like the others, because there are no animals in the deva world, but when they went to the park to play, Eravana assumed the form of an elephant, one hundred and fifty leagues in size. For the thirty three devas Eravana erected thirty three heads (kumbha), each two or three quarters of a league in girth. Each head had seven tusks, each fifty leagues long, each tusk bore seven lotus plants, each plant seven flowers, each flower seven leaves, and on each leaf danced seven nymphs (Padumacehara). For Sakka himself there was a special head, Sudassana, thirty leagues around, above it a canopy of twelve leagues all of precious stones. In the centre was a jewelled couch one league long, on which Sakka reclined in state. DhA.i.273f; also SnA.i.368f. (where there are a few slight variations).

In the Dhammika Sutta (Sn.v.379) Eravana is mentioned among the devas who visited the Buddha to pay him homage. He is also mentioned among the Nagas present at the preaching of the Mahasamaya Sutta (D.ii.258; perhaps here a king of snakes is meant, because he is mentioned with others who are avowedly snakes). It is emphasised in several places (E.g., MA.i.472; DA.ii.688; also VvA.15 and Kvu.ii.599) that Eravana is a devaputta and a Naga only by birth (jatiya). The Jatakas (J.v.137) mention Sakka as riding Eravana, particularly when making comparisons between kings parading on the backs of elephants (E.g., V.iii.392). Eravana is one of the chief features of Tavatimsa (

2. Eravana - The name of the elephant belonging to Candakumara.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Eravana in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

erāvaṇa : (m.) name of Indra's elephant.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Erāvaṇa, N. of Indra’s elephant Sn.379; Vv 4413; VvA.15. (Page 161)

Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Eravaṇa (एरवण).—m. (= Pali, Prakrit Erā°, Sanskrit Airā°), name of Indra's elephant: Mahāvastu ii.275.7, 8 (prose). The short a may be only an error, tho it is repeated; it is otherwise unknown; v.l. both times ai°; e for ai, § 3.67.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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