Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Ashtadiggajas included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Aṣṭadiggajas

and AṢṬADIKKARIṆĪS. There are eight male and eight female elephants standing guard over the eight zones. They are:


Male Female

East Airāvata Abhramu

South-east Puṇḍarīka Kapilā

South Vāmana Piṅgalā

South-west Kumuda Anupamā

West Añjana Tāmrakarṇī

North-west Puṣpadanta Śubhradantī

North Sārvabhauma Aṅganā

North-east Supratīka Añjanāvatī

(Amarakośa) Besides these, there are four diggajas (elephants of the universe) who bear the earth standing below in the nether world. It is stated that the sons of Sagara who went into the nether land in search of the lost horse of his father saw these elephants. As they went to the east they saw the huge elephant Virūpākṣa, holding the earth on its head. It is said an earthquake occurs when for a change it shakes its head. Going to the left of it they saw the elephant Mahāpadmasama holding the earth on its head on the south. Going again to the left of it they saw Saumanasa holding the earth on its head on the west and going to the left of it on the north they saw Bhadra holding the earth on its head. (Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Bālakāṇḍa, Sarga 40).

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