Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Himavan 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 Himavān



The great mountain on the northern borders of India. In the literature and the religious thought of India the Himālayas occupy a position of universal respect and adulation. The Indian belief is that the mountain has got a divine soul. (e.g. it is referred to as "devatātmā" in Kālidāsa’s Kumārasaṃbhava). The Himālayas are referred to very often in the Purāṇas and epics.

Other information from Mahābhārata.

(1) The Bālakhilyas had performed tapas on the Himālayas. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 30, Verse 3).

(2) The Nāga named Śeṣa once resided there to practise control of the mind in solitude. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 36, Verse 3).

(3) Vyāsa performed tapas there. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 114, Verse 24).

(4) Pāṇḍu, father of the Pāṇḍavas had to cross the Kālakūṭa mountain and the Himālayas to reach Gandhamādana. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 148, Verse 48).

(5) Bhārgava women hid themselves in the Himālayas at the time when the Kṣatriyas were hunting out people of the Bhṛgu dynasty. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 177, Verse 20).

(6) The whole fire of the yajña conducted by sage Parāś, ara to annihilate the Rākṣasas was deposited in the extensive forest near the Himālayas, (Ādi Parva-Chapter 180, Verse 22).

(7) Arjuna once sojourned on the Himālayas. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 214, Verse 1).

(8) The Devatā of the mountain worships Kubera in his assembly. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 10, Verse 31).

(9) As suggested by Sūrya, once Nārada did penance for 1000 years on the peaks of the Himālayas so that he might see Indra’s assembly. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 11, Verse 8).

(10) Arjuna once crossed the Himālayas and encamped at Dhavalagiri. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 27, Verse 29).

(11) Bhīmasena once stopped for a short time near the Himālayas imagining himself to be emperor of the whole world. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 30, Verse 4).

(12) It was at the Himālayas that Merusāvarṇi imparted advice to Yudhiṣṭhira. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 78, Verse 14).

(13) Bhagīratha performed tapas on the Himālayas. (Vana Parva, Chapter 108, Verse 3).

(14) The kingdom of Subāhu, King of Kalinda was on the plains of the Himālayas. The Pāṇḍavas stopped there for a night and left for the Himālayas the next day. (Vana Parva, Chapter 140, Verse 24).

(15) The Pāṇḍavas, on the seventeenth day of their life in exile in the forest came to the top of the Himālayas, and visited the āśrama of Vṛṣaparvan there. (Vana Paṛva, Chapter 18).

(16) It was while Bhīmasena was hunting in the Hiṃālayas and appreciating the beauties there that a python caught him by the leg. (Vana Parva, Chapter 178).

(17) Sage Mārkaṇḍeya once saw in the stomach of child Kṛṣṇa mountains like the Himālayas, Hemakūṭa etc. (Vana Parva, Chapter 188, Verse 112).

(18) Much anterior to sage Mārkaṇḍeya an owl called Prāvārakarṇa had lived on the Himālayas. (Vana Parva, Chapter 199, Verse 4).

(19) Karṇa conquered all the kingdoms on the Himālayas and collected taxes from them all. (Vana Parva, Chapter 254, Verse 4).

(20) On the northern heights of the Himālayas live Śiva and Pārvatī for ever. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 115, Verse 5).

(21) Himavān is one of the six rain-producing mountains stretching from the east to the west. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 6, Verse 3).

(22) Arjuna during his tour of Kailāsa in dream with Śrī Kṛṣṇa saw all the peaks of Himavān. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 80, Verse 23).

(23) When Śiva burnt to ashes the Tripuras, Himavān and Vindhya served as the axles of Śiva’s chariot. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 34, Verse 22).

(24) The River Gaṅgā deposited Śiva’s semen on a high peak of Himavān and Subrahmaṇya was born from it. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 44, Verse 9).

(25) Himavān, the Devatā of the mountain, also was present at the installation of Subrahmaṇya as chief of the army. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 14).

(26) Himavān presented to Subrahmaṇya two attendants called Suvarcas and Ativarcas. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 46).

(27) Śrī Kṛṣṇa once performed tapas on Himavān, and as a result of it was born his son Pradyumna from Rukmiṇī. (Sauptika Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 30).

(28) Himavān presented inexhaustible wealth to emperor Pṛthu. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 59, Verse 113).

(29) The peaks of Himavān have an area of 100 yojanas; Brahmā once conducted a yajña there. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 166, Verse 32).

(30) Dakṣaprajāpati once conducted a yajña at the place called Gaṅgādvāra on the slopes of Himavān. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 284, Verse 3).

(31) In Chapter 327 of the Śānti Parva the following statement occurs about Himavān. According to the advice of King Janaka Śuka brahmarṣi mounted the Himālayas. Siddha-cāraṇas lived on the mountain. Celestial women walked all over the place. The mountain always reverberated with the noise of different varieties of living beings. The noise produced by Kinnaras, peacocks and many other birds could always be heard there. Himavān was the permanent abode of Garuḍa. The Aṣṭadikpālakas also lived there.

(32) When Śuka moved up to the world above it appeared as though the Himavān was being cut open. He saw two divine peaks of mountains on the two sides of the path; one of them was the peak of the Mahāmeru and the other that of Himavān. Both the peaks gave way to Śuka. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 333).

(33) Śiva desired to secure Umā, the daughter of Himavān as his wife. Meantime sage Bhṛgu demanded that Umā be wedded to him. When Himavān told the sage that it had already been decided to gave Umā in marriage to Śiva, the Sage cursed that there would not be, in future, gems in the Himavān. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 342, Verse 62).

(34) Viṣṇu and Śiva once fought with each other on the Himavān, and then it seemed as though the mountain was being cleft into pieces. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 342, Verse 122).

(35) Nārada had his āśrama there, on the Himavān. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 346, Verse 3).

(36) Śrī Kṛṣṇa once visited the āśrama of Upamanyu on the Himavān. (Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 14, Verse 43).

(37) King Marutta performed a yajña on the Himālayas and brahmins went away leaving a lot of wealth there. (Āśvamedhika Parva, Chapter 3, Verse 20).

(38) Sañjaya left for the Himālayas after Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Gāndhārī were burnt to death in a wild fire. (Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 37, Verse 33).

(39) During their mahāprasthāna (great journey) the Pāṇḍavas travelled by the Himālayas and Dharmaputra ascended to heaven from the top of the Himālayan peak. (Mahāprāsthānika Parva, Chapter 2, Verse 1).

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