Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Iravan 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 Irāvān

A son born to Arjuna of the serpent damsel (Nāgakanyā) named Ulūpī. (For genealogy see under Arjuna).


According to the practice laid down Pāñcālī used to live with each husband for one year by turn. When she was living with one husband the other four husbands had no admission there. When once Arjuna wanted his arms to redeem the cows of a brahmin stolen by thieves he entered the apartment of Dharmaputra where the arms had been kept and took them. For thus having entered, against rules, the apartment then kept by Dharmaputra and Pāñcālī, Arjuna had to go on a pilgrimage for one year. Numerous brahmins accompanied Arjuna and while spending the night on the banks of the Gaṅgā, Arjuna entered its waters for bathing. There he saw the Nāga damsel, Ulūpī. They fell in love with each other and got married. And, a son named Irāvān was born to them. Ulūpī granted Arjuna the boon that all water-animals would obey him and that in water he would be invincible. Leaving Ulūpī and Irāvān behind, Arjuna continued his stay in the forest.

Further Information.

(1) In the great war Irāvān fought on the side of the Pāṇḍavas. During the first day’s fighting Irāvān and Śrutāyu fought a duel. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 45, Verses 69-71).

(2) Irāvān defeated Vinda and Anuvinda in fight. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 83, Verses 18-22).

(3) Irāvān killed five brothers of Śakuni. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 90, Verses 27-46).

(4) Irāvān fought against Alambuṣa and was killed by the latter. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 90, Verses 5676).

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