Animal Kingdom (Tiryak) in Epics

by Saranya P.S | 2019 | 51,616 words | ISBN-10: 8190396315 | ISBN-13: 9788190396318

An English study the Animal Kingdom (Tiryak) in Epics.—The present thesis is based entirely on Ramayana and Mahabharata although an attempt is made to analytically compare the Animal kingdom with Mriga-pakshi-shastra—‘The ancient Indian science of of Animals and Birds’....

Chapter 2.3 - Creation of Udbhits, Tiryaks and Men

After the origin of the Trimurtis, Brahma started thinking of creation. Even as he was thinking, without his intention or consent many dark creatures came into existence. From him came “Ajnana” which has five parts, viz. Tama, Moha, Mahamoha, Tamishra, and Andhatamishra. Again Brahma went back to his meditation and as he was immersed in it, five kinds of ‘Acara srishti’ were created. They do not have the power of wisdom from Brahma and they are equally dark inside and outside and their souls are veiled by darkness. The ‘acaras’ are also called ‘mukhyas’. Therefore their creation is also called ‘mukhyasrishti’. They are known as ‘udbhits’. When Brahma realized that the creation of ‘udbhits’ was insufficient for his work to be done, he again immersed himself in meditation. It was at this time ‘Tiryaksrotases’ were created. They are called with that name because they travel just like air.

Animals like oxen and cows have more ‘tamoguna’. Not only that, generally they are less intelligent and have less knowledge. They have to often follow paths other than the right ones, and although have less wisdom; they feel proud that thinking that they have enough of it. They have pride and a false sense of honour and some other 28 kinds of in-capabilities, they do not know of their existence because of their lack of sufficient wisdom. Brahma was certain that these could not fulfil the ultimate purpose of creation and once again he got immersed in meditation and then another creation known as ‘Urdhasrotas’ came. This creation has the necessary qualities of being and it dwells on the surface of the earth.

It is generally said that those who originated from ‘Urdhasrotas’ are generally interested in joy and love, and they imbibe the light of wisdom from inside and outside. This third creation is known as the ‘devasrishti’. With the creation of Devasrishtis, it is believed that, the Creator was happy and pleased.

Even after creating all these things, it was not known why Brahmadeva was not fully contented. Later he created “avaksrotas’ from Nature. The creatures of this category have greater ‘satva-rajatamas’ qualities. Therefore they are prone to sorrow and they will always be engaged in their duties. Human beings come under this category of creation. After this, Brahma went ahead to create “devasrishti’.[1]

Night, day, dusk and dawn:

In order to create four kinds of creations Devas, Asuras, Pitris and Men, Brahma again immersed himself in meditation. As his ‘tamoguna’ increased, Asuras were born from his midriff. Brahma discarded them. It was that murtti which was full of darkness that became night. Later from the face of Brahma, devas with greater qualities were born. But he rejected that murtti also. That is day time which is full of light. That is why Asuras become powerful in the night and Devas become powerful during the day. Pitris were born later, but Brahma discarded them, too. This murtti became dusk between day and night. Later from the murtti with ‘rajoguna’ men were born. Brahma rejected them also. This time was known dawn. That is why at dusk pitris and at dawn human beings become powerful. Day, Night, Dusk and Dawn, all these four are considered part of the body of Brahma.[2]

Monsters, Yakshas, Serpents, Devils and Gandharvas

When Brahma received another form which has part of ‘rajas’, he felt very hungry. With hunger also came sexual desire. Sitting in the darkness he created some creatures who suffered from hunger. They were ugly and with hair all over their face. They ran towards Brahma. Among those who said, “Don’t do like this. Save him!” were monsters. But those who said, “We will eat him” became Yakshas. Because of the food, they were called Yakshas. When Brahma saw them he did not like them and then some hair fell from his head. But later the hair got back onto the head. They did ‘sarpana’ so they were called Serpents and, they were called ‘ahi’because they were ‘hinas’. Later Brahma created some other creatures because of his burning anger. They were the colour of dark blood and they were carnivorous. Later Brahma started to sing and then from his body came Gandharvas. They were called Gandharva because they relished words.

Animals and birds

Brahma created birds from his words independently, according to the results of their previous deeds. Then he created sheep from his chest and goats from his face. Prajapati came from his stomach and cows from his sides. From his legs came horse, elephant, donkey, bison, deer, camel, mule, stag and such other animals. From his hair were produced different plants which had fruits and root crops. Although plants and animals were created at the beginning of Creation, only at the start of the Tretayuga they were used properly in the yagas.

Footnotes and references:


Vishnupurana Amsha 1 Adhyaya 5



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