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 2.7 - Animals as vehicles of Gods

The word vehicle is ‘Vahana’ in Sanskrit. Vahana is derived from ‘vah’ which means to carry or transport. In Indian tradition, animals are commonly the vahanas of gods. They provide moving power to humans also. The vahanas are the only way to identify the deity. There are stories explaining why a deity is connected with a particular vahana. The vahana is both an emblem and a symbol. For example, the bull identifies Shiva and it is a symbol of strength and virility.

Gods and their vehicle are as under:—[1]

Ayyappa — Tiger,
Bhairava (Shiva) — Dog,
Brahma (Creator) — Swan,
Brihaspati — Elephant,
Camunda (Devi) — Owl,
Candi (Devi) — Lizard,
Candra (Moon) — Antelope, TenHorses,
Durga — Lion, Tiger,
GaneshaMouse, Rat,
Ganga (River) — Crocodile, Fish,
Indra — Elephant (Airavata), Dog (Sarama), Horse (Ucchaishravas),
Jagaddhatri — Tiger,
Kama (Love) — Parrot, Crocodile,
Kamakhya (Devi) — Rooster,
Kartikeya (Muruga) — Peacock, Rooster,
Ketu — Eagle,
Kubera (Wealth) — Mongoose,
Lakshmi (Prosperity) — Elephant, Owl, Peacock,
Manasa — Elephant, Snake,
Pushan — Goat,
Rahu — Lion,
Rati — Pigeon,
Sarasvati — SwanPeacock,
Shani — Crow, Vulture,
Shashti — Cat,
Shitala — Donkey,
Shukra — Crocodile,
Shiva — Bull,
Yamuna (River) — Tortoise,
Surya — 7 Horses,
Ushas (Dawn) — 7 Cows,
Varuna — Crocodile, Tortoise, Fish,
Vayu — Antelope,
Vishnu — Eagle, Snake,
Vishvakarma — Elephant,
Yama — Buffalo

Footnotes and references:


Vehicles of the Hindu Gods: the Vahanas: subhamoy das,

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