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 4.9 - The Deer in the Epics

Valmiki has mentioned the deer of various categories. Such descriptions are seen in many parts of the Ramayana.[1]

Kindama was a sage who changed himself and his wife into deer. When they were enjoying physical pleasures, King Pandu killed them. Just before dying of wounds, Kindama regained his original form and cursed Pandu that he would die the moment he tried to make love to his wife. Pandu argued that Kings could hunt animals and it was not illegal. Then the sage told him that might be right but he could not kill an animal when it is engaged in love-making.Actually the sage and his wife did not become deer. They were just wearing deer skin to avoid cold and mosquito bites. Maybe it was a camouflage technique then.

Rsyashringa was the son of Vibhandaka. His mother was a deer and therefore he had one horn on his forehead.[2] Biologically it is not possible to get an offspring from the sexual union of a deer and a human being. It is also immoral. But people with horn-like projections can be born. Such things are medically recorded.

There are many 14 types of deer in the world[3].

The first variety is called Mriga (Chital). They have spots of different colours on this skin. They sprint fast. They have horns without branches. They exude a pleasant smell from their bodies and love to stay in shades. They have a low pitch voice and lean limbs. They need only a small about of food.

The 2nd variety is called Kuranga (Four Horned Antelope). They have multi-pronged horns, large eyes, and goat-like mouths. They are always busy grazing. They are beautiful and intelligent. They are vigorous, strong and patient.

The 3rd variety is Vatayu. They live only in forests. They like hunting and playful jumping. They are very scared of people. They run very fast. Their skin is marked by different spots. They have thick horns and slightly longer mouths.

The 4th variety is known as Cinkara. They have large and beautiful eyes. They like the company of people. They are afraid of thunder. They frequently drink water. Some of them have branched horns. Their back, mouth and sides are different in colour from the main body. They need only a small quantity of food.

The 5th variety is called Vatamriga. They run with the speed of wind. They live in big forests. They like to remain with their flock. They have thin bodies and long legs. They can suddenly vanish from the sight. They have bra branched horns. If they get separated from their flock, they usually die.

The 6th variety is called Krishnasara (Black Buck). Their skin is densely marked with spots or circles. They are always busy chewing grass. Their body colour is black but their shanks and sides are of a different colour. Their body exudes a pleasant smell. They do not normally have branched horns. They like to live in forests, but they can be tamed. They habitually move very fast.

The 7th variety is Ruru. Their horns have multiple branches. They are tall and have variegated spots on their body. Big hooves, long neck and an un-shapely physique are their salient traits. They have less strength and walk slowly. They are very much afraid of noise.

The 8th variety is called Nyanku (Swamp Deer). They have very long horns. They have small bodies, slow gait, bright yellow or black complexion and soft skin. They roam about when the sun is not very hot. They like the company of people.

The 9th variety is known as Shambara (Sambar). They have spots of various colours on their skin. They have small horns and they are keen on eating all the time. They are short in size and are very gentle. They are afraid of drum beats. They are very lean and always engaged in playful activities. They can be tamed.

The 10th variety is called Ranku. They have bright tiny spots of various colours on their skin. They have black colour, long horn, large eyes and very attractive bodies. They are medium in height. They eat leas. They emit a pleasing body fragrance. They live in flocks and are forlorn of separated from the flock. They like to walk. Their bodies are covered with long hair. They are always tidy.

The 11th variety is called Rohitaksha (Nilgai). They have bright red eyes. They like human company. There is a belief that if they glance at kings, the kings will have a lot prosperity and also progeny. They have beautiful horns and eyes.

The 12th variety is called Gokarna. They have very small ears. They are gentle by nature and like to live in cold climates. Their limbs are white or red. Some have a bright smoky complexion. They dwell in forests and like to play when they are together. They have big head and big hooves. They have fat bellies and they don't run fast. They are also very timid.

The 13th variety is called Ena. They are very tall. They have the complexion of heated gold and are adorned with small spots. They exude a pleasant fragrance. They like the company of people. They are generally without horns and are docile. They are timid by nature and they run fast. They eat very little and are extremely beautiful. By the age of two, they mature.. By the age of 7, they become old and weak. Their life span is 9 years.

The 14thvariety is Kasturimriga (Musk Deer). These have 5 subgroups like Gandharva, Sharabha, Rama, Srimara and Gavaya. Gandharva are yellow in colour. They are tall and run like an arrow. They love shade especially in summer. Sharabha are short. They are red or black in colour and have different types of spots on their body. They sleep on rocks. Their bodies exude the smell of jasmine. Ramaare white or red in colour and are slow in gait. Some of them have horns. They have long hair on the skin. They are fat and love to live in forests. They are scared of rain and heat. Srimara have colourful spots on the body. They have long ears. They are intolerant of human smell. The walk fast when they are angry. Gavaya are of differentcoloursandhave a slow gait. They have long ears. They are short-tempered and have an aversion to human smell. They are very timid.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Valmiki Ramayana . 2.15.41, 2.54.41, 2.68.20, 2.93.2, 12,19, 2.96.8, 2.103.42, 3. 11.4, 3.60.23, 3.64.15.21, 3.73. 38-39, 4.1.7, 4.1.65,101, 4. 13.9, 4.27.2, 4.50.18, 6.4.83, 6.39. 16

[2]:

Mahabharata .vanaparva.3.110

[3]:

Mrigapakshishastra [mriga-pakshi-shastra] .I.15.655b, 671b, 674b, 678b, 682, 685b, 689, 693b, 696b, 699, 703, 707, 712b, 716, 726b,729,730b,732b,735, 736

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