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 4.15 - The Monkey in the Epics

Although there are references to the monkey among the wild animals in many places in the Ramayana, they are mainly mentioned as part of the army of Rama. Here we are taking into consideration only those places where the monkey is mentioned as a wild animal.[1]

They dwell in forests. They can be red, black, smoky, white or of mixed colours. They are fond of jumping from tree to tree. Their general traits are red face, long tail and small eyes. They have a prominent chin. They are always busy doing something. They often fight among themselves. They are afraid of human beings. They are sexually more active in early winter and autumn. The females generally conceive after a brief mating. At the age of 2, they attain youth. The pregnancy is completed in 3 or 4 months. The baby monkeys resemble human babies in many ways. When they are born they have red faces.

The young baby feels secure when cuddled by the mother. After it opens its eyes it starts sucking the mother's milk. The babies are protected by the mother for about 3 months. After that the babies indulge in all kinds of antics like running, jumping and screaming. They are particularly fond of jumping from trees to trees.

There are 8 kinds of monkeys.[2]

The 1st variety is called Kapi (NilgiriLangur).They have red body, red face, and tall stature. They love to be in the forests. They a bit fat but they can jump far and high. They are secretive and deceitful. They have long tails and they love jumping from tree to tree. They have long protruding teeth and nails.

The 2nd variety is called Plavanga. They are reddish black. They are very timid. They are lazy and sleepy. Their rear portion is black. They have short tails. They have short jaws and nails. They are fickleminded and very cruel. They are fond of doing harm to small birds. They run very fast from tree to tree and also on the ground.

The 3rd variety is called Shakhamriga (Capped Langur). They are of dark and smoky complexion. Their faces are saffron. They are very tall. Their typical features are protruding teeth and nails, immense strength, tremulous eyes, big belly and hips. They offer much entertainment to people with their curious antics and also fights among themselves.

The 4th variety is called Valimukha (Golden Langur). They are very tall and black faced. They have rough and long hair on the body. They have thick tails, fat bodies, protruding faces, and excessive sex urge. Their figures are ugly, they engage in repulsive activities, they make a lot of noise and their bodies stink. They are very shred and cunning.

The 5th variety is Markata (Bonnet Macaque). They are short and dry skinned. They are of red, black or white colour. They are very sex-prone and are cruel. They have tremulous eyes, slim figure, thin legs and unbearable stink. They have long tails. They are very fond fighting among themselves. They are very shrewd and cunning and shriek harshly.

The 6th variety is Vanara (Common Langur). They resemble human beings in appearance and walk. They are of different colours. Their hairy skin appears like a blanket wrapping their bodies. They have fat belly, tall [fRama e][=frame?], and big lumps on their heads. They are scared of cold, wind and heat. They scream frightfully. They are not easy to capture.

The 7th variety is known as Kisha (Rhesus Macaque). They are notorious for screaming constantly. They are often engaged in fights among themselves. They are extremely fond of sex and food. They have long feet and long tails. They are fond of jumping from tree to tree. They always move in groups and are engaged in playful activities. They are generally red and white in colour. They eat especially grass and leaves. They dwell mostly in forests and hill tops.

The 8th variety is called Vanaukasa (Baboons or Lion Tailed Macaque). They are black in colour and have stout and tall bodies. They die when they come out of forests on their own or when they are forced out. They have stout stomachs. Their bodies are covered with rough, long and thick hair. Some of these monkeys have black faces. They are very dull and harmful. They are very strong and powerful and their eyes get blood-red when they are angry and fight. They are prone to different sicknesses. The female monkeys are very affectionate to their children. The life-span of the baboons is a maximum of 10 years.

Footnotes and references:


Valmiki Ramayana 2.54.29, 2.85.18, 3.73.18, 4.27.3, 4.28.27, 6.4.107, 2.54.29, 4.27.3, 6.4.107


Mrigapakshishastra [mriga-pakshi-shastra] .I.17.752, 766,769b,773,777,784b,788,791b

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