Elephantology and its Ancient Sanskrit Sources

by Geetha N. | 2012 | 36,369 words

Elephant is considered as an inevitable part of Indian community. So they developed the study of Elephant which is based on Hastyayurveda and Matangalila. Even from the ancient time Indians were awareness about their hygiene and health. They were protected against diseases. They protected not just their own race but also plants and animals. Therefo...

Findings of the Study

1. The basic text is very tome and is difficult to aware the contents.

This study will to enable a student to have real knowledge of Elephantology. He/She may not be forced to exalt this method blindly but should be provided the real facts given in the original work.

2. As a branch, having so severely been criticized by scientists Hastyayurveda should be given a special place in the researches.

3. Diseases and treatments are studied on the basis of prescribed text and traditional practitioners on elephants.

4. Most of the elephant synonyms are Akaranthas and Abhramu is Ukaranta Strilinga, which means that no gender division is made. Firmly standing own place (with own husband) or firmly standing in the sky. The female elephant of the east. The mate of Airavata, Indra's elephant. The word Padmi - Nakaranta, Pullinga Pradhama, Ekavacana. Here Padma Shabda means Bindu's (or dots) one whose body filled with dots is called padmi.

5. Elephant teeth is used in rural treatment for head-ache and mump. Elephant's urine is used for human beings leg diseases.

6. Elephant dung is used for making bio-gas and paper, and existing the oozing of soil and it is used as a mosquito killer.

7. Elephant is the main component of ecotourism it can be used to enrich the wealth of nation through tourism and allied activities.

Some famous elephants in Kerala

Many elephants famous in Kerala–some of their names are

Thechikkottukavu - Ramachandran
Mangalamkunnu   - Ganapati, Karnan
Kongad   - Kuttishshankaran
Guruvayur   - Padmanabhan, Ezhuthachan,
      Suran, Srinivasan
Pambadi   - Rajan
Kandampully   - Balanarayanan
Thriuvampady   - Candrashekharan
Paramekkavu   - Parameshwaran
Ambalappuzha   - Vijayakrishnan
Nayarambalam   - Ganeshan
Malayalappuzha   - Rajan

Among them some of the elephants are most famous in Kerala, they are

Guruvayur - Padmanabhan, Ezhuthachan,
Thecchikkottukavu - Ramachandran
Mangalamkunnu - Ganapati, Karnan
Thiruvampadi - Chandrashekharan and
Paramekkavu - Parameshwaran

The notable elephant householders are Punnathurkotta, Mangalamkunnu and Poomullimana.

Former history indicates elephants as the dignities symbol of monarchies and kings. Elephants are the winners of war. So they are considered as an indispensable part of the army. It is the symbol of regal grandeur; the elephant is at home alike in scenes of war and peace.

The God Ganesha is depicted as having an elephant face and he is worshipped to avoid in-auspiciousness. Even now the sight of an elephant is auspicious to a typical Indian mind. The Astikavadins (those who believes god exist) have not done any duties without the worship of Mahaganapati. 'Ganapatipooja' is a festive occasion of the North Indians, they observed the Vinayakacaturthi. Elephant is imagined as a personification of God.

Opportunity for further research

1. This work is done on the bans of some unpublished manuscripts. Some are yet to be brought out.

2. Many of the important works on Elephantology remain unpublished. Collecting and editing the manuscripts can be done.

3. Ancient Sanskrit literature reflects the Hastyayurvedic awareness though this was created and refresh and is to amass together and compared with the Ayurvedic accounts of Hastishastra.


Hastyayurveda and Palakapya is one of the famous classical work, like Nilakantha's Matangalila. It is the most popular topic widely recognised and connected with elephants and ancient Indian style of Ayurvedic treatment. It belongs to the class of science (Shastra) and hence it describes the myth and history and it reflects the author's genius mostly. The language exhibits all the grace of his style. It is highly elegant, being dignified, where necessary, explains in prose and verse. It presents a most charming style in brief in the dialogue. No forced constructions, no offensive concepts be mar its beauty. There has been a translation available to it which make simple to the topic.

Though resembling its pair Gajashastra in many of the above mentioned features and its structure, Hastyayurveda is differs from in many respects. It is aims to give a realistic picture of the life of elephants in a more marked degree than the other work. Temple, idol, flag, mast, elephant - are the order. For this purpose God is imagined as a king and the elephant is accompanied with that king, that solemn procession is called the temple festive occasion. The famous festive occasions in Thrissur Vatakkumnatha Temple, Perumanam and Arattupuzha.

To conclude, Sanskrit literature contains substantial evidences to highlight the importance of elephants and the benefits received by various rulers in different stages of history. The cruelty shown by some agents against this being for suffering their financial thirst, the rulers should put strict and stringent rules and regulations to safe guard this animal.

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