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The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, [1840], at

p. 147


Families of the Daityas. Descendants of Kaśyapa by Danu. Children of Kaśyapa by his other wives. Birth of the Márutas, the sons of Diti.

THE sons of Sanhráda, the son of Hirańyakaśipu, were Áyushmán, Śivi, and Váshkala 1. Prahláda had a son named Virochana; whose son was Bali, who had a hundred sons, of whom Báńa was the eldest 2.

Hirańyáksha also had many sons, all of whom were Daityas of great prowess; Jharjhara, Śakuni, Bhútasantápana, Mahánábha, the mighty-armed and the valiant Táraka. These were the sons of Diti 3.

The children of Kaśyapa by Danu were Dwimúrddhá, Śankara, Ayomukha, Śankuśiras, Kapila, Samvara, Ekachakra, and another mighty Táraka, Swarbhánu, Vrishaparvan, Puloman, and the powerful Viprachitti; these were the renowned Dánavas, or sons of Danu 4.

Swarbhánu had a daughter named Prabhá 5; and Śarmisht́há 6 was the daughter of Vrishaparvan, as were Upadánaví and Hayaśirá 7.

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Vaiswánara 8 had two daughters, Pulomá and Káliká, who were both married to Kaśyapa, and bore him sixty thousand distinguished Dánavas, called Paulomas and Kálakanjas 9, who were powerful, ferocious, and cruel.

The sons of Viprachitti by Sinhiká (the sister of Hirańyakaśipu) were Vyanśa, Śalya the strong, Nabha the powerful, Vátápi, Namuchi, Ilwala, Khasrima, Anjaka, Naraka, and Kálanábha, the valiant Swarbhánu, and the mighty Vaktrayodhí 10. These were the most eminent Dánavas 11, through whom the race of Danu was multiplied by hundreds and thousands through succeeding generations.

In the family of the Daitya Prahláda, the Niváta Kavachas were born, whose spirits were purified by rigid austerity 12.

Támrá (the wife of Kaśyapa) had six illustrious daughters, named Śukí, Śyení, Bhásí, Sugríví, Śuchi, and Gridhriká. Śukí gave birth to parrots, owls, and crows 13; Śyení to hawks; Bhásí to kites; Gridhriká

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to vultures; Śuchi to water-fowl; Sugríví to horses, camels, and asses. Such were the progeny of Támrá.

Vinatá bore to Kaśyapa two celebrated sons, Garud́a and Aruńa: the former, also called Suparńa, was the king of the feathered tribes, and the remorseless enemy of the serpent race 14.

The children of Surasá were a thousand mighty many-headed serpents, traversing the sky 15.

The progeny of Kadru were a thousand powerful many-headed serpents, of immeasurable might, subject to Garud́a; the chief amongst whom were Śesha, Vásuki, Takshaka, Śankha, Śweta, Mahápadma, Kambala, Áswatara, Elápatra, Nága, Karkkota, Dhananjaya, and many other fierce and venomous serpents 16.

The family of Krodhavasá were all sharp-toothed monsters 17, whether on the earth, amongst the birds, or in the waters, that were devourers of flesh.

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 18Surabhi was the mother of cows and buffaloes 19: Irá, of trees and creeping plants and shrubs, and every kind of grass: Khasá, of the Rákshasas and Yakshas 20: Muni, of the Apsarasas 21: and Arisht́á, of the illustrious Gandharbas.

These were the children of Kaśyapa, whether movable or stationary, whose descendants multiplied infinitely through successive generations 22. This creation, oh Brahman, took place in the second or Swárochisha Manwantara. In the present or Vaivaswata Manwantara, Brahmá being engaged at the great sacrifice instituted by Varuńa, the creation of progeny, as it is called, occurred; for he begot, as his sons, the seven Rishis, who were formerly mind-engendered; and was himself the grand-sire of the Gandharbas, serpents, Dánavas, and gods 23.

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Diti, having lost her children, propitiated Kaśyapa; and the best of ascetics, being pleased with her, promised her a boon; on which she prayed for a son of irresistible prowess and valour, who should destroy Indra. The excellent Muni granted his wife the great gift she had solicited, but with one condition: "You shall bear a son," he said, "who shall slay Indra, if with thoughts wholly pious, and person entirely pure, you carefully carry the babe in your womb for a hundred years." Having thus said, Kaśyapa departed; and the dame conceived, and during gestation assiduously observed the rules of mental and personal purity. When the king of the immortals, learnt that Diti bore a son destined for his destruction, he came to her, and attended upon her with the utmost humility, watching for an opportunity to disappoint her intention. At last, in the last year of the century, the opportunity occurred. Diti

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retired one night to rest without performing the prescribed ablution of her feet, and fell asleep; on which the thunderer divided with his thunderbolt the embryo in her womb into seven portions. The child, thus mutilated, cried bitterly; and Indra repeatedly attempted to console and silence it, but in vain: on which the god, being incensed, again divided each of the seven portions into seven, and thus formed the swift-moving deities called Márutas (winds). They derived this appellation from the words with which Indra had addressed them (Má rodíh, 'Weep not'); and they became forty-nine subordinate divinities, the associates of the wielder of the thunderbolt 24.


147:1 The Padma P. makes these the sons of Prahláda. The Bhágavata says there were five sons, but does not give the names. It also inserts the sons of Hláda, making them the celebrated demons Ilwala and Vátápi. The Váyu refers to Hláda, other Daityas, famous in Pauráńic legend, making his son, Nisunda; and his sons, Sunda and Upasunda; the former the father of Marícha and Táraká; the latter, of Múka.

147:2 The Padma P. and Váyu name several of these, but they are not of any note: the latter gives the names of two daughters, who are more celebrated, Pútaná and Śakuni.

147:3 The descendants of Hirańyáksha are said, in the Padma P., to have extended to seventy-seven crores, or seven hundred and seventy millions. Some copies, for Táraka, read Kálanábha.

147:4 The Padma and Váyu P. furnish a much longer list of names, but those of most note are the same as in the text, with which also the Bhágavata for the most part agrees.

147:5 The Bhágavata makes Prabhá the wife of Namuchi: according to the Váyu, she is the mother of Nahusha.

147:6 Married to Yayáti, as will be related.

147:7 The text might be understood to imply that the latter two were the daughters of Vaiswánara; and the Bhágavata has, "The four lovely daughters of Vaiswánara were Upadánaví, Hayaśiras, Pulomá, and Kálaká." The Padma substitutes Vajrá and Sundarí for the two former names. The Váyu specifies only Pulomá and Káliká as the daughters of Vaiswánara, as does our text. Upadánaví, according to the Bhágavata, is the wife of Hirańyáksha; and Hayaśiras, of Kratu.

148:8 Though not specified by the text as one of the Dánavas, he is included in the catalogue of the Váyu, and the commentator on the Bhágavata calls him a son of Danu.

148:9 The word is also read Kúlakas and Kálakeyas: the Mahábhárata, I. 643, has Kálakanjas.

148:10 The text omits the two most celebrated of the Sainhikeyas, or sons of Sinhiká, Ráhu (see p. 78. note 8) and Ketu, who are specified both in the Bhágavata and the Váyu; the former as the eldest son. Of the other sons it is said by the Váyu that they were all killed by Paraśuráma.

148:11 Two names of note, found in the Váyu, are omitted by the Vishńu; that of Puloman, the father of Śachí, the wife of Indra, and mother of Jayanta; and Maya, the father of Vajrakámá and Mahodarí.

148:12 The Bhágavata says the Paulomas were killed by Arjuna, who therefore, the commentator observes, were the same as the Niváta Kavachas: but the Mahábhárata describes the destruction of the Niváta Kavachas and of the Paulomas and Kálakeyas as the successive exploits of Arjuna. Vana P. 8. I. 633. The story is narrated in detail only in the Mahábhárata, which is consequently prior to all the Puráńas in which the allusion occurs. According to that work, the Niváta Kavachas were Dánavas, to the number of thirty millions, residing in the depths of the sea; and the Paulomas and Kálakanjas were the children of two Daitya dames, Pulomá and Kálaká, inhabiting Hiranyapura, the golden city, floating in the air.

148:13 All the copies read ### which should be, 'Śúkí bore parrots; and Ulúkí, the several sorts of owls? but Ulúkí is nowhere named as one of the daughters of Támrá; and the reading may be, 'Owls p. 149 and birds opposed to owls, i. e. crows. The authorities generally concur with our text; but the Váyu has a somewhat different account; or, Śukí, married to Garud́a, the mother of parrots: Śyení, married to Aruńa, mother of Sampáti and Jat́áyu: Bhásí, the mother of jays, owls, crows, peacocks, pigeons, and fowls: Kraunchi, the parent of curlews, herons, cranes: and Dhritaráshtrí, the mother of geese, ducks, teal, and other water-fowl. The three last are also called the wives of Garud́a.

149:14 Most of the Puráńas agree in this account; but the Bhágavata makes Vinatá the wife of Tárksha, and in this place substitutes Saramá, the mother of wild animals. The Váyu adds the metres of the Vedas as the daughters of Vinatá; and the Padma gives her one daughter Saudáminí.

149:15 The dragons of modern fable. Anáyush or Danáyush is substituted for Surasá in the Váyu, and in one of the accounts of the Padma. The Bhágavata says Rákshasas were her offspring. The Matsya has both Surasá and Anáyush, making the former the parent of all quadrupeds, except cows; the latter, the mother of diseases.

149:16 The Váyu names forty: the most noted amongst whom, in addition to those of the text, are Airávata, Dhritarásht́ra, Mahánila, Baláhaka, Anjana, Pushpadansht́ra, Durmukha, Kálíya, Puńd́aríka, Kapila, Náhusha, and Mańi.

149:17 By Dansht́rińa some understand, serpents, some Rákshasas; but by the context carnivorous animals, birds, and fishes seem intended. The Váyu makes Krodhavaśá the mother of twelve daughters, Mrigí and others, from whom all wild animals, deer, elephants, monkeys, tigers, lions, dogs, also fishes, reptiles, and Bhútas and Piśáchas, or goblins, sprang.

150:18 One copy only inserts a half stanza here; "Krodhá was the mother of the Piśáchas;" which is an interpolation apparently from the Matsya or Hari Vanśa. The Padma P., second legend, makes Krodhá the mother of the Bhútas; and Piśáchá, of the Piśáchás.

150:19 The Bhágavata says, of animals with cloven hoofs. The Váyu has, of the eleven Rudras, of the bull of Śiva, and of two daughters, Rohińí and Gandharbí; from the former of whom descended horned cattle; and from the latter, horses.

150:20 According to the Váyu, Khasá had two sons, Yaksha and Rákshas, severally the progenitors of those beings.

150:21 The Padma, second series, makes Vách the mother of both Apsarasas and Gandharbas: the Váyu has long lists of the names of both classes, as well as of Vidyádharas and Kinnaras. The Apsarasas are distinguished as of two kinds, Laukika, 'worldly,' of whom thirty-four are specified; and Daivika, or 'divine,' ten in number: the latter furnish the individuals most frequently engaged in the interruption of the penances of holy sages, such as Menaká, Sahajanyá, Ghritáchí, Pramlochá, Viswáchi, and Púrvachitti. Urvaśí is of a different order to both, being the daughter of Náráyańa. Rambhá, Tilotamá Misrakeśí, are included amongst the Laukika nymphs. There are also fourteen Gańas, or troops, of Apsarasas, bearing peculiar designations, as Áhútas, Sobhayantís, Vegavatís, &c.

150:22 The Kúrma, Matsya, Bráhma, Linga, Agni, Padma, and Váyu Puráńas agree generally with our text in the description of Kaśyapa's wives and progeny. The Váyu enters most into details, and contains very long catalogues of the names of the different characters descended from the sage. The Padma and Matsya and the Hari Vanśa repeat the story, but admit several variations, some of which have been adverted to in the preceding notes.

150:23 We have a considerable variation here in the commentary, and it may be doubted if the allusion in the text is accurately explained by either of the versions. In one it is said that 'Brahmá, the grandsire of p. 151 the Gandharbas, &c., appointed the seven Rishis, who were born in a former Manwantara, to be his sons, or to be the intermediate agents in creation: he created no other beings himself, being engrossed by the sacrificial ceremony.' Instead of "putratwe," 'in the state of sons,' the reading is sometimes "pitratwe," 'in the character of fathers;' that is, to all other beings. Thus the gods and the rest, who in a former Manwantara originated from Kaśyapa, were created in the present period as the offspring of the seven Rishis. The other explanation agrees with the preceding in ascribing the birth of all creatures to the intermediate agency of the seven Rishis, but calls them the actual sons of Brahmá, begotten at the sacrifice of Vanilla, in the sacrificial fire. The authority for the story is not given, beyond its being in other Puráńas, it has the air of a modern mystification. The latter member of the passage is separated altogether from the foregoing, and carried on to what follows: thus; "In the war of the Gandharbas, serpents, gods, and demons, Diti having lost her children," &c.; the word 'virodha' being understood, it is said, This is defended by the authority of the Hari Vanśa, where the passage occurs word for word, except in the last half stanza, which, instead of ### occurs ###. The parallel passages are thus rendered by M. Langlois: 'Le Mouni Swarotchicha avoit cessé de régner quand cette création eut lieu: c’était sous l’empire du Menou Vevaswata le sacrifice de Varouna avait commencé. La première création fut celle de Brahmá, quand il jugea qu’il était temps de procéder à son sacrifice, et que, souverain aïeul du monde, il forma lui-même dans sa pensée et enfanta les sept Brahmarchis.'

152:24 This legend occurs in all those Puráńas in which the account of Kaśyapa's family is related.

Next: Chapter XXII