What is name of tiger in vedic-age? Is he present in rig-veda? If no then only refrence other vedas and scriptures.


Is simha a word used for both tigers and lions in rig-veda and other scriptures? (AND PROOF REGARDING THIS?)

  • 1
    I am curious to know the reason of your this curiosity. Jan 2, 2018 at 16:35
  • In Rigveda, सिंह is there..if u wish i can add Richa..व्याघ्र or शार्दूल might not be there in RIgveda..
    – YDS
    Jan 2, 2018 at 16:56
  • While many words for animals have contextual meanings, I have not come across a confusion between simha and vyaaghra or shaardoola. Jan 3, 2018 at 2:56

3 Answers 3


In the Atharva Veda (denoted by AV here), at least, the tiger is mentioned. It's mentioned as VyAghra. And, the lion as Simha. The following Mantra makes mention of both the tiger and the lion.

Ye ta AranyAh pashavo mrigA vane hitAh,
SimhA vyAghrAh purushAd charanti,
Ulam vrikam prithivi ducchunAmita rakshikam raksho,
Apa vAdhayAsmat ||

The animals of the forest, and wild beasts of the woods, lions, tigers, man-eaters that prowl about, the hyena, the wolf, the bear with its evil ways (ducchunAm), and demons (rakshah), drive these out, from here, away from us, O Earth.

AV 12.1.49

This Mantra is asking Mother Earth to protect us from these wild and harmful creatures.



(As mentioned in the comments) I have performed a quick search through Rig Veda (translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith). Apparently "tiger" is not mentioned in it. In YajurVeda (YV) some references are there. But, i am not sure what exact word (or words) are translated as tiger by the translator. So, can't help in this regard.

(Thou art) the calf of eighteen months in strength, the Tristubh metre; the two−year−old in strength, the Viraj metre; the two−and−a−half year−old in strength, the Gayatri metre; the three−year−old in strength, the Usnih metre; the four−year−old in strength, the Anustubh metre; the draught ox in strength, the Brhati metre; the bull in strength, the Satobrhati metre; the bullock in strength, the Kakubh metre; the milch cow in strength, the Jagati metre; the beast of burden in strength, the Pankti metre; the goat in strength, the spacious metre; the ram in strength, the slow metre; the tiger in strength, the unassailable metre; the lion in strength, the covering metre; the support in strength, the overlord metre; the lordly power in strength, the delight−giving metre; the all−creating in strength, the supreme lord metro; the head in strength, the Prajapati metre.

YV Book 4, Part 3.

The bow of thine, O Rudra, above, may the wind blow after it for thee, to thee, O Rudra, with the year I pay homage. Agni is Rudra; just as a tiger stands in anger, so he also (stands); when piled with these he reverences him; verily with homage he soothes him. b5p5

To Indra, the king, a boar; to Varuna, the king, a black (antelope); to Yama, the king, a deer; to the bull, the king, a Gayal; to the tiger, the king, a Bos Gavaeus [sic]; to the king of men a monkey; for the swift falcon a quail; for the Nilangu (snake) a worm; for Soma, the king, a gazelle; for the ocean a crocodile; for the snowy mountain an elephant.

The eagle for Parjanya; the swan, the wolf, the cat, these are for Indra; the otter for the waters; the jackal is (to be offered) to Aryaman; the lion, the ichneumon, the tiger, these are (to be offered) to great Indra; the rhinoceros to desire.

From different parts of YV Book5, Part5.


In the following Mantra from Krishna Yajur Veda 5.5.7 a tiger is mentioned as Pitva. This is interesting and new for me.

Here is the full Mantra:

Prishato vaishadevoh pitvo nyanku kashastehanumatyA anyavApohardhamAsAnAm mAsAm kashyapah kriyih kutarurdAtauhaste sinivAlya brihaspataye shitputah ||

A multi colored deer, which is having white spots on it's body, is ought to be brought for Vaishadeva. For the RAtri Deity called Anumati, a tiger (pitva), a Nyanku (a kind of deer), a Riksha (another kind of deer/Mriga) are ought to be bought ...... and for Brihaspati one ought to bring a Shitput (a kind of animal which is similar to dog).

  • Thanks rickross isn't it in rig veda? Jan 2, 2018 at 16:04
  • @Fiercelord I am not sure bro.
    – Rickross
    Jan 2, 2018 at 16:10
  • @Fiercelord I have made some quick searches in Rig Veda (Grifith's translation) and also on Yajurveda (search incomplete). Apparently tiger is not there in Rig Veda, but found in Yajur Veda.
    – Rickross
    Jan 3, 2018 at 5:36

Tigers aren't mentioned in the Rig Veda Samhita, but they are mentioned in this chapter of the Kaushitaki Upanishad, which is part of the Shankhayana Aranyaka of the Rig Veda:

vṛṣṭirbhūtvā varṣati sa iha kīṭo vā pataṅgo vā śakunirvā śārdūlo vā siṃho vā matsyo vā paraśvā vā puruṣo vānyo vaiteṣu sthāneṣu pratyājāyate

And according to his deeds and according to his knowledge he is born again here as a worm, or as an insect, or as a fish, or as a bird, or as a lion, or as a boar, or as a serpent, or as a tiger, or as a man, or as something else in different places.

They're also mentioned in this chapter of the Taittiriya Samhita of the Yajur Veda:

Now the man who is consecrated is a foetus, the consecration-shed is the womb (in which he is). If the man who is consecrated were to leave the consecration-shed, it would be as when a foetus falls from the womb. He must not leave, to guard himself. The fire here is a tiger to guard the house. Therefore if the man who is consecrated were to leave (the shed), he would be likely to spring up and slay him. He must not leave, to protect himself.

They're also mentioned in many places of the Vajasaneyi Samhita of the Yajur Veda, for instance in this chapter:

My she, Vishûchikâ, who guards these two, the tiger and the wolf, the lion and the wingèd hawk, may she guard this man from distress.

And they're mentioned in many places in the Shatapatha Brahmana, for instance in this chapter:

Now, once upon a time, a tiger killed the samrâg-cow of those (who were sacrificing) with (the king of the) Kesin as their Grihapati. He (the king) said to his fellow-sacrificers, 'What atonement is there for this?' They replied, 'There is no atonement for this: Khandika Audbhâri alone knows an atonement for it; but he certainly desires as much as this, and worse than this, (to happen) to thee.'

And most of all, it's mentioned in countless hymns of the Atharvana Veda, because they're an important threat to be warded against. For instance, this hymn:

A Charm against tigers, wolves, thieves and other noxious creatures   Three have gone hence and passed away, the man, the tiger, and the wolf. Down, verily, the rivers flow, down-goeth the celestial Tree, down let our foemen bend and bow. On distant pathway go the wolf, on pathway most remote the thief! On a far road speed forth the rope with teeth, and the malicious man! We crush and rend to pieces both thine eyes, O Tiger, and thy jaws and all the twenty claws we break. We break and rend the tiger first of creatures that are armed with teeth; The robber then, and then the snake, the sorcerer, and then the wolf. The thief who cometh near to-day departeth bruised and crushed to bits. By nearest way let him be gone. Let Indra slay him with his bolt. Let the beast's teeth be broken off, shivered and shattered be his ribs! Slack be thy bowstring: downward go the wild beast that pursues the hare! Open not what thou hast compressed, close not what thou hast not compressed. Indra's and Soma's child, thou art Atharvan's tiger-crushing charm.

  • Thanks, i was wondering for rigveda but no problem i think they aren't.;) Jan 2, 2018 at 18:12
  • @Fiercelord they're at least mentioned in the Aranyakas of the Rig Veda as I said in the beginning of my answer. Jan 2, 2018 at 18:33

Adding on to other answers, both vyAghra and siMgha are mentioned the Chandayoga Upanishad (6.10.2).

evam eva khalu somyemāḥ sarvāḥ prajāḥ sata āgamya na viduḥ sata āgacchāmaha iti \
ta iha vyāghrosiṃho vā vṛko vā varāho vā kīṭo vā pataṅgo vā daṃśo vā maśako vā yad yad bhavanti tad ābhavanti

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    Yes, that Chandogya Upanishad passage is the counterpart to that Kaushitaki Upanishad passage that I cited in my answer above. They're both part of a Brahmavidya called the Panchagni Vidya, which i discuss here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/6929/36 Jan 3, 2018 at 3:56

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