What are the duties & responsibilities of Ashta Dikpalakas? Are they considered gods/demigods? Can they be worshiped for any specific purpose?

Why are Ūrdhvā & Adho dikpalakas are not prominent?

I heard eating, reading, worshiping/sadhana, travelling in each of these directions will bestow something! Is it true? If yes, please explain.

  • 2
    Dik- means direction; paalaka means ruler. Therefore, dikpalaka means the person who is the ruler of that direction/disha/dik. We know that there are eight direction of a plane surface. Also thare are two directions vertically that is above/oordhwa/zenith/aakash and below/adho/nadir/paatal.The vertical directions are not taken into consideration in Vaasthu shastra.
    – user2643
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 16:36
  • If daily recited the slokams of Ashta Dikbalagas we will be guarded by them. In Tamil book Kudumba jodidam slokas are given which contain 4 lines for each balagas. Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 10:31

1 Answer 1


Ashta Dikpalakas (Dikpalas) :

Ashta Dikpalas are the guardians of direction. There are eight deities who are responsible for protecting the eight directions of the world, they are known as Ashta Dikpalakas. They are:

Kubera : for North (Uttara)
Yama : for South (Dakshina)
Indra : for East (Pūrva)
Varuna : for West (Paścima)
Isana (Shiva) : for North-East (Īśānya)
Agni : South-East (Āgneya)
Vayu : North-West (Vāyavya)
Nirrti (sometimes Raksasa) : South-West (Nairṛti)

In addition to these there are two more deities added for extra dicrections and then the Dikpalakas are considered as being 10 or Dasa-Dikpalakas, being

Brahma : Zenith (Ūrdhva)
Vishnu : Nadir (Adho)

The Ūrdhva and Adho are also considered, but not so prominent, because the major use of the Dikpalakas as enlisted in the Vastu-Shastra which observes only the eight major directions.

The Vastu-Shahstra on relation with the eight direction, defines the eating,sleeping, reading and worshiping habbits, a common e.g. is not to sleep with your legs facing the South(Dakshina) direction.

The Dikpalas are also considered as Lokpalas when considered as the guardian of universe directions.

  • 1
    You should cite sources. Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 0:41
  • @KeshavSrinivasan, I will add links :)
    – Mr. K
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 0:49
  • @Mr.K Then who is the ruler of these dikpalakas?
    – user12458
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 18:41
  • @JavaTechnical, the guardians are the only rulers, technically they don't behave like a ruler but helpers or guardians, but as they guard them, they rule them.
    – Mr. K
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 20:24
  • Could someone explain , what exactly they guard directions from ?. What is the need to have guardians for directions ? I am bit curious, do they guard directions to stop rakshasas or danavas coming to earth?.
    – tekkk
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 17:42

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