Consider the following Shloka from Mahabharata

तत्र चासीद अमेयात्मा विद्युद अग्निसमप्रभः

भौवनः सुमहावीर्यः सॊमस्य परिरक्षिता (Adi Parva chapter 28)

tatra cāsīd ameyātmā vidyud agnisamaprabhaḥ
bhauvanaḥ sumahāvīryaḥ somasya parirakṣitā

The translation contains the word electric for विद्युद

And amongst those that guarded the Soma was Brahmana (the celestial architect), of measureless might, effulgent as the electric fire and of great energy.

What is meant by विद्युद here? Does it refers to electrifying (intensive) fire or any other meaning?

1 Answer 1


Bibek Debroy translates the phrase vidyud agnisamaprabhaḥ as: as radiant as the lightning and fire. So, vidyud (विद्युद) here simply means lightning.

Astika Parva - Chapter 28

Souti said, 'O best of the twice born! When this turmoil was going on, Garuda, the king of the birds, swiftly came to where the gods were. Having seen his great strength, the gods began to tremble in fear. They even began to attack each other with their weapons. Among those guarding the soma, was Bhouvana,95 as radiant as the lightning and fire and unparalleled in his great valour...


95 Vishvakarma is the architect of the gods and Bhouvana (or Bhoumana) is one of his names.

Debroy, Bibek. The Mahabharata: Volume 1 (pp. 95-96)

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