So in scriptures I have come across several types of birth that we would term extra ordinary. Few examples that come to my mind are

  • Kunti giving birth via vidhi obtained from Sage Durvasa
  • Kauravas being born outside womb
  • Draupadi and Dhrishtadyumna coming out of a yagna

Is there a comprehensive description or enumeration of the various types of births possible as per scriptues ? Please note I am not looking for yagnas that ensure birth i.e. Ashwamedha, Putrakameshti etc or vratas . Only the types of birth

Edit 1 Looking for human births only; not animals, plants etc

  • For mortal beings, there are 4 - Pindaja (Womb), Andaja (Egg), Svedaja (Sweat), Udbeeja (Seed). For amara (aka devas), there is no human/mortal restrictions to avatara.
    – ram
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 3:56
  • @ram - I assume you mean human when you say mortal beings. Can you put the same in an answer with a reference? Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 4:02
  • Aren't they only Yonija and Ayonija?..ur 1st instance is on how she conceive but birth was Yonija...3rd is Ayonija...2nd is Yonija but after 2yrs pregnancy instead of children a flesh came out and Vyasa divided it into 101 and did further processing..this is some how same for jarasandha who was born in 2 parts and Jara joined them..
    – YDS
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 14:46
  • @YDS - but do scriptures categorise even extra ordinary vaginal birth as yonija? Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in one comment under the question the 4 types of yoni/birth mentioned in various Hindu scriptures are --- Udbhija, Andaja, Swedaja and Jarayuja.

I have read about these types of birth in Tantras as well as in Puranas.

Quoting from the book "Essence of Padma Purana":

In this connection, Matali explained how different types of birth are envisaged and what kinds of difficulties were encountered from birth through one’s life till the end and so on. Depending on the ‘Karma’ of a ‘Praani’, births are decided as

‘Udbhija’ (sprouted from Earth like grass, vegetables etc.), ‘Swedaja’ (Krumi, Keeta and Flies), ‘Andaja’ (Birds, Fish etc. born out of eggs) and ‘Jarayuja’ (Animals, human beings etc. born out of physical bodies)

. As a result of interaction of Pancha Bhutas viz. Earth, Fire, Water, Wind and Sky, ‘Anna’ or food gets materialised as six varieties viz. Bhakshya, Bhojya, Peya, lehya, Choshya and Khadya. Anna has twelve end results viz. Paaka( the cooked), Rasa (liquids), Mala or body reject, Rakta or blood, Roma (body hairs), ‘Maamsa’ or meat, kesha or head hairs, Snaayu or sinews, Mazza (marrow), haddi or bones, ‘Vasa’ and ‘Veerya’(sperm).

Quoting from Devi Bhagavatam, 13th Chapter of the 3rd Adhyaya (states the same thing which is mentioned in Padma Purana):

  1. O King! Thus the three varieties, human beings, Devas, and Tiryakas (birds, etc.) and their great subvarieties sprang up.
  2. The four classes of Jîvas, Andaja (born from the eggs), Svedaja (born out of sweats), Udbhija (plants, etc.) and Jarâyujâ (men, etc.) were created, being endowed with the fruits of their past auspicious or inauspicious Karmas, as the case may be

Now, the kind of classification of different types of birth, you are looking for, I don't think you will get some from scriptures. Of course, I can very well be wrong on this, since Hindu scriptures is such a vast subject but that's my opinion since I have not encountered something similar so far.

The only various types of birth mentioned in the scriptures are the ones I mentioned in this answer.

  • I think OP is specifically asking for human births type.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 7:30
  • Human birth comes under Jarayuja (vaginal) and these are all the types of birth afaik. @TheLittleNaruto
    – Rickross
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 7:33
  • 1
    Thanks Rickross. But I think Kauravas and Draupadi were not vaginal births and considered humans. Pandavas and Karna were vaginal birth but not after usual 9, months gestation ( adi parva). How would we term these births ? Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 8:23
  • AFAIK these are only the various types of births given in scriptures. I don't think you will a get a classification like the one you're looking for @Carmensandiego
    – Rickross
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 6:51
  • Can you add a line in the answer stating that you have not come across such classification ? That will then address the question , and I will accept it. Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 3:01

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