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Search for 8.4 million (or 84 lakh) species in Google, and several sources (mostly from Hare Krishna/ISKCON websites) claim that Padma Puranam states this shloka:

jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati krmayo rudra-sankhyakah
paksinam dasa-laksanam trimsal-laksani pasavah catur-laksani manusah

  900,000 species of aquatics
2,000,000 species of plants
1,100,000 species of insects/worms/reptiles
1,000,000 species of birds
3,000,000 species of animals
  400,000 species of humans

I tried searching for this shloka but I can only find sanskrit text pdf - vedicilluminations.com/downloads/Puranas/Padma%20Purana/padma_purana_1srishti.pdf or english translation online, not english 'transliteration'.

A previous question provides links to all but the first 2 volumes of unabridged english translation.. which is probably where the source for this shloka lies since it is in Srishti (creation) khand.

Does anyone have an actual source for this shloka ? and the further breakdown of species ?

  • I have Volume 1&2 but i don't remember where i downloaded them. I will check and tell you later. If you want to read scriptures in Sanskrit with English translation, best site would be Indian Scriptures. Unfortunately, this site doesn't have Padma Purana. – The Destroyer Dec 20 '15 at 11:07
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    4 lakh species of humans? How is that even possible? – Surya Dec 21 '15 at 11:08
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    That sloka is from Brihad vishnu purana – Student Oct 1 '16 at 10:35
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    That sloka is from Brihad vishnu purana as per Shabda Kalpa Druma whose link is sa.wikisource.org/wiki/… under the explanation of the shabda योनिः – Student Oct 16 '16 at 7:10
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    The sloka that states 84 lakh species exists can be found in Chapter 12 of Preta Kalpa in garuda puranam also here indianscriptures.com/scriptures/puranas-18-puranas-mahapurana/… – Student Oct 16 '16 at 7:38
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The number of species and their further division is mentioned in the Skanda Purana. The number (of species) is eight million and four hundred thousand (84,00,000). They are divided into four types of two million and one hundred thousand (21,00,000) species each. It was told by SriVisnu to Brahma.

Srivisnu said:

Now, dear son, create duly nether worlds, earth, rivers, seas and forests in the Cosmic Sphere. The following too should be created: trees, mountains, bipeds, animals, birds, Gandharvas, Siddhas, Yaksas, Raksasas, beasts of prey and all those living beings of eight million and four hundred thousand species. They are to be of four different types, each consisting of two million and one hundred thousand species.

They are:

(1) Udbhijjas or species of vegetation that grow breaking up the surface of the earth;

(2) Svedajas or sweat-born ones such as insects, worms etc.;

(3) Jarayujas (viviparous beings) and

(4) Andajas (oviparous beings). You create all these things quickly.”

After saying this, he vanished. The Cosmic Egg was created by Brahma in the manner as instructed.

[26-29, CHAPTER EIGHT: The Coming of Visnu, DHARMARANYA KHANDA, BRAHMA-KHANDA]

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