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

  9,00,000 species of aquatics
20,00,000 species of plants
11,00,000 species of insects/worms/reptiles
10,00,000 species of birds
30,00,000 species of animals
  4,00,000 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?

  • 5
    4 lakh species of humans? How is that even possible?
    – Surya
    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:08
  • 1
    That sloka is from Brihad vishnu purana
    – Student
    Oct 1, 2016 at 10:35
  • 2
    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, 2016 at 7:10
  • 2
    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, 2016 at 7:38
  • 1
    So basically as per research, the main division is as per the answer given below by Hanuman. Your Garuda Purana (as cited by student in the comments) Mahabharata etc all say the division is as per svedaja, andaja, udbhijja and jarayuja. They say among jarayuja manushya yoni (is only 1) is the best. Each of these divisions has 21 lakh as per Hanuman’s answer. The verse cited is not normal in accordance with the general classification, its wrong. Even Ramcharitmanas- आकर चारि लाख चौरासी। जाति जीव जल थल नभ बासी - 4 types of 84 lakh births (yonis) living in water (fish) earth (animals) sky (birds)
    – Adiyarkku
    Feb 21, 2021 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


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.


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