Questions tagged [mythology]

For questions about stories that are part of Hindu religious beliefs. Hindu mythology can be found throughout Hindu scriptures like the Vedas, Puranas, Ramayana, and Mahabharata.

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What were the seven curses said by the goddesses to Lord Vishnu?

It is believed that when Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Venkateshwara Swamy, the goddesses (Lord Vishnu's two wives) gave seven curses to Him. For each curse, Lord Vishnu took one step back from them ...
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What is the story of Alambusha, demon son of sage Rishyasringa?

Alambusha, AKA Shalakantaka, was a Rakshasa (demon) who fought on the Kaurava side in the Mahabharata war. As described in the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata, he was the one who killed Arjuna's son ...
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How did Varaha's son Narakasura become evil?

One of Krishna's most famous deeds is his killing of the demon Narakasura, which is the inspiration of the holiday Deepavali. Narakasura was tormenting the gods and had even stolen the earrings of ...
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Who is the Samaveda-singing Brahmin incarnation of Vishnu prophesied in the Skanda Purana?

As I discuss in this question, one of the early movements that was important in the development of Vaishnavism was the ancient Pancharatra movement, whose sacred texts consisted of detailed procedures ...
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When did Chandra defeat the Asuras with Arjuna's chariot?

As I discuss in this answer, the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata describes how Agni the fire god once needed to consume the Khandava forest in order to get over a malady, but Indra kept using rainstorms ...
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802 views

What form did Vishnu take in the Battle of Ten Kings?

According to the Rig Veda Anukramani, the seer of Mandala 7 of the Rig Veda is the sage Vashishta, and in the following verse from Mandala 7, Vasishta addresses Vishnu: What was there to be blamed ...
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What is the story of Yashoda's daughter fighting the rebirths of the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha?

As I discuss in this answer, the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha once defeated the gods and took over the three worlds. The gods went to Mount Kailash to ask Durga for help. After they said a prayer to ...
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When was Shiva a disciple of sage Angiras?

One of the most famous wars between the gods and the Asuras (demons) was the Tarakamaya war. The war was started when Chandra the moon god kidnapped Tara, wife of Brihaspati guru of the gods. (...
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Does Sadashiva ride a tortoise?

In this excerpt from the Manava Shrauta Sutras, a text associated with the Yajur Veda, a certain ritual for worshiping Shiva is described. As part of this ritual, the five-headed form of Shiva is ...
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What is the story of Brahma forgetting his knowledge after teaching Indra?

The Rahasyatraya Sara is a work by the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Vedanta Desikan, concerning the meaning of the Rahasya Traya or three secrets of the Sri Vaishnava sect (of which I'm a member). (One of ...
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When did Dvivida the ape try to kidnap Krishna?

As I discuss in this question, the Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata describes how Krishna goes to Duryodhana on behalf of the Pandavas in order to try to negotiate peace and avert the Mahabharata war. ...
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Why was Shishupala born with three eyes and four arms?

From this answer by Keshav Srinivasan, Shishupala had three eyes and four arms. When Shishupala was born, he had three eyes and four arms, which terrified his parents, the king and queen of Chedi. ...
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How did Kripacharya become “Chiranjivi”?

Kripacharya, is one of the Chiranjivi (long lived) mentioned in the Sapta Chiranjivi Stuthi - Ashwathaama Balirvyaaso Hanumanshach Vibhishanha Krupascha Parshuramascha Saptaitey Chiranjivinaha ...
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When did Vibhishana stop being king of Lanka?

In this chapter of the Yuddha Kanda of the Ramayana, after Ravana's death his brother Vibhishana is coronated as the king of Lanka: Hearing the words of the great soled Rama, Lakshmana replied, 'so ...
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What scriptures describe Vishnu marrying a rebirth of the golden Sita statue?

I'm currently visiting India, and I just went to my Mom's Kula Devata, the Veeraraghava Perumal Vishnu Temple in Thiruvallore. Many things have happened in this location over the ages, including ...
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How did the Advaita Acharya Gaudapada meet Vyasa's son Shuka?

The most prominent thinker of the Advaita Vedanta school is Adi Shankaracharaya, but he wasn't the founder of Advaita; Adi Shankaracharaya's guru Govinda and Govinda's guru Gaudapada were also ...
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How was the Madhu Vidya passed down before Dadhichi?

As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school, which bases its tenets on the doctrines laid out in the Brahma Sutras, a work by the sage Vyasa ...
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Who is Sarasvati's daughter Kotara?

According to this extract from the Uttarakhanda of Padma Purana there is a Goddess named Kotara/Kotaraksi that was worshiped by Aniruddha (Krishna's son) during his battle against Banasura. Krishna ...
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What is the story of Vishnu's incarnation Hari, who rescued the elephant Gajendra?

One of the most famous stories of Vishnu is the Gajendra Moksham episode, described the Eighth Skanda of the Srimad Bhagavatam. For those who don't know, once a king named Indradyumna, who was a ...
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What is the story of Vamana's wife Kirti and son Brihatshloka?

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, there's a description of the spouses and descendants of the Adityas, a group of 12 gods who are the sons of Aditi and the sage Kashyapa. The Adityas include Surya, Indra, ...
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Which sage will learn the Vishnu Purana at the end of the Kali Yuga?

The sage Krishna Dvaipayana Vedavyasa (or Vyasa for short) is generally viewed as the author of the 18 Puranas. But actually the sage Parashara, Vyasa's father, authored two of them, the Vishnu ...
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What is the mystery of ayOnija (अयोनिज) births?

We will come across Sita in Valmiki Ramayana, as ayOnija - अयोनिज, a non-uterine birth. Similarly, in Mahabharata, we read about Draupadi and Dhristadyumna, who are also ayOnijas, borne out of fire. ...
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Was the Akshay Patra ever used before Mahabharat?

Chapter 9 of Book 12 of the Devi Bhagvat Puran mentions the following benediction by Devi Gayatri to Rishi Gautam: Thus praised and worshipped, the World-Mother appeared and gave to the Risi one ...
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Where does the Advaitin commentator Anandagiri discuss the authenticity of Hindu stories?

As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school, which bases its tenets on the doctrines laid out in the Brahma Sutras, a work by the sage Vyasa ...
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680 views

What scriptures describe the origin of Arjuna's monkey flag?

In the Mahabharata, Arjuna is frequently described as Kadipdhvaja, or the one who has a monkey flag. In the popular imagination, this flag is associated with Hanuman. And this association does have ...
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Who is Saraswati's guru “Ambhini”?

As I discuss in this answer, each of the four Vedas consists of four portions: Samhitas, the core part of the Vedas consisting of verses heard from the gods; Brahmanas, which provide instructions on ...
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Who is the sage Pundarika who saw Vishnu coming out of a Shiva Linga?

I'm currently visiting India, and I just passed by a Vishnu temple in the town of Thiruparkadal in Tamil Nadu. Thiruparkadal is Tamil for "ocean of milk" (Kshirsagara in Sanskrit), referring to the ...
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Do the Brahmanas of the Rig Veda mention Brahma and Vishnu's contest?

This excerpt from the Vidyeshwara Samhita of the Shiva Purana relates a famous story involving a contest between Brahma and Vishnu. (To read the whole Shiva Purana, see my answer here.) In this ...
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Did Shiva's incarnation Lakulisha meet Krishna or other Mahabharata characters?

In this excerpt from the Shatarudra Samhita of the Shiva Purana, Shiva tells Brahma about his incarnations (avataras) in the Dwapara Yugas of the various Mahayugas in the Vaivasvata Manvantara (the ...
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Why was Shakuni cursed by the gods to be evil?

In this chapter of the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, the births of various notable characters are described. Here is what it says about Duryodhana's uncle Shakuni: Then was born the disciple of ...
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What happened to Vishnu's incarnation Narayana after his Pancharatra Yagna?

As I discuss in this answer, one of the most prominent incarnations of Vishnu in ancient times was the sage Narayana, twin brother of the sage Nara and son of Yama god of death. Nara and Narayana ...
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How do gods/devatas procreate?

I have found people claiming that gods do not procreate like humans but procreate without any bodily union on Quora, does this idea have scriptural backing?
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What is the story of Vishnu incarnating as a mango tree in the Dandaka forest?

The Sri Vaishnava sect has two sub-sects, Thenkalai and Vadakalai. Vadakalais follow the teachings of Vedanta Desikan, whereas Thenkalais follow the teachings of Pillai Lokacharya. My question is ...
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What is the story of Indra being turned into an elephant by Saraswati?

I'm currently visiting India, and I just went to the Varadaraja Perumal Vishnu temple in Kanchipuram. It's such an important temple that Sri Vaishnavas refer to it simply as "Perumal Koil" or "the ...
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Was Bhishma Dyaus-incarnate or 1/8th of all Vasus?

It is the common knowledge that, it was Prabhas (Dyaus), one of the Vasus, incarnated as Bhishma due to curse. Following passage from the Mahabharata supports it. From this chapter of Sambhava Parva: ...
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What script did Ganesha write the Mahabharata in?

The first chapter of the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata describes how Vyasa dictated the Mahabharata to Ganesha, who wrote it down: Brahma said. 'I esteem thee for thy knowledge of divine mysteries, ...
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What is the story of Prahlada being held hostage by the gods?

Most people only know the childhood of Prahlada, who was rescued from his from Hiranyakashipu by Vishnu's incarnation. What is less well-known, however, Prahlada's adulthood. As king of the Asuras, ...
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What scriptures describe Shwetadvipa being underground with gates at Tirupati and other places?

In Hindu cosmology, the Earth is said to have seven Dvipas or islands. Many people (myself included) believe that the seven Dvipas refer to the seven continents, which is why Hindu rituals in India ...
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What is the source of the legend of Vyāghrapāda?

Which Hindu scripture narrates the story of Vyāghrapāda (the name literally means tiger-footed)? From Wikipedia: Vyaghrapada was a rishi and he was entrusted with the task of picking up fresh ...
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Who is the god Pratyanika worshipped before Hindu marriages?

In this chapter of the Shankhayana Grihya Sutras, a text associated with the Rig Veda, part of the Hindu marriage ceremony is described. In preparing the bride for the marriage, the bride's family ...
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Is Shiva's son Kartikeya the rishi of two hymns of the Rig Veda?

As I discuss in this answer, how the Vedas originated is that from time immemorial, sages known as Dhristas have heard sacred verses directly from the gods during a state of Tapasya (deep meditation). ...
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What is the story of Parashurama's wife Dharani?

In this passage of the Vishnu Purana, the various incarnations of Vishnu's wife Lakshmi are described: For in like manner as the lord of the world, the god of gods, Janárddana, descends amongst ...
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Why is the family deity of Venkateshwara the Sami tree?

As I discuss in this question, the book "Venkatachala - Its Glory" is a translation of the Sthala Purana (temple scripture) of the famous Tirupati temple, and this temple scripture consists of ...
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Do any scriptures apart fom Sabarimala Sthala Purana foretell the birth of Ayyappa?

One of the most popular religious destinations in the world is the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala; it gets far more visitors per year than Tirupati and the Vatican combined! The story of the temple ...
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What scriptures describe the Rishi Shalihotra cutting the wings off of horses?

The Ashva Shastra is a work of unknown authorship about the nature and proper care of horses. Now this chapter of the Ashva Shastra says that there used to be winged horses, but then Indra asked the ...
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What was the story of sage Kandu killing a cow following his father's words?

Rama is known as embodiment of Dharma. He followed his father's words and went to exile for 14 years. When Rama was ordered to leave the city to leave to forest, his mother Kaikeyi and his brother ...
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Which Sri Vaishnava works discuss Parashara’s Sharanagati for all Jivas?

The Sri Vaishnava sect has two sub-sects, Thenkalai and Vadakalai. Vadakalais follow the teachings of Vedanta Desikan, whereas Thenkalais follow the teachings of Pillai Lokacharya. My question is ...
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How does Vedanta Desikan interpret Ramanujacharya’s statement about Brihaspati’s brother Samvarta?

The Satadhusani is a work by the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Vedanta Desikan consisting of 100 refutations of Adi Shankaracharya's philosophy of Advaita. One chapter of the work is devoted to refuting the ...
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For how many manvantaras did Prithu rule the Earth?

Prithu, son of Vena is a partial incarnation of Lord Vishnu who ruled the Earth for a long time. He is also mentioned in the Vedas. He is the seer of Mandala 10 hymn 148 of the Rigveda. He is famous ...
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A Time Bomb placed in Patal lok

In 99th Adhyay of Udhyog-Parv of Mahabharat. When Krishna went to Hastinapur as a peace delegate. In the assembly of Hastinapur, Devrishi Narad told a story about his visit to Patal-Lok with Matli (...