Showing posts with label Airavata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Airavata. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Symbolism Associated With Elephants In India?

 

In ancient India, an elephant was one of the symbols of monarchy, partly because an elephant's voracious appetite would quickly bankrupt anybody professing to have royal riches. 

Elephants figure in the Hindu pantheon as well: Indra's animal chariot is the heavenly elephant Airavata, and Ganesh bears an elephant's head on a human body as a reminder of his fight with Shiva. 



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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Is Airavata?

The celestial elephant who serves as Indra's (King of the Gods) chariot in Hindu mythology. 


  • Airavata's sole major part in any myth is as the final reason why the gods must churn the Ocean of Milk. 
  • Durvasas, the strong and irascible sage, bestows a garland to Indra one day. Airavata tosses the garland on the ground when Indra puts it on her. 
  • The causes for this vary—in one version, Airavata is afflicted by bees, while in another, the smell of the blossoms intoxicates him. 
  • Durvasas takes this as an insult and curses the gods with old age and death as a result of his rage. 
  • The nectar of immortality, which can only be obtained by churning the Ocean of Milk, is the only method for the gods to escape the curse's consequences. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.