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By M. A. Alwar

Sometimes transliterated as: Ira, IrA, Iraa


Irā is a feminine form.


It can be derived in two ways:

  1. It can be split as "iṁ kāmaṁ rāti dadāti" which means 'That which fulfills desires' by adding the suffix ka to i+rā.
  2. It can be split as "eti gacchatīti" which means 'That which goes'. It is obtained by adding the suffix i+ran+ṭāp with the absence of guṇa by nipātana.


It is used in several meanings:

  1. The Earth
  2. Sentence
  3. Liquor
  4. Water[1]
  5. Sarasvatī[2]
  6. Food
  7. One of the wives of Kaśyapa
  8. Name of a demon
  9. Water



In the sense of water as, “Carrying water, and sprinkling ghee, Let them enter along with MItra.”[3]


In the sense of wife of Kaśyapa as in, “I shall now recite the names of the lawful wives of Kaśyapa – Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kālā, Amāyu, Siṁhikā, Muni, Kadru, Prādhā, Irā, Krodhā, Vinatā, Surabhi, Khaśā”[4]


In the sense of a demon as in “Marīciḥ, Maghavān, Irā, śañkhaśirāḥ and Vṛkaḥ”.[5]


  1. As per Amara.
  2. As per Śabdaratnāvalī.
  3. Āśvalāyanagṛhyasūtram 2|9.
  4. Her creation, as in इरा वृक्षलता वल्ली... Garuḍa, Chapter 6
  5. Harivaṁśam 3|82
  • Shabdakalpadrumah by Raja Radhakantdev, Varadaprasada Vasu, Haricarana Vasu