By Swami Harshananda
Daṇḍapāṇi literally means ‘one who holds the daṇḍa or the staff in his hand’.
In the mythological and iconographical literature, daṇḍapāṇi word can apply to two deities:
- Yama - the god of death and the deity presiding over the southern quarter
- Subrahmaṇya - variously known as Skanda, Kumāra and Kārttikeya
It is applied to Subrahmaṇya to a greater extent. Iconographically, Subrahmaṇya is shown as holding a long cudgel or staff (daṇḍa) in his right hand. His left hand rests on the left loin. He is also known as Daṇḍāyudhapāṇi.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore