Colonial Discourse and the Suffering of Indian American Children Book Cover.webp

In this book, we analyze the psycho-social consequences faced by Indian American children after exposure to the school textbook discourse on Hinduism and ancient India. We demonstrate expose the correspondence between textbooks and the colonial-racist discourse. This racist discourse produces the same psychological impacts on Indian American children that racism typically causes: shame, inferiority, embarrassment, identity confusion, assimilation, and a phenomenon akin to racelessness, where children dissociate from the traditions and culture of their ancestors.

This book is the result of four years of rigorous research and academic peer-review, reflecting our ongoing commitment at Hindupedia to challenge the representation of Hindu Dharma within academia.


From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
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By Himanshu Bhatt

In Hindu mythology the Dānavas (Sanskrit: दानव) were a race descending from Dakṣa.[1][2][3])

The Dānavas were the sons of Danu (Dewi Danu in Balinese Hinduism), who in turn was a daughter of Dakṣa and Prasooti[4] and Danu's husband Ṛṣi Kashyapa. Danu is connected with the waters of heavens and she is probably associated with the formless, primordial waters that existed prior to the creation. The name is connected with the PIE root *danu, "river" or "any flowing liquid" and is associated with the Dānu. Dānavas are a group of Asuras like the Daityas (of Diti and Kashyapa), and Rāksasas.[5] Historically, the most prominent Dānavas were Vritra, Namuci, Māyā, Rāhu and Ketu, the first three of whom are mentioned in the Ṛgveda as enemies of the Devas, while the last 2 are worshiped today. Under the leadership of Daitya Bali[6][7] and others the Dānavas revolted against the Devatas (Devas).[8] Despite initial successes, the Dānava were defeated by the god Vāmana who in dwarf form deceived their leader Bali.[9] The Dānavas were not universally considered to be evil, individual Dānava could be classified as good or bad.[1][10]

Political influence of the Dānavas[edit]

Kālakeyas of Kālaka and Vaiswānara were a Dānava dynasty and their stronghold was Hiranyapura. The Pragjyotisha Kingdom, according to the Mahābhārata was a dynasty that had participated in the Kurukṣetra War and its monarch at the time was King Bhagadatta. The Dānava Dynasty of Assam had been overthrown by Narakāsura, who replaced it with the Naraka Dynasty, with its capital at Pragjyotisha. The Nivatakavacha were an Asura people that lived on the sea. Vrsaparvan is said to have been reborn as King Dirghaprajna.

Regions of association[edit]

It is believed that the Dānavas, like the Daityas,[11] were originally exiled from heaven in the Krita Yuga by the Devas and they had then taken refuge in the Vindhya mountains and by the sea.[12] The Dānavas are usually associated with areas around the Vindhyas.

Dānavas and Daityas had seven main regions which they were firmly in control of. In the Brahma Purāṇa, Nārada says after returning to heaven (Amravati) from the "nether worlds" that they are more pleasant than the heaven.[13] The nether worlds Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Mahatala, Sutala, Pātāla and Gabhastimata.[14]tāla in Hindu scriptures is mentioned and associated more than any other place with Daityas and it was their main capital.

Chamba district and likely the parts of Rajasthan in and around Sambhar Salt Lake and Sambhar Lake town were ruled by Sambhara until his defeat by King Divodas. Mahisa in Gujarat has the same name as the Dānava Mahishasura and it is where there are temples dedicated to both Brahma (Shri Brahmaji Temple) and Śiva[15], the gods which granted Mahisa boons. So likely there was an Asura that ruled here as there were in other parts of the west coast. Some places throughout India are named after the Dānavas who had ruled there. For example, the Bahlikas had named two towns in Gujarat as Bhalka and Bilkha.

Multan has been associated with Daityas on some occasions and it was formerly known as Kashyapapur. It is where Prahlada reigned and built his Prahladapuri Temple dedicated to Viṣṇu. Its association with the Daityas is do strong that when Jalandhara was slain, his feet were buried in Multan. After Daitya Bāna[16] lost the city to Samba in battle, the city was renamed Sambapur from Kashyapapur. The Bahlikas by the Indus River were Dānava dynasties. The dominion of the Bahlikas was known as Bahlika Pradesh or Bahlika-bhishak. Hemachandra wrote of them as Takhas. They were also known as the Bahlika-Uttaramadra.

  • The city of Lankapuri in Sri Lanka was built by Māyā, an architect and king of the Dānavas. However, Uttarakānda of Rāmāyaṇa says that Lankapuri was built by Viswakarma.
  • Māyā built a palace of illusions called the Maya Sabha at Indraprastha. It was full of ‘magical’ ponds and lakes as well as natural ponds and lakes. When Duryodhana, the cousin of the Pandavas came to visit, he fell into a real pond, thinking that it was an artificial one. Māyā built this palace for the Pāndavas, because Arjuna spared his life in the Khāndava Dahanam.
  • Māyā Dānava also built Tripura, three cities of gold, silver and iron. This was later destroyed by Śiva.[17] Valmiki called this Tripura Gopuram. There is an astronomical story overlaid with this story.

Māyāsura was the foremost of architects among the Asura and a formidable rival to Vishwakarma, the architect-of-the-gods. He was the father-in-law of Rāvaṇa and is credited with marvelous feats of engineering performed not only for the demons but also for Devas and humans. To list a few of these, Māyā built the:

  • Three flying cities of Tripura for the sons of Tarkāsura.
  • The island city of Lanka for Kuber
  • The Palace-of-illusions for the Pandavas at Indraprastha.

Besides these architectural wonders, he also wrote the astronomical treatise called the Surya Siddhānta that forms the basis of Indian astronomy even today! Combining his knowledge of all these principles, he perhaps took the next step and created the flying vehicles or Vimāns. Māyā himself, is believed to have possessed a Vimān measuring twelve cubits in circumference, with four strong wheels.

Talavana at Tarsi was the stronghold of Denuka. Hiranyapura was another Daitya city in the sky. Asurangita was a city of which Maya was King. Lankapuri was built by Māyā for his son-in-law Rāvaṇa. The Māhābhārata mentions a cave temple possessed by Maya in which a female ascetic named Prabhavati was performing austerities.[18]

Resolving conflicts with Dānavas[edit]

Normally, nonviolence[19] as a method is tried to prevent any wars with the Asuras. When they prove ineffective, war is fought. In one instance, the Devas had said to Brahma, "You should pacify the vighnas by the conciliatory method.[20] this method is to be applied first and secondly the offering of gifts,[21] and these proving futile one should afterwards create dissension among enemies and this too proving unsuccessful, punitive force[22] should be resorted to curb them."[23] One common tactic of the Dānavas was to abduct the wife of an enemy. This is true in the cases of Jalandhara who had tried with Parvati and Sanghra who tried with Saci. Some other Asuras such as Rāvaṇa had abducted Sita.

War was always the last solution to making peace. In war, many times the Devas had chosen a Daitya to focus on fighting. "Unmattabhairavi fought with Malada. Laghusyama fought with Kusura. Svapnesi waged war with the leading Daitya named Mangala. Vagvadini clashed with Draghana in the battle. Candakali fought with the wicked Kolata." Another battle between the Daityas and Devas in the Skanda Purāṇa went this way: "Sunda, Upasanda, Tuhunda, and others, Mahisasura, Ulbanas[24] Sumbha, Nisumbha, Dhumraksa, Kalakeya, and other Dānavas, the valiant Kālanemi, Daurhrda, Muṣaka, Yama, Nikumbha, Kumbha, Visastha, the Andhaka, Sankha, Jalandhara, Vatapi, of terrific features and inordinate strength, Sarvajit, Visvahantr, Kamacarin, Halayudha[25] - these and many other leading Dānavas attended upon the sinless king Bali."[26] Then in the war following the cosmic creation, the Śrimad Bhāgavatam declares this of the conflict: Text* 28: O King, Maharaja Bali fought with Indra, Karttikeya with Taraka, Varuna with Heti, and Mitra with Praheti. / Yamaraja fought with Kalanabha, Visvakarma with Maya Danava, Tvasṭa with Sambara, and the sun-god with Virocana. / The demigod Aparajita fought with Namuci and the two Asvini-kumara brothers fought with Vrishaparva. The sun-god fought with the one hundred sons of Maharaja Bali, headed by Bāna and the moon-god fought with Rāhu. The demigod controlling air fought with Puloma and Sumbha and Nisumbha fought the supremely powerful material energy, Durgadevi, who is called Bhadra Kali. / O Maharaja Parikshit, suppressor of enemies [Arindama], Lord Śiva fought with Jambha and Vibhavasu fought with Mahiṣasura. Ilvala, along with his brother Vatapi, fought the sons of Lord Brahma. Durmarsha fought with Cupid, the demon Utkala with the Matrika demigoddesses, Bṛhaspati with Śukracarya, and Sanaiścara[27] with Narakāsura. The Maruts fought Nivatakavaca, the Vasus fought the Kalakeya demons, the Viṣvedeva demigods fought the Pauloma demons and the Rudras fought the Krodhavasa demons, who were victims of anger."[28]

Noble supporters of Danavas[edit]

Tvastar was a Deva and son of the architect Deva Vishwakarma. It was upon his rage of Indra having killed his son Vishwarupa that he created Vritra for the purpose of killing Indra as revenge. Darukaputra[29] was the charioteer of Krishna against King Salva.

Danava integration into Indian society[edit]

Dānavas were mixing in with other Asura peoples such as Daityas and Rakṣasas and so political alliance with them also strengthened power of the Asuras. According to the Skanda Purāṇa, Bali had in his assembly several Dānavas:

"Sunda, Upasanda, Tuhunda, and others, Mahisasura, Ulbanas,[30] Sumbha, Nisumbha, Dhumraksa, Kalakeya, and other Dānavas, the valiant Kalanemi, Daurhrda, Musaka, Yama, Nikumbha, Kumbha, Visastha, the Andhaka, Sankha, Jalandhara, Vatapi, of terrific features and inordinate strength, Sarvajit, Visvahantr, Kamacarin, Halayudha[31] - these and many other leading Dānavas attended upon the sinless king Bali."[32] Dānavas had also mixed in with non-Asuras. Examples of marries between Dānavas and non-Dānava Asuras include that of Mandodari[33] with Rāvaṇa. Between Dānavas and non-Asuras, example are of Maya marrying Apsara Hema, and of Sharmishtha[34] marrying King Yayati and from him produced the Turvasu Dynasty.

Religious beliefs of the Danavas[edit]

Adorned gods[edit]

Śiva is outright called the originator of all beings, including classes of Asuras in some Śaiva texts. "Brahma Viṣṇu Maheshan deva danava rakṣaṣa Yasmat prajgyire devastam Shambhum pranamamyaham. It means that I Salute that Lord Shambhu who created the Devas, Danavas and Asuras. The piousness of many Daityas have been recognized. According to the Mahābhārata, all of heaven screamed when Vritra was slain. Danavas, like most Asuras have normally been described as being devotees of Śiva[35] His other epithets include, 'Devadevasuranamaskrta'[36] 'Devasuramahamitra'[37] 'Devasuramahesvara'[38] 'Devasuramahasraya'[39] 'Devasureshvara'[40] and 'Asuravyaghra'.[41]

The Mahendravarmesvara temple of Kanchipuram established by Prince Mahendra [42] has an inscription which reads, "May Mahesvara, the refuge of all the Devas and Asuras, who puts and end to time and has ended Puru, always take up his residence." There are nine classes of lingas according to the Suprabhedamaga, and of those one is called Asura[43] and another Sura[44] and another is the Rakṣasya[45][46] There were even a few known Dānavas who were named after Lord Śiva, as well as other Asuras such as the incarnation of Guru Bṛhaspati as an Asura King named Maheṣa.[47] Daksharam is the place where Tāraka was slain by Skanda,[48] and so he is honored there. In one instance, Kāli Devi had worshiped Śiva at Ambar city[49] in the Mahākālam for atoning the sin of slaying Amba and Ambasura.[50]

Brahmā was also worshiped by many Dānavas and he had granted many Dānavas a boon to increase their power. Dānava Virupakṣa together with the Daityas and the Vighnas, said these words, " who are the first progenitor[51] of the world, to whom the Devas and Daityas owe their origin.[52]" Because Brahma had granted so many boons to the Asuras and this creates problems for the Devas as the Linga Purāṇa says.[53] Hence, there is a legend that Brahma is not worshiped as God anymore because he granted boons surreptitiously to Asuras.[54]

Surya and Chandramās are originally said to have been the gods of the Asuras but then they became a part of the Devas.[55] Surya was a major god for the Asuras. The two Dānavas Canda and Munda had done penance after defeating Indra and then they were granted a boon from Surya.[56] There is even a legend that a person named Suryakunda was made King Devasura[57][58] Ṛṣi Agastya (in Rāmāyaṇa[59]) said to Ramachandra, "Rāma, worship your ancestor the Sun. The Adityahṛdāya is one of the eldest of all mantras. Worship Surya Deva with it, whom the devas and the asuras both revere, and you will kill Rāvaṇa today." The Mahābhārata also mentions that all Asuras and other classes of people worship Surya, "For the acquisition of prosperity, I bow down to thee, O Bhaskara[60] blazing like unto gold or fire, who is worshiped of the gods and the Pitris and the Yakṣas and who is adored by the Asuras, Nisacharas and Siddhas."[2] The Ṛgveda mentions that the "asurya" Surya is addressed as purohita[61] of the Devas.[62][63] As Chandra was a former Asura, his name had still been popular to use amongst Dānavas. For example, Chanda, Chandrahartar, Chandravimadana and Suchandra were Dānavas.

Spiritual scholarship and ascetic practices[edit]

It is said that Vritra's offspring were rakshasas and yet were brahmavid and dharmika.[64] Daitya Madhu, the "father of the Asura race"[65] practiced great penances and possessed very high spiritual values.[66] Dhundhu, his son, was a great "Tapasvi"[67] sage.[68] Tapasya was always highlighted amongst the stories of the Danavas. For the enlargement of their kingdoms, some Daityas performed Aswamedha and other yajnas,[69] performed penance and in many cases obtained boons from Śiva or Brahmā.

Priestly associations[edit]

There were also Brahmins amongst the Dānavas, such as Namuci and Vṛtra and as they was slain for harassing the Devas and civilians, by Indra, the latter incurred the sin of brahmahatyā.

Apart from Śukrācharya (a Bhārgava), the Dānavas are known to have had a few other priests. A Bhṛgu sage was angry at Viṣṇu and had struck Viṣṇu on his chest. Another Bhṛgu had cursed Viṣṇu. Śukra being a Bhārgava was a worshiper of Śiva. The Mahābhārata mentions that some Brahmins out of pride became the priests of Dānavas.[70] The Mahābhārata states that a Sakra Ṛṣi had four children, Tashtadhara, Atri, Raudra and Kurmi that were priests of Asuras and that they were devoted Brahma and the welfare of the world.[71]

Some Danavas were mendicants and through their austerities and/or piety, they became Brahmins. It is said that Vritra's offspring were rakshasas and yet were brahmavid and dharmika.[72] Asura Dandavakta was son of the Karusha Dynasty's Brahmin Prince Vriddha Sharma and Śrutadeva.[73] Writer F.E. Pargiter is in the opinion that the earliest Brahmins were priests either to the Manvas or the Daityas and Dānavas.[74]

Temples associated with Danavas[edit]

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga, Jamnagar, Gujarat

As many Danavas had worshiped Brahma, there is the Brahma Temple in Pushkar, Rajasthan. Of it the Mahabharata says, "It is there that the Devas, Daityas, and Brahmin seers mortified themselves and possessed of great merit, achieved divine yoga...In that same ford swells forever and most joyously the Grandfather by the Devas and Dānavas.[75] About Pushkara, the Brahma Purāṇa reads, "There is on Puṣkaradvipa a banyan tree, the supreme abode of Brahma, where Brahma dwells, being worshiped by gods and asuras."[76] There is another temple nearby in Asotra village in Balotra taluka of Rajasthan's Barmer district, which is known as Kheteshwar Brahmadham Tirtha.

Krittiveseshvar is the name of the linga that was ordered by Śiva[77] to be placed on the spot where Gaja, who had obtained a boon from Śiva, was slained.[78] Where Vidal and Utpal were slained also became the spot of a linga. Other major linga sites include, Nāgeśvara Jyotirlinga in Gujarat, commemorating the Dānava Daruka at Amerdak Kshetra. Śukrāchārya is also the guru of the Dānavas and his temples can be found in several parts of India also mostly with the Śaiva vibhuti mark on his forehead.

Superhuman capacities of Dānavas[edit]

Siddhis are yogic powers and many Dānavas are said to have had them. Besides unusual longevity, the Dānavas possessed many siddhi "superhuman" capacities.[79] The Vedas indicate that they were wise, artful and knew secrets of magic, specifically [[Māyā[80]|māyā]]. They could appear in various forms such as elephants, lions and tigers, and even rākṣasas, as well as becoming invisible Nāga. Their descendants continued to possessed these siddhi. The Dānavas also possessed advanced technology.[79]

The Mahābhārata and the Bhāgavata Purāṇa record the Dānavas' use of magic in battles:

"In this battle [Daityas and Dānavas] were beaten and, to escape[81] from death, they took advantage of magic and with its help had slayed a great number of the soldiers combating on the party of demigods.[82] Demigods, without seeing another escape, had again given up themselves to the Sovereign Person of God Viṣṇu which counteracted against the illusions created by tricks of demons". "Then in the sky there were the terrible clouds driven by violent winds. Peals of thunder rattled and the shower of heated coals had poured down on land. The gigantic fire organized by Daitya Maharadzha Bali, incinerated the troops of demigods. This fire attended by frantic gusts, was as well awful as Samvartaka fire which are originated in the cycle of destruction of the Universe. Everywhere there were swirls and gigantic sea waves, foamed by furious gusts and in the face of all the deluge has started. When the invisible demons possessing skill of making of look-alike illusive mirages have transformed the battle field into such fantastic chaos, demigods have become despondent ".

Engineering Achievements[edit]

Māyā is accredited with having written the Vāstu Śāstra, which contains details on how to engineer certain structures, such as temples.[83] It says, "The temple of Godhead should be situated in a beautiful place where rivers flow, on the banks of a lake, by the seashore on hilltops, mountain slopes or a hidden valley."

  • The city of Lankapuri in Sri Lanka was built by Māyā, an architect and king of the Dānavas. However, Uttarakānda of Rāmāyaṇa says that Lankapuri was built by Viswakarma.
  • Māyā built a palace of illusions called the Māyā Sabha at Indraprastha. It was full of ‘magical’ ponds and lakes as well as natural ponds and lakes. When Duryodhana, the cousin of the Pandavas came to visit, he fell in to a real pond, thinking that it was an artificial one. Māyā built this palace for the Pandavas, because Arjuna had spared his life in the Khāndava Dahanam.
  • Māyā Dānava also built Tripura, three cities of gold, silver and iron. This was later destroyed by Śiva.[84] Valmiki called this as Tripura Gopuram. There is a significant astronomical story along with this story.

List of Danavas[edit]

Viprachiti the Danava married Simhika the Daitya, having performed the Saitiyoga, had thirteen children that would be the thirteenth classes of Danavas. They were known as Saimhikeyas and the classes were, Vamsya, Salya, Mala, Vatapi, Namuci, Ilvala, Svasrma, Ankita, Naraka, Kalanabha, Saramana, and Surakalpa.[85] These classes of Danavas are said to have produced 100,000 grandsons for Viprachiti and Simhika. According to the Vayu Purana, the most prominent of the Danavas were Marici, Suketu, Subahu, Taraka, Vaisvanara, Puloma, Svabhanu, Vrsaparva, Mahagiri, Asiloma, Sukesha, Mahodara, Hayagriva, Virupaksha, Sambara, and Sarabha.[86] Further, the descendants of Puloma became known as Pulomas, Kelkayas from Kalaka, Kalkanjas from Kalkan, and Khalins from Khala. The daughter of Svarbhanu was Prabha, while of Puloma was Saci, Maya's were Mandodari, Upadanavi, and Kuhu.

List of Known Danavas[edit]

Generation Name Parent(s) Region(s) of association Sampradāya Boon Granted Significance Defeated By
First Ahara Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ajaka Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ashva Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ashvagiri Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ashvagriva Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ashvapati Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ashvasanku[87] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ashvasiras Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ayumukha Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Danayu[88] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Dirghajivha[89] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ekacakra Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ekaksha[90] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Gaganamurdhana Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Gavisthar[91] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Hara Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Isrpa Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Kabandha Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Kāpata (also Vegavat) Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Kapila Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Karambha Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Kesin Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Ketumat Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Kupatha Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Maydānav Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Mrtapa[92] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Naraka[93] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Nichandra Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Nikumbha Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Pralambha[94] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Puloman Kaśyapa and Dānu Father of Indrani or Sachi
First Rambhā Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Salabha Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Śankara Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Sankusiras Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Sārabha Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Satha[95] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Satrutpana[96] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Swarbhanu Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Tuhundra[97] Kaśyapa and Dānu
First Viprachitti Kaśyapa and Dānu Husband of Sinhika
First Vritra Son of Dānu[98][99]
Second Chandrahartar Viprachitti and Sinhika
Second Chandravimadana Viprachitti and Sinhika
Second Rāhu Viprachitti and Sinhika
Second Anjaka
Second Ilvala
Second Kālanābha
Second Khasrima
Second Nabha
Second Namuchi
Second Naraka
Second Salya[100]
Second Suchandra Viprachitti and Sinhika
Second Swabhanu[101]
Second Vaktrayodhin[102]
Second Vātapi
Second Vyamsa
Third Vṛshparva
Other Atibala After him is named the Atibaleshwar Śaiva temple, to commemorate his devotion to Śiva.
Other Dantāvakra Believed to be an incarnation of Durjaya.
Other Dhenuka[103]
Other Dhundubhi Māyā and Hema
Other Durjaya
Other Grasana Yama[104]
Other Krura
Other Jalandhara A devotee of Śiva.[105] He is referred to in Purāṇas, as both a "Daitya" and "Dānava".
Other Kuhoo Māyā and Hema
Other Lavaṇa[106]
Other Mahābal
Other Mandodari Māyā and Hema
Other Marutvasura
Other Māyā
Other Māyāvi Māyā and Hema
Other Mitha[107]
Other Pralamba[108]
Other Sambara Ruled Chamba district and the area around Sambhar Salt Lake and Sambhar Lake town. King Divodasa.
Other Updanvi Māyā and Hema
Other Vinishakarva

Maya Danavas[edit]

Lineage :

  • Māyā (Māyasura[109]) is often called "Māyā Dānava" which means descendant of Dānu. According to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, he was the son of Kaśyapa and Dānu, the husband of the apsarā Hemā, the father of sons, Māyāvi and Dundubhi and daughters, Mandodari, Somaprabhā and Svayamprabhā.
  • Māyā is often called Dānava which means descendant of Dānu, one of Kaśyapa‘s 13 daughters.
  • However, in the Uttarakānda of Rāmāyaṇa, Māyā is also described as Diti’s son (a Daitya and as the king of the Daityas). Diti is a different wife of Kaśyapa. Some modern people speak as if Daityas, Dānavas, Asuras and Rakṣasas are the same, but they are different jathis,[110] though they all fought the Devas at some point or the other. The Mānavas and Brahmins were and are pro-Devas. So in that sense, they may have lumped all the ‘enemies’ together.
  • The Māyā mentioned in the ṚgVeda as the son of Vipracitti and Simhika and a brother of Rāhu, may be a different Māyā, and not Māyāsura. Simhika is said to be a chāyā grahi rakṣasi, that is a demon who catches shadows. She tried to prevent Hanumān from reaching Sri Lanka. This is all the more interesting since Rāhu is also a chāyā graha. As the author of Surya Siddhantam, Maya described how eclipses were caused.. and it had nothing to do with anyone swallowing the sun.
  • Māyā is also said to be the son of Dānu and the brother of Rahu.

Descendants :

  • Māyā was the (foster) father of Mandodari, the wife of Rāvaṇa. Mandodari’s mother’s name was Hema and she was an Apsarasa. So Mandodari was a Dānava on her father’s side and an apsara on her mother’s side.
  • Māyā’s grandson, Mandodari’s son, Meghanada, defeated Indra and was called Indrajit.
  • Māyā’s sons Dundhubi and Māyāvi were killed by the Vānara, Vali.
  • Māyā’s son-in-law Rāvaṇa was defeated by Vali. Rāvaṇa was later killed by Lord Rāma.
  • The Vānaras and Rākṣasas were often in conflict and it was always the Vānaras who won.

Mention in non-traditional sources[edit]

In Buddhism the Dānava are known as the "bow-wielding" Dānaveghasa Asuras. In Jainism, the Daitya Mahābali is mentioned as a minister in Namuci's administration.

Identification with Turkic ancestry[edit]

The Dānavas in some cases, have been labelled in both Hindu and Zoroastrian[111] scriptures, as outsiders. In some Hindu scriptures they are described as of a Yavana Kingdom, while in Zoroastrian scriptures they are described as Turanians. Both the Zoroastrian Aban Yasht and Farvadin Yasht mention then as "Dānavo Tura."[112]

It is noteworthy that Dānu's great-grand daughter Devyāni had married the Indian King Yayāti and had a son named Turvasu, who was "cursed" and began a Yavana dynasty. The ṚgVeda also names a Dāsa villain named Balbutha Taruksha.[113] Another villain in the Ṛgveda is Pakth Turvayana, whom Divodasa triumps over. Turkic groups specifically are known are Turukshas and Tukhāras (Tusharas) in Hindu texts. Tukhara-Murunda dynasty was the name of the Kushānas.[114] In ancient Vedic Kashmir itself, both King Nila of the Nagas and Kaśyapa had to come to a compromise with the foreign Pisacas to allow them to live in the region.[115] The Pisacas were also Turanian nations that live in the Himalayas and Karakoram, as well as adjacent territories. Overtime they mixed in with the ethnic Indians and became culturally Indians themselves, speaking mainly Dardic languages.

Danavas outside of India[edit]

See also: The spread of Hinduism in Egypt

Danava connection to Egyptians, Greeks, Irish, and Mayans[edit]

"Under the reign of Viswāmitra, first king of the Dynasty of Soma-Vanga, in consequence of a battle which lasted five days, Manu-Vina, heir of the ancient kings, being abandoned by the Brahmans, emigrated with all his companions, passing through Arya and the countries of Barria, till he came to the shores of Masra [Cairo].”[116] Unquestionably this Manu-Vina and Menes , the first Egyptian King, are identical. Arya, is Eran (Persia ); Barria, is Arabia, and Masra, was the name of Cairo, which to this day is called, Masr, Musr and Misro. Phoenician history names Maser as one of the ancestors of Hermes .” “Egypt herself had, in those unknown ages when Menes reigned received her laws, social institutions, arts and sciences, from pre-Vedic India.” Menes is undoubtedly the Manu of the second subrace[117] and there is a close connection to India which persists to this day – as any traveler to both nations will attest. The Dānavas or children of Dānu came into Egypt from a country west of India.[118]


In Hellenic mythology, Danae was the daughter of King Acrisius. She and god Zeus together had baby Perseus.[119]


As Dakṣa is the father of Dānu in Hinduism, in Irish folklore it is Dagda or Dago-devos, whom James Francis Katherinus Hewitt calls "the Celtic Daksha"[120]

Mayans and Azteks (The Americas)

If the Mayans have a ‘perfect identity of the rites, ceremonies, traditions’ of Egypt then it is further proof that their genesis is in India, also known as ‘Bharata’ in ancient times. ”There is definitely an important connection between the old Vedic (Vedic period) people and Māyā-ancestors. The Mayas are actually referred to in The Mahābhārata , one of the main Hindu scriptures, as a tribe having left the Indian Subcontinent. There are sources who have revealed those people to be the same as the Nāga, one of the oldest Indian tribes recorded. Those Nāgās seem to have been a people, later called Dānavas, with a capital Nagapur. They are referred to in another main Hindu-scripture, the Rāmāyaṇa, as belonging to a Nāgā-Maya tribe, who is said to have transmitted their culture towards Babylonia, Egypt, Greece and was known as the Cara-Māyā.” Other known kingdoms is that of the Māyan Snake Dynasty Calakmul, Kingdom of the Snake or Snake Kingdom. Other historical factors are *Kukulkan, Q'uq'umatz of the K'iche' Maya and Quetzalcoatl of the Aztecs. Nāgas[121] in Hindu Mythology are the sons of Kaśyapa from Kadru and Surasa. Stories involving the nāgas are still very much a part of contemporary cultural traditions in predominantly Hindu regions of Asia (India, Nepal, and the island of Bali.) In India, nāgas are considered as the nature spirits and the protectors of springs, wells and rivers. They bring rain and thus fertility, but are also thought to bring disasters such as floods and drought. Nāgās are snakes that may take human form. They tend to be very curious. According to traditions nāgas are only malevolent to humans when they have been mistreated. They are susceptible to mankind's disrespectful actions in relation to the environment. They are also associated with waters bodies like rivers, lakes, seas, and wells. They are generally regarded as guardians of treasure.

See also[edit]

Non-Indian relations with Danavas



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  3. Frawley, David (1991) Gods, Sages and Kings Passage Press, Salt Lake City, Utah, ISBN 1-878423-08-8 ;
  4. P. 47 Linga Purana By Dr. Vinay
  5. It is violent humans against Ahiñsā.
  6. Bali was the great grandson of Hiranyakshipu and the grandson of Prahlada.
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  11. P. 47 Epic Mythology By Edward Washburn Hopkins
  12. P. 47 Epic Mythology By Edward Washburn Hopkins
  13. P. 56 Chapter 21, 5cd-6ab; Brahmapurāṇa By Renate Söhnen-Thieme, Renate Söhnen, Peter Schreiner
  14. P. 21 The sacred scriptures of India, Volume 6 By Chidatman (Swami.)
  15. It is also called as Baliya Dev Temple.
  16. He is the Son of Mahābali.
  17. Bhagavatham Canto 7.
  18. P. 744 The Mahābhārata, Volume 2: Book 2: The Book of Assembly; Book 3: The Book of By J. A. B. van Buitenen
  19. Non violence is called as ahiñsa.
  20. It is called saman.
  21. Gifts means dāna.
  22. It means danda.
  23. P. 257 Ancient Indian Literature: An Anthology By Sahitya Akademi (New Delhi, Inde).
  24. He is a person of very powerful features.
  25. He is the weilder of a plough as a weapon.
  26. P. 248 Ancient Indian Tradition & Mythology, Volume 60 By Motilal Banarsidass
  27. It refers to [Saturn].
  28. Srimad Bhagavatam - Chapter 10: The Battle Between the Demigods and the Demons
  29. He is son of Daruka.
  30. He is the person of very powerful features.
  31. He is weilder of a plough as a weapon.
  32. P. 248 Ancient Indian Tradition & Mythology, Volume 60 By Motilal Banarsidass
  33. She is the daughter of Māyā.
  34. He is the daughter of Vrishparva.
  35. He bears the title 'Devasura Guru' or Guru of both the Devas and Asuras.
  36. He is the Lord Adored by the Devas and Asuras.
  37. It means Friend of the Devas and Asuras.
  38. It means Great Lord of the Devas and the Asuras.
  39. It means Great Base of the Devas and Asuras.
  40. It means Lord of the Devas and Asuras.
  41. It means Tiger of the Asuras.
  42. P. 23 South Indian Inscriptions, Tamil and Sanskrit, from Stone and Copperplate edited by Eugen Hultzsch
  43. It is worshiped by Asuras.
  44. It is worshiped by Suras.
  45. It means worshiped by Rākṣasas.
  46. P. 159 The Concept of Rudra-Śiva Through the Ages By Mahadev Chakravarti
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  49. It is in Tamil Nadu.
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  51. It means grand-father.
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  57. It means whose name means someone who is a Deva and an Asura.
  58. P. 102 Sun Worship in India: A Study of Deo Sun-Shrine By Anirudha Behari Saran, Gaya Pandey
  59. Rāmāyaṇa, Chapter 107
  60. It is another name of Surya.
  61. It means ceremonial priest.
  62. P. 94 Ásura- in Early Vedic Religion By Wash Edward Hale
  63. The Yatudhanas amongst the Rakṣasas were also staunch worshipers of Surya.[1])
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  65. It includes Dānavas.
  66. P. 162 Ethnology of Ancient Bhārata By Ram Chandra Jain
  67. It means the mendicant.
  68. P. 162 Ethnology of Ancient Bhārata By Ram Chandra Jain
  69. It means ceremonial sacrifices.
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  76. Brahma Purāṇa, Adhyaya 41, Verse 133; P. 169 Sanskrit indices and text of the Brahmapurāṇa By Peter Schreiner, Renate Söhnen
  77. It means Gajambaradhari.
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  79. 79.0 79.1 Template:Cite book
  80. It means illusion.
  81. It means save themselves.
  82. It refers to [Adityas].
  83. P. 87 Science of the Sacred By David Osborn
  84. Bhāgavatham Canto 7
  85. P. 99 'Social and Cultural Data from the Brahma-purāṇa' By Asoke Chatterjee
  86. P. 164 Indian Demonology: The Inverted Panheon
  87. The name means "The Mighty".
  88. The name means "A bull amongst Dānavas".
  89. The name means "A bull amongst Dānavas".
  90. The name means "A bull amongst Danavas".
  91. The name means "A bull amongst Dānavas".
  92. The name refers to "A bull amongst Dānavas".
  93. The name means "A bull amongst Danavas".
  94. The name means "A bull amongst Dānavas".
  95. The name means "A bull amongst Dānavas" and "The great Asura".
  96. The name means "A bull amongst Dānavas".
  97. The name means "The Powerful".
  98. (Ṛgveda 1.32.9
  99. Origins of the Vedic Religion: And Indus-Ghaggar Civilisation By Sanjay Sonawani
  100. The name means "The strong".
  101. The name means "A valiant person".
  102. The name means "A very might warrior".
  103. P. 248 Religion and Society in the Brahma Purāṇa By Surabhi Sheth
  104. P. 538 Matsya Mahāpurāṇa: Chapters 1-150 By Kanhaiyālāla Jośī
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  107. P. 248 Religion and Society in the Brahma Purāṇa By Surabhi Sheth
  108. P. 248 Religion and Society in the Brahma Purāṇa By Surabhi Sheth
  109. Template:Cite book
  110. It means the societal groups.
  111. Yasht verse 73; P. 279 Essays on the Sacred Language, Writings, and Religion of the Parsis By Martin Haug
  112. P. 274 Asiatic Papers, Volume 2 By Jivanji Jamshedji Modi
  113. ṚgVeda 8.46.32
  114. P. 154 Glimpses of Bhāratiya history By Rajendra Singh Kushwaha
  115. "Konsarnag – Myth, Legend and History" By Dr. R.K. Tamiri
  116. History of India by Collouca-Batta
  117. 5.2 Ancient Egypt
  118. Nimrod: A Discourse on Certain Passages of History and Fable By Algernon Herbert
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  120. P. 651 History and Chronology of the Myth-making Age James Francis Katherinus Hewitt
  121. It means the serpents.