By Swami Harshananda
Svayamprabhā literally means ‘one who is self-shining’.
Svayamprabhā was the daughter of the sage Śāṇḍilya, hence known as Śāṇḍili also. She was a friend of Hemā, an apsaras. They lived in a beautiful cave created by Māya, a divine architect. When Hemā left for heaven Svayamprabhā was taking care of the cave.
While searching for Sītā, Hanumān and other monkeys entered this cave and were entertained by her. Once Garuḍa offended her and lost his wings by her curse. Later, he apologized and got them back.
- Apsaras are the celestial nymph.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore