Airavata - King of Elephants


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to the Ramayana, his mother was Iravati.

According to the Matangalila, Airavata was born when Brahma sang sacred hymns over the halves of the egg shell from which Garuda hatched, followed by seven more male and eight female elephants.

Prithu made Airavata king of all elephants. One of his names means "the one who knits or binds the clouds" since myth has it that these elephants are capable of producing clouds.

The eight guardian deities who preside over the eight points of the compass each sits on an elephant. Each of these deities has an elephant that takes part in the defense and protection of its respective quarter.

Chief among them is Airavata of Indra. He is also called 'Ardha-Matanga', meaning "elephant of the clouds"; 'Naga-malla', meaning "the fighting elephant"; and 'Arkasodara', meaning "brother of the sun". 'Abharamu' is the elephant wife of Airavata. Airavata has four tusks and seven trunks and is spotless white.


This a low resolution copy of image in the wikipedia article about Airavata. Copyright free.

IMAGE Description English: Indra and Sachi Riding the Divine Elephant Airavata, Folio from a Panchakalyanaka (Five Auspicious Events in the Life of Jina Rishabhanatha [Adinatha]), circa 1670-1680 Painting; Watercolor, Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper, Image: 9 1/8 x 15 1/8 in. (23.18 x 38.42 cm); Sheet: 10 5/8 x 16 3/4 in. (26.99 x 42.55 cm) Made in: India, Rajasthan, Amber

Indian Art Special Purpose Fund (M.74.102.4)
Norsk (nynorsk)‬: Indra på den kvite elefanten Airavata. Source from LACMA
Date circa 1670-1680
Author Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Amber, South Asia

Airavata also turns up in Google™ searches with 2,920 images and 26,700 pages containing his name. Search performed 2008 10 01.

[ Erawan is the Thai name of the mythological elephant Airavata. ]

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