--> Skip to main content


Showing posts from April 22, 2015

Aranyani – Vedic Goddess of Forest

Goddess Aranyani is mentioned in the Rig Veda and she is the goddess of the forest. Aranyani is an invisible goddess. She is described as the spirit of the forest. She is not worshipped after the Vedic age but many similar Goddesses are worshipped throughout India . Some scholars are of the view that Aranyani is the forest itself. Through Aranyani the forest is worshipped as the feminine aspect. Symbolically, Aranyani is the primary source of life and fertility. People only get to hear her voice. Her eternal presence is felt through the unknown voices from the forest. A single hymn in the Rig Veda describes her – Rg Veda X. 146

Symbolism in Airavata – the White Elephant of Indra

Airavata is a white elephant that appeared after the Samudra Manthan, or the churning of the ocean, episode mentioned in the Puranas and Mahabharata. It was gifted to Indra, the King of Devas. Symbolically, Airavata represents the white clouds that appear after the rains – Indra riding on the white clouds throws thunder bolts and force the dark clouds to shed rain and clear the sky. Airavata is a unique elephant – apart from the white color – the elephant has six trunks and six pairs of tusks. In some Hindu cultures, especially of those in Southeast Asia, Airavata is a three-headed animal. Airavata is also referred as ‘the brother of Surya’, the Sun God. Symbolically, this suggests that Airavata clears the dark cloud that blocks the path of Sun.