Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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GALAVA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] A pupil of Viswamitra. It is related in the Mahabharata that at the conclusion of his studies he importuned his master to say what present he should make him. Viswamitra was annoyed, and told him to bring 800 white horses, each having one black ear. In his perplexity Galava applied to Garuda, who took him to King Yayati at Pratishthana. The king was unable to provide the horses, but he gave to Galava his daughter Madhavi. Galava gave her in marriage successively to Haryaswa, king of Ayodhya, Divodasa, king of Kasi, and Usinara, king of Bhoja, receiving from each of them 200 of the horses he was in quest of, upon the birth of a son to each from Madhavi. Notwithstanding her triple marriage and maternity, Madhavi, by a special boon, remained a virgin. Galava presented her and the horses to Viswamitra. The sage accepted them, and had a son by Madhavi, who was named Ashtaka. When Viswamitra retired to the woods, he resigned his hermitage and his horses to Ashtaka, and Galava having taken Madhavi back to her father, himself retired to the forest as his preceptor had done. The horses were first obtained by the Brahman Richaka from the god Varuna. They were originally 1000 in number, but his descendants sold 600 of them, and gave the rest away to Brahmans.

According to the Harivansa, Galava was son of Viswamitra, and that sage in a time of great distress tied a cord round his waist and offered him for sale. Prince Satyavrata (q.v.) gave him liberty and restored him to his father. From his having been bound with a cord (gala) he was called Galava.

There was a teacher of the White Yajurveda named Galava, and also an old grammarian named by Panini.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM