Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

A - B - C - D - E - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - P - R - S - T - U - V - Y


KAITABHA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology]

Kaitabha and Madhu were two horrible demons, who, according to Mahabharata and the Puranas, sprang from the ear of Vishnu while he was asleep at the end of a kalpa, and were about to kill Brahma, who was lying on the lotus spring from Vishnu's navel. Vishnu killed them, and hence he ovtained the names of Kaitabhajit and Madhusudana.

The Markandeya Purana attributes the death of Kaitabha to Uma, and she bears the title of Kaitabha.

The Harivansa states that the earth received its name of Medini from the marrow (medas) of these demons. In one passage it says that their bodies, being thrown into the sea, produced an immense quantity of marrow or fat, where Narayana used in forming the earth. In another place it says that the medas quite covered the earth, and so gave it the name of Medini. This is another of many etymological inventions.

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