Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Naraka at Wikipedia

NARAKA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] An Asura, son of the Earth. In the Mahabharata and Vishnu Purana he is said to have carried off the earrings of Aditi to the impregnable castle of Pragjyotisha, but Krishna, at the request of the gods, went there and killed him and recovered the jewels.

In the Harivansa the legend differs. According to this, Naraka, king of Pragjyotisha, was an implacable enemy of the gods. He assumed the form of an elephant, and having carried off the daughter of Viswakarma, he subjected her to violation. He seized the daughters of the Gandharvas, and of gods and of men, as well as the Apsarases themselves, and had more than 16,000 women, for whom he built a splendid residence. He also appropriated to himself jewels, garments, and valuables of all sorts, and no Asura before him had ever been so horrible in his actions.

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