Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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VATAPI. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] Vatapi and Ilwala, two Rakshasas, sons either of Hrada or Viprachitti. They are mentioned in the Ramayana as dwelling in the Dandaka forest.

Vatapi assumed the from of a ram which was offered in sacrifice and afterwards eaten by Brahmans. Ilwala then called upon him to come forth, and accordingly he tore his way out of the stomachs of the Brahmans. He tried the same trick upon Agastya, but that austere sage ate and digested him. Ilwala, as before, called his brother to come forth, and assaulted the sage, who told him that his brother would never return. Then Ilwala was burnt up by fire from the eyes of Agastya.

The Mahabharata's story varies slightly.


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