Dictionary of Demons

Shiva killed Andhakasura

Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Research article No.1362; Dated 21st October 2014.


Every ancient culture and religion has two types of forces Angels and Demons i.e Good and Bad. This is symbolic. Every one of us has two sets of thoughts good and bad. People who have only good thoughts, words and deeds are considered great saints in India. They are angels or Devas. Those who have bad thoughts, words and deeds 100 % are considered demons. But most of the people don’t stoop that low. They are at various levels.

In Hindu mythology we see demons like Ravana who are well educated, wealthy but bent upon during very bad things. They were so arrogant that they were not ready to change even when they were given enough opportunities and sufficient time.

In the oldest literature in the world, the Rig Veda, even the natural forces are described as demons. Foreign “scholars” who tried to translate them struggled hard to understand the difference between the demons and the natural catastrophes. People who came to India from outside with a motive to spread their religion or to establish their rule, followed “Divide and Rule” policy and divided India into two classes–Aryans and Dravidians. They dubbed all Dravidians as demons. They boldly concealed the facts available in Hindu scriptures. They published half truths by quoting one couplet from here and another couplet from somewhere and told the people this is what Hinduism say about Dravidians. Hindus who never study their huge, voluminous, gigantic, Himalayan amount of literature, believed those people because they wrote in ENGLISH!!!!.

Indian “Scholars” with divisive tendencies who were either Marxists or Dravidian political leaders became “Yes men” to those foreigners because it served their political purposes. They also adopted the same foreign tactic of Divide and Rule.

Bhasmasura killed himself with his own boon!

Those who study Hindu scriptures will know that both the Asuras and Suras (Demons and Angels) are the sons of the same mother. Even the word Asura (demonic) is used as an epithet of Indra in the early parts of the Rig Veda. It meant great strength. All the Iranians (Persians) and Assyrians called themselves Asuras. It did not have any bad connotation other than terrific, huge, strong etc.

Lord Krishna gives a list of Daivic (angelic) and Asuric (demonic) qualities in the Bhagavad Gita. It is very clear that people are divided on the basis of qualities and not on birth. Living beings are classified into 18 types of people and the scriptures say that they all came from the same mother. Some narrowed it down to six or seven categories like we see in Vishnu Sahasranamam: Sura- Nara- Go- Khaga-Bogi- Gandharva- Daityai: (Angels, Human beings, Animals, Birds, Gandharvas (celestial singers), Daityai: (people with asuric qualities).

Those who are born to Kasyapa and Diti are called Daitya. Prahalada, Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyakshan were born in this family. Krishna says that he was Prahlada among the Daityas in the Bhagavad Gita (10-30). The Vibhuti Yoga of Gita (Chapter 10) makes it clear that all are Lord’s children. And just to give this message to the humanity he described himself the best one in each category.

List of Asuras, Rakshasas, Daityas and Danavas:

Demons killed by Lord Krishna
Putana (woman)
Sakatasura (Cart Demon)
Trinavarta (Wind Demon)
Vatsaura (Calf demon)
Bakasura ( Stork or Heron demon)
Aghasura (Snake demon)
Dhenukasura (ass demon)
Kaliya (sepent )
Pralambasura (human)
Arishtasura (Bull)
Kesi asura (Horse demon)
Sankachuda- Shell demon
Kamsa – Human
Chanura – wrestler
Vyomasura- sky demon
Madhu – demon
Tarakasura in Yakshagana

Demons killed by Indra

Ahi (RV 2-11)
Vritra – a Brahmin (in a lot of RV hymns) (RV 2-11)
Trisiras (Visvarupa) — a Brahmin
Sambara (RV 6-26) (RV 4-30)(2-12)
Susna(RV 2-14)
Kuyava ( RV 1-103)
Uranu (RV 2-14-4)
Svarbhanu (RV 5-40-5)
Ahisuva – snake (RV 8-32-2),(10-144-3)
Karanja (RV 1-53-8)
Parnaya ( R V 10-48-8)
Vangrda ( R V 10-48-8)
Arbuda(RV 2-14)
Vrkadvaras (2-20-4)
Pipru(RV 2-14)
Chumuri (RV 6-20)
Namuci (RV 2-14)
Ridhikra (RV 2-14)
Dhuni (RV 6-20)
Vala (RV 2-11)
Drbhika (RV 2-14)
Tugra (RV 6-26)
Vetasu (RV 6-26)

Digital Capture
Keshikasura killed by Krishna

Names of all the Vedic “demons” end with vowels ‘a, u,i’. This uniformity shows that they were also sons of the soil belonging to the same race. Hindu Gods’ names also end with the same vowels AgnI, IndrA, VarunA, YamA, VayU, MitrA,NasatyA, DasrA, ArkA,VaghisA, BrhaspatI, VachaspatI etc ( a, i, u). If they are foreign names, we can’t see this similarity!!

Demons killed by other Gods
Madhu Kaitaba – killed by Hayagriva (Vishnu)
Hiranyakasipu – Narasimha
Bali – Trivikrama or Vamana
Ravana, Indrajit, Kumbakarna , Maricha – Rama
Kara, Dushana – Rama
Tadaka – Rama
Kabandha – Rama
Vatapi – Agastya
Bakasura – Bhima
Jatasura – Bhima
Andhakasura – killed by Shiva
Bamsmasura – killed himself
Gajamukasura – Ganesh
Surapadman – Subrahmanya
Tarakasura – Subrahmanya/Skanda
Mahisasura – Devi
Sumba– Devi
Nisumba– Devi
Sunda– Devi
Upasunda– Devi
Vidyunmalai- Lord Siva
Viryavana — Lord Siva
Tarakaksha — Lord Siva

Durga killed Mahisasura

During the mythological period and Ramayana period people with bad qualities were called demons. In the Mahabharata period we see less number of demons and more number of bad people like Duryodhana. Even the demons killed by Krishna are not portrayed as demons in the Mahabharata. Only in the Bhagavatha Purana which was written in ‘old Puranic style’, baddies were described as Asuras. In short, Asuras are as human as we are in appearance but with bad qualities. They derived sadistic pleasure by troubling others. If we reject the foreign theories on our Gods and Goddesses, we will understand them better.

chola Bronze Narasinha
Narasimha who killed Hiranyakasipu

Contact swami_48@yahoo.com

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