This series includes words and terminologies from Bharathiya Itihasas, Puranas and other literature.

86. Devata: These are Godly beings or God Heads who are supposed to be living in a different world. There is abundance of everything in this world. The Devatas are described as “Devata Abhisheka Alankara Archana Priya” which means Devatas are beings who like Abhisheka – Bathing, Alankara – Beautifying and Archana – Praise. Their life is actually dedicated to take proper care of the Suras or Naras (Human Beings). Each aspect of human living has an Adidevatha (Guardian Deity). He or She is assisted by a Prathyadidevatha (assistant deity). More on these terms will be covered while discussing about festivals. The female aspect is called Devi.

87. Rishi: In the Vedas the term Rishi denotes a poet who has inspired or written the Vedic Mantra (Hymns). Post-Vedic tradition and the modern literature regards the Rishis as “Seers” or “Sages”, who realized truth and eternal knowledge through intense Tapas, which they later composed into the Vedic Mantras. The following sutra is about the Rishis ऋषति ज्ञानेन संसार-पारम्“, which means ‘One who reaches beyond this mundane world by means of spiritual knowledge is called Rishi”.

88. Muni: Rishis who had specialized in certain procedures and had some specialized Siddhis (Supernatural Powers) were called Muni Like Muni Rishyashrunga, he had the knowledge of “Putraesti Yaga” and the Siddhi of producing a particular “Payasa” (Pudding) which when consumed by the couple they would produce offsprings. It was Muni Rishyashrunga who did the “Putraesti Yaga” for Dasharatha in Ramayana after which Dasharatha and his three Queens were bestowed with Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. In some literature we find that Muni is a word assigned to a learned person in Jainism.

89. Yethi: This word Yethi is assigned to the mystical creature which is supposed to be living in the Himalayas, but Yethi is a religious, learned person who it is said even goes to the extent of talking to His / Her personal Deity. The Yethis of Bharat have composed a huge body of Devotional Songs and Literature pertaining to Bhakthi Yoga.

90. Sura / Nara: The human beings are called as Sura or NaraSu means ‘right or proper’ and Ra is the ‘light within’ hence a human being is one in whom the light within is properly oriented. Here the light within is actually the ‘Divinity’ or even ‘Divine Knowledge’. Sura can also be understood as ‘one in whom the divinity is properly manifested’. Now let us understand Nara. Na stands for ‘Narayana’ the lord who maintains the universe or even ‘Nara’ meaning nerves; Ra means ‘Light within’ hence Nara can be understood as ‘one in whom the divinity manifests in the nerves’ meaning throughout the body or existence. The female aspect is this is Naari.

91. Asura:  Is the antithesis of Sura or the opposite of Sura. Asura can be understood as ‘one in whom the divinity is manifested in a perverted form’. These are basically human beings who are misdirected due to their upbringing, friends, peers, circumstances, curses or Leela (divine play). They behave in a very immoral and unethical way. They are very egoistic, take pleasure in harming the innocents. They have their own idiosyncrasies. Classical examples are ‘Ravanasur’, ‘Bakasur’ etc. The female aspect is Asuri.

92. Daithya: They are human beings who are of huge sizes. They are very strong, egoistic, have magical powers and cause harm to innocent people or even help in establishing Dharma. The Daithyas who caused harm to Dharma are Shumbha and Nishumbha. The Daithya who helped Dharma is Gatothgajh. The female aspect is Daithini.

93. Rakshasa: Rakshasa is a being which has got a very frightening appearance, very egoistic, having magical powers, works against Dharma and also torments Suras and Devas. The female aspect is Rakshasi.

All the above three words are translated as Demons in English.

93. Yaksha: Yaksha is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They give very tough tasks to people who seek these treasures before granting the treasures to them. The feminine form of the word is Yakshini.

94. Kinnara: Kinnara is a paradigmatic lover, a celestial musician, half-human and half-horse or a Dwarf or Eunuch. In India, two of the most beloved mythological characters are the benevolent half-human, half-bird creatures known as the Kinnara and Kinnari, which are believed to come from the Himalayas and often watch over the well-being of humans in times of trouble or danger. Their character is clarified in the Adiparva of the Mahabharata.

95. Gandharva: Gandharvas are male nature spirits, husbands of the Apsaras. Some are part animal, usually a bird or horse. They have superb musical skills. They guarded the Soma and made beautiful music for the gods in their palaces. Gandharvas are frequently depicted as singers in the court of Gods. Gandharvas act as messengers between the gods and humans. There is also a school of thought that says that Gandharvas are from Gandhar Pradesha which is actually present day Afghanistan. The female aspect could be Apsara. The Apsaras are very adept in Dance forms, their dance is very enchanting.







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