Viṣṇu Purāṇa | Book 1 - Chapter 21

Chapter XXI

Families of the Daityas. Descendants of Kaśyapa by Danu, Children of Kaśyapa by his other wives. Birth of the Maruts, the sons of Diti.

THE sons of Saṁhrāda, the son of Hiraṇyakaśipu, were Āyushmān, Śibi, and Vāṣkala.

Prahlāda had a son named Virochana; whose son was Bali, who had a hundred sons, of whom Bāṇa was the eldest.

Hiraṇyākṣa also had many sons, all of whom were Daityas of great prowess: Jharjhara, Śakuni, Bhūtasantāpana, Mahānābha, the mighty-armed and the valiant Tāraka. These were the sons of Diti.

The children of Kaśyapa by Danu were Dvimūrdhā, Śankara, Ayomukha, Śankuśiras, Kapila, Śamvara, Ekachakrā, and another mighty Tāraka, Swarbhānu, Vṛṣaparvan, Puloman, and the powerful Viprachitti; these were the renowned Dānavas, or sons of Danu.

Swarbhānu had a daughter named Prabhā; and Śarmiṣṭhā was the daughter of Vriṣaparvā, as were Upadānavī and Hayaśirā.

Vaiśvānara had two daughters, Pulomā and Kālakā, who were both married to Kaśyapa, and bore him sixty thousand distinguished Dānavas, called Paulomas and Kālakañjas, who were powerful, ferocious, and cruel.

The sons of Viprachitti by Simhikā (the sister of Hiraṇyakaśipu) were Vyaṁśa, Śalya the strong, Nabha the powerful, Vātāpi, Namuchi, Ilwala, Khasrima, Anjaka, Naraka, and Kālanābha, the valiant Swarbhānu, and the mighty Vaktrayodhī.

These were the most eminent Dānavas, through whom the race of Danu was multiplied by hundreds and thousands through succeeding generations.

In the family of the Daitya Prahlāda, the Nivāta Kavāchas were born, whose spirits were purified by rigid austerity.

Tāmrā (the wife of Kaśyapa) had six illustrious daughters, named Śukī, Śyenī, Bhāsī, Sugrīvī, Śuchi, and Gridhrikā:

Śukī gave birth to parrots, owls, and crows; Śyenī to hawks; Bhāsī to kites; Gridhrikā to vultures; Śuchi to water-fowl; Sugrīvī to horses, camels, and asses.

Such were the progeny of Tāmrā.

Vinatā bore to Kaśyapa two celebrated sons, Garuḍa and Aruṇa: the former, also called Suparṇa, was the king of the feathered tribes, and the remorseless enemy of the serpent race.

The children of Surasā were a thousand mighty many-headed serpents, traversing the sky.

The progeny of Kadru were a thousand powerful many-headed serpents, of immeasurable might, subject to Garuḍa; the chief amongst whom were Śeṣa, Vāsuki, Takṣaka, Śankha, Śveta, Mahāpadma, Kambala, Āswatara, Elāpatra, Nāga, Karkkota, Dhananjaya, and many other fierce and venomous serpents.

The family of Krodhavasā were all sharp-toothed monsters, whether on the earth, amongst the birds, or in the waters, that were devourers of flesh.

Surabhī was the mother of cows and buffaloes: Irā, of trees and creeping plants and shrubs, and every kind of grass: Khasā, of the Rākṣasas and Yakṣas: Muni, of the Apsarasas: and Aṛṣṭā, of the illustrious Gandharvas.

These were the children of Kaśyapa, whether movable or stationary, whose descendants multiplied infinitely through successive generations.

This creation, oh Brahman, took place in the second or Svārochiṣa Manvantara.

In the present or Vaivaswata Manvantara, Brahmā being engaged at the great sacrifice instituted by Varuṇa, the creation of progeny, as it is called, occurred; for he begot, as his sons, the seven Ṛṣis, who were formerly mind-engendered; and was himself the grand-sire of the Gandharvas, serpents, Dānavas, and gods.

Diti, having lost her children, propitiated Kaśyapa; and the best of ascetics, being pleased with her, promised her a boon; on which she prayed for a son of irresistible prowess and valour, who should destroy Indra.

The excellent Muni granted his wife the great gift she had solicited, but with one condition:

"You shall bear a son," he said, "who shall slay Indra, if with thoughts wholly pious, and person entirely pure, you carefully carry the baby in your womb for a hundred years."

Having thus said, Kaśyapa departed; and the dame conceived, and during gestation assiduously observed the rules of mental and personal purity.

When the king of the immortals, learnt that Diti bore a son destined for his destruction, he came to her, and attended upon her with the utmost humility, watching for an opportunity to disappoint her intention.

At last, in the last year of the century, the opportunity occurred:

Diti retired one night to rest without performing the prescribed ablution of her feet, and fell asleep; on which the Thunderer divided with his thunderbolt the embryo in her womb into seven portions.

The child, thus mutilated, cried bitterly; and Indra repeatedly attempted to console and silence it, but in vain: on which the god, being incensed, again divided each of the seven portions into seven, and thus formed the swift-moving deities called Maruts (winds).

They derived this appellation from the words with which Indra had addressed them (Mā rodīh, 'Weep not'); and they became forty-nine subordinate divinities, the associates of the wielder of the thunderbolt.