Thursday, December 16, 2010

Indian Epic Storybooks: Animals in the Epics

There are so many different kinds of animal characters in the epics that the challenge for this topic is simply in narrowing your topic to just four stories! Some of these characters may have just one main story that they are involved in, but there are other characters - like Hanuman, for example - who can provide you with enough stories for an entire Storybook. To get started, take a look at some of the animal Storybooks that people have done in past semesters. Then you can start exploring the links below in order to learn more.

There are the famous monkeys of the Ramayana, for example: Hanuman, Vali, Sugriva, and Angada. Other animal allies of Rama include the birds Jatayu and Sampati, the bear Jambavan, and even the little squirrels, too.

In his earliest incarnations, Vishnu came to earth in the form of animal avatars: Matsya the fish, Kurma the tortoise, Varaha the boar, and Narasimha, who was half-man and half-lion.

Many of the gods also have vahanasanimal vehicles that they ride. Some of the most famous of the vahanas of the gods are Garuda the eagle, Nandi the bull, and Airavata the elephant.

You might also want to look at the great snakes called nagas such as Shesha, Takshaka, Ulupi, Karkotaka and Vasuki.

(Vishnu in the form of Varaha the boar
battles demons and saves the world)


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