Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Identity of the Destroyer in the Mahābhārata

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Numen

This paper examines the identity of the deity associated with the periodic destruction of the cosmos as found in the numerous pralaya upamāna in the Mahābhārata. While this deity is usually identified as Siva in the Purānas and later texts, the present paper contends that the situation is rather different in the Mahābhārata, and probably points to an earlier stage in the myth's development. In order to establish this, the instances and characteristics of the various identifications given in these similes are considered in some detail. Antaka, Kala, Krtānta, Kalantaka, Rudra/Siva and Yama are each examined in separate sections. From this examination, the conclusion is drawn that the deity most readily identified with the role of cosmic destroyer in the Mahābhārata is Yama, either by name or, more often, by epithets associated with him. Some possible reasons for this are considered briefly, as well as the implications which this identification could have for our understanding of the myth.

Affiliations: 1: Roehampton Institute Southlands College Wimbledon Parkside GB-London SW19 5NN


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Numen — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation