Danu (Hinduism)

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Danu
TextsVedas, Puranas
Personal information
ParentsDaksha (father), Panchajani (mother)
SiblingsAditi, Diti, Svaha, Khyati, Sati, Kadru, Vinata, Rohini, Revati, and Rati
SpouseKashyapa
ChildrenDanavas

Danu (Sanskrit: दनु, romanizedDānu) is a Hindu primordial goddess. She is mentioned in the Rigveda to be the mother of the eponymous race of Danavas. The word Danu described the primeval waters that this deity perhaps embodied. In later Hinduism, she is described to be the daughter of the Prajapati Daksha and his spouse Panchajani, and the consort of the sage Kashyapa.[1]

Etymology[edit]

As a word for "rain" or "liquid", dānu is compared to Avestan dānu, "river", and further to river names like Don, Danube, Dnieper, Dniestr, etc. There is also a Danu river in Nepal. The "liquid" word is mostly neutral, but appears as feminine in RV 1.54.

Literature[edit]

Rigveda[edit]

In the Rigveda (I.32.9), she is identified as the mother of Vritra, the asura slain by Indra.[2]

Padma Purana[edit]

In the Padma Purana, the children of Danu are described:[3]

From Kaśyapa, Danu obtained a hundred sons proud of boons. Among them Vipracitti, of great power, was the chief. (Others were) Dviraṣṭamūrdhā, Śakuni, Śaṅkuśirodhara, Ayomukha, Śambara, Kapila, Vāmana, Marīci, Māgadha, and Hari. Gajaśiras, Nidrādhara, Ketu, Ketuvīrya Taśakratu, Indramitragraha, Vrajanābha, Ekavastra, Mahābāhu, Vajrākṣa, Tāraka, Asiloman, Puloman, Vikurvāṇa, Mahāpura, Svarbhānu, and Vṛṣaparvan—these and others were also Danu’s sons. Suprabhā was Svarbhānu’s daughter, and Śacī was the daughter of Puloman.

— Padma Purana, Book 1, Chapter 6

Brahmanda Purana[edit]

In the Brahmanda Purana, it is stated that while Aditi is habitually righteous, and Diti was habitually strong, Danu habitually practises maya.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The European discovery of India; key indological sources of romanticism. Ganesha Publishing. "Danu, d. of Daksha, w. of Kasyapa.”
  2. ^ Kinsley, David (1987, reprint 2005). Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0394-9. p. 16.
  3. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (30 July 2019). "Birth of Devas, Daityas, Birds and Serpents etc. [Chapter 6]". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  4. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (20 June 2019). "Different dynasties enumerated [Chapter 7]". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 28 October 2022.