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Mada is a term from both Hindu theology and Hindu mythology. It is one of the Arishadvargas.

Hindu theology[edit]

In Hindu theology it means "pride, stubborn mindedness".[1] It is seen as a major obstacle to attaining moksha or salvation. As long as a Hindu harbors mada (written as मद in Sanskrit, not Maadaa, Maadaa means female of any animal species) or jealousy towards other fellow human beings, he will not be able to attain moksha or salvation.(Speakers of Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Bengali, etc., please use standard English transliteration of Sanskrit terms. "Mad" transliterates with a 'halant' at the end.)

Hindu mythology[edit]

In Hindu mythology, Mada is a gigantic Rakshasa (demon or monster by the time) from the Hindu text, Mahabharata. It is created by sage Chyavana in return for the Aswins' act of returning his youth and vision. Mad's (मद) name means the intoxicator, his strength is being feared by the king of gods, Indra. It has the ability to change its size to swallow the entire universe in one gulp.

When the twin deities, the Aswins, wished to become complete immortals by drinking the elixir of immortality known as Soma they were insulted to discover that the king of the devas Indra had not invited them to his party at Vaikuntha. Feeling insulted, the twins rushed to speak with Indra on the matter. Indra refused to allow them access to Vaikunth or the elixir and said that as they associated with mortals so freely and took any form they pleased, they should not be granted full immortality or receive any offerings as devs. Angry at Indra's words and the insult to their pride, the twins sought the aid of the great sage Chyavan.

Chyavan started preparations to perform a sacrifice in the name of the Aswins, but this enraged Indra who refused to acknowledge them as devs worthy of sacrificial offerings, and rushed out to attack Chyavan with a mountain in one hand and a thunderbolt in the other. However when Chyavan discovered Indra was coming to attack him, he did not panic. Instead he retaliated by creating the monster Mad who had two sets of gigantic teeth and jaws so huge that one could engulf the earth while the other swallowed the heavens. Seeing that Mad was going to swallow the entire universe with the gods still in it, Indra surrendered and asked the sage call off the beast. Chyavan agreed under the condition that the devs allowed the Aswins to participate in his feast at Vaikunth, and so gain their rightful place among the devs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shankarcharyara Granthabali, Basumati publication (Kolkata: 1995) volume 3

External links[edit]