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In Vedic mythology the Danavas were a race of the Asuras.

The Danavas were the sons of Danu, who in turn was a daughter of Daksha. Danu is connected with the waters of heavens and she is probably asocciated with the formless, primordial waters that existed prior to the creation. The name is connected with the PIE root *danu,"river" or "any flowing liquid". The Danavas revolted against the gods under the leadership of Bali[1] and others, but were defeated.[2] In the Rig Veda, nearly all the demons described as being defeated by the Devas are Danavas.

After their defeat, the Danavas were cast into the deepest oceans and locked there forever by Indra,[1] or sometimes Rudra.[3]

In Buddhism

In Buddhism where they are known as the "bow-wielding" Dānaveghasa Asuras.

Historical basis

Some argue for an historical basis for the Vedic stories, and that the Danavas, and other defeated beings (Rakshasas, Gandharvas, Nagas, et cetera) were non-Aryan tribes. This is supported by non-Vedic legends and mythologies, for example Naga legends.[4][3][5][6] Rightly or wrongly, some scholars identified the Danavas in the Mahabharata with the Indus Valley Civilization, the builders of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa.[7]

Some Famous Danavas

1) Puloman - Father of Indrani or Sachi

2) Viprachitti - Husband of Holika or Sinhika

3) Rahu - Son of Holika and Viprachitti

4) Vrishparva - Father of Sharmishtha

False cognates

The Danavas descendants of Danu are sometimes conflated with the Danai descendants of Danaus.[8]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Rose, Carol (2000) Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA, p. 94, ISBN 0874369886 ;
  2. Munro, W. D. (1911) Stories of Indian Gods & Heroes Harrap, London;
  3. 3.0 3.1 Elst, Koenraad (1999) Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, ISBN 81-86471-77-4 ;
  4. Chakravarti, Balaram (2000) A cultural history of the North-East India: Assam Self Employment Bureau, Calcutta,
  5. Frawley, David (1991) Gods, Sages and Kings Passage Press, Salt Lake City, Utah, ISBN 1878423088 ;
  6. Frawley, David (2001) The Rig Veda and the history of India: Rig Veda Bharata itihasa Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, ISBN 8177420399 ;
  7. Senoupta, Prabodh Chandra (1951) "The Dānavas in the Mahābhārata" Journal of the Asiatic Society Series 3, 17: pp. 177-184, p. 182
  8. Faber, George Stanley (1816) The Origin of Pagan Idolatry Ascertained from Historical Testimony and Circumstantial Evidence F. & C. Rivingtons, London, pp. 589-594;