Also known as Airavana, Virupaksha.
- Indian (culture)
- Flying (attribute)
- Friendly and Dangerous (behaviour)
The pure white winged elephant of Indian mythology. It is the mount of the god Indra who was stunned by its beauty. Airavata has the ability to suck up the water of the earth and spray over all the land creating rain, which was its gift to man. It is also one of the sixteen elephants that holds up the earth and lies in the eastern quarter. A story tells of how it had many offspring of winged white elephants. However these mischievous elephants interrupted the class of a great sage by flying into the tree where he taught. As punishment their wings were taken from them. The descendants of Airavata are the white elephants of today which are so rare that they are used only for royalty. It is also said the origin of Airavata came from Brahma who opened a cosmic egg while reciting mantras. Sixteen elephants manifested from each half of the shell, eight males each with four tusks and eight females. The strongest of these elephants was Airavata. All sixteen elephants hold up the earth.
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