This article offers an overview of some of the most peculiar mythological creatures of the Hindu pantheon related to the watery element. Starting from the analysis of the concept of liminality, which is fundamental to Monster Theory, the symbolism and functions of water in ritualism, folklore and the traditions of South Asia will be explored. Indeed, destruction, metamorphosis, transition, purification and rebirth are all concepts that in Indian traditions are frequently sublimated into the dynamics of the circulation of waters. The monsoon phenomenon, the rushing rivers flowing down from the Himalayas and the depths of the Indian Ocean abysses therefore rise here to metaphysical and existential metaphors. Their hidden meaning has been represented in an allegorical key over the centuries by monstrous, bizarre and emblematic figures that have animated art, iconography and literature and popular legends. This essay tries to explore the issue through a religious and anthropological investigative approach, but with particular reference to Sanskrit literature and the sacred texts of Hinduism.

AQUATIC MYTHOLOGIES: Divine, liminal and fantastic creatures in the Indian tradition

Beggiora S.
2022-01-01

Abstract

This article offers an overview of some of the most peculiar mythological creatures of the Hindu pantheon related to the watery element. Starting from the analysis of the concept of liminality, which is fundamental to Monster Theory, the symbolism and functions of water in ritualism, folklore and the traditions of South Asia will be explored. Indeed, destruction, metamorphosis, transition, purification and rebirth are all concepts that in Indian traditions are frequently sublimated into the dynamics of the circulation of waters. The monsoon phenomenon, the rushing rivers flowing down from the Himalayas and the depths of the Indian Ocean abysses therefore rise here to metaphysical and existential metaphors. Their hidden meaning has been represented in an allegorical key over the centuries by monstrous, bizarre and emblematic figures that have animated art, iconography and literature and popular legends. This essay tries to explore the issue through a religious and anthropological investigative approach, but with particular reference to Sanskrit literature and the sacred texts of Hinduism.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5008641
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