Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Kraken

The Kraken is a legendary sea monster of giant size that is said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. A number of authors over the years have postulated that the legend originated from sightings of giant squids that may grow to 12–15 meters (40–50 feet) in length, despite the fact that the creature in the original tales was not described as having tentacles and more closely resembled a whale or crab. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the kraken have made it a common ocean-dwelling monster in various fictional works. It was first described by the Dane, Erik Pontoppidan in his first book: Det første forsøg paa Norges naturlige Historie, forestillende dette kongeriges Luft, Fjelde, Vand, Væxter, Metaller, Mineraliser, Steen-arter, Dyr, Fugle, Fiske og omsider Indbyggernes Naturel, samt Sædvaner og Levemaad, I-II, Kbh. 1752-1753

The English word kraken is taken from Norwegian. In Norwegian Kraken is the definite form of krake, a word designating an unhealthy animal or something twisted (cognate with the English crook and crank). In modern German, Krake (plural and declined singular: Kraken) means octopus, but can also refer to the legendary kraken.

The legend of the kraken continues to the present day, with numerous references existing in popular culture, including film, literature, television, video games and other miscellaneous examples (e.g. postage stamps, a rollercoaster ride, and a rum product).

In 1830 Alfred Tennyson published the irregular sonnet The Kraken, which described a massive creature that dwells at the bottom of the sea:

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

In Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick (Chapter 59. Squid.) the Pequod encounters what chief mate Starbuck identifies as: "The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it." Narrator Ishmael adds: "There seems some ground to imagine that the great Kraken of Bishop Pontoppodan [sic] may ultimately resolve itself into Squid." He concludes the chapter by adding: "By some naturalists who have vaguely heard rumors of the mysterious creature, here spoken of, it is included among the class of cuttle-fish, to which, indeed, in certain external respects it would seem to belong, but only as the Anak of the tribe."

Pontoppidan's description influenced Jules Verne's depiction of the famous giant squid in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea from 1870.

Marvel Comics has its own version of the Kraken.
The Kraken (comic book character) from The Umbrella Academy was named so after the Kraken (sea monster) as he has the ability to breathe under water.
In the manga Rosario + Vampire the character Okuto Kotsubo is a kraken.
In the Disney comic series "Tamers of Nonhuman Threats" the Kraken appears in the fifth story, "Let's Get Kraken". In this story, the Kraken has a natural enemy, the sperm whale.
In the hit manga One Piece, a kraken named Surume is a minor character in the Fishman Island Arc.

In silent films of the 1910s and 1920s, the Kraken was often portrayed using stock footage of an octopus in a bathtub attacking a toy ship. This footage first appeared in Georges Méliès' 1906 film Under the Seas, and was recycled in many other films.
The Kraken appears in the film Clash of the Titans (1981) as a giant, four-armed humanoid with scales and a fishtail.
The Kraken appears in Atlantis: Milo's Return (2003) where it is shown to be telepathic.
A telemovie called Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep (2006) features the Kraken as its main antagonist.
In the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), the Kraken is an enormous cephalopod-like sea monster. It does the bidding of Davy Jones by pursuing the souls of men who bear the black spot, a mark that appears on men who are overdue on their debt to Jones.
In the 2010 version of Clash of the Titans (2010), the Kraken is again featured as a servant of the Olympian Gods. This version of the creature has a humanoid head, torso and arms but also boasts a number of tentacle. Instead of a tail, it is depicted with crab-like legs. It is given a new backstory as Hades' creation that was used to overthrow the Titans and was later used by Hades to get revenge on Zeus for tricking him into the underworld.

In 1830 Alfred Tennyson published the irregular sonnet The Kraken, which described a massive creature that dwelled at the bottom of the sea.
In Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby Dick (chapter 59) the crew of the Pequod encounter a "vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length". Starbuck calls it 'The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it.' Narrator Ishmael attributes this to Bishop Pontopiddan's "the great Kraken," and concludes: "By some naturalists who have vaguely heard rumors of the mysterious creature, here spoken of, it is included among the class of cuttle-fish, to which, indeed, in certain external respects it would seem to belong, but only as the Anak of the tribe."
Jules Verne's 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea featured a group of giant squids that attack the submarine Nautilus.
H. P. Lovecraft's novel The Call of Cthulhu, written in 1926, according to Cthulhu Mythos scholar Robert M. Price, has been inspired by Alfred Tennyson's sonnet. Both reference a huge aquatic creature sleeping for an eternity at the bottom of the ocean and destined to emerge from his slumber in an apocalyptic age.
John Wyndham's 1953 novel The Kraken Wakes features the sonnet written by Alfred Tennyson called The Kraken (1830), which described a massive creature that dwelled at the bottom of the sea; the story itself refers to an invasion by sea-dwelling aliens. The title is a play on Tennyson's line "The Kraken sleepeth".
Jack Vance's 1966 science fiction adventure novel The Blue World, based on an earlier 1964 novella The Kragen, depicts a world where natives must beware the kragen, giant, semi-intelligent squid-like predators which roam the ocean.
In Richard Adams' novel The Girl in a Swing, the main female character is stalked by the Kraken to punish her for the crime of murder by drowning.
Terry Brooks' 1985 novel The Wishsong of Shannara features a Kraken as a giant sea creature summoned by "dark magic" to join an assault on a Dwarf fortress.
In the children's book Monster Mission (also known as Island of the Aunts) by Eva Ibbotson, the Kraken is a force for good who has the ability to clean and heal the oceans.
Kraken appear in Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox as enormous, peaceful creatures that stay in the same spot for centuries feeding on algae, doubling as islands. They are described as being conical in shape, although there is a tubular shaped one on the coast of Ireland. In this book, Kraken shed their shells explosively, igniting a layer of methane under the old one and sending it flying. A comparison is made between the Kraken, and a barnacle (albeit one big enough to be mistaken for an island).
In Ken MacLeod's trilogy Engines of lights (Cosmonaut Keep, Dark Light, Engine City), the giant squids or kraken are one of the five intelligent species from Earth that colonized the Galaxy, the others being one species of saurs and three species of hominidae, including the Homo sapiens. The krakens are the most intelligent of the space colonizers, and the ones who created the technology which made interstellar travels possible,
In Michael Crichton's posthumous 2009 novel Pirate Latitudes the sailors call the large sea creature that terrorizes the protagonist's ship "the kraken".
China Miéville's 2010 novel Kraken features a cult devoted to the worship of the creature.
In George R.R. Martin's saga A Song of Ice and Fire, House Greyjoy uses a Kraken in its sigil. In the television adaptation, the Kraken sigil closely resembles a giant squid.

"Kraken" is a song by filk songwriter Leslie Fish, based partly on the Tennyson sonnet.
"Kraken" Is a song by Knife Party featured on their most recent EP, Trigger Warning

In the HBO series Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's fantasy novel series The Song of Ice and Fire, on which the TV series is based, the Kraken is the sigil of House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands.
The television series Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell has a kraken character (Michael Ward) who lives in a closet on the set and is occasionally released by the character Sir Bobo Gargle (Francis Greenslade), where he dances to "Mickey".
An episode of Angry Birds Toons titled 'Sweets of Doom ' featured glowing candy when King Pig ate some and turned into a huge Kraken-like octopus.
The Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper mentions krakens in the episodes "Release the Kraken" and "The Date Night Variable", and in "The Hofstadter Insufficiency", Sheldon dreams of Leonard being grabbed by a kraken and pulled off the research ship he was on.
The television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea featured an episode called "The Village of Guilt" (1964), in which a failed experiment creates a giant octopus that terrorizes the population of a Norwegian fjord.
In a 2015 commercial for the U.S. insurer, GEICO, a "kraken" emerges from a golf course water hazard during a televised tournament, its tentacles writhing and grasping a golfer and his caddy, as the commentators intone with characteristic understatement that the sea monster looks like a kraken.
the kraken appears in an episode of Lost Tapes called "Kraken".
Video games
Age of Mythology (2002)
Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013)
Darkfall: Unholy Wars (2013)
Darkfall Online (2009)
Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010)
EarthBound (1994)
One of the monster classes in the 2015 video game Evolve is named Kraken.
Fable: The Lost Chapters (2004)
Final Fantasy (1987)
Final Fantasy ARR (2012)
God of War II (2007)
Golden Sun (2001)
Heroes of Newerth (2010)
Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb (2003)
A floating-point bug in the space flight simulator Kerbal Space Program which caused vessels at high speed and/or far away places to be disassembled and destroyed was named "Space Kraken" by the community. This name was adopted by the developers, who named the fix for this bug "Krakensbane". Various other game-breaking or ship-destroying glitches have since been found, which are also referred to as the Kraken.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006)
Secrets of the Deep for Pinball FX 2 (2011)
Shamu's Deep Sea Adventures (2005)
Shining Force II (1993)
Smite (2013)
The Ocean Hunter (1998)
The Sims 3: Island Paradise (2013)
Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008)
Wonder Boy in Monster Land (1987)
World of Warcraft (2004)
Risen 2 (2012)
Vainglory (video game) (2014)
Splatoon (2015): the Kraken is a special weapon obtainable in a match that allows the player to temporarily become a giant squid and move with great speed across the map.

In Greek mythology, Perseus defeats a monster called Ceto, represented by the constellation of Cetus (usually depicted as a whale, whose systematic name is Cetacean, also deriving from Ceto).
In 1990, a set of four postage stamps displaying legendary Canadian animals was released. One stamp in the set featured the kraken.
Magic: The Gathering features the kraken as a creature type. Alongside their aquatic brethren leviathans, krakens are typically among the largest creatures available to summon with blue mana.
Kraken was the name of a marine biological supply house in the United Kingdom from 1968 to 1978. A historical website exists .
The Kraken is a steel floorless roller coaster manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard. It opened in 2000 and is located at SeaWorld Orlando, in the United States.
The Kraken Rum is a 94 proof rum manufactured in Trinidad and Tobago; it was released in the United States in 2009.
The Cassini probe has detected a huge body of liquid on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. It has since been named the Kraken Mare.
Greg Hardy, defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, is called "The Kraken" by himself and his fans. "The Kraken's" School has been listed as Hogwarts.
The Razer Kraken is a gaming/music headphone range created by Razer Inc.
Filipino basketball player June Mar Fajardo of the San Miguel Beermen is often called the "Kraken" during broadcasts of Philippine Basketball Association games and the Philippines men's national basketball team. The term was first used in 2010 by members at the forum Interbasket.net.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Leviathan

Leviathan (Hebrew: לִוְיָתָן, Modern Livyatan, Tiberian Liwyāṯān) is a sea monster referenced in the Tanakh, or the Old Testament.

This word has become synonymous with any large sea monster or creature. In literature (e.g., Herman Melville's Moby-Dick) it refers to great whales, and in Modern Hebrew, it simply means "whale". It is described extensively in Book of Job 41 and mentioned in Job 3:8, Amos 9:3, Psalm 74:13–23, Psalm 104:26 and Isaiah 27:1.

Cirlot identifies the creature as a symbol of the primordial world; monstrous and chaotic, and likens it in this regard to the Scandinavian Midgardorm and Mesopotamian Tiamat.

The Hebrew Leviathan was a development of the earlier Canaanite sea monster Lôtān or Litanu (Ugaritic: Ltn) described as a servant of the sea god Yammu in the Baal Cycle discovered in the ruins of Ugarit. The account has gaps, making it unclear whether some phrases describe him or other monsters at Yammu's disposal such as Tunannu (the Biblical Tannin). Most scholars agree on describing Lôtān as "the fugitive serpent" (bṯn brḥ) but he may or may not be "the wriggling serpent" (bṯn ʿqltn) or "the mighty one with seven heads" (šlyṭ d.šbʿt rašm). Like Yammu's other servants and Yammu himself, Lôtān is defeated by the benevolent storm god Baʿal. His role seems to have been prefigured by the earlier serpent Têmtum whose death at the hands of the benevolent storm god Hadad is depicted in Syrian seals of the 18th–16th century bce.

Sea serpents feature prominently in the mythology of the Ancient Near East. They are attested by the 3rd millennium bce in Sumerian iconography depicting the god Ninurta overcoming a seven-headed serpent. It was common for Near Eastern religions to include a Chaoskampf: a cosmic battle between a sea monster representing the forces of chaos and a creator god or culture hero who imposes order by force. The Babylonian creation myth describes Marduk's defeat of the serpent goddess Tiamat, whose body was used to create the heavens and the earth. As early as 1894, scholars began to note the similarity of these earlier stories and the references to Leviathan's battle with Yahweh found in the Hebrew Scriptures. The mention of the Tannins in the Genesis creation narrative (translated as "great whales" in the King James Version) and Leviathan in the Psalms do not describe them as harmful but as ocean creatures who are part of God's creation. The element of competition between God and the sea monster and the use of Leviathan to describe the powerful enemies of Israel may reflect the influence of the Mesopotamian and Canaanite legends or the contest in Egyptian mythology between the Apep snake and the sun god Horus. Alternatively, the removal of such competition may have reflected an attempt to naturalize Leviathan in a process that demoted it from deity to demon to monster.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Angra Mainyu

Angra Mainyu (also: Aŋra Mainiiu) is the Avestan-language name of Zoroastrianism's hypostasis of the "destructive spirit". The Middle Persian equivalent is Ahriman.

Avestan angra mainyu "seems to have beent an original conception of Zoroaster's." In the Gathas, which are the oldest texts of Zoroastrianism and are attributed to the prophet himself, angra mainyu is not yet a proper name. In the one instance in these hymns where the two words appear together, the concept spoken of is that of a mainyu ("mind", r "spirit" etc.) that is angra ("destructive", "inhibitive", "malign" etc, of which a manifestation can be anger). In this single instance—in Yasna 45.2—the "more bounteous of the spirits twain" declares angra mainyu to be its "absolute antithesis".

A similar statement occurs in Yasna 30.3, where the antithesis is however aka mainyu, aka being the Avestan language word for "evil". Hence, aka mainyu is the "evil spirit" or "evil mind" or "evil thought," as contrasted with spenta mainyu, the "bounteous spirit" with which Ahura Mazda conceived of creation, which then "was".

The aka mainyu epithet recurs in Yasna 32.5, when the principle is identified with the daevas that deceive humankind and themselves. While in later Zoroastrianism, the daevas are demons, this is not yet evident in the Gathas: Zoroaster stated that the daevas are "wrong gods" or "false gods" that are to be rejected, but they are not yet demons.

In Yasna 32.3, these daevas are identified as the offspring, not of Angra Mainyu, but of akem manah, "evil thinking". A few verses earlier it is however the daebaaman, "deceiver"—not otherwise identified but "probably Angra Mainyu"—who induces the daevas to choose achistem manah—"worst thinking." In Yasna 32.13, the abode of the wicked is not the abode of Angra Mainyu, but the abode of the same "worst thinking". "One would have expected [Angra Mainyu] to reign in hell, since he had created 'death and how, at the end, the worst existence shall be for the deceitful' (Y. 30.4)."

Literature
Ahriman is featured under the name "Arimanes" in Lord Byron's dramatic poem Manfred.
John Wellington Wells in Gilbert and Sullivan's 1877 operetta The Sorcerer states that either he or Alexis Pointdextre must yield up his life to Ahrimanes in order to undo the love potion's effect.
Ormazd and Ahriman feature heavily in the Philip K. Dick novel The Cosmic Puppets (1957).
In Eva Ibbotson's Which Witch? (1979) The Great Wizard Arriman the Awful tries to select a suitable witch wife.
Ahriman features as the alter-ego of the antihero in Roger Zelazny book The Mask of Loki (1990).
Angra Mainyu is the deity worshiped by The Mahrkagir and his death priests in the third book of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series, titled Kushiel's Avatar (2003).
Television
Ahriman is featured as a demonic enemy of Duncan MacLeod in the last episode of season 5 and the first couple episodes of season 6 of the Highlander TV series.
Video games
Ahriman features in the Sega CD turn-based strategy game Dark Wizard (1993). The English version of the game uses the spelling "Arliman", which is likely to be the effect of an improper Japanese transliteration.
Angra Mainyu is the final boss of the fighting game Severance: Blade of Darkness (2001).
A powerful enemy known as Angra Mainyu can be fought in the role-playing video game Final Fantasy X-2 (2003).
Angra Mainyu dwells within the Holy Grail in the visual novel Fate/stay night (2004), and in the sequel Fate/hollow ataraxia (2005) as a servant.
Ahriman occasionally appears as a boss in Megami Tensei series.
Angra is the final boss of the beat-'em-up video game God Hand (2006).
Ormazd and Ahriman are featured in Prince of Persia (2008).
The name Angra Mainyu was changed to Shandra Manaya, the queen of the destructive Argons, in the video game TERA (2011).
Angra Mainyu is a high-level boss in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (2013).
A painting depicting Angra Mainyu can be seen in one of the endings of Anna: Extended Edition (2013).
Other Media
Ahzek Ahriman is the name given to a Chaos Sorcerer in Games Workshops' Warhammer 40,000, appearing in the table-top game and various related literature. Notably, he is mentioned as having a now-dead brother named Ohrmuzd.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Balarama

Balarama (Sanskrit: Balarāma), also known as Baladeva, Balabhadra and Halayudha, is the elder brother of Krishna(an avatar of the god Vishnu) and is regarded generally as an avatar of Shesha. He is also sometimes considered as the Sankarshana form of Vishnu and the eighth avatar of Vishnu.

He may have originated in Vedic times as a deity of agriculture and fertility. In Jainism, he is known as Baladeva. He is often depicted with a drinking cup, pitcher, shield and sword.

Balarama was son of Vasudeva. The evil king Kansa, the brother of Devaki, was intent upon killing the children of his sister because of a prediction that he would die at the hands of her eighth son.

Vishnu then impregnated the belly of Devaki with two strands of hair, one black, one white. To ensure their safety, their essence was transferred before birth to Rohini, who also desired a child. At birth, Krishna had a darker complexion, while Balarama was born fair. The other name of Balarama is Sankarshana, meaning a spirit transferred between two wombs. According to Bhagavata Purana, the name Sankarshana means, "one who brings together two different families" of King Yadu's and Nanda Baba's dynasties.

He was named Rama, but because of his great strength he was called Balarama, Baladeva, or Balabhadra, meaning Strong Rama. He was born under Shravana nakshatra on Shraavana Purnima or Raksha Bandhan.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Jagannath

Jagannath (or Jagannatha), meaning "Lord of the Universe", is a deity worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists, mainly in the Indian states Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Gujarat, Assam, Manipur and Tripura and by Hindus in Bangladesh. Jagannath is considered a form of Vishnu or his avatar Krishna by the Hindus. Jagannath is worshipped as part of a triad on the "Ratnavedi" (jewelled platform) along with his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra.

The icon of Jagannath is a carved and decorated wooden stump with large round eyes and with stumps as hands, with the conspicuous absence of legs. The worship procedures, practices, sacraments and rituals of Jagannath do not conform with those of classical Hinduism. It is made of wood, which is an exception to common Hindu iconographic deities of metal or stone. The origin and evolution of Jagannath worship, as well as iconography, is unclear and has been subject to intense academic debate.

Jagannath lacks a clear vedic reference and is also not a member of the traditional Dashavatara concept or the classical Hindu pantheon, though in certain Oriya literary creations, Jagannath has been treated as the Ninth avatar, as a substitute for the Buddha.

Jagannath considered as a form of the Hindu God Vishnu, is non-sectarian and has not been associated with any particular denomination of Hinduism in entirety, though there are several common aspects with Vaishnavism, Saivism, Shaktism, Smartism, as well as with Buddhism and Jainism.

The oldest and most famous Jagannath deity is established in Puri. The temple of Jagannath in Puri is regarded as one of the Char Dham (sacred Hindu pilgrimage places) in India.

The most famous festival related to Jagannath is the Ratha yatra, where Jagannath, along with the other two associated deities, comes out of the Garbhagriha of the chief temple (Bada Deula). They are transported to the Gundicha Temple (located at a distance of nearly 3 kilometres (1.9 mi)), in three massive wooden chariots drawn by devotees. Coinciding with the Ratha Yatra festival at Puri, similar processions are organized at Jagannath temples throughout the world.

A large number of traditional festivals are observed by the devotees of Jagannath. Out of those numerous festivals, thirteen are important.

Niladri Mahodaya
Snana Yatra
Ratha Yatra or Sri Gundicha Yatra
Sri Hari Sayan
Utthapan Yatra
Parswa Paribartan
Dakhinayan Yatra
Prarbana Yatra
Pusyavishek
Uttarayan
Dola Yatra
Damanak Chaturdasi
Chandan Yatra
Ratha Yatra is most significant of all festivals of Jagannath.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sudarshana Chakra

The Sudarshana Chakra is a spinning, disk-like weapon with 108 serrated edges used by the Hindu god Vishnu. The Sudarshana Chakra is generally portrayed on the right rear hand of the four hands of Vishnu, who also holds a shankha (conch shell), a Gada (mace) and a padma (lotus).

The Sudarshana Chakra may be depicted as an ayudhapurusha (anthropomorphic form). He is depicted as a fierce form of Vishnu. While the Sudarshana Chakra is depicted as a subordinate figure with Vishnu, in many South Indian Vishnu temples, the Chakra as an ayudhapurusha is worshipped in its own shrine attached to the central temple.

According to the Puranas, Sudarshana Chakra is used for the ultimate destruction of an enemy. The depiction of Vishnu with Sudarshana Chakra also means that Vishnu is the keeper-owner of the celestial bodies and heavens.

There are various legends related to the origins of the Sudarshana Chakra.

As per Valmiki, Ramayana, Purushottama (Vishnu) killed a Danava named Hayagreeva on top of mountain named Chakravan constructed by Vishvakarma and took away Chakra i.e. Sudarshana Chakra from him.

The Sudarshana Chakra was made by the architect of gods, Vishvakarma. Vishvakarma's daughter Sanjana was married to Surya, the Sun God. Due to the Sun's blazing light and heat, she was unable to go near the Sun. She complained to her father about this. Vishvakarma took the Sun and made him shine less so that his daughter would be able to hug the Sun. The left over Sun "dust" was collected by Vishvakarma and made into three divine objects. The first one was the aerial vehicle Pushpaka Vimana, the second being the Trishula (Trident) of the god Shiva, and the third was the Sudarshana Chakra of Vishnu. The Chakra is described to have 10 million spikes in two rows moving in opposite directions to give it a serrated edge.

Sudarshana Chakra is considered to be one of the most powerful weapons in Hindu mythology.

Sudarshana Chakra was used to cut the corpse of Sati, the consort of Shiva into 51 pieces after she gave up her life by throwing herself in a yagna (fire sacrifice) of her father Daksha. It is said that Shiva, in grief, carried around her lifeless body and was inconsolable. The 51 parts of the goddess' body were then tossed about in different parts of the Indian subcontinent and came to be known as "Shakti Peethas".

Sudarshan Chakra is also mentioned in the great war of Mahabharata. Jayadratha was responsible for the death of Arjuna's son. So Arjuna vows to kill Jayadrath the very next day before sunset or set himself on fire. However Drona creates a combination of 3 layers of troops, which acts as a protective shield around Jayadratha. So Krishna creates an artificial sunset by using his Sudarshan Chakra. Seeing this Jayadratha comes out of the protection to celebrate Arjuna's defeat. Instantly at that moment, Krishna withdraws his Chakra to reveal the sun. Krishna then commands Arjuna to kill him. Arjuna follows his orders and kills Jayadrath, by beheading him.

King Ambarisha was a geat devotee of Lord Vishnu. He observed the Ekadashi fast every year. Pleased by his devotion Lord vishnu granted him the boon of Sudarshana Chakra seen in form of prosperity, peace and security to his kingdom.One such time, King Ambarisha was following his Ekadashi fast, when mighty Sage Durvasa arrived at his palace. The sage was warmly welcomed by the king. Durvasa accepted king's request to be his honoured guest on the condition that king will have food with him after he had taken his bath and offered his prayers.

However, when the auspicious time to break the fast came closer, Durvasa did not turn up and King Ambarisha was bound by his promise to the sage. Sage Vashistha then suggested the king to break his fast by taking a Tulsi (holy Basil) leaf with a sip of water and later eat food with Durvasa. But when Durvasa returned, he was angry at King Ambarisha for breaking his fast without him. The sage accused the king of dishonouring him and in anger plucked a hair from his head and created a demon to kill the King. As the demon was about to kill king Ambarisha, the Sudarshan chakra, which was Lord Vishnu's boon to him, emerged and killed the demon.The Sudarshan chakra then moved towards Durvasa who started running for his dear life.

Durvasa went to Brahma and Shiva for protection who were unable to save him as the Sudarshan chakra was Lord Vishnu's boon and only he could save the sage. Durvasa went to Lord Vishnu who told the sage to apologise to King Ambarisha as only he could forgive him and save him. Maharishi Durvasa, still being followed by the Sudarshan chakra, reached King Ambarisha's palace and begged for forgiveness. King Ambarisha forgave the sage and saved his life and made Durvasa realize the greatness of a devotee and God's love for his devotee.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi

In Japanese mythology, Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi ("August Star of Heaven"), also called Ame-no-Kagaseo ("Brilliant Male"),and later Ama-no-Minaka-nushi ("Divine Lord of the middle heavens") was originally a Shinto god of the Pole Star and the primordial chaos. Under Chinese Buddhist influence, the god was identified with "Myo-Ken" (Sudarshana), as either Venus or the pole star, before being combined with the god of all stars, Ama-no-Minaka-Nushi.

He is mentioned in passing in the Nihon Shoki as an opponent of Takemikazuchi-no-kami during the latter's conquest of the land of Izumo, and is sometimes identified with the figure of Takeminakata in the Kojiki

The Mikaboshi legend was adapted in Super Sentai series, Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger as the ultimate goal of its antagonists, the Jakanja.

Mikaboshi inspired the Marvel Comics character of the same name, which was prominent during the Chaos War event as the mastermind behind it, and was revealed to be a personification of the Universe before creation.

In White Wolf's tabletop roleplaying game Scion, Mikaboshi is a major antagonist. He also features as an antagonist in the White Wolf game lines Wraith: the Oblivion and Kindred of the East; in the latter he rules an Tokyo-esque urban hell-realm known as the Wicked City of Yin.

In the PlayStation 2 game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, Mikaboshi appears as a boss character in the fifth chapter.

The Okami franchise bases its final boss on Mikaboshi, representing the cycles of human evil and corruption.

Amatsu-Mikaboshi is revered by the Seitenguu shrine in the visual novel Hoshizora no Memoria, where he is represented by a meteorite that fell on the town in which the game takes place.

In the game Fire Emblem Awakening, Amatsu is used as a name for a golden sword laced with multiple pronged spikes along its blade. It is a Regalia-class weapon, one of the only three long ranged Sword-Type weapons, and is the signature weapon of the swordsman Yen'fay before being passed down to his younger sister Say'ri after his death.

天津甕星
天香香背男

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Eris

Eris is the Greek goddess of strife and discord. Her name is the equivalent of Latin Discordia, which means "discord". Eris' Greek opposite is Harmonia, whose Latin counterpart is Concordia. Homer equated her with the war-goddess Enyo, whose Roman counterpart is Bellona. The dwarf planet Eris is named after the goddess, as is the religion Discordianism.

Eris has been adopted as the patron deity of the modern Discordian religion, which was begun in the late 1950s by Gregory Hill and Kerry Wendell Thornley under the pen names of "Malaclypse the Younger" and "Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst". The Discordian version of Eris is considerably lighter in comparison to the rather malevolent Graeco-Roman original. A quote from the Principia Discordia, the first holy book of Discordianism, attempts to clear this up:

One day Mal-2 consulted his Pineal Gland and asked Eris if She really created all of those terrible things. She told him that She had always liked the Old Greeks, but that they cannot be trusted with historic matters. "They were," She added, "victims of indigestion, you know."

The story of Eris being snubbed and indirectly starting the Trojan War is recorded in the Principia, and is referred to as the Original Snub. The Principia Discordia states that her parents may be as described in Greek legend, or that she may be the daughter of Void. She is the Goddess of Disorder and Being, whereas her sister Aneris (called the equivalent of Harmonia by the Mythics of Harmonia) is the goddess of Order and Non-Being. Their brother is Spirituality.

The concept of Eris as developed by the Principia Discordia is used and expanded upon in the science fiction work The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson (in which characters from Principia Discordia appear). In this work, Eris is a major character.

The classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty is partly inspired by Eris's role in the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Like Eris, a malevolent fairy curses a princess after not being invited to the princess' christening

Eris serves as the main antagonist of the animated film Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. She controls a vast army of creatures resembling constellations, some of which being Cetus, a giant kraken; Scorpius, a giant scorpion; Musca, a giant fly; Leo, a giant lion; Lacerta, a giant lizard; the Roc, a giant white bird; and the Sirens, a group of water spirits. She appears as a black-haired woman with blue skin, red eyes with yellow scleras, and wears a purple strapless dress.

In the television show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and its spin-offs Young Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess, Discord is a recurring antagonist, Ares's henchwoman and pseudo gun moll. Strife was reimagined as a male character, also a flunky of Ares.

In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Eris is a recurring character, often seen with her Golden Apple of Discord. She is an antagonist, though she is represented in a comedic fashion.

In the video game, "Glory of Heracles", Eris is a playable character, although her story is changed a bit, with her being a child, then later being romantically involved with Prometheus.

Eris makes a cameo appearance in the fantasy novel The House of Hades as one of the several children of Nyx seen in the book.

In The New 52 relaunched Wonder Woman title, Eris was renamed "Strife". She is sarcastic, venomous, and a drinker, though both Diana and Hermes consider her mentality to be like that of a spiteful child.

In EVE Online, Eris is the name of the Gallente Interdictor.

In the Light Novel Mushoku Tensei Eris is one of the main protagonists with a very short temper.

In the Freedom City setting, Eris is a high power level antagonist, particularly for player characters with supernatural ties.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ixion

In Greek mythology, Ixion (/ɪkˈsaɪ.ən/ ik-sy-ən; Greek: Ἰξίων, gen.: Ἰξίωνος) was king of the Lapiths, the most ancient tribe of Thessaly, and a son of Ares, or Leonteus, or Antion and Perimele, or the notorious evildoer Phlegyas, whose name connotes "fiery". Peirithoös was his son (or stepson, if Zeus were his father, as the sky-god claims to Hera in Iliad 14)

Ixion married Dia, a daughter of Deioneus (or Eioneus) and promised his father-in-law a valuable present. However, he did not pay the bride price, so Deioneus stole some of Ixion's horses in retaliation. Ixion concealed his resentment and invited his father-in-law to a feast at Larissa. When Deioneus arrived, Ixion pushed him into a bed of burning coals and wood. These circumstances are secondary to the fact of Ixion's primordial act of murder; it could be accounted for quite differently: in the Greek Anthology (iii.12), among a collection of inscriptions from a temple in Cyzicus is an epigrammatic description of Ixion slaying Phorbas and Polymelos, who had slain his mother, Megara, the "great one".

Ixion went mad, defiled by his act; the neighboring princes were so offended by this act of treachery and violation of xenia that they refused to perform the rituals that would cleanse Ixion of his guilt (see catharsis). Thereafter, Ixion lived as an outlaw and was shunned. By killing his father-in-law, Ixion was reckoned the first man guilty of kin-slaying in Greek mythology. That alone would warrant him a terrible punishment.

However, Zeus had pity on Ixion and brought him to Olympus and introduced him at the table of the gods. Instead of being grateful, Ixion grew lustful for Hera, Zeus's wife, a further violation of guest-host relations. Zeus found out about his intentions and made a cloud in the shape of Hera, which became known as Nephele (nephos "cloud") and tricked Ixion into coupling with it. From the union of Ixion and the false-Hera cloud came Centauros, who mated with the Magnesian mares on Mount Pelion, Pindar told, engendering the race of Centaurs, who are called the Ixionidae from their descent.

Ixion was expelled from Olympus and blasted with a thunderbolt. Zeus ordered Hermes to bind Ixion to a winged fiery wheel that was always spinning. Therefore, Ixion is bound to a burning solar wheel for all eternity, at first spinning across the heavens, but in later myth transferred to Tartarus. Only when Orpheus played his lyre during his trip to the Underworld to rescue Eurydice did it stop for a while.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Centaurs

A centaur (/ˈsɛntɔːr/; Greek: Κένταυρος, Kéntauros, Latin: centaurus), or occasionally hippocentaur, is a mythological creature with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse.

The centaurs were usually said to have been born of Ixion and Nephele (the cloud made in the image of Hera). Another version, however, makes them children of a certain Centaurus, who mated with the Magnesian mares. This Centaurus was either himself the son of Ixion and Nephele (inserting an additional generation) or of Apollo and Stilbe, daughter of the river god Peneus. In the later version of the story his twin brother was Lapithes, ancestor of the Lapiths, thus making the two warring peoples cousins.

Centaurs were said to have inhabited the region of Magnesia and Mount Pelion in Thessaly, the Foloi oak forest in Elis, and the Malean peninsula in southern Laconia.

Another tribe of centaurs was said to have lived on Cyprus. According to Nonnus, they were fathered by Zeus, who, in frustration after Aphrodite had eluded him, spilled his seed on the ground of that land. Unlike those of mainland Greece, the Cyprian centaurs were horned.

There were also the Lamian Pheres, twelve rustic daimones of the Lamos river. They were set by Zeus to guard the infant Dionysos, protecting him from the machinations of Hera but the enraged goddess transformed them into ox-horned Centaurs. The Lamian Pheres later accompanied Dionysos in his campaign against the Indians.

Centaurs subsequently featured in Roman mythology, and were familiar figures in the medieval bestiary. They remain a staple of modern fantastic literature. The centaur's half-human, half-horse composition has led many writers to treat them as liminal beings, caught between the two natures, embodied in contrasted myths, both as the embodiment of untamed nature, as in their battle with the Lapiths (their kin), or conversely as teachers, like Chiron.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Greek Underworld

The Greek underworld, in mythology, is an otherworld where souls go after death, and is the original Greek idea of afterlife. At the moment of death the soul is separated from the corpse, taking on the shape of the former person, and is transported to the entrance of the Underworld. The Underworld itself is described as being either at the outer bounds of the ocean or beneath the depths or ends of the earth. It is considered the dark counterpart to the brightness of Mount Olympus, and is the kingdom of the dead that corresponds to the kingdom of the gods. Hades is a realm invisible to the living, made solely for the dead.

Rivers
There are five main rivers that are visible both in the living world and the underworld. Their names were meant to reflect the emotions associated with death.

The Styx is generally considered to be one of the most prominent and central rivers of the Underworld and is also the most widely known out of all the rivers. It's known as the river of hatred and is named after the goddess Styx. This river circles the underworld seven times.
The Acheron is the river of pain. It's the one that Charon, also known as the Ferryman, rows the dead over according to many mythological accounts, though sometimes it is the river Styx or both.
The Lethe is the river of forgetfulness. It is associated with the goddess Lethe, the goddess of forgetfulness and oblivion. In later accounts a poplar branch dripping with water of the Lethe became the symbol of Hypnos, the god of sleep.
The Phlegethon is the river of fire. According to Plato, this river leads to the depths of Tartarus.
The Cocytus is the river of wailing.
Oceanus is the river that encircles the world, and it marks the east edge of the underworld, as Erebos is west of the mortal world.

Entrance of the Underworld
In front of the entrance to the underworld live Grief, Anxiety, Diseases and Old Age. Fear, Hunger, Death, Agony, and Sleep also live in front of the entrance, together with Guilty Joys. On the opposite threshold is War, the Erinyes, and Eris. Close to the doors are many beasts, including Centaurs, Gorgons, the Lernaean Hydra, the Chimera, and Harpies. In the midst of all this, an Elm can be seen where false dreams cling under every leaf.

The souls that enter the Underworld carry a coin under their tongue to pay Charon to take them across the river. Charon may make exceptions or allowances for those visitors carrying a certain Golden Bough. Otherwise, Charon is appallingly filthy, with eyes like jets of fire, a bush of unkempt beard upon his chin, and a dirty cloak hanging from his shoulders. Although Charon embarks now one group now another, some souls he keeps at distance. These are the unburied where they can't be taken across from bank to bank if he had not received burial.

Across the river, guarding the gates of the Underworld, is Cerberus. There is also an area where the Judges of the Underworld decide where to send the souls of the person — to Elysium, the Fields of Asphodel, or the Fields of Punishment.

Tartarus
While Tartarus is not considered to be directly a part of the underworld, it is described as being as far beneath the underworld as the earth is beneath the sky. It is so dark that the "night is poured around it in three rows like a collar round the neck, while above it grow the roots of the earth and of the unharvested sea." Tartarus is the place that Zeus cast the Titans along with his father Cronus after defeating them. Homer wrote that Cronus then became the king of Tartarus. While Odysseus does not see them himself, he mentions some of the people within the underworld who are experiencing punishment for their sins.

Fields of Punishment
The Fields of Punishment was a place for those who had created havoc on the world and committed crimes specifically against the gods. Hades himself would make the individual's punishment of eternal suffering based on their specific crime.

Fields of Asphodel
The Asphodel Meadows was a place for ordinary or indifferent souls who did not commit any significant crimes, but who also did not achieve any greatness or recognition that would warrant them being admitted to the Elysian Fields. It was where mortals who did not belong anywhere else in the Underworld were sent.

Vale of Mourning
The Vale of Mourning is where those who were consumed by unhappy love dwell.

Elysium
Elysium was a place for the especially distinguished. It was ruled over by Rhadamanthus, and the souls that dwelled there had an easy afterlife and had no labors. Usually, those who had proximity to the gods were granted admission, rather than those who were especially righteous or had ethical merit. Most accepted to Elysium were demigods or heroes. Heroes such as Cadmus, Peleus, and Achilles also were transported here after their deaths. Normal people who lived righteous and virtuous lives could also gain entrance such as Socrates who proved his worth sufficiently through philosophy.

Isles of the Blessed
The Isles of the Blessed were islands in the realm of Elysium. When a soul achieved Elysium, they had a choice to either stay in Elysium or to be reborn. If a soul was reborn three times and achieved Elysium all three times, then they were sent to the Isles of the Blessed to be sentenced to eternal paradise.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tartarus

Tartarus (/ˈtɑːrtərəs/; Greek: Τάρταρος Tartaros), in ancient Greek mythology, is the deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the Titans. As far below Hades as the earth is below the heavens, Tartarus is the place where, according to Plato in Gorgias (c. 400 BC), souls were judged after death and where the wicked received divine punishment. Like other primal entities (such as the Earth, Night and Time), Tartarus was also considered to be a primordial force or deity.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Crius

In Greek mythology, Crius, Kreios or Krios (Ancient Greek: Κρεῖος, Κριός) was one of the Titans in the list given in Hesiod's Theogony, a son of Uranus and Gaia. The least individualized among the Titans he was overthrown in the Titanomachy. M. L. West has suggested how Hesiod filled out the complement of Titans from the core group—adding three figures from the archaic tradition of Delphi, Coeus, and Phoibe, whose name Apollo assumed with the oracle, and Themis. Among possible further interpolations among the Titans was Crius, whose interest for Hesiod was as the father of Perses and grandfather of Hecate, for whom Hesiod was, according to West, an "enthusiastic evangelist".

Consorting with Eurybia, daughter of Earth (Gaia) and Sea (Pontus), he fathered Astraios and Pallas as well as Perses. The joining of Astraios with Eos, the Dawn, brought forth Eosphoros, the other Stars and the Winds.

Joined to fill out lists of Titans to form a total that made a match with the Twelve Olympians, Crius was inexorably involved in the ten-year-long war between the Olympian gods and Titans, the Titanomachy, though without any specific part to play. When the war was lost, Crius was banished along with the others to the lower level of Hades called Tartarus.

Although "krios" was also the ancient Greek word for "ram", the Titan's chthonic position in the Underworld means no classical association with Aries, the "Ram" of the zodiac, is ordinarily made. Aries is the first visible constellation in the sky at the spring season, marking the start of the new year in the ancient Greek calendar. This fact may have implied that Crius was the Titan god of constellations, measuring the duration of the year while his brother Hyperion measures the days and months.