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This page contains Familiars inspired by South Asian and similar mythologies.

History

South Asian mythology includes myths from the southern region of the Asian continent, comprising the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. By some definitions, Burma and Tibet are also included in the region.


Gods, Spirits & Divinities

Apsara

Apsara, Spirit of Water II Figure
An Apsara (also spelled as Apsarasa) is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. An Apsara (Sanskrit: अप्सराः apsarāḥ, plural अप्सरसः apsarasaḥ, stem apsaras-, a feminine consonant stem, អប្សរា), is also known as Vidhya Dhari or Tep Apsar (ទេពអប្សរ) in Khmer, Accharā (Pāli) or A Bố Sa La Tư (Vietnamese), Bidadari (Indonesian & Malay), Biraddali (Tausug), Hapsari or Widodari (Javanese) and Apson (Thai: อัปสร). English translations of the word "Apsara" include "nymph," "celestial nymph," and "celestial maiden."

Apsaras are beautiful, supernatural female beings. They are youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing. They are often the wives of the Gandharvas, the court musicians of Indra. They dance to the music made by the Gandharvas, usually in the palaces of the gods, entertain and sometimes seduce gods and men. As ethereal beings who inhabit the skies, and are often depicted taking flight, or at service of a god, they may be compared to angels.

Apsaras are said to be able to change their shape at will, and rule over the fortunes of gaming and gambling. Urvasi, Menaka, Rambha and Tilottama are the most famous among them. Apsaras are sometimes compared to the muses of ancient Greece, with each of the 26 Apsaras at Indra's court representing a distinct aspect of the performing arts. They are associated with fertility rites.

There are two types of Apsaras; Laukika (worldly), of whom thirty-four are specified, and Daivika (divine), of which there are ten.

The Bhagavata Purana also states that the Apsaras were born from Kashyap and Muni.


Dharva

Dharva Fangclad II Figure
In Hinduism, the gandharvas (Sanskrit: गन्धर्व, gandharva, Kannada: ಗಂಧರ್ವ, Tamil:கந்தர்வர், Telugu:గంధర్వ or Gandharvudu) are male nature spirits, husbands of the Apsaras. Some are part animal, usually a bird or horse. They have superb musical skills. They guarded the Soma and made beautiful music for the gods in their palaces. Gandharvas are frequently depicted as a singer in the court of Gods.

In Hindu theology, gandharvas act as messengers between the gods and humans. In Hindu law, a Gandharva marriage is one contracted by mutual consent and without formal rituals.

Gandharvas are mentioned extensively in the epic Mahabharata as associated with the devas (as dancers and singers) and with the yakshaa , as formidable warriors. They are mentioned as spread across various territories.


Garuda

Garuda II Figure
The Garuda (in Sanskrit: गरुड, "eagle") is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology. In Hindu religion, Garuda is a Hindu divinity, usually the mount (vahana) of the God Vishnu. In the Bhagavad-Gita (Ch.10, Verse 30), in the middle of the battlefield "Kurukshetra", Krishna explains his omnipresence:
"...as son of Vinata, I am in the form of Garuda, the king of the bird community".
  — Krishna 
In Buddhist mythology, they combine the characteristics of animals and divine beings, and may be considered to be among the lowest devas.


Moni

Moni the Dismemberer II Figure
Moni was, after Imra, the second-most important god in the pre-Islamic pantheon of the Hindukush Kafir people.
With his breath, Imra created Moni and Gish. Moni was believed to be a divine prophet, whom Imra selected to fulfill his behests. Nearly every Kafir village had a temple devoted to Moni.


Yaksha

Void Yaksha II Figure
Yaksha (Sanskrit: यक्ष yakṣa) is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist literature. The feminine form of the word is yakṣī (यक्षी) or Yakshini (yakṣiṇī, यक्षिणी). In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist texts, the yaksha has a dual personality. On the one hand, a yakṣa may be an inoffensive nature-fairy, associated with woods and mountains; but there is also a darker version of the yakṣa, which is a kind of ghost (bhuta) that haunts the wilderness and waylays and devours travelers, similar to the rakṣasas.


Yeti

Yeti Watch II Figure
The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is said to be an ape-like cryptid taller than an average human, similar to Bigfoot, that inhabits the Himalayan region of Nepal, and Tibet.
The Yeti was a part of the pre-Buddhist beliefs of several Himalayan people. He was told that the Lepcha people worshipped a "Glacier Being" as a God of the Hunt.


Kings, Heros, Heroines, & Humans

Sita and Kusha

Sita, War Princess II Figure
Kusha, War Princess II Figure
Sita (Devanagari:सीता, also spelled Sîta, Seeta or Seetha [ˈsiːt̪aː], About this sound listen (help·info) meaning "furrow") is the central female character of the Hindu epic Ramayana. She is the consort of the Hindu god Rama (avatar of Vishnu) and is an avatar of Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and wife of Vishnu. She is esteemed as a paragon of spousal and feminine virtues for all Hindu women. Sita is known for her dedication, self-sacrifice, courage and purity.
Kusha or Kush (Sanskrit: कुश, Tamil: குசன், Malay: Gusi, Thai: Mongkut, Khmer: Ramalaks) and his twin brother Lava, were the children of Lord Rama and his wife Sita, whose story is recounted in the Hindu epic Ramayana. He was the elder of the two and is said to have wheatish complexion like their mother, while Lava had black complexion like their father. Once Sita goes to fetch water from the lake carrying the infant Lava in her arms, the sage Valmiki comes to ashram from outside and asks where is Sita to that the ashram people say she has gone to fetch water with other ladies but he does not see the child in the cradle of Lava, he thinks demons should have taken the baby so he immediately gets some dry grass (darbha or kusha in sanskrit) and clones a baby by the time Sita comes to the ashram, this is how Kusha is born or he gets the name Kusha. Ramayana book written by Valmiki says Sita gave birth to both Lava and Kusha at the same time. He was the ruler of the kingdom centered at Kasur in ancient times.


Takshaka

Takshaka, Serpent King II Figure
Takshaka (Takṣaka) was one of the Nagas mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahābhārata. He lived in a city named Takshasila, which was the new territory of Takshaka after his race was banished by Pandavas led by Arjuna from the Khandava Forest and Kurukshetra, where they built their new kingdom.

Takshaka is mentioned as a King of the Nagas at (1,3).

After King Parikshit was cursed by a sage's son to die by a snake bite for a small mistake, Takshaka came to fulfil the curse. Takshaka did the deed by approaching in disguise (1,50) and biting Parikshit, the grandson of Arjuna and thus slaying him, while he was meditating on Lord Vishnu. He also prevented the possibility of getting any medical aid to the king, by bribing a priest in the Kasyapa clan, who was an expert in curing people from snake-poisoning (1,43). Later King Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, fought a war at Takshasila (1,3) and expelled the Nagas headed by Takshaka from there too. Takshaka later became a robber, waiting to loot anything valuable from the travellers traversing through his domain. The Kingdom of Paushya king and the new stronghold of Takshaka was close to Takshasila.


Vali

Valin the Terrible II Figure
In the Hindu epic Ramayana, the vanara Vali was king of Kishkindha, a son of Indra, elder brother of Sugriva and father of Angada.

Vali (Sanskrit: वाली, nominative singular of the root वालिन् (Valin) is also known as Bali in several Indian languages. His other names include Indonesian: Subali, Malay: Balya, Yuan: Bari, Thai: Phali, Lao: Palichan and Khmer: ពាលី .

Vali was famous for the boon that he had received, according to which anyone who fought him in single-combat lost half his strength to Vali, thereby making Vali invulnerable to any enemy.

Once Ravana called Vali for a fight when Vali was doing his regular Sandhyavandanam. He took Ravana in his tail and took him around all the world. Humbled, Ravana called for a truce.

Vali had been known as a good and pious vanara-king, but had been too outraged to heed his brother Sugriva after he had sealed the entrance to a cave in which Vali was fighting a rakshasa named Mayavi. Sugriva had mistaken the blood flowing out of the cave to be his brother's, blocked the entrance to the cave with a boulder and left for Kishkindha, assuming that his brother was dead. When Vali had emerged victorious over the rakshasa, he had found that the entrance to the cave was blocked. He journeyed back to kingdom to find Sugriva ruling in his place. Sugriva tried to explain the situation to Vali, but Vali, enraged, would not listen. Vali then nearly kills Sugriva, except that Sugriva was able to escape Vali's grasp. Sugriva barely escaped from the kingdom. When Vali chased Sugriva out of his kingdom, he also claimed Sugriva's main wife, Ruma. Sugriva fled into the forest where he eventually met Rama and Laxman.


Others

Bunga

Bunga, the Stalwart II Figure
The Ramgarhia Bunga (Bunga means Mansion), is a three-story marvel of the Sikh school of architecture and is located in the vicinity of Shri Darbar Sahib Amritsar. Ramgarhia bunga was built by Sikh warrior & Ramgarhia misl chief Jassa Singh Ramgarhia in the late 18th century (year 1755). It was constructed to fortify (stalwart means loyal, reliable) the area to protect the holy complex from outside invasion. During the reign of the Muslim Mughal Emperors, The Golden Temple was damaged many times, but each time it was rebuilt by the Sikhs. Sardars of the 12 Misls decided that some of the Khalsa leaders must be housed inside it for its protection against their enemies.

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