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The Place of the Lizard in the Sacred Books, Sculpture and Belief Systems of India

Publication Type : Journal Article

Source : International Journal

Url :

Campus : Bengaluru

School : Center for Spiritual Studies

Year : 2023

Abstract : Studies devoted to the symbolism of the lizard are well known in the scientific world. However, many scientists did not pay due attention to them. In light of the Indian ethos, we have an incredibly diverse belief system associated with the lizard; somewhere she is worshiped as the goddess Lakshmi, but meeting her is also considered a bad omen. 88 Sanskrit names of the lizard have been found. Some of them are very typical and frequently used, such as godha (godhā), palli (pallī), saraṭa , kṛkavāku , but there are also various atypical names: tattani (ṭaṭṭanī), dārumatsyāhvayā , brahmani ( brahmaṇī), lalantikā (lalantikā), etc. Having collected the "lizard" vocabulary, we found vivid and exciting references to it in Sanskrit literature. The lizard is symbolically mentioned in various texts: from the Vedas to Tantra, from classical Sanskrit literature to scientific treatises. A study of these texts, temple art, and belief systems is essential to unlocking the lizard's symbolism. Therefore, the purpose of the article is to understand and reveal, on the basis of literary sources and temple art, the symbolism of the lizard in the Indian ethos. Trying to highlight several points, in this article we: 1) listed the Sanskrit names of the lizard and gave a general assessment of its positive and negative characteristics; 2) collected, analyzed and interpreted references to the lizard in the literature (limited to Sanskrit texts only; the literature is divided into the following categories: "Beliefs related to merit and sins", "Mythology", "Vedic literature and tantra", "Miscellaneous" ); 3) explored such material heritage as temple art, in particular the icon in the Goisaleshwara temple (Galebidu, Karnataka, India), the image of the goddess Jogulamba (Alampur, Andhra Pradesh, India), the Virupakshi temple (Gampi, Karnataka, India), etc.; 4) researched several peculiar local belief systems of India.

Cite this Research Publication : Manish Rajan Walvekar, "The Place of the Lizard in the Sacred Books, Sculpture and Belief Systems of India." in: Otroshchenko Ivanna Vitaliyivna, Eastern world (International Journal), (Scopus indexed) Vol. 1 (118) (April), 85-100.

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