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On Hinduism$
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Wendy Doniger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199360079

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.001.0001

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The Submarine Mare in the Mythology of Shiva 1

The Submarine Mare in the Mythology of Shiva 1

Chapter:
(p.452) The Submarine Mare in the Mythology of Shiva1
Source:
On Hinduism
Author(s):

Wendy Doniger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.003.0032

This chapter examines fire and water in the mythology of the Hindu god Shiva, focusing on the image of the mare that breathes fire as it wanders beneath the ocean. It first considers the symbolism of fire and water in India before discussing the role of the submarine in Shiva’s mythology and the myth of his conflict with Kama. It then looks at the most famous mare in Indian mythology—the Vedic Samjna (later called Saranyu), who married the Sun and then fled from his unbearable heat or tejas and the heat of his sexuality by taking the form of a mare. It also analyzes the horse as a natural symbol of power and fertility.

Keywords:   fire, water, mythology, Shiva, mare, India, submarine, tejas, horse, fertility

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