Online Encyclopedia

APSARAS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 231 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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APSARAS, in Hindu mythology, a female spirit of the clouds and waters. In the Rig-Veda there is one Apsaras, wife of Gandharva; in the later scriptures there are many Apsaras who act as the handmaidens of Indra and dance before his throne. They are able to change their form, and specially rule over the fortunes of gaming. One of their duties is to guide to paradise the heroes who fall in battle, whose wives they then become. They are distinguished as daivika (" divine ") or laukika (" worldly ").
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