Ms. Smriti Irani, this is what Dr. Ambedkar said about Mahisasura

Courtesy: Dr. B R Ambedkar’s Caravan

“A comparison between the Vedic and Puranic Goddesses raises some interesting questions. One of them is quite obvious. Vedic literature is full of references to wars against the Asuras. The literature known as Brahmanas replete with them. But all these wars against the Asuras are fought by the Vedic Gods. The Vedic Goddesses never took part in them. With the Puranic Goddesses the situation has undergone a complete change. In the Puranic times there are wars with the Asuras as there were in the Vedic times. The difference is that while in the Vedic times the wars with the Asuras are left to be fought by the Gods in the Puranic times they are left to be fought by the Goddess. Why is that Puranic Goddesses had to do what the Gods in Vedic times did? It cannot be that there were no Gods in Puranic times. There were Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva gods who ruled in the Puranic times. When they were there to fight the Asuras why were the Goddesses enrolled for this purpose. This is a riddle which requires explanation.

Sarasvati and Lakshmi are the wives of Brahma and Vishnu who along with Shiva are recognized as the Puranic Gods. Parvati, Durga and Kali are the wives of Shiva. Now Sarasvati and Lakshmi have killed no Asura and have in fact done no deed of valour. Question is why? Brahma and Vishnu had Sakti which in conformity with the theory must have dwelt in their wives. Why then did Sarasvati and Lakshmi not take part in the battle with the Asuras?

…the Brahmins do not seem to have realized that by making Durga the heroine who alone was capable of destroying the Asuras, they were making their own Gods a set of miserable cowards. It seems that the Gods could not defend themselves against the Asuras and had to beg of their wives to come to their rescue.”

– Dr. Ambedkar, Riddles In Hinduism

ambedkar on asura

Asuras were members of the human family and not monsters.

– Dr. Ambedkar, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India


Few other thoughts ~

mahisasura mysuru festival durga


  1. It is funny that you are finding logic in mythological stories. It is mythology. Tell me one mythology which is not filled with repugnant and idiotic stories. You take any Abrahmical story cooked up to prove nothingness. You take up roman and greek mythology. The job is same: Subjugate the masses.

    • No, it is not about logic in the story. It is about the logic why such story came up. You misunderstood because it is partial quote. Read the book. The book explain about possible origin, due to politics/social structure or ancient time. Puranic time means the era when all purans were written. Vedic time is before Puranic where there are not so many characters. But as bhramanism became stronger 100 of stories emmerged in Puranic time.

      • Exactly. “Possible” reasons, right? See these are mythology. You would never have fool proof reasonings, which is fine. Now the point is this: Some people may consider Mahishasura as their hero, just like Ravana is considered hero for many people. I do not see the logic of degrading Durga as sex worker, which honeymooned with mahishasura for nine days, just to prove your point. Most of the people have no issues with people praying Ravana or Mahishasura. Nothing wrong.

        Since you seem to be a learned person, a rarity on online forums really, I would also like to ask if there is some book that can shed more light on this Mahishasura episode. I will be willing to read it. I have already ordered a couple of Ambedkar’s books.

        Also I dont like this namecalling from the so called anti-casteist activists when they address everybody else as Savarna and themselves as Backward castes. What was the view of Mr Ambedkar on the concept of Moolniwasi? I mean by any logic no one is moolniwasi. The so called moolniwasi must have also usurped some other people’s land and history.

        Also if the Aryan Invasion theory is disproved, the entire concept of Moolniwasi breaks down, right? Can you also shed some more light on it.


        • Well ambedkar did lot of work to agitate the people of lower cast. To prove his point that Buddhism was destroyed in India by bharimanism he has used the concept of moolniwasi. May be Ambedkar was politically biased (towards untouchable). To answer your question u will need a scholar. Self study is a good idea
          While reading His work keep in mind his agenda of agitating people, to remove concept of untouchable (and not like modern day morons who do it for votes).

          Our politics has become like this because our politicians need not to convince intellectuals.
          To an average voter these things are important, or made to sound important to gain votes.

          A funny note: mayawati said in parliament that she is Durga bhagat. But she as a follower of Ambedkar forget basic teaching of ambedkar that people should not follow pujan or bharamic rituals.

          • But again, Mayawati is free to chose whatever she wants right? You cannot treat Ambedkar as a yardstick of measuring who is the best dalit. This is like religious fundamentalism, and this hurts me the most. People who claim to be caste abolisher ask other people’s cast at first place. I have experienced it first time. Do not take it on yourself. But I have never seen someone with a plan to abolish this atrocity. I believe above all freedoms lie the economic freedom. I have friends from SC/ST and OBC and they perfectly happy with their lives. How? They got jobs etc, they are financially independent. That should have been our aim from the very first place. But all we see is politics of hated from both the sides. Anyway. Peace.

  2. Perspectives! It depends on the perspective in which you are looking at things. Dr.Ambedkar looked at things this way and he got his own conclusions. Those stories happened and are meant to be understood from a point of view. If you can understand that, that’s nice and good for you. If you start finding other ways of understanding things, sure you are misleading people and diverting them away from what is to be understood. Then people will find such idiotic logics in all the things and finally it’ll become a mess. But whatever you told was absolutely right, because we changed many epic stories (in all religions) according to men’s needs and luxuries. Also whatever Dr.Ambedkar said about reservations, people took it in other way and now are still fighting for percentages and merging castes into reservations just to enjoy benefits, not to make India proud. When world is emerging so fast day-by-day, we still try to get only few marks to pass eamcet, gate and other government exams just to enjoy benefits of joining high class colleges and companies. Do you think they can’t study? Nope. They have all the luxuries of tax benefits, scholarship benefits, fee benefits also free-books benefit and many other benefits in government societies. Still they only want 30 to pass GATE to get an IIT seat and want their reservation percentage increase in all the areas. Now private companies and some other conglomerates doesn’t want illiterates, so they try to hire people with more percentages(in subjects not in reservations) and great amount of knowledge. Obviously that set of people will be OCs and a few intelligent reservation candidates. So when people see the stats of hiring on the whole, they can see a maximum set pertaining to OCs and starts saying “Discrimination”. See the perspective, how it derailed the thought process of a human!

  3. As per mythology Ravana was of Brahman Varna not caste by Karma and Guna, he attained his Varna through spirituality, Sura and Asura were natures of human being, Asura doesn’t mean monsters, Asura means bad people, that’s all, don’t try to instigate Caste Violence, you commies say that you don’t believe in mythology but whenever it suits you you use mythology to your advantage, Islamists are also with you trying to create another Jogendra Nath Mondal out of this

  4. What hurts me is the hatred cycle in which we have trapped ourselves. For example I see Kumar Sundaram writing this on his facebook wall ” Savarnas voted for Modi and …..”. No. That is painting people into two: Bahujan and Savarnas. This is plain wrong. I ask questions on their facebook posts and all I get is you are Sanghi, Modi Bhakt etc. No! I just asked you a question. There are lot of lies on both the sides of this debate. Both left and right have fooled people many a times, and nowadays it has become easier to fabricate things. All I would say is this: Use your brain and seek the truth. Do not believe whatever is written in op-ed. Cross chek it. Questions their opinions. That is what democracy is all about.

  5. Simply LoL, Kali Durga Parvati were one. Vishnu and Shiva are nowhere in Vedas. Lakshmi represented wealth and prosperity and Saraswati represented education and wisdom, so they did have their divine virtues.

    Lesson to the author: Do not copy and paste. you only prove yourself to be a fool

  6. These are the dualistic outsider perspectives . The emic and etic as are called in behavioural sciences. The insider perspective also has to be taken into account. If you take divinity / sacredness out of any scripture , what remains is what you have over here. One is able to announce , denounce or renounce anything depending on which side one is on . For details on these you can read the Battler for Sanskrit by Rajiv Malhotra . .

    If you keep cherry picking , anybody can be quoted to have said anything .

  7. In Indian parlance , the insider view , Deva are not opposite of Asuras . They are the same family . They are not demons . In vedas the term Asura is many time used to denote Indra . They are Danav because they are sons of Danu or they are Daityas because they are sons of Diti . Similarly the Devas are called as Adityas being the sons of Aditi .

    For example the concept of Satan or opposite of God does not even exist in Hinduism .

    Sure we have a city called as Mysuru . The daityas were very good architects . Indraprastha for example was constructed by Mayasura – the father in law of Ravana . Ravana has composed a hymn in praise of Shiva , Shivatandav Stotra , that will be religiously sung at the time of Mahashivaratri all across India . The stotra clearly states the name of Ravana as the composer . At time divali one whole day is devoted to Mahabali – the king of Danavas – Balipratipada . His kingdom was said to be free of sorrow. So like Ramrajya – the rule of law , Bali rajya has entered in the dictionary to mean ” Good Governance ” .The good in everyone and everything is to be appreciated .

    These kind of differences begin to arise when we start to look at India with the western lenses .