Gatekeeper gods; Skanda in Buddhism

James L. Fitzgerald jfitzge1 at UTK.EDU
Mon Jul 19 09:44:46 UTC 1999

See the account of Skandha's birth in the Mahabharata at MBh 3.207-221,
especially 3.219 (van Buitenen, vol. 2:  657-9), where Skandha gives his
"Mothers" (the divorced wives of the seers) the right to afflict children
until they are 16 years old.  A graha ("Grasper," "Grabber") then emerges
from Skandha's body to afflict the young.  A number of other grahas are
enumerated in 3.219.

There is an allusion to the idea that the young are subject to various
grahas at MBh 11.4.6, following a brief description of gestation.

Jim Fitzgerald

> 3.  More generally, is there any reference to Skanda in Indian (Sanskrit)
> Buddhist texts?

> There are also some dhaara.nii suutra, in which
> Skanda is named among a group of demons who make children ill; but this
> Skanda is a bad demon, not the good protector of the Law like the Chinese
> "Weituo"...

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