underwater hell or otherworld

Loriliai Biernacki Loriliai.Biernacki at COLORADO.EDU
Thu Dec 10 00:01:22 UTC 2009

> a friend who is a student of Indo-european and currently working on Welsh
> asked me whether there are things like underwater hells in Indic folklore
> (she referred for instance to an Irish underwater otherworld)--I don't
> recall any such thing, but that may be nothing more than a statement about
> my ignorance or bad memory. Any ideas?
> thanks, jonathan
Hi Jonathan,
    I talk about a story in my Renowned Goddess of Desire, where the goddess
of speech, Saraswatī, later Blue Saraswatī, is abducted and taken to an
underwater prison/hell by two demons, Somaka and Hayagrīva, where the
poisons in the underwater prison turn her white skin dark. Viṣṇu comes to
save her in his Matsya form. This is found in a roughly 15th-18th century
Northeastern text, the Bṛhannīla Tantra.
Best wishes,
Loriliai Biernacki
Associate Professor, Religious Studies
Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies
University of Colorado at Boulder
UCB 292
Boulder, CO 80309
Loriliai.Biernacki at colorado.edu

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