underwater hell or otherworld

Toke L. Knudsen toke.knudsen at ONEONTA.EDU
Sat Dec 12 16:27:48 UTC 2009

Dear Jonathan,

Adding to the replies already sent to the list, I want to mention that  
the Indian astronomical tradition talks about Vaḍavāmukha, located  
at the south pole of the earth globe in the middle of the ocean of  
fresh water.  It is the entrance to the pātālas (mentioned by  
Stefan), which are hollow, interior regions of the earth, inhabited by  
Nāgas.  At Vaḍavāmukha burns the vaḍavāgni, an underwater fire  
emerging from these interior regions.  It is said that the smoke  
arising out of the ocean due to this fire, spreading over the earth  
and being scorched by the rays of the sun, becomes the sparks of  

All best wishes,

On Dec 9, 2009, at 5:11 PM, Jonathan Silk wrote:

> 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
> -- 
> J. Silk
> Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
> Postbus 9515
> 2300 RA Leiden
> Netherlands

Toke L. Knudsen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics
State University of New York, College at Oneonta
108 Ravine Parkway
Oneonta, NY 13820

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