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Old 23rd June 2005, 09:07 AM   #26
spiral
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I suppose the other potentialy likely God with a trunk & tusks is of course the Makara!

Spiral..


To quote from..

http://www.khandro.net/mysterious_makaras1.htm

Which has illustrations & pictures.


The Sanskrit word makara can refer to the amphibian animal we know as the crocodile. However, it also designates a mythological water creature that resembles a croc in only one way -- it has a long proboscis [nose-like organ.] It is doubtful that someone would recognize in images and sculptures of makaras any crocodilian he or she had ever seen.

For example, in the temple complex of Khajuraho in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the temple-guardian makara sculptures resemble sleek sorts of seals. They are chubby, smooth-coated creatures with short, re-curved trunks.

Now the trunk is the identifying characteristic of the elephant, and as we have seen, elephants are associated with the rain clouds that presage a plentiful harvest. Hence, they are linked with Lakshmi, the Indian goddess of prosperity. This calendar art image shows how the elephant is related to the mythological water creature called makara.



Named "river horse" by the Greeks, the hippopotamus also may be the prototype for the makaras that accompany Ganga, goddess of heavenly sweet waters. Or, if ever there actually existed an animal resembling the makara in the ancient Indian environment, the gentle, vegetarian manatee (Trichechus manatus) might even be a candidate.

In astrology, the makara is often translated Water Horse, and corresponds to the western astrological sign of Capricorn. It is serpentine or seal-like, and its elephantine head is often used as an architectural decoration or as a structural bracket.

In India, Makara-Shankranti occurs at the terminal cusp of Capricorn indicating that the sun is now entering the tenth house of the Zodiac and heading towards the northern hemisphere -- the winter solstice has passed. It is celebrated in the middle of the month of January and is regarded as a kind of New Year. Unfortunately, it is the custom for many Hindu families to sacrifice animals at this time, often one for each member. In the state of Kerala, a holy flame called Makara Jyoti seems to appear in the skies at the prominent temple of Sabari Malai on that day.

Water horse translated into German is wasserpferd, but that term is used for the walrus. The one aspect of that great sea mammal that recalls the makara is its characteristic posture with its head in the air while its lower body is in the water. On the other hand, look at the elephant seal: If there is any "water horse" in nature, this is the candidate that seems to bear the closest resemblance.

Mugging

In Hindi, a crocodile is called magar. We sometimes see this written as "mugger." The Indian salt water crocodile is among the largest of the world's 23 species of crocodilians, a group that includes alligators and gavials. The snout of some gavials (more properly known as gharial, for the ghara or pot at the end of the mature male's snout that may serve as an amplification chamber for sounds emitted during courtship,) is long and very slender, and up-curving. It is amongst the largest of crocodilians, averaging between 12 and 15 feet. Perhaps those are reasons why the makara of art and architecture seems like an aquatic elephant
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