Brahmā’s Bestiary

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.10.37-39

Parīkṣit: What names and forms does Brahmā create in this world?

Śuka: He created the Prajāpatīs. Through them, he created the Manus (the forbearers of mankind), the Devas (gods), Ṛṣis (the scholars, especially the original seven sages), and the Pitṛs (“forefathers” who inhabit the netherworld). He created the Siddhas, Cāraṇas, Gandharvas, and Vidyādharas  (super-humans who have mastered various fine arts and sciences). He created the Asuras (demons), and Guhyakas (guardians of the netherworld’s wealth). He created the Kinnaras (a species that combines animal features with the human form), Apsaras (beautiful dancers and masters of erotic arts), Nāgas (dragons – supernatural serpents), Sarpas (a less advanced supernatural serpent), Kimpuruṣas (a species combining monkey and human features), Naras (humans), and the Mātṛs (“foremothers” who inhabit the netherworld).

Those are all wonderful species, but he also created monstrous entities like Rakṣas (primal natural spirits), piśācas (ogres), pretas (undead), bhūtas (ghosts), vināyakas (thievish goblins), kūṣmāṇḍas (globular spirits that possess entities), unmādas (lunatics), vetālas (vampires), yātudhas (man-eaters), and grahas (spirits that possess humans).

He also created sub-human species like birds, wild animals, domestic animals, plants, crystals, and reptiles.

He created every form of life in either of the two divisions (moving or not), or four divisions (those born from cellular division, seeds, eggs, or wombs), dwelling anywhere in the water, on land, or in the sky.

All of them experience fortune and misfortune as a result of their own actions.

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