Four (chatur) parts (anga) of the army.

Elephants, horses (cavalry) foot soldiers (infantry), chariots.

Out of Chaturanga the Akshauhini is formed.


Son of sage Gautama.

Chakravaka Bird

A ruddy goose, a love bird, because they always appear as a pair, Chakwa (m) and Chakwi (f). In mythology, they are considered a cursed couple that disturbed a sage in his meditation. After sunset they are supposed to remain separate.

Chitapavan Brahmanas

Parashurama felt impure after the destruction of the Kshatriyas and needed brahmins for the rite of purification.

He brought a narrow strip of land out of the sea, today’s Konkan, the coastal region of Maharashtra, and took the bodies of 14 brahmins that had washed ashore after a shipwreck, burned them and brought them back to life.

They are the Chitapavan Brahmins, purified (Pavan) by the pyre (Chita), the fire. They are the progenitors of 14 gotras.

Read about Chitapavan Brahmins here

Chanda and Munda

The army generals of Shumbha and Nishumbha.


Vritra was King Chitraketu in his previous life, childless despite 10 million women.

He prayed to sage Angiras, a queen gave birth to Kritadyuti, he was killed by the other jealous women. Angiras brought him back to life.

Chitraketu went into meditation and became a Gandharva. One day he saw Parvati sitting on Shiva’s lap and laughed. Parvati cursed him to become a demon in the next life. He was born as Vritra.


A demon who appeared in disguise of a brahmin at Yudhishthira’s royal consecration and accused him of having obtained his kingdom through the death of relatives and teachers. Charvaka was a friend of Duryodhana and was burned to ashes by those performing the consecration.


Author of Arthashastra, a treatise on ideal governance. He is also called Kautilya.

Read more here


Four diplomatic techniques to solve problems.

Saama – pacifying
Daana – compensation, bribery
Bheda – dividing, sowing discord
Danda – punishment

Read about Catustayam here


For what we call caste today, varna, colour, is used in ancient scriptures.

The four varnas are:
Brahmana – Clergy, Intellectuals – the cleric power. The head thinks.
Kshatriya – Regents, Warriors – the mundane power. The arms protect.
Vaishya – Farmers, Merchants. The thighs bear.
Shudra – Workers. The feed support.

In the myths the king and his adviser, a sage, appear. Together they govern the empire.

In heaven the same duo rules – Brihaspati, the Brahmana, advisor to the Gods, and Indra, the Kshatriya, the king of the Gods.

Read about the cast system here