1. Erāvana.– Sakka’s elephant. He was once the elephant of the king of Magadha, who gave him to Māgha and his companions to help them in their good works on earth. As a result, when Magha and the others were reborn in Tāvatiṃsa, Erāvana was born there himself and became their companion. Ordinarily he was a deva like the others, because there are no animals in the deva-
In the Dhammika Sutta (Sn.v.379) Erāvana is mentioned among the devas who visited the Buddha to pay him homage. He is also mentioned among the Nāgā present at the teaching of the Mahāsamaya Sutta (D.ii.258; perhaps here a king of snakes is meant, because he is mentioned with others who are avowedly snakes). It is emphasised in several places (e.g., MA.i.472; DA.ii.688; also VvA.15 and Kvu.ii.599) that Erāvana is a devaputta and a Nāga only by birth (jātiyā). The Jātaka stories (J.v.137) mention Sakka as riding Erāvana, particularly when making comparisons between kings parading on the backs of elephants (e.g., V.iii.392). Erāvana is one of the chief features of Tāvatiṃsa (V.vi.278).