fallen angel, a Titan pl. asurā the Titans, a class of mythological beings. Dhpāla at Pv-a.272 & the C. on Ja.v.186 define them as kāḷakañjaka-bhedā asurā. The are classed with other similar inferior deities, e.g. with garuḷā, nāgā, yakkhā at Mil.117; with supaṇṇā, gandhabbā, yakkhā at DN-a.i.51. The fight between Gods & Titans is also reflected in the oldest books of the Pāli Canon and occurs in identical description at the foll. passages under; the title of devāsura-saṅgāma: DN.ii.285; SN.i.222 (cp. SN.i.216 sq.), SN.iv.201 sq., SN.v.447; MN.i.253; AN.iv.432
■ Rebirth as an Asura is considered as one of the four unhappy rebirths or evil fates after death (apāyā; viz. niraya, tiracchāna-yoni, petā or pettivisaya, asurā), e.g. at Iti.93; Ja.v.186; Pv.iv.11#1 see also apāya
■ Other passages in general: SN.i.216 sq (fight of Devas & Asuras); iv.203; AN.ii.91; AN.iv.198 sq. AN.iv.206; Snp.681; Mnd.89, Mnd.92, Mnd.448; Dhp-a.i.264 (˚kaññā) Sdhp.366, Sdhp.436.

  • -inda Chief or king of the Titans. Several Asuras are accredited with the rôle of leaders, most commonly Vepacitti (SN.i.222; SN.iv.201 sq.) and Rāhu (AN.ii.17, AN.ii.53; AN.iii.243) Besides these we find Pahārāda (gloss Mahābhadda) at AN.iv.197.
  • -kāya the body or assembly of the asuras AN.i.143; Ja.v.186; Thag-a.285.
  • -parivāra a retinue of Asuras AN.ii.91
  • -rakkhasā Asuras and Rakkhasas (Rakṣasas) Snp.310 (defined by Bdhgh at Snp-a.323 as pabbata-pāda-nivāsino dānava-yakkha-saññitā).

Vedic asura in more comprehensive meaning; connected with Av. ahurō Lord, ahurō mazdā˚; perhaps to Av. anhuš & Lat. erus master