hastin हस्तिन्

Definition: ‘Having a hand,’ with Mrga, ‘beast,’ denotes in the Rigveda and the Atharvaveda the ‘elephant.’ Later the adj'ective alone comes to mean ‘elephant.’ The animal was famed for its strength as well as its virility. It is mentioned with man and monkey as one of the beasts that take hold by the hand (hastādāna), as opposed to those that take hold by the mouth (mukhādāna). It was tamed, as the expression Hastipa,* elephant-keeper,’ shows, and tame elephants were used to catch others (see Vāraṇa). But there is no trace of its use in war, though Ktesias and Megasthenes both record such use for their times. The Atharvaveda alludes to its being pestered by mosquitoes.

Dictionary: vedic_index
Literary Sources: