APSARAS, in Hindu mythology, a female spirit of the clouds
and waters. In the Rig-Veda there is one Apsaras, wife of
Gandharva; in the later scriptures there are many Apsaras
who act as the handmaidens of Indra and dance before his throne.
They are able to change their form, and specially rule over the
fortunes of gaming. One of their duties is to guide to paradise the
heroes who fall in battle, whose wives they then become. They
are distinguished as daivika (“divine”) or laukika (“worldly”).
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