Tag Archives: Veda

Alkaios’ hymn to the Dioskouroi: Hindu parallels

In this note we shall see how even a short “sūkta” of the yavana Alkaios to the Dioskouroi (individually named Kastor and Polydeukes), the Greek cognates of the Aśvin-s, offers several parallels to the Hindu tradition in the Veda. In … Continue reading

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Indo-European expansions and iconography: revisiting the anthropomorphic stelae

Was there an early Indo-European iconography? The anthropomorphic stelae There is no linguistic evidence for the presence of iconic or temple worship among the early Indo-Europeans. However, after their migrations, when they settled in the lands of sedentary peoples, they … Continue reading

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A note on Śrī, Viṣṇu and śṛṅgāra

yaḥ pūrvyāya vedhase navīyase sumaj-jānaye viṣṇave dadāśati । yo jātam asya mahato mahi bravat sed u śravobhir yujyaṃ cid abhy asat ॥ RV 1.156.2 Whoever repeatedly performs rituals to the wise one to the ancient and the new one, Viṣṇu, … Continue reading

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Sneha, snowstorms, the sun and the moon in enigmatic ṛk-s

That the Indo-European homeland was a cold place with snow is evidenced by widespread survival of two hon-homologous words for snow. Recently, a discussion on one of these words, sparked by some linguist, landed on my timeline on Twitter. From … Continue reading

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Agni as the divine commander in the Veda and the Purāṇa

With the Sākamedha-parvan with the oblations to Agni Anīkavat having just passed, we present a brief note on Agni as the general of the deva army. Agni is presented as the commander of the deva-s in the brāhmaṇa literature. For … Continue reading

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Twin Āditya-s, twin Rudra-s

This note originated as an intended appendix to the article on Rudra and the Aśvin-s we published earlier. The first offshoot from that work, which we published separately, explored the links between Rudra, Viṣṇu and the Aśvin-s in the śrauta … Continue reading

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Matters of religion: Varuṇāvasiṣṇavam, Agnāvasiṣṇavam and the vyahṛti-s

Like the clouds lifting after the monsoonal deluge to unveil the short-lived comforts of early autumn, the metaphorical pall over the nation cast by the engineer’s virus was lifting. Somakhya and Lootika were at the former’s parents’ house, relieved that … Continue reading

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Making an illustrated Nakṣatra-sūkta and finding the constellation for a point in the sky

The illustrated Nakṣatra-sūkta Towards the latter phase of the Vedic age, multiple traditions independently composed sūkta-s that invoked the pantheon in association with their home nakṣatra-s as part of the śrauta Nakṣatreṣṭi or related gṛhya homa-s. Of these oldest and … Continue reading

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A great statistician, and biographical, numerical musings on ancient game

Recently my friend brought it to my attention that C. Radhakrishna Rao had scored a century. Born in 1920 CE to Doraswamy Nayadu and A. Laxmikanthamma from the Andhra country, he is one of the great mathematical thinkers and statisticians … Continue reading

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The phantoms of the bone-pipe

As Vidrum was leafing through some recent case studies to gather the literature for his own production, he received a call from his chauffeur. He had fetched Vidrum’s new car. Vidrum went out to take a look at it. As … Continue reading

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Some notes on the Brahmayajña brāhmaṇa and Uttama-paṭala of the Atharvaṇ tradition

PDF version  The Brahmayajña brāhmaṇa (1.1.29 of the Gopatha-brāhmaṇa) of the Atharvaveda provides a glimpse of the Vedic saṃhitā canon as known to the brāhmaṇa authors of the AV tradition. The Brahmayajña might be done as part of the basic … Continue reading

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Yajus incantations for the worship of Rudra from the Kāṭhaka ritual manuals

This article is available as a pdf document. The notes from it are appended below. The loss of the northern and northwestern Kṛṣnayajurveda traditions due to the Mohammedan depredations of Northern India (aided an abetted by the predatory Anglospheric regimes) … Continue reading

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RV 10.5

The Ṛgveda is replete with obscure sūkta-s but RV 10.5 might easily take a place in the top tier of those. One might even ask why even attempt to write a commentary on this. We admit we could be plainly … Continue reading

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Viṣṇu, the Marut-s and Rudra

This note might be read as a continuation of the these two earlier ones: 1) The Aśvin-s and Rudra 2) The roots of Vaiṣṇavam: a view from the numerology of Vedic texts In the Ṛgveda (RV), the Marut-s are seen … Continue reading

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Notes on miscellaneous brāhmaṇa passages from the Yajurveda

The upasthāna ritual is performed to let the sacrificial fire remain in residence after the primary oblations are complete. In the triple-fire śrauta rite this is done at the āhavanīya altar with several incantations specified in the saṃhitā-s of the … Continue reading

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The Aśvin-s and Rudra

The twin Aśvin-s and Rudra are both Indo-Aryan reflexes of two deity-classes which can be reconstructed as likely being present in the Proto-Indo-European religion. Both are likely to have even deeper roots going back to even earlier religious traditions across … Continue reading

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Matters of religion-3

Lootika seeing Somakhya contemplating something remarked: “That great clash of men is upon us, where, as the śruti says, our flag will be mingled with that of the enemy in close combat.” Somakhya: “It’s almost as if your mind is … Continue reading

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Kaiṭabha, poison and death: meanderings through tradition

For better reading try PDF version The medical Suśruta-saṃhitā, kalpasthāna, chapter 3 contains an unusual mythologem about the origin of poison. It clearly belongs to the Prājāpatya tradition and presents some unusual features. It presented in full below: prajām imām … Continue reading

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Matters of religion: the Vāyavīyaṃ Kaubera-vratam

The bus came to halt at the underground stop. Vrishchika of pretty tresses got off the bus and walked up the stairs to reach the over-bridge. She reached the middle of the bridge and stood there looking out expectantly at … Continue reading

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Notes on the Bhadra-sūkta, a hymn for felicity to the Vedic pantheon

For better type-setting and Devanagari rendering use PDF version. Introduction Several sub-schools of the Taittirīya school of the Kṛṣṇayajurveda possess their own collections of mantra-s distinct from their saṃhitā-s known as the mantra-pāṭha-s. These include mantra-s that are often found … Continue reading

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Making of a modern-day mantra-śāstra pamphlet

Originally, all mantra instructions were oral, keeping with the spirit of the śruti. But over time, starting probably around the Mauryan age, written manuals began to supplement the oral teachings. Thus, through the ages practitioners of the mantra-lore have made … Continue reading

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A note on āmreḍita-s in the Ṛgveda and issues of word distribution

sa darśataśrīr atithir gṛhe-gṛhe vane-vane śiśriye takvavīr iva । janaṃ-janaṃ janyo nāti manyate viśa ā kṣeti viśyo viśaṃ-viśam ॥ RV 10.91.2 by Aruṇa Vaitahavya He, with visible auspiciousness, a guest in house after house, in forest after forest lurking like … Continue reading

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A note on the cow, the horse and the chariot in the Ṛgveda

yasmai tvaṃ sukṛte jātaveda u lokam agne kṛṇavaḥ syonam | aśvinaṃ sa putriṇaṃ vīravantaṃ gomantaṃ rayiṃ naśate svasti || For whom you will make a pleasant world, O Jātavedas! as he does correct rituals for you, O Agni! He endowed with … Continue reading

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The Rāmāyaṇa and a para-Rāmāyaṇa in numbers-II: Evolving early Indo-Aryan warfare

This article might be read in as a continuation of this earlier one. The methods/caveats mentioned therein apply here too. Some of the counts mentioned in this article might be approximate but should be generally in the correct range, i.e. … Continue reading

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Matters of religion: discussion on vāyavya offerings

Somakhya and Lootika had revived the private one day rite in the manner of their ancestors as had been ordained by the youthful sage Śunaḥśepa Ājigarti. They were resting at the corner of their fire-room in the interval between the … Continue reading

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An astronomical interpretation of the anaḍvān sūkta

This may be seen as a continuation of this note: Anatomy and heavens in the boomorphic universe. The anaḍvān sūkta is an enigmatic sūkta from the Atharvaveda which falls in the same class as other sūkta-s which describe a “boomorphic” … Continue reading

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Rudra’s portion of the ritual offering, the Kaṭha Āraṇyaka and the Atharvaśiras: a brief journey through early śaiva thought

A version of this article was published first at India Facts There is a persistent motif of the deva Rudra (Śiva) being originally refused ritual offerings of the yajña to which the other deva-s were entitled. Rudra eventually acquires his … Continue reading

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A brief note on animal heads, Celtic human sacrifice, and Indo-European tradition

Our illustrious ancestor Dadhyaṅc Ātharvaṇa is supposed to have possessed privileged knowledge from the great Indra that even the twin gods, the Aśvin-s, sought to get it from him. However, speaking out this secret knowledge would have cost him his … Continue reading

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A note on the pantheon of the Indian Saura tradition

The Indian Saura-mata (or the Hindu sect of the Sun) is an amalgam of two distinct layers [Footnote 1]: 1) The endogenous layer of solar deities going back to the Veda and 2) the neo-morphic layer of Iranic origin which … Continue reading

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The indrajAla-sUktaM and the atharvan military ritual

An atharvan military ritual for kShatriya-s headed to war involves deployment of AV-vulgate 8.8 or its cognate AV-P 16.29. The ritual is specified by the kaushika sUtra 16.9-20 and some details are provided by the atharvan commentators dArila and keshava. … Continue reading

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A brief note on prahlAda, hiraNyakashipu and an early nArasiMhAkhyAna

The daitya-s prahrAda/prahlAda and virochana are known in the veda itself. The killing of prahlAda and his clan by indra in a battle in the high heavens is alluded to in more than one post-RV vaidika text. This great battle … Continue reading

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The mayAbheda sUkta: a discursion

In the great pravargya ritual the mAhAvIra pot containing the milk of a cow and a goat, i.e. the gharma offering, is intensely heated until it starts glowing. When the pot starts glowing the hotar looks at it starts reciting … Continue reading

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The songs of shunaHshepa and nArada

In the nocturnal ritual of the soma rite 27th and 28th sAmavedic stuti-s are described below. These songs are sung sometime between 12.30-1.00 AM. The sAmavedic mantra-s have the following musical pattern with respect to the three sAmavedin ritualists: The … Continue reading

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