Written by London swaminathan
Date: 10 APRIL 2017
Time uploaded in London:- 18.57
Post No. 3805
Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.
Hindus praised water as God. All the rivers in India are worshipped as goddesses (except Brahmaputra river which has a masculine name). From the Rig Veda to the latest Bharati, every one praised water or rain.
Following is the oldest hymn on water:
To Apas (water)
Rig Veda ( 10-9)
Metre: various including Gayatri metre
Rishi Sindhudvipa (Indus Valley King)
Son of Ambarisha, Indus Valley Civilization Emperor
(also called Trisiras or Tvastri)
Waters! you who are health-giving
give us energy, so that
we may look on great delight (1)
Give us a share of your most
beneficent sapidity/ strong pleasant flavour
like mothers longing with love (2)
So, gladly do we go with you
to the home for which you make us live,
Waters! Give us progeny (3)
Gracious be divine Waters for
our protection, be they for our drink,
and stream on us bliss and happiness (4)
Sovereigns over precious things,
and Rulers over men, Waters!
we seek healing balm of you. (5)
Within Waters – so Soma has
told me – are all healing balms,
and Agni, benign to all (6)
Waters, come filled with healing balm
for the shielding of my body,
so, may I long see the sun (7)
Wash away, Waters, whatever
sin is in me, what wrong I have done,
what imprecation I have uttered,
and what untruth I have spoken (8)
Today I have sought the Waters,
we have mingled with their essence;
approach me, Agni, with thy power,
and fill me, as such, with brilliance (9)
(Date :– Herman Jacobi dates it to 4500 BCE; Max Muller dates it to a date before 1200 BCE up to 5000 BCE)
This is an amazing hymn on Waters. The Vedic people knew the healing properties of the water; the words healing-giving, beneficent sapidity and healing balm show that the Vedic people recognised the hygienic and curative powers of water.
Soma ,here, means personification of the juice
Agni, here, referring particularly to the heat in water.
Hindus had the science of changing water into a powerful weapon by some magic spells like the one above; they were able to curse or give boons with water. They used Fire(agni) as a witness to all treaties or agreements and they used Water (Apas) for all the curses, boons and giving donations. We couldn’t see such a thing anywhere in the world. In Sangam Tamil literature, we have lot of references to using water for giving donations; but we have very few references to curses in Post Sangam literature. By that time Hindus forgot the magical powers of waters.
Water is Law: Satapata Brahmana (850 BCE):
The Satapata Brahmana, which the foreigners dated 850 BCE, says
“The waters, they are law; that is why when the earth receives waters regularly, everything is in accord with the law. But when the rain fails, the strong victimise the weak, for the waters, they are law.”
Tamil Veda Tirukkural also emphasized this:
“Even as life on earth cannot sustain without water, virtue too depends ultimately on rain”- Kural 20
The life on earth cannot sustain without water – is said by Kapilar earlier in Natrinai (verse 1) which is at least 2000 old.
Hindus used water as similes and in the proverbs.
If something is not reliable and not permanent they say, “It is written on water”. If something is written and preserved in tact they it is written on written on stone.”
The life’s impermanence is compared to the bubble in the water.
Manu Smrti, the oldest Law book in the world, mention God created water first and the life from it. The word for god is Narayana, one who has water as his abode. (Neer is Indo European and and Found in Nereids in Greek. Neer is also found in tail as Tamil and Sanskrit evolved from the same source according to my research.)
Manu says about water:
A man who gives (gifts) water obtains satisfaction/contentment; a giver of food boundless happiness; a bestower of sesame seeds progeny; and a giver of a lamp, excellent eye sight (Manu 4-229)
When it comes to division of property, they say that a piece of clothing, a carriage, jewellery, cooked food, water women, the means of security and a pasture should not be divided (Manu 9-219)
One should not urinate in water, on roads, on ant hill, on the ruins of a temple, a cowpen or a mound of the dead;one should never emit excrement in water (4-45/46/48)
One should not throw urine, excrement, poison, saliva or impurities in water (4-56)
a man should not shed his semen in water (11-174)
A Brahmin should throw his worn out thread water pot, staff, small animal skin bit, belt into water reciting Vedas (2-64)
A Priest is purified Bywater that reaches up to his heart, a king by water up to his neck, a Vaisya by the water swallowed and a Shudra by water touched on the tip of his lips (2-62)
Manu also speaks of the punishment for stealing or diverting irrigation water in chapters (3 and 9)