STRANGE STORIES ABOUT TREES, KUSHA AND DHURVA GRASS IN VEDAS –Part 1 (Post No.4368)

Ganesh with Dhurva Grass (Arukam Pul in Tamil)

 

STRANGE STORIES ABOUT TREES, KUSHA AND DHURVA GRASS IN VEDAS –Part 1 (Post No.4368)

 

Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 5 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 14-11

 

 

Post No. 4368

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

Origin of vegetation on the earth explained in the Aitareya Brahmana (5-23):

“The earth is the Queen of the Serpents, for she is the queen of all that moves (sarpat). She was in the beginning without hair (without grasses, bushes, trees etc). She then saw the mantra of the Rig Veda (10-189) which commences with

‘This spotted Bull (the sun) hath come, and sat before the mother (the Earth) in the East

Advancing to his Father, Heaven. ‘As expiration from his breath, his radiance penetrates within’.

 

In consequence of it she (the Earth) obtained a motely appearance, she became variegated, being able to produce any form she might like, such as herbs, trees and all other forms. Therefore, the man who has such a knowledge obtains the faculty of assuming any form he might choose.”

DURVA GRASS

The origin of Durva grass, of which much is made in connection with Hindu sacrifices, is described as follows:

“The Hair of Prajapati, which were lying n the ground when he was disjointed, became herbs. The vital air then went out from within him, and that having gone out, he fell down. He said, ‘Verily this vital air has undone me!’ and because he said, ‘it has undone (dhurve) me’, hence  the name Durva; durva doubtless being what is mystically called Durva, FOR THE GODS LOVE THE MYSTIC”—- Satapata Brahmana 7-4-2-11/12

 

Concept of ‘body being Microcosm and the Earth being Macrocosm was borrowed by the Greeks from the Hindus; so plants are equal to hair, blood vessels are equal to rivers etc.

 

The second point to be noticed is Gods love the Mystic, hence queer names and strange explanations. This means they dot speak straight forward language. So one must be careful in translating or interpreting.

 

The third point is reasoning out is found in the Vedic period itself. People named different plants differently on the basis of certain things.

KUSA GRASS

“He then places a bunch of Dharba grass (Kusa) on the middle of the altar site; for the gods then placed plants thereon, and in like manner does the sacrifice, now place thereon- — Satapata Brahmana 7-2-3-1

 

The reference in the next quotation is to the legend of Indra’s killing of Vritra, when the waters, disguised by his putrefying carcase, rose and flowed over —– Satapata Brahmana 1-1-3-5

“Whence spring these grasses of which the strainers are made; for they represent the water which was not putrified; in 7-3-2-3, we read of ‘Stalks of Kusa grass, for these are pure, and sacrificially clean……….. for the top is sacred to the gods.

 

Unclean Plants

There were plants , which are sacrificially unclean; it is said that Greek Philosopher Pythagoras banned beans and fasting Roman Catholics banned certain food.

 

Vedas allowed Forest Plants and Fruits of trees:

“Let him therefore eat only what grows in the forest or the fruit of trees. Barku Varsha said, ‘Cook beans for me, for no offering is made of them! This, however, he should not do; for pulse serves as an addition to rice and barley; and hence they increase the rice and barley by means of it; let him therefore eat only what grows in the forest —– Satapata Brahmana 1-1-1-10

 

Referring to the same incident in Prajapati’s life, we read the origin of Udembara tree —– Satapata Brahmana 7-4-1-39

“When Prajapati was relaxed, Agni took Prajapati’s fiery spirit and carried it off to the south, and there stopped; and because after carrying (karsh) it off, t stopped (ud-ram), therefore Karshmarya sprang up. And Indra took Prajapati’s igour and wet away to the noth; it became the Udumbara tree”

(Fig and its varieties)

UDUMBARA TREE

In Vishnu Sahsranama Nyagroda, Udumbara and Asvatta are worshipped as Vishnu. All these belong to Ficus family.

 

The bathing chair of Udumbara wood figures prominently in Taittiriya sBrahmana 2-6-5, where we find an address to to it and another to the leather spread upon it, a mantra to be repeated when sitting upon the chair, another after sitting thereon, another when descending rom chair, another inaudibly after descending from the chair, and no end of others in the course of the bathing, including many addressed to Agni and the Sun; some of which may be heard uttered to this day on the banks of the Ganges or other bathing places.

 

When Hindus couldn’t get the Udumbara wood they replaced it with a bundle of Dhurva grass. The details are given in Taittiriya Brahmana2-7-9-10/11

 

Tomorrow I will give the stories of Krimuka and Viekantka Trees

 

—-to be continued

 

–subham–

 

 

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