WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 


Date: 19 May 2018


Time uploaded in London – 16-43 (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5026


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.





Miracles in water or on the surface of water is in every religion. But the earliest miracles appear in the Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world.  Rig Veda is dated by various scholars from 6000 BCE to 1500 BCE. Buddhist literature followed it. Around 300 BCE we have some stories about Buddha flying over water to Sri Lanka or Buddhist disciples walking on water to reach the Buddha. Hebrews had the Miracle of Israelites crossing the Red Sea in the old testament of the Bible. New Testament has Peter crossing the waters on foot. Greek writers have story of Alexander doing some miraculous crossings.

Krishna was taken in the basket by Vasudeva across the River Yamuna and the river gave him the way. Adi Shankara’s disciple Padmapada (Mr.Lotus Feet) got the name because when his Guru called him he simply walked on the river and a lotus appeared at every step he took and he walked over it. Hinduism has so many stories like this. Hatayoga teaches one to walk on water.


Water miracles are of different types:


1.The water divides and one can walk in the dry area.

2.The water becomes shallow and one can easily cross it.

3.The water stays as such and one can simply walk on it.

4.Some factors like strong wind or a lotus or a board appear and one can cross the sea or river

5.One can levitate and fly over the surface like a hovercraft.

  1. A mixture of one or two features of the above list.


Let us first look at the Rig Vedic miracle which is the source for all water miracles:

William Norman Brown, who surveyed the ancient literature for water miracles says, “The earliest example of crossing water magically appears in the Rig Veda (3-33), where it is accomplished by means of a religious act. The hymn is famous, celebrating the crossing of the rivers Vipaas and Sutudri, the modern Beas (Vyasa) and Sutlej in Punjab. The hymn is in the form of a dialogue between the seer Visvamitra and the two Rivers”.


Probably this is the earliest such inter action with nature. There is a beautiful description of rivers running towards ocean. The sage uses several similes.

This hymn exploded the half- baked theories of Vedic Hindus’ ‘ ignorance’ about the seas. Apart from that, it is a beautiful poetry on Nature. This portrays rivers as mothers and sisters. There also it strikes a first. Later cultures followed this Vedic concept and described earth as Mother (Gaia in Greek)


Sayana, the most famous Vedic commentator, has a story about this hymn. Sage Visvamitra came with lot of treasures and asked the rivers to give him way. Then it allowed him to pass through the rivers. There is history as well. Sudas was helped by Indra to marchforward.


Now look at the beautiful similes:

3-33-1: Like a pair of racing horses you two rivers flow

Like two mother cows licking their calves, your waves lash the banks

3-33-2: you two rivers are like the wheels of a chariot

3-33-10 : Rivers say: Oh, seer! You have come far away with wagon and chariot. We will heed to your words “Low shall I bow like a blooming young woman; like a maiden to her lover”.


Visvamitra’s request to the rivers:

Pray listen sisters, to the bard;  he has come to you from afar with wagon and chariot; pray bow down yourselves; become easy to cross. O rivers be lower than the axles with your streams.

May your waves reach up to as far as the hubs, but O waters spare the reins; and let not the two innocents, faultless oxen come to harm.


Here we see some kindness towards animals. Let the oxen of the wagon be safe. They are innocent. In every aspect, it shows a highly civilized society.


Visvamitra’s penance made the rivers to subside and allowed the hosts to pass over.

When we compare other miracles attributed to Visvamitra we can be of sure about his powers.


The feat of crossing these rivers are also in 3-53-9, 7-18-5, 7-33.


Similar help in crossing rivers is given by Indra to Turviti and Vavya in RV 2-13-2 and 4-19-6, 1-61-11.

There are also others getting such help in 1-174-9 and 2-15-5.


So it is established that Indra as God of the Waters, miraculously renders them passable to his worshippers.

RV 10-136 also speaks of such a miracle.

There is a reference in the Mahabharata about the pious king Dilipa. His chariot did not sink in the water. Bhagavata Purana clearly says the River Yamuna gave passage to infant Krishna. Basha, one of the earliest playwrights, also refer to this in his drama Bala carita:

“VASUDEVA FLEES WITH INFANT Krishna; the darkness is impenetrable, but a marvellous light comes from the child and the Yamuna makes a dry path for him to cross”. All the above references are from BCE time.



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