I AM A POET; MY DAD IS A DOCTOR AND MOTHER A CORN GRINDER- RIG VEDIC POET (Post.10,117)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 10,117

Date uploaded in London – 20 September   2021           

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There is a beautiful poem in the Rig Veda which reveals a lot of information. One poet by name Sisu Angiras sings this poem in the ninth Mandala RV 9-112. The last line is the same in four stanzas. We see such refrain in scores of poems through out the ten mandalas. Poems with refrains are seen in Egyptian Book of Dead and Sangam Tamil literature. Even today most of the Hindu devotional Bhajans have this type of songs.

Let us look at the poem and then I give my comments: –

1. WE all have various thoughts and plans, and diverse are the ways of men.

     The Brahman seeks the worshipper, carpenter seeks the cracked wood, and leech the maimed. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.

 

2. The smith with ripe and seasoned plants, with feathers of the birds of air,

     With stones, and with enkindled flames, seeks him who hath a store of gold. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.

 

3. A bard am I, my dad’s a leech, mammy lays corn upon the stones.

     Striving for wealth, with varied plans, we follow our desires like kine. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.

 

4. The horse would draw an easy car, gay hosts attract the laugh and jest.

     The male desires his mate’s approach, the frog is eager for the flood, Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.

R T H Griffith’s Translation

My views

The poet must be a good psychologist. He reflects common thinking. This smashes the views of Max Muller gang and Marxist gang. Both the gangs told us that the Vedic Hindus migrated to India, and they were nomads. But here we see well established vocations. They were not nomads. Another point to be noted is there was no hereditary jobs. In one and the same family, mother was grinding corn; father was working as a medicine man and the singer himself was a poet. So he earned his livelihood by singing songs or composing poems. it shows that there were no caste-based vocations.

Doctors and brahmins were expecting money from the injured and the devoted. Griffith is using leeches for doctors. It was a contemptible term for medicine men.

It looks like the black smiths who made weapons were earning a good sum. Here they are eying the gold from rich merchants or kings.

The last mantra or stanza shows that all expect a big fat salary  for less work; they are ready to do only light work.  The references to horse drawn chariots are found through out the Rig Veda. There must be very good roads and transport facilities. There are over 60 terms for chariots in the Vedic literature. And we read elsewhere wealth brought in horse drawn carts . Good road transport shows a civilized city life.  When the poet says his mother was grinding grains mean she was also earning and it was a agricultural community. They were farmers and not nomads.

Frog was longing for rain and brahmins were longging dakshina/ religious fee from the worshippers .

In South India women dance and sing while doing harvest or during religious festivals. Tamil epic Silappadikaram and Sangam Tamil book Ainkuru Nuru  have such refrains which shows the musical talents of village folk.

This poem is also a piece like that Tamil Kummi or Tamil harvest song (Ulakkai Pattu). Since it is found in Ninth Mandala which is full of hymns on Soma Juice, we may assume this was also sung while they were extracting Soma juice.

There is also another verse on Soma plant sung by women. That confirms the participation of women in every aspect of life.

RV 9-112 in Sanskrit :–

नानानं वा उ नो धियो वि वरतानि जनानाम |
तक्षा रिष्टं रुतं भिषग बरह्मा सुन्वन्तमिछतीन्द्रायेन्दो परि सरव ||


जरतीभिरोषधीभिः पर्णेभिः शकुनानाम |
कार्मारो अश्मभिर्द्युभिर्हिरण्यवन्तमिछतीन्द्रायेन्दो परि सरव ||


कारुरहं ततो भिषगुपलप्रक्षिणी नना |
नानाधियोवसूयवो.अनु गा इव तस्थिमेन्द्रायेन्दो परि सरव ||


अश्वो वोळ्हा सुखं रथं हसनामुपमन्त्रिणः |
शेपो रोमण्वन्तौ भेदौ वारिन मण्डूक इछतीन्द्रायेन्दो परि सरव ||

nānānaṃ vā u no dhiyo vi vratāni janānām |
takṣā riṣṭaṃ rutaṃ bhiṣagh brahmā sunvantamichatīndrāyendo pari srava ||


jaratībhiroṣadhībhiḥ parṇebhiḥ śakunānām |
kārmāro aśmabhirdyubhirhiraṇyavantamichatīndrāyendo pari srava ||


kārurahaṃ tato bhiṣaghupalaprakṣiṇī nanā |
nānādhiyovasūyavo.anu ghā iva tasthimendrāyendo pari srava ||


aśvo voḷhā sukhaṃ rathaṃ hasanāmupamantriṇaḥ |
śepo romaṇvantau bhedau vārin maṇḍūka ichatīndrāyendo pari srava ||

–subham–

Tags – RV 9-112, doctor, poet, corn, grinder. nomads, gold

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