BEAUTIFUL POEM ON RAIN IN VEDAS (Post No.10,357)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 10,357

Date uploaded in London – –   19 NOVEMBER  2021         

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There are numerous poems on NATURE in the Vedas. Many of the European translators missed them. Though there are articles on the subject, I have not come across a book on Nature in Vedas. The poems on Rains and gale force Wind are translated by all the foreigners in English without any appreciation. The poems in Sanskrit can be compared with Sangam Tamil poems, though they were composed many thousand years after the Vedas.

Forest fire and its effect on animals and birds, description of deep and dark forest, pythons devouring animals, earth quakes, different types of birds and animals, gale force wind, early morning scenes, roaring seas etc are described vividly by the poets. Earth quake is called ‘wandering earth’! Foreigners noticed only early morning scenes and appreciated them(DAWN= USHAS). Vedic Rishis talk about flying mountains and Indra cutting their wings. Probably they meant landslides after heavy rains.

Strangest thing about foreigners’ translations is that they could not even identify all the “sacrificed” things in the fire during Asvamedha. Many of the herbs are not recognised. Different species of snakes and frogs are given names, but we don’t know what they are.

Tamil Sangam book Malaipadu Kadaam and later Tamil epic Silappdikaram have very  good narrations of Forests, Rivers and Water Falls. Forest orchestra is given in different pictures. We may compare it with Kalidasa’s description.

xxx

Let me compare only one verse from the Atharva Veda (AV) and the Bharati’s poem on Rains. Bharati was the greatest Tamil poet of modern era. He was a great lover of nature and Vedas.

Here is the poem from AV (4-15):-

BOOK 4; HYMN XV

A charm to hasten the coming of the rains

1.Let all the misty regions fly together, let all the rain-clouds sped
   by wind, assemble.
  Let waters satisfy the earth, the voices of the great mist-enve-
   loped Bull who roareth.


2.Let them show forth, the strong, the bounteous Maruts: let
   plants and shrubs be hung with drops of moisture.
  Let floods of rain refresh the ground with gladness and herbs
   spring various with each form and colour.


3.Cause us who sing to see the gathering vapours: out burst in
   many a place the rush of waters!
  Let floods of rain refresh the ground with gladness; and herbs
   spring various with each form and colour.


.4Apart, Parjanya! let the troops of Maruts, roaring, swell the
   song.
  Let pouring torrents of the rain that raineth rain upon the
   earth.


5. Up from the sea lift your dread might, ye Maruts: as light and
   splendour, send the vapour upward! 
  Let waters satisfy the earth, the voices of the great mist-enve-
   loped Bull who roareth.


6.Roar, thunder, set the sea in agitation, bedew the ground with
   thy sweet rain, Parjanya!
  Send plenteous showers on him who seeketh shelter, and let the
   owner of lean kine go homeward.


7.Let the boon Maruts, let the springs and coiling serpents tend!
   you well.
  Urged by the Maruts let the clouds pour down their rain upon.
   the earth.


8.Let lightning flash on every side: from all the regions blow the
   winds!
  Urged by the Maruts let the clouds pour down their rain upon
   the earth.


9.May waters, lightning, cloud, and rain, boon springs and serpents
   tend you well.
  Urged by the Maruts let the clouds pour down their rain upon
   the earth.


10.May he who hath become the plants’ high regent, suiting our
   bodies, Agni of the Waters,
  May Jātavedas send us rain from heaven, Amrit and vital breath
   to earthly creatures.


11.Sending up waters from the flood and ocean Prajapati move the
   sea to agitation!
  Forth flow the moisture of the vigorous stallion!
  With this thy roar of thunder come thou hither,


12.Our father, Lord divine pouring the torrents. Let the streams
   breathe, O Varuna, of the waters.
  Pour the floods down: along the brooks and channels let frogs
   with speckled arms send out their voices.


13.They who lay quiet for a year, the Brāhmans who fulfil their
   vows.
  The frogs, have lifted up their voice, the voice Parjanya hath.
   inspired.


14..Speak forth a welcome, female frog! Do thou O frog, accost
   the rain.
  Stretch thy four feet apart, and swim in the middle of the lake.


15.Khanvakhā, ho! Khaimakhā, ho! thou in the middle, Taduri!
  Fathers, enjoy the rain from one who strives to win the Marutes
   heart.p.


16.Lift up the mighty cask and pour down water; let the wind
   blow, and lightnings flash around us.
  Let sacrifice be paid, and, widely scattered, let herbs and plants
   be full of joy and gladness.

xxx

MY COMMENTS

1.Bull- Rain God Parjanya; god of thunderous rain cloud. Bulls and cows are used for various gods in the Vedas.

2 an 3.The seers want to see plants of different shapes and colours following the rain. This reminds me of Vibhutbhushan Vandopadhyaya’s Aranyak novel. The hero of the story Yugal Prasad plants different species in different places in the forest and wait eagerly for the next flowering season. When he sees that his efforts bear fruits, he celebrates it.

5. Gives the science behind rains; sea water evaporates and comeback as showers

7. Coiling serpents are called Ajagaras= goat swallowing pythons. Tamil poets describe the elephant devouring pythons in Sangam Tamil poems.

8.Flashing lightning streaks are described in ‘Pallup pattu’s of Tamil Literature.

9.Even snakes are welcomed. The Rishis saw them as part of Nature’s cycle.

10.Agni ripens the plants. Rain is compared to Amrit which is echoed by Tiruvalluvar in Tamil Tirukkural couplet 11.

11. The vigorous stallion= fertilising rainy cloud. Even horse is used to denote clouds. Roaring seas are beautifully described

12. The seers wait for the croaking frogs. It shows their love for nature

13.Frogs are compared to Brahmins on vow of silence for a year. |This point is in Rig Veda Frog hymn as well. It may be interpreted in two ways.

The Brahmins change their sacred thread ceremonially after rainy season in Upakarma ceremony. On that day they resume again Paninian studies and Vedic learning. We do it even today. That is the time when frogs also come to life again.

The second interpretation is certain Vratas (vow or fasting) stipulate one year silence for Brahmins. But I will support the first interpretation.

14. It is also about frog; particularly a female frog which is a symbol of fertility.

15. Strange names of frogs. (It is already dealt with in my old article)

Some communities believe that rain also brings new type of plants and seeds. That is also possible with strong winds blowing from different directions.

xxx

BHARATI ON RAIN

In Tamil Original with my literal translation;

Read my translation and Professor ASR’s translation at the end. Most of the Atharva Vedic points are covered by Bharati.

 திக்குகள் எட்டும் சிதறி-தக்கத்

All the Eight Directions shatter

தீம்தரிகிட தீம்தரிகிட தீம்தரிகிட தீம்தரிகிட

Dheem tarikita Dheem tarikita Dheem tarikita Dheem tarikita

பக்க மலைகள் உடைந்து-வெள்ளம்

Hills on the side break away, letting the floods

பாயுது பாயுது பாயுது-தாம்தரிகிட

To sweep and leap; flowing , flooding

தக்கத் ததிங்கிடத்தோம்-அண்டம்

Takkat thatching kitaththom –  World/universe

சாயுது சாயுது சாயுது-பேய்கொண்டு

Tilting, slanting, dancing – gusty winds blow like a fiend

தக்கை யடிக்குது காற்று-தக்கத்

தாம்தரிகிடத்தாம் தரிகிடத்தாம் தரிகிடத்தாம் தரிகிட

Takkath thaam tarikkita thaam tarikkita thaam tarikkita

வெட்டி யடிக்குது மின்னல் கடல்

Lightning flashes cutting the sky- sea waves

வீரத் திரைகொண்டு விண்ணை யிடிக்குது

Dashes against the  sky

கொட்டி யிடிக்குது மேகம்-கூ

Clouds thunder – howling winds making noise

கூவென்று விண்னைக் குடையுது காற்று

They drill the sky with  roaring  sound

சட்டச்சடசட சட்டச்சட டட்டா-என்று

Sattach sata sata  Sattach sata sata   tattaa

தாளங் கொட்டிக் கனைக்குது வானம்

Drumming the sky with neighing noise

எட்டுத் திசையும் இடிய –மழை

Eight directions collapsin

எங்ஙனம் வந்ததடா தம்பி வீரா

Where from the rain came my little brother.

அண்டம் குலுங்குது தம்பி-தலை

Eartch is shaking ; and the 1000 headed snake

ஆயிரந் தூக்கிய சேடனும் பேய்போல்

மிண்டிக் குதித்திடு கின்றான்-திசை

Dancing and jumping like a fiend- directions jump

வெற்புக் குதிக்குது வானத்துத் தேவர்

Devas in the Heaven burst into joy

செண்டு புடைத்திடு கின்றார்-என்ன

and showering honours

தெய்விகக் காட்சியைக் கண்முன்பு கண்டோம்

What a Divine show we are enjoing

கண்டோம் கண்டோம் கண்டோம்-இந்தக்

Seen and seen with our own eyes

காலத்தின் கூத்தினைக் கண்முன்பு கண்டோம்             

Dance of Time we see with our own wyes.              

Xxxx

ANOTHER TRANSLATION

Shattering the bounds of space

Came the rain;

Dheem tarikita Dheem tarikita Dheem tarikita Dheem

The hills are rent

And the waters burst and leap and sweep in a mad race

The wind beats like a fiend of pain;

The world reels and is bent

Dham tarikita Dheem tarikita Dheem tarikita Dheem

Lightning leaps in a clap,

And the sea

Dashes its mane against Heaven’s dome;

The clouds break and rumble

The wind tears at the sky as at a trap,

And the sky beats a tattoo and laughs in a mad spree

The corners of space crumble

Oh, the mighty rain Dham tarikita Dheem tarikita Dhom

The universe quivers and shakes

And lo the snake

That bears the earth, hoods uplifter, springs amain

Space hills leap

And in the sky, tumult of the Devas breaks

Into a mad sports where live flame s crash awake

Behold Time and the elements dance in a sweep

Tataracita tittom oh the rain the wondrous rain

–Translated into English by Prof. AS Srinivasa Raghavan

–subham–

tags- Rain , Vedas, Bharati on Rain, Nature, Frogs

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