Post No. 10,622

Date uploaded in London – –    2 FEBRUARY   2022         

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Let us analyse more verses in the Hymn to Earth (Bhumi Sukta) of Atharvana Veda (AV.12-1)

We have covered up to 43 stanzas or Mantras so far.

44th Mantra talks about the hidden treasures such as gold and gemstones. This shows the Vedic poets were aware of the mineral wealth under the earth. It is corroborated by innumerable references to gem (Mani)  studded golden jewelleries; it was a wealthy society and they dug out gold and gems from under the earth.

45th verse is more interesting; the poet talks about people speaking different languages and people worshipping various gods with different rites. This shows the Vedic society was in touch with the Egyptian and Babylonian religions. We have a supporting proof. We have a man from Harappa speaking a different language with an interpreter. Moreover the Panis i.e. the Phoenicians traders were also mentioned frequently in the Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world. The Indus Valley man might have spoken Sanskrit or a proto Sanskrit language.

Verse 46 mentioned the poisonous creatures such as snakes and scorpions, centipedes and millepedes and the poet seeks protection from such creatures.

Let us pause here for a while and ponder over the many things, subjects, topics the poet remembers in one hymn. He talks about the happiest scenes on earth such as dancers and musicians, wealthiest treasures such as gold and gems and at the same time he remembers the dangers on earth.

Here in verse or stanza 47, we come across beautiful roads on which fast moving chariots ‘fly’. But like we see bad people on earth today, Vedic society also had robbers. If you see the jails around the world today, we see millions of criminals inside the prisons; leave alone the criminals still outside attending the courts in handcuffs. And yet we think we are far advanced in civilization! The poet warns us about such elements.

Stanza 48 talks about the fools and idiots, the burden of earth, along with intellectuals. it gives us a practical picture of earth. We live in the same condition today. When we see million scientists, we also see billion idiots and criminals.

Now the poet moves to dark tropical rain forests where tigers and lions roam.  And also the uncivilised, uncultured cannibals- the demons known as Rakshasas.

Verse 50 mentioned ghosts or demons unknown to us today- Arayas, Kimidins. We know the Picasas and Rakshas from later literature. Strangely the poet mentioned the Gandharvas and Apsaras in the hated list. It may be due to that they distract one from good path. They were the heavenly singers and dancers. Ancient people believed that they take various forms , come to earth and fool people or trap people into bad habits.

Stanza 51 described the beautiful birds and the stormy monsoon days. Rig Veda also referred to Forest fires. Here we see the flames in the sky- thunder and lightning – and flames on the earth, -the forest fires.

Along with some scenes from the civilized cities the poet shows us the tropical rain forests. A true picture of earth!

We will look at the last 12 stanzas in the next article. There are 63 verses or stanzas in the Bhumi Sukta.

(Please see the attachments)

To be continued ………………….

 tags- gems, gold, forest animals, demons, Bhumi Suktam

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