Post No. 10,837

Date uploaded in London – –    12 APRIL  2022         

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First part of ARYA AND ASURA STATISTICS FROM RIG VEDA-2, was posted yesterday.

88 Asura words in the Rig Veda

Asura with its variants ‘asurya ‘and ‘aasura’ occurs 88 times in the Rigveda.

71 times as singular number

4 times in the dual

10 times in the plural

3 times as the first part of a compound

Asuryaa , feminine form, occurring three times is included in the above list .

Asurya, masculine form, occurring 19 times, is also included.

Asuratva occurs 22 times


Colebrooke, Roth, Max Muller, Wilson, Oldenberg, Grassmaan, Ludwig, Geldner, Whitney, Macdonell and Keith translated and interpreted the words in the wrong way because of their pet theories. They all believed Christianity is far superior and the karma, rebirth theories are false, and the Aryans came into India from Central Asia. So from the very beginning, they interpreted Asura as native people and Hindus as invaders. They also ridiculed Karma theory, Rebirth, reincarnation and Avatars.

But Tamils of the Sangam age and foreigners like Alexander praised Vedic principles. In the beginning Asura meant only strong and mighty. Only in the Puranas they were depicted as demons.

Here is the supporting statistics:-

Barring eight of the latest hymns, the word Asura, is always used as an adjective meaning powerful or mighty.

Another interesting thing is, the word for gods such as Deva, divine, Theo, deo, dieu etc are found in European languages, but no cognate word for Asura!


Lord Rama was an Asura

Some people link it with Asu in Sanskrit which means life, spirit.

So ‘spirited or courageous’ was the original meaning.

The word was not only used for Gods but for anyone who is powerful. Even two kings were described Asura.

Lord Rama was an Asura in the Rigveda

Among the deities Indra tops the list of Asuras.

Indra was praised as an Asura or possessing asurya or asuratva 16 times.

Agni followed Indra who is described Asura 12 times.

Varuna comes next with 10 times.

The above three deities are the mightiest in the Rigveda.

Mitra 8 times, Rudra 6 times, Dyaus 6 times, Savitr 4 times, Surya 3 times, Parjanya 3 times.

Vayu, Pusan, Tvastr, Brhadpati, Apam Napat, Marut,Sarasvati, Rodasi, Usas, Adityas, each one time.

Among the kings Svanaya Bhavya and Rama have the honour of being called mighty or Asura.

Some scholars identified this Rama as the hero of Ramayana.

Demon = Asura

Among the hostile beings Svarbhanu twice,Namuci once, Vrkadvaras,Varcin and Pipru once.

According to PL Bhargava, author of the ‘Vedic Religion and Culture’, the above list shows the word Asura with its variants was used in the sense of mightiness.

Towards the end of the Rigvedic period it not only became a noun from adjective, but also meant demon. It has acquired a new meaning.

In eight of the latest hymns occurring in books 6,7,8,10 Asura has been used in its new sense. The authorship, contents and the language show they were the latest hymns.

What led to the change in the meaning can only be guessed. We know that the Zoroastrian scripture Avesta treated Asura with respect and Deva with disrespect. Deva meant a demon and Indra was a bad guy in their scriptures.


My comments

In the above list we see more gods with Asura epithets than the Puranic Asuras.

So the positive meaning prevailed over negative sense during Vedic period.

Let us compare it with the Second World War

Japan and Italy joined hands with Hitler of Germany and acquired bad name in the world war . They were described as demons by the western countries. Now they are friends of  the west. Two of them are NATO members now. Once they were demons and now Devas.

America and Britain lied to the world about modern destructive weapons of Iraq and Libya and killed their rulers, just for getting petroleum . Now the British government itself found out then prime minister Tony Blair lied to the parliament . Both America and Britain lost their own soldiers in the fight in addition to thousands of Muslims. All these are nothing but political or economical issues. Like Second World War there might have been a fight between two Vedic groups and one acquired a bad name. Hindus thought that Parsis were Asura worshippers and they called Indra worshippers as demon worshippers. Even now Christian and Muslim scriptures call others as devil worshippers, Pagans and Kafirs. But the so called scholars of the western countries used this Deva Demon issue for their own political motives. They wanted to divide India and rule it for ever. But the awakening among Hindus created by its great leaders destroyed their evil intentions.

Here are some references

Lord Rama in the Rig Veda 10-93-14

King Svanaya Bhaavya RV.1-126-2

Those who need all the 88 references can see them in Bhargava’s book under the title- The Word Asra in the Rgveda in his book- Vedic Religion and Culture’,D K PrintworldLtd, Delhi, 1994

We will look at Aryan Statistics tomorrow

To be continued….

tags- Asura, Arya, Statistics, Rigveda, Rama, 

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