AGRICULTURE IN RIG VEDA- 3 : ‘Man with Two Wives’ Joke (Post No.10,240)


Post No. 10,240

Date uploaded in London – 21 OCTOBER  2021         

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In this last part I wanted to draw your attention to the number of words in the Rig Veda on water sources and farming. This list was given by Bhagawan Singh in his book The Vedic Harappans.

Please note that the words related to agriculture are spread over almost all the Ten Mandalas of Rig Veda, the oldest anthology in the world.  It would have taken at least 500 years to compose or hear or visualise 10,000 mantras.

This is not an exhaustive list. There are many more references and the same words are repeated several times as well. Yava and food items made up of Yava are found everywhere. We come across more vegetarian dishes than Non- Vegetarian. That may be due to cop cultivation.

In the main hymn on agriculture 10-101 the following points are to be noted:-

Commentators say that this hymn is about fire sacrifice and the sacrifice is figuratively spoken as ploughing.

Sacrifice – ploughing, sowing and reaping

Ship – sacrifice, chariot

Race – ritual

Inexhaustible well – Soma

Stone wheels – Press stones in Soma Juice Extraction

Cow stall – where soma is pressed

Vanaspati – Soma plant

The doubly wedded –  the man who has two wives; but it is not clear says Griffith.

Nistigri – according to Sayana ‘she who swallows up her rival wife Nisti= Diti.

Nistigri is Aditi, Mother of Indra

Von Roth, Ludwig, Grassmann and Griffith differ in many comments in this hymn . Sayana is more reliable.

Aditi is the Mother of All Gods accrding to Rig Veda, not only Indra. She is described one with boundless love.

They quote Satapata Brahmana for some comments.

Personally I don’t agree with the interpretation of Nisigree. Kanchi Paramacharya has rightly pointed out Indra is not one person. It is a title like King, Leader.


Forgetting all these comments, we may look at agricultural terms. Hindu poets follow a convention to give similes which are understood by common men or general public. And another convention is that the simile must be superior to the things compared. Here fire sacrifice is compared with Farming. That means farming is held in high esteem. This is echoed by great Tamil poet Tiru Valluvar in his Tirukkural :

The world tails the plough despite other pursuit

Even if one toils, farming remains foremost.        1031

Farmers are the linchpin of the world

All others not farming, it does hold.    1032

Only they live, who eat from what they plough

Others follow, and to eat, they kowtow.   1033

Who bring their land under their crops’ shade

Many states under their king’s reign shall bade.        1034

They never beg, nor deny others, givin’ what they seek

Whose nature is to eat what they till and make.         1035

If tillers fold their hands still, sages who say

“I’ve given up desire,” as such cannot stay.      1036

If one measure of soil, is turned fine and dried to a quarter,

Good yield needs not a handful of manure.      1037

Worthier than ploughing is to manure the field;

Weeding done, worthier than watering is to secure the yield.      1038

If from the land, her master stays off

Like a wife, she’ll sulk and start a tiff.      1039

Seeing them say, “We have not” and loiter

The Fair Lady Earth scorns them with laughter.        1040

(Chapter Farming in Tirukkural )


Yaga is Velvi in Tamil. Arakkala Velvi (Fire sacrifice or any good, positive thing) and Marakkala Velvi (destructive war) are used in Tamil as well. In short ancient Tamil poets followed Rig Veda and Bhagavad Gita in using the term Yaga/Sacrifice/Velvi

In Bhagawad Gita also we see Jnana Yajna, Tapo Yajna etc.

Now going back to the hymn RV 10-101 we see not only agriculture but also other vocations. Going by ship, raising Cows that give milk in 1000 streams, War Chariots and Race chariots, shield show that the poet addresses all the four castes. But comparing farming with fire sacrifice shows their high respect to cultivation.


Two Wives Comedy

In a serious hymn like this, we come across some humorous scenes. A person who has two wives suffers like a bull or a horse yoked on two sides and the cart has a heavy luggage. This has become a theme in several films in all languages. A person who has two wives, particularly one without knowing the other till a particular stage. Western commentators say that they don’t understand it. Because of this two Wives Joke, I consider this hymn as a Farmer’s song. That is, a poet puts himself in the shoe of a farmer with two wives.

Look at the 11th Mantra (RV 10-101-11)

11. Between both poles the car-horse goes pressed closely, as in his dwelling moves the doubly-wedded.

     Lay in the wood the Sovran of the Forest, and sink the well although ye do not dig it.

Compare it with Tirukkural 1031 given above.


In the 8th mantra we come across Iron forts and other armouries. This raises a question. People who argue that the Harappan civilization doesn’t know Iron, say that the invading Aryans destroyed it. Though this theory has been demolished and powdered already, one can ask where the iron swords and knives are if Aryans entered Harappa with them.

The fact of the matter is Ayas is wrongly translated as Iron. Actually it means Metal. In course of time that is more used for a particular metal. Tamil has a similar situation . Nowadays Pon is used only for gold in general. But Tiruvalluvar used it in Tirukkural for gold and iron. Even today Tamils use Aimpon Vigraha for idols made up of Five Metal alloy. So it is possible to use a term for many things at the same period. Even Rig Vedic commentators agree  that Soma, Pasu, Yava etc mean different things. But cunning foreigners dodge when they see unwanted materials. That is why Hindus must follow the interpretations given by those who believe and practise the religion.

Last but not the least, I give the word list of water sources and farming from Bhagawan Singh’s book ‘The Vedic Harappans’. It would help future researchers. I have already shown that it has several Tamil words. Here is the list:-



TAGS- Rig Veda, Farming terms, Water sources, Two Wives, Agriculture, RV10-101



Post No. 10,231

Date uploaded in London – 19 OCTOBER  2021         

Contact –

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.,

There is a beautiful poem (RV.10-101) about farming in the Rig Veda. There are several references to agricultural implements in the Vedic Hymns. They are found throughout the Rig Veda; so no half baked fellow could say this is in the latest Vedic stage. Not only that, the grains such as paddy ,wheat and barley are mentioned in the Rig Veda.

In the Havis that was offered to the gods in the fire we see this occurring again and again. Even the foreigners with jaundice eyes said that Yava did not mean barley alone in all the places, but the term was used for ‘grains’.

Above all these things, one poet calls his comrades ‘Come on :Let us go to the fields and plough the lands’. A few thousand years after this Rig Vedic poet, Tamil poet Tiru Valluvar composed 10 couplets on Farming echoing the Rig Vedic poet. Bharati ,the greatest of the modern Tamil poets also sang,

‘Let us salute farming and industry and

Let us insult the people who indulge and waste time.’


The Vedic Hindus were primarily agriculturists . In one and the same family we see a doctor, grinder of corns and a poet!

‘I am a poet, my daddy is a doctor and my mother a labourer who grinds corn’ (RV 9-112-3)

“3. A bard am I, my dad’s a leech (doctor), 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.” (RV 9-112-3)

It was sung by a poet named Sisu Angiras.

This poem has a refrain, ‘Flow Indu, Flow for Indra’s sake’

This is called ‘Farmers song’, a genre followed throughout India by the farmers. Ancient Tamil literature also described this as Uzavar Othai (farmers song).


Bhagawan Singh in his book ‘The Vedic Harappans’, listed over 55 agricultural terms from the Rig Veda itself.

He has shown that there were Landlords during Vedic Times who employed agricultural labourers.


Page 137

“In the Rigveda  4-57 , we  find a very titillating description of plough operation. More than that it suggests that in a number of cases the owners of the plots did not till the land themselves, but engaged labourers to do the job:-

RV 4-57

1. WE through the Master of the Field, even as through a friend, obtain     What nourishes our cattle and steeds. In such may he be good to us.

2. As the cow yields milk, pour for us freely, Lord of the Field, the wave that bears sweetness,     Distilling mead, well-purified like butter, and let the. Lords of holy Law be gracious.

3. Sweet be the plants for us. the heavens, the waters, and full of sweets for us be air’s mid-region.      May the Field’s Lord for us be full of sweetness, and may we follow after him uninjured.

4. Happily work our steers and men, may the plough furrow happily.

  Happily be the traces bound; happily may he ply the goad.

5. Suna and Sira, welcome ye this laud, and with the milk which ye have made in heaven      Bedew ye both this earth of ours.

6. Auspicious Sita, come thou near: we venerate and worship thee

  That thou mayst bless and prosper us and bring us fruits abundantly.

7. May Indra press the furrow down, may Pusan guide its course aright.      May she, as rich in milk, be drained for us through each succeeding year.

8. Happily let the shares turn up the ploughland, happily go the ploughers with the oxen.      With meath and milk Parjanya make us happy. Grant us prosperity, Suna and Sira.


My Comments

Fourth Mandala of the Rig Veda where this hymn occurs is considered one of the earliest part of the Veda. Rishi Vamadeva Gautaman sang this to Kshetrapati. Once again this word Kshetra is used today for ‘field’, ‘body’, ‘holy places’ in all Indian languages. That shows how it got extended in its meaning and how important the word is.

Nowhere in the world we see agricultural deities at this period. A few thousand years after the Vedas, came Greek literature where we see some deities attached to plants. Above all these things, the agricultural deity Sita is worshipped by millions of people even today.


Sita , heroine in Ramayana, is the personification of furrow or husbandry. Sita was named after furrow because she was found during ritualistic ploughing by the great king of Bihar, Janaka. There we get more information about farming; Kings were requested to start the farming every year. They came and started the Yajna Kshetra work as well. After the ritualistic ploughing, Brahmins constructed geometrically shaped Fire Altars.


Suna and Sira , two deities or deified objects who bless farming operations. Today agriculturists perform Puja or some rituals before starting ploughing. That shows the continuation of the Vedic rituals.

According to Yaska of 850 BCE , Suna /auspicious is Vayu and Sira/plough is Aditya/sun.

Professor Roth conjectures that the words here mean ploughshare and plough.

Professor Grassmann translates Plough and ploughman

All the foreigners, at last, agree on this issue!

My discovery

Apart from all these things ,RTU/season is described in various hymns. In one or two places we come across SIX SEASONS. Tamils followed it in their ancient literature. The very world Rhythm came from Rtu.

The English word Plough is a Tamil word UZU (P=V, B=V; which we see in all Indian languages. Ancient Tamils called Pandi/cart instead of Vandi/cart (P=V).

55 words are listed by Bhagawan Sing under agriculture. Many are in Tamil as well-

Utsa becomes UUTRU in Tamil

Kulyaa becomes KAALVAAY in Tamil

Kuupa/  well  is used as such  in Tamil

Kosa / leather bag is used as such in Tamil

Naadi /drain is used in time and clock as Naazikai

Khala/ farm yard, thrashing floor used as such in Tamil

Dhaanya / grain is in Tamil

Bija becomes Vidhai (B = V)

Sakan/ cowdung – Saanam in Tamil

Other words enter though the back door as Plough is UZU in Tamil.

Tamil and Sanskrit words have single source from where they originated ( I have shown it in my 150++ articles.)


Important Agricultural Hymn

RIG VEDA 10-101

.1. WAKE with one mind, my friends, and kindle Agni, ye who are many and who dwell together.

     Agni and Dadhikras and Dawn the Goddess, you, Gods with Indra, I call down to help us.

2. Make pleasant hymns, spin out your songs and praises: build ye a ship equipped with oars for transport.

     Prepare the implements, make all things ready, and let the sacrifice, my friends, go forward.

3. Lay on the yokes, and fasten well the traces: formed is the furrow, sow the seed within it.

     Through song may we find bearing fraught with plenty: near to the ripened grain approach the sickle.

4. Wise, through desire of bliss from Gods, the skilful bind the traces fast, And lay the yokes on either side.

5. Arrange the buckets in their place securely fasten on the straps.

     We will pour forth the well that hath a copious stream, fair-flowing well that never fails.

6. I pour the water from the well with pails prepared and goodly straps,

     Unfailing, full, with plenteous stream.

7. Refresh the horses, win the prize before you: equip a chariot fraught with happy fortune.

     Pour forth the well with stone wheel, wooden buckets, the drink of heroes, with the trough for armour.

8. Prepare the cow-stall, for there drink your heroes: stitch ye the coats of armour, wide and many.

     Make iron forts, secure from all assailants let not your pitcher leak: stay it securely.

9. Hither, for help, I turn the holy heavenly mind of you the Holy Gods, that longs for sacrifice.

     May it pour milk for us, even as a stately cow who, having sought the pasture, yields a thousand streams.

10. Pour golden juice within the wooden vessel: with stone-made axes fashion ye and form it.

     Embrace and compass it with tenfold girdle, and to both chariot-poles attach the car-horse.

11. Between both poles the car-horse goes pressed closely, as in his dwelling moves the doubly-wedded.

     Lay in the wood the Soviran of the Forest, and sink the well although ye do not dig it.

12. Indra is he, O men, who gives us happiness: sport, urge the giver of delight to win us strength

     Bring quickly down, O priests, hither to give us aid, to drink the Soma, Indra Son of Nistigri.



To be continued………………………………

tags– farming in Veda, Agriculture, Rig Veda, Sita, Sira, Suna, Farmers songs, in Tamil