Snake bite cure in Atharva Veda(Post No.3268)

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Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 19 October 2016

 

Time uploaded in London: 18-47

 

Post No.3268

 

Pictures are taken from Wikipedia and other sources; thanks. (Picture is used only for representational purpose; no connection with the current article.)

 

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Following Prayer is found in the Sixth Kanda of Atharvana Veda:-

Prayers for purging Snake poison

“Just as the Surya knows the heaven well,I am well acquainted with the story of the birth of the snakes. Just as the sun removes the darkness of the night, I remove the snake poison from your body.

 

The Brahmanas , the sages and gods knew how to purge snake poison. The learning has come down to us from the past and will be used in future as well. I cleanse you of snake poison with that learning.

 

I sprinkle you with waters of the rivers and mountains. I sprinkle you with the waters of the rivers Parushni and Shipala. May peace descend upon your face. May peace descend on your heart”.

 

(The Parushni is now identified as the Iravati or the Ravi. It is not possible to identify Shipala. The Shipala probably simply meant a stream in which the aquatic plant shaivala grew.)

 

Snake Bite Miracles

 

Hindu literature has got many stories of snake bite cure miracles.Hindu poets use the similes such as “even the snakes obey/ listen to the Mani Mantra Aushada” meaning snakes are controlled by the Mantra or Gem stones or herbs.

 

It is interesting to note that Manu Smrti advised people to wear gemstones to counter the poison.(Manu 7-218)

 

Tamil poet Kamban and Sanskrit poet Kalidasa used similes saying that the snakes listen to mantras and behaves.

When the King Dilipan tried to shoot an arrow at the lion that attacked his divine cow, his hands became numb like the snake benumbed by the mantras and the herbs.( Raghu Vamsam 2-32)

 

Kamban says the demoness Ayomuki misbehaved with Lakshmana like a bad snake who  did not obey the command of mantras.  (Aranyakas Kandam)

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Tamil Miracles

There are several miracle stories in Tamil and Sanskrit literature where saints cured their disciples bitten by the snakes. They say the verses sung by the saint poets revived the dead. Two famous saints lived in Tamil Nadu 1400 years ago. One of them was Sambandar, a Boy Wonder who did many miracles before he died at the age of sixteen. A woman who eloped with her boyfriend was staying at a choultry in Tirumarukal. He was bitten by snake at the dead of night and died at once. When the woman was crying loudly Sambandar came there and revived him by singing the praise of Lord Siva. Lord Siva wash known as Neelakandan– The Blue Necked– because he swallowed poison and his wife Parvati stopped it at his neck. His neck became blue because of the poison.

 

Sambandars contemporary was another saint by name Appar. He visited Thingalur, a town where there was a water distribution centre named after him. During summer, Hindus used to distribute drinking water as a charity. When Appar asked people there, without revealing his identity, who the gentleman was that named the centre after Appar alias Tirunavukkarasu. When he was taken to the owner of the charity centre, Apputhi Adikal, Appar pretended as if he was someone else, and criticised Apputhi Adikal for using the name of a non entity like Appar.

 

Apputhi became furious and reeled out the glorious deeds of Appar and asked how dare he criticised him as an unknown person. At that point, Appar revealed his true identity and Apputhi was in ecstasy. He insisted that Appar must stay for dinner which he agreed whole heartedly. It is customary for the Tamils to eat on banana leaves. When Apputhi’s son went into the garden to cut some leaves from the plantain tree he was bit ten by a snake and he died on the spot. Apputhi and his wife decided to hide him from Appar. When they were about to serve the food, Appar insisted that Apputhi’s son also should join them. With great grief and much hesitation they told Appar what happened. Immediately Appar sang ten verses praising Lord Siva and the boy came alive. 

Pandaripura Miracle

We read about similar incidents in Maratti language also. There were two true devotees of Pandaripuram Panduranga. Kamalakar and his wife Sumati heard about the visit of great Saint Namadeva. When he came to the town, the couple wanted to feed all the people in his group. Sumati asked her son Padmakar to fetch some fuel wood from the backyard. When Padmakar did this he was bitten by a snake and died. The couple decided not to upset the guests, and she hid the body, wrapped in an old cloth. When Namadeva insisted all the family members should sit with him in the dinner, the couple revealed the tragedy. Namdeo sang in praise of Lord Panduranga and the boy came alive as if woken form sleep.

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In such stories we see the power of divine words. Coupled with the power of the Saints, miracles do happen. But not all the people are lucky to be alive like the above; we hear about hundreds of deaths every year due to snake poison. God’s devotees are saved if they are at the right place at the right time with the right people!

 

Tamil Poet Kamban and Snakes

There are two anecdotes about Tamil poet Kamban. He came to launch his new book about agriculturalists. One of the important guests was Chedirayan from Pondicherry. Unfortunately a snake suddenly came from nowhere and bit him. Moreover, it wound in his feet. Kamba  sang some verses and then the snake left the place.

 

On another occasion, a snake bit one of the Chidambaram dikshitars’ son. Kamban sang a few verses from the Nagapasa verses in the Ramayana and the boy was revived.

-Subham-

 

 

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Jangida Mystery in Atharva Veda!

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Research paper written by London Swaminathan

Research article No.1528; Dated  29th  December 2014.

Jangida is mentioned in Atharva Veda as panacea, cure-all, elixir, remedy and a magic bullet for many diseases. But no one knows for sure what it meant. Some scholars identify this with Terminalia Arjuna tree. Termanalia Arjuna is known as  Arjuna tree in North India and Marutha maram in Tamil Nadu. Telugu name- Thella maddi, Malayalam name – Neer Maruthu

Already some research papers on the effect of Arjun tree on cardio vascular diseases (Heart diseases) have been published, but the result is inconclusive. Marutha maram (arjun tree) is the Sthala Vrksa of some temples in Tamil Nadu (Tiruvidaimaruthur/Madhyarjuna; Tiruppudaimaruthur/Budarjuna) and  (Sri sailam/Mallikarjuna) Andhra Pradesh . There are few others who identify the Jandgida with other plants. But no definite evidence is produced. The reason being the name disappeared after the Atharva Veda period.

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Vedic Index of Names and Subjects by AA Macdonell and A B Keith says,

“Jangida is the name of a healing plant mentioned in the hymns of the Atharva Veda (ii,4; xix 34,35). It was used as an amulet against the diseases, or symptoms of disease, Takman, Balasa, Asarika, Visarika, Prestyamamaya, fevers and rheumatic pains Viskandha and Samskandha, Jambha and so on (AV xix-34,10, ii-4,1-5)

It is also regarded as a specific against all diseases and as the best of healing powers (AV xix-34,9,7).

It is said to be produced from the juices of (rasa) ploughing (krsi), but this only mean that it grew in cultivated land, not that it was itself cultivated.

What plant the name designates is quite uncertain, for it disappears in the later literature. Caland takes it in the Kausika Sutra to be Terminalia arjuneya”

The above matter is taken from Vedic Index

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My comments:

Foreign scholars were quick to identify the Soma plant with narcotic drug and narcotic plants without any evidence, but here they struggle! This shows their attitude. They are from a culture of drug users and so they can see only narcotic drug in it. I have already written in my articles how the ancient Pandya Tamil inscriptions describe Somayajis as Manosudhdha (mind purifying juice). Vedic literature criticises even the use of alcohol. They clearly differentiate Sura Bana and Soma bana. So, one must not depend entirely on the foreign translations of the Vedas. The difference of opinion on each word, name and the phrase even among themselves is enough to estimate their translations!

The Atharva Veda by Devi Chand gives some new information on Jangida plant:

“Sayana interprets Jangida as a tree found near Benaras (Varanasi). This explanation is illogical, as it savours of history, but the Vedas are free from history. The word means God, who devours all sins. Griffith explains the word to mean a plant frequently mentioned in the Atharva Veda as a charm against demon and a specific for various diseases. This interpretation too is irrational. Griffith writes Vishkandha is probably rheumatism, and the name of the fiend to whose malignity the diseases was attributed. This does not appeal to reason. The word means God, who is the averter of obstacles”

The Atharva Veda by Devi Chand, page 30.

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But later in the book the translation of Anuvalka 5, Hymn XXXIV, says Jangida is a herb!

“O Jangida herb, thou art the consumer of all destructive forces in the form of germs, the secret weapons like mines etc, employed by the enemies. O Jangida, Thou art the protector. Let jangida guard all our men and cattle.

Let this potent herb destroy the women of ill repute, the large group of gamblers and hundreds of secret means of destruction like mine and dynamites employed by the enemy to harm us. Let it set all these at naught by its powerful energy and radiation.”

“The leaned physicians grow thee well by transplanting thee thrice in the well prepared soil. The learned Vedic scholars of yore, well versed in biological science knew thee.”

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Devi Chand adds in the foot note: “ The superfine properties of Janghida are also worth research. They are meant to be some potent in removing so many fatal diseases. This sukta  (5-35)may also be aptly applied to Jangida, the Arjun tree which is called Indra and Sahasra Chakshu in books of Ayurveda. It is not a charm or an amulet that is meant be jangida.

Devi chand translated it differently from the western scholars.

All these show that the Vedas were very ancient. One can easily translate Gilgamesh and such stuff, but not the Vedas!

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Terminalia pictures are taken from Wikipedia;thanks.

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Oldest and Longest Patriotic Song!

 

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Bhumi Sukta (Ode to Earth) in the Atharva Veda is a beautiful poem with 63 verses; it is a priceless contribution of Atharva Veda to the Vedic literature; this poetry is universal and not local. The earth on which the poet lives opted for Indra and not Vritra, the powers of light and darkness. It shows the crystal clear thinking of Vedic seers. The very first verse in the sukta glorifies the Vedic values of Sathya and Rita, truth and order.

Though the earth is called Pruthvi in Sanskrit throughout  the hymn, we may consider the poet is singing about his own land—the mother land. Some of the modern translations use the word motherland instead of earth. It makes more sense.

 

One would be wonderstruck to read the world’s oldest and longest patriotic song in the Atharva Veda. Atharva Veda’s date is only conjectural and it was compiled earlier than 1000 BC. It is amazing to find a very long patriotic song in praise of motherland (earth) in the Veda. Greeks have not even started writing their first book then. Tamil’s oldest book came 1000 years after Atharva Veda. Moses started issuing Ten Commandments around that date. In such a remote period Hindu thinking has reached its pinnacle!

 

Each Vedic hymn is equal to 1000 self improvement books. The Vedic hymns are full of positive thoughts. Through auto suggestion, it makes anyone great. Each hymn gives positive energy to those who chant, to those who hear and those who believe in them. You don’t need to read any book written by Dale Carnegie or Anthony Robbins. If you sit in a group of Vedic pundits and repeat the hymns every day for hours the whole atmosphere will be surcharged with tremendous energy and positive thoughts. That is why ancient Hindu kings appointed Vedic priests in every town, temple and palace who repeated the positive words million times and prayed for the welfare of not only human beings but also animals. This is the highest stage of human thought.

 

Vedic priests were not primitive nomads. They were highly civilized. No Gilgamesh, Atra Hasis or Ziusudra had such sublime thoughts.

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Atharva Veda seers sing about the beauty of earth in general. It will beat all the national anthems of the world. If I give the full version, it will run to several pages. This verse inspired great poets like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and Bharati. I will give below some of the verses from the hymn on earth/motherland. It is from Kanda 12 of Atharva Veda:

“ Sacred is the earth (motherland). It not only nurtures that which is past and all the objects of the present, it bears the seed of the future as well. Such is our great motherland.

“ Our earth (motherland) is populated with learned men. It is populated by those who are inferior, those who are average and those who are superior. But all such people forget their differences and live together in unity and friendship. This is the land where we will perform deeds and attain fame. This is the land where our intelligence prospers.

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“ In our motherland can be found enterprising and hard working farmers and artisans. In every direction that one glances, one finds fields of rice, wheat and other grains. Our motherland nourishes different forms of life. It provides us with cows, food grains and other forms of sustenance.

“The famous warriors of yore performed valorous deeds here. In this land the learned and the brave ones conquered the violent demons.

 

“Our earth/motherland is the nurturer. In it can be found gold, silver, diamonds, emeralds and other gems. Nuggets of gold and all sorts of objects, all forms of vegetation, and all forms of living beings can be found in our motherland. Our motherland is the best country of all.

“ In the beginning, this land was immersed in the water of the ocean. Vast is the expanse of this land. Its heights reach up to heaven.

“ In this land to be found learned mendicants who roam in every direction.  Just as the water attains same level everywhere, these hermits look upon all with equal favour.

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“ The Ashvinis look after this land of ours. Brave warriors have measured the length and breadth of our motherland

“O my earth/ Motheland! May the mountains and the snow clad peaks that can be found here NOT bring you unhappiness.

“You are my mother. I am the son of the earth.  The water which rains down and nourishes is my father. My I be preserved.

“ In this land the Vedas are revered in every direction. The righteous ones are worshiped here and the land is uplifted through the performances of sacrifices. Wonderful are the words of wisdom that have been uttered in this land.

“ O my Motherland! All of us are your subjects. May all of us be gifted with sweet speech. May we live together in harmony. May trees and plants grow on you in abundance.

 

“This land is the mother of all trees, shrubs, plants and creepers. It is here that truth, learning, bravery and righteousness flourish. This land will bring us welfare and happiness. May we always serve our motherland.

“O, Motherland! This is the place where we all live in harmony. May you be great and firm. May brave warriors protest you with their valour and intelligence from enemies. May we be enriched. May we prosper.

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May we not cause unhappiness to others when we are travelling on this land.

This is the land where the search for the god is made. This is the land that the god has blessed.

May my motherland grant us the riches that we desire. The inhabitants of this land sing and dance. The cities in my motherland have been built by the gods.

“ O  earth (my Motherland)! Grant us wisdom so that we can ensure our welfare. May we be learned all the time. May we prosper in your midst.

 

Atharva Veda Kanda 7 also got a hymn on the motherland.

“Heaven is in the motherland. The motherland is our mother. it is our father and son”.

(I have given only half of the verses. It goes on and on about the glory of our holy land. It is full of positive thoughts. It praises nature at length. We must replace our National Anthem “Jana Gana Mana” with the abridged version of this Vedic hymn!!)

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