Post No. 10,622

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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

Manu Smrti on Low Caste Women (Post No.2946)


Written by London swaminathan

Date: 5 July 2016

Post No. 2946

Time uploaded in London :– 19-15

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The oldest law book in the world ‘Manu Smrti’ has very interesting couplets on women who were born in low caste.


A man who has faith may receive good learning even from a man who is lower, the ultimate law even from a man of lowest caste, and a jewel of a woman even from a bad family.

Manu 2-238


Ambrosia may be extracted even from poison;

And good advice even from a child;

Good conduct even from an enemy;

And gold even from impure ore.

Manu 2-239

Women, jewels, learning, law, purity, good advice and various crafts may be acquired from anybody


Manu 2-240

In extremity, one is permitted to learn even the vedas from someone who is not a Brahmin and to walk behind him and obey him like a guru as long as the instruction lasts

Manu 2-241

It is interesting that Tamil king Nedunchezian who lived 2000 years ago also said the same about education in verse 183 of Purananuru. Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar who lived 1500 years ago also said the same:-

Though high born, an unlettered man is lower than a learned man of lower birth. Kural – 409


Low Caste Woman Arundhati

When a woman is joined with a husband in accordance with the rules, she takes on the very same qualities that he has, just like a river flowing down into the ocean (River=wife, Ocean = husband).

Manu 9-22

When Akshamala (Arundhati), who was born of the lowest, united with Vasishta, and Sarangi, the hunter woman with Mandapala, they became worthy of honour.

Manu 9-23

Six acts banned for women


Associating with bad people

Being separated from their husbands

Wandering about

Sleeping alone in other places

And living in other peoples’ houses

Are the six things that corrupt women.

Manu 10-13


Respect Women! Or else you will be destroyed!!


Manu’s severe warning:–


Fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers-in-laws who wish for great good fortune should revere women and adorn them Manu 3-55

The gods delight in places where women are respected, but where women are not honoured all rites are fruitless

Manu 3-56


Where the women of the family feel miserable, that family is soon destroyed, but the family where the women are happy thrives well

Manu 3-57

Homes that are cursed by the women who have not treated with reverence are completely destroyed, as if struck down by magic



Therefore, men who wish to prosper should always revere those women with ornaments, clothes and food at celebrations and festivals

Manu 3-59

There is unwavering good fortune in a family where the husband is always satisfied by the wife, and the wife by the husband

Manu – 3-60

Nowhere else in the world we can see such support for women. Manu was the greatest supporter of women’s rights.