NUMBER SEVEN IN RIG VEDA, GREECE, AUSTRALIA, CHINA AND MIDDLE EAST (Post No.6928)

SAPTA MATA OR SAPTA KANYA IN INDUS SEAL

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN
swami_48@yahoo.com

 Date: 24 AUGUST 2019  

British Summer Time uploaded in London – 17-35

Post No. 6928

 Pictures are taken from various sources; this is a non- commercial, educational blog; posted in swamiindology.blogspot.com and tamilandvedas.com simultaneously. Average hits per day for both blogs 12,000.

Seven Sisters in Melbourne, Australia

Seven in Rig Veda

Seven is the most sacred number for Hindus. Anything holy, they count in seven, whether it is hills, rivers, forests, cities, holy women or holy men to remember (sapta kanya, sapta nadhi, sapta Rishi, sapta mokshapuri, sapta aranya etc). Seven is found in largest number of seals in Indus valley. The Seven Sister seal in the Indus is a famous one. Most of the Hindu temples have Sapt Kanya/ seven women statues in South India. The story of Seven Sisters is there in several parts of the world from Australian aborigines to ancient Greeks.

Mr Dave even identified seven birds in Rig Veda as seven sisters known to Bengalis (Bengalis call these seven birds as seven sisters). Birds in Sanskrit Literature by K.N Dave

Varunan with seven sisters is found in Rik Veda 8-41

Seven rivers of Punjab are mentioned in Rig Veda as Sapta Sindhu.

“Seven to the one-wheeled chariot yoke the Courser ;bearing seven names the single Courser draw it.

Three-naved the wheel is, sound and undecaying, whereon are still resting alhese worlds of being.”- 1-164-2

“The seven who on the seven wheeled car are mounted to have horses, seven in tale, who draw them onward.

Seven sisters utter songs of praise together, in whom the names of the seven cows are treasured.”- 1-164-3

Seven Sisters seal is found in the Indus valley civilisation as well.

The Seven: according to Sayana, the seven solar rays, or seven divisions of the year.

Seven sisters: Probably the seven celestial rivers, which as emblems of fertility may bear the name of cows.

Seven Vedic Metres including Gayatri are mentioned by the poet.

Hymn 1-164

Dirgatamas’ hymn 1-164 is one of the longest hymns the Rig Veda. He talks about various subjects in a coded language with lot of symbolism.

In the hymn, mantra 24 refers to the seven speeches

Mantra 24 points out that this faculty of speech is found only in the human beiges.

Mantra 45 gives information about the divisions of speech. Grammarian Patanjali and others also discussed this in detail.

Hymn 4-58

Patanjali referred to part of this hymn. The four parts of speech are explained here. Patanjali discusses seven cases and the three originating centres of pronunciation.

Hymn 8-59

Some of the most prominent observations of this hymn are as follows:

The ultimate truth is brought forth through the medium of seven-fold speech

These seven folds or divisions of speech are seven sisters of the ultimate truth

Speech protects us through its seven physical and three temporal divisions. And

three chief aspects of speech-behaviour are mental, and intellectual faculties, coupled with the acquired knowledge.

Hymn 10-71

This hymn is most important and is solely devoted to the linguistic observations alone, some of which are as follows:

An initial expression of name is indicative of a wholesome integrated expression of the accumulated ideas in the speaker’s mind. Thus, it originates as a representative of complete statement.

The emotions are desires of the Self are filtered in the mind, from where it takes the shape of words or speech, which is expressed externally with the help of the articulatory forces.

Thus, a word takes its usable form first in one’s mind which is then pronounced from seven places and in different tones.

Speech and language are not only the objects ears and eyes alone; no one can understand it without the help of mind, the sharpness of otherwise of which makes the difference in one’s power of understanding.

With only training and knowledge, we can learn the correct usage of the language and avoid its misuse, generated mostly from our ignorance.

Hymn 10-114

In at least six verses of this hymn, different aspects of linguistic phenomenon have been discussed. In the fourth and fifth verses, the principle of multiple exprepressibility of one and the same truth has been stressed explicitly. The seventh verse declares that the seven fold speech is capable to express all expressible forms.

xxx

Story from Australia:

Seven wandering ancestral heroines of the Dream time, also referred to their aboriginal name KUNGARANKALPA. The complete route of the sisters has been pieced together from stories told about them by different aboriginal clans living along its course. On reaching the southern coast, the seven sisters went in to the sea and then leaped in to the sky. Once in the sky they became the constellation KURIYALA (The Pleiades). Hindus call this six Krithikas. Westerners call this constellation Seven Sisters. This tallies somewhat with Hindu counting One Skanda+looked after by six sisters=seven).

Ancient San Rock paintings in South Africa have seven women as a group.

IN GREECE AND INDIA
SEVEN SISTERS IN AUSTRALIA
SEVEN IN BIBLE
SEVEN IN MIDDLE EAST
SEVEN IN CHINA
SEVEN IN GERMANY
SEVEN LIBERAL ARTS

Yupa Post in Sangam Tamil Literature and Rig Veda (Post No.4942)

Yupa post in Gold Coins of Gupta Emperors

RESEARCH ARTICLE WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 23 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  16-51 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4942

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

 

WARNING: PLEASE SHARE MY ARTICLES; BUT DON’T SHARE IT WITHOUT AUTHOR’S NAME AND THE BLOG NAME. BE HONEST; OTHERS WILL BE HONEST WITH YOU.

 

Yupa Post in Sangam Tamil Literature and Rig Veda (Post No.4942)
The Yupa was a high wooden post erected eastward of the Supreme Fire altar, with much ceremony, immediately after the transfer of the sacred fire and the offerings had been accomplished. It’s object was to hold the living victims bound upon it for sacrifice. It was itself an object of adoration, being anointed with sacred ghee, the melted butter.

It had three prongs or forks RV 1-24-13,being more or less like a trident. It was made of various woods, according to the object of the sacrifice. In the Rajasuya ,it was made of Khadira wood I.e. Catechu acacia, a forest tree, a native to India most valuable especially for its medicinal qualities.

Pandya Coin with Yupa post

Yupa in Sangam Tamil Literature

The Rig Vedic Sanskrit word YUPA is used in 2000 year old Sangam Tamil literature without any change i.e. same Sanskrit word Yupa is used. In some other places it is called sacrifice post in Tamil (Velvi Nedunthunam).

Yupa is found in

purananuru vereses 15, 224

Perumpaanatruppadai- line 315

pathitrupathu 67-10

 

Velvi (sacrifie) occurs in at least 15 places. Kanchi Paramacharya (1894-1994), Shankaracharya of Kamakoti Peetam at Kancheepuram said the pure Tamil word Velvi in 2000 old literature shows that it is very familiar with the Tamils and part of their life.

 

Tamils were great fire worshippers. They did several Yagas (fire sacrifices)

 

Moreover the world famous Sanskrit poet Kalidasa in his Raguvamsa, written in the first century or second century BCE (see my research paper on his date) introduce Pandya King as the one who is always seen choked with Avabruda Snanam (bath during Fire Sacrifices).

Pal Yagasala Mudukudumi Peruvazuthi, a Pandya king,  performed several Yagas and his country was full of Yupa Pillars. With his name Peruvazuthi, a coin with a horse,  is discovered. This confirms that he did Asvamedha Yajnam. Kalidasa, in his Raguvamsa, talks about Agastya and Pandya and mentioned Avabrutha Snana, which is performed during big Yajnas. Another Choza king, Perunarkilli, performed Rajasuya Yajna. Karikar Choza, the greatest of the Choza kings, did yaga with eagle shaped Yaga Kunda (altar) according to Tamil literature

.

Nettimaiyar, one of the oldest poets of Sangam period, wonders ,“Oh! Pandya! please tell me whether the number of Yupa posts you installed more? Or the number of enemies you defeated more? Or the praises by the poets more?” (Pura.15)
Verse 224 praised the greatest of the Chola kings Karikalan for installing the tall Yupa post in the midst of eagle shaped Yaga Kunda.

Mulavarman, a fourth century king did a Yagna and installed seven Yupa posts to commemorate it in Borneo island of Indonesia. It was discovered in an area covered by very thick forests. Varman is a surname of Pallava Kings of Tamil Nadu.

All the Gupta emperors and most of the Satavahanas did great Fire sacrifices including Asvamedha Yajna.

Dr Martin Haug says that the name Yupa contains a pun on the Sanskrit word Yuva, a youth. The Aitareya Brahmana 2-1 however derive s it from yoyuupYan, they debarred, and relates a curious legend of the gods attempting to bar mankind from the knowledge of the sacrifice by its means.
There are other speculations as to the root of the word, Sat.Br 3-6-4.
It is probable that the term youth was used in reference to it’s decorations with ribbons corresponding to the then style of youthful dress.

No one was killed, No animal was killed

Sayana,the ancient Hindu commentator, observes here, that although at a sacrifice men and animals were bound to the Yupa post, yet both men and beasts were set free immediately after the fire had been carried round them. Everybody accepts Sayana’s commentary.

It is elsewhere said that after recitation of Purusha suukta RV 10-90, in which mystic immolation of Prajapati, the creator himself. Is described and after fire had been carried around them they were to be released , and an offering of melted butter made in their stead.
The reference s quoted are Sat.br 13-6-2-1
Van.Sam. 30
Taitr.Bra. 3-1-4
Kat.srauta sutra 21-1-1

In any sacrifice the consent of the victim is essential. Animals were theoretically supposed to be consenting parties to their own immolation.

 

Many texts might be quoted on the point, but the following two will suffice:

The animal when carried to the altar, saw death before it. Not wishing to go to the gods, the gods said to it, ‘Come we will bring you to heaven. Then the animal consented (Ait.Br.Vol 2, p.86)

Accordingly, the animals resigned themselves, and became favourably disposed to the slaughtering (Sat.Br.3-7-3-5)

 

It is also said that the animals will faint as soon as the mantras are said.

Yupa post close up picture

Interesting Story from Mahabharata

The point is further illustrated by a story in the fourteenth book of the Mahabharata. Krishna and Arjuna, disguised as Brahmins, telling Raja Mewaradwaja that a tiger had carried away the son of Krishna, and could only be appeased by being given half the body of the Raja’s (King’s) son; the king immediately agreed to sacrifice himself and directed his wife and son to cut him into two. But Krishna saw a tear in the victim’s left eye. He stopped the sacrifice, as the offering was an unwilling one.

So we can summarise

1.that no animal or man can be sacrificed without consent

2.the victims who were tied to the post were released as soon as the fire was carried around them. So the animal or human sacrifice was only symbolic.

3.We hear the story of first intended human sacrifice—the story of Sunashepa- happenedduring the 28 the king of Solar dynasty, Ikshvaku being the first king. So before Harischandra there was none or after Harischandra none was taken to sacrifice. That means it was only symbolic, because even Sunashepa was ‘rescued’ by Visvamitra.

Yupa is found in

RV 5-2-7 ( of Sunashepa); 1-51-14

AV 9-6-22; 12-1-38;13-1-47

Tait.sam 6-3-4; 7-2-1

Vaja. am.19-17

Pancha.Brah.9-10-2

YUPA POST IN INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZAION

Yupa post | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/yupa-post/

Translate this page

Ancient name of the river is Parusni. There is a similar sounding word Hariyupia – in the Rig Veda. Few scholars identify it with Harappa of Indus Valley Civilization. Rig Veda describes it a as a Vedic city with Yupa posts of golden colours!! Rig Vedic Index by A B Keith and A A Macdonell gives the following information:.

 

Fire altar Mystery in Sangam Literature

mystery solved | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/mystery-solved/ – Translate this page

2 Aug 2016 – –source: A Dictionary of Vedic Rituals. Tamil Mystery solved! My comments: There is a verse in Sangam Tamil literature (Akananuru verse 361) where a simile about a tortoise is not explained by any one Tamil commentator correctly. After reading the above passage of placing a live tortoise on a layer, we …

 

–SUBHAM–

 

 

OLDEST POEM ABOUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FOREST! (Post No.4896)

OLDEST POEM ABOUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FOREST! (Post No.4896)

 

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 8 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  20-38 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4896

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

 

WARNING: PLEASE SHARE MY ARTICLES; BUT DON’T SHARE IT WITHOUT AUTHOR’S NAME AND THE BLOG NAME. BE HONEST; OTHERS WILL BE HONEST WITH YOU

       

Rig Veda is a treasure house. It is the encyclopaedia of human race. Since it is the only book about humanity in the ancient world, everything said in it is carefully analysed. There is a beautiful poem about Forest and Queen of the Forest in the tenth mandala, the last of the ten mandalas/divisions in the Rig Veda.

We come across beautiful description of the forest by the poet. The queen of the forest is called ARANYAANI. The beauty of the word ARANYAM is that it is found in all Indian languages including Tamil. Vedaranyam, Dharbaranyam (Tirunallaru), Vadaranyam (Tiru Alankadu) in Tamil Nadu, Naimisaranyam, Dandakaranyam in the North are famous.

Like many Rig Vedic words, it is very common. The Goddess of the Forest is addressed by the poet.

This highlights many points

Hindus cared about environment several thousand years before any other community in the world.

Hindus appreciated and respected nature than any other community. Note the words Queen, Goddess etc.

Hindus worshipped everything in Nature.

The method of addressing is followed even by the 2000 year old Tamil Sangam poets: The poet says Aranyaanii! Aranyaanii! Tamils used such repetitions in Purananauru verses–195, 228, 256, 285, 301 etc

 

Let us look at the short poem or hymn now:

1.Goddess of the Forest! Goddess of the Forest! who seem to vanish from the sight.

How is it you seek not the village? Are you not afraid?

2.What time the grasshopper replies and swells the shrill Chichika bird’s voice

seeming to sound the tinkling bells, the Lady of the Wood exults

3.And yonder, cattle seem to graze, what seems a dwelling place appears;

Or else at evening the Lady of the Forest seems to free the wains.

4.Here one is calling to his house, another has felled the tree;

At evening the dweller in the wood fancies that somebody has screamed.

5.The Goddess never slays, unless some murderous enemy approach

She eats fruit and then takes, even as she wills, rest.

6.Now have I praised the Forest Queen, sweet scented, redolent of balm,

The Mother of all Sylvan things, who tills not but has stores of food.

–Rig Veda 10-146

 

Probably this is the oldest and most beautiful poem on Forest. The scent of the forest, the sounds heard in the forest, the strength of the forest (she doesn’t need to plough and cultivate), the vegetarian food of the forest queen, the title as Queen, the status as Goddess- all such words and epithets show great appreciation for the forest.

 

One wonders how come the forest is not afraid, but every one of us fears it because of the wild animals and the robbers hiding there.

The chirping of the birds and crickets is not missed by the poet.

The evening scenes are picturesque: – a cart is rolling, cows are mowing, some sounds similar to crying (from animals) are heard, someone sees a house at a distance with lamps perhaps.

 

The forest never hurts any one unless a person hurts it.  The forest never cultivates, ploughs or raise trees; but they grow on their own and always full of fruits—all appreciation!

 

It is as if we are beginning to read a story or novel. The authors always describe such scenes and proceed to their plot of the story.

If we imagine that this hymn is sung in the Bhoopaala Raga, it will add more colour to it.

In Sanskrit and Tamil we have Suprabatham and Tiru Palli Ezuchi. It may be the prelude to that genre.

 

–Subham—

 

 

IS THERE POETRY OR PHILOSOPHY IN THE RIG VEDA? (Post No.4329)

 

 

Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 23 October 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 20–15

 

 

Post No. 4329

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

We know that the Rig Veda is the oldest religious book in the world; we know that Rig Veda is the first anthology in the world; we know that Rig Veda gives a list of 400 plus poets who were here 6000 years ago. It is amazing to see such a long list of poets several thousand years ago; No language has such a long list of firsts in the modern world.

 

Foreigners, particularly Max Muller and Marxists, dubbed them silly, ‘mostly childish’ with one or two rare gems here and there. They also said you cannot see high philosophy in it. I give below some excerpts of lectures delivered by Dr Ghate in University of Bombay 100 years ago:–

 

“Do you, young readers, come to the Rig Veda (RV) with the hope of finding in it the most sublime poetry? Then I am not surprised at the disappointment which would be in store for you.

You must not expect to find in the RV the smooth and melodious verses of KALIDASA,

nor the deep and heart-rending emotions of BHAVABUTI,

nor the polished and jingling music of DANDIN,

nor the elaborate and highly finished art of MAGHA,

nor the deep significance of BHARAVI,

nor the bewilderingly complex phrases of BANA.

All the same it cannot be denied that the hymns of the RV, at least some of them are such as goddess of poetry would be proud of.

 

The freshness and beautiful imagery which characterize the hymns addressed to Ushas (aurora), the heroic simplicity of some of the hymns addressed to Indra (the Thundering Bull), the homeliness which pervades some of the hymns to Agni, cannot but appeal to a sympathetic and appreciative reader. Though the RV as a book of poetry cannot at all stand comparison with the best specimens of Sanskrit classical poetry, still it has something indescribable in it which cannot be slightly passed over”

MY COMMENTS:-

Rig Veda is not a ‘poetry book’, i.e. nobody praised it as a poetry book. It is valued because it is a book of hymns. Moreover, 5000 or 6000 years ago, the world has no civilisation at all. Egypt, Babylonia, Mayan, Chinese, Greek civilisations came after the RV, if we go by the modern date of RV. Astronomically Tilak and Jacobi placed it in 4500 BCE and latest Saraswati River Research and NASA satellite images place RV before Indus Valley Civilization, i.e. 2500 BCE or before. Hindus believe that Vyasa divided the Vedas into four around 3102 BCE. So when there is no civilization in any part of the world we see 400 plus poets who sang religious songs on the banks of the mighty, ocean like River Sarswati. We even know they did not ‘compose’ but they gave us what they ‘heard’ (Sruti in Sanskrit, Kelvi in Tamil).

 

Is there Philosophy before the Upanishads?

I will give some excerpts from Bombay University lecture by Dr Ghate:

“So far I have spoken about the mythology of the Rig Veda (RV). Before concluding, I should like to make few remarks on the philosophy of the RV:-

“India is often spoken as the cradle of philosophy. Nowhere are made so bold and daring attempts to solve the riddle of the universes as in India, where there lived kings like JANAKA and AJATASATRU, Brahmins like YAAJNAVALKYA and NACHIKETAS, philosophers as SANKARA and KUMARILA. So the student of the RV will naturally be curious to know what philosophy is taught in the RV. He has, however to be warned, that no cut  and dry system is taught here, for which he has to go to SUTRAS. Nor do philosophic speculations form the main burden of the RV as they do in the case of the UPANISHADS.

 

However, the seeds of the Upanishad thought are seen scattered about here and there in the Samhita (Hymns) of the RV. Though the general religion of the RV refers to a plurality of nature gods, still the tendency to monism is distinctly in some of the hymns. Just as the Rishis (seers) thought that the several natural phenomena had some divine forces behind them which were personified into so many gods, in the same way they advanced one step further and came to think that all these were the aspects of one and the same all-pervading divine force which manifested itself in different ways. Thus there was a transition from many gods to one god. Thus in 1-164-46, we have, “They call it Indra, Mitra, Varuna and Agni or the heavenly Garutmath (the sun). The sages call the One Being in many ways; they call it Agni, Yama and Matariswan. Here the several Vedic gods are stated to be one being. This whole hymn (1-164) is nothing but a collection of fifty verses poetry, all of them except one, being riddles whose answers are not given. “The subjects of these riddles are cosmic, that is, pertaining to the nature phenomena of the universe: mythological, that is, referring to the accepted legends about the god; psychological that is, pertaining to the human organs and sensations of finally crude and tentative philosophy or theosophy. Heaven and Earth, Sun and Moon, air, clouds and rain; the course of the sun, the year, the seasons, months days and nights; human voice, self-consciousness of life and death; the origin of the first creature and the originator of the universe – such are the abrupt and bold themes” (from Bloomsfield).

      

The idea that the dead forefathers are dwelling in another world, in the company of gods, where we ourselves to go after death, seem to be expressed or implied in several places.

Thus, we have in 1-91-1, “under your guidance, O Indra, our wise fathers received their share of treasurers among the gods;”

so also 1-125-5. The thirst for life haunts the mind of the Rishis and he leads himself to believe that the life after death in the world of the gods and fathers, is eternal, at least as compared with the life on this earth. Thus in 5-55-4 and 5-63-2 the life is called AMRUTATVA or IMMORTALITY.

 

Questions concerning the beginning and origin of all things were asked and answered by the Vedic Rishis. Thus, in the hymn 10-121 Hiranyagarbha (golden egg) is described as existing in the beginning of the creation, the sole Lord of beings, supporting heaven and earth.

 

In 10-90 hymn popularly known as Purushasukta, the idea that the whole world is one being, the Viratpurusha, who having pervaded the world from all sides, still remained over and above it, is dealt with.

 

In the hymn 10-82, waters are spoken of as being the first substance or prime cause.

 

In hymn 10-125, Vak (speech) is represented as the companion and upholder of the gods and as the foundation of all religious activity and its attendant boons.

 

Hymn 10-129 is a typical hymn in this connection. It is called the Creation hymn. Deussen says of this hymn: “In its noble simplicity, in the loftiness of its philosophic vision, it is possibly the most admirable bit of philosophy of olden times… No translation can ever do justice to the beauty of the original”

The avowed purpose of all philosophy is to account for the presence of the world and its contents as something which is not self-evident, and needs to be explained beyond the point of mere individual experience, or analysis through empirical knowledge. The creation hymn performs this act not without some unsteadiness and with petulance due to scepticism. In putting forth a fundamental principle without personality it does not fall far behind the best thought of later times inside or outside India.”.

One thing, however, must be noted and it is that pessimism and metempsychosis, the two main threads which are oven in everything Indian, and which are he distinguishing traits thereof, are wanting in the early philosophy of the Vedas.”

 

MY COMMENTS:

Modern translations and interpretations give more information on the philosophy of the Vedas. Traditionalists believe that all the philosophical of ancient India existed from the very beginning. They called it the ‘Conclusions of the Vedas’ Vedanta (literally End of Vedas). Dr Ghate’s view was the one held by foregners.

 

Source: Ghate’s Lectures on Rig Veda, Revised and Enlarged by Dr V S Suktankar, Oriental Book Agency, Poona 2, 1966 (First Edition 1915)

 

–Subham–