A RIG VEDIC HYMN WITH NUMBER SYMBOLISM (Post No.7566)

RESEARCH ARTICLE WRITTEN BY London Swaminathan

Post No.7566

Date uploaded in London – 12 February 2020

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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 A RIG VEDIC HYMN WITH NUMBER SYMBOLISM

Rig Veda, the oldest religious book in the world, the oldest anthology in the world and the oldest document of Hinduism, throws many challenges to Hindu and western scholars. The eighth Mandala of the book is very interesting. We see a lot of foreign stuff here extending up to Iran including Dhana/gifts of camels to Brahmins. Number symbolism seen here is one of the challenges which allows commentators to interpret a verse differently. Tamil Siddhas ad Saivite poet Tirumular followed this style with great enthusiasm.

In all ancient religions, mythology came first and then the religious hymns. But in Hinduism the hymn book Rig Veda is placed at least two thousand years before the 18 Hindu Puranas (Hindu Mythology). Though linguistically speaking the prose Puranas can be placed after the Vedas, the stories in them go back several thousand years. For instance, if a Saivite Purana talks about the Blue throated Shiva and the story behind the blue throat (Neela kanda), the words (Neela Kanda) are already in the Veda.  If a Vaishnavite Purana talks about Vishnu’s Three Steps, the reference can be found in the Rig Veda. So it is clear that Puranaic episodes came first and written later.

The story of Maruts (Rig Veda 8-28) is in the Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana.

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7X7 gods, 7X9 gods in Rig Veda 8-28

Here is a reference about the origin of Maruts. Briefly described as sons of Rudra and attendants of Indra. The storm god is found even in Sumerian (Babylonian) worship as God Martu.

In later days we have

Maruti –  son of wind god is worshipped in nook and corner of India as Hanuman, Anjaneya

Maruti car is running in India everywhere.

Sanda maarutam (gale fore wind) and Mantha maarutham (breeze) are used in Tamil novels etc.

These Maruts are found in Rig Veda with interesting and puzzling Numbers!

Here is the hymn 8-28 from Rig Veda

1.The Thirty Gods and the Three besides, whose seat hath been the sacred grass,

From time of old have found and gained

2.Varuna, Mitra , Aryaman, Agni, with the

Consorts sending boons,

To whom our Vasat! is addressed

3.These are our guardians in the west and

 northward here, and in the south

And on the east , with all the tribe.

4.Even as the gods desire so verily shall it

 be. None minisheth this power of theirs,

No demon and no mortal man.

5.The Seven carry Seven spears; Seven are

the splendours they possess

And Seven glories they assume.

For our number symbolism and the origin of Maruts, let us take stanza/mantra 5 only. Griffith whose translation is given above, comments —

The seven

The Maruts, seven  or seven times nine, or seven times seven  in number. Saayana mentions the legend of their birth, which will be found in Ramayana book 1, cantos 46,47. The meaning is merely that the Maruts carry lances , that is their, lightnings, and are splendidly adorned.

We get 33 gods and then 49 and then 63.

Thirty three is expanded as thirty three crores of gods (330 million) in Puranas , just an exaggeration to boost  their importance. Hindus always add a big decimal number for exaggeration.

They used to say

King Dasaratha has 60,000 wives (meaning is ‘several wives’, unusually high)

In Weddings priests announce ‘Uncle of the bride gifts ‘laksham katti varahan’ (one hundred thousands of gold bars consisting of Varahan gold coins) – meaning is his ‘Rs100 is worth billions’.

Hindus have 33 crore (330 million) gods (meaning is Hindus can worship God in every form, every object)

But later Puranas explained 33 gods as 8 Vasus+12 Adityas+ 11 Rudras + Indra+ Prajapaati (or Two Asvins).

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Story of Maruts from Ramayana

When Diti’s sons were killed in the Churning of the Milky ocean incident, she requested her husband that she should have one son who will be the slayer of Indra ; her husband Kashyapa asked her to do a penance for 1000 years. She did so, but when ten years were remaining, Indra came and entered her when she was lying in the wrong posture. Indra cut the foetus into seven parts and she cried  Indra said ‘Ma Ruda= Cry Not = Marut’.

She requested Indra to allow them to live and Indra told her they will be the guardians of seven winds. They were divided into three parts (7+7+7)

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The Puranic dictionary by John Dowson summarises it in the following passage: –

“The storm gods who hold a very prominent place in the Vedas and are represented as friends and allies of Indra. Various origins are assigned to them. They are the sons of Rudra, sons and brothers of Indra, sons of the oceans, heaven and earth (7+7+7). They are armed with lightning and thunderbolts, and ride on the whirlwind and direct the storm.

The number of them is said in one place to be thrice sixty ( 3+60) and in another only twenty seven.

In the Ramayana they are represented to have their origin in an unborn son of Diti whom Indra dashed into 49 pieces with his thunderbolt (7X7), and in compassion converted into Maruts.

Another commentator on Vedas say , that after their  Siva and Parvati beheld them in great affliction, and the latter asked Siva to transform the lumps on flesh into boys of like form, like age and similarly accounted, and gave them to Parvati as her sons and hence they are called the sons of Rudra.

The legend is invented to explain those passages of the Vedas which make Maruts the sons of Rudra.

MY COMMENTS

It is very simple. If you collect all the English poems on rain or thunder, you will see different interpretations, imageries, similes etc from different poets.

Vedic poets described thunder and rain of Indra assisted by storm and lightning of Marut.

What is the purpose?

The dialogue poems of Rig Veda show that after every sacrifice, there was an Entertainment Show in which two groups acted sitting opposite. Dialogue Hymn between Indra and Marut is the proof for it (RV 1-165).

Probably the Diti – Indra chapters in Ramayana (1-46, 47) are also acted on stages and Viswamitra recited this story to Rama and Lakshmana.

But on another plane, these poems have hidden meaning. In all Tamil Sangam Akam verses (Family/ sex verses) all the natural phenomena have hidden meanings as explained by the later commentators. Sangam Tamil Poems are from first few centuries of Common Era and the commentaries are from 13th century or later. We find the names of the poets and words in the verses are explained as fancifully as Ma Ruda- Don’t Cry- Maruta!

Since Rudra is also a storm god in the Vedas, Maruts/lightnings are described as sons of Rudra.

 In short, a poem on lightning is explained/interpreted in different ways.

Why different numbers (21, 27, 49 and 63) are given?

You can count the lightning streaks in any number depending based on your imagination. But Hindus has a fascination for Number Seven. Anything holy or everything holy is divided into Seven. We see this Number Seven in Indus- Sarasvati Civilization seals more than other numbers. Another holy number 3 is also seen in it.

—subham–

DIRGATAMAS HYMN- A RIDDLE IN THE RIG VEDA (Post No.4453)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 2 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London-  20-45

 

 

Post No. 4453

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

 

The Rig Vedic hymn 1-164 is a great hymn. Probably that is the longest hymn in the oldest book in the world with 52 mantras. It is like an encyclopaedia touching various subjects. It is a riddle because the poet Dirgatamas has used lot of numbers which can be interpreted in many ways. In fact Wilson, Max Muller, Ludwig, Hillebrandt, Griffith, Grasmann and many imitation western Sayanas gave their own interpretations. Even our own Sayana was struggling with the meaning of the mantras. The story of Dirgatamas itself is interesting. He was a blind poet like Homer who lived 100 years. His name meant Long Darkness.

 

First let me give you a beautiful comment on the Hymn RV 1-164 by Umapada Sen in the introduction of his book titled ‘The Rig Vedic Era’ (Calcutta, 1974):–

The Veda is an Indian mass product of a highly advanced civilised society based on class co-operation. It flowered spontaneously, breathing in Indian atmosphere, unassailed by extraneous influences for several centuries, till it was stifled by abrupt and strange appearance of liturgical codes of completely different character.

The clamour for ambiguity or inefficient articulation of the Vedic hymns by the protagonists need not be deplored. The critics should do justice to themselves in case they just take the pains to go through the hymns addressed to the Visvedevas or only the Hymn RV 1-164 and concentrate to find out the meaning of their own accord. Invariably it will dawn that the hymns are ovations addressed to all the luminaries, the then gods to the Rig Vedic singers. The sun, moon, nakshatras (stars), Sapta Rishis (Ursa Major), Pole star (Dhruva) and others being mentioned and their functions, inter related with astral phenomena, minutely described in a riddle type song sung by a poet soliciting a solution.

 

The humble effort in solving the quiz has mainly been confined in rationally arranging the translation of Indologists when necessary and nothing further. Only the respective solutions, e.g. where a luminary is seen to revolve in a chariot with no wheels the axle only spinning without linear motion;  seven luminaries bearing seven distinct names journeying in a chariot but with seven wheels following the sun’s track closely; the variant sun Vishnu, never making a journey in a chariot, encompassing the entire expanse only with three strides and relate to the pole star so on, have been offered.

Logical deductions are palpably conspicuous and do not depend on superfluous elucidation or interpretations of the verses in greater details. It is apparent that the above mentioned allusions respectively relate to the pole star, the Sapta Rishis (Ursa Major), seven planets, Vishnu’s sun (and not ordinary sun’s) three typical positions in the ecliptic, now known as the cardinal points, where through Vishnu’s annual revolution is completed. It would have been sheer folly if any other explanation was suggested. Nowhere, any farfetched idea has been construed or imported, nor any artificial rendering was adopted to spin a yarn or obliterate the real purport of the verse to suit the present deductions.”

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This verse is famous for a few other statements and quoted very frequently for those statements:

 

 

(1).Truth is one; scholars call it with different names!

“They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutman.

To what is One sages give many a title; they call it Agni, Yama, Matariswan”-RV 1-164-46

 

(2).Speech has Four Divisions!

“Speech has been measured out in four divisions, the Brahmins who have understanding know them

Three kept in close concealment cause no motion; of speech, men speak only the fourth division.”—1-164-45

 

Four divisions of speech are

Four Types

1.Paraa, 2.Pasyantii, 3.Madhyamaa, 4.Vaikharii

Chathvaari vaak parimitaa padaani taani vidurbrahmanaa ye maniishinah

Rik Veda 1-164-45

Saayanaa in his commentary mentioned that the four types mentioned by the seers are Paraa, Pasyantii, Madhyamaa and Vaikharii.

 

(3).Adam and Eve Story from the Rig Veda!

“Two birds with fair wings, knit with bonds of friendship, in the same sheltering tree have found a refuge.

One of the twain eats the sweet Fig tree’s fruitage; the other eating not regadeth only” 1-164-20

Kanchi Paramacharya has rightly pointed out that this gave birth to the Story of Adama and Eve and Adam eating the forbidden fruit.

Adam= ADma=Atma

Eve= Jeev (Jeevatma)

Sayana says that the two birds are the vital and the Supreme spirit, dwelling in one body. The vital spirit enjoys the fruit or rewards of actions while the Supreme Spirit is merely a passive spectator.

 

(4).Number Symbolism

“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.

 

Dirgatamas is playing with numbers! he used numbers 1 to 10 to denote various things. It gives scope for new interpretations touching from Astronomy to Zoology.

Tamil mystic poets Tirumular, tirumazisai Alvar and Siva vakkiyar followed this number symbolism in their poetry, but 2000 years after Dirgatamas.

 

(5). Vedic Metres

Seven Vedic Metres including Gayatri are mentioned by the poet.

(6) The Path of Knowledge

Unknowing, I ask of those  who know – the sages

as one ignorant for the sakeof knowledge;

who is that ONE in the form of the Unborn

that has supported these six spheres of the world? 1-164-6

 

(7). What is the use of Veda?

What will he do with the hymn of the Veda

who does not know its theme—the Eterna

in the supreme region, in which the Devas dwell?

But those who have come to know That are perfect. – 1-164-39

 

(8).Words of Ambiguity

Boneless one, Unborn image, Suprna, Five-footed, the single, Triplet, the buffalo, Garutman, the Sadhyas, Sraswati etc.  are interpreted differently.

Dirgatamas was one of the latest poets of the Rig Vedic period. Rig Veda covers a time span of at least 500 years. If we cant even understand Dirgatamas, how are we going to understand more ancient poets?

 

As Umapada Sen says one must read the entire hymn and come to one’s own conclusion. Don’t depend upon Western Sayanas’ interpretations. They were not Hindus and moreover they did not live the life of Indians. Unless one lives in the culture, one cannot understand the full meaning, thrust, import and significance of the poem or hymn.

 

(I will give the story of Dirgatamas separately)

–Subham–

 

 

Numbers in the Rig Veda! Rig Veda Mystery-2

Vedas 9

Research Paper written by London Swaminathan
Post No. 1265; Dated 3rd September 2014.

There are as many bluffers in the field of Rig Vedic study as we have in the study of Indus Valley script. The so called Vedic “scholars” from foreign countries bluffed us into believing that they were real scholars. Actually they used Sanskrit Pundits for translation into colloquial English and then interpreted the hymns in English and German according to their whims and fancies. They dubbed some characters as demons and some as devas, Mundas, Aryas, Dravidas etc. The same thing happened in the study of Indus valley Civilization. They interpreted the script according to their imagination. The day the script is deciphered, thousands of books will be burnt as rubbish. They are like circus clowns and buffoons!

Numbers occur in the Vedas in innumerable places. Vedic numbers are mysterious. The Vedic seers had an obsession with the numbers. They used number symbolism making it difficult for interpretation. This led to a new genre of obscure poetry in later day Tamil literature.

I submitted two Research papers at the World Tamil Conference in 1995 in Thanjavur: 1.NUMBER IN SAGAM TAMIL LITERATURE and 2.COLOUR IN SAGAM TAMIL LITERATURE. Since they were submitted after the deadline they did not enter the books. But I attended seminars for two days in different rooms and distributed them personally. From that day I have a fascination about numbers. Here are some facts about numbers in the Vedas. The only oldest religious book in the world used till today is the Rig Veda. It has got decimal numbers 10, 100, 1000, 100,000 in hundreds of places. Hindus discovered the decimal system and the biggest numbers.

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Following is only a sample of the numbers in the Rig Veda:
RV 5-29-8 3X100 =300 No of offerings of Soma
8-85-8 63 No of Maruts
10-34-8 53 No of Dice 50+3
10-114-6 36 No of Saucers 33+3
10-53-3 34 No of Lights 33+1
8-28-1 33 No of Gods
3-4-9 33 No of Gods

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How many People did Indra kill?

RV 6-26 100,000 number of people killed by Indra
RV 6-26 60,000 number of people killed by Indra
RV 4-30 100,000 number of people killed by Indra
RV 1-53 10,000 20 captains+60099+10000
RV6-27 3000 number of people killed by Indra
RV 2-14-6 100X 1000 persons killed
2-13-9 100X10 Dasas killed
2-14-6 100,000 100X1000 killed
7-19-14 6666 No of Dasas killed 3300+3300+33+33
(AV9-5-2) 6333 No of Gandharvas
RV3-9-9 3339 No of Gods (3003+303+33)
((Satapata Brahmana 3306 No of Gods (3003+303) )
RV4-27-6 3000 No of Warriors killed 3X1000

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How many Forts did Indra destroy?

RV 2- 14 100 Ancient castles
RV 1-130 90 forts
RV 1-53 100 forts

RV10-98-10 99000 No of wagon loads (100 000—1000=99000)
RV 1-54-6 99 Forts of Sambara 100-1
2-19-6 99 Forts of Sambara 100-1
10-98-11 99000 No of wagons 100000—10000
1-130-7 90 forts of Dasas
8-1-24 1100 steeds of Indra 1000+100
10-97-1 107 No of Herbs 100+7
10-130-1 101 No of ministers 100+1
10-93-15 77 No of horses 70+7

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8-6-46 100,000 No of Gifts
8-5-37 100+10,000 100 camels and 10,000 cows gifted
8-46-32 100 100 camels donated
10-93-15 77 Number of horses 70+7
8-85-8 7X9 No of Maruts
5-52-7 7X7 No of Maruts
10-55-3 5×7 No of Gods
10-90-15 3X7 Maruts
7-9-11 21 persons killed 7X3

2-12 40 shambara was found after 40 autumns
7-18 10 Dasa Raja yuddha
5-62-1 1000 Thousand Pillar Hall
1-116-3 100 Hundred oared ship saves Bhujyu

RV 1000 many contexts

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1) We can see a pattern in using the numbers here. So they don’t mean it literally.
2) 99, 99,000 and such numbers are symbolic.
3. Killing 100, 000 may mean killing a lot of people; not necessarily exactly one lakh!
4.The word “Kill”– itself may have different meaning
5.Look at the camel and Cow donations. So they are not nomads from snow clad Siberia!
6.Look at the 1000 pillared Mandap (Hall). Vedic seers are great architects.
7.Look at the 100 oared huge ship. They are marine engineers and navigators!
8.Look at the wagon loads. You can imagine the great transport in those days
9.Look at the decimal system throughout the Vedas. It shows that they are all sons of the soil and not from outside because neither Bible nor Sumerian nor Egyptian has such uniform decimal numbers. Semitic people did not know big numbers.

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Vishnu Sahasranamam of Mahabharata says Sahasra Koti Yugadharine Nama: (Ten thousand Million Yugas! Yuga itself a very big number!). Semitic literature is obsessed with number Forty or 3X40=120– not above that!

My previous research articles on RV and AV:-
1.The Mysterious Vedic Homa Bird: Does it exist? – posted on 10-12-2011
2.Vedic Hymn better than National Anthems
3.Vedas and Egyptian Pyramid Texts – posted on 29-8-2012
4.Kapinjala Bird Mystery –posted on 23-5-2014 (Post No 1060)
5. Most misinterpreted words :Asva and Ayas
6.Confusion about Vedic Soma Plant –posted on 5-5-2013
7.Horse Headed Seer: Rig Veda Mystery- 1 -posted 27-8-2-14
8.Cucumber in the Rig Veda – posted on 2-42014 (post no 950)
9.Origin of Horse race and Chariot Race –posted 25-8-2014
10.Creation: Vedic Hymn and Babylonian Hymn –posted 6-8-2013
11.Sex Mantras and Talismans in Egypt and the Atharva Veda –posted 26 Sept. 2012
12.Gems from the Atharva Veda – posted 27 Sept. 2013
13.Mysterious Atharva Veda: Part 1 –posted 30 Sept. 2013
14. Mysterious Atharva Veda: Part 2 – posted 7 Oct 2013
15).27 Similes in one Vedic Hymn! – posted on18-8-2012
16) 107 Miracle Herbs in Rig Veda – posted on16-9-2013
17)Vedic Origin of 1000 Pillar Halls in Indian and Mayan Culture – 5 July 2014
And several other articles linking Vedic Gods Agni, Varuna and Indra in Tolkappiam and the Indus Valley Civilization. Please read my 1000+ articles.
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