IS DOVE A BAD OMEN? RIG VEDA ANSWERS & TAMIL DISCOVERY OF DOVES! (Post.10,286)

Natya shastra Dove Mudra 

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 10,286

Date uploaded in London – –   1 NOVEMBER  2021         

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

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

tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

The word for dove or pigeon is Kapotah in Sanskrit; Puravu or Puraa in Tamil. In the 2000 year old Tamil literature we come across this bird in at east 75 places. It is associated with arid land in Tamil literature. Though the description of arid land is horrible we don’t see any bad omen linked  to dove. But in the Rig Veda , the oldest book in the world, we see a strange reference to this bird linking it with death.  In another image in the same Veda, we see its loving nature. Modern symbolism shows it as a bird of peace. Wherever peace is spoken they show White Pigeon. They release pigeons to show that they love peace. Britain issued a coin with pigeon bringing olive leaves to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of Second World War.

Wisdom Dictionary, the best source for researchers gives thirty meanings of Dove or Pigeon in different areas such as Natya shastra, Ayur Veda, Architecture and Zoology. But we rarely see its association with death. Kapotah was the name of a clan and name of a seer as well. Even the Rig Vedic verse in the tenth Mandala 10-163 is named after a seer known as Mr Dove or Mr Pigeon.

I will give the two mantras in the Rig Veda where pigeon is referred to and my comments on it:

देवा॑: क॒पोत॑ इषि॒तो यदि॒च्छन्दू॒तो निॠ॑त्या इ॒दमा॑ज॒गाम॑ । तस्मा॑ अर्चाम कृ॒णवा॑म॒ निष्कृ॑तिं॒ शं नो॑ अस्तु द्वि॒पदे॒ शं चतु॑ष्पदे ॥

devāḥ kapota iṣito yad icchan dūto nirṛtyā idam ājagāma | tasmā arcāma kṛṇavāma niṣkṛtiṃ śaṃ no astu dvipade śaṃ catuṣpade ||

“O gods, let us worship for that, desiring which the pigeon sent as Nirṛti‘s messenger, has come to this(ceremony); let us make atonement, may prosperity be given to our bipeds and quadrupeds.” 10-165-1

Commentary by Sāyaṇa: Ṛgveda-bhāṣya

The pigeon: an allusion to misfortune

xxx

ऋ॒चा क॒पोतं॑ नुदत प्र॒णोद॒मिषं॒ मद॑न्त॒: परि॒ गां न॑यध्वम् । सं॒यो॒पय॑न्तो दुरि॒तानि॒ विश्वा॑ हि॒त्वा न॒ ऊर्जं॒ प्र प॑ता॒त्पति॑ष्ठः ॥

ṛcā kapotaṃ nudata praṇodam iṣam madantaḥ pari gāṃ nayadhvam | saṃyopayanto duritāni viśvā hitvā na ūrjam pra patāt patiṣṭhaḥ ||

“(Praised) by our hymn, O gods, drive out the pigeon, who deserves to be driven out, exhilarated (by our oblation), bring us food and cattle, dissipating all our misfortunes; abandoning our food, may the swift(pigeon) fly away.” 10-165-5

In between 10-165-1 and 10-16-5 we have three more mantras referring to pigeon in the same tone.

“May the bird sent to our dwellings, the pigeon, be auspicious, O gods, and void of offence, so that the wise Agni may approve of our oblation, and the winged weapon (of mischief) depart from us.” 10-165-2

“May the winged weapon (of mischief) do us no harm; he takes his plural ce upon the touchwood, the seat of Agni; may prosperity attend our cattle and our people, let not the pigeon, gods, do us harm in this (dwelling).” 10-165-3

All these mantras dub pigeon or dove as a bird of bad omen.

In the footnote for the Rig Vedic mantra Ralph T H Griffith adds an interesting note:

A dove, regarded as an ill-omened bird and the messenger of death, has flown into the house. Similarly in North Lincolnshire,

If a pigeon is seen sitting on a tree, or comes into the house, r from being wild suddenly becomes tame, it is Sign of Death, Notes and Querries, 8-382

Xxx

Kindness of Dove

Contrary to this hymn, Seer/Rishi Sunashepa Angirasa paints a different picture in RV 1-30-4

अ॒यमु॑ ते॒ सम॑तसि क॒पोत॑ इव गर्भ॒धिम् । वच॒स्तच्चि॑न्न ओहसे ॥
अयमु ते समतसि कपोत इव गर्भधिम् । वचस्तच्चिन्न ओहसे ॥
ayam u te sam atasi kapota iva garbhadhim | vacas tac cin na ohase ||

“This libation is (prepared) for you; you approach it as a pigeon his pregnant (mate), for on that account do you accept our prayer.” A Tamil poet also refers to it. Male dove fans a female dove because the weather is hot !

xxx

My Comments

Only when a pigeon appears suddenly in an unusual place, then it is considered a bad omen. Hindus considered anything impure that comes to a sacred place a bad omen. Even if a dog entered the place of Fire Sacrifice then they hated it. 2000 year old Sangam Tamil literature described Brahmin Street as a place where no dog or cock enters. Such a purity was maintained in places where they did fire sacrifice in every house thrice a day!

In short ,they did not consider dove as a bird omen in normal circumstances.

Story of Sibi Chakravarthi

The story of Emperor Sibi is in Mahabharata. When a dove took refuge in him, the eagle that chased it for food demanded back its natural prey. But Sibi said that he had to give shelter to anyone who came as a refugee and came to offer his whole body to the eagle . First, he cut a part of his body and put it n the balance to give the weight of flesh equal to the weight of the dove. But it was never balanced despite repeated attempts. Then he himself climbed the balance to give flesh ‘weight for weight’. Then the whole scene changed. The dove appeared as Agni, Lord of Fire , and the Eagle appeared as Indra , Chief of Heaven. This story is referred to in Sangam literature and later Silappadikaram as well Choza kings boasted that they were the descendants of that great emperor Sibi.

There is another story in the epic where two doves sacrificed their lives in the fire for the sake of a hungry hunter. All such stories in the Hindu epics and Hindu fables of Panchatantra show that doves are lovable birds.

In Sangam Tamil Literature

I give some examples from 2000 year old Tamil Sangam Books:

In Akananuru poem 17, a fine contrast is drawn between three pictures, one of an arid tract, another of a  quiet home in which the heroine lights up the lamps when the doves call to their mates,  and another of a small fertile hill with Kutalam flowers of fragrant smell and a canopy of clouds

In Akananuru poem 2, we see couple of doves fly far away with terror in gusty wind.

In Kuruntokai poem 79, the female doves perching on the Omai tree call their mates with a sorrowful voice

In Kuruntokai poem 174, the ripe seeds of the Kalli trees burst open and scares away the happy pair of pigeons perching on the branches.

In Narrinai poem 305, again we see a dove perching on the Nocci tree calls to its mate in a very clear voice and expresses some grief in it.

In Akananuru poem 287, the waving aerial root of a banyan tree frightens away the doves .

In Palaikkali of Kalittokai (verse 10) we see a male dove is fanning and comforting a female dove in hot weather condition.

One more interesting reference is in Pattinappalai of Sangam Period where the poet Kadiyaloor Uruththiran Kannanar (Mr Rudraksha) says doves eat stones. I saw a recent video in You Tube where a gentleman powders the red stones and feeds the doves. Hundreds of pigeons competing with one another, eat it happily. This helps them in digestion they say. Though this might have been noticed by many others a Tamil poet has documented it in his poem 2000 years ago!

Apart from these , we have passing reference to doves along with other birds. So the picture we get is doves are in pairs or one calling the other which shows mutual love.

Doves and pigeons in other cultures are already described in many websites.  But the Hindu view of doves and pigeons is not dealt with in detail. Wisdom library gives 30 references and Sangam and later Tamil literature give at least 75 references. We have enough materials to write an encyclopaedia on Doves in Hindu Literature.

Kapota- Dove- Asana

–subham—

 Tags- Pigeon, Bad omen, Rig Veda, Eating stones, Tamil literature, Love, Peace

Pigeons in Amarnath and Eagles at Thirukkazukkundram – A Miracle ! (Post No.3629)

Picture taken by C. Vedanarayanan

 

Written by S NAGARAJAN

 

Date: 12 February 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:-  6-40 am

 

 

Post No.3629

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

 

  1. Nagarajan

Holy Himalayas. The World’s highest peak Everest is here. The entire area is called as Holy land or Punya Bhoomi. It is a sacred duty for a Hindu to visit Amarnath, Kedarnath and Badrinath at least once in his life time.

The distance from Jammu to Pahalgam is 363 Km. Pahalgam is 96 Km from Srinagar. From Jammu the Holy Cave of Amarnath is situated at about 410 Kms. From Pahalkam it is 47 kms.

The trekking in the Himalayas would be a mind blowing experience. As if walking in the heaven, the devotees usually feel the divinity around them.

Amarnath means deathless. It is also the name of Shiva. The cave was found by one Muslim Boy called Buta Malik some 400 years ago. One day while he was grazing his cattle in the Himalayas, he met a sage. The sage gave him a bowl full of coal. The boy carried it with him to his home. On reaching home, in the evening, when he took the bowl, it was full of Gold. Immediately he went back in search of the sage. At that time he found out the Holy Amarnath Cave. Even today part of the offerings paid to Lord Shiva at Amarnath Cave by the devotees goes to the heirs of Buta Malik. This cave is a fine example for Hindu-Muslim Unity.

The ice formation inside the cave gradually grows to form a very big Shiva Linga. At full moon day the Lingam attains its maximum height. The height of the Shiva Linga is about 24 feet from new moon day to the full moon day.

 

Exactly on the full moon day two pigeons appear in the cave symbolizing Lord Shiva and His consort Parvathi, the daughter of Himalayas.

The Legend goes like this. When Shiva was revealing the secrets of the creation of the universe to Parvathi, a pair of pigeons appeared there and overheard the conversation. Every year on the same full moon day these two pigeons appear in the cave without fail.

Even a hard core skeptic will be persuaded to believe the divine sports happens here every year. How could two pigeons appear exactly on the same full moon day at the exact spot! And how could  the ice attains its maximum height on the full moon day and gradually reduces, but never disappears fully.

The holy cave is situated at a height of 12792 feet.  The cave is a symbol of sublimity, serenity and strength. The length, width and height of this natural holy cave is 60,30 and 15 feet respectively.

Coming to down south we have one Thirukazhukundram, 68 km from Chennai, where two sacred eagles are appearing every day over the temple to worship  Lord Shiva. A large number of visitors used to wait there to watch this miraculous event every day. The two eagles used to come down to a rock where the sweet rice is offered as food.

It is said that these two eagles were actually two risihis namely Pusha and Vidhadha. After circling the sacred mountain they used to come near the priest walking. Balls of rice is being offered to the eagles. They eat the balls of rice and after cleaning their beaks in the water kept in a small vessel nearby, take off circle around the temple tower again and fly off. Every day, day after day, the event repeats. This is happening for the past several centuries.

One has to see these things to believe. Hinduism lives from Cape Comorin to the great Himalayas. There are thousands of miracles happen every day, even today in the Hindu Land!

 

***