2.STRANGE STORIES FROM ATHARVANA VEDA- DOVE (Post No.10,587)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 10,587

Date uploaded in London – –    22 JANUARY   2022         

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THIS IS SECOND STORY; FIRST STORY WAS POSTED YESTERDAY.

Very strange verses are found in the last part of Atharvana Veda (AV); only from Aitareya Brahmana we come to know where they were used. Reading them separately wouldn’t mean anything to users. If you read the translation, you would understand it. But the commentaries on it ,give some information.

HYMN CXXXV

Verses called Frustration, Abuse, the Gods’ Offering, and Dazzling Power

1Bang! here he is. A dog,
2Swish! it is gone. Falling of leaves.
3Crunch! it is trodden on. A cow’s hoof.
4These Gods have gone astray. Do thou, Adhvaryu, quickly do
   thy work.
5There is good resting for the cows. Take thy delight.


6O singer, the Ādityas brought rich dakshina to the Angirases.
  Singer, they went not near to it. Singer, they did not take the
   gift.
7Singer, they went not near to that; but, singer, they accepted
   this:
  That days may not be indistinct, nor sacrifices leaderless. p. 372
8And quickly Both he fly away, the White Horse swiftest on his
   feet,
  And swiftly fills his measure up.
9Ādityas, Rudras, Vasus, all pay worship unto thee. Accept this
   liberal gift, O Angiras,
  This bounty excellent and rich, this ample bounty spreading far.
10The Gods shall give the precious boon: let it be pleasant to
   your hearts.
  Let it be with you every day: accept our offerings in return.


11Vouchsafe us shelter, Indra, thou to be invoked from far away.
  Bring treasure hither to reward the far-famed bard who praises
   thee.
12Thou, Indra, to the trembling dove whose pinions had been rent
   and torn.
  Gayest ripe grain and Pilu fruit, gavest him water when athirst.
13The ready praiser loudly speaks though fastened triply with a
   strap.
  Yea, he commends the freshening draught, deprecates languor
   of disease.

xxx

Here is a story from the last book of (book 20) from AV:-

AV- Book 20- Sukta 723- Hymn 135

Mantra 12

“You, Indra, to the trembling dove whose wings had been rent and torn

Gave ripe grain and Piilu fruit, gave him water when thirsty.”

This story is not found anywhere in Hindu literature apart from this scanty reference.

First look at the explanation given by Griffith and then my comments on it:

R T H Griffith says,

Piilu- Careya Arborea- a tree of immense size, growing on the mountains of coromandel etc (Choza Mandala of Tamil Nadu), where it blossoms during the hot season, and the seed ripens three or four months after- Roxburg.

According to others it is the Salvadora Persica , a rather uncommon middle-sized tree which produces flowers and fruits all  the year round.. I cannot trace the story referred to; but it was somewhat resembling that of the Suppliant Dove in the Mahabharata. (See Scenes from the Ramayana. pp 327-331

xxx

MY COMMENTS

In the Mahabharata and Sangam Tamil literature we have the famous Sibi Chakravarthy Story. Indra comes as Eagle and Agni comes as Dove and Emperor Sibi saves the dove by giving his own flesh (see my links below for full story).

But that does not match with the description in Mantra 12. There is another Dove story in Ramayana, which is also different from Mantra 12.

Here is the Dove Story from Ramayana:-

In the Yuddha kanda of Valmiki Ramayana,  Rama tells the monkeys army a story of two doves which sacrificed themselves to satisfy the hunger of a murderous, cruel hunter. Rama cites this story to impress upon others who objected to taking Vibhishana, brother of Ravana , as a refugee. In both the incidents the message is that ‘one should not abandon one who seeks refuge’.

Story of Two Doves

The Two Dove Story must be very popular in those days. Rama just quotes it, but commentators give us the details; The story in short is as follows:

Two doves, male and female, were living happily in a forest. One day a hunter comes from the nearby village into the forest and spread his net to catch the birds. When the male dove went in search of food, the female dove gets caught in the net. The hunter who went out was caught in a stormy rain and could not locate his net in the darkness that follwed. After a great struggle he returns to the net he laid. In the meantime, the male dove also returned and wept on seeing his beloved caught in the net.

At the same time the hungry hunter also cried to the Deity of the Forest (Goddess Vana Devata) to save him. On seeing this the female dove advised her companion to entertain the ‘guest’ (hunter). One who has come as a guest to their place must always be saved. Male dove agreed ,also tried his best to satisfy the hunger of the guest/hunter. When he still felt hungry, the male dove went to a near by village , brought fire and made it big with sticks and fell into it saying that the hunter can eat him and satisfy his hunger. Female dove watching his sacrifice also died immediately. The hunter was moved by the birds’ sacrifice and decided not to kill animals anymore in his life.

This chapter in Valmiki Ramayana is considered very important because it explains the ‘Saranagati Tatva’ i.e. one who surrenders to you seeking help must be accepted and protected.

Though here we see the shivering and shaking doves, Indra is not seen. So we don’t know the story behind the AV reference. Probably that is gone into oblivion.

Xxx

Additional information on this hymn :

First three stanzas contain onomatopoeic riddles.

Stanza 7- The White Horse is Sun. We find highest number of words for Sun in Vedas. From Cow to Horse, Stars to Stones, everything is interpreted as Sun in the Vedic commentary. That may not be correct.

Stanzas 11-13 are called the Bhuutechchad or Dazzling Power from the effects produced by their employment by the gods in their contest with the Asuras. Similarly, the recitation will enable the sacrificer to overcome his enemy. This is another strange story of Gods defeating Asuras/demons with Songs and Sounds. I will narrate it in another article.

Dove and Hawk | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com › tag › dove-and-hawk

12 Mar 2015 — Now let us look at some strange bird stories in the Mahabharata. Swan. (1).Water birds appear in the Yaksha Prasna (Questions of a Ghost) story.

IS DOVE A BAD OMEN? RIG VEDA ANSWERS & TAMIL …

https://tamilandvedas.com › 2021/11/01 › is-dove-a-ba…

1 Nov 2021 — this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com. The word for dove or pigeon is …

Sibi Story in Old Tamil Literature!

https://tamilandvedas.com › 2013/07/15 › sibi-story-in-…

15 Jul 2013 — He was a righteous king. Indra and Agni wanted to test his integrity and so they took the form of birds hawk and dove. The hawk chased the dove …

love | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com › tag › love

There is another story in the epic where two doves sacrificed their lives in the … more so when beauty and virtue are coupled – Valmiki Ramayana 1-77-27.

–Subham—

Tags- strange story, two doves, Atharva Veda, Ramayana story,