Post No.7741

Date uploaded in London – 25 March 2020   

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Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world, has several conversational poems. The dialogue format will suit two sets of singers sitting opposite to one another in dance dramas. Hindus are very used to it in marriage ceremonies such as Nalungu and Kama Dahana dance dramas.

First let me say what a NALAUNGU is.

Nalungu also spelt Nalangu –

On the afternoon of a Hindu wedding, particularly in Tamil Brahmin families, it is celebrated. In some other castes both the families honour one another in the evening of the wedding day.

In the Brahmin families it is a marriage game;the bride and bridegroom keep rolling a coconut between them. People gather around the bridal pair and it is an occasion for the women belonging to two families to display their musical talent. It adds an element of fun to the marriage proceedings. In those days marrying a girl at the age of 12 or14 or 16 was very common. Ramayana and Tamil epic Silappadikaram show the heroines got married at very young age.  So the original idea of Nalangu is to keep the bridal pair in good cheer when they were still children. Even today when the girl gets married at the age of thirty, still the brahmin bride is carried on the shoulder of her uncle. And the bridegroom is carried by his uncle. Both have to garland each other. But both the parties would dodge each other adding great fun and laughter and uproar. This will go on for half hour. When they got married at very early age all these made sense.

Coming back to Nalangu, I will add more points as an eye witness and participant in several Nalangus in marriages. The adult girls at both sides will make great fun mocking at the bride and bride groom. It is to tease them and provoke them. But the bride and bridegroom would only take part in the games and never open their mouths. They will be asked to try their strength by taking a ring from a narrow pot of water. They will be asked to smash the pappads thrown into air over their heads. Whoever first does this is the winner. It will last for one hour or so.

During the fun making ,the adult in both teams criticise the appearance of bride and bridegroom, their gluttonous habits, their walking and dressing habits. If there are more teenagers slowly it would turn to sexy remarks. Sometimes it wouldn’t be openly said but hinted at with double meaning phrases.  Nowadays they use lot of film songs with double meaning. Sometimes it make the opposite parties angry. At that time the elders in the family would put a full stop.

This is what happened during Rig Vedic times. The sexy dialogues are mostly in Tenth Mandala along with the marriage mantras/hymns. Foreigners who pretended like scholars commented on these poems with sexual connotations.

Actually, they are like Nalangu songs ad they are grouped together with the most famous wedding mantra (hymn) in the tenth mandala of Rig Veda (Tenth Chapter). Foreigners when they want to degrade anything good in this mandala will add ‘Oh, they are all latest additions’. Other times they deliberately hide this ‘latest’ factor.

Before going into the Sexy Monkey Puzzle, let me explain what is Kama Dahana. Literally it meant ‘Buring of Cupid, Manmathan’ in Hindu Mythology. When the Seven Seers wished that Lord Shiva marries Uma, they sent Manmathan (literal meaning Churning of the Mind) to induce amorous feelings in the mind of Shiva. But he opens his Third Eye (literally the Eye of Wisdom) and the ‘Churner of Mind’ (Manmatha/Cupid) is burnt to ashes. The simple message is anyone with wisdom could conquer sexy feelings or Kama.

Every year, this episode is enacted in street corners on the eve of Holi or on the day of Holi Festival (Festival of Colours of Hindus). While the village actors enact the Kama Dahana Dance Drama, they make sexy gestures and use sexy language. It would go on throughout the night until 4 am. I myself have seen such in the street junctions of Madurai. While returning from Night Shift at the News Paper office, we used to watch it.

In short Rig Vedic dialogue poems are dance dramas or Nalangu Wedding Games.

Before going into the most debated and the most mysterious Sexy Monkey Hymn in the Rig Veda, I would like to add one more point. Hindu tradition bans two things. 1.Don’t discuss the grammatical mistakes in the Vedas. Since they were ‘revealed truths’ you cant correct them; but accept them. 2.The second diktat is never ever ask for the meaning of Vedic mantras. They are ‘sound effective’ rather than ‘meaningful’. The reason being we find the Vedic Rishis saying “We always speak in coded language”. It is in the Brhad Aranyaka Upanishad as well. Of all the races in the world, Tamils are the only community who named Vedas “Marai”, which means ‘secret, hidden, concealed’. So even the sexy remarks mean a different thing to a person of wisdom.

Strangely Griffith refused to translate a few mantras of Rig Veda saying they are too sexy and obscene; in the same way the Christian priests refused to translate the third chapter of Tamil Veda Tirukkural because it deals with Love. Tiru Valluvar, the author of Tirukkural, being a pukka Hindu, followed the same Vedic order ‘Dharma, Artha and Kama’. But foreigners could understand neither the Sanskrit Veda nor the Tamil Veda.

Who is the SEXY MONKEY in the Rig Veda?

It is the VRSA KAPI hymn, 10-86 in the Rig Veda .

Renou has called it the strangest poem in the Rig Veda

Vrsa kapi literally means …………

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vrishakapi in Sanskrit glossary… 

Vṛṣākapi (वृषाकपि).—

1) An epithet of the sun.

2) Of Viṣṇu; तत्र गत्वा जगन्नाथं देवदेवं वृषाकपिम् (tatra gatvā jagannāthaṃ devadevaṃ vṛṣākapim) Bhāg.1.1.2; Mb.12.43. 1.

3) Of Śiva.

4) Of Indra.

5) Of Agni.

Derivable forms: vṛṣākapiḥ (वृषाकपिः).

[Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary]

Vṛṣākapi (वृषाकपि).—m.

(-piḥ) 1. Krishna or Vishnu. 2. Siva. 3. Agni, or fire. 4. Indra. E. vṛṣa virtue, a not, kapi to shake or agitate, i aff., and the radical augment rejected; or vṛṣā Indra, akapi untrembling, as before; or vṛṣa virtue, or vṛṣā Indra, and kapi an ape, being the ape as it were of the greater gods: other etymologies occur.

—from Wisdom Library

But foreigners are thrilled and excited in translating the word as ‘Promiscuous Monkey’ . They split the word into Vrsa+ kapi.

The name Vrsakapi is recited by millions of Hindus everyday In Vishnu Sahasranama. Where the word is explained by Adi Shankara in his commentary as follows,


“One who showers all objects of desire. Another meaning is Vrash means Dharma and Kam means water. Apat signifies uplifting . In the Varahavatara ,

Visnu uplifted the earth from the Pralaya (great floods) waters. Thus he is of the nature of dharma and Kapi (Boar or Varaha )” – says Mahabharata , Santi parva 342-89

The hymn in the Rig Veda, read superficially, will sound sexy. But there are hidden meanings.

If any one doesn’t want to see any hidden or philosophical meaning still one can read its as fun song in a wedding or Kama Dahana dance drama.

What Griffith says about the Vrsakapi hymn RV 10-86 in the footnote is as follows–

“Vrsakapi literally the ‘strong ape’ or the ‘male ape’ appears to be a sort of intermediate being between a demigod and demon ; but it is not easy to determine his nature . Sayana calls him the son of Indra . He is also said to be the setting sun, and the sun who draws up vapour and irrigates with mist. According to M Bergaigne , he was a mythical sacrificer .

Indra ,Indrani ,Vrsakapi and his wife are four speakers in the hymn. People interpreted it in four different levels.

It has got 23 stanzas or mantras. Griffith refused to translate the 16 and 17 and added a footnote-

“I pass over stanzas 16 and 17 which I cannot translate into decent English”.

Of all the translators of the Rig Veda, Griffith is the most honest person. He admits his inability to understand the Vedic mind. Every other page he adds the meaning is ‘not clear’, ‘ uncertain’, ‘obscure’ etc. Others pretend to understand and add their own whims and fancies. Some people add Sayana’s name in one or two sentences and then add their own views. You would think that it is Sayana’s views.

Rig Veda is a treasure trove; only Hindus who live like Hindus or practise Hinduism would understand the mind of the Vedic seers. And  it gives big scope for future researchers.

Ralph T Griffith’s Translation

1. MEN have abstained from pouring juice they count not Indra as a God.

     Where at the votary’s store my friend Vrsakapi hath drunk his fill. Supreme is Indra over all.

2. Thou, Indra, heedless passest by the ill Vrsakapi hath wrought;

     Yet nowhere else thou findest place wherein to drink the Soma juice. Supreme is Indra over all.

3. What hath he done to injure thee, this tawny beast Vrsakapi,

     With whom thou art so angry now? What is the votary’s foodful store? Supreme is Indra over all.

4. Soon may the hound who hunts the boar seize him and bite him in the car,

     O Indra, that Vrsakapi whom thou protectest as a friend, Supreme is Indra over all.

5. Kapi hath marred the beauteous things, all deftly wrought, that were my joy.

     In pieces will I rend his head; the sinner’s portion sball be woo. Supreme is Indra over all.

6. No Dame hath ampler charms than 1, or greater wealth of love’s delights.

     None with more ardour offers all her beauty to her lord’s embrace. Supreme is Indra over all.

7. Mother whose love is quickly wibn, I say what verily will be.

     My,breast, O Mother, and my head and both my hips seem quivering. Supreme is Indra over all.

8. Dame with the lovely hands and arms, with broad hair-plaits add ample hips,

     Why, O thou Hero’s wife, art thou angry with our Vrsakapi? Supreme is Indra over all.

9. This noxious creature looks on me as one bereft of hero’s love,

     Yet Heroes for my sons have I, the Maruts’ Friend and Indra’s Queen. Supreme is Indra over all.

10. From olden time the matron goes to feast and general sacrifice.

     Mother of Heroes, Indra’s Queen, the rite’s ordainer is extolled. Supreme is Indra over all.

11. So have I heard Indrani called most fortunate among these Dames,

     For never shall her Consort die in future time through length of days. Supreme is Indra overall.

12. Never, Indralni, have I joyed without my friend Vrsakapi,

     Whose welcome offering here, made pure with water, goeth to the Gods. Supreme is Indra over all.

13. Wealthy Vrsakapayi, blest with sons and consorts of thy sons,

     Indra will eat thy bulls, thy dear oblation that effecteth much. Supreme is Indra over all.

14. Fifteen in number, then, for me a score of bullocks they prepare,

     And I devour the fat thereof: they fill my belly full with food. Supreme is Indra over all.

15. Like as a bull with pointed horn, loud bellowing amid the herds,

     Sweet to thine heart, O Indra, is the brew which she who tends thee pours. Supreme is Indra over all.

18. O Indra this Vrsakapi hath found a slain wild animal,

     Dresser, and new-made pan, and knife, and wagon with a load of wood. Supreme is Indra over all.

19. Distinguishing the Dasa and the Arya, viewing all, I go.

     I look upon the wise, and drink the simple votary’s Soma juice. Supreme is Indra over all.

20. The desert plains and steep descents, how many leagues in length they spread!

     Go to the nearest houses, go unto thine home, Vrsakapi. Supreme is Indra over all.

21. Turn thee again Vrsakapi: we twain will bring thee happiness.

     Thou goest homeward on thy way along this path which leads to sleep. Supreme is Indra over all.

22. When, Indra and Vrsakapi, ye travelled upward to your home,

     Where was that noisome beast, to whom went it, the beast that troubles man? Supreme is Indra over all.

23. Daughter of Manu, Parsu bare a score of children at a birth.

     Her portion verily was bliss although her burthen caused her grief.

16 and 17 are not translated by Griffith and they are about sexual intercourse.

Tags – Vrsakapi, sexy monkey, Rig Veda 10-86, Griffith