Post No. 10,123

Date uploaded in London – 22 September   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.

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There are nearly twenty dialogue poems in the Rig Veda . They are spread over the Ten Mandalas.  Of them Visvamitra’s dialogue with two rivers (RV.3-33) in Punjab is unique. I don’t think any other ancient literature has such a dialogue poem with the Rivers. Later Indian literature has many odes to birds, cloud and insects; this unique poem reveals a lot about Hindu Way of Thinking. First read the poem and then read my commentary: –

1. FORTH from the bosom of the mountains, eager as two swift mares with loosened rein contending,

     Like two bright mother cows who lick their youngling, Vipas and Sutudri speed down their waters.

2. Impelled by Indra whom ye pray to urge you, ye move as ’twere on chariots to the ocean.

     Flowing together, swelling with your billows, O lucid Streams, each of you seeks the other.

3. I have attained the most maternal River, we have approached Vipas, the broad, the blessed.

     Licking as ’twere their calf the pair of Mothers flow onward to their common home together.

4. We two who rise and swell with billowy waters move forward to the home which Gods have made us.

     Our flood may not be stayed when urged to motion. What would the singer, calling to the Rivers?

5. Linger a little at my friendly bidding rest, Holy Ones, a moment in your journey.

     With hymn sublime soliciting your favour Kusika’s son hath called unto the River.

6. Indra who wields the thunder dug our channels: he smote down Vrtra, him who stayed our currents.

     Savitar, God, the lovely-handed, led us, and at his sending forth we flow expanded.

7. That hero deed of Indra must be lauded for ever that he rent Ahi in pieces.

     He smote away the obstructors with his thunder, and eager for their course forth flowed the waters.

8. Never forget this word of thine, O singer, which future generations shall reecho.

     In hymns, O bard, show us thy loving kindness. Humble us not mid men. To thee be honour!

9. List quickly, Sisters, to the bard who cometh to you from far away with car and wagon.

     Bow lowly down; be easy to be traversed stay, Rivers, with your floods below our axles.

10. Yea, we will listen to thy words, O singer. With wain and car from far away thou comest.

     Low, like a nursing mother, will I bend me, and yield me as a maiden to her lover.

11. Soon as the Bharatas have fared across thee, the warrior band, urged on and sped by Indra,

     Then let your streams flow on in rapid motion. I crave your favour who deserve our worship.

12. The warrior host, the Bharatas, fared over the singer won the favour of the Rivers.

     Swell with your billows, hasting, pouring riches. Fill full your channels, and roll swiftly onward.

13. So let your wave bear up the pins, and ye, O Waters, spare the thongs;

     And never may the pair of Bulls, harmless and sinless, waste away.

There are 13 Manrtras or stanzas . My commentary is as follows:

The legend cited by Sayana says that VIsvamitra , the family priest of  King Sudas, having obtained wealth by means of his office, took the whole of it and came to the confluence of Vipas and Sutudri. Others followed him. In order to make the rivers fordable, he lauded them with the first three verses of the hymn. The hymn has poetic beauty and is interesting as a relic of the traditions. This shows the westward expansion of Vedic Hindus. Elsewhere in the  Rig Veda we see the link between Sudas and the River Jamuna. That means Sudas rule spread up to River Yamuna or beyond in the eastern direction.

Vipas is the modern Beas and Sutudri is modern Sutlej. Vipas falls into Sutudri near Amritsar.


RV 3-33-1

Rishi Visvamitra is talking to fast flowing rivers Sutudri and Vipas.

Visvamitra knew the origin of rivers is in the mountains. And later he sings that they are running towards sea. Vedic poets referred to SEA in at least 100 places. They knew very well that all the rivers run towards sea. Hindu Brahmins repeat thrice a day a mantra saying “like the falling rain water  from the sky runs towards sea, all the salutations go to Kesava/God.” The speed of the horse gave us the word Horse Power. The cow gave us the word Vaccine. It came from Vatsa/calf with which Edward Jenner did experiment to find a cure for diseases, such as small pox. Now vaccine is applied to any Vaccie.

Hindus greatest contribution to humanity is in four fields 1. They domesticated cows and showed that is the closest to mother’s milk. No other animal can give milk equal to cow’s milk.

2.They domesticated horse and revolutionised the transport. Even today we use the word ‘Horse Power’.

3. They discovered numerals (1,2, 3,…….0) and Zero. They developed decimal numbers. Now the computers use 1 and 0.

4.Last but not the least they discovered iron and created industrial revolution.  Though they knew gold, silver, copper and zinc they developed the iron industry. Now the whoe world use it. The very word Iron came from Ayas in the Rig Veda. No wonder we find so many references to cow andhorse

Throughout the Vedas cows and horses are mentioned at  least 1000 times. Here the poet compares them for their speed and love and affection.



Here Indra is referred as the one who commands the rivers. Indra in the Rig Veda stands for Thunder and rain and so he is associated with rivers.


Hindus praise rivers as Mothers or Sisters. This is found throughout the Vedas. Most of the river names end with the suffix VATI. We see this in Saras Vati and Par Vati and innumerable feminine names (Shara Vati, Charman Vati).

The respect shown to rivers and waters shows their concern for environment. In stanza also the motherly love of cows are praised. The word ‘Vatsalyam’ for affection came from Vatsa/calf.


God has made the rivers a ‘home’ (Sea). Poetic way of saying! Some idiots in the West argue tat Vedic Hindus did not know Sea. They thought Sindhu meant only River Indus. They have no knowledge of Tamil where AAZI means sea and 17 other meanings. The word Sindhu means river and 15 other meanings. Lack of knowledge in Indian languages made them to bluff.

To be continued………………………………..

tags- Dialogue poem, Rivers, Vipas, Sutudri, Visvamitra, Rigveda,

Rivers in the Rigveda and Panini’s Ashtadhyayi-2 (Post No.9779)


Post No. 9779

Date uploaded in London – –26 JUNE   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

In this second part; let us look at the rivers in the Rig Veda and compare them with the rivers in Panini’s Ashtadhyayi.

We must remember that none of them wrote a book on geography. I wanted to point out the size of the books as well. Rig Veda is a book with over 1000 hymns running to 10,000 mantras running to 20,000 lines; but lot of repetitions are there. But we can expect more from the Rig Veda than from Panini who has only less than 4000 pithy sayings/Sutras on grammar.

We have over 30 rivers in the RV. And over 125 direct references are there to the rivers mentioned. Over 100 references to seas and oceans are in the Rig Veda. Apart from this, innumerable river, boat, sea, lake similes are there.

We have ancient rivers in the RV which are not found anywhere else. The best example is Aapayaa mentioned in the Third Mandala. No one can identify it.

We see a beautiful ode to Three Rivers by Visvamitra there.

In the matter of rivers, all the mischiefs of Griffith and gang are exposed by Shrikant Talageri in his scholarly work.



Rivers in Ten Mandalas of RV


1-3-10/12, 1-89-3, 1-13-9,, 1-142-9,, 1-164-49,52, 1-188-8

2-1-11, 2-3-8,2-30-8,2-32-8,2-41-16/18


No Sarasvati in Fourth Mandala


6-49-7,6-50-12,6-52-6,6-61-1/7, 6-10-11,6-13-14

7-2-8,7-9-5,7-35-11,7-36-6,7-39-5,7-40-3,7-95-1/2, 7-95-4/6,7-96-1,3/6

8-21-17,18, 8-38-10,8-54-4






1-83-1,1-44-12,1-122-6,1-126-1,1-186-5,1-94-6,1-94, refrain in the last verses of 1-96,1-98, 1-100,1-103,1-105,1-115

Sindhu is absent in Mandala 2&3



No Sindhu in 6&7

8-12-3,8-20-24,25, 8-25-14,8-26-18,8-72-7





Jahnavi 1-116-9,3-58-6

6-45-31, 10-75-5

















Asikni 7-5-3,8-20-25,10-75-5

Gauri 1-164-4,

Vipss 3-33-1,

Sutudri 3-33-1,10-75-5

Drsadvati 3-23-4,

Kusavaa 4-18-8

Parushni 4-22-2,7-18-8/9, 8-75-15,10-75-5

Vipas 3-31-1,4-30-11,

Kubha 5-53-9,10-75-6

Krumu 5-53-9,10-75-6

Anitabhaa 5-53-9

Asmanvati 10-53-8


Aarjikiiyaa 8-7-29, 8-64-11, 9-65-23

Suvaastu 8-19-371

Susoma 10-75-5

Susartu 10-75-6

Sveti 10-75-6

Svetyaavari 8-26-18

Mehatnu 10-75-6

Marudvrdhaa 10-75-5

Trstaamaa 10-75-6

Vitastaa 10-75-5

Hariyupia 6-27-5

Yavyaavati 6-27-6

Prayiyu 8-19-37

Vaiyiyu 8-19-37

River Sarasvati has the highest number of references.

SHRIANT  has arranged the Ten Mandalas in chronological order and made comments on the basis of the order.

He has found out Vedic Hindus migrated towards West from the East.

He has pointed out the blunders in Griffith’s translation and interpretation.

RV 3-33 and 10-75-5 and 10-75-76 are important.

The evidence of the rivers in the RIGVEDA is unanimous in identifying to the east of Sarasvati as the original homeland of the Vedic Hindus.

The reference in 1-116-9 associates river Jahnavi with sage Bharadvaja,Divodasa and Gangetic dolphin. It is clear that the river is specially associated with the oldest period of the Rigveda .

The Sarasvati is so important in the whole of the Rigveda that it is worshipped as one of the three great goddesses in the Apri suktas of all ten family composers . The Indus finds no place in these Apri suktas.

In the Nadi Stuthi, nearest river Ganges is mentioned first and then other rivers are mentioned. Griffith deliberately misleads the readers by adding a foot note that the most distant river (Ganges) is mentioned first. And in the same way in 3-33 also he adds a note to say ‘this shows the eastward expansion of the Vedic Aryans. but it is actually the Hindus westward march!


My comments

In RV 3-33 there is a beautiful ode to rivers. It is the fifth dialogue poem if you start from Mandala 1. Viswamitra says to the rivers ‘I have come from far away. The far away is Bihar. But Griffith mischievously puts the ‘far away’ beyond India’s borders. How do we know whether Shrikant is right or Griffith is right ?. Though Shrikant has stated enough reasons I will add one more point.

In the poems regarding rivers we see Jamadagni, Visvamitra, Bharadvaja and other seers. The three seers mentioned above are in Valmiki Ramayana as well. So we know for sure Visvamitra’s journey to Mithila in Bihar- Nepal border. We know where Janaka, Sita’s father ruled. We know Rama’s victory over Parasurama, son of Jamadagni. All these places the far away in Bihar- Nepal border and not Afghanistan or Iran . Mischief maker Griffith confesses in every other hymn of Rig Veda that he cant understand and yet he never stopped damaging the Vedas. Hindus must be careful about the 30 +++ clowns and jokers in the Max Muller gang.


 Tags- Rigveda, Rivers, Griffith, Westward , Hindus March,Panini

More about Holy Seven! No.7 (Post No.6901)

WRITTEN BY London Swaminathan


 Date: 19 AUGUST 2019  

British Summer Time uploaded in London – 15-53

Post No. 6901

 Pictures are taken from various sources.  ((posted by swamiindology.blogspot.com AND tamilandvedas.com))

picture by Lalgudi Veda

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India in Silappadikaram

Written by London swaminathan

Article No.1844 Date: 4 May 2015

Uploaded at London time: 8-36 am

(This article was sent for publication in the Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan, Delhi souvenir last year)

(S Swaminathan was a Senior Sub Editor of Dinamani, a Tamil language daily, in Madurai before taking over as the Producer of the BBC Tamil Service in London. Later he started teaching Tamil as a part time tutor at SOAS, University of London)

Tamil epic Silappadikaram (also written as Cilappatikaram) is an encyclopaedia of art and music of the ancient Tamils. Ilango Adikal, author of Silappadikaram, has dealt with almost all the topics under arts and culture of the land. But not many people know that Ilango was equally proficient in the geography and history of India as well. I would like to point out the amazing knowledge of Ilango about the Indian subcontinent. But for his reference to King Gajabahu of Sri Lanka, we wouldn’t have fixed the date of Kovalan and Kannaki. Though the story of Kannaki and Kovalan happened around second century CE, the epic must have been written a few centuries later. The language and style of the poetry in the epic serve as strong pointers in this direction.

The epic runs to 5270 lines and it contains 13,870 words. This is the biggest work closer to the Sangam period. It is worthwhile to compare it with the oldest Tamil work Tolkappiam. Tolkappiam, the Tamil grammar book, runs to nearly 4000 lines with 13,708 words. But again there is some controversy about the dating of Tolkappiam and particularly the third chapter of the grammar book, namely Porul Adhikaram that is considered a later addition by many scholars.

The epic is divided into three Kandams (cantos) on the basis of geographical and political divisions of Tamil country Choza, Pandya and Chera corresponding to Pukar, Madurai and Vanji. These are the capital or major cities of ancient Tamil Nadu. The use of the words Kandam for divisions is copied from Valmiki Ramayana which has seven Kandams(6+1).

We see a very clear shift from the four fold natural divisions of Sangam literature (Kurinji, Mullai, Neithal and Marutham) to a fully fledged city culture in the epic. The graphic description of Pukar(5-6/40) and Madurai streets (Ur Kan Katai) is remarkable. There is no denying the fact cities did exist even during Sangam period. But that was not the main basis of those poems. We see such descriptions in Madurai Kanchi, a Sangam Tamil work. In short we read more about urban culture in the epic than the rural culture of the Sangam literature. The absence of Kurinji, Mullai, Neithal and Marutham in the epic is noteworthy. Ilango mentioned even Ujjain (6-29) and the forests of Vindhya Mountains (6-29) in Madhya Pradesh.

Ilango did not miss the opportunity to describe in detail the two great rivers Kaveri and Vaigai that run through Choza and Pandyan territories. The beautiful descriptions of these rivers are a treat to nature lovers. The River Kaveri has not changed much in the past two thousand years, but Vaigai has lost its beauty. Even in Paripatal, an anthology of Sangam Literature, we see beautiful descriptions of Vaigai.

Ode to River Kaveri (kanalvari)

Hail, Kaveri!

Robed with flowers, swarmed by singing bees, you roam,

Sinuous and fanciful,

Casting dark glances from your swift

And carp like eyes

Your gait and charming looks are the pride

Of your lord, whose virtuous sceptre’s never gone astray

Hail, Kaveri!

(Another two stanzas are there in the epic)

River Vaigai in the background

Vaigai and the city of Madurai are described in the ‘Puranceri Irutha Katai’:-

The Vaigai River, daughter of the sky, wanders ever on the tongues of the poets, who sings the generous gifts she bestows on the land she has blesses. Most cherished possession of the Pandya Kingdom, she resembles a noble and respected maiden. Her dress is woven of all the flowers that fall from the date tree, the Vakulam, the Kino, the white Kadamba, the gamboges, the Tilak, the jasmine, the Myrobalan, the pear tree, the great Champak and the saffron plant. The broad belt she wears low around her hips is adorned with lovely flowers of Kuruku and golden jasmine, mixed with Musundai’s thick lianas, the wild jasmine, he convolvulus, the bamboo, the volubilis, the Pidavam, the Arabian jasmine. The sand banks, edged by trees in blossom, are her youthful breasts. Her red lips are the trees that spread their red petals along the shore her lovely teeth are wild jasmine buds floating in the stream. Her long eyes are the carp, which playing in the water, appear and vanish like a wink. Her tresses are the flowing waters filled with the petals (13-151/174).

Both Kannaki and Kovalan cried out in wonder, “This is not a river but a stream in blossom”.

This beautiful description of River Vaigai is different from River Kavery. This shows his skill and his love of nature.

River Kaveri (Cauvery)

Holy Mountain and Holy River

Tamils were very familiar with the Himalayas and the River Ganges. We have lot of references to these in the oldest part of Sangam literature such as Purananuru. There is no wonder that Ilango also referred to this mountain and the river in several places in the epic. Sangam poets used Himalayas and Pothiyam Hill in pairs (Puram 2-24), probably an indirect reference to sages of the Himalayas and Sage Agastya who had settled in the Pothiyam Hill from the North. The very concept of taking a stone from the holy Himalayas and bathing it in the holiest of the Indian rivers, Ganges, (Vazthu Katai) show that the ancient Tamils considered the big land mass from the southernmost Kanyakumari to the northernmost Himalayas as one entity that belonged to everyone in the country. Chera King Senguttuvan was praised as the ruler of the land between the Himalayas and Kumari.

Reference to holy shrines such as Venkatam where the most famous Balaji temple is located at present, and Srirangam (11-40/41), is also interesting.

Ilango’s reference to Senguttuvan’s sea expedition to destroy the pirates (23-81) and the foreign intruders are examples of his knowledge about the seas surrounding the peninsular. Marine trade with Rome and the West was flourishing during the first few centuries of our era. Though Silappadikaram is a post Sangam work, the Tamils must have felt very proud of their success in the foreign trade. Yavanas are mentioned in four places in the epic 5-10, 14-67, 28-141 and 29-26. The epic says that Chera king ruled the prosperous land of the Yavanas (28-141 and 29-26), may be the North West region of India. It was under the Indo-Greek kings for few centuries.

Ilango’s knowledge of the seas, rivers, mountains, cities and other spots of natural beauty, is amazing. To make the epic more interesting he had added some interesting details about the caves or underground tunnel routes (Katukan Katai)  to Madurai from Alagarkoil, a Vaishnavite shrine near Madurai. As of now we don’t know any such route linking Madurai with Alagarkoil, but in his days probably mountain pass or caves must have existed. Until very recently Alagarkoil hill was very green with thick forests.

In the Venir Katai, he defined the boundaries of Tamil Nadu between Venkatam and the Southern seas. He refers to the semi mythical land Uttarakuru (2-10). Strangely the earliest reference to the River Jamuna and Krishna comes from Sangam Tamil Literature (Aka 59-4) and Ilango refers to it in Aychiyar Kuravai(17-22).

Gajabahu and King of Malava

At the end of the epic he narrates the consecration ceremony attended by Gajabahu, King of Sri Lanka and Kings from Malava (30-157/160). Earlier in the poem he refers to the Satavahanas, who were his friends.

Author’s e mail: swami_48 @ yahoo.com

Books used

The Cilappatikaram, translated by Prof.V R Ramachandra Dikshitar, 1939. Second edition, The South India Saiva Siddhanta Works Publishing Society Tinnelvelly Limited, 1978

Shilappadikaram (The Ankle Bracelet), translated by Alain Danilelou, A New Directions Book, New York, 1965