Oldest Bribery in the World! Rig Veda speaks of Bribes!!


Research paper No 1954

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 25 June 2015

Uploaded in London at 14-23

I wrote about the Vedic Dog Sarama and the story’s occurrence in various cultures in mutilated or corrupted forms. The hymn in the Rig Veda (10-108) is very interesting in various ways. Here we read about


2.Inducement to change party loyalty

3.Ambassadorial role

4.Dog as human pet

5.Dog employed in detective work

All these show that the Vedic society is well advanced. Earlier I wrote about the Rig Vedic Sabha and Samitis, oldest democratic institutions in the world. All these are my observations.


Here is the Sarama hymn (RV.10-108):–

The hymn, as Griffith notes, “is a colloquy between Sarama, the messenger of the Gods or of Indra …… and the Panis or the envious demons who have carried off the cows or Rays of Light which Indra wishes to recover”.

But, according to Macdonell, the hymn is about “the capture by Indra of the cows of the Panis ….. (who) possess herds of cows which they keep hidden in a cave far beyond the Rasaa, a mythical river. Sarama, Indra’s messenger, tracks the cows and asks for them in Indra’s name, but is mocked by the Panis”.

Clearly there is a basic difference in the above descriptions of the myth, says Shrikant Talageri in his book—“The Rig Veda – A Historical Analysis”.

From Griffith’s translation (R V 10-108):–

“I come appointed messenger of Indra, seeking your ample stores of wealth, O Panis

This has preserved me from the fear of crossing; thus I have made my way over Rasaa’s waters (Sarama said this) 10-108-2

Wat is that Indra like, what is his aspect whose envoy, Sarama, from afar thou comest?

Let him approach, and we will show him friendship; he shall be made the herdsman of our cattle (Panis said this) 10-108-3

Even thus, O Sarama, hast thou come here by celestial might to make the journey

Turn thee not back, for thou shalt be our sister; O Blest One, we will give thee of the cattle (10-108-9)

bribe 2

My comments:


1.From the above three stanzas we come across the word MESSENGER/ENVOY.

This shows that the dogs have detective power to find the hidden cows and the hymn says the dog travelled long distances, even crossed a river. Nowadays we hear amazing animal stories where the dogs travel hundreds of miles to go back to their owners. Probably this is the oldest dog story. Dogs have powerful smelling – 3000 times more powerful than human beings.

2.The second point is that sending an animal as AMBASSADOR. We come across swan as a messenger in the Nala – Damyanti story and later great poet Kalidasa sings about Cloud Messenger in his poem Meghaduta. In the 2000 year old Sangam Tamil poetry and later devotional poetry we see lot of animal and bird messengers to their lovers or God. Probably Rig Veda has the oldest reference to such ambassadors (apostrophes to birds etc).

3.The third point is that Panis were ready to bribe Sarama with some cattle and ready to take her their sister. But Sarama rejected the bribe. Panis were the bad people in this episode.

Later Vedic literature Jaiminiya Brahmana (2-440/442) has a slightly different story, according to Talageri. Here, the cows and are clearly referred to as the cows of the Gods stolen by the Panis. This time, the Gods first send Suparna, the eagle or the Sun Bird. However the Panis BRIBE him into silence, and he accepts their gifts and returns without any information. The enraged Gods strangle him, and he vomits out the curds etc. received from the Panis.

Then the Gods send Sarama. She crosses the River Rasaa and approaches the Panis. She is also offered BRIBES, but (as in the Rig Veda), she refuses their bribes and returns to Indra with the information that the cows are hidden (DETECTIVE WORK) inside the Rasa. She and her descendants are then blessed by a grateful Indra.


4.Dogs are grateful animals. Sarama stick to her loyalty in spite of temptations. Dogs are kept as pets from the Vedic days.

According to Talageri, the myth appears in Brhatdevata (8-24/36). Here the myth develops a curious twist. The same sequence of events take place, but this time Sarama accepts the bribe of the Panis, and apparently transfer her loyalty to them. When she returns to Indra and refuses to disclose the hideout of the cows, Indra kicks her in a rage she vomits out the milk she received as a BRIBE and then goes back trembling to the Panis (Ayaram, Gayaram stories in Indian political field).

We know that all these are symbolic stories of what is happening in Nature. But even if we accept it, the similes such as bribe etc used reflects the ways of life in Vedic days. But the good thing about the bribe is, it is offered by the bad people (Panis). Moreover good people reject it or get punishment for accepting it.


5.Two other notes won’t be out of context here:

Chanakya, the author of Arthashastra, says that like the fish that lives in water drinks water, the government officers take bribe!

There is a Tamil Proverb, “Wont the person who extracted honey (from the honeycomb) lick his fingers?”

So, taking bribes has been there from Vedic days, but it is condemned in the Vedas.

(Bribery pictures are used from various sites;thanks)

Vedic Sarama and Greek Hermes!!


Research paper No 1952

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 24 June 2015

Uploaded in London at 20-50

Who is Sarama?

In the Rig Veda (10-108) the dog of Indra is called Sarama. It has got two children and they are called Sarameyas. They were the watch dogs of Yama, the god of death. Panis (who are identified with Phoenicians) stole the cows of Indra. Sarama was sent as a messenger who warned the Panis.

Who is Hermes?

Sarama became Hermes in Greek mythology and Panis became Pan. Greeks borrowed lot of Hindu stories and mutilated them beyond recognition. Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maiya. From the day of birth Hermes was cunning and stole the cows of Apollo. He became the herald of the gods and escort of the shades of the dead. He was the God of Travellers, patron of music and wore a hat and the caduceus (a serpent twined wand).

Letter S changed to H in Greek. They changed Sindhu River into Hindu (S=H) via Persia (Iran).

Both the Vedic and Greek stories have some similarities:

a) Accompanying the dead

b)Stealing the Cow

c)Messenger of the Gods


But who borrowed it from whom? Definitely the Greeks borrowed it from us and jumbled it with attributes of several other Vedic Gods. Then Romans identified their god Mercury with Hermes. Mercury is connected with Mercantile like Pani is connected with Vanik (business)

So the new equation is

Sarama= Hermes = Mercury

But in Vedic story the lines are clearly demarcated, while in Greek and Roman stories, they got mixed up.

Who is Aesir and Vanir?

These are two races of Gods in Teutonic myth (Scandinavian). Aesir is ASURA and Vanir is PANIS. Once again the same Vedic story! But to understand the links between these Gods one must go to the Rig Veda. All are Sanskrit words get corrupted and stories changed Ulta (upside down)! Rig Veda is the oldest scripture and other myths came at least 1000 years later.

Now the equation IS

Sarama= Hermes = Mercury= Aesir/Vanir

Though the connection between Sarama and Hermes is known for long, Shrikant G Talageri has analysed the story by comparing them with Persian, Teutonic and Greek stories. The conclusion is that we are the original source. The dates of Greek, Teutonic and Persian myths are later than the Rig Veda.


Indra on his elephant

My comments:

This shows that the Hindus migrated to various parts of Europe long ago. Talageri points out that without our Vedas no one could know the links between the Gods in four different cultures. All have a common thread and the Vedic story is changed in every culture. For instance Pusan is the God of Travellers in Vedas.

Now I give below Talageri’s view on this episode from his book ‘The Rig Veda, a Historical Analysis’:–

1.Griffith and Mac donell give different translations!

2.In course of time, a regular phenomenon of nature was converted into a single mythical incident:-

Sarama is at first, the dawn who recovers the rays of the sun that have been carried away by the night; then

The hound of Indra and mother of the two dogs called Sarameyas who are the watch dogs of Yama; then

The messenger of the Gods or Indra


3.The Panis are at first,

Merchants or traders; then

A class of envious demons watching over treasure; then

The fiends who steal cows and hide them in mountain caverns

4.The cows are at first

The Rays of Light carried off and concealed by the demons of darkness, the Panis; then

The rain clouds carried off and kept concealed by the Panis; then

The Panis hoarded the wealth, the cattle and the wealth in horses and in kine.

5.The myth starts off with the idea of the Panis, the demons of darkness, stealing the rays of light and hiding them away at night, and Sarama, the dawn, recovering them in the morning, as a matter of daily routine. A regular phenomenon gradually becomes a single incident.

6.Apart from the Rig Veda, the story is in Jaiminiya Brahmana (2-440) and Brhatdevata

7.The gist of the Rig Vedic Hymn is

a)Sarama makes her way over long paths and over the waters of Rasaa (River) and conveys to the Panis, Indra’s demand for their ample stores of wealth

b)The Panis refuse, and tauntingly make an offer to make Indra the herdsman of their cattle

c)Sarama warns them of the consequences

d)The Panis express their willingness to do battle with Indra. But they offer to accept Sarama as their sister

e)Sarama however rejects the offer.

  1. Panis variant Vani is also found two places in the Rig Veda. A range of words pertaining to trade, commerce, economics and business activity are derived from Pani: Apana/market, Apanika/mercantile, Pan/money,coin, Vani/Bania/Trader, Vanijya/commerce etc.

9.Teutonic mythology has the cognate word Vanir and Aesir (asura). The rivalry between the Aesir and Vanir is reflected throughout Teutonic Mythology. But in Teutonic mythology Vanir are a second race of Gods. Aesir are first race of Gods.

talagheri book


1.Practically all the elements in any reconstructed proto Indo European Mythology are found in Vedic Mythology, whereas only a few of them are found in any other  Indo European Mythology.

2.The common elements are found in Vedic Mythology in their most primitive forms, closest to the original nature myths; while fragments of the original myths, in later developed versions, are found in other  Indo European Mythologies.

3.Each of the other Indo European Mythologies has several elements in common with Vedic mythology, but hardly any with any of the others (not counting historical borrowings, such as Greek Apollo in Roman mythology)

4.In respect of common elements, the Vedic version provides the connecting link, often the only one, between the versions in other mythologies.

5.Iranian Mythology has no connection with any other mythology except Vedic.

6.If the word Pani in the Rig Veda, which is pre cursor of the Teutonic Vanir and the Greek Pan, originally meant a merchant or trader in the earlier part of the Rig Veda, then it certainly means that the VEDIC PEOPLE WERE ALREADY A SETTLED AND A COMMERCIALLY PROSPEROUS PEOPLE IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL REGION INDICATED BY THE RIG VEDA BEFORE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MYTHICAL CONCEPT OF THE PANIS.

Vedic Dog and Church Dog


Picture of the dog that regularly attends Mass in an Italian Church

Ramayana Dog and Mahabharata Dog

Dog stories are numerous and very interesting. Hindus were the first to introduce them in to literature. We have the earliest reference to a dog in Rig Veda. That is the oldest reference of this faithful creature. Mahabharata and Ramayana have two interesting dog stories. We have the most famous dog statue in Tokyo railway station. But a church dog story in London newspapers made me to write this article. Let us look at them one by one.


Tommy is a seven year old German shepherd dog who used to accompany its owner Maria Margerita Lochi. Margerita went to Santa Maria Assunta Church in San Donaci in Italy. The dog went with her to the church and sat at her feet during mass. Everybody loved the dog. But its owner Maria died last year. The dog has started coming to mass in the Church for the past two months. On the day of Maria’s funeral, it followed her coffin and joined the mourners. Now it comes to the church as soon as the church bell rings for the mass. Father Donato Panna told the news papermen that the dog is well behaved and doesn’t make any sound.

The most famous Tokyo dog Hachiko was raised by a professor at the University of Tokyo. Every day the dog came to Shibuya railway station to receive him. After a year of this strange friendship, Professor H. Ueno died suddenly. He never came to the station, but the dog Hachiko came to the station looking for his master everyday  for nine years!! The dog died of cancer in 1935. Even before it died, a newspaper story about the dog made it a national celebrity. In 1934, one year before its death, people erected a bronze statue in front of Shibuya Railways station and the dog also took part in the opening ceremony! After its death, is body was stuffed and is kept in the National Museum in Tokyo.


Now we know why Rig Veda gave so much importance to the first dog in human history, Sarama and its two children Sarameyas. Now we understand why Vyasa of Mahabharata and Valmiki of Ramayana introduced two dog stories in the epics.

Picture of Dattatreya with the four dogs

Dog in Rig Veda

Sarama was the dog of Indra. It pursued and recovered the cows stolen by the Panis. Some scholars interpreted it symbolically. But whatever may be the truth, Hindus were the first one to raise a faithful dog and use it for guarding the property. We gave them due credit and now we know the name for at least 3500 years. It had two children called Sarameyas each with four eyes.  The Greeks copied this story from us and created a character called Hermes (They change S to H and that is how the word Hindu came from the River Sindhu). Rig Vedic Rishis were grateful and immortalised Sarama.

Sarameyas were the watchdogs of Yama.


Dog in Mahabharata

Dogs are always associated with Yama, God of Death. If a big calamity or death is going to happen, dogs will know it well in advance and bark or howl for several days before that event. We read such stories before big earthquakes or tsunamis or volcanic eruptions. Scientists now know the reason for their strange behaviour. They are thousand times more sensitive than human beings. They can feel the tremors deep beneath the ground. Their smelling is 3000 times more powerful than humans. When Pandavas decided to end their life, what is called Mahaprathanika, a dog was taken by the eldest of the Pandavas, Dharma (See 17th Parva- Mahaprastanika Parva). Tamils also did some sort of ritual sacrifice called Vatakkiruththal, that is fasting to death facing North. Pandavas also travelled towards Mount Meru in the holy direction North and one by one died on the way. Last was Dharma. When he went to the heaven, God of death refused entry/permission for the dog. Immediately Dharma also declined the offer of entry. He told the guards if the dog was not allowed he would not come in. Then the dog showed its real face, ‘God of Dharma’ itself.


We see two points here.1.Dharma wont deviate from the path of dharma( morality) even if it is obtaining heaven.2.Dogs are given so much importance because they are friends of human beings. Rig Veda was the first book to acknowledge it.

Picture of the most famous dog Hachiko in front of Shibuya Railaway Station,Tokyo


Dog in Ramayana

The dog story in Uttarkanda (chapter 60,61) of Ramayana has some sense of humour. A dog went to Rama and complained that a Brahmin hurt it without any reason. Immediately Rama summoned him and admonished him. When he asked the ministers what punishment the Brahmin should be given, they told Rama a Brahmin is exempted from punishments. But Rama made the Brahmin a head of an institution to the astonishment of his ministers. When the ministers questioned him about it he told them that the dog knows it well. The dog explained that in its previous birth it was the head of that institution and misappropriated money. So by giving that position he is liable to commit sins and go to hell. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!


Adi Shankara and the 4 Dogs

We have lots of references to dogs in Hindu religious literature. Adi Shankara shunned a Chandala( low caste) who came with four dogs. Later he realised that the Chandala was Lord Parameswara and the four dogs were four Vedas. Lord Dattatreya’s four dogs were four Vedas. Lord Bhairava’s vehicle (Vahana) is a dog. Saint Namdev gave a dog his whole food when it stole part of it.

Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita (5-18) says,

“ Sages see with an equal eye, a learned and humble Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, or even a dog or an outcaste”.


Please read other animal stories posted earlier in this blog:

1. Animal Einsteins (Part 1 and Part 2)

2. Can parrots recite Vedas?

3. Why do animals worship Gods?

4. Mysterious Messengers for Ajanta, Angkor Wat and Sringeri

5. Elephant Miracles

6). 45 Words for Elephant

7. Can Birds Predict your Future?

8. Two Little Animals That Inspired Indians

9. Three Wise Monkeys from India

10. Mysterious Tamil Bird Man

Contact London Swaminathan at swami_48@yahoo.com