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A homage to Hindu civilization.

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    अश्विना aśvinā in the dual are signifiers of wealth and invoked as divinities in 473 ricas of Rigveda. Upamanyu's adoration of अश्विना describes the divinities as five elements of the Universe (See the narrative of Upamanyu's Trial embedded excerpt from Mahabharata.) 

    One of the अश्विन् aśvin is: ना* सत्य a [p= 523,3] mfn. (prob. fr. √2. नस् , Caus.) helpful , kind , friendly (mostly m. du. as N. of the अश्विन्RV. ; later m.sg. N. of one of the अश्विन्s , the other being then called दस्रrelating or belonging to the अश्विन्MBh. नासत्या f. the constellation अश्विनी L. The word occurs on Mitanni treaty (1380 BCE).

    The devanagari text may be seen at "prapUrvagau pUrvajau chitrabhAnU...
    http://sanskritdocuments.org/mirrors/mahabharata/mbhK/mahabharata-k-01-itx.html (As Manasataramgini provides scintillating insights in the appended note of May 2006, the rica type of prayer offered to the अश्विना aśvinā by Upamanyu is an extraordinary evidence to unravel the import of the Aśvin metaphor in Rigveda  ādhyAtmikā tradition -- as a metaphor for the senses, sensory perceptions).

    Aśvinā aśvinau Parents: Saranyu and Vivasvan Rigveda Divinities of Shining of Sunrise and Sunset Averting Misfortune and Sickness (Roman equivalent: Dioscuri) Saranyu is the daughter of the Divine Architect Vis'vakarman.

    Sons of Saranyu, a goddess of the clouds and wife of Surya in his form as Vivasvant. Appear on a golden chariot shining of sunrise and sunset  bringing treasures to worshippers and averting misfortune and sickness. " They are the doctors of gods and are devas of Ayurvedic medicine. They are represented as humans with the heads of horses. In the epic Mahabharata,..They are also called Nasatya (dual nāsatyau "kind, helpful") in the Rigveda; later, Nasatya is the name of one twin, while the other is called Dasra ("enlightened giving")...Ashwini Kumar brothers, the twins, who were Raja-Vaidya (Royal Physicians) to Devas during Vedic times, first prepared the Chyawanprash 
    formulation for Chyawan Rishi at his Ashram on Dhosi Hill near Narnaul
    Haryana, India, hence the name Chyawanprash...The Ashvins can be compared with the Dioscuri (the twins Castor and Pollux) of Greek and Roman mythology, and especially to the divine twins Ašvieniai of the ancient Baltic religion...The Nasatya twins are invoked in a treaty between Suppiluliuma and Shattiwaza, kings of the Hittites and the Mitanni respectively " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashvins
    (KBo 1 1. Gary M. Beckman (Jan 1, 1999). Hittite Diplomatic Texts. Scholars Press. p. 53.. Excerpt http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/ranghaya/suppiluliuma_shattiwaza_treaty.htm )

    Nasatya in Mitanni treaty na-ša-ti-ya-an-na (Cuneiform transctiption) = Nasatya-nna = Nāsatya (Vedic)

    "In a treaty between the Hittites and the Mitanni (between Suppiluliuma
     and Shattiwaza, c. 1380 BCE), the deities MitraVarunaIndra, and Nasatya (Ashvins) are invoked. Kikkuli's horse training text (circa 1400 BC) includes technical terms such as aika (Vedic Sanskrit eka, one), tera (tri, three), panza (pañca, five), satta (sapta, seven), na (nava, nine), vartana (vartana, round). The numeral aika "one" is of particular importance because it places the superstrate in the vicinity of Indo-Aryan proper (Vedic Sanskrit eka, with regular contraction of /ai/ to [eː]) as opposed to Indo-Iranian or early Iranian (which has *aiva; compare Vedic eva "only") in general.

    Ašvieniai, the divine twins who pulled the chariot of the Sun (the Vedic Ashwins or the Greek Dioskouri).Hamacher, Duane W. "The Sumerians and Gemini: Sumerian Astronomical Interpretations as Origins of the Divine Horse Twins and Solar Chariots in Indo-European Mythology (Unpublished manuscript)" (PDF). p. 7. 
    http://www.webcitation.org/5tso8HIGS?url=http%3A%2F%2Fblacktaj.homestead.com%2Ffiles%2Fdocuments%2FThe_Sumerians_and_Gemini.pdf Both names derive from the same Proto-Indo-European root for the horse – *ek'w-."Old Lithuanian ašva and Sanskrit ashva mean "horse". Ašvieniai are represented as pulling a carriage
     of Saulė (the Sun) through the sky. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ašvieniai"

    Ašviniai, commonly called the little horses, on the rooftop of a house in Nida, Lithuania.

    I submit that as Upamanyu notes in his prayers, Aśvin are the five elements पञ्चन् -इन्द्रियम् an aggregate of the five organs (of sense or actions which constitute the Universe. In a unified field of unerstanding of the AtmA and paramAtman in the cosmic dance, the detailed metaphors of the 'horse-head' and Aśvin as divine 'healers' and restorers of anyone of five body parts (pancendriya), Aśvin metaphor is an elaboration of the ādhyAtmikā interpretation of phenomena which result in transmuttion of minerals and metals in the medium of fire and other cosmic elements (pancabhUta, five elements -- पृथ्वी, अप्, तेजस्,  वायु and आकाश.).

    पञ्चन् pañcan -अग्निः 1 an aggregate of five sacred fires; i. e. (अन्वाहार्यपचन or दक्षिण, गार्हपत्य, आहवनीय, सभ्य, and आव- सथ्य). -2 a householder who maintains the five sacred fires; पञ्चाग्नयोधृतव्रताः Māl.1; Ms.3.185. -इन्द्रियम् an aggregate of the five organs (of sense or actions; -भूतम् the five elements; पृथ्वी, अप्, तेजस्,  वायु and आकाश.; -लोहकम् the five metals i. e. gold, silver, copper, tin and lead.पञ्चतात्वम् 1 Five-fold state. -2 A collection of five. -3 The five elements taken collectively. -4 the body; त्रित्वेहुत्वाथपञ्चत्वंतच्चैकत्वे$जुहोन्मुनिः Bhāg.1.15.42. -5 Death, dissolution; -पञ्चतां, -त्वम्गम्, -या &c. means 'to be resolved into the five elements of which the body consists', 'to die or perish'; -पञ्चतां, -त्वंनी 'to kill or destroy'; पञ्चभिर्निर्मितेदेहेपञ्चत्वंपुनर्गतेस्वांस्वांयोनिमनु- प्राप्तेतत्रकापरिवेदना Ratn.3.3; शब्दादिभिःपञ्चभिरेवपञ्चपञ्चत्वमापुःस्वगुणेनबद्धाःVivekachūdāmaṇi.

    अश्विन् पु०द्विव०अश्वाःसन्तिययोःइनि, अश्विन्यांनक्षत्रेभवौसन्धिवेलाद्युतृनक्षत्रेभ्यःपा० अण्नक्षत्रेभ्योबहुलम्पा०वालुक्लुकिस्त्रीप्रत्ययस्य लुक्, अश्वाउत्पत्तिःस्थातत्वेनास्त्यस्यइनिवा।१स्वर्गवैद्ययोःकिमश्विनौसोमरसंपिपासूभट्टिः

    वासोदश्चन्द्रसालोक्यमश्विसालोक्यमश्वदःमनुःत्वाष्ट्री तुसवितुर्भार्य्याबडवारूपधारिणीअसूयतमहाभागा सान्तरीक्षेऽश्विनाबुभौभा०आ०प०यावांकशा मधुमत्यश्विनासुनृतावतीयजु०, अश्वस्तच्चिह्नावर्त्तः अस्त्यर्थेइनिकपोलयोस्तथावर्त्तौविद्येतेवाजि- नोर्यदितावाश्विनावितिप्रोक्तौराज्यवृद्धिकरौपरौइत्युक्तलक्षणयोःहययोश्चद्वि०व०हययुक्तेत्रि०। स्त्रियांङीप्गोमाअग्नेऽविमाँअश्वीऋ०, ,

    अश्विनी स्त्रीअश्वस्तदुत्तमाङ्गाकारोऽस्त्यस्यइनिङीप्। सप्तविंशतिधाविभक्तराशिचक्रस्यप्रथमेभागेअस्या- स्तथाकारत्वमश्लेषाशब्देउक्तम्अश्निनीमघमूलानां गण्डाआद्यास्त्रिनाड़िकाःज्यो०नक्षत्रपरत्वेन०पुष्याश्विहस्तालघुःज्यो०अश्वायाआकारोऽस्त्यस्याःइनि ङीप्हयरूपधारिण्यांत्वष्टृसुतायांसवितुर्भा- र्य्यायामरुणात्मजशब्दे२६९पृ०विवृतिः

    अश्विनीकुमार पु०द्वि०व०सूर्य्येणत्वष्टृसुतायांसंज्ञायां बड़वारूपायामुत्पादितयोःस्वर्वैद्ययोःतदुत्पत्तिकथाभा० आ०प०६६अध्यायेअश्विनीतनयपुत्रसुतादयोऽप्यत्र। अरुणात्मजशब्दे२६९पृ०विवरणम्


    अश्विनी, स्त्री, (अश्वःअश्वरूपंविद्यतेयस्याःअश्व + इन् + ङीप्) सप्तविंशतिनक्षत्रान्तर्गतप्रथम- नक्षत्रंअश्विन्यादयोरेवत्यन्ताःसप्तविंशति- तारादक्षस्यापत्यत्वात्दाक्षायण्यउच्यन्तेतत्प- र्य्यायःअश्वयुक्दाक्षायणीइत्यमरः

    साचन्द्रस्यभार्य्यानवपादात्मकमेषराशेरादि- चतुष्पादरूपाअस्यारूपंघोटकमुखा-कृतितारात्रयात्मकंअस्याअधिष्ठात्रीदेवताअश्वारूढपुरुषःइतिज्योतिःशास्त्रंतस्यांजातफलंसदैवदेवाभ्युदितोविनीतःसत्त्वा-न्वितःप्राप्तसमस्तसम्पत्योषाविभूषात्मज-भूरितोषःस्यादश्विनीजन्मनिमानवस्यइतिकोष्ठीप्रदीपःतस्यमस्तकोपरिउदयेकर्कट-लग्नस्य३०त्रिंशत्पलाधिकदण्डैकोगतो-वतियथातन्विघोटकमुखाकृतौत्रिभेमस्तकोर्द्ध्वपथभाजिवाजिनिचारुचन्द्रमुखिकर्कटोदयात्निर्गतागगनरन्ध्रलिप्तिकाइतिश्रीकालिदासकृतरात्रिलग्ननिर्णयः

    अश्विनीकुमारौ, पुं, (अश्विन्याअश्वीभूतसंज्ञानाम-सूर्य्यपत्न्याःयमजौकुमारौ) अश्विनीसुतौ।अश्वीभूतसंज्ञानामसूर्य्यपत्न्याःयमजपुत्त्रौतौदेवचिकित्सकौ (यथाहरिवंशे,“विवस्वान्कश्यापाज्जज्ञेदाक्षायण्यामरिन्दम ! ।तस्यभार्य्याभवत्संज्ञात्वाष्ट्रीदेवीविवस्वतःदेवौतस्यामजायेतामश्विनौभिषजांवरौ)नित्यद्विवचनान्तशब्दोऽयं

    अश्विनीपुत्त्रौ, पुं, (अश्विन्याःपुत्त्रौ) स्वर्व्वैद्यौइतिहेमचन्द्रः

    अश्विनीसुतौ, पुं, (अश्विन्याःसुतौ) अश्विनीपुत्त्रौ।तयोःपर्य्यायःस्वर्वैद्यौअश्विनौदस्रौ४नासत्यौआश्विनेयौइत्यमरःनासिक्यौ७ गदागदौइतिजटाधरःपुष्करस्रजौ। रतिशब्दरत्नावली

    अश्विनौ, पुं, (प्रशस्ताअश्वाःसन्तिययोःइनिः। यद्वा, अश्विन्याम्जातौसन्धिवेलेत्यणोनक्ष- त्रेम्योबहुलमितिलुकिलुक्तद्वितलुकीतिङीपो लुक्) अश्विनीकुमारौइत्यमरः(“त्वाष्ट्रीतुसवितुर्भार्य्यावडवारूपधारिणी। असूयतमहाभागासान्तरीक्षेऽश्विनावुभौ॥ इतिमहाभारतेकिमश्विनौसोमरसंपिपासू। इतिभट्टौ) (“अश्विनौदेवभिषजौयज्ञवाहावितिस्मृतौ। दक्षस्यहिशिरश्छिन्नंपुनस्ताभ्यांसमाहितं॥ प्रशीर्णादशनाःपूष्णोनेत्रेनष्टेभगस्य। वज्रिणश्चभुजस्तम्भस्ताभ्यामेवचिकित्सितः॥ चिकित्सितस्तुशीतांशुर्गृहीतोराजयक्ष्मणा। सोमान्निपतितश्चन्द्रःकृतस्ताभ्यांपुनःसुखी॥ भार्गवश्च्यवनःकामीवृद्धःसन्विकृतिंगतः। वीतवर्णस्वरोपेतःकृतस्ताभ्यांपुनर्युवा॥ एतैश्चान्यैश्चबहुभिःकम्मभिर्भिषगुत्तमौ। बभूवतुर्भृशंपूज्याविन्द्रादीनांमहात्मनां॥ ग्रहास्तोत्राणिमन्त्राणितथान्यानिहवींषि। धूम्राश्चपशवस्ताभ्यांप्रकल्प्यन्तेद्विजातिभिः॥प्रातश्चसवनेसोमंशक्रोऽश्विभ्यांसहाश्नुते। सौत्रामण्याञ्चभगवानश्विभ्यांसहमोदते॥ इन्द्राग्नीचाश्विनौचैवस्तूयन्तेप्रायशोद्विजैः।स्तूयन्तेवेदवाक्येषुतथान्याहिदेवताः॥ अमरैरजरैस्तावद्विबुधैःसाधिपैर्ध्रुवैः। पूज्येतेप्रयतैरेवमश्विनौभिषजावितिइतिचरकःश्रूयतेहियथारुद्रेणयज्ञस्यशिरश्छिन्नमितिततोदेवाअश्विनावभिगम्योचुःभगवन्तौनःश्रेष्ठतमौयुवांभविष्यथःभवद्भ्यांयज्ञस्यशिरःसन्धातव्यंतावूचतुरेवमस्त्वितिअथतयोरर्थेदेवाइन्द्रंयज्ञभागेनप्रासादयन्ताभ्यांज्ञम्यशिरःसंहितमितिइतिसुश्रुतः)


    1 YE Asvins, rich in treasure, Lords of splendour, having nimble hands, Accept the sacrificial food.
    2 Ye Asvins, rich in wondrous deeds, ye heroes worthy of our praise, Accept our songs with mighty thought.
    Nasatyas, wonderworkers-, yours are these libations with clipt grass: Come ye whose paths are red with flame.

    Thus, अश्विना is a metaphor for five dhātu, 'five elements, ores'. धातु  [p= 513,3] 
    element , primitive matter (= महा-भूत L. MBh. Hariv. &cprimary element of the earth i.e. metal , mineral , are (esp. a mineral of a red colour) Mn. MBh. (usually reckoned as 5 , viz.  or आकाश,अनिल, तेजस्जलभू 

    अश्विना in the dual is used to mean 'horses' in Rigveda RV 1.53.4. In this rica, horses and cattle are desired to dispel poverty; thus, possession of cattle, and horses signify 'wealth'. 

    The form अश्विनौ  is also used to signify 'two charioteers'..Thus, it is possible to explain the semantics of अश्विन्  -- in the context of Rigveda references -- as 1. horse; 2.charioteer; 3. horse tamer; possessed of horses , consisting of horses RV.

    अश्विन् aśvin
    अश्विन् a. अश्व-अस्त्यर्थे इनि] Possessed of horses, consisting of horses; Rv.4.2.5 m. A cavalier, a horse-tamer. -नौ (du.) 1 The two physicians of the gods who are represented as the twin sons of the Sun by a nymph in the form of a mare; cf. त्वाष्ट्री तु सवितुर्भार्या वडवारूपधारिणी । असूयत महाभागा सान्तरीक्षे$श्विनाबुभौ ॥ [According to Vedic conception they are the harbingers of Uṣas or the dawn; they are young, beautiful, bright, swift &c.; and, according to Yāska, they represent the transition from darkness of light, when the intermingling of both produces that insepa- rable duality expressed by the twin nature of these deities; according to different interpretations quoted in the Nirukta they were 'heaven and earth', 'day and night', 'two kings, performers of holy acts' which may be traced to their dual and luminous nature. Mythically they were the parents of Nakula and Sahadeva and the physicians of the gods and are called Gadāgadau, Svarvaidyau, Dasrau, Nāsatyau, Vādaveyau, Abdhijau &c. They were celebrated for their active benevolence and curative power which they showed in restoring the sage Chyavana, when grown old and decrepit. to youth, and prolonged his life.] -2 Two horses. -3 (In astr.) The twins of the zodiac.
    अश्विनी aśvinī
    अश्विनी [अश्वस्तदुत्तमाङ्गाकारो$स्त्यस्य इनि ङीप्] 1 The first of the 27 Nakṣatras or lunar mansions (con- sisting of three stars). -2 A nymph considered in later times as the mother of the Aśvins, the wife of the Sun, who concealed herself in the from of a mare. -Comp. -कुमारौ, -पुत्रौ, -सुतौ the twin sons of Aśvinī, the Sun's wife.


    Dhaumya had forbidden his student Upamanyu from eating all edible things. Upamanyu disobeyed the Guru’s command and ate some arka leaves (Asclepias gigantea) and became blind. Upamanyu became blind and had fallen into a well.Dhaumya told him to worship Asvin. Here is the account rendered in translation by 

    Kisari Mohan Ganguli of Paushya Parva in Mahabharata: 

    Dhaumya, the precptor said: 'Glorify the twin Aswins, the joint physicians of the gods, and they will restore thee thy sight.' And Upamanyu thus directed by his preceptor began to glorify the twin Aswins, in the following words of the Rig Veda:

    'Ye have existed before the creation! Ye first-born beings, ye are displayed in this wondrous universe of five elements! I desire to obtain you by the help of the knowledge derived from hearing, and of meditation, for ye are Infinite! Ye are the course itself of Nature and intelligent Soul that pervades that course! Ye are birds of beauteous feathers perched on the body that is like to a tree! Ye are without the three common attributes of every soul! Ye are incomparable! Ye, through your spirit in every created thing, pervade the Universe!

    "Ye are golden Eagles! Ye are the essence into which all things disappear! Ye are free from error and know no deterioration! Ye are of beauteous beaks that would not unjustly strike and are victorious in every encounter! Ye certainly prevail over time! Having created the sun, ye weave the wondrous cloth of the year by means of the white thread of the day and the black thread of the night! And with the cloth so woven, ye have established two courses of action appertaining respectively to the Devas and the Pitris. The bird of Life seized by Time which represents the strength of the Infinite soul, ye set free for delivering her unto great happiness! They that are in deep ignorance, as long as they are under delusions of their senses, suppose you, who are independent of the attributes of matter, to be gifted with form! Three hundred and sixty cows represented by three hundred and sixty days produce one calf between them which is the year. That calf is the creator and destroyer of all. Seekers of truth following different routes, draw the milk of true knowledge with its help. Ye Aswins, ye are the creators of that calf!
    "The year is but the nave of a wheel to which is attached seven hundred and twenty spokes representing as many days and nights. The circumference of this wheel represented by twelve months is without end. This wheel is full of delusions and knows no deterioration. It affects all creatures whether to this or of the other worlds. Ye Aswins, this wheel of time is set in motion by you!
    "The wheel of Time as represented by the year has a nave represented by the six seasons. The number of spokes attached to that nave is twelve as represented by the twelve signs of the Zodiac. This wheel of Time manifests the fruits of the acts of all things. The presiding deities of Time abide in that wheel. Subject as I am to its distressful influence, ye Aswins, liberate me from that wheel of Time. Ye Aswins, ye are this universe of five elements! Ye are the objects that are enjoyed in this and in the other world! Make me independent of the five elements! And though ye are the Supreme Brahma, yet ye move over the Earth in forms enjoying the delights that the senses afford.
    "In the beginning, ye created the ten points of the universe! Then have ye placed the Sun and the Sky above! The Rishis, according to the course of the same Sun, perform their sacrifices, and the gods and men, according to what hath been appointed for them, perform their sacrifices also enjoying the fruits of those acts!
    p. 37
    "Mixing the three colours, ye have produced all the objects of sight! It is from these objects that the Universe hath sprung whereon the gods and men are engaged in their respective occupations, and, indeed, all creatures endued with life!
    "Ye Aswins, I adore you! I also adore the Sky which is your handiwork! Ye are the ordainers of the fruits of all acts from which even the gods are not free! Ye are yourselves free from the fruits of your acts!
    "Ye are the parents of all! As males and females it is ye that swallow the food which subsequently develops into the life creating fluid and blood! The new-born infant sucks the teat of its mother. Indeed it is ye that take the shape of the infant! Ye Aswins, grant me my sight to protect my life!"
    The twin Aswins, thus invoked, appeared and said, 'We are satisfied. Here is a cake for thee. Take and eat it.' And Upamanyu thus addressed, replied, 'Your words, O Aswins, have never proved untrue. But without first offering this cake to my preceptor I dare not take it.' And the Aswins thereupon told him, 'Formerly, thy preceptor had invoked us. We thereupon gave him a cake like this; and he took it without offering it to his master. Do thou do that which thy preceptor did.' Thus addressed, Upamanyu again said unto them, 'O Aswins, I crave your pardon. Without offering it to my preceptor I dare not apply this cake.' The Aswins then said, 'O, we are pleased with this devotion of thine to thy preceptor. Thy master's teeth are of black iron. Thine shall be of gold. Thou shall be restored to sight and shall have good fortune.'

    "Thus spoken to by the Aswins he recovered his sight, and having gone to his preceptor's presence he saluted him and told him all. And his preceptor was well-pleased with him and said unto him, 'Thou shalt obtain prosperity even as the Aswins have said. All the Vedas shall shine in thee and all the Dharma-sastras.' And this was the trial of Upamanyu. (pp. 35 to 37)

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m01/m01004.htm

    The Mahabharata, Book 1: Adi Parva: Paushya Parva: Section III


    1.053.04 Propitiated by these offerings, be these libations, dispel poverty with cattle and horses; may we subduing our adversary, and relived from enemies by Indra, (pleased) by our libations, enjoy together abundant food.

    Griffith translation: Well pleased with these bright flames and with these Soma drops, take thou away our poverty with steeds and kine. With Indra scattering the Dasyu through these drops, freed from their hate may we obtain abundant food.

    अश्विन् n. (= अश्व-वत् n. q.v.) richness in horses RV. i , 53 , 4. अश्विन् [p= 116,1] mfn. 
    possessed of horses , consisting of horses RV.; m. horse-tamer RV.; m. du. (/इना or इनौ) " the two charioteers " , N. of two divinities (who appear in the sky before the dawn in a golden carriage drawn by horses or birds ; they bring treasures to men and avert misfortune and sickness ; they are considered as the physicians of heaven) RV. &c

    अश्विनी  f. the head of Aries or the first of the 28 नक्षत्रJyot. VarBr2S. अश्विनी-पुत्रौ [p= 116,1] m. du. the twin sons of अश्विनी L. 

    473 references in Rigveda: अश्विन्

    1 WAKEN the Asvin Pair who yoke their car at early morn: may they

    6 Vouchsafe to us, O Asvin Pair, such strength as, with attendant light,

    Wherewith ye guarded PurukutsaPrsnigu, Come hither unto us, O Asvin;, with those aids.

    3 Come to us, O ye Asvin Pair, bringing your precious treasures, come

    Be it your own, O Asvin Pair.

    Saranyu brought to him the Asvin brothers, and then deserted both twinned pairs of children.

    The Asvin Pair have harnessed their swiftmoving- car. We pray to kindled Agni for felicity.

    The bridesmen were the Asvin Pair Agni was leader of the train.

    HYMN III. Asvins 3

    1 YE Asvins, rich in treasure, Lords of splendour, having nimble hands,

    2 Ye Asvins, rich in wondrous deeds, ye heroes worthy of our praise,

    11 Drink ye the meath, O Asvins bright with flames, whose acts are pure, who with

    HYMN XXII. Asvins and Others 22

    2 We call the Asvins Twain, the Gods borne in a noble car, the best

    3 Dropping with honey is your whip, Asvins, and full of pleasantness

    4 As ye go thither in your car, not far, O Asvins, is the home

    17 Come, Asvins, with enduring strength wealthy in horses and in kine,

    Travels, O Asvins, in the sea.

    HYMN XXXIV. Asvins. 34

    1 Ye who observe this day be with us even thrice: farstretching- is you bounty, Asvins and your

    Three are the pillars set upon it for support: thrice journey ye by night, O Asvins, thrice by day.

    And thrice vouchsafe us store of food with plenteous strength, at evening, O ye Asvins, and at

    Thrice, O ye Asvins, bring us what shall make us glad; thrice send us store of food as nevermore

    Thrice, O ye Asvins, bring to us abundant wealth: thrice in the Gods assembly, thrice assist

    ThriceAsvins, grant to us the heavenly medicines, thrice those of earth and thrice those that

    Thrice are ye to be worshipped day by day by us: thrice, O ye Asvins, ye travel around the earth.

    Thrice, O ye Asvins, with the Seven Mother Streams; three are the jars, the triple offering is

    11 Come, O Nasatyas, with the thriceeleven- Gods; come, O ye Asvins, to the drinking of the meath.

    12 Borne in your triple car, O Asvins, bring us present prosperity with noble offspring.

    Accordant with the Asvins and with Dawn grant us heroic strength and lofty fame.

    8 At dawn of day, at night, Usas and Savitar, the AsvinsBhagaAgnis' self:

    May Lawsupporting- Varuna with the Asvins twain and Usas, drink the Soma juice.

    HYMN XLVI. Asvins. 46

    High, Asvins, I extol your praise,

    Asvins, harness ye the car.

    12 The singer of their praise awaits whatever grace the Asvins give,

    14 O circumambient Asvins, Dawn follows the brightness of your way:

    15 Drink ye of our libations, grant protection, O ye Asvins Twain,

    HYMN XLVII. Asvins. 47

    2 Come, O ye Asvins, mounted on your triple car threeseated-, beautiful of form

    3 O Asvins, ye who strengthen Law, drink ye this sweetest Soma juice.

    4 Omniscient Asvins, on the thriceheaped- grass bedew with the sweet juice the sacrifice.

    5 O Asvins, with those aids wherewith ye guarded Kanva carefully,

    For ye have ever in the Kanvas' wellloved- house, O Asvins, drunk the Soma juice.

    AryamanVarunaSoma, the Asvins. May Sarasvati, auspicious, grant felicity.

    And the joygiving- stones that press the Somas' juice. Asvins, may ye, for whom our spirits long,

    16 O Asvins wonderful in act, do ye unanimous direct

    Do ye, O Asvins, bring strength hither unto us.

    With hands auspicious and fair arms, ye Asvins, haste, sprinkle it with sweetness in the waters.

    VarunaMitra, both, yea, and the Asvins Twain: let them speed us to wealth, wisdom, and victory.

    HYMN CXII. Asvins. 112

    Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids wherewith in fight ye speed the warcry- to the

    Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids wherewith ye help our thoughts to further holy acts.

    Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids wherewith ye, Heroes, made the barren cow give milk.

    Wherewith the sapient one acquired his triple lore, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    Wherewith ye succoured Kanva as he strove to win, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    And comforted KarkandhuVayya, in their woe, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    Wherewith ye set at liberty the swallowed quail, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    And to SrutaryaKutsaNarya gave your help, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    Wherewith ye guarded friendly Vasa, Asvas' son, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    Wherewith ye helped Kaksivan, singer of your praise, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those

    Wherewith Trisoka drove forth his recovered cows, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    And to sage Bharadvaja gave protecting help, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    And Trasadasyu when the forts were shattered down, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    And lent to Vyasva and to Prthi favouring help, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    Wherewith ye shot your shafts in Syumarasmis' cause. Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those

    Wherewith ye helped Saryata in the mighty fray, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    Wherewith ye helped the hero Manu with new strength, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those

    Wherewith ye brought the host of kind Gods to Sudas, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    And good and gracious Subhara and Rtastup, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    Wherewith ye bring delicious honey to the bees, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    Wherewith ye safely guard his horses and his car, Come hither unto us, O Asvins with those aids.

    Favoured Dhvasanti and lent Purusanti help, Come hither unto us, O Asvins, with those aids.

    24 Make ye our speech effectual, O ye Asvins, and this our hymn, ye mighty WonderWorkers-.

    25 With, undiminished blessings, O ye Asvins, for evermore both night and day protect us.

    HYMN CXVI. Asvins. 116

    3 Yea, Asvins, as a dead man leaves his riches, Tugra left Bhujyu in the cloud of waters.

    What time ye carried Bhujyu to his dwelling, borne in a ship with hundred oars, O Asvins.

    6 The white horse which of old ye gave AghasvaAsvins, a gift to be his wealth for ever,

    Atri, cast downward in the cavern, Asvins ye brought, with all his people, forth to comfort.

    18 When to his house ye came, to Divodasa, hasting to Bharadvaja, O ye Asvins,

    24 Asvins, ye raised, like Soma in a ladle Rebha, who for ten days and ten nights, fettered.

    25 1 have declared your wondrous deeds, O Asvins: may this be mine, and many kine and heroes.

    HYMN CXVII. Asvins. 117

    2 That car of yours, swifter than thought, O Asvins, which drawn by brave steeds cometh to the

    Rebha the sage, ye mighty Heroes, Asvins! whom, like a horse, vile men had sunk in water,

    To Ghosa, living in her fathers' dwelling, stricken in years, ye gave a husband, Asvins.

    Rusati, of the mighty people, Asvins, ye gave to Syava of the line of Kanva.

    9 O Asvins, wearing many forms at pleasure, on Pedu ye bestowed a fleetfoot- courser,

    Asvins, when the sons of Pajra call you, send strength with nourishment to him who knoweth.

    11 Hymned with the reverence of a son, O Asvins ye Swift Ones giving booty to the singer,

    When, like a pitcher full of gold, O Asvins, on the tenth day ye lifted up the buried?

    13 Ye with the aid of your great powers, O Asvins, restored to youth the ancient man Cyavana.

    15 The son of Tugra had invoked you, Asvins; borne on he went uninjured through the ocean.

    16 The quail had invocated you, O Asvins, when from the wolfs' devouring jaws ye freed her.

    To him, Rjrasva, gave ye eyes, O Asvins; light to the blind ye sent for perfect vision.

    18 To bring the blind man joy thus cried the shewolf-: O Asvins, O ye Mighty Ones, O Heroes,

    19 Great and wealgiving- is your aid, O Asvins, ye, objects of all thought, made whole the cripple.

    21 Ploughing and sowing barley, O ye Asvins, milking out food for men, ye WonderWorkers-,

    22 Ye brought the horses' head, Asvins, and gave it unto Dadhyac the offspring of Atharvan.

    23 O Sages, evermore I crave your favour: be gracious unto all my prayers, O Asvins.

    And Syava, cut into three several pieces, ye brought to life again, O bounteous Asvins.

    25 These your heroic exploits, O ye Asvins, done in the days. of old, have men related.

    HYMN CXVIII. Asvins. 118

    1. FLYING, with falcons, may your chariot, Asvins, most gracious, bringing friendly

    Fill full our cows, give mettle to our horses, and make each hero son grow strong, O Asvins.

    How then have ancient sages said, O Asvins, that ye most swiftly come to stay affliction?

    4 O Asvins, let your falcons bear you hither, yoked to your chariot, swift, with flying pinions,

    7 To Atri, cast down to the fire that scorched him, ye gave, O Asvins, strengthening food and

    8 For ancient Sayu in his sore affliction ye caused his cow to swell with milk, O Asvins.

    9 A white horse, Asvins, ye bestowed on Pedu, a serpentslaying- steed sent down by Indra,

    Bearing oblations I invoke you, Asvins, at the first break of everlasting morning.

    HYMN CXIX. Asvins. 119

    I sweeten the oblations; now the helpers come. Urjani hath, O Asvins, mounted on your car.

    Then verily your car is seen upon the slope when ye, O Asvins, bring some choice boon to the

    Asvins, the car which you had yoked for glorious show your own two voices urged directed to its

    10 A horse did ye provide for Pedu, excellent, white, O ye Asvins, conqueror of combatants,

    HYMN CXX. Asvins. 120

    6 Hear ye the song of him who hastens speedily. O Asvins, I am he who sang your praise.

    10 I have obtained the horseless car of Asvins rich in sacrifice,

    Asvins, the pious call you with their hymns of praise, sounding their loud song forth to you,

    4 The Sovran Varuna and both the Asvins wait on this the will of him who guides the Marut host.

    HYMN CLVII. Asvins. 157

    The Asvins have equipped their chariot for the course. God Savitar hath moved the folk in sundry

    2 When, Asvins, ye equip your very mighty car, bedew, ye Twain, our power with honey and with oil.

    Nigh to us come the Asvins' lauded threewheeled- car, the car laden with meath and drawn by

    4 Bring hither nourishment for us, ye Asvins Twain; sprinkle us with your whip that drops with

    Ye have sent forth, O Asvins passing mighty, the fire, the sovrans of the wood, the waters,

    HYMN CLVIII. Asvins. 158

    Indra hath yoked his Bays, the Asvins' car is horsed, Brhaspati hath brought the Cow of every

    May this cow yield her milk for both the Asvins, and may she prosper to our high advantage.

    HYMN CLXXX. Asvins. 180

    Fireoffering- thence is yours, O Asvins, Heroes: your carwheels- speed to us like springs of honey.

    Now, even now do ye O blameless Asvins, ye Mighty, guard the man whose God is near him.

    8 You of a truth day after day, O Asvins, that he might win the very plenteous torrent,

    10 With songs of praise we call today-, O Asvins, that your new chariot, for our own wellbeing-,

    HYMN CLXXXI. Asvins 181

    Rapid as thought, with fair backs, full of vigour, resplendent in their native light, O Asvins.

    Men shall feed full the bay steeds of the other, and, Asvins they with roars shall stir the

    9 The prudent worshipper, like PusanAsvins! praises you as he praises Dawn and Agni,

    HYMN CLXXXII. Asvins. 182

    Bring your full chariot hither heaped with liquid sweet: thereon, ye Asvins, come to him who

    4 Crunch up on. every side the dogs who bark at us: slay ye our foes, O Asvins this ye understand.

    6 Four ships most welcome in the midst of ocean, urged by the Asvins, save the son of Tugra,

    Like twigs, of which some winged creature may take hold, ye, Asvins, bore him off safely to your

    HYMN CLXXXIII. Asvins. 183

    6 We have passed over the limit of this darkness: our praise hath been bestowed on you, O Asvins.

    HYMN CLXXXIV. Asvins. 184

    5 This praise was made, O liberal Lords, O Asvins, for you with fair adornment by the Manas.

    6 We have passed over the limit of this darkness: our praise hath been bestowed on you, O Asvins.

    10 Incline the Asvins to show grace, and Pusan, for power and might have they, their own

    Ila and Bhaga the celestial, Earth and Heaven, PusanPurandhi, and the Asvins, ruling Lords.

    HYMN XXXIX. Asvins. 39

    Asvins, these hymns that struggle to approach you, sharpen ye like an axe upon a whetstone.

    8 These prayers of ours exalting you, O Asvins, have the Grtsamadas, for a laud, made ready.

    7 With kine, Nasatyas, and with steeds, come, AsvinsRudras, to the house

    9 As such, O longedfar- Asvins, lead us on to wealth of varied sort,

    1. WITH lauds at break of morn the priest invoketh Agni, Dawn, Dadhikras, and both the Asvins.

    On Varuna and Mitra, on the AsvinsBhaga, the VasusRudras and Adityas.

    Bright, checkless, as it were upon the Asvins' path, he passeth by the stones and burneth up the

    16 My Sires are the Nasatyas, kind tokinsmen: the Asvins' kinship is a glorious title.

    HYMN LVIII. Asvins. 58

    She with the splendid chariot brings refulgence. The praise of Usas hath awoke the Asvins.

    Have not the sages of old time, ye Asvins, called you most prompt to come and stay misfortune?

    4 Remember us, and come to us, for ever men, as their wont is, invocate the Asvins.

    5 Even through many regions, O ye Asvins high praise is yours among mankind, ye Mighty-

    7 O Asvins, Very Mighty ones, with Vayu and with his steeds, oneminded-, everyouthful-,

    Asvins, to you are brought abundant viands in rivalry with sacred songs, unceasing.

    Asvins, your Soma sheds delicious sweetness: drink ye thereof and come unto our dwelling.

    AryamanMitraVaruna, and Indra with Visnu, of the Gods, Maruts and Asvins-

    Come, Asvins, to the dwelling of the pious: Surya the God is rising with his splendour.

    4 May those most powerful steeds and chariot bring you, O Asvins, hither at the break of morning.

    9 Long, O ye Asvins, may he live, your care, ye Gods, the princely son.

    Long life, O Asvins, O ye Gods.

    Of whose pressed stalk of Soma drink the AsvinsIndra, and Agni, wellinclined- in spirit?

    Rbhus, who helped their Parents and the Asvins, who formed the Milchcow- and the pair of horses,

    HYMN XLIII. Asvins. 43

    4 What is the prayer that we should bring you, Asvins, whereby ye come to us when invocated?

    HYMN XLIV. Asvins. 44

    1. WE will invoke this day your car, farspreading-, O Asvins, even the gathering, of the sunlight,

    Asvins, ye gained that glory by your Godhead, ye Sons of Heaven, by your own might and power.

    Who, for the sacrifices' ancient lover, turneth you hither, Asvins, offering homage?

    Because the men have sent you praise, O Asvins, and Ajamilhas come to the laudation.

    HYMN XLV. Asvins 45

    Refresh the way ye go, refresh the paths with meath: hither, O Asvins, bring the skin that holds

    5 Well knowing solemn rites and rich in meath, the fires sing to the morning Asvins at the break

    7 Devout in thought I have declared, O Asvins, your chariot with good steeds, which lasts for ever,

    The Dawn became the AsvinsFriend.

    3 Yea, and thou art the AsvinsFriend, the Mother of the Kine art thou:

    9 So may the Maruts sit thereon, the AsvinsMitraVaruna:

    3 You will I call to feed the carhorse-, Asvins, with the winds' flight swiftest of those who

    18 May we obtain the Asvins' newest favour, and gain their healthbestowing- happy guidance.

    8 Hither, as herald to invite the Asvins, come the great lofty song, most sweet and pleasant!

    17 May we obtain the Asvins' newest favour, and gain their healthbestowing- happy guidance.

    And may the Rbhus and the AsvinsTvastar and Vibhvan remember us so that we may have wealth.

    You, Asvins, Heroes rich in treasures, daily seeking your friendship fain would I turn hither.

    8 Associate with all the Gods, come, with the Asvins and with Dawn,

    11 May Bhaga and the Asvins grant us health and wealth, and Goddess Aditi and he whom none resist.

    HYMN LXXIII. Asvins. 73

    1. WHETHER, O Asvins, ye this day be far remote or near at hand,

    When by your great deeds, AsvinsChiefsAtri is brought to us again.

    Asvins, with truth they call you Twain bestowers of felicity;

    10 Most pleasing to the Asvins be these prayers which magnify their might,

    HYMN LXXIV. Asvins. 74

    1. WHERE in the heavens are ye today-, Gods, Asvins, rich in constancy?

    8 O Asvins, may your car approach, most excellent of cars for speed.

    10 O Asvins, when at any time ye listen to this call of mine,

    HYMN LXXV. Asvins. 75

    Asvins, the Rsi is prepared, your raiser, with his song of praise. Lovers of sweetness, hear my

    2 Pass, O ye Asvins, pass away beyond all tribes of selfish men,

    Asvins, with winged steeds ye speed down to cyavana void of guile. Lovers of sweetness, hear my

    Your flying steeds, O Asvins, bring you hitherward, with bliss, to drink. Lovers of sweetness,

    7 O Asvins, hither come to us; Nasatyas, be not disinclined.

    Beside the singer, Asvins, who longs for your grace and lauds you both. Lovers of sweetness, hear

    HYMN LXXVI. Asvins 76

    Borne on your chariot, Asvins, turn you hither and come unto our full and rich libation.

    2 Most frequent guests, they scorn not what is ready: even now the lauded Asvins are beside us.

    By day, by night, with favour most auspicious. Not only now the draught hath drawn the Asvins.

    4 For this place, Asvins, was of old your dwelling, these were your houses, this your habitation.

    5 May we obtain the Asvins' newest favour, and gain their healthbestowing- happy guidance.

    HYMN LXXVII. Asvins. 77

    The Asvins claim the sacrifice at daybreak: the sages yielding the first share extol them.

    2 Worship at dawn and instigate the Asvins: nor is the worshipper at eve rejected.

    Swift as thought, Asvins, rapid as the tempest, wherewith ye travel over all obstructions.

    5 May we obtain the Asvins' newest favour, and gain their healthbestowing- happy guidance.

    HYMN LXXVIII. Asvins. 78

    1. YE Asvins, hither come to us: Nasatyas, be not disinclined.

    2 O Asvins, like a pair of deer, like two wild cattle to the mead:

    3 O Asvins rich in gifts, accept our sacrifice to prosper it:

    Ye came to him, O Asvins, with the freshest and most auspicious fleetness of a falcon.

    Ye Asvins, listen to my call: loose Saptavadhri from his bonds.

    Ye, Asvins, with your magic powers rent up the tree and shattered it.

    5 That chariot of the Asvins, fair to look on, pleaseth me well, yoked with a thought, refulgent,

    HYMN LXII. Asvins. 62

    HYMN LXIII. Asvins. 63

    Bring all the Gods that they may give us riches, Sarasvati, the MarutsAsvinsWaters.

    4 Favour us Agni with his face of splendour, and Varuva and Mitra and the Asvins.

    Hence Rudra gained his Rudrastrength-: O Asvins, ye sought the house that hath celestial viands.

    1. AGNI at dawn, and Indra we invoke at dawn, and Varuna and Mitra, and the Asvins twain.

    1. I CALL on Dadhikras, the first, to give you aid, the AsvinsBhaga, Dawn, and Agni kindled well,

    Seating on sacred grass the Goddess Ila. let us invoke the sage swifthearing- Asvins.

    Indra, and Agni, and the Asvins, lauded. Preserve us evermore, ye Gods, with blessings.

    HYMN LXVII. Asvins. 67

    3 With hymns the deft priest is about you, Asvins, the eloquent priest attends you now, Nasatyas.

    5 Bring forward, Asvins, Gods, to its fulfilment my neverwearied- prayer that asks for riches.

    6 Favour us in these prayers of ours, O Asvins. May we have genial vigour, Never to fail us.

    10 Now hear, O Youthful Twain, mine invocation: come, Asvins, to the home where food aboundeth.

    HYMN LXVIII. Asvins. 68

    1. COME, radiant Asvins, with your noble horses: accept your servants' hymns, ye WonderWorkers-:

    3 Your chariot with a hundred aids, O Asvins, beareth you swift as thought across the regions,

    7 What time his wicked friends abandoned Bhujyu, O Asvins, in the middle of the ocean,

    Ye made the cow pour forth her milk like water, and, Asvins, strengthened with your strength the

    HYMN LXIX. Asvins. 69

    Whereon ye visit Godadoring- races, bending your course whither ye will, O Asvins.

    Herewith, O Asvins, while the dawn is breaking, to this our sacrifice bring peace and blessing.

    Uninjured, winged, flagging not, undaunted, with deeds of wonder saving him, O Asvins.

    8 Now hear, O Youthful Twain, mine invocation: come, Asvins, to the home where food aboundeth.

    HYMN LXX. Asvins. 70

    1. RICH in all blessings, Asvins come ye hither: this place on earth is called your own possession,

    3 Whatever dwellings ye possess, O Asvins, in fields of men or in the streams of heaven,

    Asvins, though ye have heard them oft aforetime, regard the many prayers which Rsis offer.

    7 This is the thought, this is the song, O Asvins: accept this hymn of ours, ye Steers, with

    HYMN LXXI. Asvins. 71

    2 Bearing rich treasure in your car, O Asvins, come to the mortal who presents oblation.

    With coursers yoked by Law drive hither, Asvins, your car whose reins are light, laden with

    6 This is the thought, this is the song, O Asvins: accept this hymn of ours, ye Steers, With

    HYMN LXXII. Asvins. 72

    3 Awakened are the songs that praise the Asvins, the kindred prayers and the Celestial Mornings.

    4 What time the Dawns break forth in light, O Asvins, to you the poets offer their devotions.

    5 Come from the west, come from the cast, Nasatyas, come, Asvins, from below and from above us.

    HYMN LXXIII. Asvins. 73

    The song invoketh both Immortal Asvins farreaching-, born of old, great WonderWorkers.

    Be near and taste the pleasant juice, O Asvins: with food, I call you to the sacrifices.

    5 Come from the west, come from the cast, Nasatyas, come, Asvins, from below and from above us.

    HYMN IXXIV.. Asvins. 74

    1. THESE morning sacrifices call you, Asvins, at the break of day.

    3 Approach ye and be near to us. drink, O ye Asvins, of the meath.

    With these your speedy coursers, Heroes, Asvins, come, ye Gods, come wellinclined- to us.

    5 Yea, verily, our princes seek the Asvins in pursuit of food.

    HYMN V. Asvins. 5

    Attend, O Asvins, on the Dawn.

    Kanvas must praise the Asvins dear to many, making many glad,

    Come, Asvins, to our song of praise

    10 O Asvins, bring us wealth in kine, in noble heroes, and in cars:

    14 Ye Asvins whom our minds perceive, drink of this lovely gladdening draught,

    Moved by the priests, O Asvins, conic.

    Asvins, are invoking you.

    Asvins, nearest to your hearts.

    Asvins, drink ye both therefrom.

    AtriSinjaraAsvins Twain

    27 For so much bliss, or even more, O Asvins, Wealthy Gods, than this,

    28 Ascend your car with golden seat, O Asvins, and with reins of gold,

    31 From far away ye come to us, Asvins, enjoying plenteous food

    32 With splendour, riches, and renown, O Asvins, hither come to us,

    37 As such, O Asvins, find for me my share of newpresented- gifts,

    HYMN VIII. Asvins. 8

    1. WITH all the succours that are yours, O Asvins, hither come to us:

    2 Come now, ye Asvins, on your car decked with a sunbright- canopy,

    Asvins, drink the savoury juice shed in the Kanvas' sacrifice.

    5 Come, Asvins, to give car to us, to drink the SomaAsvins, come.

    So now, O Asvins, come to us, come near to this mine eulogy.

    8 Do others more than we adore the Asvins with their hymns of praise?

    9 The holy singer with his hymns hath called you, Asvins, hitherward-;

    Then, O ye Asvins, ye attained all wishes that your hearts desired.

    11 Come thence, O Asvins, on your car that hath a thousand ornaments:

    The Asvins, Riders through the sky, have welcomed this my song of praise.

    13 O Asvins, grant us all rich gifts wherewith no man mav interfere.

    Come thence, O Asvins, on your car that hath a thousand ornaments.

    16 Bestow on him, O Asvins, food that strengthens, and that drops with oil,

    You, AsvinsLords of solemn rites, with calls entreating you to come.

    19 Come to us, Asvins, ye Who bring felicity, auspicious Ones,

    For these, O Asvins, graciously assist us in acquiring strength.

    22 O Asvins, may pure hymns of ours, and songs and praises, honour you:

    23 Three places of the Asvins, erst concealed, are made apparent now.

    HYMN IX. Asvins. 9

    1. To help and favour Vatsa now, O Asvins, come ye hitherward.

    Bestow, ye Asvins, upon us.

    3 Remember Kanva first of all among the singers, Asvins, who

    Asvins, for you with song of praise this hot oblation is effused,

    Therewith, O Asvins, succour me.

    7 Now hath the Rsi splendidly thought out the Asvins' hymn of praise.

    8 Ye Asvins, now ascend your car that lightly rolls upon its way.

    Or, Asvins, with our songs of praise, remember Kanva specially.

    Or, in the sacrificial chambers, Vainya Prthi, so be ye mindful of us here, O Asvins.

    12 Whether with Indra ye be faring, Asvins, or resting in one dwellingplace- with Vayu,

    13 When I, O Asvins, call on you today- that I may gather strength,

    Or as allconquering- might in war, be that the Asvins' noblest grace.

    14 Now come, ye Asvins, hitherward: here are oblations set for you;

    16 Together with the Goddess, with the AsvinsSpeech have I awoke.

    17 Awake the Asvins, Goddess Dawn! Up Mighty Lady of sweet strains!

    And to this manprotecting- home the chariot ofthe Asvins comes.

    And voices sound the song of praise, the Asvins' worshippers show first.

    21 When Asvins, worthy of our lauds, ye seat you in the fathers' house.

    HYMN X. Asvins. 10

    Or in a mansion that is built above the sea, come thence, ye Asvins, hitherward.

    I call BrhaspatiIndraVisnu, all the gods, the Asvins borne by rapid steeds.

    3 Those Asvins I invoke who work marvels, brought hither to receive,

    Or with your Godlike natures stand upon your cars, come thence, O Asvins, hitherward.

    8 And may the Asvins, the divine Pair of Physicians, send us health:

    20 The Maruts' high protecting aid, the Asvins, and the God who saves,

    16 That, wherewith MitraVaruna, and Aryaman, the AsvinsBhaga give us light,

    HYMN XXII. Asvins. 22

    Which ye ascended, Asvins, ye whose paths are red, swift to give Car, for Suryas' sake.

    3 These Asvins with our homage, these Two Omnipresent Deities

    The famous car that traverseth the heaven and earth, thereon NasatyasAsvins, come.

    As such will we exalt you, Lords of splendour, now, O Asvins, with our prayer and praise.

    9 O Asvins, mount the chariot, mount the golden seat, ye who are Lords of plenteous wealth,

    With those, O Asvins, come hither with speed and soon, and heal whatever is diseased.

    11 When we continually invoke the Asvins, the resistless, at this time of day,

    13 I speak to both of these as such, these Asvins whom I reverence at this time of day:

    15 For bliss I call. the blissful car, at morn the inseparable Asvins with their car

    17 Come, WonderWorkers-, to our home, our home, O Asvins, rich in cattle, steeds, and gold,

    HYMN XXVI. Asvins. 26

    Asvins, Heroes, let your car, famed, best to travel, come to us,

    Asvins, who send us precious gifts, even when offended, think of him:

    7 With allsustaining- opulence, Asvins, come hitherward to us,

    10 O Rsi, laud the Asvins well. Will they not listen to thy call?

    The Asvins help to glory honouring him well.

    About his dwelling go, ye Asvins, loving us.

    19 O Asvins, with that glorious fame come hither, through our brilliant song,

    8 O MarutsVisnuAsvinsPusan, haste away with minds turned hitherward to Me.

    HYMN XXXV. Asvins. 35

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, O Asvins, drink the Soma juice.

    Accordant. of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, O Asvins, drink the Soma juice.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, O Asvins, drink the Soma juice.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, O Asvins, bring us strengthening food.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, O Asvins, bring us strengthening food.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, O Asvins, bring us strengthening food.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, come thrice, O Asvins, to our home.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, come thrice, O Asvins, to our home.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, come thrice, O Asvins, to our home.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, O Asvins, grant us vigorous strength.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, O Asvins, grant us vigorous strength.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, O Asvins, grant us vigorous strength.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, and with the AdityasAsvins! come.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, and with the AdityasAsvins! come.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, and with the AdityasAsvins! come.

    Accordant, of One mind with Surya and with Dawn, the- pressers' SomaAsvins drink.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, the pressers' SomaAsvins drink.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, the pressers' SomaAsvins drink.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, drink juice, O Asvins, three days old.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, drink juice, O Asvins, three days old.

    Accordant, of one mind with Surya and with Dawn, drink juice, O Asvins, three days old.

    Approach, ye Asvins, come to us: I call you, eager for your aid. Grant treasures to the worshipper.

    Approach, ye Asvins, come to us: I call you, eager for your aid. Grant treasures to the worshipper.

    Approach, ye Asvins, come to us: I call you, eager for your aid. Grant treasures to the worshipper.

    Asvins, with songs the singer stones have made you hasten hitherward,

    5 As the sage Atri with his hymns, O Asvins, called you eagerly,

    HYMN LXII. Asvins. 62

    1. ROUSE ye for him who keeps the Law, yoke your steeds, Asvins, to your car

    2 Come, Asvins, with your car more swift than is the twinkling of an eye

    Asvins, ye overlaid with cold the fiery pit for Atris' sake:

    6 The Asvins, first to hear our prayer, for closest kinship I approach:

    7 For Atri ye, O Asvins, made a dwellingplace- to shield him well,

    12 One common brotherhood is yours, Asvins your kindred is the same:

    13 This is your chariot, Asvins, which speeds through the regions, earth and heaven

    17 He looked upon the Asvins, as an axearmed- man upon a tree:

    7 Regard us, IndraVisnu, here, ye Asvins and the Marut host,

    HYMN LXXIV. Asvins. 74

    1. To this mine invocation, O ye Asvins, ye Nasatyas, come,

    2 This laud of mine, ye Asvins Twain, and this mine invitation hear,

    3 Here Krsna is invoking you, O AsvinsLords of ample wealth.

    6 Come to the worshippers' abode, Asvins, who here is lauding you,

    8 Come hither, Asvins, on your car of triple form with triple seat,

    9 O Asvins, O Nasatyas, now accept with favouring grace my songs,

    HYMN LXXV. Asvins. 75

    HYMN LXXVI. Asvins. 76

    1. SPLENDID, O Asvins, is your praise. Come fountainlike-, to pour the stream.

    2 Drink the libation rich in sweets, O Asvins Twain: sit. Heroes, on the sacred grass.

    4 Drink ye the Soma rich in meath, ye Asvins Twain: sit gladly on the sacred grass.

    5 Come to us, O ye Asvins, now with steeds of many a varied hue,

    So, wondrous, fair, and famed for great deeds come to us, through our hymn, Asvins, when ye hear.

    Selfluminous- the Asvins drink.

    HYMN IX. Asvins. 101

    Accepting this our worship and libation, O Asvins bright with fire, drink ye the Soma.

    Asvins, that work of yours deserves our wonder, the Bull of heaven and earth and airs' mid

    7 He goes to IndraVayu, to the Asvins, as his custom is,

    2 Laid in the bowl, pureflowing- on to Vayu and the Asvins, may

    The MarutsAsvinsVayu, and BrhaspatiSavitarTvastar, tractable Sarasvati.

    HYMN XXIV. IndraAsvins. 24

    PusanBrhaspatiBhaga, both Asvins, and enkindled Agni we implore for happiness.

    6 Ye Asvins, make our sacrifice ascend to heaven, and animate the rite that it may send us bliss,

    HYMN XXXIX. Asvins. 39

    Asvins, your swiftlyrolling- circumambient Car which he who worships must invoke at eve and dawn.

    Asvins, bestow on us a glorious heritage, and give our princes treasure fair as Soma is.

    You, you who must be lauded, will we bring for aid, so that this foe of ours, O Asvins, may

    6 Listen to me, O Asvins; I have cried to you. Give meyour- aid as sire and mother aid their son.

    9 Ye Asvins Twain, endowed with manly strength, brought forth Reblia when hidden in the cave and

    10 On Pedu ye bestowed, Asvins, a courser white, mighty with nineandninety— varied gifts of

    Whom, Asvins swift to hear, borne on your glowing path, ye with your Consort make the foremost in

    12 Come on that Chariot which the Rbhus wrought for you, the ChariotAsvins, that is speedier

    13 Come, Conquerors of the sundered mountain, to our home, Asvins who made the cow stream milk for

    14 We have prepared this laud for you, O Asvins, and, like the Bhrgus, as a car have framed it,

    HYMN XL. Asvins. 40

    2 Where are ye, Asvins, in the evening, where at morn? Where is your haltingplace, where rest ye

    5 To you, O Asvins, came the daughter of a KingGhosa, and said, O Heroes, this I beg of you:

    6 O Asvins, ye are wise: as Kutsa comes to men, bring your car nigh the folk of him who sings your

    The bee, O Asvins, bears your honey in her mouth, as the maid carries it purified in her hand.

    7 To Bhujyu and to Vasa ye come near with help, O Asvins, to Sinjara and to Usana.

    Krsa and Sayu ye protect, ye Asvins Twain: ye Two assist the widow and the worshipper;

    And ye throw open, Asvins, unto those who win the cattlestall- that thunders with its serenfold

    Fain would we reach the dwelling of the vigorous Steer who loves the kine, O Asvins: this is our

    12 Your favouring grace hath come, ye Lords of ample wealth: Asvins, our longings are stored up

    14 O Asvins, WonderWorkers-, Lords of lustre, where and with what folk do ye delight yourselves

    HYMN XLI. Asvins. 41

    Or to the sages' poured libations ye approach, come thence, O Asvins, now to drink the offered

    Asvins, each day yours is the Adhvaryus' duty: Brahman and wood are here: itis yours to offer.

    1. THE welcome speaker in the storm of battle uttered with might this prayer to win the Asvins,

    4 I call on you the Sons of Dyaus, the Asvins, that a dark cow to my red kine be added.

    12 O Asvins, ye delivered Bhujyu from distress, ye animated Syava, Vadhrmatis' son.

    5 With Holy Thoughts Sarasvan, firmlawed- Varuna, great VayuPusanVisnu, and the Asvins Twain,

    Thousand hyenas in thy mouth thou holdest. O Indra, mayst thou turn the Asvins hither.

    Thou hadst a thousand treasures in possession. The Asvins, O thou Hero, gave thee riches.

    Soma was he who wooed the maid: the groomsmen were both Asvins, when

    14 When on your threewheeled- chariot, O Asvins, ye came as wooers unto Suryas' bridal,

    26 Let Pusan take thy hand and hence conduct thee; may the two Asvins on their car transport thee.

    Sing lauds for your great bliss to Wind, the breath of all: ye Asvins prompt to hear, hear this

    6 And let the AsvinsLords of splendour, set us free, both Gods, and, with their LawsMitra and

    7 Yea, let the Asvins Twain he gracious unto us, even Rudras, and all Gods, BhagaRathaspati;

    HYMN CVI. Asvins. 106

    7 Fierce Asvins(), like two powerful heroes(), you enable this moving, perishable mortal frame()

    Filled be our kine with ripened meath like glory: Bhutamsa hath fulfilled the Asvins' longing.

    I hold aloft both Varuna and MitraIndra and Agni, and the Pair of Asvins.

    May Gods, Brhaspati, both Asvins shelter from ill this sacrifice and sacrificer.

    4 Ye, AsvinsLords of Splendour, drank full draughts of grateful Soma juice,

    5 As parents aid a son, both AsvinsIndra, aided thee with their wondrous Powers and wisdom.

    And may the Asvins, both the Gods, strengthen the worshipper with bliss.

    HYMN CXLIII. Asvins. 143

    4 This claims your notice, Bounteous Gods! - oblation, Asvins! and our love,

    May the Twain Gods bestow the germ, the Asvins crowned with lotuses.

    3 That which the Asvins Twain rub forth with the attritionsticks- of gold,



    Excerpted from a blogpost of Manasataramgini (May 30, 2006):

    ashvina stuti


    The adi parvan of the mahAbhArata provides a remarkable “fossilized” sUktaM to the ashvins. It comes in the 3rd chapter of the adi parvan known as the pauShya section (1.3.60 in the critical Poona edition of the mahAbhArata). This section is a particularly interesting in terms of retaining some of the archaic structures of the epic, probably coming unadulterated from the original form of the jaya epic. Its frame narrates the tale of how janamejaya, the kuru emperor, and conqueror of takShashIla came to perform his infamous sarpa yaGYa to avenge the killing of his father parIkShit by the nAga chief. From this frame bud off many archaic tales, one of which is the tale of trial of the sage upamanyu of the clan of the vasiShThas. In this tale, upamanyu as a young student in the ashrama of his teacher Ayodo dhaumya was particularly well-fed in his appearance. dhaumya cuts off his means of food, namely from the alms received in the city or from the cows he took to graze, by instructing him not to eat or drink any of those things. In this state dhaumya asked upamanyu to go and graze his cows. upamanyu without any food eats the leaves of the arka plant and as a consequence goes blind and falls into a pit while crawling about. Upon seeing his absence at sunset that day, dhaumya and his students set out in search of upamanyu and call out to him in the pastures. They hear him crying out from a pit and mention his blindness. dhaumya asks him to invoke the ashvins. He immediately composes a series of R^ichas with which he praises the ashvins. As a result they are pleased and give him an apUpa cake. upamanyu states that he will eat the cake only after offering it to his teacher. They urge upamanyu to do so without offering him, but he refuses. Pleased with his devotion they relieve him of his blindness and the twin gods also give him a denture of gold, unlike the steel denture they had given his teacher dhaumya. As a result dhaumya states that upamanyu has passed his trial and blesses him to be a great scholar of the vedas and the dharmashAstras.

    This ashvina sUktaM of upamanyu (UAS) is a rather remarkable hymn in many respects:

    1) It is unlike most other material in the mahAbhArata actually very close to the vedic metaphors and style, using a triShTubh based meter that is typical of vedic. For example the use of the term dAsapatnI i.e one powered by the demonic dAsa or vala is clearly a vedic usage not encountered elsewhere in later Sanskrit.

    2) However, in its language it shows late features closer to the epic Sanskrit, particularly in the dvandva forms ending in –au as against the vedic forms with –A (e.g. nAsatyA or ashvinA). Use of aruNa instead of uShA is also atypical with respect to the vedic formulations.

    3) It alludes to several mythological motifs of astronomical provenance that are common in the veda but rarely found in those particular forms in the later Hindu mythologies. These include the important motif of the regeneration of the sun and dawns, which is strikingly expressed in multiple forms in this hymn as in the vedic hymns. These expressions include the ashvins leading forth the dawns, setting free the quail grabbed by the eagle, bursting of the mountain stronghold of vala to set free the days and waters and the swallowing of the embryo and its re-birth. Also present are the motifs of the wheel of time with 720 spokes (720 days and nights), with 12 spokes (12 months) and 6 seasons on the rim of the wheel. These are very similar to the metaphors used by dIrghatamA auchAthya of the clan of the a~Ngiras in hymn RV 1.165. Another metaphor used in the UAS is that of the 360 cows bearing one calf (the sun), which in turn equated with the gharma offering to the ashvins with the uktha chant in the pravargya rite.

    The whole setting of the upamanyu tale involves a mythography that recapitulates the sun regeneration myth often seen in the R^igveda. upamanyu, like other R^igvedic characters saved by the ashvins, namely chyavAna (buried in a termite hill), parAvR^ija and dIrghatamA, had gone blind, and like antaka and atri, other protégés of the ashvins, had fallen in a pit. This is an allegory to sun being lost in winter and is made more direct by the mention that quest for upamanyu, who had fallen in the pit begins after the sun had set. Further his denture of gold given by the ashvins is also a cryptic allegory for the returning sunshine.

    The UAS in not found in any surviving saMhitA of the veda and upamanyu is far removed in age from the hoary hymn composers of the R^ig and atharvaN. Instead, it appears that it represents an intermediate hymn, a late vedic composition in the epic period. This suggests that hymn composition in the R^igvedic style continued well into the epic period. It is thus a rare sample of the class of “Vedic” compositions that happened in the period of composition of the original jaya and is one of the survivals of the actual religious structures of the jaya period, which are hidden under the heavily pauranicized extant mahAbhArata. We will also reinforce this point with another short hymn, the indra stuti of utanka the bhArgava in the same section of the mahAbhArata.

    The frame tale of UAS also has a structure resembling the mythological fragments of the bR^ihad-devata of shaunaka and brAhmaNa texts, especially like those in the jaiminIya brAhmaNa. This suggests that a similar core set of ancestral mythological frame tales were reused both in the generation of brAhmaNa texts and the itihAsa. These are likely to represent the original itihAsa-purANa. The frame of the UAS suggests that it is a case where an actual history has been adapted to fit an influential pre-existing mythological motif. The weakening or disappearance of the sun in winter and its regeneration, along with the dawns and the release of the frozen waters, was a striking motif acquired in the northern homeland of the Indo-Europeans. Given the strong impression it left on the Aryans, it was reused in various contexts of act regeneration by the ashvins and other gods. This ancient memory was well-preserved in the language of myth and found its way in the narrative of upamanyu’s trial and revival.


    We provide below a translation and commentary on the UAS.


    1.3
    prapUrvagau pUrvajau chitrabhAnU girA vA sha.nsAmi tapanAvanantau .
    divyau suparNau virAjau vimAnAvadhikShiyantau bhuvanAni vishvA .. 60..

    You have existed before the emergence of the sun, the first-born beings, of beautiful luster. I desire your help with this chant, oh blazing ones who are infinite. You are the course of existence what pervades existence, the heavenly birds of beauteous feather and are in everything and pervade the universe.

    hiraNmayau shakunI sAmparAyau nAsatyau dasrau sunasau vaijayantau .
    shukra.n vayantau tarasA suvemAvabhi vyayantAvasita.n vivasvat .. 61..

    You are golden birds, you are the future of existence, the truth, with good noses and victorious in battle. Having generated the sun, you weave the wondrous cloth of the year by means of the white thread [of the day] and the black thread [of the night].

    grastA.n suparNasya balena vartikAm.h amu~nchatAm.h ashvinau saubhagAya .
    tAvatsuvR^ittAvanamanta mAyayA sattamA gA aruNA udAvahan .. 62..

    Oh ashvin twins, endowed with auspiciousness, you set free the quail seized by the the strong grip of the eagle. Oh leaders indeed you are of good [chariot] wheels and indeed un-deceivable, with your powers you go leading the dawns.

    ShaShTishcha gAvastrishatAsh cha dhenava eka.n vatsam.h suvate ta.n duhanti .
    nAnA goShThA vihitA ekadohanAs tAvashvinau duhato gharmamukthyam.h .. 63..

    Sixty cows and three hundred cows suckle one calf between them (1). The various cowpens together yield one milking, indeed this is the hot milk offering [gharma in the pravargya pot] with the uktha chant milked by the ashvins.

    ekAm.h nAbhi.n saptashatA arAH shritAH pradhiShvanyA viMshatirarpitA arAH .
    anemi chakram.h parivartate .ajaram.h mAyAshvinau samanakti charShaNI .. 64..

    There is one nave with 700 spokes fixed, also fixed to it are 20 more spokes (2). This spoked wheel, turns endlessly, you ashvins have set them together [spokes] in motion.

    eka.n chakra.n vartate dvAdashAram.h pradhi ShaNNAbhimekAkShamamR^itasya dhAraNam.h.
    yasmindevA adhi vishve viShaktAs tAvashvinau mu~nchato mA viShIdatam.h.. 65..

    The one wheel with twelve spokes, and the circumference with the six [season] rotates around the one axle without an end (3). Upon this the gods are all stationed, Oh ashvins free me from the influence of the toxin.

    ashvinAv-indram-amR^ita.n vR^ittabhUyau tirodhattAm-ashvinau dAsapatnI .
    bhittvA girimashvinau gAmudAcharantau tadvR^iShTamahnA prathitA valasya .. 66..

    Oh immortal ashvins and indra, you twins who generate the rotations, oh ashvins remove those powered by the demonic dasas. Oh ashvins, burst the mountain stronghold of the demon vala, and go fort to bring out the waters and spread out the day light.

    yuvA.n disho janayatho dashAgre samAnam.h mUrdhni rathayA viyanti .
    tAsA.n yAtamR^iShayo.anuprayAnti devA manuShyAH kShitimAcharanti .. 67..

    In the beginning, you twin youths generated [space] with ten directions; then you set the chariot moving in the [sky] above (4). The R^iShis, according to the course of the same [sun], perform their sacrifices, and the gods and men, accordingly occupy their respective stations.

    yuvA.n varNAnvikurutho vishvarUpA.ns te.adhikShiyanti bhuvanAni vishvA .
    te bhAnavo. apyanusR^itAsh charanti devA manuShyAH kShitimAcharanti .. 68..

    Youths! From the [basic] colors, you have produced all the various forms; it is from these objects that the entire universe is filled. Ordained by these rays of [color] the gods and men occupy their respective stations.

    tau nAsatyAv-ashvinAv-Amahe vAm.h sraja.n cha yAm.h bibhR^ithaH puShkarasya .
    tau nAsatyAv-amR^itAv-R^itAvR^idhAv R^ite devAs-tat-prapadena sUte .. 69..

    You nAsatyas, ashvins I worship you two, who wear garlands and bear lotus flowers. You nasAtyas, the immortal ones, the upholders of the R^ita, you impel the R^ita through which the devas attain their [stations].

    mukhena garbha.n labhatAm.h yuvAnau gatAsuretatprapadena sUte .
    sadyo jAto mAtaramatti garbhastAvashvinau mu~nchatho jIvase gAH .. 70..

    The embryo has been taken through the mouth, oh youths impel this one who has expired to obtain [his station]. The mother, eater of the embryo, has brought it out (5); Oh ashvins release me and bring to life.

    Notes

    (1) 360 cows are the days of the year giving birth to the calf, the sun. The allegory here is thus: At the end of 360 days, the year, the sun has declined or disappeared at the winter solstice. The sun is then born in the new year as the calf. In the same R^ik the pravargya gharma, which represent the sun is also mentioned.

    (2) 720 days and nights of the year are allude to here.

    (3) The twelve fold division of the year- the 12 vedic months, and the 6 seasons are allude to here.

    (4) An allusion to the sun’s chariot.

    (5) The metaphor suggests the embryo, implying the sun, is being eaten and born again at the year beginning.


    MBh 1.3.57 to 1.3.67 (Devanagari text transcribed in ASCII)

    prapUrvagau pUrvajau chitrabhAnU girA vAM shaMsAmi tapasA hyanantau. divyau suparNau virajau vimAnA- vadhikShipantau bhuvanAni vishvA.. 1-3-57 (756)hiraNmayau shakunI sAMparAyau nAsatyadasrau sunasau vaijayantau. shuklaM vayantau tarasA suvemA- vadhivyayantAvasitaM vivasvataH.. 1-3-58 (757)grastAM suparNasya balena vartikA- mamu~nchatAmashvinau saubhagAya. tAvatsuvR^ittAvanamaM tamAya yA- vasattamA gA aruNA udAvahat.. 1-3-59 (758)ShaShTishcha gAvastrishatAshcha dhenava ekaM vatsaM suvate taM duhanti. nAnAgoShThA vihitA ekadohanA- stAvashvinau duhato gharmamukthyam.. 1-3-60 (759)ekAM nAbhiM sapta sathA arAH shritAH pradhiShvanyA viMshatirarpitA arAH. anemi chakraM parivartate.ajaraM mAyA.ashvinau samanakti charShaNI.. 1-3-61 (760)ekaM chakraM vartate dvAdashAraM ShaNNAbhimekAkShamamR^itasya dhAraNam. yasmindevA adhi vishve viShaktA- stAvashvinau mu~nchato mA viShIdatam.. 1-3-62 (761)ashvinAvindumamR^itaM vR^ittabhUyau tirodhattAmashvinau dAsapatnI. hitvA girimashvinau gAmudAcharantau tadvR^iShTimahnAtprasthitau balasya.. 1-3-63 (762)yuvAM disho janayatho dashAgre samAnaM mUrdhni rathayAnaM viyanti. tAsAM yAtamR^iShayo.anuprayAnti devA manuShyAH kShitimAcharanti.. 1-3-64 (763)yuvAM varNAnvikurutho vishvarUpAM- ste.adhikShiyante bhuvanAni vishvA. te bhAnavo.apyanusR^itAshcharanti devA manuShyAH kShitimAcharanti.. 1-3-65 (764)tau nAsatyAvashvinau vAM mahe.ahaM srajaM cha yAM bibhR^ithaH puShkarasya. tau nAsatvAvamR^itAvR^itAvR^idhA- vR^ite devAstatprapade na sUte.. 1-3-66 (765)mukhena garbhaM labhatAM yuvAnau gatAsuretatprapadena sUte. sadyo jAto mAtaramatti garbha- stAvashvinau mu~nchathau jIvase gAm.. 1-3-67 


    ASWINS
    Google translation:

    "Two etymologies can be established for the word: 1) tha, in Sanskrit it means to remain, to stay; Ashva is horse. The name is attached to the sign of Mithuna (Gemini) in Vedic (Jyotish) astrology. The Gemini are named Ashwins (Dioscuros, in Greek mythology); Are divinities that make in heaven the transition from nighttime darkness to light, preceding the Sun (Surya), symbolizing as such the principle of conscious life, which is to move spiritually towards Brahman (The All). With the Ashwins comes Ushas, ​​the goddess of Aurora (Eos in Greek mythology). The Ashwins are knight gods and perform various functions, especially the doctor. They are healing deities in that they control the horses. The horse, as is well known in all traditions, is one of the great symbols of the unconscious psyche..."


    In the Vedas a dvandva-com- pound occurs, Indra-Nasatya; and in the Vendidad these two beings are repudiated together as Indram. . .Ndyhaithim. (Mary Boyce, 1989, A History of Zoroastrianism: The Early Period, BRILL., pp.205-206)

     


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    sarasvatI the devI and the sarasvatI the nadI

    June 3, 2012

    masitãm dûrât frasrûtãm ýâ asti avavaiti masô ýatha vîspå imå âpô ýå zemâ paiti frataciñti
    ýâ amavaiti fratacaiti hukairyât haca barezanghat aoi zrayô vouru-kashem ||

    The large river, known afar, that is as large as the whole of the waters that run along the earth; that runs powerfully from the height hukairya down to the sea vouru-kasha.
    ýaozeñti vîspe karanô zrayâi vouru-kashaya â-vîspô maidhyô ýaozaiti
    ýat hîsh aoi fratacaiti ýat hîsh aoi frazhgaraiti aredvî sûra anâhitâ,
    ýenghe hazangrem vairyanãm hazangrem apakhzhâranãm,
    kascitca aêshãm vairyanãm kascitca aêshãm apakhzhâranãm
    cathware-satem ayare-baranãm hvaspâi naire baremnâi ||
    All the shores of the sea vouru-kasha are boiling over, all the middle of it is boiling over, when she runs down there, when she streams down there, she, aredvî sûra anâhitâ, who has a thousand cells and a thousand channels: the extent of each of those cells, of each of those channels is as much as a man can ride in forty days, riding on a good horse.
    ainghåsca mê aêvanghå âpô apakhzhârô vî-jasâiti vîspâish aoi karshvãn ýâish hapta,
    ainghåsca mê aêvanghå âpô hamatha ava-baraiti hãminemca zayanemca,
    hâ-mê âpô ýaozhdadhâiti hâ arshnãm xshudrå hâ xshathrinãm garewãn hâ xshathrinãm paêma || yaShT 5.3-5
    From this river of mine alone flow all the waters that spread all over the seven Karshvares; this river of mine alone goes on bringing waters, both in summer and in winter. This river of mine purifies the seed in males, the womb in females the milk in females’ breasts.
    ambitame nadItame devitame sarasvati |
    aprashastA iva smasi prashastim amba nas kR^idhi ||
    Best mother, best of rivers, best of goddesses, sarasvati; We are,as though without praise, O mother, make us praised.
    tve vishvA sarasvati shritAyUMShi devyAm |
    shunahotreShu matsva prajAM devi didiDDhi naH ||
    In you, O goddess sarasvati, all lives are situated; be, pleased with shunahotra-s; O goddess grant us progeny.
    imA brahma sarasvati juShasva vAjinIvati |
    yA te manma gR^itsamadA R^itAvari priyA deveShu juhvati || RV 2.41.16-18
    Rich in vigor, O sarasvati, be pleased with these incantations of ours; the mental creations which the gR^itsamada-s dear to the gods bring to you the upholder of the R^ita.
    The devI sarasvatI and her Iranian counterpart aredvI sUrA anAhitA are descendents of the ancestral proto-Indo-European trans-functional goddess. They retain practically all the features of this ancestral goddess, some of which might be muted or redistributed among the European branches of the Indo-European tree:
    1) She is a regal or warrior goddess: This trait is very clear in the Vedic sarasvatI and the Iranian anAhitA, a trait, which in India, continues strongly in the later hypertrophy of the trans-functional goddess in the traditions of the purANa-s and the tantra-s. In the Greek world this trait is strongly preserved in their cognate Athena. In the Roman world she appears as seispes mAter regIna, and the last word in her triple title (like the Iranian triple title) corresponds to her role as the deity of the royal warrior, although far more muted than in the case of the former three. This regal link connection persists in the Celtic Eriu in the form of the tradition of the consecration of royal power in Ireland through Eriu and also is redistributed to the Celtic goddess Brigantia.
    2) Most importantly she is a goddess of water and moisture: In the world of the Arya-s this is emphasized by her name sarasvatI – full of ponds (PIE seles->saras) and among the Iranians by the term aredvI meaning moisture. This is also preserved in Greece in the form of the epithets of Athena like Herse which means dew-giver. Likewise, her epithet Glaucopis is explained as being the one who pours water from the skies and then clears to be blue in color like her eyes. In the Slavic world her triple title is mAti syrA zemljA, in which the syrA indicates her moisture. Similarly, her other name mokoshi means moisture. In the roman world this function appears to have been redistributed to Ceres. In the Indic and Iranian texts in particular she may be described as having the form of a physical river flowing down from a great height, but at the same time she is also the heavenly water or river (including the Milky Way).
    3) She is seen as bestowing various human wants like plants, ghee, oil, honey, progeny and being the cause of fertility of the land. She also importantly bestows good speech and intelligence – but this trait is prominently expressed only in the Indo-Aryan and Greek spheres in sarasvatI and Athena (though there are some allusions to this in the Iranian praise of anAhitA).
    Now, the 10th maNDala of the R^igveda contains a famous sUkta that contains a list of rivers that every practicing Arya utters during his bathing rituals to this date:
    imaM me ga~Nge yamune sarasvati shutudri stomaM sachatA paruShNy A |
    asiknyA marudvR^idhe vitastayArjIkIye shR^iNuhy A suShomayA ||
    Be pleased with my laud, O ga~NgA, yamunA, sarasvati, shutudri, and paruShNi;
    with asikni, marudvR^idha, vitastA, ArjIkI and suShomA hear [me].
    tR^iShTAmayA prathamaM yAtave sajUH susartvA rasayA shvetyA tyA |
    tvaM sindho kubhayA gomatIM krumum mehatnvA sarathaM yAbhir Iyase || RV 10.75.5-6
    First with tR^iShTAma you rapidly flow forth, with susartu and rasA with shvetI here,
    You sindhu, with kubha, gomati, krumu and mehatnu, seek you course together.
    The Indus system
    The geographical concordance of these rivers to the hydrography of the north of the Indian subcontinent is strong. Most rivers can be identified and show some geographical ordering. In the first R^ik we have rivers largely going from east to northwest:
    ga~NgA – yamunA – sarasvatI- shutudri (Sutlej)-paruShNi (Ravi) – asikni (Chenab) – marudvR^idha (maruvardhan) – vitastA (Jhelum) – ArjIkI (Haro) – suShomA (Sohan).
    The first two are the primary rivers of the ga~NgA system. Then shutudri, paruShNi, asikni, vitastA, ArjIkI and suShomA represent 5 successive rivers forming the east bank tributary system of the Indus. Of these the first four form the pa~nchanadI system before joining the Indus. Only marudvR^idha which is apparently the minor stream called maruvardhan is obscure today. Geographically the description is largely regular in that the rivers are given in the order in which they would be encountered moving east to northwest till the Indus. Some have suggested that ArjIkI is actually Beas, but this would break the order. Further, Vedic tradition outside the nadi-sUkta does remember the vipAshA as a separate river; hence, ArjIki is more likely to be Haro.
    In the second R^ik we have:
    tR^iShTAma (Tochi?) – susartu (Kunar) – rasa (Panjkora?) – shvetI (Swat)– sindhu (Indus) – kubha (Kabul) – gomati (Gomal) – krumu (Kurrum) – mehatnu (Bara?).
    Here Indus is named along with its west bank tributary system. In this case, the identity of some of the RV rivers with the modern streams is less certain to me, especially given that a clear direction pattern is not followed unlike the first R^ik. The general logic here appears to be to name the outer streams first followed by the main streams joining the Indus from the west. Nevertheless, given the abundance of extant tributary rivers in this region it is clear that all these streams can be “accounted for”. The main problem with the Indo-Iranian hydrography is that many of the hydronyms have been repeatedly used as the Indo-Iranians radiated out from their steppe homeland to occupy new territories. Thus, we have cognate names of sarasvati, sarayu, rasA, kubhA, sindhu both in the Indo-Aryan and Iranian spheres of activity, and appear in India proper, Afghanistan, and even the vicinity of the North Caucasus, where populations share a genetic signal with the Indo-Aryans that strongly stands out. Likewise, some cognate toponymns also appear in both in the Indic and Iranian worlds. However, in the case of the nadIsUkta the presence of multiple unique river names of the pa~nchanada as well as the unique ga~NgA and yamunA suggest that at least this sUkta was composed in northern India. This leaves us with only one major anomaly with respect to the rivers we see today – the river sarasvatI.
    Indo-Aryan tradition has an internal answer for this anomaly, i.e. the vanishing of the sarasvatI. A persistent tradition first encountered in the brAhmaNa-s and reiterated by the mahAbhArata states that the sarasvatI river dried up or vanished. This is described best in the context of two major rituals, the sArasvata sattra and the aponaptrIya. While these rituals are described in several brAhmaNa-s, the best account vis-a-vis the disappearance of sarasvatI comes form the pa~nchaviMsha brAhmaNa (PVB) account of the first sArasvata sattra and the aitareya brAhmaNa account of the aponaptrIya ritual. The PVB 25.10 (and also the jaiminIya brAhmaNa 2.297) states that the sattra is performed to the south of the place where the sarasvatI river vanishes starting on a new moon day. Then they move up the course of the sarasvatI, along the east bank performing devayajana as per the new moon and fullmoon models, and depending on the parvan culminating in a goShToma or AyuShToma. The important points that emerge from this account are: 1) The explicit mention of a place where the sarasvatI vanishes. 2) The cryptic allusion to the end of the sarasvatI: the deva-s are supposed to have supported the sun in the sky with the sarasvatI but it collapsed and hence it is supposed to be full of curves (tasmAt sA kubjimatIva). This suggests that the river was taking a winding course by the time of the brAhmaNa probably suggestive of loss of velocity and sediment bulk. 3) At some point along the journey of the ritualists, the dR^iShadvatI is supposed to join the sarasvatI on the east bank. Here they offer a plate of boiled rice to apAm napAt with sUkta of gR^itsamada in RV maNDala 2. This indicates that the sarasvatI vanished to the south of the junction with the dR^ishadvatI, strongly supporting the identification of dR^ihadvatI with the chautang. 5) At a certain point from the point of the disappearance of sarasvatI they reach a place called prakSha prAshravaNa (plakSha prAsravana) where they terminate the rite with an iShTi to agnI kAma. 6) Here mention is made of a pool located to the north of a large ruined town where the ritualists like the videha king namin sApya are supposed to have had their avabhR^ita bath. The mention of a large ruin on the course of the sarasvatI/dR^ishadvatI is of great interest because there are two prominent abandoned Harappan sites on their courses namely Kalibangan close to the sarasvatI-dR^ishadvatI saMgaMa and Rakhigarhi further upstream on the dR^ishadvati.
    The aponaptrIya rite described in 2.19 of the aitareya brAhmaNa mentions that the R^iShi kavaSha ailUSha was driven away from a sattra on the banks of the sarasvatI by the other ritualists who declared that he was a son of dAsa woman, not a brAhmaNa, and a fake. They drove him into the desert wishing that he would not drink the water of the sarasvatI and die there from thirst. As kavaSha was afflicted by thirst in the desert he invoked apAm napAt with a sUkta (RV 10.20) and the waters of the sarasvatI are said to welled out and run after him into the desert. The other ritualists realized that he was favored by the deva-s and called him back. From thence these mantra-s were used in the ritual for rains. What this account illustrates is that in the period of this brAhmaNa text Indo-Aryans were inhabiting the banks of the sarasvatI, which was proximal to a desert. Further the account cryptically describes the waters of the sarasvatI being drawn into the desert where they are lost as per the sAmavedic brAhmaNa-s. Thus, it is clear that the Indo-Aryans preserved a memory of the actual termination of the sarasvatI in the desert.
    In the late 1800s and 1900s philology was joined by geomorphology and archaeology in the quest for the sarasvatI. It was realized that there was a potential river course that connected the seasonal Hakra-Ghaggar and Chautang channels all the way to the Indian ocean in Gujarat. This channel was taken to be the lost sarasvatI. A Hungarian acquaintance brought to our attention how the aged Aurel Stein had realized in the 1940s from investigation of this dried up river channel that it was probably the sarasvatI and had a bearing on the age of the ancient texts of the Indo-Aryans like the veda-s and itihAsa-s. Subsequently, archaeology of the Harappan sites brought up a curious observation. Rather than the Indus valley, the bulk of the sites from the Early and Mature Harappan period lay in an extremely arid area within in what is now the western Indian desert. Closer examination showed that these sites lay clustered along what was supposed to be the dried up course of the sarasvatI going all the way from the region of the Panjab to the sea in Gujarat. This suggested that during the period from the early to the mature Harappan the sarasvatI was probably flowing perennially through what is now desert terrain (~5200-3900 y BP).
    Below are maps showing the geomorphology of the sindhu-sarasvatI-upper ga~NgA systems and the sites dating to the Early and Mature Harappan periods. The tracking of the sarasvatI channel by settlements is clear.
    The big cities are R: Rakhigarhi; K: Kalibangan; H: Harappa; M: Mohenjo-daro; D: Dholavira (Giosan et al)
    Temporal analysis of archaeological sites along the sarasvatI channels reveals that the peak of settlement was during the height of the Harappan civilization around 4500 y BP.
    The decline of the Harappan urbanization and the rise of the regional settlements between 3900-3500 y BP show a dramatic decline in the settlements in the lower reaches of the sarasvatI channel along with a progressive withdrawal of settlements closer to the sarasvatI-dR^ishadvatI saMgama. Thus, in the period between 3900-3500 BP we see that sarasvatI was unlikely to perennially carry water into the Indian Ocean and the settlement were withdrawing north-eastwards consistent with its vanishing into the desert downstream of the dR^ishadvatI confluence. This, suggests that this period is likely to correspond to the accounts of aponaptrIya or sArasvata sattra ritual where the ritualist began from the point where it disappeared in the desert up to beyond the dR^iShadvatI confluence. Further, the occurrence of a large ruin (sthUlArma) beyond the dR^iShadvatI confluence noted in the PVB 25.10 is probably the ruin of the Harappan site of Kalibangan.
    By around 3000 y BP, which marked the Painted-Greyware period, the settlements had nearly completely vanished downstream of the sarasvatI-dR^iShadvatI confluence and there remained only a few small sites along the upper reaches of the sarasvatI-dR^iShadvatI channels. This suggests that the brAhmaNa texts clearly predated the PGW period.
    Until recently the causes for the drying up of the sarasvatI remained highly unclear. Geomorphology suggested that at some point the yamunA used to flow west and meet the sarasvatI system rather than the ga~NgA system. Similarly, it has been noted that there is an ancient channel of the shutudrI that meets the sarasvatI channel and causes a widening of its course, suggesting that it too might have flowed into the sarasvatI. However, recent studies have shown that the sarasvatI was an active glacier fed river only the Pleistocene and not the Holocene. The capture of the yamunA by the ga~NgA system might have happened as early as 49,000 y BP, which is well before human civilization in the region. Likewise the shutudrI’s capture by the Indus system was complete by at least 10,000 y BP (Clift et al). Thus, the capture of glacial sources probably had nothing direct to do with the final end of the sarasvatI in the late Harappan period though it indirectly contributed to it. Here, is where a recent combination of sedimentological and climatological studies comes in throw some light on what actually happened (Giosan et al). The results of this study are summarized in the below graphs: 1) Based on O18 isotopes they suggest a decline in the monsoons around 4000-5000 y BP. This decline contributed the relatively lower danger of massive flooding allowing the Harappan civilization to emerge as the flooding hit just the “right level” for agriculture by inundation. However, between 3000-4000 y BP the aridification went beyond the sustainability of agriculture by inundation. 2) Based on sediment dating it is clear that despite loss of the glacial sources the sarasvatI channel remained active with high sedimentation rate from 8000-4000 y BP both on the lower and upper courses. This suggests that it was sustained as a perennially flowing river by the monsoonal activity. However, as the monsoon decline reached a certain point around 3900 y BP the high sedimentation rate deposit vanish on the sarasvatI and low-sedimentation rate deposits are seen in the upper courses. This suggests that the immediate cause for end of the sarasvatI was the decline in monsoon activity rather than the loss of glacial sources, which had happened much earlier in the closing stages of the Pleistocene.

    Here G-H is for Ghaggar-Hakra, i.e. sarasvatI; the black symbols are high sedimentation rates, the white symbols are low sedimentation rates and the grey symbols are sand dunes. In panel B, the grey line is westerly precipitation while the black line is monsoon precipitation (from legend to Fig. 4 of Giosan et al).
    A study of the crop pattern shows that during the Early and Mature Harappan phases the most cultivated crop was barley (yava), whereas in the post-urban phase the most cultivated crop was rice (vR^ihi), with a clear decline of barley. Similarly, dAl (lentil) cultivation greatly increased in the post-urban period, suggesting that common Indian staple of dAl and rice became the mainstay around this period.This shift is marked by the increasing movement of settlements towards the ga~ngA system, where they were not affected by the aridification of the west. This shift is interesting because in the earlier Vedic texts like the R^igveda rice is very infrequently mentioned, but barley is frequently mentioned. In the later ritual formalization of the brAhmaNa period rice offerings become very important (odana). This again suggests that at least part of the brAhmaNa material corresponds to the time of the post-urban phase of the Harappan civilization.
    This then leads to the question as to whether the early saMhitA texts correspond to the mature Harappan period and is there a knowledge of a full-flowing sarasvatI in them?
    This question and its answer are by no means trivial as some might think. Given that the sArasvata sattra was being performed even when the sarasvatI was drying and the center of the civilization was moving towards the ga~NgA system, it is likely that it had some historic sanctity about it. This is corroborated by its extensive memory preserved in the mahAbharata in terms of holy spots even when it was drying. The same is true of the manu smR^iti, which preserves a memory of the holiness of the region between the sarasvatI and the dR^iShadvatI (brahmavarta), even after the river had terminated in the desert. This sanctity of sarasvatI and memory of it being the core civilizational center (brahmavarta or the land of nahuSha) is unlikely to have been associated with it if the invading Indo-Aryans had merely encountered it after its diminution and desiccation. This is especially so because at this point it was the ga~NgA system, not the sarasvatI, which was the main civilizational center (this is supported by the fact that in the sArasvata sattra they finally terminate their journey with an avabhR^ita bath at kArapachava in the yamunA river). One could of course suggest the alternative that the knowledge of sarasvatI’s civilizational significance came from the pre-existing Harappans, who at that point had been Aryanized by the invading Indo-Aryans and were adopting the Arya system. Or one might suggest that the Aryanized Harappans managed to convince the Arya-s of the sanctity of a drying river, to the point that the Arya-s now referred to it after their own great transfunctional goddess of proto-Indo-European vintage. These alternatives seem less likely to us because they do not go well with the processes surrounding the extensive Indo-Aryanization of Northern India, where the memetic contribution of the substratum was relatively limited in the early days of the Indo-Aryan entry. This raises a possibility, which we have mentioned even in the past, that the entry of Indo-Aryan happened during the peak of the Harappan period or before that. Of course this proposal has its own formidable, though not insurmountable, problems.
    The RV saMhitA material is generally considered to be older than most (though not all) parts of the brAhmaNa material. This appears plausible based on the observation that some of these rituals are likely to have required a complete R^ik saMhitA. Thus, it is conceivable that the few explicit references to sarasvatI as the physical river in north India in the RV (e.g. the nadI sUkta and RV 3.23, i.e. the bhAratAgni sUkta) might belong to a period anterior to that alluded to in the brAhmaNa-s. This supports at least those parts being composed at a time when the sarasvatI was more active and overlapping with the peak of the Harappan civilization. Here one may ask: What is the big deal ? Does the RV not abound in references to sarasvatI ? This, in our considered opinion, is the most common confusion with respect to the RV. Yes, the RV abounds in references to sarasvatI, but this is the devI saravatI, and not a particular physical river. As noted above being a goddess fundamentally associated with water, she is often described in riverine terms – this does not at all mean that they are talking about any particular physical river. Here is where the comparative method illuminates the issue. Just as aredvI surA anAhitA is described as a massive physical river, the devI sarasvatI is also similarly described by gR^itsamada, bharadvAja and vasiShTha. This does not mean that all their sUkta-s are referring to the physical river. As there are so many parallels with the yaShT of anAhitA and the sUkta-s of sarasvatI it is clear that much of these compositions are based on models that were already present in the Indo-Iranian period and actually referred to the divine or celestial river that fed all the rivers as per the old Indo-European cosmography. This said, it is nevertheless notable that the Indo-Aryans chose to call the river flowing in the Ghaggar-Hakra course as sarasvatI after their great trans-functional goddess. This suggests that after their entry into the subcontinent, their center of activity was likely to be associated with the Ghaggar-Hakra river that was still displaying notable through flow.
    This leads us to a model, which we have articulated in the past, that the Indo-Aryan invasion probably led to a stimulation of civilizational development in the Harappan zone, rather than destroying it as proposed by some. In particular, we suspect that the Indo-Aryans of pastoralist origin in the Inner Eurasian steppes could actually connect the disparate civilizational centers in the Harappan zone by virtue of their inherent mobility. This allowed the development of the material uniformity which characterized the Harappan civilization at its peak. This uniformity was probably further stabilized by the introduction of the varNa system along with organization of the pre-Aryan Harappan people into formal guilds of jAti-s . That this happened is strongly suggested by the remarkable recitation that accompanies the puruShamedha (the Indo-Aryan human sacrifice: both real and symbolic), which is found in all the complete yajurveda saMhitA-s. As an example let us consider that from the mAdhyandina saMhitA, adhyAya 30. This recitation lists a large number of specialized occupations that are typical of more settled rather than pastoralist societies, some of which clearly match the Harappan society as suggested by archaeology:
    Manufacturers
    maNikAra: A beadmaker (beads are a major production item of Harappan sites); A peshaskArI: a garment-maker woman; rajayitrI: A dyer woman (specialized dying workshops are found in Harappan sites); palpUlI: A tanner woman; ajinasandha: a hide-preparer; hiraNyakAra: a goldsmith; vAnija with a balance: a baniya (balance weights are found in Indus sites); An ayastApa: a metal smelter; a~njanIkArI: a woman who makes cosmetics; kulAla: A potter; iShukAra/ dhanuShkAra/ jyAkAra: arrow smith; bow makers; rajjusarja: a rope-maker; kaNTakIkArI: a woman who makes needles; surAkAra: a beer brewer; rathakAra: a car-maker; A koshakArI: box-maker woman or a silk-maker woman.
    Diverse professionals
    bhiShak: physician; nakShatradarsha: astronomer; gaNaka: an accountant; prashna-vivAka: an consultant for questions; takSha: carpenter; mAnaskR^ita: an designer; adhikalpin: a casino manager; abhiShektR^i: a road sprinkler; dAsha: a ferryman; bhAgadugha: A pay distributer; kAri: mechanic; karmAra: an engineer or smith.
    Policing activity
    gR^ihapa: a house guard; kShattR^i: a door-keeper; abhikrosha: a policeman; vanapa: A forest guard; dAvapa: fireman.
    Agriculture and animal husbandry
    kInAsha: plowman; vapa: a seed sower; hastipa: elephant herder; ashvapa: horse herder; gopAla: cowherd; avipAla: shepherd; ajapAla: goatherd; shvanin: dog-breeder.

    The rare instances of the horse have been gathered but it should be mentioned that their provenance is uncertain
    It is interesting to note that while only two entries are provided for farmers, a highly diversified animal husbandry is presented. The word for the farmer seems to be of non-Aryan origin, being one of the early loan-words of the “ka/ki/ku” variety into Sanskrit. It could very well be a native Harappan word. Of these the horse, cow, sheep, goat and dog breeders are referred to by vintage Indo-European names that are shared across the Indo-European groups. The elephant- breeder, while having a name of purely Indo-European origin, was a purely Indic profession. Images or representations on seals of all these animals are known from the Harappan site, although representations of the horse are very rare. They are not seen on seals and to date no depiction of the horse-borne chariot is known from Harappan sites. This has been the strongest argument against any Indo-European presence in Harappa and remains the one important bit of evidence that stands against the other concordances.
    Forest and animal products
    dArvahAra: woodcutter; dhaivara: fisherman; shauShkala: a fish-drier; bainda: a stone-age tribesman; Anda: a fowler; parNaka: A betel leaf vendor; mR^igayu: hunter;
    Entertainment and music
    puMshchalI: A public woman; strIShaka: a female companion; vINavAda: vINa player; pAnighna: jAlra player; tUNavadhma: flute player; sha~Nkhadhma: a conch blower; sUta: story teller; shailUSha: an actor; mAgadha: a bard.
    Although some of the above occupations are clearly those of pastoralists, this diversification of occupations more consonant with settled societies. In general we observe that the Indo-Aryan texts, both the shruti and the early parts of the itihAsa, tend to emphasize only a few specific aspects and professions of this diversified society – they rarely or nowhere else mention the rest. This is in contrast with the West Asian and north African urban texts. Further, many of the professions have continued unbroken till recent times in bhArata, and interestingly most of the specialized jAti-s corresponding to these are categorized among the avarNa-s or mishra-varNa-s, outside of the four varNa-s. Thus, we posit that the Arya-s gained control of the Harappan civilization and fostered its integration by virtue of their mobility. They also helped organize the labor of the sedentary native Harappans into jati guilds, which were in large part outside the four varNa-s, and controlled the flow of goods and specialized labor between the the major urban and rural centers. In a sense a parallel might be seen with the activities of the tAntrika states in later day India. However, the Indo-Aryan elite remained mobile and did not participate directly in most professions of the Harappans – they just controlled them and consumed their products – this is reflected in their texts not frequently mentioning the above described professional diversity. Their role as a mobile force in linking up the urban centers made the Old-Indo-Aryan language the dominant link language, while the native Harappan languages remained restricted to the urban centers. Thus, when urbanization collapsed after 3900 y BP, the native languages of the urban centers faded out while Indo-Aryan languages proliferated and expanded as they were less affected by the loss of urban centers. It has often been remarked that the Harappan uniformity does not appear to be comparable to the uniformity imposed by a powerful monarch in a top-down fashion. Indeed, for a urban society there are hardly any depictions of the symbols of monarchy. We see this as also being consistent with a part of the controlling military and administrative elite being of a different type in this civilization – they were the mobile kShatriya-s and brAhmaNa-s. In reality several kShatriya clans and alliances could have operated in different zones, all unified by a common culture with divergence inhibited by marriage ties. A third kind of entity occasionally alluded to are the rich paNi or the vittadha who might be some kind of urban elite.
    Now certain white indologists and their imitators might chime in that these urban features alluded to above are related to the second Iron age urbanization closer to the time of the nirgrantha and the tathAgata which came after the “Vedic night” imposed by the Indo-Aryans. This is unlikely to be a correct view: First, we see that the lists of profession are seen in all the complete yajus saMhitA-s. That means it was likely to have been in the ancestral yajus saMhitA. While there are several temporal layers in the ancestral yajus saMhitA itself, its core can be dated based on the unambiguous astronomical marker of the kR^ittikA period ~4100-4400 y BP. So, there is no strong objection to placing the puruShamedha recitation to that period, which overlaps with the core Harappan period. The AV saMhitA-s also mention making shell bead or ornaments that vanish in late Harappan. On the other hand the RV and AV saMhitA-s do not mention glass, whereas the later brAhmaNa texts of the yajurveda mention glass – this in a sense parallels the rise of prominence of rice and tila and the sarasvatI ending in the desert. Glass, rice and tila all rise in importance in the late Harappan. Thus, we capture certain transitions in the Vedic tradition that are compatible with the first Bronze age urbanization and not the second Iron Age urbanization by which time the move to the ga~NgA system, which is captured in the late vedic texts and itihAsa-s was complete.
    In conclusion, we now see the idea of the invasion of the Indo-Aryans as a key force in the rise of the mature Harappan as being plausible. However, it is confronted with the formidable “horse problem”, so we can hardly be certain about it. Unfortunately, central Asian archaeology is guided by the late dates for the Indo-Aryans, thus seeing the Sintashta-Petrovka and Andronovo cultures as the beginning of the movement of Indo-Iranians southwards – the flawed Kuzmina hypothesis. These dates are simply untenable because the yajurveda contains unambiguous astronomical date markers that predate them and overlap precisely with the Mature Harappan. We opine that the focus should rather be on the Sredny Stog and Yamna cultures, which should closer to the old layers of the RV, for the beginning of the Indo-Aryan movement into the subcontinent. Another important exercise should be the plotting of the frequency of horse remains in the subcontinent over time to see if there are any preservational anomalies.
    ………………….
    References
    1) Clift PD, et al. (2012) U-Pb zircon dating evidence for a Pleistocene Sarasvati River and
    Capture of the Yamuna River. Geology 40:211–214.
    2) Giosan L, et al. Fluvial landscapes of the Harappan civilization; http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1112743109
    https://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/sarasvati-the-devi-and-the-sarasvati-the-nadi/

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    The great faceless man

    Jan. 29, 2017

    In the late Yajurvaidika upaniṣat, the Śvetāśvatara, which is the foundational text of the śaiva-śāsana, the god Rudra is described thus:
    na tasya pratimā asti yasya nāma mahad yaśaḥ।
    There is no one who his equal, whose name [itself] is great fame.

    This sentence has also been taken to organically imply something else among Hindus too: Statues are not made of the great people – their name itself is great fame. Keeping with this we mostly do not have statues of many of the great figures of Hindu tradition. For instance, we do not know how Bodhāyana or Āpastamba or Āśvalāyana or Paippalāda looked, though we take their names on a daily basis. So also with great men even closer to our times, like say Vācaspati Miśrā. Now, speaking of other heroes, like Rāma Aikṣvākava, whose name might be almost taken daily in some of our households, we have some kind of a description in the opening of the Rāmāyaṇa:
    ikṣvāku-vaṃśa-prabhavo rāmo nāma janaiḥ śrutaḥ |
    niyatātmā mahāvīryo dyutimān dhṛtimān vaśī ||
    Born in the Ikṣvāku clan, he is known among men by the name of Rāma. He is self-controlled, of great manliness, radiant, resolute, and has his senses under control.
    buddhimān nītimān vāgmī śrīmāñ śatru-nibarhaṇaḥ |
    vipulāṃso mahābāhuḥ kambugrīvo mahāhanuḥ ||
    He is intelligent, politically astute, eloquent, opulent, and an extirpator of foes. He is broad-shouldered, of mighty arms, with a conch-like neck, and strong-jawed.
    mahorasko maheṣvāso gūḍhajatrur ariṃdamaḥ |
    ājānubāhuḥ suśirāḥ sulalāṭaḥ suvikramaḥ ||
    His chest is broad, he is a great archer, his collar-bones are well-concealed, and is a suppressor of foes. With arms reaching up to his knees, with a good head, shapely forehead and good gait.
    samaḥ sama-vibhaktāṅgaḥ snigdha-varṇaḥ pratāpavān |
    pīnavakṣā viśālākṣo lakṣmīvāñ śubha-lakṣaṇaḥ || 1.1.8-11
    His body is well-proportioned, he is of smooth complexion and mighty. His chest is rounded, his eyes large, he is prosperous and with auspicious marks.
    Similar accounts might be found elsewhere in the Rāmāyaṇa too. One thing which comes out of this account is that it is fairly generic for a mighty kṣatriya except for one specific, unusual feature namely “ājānubāhuḥ” – i.e. that his arms reached down to his knees, which might have been a peculiar characteristic of the man himself. Thus, while one can build a generic image of emperor Rāma as a mighty kṣatriya, we can still say we do not know how he *exactly* looked. Now, this is in part keeping with a the broader issue we have discussed earlier, namely the iconic depictions of deities among the early Hindus. As we argued before such existed but were not prominent and were perhaps “primitive” keeping with the archaeological evidence from several early Indian sites. In this sense the Indian iconography mirrored the primitivism of the early Greek iconography.
    This is in stark contrast to Egypt where their great Pharaohs are known more from their portraits rather than epic narratives. When we see the images of the lordly Pharaohs, while stylized, there is clearly an element of individuality behind them. Over the ages of its heathen existence, in addition to statues, Egypt developed an even more realistic portraiture in other media. It is conceivable that this Egyptian tradition of portraiture spread through West Asia and then Europe influencing other cultures, first Semitic and then Indo-European. Thus, we see it emerge first among the Hittites to some extent and then eventually among the yavana-s (here collectively Greek and Macedonian) and romāka-s. Thus, by the time of the Macedonian invasion of India we we see a vigorous tradition of realistic royal portraiture on their coins, medallions and mosaic work that has moved far away from their ancestral primitivism. Early Indian coinage was abundant in symbolism and even primitive iconography of Hindu deities but not royal portraits. However, in the years following the Macedonian attack we see an emergent tradition of such portraiture both on coins and in the form of larger icons as seen in the case of Aśoka the mighty Maurya. This trend would suggest that the impulse for portraiture eventually reached the Indian world only via the Macedonians. Likewise, there have also been plausible suggestions that the movement of yavana-s eastwards along with contacts with the now fully portrait-using Hindus sparked the emergence realistic portraiture among the cīna-s along side the unification by the Chin. This manifest burst upon the scene on a truly cīna scale in the funerary statuary of the Chin conquerors.
    But is this the whole story? The mysterious Harappan civilization of India produced rare but striking pieces of realistic human portraiture. The most iconic of these is the famous bearded man with a trefoil-patterned garment. There are also several terracottas but these generally retain the primitivism typical of the Indo-European productions. Thus, while portraiture existed in the Harappan world, it was certainly rare relative to the coeval linked civilizations of West Asia and Egypt. So in this sense the Harappan civilization was rather in line with the Indo-European world (though we do not know right now if they had any Indo-European component or influence at all). What about the Indo-Aryan literature? There is nothing indicating a tradition of realistic human iconography in śruti. The itithāsa-s too leave us with at best with slim pickings in this regard – e.g. we hear of the iron image of Bhīmasena used by Duryodhana for his mace-practice but this need not have been realistic. However, in the paurāṇika tradition as it has come down to us today we see that portraiture had a vigorous and full blown expression. In between we have Patañjali who explains a sūtra in the Aṣṭādhyāyi by stating that statues of the sage Kāśyapa were made. Keeping with this, the early surviving vāstu text, the Mānasāra describes how the statues of the the seven great brahminical sages were made. We have evidence from the Skanda-sadbhāva tantra that indeed such statues were made an installed in ancient Kaumāra temples. We even hear of a statue of Pānini that was there in home town, which has evidently been destroyed by the Mohammedans sometime after Xuan Zang recorded seeing it in the 600s of CE. Importantly, despite the potential role of a yavana impetus, the Hindu style remained conservative and distinct, even in places of closest proximity to the yavana in the Northwest of the subcontinent. Hence, on the whole we have some evidence that Hindus had an independent early tradition of portraiture though much of that has not survived and/or they did not emphasize it in any serious way.
    However, it does remain a fact that the explosive spread of *extant* portraiture mostly post-dates the Macedonian invasion, which could imply a causal link between the two. Of this most traces have been erased outside the peninsular tip by the evil hand of the Army of Islam. In Nepal however some early specimens survive such as the image of king Jayavarma-deva from śaka 105= 185 CE. In a 3 century time window from that point we also see traces portraiture among the Śuṅga-s, Andhra-s, and Iranic rulers (Kuṣāṇa, Pahālava, Śaka) in India. In discovering and describing the image of king Jayavarman of Nepal, Tara-ananda Mishra has given an excellent account of the evolution of portraiture including several points we have independently arrived at. Other than royal portraiture there appears to have been a vigorous tradition of the imagery of persons endowing religious images and constructions. Moreover, śaiva teachers of both the mantra-mārga and atimārga, extraordinary śaiva and vaiṣṇava devotees, and siddha-s were also prominent objects of whole-body portraits. Statues of such were once common throughout India but have been mostly damaged or demolished in the north. Thus, in south India we can still see statues of emperor Kṛśṇadeva or Govinda Dīkṣita but we do not have the original image of the great Bhoja-deva or Lalitāditya.
    Yet, despite all of this, on the whole the the majority of our great figures have not survived in portraiture, perhaps indicating a real Hindu tendency for the statement: na tasya pratimā asti yasya nāma mahad yaśaḥ। . We too seem to be resonant with this Hindu tendency and take it in a broad sense as was possibly understood by many of our greats of the past. In large part we believe that a man’s visual image or for that matter several details of his life should not matter at all. All that should matter are the words he leaves behind – do you find something in them or not – that’s all. Indeed, this is how it is for Āryabhaṭa-I or Bhāskara or Nīlakaṇṭha Somayājin. They are their words not their portraits or even biographies. Now one may ask: “Have you not said there is great value in studying the biographies of past intellectuals?” I still hold that view but have always held that not all of their biography really matters. Indeed most Hindu notables have left behind colophonic biographies that only stress the needful in the best case scenario. For instance, they are not shy of revealing their youthful genius, like bhaṭṭa Jayanta recording his advanced grammatical research as a kid or mathematician-astronomer Gaṇeśa recording his discoveries like the hyperbolic approximation of trigonometric functions in his teens or Vaṭeśvara his discovery of mathematical recipes for astronomy in his twenties.
    This contrasts what we observed among the mleccha-s today and its back-flow to the Hindus. The person, his appearance and certain incidental aspects of his biography (e.g. ones sex, sexual escapades or sexual orientation) seem to matter a lot. Indeed, the appearance of a person has a serious correlation to his/her intellectual influence especially in a lokābhimukha sense. There is a drive to get people who look acceptable in a mleccha sense as the face of even an intellectual matter, like physics. I was amazed by how certain bhārata-s known to me converged to a similar style of appearance after hitting the talking circuit in the mleccha world. More than a person’s intellectual substance what matters is that they lie at one extreme of the bell-curve in terms of the mleccha-defined (partly universal) measure of appearance, appeal, etc. Almost as though out of guilt, the mleccha-s would then balance it with a few chosen tokens from the other extreme of the normal distribution (e.g. the diseased, the handicapped and the rare ethnicities) and pepper it with elements of what matters in the mleccha facade: e.g. aberrant sexuality. Finally, in the biographic sense, often what the person holds on matters well-beyond his/her expertise is of great importance in his/her projection as an icon: s/he better mouth liberal platitudes along the lines of how they are out to save the world, save the disadvantaged, and other feel-good messages quite removed from reality and sometimes even biology all while looking ‘cool’ at the same time. This would have even been half-understandable where it not for the concomitant insistence of the mleccha system being “equal opportunity”.
    In face of this facade we think great father Manu had a point – the brāhmaṇa intellectuals are best off being low-key in such dimensions – the faceless intellectual whose biographic peculiarities matter little. In conclusion, perhaps keeping with the Hindu tepidity towards portraiture, we subscribe to the view that it is better for a man’s words than his portraits to linger on after Vaivasvata takes him away – indeed what use is it to be like the mysterious brāhmaṇa from what is today Afghanistan, the fragment of whose portrait is placed for auction in a mleccha market.
    https://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/the-great-faceless-man/

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    Mirror: http://tinyurl.com/zjw7mba

    Materialistic interpretation of Agni, Indra, Surya in Rigveda are related to process Soma, metal in pyrites. 2857, 1858, 1483, 457 ri-cas of Rigveda adore Indra, Agni, Soma and Surya. Indra, Agni, Surya and key components in the processing of Soma.
    I suggest that Indra is a pun on the expressions indhastha ʻ fuel -- place ʼ and angāra 'carbon' inflused into metal to harden it (carburization) in fire is realized by the godhuma'wheat chaff'caSAla on the Yupa, the signature tune of Soma Yāga. Asvinā as charioteers mediate with Surya to achieve the desired metalwork out of the dhātu 'minerals'. This central theme is signified by the chariot of the Sun drawn by aquatic birds.
    "Duplijaja chariot" now in the museum in Belgrade. The swan is a Meluhha hieroglyph read rebus: 

    The bird hieroglyph: karaḍa

    करण्ड  m. a sort of duck L. కారండవము (p. 0274) [ kāraṇḍavamu ] kāraṇḍavamu. [Skt.] n. A sort of duck. (Telugu) karaṭa1 m. ʻ crow ʼ BhP., °aka — m. lex. [Cf. karaṭu — , karkaṭu — m. ʻ Numidian crane ʼ, karēṭu — , °ēṭavya — , °ēḍuka — m. lex., karaṇḍa2 — m. ʻ duck ʼ lex: see kāraṇḍava — ]Pk. karaḍa — m. ʻ crow ʼ, °ḍā — f. ʻ a partic. kind of bird ʼ; S. karaṛa — ḍhī˜gu m. ʻ a very large aquatic bird ʼ; L. karṛā m., °ṛī f. ʻ the common teal ʼ.(CDIAL 2787) Rebus: karaḍā ‘hard alloy’.

    Rebus: karandi 'fire-god' (Remo) kolmo 'three' rebus: kolimi 'smithy, forge' Thus, the three swans drawing the Sun chariot are an adoration of the fire-god.

    Two chariots were discovered in Dupljaja city, signifying Bronze Age in the Serbian Danube and south Banat. The Indus Script hieroglyphs on the artifacts are: 1. aquatic bird (three); 2. dotted circles; 3. svastika hieroglyph; 4. twisted curles as torc.5. Nave of wheel The aquatic bird signifies karandi 'fire-god'. The dotted circles signify dhAu 'minerals'. The svastika signifies jasta 'zinc'. The twisted curls as torc on the Sun charioteer signify: मेढा [mēḍhā] A twist or tangle arising in thread or cord, a curl or snarl (Marathi). Rebus: meḍ 'iron, copper' (Munda. Slavic) mẽhẽt, meḍ  'iron' (Munda). Rebus: medha 'yajna'.मेध [p= 832,3] an animal-sacrifice , offering , oblation , any sacrifice (esp. ifc.ib. MBh. &c मेधाa symbolical N. of the letter ध् Up.= धन Naigh. ii , 10. any valued object , (esp.) wealth , riches , (movable) property , money , treasure , gift RV. &c. eraka 'nave of wheel' rebus: erako 'moltencast, arka, 'copper'. arka'sun'. (Dotted circles adorn the shawl worn by the priest statue, Mohenjo-daro). Consistent with Naighantuka, the word medhA also means 'कविधानम्' according to s'abdakalpadruma: I assume that medhA = dhAnam means (in the context of the hieroglyph on Dhruva II inscription): धानम् dhānam नी nī धानम् नी [धा भावे-ल्युट्] 1 A receptacle, seat; as in मसीधानी, राजधानी, यमधानी; रविं दधाने$प्यरविन्दधाने Śi.4.12. -2 Nourishing, nourishment. -नी 1 The site of a habitation. See: 

    http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2015/11/priest-of-dhavad-iron-smelters-with.html 

    Priest of dhā̆va 'iron-smelters' with Indus script hieroglyphs signifies पोतृ,'purifier' of dhāū, dhāv 'red stone minerals' 

    .
     Two views of Dupljaja Chariot 1.
     Municipal Museum in Vrsac .Dupljaja chariot 2. National Museum.Belgrade. Bronze Age in the Serbian Danube and south Banat . https://at37.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/

    See: https://www.academia.edu/1670618/_Queer_dress_of_the_sun_god_The_Dupljaja_cart_engendered_and_cross-dressed



    https://www.academia.edu/1337535/From_Dupljaja_to_Delphi_the_ceremonial_use_of_the_wagon_in_later_prehistory

    Matić, Uroš. 2010. Dupljajska kolica i tela koja nešto znače. Genero: časopis za feminističku teoriju i studije kulture 14 (2010): 129-159. https://www.academia.edu/1188804/Mati%C4%87_Uro%C5%A1._2010._Dupljajska_kolica_i_tela_koja_ne%C5%A1to_zna%C4%8De._Genero_%C4%8Dasopis_za_feministi%C4%8Dku_teoriju_i_studije_kulture_14_2010_129-159

    Image result for agni ancient indiaAgni with characteristic symbol of the ram, wood carving; in the Guimet Museum.
    WLANL - 23dingenvoormusea - Suryabeeldje.jpgSurya-Beeldje. dingen voor musea from Nederland  

    "The Trimurti idea of Hinduism, states Jan Gonda, "seems to have developed from ancient cosmological and ritualistic speculations about the triple character of an individual god, in the first place of Agni, whose births are three or threefold, and who is threefold light, has three bodies and three stations".[49] Other trinities, beyond the more common "Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva", mentioned in ancient and medieval Hindu texts include: "Indra, Vishnu, Brahmanaspati", "Agni, Indra, Surya", "Agni, Vayu, Aditya", "Mahalakshmi, Mahasarasvati, and Mahakali", and others." (Jan Gonda (1969), The Hindu Trinity, Anthropos, Bd 63/64, H 1/2, pages 212-226; David White (2006), Kiss of the Yogini, University of Chicago Press, pages 4, 29)

    In deities that are similar to Indra in the Hittite and European mythologies, he is also heroic. (John Colarusso (2014). Nart Sagas from the Caucasus: Myths and Legends from the Circassians, Abazas, Abkhaz, and Ubykhs. Princeton University Press. p. 329.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra

    (Indra) May the strong Heaven make thee the Strong wax stronger: Strong, for thou art borne by thy two strong Bay Horses. So, fair of cheek, with mighty chariot, mighty, uphold us, strong-willed, thunder armed, in battle.
    — RigVeda, Book 5, Hymn XXXVI: Griffith
    Indra appears in ancient artworks, and is known by many names. Top: 2nd century CE Kushan Empire Buddhist relief showing Indra as paying homage to the Buddha Bottom: Hindu gods Surya and Indra guarding the entrance of the 1st century BCE Buddhist Cave 19 at Bhaja Caves (Maharashtra)
    Indra at Ajanta Caves
    Indra on elephant.Ellora Caves.
    Indra-Indrani. 9th-century Mirpur Jain Temple in Rajasthan (rebuilt 15th-century).
    The Buddha (middle) is flanked by Brahma (left) and Indra, possibly the oldest surviving Buddhist artwork
    Indra is typically featured as a guardian deity on the east side of a Hindu temple.


    http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2017/02/itihasa-in-rigveda-du-two-asvins.html 

    Itihāsa in Rigveda.अश्विना du. 'two Aśvins', metaphor for sensory categories, five dhātu 'elements of the earth' 



    agní1 m. ʻ fire ʼ. RV. Pa. aggi -- , aggini -- , gini -- m.; Pk. aggi -- , agii -- , agai -- m., Aś. agi -- , Gy. pal. ag ʻ fire, matches ʼ, agi also ʻ hell