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Indra and Other Vedic Deities

A Euhemeristic Study

In deities : whether in anthropomorphic or symbolic forms, the Vedic sages conceived a transcendent principle, which is far too subtle, far too abstract for the ordinary minds to grasp. And likewise, they concretized "as d....read below

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About This Book

In deities : whether in anthropomorphic or symbolic forms, the Vedic sages conceived a transcendent principle, which is far too subtle, far too abstract for the ordinary minds to grasp. And likewise, they concretized "as divinities" the various forces of nature -- recognizing the indispensability of rain and thunder, of the sun and fire for human survival.

Alongside the material representations of the cosmic order or of nature and nature-related phenomena, mankind has also mythologized some of its exceptionally great personalities (like, for instance, the Buddha, Mahavira and Jesus), who were believed to incarnate superhuman qualities or the highest of human ideals -- though these deities of our times were veritably the 'magnified' men of real history. Dr. Uma Chakravarty's book investigates this phenomenon of euhemerism: the deification of historical personages, from among the divinities of Vedic writings.

It is the first, all-exclusive study to look into the evolution of euhemeristic deities of the Vedic period and how these mortals-turned-gods came to have varying deific positions on the hierarchic scale of the Vedic pantheon. Meticulously describing Indra, the Ribhus, the Ashvins and the Maruts -- together with the connotations of their names and epithets -- the author not only explores the rationale behind the age-old euhemerism, but even the historicity of the events leading to their mythologization.

Supported by extensive bibliographic references, the book is a brilliant effort to demonstrate the complementarity of history and mythology. And is, thus, invaluable to the scholars of Indology and its kindred disciplines.

  • Foreword By : R.N. Dandekar
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124600801
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124600805
  • Edition : 2nd Impression
  • Year : 2006
  • Pages : xiv, 232
  • Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Glossary; Index
  • Size : 23 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 400 gm

Foreword
Acknowledgement
Abbreviations

Introduction

1.The Ribhus

Etymology of the Word 'Ribhu'
Genealogy
Fourfold Achievements of the Ribhus

'Camasa' -- The Fifth Achievement and the Right to the Soma-libation

Scholars' Opinions on the Fourth 'Camasa'

The Ribhus -- Solar Deities

Epithets
The Ribhus and the Other Gods
Scholars on the Identity of the Ribhus
Conclusion

2.The Ashvins

The Divine Doctors Ashvins and the Soma Drink
The Heavenly Twins and a Maiden
The Ashvins: An Incarnation of the Universal Twinship Motif

3.The Maruts

Etymology of the Word 'Marut'
Storm-Rain-Gods
Warrior Gods
Anthropomorphic Features
The Bright Maruts
The Howling Maruts
The Maruts' Anger
The Fearful Maruts
All the Maruts are Equal
The Maruts as Birds
The Maruts and Soma Libation

The Maruts' Animals -- The Prishatis, the Horses

The Parents of the Maruts
Rodasi, the Female Associate of the Maruts
The Maruts and Other Gods
Indra
The Maruts and Agni, Vishnu, Varuna, Vayu, Niriti, Etc.
The Proteges of the Maruts

Maruts -- The Maryas

The Maruts: Gana, Shardhas, Vrata, Vishah
The Maruts Euhemeristic
Geography and History in the Marut-Hymns
The Literary Beauty of the Marut-Hymns
The Maruts in the Atharvaveda
The Maruts in the Taittiriya Samhita, Brahmanas and in the Sutras
Opinions of Scholars on the Identity of the Maruts
Conclusion

4.Indra

On the Etymology of the Word 'Indra'
Indra, the War God
A God of Strength
Purah
Vajra
Soma
The Haris
Indra and War
Indra's Proteges
Indra's Proteges Against the Dasa-Dasyu-Enemies

Kutsa -- Atithigva -- Rijishvan -- Dabhiti -- Babhru -- Purukutsa

The Proteges Safe-Guarded Against Non-Dasa-/Dasyu-Enemies

Sushravas -- Turvasha and Yadu -- Cayamana Abhyavartin -- Sudas -- Etasha -- Mudgala and Mudgalani
Turviti, Vayya and Manu -- KIng Vrishashrnga's Five Sons

Proteges Cured of Physical Disabilities
Conclusion
Indra-Vritra

Danu -- Vritra's Mother
Vritra -- Headless and Footless
Indra Needed External Help to Kill Vritra
Indra, the Releasor of Waters
Parvata
Scholars on the Indra-Vritra Myth
Conclusion

The Epithets
Martial
Supremacy
Royal
Genealogical
Anthropomorphic
Epithets Denoting Friendship with Other Gods
Indra and Other Gods
Surya

Indra is Above Surya -- Rivalry -- Indra and Surya Very Close to Each Other: Identified

Varuna
Vishnu
Tvashtri
Sarasvati and the Ashvins
Aditi
Pushan
Brihaspati

Indra, The Highest God -- Through Gratification, Through Eulogy

Indra in the Yajurveda
Indra in the Atharvaveda
Opinions of Scholars on the Identity of Indra
Conclusion

Bibliography
Glossary
Index

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