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Did Indra, Varuna, and Yama used to be seen as a Triad?

Discussion in 'Dharmic Religions DIR' started by Buddha Dharma, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    I own a book called Gods of Veda. The book contains essays about the Devas, including by thinkers like Aurobindo.

    In one of the chapters it is claimed that Indra, Varuna, and Yama used to be seen as a Trimurti in ancient times by some people.

    Is that so? I'm really curious.

    Bonus question: If they did constitute a Triad- did that influence the Greeks or vice versa with the 'Big Three'?
     
  2. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I don't think so. But I do not know.
     
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  3. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Thanks for the response. I hope someone else can answer, or I may have to get the book out again and do some research if I want to know that badly. You know how fun it can be to research such matters if there's a lack of English translated texts for western converts to a Dharmic religion like me.

    I mean the Sanskrit lessons could probably do me some good, but I'm kinda lazy sometimes.
     
  4. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    There is no mention of such a triad in Rig Veda at least. Nor in the Upanishads. Nor in Mahabharata. That much I can say.
     
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  5. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    I guess it's possible that the author was referencing the Greeks with Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades when he said it- since those three are commonly thought to be their Vedic counterparts. Saying then, that the Greeks saw them like that.

    Possibly the author meant that. I could go back and look.
     
  6. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    That could be it. The Greeks had that triad. The counterparts are correct, but they don't form a triad. In fact in an earlier strata, Varuna occupies the position of the God most High. Here is a reasonable summary of Varuna in Rig Veda,


    The Ādityas are sons of the goddess Aditi, whose name means “offenselessness” or “innocence.” She embodies obedience to the principles of right social behavior that her sons represent. Later, the motherhood of Aditi becomes central to her identity and she becomes a mother to other deities.
    The most prominent of the Ādityas is Varuṇa, whose name is related to vratá
    “commandment” and who therefore is the god of commandments. While all the
    major Ādityas are kings, Varuṇa in particular represents the authority of the king.
    In IV.42, as in the later Rājasūya, the king becomes both Varuṇa and Indra; that is,
    as Varuṇa, the king is a judicial authority governing the actions of his subjects, and as Indra, he is a leader in war. Accordingly, the divine acts of Varuṇa were often reflected in the functions of the R ̥ gvedic king. Like the king, Varuṇa watches over his subjects by means of his spá śaḥ “spies” (e.g., I.25.13). One of the responsibilities of the king was to ensure the prosperity of his subjects by providing sufficient water for animals and crops. Therefore, the divine king Varuṇa brings rain (V.85.3– 4) and controls the waters, causing them to flow according to his commandment (II.28.4). As the king orders the human world, so Varuṇa orders both the human world and the world at large: the moon and stars appear and disappear according to his commandment (I.24.10), and he makes a place and a path for the sun in the sky (I.24.8, V.85.2, VII.87.1, 5). The king maintained the social order by punishing wrong-doers, and, likewise, poets fear Varuṇa’s anger and his fetters (pā́śāḥ), with which he binds those who violate his commandments (e.g., I.24.15, 25.21). Varuṇa is the master of the truth that governs the actions of things, as the king must be as well (II.28.6). Given that his kingship complements Indra’s, we might have expected Varuṇa to have had a greater presence in the R ̥ gveda than he does. However, the Rigveda emerged primarily from the soma rite, and the soma rite belongs to Indra. In the R ̥ gvedic period there probably were other rites dedicated to Varuṇa or to Varuṇa and other Ādityas—there is such a rite in the classical tradition—but these
    left little trace in the Rigveda.
     
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  7. Shrew

    Shrew Active Member

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    Does not the name 'Aditi' rather mean unbound, not-bound (a-diti)?
    Aditi has a sister with the name 'Diti' (bound), I think she is the mothers of the Asuras.
     
  8. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    A lot of the language and it's meaning has changed over time.
     
  9. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Definitely not. There is no triad in RigVeda. The Indian triad was our own invention neccesiated by Aryans mingling among the natives. Shiva was indigenous, Vishnu and Brahma were Aryans. Rudra merged with Shiva without leaving a residue. Vishnu merged with regional Gods, but their individualities were too strong to be eclipsed by Vishnu (Dashavatara).
    Yeah, Aditi means unbound. See it here: Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit.

    But I do not know if Diti is mentioned in RigVeda. She should be because Avesta remembers her (as a river - the good river Daitya). I will check. Of course, she is very much their in Puranas.
     
    #9 Aupmanyav, Mar 14, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  10. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Is this a majority opinion among people that study this sort of thing, or is it your own informed position? Which I am not trying to discount by the way. You are extremely well learned brother.
     
  11. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    No it's not. :p
     
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  12. Satyamavejayanti

    Satyamavejayanti Well-Known Member

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    Namaste,

    Not as far as i know of, and this is coming from a person who has read the Samhita texts (although translations), and i cant remember a Trimurti concept of these Devas from the Samhita texts at least, now that is not to say that somewhere, someone at some point in time could not have come up with this idea.

    is there a reference in the book of who exactly is this "some people".

    Ï dont know, tbh

    Dhanyavad
     
  13. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    I'll have to get the book out again. I have a digital copy, so maybe I can search it. Please hold
     
  14. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Okay, so I'm looking through it. Title page says it was produced by the Sri Aurobindo Kapali Shastry Institute of Vedic Culture. Please wait...
     
  15. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Okay, so I'll have to update when I look through this book again. Because it's not in the chapter on Indra, like I thought it was. I don't remember exactly where I read it because I haven't looked at this book in awhile. Until then, I'd say it is likely Aurobindo was talking about the Greek understanding, because he references them about other things like Soma being Ambrosia.
     
  16. Satyamavejayanti

    Satyamavejayanti Well-Known Member

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    I don't think this is a Majority idea, it is the remnants of early orientalist ideas about races in India, conjured up when they figured out that there is a linguistic relationship between Sanskrit and other European languages. The assumption was that the Sanskrit word "Arya", instead of meaning "noble", actually means a group of people speaking a language similar to Europeans", therefore they must not be of indigenous Indian origin.

    People have for the past century tried to explain where the Aryans came from, what language they spoke ect, and have come up all sorts of conjectures and assumptions, some even stating that Aryans came from the arctic circle.

    This Aryan invasion/migration and soon to be refugee theory IMO, has only been a tool for politics in India, because the Aryans did not just migrate to a empty land, but took over the original peoples called "dravidians", and this idea of racial domination and division based on linguistic differences is a good tool to form racial political parties in India.

    Dravidian parties - Wikipedia

    This Racist theory, turned linguistic which is now a political ideology was meant to "Divide and Rule", and it did and is still doing it in India.

    Funny enough, i dont think there are any Aryan political parties in India, maybe Aup can advise.

    Dhanyavad
     
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  17. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Yeah that's why I was asking, because I've read in places that the Aryan theory is misplaced.
     
  18. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    In Rig Veda Rudra already had many aspects of Siva (the auspicious one). He had braided hair, when happy he brought healing and prosperity to all, but when angry, could destroy anyone with his unbridled power.

    Rig Veda 1.111

    1. These poetic thoughts do we proffer to Rudra, the powerful one with
    braided hair who rules over heroes,

    so that he will be luck for our two-footed and four-footed, so that
    everything in this settlement will be flourishing, free of affliction.
    2. Be merciful to us, Rudra, and create joy for us. To you who rule over
    heroes we would do honor with reverence.
    Whatever luck and lifetime Father Manu won through sacrif i ce, that may
    we attain under your guidance, Rudra.
    3. May we attain your benevolence though sacrif i ce to the gods, the
    benevolence of you who rule over heroes, o reward-granting Rudra.
    Bestowing only favor, come roaming toward our clans: possessing heroes
    who cannot be harmed, we will pour you an oblation.

    4. We call down turbulent Rudra for help, the wandering poet who brings
    the sacrif i ce to success.
    In the distance from us let him shoot his divine anger. It is just his
    benevolence we choose.

    5. We call down with reverence the boar of heaven, flame-red, with
    braided hair, turbulent in form.

    Bearing in his hand desirable healing remedies, he will extend shelter,
    covering, and protection to us
    .
    6. This speech here is spoken to the father of the Maruts—speech sweeter
    than sweet, strengthening to Rudra.
    Both grant us, immortal one, what nourishes mortals, and be merciful
    to our selves, to our progeny and posterity.
    7. Not the great one among us nor the wee little one, not the growing one
    among us nor the grown—
    don’t smite our father nor our mother. Don’t harm our own dear
    bodies, Rudra.
    8. Don’t do harm to our progeny and posterity nor to our (own) lifespan,
    not to our cows nor to our horses.
    Don’t smite our heroes, Rudra, when enraged. We, with our oblations,
    will always invoke you.
    9. Like a cowherd, I have driven these praises close to you. Grant your
    favor to us, father of the Maruts,
    for your benevolence is auspicious(Siva) , most merciful. It is just your aid
    that we choose.
    10. In the distance be your cow-smiting and men-smiting (anger). You who
    rule over heroes, let your favor be on us.
    Both be merciful to us and speak on our behalf, o god, and then extend
    double-lofty shelter to us.
    11. We have spoken reverence to him, seeking his aid. Let Rudra,
    accompanied by the Maruts, hear our call.
    – This let Mitra and Varuṇa grant to us, and Aditi, River, and Earth
    and Heaven.


    He is also symbolized as a bull.
    Rig Veda 2.33

    7. Where, o Rudra, is that merciful hand of yours, which is a healing
    remedy,
    the bearer away of malady that comes from the gods
    ? You should now
    be indulgent toward me, o bull.
    8. To the red-brown, bright-faced bull, I rouse forth greatly a great good
    praise hymn.
    I shall do reverence to the sparkling one with acts of reverence. We sing
    the turbulent name of Rudra.
    9. With sturdy limbs, the mighty red-brown one of many forms has
    adorned himself with gleaming golden (ornaments).
    From Rudra, who is master over the abundant living world, lordly
    power will surely not be distant.
    10. Worthily you bear the arrows and the bow and worthily the sacrificial
    neck ornament of all forms.
    Worthily you parcel out the whole formless void. Surely there exists
    nothing more powerful than you, Rudra.
    11. Praise the famed youth, sitting upon the high seat, the mighty one,
    pouncing like a terrifying wild beast.
    Being praised, have mercy on the singer, Rudra. Let your weapons cast
    down another than us.
    12. Even a little boy bows in response to his approving father as he
    approaches, o Rudra.
    I will hymn the giver of much, the master of settlements. Praised,
    bestow on us your remedies.
    13. Your gleaming remedies, o bullish Maruts, which bring best luck, which
    are joy itself,
    which our father Manu chose—those of Rudra’s do I want as luck and
    lifetime.
    14. Might Rudra’s lance avoid us. The hostile thought of the turbulent one,
    though great, shall go around us.

    Slacken the taut (bows) for our bounteous (patrons). Be merciful to our
    progeny and posterity, o munificent one.
    15. You red-brown bull, constantly visible—(let it be) so, that you do not
    become angry, o god, and you do not smite.
    Hearing our calls, be aware of us here, Rudra. – May we speak loftily at
    the ritual distribution, in possession of good heroes.
     
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  19. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    South India has a distinctive culture of its own. It's not wrong to have regional parties representing distinctive regional aspirations. It's the extension and actualization of the idea of multi-regional, multi-party federalism that was conceived as the central idea being Indian republic.

    This is irrespective of the Aryan theory which has serious flaws.
     
  20. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Yeah, I don't dispute Rudra and Shiva are one in the same. They are in Buddhism as well. The Bodhisattva is invoked by both names.

    I think @Aupmanyav might take a view that the Vedas were compiled after the Aryan invasion, which I'm skeptical about. I'd rather let Aup explain his position though.
     
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