Indra and Vrtra

Shrinivas Gadkari sgadkari2001 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Oct 17 18:06:42 CDT 2002


I am copying below a Rg vedic hymn, that I have taken from Griffith's
translation (that can be found on the internet).

It is very much possible to for vRtra to mean glaciers of ice-age in this
hymn. Also, when we look at events in an earlier manvantar, I am not so
sure that we should eliminate the possibility that some of these events
happened in lands quite far from India. I personally feel that this
particular hymn is talking about a global event.

Best regards

Rg Veda: Book 1, HYMN XXXII. Indra.

1 I WILL declare the manly deeds of Indra, the first that he achieved, the
Thunder-wielder. He slew the Dragon, then disclosed the waters, and cleft
the channels of the mountain torrents.
2 He slew the Dragon lying on the mountain: his heavenly bolt of thunder
Tvastar fashioned. Like lowing kine in rapid flow descending the waters
glided downward to the ocean.
3 Impetuous as a bull, he chose the Soma and in three sacred beakers drank
the juices. Maghavan grasped the thunder for his weapon, and smote to death
this firstborn of the dragons.
4 When, Indra, thou hadst slain the dragon's firstborn, and overcome the
charms of the enchanters, Then, giving life to Sun and Dawn and Heaven,
thou foundest not one foe to stand against thee.
5 Indra with his own great and deadly thunder smote into pieces Vrtra,
worst of Vrtras. As trunks of trees, what time the axe hath felled them,
low on the earth so lies the prostrate Dragon.
6 He, like a mad weak warrior, challenged Indra, the great impetuous many-
slaying Hero. He. brooking not the clashing of the weapons, crushed-Indra's
foe-the shattered forts in falling.
7 Footless and handless still he challenged Indra, who smote him with his
bolt between the shoulders. Emasculate yet claiming manly vigour, thus
Vrtra lay with scattered limbs dissevered.
8 There as he lies like a bank-bursting river, the waters taking courage
flow above him. The Dragon lies beneath the feet of torrents which Vrtra
with his greatness had encompassed.
9 Then humbled was the strength of Vrtra's mother: Indra hath cast his
deadly bolt against her. The mother was above, the son was under and like a
cow beside her calf lay Danu.
10 Rolled in the midst of never-ceasing currents flowing without a rest for
ever onward. The waters bear off Vrtra's nameless body: the foe of Indra
sank to during darkness.
11 Guarded by Ahi stood the thralls of Dasas, the waters stayed like kine
held by the robber. But he, when he had smitten Vrtra, opened the cave
wherein the floods had been imprisoned.
12 A horse's tail wast thou when he, O Indra, smote on thy bolt; thou, God
without a second, Thou hast won back the kine, hast won the Soma; thou hast
let loose to flow the Seven Rivers.
13 Nothing availed him lightning, nothing thunder, hailstorm or mist which
had spread around him: When Indra and the Dragon strove in battle, Maghavan
gained the victory for ever.
14 Whom sawest thou to avenge the Dragon, Indra, that fear possessed thy
heart when thou hadst slain him; That, like a hawk affrighted through the
regions, thou crossedst nine-and-ninety flowing rivers?
15 Indra is King of all that moves and moves not, of creatures tame and
horned, the Thunder-wielder. Over all living men he rules as Sovran,
containing all as spokes within the felly.

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