Water, Antiquity and Humanity

Water, Antiquity and Humanity

RV VII, 49

1. Ceaselessly they flow from the depths, pure, never sleeping, the Ocean their sponsor, following the channels ordained by the Thunderer. Now may these great divine Waters quicken
me!

2. Waters may pour from heaven or run along channels dug out by men; or flow clear and pure having the Ocean as their goal. Now may these great divine Waters quicken me!

3. ln the midst of the Waters is moving the Lord, surveying men’s truth and men’s lies. How sweet are the Waters, crystal clear and cleansing! Now may these great divine Waters quicken
me!

4. From whom King Varuna 1 , Soma 2 , and all the Deities drink exhilarating strength, into whom the Universal Lord has entered, now may these great divine Waters quicken me!

RV X, 9

1. O Waters, source of happiness, pray give us vigor so that we may contemplate the great delight.

2. You like loving mothers are who long to give to children dear. Give us of your propitious sap.

3. On your behalf we desire, O Waters, to assist the one to whose house you send us– you, of our life and being the source.

4. These Waters be to us for drink; divine are they for aid and joy. May they impart to us health and strength!

5. You Waters who rule over precious things and have supreme control of men, we beg you, give us healing balm.

6. Within the Waters, Soma has told me, remedies exist of every sort and Agni who brings blessing to all.

7. O Waters, stored with healing balm through which my body safe will be, come, that I long may see the sun.

8. Whatever sin is found in me, whatever wrong I may have done, if I have lied or falsely sworn, Waters, remove it far from me.

9. Now I have come to seek the Waters. Now we merge, mingling with the sap. Come to me, Agni 3 , rich in milk! Come and endow me with your splendor!

1 Varuna: The Great Rains, considered as the deity of all precipitation on land.

2 Soma or sauma, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures.

3 Agni: The Great Fire, considered to be the deity of all energy, protection, destruction and remover of all corruption.

The text above is a transliteration from one of the most ancient repository of human knowledge, the first of a set of four canonical texts named Vedas, RV stands for Rig Veda (Rig or Rg meaning “praise”/”verse” and Veda meaning “knowledge”) written in ancient Sanskrit as sacred hymns, some of which are still recited in Hindu prayers.

It is one of the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language. Philological and linguistic evidence indicate that the Rigveda was composed in the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent, roughly between 1700–1100 BC (the early Vedic period). There are strong linguistic and cultural similarities with the early Iranian Avesta, deriving from the Proto-Indo-Iranian times, often associated with the early Andronovo (Sintashta-Petrovka) culture of ca. 2200-1600 BC.

Though claimed by the Institutionalized Hinduism as one of them, Rig Veda is misconceived to be a Hindu scripture. It is a collection of praise and ancient worship of natural elements by a mobile, semi-nomadic culture, with horse-drawn chariots, oxen-drawn wagons, and metal (bronze) weapons with a past from pro-Indo-European group of humanity.

I wonder if we still retain that link in our attitude towards water.

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[Picture source: http://skepticdetective.wordpress.com/ ]

Post Written by
Pabitra is an Honors graduate in Civil Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He has specialized in the field of River Hydraulics working for more than two decades training rivers, protecting banks and beaches and fighting erosion of the river banks/beds. He has worked with Bio-Engineering models involving mangroves using them as tools for cost effective and natural means of anti-erosion technology.His work is mostly concerning the extremely morpho-dynamic Hugly estuary with Bay of Bengal In course of his work, he got exposed to indigenous people of the Sunderban wetlands, who are fighting a losing battle against aggressive Industrialization. Pabitra loves to read and write and he is full of crazy ideas. He is a Youth Leader and Adviser to Climate Himalaya. He is also a contributor member of THINK ABOUT IT platform of European Journalism Center and a winner of the recently concluded competitive blogging on Water. Pabitra believes that he has a tryst with the strange river-country south of Bengal.

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