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Encyclopedia > Samudra

Samudra is a Sanskrit term for ocean. The term occurs over 150 times in the Rig Veda. There are more references to the Samudra than to rivers in the Rig Veda. The Sanskrit language ( संस्कृता वाक्) is one of the earliest attested members of the Indo-European language family and is not only a classical language, but also an official language of India. ... Ocean (from Okeanos, a Greek god of sea and water; Greek ωκεανός) covers almost three quarters (71%) of the surface of the Earth, and nearly half of the worlds marine waters are over 3000 m deep. ... The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ...


The oldest vedic commentators like the Brihaddevata of Shaunaka, Nighantu and the Nirukta of Yaska interpret the term Samudra as ocean. The scholar G.V. Davane studied the occurences of the term samudra in the Rig Veda and concluded that the term means "terrestrial ocean". (Davane, G. V. 1982. An Analytical Study of ‘Samudra’ in the Rgveda.)


The Rig Veda also speaks of a western and eastern Samudra (10.136.5).

Contents


Samudra and rivers

Samudra is usually translated as "ocean" (e.g. Griffith, Macdonnel and Keith) and the word itself means "with waves". A minority of scholars (e.g. Madhav Deshpande) translate the term as "river". However, the Samudra is never said to flow in the Rig Veda, but to receive all rivers (e.g. RV 6.36.3; 8.44.25). The Rig Veda also describes the Vedic Sarasvati River as a river that flows to the ocean (e.g. RV 2.41.16-18) and "is pure in her course from the mountains to the sea" (RV 7.95.2). Rig Veda 1.71.7 describes the seven great rivers seeking the Samudra and in RV 7.33.8 it is written that all the rivers flow to the Samudra but are unable to fill it. The Hindu Vedas mention a river named Sarasvatī. In Sanskrit saras means a pool or water body, and vatī (from vnt-ī, the female form of the -vant suffix) means she having lots of pools. Sarasvati was the biggest and most important of the seven holy rivers of the Rig Veda. ...


Samudra and Vedic deities

The vedic deity Varuna is the deity of the ocean (Samudra). The vedic deity Indra also occurs frequently in connection with the Samudra. The Rig Veda narrates that Indra slew the dragon which released the seven rivers and caused them to enter the ocean (see Frawley 1991, 2001 for references to Rig-vedic verses). Other gods that often occur together with the Samudra are Agni and Soma (see Frawley 1991, 2001 for references to Rig-vedic verses). This article is about the god. ... Chinese dragon, colour engraving on wood, Japanese Chinese school, 19th Century A dragon is a mythological creature, typically depicted as a large and powerful serpent or other reptile, with magical or spiritual qualities. ... The word Agni can have these meanings:- A fire-god in three religions: described below. ... Soma (Sanskrit), or Haoma (Avestan) (from Proto-Indo-Iranian *Sauma) was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the later Vedic and Iranian cultures. ...


Ships

Some scholars like B.R. Sharma hold that the Rig Vedic people may have been ship-builders engaging in maritime trade (1967. Vedic Aryans and Sea-voyage). In Rigveda 1.25.7; 7.88.3 and other instances, Samudra is mentioned together with ships. In RV 7.89.4 the rishi Vasishta is thirsting in the midst of water. Other verses mention oceanic waves (RV 4.58.1,11; 7.88.3). Some words that are used for ships are Nau, Peru, Dhi and Druma.


Related terms

There are other Sanskrit terms in the Rig Veda that appear to mean "ocean" or have similar meanings. Among them are the terms salila (ocean depths, unbounded sea), Arnas, Apas (water, sometimes celestial ocean), Purisha (heavenly ocean, clouds, origin of rain - the opposite of Samudra or terrestrial ocean). The waves are called Urmi in the Rig Veda, and the lakes are called saras, kula or hlada. Saras is the first Indian multi-purpose civilian aircraft in the Light Transport Aircraft category designed by the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) with cooperation from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). ... Look up Kula in Wiktionary, the free dictionary This page is about the ceremonial exchange system Kula. ...


External links

  • Article by David Frawley on the term Samudra in the Rig Veda

References

  • Rig Veda
  • Frawley, David. 1991. Gods, Sages, and Kings, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin ISBN 0-910261-37-7
  • Frawley David: The Rig Veda and the History of India, 2001.(Aditya Prakashan), ISBN 81-7742-039-9

David Frawley (Sanskrit: वामदेव शास्‍त्री) (born 1950) is one of the few Westerners to be recognized by a major Hindu sect in India as a Vedacharya or teacher of the ancient wisdom. ... David Frawley (Sanskrit: वामदेव शास्‍त्री) (born 1950) is one of the few Westerners to be recognized by a major Hindu sect in India as a Vedacharya or teacher of the ancient wisdom. ...

See also


 
 

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