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Encyclopedia > Vedic Sarasvati River

The Sarasvati River is an ancient river that is mentioned in Hindu texts. The Nadistuti hymn in the Rig Veda mentions the Sarasvati between the Yamuna in the east and the Sutlej in the west, and later texts like the Mahabharata mention that the Sarasvati dried up in a desert. It is associated with the Ghaggar-Hakra River and its tributaries in India, while the corresponding Iranian name is associated with the Helmand River and its tributaries. The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... Yamuna is a major river of northern India, with a total length of around 1370 km. ... The Sutlej, also known as Satluj, is the longest of the five rivers of Punjab (five waters) that flows through Northern India, with its source in Tibet near Mount Kailash. ... The Mahabharata (Devanagari: महाभारत, phonetically Mahabharata - see note), sometimes just called Bharata, is one of the two major ancient Sanskrit epics of India, the other being the Ramayana. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Helmand River is the longest river in Afghanistan. ...


There is also a small present-day Saraswati River that joins the Ghaggar river and appears to be one of the branches of the ancient river. 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. ...


The Rig Veda refers to seven sacred or important rivers (Sapta Sindhu). In RV 10.64.8. and 6.61.2. three groups of seven sacred rivers are refered to (maybe the Indus-system, the Sarasvati-system and the Ganga-system).

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The Sarasvati River in Hindu texts

Rig Veda

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. In the Rig Veda the Sarasvati River is mentioned over 60 times (e.g. Rig Veda 2.41.16; 6.61.8-13; 1.3.12.), and there are several references to the "seven rivers" (e. g. RV 2.12; RV 4.28; RV 8.24). This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article is about the Hindu Shruti. ... The Murray River in Australia. ... 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. ... 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 describes the Sarasvati as the best of all the rivers. Rig Veda 7.36.6 calls it "the Seventh, Mother of Floods" sárasvatī saptáthī síndhumātā. RV 2.41.16 ámbitame nádītame dévitame sárasvati "best mother, best river, best goddess" expresses the importance and reverence of the Vedic religion for the Sarasvati river.


In the Rig Veda (7.95.1-2, tr. Griffith) the Sarasvati is described as flowing to the ocean: Ralph Thomas Hotchkin Griffith (1826-1906), scholar of indology, translated the vedic scriptures into English. ...

This stream Sarasvati with fostering current comes forth, our sure defence, our fort of iron.
As on a car, the flood flows on, surpassing in majesty and might all other waters.
Pure in her course from mountains to the ocean, alone of streams Sarasvati hath listened.
Thinking of wealth and the great world of creatures, she poured for Nahusa her milk and fatness.

The Rig Veda also describes the Sarasvati as a river that flows to the Samudra, ocean (see RV 2.41.16-18; 7.95.2). Samudra is usually translated as "ocean" (e.g. Griffith, Macdonnel and Keith) and the word itself means "with waves". But a minority of scholars (e.g. Madhav Deshpande) translate the term Samudra as "river". And some Rig-vedic verses (6.61.2) indicate that the Sarasvati river originated in a high altitude like the ancient "Sarasvati-Sutlej" river where she could "burst with her strong waves the ridges of the hills", and not merely in the Himalayan foothills like the present-day Sarasvati-Ghaggar river. Samudra is a Sanskrit term for ocean. ...


Rig Veda 7.95.2. and other verses (e.g. 8.21.18) also tell that the Sarasvati region poured milk and "fatness" (ghee), indicating that cattle were herded in the region.


In the enumeration of the rivers in Rigveda 10.75.05, the order is Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Shutudri (= Sutlej). This verse enumerates all important rivers from the Ganges in the east to the Punjab in the west in a strict geographical order. The position of the Sarasvati between the Yamuna and the Sutlej in this rig-vedic verse is the same as that of the Ghaggar-Hakra river. Hence it is quite clear that one of the rivers given the name 'Sarasvati' flowed through Haryana and Rajasthan. The question is whether this is the primal 'Sarasvati'. The Rigveda says that this Sarasvati rises in the mountains and ends up in the sea (e.g. RV 7.95.2 quoted above); it describes a man sailing up the Sarasvati from the sea to the mountains. The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... The River Ganges (Ganga in Indian languages) is a major river in northern India. ... Yamuna is a major river of northern India, with a total length of around 1370 km. ... The Sutlej, also known as Satluj, is the longest of the five rivers of Punjab (five waters) that flows through Northern India, with its source in Tibet near Mount Kailash. ... The Ghaggar is a seasonal river in India, flowing when water is available from monsoon rains. ... The Hakra is the dried-out channel of a river in Pakistan that until about 2000 BC - 1500 BC was the continuation of the Ghaggar River in India. ... Haryana (हरयाणा) is a state in north India. ... Rajasthan (राजस्थान) is the geographically largest state in northwestern India. ... The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ...


Sometimes it also means the heavenly 'river' - i.e. the milky way - and it is also personified as a goddess. A NASA artists conception of what the Milky Way would look like if seen off-axis. ...


Other Hindu texts

Later texts like the Mahabharata narrate that the Sarasvati dried up in a desert.


The Brahmanas, which are considered later texts than the Rig Veda, mention that the Sarasvati flowed through a desert; the Puranas like Bhagavata Purana mention her too and the Mahabharata says that the Sarasvati dried up in a desert, possibly the Thar Desert (Mhb. 3.1.30.3; 6.7.47; 6.37.1-4., 9.34.81, 9.36.1-2.). The Brahmanas (Sanskrit ब्राह्मण, Brahmin Books) are part of the Hindu Shruti; They are composed in Vedic Sanskrit, and the period of their composition is sometimes referred to as the Brahmanic period or age (approximately between 900 BC and 500 BC). ... The Puranas are part of Hindu Smriti; these religious scriptures discuss devotion and mythology. ... The Bhagavata Purana (sometimes rendered as Bhagavatha Purana), also known as the Srimad Bhagavatam, written c. ... The Mahabharata (Devanagari: महाभारत, phonetically Mahabharata - see note), sometimes just called Bharata, is one of the two major ancient Sanskrit epics of India, the other being the Ramayana. ... The Thar Desert (also known as the Great Indian Desert) is a desert mainly Goo goo gaa gaa. ...


In the Manu Samhita (II.17-18), the sage Manu, escaping from a flood, founded the Vedic culture between the Sarasvati and Drishadvati rivers. In the Shatapatha Brahmana there is a description of the God Agni burning out rivers, which may be a reference to the drying up of rivers. The Manu Smriti, translated Laws of Manu or Institutions of Manu, is a foundational work of Hindu law and ancient Indian society, written c. ... In Hindu mythology, Manu is a title accorded the progenitor of humankind during an eon called a Manvantara. ... The word Agni can have these meanings:- A fire-god in three religions: described below. ...


The Mahabharata states that Vasishtha committed suicide by throwing himself into the Sutlej and that the Sutlej then broke up in a 100 channels (Yash Pal in S.P. Gupta 1995: 175). According to Hindu mythology, the Sarasvati flows in a subterranenan channel and joins the Yamuna and the Ganga in the "Triveni Sangam" at Prayag (Allahabad). The Mahabharata (Devanagari: महाभारत, phonetically Mahabharata - see note), sometimes just called Bharata, is one of the two major ancient Sanskrit epics of India, the other being the Ramayana. ... Map of India. ... Map of India. ...


The goddess Sarasvati was originally a personification of this river, and later developed an identity and meaning independently from the river. This article is about Saraswati, the Hindu goddess. ...


Identification

The identification of the 'original' Saraswati river has become embroiled in debates about the age of the Vedas and of the relation between Aryan culture and the Indus Valley civilization (IVC). Frequently cited candidates include the Ghaggar-Hakra River river in India and Pakistan, which continues into the Raini Nala riverbed, and the Helmand River in Afghanistan. Aryan is an English word derived from the Indo-Aryan Vedic Sanskrit and Iranian Avestan terms ari-, arya-, ārya-, and/or the extended form aryāna-. The Old Persian (Iranian) ariya- is a cognate as well. ... The Indus Valley Civilization existed along the Indus River and the Hakra-Ghaggar river and their tributaries. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Helmand River is the longest river in Afghanistan. ...


The Helmand historically bore the name Harahvaiti, which is the Avestan form correspondign to Sanskrit Sarasvati, both descended from Proto-Indo-Iranian saras-vnt-ī, meaning "she with many pools". The Old Persian form is Harachuwati, in Achaemenid times the name of the Arghandab River, the chief tributary of the Helmand. This name was in turn hellenized to Arachosia. The distance between the Harahvaiti and the Ghaggar (and its tributary, still called Sarasvati today) is some 600 km, and it was suggested that the name was reassigned after the Indo-Aryans had reached the Punjab, thus tracing the route of the Indo-Aryan migration. Yasna 28. ... The term Indo-Iranian includes all speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, i. ... Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Dynasty was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire, including Cyrus II the Great, Darius I and Xerxes I. At the height of their power, the Achaemenid rulers of Persia ruled over territories roughly emcompassing some parts of todays Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon... Arachosia is the ancient name of an area that corresponds to the southern part of today s Afghanistan, around the city of Kandahar. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ... Punjab, 1903 Punjab Province, 1909 The Punjab (Meaning: Land of five Rivers) (also Panjab, Gurmukhi: ਪੰਜਾਬ, Shahmukhi: پنجاب) is a region straddling the border between India and Pakistan. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


The present-day Sarasvati

The present-day Sarasvati originates in a submontane region (Ambala district) and joins the Ghaggar near Shatrana in PEPSU. Near Sadulgarh (Hanumangarh) the Naiwala channel, a dried out channel of the Sutlej, joins the Ghaggar. Near Suratgarh the Ghaggar is then joined by the dried up Drishadvati river. Ambala is a small town located on the border of the states of Haryana and Punjab in India. ... The Sutlej, also known as Satluj, is the longest of the five rivers of Punjab (five waters) that flows through Northern India, with its source in Tibet near Mount Kailash. ...


Bibliography

  • Bryant, Edwin (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195137779.
  • Frawley David: The Rig Veda and the History of India, 2001.(Aditya Prakashan), ISBN 81-7742-039-9
  • Gupta, S.P. (ed.). 1995. The lost Sarasvati and the Indus Civilization. Kusumanjali Prakashan, Jodhpur.
  • Keith and Macdonell. 1912. Vedic Index of Names and Subjects.
  • Oldham, R.D. 1893. The Sarsawati and the Lost River of the Indian Desert. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 1893. 49-76.
  • Shaffer, Jim G. (1995) Cultural tradition and Palaeoethnicity in South Asian Archaeology, In: Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. Ed. George Erdosy.. ISBN 0948-1923

Edwin Bryant arrived in San Francisco by overland route in 1846, served as a lieutenant in Frémont’s Battalion, and in February 1847 succeeded Bartlett and Hyde as alcalde of San Francisco. ... The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture is a book by Edwin Bryant published at Oxford University Press (ISBN 0195137779). ... 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

This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Yamuna is a major river of northern India, with a total length of around 1370 km. ... The River Ganges (Ganga in Indian languages) is a major river in northern India. ... The Indus is a river; the Indus River. ... Samudra is a Sanskrit term for ocean. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sarasvati River - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3062 words)
Sarasvati is mentioned both as the chief of the Sapta Sindhu, the seven holy rivers of the early Rigveda, and listed in the geographical list of ten rivers in the Nadistuti sukta of the late Rigveda, and it is the only river with hymns entirely dedicated to it, RV 6.61, 7.95 and 7.96.
In the 1 and 10 of the Rigveda, the Sarasvati is mentioned in 13 hymns (1.3, 13, 89, 164; 10.17, 30, 64, 65, 66, 75, 110, 131, 141).
According to the Mahabharata (3.81.115), Kurukshetra is south of the Sarasvati and north of the Drishadvati.
Saraswati - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1717 words)
Next, the river flowed southwest across Punjab and Haryana along the course of the modern Ghaggar-Hakra River in a pathway roughly parallel to the smaller Indus River to its west.
Some have postulated that the goddess Saraswati gained her role as personified communication and the giver of knowledge due to the role of the Sarasvati River in the development of written language in ancient India.
In the post-Vedic age, She began to lose her status as a river goddess and was increasingly associated with literature, arts, music, etc. Her name literally means "the one who flows", which apparently was applied to thoughts, words, or the flow of a river (in Sanskrit: "dhaara-pravaah").
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