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Encyclopedia > Vritra

In the early Vedic religion, Vritra (Sanskrit: वृत्र (Devanāgarī) or Vṛtra (IAST)) "the enveloper", was an Asura and also a serpent or dragon, the personification of drought and enemy of Indra. Vritra was also known in the Vedas as Ahi ("snake"), and he is said to have had three heads. The myth involving Vritra evolved over time as Indra's prominence at the head of the Pantheon faded and the Brahmins sought to glorify Vishnu. This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is an old Indo-Aryan language from the Indian Subcontinent, the classical literary language of the Hindus of India[1], a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... DevanāgarÄ« (IPA: ; Sanskrit: , , IPA:  [?]) is an abugida writing system used to write, either along with other scripts, or exclusively, several North Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Marwari, Konkani, Bhojpuri, Nepali, Nepal Bhasa from Nepal and sometimes Kashmiri and Romani. ... IAST, or International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration is the academic standard for writing the Sanskrit language with the Latin alphabet and very similar to National Library at Calcutta romanization standard being used with many Indic scripts. ... // In Hinduism In Hindu mythology, the Asura (Sanskrit: असुर) are a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes misleadingly referred to as demons. ... The nagas ( snake) are an ancient race of snake-humanoid beings first depicted in ancient Vedic Hindu mythology and oral folklore from at least 5000 B.C.E. Stories involving the Nagas are still very much a part of contemporary cultural traditions in predominantly Hindu (India, Nepal, and the island... Chinese dragon, color engraving on wood, Chinese school, 19th Century The dragon is a mythical creature typically depicted as a large and powerful serpent or other reptile with magical or spiritual qualities. ... A drought is a period of time when there is not enough water to support agricultural, urban or environmental water needs. ... Indra (Sanskrit: इन्द्र or इंद्र, indra) is the god of weather and war, and lord of Svargaloka in Hinduism. ... Veda redirects here. ... A pantheon (Greek: παν, pan, all + θεός, theos, god), is a set of all the gods of a particular religion or mythology, such as the gods of Hinduism, Greek mythology, Norse mythology, and Egyptian mythology. ... A Brahmin (anglicised from the Sanskrit word IAST ; Devanagari ), also known as Vipra, Dvija, Dvijottama (best of the Dvijas), (god on Earth) is the highest caste in Indian caste system within Hindu society. ... Vishnu (IAST , Devanagari ), (honorific: Sri Vishnu) also known as Narayana is the Supreme Being or Ultimate Reality for Vaishnavas and a manifestation of Brahman in the Advaita or Smarta traditions. ...

Contents

Vedic version

According to the Rig Veda, Vritra kept the waters of the world captive until he was killed by Indra, who destroyed all the ninety-nine fortresses of Vritra (although the fortresses are sometimes attributed to Sambara) before liberating the imprisoned rivers. Since he killed Vritra, Indra was given the epithet Vritrahana (killer of Vritra). The combat began soon after Indra was born, and he had drunk a large volume of Soma at Tvashtri's house to empower him before facing Vritra. Tvashtri fashioned the thunderbolt (Vajrayudha) for Indra, and Vishnu, when asked to do so by Indra, made space for the battle by taking the three great strides for which he became famous.[1][2] Vritra broke Indra's two jaws during the battle, but was then thrown down by the latter and, in falling, crushed the fortresses that had already been shattered.[3] [4] For this feat, Indra became known as Vritrahan "slayer of Vritra" and also as "slayer of the first-born of dragons". Vritra's mother, Danu (who was also the mother of the Danava race of Asuras), was then attacked and defeated by Indra with his thunderbolt.[5] [6] In one of the versions of the story, three Asuras - Varuna, Soma and Agni - were coaxed by Indra into aiding him in the fight against Vritra whereas before they had been on the side of the demon (whom they called "Father").[7][8] The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... Impact of a drop of water. ... Fortifications (Latin fortis, strong, and facere, to make) are military constructions designed for defensive warfare. ... Sambara is a character in Hindu mythology. ... Indra (Sanskrit: इन्द्र or इंद्र, indra) is the god of weather and war, and lord of Svargaloka in Hinduism. ... This article is about the Vedic plant and ritual. ... In Hinduism, Tvashtri is the god of craftsmen and a son of Surya and Adita (however, according to village sources, Tvashtri has no father nor does he have a mother, and that he is the father of Vishnu). ... Typical cartoon representations of thunderbolts A thunderbolt is a traditional expression for a discharge of lightning or a symbolic representation thereof. ... Vajrasattva holds the vajra in his right hand and a bell in his left hand. ... Danu, a Hindu primordial goddess, is mentioned in Vedic texts. ... The Danavas in Vedic mythology were a race of the Asuras. ... In Hindu mythology, the Asura are a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes misleadingly referred to as demons. ... This article is about the god. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Father with child For other uses, see Father (disambiguation). ...


Some modern Indian geologists interpret the Vedic story as a description of the breakup of glaciers. B.P. Radhakrishna writes: "Geological record indicates that during Late Pleistocene glaciation, the waters of the Himalaya were frozen and that in place of rivers there were only glaciers, masses of solid ice. As and when the climate became warmer, the glaciers began to break up and the frozen water held by them surged forth in great floods, inundating the alluvial plains in front of the mountains.... no wonder the early inhabitants of the plains burst into song praising Lord Indra for breaking up the glaciers and releasing water which flowed out in seven mighty channels (Sapta Sindhu). The analogy of a slowly moving serpent (Ahi) for describing the Himalayan glacier is most appropriate". Late Pleistocene (also known as Upper Pleistocene or the Tarantian) is a stage of the Pleistocene Epoch. ... A glaciation (a created composite term meaning Glacial Period, referring to the Period or Era of, as well as the process of High Glacial Activity), often called an ice age, is a geological phenomenon in which massive ice sheets form in the Arctic and Antarctic and advance toward the equator. ... Perspective view of the Himalaya and Mount Everest as seen from space looking south-south-east from over the Tibetan Plateau. ... An alluvial plain is a relatively flat and gently sloping landform found at the base of a range of hills. ...


In one verse of a Rig-Vedic hymn eulogising Sarasvati, the latter is credited with the slaying of Vritra. Mention of this occurs nowhere else. [9] [10] This article is about Saraswati, the Hindu goddess. ...


If, however, the above interpretation by B.P. Radhakrishna and other geologists is correct, then the Rig-Veda's description of Sarasvati as taking the life-force of Vritra could be an analogy referring to the goddess being the personification of a river. In Vedic times, the Sarasvati was main river channeling the Himalayan melt-waters to the ocean. The Sarasvati River is an ancient river that is mentioned in Hindu texts. ...


Puranic & later versions

In a later version of the myth, Vritra was created by Tvashtri to get revenge for Indra's murder of his son, known as Trisiras or Visvarupa. Vritra won the battle and swallowed Indra, but the other gods forced him to vomit Indra out. The battle continued and Indra was eventually forced to flee. Vishnu and the rishis brokered a truce, with Indra swearing that he would not attack Vritra with anything made of metal, wood or stone, nor anything that was dry or wet, or during the day or the night. Indra used the foam (which Vishnu had entered to ensure victory) from the waves of the ocean to kill him at twilight. However ,in some places, Hindu scriptures also recognize Vritra as a bhakta of Vishnu who was slain only due to his failure to live piously and without aggression.This story runs thus: Image File history File links Dadhichi_rishi. ... Image File history File links Dadhichi_rishi. ... In Hinduism, a Rishi ( ऋषि) is a sage and/or seer who heard (cf. ... Rishi Dadhichi Dadhichi or Dadhicha was a Vedic king, son of Atharvan, who turned a great Rishi. ... In Hinduism, Tvashtri is the god of craftsmen and a son of Surya and Adita (however, according to village sources, Tvashtri has no father nor does he have a mother, and that he is the father of Vishnu). ... In Hinduism, Trisiras is the three-headed son of Tvashtri. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... In Hinduism, a Rishi ( ऋषि) is a sage and/or seer who heard (cf. ... Hot metal work from a blacksmith In chemistry, a metal (Greek: Metallon) is an element that readily loses electrons to form positive ions (cations) and has metallic bonds between metal atoms. ... Trunks A tree trunk as found at the Veluwe, The Netherlands Wood is a solid material derived from woody plants, notably trees but also shrubs. ... The rocky side of a mountain creek near Orosí, Costa Rica. ... This article is about waves in the most general scientific sense. ... Bhakta is a Hindu term for a person who practices bhakti, that is loving devotion for God. ...


Vritra (a brahmin in this version) became the head of the Asuras (portrayed as inherently demonic here, as opposed to the Vedic version in which they can be gods or demons). He renounced his dharma – duty – to do good unto others and turned to violence, battling with the devas. Eventually, he gained the upper hand and the Devas were frightened of his evil might. Led by Indra, they approached Lord Vishnu for help. He told them that Vritra could not be destroyed by ordinary means, revealing that only a weapon made from the bones of a sage could slay him. When the deities revealed their doubts about the likelihood of any ascetic donating his body, Vishnu directed them to approach the sage (Rishi) Dadichi. When approached by the gods, Dadhichi gladly gave up his bones for the cause of the good, stating that it would be better for his bones to help them attain victory than to rot in the ground. The Devas collected the bones and Indra crafted the Vajrayudha from them. When they engaged Vritra again, the battle lasted for 360 days before the brahmin breathed his last. St. ... Dharma (Sanskrit: धर्म) or Dhamma (Pāli: धमा) (Natural Law) refers to the underlying order in Nature and human behaviour considered to be in accord with that order. ... Vishnu (IAST , Devanagari ), (honorific: Sri Vishnu) also known as Narayana is the Supreme Being or Ultimate Reality for Vaishnavas and a manifestation of Brahman in the Advaita or Smarta traditions. ... Rishi Dadhichi Dadhichi or Dadhicha was a Vedic king, son of Atharvan, who turned a great Rishi. ...


In both of these versions (either for killing Trisiras or the brahmin Vritra), the terrible anthropomorphic personification of Brāhmanahatya (Brahmanicide) chased Indra and forced him into hiding for his sin, and Nahusha was invited to take his place.[11][12] An anthropomorphic character; a cat ascribed human characteristics. ... Brāhmanahatya is Sanskrit for the act of killing a Brahmin. Hindus consider this act to be a major sin, even more then ordinary murder. ... Nahusha (नहुष) was son of Ayu, the eldest of Pururavas, and father of Yayati. ...


The story of Indra only being able to kill Vritra when certain conditions were met could have been the origin or prototype of the Ramayana story, in which the gods could not kill Ravana because of a boon, and he was too powerful to be slain by any humans (the loophole in this case was that a god incarnated as a man, i.e. Rama, was able to kill him). This story also probably inspired the legend of the Narasimha avatara of Vishnu. The similarities are that Hiranyakashipu, the Asura king, obtained a boon from Brahma that he could not be killed during the day or at night, nor by man or beast, neither indoors nor outdoors and by no weapon.In order to slay the Asura, Vishnu took the incarnation of a lion headed man, who was neither fully man nor fully a beast (Narasimha literally means man-lion). Narasimha used his nails, rather than weapons which would have proved ineffectual, to kill the Asura and placed him on the doorstep, which was neither indoors nor outdoors. He killed him at twilight, which was neither day nor night. For the television series by Ramanand Sagar, see Ramayan (TV series). ... A depiction of Ravana, Hindu rakshasa King of Lanka In Hinduism, Ravana (Devanagari: रावण, IAST ; sometimes transliterated Raavana and as Ravan) is the principal antagonist of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. ... RAMA is a first-person adventure game developed and published by Sierra Entertainment in 1996. ... Yoga Narasimha form at a temple in Vijayanagara, Hampi, India (man-lion) (also spelt as Narasingh, Narasinga) (नरसिंह in Devanagari) is described as the fourteenth incarnation (avatara) of Vishnu within the Puranic texts of Hinduism [1] who takes the form of half-man / half-lion, having a human torso and lower... In Hinduism, Hiranyakashipu (or Hiranyakasipu) was a demon whose younger brother, Hiranyaksha was killed by Varaha, one of the avatars of Vishnu. ... Brahma (IAST: Brahmā) (Devanagari ब्रह्मा, pronounced as ) is the Hindu god (deva) of creation, and one of the Hindu Trinity - Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. ...


See also

Aesir-Asura correspondence is the relation between aesir (a Proto-Germanic word) and asura (an Sanskrit word). ... Zahak, Zahhak, Zahak-e Tāzi or (Arab Zahak) also knwon as Bivar-Asp, which means [he who has] 10,000 horses in the Pahlavi (middle Persian) language, and Avestan Āži-Dahāk) is a mythical figure of ancient Persia (Iran). ... The Devil is a title given to the supernatural entity, who, in Christianity, Islam, and other religions, is a powerful, evil entity and the tempter of humankind. ... Yam is the name of the Ugaritic god of Rivers and Sea, and in some myths he is one of the ilhm (Elohim) or sons of El, the name given to the Levantine pantheon. ... Angra Mainyu (Avestan) or Ahriman (Middle Persian اهريمن) is the evil counterpart of the deity Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism. ... An Egyptian deity wards off the snake-like Apep In Egyptian mythology, Apep (also spelled Apepi, and Aapep, or Apophis in Greek) was an evil demon, the deification of darkness and chaos, and thus opponent of light and Maat (order/truth), whose existence was believed about from the Middle... Hindu mythology is a term used by modern scholarship for a large body of Indian literature that details the lives and times of legendary personalities, deities and divine incarnations on earth interspersed with often large sections of philosophical and ethical discourse. ... Indra (Sanskrit: इन्द्र or इंद्र, indra) is the god of weather and war, and lord of Svargaloka in Hinduism. ... Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Serpent in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... The Panis are a class of demons in the Rigveda, from paṇi-, a term for bargainer, miser, niggard, especially applied to one who is sparing of sacrificial oblations. ... Sambara is a character in Hindu mythology. ... Chalcidian black-figure hydria of Typhon fighting Zeus, c. ... Vala (), meaning enclosure in Vedic Sanskrit, is an Asura of the Rigveda and the Atharvaveda, the brother of Vrtra. ... Vedic mythology that occupies a pivotal position in the history of religions, is a significant aspect of Hindu mythology and has directly contributed to the evolution and development of Hinduism. ...

References

  • Radhakrishna, B.P (1999). Vedic Sarasvati and the Dawn of Indian Civilization, 42, Memoir Geological Society of India. 
  • Griffith, Ralph (1896). Hymns of the Rigveda. ISBN 0-8426-0592-4. 
  • Ganguli, Kisari (1883-96, reprinted 1975). The Mahabharata. ISBN 0-89684-429-3. 

Citations

(The Sanskrit versions include both Devanāgarī and IAST)

Further reading

Vritra in popular culture

  • In Atlus' video game series Megami Tensei and its spin-offs, Vritra occasionally appears as a mid-high leveled demon categorized into the dragon race. In some games it is strong to the electric-elemental, but in other games it is its weakness.
  • In Square-Enix's MMORPG Final Fantasy XI, Vrtra is a boss in Wyrm race.

Atlus is a Japanese computer and video game developer and publisher. ... Megami Tensei (Japanese:女神転生, often abbreviated as MegaTen) is a Japanese computer role-playing game series, and is one of the major franchises of the genre in its native country. ... Square Enix ) TYO: 9684 is a video game company best known for its console role-playing game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series and the Dragon Quest series (known for many years as Dragon Warrior in North America). ... An image from World of Warcraft, one of the largest commercial MMORPGs as of 2004, based on active subscriptions. ... Final Fantasy XI ), also known as Final Fantasy XI: Online or simply Final Fantasy Online, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in Square Enixs Final Fantasy series. ... Saint George versus the dragon, Gustave Moreau, c. ...

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Hinduism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Hindu mythology is a term used by modern scholarship for a large body of Indian literature that details the lives and times of legendary personalities, deities and divine incarnations on earth interspersed with often large sections of philosophical and ethical discourse. ... The ancient Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, laid the cornerstone for much of Hindu religion. ... Image File history File links Hindu_swastika. ... Within Smarta Hinduism, a variety of forms of God are seen as aspects of the one impersonal divine ground, (Brahma) or Aum. ... For the Vedic river, see Saraswati River. ... Mariamman This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... For South Indian actress, see Laxmi (actress). ... This 14th century statue depicts Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right}. It is housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In Hinduism, Gowri or Dakshayani is the Goddess of marital felicity and longevity, who is worshipped particularly by ladies to seek the long life of... Gayatri (Sanskrit: , IAST: ) is the feminine form of gāyatra, a Sanskrit word for a song or a hymn. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: , Bengali: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess, also identified with Parvati. ... Lakshmi is a common aspect of Shakti Shakti meaning force, power or energy is the Hindu concept or personification of Gods female aspect, sometimes referred to as The Divine Mother. Shakti represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power. ... This article is about the Hindu goddess Kali. ... This article is about Sita Devi, the wife of Rama. ... Commonly known as Devi (goddess), Vaishnodevi (देवी, DevÄ« in Hindi and Sanskrit) is the Divine Mother of Hinduism. ... A Rajastani style painting of Sri Radha Radha (Devanagari: राधा) is a famous female personality from Hindu, (Vedic) tradition, also known as Radharani, prefixed with the respectful term Srimati by devout followers. ... In Hinduism, the ten mahavidyas (Great Wisdoms) are aspects of Devi. ... Within Smarta Hinduism, a variety of forms of God are seen as aspects of the one impersonal divine ground, (Brahma) or Aum. ... Brahma (IAST: Brahmā) (Devanagari ब्रह्मा, pronounced as ) is the Hindu god (deva) of creation, and one of the Hindu Trinity - Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. ... Vishnu (IAST , Devanagari ), (honorific: Sri Vishnu) also known as Narayana is the Supreme Being or Ultimate Reality for Vaishnavas and a manifestation of Brahman in the Advaita or Smarta traditions. ... “Nilakantha” redirects here. ... RAMA is a first-person adventure game developed and published by Sierra Entertainment in 1996. ... Krishna with Radharani, 18th C Rajasthani painting Krishna (कृष्ण in Devanagari, in IAST ), according to various Hindu traditions, is the eighth avatar of Vishnu. ... In Hinduism, Ganesha is one of the most well-known and beloved representations of God. ... Muruga (also Murugan) (Tamil: ) is perhaps the most popular Hindu deity amongst Tamils of Tamil Nadu state in India, Sri Lanka and in the Tamil diaspora. ... Hanuman tearing his chest open to reveal that Rama and Sita are literally in his heart Hanuman (Sanskrit: ; nominative singular ), known also as Anjaneya, is one of the most important personalities in the epic, the Ramayana. ... Ayyanar a regional Tamil male deity who is popular amongst the rural social groups of South India specifically Tamil nadu. ... Indra (Sanskrit: इन्द्र or इंद्र, indra) is the god of weather and war, and lord of Svargaloka in Hinduism. ... In Hinduism, Surya (Devanagari: सूर्य, sÅ«rya) is the chief solar deity,one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wife Aditi[1] ,in Nordics Tyr he is said to be the son of Dyaus Pitar. ... Veda redirects here. ... The Upanishads (उपनिषद्, Upanişad) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism. ... Purana (Sanskrit: पुराण , meaning ancient or old) is the name of a genre (or a group of related genres) of Hinduism literature (as distinct from oral literature). ... For the television series by Ramanand Sagar, see Ramayan (TV series). ... Mahabharat redirects here. ...

The Rigveda   (Mandalas: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10)
Deities: (Devas) Agni, Indra, Soma, Ushas | (Asuras) Mitra, Varuna, Vrtra | Visvedevas, Maruts, Ashvins
Rivers: Sapta Sindhu; Nadistuti; Sarasvati, Sindhu, Sarayu, Rasā
Rishis: Saptarishi; Gritsamada, Vishvamitra, Vamadeva, Atri, Angiras, Bharadvaja, Vasishta

  Results from FactBites:
 
Vritra (455 words)
Vritra was one of the asuras, perhaps the most powerful of them all.
In the Rig Veda, Vritra was a terrible fiend who gathered all the waters of the world into himself and cause a drought to cover the whole earth.
Vritra challenged Indra, and was able to defeat the god and swallow him.
Vritra (141 words)
In Hinduism, Vritra ("the enveloper") was a serpent or dragon, the personification of drought and enemy of Indra.
According to the Rig Veda, Vritra stole all the water in the world until killed by Indra, who destroyed all ninety-nine fortresses of Vritra.
Vishnu and the rishis brokered a truce, and Indra swore he would not attack Vritra with anything made of metal, wood or stone, nor anything that was dry or wet, or during the day or the night.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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