Hindu Gods in the Rig Veda Essay

This essay has a total of 2114 words and 9 pages.

Hindu Gods in the Rig Veda

Robert Walsh
3rd Periodic Assignment
09/07/2005
The Hindu Tradition

1.)
Agni
Agni is mentioned as many different things such as: the household priest king god of
sacrifice, most brilliant leader of all gods, wish granter, shines up in darkness,
guardian of the order, lord of power and master of sacrificed food, always included in
sacrifices to other gods, favorite priest, sharp sight of a poet, great speaker who
inspires all with his shining speech, the first god to rejoice in human friendship, lord
of tribes, the chief priest who finds riches and a combination of Indra (the strongest of
all except Agni??) and the wide striding Vishna who is worthy of reverence.

Worshippers of Agni want to: hold a safe household, find riches and treasure, grow as a
person in wealth and happiness, give animal (human?) sacrifice to him, be inspired by his
speeches, protection of their tribes and always be granted what they wish for.


Angiras
Angiras was mentioned just once in this text as the mediator between heaven and Earth.
This name is related to the English word: Angel.


Varuna
Varuna was said to have spread out the Earth, extended the air above the trees, put
strength in horses, milk in cows, will power in the heart, fire in waters, the sun in
heaven, Soma upon the mountains, caused rain by pouring his leather bag, moistened the
Earth, to be the magic (maya) worker and measured the Earth to the Sun with a measuring
rod.

Worshippers of Varuna ask for reconciliation from him and forgiveness of sins or offenses.

Mitra and Aryaman
These two were listed but there were not any writings about them except that they did have
powers. I wonder whether Aryaman is the Leader of the gods for the Aryan people or tribe.


Manu
The first man on Earth according to the Rig Veda, he is the Clan founder or Adam, Noah,
Abraham or Moses. He is only listed on these texts.


Indra
Indra is mentioned in these texts as: the bull, the strongest of all that exist (except
Agni??), he is one of the most honored besides Agni, the warrior king of 33 gods of Manu,
wielder of thunderbolt, a killer of dragons, killer of the first born dragon, overpowering
the wily tricksters, the god who brought forth the sun, heaven and dawn, not having
anymore enemies after Vritra, the greatest enemy of Indra, who challenged Indra, who is
without shoulders. Indra killed Vritra with a thunderbolt, broke his nose and crushed him.
Indra is a mighty overwhelmer, drinker of Soma to the dregs (?). Danu, the mother of
Vritra, struck Indra with the vajura (?) and then she was killed also by a thunderbolt
from Indra. It seems to me that Vritra and Danu blocked the rivers of the Indo Valley from
flowing and that they are representative of a damn or levy or even a mountain. By Indra,
killing them he was able to release the closed clefts of the rivers (Vritra & Danu) and
allow them to flow once again. This might have represented a lightening bolt hitting a
mountain and causing a free flowing river to run through it. This is just a guess of mine
because I do not really know.

Indra is also considered the winner of cows, Soma and he is victorious all the time to
come. He crossed nine and ninety rivers, the lord of what moves and is rested, what is
peaceful and what is homed, he is the ruler of the tribes as a king and he encloses them
like a rim, he had insight the moment he was born and protects the other gods with his
power of thought. Indra also made the two worlds tremble with his hot breath which I think
symbolizes an earthquake with the steaming magma and water table below the crust of the
Earth. He had manly powers that made the tottering Earth, quaking mountains, measured and
extended the air, propped up the sky and drove the "race of Dasus"(??) into obscurity.
Indra stole wealth from his enemies, kind of like their Robin Hood, ruled over all the
riches, commands the horses, cows, villages and chariots. He gave birth to the sun and
dawn, and made the lights in the sky so high so no one could move them. This birthing by a
male god shows the lack of respect for women at that time. Lastly, without his blessing
the people will not conquer and will fall.

His people ask for his blessing in war and fighting, they praise him for vast riches and
victory and they ask him for happiness in their lives and sing praises to him for that
reason.

I am very confused about Indra because Agni is considered to be the greatest of all of
their gods, yet Indra, seems to have as many powers if not more than Agni. These two gods
also seem to have the same responsibilities to the Earth and are praised in the same way.
For some reason I think that they might be the same god, but I could be very wrong.


Vishnu
He is just mentioned once as wide striding and worthy of reverence.

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