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Is Brahman androgynous?

If Nirguna Brahman is really genderless, then why it’s shakti (maya) is considered feminine, while the non-shakti part is considered masculine? Doesn’t that make IT an androgynous being?

It is usually thought by us that just because most of us haven’t completely realized its true nature, we end up perceiving IT as a being having gender, but its not only us ordinary folks but even the self realized jnanis hold onto the belief that one half of brahman is masculine and the other half is feminine … Even the Kashmiri Shaivites, if im not wrong, say that shiva is nirguna, nirakara brahman who’s masculine in nature while its shakti is feminine.

I mean if Brahman is really nirguna then shouldn’t IT be devoid of these male & female halves or aspects?

If its really nirguna (genderless) then IT should be more like the void that buddhists meditate on. The void in my opinion is the perfect example of nirguna, nirakara incomprehensible absolute.

Shakti is Brahman, as long as one doesn’t realize God, one sees male and female aspect.

Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna / Volume 1 / The Festival At Panihati:

GOVINDA: “Revered sir, why does the Divine Mother have a black complexion?”7

Sri Ramakrishna: “You see Her as black because you are far away from Her. Go near and you will find Her devoid of all colour. The water of a lake appears black from a distance. Go near and take the water in your hand, and you will see that it has no colour at all. Similarly, the sky looks blue from a distance. But look at the atmosphere near you; it has no colour. The nearer you come to God, the more you will realize that He has neither name nor form. If you move away from the Divine Mother, you will find Her blue, like the grass-flower. Is Syama male or female? A man once saw the image of the Divine Mother wearing a sacred thread. He said to the worshipper: ‘What? You have put the sacred thread on the Mother’s neck!’ The worshipper said: ‘Brother, I see that you have truly known the Mother. But I have not yet been able to find out whether She is male or female; that is why I have put the sacred thread on Her image. That which is Syama is also Brahman. That which has form, again, is without form. That which has attributes, again, has no attributes. Brahman is Sakti; Sakti is Brahman. They are not two. These are only two aspects, male and female, of the same Reality, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.”



Brahman is a neuter-gender word in sanskrit. In the Isha-Upanishad, it is referred to as

A-kAyam, meaning bodiless.

The Svetasvatara-Upanishad says

naiva stri na pumaAn esha na cha eva ayam napunsakah, meaning its neither male nor female nor neuter-gendered.

  1. The Shakti or Maya are considered feminine in sanskrit. But Its not feminine in any real sense, as no gender can exist of something which is essentially formless:

na iyam yoshit na pumAn na shaNdo na jadah smritah (Navaratneswara-vachana in Tantra-Tattva.)

As per Tantra therefore Shakti also does not have any gender,

but Shakti fulfills all desires like the wish-fulfilling plant (‘kalpa-latA) and so is referred to as female.

Ragahava-Bhatta too is of the same opinion.

Gandharva-Tantra also says:

yadApi lingatrayabachyA..tathApi samata-Akankha-kalpaballi parashaktishbdabAchA.

So all are of the same opinion that neither Brahman nor Shakti has any gender and referred to as male or female for different reasons.

Reference: Sastramulak Bharatiya Shaktisadhana, Upendrakumar Das, RMIC, vol.1, page 336-7.

Shree Ram Aayenge – A new song about Shree Ram and Ramayana

Reviving the Spirit of Ramayana: A Festive Tribute from Vijayadashami to Diwali and Beyond

When the essence of an ancient story meets the vibrant chords of modern melodies, the result is nothing short of magical. This festive season, our talented team set out on a noble journey – to capture the timeless saga of the Ramayana in a song. But as we unveil our creation to the world, it’s not just the festive season we celebrate. The forthcoming inauguration of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple and its Pran Pratishtha on the 24th of January 2024 adds a momentous occasion to our celebrations. And now, we’d like to share the story behind our creation and why it holds a special place in our hearts.

Enjoy the song here:

The Inspiration Behind the Song

The idea to curate this musical tribute arose during a brainstorming session at Hindu Media Wiki. We discussed how we could celebrate the essence of Dussehra, Diwali, and the upcoming Ram Janmabhoomi temple inauguration in a way that resonated with both young and old. The tales of Ramayana, with its profound messages of righteousness, love, and sacrifice, felt like the perfect narrative.

Moreover, in these fast-paced times, many historical tales have faded from our collective memory. Through this song, we aim to revive and strengthen that connection, especially as we approach the historic inauguration.

Choosing the Right Words and Tunes

Crafting lyrics that do justice to the Ramayana’s grandeur and the significance of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple was a challenging endeavor. Thanks to our talented lyricists and musicians, we have crafted a piece that captures the emotive journey of Shree Ram, and Sita, and the many episodes from Aranya Kaand to Yuddha Kaand.

You can listen to songs on major music listening platforms like Spotify, Wink, iTunes and JioSaavan

A Visual Treat with Global Artistry

To make our rendition even more immersive, we paired our song with a curated collection of paintings from across the globe. Each artwork, rich in its representation of the Ramayana, enhances the overall experience.

Why This Song Matters to Us

For us at Hindu Media Wiki, this project transcends the act of creating a song. It’s about reigniting the spirit of an epic that has shaped our culture for millennia. As we approach the inauguration of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple, we hope our song serves as a reminder of the virtues of righteousness, perseverance, and the eternal power of love.

A Journey We Cherish

Every chord struck, every lyric penned, and every painting chosen has brought us closer to our vision. We are immensely grateful to all who contributed to this endeavor. As you immerse yourself in our tribute, we hope you’ll be transported to the grandeur of Ayodhya, the dense forests, the epic battles, and most importantly, the heart of the Ram Janmabhoomi.

What is Antardhvani Media?

“Welcome to Antardhvani Media – Your serene gateway to India’s spiritual heartbeats! Dive into a vast ocean of premium Bhakti melodies and rhythms on YouTube.

To be spiritual is to intertwine with the cosmos, to converse and heed its whispers. Antardhvani Media brings you an expansive collection of sacred hymns, devotional tunes, and bhajans, all under the esteemed banner of ‘Antardhvani’.

Proudly backed by the ‘Hindu Media Wiki’, a treasured hub for the Hindu community to share resources and engage in enlightening discussions, Antardhvani Media is your bridge to understanding and immersing in the depths of Hinduism. Moreover, our association with ‘Indic Brands ensures that we not only bring you soulful music but also uphold and revere our rich cultural legacy, presenting brands that echo the ethos of our ancient traditions.

Stay updated with our daily offerings, dedicated to the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, and a repository of spiritual wisdom. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to.

HanumanChalishaO : Daily Hanuman Chalisha Twitter Space

Experience the Power of Devotion: Join the ‘Hanuman Chalisha’ Twitter Space for Daily Bhajans and Mantras

Tomorrow 6th April 2023 is Hanuman Jayanti or Hanuman Janmostav, We would like to celebrate this auspicious festival by introducing a unique group of devotees meeting for Bhakti Sandhya each day. Let us see a remarkable aspect of this daily occurring event.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of spirituality and devotion. However, the “Hanuman Chalisha” Twitter space has provided an oasis of peace and harmony for the past year with its daily singing of Hanuman Chalisha and bhajans related to Shree Ram, Sita, and Hanuman.

A link to Twitter space on possession of one year of continuous recitation.

Organized by a network of volunteers, the space runs every day from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m., with a consistent and calming format. People from all walks of life come together to participate in this beautiful community of devotion and harmony.

Here is one such recorded space uploaded on YouTube for better audience reach.

श्री हनुमान चालीसा सत्संग – Shri Hanuman Chalisa Daily Satsang – 2 Hours – बजरँग बाण Bajrang Baan

One of the unique aspects of this space is the diversity of its users. For example, imagine a tabla player joining the space and adding a new dimension to the devotional experience. The tabla player’s beats would complement the singing and bring a new layer of depth to the music.

Another user persona that has found immense value in this space is the elderly. Many seniors find it difficult to attend in-person bhajan groups or temples due to mobility or other limitations. However, the “Hanuman Chalisa” Twitter space provides them with an opportunity to participate in devotional singing and find a sense of connection and community.

Furthermore, the space has even inspired people to learn and understand the value of Hanuman Chalisa.

What is Hanuman Chalisa?
Hanuman Chalisa is a 40-verse hymn dedicated to Lord Hanuman, who is revered in Hindu mythology for his strength, courage, and devotion. The verses of the Hanuman Chalisa highlight his divine attributes and serve as a source of inspiration for those who seek spiritual enlightenment.

Many users of the “Hanuman Chalisa” Twitter space have found immense value in reciting Hanuman Chalisa. It not only helps them connect with Lord Hanuman but also serves as a reminder of the importance of perseverance, faith, and devotion in their lives.

The space has also been a source of solace during challenging times. Many users have reported feeling a sense of calm and positivity after participating in the devotional singing. For some, it’s a moment of respite from the daily stresses of life, while for others, it’s a way to seek guidance and strength during tough times.

The Bhakti Must Goes ON

The “Hanuman Chalisa” Twitter space is a testament to the dedication and commitment of its volunteers. Running the space on a daily basis was no easy feat, and the volunteers faced several challenges along the way.

For example, there were technical issues that needed to be resolved promptly to ensure that the space could continue running smoothly. At one point, the account even stopped working altogether, causing concern among the community. However, the volunteers worked tirelessly to resolve the issue and get the space back up and running.

Another challenge that the volunteers faced was the shortage of committed moderators, especially during festival seasons and vacation periods. However, the volunteers worked together seamlessly as a team, and the available moderators compensated for the absence of their teammates by increasing their own moderation hours. This level of dedication and teamwork is a testament to the strong bond and sense of community among the volunteers.

Despite these challenges, the volunteers of the “Hanuman Chalisa” Twitter space have continued to run the space with the utmost professionalism, treating each other like family. This sense of unity and togetherness is evident in the way that the volunteers work together to ensure that the space runs smoothly and that all users feel welcomed and included. The “Hanuman Chalisa” Twitter space is a shining example of the power of community and devotion.

An Evening of Indian Village Temple Recreated

The “Hanuman Chalisa” Twitter space not only provides a platform for users to sing and connect with one another, but it also embodies the spirit of traditional Indian devotional gatherings. The space brings to mind the image of an old village where people gather in the evening at a local temple to sing bhajans and perform aarti.

In such gatherings, the sound of dhol, nagara, and the bell of the aarti create a festive atmosphere that fills the air with joy and devotion. Similarly, in the “Hanuman Chalisa” Twitter space, users come together to sing bhajans and chant mantras, creating a spiritual atmosphere that is both uplifting and inspiring.

The sense of community and togetherness in the “Hanuman Chalisa” Twitter space is reminiscent of the gatherings of old, where people from all walks of life would come together to celebrate their faith and devotion. The space offers a sense of belonging and connection that is vital in today’s fast-paced and often disconnected world.

In a time when physical gatherings are limited due to the pandemic, the “Hanuman Chalisa” Twitter space offers a virtual space where users can connect with one another and experience the sense of community that is so essential for our well-being. The space has provided solace and comfort to many, and its popularity is a testament to the power of devotion and the strength of the community.

The “Hanuman Chalisa” Twitter space is a testament to the power of community, devotion, and spirituality. It has brought people from all walks of life together to find a moment of peace and harmony, and in doing so, has enriched the lives of its users. As the world becomes increasingly busy and chaotic, spaces like these serve as a reminder of the importance of connecting with our inner selves and finding moments of peace and tranquillity.

Want to attend this event daily? Please follow:

Dwarka and the revolt of 1857: The Rebellion In Okhmandal

It is generally believed that Gujarat remained dormant during 1857; that the Revolt had no impact on Gujarat, nor did the inhabitants of the region show any sympathy towards the rebels. However, this impression is erroneous because there were several incidents in Gujarat during the period 1857-59 which were directly linked to the Revolt. This article looks at the upheaval in Gujarat, especially in the region of Saurashtra or Kathiawad in one of the important pilgrimage centers of Hindus, Dwarka.

Dwarka – of Krishna and Meera – Hand of Colors
Dwarkadish Temple, Jagat Mandir or Nija Mandir. The temple was rebuilt and enlarged in the 15th-16th century.

Against the backdrop of the rebellion in northern and central India, the insurrection broke out in various parts of Gujarat. Some stray skirmishes took place against British rule in Ahmadabad, Dahod, and Godhra. But the Dwarka have an important role to play in 1857.

There was a major uprising in the peninsular region of Gujarat. This region is called Saurashtra or Kathiawad. The peninsula of Saurashtra presented a conglomeration of 222 big and small princely states. In this region the most important rebellion was that of the Waghers of Okhamandal (comprising Dwarka, Bet, Okha). The Waghers had dominated the region till the Gaekwads established their rule in Okhamandal. Okhamandal continued to be a part of the Baroda state of the Gaekwads even after Baroda had accepted overall British supremacy. The Waghers looked upon both the Gaekwads and the British as their enemies.

The following excerpts from the book ‘Saurashtra no itihas – 1807 – 1948’ (History of Saurashtra), by A.V. Jani, published by Darshak Itihas Nidhi (Darshak history fund), give some idea of the 1857-58 revolt in Okhamandal.

On the eve of the uprising of 1857, there spread a rumor in Okhamandal that the rebels had succeeded in ousting the British from India. Pilgrims coming from north India to the famous shrines of Dwarka and Bet (which are situated in Okhamandal) carried news about the spread of the Revolt in different parts of the subcontinent, thereby reinforcing the rumor. The Waghers felt that this was an opportune moment to rebel against the Gaekwads and their colonial masters and liberate the region. In 1858 the Waghers were mobilized by Jodha Manek and his nephew Mulu Manek to carry out a struggle to overthrow the rule of the Gaekwads.

Jodha Manek and Mulu Manek

The Waghers attacked the Gaekwad army and British troops stationed in the Baroda state. The troops were forced to retreat and the rebels established their control over Dwarka and Bet. Jodha Manek was the leader of the rebels and he was declared ‘king of Dwarka’. He expelled Govind Rao, the thanedar of the Gaekwad, and took over the administration of the area. Many of the retreating soldiers of the Gaekwad’s army were killed by the people. The Waghers captured 28 guns, 2000 arms, 1000 maunds of gunpowder, 700 pounds of sulphur and 125 vessels from Dwarka, Bet, and Okha.

The entire area remained under the control of the rebels till 1859.

The British responded immediately to this critical situation which resulted in the liberation of Okhamandal. The Bombay government asked for troops to be sent immediately to help the Baroda state to suppress the revolt. A contingent of 1350 troops under Col. Donavan was despatched to deal with the rebellion. This contingent was to be reinforced by troops under Col. Scribe who was ordered to march from Rajkot to Dwarka. However, the arrival of the Rajkot troops got delayed.


Upon reaching Bet, Col. Donavan’s army launched a major offensive from sea and land on October 4, 1859. The naval offensive was carried out by warships Empress of India, Victoria, and Clide. There was heavy bombardment of rebel positions by the warships. The Waghers put up a brave resistance. In this engagement Capt. Mecormack of the 28th Regiment and Williams of the 6th Regiment were killed along with ten other British soldiers. Many more officers and soldiers were wounded. The two officers who were killed in this battle were buried at Bet and their graves can still be seen at the place.

The Wagher leader Deva Chhabani was also killed. This was a great loss to the rebels. But most of the rebels were able to move from Bet to Dwarka. They established their control over Dwarka on Dussehra. After the recapture of Bet, the British army demolished the Bet fort, destroyed temples and other structures, and looted treasure amounting to over three lakh rupees from the temples. The soldiers indiscriminately massacred innocent men, women, children, and killed cattle and horses.

The brutality displayed by the British at Bet caused widespread anger among the Waghers and other people of the region. They now began to make preparations to challenge the British from their base in Dwarka. When Col. Donavan learnt of this he rushed to the place along with his troops. Dwarka was attacked from both sea and land. The warships Zonabia and Firoz engaged in heavy shelling on October 31, 1859. Though the rebels put up a determined fight the British army proved superior. The rebels were defeated and Dwarka was captured. A large number of Waghers escaped to the nearby Abhapara hills.

In Dwarka the British repeated the cruelties that they had perpetrated in Bet. Temples and other structures were demolished; humans and cattle were killed; jewels and treasure was looted. This led to protests by rulers of Kutch, Porbandar and Jamnagar. Chambers of commerce also joined in the protest. Representations were made for the return of treasure that had been looted from temples. The Gaekwad and British authorities were warned that if the treasure was not restored there would be widespread discontent in the region. The Bombay government was forced to take note of the incidents and intervened to reassure the rulers of princely states that the treasure would be restored and that such incidents would not occur in future.


After the defeat of the rebels at Dwarka most of the Waghers surrendered their arms by 1859. Some of the leaders were arrested and were sentenced to imprisonment for terms extending from two to twelve years. Many other rebels under the leadership of Jodha Manek and Mulu Manek however continued to elude the authorities. They found shelter in the hill range of Abhapara. From here they carried out a guerilla struggle. The British saw this as a continuation of the 1857 Revolt. The continuing struggle in the Abhapara region needed to be crushed urgently. The princely rulers of Saurashtra were asked to render their support in this task. Accordingly the Junagadh state sent Diwan Anantji Amarchand with 700 soldiers; Jamnagar state sent Jalamsinh Jadeja with 1000 soldiers; Porbandar state sent Diwan Karamchand Gandhi with 200 soldiers and Gondal state sent Manishanker Nibheram Vaidya with 400 soldiers. They joined the British army led by Major Hommer. This princely army of 2300, along with the British army, jointly carried out military operations against the remaining Wagher rebels in the Abhapara hills and forced them to disband by the end of 1859. Jodha Manek escaped with some of his supporters and eventually died in 1860 at Sasan in Gir, where he was cremated.

A small band of Waghers continued their struggle from their hidden shelters in the hills of Barda and Gir under the guidance of their leaders Deva and Mulu Manek, who was later betrayed, captured and sentenced to imprisonment for fourteen years, though he managed to escape from jail as well. By this time the struggle had been completely suppressed.

This forgotten chapter in the history of the Revolt has to be seen as part of the larger struggle of the people of Gujarat against colonial oppression and against the collaborationist role of a large number of princely states. The fact that Gujarat did not remain unaffected by the upheaval of 1857 underlines the wide geographical extent of the Revolt. Further, as was the case in many parts of the subcontinent, the rebellion in the Okhamandal area of Saurashtra went on beyond 1857-58, thereby providing a link with the struggles of the post-1857 period.

1. Sketches of Jodha Manek and Mulu Manek can be seen on the link:
2. Jhaverchand Meghani, the well known figure in Gujarati literature  has written about the life and struggles of these heroes in his book Sorthi Baharvatiya.

Vishwakarma in Vedas and Purana

Vishwakarma Jayanti is a day of celebration for Vishwakarma, a Hindu god, the divine architect. He is considered as swayambhu and creator of the world. This writeup is dedicated to reference of Bhagvaan VIshwakarma in Vedas and Purana. It was originally posted on Hinduism StackExchange by Dr. Vineet Aggarwal.


Vedas use Vishwakarman most often as an adjective not the name of a person; it is an epithet for the Supreme God since He is the one who creates everything. This is evident from Rig Veda Book 10, Verse 81 which describes Vishwakarman similar to the way the Cosmic Purush is described:

  1. HE who sate down as Hotar-priest, the Ṛṣi, our Father, offering up all things existing,— He, seeking through his wish a great possession, came among men on earth as archetypal.
  2. What was the place whereon he took his station? What was it that supported him? How was it? Whence Visvakarman, seeing all, producing the earth, with mighty power disclosed the heavens.
  3. He who hath eyes on all sides round about him, a mouth on all sides, arms and feet on all sides, He, the Sole God, producing earth and heaven, weldeth them, with his arms as wings, together.
  4. What was the tree, what wood in sooth produced it, from which they fashioned out the earth and heaven? Ye thoughtful men inquire within your spirit whereon he stood when he established all things.
  5. Nine highest, lowest, sacrificial natures, and these thy mid-most here, O Visvakarman, Teach thou thy friends at sacrifice, O Blessed, and come thyself, exalted, to our worship.
  6. Bring thou thyself, exalted with oblation, O Visvakarman, Earth and Heaven to worship. Let other men around us live in folly here let us have a rich and liberal patron.
  7. Let us invoke to-day, to aid our labour, the Lord of Speech, the thought-swift Visvakarman. May he hear kindly all our invocations who gives all bliss for aid, whose works are righteous.

The Next Verse RV.10.82 also strengthens the same belief:

  1. THE Father of the eye, the Wise in spirit, created both these worlds submerged in fatness. Then when the eastern ends were firmly fastened, the heavens and the earth were far extended.
  2. Mighty in mind and power is Visvakarman, Maker, Disposer, and most lofty Presence. Their offerings joy in rich juice where they value One, only One, beyond the Seven Ṛṣis.
  3. Father who made us, he who, as Disposer, knoweth all races and all things existing, Even he alone, the Deities’ narne-giver,him other beings seek for information.
  4. To him in sacrifice they offered treasures,—Ṛṣis of old, in numerous troops, as singers, Who, in the distant, near, and lower region, made ready all these things that have existence.
  5. That which is earlier than this earth and heaven, before the Asuras and Gods had being,— What was the germ primeval which the waters received where all the Gods were seen together?
  6. The waters, they received that germ primeval wherein the Gods were gathered all together. It rested set upon the Unborn’s navel, that One wherein abide all things existing.
  7. Ye will not find him who produced these creatures: another thing hath risen up among you. Enwrapt in misty cloud, with lips that stammer, hymn-chanters wander and are discontented.

The sixth verse of the above hymn clearly mentions the navel of the unborn Lord who lies in water again hinting that the verse is actually meant for Lord Narayan who creates the world in the form of Brahma.


The Vedic Vishwakarman therefore refers to God as the Creator while Puranic Vishwakarma is the artisan of the gods. Chapter 25 of Book 1 of Vishnu Purana calls him the son of the Vasu Prabhas and Yogasiddha, the sister of Devguru Brihaspati:

The sister of Váchaspati, lovely and virtuous, Yogasiddhá, who pervades the whole world without being devoted to it, was the wife of Prabhása, the eighth of the Vasus, and bore to him the patriarch Viswakarmá, the author of a thousand arts, the mechanist of the gods, the fabricator of all ornaments, the chief of artists, the constructor of the self-moving chariots of the deities, and by whose skill men obtain subsistence. Ajaikapád, Ahirvradhna, and the wise Rudra Twasht́ri, were born; and the self-born son of Twashtri was also the celebrated Viśwarúpa.

The Shiva Puran section 1.2.14 mentions the following:

Once, Brahmaji went to ‘Kshirsagar’ (the abode of Vishnu) accompanied by the deities and asked lord Vishnu how a man could be liberated from his sorrows. Lord Vishnu told them that this objective could be met by worshipping Shiva-Linga. All the deities, then prayed to lord Shiva, who after becoming pleased instructed ‘Vishwakarma’ to construct a Shivalinga for them. Vishwakarma then made a Shivalinga for Kuber, a Shivalinga of yellow diamond for Dharmaraj, a Shivalinga of dark coloured diamond for Varun, a Shivalinga of Indraned diamond for Vishnu and a goldden Shivalinga for Brahmaji. Similarly Vishwadeva was given a Shivalinga made up of silver, the Ashwini Kumars were given Shivalinga made up of bronze, Laxmi was given a Shivalinga made up of Crystal (Sphatik), Sun-god was given a Shivalinga made of copper and the moon was given a Shivalinga made of pearl.

Section 1.2.22 mentions his construction of the city of Kuber:

“During the Padma kalpa, Sage Vishrawa was born to sage Pulastya- the manasputra of lord Brahma. Vishrawa’s son – Vishrawan ruled over Alkapuri for a long time. This city was constructed by the deity Vishwakarma. Vishrawan was a great devotee of Lord Shiva.”

The next section also mentions that impressed with Kuber’s devotion, Lord Shiva himself decided to stay at Kailash which was near Kuber’s city Alkapuri.

Rudra was so pleased with Kubera that he decided to stay near him. He called Vishwakarma and ordered him to conduct his abode at Kailash mountain, so that he could live in could live in the vicinity of his great devotee-Kubera. Kubera constructed a beautiful city as per his instruction. An auspicious moment was chosen and Shiva went to live at Kailash mountain. He was coronated by the deities.”

This is corroborated in the section 1.17.4 of the Vaman Puran:

After reaching Mandaar Mountain, Lord Shiva instructed Vishwakarma to construct a home. Vishwakarma constructed a spacious home for Shiva, which was spread in the area of 64 Yojans. The home was decorated with Swastika symbols and its walls were made of gold.

In the Skanda Purana Section 1.1.8, he is mentioned to have constructed the canopy under which Shiva & Parvati got married:

Later on Lord Shiva sent the Saptarishis with the proposal of marriage to Himalaya. Himalaya received his distinguished guests with respect and enquired about the purpose of their visit. The Saptarishis replied–‘We have come to request you to give your daughter’s hand in marriage to Shiva.’After consulting his wife, Mena and other mountains, Himalaya agreed to accept Shiva as his son-in-law. The Saptarishis then returned and conveyed the good news to Shiva.The preparation for marriage ceremony started being made. Finally the marriage procession proceeded towards the bride’s home. The marriage procession consisted of all the deities, apsaras, gandharvas even spirits and ghosts. Sage Garg Supervised the rituals of marriage ceremony. Vishwakarma constructed the canopy, where marriage ceremony was supposed to take place .After the marriage was over, Himalaya performed the ritual of Kanyadan and this way Shiva returned with his consort.

According to section 1.7.6, he also constructed the temple at Somnath along with the city around it on instruction from Chandra, the moon-god:

Chandra Deva got a divine Shiva linga installed by Brahma and worshipped it for thousand of years. Lord Shiva appeared once again and expressed his willingness to fulfill any wish Chandra Deva expressed. Chandra Deva requested Lord Shiva to dwell in the very Shiva Linga he had been worshipping till then. Lord Shiva revealed to him that there was no question of dwelling in the Shiva Linga as he had never abandoned it in the first place. Chandra Deva had regained his luster on account of his arduous penance. Lord Shiva blessed him and said- ‘ Since you have regained your luster (Prabha) by dint of your austere penance, this holy place will become famous as ‘Prabhas Kshetra’. This Linga would be named upon you and become famous as Somnath Linga.’ Having blessed Chandra Deva thus, Lord Shiva disappeared. Later on Chandra Deva instructed Vishwakarma to build a magnificent temple at the sight. He also built a city nearby so that all the priests who were supposed to supervise the rituals of worship could live there.

In the Shiva Puran another mention is made of his having constructed the chariot that Shiva used to destroy Tripura the three citadels of Tarakasur’s sons:

When Shiva agreed to kill the demon – brothers Tripurasur the deities became extremely joyous. They gave their respective weapons to Shiva, so that he did not have any difficulty in killing the demons. Vishwakarma gave his beautiful chariot to him.

In Section 1.3.23 he is mentioned to have fashioned the Vajra for Indra to kill the demon Vritrasur:

Dadhichi Gave up his life by his yogic power. Indra then instructed Kamdhenu to extract the bones from the dead body of Dadhichi. The bones were on given to ‘Twashta’ to construct the weapon-Vajra. Twashta took the weapons to Vishwakarma who at last constructed the Vajra.

This is corroborated in the Bhagvat Puran Section 1.6.6:

Thus, all the gods, headed by Indra, reached the hermitage of sage Dadhichi. There they very humbly and respectfully begged for his bones. For the benefit of the world, sage Dadhichi gladly accepted to donate his bones. With those bones, Vishvakarma built a massive Vajra which had thousand edges. Thus by the power of the Lord and aquiring a divine Vajra, Indra felt extremely strong. He at once launched an attack on the demon’s armies and drove them away from the battlefield.

Not just the Vajra, he also ends up creating Lord Shiva’s trident, Lord Vishnu’s Chakra and Kartikeya’s spear as mentioned in Vishnu Puran Book 3, Chapter 2:

PARÁŚARA.–Sanjná, the daughter of Viśwakarman, was the wife of the sun, and bore him three children, the Manu (Vaivaswata), Yama, and the goddess Yamí (or the Yamuná river). Unable to endure the fervours of her lord, Sanjná gave him Chháyá as his handmaid, and repaired to the forests to practise devout exercises…….To diminish his (Surya’s) intensity, Viśwakarman placed the luminary on his lathe, to grind off some of his effulgence; and in this manner reduced it an eighth, for more than that was inseparable. The parts of the divine Vaishńava splendour, residing in the sun, that were filed off by Viśwakarman, fell blazing down upon the earth, and the artist constructed of them the discus of Vishńu, the trident of Śiva, the weapon of the god of wealth, the lance of Kártikeya, and the weapons of the other gods: all these Viśwakarman fabricated from the superfluous rays of the sun.

He is also mentioned as having constructed an altar for Maharaj Bali the Asur king in Patal Loka as per Vaman Puran Section 1.23.5:

Pulastya says- After reaching the nether world, Bali got constructed a beautiful city made of diamonds and other precious stones. Vishwakarma had constructed an enormous sized altar in the central part of the city. The windows of Bali’s palace were well decorated with pearls. Bali lived there in luxury and by enjoying all the pleasures of life.

In the next section it is mentioned that:

After Prahlad’s departure, Bali followed his instructions faithfully and engaged himself in the worship of Lord Vishnu. He instructed Vishwakarma to construct a magnificent temple of Lord Vishnu and started worshipping Lord Vishnu accompanied by his wife. He used to clean the temple premises and offer the articles which were dear to Lord Vishnu. This way, Bali and his wife Vindhyavali engaged themselves in the worship of Lord Vishnu with complete devotion.

All these are his older achievements in the previous Manvantars but in Vaman Puran Section 1.19.3 – Search for Chitrangada and Vedavati a story is narrated of how he is once cursed to become a monkey and sires the Vanar architect Nala who helped Lord Rama build the bridge on the ocean:

In course of time, Ghritaachi became aware of the monkey’s real identity and developed physical intimacy with it. At first, both of them stayed at Kolaahal Mountain but later on, they shifted to Vindhya Mountain…….After ten months, Ghritaachi gave birth to a son who later on became famous as Nala. Vishwakarma became liberated from the curse and regained his human body.

The above incident happened in the Tretayug of the 24th Dwapar. In Satyuga of the present Mahayuga, he constructed the shrine, two Narasimha idols and the chariots at Jagannath Puri. The Purushottam Mahatmaya part of Skanda Puran mentions the following:

Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda – Purushottama Kshetra Mahatmya 16): King Indradyumna building a shrine and sage Narada installing Nrisimha at the place of the horse sacrifice: Then sage Narada invoked the celestial architect Vishwakarma, and instructed the king to build a shrine for Nrisimha at the place of horse sacrifice with the help of Vishwakarma (this was completed in four days). Narada himself got a second idol of Nrisimha built by Vishwakarma and meditating for five days infused this idol with the prana of the original Nrisimha idol. Then he installed this idol of Nrisimha on Jyestha Shukla Paksha Dwadashi in conjunction with the Swati Nakshatra. King Indradyumna eulogized Nrisimha with various hymns.

Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda – Purushottama Kshetra Mahatmya 24 – 26): When Indradyumna reached the earth he saw the Lord and the shrine still intact due to the grace of Purushottama. With the help of sage Narada and Padmanidhi he started making all the arrangements for the installation of the Lord. Sage Narada told him to build three chariots for Krishna (Jagannatha), Balarama and Subhadra. The chariots were built by Vishwakarma on a single day and were installed by sage Narada.

Perhaps his most recent achievement is the one mentioned in Bhagvat Puran Section 1.10.46 that was completed towards the end of the 28th Dwapar:

At last, instead of attacking Mathura himself, Jarasandh sent Kalyavan to defeat Shri Krishna. Kalyavan launched an attack on Mathura with one crore strong Malechchh army. This time Lord Krishna decided to vacate Mathura instead of countering the attack.He got Dwarikapuri constructed by Vishvakarma and settled all the people of Mathura there.

Hope all these help you understand the origins, history and the achievements of Lord Vishwakarma better.

Why are Kashmiri Hindus called Pandits?

This designation ‘Pandit’

Let’s go back to the era of Sultan Sikandar known to history as Butshikan, meaning, iconoclast. He was a religious fanatic, the like of whom would put any bigot to shame.

In 1394 Sultan Sikandar came to the throne and soon earned the nickname of Butshikan or Iconoclast, from the intense zeal he showed in destroying the grand old temples which the Hindu rajas had bequeathed to Kashmir.

He attracted learned Musalmans to his court, Hindu temples were felled to the ground, and for one year a large establishment was maintained for the demolition of the grand Martand temples. There was a certain method in the mad zeal of Sikandar, for he used the plinths‟ and friezes of the old temples for the embankments of the city and for the foundation of Jamia Masjid. Having glutted his vengeance on Hindu temples Sikandar turned his attention to the people who had worshipped in them,and he offered them three choices, Death, Conversion or Exile. Many fled, many were converted and many were killed, and it is said that this monarch burnt “seven mounds‟ of sacred threads of murdered Brahmans.

The pace of conversion to Islam picked up with the appearance of Sufis and Sayeds from central Asia to Kashmir encouraging the people to convert to Islam. One of the prominent Sayeds was Mir- Ali Hamdani. It is said that with Sayed Mir- Ali Hamdani about seven hundred Sayeds came and with his illustrious son three hundred more. They stayed in Kashmir under royal protection and took to the proselytization of the new faith. – They secured many converts to the new faith Islam which was already the court religion and it was natural that some privileged position was guaranteed to its votaries

It is pleasant to turn to the more enlightened reign of Zain-ul-Abidin, who succeeded to the throne of Kashmir. He is known in Kashmir as the great king and his long reign of fifty-two years is even now quoted by the Kashmiris as the happiest period of their history

The result of his religious tolerance was the return of exiled Kashmiri Pandits.

By now Persian had become the official language. The desire to share an office with others could not be fulfilled without a study of Persian. The Brahmans who were popularly known as Bhattas took to the study of Persian and in a brief span of a few years they acquired mastery over this language. But the Sanskrit learning and their religious ceremonies were not forgotten because this was the only distinctive feature to keep them alive as a separate group.

There was now practically only one caste, that of the Brahmans which represented Hinduism in Kashmir. It was from this time that Kashmiri Pandits were split into three divisions. Those that took to the use of Persian and entered in official life were known as the Karkun Brahmans, those who adopted the functions of priests were known as Bachbatt Pandits; while those who devoted themselves to Sanskrit learning formed the class known as the Pandits

The ruthless and cruel regimes preceding his rule had compelled more than fifty percent of the Hindu population to seek refuge outside Kashmir. It is he, who at the request of Sri Bhatta, his most favorite and life protector counselor, recalled them to their native abode and assured their economic and social rehabilitation, happiness, and welfare. He was gracious enough to send messengers to various corners of India inviting the Kashmiri Hindus, who had fled their land of genesis, to return to Kashmir.

The descendants of the Brahmans of Zainu-l-Abidin‟s time are the Pandits of today

Thus, the Kashmiri Pandit took his birth in its modern shape, though till then the name Kashmiri Pandit/Brahman was not coined to describe this community which was described as Bhatta. Even now a Kashmiri Pandit at home describes himself as a Bhatta and it is by this name that he is described by others in Kashmir.

Some say this designation ‘Pandit’ was requested for legal use, by Jai Ram Bhan, a Kashmiri courtier in the Mughal court of Emperor Muhammad Shah (1719-1749), and it was granted. 

The crusade against Hindus and Pandits

Sikandar and Malik Saif-Ud-Din were under influence of “Sμfi Mir Mohammed Hamadani” who wαged a crμsade αgainst the Hindus to convert them to Islαm. Sikander won the epithet of But-Shikan or Idol breaker.

He Summoned Brahmins of Kashmir,by giving them choice either to discard Janeu or accept Dæath. No brahmins discarded the Sacred thread.They were all kiIIed.He ßurnt 7 maunds of Yagnopaveetam (Sacred Thread of Hindus) 1 Maund is equal to 37 Kg,While 7 maund weights equal to 259 Kg.

He gave no options to Kashmiri Hindus, giving them no option but to accept Islαm, exile or deαth If a Hindu does not become a Mμslim, he must leave the country or be kiIIεd.

All the Sacred books were thrown into the Dal Lake. Over 1,00,000 Pandits were drowned in the lake and were ßurnt at a spot in the Vicinity of Rainawari in Srinagar City know Batta Mazar (The Grαveyard of Battas-Kashmiri Pandit)

Persian Chronicle, Tarikhi-i-Kashmir says that Sikander “Was constantly busy in αnnihilaging the infidεl and destroying most of the Tεmples”

To establish Nizam-e-Mustaffa and keep his patrons, the seeds in good humour, he banned all Hindu Celebration including the playing of Music. He went to extent of Banning Hindus from putting “Tilak”. Blowing a conch shell was or ringing a bell of a temple was a Crime.

Many Brahmins rather than abandon their religion poisoned themselves and some fled away to other places. For a full one year he tried to demolish the Martanda Temple but failed. At last he dug out stones from its base and stored enough wood there to set firε to it.

At Bijbehara “Three Hundred Temples” including Vijaheshwara temple was partially destroyed and with the Material of later a Mosqμe was built Which is known as “Vijayeshwar Khanqab”

Ancient Mata Kali Temple on the bank of Vitasta in Srinagar was destroyed by Sikander Butshikan to built the Khanqah-e-Moula mosque. Hindu devotee continues to worship the remnants of the Temple.

In Rajtarangini: “There was no city, no town, no village, no wood whwee the Temples of Gods were unbroken. When Sureshavari, Varaha were broken the world trembled but not so the mind of wicked king.He delight day night in breaking images”

He imposed a “Jizya tax” on Non-Mμslim. Each of them has to pay an annual tax of four Tolas of Silver He even stopped Hindus from cπemating their dεad bodiεs. He ordered them to buπy the bodies using Mμslim rituals.

Whoever tried to flee from the Valley, the Sikander had his Guards placed on the mountain passes, were who tried to escape caught and pushed down from the High cliffs of the moutains.

First part of this article was submitted by WORLD OF SANATAN DHARMA , you can follow on Twitter at , Second part of the article is recompilation of twitter thread by Samya Mishra, you can follow her on Twitter at

MahaShivratri Abhishek Vidhi

In Hindi : Different Abhishek Vidhi For Maha Shivratri

भगवान शिव को शुक्लयजुर्वेद अत्यन्त प्रिय है कहा भी गया है l

वेदः शिवः शिवो वेदः ll

इसी कारण ऋषियों ने शुक्लयजुर्वेदीय रुद्राष्टाध्यायी से रुद्राभिषेक करने का विधान शास्त्रों में बतलाया गया है….

यजुर्मयो हृदयं देवो यजुर्भिः शतरुद्रियै:।

पूजनीयो महारुद्रो सन्ततिश्रेयमिच्छता।।

शुकलयजुर्वेदीय रुद्राष्टाध्यायी में बताई गई विधि से रुद्राभिषेक करनेसे विशेष लाभ की प्राप्ति होती है।

जाबालोपनिषद् में याज्ञवल्क्य ने कहा…

शतरुद्रियेणेति अर्थात् शतरुद्रिय के सतत पाठ करनेसे मोक्ष की प्राप्ति होती है।

यजुर्वेदीय विधि-विधान से पूजा करने में असमर्थ हैं या इस विधान से परिचित नहीं हैं वे केवल भगवान शिव के षडाक्षरी मंत्र– ॐ नम:शिवाय का जप करते हुए रुद्राभिषेक का पूर्ण लाभ प्राप्त कर सकते है।

महाशिवरात्रि, प्रदोष और सावन मास, पर शिव-आराधना करने से महादेव शीघ्र ही प्रसन्न होते है। शिव भक्त इस दिन शिवजी का अभिषेक करते हैं।

शिव पुराण के अनुसार किस द्रव्य से अभिषेक करने से क्या फल मिलता है…

जलेन वृष्टिमाप्नोति व्याधिशांत्यै कुशोदकै
दध्ना च पशुकामाय श्रिया इक्षुरसेन वै।l

मध्वाज्येन धनार्थी स्यान्मुमुक्षुस्तीर्थवारिणा।
पुत्रार्थी पुत्रमाप्नोति पयसा चाभिषेचनात।।

बन्ध्या वा काकबंध्या वा मृतवत्सा यांगना।
जवरप्रकोपशांत्यर्थम् जलधारा शिवप्रिया।।

घृतधारा शिवे कार्या यावन्मन्त्रसहस्त्रकम्।
तदा वंशस्यविस्तारो जायते नात्र संशयः।l

प्रमेह रोग शांत्यर्थम् प्राप्नुयात मान्सेप्सितम।
केवलं दुग्धधारा च वदा कार्या विशेषतः।l

शर्करा मिश्रिता तत्र यदा बुद्धिर्जडा भवेत्।
श्रेष्ठा बुद्धिर्भवेत्तस्य कृपया शङ्करस्य च!!

सार्षपेनैव तैलेन शत्रुनाशो भवेदिह!
पापक्षयार्थी मधुना निर्व्याधिः सर्पिषा तथा।।

जीवनार्थी तू पयसा श्रीकामीक्षुरसेन वै।
पुत्रार्थी शर्करायास्तु रसेनार्चेतिछवं तथा।l

महलिंगाभिषेकेन सुप्रीतः शंकरो मुदा।
कुर्याद्विधानं रुद्राणां यजुर्वेद्विनिर्मितम्।l

Shiv Purana

जल से अभिषेक

हर तरह के दुखों से छुटकारा पाने के लिए भगवान शिव का जल से अभिषेक करें
भगवान शिव के बाल स्वरूप का मानसिक ध्यान करें
–ताम्बे के पात्र में ‘शुद्ध जल’ भर कर पात्र पर कुमकुम का तिलक करें
ॐ इन्द्राय नम: का जाप करते हुए पात्र पर मौली बाधें
पंचाक्षरी मंत्र ॐ नम: शिवाय” का जाप करते हुए फूलों की कुछ पंखुडियां अर्पित करें
शिवलिंग पर जल की पतली धार बनाते हुए रुद्राभिषेक करे। शिवलिंग को वस्त्र से अच्छी तरह से पौंछ कर साफ करें

2) दूध से अभिषेक

शिव को प्रसन्न कर उनका आशीर्वाद पाने के लिए दूध से अभिषेक करें।भगवान शिव के ‘प्रकाशमय’ स्वरूप का मानसिक ध्यान करें।ताम्बे के पात्र में ‘दूध’ भर कर पात्र को चारों और से कुमकुम का तिलक करें
ॐ श्री कामधेनवे नम: का जाप करते हुए पात्र पर मौली बाधें
पंचाक्षरी मंत्र ॐ नम: शिवाय’ का जाप करते हुए फूलों की कुछ पंखुडियां अर्पित करें
शिवलिंग पर दूध की पतली धार बनाते हुए-रुद्राभिषेक करें.
अभिषेक करते हुए ॐ सकल लोकैक गुरुर्वै नम: मंत्र का जाप करें
शिवलिंग को साफ जल से धो कर वस्त्र से अच्छी तरह से पौंछ कर साफ करें

3) फलों का रस

अखंड धन लाभ व हर तरह के कर्ज से मुक्ति के लिए भगवान शिव का फलों के रस से अभिषेक करें
भगवान शिव के ‘नील कंठ’ स्वरूप का मानसिक ध्यान करें।ताम्बे के पात्र में ‘गन्ने का रस’ भर कर पात्र को चारों और से कुमकुम का तिलक करें। ॐ कुबेराय नम: का जाप करते हुए पात्र पर मौली बाधें। पंचाक्षरी मंत्र ॐ नम: शिवाय का जाप करते हुए फूलों की कुछ पंखुडियां अर्पित करें।शिवलिंग पर फलों का रस की पतली धार बनाते हुए-रुद्राभिषेक करें। अभिषेक करते हुए -ॐ ह्रुं नीलकंठाय स्वाहा मंत्र का जाप करें
शिवलिंग पर स्वच्छ जल से भी अभिषेक करें

4) सरसों के तेल से अभिषेक

ग्रहबाधा नाश हेतु भगवान शिव का सरसों के तेल से अभिषेक करें।भगवान शिव के ‘प्रलयंकर’ स्वरुप का मानसिक ध्यान करें। ताम्बे के पात्र में ‘सरसों का तेल’ भर कर पात्र को चारों और से कुमकुम का तिलक करें।ॐ भं भैरवाय नम: का जाप करते हुए पात्र पर मौली बाधें
। पंचाक्षरी मंत्र ॐ नम: शिवाय” का जाप करते हुए फूलों की कुछ पंखुडियां अर्पित करें। शिवलिंग पर सरसों के तेल की पतली धार बनाते हुए-रुद्राभिषेक करें.
। शिवलिंग को साफ जल से धो कर वस्त्र से अच्छी तरह से पौंछ कर साफ करें

5) चने की दाल

किसी भी शुभ कार्य के आरंभ होने व कार्य में उन्नति के लिए भगवान शिव का चने की दाल से अभिषेक करें।भगवान शिव के ‘समाधी स्थित’ स्वरुप का मानसिक ध्यान करें।ताम्बे के पात्र में ‘चने की दाल’ भर कर पात्र को चारों और से कुमकुम का तिलक करें।ॐ यक्षनाथाय नम: का जाप करते हुए पात्र पर मौली बाधें।पंचाक्षरी मंत्र ॐ नम: शिवाय का जाप करते हुए फूलों की कुछ पंखुडियां अर्पित करें।शिवलिंग पर चने की दाल की धार बनाते हुए-रुद्राभिषेक करें। अभिषेक करेत हुए -ॐ शं शम्भवाय नम: मंत्र का जाप करें।शिवलिंग को साफ जल से धो कर वस्त्र से अच्छी तरह से पौंछ कर साफ करें

6) काले तिल से अभिषेक

तंत्र बाधा नाश हेतु व बुरी नजर से बचाव के लिए काले तिल से अभिषेक करें।भगवान शिव के ‘नीलवर्ण’ स्वरुप का मानसिक ध्यान करें।ताम्बे के पात्र में ‘काले तिल’ भर कर पात्र को चारों और से कुमकुम का तिलक करें
पंचाक्षरी मंत्र ॐ नम: शिवाय का जाप करते हुए फूलों की कुछ पंखुडियां अर्पित करें।शिवलिंग पर काले तिल की धार बनाते हुए-रुद्राभिषेक करें। शिवलिंग को साफ जल से धो कर वस्त्र से अच्छी तरह से पौंछ कर साफ करें

7) शहद मिश्रित गंगा जल
संतान प्राप्ति व पारिवारिक सुख-शांति हेतु शहद मिश्रित गंगा जल से अभिषेक करें।भगवान शिव के ‘चंद्रमौलेश्वर’ स्वरुप का मानसिक ध्यान करें। तांबे के पात्र में ” शहद मिश्रित गंगा जल” भर कर पात्र को चारों और से कुमकुम का तिलक करें।ॐ चन्द्रमसे नम: का जाप करते हुए पात्र पर मौली बाधें।पंचाक्षरी मंत्र ॐ नम: शिवाय’ का जाप करते हुए फूलों की कुछ पंखुडियां अर्पित करें।शिवलिंग पर शहद मिश्रित गंगा जल की पतली धार बनाते हुए-रुद्राभिषेक करें। अभिषेक करते हुए -ॐ वं चन्द्रमौलेश्वराय स्वाहा’ का जाप करें
शिवलिंग पर स्वच्छ जल से भी अभिषेक करें

8) घी व शहद

रोगों के नाश व लम्बी आयु के लिए घी व शहद से अभिषेक करे। भगवान शिव के ‘त्रयम्बक’ स्वरुप का मानसिक ध्यान करें।ताम्बे के पात्र में ‘घी व शहद’ भर कर पात्र को चारों और से कुमकुम का तिलक करें। ॐ धन्वन्तरयै नम: का जाप करते हुए पात्र पर मौली बाधें
। पंचाक्षरी मंत्र ॐ नम: शिवाय” का जाप करते हुए फूलों की कुछ पंखुडियां अर्पित करें
। शिवलिंग पर घी व शहद की पतली धार बनाते हुए-रुद्राभिषेक करें। शिवलिंग पर स्वच्छ जल से भी अभिषेक करें

9 ) कुमकुम केसर हल्दी

आकर्षक व्यक्तित्व का प्राप्ति हेतु भगवान शिव का कुमकुम केसर हल्दी से अभिषेक करें।शिव के ‘नीलकंठ’ स्वरूप का मानसिक ध्यान करें।ताम्बे के पात्र में ‘कुमकुम केसर हल्दी और पंचामृत’ भर कर पात्र को चारों और से कुमकुम का तिलक करें – ‘ॐ उमायै नम:’ का जाप करते हुए पात्र पर मौली बाधें। पंचाक्षरी मंत्र ‘ॐ नम: शिवाय’ का जाप करते हुए फूलों की कुछ पंखुडियां अर्पित करें
पंचाक्षरी मंत्र पढ़ते हुए पात्र में फूलों की कुछ पंखुडियां दाल दें-‘ॐ नम: शिवाय’
फिर शिवलिंग पर पतली धार बनाते हुए-रुद्राभिषेक करें.
अभिषेक का मंत्र-ॐ ह्रौं ह्रौं ह्रौं नीलकंठाय स्वाहा’
शिवलिंग पर स्वच्छ जल से भी अभिषेक करें

This Article is written by Thesage_lord, You can follow him on Twitter here.

Procedures used for preserving the integrity of the Vedas

It is said that the metering of the Sanskrit verses in Vedas and process of recitation imbue certain qualities to the scripture that makes it inimitable(if I may use the word) or easy to identify errors and corruptions introduced over time – a kind of a linguistic/phonetic error correction code. What exactly are these precautionary methods used for preserving the Vedas and how are they being put to use? Has any corruption been identified in available sources of Vedas based on this methodology?

1) Divisional Protection:

Veda Výas divides Veda at the end of Dwapar into Rig, Yajur, and Sama so that it becomes suitable for men of Kaliyuga so that they can just study part of it as they do not have enough memory and intellect to learn all. For eg. There have been several Vedas Vyasa for this purpose, the present Veda Vyasa being Krishna Dwaipayana. For eg. Here is what Vishnu Purana tells:

Twenty-eight times have the Vedas been arranged by the great Rishis in the Vaivaswata Manwantara in the Dwápara age, and consequently eight and twenty Vyásas have passed away; by whom, in their respective periods, the Veda has been divided into four. In the first Dwápara age the distribution was made by Swayambhu (Brahmá) himself; in the second, the arranger of the Veda (Veda-vyása) was Prajápati (or Manu); in the third, Uśanas; in the fourth, Vrihaspati; in the fifth, Savitri; in the sixth, Mrityu (Death, or Yama); in the seventh, Indra; in the eighth, Vaśisht́ha; in the ninth, Sáraswata; in the tenth, Tridháman; in the eleventh, Trivrishan; in the twelfth, Bharadwája; in the thirteenth, Antaríksha; in the fourteenth…..

Also families are associated with Shakhas and it is duty of descendent of that family at least to learn his Shakhas and Vedas.

2) Meter protection:

Samhitas are the most important part of Vedas as they are the heard words during meditation. Samhitas of Vedas are itself revealed in specific meters such that not a single syllable can be removed or added from it. For eg. Gayatri mantra of Rigveda is in Gayatri meter and it contains 24 letters. In the similar way Samhitas are revealed in other chhandas like Anusthub, Jagati etc. For eg:

Gayatri= 24 syllables in total. 3 verses each of 8 syllables.

Anushtup= 32 syllables in total. 4 verses each of 8 syllables.

Brihati= 36 syllables in total. 2 verses of 8 syllables, 1 verse of 12 syllables and 1 verse of 8 syllables.

Pankti= 40 syllables in total. 5 verses each of 8 syllables.

Trishtubh= 44 syllables in total. 4 verses each of 11 syllables.

Jagati= 48 syllables in total. 4 verses each of 12 syllables.

And so on other meters also. As each meter has specific number of letter so it helps in protecting Vedas.

3) Swara Protection:

This is an advanced method of protection. It protects not only words of Vedas but also tone of Chanting. Vedas are chanted in level of pitch. They are:

i)Uddata = Pronounced in Normal pitch. Syllables aren’t marked for it.

ii)Anudatta = Pronounced in Lower pitch. Syllables are marked by sign “_” below it. Syllables bearing such signs are chanted with lower pitch.

iii)Swarita = Pronounced in Higher pitch. Syllables are marked with longer ‘ sign above it. They are chanted with higher pitch.

iv) Dirgha swarita = It is Swarita pronounced for longer time period. Represented by longer ” sign above syllable. For eg. Here is an example of Swara marks:


A single mantra has various signs in various places thus giving a specific tone to it. Thus Swara protection protects even tone.

4) Mudra protection:

To protect even the tone more precisely, Mudras ie. position of specific position of hands and heads are moved.

  1. udātta – right hand to shoulder
    anudātta – hand to knee
    svarita – hand moved to 45 degree angle to the body
  2. udātta – head up
    anudātta – head down
    svarita – head turned slightly to the side
  3. udātta – palm turned up
    anudātta – palm down
    svarita- hand moved horizontaly to the right
  4. udātta – thumb on index finger
    anudātta – thumb on little finger
    svarita – thumb on ring finger

In this way an advanced Veda reader can immediately recognize mistake in pronounciation just by looking the chanters hand position.

5) Patha protection:

It is also advanced method applied for protection of Vedas. It includes method of recitation of Vedas by repitition of syllables and words. There are various Patha methods like ‘Vakya’, ‘Krama’, ‘Pada’, ‘Jata’, ‘Ghana’ etc.. Among them Ghana is the most advanced method. In Ghana recitation single syllable is recited 13 times. The pattern is

1-2, 2-1, 1-2-3, 3-2-1, 1-2-3 ।

2-3, 3-2, 2-3-4, 4-3-2, 2-3-4।

3-4, 4-3, 3-4-5, 5-4-3, 3-4-5।….. For eg. Gayatri mantra is chanted in Ghana Path in this way:

ॐ तत् सवितुस् सवितुस् तत् तत् सवितुर् वरेण्यं वरेण्यं सवितुस् तत् तत् सवितुर् वरेण्यम्।
सवितुर् वरेण्यं वरेण्यं सवितुस् सवितुर् वरेण्यं भर्गो भर्गो वरेण्यं सवितुस् सवितुर् वरेण्यं भर्गः।
वरेण्यं भर्गो भर्गो वरेण्यं वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य देवस्य भर्गो वरेण्यं वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य।
भर्गो देवस्य देवस्य भर्गो भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धीमहि देवस्य भर्गो भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि।
देवस्य धीमहि धीमहि देवस्य देवस्य धीमहि धीमहि इति धीमहि।
धियो यो यो धियो धियो यो नो नो यो धियो धियो यो नः।
यो नो नो यो यो नः प्रचोदयत् प्रचोदयत् नो यो यो नः प्रचोदयत्।
नः प्रचोदयत् प्रचोदयत् नो नः प्रचोदयत् प्रचोदयत् इति प्रचोदयत्॥

Thus a 24 syllabled Gayatri becomes such long in this Ghana Path. It helps both in memorization and preservation of Vedas.

For eg if I have to say ‘I am writing answer here‘ in Ghana format. I have to recite like this:

I am – am I – I am writing – writing am I – I am writing, am writing – writing am – am writing answer – answer writing am – am writing answer, writing answer – answer writing – writing answer here – here answer writing – writing answer here, answer here – here answer – answer here ।।

In this way our Vedas were preserved by Vocal tradition from teacher to disciple.

Veda parts:

Vedas are divided into four parts: Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads. Generally by saying Vedas only Samhita part is understood. However Other are also equally important as well. Brahmanas and Aranyakas are also protected using Swara marks and recitations although Samhitas are preserved most importantly. Due to less importatce in preservation of Brahmanas and Aranyakas, several Brahmanas and Aranyakas are already lost. But in the part of Upanishads it is said that some Upanishads were composed latter and they just claim to be associated with Vedas. Muktika Upanishad listing 108 Upanishads are generally considered Valid but still there is debate among the authenticity of these 108 Upanishads and Muktika Upanishad itself. However there are principle 13 Upanishads quoted by Badarayana in Brahma Sutras. They are considered the most authentic. They are:

Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Aitareya, Taittiriya, Chhandogya, Brihadaranyaka, Kaushitaki, Shvetashvatara, Mahanarayana.

There is no question of authenticity for these Upanishads. However there are other authentic Upanishads as well.

Summarizing in shortcut:

A capable student learns Vedas from a learned teacher. He recites those mantras consisting specific number of syllables in specific tone, repeats them in specific pattern, moves his body parts (hands and head) in specific way for each syallble. In this way he learns in extremely precise way.

Meaning of Pashupati

The name PashuPati is given 3 times itself in the Veda Samhita in the Sri Rudram. The 2nd Anuvaka states “Pashunam Pataye Namaha”, 8th Anuvaka states “Nama Sangaye Cha Pasupataye Cha” and particularly 5th Anuvaka states:

नमो भवाय च रुद्राय च। नमश्शर्वाय च पशुपतये च।
Salutations to him who is Bhava, who is Rudra, who is Sharva and who is PashuPati.

So, the name PashuPati is of significant importance.

This blog describes What exactly is meant by the name PashuPati? Who actually are the Pashus? By what rope does the PashuPati binds the Pashu? What is the Concept of PashuPati?

Meaning of Pashupati:

Pashupati means Lord of all Pashus. Here Pashu means every creatures and not just animals. It is clarified itself in the YajurVeda. Yajurveda states:

येषामीशे पशुपतिः पशूनां चतुष्पदामुत च द्विपदम् ।। [YajurVeda 3.1.4]
Which Pashus do the Pashupati rules? He rules both the two footed and four footed.

When Vedas say ruler of two footed and four footed (dwipada , chatuspada) then it has special significance because it is the attribute of Brahman described in the Upanishads. Like the Shwetashwatara Upanishad 4.13 states:

यो देवानामधिपो यस्मिन्ल्लोका अधिश्रिताः ।
य ईशे अस्य द्विपदश्चतुष्पदः कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम ॥

He who is the sovereign of the gods, in whom the worlds find their support, who rules over all two−footed and four−footed beings− let us serve that God, radiant and blissful, with an oblation.

Lord Shiva as Lord of all two footed and four footed is also stated in 4.28 of AtharvaVeda:

भवाशर्वौ मन्वे वां तस्य वित्तं ययोर्वामिदं प्रदिशि यद्विरोचते।
यावस्येशाथे द्विपदो यौ चतुष्पदस्तौ नो मुञ्चतमंहस ।। (AtharvaVeda 4.28)

Everything that shines is under your control Oh Bhava and Sarva. Oh Isha you are the lord of all two footed and four footed, Deliver us from grief and trouble.

So, it is itself clear from the Vedas that Pashu means Jeeva. And Pashupati is the Lord of all two footed and four footed.

Shiva Purana also states the same. Upamanyu in Vyayavviya Samhita chapter 1 states:

ब्रह्माद्याः स्थावरान्तश्च देवदेवस्य शूलिनः ।
पशवः परिकीर्त्यन्ते संसारवशवर्तिन ।।
तेषां पतित्वाद्देवेशः शिवः पशुपतिः स्मृतः ।

All those from Brahma to all immobiles who are subservient to Shiva are called Pasus. Being their lord, Shiva is called Pashupati.

How Rudra became Pashupati?

Lord Shiva is Pashupati at all times by his own nature as described in Svetasvatara Upanishad 4.13. Rudra is the avatar of Lord Shiva through Brahma. There are various story on how Lord Rudra became Pasupati. Some of them are:

i) Narration in the YajurVeda:

YajurVeda describes how Rudra became Pashupati during Tripura Dahana. Yajurveda 6.2.3 states it as:

तेषामसुराणां तिस्त्रः पुर आसन्नयस्मय्यवमाथ रजताथ हरिणी ता देवा जेतुं नाशक्नुवन्ता उपसदैवाजिगीषन्तस्मादाहुर्यश्चैव वेद यश्च नोपसदा वै महापुरं जयन्तीति त इषु समस्कुर्वताग्निमनीकं सोमं शल्यं विष्णुं तेजनं तेऽब्रुवन्क इमामसिष्यतीति रुद्र इत्यब्रुवन्रुद्रो वै क्रुरः सोऽस्यत्विति सोऽब्रवीद्वरंवृणा अहमेव पशूनामधिपतिरसानीति तस्माद्रुद्र पशूनामधिपतिस्ता रुद्रोऽवासृजत्स तिस्त्रः पुरो भित्वैभ्यो….. [YajurVeda 6.2.3 ]

The Asuras had Tripuras; the lowest was of iron, then there was one of silver, then one of gold. The gods could not conquer them; they sought to conquer them by siege; therefore they say–both those who know thus and those who do not–‘By siege they conquer great citadels.’ They made ready an arrow, Agni as the point, Soma as the socket, Visnu as the shaft. They said, ‘Who shall shoot it?’ ‘Rudra’, they said, ‘Rudra is fierce, let him shoot it.’ He said, ‘Let me choose a boon; let me be overlord of Pashus.’ Therefore is Rudra overlord of Pashus. Rudra let it go; it cleft the Tripuras and drove the Asuras away from these worlds.

ii) Narration in the Shiva Purana and Linga Purana:

Shiva Purana and Linga Purana both narrate the same above story YajurVeda. ie. Rudra being Pashupati during Tripura Samhara. Shiva Purana in Rudra Samhita Yuddha Khanda Chapter 9 and Linga Purana in chapter 72 describes it as:

ततोश्चाश्चोदयामास मनोमारुतरंहसः ।
पुराण्युद्दिश्य खस्थानि दानवानां तरस्विनाम् ।।
अथाह भगवान् रुद्रो देवानालोक्य शकंर ।
पशुनामाधिपत्यं मे दत्तं हन्मि ततोऽसुरान् ।।
पृथक्पशुत्वं देवानां तथान्येषा सुरोत्तमाः ।
कल्पयित्यैव वध्यास्थे नान्यथा नैव सत्तमा ।।
इति श्रुत्वा वचः सर्व देवदेवस्य धीमतः ।
विषादगमनम् सर्वे पशुत्वं प्रति शंकिता ।।

Then the horses which moved with the speed of wind and the mind, were driven in the sky towards the Tripura. Then glancing at the gods, lord Rudra said— “Bestow the lordship of the Pashus on me, after which I shall be able to destroy the Asuras. 0 excellent gods, after giving over the souls of the gods as well as the animals to me, it would be possible to kill the Daityas and not otherwise.” Listening to the words of the learned Shiva, the gods developed a doubt. They were upset with this change and felt disgusted.

Then Lord Shiva tells that their Pasuwato can be removed by performing Pashupata Vrata then all Gods agree:

तथेति चाब्रुवन्देवाः शिवे लोकनमस्कृते ।
तस्माद्वै पशवः सर्वे देवासुरनराः प्रभो ।।
रुद्रः पशुपतिश्चैव पशुपाशविमोचकः ।
यः पशुस्तत्पशुत्त्वं च व्रतेनानेन संत्यजेत् ।।

The Devas then said to Siva who is adored the world over— “It will be done,”. That is why the devas, asuras and human beings are called Pasus. Rudra is the lord of Pasus and the liberator of the Pasus for the bondages. He who is Pasu shall discard that state through this holy rite. The scriptures declare that even after committing the sins, he does not become a sinner.

Actually Tripura Dahana has great Tatwic significance. The Tri Pura represent 3 types of Sharira and the destruction means destruction of illusion and ignorance. So it is necessary to submit the soul to Lord while destroying the ignorance for liberation. So, the concept of Pashupati comes here itself from the Vedas.

iii) Narration in the Varaha Purana:

Varaha Purana narrates a slightly different story on How Rudra became Pashupati. It narrates it in the event of destruction of Daksha Yajna. Varaha Purana in chapter 21 states:

रुद्र उवाचः

भगस्य नेत्र भवतु पूष्णो दन्तास्तथा मुखे ।
दक्षस्याच्छिद्रतां यातु यज्ञश्चाप्यदितेः सुताः ।।
पशुभावं तथा चापि अपनेष्यामि वः सुराः ।
मद्दर्शनेन यो जातः पशुभावो दिवौकताम् ।।
स मायापहृतः सद्य पतित्त्वं वो भविष्यति ।
अहं च सर्वविद्यानां पतिराद्य सनातन ।।
अहं वै पतिभावेन पशु मध्ये व्यवस्थित ।
अतः पशुपतिर्नाम मम लोके भविष्यति ।।
ये मां यजन्ति तेषा स्याद्दिक्षा पाशुपती भवेत् ।
एवमुक्ते तु रुद्रेण ब्रह्मा लोक पितामह ।।

Rudra spoke:

Let Bhaga get back his eye and Pusa his teeth. Let the sacrifice of Daksa also attain completion. At my sight, O! Deva you have all become Pashus to me and I take you all to me. I thus become your master. I am also the embodiment of all knowledge and also your eternal master. Being thus the master of all you Pashus, I will attain the name Pashupati in the world. Those who sacrifice for me will have the observance called Pashupati. When Rudra spoke thus. Brahma told him affectionately with a smile. Certainly you will be hailed as Pashupati in the world, and the world will gain renown by your name. The entire world will surely worship you.

Varaha Purana in Chapter 33 states that Rudra became Pashupati to grant Moksha to the Gods:

देवा उचु:
वेदशास्त्राणी विज्ञानं देहि नो भव मा चिरम् ।
यज्ञश्च सरहस्यो भो यदि तुष्टोऽसि नः प्रभो ।।

Devas said: “Give us, 0 god, the knowledge of the Vedas and Shastras and also the sacrifice and its secret, if you are pleased with us.

महादेव उवाचः
भवन्त पशव सर्वे भवन्तु सहिता इति ।
अहं पतिश्च भवतां ततो मोक्षमवाप्स्यथ ।।
तथेति देवास्तं प्राहुस्ततः पशुपतिर्भवान् ।
ब्रह्मा पशुपति प्राह प्रसन्नेनान्तरात्मना ।।
चतुर्दशी ते देवेश तिथिरस्तु न संशय ।।
तस्या तिथो भवन्तं ये यजन्ति श्रद्धयान्विता ।
उपोष्य भोजनीयास्तु गोधूमान्नेन वै द्विजा ।।
तेषां त्वं तुष्टीमापन्नो देही साथानमनुत्तमम् ।
एवमुक्तस्तथा रुद्रो ब्रह्ण्यव्यक्त जन्मना ।।

Mahadeva Said:
May you all be Pashus and I shall be the Lord of Pashus. Then-by you will attain moksha. The gods agreed and Rudra became Pasupati. Brahma then spoke to Pashupati with great pleasure. “O Rudra, let Caturdashi be the tithi for you. On that day those who worship you fasting, and later take in only wheat food, will get your pleasure and this will lead to their liberation. When thus said by Brahma, Rudra restored to Bhaga, Pushan and Kratu the teeth, eye: and testicles respectively. He gave to Devas all knowledge.

In this way Lord Rudra became Pashupati. The slight variation in story of YajurVeda and Varaha Purana could be due to Kalpa Bheda. ie. Gods change in each Manvantaras and Varaha Purana may have narrated story of specific Kalpa/Manvantara.

Concept of PashuPati:

When we have Pashus (ie. Jeevas) and PashuPati (Lord) then there certainly exists a bond in the Jeevas and that bondage is called Pãsha. When we have animals we bind that animal with a Pãsha (rope) and similarly we (Pashus/Jeevas) are also bind with the Pãsha of Pashupati. So there are three things Pashu (which is Jeeva), Pãsha (which binds) and PashuPati (who is Lord and who can put/remove pãsha). Thus the triad Pati Pashu and Pãsha forms the concept of Pashupati. It is explained in various scriptures, some of them are:

i) As told by Lord himself in Ishwara Gita:

Kurma Purana in Part 2 starts with Ishwara Gita and in the seventh chapter Lord himself states as:

आत्मानः पशव प्रोक्ताः सर्वे संसारवर्तिनः ।
तेषां पतिरहं देवः स्मृतः पशुपतिर्बुधैः ।।
मायापाशेन बहनामि पशूनेतान् स्वलीलया ।
मामेव मोचकं प्राहुः पशुनां वेदवादिन ।।
मायापाशेन बद्धानां मोचकोऽन्यो न विद्यते ।
मामृते परमात्मानं भूताधिपतिमव्ययम् ।।
चतुर्विंशतितत्त्वानि माया कर्म गुणा इति ।
एते पाशाः पशुपते क्लेशाश्च पशुबन्धना ।। (Kurma Purana Ishwara Gita Chapter 7)

All the souls in the world have been equated with Pashus. I happen to be the lord of all of them. Because of this I have been known as Pashupati among the people of learning. I bind the animals with my illusory noose. The people well versed in the Vedas, conceive me as the one who releases them from the bondages. There is none else who could get the persons in bondage released except me, the great soul and the unchanging overlord of the bhutas. The twenty four principles, the Maya, Karma (deeds) and the three gunas, are the nooses of Pashupati, and distresses are the bondages of individual souls.

Thus the Maya, Karma and TriGunas are the Pãshas of Pashupati through which a Jeeva gets binded.

ii) As told by Upamanyu in Shiva Purana:

Sage Upamanyu in the 1st Chapter of Vyayaviya Samhita of Shiva Purana explains this concept as:

श्रीकृष्ण उवाचः
कथं पशुपतिर्देवः पशवः के प्रकीर्तिताः ।
कैः पाशैस्ते निबध्यन्ते विमुच्यन्ते च ते कथम् ।।
इति सञ्चोदितः श्रीमानुपमन्युर्महात्मना ।
प्रणम्य देवं देवीं च प्राह पृष्टो यथा तथा ।।
What type of a god is Pasupati? Who is termed as Pasu. Which are the nooses with which they are bound, and how are they freed.” At these words of Krsna, the sage
Upamanyu felt inspired. He also started giving a reply as he had been asked for.

ब्रह्माद्याः स्थावरान्तश्च देवदेवस्य शूलिनः ।
पशवः परिकीर्त्यन्ते संसारवशवर्तिन ।।
तेषां पतित्वाद्देवेशः शिवः पशुपतिः स्मृतः ।
मलमायादिभिः पाशैः स बध्नाति पशून्पति ।।
स एव मोचकस्तेषां भक्त्या सम्यगुपासितः ।
चतुर्विंशतितत्त्वानि मायाकर्मगुणा अभी ।।
विषया इति कथ्यन्ते पाशा जीवनिबन्धनाः ।
ब्रह्मादिस्तम्बपर्यन्तान् पशून्बध्वा माहेश्वरः ।। (Shiva Purana Vyavayaiya Samhita Chapter 1)

Upamanyu said, “All those from Brahma
to all immobiles who are subservient to Shiva are called Pasus. Being their lord, Siva is called Pashupati. All of them are bound by Shiva by means of dirt or Maya. By adoring the lord with devotion, it is Shiva who gets them freed. The twenty four tatvas are the karmas and the gunas of Maya. They are called Visayas. The Jiva is bound by them. Lord Mahesvara captivates them all, right from Brahma to a pillar.

iii) As told by Shailadi to SanatKumara in Linga Purana:

तैः पाशैर्मोचयत्येकः शिवो जीवैरुपासितः ।
निबध्नाति पशूनेकश्चतुर्विंशतिपाशकैः ।।
स एव भगवान् रुद्रो मोचयत्यपि सेवितः ।
दशेंद्रियमयैः पाशैरंतः करणसंभवै ।।
भूततन्मात्रपाशैश्च पशून्मोचयति प्रभुः ।
आशु भक्ता भवंत्येव परमेश्वरसेवया ।।
भज इत्येष धातुर्वै सेवायां परिकीर्तितः ।
तस्मात्सेवा बुधैः प्रोक्ता भक्तिशब्देन भूयसी ।।
ब्रह्मादिस्तम्बपर्यंत पशून्बध्वा महेश्वर ।। (Linga Purana Uttara Bhaga Chapter 9)

There are twenty four principles which serve as the bonds of Paramesthin. Shiva alone, binds Pashus by means of these bonds. On being worshipped by the Jivas or the individual souls, Shiva alone releases them from the bonds. The same lord on being adored, releases them from the bondages comprising of the ten sense organs, which originate from the inner mind. The lord release the souls from the bonds of tanmatras. The lord binds those who are influenced by the worlds pleasures by means of bonds constituted by the objects of senses. By serving Paramesvara, the souls become devotees, immediately. The root “bhaj’ means service. Thus, the idea of the great service has been brought out by the word Bhakti or devotion. After binding the individual souls from Brahma to the pillat, by means of threefold bonds of the form of gunas, Maheswara himself causes the effect.

Thus the individual Jeeva under ignorance is bound in Pãshas of his one Karmas, Maya of Ishwara, Triguna of Prakirti etc.. Actually Pãshas are of many/ Universal form. The Svetasvatara Upanishad in 1.4 states  “र्विश्वरूपैकपाशं (VishwaikaRupaPãsham)” ie. His Pãsha are of many form.

Removing of Pãsha:

Pãsha means bonds through which Jeevas are bind. When the Jeevas remove the fetter/ Pãsha from them then the soul is Liberated. Thus the rebirth stops when the Jeeva removes the Pãsha. There are various methods through which Jeeva can remove the Pãsha and thus become liberated like:

i) Through the Knowledge of Lord:

By the knowledge of Lord/Brahman all the Pãshas are broken itself and thus the Jeeva is liberated. Shwetashwatara Upanishad 1.8 states:

अनीशश्चात्मा बध्यते भोक्तृ- भावाज् ज्ञात्वा देवं मुच्यते सर्वपाशैः ॥ ८॥
The Jiva again realizes the Supreme Self and is freed from all Pãshas.

Shwetashwatara Upanishad in 1.11 states:

ज्ञात्वा देवं सर्वपाशापहानिः
क्षीणैः वलेशेर्जन्ममृत्युप्रहाणिः ।
When the Lord is known all Pãshas fall off; with the cessation of miseries, birth and death come to an end.

Shwetashwatara Upanishad in 4.15 states:

यस्मिन् युक्ता ब्रह्मर्षयो देवताश्च
           तमेवं ज्ञात्वा मृत्युपाशांश्छिनत्ति ॥ १५॥
In whom the sages and the deities are united. Verily, by knowing Him one cuts asunder the Pãshas of death.

Shwetashwatara Upanishad in 6.13 states:

तत्कारणं सांख्ययोगाधिगम्यं
               ज्ञात्वा देवं मुच्यते सर्वपाशैः ॥ १३॥
He who has known Him, the luminous Lord, the Great Cause, to be realised by Knowledge (Samkhya) and yoga, is freed from all Pãshas.

Shwetashwatara Upanishad in 4.16 states:

घृतात् परं मण्डमिवातिसूक्ष्मं
           ज्ञात्वा शिवं सर्वभूतेषु गूढम् ।
विश्वस्यैकं परिवेष्टितारं
           ज्ञात्वा देवं मुच्यते सर्वपाशैः ॥ १६॥

He who knows Brahman, who is Shiva, extremely subtle, like the film that rises to the surface of clarified butter and is hidden in all beings−he who knows the radiant Deity, the sole Pervader of the universe, is released from all his Pãshas.

Thus the Vedas itself repeat again and again that knowing the Lord one is freed from all Pãshas.

ii) Through the worship of Lord:

Vedas also recommend to worship the three eyed lord (Trayambaka) so that Bandhan (which are actually Pãshas) are removed and one gets Immortality/Liberation. RigVeda 7.59.12, Taittariya Samhita of YajurVeda in 1.8.6.i, Vajasena Samhita of YajurVeda in 3.60 state the same thing as:

त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् ।।

We worship the Three-eyed Lord who is fragrant and who nourishes and nurtures all beings. As is the ripened cucumber freed from its bondage (to the creeper), may He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality.

Here it is stating “Trayambakam Yajamahe” which means “We worship Trayambaka”, and it is stating to remove bondage “Bandhanan” which is actually Paasha and it is for Immortality/Moksha. Svetasvatara Upanishad in 6.5 states;

आदिः स संयोगनिमित्तहेतुः
             परस्त्रिकालादकलोऽपि दृष्टः ।
तं विश्वरूपं भवभूतमीड्यं
             देवं स्वचित्तस्थमुपास्य पूर्वम् ॥ ५॥

The Great Lord is the beginning, the cause which unites the soul with the body; He is above the three kinds of time and is seen to be without parts. After having worshipped that adorable God dwelling in the heart, who is of many forms and is the true source of all things, man attains final Liberation.

And Lord Shiva graces on all those who worship him and as he is PashuPati he removes the Pãshas of Jeevas. Similar there are also some special places when Lord is worshipped or realized in certain places like Varanasi one is liberated.

iii) Through the refugee on Lord:

Vedas also recommend to take refugee on Lord Rudra so that the Pãshas of Jeeva are broken and Jeeva attains liberation. Actually  Shwetashwatara Upanishad states there are very rare souls which take refugee in the Lord:

अजात इत्येवं कश्चिद्भीरुः प्रपद्यते ।
रुद्र यत्ते दक्षिणं मुखं तेन मां पाहि नित्यम् ॥ २१॥

It is because Thou, O Lord, art birthless, that some rare souls, frightened by birth and death, take refuge in Thee. O Rudra, may Thy south facing face protect me for ever!

Similarly there are Veda mantras which invoke Lord Shiva as refugee so that they can pass cycles of birth and death. For eg. In YajurVeda

सद्योजातं प्रपद्यामि सद्योजाताय वै नमो नमः ।
भवे भवे नातिभवे भवस्व माम् । भवोद्भवाय नमः ॥  (YajurVeda Taittariya Aranyaka 10.17.1)

I take refuge in Sadyojata. Verily I salute Sadyojata again and again. O Sadyojata, do not consign me to repeated birth; lead me beyond birth, into the state of bliss and liberation. I bow down to Him who is the source of transmigratory existence.

Lord Shiva himself also suggests to abandon all Dharmas and take refugee on him:

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ॥ ४३॥
अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः ।

Abandon all varieties of dharmas and simply surrender unto me alone. I shall liberate you from all sinful reactions; do not fear.

iv) Through the special rite of Pashupata Vrata:

Vedas also again hint of a special rite of Pashupat Vratam which is capable of removing Pãshas of Pashu. The Atharvasiras states:

अग्निरिति भस्म वायुरिति भस्म जलमिति भस्म स्थलमिति भस्म व्योमेति भस्म सर्वंह वा इदं भस्म मन एतानि
चक्षूंषि यस्माद्व्रतमिदं पाशुपतं यद्भस्म नाङ्गानि
संस्पृशेत्तस्माद्ब्रह्म तदेतत्पाशुपतं पशुपाश
विमोक्षणाय ॥ ५॥

He converts fire, air, water, earth, ether and everything that eexists here in to ash. He who sees this and mentally realizes it and observes the “penance to Pashupati ” and who coats ash all over his body with this ash attains the state of Brahman. By worshipping “Pasupathi” like this, the ties of bondage of all beings get cut and they attain salvation.

Here, the penance to Pashupati means a special rite called Pashupata Vratam which is capable of removing the Pãsha of the Jeeva. Actually this method ie. Performing Pashupat Vrata is very highly emphasized in Linga Purana and Shiva Purana. For eg. In the Tripura Dahana event also Shiva tells that they can remove their Pashutwo (Pãsha) by performing Pashupat Vratam:

तेषां भावं ततो ज्ञात्वा देवस्तानिदमब्रवीत् ।
मा वोस्तु पशुभावेस्मिन् भयं विबुधसत्तमा ।।
श्रूयतां पशुभावस्य विमोक्षः क्रियतां च सः ।
यो वै पाशुपतं दिव्यं चरिष्यति स मोक्षतिः ।।
पशुत्वादिति सत्यं च प्रतिज्ञातं समाहिता ।
ये चाप्यन्ते चरिष्यंति व्रतं पाशुपतं मम ।।
मोक्ष्यंति ते न संदेहः पशुत्वात्सुरसत्तमा ।
नैष्ठिकं द्वादशाब्दं वा तदर्धं वर्षकत्रयम् ।।
शुश्रूषां कारयेद्यस्तु स पशुत्वाद्विमुच्यते ।
तस्मात्परामिदं दिव्यं चरिष्यथ सुरोत्तमा ।। [Linga Purana chapter 72]

Realising about the state of their minds, Shiva spoke— “O excellent gods, you should not be afraid of becoming Pashu. You listen to the redemption of the Pashubhava and act accordingly. A person who will perform the Pashupatvrata, he would be relieved of the position of Pasu, He would achieve the greatest goal. O pure ones, I solemnly promise this to  you. O excellent Devas, there is no doubt in this and those others too who perform the Pasupata rite will be liberated from the state of being a Pasu. He who renders service steadily for twelve years or even half of the period or even for three years, can be liberated from that state. Hence, 0 excellent Devas, perform this great and divine Vrata.

Similarly in the Linga Purana chapter 108 “Glory of the Pasupat Vrata” ; it is stated;

अध्रुवेण शरिरेण ध्रुवं साध्यं प्रयत्नतः ।
भव्यं पाशुपतं नित्यं संसारार्णवतारकम्  ।।

One should make all the earnest efforts to achieve the fixed goal through his physical body that is uncertain and unfixed. The excellent, eternal Pashupat Vrata is the cause of redemption from the worldly existence.

Thus the auspicious Pashupatvrata is capable of removing the Pãsha of Pashu and thus enabling liberation. For methods how to perform Pashupatvrat one can refer to Linga Purana Uttara Bhaga Chapter 18 “The Auspicious Pasupat Vrata”.

Origin of Pashu:

Now, here comes an interesting concept, who actually are the Pashus? Actually PashuPati himself is in the form of Pashu. Shwetashwatara Upanishad in 1.8 states:

संयुक्तमेतत् क्षरमक्षरं च
      व्यक्ताव्यक्तं भरते विश्वमीशः ।
अनीशश्चात्मा बध्यते भोक्तृ-
      भावाज् ज्ञात्वा देवं मुच्यते सर्वपाशैः ॥ ८॥

The Lord, Isa, supports all this which has been joined together−the perishable and the imperishable, the manifest, the effect and the unmanifest, the cause. The same Lord, the Supreme Self, devoid of Lordship, becomes bound because of assuming the attitude of the enjoyer. The Jiva again realizes the Supreme Self and is freed from all Pashas.

So, the Supreme Lord binds himself (in the Pãshas) and becomes Pashu/Jeeva because of assuming the attitude of enjoyer. That Jeeva/Pashu again is freed from Pashas on realizing the Supreme Self. It is the Leela of the Lord.

The Kularnava Tantra says:

The body itself is the temple. The jiva itself is God Sadashiva Do away with the faded petals of Ignorance and worship with the Consciousness of ‘He am I ‘ . Jiva is Shiva; Shiva is jiva; the jiva pure is Shiva. When in bonds it is jiva; freed from bonds it is Sadashiva. Enclosed in husk it is paddy; freed from husk it is rice. Enclosed in karma it is jiva; freed from karma it is Sadashiva.

So,the import of the above passage is that, all bonded Jivas are Pashus but when they are free from the bondage(Pasha), then they are none other than the supreme Sadashiva himself.

On what is a Pashu ,which are the Pashas and who removes the Pasha from the Pashu?

According to Mahanirvana Tantra & other Tantra texts:

The term pashu comes from the root pash, “to bind.” The pashu is, in fact, the man who is bound by the bonds (pasha), of which the Kularnava Tantra enurnerates eight – namely, pity (daya), ignorance and delusion (moha), fear (bhaya), shame (lajja), disgust (ghrina), family (kula), custom (shila), and caste (varna)…. The pashu is also the worldly man, in ignorance and bondage, as opposed to the yogi and the tattva-jnani. Three divisions of pashsu are also spoken of – namely, sakala, who are bound by the three pasha, called anu (want of knowledge or erroneous knowledge of the self), bheda (the division also induced by maya of the one self into many), and karmma (action and its product. These are the three impurities (mala) called anava-mala, maya-mala, and Karmma-mala. Pratayakala are those bound by the first and last, and Vijnana-kevala are those bound by anava-mala only. He who frees himself of the remaining impurity of anu becomes Shiva Himself. The Devi bears the pasha, and is the cause of them, but She, too, is pashupashavimochini, Liberatrix of the pashu from his bondage.

Mahanirvana Tantra & other Tantra texts

Definition of a Father in Hindu Scriptures

Father is one of the most important figures for anyone. Especially within the Hindu traditions, he’s accorded an almost divine status, especially for his Child. There can be many definitions of as to who, what, in which situation or how, any person constitute or can be called as “Father – Pitā ( पिता )”

The more common term one might encounter used for father, is Pitṛ (पितृ) – but that is not just limited in terms of meaning to the sense of “father”. Therefore, We are posting here a more generic list of “definition & qualities” of father from major canonical texts.

Definition 1: From the Vedanga based ‘Nirukta’ by Yāskācārya

Yāska basically gives two definitions or etymology for the word in the Nirukta:

1. Nirukta 4.21 & 6.15:

” पिता पाता वा पालयिता वा; नि पिता-गोपिता “

” pitā pātā vā pālayitā vā; ni pitā-gopitā –

The one who sustains, nourishes and protects is thus known as Pitā (father).

2. Alternative definition from Shabda-Kalpa-Druma Sanskrit Dictionary:

Pitā is derived from the root ” ‘pā rakṣaṇe’ (पा रक्षणे)”.

Therefore, the etymology thus derived as:

“yaḥ pāti sa pitā – यः पाति स पिता” (or)

“pāti rakṣati iti pitā – पाति रक्षति इति पिता” (or)

” pāti rakṣatyapayaṃ yaḥ sa pitā – पाति रक्षत्यपयं यः स पिता ।”

i.e., The one who ‘protects’ is known as Pitā (father).

According to the Nirukta – a father (Pitā) is someone Who Protects, Sustains & Nourishes.

Definition 2: From the Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa

In the Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Book IV: Kiṣkindhā Kāṇḍa – The Empire of Holy Monkeys: Chapter 18,
Śhrī Rāma himself explains to Vāli – who is to be called as a “Father – Pitā

ज्येष्ठो भ्राता पिता चैव यः च विद्याम् प्रयच्छति |
त्रयः ते पितरो ज्ञेया धर्मे च पथि वर्तिनः || ४-१८-१३ ||

jyeṣṭho bhrātā pitā caiva yaḥ ca vidyām prayacchati |
trayaḥ te pitaro jñeyā dharme ca pathi vartinaḥ || 4-18-13 ||

It is to be known by him who treads the way of righteousness that he has three fatherly personages, namely his own father, his elder brother, and the one who accords education to him. [4-18-13]

यवीयान् आत्मनः पुत्रः शिष्यः च अपि गुणोदितः |
पुत्रवत् ते त्रयः चिंत्या धर्मः चैव अत्र कारणम् || ४-१८-१४ ||

yavīyān ātmanaḥ putraḥ śiṣyaḥ ca api guṇoditaḥ |
putravat te trayaḥ ciṃtyā dharmaḥ caiva atra kāraṇam || 4-18-14 ||

An younger brother, a son, and a disciple with good characteristics, these three are to be deemed as one’s own sons, for such matters take base on rectitude alone. [4-18-14]

Therefore according to the Rāmāyaṇa, reconciling the above two verses – 13 & 14, conclusions are reached, scripturally: the Elder brother, the Biological father & the teacher (Ācārya) for a person are all to be equivalent to Pitā (पिता).

Definition 3: From the Mahābhārata

In the Adi Parva (1.93.25) of the Mahābhārata, we again get three types of people qualified to be called Pitā, as per Ṛṣi Kaṇva:

शरीरकृत् प्राणदाता यस्य चान्नानि भुंजते ।
क्रमेणैते त्रयोऽप्युक्ताः पितरो धर्मशासने ।। २५ ।।

śarīrakṛt prāṇadātā yasya cānnāni bhuṃjate ।
krameṇaite trayo’pyuktāḥ pitaro dharmaśāsane ।। 25 ।।

First, the one who contributes to our body be conceived via the garbhādhāna saṃskāra, Second, the one who has saved our lives or protect us (abhayadānam), and Third, the one who provides for our food and necessities – all these three as designated to be called as Father – Pitā.

Bhīṣma gives Yudhiṣṭhira the exact same definition as above in the Anuśāsana Parva: Chapter 69:

यश्चैवमुत्पादयते यश्चैनं त्रायते भयात ।
यश्चास्य कुरूते वृत्तिं सर्वे ते पितरस्त्रय: ।। १८ ।।

yaścaivamutpādayate yaścainaṃ trāyate bhayāta ।
yaścāsya kurūte vṛttiṃ sarve te pitarastraya: ।। 18 ।।

He who procreates a person, he who rescues a person, and he who assign a means of livelihood to a person, are considered as the three fathers.

Thus, according to the Mahābhārata – one’s own biological progenitor, the one who Protects, and the one who Sustains – these three are to be called Pitā.

Definition 4: From the Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa

In the Chapter 10: Jāti-Sambandhaṃ-Nirṇayo from the Section I: Brahma Khaṇḍa in the the Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa, we get another definition on the above similar lines:

श्यालीपतिस्तु भ्राता च श्वशुरैकत्वहेतुना ।
श्वशुरस्तु पिता ज्ञेयोजन्मदातुः समो मुने ॥ १५२ ॥

śyālīpatistu bhrātā ca śvaśuraikatvahetunā ।
śvaśurastu pitā jñeyo janmadātuḥ samo mune ॥ 152 ॥

The father-in-Law of one’s own sister and that of one’s Sister-in-Law – both are equivalent to be treated as one’s own “Father (Pitā)”.

अन्नदाता भयत्राता पत्नीतातस्तथैव च ।
विद्यादाता जन्मदाता पञ्चैते पितरो नृणाम् ॥ १५३ ॥

annadātā bhayatrātā patnītātastathaiva ca ।
vidyādātā janmadātā pañcaite pitaro nṛṇām ॥ 153 ॥

The one who gives birth (biological father), the one who provides food (Sustains), the one who releives from danger (gives Protection), one’s Wife’s Father, and the one who imparts knowledge (Guru or Ācārya) – each one amongst the five of these is worthy of being called a father – (*Pitā/Pitṛ)”.

According to Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa – one’s biological father, the Sustainer-Nourisher, the Protector, ones’ Teacher, the father of Wife, the Father-in-Law of both sister and sister-in-law are to be accorded the status of a “father (Pitā)”.

Definition 5: From the Manusmṛti

Manusmṛti [ Verse 2.146 ], gives a more situation-based “exhaustive” definition for the word – Pitā (पिता), especially in reference to a dvija:

उत्पादकब्रह्मदात्रोर्गरीयान् ब्रह्मदः पिता ।
ब्रह्मजन्म हि विप्रस्य प्रेत्य चैह च शाश्वतम् ॥ १४६ ॥

utpādakabrahmadātrorgarīyān brahmadaḥ pitā |
brahmajanma hi viprasya pretya caiha ca śāśvatam || 146 ||

Between the progenitor and the imparter of the veda, the imparter op the veda is the more venerable father; for the brāhmaṇa’s “birth” is the veda, eternally,—here as well as after death.—(146)

Thus, both the biological father and the imparter of the knowledge of the Veda (one’s ‘Āchārya’) are to be referred to and considered as Pitā (पिता). However, the situation varies, as Medhātithi explains in his Manubhāṣya:

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

‘Progenitor’—is one who gives natural birth; ‘Imparter of the Veda’ is one who teaches;—both these are ‘fathers’; and between these two ‘fathers,’ that Father is ‘more venerable’ who imparts the Veda. So that when the Father and the Preceptor are both present, the Preceptor should be saluted first.

The text adds a valedictory statement in support of what has been said—‘The Brāhmaṇa’s birth is the Veda’; i.e., is for the purpose of learning the Veda;

According to the Manusmṛti:

5(a). Thus, the one who’s responsible for our physical birth is to be taken in the material sense of being as a Pitā, i.e, a progenitor who gives a Natural birth is the ‘Bhautika or Sāṃsārika Pitā’.

5(b). However, for a “Dvija”, i.e., the twice-born, it’s the ‘Āchārya’ who initiates them into the knowledge of Vedas, which is what actually constitutes their “second-birth”. Therefore, in the Spiritual & Metaphysical perspective, an ‘Āchārya’ is the pita i.e, ‘Imparter of the Veda’ i.e., one’s ‘Āchārya’ – may be called as the ‘Ādhyātmika or Brahmavid Pitā’.

Parvati, Ganesh and Kartikey

Definition 6: From the Chāṇakya Nīti

As per Chāṇakya Nīti:

जनिता चोपनेता च, यस्तु विद्यां प्रयच्छति ||
अन्नदाता भयत्राता, पंचैते पितरः स्मृताः || ०५-२२ ||

janitā copanetā ca, yastu vidyāṃ prayacchati ||
annadātā bhayatrātā, paṃcaite pitaraḥ smṛtāḥ || 05-22 ||

These five have been ordained to be called as Pitā – the biological father, the one who initiates into the Vedas, the one who imparts Education, the one who provides food and necessities, and the one who Protects i.e, ‘Pālanahāra ( पालनहार )’.

One’s biological progenitor, Vedic rites initiator, Teacher (Guru), and the Sustainer and the Protector – these five are designated as the status of Pitā ( पिता ).

Definition 7: From the “Historical” Etymological Perspective:

The occurrence of the word ‘Pitā’ is rare in the Vedic literature, however, the word Pitṛ is encountered several times, albeit with myriad etymological connotations.

In their work: Vedic Index of Names and Subjects [by Macdonell, Arthur Anthony, 1854-1930; Keith, Arthur Berriedale, 1879-1944], the authors have given the following analysis, noting the following (wrt. words based on ‘pa -Pitṛ’ roots):

  • Pita-putra, ‘father and son,’ is a compound of rare occurrence.
  • Pita-putriya (‘relating to father and son’),
  • Pita-maha, beside Tatamaha, denotes from the Atharvaveda onwards the ‘paternal grandfather,’ apparently as a ‘ father in a higher sense.’ The great-grandfather is Prapitamaha and Pratatamaha.
  • It is significant that there are no corresponding Vedic words for maternal grandparents, and that the words used in the latter
    language, such as Matamaha, are imitations of the terms for paternal relations.*
  • In one passage of the Rigveda Delbriick suggests that make pitre means ‘ grandfather,’
  • The grandmother (Pitamahi) is not mentioned in the extant Vedic literature.
  • Pitu:
    Pitu in the Rigveda 1 and later 2 has the general sense of nutriment,’ whether food or drink.
  • Pitr,
    common from the Rigveda onwards, denotes ‘father,’ not so much as the ‘ begetter ‘ (janitr/janitā), but rather as the protector of the child, this being probably also the etymological sense of the word.
  • The father in the Rigveda stands for all that is good and kind. Hence Agni is compared with a father, while Indra is even dearer than a father.
  • ‘Pitā = janitā (जनिता) – is used of gods in the Rigveda e.g., iv. 17, 12.
  • (An etymological classification for janitā can also be accessed from here)
  • As derived from ‘pa’ – ‘प’ = ‘protect.’
  • But, as Bohtlingk and Roth, St.Peters- burg Dictionary, s.v. Matar, footnote, suggest, ‘pa’ and ‘ma’ were probably the much older original onomatopoetic names for ‘father ‘ and ‘ mother,’ which in a later reflective age influenced the formation of ‘pitr’ and ‘matr’.

Thus in the Vedic literature, there doesn’t seem to be much “definition” given for Pitā. The word used mostly is Pitṛ, which changes connotations as per convenience. The basic definition for Pitā might be eschewed as – The Protector, the dearest of all (or Gods), the Nourisher/Sustainer.


Thus, basis the above discussion we conclude that for a person, anyone from the below list is worthy of being referred to as a “Father – Pitā ( पिता )”:

  1. One’s biological procreator.
  2. The one who initiates into Vedas via Upanayana (for a “dvija”).
  3. One’s Teacher/Ācārya/Guru – Spiritual Father.
  4. One’s Elder Brother i.e., the Jyeṣṭha.
  5. Wife’s father – ones’ Father-in-Law.
  6. The one who gives Protection or gives Abhayadāna.
  7. The one who saved one’s life.
  8. The one who Sustains & Nourishes.
  9. The Father-in-law of both – one’s own Sister & the Sister-in-Law.

Source : Based on Answer of user “ChandAl” at Hinduism SE.

Goddess Sarasvatī : Goddess of River transformed into the Goddess of Knowledge

This article is written by Astrologer Amritendu Mukhopadhyay.

Goddess Sarasvatī is one of the few Vedic Goddesses who is still worshipped widely. She is the Goddess of knowledge, art and culture.

We first find her name in the Ṛg Vedas (Samhitā). She was the personification of the river Sarasvatī. River Sarasvatī was the most sacred river in the entire Āryāvarta. It used to flow from the Himalayas to the Arabian sea. Vedic sacrifices used to take place on the bank of this river. The heart of Āryāvarta was known as Brahmāvarta (modern-day Kurukshetra). It was the land between the river Sarasvatī and one of its tributary known as Dṛṣadvatī.

There are three Suktas in Ṛg Veda dedicated to Sarasvatī (VI.61, VII.95, VII.96). Besides that, numerous individual Ślokas mention her (For example, I.3.10-12, II.41.16). From those descriptions, we understand that it was indeed a mighty river.

iyaṁ śuṣmebhir bisakhā ivārujat sānu girīṇāṁ taviṣebhir ūrmibhiḥ

“With enraged snortings, like one who digs up lotus roots, this one broke the back of mountains with her strong waves.” – VI.61.2

However, something interesting happened in the age of Brāhmaṇas. The river Goddess transformed into the Goddess of speech. There she was identified as Vāgdevī. Phrases such as “Vāg Vai Sarasvatī” or “Vāg Eva Sarasvatī” were frequently used. These phrases emphasize the oneness of the meaning of the two words. For example, in Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa, there is the following passage –

“Sarasvatyā upamajjane dīkṣā; dakṣine tīre dīkṣānte/… Sarasvatyā yanti, Vāg vai Sarasvatī.”

(Their initiation is done after the completion of bath in the Sarasvatī, which is taken on the right bank after the initiation ceremony. They approach Sarasvatī. Sarasvatī is indeed speech.)

The story of this transformation is fascinating. There was a separate deity known as Vāc in Ṛg Veda. She was mentioned in only one Sukta – the Devīsukta (X.125). It is a very famous Sukta because it contains the seed of Sākta tradition that flourished later. Anyway, Vāc was the presiding deity of speech.

Now the question that intrigues us, why these two deities got merged. There are many theories. But the two most fundamental reasons are as follows:

  1. Though Vāc was the separate deity for speech, Sarasvatī was associated with dhī or intellect in Ṛg Veda itself (VI.61.4 “Dhīnāmavitryavatu”). She was described as the helper of visionary thoughts. Intellect is the prerequisite of speech. That’s how later, Sarasvatī got identified with speech.
  2. There is a geographic factor as well. I mentioned before that Vedic sacrifices used to take place on the bank of Sarasvatī. As the utterance of sacred Mantras used to take place on this riverbank, it definitely helped. That’s how the features of Vāc got superimposed on Sarasvatī.

In the age of the Mahābhārata, Sarasvatī directly became the Goddess of knowledge. This is not because she is identified with Vāc; she no longer needs the mediation of Vāc. Now she presides over knowledge directly. In Mahābhārata (12.326.5), Nārāyaṇa says to sage Nārada:

“Behold Goddess Sarasvatī, the mother of the Vedas, established in me

(vedānāṃ mātaraṃ paśya matsthāṃ devīm sarasvatīm).”

Thus gradually, Vāc lost in oblivion; and Sarasvati became the prominent deity. This is the final step in the identification process.

In Mahābhārata (12.330.10), Sarasvatī is described as the daughter of Brahmā. In the Purana, she also becomes his consort.

One of the epithets of Sarasvatī is Bhāratī. Puṣpānjali mantra of Devī Sarasvatī mentions her as Bhārati (“bhagavatī bhāratī devī namaste”). Again Bhāratī was a separate deity in the Ṛg Veda. The triad of three deities Bhāratī, Iḷā/Iḍā and Sarasvatī, usually was invoked together in sacrifices. Later Bhāratī got merged with Sarasvatī. Probably this merger happened because Bhāratī was also identified with Vāc in Bṛhaddevatā (5.101, 3.12).

Let me end this article with an ancient prayer to the Goddess from the Vedas –

अम्बितमे नदीतमे देवितमे सरस्वति। अप्रशस्ता इव स्मसि प्रशस्तिमम्ब नस्कृधि॥

(Ambitame nadītame devitame sarasvati/ apraśastā iva smasi praśastimamba naskṛdhi)

(O best mother, best river, best Goddess Sarasvatī- we are like ones unlauded: make a laud for us mother) Ṛg Veda II.41.16

Written by Astrologer Amritendu Mukhopadhyay


  1. Sarasvatī – riverine Goddess of knowledge by Catherine Ludvik
  2. Concept of Sarasvatī in Vedic Literature by Raghunath Airi
  3. Pūṣan and Sarasvatī by J. Gonda