Ashvins

The Ashvins or Ashwini Kumaras (Sanskrit aśvin, dual aśvinau), in Hindu mythology, are twin Vedic gods of medicine. They are also described as divine twin horsemen in the Rigveda. They are the sons of Surya (in his form as Vivasvant) and his wife Saranyu, a goddess of the clouds.

Nasatya and Dasra are the names of the elder and the younger twin, being the god of health and the god of medicine respectively. They often symbolise the shining of sunrise and sunset, appearing in the sky before the dawn in a golden chariot, bringing treasures to men and averting misfortune and sickness. They are the doctors of the gods and are devas of Ayurvedic medicine. They are represented as humans with the heads of horses.

Birth of the Celestial Twins, Folio from a Harivamsha (Lineage of Vishnu) LACMA M.83.1.7 (1 of 2)
Birth of Ashwinikumar
Ashvins
Gods of Health and Medicine
Ashwini Kumaras-L
Ashwini Kumaras
Other namesNasatya, Dasra
MountGolden Chariot
Personal information
ConsortJyoti (Goddess of the human body) (wife of Ashivin Nasatya)
Mayandri (Goddess of Magic) (wife of Ashvin Dasra)
ChildrenSatyavir (son of Nasatya and god of recovery), Damraj (son of Dasra and god of leaves), Nakula (son of Nasatya), Sahadeva (son of Dasra)
ParentsSaranyu(Sandhya), Ushas and Surya

Origins

The Ashvins are analogous to the Proto-Indo-European horse twins.[1][2][3] Their cognates in other Indo-European mythologies include the Baltic Ašvieniai, the Greek Castor and Polydeuces, the English Hengist and Horsa, and the Welsh Bran and Manawydan.[1]The first mention of the Nasatya twins is from the Mitanni documents of the second millennium BCE, where they are invoked in a treaty between Suppiluliuma and Shattiwaza, kings of the Hittites and the Mitanni respectively.[4]

In Hindu sacred texts

The Ashvins are mentioned 376 times in the Rigveda, with 57 hymns specifically dedicated to them: 1.3, 1.22, 1.34, 1.46–47, 1.112, 1.116–120 (c.f. Vishpala), 1.157–158, 1.180–184, 2.20, 3.58, 4.43–45, 5.73–78, 6.62–63, 7.67–74, 8.5, 8.8–10, 8.22, 8.26, 8.35, 8.57, 8.73, 8.85–87, 10.24, 10.39–41, 10.143.

Indian holy books like the Mahabharata and the Puranas, relate that the Ashwini Kumar twins, who were Raja-Vaidya (royal physicians) to the Devas during Vedic times, first prepared the Chyawanprash formulation for Rishi Chyavana at his Ashram on Dhosi Hill near Narnaul, Haryana, India, hence the name Chyawanprash.[5][6]In the epic Mahabharata, King Pandu's wife Madri is granted a son by each Ashvin and bears the twins Nakula and Sahadeva who, along with the sons of Kunti, are known as the Pandavas.

References

  1. ^ a b Mallory, J.P; Adams, D.Q. (2006). The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 432. ISBN 978-0-19-929668-2.
  2. ^ West, Martin Litchfield (2007). Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 85–91. ISBN 978-0-19-928075-9.
  3. ^ Puhvel, Jaan (1987). Comparative Mythology. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 58–61. ISBN 0-8018-3938-6.
  4. ^ KBo 1 1. Gary M. Beckman (Jan 1, 1999). Hittite Diplomatic Texts. Scholars Press. p. 53.. Excerpt http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/ranghaya/suppiluliuma_shattiwaza_treaty.htm
  5. ^ Healthepic.com
  6. ^ Panda, H; Handbook On Ayurvedic Medicines With Formulae, Processes And Their Uses, 2004, p10 ISBN 978-81-86623-63-3

Bibliography

Ashvin (disambiguation)

Ashwin, Ashvin or Aśvin may refer to:

Ashvin, a month of the Hindu calendar

Ashwin (Nepali calendar), a month of the Nepali calendar

Ashvins, divine twins in Vedic mythology

Ashwin (given name), an Indian given name (including a list of persons with the name)

Ravichandran Ashwin, Indian cricketeerAshwin is also the modern form of the Anglo-Saxon name Aescwine.

All pages with a title containing Ashwin, for a list of persons with the name

Ashvini

Ashvini (अश्विनी aśvinī) (Tamil: அஸ்வினி) is the first nakshatra (lunar mansion) in Hindu astrology having a spread from 0°-0'-0" to 13°-20', corresponding to the head of Aries, including the stars β and γ Arietis. The name aśvinī is used by Varahamihira (6th century). The older name of the asterism, found in the Atharvaveda (AVS 19.7; in the dual) and in Panini (4.3.36), was aśvayúj, "harnessing horses".

Ashvini is ruled by Ketu, the descending lunar node. In electional astrology, Asvini is classified as a small constellation, meaning that it is believed to be advantageous to begin works of a precise or delicate nature while the moon is in Ashvini. Asvini is ruled by the Ashvins, the heavenly twins who served as physicians to the gods. Personified, Asvini is considered to be the wife of the Asvini Kumaras. Ashvini is represented either by the head of a horse, or by honey and the bee hive.Traditional Hindu given names are determined by which pada (quarter) of a nakshatra the Ascendant/Lagna was in at the time of birth. In the case of Ashvini, the given name would begin with the following syllables: Chu, Che, Cho, La.

Ashwin (given name)

Ashwin or Ashvin (Devanagari: अश्विन् aśvin) is an Indian given name. It is related to the name of the Ashvins – the divine twins of Vedic mythology, as well as to the name of the Hindu lunar month Ashwin.

Avatars in the Mahabharata

List of the avatars of great epic Mahābhārata and the original devatas or deities whose avatars they were.

Shantanu

Ašvieniai

Ašvieniai are divine twins in the Lithuanian mythology, identical to Latvian Dieva deli and the Baltic counterparts of Vedic Ashvins. Both names derive from the same Proto-Indo-European root for the horse – *ek'w-. Old Lithuanian ašva and Sanskrit ashva mean "horse". Ašvieniai are represented as pulling a carriage of Saulė (the Sun) through the sky. Ašvieniai, depicted as žirgeliai or little horses, are common motifs on Lithuanian rooftops, placed for protection of the house. Similar motifs can also be found on beehives, harnesses, bed frames, and other household objects. Ašvieniai are related to Lithuanian Ūsinis and Latvian Ūsiņš (cf. Vedic Ushas), gods of horses.

Bhaga

Sanskrit bhaga (IAST: bhaga) is a term for "lord, patron", but also for "wealth, prosperity". The cognate term in Avestan and Old Persian is baga, of uncertain meaning but used in a sense in which "lord, patron, sharer/distributor of good fortune" might also apply. The cognate in Slavic languages is the root bogъ. The semantics is similar to English lord (from hlaford "bread-warden"), the idea being that it is part of the function of a chieftain or leader to distribute riches or spoils among his followers. The name of the city of Baghdad derives from Middle Persian baga-data, "lord-given".

In the Sanskrit Rigveda, bhaga is an epithet of both mortals and gods (e.g. of Savitr, Indra and Agni) who bestow wealth and prosperity, as well as the personification of a particular god, the Bhaga, who bestows the same. In the Rigveda, the personification is attested primarily in RV 7.41, which is devoted to the praise of the Bhaga and of the deities closest to him, and in which the Bhaga is invoked about 60 times, together with Agni, Indra, the dual Mitra-Varuna, the two Ashvins, Pusan, Brahmanaspati, Soma and Rudra.

The Bhaga is also invoked elsewhere in the company of Indra, Varuna and Mitra (e.g. RV 10.35, 42.396). The personification is occasionally intentionally ambiguous, as in RV 5.46 where men are portrayed as requesting the Bhaga to share in bhaga. In the Rigveda, the Bhaga is occasionally associated with the sun: in RV 1.123, the Dawn (Ushas) is said to be the Bhaga's sister, and in RV 1.136, the Bhaga's eye is adorned with rays.

The 5th/6th-century BCE Nirukta (Nir. 12.13) describes Bhaga as the god of the morning. In the Rigveda, the Bhaga is named as one of the Adityas, the seven (or eight) celestial sons of Aditi, the Rigvedic mother of the gods. In the medieval Bhagavata Purana, the Bhaga reappears with the Puranic Adityas, which are by then twelve solar gods.

Elsewhere, the Bhaga continues as a god of wealth and marriage, in a role that is also attested for the Sogdian (Buddhist) equivalent of the Bhaga. In myths related to the figure, Virabhadra, a powerful hero created by Shiva, who once blinded him.

The common noun bhaga survives in the 2nd century inscription of Rudradaman I, where it is a fiscal term; in bhagavan for "one who possesses (-van) the properties of a bhaga-", hence itself "lord, god"; and in bhagya, and "that which derives from bhaga", hence "destiny" as an abstract noun, and also Bhagya personified as the proper name of a son of Surya.

Brahmavadini

Brahmavadini or "an expounder of the Veda" are those women who composed any hymns of the Vedas The prominent among them were Lopamudra, Vishwawara, Sikta, Ghosha and Maitreyi.

Lopamudra was the wife of the sage Agastya. A hymn in the Rigveda is attributed to her. Maitreyi, the wife of Yajnavalkya, is accredited with about ten hymns in Rig VedaTwo suktas (hymns) of the tenth Mandala (book) of Rigveda, 39 and 40, each containing 14 verses, have been attributed to Ghosha. The first hymn praises the Ashvins. The second hymn is a personal wish expressing her intimate feelings and desires for married life.

Chyavana

Chyavana (Sanskrit: च्यवन, Chyavāna) was a rishi in Hinduism. He was a son of Bhrigu and is known for his rejuvenation through a special herbal paste known as chyawanprash, which he first prepared. According to the Mahabharata, he was powerful enough to oppose the vajra of Indra and was responsible for the Ashvins getting their share of the sacrificial offerings. He created a demon, Mada, to achieve it.Chyavana is also mentioned in the Rigveda, where he is described as an aged and feeble person whose youth and strength was restored by the twin Ashvini Kumar brothers, who were the Rajya Vaids or 'State Doctors'. According to a hymn of this text (X.61.1-3), Chyavāna seems to be opposed to Turvayana, an Indra worshipper Paktha king as he was closer to the Ashvins.According to one tradition, he married Vaivasvata Manu's daughter Arushi and their son was Aurva. According to another tradition, he married Sukanya, daughter of Vedic king Sharyati and granddaughter of Vaivasvata Manu. They had two sons: Apnavana and Dadhicha. He is also considered as the father of Harita.

Divine twins

The divine twins are a mytheme of Proto-Indo-European religion.

Divodasa

Divodāsa ("heaven's servant") is a name of a tribal king in the Rigveda (celebrated for his liberality and protected by Indra and the Ashvins in the Rigveda, RV 1.112.14; 1.116.18), the son of Vadhryashva RV 6.61.5. He is the father or grandfather of the famous king Sudas (RV 7.18.28) (of the Battle of the Ten Kings). Pijavana is the other name of Divodasa according to Rigveda. His son, Pratardana, is mentioned in the Kaushitaki Upanishad.

It is also the name of a king of Kashi surnamed Dhanvantari as per the hymn (RV 10.179.2). The founder of the Indian school of medicine called Ayurveda.

Grevensvænge figurines

The Grevensvænge hoard is a find of the late Nordic Bronze Age (roughly dating to between 800 BC and 500 BC), discovered in the late 18th century at Grevensvænge, Næstved Municipality, Zealand, Denmark.

The hoard consisted of seven bronze figurines. Its first mention is in 1779, where it is said to have been found in the ground "a few years ago". After their discovery, they were kept with the pastor at Herlufmagle, Marcus Schnabel.

A drawing of four of the figurines was made in 1779, by Schnabel. The drawing shows two kneeling figures of warriors with horned helmets and axes, a leaping acrobat, and a standing woman. Five of these figurines are now lost, while two were bought by the Danish National Museum in 1823 and 1839.

Based on comparison with petroglyphs of the same era (e.g. Tanumshede, Sweden), it is assumed that the figurines were originally part of an ensemble arranged on a ship.

Both the twins motive and the cultic significance of the horned helmets, seems to have persisted into early Germanic culture. The kneeling warrior figures have been interpreted as the "Ashvins" type divine twins of early Indo-European religion, sons of the sky-god, known by the name of Alcis to Tacitus.

Kavi

Kavi may refer to: kavi (कवि या चारण ) is a term for Poet specially used in some Indian languages. The word kavi ( कवि) is in these languages and Literature used to denote a Poem, sing a poetry.

Example:

Poem : कविता (Kavita)

Poet. : कवि (Kavi)

Kavi (from a root kū "to cry out") is a Sanskrit term for thinker, intelligent man, man of understanding, leader; a wise man, sage, seer, prophet; a singer, bard, poet. Also related root is Avestan kavi (or kauui) "king" and also "poet-sacrificer" or "poet-priest". Some applications:

the primeval poet-seers (rishis) who composed the mantras (Vedas).

an epithet of various gods, including Varuna, Indra, the Ashvins, the Maruts, the Adityas, Soma, the Rbhus

Pushan, the Hindu god of meeting

collectively, the Kayanian kings as the heroes of the Avesta, the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, and of the Shahnameh, Iran's national epic.

a son of Brahma

a son of Bhrigus

a son of Shukra

the sons of several Manus

a son of Kaushika, pupil of Garga

a son of Rsabha

name of the gates of the sacrificial enclosure (TS 5.11.1.2)

the soul, in Samkhya philosophy

Apu's cousin who helps Homer in The Simpsons episode Kiss Kiss, Bang BangaloreIn current usage in India, Sri Lanka or Indian Sub-continent:-

The word Kavi or Kaviraj is in Indian language and literature used to denote a poet or a singer or a person of greatness who could pen or sing a poetry impromptu. The Kavi attached with Royal Durbar for entertainment of Kings were called Kaviraj. Mostly such persons were patronized by kings in India to keep alive the art. The poems or folk-songs etc. in India are called Kavita ( a poem), which means words which came out of mouth of KaviIn Zoroastrianism and Iranian mythology:-

Kavi, meaning "king", is the general title of the kings (chiefs) in Avesta. The Kavi entered Iranian mythology as Kayanian dynasty.

List of Hindu deities

Hinduism is the dominant and native/original religion of the Indian subcontinent. It comprises three major traditions, Vaishnavism, Shaktism, Saivism, whose followers consider Maha Vishnu, Shakti(Devi) and Shiva to be the Supreme deity respectively. Most of the other deities were either related to them or different forms (incarnations) of these deities. Hinduism has been called the "oldest religion" in the world, and many practitioners refer to Hinduism as "the eternal law". (Sanātana Dharma). Given below is a list of the chief Hindu deities followed by a list of Hindu deities (including demi-gods).

Smartism, an older tradition and later reestablished by Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya, invites the worship of more than one god including Shiva like that, Vishnu, Brahma, Shakti and

Ganesha (the elephant god) among other gods and goddesses. It is not as overtly sectarian as either Vashnavism or Saivism and is based on the recognition that Brahman (God) is the highest principle in the universe and pervades all of existence.

Madreya

Madreya are sons of Madri in Mahabharata. These are the part of five Pandava. Kunti having warmed up to Madri during their exile shares the mantra with her.

Those are:

Nakula - Nakula is the son of Madri and the Ashvins twin Nasatya.

Sahadeva - Sahadeva is the son of Madri and the Ashwin twin Dasra

Mitanni-Aryan

Some theonyms, proper names and other terminology of the Mitanni are considered to form (part of) an Indo-Aryan superstrate, suggesting that an Indo-Aryan elite imposed itself over the Hurrian population in the course of the Indo-Aryan expansion.

In a treaty between the Hittites and the Mitanni (between Suppiluliuma and Shattiwaza, c. 1380 BC), the deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and Nasatya (Ashvins) are invoked. Kikkuli's horse training text (circa 1400 BC) includes technical terms such as aika (Vedic Sanskrit eka, one), tera (tri, three), panza (pañca, five), satta (sapta, seven), na (nava, nine), vartana (vartana, round). The numeral aika "one" is of particular importance because it places the superstrate in the vicinity of Indo-Aryan proper (Vedic Sanskrit eka, with regular contraction of /ai/ to [eː]) as opposed to Indo-Iranian or early Iranian (which has *aiva; compare Vedic eva "only") in general.Another text has babru(-nnu) (babhru, brown), parita(-nnu) (palita, grey), and pinkara(-nnu) (pingala, red). Their chief festival was the celebration of the solstice (vishuva) which was common in most cultures in the ancient world. The Mitanni warriors were called marya (Hurrian: maria-nnu), the term for (young) warrior in Sanskrit as well; note mišta-nnu (= miẓḍha,~ Sanskrit mīḍha) "payment (for catching a fugitive)" (Mayrhofer II 358).

Sanskritic interpretations of Mitanni names render Artashumara (artaššumara) as Arta-smara "who thinks of Arta/Ṛta" (Mayrhofer II 780), Biridashva (biridašṷa, biriiašṷa) as Prītāśva "whose horse is dear" (Mayrhofer II 182), Priyamazda (priiamazda) as Priyamedha "whose wisdom is dear" (Mayrhofer II 189, II378), Citrarata as citraratha "whose chariot is shining" (Mayrhofer I 553), Indaruda/Endaruta as Indrota "helped by Indra" (Mayrhofer I 134), Shativaza (šattiṷaza) as Sātivāja "winning the race price" (Mayrhofer II 540, 696), Šubandhu as Subandhu 'having good relatives" (a name in Palestine, Mayrhofer II 209, 735),

Tushratta (tṷišeratta, tušratta, etc.) as *tṷaišaratha, Vedic Tveṣaratha "whose chariot is vehement" (Mayrhofer I 686, I 736).

Pravargya

In the historical Vedic religion, Pravargya was a ceremony introductory to the Agnishtoma (Soma sacrifice), at which fresh milk is poured into a heated vessel called mahavira or gharma and offered to the Ashvins. The ceremony is described in details in the technical texts on proper ritual, the Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Shrautasutras.

Revanta

Revanta or Raivata (Sanskrit: रेवन्त, lit. "brilliant") is a Hindu deity. According to the Rig-Veda, Revanta is the youngest son of the sun-god Surya, and his wife Saranyu. Revanta is chief of the Guhyakas (गुह्यक), semi-divine and demonic class entities – like the Yakshas – who are believed to live as forest dwellers in the Himalayas. Images and sculptures of Revanta often show him as a huntsman on a horse, with a bow and arrow.

Rigvedic deities

There are 1000 hymns in the Rigveda, most of them dedicated to specific deities.

Indra, a heroic god, slayer of Vritra and destroyer of the Vala, liberator of the cows and the rivers; Agni the sacrificial fire and messenger of the gods; and Soma, the ritual drink dedicated to Indra, are the most prominent deities.

Invoked in groups are the Vishvedevas (the "all-gods"), the Maruts, violent storm gods in Indra's train and the Ashvins, the twin horsemen.

There are two major groups of gods: the Devas and the Asuras. Unlike in later Vedic texts and in Hinduism, the Asuras are not yet demonized, Mitra and Varuna being their most prominent members.

Aditi is the mother both of Agni and of the Adityas or Asuras, led by Mitra and Varuna, with Aryaman, Bhaga, Ansa and Daksha.

Surya is the personification of the Sun, but Savitr, Vivasvant, the Ashvins and the Rbhus, semi-divine craftsmen, also have aspects of solar deities. Other natural phenomena deified include Vayu, (the wind), Dyaus and Prithivi (Heaven and Earth), Dyaus continuing Dyeus, the chief god of the Proto-Indo-European religion, and Ushas (the dawn), the most prominent goddess of the Rigveda, and Apas (the waters).

Rivers play an important role, deified as goddesses, most prominently the Sapta Sindhu and the Sarasvati River.

Yama is the first ancestor, also worshipped as a deity, and the god of the underworld and death.

Vishnu and Rudra, the prominent deities of later Hinduism (Rudra being an early form of Shiva), are present as marginal gods.

The names of Indra, Mitra, Varuna and the Nasatyas have also attested in a Mitanni treaty, suggesting that some of the religion of the Mitannis was very close to that of the Rigveda.

Vishpala

Vishpala (viśpálā) is a woman (alternatively, a horse) mentioned in the Rigveda (RV 1.112, 116, 117, 118 and RV 10.39). The name is likely from viś "settlement, village" and bala "strong", meaning something like "protecting the settlement" or "strong settlement".

Vishpala is helped in battle (alternative, in the prize-race) by the Ashvins. As she lost her leg "in the time of night, in Khela's battle" (alternatively, "in Khela's race, eager for a decision"), they gave her a "leg of iron" so that she could keep running (1.116.15).

The interpretation as a female warrior in battle is due to Griffith (in keeping with Sayana), the interpretation as a horse race is due to Karl Friedrich Geldner.

As is often the case in the Rigveda, especially in the young books 1 and 10 (dated to roughly 1200 BC) a myth is only alluded to, the poet taking for granted his audience's being familiar with it, and beyond the fact that the Ashvins gave Vishpala a new leg, no information has survived, neither about Vishpala herself nor about "Khela's battle", or indeed the character of Khela (the name meaning "shaking, trembling").

Nevertheless, the allusion qualifies as the earliest reference to the concept of a prosthesis, while in Sayana's interpretation it can also be taken as an early reference to a female warrior.

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