The Vedic Fathers of Geology, Part 6
BY: SUN STAFF
VRITRA SLAIN: The Waters and Sun Set Free to Move
Vritra as Naga and Sun
Illustrations from 'The Artic Home in the Vedas' by L.B.G Tilak
Aug 21, 2016 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation on Vedic discoveries in Geology, from the book by Narayan Bhavanrao Pavgee.
But, more than this, even before and at the time of Mahabharata, the idea having taken a deep root, had a firm hold on the Indian mind, that the region lying between the two divine rivers, viz. the Sarasvati and the Drishadvati, was the scene of creation, as it was the tract fashioned by God. In fact, in Mahabharata it has been called Brahmavarta.
Now, the expression 'God-created region', or the 'tract fashioned by God', appears to have had a very great significance, and it emphatically presents to us the deep-rooted traditions of Our Aryan Cradle having been in Brahmavarta, and as such in Aryavarta alone, and nowhere else.
There is another verse in the Mahabharata which is also very interesting. For, this says that, "the region has its own hoary traditions and customary usages handed down from age to age and transmitted from generation to generation, which, therefore has been supposed to be the only pure usage (Mahabharata XIV, 110.45). But, above all, there is yet a third verse, and this is certainly pregnant with meaning, inasmuch as it declares that Brahmarshi-Desha or for the matter of that Aryavarta, is a moael region of discipline and order, and that "from a Brahman born in that region, all men on earth should receive their lessons in their respective duties and responsibilities." (MBh. XIV, 110.47).
For easy reference, I herein below quote the verses from Mahabharata and these as also others seem, with a few variations, to have been repeated by Manu in (II, 17, 18, 20), for confirming the hoary traditions in respect of our Cradle in Aryavarta).
Turning to the Vedic authority for a while, it seems that there is an intimate relation, nay even an inseparable connection between Indra, Soma, Vritra, the Dawn, the Sun, the Aryans, and Aryavarta, or the Land of the Seven Rivers. Of these, Aryavarta appears preeminently to be the cradle of all, at any rate the primitive scene, where our Rig-Vedic ancestors and even their forefathers had seen Soma grown on the Himalayan Mountain, well watered and nourished by Parjanya or Rain, (as if in the capacity of Father); where only, and in no other region, the splendour and refulgence of the Dawn had first appeared to them on the horizon of the Vipash, viz. the modern river Beeas; where, the brilliancy of the Dawn had subsequently vanished, and was absorbed in the dazzling light of the Sun; where, the showers of rain were observed for the first time dropping from the clouds, represented as Vritra, lying on the Indus, after these were rent asunder by Lightning represented by Indra's thunderbolt, in the Land of the Seven Rivers; where our ancestors had performed sacrifices and continued their sacrificial sessions, which at times having been disturbed by outsiders, or even by our own kith and kin, such as the Zoroastrians, Indra was supplicated to give his aid to the Aryan progeny of the Land of the Seven Rivers, especially as he always defended his Arya worshippers in all conflicts, nay, even punished those who were non-sacrificers and beyond the pale of our faith (Rig-Veda I, I30.8). Thus, the whole thing appears to have been most beautifully depicted in very lively colours in the metaphorically terse language of the Rig-Veda.
All this, however, will certainly require an explanation and proof. I shall, therefore, hasten to furnish the same, as briefly as possible. There is evidence to show that Soma was born on, or that his origin has to be sought in the mountain of the great Himalayan chain (R.V. XI, 82.3), and that Parjanya was the father of Soma (R.V. XI, 82.3). For Soma has been called Maujawata, simply for the reason that he was born on the Munjavat Mountain (R.V. X, 34.1); and as to the location of this mountain, we have the testimony of the Mahabharata, from which we learn that the Munjavat Mountain lies on the slopes of the Himalaya.
Thus, there appears no doubt whatever as to the origin of Soma having been in Aryavarta, as he was born on the great Himalaya Mountain. This Soma, however, being the Himalayan Soma, has been considered from time immemorial to be of the best kind and of the finest quality. For, while commenting on Sayana, the well-known Exegetist of our four Vedas, has strongly certified as to the superior quality of the Soma grown on the Munjavat mountain, and said, [sloka omitted] (Rig-Veda X, 34.1).
There is yet another place where Soma is grown, or at any rate used to grow previously, and the same appears to be the Sharyanavat Lake, in the Province of Kurukshetra, as we find reference made to the fact in the Rig-Veda itself. For, says the verse, "Let Vritra slaying Indra drink Soma by Sharyanavata's side." (Griffith)
[sloka omitted] (Rig-Veda, IX, 113.1)
While making comments on this verse, Sayana writes as under:
In the circumstances, there remains not the slightest doubt in regard to the origin and growth of Soma, in Aryavarta and Aryavarta alone, and nowhere else; and evidently it was from here that Indra, after drinking Soma, carried his victorious arms to the North giving his ready assistance to the Sacrifices (R.V. I, 130.8; ante p. 40), and destroying the non-sacrificers (R.V. VIII, 14.15).
Turning to Indra, we find that Soma is his father (R.V. IX, 96.5), and that He (Indra) was born on the mountain in the very house of his father (R.V. III, 48.2). We further perceive that Indra had asked for the Soma-drink immediately after he was born, and that his mother had supplied him with it, even before suckling him (R.V. III, 48.2). All this, therefore, evidently proves the origin of Indra and Soma in Aryavarta.
Now, as regards their age, it may be said that there is equally strong evidence in respect of the very great antiquity of both Soma and Indra. Speaking of Soma first, we find that the Rig-Vedic Rishis have declared him to be extremely old, saying that he existed even before the sacrifice (R.V. IX, 2.10). In fact, it seems that even the ancestors of our hoary Rig-Vedic fore-fathers had used Soma for sacrificial purposes (R.V. IX, 96.11), and the more we look into his antiquity, the more he appears to be old (R.V. IX, 3.9). As to Indra, it may be mentioned in brief that even in the Rig-Veda, it is said, while addressing this deity, that there is none superior to, and older than Indra (R.V. IV 30.1).
These being the very facts, we need not wonder if even the occidental scholars of now admit that Indra and Soma are the highest, the most ancient, and exclusively  the Hindu or Indo-Aryan Gods. In view, therefore, of bringing conviction home to the reader, I venture to give a few extracts from the works of some of them.
Says Muir, "Indra is an exclusively Indian God." (Original Sanskrit Texts, Vol. V, p. 119, Ed. 1870). Professor Roth, in his Lexicon, remarks under Indra that, "He was the favourite national deity of the Aryan Indians in the Vedic age." Spiegel speaks about Indra as "the highest God of the earliest Hinduism." (Introduction, Avesta). While Mr. Tilak says that, "the word Indra does not occur in European Aryan languages" (The Arctic Home in the Vedas, p. 295), meaning thereby that even the word is not known in Europe anywhere, much less the God of that name. Besides, even Dr. Taylor declares that, "In the Avesta there is barely a vestige of the great name of Indra, nor can it be traced in any of the European languages." (The Origin of the Aryas, p. 312, Second Edition)
Now, in respect of Soma, Ragozin observes that, "From numerous indications scattered through the hymns (of the Rig-Veda), it appears probable that this (that is, the Himalayan high-land of Kashmir) was the earliest seat of the Soma-worship known to the Aryan Hindus, whence it may have spread geographically with the race itself." (Vedic India, pp. 160-171, Ed. 1895) Moreover, from the description of Soma and its origin given in the Mahabharata and the Rig-Veda, (Vide ante p. 41-42), it clearly appears that the Himalayan high-land is the only region favourable to its growth, and that it grows or grew nowhere else. Naturally, therefore, it was not known in Europe, as Mr. Tilak writes to say that, "the word (Soma) is not found in the European languages." (The Arctic Home in the Vedas, p. 205)
Thus, we have tried to prove, and the evidence being irrefragable, have endeavoured to establish that Indra and Soma having had their origin in Aryavarta, retain an inseparable connection with the Land of the Seven Rivers, where Indra with the aid of Soma had achieved the ever memorable exploits which, to speak in the homely language, were nothing else than the occurrence of the grand phenomena of Nature, of which, after our first progenitors – the ancestors of our Rig-Vedic fore-fathers – were born in Aryavart, they were but naturally the primitive observers in this land of their birth. Evidently, their observations had made ever-lasting impressions on their mind, and as they thought these were of great moment and of utmost importance, they had taken extreme care to scrupulously preserve them intact, and hand them down to posterity for their benefit.
Accordingly, it appears that our Rig-Vedic Rishis had but traditionally received the first impressions of our progenitors, and they had simply disburdened themselves by giving them an expression and a form of speech. They thus have bequeathed to us the richest legacy the Mankind could receive, as it forms but a true and a brilliant record of our first words, an authentic source of our first impressions, and the fountain-head of our genuine history, commencing even from our Cradle.
 I may mention here, that the Zoroastrians were living with us – the Indo-Aryans – in Aryavarta before the religious schism. They therefore knew when with us, Soma and India. Subsequent to the schism, and after they left Aryavarta, they settled In Iran. But, even then, they could not divest themselves of the primitive legends and mythologies they had imbibed and inherited from us, while living in Aryavarta - the land of their origin. Naturally therefore, we find Soma transformed into Homa and Vritraha, which is an epithet of Indra, metamorphosed into Verethrajao, in Zend. Thus, we observe Dr. Windischmann remarking as follows, in his Dissertation, "On the Soma-worship of the Arvans"… "But, by far the most remarkable analogy is that which exists between the Haoma of the Zendavesta and the Soma of the most ancient Brahmanical books,"… verethrajao, Zend, -- vritraha Sanskrit (R.V. I, 91.21), destroyer of enemies."
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