The Ashvins (aka Asvins, Asvinau, or Asvini Kumaras) are two twin brothers of Hindu mythology, sons of the sun god Surya. They may also be referred to as the 'Horsemen' and are forever young, handsome, and athletic. They are considered the physicians of the gods. As twins, they represent a cosmic duality of ideas such as light and dark, healing and destruction. In many ways they are similar to the Dioskouroi (Castor and Pollux) of Greek and Roman mythology and may well have been based on historical figures, perhaps two rulers famous for their skills in battle and good deeds.
Surya & Samjna
The Ashvins appear in Vedic literature (1500 – 1000 BCE) as the twin sons of Surya the sun god or of the sky. Their mother is Samjna (Conscience), the daughter of Visvakarma. Unfortunately, Samjna became so tired of Surya's brilliant light that she one day gave him a handmaid, Chaya (Shade), and left him to live a life of reflection in the forests, transformed into a mare. Surya was not to be so easily deprived though and disguised as a stallion mated with Samjna. The resulting offspring were Revanta (chief of the Guhyakas) and the two twins. The twins are also considered the parents of Nakula and Sahadeva, the Pandu princes.
The two brothers are forever youthful, handsome, brilliant, golden, fast & athletic.
The two brothers are forever youthful, handsome, brilliant, golden, fast, and athletic. Compassionate, they help those in need from old women to soldiers left behind by a retreating army. They also represent duality, can change their form at will, and possess the power to cure. Indeed, this latter ability meant that they are the subject of many Hindu hymns as they are considered the official doctors of svarga, one of the intermediary heavens and realm of Indra. In this guise, they are known individually as Dasra and Nasatya or collectively as Dasras, Nasatyas, Gadagadau, or Svarvaidyau.
The Ashvins' name derives from the Sanskrit asva or 'horse' and they are closely associated with that animal, sometimes even considered to have the bodies of men and the head of a horse, but as with many other Hindu deities, they have several alternative names too. These include Abdhijau ('ocean born'), Badaveyau (after their father in some texts, Badava, underground fire), and Puskarasrajau ('wreathed in lotuses'). The Ashvins are very rarely depicted in ancient Hindu art, but they do appear as figure sculptures on the 12th-century CE gopurams (monumental gates) at Chidambaram.
Ashvins & Cyavana
The Ashvins' medical skills famously helped the sage Cyavana who, when he reached a very old age, they returned to a state of youth. This apparently selfless act was in fact motivated by a promise from Cyavana's wife Sukanya that should they restore good health to her husband then she would reveal to the Ashvins the one thing which they lacked to become complete gods. The twins obliged and told Cyavana to bathe in a pond, and on immersing himself in its waters, he emerged as a sprightly youth. Good on her promise, Sukanya then told the Ashvins that they were not complete because they did not drink the elixir soma, like the other gods.
The twins then set about acquiring some soma and eventually succeeded in persuading Dadhyanc, son of the Atharvan priest, to teach them the sacrificial ceremony which involved the sacred drink. There had been the problem that Indra did not want the Ashvins to drink soma as they were, he felt, contaminated by their spending too much time with humans. The great god threatened terrible revenge if the twins were to find out about the ceremony and get their hands on soma. The Ashvins got around this by giving Dadhyanc a new head so that when Indra did find out he had taught them of soma, he lopped off Dadhyanc's new head but then, having carefully stored it, the Ashvin's were able to give back to Dadhyanc his original head.
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Bringers of the Sun
The Ashvins have another important duty, which is to ride with their father in his golden chariot across the sky each day as he brings warmth and sunlight to the earth. Sometimes they have their own golden chariot which has three wheels and is pulled by either horses or birds, on other occasions they ride only their horses. Specifically, they precede their father and so have become the personification of the morning twilight. As they strike their horses with their whips, they dispel the morning dew.
Sanjna or Samjna (Sanskrit: संज्ञा, IAST: Samjñā), also known as Saranyu (Sanskrit: सरन्यू , IAST: Saraṇyū) and Sandhya (Sanskrit: सन्ध्या), is a Hindu goddess and the chief wife of Surya, the Sun god. She is one of the earliest goddesses in the pantheon and is found in the Rigveda. Saranyu also appears in later texts including the Harivamsa and the Markandeya Purana. The most prominent legend of Saranyu is about her temporary abandonment of Surya and creation of Chhaya. In most texts, Saranyu is the mother of the death god Yama, the river-goddess Yami, the current Manu, the divine twin physicians Ashvins and the god Revanta.
- The skōlex (Indus Worm), in ancient Greek writings, was a supposed giant, white, carnivorous worm with a large pair of teeth that lived in the Indus River.
- is 'the Goddess of bees' or 'the Goddess of black bees'. She is associated with bees, hornets and wasps, which cling to her body.
- Ájakava - a poisonous scorpion mentioned in the Rig Veda. , a Scorpion Goddess, native to southern Karnataka.
- Matsya is the first avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a fish. 
- In Hinduism, The Rainbow Fish was a fish that was as large as a whale. It ate Buddha.  is a huge aquatic creature that can swallow whole whales in one bite.
- is a daughter of Tosakanth (Ravana) appearing in the Thai and other Southeast Asian versions of Ramayana.  She is a mermaid princess who tries to spoil Hanuman's plans to build a bridge to Lanka but falls in love with him instead.  is the son of Hanuman in the Cambodian, Thai and other versions of the Ramayana, and who looked like a vanara from the waist-up but had the tail of a fish.
- In Hinduism, Kurma is the second Avatar of Vishnu, in the form of a turtle. 
- The World Turtle in Hindu mythology is known as Akupāra, or sometimes Chukwa, a chiranjeevi. 
- Bedawang or Bedawang Nala is a giant turtle in Balinese mythology who brought the whole world on his back. In the creation mythology of the world, it represents a change from Antaboga. He along with two dragons support the human world. If he moves, there will be earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on earth.
- appears as the vahana (vehicle) of the river goddess Ganga, Narmada and of the sea god Varuna.
- Huhu is the crocodile in the legend of Gajendra Moksha.
- is the world serpent of traditional Javanese mythology. It is a derivative from the Hindu Ananta Shesha combined with Javanese animism. also known as Jahar Veer Gogga is a folk deity, worshiped in the northern states of India. He is a warrior-hero of the region, venerated as a saint and a 'snake-god'. He is worshiped as a pir amongst Hindus. is an Asura who has the lower parts of a snake and said to have four arms. (Nagnechi Ma, Nagnechia Ma), a snake goddess, is the kuldevi of Rathore, a Suryavanshi Rajput clan of India, as well as Brahmbhatts (who are also Vaitalik Kaumudik Bramhins),
- Patanjali is a snake footed rishi. is the severed head of an asura called Svarbhānu, that swallows the sun causing eclipses. He is depicted in art as a serpent with no body riding a chariot drawn by eight black horses. (Kurdish : Şahmaran) (Persian: شاهماران, Şamaran Turkish: Şahmeran, Tatar: Şahmara / Шаһмара / شاهمار, literally, shah (king) of the snakes.) is a mythical creature from the folklore of The Kurdish people. Shahmaran is known as the queen of the serpents. This story can be traced from the Middle East to India with different variations. or Ahi is a serpent or dragon, the personification of drought and adversary of Indra.
- The Naga is an entity or being, taking the form of a very great snake — specifically the king cobra. A female nāga is a nāgī or nāgiṇī. Notable nagas.
- is half Brahmin and half naga, son of Manasa. , a snake conquered by Krishna. controls weather , also Mansa Devi, is a Hindu folk goddess of snakes, sister of Vasuki and wife of sage Jagatkāru (Jaratkāru).
- Paravataksha, his sword causes earthquakes and his roar caused thunder. is a Hindu goddess, who is described as the mother of the nagas (serpents).  is a horned serpent-demon who aids the Asuras in their war against the Deva. The serpent also guards the essence of Amrita in its stomach. Susna is also associated with drought. is the nagaraja or king of all nāgas. The snake on whom Vishnu is in yoga nidra (Ananta shayana).  is mentioned as a King of the Nagas. , a companion of Arjuna in the epicMahabharata is a nagaraja, one of the King serpents of Hindu mythology, who coils over Shiva's neck. 
- Homa Pakshi (a Vedic bird). It lays eggs while flying in the sky and then the egg will fall. As it is falling, a bird will hatch from the egg. The hatchling then learns how to fly without touching the earth.
- The Huma (Persian: هما, pronounced Homā, Avestan: Homāio), also Homa, is a mythical bird of Iranian legends and fables, and continuing as a common motif in Sufi and Diwan poetry. The kingship-bestowing function of the Huma bird reappear in Indian stories of the Mughal era.
- The Karura is a divine creature with human torso and birdlike head in Japanese Hindu-Buddhist mythology. is a mythological creature of Russian legends, with the head and chest of a beautiful woman and the body of a bird (usually an owl). According to myth, the Sirins lived "in Indian lands" near Eden or around the Euphrates River.
- Bagala - A crane-headed god in Hindu legend, Bagala controls black magic, poisons and disguised forms of death.
- Krauncha - A crane mentioned in the Ramayana.
- Nadijangha - The name of a crane, who was liked by Brahma very much. His story was told by Bhishma to Dharmaraja.
- The hamsa (Sanskrit: हंस, haṃsa or hansa) is an aquatic bird of passage, such as a goose or a swan. Its icon is used in Indian and Southeast Asian culture as a spiritual symbol and a decorative element. Hamsa is a part of the mythical love story of Nala and Damayanti. The hamsa is the vahana of Brahma & Saraswathi.
- Arayanna, or heavenly hamsa (swans), are said to live in Manasasaras in the Himalayas.
- Chanda, a crow, is the father of Bhusunda and his twenty brothers (Bhusunda and his brothers were born from the union of Chanda and the seven swans of the Goddess Brahmi). is a very old sage, in the form of a crow. In the Story of Bhusunda, a chapter of the Yoga Vasistha, Bhusunda recalls a succession of epochs in the earth's history, as described in Hindu cosmology. He survived several destructions, living on a wish-fulfilling tree on Mount Meru.
- Krichi is the rooster of Murugan, depicted on his war flag, the Seval Kodi.
- Citramekhala is the mayura of Saraswathi, Goddess of learning and wisdom.
- Paravani is the mayura vahana of Murugan, the God of War.
- was a certain female bird of the species called Sarngika. She was wife of saint Mandapala.
- Suka - The parrot vahana of Kamadeva
- Shuka - The parrot of Kalki
- Shyena (Sanskrit: श्येन ) is the divine hawk identified with Agni, who ascends to heaven for bringing soma (nectar) to earth with the intention of rejuvenating and revitalizing of all things that exist on earth.
- The Garuda is a large bird-like creature, or humanoid bird. Garuda is the mount (vahana) of the Lord Vishnu. According to the Mahabharata, Garuda had six sons from whom were descended the race of birds.
- , a kind of partridge, is a legendary bird described in Hindu mythology. It is believed to reside upon the beams of the moon, that is, the Chandra.
- Kapinjala, a partridge associated with Indra, or a form of Indra.
- Pravirakarna - Is a chiranjeevi owl who lives in the Himalayas.
- Uluka - The owl of Lakshmi.
- Mushika - the rat mount of Ganesha /GANESHA is very careful about his mount Mushika and also his safety
- The Gajasimha is a mythical animal with the body of a lion and the head of an elephant. At Angkor, it is portrayed as a guardian of temples and as a mount for some warriors. is an elephant demon killed by Shiva, in his Gajasurasamhara form. the elephant, was rescued by Vishnu from the clutches of Huhu, the Crocodile in the legend of Gajendra Moksha. also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka, the elephant headed God. is a daughter of Kadru and Kasyapa. She is the mother of Airavata, the mount of Indra. She is also associated with a sacred river.
- In a tale about Ganesha's birth, the elephant-headed demoness Malini gives birth to Ganesha after drinking the bath-water of Parvati, Ganesha's mother.
- In Hindu mythology there were three elephants by the name Supratika. The foremost among them is listed as one of the Diggajas, each representing the eight quarters. The Hindu epic Mahabharata describes two more elephants by the same name – a mythical elephant that was an incarnation of a sage, and the one that belonged to Bhagadatta, the king of Pragjyotisha. is an elephant-headed Hindu goddess, a Matrika. The goddess is generally associated with the elephant-headed god of wisdom, Ganesha.
- The Amarakosha, a thesaurus of Sanskrit, mentions the names of eight male elephants, and their respective consorts, that bear the world together.
- Airavata is a mythological white elephant who carries the Hindu God Indra. He also represents the Eastern direction, the quarter of Indra. Abhramu is the consort of Airavata.
- Pundarika, carries the Hindu god Yama. He reprents the Southeast. Kapila is the consort of Pundarika.
- Vamana and his mate Pingala guard the South with an unspecified god.
- Kumunda (Southwest) and his mate Anupama, with the god Surya.
- Anjana and his mate Añjanā guards the West with the god Varuna.
- Pushpa-danta and his mate Subhadanti guards the Northwest with the god Vayu.
- Sarva-bhauma represents the North, the quarter of Kubera. His mate is Tāmrakarna.
- Supratika represents the North-east direction, the quarter of Soma. Anjanavati is believed to be the wife of Supratika.
- Four names are given in the Ramayana 1.41:
- Viru-paksha - East
- Maha-padma - South
- Saumanas - West
- Bhadra - North
- Kapi is known to be a form of monkey, especially used to represent Hanuman as seen from Hanumaan chalsa lines:- jai kapees tihu lok ujagar
- The Vanaras are the monkey race in the Ramayana. The following are notable vanaras.
- Emūsha - In the Brāhmana, a boar which raised up the earth, represented as black and with a hundred arms (probably the germ of the Varaha avatara). is the third avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a boar. is one of the Matrikas. With the head of a sow, Varahi is the consort of Varaha.
- , son of Bali, helped Rama find his wife Sita , Hanuman's mother. is a monkey God and an ardent devotee of the God Rama. , Hanuman's foster father. is the son of Hanuman as per the Valmiki Ramayana. , son of Vishwakarma. , son of Agni. was the wife of Sugrīva. , king of Kishkindha, son of Surya. , wife of Bali. , Sugriva's brother, and a son of Indra
- (Sanskrit Paśupati) is an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva as "lord of the animals". was a boy born with the horns of a deer in Hindu-Buddhist mythology, who became a seer.
- are associated with the reddish cows, and are released by Indra from the Vala cave at the beginning of time.
- Vrishabha - A cow-headed Yogini, who is considered to be the mother of Ganesha.
- Kamadhenu also known as Surabhi, is a bovine-goddess described in Hinduism as the mother of all cows. She is a miraculous "cow of plenty" who provides her owner whatever he desires and is often portrayed as the mother of other cattle as well as the eleven Rudras. The following are the offspring of Kamadhenu.
- cows (the golden cows), are the children of Kamadhenu, who were also called the mothers of the world (according to the Anushasana Parva, the thirteenth book of the Mahabharata). , a calf, created by Krishna (along with its mother, Kamadhenu) from the left side of his body (according to the Devi Bhagavata Purana) (sometimes referred to as Sabala), the cow of Vashistha, the daughter of Indra's cow Kamadhenu. , daughter of Surabhi, who is said to be the mother of cows (according to the Ramayana) , a daughter of Kamadhenu in the Brahmanda Purana , a cow, daughter of Kamadhenu (according to the Matsya Purana)
- The guardian cow goddesses of the heavenly quarters (they are the 4 daughters of Kamadhenu according to the Udyoga Parva, fifth book of the Mahabharata):
- Dhenu in the north
- Harhsika in the south
- Saurabhi in the east
- Subhadra in the west
- or Birkuar, also known as Birnath, is a Hindu cattle-god worshipped by the herder-class of Ahirs of western Bihar in India. He is considered to be a form of the god, Krishna. , or Nandikeshvara is the name for the bull which serves as the mount of the god Shiva and as the gatekeeper of Shiva and Parvati.
- According to Hindu mythology, Mahishasura was a combination of both an Asura and a mahisha ("water buffalo"), with a trident. - The sister of Mahishasura. After the death of Mahishasura, Mahishi continued the war against Devas. , is a horned buffalo deity of pastoral tribes in Western and Southern India.
- Paundraka is the name of the buffalo of Yama.
- Aja - A "He-goat" sacred to Pushan. Holds a prominent position in death rites it shows the path to the dead.
- Ajaikapala - A boy, whom was begotten by the grace of Shankara. He had one foot of a man and the other of a goat. He overcame death as a child and is known as 'Mrityunjya'. (see also Markandeya) - His head was replaced by a goat's after a beheading. also known as Harinegameshi, is a goat-headed or deer-headed deity (associated with the war-god Kartikeya). - a Vedic guardian of flocks and herds.
- The Ashvins, in Hindu mythology, are two Vedic gods, divine twin horsemen in the Rigveda, sons of Saranyu, a goddess of the clouds and wife of Surya in his form as Vivasvant. They are represented as humans with the heads of horses.
- Badavā - 'A mare, the submarine fire.' In mythology, it is a flame with the head of a horse, called also Haya-siras. is the name of a divine horse or bird, personification of the morning Sun.
- Devadatta - The white horse of Kalki. , daughter of Kamadhenu, and is the mother of horses (according to the Ramayana).
- Farasi Bahari - These are magical green Water Horses that live at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. They are depicted as a horse in its forepart, with a coiling, scaly, fish-like hindquarter. , also spelt Hayagreeva, is a horse-headed avatar of the Lord Vishnu in Hinduism. is the horse-demon, healed by Krishna. In Hindu mythology, a kinnara is a paradigmatic lover, a celestial musician, half-human and half-horse. is the name of a mythical being in the Rigveda, described as a horse with the epithet áriṣṭa-nemi "with intact wheel-rims". is a horse faced Ghandarva, a celestial musician. is a seven-headed flying horse, that was obtained during the churning of the milk ocean. Uchchaihshravas is often described as a vahana ("vehicle") of Indra - the god-king of heaven, but is also recorded to be the horse of Bali, the king of demons. White horses appear many times in Hindu mythology.
- The Karkadann (from kargadan, Persian: كرگدن "Lord of the Desert") was a mythical creature said to live on the grassy plains of India and Persia. The word kargadan also means rhinoceros in Persian and Arabic. (Greek: odontotyrannus or dentityrannus ("tooth-tyrant") is a three horned beast said to have attacked Alexander the Great and his men at their camp in India. It had a black, horse-like head, with three horns protruding from its forehead, and exceeded the size of an elephant.
- The Unicorn is a legendary creature that has been described since antiquity as a beast with a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. The unicorn was depicted in ancient seals of the Indus Valley Civilization and was mentioned by the ancient Greeks in accounts of natural history by various writers, including Ctesias, Strabo, Pliny the Younger, and Aelian. The Bible also describes an animal, the re'em, which some versions translate as unicorn.
- In Hindu mythology, Sarama is a mythological being referred to as the dog of the gods, or Deva-shuni. (literally, "sons of Sarama") are the children of Sarama, whose names are Shyama and Sabala. is an ancient Hindu mythical dog belonging to Yama.
- Sisara is the husband of Sarama, father of the Sarameya.
- Manasthala is the lion vahana of Durga who was known as the asura Simhamukha in his previous life. or sometimes called Prathyangira, Narasimhi or Narashimhika, is a Hindu Goddess described with a lioness's face and a human body. is a lion faced demon, brother of Surapadman who later was transformed into the vahana of Durga due to his bravery in fighting the god, Muruga. , that is, one having the feet like a tiger, was one of the mythical rishis (sage) of ancient India.
- The Crocotta (or corocotta, crocuta, or leucrocotta), is a mythical dog-wolf of India or Ethiopia, linked to the hyena and said to be a deadly enemy of men and dogs.
- Doob is the one who really made the name popular (in addition to proving many fundamental results). He got the name from a thesis by Ville.
- A martingale is the name for a Y-shaped strap used in a harness — it runs along the horse’s chest and then splits up the middle to join the saddle.
- A martingale is a name for a betting strategy (usually we think of doubling bets) but it’s not clear which one from the historical record.
- “To play the martingale is to always bet all that was lost” (dictionary of the Acad ́emie Fran ̧caise, 4th ed.) — there are earlier dictionary definitions too, to 1750.
- “A very slim trail seems to indicate a derivation of the word from the Provençal expression jouga a la martegalo, which means ‘to play in an absurd and incomprehensible way’.” Apparently Provençal is also the origin of Baccarat.
- So what is martegalo? It might refer to a place called Martigues, whose residents are supposedly a bit naïve.
- “Martingale pants” are from Martigues, and have, according to Rabelais, “a drawbridge on the ass that makes excretion easier.”
- There’s a woman in the 17th century who called herself La Martingale and who made a number of prophetic predictions.
- There were sailors called martégaux who gave their name to a rope called a martegalo used on sailboats. Perhaps this is where the horse connection comes in?
- Apparently “martingale” is also vernacular for “prostitute,” but the etymology for that usage is not well-documented.
- (feminine Byangomi) are legendary birds of Bengali mythology, appearing most notably in the fairytales of Thakurmar Jhuli, where they are portrayed as wise, fortune-telling birds that help the deserving. (also known as the Bherunda) is a two-headed mythological bird of Hindu mythology thought to possess magical strength.
- Vultures who were the sons of Aruna, brother of Garuda.
- , the King of Vultures, was the oldest son of Aruṇa and a brother of Jatayu. is the youngest son of Aruna, brother of Sampati.
- (Thai: เอราวัณ, from Pāḷi Erāvana, or Sanskrit Airāvana) is the Thai version of Airavata. He is depicted as a huge elephant with either three or sometimes thirty-three heads which are often shown with more than two tusks. Gadjamina, Gaja minah, or Eon is an elephant headed mythical figure with the body of a fish used for patulangan sarcophagi in Bali,
- - a dog one of the Bhairavas, a manifestation of Shiva.
- is a fearsome goddess of forests and jungles, who roams northern India, particularly Assam, in the form of a tiger. a sacred tiger (sometimes drawn as a lion), it was offered by gods to serve goddess Durga or Parvati as mount for rewarding her victory. were described to be lion-headed beings. is an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, and is often visualised as having a human torso and lower body, with a lion face and claws. (Sanskrit: नारसिंहीं, Nārasiṃhī), power of Narasimha (lion-man form of Vishnu), is a woman-lion and throws the stars into disarray by shaking her lion mane.
- The Rikshas are described as something like Vanaras but in later versions of Ramayana, Rikshas are described as bears. Notable Rikshas are as follows:
- is a character originating in Indian epic poetry. The King of the Bears, he is an Asiatic or sloth bear in Indian epic tradition. is the daughter of Jambavan, King of the Bears, and the third wife of Krishna.
- or Naagin is a mythical shape-shifting cobra in Indian folklore.
- - In India, the weretiger is often a dangerous sorcerer, portrayed as a menace to livestock, who might at any time turn to man-eating. These tales travelled through the rest of India and into Persia through travellers who encountered the royal Bengal tigers of India and then further west.
- - The hemaraj is a creature found in Thai and possibly South Asian mythology. It is said to be the combination of a hem (an ill-defined creature in and of itself usually likened to a swan but sometimes depicted more like a crocodile) and a lion. is a sea-creature in Hindu mythology. Makara is the vahana (vehicle) of Ganga - the goddess of the river Ganges and the sea god Varuna.  It is also the insignia of the love god Kamadeva.
In the epic Ramayana, the Makara is responsible for the birth of Lord Hanuman’s son, Makardhwaja.
What Does Rig Veda Talk About?
In Sanskrit, the word Rigveda means “knowledge of the verses (or mantras).”
The Rigveda is by far the most prominent of the Vedas it was the first Vedic text ever written and is the main source of history on the ancient Hindus.
The text is comprised of 1,028 hymns ( sūkta s) dedicated to various deities, including the Purusha Sukta and Creation Hymns. And these hymns contain 10 books, called “circles” or “mandalas.”
The older books contain hymns that are more devoted to the praise of various gods and goddesses. While the younger books are concerned with philosophical questions, the virtue of dāna (generosity, charity) in society, and other metaphysical issues.
The hymns include praises, blessings, and sacrifices written in enchanting poetry and prose. And w hen these beautiful words are chanted, one is transported to another state of mind.
This light hath come, of all the lights the fairest,
The brilliant brightness hath been born, far-shining,
Urged on to prompt the sun-god’s shining power.
Night and Morning clash not, nor yet do linger.
Who is the main god in the Rig Veda?
The fire god and guardian deity Agni appears in the first line of Rig Veda. And Agni is one of the most prominent gods in the Rig Veda.
The rest of the hymns from Rig Veda are mainly addressed to Agni and Indra, Varuna, Mitra, the Ashvins, and the Maruts.
What does the term ASVA mean in the Rigveda?
Ashva (aśva, अश्व) is the Sanskrit word for horse. And this word appears often in the Vedas, especially the Rigveda.
That’s because this Vedic script has many scenes that include chariots. What’s more, is that the Ashvins are the divine twin gods of medicine and known for their horsemanship.
Who wrote the Rig Veda?
Who wrote such wise and captivating hymns?
Well, it’s awe-inspiring, to say the very least.
But here’s the thing about the Vedas — there is no acclaimed human author. They are simply a “language of the gods” in comprehensible human form.
The Vedas were channeled by risis (the seers, the sages) from the very breath of “Source.” “Source” being the Paramātman: the “Primordial Self” or the “Absolute Atman.” The risis saw and interpreted the Vedas, but they did not compose them.
There are seven risis credited to cha nneling the Rigveda: Atri, Kanwa, Vashistha, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Gotama, and Bharadwaja:
The Vedas contain universal truths that can help you understand and experience your connection to the Divine through study and practice. Sacred study reveals the practice, and practice helps you implement the powerful spiritual truths that can transform your life.
— Deborah King, Spiritual teacher and Author of Mindvalley’s Be A Modern Master Program
So, have you ever experienced mystical encounters with deities? Share your experience with us in a comment below.
by Natasha Wanderly
Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. She's also an enthusiast of self-development and personal growth, and is constantly reading and writing about it. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1) Be here 2) Be love.
भारत ने वैदिक काल मे बहुत उन्नति की थी और इसका श्रेय भारत के वैदिक काल के दो महान चिकित्सक को जाता है वो थे अश्विनी कुमार वे दोनो जुड़वा भाई थे और दोनो हमेशा साथ मे ही रहते थे।
ऐसा वर्नर मिलता है की वे देवताओ का चिकित्सा करते थे तथा संसार के दूसरो लोगो को भी समय-समय पे स्वस्थ रहने का उपाय बताते थे। रोग-दोष एवं रोग-निवारण करने वाले अश्विनी कुमारों का ऋग्वेद मे गुणगान किया गया है।
एक वैदिक कथा के अनुशार, देवताओ के गुरु व्राहस्पति का प्राणप्रिय एक लौते पुत्र शन्यू बीमार पड़ गया और अनेक उपचार करने के बाद भी ठीक नही हुवा तब गुरु व्राहस्पति ने अश्विनी कुमार से उपचार करने की प्राथना की। अश्विनी कुमार के उपचार से शन्यु रोग मुक्त हो गये तब गुरु व्राहस्पति ने उन्हे ‘औषधियो का स्वामी’ कहकर संबोधित किया और उनकी बड़ी प्रशंसा की, पुराणो मे उनकी महिमा का वर्नर मिलता है।
धन्वन्त्रि के विषय मे उल्लेखित है की उन्होने देवराज इंद्र और ऋषि भारद्वाज से आयुर्वेद का ज्ञान प्राप्त किया था। पुराणो मे लिखा है की यह ज्ञान ब्रहंजी से दक्ष प्रजापति को, उनसे अश्विनी कुमारों को, तत्पश्चात देवराज इंद्र को, इंद्र से भारद्वज को, उनसे स्वंय इंद्र से धन्वन्त्रि को प्राप्त हुवा। इनमे देवराज इंद्र दक्ष प्रजापति अपने पद के कारण अपने अधीनस्थ सभी लोगो के ज्ञान के स्वामी माने जाते है।
विशुद्ध आयुर्वेद के विशेषग के रूप मे प्रथम स्थान अश्विनी कुमारो को ही देना चाहिए। चिकित्सा शास्त्र के युगल अधिष्ठाता के अतिरिक्त अश्विनी कुमारों की कोई सार्थकता ही नही हैं।
अपने औषधि ज्ञान के कारण ही दोनो अश्विनी कुमारों हमेशा नवयुवको के समान ही सवस्थ एवं सुंदर बने रहे। उन्होने जड़ी-बूटियो से औषधि बना के वैद ऋषि च्यवन् को भी सेवन कराई थी। जिसके सेवन से ऋषि च्यवन पुन: नवयुवक बन गये वह औषधि ‘चयव्ंप्राश’ के नाम से प्रशिद्ध हुवी।
औषधि विज्ञान मे ही नही, अश्विनी कुमार शल्य-चिकित्सा मे भी कुशल प्रतिभावान थे। उनके शल्य-क्रिया ज्ञान के कुछ उदाहरण इस प्रकार है — यग के कटे हुए घोड़े का सिर फिर से जोड़ देना, पुशा के दाँत टूट जाने पर पुन: नया दाँत लगा देना, कटे हुए हाथ के जगह पर दूसरा हाथ लगा देना आदि।
Ashwini Kumaras – अश्विनी कुमारों ने संसार को रोगमुक्त होने का रहस्य तथा शरीर मे वात, पित्त, और कफ तीन विकारो का ज्ञान कराया और स्वस्थ, संयम और सदाचरण का वह मार्ग दिखाया। जिस पर चलकर हमारे ऋषि-मुनियो और राम, कृष्ण, भीष्म, आदि महापुरुषो ने दीर्घ जीवन प्राप्त किया और प्राचीन भारतीय समाज स्वास्थ और दिर्गजीवी बना।
और अधिक लेख –
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Salve, Señor Gaius Mucius Scaevola. I mentioned, but didn’t really elaborate on the oral storyteller. The storyteller is the bard, the singer of tales, the epic poet.
Horace wrote this rule for the epic poet in his Ars Poetica: “semper ad eventum in medias res / non secus ac notas auditorem rapit et quae / desparat tractata nitescere posse relinquet.” The purport of this rule is the following, as given by Thomas Schütte. “… the mandate to begin in the middle of things is a mandate to try by every means to move the listener, the one who attends or hears the poet’s words. The listener is addressed ‘as though’ he or she knew the narrative beforehand and this prior knowledge is a resource for the poet, who therefore may act with greater freedom in presenting the narrative in a new order. But the listener’s prior knowledge also asserts a demand, for the poet must make such history worthwhile and what escapes the poet’s powers cannot be deliberated upon and recaptured the poet must move on, abandoning what is beyond [his] creative resources.” Wouldn’t you agree that that’s what we’ve done with this web log so far, at least the in medias res part?
I was exposed to Albert B. Lord‘s The Singer of Tales , which is referred to in that post-Paths Ahead note, in a class taught by Prof. Minkowski. An emphasis in that class besides formulaic language in epic poetry was on the unusualness of frame stories in the Mahābhārata, which are discussed here. These frame stories involved conversation or dialogue between pairs Vaiśampāyana and Janamejaya, Ugraśravas and Śaunaka, Saṃjaya and Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Vasiṣṭha and Parāśara, Lomaśa and Yudhiṣṭhira, and others. This conversational/dialogic style is a hallmark of Saṃskṛta texts which I feel is a good style to have. The blog has been of this form so far, and I see no reason to change it up. Do you?
The Minkowski paper I linked to has its own sort of frame. It begins with a description of a study by that opponent of Krishna Maheshwari, Michael Witzel, which discusses the Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa and its frame story involving the Aśvins, the divine doctors and twin brothers. The twin doctors are “young, handsome, brilliant and agile,” basically everything that the Louisville Lip was too. They bring the dawn light and all of the metaphors that that entails. As discussed here, they are “the personification of coordinated action by a duality.” “Their harmonious ability to coordinate themselves in good works is a model for all happy dualities.” Now that we have both become doctors, I hope we will coordinate to do good and do well in the future, especially in the areas of information science, information theory, information systems and allied topics: strive to be Information Ashvins.
India history and geography
Aśvin.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘two’ sometimes Āśvina is also used in this sense. Note: aśvin is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.
The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.
Discover the meaning of ashvin or asvin in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India
An Ergodic Walk
The other day I found myself wondering “so what does the word martingale come from?” A short time on Google later, I came across this paper from Journal Electronique d’Histoire des Probabilités et de la Statistique, which had a special issue on The Splendors and Miseries of Martingales (Splendeurs et misères des martingales):
The Origins of the Word “Martingale”
(earlier version : “Histoire de martingales” in Mathématiques & Sciences Humaines/Mathematical Social Sciences, 43th year, no. 169, 2005(1), pp. 105–113.)
It’s 10 pages and worth a read just for fun. Some of the fun facts:
All in all, perhaps this essay ends up raising more questions than it answers, but I certainly had no idea that there was this much to be unearthed behind a simple word.
The role of horses in India.
Horses have been a part of Indian culture for centuries. India is home to some of the finest breeds in the world, and many ancient customs revolve around these animals. It’s important to understand why horses are essential in Indian tradition and what they mean to the people.
Before Europe came into contact with India’s civilizations, it was widely believed that only kings had access to horseback riding-most ordinary folk would never be able or allowed to own such a revered animal.
Europeans’ arrival changed all that: suddenly, “the noble beast” became available to anyone who could afford one (and European demand ensured reasonable prices). As time went on, horses became more common in India, with villagers using them for farming, transportation, and eventually adopting them as a symbol of status.
India is home to many horse breeds with specific qualities or abilities that make them suitable for different jobs. One of the most popular, called a Kathiawari Rajput, is known for its agility and endurance- it’s been used as a military charger in times of war and can carry loads over long distances without tiring easily.
Another breed that you will want to learn more about is the Marwari Horse. This horse originates from Rajasthan in India’s northwest region, and they are known for their unique ears and stamina. There is more information on this breed below.
More recently, horses’ importance to Indian culture has vastly diminished with increasing modernization–fewer people even own one today–but there are still some families whose wealth depends on horse-breeding or racing.
Are horses native to India?
Many historians often imply that horses are native to India, but this assumption is likely incorrect. Horses were first domesticated in the Eurasian steppe before being introduced to the rest of the world.
Horses are not native to India. A good amount of evidence shows that horses were first domesticated about 5,500 years ago in parts of Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan. However, the domestication of horses probably occurred multiple independent times in different periods and regions.
Pre-historic ancestors of horses go back as far as 55 million years. Species more closely resembling the modern horses are thought to have emerged in North America around 10 million years ago.
The first people to domesticate horses belonged to the Botai culture in northern Kazakhstan. Horses were mainly used as food, for rituals, and to make tools from their bones. There’s also some fascinating evidence suggesting the Botai used the milk of horses to make ceramic vessels.
However, current evidence suggests that Botai horses were actually the Przewalski wild horse, and the practice of Botai horse “domestication” never actually spread into the rest of the modern world.
The second domestication of horses is believed to have occurred about 4,000 years ago in Russia and Central Asian countries. These are the sites where chariot burials first originated.
Along with other evidence, these burials indicate the horses in this era had a different purpose than their predecessors. They were used on the battlefields as war machines rather than just livestock. After this “secondary” domestication, horses quickly spread through Europe before reaching other continents as well.
Who introduced horses in India?
I thought horses were native to India, but it turns out that is not the case. So who introduced horses to India, and why was horseback riding so quickly embraced by the native people?
The leading belief is that the Indo-Aryan peoples introduced domesticated horses in India during their migration from Central Asia about 3,500 to 4,000 years ago. Though some interpretations of sacred Hindu texts date Indian horses to much earlier times, there’s no concrete evidence to support the presence of horses in India before 2000 BCE.
The Indo-Aryans are often credited with creating the vision of the Vedas (sacred Hindu texts) in Central Asia and setting its root in the Indian subcontinent. They were one of the first people to deploy horse-drawn chariots in warfare.
It is worth noting that the Indo-Aryan migration took place at the end of the Harappan Civilization. The Vedas are also believed to be heavily influenced by the Indo-Aryan culture. The rituals mentioned within the Vedas required the sacrifice of a white horse and were rarely followed in practice.
Why are horses considered valuable animals in the Rig Veda?
One day, while chatting with an Indian coworker about the Rig Veda, I learned that horses are considered highly valuable animals in Hinduism. This conversation intrigued me and gave me a reason to learn more about how Hindus view these majestic creatures.
The Rig Veda includes heroic depictions of horse-drawn chariots. Two of the Gods, the Ashvins, are glorious horsemen. The text also grants horses ritualistic significance and treats them as pivots for frequent holy metaphors.
There are different interpretations of the role of horses in the Rig Veda. Some believe that the horses may represent the sun or symbolize spiritual energy and the metaphysical structure that empowers the soul. In most cases, the mention of horses is tied to war and glory.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Rig Veda, it’s the oldest collection of sacred Hindu texts written more than three millennia ago (3000 BCE). It’s one of the four fundamental texts of Hinduism that shaped the beliefs and traditions of the Hindu people. The Rig Veda mainly contains sacred hymns that praise deities and discusses the nature of the universe.
The Rig Veda points out the horses’ value to society for their uses in agriculture, travel, and war. In fact, it was around the time of the Rig Veda was introduced when horse burials began in India.
The Rig Veda mentions horses more than any other animal (over 200 times!) and ascribes great importance to them. For instance, the horse is individually mentioned almost 40 times more than the cow, which is highly revered and considered a sacred animal in Hinduism.
Like the history of horses in Europe, horses in India influenced everything from religion and warfare to growth and trade.
How much does a horse cost in India?
India has nine established racing tracks, which are relatively few compared to its population. It makes me wonder how much a horse costs in India in US dollars and how the rate of native horses varies over the years.
A young horse in India costs anywhere from $400 to $1,500 (Rs. 30,000 – 115,000). An adult or trained horse typically costs at least $2,000 to $4,000. Depending on the pedigree, performance record, age, and other factors, a good horse may cost up to $15,000 or more.
The price of indigenous Indian horses largely varies with the state of the economy. The service, sales, and income taxes often keep the costs low in many states. The purse money in India is generally far less than in other regions like Hong Kong or the UK, and there is a notable lack of suitable farmlands for quality breeding.
The exchange rate of the Indian rupee also tends to drop or increase in a handful of years. If you plan on buying an indigenous horse, it’s worth keeping an eye on the Indian economy as this could easily add or remove up to a thousand dollars to your purchase.
Sharad Purnima traced to Krishna’s times in the worship of Ashvins
Sharad Purnima celebrated on the Full Moon day in the month of Ashvin is generally believed to be a harvest festival or autumn festival and better known for Krishna’s Rasaleela. Though Lakshmi is worshiped on this day, the celebration of this festival mainly in Gujarat and places closely associated with Krishna shows a connection with the life of Krishna.
A closer look at the religious austerities and rituals done on this day reveals unexplored events connected with Krishna’s life but found hidden in a couple of verses in Rig Veda. This also shatters the popular belief of the Indologists that there is no reference to Krishna in the Rig Veda.
To understand this better let us start from how Sharad Purnima is celebrated. People observe fasting from the morning of the day of Full Moon till the next morning. A peculiar feature of the festival is the food offered at the time of this festival. It is simply a bowl of milk kept in the open under the moonlight such that that the rays of the Moon enter the milk. People stay awake throughout the night and break the fast at sunrise next morning (setting of moon) by partaking the milk kept under the moon.
Nowadays milk with rice flakes and milk sweets are offered in the place of plain milk. But the rationale of the day suggests that only plain milk must be offered.
The rationale of the day is such that Moon joins the star Ashvini on this day. In other words, if you are looking at the moon in this day, you will be actually looking at the part of the sky where Ashvini-star is located. Ashvini signifies the Ashvini twins, the Vedic Gods.
Moon is known as Soma and it signifies milk. Soma is an offering made in Vedic yajnas. With the earth coming in line with the Moon (Soma) and the Ashvin star on the day of Sharad Purnima, it looks as though Soma is offered to Ashvins, the Vedic Gods. This once-in- a- year event is the most opportune time to worship Ashvins through the medium of Moon. This is done by capturing the image of Moon in milk kept in a vessel as an offering to Ashvins.
When the image of the moon is reflected on the milk with Ashvini star in the backdrop, it is as though the worshiper is able to offer ‘soma’ – literally meaning ‘extract’ – here the essence of Soma, the moon in the milk. This looks like the most basic way of offering Soma to Ashvins in the absence of Yajnas these days! This tradition found in vogue in regions connected with Krishna is indicative of an olden practice of offering soma to Ashvins by Krishna and those in the lineage of Krishna.
WeTwo verses in Rig Veda (8 -74.3 &4) do make a mention of Krishna invoking and calling Ashvins to accept the soma juice offered by Krishna. Sceptics may say that this is not the Krishna of Dwaraka, but one must know that Krishna was known to have stopped the Indra festival and therefore could not have offered soma to Indra in the yajnas he performed. Then whom else he could have offered soma?
Generally Indra was the one receiving soma juice in the yajnas. Other deities also had taken their share in the Soma, but never were the Ashvins allowed to take soma. Scriptures say that Indra had always forbidden them from taking the soma in the yajnas. Sage Chyavana was the first one to have offered soma to Ashvins in a yajna and after him the Kanvas were associated with the offer of soma to Ashvins. The Ashvins are invoked in many verses in the Rig Veda but in two verses, Krishna is mentioned as calling them to accept the Soma juice.
Krishna was known to have stopped the worship of Indra and ushered in the worship of cows and the hills as they were giving wealth to him and his fellow beings, the Vrishnis. It seems that Indra was replaced by Ashvins in the yajnas of Krishna and his clan from then onwards. Even earlier, Yadu, the progenitor of Krishna’s race is mentioned as having offered soma to Ashvins. (Atharva Veda 20-141-4). This establishes the fact the Yadavas had patronised Ashvins and Krishna had revived the tradition after abandoning Indra in the Yajnas.
There is nothing mythical about Ashvins replacing Indra if we look at the celestial combinations on the days of relevance to these two deities. One is Indra festival and the other is Ashvin festival – to name Sharad Purnima as a comparison for our discussion here. Indra was not in good terms with Ashvins according to scriptures. Both of them were capable of giving wealth, Indra by means of rainfall and Ashvins by giving health in their capacity as physicians.
The timing of Indra festival is very much available – of all the places, in Tamil lands of yore. Reference to this is found in olden Tamil texts such as Silappadhikaram and Manimekalai. There were also references to failure of rainfall in the years when Indra festival was not conducted. So rainfall was always connected with Indra, not like how western Indologists look at Indra as an Indo-Aryan God comimg in aid of Aryans in their wars. In the Chola land of Pumpukar, in the southern most part of India, Indra festival was a 28-day celebration that started after the Kaama festival (Holi festival of today) and ended on Chaitra Purnima – the Full Moon of Chaitra month. Chaitra Purnima marks the crux of Indra festival.
This timing (Chaitra Purnima) has an amazing link with Sharad Purnima, the day Ashvins receive soma. This occurs exactly at the opposite side of Sharad Purnima! The following illustration shows both the occasions which are the reversal of each other.
On the day of Indra festival, i.e., Chaitra Purnima, Full moon forms a coupling with the star Chitra whose lord Tvashta was the celestial builder for Indra’s Vajrayudha (rainfall). Tvashta also happens to be the guardian of Soma. A festival for Indra on this day is like offering Soma to Indra. Propitiated well in this way, Indra ensures rainfall in the next six months that ends up once Ashvin month starts.
Indra’s benefaction is no longer required now. But the world must go on with other types of benefits. It is here Krishna’s utterances are self-revealing. According to Harivamsa Purana, Krishna says ‘let the Gods worship Indra and let us worship the hills.’
Krishna lived in a place of plenty of water from rivers (Yamuna) and therefore was not really dependant on rainfall (Indra’s favour). The green covered hills and cows were the real wealth for him and his people. So he preferred to offer Soma to Ashvins, the healers of every kind of illness, particularly blindness, on the day Soma clasps with Ashvini star. That was the day of Sharad Purnima. With northward swing (Uttarayana) occurring in that phase, Krishna had found Ashvins to be the ideal Gods to lead mankind from darkness to Light.
What he did by way of Vedic Yajna seems to have been transformed into mundane festival capable of performance by ordinary folks. Though variations have occurred with the passage of time, Krishna is still being remembered on this day for Union with Him through Liberation (Moksha) enacted by Rasaleela.
Before concluding, it would be appropriate to highlight two issues vitiating the understanding of our past. One is that it is wrong to say that Rig Veda does not mention about Krishna. Apart from the 2 verses in the context of soma to Ashvins, there are four more verses on Krishna and his offspring in Rig Veda that establish beyond doubt that Krishna was a reality and that he was praised by the Rig Veda (to be discussed in another context). Another issue is about who Indra is. Aryan Invasion / Migration thoerists interpret Indra as a friend of Aryas and enemy of Dasas. Interestingly there exists a Rig Vedic hymn in praise of Ashvins as those who accept the offerings of Dasas (8.5.31). Here lies the hint on why Indra and Ashvins were always hostile to each other. The hostility is because they lie on opposite ends. When Indra is in full form, the dasas suffer – the dasas being ordinary folks whose habitat gets flooded and destroyed by rains. It is for this reason Krishna had done away with the worship of Indra. In regions where rainfall causes havoc but can be replaced by other options for livelihood and wealth creation, Ashvins were favoured.
The worship of Asvins by Dasas seems to have evolved into much simpler ways of worship in the name of Sharad Purnima as it happens now in the regions of Krishna’s connection. This year’s Sharad Purnima is on 23rd October 2018 with Full Moon occurring for most part of the night of 23rd.