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Daily वे॑द Quote #25: 2022 November 4 द॑स्यवेवृ॑क 11/04/2022 (Fri) 05:35:46 ID:925128 No. 2201
अ॑वर्तिया • शु॑न आन्त्रा॑णि पेचे। न॑ देवे॑षु • विविदे मर्डिता॑रम्। अ॑पश्यं जाया॑म् • अ॑महीयमानाम्। अ॑धा मे श्येनो॑ • म॑धु आ॑ जभार॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 4.18.13 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has two deficient syllables with अ॑वर्त्या and म॑ध्वा॑.) . Translation: "In distress I cooked a dog's entrails. Among the Gods I found none who showed (me) favor. I beheld the lowly esteemed wife. Then a falcon brought Me sóma." . Word-by-word: अ॑वर्तिया < अ॑वर्ति "distress", शु॑नस् < श्व॑न् "dog", आन्त्रा॑णि < आन्त्र॑ "entrails", पेचे < पच् "cook", न॑ "not", देवे॑षु > देव॑ "God", विविदे < विद् "find", मर्डिता॑रम् < मर्डितृ॑ < मृड् "show favor", अ॑पश्यम् < स्पश् "see", जाया॑म् < जाया॑ "wife", अ॑- "not", महीयमानाम् < महीय॑मान < महीय् "be highly esteemed", अ॑धा = अ॑ध "then", मे < अह॑म् "I", श्येन॑स् < श्येन॑ "falcon", म॑धु "nectar", आ॑ जभार < आ॑ भृ "bring". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Context: The Gods are eternal only in the sense that They are immortal, but They are not timeless and did not always exist: They had births, many of which were very dramatic and are described in Vedic texts. This dialogue-hymn of the ऋग्वेद॑ describes the story of इ॑न्द्र's birth from His mother after lying in Her womb for thousands of years. Soon after being born and drinking large quantities of sóma, He slew the serpent वृत्र॑, and he is also mentioned as having slain His own father (similar to the Greek myths about Ζεύς). Today's verse is the last in the hymn, spoken by इ॑न्द्र Himself. . As a result of turning His own mother into a widow, He was initially abandoned by the rest of the Gods and had to resort to eating dogs' intestines. Cooking dog-meat was regarded as taboo behavior in आ॑र्य society—the word श्वपच॑ "dog-cooker" was a word for an outcaste—showing how low इ॑न्द्र initially fell before His rise to supremacy. Similarly, a जाया॑ "wife" also fell into dishonor—but while some commentators have interpreted this as इ॑न्द्र's wife, the word much more likely refers to His mother, lowly regarded for Her widowhood. . इ॑न्द्र is rescued from this plight by the falcon of the Heavens, who brings Him sóma from high mountains. Here the word used is actually म॑धु "nectar", but the word is often used as a synonym for sóma, and the story of the sóma-bearing falcon is mentioned more explicitly in other places. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Note the use of अ॑धा here meaning "then", and that too with a Vedic lengthening of the second syllable; in later Sanskrit, अ॑थ (having the same meaning) would be much more usual.
What is soma?
>>2202 सो॑म is the plant Ephedra, which produces a juice when pressed between stones, which is purified (प॑वमान) through sheep's wool and mixed with dairy to produce a rejuvenating stimulant drink (also called सो॑म). Mortals and Gods used सो॑म to achieve great heroism, winning mighty victories in battle.

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