Rukmini is the principal wife and queen of the God Krishna, the prince of Dwaraka. Krishna heroically kidnapped her and eloped with her to prevent an unwanted marriage at her request and saved her from evil Shishupala. Rukmini is the most prominent queen of Krishna. Rukmini is considered an avatar of Lakshmi, the Goddess of fortune. According to traditional accounts, princess Rukmini is believed to have been born on Vaishakha 11. Although born of an earthly king, her position as an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi is described throughout Puranic literature: A hero among the Kurus, the Supreme Lord himself, married King Bhishmaka's daughter, Vaidarbhi Rukmini, a direct expansion of the Goddess of fortune. Dwaraka's citizens were overjoyed to see Krishna, the Lord of all opulence, united with Rukmini, the Goddess of fortune Rama. Lakshmi by Her portion took birth on earth as Rukmini in the family of Bhismaka. Rukminidevi, the Queen Consort of Krishna is the Swarupa-shakti, the essential potency of Krishna and she is the Queen / Mother of the Divine World, Dwaraka/Vaikuntha.
She was born at a royal princess from Vedic Aryan tribe. The daughter of a powerful king Bhishmaka; the Shrutis which are associated with the narrations of the pastimes of the Vraja-gopis with svayam-rupa Bhagavan Shri Krishna, the Parabrahma, have declared this truth. They cannot be separated; as Lakshmi is Vishnu's Shakti so as Rukmini is Krishna's strength. Rukmini was the daughter of the king of Vidarbha. Bhismaka was the vassal of King Jarasandha of Magadha, she fell in love with and longed for Krishna, whose virtue, character and greatness she had heard much of. Rukmini's eldest brother Rukmi though was a friend of evil King Kansa, killed by Krishna and was set against the marriage. Rukmini's parents wanted to marry Rukmini to Krishna but Rukmi, her brother opposed it. Rukmi was an ambitious prince and he did not want to earn the wrath of Emperor Jarasandha, ruthless. Instead, he proposed that she be married to his friend Shishupala, the crown prince of Chedi and a cousin of Krishna. Shishupala was a vassal and close associate of Jarasandha and hence an ally of Rukmi.
Bhishmaka gave in but Rukmini, who had overheard the conversation was horrified and sent for a brahmana, whom she trusted and asked him to deliver a letter to Krishna. She asked Krishna to come to Vidarbha and kidnap her to avoid a battle where her relatives may be killed, she suggested. Rukmini asked. Krishna, having received the message in Dwarka set out for Vidarbha with Balarama, his elder brother. Meanwhile, Shishupala was overjoyed at the news from Rukmi that he could go to Kundina Amravati district and claim Rukmini. Jarasandha, not so trusting, sent all his vassals and allies along because he felt that Krishna would come to snatch Rukmini away. Bhishmaka and Rukmini received the news. Bhishmaka, who secretly approved of Krishna and wished he would take Rukmini away had a furnished mansion set up for him, he made them comfortable. Meanwhile, at the palace, Rukmini got ready for her upcoming marriage, she went to Indrani temple on the day of Jyeshtha star to pray but was disappointed when she did not see Krishna there.
As she stepped out, she saw. They both started to ride off. All of Jarasandha's forces started chasing them. While Balarama occupied most of them and held them back Rukmi had caught up with Krishna and Rukmini, he overtook Krishna near Bhadrod. Krishna and Rukmi dueled with the inevitable result of Krishna's victory; when Krishna was about to kill him, Rukmini fell at the feet of Krishna and begged that her brother's life be spared. Krishna, generous as always, but as punishment, shaved Rukmi's head and let him go free. There was no greater shame for a warrior than a visible sign of defeat. Rukmi was worshipped as Gaudera by villagers, he was known as the God of shame. According to folklore, Krishna came to the village of Madhavpur Ghed after kidnapping Rukmini and got married to her at this place. In the memory of that event, there is a temple built for Madhavrai. A celebration of this event is held at Madhavpur in memory of this marriage every year in a cultural fair. At Dwaraka and Rukmini were welcomed with great pomp and ceremony.
The Tulabharam is an incident in the life of Rukmini, that reveals the extent to which humble devotion is worth more than material wealth. Satyabhama, another queen of Krishna, prides herself about the love Krishna has for her and her grasp over his heart. Rukmini, on the other hand is a devoted wife, humble in her service of her Lord, her devotion is her real inner beauty. On one occasion, sage Narada arrived in Dwaraka and in the course of conversation hinted to Satyabhama that the love that Krishna exhibits towards her is not all that real and in fact it is Rukmini who has real control over his heart. Unable to bear this, Satyabhama challenges Narada to prove it. Narada, with his way with words, tricked her into accepting a Vrata where she has to give Krishna away in charity to Narada and reclaim him by giving the weight of Krishna in wealth. Narada lures her into accepting this vrata by telling her that Krishna's love to her will in
Ayyappan is the Hindu god of growth popular in Kerala. He is the son of Shiva and Mohini -- the female avatar of Vishnu. Ayyappan is referred to as Ayyappa, Hariharaputra, Shasta or Dharma Shasta; the iconography of Ayyappan depicts him as a handsome god, who has pledged an oath of naishthika brahmacharya, in a yogic posture and as an epitome of Dharma, who wears a bell around his neck. In the Hindu pantheon, his legends are recent but diverse. For some, he is an incarnation of the Buddha, he is honored by some Muslims in Kerala, with legends wherein Ayyappan defeats and gains worship of Vavar, an Hindu. In the Hindu tradition popular in the Western Ghats of India, he was born with the powers of Shiva and Vishnu to confront and defeat the shape shifting evil Buffalo demoness Mahishasuri, he was raised by a childless royal couple, grows up as a warrior yogi champion of ethical and dharmic living. In the South Indian version, Ayyappan images show him as riding a tiger, but in some places such as Sri Lanka he is shown as riding a white elephant.
Ayyappan popularity has grown in many parts of India, the most prominent Ayyappan shrine is at Sabarimala, nestled in the hills of Pathanamthitta of Kerala. The shrine receives millions of pilgrims every year in late December and early January, many of whom prepare for weeks before and climb the hill barefoot, making it one of the largest active pilgrimage sites in the world; the pilgrimage attracts a wide range of devotees, from diverse social or economic backgrounds, except women in their fertile age given Ayyappan is believed to be the celibate deity. Ayyappan may share a historical relationship with the Tamil deity Aiyanar; the most significant festival linked to him is the Makaravilakku, observed around the winter solstice. The name Ayyappan may be related to the similar sounding ancient term Arya; the Sanskrit term Arya is found in ancient texts of Hinduism and Buddhism, where it means the "spiritually noble, precious ones". However, the word Ayyappan is not found in South Indian versions of the medieval era Puranas, leading scholars to the hypothesis that Ayyappan may have roots elsewhere.
The alternate theory links it to the Malayali word acchan and Tamil word appa which means "father", with Ayyappan connoting "Lord-father". The alternate proposal is supported by the alternate name for Ayyappan being Sastava, a Vedic term that means "Teacher, Lord, Ruler"; the words Sastha and Dharmasastha in the sense of a Hindu god are found in the Puranas. Ayyappan is known as Hariharaputra – meaning the "son of Harihara" or a fusion deity of Hari and Hara, the names given to Vishnu and Shiva respectively, he is called Manikanta from Mani, Sanskrit for precious stone, kanta, Sanskrit for neck. In some regions and Ayyanar are considered to be the same deity given their similar origin. Others consider him as different. Ayyappan is a warrior deity, he is revered for his ascetic devotion to Dharma – the ethical and right way of living, to deploy his military genius and daring yogic war abilities to destroy those who are powerful but unethical and arbitrary. His iconography is shown with a bow and arrow upraised in his left hand, while in his right he holds either a bow or a sword diagonally across his left thigh.
Other depictions of Ayyappan paintings show him in a yogic posture wearing a bell around his neck and sometimes shown riding a tiger. The life legends and mythology of Ayyappa varies across region like other Hindu gods and goddesses, reflecting a tradition that evolved and enriched over time, sometimes in conflicting ways. For example, the Sribhutanatha Purana text presents Ayyappan as an incarnation of the brahmanical deity Hariharaputra, the son of Shiva and Mohini; this interaction between Shiva and Mohini is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana, but Ayyappan is not mentioned. In the oral tradition as represented by Malayalam folk songs, Ayyappa is presented as a warrior hero of Pandala kingdom. According to Eliza Kent, the legends in the Ayyappa tradition seem to be "artificially mixed and assembled into a kind of collage". Ruth Vanita suggests that Ayyappan emerged from the fusion of a Dravidian god of tribal proverance and the Puranic story of Shiva and Mohini's sexual interaction. There once was a kingdom of Pantalam.
The royal family was childless. One day the king of Pantalam Rajshekhara found a baby boy in a forest; the king carried the baby to an ascetic in the forest to inquire about the boy. The ascetic advised the king to take the baby home, raise him like his own son, that in 12 years he would discover who the baby was; the royal family did so. At age 12, the king wanted to formally coronate Manikantha as the heir prince. However, Queen Dharmapriya under the influence of an evil minister objected; the minister had advised the queen. The younger child was disabled and lacked the ability to perform the duties of the king, something that the scheming evil minister thought would make him the de facto ruler; the minister persuaded the queen to feign an illness, ask for "tiger's milk" to cure her illness and demand that Manikantha be sent to get the milk from the forest. Manikantha volunteers, goes into returns riding a tigress; the king, realising Manikantha's special ability recognizes the adopted son to be a divine being, resolves to make a shrine for him.
For location, Manikantha shoots an arrow that lands thirty kilometers away. The young boy tra
Krishna is a major deity in Hinduism. He is worshipped as the eighth avatar of the god Vishnu and as the supreme God in his own right, he is the god of compassion and love in Hinduism, is one of the most popular and revered among Indian divinities. Krishna's birthday is celebrated every year by Hindus on Janmashtami according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar, which falls in late August or early September of the Gregorian calendar; the anecdotes and narratives of Krishna's life are titled as Krishna Leela. He is a central character in the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita, is mentioned in many Hindu philosophical and mythological texts, they portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero, as the universal supreme being. His iconography reflects these legends, shows him in different stages of his life, such as an infant eating butter, a young boy playing a flute, a young man with Radha or surrounded by women devotees, or a friendly charioteer giving counsel to Arjuna.
The synonyms of Krishna have been traced to 1st millennium BCE literature. In some sub-traditions, Krishna is worshipped as Svayam Bhagavan, this is sometimes referred to as Krishnaism; these sub-traditions arose in the context of the medieval era Bhakti movement. Krishna-related literature has inspired numerous performance arts such as Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Manipuri dance, he is a pan-Hindu god, but is revered in some locations such as Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, the Jagannatha aspect in Odisha, Mayapur in West Bengal and Junagadh in Gujarat, in the form of Vithoba in Pandharpur, Nathdwara in Rajasthan, Guruvayur in Kerala. Since the 1960s, the worship of Krishna has spread to the Western world and to Africa due to the work of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness; the name "Krishna" originates from the Sanskrit word Kṛṣṇa, an adjective meaning "black", "dark", or "dark blue". The waning moon is called Krishna Paksha, relating to the adjective meaning "darkening"; the name is interpreted sometimes as "all-attractive".
As a name of Vishnu, Krishna is listed as the 57th name in the Vishnu Sahasranama. Based on his name, Krishna is depicted in idols as black- or blue-skinned. Krishna is known by various other names and titles that reflect his many associations and attributes. Among the most common names are Mohan "enchanter"; some names for Krishna hold regional importance. Krishna is with some common features, his iconography depicts him with black, dark, or blue skin, like Vishnu. However and medieval reliefs and stone-based arts depict him in the natural color of the material out of which he is formed, both in India and in southeast Asia. In some texts, his skin is poetically described as the color of Jambul. Krishna is depicted wearing a peacock-feather wreath or crown, playing the bansuri. In this form, he is shown standing with one leg bent in front of the other in the Tribhanga posture, he is sometimes accompanied by a calf, which symbolise the divine herdsman Govinda. Alternatively, he is shown as a romantic and seductive man with the gopis making music or playing pranks.
In other icons, he is a part of battlefield scenes of the epic Mahabharata. He is shown as a charioteer, notably when he is addressing the Pandava prince Arjuna character, symbolically reflecting the events that led to the Bhagavad Gita – a scripture of Hinduism. In these popular depictions, Krishna appears in the front as the charioteer, either as a counsel listening to Arjuna, or as the driver of the chariot while Arjuna aims his arrows in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Alternate icons of Krishna show him as a baby, a toddler crawling on his hands and knees, a dancing child, or an innocent-looking child playfully stealing or consuming butter, holding Laddu in his hand or as a cosmic infant sucking his toe while floating on a banyan leaf during the Pralaya observed by sage Markandeya. Regional variations in the iconography of Krishna are seen in his different forms, such as Jaganatha in Odisha, Vithoba in Maharashtra, Shrinathji in Rajasthan and Guruvayoorappan in Kerala. Guidelines for the preparation of Krishna icons in design and architecture are described in medieval-era Sanskrit texts on Hindu temple arts such as Vaikhanasa agama, Vishnu dharmottara, Brihat samhita, Agni Purana.
Early medieval-era Tamil texts contain guidelines for sculpting Krishna and Rukmini. Several statues made according to these guidelines are in the collections of the Government Museum, Chennai; the earliest text containing detailed descriptions of Krishna as a personality is the epic Mahabharata, which depicts Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu. Krishna is central to many of the main stories of the epic; the eighteen chapters of the sixth book of the epic that constitute the Bhagavad Gita contain the advice of Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield. The Harivamsa, a appendix to the Mahabharata contains a detailed version of Krishna's childhood and youth; the Chandogya Upanishad, estimated to have been composed sometime between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE, has been another source of speculation regarding Krishna in ancient India. The
Bhagavata Purana known as Śrīmad Bhāgavata Mahā Purāṇa, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata, is one of Hinduism's eighteen great Puranas. Composed in Sanskrit and available in all major Indian languages, it promotes bhakti to Krishna integrating themes from the Advaita philosophy and from the Dvaita philosophy; the origin of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam can be traced back to God Brahma who initiated Narada Rishi summarised in four verse called Chatur Sloki Bhagavatam. Narada Rishi submitted the same to Lord Veda Vyasa who elaborated to the presently available twelve skandhas and initiated to Sri Shukacharya. Lord Veda Vyasa has recorded the following narrations of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam in seven days or in Saphaha format in the Puranas being worthy: Sri Shukacharya narrated Śrīmad Bhāgavatam for seven days to Parakshit Raja on the banks of Ganga and present Haridwar. Gokarna narrated Śrīmad Bhāgavatam for seven days on the banks of river Tungabhadra. Narada Rishi organized Śrīmad Bhāgavatam for seven days at Ananda on the banks of Ganga wherein Sanatkumara narrated.
Sri Sutacharya, present during the first narration of Sri Shukacharya to Parakshit Raja narrated Śrīmad Bhāgavatam to Sri Saunaka Rishi in Naimisaranya in an elaborate way and for a long period of time. The Bhagavata Purana discusses a wide range of topics including Cosmology, Geography, Legend, Dance and Culture; as it begins, the forces of evil have won a war between the benevolent devas and evil asuras and now rule the universe. Truth re-emerges as Krishna, – first makes peace with the demons, understands them and creatively defeats them, bringing back hope, justice and happiness – a cyclic theme that appears in many legends; the Bhagavata Purana is a revered text in a Hindu tradition that reveres Vishnu. The text presents a form of religion that competes with that of the Vedas, wherein bhakti leads to self-knowledge and bliss; however the Bhagavata Purana asserts that the inner nature and outer form of Krishna is identical to the Vedas and that this is what rescues the world from the forces of evil.
An oft-quoted verse is used by some Krishna sects to assert that the text itself is Krishna in literary form. The date of composition is between the eighth and the tenth century AD, but may be as early as the 6th century AD. Manuscripts survive in numerous inconsistent versions revised through the 18th century creating various recensions both in the same languages and across different Indian languages; the text consists of twelve books totalling 332 chapters and between 16,000 and 18,000 verses depending on the recension. The tenth book, with about 4,000 verses, has been the most popular and studied, it was the first Purana, translated into a European language, when a French translation of a Tamil version appeared in 1788 and introduced many Europeans to Hinduism and 18th-century Hindu culture during the colonial era. "Purana" means "ancient, old". Bhagavata means "devoted to, follower of Bhagavat – the "sacred, divine". An alternative interpretation of Bhagavata is "devotees of the Adorable One".
Bhagavata Purana therefore means "Ancient Tales of Followers of the Lord". The composer of this work, Lord Veda Vyasa, in his second verse has described the Subject and the Fruit of studying and named it as Srimad Bhagavatam. Sri is used for abundance or richness; such Sri hence called Srimad. Bhagavata means Sacred or Divine or Holy; the holy or divine verses brings an abundance of happiness, Knowledge, in Vedas and Vedanta, Vairagya to the reader or listener and hence is called Srimad Bhagavatam. The Bhagavata is recognized as the best-known and most influential of the Puranas and, along with the Itihasa and other puranas, is sometimes referred to as the "Fifth Veda", it is important in Indian religious literature for its emphasis on the practice of devotion as compared to the more theoretical approach of the Bhagavad Gita. It is the source of many popular stories of Krishna's childhood told for centuries on the Indian subcontinent and of legends explaining Hindu festivals such as Holi and Diwali.
The Bhagavata declares itself the essence of derivative Smritis. Here Vedas are like seeds, Brahma Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, Vishnu Sahasaranama is like trunk, leaves, flowers; the fruit and its Juice being Srimad Bhagavata. As Srimad Bhagavata has the substance of Vedas and Mahabarata, it has high significance; the Srimad Bhagavatam is the essence of all the Vedanta literature. One who has enjoyed the nectar of its rasa never has any desire for anything else; the text has played a significant role in Chaitanya's Krishna-bhakti in Bengal, in the 15th–16th century Ekasarana Dharma in Assam, a panentheistic tradition whose proponents and Madhavdeva, acknowledge that their theological positions are rooted in the Bhagavata Purana, purged of doctrines that find no place in Assamese Vaishnavism and adding a monist commentary instead. In northern and western India the Bhagavata Purana has influenced the Hari Bhakti Vilasa and Haveli-style Krishna temples found in Braj region near Mathura-Vrindavan; the text complements the Pancharatra Agama texts of Vaishnavism.
While the text focu
Dashavatara refers to the ten primary avatars of Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation. Vishnu is said to descend in form of an avatar to restore cosmic order; the word Dashavatara derives from daśa, meaning'ten', avatar equivalent to'incarnation'. The list of included avatars varies across regions. Though no list can be uncontroversially presented as standard, the "most accepted list found in Puranas and other texts is Krishna, Buddha." Most draw from the following set of figures, in this order: Matsya. In traditions that omit Krishna, he replaces Vishnu as the source of all avatars; some traditions include a regional deity such as Vithoba or Jagannath in penultimate position, replacing Krishna or Buddha. All avatars have appeared except Kalki; the order of the ancient concept of Dashavataras has been interpreted to be reflective of modern Darwinian evolution. The word Dashavatara derives from daśa, meaning'ten' and avatar, meaning'incarnation'. Various versions of the list of Vishnu's avatars exist, varying per tradition.
Some lists mention Krishna as the eighth avatar and the Buddha as the ninth avatar, while others – such as the Yatindramatadipika, a 17th-century summary of Srivaisnava doctrine – give Balarama as the eighth avatar and Krishna as the ninth. The latter version is followed by some Vaishnavas who don't accept the Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu. Though no list can be uncontroversially presented as standard, the "most accepted list found in Puranas and other texts is Krishna, Buddha."The following table summarises the position of avatars within the Dashavatara in many but not all traditions: 1 - Matsya, the fish. Vishnu takes the form of a fish to save Manu from the deluge, after which he takes his boat to the new world along with one of every species of plant and animal, gathered in a massive cyclone. 2 - Kurma, the giant tortoise. When the devas and asuras were churning the Ocean of milk in order to get Amrita, the nectar of immortality, the mount Mandara they were using as the churning staff started to sink and Vishnu took the form of a tortoise to bear the weight of the mountain.
3 - Varaha, the boar. He appeared to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth, or Prithvi, carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean in the story; the battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the former won. Varaha carried the Earth out of the ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe. 4 - Narasimha, the half-man/half-lion. The rakshasa Hiranyakashipu, the elder brother of Hiranyaksha, was granted a powerful boon from Brahma that he could not be killed by man or animal, inside or outside a room, during day or night, neither on ground nor in air, with a weapon, either living or inanimate. Hiranyakashipu persecuted everyone for their religious beliefs including his son, a Vishnu follower. Vishnu descended as an anthropomorphic incarnation, with the body of a man and head and claws of a lion, he disemboweled Hiranyakashipu at the courtyard threshold of his house, at dusk, with his claws, while he lay on his thighs.
Narasimha thus destroyed the evil demon and brought an end to the persecution of human beings including his devotee Prahlada, according to the Hindu mythology. 5 - Vamana, the dwarf. The fourth descendant of Vishnu, with devotion and penance was able to defeat Indra, the god of firmament; this extended his authority over the three worlds. The gods appealed to Vishnu for protection and he descended as a boy Vamana. During a yajna of the king, Vamana approached. Vamana asked for three paces of land. Bali agreed, the dwarf changed his size to that of a giant Trivikrama form. With his first stride he covered the earthly realm, with the second he covered the heavenly realm thereby symbolically covering the abode of all living beings, he took the third stride for the netherworld. Bali realized. In deference, the king offered his head as the third place for Vamana to place his foot; the avatar did so and thus granted Bali immortality and making him ruler of Pathala, the netherworld. This legend appears in hymn 1.154 of the Rigveda and other Vedic as well as Puranic texts.
6 - Parashurama, the warrior with the axe. He received an axe after a penance to Shiva, he is the first Brahmin-Kshatriya in Hinduism, or warrior-saint, with duties between a Brahmin and a Kshatriya. King Kartavirya Arjuna and his army visited the father of Parashurama at his ashram, the saint was able to feed them with the divine cow Kamadhenu; the king demanded the cow. Enraged, the king destroyed the ashram. Parashurama killed the king at his palace and destroyed his army. In revenge, the sons of Kartavirya killed Jamadagni. Parashurama took a vow to kill every Kshatriya on earth twenty-one times over, filled five lakes with their blood, his grandfather, rishi Rucheeka, appeared before him and made him halt. He is a Chiranjivi, believed to be alive today in penance at Mahendragiri, he credited for creating Kerala by throwing his mighty axe in hindu pantheons. The place the axe landed in sea got a new land emerged which became Kerala. 7 - Rama, the prince and king of Ayodhya. He is a worshipped avatar in Hinduism, is thought of as the ideal heroic man.
His story is recounted in one of the m
The Vedas are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless". Vedas are called śruti literature, distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called smṛti; the Veda, for orthodox Indian theologians, are considered revelations seen by ancient sages after intense meditation, texts that have been more preserved since ancient times. In the Hindu Epic the Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma; the Vedic hymns themselves assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis, after inspired creativity, just as a carpenter builds a chariot. According to tradition, Vyasa is the compiler of the Vedas, who arranged the four kinds of mantras into four Samhitas. There are four Vedas: the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda.
Each Veda has been subclassified into four major text types – the Samhitas, the Aranyakas, the Brahmanas, the Upanishads. Some scholars add a fifth category – the Upasanas; the various Indian philosophies and denominations have taken differing positions on the Vedas. Schools of Indian philosophy which cite the Vedas as their scriptural authority are classified as "orthodox". Other śramaṇa traditions, such as Lokayata, Ajivika and Jainism, which did not regard the Vedas as authorities, are referred to as "heterodox" or "non-orthodox" schools. Despite their differences, just like the texts of the śramaṇa traditions, the layers of texts in the Vedas discuss similar ideas and concepts; the Sanskrit word véda "knowledge, wisdom" is derived from the root vid- "to know". This is reconstructed as being derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *u̯eid-, meaning "see" or "know", cognate to Greek εἶδος "aspect", "form"; this is not to be confused is the homonymous 1st and 3rd person singular perfect tense véda, cognate to Greek οἶδα oida "I know".
Root cognates are English wit, etc.. Latin videō "I see", etc; the Sanskrit term veda as a common noun means "knowledge". The term in some contexts, such as hymn 10.93.11 of the Rigveda, means "obtaining or finding wealth, property", while in some others it means "a bunch of grass together" as in a broom or for ritual fire. A related word Vedena appears in hymn 8.19.5 of the Rigveda. It was translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith as "ritual lore", as "studying the Veda" by the 14th-century Indian scholar Sayana, as "bundle of grass" by Max Müller, as "with the Veda" by H. H. Wilson. Vedas are called Vaymoli in parts of South India. Marai means "hidden, a secret, mystery", but Tamil Naanmarai mentioned in Tholkappiam isn't Sanskrit Vedas. In some south Indian communities such as Iyengars, the word Veda includes the Tamil writings of the Alvar saints, such as Divya Prabandham, for example Tiruvaymoli; the Vedas are among the oldest sacred texts. The Samhitas date to 1700–1100 BCE, the "circum-Vedic" texts, as well as the redaction of the Samhitas, date to c.
1000–500 BCE, resulting in a Vedic period, spanning the mid 2nd to mid 1st millennium BCE, or the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age. The Vedic period reaches its peak only after the composition of the mantra texts, with the establishment of the various shakhas all over Northern India which annotated the mantra samhitas with Brahmana discussions of their meaning, reaches its end in the age of Buddha and Panini and the rise of the Mahajanapadas. Michael Witzel gives a time span of c. 1500 to c. 500–400 BCE. Witzel makes special reference to the Near Eastern Mitanni material of the 14th century BCE, the only epigraphic record of Indo-Aryan contemporary to the Rigvedic period, he gives 150 BCE as a terminus ante quem for all Vedic Sanskrit literature, 1200 BCE as terminus post quem for the Atharvaveda. Transmission of texts in the Vedic period was by oral tradition, preserved with precision with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques. A literary tradition is traceable in post-Vedic times, after the rise of Buddhism in the Maurya period earliest in the Kanva recension of the Yajurveda about the 1st century BCE.
Witzel suggests the possibility of written Vedic texts towards the end of 1st millennium BCE. Some scholars such as Jack Goody state that "the Vedas are not the product of an oral society", basing this view by comparing inconsistencies in the transmitted versions of literature from various oral societies such as the Greek and other cultures noting that the Vedic literature is too consistent and vast to have been composed and transmitted orally across generations, without being written down. However, adds Goody, the Vedic texts involved both a written and oral tradition, calling it a "parallel products of a literate society". Due to the ephemeral nature of the manuscript material, surviving manuscripts surpass an age of a few hundred years; the Sampurnanand Sanskrit University has a Rigveda manuscript from the 14th century. The Vedas, Vedic rituals and its ancillary sciences called the Vedangas, were part of the curriculum at ancient universities such as at Ta
Vishnu is one of the principal deities of Hinduism, the Supreme Being or absolute truth in its Vaishnavism tradition. Vishnu is the "preserver" in the Hindu triad that includes Shiva. In Vaishnavism, Vishnu is identical to the formless metaphysical concept called Brahman, the supreme, the Svayam Bhagavan, who takes various avatars as "the preserver, protector" whenever the world is threatened with evil and destructive forces, his avatars most notably include Rama in the Krishna in the Mahabharata. He is known as Narayana, Vasudeva and Hari, he is one of the five equivalent deities worshipped in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta Tradition of Hinduism. In Hindu iconography, Vishnu is depicted as having a pale or dark blue complexion and having four arms, he holds a padma in his lower left hand, Kaumodaki gada in his lower right hand, Panchajanya shankha in his upper left hand and the Sudarshana Chakra in his upper right hand. A traditional depiction is Vishnu reclining on the coils of the serpent Shesha, accompanied by his consort Lakshmi, as he "dreams the universe into reality".
Yaska, the mid 1st-millennium BCE Vedanga scholar, in his Nirukta, defines Vishnu as viṣṇur viṣvater vā vyaśnoter vā, "one who enters everywhere". He writes, atha yad viṣito bhavati tad viṣnurbhavati, "that, free from fetters and bondages is Vishnu"; the medieval Indian scholar Medhātithi suggested that the word Vishnu has etymological roots in viś, meaning to pervade, thereby connoting that Vishnu is "one, everything and inside everything". Vishnu means "all pervasive". Vishnu is a Vedic deity, but not a prominent one when compared to Indra and others. Just 5 out of 1028 hymns of the Rigveda, a 2nd millennium BCE Hindu text, are dedicated to Vishnu, he finds minor mention in the other hymns. Vishnu is mentioned in the Brahmana layer of text in the Vedas, thereafter his profile rises and over the history of Indian mythology, states Jan Gonda, Vishnu becomes a divinity of the highest rank, one equivalent to the Supreme Being. Though a minor mention and with overlapping attributes in the Vedas, he has important characteristics in various hymns of Rig Veda, such as 1.154.5, 1.56.3 and 10.15.3.
In these hymns, the Vedic mythology asserts that Vishnu resides in that highest home where departed Atman reside, an assertion that may have been the reason for his increasing emphasis and popularity in Hindu soteriology. He is described in the Vedic literature as the one who supports heaven and earth. In the Vedic hymns, Vishnu is invoked alongside other deities Indra, whom he helps in killing the symbol of evil named Vritra, his distinguishing characteristic in Vedas is his association with light. Two Rigvedic hymns in Mandala 7 refer to Vishnu. In section 7.99 of the Rgveda, Vishnu is addressed as the god who separates heaven and earth, a characteristic he shares with Indra. In the Vedic texts, the deity or god referred to as Vishnu is Surya or Savitr, who bears the name Suryanarayana. Again, this link to Surya is a characteristic Vishnu shares with fellow Vedic deities named Mitra and Agni, where in different hymns, they too "bring men together" and cause all living beings to rise up and impel them to go about their daily activities.
In hymn 7.99 of Rigveda, Indra-Vishnu are equivalent and produce the sun, with the verses asserting that this sun is the source of all energy and light for all. In other hymns of the Rigveda, Vishnu is a close friend of Indra. Elsewhere in Rigveda and Upanishadic texts, Vishnu is equivalent to Prajapati, both are described as the protector and preparer of the womb, according to Klaus Klostermaier, this may be the root behind post-Vedic fusion of all the attributes of the Vedic Prajapati unto the avatars of Vishnu. In the Yajurveda, Taittiriya Aranyaka, Narayana sukta, Narayana is mentioned as the supreme being; the first verse of Narayana Suktam mentions the words paramam padam, which mean highest post and may be understood as the supreme abode for all souls. This is known as Param Dhama, Paramapadam or Vaikuntha. Rig Veda 1.22.20 mentions the same paramam padam. In the Atharvaveda, the mythology of a boar who raises goddess earth from the depths of cosmic ocean appears, but without the word Vishnu or his alternate avatar names.
In post-Vedic mythology, this legend becomes one of the basis of many cosmogonic myth called the Varaha legend, with Varaha as an avatar of Vishnu. Several hymns of the Rigveda repeat the mighty deed of Vishnu called the Trivikrama, one of the lasting mythologies in Hinduism since the Vedic times, it is an inspiration for ancient artwork in numerous Hindu temples such as at the Ellora Caves, which depict the Trivikrama legend through the Vamana avatar of Vishnu. Trivikrama refers to "three strides" of Vishnu. Starting as a small insignificant looking being, Vishnu undertakes a herculean task of establishing his reach and form with his first step covers the earth, with second the ether, the third entire heaven; the Vishnu Sukta 1.154 of Rigveda says that the first and second of Vishnu's strides are visible to the mortals and the third is the realm of the immortals. The Trivikrama describing hymns integrate salvific themes, stating Vishnu to symbolize that, freedom and life; the Shatapatha Brahmana elaborates this theme of Vishnu, as his herculean effort and sacrifice to create and gain powers that help others, one who realizes and defeats the evil symbolized by the Asuras after they had usurped the three worlds, thus Vishnu is the savior of the mortals and