Atharvan & the Anu in the Rig ved Part - 1 :
Angirasas (Angiras) are among oldest families of Rishis / Seers in the
Rig Ved. I cannot read the word Angiras without envisioning these Rigvedic
Seers as inter-stellar and inter-dimensional 'engineers', astrophysicists,
men and women who were masters of space technology in the galaxies,
and simultaneously adepts of advanced metaphysics. I think of the Angirasas
as World Guardians.
the Rig Ved, Agni is sometimes referred to as Angiras. The supreme deity
of the Sumerian pantheon is AN, or Anu. The first two letters of the
Sanskrit word An-gir-as, AN could refer to Anu. While GIR might relate
to the Akkadian fire-god, fire as in rocket propulsion. DinGIR in the
cuneiform writing meant sky or heaven, and also a god or goddess. The
masters of the sky were perceived as deities by the earthbound. Based
on my visions, I think of Angiras and his descendents the Angirasas,
as a group of higher beings who traverse the realms between gods &
men — an inter-stellar & inter-dimensional elite.
seven Rishis are identified with the seven stars of the Big Dipper.
Their wives are the six stars of the Pleiades (Krittikas), plus one
visible double star of the Big Dipper. Originally these seven Rishis,
sapta vipra, were identified as Angirasas." [David Frawley]
remote mythical persons in the Rig ved
Angirasas and the Bhrigu families "...represent the pre-Rigvedic
past: they go so far back into the past that not only are they eponymous
founders of these families (Angiras and Bhrigu respectively), but even
certain other ancient Rishis belonging to these families (Brihaspati,
Atharvan, Ushana) are already remote mythical persons in the Rig Ved;
and the names of the two families are already names for mythical and
ritual classes: the Angirasas are deified as 'a race of higher beings
between Gods and men' ...the Bhrigus and the Atharvans are synonymous
with fire-priests in general. ...the names of these two families are
also found in the Iranian and Greek texts..." [Shrikant G. Talageri]
Rig Ved & the Iranian Avesta :
"To those who are well versed in
the ancient Vedic language Mazdaism, the religion of Zend Avesta —
[the book of Zarathustra, a Magi, a priest of priests, the great wise
man who rose in Persia] — is nothing but the Rig Ved on a different
key. Although they are different books; and although the Rig Ved is
much more complex and elaborate, a comparative study of the two, specially
the gods and their rituals, leaves no doubt whatsoever that the peoples
of the Zend, and the peoples of the Vedas were, if not the same, at
least very closely associated. Both were Aryans in origin, practice
and culture. The Mittani records of Bogaz Koi show presence of the Rigvedic
gods amongst the people of the Medes and Persia.
"The religion of classical Persia
is very complex. The Assyro-Bablonian beliefs appear to have gotten
syncretised with the Aryan faith, and the Vedic strains...Their chief
rites embraced the cult of Fire." [B. Bhattacharaya, p.177]
The Prosody of the Rigveda & Avesta:
Prosody is the study of meter (Sanskrit chandas). The fundamental unit
of a poetic composition is a certain meter, or arrangement of syllables.
"What kind of pre-history it was
that led to this state of the Vedic meter which in general was marked
by its peculiar mixture of a well-determined and an independent sequence
of quantities is a problem not quite without a solution...afforded by
the study of Avestan [Iranian] literature. No one can compare the Avestan
poetry with the Indian [Rigvedic] poetry in its content, in its style
of expression, and in its entire coloring, without coming to the conclusion,
on account of their agreement in small details which force themselves
on us at every step, that both the literatures point not only to a common
origin of these two peoples and their religions, but also to a community
of Indo-Iranian religious poetry, developed in well established forms.
inter-connection of the meters in the Avesta with the most fundamental
forms of the Vedic prosody were recognized and were given due prominence:
repetition of the octo-syllabic line, three-, four-, or five-times to
form stanzas in the Avesta are exactly like the Gayatri, the Anustubh,
and the Pankti [meters] of the Veda; and the four-lined stanza of the
eleven-syllabled lines with the caesura after the fourth syllable corresponds
to the Tristubh [meter]." [Hermann Oldenberg]
came from west of the Indus and parts of Iran :
Veda X.67.2 /in two translations :
Angirasas speak the truth [Rita] and
think the straightness. They are the sons of heaven, heroes of the mighty
lord. They are able to hold the seat of illumined knowledge, and to
mentalise the supreme abode of the Yajña. [R.L. Kashyap]
Speaking Truth [Rita], thinking uprightly
have the sons of the Heavens, the men of Asura [Asurasya virah in Sanskrit],
the Angirasas, the seers making their traces on the path devised the
first form of sacrifice. [Malati J. Shendge]
Notice that Kashyap does not translate
the word Asurasya as Asura, but calls them the 'heroes of the mighty
lord' and thereby avoiding the issue of one of the primary Rishis of
the Rig Veda being called an Asura. I'm sure Kashyap has further explanations.
However Shendge states that this verse clearly calls the Angirasas the
men of Asura, the Aryan enemy.
"The Angiras, the heroes of Asura,
are also said to have come from the DIV, literally shining spaces, the
region west of the Indus including the northwest frontier region of
the Indian sub-continent, Baluchistan, Afghanistan and parts of Iran
in RV III.53.7." [Malati J. Shendge]
"The Angirasas are the dominant
protagonist priests of the Rig Veda...but it is the Bhrigus, and not
the Angirasas, who are the real initiators of the two main ritual systems
which dominate the Rigveda: the fire ritual and the Soma ritual."
[Shrikant G. Talageri]
The above quotations of scholars provide
an understanding of the blending of many groups of diverse people that
are described in the Rig Veda due to extensive migrations. These geographical
areas were not separate and not only were groups migrating for various
reasons, but trade was also going on between them.
the subcontinent [India] has been divided into three major regions...The
northern mountains have been described in the past as a barrier to communication
that isolates northern India from Asia. But in effect they were rarely
barriers and the north-west of the subcontinent was in continuous communication
with peoples and places in western and central Asia. It was almost as
if such communication focused on the passes in the north-western mountains
and intensified cross-cultural activities." [Romila Thapar]
Anus in the Punjab :
Rig Ved and the Avesta are united in testifying to the fact that the
Punjab (Saptasindhu...) was not a homeland of the Vedic Aryans, but
was a homeland of the Iranians. The Puranas as well as the Rig Veda
testify to the fact that the Punjab was a homeland of the Anus [Anu
in Sanskrit = a non-Aryan man]. ...the spread of the Anus from the east
and their occupation of the whole of the Punjab." [Shrikant G.
the jatland website :
was the daughter of the great Daitya King Vrishparva. She was also a
friend of Devayani. She was given as dowry to Yayati of the Lunar dynasty,
when he married Devayani, the daughter of Sage Shukracharya, the guru
of all Asuras. But then Yayati fell in love with Sharmistha because
of her beauty and character and had three sons Druhyu, Anu and Puru
Sumerian mythology and later for Assyrians and Babylonians, Anu (also
AN) was a sky-god, the god of heaven, lord of constellations, king of
gods, spirits and demons, and dwelt in the highest heavenly regions.
He was called Anu by the Akkadians, rulers of Mesopotamia after the
conquest of Sumer in 2334 BCE by King Sargon of Akkad. By virtue of
being the first figure in a triad consisting of Anu, Bel and Ea, Anu
came to be regarded as the father and at first, king of the gods. Anu
is so prominently associated with the city of Uruk, Biblical Erech in
southern Babylonia that there are good reasons for believing this place
to have been the original seat of the Anu cult. If this be correct,
then the goddess Inanna (or Ishtar) of Uruk may at one time have been
his consort. Probably Uruk was the country of Aulakh Jats."
connection between the Indian and Iranian :
Prosody in the Rig Veda: "...there
cannot be any doubt as to the fundamental fact of the intimate connection
between the Indian and Iranian art of versification [poetry]. And thus,
the Vedic prosody [meter], which has offered the basis for all later
Indian prosody, points to distant periods of the past which escapes
our direct knowledge, periods which the forgotten generations of the
Indian, and then still further back, of the Indo-Iranian Rishis sang
in those same most ancient meters of eight-syllabled and eleven-syllabled
lines of divine majesty of the Asuras and of the pressings of Soma..."
passes in the north-west mountains, although arid, were less snow-bound...and
frequently used...Bolan, Gomal and Khyber passes. The fertile Swat Valley
formed another route, as did the Hunza and upper Indus Valley. ...Pastoralists
arriving from and returning to Afghanistan, or even central Asia, traveled
regularly through the passes and the valleys. ...[they are] corridors
of communication. Contact with what are now referred to as central Asia,
Iran and Afghanistan goes back to the third millennium B.C. the period
of the Indus cities, and the passes are likely to have been used by
people in even earlier times." [Romila Thapar]
name Anu or Ânava for the Iranians appears to have survived even
in later times: the country and the people in the very heart of Avesta
land, to the immediate north of Hâmûn-i Hilmand, were known
as late as Greek times as the Anauon or Anauoi. The names of Anu tribes
in the Rigveda and the Puranas can be clearly identified with the names
of the most prominent tribes among latter-day Iranians." [Shrikant
the Rig Ved the particular or exclusive priests of the Bharata (the
Vedic Aryans) are the Angirasas. ... The Bhrigus are clearly not the
priests of the Bharatas, and equally clearly they are associated with
a particular other tribe: the Anus. ...the names Anu and Bhrigu are
used interchangeably [in various verses]." [Shrikant G. Talageri]
the seer [Rishis] families of the Rig Veda can be called Angirasas.
...Angiras is the primordial Rishi per se who arises from Agni... Out
of this one family derives the four main Seer families in the Rig Veda
— the Angiras's, Bhrigu's, Kashyap's, and Atharvan's. The other
Vedic families are offshoots... The Angiras's are connected to the Sarasvati
region of the north..." [David Frawley]
Angiras's were the companions of Manu, the Sanskrit Varah Avtar mentioned
was fleeing the massive flooding [around 11,000 BC] that takes place
after an Ice Age. Thus the Sanskrit Manu brings up the fact of recurring
Ice Ages and periodic Dissolutions that are inherent on our planet Earth.
And which make it an ideal 'seed' bank. According to Inanna, the Akkadian
Noah (can be manu in Sanskrit), Utanapishtim, was one the ‘offspring’
of Enki, the brother of Enlil who was Inanna’s grandfather.
flood story occurs in "the Sumerian legend of King Ziusudra and
the Akkadian legend of Utanapistim, and in the Bible as Noah. Avesta
has its own version of the legend associated with Yima Vivanhvat. ...In
the Akkadian tradition, the sage Atrhasis repeatedly tried to save mankind
from destruction at the hands of the gods who were angered by the clamour
of mankind. ...the similarity of motif brings the Sumerian, Akkadian,
Avesta and Vedic legends close in a shared ancient tradition, spread
over a wide region."
& Angiras in Mundaka Upanishad :
The Angirasas are the sons of Heaven
(Divasputras), who were the original light-gods, the human fathers thought
to possess luminous bodies, the apotheosis of the rays of light. The
Sanskrit word Angiras is derived from ANGA, the root of which is vañj
meaning to shine. Angiras is seen as the first of Rishis in the Rig
Veda's mantras. The plural form of his name, Angirasas, denotes his
direct descendents or the members of the school of thought founded by
him. Considered by scholars as a great poet of ancient times, the Rig
Veda does not contain any of his actual writings. There are no compositions
of the poet Angiras in the Rig Veda — only those of his descendents.
However "a great number of poets with the patronymic Angirasas
have contributed to the bulk of the Rig Veda." [Thaneswar Sarmah]
Ancient Rishis in the Mundaka Upanishad :
The Mundaka Upanishad is considered
one of the oldest and most respected of all the Upanishads. The first
two verses of the Mundaka mention how Brahmavidyâ the science
of Wisdom-Knowledge was transmitted:
Brahmâ, the creator of all and
the sustainer of the world, emerged as the first of gods. He taught
the science of Brahman (brahmavidyâ), the basis of all sciences,
to Atharvân, his eldest son.
What Brahmâ imparted to Atharvân,
Even that science of Brahman Atharvân taught to Angira in olden
days; he in turn taught it to Satyavaha of the Bharadvâja clan;
and Bharadvâja (Satyavaha) imparted this hierarchical wisdom to
Angiras. [translation by Muni Narayana Prasad]
though the Atharva Veda is considered the fourth Veda, the Mundaka Upanishad
says in the above verse that Atharvan came before and taught Angiras.
Veda VI.15.17 /translated by R.L. Kashyap
arrangers of works churn out this Agni like Atharvan of old. In his
zigzag walk, they led him who is free from ignorance [amura = sharp
sighted, wise, intelligent, not ignorant], from the dusky nights.
Agni, Atharvan churned you out from the Lotus [pushkarat], from the
head of every chanting sage.
a wonderful mystical image this verse is! Atharvan is churning our Fire
from the Lotus-like chakra in the head of every chanting sage.
Sanskrit word Atharvan comes from an obsolete word ATHAR meaning fire.
The Rishi Atharvan is said to have been the first to institute the worship
of fire and offer Soma. Atharvan is identical with Angiras as the father
of Agni [fire]. Shyam Ghosh gives the etymology of the Sanskrit word
Agni as AGNIT = flickering; vag = to move tortuously, curling, zigzagging;
the continuous expansion [brahmâ] of energy is tamed as it descends
Avesta, ATAR (for athar) means fire which is the same as the Vedic term
Athar, which also occurs in athar-yu, flaming. The fact that the Atharva
Veda or Atharvangirasau was the last to be allowed the status of a Veda
[four] may point to non-Aryan origin of the material contained in it,
which will also explain the observation of archaic material, older than
the Rig Veda, in it." [Malati J. Shendge]
Bhrigu, and Atharvân :
three major Rishis considered the most important over all others are
Angiras, Bhrigu, and Atharvân — and their descendents. What
is intriguing in the Mundaka Upanishad verse is the fact that Brahma
first taught the science to Atharvân, who then taught it to Angiras.
The idea that Atharvân, who is the primary source of the Artharva
Veda, preceeds Angirâ and the subsequent Angirases is puzzling.
'Shaivism & the Phallic World', B. Bhattacharya says that the Atharva
Veda, the so-called fourth Veda, may in fact be older than the Rigveda:
"It may be said that the Atharva Veda represents a current of Indian
culture that runs parallel to the current represented by the other Vedas;
and that it is the earlier stage of that current." Bhattacharya
says the Atharva Veda ultimately blossomed into the Agamas of the Shiva
literature and Tantra, the mystic literature. The fact that the Atharva
Veda is more oriented to ritual, astrology, and magic spells that heal,
protect and even curse implies an earlier connection with ancient Sumer
and Babylonia, both of which were known for their practices of occult
Bhattacharya: "The Atharvans could have been the Magi of the Bible,
because the area over which Atharvan had his sway was the Asura-land,
probably Sumeria and Babylonia where the Assyrian culture had made its
mark. That the Atharvan astrological rites were practiced in, and still
much in favor with these parts, is no longer doubted. From Egypt to
Iran spells and magic still form a large part of spiritual belief."
the translation of the Atharva Veda by Devi Chand, we learn that its
oldest name was Atharvângirsah, the combination of the Atharvans
and the Angirasas. "The two words denote two different species
of magic formula: artharvan is 'holy magic bringing happiness' and angiras
is 'hostile or black magic.' The former includes among others formula
for the healing of diseases, while the latter includes curses against
enemies, rivals, malicious magicians, etc. These two kinds of magic
formulas then form the chief contents of the Atharva Veda..." [M.C.
In his book "Ancient Mesopotamian
Literature" the polymath Krishna Chaitanya/K.K. Nair says this
about Sumerian and Babylonia magic: "...popular imagination also
created a host of evil spirits who were responsible for various diseases
and who were exorcised by spells and purification ceremonies. The chill
dread of the eerie, weird, unseen is vividly evoked by the references
to these spirits."
Nair quotes from the cuneiform tablets :
In a section of the deep they were nurtured;
neither male nor female are they, destructive whirlwinds are they...
He stands at the side of a man, without
anyone seeing him, he sits at the side of a man, without anyone seeing
K.K. Nair: "The incantations used
in purification ceremonies have that magical quality where the words,
apart from what they mean, seem to have some intrinsic power as spells."
Surely all great poets have this gift of imbuing words with power —
and the composers of the Rigveda were brilliant 'Seer' poets who wrote
from Atharv Ved :
This parna jewel (ampoule or capsule),
full of power has come to me, ruining my rivals with its power. Vigour
of the bounties of Nature, and essence of the medicinal plants, may
this fill me with lustre constantly (Parna-manih is a medicinal tablet
prepared with the extract of the parna leaf, to be used by patients.)
O epidemic (of fear), Apvâ confounding
the minds of our enemies, seize their bodies and go away. Visit them
again. Burn their hearts with sorrows. Pierce our enemies with gripping
darkness. [Also found in Rigveda X.103.12]
Upheld by God's power [the Skamba: a
pillar] these two, the heaven and the earth, stand fast. All this world
of life, whatever breathes or shuts an eye, rests in God [verily is
the Skamba itself, that which upholds].
Three kinds of men [rajas, tamas &
sattva] are subject to transmigration [have moved across our sight],
but the emancipated ones attain God [now enter the cosmic glows]. God,
is All-pervading [stands within the worlds], most refulgent like the
is the wheel, the naves are three, the fellies [felloe = the outer rim
of a wheel supported by spokes] are twelve. What man has understood
it? Three hundred and sixty spokes have been fixed therein, firmly set,
immoveable, as well as moveable. [To my mind here is a description of
the 360 degree birth-chart map in Chaldean astrology.]
control of the transcendental world :
early English scholars who read the Atharva Veda were conditioned by
Christian and European beliefs, thus were unable to view it with any
objectivity. These magic formulas would be familiar to anyone who has
studied Shamanism or "magic rituals which spread over the whole
earth, [and] ever recur with the most surprising similarity in the most
varying peoples of all countries. ...Above all, the principle aim of
the Atharva Veda is to appease (the demons), to bless (friends), and
to curse... At their origin, magic and cult both have the identical
aim — the control of the transcendental world." [M.C. Joshi]
Ved"is also connected with subsequent development of Tantric system."
Again we find the statement by yet another Indian scholar that the Atharv
Ved is the source of Tantra. Also it appears that only two of the nine
branches of the Atharv Ved have survived. In support of its varied content
the author says that the Atharva Veda also "contains remarkable
references to various aspects of spiritual and temporal importance like
Brâhmavidyâ (the science), Prithivi or Mother earth, kingship,
marriage, treatment of ailments, poetics, etc." [M.C. Joshi]
today have dismissed the idea that ancient India was invaded: "...it
may be stated that the people connected with the Atharv Ved were broadly
of the same group that composed the other Vedas and were not invaders
at all." The Aryan invasion theory came from the west; some say
to justify their own invasion — meaning the East India Company
that dominated India for some 200 years. Instead we find waves of migrations
and local wars. Surely this is reasonable logic as all human beings
in groups inevitably disagree and conflict. "...Aryan or the people
associated with the Vedic cultures had much diversity amongst themselves."
[M.C. Joshi introduction to the Atharv Ved translated by Devi Chand].
Atharvan & the Anu in the Rig ved Part - 2 :
names Anu and Bhrigu are used interchangeably :
to Talageri the names Anu and Bhrigu are used interchangeably. Remember
that the Bhrigu are one of the three most important Rishi family names
in the Rig Veda: Angiras, Bhrigu, and Atharvân. We have already
identified Angiras and Atharvân as possibly coming from an even
older tradition than the Aryan Rig Veda. This conjecture is attested
to in that the oldest name of the Atharva Veda is Atharvângirsah
— and is a text that prescribes spells, astrological and magical
rituals, and content similar to Sumer and Babylonia. Therefore as the
scholars have suggested the Atharva Veda may represent a Vedic connection
with Sumer and Babylonia, both of which are known for their occult and
magic rituals. "From Egypt to Iran spells and magic still form
a large part of spiritual belief." [B. Bhattacharya]
and Angiras represent two aspects of magical practices :
research of Thaneswar Sarmah also states that the earliest name of the
Atharv Ved is Atharvângirsah, and then Bhrigvangiras. In ancient
India Atharv and Angiras represent two aspects of magical practices:
Shanta and Ghora. The Atharv's are mentioned as Pitris [ancestors] with
the groups of Angirasas [X.14.6]. In Rigveda III.2.4 Agni is said to
be the gift of Bhrigus, who kindled Agni for the sake of the people
[IV.7.1]. The Angirasas and the Bhrigus are mentioned together, but
nowhere are the Bhrigu's and the Atharv's mentioned together.
we may assume that Atharv came before Angira and Bhrigus — as
is indicated in the opening verse of the Mundaka Upanishad: "What
Brahmâ imparted to Atharv, even that science of Brahman Atharv
taught to Angira in olden days..." — therefore some scholars
think the essence of Atharv Ved is from an even earlier period than
the Rig Ved, perhaps the remnants and recollections of a religion of
magic, rituals and protective healing spells as practiced in ancient
Sumer and Akkad, passed on down in memory through the generations to
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Indus Civilization images from Wiki Commons
Veda X.129 :
Who here can grasp the colossal
boundless far-reaching entirety?
This universe is only a fraction,
a single portion of the infinite forever
Who can speak further of far away creation?
On this side of it the One that moved
became the senses for perceiving,
thus sliding away afar.
As we are ever in motion
opening unfolding the God-within,
so the axis of the universe is
undulating, two serpents embracing,
all pervading within the highest creation,
even far away space ever expanding,
stretched out and spreading in all directions.
We know not if it can be held,
the continuum - indeed
if it can be known at all.