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Indra and Other Vedic Deities

Indra and Other Vedic Deities


Item Code: IDD124

by Uma Chakravarty

Hardcover (Edition: 1997)

D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd.
ISBN 81-246-0080-5

Language: English
Size: 8.8" x 5.7"
Pages: 232
Price: $27.50
Discounted: $20.62   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 28th Nov, 2013


About the Book

The book studies the evolution of euhemeristic deities of the Vedic period – mainly Indra, the Rbhus, the Asvins and the Maruts. It explores the rationale behind the euhemerism and the historicity of events leading to their mythologization.

From the Jacket

In deities : whether in anthropomorphic or symbolic forms, the Vedic sages conceived a transcendent principle, which is far too subtle, far too abstract for the ordinary minds to grasp. And likewise, they concertized "as divinities" the various forces of nature - recognizing the indispensability of rain and thunder, of the sun and fire for human survival. 

Alongside the material representations of the cosmic order or of nature and nature-related phenomena, mankind has also mythologized some of its exceptionally great personalities (like, for instance, the Buddha, Mahavira and Jesus), who were believed to incarnated superhuman qualities or the highest of human ideals - though these deities of our times were veritably the 'magnified' men of real history. Dr. Uma Chakravarty's book investigates this phenomenon of euhemerism: the deification of historical personages, from among the divinities of Vedic writings.

It is the first, all-exclusive study to look into the evolution of euhemeristic deities of the Vedic period and how these mortals-turned-gods came to have varying deific positions on the hierarchic scale of the Vedic pantheon. Meticulously describing Indra, the Rbhus, the Asvins and the Maruts - together with the connotations of their names and epithets - the author not only explores the rationale behind the age-old euhemerism, but even the historicity of the events leading to their mythologization. 

Supported by extensive bibliographic references, the book is a brilliant effort to demonstrate the complementarity of history and mythology. And is, thus, invaluable to the scholars of Indology and its kindred disciplines.    

About the Author 

Uma Chakravarty, (born: 1933), is a reputed scholar of Indology who, for about 35 years, has been with the Lady Keane Collage, Shillong, Meghalaya, a Head of the Sanskrit Department. She also has had a stint, during 1992-93, as Visiting Fellow at the Freie Universitat, Berlin, under the German Academic Exchange Service, Germany.

She has published several articles on Vedic themes in the journals of international repute. Currently, Dr. Chakravarty is an ICHR (Indian Council of Historical Research) Fellow at the prestigious Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune. 






1. The Rbhus
     Etymology of the Word rbhu
     Fourfold Achievements of the Rbhus
     Camasa: The Fifth Achievement and the Right to the Soma-libation
     Scholar's Opinions on the Fourth camasa 
     The Rbhus: Solar Deities
     The Rbhus and the other Gods
     Scholars on the Identity of Rbhus

2. The Asvins
     The Divine Doctors, Asvins and the Soma drink
     The Heavenly Twins and a Maiden
     The Asvins: An Incarnation of the Universal Twin ship Motif 

3. The Maruts
     Etymology of the Word marut
     Warrior Gods
     Anthropomorphic Features
     The Bright Maruts
     The Howling Maruts
     The Maruts' Anger
     The Fearful Maruts
     All the Maruts are equal
     The Maruts as birds
     The Maruts and Soma libation
     The Maruts' Animals: The Prsatis, the Horses
     The Parents of the Maruts
     Rodasi, the Female Associate of the Maruts
     The Maruts and the other Gods
     The Protégés of the Maruts
     The Maruts: The Maryas
     The Maruts: Gana, Sardhas, Veata, Visah
     The Maruts: Euhemeristic Geography and History in the Marut Hymns
     The Library Beauty of the Marut Hymns
     The Maurys in the Atharvaveda
     Maruts in the TS. the Brahmanas and in the Sutras
     Opinions of Scholars on the Identity of the Maruts

4. Indra
     On the Etymology of the word Indra
     Indra: The War God
     Indra's Protégés
     The Epithets
     Indra and other Gods
     Indra, the Highest God
     Indra in the Yajurveda
     Indra in the Atharvaveda
     Opinion of Scholars on the Identity of Indra




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Customer Comments

  • This is a short study on the Vedic deity Indra and the other deities related to Indra. Those deities include the Asvins, the Maruts, and Rbhus, as well as Indra. Chakravarty also compares these deities with the other Vedic deities such as Varuna, Surya, and Visnu.

    The term "euhemerism" is a method of mythological interpretation where the tales can be attributed to actual historical persons and events. However, the book does not identify historical figures or personages that serve as the source of these deities. Given the great antiquity of the Vedas this is not surprising. Instead, Chakravarty quite successfully assigns anthropomorphic attributes, qualities, and characteristics. In this regard Chakravarty's book is very useful and is a valuable resource to sorting out the sometimes confusing statements concerning these Vedic deities.
    While the Rg Veda is the primary focus, Chakravarty discusses qualities stated in the other samhitas and from the Brahmanas.

    This is good stating point to understanding these deities and the Vedas.
    15th Jul 2014
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