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Samudra
Samudra
(समुद्र) is a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
term for "ocean", literally the "gathering together of waters" (saṃ- meaning "together" and -udra meaning "water". Dictionary meaning of samudra is ‘confluence’ and ‘ocean/sea’.[1] The word has been borrowed to various languages influenced by Sanskrit, including Modern Indo-Aryan languages such as Hindi
Hindi
समुद्र samudra, Bengali সমুদ্র shômudrô, Gujarati સમંદર samandar, Marathi and Nepali समुद्र samudra, Punjabi ਸਮੁੰਦਰ samuṃdar, and others, like Kannada ಸಮುದ್ರ samudra, Tamil சமுத்திரம் samudraṁ Malayalam സമുദ്രം samudraṁ, Telugu సముద్రం samudram, Burmese သမုဒ္ဒရာ samuddara, Thai สมุทร sàmùt, Khmer សមុទ្រ samout, Lao ມະຫາສະຫມຸດ mahasamud, and Malay samudra.

Contents

1 Samudra
Samudra
in the Rigveda

1.1 Samudra
Samudra
and rivers 1.2 Samudra
Samudra
and Vedic deities 1.3 Samudra
Samudra
and ships 1.4 Related terms

2 Satapatha Brahmana 3 See also 4 Notes 5 Literature 6 External links

Samudra
Samudra
in the Rigveda[edit] The term occurs 133 times in the Rigveda, referring to oceans (real, mythical or figurative) or large bodies of water as well as to large Soma vessels, e.g. RV 6.69.6 (trans. Griffith):

Strengthened with sacred offerings, Indra-Visnu, first eaters, served with worship and oblation, Fed with the holy oil, vouchsafe us riches; ye are the lake [samudra], the vat that holds the Soma.

The precise semantic field of the Vedic word is difficult to establish, and has been much debated, in particular in relation to the question whether the bearers of the Rigvedic culture had direct knowledge of the ocean. Apart from the question of direct acquaintance of the bearers of Vedic culture with the ocean in the modern sense of the word, it is generally accepted that their worldview had the world encircled by oceans, a feature likely inherited from Proto-Indo-European mythology, with a "heavenly ocean" above the world, and a subterranean ocean of the underworld. Varuna
Varuna
was the deity presiding over both these oceans, and over water in general. From the literal meaning of the term, "Any mass of water more than one drop could be sam-udra: water in a jar, a small pool, a large lake, or the sea".[2] And indeed there are symbolic identifications of small quantities of water with mythical oceans, for example in the famous hymn to Varuna, emphasizing Varuna's omnipresence in every drop of water (AVS 4.16.3 cd)

utó samudrá váruṇasya kukṣī́ utā́smínn álpa udaké nílīnaḥ "even the two oceans (samudrau) are the thighs of Varuna; even in this minute drop of water (udake) he is hidden".

The oldest vedic commentators like the Brihaddevata of Shaunaka, Nighantu and the Nirukta of Yaska interpret the term Samudra
Samudra
as "ocean". The scholar G.V. Davane studied the occurrences of the term samudra in the Rigveda
Rigveda
and concluded that the term means "terrestrial ocean".[3] The Rigveda
Rigveda
also speaks of a western and eastern Samudra
Samudra
(10.136.5-6). And in RV 7.6.7 there is an upper and a lower Samudra, where the upper Samudra
Samudra
seems to be a heavenly ocean. The Marutas "uplift from the ocean the rain, and fraught with vaporous moisture pour the torrents down" in RV 5.55.5. In RV 9.84.4 the moon (Soma) and the winds stir the Samudra. Additionally, RV 1.48.3 may indicate knowledge of the high tide.[4] In RV 1.116.4 the Asvins
Asvins
rescued Bhujyu by carrying him for three days and three nights to the sea's farther shore. Thus Samudra
Samudra
seems to refer to the ocean in this verse. There are many other verses in the Rig Veda which refer to this tale (e.g. RV 1.118.6; VI 62, 6; VII 69, 7; VIII 5, 22), and where consequently Samudra
Samudra
could be identified with the ocean as well.[5] Samudra
Samudra
and rivers[edit]

Ocean
Ocean
god Samudra
Samudra
with personified rivers

Samudra
Samudra
is usually translated as "ocean, sea" [6] and the word itself means "gathering of waters". A minority of scholars (e.g. Madhav Deshpande) translate the term as "river". However, the Samudra
Samudra
is never said to flow in the Rigveda, but to receive all rivers (e.g. RV 6.36.3; 8.44.25). The Rigveda
Rigveda
also describes the Vedic Sarasvati River as a river that flows to the ocean (e.g. RV 2.41.16-18) and "is pure in her course from the mountains to the sea" (RV 7.95.2). Rigveda 1.71.7 describes the seven great rivers seeking the Samudra
Samudra
and in RV 7.33.8 it is written that all the rivers flow to the Samudra
Samudra
but are unable to fill it. RV 7.49 says that the Samudra
Samudra
is the eldest of the waters (samudra jyestha), and that the goal of the rivers is the Samudra. According to M.L. Bhargava [7] "samudra" stands for a huge inland lake of which there were four or seven in Rgvedic sources. He translates "sagara" with ocean. In this view the lowlands of e.g. Kashmir and Kuruksetra were "samudra", but the sea in which the Ganga fell is a "sagara". Samudra
Samudra
and Vedic deities[edit] The Vedic deity Varuna
Varuna
is the deity of the ocean (Samudra). The Vedic deity Indra
Indra
also occurs frequently in connection with the Samudra. The Rigveda
Rigveda
narrates that Indra
Indra
slew the dragon which released the seven rivers and caused them to enter the ocean.[8] Other gods that often occur together with the Samudra
Samudra
are Agni
Agni
and Soma.[8] Samudra
Samudra
and ships[edit] Some scholars like B.R. Sharma hold that the Rigvedic people may have been shipbuilders engaging in maritime trade.[9] In Rigveda
Rigveda
1.25.7; 7.88.3 and other instances, Samudra
Samudra
is mentioned together with ships. In RV 7.89.4 the rishi Vasishta is thirsting in the midst of water. Other verses mention oceanic waves (RV 4.58.1,11; 7.88.3). Some words that are used for ships are Nau, Peru, Dhi and Druma. A ship with a hundred oars is mentioned in RV 1.116. There were also ships with three masts or with ten oars.[10] RV 9.33.6 says: 'From every side, O Soma, for our profit, pour thou forth four seas filled with a thousand-fold riches." Related terms[edit] There are other Sanskrit
Sanskrit
terms in the Rigveda
Rigveda
that appear to mean "ocean" or have similar meanings. Among them are the terms salila (ocean depths, unbounded sea), Arnas, Apas (water, sometimes celestial ocean), Purisha (heavenly ocean, clouds, origin of rain - the opposite of Samudra
Samudra
or terrestrial ocean). The waves are called Urmi in the Rigveda, and the lakes are called saras, kula, hrada or hlada. Another term, as mentioned above, is "sagara" (सअगर), which likewise is also found in modern Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
and languages influenced by Sanskrit
Sanskrit
as an alternative for "samudra", some even having it more common to use than the latter term, including Balinese, Sundanese, and Javanese (in the form of "segara"). Satapatha Brahmana[edit] In SB 1.6.3.11 there is (as also in the Rigveda) a reference to an eastern and western Samudra. See also[edit]

Samudra
Samudra
Pasai Brahmasamudram Indian maritime history Meluhha Sapta Sindhu Sarasvati River

Notes[edit]

^ M.Mayrhofer EWA (1996) ^ *Kazanas, Nicholas (2002). "Rigvedic town and ocean: Witzel vs Frawley" (PDF).  ^ (Davane, G. V. 1982. An Analytical Study of ‘Samudra’ in the Rigveda.) ^ R. C. Majumdar and A. D. Pusalker (editors): The History and Culture of the Indian People. Volume I, The Vedic age. Bombay : Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan 1951, p.248 ^ (Kazanas 2002) ^ (e.g. Griffith, Macdonnel and Keith) ^ The Geography of Rgvedic India. M.L. BhargavaLucknow 1964, p.5 ^ a b (see Frawley 1991, 2001 for references to Rigvedic verses) ^ B.R. Sharma. 1967. Vedic Aryans and Sea-voyage ^ B.B. Lal in Trautmann, T. The Aryan debate in India, 2005:151

Literature[edit]

Frawley, David. 1991. Gods, Sages, and Kings, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin ISBN 0-910261-37-7 Frawley, David: The Rig Veda and the History of India, 2001.(Aditya Prakashan), ISBN 81-7742-039-9 Frawley, David (2002). "Witzel's vanishing ocean - How to read vedic texts any way you like".  Lal, B.B., 1997 The Earliest Civilization of South Asia Delhi, Aryan Books Intern. Kazanas, Nicholas (2002). "Rigvedic town and ocean: Witzel vs Frawley" (PDF). 

External links[edit]

http://hindunet.org/saraswati/vedictrade.htm

v t e

Hydrography of the Indian subcontinent

Inland rivers

Beas Betwa Bhagirathi Brahmaputra Chambal Chenab Damodar Godavari Gandaki Ganges Ghaghara Indus Jhelum Kali Kaveri Kosi Krishna Luni Mahanadi Mahaweli Meghna Narmada Padma Ravi Sarasvati Sankosh Sharda Son Sutlej Tapti Yamuna

Inland lakes, deltas, etc.

Ganges
Ganges
Basin Ganges
Ganges
Delta Indus Delta Dal Lake Pookode Lake Skeleton Lake Chilika Lake Lake Powai Borith Lake Saiful Muluk Gosaikunda Nizam Sagar Red Hills Lake Malampuzha Kerala backwaters Pulicat Lake

Coastal

Indian Ocean Arabian Sea Bay of Bengal Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Mannar Laccadive Sea Palk Strait

Categories

Lakes of Bangladesh / India / Nepal / Pakistan Reservoirs and dams in India Rivers of Bangladesh / Bhutan / India

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