Ashvins  

Posted by Stella Clark

Ashvins Cover
The Ashvins, in Hindu mythology, are divine twin horsemen in the Rigveda, sons of Saranya, a goddess of the clouds and wife of Surya in his form as Vivasvat. The Ashvins are Vedic gods symbolising the shining of sunrise and sunset, appearing in the sky before the dawn in a golden chariot, bringing treasures to men and averting misfortune and sickness. They can be compared with the Dioscuri of Greek and Roman mythology, and especially to the divine twins Asvieniai of the ancient Baltic religion. They are the doctors of gods and are devas of Ayurvedic medicine. They are called Nasatya (dual nasatyau "kind, helpful") in the Rigveda; later, Nasatya is the name of one twin, while the other is called Dasra ("enlightened giving"). By popular etymology, the name nasatya was analysed as na+asatya "not untrue"="true". In the epic Mahabharata, King Pandu's wife Madri is granted a son by each Ashvin God and bears the twins Nakula and Sahadeva who, along with the sons of Kunti, are known as the Pandavas. To each one of them is assigned the number 7 and to the pair the number 14. Ashvini is the name of an asterism in Indian astronomy, later identified with the mother of the Ashvins. This asterism forms the first of the 27 asterisms that form the zodiac in Indian astronomy. This star is identified as Hamal, the brightest star in the constellation of Aries The Ashvins are mentioned 376 times in the Rigveda, with 57 hymns specifically dedicated to them: 1.3, 1.22, 1.34, 1.46-47, 1.112, 1.116-120, 1.157-158, 1.180-184, 2.20, 3.58, 4.43-45, 5.73-78, 6.62-63, 7.67-74, 8.5, 8.8-10, 8.22, 8.26, 8.35, 8.57, 8.73, 8.85-87, 10.24, 10.39-41, 10.143.

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This entry was posted on 16 October 2008 at Thursday, October 16, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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