Monday, April 09, 2012

mAdhavi's story, Part 8, Was the Chief God of Heavens, just a killer of pigs?

vyAsa mahAbhArata Sanskrit verse reference in udyOga parva (vol. 5), chapter 106, verse 015.


prokshitA yatra bahavo varAhAdyA mrigA vanE-
SakrENa yatra bhAgArthE daivatEshu prakalpitAh


Ganguli's English translation:
It was in that region that myriads of boars and other animals were killed by Sakra (Indra) and offered as sacrificial portions unto the gods.



Context
Sri Krishna went to Dhritarashtra's court, as an emissary of pAnDavas. This scene is popularly known as 'Sri krishNa rAyAbAram' and was very popular as a play in the pre-cinema days, and as a film component during the silver screen era.

After Sri Krishna briefly spoke, Sage kanva gave a lengthy counselling to durYOdhana. An important component of this counselling was the story of 'garuDa garva bhangam' (Taming the pride of the 'kite-God garuDa', a vehicle of Supreme God vishNu.

Then nArada gave another lengthy discourse, which included mAdhavi's story. (alias gAlava's story)

gAlava had to procure 800 white horses and satisfy his teacher. gAlava's friend kite-God garuDa was counselling gAlava. As a part of that counselling, he took gAlava on his back on a tour of the entire world. First East, then South, then West and finally North.

This verse is part of Guide garuDa's presentation of the EAST side of the Earth to gAlava.

This verse says that the Chief of Gods 'Indra' (or Sakra, vAsava) killed bahavo = numerous pigs in sacrifices to Gods.


ybrems
The first and foremost sacred book of Hindus: Rig vEda contains 1029 verses.
Kind courtesy Wikipedia and Griffith:

RigvEdic Gods by prominence

List of Rigvedic deities by number of dedicated hymns, after Griffith (1888). Some dedications are to paired deities, such as Indra-Agni, Mitra-Varuna, Soma-Rudra, here counted doubly.


Indra 289
Agni 218
Soma 123 (most of them in the Soma Mandala)
Vishvadevas 70
the Asvins 56
Varuna 46 [1]
the Maruts 38
Mitra 28[1]
Ushas 21
Vayu (Wind) 12
Savitr 11
the Rbhus 11
Pushan 10
the Apris 9
Brhaspati 8
Surya (Sun) 8
Dyaus and Prithivi (Heaven and Earth) 6, plus 5.84 dedicated to Earth alone
Apas (Waters) 6
Adityas 6
Vishnu 6
Brahmanaspati 6
Rudra 5
Dadhikras 4
the Sarasvati River / Sarasvati 3
Yama
Parjanya (Rain) 3
Vāc (Speech) 2 (mentioned 130 times, deified e.g. in 10.125)
Vastospati 2
Vishvakarman 2
Manyu 2
Kapinjala (the Heathcock, a form of Indra) 2



ybrems contd.
It is very clear from the above, that rigvEda placed God Indra (other names Sakra,vAsava) on the top with 289 verses, about 25% share.

He is the recipient of all the havis (offerings in all the sacrifices).

VishNu's share was only 8 verses. Shiva was not in the reckoning for havises (offerings in sacrifices). This is the whole story of daksha yagnam (Sacrifice by daksha - where he did not invite God Siva (other name rudra) for receiving the havises).

Indra is thus supposed to be recipient of sacrificed animals.


How is it that he was slaughtering swine, performing sacrifices at places located in the Eastern direction, and offering them to Gods? Who were the Gods? vishNu? rudra? Creator brahma?

Who degraded Indra from the chief God of rigvEda to a slaughterer of pigs to satisfy other Gods? Were the priests confused? Apparently not.

The Kings who claimed to be followers of Lord VishNu and the royal priests of such kings, deliberately degraded him to slayer of pigs and made him stealer of sacrificial animals (See ambarIsha's story in vAlmIki Ramayana). rAmayana made indra a debauch with the story of his entering into the cottage of gautama and his wife ahalya. mahA bhAgavata made indra to fall at the feat of krishNa in the episode of gOvardhana hill lifting by krishNa. indra's role was slightly better in mahAbhArata, as father of pAnDava prince arjuna.

ybrem 2
If indra could slay pigs and offer to Gods, what was wrong in yudhishThira doing the same thing in rAjasUya sacrifice and aSvamEdha sacrfice? So-- a paradise of ham eaters! Won't Gods be just satisfied with one or a few pigs? Why do they need 'bahavO'? Ganguli aptly called it 'myriad'. The phrase 'varaha -adya - mriga' is to be kept in mind. Adya = etcetera . What were these etceteras, apart from bores and deer? monkeys? parakeets? peacocks? crocodiles? Imagine the God Indra holding the animal in his left hand and brandishing his dagger/sword (called vajrAyudha) in the wind to behead the pigs and monkeys! Animal blood may be flowing on the ground, like rivulets with splinters of flesh and bone strewn all around!

I do not find any difference between a tent/hall for sacrifices and a Chicago slaughter-house or the kitchen of an Inter-Continental Hotel in Hong Kong serving frogs, snakes, and stinky Tofu. Smithfield Packing Company, Tar Heel, North Carolina, according to Wikipedia, has a facility to butcher 32,000 pigs a day. They can take Lord Indra as their principal adviser!

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