Ports in early Indian literature

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,216
India
#11
We've unearthed a handful of ports in early India such as Dholavira, Lothal, Bet Dwaraka and probably even Khambat (who knows?!). So was there any ports mentioned in the Vedic literature? Which were earliest the port cities we find in Indian literature?
Vedas don't mention any port. In Harappan era Lothal was the major seaport. In post-Harappa India, we know are Muziris in Kerala, Arikamedu in Tamil Nadu, Tamralipti in West Bengal and Barygaza in Gujarat as some of the major seaports of India.
 
Likes: NIROSHAN
Oct 2015
998
India
#12
@Kadi

My understanding goes as under:

[1] The Rishi is invoking Lord Varuna (and perhaps Indra along with him):

"When shall we bring, to be appeased, the Hero, Lord of warrior might, Him, the far-seeing Varuṇa?" - Verse-5

"This, this with joy they both accept in common: never do they fail, The ever-faithful worshipper." - Verse-6

[2]He has done Yajnas before in which he has given oblations to Lord Varuna

"They flee from me dispirited, bent only on obtaining wealth, As to their nests the birds of air." - Verse-4

"Once more together let us speak, because my meath is brought: priest-like, Thou eatest what is dear to thee." - Verse-17

[3] He description / praise / asking forgiveness of Lord Varuna, he says that the Lord travels in sky in his chariot [and therefore can see everything:

"Now saw I him whom all may see, I saw his car above the earth: He hath accepted these my songs." - Verse-18

This everything includes all bids in the sky over the land and all boats in the sea


[4] Rishi wants Lord Varun to cut the chords at end of life & its beginning, i.e. grant him long life:

"give us not as a prey to death, to be destroyed by thee in wrath, To thy fierce anger when displeased." - Verse-2

"Release us from the upper bond, untie the bond between, and loose; The bonds below, that I may live." Verse-24

This is a simple prayer. Do we need to interpret it any other way? It does show that the Sea and sea-going boats were known to the composer of this hymn.
 
Likes: Kadi
Jul 2017
510
Sydney
#13
@Kadi

My understanding goes as under:

[1] The Rishi is invoking Lord Varuna (and perhaps Indra along with him):

"When shall we bring, to be appeased, the Hero, Lord of warrior might, Him, the far-seeing Varuṇa?" - Verse-5

"This, this with joy they both accept in common: never do they fail, The ever-faithful worshipper." - Verse-6

[2]He has done Yajnas before in which he has given oblations to Lord Varuna

"They flee from me dispirited, bent only on obtaining wealth, As to their nests the birds of air." - Verse-4

"Once more together let us speak, because my meath is brought: priest-like, Thou eatest what is dear to thee." - Verse-17

[3] He description / praise / asking forgiveness of Lord Varuna, he says that the Lord travels in sky in his chariot [and therefore can see everything:

"Now saw I him whom all may see, I saw his car above the earth: He hath accepted these my songs." - Verse-18

This everything includes all bids in the sky over the land and all boats in the sea


[4] Rishi wants Lord Varun to cut the chords at end of life & its beginning, i.e. grant him long life:

"give us not as a prey to death, to be destroyed by thee in wrath, To thy fierce anger when displeased." - Verse-2

"Release us from the upper bond, untie the bond between, and loose; The bonds below, that I may live." Verse-24

This is a simple prayer. Do we need to interpret it any other way? It does show that the Sea and sea-going boats were known to the composer of this hymn.
Definitely, all Vedic hymns can be interpreted as prayers. Infact that's what the Arya Samajis do and many of them have even argued with me claiming there is no battle of ten kings in RV :)

In their worldview, there can't be wars and history in Vedas as that is not the purpose of these compositions :)
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,210
New Delhi, India
#14
No, Devdas. They were talking of four seas, not just one. That is a mystery. After the ice-age, when all the ice melted, many big lakes were formed. Post ice-age geography was very different from what it is today. That happened in North America too.
Lakes in Europe after ice-age at DuckDuckGo



RigVeda has no mention of Middle East.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2017
510
Sydney
#15
From Rig Veda Mandala 10 hymn 136
वातस्याश्वो वायोः सखाथो देवेषितो मुनिः |
उभौसमुद्रावा कषेति यश्च पूर्व उतापरः ||

Griffith's take -
The Steed of Vāta, Vāyu's friend, the Muni, by the Gods impelled,
In both the oceans hath his home, in eastern and in western sea.

Clear mention of the Arabian sea and the bay of Bengal (eastern and western)
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,210
New Delhi, India
#16
For me, it is the western horizon and the eastern horizon, that is where the steed of 'Vāta' (winds) comes from, and between the two (horizons) exists the sea of netherworld. If you think the verse describes the geography of Peninsular India (or Gujarat), that is OK with me.
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,216
India
#17
No, Devdas. They were talking of four seas, not just one. That is a mystery. After the ice-age, when all the ice melted, many big lakes were formed. Post ice-age geography was very different from what it is today. That happened in North America too.
Lakes in Europe after ice-age at DuckDuckGo



RigVeda has no mention of Middle East.
Rigveda has no memory of any land North of Gandhara. It was composed in Sapta Sindhu aka North-West India, Eastern Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,210
New Delhi, India
#18
If they are talking about seas and Arctic environment, they have at least some memories of the lands they previously inhabited. :)

Add to my post #16: The sea of netherworld on the other side of the world as the ancients thought, mentioned as 'patala' in Puranic literature.
 

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