RigVedic stories are Geography or Season based while the puranic stories are person based.

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,953
New Delhi, India
Theory: All RigVedic stories about sons of Aditi (Adityas), Ushas, Vrittra, Long night, Battle of Ten Kings, etc. are Geography or season based, puranic stories like Yayati, Ambarish, etc. are person based.
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,626
USA
Theory: All RigVedic stories about sons of Aditi (Adityas), Ushas, Vrittra, Long night, Battle of Ten Kings, etc. are Geography or season based, puranic stories like Yayati, Ambarish, etc. are person based.
No, the Rig Vedic story about Vrtra is certainly not season based, absolutely not.And so is it about Ushas. There is no long Arctic night in Rig Vedas. There are innumerable characters in Rig Veda including the Mantra DrashtArAs who uttered those hymns who are covered in PuraNasa.
 
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Oct 2015
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Faithfully kept ancient record:

First thing is that contents of Rig Ved Samhita have been preserved faithfully. After Pada-paathas were deviced (c. 800-600 BCE?), hardly a syllable has changed. Thus contents of Rig Ved Samhita come down to us unchanged from that time (in fact this may apply to all compositions classified as "Shruti"). In Witzel's assessment Rig Ved Samhita is a preserved 'tape recording'.

Contains Myths and History:

Now the contents of RVS need to be divided into ancient stories (myths if you like) and the then current events. The story about Indra destroying something or someone and bring the waters or opening the waters falls in this category in category of a mythology. Or better example still the marriage of King Pururavas with nymph Urvashi.

On the other hand there is mention of 'Battle of Ten Kings' at 3 or 4 places and that too as a current event. The Rishi (Saint) says that the king gave him these these things at end of the battle. This & such mentions are historical.

Myths are sometimes based on Reality:

Thirdly, we should take note of the ancient stories, or even myths because these may be reflective of history preserved in human memory. Take for example, the "myths" believed by Aboriginal Australians. Some of them have been found to real events.

Take for example myth relating to formation of Crater Lakes in Australia: "Dixon observed from the evidence available that Aboriginal myths regarding the origin of the Crater Lakes might be dated as accurate back to 10,000 years ago." [1]

Three more myths are listed on Port Philip myth, Great barrier Reef coastline myth, Lake Eyre myth in the same reference. [1]

Similarly the Kerala (India) myth that the coastal areas of Kerala was formed & populated when Rishi (Saint) Parshuram retrieved the land from sea by throwing his axe thus the land of Kerala arose. [2] There is some archaeological evidence to back up a part of the myth: "A substantial portion of Kerala may have been under the sea in ancient times. Marine fossils have been found in an area near Changanacherry, thus supporting the hypothesis" [3]

Similar is the 'Flood Myth' found in Middle eastern records as well a Christian & Hindu.

So we need to keep the myths in our mind, may be on the back-burner, just in case some new evidence comes in to say ....

Geography versus Seasons:

If we assume that Indo-Aryans migrated in to India (or even the other way round) then some delineation can be done on this basis. This is because Indian subcontinent has a monsoonal climate - the clouds come at specific time of the year and it rains and rains. This period is from Jun to Oct of every year during which crops are grown, people are busy and year's supply of food was gathered. Then the clouds recede and life settles back.

Incidentally in ancient India armies marched & wars were fought immediately after the rains stopped and harvesting was completed. This pattern of war is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayan (present version may be c. 250 CE) and also during conquests by Maratha armies in 18th century.

The prayer hymns in Rig Ved Samhita which mention monsoonal climate were obviously composed inside Indian sub-continent. For example is the hymn which talks about a bird singing as harbinger of rain.

References:

[1] Australian Aboriginal religion and mythology - Wikipedia

[2] History of Kerala - Wikipedia

[3] Kerala - Wikipedia
 
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May 2013
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The abode of the lord of the north
Faithfully kept ancient record:

First thing is that contents of Rig Ved Samhita have been preserved faithfully. After Pada-paathas were deviced (c. 800-600 BCE?), hardly a syllable has changed. Thus contents of Rig Ved Samhita come down to us unchanged from that time (in fact this may apply to all compositions classified as "Shruti"). In Witzel's assessment Rig Ved Samhita is a preserved 'tape recording'.

Contains Myths and History:

Now the contents of RVS need to be divided into ancient stories (myths if you like) and the then current events. The story about Indra destroying something or someone and bring the waters or opening the waters falls in this category in category of a mythology. Or better example still the marriage of King Pururavas with nymph Urvashi.

On the other hand there is mention of 'Battle of Ten Kings' at 3 or 4 places and that too as a current event. The Rishi (Saint) says that the king gave him these these things at end of the battle. This & such mentions are historical.

Myths are sometimes based on Reality:

Thirdly, we should take note of the ancient stories, or even myths because these may be reflective of history preserved in human memory. Take for example, the "myths" believed by Aboriginal Australians. Some of them have been found to real events.

Take for example myth relating to formation of Crater Lakes in Australia: "Dixon observed from the evidence available that Aboriginal myths regarding the origin of the Crater Lakes might be dated as accurate back to 10,000 years ago." [1]

Three more myths are listed on Port Philip myth, Great barrier Reef coastline myth, Lake Eyre myth in the same reference. [1]

Similarly the Kerala (India) myth that the coastal areas of Kerala was formed & populated when Rishi (Saint) Parshuram retrieved the land from sea by throwing his axe thus the land of Kerala arose. [2] There is some archaeological evidence to back up a part of the myth: "A substantial portion of Kerala may have been under the sea in ancient times. Marine fossils have been found in an area near Changanacherry, thus supporting the hypothesis" [3]

Similar is the 'Flood Myth' found in Middle eastern records as well a Christian & Hindu.

So we need to keep the myths in our mind, may be on the back-burner, just in case some new evidence comes in to say ....

Geography versus Seasons:

If we assume that Indo-Aryans migrated in to India (or even the other way round) then some delineation can be done on this basis. This is because Indian subcontinent has a monsoonal climate - the clouds come at specific time of the year and it rains and rains. This period is from Jun to Oct of every year during which crops are grown, people are busy and year's supply of food was gathered. Then the clouds recede and life settles back.

Incidentally in ancient India armies marched & wars were fought immediately after the rains stopped and harvesting was completed. This pattern of war is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayan (present version may be c. 250 CE) and also during conquests by Maratha armies in 18th century.

The prayer hymns in Rig Ved Samhita which mention monsoonal climate were obviously composed inside Indian sub-continent. For example is the hymn which talks about a bird singing as harbinger of rain.

References:

[1] Australian Aboriginal religion and mythology - Wikipedia

[2] History of Kerala - Wikipedia

[3] Kerala - Wikipedia
Kerala has been under the seas, but that was millions of years ago. I don't buy the argument that it has got anything to do with the myth. On the contrary, noted historians such as Kesavan Veluthatt has advocated that this myth is associated with the migration of Namboothiri brahmins into kerala. They migrated from the Surparaka region of Gujarat and carried this myth of parasurama handing over the land to them wherever they go. This myth isn't just confined to kerala. All the costal regions through which the brahmins migrated also holds this myth one way or the other.
 
Oct 2015
1,140
India
Kerala has been under the seas, but that was millions of years ago. I don't buy the argument that it has got anything to do with the myth. On the contrary, noted historians such as Kesavan Veluthatt has advocated that this myth is associated with the migration of Namboothiri brahmins into kerala. They migrated from the Surparaka region of Gujarat and carried this myth of parasurama handing over the land to them wherever they go. This myth isn't just confined to kerala. All the costal regions through which the brahmins migrated also holds this myth one way or the other.
Arrival of anatomically modern human beings in Kerala is dated to earlier than c. 65,000 YBP because by this date human beings had reached Australia. [1]

The last glacial maximum was 20,000 YBP or about 18,000 BCE. Thus the sea level was falling for some millennium till 18,000 BCE [2]. It is not impossible that memory of this fall, consequent release of land for habitation, and fast population increase in coastal areas is preserved in the human mythology.

Australian mythology is dated at least 10,000 YBP [3], though the original book by Jennifer Isaacs dates some of the memories even till 40,000 YBP [4] . Bernard Lee Singleton mentions how an ancient people may have transmitted memories over millenniums [5].

After 18,000 BCE, the sea level began rising and has gone up by 410 feet (125 meters). [2]

So one need not close our eyes to newer possibilities just because Kesavan Veluthatt held some other view. Of course, the connecting the fall sea level or populating Kerala to Agastya Muni should be later addition to an original myth - such mix up (confounding) also happens as shown by Captain Cook's myth in Australia.

[1] Recent African origin of modern humans - Wikipedia

[2] Sea level rise - Wikipedia

[3] Australian Aboriginal religion and mythology - Wikipedia

[4] https://www.amazon.com/Australian-Dreaming-Years-Aboriginal-History/dp/070181330X#customerReviews

[5]
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,626
USA
Arrival of anatomically modern human beings in Kerala is dated to earlier than c. 65,000 YBP because by this date human beings had reached Australia. [1]

The last glacial maximum was 20,000 YBP or about 18,000 BCE. Thus the sea level was falling for some millennium till 18,000 BCE [2]. It is not impossible that memory of this fall, consequent release of land for habitation, and fast population increase in coastal areas is preserved in the human mythology.

Australian mythology is dated at least 10,000 YBP [3], though the original book by Jennifer Isaacs dates some of the memories even till 40,000 YBP [4] . Bernard Lee Singleton mentions how an ancient people may have transmitted memories over millenniums [5].

After 18,000 BCE, the sea level began rising and has gone up by 410 feet (125 meters). [2]

So one need not close our eyes to newer possibilities just because Kesavan Veluthatt held some other view. Of course, the connecting the fall sea level or populating Kerala to Agastya Muni should be later addition to an original myth - such mix up (confounding) also happens as shown by Captain Cook's myth in Australia.

[1] Recent African origin of modern humans - Wikipedia

[2] Sea level rise - Wikipedia

[3] Australian Aboriginal religion and mythology - Wikipedia

[4] https://www.amazon.com/Australian-Dreaming-Years-Aboriginal-History/dp/070181330X#customerReviews

[5]
I think it is Parashurama and not Agastya involved in the Kerala myth (also true of Gokarna in Karnataka, and other coastal regions).
 
May 2013
1,725
The abode of the lord of the north
Arrival of anatomically modern human beings in Kerala is dated to earlier than c. 65,000 YBP because by this date human beings had reached Australia. [1]

The last glacial maximum was 20,000 YBP or about 18,000 BCE. Thus the sea level was falling for some millennium till 18,000 BCE [2]. It is not impossible that memory of this fall, consequent release of land for habitation, and fast population increase in coastal areas is preserved in the human mythology.

Australian mythology is dated at least 10,000 YBP [3], though the original book by Jennifer Isaacs dates some of the memories even till 40,000 YBP [4] . Bernard Lee Singleton mentions how an ancient people may have transmitted memories over millenniums [5].

After 18,000 BCE, the sea level began rising and has gone up by 410 feet (125 meters). [2]

So one need not close our eyes to newer possibilities just because Kesavan Veluthatt held some other view. Of course, the connecting the fall sea level or populating Kerala to Agastya Muni should be later addition to an original myth - such mix up (confounding) also happens as shown by Captain Cook's myth in Australia.

[1] Recent African origin of modern humans - Wikipedia

[2] Sea level rise - Wikipedia

[3] Australian Aboriginal religion and mythology - Wikipedia

[4] https://www.amazon.com/Australian-Dreaming-Years-Aboriginal-History/dp/070181330X#customerReviews

[5]
The thing is, the myth itself doesn't says 'kerala' was gifted to humans by parashurama. It says a certain Suraparaka was gifted. So for a long time, scholars used to think that Kerala was known as surparaka, while in reality Surparaka was a region somewhere close to modern day Gujarat. And I repeat this myth isn't just confined to kerala. Brahmins carried this myth wherever they migrated to. This myth is prevalent all along the costal region through which they migrated. So Veluthattu might really have a point we all need to see.
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,626
USA
Theory: All RigVedic stories about sons of Aditi (Adityas), Ushas, Vrittra, Long night, Battle of Ten Kings, etc. are Geography or season based, puranic stories like Yayati, Ambarish, etc. are person based.
Funny, what is the story about Kutsa? And what is it about SudAs, PuruKutsa, Agastya, KakshIvAn, etc.., all geography based? There is no end to your delusion.
 
Oct 2015
1,140
India
The thing is, the myth itself doesn't says 'kerala' was gifted to humans by parashurama. It says a certain Suraparaka was gifted. So for a long time, scholars used to think that Kerala was known as surparaka, while in reality Surparaka was a region somewhere close to modern day Gujarat. And I repeat this myth isn't just confined to kerala. Brahmins carried this myth wherever they migrated to. This myth is prevalent all along the costal region through which they migrated. So Veluthattu might really have a point we all need to see.
Do not know the primary source where this is myth is narrated in Indian literature. Please do give if you have. Does any of the Puranas have it?

Thanks & Regards