Rigvedic (Hindu): Dakshina (Reward for priests and poets)

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Dakshinā, dakṣiṇā, or दक्षिणा), is a Sanskrit word found in Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Jain literature where it may mean any donation, fees or honorarium given to a cause, monastery, temple, spiritual guide or after a ritual. It may be expected, or a tradition or voluntary form of daana. The term is found in this context in the Vedic literature.

It may mean honorarium to a guru for education, training or guidance.

Etymology and description
According to Monier Williams, the term is found in many Vedic texts, in the context of “a fee or present to the officiating priest (consisting originally of a cow, Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra 15, Lāṭyāyana Śrautasūtra 8.1.2)”, a “donation to the priest”, a “reward”, an “offering to a guru”, a “gift, donation”.

The word also connotes “south”, a cardinal direction. Dakshina is also found in various other expressions such as ‘dakshinachara’, right-hand path of tantra. The neuter noun dakshinam means ‘the Deccan’, a transformation of dakshinam as the language evolved.


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Rigvedic (Hindu): Purusha (Cosmic Man)

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Purusha (Sanskrit puruṣa, पुरुष) is a complex concept whose meaning evolved in Vedic and Upanishadic times. Depending on source and historical timeline, it means the cosmic man or Self, Consciousness, and Universal principle.

In early Vedas, Purusha meant a cosmic man whose sacrifice by the gods created all life. This was one of many creation theories discussed in the Vedas.

In the Upanishads, the Purusha concept refers to abstract essence of the Self, Spirit and the Universal Principle that is eternal, indestructible, without form and is all pervasive. The Purusha concept is explained with the concept of Prakrti in the Upanishads. The Universe is envisioned in these ancient Sanskrit texts as a combination of the perceivable material reality and non-perceivable, non-material laws and principles of nature. Material reality (or Prakrti) is everything that has changed, can change and is subject to cause and effect. Purusha is the Universal principle that is unchanging, uncaused but is present everywhere and the reason why Prakrti changes, transforms and transcends all of the time and which is why there is cause and effect. Purusha is what connects everything and everyone according to the various schools of Hinduism.

There is a diversity of views within various schools of Hinduism about the definition, scope and nature of Purusha.

Definition and description
Purusha is a complex concept, whose meaning has diversified over time in the philosophical traditions now called as Hinduism. During the Vedic period, Purusha concept was one of several theories offered for the creation of universe.[a] Purusa, in Rigveda, was described as a being, who becomes a sacrificial victim of gods, and whose sacrifice creates all life forms including human beings.

In the Upanishads and later texts of Hindu philosophy, the Purusha concept moved away from the Vedic definition of Purusha and was no longer a person, cosmic man or entity. Instead, the concept flowered into a more complex abstraction.

Splendid and without a bodily form is this Purusha, without and within, unborn, without life breath and without mind, higher than the supreme element. From him are born life breath and mind. He is the soul of all beings.

— Munduka Upanishad, (Translated by Klaus Klostermair)
Both Samkhya[b] and Yoga schools of Hinduism state that there are two ultimate realities whose interaction accounts for all experiences and universe – Prakrti (matter) and Purusha (spirit). In other words, the universe is envisioned as a combination of perceivable material reality and non-perceivable, non-material laws and principles of nature. Material reality, or Prakrti, is everything that has changed, can change and is subject to cause and effect. Universal principle, or Purusha, is that which is unchanging (aksara) and is uncaused. The animating causes, fields and principles of nature is Purusha in Hindu philosophy. Hinduism refers to Purusha as the soul of the universe, the universal spirit present everywhere, in everything and everyone, all the times. Purusha is Universal Principle that is eternal, indestructible, without form and all pervasive. It is Purusha in the form of nature’s laws and principles that operate in the background to regulate, guide and direct change, evolution, cause and effect. It is Purusha, in Hindu concept of existence, that breathes life into matter, is the source of all consciousness, one that creates oneness in all life forms, in all of humanity, and the essence of Self. It is Purusha, according to Hinduism, why the universe operates, is dynamic and evolves, as against being static.

Both Samkhya and Yoga school holds that the path to moksha (release, Self-realization) includes the realization of Purusha.


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Rigvedic (Hindu): Aditi

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In the Vedas, Aditi (Sanskrit: अदिति = “limitless” or “boundless”) is mother of the gods, specially Sun (devamata) and all twelve zodiacal spirits from whose cosmic matrix, the heavenly bodies were born. As celestial mother of every existing form and being, the synthesis of all things, she is associated with space (akasa) and with mystic speech (Vāc). She may be seen as a feminized form of Brahma and associated with the primal substance (mulaprakriti) in Vedanta. She is mentioned nearly 80 times in the Rigveda: the verse “Daksha sprang from Aditi and Aditi from Daksha” is seen by Theosophists as a reference to “the eternal cyclic re-birth of the same divine Essence” and divine wisdom.

Husband
Aditi is a daughter of Daksha and Panchajani. The Puranas, such as the Shiva Purana and the Bhagavata Purana, suggest that Aditi is wife of Rishi Kashyapa and gave birth to the Adityas such as Indra, Surya, and also Vamana.

Origin
The name is mentioned in Vedas as the mother of Surya (Sun) and other celestial bodies or gods, Âdityas (“sons of Aditi”). The first mention of Aditi is found in Rigveda, which is estimated to have been composed roughly during 1700-1100 BC.


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Rigvedic (Hindu): Bhaga

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Sanskrit bhaga (IAST: bhaga) is a term for “lord, patron”, but also for “wealth, prosperity”. The cognate term in Avestan and Old Persian is baga, of uncertain meaning but used in a sense in which “lord, patron, sharer/distributor of good fortune” might also apply. The cognate in Slavic languages is the root bogъ. The semantics is similar to English lord (from hlaford “bread-warden”), the idea being that it is part of the function of a chieftain or leader to distribute riches or spoils among his followers. The name of the city of Baghdad derives from Middle Persian baga-data, “lord-given”.

In the Sanskrit Rigveda, bhaga is an epithet of both mortals and gods (e.g. of Savitr, Indra and Agni) who bestow wealth and prosperity, as well as the personification of a particular god, the Bhaga, who bestows the same. In the Rigveda, the personification is attested primarily in RV 7.41, which is devoted to the praise of the Bhaga and of the deities closest to him, and in which the Bhaga is invoked about 60 times, together with Agni, Indra, the dual Mitra-Varuna, the two Ashvins, Pusan, Brahmanaspati, Soma and Rudra.

The Bhaga is also invoked elsewhere in the company of Indra, Varuna and Mitra (e.g. RV 10.35, 42.396). The personification is occasionally intentionally ambiguous, as in RV 5.46 where men are portrayed as requesting the Bhaga to share in bhaga. In the Rigveda, the Bhaga is occasionally associated with the sun: in RV 1.123, the Dawn (Ushas) is said to be the Bhaga’s sister, and in RV 1.136, the Bhaga’s eye is adorned with rays.

The 5th/6th-century BCE Nirukta (Nir. 12.13) describes Bhaga as the god of the morning. In the Rigveda, the Bhaga is named as one of the Adityas, the seven (or eight) celestial sons of Aditi, the Rigvedic mother of the gods. In the medieval Bhagavata Purana, the Bhaga reappears with the Puranic Adityas, which are by then twelve solar gods.

Elsewhere, the Bhaga continues as a god of wealth and marriage, in a role that is also attested for the Sogdian (Buddhist) equivalent of the Bhaga. In myths related to the figure, Virabhadra, a powerful hero created by Shiva, who once blinded him.

The common noun bhaga survives in the 2nd century inscription of Rudradaman I, where it is a fiscal term; in bhagavan for “one who possesses (-van) the properties of a bhaga-“, hence itself “lord, god”; and in bhagya, and “that which derives from bhaga”, hence “destiny” as an abstract noun, and also Bhagya personified as the proper name of a son of Surya.


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Rigvedic (Hindu): Atri

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Atri (Sanskrit: अत्रि) or Attri is a Vedic sage, who is credited with composing a large number of hymns to Agni, Indra and other Vedic deities of Hinduism. Atri is one of the Saptarishi (seven great Vedic sages) in the Hindu tradition, and the one most mentioned in its scripture Rigveda.

The fifth Mandala (Book 5) of Rigveda is called the Atri Mandala in his honour, and the eighty seven hymns in it are attributed to him and his descendants.

Atri is also mentioned in the Puranas and the Hindu Epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.


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Rigvedic (Hindu): Apam Napat

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Apam Napat is a deity in the Indo-Iranian pantheon associated with water. His names in the Vedas, Apām Napāt, and in Zoroastrianism, Apąm Napāt, mean “child of the waters” in Sanskrit and Avestan respectively. Napāt (“grandson”, “progeny”) is cognate with Latin nepos and English nephew.[note In the Rig Veda, he is described as the creator of all things.

In the Vedas it is often apparent that “Apām Napāt” is being used as a title, not a proper name. This is most commonly applied to Agni, god of fire, and occasionally to Savitr, god of the sun. A correspondence has also been posited by Mary Boyce between both the Vedic and Avestic traditions of Apam Napat, and Varuna, who is also addressed as “Child of the Waters”, and is considered a god of the sea. In the Iranian tradition, he is also called Burz (“high one,” Persian: برز‎)


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Rigvedic (Hindu): Ghrta

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Rigvedic (Hindu): Ghrta

Ghee (Sanskrit: Ghṛta), is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India. It is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine, cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asian cuisine, traditional medicine, and religious rituals.

Description
Ghee is typically prepared by simmering butter, which is churned from cream (traditionally made by churning dahi), skimming any impurities from the surface, then pouring and retaining the clear liquid fat while discarding the solid residue that has settled to the bottom. Spices can be added for flavor. The texture, color and taste of ghee depends on the quality of the butter, the milk source used in the process and the duration of time spent boiling.


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