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Divine Horse In Rig Veda – Speed Of Wind And Ability To Fly

In the Rig Veda, one of the oldest and most revered texts in Hinduism, there are numerous hymns that praise a divine horse known for its extraordinary abilities. This horse is celebrated in four distinct hymns for its unmatched swiftness and capacity to fly. The descriptions highlight its incredible speed, likening it to the wind, and its aerial prowess, comparing it to a swooping eagle. This divine steed is not merely a mythical creature but is deeply symbolic, embodying various aspects of natural and spiritual phenomena.

Swift as the Wind

The Rig Veda portrays the divine horse as possessing remarkable speed, a quality that sets it apart from ordinary horses. The hymns describe it as being "swift as the wind," suggesting an ability to travel at incredible velocities. This comparison to the wind underscores its supernatural nature, emphasizing an almost ethereal speed that ordinary creatures cannot match.

Ability to Fly

In addition to its speed, the divine horse is depicted with the ability to fly. The hymns draw parallels between the horse's movements and those of a swooping eagle, suggesting a grace and power in its flight. This ability to traverse the skies further elevates the horse's status from a mere animal to a divine entity.

Warrior and Victor

The Rig Veda also extols the horse's prowess in battle. It is described as a formidable fighter, capable of taking on thousands and emerging victorious. This attribute adds a heroic dimension to its character, portraying it as a symbol of strength and valor.

The Gift of the Gods

The divine horse, referred to by the names Dadhikra and Dadhikravan, is said to have been given to the Purus by the gods Mitra and Varuna. Mitra and Varuna are significant deities in the Vedic pantheon, associated with the maintenance of cosmic order and the enforcement of moral laws. Their gifting of the horse to the Purus signifies a divine endorsement and a bestowal of favor upon this ancient tribe.

Association with Usha, the Dawn

Dadhikra is closely associated with Usha, the dawn goddess. Usha represents the arrival of light and the dispelling of darkness, symbolizing the transition from night to day. The divine horse’s connection with Usha enhances its symbolism, linking it to the concepts of renewal, enlightenment, and the spread of knowledge.

Symbolism and Deification

The divine horse Dadhikra is more than just a mythical creature; it embodies deeper symbolic meanings. It is often interpreted as a representation of knowledge or the morning sun, both of which dispel ignorance and bring enlightenment. The belief that this horse was a real entity that was later deified reflects a common practice in Vedic culture, where extraordinary beings and natural phenomena were elevated to divine status.

In summary, the divine horse in the Rig Veda is a multifaceted symbol of speed, power, and divine favor. Its depiction as a swift, flying, and victorious creature, along with its association with dawn and knowledge, underscores its importance in Vedic literature and its enduring legacy in Hindu mythology.