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Why Narmada River is known as Surasa? - Does The Name Connect River With Vedas?

Surasa is one among the numerous names of Narmada River. This holy river in Hinduism is known as Surasa because her waters destroy sin and pollution. Rasa means water.

Legend has it that once the sweat of Lord Shiva started gathering in a pond and it flowed down to earth to form Narmada River.

Another story says that River Narmada and River Sone were created from two teardrops of Lord Brahma, which fell on earth.

Surasa Name Of Narmada Connects It With Rig Veda

There is no direct reference to Narmada River in Rig Veda.

As per Rig Veda, the Rasa is a river where the Panis, the enemies of Indra reside (Rig Veda X.108.1-2). Panis take away the wealth of Indra and the Devas have to cross the river to gain back the wealth.

There is an association of the Rasa with the Narmada River. The river is associated with some of the oldest Vedic kings. According to Vishnu Purana, Narmada married King Purukutsa, who defeated her enemies across the region of Rasatala. She had a son by him called Trasadasyu. Purukutsa and Trasadasyu are two kings mentioned in the Rig Veda.

Trasadasyu is the only Vedic king who has a hymn to himself (Rig Veda IV.42.8). The Vishnu Purana (II.3.10) also mentions a Surasa River. This may suggest that Narmada itself was called the Rasa River. This also concludes that the Aryans lived in central India too.