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Valakhilya Hymns In Rig Veda

Valakhilya or Balakhilya are a group of eleven suktas or hymns occurring in the eight mandala of Rig Veda. Valakhilya suktas contain eighty verses or riks.

In Balakhilya,the sukta containing the largest number of riks finds, first place, and suktas with lesser number of riks follow. The only exception is the eleventh sukta, which has seven mantras. It should have been placed earlier.

In arranging these suktas, the order of deities, too, seems to have been taken into consideration. Since there is no sukta in praise of Agni, the suktas in praise of Indra are placed first, then those addressed to other deities. Thus, suktas one to six belong to the Indra group; suktas seven and eight are called Danastuti, and are without reference to any deity; deity of the ninth hymn is Ashwin, and that of the tenth is Vishwadeva. Deities of the ninth and tenth suktas have not been mentioned by the author of Brihad Devata. This fact suggests that these hymns were not a part of Valakhilya at that time. In the eleventh hymn Indra and Varuna are praised.

Valakhilya is neither a deity nor a seer of these hymns. According to Taittiriya Aranyaka (I.23). Valakhilyas are a group of rishis born from Prajapati. It is stated that Prajapati performed a practice of austerities, and, at the end of it, shook his body. From the flesh of his body, a group of rishis called Valarasaa, who had no visible form, came out; from his nails came out another group of rishis called Vaikhanasa; and from this hair came out still another group called Valakhilya. From Taittiriya Aranyaka, it appears that Valakhilyas are a group of rishis. But we do not find any reference to Valakhilya rishis in Valakhilya suktas.