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Vak Sukta – What Is Vak Suktam?

Vak Sukta, or Vaksuktam, is a hymn from the tenth mandala of Rig Veda Samhita. Vak Suktam is a mystic and philosophical hymn consisting of eight mantras. According to the Sarvanukramani of Katyayana, its rishi (seer) is Vagambhrini. Sayana explains her as a woman-seer, Vak, daughter of the Rishi Ambhrana. She appears as the speaker in the hymn and describes herself. The deity of the sukta is said to be Paramatma, who is Absolute Existence, Absolute Knowledge, Absolute Bliss and All-Pervading. Here Vak, experiencing her assimilation with Him, praises herself as the lord of all and sustainer o the whole universe. Owing to the identification of Vak with the Supreme Spirit, this hymn is generally known as Vak Sukta or Vaksuktam. R.T.H. Griffith remarks, ‘Vak is speech personified, the word, the first creation and representative of spirit and the means of communication between men and gods.’

In Rig Veda, vak is not just speech. It connotes also a roar, thunder, noise, song, praise, understanding, and knowledge. All these are personified as a devi (Goddess) who takes the primacy of place, even amongst the devas, as the rasitri (imperia queen) of them all.

In Vak Sukta, she proclaims her functions and activities as the Supreme Power –

I walk with the Rudras, the Vasus, the Adityas and all the host of gods. I support Mitra and Varuna, Agni and Indra are the two Ashwins, I bear up the soma stream. I am the sovereign queen, the collectress of treasures, I am the first to know the holy ones. Therefore, the gods have placed me at many places, making me enter and dwell everywhere… I breathe forth like the wind, giving form to all created worlds; beyond the heaven, beyond this earth (am I), so vast am I in greatness.