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Nadistuti – Rig Veda Hymn In Praise Of Rivers

"Nadistuti" is a hymn found in the Rig Veda Samhita (10.75.1-9) that celebrates and praises the rivers, particularly focusing on prominent rivers of ancient times such as the Sindhu (Indus) and Saraswati. This hymn consists of nine mantras or verses.

The first mantra extols all the waters of the seven rivers, symbolizing a reverence for all sources of water. It reflects the recognition of the vital role that water plays in sustaining life and prosperity.

The following three mantras are dedicated to the river Sindhu and its tributaries. They depict these tributaries as approaching the Sindhu with the affection of children towards their mother or calves towards their mother-cow. This imagery highlights the nurturing and protective aspect of the Sindhu River, which sustains life along its banks and provides fertility to the land.

The fifth mantra holds particular significance as it enumerates ten prominent rivers of that era. These rivers include well-known ones like the Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Shutudri, Parushni, Marudvridha, Arjikiya, Asikni, Vitasta, and Sushoma. This enumeration underscores the geographical and cultural significance of these rivers in ancient Indian society.

The remaining four mantras continue to praise the Sindhu River, not only as a life-sustaining water body but also as a divine entity or goddess. This reflects the spiritual and mythological significance attributed to rivers in ancient Vedic thought, where they were often revered as manifestations of deities or divine forces.

Overall, the Nadistuti hymn encapsulates the reverence and importance accorded to rivers in ancient Indian civilization, portraying them as both physical and metaphysical entities essential for sustenance, fertility, and spiritual well-being.