Ancient Indian Cosmogony: Essays Selected and Introduced by by Franciscus Bernardus Jacobus Kuiper

By Franciscus Bernardus Jacobus Kuiper

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6, XV. 2, Sht. Br. 13ff. girir vai vytro,Mairr. Sarich. IV. 1. T h i s has often been discussed. , Hubert et Maus,Lc sacrifice, p. 129, S. L& ,I'. La doctrine du sacrifce dans les brahtnanas, p. 168, n . 5. Baschardt, Vrtra, Det Rituelle daernondrab i den vediskc Sornakulf,pp. 113ff. 146),the parallelism is strongly marked here between makara as a demon of the u ~ ~ d e r w o r from ld wltich the sun rises in the morning, sinking into it again at night, and the cosmogonic Vp-tra figure. g. the Vedic myth of Indra, who steals the amrta of the Asuras from the mouth of S u p i .

I (Kuiperjdifferfroin Bosch (p. 149) in seeing in this only a doublingof the kumbha-moon motif (cf. p. 159,. 75: the golden wheel as representing the jar of the underworld). T o interpret the wheel as the sun, seems mythologically impossible to me. 39 A striking confirmation of this is found in Indonesian traditions (Bosch, p. 246). S. If. Agni's)fixed rules,grows (with thesejas with the twigs," (vayB iviinu roha~e)may perhaps be considered a literary expression of that notion, which Bosch was the first to recognize on the reliefs of Bharhut and Sanchi.

T h e mystery of Agni's birth is unquestionably the central motif of the Indo-Iranian mythology. As Agni in the shape of thosun ascenci5 the sky, the cosinos arises in its dualism of upperworld and uilderworld and with the cosmic tree as the centre and supporting pillar. Agni's ascension can be viewed either in a monistic way, as the ascension of the Sun horse (Dadhikrsan, L7ccaz~tSravas), o r in a ciualistic vision, the primordial hill in which Agni and Soma were hidden being split open from the outside (by Indra).

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