Vedic influence on the Sun-worship in the Puranas

by Goswami Mitali | 2018 | 68,171 words

This page relates ‘Symbolic relevance of the Goat in Sun-worship’ of the study on the Vedic influence of Sun-worship in the Puranas, conducted by Goswami Mitali in 2018. The tradition of observing Agnihotra sacrifice and the Sandhya, etc., is frequently observed among the Hindus. Another important innovation of the Sun-worship in the Puranas is the installation of the images of the Sun in the temples.—This section belongs to the series “Salient Traits of the Solar Divinities in the Veda”.

Part 36 - Symbolic relevance of the Goat in Sun-worship

The goat is another symbol of the Sun-god. The pastoral deity Pūṣan is closely associated with the goat,[1] that achieves the divinity in the form of the Aja Ekapāt, the one-footed goat.[2] The Aja Ekapāt is regarded as the Sun-god by Durgācārya in the Nirukta.

Commenting on the relevant passage, he states,

ʹaja ekapātʹ iti vaktavyam/ sa punarayamādityo nityam ʹajanoʹ gamanaḥ/ ʹekaḥʹ ca ʹpādo brahmaṇaḥ/ vijñāyate hi ʹagniḥ pādo vāyuḥ pāda ādityaḥ pādo diśaḥ pādaḥʹ (Chā. Upa. 3/18/2)/

ʹekena pādena pātīti vāʹ/ saevamidaṃ jagadekenāṃśenānupraviśya pāti rakṣati svāṣakāle prāṇātmanāʹnnaṃ pacan/ ajanaścetyaja ekapāt/ ‘ekena pādena pivatīti vā’/ ekenāṃśenodakaṃ sarvasmājjagataḥ pibatyajanaścetyaja ekapāt/ atha ʹvāʹ/ ajano gamanaḥekoʹsya pāda iti’ aja ekapāt/[3]

The Taittirīyabrāhmaṇa states him as having risen out in the sky pointing out the solar character of the deity.[4]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Vide, Macdonell, A.A., Op cit., p.35

[2]:

Ibid., p.73

[3]:

Durgācārya on Nirukta,12.28

[4]:

cf., … āntarikṣamaruhadagaṃ dyām/ taṃ sūryaṃ devamajamekapādam/ proṣṭhapadāso anuyanti

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