Rigved Verse 1.133 mentions this curious story:

  1. WITH sacrifice I purge both earth and heaven: I burn up great she-fiends who serve not Indra, Where throttled by thy hand the foes were slaughtered, and in the pit of death lay pierced and mangled.

  2. O thou who castest forth the stones crushing the sorceresses’ heads, Break them with thy wide-spreading foot, with thy wide-spreading mighty foot.

  3. Do thou, O Maghavan, beat off these sorceresses' daring strength. Cast them within the narrow pit. within the deep and narrow pit.

My question is who were these she-fiends or sorceresses? Is this event mentioned in any other scripture in detail?

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    How's mythology a relevant tag here ? – Rickross Aug 22 '17 at 6:01
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    Why? How is it irrelevant? – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Aug 22 '17 at 7:48
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    Well I don't agree with this unreasonable hatred for the word 'mythology'. Every single thing mentioned in the scriptures can not be classified as history or real. Vedas especially are full of poetic license and vivid imagery. It is perfectly plausible that the event mentioned in this verse is an allegory or metaphor and hence a myth so it should be classified as mythology. Unless we have an answer it is pointless to argue whether the word fits or not. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Aug 23 '17 at 5:47
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    Oh Ok you seem to be among those who think that our Scriptures (including even the Vedas) are describing myths. – Rickross Aug 23 '17 at 6:10
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    Lol I don't have to justify what I believe or not to anybody. Any rational person would realize that the scriptures include a mix of history and fiction both. Over and out. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Aug 23 '17 at 6:37

Let me explain first about the concept of myth from Hindu perspective, which is the subject matter of heated, but lively debate between two commenters above (Rickross and Dr.Vinit Aggarwal). In the West the concept of myth emerged in the context of the stories about their gods whose origin they don't know even now. That's why their myth contains the element of fiction. With this perspective, mordern historians, particularly marxists view our scriptures including RigVeda as a collection of myths: our great historical river Sarasvati was for them a mythical river until science proved otherwise. Our concept of myth or storey telling emerged and continued as a need to preserve our history, names and deeds of our great ancestors- gods, sages and kings. Our ancestors were so conscious of preserving history that they placed the names of great ancestors on natural objects like stars etc and natural phenomena most poetically expressed in term " Indra dhanush". But we can not be misled by later interpretation that Indra was an extra-territorial god as Rigveda tells us explicitly that he was our ancestor and existed on this earth in flesh and bones once upon a time. Similarly Rama, Krishna, Arjuna and all others are our ancestors of later age, not because of the religious fervour given to them by later Hinduism, but because they were kings of the clans continuing from RigVedic period of ancient Hinduism. We shouldn't judge or perceive ancient Hinduism from the parameter set by later Hinduism. For example Indra/Vishnu should not be judged by what is written about them in Purana or other scriptures .Only then we will be able to see that the story of Greek god Zeus the thunder bolt bearer is a myth of our historical figure Indra the Vajra holder. Thus our concept of myth is a story of history looking like a fiction. Now examine the myth of witches in RV.1.133 (1-7)

  • Good to see you active.mr Bhaskar – Rakesh Joshi Oct 30 '17 at 1:45
  • @Rakesh Joshi Thanks for appreciation but better it would be if explained the goodness. – B.N. Bhaskar Oct 30 '17 at 8:46
  • When we say or refer to Puranas by word instead of mythology we restore some respect to such ancient sources. In English myth denotes a lie perpetrated from very earlier times. – Narasimham Oct 30 '17 at 9:14
  • @Narasimham we must respect the works of our ancestors but we should not blind ourselves with religious dogmas infused by rival sects of Hinduism. Take the case of Hanuman - for modern historian it is outrightly a case of myth(fiction), from the Vaishnavite point view he is an avatara of Shiva subjugated to the avatara of Vishnu but from historical myth perspective of ancient Hinduism he is Marutinandan, a great leader of Marud gana presented in the animal form in the story. Every religion tends to create history from it's own perspective. – B.N. Bhaskar Oct 30 '17 at 10:36
  • I agree fully. So by using the word Purana, we could banish revisionist arbitrary interpretations. – Narasimham Oct 31 '17 at 14:56

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