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Goddess Ambika is considered the wife of Lord Shiva but here Yajurveda calls Devi Ambika the sister of Lord Shiva:

एष ते रुद्र भाग: सह स्वस्त्राम्बिकया तं जुषस्व स्वाहैष ते रुद्र भाग S आखुस्ते पशु:।।57।।

Rudra, this is thine allotted portion. With Ambika thy sister kindly take it. This, Rudra, is thy share, the rat thy victim. (Shukla Yajurveda 3.57)

So why in this verse Devi Ambika is called sister of Lord Shiva?

Is the translation of this verse correct?

  • I don't have Sanskrit text of shuka yajurveda if someone has the original sanskrit text he can edit the question and post it. – Karmanya Nanda Nov 19 '17 at 10:29
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    Added Sanskrit Shloka. In Shatapatha Brahmana 2.6.2.9 also mentioned so. But it didn't provide the answer.Will try to search. – SwiftPushkar Nov 19 '17 at 12:27
  • Here is the link of Shatapatha Brahmana -wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/satapatha-brahmana-english/d/… – SwiftPushkar Nov 19 '17 at 12:30
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    Ok but still question is interesting. :) – SwiftPushkar Nov 19 '17 at 13:49
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    @KarmanyaNanda The whole sentence word by word is wrong. as जुषस्व means to enjoy or to like (food/drink) which was translated as kindly take it. Also आखुस्ते पशु: is not rat your victim instead rat your mount – user12262 Nov 19 '17 at 14:16
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To answer the question we must remember that:

First it is Vedic Language which is older than sanskrit. The word संस्कृत comes from संस्कार of the Vedic language made by Panini. So understanding the meaning of the words is next to impossible.

Second, in Sanskrit, स्वसा means sister and there seems to be no word like स्वस्त्रा.However स्वः ((heaven) + त्रा (traanakarini or protector(female)) can be conjoined to सवस्त्रा, which can mean the Mother Goddess.

Third, स्वस्त्रिया in sanskrit will mean 'with own wife'. As the language of the mantra is not sanskrit, it is difficult to say whether its a spelling mistake or not.

By the way according to Tantra, all male are Purusha's form and all females are Prakiti's or Shakti's form. So all relations like sister, wife, Mother etc are included in Shakti.

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One of my friends is a scholar in Vedas. He gave the following explanation.


Yajurvedic Rudra is totally different from Shiva.

He's the destructive form of Indra Marutvā. When Indra is prayed to send his ūti (help) Rudra is prayed to avoid his heti (missile of affliction).

When Maruts turn destructive (instead of their constructive aggression) they become Rudras.

Since Rudra robs and nibbles off everything, rat becomes his symbol.

Ambikā becomes the sister with complimentary role (of creation and motherly affection) of Rudra who is invoked with Rudra to make him auspicious. It's euphemistic, much like Rudra being called Shiva.

Ambikā means mother. Like Rudra, she's the name of a Divine concept.

There are no individual gods and goddesses in Vedas, there are concepts through which we perceive the Divinity.

  • I dont usually agree that yajurvedic Rudra is diffearent from Shiva .Maruts are sons of Rudra(shiva) and subordinates of Indra In yajurveda Rudra is called shiva many times and mahabharata and ramayana frequently talked about 3 vedas and sages and even ramayana and mahabharata had vedic dieties only and in itihasas many time Lord Indra is also mentioned Supreme.My point is that if vedas meant something else or if the dieties were diffearent then they would have pointed this I see mahabharata and ramayana in same line where vedas is.Puranas can be still considered diffearent. – Karmanya Nanda Jun 8 at 11:11
  • You can see this answer hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/14208/11510 as well as this hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/22294/11510 – Karmanya Nanda Jun 8 at 11:13
  • @KarmanyaNanda: The issue involved is highly debatable. Interpretation matters. As far as I am concerned, Purusha Suktam itself an interpolated one.(hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/35160/3869). What was the idea of the saints of that Yajurvedic era is highly susceptible to interpretation. :-) – srimannarayana k v Jun 8 at 11:58

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