wether dasas were monsters or they were evil of a man in vedas specially rig-veda.

Some verses may show them living beings

अकर्मा दस्युरभि नो अमन्तुरन्यव्रतो अमानुषः । त्वं तस्यामित्रहन्वध र्दास स्य दम्भय ॥८॥

The Dasyu practising no religious rites, not knowing us thoroughly, following other observances, obeying no human laws, Baffle, destroyer of enemies [Indra], the weapon of that Dasa .

– Translated by H. H. Wilson

— Rigveda 10.22.8

while some as demons

स इ द्दासं तुवीरवं पतिर्दन्षळक्षं त्रिशीर्षाणं दमन्यत् । अस्य त्रितो न्वोजसा वृधानो विपा वराहमयोअग्रया हन् ॥ ६॥

The sovereign Indra attacking him overcame the loud shouting, six eyed, three headed Dasa , Trita invigorated by his strength, smote the cloud with his iron-tipped finger.

— Rigveda 10.99.6, translated by H. H. Wilson

some describe it as evil of a man

4 Agni shone bright when born, with light killing the Dasyus and the dark: He found the Kine, the Floods, the Sun.

—Rigveda 5.14.4

Dasa is also used in Vedic literature, in some contexts, to refer to "servants", a few translate this as "slaves", but the verses do not describe how the Vedic society treats or mistreats the servants.


So my question is whether the title dasa in rigveda is multiused or is it evil of a man. please use only vedic verses to explain.(Try to eleborate more about them)

  • That wikipedia article may have errors. The meaning of 'Dasyu' is a thief/bandit/rogue and I have not seen it being used in any another context with a meaning of servant. It is not really related grammatically or otherwise to 'Daasa'. Dec 1, 2017 at 23:51
  • @ user1952500 they are rigvedic hymns which are written above last i coppied from rigveda itself. so have a look in rigveda and i don't think so please provide some hymns in which dasa and dasys are said to be theives in rigveda .( They may be not servents) Dec 2, 2017 at 11:42
  • I meant: dasyu = thief; daasa = servant. There is no relationship between the two words. The hymns are talking about servants of thieves etc. But that does not make all daasas bad. Dec 2, 2017 at 18:34
  • @ user1952500 ok now i get you and B.N bhaskar has given great answer. Dec 3, 2017 at 6:38
  • @ user1952500 then also bro can you give several verses calling dasyus as 'theives' that would be more good and exactly what i want. Dec 3, 2017 at 6:42

1 Answer 1


First of all the terms 'dasyu' and 'dasa' should be held separately. There is no confusion for the meaning of 'dasyu' as it means thief/robber/bandit. The term 'dasa' is made controversial by modern historians who held that 'dasa' are separate category of people as opposed to 'aryan'. Their understanding is based on selective reading of RigVeda.

In fact, the meaning of the term 'dasa' is devotee/follower which is most appropriate in RigVedic uses because it used for people who are with Devas as well. Look at RV.7.86(7)aran daso na Midhhuso meaning thereby Midhhus are dasa of aryan. In other verses it is said that Devas happily move round in their chariot along with dasa(devotee) -shyam rathyah sadasa(ref RV.5.56.4 and also RV.4.17.21). This meaning is also confirmed by the personal names of RigVedic kings like 'Divodasa' and 'Sudasa'. This trend of keeping a suffix of 'dasa' in the name among Hindus still continues to a major extant.

While referring to the followers of wrong doers or demons the term 'dasa' is sometimes qualified as well as in the case of demon Namuchi who is said to be dasa of Makh in RV.10.73.7-tvam jaghnath Namuchi Makhsyum dasam

Thus the term 'dasa' is neutral in RigVeda and to interpret it as negative only is fundamentally wrong.

  • but what about Rigveda 10.22.8 and Rigveda 5.14.4? they are in 10.22.8 as evil persnalities and in 5.14.4 as evilness. so may they are been using multipurposely? Dec 2, 2017 at 13:18
  • what I mean to say is that the term 'dasa' is itself neutral. evil or good depends whose dasa we are referring to. Dec 2, 2017 at 14:32
  • @ B.N. Bhaskar now i get, i was totally not understanding what you were explaining and that totally i asked in my question you should give it in your answer i think. ;) Dec 2, 2017 at 17:52
  • according to you " terms 'dasyu' and 'dasa' should be held separately. " so who are 'dasyu' then. Dec 2, 2017 at 17:57

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