Rig Veda Book 10 Verse 146 is dedicated to the forest goddess called Aranyani:

1 GODDESS of wild and forest who seemest to vanish from the sight. How is it that thou seekest not the village? Art thou not afraid?

2 What time the grasshopper replies and swells the shrill cicala's voice, Seeming to sound with tinkling bells, the Lady of the Wood exults.

3 And, yonder, cattle seem to graze, what seems a dwelling-place appears: Or else at eve the Lady of the Forest seems to free the wains.

4 Here one is calling to his cow, another there hath felled a tree: At eve the dweller in the wood fancies that somebody hath screamed.

5 The Goddess never slays, unless some murderous enemy approach. Man eats of savoury fruit and then takes, even as he wills, his rest.

6 Now have I praised the Forest Queen, sweet-scented, redolent of balm, The Mother of all sylvan things, who tills not but hath stores of food.

The verses seem to be dedicated to the personification of the forest but since she happens to be one of the lesser known goddesses I want to know more about her. My question is - Is Aranyani mentioned more in detail in any other scripture and if so what is her story?

  • 3
    According to some Lord shiva's daughter Ashok Sundari is Aranyani but its a legend (no scriptural source) . The Aranyani is not discussed in later scriptures like Puranas etc.She is like forgotten goddess Devi Bhagavata is just mentioning the name Aranyani. Will need to dig deeper so see if something is present. :-) Jun 30 '18 at 6:07
  • 2
    Well, in ramayana Lord rama offers deer sacrifice to forest diety, and animal sacrifices are mostly done for Vedic gods and devis, so she might be the goddess unto whom sacrifice was meant, also there might be some information in aranyakas which have rituals for forest dwellers.
    – Anisha
    Jun 30 '18 at 15:46
  • @Anisha Oh really? Can you share the relevant verses please? Jul 1 '18 at 9:30
  • 1
    @Dr.VineetAggarwal valmikiramayan.net/ayodhya/sarga56/ayodhya_56_frame.htm the verses from 2-56-22 of ayodhya kanda it mention chaityas-vishvadevas- and forest dieties deities but no individual diety is mentioned.
    – Anisha
    Jul 1 '18 at 9:44
  • 1
    Thanks @Anisha yes its not clear which gods exactly except the Vishvedevas Jul 2 '18 at 6:27

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