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While reading the Atharva Veda I came across this interesting hymn to Indra that mentions:

He who discovered in the fortieth autumn Sambara dwelling in the midst of mountains: Who slew the Dragon putting forth his vigour, the demon lying there, He, men, is Indra.

I want to understand what the number forty refers to here. Is it the age of Indra at the time of the encounter with the dragon? DO any scriptures mention the age of Indra at the time of this encounter?

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    In Rig-Veda its said that Indra do not age by time. - 7 That Indra whom nor months nor autumn seasons wither with age, nor fleeting days enfeeble,— Still may his body Wax, e’en now so mighty, glorified by the lauds and hymns that praise him.- sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv06024.htm , also there is one mantra that rishi's made him strong to fight Vritra after 9 months of yajna or anusthana. – SwiftPushkar Aug 14 '18 at 7:50
  • Even probably just after birth. – SwiftPushkar Aug 14 '18 at 8:07
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    May be it was 40 years (either human or deva) before birth of Indra that Vritra prevented the rivers from flowing.This is speculation though , lets see if we find something. Will look into some other english commentaries of Atharva-Veda. – SwiftPushkar Aug 14 '18 at 8:25
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    This mantra says that Aditi nourished indra in her womb for 1000 months. But we generally calculate the age after the time of birth , can't say about devas. Also here the word "Sahasra" is having multiple meanings , either "1000 or many many " etc. "4 What strange act shall he do, he whom his Mother bore for a thousand months and many autumns? No peer hath he among those born already, nor among those who shall be born hereafter." - sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv04018.htm – SwiftPushkar Aug 14 '18 at 9:59
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    Hmmm I wish the Vedic seers were a little less cryptic would have made life so much more easier for us students :D – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Aug 14 '18 at 18:47

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