While reading the Sama Veda I came across a hymn to Agni which states something interesting:

  1. Agni, thy faithful servant I call upon thee with many a gift, As in the keeping of the great inciting God.

  2. To Agni, to the Hotar-priest offer your best, your lofty speech, To him ordainer-like who bears the light of songs.

  3. O Agni, thou who art the lord of wealth in kine, thou Son of Strength, Bestow on us, O Jatavedas, high renown

  4. Most skilled in sacrifice, bring the Gods, O Agni, to the pious, man: A joyful Priest, thy splendour drives our foes afar

  5. Taught by seven mothers at his birth was he, for glory of the wise. He, firm and sure, hath set his mind on glorious wealth

Book 2 Chapter 1 Decade 1

Who are these seven mothers referred to in this verse?

1 Answer 1


Seven mothers of Agni are named in Mahabharata III.217.9

Kaki, Halima, Rudra, Vrhali,Arya, Palala and Mitra

The Indian Theogony: A Comparative Study of Indian Mythology from the Vedas to the Puranas - Sukumari Bhattacharji 1970

Seven mothers are also referenced in Angiras (Rshi with an associated lineage with Agni) apri in the Rig Veda 1.141.02

This could also be a reference to the Sapta Matrika concept

According to Jagdish Narain Tiwari and Dilip Chakravati, the Matrikas were existent as early as the Vedic period and the Indus Valley civilization. Seals with rows of seven feminine deities or priestesses are cited as evidence for the theory. The Rigveda (IX 102.4) speaks of a group of seven Mothers who control the preparation of Soma, but the earliest clear description appears in select chapters of the epic Mahabharata dated to 1st century AD. Wangu (no reference to the author) believes that Matrika description in Mahabharata is rooted in the group of seven females depicted on Indus valley seals. It was assumed that the people locally worshipped these goddesses, such an example is also described in Zimmer Heinrich book The Art Of Indian Asia, about the seven shrines of seven Mother Goddesses worshipped locally

My reason for linking the Vedic references to the Sapta Matrikas are pretty much along the reasoning lines presented here

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    What is guarantee that it's only sapta matrika and not others? As of now it's only speculation. Oct 13, 2018 at 15:03
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    I haven't found any other references to groups of seven female deities. Further, given that the Sama Veda was written around the time that the Aryan migration south was in progress, the reference could be part of the general practice of assimilating Dravidian deities into the Vedic pantheon. Do you have an alternate candidate? Oct 13, 2018 at 15:55
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    For the record I don't believe in the imaginary timelines of supposed Aryan migration. But +1 for hazarding a guess. You're right there is hardly any other group of seven goddesses mentioned but unless there is a clear connection of them with Agni it would be considered just speculation. Thanks for trying though :) Oct 13, 2018 at 16:47
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    Also, the verse mentioned in your link appears almost exactly here - meluhha.com/rv/… Oct 13, 2018 at 17:47
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    @ArjunVenkatraman Yes the verses are very similar but the reference you shared from the book even though it says Agni is born of seven mothers the actual text is talking about the daughters of Fire-god who were blessed by Skanda, at least that's what the English translation says. Maybe the author got it wrong! Oct 15, 2018 at 5:44

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