Consider the following mantra from Rig Veda

Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah

In which context it has been told and what is the exact meaning and interpretation for it?


1 Answer 1


The Mantra you quoted in the question is from Rig-Veda Samhita 1.89.1 - Rishi of this Sukta is Gautama and the deity is Vishvadevas. This Mantra is also found in Vajaseniya Samhita 25.14. This sukta is called Shantipath sukta or Swastimantra. where Swasti means a blessing seeking the well-being of people. These mantras are used to invite peace and Well-being or drive away negative and destructive forces.

आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वत्व् अदब्धासो अपरीतास उद्भिदः |
देवा नो यथा सदमिद्वृधे असन्न-प्रायुवो रक्षितारो दिवे-दिवे || 1.89.1 ||

ā no bhadrāḥ kratavo kṣyantu viśvato adabdhāso aparītāsa udbhidaḥ |
devā no yathā sadamid vṛdhe asanaprāyuvo rakṣitāro dive-dive || 1 ||

May auspicious works, unmolested, unimpeded, and subversive (of foes), come to us from every quarter. May the Gods, turning not away from us, but granting us protection day by day, be ever with us , for our advancement. - H.H. Wilson.

May noble thoughts come to us from every side, unchanged, unhindered, undefeated in every way; May the gods always be with us for our gain and our protectors caring for us, ceaseless, every day. - Alternate Translation

Shripad Damodar Satavalekar is also using the words karmas (works) in his Hindi translation and commentary of this Rig-Veda mantra - Rig Veda Subodh Bhashya.

#Context of the Mantra

According to scholars, this mantra shows the willingness of Vedic people and culture to receive noble and worthy ideas/thoughts/works from all the quarters i.e. from all the parts of the universe. That means including all the lokas also like dyu Loka etc. which are beyond earth. But it is said that let us not accept those noble works/thoughts/works under pressure from something. That means we should accept those willing fully. And let the men proceed and achieve their goal, development with those.

This mantra is important in sociological context as explained by the author By M. Ram Murty in his book Indian Philosophy: An Introduction. He is explaining the context as follows

Another celebrated hymn occurs in the first book: Ano Bhadra Kratavo yantu visvatah (Let noble thoughts come from all directions) (Rig Veda 1.89.1 ). This verse emphasises the complementarity of human knowledge. It highlights the need to learn from all the directions because knowledge is not the monopoly of any single individual or nation or race . The pursuit and expansion of knowledge in the widest sense of the word is a collective human endeavour.

So in summary this mantra crosses all the boundaries of religion and appreciates and accepts good /auspicious/ and dharmik ideas and works, which are beneficial for society from other parts of the world/universe. This is also a symbolism of tolerant religion, which do not hate, ban thoughts, thought processes, rituals, customs, and beliefs from other cultures as well. Because Vedic Dharma is Sanatana and the core teaching of Vedic religion is Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma. So respecting all the good works from all directions i.e. religions present in other parts from all the directions.

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