Rig Veda VI.61 describes elimination of Paravatas and Bṛsaya by Saraswati.

2 She with her might, like one who digs for lotus-stems, hath burst with her strong waves the ridges of the hills. Let us invite with songs and holy hymns for help Sarasvatī who slayeth the Paravatas.

3 Thou castest down, Sarasvatī, those who scorned the Gods, the brood of every Bṛsaya skilled in magic arts. Thou hast discovered rivers for the tribes of men, and, rich in wealth! made poison flow away from them.

Who were Paravatas (पारावत) and Bṛsaya (बर्सय) mentioned in the mantras mentioned above?

Was this Rig Vedic episode, a source for composing Devi Mahatmya or Durga Saptasathi?

1 Answer 1


Rig-Veda. 6. 61 is the Sukta which is devoted to Sarasvati. In this sukta she is praised as Goddess and adored as river. The sanskrit mantras and H.H.Wilson translation is as follows. The Translation of H.H. Wilson is based on commentary of Sayana.

इयं शुष्मेभिर्बिसखाइवारुजत्सानु गिरीणां तविषेभिरूर्मिभिः ।
पारावतघ्नीमवसे सुवृक्तिभिः सरस्वतीमा विवासेम धीतिभिः ॥ RV.6.61.2 ॥
सरस्वति देवनिदो नि बर्हय प्रजां विश्वस्य बृसयस्य मायिनः ।
उत क्षितिभ्योऽवनीरविन्दो विषमेभ्यो अस्रवो वाजिनीवति ॥ R.V. 6.61.3 ॥

2 With impetuous and mighty waves , she breaks down precipices of the mountains , like a digger for the lotus fibres. We adore for our protection , with praises and with sacred rites , Saraswati the underminer of both the banks.
3 Destroy , Saraswati , the rivilers of the gods , the offspring of universal deluder , Vrisaya : giver of sustenance , thou hast acquired for men the land (Seized by asuras) , and hast showered water upon them

In the Comment section of this sukta H.H. wilson is also providing the commentary based on Sayana Bhashya . So according to Sayana this Brasaya (बर्सय) is another name of Tvashtri the father of Vritrasura. below is the excerpt from the commentary.

Vrisaya is a name of Tvashtri , whose son was Vritra : in Sayana's introduction to the Black , or Taitariya Yajush ,a curious legend is related.

So it is clear that Brasaya (बर्सय) = A Rig Vedic god Tvashtri.

Now coming to explanation Paravatas (पारावत) , it looks like the word is used in Rig-Veda in various contextes. There are various way in which the word paravata can be interpreted in a given sukta e.g. far away or distant places , name of the tribe living on the Banks of Saraswati , a mountain etc.

But if we look at all other translations like AWGP and Stavlekar and H.H. Wilson we find that they all three has interpreted this Paravatas as a mighty , forceful or rapid. So here in this particular sukta the word Paravatas is used not as a tribe but to denote the nature of the current of River Saraswati , which is mighty , forceful or rapid according to scholors. This word Paravata is also used in another context in Rig Veda 5.52.11 as a distant or far away or remote place. But no one seems to says that the word means a RiG Vedic tribe here.

Conclusion -

  • So Brasaya is another name of vedic god Tvastar or Tvashtri.
  • And the word Paravata in this perticular sukta denotes the nature of the waves , currents , rapids of river saraswati.
  • I can understand change in the names or words, viz, from Va to Ba, due to change of place. For example Ravindranath will be known as Rabindranath in Eastern parts of India. However, in the Case of Rig Veda, can we still say Bṛsaya indicates Vrisaya?@SwiftPushkar Sep 26, 2019 at 10:12
  • Yes surely we can cause the sukta is same. Sep 26, 2019 at 10:16
  • If it is Vritra, I can understand, if we Consider Saraswati as an epithet for flow of knowledge. However, Tvashtri was not killed by Indra. Indra Killed Vritra. Here, the mantra speaks about elimination of Bṛsaya by Saraswati @SwiftPushkar Sep 26, 2019 at 10:22
  • That is translation given by Griffith only and none others are saying so. And i am concluding based on commentary given by H.H. Wilson. Sep 26, 2019 at 10:28
  • I have also taken help of some other discreet translations ,i will post those in comment section later on. Sep 26, 2019 at 10:29

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