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Rig Veda I.155 is dedicated to Indra/Vishnu. Rig Veda I.155.6 says as follows:

चतुर्भिः साकं नवतिं च नामभिश्चक्रं न वर्त्तं वयतीन्रवीविपत | बर्हच्छरीरो विमिमान रक्वभिर्युवाकुमारः परत्येत्याहवम ||

caturbhiḥ sākaṃ navatiṃ ca nāmabhiścakraṃ na vṛttaṃ vyatīnravīvipat | bṛhaccharīro vimimāna ṛkvabhiryuvākumāraḥ pratyetyāhavam ||

He, like a rounded wheel, hath in swift motion set his ninety racing steeds together with the four. Developed, vast in form, with those who sing forth praise, a youth, no more a child, he cometh to our call.

"With four times ninety names (caturbhiḥ sākaṃ navatiṃ ca nāmabhih), he (Vishnu/Indra) sets in motion moving forces like a turning wheel (cakra)."

This suggests that even in Vedic times Vishnu/Indra had 360 names or forms, one for each degree of the zodiac.

Further, it talks about a youth, who emerged on the call of the seers.

Can anyone furnish the details of those names and the youth in question? References from subsequent literature, ie, brAhmanas/Upanishads/EPICs, with references, to Veda will be accepted.

  • The mantra talks about 94 limbs of time (four with ninty) and not Four multiply by Ninty. Here in this mantra Vishnu as a sun is identified with time comprising ninty-four periods i.e. 1 samvatsara , (Year) 2 ayanas (solstices) , 5 Ritu (seasons) , 12 Masa (months) , 24 Paksha (half months) ,30 Din-ratri ( days) , 8 Yamas (watches) , 12 Rashi (zodiac signs). Surya is the name of the youth. – SwiftPushkar Nov 4 at 15:18
  • As expected, you alone responded. May be my question is wrong. Why don't you Post your answer@Swift Pushkar – srimannarayana k v Nov 4 at 15:31
  • Yes, I will try to post an answer. :- ) Your question is not wrong but the interpretation of - caturbhiḥ sākaṃ navatiṃ is not correct this way. And that is why a negative answer will be there. – SwiftPushkar Nov 4 at 15:32
  • Some people are arguing that there are actually six seasons in India. So the number goes to 95. Will need to search a bit on that before answering.BTW here is one similar question on [ Mantra 6](hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/2947/…) – SwiftPushkar Nov 4 at 16:12
  • Yes, I have seen it just now. That question was posted with Vishnu background. Further, no satisfactory reply was posted below the question @SwiftPushkar – srimannarayana k v Nov 4 at 16:37
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According to Gayatri Pariwar book written by Rama Sharma Acharya. The verse is referring to 94 components of Kala (time). So, it is 94 (4+90), not 360 (4*90).

You can read the Rigveda online at awgp.org. Here is page containing the mentioned verse: Rigveda 2.118

enter image description here

Which says Vishnu (in the form of Surya) rotates 94 components of time by his driving force/power. The 94 components of time are:

 1 Samvatsara (year)
+ 2 Ayanas (six months)
+ 5 Ritu (seasons)
+ 12 Months
+ 24 Paksha (fortnight)
+ 30 Days (including day-night)
+ 8 Yaam
+ 12 Mesha (12 Rashis, zodiac signs)
= 94 components of Kala (time)


If we try to look at Swami Dayananda Saraswati (Aryasamaja) 's interpretation, he interpreted this verse saying 94 soldiers. You can read in Hindi at here, or in English at here.


I have tried to locate the verse on Sayanacharya's commentary on Rigveda which can be considered the oldest authentic source available today, you can read it on Internet Archive jump to this page where the verse is located:

It is not translated into English yet. Based on my understanding of Sanskrit, I've underlined the content:

enter image description here

So, now it becomes more clear. He clearly explained caturnavatimisyarth i.e caturvanavatim (ninety-four) asya (that's) arth (meaning); etasaṅkhyākān (these number is of) kālāvayavān (components of the time) Also see the next underlined text which counts these 94 components of kala (samaya).

So, the firstly quoted translation by Srimrama Sharma Acharya of Gayatri Pariwar agrees with that of Sayanacharya's commentary.

  • Thanks for responding. I have upvoted your answer. However, your answer may require updation, in my view. (1) As far as I know, we have 6 seasons, but not 5. (2) According to this wiki article (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…), I am getting 281, instead of 94 0r 95. Please clarify. @Pandya – srimannarayana k v Nov 6 at 7:01
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I think there is more than mathematical astronomy as indicated by other members of this forum. The Mantras and Brahmanas provide a piece of intrinsic evidence to this effect!

According to my knowledge, it has a strong connection with Prajāpati.

I do not agree with the interpretation provided by Rama Sharma Acharya as he has failed to consider the apparent connection of this verse with Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa.

We should remind ourselves time and again that the primary purpose of Mantras and Brāhmaṇa is yajñá.

Certainly, anyone can arrive at a layered meaning employing his figments of imagination. Nevertheless, the primary purposes of Mantras and Brahmanas cannot be ignored during interpretation!

See for instance १.६.३.[३५] of Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (1.6.3.35 and ff. )

प्रजापतेर्ह वै प्रजाः ससृजानस्य । पर्वाणि विसस्रंसुः स वै संवत्सर एव प्रजापतिस्तस्यैतानि >पर्वाण्यहोरात्रयोः संधी पौर्णमासी चामावास्या चर्तुमुखानि - १.६.३.[३५]

After Prajāpati had created the living beings, his joints were relaxed. Prajāpati is the year (संवत्सर) and his joints are the two junctions of day and >night (पर्वाण्यहोरात्रयोः), the full moon and the new moon and the beginning of >seasons. He was unable to rise and the gods healed him by Havis and so on.

I understand that I have provided a partial answer or rather hints. However, it has a strong connection with Sayana's commentary and the original Rk.

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    Sorry. It is not my habit to down vote, yet I am forced to say your answer is not providing clue, even partially, to the questions raised by me. Please check.@user965167 – srimannarayana k v Nov 20 at 14:14
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I had posted the following translation in the question, with respect to Rig Veda I.155.6

"With four times ninety names (caturbhiḥ sākaṃ navatiṃ ca nāmabhih), he (Vishnu/Indra) sets in motion moving forces like a turning wheel (cakra)."

My Vedic Scholar friend confirmed the translation, with a supplement to it.

With four-times-ninety names, he has caused to set into motion the paired ones just like a wheel rolling. Of magnificent physical form (as Sun or formulator Sage), measuring with Rk (poetic verses/light) the young on,e who is beyond the stage of a boy, attends the call

  • It's actually four times ninety, which is three hundred sixty, the number of savana year days.

  • Paired ones - day-night

  • Vishnu attains this body as he rises, illuminating the worlds and directions. No longer a boy, he becomes the young and powerful Vishnu who answers to the invocations while being in the highest step (paramam padam)

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