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Rig Veda III.4.2, dedicated to Āprīs, says as follows:

यं देवासस्त्रिरहन्नायजन्ते दिवे-दिवे वरुणो मित्रो अग्निः | सेमं यज्ञं मधुमन्तं कर्धी नस्तनूनपाद घर्तयोनिं विधन्तम ||

yaṃ devāsastrirahannāyajante dive-dive varuṇo mitro aghniḥ | semaṃ yajñaṃ madhumantaṃ kṛdhī nastanūnapād ghṛtayoniṃ vidhantam ||

Tanūnapāt whom the deities - MITRA, VARUNA and AGNI, worship daily thrice a day, render this our sacred rain-engendering sacrifice productive of water.

The translation is of H.H. Wilson.


tanun indicates the wind or vAyu

napāt indicates grand son or descendant

So it might indicate grandson or descendant of vAyu.


My questions are:

  1. Who is the Tanūnapāt whom the deities - MITRA, VARUNA and AGNI, worship daily thrice a day?

  2. Was worship of 3 times mentioned in this mantra, a precursor to performing of Sandhyavandana 3 times a day?

  • Google search shows Tanūnapāt is a manifestation of Agni. I am sure you must have searched this. Do you find this explanation unsatisfactory? – user16581 Dec 6 '19 at 15:50
  • I checked this. My doubt is why Agni worships himself 3 times. Please check translation again.@I will close your question – Srimannarayana K V Dec 6 '19 at 15:54
  • Check Griffith translation. Seems to make more sense. – user16581 Dec 6 '19 at 15:54
  • Yes I checked before posting the question. Let me wait for others response:-) @I will close your question – Srimannarayana K V Dec 6 '19 at 16:01
  • While you wait for a response, Yaska might give a clue. – user16581 Dec 6 '19 at 16:15
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  1. In Bṛhaddevatā (page.77), it was mentioned that Agni is also called as Tanūnapāt

  2. Sandhyavandanam was used to be done 2 times a day, as sandhya - twilight time occurs twice daily. Subsequently, another time at midday was added at a later date.

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