Usha, the goddess of dawn
THE radiant Dawns have risen up for glory,
in their white splendour like the waves of waters.
She maketh paths all easy, fair to travel, and, rich,
hath shown herself benign and friendly.
2. We see that thou art good:
far shines thy lustre; thy beams,
thy splendours have flown up to heaven.
Decking thyself, thou makest bare thy bosom,
shining in majesty, thou Goddess Morning.
3. Red are the kine and luminous
that bear her
the Blessed One who spreadeth through the distance.
The foes she chaseth like a valiant archer,
like a swift warrior she repelleth darkness.
4. Thy ways are easy on the hills:
thou passest Invincible!
Self-luminous! through waters.
So lofty Goddess with thine ample pathway,
Daughter of Heaven, bring wealth to give us comfort.
Dawn, bring me wealth: untroubled,
with thine oxen thou bearest riches at thy will and pleasure;
Thou who, a Goddess, Child of Heaven,
hast shown thee lovely through bounty when we called thee
when the day awakens, and dawn is rising,
than the darkness of night has to depart
As the birds fly forth from their restingplaces,
so men with store of food rise at thy dawning.
Yea, to the liberal mortal who rernaineth at home,
O Goddess Dawn, much good thou bringest.
SHEDDING her light on human habitations
this Child of Heaven hath called us from our slumber;
She who at night-time with her argent lustre
hath shown herself e'en through the shades of darkness.
8. All this with red-rayed steeds
have they divided:
the Dawns on bright cars shine in wondrous fashion.
They, bringing near the stately rite's commencement,
drive far away the night's surrounding shadows.
9. Dawns, bringing hither, to
the man who worships,
glory and power and might and food and vigour,
Opulent, with imperial sway like heroes,
favour your servant and this day enrich him.
Usha, the goddess of dawn on
pulled by seven ruddy cows, from them it is said
that they represent the seven days of the week.
Now is there treasure for the man who serves you,
now for the hero, Dawns! who brings oblation;
Now for the singer when he sings the praise-song.
Even to one like me ye brought aforetime.
11. O Dawn who standest on the
Angirases now praise thy stalls of cattle.
With prayer and holy hymn they burst them open:
the heroes' calling on the Gods was fruitful.
12. Shine on us as of old, thou
Child of Heaven,
on him, rich Maid! who serves like Bharadvaja.
Give to the singer wealth with noble heroes,
and upon us bestow wide-spreading glory.
Sanskrit for "dawn", is a Vedic deity. She is the chief goddess
(sometimes imagined as several goddesses, Dawns) exalted in
the Rig Veda. She is portrayed as a beautifully adorned, sexually
attractive young woman riding in a chariot. She is the daughter
of Dyaus "Heaven" and the sister of Ratri, the goddes of night.
Twenty out of 1028 hymns in the Rig Veda are dedicated to
the goddes of Dawn: Book 7 has seven hymns, books 4–6 have
two hymns each, and the younger books 1 and 10 have six and
Translation from the
ruruce yuvatirma yosa - visvam jivam prasuvanti carayau
Abhud Agnih samidhe manusanam - akar jyotir badhamana
Like a youthful maiden,
Usas shines brightly forth, Stirring to motion every
Divine Fire was kindled for the use of men; Dawn created
light, driving away the dark.
pratici sapratha udasthad - rusad vaso bibhrati sukramasvait
Hiranya varna sudrsika samdrg - gavam mata netry ahnam
Sending out her beams, she
rose facing all, In brilliant robes, resplendent, radiating--
Golden-colored and glorious to behold, Mother of plenty,
mistress of the days she shone.
Devanam caksuk subhaga vahanti
- svetam nayanti sudrsikam asvam
Usa adarsi rasmabhir vyakta - citramagha visvamanu prabhuta
Blessed, bearing the sun,
the eye of the Gods, Leading her white horse, magnificent
Usas reveals herself, arrayed in beams of light, And
with boundless glory she transforms the world.
Antivama dure amitram uccha -
urvim gavyutim abhayam krdhi nah
Yavaya dvesa a bhara vasuni - codaya radho grnate maghoni
O fair one, banish the enemy
with light! And prepare for us broad pastures free from
Ward off hatred, bring us your priceless treasure! O
bountiful, shower blessings on the singer!
Asme sresthebhir bhanubhirvi bhahi
- Uso devi pratiranti na ayuh
Isam ca no dadhati visvavare - gomad asvavad rathavac
Illumine us with your glorious
splendor, O divine Usas! Enrich and lengthen our lives,
O Goddess full of grace! Grant us fulfillment, And cows,
horses, and chariots in abundance!
Yam tva divo duhitar vardhayanti
- Usah su jate matibhir vasisthah
Sasmasu dha rayimrsvam brhantam - yuyam pata svastibhih
O Daughter of Heaven, Usas
of noble birth, Whom the men of glory celebrate in hymns,
Establish in us wealth sublime and mighty! O Gods, protect
us always with your blessings!
Quoted from: Ushas, Mother Goddess, Goddess of Dawn -------------------
If you catch the light just before the sun appears, early
in the morning, be sure to greet her. Her name is Ushas. The
Goddess of Dawn.
night is dark and deep when Ushas rises and her mother, the
sky, begins to adorn her. She uses hope to cloth her, life
to anoint her with and light for her ornaments. Her sister,
the night, lends her the magic while retaining the mystery.
Ushas has the magic of looking at everybody at the same time.
is then that the sun catches sight of her. Resplendent is
golden hue, the sun falls in love with this young maiden born
anew everyday, keeper of time and youth. As Ushas appears
above the sky, riding a hundred chariots, the sun, madly in
love with this beautiful maiden, chases her. She spreads her
love and his light across the sky bringing a new day for mankind
smiling to herself for she knows well that the sun is racing
her. The romance of the day makes the birds chatter, the streams
gurgle, the lotus blossom and the bee gets more intoxicated
with the nectar he sucks in.
dances and sings and spreads cheer all around. Darkness runs
away and bad dreams die at the opening of the day. Evil spirits
rush to hide for all is visible now.
suddenly the sun catches up with her and holds her in embrace
as the day is all light and sunlight to finally surrender
once again to the night.
is a Rig Vedic deity who is the most beautiful maiden personifying
the charm of dawn. Since she precedes light, she is also called
the Mother Goddess. In the Rig Veda the description of the
break of dawn, of the emergence of Ushas, is perhaps the most
beautiful passage. She is described as the one who untiringly
rises every morning as though born anew to bring life to mankind,
to satisfy all their longings and give new strength to every
changing colours at dawn are likened to the different robes
of a dancing girl while the golden tipped clouds that appear
just before sunrise are like bridal jewellery. Ushas is portrayed
as a shy maiden, conscious of her beauty but modest and entering
society under the protection of her mother. Even mythology
is fascinated by the chauvinist model and over thousands of
years the readers of the Vedas have drawn great pleasure in
imagining the shy maiden being followed by the macho sun and
finally her surrender. The story of this romance which all
of us see everyday, but often fail to heave that deep sigh
of longing, caught as we were in the nitty gritty affairs
of the sunlit day, brings gifts for all mankind; wealth for
those who seek it, education for those others, contentment
to some and salvation to yet others.
Quoted from: Vedic Gods & Goddesses ---------------------
In the Rig Veda the goddess Usha is consistently associated
with and often identified with the dawn. She reveals herself
in the daily coming of light to the world. She has been described
in the Rig Veda as a young maiden drawn by one hundred horses.
She brings forth light and is followed by the sun who urges
her onwards. She is praised for driving away, or is petitioned
to drive away, the oppressive darkness. She is asked to chase
away evil demons. As the dawn she is said to rouse all life,
to set all things in motion and to send people off to do their
duties. She sends the curled-up sleepers on their way to offer
their sacrifices and thus render service to the other gods.
gives strength and fame. She is that which impels life and
is associated with the breath and life of all living creatures.
She is associated with, or moves with cosmic, social and moral
order. As the regularly recurring dawn she reveals and participates
in cosmic order and is the foe of chaotic forces that threaten
the world. Usha is generally held as an auspicious goddess
associated with light and wealth, and is often likened to
the Rig Veda she is also called 'the mother of cows' and like
a cow that yields its udder for the benefit of people, so
Usha bares her breasts to bring light for the benefit of human
kind. Although she is usually described as a young and beautiful
maiden, she is also called 'the mother of the gods and the
ashwins'. Considered as mother by her petitioners she tends
to all things like a good matron and goddess of the earth.
She is said to be 'the eye of the gods' and is referred to
as 'she who sees all', but is rarely invoked to forgive human
transgressions. It is more typical to invoke her in times
of need to drive away or punish one's enemies.
is known as the goddess, reality or presence that bears away
youth. She is described as 'a skilled huntress who wastes
away the lives of people'. In accordance with the ways of
Rita she wakes all living things but does not disturb the
person who sleeps in death. As the recurring dawn, Usha is
not only celebrated for bringing light from darkness, she
is also petitioned to grant long life, as she is a constant
reminder of peoples' limited time on earth. She is the mistress
or marker of time.
ancient Vedic tradition has viewed Usha as the harbinger of
light, awareness, activity. People divided time into the form
of day and night. At night all creation rests and in the day
the whole of creation is active. The transformation which
takes place from night to day is known to be the attribute
of Usha, the awareness that stirs up the activity of creation,
the light that gives sight to the eyes, that gives power to
the senses, that gives power to the mind and intellect, Usha
has been regarded as the light, or the dawn of human consciousness.
the daughter of king Bana-asura.
is also the name of a daitya princess who fell in love with
Aniruddha, a prince she saw in her dream. Aniruddha is a tale
taken from the Bhagawat: Aniruddha was the son of Pradyumna
and grandson of Krishna. Usha, the daughter of an Asura named
Bana, saw him in a dream and became anxious to know if there
was such a person. Her friend Chitralekha drew the portraits
of many gods and men. At last when she drew the portrait of
Aniruddha, the grandson of Krishna, Usha recognized him. Chitralekha,
by magical powers, set out to bring Aniruddha to Usha and
a series of adventures then ensued. At last Aniruddha was
kept captive by Banasura who was binding him with serpent
bonds. After a fight, Krishna rescued Aniruddha and took him
and his wife Usha to Dwaraka.
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