Do you know that Yamuna is another name for Yami, the sister of Yama, the god of death? Yami and Yama were born twins.
Yama and Yami were Surya’s children. Although I have not come across any person called Yama, or Narada for that matter, we often remember these two characters in our day to day life! If anyone thwarts a serious activity of yours, you will complain to another: “That fellow turned up like a Yama..” And if someone creates a misunderstanding between you and a friend, you will refer to him as a “Naradar” (with ‘ar’, denoting due respect!).
If you know what is behind the names in India, you then know India! Our names, of men or women or places or rivers, are part of Indian mythology and lore.
I intend to take up at least three rivers, say Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, and trace out their origins and evolution in the course of a few blogs. Here, I am starting the series with Yamuna.
India is a vast country blessed with perennial rivers and seasonal rivers. I just shudder to think of the geography of a country like the Philippines which consists simply of islands, more than one thousand of them! Our perennial rivers like Ganga and Yamuna have a lofty birth, in the great heights of the Himalayas, thanks mainly to melting snows. I should expect that if the snowfall precipitation is poor in a year – like our monsoon rainfall precipitation could turn out to be very poor in a year leading to a drought situation – then Ganga and Yamuna should run very scanty, but that never seems to happen! Can someone explain to me if snowfalls upon the Himalayas every year happen to be nearly constant?
River Yamuna finds mention even in Rig Veda, our earliest literature. The immensity of Rig Veda, in verse form, can be gauged from the fact that its translation for the first time into English by Max Muller and his companions and assistants, consumed 51 volumes! The Vedic Aryans occupied the areas from Eastern U.P. to Afghanistan. Thirty...
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