Parjánya and *perkʷunos

Posted on December 28, 2018

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Arvind Vyas

Parjánya, One of the important Vedic deities, is the god of thunder and rains, nourishment and fertility. Parjánya is one of the old Vedic gods, whose popularity appears to have diminished after many of the aspects of his character were assigned to Indra. Here we examine the antiquity of Parjánya in Indo-European tradition and possible cognates and some of the textual references in Rk, Yajuh and Atharva Veda.

This is also an attempt to establish a clear etymology of Parjánya by linking it to PIE root *perkʷus .

Cognates of Parjánya in Indo-European Tradition

PIE reconstruction *perkʷunos is normally considered as a possible cognate to Parjánya. However, it is also generally agreed that Parjánya can’t be derived using the established rules as PIE *kʷ can’t lead to PIA ‘j’.

This difficulty is faced because the PIE reconstruction *perkʷunos is done using the baltic *Perkūnas and the inadequate use of Sanskrit root words. The PIE word is be derived from PIE root *perkʷus, the Oak or fir tree or even wooded mountain.

Lithuanian Perkūnas

Perkūnas is the god of lightning and thunder and storms; who also represents the creative forces (including vegetative), courage, success, the top of the world, the sky, rain, thunder, heavenly fire (lightning) and celestial elements. as a heavenly (atmospheric) deity Perkūnas, apparently, is the assistant and executor of Dievas‘s will. Perkūnas is pictured as middle-aged, armed with an axe and arrows, riding a two-wheeled chariot harnessed with goats, like Thor. Perkūnas dwells on high hills or mountains: compare Lithuanian toponym of Perkūnkalnis, “mountain of Perkūnas”, or Griausmo kalnas, “mountain of rumble.” The goddess Žemyna is said to be married to either Perkūnas (thunder god), this couple is typical Indo-European pair of mother-earth and father-sky, where the earth needs to be fertilized by the heavens (rain and thunder).

A wooden carving of Perkūnas

Latvian Pērkons

The offsprings of Pērkons represent different kinds of storms in Latvian mythology. Latvians made sacrifices to Pērkons to present draughts as well as to prevent thunderstorms. Pērkons rides a golden horse, and is armed with sword, iron club, golden whip and knife.

Prussian Perkūns

Prussian Banner depicting Perkūns in the center

Perkūns in a Prussian banner was represented as an angry middle aged man with a twisted black beard, topped with a flame, who stands between young Patrimpas and old Patulas. He maintains the central position as of the sacred oak in Romowe sanctuary where the eternal fire (symbol of Perkūns) was burned. Perkunatete was the mother of Perkūns.

Other possible cognates

One of the names Fjörgynn of Odin; and Thor’s (the Norse Thunder God)mother Fjörgyn also have been proposed as cognates.

Finnish god Perkele, and Mordvinic Pur’gine-paz are proposed as borrowings from the Baltic languages

In Thracian Περκων|Περκος, (Perkon|Perkos)

Other cognates with the suffix -k- dropped

With suffix -k- dropped via IE *perōṷnos “thunder, Thunderer”, possibly from a connection with *perūn(V) “mountain, rock”:

Slavic Перунъ (Penun) is considered as a related god, but not a precise match; from this the old East Slavic Перунъ, Polish Piorun, Czech Perun, Serbian Перун, Bulgarian Перун and Slovenian Perun|Perün|Perunk derive their name.

Slavic deity Perun

Perun is the highest in the pantheon of Slavic gods and the god of thunder and lightning. His other attributes were fire, mountains, wind, the oak, iris, eagle, firmament, horses and carts, weapons like hammer, axe , and arrow and of war (also the concept of Stones in Sky). Originally, his weapons were made of stone and later of metal. The word perun in a number of Slavic languages means “thunder,” or “lightning bolt”.

The other related gods are Albanian Perëndi, the god of thunder and storms; Hittite Pirwa, “the god on a horse”, who is associated with a rock (compare Sanskrit Parvata) as well as possibly Greek keraunós in meaning of “thunderbolt.

The Latin word Querquernī is from Proto Celtic *kʷerkʷus (;ultimately descended from PIE *pérkus ~ , *perkʷunos leading Galic | Briton Erkunios, Querquernī) meaning perhaps Oak (or mountain | highland people).

Also comparable is Germanic *ferhuz which descended to Old English: feorh, feorg; in Middle English as: feor; fere; ferme; æfre, evere; in Scots as: ferm; ever, evir; in English as: feorm, farm; ever; in Old High German: fereh (in fereheih, feraheih), fereha (Lombardic); in German as Viereiche; in Old Norse: fjǫrr and in Gothic as: 𐍆𐌰𐌹𐍂𐍈𐌿𐍃 (fairƕus)

Proto-Germanic *fergunją is also derived from *perku̯uni̯o- ‘mons / mountain’ meaning the mounted forrest.

Descends in Old English as: firgen, fyrgen, fyrgengāt; that changed to Middle English as: fire-gate. It descended in Old High German as: Firgunnea; Old Norse as: fjǫrgyn and in Gothic as: 𐍆𐌰𐌹𐍂𐌲𐌿𐌽𐌹 (fairguni).

Also, possibly Greek πέτρος (rock-formation) is a related word to this root.

So, there is a fair chance that the PIE root *perkʷu actually meant a mountain-forest instead of a specific tree or even simply grand or spread-out in it’s most generalized form; and PIE god *perkʷunos the god of high-mountains, as well as thunders and rains (and prototype of a sky deity). However, what we see here that this root *perkʷu descends to both the Centum and Satem languages, however, the cognates for god *perkʷunos appear mainly in Balto-Slavic tradition and their neighbourhood (Prussian / and possibly in Germanic tradition).

Parjánya as cognate to *perkʷunos

As PIE kʷ does not yield PIA | Vedic | Sanskrit ‘j’, Parjánya is not considered a strict cognate to *perkʷunos. However, in my humble opinion, the PIE reconstruction could still hold good if we consider the Sanskrit root for Parjánya as well as suggested PIE root for *perkʷunos, *pr̥kʷus.

The root word for Parjánya is “pṛc” which means to unite, join, satiate, give lavishly, grant bountifully, bestow anything, increase, augment or to fill.

This root word pṛc can still be obtained from PIE *perkʷ or *pr̥kʷ; both could yield the Sanskrit root pṛč or pṛk (also theoretically pḷč or pḷk) however, in this particular case it has yielded the former. This way both, Perkūnas and Parjánya, are considered derivatives of the same PIE root-word *perkʷ, performing a similar function.

This way, *pr̥kʷunos also could yield both Perikons and Parjánya.

Also, *perōṷnos or *perōṷ could lead to Sanskrit Parvata which means mountain; but in OIA (specifically in Rgveda) that also meant a cloud akin to Parjánya, which is also objectified as a cloud.

Parjánya in Vedic tradition

Parjánya is one of the important deities in Rgveda. There are three classes of Deities, viz., terestorial, aerial and heavenly, in Rgveda and Parjánya is an aerial deity. Parjánya is also a word used for the clouds in Rgveda. Parjánya, the deity of rain and lifeforce, the one who fertilizes the earth and the life and nourishes as described in RV VII.102:

parjányāya prá gāyata divás putrā́ya mīḷʰúṣe |

sá no yávasam icʰatu || 1 ||

yó gárbʰam óṣadʰīnāṃ gávāṃ kr̥ṇóty árvatām |

parjányaḥ puruṣī́ṇām || 2 ||

tásmā íd āsyè havír juhótā mádʰumattamam |

íḷāṃ naḥ saṃyátaṃ karat || 3 ||

1 SING forth and laud Parjanya, son of Heaven, who sends the gift of rain May he provide our pasturage.

2 Parjanya is the God who forms in kine, in mares, in plants of earth, And womankind, the germ of life.

3 Offer and pour into his mouth oblation rich in savoury juice: May he forever give us food.

In Baltic tradition Perkúnas, too has been described to have a similar role, as rain and thunder god who is creator and who nourishes, and is also god of fertility.

IN RV VII.101 Parjánya’s role as a nourishing father, giver of waters is reflected (who also germinates the mother):

tisró vā́caḥ prá vada jyótiragrā yā́ etád duhré madʰudogʰám ū́dʰaḥ |

vatsáṃ kṛṇván gárbʰam óṣadʰīnāṃ sadyó jātó vr̥ṣabʰó roravīti || 1 ||

várdʰana óṣadʰīnāṃ yó apā́ṃ yó víśvasya jágato devá ī́śe |

sá tridʰā́tu śaraṇáṃ śárma yaṃsat trivártu jyótiḥ svabʰiṣṭy àsmé || 2 ||

a starī́r u tvad bʰávati sū́ta u tvad yatʰāvaśáṃ tanvàṃ cakra eṣáḥ |

pitúḥ páyaḥ práti gṛbʰṇāti mātā́ téna pitā́ vardʰate téna putráḥ || 3 ||

yásmin víśvāni bʰúvanāni tastʰús tisró dyā́vas tredʰā́ sasrúr ā́paḥ |

tráyaḥ kóśāsa upasécanāso mádʰva ścotanty abʰíto virapśám || 4 ||

idáṃ vácaḥ parjányāya svarā́je hr̥dó astv ántaraṃ táj jujoṣat |

mayobʰúvo vr̥ṣṭáyaḥ santv asmé supippalā́ óṣadʰīr devágopāḥ || 5 ||

a sá retodʰā́ vr̥ṣabʰáḥ śáśvatīnāṃ tásminn ātmā́ jágatas tastʰúṣaś ca |

tán ma r̥tám pātu śatáśāradāya yūyám pāta svastíbʰiḥ sádā naḥ || 6 ||

1 SPEAK forth three words, the words which light precedeth, which milk this udder that produceth nectar. Quickly made manifest, the Bull hath bellowed, engendering the germ of plants, the Infant.

2 Giver of growth to plants, the God who ruleth over the waters and all moving creatures. Vouchsafe us triple shelter for our refuge, and threefold light to succour and befriend us.

3 Now he is sterile, now begetteth offspring, even as he willeth doth he change his figure. The Father’s genial flow bedews the Mother; therewith the Sire, therewith the son is nourished.

4 In him all living creatures have their being, and the three heavens with triply-flowing waters. Three reservoirs that sprinkle down their treasure shed their sweet streams around him with a murmur.

5 May this my song to Sovran Lord Parjanya come near unto his heart and give him pleasure. May we obtain the showers that bring enjoyment, and God-protected plants with goodly fruitage.

6 He is the Bull of all, and their impregner: he holds the life of all things fixed and moving. May this rite save me till my hundredth autumn. Preserve us evermore, ye Gods, with blessings.

The mother earth and father Parjánya relationship is also revealed in:

yát te mádʰyaṃ pr̥tʰivi yác ca nábʰyaṃ yā́s ta ū́rjas tanvàḥ saṃbabʰūvúḥ |

tā́su no dʰehy abʰí naḥ pavasva mātā́ bʰū́miḥ putró aháṃ pṛtʰivyā́ḥ parjányaḥ pitā́ sá u naḥ pipartu ||AV;S 12.1.12||

O Prithivī, thy centre and thy navel, all forces that have issued from thy body. Set us amid those forces; breathe upon us. I am the son of Earth, Earth is my Mother. Parjanya is my Sire; may he promote me.

This directly establishes that the earth is Parjánya’s wife.

yásyām ánnaṃ vrīhiyavaú yásyā imā́ḥ páñca kr̥ṣṭáyaḥ |

bʰū́myai parjányapatnyai námo ‘stu varṣámedase ||AV;S 12.1.42||

On whom is food, barley and rice, to whom these Races Five belong! Homage to her, Bhumi, Parjanya’s wife, to her whose marrow is the rain!

As the importance of Indra grew in Indic tration, the role of Parjánya shifted from an important creator deity who is a rain and thunder god with a role of nourishing the people and life in general to assisting Indra, despite this his role still reminded as an important deity who was father and paired with the mother earth. E.g. in Atharva Veda (Śaunaka recension) 1.2 Parjánya is father of the shaft:

vidmā́ śarásya pitáraṃ parjányaṃ bʰū́ridʰāyasam |

vidmó ṣv àsya mātáraṃ pṛtʰivī́ṃ bʰū́rivarpasam ||1||

jyā̀ke pári ṇo namā́śmānaṃ tanvàṃ kṛdʰi |

vīḍúr várīyó ‘rātīr ápa dvéṣāṃsy ā́ kṛdʰi ||2||

vṛkṣáṃ yád gā́vaḥ pariṣasvajānā́ anuspʰuráṃ śaráṃ árcanty ṛbʰúm |

śárum asmád yāvaya didyúm indra ||3||

yátʰā dyā́ṃ ca pr̥tʰivī́ṃ cāntás tíṣṭʰati téjanam |

evā́ rógaṃ cāsrāváṃ cāntás tiṣṭʰatu múñja ít ||4||

[Atharvaveda 1.2 is a charm against dysentery where Parjánya is father of the shaft (and the pr̥tʰivī́ is mother); and Indra whose epithet is ṛbʰú (PIE: *albʰós (Mayrhofer) | *h₂elbʰós = White) is prayed to save. The charm also mentions standing on múñja grass for treatment.]

In a tradition parallel to the relationship of Parjánya described in Atharvaveda (Śaunaka recension) 1.2. The goddess Žemyna (derived from žemė – earth) in Lithuanian mythology, is said to be married to Perkūnas (thunder god) sometimes identified with Praamžius (manifestation of chief heavenly god Dievas) in typical Indo-European pair of mother-earth and father-sky; e.g. in RV I.89.4),

tán no vā́to mayobʰú vātu bʰeṣajáṃ tán mātā́ pṛtʰivī́ tát pitā́ dyaúḥ |

tád grā́vāṇaḥ somasúto mayobʰúvas tád aśvinā śr̥ṇutaṃ dʰiṣṇyā yuvám || 1.89.4 ||

(May the wind waft to us that pleasant medicine, may Earth our Mother give it, and our Father Heaven, And the joy-giving stones that press the Soma’s juice. Aśvins, may ye, for whom our spirits long, hear this.)

In context of Parjánya and pr̥tʰivī we see this pairing in Katyayana-Srautasutra:

patitaṃ camasam ālabʰate || askan parjanyaḥ pṛtʰivīm | askan gām ṛṣabʰo yuvā | askannemā viśvā bʰūtāni | pra skannāj jāyatām̐ havir iti || K;S 25.12.9 ||

Reflecting the relationship of Sky and earth in other texts (Āpastamba-Śrautasūtra):

askāndyauḥ pṛtʰivīmaskānr̥ṣabʰo yuvā gāḥ | skannemā viśvā bʰuvanā skanno yañaḥ prajanayatu || askānajani prājanyā skannājjāyate vṛṣā | skannātprajaniṣīmahīti skannamabʰimantryonnambʰaya pṛtʰivīmityadbʰirupasṛjet || Ap;S 9.6.7||

The Baltic people also believed that the earth needs to be fertilized by the heavens (though the rain and thunder) which still to be reflected in the role of pitáraṃ parjányaṃ and mātáraṃ pr̥tʰivī́ṃ. The role of Parjánya as thunder deity continued in Yajurveda:

śáṃ no vā́taḥ pavatām̐ śáṃ nas tapatu sū́ryaḥ |

śáṃ naḥ kánikradad deváḥ parjányo abʰí varṣatu || VS 36.10 ||

(He is thunder god = kánikradad deváḥ parjányo)

Another epithet of Parjanya is arvan (running, quick, swift-moving) and he is first-born in sea (i.e. one of the earliest deities).

yád ákrandaḥ pratʰamáṃ jā́yamāna udyánt samudrā́d utá vā púrīṣāt |

śyenásya pakṣā́ hariṇásya bāhū́ upastútyaṃ máhi jātáṃ te arvan || VS 29.12 ||

The sacrifice that is made to Parjánya should be sky-coloured, indicating his relationship with sky (as it is also reflected in Balto-Slavic mythology)

śuddʰávālaḥ sarváśuddʰavālo maṇivā́las tá āśvinā́ḥ śyétaḥ śyetākṣò ruṇás té rudrā́ya paśupátaye karṇā́ yāmā́ avaliptā́ raudrā́ nábʰorūpāḥ pārjanyā́ḥ || VS 24.3 ||

kr̥ṣṇágrīvā āgneyā́ḥ śitibʰrávo vásūnām̐ róhitā rudrā́ṇām̐ śvetā́ avarokíṇa ādityā́nāṃ nábʰorūpāḥ pārjanyā́ḥ || VS 24.6 ||

His role as rain deity (as frogs are related to rains) is reflected in:

samudrā́ya śiśumā́rān á labʰate parjányāya maṇḍū́kān adbʰyó mátsyān mitrā́ya kulīpáyān váruṇāya nākrā́n || VS 24.12 ||

ā́ parjányasya vṛṣṭyód astʰāmāmŕ̥tā vayám |

vyàháṃ sárveṇa pāpmánā ví yákṣmeṇa sám ā́yuṣā || AV S 3.31.11||

Perun’s connection to eagle is akin Parjánya’s connection to eagle as described in:

suparṇáḥ pārjanyá ātír vāhasó dárvidā té vāyáve bŕ̥haspátaye vācás pátaye paiṅgarājò lajá āntarikṣáḥ plavó madgúr mátsyas té nadīpátaye dyāvāpṛtʰivī́yaḥ kūrmáḥ || VS 24.34 ||

Suparṇáḥ = Eagle or Garuda.

Also, in:

parjányaḥ pitā́ mahiṣásya parṇíno nā́bʰā pṛtʰivyā́ giríṣu kṣáyaṃ dadʰe |

svásāra ā́po abʰí gā́ utā́saran sáṃ grā́vabʰir nasate vīté adʰvaré || RV 9.82.3 ||

3 Parjanya is the Father of the Mighty Bird (mahiṣásya parṇíno: eagle): on mountains, in earth’s centre hath he made his home. The waters too have flowed, the Sisters, to the kine: he meets the pressing-stones at the beloved rite.

(This also indirectly confirms that earth is the mother).

His association with weapons of wars is evident in:

ā́lāktā yā́ rúruśīrṣṇy átʰo yásyā áyo múkʰam |

idám parjányaretasa íṣvai devyaí bṛhán námaḥ || RV 6.75.15 ||

Now to the Shaft with venom smeared, tipped with deer-horn, with iron mouth,

Celestial, of Parjanya’s seed, be this great adoration paid.

A carving, thought to be of Agni (as horse) and Parjánya at Isurumuniya,near Anurādhāpura, Sri Lankā

Parjánya’s connection with Agni (fire) is evident in their pairing together (reinforcing the role of Parjánya as nourisher):

ágnīparjanyāv ávataṃ dʰíyam me ‘smín háve suhavā suṣṭutíṃ naḥ |

íḷām anyó janáyad gárbʰam anyáḥ prajā́vatīr íṣa ā́ dʰattam asmé || RV 6.52.16 ||

16 At this my call, O Agni and Parjanya, help, swift to hear, my thought and our laudation.

One generates holy food, the other offspring, so grant us food enough with store of children.

And…

yā́ḥ sárūpā vírūpā ékarūpā yā́sām agnír íṣṭyā nā́māni véda |

yā́ áṅgirasas tápasehá cakrús tā́bʰyaḥ parjanya máhi śárma yacʰa || RV 10.169.2 ||

2 Like-coloured, various-hued, or single-coloured, whose names through sacrifice are known to Agni, whom the Aṅgirases produced by Fervour,—vouchsafe to these, Parjanya, great protection.

And…

víśvasya mūrdʰánn ádʰi tiṣṭʰasi śritáḥ samudré te hṛdayam apsv ā́yur apó dattodadʰíṃ bʰintta |

divás parjányād antárikṣāt pṛtʰivyā́s táto no vṛṣṭyāva || VS 18.55 ||

This mantra is dedicated to Agni and this is a prayer to bring the rain to the all-encompassing fire.

And…

huvé vā́tasvanaṃ kavím parjányakrandyaṃ sáhaḥ |

agníṃ samudrávāsasam || 8.102.5 ||

5 I call the Sage who sounds like wind, the Might that like Parjánya roars, Agni who clothes him with the sea.

Finally, Rgveda 5.83 dedicated to Parjánya; where his roars, relation with weapons, chariots, horses, rain, thunderbolts, sky, earth and more is described:

a ácʰā vada tavásaṃ gīrbʰír ābʰí stuhí parjányaṃ námasā́ vivāsa |

kánikradad vṛṣabʰó jīrádānū réto dadʰāty óṣadʰīṣu gárbʰam || 1 ||

a ví vṛkṣā́n hanty utá hanti rakṣáso víśvam bibʰāya bʰúvanam mahā́vadʰāt |

utā́nāgā īṣate vṛṣṇyāvato yát parjánya stanáyan hánti duṣkŕ̥taḥ || 2 ||

a ratʰī́va káśayā́śvām̐ abʰikṣipánn āvír dūtā́n kṛṇute varṣyā̀m̐ áha |

dūrā́t sim̐hásya stanátʰā úd īrate yát parjányaḥ kṛṇuté varṣyàṃ nábʰaḥ || 3 ||

a prá vā́tā vā́nti patáyanti vidyúta úd óṣadʰīr jíhate pínvate svàḥ |

írā víśvasmai bʰúvanāya jāyate yát parjányaḥ pṛtʰivī́ṃ rétasā́vati || 4 ||

a yásya vraté pṛtʰivī́ nánnamīti yásya vraté śapʰávaj járbʰurīti |

yásya vratá óṣadʰīr viśvárūpāḥ sá naḥ parjanya máhi śárma yacʰa || 5 ||

a divó no vṛṣṭím maruto rarīdʰvam prá pinvata vṛṣṇo áśvasya dʰā́rāḥ |

arvā́ṅ eténa stanayitnúnéhy apó niṣiñcánn ásuraḥ pitā́ naḥ || 6 ||

a abʰí kranda stanáya gárbʰam ā́ dʰā udanvátā pári dīyā rátʰena |

dṛtiṃ sú karṣa víṣitaṃ nyàñcaṃ samā́ bʰavantūdváto nipādā́ḥ || 7 ||

a mahā́ntaṃ kóśam úd acā ní ṣiñca syándantāṃ kulyā́ víṣitāḥ purástāt |

gʰṛténa dyā́vāpṛtʰivī́ vy ùndʰi suprapāṇám bʰavatv agʰnyā́bʰyaḥ || 8 ||

a yát parjanya kánikradat stanáyan hám̐si duṣkŕ̥taḥ |

prátīdáṃ víśvam modate yát kíṃ ca pṛtʰivyā́m ádʰi || 9 ||

ávarṣīr varṣám úd u ṣū́ gṛbʰāyā́kar dʰánvāny átyetavā́ u |

ájījana óṣadʰīr bʰójanāya kám utá prajā́bʰyo ‘vido manīṣā́m || 10 ||

1. SING with these songs thy welcome to the Mighty, with adoration praise and call Parjanya.

The Bull, loud roaring, swift to send his bounty, lays in the plants the seed. for germination.

2 He smites the trees apart, he slays the demons: all life fears him who wields the mighty weapon. From him exceeding strong fices e’en the guiltless, when thundering Parjanya smites the wicked.

3 Like a car-driver whipping on his horses, he makes the messengers of rain spring forward.

Far off resounds the roaring of the lion, what time Parjanya fills the sky with rain-cloud.

4 Forth burst the winds, down come the lightning-flashes: the plants shoot up, the realm of light is streaming. Food springs abundant for all living creatures, what time Parjanya quickens earth with moisture.

5 Thou, at whose bidding earth bows low before thee, at whose command hoofed cattle fly in terror. At whose behest the plants assume all colours, even, thou Parjanya, yield us great protection.

6 Send down for us the rain of heaven, ye Maruts, and let the Stallion’s flood descend in torrents. Come hither with this thunder while thou pourest the waters down, our heavenly Lord and Father.

7 Thunder and roar: the germ of life deposit. Fly round us on thy chariot water-laden. Thine opened water-skin draw with thee downward, and let the hollows and the heights be level.

8 Lift up the mighty vessel, pour down water, and let the liberated streams rush forward.

Saturate both the earth and heaven with fatness, and for the cows let there be drink abundant.

9 When thou, with thunder and with roar, Parjanya, smitest sinners down. This universe exults thereat, yea, all that is upon the earth.

10 Thou hast poured down the rain-flood now withhold it. Thou hast made desert places fit for travel. Thou hast made herbs to grow for our enjoyment: yea, thou hast won thee praise from living creatures.

Representation of Parvata as clouds in Rgveda

In Rgveda 1.132.6 Indra is linked to Parvata.

yuváṃ tám indrāparvatā puroyúdʰā yó naḥ pr̥tanyā́d ápa táṃ-tam íd dʰataṃ vájreṇa táṃ-tam íd dʰatam |

dūré cattā́ya cʰantsad gáhanaṃ yád ínakṣat |

6 Indra and Parvata, our champions in the fight, drive ye away each man who fain would war with us, drive him far from us with the bolt. Welcome to him concealed afar shall he the lair that he hath found. So may the Render rend our foes on every side, rend them, O Hero, everywhere.

The Parvata wielding a bolt can only be a cloud not a mountain.

Finally,

Despite being a mighty deity, however, in Vedic and later Indic tradition Parjánya takes a back-seat to Indra, who is described as a more powerful deity.

Parjánya the Vedic deity and descendents of *perkʷunos, supposed PIE deity, in Balto-Slavic tradition have some interesting parallels. They appear to have evolved from a similar concept, rumbling of rains and thunderstorms in mountains, as an aerial deity personified as the father sky who brings rain and fertilizes the mother earth. The aspect of thunderstorms further developed as a powerful deity of war, though in Indian tradition this aspect was later increasingly assigned to Indra, Parjánya still remained in the pantheon of Vedic deities as one of the better known deities, still fulfilling the two important functions.

Parjánya is derived from the root “pṛc” which can be derived from PIE root *perkʷu, which finds related gods with similar attributes in Baltic and Germanic traditions. A related, but less important, Vedic deity Parvata could be a descendant of PIE root *perōṷnos with related deities in Slavic and Anatolian tradition.

References

  1. Songs of the Russian People, by W. R. S. Ralston, 1872, Chapter II: Section I.–The Old Gods. p. 87.
  2. [Griaustinio dievas ir su juo susijęs mitas] Nijolė LAURINKIENĖ

Posted in: Linguistics, Vedic