Ŗbhus

The Ŗbhus are humans who have attained divinity by their askesis. There are about ten hymns in the RV addressed to the Ŗbhus. It is said that they are the sons of Sudhanvan Angirasa. Some say that they are Solar Rays. To us both are acceptable. The Truth, the Supreme Light, is denoted in the Veda by the Sun. A human being is inert because of his material body. Rays of Sun, manifestations of the Consciousness, descending on this field of Matter, gross and inert, uplift man. And these very Ŗbhus become special powers of man by virtue of his development; and man becomes immortal by a Divine Birth, effected by that special power.

How then are they spoken of as sons of Sudhanvan? Dhanva is the arid land, a field with no water, denoting inertness, sheer matter just as the Hill is the place where cows are hidden or denotes darkness that covers the Waters. The arid land acquires splendour by accepting the descending Divine Rays and absorbing the higher essence. Then it blooms forth the glory of the Ŗbhus as Sudhanvan (fair arid land).

Having attained to divinity by virtue of their action and knowledge, these deities work to help man to attain to divinity. And whatever acts they do they become divine acts only. The actions of the Ŗbhus are mentioned in symbolic language only. It is clear that without resort to the hidden symbolic meaning, it is not possible to explain in a straight manner these hymns that are like riddles. We will demonstrate further on.

Ŗbhu, Vibhva, Vāja{ these three are spoken of. The singular denotes their collectivity. And due to their association all are indicated by the word Ŗbhu, the eldest of them. The specialty of each of the three is celebrated by the name itself. By means of intellect and activity, Ŗbhu, the eldest, builds the forms conforming to the qualities of Immortality. Vibhava brings about its extension. Vāja effects the plenitude of the Divine Light and Substance. They are called the carpenters, the artisans of immortality for man.

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