Cosmogonic Myths in Vedic Brāhmaṇas: A Study in Gender Relations

By Dipankar Das

Abstract: Cosmogonic speculation attempts to contextualize and rationalize our existence and is thus a fundamental activity in human societies and cultures in almost all historical epochs. Thus, cosmogonic or creation myths have a certain degree of universality as they constitute a set of most ‘basic’ myths in early cultures or societies, explaining the origin of life forms (human, animal, plant), divine, semi-divine and demonic entities, politico-social institutions, and various other natural and supernatural phenomena. Vedic mythology, as contained in the Ṛgveda and other later Vedic texts, furnish a range of cosmogonic myths and ideas. Of these, the myths narrated in the Brāhmaṇas, later Vedic prose texts devoted to extensively explaining and commenting on sacrificial rituals, are given the most elaborate treatment. The myths are also tied to the growing cult of elaborate, complex sacrifices so that sacrifice (yajña), among other things, is projected as a creative act, i.e., it is perceived as the chief means of creation on both cosmic and human planes. Cosmogonic myths, in turn, are narrated as a rationale for the performance of sacrifices by human beings. While several deities are credited with acts of cosmogonic or creative significance in the Ṛgveda, Prajāpati figures centrally in such roles in the creation myths of the Brāhmaṇas.  In these myths, sacrifices performed by Prajāpati, the creator god par excellence, were thought to result in universal creation, and thus their performance by the human sacrificer was deemed necessary for procreation or obtaining progeny. Thus, the creation of cosmos by Prajāpati served as a prototype or paradigmatic model for the creation of individual, the latter being a ‘microscopic repetition’ of the former. This paper, based on a study of the principal Brāhmaṇas, argues that the creation myths centering on Prajāpati served to strongly and recurrently convey the idea that the performance of rituals was a perfect and desirable means with which to ensure the birth of progeny and the biological processes of copulation and reproduction were imperfect and subservient to the ritual process. This had significant social implications for gender roles, as the crucial biological role of woman in procreation was rendered secondary and marginal, though not completely dispensed with. Thus, the myths sought to ritualize procreation and hierarchize gender relations on the basis of unequal gender roles through the entire gamut of productive processes from copulation to reproduction to rearing.

 

 

Cosmogonic speculation is probably an almost inevitable and fundamental human activity, as it rests on attempts to contextualize and rationalize our existence.[1] As one of the most ‘basic’ myths in early cultures or societies, cosmogonic or creation myths explain the origin of life forms, divine, semi-divine and demonic entities, politico-social institutions, and various other natural and supernatural phenomena. In this sense, they have a certain degree of universality, though their specific forms vary substantially in different cultures, societies and periods. Vedic mythology, as contained in the Ṛgveda and other later Vedic texts, particularly the principal Brāhmaṇas, furnish a range of cosmogonic myths and ideas. All of them are not accorded equal degree of importance; while some are simply noted and recorded with the barest of details, others are given an elaborate treatment, especially in the Brāhmaṇas, prose texts devoted to extensively explaining and commenting on sacrificial rituals.[2] 

           The cosmogonic myths in the Brāhmaṇas are tied to the growing cult of elaborate, complex sacrifices. In these texts, sacrifice (yajña) is projected as the chief means of creation on both cosmic and human planes. Cosmogonic myths, in turn, are narrated as a rationale for the performance of sacrifices by human beings: sacrifices performed by Prajāpati, the creator god par excellence, were thought to result in creation, and thus their performance by the human sacrificer (yajamāna) was deemed necessary for procreation or obtaining progeny. Thus, the creation of cosmos by Prajāpati served as a prototype or paradigmatic model for the creation of individual, the latter being a ‘microscopic repetition’ of the former.[3] This essay argues that the creation myths centering on Prajāpati served to strongly and recurrently convey the idea that the performance of rituals was a perfect and desirable means with which to ensure the birth of progeny and the biological processes of copulation and reproduction were imperfect and subservient to the ritual process. This had significant social implications for gender roles, as the crucial biological role of woman in procreation was rendered secondary and marginal.

         Cosmogonic speculation in the early Vedic tradition represented by the Ṛgveda is rather diffuse, with several deities being either credited with acts of cosmogonic or creative significance (e.g., Tvaṣṭṛ, Indra) or connected with procreation, progeny and fertility (e.g., Dyaus-Pṛthivī, Yama-Yamī).4 Prajāpati is widely understood to be late entrant in the Vedic pantheon, and hence a relatively new and ‘young’ god.[4] In the Ṛgveda, his name, meaning the ‘lord (pati) of creatures (prajā)’, appears as an epithet of Savitṛ[5] and Soma;[6]he begins to emerge as a relatively distinct entity connected with procreation and progeny in its last book, i.e., Book X,[7] representing the latest stratum of the Ṛgveda (this stratum also shows the emergence of other deities with transient associations with creation such as Viśvakarman, Brāhmaṇaspati, Bṛhaspati[8]). But Prajāpati increasingly figures in procreative roles in the YV Saṃhitās, but more prominently and consistently so in the Brāhmaṇas. However, even as a most significant major god in the Brāhmaṇas,10 he, unlike other deities, is rarely anthropomorphized in full form[9] and detail and remains a rather abstract deity, a personification of creative activity. 

          The notion of creation as a product of sacrifice that became more conspicuous in some hymns of the Book X, particularly the Puruṣa-sūkta (ṚV 10.90),[10] laid the foundations for the emergence of

Prajāpati as a creator deity intimately associated with sacrifice in the later Vedic texts, especially the Brāhmaṇas. Growing importance of the cult of sacrifice, together with strident emphasis on its creative aspect seems to have necessitated the concentration of universal creative role in a supreme, independent deity, viz. Prajāpati who used sacrificial ritual as the key means of cosmic creation. And with this ritualization of procreation, it was further ‘de-biologized’ on the cosmic plane, as it was on the terrestrio– ritual plane.

     Prajāpati’s chief means of creation includes austerities (tapas, √tap); and toils (√śram)13 sacrifices like the dākṣāyaṇa[11] and agnyādhāna;15 and specific ritual acts.[12] His creative role was often described by a series of cosmogonic activities commencing from his aloneness and his desire to proliferate/reproduce— often stated as the desire to ‘be many’ (bhūyān)—and ending in his recourse to austerities with the desired outcome.[13] The motif of his ‘aloneness’ prior to creation not only reinforces his exclusive status as the creator par excellence but also underlines the essentially asexual nature of both his creative will and acts. Occasionally, he used sacrifice as a means of self-creation[14] and self-resuscitation.[15] Moreover, his myths accounted for the origins of the ‘cosmos-making tool’, i.e., Vedic ritual, insofar as he was both the creator and the first practitioner of the ritual subsequently turning the sacrifices to other deities.[16] The fertility of the sacrifice at the cosmic level and its origin in the being of Prajāpati, arguably, led to frequent connection between the creator god and the creative ritual. [17] Thus, Prajāpati’s intervention was responsible for further removing procreation from the realm of the physical to that of the ritual.[18]   

      However, physical means of creation by Prajāpati were occasionally recognized, but were either devalued, or not fully developed. For instance, Prajāpati is stated to have created living beings from the productive nyūna (lit. defective, deficient, or lower/inferior source of production, i.e., womb) in the vaiśvadeva and agniṣṭoma sacrifices.[19] Here, a tension is discernible between two tendencies — one of explicitly admitting a certain physicality of the procreation and the other, of implicitly devaluing it through the etymologically negative connotation of nyūna. In another instance, Prajāpati’s use of sexual

13ŚB 2.5.1.1, 6.1.1.8, 6.1.1.13, 6.1.3.1; AB 2.33. The term tapas connotes the natural heat associated with biological conception aside from the heat of asceticism generated by austerities (Walter O. Kaelber, ‘“Tapas”, Birth, and Spiritual Rebirth in the Veda’, History of Religions, 15[4], 1976, pp. 343-44). In fact, elsewhere (ŚB 6.6.2.8), heating (sam√tap) is likened to infusing seed.

means of creating living beings — twofold unions of deities Agni and Soma, and Sarasvatī and Pūṣan — was substituted with the ritual means, i.e., oblations to these sexually paired deities in the vaiśvadeva and varuṇapraghāsa sacrifices.[20] 

     The mythological possibility of creation starting from a heterosexual pair implicit in the later Vedic myth of Prajāpati’s incest with his daughter was also suitably muted. It has been argued that the myth may well have been rooted in older cosmogonic ideas of creation resulting from incest: the primeval male principle at the pre-creation stage is thought to create a female principle in order to unit with her and procreate.[21] Such ideas combine two elements: male precedence over the female in creative initiative and complementary sexual roles of the male and female in procreation. However, while incidental references to actual and potential incestuous unions appear in the Ṛgveda,[22] including those to father-daughter relationships,[23] neither the male precedence over the female, nor the permanent or procreative nature of such relationships was explicitly recognized.[24] Evidently, Prajāpati’s incest myth elaborated in the Brāhmaṇas has roots in rather obscure Ṛgvedic allusions to paternal incest, but show significant variations in its treatment by the exegetes. In general, myths, once developed and embedded within a tradition, were seemingly difficult to eradicate and hence, if found inappropriate in the changed social situation, were often modified or reinterpreted with considerable dexterity to resolve or conceal discrepancies between the divine and the human institutions.[25] That this early Vedic myth not only survived but was further developed in the later Vedic tradition perhaps owes to the rise of Prajāpati as the pre-eminent paternal creator god, especially considering that other Ṛgvedic references to sibling and maternal incest or the possibility thereof are not accorded a similar treatment in the later Vedic texts. Further, the fact that the paired father and daughter remain unnamed and obscure in the Ṛgvedic myth helped its incorporation into the repertoire of Prajāpati’s creation myths. At the same time, the incongruity of the incest motif needed to be adapted to the dominant later Vedic motif of asexual creation through sacrifice, ‘as notion of sexual intercourse in general and incest in particular was viewed with disfavour’.[26] Hence, the procreative potential of incest in the myth was given an ambivalent treatment in all its versions.

      At one level, the flagrancy of incest was somewhat tempered by animal motif, as in some versions,31 Prajāpati approached his daughter, both metamorphosing into animals: he into a spotted deer (pṛṣata) or stag (ṛśya), and she into a red stag (rohit). Their transformation into animals placed the act of incest outside the realm of divine or human moral laws,[27] though it still was considered problematic enough to invite further divine intervention. Thus, at another level, the act was considered by the gods as a ‘sin’ (āgas),33 an ‘incorrect’ act/conduct (atathā),34 a ‘transgressive’ (atisaṃdham) act (√car),[28] and ‘an act never done before’ (na kṛtam, akṛtam).36 The gods thus created a terrible deity, Rudra, in some versions[29] or asked him in one version[30] to punish Prajāpati. Reference to Rudra’s overlordship over animals in some versions39 justifies his role as punisher of Prajāpati’s moral transgressions in the guise of an animal. Moreover, in one version, this punitive act rendered his body unholy (ayajñiya, lit. unfit for sacrifice) and impotent (nivīrya),40 thus denying him ritual eligibility and virility—pre-requisites for both ritual and biological means of procreation. At yet another level, the procreative potential of his seed was deemed to be at the risk of being unrealized, and the gods in one version; the gods and ṛṣis in another one; and Prajāpati himself in yet another one were concerned about the loss of the seed.[31]  Thereafter, the seed was subjected to an elaborate ritual treatment by the gods[32] and thereby it produced a variety of entities: animals, divine and semi-divine beings; a chant (uktha); and human beings (mānuṣa). From the multiple versions of the myth, it appears that Prajāpati’s incest was disfavored by the gods and he was ‘punished’ for the supposed violation of moral order. However, the generative potential of his seed was recognized, it was ritually ‘sanitized’ and, in the process, made an indirect means of creation. Intervention of deities and ‘purificatory’ processes—cooking/strengthening (√śrī), curing/healing (√bhiṣaj), and kindling or lighting

(√indh)—constitute an attempt to ritually ‘perfect’ the procreative ‘imperfection’ of sexual intercourse, particularly an incestuous one. At the same time, the procreative potential of Prajāpati’s incest was

  1. ŚB 1.7.4.2.

  2. ŚB (Kāṇva) 2.7.2.3, in H. W. Bodewitz, ‘The Vedic Concepts of āgas and enas’, Indo-Iranian Journal, 49, 2006, pp. 231. The term āgas mainly denotes the committed sin and sometimes also its results (i.e., some form of evil), atathā is more or less an equivalent of āgas. The use of genitive devānām with both (devānām-āgaḥ, devānāmatathāsa) indicates a moral judgment against the act expressed by the gods (Bodewitz, ‘The Vedic Concepts of āgas and enas’, pp. 231, 270).

somewhat limited to producing specific entities, in contrast to the wide scope of Prajāpati’s recourse to ritual means for procreation, as expressed by such terms with expansive connotation as ‘creatures’ (prajāḥ) or ‘beings’ (bhūtāḥ). The myth, thus, suggests an ingenious but ambivalent treatment of his atypical recourse to sexual intercourse that problematized the valorization of non-physical, i.e., ritual means of procreation closely associated with him.[33]          

           This ambivalence towards sexual means of creation also impinged on the treatment of the female deities and deified entities in Prajāpati’s creative enterprise. The female role was occasionally and tacitly conceded, though she was conceived more as an instrument of procreation at the hands of Prajāpati. Such notion of hierarchical gender roles in the later Vedic creation myths contrast with some instances of gender complementarity in the early Vedic cosmogonic speculations wherein male and female principles are conceived as creating each other. However, even such instances do not suggest gender equality in creative roles, for the primary act of creation at the pre-creation stage remains largely a male preserve and female entities/deities are conceded complementary roles in the subsequent secondary acts of creation.[34] Nevertheless, the embryonic notion of gender-complementaritẏand, by implication, a limited degree of female ‘agency’in the early Vedic cosmogonic speculations was not developed in the later Vedic cosmogonic myths, and female entities were largely reduced to being Prajāpati’s being means of creation. In one instance, Prajāpati generated the three lokas,45 the three varṇas (brahman, kṣatra and viś),[35] the ātman (self), the prajā (progeny) and the paśu (animals)47 with eight syllables (bhūrbhuvaḥsvaḥ), identified with Gāyatrī, a deified feminine metre.[36] In another instance, he created the waters out of Vāc.[37] Implicit in these instances is the use of female deities an entities as passive means of procreation by Prajāpati.[38] In yet another instance, he united with Pṛthivī (earth) producing Vāyu (wind),51and with

 

[1] Kumkum Roy, ‘Vedic Cosmogonies: Conceiving/Controlling Creation’, in R. Champakalakshmi and S. Gopal (eds), Tradition, Dissent and Ideology: Essays in the Honour of Romila Thapar, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 10.

[2] The principal Brāhmaṇas consulted are: Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (hereafter ŚB), Aitareya Brāhmaṇa (hereafter AB), Pañcaviṃśa Brāhmaṇa (hereafter PVB) and Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa (hereafter JB).

[3] Brian K. Smith, ‘Sacrifice and Being: Prajāpati’s Cosmic Emission and Its Consequences’, Numen, 32, 1985, p. 71. 4 W. Norman Brown, ‘Theories of Creation in the Ṛg Veda’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 85, 1965, p. 23.

[4] Sukumari Bhattacharji, ‘Rise of Prajāpati in the Brāhmaṇas’, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 64(1/4), 1983, p. 205; Jan Gonda, ‘The Popular Prajāpati’, History of Religions, 22(2), 1982, p. 129.

[5] ṚV4.53.2, in J. R. Joshi, ‘Prajāpati in Vedic Mythology and Ritual’, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 53(1/4), 1972, p. 101.

[6] ṚV 9.5.9, in Joshi, ‘Prajāpati in Vedic Mythology and Ritual’, p. 101.  

[7] ṚV 10.85.43, 10.121, 169.4, 184.1; Joshi, ‘Prajāpati in Vedic Mythology and Ritual’, pp. 101-02. 

[8] Brown, ‘Theories of Creation in the Ṛg Veda’, pp. 25-26.  10 Bhattacharji, Rise of Prajāpati’, p. 205.

[9] Joshi, ‘Prajāpati in Vedic Mythology and Ritual’, p. 101.

[10] Brown, ‘Theories of Creation in the Ṛg Veda’, pp. 25-26.

[11] ŚB 2.4.4.1. 15ŚB 2.1.2.6.

[12] In the agnihotra sacrifice, he obtained a butter or milk offering (ghṛtāhuti, payaḥ–āhuti) by rubbing (√mṛś) his hands (ŚB 2.2.4.4); he then created plants (oṣadhayaḥ) by pouring that offering into the fire (ŚB 2.2.4.5), and the sun and wind by pouring another one with svāhā call (ŚB 2.2.4.6). In the agnicayana sacrifice, he created (√sṛj) offspring (prajā) standing towards the north-east and taking the three Viṣṇu-strides (viṣṇukrama) (ŚB 6.7.2.12) — an allusion to the myth of the three strides taken by Viṣṇu to cover the three worlds. In the aśvamedha sacrifice, he great (mahat) and numerous (bhūyas) by offering two mahiman (greatness) cups of Soma (ŚB 13.2.11.1).

[13] ŚB 2.5.1.1; AB 2.33; cf. Roy, ‘Vedic Cosmogonies’, pp. 15-16.

[14] He sprang forth (√jan) from the sacrifice as an embryo (ŚB 3.2.1.11).

[15] When he felt exhausted (riricānaḥ, lit. ‘emptied’) by his creative labor and disappointed by the non-fulfilment of his objective (kāma) of creative enterprise — as his creatures turned away (parācya) from him and did not abide with him for his joy and food — he, desirous of progeny, praised (arcan), toiled (śrāmyan) and offered 11 victims, whereby he strengthened himself (āpyāyayata, lit. swelled/filled), became better (vasīyān) and ensured that the creatures returned (samāvartanta) to him and dwelt (atiṣṭhanta) with him for his joy (śrī) and food (annādya, lit. his ability to eat) (ŚB 3.9.1.1-4). In another instance, when he was ‘relaxed’ (visrasta, lit. ‘disjointed’) from the creative labor, he was healed (abhiṣajyan) by the gods with oblations (āhuti) (ŚB 6.1.2.21-22).

[16] Brian K. Smith, Reflections on Resemblance, Ritual and Religion, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989, p. 66. 

[17] Smith, Reflections on Resemblance, p. 67. The identity of Prajāpati with the sacrifice is oft-stated (ŚB 1.7.4.14, 3.2.2.4, 4.1.1.15,16, 4.2.4.16, 4.3.4.3, 4.5.5.1,12, 4.5.6.1, 4.5.7.1,  5.2.1.2,  5.2.1.4, 5.4.5.21, 6.4.1.6).

[18] Kumkum Roy, The Emergence of Monarchy in North India Eighth –Fourth Centuries B.C. as Reflected in the Brahmanical Tradition, New Delhi: Oxford University, 1994, p. 40.

[19] ŚB 2.5.1.20, 4.4.4.1; cf. ŚB 2.1.1.13.

[20] ŚB 2.5.1.8-11, 2.5.2.7. 

[21] G. C. Pandey, ‘Prajāpati and Uṣas’, Bharati, 8(1), p. 100, cited in Joshi, ‘Prajāpati in Vedic Mythology and Ritual’, pp. 110-11.

[22] For instance, between Pūṣan and his mother (ṚV 6.55.5), twins Yama and Yamī (ṚV 10.64.13). 

[23] For instance, between an unnamed deity called ‘great’ and ‘good protector’ (mahat, suśaraṇa) and his ‘profligate/lascivious’ daughter (āhanāḥ-duhituḥ) (ṚV 5.42.13), identified as Indra or Parjanya and earth respectively by Sāyaṇa; and between an unnamed father and daughter (ṚV 10.61.5-9), identified as Prajāpati and Uṣas or divam (sky) respectively by Sāyaṇa.  

[24] For instance, Roy, Emergence of Monarchy, p. 246.

[25] Roy, ‘Vedic Cosmogonies’, p. 18.

[26] Roy, ‘Vedic Cosmogonies’, p. 15. 31 JB 3.261-262; AB 3.33.

[27] Pandey, ‘Prajāpati and Uṣas’, p. 101, cited in Joshi, ‘Prajāpati in Vedic Mythology and Ritual’, p. 112.

[28] ŚB 1.7.4.2-3. The word has been interpreted by Sāyaṇa as transgression of moral law (maryādā vyavasthā) prohibiting incest with daughter (duhitā na gantavyā-iti, ‘daughter is unapproachable [for sex]’), and, in a similar vein, by Monier-Williams as violation of an agreement or any fixed order (saṃdha). Considering that saṃdha also means ‘union’, ‘junction’ or ‘connection’, though not expressly having a sexual connotation, the word, when prefixed with ati, can also mean ‘excess’ or ‘extraordinary’ union’ and hence a faulty union. 36 AB 3.33. 

[29] JB 3.261; AB 3.33.

[30] ŚB 1.7.4.3. 39 AB 3.33; ŚB 1.7.4.3 40ŚB 2.1.2.9.

[31] ‘The gods said, “Let not this seed of Prajāpati be spoiled”’ (mā-idam-prajāpateḥ-retaḥ-duṣat) (AB 3.33); ‘The gods and ṛṣis said, “Let not this [seed] be spoiled”’ (mā-idam-duṣat) (JB 3.263); ‘Prajāpati thought: “May this [part] of me not be spoiled”’ (idam-me māduṣam) (PVB 8.2.10).

[32] In one version, the gods surrounded it (seed) with Agni, the Maruts blew upon it, but Agni could not move it. They, then, surrounded it with Agni Vaiśvānara, the Maruts blew over it and Agni Vaiśvānara caused it to move (AB 3.34). In another version, the gods set it aflame on all sides (pari-aindhat) with Agni, the Maruts blew on it and they, by means of the śrāyantīya chant (sāman), strengthened (aśrīṇan) it (JB 3.263). In yet another version, they cured (abhiṣajyan) Prajāpati and cut out the Rudra’s dart, since Prajāpati is sacrifice. Thinking of the means whereby the part of the sacrifice torn out with the dart may not be lost (na-amuyāsat) and may be a small portion of the offering (kanīyaḥ-āhuteḥ- . . . syāt), they took it round to Bhaga or Savitṛ in order for him to eat it so that it could considered as offered (āhutam), but it burnt out (nirdadāha) his eyes, blinding him. Realizing that it was not appeased (aśamat), they, then, took it round to Pūṣan, but as he tasted it, it knocked out (nirjaghāna) his teeth, rendering him toothless. Knowing that it was still not appeased, they took it round to Bṛhaspati, who, impelled by Savitṛ, consumed it, wherefore it became appeased (śānta), did not injure him (na-ahinat) and became essentially the fore-portion (prāśitra) (ŚB 1.7.4.4-8). In still another version, Prajāpati strengthened (aśrīṇāt) and set it right (sat-akarot) (PVB 8.2.10).

[33] However, this myth has been alternatively and imaginatively interpreted (N. N. Bhattacharyya, Ancient Indian Rituals and Their Social Context, New Delhi: Manohar Book Service, 1975, pp. 36-44) as Prajāpati’s ritual killing at the sacrifice after a ceremonial sexual union with his daughter. Thus construed, this myth, according to him, alludes to the ancient custom, among the primitive agrarian ‘matriarchal’ communities, of ritually killing the priest king, the subordinate consort and the sexual mate of the all-powerful priestess queen, after he had discharged his primary functions of ensuring fertility (agricultural and sexual) to the limits of his potency. This ritual murder was followed by his replacement with a more virile male successor to maintain the queen’s sexual cycle and the earth’s productivity—a putatively real event that inspired the myths and rituals of a ‘dying god’ (vis-à-vis a ‘living goddess’) across cultures. Hence, given such deeper meanings embedded in Prajāpati’s incest myth but not understood even in the age of Brāhmaṇa literature, its rendition in the latter was ‘fabricated’ with an ‘oversimplified traditional interpretation’ of a ‘sin’ met with ‘punishment’. Bhattacharyya’s elaborate argument, marshalling crosscultural evidence from ancient and medieval periods and interpreting other Vedic myths (e.g., that of Purūravas and Urvaśī) in the same light, might well be impressive, but in the absence of concrete historical evidence of ancient matriarchal societies practicing such fertility rituals of killing the male priest at least in the pre-Vedic period, it seems far-fetched. 

[34] For instance in ṚV 10.72, Dakṣa and Aditi are conceived as creating each other and, in turn, creating animate beings; in ṚV10.90, Puruṣa and Virāj are referred to as creating each other.  (Brown, ‘Theories of Creation in the Ṛg Veda’, p. 26-27) 45ŚB 2.1.4.11.

[35] ŚB 2.1.4.12. 47ŚB 2.1.4.13.

[36] ŚB 2.1.4.14. Elsewhere (ŚB 13.2.6.8), these syllables were called prājapatya (related to/belonging to Prajāpati).

[37] ŚB 6.1.1.9.                                                             

[38] Such ‘asexual’ procreation is also discernible in the myth of Manu obtaining a daughter Ilā from the pāka sacrifice and then using her as a sacrificial offering to obtain progeny — a practice reinforced by the subsequent recommendation for performing Ilā to obtain offspring (ŚB 1.8.1.10-11). In fact, Manu’s identification with Prajāpati (ŚB 6.6.1.19), perhaps, implicitly justified his use of ritual means for procreation.

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