[INDOLOGY] The Honey Doctrine (madhu vidyā)

Nagaraj Paturi nagarajpaturi at gmail.com
Mon Dec 27 03:51:20 UTC 2021

Even a simple popular source such as Wikipedia covers this :


In the Rig Veda <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rig_Veda>, Soma
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soma_(drink)>, the Vedic symbol for deep
spiritual truth, is addressed as *Madhu*, the nector or ambrosia, the drink
of Immortality sought by both gods and men. Rishi Vamadeva
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vamadeva> has described how the saving of
the knowledge of *Madhu* or *Soma* Doctrine came to him through a hawk in a
sudden flash in his darkest hour.[4]

It is believed that Rishi Dadhichi had his *ashrama* in Dudheshwara on the
banks of Sabarmati River <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabarmati_River> near
present-day Ahmedabad <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmedabad>. His name
appears in the Rig Veda <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rig_Veda>.[5]
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhu-vidya#cite_note-5> Dadhichi was a sage
of Vedic repute (Rig Veda I.84.13: इन्द्रो दधीचो अस्थ
भिर्वृत्राण्यप्रतिष्कुतः| जघान नवतीर्नव ||). He was the son of Rishi
Atharvan <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atharvan> of the Atharvaveda
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atharvaveda>, and the father of Pippalada
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pippalada> of the Prasna Upanishad
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prasna_Upanishad>. His name is seen to occur
in the first Mandala of the Rig Veda, and in the Bhagavata Purana
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavata_Purana>. Rishi Kakshivana, the
sage of the Rig Veda <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rig_Veda> Sukta
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukta> 119 which is addressed to the Ashvins
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashvins>, in Mantra
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantra> 9 tells us :
उत स्या वां मधुमन्मक्षिकारपन्मदे सोमरयौशिजा हुवन्यति |युवं दधीचो मन आ
विवास्थोऽथा शिरः प्रति वामश्व्यं वदत् ||"The bee desirous of honey sang
praise-song for you. Aushij in delight of Soma tells how Dadhichi, told you
the secret of his mind after the head of his horse was cured."[6]

On Mon, Dec 27, 2021 at 3:07 AM Joanna Jurewicz <j.jurewicz at uw.edu.pl>

> Dear Jim,
> I discuss this doctrine (to some extent) in my "Fire, Death and
> Philosophy. A History of Ancient Indian Thinking".
> With regards,
> Joanna
> ---
> Prof. dr hab. Joanna Jurewicz
> Katedra Azji Południowej /Chair of South Asia Studies
> Wydział Orientalistyczny / Faculty of Oriental Studies
> Uniwersytet Warszawski /University of Warsaw
> ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
> 00-927 Warszawa , Poland
> Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages
> College of Human Sciences
> Pretoria, RSA
> Member of Academia Europaea
> https://uw.academia.edu/JoannaJurewicz
> niedz., 26 gru 2021 o 20:40 Jim Ryan via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> napisał(a):
>> Madhav,
>> Thanks for this. This brings up the question of “honey” as a metaphor in
>> Vedic tradition generally. What was the “honey-ness” that was found I each
>> footstep?
>> Naturally, very difficult to ascertain, but interesting to contemplate.
>> Jim
>> On Dec 26, 2021, at 11:25 AM, Madhav Deshpande <mmdesh at umich.edu> wrote:
>> Dear Jim,
>> Check out R̥gveda 1.154.4-5 that refer to Viṣṇoḥ padāni as being filled
>> with Madhu and having a fount of Madhu.
>> Madhav
>> Madhav M. Deshpande
>> Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
>> University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
>> Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
>> Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore,
>> India
>> [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
>> On Sun, Dec 26, 2021 at 11:10 AM Jim Ryan via INDOLOGY <
>> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I’m looking for scholarship relating to the Honey Doctrine sonorously
>>> invoked in Bṛhadāraṇyaka U., 2.5.1-19. Are there Vedic antecedents anywhere?
>>> Jim Ryan
>>> Asian Philosophies and Cultures (Emeritus)
>>> California Institute of Integral Studies
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> INDOLOGY mailing list
>>> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
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Nagaraj Paturi

Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.

Director, Indic Academy
BoS, MIT School of Vedic Sciences, Pune, Maharashtra
BoS Kavikulaguru Kalidasa Sanskrit University, Ramtek, Maharashtra
BoS Veda Vijnana Gurukula, Bengaluru.
Member, Advisory Council, Veda Vijnana Shodha Samsthanam, Bengaluru
BoS Rashtram School of Public Leadership
Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Studies in Public Leadership
Former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies,
FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of  Liberal Education,
Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.
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