Prof. S.A. Schulz
1. A brief description of the book’s subject matter.
The Bhagavadgita – its full title is श्रीमद् भगवद् गीता [shrimad-bhagavad-gita- (upanishads)]. «The (secret) teachings given in the song of the Sublime Exalted One» – constitutes chapters 25-43 of the «Bhisma-parvan,» the sixth book of the Mahabharata. This celebrated epic, containing more than 90,000 stanzas is probably the longest single poem in world literature. The author is, according to Hindu tradition, the legendary poet-sage, Vyasa. In its broad outlines the epic narrates a lengthy civil war, the quarrels and battles of two branches of a dynasty vying for supreme power: the five sons of Pandu, with Arjuna as their leader, oppose the forces of their (blind) uncle Dhritarastra (of the Kuru branch), with Duryodhana and his ninety-nine brothers.
Various treatises on religion, philosophy, politics, and ethics were grafted on the body epic at later times. The Bhagavadgita constitutes such an addition. When the decisive battle between the opposing armies is about to begin, Arjuna who has mounted a chariot surveys the ranks of the enemy and recognises there men he has known and loved all his life: old friends, relatives, and teachers. At their sight his spirits sink: he feels he cannot kill those who are dear to him. He asks his charioteer, Krishna, for advice. The latter is soon transfigured into a god and engages Arjuna in a dialogue which form the 18 chapters of the poem. This dialogue, as well as a lively description of the events on the battlefield, are narrated to the opposing (blind) king Dhritarastra by his charioteer Sanjaya.
2. The Bhagavadgita in the Western World.
Charles Wilking published an English translation as early as 1785. He had been encouraged by Warren Hastings1– with whose name Kashi and «Banaris» were closely connected in those times – to study with the Pandits there, and thus became the first modern Westerner to translate a Sanskrit work directly into a European language. The analysis of Galanos” Greek translation should establish, among other things, whether Galanos used Wilkins’s Bhagavadgitatranslation and his copious notes as model, and if the editor Typaldos might have fared better had he at least perused the English version more thoroughly.
Two years after the appearance of the Wilkins translation, Parraud translated this English version into French (Le Bhaghuat-Geeta, ou Dialogues de Kreeshna et d” Arjoon, Paris, 1787) while Friedrich Majer published the first German version of Wilkins” English Gita translation in Jul. Klaproth’sAsiatisches Magazin vol. I, II (Weimar, 1802).
A new Sanskrit edition accompanied by a Latin Translation was furnished in 1823 by August Wilhelm von Schlegel, the first professor of Sanskrit in Germany (University of Bonn, 1818) who had been a student of A.L. Chézy, the first professor of Sanskrit at the Collège de France in Paris. A.W.v. Schlegel’s work was later reedited with many additions by his student, the Norwegian scholar Christian Lassen, around 1846.2
3. The Greek Translation: preface and notes to Galanos” work.
In 1848, fifteen years after Galanos” death, the Conservator of Athens Library George K. Typaldos, published, «under the supervision of and with corrections made by G. Apostolidis (Kosmetes), «Librarian», the third volume of Galanos” translations from the Sanskrit ΓΙΤΑ Ή ΘΕΣΠΕΣΙΟΝ ΜΕΛΟΣGita or Thespesion Melos (The divine Song) as contained in Ms. no. 1854.3 A note at the end of the manuscript acknowledges the assistance rendered by a Kandardasa (Chandra Das?*) and the date when this work was finished: November 12, 1802, «in Kashi, the city of the Brahmans.» A few years later, about 1809, the Sanskrit text appeared in print in Calcutta, apparently for the first time.
Typaldos, the Greek editor, limits his initial remarks regarding Galanos” actual translation to a few lines (p. vi): «There is nothing we want to say about the Greek translation of the Gita, except that the famous Galanos knew the ancient Sanskrit language and many other Asiatic dialects well; he was equally well acquainted with the philosophical systems and theosophical precepts of the Indians; having been initiated in their mysteries and rituals…[he]accomplished this work with the help of the Brahmin Kandardas…There can be no doubt that he treated the work at hand with great insight and translated it with great care and exactness; he adorned it with many definitions and enriched it with most noteworthy interpretations…»
These valid remarks, however, do not deter the editor from embarking on a somewhat perilous exploring expedition of his own. Typaldos did not know Sanskrit and had to rely on the writings of scholars whose findings were then subjected to Typaldos” own interpretation. On page VII, in a 22-page chapter called «Protheoria» (preface), Typaldos writes about the Vedas,4 mentions Phaedo (Plato’s dialogue describing the death of Socrates) where it is argued that God is the ancient logos, but, according to Typaldos, «undoubtedly the Pythagorean, Orphic, Egyptian Indian, Chaldean, and Asiatic concepts of Pantheism differ from the greatest idea of one God as conceived by the Judaic prophets and the holy gospel. «He cites a little known Italian Sanskrit scholar, Pietro Giuseppe Maggi,5 Gorresio’s Ramayana recession and translation6 and agrees with him that the great epic Mahabharata, like (the dramatist) Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa, is considerably younger than the Ramayana, just as Vergil’s Aeneid is an imitation and re-creation of Homer’s Iliad. Some events such as the martial legends of the great civil war, Typaldos avers, are undoubtedly of ancient origin, but the many passages dealing with theology, epistemology, morals, ethics, and statecraft were added on much later by priest-poets. Typaldos quotes also Charles Wilkens on this subject and argues that not to acknowledge the modifications in such compilations, would be tantamount to the ludicrous assertion that Orphic theosophy, the Homeric epics, Pythagoras” philosophy of numbers, Plato’s theories, the Organon by Aristotle, and the Commentaries of the Alexandrian School had all emanated at the same time. Among other things Typaldos also discusses the age of the Vedas and Manu’s Laws, quoting Jones and Colebrooke (who conjectured their age as going back to 1500 and 1400 B.C. in Asiatick Researches, V, 288 and VII, 283) a Greek teacher of religion, Constantine Oekonomos, and his exegesis of the Old Testament; the French translation of L” Ezour Vedam, ou Ancien Commentaire du Vedam, (Yverdon, 1778)7 which also Typaldos considers a fraud. There are many other philosophical reflections and speculations in which Typaldos exhibits his «polymathic» knowledge.
The Greek editor seems to have derived a great part of his knowledge and understanding of things Indian, from the first volume (1843) of Christian Lassen’s monumental encyclopedic work Indische Alterthumskunde («Indian Antiquity») in four volumes (1843-1862) which the author sent to him and the receipt of which Typaldos gratefully acknowledges (p. v). He mentions other names and books in his long introductory notes (82 pages), apparently gleaned from that encyclopedic work. Typaldos cites August Wilhelm von Schlegel’s Indische Bibliothek (Bonn I, 1823; II, 1827; III, 1 1930) and Friedrich von Schlegel’sÜber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier8 Alexandre Langlois” Monuments littéraires de 1’Inde, Colebrooke’s «Essay on the Philosophy of the Hindus», Abel Remusart’s essay on Colebrooke’s essay (in Nouveaux Melanges Asiatiques Paris, 1829), Friedrich Adelung’s Bibliotheca Sanscritica. Literatur der Sanskritsprache (St. Petersburg, 1837) and Philosophische Systeme (pp. 172-187), essays on Hindu philosophy by Guillaume Pauthier9 (Paris, 1835) and the German scholar, Othmar Frank (Munich, Leipzig, 1835), Wilhelm von Humboldt’s paper on the Gita, presented at the Berlin Academy in 1826, (printed in the Sitzungsberichte), a French translation of Heinrich Ritter’s Geschichte der Philosophie (orig. 12 vols., 1829-53), V. Cousin’s Cours de l’histoire de laphilosophie du XVIII siècle (Paris, 1829), Peter von Bohlen, Das alte Indien mit besonderer Rücksicht auf Ägypten (Königsberg, 1830), F.H.H. Windisschmann’s Latin work on Sancara, sive de Theologumenis Vedanticorum (Bonn, 1833), also Maret’s Essai sur le Panthèisme (Paris, 1840).
Typaldos also mentions that «the lover of the fine arts» (philomousos) Athanasios Theocharidis had sent detailed information contained in the afore-mentioned works from Leipzig, while the «most patriotic» Greek consul of Marseilles, K.Z. Tzitzinas, had remitted much material from Paris. He also expresses his thanks for additional advice he sought and received from Lassen and Hermann Brockhaus, apparently by correspondence. In vol. II (not yet published at that time) of Lassen’s Indische Alterthumskunde there (pp. 1119 ff.) is a treatise on the origin of the churches of St. Thomas, about which Lassen may have written to Typaldos.
Since it is generally assumed that the final redaction of the Mahabharata in its entirety (i.e. the Bhagavadgita included) may have occurred as late as 400 A.D., Typaldos comes to the conclusion that the clever composer of the Gita had incorporated some of the exalted precepts of the New Testament in the philosophical Hindu poem. Referring to the apostles Marc and Paul (Gal., I, 17) who took the gospel to Arabia and Persia (!) and to Thomas who brought the gospel to India, Typaldos is firmly convinced that the Indian author must have been well read in the Gospels and the Fathers of the Church: «…also in this delusion of pantheism there shines the ray of heavenly truth. It is rightfully said that the light comes from the east. That is why the sun of justice and truth shone from the east. Since then, all Asian10 theosophs became, in theory as well as in practice, Christians. And all who had heard even the name of the divine teaching confessed to Christ. The Brahmins, however, who also received this divine teaching skillfully amalgamated it with the affirmation of pantheism and their theosophical dogmas. Therefore the many and monstrous incarnations of Vishnu and the end of the reconciliatory Bhagavadgita constitute the very late and pallid image of the divine plan and those myths forged by Brahmanic witchcraft.»
4. The Galanos translation
In his translation of the Bhagavadgita Galanos simplifies and, to a minor extent, expands on persons, things, and concepts, which his educated Greek readers could not be expected to comprehend readily. Some explanatory notes were added by Typaldos because, as he points out, it seems that Galanos was, unfortunately, not able to correct any of the final versions of his Greek translations. Therefore, some inconsistencies, which appear in the manuscripts, had to be cleared up by means of a close comparison between Galanos” writings and other (Western) versions, translations, and commentaries. In this Greek version of the Gita, as corrected by Typaldos, necessary changes have been annotated (in Greek letters) as «Π.Γ.» Πρώτη Γραφή; Prote Graphe = Galanos” original manuscript) and ΔΓ and ΔΓr. (i.e.) Διάφοραι Γραφαί; Diaphorai Graphai = variants in other mss.) Yet, as will be become evident when the Greek version as published is examined more closely, Typaldos” sedulous travail may have caused more harm then good to the pristine, well-reasoned Galanos text.11
There are altogether 673 stanzas in the Bhagavadgita, divided into eighteen chapters. The very first stanza (where the blind king of the Kuru clan, Dhritarashtra, asks his chariot driver) «O Samjaya, what did my people and the sons of the Pandus do, as they had gathered there eager for battle in the field of righteousness (dharma), in the field of the Kurus?» is translated by Galanos as «having come to Kurukshetra, to the field of (arete = dharma).»
The original meaning of arete is «virtue» in the sense of “manly” (Lat. vir) qualities, as in Homer, Iliad XX, 421 when Hector and Achilles are engaged in battle. In the Greek tragedies the concept arete takes on the extended meaning «having excellent moral and ethical qualities» and in later times, particularly in the Christian era, it is almost synonymous with καλοκαγαθία (Kalokagathia) »being “kalos” and “agathos”, a sterling character», and even with η οσιότης (he hosiotes) «the characteristics of a saintly person who acts in accordance with the law and his duties.» It must have been this last meaning, which Galanos chose for Skr. dharma. Galanos Ms. 1840, which contains the rudiments of an envisaged Sanskrit-English-Greek dictionary, simply lists dharma (and a series of compound nouns and adjectives) in Devanagari letters, but gives no English or Greek meanings.
The Sanskrit term धर्मक्षेत्र «dharmakshetra» in its philosophical context means, as Radhakrishnan12 puts it, that the world is the battleground for a moral struggle, «the nursery of saints where the sacred flame of spirit is never permitted to go out» and where «the Lord who is the protector of dharma is actively present in it.»
The proper names of the many heroes mentioned in the first few stanzas are spelled in such a way that it is not easy to identify them. Instead of Yuyudhana there appears Σατέκης Satekes (1,4) for Skr. Satyaki (one of his other eponyms) and untranslated‚ μαχαράτας «ho maharatas» (for mahāratha) i.e «a mighty warrior, one of the great war chariot», (said of Drupada), as if it might mean «the Maharashtrian».13 In 1,2 Galanos gives the name of the आचार्य acharya (i.e. Drona who had instructed the princes of both warring parties in the art of war); often the patronym (son of Drupada) is omitted and the actual name not mentioned in the Sanskrit text is given: 1,3; Δρυσταδεούμνα Drystadeoumna = Skr. धृष्टद्युम्न Dhristadyumna, instead of Drupada’s son (the organizer of the battle front of the Pandavas). In 1,6 where the Sanskrit text mentions only «the offspring of (the mothers) Subhadra and Draupadi» Galanos gives, instead of «Saubhadrah,» the man’s actual name: Αββιμανιούς «Abbimanious» = Skr. अभिमन्यु and in the case of «Draupadi’s offspring,» he simply explains: «the five Pandavas and sons of Draupadi» (and mentions them without comment on the margin of the manuscript.)14
Instead of दि्वजोत्तम dvijottama «O best of the twice born» (1,7) Galanos simply uses the generic term ώ υπέρτατε βράχμαν (o hypertate brachman) «most exalted brahmin.» In 1,8; Βουρισράβας «Bourisravas» = Skr. Bhaurishravas «having great fame», an ally of the Kauravas, is wrongly identified as the son of Somadatta. In order to have the Greek readers know who is being encouraged by the elderly Kuru, Bhishma, «who roared like a lion and blew his conch» (I,12) the name of Duryodhana, the Kuru prince,15 is added. In I,15; Krishna, (instead of Hrshikesha «stiff-haired,» i.e. «the Lord of the senses») blows his shell, the pañcajanya.16 Ι, 16; Yudhisthira is the eldest (and most prudent) of the five sons of Pandu, but never a king βασιλεύς basileys). The name of Subhadra’s son is not mentioned in I,18, but Galanos adds it: Abhimanyu; somewhat inconsistently he leaves out «the sons of Dhritarashtra» cited in I,19 and 20, Τypaldos supplies an explanation for Galanos” «sons of his», (which Galanos himself had done on the margin), but he does not explain (ton pitheka, «the monkey») on Arjuna’s banner.17 In I,20, where the sanskrit text refers only to the Pandava, Galanos adds «Pandoides Arjuna[s]», while the eponyms Hrshikesha and Acyuata («Immovable») in the next stanza and in I,24 are replaced by Krishna. The eponyms Gudakesha («whose hair is in tufts») in I,24, as well as Dhanamjaya («winner of wealth»), Partha («son of Partha = Kunti»), Paramtapa («oppressor of the enemy») in the following stanzas are replaced by Arjuna. The eponym Bharata («descended of Bharata») that can apply to both, Dhritarashtra and Arjuna, is exclusively used for Dhritarashtra (I,24). While Western usage does not define relationships clearly, e.g. uncle, Sanskrit and also Galanos” Greek distinguish them by special terms (uncles on father’s or mother’s side: I,26; Skr. pitamahan, matulan, Greek θείους προς πατρός, … πρός μητρός»…(theious pros patros,….pros metros). In I,27; Galanos simply states εκείνος (ekeinos) «that one» for Kaunteyanh, «son of Kunti.» Radhakrishnan (op.cit., p.89) faithfully translates I,29; «My limbs quail, my mouth goes dry, my body shakes and my hair stand on end…» Galanos” Greek translation reads in English as: » My limbs shrink, my face (πρόσωπόν μου – prosopon mou ) withers, my body trembles and shudders.»
In I,30; the name of Arjuna’s special bow, Gandiva18, is omitted and simply mentioned as το τόξον (to toxon). Keshava («having fine hair») and Govinda («Cow-keeper»), in I,31 and 32, Madhusudana («Slayer of the demon Madhu») in I,35, Janardana («Liberator of men») in the following stanza and 39, and Madhava (as husband of Lakshmi) in I,37 are various eponyms for Krishna, and therefore not ignored by Galanos. Trailokyarajas (I,35) «the kingdom of the three worlds», a Vedic concept signifying the earth, heaven, and the atmosphere (= antariksha) is interpreted by Typaldos as denoting «the subterranean, the earth, and heaven.» In I,36; where Arjuna asks «What joy would we derive from having killed the sons of Dhritarashtra? Typaldos changes Galanos” correct rendering (using χαρά, chara, αγαλλίαμα agalliama = «delight, exultation») into «What good αγαθόν (agathon ) would come of it for us?» Also the translation of atatayinah «having a stretched bow, i.e. threatening, inimical», which Radhakrishna translates as «malignant,» is changed by Typaldos from Galanos” correct rendering «though they are enemies» to «though they deserve to be killed.» In the following stanzas Arjuna enumerates the terrible consequences which may befall a country when its men have been killed, even «though their minds are overpowered by greed, [and they] see no fault in killing one’s family or quarreling with friends, why should we, with knowledge of the sin, engage in these acts?»
1. Governor-General of India from 1773-1785; died 1818.
2. Typaldos wrongly credits Fr(iedrich) Schlegel with the Latin translation of the Bh.gita, which was published in 1823, (not in 1833, as stated on p.6 of his introductory notes.)
3. There are twenty bound volumes of Galanos manuscripts at National Library of Greece. The official catalogue (ed. I. and A. Sakkelion, Athens 1892) lists them under the numbers 1836-1855.
4. «The holy books of the Indians called Vedas are as to their contents divided into three parts. These are primarily concerned with praktike arete,theoretike, and athanasia…The Gita, therefore constitutes a general view and condensed form of the Vedas…» (p. vii).
5. He published Due Episodii di Poemi Indiani, Italian versions of the Mahabharata story of Nala and Damayanti, and the Ramayana episode «Death of Yajnadatta,,» mentioned in A. de Gubernatis” Cenni sopra alcuni Indianisti viventi (Firenze, 1872) p.18, and in Materiaux pour servir l” Histoire des Etudes Orientales en Italie, (Paris, Florence, Rome, Turin, 1876). G. “s first book also contains some information on D. Galanos and N. Kephala whose «Descrizione della citta di Benares» (Livorno, 1826) is noted, p.19.
6. Abbate (Rev) Gaspare Gorresio, (1808-1891) published the Ramayana text based on Sanskrit manuscripts found in Bengal, 12 vols. of text and Italian transl. (Paris, 1843 – 1870).
7. edited by Baron de Sainte Croix, and transl. into German by J. Ith (Bern, 1779), it is a pia fraus (Winternitz, op.cit. I,12) by Robertus de Nobilibus, a Christian missionary (+Madras, 1652). Voltaire received it from a French official who had returned from Pondichéry and donated «le plus précieux manuscript qui soit dans tout l” Orient» to the Royal Library in 1761. See A.W. Schlegel, Indische Bibliothek (Bonn, 1827; II, 55ff.)
8. Ein Beitrag zur Begründung der Alterthumskunde (Heidelberg, 1808): Erstes Buch. Von der sprache, Zweites Buch. Von der Philosophie, Drittes Buch. Histoirische Ideen.
9. (1801-1873) Pauthier was primarily a Sinologist whose work on China was used by Chr. Lassen (ind. Alterthumsk). Best known are his Essais sur la philosophie des Hindous, par H.T. Colebrooke, traduit de l” anglais et augmentés de textes sanskrits et de notes nombreux, Paris, 1833, 1834 andLivres sacrés de l” Orient, Paris 1840.
10. Typaldos also refers to Eusebios (ca. 260-340), History of the Church. Book II, chapter 9 deals with Emperor Maximinus [Thrax] murdered by his troops in 235. He rescinded his predecessors” decree to end the persecution of the Christians, «published up and down the whole of Asia and in the adjoining provinces. «(Eusebius, The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine, in transl. Penguin Classics, L138; Baltimore 1965; p.357). This is the only reference to Asia; the Roman Empire did not Comprise Persia or India.
11. Unfortunately Typaldos entered many changes (in ink!) in the original manuscript, so that it is now difficult to distinguish between the original Galanos notes and the editor’s additions. Apparently, this kind of correction was more economical than to use separate sheets. The printer’s task was certainly not easy.
12. The Bhagavadgita. With an Introductory Essay, Sanskrit Text, English Translation and Notes. (George Allen and Unwin Ltd: London, 1948) p.79.
13. A footnote added by Typaldos explains that maharatas is used as an epithet for heroes, as in the non-existent Greek word megalodiphros. Butdiphros is a chariot-board on which only two can stand, the driver and the combatant. T. also makes a reference to the Old Testament.
14. Although no further mention is made in the Gita, (which as is known constitutes a later interpolation within the framework of the epicMahabharata) of the curious nature of Draupadi’s marriage to five brothers at the same time, Galanos does not find it necessary or interesting enough to add a brief note explaining this rare case of polyandry in a presumably Aryan epic. Drupada, king of Panchala allowed his «radiant and graceful» daughter, Draupadi, to Select her own husband by means of a svayamvara when various royal and princely suitors competed for her favours in a contest. The five Pandava brothers, illegitimate, but somehow «divine» offspring themselves also came. Their «father» Pandu («the pale one» and perhaps suffering from Leprosy) was unable to consort with his two wives, Kunti and Madri, either because of disease or a curse passed upon him, and retired to the Himalayan mountains. His faithful wives accompanied him, but various gods found them in the wilderness and consorted with them: Arjuna, «the bright or silvery» was Kunti’s third and last son, by Indra, the god of the sky. All five sons were of course considered portions of one deity and thus of one distinct person to who a woman might be married. Pandu willingly acknowledged the five sons as his own offspring, and they received the patronymic of Pandava. When Pandu died «his» children were brought to Dhritarashtra, the blind ruler of Hastinapur, who treated his nephews with great kindness and had them educated with his own (one hundred) sons (and one daughter). But soon rivalries arose between the cousins: the Kuru brothers tried to kill the Pandavas by setting their house afire; they escaped and lived in the forest upon alms, and disguised as Brahmans. When they heard about the svayamvara, they left the forest and journeyed to the place of contest, still disguised as Brahmans. Naturally they were victorious over all opponents, including the Kuru brothers, their cousins. The Pandavas threw off their disguise, and Draupadi was won by Arjuna. When he returned home with his brothers, one of their mothers, Kunti, directed them to share their acquired prize; apparently she was not aware of its nature. Her command could not be ignored; it was arranged that Draupadi should stay two days in the house of each of the five brothers in succession. She bore them five sons. An ancient pre-Aryan feature, polyandry, completely foreign and probably abhorrent to «Aryan» mores -it is practiced even to-day in some Himalayan regions where it prevents the endless re-parceling of scarce arable land – is depicted here as an understandable harmless lapse of an ever so watchful mother and then skillfully interwoven in the fabric of the great epic. Arjuna’s somewhat unusual origin, on the other hand, insures that no ordinary mortal is involved in this gigantic struggle.
15. «When Dhritarashtra, the blind king of the Kurus, decided to give his throne to Yudhishthira, who is also known as Dharmaraja, the embodiment of virtue, in preference to his own eldest son, Duryodhana, the latter by tricks and treachery, secured the throne for himself and attempted to destroy Yudhishthira and his four brothers. Krishna, the head of the Yadava, sought to bring about a reconciliation between the cousins. When all attempts failed, a fratricidal war…became inevitable.» Radhakrishnan, op.cit. p.80
16. Formerly the conch-shell in which a demon of the same name had lived and was slain, it became Krishna’s instrument the sound of which is aimed at the five classes of beings (pañcajanyaa), i.e. gods, men, Gandharvas, Apsaras, serpents, and Manes. Also Arjuna’s (for Skr. dhanamjayah»victorious») devadatta («god-given») instrument appears in its Sanskrit form, as do the other instruments listed in the following stanza: paundra = a mighty «lotus-flowered» conch, anantavijaya «eternal victory,» sughosha Greek: «euphonos» = Sounding well», and the manipushpaka (conch-shell) «decorated with flowers.» Most of the instruments mentioned in Sanskrit are masculine nouns, Galanos uses the feminine gender for the Greek counterparts. In I,14; he employs the archaic Greek dual for Krishna and Arjuna who «stood on their [great] chariot, yoked to (four) white horses, and (both) blew their (respective, sing.!) divine conch-shell.» Also the Sanskrit text uses the dual in this case.
17. The monkey on the banner is of course the image of Hanuman, who, in the Ramayana assisted Rama in his war against Ravana, the abductor of Rama’s wife Sita. Typaldos missed a splendid opportunity to enlarge on the great epic Ramayana. He mentions it briefly in his «Prolegomena» to the Balabarata (1847, p. xi). «Hanuman’s complexion is yellow and glowing like molten gold. His face is as red as the brightest ruby, while his enormous tail spreads out to an interminable length.» (Dowson, p.116).
18. It is Said to have originally belonged to Soma, the moon, who gave it to Varuna, the Vedic sovereign of the waters, who gave it to Agin, one of the chief deities of the Vedas and the god of fire (cp. Lat. ignis) . Agni presented it to Arjuna.