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buber.net > Basque > Astro > On Basque Astronymy: The Sun in Mythology
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On Basque Astronymy: The Sun in Mythology

by M. G. Ramos

Tr: Blas Pedro Uberuaga

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The Sun in Mythology

37. One poetic metaphor [+], in which the sun is like an open eye in the immensity of the sky, has given place to various myths, as much in India [+] as in other regions of antiquity. Sayce has said that mythology is based in a large part on the metaphors of language.

The vedica mythology offers us curious examples of the affinity of ideas between sun and eye during the time of the primitive Aryans. And not only in the Vedas, but also in the Avesta, where hvare (related to the Vedic svar) calls the sun the eye of Ahura Mazda. (Macdonell). As far as Egypt, one of the festivals in honor of the sun is celebrated in the thirtieth day of the epiphi, under the name of ``birthday of the eyes of Horus.'' (Encicl. Espasa) [+].

But, it is especially in the Vedas where we can encounter very abundant material. We take, for example, the origin of the universe. One of the hymns of the Rigveda tells that the gods celebrated a sacrifice with the body of a giant named Purusha, and from his only eye formed the sun.

The idea of this myth is very primitive and agrees with the traditions of other regions. (Macdonell). Thus, we have that in Japan the most interesting version about the origin of the universe is that the sun and the moon were created from the eyes of the progenitor, in the same moment at which he washed with an object to purify himself from the stains that he had contracted in his visit to the underworld after the death of his consort. (Amesaki, cited in the Encicl. Espasa).

38. In Vedic mythology the sun is the `eye of the gods', above all of Surya, Mitra, Varuna [+] and Agni. In the Atharva Veda it is called `the king of the eyes'. In the Vedic hymns, it also receives the epiteth `eye of the world'. Its gaze penetrates all it reaches. Before the sun, the stars, like thieves, disappear in the shadows of the night. The sun is guardian of all beings, animate or inanimate. It observes the good and evil actions of men.

As much Indra as Agni and Varuna, were gods endowed of a thousand eyes. According to the Ramayana, the peacock owes the eyes of his feathers to the first. (Roussel, Shovona Devi).

The material is very extensive. We could fill various pages with citations from the Vedas, many of them beautiful. The reader whose interest is piqued by this brief reference can consult any good treatise of Vedic mythology, above all that of Macdonell, which is excellent.

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