Yama Yami Samvada (यम यमि सम्वादः)

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परिचय || Introduction

To understand the deeper concepts of Yamraja one needs to hear the discussion between Yama and Yami (Rig Veda. 10.10.4).

  1. Who is Yama and Yami?
  2. What is the significance of the discussion between Yama and Yami?

If this dialogue is not seen with greater depth it will only create misconceptions. One meaning of Yama is जोडी || Jodi (together). That means either it is couples or siblings. This sukta describes Yama and Yami as brother and sister  In ruk Samhita (10.10.4 and 10.17.1)  

Yama is described as the Trushtha’s  daughter Sharanyu devi’s son. Vivasvanta is his father.  

Yaska explains that Sharanyu devi - Sharanyu Sharanat, the root word, Sra means one who is always moving ahead or always running. Sharanyu devi’s first children were born through Surya dev. After that she disappeared and placed another devata women of the same Varna, Savarna doing act of  procreation.   She became Chaya and became famous.  Through Chaya Manu was born. When सूर्य देव || Surya dev (Sun god) realized that Chhaya was not Sharanyu he started looking for her. When he saw her as a अश्व || ashwa (horse) he also assumed the form of a horse and through their union, the Ashwini devatas were born. Yasya explains this in his Nirukta (12.10). Many do misunderstand twins to be Ashwini kumaras.  

The Essence of Yama Yami’s Discussion

Surya is the representation of काल || kala (time factor), which moves very fast. Kala and speed are compared to Tvashthra and Sharanyu  and their progeny is Yama, He represents one prinicple of time  that is of destruction.  Is it not easy to understand?  Kala is generating force, it is maintaining force and also destructive force.  Kala is also nourishing  Surya who is the represents all aspect time, also act as nourishing power which is represented in Ashwini Kumaras, who give long life and healthy life.  This is also very significant about kala or yama.  In this way kala has been depicted as pleasing, his benefits to us, and these characters are reflected in Ashwini Kumaras.  Similarly, Yama and Yami represents another aspect of Kala, which is brutal and destructive.  This is meaning is established here.  Now one can discuss the deeper meaning of discussion between Yama and Yami.    

The Summary of the Suktas  

Yami tells Yama,

"this island is vast and secluded and here I want to make love with you, you who are my friend. Let the सृष्टिकर्ता || Srishtikarta (Creator), the Lord of the universe give us the best offspring from our union."

Yama responds,

"Hey Yami you are सहोदरी || sahodari (sister) and i am सहोदर || sahodara (brother), born of the same womb. As I am your brother I cannot engage in pleasurable union with you and cannot create a child with you. As the children of the Srishti Karta are from the land of light and enlightenment, the union between a brother and sister is not permitted by the Devatas."

Yami tries to persuade Yama with these words,

"Hey Yama, you are wrong because whatever I am saying that is what the Devatas expect from me. The only one king and supreme master of the cosmos Prajapati had such a relationship, therefore like him you should also be large hearted. Like Prajapati who had become husband of his daughter and provided all sensual pleasure to her, similarly you also enter into my body."

Hearing this, Yama explains

"Hey Yami, this is not correct what you say has happened in the past,  that should not be done. I have always spoken the truth. How can you engage me in the activity which is उनृत || unruta (falsity). The person who is standing in the space or sky and is the holder of the भूमि || bhumi (earth), he is गन्धर्व रूपी || gandharv rupi (having the form of Gandharva) Aditya (Sun god) and our mother Saranyu devi,  they are our father and mother. We are born from high family therefore there can not be  any other relationship between you and me other than brother and sister."

Yami continued

"that our father Prajapati.  who is the Creator,  inspirer, progenitor and worthy of reverence( addressing her father),  when we were born in our mother’s womb, it was already decided by daiva that we will become husband and wife. Who has the power to stop it? Just like Dyava and Prithvi’s (Earth) have known this relationship. And even if you consider this relationship as forbidden, but we are in secluded place! Who will see our union and who will expose it? Therefore, let us unite. This is the first day of our union. Even if you think that the devatas will know about our relationship, you have the power to keep Mitra  and Varuna in their divine place. You also have the power to punish human beings and send them into planets that can make them miserable. So why are you hesitant and why do you have so many reservations in fulfilling my desire. Let there be a natural inclination for you, Yamaraja, to sleep with me and I’ll offer my entire body completely to you. Like the wheels of the chariot l;et us together engage in the dharma, artha, kama and become husband and wife."

When Yamaraja heard this, this horrific temptation, he told

"Hey Yami, devatas and their associates are always watching us and our actions. Hey sinful lady, why are you tormenting me, if you so desire, go and engage with someone else and live the life of husband and wife, just like the wheel and chariot. In this way, Yamaraj exhibits his ethical character. He prays to the Devatas, Oh devatas ! let me be true to my name. When people perform yajnas, they invite me whether it is day or night time, let that grace continue. Let Surya, who is always with  opened eyes, protect me. Let Dvyava and Prithvi, who are like day and night, let them please me.   How is it that my sister who is sinful is asking such for such relationship? Let her wish not be fulfilled."

Praying internally, Yama spoke to Yami:   

"hey Yami, a brother and sister have to maintain the relationship given by daiva and get married to someone outside that blood. Only by the power of time, proper dharma will continue to flourish. As you mentioned, while in the past there are those who have gone against the natural order of life’s principle, but this  can never become dharma, this is adharma. We must come from adharma to dharma, this is the process of Kaala (Time). Therefore हे सुभागे || he Subhage (auspicious one) please accept somebody else as your husband and let him take rest on your shoulders."

(Many commentators have explained that the  brother and sister will  plan  to act against the natural system, which will  happen in the  age of Kali.  But Yamaraj being determined not to commit such activities. But Yami refutes this by saying:

"My dear brother when you are there why I should take shelter of someone else like an orphan? What kind of brother are you, who can’t fulfil the desires of a sister? If my misery is not your misery, how can I be your sister? I am tormented by lust and therefore, please satisfy my desires. Let this body be united with your body and let us become free from this torment."

This made Yamaraja very angry and he reprimands Yami:

"This will never happen! How can I do this? How can I be sinful? You are सुभागे || Subhage (auspicious)!  Please go to someone else and unite with him, I can be nothing to you but your brother."

When Yami realises that her attempts to woo Yama have failed, she tries to condemn her brother

"Hey Yama, I know you are not powerful, not potent. How can I understand your heart? How can I tolerate to see another woman embracing you? Just like rope and horses are connected with each other or the creepers embracing the trees. How can I see someone else embracing you. How will I tolerate?"

Yama laughed inwardly and tells her:

"Hey Yami, just as a creeper embraces a tree or the rope connected to horses, let that kind of relationship come to you from someone else. May you like each other and let there be love in your mind for him. My greatest happiness would be to see you  have that kind of auspicious relation with him"

Thus though Yami tries hard in convincing her but she was not successful in the argument.

Explanation of Sukta (verses)

So, what is the meaning of this above Sukta?

This is strange but many factors do come here. Yama is personification of dharma. He controls Kama (temptation and desire) and bhoga(enjoyment) by discipline,  he controls(sayamana) therefore he is called यम || yama (to control). Yami is the exact opposite of Yama, she represents the Bhoga Shakti (the enjoying spirit). Therefore Yama and Yami are an inherent part of our existence as dharma () and adharma ().

  1. Sayyam and bhog (Discipline and recklessness)
  2. Punya and paap (piety and sin)
  3. Urdhva gati and adho gati ( going higher/or degrading    
  4. Svarga and naraka (heaven and hell)

Yama and Yami represent the oppositional principle of dharma and adharma and are engaged in a constant battle within us, but ultimately it is Yama who is victorious. But Yami doesn’t give up easily and continues to tempt Yama to engage in activities that are not conducive to dharma.

Why do they appear as twins?   The 2 children are dharma () and adharma Shakti.   Both are existing within the human system, and in the Creation of Paramatma, they exist at the same time.   One of the Vaishvadeva mantra is; अधर्म अस्वाह ||adharma asvaha||  just like the day and the night exist,  there is adharma and dharma. It is only because of opposition from adharma that dharma can shine. It is only because Yami tempts and pushes Yama into a difficult situation that Yama’s यमथ्व || yamathva (his position of yama ) is established. Therefore such suktar spring forth in the scriptures.

What is the meaning of Yami inviting Yama for sensual activity? This is explained as adharma trying to seduce dharma to become अधार्मिक || adharmic ().

If one wants to see this dialogue from Yami’s perspective, it is seen as the will of the shrishtikartha (Creator). Yami wants to and destroy dharma and see the entire world to be adharmic. As per Yama’s perspective, this is not the desire of daiva or the lord and Yami should engage with someone else. That means, there are many people who serve the cause of adharma. Let her unite with those who are willing to become adharmic. But Yami remains persistent, as she believes that if she can tempt   Yama, then she emerges supreme. This is the voice of adharma. Yama accepts Yami as his sister which means that Dharma accepts the existence of adharma and believes that Adharma is also born from same womb. Therefore Dharma accepts the same origin of adharma but does not accept the idea of losing dharma’s  identity.    

In the description of Yami’s seduction where she alludes that they are in the midst of the ocean which is completely secluded, the allegory is of the living entity who is in samsara () that is likened to the vast secluded ocean and is constantly confronted by Adharma.  Humans can only understand the conflict between dharma and adharma when he or she is in secluded place.  One can understand that Yama understood the essence of Asthanga yoga, with its import, this is corroborated in the previous chapter.  For Yama, the island in the ocean is the place for doing his yoga sadhana.  

It also reveals that when a man sits for yogabhyasa or yoga, it is only after performing यम || yama () and नियम || niyama (), then he can move on the higher steps of yoga like;  asana jaya, pranayama, pratyahra, tarka, dharana and samadhi.   But in the very first step if Yama is engaged by adharma in wrong path, then to achieve future steps becomes impossible for Yama. Then adharma becomes  victorious and it leads to destruction of the self.  Yamaraja condemns such people, this has been in the previous chapter.  

Therefore the discussion of Yama/Yami has the connotation of the ill effects and right effects of performing ashtanga yoga.

Dharma has got legacy. Therefore Yamaraj remembering this legacy or parampara and answers Yami. But Yami who represents  adharma also tries to create legacy. But it’s not possible. In Yami’s terms there are many impacting meanings:

1. To try to make wrong actions as right actions. When Yama doesn’t accept it, Yami says, our interaction will remain secret and no one will know and understand. These words of Yami show how deceptive energy she is.

2. When Yama answers her question, Yami chastises him as being impotent and valor less. She exhibits her destructive qualities.

3. When Yama is still not budging, she cries and claims that she is mistreated. Therefore when Yama speaks very strongly against Yami, who is adharmi, in such discussions, harsh words are not bad qualities, rather good qualities. There are many such episodes in the vedas and itihasas about establishing Yama-dharma.

For Eg: the discussion between

  1. Agastsya and Lopamudra
  2. Urvasi and Pururva

Based on the similar principles there is a discussion between Arjuna and Urvasi in Mahabharat (Vanaparva: Chapter 46). Urvasi approaches Arjuna saying:

||tvad guna krushta chittaham anagavashamagaata

Chirabhilashito  vira mamapeshayamanorathahah||

Arjuna closes his ears at such blasphemy and replies

||yatha kunti mahabhaga yethe indrani saci mama

tatha tvamapi kalyani nathrakaryavicarana||


Oh Urvasi, you are like my mother Kunti!

Urvasi can be compared to Yami as in her desire for Arjuna and she becomes shameless and angry. She berated Arjuna,

         You referred to me as mother? But so many people in your own family have come to me! (Ye putra naptaravo va) …They came to heavenly planets by performing tapasya and engaged in sensualities with me. Therefore, you should be pleased to see me and also  i am your follower. Like Yami, Urvashi requested Arjuna to please her, but Arjuna like Yama was stable and refused to get seduced by her.  Notably, Urvashi was not like Yami from the Rigveda, she was furious with Arjuna and cursed him to be a apumsaka/napunsaka (impotent).

Urvasi’s words that many of Arjuna’s ancestors had engaged in sensual activities when they ascended to the heavenly planets has symbolic meaning and the evil designs of the Indologists is clear when they deliberately misinterpret this as sanction to engage sexually with one’s mother. This is not alluded to anywhere in the Mahabharatha or in our Shastras. Here it is indicating that Urvasi is not necessarily the historic figure of this world and therefore those who are trying to find the mundane history in the epic, need to learn and understand this principle very clearly. Therefore many people-- Mr Vaidya they faltered by this wrong understanding and caused great harm to the Indian epic and if we accept all such foolish arguments, accept everything, the symbolic meaning of Vedas as simply a factual mundane reality-- how much it can cause great misunderstanding?

As an example, below quoted are several mantras that fortunately have been overlooked by Christian missionaries and their fellow partners, their fellow conspirators.  In the Ekagni Kanda (1st prapataka, 3rd anuvaka),

||Somaha ; pratamo ; vivadhe ; gandharvo ; vivadha ; uttaraha;

tritiyo; agnishti; patihi  turiyasthe ; manusyajah

       somaha ; gandharavaya, ; gandharvodadgnaye

      Rayi cha, ; putrangaschadadgnihi ; mayyam ato imam;


These mantras are mentioned in the Rgveda as a part of Suryadevi’s marriage ceremony.

According to Vedas, when a girl marries a boy , he is considered as the 4th husband as Soma is the first, Vishvavasu gandharva is the second and Agni is the 3rd. Only after the above mentioned 3 people enjoy the girl, then the human husband enjoys her. And during the ceremony the bridegroom is supposed to chant this mantra. So the question arises:

"Are Soma, Gandharva and Agni historical figures,  with reference to a girl marrying the 4th person?"

Based on the premise of modern self-styled Indologists who neither  understand or know our philosophy but interested in chronological listing of events and conversations, for such people this esoteric understanding makes every Hindu girl a woman of loose character.  When the priest make the  the bridegroom chant the mantras, instead becoming angry hearing such mantras, the bridegroom follows in repeating the mantras.  Does it make any sense?   At every marriage, this mantra is supposed to be chanted. Notably, the mantra has great adhyatmik significance beyond realities.

The mantra signifies that post marriage, the woman is not the man’s exclusive property, and he is forewarned that he cannot ill-treat her in any way. It also indicates that Soma, gandharva, agni are the natural masters on the daivi platform and no human being can chase them away.

The mantra states that it is only through the performance of real yoga that a man experience the presence of the devatas. (Also for a girl to come to the platform of different stages of youth, the devathas are very much a part and men should remember this).  

It is only when we see the discussion between Yama and Yami from a adhyatmik perspective that it makes sense. In general we have discussed how  Yama is known as dispenser  of reaction to one’s sinful and pious activities and accordingly he would send the living entities to different planetary systems. Showing his power to discipline. - But it was depicted that in a larger perspective, Yamaraja, plays the role of sarvantharayami, the inner dweller paramatma.  Now We will deal with the relationship between Yama and the pitris (ancestors).

  1. It is discussed that Yamaloka: is not just a hellish planet, there is much more to it, there is description of the different kinds of  planets in Vedas. In Rik Samhita (mandal 18, sukta 14) an example can be quoted. From the previous mantra from Rik samhita :

Oh human beings, please worship Yamaraj by offering havishya (oblations) because those who live a life of dharma or pious activities, such great souls according to their activities are sent to different planets, after death. But they have to go through Yama, i.e., the land of Yamaraj and Yama is the master of all the pitrs (ancestors). What do we understand from this? After death, before going to any other planet, every living entity has to take permission from Yamaraj. In fact, Yamaraj also decides the lifespan of the living entities and the the results of one’s activities. In this regard, Yama is impartial. All the planetary systems are based upon the karmataryatam or the differences in actions. In every body, there is a person who doesn’t die after the body is destroyed. This is the divine consciousness as explained in the Vedas. The living entity or the atma is called in the Rik Samhita and other Vedic literature as: asu, jyothi, jiva, atman, ajobhaga. This proves the existence of the atma (), परलोक || paraloka (other planets) punarjanma (rebirth). Those who deny their existence by claming that there is no such proof are incorrect as this is validated by our Shastras.

Debunking the Lies of Western Indologist.

The western Indologists for their dubious narrative of the Vedas,  have interpreted the relationship between Yama & Yami wrongly.  Gaiswald (The religion of Rig veda, page 373) claims that Yama is चन्द्र || Chandra (moon) and Yami is Ushas (dawn). This preposterous understanding as well as the story he quotes to prove his point is ludicrous  it is like asking a question, what are  similarities between a village song of lithuania and a divine praise in the vedas.   To this one may say it is like the same similarities between a Muslim priest and Krishna’s divine descent, in other words there cannot be any similarities. There are others like Hilley brant have commented made unreasonable and foolish comments on vedas.

The devious agenda of western Indologists is seen in the translation of the suktas. How does he misinterpret the Yama Yami discussion? A foolish person will see that a sister wishes to have union with a brother, as she is unable to control her kaama (desire). And therefore she persuades her brother in lusty activities.   . Anthropologists and psychologists in their practices are accustomed to such behavior as such instances appear in their works of literature or history. A self-styled Indologist of the missionaries of Christianity projects the story of  Yama and Yami in a denigrating way to drag our devatas to this low level. He explains that Yama and Yami are the original personalities of human existence and using Christian theology compares them to Adam and Eve.  He say that this discussions are shameless between the two.   He claims these  discussions questions their  ethical stability.. This is pure fiction as nowhere the Vedas say that Yama and Yami were the original persons during creation (The Religion of the Rik veda, page 324) ). There is no reference of Yama and Yami being the original personalities of creation.  Especially, what is the relationship between the original person of Christianity,  and  the in-charge of ancestors, Yamaraja.   In fact the vedic suktas makes it very clear that Yama and Yami did not unite.  Yami symbolizes bhoga shakti (power) and Yama symbolizes power to restrain).   Claiming that Yama and Yami were the original human beings as Christianity claims that Adam and Eve were is akin to saying that some children were born to a barren women. These fictitious claims clearly reveals the evil motives of the Western Indologists who misinterpreted our Shastras.   not only to denigrate it but also most daringly borrowed and digested our itihasa and attribute it to Christianity, The most brilliant example of their devious Indology plan is the Aryan Invasion theory and the creation of the Dravidian Sect.  Apart from giving respectability to the created modern religion, Christianity it also helped them to claim ownership of our Shastras. Further, the fake manufacturing of history based on the Christian worldview apart from propagating their religion as superior to the ‘pagan’ natives was also to gain control over the economic, territorial, philosophical resources and most importantly our social capital.

Further, Indian historians brainwashed by the Western academic Mafia followed these distortions. Dr. Kirti Mishra (Life and society in the Vedic Age) claims that the prayers, tree branches, trees, water, sky, etc. were there to keep human happy. Therefore, he says that our ancestors were living on trees and were aborigines. he further states that the description of Prajapati’s marriages as in the Aitreya brahmana is an uncivilized way of getting married. According to him, Aryans had incestous marriages, the father would marry daughter and mother would marry son and the brothers and sisters would marry each other. There was no restriction amongst family members to marry with each other.  To prove his point he quotes a reference from Engles (the Origin of the Family, Private property and the State). By claiming that the  marriage of Prajapati is like actually reality, and he is only a historical person and by accepting the marriage as it is the indologist have proved their whole process of understanding history is faulty.  Rawth wilson & Max Muller have defended these theories. According to Max Mueller, Yama is day, Yami is Night, Although Max Muller does not directly say that Yama and Yami were the original people of the Indian culture,  in his book lecture of science (pgs no 510 , 521). To distort the symbolical aspects of our civilisation and misinterpreting its original meaning for colonising us is adharmic and should be termed as cultural genocide. This makes it necessary to understand and present the real meaning

In  essence those who do not see the vedic suktas from a Bharatiya perspective and Bharatiya understanding, they will be surprised and shocked, and it is not a shocking thing.   We can carefully observe the suktas in their original understanding.