Page:A history of Sanskrit literature (1900), Macdonell, Arthur Anthony.djvu/152

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streams, all but two or three of which belong to the Indus river system. Among them are the five which water the territory of the Panjāb, and, after uniting in a single stream, flow into the Indus. They are the Vitastā (now Jhelum), the Asiknī (Chenab), the Parushṇī (later called Irāvatī, "the refreshing," whence its present name, Ravi), the Vipāç (Beäs), and the largest and most easterly, the Çutudrī (Sutlej). Some of the Vedic tribes, however, still remained on the farther side of the Indus, occupying the valleys of its western tributaries, from the Kubhā (Kabul), with its main affluent to the north, the Suvāstu, river "of fair dwellings" (now Swat), to the Krumu (Kurum) and Gomatī, "abounding in cows" (now Gomal), farther south.

Few of the rivers of the Rigveda are mentioned more than two or three times in the hymns, and several of them not more than once. The only names of frequent occurrence are those of the Indus and the Sarasvatī. One entire hymn (x. 75) is devoted to its laudation, but eighteen other streams, mostly its tributaries, share its praises in two stanzas. The mighty river seems to have made a deep impression on the mind of the poet. He speaks of her as the swiftest of the swift, surpassing all other streams in volume of water. Other rivers flow to her as lowing cows hasten to their calf. The roar and rush of her waters are described in enthusiastic strains:—

From earth the sullen roar swells upward to the sky,
With brilliant spray she dashes up unending surge;
As when the streams of rain pour thund'ring from the cloud,
The Sindhu onward rushes like a bellowing bull.

The Sindhu (now Sindh), which in Sanskrit simply means the "river," as the western boundary of the Aryan settlements, suggested to the nations of antiquity