By Swami Harshananda
Dasyus literally means ‘those who destroy others’.
Origin of the Word Dasyus
- Super-human enemies
- Human foes
Meaning of Dasyus
Some of the words used to describe them give us the impression that they were flat-nosed, ugly and unclean persons who did not perform the sacrificial rites of the Aryans and hated the Deva-s. They were addicted to the strange practices. Names of some of the well known names of the dasyus mentioned in the Vedas are:
Beliefs Regarding Dasyus
- In later literature the word refers to criminals committing atrocities on peace-loving people.
- Indra, the lord of the gods, is sometimes referred to as ‘dasyuhatya’. It means a person who destroys the Dasyus.
- The Iranian terms ‘daṅhu’ and ‘daqyn’ are similar to the word ‘Dasyu’ and indicate a country inhabited by hostile people.
- Ṛgveda 1.34.7; 1.100.18; 1.51.8; 1.117.21
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore