śambara शम्बर

Definition: Is the name of an enemy of Indra in the Rigveda. He is mentioned along with śuṣṇa, Pipru, and Varcin, being in one passage called a Dāsa, son of Kulitara. In another passage he is said to have deemed himself a godling (devaka). His forts, ninety, ninety-nine, or a hundred in number, are alluded to, the word itself in the neuter plural once meaning the ‘forts of śambara.’ His great foe was Divodāsa Ati- thigva, who won victories over him by Indra’s aid. It is impossible to say with certainty whether śambara was a real person or not. Hillebrandt9 is strongly in favour of the theory that he was a real chief as enemy of Divodāsa: he relies on the statistics of the mention of the name to show that, whereas he was conceived as a real foe in the hymns of the time of Divodāsa, later texts, like those of the seventh Maṇdala, make him into a demon, as a result of the change of scene from Arachosia to India. As a matter of fact, apart from this theory, śambara was quite possibly an aboriginal enemy in India, living in the mountains.


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