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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)


Odin (ओडिन) is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Old English "Wōden" and the Old High German "Wôdan". Thakur Deshraj [1] considers Woden to be an Uddhava clan Jat.

Variants of name

Mention by Panini

Udapana (उदपान), Udayana (उदयान), is name of a Country/People mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi under Paladyadi (पलद्यादि) (4.5.110) group.[2]

Odin in Ynglinga Saga by Snorri

In the Ynglinga saga, found in Heimskringla, Snorri describes Asgard as a city in Asia, based on a perceived, but erroneous, connection between the words for Asia and Æsir. Odin then leaves to settle in the northern part of the world and leaves his brothers Vili and Vé to rule over the city. When the euhemerised Odin dies, the account states that the Swedes believed he had returned to Asgard and would live there forever.[3] (details described in following paragraphs)

Ynglinga saga (modern Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈiŋliŋka ˈsaːɣa]) is a Kings' saga, originally written in Old Norse by the Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson about 1225. It is the first section of his Heimskringla. It was first translated into English and published in 1844 by Samuel Laing.[4]

Snorri Sturluson based his work on an earlier Ynglingatal which is attributed to the Norwegian 9th-century skald Þjóðólfr of Hvinir, and which also appears in Historia Norwegiae. It tells the most ancient part of the story of the House of Ynglings (Scylfings in Beowulf). Snorri described the descent of the kings of Norway from this royal house of Sweden.

Ynglinga saga is the first part of Snorri's history of the ancient Norse kings, the Heimskringla. Snorri's work covers the history of the Norwegian kings from the mythical prehistoric age until 1177, with the death of the pretender Eystein Meyla. Interwoven in this narrative are references to important historical events.

The saga deals with the arrival of the Norse gods to Scandinavia and how Freyr founded the Swedish Yngling dynasty at Uppsala. Then the saga follows the line of Swedish kings until Ingjald (Ingjald illråde), after which the descendants settled in Norway and became the ancestors of the Norwegian King Harald Fairhair.

Swithiod the Great (literally "Sweden the Great"): The saga begins with a description of the "earth's circle" inhabited by human race and divided by great seas running into the land from the "out-ocean". The Black Sea divides the earth into three parts: Asia in the east, Europe in the west and "Swithiod the Great, or the Cold" in the north. [5]The saga distinguishes between Swithiod the Great (literally "Sweden the Great"), where the opening scenes are laid, and Sweden proper, in Scandinavia, where the Yingling's reign starts. These lands differ in a metaphorical sense as well, since the former is also called Godheim or the home of gods, while the latter is called Mannheim or the place where people live.

Swithiod the Great is a vast territory populated by many "races of men", and divided from other lands by a large mountain ridge going from northeast to southwest.[6] This mountain ridge lies "outside of all inhabited lands" but its southern part is not far to "Turkland". On the southern side of the mountains runs the river Tanais, formerly known as Tanaquisl or Vanaquisl (the modern day Don River), which falls into the Black Sea and marks the border between Europe and Asia.

Vanaland and Asaland: People on the Tanais live in a country called Vanaland or Vanaheim. East of the river, in Asia, stretches a country called Asaland or Asaheim. The main city of Asaland is Asgaard, where Odin is a chief. Twelve temple priests, called Diar, direct sacrifices in Asgaard and also judge the people, who serve and obey them. Odin is a great warrior, who conquers many kingdoms in all parts of the world, never losing a battle. His men are used to receive his blessing before going into battle, and to call upon his name when fighting, in order to inspire themselves.[7]

Odin wages war against Vanaland people, but cannot win over them. After doing great damage to each other, both sides agree to a truce and exchange hostages. Thus the best people of Vanaland are sent to Asaland as hostages: Njord the Rich, with his son Frey and daughter Freya as well as the wisest man in Vanaland called Kvase. The people of Asaland, in their turn, send a wise man called Mime along with a stout handsome man called Hone, who is allegedly very suitable to become a chief, to Vanaland. Hone is immediately made a chief in Vanaland, but people there realize how bad he actually is at taking decisions when not advised by Mime. They decapitate Mime and send his head to Asaland, where Odin smears it with herbs and sings incantations over it giving it the power to speak and reveal many secrets to Odin.[8]

Arrival of Odin in Scandinavia:

What the path of Odin's travel to Scandinavia might be, according to Ynglinga Saga

Odin has a foresight about the new dwelling place in the north and goes there "with all the gods and a great many other people", leaving his two brothers, Vilje and Ve, to rule in Asgaard. First, Odin and his companions wander westwards to Gardarike and from there - south to Saxland, where Odin's sons start to rule. Odin goes towards the sea in the north, settles in an island called Odinsö in Fyen and sends Gefion to discover new lands to the north, in Scandinavia. When she reaches the possessions of king Gylve, he grants her a plowable field. After having four sons with a giant in Jotunheim, Gefion turns them into a yoke of oxen and makes them plow the field breaking out a piece of land into the ocean close to Odinsö. This land is called Sealand, where Gefion dwells and marries Skjold, an Odin's son.

When Odin hears of how prosperous the lands to the east of Gylve's possessions are, he goes there. Despite the opposition of Gylve, Asaland people take the upper hand, make piece with him and remain on those lands. Odin settles at the Maelare lake, in the Old Sigtun, builds a temple there and sets his men to rule in the neighboring places around.[9]

Odin's Personality: Odin is described as a great sorcerer in the saga. He can shape-shift, speaks only in verse, and lies so well that everything he says seems true. He strikes enemies blind and deaf and when his own men fight they go berserk and cannot be harmed.[10]

Odin has a ship Skidbladnir that can be folded together like a cloth. He relies on two talking ravens to gather intelligence, and he keeps Mime's head by him which tells him the news from other worlds. Odin teaches magic, runes and incantations. He can even awaken the dead from the earth and cause death or disease to anyone. People worship Odin and the other twelve chiefs from Asaland as their gods.[11]

Death of Odin: Odin establishes the laws that have been previously observed in Asaland: dead men should be burned with their belongings, a mound should be raised to memorize distinguished men, sacrifices should be held on special days in winter and in summer.[12]Short before his death, Odin says he is going to Godheim (the other name of "Swithiod the Great" in the saga). He dies in his bed in Swithiod and is burned with honor. Snorri says: "The Swedes believed that he was gone to the ancient Asgaard, and would live there eternally".[13]

Frey: Njord starts to rule over the Swedes after Odin. During this time, marked by peace and prosperity, all the gods die.[14] When Njord dies himself, Frey takes the power and makes Upsal his capital. Frey has also another name, Yngvi, which is started to be used as an honorific title by his descendants. Thus they are called Ynglinger. When Frey dies of illness, his men keep it in secret and place his body into a great mound with three windows. People think Frey is still alive and continue to pay tribute to him, putting gold through the one window, silver through the other one and copper coins through the third one.[15] The Swedes eventually discover the truth but do not burn the Frey's body, since they believe the peaceful time goes on thanks to his presence in Sweden. They treat him as a god and sacrifice to him.[16]

Jat History

James Tod [17] writes that ....The ancient Cimbri, who went west with Odin's horde of Jats, Chattis, and Su , were probably the tribes descended from Camari, the son of Turk.

Thakur Deshraj has mentioned in his book on History of Jats “Jat Itihas” (Hindi) (1934) that the country Assyria gets its name from Asiagh gotra Jats. The origin of word Asiagh is from Sanskrit word ‘Asi’ meaning sword. According to Kautilya the people who depended on ‘Asi’ (sword) for their living were known as Asiagh. The Asiaghs moved from Asirgarh in Malwa to Europe. Those who settled in Jangladesh were called Asiagh and those who moved to Scandinavia were known as Asi. Jats entered Scandinavia around 500 BCE and their leader was Odin. James Tod considers Odin to be derived from Buddha or Bodan. The Asi Jats founded Jutland as their homeland in Scandinavia. The religious book of Scandinavia ‘Edda’ mentions that the ancient inhabitants of Scandinavia were Jats or Jits who were Aryans known as Asi people and came to this land from Asirgarh.

Asirgarh is a site of an ancient fort situated in Burhanpur district of Malwa region in Madhya Pradesh, India. Thakur Deshraj further quotes Scandinavian writer Mr Count Johnsturn who says that Scandinavians came from India. According to James Tod Scandinavia is derived from Sanskrit word ‘Skandanabha’.

Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria)[18] writes.... The migrations of the Indus valley people to Mesopotamia, also known as Sumeria in history, can be traced in some detail. From an Indus region, known in the contemporary period as Odin164, (a distortion165 of Udayana), Panis migrated to Iraq in about 3500 B.C.166 Hall167 and Saggs167a also affirm the migration of highly civilized people from the Indus valley to Sumeria in the fourth millennium B.C. These people were called Sumerian because they derived their new name from Su-Meru, the Seat of gods168. They were the mercantile people of the Indus Valley as mentioned169 in the Rigvedic literature.

164. Odin or Edin or Otien was a territory known as such on the left bank of Indus (Sindh) river Cf. map p. 7 in waddell, op.cit. It was also known as Meluha or Mlechh, country (K.D. Sethna, Karpasa in Pre-historic Ind., Biblia In Pvt. Ltd., N. Delhi, 1<)81. pp. 69ff. Farzand Ali Durrani, "West Pakistan and Persian Gulf in Antiquity", .JASP., Dacca. Vol IX. No. I, June. 1964, pp.1-2

165. Waddell. op.cit., pp. 104f.

166. Kalyanaramana, op.cit., pp. 96, 126. Hrozny, Anc. His. of W. Asia, Ind. Crete, pp. 107, 116 et seq. I I.K. Chatopadhyaya, Mohanjodaro and the Aryan Colonisation of Mesopotamia, OVIJ, Vol. III, Pt. I, March, 1965. Hoshiarpur pp. 3-16; and in AlOC., 1964. Dutt, Naipendra Kumar, Aryanisation of Ind. Cal. 1970, pp. 96f.

167. Hall, H.R.; Anc. His. of Near East, London 1960, pp. 173f, fn. 3,594.

167a. Saggs, op.cit., pp. 33f.

168. Kaiyanramana, op.cit., p. 96.

169. Mitra, Panchanan; Pre-historic Ind., Delhi, 1979, p. 272. R.P. Chanda's Monograph No. 31, in Memoir.; of ASI.; Ram Chandra Jain, Ethnology of Ane. Ind., Varanasi, 1970, pp. 47-50.

Odin Stone: Nordic rites

Invaders from Scandinavia reached Orkney by the 9th century, bringing a complex theology that they imposed on the preexisting Orcadian monuments; at least according to local legend. For example, the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness were allegedly known as the Temple of the Sun and Moon respectively.[19]

Young people supposedly made their vows and prayed to Wōden at these "temples" and at the so-called "Odin Stone" that lay between the stone circles until it was destroyed by a farmer in 1814. [20]

Others view these fanciful names with scepticism; Sigurd Towrie suggests that "they were simply erroneous terms applied by the antiquarians of the 18th or 19th centuries – romantic additions, in the same vein as the infamous "Druid's Circle" and "Sacrificial Altar"."[21] At the very least, several of the stones at Brodgar contain runic carvings that were left by Nordic peoples.[22] These include the name "Bjorn" and a small cross as well as an anvil.[23]

Odin-Stone: Traditions and history

Let us imagine, then, families approaching Stenness at the appointed time of year, men, women and children, carrying bundles of bones collected together from the skeletons of disinterred corpses–skulls, mandibles, long bones–carrying also the skulls of totem animals, herding a beast that was one of several to be slaughtered for the feasting that would accompany the ceremonies..... — Aubrey Burl, Rites of the Gods, 1981.[24]

Even in the 18th century the site was still associated with traditions and rituals, by then relating to Norse gods. It was visited by Walter Scott in 1814. Other antiquarians documented the stones and recorded local traditions and beliefs about them. One stone, known as the "Odin Stone" which stood in the field to the north of the henge,[25] was pierced with a circular hole, and was used by local couples for plighting engagements by holding hands through the gap. It was also associated with other ceremonies and believed to have magical power.[26] There was a reported tradition of making all kinds of oaths or promises with one's hand in the Odin Stone; this was known as taking the "Vow of Odin".[27]

In December 1814 Captain W. Mackay, a recent immigrant to Orkney who owned farmland in the vicinity of the stones, decided to remove them on the grounds that local people were trespassing and disturbing his land by using the stones in rituals. He started in December 1814 by smashing the Odin Stone. This caused outrage and he was stopped after destroying one other stone and toppling another.[28]

The toppled stone was re-erected in 1906 along with some inaccurate reconstruction inside the circle.[29]

In the 1970s, a dolmen structure was toppled, since there were doubts as to its authenticity. The two upright stones remain in place.[30]

A picture of the Stones of Stenness features on the cover of Van Morrison's album The Philosopher's Stone, and the Odin stone is depicted on Julian Cope's album Discover Odin.

वोडेन : ठाकुर देशराज

ठाकुर देशराज [31] ने लिखा है .... वोडेन - यह उद्धव वंशी जाट थे। इनके नायकत्व में ईसा से 500 वर्ष पूर्व है जाटों ने ईरान के असीरिया से उठकर स्केंडिनेविया में प्रवेश किया था। स्कंदनाभ के धर्म ग्रंथ एड्डा में इनका नाम ओडिन लिखा हुआ है। जाटों से पहले के वहां के [पृ.163]: निवासी मृतक लोगों को जलाते नहीं थे किंतु गाड़ देते थे। बोधेन ने उन लोगों को शिक्षा देकर जलाने की प्रणाली जारी करा दी थी। बोधेन की सेना में एक बलदार नाम का सरदार था वह लड़ाई में काम आ गया। बलदार की स्त्री का नाम नन्ना देवी था। वह अपने पति के साथ सती हो गई थी।

जाट इतिहास, लेखक ठा० देशराज ने पृ० 178-179 पर लिखा है कि “जाट लोगों ने स्केण्डेनेविया में ईसा से 500 वर्ष पहले प्रवेश किया था। उनके नेता (देवता) का नाम ओडिन था। वहां के प्रसिद्ध इतिहासकार मि० जन्सटर्न स्वयं अपने को ओडियन की सन्तान मानते हैं।” [32]


Thor was the son of Odin.[33]

See also

External links


  1. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Utpatti Aur Gaurav Khand)/Parishisht,p.162-163
  2. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.510
  3. Laing, Samuel (1961). Heimskringla. Part two, Sagas of the Norse Kings. London: Dent. ISBN 0460008471. pp. 8–13.
  4. Sturluson, Snorri (1225). The Heimskringla; or, Chronicle of the Kings of Norway . Vol. 1. Translated by Laing, Samuel. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans (published 1844) – via Wikisource.
  5. Killings, Douglas B.; Brendan, Diane, eds. (1996). "Heimskringla: The Ynglinga Saga". The Medieval and Classical Literature Library (Online Medieval and Classical Library Release ed.) (= MCLL 1996), chpt. 1. OF THE SITUATION OF COUNTRIES.
  6. MCLL 1996, chpt. 2. OF THE PEOPLE OF ASIA.
  7. MCLL 1996, chpt. 2. OF THE PEOPLE OF ASIA.
  10. MCLL 1996, chpt. 6. OF ODIN'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
  11. MCLL 1996, chpt. 7. OF ODIN'S FEATS.
  12. MCLL 1996, chpt. 8. ODIN'S LAWGIVING.
  13. MCLL 1996, chpt. 10. OF ODIN'S DEATH.
  14. MCLL 1996, chpt. 11. OF NJORD.
  15. MCLL 1996, chpt. 12.
  16. MCLL 1996, chpt. 13. OF FREYA AND HER DAUGHTERS.
  17. Chapter 7 Catalogue of the Thirty Six Royal Races:Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I, Publisher: Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press 1920, pp. 123 fn.1
  18. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/Jat-Its variants.p.352
  19. Heggie, Douglas C. (1981). Megalithic Science: Ancient Mathematics and Astronomy in North-west Europe. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05036-8.p.13
  20. Heggie, Douglas C. (1981). Megalithic Science: Ancient Mathematics and Astronomy in North-west Europe. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05036-8.p.13
  21. Sigurd Towrie. "The Temples of the Sun and Moon: True tradition or romantic addition?". Orkneyjar.
  22. Laing, Lloyd (1974). Orkney and Shetland: An Archaeological Guide. Newton Abbott: David and Charles Ltd. ISBN 0-7153-6305-0.p.233
  23. Wickham-Jones, Caroline (2012). Monuments of Orkney. Historic Scotland. ISBN 978-1-84917-073-4.p.42
  24. Orkneyjar – The Odin Stone
  25. Wickham-Jones, Caroline (2012). Monuments of Orkney. Historic Scotland. ISBN 978-1-84917-073-4.
  26. Orkneyjar – The Odin Stone
  27. Wade, Z. E. A. (1895). Pixy-led in North Devon: Old Facts and New Fancies. Devon: Marshall Bros. p. 223.
  28. Alistair Moffat: The British: A Genetic Journey, Birlinn, 2013, ISBN:9781780270753,p.75
  29. Orkneyjar - The Standing Stones of Stenness
  30. "Stones Of Stenness Circle And Henge". Historic Scotland.
  31. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Utpatti Aur Gaurav Khand)/Parishisht,p.162-163
  32. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter IV (Page 384)
  33. Who were the Jaets? — DALUM HJALLESE DEBATKLUB