How is Night viewed in the poem "Night" from the Rig-Veda?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Night is viewed as an Immortal Goddess who 'conquers darkness with her light.' Her eyes are like stars, in which 'She hath put all her glories on.' She is also the deity who sets 'the Dawn her sister in her place.' In the Vedas, Ratri-Devi is the Goddess of Night. She is the protector of all, a terror against evil in the night hours, and the Goddess who is the mistress of Time. Her benevolent and motherly nature is hinted at in the lines

So favour us this night, O thou whose pathways we have visited/
As birds their nest upon the tree.

Night is personified and viewed as a comforting and welcoming presence; all those who seek her protection seek her out as readily as birds their nests.

She is closely related to her sister, Ushas, the Goddess of Dawn. Believers pray to Rathi-Devi for safekeeping during the night hours.

In the poem, you can see that the poet is asking for the protection of Ratri-Devi against the wolves and thieves which imperil the journeys of travelers at night. The Goddess of Night, along with her sister, Ushas, the Goddess of Dawn, also points to the passing of time from night to day.

You might also be interested in this book:

Hindu Goddesses: Beliefs and Practices

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