Embedded within India’s most ancient text, the Ṛgveda, there is a hymn portraying a conversation of a young girl, Apālā, with the god Indra. She makes this request:
Indra, make these three surfaces grow forth –
the head of my Papa, the field, and this on my belly.
That field of ours, this body of mine, and my Papa’s head –
make all these hairy.
(ṚV. 8.91; trans. Brereton & Jamison, 2014; for an examination of this text, see Schmidt, 1987; Vajracharya, 1988)
We have in this ancient text a clear link among grass or grain in …