Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(6,702 words)

Indo-Iranian Roots

The word yama means “twin” (it is used in this sense in the Ṛgveda to refer to Indra and Vāyu, Indra and Agni, the Aśvins, etc.; see vedic gods), but in the Ṛgveda as well as in the Avesta (where he is called Yima), it is also the name of a mythical person, the son of Vivasvant; in the Avesta he is a mythical king, ruling in a kind of “golden age,” whereas in the Ṛgveda he is the ruler in the world of the dece…

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Söhnen-Thieme, Renate, “Yama”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 21 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2018

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