Ap (water)

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Ap (áp-) is the Vedic Sanskrit term for "water", in Classical Sanskrit occurring only in the plural, āpas (sometimes re-analysed as a thematic singular, āpa-), whence Hindi āp. The term is from PIE hxap "water". The Indo-Iranian word survives also, as the Persian word for water, Āb, e.g. in Punjab (from panj-āb "five waters"). Here, a similarity can be seen between the concept of 'Ap'(Waters/River) and the Sumerian 'Ab'(Ocean), which is a language that is widely believed to be a language isolate. In archaic ablauting contractions, the laryngeal of the PIE root remains visible in Vedic Sanskrit, e.g. pratīpa- "against the current", from *proti-hxp-o-.

In the Rigveda, several hymns are dedicated to "the waters" (āpas): 7.49, 10.9, 10.30, 10.47. In the oldest of these, 7.49, the waters are connected with the draught of Indra. Agni, the god of fire, has a close association with water and is often referred to as Apām Napāt "offspring of the waters". The female deity Apah is the presiding deity of Purva Ashadha (The former invincible one) asterism in Vedic astrology

In Hindu philosophy, the term refers to water as an element, one of the Panchamahabhuta, or "five great elements". In Hinduism, it is also the name of the deva Varuna a personification of water, one of the Vasus in most later Puranic lists.

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