“I will declare the manly deeds of Indra, the first that he achieved, the Thunder-wielder. He slew the dragon, then disclosed the waters, and cleft the channels of the mountain torrents. He slew the dragon lying on the mountain: his heavenly bolt of thunder Tvastar fashioned. … Maghavan grasped the thunder for his weapons, and smote to death the firstborn of the dragons. When, Indra, thou hadst slain the dragon’s firstborn, and overcome the charms of the enchanters, then giving life to Sun and Dawn and heaven, thou foundest not one foe to stand against thee.” ~The Rig Veda, Hymn XXXII
The Dragon Slayers
The slaying of Dragons by holy men is a common myth in religious and spiritual writings. The illustration used with this post is of a Christian variation: St. George slaying a dragon. I think the tale of St. Patrick chasing the snakes out of Ireland is probably a variation on this as well. Tales of the Eqyptian sun god Ra and the Greek sun god Apollo include tales of them slaying dragons. Norse legends also include tales of dragon slayers, who are usually gods, holy men, or great heroes.
These stories seem like foolish fairy tales to those who don’t understand allegory, myth, and metaphor. They say there was never such a thing as a dragon, but they are wrong. Dragons were—and are—very real, but they are not physical animals. The dragon is symbolic, and the fact that it is gods and holy men who often kill them or chase them away should tell you something about their nature. They are symbols of devils, or fallen angels, or their direct offspring. I liked this version I found in the Rig Veda, one of the oldest, because it contains additional symbology and allegory that tells a wonderful tale.
In addition to the dragon itself, we see the symbol of thunder. It is clear, however, that what is really meant in lightning, since there are no bolts of thunder. So if we thing of the attributes of lightning, we get some idea of what it means here. A lightning bolt is a thing or great power, great energy, and very bright light. The dragon is killed on a mountain. A mountain is often a symbol of power, especially higher powers.
Not only is the dragon killed, but so is its firstborn. The firstborn of Lucifer is Satan. But Lucifer and Satan were not truly slain, so what is really meant is that they were overcome, defeated.
Then we get the final sentence with the most important symbols of all. Here, we are told that once the dragon is killed (overcome), we can experience the living light of the sun and the Dawn from Heaven.
Now lets put it all together.
The Tale Retold
So what this is all saying is that the holy men, or sometimes gods, gain their status by overcoming the dark demons that plague them (dragons). As always, darkness is overcome with the Light (lightning), but not just any light. The light of a campfire or candle just won’t do. Even the light of physical sun is no match for the Powers of Darkness, and in fact supports and sustains them. It is the power and Light of the Spiritual Sun that the holy person takes in to chase away the darkness and the demons that dwell there. When Jesus defeated Satan in a debate of logic, that too was a form of defeating the dragon, or specifically, defeating the firstborn of the dragon. And the promise of all these tales is that when we take in the spiritual Light of the spiritual sun in sufficient number, and turn away from the darkness of materialism, we will bring about the New Age of Enlightenment, the New Golden Age, where we will live in peace and harmony, no dragons allowed.