Can Ashwini Kumaras be compared with Castor and Pollux?

By Sunil Kumar

Apart from the fact that both of them are twins; and invoked for helping people(either through medicine or sailors); it is a stretch to draw a comparison.

The Ashwins are sons of Surya and Saranyu; sometimes Samajna; brothers of Manu, Yama and Yami. Symbolizing sunrise and sunset; they are represented as humans with heads of horses.(sometimes not) Also some Rig Vedic hymns call them sons of Usas(sometimes brothers); travelling in a wagon at dawn. In a Proto-Indo-European setting; they are more similar to the Baltic Asvienai(from Lithuania); who even sound a lot more closer.

However; a little more in-your-face sensuality creeps in the more we travel West; and the Asvieniai were at the same time virile young brothers and horse gods betrothed to the sun goddess Sauliā; one symbolized by white for sunrise named Lougos (LOWK-ohs), and the other sunset personified by darkness called Wakaros (va-KAY-rows).

Greece is more of a sea-faring civilization due to the large number of islands; and Zeus often plays a part in impregnation in Greek mythology. So Castor and Pollux were born when the Olympian god seduced Leda as a swan. Another version of the origin myth; Polyduekes(Pollux) was the immortal son of Zeus; whereas Kastor(Castor) was the mortal son of Tyndareus. The Dioscuri(both of them) are supposed to help mankind; sailors in particular; also those who trusted Castor and Pollux.


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