From my notes made at NIAS, from this book I think Veda Pratishthan Delhi Rk Veda Samhitas (Page 68) :
- Atharvan is the person (man) who discovered the fire.
- Viswamitra विश्वामित्र read about it and in the Rg Veda introduced this mechanism for quickly starting up the fire. Adhimantha (rubbing Arani sticks together).
- Western Legends (Greek, I think) talk of a chap who “stole the fire” our records talk of the man who discovered it…
- kaus’ikasUtra (vis’wAmitra) explains the Vidhana for the atharva veda.
Followup Research is required on this topic.
From Wikipedia : “Atharvan (अथर्वन्, atharvan-; an n-stem with nominative singular अथर्वा atharvā) was a legendary Vedic sage (rishi) of Hinduism who along with Angiras is supposed to have authored (“heard“) the Atharvaveda. He is also said to have first instituted the fire-sacrifice or yagna. Sometimes he is also reckoned among the seven seers or Saptarishi. His clan is known as the Atharvanas. Atharvan married with chitti , daughter of kardam rishi. And had a great sage Dadhichi as a son. Atharvan means fire priest , and still a comman name in India & Iran. He was referred to of bhrigu clan many times.
According to mundaka upnisad and other texts, he was eldest son & (Manas putra) born from mind of the brahma. Vedic atharvan is cognate with Avestan athravan, “priest”, but the etymology of the term is not yet conclusively established. “
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