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Hymns of the Atharva Veda, by Ralph T.H. Griffith, [1895], at

p. 184


A funeral hymn, taken mainly from the Rigveda

1For Yama Soma juice flows clear, to Yama is oblation paid.
  To Yama sacrifice prepared, and heralded by Agni, goes.
2Offer to Yama sacrifice most sweet in savour and draw near.
  Bow down before the Rishis of the olden time, the ancient ones
   who made the path.
3Offer to Yama, to the King, butter and milk in sacrifice.
  So may he grant that we may live long days of life mid living
4Burn him not up, nor quite consume him, Agni. Let not his
   body or his skin be scattered.
  O Jātavedas, when thou hast matured him, then send him on
   his way unto the Fathers.
5When thou hast made him ready, Jātavedas, then do thou give
   him over to the Fathers. p. 185
  When he attains unto the life that waits him he will obey the
  Deities' commandment.
6With the three jars Brihat alone makes pure the six wide-spread-
   ing realms.
  The Gāyatri, the Trishtup, all metres in Yama are contained.
7The Sun receive thine eye, the wind thy spirit; go, as thy merit
   is, to earth or heaven.
  Go, if it be thy lot, unto the waters: go, make thy home in
   plants with all thy members.
8Thy portion is the goat: with heat consume him: let thy fierce
   flame, thy glowing splendour, burn him.
  With thine auspicious forms, O Jātavedas, bear this man to the
   region of the pious.
9Let all thy rapid flames, O Jātavedas, wherewith thou fillest
   heaven and earth's mid-region,
  Follow the goat as he goes on, united: then with the others,
   most auspicious, aid us.
110Away O Agni, to the Fathers, send him who, offered in thee,
   goes with our oblations.
  Wearing new life let him approach his offspring, and splendid, be
   invested with a body,
11Run and outspeed the two dogs, Sarama's offspring, brindled,
   four-eyed, upon thy happy pathway.
  Draw nigh thou to the gracious-minded Fathers who take their
   pleasure in the feast with Yama.
12And those two dogs of thine, Yama, the watchers, four-eyed
   who look on men and guard the pathway
  Entrust this man, O King, to their protection, and with prosperity
   and health endow him.
13Dark-hued, insatiate, with distended nostrils, Yama's two envoys
   roam among the people.
  May they restore to us a fair existence here and to-day that we
   may see the sunlight.
14For some the Soma juice runs clear some sit by sacrificial oil.
  To those for whom the meath flows forth, even to those let him
15Let him, O Yama, go to those Rishis austere, of Fervour born,
  First followers of Law, the sons of Law, upholders of the Law.
46Invincible through Fervour, they who by their Fervour went to
   heaven. p. 186
  Who practised great austerity,—even to those let him depart.
17The heroes who contend in war and boldly cast their lives away.
  Or who give guerdon thousandfold,—even to those let him
18Let him, O Yama, go to those Rishis austere, of Fervour born,
  Skilled in a thousand ways and means, the sages who protect the
19Be pleasant unto him, O Earth, thornless and lulling him to rest.
  Vouchsafe him shelter broad and sure.
20In the free amplitude of earth take roomy space to lodge thee in.
  Let all oblations which in life thou paidest drop thee honey now.
21Hither I call thy spirit with my spirit. Come thou; delighted,
   to these dwelling-places.
  Unite thee with the Fathers and with Yama: strong and
   delicious be the winds that fan thee.
22Floating in water, bringing streams, let Maruts carry thee aloft,
  And causing coolness by their rush sprinkle thee with their fall-
   ing rain.
23I have recalled thy life to life, to being, power, and energy.
  Let thy soul go unto its own: so to the Fathers hasten thou.
24Let not thy soul be left behind: here let not aught of thee
  Of spirit, body, members, sap.
25Let not a tree oppness thee, nor Earth the great Goddess weigh
   thee down.
  Among the Fathers find thy home, and thrive mid those whom
  Yama rules.
26Each parted member, severed from thy body, thy vital breaths
   that in the wind have vanished,
  With all of these, piece after piece, shall Fathers who dwell to-
   gether meet and reunite thee.
27Him have the living banished from their houses: remove him to
   a distance from the hamlet.
  Yama's observant messenger was Mrityu he hath despatched
   men's lives unto the Fathers.
28Those Dasyus who, not eating our oblations, come wilh friends'
   faces mingled with the Fathers,
  Those who wear gross those who wear subtile bodies,—from this.
   our sacrifice let Agni blast them. p. 187
29Bringing delight, prolonging our existence, here let our own, the
  Fathers, dwell together.
  Coming with sacrifice may we assist them, living long lives
   through many autumn seasons.
30Now by this cow I bring thee, by the boiled rice set in milk for
  Be the supporter of the folk left here without a livelihood.
31Prolong the pleasant Dawn enriched with horses-or bearing us.
   anew beyond the darkness.
  Adjudged to die be he, the man who slew thee: this portion let
   him find, and not another.
32Yama is higher and Vivasvān lower: nothing whatever do I see
   above him.
  This sacrifice of mine is based on Yama, Vivasvān spread the
   atmosphere about us.
33From mortal men they hid the immortal Lady, made one like
   her and gave her to Vivasvān.
  Saranyū brought to him the Asvin brothers, and then deserted
   both twinned pairs of children.
34Bring thou the Fathers one and all Agni, to eat the sacrifice.
  The buried, and the cast away, those burnt with fire, and those
35Those, whether flames have burnt or not consumed them, who in
   the midst of heaven enjoy oblations—
  Let them, when thou dost know them, Jatavedas, accept with
   sacred food the axe and worship.
36Burn gently, Agni, burn not up the body with too fervent heat.
  Let all thy force and fury be expended on the woods and earth.
37I give this place to him who hath come hither and now is mine,
   to be a home to rest in:
  This was the thought of Yama when he answered: This man is.
   mine. Let him come here to riches.
38This date we settle once for all, that it may ne'er be fixt again_
  A hundred autumns; not before.
39This date we order, etc.
40This date we limit, etc.
41This date we measure, etc.
42This date we mete out, etc.
43This date we stablish, etc.
44This date we mete and measure out, that it may ne'er be fixt. p. 188
   again. A hundred autumns: not before.
45The period I have measured—come to heaven. I would my life
   were long
  Not to be measured out again; a hundred autumns, not before.
46Inbreath and outbreath, breath diffused, life, sight to look upon
   the Sun
  Seek by a straight unwinding path the Fathers whom King
  Yama rules,
47Unmarried men who toiled and have departed, the childless,
   having left their foes behind them,
  Have found on high the world whereto they mounted, reflecting
   on the ridge of vaulted heaven.
48The lowest is the Watery heaven, Pilumatī the middlemost;
  The third and highest, that wherein the Fathers dwell, is called
49The Fathers of our Father, his Grandfathers, those who have
   entered into air's wide region,
  Those who inhabit earth or dwell in heaven, these Fathers will
   we worship with oblation.
50Thou seest now, and ne'er again shalt look upon, the Sun in
  Cover him as a mother draws her skirt about her son, O Earth!
51This once,,and at no other time hereafter in a lengthened life:
  Cover him, as a wife, O Earth, covers her husband with her
52Round thee auspiciously I wrap the vesture of our Mother
  Be bliss among the living mine, oblation mid the Fathers thine!
53Ye have prepared, pathmakers, Agni-Soma, a fair world for the
  Gods to be the it treasure.
  Go to that world and send us Pūshan hither to bear us on the
   paths the goat hath trodden.
54Guard of the world, whose cattle ne'er are injured, may Pūshan
   bear thee hence, for he hath knowledge.
  May he consign thee to these Fathers' keeping, and to the
   gracious Gods let Agni give hee.
55Lord of all life, let Ayu guard thee, Pūshan convey thee forward
   on the distant pathway.
  May Savitar the God conduct thee thither where dwell the pious
   who have gone before thee. p. 189
56For thee I yoke these carriers twain to bear thee to the spirit.
  Hasten with them to Yama's home and join his gathered.
57This is the robe that first was wrapped about thee: cast off the
   robe thou worest here among us.
  Go, knowing, to the meed of virtuous action, thy many gifts.
   bestowed upon the friendless.
58Mail thee with flesh against the flames of Agni; encompass thee
   about with fat and marrow;
  So will the bold One eager to attack thee with fierce glow fail to
   girdle and consume thee.
59From his dead hand I take the staff he carried, together with his
   lore and strength and splendour.
  There art thou, there; and here with good men round us may
   we o'ercome all enemies and foemen.
60From his dead hand I take the bow he carried, together with his.
   power and strength and splendour.
  Having collected wealth and ample treasure, come hither to the-
   world of living beings.

p. 190

Next: Hymn 3: A funeral hymn, taken partly from the Rigveda