The Upanishads, Part 1 (SBE01), by Max Müller, , at sacred-texts.com
1. He who desires proper food 1 should use the hymn, agnim naro dîdhitibhih (Rv. VII, 1, 1) 2.
2. Verily, Agni (fire) is the eater of food.
In the other (recitations accompanying the) offerings of âgya (where Agni is likewise mentioned) the worshippers come more slowly near to Agni (because the name of Agni does not stand at the beginning of the hymn). But here a worshipper obtains proper food at once, he strikes down evil at once.
3. Through the words (occurring in the second foot of the first verse), hastakyuti ganayanta, 'they caused the birth of Agni by moving their arms,' the hymn becomes endowed with (the word) birth. Verily, the sacrificer is born from this day of the sacrifice, and therefore the hymn is endowed with (the word) birth.
4. There are four metrical feet (in the Trishtubh verses of this hymn). Verily, cattle have four feet, therefore they serve for the gaining of cattle.
5. There are three metrical feet (in the Virâg, verses of this hymn). Verily, three are these three-fold
worlds. Therefore they serve for the conquest of the worlds.
6. These (the Trishtubh and Virâg verses of the hymn) form two metres, which form a support (pratishthâ). Verily, man is supported by two (feet), cattle by four feet. Therefore this hymn places the sacrificer who stands on two feet among cattle which stand on four.
7. By saying them straight on there are twenty-five verses in this hymn. Man also consists of twenty-five. There are ten fingers on his hands, ten toes on his feet, two legs, two arms, and the trunk (âtman) the twenty-fifth. He adorns that trunk, the twenty-fifth, by this hymn.
8. And then this day (of the sacrifice) consists of twenty-five, and the Stoma hymn of that day consists of twenty-five 1 (verses); it becomes the same through the same. Therefore these two, the day and the hymn, are twenty-five 2.
9. These twenty-five verses, by repeating the first thrice and the last thrice, become thirty less one. This is a Virâg, verse (consisting of thirty syllables), too small by one. Into the small (heart) the vital spirits are placed, into the small stomach food is placed 3, therefore this Virâg, small by one, serves for the obtainment of those desires.
10. He who knows this, obtains those desires.
11. The verses (contained in the hymn agnim naro dîdhitibhih) become the Brihatî 4 metre and
the Virâg metre, (they become) the perfection which belongs to that day (the mahâvrata). Then they also become Anushtubh 1, for the offerings of âgya (ghee) dwell in Anushtubhs 2.
159:1 Annâdyam is always explained as food, here as annam tad âdyam ka. It must be so translated here and elsewhere (1, 2, 10), though it is often an abstract of annâda, an eater of food, a healthy man.
159:2 This hymn is prescribed in the Visvagit sacrifice, and taken over to the Mahâvrata, according to rule. It is used, however, both as obligatory and as optional at the same time, i. e. it is an essential part of the sacrifice, and at the same time to be used by those who wish for proper food.
160:1 Cf. Ait. Âr. I, 1, 4, 21; II, 3, 4, 2.
160:2 The plural after the dual is explained by the fact that the hymn means the twenty-five verses.
160:3 Cf. I, 3, 7, 5.
160:4 The hymn consists of eighteen Virâg and seven Trishtubh p. 161 verses. Therefore the eighteen Virâg verses remain what they are, only that the first is repeated three times, so that we have twenty Virâg verses. The seven Trishtubhs, by repeating the last three times, become nine. We then take eight syllables away from each verse, thus changing them into nine Brihatî verses. The nine times eight syllables, which were taken off, give us seventy-two syllables, and as each Brihatî consists of thirty-six syllables, two Brihatîs.
161:1 The change of the first verse, which is a Virâg of thirty-three syllables, into an Anushtubh is produced by a still easier process. The first Virâg consists here of thirty-three syllables, the Anushtubh should have thirty-two. But one or two syllables more or less does not destroy a metre, according to the views of native metricians. The Virâg itself, for instance, should have thirty syllables, and here has thirty-three. Therefore if changed into an Anushtubh, it simply has one syllable over, which is of no consequence. Comm.
161:2 Cf. Ait. Âr. I, 1, 1, 4.