Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Vedic Hymns, Part I (SBE32), by Max Müller, [1891], at

Having said so much in vindication of the text of the Rig-veda as published by me, and in defence of my principles of criticism which seem to me so self-evident as hardly to deserve the name of canones critici, I feel bound at the same time both to acknowledge some inaccuracies that have occurred in the index at the end of each volume, and to defend some entries in that index which have been challenged without sufficient cause.

p. lxviii

It has been supposed that in the index at the end of my fourth volume, the seventeenth verse of the 34th hymn in Sâyana's quotations from the Sarvânukramanî.the seventh Mandala has been wrongly assigned to Ahi Budhnya, and that one half only of that verse should have been reserved for that deity. I do not deny that we should be justified in deriving that sense from the words of the Anukramanikâ, but I cannot admit that my own interpretation is untenable. As Sâyana does not speak authoritatively on the subject, I followed the authority of Shadgurusishya. This commentator of the Anukramanikâ says: atra ka abgâm ukthair ahim grinîsha ity ardharkobganâmno a devasya stutih; mâ nohir budhnya ity ardharkohirbudhnyanâmno devasya b. Another commentator says: abgâm ukthair ardharkohih; uttaro mâ nohir ity ahir budhnyah. From this we learn that both commentators looked upon the Dvipadâs as ardharkas or half-verses, and ascribed the whole of verse 16 to Ahir abgâh, the whole of verse 17 to Ahir budhnyah. It will be seen from an accurate examination of Sâyana's commentary on verse 17, that in the second interpretation of the second half of verse 17, he labours to show that in this portion, too, Ahir budhnyah may be considered as the deity.

It is perfectly right to say that the words of the Anukramanikâ, abgâm aheh, signify that the verse beginning with abgâm, belongs to Ahi. But there was no misprint in my index. It will be seen that Shadgurusishya goes even beyond me, and calls that deity simply Abga, leaving out Ahi altogether, as understood. I was anxious to show the distinction between Abgâ Ahih and Ahir Budhnyah, as the deities of the two successive verses, and I did not expect that any reader could possibly misinterpret my entry c.

With regard to hymns 91 and 92 of the seventh Mandala, it is true, that in the index I did not mention that certain verses in which two deities are mentioned (91, 2;

p. lxix

[paragraph continues] 4-7; 92, 2), must be considered as addressed not to Vâyu alone, but to Vâyu and Indra. It will be seen from Sâyana's introduction to hymn 90, that he, too, wrongly limits the sentence of the Anukramanikâ, aindryas ka yâ dvivaduktâh, to the fifth and following verses of hymn 90, and that he never alludes to this proviso again in his introductory remarks to hymn 91 and 92, though, of course, he explains the verses, in which a dual occurs, as addressed to two deities, viz. Indra and Vâyu. The same omission, whether intentional or unintentional, occurs in Shadgurusishya's commentary. The other commentary, however, assigns the verses of the three hymns rightly. The subject has evidently been one that excited attention in very early days, for in the Aitareya-brâhmana, V, 20, we actually find that the word vâm which occurs in hymn 90, 1, and which might be taken as a dual, though Sâyana explains it as a singular, is changed into te a.

In hymn VII, 104, rakshohanau might certainly be added as an epithet of Indrâ-Somau, and Shadgurusishya clearly takes it in that sense. The Anukramanikâ says: indrâsomâ pañkâdhikaindrâsomam râkshoghnam sâpâbhisâpaprâyam.

In hymn VIII, 67, it has been supposed that the readings Samada and Sâmada instead of Sammada and Sâmmada were due to a misprint. This is not the case. That I was aware of the other spelling of this name, viz. Sammada and Sâmmada, I had shown in my History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature (2nd ed.), p. 39, where I had translated the passage of the Sâṅkhâyana-sûtras in which Matsya Sâmmada occurs, and had also called attention to the Âsvalâyana-sûtras X, 7, and the Satapatha-brâhmana XIII, 3, 1, 1,

p. lxx

where the same passage is found. I there spelt the name Sâmmada, because the majority of the MSS. were in favour of that spelling. In the edition of the Âsvalâyana-sûtras, which has since been published by Râma Nârâyana Vidyâranya, the name is spelt Sâmada. My own opinion is that Sâmmada is the right spelling, but that does not prove that Sâyana thought so; and unless I deviated from the principles which I had adopted for a critical restoration of Sâyana's text, I could not but write Sâmada in our passage. B 1 and B 4 omit sâmada, but both give samadâkhyasya; Ca. gives likewise samadâkhyasya, and A. semadâkhyasya. This, I believe, was meant by the writer for sammadâkhyasya, for in the passage from the Anukramanî both A. and Ca. give sâmmado. I then consulted the commentary of Shadgurusishya, and there again the same MS. gave twice sâmmada, once sâmada, which is explained by samadâkhyamahâmînarâgaputrah. A better MS. of Shadgurusishya, MS. Wilson 379 gives the readings sâmmado, sâmmada, and sammadâkhyasya. The other commentary gives distinctly sâmanda. [I have adopted sammada in the new edition.]

In IX, 68, Professor Aufrecht adopts what he considers the bold reading Vatsaprî; I prefer to be timid and allow Sâyana his own reading Vatsaprĭ; see Sarvânukramanî, ed. Macdonell, pp. 34, 146.


lxviii:a I find that Mr. Macdonell in his edition of the Sarvânukramanî reads ardharkohinâmno. If this is right, part of my argument would fall.

lxviii:b MS. Wilson 379 has, ardharko nâmano daivatasya, and in the margin hi. Ahirbudhnya seems to have been taken as one word.

lxviii:c The editor of the Bombay edition of the text of the Rig-veda assigns verse 16 to Ahi, verse 17 to Ahirbudhnya.

lxix:a The interpunction of Dr. Haug's edition (p. 128) should be after te. Shadgurusishya says: ata eva brâhmanasûtrayoh praüge vâyavyatvâya pra vîrayâ sukayo dadrire b vâm iti dvivakanasthâne ta ity ekavakanapâthah kritah, vâm ity uktam ked aindratvam ka syâd iti. Possibly the same change should be made in Âsvalâyana's Srauta Sûtras, VIII, 11, and it has been made by Rama Nârâyana Vidyâratna. The remark of the commentator, however, dadrire ta iti prayogapâthah, looks as if vâm might have been retained in the text. The MSS. I have collated are in favour of te.

lxix:b Mr. Macdonell (Sarvânukramanî, p. 133) inserts ta iti after dadrire.

Next: Part 6