Vedic Hymns, Part I (SBE32), by Max Müller, , at sacred-texts.com
1. What then now? When 1 will you take (us) as a dear father takes his son by both hands, O ye gods, for whom the sacred grass has been trimmed 2?
2. Where now? On what errand of yours are you going, in heaven, not on earth 1? Where are your cows sporting?
3. Where are your newest favours 1, O Maruts? Where the blessings? Where all delights?
4. If you, sons of Prisni, were mortals, and your praiser an immortal 1,—
5. Then never 1 should your praiser be unwelcome, like a deer in pasture grass 2, nor should he go on the path of Yama 3.
6. Let not one sin 1 after another, difficult to be conquered, overcome us; may it depart 2 together with greed.
7. Truly they are terrible and powerful; even to the desert the Rudriyas bring rain that is never dried up 1.
8. The lightning lows like a cow, it follows as a mother follows after her young, when the shower (of the Maruts) has been let loose 1.
9. Even by day the Maruts create darkness with the water-bearing cloud 1, when they drench the earth.
10. Then from the shouting of the Maruts over the whole space of the earth 1, men reeled forward.
11. Maruts on your strong-hoofed never-wearying 3
steeds 1 go after those bright ones (the clouds), which are still locked up 2.
12. May your fellies be strong, the chariots, and their horses, may your reins 1 be well-fashioned.
13. Speak forth for ever with thy voice to praise the Lord of prayer 1, Agni, who is like a friend 2, the bright one.
14. Fashion a hymn in thy mouth! Expand like the cloud 1! Sing a song of praise.
15. Worship the host of the Maruts, the terrible. . the glorious, the musical 1. May they be magnified here among us 2.
This hymn is ascribed to Kanva, the son of Ghora. The metre is Gâyatrî throughout. Several verses, however, end in a spondee instead of the usual iambus. No attempt should be made to improve such verses by conjecture, for they are clearly meant to end in spondees. Thus in verses 2, 7, 8, and 9, all the three pâdas alike have their final spondee. In verse 7, the ionicus a minore is with an evident intention repeated thrice. No verse of the hymn occurs in SV., VS., AV.; but verse 8 = TS. III, 1, 11, 5; verse 9 = TS. II, 4, 8, 1.
Note 1. Kadha-priyah is taken in the Padapâtha as one word, and Sâyana explains it by delighted by or delighting in praise, a nominative plural. A similar compound, kadhapriya, occurs in I, 30, 20, and there too the vocative sing. fem., kadhapriye, is explained by Sâyana as fond of praise. In order to obtain this meaning, kadha has to be identified with kathâ, story, which is simply impossible. There is another compound, adha-priyâ, nom. dual, which occurs VIII, 8, 4, and which Sâyana explains either as delighted here below, or as a corruption of kadha-priyâ.
In Boehtlingk and Roth's Dictionary, kadha-priya and kadha-prî are both taken as compounds of kadha, an interrogative adverb, and priya or prî, to love or delight, and they are explained as meaning kind or loving to whom? In the same manner adha-priya is explained as kind then and there.
It must be confessed, however, that a compound like kadha-prî, kind to whom?, is somewhat strange, and it seems preferable to separate the words, and to write kádha priyá and ádha priyá.
It should be observed that the compounds kadha-prî and kadha-priya occur always in sentences where there is another interrogative pronoun. The two interrogatives kát—kádha, what—where, and kás—kádha, who—where, occurring in the same sentence, an idiom so common in
[paragraph continues] Greek, may have puzzled the author of the Pada text, and the compound being once sanctioned by the authority of Sâkalya, Sâyana would explain it as best he could. But if we admit the double use of the interrogative in Sanskrit, as in Greek, then, in our passage, priyáh would be an adjective belonging to pitâ´, and we might translate: 'What then now? When will you take (us), as a dear father takes his son by both hands, O ye Maruts?' In the same manner we ought to translate I, 30, 20:
káh te ushah kádha priye bhugé mártah amartye.
Who and where was there a mortal to be loved by thee, O beloved, immortal Dawn?
In VIII, 7, 31, where the same words are repeated as in our passage, it is likewise better to write:
kát ha nûnám kádha priyáh yát índram ágahâtana, káh vah sakhi-tvé ohate.
What then now? Where is there a friend, now that you have forsaken Indra? Who watches for your friendship?
Why in VIII, 8, 4, adha priyâ should have been joined into one word is more difficult to say, yet here, too, the compound might easily be separated.
Kádha does not occur again, but would be formed in analogy with ádha. It occurs in Zend as kadha.
Kuhn, Beiträge IV, p. 186, has shown that kûshthah (RV. V, 74, 1) is a similar monster, and stands for ku shthah.
The words kát ha nûnám commonly introduce an interrogative sentence, literally, What then now? cf. X, 10, 4.
Note 2. Vrikta-barhis is generally a name of the priest, so called because he has to trim the sacrificial grass. 'The sacred Kusa grass (Poa cynosuroides), after having had the roots cut off, is spread on the Vedi or altar, and upon it the libation of Soma-juice, or oblation of clarified butter, is poured out. In other places, a tuft of it in a similar position is supposed to form a fitting seat for the deity or deities invoked to the sacrifice. According to Mr. Stevenson, it is also strewn over the floor of the chamber in which the worship is performed.'
Cf. VI, II, 5. vriñgé ha yát námasâ barhíh agnaú, áyâmi srúk ghritá-vatî su-vriktíh.
When I reverentially trim the truss for Agni, when the well-trimmed ladle, full of butter, is stretched forth.
In our passage, unless we change the accent, it must be taken as an epithet of the Maruts, they for whom the grass-altar has been prepared. They are again invoked by the same name, VIII, 7, 20:
kvã nûnám su-dânavah mádatha vrikta-barhishah.
Where do ye rejoice now, you gods for whom the altar is trimmed?
Otherwise, vrikta-barhishah might, with a change of accent, supply an accusative to dadhidhve: 'Will you take the worshippers in your arms?' This, though decidedly better, is not absolutely necessary, because to take by the hand may be used as a neuter verb.
Wilson: Maruts, who are fond of praise, and for whom the sacred grass is trimmed, when will you take us by both hands as a father does his son?
Benfey: Wo weilt ihr gern? was habt ihr jetzt—gleichwie ein Vater seinen Sohn—in Händen, da das Opfer harrt?
Note 1. The idea of the first verse, that the Maruts should not be detained by other pursuits, is carried on in the second. The poet asks, what they have to do in the sky, instead of coming down to the earth. The last sentence seems to mean ' where tarry your herds?' viz. the clouds. Sâyana translates: 'Where do worshippers, like lowing cows, praise you?' Wilson: 'Where do they who worship you cry to you, like cattle?' Benfey: 'Wo jauchzt man euch, gleich wie Stiere? (Ihre Verehrer brüllen vor Freude über ihre Gegenwart, wie Stiere.)' The verb ranyati, however, when followed by an accusative, means to love, to accept with pleasure. The gods accept the offerings and the prayers:
V, 18, 1. vísvâni yáh ámartyah havyâ´ márteshu rányati.
The immortal who deigns to accept all offerings among mortals.
V, 74, 3. kásya bráhmâni ranyathah.
Whose prayers do ye accept?
Followed by a locative ranyati means to delight in. Both the gods are said to delight in prayers (VIII, 12, 18; 33, 16), and prayers are said to delight in the gods (VIII, 16, 2). I therefore take ranyanti in the sense of tarrying, disporting, and ná, if it is to be retained, in the sense of not; where do they not sport? meaning that they are to be found everywhere, except where the poet desires them to be. We thus get rid of the simile of singing poets and lowing cows, which, though not too bold for Vedic bards, would here come in too abruptly. It would be much better, however, if the negative particle could be omitted altogether. If we retain it, we must read: kvã váh | gâváh | na rán yantí | . But the fact is that through the whole of the Rig-veda kvã has always to be pronounced as two syllables, kuva. There is only one passage, V, 61, 2, where, before a vowel, we have to read kva: kuva vo ’svâh, kvâbhîsavah. In other passages, even before vowels, we always have to read kuva, e. g. I, 161, 4. kuvet = kva it; I, 105, 4. kuvartam = kva ritam. In I, 35, 7, we must read either kuvedânîm sûryah, making sûryah trisyllabic, or kuva idânîm, leaving a hiatus. In I, 168, 6, kvâvaram is kuvâvaram: Sâkalya, forgetting this, and wishing to improve the metre, added na, thereby, in reality, destroying both the metre and the sense. Kva occurs as dissyllabic in the Rig-veda at least forty-one times.
Note 1. The meanings of sumná, in the first five Mandalas are well explained by Professor Aufrecht in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vol. iv, p. 274. As to suvitâ´ in the plural, see X, 86, 21, and VIII, 93, 29, where Indra is said to bring all suvitas. It frequently occurs in the singular:
X, 148, 1. â´ nah bhara suvitám yásya kâkán.
Note 1. One might translate: 'If you, sons of Prisni, were mortals, the immortal would be your worshipper.' But this seems almost too deep and elaborate a compliment for a primitive age. Langlois translates: 'Quand vous ne
seriez pas immortels, (faites toutefois) que votre panégyriste jouisse d’une longue vie.' Wilson's translation is obscure: 'That you, sons of Prisni, may become mortals, and your panegyrist become immortal.' Sâyana translates: 'Though you, sons of Prisni, were mortal, yet your worshipper would be immortal.' Ludwig has, 'Wenn ihr, o kinder der Prisni, sterbliche wäret, der unsterbliche wäre euer sänger dann. Nicht werde euch unlieb der sänger, wie ein wildes tier auf der weide, nicht des Yama Pfad betrete er.' I think it best to connect the fourth and fifth verses, and I feel justified in so doing by other passages where the same or a similar idea is expressed, viz. that if the god were the poet and the poet the god, then the poet would be more liberal to the god than the god is to him. Whether syât should have the udâtta, I cannot tell. Thus I translated a passage, VII, 32, 18, in my History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 545: 'If I were lord of as much as thou, I should support the sacred bard, thou scatterer of wealth, I should not abandon him to misery. I should award wealth day by day to him who magnifies, I should award it to whosoever it be.' Another parallel passage is pointed out by Mr. J. Muir, (On the Interpretation of the Veda, p. 79; see also Sanskrit Texts, V, 303.) VIII, 19, 25: 'If, Agni, thou wert a mortal, and I were an immortal, I should not abandon thee to malediction or to wretchedness; my worshipper should not be miserable or distressed.' Still more to the point is another passage, VIII, 44, 23: 'If I were thou, and thou wert I, then thy wishes should be fulfilled.' See also VIII, 14, 1, 2.
As to the metre it is clear that we ought to read mārt̄â̆sāh sy̆â̄tănā.
Note 1. Mâ´, though it seems to stand for ná, retains its prohibitive sense.
Note 2. Yávasa is explained by Sâyana as grass, and Wilson's Dictionary, too, gives to it the meaning of meadow or pasture grass, whereas yava is barley. The Greek ζεά or ζειά is likewise explained as barley or rye, fodder for horses. See I, 91, 13. gâ´vah ná yávaseshu, like cows in meadows.
Note 3. The path of Yama can only be the path first followed by Yama, or that leads to Yama, as the ruler of the departed.
X, 14, 8. sám gakkhasva pitrí-bhih sám yaména.
Meet with the fathers, meet with Yama (X, 14, 10; 15, 8).
X, 14, 7. yamám pasyâsi várunam ka devám.
Thou wilt see (there) Yama and the divine Varuna.
X, 165, 4. tásmai yamâ´ya námah astu mrityáve.
Adoration to that Yama, to Death!
Wilson: Never may your worshipper be indifferent to you, as a deer (is never indifferent) to pasture, so that he may not tread the path of Yama.
Benfey: Wer euch besingt, der sei euch nicht gleichgültig, wie das Wild im Gras, nicht wandl’ er auf des Yama Pfad.
Ágoshya is translated insatiable by Professor Goldstücker.
Note 1. One of the meanings of nírriti is sin. It is derived from the same root which yielded ritá, in the sense of right. Nírriti was conceived, it would seem, as going away from the path of right, the German Vergehen. Nírriti was personified as a power of evil and destruction.
VII, 104, 9. áhaye vâ tâ´n pra-dádâtu sómah â´ vâ dadhâtu níh-riteh upá-sthe.
May Soma hand them over to Ahi, or place them in the lap of Nirriti.
I, 117, 5. susupvâ´msam ná níh-riteh upá-sthe.
Like one who sleeps in the lap of Nirriti.
Here Sâyana explains Nirriti as earth, and he attaches the same meaning to the word in other places which will have to be considered hereafter. Cf. Lectures on the Science of Language, Second Series, p. 562.
Wilson treats Nirriti as a male deity, and translates the last words, 'let him perish with our evil desires.'
Note 2. Padîshtá is formed as an optative of the Âtmanepada, but with the additional s before the t, which, in the ordinary Sanskrit, is restricted to the so-called benedictive (Grammar, § 385; Bopp, Kritische Grammatik, ed. 1834,
[paragraph continues] § 329, note). Pad means originally to go. Thus RV. IX, 73, 9, átra kartám áva padâti áprabhuh, may the impotent go down into the pit. In certain constructions it gradually assumed the meaning of to perish, and native commentators are inclined to explain it by pat, to fall. One can watch the transition of meaning from going into perishing in such phrases as VS. XI, 46, ma pâdy âyushah purâ, literally, 'may he not go before the time,' but really intended for 'may he not die before the time.' In the Rig-veda padîshtá is generally qualified by some words to show that it is to be taken in malam partem. Thus in our passage, and in III, 53, 21; VII, 104, 16; 17. In I, 79, 11, however, padîshtá sáh is by itself used in a maledictory sense, pereat, may he perish! In another, VI, 20, 5, pâ´di by itself conveys the idea of perishing. This may have some weight in determining the origin of the Latin pestis (Corssen, Kritische Beiträge, p. 396), for it shows that, even without prepositions, such as â or vi, pad may have an ill-omened meaning. In the Aitareya-brâhmana VII, 14 (History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 471), pad, as applied to a child's teeth, means to go, to fall out. With sam, however, pad has always a good meaning, and this shows that originally its meaning was neutral. Another translation, suggested by Ludwig, might be: 'Let not one dreadful Nirriti (sin) after another strike us.'
Note 1. The only difficult word is avâtâ´m. Sâyana explains it, 'without wind.' But it is hardly possible to understand how the Maruts, themselves the gods of the storm, the sons of Rudra, could be said to bring clouds without wind. Langlois, it is true, translates without any misgivings: 'Ces dieux peuvent sur un sol desséché faire tomber la pluie sans l’accompagner de vent.' Wilson: 'They send down rain without wind upon the desert.' Benfey saw the incongruous character of the epithet, and explained it away by saying that the winds bring rain, and after they have brought it, they moderate their violence in order not to drive it away again; hence rain without wind. Yet even
this explanation, though ingenious, and, as I am told, particularly truthful in an eastern climate, is somewhat too artificial. If we changed the accent, ávâtâm, unchecked, unconquered, would be better than avâtâ´m, windless. But ávâta, unconquered, does not occur in the Rig-veda, except as applied to persons. It occurs most frequently in the phrase vanván ávâtah, which Sâyana explains well by himsan ahimsitah, hurting, but not hurt: (VI, 16, 20; 18, 1; IX, 89, 7.) In IX, 96, 8, we read prit-sú vanván ávâtah, in battles attacking, but not attacked, which renders the meaning of ávâta perfectly clear. In VI, 64, 5, where it is applied to Ushas, it may be translated by unconquerable, intact.
There are several passages, however, where avâta occurs with the accent on the last syllable, and where it is accordingly explained as a Bahuvrîhi, meaning either windless or motionless, from vâta, wind, or from vâta, going. (I, 62, 10). In some of these passages we can hardly doubt that the accent ought to be changed, and that we ought to read ávâta. Thus in VI, 64, 4, avâte is clearly a vocative applied to Ushas, who is called ávâtâ, unconquerable, in the verse immediately following. In I, 52, 4, the Maruts are called avâtâh, which can only be ávâtâh, unconquerable; nor can we hesitate in VIII, 79, 7, to change avâtáh into ávâtah, as an epithet applied to Soma, and preceded by ádriptakratuh, of unimpaired strength, unconquerable.
But even then we find no evidence that ávâta, unconquered, could be applied to rain or to a cloud, and I therefore propose another explanation, though equally founded on the supposition that the accent of avâtâm in our passage should be on the first syllable.
I take vâta as a Vedic form instead of the later vâna, the past participle of vai, to wither. Similarly we find in the Veda gîta, instead of gîna, the latter form being sanctioned by Pânini. Vâ means to get dry, to flag, to get exhausted; ávâta therefore, as applied to a cloud, would mean not dry, not withered, as applied to rain, not dried up, but remaining on the ground. It is important to remark that in one passage, VI, 67, 7, Sâyana, too, explains ávâta, as applied to rivers, by asushka, not dry; and the same meaning would
be applicable to avâtâ´h in I, 62, 10. In this sense of not withered, not dry, ávâtâm in our passage would form a perfectly appropriate epithet of the rain, while neither windless nor unconquered would yield an appropriate sense. In the famous passage, X, 129, 2, â´nît avâtám svadháyâ tát ékam, that only One breathed breathless by itself, avâtám might be taken, in accordance with its accent, as windless or breathless, and the poet may have wished to give this antithetical point to his verse. But ávâtam, as an adverb, would here be equally appropriate, and we should then have to translate, 'that only One breathed freely by itself.' Ludwig translates, 'Als treue die blendenden, die stürmenden Rudriya auf öder fläche sogar, als brunnen die wolke schaffen.' This presupposes the conjectural reading avatám.
Note 1. The peculiar structure of the metre in the seventh and eighth verses should be noted. Though we may scan
by throwing the accent on the short antepenultimate, yet the movement of the metre becomes far more natural by throwing the accent on the long penultimate, thus reading
Sâyana: Like a cow the lightning roars, (the lightning) attends (on the Maruts) as the mother cow on her calf, because their rain is let loose at the time of lightning and thunder.
Wilson: The lightning roars like a parent cow that bellows for its calf, and hence the rain is set free by the Maruts.
Benfey: Es blitzt—wie eine Kuh brüllt es—die Mutter folgt dem Kalb gleichsam—wenn ihr Regen losgelassen. (Der Donner folgt dem Blitz, wie eine Kuh ihrem Kalbe.)
Vâsrá as a masculine means a bull, and it is used as a name of the Maruts in some passages, VIII, 7, 3; 7. As
a feminine it means a cow, particularly a cow with a calf, a milch cow. Hence also a mother, X, 119, 4. The lowing of the lightning must be intended for the distant thunder, and the idea that the lightning goes near or looks for the rain is not foreign to the Vedic poets. See I, 39, 9: 'Come to us, Maruts, with your entire help, as lightnings (come to, i. e. seek for) the rain!'
Note 1. That pargánya here and in other places means cloud has been well illustrated by Dr. Bailer, Orient and Occident, vol. i, p. 221. It is interesting to watch the personifying process which is very palpable in this word, and by which Parganya becomes at last a friend and companion of Indra. See now, 'India, what can it teach us?' p. 183 seq.
Note 1. Sádma, as a neuter, means originally a seat, and is frequently used in the sense of altar: IV, 9, 3. sáh sádma pári nîyate hótâ; VII, 18, 22. hótâ-iva sádma pári emi rébhan. It soon, however, assumed the more general meaning of place, as
X, 1, 1. agníh bhânúnâ rúsatâ vísvâ sádmâni aprâh.
Agni with brilliant light thou filledst all places.
It is lastly used with special reference to heaven and earth, the two sádmanî, I, 185, 6; III, 55, 2. In our passage sádma pâ´rthivam is the same as pâ´rthive sádane in VIII, 97, 5. Here the earth is mentioned together with heaven, the sea, and the sky. Sâyana takes sádma as 'dwelling,' so do Wilson and Langlois. Benfey translates 'der Erde Sitz,' and makes it the subject of the sentence, which may be right: 'From the roaring of the Maruts the seat of the earth trembles, and all men tremble.' Sadman, with the accent on the last syllable, is also used as a masculine in the Rig-veda, I, 173, I; VI, 51, 12. sadmâ´nam divyám.
Note 1. I have translated vîlu-pâníbhih, as if it were vîlupânibhih, for this is the right accent of a Bahuvrîhi
compound. Thus the first member retains its own accent in prithú-pâni, bhû´ri-pâni vrísha-pâni, &c. It is possible that the accent may have been changed in our passage, because the compound is used, not as an adjective, but as a kind of substantive, as the name of a horse. Pâní, hand, means, as applied to horses, hoof:
II, 31, 2. prithivyâ´h sâ´nau gáṅghananta pâní-bhih.
When they strike with their hoofs on the summit of the earth.
This meaning appears still more clearly in such compounds as dravat-pâni:
VIII, 5, 35. hiranyáyena ráthena dravátpâni-bhih ásvaih.
On a golden chariot, on quick-hoofed horses.
The horses of the Maruts, which in our verse are called vîlu-pâní, strong-hoofed, are called VIII, 7, 27. híranyapâni, golden-hoofed:
ásvaih híranyapâni-bhih dévâsah ûpa gantana.
On your golden-hoofed horses come hither, O gods.
Those who retain the accent of the MSS. ought to translate, 'Maruts, with your strong hands go after the clouds.'
Note 2. Ródhasvatî is explained by Sâyana as river. It does not occur again in the Rig-veda. Ródhas is enclosure or fence, the bank of a river; but it does not follow that ródhasvat, having enclosures or banks, was applicable to rivers only. II, 15, 8, it is said that he emptied or opened the artificial enclosures of Bala, these being the clouds conquered by Indra. Hence I take ródhasvatî in the sense of a cloud yet unopened, which is followed or driven on by the Maruts.
Kitrá, bright or many-coloured, is applied to the clouds, V, 63, 3. kitrébhih abhráih.
Note 3. Roth and Ludwig take ákhidrayâman for a name of horse, which seems right. The word does not occur again in the Rig-veda.
Wilson: Maruts, with strong hands, come along the beautifully-embanked rivers with unobstructed progress.
Benfey: Mit euren starken Händen folgt den hehren eingeschlossnen nach in unermüd’tem Gang, Maruts.
Note 1. Abhî´su, rein, does not mean finger in the Rig-veda, though Sâyana frequently explains it so, misled by Yâska, who gives abhîsu among the names of finger. Wilson: 'May your fingers be well skilled (to hold the reins).'
Note 1. Agni is frequently invoked together with the Maruts, and is even called marút-sakhâ, the friend of the Maruts, VIII, 92, 14. It seems better, therefore, to refer bráhmanas pátim to Agni, than, with Sâyana, to the host of the Maruts (marúdganam). Bráhmanaspáti and Bríhaspáti are both varieties of Agni, the priest and purohita of gods and men, and as such he is invoked together with the Maruts in other passages, I, 40, I. Tánâ is an adverb. meaning constantly, always, for ever. Cf. II, 2, I; VIII. 40, 7.
Wilson: Declare in our presence (priests), with voice attuned to praise Brahmanaspati, Agni, and the beautiful Mitra.
Benfey: Lass schallen immerfort das Lied zu grüssen Brahmanaspati, Agni, Mitra, den herrlichen.
Note 2. Mitra is never, as far as I know, invoked together with the Maruts, and it is better to take mitrám as friend. Besides ná cannot be left here untranslated. Ludwig translates, 'beautiful like Mitra,' that is, bright like the sun.
Note 1. The second sentence is obscure. Sâyana translates: 'Let the choir of priests make a hymn of praise, let them utter or expand it, like as a cloud sends forth rain.' Wilson similarly: Utter the verse that is in your mouth, spread it out like a cloud spreading rain.' Benfey: 'Ein Preislied schaffe in dem Mund, ertöne dem Parganya gleich.' He takes Parganya for the god of thunder, and supposes the hymn of praise to be compared to it on account of its loudness. Tatanah can only be the second person singular of the conjunctive of the reduplicated perfect, of which we
have also tatánat, tatánâma, tatánan, and tatánanta. Tatanah can be addressed either to the host of the Maruts, or to the poet. I take it in the latter sense, for a similar verse occurs VIII, 21, 18. It is said there of a patron that he alone is a king, that all others about the river Sarasvatî are only small kings, and the poet adds: 'May he spread like a cloud with the rain,' giving hundreds and thousands (pargányah-iva tatánat hí vrishtyâ´). Ludwig takes tan in the sense of thundering; thunder like Parganya!
Note 1. It is difficult to find an appropriate rendering for arkín. It means praising, celebrating, singing, and it is in the last sense only that it is applicable to the Maruts. Wilson translates, 'entitled to adoration;' Benfey, 'flaming.' Boehtlingk and Roth admit the sense of flaming in one passage, but give to arkín in this place the meaning of praising. If it simply meant, possessed of arká, i. e. songs of praise, it would be a very lame epithet after panasyú. But other passages, like I, 19, 4; 52, 15, show that the conception of the Maruts as singers was most familiar to the Vedic Rishis (I, 64, 10; Kuhn, Zeitschrift, vol. i, p. 521. note); and arká is the very name applied to their songs (I, 19, 4). In the Edda, too, 'storm and thunder are represented as a lay, as the wondrous music of the wild hunt. The dwarfs and Elbs sing the so-called Alb-leich which carries off everything, trees and mountains.' See Justi in Orient and Occident, vol. ii, p. 62; Genthe, Windgottheiten, p. 4; 11. There is no doubt therefore that arkín here means musician, and that the arká of the Maruts is the music of the winds.
Note 2. Vriddhá, literally grown, is used in the Veda as an honorific epithet, with the meaning of mighty, great, or magnified:
III, 32, 7. yágâmah ít námasâ vriddhám índram
brihántam rishvám agáram yúvânam.
We worship with praise the mighty Indra, the great, the exalted, the immortal, the vigorous.
Here neither is vriddhá intended to express old age,
nor yúvan young age, but both are meant as laudatory epithets. See Darmesteter, Ormazd et Ahriman, p. 91 seq.
Asan is the so-called Let of as, to be. This Let is properly an imperative, which gradually sinks down to a mere subjunctive, and is generally called so. Of as, we find the following Let forms: belonging to the present, we have ásasi, II, 26, 2; ásati, VI, 23, 9; ásathah, VI, 63, 1; and ásatha, V, 61, 4: belonging to the imperfect, âsah, VIII, 100, 2; ásat, I, 9, 5; ásâma, I, 173, 9; ásan, I, 89, 1. Ásam, a form quoted by Roth from Rig-veda X, 27, 4, is really â´sam.
We find, for instance, ásah, with an imperative or optative meaning, in
VIII, 100, 2. ásah ka tvám dakshinatáh sákhâ me
ádha vritrâ´ni â´ gaṅghanâva bhû´ri.
And be thou my friend on my right hand, and we shall kill many enemies.
Here we see the transition of meaning from an imperative to the conditional. In English, too, we may say, 'Do this and you shall live,' which means nearly the same as, 'If you do this, you will live.' Thus we may translate this passage: 'And if thou be my friend on my right side, then we shall kill many enemies.'
X, 124, I. imám nah agne úpa yagñám â´ ihi—
ásah havya-vâ´t utá nah purah-gâ´h.
Here we have the imperative ihi and the Let ásah used in the same sense.
Far more frequently, however, ásah is used in relative sentences, such as,
VI, 36, 5. ásah yáthâ nah sávasâ kakânáh.
That thou mayest be ours, delighting in strength.
VII, 24, 1. ásah yáthâ nah avitâ´ vridhé ka.
That thou mayest be our helper and for our increase.
See also X, 44, 4; 85, 26; 36.
Wilson: May they be exalted by this our worship.
Benfey: Mögen die Hohen hier bei uns sein.