Vedic Hymns, Part I (SBE32), by Max Müller, , at sacred-texts.com
1. When the sage has poured out the threefold 1 draught to you, O Maruts, then you shine forth in the mountains (clouds).
2. Aye, when, O bright Maruts, growing in strength, you have seen your way, then the mountains (clouds) have gone down 1.
3. The sons of Prisni, the bulls, have risen together with the winds, they have drawn forth the swelling draught.
4. The Maruts sow the mist, they shake the mountains (clouds), when they go their way with the winds,
5. When the mountain bent down before your march, the rivers before your rule, before your great power (blast).
6. We invoke you by night for our protection, you by day, you while the sacrifice proceeds.
7. And they rise up on their courses, the beautiful, of reddish hue 1, the bulls, above the ridge of the sky.
8. With might they send forth a ray of light, that the sun may have a path to walk 1: they have spread far and wide with their lights.
9. Accept, O Maruts, this my speech, this hymn of praise, O Ribhukshans 1, this my call.
10. The Prisnis 1 (the clouds) yielded three lakes (from their udders) as mead for the wielder of the thunderbolt (Indra), the well, the water-skin, the watering-pot 2.
11. O Maruts, whenever we call you from heaven, wishing for your favour, come hither towards us.
12. For you are bounteous 1, in our house, O Rudras, Ribhukshans: you are attentive, when you enjoy (the libations).
13. O Maruts, bring to us from heaven enrapturing wealth, which nourishes many, which satisfies all.
14. When you have seen your way, brilliant Maruts, as it were from above 1 the mountains, you rejoice in the (Soma) drops which have been pressed out.
15. Let the mortal with his prayers ask the favour of that immense, unconquerable (host) 1 of them,
16. Who like torrents 1 foam along heaven and earth with their streams of rain, drawing the inexhaustible well.
17. These sons of Prisni rise up together with rattlings, with chariots, with the winds, and with songs of praise.
18. That (help) with which you helped Turvasa, Yadu, and Kanva when he carried off riches, that we pray for, greatly for our wealth.
19. O bounteous Maruts, may these draughts, swelling like butter, strengthen you, together with the prayers of Kânva.
20. Where do you rejoice now, O bounteous Maruts, when an altar has been prepared for you? What priest serves you?
21. For you for whom we have prepared an altar, do not, as it was with you formerly, in return for these praises, gladden the companies of our sacrifice.
22. These Maruts have brought together piece
by piece 1 the great waters, heaven and earth, the sun, and the thunderbolt;
23. And, while performing their manly work, they have trodden Vritra to pieces, and the dark mountains (clouds).
24. They protected the strength and intelligence of the fighting Trita, they protected Indra in his struggle with Vritra.
25. Holding lightnings in their hands, they hasten heavenward, golden helmets 1 are on their head; the brilliant Maruts have adorned themselves for beauty.
26. When with Usanâ 2 you have come from afar to Ukshnorandhra (ox-hollow) 1, he roared from fear, like Dyu (the sky).
27. O gods, come to us with your golden-hoofed horses, for the offering of the sacrifice 1.
28. When the red leader leads their spotted deer in their chariot, the brilliant Maruts approach and let the waters run.
29. The heroes went downwards to Saryanâvat, to Sushoma, to Ârgîka, to Pastyâvat.
30. When will you come hither, O Maruts, to the sage who calls you so, with your consolations to the suppliant?
31. What then now? Where are your friends, now that you have forsaken Indra? Who is counted in your friendship?
32. O Kânvas, I praise Agni, together with our Maruts, who carry the thunderbolt in their hands, and are armed with golden daggers.
33. Might I succeed in bringing hither the strong hunters, hither with their splendid booty for the newest blessings.
34. The hills even sink low, as if they thought themselves valleys, the mountains even bow themselves down.
35. The crossing (horses) bring them hither, flying through the air; they bestow strength on the man who praises them.
36. The old fire 1 has been born, like the shine 2 by the splendour of the sun, and the Maruts have spread far and wide with their lights.
Ascribed to Punarvatsa Kânva. Verse 8 occurs MS. IV, 12, 5; verse 11 in TS. I, 5, 11, 4; MS. IV, 10, 4; verse 28 in AV. XIII, 1, 21. Metre, Gâyatrî.
Note 1. Trishtúbham is an adjective belonging to ísham. The same expression occurs again, VIII, 69, 1, as a galita, and is therefore of little help. In IX, 62, 24, the íshah are called parishtúbhah, which seems to mean something like parisrut, i. e. standing round about. I therefore take trishtubh in our passage simply as threefold, referring probably to the morning, noon, and evening sacrifice. The sacrifice is often called trivrit, X, 52, 4; 124, 1. Some scholars ascribe to stubh in trishtubh the meaning of liturgical shouting.
Note 1. Besides ní ahâsata, we find úd ahâsata, I, 9, 4, and ápa ahâsata, IX, 73, 6. On ki, see verse 14, and V, 55, 7. It is often impossible to say whether the Vedic Aorist should be translated in English by the perfect or the imperfect. If we take the verse as describing an historical fact, it would be, 'When you saw your way, or, as soon as you had seen your way, the clouds fell.' If it is meant as a repeated event, it would be, 'when, i. e. whenever you have seen your way, the clouds have fallen.' The difficulty lies in English, and though the grammars lay down rules, usage does not conform to them. The difference in the use of tenses in English is so great that in the revised version of the Bible, a number of passages had to be translated differently for the English and for the American public. Thus in Rom. ii. 12, the English edition gives, 'For as many as have sinned without law, shall perish without law.' The American edition changes this into 'As many as sinned without the law.' Gal. iii. 22, English: 'The scripture hath shut up;' American: 'The scripture shut up.' It was on account of this and other changes of
idiom which have sprung up between English and American, that different editions of the revised version had actually to be printed for England and America. No wonder, therefore, that an American critic should in his innocence have charged me with not knowing the difference between the aorist, the imperfect, and the perfect in Vedic Sanskrit!
Note 1. Arunapsu, perhaps reddish-coloured, an epithet of the dawn. here applied to the Maruts. The Maruts are sometimes called vrishapsu, ahrutapsu, I, 52, 4; VIII, 20, 7.
Note 1. The relation between the light cast forth by the Maruts and the path of the sun is not quite clear, except that in other places also the Maruts are connected with the morning. The darkness preceding a thunderstorm may be identified with the darkness of the night, preceding the sunrise. See Bergaigne, II, 379 seq.
Note 1. The meaning of ribhukshan is doubtful. It is applied to Indra and the Maruts. See Bergaigne, II, 403; 404 note; 412.
Note 1. The Prisnis in the plural fem. are the clouds, see VIII, 6, 19. Mythologically there is but one Prisni, the mother of the Maruts. See also Bergaigne, II, 397.
Note 2. I am doubtful about the three lakes of Madhu, here of rain, poured from their udders by the clouds. The number three is common enough, and Ludwig has pointed out a parallel passage from the AV. X, 10, 10-12, where we read of three pâtras, filled with milk and Soma. Many similar passages have been collected by Bergaigne, I, 177, but again without a definite result. The question is whether the three words utsa, kavandha, and udrin are meant as names of the three pâtras, in our passage, of the three lakes, or whether they should be taken as an apposition,
the three lakes, namely, the well (of the sky), the skin full of water, and udrin, the watering-pot. Udrin is elsewhere an adjective only, but I think we must here translate, 'the well, the water-skin, the watering-pot.'
Note 1. On sudânavah as vocative, see Delbrück, Syntax, p. 106.
Note 1. For adhi with genitive, one expects ati. But Delbrück doubts whether ati can govern the genitive. See Altind. Syntax, p. 440.
Note 1. As ádâbhyasya can only refer to etâ´vatah, I have taken etâvat in the sense of gana, followed by eshâm. But I am not certain that the rendering is right.
Note 1. I have ventured to translate drapsâh by torrents. Neither drops nor sparks nor banners seem to yield an appropriate simile, but I feel very doubtful. See VIII, 96, 13; IX, 73, 1.
Note 1. I thought at first that by sám parvasáh dadhuh was meant the mixing or confounding together of heaven and earth; it being impossible, during a storm, to distinguish the two. But there is clearly, as Ludwig points out, an opposition between sám dadhuh and ví yayuh. I therefore take parvasáh in verse 22 in the sense of piece by piece, as in AV. IV, 12, 7. sám dadhat párushâ páruh, while in verse 23 it means in pieces.
Note 1. On siprâh, see note to II, 34, 3.
Note 1. Ukshnáh rándhram, 'the hollow of the bull,' whatever that may be, is not mentioned again. If it is meant for
the dark cloud which hides the rain, then the roar of the bull would be the thunder of the cloud, stirred by the Maruts. Aukshnorandhra, however, is the technical name of certain Sâmans, so that Ukshnorandhra may have been, like Usanâ (later Usanas), a proper name. See Tândya Br. XIII, 9, 18; 19.
Note 2. If usánâ stands for usanayâ it might mean, 'with desire,' but it seems more likely that it refers to the Rishi, who is called Usanâ in the Rig-veda, and Usanas in later writings. See Lanman, p. 562, l. 21; Bergaigne, II, 338, n. 3; Schmidt, K. Z. XXVI, 402, n. 1.
Note 1. On makhásya dâváne, see note to I, 6, 8, where I accepted the old explanation, 'Come to the offering of the priest.' But does makha mean priest? In later Sanskrit it means sacrifice, so that makhásya dâváne has been translated, 'for the offering of the sacrifice,' that is, 'that we may be able to offer you sacrifice.' If makha means glad and refers to Soma, which is doubtful, the sense would be the same. Possibly dâváne may here be derived from do, to divide, but this would not help us much.
The AV. reads yám tvâ príshatî ráthe práshtir váhati rohita, subhâ´ yâsi rinánn apáh, which yields no help.
This verse is very difficult. First of all, níkakrayâ can hardly mean 'without a chariot' (B.-R.), but seems an adverb, meaning downwards. But the chief difficulty lies in this, that we must decide, once for all, whether words, such as sushoma, saryanâvat, ârgîka, pastyâvat, &c., are to be interpreted in their natural sense, as expressing localities, well known to the poet, or in their technical sense, as names of sacrificial vessels. That this decision is by no means easy, may be inferred from the fact that two scholars, Roth and Ludwig, differ completely, the former preferring the technical, the latter the geographical meaning. We must
remember that in the hymns to the Maruts the poets speak occasionally of the countries, far and near, visited by the storm-winds. We must also bear in mind that in our very passage the poet asks the Maruts to come to him, and not to tarry with other people. When, therefore, he says, that they went to Saryanâvat, &c., is that likely to be meant for a tank of Soma at his own or any other sacrifice?
Saryanâvat is derived from sarya, this from sara. Sara means reed, arrow; sarya, made of reeds, saryâ, an arrow, but also reeds tied together and used at the sacrifice for carrying Soma-oblations. From it, saryana, which, according to Sâyana, means lands in Kurukshetra (RV. VIII, 6, 39), and from which Saryanâvat is derived, as the name of a lake in that neighbourhood (not a Landstrich, B.-R.). When this saryanâvat occurs in the Rig-veda, the question is, does it mean that lake, evidently a famous lake and a holy place in the early settlements of the Vedic Âryas, or does it mean, as others suppose, a sacrificial vessel made of reeds? It occurs in the Rig-veda seven times.
In I, 84, 14, Indra is said to have found the head of the horse, which had been removed among the mountains (clouds) at Saryanâvat. This seems to me the lake in which the sun sets. In the 8th Mandala saryanâvat occurs three times. In VIII, 6, 39, Indra is invoked to rejoice at Saryanâvat, or, according to others, in a vessel full of Soma. In our passage the Maruts went to Saryanâvat, to Sushoma, Ârgîka, and Pastyâvat, countries, it would seem, not vessels. In VIII, 64, it, after saying that the Soma had been prepared among the Pûrus, it is added that the Soma is sweetest in Saryanâvat, on the Sushomâ, and in Ârgîkîya. In IX, 65, 22, we read of Somas prepared far and near, and at Saryanâvat, and in the next verse we read of Somas to be found either among the Ârgîkas, among the Pastyâs, or among the Five Tribes. In IX, 113, 1; 2, Indra is asked to drink Soma at Saryanâvat, and the Soma is asked to come from Ârgîka. In X, 35, 2, the aid is implored of heaven and earth, of the rivers and the mountains, and these mountains are called saryanâvatah.
[paragraph continues] Ârgîkîya, besides the three passages mentioned already, occurs X, 75, 5, where it is clearly a river as well as Sushomâ, while in IX, 65, 23, the Ârgîkas, in the plural, could only be the name of a people.
Taking all this into account, it seems to me that we ought to accept the tradition that Saryanâvat was a lake and the adjoining district in Kurukshetra, that Ârgîka was the name of a river, Ârgîka the name of the adjoining country, Ârgîkâh, of the inhabitants, Ârgîkîyâ another name of Ârgîkâ, the river, and Ârgîkîyam another name of the country Ârgîka. Sushoma in our passage is probably the name of the country near the Sushomâ, and Pastyâvat, though it might be an adjective meaning filled with hamlets, is probably another geographical name; see, however, IX, 65, 23. Ludwig takes Saryanâvat as a name of the Eastern Sarasvatî; see Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 19; but we should expect Saryanâvatî as the name of a river. See also Bergaigne, I, 206, who, according to his system, takes all these names as 'préparateurs célestes du Soma.'
See I, 38, 1, note 1.
Note 1. Sâyana may be right in stating that this verse was intended for an Âgnimâruta sacrifice, and that therefore Agni was praised first, and afterwards the Maruts. In that case pûrvya might mean first.
Note 2. Khandas is doubtful; see, however, I, 92, 6.