Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. We implore 1 with well-spoken words the vigorous 2 Agni who belongs to many people 3, to the clans that worship the gods 4, whom other people (also) magnify.
2. Men have placed Agni (on the altar) as the augmenter of strength. May we worship thee, rich in sacrificial food. Thus be thou here to-day gracious to us, a helper in our striving for gain, O good one!
3. We choose thee, the all-possessor, as our messenger and as our Hotri. The flames of thee, who art great, spread around; thy rays touch the heaven.
4. The gods, Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman, kindle thee, the ancient messenger. The mortal, O Agni, who worships thee, gains through thee every prize.
5. Thou art the cheerful Hotri and householder, O Agni, the messenger of the clans. In thee all the firm laws are comprised which the gods have made 1.
6. In thee, the blessed one, O Agni, youngest god, all sacrificial food is offered. Sacrifice then thou who art gracious to us to-day and afterwards 1, to the gods that we may be rich in valiant men.
7. Him, the king, verily the adorers approach reverentially. With oblations men kindle Agni, having overcome all failures.
8. Destroying the foe 1, they (victoriously) got through Heaven and Earth and the waters; they
have made wide room for their dwelling. May the manly (Agni) 2, after he has received the oblations, become brilliant at the side of Kanva; may he neigh as a horse in battles.
9. Take thy seat; thou art great. Shine forth, thou who most excellently repairest to the gods. O Agni, holy god, emit thy red, beautiful smoke, O glorious one!
10. Thou whom the gods have placed here for Manu as the best performer of the sacrifice, O carrier of oblations, whom Kanva and Medhyâtithi, whom Vrishan and Upastuta 1 (have worshipped,) the winner of prizes.
11. That Agni's nourishment has shone brightly whom Medhyâtithi and Kanva have kindled on behalf of Rita 1. Him do these hymns, him do we extol.
12. Fill (us with) wealth, thou self-dependent one, for thou, O Agni, hast companionship with the gods. Thou art lord over glorious booty. Have mercy upon us; thou art great.
13. Stand up straight for blessing us, like the god Savitri, straight a winner of booty, when we with our worshippers and with ointments 1 call thee 2 in emulation (with other people).
14. Standing straight, protect us by thy splendour from evil; burn down every ghoul 1. Let us stand straight that we may walk and live. Find out our worship 2 among the gods.
15. Save us, O Agni, from the sorcerer, save us from mischief, from the niggard. Save us from him
who does us harm or tries to kill us, O youngest god with bright splendour!
16. As with a club 1 smite the niggards in all directions, and him who deceives us, O god with fiery jaws. The mortal who makes (his weapons) very sharp by night, may that impostor not rule over us.
17. Agni has won abundance in heroes, Agni prosperity (for Kanva). Agni and the two Mitras (i. e. Mitra and Varuna) have blessed Medhyâtithi, Agni (has blessed) Upastuta in the acquirement (of wealth) 1.
18. Through Agni we call hither from afar Turvasa, Yadu, and Ugradeva. May Agni, our strength against the Dasyu, conduct Navavâstva, Brihadratha, and Turvîti 1.
19. Manu has established thee, O Agni, as a light for all people. Thou hast shone forth with Kanva, born from Rita, grown strong, thou whom the human races worship.
20. Agni's flames are impetuous and violent; they are terrible and not to be withstood. Always burn down the sorcerers, and the allies of the Yâtus, every ghoul 1.
The authorship of this hymn, and of the whole collection to which it belongs (I, 36–43), is ascribed to Kanva Ghaura. Numerous passages show indeed that it was the family of the Kanvas, or rather, to speak more accurately, a branch of that family, among which this group of hymns has been composed. But it is as great a mistake in this as in
a number of similar cases to accept the founder of one of the great Brâhmanical families as an author of Vedic poems. Comp. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morg. Gesellschaft, XLII, 215 seq.
The metre is alternately Brihatî and Satobrihatî, so that the hymn consists of strophes (Pragâtha) of two verses. Verse 1 = SV. I, 59. Verse 9 = VS. XI, 37; TS. IV, 1, 3, 3 (V, 1, 4, 5); TÂr. IV, 5, 2 (V, 4, 6); MS. II, 7, 3; IV, 9, 3. Verse 13 = SV. I, 57; VS. XI, 42; TS. IV, 1, 4, 2 (V, 1, 5, 3); MS. II, 7, 4. Verses 13, 14 = TB. III, 6, 1, 2; TÂr. IV, 20, 1; MS. IV, 13, 1. Verse 19 = SV. I, 54.
Note 1. Literally, we entreat for you. Comp. on this use of the pronoun vah, Delbrück, Altindische Syntax, 206. See also Neisser, Bezzenberger's Beiträge, XX, 64.
Note 2. The meaning of yahvá cannot be determined with full certainty.
Note 3. There is no sufficient reason to change with Ludwig (IV, 254) purûnâ´m to Pûrûnâ´m, and thus to convert the metrically correct Pâda into an irregular one.—Comp. Bollensen, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenl. Gesellschaft, XXII, 593.
Note 4. On devayatî´nâm, comp. Lanman, p. 399.
Note 1. 'On thee all the eternal works are united, i. e. depend, which the gods have wrought; such as sun, stars, lightning.' M. M.
Note 1. With the third Pâda compare the third Pâda of verse 2. It is a galita.
Note 1. The word 'the foe' (vritra) alludes to the name of the demon conquered by Indra; see H. O., Religion des Veda, 135, note 2.
Note 2. The metre would become more correct by reading vrishabháh instead of vríshâ. Or Vríshani, 'with Vrishan'? Comp. verse 10.
Note 1. Medhyâtithi or Medhâtithi is very frequently mentioned in connection with Kanva.
Vrishan is taken as a proper name by Boehtlingk-Roth and by Grassmann (not by Ludwig) in VI, 16, 15. Possibly they are right, but in no case can Vrishan of the sixth book, named by the side of Dadhyañk and Atharvan, be identified with any probability with the Vrishan mentioned in our passage, who evidently belongs to the ancestors of the Kanvas.
Upastuta is mentioned again together with Kanva and Medhyâtithi in verse 17 of our hymn, together with Kanva in VIII, 5, 25. Comp. I, 112, 15; VIII, 103, 8; X, 115, 8. 9; Bergaigne, Rel. Véd., II, 448.
Note 1. Comp. I, 139, 2. yát ha tyát mitrâvarunâv ritâ´t ádhi âdadâ´the ánritam svéna manyúnâ; X, 73, 5. mándamânah ritâ´t ádhi.
Note 1. Añgíbhih can possibly mean 'who have salved themselves.' There is no reason to think of the anointing of the yûpa (sacrificial post), to which Sâyana refers the word.
Note 2. On vi-hvâ, comp. Pischel-Geldner, I, 144. There must be a technical reason, unknown to me, for the connection in which this verb repeatedly occurs, as is the case in our passage, with the noun vâghat: comp. III, 8, 10 (see below); VIII, 5, 16. purutrâ´ kit hí vâm narâ vihváyante manîshínah vâghádbhih asvinâ â´ gatam.
Note 1. The exact meaning of atrín is unknown.
Note 2. Geldner's conjectures on duvas seem rather bold
to me (Kuhn's Zeitschrift, XXVII, 233). Comp. vol. xxxii, pp. 203–206 (I, 165, 14).
Note 1. On ghanéva, see Lanman, Noun-Inflection, 334.
Note 1. On Medhyâtithi and Upastuta, see the note on verse 10. Aufrecht (Kuhn's Zeitschrift, XXVI, 612) believes that in mitrótá an abbreviation of the name Mitrâtithi (X, 33, 7) is contained; he translates: 'Agni has promoted Mitrâtithi, Medhyâtithi, and Upastuta in the acquirement of wealth.' This is very ingenious, but I do not think that the reason which Aufrecht gives is sufficient: it cannot be understood, he says, why Mitra (or Mitra and Varuna) should be mentioned in a hymn exclusively addressed to Agni. But similar cases are quite frequent.—Prof. Max Müller writes: 'Could mitrâ stand for mitrâni? Agni has protected his friends and also Medhyâtithi.' Comp. also Lanman, p. 342.
Note 1. On Turvasa and Yadu, comp. Muir, V, 286; Bergaigne, II, 354 seq.; Zeitschr. der D. Morg. Ges. XLII, 220. There is not the slightest reason for Ludwig's statement (IV, 254) that this hymn is a 'gebet um sig für den auf einem kriegszuge befindlichen Turvaçakönig.'
Ugradeva is not mentioned again. On Navavâstva and Brihadratha, comp. X, 49, 6; VI, 20, 11; on Turvîti, the materials collected by Bergaigne, Rel. Véd., II, 358 seq.
Note 1. See verse 14, note 1.