Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. Like unto excellent wealth, like unto the shine of the sun, like unto living breath, like unto one's own 1 son—
2. Like unto a quick takvan 1 he (Agni) holds the wood, like milk, like a milch cow 2, bright and shining.
3. He holds safety, pleasant like a homestead, like ripe barley, a conqueror of men,
4. Like a Rishi uttering (sacred) shouts, praised among the clans; like a well-cared-for race-horse 1, Agni bestows vigour.
5. He to whose flame men do not grow accustomed 1, who is like one's own mind 2, like a wife on a couch, enough for all (happiness).
6. When the bright (Agni) has shone forth, he is like a white (horse [?]) 1 among people, like a chariot with golden ornaments, impetuous in fights.
7. Like an army which is sent forward he shows his vehemence, like an archer's shaft with sharp point.
8. He who is born is one twin; he who will be born 1 is the other twin—the lover of maidens, the husband of wives 2.
9 1. As cows go to their stalls, all that moves and we, for the sake of a dwelling, reach him who has been kindled.
10. Like the flood of the Sindhu 1 he has driven forward the downwards-flowing (waters) 2. The cows lowed at the sight of the sun 3.
The same Rishi and metre.
Note 1. Comp. I, 166, 2; 185, 2; X, 39, 14. The second passage (nítyam ná sûnúm pitróh upásthe dyâ´vâ rákshatam prithivî nah ábhvât) would be sufficient to show that we cannot translate 'wie ein überlebender sohn' (Ludwig).
Note 1. We do not know what animal the takvan is. Comp. I, 134, 5 with M. M.’s note.
Note 2. See Bergaigne, Mél. Renier, 101; Gaedicke, 253.
Note 1. Comp. X, 101, 7. prînîtá ásvân hitám gayâtha.
Note 1. Comp. VII, 4, 3. durókam agníh âyáve susoka.
Note 2. Prof. Max Müller believes that kratu here means, 'like kartri, a sacrificer, so that kratuh na nityah sounds like sûnuh na nityah, one's own sacrificing son. But all this is very obscure.'
Note 1. The second Pâda is translated by Grassmann: 'wie Licht in Häusern;' by Ludwig: 'fast weiss, bei den menschenstämmen.' I think that there can be no doubt that the words svetáh ná contain a comparison like all the other comparisons of which these hymns are full; this comparison is unduly effaced in Ludwig's translation. Nor is Grassmann right in translating svetáh bei 'Licht;' the word is an adjective meaning 'white' and nothing else. We must supply here, as in many passages, a substantive, and I do not see any reason why this should not be that
substantive with which sveta is most frequently combined in the Rig-veda, namely asva; comp. I, 116, 6; 118, 9 [119, 10]; VII, 77, 3; X, 39, 10. In V, 1, 4 it is said of Agni: svetáh vâgî´ gâyate ágre áhnâm, 'the white racer is born in the beginning of the days.'
Note 1. The traditional text is yamáh ha gâtáh yamáh gánitvam. Ludwig translates 'bewältiger des gebornen, bewältiger auch des, was erst geboren wird.' It will scarcely be necessary to state the reasons which make against this translation. Yamáh … yamáh evidently means: 'the one twin … the other twin.' Now if we leave the text unchanged, we cannot but translate: 'the one twin is he who has been born, the other twin is that which will be born'—which sounds very strange. In I, 89, to we have áditih gâtám áditih gánitvam; IV, 18, 4. antáh gâtéshu utá yé gánitvâh; X, 45, 10. út gâténa bhinádat út gánitvaih. In all these cases gâtá and gánitva stand parallel; there is no such difference as in our passage, according to the traditional text, between him (masc.) who is … and that (neuter) which will be … Thus I propose to read gánitvah, of which conjecture Ludwig has thought also (see his note, IV, 259): that present Agni who has been born, and that future Agni who will be born, are twins.—Prof. Max Müller has discussed this passage in his Science of Language, II, 630 seqq. He interprets the twin who has been born as Agni representing the morning; the twin who will be born as the evening.
Note 2. The maidens very probably are the dawns (comp. Prof. Max Müller's discussion quoted in the last note). Are the wives the sacrificial ladles which approach Agni, or the offerings of ghee, or the prayers? See Bergaigne, Rel. Védique, II, 9 seqq.
Note 1. This verse is very obscure, and I am quite aware of the merely tentative character of the translation which
[paragraph continues] I propose. I leave vah untranslated (comp. Delbrück, Altindische Syntax, 206), which must be done in most of the numerous verses beginning with the words tám vah. I then read karathâ (comp. 68, 1; 70, 3. 7). Vasatyâ´ seems to be either a dative similar to the newly-discovered datives in -â of a-stems, or we possibly should read vasatyaí (vasatyâ´ in the Samhitâ-pâtha).—Prof. Max Müller thinks of a correction karâmah and would translate: 'To him (whom you know—vah) when lighted we go for our dwelling, as the cows reach their home.'
Note 1. Comp. above, 65, 6.
Note 2. Or the downwards-streaming libations of Ghrita and the like? Comp. below, I, 72, 10 with note 4.
Note 3. Comp. below, 69, 10.