Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. What supplication is to thy mind's taste 1? What (pious) thought may be, O Agni, most agreeable to thee? Or who has won for himself thy wisdom by sacrifices? Or with what thoughts may we worship thee 2?
2. Come hither, Agni, sit down here as a Hotri. Become our undeceivable leader 1. May Heaven and Earth, the all-embracing, protect thee. Offer the sacrifice to the gods that they may be highly gracious to us.
3. Burn down all sorcerers, O Agni; become a protector of the sacrifices against imprecations. And. conduct hither the lord of Soma (Indra) with his two bay horses. We have prepared hospitality for him, the good giver.
4. With words procuring offspring, carrying thee (to our sacrifice) with my mouth 1, I call 2 thee hither, and thou shalt sit down here with the gods. Perform the service of a Hotri and of a Potri 3, O worshipful one. Be thou a giver and a father 4 of riches.
5. As thou didst perform sacrifice to the gods with the sacrificial food of the wise Manu 1, a sage together with sages, thus, O highly truthful Hotri, perform thou the sacrifice to-day, O Agni, with thy joy-giving sacrificial ladle 2.
The same Rishi. Metre, Trishtubh.
Note 1. Sâyana takes vára in the sense of 'holding back' (comp. I, 143, 5), and makes mánasah depend on várâya. He says, 'he agne te tava manaso varâya nivâranâyâsmâsv. avasthâpanâya kopetir bhuvat kîdrisam upagamanam bhavet.' The modern translators are evidently right in assigning to vára the meaning of 'wish' or the like (comp. VII, 59, 2. yáh vah várâya dâ´sati), but they differ as to whether mánasah should be taken as belonging to várâya or to úpetih. Ludwig translates, 'Welches nahen des geistes ist gegenstand der wal dir?' Grassmann, 'Welch Nahen ist nach deines Herzens Wunsche?' My opinion is that the tradition of the text is not quite free from suspicion. My doubts are based on VI, 21, 4. kás te yagñáh mánase sám várâya, 'What sacrifice (O Indra) is agreeable to thy mind, to thy wish?' Here we have a question addressed to the god, beginning with kás te, quite similar to the question of our poet, which begins with kâ´ te. We have the word sám, as in our passage sámtamâ. We have várâya exactly as in our passage. We have, by the side of várâya, a case-form of mánas as in our passage. But we have the dative mánase instead of the genitive mánasah. We may add that there are some other passages in which a dative of a similar meaning stands likewise by the side of várâya: thus, VIII, 82, 3. áram várâya manyáve bhûvat te indra sám (comp. bhuvat agne sámtamâ in our passage) hridé, 'May it be, O Indra, according to thy wish and thy mood, may it be agreeable to thy heart;' VIII, 84, 4. várâya deva manyáve, 'to thy wish, O god, to thy mood.'
All this tends to raise the supposition that in our
passage also we should read mánase várâya, which datives seem to depend on sámtamâ. We should then translate, 'What supplication, what (pious) thought may be, O Agni, most agreeable to thy mind and to thy wish?'
Note 2. This seems to be a Pâda of the defective type, with four syllables before the caesura and ending as if there were five syllables before the caesura; comp. my Prolegomena, 68 seq. It would be easy, however, to restore the normal metrical form, for instance, by reading túbhyam instead of te.
Note 1. Purah-etâ´, literally, 'he who goes before somebody.'
Note 1. It would be unnatural to give to the medium â´ huve the passive sense and not to translate it, as it must be translated in so many passages, 'I call (thee) hither.' But, if so, it is very difficult to avoid the conclusion that váhnih âsâ´ ('he who carries somebody with his mouth;' comp. I, 129, 5; VI, 11, 2; 16, 9; VII, 16, 9; X, 115, 3 see vol. xxxii, pp. 42 seq.) refers here not to Agni, the divine carrier, but to the human priest, who with his mouth, i. e. by his songs, carries Agni to his sacrifice. Váhni is used very frequently indeed of human worshippers, and generally the transferring of epithets of the divine priest Agni to human priests, and vice versa, is quite to the taste of Vedic poets.—Comp. on â´ huve and váhnih âsâ´, Neisser, Bezzenberger's Beiträge, XVIII, 320 seq.; XX, 69, and below, I, 127, 8, note 1; S. B. E., vol. xxxii, p. 42. See also Delbrück, Altindische Syntax, 473, who very rightly observes: es liegt kein Grund vor, dem huvé den Character einer ersten Person zu versagen.
Note 2. On the accent of huvé, on which Ludwig bases very bold conclusions, see Delbrück, Altindische Syntax, 41; Weber, Indische Studien, XIII, 73.
Note 3. Comp. X, 3, 3.—On the priestly functions of the
[paragraph continues] Potri, see Weber, Indische Studien, X, 141, 366, 376 seq.; H. O., Religion des Veda, 391.
Note 4. On these vocatives, see Delbrück, Altindische Syntax, 106.
Note 1. Manus is here a proper name; comp. Bergaigne, I, 65 seq. On his priestly character, comp. H. O., Religion des Veda, 275.
Note 2. On guhṽâ, comp. Pischel, Ved. Studien, II, 113. The ladle is meant for the flame of Agni.