Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. How, O Agni, have the resplendent ones worshipped thee, aspiring through the powers of the Âyu 1, when 2 the gods, obtaining kith and kin of both races 3 (human and divine?), rejoiced in the song of Rita (or Right) 4?
2. Give heed to this my proffered hymn, O youngest one, which is most rich in liberal gifts 1, O self-dependent one! The one abuses thee, the other praises thee: I thy reverer revere thy body, O Agni 2!
3. Thy guardians, O Agni, who saw and saved the blind son of Mamatâ from distress 1—he the possessor of all wealth has saved them who have done good deeds 2. The impostors, trying to deceive, have not deceived.
4. The niggard, O Agni, the harmful and malicious who injures us by falsehood: may the heavy spell recoil on him; may he injure his own body by his evil words 1.
5. And, O strong one, whatever mortal knowingly injures another mortal by falsehood: from such a one, O praised Agni, protect him who praises thee. Agni! Do not deliver us to distress.
The same Rishi and metre.—Verse 2 = VS. XII, 42; TS. IV, 2, 3, 4; MS. II, 7, 10. Verse 3 = RV. IV, 4, 13; TS. I, 2, 14, 5; MS. IV, 11, 5.
Note 1. The Âyu seems to be Agni himself. Or is it admissible to interpret âyóh as standing metri causâ for âyávah? Then the hemistich would refer to the mythical sacerdotal tribe of the Âyus, the ancient worshippers of Agni. Comp., for instance, X, 7, 5; 46, 8. The translation would be, 'How, O Agni, have the resplendent Âyus worshipped thee, aspiring with their powers?'
Note 2. 'Because.' M. M.
Note 3. Comp. VIII, 103, 7. ubhé toké tánaye dasma vispate párshi râ´dhah maghónâm.
Note 4. As to ritásya sâ´man, comp. Vâg. Samh. XXII, 2, and ritásya slókah, Rig-veda IV, 23, 8. Our Pâda recurs IV, 7, 7 with the reading ritásya dhâ´man.
Note 1. With vákasah mámhishthasya compare mámhishthâbhih matíbhih, VIII, 23, 23.
Note 2. Cf. Aufrecht, Kuhn's Zeitschrift, III, 200.
Note 1. Dîrghatamas the son of Mamatâ is the reputed author of this section of the first Mandala which belongs indeed to a family of priests claiming descent from him. The story of the blindness of Dîrghatamas and of the distress into which he fell is told in the Mahâbhârata I, 4179 seq., ed. Calc.; comp. also Geldner, Vedische Studien, II, 145.
Note 2. Considering the construction of the whole verse from the grammatical point of view only, one will scarcely be tempted to translate otherwise than we have done. But it is rather strange that Agni is represented here as saving those very guardians by the aid of whom he has saved Mâmateya. The meaning which one should expect to find expressed, is rather that Agni, as he has saved Mâmateya by his guardians, has saved also, and will save, all pious worshippers. This meaning may be established
if we consider the construction of the verse as similar, for instance, to that of I, 37, 12 (vol. xxxii, p. 64): márutah yát ha vah bálam gánân akukyavîtana, 'O Maruts, with such strength as yours, you have caused men to tremble.' Thus we may, I believe, translate here, 'Agni! With such guardians as thine who have seen and saved the blind son of Mamatâ from distress, he, the possessor of all wealth (i. e. Agni), has saved all those who have done good deeds.' Bergaigne (III, 191) understands the verse in the same way.
Note 1. The Vedic idea of the evil deeds recoiling on the evil-doer himself has been treated of by Bergaigne, III, 190 seq.