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Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg [1897], at

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1. Agni! Lead us to wealth on a good path, O god who knowest all rules. Drive away from us sin which leads us astray. We will offer to thee the fullest praise.

2. Agni! Thou who art young, help us safely across all difficulties. Be for us a broad, large, wide stronghold, for our kith and kin, with luck and weal 1.

3. Agni! Drive away from us all plagues. (Then) they shall plague 1 peoples who do not stand under Agni's protection. (Give) us back again the earth, O god, together with all the immortals, O worshipful one, that it may go well with us.

4. Protect us, Agni, with thy unwearied guardians, thou who flamest in thy beloved seat. May no danger, O youngest of the gods, attain thy praiser, not now nor in future, O mighty one!

5. Do not deliver us, O Agni, to the harmful foe, to the greedy one, to the impostor, to misfortune. Do not surrender us, O mighty one, to one who has teeth, who bites, nor to one who has no teeth, nor to one who will hurt us.

6. May a (god) like thee, O Agni, who art born according to Rita, being praised spread out a shelter for the body (of the worshipper that protects) from every one who tries to harm or to revile him. For thou, O god, art a descrier 1 of everything that leads us astray.

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1. Thou, O Agni, distinguishing both (kinds of men, the pious and the impious, or the Aryans and the Dasyus 2), eagerly approachest (Aryan) men at (the time of) the advancing (day) 3, O worshipful one. At (the time of) rest thou hast become governable to the man (or, to Manu; or, thou art to be praised by men 4); thou art to be smoothed down like a horse 5 by the Usigs.

8. We have pronounced our invocations, I the son of Mâna 1, before this mighty Agni. May we obtain (our wishes) through a thousand Rishis. May we find a food-giving … rich in quickening rain 2.


The same Rishi. Metre, Trishtubh.—Verse 1 = VS. V, 36; VII, 43; XL, 16; TS. I, 1, 14, 3; 4, 43, 1; TB. II, 8, 2, 3; TÂ. I, 8, 8; MS. I, 2, 13; IV, 10, 2; 14, 3. Verse 2 = TS. I, 1, 14, 4; TB. II, 8, 2, 5; TÂ. X, 2, 1; MS. IV, 10, 1; 14, 3. Verse 3 = TB. II, 8, 2, 4; MS. IV, 14, 3.

Verse 2.

Note 1. 'For health and wealth,' M. M.; see vol. xxxii, p. 193.

Verse 3.

Note 1. If the accent is correct (Samh. abhyámanta, Pad. abhí ámanta), the clause, though containing no subordinating word, must be understood as standing in logical dependence on the following, or—which in our case seems more probable—on the preceding clause. Examples of this kind have been collected by Delbrück, Altindische

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[paragraph continues] Syntax, p. 43.—That krishtî´h should be nominative is very improbable; comp. Lanman, Noun-Inflection, 393. See also Leo Meyer, Kuhn's Zeitschrift, XVI, 9.

Verse 6.

Note 1. Prof. Max Müller (vol. xxxii, p. 229) translates, 'For thou, god, art the deliverer from all assaults;' he derives vishpát 'from vi and spas, to bind.'

Verse 7.

Note 1. This verse has been treated of by Geldner, Vedische Studien, II, 156, 158.

Note 2. Geldner (loc. cit., 156) proposes two explanations for ubháyân. It may refer either to the pious and the impious spoken of in the preceding verses, or to prapitvám and abhipitvám, which words Geldner believes to be masculine. I do not attach such weight to the Avestic frapithwô (Vend. III, 3) as to draw, with Geldner, a conclusion from this word on the gender of the Vedic prapitvá, and in every case I think that this explanation of ubháyân is very forced, while it is natural to refer ubháyân to the pious and impious, or as we may express it in conformity with Vedic ideas, to 'men' (comp. mánushah Pâda 2, mánave Pâda 3), i. e. Aryans, and Dasyus (see VIII, 50, 8; 98, 6; IX, 92, 5). Then ubháyân ví vidvân would have exactly the sane meaning as the words in I, 51, 8. ví gânîhi â´ryân yé ka dásyavah.

Note 3. On prapitvá we have the two ingenious discussions of Geldner, Vedische Studien, II, 155 seq., and of Bloomfield in the fifth series of his Contributions to the interpretation of the Veda, p. 24 seq. In my opinion Bloomfield has not succeeded in proving that the words ending in -pitvá (prapitvá, abhipitvá, sapitvá, &c.) contain the stem pith, 'sap, drink, nourishment,' and that prapitvá means the morning-pressure of Soma, which is usually designated as prâtahsavana, abhipitvá, the evening-pressure or the tritîya-savana. I do not think it necessary, however,

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to examine here the single points of his interesting and elaborate discussion, for it seems to me that Geldner has conclusively shown that the meaning of these words is different from what Bloomfield believes it to be: abhipitvá, as Geldner (p. 155) states, is 'Erholung,' 'Rast,' and 'die Zeit des Rastens,' 'Feierabend,' 'Abend;' prapitvá (p. 178), on the other hand. means 'Vorlauf,' 'das aufs Ziel Zugehen,' die vorgerückte Tageszeit.'

Note 4. Sâ´syah, 'governable,' does not give an impossible meaning. But should we not have to correct sámsyah 'thou art to be praised by men?'

Note 5. On akráh, comp. Vedische Studien, I, 168, and above, I, 143, 7.

Verse 8.

Note 1. Mâna is another name of Agastya. See Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morg. Gesellschaft, XLII, 221.

Note 2. On the last words of the hymn—the regularly repeated conclusion of the Agastya hymns—see M. M., vol. xxxii, p. xx, and also Bartholomae, Bezzenberger's Beiträge, XV, 212. I do not think it very probable that ishá is here the name of an autumn month, as found iii the Satapatha Brâhmana and others of the more modern Vedic texts; to me it would seem rather strange that such a prayer for the fertility of that month should have formed, among the Agastyas, the standing conclusion of their sacrificial hymns. But the names of the two months ishá and ûrgá seem to point to the existence of two adjectives meaning 'giving food' and 'giving sap.'—Then follows vrigána, used as a masculine. Geldner (Vedische Studien, I, 151) indicates the following passages, in which he believes that this masculine vrigána occurs: V, 44, 1; VI, 35, 5; VII, 32, 27; X, 27, 4; and the concluding Pâda of the Agastya hymns. Of these passages the two first seem to be open to doubt as to the correctness of the text. In V, 44, 1 the true reading may be pratîkînám vshanam dohase; comp. verse 3, vshâ sísuh, and I, 173, 6, where possibly vshanam should be read instead of vrigánam (Göttinger

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[paragraph continues] Gelehrte Anzeigen, 1890, 417). In VI, 35, 5 I propose to read vrinagam (Gött. Gel. Anzeigen, loc. cit., 416). In VII, 32, 27 and X, 27, 4 vrigánâ (Padap. vrigánâh; the letter d follows) and vrigáneshu seem to be masculine, though it is not absolutely impossible to see in these forms the nom. plur. and loc. plur. of the neuter vrigána. But I believe that any attempts to derive conclusions from these three passages on the meaning of the masculine vrigána are hopeless.

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