Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

p. 302



1. This is the support on which the rubbing (for producing the fire) is performed 2; the creative organ 3 has been prepared. Bring hither the house-wife 4; let us produce Agni by rubbing in the old way.

2. In the two fire-sticks dwells Gâtavedas, as the germ (lies) safe in pregnant women—Agni who should be magnified 1 day by day by wakeful men who bring offerings.

3. Place it 1 skilfully into her who lies extended 2. Having conceived she has quickly given birth to the manly one. He whose summit is red—bright is his splendour—the son of Ilâ has been born in the (due) way 3.

4. In the place of Ilâ, on the navel of the earth we will lay thee down, Gâtavedas, that thou, O Agni, mayst carry the offerings (to the gods).

5. Rub, ye men, the truthful sage, the wise, the immortal, the fair-faced. Bring forth, ye men, Agni, the banner of sacrifice, the first in the front, the gracious one.

6. When they produce him by rubbing with their arms, he shines forth laming in the wood like a red race-horse. Like the bright one on the path of the Asvins 1 the unrestrained (Agni) spares the stones, burning the grass 2.

7. Agni, when born, shines forth resplendent, the racer, the priest, praised by the sages, the giver of rain, whom the gods placed in the sacrifices, to be

p. 303

magnified, as the omniscient carrier of the sacrificial offerings.

8. Sit down, O Hotri, in the space which is thine, as the knowing one. Place the sacrifice in the abode of good works (i. e. on the altar). Eagerly longing for the gods thou shalt worship the gods by offerings. Agni, bestow mighty vigour on the sacrificer.

9. Produce a mighty 1 smoke, ye friends. Without fail go forward towards strength. This Agni is the conqueror in battles, rich in valiant men, he by whom the gods have overpowered the Dasyus.

10. This is thy birth-place in due time whence born thou shonest forth; knowing it, O Agni, sit down on it, and make our prayers prosper.

11. He is called Tanûnapât as the Asura's germ. Narâsamsa he becomes when he is born, Mâtarisvan when he has been shaped in the mother 1. And he has become the rush of the wind in his swift course 2,

12. Rubbed forth by skilful rubbing, established by skilful establishing, as a sage, O Agni, perform excellent sacrifices. Sacrifice to the gods for him who is devoted to the gods 1.

13. The mortals have generated the immortal one, the … 1, advancing one with strong jaws. The ten unwedded sisters 2 united take care of the man (Agni) when he has been born.

14. He the god of the seven Hotris shone forth from of old, when he flamed up in his mother's lap, at her udder. Day by day the joyous one never closes his eyes, when he has been born from the Asura's (i. e. of the Heaven's?) belly 1.

15. The onsets of (Agni) when he attacks his enemies, are like those of the Maruts. (He is) the

p. 304

first-born (son) of the sacred spell. They know every (fire) 1. The Kusikas have raised their brilliant spell; they have kindled Agni, every one in his house.

16. After we had chosen thee here to-day, O wise Hotri, while this sacrifice was going on, thou hast firmly sacrificed and firmly laboured. Come to this Soma, expert and knowing!


The same Rishi. The prevalent metre is Trishtubh.—Verses 1, 4, 10, 12 are Anushtubh; verses 6, 11, 14, 15, Gagatî.

The Sûkta, which belongs to the later additions (see the note on hymn 28), consists of a number of verses and small groups of verses referring to the production of fire by the attrition of the two fire-sticks. The order in which the verses stand does not always agree with the natural order of the ritual acts.—Verse 2 = SV. I, 79. Verse 3 = VS. XXXIV, 14. Verse 4 = VS. XXXIV, 15; TS. III, 5, 11, 1; MS. I, 6, 2. 7; IV, 10, 4; 11, 1. Verse 8 = VS. XI, 35; TS. III, 5, 11, 2; IV, 1, 3, 3; MS. II, 7, 3; IV, 10, 4. Verse 10 = VS. III, 14; XII, 52; XV, 56; TS. I, 5, 5, 2; IV, 2, 4, 3; 7, 13, 5; TB. I, 2, 1, 16; II, 5, 8, 8; MS. I, 5, 1; 6, 1; AV. III, 20, 1. Verse 13 = TB. I, 2, 1, 19. Verse 16 = VS. VIII, 20; TS. I, 4, 44, 2; MS. I, 3, 38; AV. VII, 97, 1.

Verse 1.

Note 1. The verses 1–3 a, b have been translated by Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, V, p. 209.

Note 2. On the adhimanthanasakala, the piece of wood on which the lower fire-stick is laid, see Satapatha Brâhmana

p. 305

[paragraph continues] III, 4, 1, 20. sodhimanthanam sakalam âdatte agner ganitram asîty atra hy agnir gâyate. Schwab, Das Altindische Thieropfer, p. 78 seq.

Note 3. Pragánana seems to be used in the concrete sense as the male organ. As such, the poet may have considered the so-called pramantha in the generation of Agni, which is described as having the shape of the male organ (Schwab, loc. cit., 78; see also Roth, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenl. Gesellschaft, XLIII, 591). It does not seem very probable that the darbhapiñgûla of which Sâyana thinks should be meant.

Note 4. Sâyana explains this as meaning the Arani (fire-stick), i. e. the lower Arani, the receptacle of the upper fire-stick. In the Taittirîya Brâhmana I, 2, 1, 13 the two Aranis are addressed as mahî vispatnî.

Verse 2.

Note 1. The text has î´dyah.

Verse 3.

Note 1. The upper fire-stick or, more accurately, the pramantha.

Note 2. Comp. above, II, 10, 3. The lower Arani is alluded to, which is considered as a wife and more particularly as the nymph Urvasî (Kâtyâyana V, 1, 30, &c.).

Note 3. Prof. Pischel (Vedische Studien, I, 301) takes the genitive ílâyâh as dependent on vayúne: 'wurde der Sohn geboren am Orte (Wege) der Opferspende.' To me it seems unnatural not to connect ílâyâh with putráh, which words are connected also by the Sandhi (the Samhitâ text has ílâyâs putró, not ílâyâh putró).

Verse 6.

Note 1. For yâ´man, cf. I, 37, 3; III, 2, 14 VI, 15, 5. Should not the bright one on the path of the Asvins be the sun? Sâyana thinks of the chariot of the Asvins, which also may be right.

p. 306

Note 2. Are the stones and the grass identical with the stones and grass-blades occurring in the later ritual of the agnyâdheya and agnimanthana (Satapatha Br. II, 1, 1, 8; III, 4, 1, 21; Kâtyâyana IV, 8, 16, &c.)?

Verse 9.

Note 1. Literally, a manly, strong, or bull-like smoke.

Verse 11.

Note 1. This is a play upon words (Mâtarísvâ and ámimîta mâtári, 'he has been shaped in the mother').

Note 2. Von Bradke (Dyâus Asura, p. 51): des Windes Heerde (?) wird er, wenn er dahingleitet.

Verse 12.

Note 1. This Pâda is identical with I, 15, 12. It is a galita.

Verse 13.

Note 1. The meaning of asremán (comp. X, 8, 2. asremâ´ vatsáh [i. e. Agni] símîvân arâvît) is unknown.

Note 2. The ten fingers.

Verse 14.

Note 1. Comp. von Bradke, loc. cit., 50.

Verse 15.

Note 1. Or prathamagâ´m bráhmanahsve ít viduh: 'all (people) know him the first-born (son) of the sacred spell'? Comp. I, 34, 2. sómasya venâ´m ánu vísve ít viduh.—Prof. Max Müller writes: 'Prathamagâh is the wind, X, 168, 3. It might here refer to the Maruts, who are often said to sing prayers; they know all about Brahman (prayer).'

Next: IV, 1