Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. Stand upright for us, O Agni, Hotri of the sacrifice, the best performer of sacrifices among the gods. For thou art the master of every thought; thou promotest the worshipper's prayer.
2. The unerring Hotri has sat down among the people, joy-giving Agni, the wise one at the sacrifices 1. Like Savitri he has sent his light upward. Like a builder he has reared his smoke up to the sky.
3 1. (The ladle) glowing, filled with gifts, with butter, is stretched forth. From left to right (does Agni move) choosing the divine people. Upright (stands) the (sacrificial) post like a new-born foal 2; well-placed, well-established it anoints the victims 3.
4. After the sacrificial grass has been spread and the fire kindled, the delighted Adhvaryu has stationed himself upright. Agni, the Hotri, chosen from of old, goes round thrice, like a shepherd.
5. As Hotri, measuredly running, Agni, the joy-giving, sweet-tongued, the righteous, goes around by his own might. His flames run forward like race-horses; all beings are afraid when he has shone forth.
6. Beautiful, O fair-faced Agni, is thy aspect, who art terrible and manifold; pleasant (it is). As they have not hindered thy light by darkness, no bespatterers have left stains on thy body.
7. He whose mother (?) 1 has not been hindered from giving birth, nor his father and mother whenever
they were incited (?) 2: this Agni, the purifier, well-established like Mitra 3, has shone among the tribes of men,—
8. Agni, whom the twice-five sisters 1, dwelling together, have engendered among the human tribes, who awakes at dawn, who is bright like an elephant's (?) 2 tooth, whose mouth is beautiful, who is sharp like an axe.
9 1. Agni, those golden horses of thine swimming in ghee, the red ones which go straight forward, the fleet ones, the brilliant, manly, wonderful horses, puissant stallions, have called hither the divine people.
10. Those victorious, never-tiring 1, fierce flames of thine, O Agni, which move about, hasten 2 to their goal like hawks; they roar mightily like the host of the Maruts.
11 1. (This) hymn has been produced for thee, O Agni, when thou wert kindled. May (the priest) recite the litany; mayst thou distribute (treasures) to him who sacrifices. Men have set down Agni as the Hotri, the Usigs, adoring (Him), the praise of Âyu 2.
The same Rishi and metre.—Verse 6 = TS. IV, 3, 13, 1.
Note 1. The text has vidátheshu. Cf. above, I, 31, 6 note.
Note 1. With the first hemistich compare above, III, 19, 2. See also VI, 63, 4.
Note 2. On akrá, see Geldner, Vedische Studien, I, 168.
Note 3. The meaning seems to be that the sacrificial post, which has been anointed itself, imparts ointment to the victim tied to it.
Note 1. The meaning of sâ´tu is uncertain. Boehtlingk-Roth give 'receptaculum.' Joh. Schmidt (Kuhn's Zeitschrift, XXV, p. 29, cf. Hübschmann, Indogerm. Vocalsystem, p. 75) translates 'Mutterleib,' and connects the word with strî´. If 'womb' is right, it seems to be the womb from which Agni was born.
Note 2. Does this ishtáu belong to ish, 'to incite,' or to ish, 'to wish'? 'Whenever he (Agni) wishes.' M. M.
Note 3. On the well-established Mitra, comp. H. O., Religion des Veda, p. 186, note 1.
Note 1. The ten sisters of course are the fingers.
Note 2. In translating atharỹah ná dántam I have followed the opinion of Pischel (Vedische Studien, I, 99) on the meaning of atharî´ though his theory is very doubtful.
Note 1. With this description of Agni's horses, comp. above, IV, 2, 2. 3.
Note 1. On ayâ´sah, cf. above, III, 18, 2, note 1.
Note 2. See Geldner, Kuhn's Zeitschrift, XXVII, 234.
Note 1. The second hemistich of this verse is nearly identical with V, 3, 4.
Note 2. Cf. nárâsamsa, vol. xxxii, p. 439.