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Hymns of the Atharva Veda, by Ralph T.H. Griffith, [1895], at


A dialogue between Atharvan and Varuna

1How, terrible in might, hast thou here spoken to the great God,
   how to the gold-hued Father!
  Thy mind watched, greedy Varuna! to recover the brindled cow
   thou hadst bestowed as guerdon.
2Not through desire do I revoke my present: I bring this brind-
   led cow to contemplate her.
  Now by what lore, by what inherent nature, knowest thou all
   things that exist, Atharvan?
3Truly I am profound in wisdom, truly I know by nature all
   existing creatures.
  No Dāsa by his greatness, not an Arya, may violate the law that
  I will stablish.
4None, self-dependent Varuna! existeth wiser than thou or sager
   by his wisdom.
  Thou knowest well all these created beings: even the man of
   wondrous powers fears thee.
5O self-dependent Varuna, wise director, thou knowest verily all
  What is, unerring one! beyond this region? What more remote
   than that which is most distant?
6One thing there is beyond this air, and something beyond that
   one, most hard to reach, remotest.
  I, Varuna, who know, to thee declare it. Let churls be mighty p. a167
   in the lower regions. Let Dāsas sink into the earth beneath
7Many reproaches, Varuna, dost thou utter against the misers.
   who revoke their presents.
  Be not thou added to that crowd of niggards: let not men call
   thee an illiberal giver.
8Let not men call me an illiberal giver. I give thee back the
   brindled cow, O singer.
  Attend in every place where men inhabit, with all thy powers,
   the hymn that tells my praises.
9Let hymns of praise ascend to thee, uplifted in every place of
   human habitation.
  But give me now the gift thou hast not given. Thou art my
   friend for ever firm and faithful.
10One origin, Varuna! one bond unites us I know the nature of
   that common kinship.
  I give thee now the gift that I retracted. I am thy friend for ever
   firm and faithful.
11God, giving life unto the god who lauds me, Sage strengthener
   of the sage who sings my praises.
  Thou, self-dependent Varuna! hast begotten the kinsman of the
  Gods, our sire Atharvan.
  On him bestow most highly-lauded riches. Thou art our friend,
   high over all, our kinsman.

Next: Hymn 12: An Apri or propitiatory hymn