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

p. 174



An accompaniment to funeral ceremonies and sacrificial offerings to ancestral spirits

1Fain would I win my friend to kindly friendship. So may the
  Sage, come through the air's wide ocean,
  Remembering the earth and days to follow, obtain a son the
   issue of his father.
2Thy friend loves not the friendship which considers her who is
   near in kindred as a stranger.
  Sons of the mighty Asura, the heroes, supporters of the heaven,
   see far around them.
3Yea, this the Immortals seek of thee with longing, a scion of the
   only man existing.
  Then let thy soul and mine be knit together. Embrace thy con-
   sort as her loving husband.
4Shall we do now what we ne'er did aforetime? we who spoke
   righteously now talk impurely?
  Gandharva in the floods, the Dame of Waters—such is our
   bond, such our most lofty kinship.
5Even in the womb God Tvashtar, vivifier, shaping all forms,
  Creator, made us consorts.
  Ne'er are his holy statutes violated: that we are his the heaven
   and earth acknowledge.
6Who yokes to-day unto the pole of Order the strong and passio-
   nate steers of checkless spirit,
  With shaft-armed mouths, heart-piercing, joy-bestowing? Long
   shall he live who duly pays them service.
7Who knows that earliest day whereof thou speakest, Who hath
   beheld it? Who can here declare it?
  Great is the law of Varuna and Mitra. What, wanton, wilt thou
   say to men to tempt them?
8Yami am possessed by love of Yama, that I may rest on the
   same couch beside him.
  I as a wife would yield me to my husband. Like car-wheels let
   us speed to meet each other. p. 175
9They stand not still, they never close their eyelids, those senti-
   nels of Gods who wander round us.
  Not me—go quickly, wanton, with another, and hasten like a
   chariot-wheel to meet him.
10May Sūrya's eye with days and nights endow him, and ever may
   his light spread out before him.
  In heaven and earth the kindred pair commingle. On Yami be
   the unbrotherly act of Yama.
11Sure there will come succeeding times when brothers and sisters
   will do acts unmeet for kinsfolk.
  Not me, O fair one—seek another husband, and make thine arm
   a pillow for thy consort.
12Is he a brother when no help is left her? Is she a sister when
  Destruction cometh?
  Forced by my love these many words I utter. Come near, and
   hold me in thy close embraces,
13I am no help for thee, no refuge, Yami, I will not clasp and
   press thee to my bosom.
  This is abhorrent to my mind and spirit—a brother on the couch
   beside a sister.
14I will not fold mine arms about thy body: they call it sin when
   one comes near a sister.
  Not me—prepare thy pleasure with another. Thy brother seeks
   not this from thee, O fair one.
15Alas; thou art indeed a weakling Yama. We find in thee no trace
   o f heart or spirit.
  As round a tree the woodbine clings, another will cling about
   thee girt as with a girdle.
16Embrace another, Yami. Let some other, even as the woodbine
   rings a tree, enfold thee.
  Win thou his heart and let him win thy fancy; so make with
   him a bond of blest alliance.
17Three hymns the Sages have disposed in order, the many-formed,
   the fair, the all-beholding.
  These in one single world are placed and settled—the growing
   plants, the breezes, and the waters.
18The Bull hath yielded for the Bull the milk of heaven: inviolable
   is the Son of Aditi.
  According to his wisdom Varuna knoweth all: he halloweth, the
   holy, times for sacrifice. p. 176
19Gandharvi spake. May she, the Lady of the Flood amid the
   river's roaring leave my heart untouched.
  May Aditi accomplish all that we desire, and may our eldest
  Brother tell us this as chief.
20Yea, even this blessed Morning, rich in store of food, splendid,
   with heavenly lustre, hath shone out for man,
  Since they as was the wish of yearning Gods, brought forth that
   yearning Agni for the assembly as the Priest.
21And the fleet Falcon brought for sacrifice from afar this flowing.
   drop most excellent and passing wise,
  Then when the Aryan tribes chose as invoking Priest Agni the
   wonder-worker, and the hymn rose up.
22Still art thou kind to him who feeds thee as with grass, and.
   skilled in sacrifice offers thee holy gifts.
  When thou having received the sage's strengthening food with
   lauds, after long toil comest with many more.
23Urge thou thy Parents, as a lover, to delight: the lovely One
   desires and craves it from his heart.
  As Priest he calls aloud, as Warrior shows his skill, as Asura tries
   his strength, and with the hymn is stirred.
24Far famed is he, the mortal man, O Agni thou Son of strength,
   who hath obtained thy favour.
  He, gathering power, borne onward by his horses, makes his,
   days lovely in his might and splendour.
25Hear us, O Agni, in the great assembly: harness thy rapid car,.
   the car of Amrit.
  Bring Heaven and Earth, the Deities' Parents, hither: stay with
   us here, nor from the Gods be absent.
26When, holy Agni, the divine assembly, the holy synod mid the
  Gods, is gathered,
  And when thou, godlike One, dealest forth treasures vouchsafe
   us too our portion of the riches.
27Agni hath looked upon the van of Mornings, and on the days.
   the earliest Jātavedas.
  After the Dawns, after their rays of brightness, Sūrya hath enter-
   ed into earth and heaven.
28Agni hath looked against the van of Mornings, against the days-
   the earliest Jātavedas;
  In many a place against the beams of Sūrya, against the heavens
   and earth hath he extended. p. 177
29Heaven and Earth, first by everlasting Order, speakers of truth,
   are near enough to hear us,
  When the God, urging men to worship, sitteth as Priest, assum-
   ing all his vital vigour.
30As God comprising Gods by Law eternal, bear, as the chief who
   knoweth, our oblation,
  Smoke-bannered with the fuel, radiant, joyous, better to praise
   and worship, Priest for ever.
31I praise your work .that ye may make me prosper: hear, Heaven
   and Earth, twain worlds that drop with fatness!
  While days and Gods go to the world of spirits, have let the
  Parents with sweet mead refresh us.
32When the Cow's nectar wins the God completely, men here
   below are heaven's and earth's sustainers
  All the Gods come to this thy heavenly Yajus which from the
   motley Pair milked oil and water
33Hath the King seized us? How have we offended against his
   holy Ordinance? Who knoweth?
  For even Mitra mid the Gods is angry. There are both song and
   wealth for those who come not.
34'Tis hard to understand the Immortal's nature, where she who
   is akin becomes a stranger.
  Guard ceaselessly, great Agni, him who ponders Yama's name
   easy to be comprehended.
35They in the synod where the Gods rejoice them, where they are
   seated in Vivasvan's dwelling,
  Have given the Moon his beams, the Sun his splendour: the
   two unweariedly maintain their brightness.
36The counsel which the Gods meet to consider, their secret plan,
   of that we have no knowledge.
  There let God Savitar, Aditi, and Mitra proclaim to Varuna that
   we are sinless.
37Companions, let us learn a prayer to Indra whom the thunder
  To glorify your bold and most heroic Friend.
38For thou by slaying Vritra art the Vritra-slayer, famed for
  Thou, Hero, in rich gifts surpassest wealthy chiefs.
39O'er the broad land thou goest like a Stega: here on vast earth
   let breezes blow upon us, p. 178
  Here hath our dear Friend Varuna, united, like Agni in the
   wood, shot forth his splendour.
40Sing praise to him the chariot-borne, the famous, Sovran of men,
   the dread and strong destroyer.
  O Rudra, praised be gracious to the singer; let thy darts spare
   us and smite down another.
41The pious call Sarasvati, they worship Sarasvati while sacrifice
  The virtuous call Sarasvati to hear them. Sarasvati send bliss to
   him who giveth!
42Sarasvati is called on by the Fathers who come right forward to
   our solemn worship.
  Seated upon this sacred grass rejoice you. Give thou us
   strengthening food that brings no sickness.
43Sarasvati, who comest with the Fathers, joying in hymns, O
  Goddess, and oblations,
  Give plenteous wealth to this the sacrificer, a portion, worth a
   thousand, of refreshment.
44May they ascend, the lowest, highest, midmost, the Fathers, who
   deserve a share of Soma.
  May they who have attained to life, the Fathers, righteous and
   gentle, aid us when we call them.
45I have attained the gracious-minded Fathers, I have gained son
   and progeny from Vishnu.
  They who enjoy pressed juices with oblation, seated on sacred
   grass, come oftenest hither.
46Now be this homage offered to the Fathers, to those who passed
   of old and those who followed,
  Those who have rested in the earthly region and those who
   dwell among the happy races.
47Mātali prospers there with Kavyas, Yama with Angiras' sons,
  Brihaspati with singers.
  Exalters of the Gods, by Gods exalted, aid us those Fathers in
   our invocations?
48Yes, this is good to taste and full of sweetness, verily it is strong
   and rich in flavour.
  No one may conquer Indra in the battle when he hath drunken
   of the draught we offer.
49Honour the King with your oblations, Yama, Vivasvān's son, who
   gathers men together. p. 179
  Even him who travelled o'er the mighty rivers, who searches out
   and shows the path to many.
50Yama first found for us the road to travel: this pasture never
   can be taken from us.
  Men born on earth tread their own paths that lead them whither
   our ancient Fathers have departed.
51Fathers who sit on sacred grass, come, help us: these offsprings
   have we made for you; accept them.
  So come to us with most auspicious favour: bestow on us
   unfailing health and plenty.
52Bowing their bended knees and seated southward let all accept
   this sacrifice with favour.
  Punish us not for any sin, O fathers which we through human
   frailty have committed.
53Tvashtar prepares the bridal for his daughter: therefore the
   whole of this our world assembles.
  But Yama's mother, spouse of great Vivasvān, vanished as she
   was carried to her dwelling.
54Go forth, go forth upon the homeward pathways whither our
   sires of old have gone before us.
  Then shalt thou look on both the Kings enjoying their sacred
   food, God Varuna and Yama.
55Go hence, depart ye, fly in all directions. This world for him the
  Fathers have provided.
  Yama bestow upon this man a dwelling adorned with days and
   beams of light and waters.
56We set thee down with yearning, and with yearning we enkindle
  Yearning, bring yearning Fathers nigh to eat the food of
57We, splendid men, deposit thee, we, splendid men, enkindle thee.
  Splendid, bring splendid Fathers nigh to eat the sacrificial food.
58Our Fathers are Angirases, Navagvas, Atharvans, Bhrigus, who
   deserve the Soma.
  May these, the holy, look on us with favour; may we enjoy
   their gracious loving-kindness.
59Come, Yama, with Angirases, the holy; rejoice thee here with
   children of Virūpa.
  Seated on sacred grass at this oblation: I call Vivasvān too, thy
   father, hither. p. 180
60Come, seat thee on this bed of grass. O Yama, accordant with
  Angirases and Fathers.
  Let texts recited by the sages bring thee. O. King, let this
   oblation make thee joyful.
61He hath gone hence and risen on high mounting heaven's ridges
   by that path
  Whereon the sons of Angiras, the conquerors of earth, went up.

p. 181 p. 182 p. 183

Next: Hymn 2: A funeral hymn, taken mainly from the Rigveda