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

p. 191


A funeral hymn, taken partly from the Rigveda

1Choosing her husband's world, O man, this woman lays herself
   down beside thy lifeless body. p. 192
  Preserving faithfully the ancient custom. Bestow upon here both
   wealth and offspring.
2Rise, come unto the world of life, O woman: come, he is lifeless
   by whose side thou liest.
  Wifehood with this thy husband was thy portion who took thy
   hand and wooed thee as a lover.
3I looked and saw the youthful dame escorted, the living to the
   dead: I saw them, bear her.
  When she with blinding darkness was enveloped, then did I turn
   her back and lead her homeward.
4Knowing the world of living beings, Aghnyā! treading the path.
   of Gods which lies before thee,
  This is thy husband: joyfully receive him and let him mount
   into the world of Svarga.
5The speed of rivers craving heaven and cane, thou, Agni, art the
   waters' gall.
6Cool, Agni, and again refresh the spot which thou hast scorched
   and burnt.
  Here let the water-lily grow, and tender grass and leafy plant.
7Here is one light for thee, another yonder: enter the third and
   be therewith united.
  Uniting with a body be thou lovely, dear to the Gods in their
   sublimest mansion.
8Rise up, advance, run forward: make thy dwelling in water
   that shall be thy place to rest in
  There dwelling in accordance with the Fathers delight thyself
   with Soma and libations.
9Prepare thy body: speed thou on thy journey: let not thy limbs,.
   thy frame be left behind thee.
  Follow to its repose thy resting spirit: go to whatever spot of
   earth thou lovest.
10With splendour may the Fathers, meet for Soma, with mead and.
   fatness may the Gods anoint me.
  Lead me on farther to extended vision, and prosper me through
   life of long duration.
11May Agni balm me thoroughly with splendour; may Vishnu.
   touch my lips with understanding.
  May all the Deities vouchsafe me riches, and pleasant Waters
   purify and cleanse me. p. 193
12Mitra and Varuna have stood about me. Ādityas, Sacirifical
  Posts exalt me!
  May Indra balm my hands with strength and splendour. A long,
   long life may Savitar vouchsafe me.
13Worship with sacrificial gift King Yama, Vivasvān's son who
   gathers men together,
  Yama who was the first to die of mortals, the first who travelled
   to the world before us.
14Depart, O Fathers, and again come hither; this sacrifice of yours
   is balmed with sweetness.
  Enrich us here with gift of great possessions; grant blessed
   wealth with ample store of heroes.
15Kanva, Kakshivān, Purumidha, Agastya, Syāvāsva Sobhari, and
  This Visvāmitra, Jamadagni, Atri, Kasyapa, Vāmadeva be our
16Vasishtha, Jamadagni, Visvāmitra, Gotama, Vāmadeva, Bhara-
  Atri hath won your favour with homage. Gracious to us be ye
   praiseworthy Fathers.
17They, making for themselves a new existence, wash off defilement
   in the brazen vessel.
  May we be fragrant in our houses, ever increasing in our
   children and our riches.
18They balm him, balm him over, balm him thoroughly, caress
   the mighty power and balm it with the mead,
  They seize the flying steer at the stream's breathing-place:
   cleansing with gold they grasp the animal herein.
19Fathers, be glorious in yourselves, and follow all that is glad in
   you and meet for Soma.
  Give ear and listen, swiftly-moving Sages, benevolent, invoked in
   our assembly.
20Atris, Angirases, Navagvas, givers of liberal gifts, continual
  Devout and pious, granting guerdon freely, sit on this holy grass
   and be ye joyful.
21As in the days of old our ancient Fathers, speeding the work of
   sacred worship, Agni!
  Sought pure light and devotion, singing praises, they cleft the
   ground and made red Dawns apparent. p. 194
22Gods, doing holy acts, devout, resplendent, smelting like ore
   their human generation,
  Brightening Agni and exalting Indra, they came encompassing
   the stall of cattle.
23Strong One! he marked them, and the gods before them, like
   herds of cattle in a foodful pasture.
  There man moaned forth their strong desires, to strengthen even
   the true; the nearest One, the living.
24We have worked for thee, we have toiled and laboured: bright
  Dawns have shed their light upon our worship.
  All that the Gods regard with love is blessed. Loud may we
   speak, with heroes, in assembly.
25From eastward Indra, Lord or Maruts, guard me, as in her
   arms Earth guards the heaven above us!
  Those who give room, who made the paths, we worship, you,
   mid the Gods, who share the gifts we offer.
26Dhātar with Nirriti save me from southward, etc. (as in stanza
27From westward Aditi was Ādityas save me! etc.
28From westward with the All-Gods save me Soma! etc.
29May the strong firm Sustainer bear thee upright, as Savitar bears
   light above the heaven.
  Those who give room, who made the paths, we worship, you
   mid the Gods, whe share the gifts we offer.
30Toward the eastward region I supply thee before thou goest
   homeward, with oblation, as in her arms, etc. (as in stanza 25).
31Toward the southern region, etc.
32Toward the western region, etc.
33Toward the northern region, etc.
34Toward the stedfast region, etc.
35Toward the upmost region I supply thee, before thou goest
   homeward, with oblation, as in her arms Earth bears the
   heaven above us.
  Those who give room, who made the paths, we worship, you,
   mid the Gods, who share the gifts we offer.
36Thou art the Bull, Supporter, and Upholder,
37Who purifiest wind and mead and water.
38From this side and from that let both assist me. As, speeding,
   ye have come like two twin sisters, p. 195
  Religious-hearted votaries brought you forward. Knowing your
   several places be ye seated.
39Sit near, sit very near beside our Soma: for you I fit the ancient
   prayer with homage.
  The praise-song, like a chieftain on his pathway, spreads far and
   wide. Let all Immortals hear it.
40Three paces hath the stake gone up, and followed her, the four-
   footed, with devout observance.
  He with the Syllable copies the praise-song; he thoroughly
   purifies at Order's centre.
41Chose he then, death for Gods to be their portion? Why chose
   he not for men a life eternal?
  Brihaspati span sacrifice, the Rishi; and Yama yielded up his
   own dear body.
42Thou, Agni Jātavedas, when entreated, didst bear our offerings,
   having made them fragrant.
  And give them to the Fathers who consumed them with Svadhā.
  Eat, thou God, the gifts we bring thee.
43Lapped in the bosom of the purple Mornings, give riches to the
   man who brings oblations.
  Grant to your sons a portion of that treasure, and, present, give
   them energy, O Fathers.
44Fathers whom Agni's flames have tasted, come ye nigh: in per-
   fect order take ye each your proper place.
  Eat sacrificial food presented on the grass: grant riches with a
   multitude of hero sons.
45May they, the Fathers who deserve the Soma, invited to their
   favourite oblations.
  Laid on the sacred grass, come nigh and listen. May they be
   gracious unto us and bless us.
46Our Father's Fathers and their sires before them who came,
   most noble, to the Soma banquet,
  With these let Yama, yearning with the yearning, rejoicing eat
   our offerings at his pleasure.
47Come to us, Agni, with the gracious Fathers who dwell in glow-
   ing light, the very Sages,
  Who thirsted mid the Gods, who hasten hither, oblation-winners,
   theme of singers' praises.
48Come, Agni, come with countless ancient Fathers, dwellers in
   light, primeval, God-adorers, p. 196
  Eaters and drinkers of oblation, truthful, who travel with the
  Deities and Indra.
49Betake thee to the lap of Earth, our mother, of Earth far-spread-
   ing, very kind and gracious.
  May she, wool-soft unto the guerdon-giver, guard thee in front
   upon the distant pathway.
50Heave thyself, Earth, nor press him downward heavily: afford
   him easy access pleasant to approach,
  Cover him as a mother wraps her skirt about her child, O
51Now let the heaving earth be free from motion: yea, let a
   thousand clods remain above him.
  Be they to him a home distilling fatness: here let them ever be
   his place of refuge.
52I stay the earth from thee, while over thee I place this piece of
   earth. May I be free from injury.
  The Fathers firmly fix this pillar here for thee; and there let
  Yama make thee an abiding-place.
53Forbear, O Agni, to upset this chalice: the Gods and they who
   merit Soma love it.
  This cup, yea this which serves the Gods to drink from,—in this
   let the Immortals take their pleasure.
54The chalice brimming o'er which erst Atharvan offered to Indra,
  Lord of wealth and treasure,
  Indu therein sets draught of virtuous action, and ever purifies
   himself within it.
55What wound soe'er the dark bird hath inflicted, the emmet, or
   the serpent, or the jackal,
  May Agni who devoureth all things heal it, and Soma, who hath
   passed into the Brāhmans.
56The plants of earth are rich in milk, and rich in milk is this my
  With all the milky essence of the Waters let them make me
57Let these unwidowed dames with goodly husbands adorn them-
   selves with fragrant balm and unguent.
  Decked with fair jewels, tearless, free, from trouble, first let the
   dames go up to where he lieth.
58Meet Yama, meet the Fathers, meet the merit of virtuous action
   in the loftiest heaven. p. 197
  Leave sin and evil, seek anew thy dwelling: so bright with glory
   let him join his body.
59Our Father's Fathers and their sires before them, they who have
   entered into air's wide region,
  For them shall self-resplendent Asuniti form bodies now accord-
   ing to her pleasure.
60Let the hoar-frost be sweet to thee. sweetly on thee the rain
  O full of coolness, thou cool Plant, full of fresh moisture, fresh-
   ening Herb,
  Bless us in waters, female Frog: calm and allay this Agni here.
61Vivasvān make us free from fear and peril, good rescuer, quick-
   pouring, bounteous giver!
  Many in number be these present heroes! Increase of wealth be
   mine in kine and horses!
62In immortality Vivasvān set us! Go from us Death, come to us
   life eternal!
  To good old age may he protect these people: let not their
   spirits pass away to Yama.
63The Sage of Fathers, guardian of devotions who holds thee up
   with might in air's mid-region,—
  Praise him ye Visvāmitras, with oblation. To lengthened life
   shall be, this Yama, lead us.
64Mount and ascend to highest heaven, O Rishis: be ye not afraid.
  Soma-drinkers to you is paid this Soma-lover's sacrifice. We
   have attained the loftiest light.
65Agni is shining forth with lofty banner: the Bull is bellowing to
   earth and heaven.
  From the sky's limit even hath he stretched near us: the Steer
   hath waxen in the waters' bosom.
66They gaze on thee with longing in their spirit, as on an eagle
   that is mounting skyward;
  On thee with wings of gold, Varuna's envoy, the Bird that
   hasteth to the home of Yama.
67O Indra, bring us wisdom as a sire gives wisdom to his sons.
  Guide us, O much-invoked in this our way: may we still living
   look upon the Sun.
68Let these which Gods have held for thee, the beakers covered
   o'er with cake,
  Be full of sacred food for thee, distilling fatness, rich in mead. p. 198
69Grains which for thee I scatter, mixt with Sesamum, as holy
  May they for thee be excellent and potent: King Yama look on
   them as thine with favour!
70O Tree, give back again this man who is deposited on thee.
  That he may dwell in Yama's home addressing the assemblies
71Seize hold O Jātavedas; let thy flame be full of fervent heat.
  Consume his body: to the world of pious ones transport this
72To these, thy Fathers who have passed away at first and after-
  Let the full brook of butter run, o'erflowing with a hundred
73Mount to this life, removing all defilement: here thine own
   kindred shine with lofty splendour.
  Depart thou; be not left behind: go forward, first of those here,
   unto the world of Fathers.

p. 199 p. 200

Next: Hymn 4: A funeral hymn, composed partly of verses from the Rigveda