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Vedic Hymns, Part I (SBE32), by Max Müller, [1891], at

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Dialogue between Indra and his Worshipper, Agastya.

1. Indra: There is no such thing to-day, nor will it be so to-morrow. Who knows what strange thing 1 this is? We must consult the thought of another, for even what we once knew seems to vanish.

2. Agastya: Why dost thou wish to kill us, O Indra? the Maruts are thy brothers; fare kindly with them, and do not strike 1 us in battle.

3. The Maruts: O brother Agastya, why, being a friend, dost thou despise us? We know quite well what thy mind was. Dost thou not wish to give to us?

4. Agastya: Let them prepare the altar, let them light the fire in front! Here we two will spread 2 for thee the sacrifice, to be seen 1 by the immortal.

5. Agastya: Thou rulest, O lord of treasures; thou, lord of friends, art the most generous. Indra, speak again with the Maruts, and then consume our offerings at the right season.

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Although this hymn is not directly addressed to the Maruts, yet as it refers to the before-mentioned rivalry between the Maruts and Indra, and as the author is supposed to be the same, namely Agastya, I give its translation here.

None of its verses occurs in SV., VS., TS., AV.

The Anukramanikâ ascribes verses 1, 3, 4 to Indra, 2 and 5 to Agastya; Ludwig assigns verses 1 and 3 to the Maruts, 2, 4, and 5 to Agastya; Grassmann gives verse 1 to Indra, 2 and 3 to the Maruts, and 4 and 5 to Agastya.

The hymn admits of several explanations. There was a sacrifice in which Indra and the Maruts were invoked together, and it is quite possible that our hymn may owe its origin to this. But it is possible also that the sacrifice may be the embodiment of the same ideas which were originally expressed in this and similar hymns, namely, that Indra, however powerful by himself; could not dispense with the assistance of the storm-gods. I prefer to take the latter view, but I do not consider the former so untenable as I did formerly. The idea that a great god like Indra did not like to be praised together with others is an old idea, and we find traces of it in the hymns themselves, e. g. II, 33, 4. mâ´ dúhstutî, mâ´ sáhûtî.

It is quite possible, therefore, that our hymn contains the libretto of a little ceremonial drama in which different choruses of priests are introduced as preparing a sacrifice for the Maruts and for Indra, and as trying to appease the great Indra, who is supposed to feel slighted. Possibly Indra and the Maruts too may have been actually represented by some actors, so that here, as elsewhere, the first seeds of the drama would be found in sacrificial performances.

I propose, though this can only be hypothetical, to take the first verse as a vehement complaint of Indra, when asked to share the sacrifice with the Maruts. In the second

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verse Agastya is introduced as trying to pacify Indra. The third verse is most likely an appeal of the Maruts to remind Indra that the sacrifice was originally intended for them. Verses 4 and 5 belong to Agastya, who, though frightened into obedience to Indra, still implores him to make his peace with the Maruts.

Verse 1.

Note 1. In the first verse Indra expresses his surprise in disconnected sentences, saying that such a thing has never happened before. I do not take ádbhuta (nie da gewesen) in the sense of future, because that is already contained in svas. The second line expresses that Indra does not remember such a thing, and must ask some one else, whether he remembers anything like it. We ought to take abhisamkarénya as one word, and probably in the sense of to be approached or to be accepted. Abhisamkârin, however, means also changeable.

Verse 2.

Note 1. Vadhîh is the augmentless indicative, not subjunctive; see, however, Delbrück, Synt. Forsch. I, pp. 21, 115.

Verse 4.

Note 1. Ketana refers to yagña as in VIII, 13, 8. It means that which attracts the attention of the gods (IV, 7, 2), and might be translated by beacon.

Note 2. The dual tanavâvahai is strange. It may refer, as Grassmann supposes, to Agastya and his wife, Lopamudrâ, but even that is very unusual. See Oldenberg, K. Z. XXXIX, 62. Professor Oldenberg (K. Z. XXXIX, 60 seq.) takes this and the next hymn as parts of the same Âkhyâna hymn, and as intimately connected with the Marutvatîya Sâstra of the midday Savana, in the Soma sacrifice.

Next: I, 171. To the Maruts (the Storm-gods)