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

p. 319



To the Maruts (the Storm-gods).

1. Who knows their birth? or who was of yore in the favour of the Maruts, when they harnessed the spotted deer 1?

2. Who has heard them when they had mounted their chariots, how they went forth? For the sake of what liberal giver (Sudâs) did they run, and their comrades followed 1, (as) streams of rain (filled) with food?

3. They themselves said to me when day by day 1 they came to the feast with their birds 2: they (the Maruts) are manly youths and blameless; seeing them, praise them thus;

4. They who shine by themselves in their ornaments 1, their daggers, their garlands, their golden chains, their rings, going 2 on their chariots and on dry land.

5. O Maruts, givers of quickening rain, I am made to rejoice, following after your chariots, as after days 1 going with rain.

6. The bucket which the bounteous heroes shook down from heaven for their worshipper, that cloud they send 1 along heaven and earth, and showers follow on the dry land.

7. The rivers having pierced 1 the air with a rush of water, went forth like milk-cows; when your spotted deer roll about 2 like horses that have hasted to the resting-place on their road.

8. Come hither, O Maruts, from heaven, from the sky, even from near 1; do not go far away!

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9. Let not the Rasâ, the Anitabhâ, the Kubhâ, the Krumu, let not the Sindhu delay you! Let not the marshy Sarayu prevent you! May your favour be with us alone!

10. The showers come forth after the host of your chariots, after the terrible Marut-host of the ever-youthful heroes 1.

11. Let us then follow with our praises and our prayers each host of yours, each troop, each company 1.

12. To what well-born generous worshipper have the Maruts gone to-day on that march,

13. On which you bring to kith and kin the never-failing seed of corn? Give us that for which we ask you, wealth and everlasting happiness!

14. Let us safely pass through our revilers, leaving behind the unspeakable and the enemies. Let us be with you when in the morning 1 you shower down health, wealth 2, water, and medicine, O Maruts!

15. That mortal, O men, O Maruts, whom you protect, may well be always beloved by the gods, and rich in valiant offspring. May we be such!

16. Praise the liberal Maruts, and may they delight on the path of this man here who praises them, like cows in fodder. When they go, call after them as for old friends, praise them who love you, with your song!

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Ascribed to Syâvâsva Âtreya. Metre, 1, 5, 10, 11, 15 Kakubh; 2 Brihatî; 3 Anushtubh; 4 Pura-ushnih; 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 16 Satobrihatî; 8, 12 Gâyatrî. No verse of this hymn occurs in SV., VS., AV.; the sixth verse is found in TS. II, 4, 8, 1; MS. II, 4, 7; Kâthaka XI, 9.

Verse 1.

Note 1. Kilâsî, as fem. of kilâsa, does not occur again. It seems to have meant spotted or marked with pocks, and would be intended for the pshatîs. Does Kailâsa come from the same source?

Verse 2.

Note 1. Kásmai sasruh is much the same as kásmai adyá súgâtâya … prá yayuh, in verse 12. We must then begin a new sentence, ánu âpáyah, their comrades after, namely sasruh. Thus we read in verse 10 tám yah sárdham … ánu prá yanti vrishtáyah, where the streams of rain are represented as the followers of the Maruts. We might also translate in our sentence: For what liberal giver did their comrades, the streams of rain with food follow after (the Maruts).

Verse 3.

Note 1. Úpa dyúbhih occurs again VIII, 40, 8, and seems to mean from day to day.

Note 2. The birds of the Maruts, probably of the same character as the birds of the Asvins.

Verse 4.

Note 1. I translate añgi by ornament in general, not by paint or ointment,. though that may have been its original meaning.

Note 2. On srâya, see Pân. III, 3, 24. Dhánvasu may possibly have been intended as governed by svábhânavah, and not by srâyâ´h; see, however, VIII, 33, 6. ssrushu sritáh.

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Verse 5.

Note 1. On dyâ´vah, nom. plur., and ráthân, acc. plur., compare Bergaigne, Mélanges Renier, p. 88. The text is doubtful, and may be a corruption of vrishtî´h dyâ´vah yatî´h iva.

Verse 6.

Note 1. The Taittirîyas, TS. II, 4, 8, 1, read pargányâh; the Maitreyas, prá pargányah srigatâm and yantu.

Verse 7.

Note 1. Tatridâná, as trid occurs in the Veda in the Parasmaipada only, may be intended for a passive, bored, dug out, tapped. One would, however, expect in that case an instrumental, marudbhih, by whom they were brought forth.

Note 2. The words ví yád vártanta enyãh have received various explanations. Wilson translates: 'When the rivers rush in various directions.' Sâyana admits also another meaning: 'When the rivers grow.' Ludwig translates: 'Sich verteilend gehn die schimmernden auszeinander.' Grassmann, very boldly: 'Wie Hengste träufelnd, wenn vom Wege heimgekehrt, sie zu den bunten Stuten gehn.' Vi-vrit seems, however, to have a very special meaning, namely, rolling on the ground, and this the spotted deer are here said to have done, like horses at the end of their journey. We read of the sacrificial horse, Sat. Br. XIII, 5, 1, 16. sa yady ava vâ gighred vi vâ varteta, samriddho me yagña iti ha vidyât; cf. XI, 2, 5, 3. In the TS. VII, I, 19, 3, the commentator explains vivartanam by nirgatya bhûmau vilunthanam, the rolling on the ground. The same meaning is applicable to Mahâparinibbâna Sutta, p. 66 (Childers), where the Bhikkhus are said to roll on the ground when they hear of Buddha's death; also to Mahâbh. III, 11953 (of a wild boar). The meaning therefore in our passage seems to be, when the deer roll on the ground, as horses are wont to do at the end of a journey.

Verse 8.

Note 1. Amâ´t corresponds here to prithivi in other places. Originally it may have meant from the home.

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Verse 9.

This verse has often been discussed on account of the names of the rivers which it contains. Syâvâsva had mentioned the Yamunâ in 52, 17, and some interpreters have been inclined to give to parushnî in 52, 9 a geographical meaning, taking it for the river Ravi, instead of translating it by cloud. The geographical names are certainly interesting, but they have been discussed so often that I need not dwell on them here. (See M. M., India. p. 163.)

The Rasâ, known to the Zoroastrians as the Ranhâ, was originally the name of a real river, but when the Âryas moved away from it into the Punjâb, it assumed a mythical character, and became a kind of Okeanos, surrounding the extreme limits of the world.

Anitabhâ seems to be the name of a new river or part of a river. It can hardly be taken as an epithet of Rasâ, as Ludwig suggests. Anitabhâ, whose splendour has not departed (Ludwig), or, amitabhâ, of endless splendour, would hardly be Vedic formations. (Chips, I, p. 157; Hibbert Lect., p. 207; India, pp. 166, 173, notes.)

Kubhâ is the Κωφήν or Κωφής of the Greeks, the Kabul river. The Krumu I take to be the Kurrum. (India, p. 177, note.)

The Sindhu is the Indus, though it is difficult to say which part of it, while the Sarayu has been supposed to be the Sarayû, the affluent of the Gaṅgâ, but may also be a more general name for some more northern river in the Punjâb. (See Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, pp. 17 f., 45; Muir, S. T. II, p. xxv, note.)

Verse 10.

Note 1. Návyasînâm has been a puzzle to all interpreters. Sâyana seems to me to give the right interpretation, namely, nûtanânâm. As from añgasâ, instr. sing., straightway, añgasî´na was formed, straightforward; from návyasâ, instr. sing., anew, návyasîna seems to have been formed in the sense of new. Návyasînâm might then be a somewhat

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irregular gen. plur., referring to ganám mâ´rutam, the Marut-host of the young men; see V, 58, 1. Lanman (p. 515) takes it for a gen. plur. fem., but in that case it could not refer to ráthânâm. Zimmer translates endlos, Bergaigne (II, 400) thinks of new or rejuvenescent mothers.

Verse 11.

Note 1. See III, 26, 6.

Verse 14.

Note 1. Usrí, in the morning. Lanman (p. 427) proposes to read ushári, but the metre would be better preserved by reading vrishtvî´ as trisyllabic. The difficulty is the construction of the gerund vrishtvî´, which refers to the Maruts, and syâ´ma sahá, which refers to the sacrificers.

Note 2. On sám yóh, see I, 165, 4, note 2.

The metrical structure of this hymn is interesting. If we represent the foot of eight syllables by a, that of twelve by b, we find the following succession:



a b a



a a a a





a a b a


b a a






a a a



a a a





b a b a


b a b a





b a b a



a a a






a b a


b a b a



a b a


a b a


b a b a


b a b a

We find that I contains the question, II the answer, III description of rain, IV prayer and invitation, V praise of the companions, VI prayer, VII conclusion. Comp. Oldenberg's Prolegomena, p. 106 seq.

Next: V, 54. To the Maruts (the Storm-gods)