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

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To the Maruts (the Storm-gods).

1. This may well be a marvel, even to an intelligent man, that anything should have taken the same name dhenu, cow:—the one is always brimming to give milk among men, but Prisni (the cloud, the mother of the Maruts) poured out her bright udder once (only).

2. The Maruts who shone like kindled fires, as they grew stronger twice and thrice,—their golden, dustless (chariots 1) became full of manly courage and strength.

3. They who 1 are the sons of the bounteous Rudra, and whom she indeed was strong enough to bear; for she, the great, is known as the mother of the great, that very Prisni conceived the germ for the strong one (Rudra).

4. They who do not shrink from being born in this way 1, and who within (the womb) clean themselves from all impurity 2, when they have been brought forth brilliant, according to their pleasure, they sprinkle their bodies with splendour.

5. Among them there is no one who does not strive to be brought forth quickly; and they assume the defiant name of Maruts. They who are not (unkind 1), never tiring in strength 2, will the generous sacrificer be able to bring down these fierce ones?

6. Fierce in strength, followed by daring armies, these Maruts have brought together heaven and earth 1, both firmly established 2; then the self-shining

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[paragraph continues] Rodasî stood among the impetuous Maruts, like 3 a light.

7. Even though your carriage, O Maruts, be without your deer 1, without horse's, and not driven by any charioteer, without drag 2, and without reins, yet, crossing the air 3, it passes between heaven and earth, finishing its courses.

8. No one can stop, no one can overcome him whom you, O Maruts, protect in battle. He whom you protect in his kith, his cattle, his kin, and his waters, he breaks the stronghold at the close of the day 1.

9. Offer a beautiful song to the host of the Maruts, the singers, the quick, the strong, who resist violence with violence; O Agni, the earth trembles before the champions.

10. Blazing like the flame of the sacrifices, flickering like the tongues of the fire, shouters, like roaring fighters, the flame-born Maruts are unassailable.

11. I invite with my call this strong and Marut-like son of Rudra 1, armed with flaming spears. Bright thoughts, like wild waters from the mountain 2, strove to reach the host of heaven.

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Hymn ascribed to Bharadvâga Bârhaspatya. None of its verses occurs in SV., VS., AV. Verse 2 in MS. IV, 14, 11. Verse 9 in TS. IV, 1, 11, 3; TB. II, 8, 5, 5; MS. IV, 10, 3. Verse 10 in MS. IV, 14, 11. Metre, Trishtubh.

Verse 1.

The meaning seems to be that it is strange that two things, namely, a real cow and the cloud, i. e. Prisni, the mother of the Maruts, should both be called dhenu, cow; that the one should always yield milk to men, while the other has her bright udder milked but once. This may mean that dhenu, a cow, yields her milk always, that dhenu, a cloud, yields rain but once, or, that Prisni gave birth but once to the Maruts. See also VI, 48, 22; Gaedicke, Accusativ, p. 19; Delbrück, Tempuslehre, p. 102. Dhenu must be taken as the neuter form, and as a nominative, as is shown by II, 37, 2. dadíhh nâ´ma pátyate.

Verse 2.

Note 1. It seems necessary to take arenávah hiranyáyâsah for rathâh, chariots, as in V, 87, 3. Sâyana takes the same view, and I do not see how the verse gives sense in any other way. The first pâda might be referred to the Maruts, or to the chariots.

Verse 3.

Note 1. The relative pronouns may be supposed to carry on the subject, viz. Marûtah, from the preceding verse, unless we supply eshâm mâtâ´. I am doubtful about mahó mahî´; cf. I, 102, 1; II, 33, 8. Grassmann proposes to read mahâm, gen. plur.; Ludwig thinks of garbha. It may also be a compound, as in mahâmaha, mahâmahivrata, or an adverb, but the construction remains difficult throughout. Oldenberg suggests that the second pâda may have been yân ko nú psnih dâ´dhrivih bháradhyai.

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Verse 4.

Note 1. A tentative rendering and no more. I take áyâ for aya as an adverb in the sense of thus, in this way, see I, 87, 4, note 2. Grassmann seems to take it as an instr. fem., dependent on ganúshah, which is possible, but without analogy. Lanman, p. 358, takes it for áyâh, nom. plur. of aya, wanderer, and translates, 'as long as the ones now wanderers quit not their birth.' Grassmann: 'Die nicht verleugnen die Geburt aus jener.' But is gan with instrumental ever used of a woman giving birth to a child? Ludwig: 'Die sich nicht weigern der geburt.'

Note 2. Pû with accusative occurs AV. XIX, 33, 3.

Verse 5.

This verse is again very obscure. It would be more honest to say that it is untranslatable. Possibly the poet may have taken doháse in the same sense as duhré in verse 4. The Maruts are born as by being milked from the udder of Prisni. It would then mean, 'Among whom there is no one not striving to be born quickly.'

Note 1. Stauna is an unknown word. Sâyana explains it as stena, thieves. It probably meant something not favourable, something that must be denied of the Maruts. This is all we can say. It cannot be a corruption of stavânâh, praised.

Note 2. Ayâ´s can hardly refer to Prisni, never tiring to suckle the Maruts. In B.-R. ayâs is explained as sich nicht anstrengend, behende, leicht, unermüdlich. See also Windisch, K. Z. XXVII, 170; also Johansson, Bezzenb. Beitr. XV, p. 180.

Verse 6.

Note 1. To join together heaven and earth is, as Bergaigne remarks (II, p. 374, n. 1), the apparent effect of a thunderstorm, when the clouds cover both in impenetrable darkness. We have the same expression in VIII, 20, 4.

Note 2. On suméke, see Geldner, K. Z. XXIV, 145; and Windisch, Festgruss an Böhtlingk, p. 114.

Note 3. The ná, placed before rókah, is irregular, see Bergaigne, Mélanges Renier, p. 79. Oldenberg suggests

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narokâh = nri-okâh, 'she who is fond of the men,' namely, of the Maruts. The corruption may be due to the writers of our text.

Verse 7.

Note 1. Anenáh is strange, and might be changed into anetáh; it cannot be anenâ´h, without guilt.

Note 2. If avasa in an-avasa comes from ava-so, it may mean the step for descending or ascending, or possibly a drag. Bergaigne explains it by sine via tic o.

Note 3. Ragah-tû´h, according to Ludwig, den Staub aufwirbelnd, which seems too much opposed to arenu, dustless. Ragas + tar means to pass through the air, and in that sense only conquering the air. Geldner, Ved. Stud. p. 123, ignores the various shades of meaning in tur at the end of compounds.

Verse 8.

Note 1. Pâ´rye dyóh, according to Grassmann, 'on the decisive day,' like pâ´rye diví.

Verse 11.

Note 1. I have translated Rudrásya sûnúm by the son of Rudra. It is true that a single Marut, as the son of Rudra, is not mentioned; but on the other hand, one could hardly call the whole company of the Maruts, the mâruta scil. gana, the son of Rudra. In I, 64, 12, we have Rudrasya sûnu in one pâda, and mâruta gana in the next. The Ribhus also are called in the same line savasah napâtah, and indrasya sûno, IV, 37, 4. Here sûnu corresponds almost to the English offspring, only it is masculine.

Note 2. Giráyah may have been meant for giryah, a possible ablative of giri; see Lanman, p. 383. Ugrâ´h would then refer to â´pah, unless we break the sentence into two, viz. 'my bright thoughts tend to the host of heaven,' and the fierce Maruts strive like waters from the mountain.' If we compare, however, IX, 95, 3. apâ´m iva íd ûrmáyah tárturânâh prá manîshâ´h îrate sómam ákkha, we see that the whole verse forms one sentence. All would be right if we could change girayah into giribhyah, but is not this a conjecture nimis facilis?

Next: VII, 56. To the Maruts (the Storm-gods)