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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. Come hither, do not fail, when you march forward! Do not stay away, O united friends, you who can bend even what is firm.

2. O Maruts, Ribhukshans, come hither on your flaming strong fellies 1, O Rudras, come to us to-day with food, you much-desired ones, come to the sacrifice, you friends of the Sobharis 2.

3. For we know indeed the terrible strength of the sons of Rudra, of the vigorous Maruts, the liberal givers 1 of Soma 2 (rain).

4. The islands (clouds) were scattered, but the monster remained 1, heaven and earth were joined together. O you who are armed with bright rings, the tracts (of the sky) 2 expanded, whenever you stir, radiant with your own splendour.

5. Even things that cannot be thrown down resound at your race, the mountains, the lord of the forest,—the earth quivers on your marches.

6. The upper sky makes wide room, to let your violence pass, O Maruts, when these strong-armed heroes display their energies in their own bodies.

7. According to their wont these men, exceeding terrible, impetuous, with strong and unbending forms 1, bring with them beautiful light 2.

8. The arrow of the Sobharis is shot from the bowstrings at the golden chest on the chariot of the Maruts 1. They, the kindred of the cow (Prisni),

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the well-born, should enjoy their food, the great ones should help us.

9. Bring forward, O strongly-anointed 1 (priests), your libations to the strong host of the Maruts, the strongly advancing.

10. O Maruts, O heroes, come quickly hither, like winged hawks, on your chariot with strong horses, of strong shape, with strong naves, to enjoy our libations.

11. Their anointing is the same, the golden chains shine on their arms, their spears sparkle.

12. These strong, manly, strong-armed Maruts, do not strive among themselves; firm are the bows, the weapons on your chariot, and on your faces are splendours.

13. They whose terrible name 1, wide-spreading like the ocean, is the one of all that is of use, whose strength is like the vigour of their father,

14. Worship these Maruts, and praise them! Of these shouters, as of moving spokes 1, no one is the last; this is theirs by gift, by greatness 2 is it theirs.

15. Happy is he who was under your protection, O Maruts, in former mornings, or who may be so even now.

16. Or he, O men, whose libations you went to enjoy; that mighty one, O shakers, will obtain your favours with brilliant riches and booty.

17. As the sons of Rudra, the servants of the divine Dyu 1, win it, O youths, so shall it be.

18. Whatever liberal givers may worship 1 the Maruts, and move about together as generous 2 benefactors, even from them turn 3 towards us with a kinder heart, you youths

19. O Sobhari, call loud with your newest song

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the young, strong, and pure Maruts, as the plougher calls the cows.

20. Worship the Maruts with a song, they who are strong like a boxer, called in to assist those who call 1 for him in all fights; (worship them) the most glorious, like bright-shining bulls.

21. Yes, O united friends, kindred, O Maruts, by a common birth, the oxen lick one another's humps 1.

22. O ye dancers, with golden ornaments on your chests, even a mortal comes (to ask) for your brotherhood 1; take care of us, ye Maruts, for your friendship lasts for ever.

23. O bounteous Maruts, bring us some of your Marut-medicine, you friends, and (quick, like) steeds.

24. With the favours whereby you favour the Sindhu, whereby you save, whereby you help Krivi 1, with those propitious favours be our delight, O delightful ones, ye who never hate your followers 2.

25. O Maruts, for whom we have prepared good altars, whatever medicine 1 there is on the Sindhu, on the Asiknî, in the seas, on the mountains,

26. Seeing it, you carry it all on your bodies. Bless us with it! Down to the earth, O Maruts 1, what hurts our sick one,—straighten what is crooked!

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Ascribed to Sobhari Kânva; metre, Kâkubha pragâtha. Verse 1 = SV. I, 401; verse 21 = SV. I, 404.

Verse 1.

SV. reads sthâta, and dridhâ kid yamayishnavah.

Verse 2.

Note 1. It might be better to supply rathaih, but the poet may have used pars pro toto.

Note 2. The Sobharis, who are mentioned in the 8th Mandala only, are clearly a clan of that name, and their hymns form a small collection by itself. See Oldenberg. Prolegomena, p. 209 seq.

Verse 3.

Note 1. Mîlhvas is sometimes used by itself in the sense of patron or benefactor, VII, 86, 7; 97, 2. Whether it can govern a genitive is doubtful, but see VII, 58, 5, note.

Note 2. Here again, as in II, 34, 11, Vishnu esha seems to mean Soma, possibly the food, or even the seed (retas) of Vishnu. Sâyana too takes Vishnu as a name of rain. In I, 154, 5, we read that the spring of madhu is in the highest place of Vishnu. Could it mean the generous sons of Vishnu?

Verse 4.

Note 1. My translation is purely conjectural. I take dvîpa for isolated or scattered clouds, different from the dukkhunâ, which I take for the black mass of storm-clouds, threatening destruction. Grassmann: 'Die Wolkeninseln stoben and das Unheil floh.' Ludwig: 'Empor stigen gewaltig die waszerinseln, still stand das unglück.'

Note 2. The coming together of heaven and earth and their apparent widening have been ascribed to the Maruts before. It seems hardly possible to translate dhanvâni here by bows. I take it for the wide expanse, as if the desert, of the sky.

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Verse 7.

Note 1. On psu in vrishapsu, see note to VIII, 7, 7.

Note 2. Possibly sríyam váhante has to be taken like subham yâ, see Gaedicke, Accusativ, p. 163.

Verse 8.

Note 1. In support of the translation which I proposed in I, 85, 10, note 2, all I can say is that ag is a verb used for shooting forth an arrow, see I, 112, 16, and that vâna may be used in the sense of bâna, reed and arrow, and that go is used for bowstring, see B.-R. s. v. The question, however, arises, how does this verse come in here? How does the fact that the Sobharis, who are praising the storm-gods, shoot their arrow at the golden chest on their chariot, agree with what precedes and follows?

Let us look first whether a more natural translation can be found. B.-R. translate: 'The sacrificial music of the Sobharis is furnished and therefore made more attractive by draughts of milk (or animal food).' In order to support such a translation, it should be proved, first, that vâna ever means sacrificial music, and that such sacrificial music can be spoken of as agyate (it is furnished), gobhih (by milk-draughts). Grassmann translates: 'Durch Milchtrank wird der Sobharis Musik belohnt.' Here again it must be proved that vâna can mean sacrificial music, and agyate, it is rewarded. Ludwig translates: 'Mit der milch wird gesalbt den Sobhari der zapfen am wagen am goldnen korbe.' This is explained to mean that 'the bolt on the chariot of the Maruts is to be greased with milk, so that the milk may stream down on the Sobharis.' I doubt whether vâna can mean bolt, and I do not see that the intention of the poet, namely to ask for rain, would be conveyed by such words.

Sâyana interprets: 'Through the cows, i. e. the hymns, of the Sobharis the lyre of the Maruts is made evident;' or; 'by the cows, i. e. the Maruts, the lyre is manifested for the sake of the Sobharis.'

In support of my own translation I can only appeal to a

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custom ascribed by Herodotus (IV, 94) to another ancient Aryan tribe, namely the Thracians, who, when there is thunder and lightning, shoot arrows against the sky. Herodotus in trying to find a motive for this says they do it to threaten the god. because they believe in no other god, but their own. This may be so; the only question is whether in shooting their arrows against the sky, they hoped to drive the clouds away, or wished them to give up their treasure, namely the rain. I should feel inclined to take the latter view, but in either case we see that what the Thracians did, was exactly what the Sobharis are said to do here, namely to shoot an arrow at the golden chest or treasure on the chariot of the Maruts. This is, of course. no more than a conjecture, and I shall gladly give it up, if a more appropriate meaning can be elicited from this line. What is against it is the frequent occurrence of añg with gobhih in the sense of covering with milk, see IX, 45, 3: V, 3, 2, &c. As to ráthe kóse hiranyáye, see VIII, 22, 9.

Verse 9.

Note 1. Vrishad-añgayah for vrishan-añgayah, see J. Schmidt, K. Z. XXVI, 358. It cannot mean 'raining down ointments,' as Grassmann supposes, because that would be varshad-añgayah, if it existed at all. Besides. the añgis are never poured down, nor are they sacrificial viands. The repetition of the word vrishan is intentional. and has been discussed before.

Verse 13.

Note 1. Nâman is, of course, more than the mere name; but name can be used in much the same sense.

Verse 14.

Note 1. The simile of the aras, as in V, 58, 5, seems to require another negative.

Note 2. See V, 87, 2, on dânâ´ and mahnâ´.

Verse 17.

Note 1. On diváh ásurasya vedhásah, see von Bradke. Dyaus Asura, pp. 44 and 46. It should be remembered,

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however, that vedhas and medhas interchange. Thus in RV. IX, 102, 4, we have vedhâ´m, in SV. I, 101, medhâ´m. On medhâs, the Zend mazdâ, see Darmesteter, Ormazd, p. 29. I take servant in the sense of worshipper, from vidh.

Verse 18.

Note 1. Arhanti, in the sense of arhayanti, to worship, seems better than to be worthy of, or to have a right to.

Note 2. Mîlhúshah can be nominative, see Lanman, p. 511; but it may also refer to the Maruts, and then be accusative.

Note 3. Instead of â´ vavridhvam, which Ludwig translates, Nemt uns für euch in besitz, Grassmann translates, Wendet euch zu uns her. He read therefore â´ vavriddhvam, and this, the plural corresponding to â´ vavritsva, seems to be the right reading.

Verse 20.

Note 1. Grassmann proposes to change pritsú hótrishu into yutsú pritsúshu. But may not hótrishu be used here in a sense corresponding to that of hávya? Hávya has almost the technical meaning of an ally who is to be called for assistance. Thus IV, 24, 2. sáh vritrahátye hávyah; VII, 32, 24. bháre-bhare ka hávyah, &c. Now a hávyah, one who is called, presupposes a hótri, one who calls for assistance. It is true that hotri, from hu, to pour out, has so completely become a technical name that it seems strange to see it used here, in a new etymological sense, as caller. But the connection with havya may justify what may have been meant as a play on the words. Wilson seems to have taken the verse in a similar sense, when he translates: 'and like a boxer who has been challenged over his challengers.' He, like Ludwig, takes hotri as a challenger. I prefer to take it as calling for aid. I am not satisfied, however, with either translation, nor does Grassmann or Ludwig offer anything useful.

Verse 21.

Note 1. In the SV. marútah and riháte have the accent

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on the second syllable. Sábandhavah was used before of the Maruts, V, 59, 5; according to its accent it would here refer to gâ´vah. I can see no meaning in this verse except a very naturalistic one, namely that the Maruts, who are described as friends and brothers, as never quarrelling and always of one mind, are here compared to oxen, grazing in the same field, and so far from fighting, actually licking the humps on each other's backs.

Verse 22.

Note 1. Grassmann, 'geht euch an um eure Brüderschaft;' possibly, 'becomes your brother.'

Verse 24.

Note 1. It is, no doubt, very tempting to change tû´rvatha into turvásam, as Ludwig proposes. The difficulty is to understand how such a change should have come about. Sindhu may mean here, not so much the river, as the people living on its shores. Krivi is said to be an old name of the Pañkâlas (Sat. Br. XIII, 5, 4, 7). But, because the Pañkâlas were called Krivis, and because in later times we often hear of Kuru-Pañkâlas, it does in no way follow that the Krivis were identical with the Kurus. It proves rather the contrary. Kuru may be derived from kar, and may have meant active, but it may also have had a very different original meaning. A derivation of krivi from kar is still more objectionable.

Note 2. Asakadvishah, which I translate by not hating your followers, is translated by Ludwig: 'ihr, denen kein haszer folgt.' It may also be rendered by hating those who do not follow you.'

Verse 25.

Note 1. The medicines are generally brought by Rudra, and by his sons, the Maruts.

Verse 26.

Note 1. As to kshamâ´ rápah, see X, 59, 8-10; AV VI, 57, 3; as to íshkarta, VIII, I, 12.

Next: VIII, 94. To the Maruts (the Storm-gods)