Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg [1897], at

p. 157



1. I bring forward my most powerful, entirely new (pious) thought (i. e. hymn). the prayer of my words 1 to Agni, the son of strength; he is the child of the Waters 2, the beloved one, who together with the Vasus has sat down on the Earth as a Hotri observing the appointed time (for sacrificing).

2. Being born in the highest heaven Agni became visible to Mâtarisvan. By the power of his mind, by his greatness when kindled, his flame filled Heaven and Earth with light.

1. His flames are fierce; never ageing are the flames of him who is beautiful to behold, whose face is beautiful, whose splendour is beautiful. The never sleeping, never ageing (rays) of Agni whose power is light, roll forward like streams across the nights (?) 2.

4. Him the all-wealthy, whom the Bhrigus have set to work on the navel of the earth, with the whole power of the world 1—stir up that Agni by thy prayers in his own house—(him) who alone rules over goods like Varuna.

5. He who is not to be kept back like the roar of the Maruts, like an army 1that is sent forward, like the thunderbolt of heaven—Agni eats with his sharp jaws, he chews, he throws down the forests as a warrior throws down his foes.

6. Would Agni eagerly come to our hymn? Would He the Vasu together with the Vasus fulfil our desire? Will He, the driver, stir our prayers

p. 158

that they may be successful? (Thus thinking) I praise Him whose face is bright, with this my prayer.

7. He who has kindled him strives 1 towards Agni as towards Mitra (or, towards a friend)—(to Agni) whose face shines with ghee, the charioteer of Rita. May he who when kindled becomes a racer 2, shining at the sacrifices 3, lift up our bright-coloured prayer.

1. Preserve us, O Agni, never failing with thy never-failing, kind and mighty guardians; protect our people all around with those undeceived, undismayed, never slumbering (guardians), O thou our wish 2!


The same Rishi. Metre, Gagatî; the last verse Trishtubh. The hymn has been translated by Kaegi, Siebenzig Lieder des Rigveda, p. 100.—Verse 7 = TB. I, 2, 1, 12.

Verse 1.

Note 1. Comp. VIII, 59, 6. vâkáh mátim.

Note 2. Agni who is considered as born from the Waters, is identified several times with a god who, like Mâtarisvan, in my opinion had an independent origin, with Apâm napât ('Child of the Waters'). Comp. Bergaigne, Rel. Védique, II, 17 seq.; H. O., Religion des Veda, 118 seq.

Verse 3.

Note 1. There is no sufficient reason for transposing verses 3 and 4 (Kaegi).

Note 2. Probably we should read áti aktû´n; comp. VI, 4, 5. áti eti aktû´n.—See Bergaigne, Mélanges Renier, p. 96.

p. 159

Verse 4.

Note 1. Bhúvanasya seems to depend on magmánâ; comp. VII, 82, 5. bhúvanasya magmánâ.

Verse 5.

Note 1. Pischel (Vedische Studien, I. 231) seems to me to be right in denying that sénâ ever means 'Geschoss,' and in translating sénâ srishtâ´ 'exercitus effusus.' The opinion of Prof. von Bradke and Prof. Bloomfield is different; see Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenl. Gesellschaft, XLVI, 456; XLVIII, 549.

Verse 7.

Note 1. The text adds the dativus ethicus vah, 'for you' (comp. Delbrück, Altindische Syntax, 206), which can scarcely be translated.

Note 2. Geldner (Vedische Studien, I, 168) has shown that akrá very probably means 'horse.' Agni is very frequently compared to a horse.—Comp. Ludwig, Ueber die neuesten Arbeiten auf dem Gebiete der Rigveda-Forschung, p. 54; Roth, Zeitschrift der D. Morg. Ges., XLVIII, 118.

Note 3. See above, I, 31, 6, note 2.

Verse 8.

Note 1. With Pâdas C D compare the verse VI, 8, 7. ádabdhebhih táva gopâ´bhih ishte asmâ´kam pâhi trishadhastha sûrî´n.

Note 2. 'What is ishte? Is it thou our wish, or thou our sacrifice?' M. M.

Next: I, 144