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

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1. For Vaisvânara, the increaser of Rita, for Agni we produce 1 a Dhishanâ 2 like purified ghee. And verily 3 by their prayer the invoking men (accomplish) him, the Hotri, as the axe accomplishes a chariot.

2. By his birth he has given splendour to both worlds (Heaven and Earth). He became the praiseworthy son of his parents, Agni, the carrier of oblations, never ageing, with satisfied mind, undeceivable, the guest of men, rich in light.

3. Through the power of their mind, within the sphere of their superior strength the gods have procreated Agni by their thoughts. Desirous of winning the prize 1 I address Him who shines with his splendour, who is great in his light, as (one who desires to win the prize addresses his) race-horse.

4. Desirous of winning the choice, glorious, and praiseworthy prize (which is the gift) of the joy-giver, we choose the boon of the Bhrigus 1, the Usig 2, who has the mind of a sage, Agni, who reigns with his heavenly light.

5. Men, having spread the sacrificial grass, holding the sacrificial ladle, have placed here in front (as Purohita), for the sake of (the divine) blessing, Agni renowned for strength, with great splendour, united with all the gods, the Rudra of sacrifices 1, who accomplishes the oblations of active (worshippers).

6. O (Agni) whose flame is purifying, around thy

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dwelling, O Hotri, the men who at the sacrifices have spread the sacrificial grass, O Agni, seeking (how to do) honour (to thee), and (desiring) thy friendship, surround thee (reverentially);—bestow thou wealth on them!

7. He has filled the two worlds (Heaven and Earth) and the great Sun, when the active ones (i. e. the priests) held him fast who had been born. He the sage is led round for the performance of worship, like a racer for the winning of the prize 1, with satisfied mind.

8. Adore ye him, the giver of offerings, the best performer of worship; honour ye him the domestic Gâtavedas. Agni, the charioteer of the mighty Rita, he who dwells among manifold tribes, has become the Purohita of the gods.

9. The immortal Usigs have purified three logs for the vigorous 1 Agni 2 who wanders round the earth 3: of these they have placed one among the mortals for their enjoyment; two have passed into the sister world 4.

10. The food offered by men has sharpened him, the sage of the tribes, the lord of the tribes, as an axe. Busily he goes to the heights and to the depths. He has held fast the germ in these worlds.

11. He the generator, the strong one, stirs in the resplendent bellies like a roaring lion, Vaisvânara with his broad stream of light, the immortal, distributing goods and treasures to his worshipper.

12. Vaisvânara has mounted the firmament, the back of heaven, as of old, glorified by those who are rich in good thoughts. He, creating wealth for the creatures as of old, goes watchful round the common course.

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13. The righteous, worshipful priest deserving of praise, the dweller in heaven 1 whom Mâtarisvan has established (on earth): him we approach whose way is bright and hair golden, the resplendent Agni, for the sake of ever new welfare.

14. Like the flaming one (the sun?) on his way, the quick one, of sun-like aspect, the banner of heaven, who dwells in light, who wakes at dawn—Agni the head of heaven, the unrepressed, him we approach with adoration, the strong one mightily.

15. The joy-giving, bright Hotri, in whom is no falsehood, the domestic, praiseworthy dweller among all tribes, like a splendid chariot, wonderful to behold, established by Manus: him we constantly approach for the sake of wealth.


The same Rishi. The metre is Gagatî.—Verse 7 = VS. XXXIII, 75. Verse 9 = MS. I, 3, 35.

Verse 1.

Note 1. Literally, 'we generate.'

Note 2. On the meaning of this word, which I may be allowed to leave in its Sanskrit form, I refer to I, 96, 1, note 2.

Note 3. Literally, 'doubly.' Comp. below, III, 17, 5, note 1.

Verse 3.

Note 1. Vâ´gam sanishyán refers to the worshipper who desires to obtain vâ´ga (quick strength, and the booty or prize obtained by it), and in the comparison, to the owner of a race-horse who desires to win the race.

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Verse 4.

Note 1. Comp. I, 60, 1 (see above).

Note 2. Comp. Bergaigne, Religion Védique, I, 57 seq.

Verse 5.

Note 1. Comp. von Bradke, Dyâus Asura, p. 54.

Verse 7.

Note 1. Again, as in verse 3, vâ´gasâtaye means, with reference to the race, 'for the winning of the prize,' and with reference to sacrifice, 'for the obtainment of quick strength, of booty, &c.'

Verse 9.

Note 1. See above, I, 36, 1, note 2.

Note 2. Agni is stated here to have one terrestrial and two celestial forms: the fire belonging to men, and, it seems, sun and lightning. Comp. M. M., Physical Religion, 229; Bergaigne, Religion Védique, I, 22. With regard to the three forms of Agni, compare also H. O., Religion des Veda, 106 seq.

Note 3. On párigman, comp. above, I, 79, 3, note 2.

Note 4. Into the celestial world.

Verse 13.

Note 1. I read divikshayám (Bergaigne, Rel. Védique, I, 55, note). The blunder has been caused by X, 63, 5. dadhiré diví ksháyam.

Next: III, 3. To Agni Vaisvânara