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

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1. Draw Rudra hither for your protection 1, the king of sacrifice, the truly sacrificing Hotri of the two worlds 2, the golden-coloured Agni, before the unseen thunderbolt (strikes you).

2. This is the home which we have prepared for thee as a well-dressed, loving wife (prepares the marriage-bed) for her husband 1. Directed hitherward, dressed (in offerings and prayers?) 2 sit down. These (sacrificial ladles or prayers?) are turned towards thee, O most skilful one 3!

3. To him who hears us, who is not proud, who beholds men, to the merciful, immortal god recite a prayer, O worshipper, a hymn—(to Agni) whom the presser (of Soma), the Madhu-presser, magnifies like the pressing-stone 1.

4. Thou who art well-intentioned, give heed to this our toiling 1, to this Rita 2, O observer of Rita! When will our hymns share in thy rejoicings? When will our friendship dwell in thy house?

5. How wilt thou, O Agni, before Varuna, and how wilt thou, and which sin of ours wilt thou blame before Dyaus? How wilt thou speak to bountiful Mitra, to the Earth? What (wilt thou say) to Aryaman, to Bhaga?

6. What wilt thou say, O Agni, when thou hast grown strong on the Dhishnya altars 1? What to strong Vâta who goes forward in triumph 2? To the Nâsatya 3 who goes round the earth 4, to … 5? What, O Agni, to Rudra, the man-killer?

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7. How (wilt thou speak) to great Pûshan who brings prosperity? What (wilt thou say) to martial Rudra, the giver of offerings 1? What sin 2 wilt thou announce to wide-ruling Vishnu, what, O Agni, to the mighty weapon (of the gods)?

8. How wilt thou answer, when thou art asked, to the righteous 1 host of the Maruts? How to the mighty Sun, to the quick Aditi 2? Accomplish thy work, O Gâtavedas, thou who knowest the Heaven!

9. I magnify 1 the Rita of the cow 2 ruled by Rita and also by the raw one 3, the honey-sweet, ripe (milk), O Agni. Though being black this (cow) swells of bright drink, of … 4 milk.

10. With Rita indeed, with the milk of the back 1, the bull has been anointed, Agni the man. Without trembling he moved on bestowing his vigour. The speckled bull has poured out his bright udder 2.

11 1. By the Rita the Aṅgiras have broken the rock and cleft it asunder; they have shouted together with the cows. Prosperously the men have surrounded 2 the Dawn. The Sun appeared when Agni (the fire) had been born 3.

12. By the Rita the immortal, uninjured 1 goddesses, the Waters, O Agni, with their honey-sweet waves have sped forward 2 for ever to flow (along their course), like a racer incited by shouting when (the race-horses) are let loose.

13. Go never on thy crooked way to the spirit (which avenges the guilt) of anybody 1, of a vassal who has trespassed, or of a friend. Require not (of us),a sinful brother's debt 2. May we not have to suffer under the spirit which avenges a friend's or a (hostile) deceiver's guilt 3.

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14. Protect us, O Agni, with all thy protection, thou who art protected, O martial one 1, and art gladdened (by us). Sparkle forth, and destroy even strong evil! Slay the Rakshas even though it has grown large.

15. Be gracious, O Agni, through these our hymns. Touch, O hero, this wealth moved by our prayers. And accept, O Aṅgiras, our sacred words. May the praise, beloved by the gods, resound to thee 1.

16. I, the priest, have rehearsed to thee the omniscient one, O Agni, worshipper (of the gods), all these songs, these inmost words, these recitations and words of wisdom, to thee the wise one, with prayers and hymns.


The same Rishi and metre.—Verse 1 = SV. I, 69; TS. I, 3, 14, 1; TB. II, 8, 6, 9; MS. IV, 11, 4. Verse 6 = MS. IV, 11, 4.

Verse 1.

Note 1. On the identification of Agni with Rudra, comp. Bergaigne, Rel. Védique, III, 36; von Bradke, Dyâus Asura, p. 54 (Rig-veda I, 27, 10; III, 2, 5; VIII, 72, 3).

Note 2. The second Pâda of this verse is identical with VI, 16, 46.

Verse 2.

Note 1. Cf. Hirzel, Gleichnisse and Metaphern im Rigveda, p. 69.

Note 2. On párivîtah Sâyana remarks, yashtavyadevais tegobhir vâ parivîtah. In the commentary on I, 128, 1, on the other hand, he says, ritvigbhih paridhibhir vâ parito veshtitah.

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Note 3. I take su-apâka as a compound of su and a-pâka (comp. Vâg. Samh. XX, 44 = Taitt. Br. II, 6, 8, 4 = Maitr. Samh. III, 11, 1, where Tvashtri is called apâkáh). In Rig-veda VI, 11, 4 we read: ádidyutat sú ápâkah vibhâ´vâ; in VI, 12, 2. â´ yásmin tvé sú ápâke yagatra, &c. Should we not correct in both passages suapâkah, suapâke?

Verse 3.

Note 1. The pressing-stone (grâ´van) is frequently considered as speaking, as praising the gods. Cf. Hillebrandt, Vedische Mythologie, I, p. 152 sq.

Verse 4.

Note 1. The Padapâtha has sámyai. I think it should be sámyâh.

Note 2. I. e. to this sacrifice, which is considered as one of the chief manifestations of Rita. See H. O., Religion des Veda, p. 197.

Verse 6.

Note 1. At the Soma sacrifice fire burns on eight altars called Dhishnya; see Weber, Indische Studien, X, pp. 366, 375.

Note 2. See vol. xxxii, p. 164.

Note 3. This is the only passage in the Rig-veda in which nâsatya occurs in the singular.

Note 4. On párigman, cf. above, I, 79, 3 note.

Note 5. Kshé (cf. Lanman, pp. 440, 448, 534) is evidently corrupt. But neither Bollensen's conjecture, ukshné, nor those of Ludwig (kakshe, yakshe), carry conviction.

Verse 7.

Note 1. It is very strange to find Rudra here designated as 'giver of offerings.' But it seems too bold to explain havih-dé as a dative of havih-ád ('eater of offerings').

Note 2. I read with Grassmann répah ('sin') for rétah ('sperm').

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Verse 8.

Note 1. The text has ritâ´ya, used as an adjective (see Bergaigne, Rel. Védique, III, 216).

Note 2. Aditi is masculine and seems to be an epithet ('unrestrained, free') of the Sun. Cf. vol. xxxii, p. 262; Bergaigne, III, 92. Probably at the same time the word is intended to allude to the goddess Aditi.

Verse 9.

Note 1. The text has île, on which Ludwig says, 'so viel wie nîle.' Île of course cannot be the same as nîle, but should we not conjecture nîlé? Cf. above, IV, 1, 11. vrishabhásya nîlé, and IV, 1, 12. ritásya yónâ vrishabhásya nîlé. The translation would be, 'By Rita the Rita is restrained in the nest of the cow.'

Note 2. The 'Rita of the cow,' if the reading is correct (see note 1), seems to be the milk.

Note 3. The 'raw one' is the cow as opposed to the ripe milk.

Note 4. The meaning of gâ´marya (ἅπαξ λεγόμενον) is unknown. Cf. Bergaigne. II, 398, note 1. Sâyana reads gâ amaryena. 'I should prefer gâ amartyena.' M. M.

Verse 10.

Note 1. Does this mean, with the milk that comes from the ridge of heaven? Cf. IV, 20, 4. sám ándhasâ mamadah prishthỹena.

Note 2. This Pâda seems to be an imitation of VI, 66, 1, where Prisni ('the speckled one') is the mother of the Maruts: sakt sukrám duduhe prisnih û´dhah. See vol. xxxii, p. 368.

Verse 11.

Note 1. Here we have again the same myth of the Aṅgiras and the cows, to which so many allusions are found in the preceding hymns.

Note 2. The red cows of the myth are the dawns; the

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[paragraph continues] Aṅgiras besiege the stronghold in which these cows are imprisoned.

Note 3. On the kindling of the fire as a charm by which the sun is made to rise, see H. O., Religion des Veda, p. 109 seq. The Aṅgiras kindle the fire for performing their sacrifice; thereby they make the sun rise.

Verse 12.

Note 1. The same epithet is applied to the waters also in X, 104, 8.

Note 2. The optative dadhanyuh is very strange. Probably we ought to read dadhanvuh.

Verse 13.

Note 1. The meaning seems to be that Agni is requested not to turn against the sacrificer a spirit which has to avenge the guilt committed by a third person. 'Why not read yagñam? Go not secretly to anybody's sacrifice, not of a hostile house, not of a friend. Do not require (of us) a sinful brother's debt. May we not feel the might of friend or foe.' M. M.

Note 2. Geldner (Ved. Studien II, 157) translates and interprets: 'tilge nicht, O Agni, die Schuld eines falschen Bruders,' nämlich die Schuld an die Manen, also dem Sinn nach 'mache ihn kinderlos.' This is quite unacceptable.

Note 3. The text is evidently corrupt. I propose to read: mâ´ sákhyuh yakshám mâ´ ripóh bhugema. Comp. V, 70, 4. mâ´ kásya adbhutakratû yakshám bhugema tanû´bhih.

Verse 14.

Note 1. I cannot adopt Bergaigne's opinion on súmakha (Quarante Hymnes, p. 75).

Verse 15.

Note 1. Or, awake for thee.

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