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

p. 335



1. How may we unanimously offer mighty light 1 to bountiful Agni Vaisvânara? With his mighty perfect growth he supports the high bank 2 like a pillar.

2. Do not reproach Him, the self-dependent one, who has given this bounty to me, the god to the mortal, the clever one to the simple, the wise immortal, the most manly, restless1 Agni Vaisvânara.

3. Agni, the sharp-pointed, the mighty bull with thousandfold sperm, has proclaimed to me the great, doubly-powerful 1 Sâman, the prayer, having found, as it were, the hidden track of a cow 2.

4. May Agni, he who is rich in wealth, whose teeth are sharp, consume with his hottest flames those who violate the laws founded by Varuna, the beloved, firm (laws) of attentive Mitra.

1. They who roam about like brotherless girls 2, of evil conduct like women who deceive their husbands, being wicked, sinful, and untrue—they have created for themselves this deep place 3.

6. On me, however small, but innocent, thou, O purifying Agni, hast fiercely placed this mighty, deep, vigorous prayer, like a heavy burden, this Prishth1, consisting of seven elements 2.

7. Let our prayer which purifies Him, through the power of mind (inherent in it), reach Him who is the common (property of all men) alike, the good (name?) of Prisni on the skin of the herbs, on the summit of the … 1.

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8. What should be openly uttered by me of this speech? They secretly speak of that which is hidden 1. When they have uncovered, as it were, the water of the cows 2, he guards the beloved summit of the … 3, the footstep of the bird 4.

9. He has found in secret that great face of the great ones which the bright cow accompanied 1, the ancient (face) shining in the abode of Rita, the quickly running, quickly moving.

10. And resplendent near his parents (Heaven and Earth), in their presence, he thought of the secret, good (name?) of Prisni. The tongue of the manly, forward-bent flame (seized) that which was near at hand in the highest abode of the mother, the cow 1.

11. I speak, when being asked, Rita (i. e. truth), out of reverence (for Agni, or for the gods), out of hope 1 placed in thee, O Gâtavedas, as I am here 2. Thou rulest over all this wealth whatever (dwells) in heaven and earth.

12. Which of this wealth is ours, what treasure? Mayst thou who knowest it declare to us (that treasure), O Gâtavedas! What is the highest (aim) of this our way, is hidden. We have not come scolding to an empty (?) 1 place.

13 1. What is the limit, what the objects? What pleasant (wealth) may we obtain as swift (horses gain) the prize? When will the Dawns, the divine consorts of the immortal, expand over us with the sun's splendour?

14. And what do those insatiable ones here say, O Agni, with their sapless, feeble, weak speech that has to be listened to? Let them unarmed fall into nothingness.

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15. The face of this kindled, manly Vasu has shone gloriously in the house. Clothed in brilliancy, with his shape beautiful to behold, the bountiful has shone like a house 1 with its wealth.


The hymn is addressed to Vaisvânara. The same Rishi and metre.—No verse occurs in the other Samhitâs.

Verse 1.

Note 1. Cf. especially I, 45, 8 (above, p. 42). brihát bhâ´h bíbhratah havíh.

Note 2. Cf. vol. xxxii, p. 93 (I, 38, 11, note 2).

Verse 2.

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

Verse 3.

Note 1. Dvibárhâh is neuter. See Lanman, p. 560; Joh. Schmidt, Pluralbildungen der Indogermanischen Neutra, p. 132.

Note 2. Agni has discovered the Sâman which he proclaims to the mortal, like the track of a lost cow.

Verse 5.

Note 1. See H. O., Religion des Veda, p. 539.

Note 2. Abhrâtárah cannot be accusative plural fem., as Zimmer (Altindisches Leben, p. 419) seems to take it. The correct interpretation has been given by Pischel, Vedische Studien, I, p. 299.

Note 3. I. e. hell.

Verse 6.

Note 1. In the younger Vedic ritual certain Stotras are technically designated as prishtha or 'backs' of the liturgies

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[paragraph continues] (see, for instance, Weber, Indische Studien, X, 385). Does the word stand here in the same sense? Or should we correct préshtham?

Note 2. The seven tones of the scale?

Verse 7.

Note 1. This passage is obscure. The text runs thus: sasásya kárman ádhi kâ´ru psneh ágre rupáh árupitam (â´rupitam Samhitâpâtha) gábâru. As to the first words, see III, 5, 6. To kâ´ru possibly a noun like nâ´ma should be supplied (cf. below, verse 10). The last Pâda (cf. above, III, 5, 5, note 1) is simply untranslateable.

Verse 8.

Note 1. Of the milk alluded to in the third Pâda?—On niník, cf. Lanman, p. 436; Job. Schmidt, Pluralbildungen der Indogerm. Neutra, p, 397.

Note 2. The water of the cows is the milk, cf. X, 12, 3. Roth (Zeitschr. der D. Morgenl. Gesellschaft, XLVIII, 682): als sie den Schatz der Kühe entdeckt hatten (vâr iva = vâram iva).

Note 3. Rupáh ágram.

Note 4. Comp above, III, 5, 5 with note 1; III, 5, 6, note 2.

Verse 9.

Note 1. The sun, the face of the great gods (cf. I, 115, 1), accompanied by the dawn?

Verse 10.

Note 1. Is the meaning of all this that Agni, shining on the altar between heaven and earth, desires, and consumes with his flames, the oblation of butter which has its home in the udder of the cow?

Verse 11.

Note 1. On âsásâ, see Lanman, p. 492 seq.; Bartholomae Indogermanische Forschungen, I, 182 seq.; Bechtel, Hauptprobleme

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der Indogerm. Lautlehre, p. 262. This noun is not to be derived from the root sâs, but from sams.

Note 2. Compare I, 79, 2 (with note 3).

Verse 12.

Note 1. Comp. X, 108, 7, where the Panis say to Saramâ: réku padám álakam â´ gagantha ('the place is empty (?); thou hast come in vain').

Verse 13.

Note 1. This verse has been treated of by Pischel, Ved. Studien, I, 306.

Verse 15.

Note 1. On this comparison, see Hirzel, Gleichnisse und Metaphern im Rigveda, p. 102 seq.

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