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

p. 382



1. O friends, (bring) together your united food and praise to Agni, the strongest (god) of (human) dwellings, the offspring of Vigour, the mighty one—

2. At whose onslaught 1, wherever it be, men rejoice in the seat of men, whom the worthy ones kindle, whom (human) creatures produce.

3. When we get together the food and the offerings of men, he has grasped, with the strength of his splendour, the rein of Rita.

4. He indeed produces light even by night to him who is afar, when he, the ever-young purifier, destroys the lords of the forest.

5. He at whose officiating (men) pour down the offering of their sweat on the paths—to Him who is noble by his own nature, the worlds have risen as to ridges (of hills)—

6. He whom the mortal has acquired, the much-desired (god), for the refreshment of every one, the sweetener of nourishment, the homestead for the Âyu—

7. He indeed, the beast, mows off deserts and habitable land like a mower, the golden-bearded with brilliant teeth, the Ribhu of undecaying strength.

8. The bright one for whom (the ghrita) streams (quickly) like an axe 1, as at (the sacrifice of) Atri. Him the well-bearing mother has born, as soon as 2 she had enjoyed love 3.

9. He who satisfies thee for refreshment, O Agni

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who drinkest butter: mayst thou bestow splendour, renown, and (wise) mind on such mortals 1.

10. Thus I have seized upon the spirit of Adhrig(?) as upon a head of cattle given by thee 1. May then Atri, O Agni, overcome the Dasyus who do not give (to the Brahmans); may Isha overcome the men (who do not give).


The Rishi is Isha Âtreya (cf. verse 10); the metre is Anushtubh (verse 10, Paṅkti).—Verse 1 = VS. XV, 29; TS. II, 6, 11, 4; IV, 4, 4, 3; MS. IV, 11, 1. Verses 2, 3 = TS. II, 1, 11, 3; MS. IV, 12, 4.

Verse 2.

Note 1. Yásya sám-ritau: see I, 127, 3.

Verse 8.

Note 1. With the expression svádhitih-iva rî´yate (Lanman, Noun-Inflection, p. 375), compare V, 48, 4. rîtím parasóh-iva. Of course we must ask: what is the thing that streams so brightly and quickly as an axe moves? The thing in question is stated to stream (rîyate) for Agni now as it did at Atri's sacrifice. The expression 'as at Atri's sacrifice' seems to show that something like prayers or libations is alluded to. The verb rîyate, on the other hand, seems to point either to rivers, or to streams of Soma or of Ghrita. Thus, considering that Ghrita is mentioned much more frequently in connection with Agni than Soma, we are led to the conclusion that the poet speaks here of streams of Ghrita. Should we not for súkih read súki, which would be here as in IV, 1, 6; VI, 10, 2; IX, 67, 12, an epithet of Ghrita? 'He for whom the bright (Ghrita) streams quickly like an axe.' The origin of the reading

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kih may easily be accounted for; the word was thought to refer to Agni.—Another interpretation of this hemistich has been given by Benfey, Vedica and Linguistica, p. 177.

Note 2. Krânâ´: cf. I, 58, 3, note 1 (p. 47).

Note 3. 'Sobald sie den Liebesgenuss erlangt hatte.' Pischel, Ved. Studien, 1, 71.

Verse 9.

Note 1. The first hemistich speaks of the worshipper in the singular, the second in the plural.

Verse 10.

Note 1. This hemistich is quite obscure. With manyúm â´ dade, cf., for instance, X, 48, 2. dásyubhyah pári nrimnám â´ dade. Adhrígah may be the genitive of a proper name, as I have translated it; but this is quite doubtful. Was the hymn intended for a charm in which the sacrificer seized a head of cattle which represented the spirit of an enemy, and thus deprived that enemy of his courage?

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