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Ii, 4

"Vedic Hymns, Part Ii (sbe46)\", by Hermann Oldenberg [1897],

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\"N"D"Ala Ii, Hymn 4.

\"T"Aka Ii, Adhyya 5, Varga 24-25.

1. I
call for you Agni, shining with beautiful shine, praised with beautiful praise 1, the guest of the clans, the receiver of fine offerings, who is desirable like Mitra (or, like an ally), "G"tavedas the god, among godly people.

The Bh"ri"gus worshipping him in the abode of the waters 1 have verily 2 established him among the clans of yu. Let him surpass all worlds, Agni, the steward of the gods 3, the possessor of quick horses.

The gods have established beloved Agni among the human clans as (people) going to settle (establish) Mitra 1. May he illuminate the nights that are longing (for him), he who should be treated kindly by the liberal (worshipper) in his house.

His prosperity is delightful as good pasture (?) 1; delightful is his appearance when the burning one is driven forward, he who quickly shaking his tongue among the plants waves 2 his tail mightily like a chariot-horse.

When they praised 1 to me the monstrous might of the eater of the forests 2, he produced his (shining) colour as (he has done) for the U"s"i"g"s 3. With shining splendour he has shone joyously, he who having grown old has suddenly become young (again).

He who shines on the forests 1 as if he were thirsty, who resounded like water on its path, like (the rattle of the wheels) of a chariot 2--he whose

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path is black, the hot, the joyous one has shone, laughing 3 like the sky with its clouds.

He who has spread himself burning over the wide (earth), moves about like an animal, free, without a keeper. The naming Agni, burning down the brushwood, with a black trail 1, has, as it were, tasted the earth.

Now in the remembrance of thy former blessings this prayer has been recited to thee at the third sacrifice 1. Give to us, Agni, mighty strength with a succession of valiant men, with plenty of food; (give us) wealth with good progeny 2.

Give, O Agni, such vigour to thy praiser together with his liberal (lords), that the G"ri"tsamadas, rich in valiant men, victorious over hostile plots, attaining (their aim) in secret, may overcome through thee (their rivals) who get behind 1.


The "Ri"shi is Somhuti Bhrgava, the metre Trish"t"ubh.--No verse occurs in the other Sa"m"hits.

Verse 1.

Note 1. To me there seems to be no doubt that the meaning of suv"ri"kt is something like 'beautiful prayer,' beautiful song,' and then 'a god who is invoked with beautiful songs.' Thus suvriktya"h" or other cases of the same word stand by the side of stm"h" gra"h", Viii, 8, 22; of gra"h", I, 64, 1; Viii, 96, 10, comp. X, 64, 4; of brhma, Vii, 31, 11; 97, 9; of stmai"h", Vii, 96, 1; of dhtbhi"h", Vi, 61, 2; of "k"kh"oktibhi"h" matnm, I, 61, 3, and so on. Comp. also Vii, 83, 9. hvmahe vm v"ri"sha"n" suv"ri"ktbhi"h"; X, 41, 1. rtham suv"ri"ktbhi"h" vaym vyush"t" ushsa"h" havmahe; X, 80, 7. avo"k"ma suv"ri"ktm.

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This being the meaning of the word, I cannot think it probable--and herein I differ from the opinion pronounced by Prof. Max Mller, vol. xxxii, p. 109--that it stands in connection with the verb v"ri"g" in its well-known use referring to the Barhis. In my opinion (comp. also Geldner, Vedische Studien, I, 151) suv"ri"kt may be connected with another use of v"ri"g", with the meaning of this verb 'to draw a god towards himself, averting him from other sacrificers' (materials regarding this use of v"ri"g" have been collected by Geldner, loc. cit., 144). Or possibly the word may be derived, as Prof. von Roth believes, from "ri"k" (comp. suvita derived from i). It is true that the substantive "ri"kti does not occur by itself: but, as Prof. Max Mller remarks (loc. cit.), this would not be fatal to Prof. von Roth's etymology, because many other words in the Veda occur as uttarapadas only. If we accept this theory, we should of course have to separate suv"ri"kt from nmov"ri"kti and svv"ri"kti.

Verse 2.

Note 1. Comp. X, 46, 2. imm vidhnta"h" apm sadhsthe.

Note 2. Literally, 'doubly. In two places, in the abode of the waters and among the clans of man.' M. M. Compare, however, X, 46, 2 (see last note).

Note 3. Devnm arat"h"; comp. I, 58, 7, note 1.

Verse 3.

Note 1. The meaning seems to be that people going to settle anywhere, secure safety by ceremonies addressed to Mitra, i. e. possibly by concluding alliances which stand under the special protection of Mitra. Comp. Iv, 33, 10; H. O., Religion des Veda, 186, note 1.--Mitra is kshetrasdhas, Viii, 31, 14.

Verse 4.

Note 1. Svsya-iva seems to be corrupt. Possibly we might read syvas-iva push"t"h". In X, 11, 5 we read, sd asi ra"n"v"h", yvas-iva pshyate. Iv, 16, 15. ka"h" n ra"n"v sud"r"s"-iva push"t"h".--The translation of the traditional

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reading would be, 'His prosperity is delightful, like that of a person belonging to us.'

Note 2. Bhribhrat seems to be a participle: but then dodhavti must be accented (ddhavti).

Verse 5.

Note 1. On the verb pan, comp. Pischel, Vedische Studien, I, 199 seq.

Note 2. Vand seems to be, as Grassmann has seen, a compound of vn, 'the forest' (comp. the genitive vanm, the locative v"m"su), and of d. Of Agni is said several times 'vnni atti.'

Note 3. On the mythical ancestors designated as the U"s"i"g"as, see Bergaigne, I, 57 seq.

Verse 6.

Note 1. The forests, of course, are the fuel.

Note 2. To rthy-iva probably "k"akr (nom. plur.) is to be supplied.

Note 3. The 'laughing' of the sky is the lightning (Benfey, Vedica und Verwandtes, 138). The flames of Agni flash through the smoke as the lightning shines in the clouds.

Verse 7.

Note 1. See Geldner, Vedische Studien, II, 29 seq.; Roth, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlnd. Gesellschaft, Xlviii, 107.

Verse 8.

Note 1. The text has t"ri"tye vidthe (comp. I, 31, 6, note 2). Does this mean at the t"ri"tya-savana? Three vidathas are spoken of also in Vi, 51, 2; Vii, 66, 10.

Note 2. On the metrical irregularity, comp. H. O., Die Hymnen des Rig-veda, I, 67.

Verse 9.

Note 1. 'May prevail, destroying through thee the neighbours lying in ambush.' M. M. To me gh seems to be connected with vanvnta"h".
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