Hymns of the Atharva Veda, by Ralph T.H. Griffith, , at sacred-texts.com
1How on the Gāyatri the Gāyatri was based; how from the
Trishtup they fashioned the Trishtup forth:
How on the Jagatī was based the Jagatī—they who know this
have won themselves immortal life.
2With Gāyatri he measures out the praise-song, Sāman with
praise-song, triplet with the Trishtup, p. a387
The triplet with the two or four-foot measure, and with the
syllable they form seven metres.
3With Jagatī the flood in heaven he stablished, and saw the Sun
in the Rathantara Sāman.
Gāyatri hath, they say, three logs for burning: hence it excels
in majesty and vigour.
4I invocate this Milch-cow good at milking, so that the Milker,
deft of hand, may milk her.
May "Savitar give goodliest stimulation. The caldron is made
hot: he will proclaim it.
5She, Lady of all treasures, hath come hither, yearning in spirit
for her calf, and lowing.
May this Cow yield her milk for both the Asvins, and may she
prosper to our high advantage.
6The Cow hath lowed after her blinking youngling: she licks his
forehead as she lows, to form it.
His mouth she fondly calls to her warm udder, and suckles him
with milk while gently lowing.
7He also snorts, by whom encompassed round the Cow lows as
she closely clings to him who sheds the rain.
She with her shrilling cries hath humbled mortal men, and turn-
ed to lightning, hath stripped off her covering robe.
8That which hath breath and life and speed and motion lies
firmly stablished in the midst of houses.
The living moves by powers of the departed: the immortal is
the brother of the mortal.
9The old hath waked the young Moon from his slumber, who
runs his circling course with many round him.
Behold the God's high wisdom in its greatness: he who died
yesterday to-day is living.
10He who hath made him doth not comprehend him: from him
who saw him surely he is hidden.
He, yet enveloped in his mother's bosom, source of much life,
hath sunk into destruction.
11I saw the Herdsman, him who never stumbles, approaching by
his pathways and departing.
He clothed with gathered and diffusive splendours, within the
worlds continually travels.
12Dyaus is our father, our begetter: kinship is here. This great
Earth is our kin and mother. p. a388
Between the wide-spread world-halves is the birth-place. The
Father laid the Daughter's germ within it.
13I bid thee tell me earth's extremest limit, about the Stallion's
genial flow I ask thee;
I ask about the universe's centre, and touching highest heaven
where Speech abideth.
14The earth's most distant limit is this altar: this Soma is the
Stallion's genial humour;
This sacrifice the universe's centre: this Brāhman highest heaven
where Speech abideth.
15What thing I truly am I know not clearly: mysterious, fettered
in my mind I wander.
When the first-born of holy Law approached me, then of this
Speech I first obtain a portion.
16Back, forward goes he, grasped by power inherent, immortal
born the brother of the mortal.
Ceaseless they move in opposite directions: men mark the one
and fail to mark the other.
17Seven germs unripened yet are Heaven's prolific seed: their
functions they maintain by Vishnu's ordinance.
Endued with wisdom through intelligence and thought, present
on every side they compass us about.
18Upon what syllable of holy praise-hymn, as 'twere their highest
heaven, the Gods repose them
Who knows not this, what will he do with praise-hymn? But
they who know it well sit here assembled.
19They, ordering the verse's foot by measure, with the half-verse
arranged each thing that moveth.
Prayer was diffused in many forms three-footed thereby the
world's four regions have their being
20Fortunate mayst thou be with goodly pasture, and may we also
be exceeding wealthy.
Feed on the grass, O Cow, through all the seasons, and coming
hitherward drink limpid water.
21Forming the water-floods the Cow herself hath lowed, one-foot-
ed or two-footed or four-footed, she,
Who hath become eight-footed or acquired nine feet, the uni-
verse's thousand-syllabled Pankti. From her descend in
streams the seas of water. p. a389
22Dark the descent: the birds are golden-coloured. Robed in the
floods they fly aloft to heaven.
Again from Order's seat have they descended, and inundated all
the earth with fatness.
23The footless Maid precedeth footed creatures. Who marketh,
Mitra Varuna! this your doing?
The Babe unborn supporteth this world's burthen, supporteth
Right and watcheth Wrong and Falsehood.
24Virāj is Speech, and Earth, and Air's mid-region. He is Praja-
pati, and he is Mrityu.
He is the Lord Imperial of the Sādhyas. He rules what is and
what shall be hereafter. May he make me lord of what is and
251 saw from far away the smoke of fuel with spires that rose on
high o'er that beneath it.
The heroes cooked and dressed the spotted bullock. These were
the customs in the days aforetime.
26Three with long tresses show in ordered season. One of them
sheareth when the year is ended.
One with his powers the universe regardeth. Of one the sweep
is seen, but not the figure.
27Speech hath been measured out in four divisions: the Brāhmans
who have wisdom comprehend them.
Three, kept in close concealment, cause no motion. Of Speech
men speak the fourth division only.
28They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni; and he is heavenly
That which is One bards call by many a title: they call It Agni,
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