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Hymns of the Atharva Veda, by Ralph T.H. Griffith, [1895], at

p. 1



A charm against witchcraft

1Afar let her depart: away we drive her whom, made with hands,
  Skilled men prepare and fashion like a bride amid her nuptial
2Complete, with head and nose and ears, all-beauteous, wrought
   with magic skill
  Afar let her depart: away we drive her.
3Made by a Sidra or a Prince, by priests or women let her go.
  Back to her maker as her kin, like a dame banished by her lord.
4I with this salutary herb have ruined all their magic arts,
  The spell which they have cast upon thy field, thy cattle, or thy
5Ill fall on him who doeth ill, on him who curseth fall the
  We drive her back that she may slay the man who wrought the
6Against her comes the Angirasa, the Priest whose eye is over us.
  Turn back all witcheries and slay those practisers of magic arts.
7Whoever said to thee, Go forth against the foeman up the
  To him, O Krityā, go thou back. Pursue not us, the sinless
8He who composed thy limbs with thought as a deft joiner builds
   a car,
  Go to him: thither lies thy way. This man is all unknown to
9The cunning men, the sorcerers who fashioned thee and held thee
   fast,— p. 2
  This cures and mars their witchery, this, repellent, drives it back
   the way it came. With this we make thee swim.
10When we have found her ducked and drenched, a hapless cow
   whose calf hath died,
  Let all my woe depart and let abundant riches come to me.
11If, as they gave thy parents aught, they named thee, or at sacri-
  From all their purposed evil let these healing herbs deliver thee.
12From mention of thy name, from sin against the Fathers or the
  These herbs of healing shall by prayer release thee, by power,
   by holy texts, the milk of .Rishis.
13As the wind stirs the dust from earth and drives the rain cloud
   from the sky,
  So, chased and banished by the spell, all misery departs from
14Go with a resonant cry, depart, like a she-ass whose cords are
  Go to thy makers: hence! away! Go driven by the potent
15This, Krityā, is thy path, we say, and guide thee. We drive thee
   back who hast been sent against us.
  Go by this pathway, breaking loose for onslaught even as a host
   complete with cars and horses.
16No path leads hitherward for thee to travel. Turn thee from us:
   far off, thy light is yonder.
  Fly hence across the ninety floods, the rivers most hard to pass.
  Begone, and be not wounded.
17As wind the trees, so smite and overthrow them: leave not cow,
   horse, or man of them surviving
  Return, O Krityā, unto those who made thee. Wake them from
   sleep to find that they are childless.
18The charm or secret power which they have buried for thee in
   sacred grass, field, cemetery,
  Or spell in household fire which men more cunning have
   wrought against thee innocent and simple,—
19That tool of hatred, understood, made ready, stealthy and buried
   deep, have we discovered, p. 3
  Let that go back to whence it came, turn thither like a horse
   and kill the children of the sorcerer.
20Within our house are swords of goodly iron. Krityā, we know
   thy joints and all their places.
  Arise this instant and begone! What, stranger! art thou seek-
   ing here?
21O Krityā, I will cut thy throat and hew thy feet off. Run, be-
  Indra and Agni, Guardian Lords of living creatures, shield us
22May Soma, gracious friend, imperial Sovran, and the world's
  Masters look on us with favour.
23Bhava and Sarva cast the flash of lightning, the weapon of the
  Gods, against the sinner who made the evil thing, who deals
   in witchcraft!
24If thou hast come two-footed or four-footed, made by the
   sorcerer, wrought in perfect beauty,
  Become eight-footed and go hence. Speed back again, thou evil
25Anointed, balmed, and well adorned, bearing all trouble with
   thee, go.
  Even as a daughter knows her sire, so know thy marker, Krityā,
26Krityā, begone, stay not. Pursue as 'twere the wounded crea-
   ture's track.
  He is the chase, the hunter thou he may not slight or humble thee.
27He waits, and aiming with his shaft smites him who first would
   shoot at him,
  And, when the foeman deals a blow before him, following strikes
   him down.
28Hearken to this my word; then go thither away whence thou
   hast come; to him who made thee go thou back.
29The slaughter of an innocent, O Krityā, is an awful deed. Slay
   not cow, horse, or man of ours.
  In whatsoever place thou art concealed we rouse thee up there-
   from: become thou lighter than a leaf.
30If ye be girt about with clouds of darkness, bound as with a
  We rend and tear all witcheries hence and to their maker send
   them back. p. 4
31The brood of wizard, sorcerer, the purposer of evil deed.
  Crush thou, O Krityā spare not, kill those practisers of magic
32As Sūrya frees himself from depth of darkness, and casts away
   the night and rays of morning,
  So I repel each baleful charm which an enchanter hath pre-
  And, as an elephant shakes off the dust, I cast the plague aside.

Next: Hymn 2: Purusha, Primeval Man or humanity personified