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

p. 82


A funeral hymn, and deprecation of Agni the Consumer of corpses

1This is no place to hold thee; mount the Nāda: this lead is
   thine appointed share. Come hither.
  Together with Consumption in the cattle, Consumption in our
   men, go henee, go southward.
2With this we chase and banish all consumptive malady and
  With sinner andamalicious man, with helper and with minister,
3Death and Misfortune we expel, Malignity we drive away.
  O Agni, thou who eatest not the corpse, eat him who hateth us:
   him whom we hate we send to thee. p. 83
4If the corpse-eating Agni, or a tiger leaving his lair, hath entered
   this our homestead,
  With beans prepared in butter I expel him: far let him go to
   fires that lie in waters.
5When, angered that a man hath died, we in our wrath have
   banished thee,
  That deed is easily set right through thee: we kindle thee again.
6Again have the Ādityas, Rudras, Vasus, the Brāhman, bringer
   of good things, O Agni,
  Again hath Brāhmanaspati disposed thee for long life lasting
   through a hundred autumns.
7I sweep afar, for sacrifice to Fathers, corpse-eating Agni who
   hath come among us,
  Although he saw this other, Jātavedas: in loftiest space let him
   inflame the caldron.
8I drive corpse-eating Agni to a distance: sin-laden let him go to
  Yamas vassals.
  Here let this other, Jātavedas, carry oblation to the Deities, fore-
9I quickly sweep away corpse-eating Agni, Death, with his bolt
   potdepriving men of motion.
  From household fire, well-knowing, I divide him: so in the
   world of Fathers be his portion.
10Corpse-eating Agni, toil-worn, meet for praises, I send away
   bypaths used by the Fathers.
  Stay there; keep watch among the Fathers: come not again to
   us by ways whereon Gods travel.
11They being cleansed and bright, the purifiers, kindle Sankasuka
   for our well-being.
  Impurity leaveth us and sin departeth: lighted by the good
   cleanser Agni cleanseth.
12Agni the God, the Breaker-up, hath mounted to the heights of
  Released from all transgression, he hath from the curse delivered
13On Agni here, the Breaker-up, we wipe impurities away.
  Cleansed, fit for sacrifice have we become: may he prolong our
14The Breaker-up, the Burster, the Destroyer, and the Silent One, p. 84
  These have expelled Consumption far, far off from thee ānd all
   thou hast,
15Corpse-eating Agni we expel, the Agni who bewilders men,
  Him who is in our horses, in our heroes, cows, and goats, and
16We drive thee forth to other folk, to alien cattle, alien steeds,
  Thee the corpse-eating Agni, thee the Agni who bewilders men,
17Whereon the Deities, whereon men too have purified themselves,
  Exalting fatness, cleanse thyself, Agni, therein and mount to
18O Agni, kindled and adored, turn not away to visit us.
  Shine brightly even there in heaven, so that we long may see the
19Wipe all away on lead and reed, on Agni, him who breaketh up,
  Then on a black-hued sheep, and on a cushion pain that racks.
   the head,
20Wipe off pollution, lay it in the lead and in the black-hued
  And headache in the cushion; then be cleansed and fit to sacri-
21Go onward, Death, pursue thy special pathway apart from that
   which Gods are wont to travel.
  To thee I say it who hast eyes and hearest: great grow the
   number of these men around us!
22Divided from the dead are these, the living: now is our calling
   on the Gods successful.
  We have gone forth for dancing and for laughter: may we with
   brave sons speak to the assembly.
23Here I erect this rampart for the living: let none of these, none
   other, reach this limit.
  May they survive a hundred lengthened autumns, and may they
   bury Death beneath this mountain.
24Live your full lives and find age delightful, all of you striving,
   one behind the other.
  May Tvashtar, maker of fair things, be gracious, and lead your
   whole lives on to full existence.
25As the days follow days in close succession, as with the seasons
   duly come the seasons.
  As each successor fails not his foregoer, so constitute the lives of
   these, Ordainer! p. 85
26Gather your strength, my friends; the stream flows stony:
   acquit yourselves as men, and cross the river.
  Abandon here the powers that were malignant, and let us cross
   to powers exempt from sickness.
27Rise up erect, cross over, my companions: the stream is stony
   that flows here before us.
  Abandon here the powers that were ungracious, and let us cross
   to powers benign and friendly.
28Becoming pure and bright and purifying begin the Vaisvadevi
   strain for splendour..
  May we rejoice, o'erpassing troublous places, with all our heroes
   through a hundred winters.
29On pathways swept by wind, directed upward, passing beyond
   the lower, on the higher,
  Thrice seven times have the Rishis, the Departed, forced Mrityu
   backward with the fastened fetter.
30Effecting Mrityu's footstep ye came hither, to further times pro-
   longing your existence,
  Seated, drive Mrityu to his proper dwelling: then may we,
   living, speak to the assembly.
31Let these unwidowed dames with goodly husbands adorn them-
   selves with fragrant balm and unguent,
  Decked with fair jewels, tearless, sound and healthy, first let the
   dames go up to where he lieth.
32I with oblation separate both classes, and with my prayer dis-
   part their several portions.
  I offer food that wastes not to the Fathers, a nd to these men
   give life of long duration.
33That Agni, Fathers! who, himself immortal, hath entered and
   possessed our mortal bosoms,
  Even him I grasp and hold the God with me, Let him not hate
   us, may we never hate him.
34When ye have left the household fire, with the Corpse-eater
   southward go.
  Do that which is delightful to the Fathers, Brāhmans, and your-
35Agni, the banqueter on flesh, not banished, for the eldest son
  Taketh a double share of wealth and spoileth it with poverty.
36What man acquires by plough, by war, all that he wins by toil
   of hand, p. 86
  He loses all if Agni the Carnivorous be not set aside,
37Unholy, splendour-reft is he, his sacrifice unfit to eat. Krayād
   deprives of tilth of cow, of riches him whom he pursues,
38Oft as a greedy beggar speaks the mortal who has brought
  Those whom Carnivorous Agni close at hand runs after and
39When a dame's husband dies the house is tangled fast in
  Grāhi's net.
  A learned Brāhman must be sought to drive Carnivorous Agni,
40From any evil we have done, act of impurity or sin,
  Let waters purge me and from all that comes from Agni
41By pathways travelled by the Gods these waters, well-knowing,
   from below have mounted upward.
  High on the summit of the raining mountain the ancient rivers
   fresh and new are flowing.
42Drive off Carnivorous Agni, thou Agni who eatest not the flesh;.
   carry oblation paid to Gods.
43The Flesh-eater hath entered him: he hath pursued the Flesh-
  Making two tigers different-wise, I bear away the ungracious
44He who holds Gods within himself, the rampart and defence of
  Agni, the sacred household fire, hath come and stands between
   them both.
45Prolong the lives of those who live, O Agni, Let the dead go
   unto world of Fathers.
  As goodly household fire burn up Arāti; give this man dawn
   brighter than all the mornings.
46Subduing all our adversaries, Agni, give us their food, their
   strength and their possessions.
47Grasp ye this Indra, furtherer, satisfier: he will release you
   from disgrace and trouble.
  With him drive back the shaft that flies against you, with him.
   ward off the missile shot by Rudra.
48Seize with firm hold the Ox who boundeth forward: he will
   uplift you from disgrace and trouble. p. 87
  Enter this ship of Savitar; let us flee from poverty over all the
   six expenses.
49Thou followest the day and night, supporting, standing, at
   peace, promoting, rich in heroes.
  Long bearing undiseased and happy sleepers, be ours, O Bed,
   with smell of man about thee,
50They sever from the Gods, they live in sin and misery evermore,
  Those whom from very near at hand Carnivorous Agni casteth
   down as a horse tramples down the reeds.
51The faithless, who from lust of wealth abide with him who feeds
   on flesh,
  For ever set upon the fire an alien caldron, not their own.
52Forward in spirit would he fly, and often turns he back again,
  Whomso Carnivorous Agni from anear discovers and torments.
53Among tame beasts the black ewe is thy portion, and the bright
   lead is thine, they say, Flesh-eater!
  Mashed beans have been assigned thee for oblation go seek the
   dark wood and the wildernesses.
54I sought the rustling sugar-cane, white Seasamum, and cane and
  I made this Indra's fuel, and the Fire of Yama I removed.
55Against the sinking western Sun I set them; each sundered path,
   knowing my way, I entered.
  I have warned off the ghosts of the Departed: to these I give
   the boon of long existence.

p. 88

Next: Hymn 3: An accompaniment to the preparation and presentation of sacrificial offerings by a householder and his wife, with prayer for prosperity and happiness on earth and in heaven