Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index 
Book 12 Index
  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

p. 103


On the duty of giving cows to Brāhmans, and the sin and danger of withholding the gift

1Created by toil and holy fervour, found by devotion, resting in
2Invested with truth, surrounded with honour, compassed about
   with glory;
3Girt round with inherent power, fortified with faith, protected,
   by consecration, installed at sacrifice, the world her resting-
4Brahma her guide, the Brāhman her lord and ruler;
5Of the Kshatriya who taketh to himself this Brāhman's cow and
   oppresseth the Brāhman.
6The glory, the heroism, and the favouring fortune depart.
7The energy and vigour, the power and might the speech and
   mental strength, the glory and duty;
8Devotion and princely sway, kingship and people, brilliance and
   honour, and splendour and wealth;
9Long life and goodly form, and name and fame, inbreathing and
   expiration, and sight, and hearing;
10Milk and flavour, and food and nourishment, and right and
   truth, and action and fulfilment, and children and cattle;
11All these blessings of a Kshatriya depart from him when he
   oppresseth the Brāhman and taketh to himself the hhman's
12Terrible is she this Brāhman's cow, and fearfully venomous,
   visibly witchcraft.
13In her are all horrors and all death.
14In her are all dreadful, deeds, all slaughters of mankind.
15This, the Brāhman's cow, being appropriated, holdeth bound in
   the fetter of Death the oppressor of the Brāhman, the blas-
   phemer of the Gods.
16A hundred-killing bolt is she: she slays the Brāhman's injurer.
17Therefore the Brāhmans' cow is held inviolable by the wise.
18Running she is a thunderbolt, when driven away she is Vaisvā-
19An arrow when she draweth up her hooves, and Mahādeva when
   she looketh around;
20Sharp as a razor when she beholdeth, she thundereth when she
   belloweth. p. 104
21Death is she when she loweth, and a fierce God when she whis-
   keth her tail;
22Utter destruction when she moveth her ears this way and that,
  Consumption when she droppeth water;
23A missile when milking, pain in the head when milked;
24The taking away of strength when she approacheth, a hand-to-
   hand fighter when roughly touched;
25Wounding like an arrow when she is fastened by her mouth,
   contention when she is beaten;
26Fearfully venomous when falling, darkness when she hath fallen
27Following him, the Brāhman's cow extinguisheth the vital breath
   of the injurer of the Brāhman.
28Hostility when being cut to pieces, woe to children when the
   portions are distributed,
29A destructive missile of Gods when she is being seized,
   misfortune when carried away;
30Misery while being additionally acquired, contumely and abuse
   while being put in the stall;
31Poison when in agitation, fever when seasoned with condi-
32Sin while she is cooking, evil dream when she is cooked;
33Uprooting when she is being turned round, destruction when she
   hath been turned round;
34Discord by her smell, grief when she is being eviscerated: ser-
   pent with poison in its fang when drawn;
35Loss of power while sacrificially presented, humiliation when she
   hath been offered;
36Wrathful Sarva while being carved. Simidā when cut up:
37Poverty while she is being eaten. Destruction when eaten.
38The Brāhman's cow when eaten cuts off the injurer of Brāhmans
   both from this world and from the world yonder.
39Her slaughter is the sin of witchcraft, her cutting-up is a thunder-
   bolt, her undigested grass is a secret spell.
40Homelessness is she when denied her rights.
41Having become Flesh-eating Agni the Brāhman's cow entereth
   into and devoureth the oppressor of Brāhmans.
42She sunders all his members, joints, and roots.
43She cuts off relationship on the father's side and destroys mater-
   nal kinship. p. 105
44The Brāhman's cow, not restored by a Kshatriya, ruins the
   marriages and all the kinsmen of the Brāhman's oppressor.
45She makes him houseless, homeless, childless: he is extinguished
   without posterity to succeed him.
046. So shall it be with the Kshatriya who takes to himself the cow
   of the Braman who hath this knowledge.
47Quickly, when he is smitten down by death, the clamorous vul-
   tures cry:
48Quickly around his funeral fire dance women with dishevelled
  Striking the hand upon the breast and uttering their evil shriek.
49Quickly the wolves are howling in the habitation where he
50Quickly they ask about him, What is this? What thing hath
   happened here?
51Rend, rend to pieces, rend away, destroy, destroy him utterly.
52Destroy Angirasi! the wretch who robs and wrongs the Brah-
   mans, born.
53Of evil womb, thou witchcraft hid, for Vaisvadevi is thy name,
54Consuming, burning all things up, the thunderbolt of spell and
55Go thou, becoming Mrityu sharp as razor's edge pursue thy
56Thou bearest off the tyrants' strength, their store of merit, and
   their prayers.
57Bearing off wrong, thou givest in that world to him who hath
   been wronged.
58O Cow, become a tracker through the curse the Brāhman hath
59Become a bolt, an arrow through his sin, be terribly venomous.
60O Cow, break thou the head of him who wrongs the Brāhmans,
   criminal, niggard, blasphemer of the Gods.
61Let Agni burn the spiteful wretch when crushed to death and
   slain by thee.
62Rend, rend to bits, rend through and through, scorch and con-
   sume and burn to dust,
63Consume thou, even from the root, the Brāhmans' tyrant, god-
   like Cow!
64That he may go from Yama's home afar into the worlds of sin.
   its p. 106
65So, Goddess Cow, do thou from him, the Brāhmans' tyrant,
   criminal, niggard, blasphemer of the Gods,
66With hundred-knotted thunderbolt, sharpened and edged with
67Strike off the shoulders and the head.
68Snatch thou the hair from off his head, and from his body strip
   the skin:
69Tear out his sinews, cause his flesh to fall in pieces from his
70Crush thou his bones together, strike and beat the marrow out
   of him.
71Dislocate all his limbs and joints.
72From earth let the Carnivorous Agni drive him, let Vayu burn.
   him from mid-air's broad region.
73From heaven let Sūrya drive him and consume him.

Next: Hymn 1: The glorification of Rohita, a form of Fire and of the Sun