Vedic Hymns, Part I (SBE32), by Max Müller, , at sacred-texts.com
1. Sing forth, O Kanvas, to the sportive host of your Maruts, brilliant on their chariots, and unscathed 1,—
2. They who were born together, self-luminous, with the spotted deer (the clouds) 1, the spears, the daggers, the glittering ornaments 2.
3. I hear their 1 whips, almost close by, when they crack them in their hands; they gain splendour 2 on their way 3.
4. Sing forth the god-given prayer to the wild 1 host of your Maruts, endowed with terrible vigour 2 and strength.
5. Celebrate the bull among the cows (the storm among the clouds) 1, for it is the sportive host of the Maruts; he grew as he tasted the rain 2.
6. Who, O ye men, is the strongest among you here, ye shakers of heaven and earth, when you shake them like the hem of a garment 1?
7. At your approach the son of man holds himself down; the gnarled cloud 1 fled at your fierce anger.
8. They at whose racings 1 the earth, like a hoary king, trembles for fear on their ways,
9. Their birth is strong indeed: there is strength to come forth from their mother, nay, there is vigour twice enough for it 1.
10. And these sons, the singers 1, stretched out the fences in their racings 2; the cows had to walk knee-deep.
11. They cause this long and broad unceasing rain 1 to fall on their ways.
12. O Maruts, with such strength as yours, you have caused men to tremble 1, you have caused the mountains to tremble.
13. As the Maruts pass 1 along, they talk together on the way: does any one hear them?
14. Come fast on your quick steeds! there are worshippers 1 for you among the Kanvas: may you well rejoice among them.
15. Truly there is enough for your rejoicing. We always are their servants, that we may live even the whole of life.
This hymn is ascribed to Kanva, the son of Ghora.
Verse 1 = TS. IV, 3, 13, 6.
Verse 3 = SV. I, 135.
Verse 10 = SV. I, 221.
Wilson: Celebrate, Kanvas, the aggregate strength of the Maruts, sportive, without horses, but shining in their car.
Benfey: Kanviden, auf! begrüsst mit Sang, die muntre Heerschaar der Marut’s, die rasch’ste, wagenglänzende.
Ludwig: Eurer spilenden schar, der Marutschar, der unangreifbaren, die auf wagen glänzt, der singt, o Kanvâs, zu.
Note 1. Wilson translates anarvâ´nam by without horses, though the commentator distinctly explains the word by without an enemy. A Brâhmana passage explains: bhrâtrivyo vâ arvâ, ity srutyantarât. See TS. IV, 3, 13, 6. Wilson considers it doubtful whether árvan can ever mean enemy. The fact is, that in the Rig-veda an-arván never means without horses, but always without hurt or free from enemies; and the commentator is perfectly right, as far as the sense is concerned, in rendering the word by without an enemy, or unopposed (apraty-rita). An-arván is not formed from árvat, horse, racer, but from árvan; and this is derived from the same root which yields árus, n. a wound, riti (see I, 64, 15, note), &c. The accusative of anarvat, without a horse, would be anarvantam, not anarvânam.
The root ar, in the sense of hurting, is distantly connected with the root mar: see Lectures on the Science of Language, Second Series, p. 323. It exists in the Greek ὄλλυμι corresponding to Sanskrit rinomi, i. e. arnomi, I hurt, likewise
in οὐλή, wound, which cannot be derived from ὅλη; in οὖλος, οὔλιος, hurtful, and ὀλοός, destructive: see Curtius, Grundzüge der Griechischen Etymologie (fünfte Ausgabe), p. 372. In the Veda ar has the sense of offending or injuring, particularly if preceded by upa.
X, 164, 3. yát â-sásâ nih-sásâ abhi-sásâ upa-ârimá gâ´gratah yát svapántah, agníh vísvâni ápa duh-kritâ´ni águshtâni âré asmát dadhâtu.
If we have offended, or whatever fault we have committed, by bidding, blaming, or forbidding, while waking or while sleeping, may Agni remove all wicked misdeeds far from us.
Hence upârá, injury, VII, 86, 6. ásti gyâ´yân kánîyasah upa-aré, the older man is there to injure, to offend, to mislead, the young: (History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, second edition, p. 541.) Roth translates upârá by Verfehlung, missing. Ari, enemy, too, is best derived from this root, and not from râ, to give, with the negative particle, as if meaning originally, as Sâyana supposes, a man who does not give. In árarivân, gen. árarushah, hostile, Rosen recognised many years ago a participle of a really reduplicated perfect of ar, and he likewise traced aráru, enemy, back to the same root: see his note to I, 18, 3.
From this root ar, to hurt, árvan, hurting, as well as árus, wound, are derived in the same manner as both dhánvan and dhánus, bow, are formed from dhan; yágvan and yágus from yag, párvan and párus from par. See Kuhn, Zeitschrift, vol. ii, p. 233.
Anarván, then, is the same as ánarus, Sat. P. Brâhmana III, 1, 3, 7; and from meaning originally without a wound or without one who can wound, it takes the more general sense of uninjured, invulnerable, perfect, strong, (cf. integer, intact, and entire.) This meaning is applicable to I, 94, 2; 136, 5; II, 6, 5; V, 49, 4; VII, 20, 3; 97, 5; X, 61, 13; 65, 3. In I, 116, 16, anarván seems to be used as an adverb; in I, 51, 12, as applied to slóka, it may have the more general meaning of irresistible, powerful.
There are two passages in which the nom. sing. árvân, and one in which the acc. sing. árvânam, occur, apparently
meaning horse. But in I, 163, 13, and IX, 97, 25, árvân stands in the Pada text only, the Samhitâ has árvâ̐ ákkha and árvâ̐ iva. In X, 46, 5, the text híri-smasrum ná árvânam dhána-arkam is too doubtful to allow of any safe induction, particularly as the Sâma-veda gives a totally different reading. I do not think, therefore, that árvat, horse, admits in the nom. and acc. sing. of any forms but árvâ and árvantam a. Pânini (VI, 4, 127) allows the forms arvân and arvânam, but in anarvan only, which, as we saw, has nothing in common with árvat, horse. Benfey: 'die rascheste (keinen Renner habend, uneinholbar),' the quickest (having no racer, hence not to be reached). M. Bergaigne (Journ. As. 1884, p. 188) tries to defend anarvan in the sense of anasva, without considering the grammatical objections. In VI, 66, 7 (not I, 6, 7) anasváh does not refer to yâmah.
The masculine anarvâ´nam after the neuter sárdhas is curious; sárdhas means might, but it is here used to express a might or an aggregate of strong men or gods, and the nom. plur. yé, who, in the next verse, shows the same transition of thought, not only from the singular to the plural, but also from the neuter to the masculine, which must be admitted in anarvâ´nam b. It would be possible, if necessary, to explain away the irregularity of anarvâ´nam by admitting a rapid transition from the Maruts to Indra, the eldest among the Maruts (cf. I, 23, 8. índra gyeshthâh márut-ganâh), and it would be easier still to alter sárdhas into sârdham, as an accusative singular of the masculine noun sárdha, which has the same meaning as the neuter sárdhas. There is one passage, V, 56, 9, which would seem to give ample countenance to such a conjecture:
tám vah sárdham rathe-súbham—â´ huve.
I call hither this your host, brilliant on chariots.
Again, II, 30, u, we read:
tám vah sárdham mâ´rutam—girâ´ úpa bruve.
I call with my voice on this your host of Maruts.
VIII, 93, 16. srutám vah vritrahán-tamam prá sárdham karshanînâ´m, â´ sushe.
I pant for the glorious, victorious, host of the quick Maruts.
From this sárdha we have also the genitive sárdhasya, VII, 56, 8 (4):
subhráh vah súshmah krúdhmî mánâmsi dhúnih múnihiva sárdhasya dhrishnóh.
Your prowess is brilliant, your minds furious; the shout of the daring host is like one possessed.
We have likewise the dative sárdhâya, the instrumental sárdhena, and the acc. plur. sárdhân; and in most cases, except in two or three where sárdha seems to be used as an adjective, meaning strong, these words are applied to the host of the Maruts.
But the other word sárdhas is equally well authenticated, and we find of it, not only the nominative, accusative, and vocative sing. sárdhas, but likewise the nom. plur. sárdhâmsi.
The nominative singular occurs in our very hymn:
I, 37, 5. krilám yát sárdhah mâ´rutam.
Which is the sportive host of the Maruts.
I, 127, 6. sáh hí sárdhah ná mâ´rutam tuvi-svánih.
For he (Agni) is strong-voiced like the host of the Maruts.
IV, 6, 10. tuvi-svanásah mâ´rutam ná sárdhah.
Thy flames (Agni) are strong-voiced like the host of the Maruts.
V, 46, 5. utá tyát nah mâ´rutam sárdhah â´ gamat.
May also that host of the Maruts come to us.
II, 1, 5. tvám narâ´m sárdhah asi puru-vásuh.
Thou (Agni), full of riches, art the host of the men.
This host of men seems to me intended again for the Maruts, although it is true that in thus identifying Agni with different gods, the poet repeats himself in the next verse:
II, 1, 6. tvám sárdhah mâ´rutam.
Thou art the host of the Maruts.
If this repetition seems offensive, the first narâ´m sárdhas might be taken for some other company of gods. Thus we find:
VII, 44, 5. srinótu nah daívyam sárdhah agníh i srinvántu vísve mahishâ´h ámûrâh.
May the divine host, may Agni, hear us, may the Visve hear us, the strong, the wise.
Or III, 19, 4. sáh â´ vaha devâ-tâtim yavishtha sárdhah yát adyá divyám yágâsi.
Bring thou hither, O Agni, the gods, that you may sacrifice to-day to the divine host.
Or I, 139, 1. â´ nú tát sárdhah divyám vrinîmahe.
We chose for us now that divine host.
As in these last, so in many other passages, sárdhas is used as a neuter in the accusative. For instance,
I, 106, 1; II, 11, 14. mâ´rutam sárdhah.
II, 3, 3; VI, 3, 8. sárdhah marútâm.
The vocative occurs,
V, 46, 2. ágne índra váruna mítra dévâh sárdhah prâ yanta mâ´ruta utá vishno (íti).
Agni, Indra, Varuna, Mitra, gods, host of the Maruts, come forth, and Vishnu!
We see how throughout all these passages those in which sárdha and sárdhas are applied to the Maruts, or to some other company of gods, preponderate most decidedly. Yet passages occur in the Rig-veda where both sárdha, and sárdhas are applied to other hosts or companies. Thus V, 53, 10, sárdha refers to chariots, while in I, 133, 3, sárdhas is applied to evil spirits.
If the passages hitherto examined were all that occur in the Rig-veda, we might still feel startled at the construction of our verse, where sárdhas is not only followed by masculine adjectives in the singular, but, in the next verse, by a pronoun in the plural. But if we take the last irregularity first, we find the same construction, viz. sárdhas followed by yé, in III, 32, 4:
índrasya sárdhah marútah yé â´san.
The host of Indra, that was the Maruts.
As to the change of genders, we find adjectives in the masculine after sárdhas, in
V, 52, 8. sárdhah mâ´rutam út samsa satyâ-savasam ríbhvasam.
Celebrate the host of the Maruts, the truly vigorous, the brilliant.
Here, too, the poet afterwards continues in the plural, though as he uses the demonstrative, and not, as in our passage, the relative pronoun, we cannot quote this in support of the irregularity which has here to be explained. Anyhow the construction of our verse, though bold and unusual, is not so unusual as to force us to adopt conjectural remedies. In V, 58, 2, we find yé after ganáh. On the Umbrian Çerfo Martio, as possibly the same as sárdha-s mâ´ruta-s, see Grassman, Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vol. xvi, p. 190. The Zend saredha, kind, species, is the same word.
Wilson: Who, borne by spotted deer, were born self-radiant, with weapons, war-cries, and decorations.
Benfey: Die mit Hirschen and Speeren gleich mit Donnern and mit Blitzen auch—selbststrahlende—geboren sind.
Ludwig: Die mit vilfarbigen speeren, mit der schwerter glanze, sichtbar wurden mit eignem leuchten.
Note 1. The spotted deer (príshatî) are the recognised animals of the Maruts, and were originally, as it would seem, intended for the rain-clouds. Sâyana is perfectly aware of the original meaning of príshatî, as clouds. The legendary school, he says, takes them for deer with white spots, the etymological school for many-coloured lines of clouds: (RV. BH. I, 64, 8.) This passage shows that although príshatî, as Roth observes, may mean a spotted cow or a spotted horse,—the Maruts, in fact, are called sometimes prishat-asvâh, having piebald horses, or, having prishats for their horses, VII, 40, 3,—yet the later tradition in India had distinctly declared in favour of spotted deer. The Vedic poets, however, admitted both ideas, and they speak in the same hymn, nay, in the same verse, of the fallow deer and of the horses of the Maruts. Thus V, 58, 1, the Maruts are called âsú-asvâh, possessed of quick horses; and in V, 58, 6, we read yát prá áyâsishta príshatîbhih ásvaih—ráthebhih, where the gender of príshatîbhih
would hardly allow us to join it with ásvaih, but where we must translate: When you come with the deer, the horses, the chariots, or with your deer, as horses. Ludwig joins prishatîbhih with rishtibhih, and again in I, 64, 8; see note i to I, 87, 4.
Note 2. The spears and daggers of the Maruts are meant for the thunderbolts, and the glittering ornaments for the lightning. Sâyana takes vâ´sî in this passage for war-cries on the authority of the Nirukta, where vâ´sî is given among the names of the voice. From other passages, however, it becomes clear that vâ´sî is a weapon of the Maruts; and Sâyana, too, explains it sometimes in that sense: cf. V, 53, 4; 57, 2. Thus I, 88, 3, the vâ´sîs are spoken of as being on the bodies of the Maruts. In V, 53, 4, the Maruts are said to shine in their ornaments and their vâ´sîs. Here Sâyana, too, translates vâ´sî rightly by weapon; and in his remarks on I, 88, 3, he says that vâ´sî was a weapon commonly called ârâ, which is a shoemaker's awl. See Dhammapada, ver. 401. This reminds one of framea, which at one time was supposed to he connected with the German pfrieme. See, however, Grimm (Deutsche Grammatik, vol. i, p. 128) and Leo Meyer (Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vol. vi, p. 424). In VIII, 29, 3, the god Tvashtar is said to carry an iron vâ´sî in his hand. Grassman (Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vol. xvi, p. 163) translates vâ´sî by axe. That is to be taken in the sense of ornament, and not in the sense of ointment, is shown by passages like VIII, 29, 1, where a golden ornament is mentioned, añgí aṅkte hiranyáyam. Sâkám, together, is used with reference to the birth of the Maruts; see I, 64, 4. It should not be connected with vâ´sîbhih.
Wilson: I hear the cracking of the whips in their hands, wonderfully inspiring (courage) in the fight.
Benfey: Schier hier erschallt der Peitsche Knall, wenn sie in ihrer Hand erklingt; leuchtend fahr’n sie im Sturm herab.
Ludwig: Als ware es hier, so hört man es, wenn die geisslen in ihren händen knallen; wunderbar strecken sie auf ihrer fart sich nieder.
Note 1. Eshâm should be pronounced as a creticus; also in verses 9, 13, 15. This is a very common vyûha. On the whips as lightning, see Grimm, Donner, p. 27.
Note 2. I should have taken kitrám as an adverb, like Benfey, if ni riñg were not usually construed with an accusative. Riñg in the 3rd pers. plur. pres. Âtm. is treated like a verb of the Ad-class. The SV. seems to read yâmam, and the commentator explains it by ratham.
Note 3. The locative yâ´man is frequently used of the path on which the gods move and approach the sacrifice; hence it sometimes means, as in our passage, in the sky. Yâ´mam in BR., s. v. arg, is wrong.
We might also translate: 'Here, close by, I hear what the whips in their hands say; they drive forth the beautiful (chariot) on the road.' See SV. I, 2, 1, 5, 1, comm.
Wilson: Address the god-given prayer to those who are your strength, the destroyers of foes, the powerful, possessed of brilliant reputation.
Benfey: Singt eurer Schaar, der wühlenden, der strahlenreichen, kräftigen ein gotterfülletes Gebet!
Ludwig: Eurer künen schar, von blendender herlichkeit, der kraftvollen, soll ein von den göttern eingegebenes brahma gesungen werden.
Note 1. Benfey translates ghríshvi by burrowing, and refers it to the thunderbolt that uproots the earth. He points out that ghríshvi means also, for the same reason, the boar, as proved by Kuhn (Die Herabkunft des Feuers, S. 202). Ghrishti is evidently a common name for boar, the Norse gríss, and the god of the wind, Grimnir or Grimr, is conceived as a boar, shaking the cornfield, in such phrases as 'Der Eber geht ins Korn' (Gentha, l. c. p. 14). I prefer, however, in this place the general sense assigned to the adjective ghríshu and ghríshvi, exuberant, brisk, wild. See Kuhn in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vol. xi, p. 385. Wilson, after Sâyana, translates destroyers of foes. On the representation of the clouds as boars, see Nir. V, 4.
Note 2. Tveshá-dyumna is difficult to render. Both
tveshá and dyumná are derived from roots that mean to shine, to be bright, to glow. Derivatives from tvish express the idea of fieriness, fierceness, and fury. In IV, 17, 2, tvish is used correlatively, with manyú, wrath. Derivatives from dyu convey the idea of brightness and briskness. Both qualities are frequently applied to the Maruts.
Wilson: Praise the sportive and resistless might of the Maruts, who were born amongst kine, and whose strength has been nourished by (the enjoyment of) the milk.
Benfey: Preist hoch die muntre Marutschaar die unbesiegbar in den Küh’n, im Schlund des Safts wuchs sie heran.
Ludwig: Preise wie unter kühen den stier, (so) der Marut spilende schar, beim verschlingen des saftes ist sie grosz geworden.
Note 1. This translation is merely conjectural. I suppose that the wind driving the clouds before him, is here compared to a bull among cows, cf. V, 52, 3:
té syandrâ´sah ná ukshánah áti skandanti sárvarîh.
They, the Maruts, like rushing bulls, mount on the dark cows.
The last sentence states that the wind grows even stronger after it has tasted the rain (I, 85, 2. té ukshitâ´sah mahimâ´nam âsata).
Note 2. I take gámbhe in the sense of gámbhane. (On the root gabh and its derivatives, see Kuhn, Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft, vol. i, p. 123 seq.) It would be better to read mukhe, instead of sukhe, in the commentary. The Maruts were not born of milk for Prisni, as Wilson says in a note, but from the milk of Prisni. Prisni is called their mother, Rudra their father: (V, 52, 16; 60, 5.)
Benfey takes the cows for clouds in which the lightnings dwell; and the abyss of the sap is by him supposed to be again the clouds.
Wilson: Which is chief leader among you, agitators of heaven and earth, who shake all around, like the top (of a tree)?
Benfey: Wer, Helden! ist der erste euch—ihr Erd- und Himmel-schû´tterer!—wenn ihr sie schû´ttelt Wipfeln gleich?
Ludwig: Wer ist der grô´sste bei euch, helden, wenn vom himel und der erde, schû´tteler, ihr am saume gleichsam rû´ttelt!
Note 1. Ántam ná, literally, like an end, is explained by Sâyana as the top of a tree. Wilson, Langlois, and Benfey accept that interpretation. Roth proposes, like the hem of a garment, which I prefer; for vastrânta, the end of a garment, is a common expression in later Sanskrit, while anta is never applied to a tree in the sense of the top of a tree. Here agra would be more appropriate.
Wilson: The householder, in dread of your fierce and violent approach, has planted a firm (buttress); for the many-ridged mountain is shattered (before you).
Benfey: Vor eurem Gange beuget sich, vor eurem wilden Zorn der Mann; der Hügel weichet und der Berg.
Ludwig: Vor eurem anzug, eurem gewaltigen eifer, niederduckte sich der mensch, wich der festgeknotete [wolken]berg.
Note 1. Sâyana translates: 'Man has planted a firm buttress to give stability to his dwelling.' The reading ni for ni, which Aufrecht adopted, is untenable, as Ludwig shows. It has been altered in the second edition. See also VIII, 7, 5, ni yemiré. Nidadhré is the perfect Âtmanepada, and expresses the holding down of the head or the cowering attitude of man. I have taken ugrâ´ya manyáve over to gíhîta, because these words could hardly form an apposition to yâ´mâya. As the Vedic poets speak of the very mountains as shaken by the storms, we might translate párvato giríh by the gnarled or rocky mount;
but there is no authority for translating gíhîta by it is shattered, and we should have to translate, the mountain yielded or bent before your anger. Cf. V, 57, 3:
ní vah vánâ gihate yâ´manah bhiyâ´.
The forests get out of your way from fear.
V, 60, 2. vánâ kit ugrâh gihate ní vah bhiyâ´ prithivî´ kit regate párvatah kit.
Even the forests, ye fearful Maruts, yield from fear of you; even the earth trembles, even the mountain.
In I, 166, 5, yát tveshá-yâmâh nadáyanta párvatân, we may translate 'when they on their fiery course made the parvatas (clouds) to sound or thunder,' but it is more likely that nâdayati here means to cause to shake or vibrate, and that parvata stands for mountain. We ought to remember such poetical expressions as 1 Kings xix. 11, 'and a great, strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord.'
Wilson: At whose impetuous approach earth trembles; like an enfeebled monarch, through dread (of his enemies).
Benfey: Bei deren Lauf bei deren Sturm die Erde zittert voller Furcht, wie ein altergebeugter Mann.
Ludwig: Bei deren märschen zitterte wie ein gealtet stammeshaupt die erd vor furcht auf ihren wegen.
Note 1. Ágma seems to express the act of racing or running (like âgi, race, battle), while yâ´ma is the road itself where the racing takes place. A very similar passage occurs in I, 87, 3. The comparison of the earth (fem.) to a king (masc.) would be considered a grave offence in the later Sanskrit literature. In I, 87, 3, vithurâ´ takes the place of vispáti.
Wilson: Stable is their birthplace, (the sky); yet the birds (are able) to issue from (the sphere of) their parent: for your strength is everywhere (divided) between two (regions,—or, heaven and earth).
Benfey: Kaum geboren sind sie so stark, dass ihrer Mutter sie entfliehn: ist ja doch zwiefach ihre Kraft.
Ludwig: Denn fest ist ihr geburtsort, vögel (sind sie) von der mutter fortzugehn, nach dem, wie von altersher ihre kraft.
Oder, Denn fest ist ihre kraft geworden von der mutter sich zu trennen, da schon von alters her ihre kraft diss wollte.
Note 1. A very difficult verse. The birth of the Maruts is frequently alluded to, as well as their surpassing strength, as soon as born. Hence the first sentence admits of little doubt. But what follows is very abrupt. Váyas may be the plural of vi, bird, or it may be váyas, the neuter, meaning vital strength: see Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vol. xv, p. 217. The Maruts are frequently compared to birds (cf. I, 87, 2; 88, I), but it is usual to indicate the comparison by ná or iva. I therefore take váyas as a nom. sing. neut., in the sense of vigour, life. They are called brihadvayasah in a Nivid; see Ludwig, p. 226. Nir-i is used with particular reference to the birth of a child (cf. V, 78, 7; 9).
Wilson: They are the generators of speech: they spread out the waters in their courses: they urge the lowing (cattle) to enter (the water), up to their knees, (to drink.)
Benfey: In ihrem Lauf erheben dann diese Söhne Getös und Fluth, die bis zum Knie den Kühen geht.
Ludwig: Und dise söne, die sänger, denten auf ihren zügen ihre banen aus, so dass brüllend sie uns ganz nahe kamen.
Note 1. If we could take sûnávah gírah in the sense of the sons of voice, i. e. of thunder, which would remove many difficulties, the accent of gírah would have to be changed. The commentator takes sûnu in the sense of utpâdaka, producers of sound. Gírah, however, occurs at least once more, in the sense of singers or poets, IX, 63, 10, where gírah can only be a vocative, O ye singers! In I, 6, 6, the translation of gírah by singers, i. e. the Maruts, may be contested, but if we consider that gírah, in the sense of
hymns, is feminine, and is followed by the very word which is here used, viz. devayántah, as a feminine, viz. devayántîh, VII, 18, 3, we can hardly doubt that in I, 6, 6, gírah is a masculine and means singers. The same applies to VI, 63, 10. In VI, 52, 9, ûpa nah sûnávah gírah srinvántu amrítasya yé, the construction is, of course, quite different.
Note 2. The expression that the Maruts enlarged or extended the fences of their race-course (RV. IV, 58, 7), can only mean that they swept over the whole sky, and drove the clouds away from all the corners. Kâ´shthâ may mean the wooden enclosures (carceres) or the wooden poles that served as turning and winning-posts (metae). The Sâma-Veda has yagñeshu instead of agmeshu. That the translation of this verse is purely tentative, and far from satisfactory, was known to all Vedic scholars, but I doubt whether they will consider the interpretation which M. Bergaigne proposes with so much assurance, as less tentative and more satisfactory. He translates (Journ. As. 1884, p. 239), des fils ont, dans leur marche, allongé leurs chants comme des chemins, pour y marcher à genoux (sur les genoux) en mugissant (en chantant).' I shall content myself with shortly pointing out the misgivings which every Vedic scholar would feel at once in proposing such a rendering. First as to the conception itself. Can a poet say, 'The Maruts have stretched out their songs in order to march on them on their knees?' 'The roads,' as M. Bergaigne shows himself, are only a simile, and no one walks on a simile. Secondly, the idea that these Maruts widened the roads on which they march, is common enough, but that they lengthened their songs, like paths, is never said by the Vedic Rishis, nor would they in such a case have left out the particle na or iva. Lastly, though many things are said of the Maruts, I do not remember that they ever appear on their knees. I do not think, therefore, that M. Bergaigne's infallible method helps us much beyond where we were before. Conjectures are easy, but for that very reason, one does not like to bring them forward. One might propose to read sûnávah diváh, a very common name of the Maruts. One might go a step further, identify
gih with bhâratî, and point out that the Maruts are called the sons of Bharata, II, 36, 2. But all this leaves us in utter uncertainty, and where a scholar feels the ground so uncertain beneath his feet, he hesitates to speak with papal authority. M. Bergaigne's strong point is that abhigñú means on their knees, not up to their knees. Here again, I ask, does abhi in prepositional compounds ever mean on? If abhigñú is used in the same sense in which we use 'on our knees,' it would in Sanskrit mean only 'bowing up to the knees.' Now in I, 72, 5, abhigñú seems to express a positive expression of reverence. With regard to the other passages where abhigñú occurs, M. Bergaigne has not shown how they ought to be translated so as to give a clear sense. I do not pretend to solve the difficulties, but I think it is better to confess our difficulties than to hide them under the veil of a so-called systematic interpretation. Abhigñú, like mitagñu, may have expressed a position of the knees, expressive of strength, but on such points very little information is to be gained from Indian commentators.
The last sentence expresses the result of this race, viz. the falling of so much rain that the cows had to walk up to their knees in water. This becomes still clearer from the next verse.
Sâyana: These, the producers of speech, have spread water in their courses, they cause the cows to walk up to their knees hi order to drink the water.
Wilson: They drive before them, in their course, the long, vast, uninjurable, rain-retaining cloud.
Benfey: Dann treiben sie im Sturm heran jenen langen and breiten Spross der Wolke unerschöpflichen.
Ludwig: Sogar disen langen, breiten, das kind der wolke, den unfeindlichen, schleudern auf ihren Zügen sie vorwärts.
Note 1. Rain is called the offspring of the cloud, mihó nápât, and is then treated as a masculine; cf. apâm nápât, &c.
Wilson: Maruts, as you have vigour, invigorate mankind: give animation to the clouds.
Benfey: O Marut’s! mit der Kraft, die ihr besitzt, werft ihr Geschöpfe um, die Berge werft ihr um sogar.
Ludwig: O Marut, so wie eure kraft ist, warft ihr die leute nieder, warft ihr die berge nieder.
Note 1. In VIII, 72, 8, akukyavît is explained by vyadârayat, he tore open. Akukyavîtana is the Vedic form of the 2nd pers. plur. of the reduplicated aorist.
Wilson: Wherever the Maruts pass, they fill the way with clamour: every one hears their (noise).
Benfey: Wenn die Marut's des Weges ziehn, dann sprechen mit einander sie und mancher mag sie hören.
Ludwig: Wenn die Marut wandern, sprechen auf dem weg sie mit einander, es höret sie ein jeder.
Note 1. Yânti has to be pronounced as an amphibrachys.
Wilson: Come quickly, with your swift (vehicles). The offerings of the Kanvas are prepared. Be pleased with them.
Benfey: Auf schnellen kommet schnell herbei, bei Kanva’s Spross sind Feste euch: da wollt euch schön ergötzen.
Ludwig: Brecht rasch auf mit raschen rossen, bei den Kanva’s ist euer dienst, dort eben erfreuet euch.
Note 1. Benfey supposes that dúvah stands in the singular instead of the plural. But why should the plural have been used, as the singular (asti) would have created no kind of difficulty? It is better to take dúvah as a nominative plural of a noun dû, worshipper, derived from the same root which yielded dúvah, worship. We certainly find á-duvah, as a nom. plur., in the sense of not-worshipping:
VII, 4, 6. mâ´ tvâ vayám sahasâ-van avî´râh mâ´ ápsavah pári sadâma mâ´ áduvah.
May we not, O hero, sit round thee like men without strength, without beauty (cf. VIII, 7, 7), without worship.
Here Sâyana explains áduvah very well by parikaranahînâh, which seems better than Roth's explanation 'zögernd, ohne Eifer.'
Wilson: The offering is prepared for your gratification: we are your (worshippers), that we may live all our life.
Benfey: Gerüstet ist für euren Rausch und wir gehören, traun! euch an für unser ganzes Lebelang.
Ludwig: Er ist euch zur trunkesfreude, und wir gleichfalls euer hier, dass unsere ganze dauer wir erleben.
67:a See Bugge, K. Z. XIX, p. 403.
67:b Bollensen (Z. D. M. G. XXII, 603) calls it a vulgar Donatus; see, however, Lanman, Noun-Inflection, pp. 330, 526.