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Vedic Hymns, Part I (SBE32), by Max Müller, [1891], at

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To the Maruts (the Storm-gods).

1. O Maruts, that man in whose dwelling you drink (the Soma), ye mighty (sons) of heaven, he indeed has the best guardians 1.

2. You who are propitiated 1 either by sacrifices or from the prayers of the sage, hear the call, O Maruts!

3. Aye, the powerful man to whom you have granted a sage, he will live in a stable rich in cattle 1.

4. On the altar of this strong man (here) 1 Soma is poured out in daily sacrifices; praise and joy are sung.

5. To him let the mighty 1 Maruts listen, to him who surpasses all men, as the flowing rain-clouds 2 pass over the sun.

6. For we, O Maruts, have sacrificed at many harvests, through the mercies 1 of the swift gods (the storm-gods).

7. May that mortal be blessed, O chasing Maruts, whose offerings you carry off 1.

8. You take notice either of the sweat of him who praises you, ye men of true strength, or of the desire of the suppliant 1.

9. O ye of true strength, make this manifest with might! strike the fiend 1 with your lightning!

10. Hide the hideous darkness, destroy 1 every tusky 2 fiend. Make the light which we long for!

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This hymn is ascribed to Gotama.

Verse 1 =VS. VIII, 31; AV. XX, 1, 2; TS. IV, 2, 11, 1.

Verse 2=TS. IV, 2, 11, 2.

Verse 6=TS. IV, 3, 13, 5.

Verse 8= SV. II, 944.

Verse 1.

Note 1. Vímahas occurs only once more as an epithet of the Maruts, V, 87, 4. Being an adjective derived from máhas, strength, it means very strong. The strong ones of heaven is an expression analogous to I, 64, 2. diváh rishvâ´sah ukshánah; I, 64, 4. diváh nárah. The Ait. Brâhmana VI, 10, takes gopâ, guardian, as Indra.

Verse 2.

Note 1. The construction of this verse is not clear. Yagñá-vâhas has two meanings in the Veda. It is applied to the priest who carries or performs the sacrifice:

III, 8, 3, and 24, 1. várkah dhâh yagñá-vâhase.

Grant splendour to the sacrificer!

But it is also used of the gods who carry off the sacrifice, and in that case it means hardly more than worshipped or propitiated; I, 15, 11 (Asvinau); IV, 47, 4 (Indra and Vâyu); VIII, 12, 20 (Indra). In our verse it is used in the latter sense, and it is properly construed with the instrumental yagñh. The difficulty is the gen. plur. matînâ´m, instead of matíbhih. The sense, however, seems to allow of but one construction, and we may suppose that the genitive depends on the yagña in yagñávâhas, 'accepting the worship of the prayers of the priest.' Benfey refers yagñh to the preceding verse, and joins hávam to víprasya matînâ´m: 'Durch Opfer—Opferfördrer ihr!—oder ihr hört—Maruts—den Ruf der Lieder, die der Priester schuf.'

The Samhitâ text lengthens the last syllable of srinutá, as suggested by the metre.

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If the accent allowed yagñavâhasah to be taken as a genitive, the translation, as suggested by Ludwig, might be, Either for the sake of the sacrifices of the sacrificer, or because of the prayers of the sage, O Maruts, hear the call.'

Verse 3.

Note 1. The genitive yásya vâgínah depends on vípra. Anu-taksh, like anu-grah, anu-gñâ, seems to convey the meaning of doing in behalf or for the benefit of a person. Gántâ might also be translated in a hostile sense, he will go into, he will conquer many a stable full of cows.

Verse 4.

Note 1. Ludwig has pointed out that asyá may refer to the present sacrificer.

Verse 5.

Note 1. I have altered â´ bhúvah into âbhúvah, for I do not think that bhuvah, the second pers. sing., even if it were bhúvat, the third pers., could be joined with the relative pronoun yáh in the second pada. The phrase víshh karshanî´h abhí occurs more than once, and is never preceded by the verb bhuvah or bhuvat. Âbhúvah, on the contrary, is applied to the Maruts, I, 64, 6, vidátheshu âbhúvah; and as there can be no doubt who are the deities invoked, âbhúvah, the strong ones, is as appropriate an epithet as vímahas in the first verse.

Note 2. Sasrúshîh íshah, as connected with sûra, the sun, can only be meant for the flowing waters, the rain-clouds, the givers of ish or vigour. They are called divyâ´h íshah:

VIII, 5, 21. utá nah divyâ´h íshah utá síndhûn varshathah.

You rain down on us the heavenly waters and the rivers.

Wilson translates: May the Maruts, victorious over all men, hear (the praises) of this (their worshipper); and may (abundant) food be obtained by him who praises them.

Benfey: Ihn, der ob allen Menschen ragt, sollen hören die Labungen, and nahn, die irgend Weisen nahn.

Ludwig: Hören sollen von ihm, der über allen menschen ist, die erden, seine bis zur sonne gelangten kräfte. In his

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notes he would prefer: Von ihm sollen sie gegenwartig hören, von ihm der alle menschen übertrift (und die in die sonne wegegangenen), die darbringungen.

Sroshantu does not occur again; but we find sróshan, I, 68, 5; sróshamâna, III, 8, 10; VII, 51, 1; VII, 7, 6.

Verse 6.

Note 1. The expression ávobhih, with the help, the blessings, the mercies, is generally used with reference to divine assistance; (I, 117, 19; 167, 2; 185, 10; 11; IV, 22, 7; 41, 6; V, 74, 6; VI, 47, 12; VII, 20, 1; 35, 1, &c.) It seems best therefore to take karshaní as a name or epithet of the Maruts, although, after the invocation of the Maruts by name, this repetition is somewhat unusual. I should have preferred, 'with the help of our men, of our active and busy companions,' for karshaní is used in that sense also. Only ávobhih would not be in its right place then. The same applies to the various reading in TS. IV, 3, 13, 5, where instead of ávobhih we find máhobhih. This too is used with reference to gods, and particularly to the Maruts; see I, 165, 5, note.

Verse 7.

Note 1. Par, with ati, means to carry over (I, 97, 8; 99, I; 174, 9; III, 15, 3; 20, 4; IV, 39, I; V, 25, 9; 73, 8; VII, 40, 4; 97, 4; VIII, 26, 5; 67, 2, &c.); with apa, to remove (I, 129, 5); with nih, to throw down. Hence, if used by itself, unless it means to overrun, as frequently, it can only have the general sense of carrying, taking, accepting, or accomplishing.

Verse 8.

Note 1. Vidá as second pers. plur. perf. is frequent, generally with the final 'a' long in the Samhitâ, I, 156, 3; V, 41, 13; 55, 2.

Verse 9.

Note 1. Observe the long penultimate in rákshah, instead of the usual short syllable. Cf. I, 12, 5, and see Kuhn, Beiträge, vol. iii, p. 456.

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Verse 10.

Note 1. See note 1 to I, 39, 3.

Note 2. Atrín, which stands for attrín, is one of the many names assigned to the powers of darkness and mischief. It is derived from atrá, which means tooth or jaw, and therefore meant originally an ogre with large teeth or jaws, a devourer. Besides atrá, we also find in the Veda átra, with the accent on the first syllable, and meaning what serves for eating, or food:

X, 79, 2. átrâni asmai pat-bhíh sám bharanti.

They bring together food for him (Agni) with their feet.

With the accent on the last syllable, atrá in one passage means an eater or an ogre, like atrín:

V, 32, 8. apâ´dam atrám—mridhrá-vâkam.

Indra killed the footless ogre, the babbler.

It means tooth or jaw:

I, 129, 8. svayám sâ´ rishayádhyai yâ´ nah upa-îshé atraíh.

May she herself go to destruction who attacks us with her teeth.

It is probably from atrá in the sense of tooth (cf. ὀδόντες = ἐδόντες) that atrín is derived, meaning ogre or a devouring devil. In the later Sanskrit, too, the Asuras are represented as having large tusks, Mahâbh. V, 3572, damshtrino bhîmavegâs ka.

Thus we read I, 21, 5, that Indra and Agni destroy the Rakshas, and the poet continues:

ápragâh santu atrínah.

May the ogres be without offspring!

IX, 86, 48. gahí vísvân rakshásah indo (íti) atrínah.

Kill, O Soma, all the tusky Rakshas. Cf. IX, 104, 6; 105, 6.

VI, 51, 14. gahí ní atrínam paním.

Kill, O Soma, the tusky Pani.

I, 94, 9. vadhaíh duh-sámsân ápa duh-dhyãh gahi
         dûré vâ yé ánti vâ ké kit atrínah.

Strike with thy blows, O Agni, the evil-spoken, evil-minded (spirits), the ogres, those who are far or who are near.

See also I, 36, 14; 20; VI, 16, 28; VII, 104, 1; 5; VIII, 12, 1; 19, 15; X, 36, 4; 118, 1.

Next: I, 87. To the Maruts (the Storm-gods)