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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. To every sacrifice 1 you hasten together 2, you accept prayer after prayer, O quick Maruts! Let me therefore bring you hither by my prayers from heaven and earth, for our welfare, and for our great protection;

2. The shakers who were born to bring food and light 1, self-born and self-supported, like springs 2, like thousandfold waves of water, aye, visibly like unto excellent bulls 3,

3. Those Maruts, like Soma-drops 1, which squeezed from ripe stems dwell, when drunk, in the hearts of the worshipper—see how on their shoulders there clings as if a clinging wife; in their hands the quoit is held and the sword.

4. Lightly they have come down from heaven of their own accord: Immortals, stir yourselves with the whip! The mighty Maruts on dustless paths, armed with brilliant spears, have shaken down even the strong places.

5. O ye Maruts, who are armed with lightning-spears, who stirs you from within by himself, as the jaws are stirred by the tongue 1? You shake the sky 2, as if on the search for food; you are invoked by many 3, like the (solar) horse of the day 4.

6. Where, O Maruts, is the top, where the bottom of the mighty sky where you came? When you throw down with the thunderbolt what is strong, like brittle things, you fly across the terrible sea!

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7. As your conquest is violent, splendid, terrible, full and crushing, so, O Maruts, is your gift delightful, like the largess of a liberal worshipper, wide-spreading, laughing like heavenly lightning.

8. From the tires of their chariot-wheels streams gush forth, when they send out the voice of the clouds; the lightnings smiled upon the earth, when the Maruts shower down fatness (fertile rain).

9. Prisni 1 brought forth for the great fight the terrible train of the untiring Maruts: when fed they produced the dark cloud 3, and then looked about for invigorating food 2.

10. May this praise, O Maruts, this song of Mândârya, the son of Mâna, the poet, ask you with food for offspring for ourselves! May we have an invigorating autumn, with quickening rain!

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This hymn is ascribed to Agastya. Verses 1-7, Gagatî; 8-10, Trishtubh. No verse of this hymn occurs in the SV., VS., TS., AS.

Verse 1.

There can be little doubt that the text of the first line is corrupt. Ludwig admits this, but both he and Grassmann translate the verse.

Grassmann: Durch stetes Opfer möcht ich euch gewinnen recht, Gebet, das zu euch Göttern drengt, empfangt ihr gern.

Ludwig: Bei jedem opfer ist zusammen mit euch der siegreich thätige, in jedem lied hat der fromme an euch gedacht.

Ludwig proposes to read âdîdhiye or devayâd â dîdhiye, but even then the construction remains difficult.

Note 1. Yagñâ´-yagñâ´, an adverbial expression, much the same as yagñe yagñe (I, 136, 1); it occurs once more in VI, 48, 1.

Note 2. Tuturvánih does occur here only, but is formed like gugurváni, I, 142, 8, and susukváni, VIII, 23, 5. Possibly tuturvanih might stand for the host of the Maruts in the singular, 'you hasten together to every sacrifice.' As to dadhidhve, used in a similar sense, see IV, 34, 3; 37, 1.

As a conjecture, though no more, I propose to read evayâh u.

Éva, in the sense of going, quick, is used of the horses of the Maruts, I, 166, 4. More frequently it has the sense of going, moving, than of manner (mos), and as an adverb eva and evam mean in this way (K. Z. II, 235). From this is derived evayâh, in the sense of quickly moving, an epithet applied to Vishnu, I, 156, 1, and to the Maruts, V, 41, 16: kathâ´ dâsema námasâ su-dâ´nûn eva-yâ´ marútah akkha-ukthaih, How shall we worship with praise and invocations the liberal quick-moving Maruts? I read, with Roth, eva-yâ´h; otherwise we should have to take evayâ as

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an adverbial instrumental, like âsayâ´ from âsâ; see Grassmann, s. v. âsayâ.

In one hymn (V, 87) Evayâ-marut, as one word, has become an invocation, reminding us of ἤιε Φοῖβε, or Evoe Bacche, and similar forms. Possibly ἤια may be viatica, though the vowels do not correspond regularly (see yayi, I, 87, 2, note 1).

From eva we have also eva-yâvan (fem. evayâ´varî, VI. 48, 12), which Benfey proposed to divide into evayâ-van, quick, again an epithet of Vishnu and the Maruts. If then we read evayâh u, without the accent on the last syllable, we should have a proper invocation of the Maruts, 'You, quick Maruts, accept prayer after prayer.'

Verse 2.

Note 1. Ísham svâ´r are joined again in VII, 66, 9. sahá ísham svâ´h ka dhîmahi. It seems to mean food and light, or water and light, water being considered as invigorating and supporting. Abhigâyanta governs the accusative.

Note 2. The meaning of spring was first assigned to vavra by Grassmann.

Note 3. Though I cannot find gâ´vah and ukshánah again, used in apposition to each other, I have little doubt that Grassmann is right in taking both as one word, like ταῦρος βοῦς in Greek.

Verse 3.

Note 1. The first line of this verse is extremely difficult. Grassmann translates:

Den Somasäften gleichen sie, den kräftigen,
Die eingeschlürft sich regen, nimmer wirkungslos.

Ludwig: Die wie Soma, das gepresst aus saftvollen stengel, aufgenommen ins innere freundlich weilen.

It may be that the Maruts are likened to Somas, because they refresh and strengthen. So we read VIII, 48, 9:

tvám hí nah tanvãh Soma gopâ´h gâ´tre-gâtre ni-sasáttha.

For thou, O Soma, has sat down as a guardian in every member of our body.

It is possible, therefore, though I shall say no more, that the poet wished to say that the Maruts, bringing rain and

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cooling the air, are like Somas in their refreshing and invigorating power, when stirring the hearts of men. In X, 78, 2, the Maruts are once more compared with Somas, su-sármânah ná sómâh ritám yaté. Should there be a dative hidden in â´sate?

Rambhinî I now take with Sâyana in the sense of a wife clinging to the shoulders of her husband, though what is meant is the spear, or some other weapon, slung over the shoulders; see I, 167, 3.

Verse 5.

Note 1. Hánvâ-iva gihváyâ gives no sense, if we take hanvâ as an instrum. sing. Hanu is generally used in the dual, in the Rig-veda always, meaning the two jaws or the two lips. Thus Ait. Br. VII, 11. hanû sagihve; AV. X, 2, 7. hanvor hi gihvâm adadhâh, he placed the tongue in the jaws. I should therefore prefer to read hanû iva, which would improve the metre also, or take hanvâ for a dual, as Sâyana does.

One might also translate, 'Who amongst you, O Maruts, moves by himself, as the jaws by the tongue,' but the simile would not be so perfect. The meaning is the same as in the preceding verse, viz. that the Maruts are self-born, self-determined, and that they move along without horses and chariots. In. X, 78, 2, the Maruts are called svayug, like the winds.

Note 2. I feel doubtful about dhanvakyút, and feel inclined towards Sâyana's explanation, who takes dhanvan for antariksha. It would then correspond to parvata-kyút, dhruva-kyút, &c.

Note 3. Purupraisha may also be, You who have the command of many.

Note 4. As to ahanyâ´h ná étasah, see V, 1, 4. svetáhgî´ gâyate ágre áhnâm.

Verse 6.

Vithura translated before, I, 87, 3, by broken, means also breakable or brittle. Sâyana explains it by grass, which may be true, though I see no authority for it. Grassmann translates it by leaves. It is derived from vyath.

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Verse 7.

Sâtí and râtí are used on purpose, the former meaning the acquisition or conquest of good things, the latter the giving away of them. The onslaught of the Maruts is first described as violent and crushing; their liberality in giving away what they have conquered, chiefly rain, is represented as delightful, like the gifts of a liberal worshipper. Then follows prithugráyî asuryẽva gáñgatî. Here asuryâ reminds us of the asuryâ in the preceding hymn, where it occurred as an epithet of Rodasî, the lightning. Prithugráyî, wide-spreading, seems to apply best to the rain, that is, the râti, though it might also apply to the lightning. However, the râti is the storm with rain and lightning, and I therefore propose to read gágghatî for gáñgatî. Gañg is a root which occurs here only, and gaggh too is a root which is unknown to most students of Sanskrit. Benfey a, to whom we owe so much, was the first to point out that gaggh, which Yâska explains by to make a noise and applies to murmuring waters, is a popular form of gaksh, to laugh, a reduplicated form of has. He shows that ksh is changed into kkh in akkhâ for akshâ, and into gh and ggh, in Pâli and Prakrit, e. g. ghâ for kshâ. The original form gaksh, to laugh, occurs I, 33, 7. tvám etâ´n rudatáh gákshatah ka áyodhayah, thou foughtest them, the crying and the laughing.

That the lightning is often represented as laughing we see from the very next verse, áva smayanta vidyútah, the lightnings laughed down; and the very fact that this idea occurs in the next verse confirms me in the view that it was in the poet's mind in the preceding one. See also I, 23, 12. haskârâ´t vidyútah pári átah gâtâ´h avantu nah marútah mrilayantu nah.

In the only other passage where gañg occurs, VIII, 43, 8, arkíshâ gañganâbhávan, applied to Agni, admits of the same correction, gagghanâbhávan, and of the same translation, 'laughing with splendour.'

Benfey's objection to the spelling of gaghgh with two

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aspirates is just with regard to pronunciation, but this would hardly justify our changing the style of our MSS., which, in this and in other cases, write the two aspirates, though intending them for non-aspirate and aspirate.

Verse 9.

Note 1. Prisni, the mother of the Maruts, who are often called Prisni-mâtarah, gó-mâtarah, and síndhu-mâtarah.

Note 2. As to svadhâ in the sense of food, see before, I, 6, 4, note 2, and X, 157, 5.

Note 3. Abhva is more than dark clouds, it is the dark gathering of clouds before a storm, ein Unwetter, or, if conceived as a masculine, as in I, 39, 8, ein Ungethüm. Such words are simply untranslatable.


284:a Gött. Nachr., 1876, No. 13, s. 324.

Next: I, 170. Dialogue between Indra and his Worshipper, Agastya