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

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To Rudra, the Father of the Maruts (the Storm-gods).

1. O father of the Maruts, let thy favour come near, and do not deprive us of the sight of the sun; may the hero (Rudra) be gracious to our horse 1, and may we increase in offspring, O Rudra!

2. May I attain to a hundred winters through the most blissful medicines which thou hast given! Put away far 1 from us all hatred, put away anguish, put away sicknesses in all directions!

3. In beauty thou art the most beautiful of all that exists, O Rudra, the strongest of the strong, thou wielder of the thunderbolt! Carry us happily to the other shore of our anguish, and ward off all assaults of mischief 1.

4. Let us not incense thee, O Rudra, by our worship, not by bad praise, O hero, and not by divided praise! Raise up our men by thy medicines, for I hear thou art the best of all physicians.

5. He who is invoked 1 by invocations and libations, may I pay off 2 that Rudra with my hymns of praise. Let not him who is kind-hearted 3, who readily hears our call, the tawny, with beautiful cheeks, deliver us to this wrath!

6. The manly hero with the Maruts has gladdened me, the suppliant, with more vigorous health. May I without mischief find shade, as if from sunshine 1, may I gain the favour of Rudra!

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7. O Rudra, where is thy softly stroking hand which cures and relieves 1? Thou, the remover of all heaven-sent mischief, wilt thou, O strong hero, bear with me?

8. I send forth a great, great hymn of praise to the bright tawny bull. Let me reverence 1 the fiery god 2 with prostrations; we celebrate the flaring name 3 of Rudra.

9. He, the fierce god, with strong limbs, assuming many forms, the tawny Rudra, decked himself with brilliant golden ornaments. From Rudra, who is lord of this wide world, divine power 1 will never depart.

10. Worthily thou bearest arrows and bow, worthily, O worshipful 1, the golden, variegated chain; worthily thou cuttest every fiend 2 here to pieces, for there is nothing indeed stronger than thou, O Rudra.

11. Praise him, the famous, sitting in his chariot 1, the youthful, who is fierce and attacks like a terrible wild beast 2 (the lion). And when thou hast been praised, O Rudra, be gracious to him who magnifies thee, and let thy armies 3 mow down others than us!

12. O Rudra, a boy indeed makes obeisance to his father who comes to greet him 1: I praise the lord of brave men, the giver of many gifts, and thou, when thou hast been praised, wilt give us thy medicines.

13. O Maruts, those pure medicines of yours, the most beneficent and delightful, O heroes, those which Manu 1, our father, chose, those I crave from Rudra, as health and wealth.

14. May the weapon of Rudra avoid us 1, may the great anger of the flaring one pass us by.

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[paragraph continues] Unstring thy strong bows 2 for the sake of our liberal lords, O bounteous Rudra, be gracious to our kith and kin.

15. Thus, O tawny and manly god, showing thyself 1, so as neither to be angry nor to kill, be mindful of our invocations 2, and, rich in brave sons, we shall magnify thee in the congregation.

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Ascribed to Gritsamada. Metre, Trishtubh. See Muir, S. T. IV, 309; Geldner and Kaegi, p. 90. Bergaigne, III, 153; Leop. v. Schroeder, Indiens Literatur and Cultur, 343. Verse 1 = TB. II, 8, 6, 9; verse 2 = TB. II, 8, 6, 8; verse 10 = TÂ. IV, 5, 7; verse 11 =TS. IV, 5, 10, 3; AV. XVIII, 1, 40; verse 14 = VS. XVI, 50; TS. IV, 5, 10. 4; verse 15 = TB. II, 8, 6, 9.

Verse 1.

Note 1. The words abhí nah vîráh árvati kshameta admit of different interpretation. Grassmann has: 'Der Held sei huldreich unsren schnellen Rossen;' Muir: 'May the hero spare our horses;' Ludwig: 'Unser held möge tüchtig zu Rosse sein.' The passages quoted by Ludwig from the Sat. Br. III, 7, 3, 1, and IV, 3, 4, 14, do not bear out the meaning of tüchtig sein, to be strong, they rather mean, to suffer, to submit to, with a dative. Yet vîráh by itself may mean son or offspring (III, 4, 9; VII, 1, 21; 56, 24), and if abhi-ksham in our passage could mean to be capable and strong, Ludwig's translation would be justified. But if we take vîrá, hero, as intended for Rudra, as Indra also is often called simply vîra, abhi kshameta would lend itself to the translation of 'to be gracious,' or 'to spare,' and I therefore translate: 'May the hero (Rudra) be gracious to our horse.' It should be understood in the same sense in verse 7, at least I see no reason to vary the translation as Geldner does, and also Ludwig, while Muir is right and consistent. Our poet uses the verb abhiksham frequently, II, 28, 3; 29, 2 (abhikshantârah?). It seems confined to the second Mandala.

Verse 2.

Note 1. Vitarám, wherever it occurs, is always joined with ví in the Rig-veda.

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Verse 3.

Note 1. If rápas is derived from rap, to whisper, it would have meant originally what is whispered, that is, slander, accusation, and then only crime. Latin crîmen also meant originally what is heard, Leumund. Crîmen is not connected with the Greek κρίνω. The î in crîmen has to be accounted for like the î in lîber, from lubh (libh). The r is irregular, unless we find an analogy in increpare.

Verse 5.

Note 1. Hávate, we expect hûyáte. Ludwig's explanation has not solved the difficulty, and suhávah points back to yo havate. Oldenberg suggests an anacoluthon, He who invokes—may I.

Note 2. I formerly took áva dishîya in the sense of 'to unloose,' used originally with reference to tethered horses. As horses are unloosed before they can do their work, so the gods are, as it were, unloosed by prayer, or set off, so that they may fulfil what they are asked to do; see RV. I. 25, 3. In the passage quoted by Ludwig from the TS. I, 8, 6, 2, the same meaning seemed quite appropriate: áva Rudrám adimahi—yáthâ nah sréyasah kárat, 'We unloosed Rudra, that he might make us happier.' Ludwig takes it to mean, 'We have bound, tied, or obliged Rudra, so that he make us happy,' but the preposition ava is against this interpretation. Muir proposes 'to avert' or 'to propitiate,' the latter being adopted by Geldner.

However, in an article lately published by Roth on Wergeld in the Veda (Z. D. M. G. XLI, 672), ava-day has been recognised as an almost technical legal term, meaning 'to pay off, to compound.' Thus, Tândya Br. XVI, 1, 12, we read yâh satam vairam tad devân avadayate, 'He portions off, i. e. he satisfies, or pacifies, the gods who were offended, by giving a hundred cows.' With nih, we find TB. I, 6, 10, 1. pragâ´ rudrâ´n nír áva dayate; the same occurs in Maitr. S. I, 10, 20, where we also read, griheshv eva Rudram nir ava dayata esha te Rudra bhâgas. See also Ait. Br. II, 7, 1. There is a verse quoted, ávâmba Rudrám adimahi, in TS. I, 8, 6, 2;

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and again in MS. I, 10, 4; Kâth. IX, 7; Kap. S. VIII, 10; VS. III, 58, and this gives us the right key to our verse, namely, 'May I pay off, may I pacify, Rudra with my songs of praise,' dishîya being the optat. of the aorist, adimahi the aor. ind.

Note 3. On ridûdárah, see Benfey, Quantitätsversch. V, 1; p. 25; Geldner, K. Z. XXVIII, 201; Ludwig, Süsses in seinem bauche habend; Bergaigne, miséricordieux. The meaning is doubtful.

Verse 6.

Note 1. Ghnîva, divided into ghni-iva, is a difficult form. Various attempts have been made to explain it. Grassmann translates: 'Wie Schatten von der Gluth mög unversehrt ich des Rudra Huld erreichen,' preferring to write ghriner va. Ludwig, in his notes: 'Bei hitze,' taking ghrini as a locative. Muir: 'Shade in the heat.' Geldner: 'Vor Sonnengluth den Schatten,' taking ghrinî as an instrumental. Lanman (p. 379) takes the same view, though he admits that this would be the only example of an instrumental in the masculine, contracted to î. He translates: 'As by the heat unharmed, to shelter bring me.' He adds: 'It may be ablative with elision and crasis,' and this is likewise Roth's view. Weber thinks that we may retain ghrinîva in the Samhitâ text, but should divide it into ghrinî-iva, 'like a man suffering from heat' (Ind. Stud. XIII, p. 58). I think we must take into account a parallel passage, VI, 16, 38. ûpa khâyâ´m iva ghneh áganma sárma te vayám, see M. M., Preface to translation of Rig-veda, p. cxliii. Probably the apparent irregularity of the metre led to the change of ghner iva to ghnîva, but ghner iva can be scanned   ̆  ̄  ̆; see M. M., l. c., p. cxlviii.

Verse 7.

Note 1. Gálâsha by itself occurs but once more as an epithet of Rudra, VII, 35, 6, and twice in composition, gálâshabheshaga; see I, 43, 4. The second pâda begins with hástah.

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Verse 8.

Note 1. Namasyá is difficult, but we can hardly take it for namasyâmasi, masi being supplied from grinîmasi. Nor do we gain by taking namasyâ´ for an instrumental. Perhaps it is best to take it as a 1st pers. of the imperative.

Note 2. The meaning of kalmalîkin is unknown.

Note 3. I think it is best to translate nâ´ma by name, though, no doubt, it implies more than the mere name. Geldner's 'majestätisch Wesen' is right, but it is only one side of nâma. See VIII, 20, 13, note 1.

Verse 9.

Note 1. On vai, see Delbrück, Syntax, p. 483. On asurya, see von Bradke, Dyaus Asura, pp. 29, 34.

Verse 10.

Note 1. I have changed yagatám into yagata.

Note 2. Árhan idám dayase vísvam ábhvam has been rendered in different ways. Grassmann: 'Du theilst alle diese Macht aus.' Ludwig: 'Du besitzest all dise gewalt.' Geldner: 'Du besitzest höchste Macht.' Muir: 'Thou possessest all this vast world.' Dayase is used, no doubt, in the sense of cutting and distributing, but never in the sense of possessing. In several places, however, it has been translated by to cut and to destroy, e. g. X, 80, 2. agníh vritrâ´ni dayate purû´ni, 'Agni cuts up many enemies.' VI, 22, 9. vísh agurya dayase ví mâyâ´h, 'thou destroyest all deceits.' See also IV, 7, 10; VI, 6, 5. As to ábhva in the sense of fiend, we had it before in I, 39, 8. â´ yáh nah ábhvah î´shate, ví tám yuyota. In other places it assumes a more neutral character, meaning monster, or monstrous power; see B.-R. s. v. 'To distribute power' is not a Vedic conception, nor does ábhva ever mean power in the sense of 'ungeheure Macht, or Urkraft' (Delbrück, Chrest. p. 49).

Verse 11.

Note 1. AV. XVIII, 1, 40, has gartasádam gánânâm râ´gânam, and anyám asmát te. Garta-sad, literally, sitting

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in the hole, probably the place of the chariot where the king sat, separated from the driver. These divided chariots can be seen in the ancient monuments of Assyria and Babylon. The king seems to stand in a box of his own, fighting, while the charioteer holds the reins, so as not to interfere with the king. See, however, Bergaigne, III, 122 seq.; Z. D. M. G. XL, 681.

Note 2. The mrigá bhîmá is probably meant for the lion, cf. I, 154, 2, and Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 78.

Note 3. As to the senâs of Rudra, see TS. IV, 5, 2, 1, senânî; AV. XI, 2, 31; Pâr. Grihy. III, 8, 11.

Verse 12.

Note 1. The sense would be better if vándamânam could be changed to vándamânah.

Verse 13.

Note 1. That father Manu obtained health and wealth from Rudra was mentioned before, I, 114, 2, and it is curious that the Vedic authority of Manu's Smriti should be based on the yell-known sentence, yat kimka Manur abravît tad bheshagam, Taitt. Samh. II, 2, 10, 2; cf. M. M., Hist. of Anc. Sansk. Lit. p. 89.

Verse 14.

Note 1. The VS. reads pári no rudrásya hetír vrinaktu, pári tveshásya durmatír aghâyóh. Vrigh is the 3rd pers. sing. in s of the aor. opt.

Note 2. Rudra is called sthiradhanvan; see also IV, 4, 5; VIII, 19, 20; X, 116, 5; 6; 120, 4; 134, 2; Maitr. S. II, 9, 9.

Verse 15.

Note 1. Kekitâna, the vocative of the participle.

Note 2. Muir seems to translate bodhi, which Sâyana explains by budhyasva, by 'think of us now.' The TB. reads havanash.

Next: VI, 74. To Soma and Rudra