Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. Sacrifice here, thou, O Agni, to the Vasus, the Rudras, and the Âdityas, to the (divine) host that receives good sacrifices 1, the Ghrita-sprinkling offspring of Manu 2.
2. The wise gods, O Agni, are ready to listen to the worshippers: conduct them hither, the thirty-three, O lord of red horses, thou who lovest our praises.
3. As thou hast heard Priyamedha and Atri 1, O Gâtavedas, as thou hast heard Virûpa and Aṅgiras, thus hear the invocation of Praskanva, O lord of high laws.
4. The Mahikerus 1, the Priyamedhas have invoked for their protection the lord of worship, Agni with his bright splendour.
5. O thou to whom Ghrita oblations are poured out, good (Agni), hear these praises with which the sons of Kanva invoke thee for their protection.
6. O Agni, whose glory is brightest, beloved of many, the people in the clans invoke thee, the radiant-haired, to convey the sacrificial food.
7. The priests have established thee, O Agni, in the striving for day 1, as their Hotri, the ministrant, the greatest acquirer of wealth, with attentive ears, the most widely extended 2.
8. The wise who have pressed Soma have made thee speed hither to the feast (which is offered to the gods), bringing great light 1 and sacrificial food, O Agni, on behalf of the mortal worshipper.
9. O strength-made, good (Agni), make the gods who come in the morning, the divine host, sit down here to-day on our sacrificial grass, O Vasu, to drink the Soma.
10. Sacrifice, O Agni, with joint invocations, and bring hither the divine host. This is the Soma, O rain-giving gods. Drink (the Soma) which has been kept over night 1.
The hymn is ascribed to Praskanva. It is evidently addressed to Agni in his matutinal character; comp. the note on I, 44. The metre is Anushtubh. Verse 1 = SV. I, 96. Verse 6 = VS. XV, 31; TS. IV, 4, 4, 3; MS. II, 13, 7.
Note 1. Comp. VIII, 5, 33. ákkha svadhvarám gánam.
Note 2. As to the gods being considered here as offspring of Manu, comp. especially X, 53, 6. mánuh bhava ganáya daívyam gánam, 'become Manu, procreate the divine hosts.' See also Bergaigne, Rel. Védique, I, 69.
Note 1. This passage is one of those which show that the Atris stood in especially friendly connection with the Kanvas. Of the Priyamedhas the same may be said, or perhaps we may even go further and consider them as one branch of the Kanvas. For a fuller discussion of these questions I refer to my paper, 'Ueber die Liedverfasser des Rig-veda,' Zeitschr. der D. Morg. Gesellschaft, XLII, 213 seq.
Note 1. Máhikeravah, which I have translated as a proper name, may be an adjective belonging to Priyámedhâh. Possibly it is derived from the root kar, 'to praise:' 'the
[paragraph continues] Priyamedhas with mighty hymns.' Comp. Bartholomae, Kuhn's Zeitschrift, XXVII, 341.
Note 1. As gó-ishti means 'the striving for cows,' thus dív-ishti means 'the striving for day,' or possibly 'the striving for heaven.' Ludwig (III, 383) takes it for 'morgenopfer,' and it is true that most of the passages, in which the word occurs, are addressed to matutinal deities. Thus our passage belongs to a hymn addressed to the matutinal Agni; I, 48, 9 is addressed to Ushas; I, 139, 4; VII, 74, 1; VIII, 87, 3 to the Asvins; IV, 46, I; 47, 1 to Vâyu who was invoked in the Praüga-sastra belonging to the Prâtah-savana, and who received the Soma offering before the other deities. There is, nevertheless, at least one passage which shows that Ludwig has gone too far: VIII, 76, 9. píba ít indra marútsakhâ sutám sómam dívishtishu, 'Drink, O Indra, with the Maruts thy friends the Soma which has been pressed at the divishtis.' The Soma oblation offered to Indra Marutvat formed part of the second (midday) Savana.
Note 2. 'Sapráthastamam, the most renowned, répandu.' M. M.
Note 1. Comp. IV, 5, 1. kathâ´ dâsema agnáye brihát bhâ´h, 'how may we offer great light to Agni?'—which seems to mean, 'how may we make Agni brilliant?' Thus in our passage the meaning seems to be: the priests kindle Agni and perform oblations.
Note 1. The tiráh-ahnya Soma, which was kept from one day to the next day (not, as Ludwig translates, 'der von vorgestern'), was offered to the Asvins at the Atirâtra sacrifice. Comp. Rig-veda I, 47, 1; III, 58, 7; VIII, 35, 19; Kâtyâyana Srautasûtra XII, 6, 10; XXIV, 3, 42. There the commentary says, âsvinasastrakayâgasambandhinah kamasasthâh somâh pûrvadinanishpannatvât tirohnyâ ity ukyante.