Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. We have sent forward 1 with thoughtful mind this song of praise like a chariot to the worthy Gâtavedas. For blissful is his care for us in his companionship. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
2. He prospers for whom thou performest the sacrifice; he dwells untouched 1; he acquires abundance of heroes. He is strong; no distress overtakes him. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
3. May we be able to light thee. Prosper our prayers. The gods eat the sacrificial food that is offered in thee. Bring thou hither the Âdityas, for we long for them. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
4. Let us bring fuel and prepare sacrificial gifts for thee, awaking thy attention at each joint 1 (of the month). Help forward our prayers that we may live. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
5. (He is) the shepherd of the clans 1; by his nightly light the creatures walk, the two-footed and four-footed. Thou art the bright, great splendour of dawn. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
6. Thou art the Adhvaryu and the ancient Hotri, the Prasâstri 1, the Potri, the born Purohita 2. Knowing the duties of every priest thou givest
success, O wise one. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
7. Thou who art beautiful, of like appearance on all sides, thou shinest forth even when afar like lightning. Thou seest, O god, even over the darkness of night. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
8. May the chariot of him who presses Soma, be to the front 1, O gods. May our curse overcome the malicious ones. Accept (O gods) this prayer and make it prosper. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
9. Strike away with thy weapons those who curse us, the malicious ones, all ghouls, be they near or afar. And make a good path to the sacrifice of him who praises thee. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
10. When thou hast yoked to thy chariot the two ruddy, red horses, whom the wind drives forward, and thy roaring is like that of a bull, then thou movest the trees with thy banner of smoke 1. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
11. And when thy grass-consuming sparks are scattered, the winged (birds) 1 also fear the noise. Then all goes well with thee and thy chariots. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
12. He makes Mitra and Varuna get refreshing drink. He mysteriously turns away the anger of the Maruts 1. Be merciful towards us. May their mind be again (as it was before). Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
13. Thou art god of the gods, a wonderful Mitra (i. e. friend, of the gods) 1. Thou art the Vasu
of the Vasus, welcome at the sacrifice. May we be under thy most wide-reaching protection. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
14. That is thy glorious (nature) that when kindled in thy own house, and fed with Soma, thou art awake 1, the most merciful one. Thou bestowest treasures and wealth on the worshipper. Agni! May we suffer no harm in thy friendship.
15. May we be of those to whom thou, O possessor of beautiful wealth, O Aditi 1, art pleased to grant sinlessness in health and wealth 2, and whom thou wilt quicken with glorious strength and with abundance of progeny.
16. Do thou, O Agni, thou who knowest (how to grant) happiness, prolong our life here, O God! May Mitra and Varuna grant us this, may Aditi, the Sindhu, the Earth, and the Sky 1!
This hymn with the whole collection which it opens is ascribed to Kutsa Âṅgirasa. The metre is Gagatî; the two last verses, as is frequently the case in Gagatî-hymns (see H. O., Prolegomena, 144 seq.), are composed in Trishtubh. The hymn has been translated by Prof. Max Müller, Physical Religion, p. 173.—Verse 1 = MS. II, 7, 3; SV. I, 66; AV. XX, 13, 3. Verses I, 3, 4 = SV. II, 414. 416. 415.
Note 1. Prof. Max Müller translates, 'Let us build up this hymn of praise.' To me it rather seems that the reading should be, as Boehtlingk-Roth have proposed, s. v. sam-hi, sám ahema. Comp. I, 61, 4. asmai ít u stómam sám
hinoini rátham ná táshtâ-iva, 'to him I send forward a song of praise as a carpenter (fits out) a chariot.' Compare besides, IX, 71, 5; I, 184, 4; II, 19, 7; VI, 45, 14, &c.
Note 1. Comp. vol. xxxii, p. 65, I, 37, 1 note.
Note 1. Párvan, 'joint,' seems to refer here, as it very frequently does in the later Vedic and post-Vedic texts, to the joints of the month, the sacrificial days of the full and change of the moon (the pârvana-sacrifices). As to the temporal use of the instrumental, comp. ritunâ and ritubhih; Delbrück, Altindische Syntax, p. 130.
Note 1. Ludwig proposes the correction of visâ´m gopâ´h into visâ´m gopáh (genitive). But I think it will be sufficient to write asyá accented. As to visâ´m gopâ´h, comp. 96, 4.
Note 1. The Prasâstri (or Upavaktri), literally, 'the commander,' is the same priest who is more usually designated as the Maitrâvaruna. All the priests mentioned here (with the exception of the Purohita, see next note) belong to the ancient system of the 'seven Hotris,' enumerated, for instance, II, 1, 2. Comp. H. O., Religion des Veda, 383 seq.
Note 2. The Purohita or house-priest does not, properly speaking, belong to the number of the priests officiating at a sacrifice (ritvigah), though of course the Purohita could act as a ritvig. Geldner (Vedische Studien, II, 144) seems to be wrong in concluding from our passage that 'already in the Rig-veda the Purohita, being the superintendent of the holy service, was a real ritvig, i. e. officiating priest.' Comp. H. O., loc. cit., 374 Seq.; 379, note 2.
Note 1. On pû´rvah, comp. I, 34, 10; V, 31, 11.
Note 1. The regular accentuation of a determinative compound ('banner of smoke') would be dhûmaketúnâ. But it is very natural that the traditional text gives the accent of the Bahuvrîhi ('he whose banner is smoke') which so frequently occurs.
Note 1. As to patatrínah, comp. above, I, 58, 5.
Note 1. Most probably the meaning is not that the Maruts are expected to turn away the anger of somebody else, but that the anger of the Maruts shall be turned away by Agni, Comp. I, 171, I; VI, 66, 5; VII, 58, 5; Bergaigne, Religion Védique, II, 401. It seems, consequently, that we should read avayâtâ´.—On ávayâtahelâh, scil. Indra, see vol. xxxii, p. 292 (I, 171, 6), and also IV, 1, 4; VI, 66, 5.
The genitives Mitrásya Várunasya may be understood as depending, together with Marútâm, on hélah. In this case the translation would be: 'He mysteriously turns away the anger of Mitra and Varuna and of the Maruts in order that (men) may get refreshing drink.'
Note 1. On the frequent identification of Agni with Mitra, see Bergaigne, Religion Védique, III, 134 seq.
Note 1. On the root gar used with regard to Agni, see the remarks of Dr. Neisser in Bezzenberger's Beiträge, XIII, 297 seq.
Note 1. Agni is invoked here by the name of Aditi, with an evident allusion to the goddess Aditi, as granting freedom from bonds, which is the original meaning of Aditi. Comp. M. M., vol. xxxii, pp. 241, 260, 262; H. O., Religion des Veda, p. 204.
Note 2. Comp. III, 54, 19. On sarvátât (sarvátâti), see M. M.’s note, vol. xxxii, p. 260, note a, and compare Darmesteter, Haurvatât et Ameretât, p. 80. See also Lanman, p. 386.
Note 1. The last hemistich is the regular conclusion of the Kutsa hymns.