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Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg [1897], at

p. 164



1. Ask ye him. He has come. He knows. He the intelligent one moves forward; He moves along (his way) (?) 1. In him all commands, all wishes dwell. He is the lord of strength, of mighty power.

2. They ask him. He himself 1 does not ask in turn what he, the wise one, has grasped by his own mind alone 2. He does not forget the first word nor another word. Unconfused he adheres to his own power of mind.

3. To him go the sacrificial ladles, to him go the racers 1. He alone may hear all my words. He who pronounces many praishas 2, the conqueror, the accomplisher of sacrifices whose blessings are flawless, the young child has assumed vigour.

4. When he has come together 1 (with his companions 2), he goes to greet them 3. As soon as born he steals upon (his prey) together with his companions. He strokes the … 4 to give him delight and joy, when the loving ones 5 approach him who stands on them 6.

5. He, the animal living in the water and walking in the forest 1, has been placed on the highest skin 2 (sky?). He has proclaimed his rules to the mortals: for Agni, the knowing one, is intent upon Rita (Right) and is true.


The same Rishi. Metre, Gagatî; the last verse is Trishtubh.—No verse occurs in the other Samhitâs.

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Verse 1.

Note 1. The Samhitâ text has sâ´ nṽ îyate, the Pada text, sáh nú îyate. Comp. Prâtisâkhya 314. I propose to read sâ´nu (= sá ánu) îyate.

Verse 2.

Note 1. See Geldner, Ved. Studien, II, p. 188.

Note 2. Possibly we should read svéna evá.

Verse 3.

Note 1. The text (árvatîh) implies that these race-horses are mares. Probably, as Sâyana explains, the prayers (stutayah) are alluded to. See on the prayers compared with horses, Bergaigne, II, 284 seq.

Note 2. Praishá is the technical designation of the sacrificial commands of one priest (or more especially, of the Maitrâvaruna) to another priest; comp. Schwab, Das Altindische Thieropfer, p. 90; H. O., Religion des Veda, 390.

Verse 4.

Note 1. Samâ´rata may be the third person of singular or of plural.

Note 2. I supply 'with his companions' in consideration of the second Pâda (yúgyebhih). It is difficult to say who Agni's companions are (the flames? the officiating priests?).

Note 3. Ludwig's conjecture, úpa stâ´yam karati, is very ingenious. 'He stealthily approaches them.'—On upasthâ´yam, comp. also Bollensen, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenl. Gesellschaft, XLVII, 586.

Note 4. The meaning of svântám, which occurs here and in the obscure passage X, 61, 21 (ádha gâ´vah úpamâtim kanâ´yâh ánu svântásya kásya kit párâ îyuh), is unknown. Possibly it is related to svâtrá, which means something like 'powerful' or 'prosperous.'

p. 166

Note 5. The prayers? The oblations?

Note 6. Api-sthitám may have active or passive meaning, 'he who stands on somebody or something,' and 'he on whom somebody or something stands.'

Verse 5.

Note 1. The first Pâda (and probably also the fourth) belong to the metrical. type described by H. O., Prolegomena, p. 68 seq.: the first part, before the caesura, consists of four syllables; and then the Pâda goes on as if it had the pentasyllabic opening.

Note 2. After Agni's abode in the Waters and in the wood has been mentioned in the first Pâda, the second Pâda possibly refers to his heavenly abode to which the adjective upamá (highest') seems to point. Thus the 'highest skin' would be the sky. But Sâyana, who refers it to the Vedi, may possibly be right. His explanation would very well agree with the second hemistich.

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