Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. When Mâtarisvan … 1 had produced by attrition the Hotri, the … 2 who belongs to all gods, whom they have established among the human clans, shining like the sun, resplendent that (he might show his beautiful) shape—
2. They did not deceive him 1 who had granted a hymn (to the worshipper). Agni is my protection; therewith he is satisfied. They took pleasure in all his 2 works—(in the works) of the singer who brought praise.
3. Whom the worshipful (gods) 1 took and placed in his own seat (as priest) with their praises: him they 2 have carried forward, taking hold of him in their search, hastening like horses that draw a chariot.
4. The marvellous one destroys many things with his jaws. Then 1 the resplendent one shines in the forest. Then the wind blows after his flame day by day as after the arrow of an archer, after a weapon that has been shot.
5. Him whom no impostors, no harmful foes 1, no harm-doers may harm when he dwells in (his mother's) womb, him the blind ones bereft of sight did not damage by looking at him 2. His own friends have protected him.
The same Rishi and metre.—Verse 1 = MS. IV, 14, 15.
Note 1. The first Pâda is identical with the first Pâda of I, 71, 4 (see our note there) with the exception of the word vishtáh, instead of which that parallel passage has the reading ví-bhritah. It seems impossible to explain vishtáh, and the concurrence of the metrical irregularity in the same part of the Pâda—though metrical irregularities are not infrequent in this hymn—invites to a correction of the text. If ví-bhritah in I, 71, 4 (see note there) refers to Mâtarisvan, which I consider as doubtful, it would be easy to find for our passage an equivalent of that word little differing from the traditional vishtáh, namely, vísthitah: 'when Mâtarisvan, standing in different places, had produced him by attrition.' Of course whoever adopts a conjecture like this, can scarcely avoid understanding ví-bhritah in I, 71, 4 as an epithet of Mâtarisvan, not of Agni. Another way to correct our passage would be to put into the text a form derived from the root vish, 'to accomplish a work,' for instance, vishtyâ´ (to be read as trisyllabic): 'when Mâtarisvan by his effort,' &c. Grassmann's ví-sitah is quite improbable.
Note 2. Visvá-apsum (Samhitâ text, visvâ´psum), evidently an epithet of Agni the Hotri, seems corrupt. Shall we read visvá-psum ('endowed with all food')—comp. VIII, 22, 12. hávam visvápsum visvávâryam—or visva-púsham (Samh., visvâpúsham, 'all-nourishing') or visvá-apasam ('doing all works')? Also visvá-psnyam may be thought of. It is impossible, of course, to arrive at any certain conclusion.
Note 1. 'He' seems to be Agni. Sâyana, however, explains: dadânam id agnaye kurvânam eva mâm. This would lead to a translation like this: '(The enemies) did
not deceive (me, the worshipper) who had addressed a hymn (to Agni).'
Note 2. On 'his' Sâyana remarks, 'yagamânasya mama.' But the word may refer to Agni.
Note 1. There is no reason for abandoning here the usual meaning of yagñíya. On the gods seeking after Agni, comp. Bergaigne, I, 110.
Note 2. It is very probable, to say the least, that 'they' are again the gods.
Note 1. Is the first â´t dissyllabic? More probably the Pâda is deficient by one syllable.
Note 1. Two syllables are wanting before the caesura of the first Pâda.
Note 2. Was there a belief that a blind man by turning his blind eyes on somebody could do him harm? Possibly we might have to translate: 'Him (his foes) blind and bereft of sight did not damage though looking at him (i. e. though turning their blind eyes on him).'—Prof. Max Müller writes: 'Could it be: Even the blind saw, but did not injure him (andhâ´h apasyan ná dabhan); abhikhyâ´, when he was seen, no longer in the womb?'