Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. The brilliant Hotri 1 has been born 2, the father to protect the fathers 3, aspiring after noble wealth. May we be able to bridle the strong (horse) 4.
2. He the leader of the sacrifice towards whom the seven reins (or rays) are stretched, the Potri promotes, as (he has done) for Manu, the divine eighth (rein); all those (reins he promotes) 1.
3. Or when he has run along, and has recited the sacred words 1, and has pursued that (duty) 2, he has encompassed every kind of wisdom as the felly (encircles) the wheel.
4. For He has been born as the bright Prasâstri, with bright power of mind. (A man) who knows his firm laws, mounts up on them as on the branches (of a tree) 1.
5. The lively milch-cows were attached to his, the Neshtri's, (bright) colour 1. Was it according to the wish of the three sisters who have gone there 2?
6. When (coming) from the mother the sister has approached, bringing ghrita 1, the Adhvaryu rejoices at their 2 coming as corn (rejoices) at rain.
7. May He the Ritvig (priest) himself make the Ritvig (serve) for his own refreshment 1. And may we readily gain the praise and the sacrifice 2; we have offered it.
8. In order that He the knowing one (Agni) may readily serve all the worshipful (gods), this sacrifice, O Agni, which we have performed, rests in thee.
The same Rishi. Metre, Anushtubh.—Verse 3 = SV. I, 94; TS. III, 3, 3, 3; MS. II, 13, 5.
Note 1. As the Hotri is mentioned here, the following verses contain each the names of the other priests as given in II, 1, 2. Only the Agnîdh is left out; possibly the words sváh svâ´ya dhâ´yase krinutâ´m ritvík ritvígam (verse 7) contain an allusion to this priest, who may well be termed the Ritvig belonging to Agni and refreshing him.
Note 2. With the first Pâda of our verse, compare IX, 64, 10. índuh pavishta kétanah.
Note 3. The meaning seems to be: Agni, who has protected the fathers, has been born again, and will do the same for the present sacrificer.
Note 4. The strong horse, of course, is Agni. Comp. III, 27, 3 (see below). On the construction (vâgínah yámam), see Delbrück, Altindische Syntax, p. 417.
Note 1. On the seven rays or reins of Agni, see I, 146, 1, note 1. Besides the seven priests a mysterious eighth Ritvig priest is spoken of (X, 114, 9. kám ritvígâm ashtamám sû´ram âhuh); thus Agni has a mysterious eighth rasmí (ray or rein) besides the seven. Comp. Bergaigne, Religion Védique, II, 144.
Note 1. Vókat bráhmâni: this seems to be an allusion to the Brahman priest (see verse 1, note 1).
Note 2. Véh is third singular. See Joh. Schmidt, Kuhn's Zeitschrift, XXV, 91.
Note 1. Comp. VIII, 13, 6. vayâ´h-iva ánu rohate. Prof.
[paragraph continues] Max Müller (vol. xxxii, p. 207) translates, 'springs up like young sprouts.'
Note 1. It is the Neshtri's office to lead the wife of the sacrificer to the place where the sacrifice is being performed. Thus Agni, the divine Neshtri, is represented as accompanied by female beings, by the 'milch-cows,' meaning the oblations of ghrita, &c., or possibly the dawns.
Note 2. Are the 'three sisters' (comp. Bergaigne, 1, 321; II, 107) identical with the milch-cows spoken of in the first hemistich? Ludwig (vol. iv, p. 166) very appropriately calls attention to the fact that three cows were milked at the sacrifice of the full and the new moon. Comp. Hillebrandt, Altindisches Neu- and Vollmondsopfer, p. 12 seq. Three dawns are mentioned in VIII, 41, 3.
Note 1. The sister bringing ghrita seems to be the sacrificial spoon. Is the mother the milk-vessel or possibly the cow?
Note 2. Does 'their' refer to the mother and the sister (cf. Delbrück, Altindische Syntax, p. 102)? Or are 'the three sisters who have gone there' referred to?
Note 1. The one Ritvig is Agni; the other possibly is the Agnîdh who refreshes the Ritvig Agni. See verse 1, note 1.
Note 2. After â´t we should expect, instead of áram, another accusative, possibly ríkam (see VII, 66, 11): 'may we master the praise, the sacrifice, and the verse.' Áram may have found its way into the text from verse 8.