Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. The worshippers of the gods anoint thee at the sacrifice, O lord of the forest 1, with heavenly honey 2. When standing upright bestow wealth (on us) here, or when abiding in this mother's lap 3.
2. Situated in front of the kindled (fire), accepting our sacred spell which protects from old age and gives valiant offspring, driving away far from us lack of thoughts 1, rise up 2 for the sake of great prosperity.
3. Rise up, O lord of the forest, on the summit of the earth. Erected by skilful erection bestow splendour on (the worshipper) who fits out the sacrifice as a vehicle 1.
4. A well-clothed youth dressed has come hither. He becomes more excellent when born 1. Wise sages full of pious thoughts, longing for the gods in their mind, bring him forth.
5. He who has been born is born 1 in the auspiciousness of days, growing up in the assembly and at the sacrifice 2. Wise, active men purify him by pious thoughts; the priest approaching the gods raises his voice 3.
6. You whom the worshippers of the gods have fastened down (in the earth), or whom the axe has fashioned, O lord of the forest: may those divine posts 1 standing (here) take care to bestow on us treasures with offspring.
7. (The posts) which have been hewn on the earth and fastened down, and to which the sacrificial
ladles have been raised 1: may they, giving bliss to our fields 2, eagerly seek precious goods for us among the gods.
8. May the Âdityas, the Rudras, the Vasus, the good leaders, Heaven and Earth, the Earth 1 and the Air—may the gods unanimously bless this sacrifice; may they raise up the banner of the sacrifice (the Yûpa).
9. Like swans ranging themselves in rows, arraying themselves in brightness the sacrificial posts have come to us. Led up by the sages they go forward as gods to the abode of the gods.
10. Like horns of horned animals the sacrificial posts with their head-pieces 1 are seen on the earth. Hearing (us) in the emulating call of the invoking (priests) may they protect us in the racings of battles.
11. O lord of the forest, rise with a hundred branches; may we rise with a thousand branches (offspring)—thou whom this sharpened axe has led forward to great prosperity.
The same Rishi. The metre is Trishtubh (verses 3 and 7 Anushtubh).
This Sûkta is a collection of liturgical verses that refer to the erecting and anointing of the sacrificial post, and to the winding of a rope about it. See Aitareya Brâhmana II, 2; Âsvalâyana Srautasûtra III, 1, 8 seq.; Sâṅkhâyana Srautasûtra V, 15, 2 seq.; Schwab, Das Altindische Thieropfer, 68 seq.; Bergaigne, Recherches sur l’Histoire de la Liturgie Védique, 16. On the ritual acts referring to the sacrificial post which seem to be connected with ancient
tree-worship, comp. also H. O., Religion ties Veda, 90 seq., 256.—Verses 1–5 = TB. III, 6, 1, 1. 3; MS. IV, 13, 1. Verse 3 = MS. I, 2, 11. Verse 4 = TÂ. I, 27, 2. Verse 10 = TB. II, 4, 7, 11. Verse 11 = TS. I, 3, 5, 1; VI, 3, 3, 3.
Note 1. The tree of which the sacrificial post is made.
Note 2. The post is anointed with butter, see Schwab, l. c., 69. This butter is spoken of as honey also in the Yagus, which refers to this rite, 'May the god Savitri anoint thee with honey,' Taittirîya Samhitâ I, 3, 6, 1.
Note 3. In the lap of the mother Earth.
Note 1. Ámati has nothing to do with the verb am; it is the contrary of matí. See Rig-veda IV, II, 6. ámatim … ámhah … duhmatím; X, 33, 2, and such passages of the younger Vedic Samhitâs as Vâg. Samh. XVII, 54 (ápa ámatim duhmatím bâ´dhamânâh). The same is the opinion of Geldner (Ved. Studien, II, 184, note 4).
Note 2. The sacrificial post is addressed.
Note 1. Comp. below, III, 24, 1.
Note 1. The sacrificial post, round which a rope of grass (Schwab, Thieropfer, p. 49) is tied, is compared here with a well-dressed youth. This seems to contain an allusion to the Upanayana ceremony, at which the youth was invested with the sacred girdle, and which was considered as a second birth (comp. Pâda B: 'He becomes more excellent when born'). There is no doubt that this rite is as old and older than the Rig-veda; see H. O., Religion des Veda, 466 seq. It may be noted that several Grihya-sûtras prescribe the use of our verse at the Upanayana (Âsvalâyana I, 20, 9, &c.).
Note 1. Does this expression refer again to the second birth (see the preceding note)?
Note 2. The text has vidáthe.
Note 3. Comp. V, 76, 1. út víprâ´nâm devayâ´h vâ´kah asthuh. The conjecture devayâ´m easily suggests itself, but it is not necessary.
Note 1. In the Rig-veda, sváru means the sacrificial post itself, not, as in the later ritual texts (Schwab, Thieropfer, pp. 11, 74), that splinter of the wood of the sacrificial post (yûpasakala), with regard to which Kâtyâyana (VI, 3, 17) prescribes: 'Yûpasakalam asyâm (scil. rasanâyâm) avagûhati.' 'He hides the splinter of the wood of the sacrificial post in the rope (tied round the post).'—See Weber, Indische Studien, IX, 222.
Note 1. Comp. below, IV, 6, 3.
Note 2. Comp. VIII, 71, 12. kshaítrâya sâ´dhase.
Note 1. The Earth is mentioned twice, firstly together with the Heaven, in the compound Dyâ´vâ-Kshâ´mâ, and then separately as Prithivî.
Note 1. On the wooden head-piece of the sacrificial post (kashâ´la), see Schwab, Das Thieropfer, p. 9.