Hymns of the Atharvaveda - Book 01

Atharva Veda

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

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Contents


HYMN I Scroll Up

A prayer to Vāchaspati for divine illumination and help.

1Now may Vāchaspati assign to me the strength and powers of
Those
Who, wearing every shape and form, the triple seven, are
wandering round.
2Come thou again, Vāchaspati, come with divine intelligence.
Vasoshpati, repose thou here. In me be Knowledge, yea, in me.
3Here, even here, spread sheltering arms like the two bow-ends
strained with cord.
This let Vāchaspati confirm. In me be Knowledge, yea, in me.
4Vāchaspati hath been invoked: may he invite us in reply.
May we adhere to Sacred Lore. Never may I be reft thereof.

HYMN II Scroll Up

A charm against dysentery

1We know the father of the shaft, Parjanya, liberal nourisher,
Know well his mother: Prithivī, Earth with her manifold
designs.
2Do thou, O Bowstring, bend thyself around us: make my body
stone.
Firm in thy strength drive far away malignities and hateful
things.
3When, closely clinging round the wood, the bowstring sings
triumph to the swift and whizzing arrow,
Indra, ward off from us the shaft, the missile.
4As in its flight the arrow's point hangs between earth and
firmament,
So stand this Munja grass between ailment and dysenteric ill!

HYMN III Scroll Up

A charm against constipation and suppression of urine

1We know the father of the shaft, Parjanya strong with hundred
powers:
By this may I bring health unto thy body: let the channels pour
their burthen freely as of old.
2We know the father of the shaft, Mitra, the Lord of hundred
powers:
By this, etc.
3We know the father of the shaft, Varuna, strong with hundred
powers: p. a4
By this, etc.
4We know the father of the shaft, the Moon endowed with
hundred powers:
By this, etc.
5We know the father of the shaft, the Sun endowed with hundred
powers:
By this may I bring health unto thy body: let the channels pour
their burthen freely as of old.
6Whate'er hath gathered, as it flowed, in bowels, bladder, or in
groins,
Thus let the conduit, free from check, pour all its burthen as of
old.
7I lay the passage open as one cleaves the dam that bars the
lake:
Thus let, etc.
8Now hath the portal been unclosed as, of the sea that holds the
flood:
Thus let, etc.
9Even as the arrow flies away when loosened from the archer's
bow,
Thus let the burthen be discharged from channels that are checked
no more.

HYMN IV Scroll Up

To the waters, for the prosperity of cattle

1Along their paths the Mothers go, sisters of priestly
ministrants,
Blending their water with the mead.
2May yonder Waters near the Sun, or those wherewith the Sun is
joined,
Send forth this sacrifice of ours.
3I call the Waters, Goddesses, hitherward where our cattle
drink:
The streams must share the sacrifice.
4Amrit is in the Waters, in the Waters balm.
Yea, through our praises of the Floods, O horses, be ye fleet and
strong, and, O ye kine, be full of strength.

HYMN V Scroll Up

To the waters, for strength and power

1Ye, Waters, truly bring us bliss: so help ye us to strength and
power p. a6
That we may look on great delight.
2Here grant to us a share of dew, that most auspicious dew of
yours,
Like mothers in their longing love.
3For you we fain would go to him to whose abode ye send us
forth,
And, Waters, give us procreant strength.
4I pray the Floods to send us balm, those who bear rule o'er
precious things,
And have supreme control of men.

HYMN VI Scroll Up

To the waters, for health and wealth

1The Waters be to us for drink, Goddesses, for our aid and
bliss: p. a7
Let them stream health and wealth to us.
2Within the Waters—Soma thus hath told me—dwell all balms
that heal,
And Agni, he who blesseth all.
3O Waters, teem with medicine to keep my body safe from harm,
So that I long may see the Sun.
4The Waters bless us, all that rise in desert lands or marshy
pools!
Bless us the Waters dug from earth, bless us the Waters brought
in jars, bless us the Waters of the Rains!

HYMN VII Scroll Up

To Indra and Agni, for the detection and destruction of evil spirits

1Bring the Kimidin hither, bring the Yātudhāna self-declared
For Agni, God, thou, lauded, hast become the Dasyu's
slaughterer.
2O Jātavedas, Lord Supreme, controller of our bodies, taste
The butter, Agni, taste the oil: make thou the Yātudhānas
mourn.
3Let Yātudhānas mourn, let all greedy Kimidins weep and
wail:
And, Agni, Indra, may ye both accept this sacrifice of ours. p. a8
4May Agni seize upon them first, may strong-armed Indra drive
them forth:
Let every wicked sorcerer come hither and say, Here am I.
5Let us behold thy strength, O Jātavedas. Viewer of men, tell us
the Yātudhānas.
Burnt by thy heat and making declaration let all approach this
sacrifice before thee.
6O Jātavedas, seize, on them: for our advantage art thou born:
Agni, be thou our messenger and make the Yātudhānas wail.
7O Agni, bring thou hitherward the Yātudhānas bound and
chained.
And afterward let Indra tear their heads off with his thunder-
bolt.

HYMN VIIScroll Up

To Indra, Brihaspati, Soma and Agni, for the destruction of sorcerers

1This sacrifice shall bring the Yātudhānas as the flood brings
foam: p. a9
Here let the doer of this deed woman or man, acknowledge it.
2This one hath come confessing all: do ye receive him
eagerly.
Master him thou, Brihaspati; Agni and Soma, pierce him
through.
3O Soma-drinker, strike and bring the Yātudhāna's progeny:
Make the confessing sinner's eyes fall from his head, both right
and left.
4As thou, O Agni Jātavedas, knowest the races of these secret
greedy beings,
So strengthened by the power of prayer, O Agni, crushing them
down a hundred times destroy them.

HYMN IX Scroll Up

Benediction on a King at his inauguration

1May Indra, Pūshan, Varuria, Mitra, Agni, benignant Gods,
maintain this man in riches.
May the Ādityas and the Vive Devas set and support him in
supremest lustre. p. a10
2May light, O Gods, be under his dominion, Agni, the Sun, all;
that is bright and golden.
Prostrate beneath our feet his foes and rivals. Uplift him to the.
loftiest cope of heaven.
3Through that most mighty prayer, O Jātavedas, wherewith thou.
broughtest milk to strengthen Indra,
Even therewith exalt this man, O Agni, and give him highest rank
among his kinsmen.
4I have assumed their sacrifice, O Agni, their hopes, their glory,.
and their riches' fulness.
Prostrate beneath our feet his foes and rivals. Uplift him to the-
loftiest cope of heaven.

HYMN X Scroll Up

Absolution of a sinner after intercession with Varuna

1This Lord is the Gods' ruler; for the wishes of Varuna the King
must be accomplished.
Therefore, triumphant with the prayer I utter, I rescue this man
from the Fierce One's anger.
2Homage be paid, King Varuna, to thine anger; for thou, dread
God, detectest every falsehood.
I send a thousand others forth together: let this thy servant live
a hundred autumns.
3Whatever falsehood thou hast told, much evil spoken with the
tongue,
I liberate thee from the noose of Varuna the righteous King.
4I free thee from Vaisvānara, from the great surging flood of sin.
Call thou thy brothers, Awful One! and pay attention to our
prayer.

HYMN XI Scroll Up

A charm to be used at child-birth

1Vashat to thee. O Pūshan At this birth let Aryaman the Sage
perform as Hotar-priest, p. a12
As one who bears in season let this dame be ready to bring forth
her child.
2Four are the regions of the sky, and four the regions of the
earth:
The Gods have brought the babe; let them prepare the woman
for the birth.
3Puerpera (infatem) detegat: nos uterum aperimus. Lexa teipsam,
puerpera. Tu, parturiens! emitte eum non carni, non adipi,
non medullae adhāerntem.
4Descendat viscosa placenta, cani, comedenda placenta; decidat
placenta.
5Diffindo tuum urinae ductum, diffindo vaginam, diffindo inguina.
Matrem natumque divido, puerum a placenta divido: decidat
placenta.
6Sicut ventus, sicut mens, sicut alites volant, sic, decem mensium
puer, cum placenta descende: descendat placenta.

HYMN XII Scroll Up

A prayer to Lightning, against fever, headache, and cough

1Born from the womb, brought forth from wind and from the
cloud, the first red bull comes onward thundering with the
rain.
Our bodies may he spare who, cleaving, goes straight on; he who,
a single force, divides himself in three.
2Bending to thee who clingest to each limb with heat, fain would
we worship thee with offered sacrifice,
Worship with sacrifice the bends and curves of thee who with a
vigorous grasp hast seized on this one's limbs.
3Do thou release this man from headache, free him from cough
which has entered into all his limbs and joints.
May he, the child of cloud, the offspring of the wind, the whiz-
zing lighting, strike the mountains and the trees.
4Well be it with my upper frame, well be it with my lower parts.
With my four limbs let it be well. Let all my body be in health.

HYMN XIII Scroll Up

A prayer to Lightning, for happiness

1Homage to thee, the Lightning's flash, homage to thee, the
Thunder's roar!
Homage to thee, the Stone which thou hurlest against the
undevout!
2Homage to thee, Child of the Flood whence thou collectest fer-
vent heat!
Be gracious to our bodies, give our children happiness and
joy.
3Yea, homage be to thee, O Offspring of the Flood! Homage we
pay to thee, the dart and fiery flame:
For well we know thy secret and sublimest home, where thou as
central point art buried in the sea.
4Thou, Arrow, which the host of Gods created, making it strong
and mighty for the shooting,
Be gracious, lauded thus, to our assembly. To thee, that Arrow,.
be our homage, Goddess!

HYMN XIV Scroll Up

A woman's incantation against a rival

1As from the tree a wreath, have I assumed her fortune and her
fame:
Among her kinsfolk long may she dwell, like a mountain broadly-
based.
2King Yama, let this maiden be surrendered as a wife to thee:
Bound let her be meanwhile within, her mother's, brother's,
father's house.
3Queen of thy race is she, O King: to thee do we deliver her.
Long with her kinsfolk may she sit, until her hair be white with
age.
4With Asita's and Kasyapa's and Gaya's incantation, thus
As sisters pack within a chest, I bind and tie thy fortune up.

HYMN XV Scroll Up

A prayer for the prosperity of an institutor of sacrifice

1Let the streams, flow together, let the winds and birds assembled
come.
Let this my sacrifice delight them always. I offer it with duly mixt
oblation.
2Come to my call, Blent Offerings, come ye very nigh. And,
singers, do ye strengthen and increase this man.
Hither come every animal: with this man let all wealth abide.
3All river founts that blend their streams for ever inexhaustible—
With all these confluent streams of mine we make abundant
riches flow.
4All streams of melted butter, and all streams of water and of
milk
With all these confluent streams of mine we make abundant riches flow.

A prayer and charm against demons

1May potent Agni who destroys the demons bless and shelter us.
From greedy fiends who rise in troops at night-time when the
moon is dark.
2Varuna's benison hath blessed the lead, and Agni strengthens it.
Indra hath given me the lead: this verily repels the fiends.
3This overcomes Vishkandha, -this drives the voracious fiends
away:
By means of this have I, o'erthrown all the Pisāchi's demon
brood.
4If thou destroy a cow of ours, a human being, or a steed,
We pierce thee with this piece of lead so that thou mayst not slay
our men.

HYMN XVIIScroll Up

A charm to be used at venesection

1Those maidens there, the veins, who run their course in robes of
ruddy hue,
Must now stand quiet, reft of power, like sisters who are brother-
less.
2Stay still, thou upper vein, stay still, thou lower, stay, thou
midmost one,
The smallest one of all stands still: let the great vessel e'en be
still.
3Among a thousand vessels charged with blood, among a thousand
veins,
Even these the middlemost stand still and their extremities have
rest.
4A mighty rampart built of sand hath circled and encompassed
you:
Be still, and quietly take rest.

HYMN XVIIIScroll Up

A charm to avert evil spirits of misfortune and to secure prosperity

1We drive away the Spotted Hag, Misfortune, and Malignity:
All blessings to our children then! We chase Malignity
away.
2Let Savitar, Mitra, Varuna, and Aryaman drive away Stinginess
from both the hands and feet:
May Favour, granting us her bounties, drive her off. The Gods
created Favour for our happiness.
3Each fearful sign upon thy body, in thyself, each inauspicious
mark seen in thy hair, thy face,
All this we drive away and banish with our speech. May Savitar
the God graciously further thee. p. a18
4Antelope-foot, and Bullock-tooth, Cow-terrifier, Vapour-form,
The Licker, and the Spotted Hag, all these we drive away from
us.

HYMN XIX

A prayer for protection from arrows and for the punishment of enemies

1Let not the piercers find us, nor let those who wound discover
us.
O Indra, make the arrows fall, turned, far from us, to every
side.
2Turned from us let the arrows fall, those shot and those that will
be shot.
Shafts of the Gods and shafts of men, strike and transfix mine
enemies:
3Whoever treateth us as foes, be he our own or strange to us, a
kinsman or a foreigner,
May Rudra with his arrows pierce and slay these enemies of
mine. p. a19
4The rival and non-rival, he who in his hatred curses us
May all the deities injure him! My nearest, closest mail is
prayer.

HYMN XXScroll Up

A prayer to Soma, the Maruts, Mitra, and Varuna, for protection

1May it glide harmless by in this our sacrifice, O Soma, God!
Maruts, be gracious unto us.
Let not disaster, let not malison find us out; let not abominable
guiles discover us.
2Mitra and Varuna, ye twain, turn carefully away from us
The deadly dart that flies to-day, the missile of the wicked
ones.
3Ward off from this side and from that, O Varuna, the deadly
dart:
Give us thy great protection, turn the lethal weapon far away.
4A mighty Ruler thus art thou, unconquered, vanquisher of
foes,
Even thou whose friend is never slain, whose friend is never over-
come.

HYMN XXIScroll Up

A prayer to Indra for protection

1Lord of the clans, giver of bliss, fiend-slayer, mighty o'er the
foe,
May Indra, Soma-drinker, go before us, Bull, who brings us
peace.
2Indra, subdue our enemies, lay low the men who fight with
us:
Down into nether darkness send the man who shows us enmity:
3Strike down the fiend, strike down the foes, break thou asunder
Vritra's jaws.
O Indra, Vritra-slayer, quell the wrath of the assailing foe.
4Turn thou the foeman's thought away, his dart who fain would
conquer us:
Grant us thy great protection; keep his deadly weapon far
away.

HYMN XXIIScroll Up

A charm against jaundice

1As the Sun rises, let thy sore disease and yellowness depart. p. a21
We compass and surround thee with the colour of a ruddy ox.
2With ruddy hues we compass thee that thou mayst live a leng-
thened life:
So that this man be free from harm, and cast his yellow tint
away.
3Devatyās that are red of hue, yea, and the ruddy-coloured
kine,
Each several form, each several force—with these we compass
thee about.
4To parrots and to starlings we transfer thy sickly yellowness:
Now in the yellow-coloured birds we lay this yellowness of
thine.

HYMN XXIIIScroll Up

A charm against leprosy

1O Plant, thou sprangest up at night, dusky, dark-coloured,
black in hue! p. a22
So, Rajani, re-colour thou these ashy spots, this leprosy.
2Expel the leprosy, remove from him the spots and ashy hue:
Let thine own colour come to thee; drive far away the specks of
white.
3Dark is the place of thy repose, dark is the place thou dwellest
in:
Dusky and dark, O Plant, art thou: remove from him each
speck and spot.
4I with my spell have chased away the pallid sign of leprosy,
Caused by infection, on the skin, sprung from the body, from the
bones.

HYMN XXIVScroll Up

A charm against leprosy

1First, before all, the strong-winged Bird was born;; thou wast
the gall thereof.
Conquered in fight, the Asuri took then the shape and form of
plants.
2The Asuri made, first of all, this medicine for leprosy, this
banisher of leprosy.
She banished leprosy, and gave one general colour to the skin.
3One-coloured, is thy mother's name, One-coloured is thy father
called:
One-colour-maker, Plant! art thou: give thou one colour to this
man. p. a23
4Sāmā who gives one general hue was formed and fashioned from
the earth:
Further this work efficiently. Restore the colours that were his.

HYMN XXVScroll Up

A prayer to fever, as a charm against his attacks

1When Agni blazed when he had pierced the Waters, whereat the
Law-observers paid him homage,
There, men assever, was thy loftiest birthplace: O Fever, yield-
ing to our prayer avoid us.
2If thou be fiery glow, or inflammation, or if thy birthplace call
for chips of fuel,
Rack is thy name, God of the sickly yellow! O Fever, yielding
to our prayer avoid us.
3Be thou distress, or agonizing torment, be thou the son King
Varuna hath begotten,
Rack isthy name, God of the sickly yellow! O Fever, yielding to
our prayer avoid us.
4I offer homage to the chilly Fever, to his fierce burning glow I
offer homage. p. a24
Be adoration paid to Fever coming each other day, the third, of
two days running.

HYMN XXVI

A prayer for protection, guidance, and prosperity

1Let that Destructive Weapon be far distant from us, O ye Gods;
far be the Stone ye wont to hurl.
2Our friend be that Celestial Grace, Indra and Bhaga be our friends,
and Savitar with splendid Wealth. p. a25
3Thou, Offspring of the waterflood, ye Maruts, with your sun-
bright skins, give us protection reaching far.
4Further us rightly, favour ye our bodies with your gracious love.
Give thou our children happiness.

HYMN XXVIIScroll Up

A charm to obtain invisibility

1There on the bank those Vipers lie, thrice-seven, having cast
their skins:
Now we with their discarded sloughs bind close and cover up the
eyes of the malicious highway thief.
2Far let her go, cutting her way, brandishing, as it were, a club:
Diverted be the new-born's mind: ne'er are the wicked
prosperous.
3Not many have had power enough; the feeble ones have not
prevailed,
Like scattered fragments of a reed: ne'er are the wicked pros-
perous.
4Go forward, feet, press quickly on, bring to the house of him
who pays.
Unconquered and unplundered, let Indrānf, foremost, lead the
way.

HYMN XXVIIIScroll Up

A prayer to Agni for the destruction of evil spirits

1God Agni hath come forth to us, fiend-slayer, chaser of disease,
Burning the Yātudhānas up, Kimidins, and deceitful ones.
2Consume the Yātudhānas, God! meet the Kimidins with thy
flame:
Burn up the Yātudhānis as they face thee, thou whose path is
black!
3She who hath cursed us with a curse, or hath conceived a
murderous sin;
Or seized our son to take his blood, let her devour the child
she bare.
4Let her, the Yātudhāni eat son, sister, and her daughter's.
child.
Now let the twain by turns destroy the wild-haired Yātudhānis-
and crush down Arāyis to the earth!

HYMN XXIXScroll Up

A charm to secure the supremacy of a dethroned King

1With that victorious Amulet which strengthened Indra's power-
and might p. a27
Do thou, O Brāhmanaspati, increase our strength for kingly
sway.
2Subduing those who rival us, subduing all malignities,
Withstand the man who menaces, and him who seeks to injure-
us.
3Soma and Savitar the God have strengthened and exalted thee:
All elements have aided thee, to make thee general conqueror.
4Slayer of rivals, vanquisher, may that victorious Amulet
Be bound on me for regal sway and conquest of mine enemies.
5Yon Sun hath mounted up on high, and this my word hath
mounted up
That I may smite my foes and be slayer of rivals, rivalless.
6Destroyer of my rivals, strong, victorious, with royal sway,
May I be ruler of these men, and King and sovran of the folk.

HYMN XXXScroll Up

A benediction on a King at his consecration

1Guard and protect this man, all Gods and Vasus. Over him keep-
ye watch and ward, Ādityas.
Let not death reach him from the hands of brothers from hands
of aliens, or of human beings.
2Listen, one-minded, to the word I, utter, the sons, O Gods,
among you, and the fathers!
I trust this man to all of you: preserve him happily, and to
length of days conduct him.
3All Gods who dwell on earth or in the heavens, in air, within.
the plants, the beasts, the waters,
Grant this man life to full old age, and let him escape the
hundred other ways of dying. p. a28
4You, claiming Anuyājas or Prayājas, sharers, or not consumers,
of oblation,
You, to whom heaven's five regions are apportioned, I make
companions at his sacred sessions.

HYMN XXXIScroll Up

A prayer for protection and general prosperity

1Here will we serve with sacrifice the great Controllers of the
world,
The four immortal Warders who protect the regions of the sky.
2Ye, Guardians of the regions, Gods who keep the quarters of
the heavens,
Rescue and free us from the bonds of Nirriti, from grief and
woe!
3I, free from stiffness, serve thee with oblation, not lame I sacri-
fice with oil and fatness.
Let the strong Warder God, who keeps the regions bring to us
hither safety and well-being.
4Well be it with our mother and our father, well be it with our
cows, and beasts, and people.
Ours be all happy fortune, grace, and favour. Long, very long
may we behold the sunlight.

HYMN XXXIIScroll Up

In praise of Heaven and Earth

1Ye people, hear and mark this well: he will pronounce a mighty
prayer:
That which gives breathing to the Plants is not on earth nor in,
the heaven.
2Their station, as of those who rest when weary, is in midmost air:
The base whereon this world is built, the sages know or know
it not.
3What the two trembling hemispheres and ground produced and
fashioned forth.
This All, is ever fresh to-day, even as the currents of the sea.
4This All hath compassed round the one, and on the other lies
at rest.
To Earth and all-possessing Heaven mine adoration have I paid.

HYMN XXXIIIScroll Up

To the Waters, for health and happiness

1May they, the golden-hued, the bright, the splendid, they wherein
Savitar was born and Agni,
They who took Agni as a germ, fair-coloured, the Waters, bring
felicity and bless us!
2They in the midst whereof King Varuna moveth, viewing men's
righteous and unrighteous dealing.
They who took Agni as a germ, fair-coloured,—those Waters bring
felicity and bless us!
3Whom the Gods make their beverage in heaven, they who wax
manifold in air's mid-region,
They who took Agni as a germ, fair-coloured,—those Waters bring
felicity and bless us!
4Ye Waters, with auspicious eye behold me: touch ye my skin
with your auspicious body.
May they, the bright and pure, distilling fatness, those Waters,
bring felicity and bless us.

HYMN XXXIVScroll Up

A young man's love-charm

01. From honey sprang this Plant to life; with honey now we dig
thee up.
Make us as sweet as honey, for from honey hast thou been pro-
duced.
2My tongue hath honey at the tip, and sweetest honey at the root: p. a31
Thou yieldest to my wish and will, and shalt be mine and only
mine.
3My coming in is honey-sweet and honey-sweet, my going forth:
My voice and words are sweet: I fain would be like honey in
my look.
4Sweeter am I than honey, yet more full of sweets than licorice:
So mayst thou love me as a branch full of all sweets, and only me.
5Around thee have I girt a zone of sugar-cane to banish hate.
That thou mayst be in love with me, my darling never to depart.

HYMN XXXVScroll Up

A charm to ensure long life and glory to the wearer of an amulet

1This Ornament of Gold which Daksha's children bound, with
benevolent thoughts, on Satānïka,
This do I bind on thee for life, for glory, for long life lasting
through a hundred autumns.
2This man no fiends may conquer, no Pisāchas, for this is might
of Gods, their primal offspring.
Whoever wears the Gold of Daksha's children hath a long
lengthened life among the living.
3The light, the power, the lustre of the Waters, the strength of
Trees, and all their forceful vigour,
We lay on him as powers abide in Indra: so let him wear this
Gold and show his valour.
4With monthly and six-monthly times and seasons, with the full
year's sweet essence do we fill thee, p. a32
May Indra, Agni, and all Gods together, showing no anger, grant
thee what thou wishest.

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Source: The Hymns of the Atharvaveda. translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith [1895-6]. The text has been reformatted by Jayaram V for Hinduwebsite.com.  As far as the presentation of the material is concerned, this online version does not follow the original book. While all possible care has been taken to reproduce the text accurately, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or the authenticity of the text produced. We strongly recommend to  use this text for general reading and understanding and refer the original edition for serious studies and academic projects .