Hymns of the Atharvaveda - Book 11

Atharva Veda

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

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HYMN I Scroll Up

An accompaniment to the preparation and presentation of a Brahmaudana

1Agni, spring forth! Here Aditi, afflicted, cooks a Brahmaudana,
yearning for children.
Let the Seven Rishis, World-creators, rub thee into existence
here with gift of offspring.
2Raise, as I bid, the smoke, my strong companions, lovers of free-
dom from deceit and malice!
Victor in fight heroic, here is Agni by whom the Gods subdued
the hostile demons.
3Thou, Agni, wart produced for mighty valour, to cook Brahmau-
dana, O Jātavedas.
Seven Rishis, makers of the world, begat thee, Grant to this
woman wealth with store of heroes.
4Burn up, O Agni, kindled with the fuel. Knowing the Gods who
merit worship, bring them.
Cooking, for these, oblation, Jātavedas! lift up this man to
heaven's most lofty summit.
5Your portion from of old is triply parted, portion of Gods, of
Fathers, and of mortals.
Know, all, your shares. I deal them out among you. The portion
of the Gods shall save this woman.
6Strong art thou, Agni, conquering, all-surpassing. Crush down
our foemen, ruin those who hate us.
So let this measure, measured, being measured, make all our kin
thy tributary vassals.
7Increase with kinsmen and with all abundance: to mighty strength
and power lift up this woman.
Erect, rise upward to the sky's high station, rise to the lofty
world which men call Svarga.
8May this great Earth receive the skin, this Goddess Prithivī,
showing us her love and favour. Then may we go unto the
world of virtue. p. 42
9Fix on the skin these two joined press-stones, duly rending the
fibres for the sacrificer.
Strike down and slay those who assail this woman, and elevating
raise on high her offspring.
10Grasp with thy hand, O man, the well-formed press-stones: the
holy Gods have come unto thy worship.
Three wishes of thy heart which thou electest, these happy gains
for thee I here make ready.
11Here thy devotion is, here is thy birthplace. Aditi, Mother of
brave sons, accept thee!
Wipe away those who fight against this woman with wealth and
store of goodly sons endow her.
12Rest in the roaring frame of wood: be parted from husk and
chaff, ye Sacrificial Fibres.
May we surpass in glory all our rivals. I cast beneath my feet
the men who hate us.
13Go, Dame, and quickly come again: the waters, enclosed, have
mounted thee that thou mayst bear them.
Take thou of these such as are fit for service: skilfully separating.
leave the others.
14Hither these Dames have come in radiant beauty. Arise and seize=
upon thy strength, O woman.
To thee hath sacrifice come: take the pitcher, blest with a good
lord, children, children's children.
15Instructed by the Rishis, bring those waters, the share of strength
which was of old assigned you.
Let this effectual sacrifice afford you protection, fortune, off-
spring, men, and cattle.
16Agni, on thee the sacrificial caldron hath mounted: shining,.
fiercely flaming, heat it.
May hottest flames, divine, sprung from the Rishis, gathering,
with the Seasons, heat this portion.
17Purified, bright, and holy, let these Women, these lucid waters
glide into the caldron.
Cattle and many children may they give us. May he who cooks.
the Odana go to heaven.
18Ye, Sacrificial Rice and Soma Fibres, cleansed and made pure by
prayer and molten butter. p. 43
Enter the water: let the caldron take you. May he who dresses
this ascend to heaven.
19Expand thyself abroad in all thy greatness, with thousand Prish-
thas, in the world of virtue.
Grandfathers, fathers, children, and descendants, fifteenth am I
to thee when I have dressed it.
20With thousand streams and Prishthas, undecaying, Brahmaudana
is celestial, God-reaching.
Those I give up to thee with all their children. Force them to
tribute, but to me be gracious.
21Rise to the altar: bless this dame with offspring. Promote this
woman; drive away the demons.
May we surpass in glory all our rivals. I cast beneath my feet the
men who hate us.
22Approach this woman here with store of cattle: together with
the deities come to meet her.
Let not a curse or imprecation reach thee: in thine own seat
shine forth exempt from sickness.
23Fashioned at first by Right, set by the spirit, this altar of Brahmau-
dana was appointed.
Place the pure boiler on it, woman! set thou therein the rice
mess of Celestial Beings.
24This second hand of Aditi, this ladle which the Seven Rishis,
world-creators, fashioned.
May this scoop deftly pile upon the altar, therein, the members
of the rice-oblation.
25Let the dressed offering and divine Ones serve thee: creep from.
the fire again, own these as masters.
Made pure with Soma rest within the Brāhmans: let not thine
eaters, Rishis' sons, be injured.
26Give understanding unto these, King Soma! all the good Brāh
mans who attend and serve thee.
Oft, in Brahmaudana, and well I call on: Rishis, their sons, and
those who sprang from Fervour.
27Here I set singly in the hands of Brāhmans these cleansed and.
purifie d and holy Women,
May Indra, Marut girt, grant me the blessing which as I sprinkle
you, my heart desireth.
28Here is my gold, a light immortal: ripened grain from the field
this Cow of Plenty give me! p. 44
This wealth I place among the Brāhmans, making a path that
leads to heaven among the Fathers.
29Lay thou the chaff in Agni Jātavedas: remove the husks and
drive them to a distance.
That, we have heard, that is the House-Lord's portion: we know
the share allotted to Destruction.
30Mark him who toils and cooks and pours oblation: make this
man climb the path that leads to heaven,
That he may mount and reach life that is highest, ascending to
the loftiest vault above us.
31Adhvaryu, cleanse that face of the Supporter. Make room, well
knowing, for the molten butter.
Purify duly all the limbs with fatness. I make a path to heaven
amid the Fathers.
32Supporter, send to those men fiends and battle, to all non-Brah-
mans who attend and serve thee.
Famous and foremost, with their great possessions, let not these
here, the Rishis sons, be injured.
33I set thee, Odana, with Rishis' children: naught here belongs to
men not sprung from Rishis.
Let Agni my protector, all the Maruts, the Visve Devas guard
the cooked oblation.
34May we adore thee, Sacrifice that yieldeth an everlasting son,
cow, home of treasures,
Together with increasing store of riches, long life and immor-
tality of children.
35Thou art a Bull that mounts to heaven: to Rishis and their off-
spring go.
Rest in the world of pious men: there is the place prepared for
36Level the ways: go thitherward, O Agni. Make ready thou the
Godward-leading pathways.
By these our pious actions may we follow sacrifice dwelling in
the seven-rayed heaven.
37May we invested with that light go upward, ascending to the
sky's most lofty summit.
Wherewith the Gods, what time they had made ready
Brahmaudana, mounted to the world of virtue.

HYMN II Scroll Up

Prayer and praise to Bhava, Sarva and Rudra

1Bhava and Sarva, spare us, be not hostile. Homage to you, twin
Lords of beasts and spirits!
Shoot not the arrow aimed and drawn against us: forbear to
harm our quadrupeds and bipeds.
2Cast not our bodies to the dog or jackal, nor, Lord of Beasts!
to carrion-kites or vultures.
Let not thy black voracious flies attack them; let not thy birds
obtain them for their banquet.
3We offer homage to thy shout, Bhava! thy breath, thy racking
Homage, Immortal One! to thee, to Rudra of the thousand
4We offer reverence to thee from eastward, and from north and
From all the compass of the sky, to thee and to the firmament.
5Homage, O Bhava, Lord of Beasts, unto thy face and all thine
To skin, and hue, and aspect, and to thee when looked at from
6We offer homage to thy limbs, thy belly, and thy tongue, and
mouth we offer homage to thy smell.
7Never may we contend with him, the mighty archer, thousand-
eyed. p. 47
Rudra who wears black tufts of hair, the slaughterer of
8May he, may Bhava from all sides avoid us, avoid us even as
fire avoids the waters. Let him not threaten us. To him be
9Four times, eight times be homage paid to Bhava, yea, Lord of
Beasts, ten times be reverence paid thee!
Thine are these animals, five several classes, oxen, and goats and
sheep, and men, and horses
10Thine the four regions, thine are earth and heaven, thine,
Mighty One, this firmament between them;
Thine everything with soul and breath here on the surface of the
11Thine is this ample wealth-containing storehouse that holds with-
in it all these living creatures.
Favour us, Lord of Beasts, to thee be homage! Far from us go
ill-omens, dogs, and jackals, and wild-haired women with
their horrid shrieking!
12A yellow bow of gold thou wieldest, slaying its hundred, tufted
God! smiting its thousand.
Weapon of Gods, far flies the shaft of Rudra: wherever it may
be, we pay it homage.
13Thou, Rudra, followest close the foe who lies in wait to conquer
Even as a hunter who pursues the footsteps of the wounded
14Accordant and allies, Bhava and Rudra, with mighty strength ye
go to deeds of valour. Wherever they may be, we pay them
15Be homage, Rudra, unto thee approaching and departing hence!
Homage to thee when standing still, to thee when seated and at
16Homage at evening and at morn, homage at night, homage by
day .
To Bhava and to Sarva, both, have I paid lowly reverence,
17Let us not outrage with our tongue far-seeing Rudra, thousand-
Inspired with varied lore, who shoots his arrows forward, far
away. p. 48
18Foremost we go to meet his car, the chariot of the long-haired
Drawn by brown horses, dusky, black, o'erthrowing, slaying,
terrible. Let reverence be paid to him.
19Cast not thy club at us, thy heavenly weapon. Lord of Beasts,
be not wroth with us. Let reverence be paid to thee.
Shake thy celestial branch above some others elsewhere, not o'er
20Do us no harm, but comfort us: avoid thou us, and be not
wroth. Never let us contend with thee.
21Covet not thou our kine or men, covet not thou our goats or
Elsewhither, strong One! turn thine aim: destroy the mockers'
22Homage to him whose weapon, Cough or Fever, assails one like
the neighing of a stallion; to him who draws one forth and
then another!
23Homage be paid him with ten Sakvari verses who stands
established in the air's mid-region, slaying non-sacrificing
24For thee were forest beasts and sylvan creatures placed in the
wood, and small birds, swans, and eagles.
Floods, Lord of Beasts! contain thy living beings: to swell thy
strength flow the celestial Waters.
25Porpoises, serpents, strange aquatic monsters, fishes, and things
unclean at which thou shootest.
Nothing is far for thee, naught checks thee, Bhava! The whole
earth in a moment thou surveyest. From the east sea thou
smitest in the northern.
26O'erwhelm us not with Fever or with poison, nor, Rudra! with
the fire that comes from heaven. Elsewhere, and not on us,
cast down this lightning.
27Ruler of heaven and Lord of earth is Bhava: Bhava hath filled
the spacious air's mid-region. Where'er he be, to him be paid
our homage!
28King Bhava, favour him who offers worship, for thou art
Pasupati, Lord of victims.
Be gracious to the quadruped and biped of the believer in the
Gods' existence. p. 49
29Harm thou among us neither great nor little, not one who bears
us, not our future bearers.
Injure no sire among us, harm no mother. Forbear to injure our
own bodies, Rudra.
30This lowly reverence have I paid to Rudra's dogs with mighty
Hounds terrible with bark and howl, who gorge unmasticated
31Homage to thy loud-shouting hosts and thy long-haired
Homage to hosts that are adored, homage to armies that enjoy
Homage to all thy troops, O God. Security and bliss be ours!

HYMN III Scroll Up

A glorification of the Odana or oblation of boiled rice

11. Of that Odana Brihaspati is the head, Brahma the mouth.
22. Heaven and Earth are the ears, the Sun and Moon are the
eyes, the seven Rishis are the vital airs inhaled and exhaled. p. 50
3. Vision is the pestle, Desire the mortar. 4. Diti is the
winnowing basket, Aditi is she who holds it, Vāta is the sifter.
5. Horses are the grains, oxen the winnowed ricegrains, gnats
the husks. 6. Kabru is the husked grain, the rain cloud is the
reed. 7. Grey iron is its flesh, copper its blood. 8. Tin is its
ashes, gold its colour, the blue lotus flower its scent. 9. The
threshing-floor is its dish, the wooden swords its shoulders,
the car-shafts its backbones. 10. Collar-bones are its entrails,
straps its intestines. 11. This earth, verily becomes the jar,
and heaven the cover of the Odana as it is cooking.
12. Furrows are its ribs, sandy soils the undigested contents
of its stomach. 13. Law is its water for the hands and family
custom its aspersion. 14. The jar covered with the Rich has
been solemnly directed by the priestly office. 15. Received by
the Brāhman, it has been carried round. 16. The Brihat is,
the stirring-spoon, the Rathantara the ladle. 17. The Seasons
are the dressers, the Groups of Seasons kindle the fire.
18. The caldron flames round the oblation (charu) whose
mouth consists of five openings.
1919. The sacrificial word, all worlds are to be won with Odana.
2020. Whereon in order rest the three, the ocean, and the heaven, and
2121. Within the residue whereof the Gods arranged six eightieth
2222. I ask thee, of this Odana what is the mighty magnitude.
2323. He who may know the magnitude of the Odana. 24. Would say,
Not small, nor devoid of moistening sauce; not this, nor any-
thing whatever. 25. He would not declare it to be greater than
the giver imagines it to be. 26. The theologians say, Thou
hast eaten the averted Odana and the Odana turned hither-
ward. 27. Thou hast eaten the Odana and the Odana will eat
thee. 28. Thou hast eaten this averted; thy inward breath will
leave thee; so he said to this one. 29. Thou hast eaten this
turned hitherward; thy downward breath will leave thee; so
he said to this one. 30. I indeed have not eaten the Odana,
nor has the Odana eaten me. 31. The Odana has just eaten
the Odana.


3232. And thence he said to this one, Thou hast eaten this with ap. 51
different head from that with which the ancient Rishis ate:
thy offspring, reckoning from the eldest, will die. I have eaten
it neither turned downward, nor turned away, nor turned
hitherward. With Brihaspati as head: with him I have eaten,
with him have I come to it. Now this Odana is complete with
all members, joints, and body. Complete, verily, with all his
members, joints, and body is he who possess this knowledge.
33. And thence he said to him, Thou hast eaten this with
other ears than those with which the ancient Rishis ate it.
Thou wilt be deaf. I have eaten it neither, etc. (as in verse 32).
With Heaven and Earth as ears, with these I have eaten it,
with these I have come to it. Now this Odana, etc. (as in 32).
34. And thence he said to him. Thou hast eaten this with
other eyes . . . thou wilt be blind. With Sun and Moon, etc.
35. And thence, etc. . . with other month. Thy offspring will
die, reckoning from the head . . . With Brahma as mouth.
36. And thence, etc. . . . with other tongue . . . Thy tongue
will die . . . With the tongue of Agni. 37. And thence, etc. . .
With other teeth . . . Thy teeth will fall out . . . With the
Seasons as teeth. 38. And thence, etc. . . . with other vital
airs. . . . Thy vital airs will leave thee . . . With the Seven
Rishis as the vital airs. 39. And thence, etc. . . . with other
expanse . . . Consumption will destroy thee . . . With the
firmament as expanse. 40 And thence, etc. . . . with other
back. . . . Lightning will slay thee. . . With the heaven as
back. 41. And thence, etc. . . . with other breast . . . Thou
wilt fail in agriculture. . . . With the earth as breast. 42. And
thence, etc. . . . with other belly . . . colic will destroy thee . . .
With truth as belly. 43. And thence, etc. . . . with other
abdomen . . . Thou wilt die in the water . . . With the sea as
abdomen. 44. And thence, etc. . . . with other thighs . . .
Thy thigh will perish . . . With Mitra-Varuna as thighs.
45. And thence, etc. . . . with other knees . . . Thou wilt
become a sick man . . . With the knees of Tvashtar. 46. And
thence, etc. . . . with other feet . . . Thou wilt become a
wanderer . . . With the feet of the Asvins. 47. And thence,
etc. . . with other fore-parts of the feet . . . A serpent will
kill thee . . . With the fore-parts of Savitar's feet. 48. And
thence, etc. . . . with other hands . . . The Brāhmana (divine
power) will kill thee . . . With the hands of Right. 49. And p. 52
thence, etc. . . . with other basis . . . Without standing-ground
and resting-place thou wilt die . . . Having taken my stand on
truth. With this I ate it, with this I came to it. Now this
Odana is complete with all members, joints, and body.
Complete, verily, with all his members, joints, and body is he
who possesses this knowledge.

HYMN IV Scroll Up

A glorification of Prāna, Breath or Vital Spirit

1Homage to Prāna, him who hath dominion o'er the universe,
Who hath become the Sovran Lord of all, on whom the whole
2Homage, O Prāna, to thy roar, to thunder-peal and lightning
Homage, O Prāna, unto thee what time thou sendest down thy
3When Prāna with a thunderous voice shouts his loud message
to the plants,
They straightway are impregnate, they conceive, and bear
abundantly. p. 53
4When the due season hath arrived and Prāna shouteth to herbs,
Then all is joyful, yea, each thing upon the surface of the earth.
5When Prāna hath poured down his flood of rain upon the
mighty land.
Cattle and beasts rejoice thereat: Now great will he our
strength, they cry.
6Watered by Prāna's rain the plants have raised their voices in
Thou hast prolonged our life, they say, and given fragrance to us
7Homage to thee when coming nigh, homage to thee departing
Homage, O Prāna, be to thee when standing and when sitting
8Homage to thee at every breath thou drawest in and sendest
Homage to thee when turned away, homage to thee seen face to
face! This reverence be to all of thee!
9Prāna, communicate to us thy dear, thy very dearest form.
Whatever healing balm thou hast, give us thereof that we may
10Prāna robes living creatures as a father his beloved son. Prāna
is sovran Lord of all, of all that breathes not, all that
11Prāna is Fever, he is Death. Prāna is worshipped by the Gods.
Prāna sets in the loftiest sphere the man who speaks the words
of truth.
12Prāna is Deshtri, and Virāj Prāna is reverenced by all. He is the
Sun, he is the Moon. Prāna is called Prajāpati.
13Both breaths are rice and barley, and Prāna is called the toiling
In barley is the inbreath laid, and rice is named the outward
14The human infant in the womb draws vital breath and sends it
When thou, O Prāna, quickenest the babe it springs anew to
15The name of Prāna is bestowed on Mātarisvan and on Wind.
On Prāna, past and future, yea, on Prāna everything depends. p. 54
16All herbs and plants spring forth and grow when thou, O Prāna
Plants of Atharvan, Angiras, plants of the deities and men.
17When Prāna hath poured down his flood of rain upon the
mighty earth,
The plants are wakened into life, and every herd that grows on
18The man who knows this truth of thee, O Prāna, and what bears
thee up
To him will all present their gift of tribute in that loftiest will
all present their gift of tribute in that loftiest world.
19As all these living creatures are thy tributaries, Prāna, so
Shall they bring tribute unto him who hears thee with attentive
20Filled with a babe, mid deities he wanders: grown; near at hand,
he springs again to being.
That Father, grown the present and the future, hath past into
the son with mighty powers.
21Hansa, what time he rises up, leaves in the flood one foot un-
If he withdrew it there would be no more tomorrow or to-day,
Never would there be night, no more would daylight shine or
morning flush.
22It rolleth on, eight-wheeled and single-fellied, and with a thousand
eyes, forward and backward.
With one half it engendered all creation. What sign is there to
tell us of the other?
23Homage, O Prāna unto thee armed with swift bow among the
In whose dominion is this All of varied sort that stirs and
24May he who rules this Universe of varied sort, that stirs and
Prāna, alert and resolute, assist me through the prayer I pray.
25Erect among the sleepers he wakes, and is never laid at length,
No one hath ever heard that he hath been asleep while others
26Thou, Prāna, never shalt be hid, never shalt be estranged from
I bind thee on myself for life, O Prāna, like the Waters' germ.

HYMN V Scroll Up

A glorification of the Brahmachgri or religious student

1Stirring both worlds the Brahmachāri moveth: in him the
deities are all one-minded.
He hath established firmly earth and heaven: he satisfies his
Master with his Fervour.
2After the Brahmachārī go the Fathers, the heavenly hosts, all
Gods in separate order.
After him too have the Gandharvas followed, thirty and three,
three hundred, and six thousand. He satisfies all Gods with
his devotion.
3The Master, welcoming his new disciple, into his bowels takes
the Brahmachāri.
Three nights he holds and bears him in this belly. When he is
born, the Gods convene to see him.
4This log is earth, the second log is heaven: he fills the air's mid
region with the fuel.
With fuel, with his zone the Brahmachāri contents the worlds,
with labour and with Fervour.
5The Brahmachāri, earlier born than Brahma, sprang up through
Fervour, robed in hot libation.
From him sprang heavenly lore, the highest Brahma, and all the
Gods, with life that lasts for ever. p. 56
6Lighted by fuel goes the Brahmachāri, clad in black-buck skin,
consecrate, long-bearded.
Swiftly he goes from east to northern ocean, grasping the worlds,
oft bringing them anear him.
7The Brahmachāri, fathering Prayer, world, Waters, Virāj, Prajā-
pati, and Parameshthin,
Lay as a germ within the Immortal's bosom, then became Indra
and destroyed the demons.
8The Master fashioned both these cloudy regions, profound and
spacious pair, the earth and heaven.
The Brahmachāri guards them with his Fervour. In him the
deities are all one-minded.
9The Brahmachāri first of all brought hither this ample earth as
alms, and heaven above it.
He makes these twain two fuel-logs, and worships, On these sup-
ported rest all living creatures.
10Both treasuries of sacred lore lie hidden, one hitherward, beyond
heaven's ridge the other.
The Brahmachārī with his Fervour guards them. He makes this
all his own as knowing Brahma.
11Hitherward one, hence from the earth the other, two Agnis meet
between these cloudy regions.
Close to these two firm rays of light are clinging. The Brahma-
chāri enters them through Fervour.
12Thundering, shouting, ruddy-hued, and pallid, he bears along the
earth great manly vigour.
Down on the ridge of earth the Brahmachāri pours seed, and
this gives life to heaven's four regions.
13The Brahmachāri stores with fuel Waters, and Fire, and Sun, and
Moon, and Mātarisvan.
The Water's lights move separate in the rain-cloud, Man, rain,
and water are their molten butter.
14The Master is Death, Varuna, Soma, the plants of earth, and
The thunder-clouds were men of war. By these this heavenly
light was brought.
15Varuna, made a Master, takes at home the butter to himself.
Whatever with Prajāpati he sought, the Brahmachāri gave like
Mitra from his loftiest soul. p. 57
16The pupil is the Master, yea, the pupil is Prajāpati.
Prajāpati shines bright; the bright Virāj grew potent Indra's self.
17By Fervour and by self-restraint the King protects the realm he
By self-restraint the Master seeks a Brahmachari to instruct.
18By self-restraint a maiden finds a youth to be her wedded lord.
By self-restraint the ox and horse seek to win fodder for them-
19By Fervour and by self-restraint the Gods draye Death away
from them,
And Indra brought by self-restraint heaven's lustre to the deities.
20The plants, what is and what shall be, day, night, the tall tree of
the wood,
The year with seasons of the year, all from the Brahmachāri
21All creatures of the earth and heaven, tame animals and sylvan
Winged and wingless creatures, from the Brahmachāri sprang
to life,
22All children of Prajāpati have breath distinctly in themselves.
The Brahma that is stored within the Brahmachāri guards them
23Piled up on high, but never yet ascended, that power of deities
is brightly shining.
From that sprang heavenly lore, the loftiest Brahma, and all the
Gods with, life that lasts for ever.
24The Brahmachāri wields the radiant Brahma wherein all Gods
are woven close together;
Creating breath, inhaling and exhaling, voice, mind, and heart,
Brahma and holy wisdom.
25Bestow on us the power of sight and hearing, glory and food and
seed and blood and belly.
26These, standing on the flood, the Brahmachāri formed practising
in sea his hot devotion.
When he hath bathed, brown, yellow-hued, he shines exceedingly
on earth.

HYMN VI Scroll Up

A prayer to all Divinities and Sanctities for deliverance from distress

1We call on Agni, on the trees lords of the forest, herbs and.
Indra, Sūrya, Brihaspati: may they deliver us from woe.
2We call on Vishnu, Bhaga, on Mitra and Varuna the King,
Ansa Vivasvān we address: may they deliver us from woe.
3We call on Savitar the God, on Pūshan the establisher, p. 59
Tvashtar the foremost we address: may they deliver us from
4Gandharvas and Apsarases; the Asvins, Brāhmanaspati,
Aryaman, God, by name we call: may they deliver us from woe.
5This word of ours to Day and Night, and to the Sun and Moon
we speak,
All the Ādityas we address: may they deliver us from woe.
6Vāta, Parjanya we address, the Quarters, and the Firmament,
And all the Regions of the sky: may they deliver us from woe.
7From all that brings a curse may Day and Night and Dawn
deliver me,
May Soma free me, God to whom they give the name of Chan-
8All creatures both of heaven and earth, wild beasts and sylvan
And winged birds of air we call: may they deliver us from woe.
9Bhava and Sarva we address, and Rudra who is Lord of Beasts,
Their arrows which we feel and know: may they be ever kind to
10We speak to Constellations, Heaven, to Earth, to Genii, and to
To Seas, to Rivers, and to Lakes: may they deliver us from woe.
11Or the Seven Rishis we address, Waters divine, Prajāpati,
Fathers with Yama at their head: may they deliver us from woe.
12Gods whose abode is in the heaven and those who dwell in
middle air,
And Mighty ones who rest on earth: may they deliver us from.
13Ādityas, Rudra, Vasus, Gods aloft in heaven, Atharvan's sons,
The sages, sons of Angiras: may they deliver us from woe.
14To sacrifice, to worshipper, hymns, songs, and healing charms,
we speak,
To priestly acts and Yajus texts: may they deliver us from woe.
15To the five kingdoms of the plants which Soma rules as Lord we
Darbha, hemp, barley, mighty power: may these deliver us from
16To demons and fierce fiends we speak, to Holy Genii, Fathers,.
Snakes, p. 60
And to the hundred deaths and one: may these deliver us from
17We speak to Seasons, Season-Lords, to years and sections of the
To Months, half-months, and years complete: may they deliver
us from woe.
18Come hither from the south, ye Gods, rise and come forward
from the west.
Gathered together, all ye Gods, ye mighty Ones, from east and
and north: may they deliver us from woe.
19This we address to all the Gods, faithful, maintainers of the
With all their Consorts by their side: may they deliver us from
20We speak to the collected Gods, faithful, maintainers of the
Present with their collective Dames: may these deliver us from
21The spirit, yea, the spirits' Lord, ruler of spirits, we address.
Together let all spirits meet: may these deliver us from woe.
22The five Sky regions, Goddesses, and the twelve Seasons which
are Gods.
The teeth of the completed year, may these deliver us from woe.
23The deathless balm that Mātalī knows, purchased at a chariot's
Indra effused into the floods. Waters, give us that healing

HYMN VII Scroll Up

A glorification of the Uchchhishta or Residue of Sacrifice

1The Residue of Sacrifice containeth name, and from, and world:
Indra and Agni and the whole universe are comprised therein.
2The Residue of Sacrifice holdeth Earth, Heaven, and all that is:
The Residue of Sacrifice holdeth sea, waters, Moon, and Wind.
3Real, non-real, both are there, Prajāpati, and Death, and
Thereon depend the worldly ones: in me are glory Dra and Vra.
4The firm, the fast, the strong, the hard, Brahma, the All-creating
Gods, as a wheel about the nave, are fixed all round the
5Verse, Song, and Sacrificial Text, chanting, the prelude, and the
The hum is in the Residue, the tone, the murmur of the psalm.
6Within the Residue, like babes unborn, the parts of sacrifice,
Aindrāgne Pāvamāna lie. Mahānāmnī, Mahavrata.
7The Vājapeya, Royal Rite, the Agnishoma and its forms,
Hymns, joyfullest with living grass the Asvamedha, are therein,
8Dikshā and Agnyādheya rite that sates the wish, with magic-
Suspended rites, long sessions, are contained within the Residue.
9Faith fire-oblation, fervent zeal, service, and sacrificial cry,
Guerdon, good works and their reward, are stored within the
10Sacrifice of one night, or two, Sadya1 kri, Ukthya, and Prakri,
Call, deep-toned summons are therein, fine parts, through lore,
of sacrifice,
11Sacrifice of four nights, of five, of six nights, day and night
Shodai, seven-night sacrifice, all these sprang from the Residue,
these which the Immortal One contains. p. 62
12Pratihāra and Nidhanam, the Visvajit, the Abhijit,
The two Sāhnātirātrās and Twelve-day rite are stored therein.
13Pleasantness, reverence, peace, and power, strength, vigour,
All forward wishes are with love satisfied in the Residue.
14Nine several oceans, earths, and skies are set within, the Residue,
Bright shines the Sun therein, in me, the Residue, are Day and
15The Residue the Father's sire, who bears this universe, supports
Vishūvān, Upahavya, and all worship offered secretly.
16The Father's sire, the Residue, grandson of Spirit, primal Sire,
Lord of the universe, the Bull, dwells on the earth victorious.
17Right, truth, dominion, fervent zeal, toil, duty, action, future,
Valour; prosperity, and strength dwell in the Residue in
18Welfare, resolve and energy, the six expanses, kingship, sway,
Prayer, and direction, and the year, oblation, planets, are there-
19And the four Hotars, Apri hymns, the Nivids, and Four-
monthly rites,
Oblations, sacrifices, and animal offerings, and their forms.
20Months, half-months, sections of the year, seasons are in the
The waters resonant afar, the thunder, and the mighty noise.
21Pebbles, sand, stones, and herbs, and plants, and grass are in
the Residue,
Closely embraced and laid therein are lightnings and the clouds
and rain.
22Gain, acquisition, and success, fulness, complete prosperity.
Great gain and wealth, are laid, concealed and treasured, in the
23All things that breathe the breath of life, all creatures that have
eyes to see,
All the celestial Gods whose home is heaven sprang from the
24Verses, and Songs, and magic hymns, Purāna, sacrificial text.
All the celestial Gods whose home is heaven sprang from the
Residue. p. 63
25Inbreath and outbreath, eye and ear, decay and freedom from
All the celestial Gods whose home is heaven sprang from the
26All pleasures and enjoyments, all delights and rapturous ecsta-
All the celestial Gods whose home is heaven sprang from the
27The Deities, the Fathers, men, Gandharvas, and Apsarases.
6 All the celestial Gods whose home is heaven sprang from the


On the origin of some Gods and the creation of man

1When Manyu brought his consort home forth from Sankalpa's
Who were the wooers of the bride, who was the chief who
courted her?
2Fervour and Action were the two, in depths of the great billowy
These were the wooers of the bride; Brahma the chief who
courted her.
3Ten Gods before the Gods were born together in the ancient
Whoso may know them face to face may now pronounce the
mighty word.
4Inbreath and outbreath, eye and ear, decay and freedom from.
decay, p. 65
Spiration upward and diffused, voice, mind have brought us
wish and plan.
5As yet the Seasons were unborn, and Dilator and Prajāpati,
Both Asvins, Indra, Agni. Whom then did they worship as
6Fervour and Action were the two, in depths of the great billowy
Fervour sprang up from Action: this they served and worship-
ped as supreme.
7He may account himself well versed in ancient time who knows
by name.
The earth that was before this earth, which only wisest Sages
8From whom did Indra spring? from whom sprang Soma?
whence was Agni born?
From whom did Tvashtar spring to life? and whence is Dilator's
9Indra from Indra, Soma from Soma, Agni from Agni sprang
Tvashtar from Tvashtar was produced, Dilator was Dhātar's
10Those Gods who were of old, the Ten begotten earlier than the
What world do they inhabit since they gave the world unto
their sons?
11When he had brought together hair, sinew and bone, marrow
and flesh.
And to the body added feet, then to what world did he depart?
12Whence, from what region did he bring the hair, the sinews, and
the bones,
Marrow and limbs, and joints, and flesh? Who was the bringer,
and from whence?
13Casters, those Gods were called who brought together all the
When they had fused the mortal man complete, they entered
into him.
14The thighs, the knee-bones, and the feet, the head, the face,
Land both the hands,
The ribs, the nipples, and the sides—what I ishi hath constructed
that? p. 66
15Head, both the hands, and face, and tongue, and neck, and inter-
coastal parts,
All this, investing it with skins, Mahi conjoined with bond and
16What time the might body lay firmly compact with tie and bond,
Who gave its colour to the form, the hue wherewith it shines
17All Deities had lent their aid: of this a noble Dame took note,
Tsā, the Consort of Command. She gave its colour to the form.
18When Tvashtar, Tvashtar's loftier Sire, had bored it out and
hollowed it.
Gods made the mortal their abode, and entered and possessed
the man.
19Sleep, specially, Sloth, Nirriti, and deities whose name is Sin,
Baldness, old age, and hoary hairs within the body found their
20Theft, evil-doing, and deceit, truth, sacrifice, exalted fame,
Strength, princely power, and energy entered the body as a
21Prosperity and poverty, kindnesses and malignities,
Hunger and thirst of every kind entered the body as a home.
22Reproaches, freedom from reproach, all blamable, all blameless
Bounty, belief, and unbelief entered the body as a home.
23All knowledge and all ignorance, each other thing that one may
Entered the body, prayer, and hymns, and songs, and sacrificial
24Enjoyments, pleasures, and delights, gladness, and rapturous
Laughter and merriment and dance entered the body as a home.
25Discourse and conversation, and the shrill-resounding cries of
All entered in, the motives and the purposes combined there-
26Inbreath and outbreath, ear and eye, decay and freedom from
Breath upward and diffused, voice, mind, these quickly with the
body move, p. 67
27All earnest wishes, all commands, directions, and admonish-
Reflections, all deliberate plans entered the body as a home.
28They laid in the abhorrent frame those waters hidden, bright,
and thick,
Which in the bowels spring from blood, from mourning or from
hasty toil.
29Fuel they turned to bone, and then they set light waters in the
The molten butter they made seed: then the Gods entered into
30All Waters, all the Deities. Virāj with Brahma at her side:
Brahma into the body passed: Prajāpati is Lord thereof.
31The Sun and Wind formed, separate, the eye and vital breath of
His other person have the Gods bestowed on Agni as a gift.
32Therefore whoever knoweth man regardeth him as Brāhman's
For all the Deities abide in him as cattle in their pen.
33At his first death he goeth hence, asunder, in three separate
He goeth yonder with one part, with one he goeth yonder:
here he sinketh downward with a third.
34In the primeval waters cold the body is deposited.
In this there is the power of growth: from this is power of
growth declared.

HYMN IX Scroll Up

An incantation for the destruction of a hostile army

1All arms and every arrow, all the power and might that bows
The warlike weapon, axes, swords, the plan and purpose in the
All this, O Arbudi, make thou visible to our enemies, and let
them look on mist and fog.
2Arise ye and prepare yourselves: ye, the celestial hosts, are
Let your mysterious natures be seen by our friends O Arbudi.
3Rise both of you: begin your work with fettering and binding.
Assail, both of you, Arbudi, the armies of our enemies.
4The God whose name is Arbudi, and Nyarbudi the Mighty
The two by whom the air and this great earth are compassed
and possessed,
With these two friends of Indra I go forth to conquer with the
5Rise with our army stand thou up. O Godlike Being, Arbudi.
Breaking the hosts of enemies, surround them with thy winding
6Exhibiting, O Arbudi, seven children of the mist and fog,
When butter hath been offered, rise with all of these and with
the host.
7Beating her breast, with tearful face, let the short-earned, the
wild-haired hag. p. 69
Shriek loudly when a man is slain, pierced through by thee, O
8Snatching away the vertebra, while with her thought she seeks
her son,
Her husband, brother, kin, when one, Arbudi! hath been pierc-
ed by thee.
9Let vultures, ravens, kites, and crows, and every carrion-eating
Feast on our foes, and show where one, Arbudi! hath been
pierced by thee.
10Then let each greedy beast of prey, and fly and worm regale
Upon the human corpse where one, Arbudi, hath been pierced
by thee.
11Attack them, both of you; bear off their vital breath O Nyar-
Let mingled shouts and echoing cries of woe amid our foemen
show where thou, O Arbudi, hast pierced
12Shake them, and let them sink with fear: e'erwhelm our enemies
with dread.
With widely-grasping bends of arm, O Arbudi, crush down our
13Let those mens' arms grow faint and weak, dull be the purpose
of their heart;
And let not aught of them be left when thou, O Arbudi, hast
14Self-smiting, beating breast and thigh, careless of unguent, with
their hair dishevelled, weeping,
hags shall run together, when a man is slain, when thou, O
Arbudi, hast pierced.
15Apsarases with dog-like mates, and Rūpakās, O Arbudi,
And her who licks the cup inside, and seeks to wound in ill-
kept place,
All these, O Arbudi, do thou make visible to our enemies and
let them look on mists and fog.
16The fiend who creeps upon the sword, maimed, dwelling where
Lthe wounded lie,
The misty shapes that lurk concealed, Gandharvas and Apsara-
ses, demons, and snakes and Other Folk; p. 70
17Armed with four fangs and yellow teeth, deformed, with faces
smeared with blood, the terrible and fearless ones,
18Make thou, O Arbudi, those wings of hostile armies quake with
Let Conqueror and Victor, friends of Indra, overcome our foes.
19Stifled and crushed, O Nyarbudi, low let the smitten foeman lie.
With tongue of fire and crest of smoke go conquering maidens
with our host!
20May Indra, Lord of Might, strike down each bravest warrior of
the foes,
Whom this our band hath put to flight: let not one man of
those escape.
21Let their hearts burst asunder, let their breath fly up and pass
Let dryness of the mouth o'ertake our foemen, not the friendly
22The clever and the foolish ones, those who are twisted round,
the deaf,
The dusky-hued, the hornless goats and those whose voice is like
the buck's,
All these, O Arbudi, do thou make visible to our enemies:
cause them to look on mists and fog.
23Arbudi and Trishandhi fall upon our foes and scatter them,
So that, O Indra, Lord of Might, Slayer of Vritra, we may kill
thousands of these our enemies!
24Tall trees, and those who live in woods, the herbs and creeping
plants of Earth,
Gandharvas, and Apsarases, Snakes, [] Beings, Fathers,
All these do thou, O Arbudi, make visible to our enemies:
cause them to look on mists and fog.
25High sway have Maruts, and the God Āditya, Brāhmanaspati,
High sway have Indra, Agni, and Dilator, Mitra, Prajāpati,
High sway have Rishis given to you, showing upon our enemies
where thou, O Arbudi, hast pierced.
26With full dominion over these, rise, stand ye up, prepare your-
Ye are our friends, celestial hosts. When ye have won this
battle, go, each to his several sphere, apart.

HYMN X Scroll Up

1Rise up, with all your banners rise; prepare your strength, ye
vapoury Forms!
Serpents and fiends and Other Folk, charge and pursue our
2Let those who bear an evil name, in air, in heaven on earth, and
After Trishandhi's will, revere your power, the sway that Know-
ledge gives, together with your ruddy flags.
3Let those with iron faces, with faces like needles or like combs,
Flesh-eaters, rapid as the wind, cling closely to our foemen with
Trishandhi for their thunderbolt.
4Omniscient Āditya, make full many a corpse to disappear.
Let this devoted army of Trishandhi be in my control.
5Rise up, O Godlike Being, rise, Arbudi, with thine army: this,
Tribute is sacrificed to thee, Trishandhi's welcome offering
6May this four-footed White-foot, may this arrow brace and bind
thee fast:
Together with Trishandhi's host, be thou, O Witchcraft, meant
for foes.
7Down let the dim-eyed demon fly, and let her shorteared sister
Red be the banners when the host of Arbudi hath won the day.
8Let all the birds that move on wings come downward, all fowls
that roam the heavens and air's midregion. p. 72
Let beasts of prey and flies attacks, and vultures that eat raw
flesh mangle and gnaw the carcase.
9By that same binding treaty which thou madest, Brihaspati!
with Indra! and with Brahma,
By Indra's pledge I bid the Gods come hither. Conquer on this
side, not on their side yonder.
10Brihaspati Angirasa, Rishis made strong and keen by prayer,
Have set Trishandhi in the heaven, dire weapon that destroys
the fiends.
11The Gods enjoyed Trishandhi for the sake of energy and power,
Him under whose protection, both, Indra and yon Āditya stand.
12The Gods, victorious, won themselves all worlds by this oblation,
Brihaspati Angirasa effused, a very thunderbolt, a weapon to
destory the friends.
13That fiend-destroying weapon which Brihaspati Angirasa poured
out and made a thunderbolt.
Even therewith, Brihaspati, I brush that hostile armament, and
strike the foemen down with might.
14Over to us come all the Gods who eat the hallowed sacrifice
With this oblation be ye pleased: conquer on this side, not on
15Over,to us let all Gods come: dear is Trishandhi's offering.
Keen the great pledge through which, of old, the Asuras were
16Let Vāyu bend the arrow-points of those who are our enemies.
Let Indra break their arms away: no power to lay the shaft be
Āditya utterly destroy their missile! Chandramās bar the path
of him who lingers!
17If they have issued forth strongholds of Gods, and made their
shields of prayer,
Gaining protection for their lives, protection round about, make
all their instigation powerless
18With the Flesh-eater and with Death, following the Purohita,
On! forward with Trishandhi's host! conquering enemies
19Do thou, Trishandhi, with the gloom of darkness compass round
our foes; p. 73
Let none escape of them expelled with speckled butter mixt with
20Let White-foot fall upon those wings of our opponents' arma-
Mazed and bewildered be those hands of foes this day, O Nyar-
21Mazed are the foemen, Nyarbudi! Slay thou each bravest man
of them: with this our army slaughter them.
22Low lie the warrior, mailed, unmailed, each foeman in the rush
of war.
Down-smitten with the strings of bows, the fastenings of mail,
the charge!
23The armour-clad, the armourless, enemies clothed with coats of
All these struck down, O Arbudi, let dogs devour upon the
24Car-borne and carless fighting men, riders and those who go
on foot,
All these, struck down, let vultures, kites, and all, the birds of
air devour.
25Low let the hostile army lie, thousands of corpses, on the
Pierced through and rent to pieces where the deadly weapons
clash in fight.
26With eagles let them eat the evil-hearted, pierced in the vitals,
lying crushed and howling.
The foe whoe'er will fight against this our protecting sacrifice.
27With this which Gods attend, with this which never fails to gain
its end,
Let Indra, Vritra-slayer, smite, and with Trishandhi as a bolt.

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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 .