Hymns of the Atharvaveda - Book 14

Atharva Veda

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

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HYMN I Scroll Up

On the Bridal of Sūryā, marriage ceremonies in general

1Truth is the base that bears the earth; by Sūrya are the heavens
upheld.
By Law the Ādityas stand secure, and Soma holds his place in
heaven.
2By Soma are the Ādityas strong, by Soma mighty is the earth:
Thus Soma in the lap of all these constellations hath his home.
3One thinks, when men have brayed the plant, that he hath drunk
the Soma's juice.
Of him whom Brāhmans truly know as Soma never mortal eats.
4When they begin to drink thee, then, O God, thou swellest out
again.
Vāyu in Soma's sentinel. The month is that which shapes the
years.
5Soma, preserved by covering rules, guarded by hymns in Brihatī,
Thou standest listening to the stones; none tastes of thee who
dwells on earth.
6Thought was her coverlet, the power of sight was unguent for her
eyes:
Her treasure-chest was earth and heaven, when Sūryā went unto
her lord.
7Raibhi was her dear bridal friend, and Nārāsatisi led her home.
Lovely to see was Sūryā's robe: by Gāthā beautified she moves
8Songs were the cross-bars of the pole, Kurira metre docked her
head.
Both Asvins were the paranymphs: Agni was leader of the
train.
9Soma was he who wooed the maid: the groomsmen were both.
Asvins, when
The Sun-God Savitar bestowed his willing Sūryā on her lord.
10Her spirit was the bridal car, the canopy thereof was heaven:
Two radiant oxen formed the team when Sūryā came unto her
lord. p. 130
11Steadily went the steers upheld by holy verse and song of praise,
The chariot-wheels were listening ears: thy path was tremulous
in the sky.
12Pure, as thou wentest, were thy wheels, breath was the axle pier-
cing them.
Sūryā advancing to her lord rode on the chariot of her heart.
13The bridal pomp of Sūryā, which Savitar started, moved along.
In Maghā days are oxen slain, in Phalgunis they wed the bride.
14When on your three-wheeled chariot, O ye Asvins, ye came as
suitors unto Sūrya's bridal,
Where was one chariot-wheel of yours? Where stood ye for the
sire's command?
15Twin Lords of Lustre, at the time when ye to Sūryā's wooing
came,
Then all the Gods agreed to your proposal Pūshan as son elected
you as father.
16Two wheels of thine the Brāhmans know, Sūrya! according to
their times.
That which is hidden only those who know the highest truths
have learned.
17Worship we pay to Aryaman, finder of husbands, kindly friend.
As from its stalk a cucumber, from here I loose thee, not from
there
18Hence and not thence I send her free. I make her softly fettered
there.
That, bounteous Indra! she may live blest in her fortune and
her sons.
19Now from the noose of Varuna I free thee, where with the bless-
ed Savitar hath bound thee.
May bless be thine together with thy wooer in Order's dwelling,
in the world of virtue.
20Let Bhaga take thy hand and hence conduct thee: let the two
Asvins on their car transport thee.
Go to the house to be the household's mistress, and speak as
lady to thy gathered people.
21Happy be thou and prosper with thy children here: be vigilant
to rule the household in this home.
Closely unite thy body with this man thy lord. So shalt thou,
full of years, address thy company. p. 131
22Be not divided; dwell ye here; reach the full time of human
life.
With sons and grandsons sport and play, rejoicing in your happy
home.
23Moving by magic power from east to westward, these children
twain go sporting round the ocean.
The one beholds all creatures: thou, the other, art born anew,
duly arranging seasons.
24Thou, born afresh, art new and new for ever; ensign of days,
before the Dawns thou goest.
Coming, thou orderest for Gods their portion. Thou lengthenest,
Moon, the days of our existence.
25Give thou the wollen robe away: deal treasure to the Brāhman-
priests.
This Witchery hath got her feet: the wife attendeth on her lord.
26It turneth dusky-red: the witch who clingeth close is driven off.
Well thrive the kinsmen of this bride: the husband is bound
fast in bonds.
27Unlovely is his body when it glistens with that wicked fiend,
What time the husband wraps about his limbs the garment of
his wife.
28The butchering, the cutting-up, the severing of limb and joint—
Behold the forms which Sūryā wears: yet these the Brāhman
purifies,
29Pungent is this, bitter is this, filled as it were with arrow barbs,
empoisoned and not fit for use.
The Brāhman who knows Sūryā well deserves the garment of
the bride.
30The Brāhman takes away the robe as a fair thing that brings good
luck.
He knows the expiating rite whereby the wife is kept unharmed.
31Prepare, ye twain, happy and prosperous fortune, speaking the
truth in faithful utterances.
Dear unto her, Brihaspati, make the husband, and pleasant be
these words the wooer speaketh.
32Remain ye even here and go no farther: strengthen this man, ye
Cows, with plenteous offspring.
May Dawns that come for glory, bright with Soma, here may all
Gods fix and enchant your spirits. p. 132
33Come, O ye Cows, with offspring dwell around him: he doth not
stint the Gods' alloted portion.
To him, your friend, may Pūshan, all the Maruts, to him may
Dhatar, Savitar send vigour.
34Straight in direction be the paths, and thornless, whereby our
fellows travel to the wooing.
With Bhaga and with Aryaman Dhātar endue the pair with
strength!
35Whatever lustre is in dice, whatever lustre is in wine,
Whatever lustre is in cows, Asvins, endue this dame therewith.
36With all the sheen that balmeth wine, or thigh of female para-
mour,
With all the sheen that balmeth dice, even with this adorn the
dame.
37He who in water shines unfed with fuel, whom sages worship in
their sacrifices.
May he, the Waters' Child, send us sweet waters those that en-
hanced the power of mighty Indra.
38I cast away a handful here, hurtful, injurious to health.
I lift another handful up, sparkling and bringing happiness.
39Hither let Brāhmans bring her bathing water; let them draw
such as guards the lives of heroes.
Aryaman's fire let her encircle, Pūshan! Fathers-in-law stand,
with their sons, expectant.
40Blest be the gold to thee, and blest the water, blest the yoke's
opening, and blest the pillar.
Blest he the waters with their hundred cleansings: blest be thy
body's union with thy husband.
41Cleansing Apālā, Indra! thrice, thou gavest sunbright skin to
her
Drawn, Satakratu! through the hole of car, of wagon, and of
yoke.
42Saying thy prayer for cheerfulness, children, prosperity, and
wealth,
Devoted to thy husband, gird thyself for immortality.
43As vigorous Sindhu won himself imperial lordship of the
streams,
So be imperial queen when thou hast come within thy husband's
home.
44Over thy husband's fathers and his brothers be imperial queen. p. 133
Over thy husband's sister and, his mother bear supreme control.
45They who have spun, and woven, and extended Goddesses who
have drawn the ends together,
May they invest thee for full long existence. Heiress of lengthen-
ed life, endue this garment,
46They mourn the living, they arrange the sacred rite: the men
have set their thoughts upon a distant cast:
They who have brought the Fathers this delightful gift, when
wives allowed their lords the joy of their embrace.
47I place upon the lap of Earth the Goddess, a firm auspicious
stone to bring thee children.
Stand on it, thou, greeted with joy, resplendent: a long long
life may Savitar vouchsafe thee.
48As Agni in the olden time took the right hand of this our Earth.
Even so I take and hold thy hand: be not disquieted, with me,
with children and with store of wealth.
49God Savitar shall take thy hand, and Soma the King shall make
thee rich in goodly offspring,
Let Agni, Lord Omniscient, make thee happy, till old old age a
wife unto thy husband.
50I take thy hand in mine for happy fortune that thou mayst reach
old age with me thy consort,
Gods, Aryaman, Bhaga, Savitar, Purandhi, have given thee to be
my household's mistress.
51Bhaga and Savitar the God have clasped that hand of thine in
theirs,
By rule and law thou art my wife: the master of thy house am I.
52Be it my care to cherish her: Brihaspati hath made thee mine.
A hundred autumns live with me thy husband, mother of my
sons!
53Tvashtar, by order of the holy sages, hath laid on her Brihas-
pati's robe for glory,
By means of this let Savitar and Bhaga surround this dame, like
Sūryā, with her children.
54May Indra-Agni, Heaven-Earth, Mātarisvan, may Mitra-Varuna,
Bhaga, both the Asvins,
Brihaspati, the host of Maruts, Brahma, and Soma magnify this
dame with offspring.
55It was Brihaspati who first arranged the hair on Sūryā's head, p. 134
And therefore, O ye Asvins, we adorn this woman for her lord.
56This lovely form the maiden wears in spirit I long to look on
as my wife approaching,
Her will I follow with my nine companions. Who is the sage
that loosed the bonds that held her?
57I free her: he who sees, within my bosom, my heart's nest
knows how her fair form hath struck me.
I taste no stolen food: myself untying Varuna's nooses I am
freed in spirit.
58Now from the bond of Varuna I loose thee, wherein the blessed
Savitar hath bound thee.
O bride, I give thee here beside thy husband fair space and room
and pleasant paths to travel.
59Lift up your weapons. Drive away the demons. Transport this
woman to the world of virtue.
Dilator, most wise, hath found for her a husband. Let him who
knows, King Bhaga, go before her.
60Bhaga hath formed the four legs of the litter, wrought the four
pieces that compose the frame-work.
Tvashtar hath decked the straps that go across it, May it be
blest, and bring us happy fortune.
61Mount this, all-hued. gold tinted, strong wheeled, fashioned of
Kinsuka, this chariot lightly rolling,
Bound for the world of life immortal, Sūryā! Made for thy
lord a happy bride's procession.
62To us, O Varuna, bring her, kind to brothers; bring her, Brihas-
pati, gentle to the cattle.
Bring her, O Indra, gentle to her husband: bring her to us, O
Savitar, blest with children.
63Hurt not the girl, ye Pillars twain upon the path which Gods
have made.
The portal of the heavenly home we make the bride's auspicious
road.
64Let prayer he offered up before and after, prayer in the middle,
lastly, all around her.
Reaching the Gods' inviolable castle shine in thy lord's world
gentle and auspicious.

HYMN II Scroll Up

On the Bridal of Sūryā, marriage ceremonies in general, continued

1For thee with bridal train they first escorted Sūryā to her home,
Give to the husband in return, Agni, the wife with future sons.
2Agni hath given the bride again with splendour and a lengthened.
life.
Long-lived be he who is her lord: a hundred autumns let him
live.
3She was the wife of Soma first: next the Gandharva was thy
lord.
Agni was the third husband: now one born of woman is thy
fourth.
4Soma to the Gandharva, and to Agni the Gandharva gave.
Now, Agni hath bestowed on me riches and sons and this my
bride.
5Your favouring grace hath come, ye who are rich in spoil!
Asvins, your longings are stored up within your hearts.
Ye, Lords of Splendour have become our twofold guard: may
we as dear friends reach the dwelling of the friend.
6Thou, Dame, rejoicing, take with kindly spirit wealth worthy to
be famed, with all thy heroes.
Give, Lords of Light a fair ford, good to drink at: remove the
spiteful stump that blocks the pathway.
7May all the Rivers, all the Plants, may all the Forests, all the
Fields,
O Bride, protect thee from the fiend, guard his sons' mother for
her lord. p. 140
8Our feet are on this pleasant path, easy to travel, bringing bliss,
Whereon no hero suffers harm, which wins the wealth of other
men.
9Here these my words, ye men, the benediction through which
the wedded pair have found high fortune.
May the divine Apsarases, Gandharvas, all they who are these
fruitful trees' protectors,
Regard this bride with their auspicious, favour, nor harm the
nuptial pomp as it advances.
10Consumptions, which, through various folk, attack the bride's
resplendent train,
These let the holy Gods again bear to the place from which they
sprang.
11Let not the highway thieves who lie in ambush find the wedded
pair.
Let wicked men's malignities go elsewhere by an easy path.
12I look upon the house and bride's procession with prayer and
with the gentle eye of friendship.
All that is covered there in perfect beauty may Savitar make
pleasant to the husband.
13She hath come home this dame come home to bless us: this her
appointed world hath Dhātar shown her.
So may Prajāpati, and both the Asvins, Aryaman, Bhaga gladden
her with offspring.
14This dame hath come, an animated corn-field: there sow, thou
man, the seed of future harvest.
She from her teeming side shall bear thee children, and feed
them from the fountain of her bosom.
15Take thou thy stand, a Queen art thou, like Vishnu here,
Sarasvati!
O Sinivali, let her bear children, and live in Bhaga's grace.
16So let your wave bear up the pins, and ye, O Waters, spare the
thongs;
And never may the holy pair, sinless and innocent, suffer harm.
17Not evil-eyed no slayer of thy husband, be strong, mild, kind,
and gentle to thy household.
Mother of heroes, love thy husband's father: be happy, and
through thee may we too prosper.
18No slayer of thy husband or his father, gentle and bright, bring
blessing on the cattle. p. 141
Loving thy husband's father, bring forth heroes. Tend well this
household fire: be soft and pleasant.
19Up and begone! What wish hath brought thee hither from thine
own house? Thy mightier, I conjure thee.
Vain is the hope, O Nirriti, that brought thee. Fly off, Malignity;
stay here no longer.
20As first of all this woman hath adored the sacred household
fire.
So do thou, Dame, pay homage to the Fathers and Sarasvati.
21Take thou this wrapper as a screen, to be a covering for the
bride
O Sinivali, let her bear children, and live in Bhaga's grace.
22Let her who shall be blest with sons, the maid who finds a.
husband, step
Upon the rough grass that ye spread and on the skin ye lay
beneath.
23Over the ruddy-coloured skin strew thou the grass, the Balbuja.
Let her, the mother of good sons, sit there and serve this Agni
here.
24Step on the skin and wait upon this Agni: he is the God who
drives away all demons.
Here bear thou children to this man thy husband: let this thy
boy be happy in his birthnight.
25Let many babes of varied form and nature spring in succession
from this fruitful mother.
Wait on this fire, thou bringer of good fortune. Here with thy
husband serve the Gods with worship.
26Bliss-bringer, furthering thy household's welfare, dear gladdening
thy husband and his father, enter this home, mild to thy hus-
band's mother.
27Be pleasant to the husband's sire, sweet to thy household and thy
lord,
To all this clan be gentle, and favour these men's prosperity.
28Signs of good fortune mark the bride. Come all of you and look
at her.
Wish her prosperity: take on you her evil lucks and go your
way.
29Ye youthful maidens, ill-disposed, and all ye ancient woman
here, p. 142
Give all your brilliance to the bride, then to your several homes
depart!
30Sūryā the child of Savitar mounted for high felicity Her litter
with its cloth of gold, wearing all forms of loveliness.
31Rise, mount the bridal bed with cheerful spirit. Here bring forth
children to this man thy husband.
Watchful and understanding like Indrāni wake thou before the
earliest light of Morning.
32The Gods at first lay down beside their consorts; body with
body met in close embracement.
O Dame, like Sūryā perfect in her grandeur, here rich in future
children, meet thy husband.
33Rise and go hence, Visvāvasu: with reverence we worship thee.
Steal to her sister dwelling with her father: this is the share—
mark this—of old assigned thee.
34Apsarases rejoice and feast together between the sun and place
of sacrificing.
These are thy kith and kin: go thou and join them: I in due
season worship thee Gandharva.
35Homage we pay to the Gandharva's favour, obeisance to his eye
and fiery anger.
Visvāvasu, with prayer we pay thee homage. Go hence to those
Apsarases thy consorts.
36May we be happy with abundant riches. We from this place
have banished the Gandharva.
The God is gone to the remotest region, and we have come
where men prolong existence.
37In your due season, Parents! come together. Mother and sire be
ye of future children.
Embrace this woman like a happy lover. Raise ye up offspring
here: increase your riches.
38Send her most rich in every charm, O Pūshan, her who shall be
the sharer of my pleasures;
Her who shall twine her eager arms about me, and welcome all
my love and soft embraces.
39Up, happy bridegroom! with a joyous spirit caress thy wife and
throw thine arm around her.
Here take your pleasure, procreate your offspring. May Savitar
bestow long life upon you. p. 143
40So may the Lord of Life vouchsafe you children, Aryaman bind
you, day and night, together.
Enter thy husband's house with happy omens, bring blessing to
our quadrupeds and bipeds.
41Sent by the Gods associate with Manu, the vesture of the bride,
the nuptial garment,
He who bestows this on a thoughtful Brāhman, drives from the
marriage-bed all evil demons.
42The priestly meed wherewith ye twain present me, the vesture of
the bride, the nuptial garment,
This do ye both, Brihaspati and Indra, bestow with loving-kind-
ness on the Brāhman.
43On your soft couch awaking both together, revelling heartily with
joy and laughter,
Rich with brave sons, good cattle, goodly homestead, live long to
look on many radiant mornings.
44Clad in new garments, fragrant, well-apparelled, to meet reful-
gent Dawn have I arisen.
I, like a bird that quits the egg, am freed from sin and purified.
45Splendid are Heaven and Earth, still near to bless us, mighty in
their power;
The seven streams have flowed: may they, Goddesses, free us
from distress
46To Sūryā and the Deities, to Mitra and to Varuna,
Who know aright the thing that is, this adoration have I paid.
47He without ligature, before making incision in the neck.
Closed up the wound again, most wealthy Bounteous Lord who
healeth the dissevered parts.
48Let him flash gloom away from us, the blue, the yellow and the
red.
I fasten to this pillar here the burning pest Prishātaki.
49All witcheries that hang about this garment, all royal Varuna's
entangling nooses.
All failure of success and all misfortunes here I deposit fastened
to the pillar.
50My body that I hold most dear trembles in terror at this robe.
Tree, make an apron at the top. Let no misfortune fall on us.
51May all the hems and borders all the threads that form the web
and woof. p. 144
The garment woven by the bride, be soft and pleasant to our
touch.
52These maids who from their father's house have come with long-
ing to their lord have let the preparation pass. All hail!
53Her whom Brihaspati hath loosed the Visve Devas keep secure.
With all the splendour that is stored in cows do we enrich this.
girl.
54Her whom Brihaspati hath loosed the Visve Devas keep secure.
With all the vigour that is stored in cows do we enrich this girl.
55Her whom Brihaspati, etc.
With all good fortune, etc.
56Her whom Brihaspati, etc.
With all the glory, etc.
57Her whom Brihaspati, etc.
With all the milky store possessed by cows do we enrich this
girl.
58Her whom Brihaspati hath freed the Visve Devas keep secure.
With all the store of sap that cows contain do we enrich this.
girl.
59If, wearing long loose hair, these men have danced together in
thy house, committing sin with shout and cry,
May Agni free thee from that guilt, may Savitar deliver thee,
60If in thy house thy daughter here have wept, with wild dishevel-
led locks, committing sin with her lament.
May Agni, etc.
61If the bride's sisters, if young maids have danced together in thy
house, committing sin with shout and cry.
May Agni free thee from that guilt, may Savitar deliver thee.
62If any evil have been wrought by mischief-makers that affects
thy cattle progeny or house,
May Agni free thee from the woe, may Savitar deliver thee.
63This woman utters wish and prayer, as down she casts the husks
of corn:
Long live my lord and master! yea, a hundred autumns let him
live!
64Join thou this couple, Indra! like the Chakravaka and his.
mate:
May they attain to full old age with children in their happy
home. p. 145
65Whatever magic hath been wrought on cushion, chair, or
canopy.
Each spell to mar the wedding rites, all this we throw into the
bath.
66Whatever fault or error was in marriage or in bridal pomp.
This woe we wipe away upon the cloak the interceder wears.
67We, having laid the stain and fault upon the interceder's cloak,
Are pure and meet for sacrifice. May he prolong our lives for
us.
68Now let this artificial comb, wrought with a hundred teeth,
remove
Aught of impurity that dims the hair upon this woman's head.
69We take away consumption from each limb and member of the
bride.
Let not this reach Earth, nor the Gods in heaven, let it not reach
the sky or air's wide region.
Let not this dust that sullies reach the Waters, nor Yama, Agni,
nor the host of Fathers.
70With all the milk that is in Earth I gird thee, with all the milk
that Plants contain I dress thee.
I gird thee round with children and with riches. Do thou, thus
girt, receive the offered treasure.
71I am this man, that dame art thou I am the psalm and thou the
verse. I am the heaven and thou the earth.
So will we dwell together here, parents of children yet to be.
72Unmarried men desire to wed; bountiful givers wish for sons.
Together may we dwell with strength unscathed for high pros-
perity.
73May they, the Fathers who, to view the bride, have joined this
nuptial train,
Grant to this lady and her lord children and peaceful happiness.
74Her who first guided by a rein came hither, giving the bride, here
offspring and possessions,
Let them convey along the future's pathway. Splendid, with
noble children, she hath conquered.
75Wake to long life, watchful and understanding, yea, to a life shall
last a hundred autumns
Enter the house to be the household's mistress. A long long life
let Savitar vouchsafe thee.

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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 .