Hymns of the Atharvaveda - Book 15

Atharva Veda

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

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HYMN I Scroll Up

The hyperbolical glorification of the Vrātya or Aryan Non-conformist

1There was a roaming Vrātya. He roused Prajāpati to action.
2Prajāpati beheld gold in himself and engendered it.
3That became unique, that became distinguished, that became
great, that became excellent, that became Devotion, that be-
came holy Fervour, that became Truth: through that he was
born.
4He grew, he became great, he became Mahādeva.
5He gained the lordship of the Gods. He became Lord.
6He became Chief Vrātya. He held a bow, even that Bow of
Indra.
7His belly is dark-blue, his back is red.
8With dark-blue he envelops a detested rival, with red he pierces
the man who hates him: so the theologians say.

HYMN II Scroll Up

The same, continued

1He arose and went his way to the eastern region. The Brihat,
the Rathantara, the Ādityas and all the Gods followed him.
That man is alienated from the Brihat, the Rathantara, the
Ādityas, and all Gods who reviles the Vrātya who possesses
this knowledge. He who hath this knowledge becomes the
beloved home of the Brihat, the Rathantara the Ādityas, and
all the Gods. In the eastern region Faith is his leman, the
hymn his panegyrist, knowledge his vesture, day his turban,
night his hair, Indra's two Bays his circular ornaments, the
splendour of the stars his jewel. Present and Future are his
running footmen, mind is his war-chariot, Mātarisvan and
Pavamāna are they who draw it, Vita is his charioteer, Storm
his goad, Fame and Glory are his harbingers. Fame and
Glory come to him who hath this knowledge.
2He arose and went away to the southern region. Yajnāyajniya
and Vāmadevya and Sacrifice and Sacrificer and sacrificial
victims followed him. The man who reviles the Vrātya
possessing this knowledge is alienated from Yajnāyajniya and
Vāmadevya, Sacrifice, Sacrificer and sacrificial victims. He
who hath this knowledge becomes the beloved home of
Yajnāyajniya,Vāmadevya, Sacrifice, Sacrificer, and sacrificial
victims. In the southern region Dawn is his leman, Mitra his
panegyrist, knowledge his vesture, day his turban, night his
hair, Indra's two Bays are his circular ornaments, New Moon
Night and Full Moon Night are his running attendants, Mind,
etc. as in stanza 1.
3He arose and went away to the western region. Vairūpa and
Vairāja, the Waters, and King Varuna followed him. He who
reviles the Vrātya possessing this knowledge is alienated from
Vairūpa and Vairāja, the Waters and Varuna the King. He
who possesses this knowledge becomes the dear home of
Vairūpa and Vairāja, the Waters and King Varuna. In the p. 151
western region Irā is his leman, Laughter his panegyrist,
knowledge, etc., as above. Day and Night are his running
attendants, Mind, etc., as above.
4He arose and went away to the northern region. Syaita and
Naudhasa, the Seven Rishis, and King Soma followed him.
He who reviles the Vrātya possessing this knowledge is
alienated from Syaita, etc. He who hath this knowledge be-
comes the dear home of Syaita, etc. In the northern region
Lightning is his leman, thunder his panegyrist, etc. as above.
Revelation and Tradition are his running attendants, Mind,
etc., as above.

HYMN III Scroll Up

1For a whole year he stood erect. The Gods said unto him, Why
standest thou, O Vrātya? He answered and said, Let them
bring my couch.
3They brought the couch for that Vrātya.
4Two of its feet were Summer and Spring, and two were Autumn
and the Rains.
5Brihat and Rathantara were the two long boards, Yajnāyajniya
and Vāmadevya the two cross-boards.
6Holy verses were the strings lengthwise, and Yajus formulas the
cross-tapes.
7Sacred lore was the blanket, Devotion the coverlet.
8The Sāman was the Cushion, and chanting the bolster.
9The Vrātya ascended that couch.
10The hosts of Gods were his attendants, solemn vows his
messengers, and all creatures his worshippers.
11All creatures become the worshippers of him who possesses this
knowledge.

HYMN IV Scroll Up

1For him they made the two Spring months protectors from the
eastern region, and Brihat and Rathantara superintendents.
The two Spring months protect from the eastern region, and
Brihat and Rathantara superintend, the man who possesses this
knowledge. For him they made the two Summer months pro-
tectors from the southern region, and Yajnāyajniya and
Vāmadevya superintendents. The two Summer months, etc. as
in Verse 1,
3They made the two Rain months, his protectors from the western
region, and Vairūpa and Vairaja superintendents. The two
Rain months, etc. as above.
4They made the two Autumn months his protectors from the
northern region, and Syaita and Naudhasa superintendents.
The two Autumn months. etc. as above.
5They made the two Winter months his protectors from the
region of the nadir, and earth and Agni superintendents. The
two Winter months, etc. p. 153
6They made the two Dewy months his protectors from the region
of the zenith, and Heaven and the Ādityas superintendents.
The two Dewy months, etc.

HYMN V Scroll Up

1For him they made the Archer Bhava a deliverer from the inter-
mediate space of the eastern region. Bhava the Archer, a
deliverer, delivers him from the intermediate space of the
eastern region. Neither Sarva nor Bhava nor Isāna slays him
who possesses this knowledge, or his cattle, or his kinsmen.
2They made Sarva the Archer his deliverer from the intermediate
space of the southern region, etc, as in verse 1.
3They made Pasupati the Archer his deliverer from the inter-
mediate space of the western region, etc.
4They made the Awful God, the Archer, his deliverer from the
intermediate space of the northern region, etc, as above.
5They made Rudra the Archer his deliverer from the intermediate
space of the region of the nadir etc.
6They made Mahādeva his deliverer from the intermediate space
of the region of the zenith, etc.
7They made Isana the Archer his deliverer from all the inter-
mediate regions. Isāna the Archer, a deliverer, delivers him
from all the intermediate regions. Neither Sarva nor Bhava,
nor Isana slays him who possesses this knowledge, or his cattle,
or his kinsmen.

HYMN VI Scroll Up

1He went his way to the region of the nadir. Earth and Agni and
herbs and trees and shrubs and plants followed him. He who
possesses this knowledge becomes the dear home of Earth and
Agni and herbs and trees and shrubs and plants.
2He went his way to the region of the zenith. Right and Truth
and Sun and Moon and Stars followed him. He who possesses
this knowledge becomes, etc., as in verse 1. mutatis mutandis.
3He went away to the last region. Richas, Sāmans Yajus formulas
and Devotion followed him. He who, etc., as above.
4He went away to the great region. Itihāsa and Purāna and
Gāthās and Nārāsansis followed him. He who, etc.
5He went away to the supreme region. The Ēhavaniya, Gārha-
patya, and Southern Fires, and Sacrifice, and Sacrificer, and
sacrificial victims followed him. He who, etc.
6He went away to the unindicated region. The Seasons, groups of
seasons, the worlds and their inhabitants, the months and
half-months, and Day and Night followed him. He who, etc.
7He went away to the unfrequented region. Thence he thought
that he should not return. Diti and Aditi and Idā and Indrāni
followed him. He who, etc.
8He went away to the regions. Virāj and all the Gods and all the
Deities followed him. He who, etc.
9He went away to all the intermediate spaces. Prajāpati and
Parameshthin and the Father and the Great Father followed
him. He who possesses this knowledge becomes the beloved
home of Prajāpati and Parameshthin and the Father and the
Great Father.

HYMN VII Scroll Up

1He, having become moving majesty, went to the ends of the
earth. He became the sea. p. 155
2Prajāpati and Parameshthin and the Father and the Great Father
and the Waters and Faith, turned into rain, followed him.
3The Waters, Faith, and rain approach him who possesses this
knowledge.
4Faith, and Sacrifice and the world, having become food and
nourishment, turned toward him.
5Faith Sacrifice, the world, food and nourishment approach him
who possesses this knowledge.

HYMN VIII Scroll Up

1He was filled with passion: from him sprang the Rājanya.
2He came to the people, to kinsmen, food and nourishment.
3He who possesses this knowledge becomes the dear home of the
people, kinsmen, food and nourishment.

HYMN IX Scroll Up

1He went away to the people.
2Meeting and Assembly and Army and Wine followed him.
3He who hath this knowledge becomes the dear home of Meeting,
Assembly, Army, and Wine.

HYMN X Scroll Up

1So let the King, to whose house the Vrātya who possesses this
knowledge comes as a guest.
2Honour him as superior to himself. So he Both not act against
the interests of his princely rank or his kingdom.
3From him, verily, sprang Priesthood and Royalty. They said,
Into whom shall we enter?
4Let Priesthood enter into Brihaspati, and Royalty into Indra,
was the answer.
5Hence Priesthood entered into Brihaspati and Royalty into
Indra.
6Now this Earth is Brihaspati, and Heaven is Indra.
7Now this Agni is Priesthood, and yonder Sun is Royalty.
8Priesthood comes to him, and he becomes endowed with priestly
lustre.
9Who knows that Earth is Brihaspati and Agni Priesthood.
10Great power comes to him and he becomes endowed with great
power.
11Who knows that Āditya is Royalty and that Heaven is Indra.

HYMN XI Scroll Up

1Let him to whose house the Vrātya who possesses this knowledge
comes as a guest.
2Rise up of his own accord to meet him, and say, Vrātya, where
didst thou pass the night? Vratya, here is water, Let them
refresh thee. Vrātya, let it be as thou pleasest. Vrātya, as thy
wish is so let it be. Vrātya, as thy desire is so be it.
3When he says to his guest, Where didst thou pass the night? he
reserves for himself thereby the paths that lead to the Gods.
4When he says to him, Here is water, he secures thereby water
for himself.
5When he says to him, Let them refresh thee, he thereby wins
vital breath to exceeding old age.
6When he says to him, Vrātya, let it be as thou pleasest, he
secures to himself thereby what is pleasant. p. 157
7That which is pleasant comes to him, and he is the beloved of
the beloved, who is possessed of this knowledge.
8When he says to him, Vrātya, as thy will is so let it be, he
secures to himself thereby the fulfilment of his will.
9Authority comes to him who possesses this knowledge, and he
becomes the controller of the powerful.
10When he says to him, Vrātya, as thy desire is so be it, he secures
to himself thereby the attainment of his desire.
11His desire comes to him who possesses this knowledge and he
gains the complete satisfaction of his wish.

HYMN XII Scroll Up

1The man, to whose house, when the fires have been taken up
from the hearth and the oblation to Agni placed therein, the
Vrātya possessing this knowledge comes as a guest.
2Should of his own accord rise to meet him and say, Vrātya, give
me permission. I will sacrifice.
3And if he gives permission he should sacrifice, if he does not
permit him he should not sacrifice.
4He who sacrifices when permitted by the Vrātya who possesses
this knowledge.
5Well knows the path that leads to the Fathers and the way that.
leads to the Gods.
6He does not act in opposition to the Gods. It becomes his
sacrifice.
7The abode of the man who sacrifices when permitted by the
Vrātya who possesses this knowledge is long left remaining in
this world.
8But he who sacrifices without the permission of the Vrātya who-
possesses this knowledge.
9Knows not the path that leads to the Fathers nor the way that
leads to the Gods.
10He is at variance with the Gods. He hath offered no accepted.
sacrifice. p. 158
11The abode of the man who sacrifices without the permission of
the Vrātya who possesses this knowledge is not left remaining
in this world.

HYMN XIII Scroll Up

1He in whose house the Vrātya who possesses this knowledge
abides one night secures for himself thereby the holy realms
that are on earth.
2A second night . . . . the holy realms that are in the firma-
ment (the rest as in verse 1).
3A third night . . . the holy realms that are in heaven.
4A fourth night . . . . the holy realms of the Holy.
5Unlimited nights . . . . unlimited holy realms.
6Now he to whose house a non-Vrātya, calling himself a Vrātya,
and one in name only, comes as a guest.
7Should punish him and not punish him.
8He should serve him with food saying to himself, To this Deity
I offer water: I lodge this Deity; I wait upon this, this
Deity.
9To that Deity the sacrifice of him who has this knowledge is
acceptable.

HYMN XIV Scroll Up

1He when he went away to the eastern region, went away having
become the Marut host, and having made Mind an eater of
food. He who hath this knowledge eats food with Mind as
food-eater. p. 159
2He, when he went away to the southern region, went away
having become Indra, and having made Strength an eater of
food. He who hath this knowledge eats food with strength as
food-eater.
3He, when he went away to the western region, went away having
become King Varuna, and having made the Waters eaters of
food. He who hath this knowledge eats food with the Waters
as food-eaters.
4He, when he went away to the northern region, went away
having become King Soma and having made the Seven Rishis'
oblation an eater of food. He who hath this knowledge eats
food with oblation as food-eater.
5He, when he went away to the stedfast region, went away having
become Vishnu and having made Virāj an eater of food. He
who hath this knowledge eats food with Virāj as food-eater.
6He, when he went away to animals, went away having become
Rudra and having made herbs eaters of food. He who hath
this knowledge eats food with herbs as food-eaters.
7He, when he went away to the Fathers, went away having be-
come King Yama and having made the exclamation Svadhā
an eater of food. He who hath this knowledge eats food with
the exclamation Svadhā as food-eater.
8He, when he went away to men, went away having become Agni
and having made the exclamation Svāhā an eater of food. He
who hath this knowledge eats food with the exclamation
Svahā as food-eater.
9He, when he went away to the upper region, went away having
become Brihaspati and having made the exclamation Vashat
an eater of food. He who hath this knowledge eats food with
the exclamation Vashat as food-eater.
10He, when he went away to the Gods, went away having become
Isana and having made Passion an eater of food. He who hath
this knowledge eats food with Passion as food-eater.
11He, when he went away to creatures, went away having become
Prajāpati and having made vital breath an eater of food. He who
hath this knowledge eats food with vital breath as foodeater.
12He, when he went away to all the intermediate spaces, went
away having become Parameshthin and having made Devotion
an eater of food. He who hath this knowledge eats food with
Devotion as food-eater.

HYMN XV Scroll Up

1Of that Vrātya.
2There are seven vital airs, seven downward breaths, seven diff-
used breaths.
3His first vital breath, called Upward, is this Agni.
4His second vital breath, called Mature, is that Āditya.
5His third vital breath, called Approached, is that Moon.
6His fourth vital breath, called Pervading is this Pavamāna.
7His fifth vital breath, called Source, are these Waters.
8His sixth vital breath, called Dear, are these domestic animals.
9His seventh vital breath, called Unlimited, are these creatures.

HYMN XVI Scroll Up

1His first downward breath is the time of Full Moon.
2His second downward breath is the eighth day after Full Moon.
3His third downward breath is the night of New Moon.
4His fourth downward breath is Faith.
5His fifth downward breath is Consecration.
6His sixth downward breath is Sacrifice.
7His seventh downward breath are these sacrificial fees.

HYMN XVII Scroll Up

1His first diffused breath is this Earth.
2His second diffused breath is that Firmament.
3His third diffused breath is that Heaven.
4His fourth diffused breath are those Constellations.
5His fifth diffused breath are the Seasons.
6His sixth diffused breath are the Season-groups.
7His seventh diffused breath is the year.
8With one and the same object the Gods go round the Year and
the Seasons follow round the Vrātya.
9When they surround the Sun on the day of New Moon, and that
time of Full Moon.
10That one immortality of theirs is just an oblation.

HYMN XVIII Scroll Up

1Of that Vrātya.
2The right eye is the Sun and the left eye is the Moon.
3His right ear is Agni and his left ear is Pavamāna.
4Day and Night are his nostrils. Diti and Aditi are his head and
skull.
5By day the Vrātya is turned westward, by night he is turned
eastward. Worship to the Vrātya!

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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 .