Hymns of the Atharvaveda - Book 18
- Hymn 1: An accompaniment to funeral ceremonies and sacrificial offerings to ancestral spirits
- Hymn 2: A funeral hymn, taken mainly from the Rigveda
- Hymn 3: A funeral hymn, taken partly from the Rigveda
- Hymn 4: A funeral hymn, composed partly of verses from the Rigveda
An accompaniment to funeral ceremonies and sacrificial offerings to ancestral spirits
1Fain would I win my friend to kindly friendship. So may the
Sage, come through the air's wide ocean,
Remembering the earth and days to follow, obtain a son the
issue of his father.
2Thy friend loves not the friendship which considers her who is
near in kindred as a stranger.
Sons of the mighty Asura, the heroes, supporters of the heaven,
see far around them.
3Yea, this the Immortals seek of thee with longing, a scion of the
only man existing.
Then let thy soul and mine be knit together. Embrace thy con-
sort as her loving husband.
4Shall we do now what we ne'er did aforetime? we who spoke
righteously now talk impurely?
Gandharva in the floods, the Dame of Waters—such is our
bond, such our most lofty kinship.
5Even in the womb God Tvashtar, vivifier, shaping all forms,
Creator, made us consorts.
Ne'er are his holy statutes violated: that we are his the heaven
and earth acknowledge.
6Who yokes to-day unto the pole of Order the strong and passio-
nate steers of checkless spirit,
With shaft-armed mouths, heart-piercing, joy-bestowing? Long
shall he live who duly pays them service.
7Who knows that earliest day whereof thou speakest, Who hath
beheld it? Who can here declare it?
Great is the law of Varuna and Mitra. What, wanton, wilt thou
say to men to tempt them?
8Yami am possessed by love of Yama, that I may rest on the
same couch beside him.
I as a wife would yield me to my husband. Like car-wheels let
us speed to meet each other. p. 175
9They stand not still, they never close their eyelids, those senti-
nels of Gods who wander round us.
Not me—go quickly, wanton, with another, and hasten like a
chariot-wheel to meet him.
10May Sūrya's eye with days and nights endow him, and ever may
his light spread out before him.
In heaven and earth the kindred pair commingle. On Yami be
the unbrotherly act of Yama.
11Sure there will come succeeding times when brothers and sisters
will do acts unmeet for kinsfolk.
Not me, O fair one—seek another husband, and make thine arm
a pillow for thy consort.
12Is he a brother when no help is left her? Is she a sister when
Forced by my love these many words I utter. Come near, and
hold me in thy close embraces,
13I am no help for thee, no refuge, Yami, I will not clasp and
press thee to my bosom.
This is abhorrent to my mind and spirit—a brother on the couch
beside a sister.
14I will not fold mine arms about thy body: they call it sin when
one comes near a sister.
Not me—prepare thy pleasure with another. Thy brother seeks
not this from thee, O fair one.
15Alas; thou art indeed a weakling Yama. We find in thee no trace
o f heart or spirit.
As round a tree the woodbine clings, another will cling about
thee girt as with a girdle.
16Embrace another, Yami. Let some other, even as the woodbine
rings a tree, enfold thee.
Win thou his heart and let him win thy fancy; so make with
him a bond of blest alliance.
17Three hymns the Sages have disposed in order, the many-formed,
the fair, the all-beholding.
These in one single world are placed and settled—the growing
plants, the breezes, and the waters.
18The Bull hath yielded for the Bull the milk of heaven: inviolable
is the Son of Aditi.
According to his wisdom Varuna knoweth all: he halloweth, the
holy, times for sacrifice. p. 176
19Gandharvi spake. May she, the Lady of the Flood amid the
river's roaring leave my heart untouched.
May Aditi accomplish all that we desire, and may our eldest
Brother tell us this as chief.
20Yea, even this blessed Morning, rich in store of food, splendid,
with heavenly lustre, hath shone out for man,
Since they as was the wish of yearning Gods, brought forth that
yearning Agni for the assembly as the Priest.
21And the fleet Falcon brought for sacrifice from afar this flowing.
drop most excellent and passing wise,
Then when the Aryan tribes chose as invoking Priest Agni the
wonder-worker, and the hymn rose up.
22Still art thou kind to him who feeds thee as with grass, and.
skilled in sacrifice offers thee holy gifts.
When thou having received the sage's strengthening food with
lauds, after long toil comest with many more.
23Urge thou thy Parents, as a lover, to delight: the lovely One
desires and craves it from his heart.
As Priest he calls aloud, as Warrior shows his skill, as Asura tries
his strength, and with the hymn is stirred.
24Far famed is he, the mortal man, O Agni thou Son of strength,
who hath obtained thy favour.
He, gathering power, borne onward by his horses, makes his,
days lovely in his might and splendour.
25Hear us, O Agni, in the great assembly: harness thy rapid car,.
the car of Amrit.
Bring Heaven and Earth, the Deities' Parents, hither: stay with
us here, nor from the Gods be absent.
26When, holy Agni, the divine assembly, the holy synod mid the
Gods, is gathered,
And when thou, godlike One, dealest forth treasures vouchsafe
us too our portion of the riches.
27Agni hath looked upon the van of Mornings, and on the days.
the earliest Jātavedas.
After the Dawns, after their rays of brightness, Sūrya hath enter-
ed into earth and heaven.
28Agni hath looked against the van of Mornings, against the days-
the earliest Jātavedas;
In many a place against the beams of Sūrya, against the heavens
and earth hath he extended. p. 177
29Heaven and Earth, first by everlasting Order, speakers of truth,
are near enough to hear us,
When the God, urging men to worship, sitteth as Priest, assum-
ing all his vital vigour.
30As God comprising Gods by Law eternal, bear, as the chief who
knoweth, our oblation,
Smoke-bannered with the fuel, radiant, joyous, better to praise
and worship, Priest for ever.
31I praise your work .that ye may make me prosper: hear, Heaven
and Earth, twain worlds that drop with fatness!
While days and Gods go to the world of spirits, have let the
Parents with sweet mead refresh us.
32When the Cow's nectar wins the God completely, men here
below are heaven's and earth's sustainers
All the Gods come to this thy heavenly Yajus which from the
motley Pair milked oil and water
33Hath the King seized us? How have we offended against his
holy Ordinance? Who knoweth?
For even Mitra mid the Gods is angry. There are both song and
wealth for those who come not.
34'Tis hard to understand the Immortal's nature, where she who
is akin becomes a stranger.
Guard ceaselessly, great Agni, him who ponders Yama's name
easy to be comprehended.
35They in the synod where the Gods rejoice them, where they are
seated in Vivasvan's dwelling,
Have given the Moon his beams, the Sun his splendour: the
two unweariedly maintain their brightness.
36The counsel which the Gods meet to consider, their secret plan,
of that we have no knowledge.
There let God Savitar, Aditi, and Mitra proclaim to Varuna that
we are sinless.
37Companions, let us learn a prayer to Indra whom the thunder
To glorify your bold and most heroic Friend.
38For thou by slaying Vritra art the Vritra-slayer, famed for
Thou, Hero, in rich gifts surpassest wealthy chiefs.
39O'er the broad land thou goest like a Stega: here on vast earth
let breezes blow upon us, p. 178
Here hath our dear Friend Varuna, united, like Agni in the
wood, shot forth his splendour.
40Sing praise to him the chariot-borne, the famous, Sovran of men,
the dread and strong destroyer.
O Rudra, praised be gracious to the singer; let thy darts spare
us and smite down another.
41The pious call Sarasvati, they worship Sarasvati while sacrifice
The virtuous call Sarasvati to hear them. Sarasvati send bliss to
him who giveth!
42Sarasvati is called on by the Fathers who come right forward to
our solemn worship.
Seated upon this sacred grass rejoice you. Give thou us
strengthening food that brings no sickness.
43Sarasvati, who comest with the Fathers, joying in hymns, O
Goddess, and oblations,
Give plenteous wealth to this the sacrificer, a portion, worth a
thousand, of refreshment.
44May they ascend, the lowest, highest, midmost, the Fathers, who
deserve a share of Soma.
May they who have attained to life, the Fathers, righteous and
gentle, aid us when we call them.
45I have attained the gracious-minded Fathers, I have gained son
and progeny from Vishnu.
They who enjoy pressed juices with oblation, seated on sacred
grass, come oftenest hither.
46Now be this homage offered to the Fathers, to those who passed
of old and those who followed,
Those who have rested in the earthly region and those who
dwell among the happy races.
47Mātali prospers there with Kavyas, Yama with Angiras' sons,
Brihaspati with singers.
Exalters of the Gods, by Gods exalted, aid us those Fathers in
48Yes, this is good to taste and full of sweetness, verily it is strong
and rich in flavour.
No one may conquer Indra in the battle when he hath drunken
of the draught we offer.
49Honour the King with your oblations, Yama, Vivasvān's son, who
gathers men together. p. 179
Even him who travelled o'er the mighty rivers, who searches out
and shows the path to many.
50Yama first found for us the road to travel: this pasture never
can be taken from us.
Men born on earth tread their own paths that lead them whither
our ancient Fathers have departed.
51Fathers who sit on sacred grass, come, help us: these offsprings
have we made for you; accept them.
So come to us with most auspicious favour: bestow on us
unfailing health and plenty.
52Bowing their bended knees and seated southward let all accept
this sacrifice with favour.
Punish us not for any sin, O fathers which we through human
frailty have committed.
53Tvashtar prepares the bridal for his daughter: therefore the
whole of this our world assembles.
But Yama's mother, spouse of great Vivasvān, vanished as she
was carried to her dwelling.
54Go forth, go forth upon the homeward pathways whither our
sires of old have gone before us.
Then shalt thou look on both the Kings enjoying their sacred
food, God Varuna and Yama.
55Go hence, depart ye, fly in all directions. This world for him the
Fathers have provided.
Yama bestow upon this man a dwelling adorned with days and
beams of light and waters.
56We set thee down with yearning, and with yearning we enkindle
Yearning, bring yearning Fathers nigh to eat the food of
57We, splendid men, deposit thee, we, splendid men, enkindle thee.
Splendid, bring splendid Fathers nigh to eat the sacrificial food.
58Our Fathers are Angirases, Navagvas, Atharvans, Bhrigus, who
deserve the Soma.
May these, the holy, look on us with favour; may we enjoy
their gracious loving-kindness.
59Come, Yama, with Angirases, the holy; rejoice thee here with
children of Virūpa.
Seated on sacred grass at this oblation: I call Vivasvān too, thy
father, hither. p. 180
60Come, seat thee on this bed of grass. O Yama, accordant with
Angirases and Fathers.
Let texts recited by the sages bring thee. O. King, let this
oblation make thee joyful.
61He hath gone hence and risen on high mounting heaven's ridges
by that path
Whereon the sons of Angiras, the conquerors of earth, went up.
A funeral hymn, taken mainly from the Rigveda
1For Yama Soma juice flows clear, to Yama is oblation paid.
To Yama sacrifice prepared, and heralded by Agni, goes.
2Offer to Yama sacrifice most sweet in savour and draw near.
Bow down before the Rishis of the olden time, the ancient ones
who made the path.
3Offer to Yama, to the King, butter and milk in sacrifice.
So may he grant that we may live long days of life mid living
4Burn him not up, nor quite consume him, Agni. Let not his
body or his skin be scattered.
O Jātavedas, when thou hast matured him, then send him on
his way unto the Fathers.
5When thou hast made him ready, Jātavedas, then do thou give
him over to the Fathers. p. 185
When he attains unto the life that waits him he will obey the
6With the three jars Brihat alone makes pure the six wide-spread-
The Gāyatri, the Trishtup, all metres in Yama are contained.
7The Sun receive thine eye, the wind thy spirit; go, as thy merit
is, to earth or heaven.
Go, if it be thy lot, unto the waters: go, make thy home in
plants with all thy members.
8Thy portion is the goat: with heat consume him: let thy fierce
flame, thy glowing splendour, burn him.
With thine auspicious forms, O Jātavedas, bear this man to the
region of the pious.
9Let all thy rapid flames, O Jātavedas, wherewith thou fillest
heaven and earth's mid-region,
Follow the goat as he goes on, united: then with the others,
most auspicious, aid us.
110Away O Agni, to the Fathers, send him who, offered in thee,
goes with our oblations.
Wearing new life let him approach his offspring, and splendid, be
invested with a body,
11Run and outspeed the two dogs, Sarama's offspring, brindled,
four-eyed, upon thy happy pathway.
Draw nigh thou to the gracious-minded Fathers who take their
pleasure in the feast with Yama.
12And those two dogs of thine, Yama, the watchers, four-eyed
who look on men and guard the pathway
Entrust this man, O King, to their protection, and with prosperity
and health endow him.
13Dark-hued, insatiate, with distended nostrils, Yama's two envoys
roam among the people.
May they restore to us a fair existence here and to-day that we
may see the sunlight.
14For some the Soma juice runs clear some sit by sacrificial oil.
To those for whom the meath flows forth, even to those let him
15Let him, O Yama, go to those Rishis austere, of Fervour born,
First followers of Law, the sons of Law, upholders of the Law.
46Invincible through Fervour, they who by their Fervour went to
heaven. p. 186
Who practised great austerity,—even to those let him depart.
17The heroes who contend in war and boldly cast their lives away.
Or who give guerdon thousandfold,—even to those let him
18Let him, O Yama, go to those Rishis austere, of Fervour born,
Skilled in a thousand ways and means, the sages who protect the
19Be pleasant unto him, O Earth, thornless and lulling him to rest.
Vouchsafe him shelter broad and sure.
20In the free amplitude of earth take roomy space to lodge thee in.
Let all oblations which in life thou paidest drop thee honey now.
21Hither I call thy spirit with my spirit. Come thou; delighted,
to these dwelling-places.
Unite thee with the Fathers and with Yama: strong and
delicious be the winds that fan thee.
22Floating in water, bringing streams, let Maruts carry thee aloft,
And causing coolness by their rush sprinkle thee with their fall-
23I have recalled thy life to life, to being, power, and energy.
Let thy soul go unto its own: so to the Fathers hasten thou.
24Let not thy soul be left behind: here let not aught of thee
Of spirit, body, members, sap.
25Let not a tree oppness thee, nor Earth the great Goddess weigh
Among the Fathers find thy home, and thrive mid those whom
26Each parted member, severed from thy body, thy vital breaths
that in the wind have vanished,
With all of these, piece after piece, shall Fathers who dwell to-
gether meet and reunite thee.
27Him have the living banished from their houses: remove him to
a distance from the hamlet.
Yama's observant messenger was Mrityu he hath despatched
men's lives unto the Fathers.
28Those Dasyus who, not eating our oblations, come wilh friends'
faces mingled with the Fathers,
Those who wear gross those who wear subtile bodies,—from this.
our sacrifice let Agni blast them. p. 187
29Bringing delight, prolonging our existence, here let our own, the
Fathers, dwell together.
Coming with sacrifice may we assist them, living long lives
through many autumn seasons.
30Now by this cow I bring thee, by the boiled rice set in milk for
Be the supporter of the folk left here without a livelihood.
31Prolong the pleasant Dawn enriched with horses-or bearing us.
anew beyond the darkness.
Adjudged to die be he, the man who slew thee: this portion let
him find, and not another.
32Yama is higher and Vivasvān lower: nothing whatever do I see
This sacrifice of mine is based on Yama, Vivasvān spread the
atmosphere about us.
33From mortal men they hid the immortal Lady, made one like
her and gave her to Vivasvān.
Saranyū brought to him the Asvin brothers, and then deserted
both twinned pairs of children.
34Bring thou the Fathers one and all Agni, to eat the sacrifice.
The buried, and the cast away, those burnt with fire, and those
35Those, whether flames have burnt or not consumed them, who in
the midst of heaven enjoy oblations—
Let them, when thou dost know them, Jatavedas, accept with
sacred food the axe and worship.
36Burn gently, Agni, burn not up the body with too fervent heat.
Let all thy force and fury be expended on the woods and earth.
37I give this place to him who hath come hither and now is mine,
to be a home to rest in:
This was the thought of Yama when he answered: This man is.
mine. Let him come here to riches.
38This date we settle once for all, that it may ne'er be fixt again_
A hundred autumns; not before.
39This date we order, etc.
40This date we limit, etc.
41This date we measure, etc.
42This date we mete out, etc.
43This date we stablish, etc.
44This date we mete and measure out, that it may ne'er be fixt. p. 188
again. A hundred autumns: not before.
45The period I have measured—come to heaven. I would my life
Not to be measured out again; a hundred autumns, not before.
46Inbreath and outbreath, breath diffused, life, sight to look upon
Seek by a straight unwinding path the Fathers whom King
47Unmarried men who toiled and have departed, the childless,
having left their foes behind them,
Have found on high the world whereto they mounted, reflecting
on the ridge of vaulted heaven.
48The lowest is the Watery heaven, Pilumatī the middlemost;
The third and highest, that wherein the Fathers dwell, is called
49The Fathers of our Father, his Grandfathers, those who have
entered into air's wide region,
Those who inhabit earth or dwell in heaven, these Fathers will
we worship with oblation.
50Thou seest now, and ne'er again shalt look upon, the Sun in
Cover him as a mother draws her skirt about her son, O Earth!
51This once,,and at no other time hereafter in a lengthened life:
Cover him, as a wife, O Earth, covers her husband with her
52Round thee auspiciously I wrap the vesture of our Mother
Be bliss among the living mine, oblation mid the Fathers thine!
53Ye have prepared, pathmakers, Agni-Soma, a fair world for the
Gods to be the it treasure.
Go to that world and send us Pūshan hither to bear us on the
paths the goat hath trodden.
54Guard of the world, whose cattle ne'er are injured, may Pūshan
bear thee hence, for he hath knowledge.
May he consign thee to these Fathers' keeping, and to the
gracious Gods let Agni give hee.
55Lord of all life, let Ayu guard thee, Pūshan convey thee forward
on the distant pathway.
May Savitar the God conduct thee thither where dwell the pious
who have gone before thee. p. 189
56For thee I yoke these carriers twain to bear thee to the spirit.
Hasten with them to Yama's home and join his gathered.
57This is the robe that first was wrapped about thee: cast off the
robe thou worest here among us.
Go, knowing, to the meed of virtuous action, thy many gifts.
bestowed upon the friendless.
58Mail thee with flesh against the flames of Agni; encompass thee
about with fat and marrow;
So will the bold One eager to attack thee with fierce glow fail to
girdle and consume thee.
59From his dead hand I take the staff he carried, together with his
lore and strength and splendour.
There art thou, there; and here with good men round us may
we o'ercome all enemies and foemen.
60From his dead hand I take the bow he carried, together with his.
power and strength and splendour.
Having collected wealth and ample treasure, come hither to the-
world of living beings.
A funeral hymn, taken partly from the Rigveda
1Choosing her husband's world, O man, this woman lays herself
down beside thy lifeless body. p. 192
Preserving faithfully the ancient custom. Bestow upon here both
wealth and offspring.
2Rise, come unto the world of life, O woman: come, he is lifeless
by whose side thou liest.
Wifehood with this thy husband was thy portion who took thy
hand and wooed thee as a lover.
3I looked and saw the youthful dame escorted, the living to the
dead: I saw them, bear her.
When she with blinding darkness was enveloped, then did I turn
her back and lead her homeward.
4Knowing the world of living beings, Aghnyā! treading the path.
of Gods which lies before thee,
This is thy husband: joyfully receive him and let him mount
into the world of Svarga.
5The speed of rivers craving heaven and cane, thou, Agni, art the
6Cool, Agni, and again refresh the spot which thou hast scorched
Here let the water-lily grow, and tender grass and leafy plant.
7Here is one light for thee, another yonder: enter the third and
be therewith united.
Uniting with a body be thou lovely, dear to the Gods in their
8Rise up, advance, run forward: make thy dwelling in water
that shall be thy place to rest in
There dwelling in accordance with the Fathers delight thyself
with Soma and libations.
9Prepare thy body: speed thou on thy journey: let not thy limbs,.
thy frame be left behind thee.
Follow to its repose thy resting spirit: go to whatever spot of
earth thou lovest.
10With splendour may the Fathers, meet for Soma, with mead and.
fatness may the Gods anoint me.
Lead me on farther to extended vision, and prosper me through
life of long duration.
11May Agni balm me thoroughly with splendour; may Vishnu.
touch my lips with understanding.
May all the Deities vouchsafe me riches, and pleasant Waters
purify and cleanse me. p. 193
12Mitra and Varuna have stood about me. Ādityas, Sacirifical
Posts exalt me!
May Indra balm my hands with strength and splendour. A long,
long life may Savitar vouchsafe me.
13Worship with sacrificial gift King Yama, Vivasvān's son who
gathers men together,
Yama who was the first to die of mortals, the first who travelled
to the world before us.
14Depart, O Fathers, and again come hither; this sacrifice of yours
is balmed with sweetness.
Enrich us here with gift of great possessions; grant blessed
wealth with ample store of heroes.
15Kanva, Kakshivān, Purumidha, Agastya, Syāvāsva Sobhari, and
This Visvāmitra, Jamadagni, Atri, Kasyapa, Vāmadeva be our
16Vasishtha, Jamadagni, Visvāmitra, Gotama, Vāmadeva, Bhara-
Atri hath won your favour with homage. Gracious to us be ye
17They, making for themselves a new existence, wash off defilement
in the brazen vessel.
May we be fragrant in our houses, ever increasing in our
children and our riches.
18They balm him, balm him over, balm him thoroughly, caress
the mighty power and balm it with the mead,
They seize the flying steer at the stream's breathing-place:
cleansing with gold they grasp the animal herein.
19Fathers, be glorious in yourselves, and follow all that is glad in
you and meet for Soma.
Give ear and listen, swiftly-moving Sages, benevolent, invoked in
20Atris, Angirases, Navagvas, givers of liberal gifts, continual
Devout and pious, granting guerdon freely, sit on this holy grass
and be ye joyful.
21As in the days of old our ancient Fathers, speeding the work of
sacred worship, Agni!
Sought pure light and devotion, singing praises, they cleft the
ground and made red Dawns apparent. p. 194
22Gods, doing holy acts, devout, resplendent, smelting like ore
their human generation,
Brightening Agni and exalting Indra, they came encompassing
the stall of cattle.
23Strong One! he marked them, and the gods before them, like
herds of cattle in a foodful pasture.
There man moaned forth their strong desires, to strengthen even
the true; the nearest One, the living.
24We have worked for thee, we have toiled and laboured: bright
Dawns have shed their light upon our worship.
All that the Gods regard with love is blessed. Loud may we
speak, with heroes, in assembly.
25From eastward Indra, Lord or Maruts, guard me, as in her
arms Earth guards the heaven above us!
Those who give room, who made the paths, we worship, you,
mid the Gods, who share the gifts we offer.
26Dhātar with Nirriti save me from southward, etc. (as in stanza
27From westward Aditi was Ādityas save me! etc.
28From westward with the All-Gods save me Soma! etc.
29May the strong firm Sustainer bear thee upright, as Savitar bears
light above the heaven.
Those who give room, who made the paths, we worship, you
mid the Gods, whe share the gifts we offer.
30Toward the eastward region I supply thee before thou goest
homeward, with oblation, as in her arms, etc. (as in stanza 25).
31Toward the southern region, etc.
32Toward the western region, etc.
33Toward the northern region, etc.
34Toward the stedfast region, etc.
35Toward the upmost region I supply thee, before thou goest
homeward, with oblation, as in her arms Earth bears the
heaven above us.
Those who give room, who made the paths, we worship, you,
mid the Gods, who share the gifts we offer.
36Thou art the Bull, Supporter, and Upholder,
37Who purifiest wind and mead and water.
38From this side and from that let both assist me. As, speeding,
ye have come like two twin sisters, p. 195
Religious-hearted votaries brought you forward. Knowing your
several places be ye seated.
39Sit near, sit very near beside our Soma: for you I fit the ancient
prayer with homage.
The praise-song, like a chieftain on his pathway, spreads far and
wide. Let all Immortals hear it.
40Three paces hath the stake gone up, and followed her, the four-
footed, with devout observance.
He with the Syllable copies the praise-song; he thoroughly
purifies at Order's centre.
41Chose he then, death for Gods to be their portion? Why chose
he not for men a life eternal?
Brihaspati span sacrifice, the Rishi; and Yama yielded up his
own dear body.
42Thou, Agni Jātavedas, when entreated, didst bear our offerings,
having made them fragrant.
And give them to the Fathers who consumed them with Svadhā.
Eat, thou God, the gifts we bring thee.
43Lapped in the bosom of the purple Mornings, give riches to the
man who brings oblations.
Grant to your sons a portion of that treasure, and, present, give
them energy, O Fathers.
44Fathers whom Agni's flames have tasted, come ye nigh: in per-
fect order take ye each your proper place.
Eat sacrificial food presented on the grass: grant riches with a
multitude of hero sons.
45May they, the Fathers who deserve the Soma, invited to their
Laid on the sacred grass, come nigh and listen. May they be
gracious unto us and bless us.
46Our Father's Fathers and their sires before them who came,
most noble, to the Soma banquet,
With these let Yama, yearning with the yearning, rejoicing eat
our offerings at his pleasure.
47Come to us, Agni, with the gracious Fathers who dwell in glow-
ing light, the very Sages,
Who thirsted mid the Gods, who hasten hither, oblation-winners,
theme of singers' praises.
48Come, Agni, come with countless ancient Fathers, dwellers in
light, primeval, God-adorers, p. 196
Eaters and drinkers of oblation, truthful, who travel with the
Deities and Indra.
49Betake thee to the lap of Earth, our mother, of Earth far-spread-
ing, very kind and gracious.
May she, wool-soft unto the guerdon-giver, guard thee in front
upon the distant pathway.
50Heave thyself, Earth, nor press him downward heavily: afford
him easy access pleasant to approach,
Cover him as a mother wraps her skirt about her child, O
51Now let the heaving earth be free from motion: yea, let a
thousand clods remain above him.
Be they to him a home distilling fatness: here let them ever be
his place of refuge.
52I stay the earth from thee, while over thee I place this piece of
earth. May I be free from injury.
The Fathers firmly fix this pillar here for thee; and there let
Yama make thee an abiding-place.
53Forbear, O Agni, to upset this chalice: the Gods and they who
merit Soma love it.
This cup, yea this which serves the Gods to drink from,—in this
let the Immortals take their pleasure.
54The chalice brimming o'er which erst Atharvan offered to Indra,
Lord of wealth and treasure,
Indu therein sets draught of virtuous action, and ever purifies
himself within it.
55What wound soe'er the dark bird hath inflicted, the emmet, or
the serpent, or the jackal,
May Agni who devoureth all things heal it, and Soma, who hath
passed into the Brāhmans.
56The plants of earth are rich in milk, and rich in milk is this my
With all the milky essence of the Waters let them make me
57Let these unwidowed dames with goodly husbands adorn them-
selves with fragrant balm and unguent.
Decked with fair jewels, tearless, free, from trouble, first let the
dames go up to where he lieth.
58Meet Yama, meet the Fathers, meet the merit of virtuous action
in the loftiest heaven. p. 197
Leave sin and evil, seek anew thy dwelling: so bright with glory
let him join his body.
59Our Father's Fathers and their sires before them, they who have
entered into air's wide region,
For them shall self-resplendent Asuniti form bodies now accord-
ing to her pleasure.
60Let the hoar-frost be sweet to thee. sweetly on thee the rain
O full of coolness, thou cool Plant, full of fresh moisture, fresh-
Bless us in waters, female Frog: calm and allay this Agni here.
61Vivasvān make us free from fear and peril, good rescuer, quick-
pouring, bounteous giver!
Many in number be these present heroes! Increase of wealth be
mine in kine and horses!
62In immortality Vivasvān set us! Go from us Death, come to us
To good old age may he protect these people: let not their
spirits pass away to Yama.
63The Sage of Fathers, guardian of devotions who holds thee up
with might in air's mid-region,—
Praise him ye Visvāmitras, with oblation. To lengthened life
shall be, this Yama, lead us.
64Mount and ascend to highest heaven, O Rishis: be ye not afraid.
Soma-drinkers to you is paid this Soma-lover's sacrifice. We
have attained the loftiest light.
65Agni is shining forth with lofty banner: the Bull is bellowing to
earth and heaven.
From the sky's limit even hath he stretched near us: the Steer
hath waxen in the waters' bosom.
66They gaze on thee with longing in their spirit, as on an eagle
that is mounting skyward;
On thee with wings of gold, Varuna's envoy, the Bird that
hasteth to the home of Yama.
67O Indra, bring us wisdom as a sire gives wisdom to his sons.
Guide us, O much-invoked in this our way: may we still living
look upon the Sun.
68Let these which Gods have held for thee, the beakers covered
o'er with cake,
Be full of sacred food for thee, distilling fatness, rich in mead. p. 198
69Grains which for thee I scatter, mixt with Sesamum, as holy
May they for thee be excellent and potent: King Yama look on
them as thine with favour!
70O Tree, give back again this man who is deposited on thee.
That he may dwell in Yama's home addressing the assemblies
71Seize hold O Jātavedas; let thy flame be full of fervent heat.
Consume his body: to the world of pious ones transport this
72To these, thy Fathers who have passed away at first and after-
Let the full brook of butter run, o'erflowing with a hundred
73Mount to this life, removing all defilement: here thine own
kindred shine with lofty splendour.
Depart thou; be not left behind: go forward, first of those here,
unto the world of Fathers.
A funeral hymn, composed partly of verses from the Rigveda
1Rise to your mother, flames of Jātavedas! I send you up by
paths which Fathers traverse.
With headlong speed the Oblation bearer bore our gifts: toil ye,
and place the offerer where the righteous dwell.
2The Seasons, Deities, form and order Worship, butter, cake,
ladles, sacrificial weapons.
Tread thou God-travelled paths whereby the righteous, payers
of sacrifices, go to Svarga.
3Carefully look on Sacrifice's pathway whereon the Angirases,
the righteous, travel.
By those same pathways go thou up to Svarga where the
Ādityas take their fill of sweetness, There make thy home in
the third vault of heaven,
4Three eagles in the region's roar are standing high on heaven's
ridge in their appointed station.
The worlds of Svarga shall, filled full of Amrit, yield food and
power to him who sacrificeth. p. 202
5Upabhrit stablished air, Juhū the heaven, Dhruva supported
earth securely founded.
As meed, the Svarga worlds, o'erspread with fatness shall yield
the sacrificer all his wishes.
6Dhruvā, ascend thou earth the all sustainer: go thou, O Upa-
bhrit, to air's mid-region.
Juhu, go skyward with the sacrificer; go, and with Sruva be thy
calf beside thee drain all the swelling unreluctant quarters.
7They ford the mighty rivers by the pathway which they who
sacrifice, the righteous, travel.
There they gave room unto the sacrificer when they made regions
and existing creatures.
8The Angirases' pathway is the eastern Agni, the Ādityas' path-
way is the Gārhapatya:
The southward Agni is the way of Southerns.
To Agni's greatness whom the prayer divideth go powerful, un-
scathed with all thy members.
9Eastward let east fire happily consume thee, and westward
happily the Gārhapatya.
Burn southern fire, thine armour and protection: from air's-
mid-region from the north and centre, on all sides, Agni,
guard thou him from horror.
10Do ye, with your most kindly forms, O Agni, waft, turned to
rapid steeds whose ribs bear burthens,
The sacrificer to the world of Svarga where with the Gods they
banquet and are joyful.
11Happily from the rear burn this man, Agni, happily from before,
above, and under.
One, triply parted, Jātavedas, place him happily in the world
that holds the righteous.
12Happily lit, let fires, each Jātavedas, seize on Prajāpati's appoint-
Let them not cast it down while here they cook it.
13Sacrifice, duly offered, comes preparing the sacrificer for the.
world of Svarga,
Let all the fires, each Jatavedas, welcome Prajāpati's completely
Let them not cast it down while here they cook it.
14Fain to fly up from the sky's ridge to heaven, the worshipper
hath mounted visible Agni. p. 203
Lucid from out the mist to him, the pious, gleams the God-
travelled path that leads to Svarga.
15On thy right hand let Indra be thy Brāhman, Brihaspati Adh-
varyu Agni Hotar.
This ordered sacrifice goes offered thither whither presented
gifts have gone aforetime.
16Enriched with cake and milk here let the Charu rest.
World-makers, makers of the path we worship you of the Gods
who here partake oblations.
17Enriched with cake and curds, etc. (as in stanza 16).
18Enriched with cake and drops, etc.
19Enriched with cake and butter, etc.
20Enriched with cake and flesh, etc.
21Enriched with cake and food, etc.
22Enriched with cake and mead, etc.
23Enriched with cake and juice, etc.
24Here, mixt with cake and water rest the Charu!
World-makers, makers of the path, we worship those Gods of
you who here partake oblations.
25Let these which Gods have held for thee, these beakers covered
o'er with cake,
Be full of sacred food for thee, distilling fatness, rich in mead.
26Grains which for thee I scatter, mixt with Sesamum, as holy
May they for thee be excellent and potent. King Yama look on,
them as thine with favour!
28On all the earth, to heaven, the drop descended, on this place
and on that which was before it.
I offer up, throughout the seven oblations, the drop which still
to one same place is moving.
29Those who observe men look on wealth as Vāyu with countless.
streams, and as light-finding Arka;
Those drain out Guerdon sprung from seven mothers, who satis-
fy and evermore give presents.
30They for their weal drain out the cask, the beaker four-holed,.
the milch-cow Idā full of sweetness,
Injure not, Agni, in the loftiest heaven Aditi heightening strength
among the people.
31On thee doth Savitar the God bestow this vesture for thy wear. p. 204
Clothe thee herein, and find meet robe in Yama's realm to cover
32The grains of corn have now become a cow, the Sesamum her
He in the realm of Yama lives on her the inexhaustible.
33Let these become thy milch-kine, man! supplying all thy heart's
There, speckled, white, like-hued and various-coloured, with
calves of Sesamum let them stand beside thee.
34Let the green grains become thy white, and speckled, The dusky
corns become thy ruddy milch-kine.
Let those with calves of Sesamum for ever yield strength to him
and never flinch from milking.
35I offer in Vaisvānara this oblation, thousandfold spring that
pours a hundred steamlets.
This with a swelling flow supports the Father, supports grand-
fathers and their sires before them.
36Beside the spring with hundred, thousand currents, expanding
on the summit of the water,
Exhaustless, yielding strength, never reluctant, the Fathers with
their sacred food are seated.
37This pile of wood, collected, heaped together, regard it, O ye,
kinsmen, and come near it.
To immortality this mortal goeth: prepare a home for him, all
ye his kindred.
38Be here, even here, acquiring wealth, here be thou thoughts here
be thou strength.
Be stronger here in manly power, life-giver, never beaten back.
39Giving the son and grandson satisfaction, let these the present
Waters full of sweetness,
Pouring forth food and Amrit for the Fathers, refresh both these
and those, the Goddess Waters.
4040. Waters, send Agni forward to the Fathers: let them accept the
sacrifice I offer.
May they who follow Vigour that abideth there send us down
wealth with full store of heroes.
41Lover of butter, deathless, him, Oblation-bearer, they inflame.
He knoweth well the treasured stores gone to the Fathers, far
away. p. 205
42The mingled draught, the mess of rice, the flesh which I present
May these be full of food for thee, distilling fatness, rich in
43Grains which for thee I scatter, mixt with Sesamum as sacred
May these for thee be excellent and potent. King Yama look on,
them, as thine, with favour.
44This is the ancient, this the recent pathway, by which thy sires
of olden time departed.
They who first travelled it, and they who followed, convey thee
to the world where dwell the righteous.
45The pious call Sarasvati: they worship Sarasvati while sacrifice
The righteous doers of good deeds invoke her: Sarasvati send
bliss to him who giveth!
46Approaching on the south our solemn worship, the Fathers call-
Sarasvati to hear them.
Sit on this holy grass and be ye joyful: give thou us strengthen-
ing food that brings no sickness.
47Sarasvati, who tamest with them, joying in hymns and food, O
Goddess, with the Fathers,
Here give the Sacrificer growth of riches, a portion, worth a
thousand, of refreshment.
48As Prithivī rests on earth, so do I seat thee. May the God Dhātar
lengthen our existence.
For you may he who parts in turn find treasures, but let the
Dead among the Fathers.
49Depart ye two: wipe ye away whatever omens of evil fortune
here have told you.
Go from this man, both Steers, to him who wills it: ye are my
joys here by the giver's Fathers.
50From a good quarter have we gained this guerdon, gift of this
man, strength giving, plenteous milker.
Bringing in youth old age unto the living, may she bear these
together to the Fathers.
51I bring this clipped grass hither for the Fathers: grass living,.
higher, for the Gods I scatter.
Mount this, O man, as victim: let the Fathers recognize thee:
when thou hast travelled yonder. p. 206
52Set on this grass thou hast become a victim. Fathers shall know
thee yonder when they meet thee.
Gather thy body, limb by limb, together: I by the power of
prayer arrange thy members.
53The royal Parna is the caldrons' cover: strength have we gained,
force, power, and might, and vigour.
Bestowing length of life upon the living, for long existence
through a hundred autumns.
54The share of vigour which gave this man being, the stone won
lordship over foods that nourish.
Hymn this with your oblations, Visvāmitras: may he, may Yama,
lengthen our existence.
55As the Five Races of mankind for Yama set apart a house.
Even so I set a house apart that greater numbers may be mine.
56Take thou and wear this piece of gold, the gold thy father used
Wipe tenderly the right hand of thy sire who goes away to
57To all, the living and the dead, all that are born, the worshipful.
Let the full brook of fatness run, o'erflowing, with stream of
58Far-seeing he flows on, the Bull, the Lord of hymns, promoter
of the Sun, of Days, of Dawns, of Heaven.
Breath of the rivers he hath roared into the jars, and through
his wisdom entered into Indra's heart.
59Let thy bright smoke envelop thee, spread forth, O Bright One,
in the sky.
For, Purifier, like the Sun thou shinest with thy radiant glow.
60Indu is moving forth to Indra's destined place, and slights not
as a friend the promise of his friend.
Thou, Soma, comest nigh as bridegroom meets the bride, reach-
ing the beaker by a course of hundred paths.
61Well have they eaten and rejoiced: their dear ones have they
Sages, self-luminous, have praised: we who are youngest
62Come hither, Fathers, who deserve the Soma, by the deep path-
ways which the Fathers travel.
Bestow upon us life and store of children, and favour us with
increase of our riches. p. 207
63Depart, O Fathers, ye who merit Soma, by the deep pathways
which the Fathers travel;
But in a month, rich in fair sons and heroes, come back into
our homes to eat oblation.
64If Agni Jātavedas, as he bore you hence to the Fathers' world,
hath left one single.
Limb of your bodies, here do I restore it. Fathers, rejoice in
heaven with all your members!
65Meet for men's praises, Agni Jātavedas was sent as envoy when
the day was closing.
Thou gavest to the Fathers with oblation. They ate; eat, God,
our offered sacrifices.
66Here hast thou left thy heart; O man, as sisters leave their little
pet. Do thou, O earth, envelop him.
67Bright be to thee those worlds where dwell the Fathers! I seat
thee in that sphere which they inhabit.
68Thou art the grass whereon our Fathers seat them.
69Loosen, O Varuna, the bond that binds us; loosen the bond
above, between, and under.
Then under thy protection, O Āditya, may we be sinless and
restored to freedom.
70From all those bonds, O Varuna, release us, wherewith a man
is bound at length and cross-wise.
Then may we live a hundred autumn seasons guarded by thee,
O King, by thee protected.
71To Agni, bearer of oblation to the Manes, be Hail! and
72To Soma connected with the Fathers Hail! and homage!
73To the Fathers connected with Soma Hail! and homage!
74To Yama connected with the Fathers Hail! and homage!
75To thee, O Great-grandfather, and those with thee be this cry of
76To thee, Great-grandfather, and to those with thee be this cry of
77To thee, O Fathers, be this cry of Hail!
78Hail to the Fathers who inhabit earth!
79Hail to the Fathers who inhabit the firmament!
80Hail to the Fathers who dwell in heaven!
81Hail, Fathers, to your energy! Hail, Fathers, to your sap!
82Hail Father; to your wrath! Hail, Fathers, to your ardour! p. 208
83Hail, Fathers, to what is awful! Hail to what is terrible in you!'
84Hail, Fathers, to all that is propitious! Hail to all that is plea-
sant in you!
85Homage to you Fathers! Hail to you, Fathers!
86All Fathers who are here, the Fathers here are you: let then-
follow you. May ye be the most excellent of these.
87All living fathers who are here are we here: let them follow us.
May we be the most excellent of these.
88Bright Agni, we will kindle thee, rich in thy splendour, fading.
So that this glorious fuel may send forth to heaven its light for
thee. Bring food to those who sing thy praise.
89Within the waters runs the Moon, the strong-winged Eagle soars.
Ye Lightnings with your golden wheels, men find not your abid-
ing-place. Hear this my call, O Heaven and Earth.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book One
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Two
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Three
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Four
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Five
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Six
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Seven
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Eight
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Nine
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Ten
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Eleven
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Twelve
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Thirteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Fourteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Fifteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Sixteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Seventeen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Eighteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Nineteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Twenty
- Hymns Of The Atharva-Veda
- Hymns of the Sama veda
- The Rig Veda translation
- Yajur Veda: The Veda Of The Black Yajus School
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 .
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