The Rig Veda, Book 1, Verses 1 - 10

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN I. Agni.

1 I Laud Agni, the chosen Priest, God, minister of sacrifice,
The hotar, lavishest of wealth.
2 Worthy is Agni to be praised by living as by ancient seers.
He shall bring. hitherward the Gods.
3 Through Agni man obtaineth wealth, yea, plenty waxing day by day,
Most rich in heroes, glorious.
4 Agni, the perfect sacrifice which thou encompassest about
Verily goeth to the Gods.
5 May Agni, sapient-minded Priest, truthful, most gloriously great,
The God, come hither with the Gods.
6 Whatever blessing, Agni, thou wilt grant unto thy worshipper,
That, Angiras, is indeed thy truth.
7 To thee, dispeller of the night, O Agni, day by day with prayer
Bringing thee reverence, we come
8 Ruler of sacrifices, guard of Law eternal, radiant One,
Increasing in thine own abode.
9 Be to us easy of approach, even as a father to his son:
Agni, be with us for our weal.


HYMN II. Vayu.

1 BEAUTIFUL Vayu, come, for thee these Soma drops have been prepared:
Drink of them, hearken to our call.
2 Knowing the days, with Soma juice poured forth, the singers glorify
Thee, Vayu, with their hymns of praise.
3 Vayu, thy penetrating stream goes forth unto the worshipper,
Far-spreading for the Soma draught.
4 These, Indra-Vayu, have been shed; come for our offered dainties' sake:
The drops are yearning for you both.
5 Well do ye mark libations, ye Vayu and Indra, rich in spoil
So come ye swiftly hitherward.
6 Vayu and Indra, come to what the Soma. presser hath prepared:
Soon, Heroes, thus I make my prayer.
7 Mitra, of holy strength, I call, and foe-destroying Varuna,
Who make the oil-fed rite complete.
8 Mitra and Varuna, through Law, lovers and cherishers of Law,
Have ye obtained your might power
9 Our Sages, Mitra-Varuna, wide dominion, strong by birth,
Vouchsafe us strength that worketh well.


HYMN III. Asvins

1 YE Asvins, rich in treasure, Lords of splendour, having nimble hands,
Accept the sacrificial food.
2 Ye Asvins, rich in wondrous deeds, ye heroes worthy of our praise,
Accept our songs with mighty thought.
3 Nisatyas, wonder-workers, yours arc these libations with clipt grass:
Come ye whose paths are red with flame.
4 O Indra marvellously bright, come, these libations long for thee,
Thus by fine fingers purified.
5 Urged by the holy singer, sped by song, come, Indra, to the prayers,
Of the libation-pouring priest.
6 Approach, O Indra, hasting thee, Lord of Bay Horses, to the prayers.
In our libation take delight.
7 Ye Visvedevas, who protect, reward, and cherish men, approach
Your worshipper's drink-offering.
8 Ye Visvedevas, swift at work, come hither quickly to the draught,
As milch-kine hasten to their stalls.
9 The Visvedevas, changing shape like serpents, fearless, void of guile,
Bearers, accept the sacred draught
10 Wealthy in spoil, enriched with hymns, may bright Sarsavad desire,
With eager love, our sacrifice.
11 Inciter of all pleasant songs, inspirer o all gracious thought,
Sarasvati accept our rite
12 Sarasvati, the mighty flood,- she with be light illuminates,
She brightens every pious thought.


HYMN IV. Indri

1 As a good cow to him who milks, we call the doer of fair deeds,
To our assistance day by day.
2 Come thou to our libations, drink of Soma; Soma-drinker thou!
The rich One's rapture giveth kine.
3 So may we be acquainted with thine innermost benevolence:
Neglect us not, come hitherward.
4 Go to the wise unconquered One, ask thou of Indra, skilled in song,
Him who is better than thy friends.
5 Whether the men who mock us say, Depart unto another place,
Ye who serve Indra and none else;
6 Or whether, God of wondrous deeds, all our true people call us blest,
Still may we dwell in Indra's care.
7 Unto the swift One bring the swift, man-cheering, grace of sacrifice,
That to the Friend gives wings and joy.
8 Thou, Satakratu, drankest this and wast the Vrtras' slayer; thou
Helpest the warrior in the fray.
9 We strengthen, Satakratu, thee, yea, thee the powerful in fight,
That, Indra, we may win us wealth.
10 To him the mighty stream of wealth, prompt friend ot'him who pours the juice,
yea, to this Indra sing your song.


HYMN V. Indra.

1 O COME ye hither, sit ye down: to Indra sing ye forth, your song,
companions, bringing hymns of praise.
2 To him the richest of the rich, the Lord of treasures excellent,
Indra, wi th Soma juice outpoured.
3 May he stand by us in our need and in abundance for our wealth:
May he come nigh us with his strength.
4 Whose pair of tawny horses yoked in battles foemen challenge not:
To him, to Indra sing your song.
5 Nigh to the Soma-drinker come, for his enjoyment, these pure drops,
The Somas mingled with the curd.
6 Thou, grown at once to perfect strength, wast born to drink the Soma juice,
Strong Indra, for preeminence.
7 O Indra, lover of the song, may these quick Somas enter thee:
May they bring bliss to thee the Sage.
8 Our chants of praise have strengthened thee, O Satakratu, and our lauds
So strengthen thee the songs we sing.
9 Indra, whose succour never fails, accept these viands thousandfold,
Wherein all manly powers abide.
10 O Indra, thou who lovest song, let no man hurt our bodies, keep
Slaughter far from us, for thou canst.


HYMN VI. Indra.

1 They who stand round him as he moves harness the bright, the ruddy Steed
The lights are shining in the sky.
2 On both sides to the car they yoke the two bay coursers dear to him,
Bold, tawny, bearers of the Chief.
3 Thou, making light where no light was, and form, O men: where form was not,
Wast born together with the Dawns.
4 Thereafter they, as is their wont, threw off the state of' babes unborn,
Assuming sacrificial names.
5 Thou, Indra, with the Tempest-Gods, the breakers down of what is firm '
Foundest the kine even in the cave.
6 Worshipping even as they list, singers laud him who findeth wealth,
The far-renowned, the mighty One.
7 Mayest thou verily be seen coming by fearless Indra's side:
Both joyous, equal in your sheen.
8 With Indra's well beloved hosts, the blameless, hastening to heaven,
The sacrificer cries aloud.
9 Come from this place, O Wanderer, or downward from the light of heaven:
Our songs of praise all yearn for this.
10 Indra we seek to give us help, from here, from heaven above the earth,
Or from the spacious firmament.


HYMN VII. Indra.

1 INDRA the singers with high praise, Indra reciters with their lauds,
Indra the choirs have glorified.
2 Indra hath ever close to him his two bay steeds and word-yoked car,
Indra the golden, thunder-armed.
3 Indra hath raised the Sun on high in heaven, that he may see afar:
He burst the mountain for the kine.
4 Help us, O Indra, in the frays, yea, frays, where thousand spoils are gained,
With awful aids, O awful One.
5 In mighty battle we invoke Indra, Indra in lesser fight,
The Friend who bends his bolt at fiends.
6 Unclose, our manly Hero, thou for ever bounteous, yonder cloud,
For us, thou irresistible.
7 Still higher, at each strain of mine, thunder-armed Indra's praises rise:
I find no laud worthy of him.
8 Even as the bull drives on the herds, he drives the people with his might,
The Ruler irresistible:
9 Indra who rules with single sway men, riches, and the fivefold race
Of those who dwell upon the earth.
10 For your sake from each side we call Indra away from other men:
Ours, and none others', may he be.


HYMN VIII. Indra.

1 INDRA, bring wealth that gives delight, the victor's ever-conquering wealth,
Most excellent, to be our aid;
2 By means of which we may repel our foes in battle hand to hand,
By thee assisted with the car.
3 Aided by thee, the thunder-armed, Indra, may we lift up the bolt,
And conquer all our foes in fight.
4 With thee, O India, for ally with missile-darting heroes, may
We conquer our embattled foes.
5 Mighty is Indra, yea supreme; greatness be his, the Thunderer:
Wide as the heaven extends his power
6 Which aideth those to win them sons, who come as heroes to the fight,
Or singers loving holy thoughts.
7 His belly, drinking deepest draughts of Soma, like an ocean swells,
Like wide streams from the cope of heaven.
8 So also is his excellence, great, vigorous, rich in cattle, like
A ripe branch to the worshipper.
9 For verily thy mighty powers, Indra, are saving helps at once
Unto a worshipper like me.
10 So are his lovely gifts; let lauds and praises be to Indra sung,
That he may drink the Soma juice.


HYMN IX. Indra.

1 COME, Indra, and delight thee with the juice at all the Soma feasts,
Protector, mighty in thy strength.
2 To Indra pour ye forth thejuice, the active gladdening juice to him
Ile gladdening, oinnific God.
3 O Lord of all men, fair of cheek, rejoice thee in the gladdening lauds,
Present at these drink-offerings.
4 Songs have outpoured themselves to thee, Indra, the strong, the guardian Lord,
And raised themselves unsatisfied.
5 Send to us bounty manifold, O Indra, worthy of' our wish,
For power supreme is only thine.
6 O Indra, stimulate thereto us emulously fain for wealth,
And glorious, O most splendid One.
7 Give, Indra, wide and lofty fame, wealthy in cattle and in strength,
Lasting our life-time, failing not.
8 Grant us high fame, O Indra, grant riches bestowing thousands, those
Fair fruits of earth borne home in wains.
9 Praising with songs the praise-worthy who cometh to our aid, we call
Indra, the Treasure-Lord of wealth.
10 To lofty Indra, dweller by each libation, the pious man
Sings forth aloud a strengthening hymn.


HYMN X. Indra.

1 THE chanters hymn thee, they who say the word of praise magnify thee.
The priests have raised thee up on high, O Satakratu, like a pole.
2 As up he clomb from ridge to ridge and looked upon the toilsome task,
Indra observes this wish of his, and the Rain hastens with his troop.
3 Harness thy pair of strong bay steeds, long-maned, whose bodies fill the girths,
And, Indra, Soma-drinker, come to listen to our songs of praise.
4 Come hither, answer thou the song, sing in approval, cry aloud.
Good Indra, make our prayer succeed, and prosper this our sacrifice.
5 To Indra must a laud be said, to strengthen him who freely gives,
That Sakra may take pleasure in our friendship and drink-offerings.
6 Him, him we seek for friendship, him for riches and heroic might.
For Indra, he is Sakra, he shall aid us while he gives us wealth.
7 Easy to turn and drive away, Indra, is spoil bestowed by thee.
Unclose the stable of the kine, and give us wealth O Thunder-armed
8 The heaven and earth contain thee not, together, in thy wrathful mood.
Win us the waters of the sky, and send us kine abundantly.
9 Hear, thou whose ear is quick, my call; take to thee readily my songs
O Indra, let this laud of mine come nearer even than thy friend.
10 We know thee mightiest of all, in battles hearer of our cry.
Of thee most mighty we invoke the aid that giveth thousandfold.
11 O Indra, Son of Kusika, drink our libation with delight.
Prolong our life anew, and cause the seer to win a thousand gifts.
12 Lover of song, may these our songs on every side encompass thee:
Strengthening thee of lengthened life, may they be dear delights to thee.

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Source: An English translation of the Vedas by Ralph T.H. Griffith, 1896.