The Rig Veda, Book 1, Verses 120 - 129
HYMN CXX. Asvins.
1. ASVINS, what praise may win your grace? Who may be pleasing to you both?
How shall the ignorant worship you?
2 Here let the ignorant ask the means of you who know-for none beside you knoweth aught -
Not of a spiritless mortal man.
3 Such as ye: are, all-wise, we call you. Ye wise, declare to us this day accepted prayer.
Loving you well your servant lauds you.
4 Simply, ye Mighty Ones, I ask the Gods of that wondrous oblation hallowed by the mystic word.
Save us from what is stronger, fiercer than ourselves.
5 Forth go the hymn that shone in Ghosa Bhrgu's like, the song wherewith the son of Pajra worships you,
Like some wise minister.
6 Hear ye the song of him who hastens speedily. O Asvins, I am he who sang your praise.
Hither, ye Lords of Splendour, hither turn your eyes.
7 For ye were ever nigh to deal forth ample wealth, to give the wealth that ye had gathered up.
As such, ye Vasus, guard us well, and keep us safely from the wicked wolf.
8 Give us not up to any man who hateth us, nor let our milch-cows stray, whose udders give us food,
Far from our homes without their calves.
9 May they who love you gain you for their Friends. Prepare ye us for opulence with strengthening food,
Prepare us for the food that floweth from our cows
10 1 have obtained the horseless car of Asvins rich in sacrifice,
And I am well content therewith.
11 May it convey me evermore: may the light chariot pass from men
To men unto the Soma draught.
12 It holdeth slumber in contempt. and the rich who enjoyeth not:
Both vanish quickly and are lost.
HYMN CXXI, Indra.
1. WHEN Will men's guardians hasting hear with favour the song of Angiras's pious
When to the people of the home he cometh he strideth to the sacrifice, the Holy.
2 He stablished heaven; he poured forth, skilful worker, the wealth of kine, for strength, that nurtures heroes.
The Mighty One his self-born host regarded, the horse's mate, the mother of the heifer.
3 Lord of red dawns, he came victorious, daily to the Angirases' former invocation.
His bolt and team hath he prepared, and stablished the heaven for quadrupeds and men two-footed.
4 In joy of this thou didst restore, for worship, the lowing company of hidden cattle.
When the three-pointed one descends with onslaught he opens wide the doors that cause man trouble.
5 Thine is that milk which thy swift-moving Parents brought down, a strengthening genial gift for conquest;
When the pure treasure unto thee they offered, the milk shed from the cow who streameth nectar.
6 There is he born. May the Swift give us rapture, and like the Sun shine forth from yonder dawning,
Indu, even us who drank, whose toils are offerings, poured from the spoon, with praise, upon the altar.
7 When the wood-pile, made of good logs, is ready, at the Sun's worship to bind fast the Bullock,
Then when thou shinest forth through days of action for the Car-borne, the Swift, tile Cattle-seeker.
8 Eight steeds thou broughtest down from mighty heaven, when fighting for the well that giveth splendour,
That men might press with stones the gladdening yellow, strengthened with milk, fermenting, to exalt thee.
9 Thou hurledst forth from heaven the iron missile, brought by the Skilful, from the sling of leather,
When thou, O Much-invoked, assisting Kutsa with endless deadly darts didst compass Susna.
10 Bolt-armed, ere darkness overtook the sunlight, thou castest at the veiling cloud thy weapon,
Thou rentest, out of heaven, though firmly knotted, the might of Susna that was thrown around him.
11 The mighty Heaven and Earth, those bright expanses that have no wheels, joyed, Indra, at thine exploit.
Vrtra, the boar who lay amid the waters, to sleep thou sentest with thy mighty thunder.
12 Mount Indra, lover of the men thou guardest, the well-yoked horses of the wind, best bearers.
The bolt which Kavya Usana erst gave thee, strong, gladdening, Vrtra-slaying, hath he fashioned *
13 The strong Bay Horses of the Sun thou stayedst: this Etasa drew not the wheel, O Indra.
Casting them forth beyond the ninety rivers thou dravest down into the pit the godless.
14 Indra, preserve thou us from this affliction Thunder-armed, save us from the misery near us.
Vouchsafe us affluence in chariots, founded on horses, for our food and fame and gladness.
15 Never may this thy loving-kindness fail us; mighty in strength, may plenteous food surround us.
Maghavan, make us share the foeman's cattle: may we be thy most liberal feast companions.
HYMN CXXII Visvadevas.
1. SAY, bringing sacrifice to bounteous Rudra, This juice for drink to you whose wrath is fleeting!
With Dyaus the Asura's Heroes I have lauded the Maruts as with prayer to Earth and Heaven.
2 Strong to exalt the early invocation are Night and Dawn who show with varied aspect.
The Barren clothes her in wide-woven raiment, and fair Morn shines with Surya's golden splendour.
3 Cheer us the Roamer round, who strikes at morning, the Wind delight us, pourer forth of waters!
Sharpen our wits, O Parvata and Indra. May all the Gods vouchsafe to us this favour.
4 And Ausija shall call for me that famous Pair who enjoy and drink, who come to brighten.
Set ye the Offspring of the Floods before you; both Mothers of the Living One who beameth.
5 For you shall Ausija call him who thunders, as, to win Arjuna's assent, cried Ghosa.
I will invoke, that Pusan may be bounteous to you, the rich munificence of Agni.
6 Hear, Mitra-Varuna, these mine invocations, hear them from all men in the hall of worship.
Giver of famous gifts, kind hearer, Sindhu who gives fair fields, listen with all his waters 1
7 Praised, Mitra, Varuna! is your gift, a hundred cows to the Prksayamas and the Pajra.
Presented by car-famous Priyaratha, supplying nourishment, they came directly.
8 Praised is the gift of him the very wealthy: may we enjoy it, men with hero children:
His who hath many gifts to give the Pajras, a chief who makes me rich in cars and horses.
9 The folk, O Mitra-Varuna, who hate you, who sinfully hating pour you no libations,
Lay in their hearts, themselves, a wasting sickness, whereas the righteous gaineth all by worship.
10 That man, most puissant, wondrously urged onward, famed among heroes, liberal in giving,
Moveth a warrior, evermore undaunted in all encounters even with the mighty.
11 Come to the man's, the sacrificer's calling: hear, Kings of Immortality, joy-givers!
While ye who speed through clouds decree your bounty largely, for fame, to him the chariot rider.
12 Vigour will we bestow on that adorer whose tenfold draught we come to taste, so spake they.
May all in whom rest splendour and great riches obtain refreshment in these sacrifices.
13 We will rejoice to drink the tenfold present when the twicefive come bearing sacred viands.
What can he do whose steeds and reins are choicest? These, the all-potent, urge brave men to conquest.
14 The sea and all the Deities shall give us him with the golden car and neck bejewelled.
Dawns, hasting to the praises otthe pious, be pleased with us. both offerers and singers.
15 Four youthful sons of Masarsara vex me, three, of the king, the conquering Ayavasa.
Now like the Sun, O Varuna and Mitra, your car hath shone, long-shaped and reined with splendour.
HYMN CXXIII. Dawn.
1. THE Daksina's broad chariot hath been harnessed: this car the Gods Immortal have ascended.
Fain to bring light to homes of men the noble and active Goddess hath emerged from darkness.
2 She before all the living world hath wakened, the Lofty One who wins and gathers treasure.
Revived and ever young on high she glances. Dawn hath come first unto our morning worship.
3 If, Dawn, thou Goddess nobly born, thou dealest fortune this day to all the race of mortals,
May Savitar the God, Friend of the homestead, declare before the Sun that we are sinless.
4 Showing her wonted form each day that passeth, spreading the light she visiteth each dwelling.
Eager for conquest, with bright sheen she cometh. Her portion is the best of goodly treasures.
5 Sister of Varuna, sister of Bhaga, first among all sing forth, O joyous Morning.
Weak be the strength of him who worketh evil - may we subdue him with our car the guerdon.
6 Let our glad hymns and holy thoughts rise upward, for the flames brightly burning have ascended.
The far-refulgent Mornings make apparent the lovely treasures which the darkness covered.
7 The one departeth and the other cometh: unlike in hue day's, halves march on successive.
One hides the gloom of the surrounding Parents. Dawn on her shining chariot is resplendent.
8 The same in form to-day, the same tomorrow, they still keep Varuna's eternal statute.
Blameless, in turn they traverse thirty regions, and dart across the spirit in a moment.
9 She who hath knowledge Of the first day's nature is born refulgent white from out the darkness.
The Maiden breaketh not the law of Order, day by day coming to the place appointed.
10 In pride of beauty like a maid thou goest, O Goddess, to the God who longs to win thee,
And smiling youthful, as thou shinest brightly, before him thou discoverest thy bosom.
11 Fair as a bride embellished by her mother thou showest forth thy form that all may see it.
Blessed art thou O Dawn. Shine yet more widely. No other Dawns have reached what thou attainest.
12 Rich in kine, horses, and all goodly treasures, in constant operation with the sunbeams,
The Dawns depart and come again again assuming their wonted forms that promise happy fortune.
13 Obedient to the rein of Law Eternal give us each thought that more and more shall bless us.
Shine thou on us to-day, Dawn, swift to listen. With us be riches and with chiefs who worship.
HYMN CXXIV. Dawn.
1. THE Dawn refulgent when the fire is kindled, and the Sun rising, far diffuse their brightness.
Savitar, God, hath sentus forth to labour, each quadruped, each biped, to be active.
2 Not interrupting heavenly ordinances, although she minisheth human generations.
The last of endless morns that have departed, the first of those that come, Dawn brightly shineth.
3 There in the eastern region she, Heaven's Daughter, arrayed in garments all of light, appeareth.
Truly she fo1loweth the path of Order, nor faileth, knowing well, the heavenly quarters.
4 Near is she seen, as 'twere the Bright One's bosom: she showeth sweet things like a new song-singer.
She cometh like a fly awaking sleepers, of all. returning dames most true and constant.
5 There in the east half of the watery region the Mother of the Cows hath shown her ensign.
Wider and wider still she spreadeth onward, and filleth full the laps of both heir Parents.
6 She, verily, exceeding vast to look on debarreth from her light nor kin nor stranger.
Proud of her spotless form she, brightly shiming, turneth not from the high nor froom the humble.
7 She seeketh men, as she who hath no brother, mounting her car, as 'twere to gather riches.
Dawn, like a loving matron for her husband, smiling and well attired, unmasks her beauty.
8 The Sister quitteth, for the elder Sister, her place, and having looked on her departeth.
She decks her beauty, shining forth with sunbeams, like women trooping to the festal meeting.
9 To all these Sisters who ere now have vanished a later one each day in course succeedeth.
So, like the past, with days of happy fortune, may the new Dawns shine forth on us with riches.
10 Rouse up, O Wealthy One, the liberal givers; let niggard traffickers sleep on unwakened:
Shine richly, Wealthy One, on those who worship, richly, glad.
Dawn while wasting, on the singer.
11 This young Maid from the east hath shone upon us; she harnesseth her team of bright red oxen.
She will beam forth, the light will hasten hither, and Agni will be present in each dwelling.
12 As the birds fly forth from their resting places, so men with store of food rise at thy dawning.
Yea, to the liberal mortal who remaineth at home, O Goddess Dawn, much good thou bringest.
13 Praised through my prayer be ye who should be lauded. Ye have increased our wealth, ye Dawns who love us.
Goddesses, may we win by your good favour wealth to be told by hundreds and by thousands.
HYMN CXXV. Svanaya.
1. COMING at early morn he gives his treasure; the prudent one receives and entertains him.
Thereby increasing still his life and offspring, he comes with brave sons to abundant riches.
2 Rich shall he be in gold and kine and horses. Indra bestows on him great vital power,
Who stays thee, as thou comest, with his treasure, like game caught in the net, O early comer.
3 Longing, I came this morning to the pious, the son of sacrifice, with car wealth. laden.
Give him to drink juice of the stalk that gladdens; prosper with pleasant hymns the Lord of Heroes.
4 Health-bringing streams, as milch-cows, flow to profit him who hath worshipped, him who now will worship.
To him who freely gives and fills on all sides full streams of fatness flow and make him famous.
5 On the high ridge of heaven he stands exalted, yea, to the Gods he goes, the liberal giver.
The streams, the waters flow for him with fatness: to him this guerdon ever yields abundance.
6 For those who give rich meeds are all these splendours, for those who give rich meeds suns shine in heaven.
The givers of rich meeds are made immortal; the givers of rich fees prolong their lifetime.
7 Let not the liberal sink to sin and sorrow, never decay the pious -chiefs who worship!
Let every man besides be their protection, and let affliction fall upon the niggard.
HYMN CXXVI. Bhavayavya.
1. WITH wisdom I present these lively praises of Bhavya dweller on the bank of Sindhu;
For he, unconquered King, desiring glory, hath furnished me a thousand sacrifices.
2 A hundred necklets from the King, beseeching, a hundred gift-steeds I at once accepted;
Of the lord's cows a thousand, I Kaksivan. His deathless glory hath he spread to heaven.
3 Horses of dusky colour stood beside me, ten chariots, Svanaya's gift, with mares to draw them.
Kine numbering sixty thousand followed after. Kaksivan gained them when the days were closing.
4 Forty bay horses of the ten cars' master before a thousand lead the long procession.
Reeling in joy Kaksivan's sons and Pajra's have grounded the coursers decked with pearly trappings.
5 An earlier gift for you have I accepted eight cows, good milkers, and tree harnessed horses,
Pajras, who with your wains with your great kinsman, like troops of subjects, have been fain for glory.
HYMN CXXVII Agni.
1. Agni I hold as herald, the munificent, the gracious, Son of Strength, who knoweth all that live, as holy Singer, knowing all,
Lord of fair rites, a God with form erected turning to the Gods,
He, when the flame hath sprung forth from the holy oil, the offered fatness, longeth for it with his glow.
2 We, sacrificing, call on thee best worshipper, the eldest of Angirases, Singer, with hymns, thee, brilliant One! with singers' hymns;
Thee, wandering round as 't were the sky, who art the invoking Priest of men,
Whom, Bull with hair of flame the people must observe, the people that he speed them on.
3 He with his shining glory blazing far and wide, he verily it is who slayeth demon foes, slayeth the demons like an axe:
At whose close touch things solid shake, and what is stable yields like trees.
Subduing all, he keeps his ground and flinches not, from the skilled archer flinches not.
4 To him, as one who knows, even things solid yield: unrough fire-sticks heated hot he gives his gifts to aid. Men offer Agni gifts for aid.
He deeply piercing many a thing hews it like wood with fervent glow.
Even hard and solid food he crunches with his might, yea, hard and solid food with might.
5 Here near we place the sacrificial food for him who shines forth fairer in the night than in the day, with life then stronger than by day.
His life gives sure and firm defence as that one giveth to a son.
The during fires enjoy things given and things not given, the during fires enjoy as food.
6 He, roaring very loudly like the Maruts' host, in fertile cultivated fields adorable, in desert spots adorable,
Accepts and eats our offered gifts, ensign of sacrifice by desert;
So let all, joying, love his path when he is glad, as men pursue a path for bliss.
7 Even as they who sarig forth hymns, addressed to heaven, the Blirgus with their prayer and praise invited him, the Bhrgus rubbing, offering gifts.
For radiant Agni, Lord of all these treasures, is exceeding strong.
May he, the wise, accept the grateful coverings, the wise accept the coverings.
8 Thee we invoke, the Lord of all our settled homes, common to all, the household's guardian, to enjoy, bearer of true hymns, to enjoy.
Thee we invoke, the guest of men, by whose mouth, even as a sire's,
All these Immortals come to gain their food of life, oblations come to Gods as food.
9 Thou, Agni, most victorious with thy conquering strength, most Mighty One, art born for service of the Gods, like wealth for service of the Gods.
Most mighty is thine ecstasy, most splendid is thy mental power.
Therefore men wait upon thee, undecaying One, like vassals, undecaying One.
10 To him the mighty, conquering with victorious strength, to Agni walking with the dawn, who sendeth kine, be sung your laud, to Agni sung;
As he who with oblation comes calls him aloud in every place.
Before the brands of fire he shouteth singerlike, the herald, kindler of the brands.
11 Agni, beheld by us in nearest neighbourhood, accordant with the Gods, bring us, with gracious love, great riches with thy gracious love.
Give us O Mightiest, what is great, to see and to enjoy the earth.
As one of awful power, stir up heroic might for those who praise thee, Bounteous Lord!
HYMN CXXVIII. Agni.
1. By Manu's law was born this Agni, Priest most skilled, born for the holy work of those who yearn therefore, yea, born for his own holy work.
All ear to him who seeks his love and wealth to him who strives for fame,
Priest ne'er deceived, he sits in Ila's holy place, girt round in Ila's holy place.
2 We call that perfecter of worship by the path or sacrifice; with reverence rich in offerings, with worship rich in offerings.
Through presentation of our food he grows not old in this his from;
The God whom Matarisvan brought from far away, for Manu brought from far away.
3 In ordered course forthwith he traverses the earth, swift-swallowing, bellowing Steer, bearing the genial seed, bearing the seed and bellowing.
Observant with a hundred eyes the God is conqueror in the wood:
Agni, who hath his seat in broad plains here below, and in the high lands far away.
4 That Agni, wise High-Priest, in every house takes thought for sacrifice and holy service, yea, takes thought, with mental power, for sacrifice.
Disposer, he with mental power shows all things unto him who strives;
Whence he was born a guest enriched with holy oil, born as Ordainer and as Priest.
5 When through his power and in his strong prevailing flames the Maruts' gladdening boons mingle with Agni's roar, boons gladdening for the active One,
Then he accelerates the gift, and by the greatness of his wealth,
Shall rescue us from overwhelming misery, from curse and overwhelming woe.
6 Vast, universal, good he was made messenger; the speeder with his right hand hath not loosed his hold, through love of fame not loosed his hold.
He bears oblations to the Gods for whosoever supplicates.
Agni bestows a blessing on each pious man, and opens wide the doors for him.
7 That Agni hath been set most kind in camp of men, in sacrifice like a Lord victorious, like a dear Lord in sacred rites.
His are the oblations of mankind when offered up at Ili's place.
He shall preserve us from Varuna's chastisement, yea, from the great God's chastisement.
8 Agni the Priest they supplicate to grant them wealth: him, dear, most thoughtful, have they made their messenger, him, offering-bearer have they made,
Beloved of all, who knoweth all, the Priest, the Holy one, the Sage-
Him, Friend, for help, the Gods when they are fain for wealth, him, Friend, with hymns, when fain for wealth.
HYMN CXXIX Indra.
1. THE car which Indra, thou, for service of the Gods though it be far away, O swift One, bringest near, which, Blameless One, thou bringest near,
Place swiftly nigh us for our help: be it thy will that it be strong.
Blameless and active, hear this speech of orderers, this speech of us like orderers.
2 Hear, Indra, thou whom men in every fight must call to show thy strength, for cry of battle with the men, with men of war for victory.
He who with heroes wins the light, who with the singers gains the prize,
Him the rich seek to gain even as a swift strong steed, even as a courser fleet and strong.
3 Thou, Mighty, pourest forth the hide that holds the rain, thou keepest far away, Hero, the wicked man, thou shuttest out the wicked man.
Indra, to thee I sing, to Dyaus, to Rudra glorious in himself,
To Mitra, Varuna I sing a far-famed hymn to the kind God a far-famed hymn.
4 We. wish our Indra here that he may further you, the Friend, beloved of all, the very strong ally, in wars the very strong ally
In all encounters strengthen thou our prayer to be a help to us.
No enemy-whom thou smitest downsubdueth thee, no enemy, whom thou smitest down.
5 Bow down the overweening pride of every foe with succour like to kindling-wood in fiercest flame, with mighty succour, Mighty One.
Guide us, thou Hero, as of old, so art thou counted blameless still.
Thou drivest, as a Priest, all sins of man away, as Priest, in person, seeking us.
6 This may I utter to the present Soma-drop, which, meet to be invoked, with power, awakes the prayer, awakes the demon-slaying prayer.
May he himself with darts of death drive far from us the scorner's hate.
Far let him flee away who speaketh wickedness and vanish like a mote of dust.
7 By thoughtful invocation this may we obtain, obtain great wealth, O Wealthy One, with Hero sons, wealth that is sweet with hero sons.
Him who is wroth we pacify with sacred food and eulogies,
Indra the Holy with our calls inspired and true, the Holy One with calls inspired.
8 On, for your good and ours, come Indra with the aid of his own lordliness to drive the wicked hence, to rend the evilhearted ones!
The weapon which devouring fiends cast at us shall destroy themselves.
Struck down, it shall not reach the mark; hurled forth, the fire-brand shall not strike.
9 With riches in abundance, Indra, come to us, come by an unobstructed path, come by a path from demons free.
Be with us when we stray afar, be with us when our home is nigh.
Protect us with thy help both near and far away: protect us ever with thy help.
10 Thou art our own, O Indra, with victorious wealth: let might accompany thee, the Strong, to give us aid, like Mitra, to give mighty aid.
O strongest saviour, helper thou, Immortal! of each warrior's car.
Hurt thou another and not us, O Thunderarmed, one who would hurt, O Thunder-armed!
11 Save us from injury, thou who art well extolled: ever the warder-off art thou of wicked ones, even as a God, of wicked ones;
Thou slayer of the evil fiend, saviour of singer such as I.
Good Lord, the Father made thee slayer of the fiends, made thee, good Lord, to slay the fiends.
by Griffith 1896
Suggestions for Further Reading
- The Rig Veda translation by Griffith, Introduction
- Hymns of the Sama veda translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith
- Yajur Veda: The Veda Of The Black Yajus School
- Hymns Of The Atharva-Veda
- Anugita English Translation
- THE Sanatsugâtîya, A Spiritual Dialogue
- Dharmashastras, the Sacred Law Books of Hindus
- The Hindu Dharmashastras, Subject Index
- The Grihya Sutras, The Vedic Domestic Ritual Texts
- The Sankhya Sutras of Kapila, Index page
- Translation of Upanishads by Swami Paramananda, Index
- A History Of Indian Philosophy - Chapter Index
- The Upanishads translated by Max Muller
- Vedic Reader for Students
- The Bhagavad-gita in a nutshell
Source: An English translation of the Vedas by Ralph T.H. Griffith, 1896.
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