The Rig Veda, Book 1, Verses 170 - 179

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN CLXX. Indra. Maruts.

1. NAUGHT is to-day, to-morrow naught. Who comprehends the mystery?
We must address ourselves unto another's thought, and lost is then the hope we formed.
2 The Maruts are thy brothers. Why, O Indra, wouldst thou take our lives?
Agree with them in friendly wise, and do not slay us in the fight.
3 Agastya, brother, why dost thou neglect us, thou who art our friend?
We know the nature of thy mind. Verity thou wilt give us naught.
4 Let them prepare the altar, let them kindle fire in front: we two
Here will spread sacrifice for thee, that the Immortal may observe.
5 Thou, Lord of Wealth, art Master of all treasures, thou, Lord of friends, art thy
friends' best supporter.
O Indra, speak thou kindly with the Maruts, and taste oblations in their proper season.


HYMN CLXXI. Maruts.

1. To you I come with this mine adoration, and with a hymn I crave the Strong Ones' favour
A hymn that truly makes you joyful, Maruts. Suppress your anger and unyoke your horses.
2 Maruts, to you this laud with prayer and worship, formed in the mind and heart, ye Gods, is offered.
Come ye to us, rejoicing in your spirit, for ye are they who make our prayer effective.
3 The Maruts, praised by us, shall show us favour; Maghavan, lauded, shall be most propitious.
Maruts,, may all our days that are to follow be very pleasant, lovely and triumphant.
4 I fled in terrror from this mighty Indra, my body trembling in alarm, O Maruts.
Oblations meant for you had been made ready; these have we set aside: for this forgive us.
5 By whom the Manas recognize the day-springs, by whose strength at the dawn of endless mornings,
Give us, thou Mighty, glory with Maruts. fierce with the fierce, the Strong who givest triumph.
6 Do thou, O Indra, guard the conquering Heroes, and rid thee of thy wrath against the Maruts,
With them, the wise, victorious and bestowing. May we find strengthening food in full abundance.


HYMN CLXXII. Maruts.

1. WONDERFUL let your coming be, wondrous with help, ye Bounteous Ones,
Maruts, who gleam as serpents gleam.
2 Far be from us, O Maruts, ye free givers, your impetuous shaft;
Far from us be the stone ye hurl.
3 O Bounteous Givers, touch ye not, O Maruts, Trnskanda's folk;
Lift ye us up that we may live.


HYMN CLXXIII. Indra.

1. THE praise-song let him sing forth bursting bird-like: sing we that hymn which like heaven's light expandeth,
That the milk-giving cows may, unimpeded call to the sacred grass the Gods' assembly.
2 Let the Bull sing with Bulls whose toil is worship, with a loud roar like some wild beast that hungers.
Praised God! the glad priest brings his heart's devotion; the holy youth presents twofold oblation.
3 May the Priest come circling the measured stations, and with him bring the earth's autumnal fruitage.
Let the Horse neigh led near, let the Steer bellow: let the Voice go between both worlds as herald,
4 To him we offer welcomest oblations, the pious bring their strength-inspiring praises.
May Indra, wondrous in his might, accept them, car-borne and swift to move like the Nasatyas.
5 Praise thou that Indra who is truly mighty, the car-borne Warrior, Maghavan the Hero;
Stronger in war than those who fight against him, borne by strong steeds, who kills enclosing darkness;
6 Him who surpasses heroes in his greatness: the earth and heavens suffice not for his girdles.
Indra endues the earth to be his garment, and, God-like, wears the heaven as 'twere a frontlet,
7 Thee, Hero, guardian of the brave in battles, who roamest in the van,-to draw thee hither,
Indra, the hosts agree beside the Soma, and joy, for his great actions, in the Chieftain.
8 Libations in the sea to thee are pleasant, when thy divine Floods come to cheer these people.
To thee the Cow is sum of all things grateful when with the wish thou seekest men and princes.
9 So may we in this One be well befriended, well aided as it were through praise of chieftains,
That Indra still may linger at our worship, as one led swift to work, to hear our praises.
10 Like men in rivalry extolling princes, our Friend be Indra, wielder of the thunder.
Like true friends of some city's lord within them held in good rule with sacrifice they help him.
11 For every sacrifice makes Indra stronger, yea, when he goes around angry in spirit;
As pleasure at the ford invites the thirsty, as the long way brings him who gains his object.
12 Let us not here contend with Gods, O Indra, for here, O Mighty One, is thine own portion,
The Great, whose Friends the bounteous Maruts honour, as with a stream, his song who pours oblations.
13 Addressed to thee is this our praise, O Indra: Lord of Bay Steeds, find us hereby advancement.
So mayst thou lead us on, O God, to comfort. May we find strengthening food in full abundance.


HYMN CLXXIV. Indra.

1. THOU art the King of all the Gods, O Indra: protect the men, O Asura, preserve us.
Thou Lord of Heroes, Maghavan, our saver, art faithful, very rich, the victory-giver.
2 Indra, thou humbledst tribes that spake with insult by breaking down seven autumn forts, their refuge.
Thou stirredst, Blameless! billowy floods, and gavest his foe a prey to youthful Purukutsa.
3 With whom thou drivest troops whose lords are heroes, and bringest daylight now, much worshipped Indra,
With them guard lion-like wasting active Agni to dwell in our tilled fields and in our homestead.
4 They through the greatness of thy spear, O Indra, shall, to thy praise, rest in this earthly station.
To loose the floods, to seek, for kine, the battle, his Bays he mounted boldly seized the booty.
5 Indra, bear Kutsa, him in whom thou joyest: the dark-red horses of the Wind are docile.
Let the Sun roll his chariot wheel anear us, and let the Thunderer go to meet the foemen.
6 Thou Indra, Lord of Bays, made strong by impulse, hast slain the vexers of thy friends, who give not.
They who beheld the Friend beside the living were cast aside by thee as they rode onward.
7 Indra, the bard sang forth in inspiration: thou madest earth a covering for the Dasa.
Maghavan made the three that gleam with moisture, and to his home brought Kuyavac to slay him.
8 These thine old deeds new bards have sung, O Indra. Thou conqueredst, boundest many tribes for ever.
Like castles thou hast crushed the godless races, and bowed the godless scorner's deadly weapon.
9 A Stormer thou hast made the stormy waters flow down, O Indra, like the running rivers.
When o'er the flood thou broughtest them, O Hero, thou keptest Turvaga and Yadu safely.
10 Indra, mayst thou be ours in all occasions, protector of the men, most gentle-hearted,
Giving us victory over all our rivals. May we find strengthening food in full abundance.


HYMN CLXXV. Indra.

1. GLAD thee: thy glory hath been quaffed, Lord of Bay Steeds, as 'twere the bowl's enlivening mead.
For thee the Strong there is strong drink, mighty, omnipotent to win.
2 Let our strong drink, most excellent, exhilarating, come to thee,
Victorious, Indra1 bringing gain, immortal conquering in fight,
3 Thou, Hero, winner of the spoil, urgest to speed the car of man.
Burn, like a vessel with the flame, the lawless Dasyu, Conqueror!
4 Empowered by thine own might, O Sage, thou stolest Sarya's chariot wheel.
Thou barest Kutsa with the steeds of Wind to Susna as his death.
5 Most mighty is thy rapturous joy, most splendid is thine active power,
Wherewith, foe-slaying, sending bliss, thou art supreme in gaining steeds.
6 As thou, O Indra, to the ancient singers wast ever joy, as water to the thirsty,
So unto thee I sing this invocation. May we find strengthening food in full abundance.


HYMN CLXXVI. Indra.

1. CHEER thee with draughts to win us bliss: Soma, pierce Indra in thy strength.
Thou stormest trembling in thy rage, and findest not a foeman nigh.
2 Make our songs penetrate to him who is the Only One of men;
For whom the sacred food is spread, as the steer ploughs the barley in.
3 Within whose hands deposited all the Five Peoples' treasures rest.
Mark thou the man who injures us and kill him like the heavenly bolt.
4 Slay everyone who pours no gift, who, hard to reach, delights thee not.
Bestow on us what wealth he hath: this even the worshipper awaits.
5 Thou helpest him the doubly strong whose hymns were sung unceasingly.
When Indra fought, O Soma, thou helpest the mighty in the fray.
6 As thou, O Indra, to the ancient singers wast ever joy, like water to the thirsty,
So unto thee I sing this invocation. May we find strengthenifig food in full abundance.


HYMN CLXXVII. Indra.

1. THE Bull of men, who cherishes all people, King of the Races, Indra, called of many,
Fame-loving, praised, hither to me with succour turn having yoked both vigorous Bay Horses!
2 Thy mighty Stallions, yoked by prayer, O Indra, thy. Coursers to thy mighty chariot harnessed,-
Ascend thou these, and borne by them come hither: with Soma juice out. poured, Indra, we call thee.
3 Ascend thy mighty car: the mighty Soma is poured for thee and sweets are sprinkled round us.
Come down to us-ward, Bull of human races,come, having harnessed them, with strong Bay Horses.
4 Here is God-reaching sacrifice, here the victim; here, Indra,are the prayers, here is the Soma.
Strewn is thesacred grass: come hither, Sakra; seatthee and drink: unyoke thy two Bay Coursers.
5 Come to us, Indra, come thou highly lauded to the devotions of the singer Mana.
Singing, may we find early through thy succour, may we find strengthening food in full abundance.


HYMN CLXXVIII. Indra.

1. IF, Indra, thou hast given that gracious hearing where with thou helpest those who sang thy praises.
Blast not the wish that would exalt us may I gain all from thee, and pay all man's devotions.
2 Let not the Sovran Indra disappoint us in what shall bring both Sisters to our dwelling.
To him have run the quickly flowing waters.May Indra come to us with life and friendship.
3 Victorious with the men, Hero in battles, Indra, who hearsthe singer's supplication,
Will bring his car nigh to the man who offers, if he himself upholds the songs that praise him.
4 Yea,Indra, with the men, through love of gloryconsumes the sacred food which friends have offered.
The ever-strengthening song of him who worships is sung in fight amid the clash of voices.
5Aided by thee, O Maghavan, O Indra, may we subdue our foes who count them mighty.
Be our protector, strengthen and increase us.May we find strengthening food in full abundance.


HYMN CLXXIX. Rati.

The deified object of this omitted hymn is said to be Rati or Love, and its Rsis or authors are Lopamudrd, Agastya, and a disciple. Lopamudra is represented as inviting the caresses of her aged husband Agastya, and complaining of his coldness and neglect. Agastya responds in stanza 3, and in the second half of stanza 4 the disciple or the poet briefly tells the result of the dialogue. Stanza 5 is supposed to be spoken by the disciple who has overheard the conversation, but its connexion with the rest of the hymn is not very apparent. In stanza 6 'toiling with strong endeavour' is a paraphrase and not a translation of the original khanamanah khanitraib (ligonibus fodiens) which Sayana explains by 'obtaining the desired result by means of lauds and sacrifices.'
M. Bergaigne is of opinion that the hymn has a mystical meaning, Agastya being identifiable with the celestial Soma whom Lopamudra, representing fervent Prayer, succeeds after long labour in drawing down from his secret dwelling place. See La Religion Vedique, ii. 394 f.
1 'Through many autumns have I toiled and laboured, at night and morn, through age-inducing dawnings.
Old age impairs the beauty of our bodies. Let husbands still come near unto their spouses.
2 For even the men aforetime, law-fulfillers, who with the Gods declared eternal statutes,--
They have decided, but have not accomplished: so now let Wives come near unto their husbands.
3 Non inutilis est labor cui Dii favent: nos omnes aemulos et aemulas vincamus.
Superemus in hac centum artium pugna in qua duas partes convenientes utrinque commovemus.
4 Cupido me cepit illius tauri [viri] qui me despicit, utrum hinc utrum illinc ab aliqua parte nata sit.
Lopamudra taururn [mariturn suum] ad se detrahit: insipiens illa sapientem anhelantern absorbet.
5 This Soma I address that is most near us, that which hath been imbibed within the spirit,
To pardon any sins we have committed. Verily mortal man is full of longings.
6 Agastya thus, toiling with strong endeavour, wishing for children, progeny and. power,
Cherished - a sage of mighty strength - both classes, and with the Gods obtained his prayer's fulfilment.
By 'both classes' probably priests and princes, or institutors of sacrifices, are meant. M. Bergaigne understands the expression to mean the two forms or essences of Soma, the celestial and the terrestrial.
5 Membrum suum virile, quod vrotentum fuerat, mas ille retraxit. Rursus illud quod in juvenem filiam sublatum fuerat, non aggressurus, ad se rerahit.
6 Quum jam in medio connessu, semiperfecto opere, amorem in puellam pater impleverat, ambo discedentes seminis paulum in terrae superficiem sacrorum sede effusum emiserunt.
7 Quum pater suam nilam adiverat, cum ed congressus suum semen supra wrrarn effudit. Tum Dii benigni precem (brahma) prgeduerunt, et Vastoshpatim, legum sacrarum custodem, formaverunt.
8 Ille tauro similis spumam in certamine jactavit, tunc discedens pusillaximis huc profectus est. Quasi dextro pede claudus processit, "inutiles fuerunt illi mei complexus," ita locutus.
9 'The fire, burning the people, does not approach quickly (by day): the naked (Rakasas approach) not Agni by night; the giver of fuel, and the giver of food, he, the upholder (of the rite), is born, overcoming enemies by his might.'

Share This


Suggestions for Further Reading

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