The Rig Veda, Book 1, Verses Verses 11 - 20

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

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.


HYMN XI. Indra.

1 ALL sacred songs have magnified Indra expansive as the sea,
The best of warriors borne on cars, the Lord, the very Lord of strength.
2 Strong in thy friendship, Indra, Lord of power and might, we have no fear.
We glorify with praises thee, the never-conquered conqueror.
3 The gifts of Indra from of' old, his saving succours, never fail,
When to the praise-singers he gives the boon of substance rich in kine.
4 Crusher of forts, the young, the wise, of strength unmeasured, was he born
Sustainer of each sacred rite, Indra, the Thunderer, much-extolled.
5 Lord of the thunder, thou didst burst the cave of Vala rich in cows.
The Gods came pressing to thy side, and free from terror aided thee,
6 I, Hero, through thy bounties am come to the flood addressing thee.
Song-lover, here the singers stand and testify to thee thereof.
7 The wily Susna, Indra! thou o'er-threwest with thy wondrous powers.
The wise beheld this deed of thine: now go beyond their eulogies.
8 Our songs of praise have glorified Indra who ruleth by his might,
Whose precious gifts in thousands come, yea, even more abundantly.


HYMN XII. Agni.

I WE choose Agni the messenger, the herald, master of all wealth,
Well skilled in this our sacrifice.
2 With callings ever they invoke Agni, Agni, Lord of the House,
Oblation-bearer, much beloved.
3 Bring the Gods hither, Agni, born for him who strews the sacred grass:
Thou art our herald, meet for praise.
4 Wake up the willing Gods, since thou, Agni, performest embassage:
Sit on the sacred grass with Gods.
5 O Agni, radiant One, to whom the holy oil is poured, bum up
Our enemies whom fiends protect.
6 By Agni Agni is inflamed, Lord of the House, wise, young, who bears
The gift: the ladle is his mouth.
7 Praise Agni in the sacrifice, the Sage whose ways are ever true,
The God who driveth grief away.
8 God, Agni, be his strong defence who lord of sacrificial gifts,
Worshippeth thee the messenger.
9 Whoso with sacred gift would fain call Agni to the feast of Gods,
O Purifier, favour him.
10 Such, Agni, Purifier, bright, bring hither to our sacrifice,
To our oblation bring the Gods.
11 So lauded by our newest song of praise bring opulence to us,
And food, with heroes for our sons.
12 O Agni, by effulgent flame, by all invokings of the Gods,
Show pleasure in this laud of ours.


HYMN XIII. Agni

1 Agni, well-kindled, bring the Gods for him who offers holy gifts.
Worship them, Purifier, Priest.
2 Son of Thyself, present, O Sage, our sacrifice to the Gods today.
Sweet to the taste, that they may feast.
3 Dear Narasamsa, sweet of tongue, the giver of oblations, I
Invoke to this our sacrifice.
4 Agni, on thy most easy car, glorified, hither bring the Gods:
Manu appointed thee as Priest.
5 Strew, O ye wise, the sacred grass that drips with oil, in order due,
Where the Immortal is beheld.
6 Thrown open be the Doors Divine, unfailing, that assist the rite,
For sacrifice this day and now.
7 I call the lovely Night and Dawn to seat them on the holy grass
At this our solemn sacrifice.
8 The two Invokers I invite, the wise, divine and sweet of tongue,
To celebrate this our sacrifice.
9 Ila, Sarasvati, Mahi, three Goddesses who bring delight,
Be seated, peaceful, on the grass.
10 Tvastar I call, the earliest born, the wearer of all forms at will:
May he be ours and curs alone.
11 God, Sovran of the Wood, present this our oblation to the Gods,
And let the giver be renowned.
12 With Svaha. pay the sacrifice to Indra in the offerer's house:
Thither I call the Deities.


HYMN X1V. Visvedevas.

1 To drink the Soma, Agni, come, to our service and our songs.
With all these Gods; and worship them.
2 The Kanvas have invoked thee; they, O Singer, sing thee songs of praise
Agni, come hither with the Gods;
3 Indra, Vayu, Brhaspati, Mitra, Agni, Pusan, Bhaga,
Adityas, and the Marut host.
4 For you these juices are poured forth that gladden and exhilarate,
The meath-drops resting in the cup.
5 The sons of Kanva fain for help adore thee, having strewn the grass,
With offerings and all things prepared.
6 Let the swift steeds who carry thee, thought-yoked and dropping holy oil,
Bring the Gods to the Soma draught.
7 Adored, the strengtheners of Law, unite them, Agni, with their Dames:
Make them drink meath, O bright of tongue.
8 Let them, O Agni, who deserve worship and praise drink with thy tongue
Tle meath in solemn sacrifice.
9 Away, from the Sun's realm of light, the wise invoking Priest shall bring
All Gods awaking with the dawn.
10 With all the Gods, with Indra, with Vayu, and Mitra's splendours, drink,
Agni, the pleasant Soma juice.
11 Ordained by Manu as our Priest, thou sittest, Agni, at each rite:
Hallow thou this our sacrifice.
12 Harness the Red Mares to thy car, the Bays, O God, the flaming ones:
With those bring hitherward the Gods.


HYMN XV. RTU.

1 O INDRA drink the Soma juice with Rtu; let the cheering drops
Sink deep within, which settle there.
2 Drink from the Purifier's cup, Maruts, with Rtu; sanctify
The rite, for ye give precious gifts.
3 O Nestar, with thy Dame accept our sacrifice; with Rtu drink,
For thou art he who giveth wealth.
4 Bring the Gods, Agni; in the three appointed places set them down:
Surround them, and with Rtu drink.
5 Drink Soma after the Rtus, from the Brahmana's bounty: undissolved,
O Indra, is thy friendship's bond.
6 Mitra, Varuna, ye whose ways are firm - a Power that none deceives-,
With Rtu ye have reached the rite.
7 The Soma-pressers, fain for wealth, praise the Wealth-giver in the rite,
In sacrifices praise the God.
8 May the Wealth-giver grant to us riches that shall be far renowned.
These things we gain, among the Gods.
9 He with the Rtu fain would drink, Wealth-giver, from the Nestar's bowl.
Haste, give your offering, and depart.
10 As we this fourth time, Wealth-giver, honour thee with the Rtus, be
A Giver bountiful to us.
11 Drink ye the meath, O Asvins bright with flames, whose acts are pure. who with
Rtus accept the sacrifice.
12 With Rtu, through the house-fire, thou, kind Giver, guidest sacrifice:
Worship the Gods for the pious man.


HYMN XVI. Indra.

1 LET thy Bay Steeds bring thee, the Strong, hither to drink the Soma draught-
Those, Indra, who are bright as suns.
2 Here are the grains bedewed with oil: hither let the Bay Coursers bring
Indra upon his easiest car.
3 Indra at early morn we call, Indra in course of sacrifice,
Indra to drink the Soma juice.
4 Come hither, with thy long-maned Steeds, O Indra, to- the draught we pour
We call thee wher, the juice is shed.
5 Come thou to this our song of praise, to the libation poured for thee
Drink of it like a stag athirst.
6 Here are the drops of Soma juice expressed on sacred grass: thereof
Drink, Indra, to increase thy might.
7 Welcome to thee be this our hymn, reaching thy heart, most excellent:
Then drink the Soma juice expressed.
8 To every draught of pressed-out juice Indra, the Vrtra-slayer, comes,
To drink the Soma for delight.
9 Fulfil, O Satakratu, all our wish with horses and with kine:
With holy thoughts we sing thy praise.


HYMN XVII Indra-Varuna

1 I CRAVE help from the Imperial Lords, from Indra-Varuna; may they
Both favour one of us like me.
2 Guardians of men, ye ever come with ready succour at the call
Of every singer such as I.
3 Sate you, according to your wish, O Indra-Varuna, with wealth:
Fain would we have you nearest us.
4 May we be sharers of the powers, sharers of the benevolence
Of you who give strength bounteously.
5 Indra and Varuna, among givers of thousands, meet for praise,
Are Powers who merit highest laud.
6 Through their protection may we gain great store of wealth, and heap it up
Enough and still to spare, be ours.
7 O Indra-Varuna, on you for wealth in many a form I call:
Still keep ye us victorious.
8 O Indra-Varuna, - through our songs that seek to win you to ourselves,
Give us at once your sheltering help.
9 O Indra-Varuna, to you may fair praise which I offer come,
joint eulogy which ye dignify.


HYMN XVIII. Brahmanaspati.

1 O BRAHMANAPSATI, make him who presses Soma glorious,
Even Kaksivan Ausija.
2 The rich, the healer of disease, who giveth wealth, increaseth store,
The prompt,-may he be with us still.
3 Let not the foeman's curse, let not a mortal's onslaught fall on us
Preserve us, Brahmanaspati.
4 Ne'er is the mortal hero harmed whom Indra, Brahmanaspati,
And Soma graciously inspire.
5 Do, thou, O Brahmanaspati, and Indra, Soma, Daksina,
Preserve that mortal from distress.
6 To the Assembly's wondrous Lord, to Indra's lovely Friend who gives
Wisdom, have I drawn near in prayer.
7 He without whom no sacrifice, e'en of the wise man, prospers; he
Stirs up the series of thoughts.
8 He makes the oblation prosper, he promotes the course of sacrifice:
Our voice of praise goes to the Gods.
9 I have seen Narasamsa, him most resolute, most widely famed,
As 'twere the Household Priest of heaven.


HYMN XIX. Agni, Maruts.

1 To this fair sacrifice to drink the milky draught thou art invoked:
O Agni, with the Maruts come.
2 No mortal man, no God exceeds thy mental power, O Mighty one -
O Agni, with the Maruts come
3 All Gods devoid of guile, who know the mighty region of mid-air:
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
4 The terrible, who sing their song, not to be overcome by might:
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
5 Brilliant, and awful in their form, mighty, devourers of their foes':
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
6 Who sit as Deities in heaven, above the sky-vault's luminous sphere:
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
7 Who scatter clouds about the sky, away over the billowy sea:
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
8 Who with their bright beams spread them forth over the ocean in their might
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
9 For thee, to be thine early draught, I pour the Soma-mingled meath:
O Agni, with the Maruts come.


HYMN XX Rbhus.

1 FOR the Celestial Race this song of praise which gives wealth lavishly
Was made by singers with their lips.
2 They who for Indra, with their mind, formed horses harnessed by a word,
Attained by works to sacrifice.
3 They for the two Nasatyas wrought a light car moving every way:
They formed a nectar-yielding cow.
4 The Rbhus with effectual prayers, honest, with constant labour, made
Their Sire and Mother young again.
5 Together came your gladdening drops with Indra by the Maruts girt,
With the Adityas, with the Kings.
6 The sacrificial ladle, wrought newly by the God Tvastar's hand-
Four ladles have ye made thereof.
7 Vouchsafe us wealth, to him who pours thrice seven libations, yea, to each
Give wealth, pleased with our eulogies.
8 As ministering Priests they held, by pious acts they won themselves,
A share in sacrifice with Gods.

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