The Rig Veda, Book 1, Verses 21 to 30

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN XXI. Indra-Agni.

1 INDRA and Agni I invoke fain are we for their song of praise
Chief Soma-drinkers are they both.
2 Praise ye, O men, and glorify Indra-Agni in the holy rites:
Sing praise to them in sacred songs.
3 Indra and Agni we invite, the Soma-drinkers, for the fame
Of Mitra, to the Soma-draught.
4 Strong Gods, we bid them come to this libation that stands ready here:
Indra and Agni, come to us.
5 Indra and Agni, mighty Lords of our assembly, crush the fiends:
Childless be the devouring ones.
6 Watch ye, through this your truthfulness, there in the place of spacious view
Indra and Agni, send us bliss.


HYMN XXII Asvins and Others

1 WAKEN the Asvin Pair who yoke their car at early morn: may they
Approach to drink this Soma juice.
2 We call the Asvins Twain, the Gods borne in a noble car, the best
Of charioteers, who reach the heavens.
3 Dropping with honey is your whip, Asvins, and full of pleasantness
Sprinkle therewith the sacrifice.
4 As ye go thither in your car, not far, O Asvins, is the home
Of him who offers Soma juice.
5 For my protection I invoke the golden-handed Savitar.
He knoweth, as a God, the place.
6 That he may send us succour, praise the Waters' Offspring Savitar:
Fain are we for his holy ways.
7 We call on him, distributer of wondrous bounty and of wealth,
On Savitar who looks on men.
8 Come hither, friends, and seat yourselves Savitar, to be praised by us,
Giving good gifts, is beautiful.
9 O Agni, hither bring to us the willing Spouses of the Gods,
And Tvastar, to the Soma draught.
10 Most youthful Agni, hither bring their Spouses, Hotra, Bharati,
Varutri, Dhisana, for aid.
11 Spouses of Heroes, Goddesses, with whole wings may they come to us
With great protection and with aid.
12 Indrani, Varunani, and Agnayi hither I invite,
For weal, to drink the Soma juice.
13 May Heaven and Earth, the Mighty Pair, bedew for us our sacrifice,
And feed us full with nourishments.
14 Their water rich with fatness, there in the Gandharva's steadfast place,
The singers taste through sacred songs.
15 Thornless be thou, O Earth, spread wide before us for a dwelling-place:
Vouchsafe us shelter broad and sure.
16 The Gods be gracious unto us even from the place whence Visnu strode
Through the seven regions of the earth!
17 Through all this world strode Visnu; thrice his foot he planted, and the whole
Was gathered in his footstep's dust.
18 Visnu, the Guardian, he whom none deceiveth, made three steps; thenceforth
Establishing his high decrees.
19 Look ye on Visnu's works, whereby the Friend of Indra, close-allied,
Hath let his holy ways be seen.
20 The princes evermore behold that loftiest place where Visnu is,
Laid as it were an eye in heaven.
21 This, Vishnu's station most sublime, the singers, ever vigilant,
Lovers of holy song, light up.


HYMN XXIII. Vayu and Others.

1 STRONG are the Somas; come thou nigh; these juices have been mixt with milk:
Drink, Vayu, the presented draughts.
2 Both Deities who touch the heaven, Indra and Vayu we invoke
To drink of this our soma juice.
3 The singers' for their aid, invoke Indra and Vayu, swift as mind,
The thousand-eyed, the Lords of thought.
4 Mitra and Varupa, renowned as Gods of consecrated might,
We call to drink the Soma juice.
5 Those who by Law uphold the Law, Lords of the shining light of Law,
Mitra I call, and Varuna.
6 Let Varuna be our chief defence, let Mitra guard us with all aids
Both make us rich exceedingly.
7 Indra, by Maruts girt, we call to drink the Soma juice: may he
Sate him in union with his troop.
8 Gods, Marut hosts whom Indra leads, distributers of Pusan's gifts,
Hearken ye all unto my cry.
9 With conquering Indra for ally, strike Vrtra down, ye bounteous Gods
Let not the wicked master us.
10 We call the Universal Gods, and Maruts to the Soma draught,
For passing strong are Prsni's Sons.
11 Fierce comes the Maruts' thundering voice, like that of conquerors, when ye go
Forward to victory, O Men.
12 Born of the laughing lightning. may the Maruts guard us everywhere
May they be gracious unto Us.
13 Like some lost animal, drive to us, bright Pusan, him who bears up heaven,
Resting on many-coloured grass.
14 Pusan the Bright has found the King, concealed and bidden in a cave,
Who rests on grass of many hues.
15 And may he. duly bring to me the six bound closely, through these drops,
As one who ploughs with steers brings corn.
16 Along their paths the Mothers go, Sisters of priestly ministrants,
Mingling their sweetness with the milk.
17 May Waters gathered near the Sun, and those wherewith the Sun is joined,
Speed forth this sacrifice of ours.
18 I call the Waters, Goddesses, wherein our cattle quench their thirst;
Oblations to the Streams be given.
19 Amrit is in the Waters in the Waters there is healing balm
Be swift, ye Gods, to give them praise.
20 Within the Waters-Soma thus hath told me-dwell all balms that heal,
And Agni, he who blesseth all. The Waters hold all medicines.
21 O Waters, teem with medicine to keep my body safe from harm,
So that I long may see the Sun.
22 Whatever sin is found in me, whatever evil I have wrought.
If I have lied or falsely sworn, Waters, remove it far from me.
23 The Waters I this day have sought, and to their moisture have we come:
O Agni, rich in milk, come thou, and with thy splendour cover me.
24 Fill me with splendour, Agni; give offspring and length of days; the Gods
Shall know me even as I am, and Indra with the Rsis, know.


HYMN XXIV. Varuna and Others.

1 WHO now is he, what God among Immortals, of whose auspicious name we may bethink us?
Who shall to mighty Aditi restore us, that I may see my Father and my Mother?
2 Agni the God the first among the Immortals, - of his auspicious name let us bethink us.
He shall to mighty Aditi restore us, that I may see my Father and my Mother.
3 To thee, O Savitar, the Lord of precious things, who helpest us
Continually, for our share we come-
4 Wealth, highly lauded ere reproach hath fallen on it, which is laid,
Free from all hatred, in thy hands
5 Through thy protection may we come to even the height of affluence
Which Bhaga hath dealt out to us.
6 Ne'er have those birds that fly through air attained to thy high dominion or thy might or spirit;
Nor these the waters that flow on for ever, nor hills, abaters of the wind's wild fury.
7 Varuna, King, of hallowed might, sustaineth erect the Tree's stem in the baseless region.
Its rays, whose root is high above, stream downward. Deep may they sink within us, and be hidden.
8 King Varuna hath made a spacious pathway, a pathway for the Sun wherein to travel.
Where no way was he made him set his footstep, and warned afar whate'er afflicts the spirit.
9 A hundred balms are thine, O King, a thousand; deep and wide-reaching also be thy favours.
Far from us, far away drive thou Destruction. Put from us e'en the sin we have committed.
10 Whither by day depart the constellations that shine at night, set high in heaven above us?
Varuna's holy laws remain unweakened, and through the night the Moon moves on in splendor
11 I ask this of thee with my prayer adoring; thy worshipper craves this with his oblation.
Varuna, stay thou here and be not angry; steal not our life from us, O thou Wide-Ruler.
12 Nightly and daily this one thing they tell me, this too the thought of mine own heart repeateth.
May he to whom prayed fettered Sunahsepa, may he the Sovran Varuna release us.
13 Bound to three pillars captured Sunahsepa thus to the Aditya made his supplication.
Him may the Sovran Varuna deliver, wise, ne'er deccived, loosen the bonds that bind him.
14 With bending down, oblations, sacrifices, O Varuna, we deprecate thine anger:
Wise Asura, thou King of wide dominion, loosen the bonds of sins by us committed.
15 Loosen the bonds, O Varuna, that hold me, loosen the bonds above, between, and under.
So in thy holy law may we made sinless belong to Aditi, O thou Aditya.


HYMN XXV. Varuna.

I WHATEVER law of thine, O God, O Varurna, as we are men,
Day after day we violate.
2 give us not as a prey to death, to be destroyed by thee in wrath,
To thy fierce anger when displeased.
3 To gain thy mercy, Varuna, with hymns we bind thy heart, as binds
The charioteer his tethered horse.
4 They flee from me dispirited, bent only on obtaining wealths
As to their nests the birds of air.
5 When shall we bring, to be appeased, the Hero, Lord of warrior might,
Him, the far-seeing Varuna?
6 This, this with joy they both accept in common: never do they fail
The ever-faithful worshipper.
7 He knows the path of birds that fly through heaven, and, Sovran of the sea,
He knows the ships that are thereon.
8 True to his holy law, he knows the twelve moons with their progeny:
He knows the moon of later birth.
9 He knows the pathway of the wind, the spreading, high, and mighty wind
He knows the Gods who dwell above.
10 Varuna, true to holy law, sits down among his people; he,
Most wise, sits there to govern. all.
11 From thence percerving he beholds all wondrous things, both what hath been,
And what hereafter will be done.
12 May that Aditya, very -wise, make fair paths for us all our days:
May lie prolong our lives for us.
13 Varuna, wearing golden mail, hath clad him in a shining robe.
His spies are seated found about.
14 The God whom enemies threaten not, nor those who tyrannize o'er men,
Nor those whose minds are bent on wrong.
15 He who gives glory to mankind, not glory that is incomplete,
To our own bodies giving it.
16 Yearning for the wide-seeing One, my thoughts move onward unto him,
As kine unto their pastures move.
17 Once more together let us speak, because my meath is brought: priest-like
Thou eatest what is dear to thee.
18 Now saw I him whom all may see, I saw his car above the earth:
He hath accepted these my songs.
19 Varuna, hear this call of mine: be gracious unto us this day
Longing for help I cried to thee.
20 Thou, O wise God, art Lord of all, thou art the King of earth and heaven
Hear, as thou goest on thy way.
21 Release us from the upper bond, untie the bond between, and loose
The bonds below, that I may live.


HYMN XXVI. Agni.

1 O WORTHY of oblation, Lord of prospering powers, assume thy robes,
And offer this our sacrifice.
2 Sit ever to be chosen, as our Priest., most youthful, through our hymns,
O Agni, through our heavenly word.
3 For here a Father for his son, Kinsman for kinsman worshippeth,
And Friend, choice-worthy, for his friend.
4 Fiere let the foe-destroyers sit, Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman,
Like men, upon our sacred grass.
5 O ancient Herald, be thou glad in this our rite and fellowship:
Hearken thou well to these our songs.
6 Whate'er in this perpetual course we sacrifice to God and God,
That gift is offered up in thee
7 May he be our dear household Lord, Priest, pleasant and, choice-worthy may
We, with bright fires, be dear to him.
8 The Gods, adored with brilliant fires. have granted precious wealth to us
So, with bright fires, we pray to thee.
9 And, O Immortal One, so may the eulogies of mortal men
Belong to us and thee alike.
10 With all thy fires, O Agni, find pleasure in this our sacrifice,
And this our speech, O Son of Strength.


HYMN XXVII. Agni.

1 WITH worship will I glorify thee, Agni, like a long-tailed steed,
Imperial Lord of sacred rites.
2 May the far-striding Son of Strength, bringer of great felicity,
Who pours his gifts like rain, be ours.
3 Lord of all life, from near; from far, do thou, O Agni evermore
Protect us from the sinful man.
4 O Agni, graciously announce this our oblation to the Gods,
And this our newest song of praise.
5 Give us a share of strength most high, a share of strength that is below,
A share of strength that is between.
6 Thou dealest gifts, resplendent One; nigh, as with waves of Sindhu, thou
Swift streamest to the worshipper.
7 That man is lord of endless strength whom thou protectest in the fight,
Agni, or urgest to the fray.
8 Him, whosoever he may be, no man may vanquish, mighty One:
Nay, very glorious power is his.
9 May he who dwells with all mankind bear us with war-steeds through the fight,
And with the singers win the spoil.
10 Help, thou who knowest lauds, this work, this eulogy to Rudra, him
Adorable in every house.
11 May this our God, great, limitless, smoke-bannered excellently bright,
Urge us to strength and holy thought.
12 Like some rich Lord of men may he, Agni the banner of the Gods,
Refulgent, hear us through our lauds.
13 Glory to Gods, the mighty and the lesser glory to Gods the younger and the elder!
Let us, if we have power, pay the God worship: no better prayer than this, ye Gods, acknowledge.


HYMN XXVIII Indra, Etc.

1 THERE where the broad-based stone raised on high to press the juices out,
O Indra, drink with eager thirst the droppings which the mortar sheds.
2 Where, like broad hips, to hold the juice the platters of the press are laid,
O Indra, drink with eager thirst the droppings which the mortar sheds.
3 There where the woman marks and leans the pestle's constant rise and fall,
O Indra, drink with eager thirst the droppings which the mortar sheds.
4 Where, as with reins to guide a horse, they bind the churning-staff with cords,
O Indra, drink with eager thirst the droppings which the mortar sheds.
5 If of a truth in every house, O Mortar thou art set for work,
Here give thou forth thy clearest sound, loud as the drum of conquerors.
6 O Sovran of the Forest, as the wind blows soft in front of thee,
Mortar, for Indra press thou forth the Soma juice that he may drink.
7 Best strength-givers, ye stretch wide jaws, O Sacrificial Implements,
Like two bay horses champing herbs.
8 Ye Sovrans of the Forest, both swift, with swift pressers press to-day
Sweet Soma juice for Indra's drink.
9 Take up in beakers what remains: the Soma on the filter pour,
and on the ox-hide set the dregs.


HYMN XXIX. Indra.

1 O SOMA DRINKER, ever true, utterly hopeless though we be,
Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
2 O Lord of Strength, whose jaws are strong, great deeds are thine, the powerful:
Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
3 Lull thou asleep, to wake no more, the pair who on each other look
Do thou, O Indra, give us, help of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
4 Hero, let hostile spirits sleep, and every gentler genius wake:
Do thou, O Indra,. give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
5 Destroy this ass, O Indra, who in tones discordant brays to thee:
Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
6 Far distant on the forest fall the tempest in a circling course!
Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
7 Slay each reviler, and destroy him who in secret injures us:
Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine
In thousands, O most wealthy One.


HYMN XXX. Indra.

1 WE seeking strength with Soma-drops fill full your Indra like a well,
Most liberal, Lord of Hundred Powers,
2 Who lets a hundred of the pure, a thousand of the milk-blent draughts
Flow, even as down a depth, to him;
3 When for the strong, the rapturous joy he in this manner hath made room
Within his belly, like the sea.
4 This is thine own. Thou drawest near, as turns a pigeon to his mate:
Thou carest too for this our prayer.
5 O Hero, Lord of Bounties, praised in hymns, may power and joyfulness
Be his who sings the laud to thee.
6 Lord of a Hundred Powers, stand up to lend us succour in this fight
In others too let us agree.
7 In every need, in every fray we call as friends to succour us
Indra the mightiest of all.
8 If he will hear us let him come with succour of a thousand kinds,
And all that strengthens, to our call.
9 I call him mighty to resist, the Hero of our ancient home,
Thee whom my sire invoked of old.
10 We pray to thee, O much-invoked, rich in all prccious gifts, O Friend,
Kind God to those who sing thy praise.
11 O Soma-drinker, Thunder-armed, Friend of our lovely-featured dames
And of our Soma-drinking friends.
12 Thus, Soma-drinker, may it be; thus, Friend, who wieldest thunder, act
To aid each wish as we desire.
13 With Indra splendid feasts be ours, rich in all strengthening things wherewith,
Wealthy in food, we may rejoice.
14 Like thee, thyself, the singers' Friend, thou movest, as it were, besought,
Bold One, the axle of the car.
15 That, Satakratu, thou to grace and please thy praisers, as it were,
Stirrest the axle with thy strength.
16 With champing, neighing loudly-snorting horses Indra hath ever won himself great treasures
A car of gold hath he whose deeds are wondrous received from us, and let us too receive it.
17 Come, Asvins, with enduring strength wealthy in horses and in kine,
And gold, O ye of wondrous deeds.
18 Your chariot yoked for both alike, immortal, ye of mighty acts,
Travels, O Aivins, in the sea.
19 High on the forehead of the Bull one chariot wheel ye ever keep,
The other round the sky revolves.
20 What mortal, O immortal Dawn, enjoyeth thee? Where lovest thou?
To whom, O radiant, dost thou go?
21 For we have had thee in our thoughts whether anear or far away,
Red-hued and like a dappled mare.
22 Hither, O Daughter of the Sky, come thou with these thy strengthenings,
And send thou riches down to us.

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