The Rig Veda, Book 1, Verses 41 to 50

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN XLI. Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman.

1 NE'ER is he injured whom the Gods Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman,
The excellently wise, protect.
2 He prospers ever, free from scathe, whom they, as with full hands, enrich,
Whom they preserve from every foe.
3 The Kings drive far away from him his troubles and his enemies,
And lead him safely o'er distress.
4 Thornless, Adityas, is the path, easy for him who seeks the Law:
With him is naught to anger you.
5 What sacrifice, Adityas, ye Heroes guide by the path direct,-
May that come nigh unto your thought.
6 That mortal, ever unsubdued, gains wealth and every precious thing,
And children also of his own.
7 How, my friends, shall we prepare Aryaman's and Mitra's laud,
Glorious food of Varuna?
8 I point not out to you a man who strikes the pious, or reviles:
Only with hymns I call you nigh.
9 Let him not love to speak ill words: but fear the One who holds all four
Within his hand, until they fall.


HYMN XLII. Pusan.

I SHORTEN our ways, O Pusan, move aside obstruction in the path:
Go close before us, cloud-born God.
2 Drive, Pusan, from our road the wolf, the wicked inauspicious wolf,
Who lies in Wait to injure us.
3 Who lurks about the path we take, the robber with a guileful heart:
Far from the road chase him away.
4 Tread with thy foot and trample out the firebrand of the wicked one,
The double-tongued, whoe'er he be.
5 Wise Pusan, Wonder-Worker, we claim of thee now the aid wherewith
Thou furtheredst our sires of old.
6 So, Lord of all prosperity, best wielder of the golden sword,
Make riches easy to be won.
7 Past all pursuers lead us, make pleasant our path and fair to tread:
O Pusan, find thou power for this.
8 Lead us to meadows rich in grass: send on our way no early heat:
O Pusan, find thou power for this.
9 Be gracious to us, fill us full, give, feed us, and invigorate:
O Pusan, find thou power for this.
10 No blame have we for Pusan; him we magnify with songs of praise:
We seek the Mighty One for wealth.


HYMN XLIII. Rudra.

1 WHAT shall we sing to Rudra, strong, most bounteous, excellently wise,
That shall be dearest to his heart?
2 That Aditi may grant the grace of Rudra to our folk, our kine,
Our cattle and our progeny;
3 That Mitra and that Varuna, that Rudra may remember us,
Yea, all the Gods with one accord.
4 To Rudra Lord of sacrifice, of hymns and balmy medicines,
We pray for joy and health and strength.
5 He shines in splendour like the Sun, refulgent as bright gold is he,
The good, the best among the Gods.
6 May he grant health into our steeds, wellbeing to our rams and ewes,
To men, to women, and to kine.
7 O Soma, set thou upon us the glory of a hundred men,
The great renown of mighty chiefs.
8 Let not malignities, nor those who trouble Soma, hinder us.
Indu, give us a share of strength.
9 Soma! head, central point, love these; Soma! know these as serving thee,
Children of thee Immortal, at the highest place of holy law.


HYMN XLIV. Agni.

I IMMORTAL Jatavedas, thou many-hued fulgent gift of Dawn,
Agni, this day to him who pays oblations bring the Gods who waken with the morn.
2 For thou art offering-bearer and loved messenger, the charioteer of sacrifice:
Accordant with the Asvins and with Dawn grant us heroic strength and lofty fame.
3 As messenger we choose to-day Agni the good whom many love,
Smoke-bannered spreader of the light, at break of day glory of sacrificial rites.
4 Him noblest and most youthful, richly worshipped guest, dear to the men who offer gifts,
Him, Agni Jatavedas, I beseech at dawn that he may bring the Gods to us.
5 Thee, Agni, will I glorify, deathless nourisher of the world,
Immortal, offering-bearer, meet for sacred food, preserver, best at sacrifice.
6 Tell good things to thy praiser, O most youthful God, as richly worshipped, honey-tongued,
And, granting to Praskanva lengthened days of life, show honour to the Heavenly Host.
7 For the men, Agni, kindle thee as all possessor and as Priest;
So Agni, much-invoked, bring hither with all speed the Gods, the excellently wise,
8 At dawn of day, at night, Usas and Savitar, the Asvins, Bhaga, Agni's self:
Skilled in fair rites, with Soma poured, the Kanvas light thee, the oblation-wafting God.
9 For, Agni, Lord of sacrifice and messenger of men art thou:
Bring thou the Gods who wake at dawn who see the light, this day to drink the Soma juice.
10 Thou shonest forth, O Agni, after former dawns, all visible, O rich in light.
Thou art our help in battle-strife, the Friend of inan, the great high priest in sacrifice.
11 Like Manu, we will stablish thee, Agni, performer of the rite,
Invoker, ministering Priest, exceeding wise, the swift immortal messenger.
12 When as the Gods' High Priest, by many loved, thou dost their mission as their nearest Friend,
Then, like the far-resounding billows of the flood, thy flames, O Agni, roar aloud.
13 Heat-, Agni, who hast ears to hear, with all thy train of escort Gods;
Let Mitra, Aryaman,- seeking betimes our rite, seat them upon the sacred grass.
14 Let those who strengthen Law, who bountiUly give, the life-tongued Maruts, hear our praise.
May Law-supporting Varuna with the Asvins twain and Usas, drink the Soma juice.


HYMN XLV Agni.

I WORSHIP the Vasus, Agni! here, the Rudras, the Adityas, all
Who spring from Manu, those who know fair rites, who pour their blessings down.
2 Agni, the Gods who understand give ear unto the worshipper:
Lord of Red Steeds, who lovest song, bring thou those Three-and-Thirty Gods.
3 O Jatavedas, great in act, hearken thou to Praskanva's call,
As Priyamedha erst was heard, Atri, Virupa, Angiras.
4 The sons of Priyamedha skilled in lofty praise have called for help
On Agni who with fulgent flame is Ruler of all holy rites.
5 Hear thou, invoked withholy oil, bountiful giver of rewards,
These eulogies, whereby the sons of Kanva call thee to their aid.
6 O Agni, loved by many, thou of fame most wondrous, in their homes
Men call on thee whose hair is flame, to be the bearer of their gifts.
7 Thee, Agni, best to find out wealth, most widely famous, quick to hear,
Singers have stablished in their rites Herald and ministering Priest.
8 Singers with Soma pressed have made thee, Agni, hasten to the feast,
Great light to mortal worshipper, what time they bring the sacred gift.
9 Good, bounteous, Son of Strength, this day seat here on sacred grass the Gods
Who come at early morn, the host of heaven, to drink the Soma juice
10 Bring with joint invocations thou, O Agni, the celestial host:
Here stands the Soma, bounteous Gods drink this expressed ere yesterday.


HYMN XLVI. Asvins.

1 Now Morning with her earliest light shines forth, dear Daughter of the Sky:
High, Asvins, I extol your praise,
2 Sons of the Sea, mighty to save discoverers of riches, ye
Gods with deep thought who find out wealth.
3 Your giant coursers hasten on over the region all in flames, -
When your car flies with winged steeds.
4 He, liberal, lover of the flood, Lord of the House, the vigilant,
Chiefs! with oblations feeds you full.
5 Ye have regard unto our hymns, Nasatyas, thinking of our words:
Drink boldly of the Soma juice.
6 Vouchsafe to us, O Asvin Pair, such strength as, with attendant light,
May through the darkness carry us.
7 Come in the ship of these our hymns to bear you to the hither shore
O Asvins, harness ye the car.
8 The heaven's wide vessel is your own on the flood's shore your chariot waits
Drops, with the hymn, have been prepared.
9 Kanvas, the drops are in the heaven; the wealth is at the waters' place:
Where will ye manifest your form?
10 Light came to lighten up the branch, the Sun appeared as it were gold:
And with its-tongue shone forth the dark.
11 The path of sacrifice was made to travel to the farther goal:
The road of heaven was manifest.
12 The singer of their praise awaits whatever grace the Asvins give,
who save when Soma gladdens them.
13 Ye dwellers with Vivasvan come, auspicious, as to Manu erst;
come to the Soma and our praise.
14 O circumambient Asvins, Dawn follows the brightness of your way:
Approve with beams our solemn rites.
15 Drink ye of our libations, grant protection, O ye Asvins Twain,
With aids which none may interrupt.


HYMN XLVlI. Asvins.

1 ASVINS, for you who strengthen Law this sweetest Soma hath been shed.
Drink this expressed ere yesterday and give riches to him who offers it.
2 Come, O ye Asvins, mounted on your triple car three-seated, beautiful of form
To you at sacrifice the Kanvas send the prayer: graciously listen to their call.
3 O Asvins, ye who strengthen Law, drink ye this sweetest Soma juice.
Borne on your wealth-fraught car come ye this day to him who offers, ye of wondrous deeds.
4 Omniscient Asvins, on the thrice-heaped grass bedew with the sweet juice the sacrifice.
The sons of Kanva, striving heavenward, call on you with draughts of Soma juice out-poured.
5 O Asvins, with those aids wherewith ye guarded Kanva carefully,
Keep us, O hords of Splendour: drink the Soma juice, ye strengtheners of holy law.
6 O Mighty Ones, ye gave Sudas abundant food, brought on your treasure-laden car;
So now vouchsafe to us the wealth which many crave, either from heaven or from the sea.
7 Nasatyas, whether ye be far away or close to Turvasa,
Borne on your lightly-rolling chariot come to us, together with the sunbeams come.
8 So let your coursers, ornaments of sacrifice, bring you to our libations here.
Bestowing food on him who acts and gives aright, sit, Chiefs, upon the sacred grass.
9 Come, O Nasatyas, on your car decked with a sunbright canopy,
Whereon ye ever bring wealth to the worshipper, to drink the Soma's pleasant juice.
10 With lauds and songs of praise we call them down to us, that they, most rich, may succour us;
For ye have ever in the Kanvas' well-loved house, O Asvins, drunk the Soma juice.


HYMN XLVIII. Dawn.

1 DAWN on us with prosperity, O Usas, Daughter of the Sky,
Dawn with great glory, Goddess, Lady of the Light, dawn thou with riches, Bounteous One.
2 They, bringing steeds and kine, boon-givers of all wealth, have oft sped forth to lighten us.
O Usas, waken up for me the sounds of joy: send us the riches of the great.
3 Usas hath dawned, and now shall dawn, the Goddess, driver forth of cars
Which, as she cometh nigh, have fixed their thought on her, like glory-seekers on the flood.
4 Here Kanva, chief of Kanva's race, sings forth aloud the glories of the heroes' names,-
The. princes who, O Usas, as thou comest near, direct their thoughts to liberal gifts.
5 Like a good matron Usas comes carefully tending everything:
Rousing all life she stirs all creatures that have feet, and makes the birds of air fly up.
6 She sends the busy forth, each man to his pursuit: delay she knows not as she springs.
O rich in opulence, after thy dawning birds that have flown forth no longer rest.
7 This Dawn hath yoked her steeds afar, beyond the rising of the Sun:
Borne on a hundred chariots she, auspicious Dawn, advances on her way to Men.
8 To meet her glance all living creatures bend them down: Excellent One, she makes the light.
Usas, the Daughter of the Sky, the opulent, shines foes and enmities away.
9 Shine on us with thy radiant light, O Usas, Daughter of the Sky,
Bringing to us great store of high felicity, and bearning on our solemn rites.
10 For in thee is each living creature's breath and life, when, Excellent! thou dawnest forth.
Borne on thy lofty car, O Lady of the Light, hear, thou of wondrous wealth, our call.
11 O Usas, win thyself the strength which among men is wonderful.
Bring thou thereby the pious unto holy rites, those who as priests sing praise to thee.
12 Bring from the firmament, O Usas, all the Gods, that they may drink our Soma juice,
And, being what thou art, vouchsafe us kine and steeds, strength meet for praist and hero might.
13 May Usas whose auspicious rays are seen resplendent round about,
Grant us great riches, fair in form, of all good things, wealth which light labour may attain.
14 Mighty One, whom the Rsis of old time invoked for their protection and their help,
O Usas, graciously answer our songs of praise with bounty and with brilliant
light.
15 Usas, as thou with light to day hast opened the twin doors of heaven,
So grant thou us a dwelling wide and free from foes. O Goddess, give us food with kine.
16 Bring us to wealth abundant, sent in every shape, to plentiful refreshing food,
To all-subduing splendour, Usas, Mighty One, to strength, thou rich in spoil and wealth.


HYMN XLIX. Dawn.

1 E'EN from above the sky's bright realm come, Usas, by auspicious ways:
Let red steeds bear thee to the house of him who pours the Soma, juice.
2 The chariot which thou mountest, fair of shape, O Usas light to move,-
Therewith, O Daughter of the Sky, aid men of noble fame today.
3 Bright Usas, when thy times return, all quadrupeds and bipeds stir,
And round about flock winged birds from all theboundaries of heaven.
4 Thou dawning with thy beams of light illumest all the radiant realm.
Thee, as thou art, the Kanvas, fain for wealth, have called with sacred songs.


HYMN L. Surya.

1 HIS bright rays bear him up aloft, the God who knoweth all that lives,
Surya, that all may look on him.
2 The constellations pass away, like thieves, together with their beams,
Before the all-beholding Sun'
3 His herald rays are seen afar refulgent o'er the world of men,
Like flames of fire that burn and blaze.
4 Swift and all beautiful art thou, O Surya, maker of the light,
Illuming all the radiant realm.
5 Thou goest to the hosts of Gods, thou comest hither to mankind,
Hither all light to be belield.
6 With that same eye of thine wherewith thou lookest brilliant Varuna,
Upon the busy race of men,
7 Traversing sky and wide mid-air, thou metest with thy beams our days,
Sun, seeing all things that have birth.
8 Seven Bay Steeds harnessed to thy car bear thee, O thou farseeing One,
God, Surya, with the radiant hair.
9 Surya hath yoked the pure bright Seven, the daughters of the car; with these,
His own dear team, he goeth forth.
10 Looking upon the loftier light above the darkness we have come
To Surya, God among the Gods, the light that is most excellent.
11 Rising this day, O rich in friends, ascending to the loftier heaven,
Surya remove my heart's disease, take from me this my yellow hue.
12 To parrots and to starlings let us give away my yellowness,
Or this my yellowness let us transfer to Haritala trees.
13 With all his conquering vigour this Aditya hath gone up on high,
Giving my foe into mine hand: let me not be my foeman's prey.

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