The Rig Veda, Book 1, Verses 51 to 60

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN LI. Indra.

1 MAKE glad with songs that Ram whom many men invoke, worthy of songs of praise, Indra, the sea of wealth;
Whose gracious deeds for men spread like the heavens abroad: sing praise to him the Sage, most liberal for our good.
2 As aids the skilful Rbhus yearned to Indra strong to save, who fills mid-air, encompassed round with might,
Rushing in rapture; and -o'er Satakratu came the gladdening shout that urged him on to victory.
3 Thou hast disclosed the kine's stall for the Angirases, and made a way for Atri by a hundred doors.
On Vimada thou hast bestowed both food and wealth, making thy bolt dance in the sacrificer's fight.
4 Thou hast unclosed the prisons of the waters; thou hast in the mountain seized the treasure rich in gifts.
When thou hadst slain with might the dragon Vrtra, thou, Indra, didst raise the Sun in heaven for all to see.
5 With wondrous might thou blewest enchanter fiends away, with powers celestial those who called on thee in jest.
Thou, hero-hearted, hast broken down Pipru's forts, and helped Rjisvan when the Dasyus were struck dead.
6 Thou savedst Kutsa when Susna was smitten down; to Atithigva gavest Sambara for a prey.
E'en mighty Arbuda thou troddest under foot: thou from of old wast born to strike the Dasyus dead.
7 All power and might is closely gathered up in thee; thy bounteous spirit joys in drinking Soma juice.
Known is the thunderbolt that lies within thine arms: rend off therewith all manly prowess of our foe.
8 Discern thou well Aryas and Dasyus; punishing the lawless give them up to him whose grass is strewn.
Be thou the sacrificer's strong encourager all these thy deeds are my delight at festivals.
9 Indra gives up the lawless to the pious man, destroying by the Strong Ones those who have no strength.
Vamra when glorified destroyed the gathered piles of the still waxing great one who would reach the heaven.
10 The might which Usana hath formed for thee with might rends in its greatness and with strength both worlds apart.
O Hero-souled, the steeds of Vata, yoked by thought, have carried thee to fame while thou art filled with power.
11 When Indra hath rejoiced with Kavya Usana, he mounts his steeds who swerve wider and wider yet.
The Strong hath loosed his bolt with the swift rush of rain, and he hath rent in pieces Susna's firm-built forts.
12 Thou mountest on thy car amid strong Soma draughts: Saryata brought thee those in which thou hast delight.
Indra, when thou art pleased with men whose Soma flows thou risest to unchallenged glory in the sky.
13 To old Kaksivin, Soma-presser, skilled in song, O Indra, thou didst give the youthful Vrcaya.
Thou, very wise, wast Mena, Vrsanaiva's child: those deeds of thine must all be told at Soma feasts.
14 The good man's refuge in his need is Indra, firm as a doorpost, praised among the Pajras.
Indra alone is Lord of wealth, the Giver, lover of riches, chariots, kine, and horses.
15 To him the Mighty One, the self-resplendent, verily strong and great, this praise is uttered.
May we and all the heroes, with the princes, be, in this fray, O Indra, in thy keeping.


HYMN LII. Indra.

1 I GLORIFY that Ram who finds the light of heaven, whose hundred nobly-natured ones go forth with him.
With hymns may I turn hither Indra to mine aid,-the Car which like a strong steed hasteth to the call.
2 Like as a mountain on firm basis, unremoved, he, thousandfold protector, waxed in mighty strength,
When Indra, joying in the draughts of Soma juice, forced the clouds, slaying Vrtra stayer of their flow.
3 For he stays e'en the stayers, spread o'er laden cloud, rooted in light, strengthened in rapture by the wise.
Indra with thought, with skilled activity, I call, most liberal giver, for he sates him with the juice.
4 Whom those that flow in heaven on sacred grass, his own assistants, nobly-natured, fill full like the sea,-
Beside that Indra when he smote down Vrtra stood his helpers, straight in form, mighty, invincible.
5 To him, as in wild joy he fought with him who stayed the rain, his helpers sped like swift streams down a slope,
When Indra, thunder-armed, made bold by Soma draughts, as Trta cleaveth Vala's fences, cleft him through.
6 Splendour encompassed thee, forth shone thy warrior might: the rain-obstructer lay in mid-air's lowest deep,
What time, O Indra, thou didst cast thy thunder down upon the jaws of Vritra hard to be restrained.
7 The hymns which magnify thee, Indra, reach to thee even as water-brooks flow down and fill the lake.
Tvastar gave yet more force to thine appropriate strength, and forged thy thunderbolt of overpowering might.
8 When, Indra, thou whose power is linked with thy Bay Steeds hadst smitten Vrtra, causing floods to flow for man,
Thou heldst in thine arms the metal thunderbolt, and settest in the heaven the Sun for all to see.
9 In fear they raised the lofty self-resplendent hymn, praise giving and effectual, leading up to heaven,
When Indra's helpers fighting for the good of men, the Maruts, faithful to mankind, joyed in the light.
10 Then Heaven himself, the mighty, at that Dragon's roar reeled back in terror when, Indra, thy thunderbolt
In the wild joy of Soma had struck off with might the head of Vrtra, tyrant of the earth and heaven.
11 O Indra, were this earth extended forth tenfold, and men who dwell therein multiplied day by day,
Still here thy conquering might, Maghavan, would be famed: it hath waxed vast as heaven in majesty and power.
12 Thou, bold of heart, in thine own native might, for help, upon the limit of this mid-air and of heaven,
Hast made the earth to be the pattern of thy strength: embracing flood and light thou reachest to the sky.
13 Thou art the counterpart of earth, the Master of lofty heaven with all its mighty Heroes:
Thou hast filled all the region with thy greatness: yea, of a truth there is none other like thee.
14 Whose amplitude the heaven and earth have not attained, whose bounds the waters of mid-air have never reached,-
Not, when in joy he fights the stayer of the rain: thou, and none else, hast made all things in order due.
15 The Maruts sang thy praise in this encounter, and in thee all the Deities delighted,
What time thou, Indra, with thy spiky weapon, thy deadly bolt, smotest the face of Vrtra.


HYMN LIII. Indra.

I WE will present fair praise unto the Mighty One, our hymns to Indra in Vivasvdn's dwelling-place;
For he hath ne'er found wealth in those who seem to sleep: those who give wealth to men accept no paltry praise.
2 Giver of horses, Indra, giver, thou, of kine, giver of barley, thou art Lord and guard of wealth:
Man's helper from of old, not disappointing hope, Friend of our friends, to thee ,as such we sing this praise.
3 Indra, most splendid, powerful, rich in mighty deeds, this treasure spread around is known to be thine own.
Gather therefrom, O Conqueror, and bring to us: fail not the hope of him who loves and sings to thee.
4 Well pleased with these bright flames and with these Soma drops, take thou away our poverty with seeds and kine.
With Indra scattering the Dasyu through these drops, freed from their hate may we obtain abundant food.
5 Let us obtain, O Indra, plenteous wealth and food, with strength exceeding glorious, shining to the sky:
May we obtain the Goddess Providence, the strength of heroes, special source of cattle, rich in steeds.
6 These our libations strength-inspiring, Soma draughts, gladdened thee in the fight with Vrtra, Hero Lord,
What time thou slewest for the singer with trimmed grass ten thousand Vrtras, thou resistless in thy might.
7 Thou goest on from fight to fight intrepidly, destroying castle after castle here with strength.
Thou, Indra, with thy friend who makes the foe bow down, slewest from far away the guileful Namuci.
8 Thou hast struck down in death Karanja, Parnaya, in Atithigva's very glorious going forth.
Unyielding, when Rjisvan compassed them with siege, thou hast destroyed the hundred forts of Vangrida.
9 With all-outstripping chariot-wheel, O Indra, thou far-famed, hast overthrown the twice ten Kings of men,
With sixty thousand nine-and-ninety followers, who came in arms to fight with friendless Susravas.
10 Thou hast protected Susravas with succour, and Turvayana with thine aid, O Indra.
Thou madest Kutsa, Atithigva, Ayu, subject unto this King, the young, the mighty.
11 May we protected by the Gods hereafter remain thy very prosperous friends, O Indra.
Thee we extol, enjoying through thy favour life long and joyful and with store of heroes.


HYMN LIV. Indra.

1 URGE us not, Maghavan, to this distressful fight, for none may comprehend the limit of thy strength.
Thou with fierce shout hast made the woods and rivers roar: did not men run in crowds together in their fear?
2 Sing hymns of praise to Sakra, Lord of power and might; laud thou and magnify Indra who hearcth thee,
Who with his daring might, a Bull exceeding strong in strength, maketh him master of the heaven and earth.
3 Sing forth to lofty Dyaus a strength-bestowing song, the Bold, whose resolute mind hath independent sway.
High glory hath the Asura, compact of strength, drawn on by two Bay Steeds: a Bull, a Car is he.
4 The ridges of the lofty heaven thou madest shake; thou, daring, of thyself smotest through Sambara,
When bold with gladdening juice, thou warredst with thy bolt, sharp and twoedged, against the banded sorcerers.
5 When with a roar that fills the woods, thou forcest down on wind's head the stores which 8usga kept confined,
Who shall have power to stay thee firm and eager-souled from doing still this day what thou of old hast done?
6 Thou helpest Narya, Turvasa, and Yadu, and Vayya's son Turviti, Satakratu!
Thou helpest horse and car in final battle thou breakest down the nine-and-ninety castles.
7 A hero-lord is he, King of a mighty folk, who offers free oblations and promotes the Law,
Who with a bounteous guerdon welcomes hymns of praise: for him flows down the abundant stream below the sky.
8 His power is matchless, matchless is his wisdom; chief, through their work, be some who drink the Soma,
Those, Indra, who increase the lordly power, the firm heroic strength of thee the Giver.
9 Therefore for thee are these abundant beakers Indra's drink, stone-pressed juices held in ladles.
Quaff them and satisfy therewith thy longing; then fix thy mind upon bestowing treasure.
10 There darkness stood, the vault that stayed the waters' flow: in Vrtra's hollow side the rain-cloud lay concealed.
But Indra smote the rivers which the obstructer stayed, flood following after flood, down steep declivitics.
11 So give us, Indra, bliss-increasing glory give us great sway and strength that conquers people.
Preserve our wealthy patrons, save our princes; vouchsafe us wealth and food with noble offspring.


HYMN LV. Indra.

1 THOUGH e'en this heaven's wide space and earth have spread them out, nor heaven nor earth may be in greatness Indra's match.
Awful and very mighty, causing woe to men, he whets his thunderbolt for sharpness, as a bull.
2 Like as the watery ocean, so doth he receive the rivers spread on all sides in their ample width.
He bears him like a bull to drink of Soma juice, and will, as Warrior from of old, be praised for might.
3 Thou swayest, Indra, all kinds of great manly power, so as to bend, as't were, even that famed mountain down.
Foremost among the Gods is he through hero might, set in the van, the Strong One, for each arduous deed.
4 He only in the wood is praised by worshippers, when he shows forth to men his own fair Indra-power.
A friendly Bull is he, a Bull to be desired when Maghavan auspiciously sends forth his voice.
5 Yet verily the Warrior in his vigorous strength stirreth up with his might great battles for mankind;
And men have faith in Indra, the respIendent One, what time he hurleth down his bolt, his dart of death.
6 Though, fain for glory, and with strength increased on earth, he with great might destroys the dwellings made with art,
He makes the lights of heaven shine forth secure, he bids, exceeding wise, the floods flow for his worshipper.
7 Drinker of Soma, let thy heart incline to give; bring thy Bays hitherward, O thou who hearest praise.
Those charioteers of' thine, best skilled to draw the rein, the rapid sunbeams, Indra, lead thee not astray.
8 Thou bearest in both hands treasure that never fails; the famed One in his body holds unvanquished might.
O Indra, in thy members many powers abide, like wells surrounded by the ministering priests.


HYMN LVI. Indra.

I FOR this man's full libations held in ladles, he hath roused him, eager, as a horse to meet the mare.
He stays his golden car, yoked with Bay Horses, swift, and drinks the Soma juice which strengthens for great deeds.
2 To him the guidance-following songs of praise flow full, as those who seek gain go in company to the flood.
To him the Lord of power, the holy synod's might, as to a hill, with speed, ascend the loving ones.
3 Victorious, great is he; in manly battle shines, unstained with dust, his might, as shines a mountain peak;
Wherewith the iron one, fierce e'en against the strong, in rapture, fettered wily Sushna fast in bonds.
4 When Strength the Goddess, made more strong for help by thee, waits upon Indra as the Sun attends the Dawn,
Then. he who with his might unflinching kills the gloom stirs up the dust aloft, with joy and triumphing.
5 When thou with might, upon the framework of the heaven, didst fix, across, air's region firmly, unremoved,
In the light-winning war, Indra, in rapturous joy, thou smotest Vrtra dead and broughtest floods of rain.
6 Thou with thy might didst grasp,the holder-up of heaven, thou who art mighty also in the seats of earth.
Thou, gladdened by the juice, hast set the waters free, and broken Vrtra's stony fences through and through.


HYMN LVII. Indra.

I To him most liberal, lofty Lord of lofty wealth, verily powerful and strong, I bring my hymn,-
Whose checkless bounty, as of waters down a slope, is spread abroad for all that live, to give them strength.
2 Now all this world, for worship, shall come after thee-the offerer's libations like floods to the depth,
When the well-loved one seems to rest upon the hill, the thunderbolt of Indra, shatterer wrought of gold.
3 To him the terrible, most meet for lofty praise, like bright Dawn, now bring gifts with reverence in this rite,
Whose being, for renown, yea, Indra-power and light, have been created, like bay steeds, to move with speed.
4 Thine, Indra, praised by many, excellently rich! are we who trusting in thy help draw near to thee.
Lover of praise, none else but thou receives our laud: as earth loves all her creatures, love thou this our hymn.
5 Great is thy power, O Indra, we are thine. Fulfil, O Maghavan, the wish of this thy worshipper.
After thee lofty heaven hath measured out its strength: to thee and to thy power this earth hath bowed itself.
6 Thou, who hast thunder for thy weapon, with thy bolt hast shattered into pieces this broad massive cloud.
Thou hast sent down the obstructed floods that they may flow: thou hast, thine own for ever, all victorious might.


HYMN LVIII., Agni.

I NE'ER waxeth faint the Immortal, Son of Strength, since he, the Herald, hath become Vivasvan's messenger.
On paths most excellent he measured out mid-air: he with oblation calls to service of the Gods.
2 Never decaying, seizing his appropriate food, rapidly, eagerly through the dry wood he spreads.
His back, as he is sprinkled, glistens like a horse: loud hath he roared and shouted like the heights of heaven?
3 Set high in place o'er all that Vasus, Rudras do, immortal, Lord of riches, seated as High Priest;
Hastening like a car to men, to those who live, the God without delay gives boons to be desired.
4 Urged by the wind be spreads through dry wood as he lists, armed with his tongues for sickles, with a mighty roar.
Black is thy path, Agni, changeless, with glittering waves! when like a bull thou rushest eager to the trees.
5 With teeth of flame, wind-driven, through the wood he speeds, triumphant like a bull among the herd of cows,
With bright strength roaming to the everlasting air: things fixed, things moving quake before him as he flies.
6 The Bhrgus established thee among mankind for men, like as a treasure, beauteous, easy to invoke;
Thee, Agni, as a herald and choice-worthy guest, as an auspicious Friend to the Celestial Race.
7 Agni, the seven tongues' deftest Sacrificer, him whom the priests elect at solemn worship,
The Herald, messenger of all the Vasus, I serve with dainty food, I ask for riches.
8 Grant, Son of Strength, thou rich in friends, a refuge without a flaw this day to us thy praisers.
O Agni, Son of Strength, with forts of iron preserve thou from distress the man who lauds thee.
9 Be thou a refuge, Bright One, to the singer, a shelter, Bounteous Lord, to those who worship.
Preserve the singer from distress, O Agni. May he, enriched with prayer, come soon and early.


HYMN LIX. Agni.

1 THE other fires are, verily, thy branches; the Immortals all rejoice in thee, O Agni.
Centre art thou, Vaigvdnara, of the people, sustaining men like a deep-founded pillar.
2 The forehead of the sky, earth's centre, Agni became the messenger of earth and heaven.
Vaisvanara, the Deities produced thee, a God, to be a light unto the Arya.
3 As in the Sun firm rays are set for ever, treasures are in Vaisvanara, in Agni.
Of all the riches in the hills, the waters, the herbs, among mankind, thou art the Sovran.
4 As the great World-halves, so are their Son's praises; skilled, as a man, to act, is he the Herald.
Vaisvanara, celestial, truly mighty, most manly One, hath many a youthful consort.
5 Even the lofty heaven, O Jatavedas Vaisvanara, hath not attained thy greatness.
Thou art the King of lands where men are settled, thou hast brought comfort to the Gods in battle.
6 Now will I tell the greatness of the Hero whom Prarti's sons follow as Vrtra's slayer:
Agni Vaisvanara struck down the Dasyu, cleave Sambara through and shattered down his fences.
7 Vaisvanara, dwelling by his might with all men, far-shining, holy mid the Bharadvajas,
Is lauded, excellent, with hundred praises by Purunitha, son of Satavani.


HYMN LX. Agni.

I As 'twere Some goodly treasure Matarisvan brought, as a gift, the glorious Priest to Bhrgu,
Banner of sacrifice, the good Protector, child of two births, the swiftly moving envoy.
2 Both Gods and men obey this Ruler's order, Gods who are worshipped, men who yearn and worship.
As Priest he takes his seat ere break of morning, House-Lord, adorable with men, Ordainer.
3 May our fair praise, heart-born, most recent, reach him whose tongue, e'en at his birth, is sweet as honey;
Whom mortal priests, men, with their strong endeavour, supplied with dainty viands, have created.
4 Good to mankind, the yearning Purifier hath among men been placed as Priest choice-worthy.
May Agni be our Friend, Lord of the Household, protector of the riches in the dwelling.
5 As such we Gotamas with hymns extol thee, O Agni, as the guardian Lord of riches,
Decking thee like a horse, the swift prizewinner. May he, enriched with prayer, come soon and early.

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