The Rig Veda, Book 1, Verses 51 to 60

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN LXI Indra.

1 EVEN to him, swift, strong and high. exalted, I bring my song of praise as dainty viands,
My thought to him resistless, praise-deserving, prayers offered most especially to Indra.
2 Praise, like oblation, I present, and utter aloud my song, my fair hymn to the Victor.
For Indra, who is Lord of old, the singers have decked their lauds with heart and mind and spirit.
3 To him then with my lips mine adoration, winning heaven's light, most excellent, I offer,
To magnify with songs of invocation and with fair hymns the Lord, most bounteous Giver.
4 Even for him I frame a laud, as fashions the wright a chariot for the man who needs it,-
Praises to him who gladly hears our praises, a hymn well-formed, all-moving, to wise Indra.
5 So with my tongue I deck, to please that Indra, my hymn, as 'twere a horse, through love of glory,
To reverence the Hero, bounteous Giver, famed far and wide, destroyer of the castles.
6 Even for him hath Tvastar forged the thunder, most deftly wrought, celestial, for the battle,
Wherewith he reached the vital parts of Vrtra, striking-the vast, the mighty with the striker.
7 As soon as, at libations of his mother, great Visnu had drunk up the draught, he plundered.
The dainty cates, the cooked mess; but One stronger transfixed the wild boar, shooting through the mountain.
8 To him, to Indra, when he slew the Dragon, the Dames, too, Consorts of the Goda, wove praises.
The mighty heaven and earth hath he encompassed: thy greatness heaven and earth, combined, exceed not.
9 Yea, of a truth, his magnitude surpasseth the magnitude of earth, mid-air, and heaven.
Indra, approved by all men, self-resplendent, waxed in his home, loud-voiced and strong for battle.
10 Through his own strength Indra with bolt of thunder cut piece-meal Vrtra, drier up of waters.
He let the floods go free, like cows imprisoned, for glory, with a heart inclined to bounty.
11 The rivers played, through his impetuous splendour, since with his bolt he compassed them on all sides.
Using his might and favouring him who worshipped, he made a ford, victorious, for Turviti.
12 Vast, with thine ample power, with eager movement, against this Vrtra cast thy bolt of thunder.
Rend thou his joints, as of an ox, dissevered, with bolt oblique, that floods of rain may follow.
13 Sing with new lauds his exploits wrought aforetime, the deeds of him, yea, him who moveth swiftly,
When, hurling forth his weapons in the battle, he with impetuous wrath lays low the foemen.
14 When he, yea, he, comes forth the firm. Set mountains and the whole heaven and earth, tremble for terror.
May Nodhas, ever praising the protection of that dear Friend, gain quickly strength heroic.
15 Now unto him of these things hath been given what he who rules alone o'er much, electeth.
Indra hath helped Etasa, Soma-presser, contending in the race of steeds with Sarya.
16 Thus to thee, Indra, yoker of Bay Coursers, the Gotamas have brought their prayers to please thee.
Bestow upon them thought, decked with all beauty. May he, enriched with prayer, come soon and early.


HYMN LXII. Indra.

1. LIKE Angiras a gladdening laud we ponder to him who loveth song, exceeding mighty.
Let us sing glory to the far-famed Hero who must be praised with fair hymns by the singer.
2 Unto the great bring ye great adoration, a chant with praise to him exceeding mighty,
Through whom our sires, Angirases, singing praises and knowing well the places, found the cattle.
3 When Indra and the Angirases desired it, Sarama found provision for her offipring.
Brhaspati cleft the mountain, found the cattle: the heroes shouted with the kine in triumph.
4 Mid shout, loud shout, and roar, with the Navagvas, seven singers, hast thou, heavenly, rent the mountain;
Thou hast, with speeders, with Dasagvas, Indra, Sakra, with thunder rent obstructive Vala.
5 Praised by Angirases, thou, foe-destroyer, hast, with the Dawn, Sun, rays, dispellcd the darkness.
Thou Indra, hast spread out the earths high ridges, and firmly fixed the region under heaven.
6 This is the deed most worthy of all honour, the fairest marvel of the Wonder-Worker,
That, nigh where heaven bends down, he made four rivers flow full with waves that carry down sweet water.
7 Unwearied, won with lauding hymns, he parted of old the ancient Pair, united ever.
In highest sky like Bhaga, he the doer of marvels set both Dames and earth and heaven.
8 Still born afresh, young Dames, each in her manner, unlike in hue, the Pair in alternation
Round heaven and earth from ancient time have travelled, Night with her dark limbs, Dawn with limbs of splendour.
9 Rich in good actions, skilled in operation, the Son with might maintains his perfect friendship.
Thou in the raw cows, black of hue or ruddy, storest the ripe milk glossy white in colour.
10 Their paths, of old connected, rest uninjured; they with great might preserve the immortal statutes.
For many thousand holy works the Sisters wait on the haughty Lord like wives and matrons.
11 Thoughts ancient, seeking wealth, with adoration, with newest lauds have sped to thee, O Mighty.
As yearning wives cleave to their yearning husband, so cleave our hymns to thee, O Lord most potent.
12 Strong God, the riches which thy hands have holden from days of old have perished not nor wasted.
Splendid art thou, O Indra, wise, unbending:strengthen us with might, O Lord of Power.
13 O mighty Indra, Gotama's son Nodhas hath fashioned this new prayer to thee Eternal,
Sure leader, yoker of the Tawny Coursers. May he, enriched with prayer, come soon and early.


HYMN LXIII. Indra.

1. THOU art the Mighty One; when born, O Indra, with power thou tcrrifiedst earth and heaven -
When, in their fear of thee, all firm-set mountains and monstrous creatures shook like dust before thee.
2 When thy two wandering Bays thou drawest hither, thy praiser laid within thine arms the thunder,
Wherewith, O Much-invoked, in will resistless, thou smitest foemen down and many a castle.
3 Faithful art thou, these thou defiest, Indra; thou art the Rbhus' Lord, heroic, victor.
Thou, by his side, for young and glorious Kutsa, with steed and car in battle slewest Susna,
4 That, as a friend, thou furtheredst, O Indra, when, Thundcrer, -strong in act, thou crushedst Vrtra;
When, Hero, thou, great-souled, with easy conquest didst rend the Dasyus in their
distant dwelling.
5 This doest thou, and art not harmed, O Indra, e'en in the anger of the strongest mortal.
Lay thou the race-course open for our horses: as with a club, slay, Thunderarmed 1 our foemen.
6 Hence men invoke thee, Indra, in the tumult of battle, in the light-bestowing conflict.
This aid of thine, O Godlike One, was ever to be implored in deeds of might in combat.
7 Warring for Purukutsa thou, O Indra, Thunder-armed I breakest down the seven castles;
Easily, for Sudis, like grass didst rend them, and out of need, King, broughtest gain to Puru.
8 O Indra, God who movest round about us, feed us with varied food plenteous as water-
Food wherewithal, O Hero, thou bestowest vigour itself to flow to us for ever.
9 Prayers have been made by Gotamas, O Indra, addressed to thee, with laud for thy Bay Horses.
Bring us in noble shape abundant riches. May he, enriched with prayer, come soon and early.


HYMN LXIV. Maruts.

1. BRING for the manly host, wise and majestical, O Nodhas, for the Maruts bring thou a pure gift.
I deck my songs as one deft-handed, wise in mind prepares the water that hath power in solemn rites.
2 They spring to birth, the lofty Ones, the Bulls of Heaven, divine, the youths of Rudra, free from spot and stain;
The purifiers, shining brightly even as suns, awful of form like giants, scattering rain-drops down.
3 Young Rudras, demon-slayers, never growing old, they have waxed, even as mountains, irresistible.
They make all beings tremble with their mighty strength, even the very strongest, both of earth and heaven.
4 With glittering ornaments they deck them forth for show; for beauty on their breasts they bind their chains of gold.
The lances on their shoulders pound to pieces; they were born together, of themselves, the Men of Heaven.
5 Loud roarers, giving strength, devourers of the foe, they make the winds, they make the lightnings with their powers.
The restless shakers drain the udders of the sky, and ever wandering round fill the earth full with milk.
6 The bounteous Maruts with the fatness dropping milk fill full the waters which avail in solenm rites.
They lead, as 'twere, the Strong Horse forth, that it may rain: they milk the thundering, the never-failing spring.
7 Mighty, with wondrous power and marvellously bright, selfstrong like mountains, ye glide swiftly on your way.
Like the wild elephants ye eat the forests up when ye assume your strength among the bright red flames.
8 Exceeding wise they roar like lions mightily, they, all-possessing, are beauteous as antelopes;
Stirring the darkness with lances and spotted deer, combined as priests, with serpents' fury through their might.
9 Heroes who march in companies, befriending man, with serpents' ire through strength, ye greet the earth and heaven.
Upon the seats, O Maruts, of your chariots, upon the cars stands lightning visible as light.
10 Lords of all riches, dwelling in the home of wealth, endowed with mighty vigour, singers loud of voice,
Heroes, of powers infinite, armed with strong men's rings, the archers, they have laid the arrow on their arms.
11 They who with golden fellies make the rain increase drive forward the big clouds like wanderers on the way.
Self-moving, brisk, unwearied, they o'erthrow the firm; the Maruts with bright lances make all things to reel.
12 The progeny of Rudra we invoke with prayer, the brisk, the bright, the worshipful, the active Ones
To the strong band of Maruts cleave for happiness, the chasers of the sky, impetuous, vigorous.
13 Maruts, the man whom ye have guarded with your help, he verily in strength surpasseth all mankind.
Spoil with his steeds he gaineth, treasure with his men; he winneth honourable strength and prospereth.
14 O Maruts, to the worshippers give glorious strength invincible in battle, brilliant, bringing wealth,
Praiseworthy, known to all men. May we foster well, during a hundred winters, son and progeny.
15 Will ye then, O ye Maruts, grant us riches, durable, rich in men, defying onslaught.
A hundred, thousandfold, ever increasing? May he, enriched with prayer, come soon and early.


HYMN LXV. Agni.

1 ONE-MINDED, wise, they tracked thee like a thief lurking in dark cave with a stolen cow:
Thee claiming worship, bearing it to Gods -. there nigh to thee sate all the Holy Ones.
2 The Gods approached the ways of holy Law; there was a gathering vast as heaven itself.
The waters feed with praise the growing Babe, born nobly in the womb, the seat of Law.
3 Like grateful food, like some wide dwelling place, like a fruit-bearing hill, a wholesome stream.
Like a steed urged to run in swift career, rushing like Sindhu, who may check his course?
4 Kin as a brother to his sister floods, he cats the woods as a King eats the rich.
When through the forest, urged by wind, he spreads, verily Agni shears the hair of earth.
5 Like a swan sitting in the floods he pants wisest in mind mid men he wakes at morn.
A Sage like Soma, sprung from Law, he grew like some young creature, mighty, shining far.


HYMN LXVI. Agni.

1. LIKE the Sun's glance, like wealth of varied sort, like breath which is the life, like one's own son,
Like a swift bird, a cow who yields her milk, pure and refulgent to the wood he speeds.
2 He offers safety like a pleasant home, like ripened corn, the Conqueror of men.
Like a Seer lauding, famed among the folk; like a steed friendly he vouchsafes us power.
3 With flame insatiate, like eternal might; caring for each one like a dame at home;
Bright when he shines forth, whitish mid the folk, like a car, gold-decked, thundering to the fight.
4 He strikes with terror like a dart shot forth, e'en like an archer's arrow tipped with flame;
Master of present and of future life, the maidens' lover and the matrons' Lord.
5 To him lead all your ways: may we attain the kindled God as cows their home at eve.
He drives the flames below as floods their swell: the rays rise up to the fair place of heaven.


HYMN LXVII. Agni.

1. VICTORIOUS in the wood, Friend among men, ever he claims obedience as a King.
Gracious like peace, blessing like mental power, Priest was he, offering-bearer, full of thought.
2 He, bearing in his hand all manly might, crouched in the cavern, struck the Gods with fear.
Men filled with understanding find him there, when they have sting prayers formed within their heart.
3 He, like the Unborn, holds the broad earth up; and with effective utterance fixed the sky.
O Agni, guard the spots which cattle love: thou, life of all, hast gone from lair to lair.
4 Whoso hath known him dwelling in his lair, and hath approached the stream of holy Law,-
They who release him, paying sacred rites, -truly to such doth he announce great wealth.
5 He who grows mightily in herbs, within each fruitful mother and each babe she bears,
Wise, life of all men, in the waters' home,-for him have sages built as 'twere a seat.


HYMN LXVIII. Agni.

1. COMMINGLING, restless, he ascends the sky, unveiling nights and all that stands or moves,
As he the sole God is preeminent in great. ness among all these other Gods.
2 All men are joyful in thy power, O God, that living from the dry wood thou art born.
All truly share thy Godhead while they keep, in their accustomed ways, eternal Law.
3 Strong is the thought of Law, the Law's behest; all works have they performed; he quickens all.
Whoso will bring oblation, gifts to thee, to him, bethinking thee, vouchsafe thou wealth.
4 Seated as Priest with Manu's progeny, of all these treasures he alone is Lord.
Men yearn for children to prolong their line, and are not disappointed in their hope.
5 Eagerly they who hear his word fulfil his wish as sons obey their sire's behest.
He, rich in food, unbars his wealth like doors: he, the House-Friend, bath decked heaven's vault with stars.


HYMN LXIX. Agni.

1. BRIGHT, splendid, like Dawn's lover, he bath filled the two joined worlds as with the light of heaven.
When born, with might thou hast encompassed them: Father of Gods, and yet their Son wast thou.
2 Agni, the Sage, the humble, who discerns like the cow's udder, the sweet taste of food,
Like a bliss-giver to be drawn to men, sits gracious in the middle of the house.
3 Born in the dwelling like a lovely son, pleased, like a strong steed, he bears on the folk.
What time the men and I, with heroes, call, may Agni then gain all through Godlike power.
4 None breaks these holy laws of thine when thou hast granted audience to these chieftains here.
This is thy boast, thou smotest with thy peers, and joined with heroes dravest off disgrace.
5 Like the Dawn's lover, spreading light, well-known as hued like morn, may he remember me.
They, bearing of themselves, unbar the doors: they all ascend to the fair place of heaven.


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