The Rig Veda, Book 1, Verses 71 to 79

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN LXX. Agni.

1. MAY we, the pious, win much food by prayer, may Agni with fair light pervade each act,-
He the observer of the heavenly laws of Gods, and of the race of mortal man.
2 He who is germ of waters, germ of woods, germ of all things that move not and that move,-
To him even in the rock and in the house: Immortal One, he cares for all mankind.
3 Agni is Lord of riches for the man who serves him readily with sacred songs.
Protect these beings thou with careful thought, knowing the races both of Gods and men.
4 Whom many dawns and nights, unlike, make strong, whom, born in Law, all things that move and stand,-
He bath been won, Herald who sits in light, making effectual all our holy works.
5 Thou settest value on our cows and woods: all shall bring tribute to us to the light.
men have served thee in many and sundry spots, parting, as 'twere, an aged father's wealth.
6 Like a brave archer, like one skilled and bold, a fierce avenger, so he shines in fight.


HYMN LXXI. Agni.

1. LOVING the loving One, as wives their husband, the sisters of one home have urged him forward,
Bright-coloured, even, as the cows love morning, dark, breaking forth to view, and redly beaming.
2 Our sires with lauds burst e'en the firmset fortress, yea, the Angirases, with roar, the mountain.
They made for us a way to reach high heaven, they found us day, light, day's sign, beams of morning.
3 They stablished order, made his service fruitful; then parting them among the longing faithful,
Not thirsting after aught, they come, most active, while with sweet food the race of Gods they strengthen.
4 Since Matarisvan, far-diffused, bath stirred him, and he in every house grown bright and noble,
He, Bhrgu-like I hath gone as his companion, as on commission to a greater Sovran.
5 When man poured juice to Heaven, the mighty Father, he knew and freed himself from close embracement.
The archer boldly shot at him his arrow, and the God threw his splendour on his Daughter.
6 Whoso, bath flames for thee within his dwelling, or brings the worship which thou lovest daily,
Do thou of double might increase his substance: may he whom thou incitest meet with riches.
7 All sacrificial viands wait on Agni as the Seven mighty Rivers seek the ocean.
Not by our brethren was our food discovered: find with the Gods care for us, thou who knowest.
8 When light bath filled the Lord of men for increase, straight from the heaven descends the limpid moisture.
Agni bath brought to light and filled with spirit the youthful host blameless and well providing.
9 He who like thought goes swiftly on his journey, the Sun, alone is ever Lord of riches.
The Kings with fair hands, Varuna and Mitra, protect the precious nectar in our cattle.
10 O Agni, break not our ancestral friendship, Sage as thou art, endowed with deepest knowledge.
Old age, like gathering cloud, impairs the body: before that evil be come nigh protect me.


HYMN LXXII. Agni.

1. THOUGH holding many gifts for men, he humbleth the higher powers of each wise ordainer.
Agni is now the treasure-lord of treasures, for ever granting all immortal bounties.
2 The Gods infallible all searching found not him, the dear Babe who still is round about us.
Worn weary, following his track, devoted, they reached the lovely highest home of Agni.
3 Because with holy oil the pure Ones, Agni, served thee the very pure three autumn seasons,
Therefore they won them holy names for worship, and nobly born they dignified their bodies.
4 Making them known to spacious earth and heaven, the holy Ones revealed the powers of Rudra.
The mortal band, discerning in the distance, found Agni standing in the loftiest station.
5 Nigh they approached, one-minded, with their spouses, kneeling to him adorable paid worship.
Friend finding in his own friend's eye protection, they made their own the bodies which they chastened.
6 Soon as the holy beings had discovered the thrice-seven mystic things contained within thee,
With these, one-minded., they preserve the Amrta: guard thou the life of all their plants and cattle.
7 Thou, Agni, knower of men's works, hast sent us good food in constant course for our subsistence:
Thou deeply skilled in paths of Gods becamest an envoy never wearied, offeringbearer.
8 Knowing the Law, the seven strong floods from heaven, full of good thought, discerned the doors of riches.
Sarama found the cattle's firm-built prison whereby the race of man is still supported.
9 They who approached all noble operations making a path that leads to life immortal,
To be the Bird's support, the spacious mother, Aditi, and her great Sons stood in power.
10 When Gods immortal made both eyes of heaven, they gave to him the gift of beauteous glory.
Now they flow forth like rivers set in motion: they knew the Red Steeds coming down, O Agni.


HYMN LXXIII. Agni.

I. HE who gives food, like patrimonial riches and guides aright like some wise man's instruction,
Loved like a guest who lies in pleasant lodging,-may he, as Priest, prosper his servant's dwelling.
2 He who like Savitar the God, true-minded protecteth with his power. all acts of vigour,
Truthful, like splendourr, glorified by many, like breath joy-giving,-all must strive to win him.
3 He who on earth dwells like a king surrounded by faithful friends, like a God all-sustaining,
Like heroes who preside, who sit in safety: like as a blameless dame dear to her husband.
4 Thee, such, in settlements secure, O Agni, our men serve ever kindled in each dwelling.
On him have they laid splendour in abundance: dear to all men, bearer be he of riches.
5 May thy rich worshippers win food, O Agni, and princes gain long life who bring oblation.
May we get booty from jur foe in battle, presenting to the Gods their share for glory.
6 The cows of holy law, sent us by Heaven, have swelled with laden udders, loudly lowing;
Soliciting his favour, from a distance the rivers to the rock have flowed together.
7 Agni, with thee, soliciting thy favour, the holy Ones have gained glory in heaven.
They made the Night and Dawn of different colours, and set the black and purple hues together.
8 May we and those who worship be the mortals whom thou, O Agni, leadest on to riches.
Thou hast filled earth and heaven and air's mid-region, and followest the whole world like a shadow.
9 Aided by thee, O Agni, may we conquer steeds with steeds, men with men, heroes with heroes,
Lords of the wealth transmitted by our fathers: and may our princes live a hundred winters.
10 May these our hymns of praise, Agni, Ordainer, be pleasant to thee in thy heart and spirit.
May we have power to hold thy steeds of riches, laying on thee the God-sent gift of glory.


HYMN LXXIV. Agni.

1. As forth to sacrifice we go, a hymn to a hymn let us say,
Who hears us even when afar;
2 Who, from of old, in carnage, when the people gathered, hath preserved
His household for the worshipper.
3 And let men say, Agni is born, e'en he who slayeth Vrtra, he
Who winneth wealth in every fight.
4 Him in whose house an envoy thou lovest to taste his offered gifts,
And strengthenest his sacrifice,
5 Him, Angiras, thou Son of Strength, all men call happy in his God,
His offerings, and his sacred grass.
6 Hitherward shalt thou bring these Gods to our laudation and to taste.
These offered gifts, fair-shining One.
7 When, Agni, on thine embassage thou goest not a sound is heard of steed or straining of thy car.
8 Aided by thee uninjured, strong, one after other, goes he forth:
Agni, the ofterer forward steps.
9 And splendid strength, heroic, high, Agni, thou grantest from the Gods,
Thou God, to him who offers gifts.


HYMN LXXV. Agni.

1. ACCEPT our loudest-sounding hymn, food most delightful to the Gods,
Pouring our offerings in thy mouth.
2 Now, Agni, will we say to thee, O wisest and best Afigiras,
Our precious, much-availing prayer.
3 Who, Agni, is thy kin, of men? who is thy worthy worshipper?
On whom dependent? who art thou?
4 The kinsman, Agni, of mankind, their well beloved Friend art thou,
A Friend whom friends may supplicate.
5 Bring to us Mitra, Varuna, bring the Gods to mighty sacrifice.
Bring them, O Agni, to thine home.


HYMN LXXVI. Agni.

1. How may the mind draw nigh to please thee, Agni? What hymn of praise shall bring us greatest blessing?
Or who hath gained thy power by sacrifices? or with what mind shall we bring thee oblations?
2 Come hither, Agni; sit thee down as Hotar; be thou who never wast deceived our leader.
May Heaven and Earth, the all-pervading, love thee: worship the Gods to win for us their favour.
3 Burn thou up all the Riksasas, O Agni; ward thou off curses from our sacrifices.
Bring hither with his Bays the Lord of Soma: here is glad welcome for the Bounteous Giver.
4 Thou Priest with lip and voice that bring us children hast been invoked. Here with the Gods be seated.
Thine is the task of Cleanser and Presenter: waken us, Wealth-bestower and Producer.
5 As with oblations of the priestly Manus thou worshippedst the Gods, a Sage with sages,
So now, O truthfullest Invoker Agni, worship this day with joy-bestowing ladle.


HYMN LXXVII. Agni.

1. How shall we pay oblation unto Agni? What hymn, Godloved, is said to him refulgent?
Who, deathless, true to Law, mid men a herald, bringeth the Gods as best of sacrificers?
2 Bring him with reverence hither, most propitious in sacrifices, true to Law, the herald;
For Agni, when he seeks the Gods for mortals, knows them full well and worships them in spirit.
3 For he is mental power, a man, and perfect; he is the bringer, friend-,like, of the wondrous.
The pious Aryan tribes at sacrifices address them first to him who doeth marvels.
4 May Agni, foe-destroyer, manliest Hero, accept with love our hymns and our devotion.
So may the liberal lords whose strength is strongest, urged by their riches, stir our thoughts with vigour.
5 Thus Agni Jatavedas, true to Order, hath by the priestly Gotamas been lauded.
May he augment in them splendour and vigour: observant, as he lists, he gathers increase.


HYMN LXXVIII. Agni.

1. O JATAVEDAS, keen and swift, we Gotamas with sacred song exalt thee for thy glories' sake.
2 Thee, as thou art, desiring wealth Gotama worships with his song:
We laud thee for thy glories' sake.
3 As such, like Angiras we call on thee best winner of the spoil:
We laud thee for thy glories' sake.
4 Thee, best of Vrtra-slayers, thee who shakest off our Dasyu foes:
We laud thee for thy glories' sake.
5 A pleasant song to Agni we, sons of Rahugana, have sung:
We laud thee for thy glories' sake.


HYMN LXXIX. Agni.

1. HE in mid-air's expanse hath golden tresses; a raging serpent, like the rushing tempest:
Purely refulgent, knowing well the morn. ing; like honourable dames, true, active workers.
2 Thy well-winged flashes strengthen in their manner, when the black Bull hath bellowed round about us.
With drops that bless and seem to smile he cometh: the waters fall, the clouds utter their thunder.
3 When he comes streaming with the milk of worship, conducting by directest paths of Order
Aryaman, Mitra, Varuna, Parijman fill the hide full where lies the nether press-stone.
4 O Agni, thou who art the lord of wealth in kine, thou Son of Strength,
Vouchsafe to us, O Jatavetlas, high renown.
5 He, Agni, kindled, good and wise, must be exalted in our song:
Shine, thou of many forms, shine radiantly on us.
6 O Agni, shining of thyself by night and when the morning breaks,
Burn, thou whose teeth are sharp, against the Raksasas.
7 Adorable in all our rites, favour us, Agni, with thine.aid,
When the great hymn is chanted forth.
8 Bring to us ever-conquering wealth, wealth, Agni, worthy of our choice,
In all our frays invincible.
9 Give us, O Agni, through thy grace wealth that supporteth all our life,
Thy favour so that we may live.
10 O Gotama, desiring bliss present thy songs composed with care
To Agni of the pointed flames.
11 May the man fall, O Agni, who near or afar assaileth us:
Do thou increase and prosper us.
12 Keen and swift Agni, thousand-eyed, chaseth the Raksasas afar:
He singeth, herald meet for lauds.

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