The Rig Veda Book 2 - Verses 10 to 20

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN X. Agni.

1.Agni, first, loudly calling, like a Father, kindled by man upon the seat of worship.
Clothed in his glory, deathless, keen of insight, must be adorned by all, the Strong, the Famous.
2 May Agni the resplendent hear my calling through all my songs, Immortal, keen of insight.
Dark steeds or ruddy draw his car, or carried in sundry ways he makes them red of colour.
3 On wood supine they got the well-formed Infant: a germ in various-fashioned plants was Agni;
And in the night, not compassed round by darkness, he dwells exceeding wise, with rays of splendour.
4 With oil and sacred gifts I sprinkle Agni who makes his home in front of all things living,
Broad, vast, through vital power o'er all expanded, conspicuous, strong with all the food that feeds him.
5 I pour to him who looks in all directions: may he accept it with a friendly spirit.
Agni with bridegroom's grace and lovely colour may not be touched when all his form is fury.
6 By choice victorious, recognize thy portion: with thee for envoy may we speak like Manu.
Obtaining wealth, I call on perfect Agni who with an eloquent tongue dispenses sweetness.

HYMN XI. Indra.

1. HEAR thou my call, O Indra; be not heedless: thine may we be for thee to give us treasures;
For these presented viands, seeking riches, increase thy strength like streams of water flowing.
2 Floods great and many, compassed by the Dragon, thou badest swell and settest free, O Hero.
Strengthened by songs of praise thou rentest piecemeal the Dasa, him who deemed himself immortal.
3 For, Hero, in the lauds wherein thou joyedst, in hymns of praise, O Indra, songs of Rudras,
These streams in which is thy delight approach thee, even as the brilliant ones draw near to Vayu.
4 We who add strength to thine own splendid vigour, laying within thine arms the splendid thunder-
With us mayst thou, O Indra, waxen splendid, with Surya overcome the Dasa races.
5 Hero, thou slewest in thy valour Ahi concealed in depths, mysterious, great enchanter,
Dwelling enveloped deep within the waters, him who checked heaven and stayed the floods from flowing.
6 Indra, we laud thy great deeds wrought aforetime, we laud thine exploits later of achievement;
We laud the bolt that in thine arms lies eager; we laud thy two Bay Steeds, heralds of Surya.
7 Indra, thy Bay Steeds showing forth their vigour have sent a loud cry out that droppeth fatness.
The earth hath spread herself in all her fulness: the cloud that was about to move hath rested.
8 Down, never ceasing, hath the rain-cloud settled: bellowing, it hath wandered with the Mothers.
Swelling the roar in the far distant limits, they have spread wide the blast sent forth by Indra.
9 Indra hath hurled down the magician Vrtra who lay beleaguering the mighty river.
Then both the heaven and earth trembled in terror at the strong Hero's thunder when he bellowed.
10 Loud roared the mighty Hero's bolt of thunder, when he, the Friend of man, burnt up the monster,
And, having drunk his fill of flowing Soma, baffled the guileful Danava's devices.
11 Drink thou, O Hero Indra, drink the Soma; let the joy-giving juices make thee joyful.
They, filling both thy flanks, shall swell thy vigour. The juice that satisfies hath helped Indra.
12 Singers have we become with thee, O Indra: may we serve duly and prepare devotion.
Seeking thy help we meditate thy praises: may we at once enjoy thy gift of riches.
13 May we be thine, such by thy help, O Indra, as swell thy vigour while they seek thy favour.
Give us, thou God, the riches that we long for, most powerful, with stare of noble children.
14 Give us a friend, give us an habitation; Indra, give us the company of Maruts,
And those whose minds accord with theirs, the Vayus, who drink the first libation of the Soma.
15 Let those enjoy in whom thou art delighted. Indra, drink Soma for thy strength and gladness.
Thou hast exalted us to heaven, Preserver, in battles, through the lofty hymns that praise thee.
16 Great, verily, are they, O thou Protector, who by their songs of praise have won the blessing.
They who strew sacred grass to be thy dwelling, helped by thee have got them strength, O Indra.
17 Upon the great Trikadruka days, Hero, rejoicing thee, O Indra, drink the Soma.
Come with Bay Steeds to drink of libation, shaking the drops from out thy beard, contented.
18 Hero, assume the might wherewith thou clavest Vrtra piecemeal, the Danava Aurnavabha.
Thou hast disclosed the light to light the Arya: on thy left hand, O Indra, sank the Dasyu.
19 May we gain wealth, subduing with thy succour and with the Arya, all our foes, the Dasyus.
Our gain was that to Trta of our party thou gavest up Tvastar's son Visvarupa.
20 He cast down Arbuda what time his vigour was strengthened by libations poured by Trta.
Indra sent forth his whirling wheel like Surya, and aided by the Angirases rent Vala.
21 Now let that wealthy Cow of thine, O Indra, yield in return a boon to him who lauds thee.
Give to thy praisers: let not fortune fail us. Loud may we speak, with brave men, in the assembly.

HYMN XII. Indra.

1. HE who, just born, chief God of lofty spirit by power and might became the Gods' protector,
Before whose breath through greatness of his valour the two worlds trembled, He, O men, is Indra.
2 He who fixed fast and firm the earth that staggered, and set at rest the agitated mountains,
Who measured out the air's wide middle region and gave the heaven support, He, men, is Indra.
3 Who slew the Dragon, freed the Seven Rivers, and drove the kine forth from the cave of Vala,
Begat the fire between two stones, the spoiler in warriors' battle, He, O men, is Indra.
4 By whom this universe was made to tremble, who chased away the humbled brood of demons,
Who, like a gambler gathering his winnings seized the foe's riches, He, O men, is Indra.
5 Of whom, the Terrible, they ask, Where is He? or verily they say of him, He is not.
He sweeps away, like birds, the foe's possessions. Have faith in him, for He, O men, is Indra.
6 Stirrer to action of the poor and lowly, of priest, of suppliant who sings his praises;
Who, fair-faced, favours him who presses Soma with stones made ready, He, O men, is Indra.
7 He under whose supreme control are horses, all chariots, and the villages, and cattle;
He who gave being to the Sun and Morning, who leads the waters, He, O men, is Indra.
8 To whom two armies cry in close encounter, both enemies, the stronger and the weaker;
Whom two invoke upon one chariot mounted, each for himself, He, O ye men, is Indra.
9 Without whose help our people never conquer; whom, battling, they invoke to give them succour;
He of whom all this world is but the copy, who shakes things moveless, He, O men, is Indra.
10 He who hath smitten, ere they knew their danger, with his hurled weapon many grievous sinners;
Who pardons not his boldness who provokes him, who slays the Dasyti, He, O men, is Indra.
11 He who discovered in the fortieth autumn Sambara as he dwelt among the mountains;
Who slew the Dragon putting forth his vigour, the demon lying there, He, men, is Indra.
12 Who with seven guiding reins, the Bull, the Mighty, set free the Seven great Floods to flow at pleasure;
Who, thunder-armed, rent Rauhina in pieces when scaling heaven, He, O ye men, is Indra.
13 Even the Heaven and Earth bow down before him, before his very breath the mountains tremble.
Known as the Soma-drinker, armed with thunder, who wields the bolt, He, O ye men, is Indra.
14 Who aids with favour him who pours the Soma and him who brews it, sacrificer, singer.
Whom prayer exalts, and pouring forth of Soma, and this our gift, He, O ye men, Is Indra.
15 Thou verily art fierce and true who sendest strength to the man who brews and pours libation.
So may we evermore, thy friends, O Indra, speak loudly to the synod with our heroes.

HYMN XIII. Indra.

1. THE Season was the parent, and when born therefrom it entered rapidly the floods wherein it grows.
Thence was it full of sap, streaming with milky juice: the milk of the plant's stalk is chief and meet for lauds.
2 They come trooping together bearing milk to him, and bring him sustenance who gives support to all.
The way is common for the downward streams to flow. Thou who didst these things first art worthy of our lauds.
3 One priest announces what the institutor gives: one, altering the forms, zealously plies his task,
The third corrects the imperfections left by each. Thou who didst these things first art worthy of our lauds.
4 Dealing out food unto their people there they sit, like wealth to him who comes, more than the back can bear.
Greedily with his teeth he eats the master's food. Thou who didst these things first art worthy of our lauds.
5 Thou hast created earth to look upon the sky: thou, slaying Ahi, settest free the river's paths.
Thee, such, a God, the Gods have quickened with their lauds, even as a steed with waters: meet for praise art thou.
6 Thou givest increase, thou dealest to us our food: thou milkest from the moist the dry, the rich in sweets.
Thou by the worshipper layest thy precious store: thou art sole Lord of all. Meet for our praise art thou.
7 Thou who hast spread abroad the streams by stablished law, and in the field the plants that blossom and bear seed;
Thou who hast made the matchless lightnings of the sky,-vast, compassing vast realms, meet for our praise art thou.
8 Who broughtest Narmara with all his wealth, for sake of food, to slay him that the fiends might be destroyed,
Broughtest the face unclouded of the strengthening one, performing much even now, worthy art thou of praise.
9 Thou boundest up the Dasa's hundred friends and ten, when, at one's hearing, thou belpest thy worshipper.
Thou for Dabhiti boundest Dasyus not with cords; Thou wast a mighty help. Worthy of lauds art thou.
10 All banks of rivers yielded to his manly might; to him they gave, to him, the Strong, gave up their wealth.
The six directions hast thou fixed, a five-fold view: thy victories reached afar. Worthy of lauds art thou.
11 Meet for high praise, O Hero, is thy power, that with thy single wisdom thou obtainest wealth,
The life-support of conquering Jatusthira. Indra, for all thy deeds, worthy of lauds art thou.
12 Thou for Turviti heldest still the flowing floods, the river-stream for Vayya easily to pass
Didst raise the outcast from the depths, and gavest fame unto the halt and blind. Worthy of lauds art thou.
13 Prepare thyself to grant us that great bounty, O Vasu, for abundant is thy treasure.
Snatch up the wonderful, O Indra, daily. Loud may we speak, with heroes, in assembly.

HYMN XIV. Indra.

1. MINISTERS, bring the Soma juice for Indra, pour forth the gladdening liquor with the beakers.logeth ever
To drink of this the Hero offer it to the Bull, for this he willeth.
2 Ye ministers, to him who with the lightning smote, like a tree, the rain-withholding Vrtra-
Bring it to him, him who is fain to taste it, a draught of this which Indra here deserveth.
3 Ye ministers, to him who smote Drhhikas who drove the kine forth, and discovered Vala,
Offer this draught, like Vita in the region: clothe him with Soma even as steeds with trappings.
4 Him who did Urana to death, Adhvaryus! though showing arms ninety-and-nine in number;
Who cast down headlong Arbuda and slew him,-speed ye that Indra to our offered Soma.
5 Ye ministers, to him who struck down Svasna, and did to death Vyamsa and greedy Susna,
And Rudhikras and Namuci and Pipru,- to him, to Indra, pour ye forth libation.
6 Ye ministers, to him who as with thunder demolished Sambara's hundred ancient castles;
Who cast down Varcin's sons, a hundred thousand,-to him, to Indra, offer ye the Soma.
7 Ye ministers, to him who slew a hundred thousand, and cast them down upon earth's bosom;
Who quelled the valiant men of Atithigva, Kutsa, and Ayu,-bring to him the Soma.
8 Ministers, men, whatever thing ye long for obtain ye quickly bringing gifts to Indra.
Bring to the Glorious One what bands have cleansed; to Indra bring, ye pious ones, the Soma.
9 Do ye, O ministers, obey his order: that purified in wood, in wood uplift ye.
Well pleased he longs for what your hands have tended: offer the gladdening Soma juice to Indra.
10 As the cow's udder teems with milk, Adhvaryus, so fill with Soma Indra, liberal giver.
I know him: I am sure of this, the Holy knows that I fain would give to him more largely.
11 Him, ministers, the Lord of heavenly treasure and all terrestrial wealth that earth possesses,
Him, Indra, fill with Soma as a garner is filled with barley full: be this your labour.
12 Prepare thyself to grant us that great booty, O Vasu, for abundant is thy treasure.
Gather up wondrous wealth, O Indra, daily. Loud may we speak, with heroes, in assembly.

HYMN XV. Indra

1. Now, verily, will I declare the exploits, mighty and true, of him the True and Mighty.
In the Trikadrukas he drank the Soma then in its rapture Indra slew the Dragon.
2 High heaven unsupported in space he stablished: he filled the two worlds and the air's mid-region.
Earth he upheld, and gave it wide expansion. These things did Indra in the Soma's rapture.
3 From front, as 'twere a house, he ruled and measured; pierced with his bolt the fountains of the rivers,
And made them flow at ease by paths far-reaching, These things did Indra in the Soma's rapture.
4 Compassing those who bore away Dabhiti, in kindled fire he burnt up all their weapons.
And made him rich with kine and cars and horses. These things did Indra in the Soma's rapture.
5 The mighty roaring flood he stayed from flowing, and carried those who swam not safely over.
They having crossed the stream attained to riches. These things did Indra in the Soma's rapture.
6 With mighty power he made the stream flow upward, crushed with his thunderbolt the car of Usas,
Rending her slow steeds with his rapid coursers. These things did Indra in the Soma's rapture.
7 Knowing the place wherein the maids were hiding, the outcast showed himself and stood before them.
The cripple stood erect, the blind beheld them. These things did Indra in the Soma's rapture.
8 Praised by the Angirases he slaughtered Vala, and burst apart the bulwarks of the mountain.
He tore away their deftly-built defences. These things did Indra in the Soma's rapture.
9 Thou, with sleep whelming Cumuri and Dhuni, slewest the Dasyu, keptest safe Dabhiti.
There the staff-bearer found the golden treasure. These things did Indra in the Soma's rapture.
10 Now let that wealthy Cow of thine, O Indra , yield in return a boon to him who lauds thee.
Give to thy praisers: let not fortune fail us. Loud may we speak, with brave men, in assembly.

HYMN XVI. Indra.

1. To him, your own, the best among the good, I bring eulogy, like oblation in the kindled fire.
We invocate for help Indra untouched by eld, who maketh all decay, strengthened, for ever young.
2 Without whom naught exists, Indra the Lofty One; in whom alone all powers heroic are combined.
The Soma is within him, in his frame vast strength, the thunder in his hand and wisdom in his head.
3 Not by both worlds is thine own power to be surpassed, nor may thy car be stayed by mountains or by seas.
None cometh near, O Indra, to thy thunderbolt, when with swift steeds thou fliest over many a league.
4 For all men bring their will to him the Resolute, to him the Holy One, to him the Strong they cleave.
Pay worship with oblation, strong and passing wise. Drink thou the Soma, Indra, through the mighty blaze.
5 The vessel of the strong flows forth, the flood of meath, unto the Strong who feeds upon the strong, for drink,
Strong are the two Adhvaryus, strong are both the stones. They press the Soma that is strong for him the Strong.
6 Strong is thy thunderbolt, yea, and thy car is strong; strong are thy Bay Steeds and thy weapons powerful.
Thou, Indra, Bull, art Lord of the strong gladdening drink. with the strong Soma, Indra, satisfy thyself.
7 I, bold by prayer, come near thee in thy sacred rites, thee like a saving ship, thee shouting in the war.
Verily he will hear and mark this word of ours: we will pour Indra forth as 'twere a spring of wealth.
8 Turn thee unto us ere calamity come nigh, as a cow full of pasture turns her to her calf.
Lord of a Hundred Powers, may we once firmly cling to thy fair favours even as husbands to their wives.
9 Now let that wealthy Cow of thine, O Indra, yield in return a boon to him who lauds thee.
Give to thy praisers: let not fortune fail us. Loud may we speak, with heroes, in assembly.

HYMN XVII. Indra.

1. LIKE the Angirases, sing this new song forth to him, for, as in ancient days, his mighty powers are shown,
When in the rapture of the Soma he unclosed with strength the solid firm-shut stables of the kine.
2 Let him be even that God who, for the earliest draught measuring out his power, increased his majesty;
Hero who fortified his body in the wars, and through his greatness set the heaven upon his head.
3 Thou didst perform thy first great deed of hero might what time thou showedst power, through prayer, before this folk.
Hurled down by thee the car-borne Lord of Tawny Steeds, the congregated swift ones fled in sundry ways.
4 He made himself by might Lord of all living things, and strong in vital power waxed great above them all.
He, borne on high, o'erspread with light the heaven and earth, and, sewing up the turbid darkness, closed it in.
5 He with his might made firm the forward-bending hills, the downward rushing of the waters he ordained.
Fast he upheld the earth that nourisheth all life, and stayed the heaven from falling by his wondrous skill.
6 Fit for the grasping of his arms is what the Sire hath fabricated from all kind of precious wealth.
The thunderbolt, wherewith, loud-roaring, he smote down, and striking him to death laid Krivi on the earth.
7 As she who in her parents' house is growing old, I pray to thee as Bhaga from the seat of all.
Grant knowledge, mete it out and bring it to us here: give us the share wherewith thou makest people glad.
8 May we invoke thee as a liberal giver thou givest us, O Indra, strength and labours.
Help us with manifold assistance, Indra: Migthy One, Indra, make us yet more wealthy.
9 Now may that weaithy Cow of thine, O Indra, give in return a boon to him who lauds thee.
Give to thy praisers: let not fortune fail us. Loud may we speak, with heroes, in assembly.

HYMN XVIII. Indra

1. THE rich new car hath been equipped at morning; four yokes it hath, three whips, seven reins to guide it:
Ten-sided, friendly to mankind, light-winner, that must be urged to speed with prayers and wishes.
2 This is prepared for him the first, the second, and the third time: he is man's Priest and Herald.
Others get offspring of another parent he goeth, as a noble Bull, with others.
3 To Indra's car the Bay Steeds have I harnessed, that new well-spoken words may bring him hither.
Here let not other worshippers detain thee, for among us are many holy singers.
4 Indra, come hitherward with two Bay Coursers, come thou with four, with six when invocated.
Come thou with eight, with ten, to drink the Soma. Here is the juice, brave Warrior: do not scorn it.
5 O Indra, come thou hither having harnessed thy car with twenty, thirty, forty horses.
Come thou with fifty well trained coursers, Indra, sixty or seventy, to drink the Soma.
6 Come to us hitherward, O Indra, carried by eighty, ninety, or an hundred horses.
This Soma juice among the Sunahotras hath been poured out, in love, to glad thee, Indra.
7 To this my prayer, O Indra, come thou hither: bind to thy car's pole all thy two Bay Coursers.
Thou art to be invoked in many places Hero, rejoice thyself in this libation.
8 Ne'er be my love from Indra disunited still may his liberal Milch-cow yield us treasure.
So may we under his supreme protection, safe in his arms, succeed in each forth-going.
9 Now may that wealthy Cow Of thine, O Indra, give in return a boon to him who lauds thee.
Give to thy praisers: let not fortune fail us. Loud may we speak, with heroes, in assembly.

HYMN XIX. Indra.

1. DRAUGHTS of this sweet juice have been drunk for rapture, of the wise Soma-presser's offered dainty,
Wherein, grown mighty in the days aforetime, Indra hath found delight, and men who worship.
2 Cheered by this meath Indra, whose hand wields thunder, rent piecemeal Ahi who barred up the waters,
So that the quickening currents of the rivers flowed forth like birds unto their resting-places.
3 Indra, this Mighty One, the Dragon's slayer, sent forth the flood of waters to the ocean.
He gave the Sun his life, he found the cattle, and with the night the works of days completed.
4 To him who worshippeth hath Indra given many and matchless gifts. He slayeth Vrtra.
Straight was he to be sought with supplications by men who struggled to obtain the sunlight.
5 To him who poured him gifts he gave up Surya,-Indra, the God, the Mighty, to the mortal;
For Etasa with worship brought him riches that keep distress afar, as 'twere his portion.
6 Once to the driver of his chariot, Kutsa, he gave up greedy Surya, plague of harvest;
And Indra, for the sake of Divodasa demolished Sambara's nine-and-ninety castles.
7 So have we brought our hymn to thee, O Indra, strengthening thee and fain ourselves for glory.
May we with best endeavours gain this friendship, and mayst thou bend the godless scorner's weapons.
8 Thus the Grtsamadas for thee, O Hero, have wrought their hymn and task as seeking favour.
May they who worship thee afresh, O Indra, gain food and strength, bliss, and a happy dwelling.
9 Now may that wealthy Cow of thine, O Indra, give in return a boon to him who lauds thee,
Give to thy praisers: let not fortune fail us. Loud may we speak, with heroes, in assembly.

HYMN XX. Indra.

1. As one brings forth his car when fain for combat, so bring we power to thee- regard us, Indra-
Well skilled in song, thoughtful in spirit, seeking great bliss from one like thee amid the Heroes.
2 Indra, thou art our own with thy protection, a guardian near to men who love thee truly,
Active art thou, the liberal man's defender, his who draws near to thee with right devotion.
3 May Indra, called with solemn invocations. the young, the Friend, be men's auspicious keeper,
One who will further with his aid the singer, the toiler, praiser, dresser of oblations.
4 With laud and song let me extol that Indra in whom of old men prospered and were mighty.
May he, implored, fulfil the prayer for plenty of him who worships, of the living mortal.
5 He, Indra whom the Angirases' praise delighted, strengthened their prayer and made their goings prosper.
Stealing away the mornings with the sunlight, he, lauded, crushed even Asna's ancient powers.
6 He verily, the God, the glorious Indra, hath raised him up for man, best Wonder-Worker.
He, self-reliant, mighty and triumphant, brought low the dear head of the wicked Dasa.
7 Indra theVrtra-slayer, Fort-destroyer, scattered the Dasa hosts who dwelt in darkness.
For men hath he created earth and waters, and ever helped the prayer of him who worships.
8 To him in might the Gods have ever yielded, to Indra in the tumult of thebattle.
When in his arms they laid the bolt, he slaughtered the Dasyus and cast down their forts of iron.
9 Now may that wealthy Cow of thine, O Indra, give in return a boon to him who lauds thee.
Give to thy praisers: let not fortune fail us. Loud may we speak, with heroes, in assembly.

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