The Rig Veda Book 3 - Verses 21 to 30

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN XXI. Agni.

1. SET this our sacrifice among the Immortals: be pleased with these our presents, Jatavedas.
O Priest, O Agni, sit thee down before us, and first enjoy the drops of oil and fatness.
2 For thee, O Purifier, flow the drops of fatness rich in oil.
After thy wont vouchsafe to us the choicest boon that Gods may feast.
3 Agni, Most Excellent! for thee the Sage are drops that drip with oil.
Thou art enkindled as the best of Seers. Help thou the sacrifice.
4 To thee, O Agni, mighty and resistless, to thee stream forth the drops of oil and fatness.
With great light art thou come, O praised by poets! Accept our offering, O thou Sage.
5 Fatness exceeding rich, extracted from the midst,-this as our gift we offer thee.
Excellent God, the drops run down upon thy skin. Deal them to each among the Gods.

HYMN XXII. Agni.

1 THIS is that Agni whence the longing Indra took the pressed Soma deep within his body.
Winner of spoils in thousands, like a courser, with praise art thou exalted, Jatavedas.
2 That light of thine in heaven and earth, O Agni, in plants, O Holy One, and in the waters,
Wherewith thou hast spread wide the air's mid-region-bright is that splendour, wavy, man-beholding.
3 O Agni, to the sea of heaven thou goest: thou hast called hither Gods beheld in spirit.
The waters, too, come hither, those up yonder in the Sun's realm of light, and those beneath it.
4 Let fires that dwell in mist, combined with those that have their home in floods,
Guileless accept our sacrifice, great viands free from all disease.
5 Agni, as holy food to thine invoker give wealth in cattle, lasting, rich in marvels.
To us be born a son and spreading offspring. Agni, be this thy gracious will to us-ward.

HYMN XXIII. Agni.

1. RUBBED into life, well stablished in the dwelling, Leader of sacrifice, the Sage, the youthful,
Here in the wasting fuel Jatavedas, eternal, hath assumed immortal being.
2 Both Bharatas, Devasravas, Devavata, have strongly rubbed to life effectual Agni.
O Agni, look thou forth with ample riches: be, every day, bearer of food to feed us.
3 Him nobly born of old the fingers ten produced, him whom his Mothers counted dear.
Praise Devavata's Agni, thou Devasravas, him who shall be the people's Lord.
4 He set thee in the earth's most lovely station, in Ila's place, in days of fair bright weather.
On man, on Apaya, Agni! on the rivers Drsadvati, Sarasvati, shine richly.
5 Agni, as holy food to thine invoker give wealth in cattle, lasting, rich in marvels.
To us be born a son and spreading offspring Agni, be this thy gracious will to us-ward

HYMN XXIV. Agni.

1. Agni, subdue opposing bands, and drive our enemies away.
Invincible, slay godless foes: give splendour to the worshipper.
2 Lit with libation, Agni, thou, deathless, who callest Gods to feast,
Accept our sacrifice with joy.
3 With splendour, Agni, Son of Strength, thou who art worshipped, wakeful One.
Seat thee on this my sacred grass.
4 With all thy fires, with all the Gods, Agni, exalt the songs we sing.
And living men in holy rites.
5 Grant, Agni, to the worshipper wealth rich in heroes, plenteous store,
Make thou us rich with many sons.

HYMN XXV. Agni.

1. THOU art the sapient Son of Dyaus, O Agni, yes and the Child of Earth, who knowest all things.
Bring the Gods specially, thou Sage, for worship.
2. Agni the wise bestows the might of heroes grants strengthening food, preparing it for nectar.
Thou who art rich in food bring the Gods hither.
3 Agni, infallible, lights Earth and Heaven, immortal Goddesses gracious to all men,-
Lord through his strength, splendid through adorations.
4 Come to the sacrifice, Agni and Indra come to the offerer's house who hath the Soma.
Come, friendly-minded, Gods, to drink the Soma.
5 In the floods' home art thou enkindled, Agni, O Jatavedas, Son of Strength, eternal,
Exalting with thine help the gatheringplaces.

HYMN XXVI. Agni.

1. REVERING in our heart Agni Vaisvanara, the finder of the light, whose promises are true,
The liberal, gladsome, car-borne God we Kusikas invoke him with oblation, seeking wealth with songs.
2 That Agni, bright, Vaisvanara, we invoke for help, and Matarisvan worthy of the song of praise;
Brhaspati for man's observance of the Gods, the Singer prompt to hear, the swiftly-moving guest.
3 Age after age Vaisvanara, neighing like a horse, is kindled with the women by the Kusikas.
May Agni, he who wakes among Immortal Gods, grant us heroic strength and wealth in noble steeds.
4 Let them go forth, the strong, as flames of fire with might. Gathered for victory they have yoked their spotted deer.
Pourers of floods, the Maruts, Masters of all wealth, they who can ne'er be conquered, make the mountains shake.
5 The Maruts, Friends of men, are glorious as the fire: their mighty and resplendent succour we implore.
Those storming Sons of Rudra clothed in robes of rain, boon-givers of good gifts, roar as the lions roar.
6 We, band on band and troop following troop, entreat with fair lauds Agni's splendour and the Maruts' might,
With spotted deer for steeds, with wealth that never fails, they, wise Ones, come to sacrifice at our gatherings.
7 Agni am I who know, by birth, all creatures. Mine eye is butter, in my mouth is nectar.
I am light threefold, measurer of the region exhaustless heat am I, named burnt-oblation.
8 Bearing in mind a thought with light accordant, he purified the Sun with three refinings;
By his own nature gained the highest treasure, and looked abroad over the earth and heaven.
9 The Spring that fails not with a hundred streamlets, Father inspired of' prayers that men should utter,
The Sparkler, joyous in his Parents' bosorn, -him, the Truth-speaker, sate ye, Earth and Heaven.

HYMN XXVII. Agni.

1. IN ladle dropping oil your food goes in oblation up to heaven,
Goes to the Gods in search of bliss.
2 Agni I laud, the Sage inspired, crowner of sacrifice through song,
Who listens and gives bounteous gifts.
3 O Agni, if we might obtain control of thee the potent God,
Then should we overcome our foes.
4 Kindled at sacrifices he is Agni, hallower, meet for praise,
With flame for hair: to him we seek.
5 Immortal Agni, shining far, enrobed with oil, well worshipped, bears
The gifts of sacrifice away.
6 The priests with ladles lifted up, worshipping here with holy thought,
Have brought this Agni for our aid.
7 Immortal, Sacrificer, God, with wondrous power he leads the way,
Urging the great assembly on.
8 Strong, he is set on deeds ofstrength. In sacrifices led in front,
As Singer he completes the rite.
9 Excellent, he was made by thought. The Germ of beings have I gained,
Yea, and die Sire of active strength.
10 Thee have I stablished, Excellent, O strengthened by the sage's prayer,
Thee, Agni, longing, nobly bright.
11 Agni, the swift and active One, singers, at time of sacrifice,
Eagerly kindle with their food.
12 Agni the Son of Strength who shines up to the heaven in solemn rites,
The wise of heart, I glorify.
13 Meet to be lauded and adored, showing in beauty through the dark,
Agni, the Strong, is kindled well.
14 Agni is kindled as a bull, like a horsebearer of the Gods:
Men with oblations worship him.
15 Thee will we kindle as a bull, we who are Bulls ourselves, O Bull.
Thee, Agni, shining mightily.

HYMN XXVIII. Agni.

1. Agni who knowest all, accept our offering and the cake of meal,
At dawn's libation, rich in prayer!
2 Agni, the sacrificial cake hath been prepared and dressed for thee:
Accept it, O Most Youthful God.
3 Agni, enjoy the cake of meal and our oblation three days old:
Thou, Son of Strength, art stablished at our sacrifice.
4 Here at the midday sacrifice enjoy thou the sacrificial cake, wise, Jatavedas!
Agni, the sages in assemblies never minish the portion due to thee the Mighty.
5 O Agni, at the third libation takewith joy the offered cake of sacrifice, thou, Son of Strength.
Through skill in song bear to the Gods our sacrifice, watchful and fraught with riches, to Immortal God.
6 O waxing Agni, knower, thou, of all, accept our gifts, the cake,
And that prepared ere yesterday.

HYMN XXIX. Agni.

1. HERE is the gear for friction, here tinder made ready for the spark.
Bring thou the Matron: we will rub Agni in ancient fashion forth.
2 1n the two fire-sticks Jatavedas lieth, even as the well-set germ in pregnant women,
Agni who day by day must be exalted by men who watch and worship with oblations.
3 Lay this with care on that which lies extended: straight hath she borne the Steerwhen made prolific.
With his red pillar-radiant is his splendour -in our skilled task is born the Son of Ila.
4 In Ila's place we set thee down, upon the central point of earth,
That, Agni Jatavedas, thou mayst bear our offerings to the Gods.
5 Rub into life, ye men, the Sage, the guileless, Immortal, very wise and fair to look on.
O men, bring forth the most propitious Agni, first ensign of the sacrifice to eastward.
6 When with their arms they rub him straight he shineth forth like a strong courser, red in colour, in the wood.
Bright, checkless, as it were upon the Atvins' path, lie passeth by the stones and burneth up the grass.
7 Agni shines forth when born, observant, mighty, the bountiful, the Singar praised by sages;
Whom, as adorable and knowing all things, Gods set at solemn rites as offeringbearer.
8 Set thee, O Priest, in, thine own place, observant: lay down the sacrifice in the home of worship.
Thou, dear to Gods, shalt serve them with oblation: Agni, give long life to the sacrificer.
9 Raise ye a mighty smoke, my fellow-workers! Ye shall attain to wealth without obstruction.
This Agni is the battle-winning Hero by whom the Gods have overcome the Dasyus.
10 This is thine ordered place of birth whence sprung to life thou shonest forth.
Knowing this, Agni, sit thee down, and prosper thou the songs we sing.
11 As Germ Celestial he is called Tanunapat, and Narasamsa born diffused in varied shape.
Formed in his Mother he is Matarisvan; he hath, in his course, become the rapid flight of wind.
12 With strong attrition rubbed to life, laid down with careful hand, a Sage,
Agni, make sacrifices good, and for the pious bring the Gods.
13 Mortals have brought to life the God Immortal, the Conqueror with mighty jaws, unfailing.
The sisters ten, unwedded and united, together grasp the Babe, the new-born Infant.
14 Served by the seven priests, he shone forth from ancient time, when in his Mother's bosom, in her lap, he glowed.
Giving delight each day he closeth not his eye, since from the Asura's body hewas brought to life.
15 Even as the Maruts, onslaughts who attack the foe, those born the first of all knew the full power of prayer.
The Kusikas have made the glorious hymn ascend, and, each one singly in his home, have kindled fire.
16 As we, O Priest observant, have elected thee this day, what time the solemn sacrifice began,
So surely hast thou worshipped, surely hast thou toiled: come thou unto the Soma, wise and knowing all.

HYMN XXX. Indra.

1. THE friends who offer Soma long to find thee: they pour forth Soma and present their viands.
They bear unmoved the cursing of the people, for all our wisdom comes from thee, O Indra.
2 Not far for thee are mid-air's loftiest regions: start hither, Lord of Bays, with thy Bay Horses.
Made for the Firm and Strong are these libations. The pressing-stones are set and fire is kindled.
3 Fair cheeks hath Indra, Maghavan, the Victor, Lord of a great host, Stormer, strong in action.
What once thou didst in might when mortals vexed thee,-where now, O Bull, are those thy hero exploits?
4 For, overthrowing what hath ne'er been shaken, thou goest forth alone destroying Vrtras.
For him who followeth thy Law the mountains and heaven and earth stand as if firmly stablished.
5 Yea, Much-invoked! in safety through thy glories alone thou speakest truth as Vrtra's slayer.
E'en these two boundless worlds to thee, O Indra, what time thou graspest them, are but a handful.
6 Forthwith thy Bay steeds down the steep, O Indra, forth, crushing foemen, go thy bolt of thunder!
Slay those who meet thee, those who flee, who follow: make all thy promise true; be all completed.
7 The man to whom thou givest as Provider enjoys domestic plenty undivided.
Blest, Indra, is thy favour dropping fatness: thy worship, Much-invoked! brings gifts in thousands.
8 Thou, Indra, Much-invoked! didst crush to pieces Kunaru handless fiend who dwelt with Danu.
Thou with might, Indra, smotest dead the scorner, the footless Vrtra as he waxed in vigour.
9 Thou hast established in her seat, O Indra, the level earth, vast, vigorous, unbounded.
The Bull hath propped the heaven and air's mid-region. By thee sent onward let the floods flow hither.
10 He who withheld the kine, in silence I yielded in fear before thy blow, O Indra.
He made paths easy to drive forth the cattle. Loud-breathing praises helped the Much-invoked One.
11 Indra alone filled full the earth and heaven, the Pair who meet together, rich in treasures.
Yea, bring thou near us from the air's mid-region strength, on thy car, and wholesome food, O Hero.
12 Surya transgresses not the ordered limits set daily by the Lord of Tawny Coursers.
When to the goal he comes, his journey ended, his Steeds he looses: this is Indra's doing.
13 Men gladly in the course of night would look on the broad bright front of the refulgent Morning;
And all acknowledge, when she comes in glory, the manifold and goodly works of Indra.
14 A mighty splendour rests upon her bosom: bearing ripe milk the Cow, unripe, advances.
All sweetness is collected in the Heifer, sweetness which Indra made for our enjoyment.
15 Barring the way they come. Be firm, O Indra; aid friends to sacrifice and him who singeth.
These must be slain by thee, malignant mortals, armed with ill arts, our quiverbearing foemen.
16 A cry is beard from enemies most near us: against them send thy fiercest-flaming weapon.
Rend them from under, crush them and subdue them. Slay, Maghavan, and make the fiends our booty.
17 Root up the race of Raksasas, O Indra rend it in front and crush it in the middle.
How long hast thou bebaved as one who wavers? Cast thy hot dart at him who hates devotion:
18 When borne by strong Steeds for our weal, O Leader, thou seatest thee at many noble viands.
May we be winners of abundant riches. May Indra be our wealth with store of children.
19 Bestow on us resplendent wealth. O Indra let us enjoy thine overflow of bounty.
Wide as a sea our longing hath expanded, fulfil it, O thou Treasure-Lord of treasures.
20 With kine and horses satisfy this longing with very splendid bounty skill extend it.
Seeking the light, with hymns to thee, O Indra, Kusikas have brought their gift, the singers.
21 Lord of the kine, burst the kine's stable open: cows shall be ours, and strength that wins the booty.
Hero, whose might is true, thy home is heaven: to us, O Maghavan, grant gifts of cattle.
22 Call we on Maghavan, auspicious Indra, best Hero in this fight where spoil is gathered,
The Strong who listens, who gives aid in battles, who slays the Vrtras, wins and gathers riches.

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