The Rig Veda Book 4 - Verses 10 to 20

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN X. Agni.

I. This day with praises, Agni, we bring thee that which thou lovest.
Right judgment, like a horse, with our devotions.
2 For thou hast ever been the Car-driver, Agni, of noble
Strength, lofty sacrifice, and rightful judgment.
3 Through these our praises come thou to meet us, bright as the sunlight,
O Agni, well disposed, with all thine aspects.
4 Now may we serve thee singing these lauds this day to thee, Agni.
Loud as the voice of Heaven thy blasts are roaring.
5 just at this time of the day and the night thy look is the sweetest .
It shineth near us even as gold for glory.
6 Spotless thy body, brilliant as gold, like clarified butter:
This gleams like gold on thee, O Self. dependent.
7 All hate and mischief, yea, if committed, Agni, thou turnest,
Holy One, from the man who rightly worships.
8 Agni, with you Gods, prosperous be our friendships and kinships.
Be this our bond here by this place, thine al tar.

HYMN XI. Agni.

1. THY blessed majesty, victorious Agni, shines brightly in the neighbourhood of Surya.
Splendid to see, it shows even at nighttime, and food is fair to look on in thy beauty.
2 Agni, disclose his thought for him who singeth, the well, Strong God! while thou art praised with fervour.
Vouchsafe to us that powerful hymn, O Mighty, which, Radiant One! with all the Gods thou lovest.
3 From thee, O Agni, springs poetic wisdom, from thee come thoughts and hymns of praise that prosper;
From thee flows wealth, with heroes to adorn it, to the true-hearted man who gives oblation.
4 From thee the hero springs who wins the booty, bringer of help, mighty, of real courage.
From thee comes wealth, sent by the Gods, bliss-giving; Agni, from thee the fleet impetuous charger.
5 Immortal Agni, thee whose voice is pleasant, as first in rank, as God, religious mortals
Invite with hyrnns; thee who removest hatred, Friend of the Home, the household's Lord, unerring.
6 Far from us thou removest want and sorrow, far from us all ill-will when thou protectest.
Son of Strength, Agni, blest is he at evening, whom thou as God attendest for his welfare.

HYMN XII. Agni.

1. WHOSO enkindles thee, with lifted ladle, and thrice this day offiers thee food, O Agni,
May he excel, triumphant through thy splendours, wise through thy mental power, O Jatavedas.
2 Whoso with toil and trouble brings thee fuel, serving the majesty of mighty Agni,
He, kindling thee at evening and at morning, prospers, and comes to wealth, and slays his foemen.
3 Agni is Master of sublime dominion, Agni is Lord of strength and lofty riches.
Straightway the self-reliant God, Most Youthful, gives treasures to the mortal who adores him.
4 Most Youthful God, whatever sin, through folly, we here, as human beings, have committed,
In sight of Aditi make thou us sinless remit, entirely, Agni, our offences.
5 Even in the presence of great sin, O Agni, free us from prison of the Gods or mortals.
Never may we who are thy friends be injured: grant health and strength unto our seed and offspring.
6 Even as ye here, Gods Excellent and Holy, have loosed the cow that by the foot was tethered,
So also set us free from this affliction long let our life, O Agni, be extended.

HYMN XIII. Agni.

1. Agni hath looked, benevolently-minded, on the wealth-giving spring of radiant Mornings.
Come, Asvins, to the dwelling of the pious: Surya the God is rising with his splendour.
2 Savitar, God, hath spread on high his lustre, waving his flag like a spoil-seeking hero.
Their stablished way go Varuna and Mitra, what time they make the Sun ascend the heaven.
3 Him whom they made to drive away the darkness, Lords of sure mansions, constant to their object,
Him who beholds the universe, the Sun-God, seven strong and youthful Coursers carry onward.
4 Spreading thy web with mightiest Steeds thou comest, rending apart, thou God, the black-hued mantle.
The rays of Surya tremulously shining sink, like a hide, the darkness in the waters.
5 How is it that, unbound and not supported, he falleth not although directed downward?
By what self power moves he? Who liath seen it? He guards the vault of heaven, a close-set pillar.

HYMN XIV. Agni.

1. THE God hath looked, even Agni Jatavedas, to meet the Dawns refulgent in their glories.
Come on your chariot, ye who travel widely, come to this sacrifice of ours, Nasatyas.
2 Producing light for all the world of creatures, God Savitar hath raised aloft his banner.
Making his presence known by sunbeams, Surya hath filled the firmament and earth and heaven.
3 Red Dawn.is come, riding with brightness onward, distinguished by her beams, gay-hued and mighty.
Dawn on her nobly-harnessed car, the Goddess, awaking men to happiness, approacheth.
4 May those most powerful steeds and chariot bring you, O Asvins, hither at the break of morning.
Here for your drauglit of meath are Soma juices: at this our sacrifice rejoice, ye Mighty.
5 How is it that, unbound and unsupported, he falleth not although directed downward?
By what self-power moves he? Who hath seen it? He guards the vault of heaven, a close-set pillar?

HYMN XV. Agni.

1. Agni the Herald, like a horse, is led forth at our solemn rite,
God among Gods adorable.
2 Three times unto our solemn rite comes Agni like a charioteer,
Bearing the viands to the Gods.
3 Round the oblations hath he paced, Agni the Wise, the Lord of Strength,
Giving the offerer precious boons.
4 He who is kindled eastward for Srnjaya, Devavata's son,
Resplendent, tamer of the foe.
5 So mighty be the Agni whom the mortal hero shall command,
With sharpened teeth and bountiful.
6 Day after day they dress him, as they clean a horse who wins the prize.
Dress the red Scion of the Sky.
7 When Sahadeva's princely son with two bay horses thought of me,
Summoned by him I drew not back.
8 And truly those two noble bays I straightway took when offered me,
From Sahadeva's princely son.
9 Long, O ye Asvins, may he live, your care, ye Gods, the princely son.
Of Sahadeva, Somaka.
10 Cause him the youthful prince, the son of Sahadeva, to enjoy
Long life, O Asvins, O ye Gods.

HYMN XVI. Indra.

1. IMPETUOUS, true, let Maghavan come hither, and let his Tawny Coursers speed to reach us.
For him have we pressed juice exceeding potent: here, praised with song, let him effect his visit.
2 Unyoke, as at thy journey's end, O Hero, to gladden thee today at this libation.
Like Usana, the priest a laud shall utter, a hymn to thee, the Lord Divine, who markest.
3 When the Bull, quaffing, praises our Iibation, as a sage paying holy rites in secret,
Seven singers here from heaven hath he begotten, who e'en by day have wrought their works while singing.
4 When heaven's fair light by hymns was made apparent (they made great splendour shine at break of morning),
He with his succour, best of Heroes, scattered the blinding darkness so that men saw clearly.
5 Indra, Impetuous One, hath waxed immensely: he with his vastness hath filled earth and heaven.
E'en beyond this his majesty extendeth who hath exceeded all the worlds in greatness.
6 Sakra who knoweth well all human actions hath with his eager Friends let loose the waters.
They with their songs cleft e'en the mountain open and willingly disclosed the stall of cattle.
7 He smote away the floods' obstructer, Vrtra; Earth, conscious, lent her aid to speed thy thunder.
Thou sentest forth the waters of the ocean, as Lord through power and might, O daring Hero.
8 When, Much-invoked! the water's rock thou cleftest, Sarama showed herself and went before thee.
Hymned by Angirases, bursting the cowstalls, much strength thou foundest for us as our leader.
9 Come, Maghavan, Friend of Man, to aid the singer imploring thee in battle for the sunlight.
Speed him with help in his irypired invokings: down sink the sorcerer, the prayerless Dasyu.
10 Come to our home resolved to slay the Dasyu: Kutsa longed eagerly to win thy friendship.
Alike in form ye both sate in his dwelling the faithful Lady was in doubt between you.
11 Thou comest, fain to succour him, with Kutsa,-a goad that masters both the Wind-God's horses,
That, holding the brown steeds like spoil for capture, the sage may on the final day be present.
12 For Kutsa, with thy thousand, thou at day-break didst hurl down greedy Susna, foe of harvest.
Quickly with Kutsa's friend destroy the Dasyus, and roll the chariot-wheel of Sarya near us.
13 Thou to the son of Vidathin, Rjisvan, gavest up mighty Mrgaya and Pipru.
Thou smotest down the swarthy fifty thousand, and rentest forts as age consumes a garment.
14 What time thou settest near the Sun thy body, thy form, Immortal One, is seen expanding:
Thou a wild elephant with might invested. like a dread lion as thou wieldest weapons.
15 Wishes for wealth have gone to Indra, longing for him in war for light and at libation,
Eager for glory, labouring with praisesongs: he is like home, like sweet and fair nutrition.
16 Call we for you that Indra, prompt to listen, him who hath done so much for men's advantage;
Who, Lord of envied bounty, to a singer like me brings quickly booty worth the capture.
17 When the sharp-pointed arrow, O thou Hero, flieth mid any conflict of the people,
When, Faithful One, the dread encounter cometh, then be thou the Protector of our body.
18 Further the holy thoughts of Vamadeva be thou a guileless Friend in fight for booty.
We come to thee whose providence protects us: wide be thy sway for ever for thy singer.
19 O Indra, with these men who love thee truly, free givers, Maghavan, in every battle,
May we rejoice through many autumns, quelling our foes, as days subdue the nights with splendour.
20 Now, as the Bhrgus wrought a car, for Indra the Strong, the Mighty, we our prayer have fashioned,
That he may, ne'er withdraw from us his friendship, but be our bodies' guard and strong defender.
21 Now, Indra! lauded, glorified with praises, let power swell. high like rivers for the singer.
For thee a new hymn, Lord of Bays, is fashioned. May we, car-borne, through song be victors ever.

HYMN XVII. Indra.

1. GREAT art thou, Indra; yea, the earth, with gladness, and heaven confess to thee thine high dominion.
Thou in thy vigour having slaughtered Vrtra didst free the floods arrested by the Dragon.
2 Heaven trembled at the birth of thine effulgence; Earth trembled at the fear of thy displeasure.
The stedfast mountains shook in agitation . the waters flowed, and desert spots were flooded.
3 Hurling his bolt with might he cleft the mountain, while, putting forth his strength, he showed his vigour.
He slaughtered Vrtra with his bolt, exulting, and, their lord slain, forth flowed the waters swiftly.
4 Thy Father Dyaus esteemed himself a hero: most noble was the work of Indra's Maker,
His who begat the strong bolt's Lord who roareth, immovable like earth from her foundation.
5 He who alone o'erthrows the world of creatures, Indra the peoples' King, invoked of many-
Verily all rejoice in him, extolling the boons which Maghavan the God hath sent them.
6 All Soma juices are his own for ever, most gladdening draughts are ever his, the Mighty,
Thou ever wast the Treasure-Lord of treasures: Indra, thou lettest all folk share thy bounty.
7 Moreover, when thou first wast born, O Indra, thou struckest terror into all the people.
Thou, Maghavan, rentest with thy bolt the Dragon who lay against the waterfloods of heaven.
8 The ever-slaying, bold and furious Indra, the bright bolt's Lord, infinite, strong and mighty,
Who slayeth Vrtra and acquireth booty, giver of blessings, Maghavan the bounteous:
9 Alone renowned as Maghavan in battles, he frighteneth away assembled armies.
He bringeth us the booty that he winneth may we, well-loved, continue in his friendship.
10 Renowned is he when conquering and when slaying: 'fis he who winneth cattle in the combat.
When Indra hardeneth his indignation all that is fixed and all that moveth fear him.
11 Indra hath won all kine, all gold, all horses,-Maghavan, he who breaketh forts in pieces;
Most manly with these men of his who help him, dealing out wealth and gathering the treasure.
12 What is the care of Indra for his Mother, what cares he for the Father who begat him?
His care is that which speeds his might in conflicts, like wind borne onward by the clouds that thunder.
13 Maghavan makes the settled man unsettled: he scatters dust that he hath swept together,
Breaking in pieces like Heaven armed with lightning: Maghavan shall enrich the man who lauds h;m.
14 He urged the chariot-wheel of Surya forward: Etasa, speeding on his way, he rested.
Him the black undulating cloud bedeweth, in this mid-air's depth, at the base of darkness,
15 As in the night the sacrificing priest.
16 Eager for booty, craving strength and horses, we-singers stir Indra, the strong, for friendship,
Who gives the wives we seek, whose succour fails not, to hasten, like a pitcher to the fountain.
17 Be thou our guardian, show thyself our kinsman, watching and blessing those who pour the Soma;
As Friend, as Sire, most fatherly of fathers giving the suppliant vital strength and freedom.
18 Be helping Friend of those who seek thy friendship . give life, when lauded, Indra, to the singer.
For, Indra, we the priests have paid thee worship, exalting thee with these our sacrifices.
19 Alone, when Indra Maghavan is lauded, he slayeth many ne'er-resisted Vrtras.
Him in whose keeping is the well-loved singer never do Gods or mortals stay or hinder.
20 E en so let Maghavan, the loud-voiced Indra, give us true blessings, foeless, men's upholder.
King of all creatures, give us glory amply, exalted glory due to him who lauds thee.
21 Now, Indra! lauded, glorified with praises, let power swell high like rivers for the singer.
For thee a new hymn, Lord of Bays! is fashioned. May we, car-borne, through song be victors ever.

HYMN XVIII. Indra and Others.

1. THIS is the ancient and accepted pathway by which all Gods have come into existence.
Hereby could one be born though waxen mighty. Let him not, otherwise, destroy his Mother.
2 Not this way go I forth: hard is the passage. Forth from the side obliquely will I issue.
Much that is yet undone must I accomplish; one must I combat and the other question.
3 He bent his eye upon the dying Mother: My word I now withdraw. That way I follow.
In Tvastar's dwelling India drank the Soma, a hundredworth of juice pressed from the mortar.
4 What strange act shall he do, he whom his Mother bore for a thousand months and many autumns?
No peer hath he among those born already, nor among those who shall be born hereafter.
5 Deeming him a reproach, his mother hid him, Indra, endowed with all heroic valour.
Then up he sprang himself, assumed his vesture, and filled, as soon as born, the earth and heaven.
6 With lively motion onward flow these waters, the Holy Ones, shouting, as 'twere, together.
Ask them to. tell thee what the floods are saying, what girdling rock the waters burst asunder.
7 Are they addressing him with words of welcome? Will the floods take on them the shame of Indra?
With his great thunderbolt my Son hath slaughtered Vrtra, and set these rivers free to wander.
8 I cast thee from me, mine,-thy youthful mother: thee, mine own offspring, Kusava hath swallowed.
To him, mine infant, were the waters gracious. Indra, my Son, rose up in conquering vigour.
9 Thou art mine own, O Maghavan, whom Vyamsa struck to the ground and smote thy jaws in pieces.
But, smitten through, the mastery thou wonnest, and with thy bolt the Dasa's head thou crushedst.
10 The Heifer hath brought forth the Strong, the Mighty, the unconquerable Bull, the furious Indra.
The Mother left her unlicked Calf to wander, seeking himself, the path that he would follow.
11 Then to her mighty Child the Mother turned her, saying, My son, these Deities forsake thee.
Then Indra said, about to slaughter Vrtra, O my friend Vrtra, stride full boldly forward.
12 Who was he then who made thy Mother widow? Who sought to stay thee lying still or moving?
What God, when by the foot thy Sire thou tookest and slewest, was at hand to give thee comfort?
13 In deep distress I cooked a dog's intestines. Among the Gods I found not one to comfort.
My consort I beheld in degradation. The Falcon then brought me the pleasant Soma.

HYMN XIX. Indra.

1. THEE, verily, O Thunder-wielding Indra, all the Gods here, the Helpers swift to listen,
And both the worlds elected, thee the Mighty, High, waxen strong, alone to slaughter Vrtra.
2 The Gods, as worn witheld, relaxed their efforts: thou, Indra, born of truth, wast Sovran Ruler.
Thou slewest Ahi who besieged the waters, and duggest out their all-supporting channels.
3 The insatiate one, extended, hard to waken, who slumbered in perpetual sleep, O Indra,-
The Dragon stretched against the seven prone rivers, where no joint was, thou rentest with thy thunder.
4 Indra with might shook earth and her foundation as the wind stirs the water with its fury.
Striving, with strength he burst the firm asunder, and tore away the summits of the mountains.
5 They ran to thee as mothers to their offspring: the clouds, like chariots, hastened forth together.
Thou didst refresh the streams and force the billows: thou, Indra, settest free obstructed rivers.
6 Thou for the sake of Vayya and Turviti didst stay the great stream, flowing, allsustaining:
Yea, at their prayer didst check the rushing river and make the floods easy to cross, O Indra.
7 He let the young Maids skilled in Law, unwedded, like fountains, bubbling, flow forth streaming onward.
He inundated thirsty plains and deserts, and milked the dry Cows of the mighty master.
8 Through many a morn and many a lovely autumn, having slain Vrtra, lie set free the rivers.
Indra hath set at liberty to wander on earth the streams encompassed pressed together.
9 Lord of Bay Steeds, thou broughtest from the ant-hill the unwedded damsel's son whom ants were eating.
The blind saw clearly, as he grasped the serpent, rose, brake the jar: hisjoints again united.
10 To the wise man, O Sage and Sovran Ruler, the man who knoweth all thine ancient exploits.
Hath told these deeds of might as thou hast wrought them, great acts, spontaneous, and to man's advantage.
11 Now, Indra! lauded, glorified with praises, let powers swell high, like rivers, for the singer.
For thee a new hymn, Lord of Bays! is fashioned. May we, car-borne, through song be victors ever.

HYMN XX. Indra.

1. FROM near or far away may mighty Indra giver of succour, come for our protection
Lord of men, armed with thunder, with the Strongest, slaying his foes in conflict, in the battles.
2 May Indra come to us with Tawny Coursers, inclined to us, to favour and enrich us.
May Maghavan, loud-voiced and wielding thunder, stand by us at this sacrifice, in combat.
3 Thou, honouring this our sacrifice, O Indra, shalt give us strength and fill us full of courage.
To win the booty, Thunder-armed! like hunters may we with thee subdue in fight our foemen.
4 Loving us well, benevolent, close beside us, drink, Godlike Indra, of the wellpressed Soma.
Drink of the meath we offer, and delight thee with food that cometh from the mountain ridges.
5 Him who is sung aloud by recent sages, like a ripe-fruited tree, a scythe-armed victor,-
I, like a bridegroom thinking of his consort, call hither Indra, him invoked of many;
6 Him who in native strength is like a mountain, the lofty Indra born or old for conquest,
Terrific wielder of the ancient thunder. filled full with splendour as a jar with water.
7 Whom from of old there is not one to hinder, none to curtail the riches of his bounty.
Pouring forth freely, O thou Strong and Mighty, vouchsafe us riches, God invoked of many!
8 Of wealth and homes of men thou art the ruler, and opener of the stable of the cattle.
Helper of men, winner of spoil in combats, thou leadest to an ample heap of riches.
9 By what great might is he renowned as strongest, wherewith the Lofty One stirs up wild battles?
Best soother of the worshipper's great sorrow, he gives possessions to the man who lauds him.
10 Slay us not; bring, bestow onus the ample gift which thou hast to give to him who offers.
At this new gift, with this laud sung before thee, extolling thee, we, Indra, will declare it.
11 Now, Indra! lauded, glorified with praises, let power swell high, like rivers, for the singer.
A new hymn, Lord of Bays! for thee is fashioned. May we, car-born, through song be victors ever.

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