The Rig Veda Book 4 - Verses 21 to 30

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN XXI. Indra.

1. MAY Indra come to us for our protection; here be the Hero, praised, our feast-companion.
May he whose powers are many, waxen mighty, cherish, like Dyaus, his own supreme dominion.
2 Here magnify his great heroic exploits, most glorious One, enriching men with bounties,
Whose will is like a Sovran in assembly, who rules the people, Conqueror, all-surpassing.
3 Hither let Indra come from earth or heaven, hither with speech from firmament or ocean;
With Maruts, from the realm of light to aid us, or from a distance, from the seat of Order.
4 That Indra will we laud in our assemblies, him who is Lord of great and lasting riches,
Victor with Vayu where the herds are gathered, who leads with boldness on to higher fortune.
5 May the Priest, Lord of many blessings, striving,-who fixing reverence on reverence, giving
Vent to his voice, inciteth men to worshipwith lauds bring Indra hither to our dwellings.
6 When sitting pondering in deep devotion in Ausija's abode they ply the press-stone,
May he whose wrath is fierce, the mighty bearer, come as the house-lord's priest within our chambers.
7 Surely the power of Bharvara the mighty for ever helpeth to support the singer;
That which in Ausija's abode lies hidden, to come forth for delight and for devotion.
8 When he unbars the spaces of the mountains, and quickens with his floods the water-torrents,
He finds in lair the buffalo and wild-ox when the wise lead him on to vigorous exploit.
9 Auspicious are thy hands, thine arms wellfashioned which proffer bounty, Indra, to thy praiser.
What sloth is this? Why dost thou not rejoice thee? Why dost thou not delight thyself with giving?
10 So Indra is the truthful Lord of treasure. Freedom he gave to man by slaying Vrtra.
Much-lauded! help us with thy power to riches: may I be sharer of thy Godlike favour.
11 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, care-borne, through song be victqrs ever.

HYMN XXII. Indra.

1. THAT gift of ours which Indra loves and welcomes, even that he makes for us, the Great and Strong One.
He who comes wielding in his might the thunder, Maghavan, gives prayer, praise, and laud, and Soma.
2 Bull, hurler of the four-edged rain-producer with both his arms, strong, mighty, most heroic;
Wearing as wool Parusni for adornment, whose joints for sake of friendship he hath covered.
3 God who of all the Gods was born divinest, endowed with ample strength and mighty powers,
And bearing in his arrns the yearning thunder, with violent rush caused heaven and earth to tremble.
4 Before the High God, at his birth, heaven trembled, earth, many floods and all the precipices.
The Strong One bringeth nigh the Bull's two Parents: loud sing the winds, like men, in air's mid-region.
5 These are thy great deeds, Indra, thine, the Mighty, deeds to be told aloud at all libations,
That thou, O Hero, bold and boldly daring, didst with thy bolt, by strength, destroy the Dragon.
6 True are all these thy deeds, O Most Heroic. The Milch-kine issued from the streaming udder.
In fear of thee, O thou of manly spirit, the rivers swiftly set themselves in motion.
7 With joy, O Indra, Lord of Tawny Coursers, the Sisters then, these Goddesses, extolled thee,
When thou didst give the prisoned ones their freedom to wander at their will in long succession.
8 Pressed is the gladdening stalk as 'twere a river: so let the rite, the toiler's power, attract thee
To us-ward, of the Bright One, as the courser strains his. exceedingly strong leather bridle.
9 Ever by us perform thy most heroic, thine highest, best victorious deeds, O Victor.
For us make Vrtras easy to be conquered: destroy the weapon of our mortal foeman.
10 Graciously listen to our prayer, O Indra, and strength of varied sort bestow thou on us.
Send to us all intelligence arid wisdom O Maghavan, be he who gives us cattle.
11 Now, Indra! lauded, glorified with praises, let wealth swell hiah like rivers to the singer.
For thee a new hymn, Lord of Bays, is fashioned. May we, car-borne, through song be victors ever.

HYMN XXIII. Indra.

1. How, what priest's sacrifice hath he made mighty, rejoicing in the Soma and its fountain?
Delighting in juice, eagerly drinking, the Lofty One hath waxed for splendid riches.
2 What hero hath been made his feast-companion? Who hath been partner in his loving-kindness?
What know we of his wondrous acts? How often comes he to aid and speed the pious toiler?
3 How heareth Indra offered invocation? How, hearing, marketh he the invoker's wishes?
What are his ancient acts of bounty? Wherefore call they him One who filleth full the singer?
4 How doth the priest who laboureth, ever longing, win for himself the wealth which he possesseth?
May he, the God, mark well my truthful praises, having received the homage which he loveth.
5 How, and what bond of friendship with a mortal hath the God chosen as this morn is breaking?
How, and what love hath he for those who love him, who have entwined in him their firm affection?
6 Is then thy friendship with thy friends most mighty? Thy brotherhood with us, -when may we tell it?
The streams of milk move, as most wondrous sunlight, the beauty of the Lovely One for glory.
7 About to stay the Indra-less destructive spirit he sharpens his keen arms to strike her.
Whereby the Strong, although our debts' exactor, drives in the distant mornings that we know not.
8 Eternal Law hath varied food that strengthens; thought of eternal Law, removes transgressions.
The praise-hymn of eternal Law, arousing, glowing, hath oped the deaf ears of the living.
9 Firm-seated are eternal Law's foundations in its fair form are many splendid beauties.
By holy Law long lasting food they bring us; by holy Law have cows come to our worship.
10 Fixing eternal Law he, too, upholds it swift moves the might of Law and wins the booty.
To Law belong the vast deep Earth and Heaven: Milch-kine supreme, to Law their milk they render.
11 Now, Indra! lauded,- glorified with praises, let power swell high like rivers to the singer.
For thee a new hymn, Lord of Bays, is fashioned. May we, car-borne, through song be victors ever.

HYMN XXIV. Indra.

1. WHAT worthy praise will bring before us Indra, the Son of Strength, that he may grant us riches;
For he the Hero, gives the singer treasures: he is the Lord who sends us gifts, ye people.
2 To be invoked and hymned in fight with Vrtra, that well-praised Indra gives us real bounties.
That Maghavan brings comfort in the foray to the religious man who pours libations.
3 Him, verily, the men invoke in combat; risking their lives they make him their protector,
When heroes, foe to foe, give up their bodies, fighting, each side, for children and their offspring.
4 Strong God! the folk at need put forth their vigour, striving together in the whirl of battle.
When warrior bands encounter one another some in the grapple quit themselves like Indra.
5 Hence many a one worships the might of Indra: hence let the brew succeed the meal-oblation.
Hence let the Soma banish those who pour not: even hence I joy to pay the Strong One worship.
6 Indra gives comfort to the man who truly presses, for him who longs fot it, the Soma,
Not disaffected, with devoted spirit this man he takes to be his friend in battles.
7 He who this day for Indra presses Soma, prepares the brew and fries the grains of barley-
Loving the hymns of that devoted servant, to him may Indra give heroic vigour.
8 When the impetuous chief hath sought the confliet, and the lord looked upon the long-drawn battle,
The matron calls to the Strong God whom pressers of Soma have encouraged int the dwelling.
9 He bid a small price for a thing of value: I was content, returning, still unpurchased.
He heightened not his insufficient offer. Simple and clever, both milk out the udder.
10 Who for ten milch-kine purchaseth from rne this Indra who is mine?
When he hath slain the Vrtras let the buyer give him back to me.
11 Now, Indra! lauded, glorified with praises, let wealth 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 XXV. Indra.

1. WHAT friend of man, God-loving, hath delighted, yearning therefor, this day in Indra's friendship?
Who with enkindled flame and flowing Soma laudeth him for his great protecting favour?
2 Who hath with prayer bowed to the Soma-lover? What pious man endues the beams of morning?
Who seeks bond, fritridship, brotherhood with Indra? Who hath recourse unto the Sage for succour?
3 Who claims to-day the Deities' protection, asks Aditi for light, or the Adityas?
Of whose pressed stalk of Soma drink the Asvins, Indra, and Agni, well-inclined in spirit?
4 To him shall Agni Bharata give shelter: long shall he look upon the Sun up-rising,
Who sayeth, Let us press the juice for Indra, man's Friend, the Hero manliest of heroes.
5 Him neither few men overcome, nor many to him shall Aditi give spacious shelter.
Dear is the pious, the devout, to Indra dear is the zealous, dear the Soma-bringer.
6 This Hero curbs the mighty for the zealous: the presser's brew Indra possesses solely:
No brother, kin, or friend to him who pours not, destroyer of the dumb who would resist him.
7 Not with the wealthy churl who pours no Soma doth Indra, Soma-drinker, bind alliance.
He draws away his wealth and slays him naked, own Friend to him who offers, for oblation.
8 Highest and lowest, men who stand between diem, going, returning, dwelling in contentment,
Those who show forth their strength when urged to battle-these are the men who call for aid on Indra.

HYMN XXVI. Indra.

1. I WAS aforetime Manu, I was Surya: I am the sage Kaksivan, holy singer.
Kutsa the son of Arjuni I master. I am the sapient Usana behold me.
2 I have bestowed the earth upon the Arya, and rain upon the man who brings oblation.
I guided forth the loudly-roaring waters, and the Gods moved according to my pleasure.
3 In the wild joy of Soma I demolished Sambara's forts, ninety-and-nine, together;
And, utterly, the hundredth habitation, when helping Divodasa Atithigva.
4 Before all birds be ranked this Bird, O Maruts; supreme of falcons be this fleet-winged Falcon,
Because, strong- pinioned, with no car to bear him, he brought to Manu the Godloved oblation.
5 When the Bird brought it, hence in rapid motion sent on the wide path fleet as thought he hurried.
Swift he returned with sweetness of the Soma, and hence the Falcon hath acquired his glory.
6 Bearing the stalk, the Falcon speeding onward, Bird bringing from afar the draught that gladdens,
Friend of the Gods, brought, grasping fast, the Soma which be bad taken from yon loftiest heaven.
7 The Falcon took and brought the Soma, bearing thousand libations with him, yea, ten thousand.
The Bold One left Malignities behind him, wise, in wild joy of Soma, left the foolish.

HYMN XXVII. The Falcon.

1. I, As I lay within the womb, considered all generations of these Gods in order.
A hundred iron fortresses confined me but forth I flew with rapid speed a Falcon.
2 Not at his own free pleasure did he bear me: he conquered with his strength and manly courage.
Straightway the Bold One left the fiends behind him and passed the winds as he grew yet more mighty.
3 When with loud cry from heaven down sped the Falcon, thence hasting like the wind he bore the Bold One.
Then, wildly raging in his mind, the archer Krsanu aimed and loosed the string to strike him.
4 The Falcon bore him from heaven's lofty summit as the swift car of Indra's Friend bore Bhujyu.
Then downward bither fell a flying feather of the Bird hasting forward in his journey.
5 And now let Maghavan accept the beaker, white, filled with milk, filled with the shining liquid;
The best of sweet meath which the priests have offered: that Indra to his joy may drink, the Hero, that he may take and drink it to his rapture.

HYMN XXVIII. Indra-Soma.

1. ALLIED with thee, in this thy friendship, Soma, Indra for man made waters flow together,
Slew Ahi, and sent forth the Seven Rivers, and opened as it were obstructed fountains.
2 Indu, with thee for his confederate, Indra swiftly with might pressed down the wheel of Surya.
What rolled, all life's support, on heaven's high summit was separated from the great oppressor.
3 Indra smote down, Agni consumed, O Indu, the Dasyus ere the noontide in the conflict.
Of those who gladly sought a hard-won dwelling he cast down many a thousand with his arrow.
4 Lower than all besides hast thou, O Indra, cast down the Dasyus, abject tribes of Dasas.
Ye drave away, ye put to death the foemen, and took great vengeance with your murdering weapons.
5 So, of a truth, Indra and Soma, Heroes, ye burst the stable of the kine and horses,
The stable which the bar or stone obstructed; and piercing through set free the habitations.

HYMN XXIX. Indra.

1. COME, lauded, unto us with powers and succours, O Indra, with thy Tawny Steeds; exulting,
Past even the foeman's manifold libations, glorified with our hymns, true Wealth-bestower.
2 Man's Friend, to this our sacrifice he cometh marking how he is called by Soma-pressers.
Fearless, and conscious that his Steeds are noble, he joyeth with the Soma-pouring heroes.
3 Make his cars hear, that he may show his vigour and may be joyful in the way he loveth.
May mighty Indra pouring forth in bounty bestow on us good roads and perfect safety;
4 He who with succour comes to his implorer, the singer here who with his song invites him;
He who himself sets to the pole swift Coursers, he who hath hundreds, thousands, Thunder-wielder.
5 O Indra Maghavan, by thee protected may we be thine, princes and priests and singers,
Sharing the riches sent from lofty heaven which yields much food, and all desire its bounty.

HYMN XXX. Indra.

1. O INDRA, Vrtra-slayer, none is better, mightier than thou:
Verily there is none like thee.
2 Like chariot-wheels these people all together follow after thee:
Thou ever art renowned as Great.
3 Not even all the gathered Gods conquered thee, Indra, in the war,
When thou didst lengthen days by night.
4 When for the sake of those oppressed, and Kutsa as he battled,
Thou stolest away the Sun's car-wheel.
5 When, fighting singly, Indra. thou o'ercamest all the furious Gods, thou slewest those who strove with thee.
6 When also for a mortal man, Indra, thou speddest forth the Sun,
And holpest Etasa with might.
7 What? Vrtra-slayer, art not thou, Maghavan, fiercest in thy wrath?
So hast thou quelled the demon too.
8 And this heroic deed of might thou, Indra, also hast achieved,
That thou didst smite to death the Dame, Heaven's Daughter, meditating ill.
9 Thou, Indra, Mighty One, didst crush Usas, though Daughter of the Sky.
When lifting up herself in pride.
10 Then from her chariot Usas fled, affrighted, from her ruined car.
When the strong God had shattered it.
11 So there this car of Usas lay, broken to pieces, in Vipas,
And she herself fled far away.
12 Thou, Indra, didst. with magic power resist the overflowing stream
Who spread her waters o'er the land.
13 Valiantly didst thou seize and take the store which Susna had amassed,
When thou didst crush his fortresses.
14 Thou, Indra, also smotest down Kulitara's son Sambara,
The Dasa, from the lofty hill.
15 Of Dasa Varcin's thou didst slay the hundred thousand and the five,
Crushed like the fellies, of a car.
16 So Indra, Lord of Heroes, Powers, caused the unwedded damsel's son,
The castaway, to share the lauds.
17 So sapient Indra, Lord of Might, brought Turvaga and Yadu, those
Who feared the flood, in safel o'er.
18 Arpa and Citraratha, both Aryas, thou, Indra, slewest swift,
On yonder side of Sarayu,
19 Thou, Vrtra-slayer, didst conduct those two forlorn, the blind, the lame.
None may attain this bliss of thine.
20 For Divodasa, him who brought oblationt, 1ndra overthrew
A hundred fortresses of stone.
21 The thirty thousand Disas he with magic power and weapons sent
To slumber, for Dabhiti's sake.
22 As such, O Vrtra-slayer, thou art general Lord of kine for all,
Thou Shaker of all things that be.
23 Indra, whatever deed of might thou hast this day to execute,
None be there now to hinder it.
24 O Watchful One, may Aryaman the God give thee all goodly things.
May Risan, Bhaga, and the God Karulati give all things fair.

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