The Rig Veda Book 5 - Verses 10 to 20

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN X. Agni.

1. BRING us most mighty splendour thou, Agni, resistless on thy way.
With overflowing store of wealth mark out for us a path to strength.
2 Ours art thou, wondrous Agni, bywisdom and bounteousness of power.
The might of Asuras rests on thee, like Mitra worshipful in act.
3 Agni, increase our means of life, increase the house and home of these,
The men, the princes who have won great riches through our hymns of praise.
4 Bright Agni, they who deck their songs for thee have horses as their meed.
The men are mighty in their might, they whose high laud, as that of heaven, awakes thee of its own accord.
5 O Agni, those resplendent flames of thine go valorously forth,
Like lightnings flashing round us, like a rattling car that seeks the spoil.
6 Now, Agni, come to succour us; let priests draw nigh to offer gifts;
And let the patrons of our rites subdue all regions of the earth.
7 Bring to us, Agni, Angiras, lauded of old and lauded now,
Invoker! wealth to quell the strong, that singers may extol thee. Be near us in fight for our success.

HYMN XI. Agni.

1. THE watchful Guardian of the people hath been born, Agni, the very strong, for fresh prosperity.
With oil upon his face, with high heaventouching flame, he shineth splendidly, pure, for the Bharatas.
2 Ensign of sacrifice, the earliest Household-Priest, the. men have kindled Agni in his threefold seat,
With Indra and the Gods together on the grass let the wise Priest sit to complete the sacrifice.
3 Pure , unadorned, from thy two Mothers art thou born: thou camest fromVivasvan as a charming Sage.
With oil they strengthened thee, O Agni, worshipped God: thy banner was the smoke that mounted to the sky.
4 May Agni graciously come to our sacrifice. The men bear Agni here and there in every house.
He hath become an envoy, bearer of our gifts: electing Agni, men choose one exceeding wise.
5 For thee, O Agni, is this sweetest prayer of mine: dear to thy spirit be this product of my thought.
As great streams fill the river so our song of praise fill thee, and make thee yet more mighty in thy strength.
6 O Agni, the Angirases discovered thee what time thou layest hidden, fleeing back from wood to wood.
Thou by attrition art produced as conquer.ing might, and men, O Angiras, call thee the Son of Strength.

HYMN XII. Agni.

I. To Agni, lofty Asura, meet for worship, Steer of eternal Law, my prayer I offer;
I bring my song directed to the Mighty like pure oil for his mouth at sacrifices.
2 Mark the Law, thou who knowest, yea, observe it: send forth the full streams of eternal Order.
I use no sorcery with might or falsehood the sacred Law of the Red Steer I follow.
3 How hast thou, follower of the Law eternal, become the knower of a new song, Agni?
The God, the Guardian of the seasons, knows me: the Lord of him who won this wealth I know not.
4 Who, Agni, in alliance with thy foeman, what splendid helpers won for them their riches?
Agni, who guard the dwelling-place of falsehood? Who are protectors of the speech of liars?
5 Agni, those friends of thine have turned them from thee: gracious of old, they have become ungracious.
They have deceived themselves by their own speeches, uttering wicked words against the righteous.
6 He who pays sacrifice to thee with homage, O Agni, keeps the Red Steer's Law eternal;
Wide is his dwelling. May the noble offipring of Nahusa who wandered forth come hither.

HYMN XIII. Agni.

1. WITH songs of praise we call on thee, we kindle thee with songs of praise,
Agni, -with songs of praise, for help.
2 Eager for wealth, we meditate Agni's effectual praise to-day,
Praise of the God who touches heaven.
3 May Agni, Priest among mankind, take pleasure in our songs of praise,
And worship the Celestial Folk.
4 Thou, Agni, art spread widely forth, Priest dear and excellent; through thee
Men make the sacrifice complete.
5 Singers exalt thee, Agni, well lauded, best giver of our strength:
So grant thou us heroic might.
6 Thou Agni, as the felly rings the spokes, encompassest the Gods.
1 yearn for bounty manifold.

HYMN XIV. Agni.

1. ENKINDLING the Immortal, wake Agni with song of praise: may he bear our oblations to the Gods.
2 At high solemnities mortal men glorify him the Immortal, best
At sacrifice among mankind.
3 That he may bear their gifts to heaven, all glorify him Agni, God,
With ladle that distilleth oil.
4 Agni shone bright when born, with light killing the Dasyus and the dark:
He found the Kine, the Floods, the Sun.
5 Serve Agni, God adorable, the Sage whose back is balmed with oil:
Let him approach, and hear my call.
6 They have exalted Agni, God of all mankind, with oil and hymns
Of praise, devout and eloquent.

HYMN XV. Agni.

1. To him, the far-renowned, the wise Ordainer, ancient and glorious, a song I offer.
Enthroned in oil, the Asura, bliss-giver, is Agni, firm support of noble, riches.
2 By holy Law they kept supporting Order, by help of sacrifice, in loftiest heaven,-
They who attained with born men to the unborn, men seated on that stay, heaven's firm sustainer.
3 Averting woe, they labour hard to bring him, the ancient, plenteous food as power resistless.
May he, born newly, conquer his assailants: round him they stand as round an angry lion.
4 When, like a mother, spreading forth to nourish, to cherish and regard each man that liveth,-
Consuming all the strength that thou hast gotten, thou wanderest round, thyself,
in varied fashion.
5 May strength preserve the compass of thy vigour, God! that broad stream of thine that beareth riches.
Thou, like a thief who keeps his refuge secret, hast holpen Atri to great wealth, by teaching.

HYMN XVI. Agni.

1. GREAT power is in the beam of light, sing praise to, Agni, to the God
Whom men have set in foremost place like Mitra with their eulogies.
2 He by the splendour of his arms is Priest of every able man.
Agni conveys oblation straight, and deals, as Bhaga deals, his boons.
3 All rests upon the laud and love of him the rich, high-flaming God,
On whom, loud-roaring, men have laid great strength as on a faithful friend.
4 So, Agni, be the Friend of these with liberal gift of hero strength.
Yea, Heaven and Earth have not surpassed this Youthful One in glorious fame.
5 O Agni, quickly come to us, and, glorified, bring precious wealth.
So we and these our princes will assemble for the good of all. Be near in fight to prosper us.

HYMN XVII. Agni.

1. GOD, may a mortal call the Strong hither, with solemn rites, to aid,
A man call Agni to protect when sacrifice is well prepared.
2 Near him thou seemest mightier still in native glory, set to hold
Apart yon flame-hued vault of heaven, lovely beyond the thought of man.
3 Yea, this is by the light of him whom powerful siong hath bound to act,
Whose bearns of splendour flash on high as though they sprang from heavenly seed.
4 Wealth loads the Wonder-Worker's car through his, the very wise One's power.
Then, meet to be invoked among all tribes, is Agni ghorified.
5 Now, too, the princes shall obtain excellent riches by our lips.
Protect us for our welfare: lend thy succour, O thou Son of Strength. Be near in fight to prosper us.

HYMN XVIII. Agni.

1. AT dawn let: Agni, much-beloved guest of the house, be glorified;
Immortal who delights in all oblations brought by mortal men.
2 For Dvita who receives through wealth of native strength maimed offerings,
Thy praiser even gains at once the Soma-drops, Immortal Gods!
3 Nobles, with song I call that car of yours that shines with lengthened life,
For, God who givest steeds! that car hither and thither goes unharmed.
4 They who have varied ways of thought, who guard, the lauds within their lips,
And strew the grass before the light, have decked themselves with high renown.
5 Immortal Agni, give the chiefs, heroes who institute the rite,
Heroes' illustrious, lofty fame, who at the synod met for praise presented me with fifty steeds.

HYMN XIX. Agni.

1. ONE state begets another state: husk is made visible from husk:
Within his Mother's side he speaks.
2 Discerning, have they offered gifts: they guard the strength that never wastes.
To a strong fort have they pressed in.
3 Svaitreya's people, all his men, have gloriously increased in might.
A gold chain Brhaduktha wears, as, through this Soma, seeking spoil.
4 I bring, as 'twere, the longed-for milk, the dear milk of the Sister-Pair.
Like to a caldron filled with food is he, unconquered, conquering all.
5 Beam of light, come to us in sportive fashion, finding thyself close to the wind that fans thee.
These flames of his are wasting flames, like arrows keen-pointed, sharpened, on his breast.

HYMN XX. Agni.

1. Agni, best winner of the spoil, cause us to praise before the Gods
As our associate meet for lauds, wealth which thou verily deemest wealth.
2 Agni, the great who ward not off the anger of thy power and might
Stir up the wrath and hatred due to one who holds an alien creed.
3 Thee, Agni, would we choose as Priest, the perfecter of strength and skill;
We who bring sacred food invoke with song thee Chief at holy rites.
4 Here as is needful for thine aid we toil, O Conqueror, day by day,
For wealth, for Law. May we rejoice, Most Wise One! at the feast, with kine, rejoice, with heroes, at the feast.

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