Hymns to Rudra from the Rig-Veda - Book I

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN XLIII. Rudra.

1 WHAT shall we sing to Rudra, strong, most bounteous, excellently wise,
That shall be dearest to his heart?
2 That Aditi may grant the grace of Rudra to our folk, our kine,
Our cattle and our progeny;
3 That Mitra and that Varuna, that Rudra may remember us,
Yea, all the Gods with one accord.
4 To Rudra Lord of sacrifice, of hymns and balmy medicines,
We pray for joy and health and strength.
5 He shines in splendour like the Sun, refulgent as bright gold is he,
The good, the best among the Gods.
6 May he grant health into our steeds, wellbeing to our rams and ewes,
To men, to women, and to kine.
7 O Soma, set thou upon us the glory of a hundred men,
The great renown of mighty chiefs.
8 Let not malignities, nor those who trouble Soma, hinder us.
Indu, give us a share of strength.
9 Soma! head, central point, love these; Soma! know these as serving thee,
Children of thee Immortal, at the highest place of holy law.


HYMN CXIV. Rudra.

1. To the strong Rudra bring we these our songs of praise, to him the Lord of Heros with the braided hair,
That it be well with all our cattle and our men, that in this village all he healthy and well-fed.
2 Be gracious unto us, O Rudra, bring us joy: thee, Lord of Heroes, thee with reverence will we serve.
Whatever health and strength our father Manu won by sacrifice may we, under thy guidance, gain.
3 By worship of the Gods may we, O Bounteous One, O Rudra, gain thy grace, Ruler of valiant men.
Come to our families, bringing them bliss: may we, whose heroes are uninjured, bring thee sacred gifts,
4 Hither we call for aid the wise, the wanderer, impetuous Rudra, perfecter of sacri fice.
May he repel from us the anger of the Gods: verily we desire his favourable grace.
5 Him with the braided hair we call with reverence down, the wild-boar of the sky, the red, the dazzling shape.
May he, his hand filled full of sovran medicines, grant us protection, shelter, and a home secure.
6 To him the Maruts' Father is this hymn addressed, to strengthen Rudra's might, a song more sweet than sweet.
Grant us, Immortal One, the food which mortals eat: be gracious unto me, my seed, my progeny.
7 O Rudra, harm not either great or small of us, harm not the growing boy, harm not the full-grown man.
Slay not a sire among us, slay no mother here, and to our own dear bodies, Rudra, do not harm.
8 Harm us not, Rudra, in our seed and progeny, harm us not in the living, nor in cows or steeds,
Slay not our heroes in the fury of thy wrath. Bringing oblations evermore we call to thee.
9 Even as a herdsman I have brought thee hymns of praise: O Father of the Maruts, give us happiness,
Blessed is thy most favouring benevolence, so, verily, do we desire thy saving help.
10 Far be thy dart that killeth men or cattle: thy bliss be with us, O thou Lord of Heroes.
Be gracious unto us, O God, and bless us, and then vouchsafe us doubly-strong protection.
11 We, seeking help, have spoken and adored him: may Rudra, girt by Maruts, hear our calling.
This prayer of ours may Varuna grant, and Mitra, and Aditi and Sindhu, Earth and Heaven.

Suggestions for Further Reading

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

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