Hymns to Usha from The Rig-Veda - Book I

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN XLVIII. Dawn.

1 DAWN on us with prosperity, O Usas, Daughter of the Sky,
Dawn with great glory, Goddess, Lady of the Light, dawn thou with riches, Bounteous One.
2 They, bringing steeds and kine, boon-givers of all wealth, have oft sped forth to lighten us.
O Usas, waken up for me the sounds of joy: send us the riches of the great.
3 Usas hath dawned, and now shall dawn, the Goddess, driver forth of cars
Which, as she cometh nigh, have fixed their thought on her, like glory-seekers on the flood.
4 Here Kanva, chief of Kanva's race, sings forth aloud the glories of the heroes' names,-
The. princes who, O Usas, as thou comest near, direct their thoughts to liberal gifts.
5 Like a good matron Usas comes carefully tending everything:
Rousing all life she stirs all creatures that have feet, and makes the birds of air fly up.
6 She sends the busy forth, each man to his pursuit: delay she knows not as she springs.
O rich in opulence, after thy dawning birds that have flown forth no longer rest.
7 This Dawn hath yoked her steeds afar, beyond the rising of the Sun:
Borne on a hundred chariots she, auspicious Dawn, advances on her way to Men.
8 To meet her glance all living creatures bend them down: Excellent One, she makes the light.
Usas, the Daughter of the Sky, the opulent, shines foes and enmities away.
9 Shine on us with thy radiant light, O Usas, Daughter of the Sky,
Bringing to us great store of high felicity, and bearning on our solemn rites.
10 For in thee is each living creature's breath and life, when, Excellent! thou dawnest forth.
Borne on thy lofty car, O Lady of the Light, hear, thou of wondrous wealth, our call.
11 O Usas, win thyself the strength which among men is wonderful.
Bring thou thereby the pious unto holy rites, those who as priests sing praise to thee.
12 Bring from the firmament, O Usas, all the Gods, that they may drink our Soma juice,
And, being what thou art, vouchsafe us kine and steeds, strength meet for praist and hero might.
13 May Usas whose auspicious rays are seen resplendent round about,
Grant us great riches, fair in form, of all good things, wealth which light labour may attain.
14 Mighty One, whom the Rsis of old time invoked for their protection and their help,
O Usas, graciously answer our songs of praise with bounty and with brilliant
light.
15 Usas, as thou with light to day hast opened the twin doors of heaven,
So grant thou us a dwelling wide and free from foes. O Goddess, give us food with kine.
16 Bring us to wealth abundant, sent in every shape, to plentiful refreshing food,
To all-subduing splendour, Usas, Mighty One, to strength, thou rich in spoil and wealth.


HYMN XLIX. Dawn.

1 E'EN from above the sky's bright realm come, Usas, by auspicious ways:
Let red steeds bear thee to the house of him who pours the Soma, juice.
2 The chariot which thou mountest, fair of shape, O Usas light to move,-
Therewith, O Daughter of the Sky, aid men of noble fame today.
3 Bright Usas, when thy times return, all quadrupeds and bipeds stir,
And round about flock winged birds from all theboundaries of heaven.
4 Thou dawning with thy beams of light illumest all the radiant realm.
Thee, as thou art, the Kanvas, fain for wealth, have called with sacred songs.


HYMN XCII. Dawn.

1. THESE Dawns have raised their banner; in the eastern half of the mid-air they spread abroad their shinine light.
Like heroes who prepare their weapons for the war, onward they come bright red in hue, the Mother Cows.
2 Readily have the purple beams of light shot up; the Red Cows have they harnessed, easy to be yoked.
The Dawns have brought distinct perception as before: red-hued, they have attained their fulgent brilliancy.
3 They sing their song like women active in their tasks, along their common path hither from far away,
Bringing refreshment to the liberal devotee, yea, all things to the worshipper who pours the juice.
4 She, like a dancer, puts her broidered garments on: as a cow yields her udder so she bares her breast.
Creating light for all the world of life, the Dawn hath laid the darkness open as the cows their stall.
5 We have beheld the brightness of her shining; it spreads and drives away the darkiorne monster.
Like tints that deck the Post at sacrifices, Heaven's Daughter hath attained her wondrous splendour.
6 We have o'erpast the limit of this darkness; Dawn breaking forth again brings clear perception.
She like a flatterer smiles in light for glory, and fair of face hath wakened to rejoice
us.
7 The Gotamas have praised Heaven's radiant Daughter, the leader of the charm of pleasant voices.
Dawn, thou conferrest on us strength with offspring and men, conspicuous with kine and horses.
8 O thou who shinest forth in wondrous glory, urged onward by thy strength, auspicious Lady,
Dawn, may I gain that wealth, renowned and ample, in brave sons, troops of slaves, far-famed for horses.
9 Bending her looks on all the world, the Goddess shines, widely spreading with her bright eye westward.
Waking to motion every living creature, she understands the voice of each adorer.
10 Ancient of days, again again born newly, decking her beauty with the self-same raiment.
The Goddess wastes away the life of mortals, like a skilled hunter cutting birds in pieces.
11 She hath appeared discovering heaven's borders: to the far distance she drives off her Sister.
Diminishing the days of human creatures, the Lady shines with all her lover's splendour.
12 The bright, the blessed One shines forth extending her rays like kine, as a flood rolls his waters.
Never transgressing the divine commandments, she is beheld visible with the sunbeams.
13 O Dawn enriched with ample wealth, bestow on us the wondrous gift
Wherewith we may support children and children's sons.
14 Thou radiant mover of sweet sounds, with wealth of horses and of kine
Shine thou on us this day, O Dawn auspiciously.
15 O Dawn enriched with holy rites, yoke to thy car thy purple steeds,
And then bring thou unto us all felicities.
16 O Asvins wonderful in act, do ye unanimous direct
Your chariot to our home wealthy in kine and gold.
17 Ye who brought down the hymn from heaven, a light that giveth light to man,
Do ye, O Asvius, bring strength bither unto us.
18 Hither may they who wake at dawn bring, to drink Soma both the Gods
Health-givers Wonder-Workers, borne on paths of gold.


HYMN CXIII. Dawn.

1. This light is come, amid all lights the fairest; born is the brilliant, far-extending brightness.
Night, sent away for Savitar's uprising, hath yielded up a birth-place for the Morning.
2 The Fair, the Bright is come with her white offspring; to her the Dark One hath resigned her dwelling.
Akin, immortal, following each other, changing their colours both the heavens move onward.
3 Common, unending is the Sisters' pathway; taught by the Gods, alternately they travel.
Fair-formed, of different hues and yet one-minded, Night and Dawn clash not, neither do they travel.
4 Bright leader of glad sounds, our eyes behold her; splendid in hue she hath unclosed the portals.
She, stirring up the world, hath shown us riches: Dawn hath awakened every living creature.
5 Rich Dawn, she sets afoot the coiled-up sleeper, one for enjoyment, one for wealth or worship,
Those who saw little for extended vision. All living creatures hath the Dawn awakened.
6 One to high sway, one to exalted glory, one to pursue his gain, and one his labour:
All to regard their different vocations, all moving creatures hath the Dawn awakened.
7 We see her there, the Child of Heaven apparent, the young Maid, flushing in her shining raiment.
Thou soyran Lady of all earthly treasure, flush on us here, auspicious Dawn, this morning.
8 She first of endless morns to come hereafter, follows the path of morns that have departed.
Dawn, at her rising, urges forth the living him who is dead she wakes not from his slumber.
9 As thou, Dawn, hast caused Agni to be kindled, and with the Sun's eye hast revealed creation.
And hast awakened men to offer worship, thou hast performed, for Gods, a noble service.
10 How long a time, and they shall be together,-Dawns that have shone and Dawns to shine hereafter?
She yearns for former Dawns with eager longing, and goes forth gladly shining with the others.
11 Gone are the men who in the days before us looked on the rising of the earlier Morning.
We, we the living, now behold her brightness and they come nigh who shall hereafter see her.
12 Foe-chaser, born of Law, the Law's protectress, joy-giver waker of all pleasant voices,
Auspicious, bringing food for Gods' enjoyment, shine on us here, most bright, O Dawn, this morning.
13 From days eternal hath Dawn shone, the Goddess, and shows this light to-day, endowed with riches.
So will she shine on days to come immortal she moves on in her own strength, undecaying.
14 In the sky's borders hath she shone in splendour: the Goddess hath thrown off the veil of darkness.
Awakening the world with purple horses, on her well-harnessed chariot Dawn approaches.
15 Bringing all life-sustaining blessings with her, showing herself she sends forth brilliant lustre.
Last of the countless mornings that have vanished, first of bright morns to come hath Dawn arisen.
16 Arise! the breath, the life, again hath reached us: darkness hath passed away and light approacheth.
She for the Sun hath left a path to travel we have arrived where men prolong existence.
17 Singing the praises of refulgent Mornings with his hymn's web the priest, the poet rises.
Shine then to-day, rich Maid, on him who lauds thee, shine down on us the gift of life and offipring.
18 Dawns giving sons all heroes, kine and horses, shining upon the man who brings oblations,-
These let the Soma-presser gain when ending his glad songs louder than the voice of Vayu.
19 Mother of Gods, Aditi's forui of glory, ensign of sacrifice, shine forth exalted.
Rise up, bestowing praise on our devotion all-bounteous, niake us chief among the people.
20 Whatever splendid wealth the Dawns bring with them to bless the man who offers praise and worship,
Even that may Mitra, Varuna vouchsafe us, and Aditi and Sindhu, Earth and Heaven.


HYMN CXXIII. Dawn.

1. THE Daksina's broad chariot hath been harnessed: this car the Gods Immortal have ascended.
Fain to bring light to homes of men the noble and active Goddess hath emerged from darkness.
2 She before all the living world hath wakened, the Lofty One who wins and gathers treasure.
Revived and ever young on high she glances. Dawn hath come first unto our morning worship.
3 If, Dawn, thou Goddess nobly born, thou dealest fortune this day to all the race of mortals,
May Savitar the God, Friend of the homestead, declare before the Sun that we are sinless.
4 Showing her wonted form each day that passeth, spreading the light she visiteth each dwelling.
Eager for conquest, with bright sheen she cometh. Her portion is the best of goodly treasures.
5 Sister of Varuna, sister of Bhaga, first among all sing forth, O joyous Morning.
Weak be the strength of him who worketh evil - may we subdue him with our car the guerdon.
6 Let our glad hymns and holy thoughts rise upward, for the flames brightly burning have ascended.
The far-refulgent Mornings make apparent the lovely treasures which the darkness covered.
7 The one departeth and the other cometh: unlike in hue day's, halves march on successive.
One hides the gloom of the surrounding Parents. Dawn on her shining chariot is resplendent.
8 The same in form to-day, the same tomorrow, they still keep Varuna's eternal statute.
Blameless, in turn they traverse thirty regions, and dart across the spirit in a moment.
9 She who hath knowledge Of the first day's nature is born refulgent white from out the darkness.
The Maiden breaketh not the law of Order, day by day coming to the place appointed.
10 In pride of beauty like a maid thou goest, O Goddess, to the God who longs to win thee,
And smiling youthful, as thou shinest brightly, before him thou discoverest thy bosom.
11 Fair as a bride embellished by her mother thou showest forth thy form that all may see it.
Blessed art thou O Dawn. Shine yet more widely. No other Dawns have reached what thou attainest.
12 Rich in kine, horses, and all goodly treasures, in constant operation with the sunbeams,
The Dawns depart and come again again assuming their wonted forms that promise happy fortune.
13 Obedient to the rein of Law Eternal give us each thought that more and more shall bless us.
Shine thou on us to-day, Dawn, swift to listen. With us be riches and with chiefs who worship.


HYMN CXXIV. Dawn.

1. THE Dawn refulgent when the fire is kindled, and the Sun rising, far diffuse their brightness.
Savitar, God, hath sentus forth to labour, each quadruped, each biped, to be active.
2 Not interrupting heavenly ordinances, although she minisheth human generations.
The last of endless morns that have departed, the first of those that come, Dawn brightly shineth.
3 There in the eastern region she, Heaven's Daughter, arrayed in garments all of light, appeareth.
Truly she fo1loweth the path of Order, nor faileth, knowing well, the heavenly quarters.
4 Near is she seen, as 'twere the Bright One's bosom: she showeth sweet things like a new song-singer.
She cometh like a fly awaking sleepers, of all. returning dames most true and constant.
5 There in the east half of the watery region the Mother of the Cows hath shown her ensign.
Wider and wider still she spreadeth onward, and filleth full the laps of both heir Parents.
6 She, verily, exceeding vast to look on debarreth from her light nor kin nor stranger.
Proud of her spotless form she, brightly shiming, turneth not from the high nor froom the humble.
7 She seeketh men, as she who hath no brother, mounting her car, as 'twere to gather riches.
Dawn, like a loving matron for her husband, smiling and well attired, unmasks her beauty.
8 The Sister quitteth, for the elder Sister, her place, and having looked on her departeth.
She decks her beauty, shining forth with sunbeams, like women trooping to the festal meeting.
9 To all these Sisters who ere now have vanished a later one each day in course succeedeth.
So, like the past, with days of happy fortune, may the new Dawns shine forth on us with riches.
10 Rouse up, O Wealthy One, the liberal givers; let niggard traffickers sleep on unwakened:
Shine richly, Wealthy One, on those who worship, richly, glad.
Dawn while wasting, on the singer.
11 This young Maid from the east hath shone upon us; she harnesseth her team of bright red oxen.
She will beam forth, the light will hasten hither, and Agni will be present in each dwelling.
12 As the birds fly forth from their resting places, so men with store of food rise at thy dawning.
Yea, to the liberal mortal who remaineth at home, O Goddess Dawn, much good thou bringest.
13 Praised through my prayer be ye who should be lauded. Ye have increased our wealth, ye Dawns who love us.
Goddesses, may we win by your good favour wealth to be told by hundreds and by thousands.

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