Hymns to Varuna from the Rig-Veda - Book I
HYMN XVII Indra-Varuna
1 I CRAVE help from the Imperial Lords, from Indra-Varuna; may they
Both favour one of us like me.
2 Guardians of men, ye ever come with ready succour at the call
Of every singer such as I.
3 Sate you, according to your wish, O Indra-Varuna, with wealth:
Fain would we have you nearest us.
4 May we be sharers of the powers, sharers of the benevolence
Of you who give strength bounteously.
5 Indra and Varuna, among givers of thousands, meet for praise,
Are Powers who merit highest laud.
6 Through their protection may we gain great store of wealth, and heap it up
Enough and still to spare, be ours.
7 O Indra-Varuna, on you for wealth in many a form I call:
Still keep ye us victorious.
8 O Indra-Varuna, - through our songs that seek to win you to ourselves,
Give us at once your sheltering help.
9 O Indra-Varuna, to you may fair praise which I offer come,
joint eulogy which ye dignify.
HYMN XXIV. Varuna and Others.
1 WHO now is he, what God among Immortals, of whose auspicious name we may bethink us?
Who shall to mighty Aditi restore us, that I may see my Father and my Mother?
2 Agni the God the first among the Immortals, - of his auspicious name let us bethink us.
He shall to mighty Aditi restore us, that I may see my Father and my Mother.
3 To thee, O Savitar, the Lord of precious things, who helpest us
Continually, for our share we come-
4 Wealth, highly lauded ere reproach hath fallen on it, which is laid,
Free from all hatred, in thy hands
5 Through thy protection may we come to even the height of affluence
Which Bhaga hath dealt out to us.
6 Ne'er have those birds that fly through air attained to thy high dominion or thy might or spirit;
Nor these the waters that flow on for ever, nor hills, abaters of the wind's wild fury.
7 Varuna, King, of hallowed might, sustaineth erect the Tree's stem in the baseless region.
Its rays, whose root is high above, stream downward. Deep may they sink within us, and be hidden.
8 King Varuna hath made a spacious pathway, a pathway for the Sun wherein to travel.
Where no way was he made him set his footstep, and warned afar whate'er afflicts the spirit.
9 A hundred balms are thine, O King, a thousand; deep and wide-reaching also be thy favours.
Far from us, far away drive thou Destruction. Put from us e'en the sin we have committed.
10 Whither by day depart the constellations that shine at night, set high in heaven above us?
Varuna's holy laws remain unweakened, and through the night the Moon moves on in splendor
11 I ask this of thee with my prayer adoring; thy worshipper craves this with his oblation.
Varuna, stay thou here and be not angry; steal not our life from us, O thou Wide-Ruler.
12 Nightly and daily this one thing they tell me, this too the thought of mine own heart repeateth.
May he to whom prayed fettered Sunahsepa, may he the Sovran Varuna release us.
13 Bound to three pillars captured Sunahsepa thus to the Aditya made his supplication.
Him may the Sovran Varuna deliver, wise, ne'er deccived, loosen the bonds that bind him.
14 With bending down, oblations, sacrifices, O Varuna, we deprecate thine anger:
Wise Asura, thou King of wide dominion, loosen the bonds of sins by us committed.
15 Loosen the bonds, O Varuna, that hold me, loosen the bonds above, between, and under.
So in thy holy law may we made sinless belong to Aditi, O thou Aditya.
HYMN XXV. Varuna.
I WHATEVER law of thine, O God, O Varurna, as we are men,
Day after day we violate.
2 give us not as a prey to death, to be destroyed by thee in wrath,
To thy fierce anger when displeased.
3 To gain thy mercy, Varuna, with hymns we bind thy heart, as binds
The charioteer his tethered horse.
4 They flee from me dispirited, bent only on obtaining wealths
As to their nests the birds of air.
5 When shall we bring, to be appeased, the Hero, Lord of warrior might,
Him, the far-seeing Varuna?
6 This, this with joy they both accept in common: never do they fail
The ever-faithful worshipper.
7 He knows the path of birds that fly through heaven, and, Sovran of the sea,
He knows the ships that are thereon.
8 True to his holy law, he knows the twelve moons with their progeny:
He knows the moon of later birth.
9 He knows the pathway of the wind, the spreading, high, and mighty wind
He knows the Gods who dwell above.
10 Varuna, true to holy law, sits down among his people; he,
Most wise, sits there to govern. all.
11 From thence percerving he beholds all wondrous things, both what hath been,
And what hereafter will be done.
12 May that Aditya, very -wise, make fair paths for us all our days:
May lie prolong our lives for us.
13 Varuna, wearing golden mail, hath clad him in a shining robe.
His spies are seated found about.
14 The God whom enemies threaten not, nor those who tyrannize o'er men,
Nor those whose minds are bent on wrong.
15 He who gives glory to mankind, not glory that is incomplete,
To our own bodies giving it.
16 Yearning for the wide-seeing One, my thoughts move onward unto him,
As kine unto their pastures move.
17 Once more together let us speak, because my meath is brought: priest-like
Thou eatest what is dear to thee.
18 Now saw I him whom all may see, I saw his car above the earth:
He hath accepted these my songs.
19 Varuna, hear this call of mine: be gracious unto us this day
Longing for help I cried to thee.
20 Thou, O wise God, art Lord of all, thou art the King of earth and heaven
Hear, as thou goest on thy way.
21 Release us from the upper bond, untie the bond between, and loose
The bonds below, that I may live.
HYMN XLI. Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman.
1 NE'ER is he injured whom the Gods Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman,
The excellently wise, protect.
2 He prospers ever, free from scathe, whom they, as with full hands, enrich,
Whom they preserve from every foe.
3 The Kings drive far away from him his troubles and his enemies,
And lead him safely o'er distress.
4 Thornless, Adityas, is the path, easy for him who seeks the Law:
With him is naught to anger you.
5 What sacrifice, Adityas, ye Heroes guide by the path direct,-
May that come nigh unto your thought.
6 That mortal, ever unsubdued, gains wealth and every precious thing,
And children also of his own.
7 How, my friends, shall we prepare Aryaman's and Mitra's laud,
Glorious food of Varuna?
8 I point not out to you a man who strikes the pious, or reviles:
Only with hymns I call you nigh.
9 Let him not love to speak ill words: but fear the One who holds all four
Within his hand, until they fall.
HYMN CXXXVI. Mitra-Varuna.
1. BRING adoration ample and most excellent, hymn, offierings, to the watchful Twain, the bountiful, your sweetest to the bounteous Ones.
Sovrans adored with streams of oil and praised at every sacrifice.
Their high imperial might may nowhere be assailed, ne'er may their Godhead be assailed.
2 For the broad Sun was seen a path more widely laid, the path of holy law hath been maintained with rays, the eye with Bhaga's rays of light.
Firm-set in heaven is Mitra's home, and Aryaman's and Varuna's.
Thence they give forth great vital strength which merits praise, high power of life that men shall praise.
3 With Aditi the luminous, the celestial, upholder of the people, come ye day by day, ye who watch sleepless, day by day.
Resplendent might have ye obtained, Adityas, Lords of liberal gifts.
Movers of men, mild both, are Mitra, Varuna, mover of men is Aryaman.
4 This Soma be most sweet to Mitra, Varuna: he in the drinking-feasts, shall have a share thereof, sharing, a God, among the Gods.
May all the Gods of one accord accept it joyfully to-day.
Therefore do ye, O Kings, accomplish what we ask, ye Righteous Ones, whate'er we ask.
5 Whoso, with worship serves Mitra and VaruiIa, him guard ye carefully, uninjured, from distress, guard from distress the liberal man.
Aryaman guards him well who acts uprightly following his law,
Who beautifies their service with his lauds, who makes it beautiful with songs of praise.
6 Worship will I proress to lofty Dyaus, to Heaven and Earth, to Mitra and to bounteous Varuna, the Bounteous, the Compassionate.
Praise Indra, praise thou Agni, praise Bhaga and heavenly Aryaman.
Long may we live and have attendant progeny, have progeny with Soma's help.
7 With the Gods' help, with Indra still beside us, may we be held self-splendid with the Maruts.
May Agni, Mitra, Varuna give us shelter this may we gain, we and our wealthy princes.
HYMN CXXXVII. Mitra-Varuna.
1. WITH stones have we pressed out: O come; these gladdening drops are blent with milk, these Soma-drops which gladden you.
Come to us, Kings who reach to heaven, approach us, coming hitherward.
These milky drops are yours, Mitra and Varuna, bright Soma juices blent with milk.
2 Here are the droppings; come ye nigh the Soma-droppings blent with curd, juices expressed and blent with curd.
Now for the wakening of your Dawn together with the Sun-God's rays,
juice waits for Mitra and for Varuna to drink, fair juice for drink, for sacrihce.
3 As 'twere a radiant-coloured cow, they milk with stones the stalk for you, with stones they milk the Soma-plant.
May ye come nigh us, may ye turn hither to drink the Soma juice.
The men pressed out this juice, Mitra and Varuna, pressed out this Soma for your drink.
HYMN CLI. Mitra and Varuna
1. HEAVEN and earth trembled at the might and voice of him, whom, loved and Holy One, helper of all mankind,
The wise who longed for spoil in fight for kine brought forth with power, a Friend, mid waters, at the sacrifice.
2 As these, like friends, have done this work for you, these prompt servants of Purumilha Soma-offerer,
Give mental power to him who sings the sacred song, and hearken, Strong Ones, to the master ofthe house.
3 The folk have glorified your birth from Earth and Heaven, to be extolled, ye Strong Ones, for your mighty power.
Ye, when ye bring to singer and the rite, enjoy the sacrifice periormed with holy praise and strength.
4 The people prospers, Asuras! whom ye dearly love: ye, Righteous Ones, proclaim aloud the Holy Law.
That efficacious power that comes from lofty heaven, ye bind unto the work, as to the pole an ox.
5 On this great earth ye send your treasure down with might: unstained by dust, the crowding kine are in the stalls.
Here in the neighbourhood they cry unto the Sun at morning and at evening, like swift birds of prey.
6 The flames with curling tresses serve your sacrifice, whereto ye sing the song, Mitra and Varuna.
Send down of your free will, prosper our holy songs: ye are sole Masters of the singer's hymn of praise.
7 Whoso with sacrifices toiling brings you gifts, and worships, sage and priest, fulfilling your desire,-
To him do ye draw nigh and taste his sacrifice. Come well-inclined to us unto our songs and prayer.
8 With sacrifices and with milk they deck you first, ye Righteous Ones, as if through stirrings of the mind.
To you they bring their hymns with their collected thought, while ye with earnest soul come to us gloriously.
9 Rich strength of life is yours: ye, Heroes, have obtained through your surpassing powers rich far-extending might.
Not the past days conjoined with nights, not rivers, not the Papis have attained your Godhead and your wealth.
HYMN CLII. Mitra-Varuna.
1. THE robes which ye put on abound with fatness: uninterrupted courses are your counsels.
All falsehood, Mitra-Varuna! ye conquer, and closely cleave unto the Law Eternal.
2 This might of theirs hath no one comprehended. True is the crushing word the sage hath uttered,
The fearful four-edged bolt smites down the three-edged, and those who hate the Gods first fall and perish.
3 The Footless Maid precedeth footed creatures. Who marketh, Mitra-Varuna, this your doing?
The Babe Unborn supporteth this world's burthen, fuIfilleth Law and overcometh falsehood.
4 We look on him the darling of the Maidens, always advancing, never falling downward,
Wearing inseparable, wide-spread raiment, Mitra's and Varuna's delightful glory.
5 Unbridled Courser, horn but not of horses, neighing he flieth on with back uplifted.
The youthful love mystery thought-surpassing, praising in Mitra-Varuna, its glory.
6 May the milch-kine who favour Mamateya prosper in this world him who loves devotion.
May he, well skilled in rites, be food, and calling Aditi with his lips give us assistance.
7 Gods, Mitra-Varuna, with love and worship, let me make you delight in this oblation.
May our prayer be victorious in battles, may we have rain from heaven to make us prosper.
HYMN CLIII. Mitra-Varuna.
1. WE worship with our reverence and oblations you, Mitra Varuna, accordant, mighty,
So that with us, ye Twain whose backs are sprinkled with oil, the priests with oil and hymns support you.
2 Your praise is like a mighty power, an impulse: to you, Twain Gods, a well-formed hymn is offered,
As the priest decks yon, Strong Ones, in assemblies, and the prince fain to worship you for blessings.
3 O Mitra-Varuna, Aditi the Milch-cow streams for the rite, for folk who bring oblation,
When in the assembly he who worships moves you, like to a human priest, with gifts presented.
4 So may the kine and heavenly Waters pour you sweet drink in families that make you joyful.
Of this may he, the ancient House-Lord, give us. Enjoy, drink of the milk the cow provideth.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- The Rig Veda translation by Griffith, Introduction
- Hymns of the Sama veda translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith
- Yajur Veda: The Veda Of The Black Yajus School
- Hymns Of The Atharva-Veda
- Anugita English Translation
- THE Sanatsugâtîya, A Spiritual Dialogue
- Dharmashastras, the Sacred Law Books of Hindus
- The Hindu Dharmashastras, Subject Index
- The Grihya Sutras, The Vedic Domestic Ritual Texts
- The Sankhya Sutras of Kapila, Index page
- Translation of Upanishads by Swami Paramananda, Index
- A History Of Indian Philosophy - Chapter Index
- The Upanishads translated by Max Muller
- Vedic Reader for Students
- The Bhagavad-gita in a nutshell
Source: An English translation of the Vedas by Ralph T.H. Griffith, 1896.
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