Book V: The Hymns of the Atharvaveda

The Hymns of the Atharvaveda

Book V

tr. by Ralph T.H. Griffith


HYMN I: A glorification of Trita and Varuna

He who with special plans and deathless spirit, waxing, well- born, hath come unto his birth-place,
As he who shines upholds the days, thus Trita, of pure life, bears the Three as their supporter.

He who, the first, approached the holy statutes makes, after, many beauteous forms and figures.
Eager to drink, his birth-place first he entered who understands the word when yet unspoken.

He who—the fluid gold, with radiant kinsmen—to fervent glow delivered up thy body,
On him both set names, that shall live for ever: to him the regions shall send robes to clothe him,

As these have gone to their primeval station, each gaining an imperishable dwelling,
May kissing mothers of the bards’ beloved bring the pole-draw- ing husband to the sister.

By holy wisdom I a sage, Far-Strider! offer to thee this lofty adoration.
This worship both the mighty eddying rivers, coming together to this station, heighten.

Seven are the pathways which the wise have fashioned: to one of these may come the troubled mortal.
On sure ground where the ways are parted standeth Life’s Pillar in the dwelling of the Highest.

Working, I go my way with deathless spirit: life, spirit, bodies have gone gladly thither.
Aye, Sakra also gives his gift of treasure as when the sacrificer meets with power.

Yea, the son asks dominion of his father: this they declared the noblest path to welfare.
Varuna, let them see thy revelations: display the wondrous shapes of times to follow.

Halt with the milk, its other half, thou minglest and with that half, strong! unbeguiled! increasest.
Let us exalt the gracious friend, the mighty, Varuna son of- Aditi, strength-giver.
We have told him the marvels sung by poets. The utterance of Heaven and Earth is truthful.

HYMN II: A glorification of Indra

In all the worlds That was the best and highest whence sprang the Mighty One of splendid valour.
As soon as born he overcomes his foemen, when those rejoice in him who bring him succour.

Grown mighty in his strength, with ample vigour, he as a foe strikes fear into the Dāsa,
Eager to win the breathing and the breathless: All sang thy praise at banquet and oblation.

All concentrate on thee their mental vigour what time these, twice or thrice, are thine assistants,
Blend what is sweeter than the sweet with sweetness win quickly with our meath that meath in battle.

If verily in every war the sages joy and exult in thee who win- nest treasures,
With mightier power, strong God, extend thy firmness: let not malevolent Kaokas harm thee.

Proudly we put our trust in thee in battles, when we behold great wealth the prize of combat.
I with my words impel thy weapons onward, and sharpen with my prayer thy vital vigour.

Thou in that house, the highest or the lowest, which thy protec- tion guards, bestowest riches.
Establish ye the ever-wandering mother, and bring full many deeds to their completion.

Praise in the height Him who hath many pathways, courageous, strongest, Aptya of the Aptyas
Through strength he shows himself of ample power: pattern of Prithivī, he fights and conquers.

Brihaddiva, the foremost of light-winners, hath made these holy prayers, this strength for Indra.
Free Lord, he rules the mighty fold of cattle, winning, aglow, even all the billowy waters.

Thus hath Brihaddiva, the great Atharvan, spoken to Indra as himself in person.
Two sisters free from stain, the Mātarivans, with power impel him onward and exalt him.

HYMN III: A prayer to Agni, Indra, and other deities for victory and prosperity

Let strength be mine while I invoke thee, Agni! enkindling thee may we support our bodies.
May the four regions bend and bow before me: with thee for guardian may we win the combat.

Baffling the range of our opponents, Agni! guard us as our protector round about us.
Down the steep slope go they who hate us, backward, and let their thought who watch at home be ruined.

May all the Gods be on my side in battle, the Maruts led by Indra, Vishnu, Agni.
Mine be the middle air’s extended region, and may the Wind blow favouring these my wishes.

For me let them present all mine oblations, and let my mind’s intention be accomplished.
May I be guiltless of the least transgression: may all the Gods come hither and protect me.

5May the Gods grant me riches, may the blessing and invocation of the Gods assist me.
This boon shall the celestial Hotars win us: may we, unwound- ed, have brave heroes round us.

Ye six divine Expanses, give us freedom. Here, all ye Gods, acquit yourselves like heroes.
Let not calamity or curse o’ertake us, nor deeds of wickedness that merit hatred.

Do ye three Goddesses give ample shelter and all success to us ourselves and children.
Let us not lose our children or our bodies: let us not benefit the foe, King Soma!

Foodful and much-invoked, at this our calling may the far- reaching Bull grant us wide shelter.
Lord of bay coursers, Indra, bless our children: harm us not, give us not as prey to others.

Lord of the world, Creator and Disposer, may the God Savitar who quells assailants,
May the Ādityas, Rudras, both the Asvins, Gods, guard the sacrificer from destruction.

Let those who are our foemen stay afar from us: with Indra and with Agni we will drive them off.
The Ādityas and the Rudras, over us on high, have made me strong, a thinker, and a sovran lord.

Yea, we call Indra hitherward, the winner of wealth in battle and of kine and horses.
May he mark this our worship when we call him, Lord of bay steeds, thou art our friend and comrade.

HYMN IV: A charm against fever and other ailments

Thou who wast born on mountains, thou most mighty of all plants that grow.
Thou Banisher of Fever, come, Kushtha! make Fever pass away.

Brought from the Snowy Mountain, born on the high hill where eagles breed,
Men seek to buy thee when they hear: for Fever’s Banisher they know.

In the third heaven above us stands the Asvattha tree, the seat of Gods.
There the Gods sought the Kushtha Plant, embodiment of end- less life.

There moved through heaven a golden ship, a ship with cordage wrought of Gold.
There the Gods won the Kushtha Plant, the blossom of eternal life.

They sailed on pathways paved with gold, the oars they piled were wrought of gold:
All golden were the ships wherein they carried Kushtha down to earth.

O Kushtha, bring thou hitherward this man of mine, restore his health,
Yes, free him from disease for me.

Thou art descended from thee Gods, Soma’s benignant friend art thou,
Befriend my breath and vital air be gracious unto this mine eye.

Sprung, northward, from the Snowy Hill thou art conveyed to eastern men.
There they deal out among themselves Kushtha’s most noble qualities.

Most excellent, indeed, art thou, Kushtha! most noble is thy sire.
Make all Consumption pass away and render Fever powerless.

Malady that affects the head, eye-weakness, bodily defect—
All this let Kushtha heal and cure: aye, godlike is the vigorous power.

HYMN V: A charm to mend a broken bone

Aryaman is thy grandsire, Night thy mother, and the Cloud thy sire.
Thy name is called Silāchi. Thou, thyself, art sister of the Gods.

Whoever drinketh thee hath life: thou savest and protectest man.
As nursing mother of mankind, thou takest all upon thy lap.

Thou clingest close to every tree, as a fond damsel clasps her love.
Thy name is called The Conqueror, She who Stands Fast, The Rescuer.

Whatever wound the arrow, or the staff, or violence inflicts,
Thereof thou art the remedy: as such restore this man to health.

Thou springest from blest Plaxa, or Asvattha, Dhava, Khadira,
Parna, or blest Nyagrodha, so come thou to use, Arundhatī!

Gold-coloured, bringing happy fate, most lovely, brilliant as the Sun,
Mayst thou, O Healing! come unto the fracture: Healing is thy name.

Gold-coloured, bringing happy fate, odorous, hairy-bodied one,
The sister of the Waters art thou, Lākshā! and thy soul is Wind.

Silāchi is thy name: thy sire, O goat-brown! is a damsel’s son.
Thou hast been sprinkled by the mouth of Yama’s tawny- coloured horse.

Issuing from the horse’s blood away she glided to the trees.
Become a winged water-brook, and come to us, Arundhatī!

HYMN VI: A prayer for protection and prosperity

Eastward at first the prayer was generated: Vena disclosed bright flashes from the summit, p. a161
Disclosed his deepest nearest revelations, womb of the non- existent and existent.

None have attained to those of old, those who wrought holy acts for you,
Let them not harm our heroes here. Therefore I set before you this.

Sweet-tongued, exhaustless, they have sent their voices down together in heaven’s vault that pours a thousand streams.
His wildly-restless warders never close an eye: in every place the snarers stand to bind men fast.

Speed forward, conquering all foes, to win the spoil,
Thou comest on thy haters with a surging sea. Thy name is Fragile. The thirteenth month is Indra’s home.

Through this now hast thou sent thy gifts. All hail!
With sharpened arms and missiles, kind and friendly, be gracious unto us, Soma and Rudra!

Through this hast thou been left in want. All hail!
With sharpened arms and missiles, kind and friendly, be gracious unto us, Soma and Rudra!

Through this hast thou committed faults. All hail!
With sharpened arms and missiles, kind and friendly, be gracious unto us, Soma and Rudra!

Free us from trouble, free us from dishonour, accept our wor- ship, give us life immortal.

O missile of the eye, missile of spirit, thou missile of devotion and of fervour!
Thou art the weapon shot against the weapon. Let those be weaponless who sin against us.

Make with thy weapon weaponless, O Agni, all wicked men
who deal with us as foemen with eye, with thought, with spirit, or intention.

Thou art the house of Indra. I betake me to thee, I enter thee with all my cattle,
With all my people and with all my body, with all my soul, with mine entire possessions.

Thou art the guard of Indra. I betake me to thee, etc.

Thou art the shield of Indra. I betake me to thee, etc.

Indra’s protection art thou. I betake me to thee, I enter thee with all my cattle.
With all my people and with all my body, with all my soul, with mine entire possessions.

HYMN VII: A charm to deprecate Arāti or Malignity

Bring thou to us, bar not the way, Arāti! Stay not the guerdon that is being brought us.
Homage be paid to Failure, to Misfortune, and Malignity.

The man whom thou preferrest, O Arāti, he who prates to us—
This man of thine, we reverence. Baffle not thou my heart’s desire,

May our desire which Gods have roused fulfil itself by day and night.
We seek to win Arāti: to Arāti be our homage paid.

We, suppliant, call on Bhaga, on Sarasvati, Anumati,
Pleasant words have I spoken, sweet as honey is, at invocations of the Gods.

The portion that I crave with speech intelligent and full of power,
May faith, presented with the gift of tawny Soma, find to-day.

Do not thou make our words or wishes fruitless. Let the twain
Indra Agni, bring us treasures.
All, fain to-day to give us gifts, welcome Arāti with your love.

Misfortune! go thou far away: we turn thy harmful dart aside.
I know thee well, Arāti! as oppressor, one who penetrates.

Oft, coming as a naked girl thou hauntest people in their sleep,
Baffling the thought, Arāti! and the firm intention of a man.

To her the mighty vast in size, who penetrates all points of space,
To her mine homage have I paid, Nirriti with her golden hair.

Auspicious, with her golden hue, pillowed on gold, the mighty one
To this Arāti clad in robes of gold mine homage have I paid.

HYMN VIII: A charm for the discomfiture and destruction of hostile priests

With fuel of Vikankata bring molten butter to the Gods.
O Agni, make them joyful here: let them all come unto my call.

O Indra, come unto my call, This will I do. So hear it thou.
Let these exertions for the sake of Indra guide my wish aright.
Therewith, O Jātavedas, Lord of Bodies! may we win us strength.

Whatever plot from yonder, O ye Gods, that godless man would frame,
Let not the Gods come to his call, nor Agni bear his offering up.
Come, ye, come hither to my call.

Run, ye Fxertions, farther on By Indra’s order smite and slay.
As a wolf worrieth a sheep, so let not him escape from you while life remains. Stop fast his breath.

The Brāhman whom those yonder have appointed priest, for injury,
He, Indra! is beneath thy feet. I cast him to the God of Death.

If they have issued forth, strongholds of Gods, and made their shield of prayer, p. a164
Gaining protection for their lives, protection round about, make all their instigation powerless.

Exertions which that man hath made, Exertions which he yet will make
Turn them, O Indra, back again, O Vritra-slayer, back again on him that they may kill that man.

As Indra, having seized him, set his foot upon Udvāchana,
Even so for all the coming years I cast those men beneath my feet.

Here, Indra Vritra-slayer, in thy strength pierce thou their vital. parts.
Here, even here, attack them, O Indra. Thine own dear friend am I.
Indra, we closely cling to thee. May we be in thy favouring grace.

HYMN IX: A prayer to Heaven and Earth for protection and assistance

All hail to Heaven!

All hail to Earth!

All hail to Air!

All hail to Air!

All hail to Heaven!

All hail to Eartht!

Mine eye is Sīirya and my breath is Vāta, Air is my soul and Prithivī my body.
I verily who never have been conquered give up my life toe Heaven and Earth for keeping. p. a165

Exalt my life, my strength, my deed and action; increase my understanding and my vigour.
Be ye my powerful keepers, watch and guard me, ye mistresses
of life and life’s creators! Dwell ye within me, and forbear to harm me.

HYMN X: A prayer to the presiding deities of the four quarters for protection

Thou art my wall of stone against the sinner who fights against me from the eastern quarter.
May he encounter it!

Thou art my wall of stone against the sinner who fights against me from the southern quarter.
May he encounter it!

Thou art my wall of stone against the sinner who fights against me from the western quarter.
May he encounter it!

Thou art my wall of stone against the sinner who fights against me from northern quarter.
May he encounter it!

Thou art my wall of stone against the sinner who fights against me from the stedfast region.
May he encounter it!

Thou art my wall of stone against the sinner who fights against
Lme from the lofty region!
M iy he encounter it!

Thou art my wall of stone against the sinner who from points intermediate fights against me.
May he encounter it!

With Brihat I invoke the mind, with Mātarisvan both the breaths,
The eye from Sūrya, and the ear from Air, the body from the Earth.
We, with Sarasvati who suits the mind, call Speech to come to us.

HYMN XI: A dialogue between Atharvan and Varuna

How, terrible in might, hast thou here spoken to the great God, how to the gold-hued Father!
Thy mind watched, greedy Varuna! to recover the brindled cow thou hadst bestowed as guerdon.

Not through desire do I revoke my present: I bring this brind- led cow to contemplate her.
Now by what lore, by what inherent nature, knowest thou all things that exist, Atharvan?

Truly I am profound in wisdom, truly I know by nature all existing creatures.
No Dāsa by his greatness, not an Arya, may violate the law that I will stablish.

None, self-dependent Varuna! existeth wiser than thou or sager by his wisdom.
Thou knowest well all these created beings: even the man of wondrous powers fears thee.

O self-dependent Varuna, wise director, thou knowest verily all generations.
What is, unerring one! beyond this region? What more remote than that which is most distant?

One thing there is beyond this air, and something beyond that one, most hard to reach, remotest.
I, Varuna, who know, to thee declare it. Let churls be mighty in the lower regions. Let Dāsas sink into the earth beneath them.

Many reproaches, Varuna, dost thou utter against the misers. who revoke their presents.
Be not thou added to that crowd of niggards: let not men call thee an illiberal giver.

Let not men call me an illiberal giver. I give thee back the brindled cow, O singer.
Attend in every place where men inhabit, with all thy powers, the hymn that tells my praises.

Let hymns of praise ascend to thee, uplifted in every place of human habitation.
But give me now the gift thou hast not given. Thou art my friend for ever firm and faithful.

One origin, Varuna! one bond unites us I know the nature of that common kinship.
I give thee now the gift that I retracted. I am thy friend for ever firm and faithful.

God, giving life unto the god who lauds me, Sage strengthener of the sage who sings my praises.
Thou, self-dependent Varuna! hast begotten the kinsman of the Gods, our sire Atharvan.
On him bestow most highly-lauded riches. Thou art our friend, high over all, our kinsman.

HYMN XII: An Apri or propitiatory hymn

Thou in the house of man this day enkindled worshippest Gods as God, O Jātavedas.
Observant, bright as Mitra, bring them hither. Thou art a sapient and foreknowing envoy.

Tanùnapāt, fair-tongued! with sweet meath balming the baths and ways of Order, make them pleasant.
Bear to the Gods our sacrifice, exalting with holy thoughts our hymns of praise and worship.

Invoked, deserving prayer and adoration, O Agni, come accor dant with the Vasus.
Thou art, O youthful Lord, the Gods’ Invoker, so, best of sacri- ficers, bring them quickly.

By rule the Sacred Grass is scattered eastward, a robe to clothe this earth when dawns are breaking.
Widely it spreads around and far extended, fair for the Gods and bringing peace and freedom,

Let the expansive Doors be widely opened, like wives who deck their beauty for their husbands.
Lofty, celestial, all-impelling Portals, admit the Gods and give them easy entrance!

Pouring sweet dews let holy Night and Morning, each close to each, be seated at their station,—
Lofty, celestial Dames with gold to deck them, assuming all their fair and radiant beauty.

Come the first two celestial sweet-voiced Hotars, arranging sacrifice for man to worship, p. a169
As singers who inspire us in assemblies, showing the eastern light with their direction!

Let Bhārati come quickly to our worship and Ilā showing like a human being.
So let Sarasvati and both her fellows, deft Goddesses, on this fair grass be seated.

Hotar more skilled in sacrifice, bring hither with speed to-day God Tvashar, thou who knowest,
Even him who formed these two, the Earth and Heaven, the Parents, with their forms, and every creature.

Bring thou to our oblations which thou balmest the companies of Gods in ordered season.
Agni, Vanaspati, the Immolator sweeten our offered gifts with meath and butter!

Agni as soon as he was born made ready the sacrifice and was the Gods’ preceder.
May the Gods eat our offering consecrated according to this true Priest’s voice and guidance.

HYMN XIII: A charm against snakes

Varuna, Sage of heaven, hath given me the gift: with spells of mighty power I draw thy poison out.
Dug up, not dug, adherent, I have seized it fast: low hath thy venom sunk like water in the sands.

All the non-fluid portion of thy venom, I receive in these.
I take thy middlemost, thy highest, lowest juice: may it be
spent and lest by reason of thy fear.

Strong is my cry like thunder with the rainy cloud: with power- ful incantation let thy strength be stayed.
I, with the men to aid, have seized that juice of his; as light from out the gloom, let Sūrya rise on high

I with this eye destroy thine eye, and with this poison conquer thine.
Live not, O Snake, but die the death: back go thy venom on thyself.

Listen to me, Black Snakes and hateful creatures, Lurker-in- Grass, Karait, and Brown, and Spotty,
Approach not near the house my friend inhabits: give warning, and rest quiet with your poison.

Even as the cord that strings the bow, I slacken, as it were, the cars.
Of the All-conquering serpent’s wrath, of the fierce rage of
Black, and Brown, Taimāta, and Apodaka.

And Āligi and Viligi, their father and the mother too,—
What will ye do? Your venomed sap, we know, is utterly powerless.

Daughter of Urugūlā, she-fiend whom the black, skinned mother bare—
All female serpents poison who crept swiftly near is impotent.

Dwelling beside the mountain’s slope, the quick-eared porcupine exclaimed:
Of all these she-snakes homed in earth the poison is most powerless.

Tābuva or not Tābuva, thou verily art not Tābuva: poison is killed by Tābuva.
Tastuva or not Tastuva, thou verily art not Tastuva: poison is killed by Tastuva.

HYMN XIV: A charm against witchcraft

An eagle found thee: with his snout a wild boar dug thee from the earth.
Harm thou, O Plant, the mischievous, and drive the sorcerer away.

Beat thou the Yātudhānas back, drive thou away the sorcerer;
And chase afar, O Plant, the man who fain would do us injury.

As ’twere a strip cut round from skin of a white-footed an- telope,
Bind, like a golden chain, O God, his witchcraft on the sorcerer.

Take thou his sorcery by the hand, and to the sorcerer lead it back.
Lay it before him, face to face, that it may kill the sorcerer.

Back on the wizard fall his craft, upon the curser light his curse!
Let witchcraft, like a well-naved car, roll back upon the sorcerer.

Whoso, for other’s harm hath dealt-woman or man-in magic arts,
To him we lead the sorcery back, even as a courser with a rope.

Now whether thou hast been prepared by Gods or been pre- pared by men,
We, with our Indra at our side to aid us, lead thee back again.

Agni, victorious in fight, subdue the armies of our foes!
Back on the sorcerer we cast his sorcery, and beat it home.

Thou who hast piercing weapons, pierce him who hath wrought it; conquer him.
We do not sharpen thee to slay the man who hath not practised it.

Go as a son goes to his sire: bite as a trampled viper bites.
As one who flies from bonds, go back, O Witchcraft, to the sorcerer.

Even as the timid antelope or hind from her assailant flees,
So swiftly let the sorcery o’ertake and reach the sorcerer.

Straighter than any arrow let it fly against him, Heaven and Earth.
So let that witchcraft seize again the wizard like a beast of chase.

Let it go contrary like flame, like water following its course.
Let witchcraft, like a well-naved car, roll back upon the sorcerer.

HYMN XV: A charm for general prosperity

Plant! I have those who shall avert the threatened danger, ten and one.
O sacred Plant, produced aright! make sweetness, sweet thy self, for me.

Twenty and two, O Plant, have I who shall avert the threatened ill.
O sacred Plant, produced aright! make sweetness, sweet thyself, for me.

HYMN XVI: A charm for the increase of cattle

Bull! if thou art the single bull, beget. Thou hast no vital sap.

HYMN XVII: The abduction and restoration of a Brāhman’s wife

These first, the boundless Sea, and Mātarisvan, fierce glowing Fire, the Strong, the Bliss-bestower,
And heavenly Floods, first-born by holy Order, exclaimed against the outrage on a Brāhman.

King Soma first of all, without reluctance, made restitution of the Brāhman’s consort.
Mitra and Varuna were the inviters: Agni as Hotar took her hand and led her.

The man, her pledge, must by the hand be taken when he hath cried, She is a Brāhman’s consort.
She stayed not for a herald to conduct her: thus is the kingdom of a ruler guarded.

She whom they call the star with loosened tresses, descending as. misfortune on the village, p. a174
The Brāhman’s consort, she disturbs the kingdom where hath appeared the hare with fiery flashing.

Active in duty serves the Brahmachāri: he is a member of the Gods’ own body.
Through him Brihaspati obtained his consort, as the Gods gained the ladle brought by Soma.

Thus spake of her those Gods of old, Seven Rishis, who sate them down to their austere devotion:
Dire is a Brāhman’s wife led home by others: in the supremest heaven she plants confusion.

When infants die, untimely born, when herds of cattle waste away,
When heroes strike each other dead, the Brāhman’s wife destroyeth them.

Even if ten former husbands—none a Brāhman—had espoused a dame,
And then a Brāhman took her hand, he is her husband, only he,

Not Vaisya, not Rājanya, no, the Brāhman is indeed her lord:
This Sūrya in his course proclaims to the Five Races of man- kind.

So then the Gods restored her, so men gave the woman back again.
Princes who kept their promises restored the Brāhman’s wedded wife.

Having restored the Brāhman’s wife, and freed them, with Gods’ aid, from sin,
They shared the fulness of the earth and worn themselves ex- tended sway.

No lovely wife who brings her dower in hundreds rests upon his bed,
Within whose kingdom is detained, through want of sense, a Brāhman’s dame.

No broad-browed calf with wide-set ears is ever in his homestead born.
Within whose kingdom is detained, through want of sense, a Brāhman’s dame.

No steward, golden-necklaced, goes before the meat-trays of the man.
Within whose kingdom is detained, through want of sense, a Brāhman’s dame.

No black-eared courser, white of hue, moves proudly, harnessed to his car,
In whose dominion is detained, through want of sense, a Brāhman’s dame.

No lily grows with oval bulbs, no lotus-pool is in his field,
In whose dominion is detained, through senseless love, a Brāhman’s dame.

The men whose task it is to milk drain not the brindled cow for him,
In whose dominion is detained, through senseless love, a Brāhman’s dame.

His milch-cow doth not profit one, his draught-ox masters not the yoke,
Wherever, severed from his wife, a Brāhman spends the mourn- ful night.

HYMN XVIII: The wickedness of oppressing and robbing Brāhmans

The Gods, O Prince, have not bestowed this cow on thee to eat thereof.
Seek not, Rājanya, to devour the Brāhman’s cow which none may eat.

A base Rājanya, spoiled at dice, and ruined by himself, may eat.
The Brāhman’s cow and think, To-day and not tomorrow, let me live!

The Brāhman’s cow is like a snake, charged with due poison, clothed with skin.
Rājanya! bitter to the taste is she, and none may eat of her.

She takes away his strength, she mars his splendour, she ruins everything like fire enkindled.
That man drinks poison of the deadly serpent who counts the Brāhman as mere food to feed him.

Whoever smites him, deeming him a weakling-blasphemer, coveting his wealth through folly
Indra sets fire alight within his bosom. He who acts thus is loathed by Earth and Heaven.

No Brāhman must be injured, safe as fire from him who loves himself.
For Soma is akin to him and Indra guards him from the curse.

The fool who eats the Brāhmans’ food and thinks it pleasant to the taste,
Eats, but can ne’er digest, the cow that bristles with a hundred barbs,

His voice an arrow’s neck, his tongue a bowstring, his windpipes fire-enveloped heads of arrows, p. a177
With these the Brāhman pierces through blasphemers, with God-sped bows that quell the hearts within them.

Keen arrows have the Brāhmans, armed with missiles: the shaft, when they discharge it, never faileth.
Pursuing him with fiery zeal and anger, they pierce the foeman even from a distance.

They who, themselves ten hundred, were the rulers of a thousand men,
The Vaitahavyas, were destroyed for that they ate a Brāhman’s cow.

The cow, indeed, when she was slain o’erthrew those Vaitahavyas, who
Cooked the last she-goat that remained of Kesaraprābandhā’s flock.

One and a hundred were the folk, those whom the earth shook off from her:
When they had wronged the Brāhman race they perished incon- ceivably.

Among mankind the Gods’ despiser moveth: he hath drunk poison, naught but bone is left him.
Who wrongs the kinsman of the Gods, the Brāhman, gains not the sphere to which the Fathers travelled.

Agni, in sooth, is called our guide, Soma is called our next of kin.
Indra quells him who curses us. Sages know well that this is so.

Prince! like a poisoned arrow, like a deadly snake, O lord of kine!
Dire is the Brāhman’s arrow: he pierces his enemies therewith.

HYMN XIX: The wickedness of robbing or insulting Brāhmans

The sons of Vitahavya, the Srinjayas, waxed exceeding strong.
They well-nigh touched the heavens, but they wronged Bhrigu and were overthrown.

When men pierced Brihatsāman through, the Brāhman, son of Angiras,
The ram with teeth in both his jaws, the sheep, devoured their progeny.

If men have spat upon, or shot their rheum upon a Brāhman, they.
Sit in the middle of a stream running with blood, devouring hair.

While yet the Brāhman’s cow which men are dressing quivers in her throe:
She mars the kingdom’s splendour: there no vigorous hero springs to life.

Terrible is her cutting-up: her bitter flesh is cast away,
And it is counted sin among the Fathers if her milk is drunk.

If any King who deems himself mighty would eat a Brāhman up,
Rent and disrupted is that realm wherein a Brāhman is oppres- sed.

She grows eight-footed, and four-eyed, four-eared, four-jawed, two-faced, two-tongued,
And shatters down the kingdom of the man who doth the Brāhman wrong.

As water swamps a leaky ship so ruin overflows that realm.
Misfortune smites the realm wherein a Brāhman suffers scath and harm.

The very trees repel the man, and drive him from their sheltering shade,
Whoever claims, O Nārada, the treasure that a Brāhman owns.

That wealth, King Varuna hath said, is poison by the Gods prepared.
None hath kept watch to guard his realm who hath devoured a Brāhman’s cow.

Those nine-and-ninety people whom Earth shook and cast away from her,
When they had wronged the Brāhman race were ruined incon- ceivably.

Oppressor of the Brāhmans! thus the Gods have spoken and declared,
The step-effacing wisp they bind upon the dead shall be thy couch.

Oppressor of the Brāhmans! tears wept by the man who suffers wrong,
These are the share of water which the Gods have destined to be thine.

The share of water which the Gods have destined to be thine, is that,
Oppressor of the priest! wherewith men lave the corpse and wet the beard.

The rain of Mitra-Varuna falls not on him who wrongs the priest.
To him no counsel brings success: he wins, no friend to do his will.

HYMN XX: A hymn to the War-drum to secure victory

Formed out of wood, compact with straps of leather, loud is the: War-drum as he plays the hero.
Whetting thy voice and vanquishing opponents, roar at them like a lion fain to conquer!

The fastened frame hath roared as ’twere a lion, like a bull bel- lowing to meet the heifer.
Thou art a bull, thine enemies are weaklings: thine is the foe- subduing strength of Indra.

Like a bull marked by strength among the cattle, roar seeking kine and gathering up the booty.
Pierce through our adversaries’ heart with sorrow, and let our routed foes desert their hamlets.

Victorious in the battle, loudly roaring, seizing what may be seized, look all around thee.
Utter, O Drum, thy heavenly voice with triumph. Bring, as a priest, our enemies’ possessions.

Hearing the Drum’s far-reaching voice resounding, let the foe’s dame, waked by the roar, afflicted,
Grasping her son, run forward in her terror amid the conflict of the deadly weapons.

Thou, first of all, O Drum, thy voice shalt utter: over the ridge of earth speak forth exultant.
Crunching with might the army of the foemen, declare thy message pleasantly and clearly.

Loud be thy roar between the earth and heaven. Swift let thy sounds go forth in all directions.
Neigh at them, thunder, set in opposition, song-maker, good ally that friends may conquer. p. a181

He shall send forth his voice whom art hath fashioned. Make thou the weapons of our warriors bristle.
With Indra for ally call out our heroes, and with thy friends scatter and chase the foemen

Resonant, roaring, with thy powerful weapons, warning, and heard by troops in many places,
Knowing all rules and winning us advantage, deal fame to many where two kings are fighting.

Bent on advantage, mightier, gaining treasures, victor in war, the spell hath made thee keener.
As, in the press, the stone to stalks of Soma, thus, Drum! go dancing to our foes’ possessions.

Foe-conqueror, victor, vanquishing opponents, seeker of booty, mastering, destroying.
Speak out as a skilled speaker tells his counsel, speak strength to us that we may win the battle.

Shaker of things unshaken, readiest corner to battles; conquer- ing foes, resistless leader,
Guarded by Indra, watching our assemblies, go quickly, breaker of their hearts who hate us.

HYMN XXI: A hymn to the War-drum and various deities for victory

Speak to our enemies, O Drum, discouragement and wild dismay.
We bring upon our foemen fear and discord and discomfiture.
Drum! drive these enemies away.

When sacrificial butter hath been offered, let our foemen flee.
Through consternation, terrified, trembling in mind and eye and heart.

Wrought out of wood, compact with straps of leather, dear to all the clan, p. a182
Bedewed with sacrificial oil, speak terror to our enemies.

As the wild creatures of the wood flee in their terror from a man,
Even so do thou, O Drum, roar out against our foes to frighten
them, and then bewilder thou their thoughts.

As, when the wolf approaches, goats and sheep run sorely terrified,
Even so do thou, O Drum, roar out against our foes to frighten
them, and then bewilder thou their thoughts.

As birds of air, day after day, fly in wild terror from the hawk, as from a roaring lion’s voice,
Even so do thou, O Drum, roar out against our foes to frighten them, and then bewilder thou their thoughts.

May all the deities whose might controls the fortune of the fray
Frighten away our enemies with Drum and skin of antelope.

Let those our enemies who go yonder in their battalions shake.
In fear at shadows and the sounds of feet which Indra sporteth with.

To all the quarters of the sky let clang of bowstrings and our Drums.
Cry out to hosts of foes that go discomfited in serried ranks.

Āditya, take their sight away! Follow them close, ye motes of light.
Let them cleave fast to foot-bound hosts when strength of arm hath past away.

Do ye, O mighty Maruts, sons of Prisni, crush down, with Indra for ally, our foemen.
King Soma. Varuna, great God and sovran, Indra too, aye, Death,—

May these embattled Gods, brilliant as Sūrya—All hail!—one- minded conquer those who hate us.

HYMN XXII: A charm against fever

Hence, filled with holy strength let Agni, Soma, and Varuna, the Press-stone, and the Altar.
And Grass, and glowing Fuel banish Fever. Let hateful things stay at a distance yonder.

And thou thyself who makest all men yellow, consuming them with burning heat like Agni,
Thou, Fever! then be weak and ineffective. Pass hence into the realms below or vanish.

Endowed with universal power! send Fever down-ward, far away,
The spotty, like red-coloured dust, sprung from a spotty ancestor.

When I have paid obeisance to Fever I send him downward forth.
So let Sakambhara’s boxer go again to the Mahāvrishas.

His mansions are the Mūjavans, and the Mahāvrishas his home,
Thou, Fever, ever since thy birth hast lived among the Bahlikas.

Fever, snake, limbless one, speak out! Keep thyself far away fi om us.
Seek thou a wanton Dāst girl and strike her with thy thunder- bolt.

Go, Fever, to the Mūjavans, or, farther, to the Bahlikas.
Seek a lascivious Sara girl and seem to shake her through and through.

Go hence and eat thy kinsmen the Mahāvrishas and Mūjavans.
These or those foreign regions we proclaim to Fever for his home.

In a strange land thou joyest not; subdued, thou wilt be kind to us.
Fever is eager to depart, and to the Bahlikas will go,

Since thou now cold, now burning hot, with cough besides, hast made us shake,
Terrible, Fever, are thy darts: forbear to injure us with these.

Take none of these to be thy friends, Cough, or Consumption or Decline:
Never come thence again to us! O Fever, thus I counsel thee.

Go, Fever, with Consumption, thy brother, and with thy sister, Cough.
And with thy nephew Herpes, go away unto that alien folk.

Chase Fever whether cold or hot, brought by the summer or the rains,
Tertian, intermittent, or autumnal, or continual.

We to Gandhāris, Mūjavans, to Angas and to Magadhas.
Hand over Fever as it were a servant and a thing of price.

HYMN XXIII: A charm against parasitic worms

I have called Heaven and Earth to aid, have called divine Sarasvati,
Indra and Agni have I called: Let these destroy the worm, I prayed.

O Indra, Lord of Treasures, kill the worms that prey upon this boy.
All the malignant spirits have been smitten by my potent spell.
We utterly destroy the worm, the worm that creeps around the eyes.
The worm that crawls about the nose, the worm that gets bet- ween the teeth.

Two of like colour, two unlike, two coloured black, two coloured red.
The tawny and the tawny-eared, Vulture and Wolf, all these are killed.

Worms that are white about the sides, those that are black with black-hued arms,
All that show various tints and hues, these worms we utterly destroy.

Eastward the Sun is mounting, seen of all, destroying thing unseen,
Crushing and killing all the worms invisible and visible.

Let the Yevāshas, Kaskashas, Ejatkas, Sipavitnukas,
Let both the worm that we can see, and that we see not, be destroyed.

Slain the Yevāsha of the worms, slain too is the Nadaniman.
I have reduced them all to dust like vetches with the pounding- stone.

The worm Sāranga, white of hue, three-headed, with a triple hump,
I split and tear his ribs away, I wrench off every head he has.

I kill you, worms, as Atri, as Kanva and Jamadagni killed.
I crush the worms to pieces with a spell that erst Agastya used.

The King of worms hath been destroyed, he who was lord of these is slain.
Slain is the worm whose mother, whose brother and sister have been slain.

Destroyed are his dependants, who those dwell around him are destroyed,
And all the worms that seem to be the little ones are done to death

Of every worm and insect, of the female and the male alike,
I crush the head to pieces with a stone and burn the face with fire.

HYMN XXIV: A priest’s prayer for protection and assistance

Savitar, Lord of furthering aids, protect me, in this my prayer,
in this mine act, in this my sacerdotal charge, in this perfor-
mance, in this thought, in this my plan and wish, in this my calling on the Gods! All hail!

May Agni, Lord of forest trees, protect, me, in, etc.

May Heaven and Earth, the Queens of bounties, save me.

May Varuna, the Lord of waters, save me.

May Mitra-Varuna, Lords of rain, preserve me.

Lords of the mountains, may the Maruts save me.

May, Soma, Lord of plants and herbs, protect me.

May Vāyu, Lord of middle air, protect me.

May Sūrya, sovran Lord of eyes, protect me.

May the Moon, Lord of constellations, save me.

May Indra who is Lord of heaven protect me.

The Maruts’ father, Lord of cattle, save me.

May Mrityu, Lord of living creatures, save me.

May Yama, Regent of the Fathers, save me.

May the Forefathers of old time protect me.

May Fathers of succeeding ages save me.

Next may the Fathers of our fathers save me, in this my prayer,.
in this mine act, in this my sacerdotal charge, in this perfor-
mance, in this thought, in this my plan and wish, in this my
calling on the Gods! All hail!

HYMN XXV: A charm to facilitate conception

Let the man, sower of the germ, lay, as a feather on a shaft.
Limb drawn from limb, whate’er is culled from cloud and from the womb of heaven.

Even as this broad earth received the germ of all the things that be,
Thus within thee I lay the germ. I call thee, Earth, to strengthen it.

Sinivāli, set the germ, set thou the germ, Sarasvati! In thee
let both the Asvins, crowned with lotuses, bestow the germ.

Let Mitra-Varuna and God Brihaspati lay the germ in thee.
Indra and Agni lay the germ, Dhātar bestow the germ in thee.

Let Vishnu form and mould the womb, let Tvashtar duly shape the forms,
Prajāpati infuse the stream, and Dhātar lay for thee the germ.

Drink thou the procreative draught well-known to Varuna the King,
Known to divine Sarasvati, and Indra slayer of the foe.

Thou art the germ of plants and herbs, thou art the germ of forest trees,
The germ of each existing thing, so here, O Agni, lay the germ.

Rise up, put forth thy manly strength, and lay thy germ within the womb.
A bull art thou with vigorous strength: for progeny we bring thee near.

Prepare thee, Bārhatsāmā, let the germ be laid within thy side.
The Soma-drinking Gods have given a son to thee, thy son and mine.

O Dhātar, thou Disposer, lay within the body of this dame.
A male germ with the noblest form, for her, in the tenth month, to bear.

Tvashtar, celestial artist, lay within the body of this dame.
A male germ with the noblest form for her in the tenth month to bear.

Savitar, vivifier, lay within the body of this dame A male germ
with the noblest form for her in the tenth month to bear.

O Lord of Life, Prajāpati, within this woman’s body lay
A male germ with the noblest form for her in the tenth month to bear.

HYMN XXVI: A hymn of invitation to the gods

In sacrifice for you may sapient Agni—All hail!—use Yajus texts and fuel.

May Savitar the God—All hail!—foreknowing, chief in this sacrifice, employ them.

In this great rite—All hail!—may sapient Indra use lauds, rejoicings, well-yoked coursers.

Bring Praishas in the rite—All hail!—and Nivids, learned, con- nected, with the Consorts.

As a dame brings her son—All hail! O Maruts, connected, in the rite bring measures.

Here Aditi is come—All hail!—preparing the rite with grass and lustral waters.

Let Vishnu in this rite in varied manner—All hail! use well- yoked steeds, his fervours.

Let Tvashtar in this rite in varied manner—All hail!—use forms, his well-yoked coursers. p. a189

Let Bhaga in this rite use prayers, foreknowing—All hail! for this use well-yoked coursers.

Let Soma in this rite in varied manner—All hail!—use milk- streams, well-yoked coursers.

Let Indra in this rite in varied manner—All hail!—use powers,. his well-yoked coursers.

Hitherward come ye with the prayer, O Asvins, exalting sacrifice with cry of Vashat!
Brihaspati!—All hail!—with prayer come hither. Here is the rite, here heaven for him who worships.

HYMN XXVII: An Apri or Propitiatory hymn

Uplifted be this sacrificer’s fuel: lofty and brilliant be the flames of Agni!
Splendidly bright, fair-faced, with all his offspring, Tanūnapāt the Asura, many-handed.

God among Gods, the God bedews the paths with fatness and’ with mead.

With store of mead to sacrifice comes Agni, comes Narāsansa
Agni, friendly-minded, comes Savitar, righteous God who brings all blessings.

Hither he comes with power and fatness also, the luminous,. implored with adoration.

At holy rites and offerings Agni loveth the scoops: let this man worship Agni’s greatness.

He is the furtherer at glad oblations: there stood the Vasus and the treasure-givers.

Ever the Doors divine, and all protect this worshipper’s holy work.

Far-reaching, ruling by the Law of Agni, May Dawn and Night, the holy, speeding near us, aid this our
sacrificial ceremony.

Celestial Hotars, with the tongues of Agni praise and extol our lofty ceremony, so that our sacrifice be well conducted!

Three Goddesses upon this grass, be seated, Idā, Sarasvati, Mahi, and Bhārati adored with praise.

This our nutritious genial flow, God Tvashtar! and growth of wealth, pour down on this man’s kindred.

Vanaspati, rejoicing, of thyself send God-ward! Let Agni, Im- molator, sweeten our libation.

Pay sacrifice to Indra, Jātavedas Agni, with Hail! Let all the Gods accept the gifts we offer.

HYMN XXVIII: A charm to ensure general protection and prosperity

For lengthened life, to last through hundred autumns, they equalize with nine the nine aspirations.
Three in gold, three in silver, three in iron by heat are stablished in their several places.

May Agni, Sun, and Moon, and Earth, and Waters, Sky, Air, the Quarters and the Points between them,
And Parts of Years accordant with the Seasons by this three- threaded Amulet preserve me.

In three-threaded Charm rest triple fulness! Let Pūshan cover it with milk and butter.
Here rest abundant store of food and people, may ample store of cattle rest within it.

Enrich this charm, Ādityas, with your treasure; magnify this, when magnified, O Agni.
Endow it with heroic strength, O Indra: therein be lodged a triple power of increase.

With gold let Earth protect thee, and with iron, accordant, all- sustaining Agni save thee!
And in accordance with the plants may silver, regarding thee with favour, grant thee vigour.

This gold, born threefold at its first production, grew the one
thing that Agni loved most dearly: it fell away, one part of injured Soma.
One part they call seed of the sapient Waters. This gold bring thee long life when triply threaded!

Three lives of Jamadagni, thrice the vital force of Kasyapa,
Three sights of immortality, three lives have I prepared for thee.

When with the three-stringed charm came three strong eagles,
sharing the Sacred Syllable and mighty,
With immortality they drove off Mrityu, obscuring and conceal- ing all distresses.

The golden guard thee from the sky, the silvern guard thee from the air,
The iron guard thee from the earth! This man hath reached the forts of Gods.

May these three castles of the Gods keep thee secure on every side.
Endowed with strength, possessing these, be thou the master of thy foes,

The God who first bound on in the beginning the deities’ im- mortal golden castle,—
Him I salute with ten extended fingers. Blest be the three- stringed charm I bind upon thee.

Aryaman be thy binder-on, and Pūshan and Brihaspati:
Whatever name the brood of day possess, therewith we fasten thee.

With Seasons and with Lengths of Time, for vigour and exten- ded life,
With all the splendour of the Sun we fasten thee about the neck.

Drawn forth from butter and with meath besprinkled, firm as the earth, unshakable, triumphant.
Breaking down foes and casting them beneath me, be fastened on me for exalted fortune!

HYMN XXIX: A charm for the destruction of malignant goblins

Made ready in the east drive forth, take notice of what is hap- pening here, omniscient Agni! p. a193
Thou bringest medicine and healest sickness: through thee may we win horses, kine, and people.

Accordant with all Gods, O Jātavedas Agni, perform this work as we beseech thee,
That this defence of his may fall, whoever hath caused us pain, whoever hath consumed us.

Unanimous, with all the Gods together, so do this thing O Agni
Jātavedas, that this defence of his may fall and fail him.

Pierce both his eyes, pierce thou the heart within him, crush thou his teeth and cleave his tongue asunder.
Rend thou, most youthful Agni, that Pisācha whoso amid them all of this hath eaten.

Whatever of his body hath been taken, plundered, borne off, or eaten by Pisāchas,
This, Agni, knowing it, again bring hither! We give back flesh and spirit to his body.

If some Pisācha in my food raw, ready, thoroughly cooked, or, spotty, hath deceived me,
Let the Pisāchas with their lives and offspring atone for this, and let this man be healthy.

If one hath cheated me in milk or porridge, in food from grain or plants that need no culture.
Let the Pisāchas, etc.

If one, flesh eater, in a draught of water have wronged me lying
in the bed of goblins,
Let the Pisāchas, etc.

If one, flesh-eater, in the day or night-time have wronged me
lying in the bed of goblins,
Let the Pisāchas, etc.

0O Agni Jātavedas, slay the bloody Pisācha, flesh-devourer, mind- destroyer,
Strong Indra strike him with his bolt of thunder, courageous
Soma cut his head to pieces!

Thou, Agni, ever slayest Yātudhānas, the fiends have never con- quered thee in battles.
Consume thou from the root the flesh-devourers, let none of them escape thy heavenly weapon

Collect, O Jātavedas, what hath been removed and borne away.
Let this man’s members grow, let him swell like the tendril of a plant.

Like as the Soma’s tendril, thus, O Jātavedas let him swell,
Let him live, Agni I Make him fat, free from consumption, full of sap.

Here, Agni, is the fuel, here are logs that crush Pisāchas down.
O Jātavedas, willingly accept them and be pleased therewith.

Accept, O Agni, with thy flame the billets of Tārshtāgha wood.
Let the flesh-eater who would take the flesh of this man lose his form.

HYMN XXX: A charm to restore life and health

From thy vicinity I call, from near, from far, from night at hand.
Stay here: depart not: follow not the Fathers of the olden time. I bind thy vital spirit fast.

If any man, a stranger or akin, hath cast a spell on thee,
I with my voice to thee declare thy freedom and release there- from.

If in thy folly thou hast lied or cursed a woman or a man,
I with my voice declare to thee thy freedom and release there- from.

If thou art lying there because of mother’s or of father’s sin,
I with my voice declare to thee thy freedom and release there- from.

Accept the healing medicine, the balm thy mother and thy sire,
Thy sister and thy brother bring. I make thee live through lengthened years.

O man, stay here among us; stay with all thy spirit: follow not
Yama’s two messengers. Approach the castles where the living dwell.

Come back as thou art called to come, knowing the outlet of the path,
And the Approach and its ascent, the way of every living man.

Be not alarmed: thou wilt not die. I give thee lengthened years of life.
Forth from thy members have I charmed Decline that caused the fever there.

Gone is the pain that racked thee, gone thy fever, gone thy heart’s disease.
Consumption, conquered by my voice, hath, like a hawk, fled far away.

Two sages, Sense and Vigilance, the sleepless and the watchful one,
These, the protectors of thy life, shall be awake both day and night.

This Agni must be waited on. Here let the Sun mount up for thee.
Rise from deep death and come away, yea, from black darkness rise thou up!

Homage be paid to Yama, to Mrityu, and to the Fathers, and to those who guide us!
I honour first, for this man’s preservation, that Agni who well knoweth how to save him.

Let breath and mind return to him, let sight and vigour come again
Let all his body be restored and firmly stand upon its feet.

Provide this man with breath and sight, O Agni, and with his body and his strength unite him.
Thou knowest Amrit: let him not go hence, nor dwell in house of clay.

Let not thine inward breathing fail, let not thine outward breath be lost.
Let Sūrya who is Lord Supreme raise thee from death with beams of light.

Tied, tremulously moving, here the tongue is speaking in the mouth.
With thee I charmed Decline away and Fever’s hundred ago- nies.

This living world, unconquered of the Gods, is most beloved of all.
To whatsoever death thou wast destined when thou wast born,. O man,
This death and we call after thee. Die not before decrepit age!

HYMN XXXI: A counter-charm against the incantations of an enemy

The spell that they have cast for thee on unbaked dish or ming- led meal,
The witchcraft wrought on undressed meat, this I strike back again on them.

The spell that they have cast for thee on jungle-cock, goat, horned ram,
The witchcraft wrought upon thy ewe, this I strike back again on them.

The spell that they have cast upon thy beast that hath uncloven hooves,
The ass with teeth in both his jaws, this I strike back again on them.

The secret spell upon thy plants Amūlā or Narāchi, spell
That they have cast upon thy field, this I strike back again on them.

The spell that wicked men have cast on thine original household- fire,
And on thy sacrificial hall, this I strike back again on them.

The spell that they have cast upon thy public room thy gambl- ing-board,
Spell they have cast upon thy dice, this I strike back again on them.

The spell that they have cast upon thine army or thy shafts and arms,
Spell they have cast upon the drum, this I throw back again on them.

Charm they have laid within thy well or buried in the burning- ground,
Charm they have laid within thy home, this I throw back again on them.

The spell that they have wrought for thee in flickering fire of human bones,—
Mroka, consuming, cannibal, this I throw back again on them.

He brought this by no proper path, by the right path we drive it back.
The fool in folly brought it to those who observe established bounds.

No power had he who wrought the spell: he hurt his foot, he broke his toe.
Unlucky for his wealthy lords, he hath wrought happiness for us.

May Indra slay with mighty bolt, may Agni with his missible pierce.
The sorcerer who brings the curse, who deals with roots and secret spells.