Translator Ralph T.H. Griffith
THE FORTH BOOK
HYMN I. Agni.
1, THEE Agni, have the Gods, ever of one accord, sent hither down, a God, appointed messenger, yea, with their wisdom sent thee down.
The Immortal, O thou Holy One, mid mortal men, the God-devoted God, the wise, have they brought forth, brought forth the omnipresent God-devoted Sage.
2. As such, O Agni, bring with favour to the Gods thy Brother Varuna who loveth sacrifice,
True to the Law, the Aditya who supporteth men, the King, supporter of mankind.
3. Do thou, O Friend, turn hither him who is our Friend, swift as a wheel, like two car-steeds in rapid course, Wondrous! to us in rapid course.
O Agni, find thou grace for us with Varuna, with Maruts who illumine all.
Bless us, thou Radiant One, for seed and progeny, yea, bless us, O thou Wondrous God.
4. Do thou who knowest Varuna, O Agni, put far away from us the God’s displeasure.
Best Sacrificer, brightest One, refulgent remove thou far from us all those who hate us.
5. Be thou, O Agni, nearest us with succour, our closest Friend while now this Morn is breaking.
Reconcile to us Varuna, be bounteous enjoy the gracious juice; be swift to hear us.
6. Excellent is the glance, of brightest splendour, which the auspicious God bestows on mortals-
The God’s glance, longed-for even as the butter, pure, heated, of the cow, the milch-cow’s bounty.
7. Three are those births, the true, the most exalted, eagerly longed-for, of the God, of Agni.
He came invested in the boundless region, pure, radiant, friendly, mightily resplendent.
8. This envoy joyeth in all seats of worship, borne on his golden car, sweet-tongued Invoker:
Lovely to look on, with red steeds, effulgent, like a feast rich in food, joyous for ever.
9. Allied by worship, let him give man knowledge: by an extended cord they lead him onward.
He stays, effectual in this mortal’s dwelling, and the God wins a share in his possessions.
10. Let Agni -for he knows the way- conduct us to all that he enjoys of God-sent riches,
What all the Immortals have prepared with wisdom, Dyaus, Sire, Begetter, raining down true blessings.
11. In houses first he sprang into existence, at great heaven’s base, and in this region’s bosom;
Footless and headless, both his ends concealing, in his Bull’s lair drawing himself together.
12. Wondrously first he rose aloft, defiant, in the Bull’s lair, the homeof holy Order,
Longed-for, young, beautiful, and far-resplendent: and sevendear frieuds sprang up unto the Mighty.
13. Here did our human fathers take their places, fain to fulfil the sacred Law of worship.
Forth drave they, with loud call, Dawn’s teeming Milch-kine bid in the mountainstable, in the cavern.
14. Splendid were they when they had rent the mountain: others, around, shall tell forth this their exploit.
They sang their song, prepared to free the cattle: they found the light; with holy hymns they worshipped.
15. Eager, with thought intent upon the booty, the men with their celestial speech threw open,
The solid mountain firm, compact, enclosing, confining Cows, the stable full of cattle.
16. The Milch-cow’s earliest name they comprehended: they found the Mother’s thrice-seven noblest titles.
This the bands knew, and sent forth acclamation:with the Bull’s sheen the Red One was apparent.
17. The turbid darkness fled, the heaven was sp, endid! up rose the bright beam of celestial Morning.
Surya ascended to the wide expanses, beholding deeds of men both good and evil.
18. Then, afterwards they looked around, awakened, when first they held that Heaven allotted treasure.
Now all the Gods abide in all their dwellings. Varuna, Mitra, be the prayer effective.
19. I will call hither brightly-beaming Agni, the Herald, all-supporting, best at worship.
He hath disclosed, like the milch cows’ pure udder, the Sorria’s juice when cleansed and poured from beakers.
20. The freest God of all who should be worshipped, the guest who is received in all men’s houses,
Agni who hath secured the Gods’ high favour,-may he be gracious, to us Jatavedas.
HYMN II. Agni.
1. THE, Faithful One, Immortal among mortals, a God among the Gods, appointed envoy,
Priest, best at worship, must shine forth in glory . Agni shall be raised high with man’s oblations.
2. Born for us here this day, O Son of Vigour, between both races of born beings, Agni,
Thou farest as an envoy, having harnessed, Sublime One! thy strong-muscled radiant stallions.
3. I laud the ruddy steeds who pour down blessing, dropping oil, flectest through the thoualit of Order.
Yoking red horses to and fro thou goest between you Deities and mortal races.
4. Aryaman, Mitra, Varuna, and Indra with Visnu, of the Gods, Maruts and Asvins-
These, Agni, with good car and steeds, bring hither, most bountiful, to folk with fair oblations.
5. Agni, be this our sacrifice eternal, with brave friends, rich in kine and sheep and horses,
Rich, Asura! in sacred food and children, in full assembly, wealth broad-based and during.
6. The man who, sweating, brings for thee the fuel, and makes his head to ache, thy faithful servant,-
Agni, to him be a self-strong Protector guard him from all who seek to do him mischief.
7. Who brings thee food, though thou hast food in plenty, welcomes his cheerful guest and speeds him onward,
Who kindles thee devoutly in his dwelling,to him be wealth secure and freely giving.
8. Whoso sings praise to thee at eve or morning, and, with oblation, doth the thing thou lovest,-
In his own home, even as a goId-girt courser, rescue him from distress, the bounteous giver.
9. Whoso brings gifts to thee Immortal, Agni, and doth thee service with uplifted ladle,-
Let him not, sorely toiling, lose his riches; let not the sinner’s wickedness enclose him.
10. Whose well-wrought worship thou acceptest, Agni, thou God a mortal’s gift, thou liberal Giver,-
Dear be his sacrifice to thee, Most Youthful! and may we strengthen him when he adores thee.
11. May he who knows distinguish sense and folly of men, like straight and crooked backs of horses.
Lead us, O God, to wealth and noble offspring: keep penury afar and grant us plenty.
12. This Sage the Sages, ne’er deceived, commanded, setting him down in dwellings of the living.
Hence mayst thou, friendly God, with rapid footsteps behold the Gods, wonderful, fair to look on.
13. Good guidance hast thou for the priest, O Agni, who, Youngest God! with outpoured Soma serves thee.
Ruler of men, thou joyous God, bring treasure splendid and plentiful to aid the toiler.
14. Now all that we, thy faithful servants, Agni, have done with feet, with hands, and with our bodies,
The wise, with toil, the holy rite have guided, as those who frame a car with manual cunning.
15. May we, seven sages first in rank, engender, from Dawn the Mother, men to be ordainers.
May we, Angirases, be sons of Heaven, and, radiant, burst the wealth-containing mountain.
16. As in the days of old our ancient Fathers, speeding the work of holy worship, Agni,
Sought pure light and devotion, singing praises; they cleft the ground and made red Dawns apparent.
17. Gods, doing holy acts, devout, resplendent, smelting like ore their human generations.
Enkindling Agni and exalting Indra, they came encompassing the stall of cattle.
18. Strong One! he marked them-and the Gods before them-like herds of cattle in a foodful pasture.
There they moaned forth their strong desire for mortals, to aid the True, the nearest One, the Living.
19. We have worked for thee, we have laboured nobly-bright Dawns have shed their light upon our worship-
Adding a beauty to the perfect Agni, and the God’s beauteous eye that shines for ever.
20. Agni, Disposer, we have sung these praises to thee the Wise: do thou accept them gladly.
Blaze up on high and ever make us richer. Give us great wealth, O thou whose boons are many.
HYMN III. Agni.
1. WIN, to assist you, Rudra, Lord of worship, Priest of both worlds, effectual
Agni, invested with his golden colours, before the thunder strike and lay you senseless.
2. This shrine have we made ready for thy coming, as the fond dame attires her for her husband.
Performer of good work, sit down before us, invested while these flames incline to meet thee.
3. A hymn, O Priest, to him who hears, the gentle, to him who looks on men, exceeding gracious,
A song of praise sing to the God Immortal, whom the stone, presser of the sweet juice, worships.
4. Even as true knower of the Law, O Agni, to this our solemn rite he thou attentive.
When shall thy songs of festival be sung thee? When is thy friendship shown within our dwelling?
5. Why this complaint to Varuna, O Agni? And why to Heaven? for what is our transgression?
How wilt thou speak to Earth and bounteous Mitra? What wilt thou say to Aryaman and Bhaga?
6. What, when thou blazest on the lesser altars, what to the mighty Wind who comes tobless us,
True, circumambient? what to Earth, O Agni, what wilt thou say to man-destroying Rudra?
7. How to great Pusan who promotes our welfare,- to honoured Rudra what, who gives oblations?
What sin of ours to the far-striding Visnu, what, Agni, wilt thou tell the Lofty Arrow.
8. What wilt thou tell the truthful band of Maruts, how answer the great Sun when thou art questioned?
Before the Free, before the Swift, defend us: fulfil heaven’s work, all-knowing Jatavedas.
9. I crave the cow’s true gift arranged by Order: though raw, she hath the sweet ripe juice, O Agni.
Though she is black of hue with milk she teemeth, nutritious, brightly shining, all-sustaining.
10. Agni the Bull, the manly, hath been sprinkled with oil upon his back, by Law eternal.
He who gives vital power goes on unswerving. Prsni the Bull hath milked the pure wiiite udder.
11. By Law the Angirases cleft the rock asunder, and sang their hymns together with the cattle.
Bringing great bliss the men encompassed Morning: light was apparent at the birth of Agni.
12. By Law the Immortal Goddesses the Waters, with meath-rich waves, O Agni, and uninjured,
Like a strong courser lauded in his running, sped to flow onward swiftly and for ever.
13. Go never to the feast of one who harms us, the treacherous neighbour or. unworthy kinsman.
Punish us not for a false brother’s trespass. Let us riot feel the might of friend or foeman.
14. O Agni, keep us safe with thy protection, loving us, honoured God! and ever guarding.
Beat thou away, destory severe affliction slay e’en the demon when he waxes mighty.
15. Through these our songs of praise be gracious, Agni; moved by ourprayers, O Hero, touch our viands.
Accept, O Angiras, these our devotions, and let the praise which Gods desire address thee.
16. To thee who knowest, Agni, thou Disposer, all these wise secret speeches have I uttered,
Sung to thee, Sage, the charming words of wisdom, to thee, O Singer, with. my thoughts and Praises.