Translator Ralph T.H. Griffith
THE FIFTH BOOK
HYMN I. Agni
1. Agni is wakened by the people’s fuel to meet the Dawn who cometh like a milch-cow.
Like young trees shooting up on high their branches, his flames are rising to the vault of heaven.
2. For worship of the Gods the Priest was wakened: at morning gracious Agni hath arisen.
Kindled, his radiant might is made apparent, and the great Deity set free from darkness.
3. When he hath stirred the line of his attendants, with the pure milk pure Agni is anointed.
The strength-bestowing gift is then made ready, which spread in front, with tongues, erect, he drinketh.
4. The spirits of the pious turn together to Agni, as the eyes of all to Surya.
He, when both Dawns of different hues have borne him, springs up at daybreak as a strong white charger.
5. The noble One was born at days’ beginning, laid red in colour mid the well-laid fuel.
Yielding in every house his seven rich treasures, Agni is seated, Priest most skilled in worship.
6. Agni hath sat him down, a Priest most skilful, on a sweet-smelling place, his Mother’s bosom.
Young, faithful, sage, preeminent o’er many, kindled among the folk whom he sustaineth.
7. This Singer excellent at sacrifices, Agni the Priest, they glorify with homage.
Him who spread out both worlds by Law Eternal they balm with oil, strong Steed who never faileth.
8. He, worshipful House-Friend, in his home is worshipped, our own auspicious guest, lauded by sages.
That strength the Bull with thousand horns possesses. In might, O Agni, thou excellest others.
9. Thou quickly passest by all others, Agni, for him to whom thou hast appeared most lovely,
Wondrously fair, adorable, effulgent, the guest of men, the darling of the people.
10. To thee, Most Youthful God! to thee, O Agni from near and far the people bring their tribute.
Mark well the prayer of him who best extols thee. Great, high, auspicious, Agni, is thy shelter.
11. Ascend to-day thy splendid car, O Agni, in splendour, with the Holy Ones around it.
Knowing the paths by mid-air’s spacious region bring hither Gods to feast on our oblation.
12. To him adorable, sage, strong and mighty we have sung forth our song of praise and homage.
Gavisthira hath raised with prayer to Agni this laud far-reaching, like gold light to heaven.
HYMN II. Agni.
1. THE youthful Mother keeps the Boy in secret pressed to her close, nor yields him to the Father.
But, when he lies upon the arm, the people see his unfading countenance before them.
2. What child is this thou carriest as handmaid, O Youthful One? The Consort-Queen hath bome him.
The Babe unborn increased through many autumns. I saw him born what time his Mother bare him.
3. I saw him from afar gold-toothed, bright-coloured, hurling his weapons from his habitation,
What time I gave him Amrta free from mixture. How can the Indraless, the hymnless harm me?
4. I saw him moving from the place he dwells in, even as with a herd, brilliantly shining.
These seized him not: he had been born already. They who were grey with age again grow youthful.
5. Who separate my young bull from the cattle, they whose protector was in truth no stranger?
Let those whose hands have seized upon them free them. May he, observant, drive the herd to us-ward.
6. Mid mortal men godless have secreted the King of all who live, home of the people.
So may the prayers of Atri give him freedom. Reproached in turn be those who now reproach him.
7. Thou from the stake didst loose e’en Sunahsepa bound for a thousand; for he prayed with fervour.
So, Agni, loose from us the bonds that bind us, when thou art seated here, O Priest who knowest.
8. Thou hast sped from me, Agni, in thine anger: this the protector of Gods’ Laws hath told me.
Indra who knoweth bent his eye upon thee: by him instructed am I come, O Agni.
9. Agni shines far and wide with lofty splendour, and by his greatness makes all things apparent.
He conquers godless and malign enchantments, and sharpens both his horns to gore the Raksas.
10. Loud in the heaven above be Agni’s roarings with keen-edged weapons to destroy the demons.
Forth burst his splendours in the Soma’s rapture. The godless bands press round but cannot stayhim.
11. As a skilled craftsman makes a car, a singer I, Mighty One! this hymn for thee have fashioned.
If thou, O Agni, God, accept it gladly, may we obtain thereby the heavenly Waters.
12. May he, the strong-necked Steer, waxing in vigour, gather the foeman’s wealth with none to check him.
Thus to this Agni have the Immortals spoken. To man who spreads the grass may he grant shelter, grant shelter to the man who brings oblation.
HYMN III. Agni.
1. THOU at thy birth art Varuna, O Agni; when thou art kindled thou becomest Mitra.
In thee, O Son of Strength, all Gods are centred. Indra art thou to man who brings oblation.
2. Aryaman art thou as regardeth maidens mysterious, is thy name, O Self-sustainer.
As a kind friend with streams of milk they balm thee what time thou makcst wife and lord one-minded.
3. The Maruts deck their beauty for thy glory, yea, Rudra! for thy birth fair, brightly-coloured.
That which was fixed as Visnu’s loftiest station-therewith the secret of the Cows thou guardest.
4. Gods through thy glory, God who art so lovely! granting abundant gifts gained life immortal.
As their own Priest have men established Agni; and serve him fain for praise from him who liveth.
5. There is no priest more skilled than thou in worship; none Self-sustainer pass thee in wisdom.
Ile man within whose house as guest thou dwellest, O God, by sacrifice shall conquer mortals.
6 Aided by thee, O Agni may we conquer through our oblation, fain for wealth, awakened:
May we in battle, in the days’ assemblies,O Son of Strength, by riches conquer mortals.
7. He shall bring evil on the evil-plottcr whoever turns against us sin and outrage.
Destroy this calumny of him, O Agni, whoever injures us with double-dealing.
8. At this dawn’s flushing, God! our ancient fathers served thee with offerings, making thee their envoy,
When, Agni, to the store of wealth thou goest, a God cnkindled with good things by mortals.
9. Save, thou who knowest, draw thy father near thee, who counts as thine own son, O Child of Power.
O sapient Agni, when wilt thou regard us? When, skilled in holy Law, wilt thou direct us?
10. Adoring thee he gives thee many a title, when thou, Good Lord! acceptest this as Father.
And doth not Agni, glad in strength of Godhead, gain splendid bliss when he hath waxen mighty?
11. Most Youthful Agni, verily thou bearest thy praiser safely over all his troubles.
Thieves have been seen by us and open foemen: unknown have been the plottings of the wicked.
12. To thee these eulogies have been directed: or to the Vasu hath this sin been spoken.
But this our Agni, flaming high, shall never yield us to calumny, to him who wrongs us.
HYMN IV. Agni.
1. O AGNI, King and Lord of wealth and treasures, in thee is my delight at sacrifices.
Through thee may we obtain the strength we long for, and overcome the fierce attacks of mortals.
2. Agni, Eternal Father, offering- bearer, fair to behold, far-reaching, far-refulgent,
From well-kept household fire beam food to feed us, and measure out to us abundant glory.
3. The Sage of men, the Lord of human races, pure, purifying Agni, balmed with butter,
Him the Omniscient as your Priest ye stablish: he wins among the Gods things worth the choosing.
4. Agni, enjoy, of one accord with Ila, striving in rivalry with beams of Sarya,
Enjoy, O Jatavedas, this our fuel, and bring the Gods to us to taste oblations.
5. As dear House-Friend, guest welcome in the dwelling, to this our sacrifice come thou who knowest.
And, Agni, having scattered all assailants, bring to us the possessions of our foemen.
6. Drive thou away the Dasyu with thy weapon. As, gaining vital power for thine own body,
O Son of Strength, the Gods thou satisfiest, so in fight save us, most heroic Agni.
7. May we, O Agni, with our lauds adore thee, and with our gifts, fair-beaming Purifier!
Send to us wealth containing all things precious: bestow upon us every sort of riches.
8. Son of Strength, Agni, dweller in three regions, accept our sacrifice and our oblation.
Among the Gods may we be counted pious: protect us with a triply-guarding shelter.
9. Over all woes and dangers, Jatavedas, bear us as in a boat across a river.
Praised with our homage even as Atri praised thee, O Agni, be the guardian of our bodies.
10. As I, remembering thee with grateful spirit, a mortal, call with might on thee Immortal,
Vouchsafe us high renown, O Jatavedas, and may I be immortal by my children.
11 .The pious man, O Jatavedas Agni, to whom thou grantest ample room and pleasure,
Gaineth abundant wealth with sons and horses, with heroes and with kine for his well-being.
HYMN V. Apris.
1. To Agni, Jatavedas, to the flame, the well-enkindled God,
Offer thick sacrificial oil.
2. He, Narasamsa, ne’er beguiled, inspiriteth this sacrifice:
For sage is he, with sweets in hand.
3. Adored, O Agni, hither bring Indra the Wonderful, the Friend,
On lightly-rolling car to aid.
4. Spread thyself out, thou soft as wool The holy hymns have sung to thee.
Bring gain to us, O beautiful!
5. Open yourselves, ye Doors Divine, easy of access for our aid:
Fill, more and more, the sacrifice.
6. Fair strengtheners of vital power, young Mothers of eternal Law,
Morning and Night we supplicate.
7. On the wind’s flight come, glorified, ye two celestial Priests of man
Come ye to this our sacrifice.
8. l! Sarasvati, Mahl, three Goddesses who tring us weal,
Be seated harmless on the grass.
9. Rich in all plenty, Tvastar, come auspicious of thine own accord
Help us in every sacrifice.
10. Vanaspati, wherever thou knowest the Gods’ mysterious names,
Send our oblations thitherward.
11. To Agni and to Varuna, Indra, the Maruts, and the Gods,
With Svaha be oblation brought.