Page images

in the sacrifice, they may be said to have won at the same time splendour and worshippers to sing their praises, and to have established themselves in what became afterwards known as their own abode, their own place among the gods who are invoked at the sacrifice.

The metre requires that we should read dhâmanah.

Benfey translates : 'Gedeih'n zu spenden woll'n die schöngeschmücketen mit Lichtern, Strahlen mit Lobsängern regenen; die brüllenden, furchtlosen stürmischen, sie sind bekannt als Glieder des geliebten Marutstamms.'

Wilson : Combining with the solar rays, they have willingly poured down (rain) for the welfare (of mankind), and, hymned by the priests, have been pleased partakers of the (sacrificial food). Addressed with praises, moving swiftly, and exempt from fear, they have become possessed of a station agreeable and suitable to the Maruts.'

MANDALA I, SÛKTA 88. ASHTAKA I, ADHYAYA 6, VARGA 14. 1. Å vidyúnmat-bbih marutah su-arkaíh ráthebhih yâta rishtimát-bhih * ásva-parnaih, å várshishthayâ nah isha váya ná paptata su-mâyẩh.

2. Té arunébhih váram å pisárgaih subhé kám yanti rathatůh-bhih ásvaih, rukmáh na kitrah svádhiti-vấn pavya ráthasya ganghananta bhfma.

3. Sriyé kám vah ádhi tanúshu vâsîh medhå vánâ ná krinavante ürdhvá, yushmábhyam kám marutah su-gâtâh tuvi-dyumnåsah dhanayante ádrim.

4. Áhâni grídhrâh pári å vah å aguh imam dhiyam vârkâryâm ka devím, bráhma krinvántah gótamâsah arkaih ûrdhvám nunudre utsa-dhím píbadhyai.

5. Etát tyát ná yoganam aketi sasváh ha yát marutah gótamah vah, pásyan híranya-kakrân áyahdamshtrân vi-dhảvatah varahûn.

6. Eshå syä vah marutah anu-bhartrì práti stobhati vâghátah ná vấni, ástobhayat vríthâ âsâm ánu svadhấm gábhastyoh.

* rishti-mantah?

+ kitrah eshâm?

I medhãn



1. Come hither, Maruts, on your chariots charged with lightning, resounding with beautiful songs, stored with spears, and winged with horses ! Fly3 to us like birds, with your best food, you mighty ones!

2. They come gloriously on their red, or, it may be, on their tawny horses which hasten their chariots. He who holds the axe? is brilliant like gold; with the fellya of the chariot they have struck the earth.

3. On your bodies there are daggers for beauty; may they stir up our minds as they stir up the forests. For your sake, 0 well-born Maruts, you who are full of vigour, they (the priests) have shaken” the stone (for distilling Soma).

4. Days went round you and came back," O hawks, back to this prayer, and to this sacred rite; the Gotamas making prayer with songs, have pushed up the lid of the well (the cloud) for to drink,

5. No such hymn? was ever known as this which Gotama sounded for you, O Maruts, when he saw you on golden wheels, wild boars 2 rushing about with iron tusks.

6. This refreshing draught of Soma rushes towards you, like the voice of a suppliant: it rushes freely from our hands as these libations are wont to do.


This hymn is ascribed to Gotama, the son of Rahûgana. The metre varies. Verses and 6 are put down as Prastâra-pankti, i. e, as 12 + 12+8+8. By merely counting the syllables, and dissolving semivowels, it is just possible to get twenty-four syllables in the first line of verses I and 6. The old metricians must have scanned verse 1:

ā vidyunmat-bhih marutah su-arkaih

rathebhih yấta rishtimat-bhịh asva-parnaih. Again verse 6: eshā syā vah marutah anu-bhartrī

prati stobhati vāghatah na vânî. But the general character of these lines shows that they were intended for hendecasyllabics, each ending in a bacchius, though even then they are not free from irregularities. The first verse would scan :

â vidyunmat-bhih marutah su-arkaih

rathebhih yāta rishtimat-(bhih) asva-parnaik. And verse 6: eshā syā vah marutah anu-bhartrī

prati stobhati vāghatah na vānī. Our only difficulty would be the termination bhih of rishtimat-bhih. I cannot adopt Professor Kuhn’s suggestion to drop the Visarga of bhih and change i into y (Beiträge, vol. iv. p. 198), for this would be a license without any parallel. It is different with sah, originally sa, or with feminines in ih, where parallel forms in î are intelligible. The simplest correction would be to read rathebhih yāta rishti-mantah asva-parnaih. One might urge in support of this reading that in all other passages where rishtimat occurs, it refers to the Maruts themselves, and never to their chariots. Yet the difficulty remains, how could so simple a reading have been replaced by a more difficult one?

In the two Gâyatrî pâdas which follow I feel equally reluctant to alter.

I therefore scan ā varshishthayā nah ishā vayah na paptata su-mấyāh, taking the dactyl of paptata as representing a spondee, and

admitting the exceptional bacchius instead of the amphimacer at the end of the line. The last line of verse 6 should be scanned :

åstobhəyat vrithâÕâsãm ảnu svadhām gabhastyoh. There are two other verses in this hymn where the metre is difficult. In the last pâda of verse 5 we have seven syllables instead of eleven. Again, I say, it would be most easy to insert one of the many tetrasyllabic epithets of the Maruts, But this would have been equally easy for the collectors of the Veda. Now the authors of the Anukramanîs distinctly state that this fifth verse is virâdrûpâ, i.e. that one of its pâdas consists of eight syllables. How they would have made eight syllables out of vi-dhâvatah varâhûn does not appear, but at all events they knew that last pâda to be imperfect. The rhythm does not suffer by this omission, as long as we scan vi-dhāvatah varāhān.

Lastly, there is the third pâda of the second verse, rukmah na kitrah svadhiti-vân. It would not be possible to get eleven syllables out of this, unless we admitted vyûha not only in svadhitivân or svadhitî-vân, but also in kitrah. Nothing would be easier than to insert eshâm after kitrah, but the question occurs again, how could eshâm be lost, or why, if by some accident it had been lost, was not só obvious a correction made by Saunaka and Kâtyâyana ?

Verse 1, note! Alluding to the music of the Maruts, and not to the splendour of the lightning which is mentioned before. See Wolf, Beiträge zur Deutschen Mythologie, vol. i. p. 137. "Das Ross und den Wagen des Gottes begleitet munterer Hörnerschall, entweder stösst er selbst ins Horn, oder sein Gefolge. Oft vernimmt man auch eine liebliche Musik, der keine auf Erden gleich kommt (Müllenhof, 582). Das wird das Pfeifen und Heulen des Sturmes sein, nur in idealisirter Art.' Ibid. p. 158.

Verse 1, note 2. Varshishtha, which is generally explained as the superlative of vriddha, old, (Pân. vi. 4, 157,) has in most passages of the Rig-veda the more general meaning of strong or excellent : vi. 47, 9. ísham ã vakshi ishấm várshishthâm ; iii. 13, 7 (vásu); ii. 26, 8 (rátna);

« PreviousContinue »