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Daily वे॑द Quote #30: 2022 November 9 द॑स्यवेवृ॑क 11/08/2022 (Tue) 23:41:37 ID:a2031e No. 2224
मा॑ वः स्तेन॑ • ईशत मा॑घ॑शंसः। रुद्र॑स्य हेतिः॑ • प॑रि वो वृणक्तु। ध्रुवा॑ अस्मि॑न् • गो॑पतौ स्यात बह्वीः॑। य॑जमानस्य पशू॑न्पाहि॥ —तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता–8 . Translation: "May no thief nor evil-wisher master you. May रुद्र॑'s missile pass over you. May you, many, stay firm with this lord of cows. Protect the sacrificer's animals." . Word-by-word: मा॑ "don't", वस् < यूय॑म् "you", स्तेन॑स् < स्तेन॑ "thief", ईशत < ईश् "master", मा॑ "don't", अघ॑ "evil", शंसस् < शं॑स < शंस् "wish", रुद्र॑स्य < रुद्र॑, हेति॑स् < हेति॑ "missile", प॑रि वृणक्तु < प॑रि वृज् "pass over", वस् < यूय॑म् "you", ध्रुवा॑स् < ध्रुव॑ "firm", अस्मि॑न् < अय॑म् "he", गो॑ "cow", पतौ < प॑ति "lord", स्यात < अस् "be", बह्वी॑स् < बहु॑ "many", य॑जमानस्य < य॑जमान < यज् "sacrifice", पशू॑न् < पशु॑ "animal", पाहि < पा "protect". . Meter: Technically none (the तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता is mostly prose), but the first three lines are clearly in त्रिष्टु॑भ् form. The last line has no meter but could easily be converted into त्रिष्टु॑भ् form with something like पशू॑न्पाहि • य॑जमानस्य रुद्र "Protect the sacrificer's animals, O रुद्र॑." . Context: These lines are from the very first paragraph of the तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता of the कृष्णयजुर्वेद॑ (black book of sacrificial formulae), part of a chapter dealing with the दर्शपूर्णमास॑—a relatively simple sacrifice conducted every new moon and full moon. . On the morning of the new/full moon, the sacrificer sends the calves out onto the field to graze. Their mother's milk will later be curdled and offered as oblations to the Gods. (The Vedic आ॑र्यs' rituals were all intimately connected with nature. It's difficult to follow the Vedic religion properly without owning cows and living in a rural area.) While sending out the calves, he addresses them with today's verse: the "you" (plural) being addressed here are the cows, for whom protection is desired against thieves, sinners, and रुद्र॑'s missile. . रुद्र॑ is mentioned here both by name and by the phrase "this lord of cows" (अयं॑ गो॑पति), synonymous with his more famous epithet पशुप॑ति. He is a fearsome archer Who afflicts Earthly beings with His stormy missiles, even the innocent, and the sacrificer offers this prayer to protect his cattle from रुद्र॑'s unpredictable wrath. . Interesting Vedic grammar: There is little grammatically to note in this verse other than ईशत, which is in the "conjunctive" that I described in Daily वे॑द Quote #23: a form of the लुङ्/aorist (ऐशत here) without the अ-/augment. . In the तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता the अनुस्वार is written and pronounced as a separate syllable, so मा॑घ॑शंसः above is actually written मा॑घ॑शꣳसः and pronounced similar to माघशगुंसः. Of course this is an innovation by the तैत्तिरीयशा॑खा, probably for mnemonic reasons and definitely not the original pronunciation of that sound.