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Daily वे॑द Quote #41: 2022 November 20 द॑स्यवेवृ॑क 11/19/2022 (Sat) 02:28:02 ID:1608bb No. 2272
दिव॑स्प॑रि • प्रथमं॑ जज्ञे अग्निः॑। अस्म॑द्द्विती॑यं • प॑रि जात॑वेदाः। तृती॑यमप्सु॑ • नृम॑णा अ॑जस्रम्। इ॑न्धान एनं • जरते सुवाधीः॑॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.45.1, तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता, आपस्तम्बमन्त्रप्रश्न॑ 2.11.21, शतपथब्रा॑ह्मण, many other places . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with स्वाधीः॑. Note that the second syllable of जज्ञे is to be scanned लघु॑/short, as if जज्ञय्.) . Translation: "From Heaven, first, अग्नि॑ was born. From us, second, (अग्नि॑ was born) as जात॑वेदस्. (Born) third in the waters, inexhaustible (अग्नि॑) is praised by the manly-minded, attentive (mortal) who kindles Him." . Word-by-word: दिव॑स् < दि॑व् "Heaven", प॑रि "from", प्रथम॑म् < प्रथम॑ "first", जज्ञे < जन् "bear", अग्नि॑स् < अग्नि॑, अस्म॑त् < वय॑म् "we", द्विती॑यम् < द्विती॑य "second", प॑रि "from", जात॑वेदास् < जात॑वेदस् = अग्नि॑, तृती॑यम् < तृती॑य "third", अप्सु॑ < अ॑प् "water", नृ < नृ॑ "man", म॑णास् < म॑नस् "mind", अ॑जस्रम् < अ॑जस्र "inexhaustible", इ॑न्धानस् < इ॑न्धान < इन्ध् "kindle", एनम् < एन "He", जरते < जॄ "praise", सु < सु॑ "good", आधी॑स् < आधी॑ "attention". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Context: Moving on from our previous wedding-hymn, the couple conceived and has now delivered a child. This verse is part of the famous वात्सप्र॑ hymn (named for its author वत्सप्री॑), which is to be recited by the father to the newborn baby after he places the baby on his lap and kisses him on the head, according to आपस्तम्बगृह्यसू॑त्र 6.15.1. According to शतपथब्रा॑ह्मण, performing the वात्सप्र॑ rite will give the baby a long life. . But what does the verse actually mean? It's cryptic at first glance. What is being described is the triple birth of the God अग्नि॑—many things about अग्नि॑ come in triplets, such as His three births, three homes, three natures, and three heads. First अग्नि॑ was born in the sky as lightning; then He was born from mortals on Earth in the form of जात॑वेदस्, the conduit between men and Gods; and finally He was born in the waters, hence the Indo-European epithet "descendant of the waters" (अपां॑ न॑प्तृ) for the Fire. . The recitation of this hymn at childbirth thus invokes cosmic generation and links it with the newborn आ॑र्य, future worshiper of अग्नि॑. This rite would've been performed particularly by ब्राह्मण॑s, making the link especially apt since अग्नि॑ Himself is a ब्रह्म॑न्. . Interesting Vedic grammar: जॄ is a more or less uniquely Vedic root; later Sanskrit would use गॄ instead. . There has been some debate over the grammar of the second half of this verse. Some (e.g. Renou) say that तृती॑यमप्सु॑ • नृम॑णास् forms one sentence (mirroring the previous sentences) that ends in the middle of a line, and नृम॑णास् therefore describes अग्नि॑. The majority of scholars (and I) favor the entire second half being one sentence, where नृम॑णास् would describe the one who is kindling अग्नि॑. This interpretation makes far more sense given that नृम॑णास् is used again just two verses later, clearly not referring to अग्नि॑.