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Daily वे॑द Quote #44: 2022 November 23 द॑स्यवेवृ॑क 11/23/2022 (Wed) 03:17:17 ID:80083b No. 2284
प्रजा॑पतिर् • ज॑यानि॑न्द्राय वृ॑ष्णे। प्रा॑यच्छदुग्रः॑ • पृतना॑जियेषु। त॑स्मै वि॑शः • स॑मनमन्त स॑र्वाः। स॑ उग्रः॑ स॑ हि॑ • ह॑वियो बभू॑व॥ —तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has two deficient syllables with पृतना॑ज्येषु and ह॑व्यो. मैत्रायणसं॑हिता is similar to the first two lines but in prose: प्रजा॑पतिः प्रा॑यच्छज्ज॑यानि॑न्द्राय वृ॑ष्ण उग्रः॑ पृ॑तनासु जिष्णुः॑। And the second half is similar to मैत्रायणसं॑हिता त॑स्मै वि॑शः • स॑मनमन्त दै॑वीः। अय॑मुग्रो॑ • विहवि॑यो य॑था॑सत्॥) . Translation: "प्रजा॑पति granted victories to bullish इ॑न्द्र, (so that He would become) fearsome in the rush of battles. To Him all the people bowed down, for He became fearsome, worthy of oblation." . Word-by-word: प्रजा॑पतिस् < प्रजा॑पति, ज॑यान् < ज॑य "victory", इ॑न्द्राय < इ॑न्द्र, वृ॑ष्णे < वृ॑षन् "bullish", प्र॑ अयच्छत् < प्र॑ यम् "grant", उग्र॑स् < उग्र॑ "fearsome", पृतना < पृ॑तना "battle", अ॑जियेषु < अ॑ज्य "rush", त॑स्मै < स॑ "He", वि॑शस् < वि॑श् "people", स॑म् अनमन्त < स॑म् नम् "bow down", स॑र्वास् < स॑र्व "all", स॑स् < स॑ "He", उग्र॑स् < उग्र॑ "fearsome", स॑स् < स॑ "He", हि॑ "because", ह॑वियस् > ह॑व्य "worthy of oblation", बभू॑व < भू "become". . छ॑न्दस्/Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Context: This प्रपाठक/chapter of the तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता describes the "occasional offerings" separate from regularly scheduled rituals like the अग्निहोत्र॑ or दर्शपूर्णमास॑, with this section describing an offering called the ज॑य ("victory"), meant to be performed by someone engaged in a conflict. According to आपस्तम्बश्रौतसू॑त्र 5.24.3, this verse is to be recited with the thirteenth ज॑य oblation. . Interpretation: This verse came up in a recent discussion I had on the "supremacy" of certain Gods in the Vedic religion. Certainly some Gods are more powerful or "important" than others (and certainly वि॑ष्णु and रुद्र॑, though far from minor, are not the most powerful the way They are in later Hinduism). But while इ॑न्द्र is the most important God of the Vedic pantheon and the one king (एकरा॑ज्) of all the Gods, the concept of a single "supreme" God is not really coherent with Vedic metaphysics. . The Gods not only only "represent" but are forces of the universe, many of Whom are each supreme in Their own way or domain. व॑रुण is supreme as the guardian of the natural law, to Whom all other beings (including Gods) answer; इ॑न्द्र is supreme as the mightiest God Who rules Them all; प्रजा॑पति is supreme as the Creator of all beings Who encompasses the universe; yet even प्रजा॑पति is not all-supreme, for He was punished by the missile of रुद्र॑. . Thus, coming to our verse: while इ॑न्द्र is the most straightforwardly "supreme" God, His victories are impossible without प्रजा॑पति. An interesting passage from शतपथब्रा॑ह्मण–10 echoes the thought: . त॑तो ह्ये᳚व॑ ता॑न्प्रजा॑पतिः पाप्मना॑विध्यत्। ते॑ त॑त एव॑ परा॑भवन्नि॑ति॥ त॑स्मादेत॑दृ॑षिणाभ्य॑नूक्तम्। न॑ त्वं॑ युयुत्से • कतम॑च्चना॑हः। न॑ तेऽमि॑त्रो • मघवन्क॑श्चना॑स्ति। माये॑त्सा॑ ते • या॑नि युद्धा॑नि आहुः। [restored from युद्धा॑न्याहुः] ना॑द्य॑ श॑त्रुं • ननु॑ पुरा॑ युयुत्से॥ इ॑ति॥ "For even then प्रजा॑पति (was the one Who) slew the (अ॑सुरs) with evil. Then indeed they were overcome. Therefore this statement by a ऋ॑षि [in त्रिष्टु॑भ्]: You have not fought, not even for a day. You have no enemy, O मघ॑वन् (= इ॑न्द्र), not anyone. Illusion indeed it is, so they say of those battles of Yours. You have not fought an enemy, not today nor before." . Thus, a view of the Vedic religion as historically comprising different "sects" like ऐन्द्र॑s and प्राजापत्य॑s, each viewing a different God as supreme, should be cautioned against. The exact same people, following the exact same texts, simultaneously believed in the supremacy of multiple Gods. . Interesting Vedic grammar: हव्य is an example of a word where the Vedic accent is important for the meaning: ह॑व्य means "worthy of oblation", while हव्य॑ is synonymous with हवि॑स्, the oblation itself. . Notice उग्र॑स् in the प्रथमा/nominative in the second line, while इ॑न्द्राय वृ॑ष्णे is in the चतुर्थी/dative. It would almost seem like उग्रः॑ पृतना॑जियेषु is describing प्रजा॑पति rather than इ॑न्द्र, but contextually and characteristically this isn't compelling. The most logical interpretation is an implied new clause in which इ॑न्द्र is the subject, hence my parenthetical translation.