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Daily वे॑द Quote #45: 2022 November 24 द॑स्यवेवृ॑क 11/24/2022 (Thu) 15:57:50 ID:8dcc21 No. 2287
शुनं॑ हुवेम • मघ॑वानमि॑न्द्रम्। अस्मि॑न्भ॑रे • नृ॑तमं वा॑जसातौ। शृण्व॑न्तमुग्र॑म् • ऊत॑ये सम॑त्सु। घ्न॑न्तं वृत्रा॑णि • संजि॑तं ध॑नानाम्॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 3.30.22, 3.31.22, 3.32.17, 3.34.11, 3.35.11, 3.36.11, 3.38.10, 3.39.9, 3.43.8, 3.48.5, 3.49.5, 3.50.5, 10.89.18, 10.104.11; अथर्ववेद॑ 20.11.11; etc. . Translation: "For prosperity and for help in battles we shall invoke generous इ॑न्द्र, manliest in this battle for gaining booty, hearing (us), fearsome, slaying the enemies, conqueror of treasures." . Word-by-word: शुन॑म् < शुन॑ "prosperity", हुवेम < हू "invoke", मघ॑वानम् < मघ॑वन् "generous", इ॑न्द्रम् < इ॑न्द्र, अस्मि॑न् < अय॑म् "this", भ॑रे < भ॑र "battle", नृ॑ "man", -तमम् < -तम "most", वा॑ज "booty", सातौ < साति॑ "gain", शृण्व॑न्तम् < शृण्व॑न् < श्रु "hear", उग्र॑म् < उग्र॑ "fearsome", ऊत॑ये < ऊति॑ "help", सम॑त्सु < सम॑द् "battle", घ्न॑न्तम् < घ्न॑न् < हन् "slay", वृत्रा॑णि < वृत्र॑ "enemy", संजि॑तम् < संजि॑त् < स॑म् जि "conquer", ध॑नानाम् < ध॑न "treasure". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Context: As you can see from the large number of citations above, this verse is often repeated verbatim at the end of ऋग्वेद॑ hymns dedicated to इ॑न्द्र (predominantly in the hymns of वैश्वा॑मित्र in म॑ण्डल/Book 3), and is not otherwise particularly connected to the rest of a hymn in which it appears. In ritual this verse is usually recited as part of one of these hymns rather than alone, but शाङ्खायनश्रौतसू॑त्र 3.18.16 mentions that this verse specifically is recited during the शुनासी॑र्य, a sacrifice to शु॑ना, सी॑र, and इ॑न्द्र performed every four months. . Interpretation: इ॑न्द्र is to be invoked for शुन॑—translated "prosperity" but especially with connotations of growth or expansionary conquest since it comes from the root शू "increase"—and for help in battle, given His function as war-God. He is described as the manliest of all beings (नृ॑तम), the embodiment of bullish masculinity—see this coming Saturday's verse for more on this. The hope is that this invocation will be heard by Him and that He will be present in coming battles, providing support to the side that sacrificed to Him most faithfully. . वृत्र॑ is the name of the primordial serpent killed by इ॑न्द्र, but when used in the plural like in this verse, it's also a common noun meaning "enemy": may we be to our enemies as इ॑न्द्र was to वृत्र॑. . मघ॑वन् is an adjective meaning "generous" and sometimes used for Gods other than इ॑न्द्र, but is so characteristically associated with Him that it's almost like a name of His and many people leave it untranslated. In many verses (like yesterday's quote from the शतपथब्रा॑ह्मण), मघ॑वन् is used alone with the clear implication that इ॑न्द्र is being discussed. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Though शुन॑ has the semantic sense of a चतुर्थी/dative here, it is used as a set phrase in the द्वितीया/accusative. . ऊत॑ये सम॑त्सु in the चतुर्थी/dative is probably semantically connected with the main verb of the verse, हुवेम, though it's in the third line. In my translation I placed it near the beginning for easier comprehensibility. . वृत्र॑ is normally पुंलिङ्ग/masculine but is used in the नपुंसकलिङ्ग/neuter when in the बहुवचन/plural, serving as more evidence that a common noun is meant here.