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Daily वे॑द Quote #50: 2022 November 29 द॑स्यवेवृ॑क 11/29/2022 (Tue) 03:52:56 ID:04c37e No. 2494
कुवि॑त्सु॑ नो ग॑विष्टये। अ॑ग्ने सं वे॑षिषो रयि॑म्। उ॑रुकृदुरु॑ णस्कृधि॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 8.75.11, सामवेद॑, तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता, etc. . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with ग॑विष्टये॑ऽग्ने.) . Translation: "Will you indeed in war, O अग्नि॑, obtain treasure for us? O room-maker, make room for us!" . Word-by-word: कुवि॑द्, सु॑ "well", नस् < वय॑म् "we", ग॑विष्टये < ग॑विष्टि "war", अ॑ग्ने < अग्नि॑, सं वे॑षिषस् < स॑म् विष् "obtain", रयि॑म् < रयि॑ "treasure", उ॑रु < उरु॑ "room", कृत् < कृ "make", उरु॑ "room", नस् < वय॑म् "we", कृधि < कृ "make". . Meter: गायत्र॑ . Author: वि॑रूप आङ्गिरस॑ . Ritual context: This verse seems to have been used in a variety of ways, but the most common case was as part of the संवर्गेष्टि॑ (आपस्तम्बश्रौतसू॑त्र 19.25.12), a special sacrifice to अग्नि॑ in order to seize the strength and wealth of one's enemy (तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता 2.4.3). . Background: I was requested to discuss a verse on the morality of Vedic war. There are a couple interesting things about the content of this verse. Note that अग्नि॑ is the one doing the obtaining on behalf of the आ॑र्यs in battle, rather than merely causing them to obtain wealth. Thus, the Gods played a direct role in battles on Earth, as attested elsewhere in the वे॑द; They directly intervened, causing fires or floods or storms to destroy the आ॑र्यs' enemies. The other interesting thing is that this battle is not just for रयि॑ "treasure" but also for उरु॑ "room". The concept of spazio vitale or Lebensraum is not a uniquely "fascist" concept, but a natural desire of virtually every race in history. Any martial and vigorous people needs plenty of wide space to thrive and grow (by seizing land from the enemy), and the आ॑र्यs were no exception. Thus do they beseech अग्नि॑ the "room-maker" for more room. . Interesting Vedic grammar: कुवि॑द् is a Vedic particle that marks a sentence as a yes-or-no question. It causes the main verb to retain its accent, hence सं वे॑षिषस् instead of सं॑ वेषिषस्. . In Classical Sanskrit we would expect उरु॑ नः कृधि, but retroflexion (नस् > णस्) happens because of the preceding र, and the original स् is retained anomalously. . The first four syllables of the last line are all लघु/short, which doesn't sound elegant. It's possible that the Vedic poets employed stops between word boundaries when convenient for the meter. Thus, something like उ॑रुकृद्द् उरु॑ or उ॑रुकृद् • उरु॑, where the third syllable is long.
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