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Sanskrit thread over at /rta/ द॑स्यवेवृ॑क / Sanskrit Anon 10/10/2022 (Mon) 17:03:08 ID:03d216 No. 695
I started a series of Daily वे॑द Quote threads over at >>>/rta/1934. I was debating posting it here but /rta/ is more fitting since all my quotes will be religious rather than general Sanskrit.
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>>>/rta/2121 कु॑ह स्विद्दोषा॑ • कु॑ह व॑स्तोरश्वि॑ना। कु॑हाभिपित्वं॑ • करतः कु॑होषतुः। को॑ वां शयुत्रा॑ • विध॑वेव देव॑रम्। म॑र्यं न॑ यो॑षा • कृणुते सध॑स्थ आ॑॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.40.2 . Translation: "Where (are you) at twilight, where at daybreak, O अश्वि॑न्s, where shall you stop for the night, where did you rest? Who (brings) you to bed like a widow her brother-in-law, like a bride brings the groom to the meeting-place?" . Word-by-word: कु॑ह "where", स्विद् signifies question, दोषा॑ "twilight", कु॑ह "where", व॑स्तोस् < व॑स्तु "daybreak", अश्वि॑ना < अश्वि॑न्, कु॑ह "where", अभिपित्व॑म् < अभिपित्व॑ "(overnight) stop", करतस् < कृ "do", कु॑ह "where", ऊषतुस् < वस् "rest", क॑स् < क॑ "who", वाम् < युवा॑म् "you", शयुत्रा॑ "onto the bed", विध॑वा "widow", इव "like", देव॑रम् < देवृ॑ "brother-in-law", म॑र्यम् < म॑र्य "groom", न॑ "like", यो॑षा "maiden", कृणुते < कृ "do", सध॑स्थे < सध॑स्थ "meeting-place", आ॑ "to". . Meter: ज॑गती . Why I like this verse: It's part of a particularly beautiful hymn with a very elegant meter and imagery, discussing the daily travel of the अश्वि॑न्s on their chariot across the Heavens and from house to house (विशे॑विशे) as They assist Their worshipers. But I like this verse specifically because it provides unequivocal evidence for the ancient आ॑र्यs' practice of levirate marriage, in which a widow usually remarried the brother of her deceased husband. Some Hindus today abhor the practice, yet it was clearly accepted in the Vedic period (as in most ancient cultures), and in fact for a long time after that as well.
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>>>/rta/2124 इ॑न्द्रं मित्रं॑ • व॑रुणमग्नि॑माहुः। अ॑थो दिव्यः॑ • स॑ सुपर्णो॑ गरु॑त्मान्। ए॑कं स॑द्वि॑प्रा • बहुधा॑ वदन्ति। अग्निं॑ यमं॑ • मातरि॑श्वानमाहुः॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 1.164.46 . (The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with वदन्त्यग्निं॑.) . Translation: "They say इ॑न्द्र, मित्र॑, व॑रुण, अग्नि॑. Also, He is Heavenly well-winged गरु॑त्मन्. What is one, the inspired call in many ways. They say अग्नि॑, यम॑, मातरि॑श्वन्." . Word-by-word: इ॑न्द्रम् < इ॑न्द्र, मित्र॑म् < मित्र॑, व॑रुणम् < व॑रुण, अग्नि॑म् < अग्नि॑, आहुस् < अह् "say", अ॑थ उ "also", दिव्य॑स् < दिव्य॑ "Heavenly", स॑स् < स॑ "he", सु < सु॑ "good", पर्ण॑स् < पर्ण॑ "wing", गरु॑त्मान् < गरु॑त्मन्, ए॑कम् < ए॑क "one", स॑त् < अस् "be", वि॑प्रास् < वि॑प्र "inspired", बहुधा॑ "manifold", वदन्ति < वद् "speak", अग्नि॑म् < अग्नि॑, यम॑म् < यम॑, मातरि॑श्वानम् < मातरि॑श्वन्, आहुस् < अह् "say". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Interpretation: The Vedic religion is not monotheistic, as there is no one God who is worshiped: we worship manifold (बहुधा॑) Gods with different personalities, who sometimes have violent conflicts with each other, and are sometimes morally imperfect beings (by Their own standards, not ours). Nor were there any sects of the Vedic religion that uniquely worshiped one God at the expense of others. All of the most basic Vedic rituals that must be practiced by every आ॑र्य according to every शा॑खा, down to the simplest अग्निहोत्र॑, involve oblations to multiple Gods at the same time. . Monotheism, as practiced by Arya Samaj for example, is totally divorced from the actual Vedic religion. . Who then is this "one" mentioned in the verse? It is a what, not a who, as evidenced by the Sanskrit grammar itself: while the देव॑s always take a masculine gender (or the देवी॑s a feminine), this one essence common to all the देव॑s is only ever spoken of in the neuter gender, स॑त्. (If it were the masculine gender, it would be स॑न्तम्.) It is an inanimate entity, not a monotheistic God of whom the देव॑s are some sort of incarnations. . So all the देव॑s are forms of one being or essence (ए॑कं स॑त्), and many names for Them were revealed to the ऋ॑षिs (वि॑प्रs), but this being is not personal or comparable to—for example—YHWH or Allah.
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>>>/rta/2125 न॑ म॑त्स्त्री॑ सुभस॑त्तरा। न॑ सुया॑शुतरा भुवत्। न॑ म॑त्प्र॑तिच्यवीयसी। न॑ स॑क्थि उ॑द्यमीयसी॥ व॑श्वस्मादि॑न्द्र उ॑त्तरः॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.86.6 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with स॑क्थ्यु॑द्यमीयसी.) . Translation: "No woman has a prettier vulva than I. No (woman) is better at sex. No (woman) moves against (her husband) more. No (woman) raises (her) thighs more. इ॑न्द्र is higher than all." . Word-by-word: न॑ "not", म॑त् < अह॑म् "I", स्त्री॑ "woman", सु < सु॑ "good", भस॑द् "vulva" (or "buttocks" according to some), -तरा < -तर "more", न॑ "not", सु < सु॑ "good", या॑शु "sex", -तरा < -तर "more", भुवत् < भू "be", न॑ "not", म॑त् < अह॑म् "I", प्र॑तिच्यव < प्र॑ति च्यु "move against", -ईयसी < -ईयस् "more", न॑ "not", स॑क्थि "thigh", उ॑द् यम् "raise", -ईयसी < -ईयस् "more", वि॑श्वस्मात् < वि॑श्व "all", इ॑न्द्रस् < इ॑न्द्र, उ॑त्तरस् < उ॑त्तर "higher". . Meter: अनुष्टु॑भ् . Context: This famous dialogue hymn of the ऋग्वेद॑ is an argument between इ॑न्द्र's wife इन्द्राणी॑ and His friend वृषा॑कपि, who has mocked the couple and insulted इ॑न्द्र's masculinity. In response, इन्द्राणी॑ defends Her husband throughout this hymn and speaks of Her devotion to Him. In this verse, She boasts about Her sexual prowess and Her ability to please Her husband, declaring Her superiority over all women. . There are many such sexual verses throughout the वे॑द. As a result of Victorian morality, Hindus have adopted the bizarre attitude that any mention of sexuality is bad and must not occur in the वे॑द, even if it's a verse like this that describes perfectly moral, normal sex between a wife and Her husband. . The final line "इ॑न्द्र is higher than all" line isn't relevant to this specific verse; every verse in this hymn ends with it. . >Is this just westerners purposely mistranslating and inserting sexual stuff into our scriptures? Nope. The Indian medieval commentator सायण, for example, also recognizes that this is a sexual verse (and part of an overall very sexual hymn), though he translates भ॑सद् and या॑शु differently. He states: >“प्रतिच्यवीयसी पुमांसं प्रति शरीरस्यात्यन्तं च्यावयित्री “न अस्ति। किंच मत्तोऽन्या स्त्री “सक्थ्युद्यमीयसी संभोगेऽत्यन्तमुत्क्षेप्त्री “न अस्ति। न मत्तोऽन्या काचिदपि नारी मैथुनेऽनुगुणं सक्थ्युद्यच्छतीत्यर्थः। Thus, प्र॑तिच्यवीयसी is stated to mean "the one who most greatly moves her body against the male"; and on स॑क्थ्यु॑द्यमीयसी he comments, "in sexual union lifting up the most"; "there is no woman more than I who, in sexual union, raises the thighs more."
>>775 Über based indrani. 🙏 anon ji
>>775 What a based wife
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>>>/rta/2136 Since today is the holiday of दीपावलि॑ (not दीपावली), today's quote is one of the two verses from the ऋग्वेद॑ that use the root दीप् "ignite" (in the णिजन्त/causative). . आ॑ ज॑नाय • द्रु॑ह्वणे पा॑र्थिवानि। दिविया॑नि • दीपयो अन्त॑रिक्षा। त॑पा वृषन् • विश्व॑तः शोचि॑षा ता॑न्। ब्रह्मद्वि॑षे • शोचय क्षा॑मप॑श्च॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 6.22.8 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has two deficient syllables with दिव्या॑नि and दीपयोऽन्त॑रिक्षा.) . Translation: "Set on fire the Earthly and Heavenly regions and the realm between, to (exterminate) the hostile peoples! Burn them, O bullish (hero), with flame from every side! Burn land and waters to (exterminate) the prayer-haters!" . Word-by-word: आ॑ दीपयस् < आ॑ दीप् "set on fire", ज॑नाय < ज॑न "people", द्रु॑ह्वणे < द्रु॑ह्वन् "hostile", पा॑र्थिवानि < पा॑र्थिव "Earthly", दिविया॑नि < दिव्य॑ "Heavenly", अन्त॑रिक्षा < अन्त॑रिक्ष "middle space", त॑पा < तप् "burn", वृषन् < वृ॑षन् "bullish", विश्व॑तस् "all around", शोचि॑षा < शोचि॑स् "flame", ता॑न् < ते "they", ब्रह्म < ब्र॑ह्मन् "prayer", द्वि॑षे < द्विष् "hate", शोचय < शुच् cause to glow = "burn", क्षा॑म् < क्ष॑म् "land", अप॑स् < अप् "water", च "and". . (आ॑ दीप्, तप्, and शुच् all mean essentially the same thing here.) . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Interpretation: This hymn is dedicated to इ॑न्द्र, the war-God of the आ॑र्यs, beseeching him for help in slaying the enemies. Many Vedic verses describe how इ॑न्द्र and अग्नि॑ helped the आ॑र्यs defeat their foes (द॑स्युs) in battle by consuming them with divine flame, clearing their land for settlement by the conquerors. The द॑स्यु tribes are many times described as atheists (अ॑देवs) or infidels (अश्रद्ध॑s) or prayer-haters (ब्रह्मद्वि॑ष्s) alien to the Vedic faith (अन्य॑व्रत). . Obviously, Hinduism was not originally a tolerant or peaceful religion. Wars of conquest were divinely ordained and ended with the burning up (extermination) or enslavement of the enemy. . I've also decided to start including an observation on interesting Vedic grammar from each daily verse. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Note the form अन्त॑रिक्षा (द्वितीया/accusative, बहुवचन/plural, नपुंसकलिङ्ग/neuter). This is a uniquely Vedic form of neuter plurals; in Classical Sanskrit it would be अन्त॑रिक्षाणि.
>>779 आधारित थ्रेड धन्यावाद महोदय
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>>>/rta/2149 पितु॑र्मातु॑र् • अ॑धि आ॑ ये॑ सम॑स्वरन्। ऋचा॑ शो॑चन्तः • संद॑हन्तो अव्रता॑न्। इ॑न्द्रद्विष्टाम् • अ॑प धमन्ति माय॑या। त्व॑चम॑सिक्नीं • भू॑मनो दिव॑स्प॑रि॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 9.73.5 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with अ॑ध्या॑. Note that the last syllable of संद॑हन्तो is to be scanned लघु॑/short, as if संद॑हन्तव्.) . Translation: "Over Father and Mother they resounded together, shining with verse of praise, burning up the lawless. They blow away with magic the इ॑न्द्र-hated dark cover from Earth and Heaven." . Word-by-word: पितु॑र् < पितृ॑ "father", मातु॑र् < मातृ॑ "mother", अ॑धि आ॑ "over", ये॑ "who", सम् < स॑म् "together", अ॑स्वरन् < स्वृ "resound", ऋचा॑ < ऋ॑च् "verse of praise", शो॑चन्तस् < शो॑चन् < शुच् "shine", संद॑हन्तस् < संद॑हन् < स॑म् दह् "burn up", अव्रता॑न् < अव्रत॑ "lawless", इ॑न्द्र, द्विष्टाम् < द्विष्ट॑ < द्विष् "hate", अ॑प "away", धमन्ति < धम् "blow", माय॑या < माया॑ "magic", त्व॑चम् < त्व॑च् "cover", अ॑सिक्नीम् > अ॑सित "dark", भू॑मनस् < भू॑मन् "Earth", दिव॑स् < दि॑व् "Heaven", प॑रि "from". . Meter: ज॑गती . Interpretation: Like all hymns from म॑ण्डल/Book 9 of the ऋग्वेद॑, this one is dedicated to purified sóma (सो॑म प॑वमान), a non-hallucinogenic stimulant drink made from the plant Ephedra. . The Father and Mother here are clearly the same as throughout the ऋग्वेद॑: Heaven (दि॑व्) and Earth (पृथिवी॑), Who are mentioned explicitly in the last line. . Who are "they", the subject of the two verbs in this verse? This is actually a matter of some debate. Graßmann believes that "they" are the spies of व॑रुण mentioned a verse before this one, but this doesn't seem relevant. Jamison believes that "they" are the droplets of sóma mentioned in the first verse: this seems compelling because they're also described as "blowing" (ध॑मन्), but it seems illogical for droplets to resound (सं॑ स्वृ). The most logical interpretation is that "they" are the sages (धी॑रs) mentioned two verses previously, who are conducting a sóma-sacrifice in this hymn. . The अव्रत॑s here are the enemies of the आ॑र्यs, who are devoid (अ-) of the divine law (व्रत॑) and do not sacrifice at day. . The phrase त्व॑चम॑सिक्नीम् makes this one of the most controversial verses in the ऋग्वेद॑ because western scholars have typically translated it as "dark skin", a translation eagerly seized upon by white supremacists. This isn't necessarily a bad-faith attempt: the most common meaning of त्व॑च् is indeed skin. And it's also true that some of the अव्रत॑ enemies of the आ॑र्यs had black skin. But scholars as early as Monier-Williams differed from the western consensus, as nothing about this interpretation makes sense here given the context. . First, it would mean that the sages are blowing away the dark skin—not the dark-skinned people. This may appear a trivial distinction, but such a use would be bizarre in the language of the वे॑द, which would use the बहुव्रीहि/exocentric compound अ॑सितत्वच् (here अ॑सितत्वचस्) if dark-skinned people were being discussed. (Surprisingly, सायण also falls into the error of interpreting this like an exocentric, though his interpretation is a रक्ष॑स् with black skin rather than humans; after all, it's in the एकवचन/singular.) . How exactly can skin itself be "blown away"? Blown off of the body itself? But here it is blown off Heaven and Earth—it is a skin that covers the Heaven and Earth, not covering a man. . But second, the mystery of त्व॑चम॑सिक्नीम् is solved quite clearly by looking at other instances of अ॑सित/अ॑सिक्नी in the ऋग्वेद॑. . In 10.3.3d, अग्नि॑ is described as driving out the अ॑सिक्नी ("dark" in the स्त्रीलिङ्ग/feminine) and going to the रु॑शती ("shining" in the feminine). In the next verse it is revealed that the रु॑शती is the daughter of Heaven (पितु॑र्जा॑), meaning उष॑स् (the Dawn). Here, then, अ॑सिक्नी unambiguously refers to रा॑त्री (the Night). In 4.17.15 अ॑सिक्नी is used in a simile referring to a black (कृष्ण॑) cover (त्व॑च्) in the atmosphere (र॑जस्) from the previous verse. Only in 7.5.3 does अ॑सिक्नी appear describing people, but a skin-color interpretation is incongruous given the juxtaposition with the description of अग्नी॑ as "shining" (शो॑शुचान). . (The only other cases of अ॑सिक्नी in the feminine are 8.20.25 and 10.75.5, where they uncontroversially refer to the name of a river.) . अ॑सित is also used thrice in the नपुंसकलिङ्ग/neuter. In 1.46.10 सू॑र्य (the Sun) illuminates a sóma-plant by shining through the अ॑सित, which must be the Night. Similarly, in 4.13.4 the rays (रश्म॑यस्) of the Sun sink the darkness (त॑मस्) of Night, a dark coat (अ॑सित व॑स्मन्), into the waters. In 4.51.9 the monstrous darkness (अ॑भ्व अ॑सित) is contrasted with the colors of the arriving Dawn. . Thus, अ॑सित/अ॑सिक्नी is scarcely used outside its underlying meaning of Night. Examining uses of त्व॑च् itself provides yet more evidence for a day-night contrast being the theme at play here. The phrase त्व॑चं कृष्णा॑म् ("black cover"), paralleling our त्व॑चम॑सिक्नीम्, is used in 1.130.8, where it is also mentioned alongside the अ॑व्रतs and juxtaposed with सु॑वर् (the Sun's light). In 1.145.5, अग्नि॑ is described as being laid upon the highest cover (त्व॑चि उपम॑स्याम्) of Earth or Heaven. In 10.68.4, बृ॑हस्प॑ति is narrated as cleaving the cover of the Earth (भू॑म्यास् त्व॑च्) and releasing the red cattle of the Dawn, the famous वल॑ myth. . Far from referring to night-colored human skin, then, today's verse refers to imagery omnipresent throughout the वे॑द: the black Night hated by इ॑न्द्र, shrouding Heaven and Earth from the Sun's light, being blown away by the arrival of the Dawn at the propitiation of the sages. . All this isn't to claim that the ancient आ॑र्यs were some sort of anti-racists or didn't look down upon black skin; only that this specific verse cannot be taken as evidence for this racism. . Interesting Vedic grammar for today: Going by the संधि/assimilation rules of Classical Sanskrit, one would expect to see दिवः॑ प॑रि instead of दिव॑स्प॑रि. In Vedic Sanskrit, however, स्/ष् is used for a षष्ठी/genitive noun before its noun (e.g. दिव॑स्पुत्र॑), for a पञ्चमी/ablative noun before its गति/preposition (as in this verse), and in a few other cases like द्यौ॑ष्पिता॑ instead of द्यौः॑ पिता॑. . This is one of many pieces of evidence for स् being the original or "true" form of the विसर्ग, rather than vice versa as often believed by Indians.
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>>>/rta/2163 प॑रा वीरास एतन। म॑र्यासो भ॑द्रजानयः। अग्नित॑पो य॑था॑सथ॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 5.61.4 . Translation: "Go away, O heroes, O grooms with happy wives, so that You may be warmed by the fire." . Word-by-word: प॑रा "away", वीरासस् < वीर॑ "hero", एतन < इ "go", म॑र्यासस् < म॑र्य "groom", भ॑द्र "happy", जानयः < ज॑नि "wife", अग्नि < अग्नि॑ "fire", त॑पस् < तप् "be hot", य॑था "so that", आ॑सथ < अस् "be". . म॑र्य is a surprisingly difficult word to translate with its nuances. It can be used to describe many people but is especially associated with the मरु॑त्s (see below). Its base meaning is merely "man", but it's most often used in connection with a new wife, hence "suitor" or "groom". . Meter: गायत्र॑ . Interpretation: This verse is from a दानस्तुति॑, a very interesting genre of hymns in which ब्राह्मण॑s express gratitude and praise to a क्षत्रि॑य (alongside the देव॑s) for a generous gift. From the दानस्तुति॑s we can deduce many (often controversial) things about the culture of the ancient आ॑र्यs, which I will cover in future verses. . Today's hymn (and this specific verse) is addressed to the मरु॑त्s, a group of 120 fearsome storm-Gods who form the Heavenly host. In the preceding verse They're described as riding on horseback, Their legs spread like women's during procreation (पुत्रकृथे॑ न॑ ज॑नयस्), and in today's verse They ride off into the distance (प॑रा)—perhaps to spend "quality time" with Their wives, given the previous simile. . Like इन्द्राणी॑ in the hymn from three days ago, the wives of the मरु॑त्s are described as being भ॑द्र—a word that more often means "fortunate" or "happy" than "beautiful"—because Their husbands are so strong and heroic. . Why I like the verse: Its imagery. I've always believed that the best feeling in the world, the closest thing there is to Heaven on Earth, is sitting next to a warm fire on a chilly night, illuminated only by the flame and the Moon, with your dear wife held close in your arms. . Interesting Vedic grammar: There's a lot to point out in this verse. एतन < इ is an unusual form (and in fact the पदपा॑ठ gives the standard इतन), and Jamison suspects that it may be from आ॑ इतन as in 5.87.8. I agree with her. . Note also म॑र्यासस्, a Vedic form of the बहुवचन/plural, which in Classical Sanskrit would simply be म॑र्यास्. I'll end by noting that in Vedic Sanskrit ज॑नि gets elongated to जानि at the end of a समास/compound, hence भ॑द्रजानि here instead of भ॑द्रजनि.
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>>>/rta/2169 शतं॑ श्वेता॑स उक्ष॑णः। दिवि॑ ता॑रो न॑ रोचन्ते। मह्ना॑ द॑वं न॑ तस्तभुः॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 8.55.2 . Translation: "A hundred white oxen shine like stars in the Heavens, as if holding up the Heavens with their might." . Word-by-word: शत॑म् < शत॑ "hundred", श्वेता॑सस् < श्व॑त "white", उक्ष॑णस् < उक्ष॑न् "ox", दिवि॑ < दि॑व् "Heavens", ता॑रो < स्तृ॑ "star", न॑ "like", रोचन्ते < रुच् "shine", मह्ना॑ < मह॑न् "might", द॑वम् < दि॑व् "Heavens", न॑ "like", तस्तभुस् < स्तम्भ् "hold up". . Meter: गायत्र॑ . Interpretation: Like yesterday's verse, today's is from a दानस्तुति॑. This five-verse hymn (पञ्चर्च॑) was written by a group of ऐन्द्र॑ (इ॑न्द्र-worshiping) ऋ॑षिs known as the वालखिल्य॑s, who were patronized and given many presents by the royal war-heroes of northwestern India. . In this hymn, the वालखिल्य॑s are expressing their gratitude to the king द॑स्यवेवृ॑क (Wolf-to-the-द॑स्यु), son of पूत॑क्रता, for a very generous gift indeed: a hundred oxen, a hundred bamboos, a hundred dogs, a hundred tanned skins, a hundred tufts of goosegrass, and four hundred red horses. (The next hymn also mentions a hundred donkeys, a hundred sheep, a hundred slaves, and a hundred wreaths.) This verse in particular celebrates the strength and the bright color of the oxen. . Hymns like this are good evidence for the important role played by ब्राह्मण॑s in the earliest stages of आ॑र्य society, serving as bards who praised and immortalized the great conquests of mighty kings, and were given gifts in return for their poetic genius. Well-deserved gifts!—for over three millennia later, the name of द॑स्यवेवृ॑क is still known and honored. . Why I like this verse: For several reasons. I'm particularly fond of the वालखिल्य॑s, who wrote some of the most elegant and inspiring poetry of the ऋग्वेद॑, and even a simple दानस्तुति॑ like this is full of beautiful metaphors with euphonic use of छ॑न्दस्/meter. मह्ना॑ द॑वं न॑ तस्तभुः is probably my favorite पा॑द/line of the entire ऋग्वेद॑, for its rhythm and content both. . Another interesting thing about this verse is that every word but दि॑व् has a clear English cognate: शत॑ ~ "hundred", श्व॑त ~ "white", उक्ष॑न् "ox", स्तृ॑ ~ "star", न॑ "not", रुच् ~ "light", मह॑न् ~ "might", स्तम्भ् ~ "staff". . Interesting Vedic grammar: Like with yesterday's verse, the Vedic बहुवचन/plural is used here: श्वेता॑सस् rather than श्वेता॑स्. . Notice that दिवि॑ gets the उदात्त/accent on the second syllable but दि॑वम् on the first. This is because दिवि॑ is in the सप्तमी/locative, whose ending begins with a vowel (-इ) and is considered one of the "weakest cases".
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>>>/rta/2172 प्रजा॑पतिरकामयत प्रजाः॑ सृजेये॑ति। स॑ त॑पोऽतप्यत। स॑ सर्पा॑नसृजत। सो᳚ऽकामयत प्रजाः॑ सृजेये॑ति। स॑ द्विती॑यमतप्यत। स॑ व॑याँस्यसृजत। सो᳚ऽकामयत प्रजाः॑ सृजेये॑ति। स॑ तृती॑यमतप्यत। स॑ एतं॑ दीक्षितवाद॑मपश्यत्। त॑मवदत्। त॑तो वै॑ स॑ प्रजा॑ असृजत। य॑त्त॑पस्तप्त्वा॑ दीक्षितवादं॑ व॑दति प्रजा॑ एव॑ त॑द्य॑जमानः सृजते। य॑द्वै॑ दीक्षितो᳚ऽमेध्यं॑ प॑श्यत्य॑पास्माद्दीक्षा॑ क्रामति। नी॑लमस्य ह॑रो व्ये᳚ति। —तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता– . (Reminder that I use one stroke अ॑ to mark an उदात्त and two अ᳚ an independent स्वरित.) . Translation: "प्रजा॑पति desired: 'May I create offspring.' He performed a penance. He created serpents. He performed a second. He created birds. He desired: 'May I create offspring.' He performed a third. He saw this speech of the consecrated. He spoke it. Then he created offspring. When, having performed the penance, the sacrificer speaks the speech of the consecrated, then he thus creates offspring. When the consecrated sees impurity, the consecration leaves from him. His dark-colored vigor goes away." . Word-by-word: प्रजा॑पतिस् < प्रजा॑पति, अकामयत < कम् "desire", प्रजा॑स् < प्रजा॑ "offspring", सृजेय < सृज् "create", इ॑ति, स॑स् < स॑ "he", त॑पस् "penance", अतप्यत < तप् "perform penance", स॑स् < स॑ "he", सर्पा॑न् < सर्प॑ "serpent", असृजत < सृज् "create", स॑स् < स॑ "he", अकामयत < कम् "desire", प्रजा॑स् < प्रजा॑ "offspring", सृजेय < सृज् "create", इ॑ति, स॑स् < स॑ "he", द्विती॑यम् < द्विती॑य "second", अतप्यत < तप् "perform penance", स॑स् < स॑ "he", व॑याँसि < व॑यस् "bird", असृजत < सृज् "create", स॑स् < स॑ "he", अकामयत < कम् "desire", प्रजा॑स् < प्रजा॑ "offspring", सृजेय < सृज् "create", इ॑ति, स॑स् < स॑ "he", तृती॑यम् < तृती॑य "second", अतप्यत < तप् "perform penance", स॑स् < स॑ "he", एतं॑ < एष॑स् "this", दीक्षित < दीक्षित॑ < दीक्ष् "consecrate", वाद॑म् < वाद॑ "speech", अपश्यत् < पश् "see", त॑म् < स॑ "it", अवदत् < वद् "speak", त॑तस् "then", वै॑ "indeed", स॑स् < स॑ "he", प्रजा॑स् < प्रजा॑ "offspring", असृजत < सृज् "create", य॑द् "when", त॑पस् "penance", तप्त्वा॑ < तप् "perform penance", दीक्षित < दीक्षित॑ < दीक्ष् "consecrate", वाद॑म् < वाद॑ "speech", व॑दति < वद् "speak", प्रजा॑स् < प्रजा॑ "offspring", एव॑ "thus", त॑द् "then", य॑जमानस् < य॑जमान < यज् "sacrifice", सृजते < सृज् "create", य॑द् "when", वै॑ "indeed", दीक्षित < दीक्षित॑ < दीक्ष् "consecrate", अमेध्य॑म् < अमेध्य॑ "impure", प॑श्यति < पश् "see", अ॑प "away", अस्मात् < अय॑म् "he", दीक्षा॑ "consecration", क्रामति < क्रम् "go", नी॑लम् < नी॑ल "dark-colored", अस्य < अय॑म् "he", ह॑रस् "vigor", वि॑ "away", एति < इ "go". . Meter: None (the तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता is mostly prose) . Interpretation: This is the beginning of the first प्रपाठक/chapter of the third काण्ड/book of the तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता, one of the four surviving सं॑हिताs of the कृष्णयजुर्वेद॑ (black book of sacrificial formulae). It is called कृष्ण॑/black not from connotations of evil but because it is "disorganized", containing prose mixed with verse, while the शुक्ल॑/white keeps them separated. . This chapter deals with the sóma-sacrifice and starts out with a description of the creation of living things by the Lord of Creation, प्रजा॑पति. Many sections of the सं॑हिताs and ब्रा॑ह्मणs begin with this formulaic phrase प्रजा॑पतिरकामयत, "प्रजा॑पति desired". He fails to create sentient offspring the first two times, first producing things that slither (सृप्) and then things that fly (वि॑), finally succeeding on the third try. . This creation story is then tied in with the sóma-sacrifice. In the Vedic religion the यज्ञ॑/sacrifice is a profoundly creative act by which the order of the universe (ऋत॑) is maintained, and through the sacred act of speech during the sacrifice, the य॑जमान/sacrificer enables the creation of offspring. . The next paragraph describes the importance of avoiding that which is sacrificially impure (अमेध्य॑). Even looking at such a thing causes the sacrificer to lose the purifying consecration that prepared him for the sacrifice, and to lose his vigor. I included the beginning of this paragraph in the quote because I found it interesting that the vigor is described as नी॑ल/dark-colored; in fact, Keith translates नी॑लमस्य ह॑रस् as "his dark colour, his beauty", pointing towards some sort of phenotype-related interpretation. I'm not convinced of it, but I don't have other explanations because I can't find the सायणभाष्य for this section. . Interesting Vedic grammar: There's very little to point out, since the तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता is a prose text that properly belongs to the ब्रा॑ह्मण layer of the Vedic corpus, fairly close to Classical Sanskrit. I'll only point out the frequent use of वै॑, which is sometimes translated "indeed" but is often little more than a word signifying that a new sentence has begun, appearing after the first word in the sentence.
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>>>/rta/2174 य॑दि वीरो॑ अ॑नु षिया॑त्। अग्नि॑मिन्धीत म॑र्तियः। आजु॑ह्वद्धव्य॑मानुष॑क्। श॑र्म भक्षीत दै॑वियम्॥ —सामवेद॑ . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has three deficient syllables with ष्या॑त्, म॑र्त्यः, and दै॑व्यम्.) . Translation: "If the mortal man be at hand, (if) he kindle the fire, constantly inviting (the Gods) to the oblation, may he enjoy divine protection." . Word-by-word: य॑दि "if", वीर॑स् < वीर॑ "man", अनु ष्या॑त् < अ॑नु अस् < "be at hand", अग्नि॑म् < अग्नि॑ "fire", इन्धीत॑ < इन्ध् "kindle", म॑र्तियस् < म॑र्त्य "mortal", आजु॑ह्वत् < आ॑ ह्वे "invite", हव्य॑म् < हव्य॑ "oblation", आनुष॑क् "constantly", श॑र्म < श॑र्मन् "protection", भक्षीत < भक्ष् "enjoy", दै॑वियम् < दै॑व्य "divine". . Meter: अनुष्टु॑भ् . Interpretation: This verse of the सामवेद॑ is one of the few not found in the ऋग्वेद॑—most of the other सा॑मन्s are ऋ॑च्s from the ऋग्वेद॑ set to song. This verse is found in a fairly ordinary अग्नि॑ hymn, though I translate अग्नि॑ as the common noun "fire" in this verse since it's being kindled. . This verse is a great example of the reciprocal relationship between men and Gods found in the Vedic religion, summarized by the famous quote found frequently in the सं॑हिता and ब्रा॑ह्मण: देहि॑ मे द॑दामि ते, "You give me, I give You." The Gods do not favor you just because you pray to Them or sing Them a भजन like in modern Hinduism. It is the यज्ञ॑, the act of sacrifice, that distinguishes you to the Gods and earns you Their divine favor. One must regularly kindle the sacred fire and perform the mandated यज्ञ॑s to be protected by Them. . Interesting Vedic grammar: I don't have much to mention today, since the grammar is fairly ordinary, despite the verse being composed early in the Vedic era. Instead, since today's verse is from the सामवेद॑, which of course is meant to be sung rather than spoken normally, I will show you how this verse is transformed in the ग्रामेगेय recitation: . य꣣दि꣤वी꣯रो꣣꣯अनु꣤ष्या꣥꣯त्। ऐ꣢꣯याऽ३४३ई꣢ऽ३४या꣥॥ अ꣤ग्नि꣣मि꣤न्धी꣥꣯तमौ꣯। हो꣭ऽ३हा꣢꣺ऽ३। हो꣡ऽ२३४र्तियाः। आ꣡जूꣻऽ२ह्वा꣡द्धाऽ२३। व्य꣡माऽ२꣺नू꣣ऽ२३४षा꣥क्॥ श꣡र्मभ꣢। क्षा꣡इ। तदा꣢ऽ꣺३हा꣢ऽ३इ॥ वा꣢ऽ꣺३ओ꣡ऽ२३४वा꣥॥ व्या꣣ऽ२३꣡४꣡५꣡म्। . Here a lower number means a higher pitch: १ is the highest, and ५ the lowest in this verse. A vowel followed by ऽ and a series of numbers means that the same vowel spans multiple notes. I haven't studied yet the सामवेद॑ in as much detail as I have the other वे॑दs, so I don't know what the other superscript diacritics signify.
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>>>/rta/2175 अक्षा॑स इ॑द् • अङ्कुशि॑नो नितोदि॑नः। निकृ॑त्वानस् • त॑पनास्तापयिष्ण॑वः। कुमार॑देष्णा • ज॑यतः पुनर्ह॑णः। म॑ध्वा सं॑पृक्ताः • कितव॑स्य बर्ह॑णा॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.34.7 . Translation: "Dice indeed are hooked, piercing, subduing, painful, seeking to cause pain, gifting like a child, (then) destroying in return the winner, endowed with honeyed power over the player." . Word-by-word: अक्षा॑सस् < अक्ष॑ "die", इ॑द् "indeed", अङ्कुशि॑नस् < अङ्कुशि॑न् "hooked", नितोदि॑नस् < नितोदि॑न् "piercing", निकृ॑त्वानस् < निकृ॑त्वन् < नि॑ कृ "subdue", त॑पनास् < त॑पन "painful", तापयिष्ण॑वस् < तापयिष्णु॑ < तप् "cause pain", कुमार॑ "child", देष्णास् < देष्ण॑ "gift", ज॑यतस् < ज॑यन् < जि "win", पुनर् < पु॑नर् "in return", ह॑णस् < हन् "destroy", म॑ध्वा < म॑धु "honeyed", सं॑पृक्तास् < सं॑पृक्त < सं॑ पृच् "endow", कितव॑स्य < कितव॑ "player", बर्ह॑णा "power". . Meter: ज॑गती (the only one in an otherwise त्रिष्टु॑भ् hymn) . Interpretation: This verse is from the famous Gambler's Lament, a fascinating hymn narrated in the first person from the perspective of a gambling addict who has become destitute and alienated his wife, in-laws, parents, and siblings, but who still refuses to give up gambling. . This verse describes the evils of the dice, which cause great unending pain to the player and those around him, giving only small, temporary pleasures (like a child's gifts) before destroying the "winner". But the player keeps playing anyway, because the dice have a power over him, a "sweet" allure. . Unlike Islam, which prohibits alcohol and gambling entirely, Hinduism takes a more moderate view on such issues. The dangers of such activities are recognized and emphasized, but alcohol and gambling were certainly present in Vedic society. They were also incorporated in certain Vedic rituals: the राजसू॑य/coronation, for example, contains gambling. . It is important for such activities to be well-regulated so that they do not lead to ruin. Later Hinduism certainly placed much heavier restrictions on them, at least for certain castes. . Bharat Ek Khoj has a fun reenactment of this hymn here (starting at 27:57): https://youtu.be/slgzvgfzCeU?t=1677 . Interesting Vedic grammar: This verse is a good example of the fact that contrary to what many say, the यति॑/caesura (the pause in the middle of each line, marked with a bullet here) does have semantic properties. अङ्कुशि॑नो goes with नितोदि॑नः, त॑पनास् with तापयिष्ण॑वः, ज॑यतः with पुनरह॑णः, कितव॑स्य with बर्ह॑णा—and not some word on the other side of the caesura.
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>>>/rta/2193 अग्निः॑ पू॑र्वेभिरृ॑षिभिः। ई॑ळियो नू॑तनैरुत॑। स॑ देवाँ॑ ए॑ह॑ वक्षति॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 1.1.2 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with ई॑ड्यो.) . Translation: "अग्नि॑ is to praised by seers both ancient and modern. He carries the Gods here." . Word-by-word: अग्नि॑स् < अग्नि॑, पू॑र्वेभिस् < पू॑र्व "ancient", ऋ॑षिभिस् < ऋ॑षि "seer", ई॑ळियस् < ई॑ड्य < ईड् "praise", नू॑तनैस् < नू॑तन "modern", उत॑ "as well", स॑स् < स॑ "he", देवा॑न् < देव॑ "God", आ॑ वक्षति < आ॑ वह् "carry", इह॑ "here". . Meter: गायत्र॑ . Interpretation: This is the very second verse of the ऋग्वेद॑, part of the famous hymn to अग्नि॑ that every student of the वे॑द learns in the early stages. अग्नि॑ is the Fire, the conduit or messenger (दूत॑) between men and Gods, Who carries the oblation up to the Heavens as smoke—आ॑र्यs used to burn up food as an actual sacrifice instead of offering a symbolic "प्रसाद"—and Who, as this verse describes, brings the Gods to the location of the sacrifice. . The verse makes it clear that the duty of honoring अग्नि॑ (and the other Vedic देव॑s) is not limited to the ancients or to a certain time period, but is just as much a requirement for आ॑र्यs to practice in our day. Far from there being any mention in the वे॑द of moral truth being specific to a certain time period or युग॑, the Moral Law is eternal, and religious obligations apply to everyone. Those who say otherwise are usually immoral people seeking excuses not to follow scripture while pretending to respect it. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Notice that in the Sanskrit of the ऋग्वेद॑, there is often संधि/elision of a final -न् before a स्वर/vowel, e.g. देवाँ॑ ए॑ह॑ for देवा॑ने॑ह॑ or द॑स्यूँरो॑कसस् for द॑स्यूनो॑कसस्. This is because such words in the द्वितीया/accusative बहुवचन/plural originally ended with -स! That is, the words were originally देवा॑न्स् and द॑स्यून्स्, not देवा॑न् and द॑स्यून्.
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>>>/rta/2194 गव्य॑न्त इ॑न्द्रं • सखिया॑य वि॑प्राः। अश्वाय॑न्तो • वृ॑षणं वाज॑यन्तः। जनीय॑न्तो • जनिदा॑म॑क्षितोतिम्। आ॑ च्यावयामो • अवते॑ न॑ को॑शम्॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 4.17.16 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has two deficient syllables with सख्या॑य and च्यावयामोऽवते॑.) . Translation: "Desiring cows, horses, booty, women, (divinely) inspired, we stir bullish इ॑न्द्र here for friendship, Who gives (us) women, Whose help is imperishable, Who is like a pail in the well." . Word-by-word: गव्य॑न्तस् < गव्य् "desire cows" < गो॑, इ॑न्द्रम् < इ॑न्द्र, सखिया॑य < सख्य॑ "friendship", वि॑प्रास् < वि॑प्र "inspired", अश्वाय॑न्तस् < अश्वाय् "desire horses" < अ॑श्व, वृ॑षणम् < वृ॑षन् "bullish", वाज॑यन्तस् < वाजय् "desire booty" < वा॑ज, जनीय॑न्तस् < जनीय् "desire women" < ज॑नि, अ॑क्षित "imperishable", ऊतिम् < ऊति॑ "help", आ॑ च्यावयामस् < आ॑ च्यु "stir here", अवते॑ < अवत॑ "well", न॑ "like", को॑शम् < को॑श "pail". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Interpretation: I like this verse because it clearly displays the materialistic priorities of the ancient आ॑र्य war-priests who, inspired by strength and conquest, wrote the hymns of the ऋग्वेद॑: their goal was not मोक्ष or some sort of "spiritual liberation" (whatever that means), but material success in this world and the next—wealth, cows, treasure, women. . इ॑न्द्र, supreme king over all, is a friend to the आ॑र्यs and aids us in battle, helping us conquer our God-less enemies and seize their wealth and women. His divine favor is unfailing and ensures us victory, and He is compared to a pail that fetches water from a well—the water, in this case, being the glorious wealth desired by the आ॑र्यs. . Interesting grammar (not Vedic-specific today): We know that the को॑श/pail is describing इ॑न्द्र here, rather than "us", because it is in the द्वितीया/accusative. We know that it is in the accusative because it is पुंलिङ्ग/masculine; otherwise, it could be ambiguous.
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>>>/rta/2195 अहं॑ वदामि ने॑त्तुव॑म्। सभा॑याम॑ह त्वं॑ व॑द। म॑मे॑द॑सस्त्वं॑ के॑वलः। ना॑न्या॑सां कीर्त॑याश्चन॑॥ —अथर्ववेद॑ 7.38.4 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with ने॑त्त्व॑म्.) . Translation: "I am speaking, not you. In the assembly, surely, speak! May you be mine alone. May you not even mention other (women)." . Word-by-word: अह॑म् "I", वदामि < वद् "speak", न॑ "not", इ॑त् "indeed", तुव॑म् < त्व॑म् "you", सभा॑याम् < सभा॑ "assembly", अ॑ह "surely", त्व॑म् "you", व॑द < वद् "speak", म॑म < अह॑म् "I", इ॑त् "indeed", अ॑सस् < अस् "be", त्व॑म् "you", के॑वलस् < के॑वल "alone", न॑ "not", अन्या॑साम् < अन्य॑ "other", कीर्त॑यास् < कीर्त् "mention" , चन॑ "even". . Meter: अनुष्टु॑भ् . Context: This verse comes from an अथर्ववेद॑ hymn for a plant that, when bound to the head of a woman, will enable her to win a man's love. There are many such hymns in the अथर्ववेद॑, magical spells to make a man choose a woman over all of her competitors. . An interesting thing about this verse is the second line. I first encountered it when a Hindu feminist used it to try proving that women were leaders of the Vedic political assembly, but this verse actually shows the exact opposite of that: "In the assembly you, the man, will be the one speaking, but I, the woman, am speaking now," implying that women did not lead the assembly. . The last line of the verse should not be interpreted as some sort of Vedic injunction on polygyny, which of course was a common and honored practice among the Vedic nobility. This is merely a spell expressing the desire of a woman, just as there are other hymns expressing similar possessiveness over the husband and explicitly mentioning co-wives. . Interesting Vedic grammar: अ॑सस् ("may you be") is a conjugation called the "conjunctive" not normally found in Classical Sanskrit. It is formed by taking the लुङ्/aorist (a past tense), in this case आ॑सस्, and removing the अ-/augment at the beginning, giving it an irrealis aspect (i.e. something didn't happen, but one wishes for it to happen). But sometimes it is used identically to the aorist. . Note also that in general the grammar of the अथर्ववेद॑ is quite anomalous in many places (one might argue "incorrect"), including in the accents. Main verbs are normally unaccented in Sanskrit; really there's no reason why this verse should have व॑द, अ॑सस्, कीर्त॑यास् instead of वद, असस्, कीर्तयास्.
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>>>/rta/2200 न॑ स॑ स॑खा • यो॑ न॑ द॑दाति स॑ख्ये। सचाभु॑वे • स॑चमानाय पित्वः॑। अ॑पास्मात्प्रे॑यान् • न॑ त॑दो॑को अस्ति। पृण॑न्तमन्य॑म् • अ॑रणं चिदिच्छेत्॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.117.4 . (Note that the last syllable of ओ॑को is to be scanned लघु॑/short, as if ओ॑कव्.) . Translation: "No friend is he who doesn't give food and drink to a friend, to a loyal companion. Let him proceed from him. No home is that. Let him seek another generous one, even a stranger." . Word-by-word: न॑ "not", स॑स् < स॑ "he", स॑खा < स॑खि "friend" , य॑स् < य॑ "who", न॑ "not", द॑दाति < दा "give", स॑ख्ये < स॑खि "friend" , सचाभु॑वे < सचाभू॑ "companion", स॑चमानाय < स॑चमान < सच् "be attached", पित्व॑स् < पितु॑ "food and drink", अ॑प "from", अस्मात् < अय॑म् "he", प्र॑ इयात् < प्र॑ इ "proceed", न॑ "not", त॑द् "it", ओ॑कस् "home", अस्ति < अस् "be", पृण॑न्तम् < पृण॑न् < पॄ "be generous", अन्य॑म् < अन्य॑ "other", अ॑रणम् < अ॑रण "stranger", चिद् "even", इच्छेत् < इष् "seek". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Context: This hymn isn't dedicated to a specific God, and in fact is remarkable in not even mentioning the name of a God once; rather, it's a hymn in praise of generosity. . This verse is a good embodiment of the spirit of the entire hymn. The selfish, miserly person cannot be called a friend or a companion; even a generous stranger is more of an ally. In the modern era the word "friend" is used very loosely, even for someone you just met, but friendship was taken very seriously in old Aryan society, and carried its own set of entitlements and responsibilities; hospitality and charity are essential Aryan values. Obviously, someone who refuses to help you in a time of need is no friend at all. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Notice that अस्मात् is unaccented here (rather than अस्मा॑त्). In general, the declensions of अय॑म् that start with अ- can be either accented or accentless, without any specific pattern or way to predict an accent.
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>>>/rta/2201 अ॑वर्तिया • शु॑न आन्त्रा॑णि पेचे। न॑ देवे॑षु • विविदे मर्डिता॑रम्। अ॑पश्यं जाया॑म् • अ॑महीयमानाम्। अ॑धा मे श्येनो॑ • म॑धु आ॑ जभार॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 4.18.13 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has two deficient syllables with अ॑वर्त्या and म॑ध्वा॑.) . Translation: "In distress I cooked a dog's entrails. Among the Gods I found none who showed (me) favor. I beheld the lowly esteemed wife. Then a falcon brought Me sóma." . Word-by-word: अ॑वर्तिया < अ॑वर्ति "distress", शु॑नस् < श्व॑न् "dog", आन्त्रा॑णि < आन्त्र॑ "entrails", पेचे < पच् "cook", न॑ "not", देवे॑षु > देव॑ "God", विविदे < विद् "find", मर्डिता॑रम् < मर्डितृ॑ < मृड् "show favor", अ॑पश्यम् < स्पश् "see", जाया॑म् < जाया॑ "wife", अ॑- "not", महीयमानाम् < महीय॑मान < महीय् "be highly esteemed", अ॑धा = अ॑ध "then", मे < अह॑म् "I", श्येन॑स् < श्येन॑ "falcon", म॑धु "nectar", आ॑ जभार < आ॑ भृ "bring". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Context: The Gods are eternal only in the sense that They are immortal, but They are not timeless and did not always exist: They had births, many of which were very dramatic and are described in Vedic texts. This dialogue-hymn of the ऋग्वेद॑ describes the story of इ॑न्द्र's birth from His mother after lying in Her womb for thousands of years. Soon after being born and drinking large quantities of sóma, He slew the serpent वृत्र॑, and he is also mentioned as having slain His own father (similar to the Greek myths about Ζεύς). Today's verse is the last in the hymn, spoken by इ॑न्द्र Himself. . As a result of turning His own mother into a widow, He was initially abandoned by the rest of the Gods and had to resort to eating dogs' intestines. Cooking dog-meat was regarded as taboo behavior in आ॑र्य society—the word श्वपच॑ "dog-cooker" was a word for an outcaste—showing how low इ॑न्द्र initially fell before His rise to supremacy. Similarly, a जाया॑ "wife" also fell into dishonor—but while some commentators have interpreted this as इ॑न्द्र's wife, the word much more likely refers to His mother, lowly regarded for Her widowhood. . इ॑न्द्र is rescued from this plight by the falcon of the Heavens, who brings Him sóma from high mountains. Here the word used is actually म॑धु "nectar", but the word is often used as a synonym for sóma, and the story of the sóma-bearing falcon is mentioned more explicitly in other places. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Note the use of अ॑धा here meaning "then", and that too with a Vedic lengthening of the second syllable; in later Sanskrit, अ॑थ (having the same meaning) would be much more usual.
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>>>/rta/2204 त॑त्सवितु॑र्व॑रेणियम्। भ॑र्गो देव॑स्य धीमहि। धि॑यो यो॑ नः प्र चोद॑यात्॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 3.62.10 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with व॑रेण्यम्. This is particularly ironic since this verse is often called the गायत्री॑, named after the meter, yet the सं॑हिता doesn't follow the meter.) . Translation: "May we attain that desirable radiance of the God सवितृ॑, who shall set our thoughts in motion." . Word-by-word: त॑द् "that", सवितु॑स् < सवितृ॑, व॑रेणियम् < व॑रेण्य "desirable", भ॑र्गस् "radiance", देव॑स्य < देव॑ "God", धीमहि < धा "attain", धि॑यस् < धी॑ "thought", य॑स् < य॑ "who", नस् < वय॑म् "we", प्र चोद॑यात् < प्र॑ चुद् "set in motion". . Meter: गायत्र॑ . Some notes: Nearly all readers will have already encountered this verse, since it continues to be commonly used and held deeply sacred by modern Hindus—despite their having mostly abandoned the worship of the actual God it praises, सवितृ॑. Most Hindus preface the verse with ॐ भू॑र्भु॑वः स्वः᳚ (or सु॑वः), but note that this is a sacrificial formula called the व्या॑हृति prescribed in the तैत्तिरीयारण्यक, and not part of the म॑न्त्र/verse itself. . Though the verse was popular even within the Vedic period, its meaning isn't extraordinary: the verse is a simple prayer to win the brightness of the rising Sun सवितृ॑ for the reciters. Here "win" and "attain" are less-than-ideal translations: what is meant is something like "make our own", i.e. the radiance will serve us or be useful to us. This is evidenced by the subsequent verse, for example, in which the reciters desire the gift of prosperity (भ॑गस्य राति॑म्) from सवितृ॑. . The धि॑यस्/"thoughts" here are more specifically divinely inspired insights, wisdoms, or prayers; this is the normal usage of धी॑. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Many native scholars interpret धीमहि as coming from the root धी "think" and thus give the translation "may we meditate" instead of "may we attain", but this would be an ungrammatical derivation, since धी belongs to the जुहोत्यादिगण / reduplicating class and would turn into दीधिमहि. There are many other instances of धा "weakening" into the vowels इ or ई as part of its conjugation. . This actually makes the verse a nice pun, then, since धीमहि is followed by धि॑यो and the two come from separate roots. Punning is a common poetic device throughout the वे॑द. . Also note that प्र and चोद॑यात् are separate words in Vedic Sanskrit, which is why they are written here with a space. In Classical Sanskrit the उपसर्ग/prefix must be part of the same word as the verb, whereas in Vedic Sanskrit there could be words that come between them.
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>>>/rta/2208 सं॑ गच्छस्व • पितृ॑भिः सं॑ यमे॑न। इष्टापूर्ते॑न • परमे॑ वि॑योमन्। हित्वा॑यावद्यं॑ • पु॑नर॑स्तमे॑हि। सं॑ गच्छसुव • तनु॑वा सुव॑र्चाः॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.14.8 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has four deficient syllables with यमे॑नेष्टापूर्ते॑न, व्यो᳚मन्, गच्छस्व, and तन्वा᳚.) . Translation: "Meet the Fathers, meet यम॑, meet (your) इष्टापूर्त॑ in the highest heaven. Having abandoned dishonor, return home. Bright with splendor, meet (your) body." . Word-by-word: सं॑ गच्छस्व < स॑म् गम् "meet", पितृ॑भिस् < पितृ "Father", सं॑ (गच्छस्व) < स॑म् गम् "meet", यमे॑न < यम॑, इष्टापूर्ते॑न < इष्टापूर्त॑, परमे॑ < परम॑ "highest", वि॑योमन् < व्यो᳚मन् "heaven", हित्वा॑य < हा "abandon", अवद्य॑म् < अवद्य॑ "dishonor", पु॑नर् एहि < पु॑नर् इ "return", अ॑स्तम् < अ॑स्त "home", सं॑ गच्छसुव < स॑म् गम् "meet", तनु॑वा < तनू॑ "body", सु < सु॑ "good", व॑र्चास् < व॑र्चस् "splendor". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Context: This verse is from one of several funeral hymns of the ऋग्वेद॑. The deceased soul is being addressed here, and is told to meet the Fathers (ancestors) who live and behold us from स्वर्ग॑/Heaven; to meet यम॑, the first human, who crossed over to Heaven and became king of the dead; and to meet with the इष्टापूर्त॑. I have left इष्टापूर्त॑ untranslated here because it is difficult to render as a single word or phrase in English. Essentially, it is the reward (पूर्त॑) from all the sacrificial rites (इ॑ष्टि) that one has performed on through one's life on Earth: this reward is accumulated for a mortal to enjoy once he has crossed into the afterlife. A miserly person or atheist who does not sacrifice to the Gods, an अ॑यज्यु, will have no इष्टापूर्त॑ and will suffer in the afterlife. . In the second pair of lines, the deceased soul is told to abandon all the sin and vices of his Earthly life and to go back to his home in Heaven. Shining with Heavenly light, the soul will take a new body in the world of यम॑, free from Earthly diseases and blemishes. . Why I like this verse: It reveals two interesting things about the Vedic metaphysics of the afterlife: 1. Heaven is not a metaphor or a place where disembodied souls flit around, but a place in which we have a तनू॑/body (with which we enjoy materialistic pleasures, as described in other verses), and 2. the fact that the soul is described as "returning" home would seem to imply that reincarnation is not a later development from the ब्रा॑ह्मण period and later, as claimed by some, but can be found even in the ऋग्वेद॑. . Interesting Vedic grammar: व्यो᳚मन् is a uniquely Vedic abbreviated form of the सप्तमी/locative. In Classical Sanskrit it would always be व्यो᳚मनि or व्यो᳚म्नि. . हित्वा॑य is a uniquely Vedic form of the क्त्वान्त/gerund: in Classical Sanskrit it would always be हित्वा॑.
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>>>/rta/2220 यो॑ वाघ॑ते • द॑दाति सून॑रं व॑सु। स॑ धत्ते अ॑क्षिति श्र॑वः। त॑स्मा इ॑ळां • सुवी॑रामा॑ यजामहे। सुप्र॑तूर्तिमनेह॑सम्॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 1.40.4 . Translation: "He who gives pleasing wealth to the sacrificer attains imperishable fame. For him we sacrifice the libation rich in heroes, all-subduing, unrivaled." . Word-by-word: य॑स् < य॑ "who", वाघ॑ते < वाघ॑न् "sacrificer", द॑दाति < दा "give", सून॑रम् < सून॑र "pleasing", व॑सु "wealth", स॑स् < स॑ "he", धत्ते < धा "attain", अ॑क्षिति "imperishable", श्र॑वस् "fame", त॑स्मै < स॑ "he", इ॑ळां < इ॑डा "libation", सु < सु॑ "good", वी॑राम् < वीर॑ "hero", यजामहे < यज् "sacrifice", सु < सु॑ "good", प्र॑तूर्तिम् < प्र॑तूर्ति < प्र॑ तुर् "subdue", अनेह॑सम् < अनेह॑स् "unrivaled". . Meter: सतो॑बृहती (alternating lines of 12-syllable ज॑गती-style and 8-syllable गायत्र॑-style) . Context: This hymn, dedicated to बृ॑हस्प॑ति like our quote from Day 2, is one of many that reveal the nature of the priest's role in society. A priest (वाघ॑न्) has a reciprocal relationship with his patron: in exchange for a generous gift of wealth by the patron (in this case a क्षत्रि॑य hero), the priest conducts a sacrifice to the Gods on the patron's behalf, winning unending glory for the patron. . The syntax of this verse is a bit elliptical, and I have left it this way in my English translation: the libation (drink offered to the Gods) is described as "rich in heroes, all-subduing, unrivaled", but what is clearly meant is that the libation will cause us to become rich in heroes, all-subduing, and unrivaled. . The concept of imperishable fame (अ॑क्षिति श्र॑वस्), or several similar variations like immortal fame (अमृ॑तं श्र॑वस्) is found widely not only throughout the Vedic religion but in other Indo-European religions like the य॑वनs'/Greeks' (where it is called ἄφθιτος κλέος). The word for fame in these languages is derived from the root श्रु/κλύ "hear"—the valiant hero achieves immortality not only in the world of स्वर्ग॑ but in this world as well, since his name is heard forever and never forgotten. To this day, thanks to the ब्राह्मण॑s/priests who composed the वे॑द, we know the names of brave kings who lived at the dawn of human history. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Notice that what is usually इ॑डा in most Vedic and all Classical Sanskrit appears as इ॑ळा in the शाकलसं॑हिता of the ऋग्वेद॑, because ड turns into ळ when it comes between two स्वरs/vowels. This doesn't mean that इ॑ळा is an older form of the word: this sound change is simply an idiosyncrasy of this शा॑खा.
>>856 >>862 Apologies, these two should say "Daily वे॑द Quote #26" and "Daily वे॑द Quote #27".
Based anon, can you teach me sanskrit too?
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>>>/rta/2223 अगव्यूति॑ • क्षे॑त्रमा॑गन्म देवाः। उर्वी॑ सती॑ • भू॑मिरंहूरणा॑भूत्। बृ॑हस्पते • प्र॑ चिकित्सा ग॑विष्टौ। इत्था॑ सते॑ • जरित्र॑ इन्द्र प॑न्थाम्॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 6.47.20 . Translation: "We have come to a land without pasture, O Gods. The land, once wide, has become narrow. O बृ॑हस्प॑ति, O इ॑न्द्र, show a path to the praiser engaged in war." . Word-by-word: अ- < अ॑- "not", गव्यूति॑ < ग॑व्यूति "pasture", क्षे॑त्रम् < क्षे॑त्र "land", आ॑ अगन्म < आ॑ गम् "come", देवास् < देव॑ "God", उर्वी॑ < उरु॑ "wide", सती॑ < अस् "be", भू॑मिस् < भू॑मि "land", अंहूरणा॑ "narrow", अभूत् < भू "become", बृ॑हस्पते < बृ॑हस्प॑ति, प्र॑ चिकित्सा < प्र॑ चित् "show", ग॑विष्टौ < ग॑विष्टि "war", इत्था॑ "indeed", सते॑ < स॑न् < अस् "be", जरित्रे॑ < जरितृ॑ < जॄ "praise", इन्द्र < इ॑न्द्र, प॑न्थाम् < पथि॑ "path". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Context: The homeland of the Vedic आ॑र्यs was full of wide-open pastures for their cows and horses to roam freely, but in their wars of expansion against the दास॑s, they began to run out of space and fields as they encountered barren land, forested areas, or tight mountain passes. . It was through the Divine intervention of बृ॑हस्प॑ति and इ॑न्द्र that a path was revealed to the आ॑र्यs, enabling them to escape to wide lands once more and to be victorious. In this sense the story is similar to that of the Israelites' "promised land", said to be found and conquered through divine aid. . It is interesting to think about how this verse might apply to our own era, in which too the lands have become pastureless and cramped. Perhaps the day will come when इ॑न्द्र will reveal another path to us in the final battle. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Note that the शतृ/participle स॑न् "being" (or its स्त्रीलिङ्ग/feminine सती॑) is used in two different senses here. The first use is with a meaning of contrast: where the land was once wide, it is no longer. The second use is with a meaning of emphasis: इत्था॑ is a particle that highlights सते॑ and connects it to ग॑विष्टौ, emphasizing that the praiser is engaged in war. . ग॑विष्टि is an interesting समास/compound from गो॑ "cow" and इष्टि॑ "desire": the wars of the ancient आ॑र्यs were of diverse nature and did not include only the holy racial wars mentioned in previous posts, but also purely materialistic raids for cows and other wealth between different आ॑र्य tribes. . प॑न्थाम् is a old Vedic form for what would be प॑न्थानम् in later Vedic and Classical Sanskrit.
>>874 I highly recommend learnsanskrit.org for a beginner.
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>>>/rta/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.
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>>>/rta/2225 क्ली॑ब क्लीबं॑ तुवाकरम्। व॑ध्रे व॑ध्रिं तुवाकरम्। अ॑रसारसं॑ त्वाकरम्। कुरी॑रमस्य शीर्ष॑णि। कु॑म्बं चाधि नि॑ दध्मसि॥ —अथर्ववेद॑ 6.138.3 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has two deficient syllables with त्वाकरम्, but the third त्वाकरम् may be correct.) . Translation: "I have made you impotent, O impotent. I have made you a eunuch, O eunuch. I have made you semenless, O semenless. We place the कुरी॑र and the कु॑म्ब [women's headdresses] upon his head." . Word-by-word: क्ली॑ब < क्लीब॑ "impotent", क्लीब॑म् < क्लीब॑ "impotent", तुवा < त्व॑म् "you", अकरम् < कृ "make", व॑ध्रे < व॑ध्रि "eunuch", व॑ध्रिम् < व॑ध्रि "eunuch", तुवा < त्व॑म् "you", अकरम् < कृ "make", अ॑रस < अरस॑ "semenless", अरस॑म् < अरस॑ "semenless", त्वा < त्व॑म् "you", अकरम् < कृ "make", कुरी॑रम् < कुरी॑र "headdress", अस्य < अय॑म् "he", शीर्ष॑णि < शीर्ष॑न् "head", कु॑म्बम् < कु॑म्ब "headdress", च "and", अधि नि॑ दध्मसि < अ॑धि नि॑ धा "place upon". . Meter: पथ्यापङ्क्ति॑ (अनुष्टु॑भ् with 5 lines instead of 4) . Context: This verse is from a magical spell of the अथर्ववेद॑ intended to make the sorcerer's rival impotent. It is to be recited while using a certain plant whose identity is no longer known. The sorcerer declares that he has emasculated his enemy, and made him like a castrated ox or a eunuch (व॑ध्रि), and taken away his vital fluid or semen (र॑स)—and to add insult to injury, he humiliates his opponent by comparing him to a woman, mentioning women's headwear being placed on his head. . To be unmanned, to be womanly, was one of the worst possible fates for a Vedic आ॑र्य man, as evidenced in this and countless other verses. The आ॑र्यs lived in a binary, gendered society with strict roles to which both sexes were expected to conform, and those who failed to live up to those roles were treated with great shame and dishonor. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Notice that when a verb like धा here has multiple उपसर्गs/prefixes, only the one closest to the verb takes an accent. Thus: अधि नि॑ दध्मसि rather than अ॑धि नि॑ दध्मसि.
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>>>/rta/2226 ह॑री नु॑ कं • र॑थ इ॑न्द्रस्य योजम्। आयै॑ सूक्ते॑न • व॑चसा न॑वेन। मो॑ षु॑ त्वा॑म॑त्र • बह॑वो हि॑ वि॑प्राः। नि॑ रीरमन् • य॑जमानासो अन्ये॑॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 2.18.3 . (Note that the last syllable of य॑जमानासो is to be scanned लघु॑/short, as if य॑जमानासव्.) . Translation: "May I now yoke इ॑न्द्र's golden (horses) to the chariot with new well-spoken speech (so that He may) come. Because there are many inspired (seers) here, may no other sacrificers cause You to stop." . Word-by-word: ह॑री < ह॑रि "golden", नु॑ "now", कम् "indeed", र॑थे < र॑थ "chariot", इ॑न्द्रस्य < इ॑न्द्र, योजम् < युज् "yoke", आयै॑ < आ॑ या "come", सु < सु॑ "well", उक्ते॑न < उक्त॑ < वच् "speak", व॑चसा < व॑चस् "speech", न॑वेन < न॑व "new", मा॑ "don't", उ "indeed", सु॑ "well", त्वा॑म् < त्व॑म् "you", अ॑त्र "here", बह॑वस् < बहु॑ "many", हि॑ "because", वि॑प्रास् < वि॑प्र "inspired", नि॑ रीरमन् < नि॑ रम् "stop", य॑जमानासस् < य॑जमान < यज् "sacrifice", अन्ये॑ < अन्य॑ "other". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Context: The speaker of the verse hopes to bring इ॑न्द्र to the location of the यज्ञ॑ by attracting Him with a newly composed piece of poetry. Note the use of the word न॑व "new": contrary to the later Hindu view, the वे॑दs (both the सं॑हिता and ब्रा॑ह्मण) are mostly not अपौरुषेय / of non-human origin, and human poets were constantly contending to compose new inventive Vedic hymns through their own poetic genius and Divine inspiration. . In this verse the sacrificer is competing for इ॑न्द्र's attention against other sacrificers, his rivals, and tries to convince इ॑न्द्र to choose to attend his sacrifice rather than stopping at his rivals', since he has more poets. This competition to please the Gods is a common theme throughout the Vedic religion, which was often practiced by both opposing sides of a brutal war—if both sides were upright आ॑र्यs, followers of the वे॑द, the Gods would favor the side whose sacrifices were more pleasing and abundant. It is a wicked अ॑नृत act to disturb a sacrifice, even that of your mortal enemies, so the only way to compete is through performing elaborate sacrifices of your own with more well-spoken poetry. . The fact that ह॑री "golden" means इ॑न्द्र's horses and वि॑प्रास् "inspired ones" means ऋ॑षिs is not a matter of interpretation: these are common short-forms used throughout the ऋग्वेद॑. . Interesting Vedic grammar: The structure of the second half is interesting and elegant, with the dependent ("because") clause interrupting the main sentence before it resumes. A less understandable but more direct translation would be: "May not well You, because here are many inspired, other sacrificers cause to stop." . There are a few "filler" words here—कम्, उ, सु॑—which are sometimes used to make a sentence fit the meter but which may also have subtle effects on the meaning. . Note that य॑जमानासो अन्ये॑ would always become य॑जमानासोऽन्ये॑ in Classical Sanskrit but rarely in the ऋग्वेद॑.
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>>>/rta/2231 त॑स्मादिमा॑ वि॑शः क्षत्रि॑याय बलिं॑ हरन्ति। य॑दुपभृ॑ति गृह्णा॑ति त॑स्मादु क्षत्रि॑यस्यैव॑ व॑शे सति॑ वै॑श्यं पश॑व उ॑प तिष्ठन्ते। अ॑थ य॑त्त॑ज्जुह्वै॑व॑ समानी॑य जुहो॑ति त॑स्माद्य॑दोत॑ क्षत्रि॑यः काम॑यते॑ऽथाह वै॑श्य म॑यि य॑त्ते परो॑ नि॑हितं त॑दा॑ हरे॑ति। तं॑ जिना॑ति त्वद्य॑था त्वत्काम॑यते त॑था सचत एते॑नो ह त॑द्वीर्ये᳚ण। —शतपथब्रा॑ह्मण . Translation: "Hence these वै॑श्यs (commoners) offer tribute to the क्षत्रि॑य (ruler). With what he takes in the vessel, the वै॑श्य, being in the power of the क्षत्रि॑य, gains cattle. And when he sacrifices, having poured together (the butter) with the the ladle, then the क्षत्रि॑य, whenever he wants, says: 'O वै॑श्य! Bring me here what you have set away!' He both subdues him and obtains whatever he wants by this very power." . Word-by-word: त॑स्माद् < त॑द् "that", इमा॑स् < इय॑म् "this", वि॑शस् < वि॑श् = वै॑श्य "commoner", क्षत्रि॑याय < क्षत्रि॑य "ruler", बलि॑म् < बलि॑ "tribute", हरन्ति < हृ "offer", य॑द् "when", उपभृ॑ति < उपभृ॑त् "vessel", गृह्णा॑ति < ग्रभ् "take", त॑स्माद् < त॑द् "that", उ "indeed", क्षत्रि॑यस्य < क्षत्रि॑य "ruler", एव॑ "thus", व॑शे < व॑श "power", सति॑ < स॑न् < अ॑स् "be", वै॑श्यम् < वै॑श्य "commoner", पश॑वस् < पशु॑ "animal", उ॑प तिष्ठन्ते < उ॑प स्था "belong to", अ॑थ "then", य॑द् त॑द् "whatever", जुह्वा॑ < जुहू॑ "ladle", एव॑ "thus", समानी॑य < स॑म् आ॑ नी "pour together", जुहो॑ति < हु "sacrifice", त॑स्माद् < त॑द् "that", य॑दा "when", उत॑ "and", क्षत्रि॑यस् < क्षत्रि॑य "ruler", काम॑यते < कम् "want", अ॑थ "then", आह < अह् "say", वै॑श्य "commoner", म॑यि < अह॑म् "I", य॑द् "what", ते < त्व॑म् "you", पर॑स् "away", नि॑हितम् < नि॑हित < नि॑ धा "set down", त॑द् "that", आ॑ हर < आ॑ हृ "bring here", इ॑ति, त॑म् < स॑ "he", जिना॑ति < ज्या "subdue", त्वद् < त्व "both", य॑था "how", त्वद् < त्व "both", काम॑यते < कम् "want", त॑था "so", सचते < सच् "obtain", एते॑नो < एत॑द् "this", ह "indeed", त॑द् "that", वीर्ये᳚ण < वीर्य᳚ "power". . छ॑न्दस्/Meter: None (the शतपथब्रा॑ह्मण is prose) . Interpretation: This chapter describes the दर्शपूर्णमास॑ (full- and new-moon ritual), hence the reference to a sacrificial vessel and the pouring together of butter with a sacrificial ladle. But what is particularly interesting about this passage is that it is one (of several) describing the profoundly unequal (and some would say "oppressive") power-dynamic between the rulers of आ॑र्य society and the commoners. There was no pretense of egalitarianism in the Vedic times: contrary to revisionist Hindu views, a birth-based caste system has existed since that era and is fundamental to the Vedic religion. The क्षत्रि॑यs, an exclusive group of élite nobility, ruled by their brute power (व॑श, वीर्य᳚) rather than through some sort of democratic process, and dominated ("subdued", ज्या) the civilian commoners whom they ruled, exacting tributes (बलि॑) from them and demanding wealth from them whenever they wanted. But this was not a "tyranny", insofar as the commoner benefited from submitting to the rule of the क्षत्रि॑य, for cattle would come into his possession (पश॑व उ॑प तिष्ठन्ते). . Interesting Vedic grammar: Notice the repetition of त्वद् (unaccented), equivalent to "both…and…" in English. Thus: तं॑ जिना॑ति त्वद् "he both subdues him", य॑था त्वत्काम॑यते "and whatever he wants…".
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>>>/rta/2232 इदं॑ सु॑ मे • जरितरा॑ चिकिद्धि। प्रतीपं॑ शा॑पं • नदि॑यो वहन्ति। लोपाशः॑ सिंहं॑ • प्रतिय॑ञ्चमत्साः। क्रोष्टा॑ वराहं॑ • नि॑रतक्त क॑क्षात्॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.28.4 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has two deficient syllables with नद्यो᳚ and प्रत्य॑ञ्चम्.) . Translation: "Understand well this (riddle) of Mine, O praiser. The rivers carry the flotsam against the current. The fox sneaks up on the lion facing him. The jackal bursts out at the boar from his hiding-place." . Word-by-word: इद॑म् "this", सु॑ "well", मे < अह॑म् "I", जरितर् < जरितृ॑ < जॄ "praise", आ॑ चिकिद्धि < आ॑ चित् "understand", प्रतीप॑म् "against the current", शा॑पम् < शा॑प "flotsam", नदि॑यस् < नदी॑ "river", वहन्ति < वह् "carry", लोपाश॑स् < लोपाश "fox", सिंह॑म् < सिंह॑ "lion", प्रतिय॑ञ्चम् < प्रत्य॑च् "front-facing", अत्सार् < त्सर् "sneak up", क्रोष्टा॑ < क्रोष्टृ॑ "jackal", वराह॑म् < वराह॑ "boar", नि॑र् अतक्त < निर॑ तक् "burst out", क॑क्षात् < क॑क्ष "hiding-place". . छ॑न्दस्/Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Interpretation: This verse was spoken by इ॑न्द्र Himself, addressed to a sacrificer who has just sacrificed bulls to Him. Here He presents nature-themed riddles to the sacrificer, all of which have a common element: something weak overcoming something strong, a piece of wood flowing opposite the mighty river current, a fox being brave enough to face a lion head-on, a jackal bursting out at a boar instead of the usual imagery of the opposite. This theme is made more explicit in the ninth verse of the same hymn, where इ॑न्द्र says: बृ॑हन्तं चिद् • ऋहते॑ रन्धयानि "Even the mighty I shall subdue for the small." . The message that इ॑न्द्र seems to be conveying with this riddle, or at least one of several possible messages, is that through a successful sacrifice, incredible and nature-defying victories become possible with His help. इ॑न्द्र Himself, as we covered in Daily वे॑द Quote #25, was once a dishonored child without the favor of the other Gods, before He rose to become the mightest force in existence. . Some believe that this verse hints at a tradition of animal-related fables in the Vedic times, a possible precursor to the पञ्चतन्त्र genre of literature that would only develop tens of centuries later. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Here the last phrase अतक्त क॑क्षात् (तक् - तक् - अक्) is a clear pun by इ॑न्द्र, almost a tongue-twister. . अत्सार् is an older Vedic form of the लुङ्/aorist, which in the Classical grammar of पाणिनि would be अत्सारीत्. . चिकिद्धि, a लोट्/imperative verb, clearly has an अभ्यास/reduplication चि-, followed by the (retracted) root चित् and suffix -हि. Western and Paninian grammarians tend to analyze this formation differently: some Westerners consider the verb part of the लिट्/perfect system (but with no difference in meaning from the that of वर्तमान/present imperative), while Paninians view the reduplication as coming from a जुहोत्यादिगण / class 3 present stem. The Paninian view makes more sense to me here.
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>>>/rta/2235 आ॑पो वा॑ इद॑म॑ग्रे सलिल॑मासीत्। स॑ प्रजा॑पतिः पुश्करपर्णे॑ वा॑तो भूतो᳚ऽलेलायत्। स॑ प्रतिष्ठां॑ ना॑विन्दत। स॑ एत॑दपां॑ कुला॑यमपश्यत्। त॑स्मिन्नग्नि॑मचिनुत। त॑दिय॑मभवत्। त॑तो वै॑ स॑ प्र॑त्यतिष्ठत्। —तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता– . Translation: "In the beginning this (world) was Water, the flood. प्रजा॑पति moved back and forth on a leaf, having become the Wind. He found no support. He saw the home of the Waters. He constructed the Fire. It (the home) became this (Earth). Then indeed He had support." . Word-by-word: आ॑पस् < अ॑प् "Water", वै॑ "indeed", इद॑म् "this", अ॑ग्रे < अ॑ग्र "beginning", सलिल॑म् < सलिल॑ "flood", आसीत् < अस् "be", स॑स् < स॑ "He", प्रजा॑पतिस् < प्रजा॑पति, पुश्कर < पु॑श्कर "flower", पर्णे॑ < पर्ण॑ "leaf", वा॑तस् < वा॑त "Wind", भूत॑स् < भूत॑ < भू "become", अलेलायत् < लेलाय् "move back and forth", स॑स् < स॑ "He", प्रतिष्ठा॑म् < प्रतिष्ठा॑ "support", न॑ "not", अविन्दत < विद् "find", स॑स् < स॑ "He", एत॑द् "this", अपा॑म् < अ॑प् "Water", कुला॑यम् < कुला॑य "home", अपश्यत् < स्पश् "see", त॑स्मिन् < त॑द् "it", अग्नि॑म् < अग्नि॑ "Fire", अचिनुत < चि "construct", त॑द् "it", इय॑म् "this", अभवत् < भू "become", त॑तस् "then", वै॑ "indeed", स॑स् < स॑ "He", प्र॑ति अतिष्ठत् < प्र॑ति स्था "have support". . छ॑न्दस्/Meter: None (the तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता is mostly prose) . Context: This is one of the many places where the Vedic narrative of the universe's creation is described. प्रजा॑पति is the all-encompassing God of Creation, the closest there is in the Vedic religion to the Abrahamic conception of יהוה/YHWH (though there are still many differences), and He alone created the worlds in the beginning. . This description of Creation is rather elegant in my opinion, with some interesting possible metaphysical interpretations. All four of the classical elements (Water, Wind, Fire, Earth) are mentioned here. Water is the primordial element that existed when there was nothing else (just as in ऋग्वेद॑ 10.129.1). And then there was the motive force, the breath (Wind) of life or the Prime Mover, Who sprang into existence. And the grandson of the Waters (अपां॑ न॑प्तृ) was the Fire, Who is also the light in the Heavens. Finally came the Earth, She Who supports everything else, even प्रजा॑पति Himself. . This narrative is told as part of a section about a ritual called the अग्निच॑यन, the "piling of the fire altar". It comes from the same roots used here: अग्नि॑ "fire" and चि "construct". A similar narrative is found in the famous hymn ऋग्वेद॑ 10.121, where fire (अग्नि॑) is produced from the waters (आ॑पस्) by प्रजा॑पति, who holds up Heaven and Earth (द्यौ॑रुग्रा॑ पृथिवी॑ च दृळ्हा॑) and the Divine light (सु॑वर्) and the Firmament (ना॑क). . Notice the interesting parallels between Vedic creation and the first lines of בְּרֵאשִׁית/Genesis. There, too, we find that in the beginning (בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית / अग्रे॑) the sole Creator was floating (מְרַחֶ֖פֶת / अलेलायत्) above the waters (הַמָּֽיִם / आ॑पस्), and created a light (א֑וֹר / सु॑वर् or अग्नि॑म्) above them, and lastly created Earth (אֶ֔רֶץ / इय॑म्) from them, having created the Firmament (רָקִ֖יעַ / ना॑कस्). . Interesting Vedic grammar: Notice the extremely abbreviated style of the ब्रा॑ह्मणs, which must be learned through experience. इद॑म् "this" is often a short form for "this world", and इय॑म् (a स्त्रीलिङ्ग/feminine pronoun) a short form for पृथिवी॑ (the Earth). Unfortunately, this style often creates ambiguity—for example, what is त॑द् that became the Earth here? Keith translates it as referring to the अग्नि॑/fire, while I believe it refers to the कुला॑य/home of the waters, since this fits better with the लिङ्ग/gender.
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>>>/rta/2250 आ॑ यः॑ पप्रौ॑ • भानु॑ना रो॑दसी उभे॑। धूमे॑न धावते दिवि॑। तिर॑स्त॑मो • ददृश ऊ॑र्मियासु आ॑। श्यावा॑सु अरुषो॑ वृ॑षा। आ॑ श्यावा॑ अरुषो॑ वृ॑षा॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 6.48.6 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has four deficient syllables with ऊ॑र्म्यास्वा॑, श्यावा॑स्वरुषो॑, and वृ॑षा॑.) . Translation: "He who filled Earth and Heaven both with light rushes to Heaven by smoke. Through the darkness the red bull is seen in the dark nights. (May) the red bull (come) to the dark (nights)." . Word-by-word: आ॑ पप्रौ॑ < आ॑ प्रा "fill", य॑स् < य॑ "who", भानु॑ना < भानु॑ "light", रो॑दसी "Heaven and Earth", उभे॑ < उभ॑ "both", धूमे॑न < धूम॑ "smoke", धावते < धाव् "rush", दिवि॑ < दि॑व् "Heaven", तिर॑स् "through", त॑मस् "darkness", ददृशे आ॑ < आ॑ दृश् "see", ऊ॑र्मियासु < ऊ॑र्म्या "night", श्यावा॑सु < श्याव॑ "dark", अरुष॑स् < अरुष॑ "red", वृ॑षा < वृ॑षन् "bull", आ॑ "to", श्यावा॑स् < श्याव॑ "dark", अरुष॑स् < अरुष॑ "red", वृ॑षा < वृ॑षन् "bull". . छ॑न्दस्/Meter: सतो॑बृहती with an extra line . Context: "Red Bull" is known these days for being the name of a terrible energy drink, but the original Red Bull was अग्नि॑ वैश्वानर॑, the Fire. In this verse dedicated to अग्नि॑ (as are all the first ten verses of this hymn), His great splendor is described as filling up the universe (for His light is the same as सू॑र्य's), and He is described as traveling up to the world of the Gods by means of smoke. This is in line with His omnipresent role as the conduit (दूत॑) between both worlds. . In ancient times His reddish vigor was the only thing that could be seen on an overcast night, shining miles away through the pitch blackness. The near-repetition in the last line with "to" is in my interpretation a summons to अग्नि॑, expressing a desire for Him to accompany and protect the आ॑र्यs at night. . Interesting Vedic grammar: रो॑दसी is an interesting Vedic word almost always used as a द्विवचन/dual स्त्रीलिङ्ग/feminine, despite having the -ई ending that you'd expect for an एकवचन/singular. The single word means "Heaven and Earth" together. . The उपसर्ग/prefix can come after the तिङन्त/verb, though this is not very common. Here आ॑ comes after ददृशे. The आ॑ in the last line is not connected, since it must govern श्यावा॑स्.
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>>>/rta/2261 इमां॑ त्व॑मिन्द्र मीळ्हुवः। सुपुत्रां॑ सुभ॑गां कृणु। द॑शास्यां पुत्रा॑ना॑ धेहि। प॑तिमेकादशं॑ कृधि॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.85.45 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with मीढ्वः.) . Translation: "O You इ॑न्द्र, make this (bride) blessed with children and fortunate. Place ten children in this (bride), and make (her) husband the eleventh." . Word-by-word: इमा॑म् < इय॑म् "this", त्व॑म् "you", इन्द्र < इ॑न्द्र, मीळ्हुवस् < मीढ्व॑न् "generous", सु < सु॑ "good", पुत्रा॑म् < पुत्र॑ "child", सु < सु॑ "good", भ॑गाम् < भ॑ग "fortune", कृणु < कृ "make", द॑श "ten", अस्याम् < इय॑म् "this", पुत्रा॑न् < पुत्र॑ "child", आ॑ धेहि < आ॑ धा "place", प॑तिम् < प॑ति "husband", एकादश॑म् < एकादश॑ "eleventh", कृधि < कृ "make". . Meter: अनुष्टु॑भ् . Interpretation: This verse occurs as part of a wedding-hymn recited at every legitimate Hindu wedding, and mirrored in आपस्तम्बमन्त्रप्रश्न॑ 1.4.6 (which reads कुरु instead of कृणु in some manuscripts). The bride and groom famously circle a fire seven times, irrevocably binding them together for life; after this has been done, आपस्तम्बगृह्यसू॑त्र 2.5.2 states that this verse should be recited while the wife is touching the husband as he offers a sacrifice into the fire. . The Vedic religion is a fundamentally natalist religion. You must have children—one who decides not to have children dishonors the ऋण॑/debt that is owed to his पितृ॑s/forefathers. This verse, recited at every Vedic wedding, is but one example: the couple prays to इ॑न्द्र for ten (!) children, something quite rare in our era. . प॑तिमेकादशं॑ कृधि "Make her husband the eleventh (child)" is generally taken to mean that a wife should take care of her husband just as she takes care of her own children. . There are some even more interesting verses from this wedding-hymn, which I will post during the next few days. . Interesting Vedic grammar: In the language of the ऋग्वेद॑ (but not in later Vedic Sanskrit), a -वन् word like मीढ्व॑न् takes -वस् in the संबोधन/vocative. . Notice two forms of कृ in the लोट्/imperative, both meaning the command "make". They are formed from different tenses: कृणु is from the लट्/present, which forms its stem here with -नु- added to the root, while कृधि is from the लुङ्/aorist, just the root कृ with imperative suffix -धि. There is no real difference in meaning between these formations, which were probably used for the sake of variety. . By typical संधि/assimilation rules of the ऋग्वेद॑, one might expect to see पुत्राँ॑ आ॑ instead of पुत्रा॑ना॑, since the original form of the first word is पुत्रा॑न्स् as discussed in Daily वे॑द Quote #21.
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>>>/rta/2262 इहै॑व॑ स्तं मा॑ वि॑ यौष्टम्। वि॑श्वमा॑युर्वि॑ अश्नुतम्। क्री॑ळन्तौ पुत्रै॑र्न॑प्तृभिः। मो॑दमानौ सुवे॑ गृहे॑॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.85.42 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has two deficient syllables with व्य᳚श्नुतम् and स्वे॑.) . Translation: "Stay only here; do not be separated! Attain your whole long life, playing with your children and grandchildren, being happy in your own house." . Word-by-word: इह॑ "here", एव॑ "only", स्तम् < अस् "be", मा॑ "don't", वि॑ यौष्टम् < वि॑ यु "be separated", वि॑श्वम् < वि॑श्व "all", आ॑युस् "long life", वि॑ अश्नुतम् < वि॑ अश् "attain", क्री॑ळन्तौ < क्री॑ळन् < क्रीड् "play", पुत्रै॑स् < पुत्र॑ "child", न॑प्तृभिस् < न॑प्तृ "grandchild", मो॑दमानौ < मो॑दमाम < मुद् "be happy", सुवे॑ < स्व॑ "own", गृहे॑ < गृह॑ "house". . Meter: अनुष्टु॑भ् . Context: As promised, today we continue from the famous wedding-hymn of the ऋग्वेद॑. According to आपस्तम्बगृह्यसू॑त्र 2.6.10, after the couple has crossed a river on a boat and the groom has led the bride into her new house, this verse should be recited while the wife is touching the husband as he offers a sacrifice into the fire on the northeast side of the house. . This verse is one of many that demonstrate the Vedic view of every marriage as a sacred, inviolable, life-long (वि॑श्वमा॑युस्) pact between the man and woman, meant to withstand all quarrels and calamities. There is no "divorce" in the Vedic religion; the concept is unfathomable and disgusting to any आ॑र्य. Marriage is an oath made in front of अग्नि॑ and the other Gods, and to break a divine oath for your own personal "satisfaction" is one of the most contemptible things you could do. वि॑ यौष्टम्—Do not be separated! . Additional note: There are actually several variations of this verse. अथर्ववेद॑ 14.1.22 replaces the last line with मो॑दमानौ सुवस्तकौ॑ "rejoicing, having a good home." आपस्तम्बमन्त्रप्रश्न॑ 1.8.8 corrupts this verse badly: it converts it into a गायत्र॑ preserving the first two lines, but has the final line as मह्या॑ इन्द्र सुवस्त॑ये "for great-well being, O इ॑न्द्र", which is clearly adapted from ऋग्वेद॑ 6.57.6 and doesn't really make sense here. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Similar to yesterday's verse, two versions of the लोट्/imperative are used here: यौष्टम् is from the -स्/sigmatic लुङ्/aorist of यु, which becomes वृद्धि/lengthened-grade यौस्, while अश्नुतम् is from the लट्/present with a -नु- stem formed from the root अश्.
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>>>/rta/2264 सम्रा॑ज्ञी श्व॑शुरे भव। सम्रा॑ज्ञी श्वश्रुवां॑ भव। न॑नान्द्रि सम्रा॑ज्ञी भव। सम्रा॑ज्ञी अ॑धि देवृ॑षु॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.85.46 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with श्वश्र्वां॑ and an extra syllable with न॑नान्दरि.) . Translation: "Be queen over your father-in-law, be queen over your mother-in-law, be queen over your sister-in-law, be queen over your brothers-in-law!" . Word-by-word: सम्रा॑ज्ञी "queen", श्व॑शुरे < श्व॑शुर "father-in-law", भव < भू "be", सम्रा॑ज्ञी "queen", श्वश्रुवा॑म् < श्वश्रू॑ "mother-in-law", भव < भू "be", न॑नान्द्रि < न॑नान्दृ "sister-in-law", सम्रा॑ज्ञी "queen", भव < भू "be", सम्रा॑ज्ञी "queen", अ॑धि "over", देवृ॑षु < देवृ॑ "brother-in-law". . Meter: अनुष्टु॑भ् . Context: Continuing with the wedding-hymn today, this verse corresponds to आपस्तम्बमन्त्रप्रश्न॑ 1.6.6, and according to आपस्तम्बगृह्यसू॑त्र 2.5.22, it is to be recited by the groom to his bride after she has mounted the chariot that will carry the couple to the boat. . In contrast to the low status of brides in much of later Indian society, where the bride was often abused and treated as a servant by her in-laws, a bride held great respect and influence over her new family in Vedic society, and was to be treated like a queen by them. . Interesting Vedic grammar: सम्रा॑ज् and its feminine सम्रा॑ज्ञी are the only words in the Sanskrit language where the final -म् of a prefix doesn't become अनुस्वार before a व्यञ्जन/consonant, as stated in अष्टाध्यायी 8.3.25: thus, सम्रा॑ज् rather than संरा॑ज्.
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>>>/rta/2271 तां॑ पूषञ् • छिव॑तमामे॑रयस्व। य॑स्यां बी॑जं • मनुषि॑या व॑पन्ति। या॑ न ऊरू॑ • उशती॑ वि श्र॑याते। य॑स्यां उश॑न्तः • प्र ह॑राम शे॑पम्॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.85.37, आपस्तम्बमन्त्रप्रश्न॑ 1.11.6 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with मनुष्या᳚. अथर्ववेद॑ 14.2.38 has श्र॑याति and ह॑रेम, as do some manuscripts of the आपस्तम्बमन्त्रप्रश्न॑.) . Translation: "O पूष॑न्, rouse that kindest (bride) here, in whom men scatter their seed, who eagerly shall spread her thighs for us, in whom we eagerly shall thrust the penis." . Word-by-word: ता॑म् < सा॑ "she", पूषन् < पूष॑न्, शिव॑ "kind", -तमाम् < -तम "most", आ॑ ईरयस्व < आ॑ ईर् "rouse here", य॑स्याम् < या॑ "who", बी॑जम् < बी॑ज "seed", मनुषि॑यास् < मनुष्य᳚ "man", व॑पन्ति < वप् "scatter", या॑ "who", नस् < वय॑म् "we", ऊरू॑ < ऊरु॑ "thigh", उशती॑ < वश् "desire", वि श्र॑याते < वि॑ श्रि "spread", य॑स्याम् < या॑ "who", उश॑न्तस् < उश॑न् < वश् "desire", प्र ह॑राम < प्र॑ हृ "thrust", शे॑पम् < शे॑प "penis". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Context: Continuing with the wedding-hymn from the ऋग्वेद॑, this verse is in one sense the "climax" of the hymn and of the wedding-night, describing the deflowering of the bride. Sexual intercourse between man and wife is in Hinduism a profoundly sacred and divine act, not something to be neglected or taken casually as in modern times, and is sometimes accompanied by म॑न्त्रs. According to आपस्तम्बगृह्यसू॑त्र 3.8.10, this verse is to be recited by the groom to the bride after butter has been offered into the fire and smeared on the region of their hearts, immediately before intercourse with her. . Contrary to the narrative of colonial scholars going out of their way to insert sexual material into the वे॑द, they have often done precisely the opposite. Compare Griffith's impressively euphemistic translation: "O Pusan, send her on as most auspicious, her who shall be the sharer of my pleasures; Her who shall twine her loving arms about me, and welcome all my love and mine embraces." . Interesting Vedic grammar: The forms श्र॑याते and ह॑राम belong to a distinctly Vedic mood known as the लेट्/subjunctive, which was mostly lost in Classical Sanskrit. This mood is irrealis, i.e. something that has not (yet) happened. In Classical Sanskrit श्र॑याते is meaningless, while ह॑राम actually becomes treated as a लोट्/imperative (command). . The use of the plural नस् "us" and ह॑राम "we shall thrust" should not be misinterpreted—obviously there is only one man, made clear by surrounding verses. ऋ॑च्s often interchange "I" and "we" in general, but here the use of the plural also makes sense since a general phenomenon common to all men (मनुषि॑यास्) is being described.
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>>>/rta/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.
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>>>/rta/2279 स॑ जातू॑भर्मा • श्रद्द॑धान ओ॑जः। पु॑रो विभिन्द॑न्न् • अचरद्वि॑ दा॑सीः। विद्वा॑न्वज्रिन् • द॑स्यवे हेति॑मस्य। आ॑र्यं स॑हो • वर्धया द्युम्न॑मिन्द्र॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 1.103.3 . Translation: "He, a supporter by nature, trusted for (his) vigor, passed through the cities of the दास॑, breaking them apart. (O) knower, O thunder-bearer, cast Your missile at the द॑स्यु! Increase the strength and splendor of the आ॑र्य, O इ॑न्द्र." . Word-by-word: स॑स् < स॑ "He", जातू॑ "nature", भर्मा < भ॑र्मन् "support", श्रथ् < श्र॑थ् "faith", द॑धानस् < द॑धान < धा "put", ओ॑जस् "vigor", पु॑रस् < पु॑र् "city", विभिन्द॑न् < वि॑ भिद् "break apart", अचरत् वि॑ < वि॑ चर् "pass through", दा॑सीस् < दा॑सी < दा॑स "of the दास॑", विद्वा॑न् < विद् "know", वज्रिन् < वज्रि॑न् < व॑ज्र "thunderbolt", द॑स्यवे < द॑स्यु, हेति॑म् < हेति॑ "missile", अस्य < अस् "cast", आ॑र्यम् < आ॑र्य, स॑हस् "strength", वर्धया < वृध् "increase", द्युम्न॑म् < द्युम्न॑ "splendor", इन्द्र < इ॑न्द्र. . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Interpretation: Mirroring yesterday's Bible thread >>>/rta/2278 by Dravidian Hyperborean discussing the Israelite conquest of Canaanite cities by the will of YHWH, today's वे॑द verse discusses the आ॑र्य conquest of the द॑स्युs' cities by the will of इ॑न्द्र. . The term द॑स्यु, which this verse and many others make clear to be synonymous with दास॑, connotes the (human) enemy tribes of the आ॑र्यs, and assuredly not some sort of metaphors or demons as believed by people like Aurobindo. Even in post-Vedic literature we find द॑स्यु clearly being used to mean a human: . मुखबाहूरुपज्जानाम्। या लोके जातयो बहिः। म्लेच्छवाचश्चार्यवाचः। सर्वे ते दस्यवः स्मृताः॥ —मानवधर्मशास्त्र॑ 10.45 "Those races in the world outside those born of the mouth, arms, thighs, and feet (of the पु॑रुष) [i.e. those who are not ब्राह्मण॑s, क्षत्रि॑यs, वै॑श्यs, or शूद्र॑s], whether speaking a barbarian language or the आ॑र्य language, are all known as the द॑स्युs." . Many or most ancient and noble religions were practiced by militaristic conqueror races who invaded the home of another race and settled it. Putting aside any archeological or genetic debates, scripturally there's no doubt that there were "Aryan invasions", and that the land later known as आर्यावर्त was not always inhabited by आ॑र्यs—the internal evidence of the वे॑द makes it clear. This verse describes one such conquest. . Just as YHWH is narrated to have broken down the walls of Jericho, the citadels (पु॑र्s) of the enemy द॑स्युs were broken apart by the thunderbolt of इ॑न्द्र, Whose favor lay with the आ॑र्यs alone and Who ever helped them in their struggles against the enemy. In this verse the आ॑र्यs beseech इ॑न्द्र for the continued slaughter of the द॑स्युs, and thereby the strength of the आ॑र्य peoples. . Interesting Vedic grammar: One might expect to find विद्वाँ॑ वज्रिन् for विद्वा॑न्वज्रिन्, since the original form of विद्वा॑न् is विद्वा॑न्स्. However, this rule of the ऋग्वेद॑ is not applied consistently. . Notice the elongation of the final vowel of the लोट्/imperative वर्धया; such elongation is common in Vedic. . While विभिन्द॑न् > विभिन्द॑न्न् is standard Classical संधि, words like this would have had such a form even in the Vedic period, from an original form विभिन्द॑न्त्. . जातू॑भर्मन् is an odd word that only appears once in the ऋग्वेद॑, and it's difficult to make sense of it. जातू॑ is not elsewhere a Sanskrit word, but western scholars derive it from जन् and believe that it means "birth" or "nature". भ॑र्मन् means support, hence Jamison: "who by nature provides support". सायण interprets जातू॑ as synonymous with व॑ज्रिन्, stating: जातू इत्यशनिमाचक्षते। भर्म आयुधम्। अशनिरूपमायुधं यस्य स तथोक्तः। "जातू॑ signifies the thunderbolt; भ॑र्मन् a weapon; (जातू॑भर्मन् is he) whose weapon is in the form of a thunderbolt." This interpretation seems unlikely.
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>>>/rta/2282 अग्निः॑ प्रा॑श्नातु प्रथमः॑। स॑ हि॑ वे॑द य॑था हविः॑। अ॑रिष्टमस्मा॑कं कृण्व॑न्। ब्राह्मणो॑ ब्राह्मणे॑भियः॥ —आपस्तम्बमन्त्रप्रश्न॑ 2.10.7 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with ब्राह्मणे॑भ्यः. The first two lines are also तैत्तिरीयब्रा॑ह्मण–4 and काठसं॑हिता 13.15.10, but the latter are unique to this text.) . Translation: "Let अग्नि॑ consume the oblation first—because He knows thus—making us safe from injury, the ब्राह्मण॑ for ब्राह्मण॑s." . Word-by-word: अग्नि॑स् < अग्नि॑, प्र॑ अश्नातु < प्र॑ अश् "consume", प्रथम॑स् < प्रथम॑ "first", स॑स् < स॑ "He", हि॑ "because", वे॑द < विद् "know", य॑था "thus", हवि॑स् "oblation", अ॑- "not", रिष्टम् < रिष्ट॑ < रिष् "injury", अस्मा॑कम् < वय॑म् "we", कृण्व॑न् < कृ "make", ब्राह्मण॑स् < ब्राह्मण॑, ब्राह्मणे॑भियस् < ब्राह्मण॑. . Meter: अनुष्टु॑भ् . Context: According to आपस्तम्बगृह्यसू॑त्र 5.13.16, this verse is to be recited by a host while sacrificing the belly of a cow into the fire in honor of a guest. Contrary to modern Hindu nationalist narratives, bulls and cows were certainly killed and eaten in Vedic times; but contrary to liberal narratives, they were only killed in special circumstances rather than regularly like other animals, and otherwise were called अ॑घ्न्य "not to kill". According to आपस्तम्ब, for example: एतावद्गोरालम्भनमतिथिः पितरो विवाहश्च। "Thus (the occasions for) the sacrifice of a cow are a guest, the Fathers, and a marriage." —आपस्तम्बगृह्यसू॑त्र 1.3.9 . Interpretation: Before men consume the oblation (in this case a cow), its best part must be offered first to the Gods through Their messenger अग्नि॑. Even in modern Hinduism this concept of offering first to the Gods exists as प्रसाद, but in Vedic times the oblation was literally sacrificed into the fire rather than being symbolic. In return for the oblation, अग्नि॑ will keep His worshipers safe from harm. . As mentioned a couple days ago, अग्नि॑ is the ब्रह्म॑न् (priest) of the Gods, making him a ब्राह्मण॑ (Brahmin): hence the last line, implying that the ब्राह्मण॑s reciting this verse are being protected by a fellow ब्राह्मण॑ among the Gods. . What is meant by स॑ हि॑ वे॑द य॑था "because He knows thus"? The phrase य॑था विद् "know thus" is synonymous with एवं॑ विद् found in the much more famous formula य॑ एवं॑ वे॑द "he who knows thus", and refers to the esoteric, spiritual knowledge of the trained priest, who perceives the deepest workings of the universe and comprehends the cosmic import of the ritual act. अग्नि॑ Himself is a sacrificer who "knows thus", and therefore deserves the first share of the oblation. . Interesting Vedic grammar: प्रथम॑स्, though semantically a क्रियाविशेषण/adverb here, is in the प्रथमा/nominative to indicate that अग्नि॑ is being described, since its adverb form प्रथम॑म् is identical to the द्वितीया/accusative that would be used to describe the oblation. Thus: "Let अग्नि॑ consume the oblation first" rather than "Let अग्नि॑ consume the first oblation." But it is especially fitting since अग्नि॑ Himself is first in all matters, the पुरो॑हित (first-placed) worshiped before anyone else. . अस्मा॑कम् in later Sanskrit is always a षष्ठी/genitive, "of us", but in the म॑न्त्रs अस्मा॑क is also used as a possessive adjective (here in the द्वितीया/accusative), "our (people, cattle, things, etc.)". However, I translated it as "us" above for the sake of simplicity.
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>>>/rta/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.
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>>>/rta/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.
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>>>/rta/2288 नि॑ अक्रतू॑न् • ग्रथि॑नो मृध्र॑वाचः। पणीँ॑रश्रद्धाँ॑ • अवृधाँ॑ अयज्ञा॑न्। प्र॑प्र ता॑न्द॑स्यूँर् • अग्नि॑र्विवाय। पू॑र्वश्चकार • अ॑पराँ अ॑यज्यून्॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 7.6.3 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has three deficient syllables with न्य᳚क्रतू॑न् and चकारा॑पराँ; the deficient syllable in the third line points to अग्नि॑र् being trisyllabic here, अगनि॑र्, just as इ॑न्द्र must sometimes be read trisyllabically as इ॑न्दर. But it could also simply be one of the rare lines with a deficient syllable in the original poetry.) . Translation: "Down with the mindless, the crooked, the blasphemers, the miserly, the infidels, who do not strengthen (the Gods) with sacrifice! On and on अग्नि॑ chased those द॑स्युs. The eastern one turned the non-sacrificers westwards." . Word-by-word: नि॑ "down", अ- < अ॑- "not", क्रतू॑न् < क्र॑तु "will", ग्रथि॑नस् < ग्रथि॑न् "crooked", मृध्र॑ "insult", वाचस् < वा॑च् "speech", पणी॑न् < पणि॑ "miserly", अ- < अ॑- "not", श्रथ् < श्र॑थ् "faith", धा॑न् < ध॑ < धा "put", अ- < अ॑- "not", वृधा॑न् < वृध॑ "strengthener", अ- < अ॑- "not", यज्ञा॑न् < यज्ञ॑ "sacrifice", प्र॑प्र < प्र॑ "forth", ता॑न् < स॑ "he", द॑स्यून् < द॑स्यु, अग्नि॑स् < अग्नि॑, विवाय < वी "chase", पू॑र्वस् < पू॑र्व "first"/"east", चकार < कृ "make", अ॑परान् < अ॑पर "last"/"west", अ॑- "not", यज्यून् < य॑ज्यु "sacrificing". . Ritual context: According to शाङ्खायनश्रौतसू॑त्र 10.5.24, this hymn of the ऋग्वेद॑ is recited on the fourth day of the द्वादशाह॑, a twelve-day sóma-sacrifice. This hymn comprises the आग्निमारुत॑ शस्त्र॑ (praise to अग्नि॑ and the मरु॑त्s) for that day. . Interpretation: Since yesterday was the American holiday of Thanksgiving, I decided to discuss a verse describing those faithless ones who refuse to be grateful to the Gods Who created them. . The first part of the verse is fairly straightforward, describing the enemy द॑स्यु tribesmen with several adjectives related to their lack of will (क्र॑तु), honesty, piousness, and sacrifice. Contrary to Hindu revisionist views, we were not originally tolerant of blasphemers and infidels, who are treated with utmost contempt in the वे॑द. . अग्नि॑, the God honored by this hymn, is then described as chasing down the द॑स्युs to exterminate them. The last line is very enigmatic because पू॑र्व (doubtless referring to अग्नि॑) and अ॑पर (doubtless referring to the द॑स्युs) have multiple meanings, and translators have treated the sentence variously. सायण and Geldner, for example, give a meaning like "The first/foremost has made the non-sacrificers last/lowest"—we've discussed previously why अग्नि॑ is often called the "first". Jamison switches the objects: "The first has made the last to be without sacrifices." Griffith says: "in the east, [अग्नि॑] hath turned the godless westward," the translation that I more or less follow here. . Jamison's translation of this line is the least compelling—अग्नि॑ does not cause anyone to be a non-sacrificer, but punishes people for their own decision to be non-sacrificers. The traditional सायण–Geldner translation suffers from no problems necessarily, but I prefer the east–west geographic translation because it fits better with the previous imagery of अग्नि॑ literally chasing away or pursuing the द॑स्युs, more specifically than just making them low. We know from independent evidence that the original द॑स्युs were Iranic tribes lying in a westerly direction, so it makes sense that the historical situation would be reflected in an early Vedic verse like this one. . I've translated पणि॑ as the common adjective "miserly" because it's seemingly used here to describe the द॑स्युs, but note that पणि॑ is also the name of a miserly tribe inimical to इ॑न्द्र. Geldner and Jamison leave the word as a proper noun here. . Interesting Vedic grammar: The संधि/assimilation is a bit inconsistent here. If it were applied consistently, अक्रतू॑न् and ता॑न् would be अक्रतूँ॑र् and ताँ॑. In Classical Sanskrit, of course, all of these would take the -न् form: पणी॑न्, अश्रद्धा॑न्, etc.
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>>>/rta/2294 यः॑ सत्राहा॑ वि॑चर्षणिः। इ॑न्द्रं तं॑ हूमहे वय॑म्। स॑हस्रमुष्क • तु॑विनृम्ण स॑त्पते। भ॑वा सम॑त्सु नो वृधे॑॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 6.46.3 सामवेद॑ has स॑हस्रमन्यो for स॑हस्रमुष्क but is otherwise identical. . Translation: "The limitless one Who fully destroys, That इ॑न्द्र we invoke. O true lord, having a thousand testicles and great manhood, be (there) to strengthen us in battles!" . Word-by-word: य॑स् < य॑ "who", सत्रा < सत्रा॑ "fully", हा॑ < हन् "destroy", वि॑चर्षणिस् < वि॑चर्षणि "limitless", इ॑न्द्रम् < इ॑न्द्र, त॑म् < स॑ "He", हूमहे < हू "invoke", वय॑म् "we", स॑हस्र < सह॑स्र "thousand", मुष्क < मुष्क॑ "testicle", तु॑वि < तुवि॑ "great", नृम्ण < नृम्ण॑ "manhood", स॑त् < स॑न् "true" < अस्, पते < प॑ति "lord", भ॑वा < भू "be", सम॑त्सु < सम॑द् "battle", नस् < वय॑म् "we", वृधे॑ < वृध् "strengthen". . Meter: बृहती॑ (like an अनुष्टु॑भ् but with a 12-syllable ज॑गती-style third line) . Author: शंयु॑ बार्हसपत्य॑ . Ritual context: This verse is used in a couple rituals mentioned in the शाङ्खायनश्रौतसू॑त्र. 11.13.31 mentions the use of the verse during the विषुव॑त् (the middle day of a सत्त्र॑, a type of sóma-sacrifice). शाङ्खायनश्रौतसू॑त्र 18.8.8 and सायण mention the use of the verse during the महाव्रत॑ new-year ritual. . Interpretation: As in many of our past verses, इ॑न्द्र is being invoked in this hymn to help in battle those who praise Him. This verse specifically focuses on His masculinity (नृम्ण॑)—He is the embodiment of masculine ideals like strength, courage, and potency. He is described metaphorically as "having a thousand testicles", or as we would say in modern colloquial English, "He has the balls of a thousand men." . Though modern Hindus may deny it because of their proclivity for lying and their mostly baseless claims of "western mistranslation", there is no doubt that सह॑स्रमुष्क means "thousand-testicled". सायण, the most famous medieval commentator on the वे॑द, gives the meaning सहस्रशेफ—शेफ meaning "penis" or "testicle". . Interestingly, this description of इ॑न्द्र is probably the origin of the later Puranic falsehood in which इ॑न्द्र is said to be covered in a thousand vaginas (a myth absent from the actual वे॑द). The word मुष्क॑, etymologically a diminutive of मू॑ष् "mouse" in reference to the hair of that region, can also refer to the female genitalia (even in the Vedic period), so सह॑स्रमुष्क was probably reinterpreted as "having a thousand vulvae", setting the stage for this defamation. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Even though तु॑विनृम्ण and स॑त्पते are in the संबोधन/vocative and do not stand at the beginning of a line, they take an accent because they're counted as part of a chain of vocatives that starts at the beginning of a line. . Similarly, भ॑वा takes an accent because it stands at the beginning of a line. Notice the Vedic elongation of normal भ॑व.
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>>>/rta/2305 चित्रं॑ देवा॑नाम् • उ॑दगाद॑नीकम्। च॑क्षुर्मित्र॑स्य • व॑रुणस्य अग्नेः॑। आ॑प्रा द्या॑वा • पृथिवी॑ अन्त॑रिक्षम्। सू॑र्य आत्मा॑ • ज॑गतस्तस्थु॑षश्च॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 1.115.1, अथर्ववेद॑ 13.2.35, तैत्तिरीयसं॑हिता, etc. . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with व॑रुणस्याग्नेः॑.) . Translation: "The bright face of the Gods has risen, the eye of मित्र॑, व॑रुण, and अग्नि॑. He has filled Heaven, Earth, and the space between. The Sun is the soul of that which moves and that which stands still." . Word-by-word: चित्र॑म् < चित्र॑ "bright", देवा॑नाम् < देव॑ "God", उ॑द् अगात् < उ॑द् गा "rise", अ॑नीकम् < अ॑नीक "face", च॑क्षुस् "eye", मित्र॑स्य < मित्र॑, व॑रुणस्य < व॑रुण, अग्ने॑स् < अग्नि॑, आ॑ अप्रास् < आ॑ प्रा "fill", द्या॑वा < दि॑व् "Heaven", पृथिवी॑ "Earth", अन्त॑रिक्षम् < अन्त॑रिक्ष "middle space", सू॑र्यस् < सू॑र्य "Sun", आत्मा॑ < आत्म॑न् "soul", ज॑गतस् < ज॑गत् < गम् "move", तस्थु॑षस् < तस्थिव॑त् < स्था "stand", च "and". . Meter: त्रिष्टु॑भ् . Author: कु॑त्स आङ्गिरस॑ . Context: This verse is used as a minor part of a large variety of rituals tangentially connected to सू॑र्य and often scheduled in the morning; given its content, its original purpose must have been a rite that took place at dawn, once the Sun indeed has "risen". . Interpretation: सू॑र्य, son of the Heavens, is described here as being the visage of the Gods. Through Him most directly we mortals see the splendor of Divinity, so glorious that our eyes cannot bear the sight of Him for more than a few seconds. He is the "eye" of मित्र॑–व॑रुण the guardians of justice, who spies on the doings of men and reports to Them. His brilliance fills up all the worlds, chasing away the darkness, giving life to everything on Earth. सू॑र्य is the life-breath or "soul" of every being in the world, motive (animals) or not (plants). . What religious practice could be nobler than heliolatry? What object of worship could be greater than the Sun, the highest embodiment of brilliance and creative power? . Interesting Vedic grammar: द्या॑वापृथिवी॑ is traditionally written as one word (a द्वंद्व/coordinative compound), but here I've written them as two since they're separated by a यति॑/caesura. Such compounds are the only instance in which a Vedic caesura can interrupt a word. . अप्रास् is a -स्/sigmatic लुङ्/aorist (of the root प्रा), with an original form अप्रास्त् that gets the final consonant lost since a word cannot end with more than one consonant in Sanskrit (other than -न्न्).
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>>>/rta/2472 गिर॑यस्ते • प॑र्वता हिम॑वन्तः। अ॑रण्यं ते • पृथिवि स्योन॑मस्तु। बभ्रुं॑ कृष्णां॑ • रो॑हिणीं विश्व॑रूपाम्। ध्रुवां॑ भू॑मिं • पृथिवी॑मि॑न्द्रगुप्ताम्। अ॑जीतो॑ऽहतो अ॑क्षतः। अ॑ध्यस्थां पृथिवी॑मह॑म्॥ —अथर्ववेद॑ 12.1.11 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has two deficient syllables with हिम॑वन्तो॑ऽरण्यं and अ॑क्षतो॑ऽधि. Note that the last syllable of अ॑जीतो॑ऽहतो is to be scanned लघु॑/short, as if अ॑जीतो॑ऽहतव्. The सं॑हिता incorrectly has अ॑ध्यष्ठां for अ॑ध्यस्थां or अ॑धि ष्ठां, and अ॑हम् for अह॑म्.) . Translation: "May Your rugged snowy mountains and Your wilderness, O Earth, be pleasant! Upon the brown, black, red, every-colored firm land, upon the Earth protected by इ॑न्द्र, have I, not defeated, not slain, not injured, set foot upon the Earth." . Word-by-word: गिर॑यस् < गिरि॑ "mountain", ते < त्व॑म् "Your", प॑र्वतास् < प॑र्वत "rugged", हिम॑वन्तस् < हिम॑वन् < हिम॑ "snow", अ॑रण्यम् < अ॑रण्य "wilderness", ते < त्व॑म् "Your", पृथिवि < पृथिवी "Earth", स्योन॑म् < स्योन॑ "pleasant", अस्तु < अस् "be", बभ्रु॑म् < बभ्रु॑ "brown", कृष्णा॑म् < कृष्ण॑ "black", रो॑हिणीम् < रो॑हिणी "red", विश्व॑ "every", रूपाम् < रूप॑ "color", ध्रुवां॑ < ध्रुव॑ "firm", भू॑मिम् < भू॑मि "land", पृथिवी॑ "Earth", इ॑न्द्र, गुप्ताम् < गुप्त॑ < गुप् "protect", अ॑- "not", जीतस् < जीत॑ < ज्या "defeat", अ॑- "not", हतस् < हत॑ < हन् "slay", अ॑- "not", क्षतस् < क्षत॑ "injured", अ॑धि ष्ठाम् < अ॑धि स्था "set foot upon", पृथिवी॑म् < पृथिवी॑ "Earth", अह॑म् "I". . Meter: अ॑तिशक्वरी (त्रिष्टु॑भ् followed by two lines of 8-syllable गायत्र॑-style) . Author: Unknown (the only अनुक्रमणीs for the अथर्ववेद॑ are unreliable and unpublished) . Ritual context: This hymn dedicated to Mother Earth, called the भौम॑ hymn (from भू॑मि "land"), is to be recited in rituals for buildings' firmness and safety from earthquakes according to कौशिकासू॑त्र 32.12 and 98.3. . Interpretation: The Earth and the beautiful nature living upon Her were deeply sacred to the ancient आ॑र्यs. They cherished Her as a mother and found beauty in the grandeur of lofty mountains and vast plains, untouched by the degeneracy of the city. The ancient आ॑र्यs were masters of nature, meaning that they viewed themselves (and the king of their Gods, इ॑न्द्र) as protectors of the Earth. In turn, the Earth nourished them and protected them from their enemies, keeping them undefeated and uninjured. . Unfortunately, the modern descendants of the आ॑र्यs have neglected their responsibilities to the Earth, desecrating Her with foul chemicals and garbage and denying that it happens. We deserve whatever punishment the Gods see fit for us. . Interesting Vedic grammar: The सं॑हिता reads अ॑ध्यष्ठां = अ॑धि अष्ठाम्, but this cannot be correct by the rules of संधि. The only way for स्थाम् to become ष्ठाम् is following इ. So the original could be अ॑धि ष्ठाम्, or अ॑धि अस्थाम् > अ॑ध्यस्थाम् (my preference). The former would be a uniquely Vedic form, a लुङ्/aorist without the अ-/augment (but not irrealis). The अथर्ववेद॑, much more so than any other Vedic text, has come down to us in an extremely corrupted form and the majority of verses need some sort of correction in this manner. . अस्तु is in the एकवचन/singular here despite having multiple nouns as a subject; grammatically it only matches the singular अ॑रण्य.
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>>>/rta/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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>>>/rta/2505 सुते॑ अध्वरे॑ • अ॑धि वा॑चमक्रत। आ॑ क्रीळ॑यो न॑ • मात॑रं तुद॑न्तः। वि॑ षू॑ मुञ्चा • सुषुवु॑षो मनीषा॑म्। वि॑ वर्तन्ताम् • अ॑द्रयश्चा॑यमानाः॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 10.94.14 . (This is the metrically restored version. The सं॑हिता has a deficient syllable with वा॑चमक्रता॑ क्रीळ॑यो. Note the extra syllable in the first line: theoretically it could be changed to सुते॑ऽध्वरे॑, but this probably wasn't the original form, as this line genuinely resembles a 12-syllable ज॑गती.) . Translation: "Over the pressed (sóma) sacrifice (the stones) raised their voice, like playing (children) annoying their mother. Release then (the stones) that have pressed and (release) the thought (of the sacrificer). Let them roll away, regarded as stones." . Word-by-word: सुते॑ < सुत॑ < सु "press", अध्वरे॑ < अध्वर॑ "sacrifice", अ॑धि "over", वा॑चम < वा॑च् "voice", अक्रत < कृ "do", आ॑ "here", क्रीळ॑यस् < क्रीडि॑ < क्रीड् "play", न॑ "like", मात॑रम् < मातृ॑ "mother", तुद॑न्तस् < तुद॑न् < तुद् "annoy", वि॑ मुञ्चा < वि॑ मुच् "release", सू॑ = सु॑ "well", सुषुवु॑षस् < सुषुवा॑न् < सु "press", मनीषा॑म् < मनीषा॑ "thought", वि॑ वर्तन्ताम् < वि॑ वृृृत् "roll away", अ॑द्रयस् < अ॑द्रि "stone", चा॑यमानास् < चा॑यमान < चाय् "regard". . Meter: Mostly त्रिष्टु॑भ्, but the first line is जगती॑-style like most of the rest of this hymn . Author: अ॑र्बुद काद्रवेय॑, a serpent slain by इ॑न्द्र using snow . Ritual context: The hymn containing this verse is recited primarily during the मा॑ध्यंदिन स॑वन (midday pressing) of sóma: according to शाङ्खायनश्रौतसू॑त्र 7.15.17, after the previous verses have been recited during the actual pressing, this last verse is used to conclude the ceremony. . Interpretation: Sóma was a sacred drink made from pressing the stalks of the sóma plant between two stones (अ॑द्रिs) known as ग्रा॑वन्s. In this beautiful simile the famous loud noise of the pressing-stones rubbing against one another is compared to the voices of playing children, ending a series of metaphors in which the stones are compared workers, bulls, birds, horses, etc. In this final verse, the stones are then released from their burden, and so is the divine inspiration ("thought") of the sacrificer: the stones roll away, no longer regarded as anything but stones. . Significance: This verse is an example of the nature of the Vedic ritual, in which every little aspect including the stones that press the sóma is considered sacred and worthy of great attention to detail. The screaming of the pressing-stones is one of many things that attract the Gods to the site of the sacrifice. . Interesting Vedic grammar: As noted some days ago, Vedic Sanskrit often has elongation of सु॑ to सू॑ (in this case turning into षू॑ from the previous इ) and of the final syllable of a लोट्/imperative as in मुञ्चा < मुञ्च. . सुषुवु॑षस् on its own is a bit ambiguous here. It could be any of the षष्ठी/genitive एकवचन/singular, the पञ्चमी/ablative एकवचन/singular, or the द्वितीया/accusative बहुवचन/plural. So: "release the thought of the presser", "release the thought from the presser", or "release the pressers and the thought", approximately. The latter seems most sensible: the pressers are probably the stones themselves here, given the next line, and the stones don't have thoughts.
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>>>/rta/2506 अ॑तीहि मन्युषावि॑णम्। सुषुवां॑समुपा॑रणे। इमं॑ रातं॑ सुतं॑ पिब॥ —ऋग्वेद॑ 8.32.21, सामवेद॑ . Translation: "Pass over him who presses (sóma) in anger, who presses (sóma) in sin. Drink this gifted pressed (sóma)!" . Word-by-word: अ॑ति इहि < अ॑ति इ "pass over", मन्यु < मन्यु॑ "anger", सावि॑नम् < सावि॑न् "presser", सुषुवां॑सम् < सुषुवा॑न् < सु "press", उपा॑रणे < उपा॑रण "sin", इम॑म् < अय॑म् "this", रात॑म् < रात॑ < रा "gift", सुत॑म् < सुत॑ < सु "press", पिब < पा "drink". . Meter: गायत्र॑ . Author: मे॑धातिथि काण्व॑ . Ritual context: This verse is possibly used in the महाव्रत॑, but I don't know the details of it. . Significance: (I found this verse while seeking other instances of सुषुवा॑न् from yesterday's verse.) Addressed to इ॑न्द्र, this verse asks Him to not to visit the sacrifices of those who perform the sóma-pressing angrily or after committing a sin, but instead to visit the reciter's own sacrifice to drink the sóma gifted to Him. This is interesting, because it implies that one who merely performs Vedic rituals for the sake of doing them, without genuinely "meaning" it or having honest intent (e.g. doing it while angry or to avoid the consequences of a sin), runs the risk of his sacrifice being ignored by the Gods. Actions and intent alike matter in the Vedic religion. . Interesting Vedic grammar: Nothing grammatical today; just note that सावि॑नम् becomes षावि॑णम् because of the preceding उ. मन्युषावि॑न् and उपा॑रणे are very rare words but their meaning seems pretty straightforward. सायण agrees that a मन्युषावि॑न् is a "क्रोधेन सोमं सुन्वन्" (one who presses sóma in anger) but provides an odd definition of उपा॑रण, "ब्राह्मणा उपेत्य यस्मिन्देशे न रमन्ते" (a country where ब्राह्मण॑s do not rest after reaching it).