Rig Veda. Book 10
Category: Hindu
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The Rigveda (Sanskrit: ऋग्वेद ṛgveda, from ṛc “praise” and veda “knowledge”) is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns along with associated commentaries on liturgy, ritual and mystical exegesis. It is one of the four sacred canonical texts (śruti) of Hinduism known as the Vedas.

The Rig Veda

Ralph T.H. Griffith, Translator

Book 10

HYMN I. Agni.

HIGH hath the Mighty risen before the dawning, and come to us with light from out the darkness.
Fair-shapen Agni with white-shining splendour hath filled at birth all human habitations.

Thou, being born, art Child of Earth and Heaven, parted among the plants in beauty, Agni!
The glooms of night thou, Brilliant Babe, subduest, and art come forth, loud roaring, from thy Mothers.

Here, being manifested, lofty Viṣṇu, full wise, protects his own supremest station.
When they have offered in his mouth their sweet milk, to him with one accord they sing forth praises.

Thence bearing food the Mothers come to meet thee, with food for thee who givest food its increase.
These in their altered form again thou meetest. Thou art Invoking Priest in homes of mortals.

Priest of the holy rite, with car that glitters, refulgent Banner of each act of worship,
Sharinging every God through might and glory, even Agni Guest of men I summon hither.

So Agni stands on earth’s most central station, invested in well-decorated garments.
Born, red of hue, where men pour out libations, O King, as great High Priest bring the Gods hither.

Over the earth and over heaven, O Agni, thou, Son, hast ever spread above thy Parents.
Come, Youthfullest! to those who long to meet thee, and hither bring the Gods, O Mighty Victor.

HYMN II. Agni.

GLADDEN the yearning Gods, O thou Most Youthful: bring them, O Lord of Seasons, knowing seasons,
With all the Priests Celestial, O Agni. Best worshipper art thou of all Invokers.

Thine is the Herald’s, thine the Cleanser’s office, thinker art thou, wealth-giver, true to Order.
Let us with Svāhā offer up oblations, and Agni, worthy God, pay the Gods worship.

To the Gods’ pathway have we travelled, ready to execute what work we may accomplish.
Let Agni, for he knows, complete the worship. He is the Priest: let him fix rites and seasons.

When we most ignorant neglect the statutes of you, O Deities with whom is knowledge,
Wise Agni shall correct our faults and failings, skilled to assign each God his fitting season.

When, weak in mind, of feeble understanding, mortals bethink them not of sacrificing,
Then shall the prudent and discerning Agni worship the Gods, best worshipper, in season.

Because the Father hath produced thee, Leader of all our solemn rites, their brilliant Banner:
So win by worship pleasant homes abounding in heroes, and rich food to nourish all men.

Thou whom the Heaven and Earth, thou whom the Waters, and Tvaṣṭar, maker of fair things, created,
Well knowing, all along the Fathers’ pathway, shine with resplendent light, enkindled, Agni.


O KING, the potent and terrific envoy, kindled for strength, is manifest in beauty.
He shines, all-knowing, with his lotty splendour: chasing black Night he comes with white-rayed Morning.

Having o’ercome the glimmering Black with beauty, and bringing forth the dame the Great Sire’s Daughter,
Holding aloft the radiant light of Sūrya, as messenger of heaven he shines with treasures.

Attendant on the Blessed Dame the Blessed hath come: the Lover followeth his Sister.
Agni, far-spreading with conspicuous lustre, hath compassed Night with whitely shining garments.

His goings-forth kindle as ’twere high voices the goings of the auspicious Friend of Agni.
The rays, the bright beams of the strong-jawed, mighty, adorable Steer are visible as he cometh.

Whose radiant splendours flow, like sounds, about us, his who is lofty, brilliant, and effulgent,
Who reaches heaven with best and brightest lustres, sportive and piercing even to the summit.

His powers, whose chariot fellies gleam and glitter have loudly roared while, as with teams, he hasted.
He, the most Godlike, far-extending envoy, shines with flames ancient, resonant, whitely-shining.

So bring us ample wealth: seat thee as envoy of the two youthful Matrons, Earth and Heaven.
Let Agni rapid with his rapid, horses, impetuous with impetuous Steeds, come hither.

HYMN IV. Agni.

To thee will send praise and bring oblation, as thou hast merited lauds when we invoked thee.
A fountain in the desert art thou, Agni, O Ancient King, to man who fain would worship,

Thou unto whom resort the gathered people, as the kine seek the warm stall, O Most Youthful.
Thou art the messenger of Gods and mortals, and goest glorious with thy light between them.

Making thee grow as ’twere some noble infant, thy Mother nurtures thee with sweet affection.
Over the desert slopes thou passest longing, and seekest, like some beast set free, thy fodder.

Foolish are we, O Wise and free from error: verily, Agni, thou dost know thy grandeur.
There lies the form: he moves and licks, and swallows, and, as House-Lord, kisses the Youthful Maiden.

He rises ever fresh in ancient fuel: smoke-bannered, gray, he makes the wood his dwelling.
No swimmer, Steer, he presses through the waters, and to his place accordant mortals bear him.

Like thieves who risk their lives and haunt the forest, the twain with their ten girdles have secured him.
This is a new hymn meant for thee, O Agni: yoke as it were thy car with parts that glitter.

Homage and prayer are thine, O Jātavedas, and this my song shall evermore exalt thee.
Agni, protect our children and descendants, and guard with ever-watcliful care our bodies.

HYMN V. Agni.

HE only is the Sea, holder of treasures: born many a time he views the hearts within us.
He hides him in the secret couple’s bosom. The Bird dwells in the middle of the fountain.

Inhabiting one dwelling-place in common, strong Stallions and the Mares have come together.
The sages guard the seat of Holy Order, and keep the highest names concealed within them.

The Holy Pair, of wondrous power, have coupled: they formed the Infant, they who bred produced him.
The central point of all that moves and moves not, the while they wove the Sage’s thread with insight

For tracks of Order and refreshing viands attend from ancient times the goodly Infant.
Wearing him as a mantle, Earth and Heaven grow strong by food of pleasant drink and fatness.

He, calling loudly to the Seven red Sisters, hath, skilled in sweet drink, brought them to be looked on.
He, born of old, in middle air hath halted, and sought and found the covering robe of Puṣan.

Seven are the pathways which the wise have fashioned; to one of these may come the troubled mortal.
He standeth in the dwelling of the Highest, a Pillar, on sure ground where paths are parted.

Not Being, Being in the highest heaven, in Aditi’s bosom and in Dakṣa’s birthplace,
Is Agni, our first-born of Holy Order, the Milch-cow and the Bull in life’s beginning.

HYMN VI. Agni.

THIS is that Agni, he by whose protection, favour, and help. the singer is successful;
Who with the noblest flames of glowing fuel comes forth encompassed with far-spreading lustre.

Agni, the Holy One, the everlasting, who shines far beaming with celestial splendours;
He who hath come unto his friends with friendship, like a fleet steed who never trips or stumbles.

He who is Lord of all divine oblation, shared by all living men at break of morning,
Agni to whom our offerings are devoted, in whom rests he whose car, through might, is scatheless.

Increasing by his strength. while lauds content him, with easy flight unto the Gods he travels.
Agni the cheerful Priest, best Sacrificer, balms with his tongue the Gods with whom he mingles.

With songs and adorations bring ye hither Agni who stirs himself at dawn like Indra,
Whom sages laud with hymns as Jātavedas of those who wield the sacrificial ladle.

In whom all goodly treasures meet together, even as steeds and riders for the booty.
Inclining hither bring us help, O Agni, even assistance most desired by Indra.

Yea, at thy birth, when thou hadst sat in glory, thou, Agni, wast the aim of invocations.
The Gods came near, obedient to thy sunimons, and thus attained their rank as chief Protectors.


O AGNI, shared by all men living bring us good luck for sacrifice from earth and heaven.
With us be thine intelligence, WonderWorker! Protect us, God, with thy far-reaching blessings.

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