Page images

much-desired ones, come to the sacrifice, you friends of the Sobharis. For we know indeed the terrible strength of the sons of Rudra, of the vigorous Maruts, the liberal givers of rain. The clouds were scattered, but the monster remained, heaven and earth were joined together. O you who are armed with bright rings, the tracts of the sky expanded, whenever you stir, radiant with your own splendor. Even things that cannot be thrown down resound at your race, the mountains, the lord of the forest-the earth quivers on your marches. The upper sky makes wide room, to let your violence pass, O Maruts, when these strong-armed heroes display their energies in their own bodies. According to their wont these men, exceeding terrible, impetuous, with strong and unbending forms, bring with them beautiful light. The arrow of the Sobharis is shot from the bowstrings at the golden chest on the chariot of the Maruts. They, the kindred of the cow, the well-born, should enjoy their food, the great ones should help us. Bring forward, O strongly-anointed priests, your libations to the strong host of the Maruts, the strongly advancing. O Maruts, O heroes, come quickly hither, like winged hawks, on your chariot with strong horses, of strong shape, with strong naves, to enjoy our libations. Their anointing is the same, the golden chains shine on their arms, their spears sparkle. These strong, manly, strong-armed Maruts, do not strive among themselves; firm are the bows, the weapons on your chariot, and on your faces are splendors. They whose terrible name, wide-spreading like the ocean, is the one of all that is of use, whose strength is like the vigor of their father, worship these Maruts, and praise them! Of these shouters, as of moving spokes, no one is the last; this is theirs by gift, by greatness is it theirs. Happy is he who was under your protection, O Maruts, in former mornings, or who may be so even now. Or he, O men, whose libations you went to enjoy ; that mighty one, O shakers, will obtain your favors with brilliant riches and booty. As the sons of Rudra, the servants of the divine Dyu, will it, O youths, so shall it be. Whatever liberal givers may worship the Maruts, and move about together as generous benefactors, even from them turn towards us with a kinder heart, you youths! O Sobhari, call loud with your newest song the young, strong, and pure Maruts, as the plougher calls the cows. Worship the Maruts with a song,

they who are strong like a boxer, called in to assist those who call for him in all fights; worship them the most glorious, like bright-shining bulls. Yes, O united friends, kindred, O Maruts, by a common birth, the oxen lick one another's humps. O ye dancers, with golden ornaments on your chests, even a mortal comes to ask for your brotherhood; take care of us, ye Maruts, for your friendship lasts forever. O bounteous Maruts, bring us some of your Marut-medicine, you friends, and steeds. With the favors whereby you favor the Sindhu, whereby you save, whereby you help Krivi, with those propitious favors be our delight, O delightful ones, ye who never hate your followers. O Maruts, for whom we have prepared good altars, whatever medicine there is on the Sindhu, on the Asikni, in the seas, on the mountains, seeing it, you carry it all on your bodies. Bless us with it! Down to the earth, O Maruts, with what hurts our sick one-straighten what is crooked!


Full of devotion like priests with their prayers, wealthy like pious men, who please the gods with their offerings, beautiful to behold like brilliant kings, without a blemish like the youths of our hamlets-they who are gold-breasted like Agni with his splendor, quick to help like self-harnessed winds, good leaders like the oldest experts, they are to the righteous man like Somas, that yield the best protection. They who are roaring and hasting like winds, brilliant like the tongues of fires, powerful like mailed soldiers, full of blessings like the prayers of our fathers, who hold together like the spokes of chariotwheels, who glance forward like victorious heroes, who scatter ghrita like wooing youths, who chant beautifully like singers, intoning a hymn of praise, who are swift like the best of horses, who are bounteous like lords of chariots on a suit, who are hastening on like water with downward floods, who are like the manifold Angiras with their numerous songs. These noble sons of Sindhu are like grinding-stones, they are always like Soma-stones, tearing everything to pieces; these sons of a good mother are like playful children, they are by their glare like a great troop on its march. Illumining the sacrifice like the rays of the dawn, they shone forth in their ornaments like triumphant warriors; the Maruts with bright spears seem

like running rivers, from afar they measure many miles. O gods, make us happy and rich, prospering us, your praisers, O Maruts! Remember our praise and our friendship, for from of old there are always with you gifts of treasures.


O Indra, a thousand have been thy helps accorded to us, a thousand, O driver of the bays, have been thy most delightful viands. May thousands of treasures richly to enjoy, may goods come to us a thousandfold. May the Maruts come towards us with their aids, the mighty ones, or with their best aids from the great heaven, now that their furthest steeds have rushed forth on the distant shore of the sea; there clings to the Maruts one who moves in secret, like a man's wife,1 and who is like a spear carried behind, well grasped, resplendent, gold-adorned; there is also with them Vâk,2 like unto a courtly, eloquent woman. Far away the brilliant, untiring Maruts cling to their young maid, as if she belonged to them all; but the terrible ones did not drive away Rodasî, for they wished her to grow their friend. When the divine Rodasî with dishevelled locks, the manly-minded, wished to follow them, she went, like Sûryâ,3 to the chariot of her servant, with terrible look, as with the pace of a cloud. As soon as the poet with the libations, O Maruts, had sung his song at the sacrifice, pouring out Soma, the youthful men placed the young maid in their chariot as their companion for victory, mighty in assemblies. I praise what is the praiseworthy true greatness of those Maruts, that the manly-minded, proud, and strong one drives with them towards the blessed mothers. They protect Mitra and Varuna from the unspeakable, and Aryaman also finds out the infamous. Even what is firm and unshakable is being shaken; but he who dispenses treasures, O Maruts, has grown in strength. No people indeed, whether near to us, or from afar, have ever found the end of your strength, O Maruts! The Maruts, strong in daring strength, have, like the sea, boldly surrounded their haters. May we to-day, may we tomorrow in battle be called the most beloved of Indra. We were so formerly, may we truly be so day by day, and may the

1 The lightning.

2 The voice of thunder.

The dawn.

lord of the Maruts be with us. May this praise, O Maruts, this song of Mândârya, the son of Mâna, the poet, ask you with food for offspring for ourselves! May we have an invigorating autumn, with quickening rain!


Who knows their birth? or who was of yore in the favor of the Maruts, when they harnessed the spotted deer? Who has heard them when they had mounted their chariots, how they went forth? For the sake of what liberal giver did they run, and their comrades followed, as streams of rain filled with food? They themselves said to me when day by day they came to the feast with their birds: they are manly youths and blameless; seeing them, praise them thus; they who shine by themselves in their ornaments, their daggers, their garlands, their golden chains, their rings, going on their chariots and on dry land. O Maruts, givers of quickening rain, I am made to rejoice, following after your chariots, as after days going with rain. The bucket which the bounteous heroes shook down from heaven for their worshipper, that cloud they send along heaven and earth, and showers follow on the dry land. The rivers having pierced the air with a rush of water, went forth like milk-cows; when your spotted deer roll about like horses that have hasted to the resting-place on their road. Come hither, O Maruts, from heaven, from the sky, even from near; do not go far away! Let not the Rasâ, the Anitabhâ, the Kubhâ, the Krumu, let not the Sindhu delay you! Let not the marshy Sarayu prevent you! May your favor be with us alone! The showers come forth after the host of your chariots, after the terrible Marut-host of the ever-youthful heroes. Let us then follow with our praises and our prayers each host of yours, each troop, each company. To what well-born generous worshipper have the Maruts gone to-day on that march, on which you bring to kith and kin the never-failing seed of corn? Give us that for which we ask you, wealth and everlasting happiness! Let us safely pass through our revilers, leaving behind the unspeakable and the enemies. Let us be with you when in the morning you shower down health, wealth, water, and medicine, O Maruts! That mortal, O men, O Maruts, whom you protect, may well be always beloved

by the gods, and rich in valiant offspring. May we be such! Praise the liberal Maruts, and may they delight on the path of this man here who praises them, like cows in fodder. When they go, call after them as for old friends, praise them who love you, with your song!


You have fashioned this speech for the brilliant Marut-host which shakes the mountains: celebrate then the great manhood in honor of that host who praises the warm milk of the sacrifice, and sacrifices on the height of heaven, whose glory is brilliant. O Maruts, your powerful men came forth searching for water, invigorating, harnessing their horses, swarming around. When they aim with the lightning, Trita shouts, and the waters murmur, running around on their course. These Maruts are men brilliant with lightning, they shoot with thunderbolts, they blaze with the wind, they shake the mountains, and suddenly, when wishing to give water, they whirl the hail; they have thundering strength, they are robust, they are everpowerful. When you drive forth the nights, O Rudras, the days, O powerful men, the sky, the mists, ye shakers, the plains, like ships, and the strongholds, O Maruts, you suffer nowhere. That strength of yours, O Maruts, that greatness extended as far as the sun extends its daily course, when you, like your deer on their march, went down to the western mountain with untouched splendor. Your host, O Maruts, shone forth when, O sages, you strip, like a caterpillar, the waving tree. Conduct then, O friends, our service to a good end, as the eye conducts the man in walking. That man, O Maruts, is not overpowered, he is not killed, he does not fail, he does not shake, he does not drop, his goods do not perish, nor his protections, if you lead him rightly, whether he be a seer or a king. The men with their steeds, like conquerors of clans, like Aryaman, the Maruts, carrying waterskins, fill the well; when the strong ones roar, they moisten the earth with the juice of sweetness. When the Maruts come forth this earth bows, the heaven bows, the paths in the sky bow, and the cloud-mountains with their quickening rain. When you rejoice at sunrise, O Maruts, toiling together, men of sunlight, men of heaven, your horses never tire in running, and you

« PreviousContinue »