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who incite demons against us. Crush all enemies, be they relations or strangers. He knows thy favor, O youngest one, who makes a way for a sacred speech like this. Mayest thou beam forth to his doors all auspicious days and the wealth and the splendor of the niggard. Let him, O Agni, be fortunate and blessed with good rain, who longs to gladden thee with constant offerings and hymns through his life in his house. May such longing ever bring auspicious days to him. I praise thy favor; it resounded here. May this song, which is like a favorite wife, awaken for thee. Let us brighten thee, being rich in horses and chariots. Mayest thou maintain our knightly power day by day. May the worshipper here frequently of his own accord approach thee, O god who shinest in darkness, resplendent day by day. Let us worship thee sporting and joyous, surpassing the splendor of other people. Whoever, rich in horses and rich in gold, approaches thee, O Agni, with his chariot full of wealth-thou art the protector and the friend of him who always delights in showing thee hospitality. Through my kinship with thee I break down the great foes by my words. That kinship has come down to me from my father Gotama. Be thou attentive to this our word, O youngest, highly wise Hotri, as the friend of our house. May those guardians of thine, infallible Agni, sitting down together protect us, the never sleeping, onward-pressing, kind, unwearied ones, who keep off the wolf, who never tire. Thy guardians, O Agni, who seeing have saved the blind son of Mamatâ from distress-He the possessor of all wealth has saved them who have done good deeds. The impostors, though trying to deceive, could not deceive. In thy companionship we dwell, protected by thee. Under thy guidance let us acquire gain. Accomplish both praises, O thou who art the truth! Do so by thy present power, O fearless one! May we worship thee, O Agni, with this log of wood. Accept the hymn of praise which we recite. Burn down those who curse us, the sorcerers. Protect us, O god who art great like Mitra, from guile, from revilement, and from disgrace.


Bright, flaming, like the lover of the Dawn,* he has, like the light of the sky, filled the two worlds of Heaven and Earth which are turned towards each other. As soon as thou wert born thou hast excelled by thy power of mind; being the son of the gods thou hast become their father. Agni is a worshipper of the gods, never foolish, always discriminating; he is like the udder of the cows; he is the sweetness of food. Like a kind friend to men, not to be led astray, sitting in the midst, the lovely one, in the house; like a child when born, he is delightful in the house; like a race-horse which is well cared for, he has wandered across the clans. When I call to the sacrifice the clans who dwell in the same nest with the heroes, may Agni then attain all divine powers. When thou hast listened to these heroes, no one breaks those laws of thine. That verily is thy wonderful deed that thou hast killed, with thy companions, all foes; that, joined by the heroes, thou hast accomplished thy works. Like the lover of the Dawn, resplendent and bright, of familiar form: may he thus pay attention to this sacrificer. Carrying him they opened by themselves the doors of heaven. They all shouted at the aspect of the sun.


Like unto excellent wealth, like unto the shine of the sun, like unto living breath, like unto one's own son, like unto a quick takvan Agni holds the wood, like milk, like a milch cow, bright and shining. He holds safety, pleasant like a homestead, like ripe barley, a conqueror of men; like a Rishi uttering sacred shouts, praised among the clans; like a well-caredfor race-horse, Agni bestows vigor. He to whose flame men do not grow accustomed, who is like one's own mind, like a wife on a couch, enough for all happiness. When the bright Agni has shone forth, he is like a white horse among people, like a chariot with golden ornaments, impetuous in fights. Like an army which is sent forward he shows his vehemence, like an archer's shaft with sharp point. He who is born is one twin; he who will be born is the other twin-the lover of

* The sun.

maidens, the husband of wives. As cows go to their stalls, all that moves and we, for the sake of a dwelling, reach him who has been kindled. Like the flood of the Sindhu he has driven forward the downward-flowing waters. The cows lowed at the sight of the sun.


The Hotri goes forward in order to fufil his duty by his wonderful power, directing upwards the brightly adorned prayer. He steps towards the sacrificial ladles which are turned to the right, and which first kiss his foundation. They have greeted with shouts the streams of Rita which were hidden at the birthplace of the god, at his seat. When He dwelt dispersed in the lap of the waters, he drank the draughts by the power of which he moves. Two beings of the same age try to draw that wonderful shape towards themselves, progressing in turns towards a common aim. Then he is to be proclaimed by us like a winner in a contest. The charioteer governs all things as if pulling in the reins of a draught-horse. He whom two beings of the same age serve, two twins dwelling together in one common abode, the gray one has been born as a youth by night as by day, the ageless one who wanders through many generations of men. The prayers, the ten fingers stir him up. We, the mortals, call him, the god, for his protection. From the dry land he hastens to the declivities. With those who approached him he has established new rules. Thou indeed, O Agni, reignest by thy own nature over the heavenly and over the terrestrial world as a shepherd takes care of his cattle. These two variegated, great goddesses striving for gloriousness, the golden ones who move crookedly, have approached thy sacrificial grass. Agni! Be gratified and accept graciously this prayer, O joy-giver, independent one, who art born in the Rita, good-willed one, whose face is turned towards us from all sides, conspicuous one, gay in thy aspect, like a dwelling-place rich in food.


[Translation by James Darmestetter]

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