Hymns of the Atharvaveda - Book 04

Atharva Veda

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

Index Previous Next


HYMN I Scroll Up

Cosmogonical and mystico-theological doctrine

1Eastward at first the prayer was generated: Vena disclosed bright
flashes from the summit,
Disclosed his deepest, nearest revelations, womb of the non-
existent and existent.
2Let this Queen come in front, her Father's daughter, found in
the worlds for earliest generation.
For him they set this radiant vault in motion. Let them prepare
warm milk for him who first would drink.
3He who was born as his all-knowing kinsman declareth all the
deities' generations.
He from the midst of prayer his prayer hath taken. On high,
below, spread forth his godlike nature.
4For he, true to the law of Earth and Heaven, established both
the mighty worlds securely.
Mighty when born, he propped apart the mighty, the sky, our
earthly home, and air's mid-region.
5He from the depth hath been reborn for ever, Brihaspati the
world's sole Lord and Ruler.
From light was born the Day with all its lustre: through this
let sages live endowed with splendour.
6The sage and poet verily advanceth the statute of that mighty
God primeval.
He was born here with many more beside him: they slumbered
when the foremost side was opened.
7The man who seeks the friend of Gods, Atharvan the father,
and Brihaspati, with worship,
Crying to him, Be thou all things' creator! the wise God, self-
dependent, never injures.

Hymn II is missing


A Charm against tigers, wolves, thieves and other noxious creatures

1Three have gone hence and passed away, the man, the tiger,
and the wolf.
Down, verily, the rivers flow, down-goeth the celestial Tree,.
down let our foemen bend and bow.
2On distant pathway go the wolf, on pathway most remote the
On a far road speed forth the rope with teeth, and the malicious
3We crush and rend to pieces both thine eyes, O Tiger, and thy
jaws and all the twenty claws we break.
4We break and rend the tiger first of creatures that are armed.
with teeth;
The robber then, and then the snake, the sorcerer, and then the
5The thief who cometh near to-day departeth bruised and crush-
ed to bits.
By nearest way let him be gone. Let Indra slay him with his
6Let the beast's teeth be broken off, shivered and shattered be
his ribs!
Slack be thy bowstring: downward go the wild beast that
pursues the hare!
7Open not what thou hast compressed, close not what thou hast
not compressed.
Indra's and Soma's child, thou art Atharvan's tiger-crushing

HYMN IVScroll Up

A charm to restore virile power

1We dig thee from the earth, the Plant which strengthens and
exalts the nerves,
The Plant which the Gandharva dug for Varuna whose power
was lost.
2Let Ushas and let Sūrya rise, let this the speech I utter rise.
Let the strong male Prajāpati arise with manly energy.
3Sicut tui surgentis (membrum virile) tanquam inflammatum
palpitat, hoc illud tui ardentius haec herba faciat.
4Sursum (estote) herbarum vires, taurorum vigor. Tu, Indra,
corporis potens, virorum masculum robur in hoc homine
5Ros aquarum primigenitus atque arborum, Somae etiam frater
es, vatum sacrorum masculus vigor es.
6Hodie, Agnis! hodie Savitar! hodie dea Sarasvatis! hodie
Brahmanaspatis! hujus fascinum velut arcum extende.
7Velut nervum in arcu ego tuum fascinum extendo. Aggredere
(mulierem) semper indefessus velut cervus damam.
8Quae sunt equi vires, muli, capri, arietis, atque tauri, illas, cor-
poris potens! in hoc homine depone.

HYMN VScroll Up

A lover's sleep-charm

1The Bull who hath a thousand horns, who rises up from out the
By him the strong and mighty one we lull the folk to rest and.
2Over the surface of the earth there breathes no wind, there looks.
no eye.
Lull all the women, lull the dogs to sleep, with Indra as thy
3The woman sleeping in the court, lying without, or stretched on
The matrons with their odorous sweets—these, one and all, we
lull to sleep.
4Each moving thing have I secured, have held and held the eye
and breath.
Each limb and member have I seized in the deep darkness of
the night.
5The man who sits, the man who walks, whoever stands and clearly
Of these we closely shut the eyes, even as we closely shut this
6Sleep mother, let the father sleep, sleep dog, and master of the
Let all her kinsmen sleep, sleep all the people who are round
7With soporific charm, O Sleep, lull thou to slumber all the folk.
Let the rest sleep till break of day, I will remain awake till
dawn, like Indra free from scath and harm.

HYMN VIScroll Up

A charm to make a poisoned arrow harmless

1The Brāhman first was brought to life ten-headed and with faces
First drinker of the Soma, he made poison ineffectual.
2Far as the heavens and earth are spread in compass, far as the
Seven Rivers are extended,
So far my spell, the antidote of poison, have I spoken hence,
3The strong-winged Bird Garutmān first of all, O Poison fed on
Thou didst not gripe or make him drunk: aye, thou becamest
food for him.
4Whoever with five fingers hath discharged thee from the crooked
I from the shaft have charmed away the poison of the fastening
5The poison have I charmed away from shaft, cement, and feather-
ed end;
Yea, from the barb, the neck, the horn, the poison have I charmed
6Feeble, O Arrow, is thy shaft, thy poison, too, hath lost its
Made of a worthless tree, thy bow, O feeble one, is impotent.
7The men who brayed it, smeared it on, they who discharged it,
sent it forth,
All these are made emasculate, emasculate the poison-hill.
8Thy diggers are emasculate, emasculate, O, Plant art thou.
The rugged mountain that produced this poison is emasculate.


A charm to make a poisonous plant innocuous

1So may this water guard us on the bank of Varanāvati.
Therein hath Amrit been infused: with that I ward thy poison
2Weak is the poison of the East, weak is the poison of the North,
So too this poison of the South counts as a cake of curds and
3When he hath made of thee a cake, broad, steaming, swelling up
with fat,
And even in hunger eaten thee, then gripe him not, thou hideous
4Intoxicater! like a shaft we make thy spirit fly away, Like a pot
boiling on the fire, we with our word remove thee hence.
5We set around thee with the spell as 'twere a gathered arma-
Stay quiet like a rooted tree. Dug up with mattocks, gripe not
6For coverings men have bartered thee, for skins of deer and
woven cloths.
Thou art a thing of sale, O Plant. Dug up with mattocks, gripe
not thou!
7None have attained to those of old, those who wrought holy acts
for you.
Let them not harm our heroes here. Therefore I set before you


A benediction at the consecration of a King

1The Being lays the sap of life in beings: he hath become the
sovran Lord of creatures.
Death comes to this man's royal consecration: let him as King
own and allow this kingdom.
2Come forward, turn not back in scorn, strong guardian, slayer
of the foes.
Approach, O gladdener of thy friends. The Gods have blessed
and strengthened thee.
3All waited on him as he came to meet them. He self-resplendent
moves endued with glory.
That is the royal hero's lofty nature: he, manifold, hath gained
immortal powers.
4Stride forth to heaven's broad regions, thou, a tiger on a tiger's
Let all the people long for thee. Let heavenly floods be rich in
5Heaven's waters joyous in their milk, the waters of middle air,
and those that earth containeth-
I with the gathered power and might of all these waters sprinkle
6The heavenly waters rich in milk have sprinkled thee with power
and might.
To be the gladdener of thy friends. May Savitar so fashion thee.
7These, compassing the tiger, rouse the lion to great joy and
As strong floods purify the standing ocean, so men adorn the
leopard in the waters

HYMN IXScroll Up

A charm addressed to a precious ointment for safety and wealth

1Approach! thou art the mountain's eye, the living thing that
saveth us;
A gift bestowed by all the Gods, yea, the defence that guardeth
2Thou art the safeguard of the men, thou art the safeguard of
the kine,
Thou standest ready to protect the horses that are fleet of foot.
3Thou, also, Salve! art a defence that rends and crushes
Thou knowest, too, of Amrit, thou art the delight of all who
live, a jaundice-curing balm art thou.
4Whomso thou creepest over, Salve! member by member, joint
by joint,
From him, like some strong arbiter of strife, thou banishest
5No imprecation reaches him, no magic, no tormenting fiend,
O Salve, Vishkandha seizes not the man who carries thee about.
6From lying speech, from evil dream, from wicked act and
From hostile and malignant eye,—from these, O Salve, protect
us well.
7I, knowing this, O Salve, will speak the very truth and not a
May I obtain both horse and ox, may I obtain thy life, O man.
8Three are the slaves that serve the Salve, Fever, Consumption,
and the Snake.
Thy father is the loftiest of mountains, named the Triple-
9Sprung from the Snowy Mountain's side, this Ointment of the
Three-peaked hill.
Crushes and rends all sorcerers and every witch and sorceress.
10If thou art from the Three-peaked hill or hast thy name from
These names are both auspicious: by these two protect thou us,
O Salve!

HYMN XScroll Up

A charm accompanying investiture with an amulet of shell

1Child of the wind firmament, sprung from the lightning and the
May this the gold-born Shell that bears the pearl preserve us
from distress.
2Shell that wast born from out the sea, set at the head of
things that shine!
With thee we slay the Rākshasas and overcome voracious fiends.
3We stay disease and indigence, and chase Sadānvās with the
May the all-healing Shell that bears the pearl preserve us from
4Born in the heaven, sprung from the sea, brought to us hither
from the flood.
This gold-born Shell shall be to us an amulet to lengthen life.
5From ocean sprang the Amulet, from Vritra sprang the Lord of
May this protect us round about from shaft of God and Asura.
6Peerless 'mid golden ornaments art thou: from Soma wast thou
Thou gleamest on the quiver, thou art beautiful upon the car:
may it prolong our days of life!
7Bone of the Good became the pearl's shell-mother endowed with
soul it moveth in the waters.
I bind this on thee for life, strength, and vigour, for long life
lasting through a hundred autumns.
May the pearl's mother keep and guard thee safely!

HYMN XIScroll Up

A glorification of the sacrificial gharma or milk caldron

1The Bull supports the wide-spread earth and heaven, the Bull
supports the spacious air between them.
The Bull supports the sky's six spacious regions: the universal
world hath he pervaded.
2The Bull is Indra o'er the beasts he watches. He, Sakra
measures out three several pathways.
He, milking out the worlds, the past, the future, discharges all
the Gods' eternal duties.
3Being produced among mankind as Indra, the Caldron works
heated and brightly glowing.
Let him not, with good sons, pass off in vapour who hath not
eaten of the Ox with knowledge.
4The Ox pours milk out in the world of virtue: in earliest time,
he, Pavam5na, swells it.
Parjanya is the stream, Maruts his udder, sacrifice is the milk,
the meed his milking.
5That which not sacrifice nor sacrificer, not giver nor receiver
rules and governs,
All-winning, all-supporting, all-effecting,—which of all quadru-
peds, tell us! is the Caldron?
6May we, fame-seekers, reach the world of virtue by service of
the Gharma and through fervour,
Whereby the Gods went up to heaven, the centre of life eternal,
having left the body.
7Prajāpati, supreme and sovran ruler, Indra by form and by his
shoulder Agni,
Came to Visvānara, came to all men's Bullock: he firmly forti-
fied and held securely.
8The middle of the Bullock's neck, there where the shoulder-bar
is placed,
Extends as far to east of him as that is settled to the west.
9He whosoever knows the seven exhaustless pourings of the Ox,
Wins himself offspring and the world: the great Seven Rishis
know this well.
10With feet subduing weariness, with legs extracting freshening
Through toil the plougher and the Ox approach the honeyed
11Assigned are these twelve nights, they say, as holy to Prajāpati:
Whoever knows their proper prayer performs the service of the
12At evening he is milked, is milked at early morn, is milked at
We know that streams of milk that flow from him are in-


A charm to mend a broken bone

1Thou art the healer, making whole, the healer of the broken
Make thou this whole, Arundhatī!
2Whatever bone of thine within thy body hath been wrenched or
May Dhātar set it properly and join together limb by limb.
3With marrow be the marrow joined, thy limb united with the
Let what hath fallen of thy flesh, and the bone also grow again.
4Let marrow close with marrow, let skin grow united with the
Let blood and bone grow strong in thee, flesh grow together
with the flesh.
5Join thou together hair with hair, join thou together skin with
Let blood and bone grow strong in thee. Unite the broken part,.
O Plant.
6Arise, advance, speed forth; the car hath goodly fellies, naves,
and wheels!!
Stand up erect upon thy feet.
7If he be torn and shattered, having fallen into a pit, or a cast
stone have struck him,
Let the skilled leech join limb with limb, as 'twere the portions
of a car.


A charm to restore a sick man to health

1Gods, raise again the man whom ye, O Gods, have humbled
and brought low.
Ye Gods, restore to life again, him, Gods! who hath committed
2Here these two winds are blowing far as Sindhu from a distant
May one breathe energy to thee, the other blow thy fault away.
3Hither, O Wind, blow healing balm, blow every fault away, thou
For thou who hast all medicine comest as envoy of the Gods.
4May the Gods keep and save this man, the Maruts' host deliver
All things that be deliver him that he be freed from his offence.
5I am come nigh to thee with balms to give thee rest and keep
thee safe.
I bring thee mighty strength, I drive thy wasting malady away.
6Felicitous is this my hand, yet more felicitous is this.
This hand contains all healing balms, and this makes whole with
gentle touch.
7The tongue that leads the voice precedes. Then with our tenfold-
branching hands.
With these two healers of disease, we stroke thee with a soft


Accompanying the sacrifice of a he-goat

1The Goat was verily produced from Agni. Through sorrow he
beheld, at first, his father.
Through him at first the Gods attained to godhead, and, meet
for sacrifices, were exalted.
2Bearing in hands seethed viands, go with Agni to the cope of
Reaching the sky that touches heaven, mix with the company of
3From earth's high ridge to middle air I mounted, and from mid-
air ascended up to heaven.
From the high pitch of heaven's cope I came into the world of
4Mounting the sky they look not round; they rise to heaven
through both the worlds,
Sages who paid the sacrifice that pours its streams on every
5First among all the deities, come forward, thou who art eye of
Gods and men, O Agni.
Imploring, and accordant with the Bhrigus, to heaven in safety
go the sacrificers!
6With milk and butter I anoint the mighty, celestial Goat, strong-
winged, and full of juices.
Through him will we attain the world of virtue, ascending to the
loftiest cope, to heaven.
7Set the Goat's head toward the eastern region, and turn his right
side to the southern quarter.
His hinder part turn to the western quarter, and set his left side
to the northern region.
8Set the Goat's backbone upmost in the zenith, and lay his belly
downward in the nadir; set his midportion in mid-air between
9O'er the dressed Goat lay a dressed skin to robe him prepared,
in perfect form, with all his members.
Rise upward to the loftiest vault of heaven: with thy four feet
stand firmly in the regions.

HYMN XVScroll Up

A charm to hasten the coming of the rains

1Let all the misty regions fly together, let all the rain-clouds sped
by wind, assemble.
Let waters satisfy the earth, the voices of the great mist-enve-
loped Bull who roareth.
2Let them show forth, the strong, the bounteous Maruts: let
plants and shrubs be hung with drops of moisture.
Let floods of rain refresh the ground with gladness and herbs
spring various with each form and colour.
3Cause us who sing to see the gathering vapours: out burst in
many a place the rush of waters!
Let floods of rain refresh the ground with gladness; and herbs
spring various with each form and colour.
4Apart, Parjanya! let the troops of Maruts, roaring, swell the
Let pouring torrents of the rain that raineth rain upon the
05. Up from the sea lift your dread might, ye Maruts: as light and
splendour, send the vapour upward!
Let waters satisfy the earth, the voices of the great mist-enve-
loped Bull who roareth.
6Roar, thunder, set the sea in agitation, bedew the ground with
thy sweet rain, Parjanya!
Send plenteous showers on him who seeketh shelter, and let the
owner of lean kine go homeward.
7Let the boon Maruts, let the springs and coiling serpents tend!
you well.
Urged by the Maruts let the clouds pour down their rain upon.
the earth.
8Let lightning flash on every side: from all the regions blow the
Urged by the Maruts let the clouds pour down their rain upon
the earth.
9May waters, lightning, cloud, and rain, boon springs and serpents
tend you well.
Urged by the Maruts let the clouds pour down their rain upon
the earth.
10May he who hath become the plants' high regent, suiting our
bodies, Agni of the Waters,
May Jātavedas send us rain from heaven, Amrit and vital breath
to earthly creatures.
11Sending up waters from the flood and ocean Prajapati move the
sea to agitation!
Forth flow the moisture of the vigorous stallion!
With this thy roar of thunder come thou hither,
12Our father, Lord divine pouring the torrents. Let the streams
breathe, O Varuna, of the waters.
Pour the floods down: along the brooks and channels let frogs
with speckled arms send out their voices.
13They who lay quiet for a year, the Brāhmans who fulfil their
The frogs, have lifted up their voice, the voice Parjanya hath.
14Speak forth a welcome, female frog! Do thou O frog, accost
the rain.
Stretch thy four feet apart, and swim in the middle of the lake.
15Khanvakhā, ho! Khaimakhā, ho! thou in the middle, Taduri!
Fathers, enjoy the rain from one who strives to win the Marutes
16Lift up the mighty cask and pour down water; let the wind
blow, and lightnings flash around us.
Let sacrifice be paid, and, widely scattered, let herbs and plants
be full of joy and gladness.


On the omnipresence and omniscience of Varuna

1The mighty Ruler of these worlds beholds as though from close
at hand,
The man who thinks he acts by stealth: all this the Gods
perceive and know.
2If a man stands or walks or moves in secret, goes to his lying-
down or his uprising,
What two men whisper as they sit together, King Varuna knows:
he as the third is present.
3This earth, too, is King Varuna's possession, and the high
heaven whose ends are far asunder.
The loins of Varuna are both the oceans, and this small drop of
water, too, contains him.
4If one should flee afar beyond the heaven, King Varuna would
still be round about him.
Proceeding hither from the sky his envoys look, thousand-eyed,
over the earth beneath them.
5All this the royal Varuna beholdeth, all between heaven and
earth and all beyond them.
The twinklings of men's eyelids hath he counted. As one who
plays throws dice he settles all things.
6Those fatal snares of thine which stand extended, threefold,
O Varuna, seven by seven,
May they all catch the man who tells a falsehood, and pass un-
harmed the man whose words are truthful.
7Varuna, snare him with a hundred nooses! Man's watcher! let
not him who lies escape thee.
There let the villain sit with hanging belly and bandaged like a
cask whose hoops are broken.
8Varuna sends, and drives away, diseases: Varuna is both native
and a stranger,
Varuna is celestial and is human.
9I bind and hold thee fast with all these nooses, thou son of such
a man and such a mother.
All these do I assign thee as thy portion.


A charm to secure freedom from various evils

1We seize and hold thee, Conquering One! the queen of medi-
cines that heal.
O Plant, I have endowed thee with a hundred powers for every
2Still conquering, banishing the curse, mighty, with thy reverted.
Thee and all Plants have I invoked: Hence let it save us! was
my prayer.
3She who hath cursed us with a curse, or hath conceived a
murderous sin,
Or seized our son to take his blood, may she devour the child
she bare.
4What magic they have wrought for thee in dish unbaked or
burnt dark-red,
What they have wrought in flesh undressed,—conquer the
sorcerers therewith.
5Ill dream and wretchedness of life, Rākshasa, monster, stingy
All the she-fiends of evil name and voice, we drive away from
6Death caused by famine, caused by thirst, failure of children,.
loss of kine,
With thee, O Apāmārga, all this ill we cleanse and wipe away.
7Death caused by thirst, death caused by stress of hunger, loss at
play with dice,
All this, O Apāmārga with thine aid we cleanse and wipe away.
8The Apāmārga is alone the sovran of all Plants that grow.
With this we wipe away whate'er hath fallen on thee: go in


A counter-charm against the incantations of enemies

1The moonlight equalleth the sun, night is the rival of the day.
I make effectual power my help: let magic arts be impotent.
2Gods! if one make and bring a spell on some man's house who
knows it not,
Close as the calf that sucks the cow may it revert and cling to
3When one puts poison in a dish of unbaked clay to kill a man,
It cracks when set upon the fire with the sharp sound of many
4Endowed with thousand powers! adjure the bald and those with
necks awry.
Back to its author turn the spell like a dear damsel to her
5I with this Plant have ruined all malignant powers of witchery.
The spell which they have laid upon thy field, thy cattle, or thy
6No power had he who wrought the spell: he hurt his foot, he
broke his toe.
His act hath brought us happiness and pain and sorrow to him-
7Let Apāmārga sweep away chronic disease and every curse,
Sweep sorceresses clean away, and all malignant stingy hags.
8Sweep thou away the sorcerers, all stingy fiendish hags away.
All this, O Apāmārga, with thine aid we wipe away from us.


A counter-charm and charm to secure general protection.

1Thou breakest ties of kith and kin, thou causest, too, relation-
So bruise the sorcerer's offspring, like a reed that groweth in the
2Thou hast been blessed with blessing by the Brāhman, Kanva
Thou fliest like a flashing dart: there is no fear or danger, Plant!
within the limit of thy range.
3Illumining, as 'twere, with light, thou movest at the head of
The saviour of the simple man art thou, and slayer of the fiends.
4As once when time began the Gods with thee expelled the
Even thence, O Plant, wast thou produced as one who wipes and
sweeps away.
5Thy father's name was Cleaver. Thou with thousand branches
cleavest all.
Do thou, turned backward, cleave and rend the man who treateth
us as foes.
6The evil sprang from earth; it mounts to heaven and spreads to
vast extent.
Reverted, shaking him with might, thence on its maker let it
7For thou hast grown reverted, and turned backward also is thy
Remove all curses far from me, keep most remote the stroke of
8Preserve me with a hundred, yea, protect me with a thousand
May mighty Indra, Lord of Plants! give store of strength and.
power to thee.

HYMN XXScroll Up

A charm for the acquisition of superhuman powers of sight

1It sees in front, it sees behind, it sees afar away, it sees
The sky, the firmament, and earth: all this, O Goddess, it
2Through thee, O godlike Plant, may I behold all creatures that
Three several heavens, three several earths, and these six regions
one by one.
3The pupil, verily, art thou of that celestial Engle's eye.
On earth hast thou alighted as a weary woman seeks her couch.
4The God who hath a thousand eyes give me this Plant in my
right hand!
I look on every one therewith, each Sūdra and each Āryan man.
5Make manifest the forms of things; hide not their essences from
And, thou who hast a thousand eyes, look the Kimidins in the
6Make me see Yātudhānas, make thou Yātudhānis visible.
Make me see all Pisāchas With this prayer, O Plant, I hold thee
7Thou art the sight of Kasyapa and of the hound who hath four
Make the Pisācha manifest as Sūrya when he rides at noon.
8Kimidin, Yātudhāna from their hiding-places have I dragged.
I look on every one with this, Sūdra and Aryan man alike.
9Make that Pisācha visible, the fiend who flies in middle air,
The fiend who glides across the sky, and him who deems the
earth his help.


Glorification and benediction of cows

1The kine have come and brought good fortune: let them rest in
the cow-pen and be happy near us.
Here let them stay prolific, many-coloured, and yield through
many morns their milk for Indra.
2Indra aids him who offers sacrifice and praise: he takes not what
is his, and gives him more thereto.
Increasing ever more and ever more his wealth, he makes the
pious dwell within unbroken bounds.
3These are ne'er lost, no robber ever injures them: no evil-minded
foe attempts to harass them.
The master of the kine lives a long life with these, the Cows
whereby he pours his gifts and serves the Gods.
4The charger with his dusty brow o'ertakes them not, and never
to the shambles do they take their way.
These Cows, the cattle of the pious worshipper, roam over wide-
spread pasture where no danger is.
5To me the Cows seem Bhaga, they seem Indra, they seem a
portion of the first poured Soma.
These present Cows, they, O ye men, are Indra. I long for Indra
with my heart and spirit.
6O Cows, ye fatten e'en the worn and wasted, and make the
unlovely beautiful to look on.
Prosper my home, ye with auspicious voices! Your power is
magnified in our assemblies.
7In goodly pasturage, bright-hued, prolific, drinking pure water at
fair drinking-places,
Never be thief or sinful man your master, and may the dart of
Rudra still avoid you!


A benediction on a newly consecrated king

1Exalt and strengthen this my Prince, O Indra, Make him sole
lord and leader of the people.
Scatter his foes, deliver all his rivals into his hand in struggles
for precedence.
2Give him a share in village, kine, and horses, and leave his
enemy without a portion.
Let him as King be head and chief of Princes, Give up to him,
O Indra, every foeman.
3Let him be treasure-lord of goodly treasures, let him as King be
master of the people.
Grant unto him great power and might, O Indra, and strip his
enemy of strength and vigour.
4Like milch-kine yielding milk for warm libations, pour, Heaven
and Earth! on him full many a blessing.
May he as King be Indra's well-beloved, the darling of the kine,
the plants, the cattle.
5I join in league with thee victorious Indra, with whom men
conquer and are ne'er defeated.
He shall make thee the folk's sole lord and leader, shall make
thee highest of all human rulers.
6Supreme art thou, beneath thee are thy rivals, and all, O King,
who were thine adversaries.
Sole lord and leader and allied with Indra, bring, conqueror, thy
foremen's goods and treasures.
7Consume, with lion aspect, all their hamlets, with tiger aspect,
drive away thy foemen.
Sole lord and leader and allied with Indra, seize, conqueror,
thine enemies' possessions.


Magnification of Agni and prayer for his protection

1I fix my heart on wise and ancient Agni, the Five Tribes' Lord,
in many a place enkindled.
We seek him who hath entered all our houses. May he deliver
us from grief and trouble.
2As thou conveyest offerings, Jātavedas! and fashionest the sacri-
fice with knowledge,
So bear thou to the Gods the prayer we utter. May he deliver
us from grief and trouble.
3I pray to Agni in each act successful, employed in every sacrifice,
the strongest,
Fiend-slayer, served with fatness, strengthening worship. May
he deliver us from grief and trouble.
4We invoke the oblation-bearer, well-born Agni Jātavedas,
Him, Vaisvānara, almighty. May he set us free from trouble.
5With whom as friend the Rishis gave their power new splendour,
with whom they kept aloof the Asuras' devices,
Agni, with whom Indra subdued the Panis. May he deliver us.
from grief and trouble.
6Through whom the Gods discovered life eternal, through whom
they stored the plants with pleasant juices,
Through whom they brought to men the light of heaven. May
he deliver us from grief and trouble.
7I, suppliant, praise and ever call on Agni, sole Lord of all this
world, of all that shineth,
Of what exists and shall exist hereafter. May he deliver us from
grief and trouble.


A hymn of prayer and praise to Indra

1I think of Indra, only him for ever, fiend-slayer, May these lauds
of mine come near him.
He cometh to the pious offerer's calling. May he deliver us from
grief and trouble.
2Who with strong arms o'ercame his strong opponents, who
broke and crushed the power of the demons,
Who won the rivers and the kine in battle. May he deliver us
from grief and trouble.
3Ruler of men, finder of light, the hero: the pressing-stones
declare his valour, master.
Of sweetest sacrifice with seven Hotars. May he deliver us from
grief and trouble.
4The lord of barren cows and bulls and oxen, finder of light for
whom the posts are planted,
For whom the bright juice flows cleansed by devotion. May he
deliver us from grief and trouble.
5Whose favour those desire who offer Soma, whom, arrow-bearer,
men invoke in battle,
On whom the hymn depends, in whom is power, May he deliver
us from grief and trouble.
6Why was born, first, for active operation, whose valour as the
first hath been awakened,
Who raised his bolt when he encountered Ahi. May he deliver us
from grief and trouble.
7Strong Lord, who leadeth hosts to meet for battle, who sendeth
riches both of earth and heaven,
I, suppliant, praise and ever call on Indra. May he deliver us
from grief and trouble.


A hymn of prayer and praise to Vāyu and Savitar

1I think on Vāyu's and Savitar's holy rites, ye twain who penetrate
and guard the living world:
Ye who have come to be this All's pervaders, deliver us, ye two
from grief and trouble.
2Ye who have counted up the earth's expanses, and in the sky
smoothed out the air's mid-region,
Whose going-forth hath ne'er been reached by any, deliver us,
ye two, from grief and trouble.
3Beauteously bright! men rest in thy dominion when thou hast
risen up and hastened onward.
Ye, Vāyu, Savitar, preserve all creatures. Deliver us, ye, twain,
from grief and trouble.
4Hence, Vāyu, Savitar drive evil action, chase Simidā away, drive
off the demons.
Ye give us store of energy and power. Deliver us, ye twain,
from grief and trouble.
5Of their own selves let Savitar and Vāyu send favourable strength
and wealth and plenty.
Here give us perfect freedom from consumption. Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
6Ye, Savitar and Vāyu, to assist us, enjoy the hymn and the
delightful cheerer.
Come hither downward from the stream of blessing. Deliver us,
ye twain, from grief and trouble.
7Like noblest benisons they have stayed in the God loving man's
I glorify bright Savitar and Vāyu. Deliver us, ye twain, from
grief and trouble.

A hymn to Heaven and Earth

1O Heaven and Earth, I think on you, wise, givers of abundant
gifts, ye who through measureless expanses have spread forth.
For ye are seats and homes of goodly treasures. Deliver us, ye
twain from grief and trouble.
2Yea, seats and homes are ye of goodly treasures, grown strong,
divine, blessed, and far-extending,
To me, O Heaven and Earth, be ye auspicious. Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
3I call on you who warm and cause no sorrow, deep, spacious,
meet to be adored by poets.
To me, O Heaven and Earth, be ye auspicious. Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
4Ye who maintain Amrit and sacrifices, ye who support rivers
and human beings,
To me, O Heaven and Earth, be ye auspicious, Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
5Ye by whom cows and forest trees are cherished within whose
range all creatures are included,
To me, O Heaven and Earth, be ye auspicious. Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
6Ye who delight in nectar and in fatness, ye without whom men
have no strength or power,
To me, O Heaven and Earth, be ye auspicious. Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
7The grief that pains me here, whoever caused it, not sent by fate,
hath sprung from human action.
I, suppliant, praise Heaven, Earth, and oft invoke them. Deliver
us, ye twain, from grief and trouble.


A hymn to the Maruts

1I think upon the Maruts: may they bless me, may they assist
me to this wealth in battle.
I call them like swift well-trained steeds to help us. May they
deliver us from grief and trouble.
2Those who surround the never-failing fountain for ever, and
bedew the plants with moisture,
The Maruts, Prini's sons, I chiefly honour. May they deliver us
from grief and trouble.
3Bards, who invigorate the milk of milch-kine, the sap of growing
plants, the speed of coursers
To us may the strong Maruts be auspicious. May they deliver us
from grief and trouble.
4They who raised water from the sea to heaven and send it from
the sky to earth in showers,
The Maruts who move mighty with their waters, may they
deliver us from grief and trouble.
5They who delight in nectar and in fatness, they who bestow
upon us health and vigour.
The Maruts who rain mighty with their waters, may they deliver
us from grief and trouble.
6Whether with stormy might the Maruts established this All, or
Gods with their celestial power,
Ye, kindly Gods, are able to restore it. May they deliver us from
grief and trouble.
7Potent in battles is the Maruts' army, impetuous train, well-
known, exceeding mighty.
I, suppliant, praise and oft invoke the Maruts. May they deliver
us from grief and trouble.


A hymn to Bhava and Sarva

1I Reverence you—mark this—Bhava and Sarva, ye under whose
control is this that shineth.
Lords of this world both quadruped and biped. Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
2Lords of all near and even of what is distant, famed as the best
and skilfullest of archers,
Lords of this world both quadruped and biped, Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
3Thousand-eyed foe-destroyers, I invoke you, still praising you
the strong, of wide dominion:
Lords of this world both quadruped and biped, Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
4Ye who of old wrought many a deed in concert, and showed
among mankind unhappy omens;
Lords of this world both quadruped and biped, Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
5Ye from the stroke of whose destroying weapon not one among
the Gods or men escapeth,
Lords of this world both quadruped and biped, Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
6Hurl your bolt, strong Gods, at the Yātudhāna, him who makes
ready roots and deals in magic:
Lords of this world both quadruped and biped, Deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
7Comfort and aid us, ye strong Gods, in battles, at each Kimidin
send your bolt of thunder.
I, suppliant, praise and ever call on Bhav and Sarva. Set us free
from grief and trouble.


A hymn to Mitra-Varuna

1You twain, O Mitra, Varuna, I honour, Lawstrengtheners, wise,
who drive away oppressors.
Ye who protect the truthful in his battles, deliver us, ye twain,
from grief and trouble.
2Ye the wise Gods who drive away oppressors, ye who protect
the truthful in his battles,
Who come, men's guards, to juice pressed forth by Babhru,.
deliver us, ye twain, from grief and trouble.
3Mitra and Varuna who help Agasti, Atri, and Angiras, and
Ye who help Kasyapa, who help Vasishtha, deliver us, ye twain,
from grief and trouble.
4Mitra and Varuna, who help Syāvāsva, Atri, and Purumilha,
and Vadhryasva,
Ye who help Vimada and Saptavadhri, deliver us, ye twain,
from grief and trouble.
5Ye, Varuna, Mitra, who give aid to Kutsa, Gavishthira,
Bharadvāja, Visvāmitra,
Who help Kakshivan and give aid to Kanva, deliver us, ye
twain, from grief and trouble.
6Ye, Mitra, Varuna, who help Trisoka, Medhātithi, and Usanā
son of Kavi,
Ye, Gotama's and Mudgala's protectors, deliver us, ye twain,
from grief and trouble.
7Whose straight-reined car that keeps the track of goodness assails
and ruins him who walks perversely
I, suppliant, praise with constant invocation Mitra and Varuna.
Save us from affliction.


A glorification of vāk or speech

1I travel with the Rudras and the Vasus, with the Ādityas and
All-Gods I wander.
I hold aloft both Varuna and Mitra, I hold aloft Indra and
both the Asvins.
2I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful,
first of those who merit worship.
The Gods, making me enter many places, in diverse spots have
set mine habitation.
3I, verily, myself announce and utter the word that Gods, and
men alike shall welcome.
I make the man I love exceeding mighty, make him a sage, a
Rishi, and a Brāhman.
4Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them, each man
who sees, breathes, hears, the word out-spoken.
They know it not, but yet they dwell beside me. Hear, one and
all, the truth as I declare it.
5I bend the bow for Rudra that his arrow may strike and slay
the hater of devotion.
I rouse and order battle for the people, and I have penetrated
Earth and Heaven.
6I cherish and sustain high-swelling Soma, and Tvashtar I support,
Pashan, and Bhaga.
I load with wealth the zealous sacrificer who pours the juice and
offers his oblation.
7On the world's summit I bring forth the Father: my home is in
the waters, in the ocean.
Thence I extend o'er all existing creatures, and touch even
yonder heaven with my forehead.
8I breathe a strong breath like the wind and tempest, the while I
hold together all existence.
Beyond this wide earth and beyond the heavens I have become
so mighty in my grandeur.


A hymn to Manyu or Wrath

1Borne on with thee, O Manyu girt by Maruts, let our brave men,
impetuous, bursting forward,
March on, like flames of fire in form, exulting, with pointed
arrows, sharpening their weapons.
2Flashing like fire, be thou, O conquering Manyu, invoked, O
victor, as our army's leader.
Slay thou our foes, distribute their possession: show forth thy
vigour, scatter those who hate us.
3O Manyu, overcome those who assail us. On! breaking, slaying,
crushing down the foemen.
They have not hindered thine impetuous vigour: mighty! sole
born! reduce them to subjection.
4Alone of many thou art worshipped, Manyu: sharpen the spirit
of each clan for combat.
With thee to aid, O thou of perfect splendour, we raise the
glorious battle-shout for conquest.
5Unyielding, bringing victory like Indra, O Manyu be thou here
our sovran ruler.
To thy dear name. O victor, we sing praises: we know the
spring from which thou art come hither.
6Twin-borne with power, destructive bolt of thunder the highest
conquering might is thine, subduer!
Be friendly to us in thy spirit, Manyu! O much-invoked, in
shock of mighty battle!
7For spoil let Varuna and Manyu give us the wealth of both sides
gathered and collected;
And let our enemies with stricken spirits, o'er-whelmed with.
terror, sling away defeated.


A hymn to Manyu

1He who hath reverenced thee, Manyu, destructive bolt! breeds.
for himself forthwith all conquering energy.
Arya and Dāsa will we conquer with thine aid, with thee the
conqueror, with conquest conquest-sped.
2Manyu was Indra, yea, the God was Manyu; Manyu was Hotar
Varuna, Jātavedas.
The tribes of human lineage worship Manyu. Accordant, with
thy fervour, Manyu! guard us.
3Come hither, Manyu, mightier than the mighty: smite, with thy
fervour, for ally, our foemen.
Slayer of foes, of Vritra, and of Dasyu, bring thou to us all kinds
of wealth and treasure.
4For thou art, Manyu, of surpassing vigour, fierce, queller of the
foe, and self-existent,
Shared by all men, victorious, subduer: vouchsafe to us superior
strength in battles.
5I have departed still without a portion, wise God! according to
thy will, the mighty.
I, feeble man, was wroth with thee, O Manyu. Come in thy
proper form and give us vigour.
6Come hither, I am all thine own: advancing, turn thou to me,
victorious, all-bestowing.
Come to me, Manyu, wielder of the thunder: bethink thee of
thy friend, and slay the Dasyus.
7Approach, and on our right hand hold thy station, then let us
slay a multitude of foemen.
The best of meath I offer to support thee: may we be first to
drink thereof in quiet.


A prayer to Agni for protection and prosperity

1Chasing our pain with splendid light, O Agni, shine thou wealth
on us.
His lustre flash our pain away.
2For goodly fields, for pleasant homes, for wealth we sacrifice to
His lustre flash our pain away!
3Best praiser of all these be he, and foremost be our noble chiefs.
His lustre flash our pain away!
4So that thy worshipper and we, thine, Agni! in our sons may
His lustre flash our pain away!
5As ever conquering Agni's beams of splendour go to every side,
His lustre flash our pain away.
6To every side thy face is turned, thou art triumphant everywhere.
His lustre flash our pain away!
7O thou whose face looks every way, bear off our foes as in a
His lustre flash our pain away!
8As in a ship across the flood, transport us to felicity. His lustre
flash our pain away


Glorification of the Vishtāri sacrifice

1The head of this is prayer, its back the Brihat, Odanas's belly is
the Vāmadevya;
Its face reality, its sides the metre, Vishtāri sacrifice produced
from fervour.
2Boneless, cleansed, purified by him who cleanseth, they go res-
plendent to the world of splendour.
Fire burneth not their organ of enjoyment: much pleasure have
they in the world of Svarga.
3Never doth want or evil fortune visit those who prepare oblation
called Vishtāri.
He goes unto the Gods, he dwells with Yama, he joys among
Gandharvas meet for Soma.
4Yama robs not of generative vigour the men who dress oblation
called Vishtāri.
Borne on his car, a charioteer, he travels: endowed with wings
he soars beyond the heavens.
5Strongest is this, performed, of sacrifices: he hath reached
heaven who hath prepared Vishtāri.
The oval-fruited lotus spreads his fibre: there bloom the nelo-
phar and water-lilies.
Abundant with their overflow of sweetness, these streams shall
reach thee in the world of Svarga, whole lakes with lotus-
blossom shall approach thee.
6Full lakes of butter with their banks of honey, flowing with wine,
and milk and curds and water
Abundant with their overflow of sweetness, these streams shall
reach thee in the world of Svarga, whole lakes with lotus-
blossom shall approach thee.
7I give four pitchers, in four several places, filled to the brim with
milk and curds and water.
Abundant with their overflow of sweetness, these streams shall
reach thee in the world of Svarga, whole lakes with lotus-
blossom shall approach thee.
8I part this Odana among the Brāhmans, Vishtāri, conquering
worlds and reaching heaven.
Let me not lose it: swelling by its nature, be it my perfect Cow
to grant all wishes!


Magnification of the Odana or oblation of milk and rice

1Odana which Prajāpati, the firstborn of Order, dressed with
fervour for the Brāhman,
which guards the worlds from breaking atIthe centre,—I with this
Odana will conquer Mrityu.
2Whereby the World-Creators vanquished Mrityu, that which
they found by fervour, toil and trouble,
That which prayer first made ready for the Brāhman,—I with
this Odana will conquer Mrityu.
3That which upholds the Earth, the all-sustainer, that which hath
filled air's middle realm with moisture,
Which, raised on high in grandeur, stablished heaven,—I with
this Odana will conquer Mrityu.
4From which the months with thirty spokes were moulded, from
which the twelve-spoked year was formed and fashioned.
Which circling day and night have ne'er o'ertaken,—I with this
Odana will conquer Mrityu.
5Which hath become breath-giver, life-bestower; to which the
worlds flow full of oil and fatness,
To whom belong all the refulgent regions,—I with this Odana
will conquer Mrityu.
6From which, matured, sprang Amrit into being, which hath
become Gāyatris lord and ruler,
In which the perfect Vedas have been treasured,—I with this
Odana will conquer Mrityu,
7I drive away the hostile God-despiser: far off be those who are
mine adversaries,
I dress Brahmaudana that winneth all things. May the Gods
hear me who believe and trust them.


A charm against fiends, human enemies, and other pests

1Endowed with true strength, let the Bull, Agni Vaisvānara, burn
them up.
Him who would pain and injure us, him who would treat us as
a foe.
2Him who, unharmed, would injure us, and him who, harmed,
would do us harm,
I lay between the doubled fangs of Agni, of Vaisvānara.
3Those who, what time the moon is dark, hunt with loud cry and
answering shout,
Flesh-eaters, others who would harm,—all these I overcome with
4I conquer the Pisāchas with my power, and take their wealth
All who would injure us I slay. Let mine intention have success.
5With Gods who flee with him, and match their rapid motion
with the Sun,
I with those animals who dwell in rivers and on hills am found.
6I trouble the Pisāchas as the tiger plagues men rich in kine.
They, even as dogs when they have seen a lion, find no hiding-
7Naught with Pisāchas can I do, with thieves, with roamers of the
Pisāchas flee and vanish from each village as I enter it.
8Into whatever village this mine awful power penetrates,
Thence the Pisāchas flee away, and plot no further mischief
9Those who enrage me with their prate, as flies torment an
I deem unhappy creatures, like small insects troublesome to
10Destruction seize upon the man, as with a cord they hold a
The fool who is enraged with me! He is not rescued from the


A charm against Gandharvas and Apsarases

1With thee, O Plant, in olden time Atharvans smote and slew the
Kasyapa smote with thee, with thee did Kanava and Agastya
2With thee we scare and drive away Gandharvas and Apsarases.
O Ajasringi, chase the fiends. Cause all to vanish with thy
3Let the Apsarases, puffed away, go to the river, to the ford,—
Guggulū, Pīlā, Naladi, Aukshagandhi, Pramandini.
Ye have become attentive since the Apsarases have past away.
4Where great trees are, Asvatthas and Nyagrodhas with their
leafy crests,
There where your swings are green and bright, and lutes and
cymbals sound in tune,
'Ye have become attentive since the Apsarases have past away.
5Hither hath come this one, the most effectual of herbs and
6Let Ajasringi penetrate, Arā4aki with sharpened horn.
7From the Gandharva, dancing near, the lord of the Apsarases,
Wearing the tuft of hair, I take all manhood and virility.
8With those dread hundred iron spears, the darts of Indra, let it
The Blyxa-fed Gandharvas, those who bring no sacrificial gift.
9With those dread hundred golden spears, the darts of Indra, let
it pierce.
The Blyxa-fed Gandharvas, those who bring no sacrificial gift.
10O Plant, be thou victorious, crush the Pisāchas, one and all,
Blyxa-fed, shining in the floods, illumining the selfish ones.
11Youthful, completely decked with hair, one monkey-like, one
like a dog,—
So the Gandharva, putting on a lovely look, pursues a dame.
Him with an efficacious charm we scare and cause to vanish
12Your wives are the Apsarases, and ye, Gandharvas, are their
Run ye, immortal ones, away: forbear to interfere with men!


A charm for success in gambling

1Hither I call the Apsaras, victorious, who plays with skill,
Her who comes freely fort to view, who wins the stakes in games
of dice.
2Hither I call that Apsaras who scatters and who gathers up.
The Apsaras who plays with skill and takes her winnings in the
3Dancing around us with the dice, winning the wager by her
May she obtain the stake for us and gain the victory with skill.
May she approach us full of strength: let them not win this
wealth of ours.
4Hither I call that Apsaras, the joyous, the delightful one—
Those nymphs who revel in the dice, who suffer grief and yield
to wrath.
5Who follow in their course the rays of Sūrya, or as a particle of
light attend him.
Whose leader from afar, with store of riches, compasses quickly
all the worlds and guards them.
Pleased, may he come to this our burnt oblation, together with
the Air, enriched with treasure.
6Together with the Air, O rich in treasure, guard here the white
cow and the calf, O mighty!
Here are abundant drops for thee, come hither! Here is thy
white calf, let thy mind be with us.
7Together with the Air, O rich in treasure, keep the white calf in
safety here, O mighty!
Here is the grass, here is the stall, here do we bind the calf. We
are your masters, name by name. All Hail!


A prayer to various deities for health, wealth, and prosperity

1Agni no earth kath had mine homage. May he bless me.
As I have bowed me down to Agni on the earth, so let the
Favouring Graces bow them down to me.
2Earth is the Cow, her calf is Agni. May she with her calf Agni
yield me food, strength, all my wish, life first of all, and off-
spring, plenty, wealth. All Hail!
3Vāyu in air hath had mine homage. May he bless me.
As I have bowed me down to Vāyu in the air, so let the Favour-
ing Graces bow them down to me.
4Air is the Cow, her calf is Vāyu. May she with her calf Vāyu
yield me food, strength, all my wish, life first of all, and off-
spring, plenty, wealth. All Hail!
5The Sun in heaven hath had my homage. May he bless me.
As I have bowed me down unto the Sun in heaven, so let the
Favouring Graces bow them down to me.
6Heaven is the Cow, her calf Āditya. May she yield with her calf
the Sun food, strength, and all my wish, life first of all, and
offspring, plenty, wealth. All Hail!
7To Chandra in the quarters have I bowed me. May he bless me.
As unto Chandra in the quarters I have bent, so let the Favour-
ing Graces bow them down to me.
8The quarters are the Cows, their calf is Chandra. May they
yield with their calf the Moon food, strength and all my wish,
life first of all, and offspring, plenty, wealth. All Hail!
9Agni moves having entered into Agni, the Rishis' son, who
guards from imprecations,
I offer unto thee with reverent worship. Let me not mar the
Gods' appointed service.
10Skilled in all ways, O God, O Jātavedas, I offer what is cleansed
by heart and spirit.
To all thy seven mouths, O Jātavedas. Do thou accept with
pleasure my libation.

HYMN XLScroll Up

A charm against rival worshippers

1O Jātavedas, eastward sacrificers, as foes assail us from the
eastern quarter.
May they, turned back, be pained for harming Agni. I drive
them backward with mine incantation.
2O Jātavedas, southward sacrificers as foes assail us from the
southern quarter.
May they, turned back, be pained for harming Yama. I smite
them backward with mine incantation.
3O Jātavedas, westward sacrificers as foes assail us from the
western quarter.
For harming Varuna be they turned and troubled! I smite them
backward with mine incantation.
4Jātavedas, northward sacrificers as foes assail us from the
northern quarter.
For harming Soma be they turned and troubled! I smite them
backward with mine incantation.
5O Jātavedas, nether sacrificers, as foes assail us from the stead-
fast quarter.
For harming Earth let them be turned and troubled. I smite
them backward with mine incantation.
6Those who pay sacrifice, O Jātavedas, from air assail us from
the midway quarter.
For harming Vāyu be they turned and troubled! I smite them
backward with mine incantation.
7The sacrificers from above assail us, O Jātavedas, from the lofty
For wronging Sūrya be they turned and troubled! I smite them
backward with mine incantation.
8Those from all points assail us, Jātavedas, who sacrifice from
intermediate regions.
For wronging Prayer let them be turned and troubled, I smite
them backward with mine incantation.

Index Previous Next

Suggestions for Further Reading

Source: The Hymns of the Atharvaveda. translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith [1895-6]. The text has been reformatted by Jayaram V for Hinduwebsite.com.  As far as the presentation of the material is concerned, this online version does not follow the original book. While all possible care has been taken to reproduce the text accurately, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or the authenticity of the text produced. We strongly recommend to  use this text for general reading and understanding and refer the original edition for serious studies and academic projects .

Translate the Page