Hymns of the Atharvaveda - Book 08
- Hymn 1: A charm to recover a dying man
- Hymn 2: The same
- Hymn 3: A prayer for the destruction of demons
- Hymn 4: Imprecations on demons
- Hymn 5: A charm accompanying investiture with an amulet
- Hymn 6: A charm to exercise evil spirits who beset women
- Hymn 7: A charm to restore a sick man to health
- Hymn 8: Imprecations directed against a hostile army
- Hymn 9: An enunciation of cosmogonical, ritual, and metrical doctrine
- Hymn 10: A glorification of the mystical abstraction Virāj
A charm to recover a dying man
1Homage to Death the Ender! May thy breathings,
outward, still remain within thee.
Here stay this man united with his spirit in the Sun's realm, the
world of life eternal!
2Bhaga hath lifted up this man, and Soma with his filaments,
Indra and Agni, and the Gods the Maruts, raised him up to
3Here is thy spirit, here thy breath, here is thy life, here is thy
By a celestial utterance we raise thee from Destruction's bonds.
4Up from this place, O man, rise! sink not downward, casting
away the bonds of Death that hold thee.
Be not thou parted from this world, from sight of Agni and the
5Purely for thee breathe Wind and Mātarisvan,
and let the
Waters rain on thee their nectar.
The Sun shall shine with healing on thy body; Death shall have
mercy on thee: do not leave us!
6Upward must be thy way, O man, not downward: with life and
mental vigour I endow thee.
Ascend this car eternal, lightly rolling; then full of years shalt
thou address the meeting.
7Let not thy soul go thither, nor be lost to us: slight not the
living, go not where the Fathers are.
Let all the Gods retain thee here in safety.
8Yearn not for the departed ones, for those who lead men far
Rise up from darkness into light: come, both thy hands we
clasp in ours.
9Let not the black dog and the brindled seize thee, two warders
of the way sent forth by Yama.
Come hither; do not hesitate: with mind averted stay not there.
10Forbear to tread this path, for it is awful: that path I speak of
which thou hast not travelled.
Enter it not, O man; this way is darkness: forward is danger,
hitherward is safety.
11Thy guardians be the Fires within the Waters, thy guardian be
the Fire which men enkindle.
Thy guardian be Vaisvānara Jātavedas; let not celestial Fire with
lightning burn thee.
12Let not the Flesh-Consumer plot against thee: depart thou far
away from the Destroyer.
Be Heaven and Earth and Sun and Moon thy keepers, and from
the dart of Gods may Air protect thee.
13May Vigilance and Watchfulness protect thee, Sleepless and
Slumberless keep guard above thee!
Let Guardian and let Wakeful be thy warders.
14Let these be thy preservers, these thy keepers. All hail to these,
to these be lowly worship!
15May saving Savitar, Vāyu, Indra, Dhātar restore thee to com-
munion with the living.
Let not thy vigour or thy breath forsake thee: we recall thy life.
16Let not the fiend with snapping jaws, nor darkness find thee:
tongue, holy grass: how shouldst thou perish?
May the Ādityas and the Vasus, Indra and Agni raise thee and
to health restore thee.
17The Sky hath raised thee, and the Earth, Prajāpati hath raised
The Plants and Herbs with Soma as their King have rescued
thee from Death.
18Here let this man, O Gods, remain: let him not go to yonder
We rescue him from Mrityu with a charm that hath a thousand
19I have delivered thee from Death. Strength-givers smelt and
Let not she-fiends with wild loose locks, or fearful howlers yell
20I have attained and captured thee: thou hast returned restored
Perfect in body: so have I found all thy sight and all thy life.
21Life hath breathed on thee; light hath come: darkness hath past
away from thee.
Far from thee we have buried Death, buried Destruction and:
1Seize to thyself this trust of life
for ever: thine be longevity
which nothing shortens.
Thy spirit and thy life again I bring thee: die not, nor vanish
into mist and darkness.
2Come to the light of living men, come hither: I draw thee to a
life of hundred autumns.
Loosing the bonds of Death, the curse that holds thee, I give thee
age of very long duration.
3Thy breath have I recovered from the Wind, thy vision from the
Thy mind I stablish and secure within thee: feel in thy members,.
use thy tongue, conversing.
4I blow upon thee with the breath of bipeds and quadrupeds, as
on a fire new-kindled.
To thee, O Death, and to thy sight and breath have I paid
5Let this man live, let him not die: we raise him, we recover him.
I make for him a healing balm. O Death, forbear to slay this
6Here for sound health I invocate a living animating plant,
Preserving, queller of disease, victorious, full of power and
7Seize him not, but encourage and release him: here let him stay,
though thine, in all his vigour.
Bhava and Sarva, pity and protect him: give him full life and
drive away misfortunes.
8Comfort him, Death, and pity him: let him arise and pass away,
Unharmed, with all his members, hearing well, with old, may he
through hundred years win profit with his soul.
9May the Gods' missile pass thee by. I bring thee safe from the
mist: from death have I preserved thee.
Far have I banished flesh-consuming Agni: I place a rampart
for thy life's protection.
10Saving him from that misty path of
thine which cannot be
From that descent of thine, O Death, we make for him a shield
11I give thee both the acts of breath, health, lengthened life, and
death by age.
All Yama's messengers who roam around, sent by Vaivasvata,
I chase away.
12Far off we drive Malignity, Destruction, Pisāchas banqueters on
flesh, and Grāhi.
And all the demon kind, the brood of sin, like darkness, we
13I win thy life from Agni, from the living everlasting Jātavedas.
This I procure for thee, that thou, undying, mayst not suffer
harm, that thou mayst be content, that all be well with thee.
14Gracious to thee be Heaven and Earth, bringing no grief, and
Pleasantly shine the Sun for thee, the Wind blow sweetly to
Let the celestial Waters full of milk flow happily for thee.
15Auspicious be the Plants to thee! I have upraised thee, borne
thee from the lower to the upper earth:
Let the two Sons of Aditi, the Sun and Moon, protect thee there.
16Whatever robe to cover thee or zone thou makest for thyself,
We make it pleasant to thy frame: may it be soft and smooth
17When, with a very keen and cleasing razor, our hair and beards
thou shavest as a barber,
Smoothing our face steal not our vital forces.
18Auspicious unto thee be rice and barley, causing no painful sick-
ness or consumption, these deliver from calamity.
19Thy food, thy drink, whate'er they be corn grown by cultivation,
Food eatable, uneatable, I make all poisonless for thee.
20We give thee over as a charge to Day and Night, in trust to
Keep him for me from stingy fiends, from those who fain would
feed on him.
21A hundred, yea, ten thousand years we give thee, ages two,
May Indra, Agni, all the Gods, with willing favour look on thee.
22To Autumn we deliver thee, to Winter, Spring and Summer's
We trust thee with auspicious years wherein the plants and herbs
23Death is the lord of bipeds, Death is sovran lord of quadrupeds.
Away I bear thee from that: Death the ruler: be not thou
24Thou, still uninjured, shalt not die: be not afraid; thou shalt
Here where I am men do not die or go to lowest depths of
25Here verily all creatures live, the cow, the horse, the man, the
Here where this holy prayer is used, a rampart that protecteth
Let it preserve thee from thy peers, from incantation, from thy
26Live very long, be healthy, be immortal: let not the vital breath
forsake thy body.
27One and a hundred modes of death, dangers that may be over-
May Gods deliver thee from this when Agni, dear to all men,
28Body of Agni prompt to save, slayer of fiends and foes art thou,
Yea, banisher of malady, the healing balm called Pūtudru.
A prayer for the destruction of demons
1I balm with oil the mighty demon-slayer,
to the most famous
friend I come for shelter.
Enkindled, sharpened by our rites, may Agni protect us in the
day and night from evil.
2O Jātavedas, armed with teeth of iron, enkindled with thy flame,
attack the demons.
Seize with thy tongue the foolish gods' adorers: rend, put with-
in thy mouth the raw-flesh-eaters.
3Apply thy teeth, the upper and the lower, thou who hast both,
enkindled and destroying.
Roam also in the air, O King, around us, and with thy jaws
assail the wicked spirits.
4Pierce through the Yātudhāna's skin, O Agni; let the destroying
dart with fire consume him.
Rend his joints, Jātavedas! let the eater of raw flesh, seeking
flesh, tear and destroy him.
5Where now thou seest, Agni Jātavedas! a Yātudhāna, standing
still or roaming.
Or one that flieth through the air's mid-region, kindled to fury
as an archer pierce him.
6Bending thy shafts through sacrifices, Agni! dipping thine
arrows in the hymn to point them,
Pierce to the heart therewith the Yātudhānas, and break their
arms uplifted to attack thee.
7Rescue the captives also, Jātavedas! yea, those whom Yātudhā-
nas' spears have captured.
Strike down that fiend, blazing before him, Agni! Let spotted
carrion-eating kites devour him.
8Here tell this forth, O Agni: whosoever is, he himself, or acteth
as, a demon,
Grasp him, O thou most youthful, with thy fuel: to the Man-
Seer's eye give him as booty.
9With keen glance guard the sacrifice, O Agni: thou Sage, con-
duct it onward to the Vasus.
Let not the fiends, O Man-Beholder, harm thee burning against
the Rākshasas to slay them.
10Look on the fiend, 'mid men, as Man-Beholder: rend thou his
three extremities in pieces.
Demolish with thy flame his ribs, O Agni: the Yātudhāna's
root destroy thou triply.
11Thrice, Agni, let thy noose surround the demon who with his
falsehood injures holy Order.
Loud roaring with thy flame, Jātavedas, fetter him in the pre-
sense of the singer.
12Agni, what curse the pair this day may utter, what rude rough
word the worshippers have spoken,
Each arrowy taunt sped from the angry spirit,—pierce to the
heart therewith the Yātudhānas.
13With fervent heat exterminate the demons: destroy the fiends
with glow and flame, O Agni.
Destroy with fire the foolish gods' adorers: destroy the insatiate
14May Gods destroy to-day the evil-doer: may uttered curses turn
again and strike him.
Let arrows pierce the liar in his vitals, and Visva's net enclose
15The fiend who smears himself with flesh of cattle, with flesh of
horses and of human bodies,
Who steals the milch-cow's milk away, O Agni,—tear off the
heads of such with fiery fury.
16Let the fiends steal the poison of the cattle: may Aditi cast off
May the God Savitar give them up to ruin, and be their share
of herbs and plants denied them.
17The cow gives milk each year, O Man-Beholder: let not the
Yātudhāna ever taste it.
Agni, if one should glut him with the biestings, pierce with thy
flame his vitals as he meets thee.
18Agni, from days of old thou slayest demons: never have
Rākshasas in fight o'ercome thee.
Burn up the foolish ones, the flesh-devourers: let none of them
escape thy heavenly arrow.
19Guard us, O Agni, from above and under, protect us from be-
hind and from before us;
And may thy flames, most fierce and never wasting, glowing
with fervent heat, consume the sinner.
20From rear, from front, from under, from above us, Agni, pro-
tect us as a sage with wisdom.
Guard to old age thy friend as friend eternal: O Agni, as im-
mortal, guard us mortals.
21Lend thou the worshipper that eye, O Agni, where with thou
lookest on the hoof-armed demons.
With light celestial in Atharvan's manner burn up the fool who
ruins truth with falsehood.
22We set thee round us as a fort, victorious Agni! thee, a sage,
In conquering colour day by day, destroyer of the treacherous
23With deadly poison strike thou back the treacherous brood of
O Agni, with thy sharpened glow, with rays that flash with
points of flame.
24Agni shines far and wide with lofty splendour, and by his great-
ness makes all things apparent.
He conquers godless and malign enchantments, and sharpens
both his horns to gore the ogres.
25Thy two unwasting horns, O Jātavedas, keen-pointed weapons,
sharpened by devotion
With these transfix the wicked-souled Kimidin, with fierce flame,
Jātavedas! when he meets thee.
26Bright, radiant, meet to be adored, immortal with refulgent
Agni drives Rākshasas away.
Imprecations on demons
1Indra and Soma, burn, destroy the demon
foe! Send downward,
O ye Bulls, those who add gloom to gloom.
Annihilate the fools, slay them and burn them up: chase them
away from us, pierce the voracious fiends.
2Let sin, Indra and Soma! round the wicked boil, like as a cald-
ron set amid the flames of fire.
Against the foe of prayer, eater of gory flesh, the fearful-eyed
Kimidin, keep perpetual hate.
3Indra and Soma, plunge the wicked in the depth, yea, cast them
into darkness that hath no support,
So that not one of them may ever thence return: so may your
wrathful might prevail and conquer them.
4Indra and Soma, hurl your deadly crushing bolt down on the
wicked fiend from heaven and from the earth.
Yea, fashion from the big clouds your celestial dart wherewith
ye burn to death the waxing demon race.
5Indra and Soma, cast ye downward from the sky your deadly
bolts of stone burning with fiery flame,
Eternal, scorching darts. Plunge the voracious fiends within the
depth, and let them pass without a sound.
6Indra and Soma, let this hymn control you both, even as the
girth encompasses two vigorous steeds
The song of praise which I with wisdom offer you. Do ye, as
Lords of men, animate these my prayers.
7In your impetuous manner think ye both thereon: destroy those
evil spirits, kill the treacherous fiends.
Indra and Soma, let the wicked have no bliss whoso at any time-
attacks and injures us.
8Whoso accuses me with words of falsehood when I pursue my
way with guileless spirit,
May he, the speaker of untruth, be, Indra! like water which the
hollowed hand compresses.
9Those who destroy, as is their wont, the simple, and with their
evil natures harm the righteous,
May Soma give them over to the serpent, or to the lap of
Nirriti consign them.
10O Agni, whosoever seeks to injure the essence of our food, kine,
steeds, or bodies,
May he, the adversary, thief, and robber, sink to destruction,.
both himself and offspring.
11May he be swept away, himself and children; may all the three
earths press him down beneath them.
May his fair glory, O ye Gods, be blighted, who in the day or
night would fain destroy us.
12The prudent finds it easy to distinguish the true and false: their
words oppose each other.
Of these two that which is the true and honest Soma protects,
and brings the false to nothing.
13Never doth Soma aid and guide the wicked or him who falsely
claims the Warrior's title.
He slays the fiend and him who speaks untruly: both lie entan-
gled in the noose of Indra.
14As if I worshipped deities of falsehood, or thought vain thoughts
about the Gods, O Agni!
Why art thou angry with us, Jātavedas? Destruction fall on
those who lie against thee!
15So may I die this day if I have harassed any man's life, or if I
be a demon.
Yea, may he lose all his ten sons together who with false tongue
hath called me Yātudhāna.
16May Indra slay him with a mighty weapon, and let the vilest of
all creatures perish,
The fiend who says that he is pure, who calls me a demon
though devoid of demon nature.
17She too who wanders like an owl at night-time, hiding her body
in her guile and malice,
May she fall downward into endless caverns. May press-stones
with loud ring destroy the demons.
18Spread out, ye Maruts, search among the people: seize ye and
grind the Rākshasas to pieces,
Who fly abroad, transformed to birds, at night-time, and sully
and pollute our holy worship.
19Hurl down from heaven thy bolt of stone, O Indra: sharpen it,
Maghavan, made keen by Soma.
Forward, behind, and from above and under, smite down the
demons with thy rocky weapon.
20They fly, the demon dogs, and, bent on mischief, fain would they
harm indomitable Indra.
Sakra makes sharp his weapon for the wicked: now let him
cast his bolt at fiendish wizards.
21Indra hath ever been the fiends' destroyer who spoil oblations of
the Gods' invokers.
Yea, Sakra, like an axe that splits the timber, assails and sma-
shes them like earthen vessels.
22Destroy the fiend shaped like an owl or owlet, destroy him in.
the form of dog or cuckoo.
Destroy him shaped as eagle or as vulture: as with a stone, O
Indra, crush the demon.
23Let not the fiend of witchcraft-workers reach us: may Dawn.
drive off the couples of Kimidins.
Earth keep us safe from earthly woe and trouble! From grief
that comes from heaven Mid-air preserve us!
24Indra destroy the demon, male and female, joying and triumph-
ing in arts of magic!
Let the fools' gods with bent necks fall and perish, and see no.
more the Sun when he arises.
25Look, each one, hither, look around. Indra and Soma, watch ye
Cast forth your weapon at the fiends: against the sorcerers hurl
A charm accompanying investiture with an amulet
1Upon the strong is bound the strong,
this magic cord, this Amu-
Potent, foe-slayer, served by valiant heroes, happy and fortu-
2This Charm, foe-slayer, served by many heroes, strong, power-
ful, victorious, and mighty, goes bravely forth to meet and
3With this same Amulet wise Indra routed the Asuras, with this
he slaughtered Vritra,
With this he won this pair, both Earth and Heaven, and made
the sky's four regions his possession.
4May this encircling magic cord, this Amulet of Srāktya wood,
Mighty, subduing enemies, keep us secure on every side.
5This Agni hath declared, Soma declared it, Brihaspati, and
Savitar, and Indra.
So may these Gods whom I have set before me oppose with
saving charms and banish witchcraft.
6I have obscured the heaven and earth, yea, and the daylight and
So may these Gods whom I have set before me oppose with
saving charms and banish witchcraft.
7Whoever for his armour takes an amulet of the Srāktya tree,
Like the Sun risen up to heaven, quells witchcraft with superior
8With Amulet of Srāktya wood, as with a thoughtful Rishi's aid,
In every fight have I prevailed; I smite the foes and Rākshasas.
9All witchcraft of Angirases,"all witchcraft wrought by Asuras,
All witchcraft self-originate, and all that others have prepared,
May these depart to both remotest spaces, past ninety ample
10May the Gods bind the Charm on him for armour, Indra, and
Vishnu, Savitar Rudra, Agni,
Prajāpati, sublimest Parameshlhin, Virāj, Vaisvānara, and all
11Thou art the chief of all the plants, even as a bull among the
A tiger of the beasts of prey. Him whom we sought for have we
found, him lying near in wait for us.
12A tiger verily is he, he is a lion, and a bull,
Subduer of his foes is he, the man who wears this Amulet.
13No mortal beings slay him, no Gāndharvas, no Apsarases;
O'er all the regions he is king, the man who wears this Amulet.
14Kasyapa formed and fashioned thee, Kasyapa raised and sent
Indra wore thee, and, wearing thee, won in the wrestling-match
The Amulet of boundless might the Gods have made a coat of
15Whoever would destroy thee with Dikshā-rites, sacrifices, spells,
Meet him and smite him, Indra! with thy hundred-knotted
16Verily let this Amulet, circular, potent, conquering,
Happy and fortunate defence, preserve thy children and thy
17Brave Indra, set before us light, peace and security from below,
Peace and security from above, peace and security from behind.
18My coat of mail is Heaven and Earth, my coat of mail is Day
A coat of mail may Indra and Agni and Dhātar grant to me.
19Not all the Gods may pierce, all leagued together, the vast
strong shield which Indra gives, and Agni.
May that great shield on all sides guard my body, that to full
old my life may be extended.
20Let the Gods' Charm be bound on me to keep me safe from
Come ye and enter all within this pillar, the safe-guard of the
21In this let Indra lay a store of valour: approach ye Gods, and
enter it together,
For his long life, to last a hundred autumns, that to full age his
days may be extended.
22Lord of the clan who brings, us bliss, fiend-slayer, queller of the
May he, the conqueror, ne'er subdued, may Indra bind the
Charm on thee,
Bull, Soma-drinker, he who gives us peace.
May he protect thee round about, by night and day on every,
A charm to exercise evil spirits who beset women
1Let neither fiend of evil name, Alinsa,
Thy pair of husband-wooers which thy mother cleansed when,
thou wast born.
2Palala, Anupalala, Sarku, Koka, Malimlucha, Palijaka Vavri-
vāsas and Asresha, Rikshagriva and Pramilin.
3Approach not, come not hitherward: creep not thou in-between
I set, to guard her, Baja, that which chases him of evil name.
4Durnāmā and Sunāmā both are eager to converse with her.
We drive away Arāyas: let Sunāmā seek the women-folk,
5The black and hairy Asura, and Stambaja and Tundika,
Arāyas from this girl we drive, from bosom, waist, and parts
6Sniffer, and Feeler, him who eats raw flesh, and him who licks
Arāyas with the tails of dogs, the yellow Baja hath destroyed.
7Whoever, in thy brother's shape or father's comes to thee in
Let Baja rout and chase them like eunuchs with woman's head-
8Whoever steals to thee asleep or thinks to harm thee when
These hath it banished, as the Sun travelling round drives shade
9Whoever causeth her to lose her child or bear untimely fruit,—
Destroy him, O thou Plant, destroy the slippery fiend who lusts
10Those who at evening, with the bray of asses, dance around the
house, Kukshilas, and Kusfilas, and Kakubhas, Srimas,
These with thine odour, O thou Plant, drive far away to every
11Kukundhas and Kukūrabhas who dress themselves in hides and
Who dance about like eunuchs, who raise a wild clamour in the
wood, all these we banish far away.
12All those who cannot bear the Sun who warms us yonder from
Arāyas with the smell of goats, malodorous, with bloody mouths,
the Makakas we drive afar.
13All those who on their shoulders bear a head of monstrous
Who pierce the women's loins with pain,—those demons, Indra
14Those, bearing horns upon their hands, who first of all approach
Standing in ovens, laughing loud, those who in bushes flash forth
light, all these we banish hence away.
15Those who have retroverted toes, and heels and faces in the
Khalajas, Sakadhūmajas, Urundas, all the Matmatas, impotent
Drive thou, O Brāhmanaspati, far from this girl with vigilance.
16Sightless and with distorted eyes, impotent. woman less be they.
O Healing Plant, cast each away who, not her husband, would
approach this woman wedded to her lord.
17The Bristly-haired, the Maniac-haired, the Biter, and the
The Creeper-near, the Copper-hued, the Snouty, and the Saluda,
With foot and heel kick over, as a hasty cow her milking-pan.
18If one should touch thy coming babe or kill thine infant newly
The yellow Plant with mighty bow shall pierce him even to the
19Those who kill infants unawares, and near the new-made mothers
Let Pinga chase the amorous Gandharvas as wind chases cloud.
20Let it maintain the genial seed: let the laid embryo rest secure.
Let both strong Healers, to be worn within the girdle, guard the
21From the Kimīdin, for thy lord and children, Pinga shield thee
From Sāyaka, and Nagnaka, Tangalva, and Pavīnasa.
22From the five-footed, fingerless, from the four-eyed, the double-
From the Close-creeper, from the Worm, from the Quick-roller
guard her well.
23Those who eat flesh uncooked, and those who eat the bleeding
flesh of men,
Feeders on babes unborn, long-haired, far from this place we
24Shy slinkers from the Sun, as slinks a woman from her husband's
Deep down into the heart of these let Baja and let Pinga pierce.
25Pinga, preserve the babe at birth, make not the boy a female
Let not Egg-eaters mar the germs: drive the Kimidins far away.
26Sterility, and infants' death, and weeping that announceth
Dear! lay them on the fiend as thou wouldst pluck a garland
from a tree.
A charm to restore a sick man to health
1The tawny-coloured, and the pale, the
variegated and the red,
The dusky-tinted, and the black,—all Plants we summon hither-
2This man let them deliver from Consumption which the Gods
The father of these Herbs was Heaven, their mother Earth, the
Sea their root.
3The Waters are the best, and heavenly Plants.
From every limb of thine have they removed Consumption
caused by sin.
4I speak to Healing Herbs spreading, and bushy, to creepers, and
to those whose sheath is single,
I call for thee the fibrous and the reed-like, and branching.
Plants, dear to the Visve Devas, powerful, giving life to men.
5The conquering strength, the power and might which ye, victo-
rious Plants, possess,
Therewith deliver this man here from this Consumption, O ye
Plants: so I prepare the remedy.
6The living Plant that giveth life, that driveth malady away,
Arundhatr, the rescuer, strengthening, rich a sweets I call, to free
this man from scath and harm.
7Hitherward let the sapient come, the friendly sharers o f my
That we may give this man relief and raise him from his evil
8Germ of the Waters, Agni's food, Plants ever growing fresh and
Sure, healing, bearing thousand names, let them be all collected
9Let Plants whose soul is water, girt with Avakās, piercing with
their sharp horns expel the malady.
10Strong, antidotes of poison, those releasers, free from Varuna,
And those that drive away Catarrh, and those that frustrate
magic arts, let all those Plants come hitherward.
11Let purchased Plants of mightier power, Plants that are praised
Here in this village safely keep cattle and horses, man and beast.
12Sweet is their root, sweet are these Plants' top branches, sweet
also is their intermediate portion;
Sweet is their foliage, and sweet their blossom, combined with
sweetness is their taste of Amrit: food, fatness let them yield,
with kine preceding.
13These Plants that grow upon the earth, whate'er their number
and their size,
Let these with all their thousand leaves free me from Death and
14May the Plants' Tiger-amulet, protective, guardian from the
Beat off the brood of demons, drive all maladies afar from us.
15Before the gathered Plants they fly and scatter, as though a lion's
roar or fire dismayed them.
Expelled by Plants, let men's and kine's Consumption pass from
us to the navigable rivers.
16Emancipated from the sway of Agni, of Vaisvānara, go, covering
the earth, ye Plants whose ruler is Vanaspati.
17May these be pleasant to our heart, auspicious, rich in store of
These Plants of the Angirases which grow on mountains and on
18The Plants I know myself, the plants that with mine eye I look
Plants yet unknown, and those we know, wherein we find that
power is stored,
19Let all the congregated Plants attend and mark mine utterance,
That we may rescue this man here and save him from severe
20Asvattha, Darbha, King of Plants, is Soma, deathless sacrifice
Barley and Rice are healing balms, the sons of Heaven who
21Lift yourselves up, ye Healing Plants, loud is the thunder's crash
When with full flow Parjanya, ye Children of Prisni! blesseth;
22We give the essence of that stream of nectar of this man to
So I prepare a remedy that he may live a hundred years.
23Well doth the wild boar know a Plant, the mungoose knows the
I call, to aid this man, the Plants which Serpents and Gandhar-
24Plants of Angirases which hawks, celestial Plants which eagles.
Plants known to swans and lesser fowl, Plants known to all the
birds that fly.
Plants that are known to sylvan beasts,—I call them all to aid
25The multitude of herbs whereon the Cows whom none may
slaughter feed, all that are food for goats and sheep,
So many Plants, brought hitherward, give shelter and defence to
26Hitherward unto thee I bring the Plants that cure all maladies,
All Plants wherein physicians have discovered health-bestowing
27Let Plants with flower and Plants with bud, the fruitful and the
Like children of one mother, yield their stores for this man's
28From the Five-arrowed, from the Ten-arrowed have I delivered
Freed thee from Yama's fetter and from all offence against the
Imprecations directed against a hostile army
1Indra the Shaker shake them up, brave,
That into thousand fragments we may strike the armies of our
2Let Pūtirajju with her breath corrupt and putrefy that host,
And terror smite our foemen's heart when fire and smoke are
3Asvattha, rend those men; do thou devour them quickly,
Like reeds let them be broken through, down-smitten by a lifted
4Let Parushāhva make them reeds, and let the bulrush strike
Bound in a mighty net let them break quickly like an arrow's
5Air was the net; the poles thereof were the great quarters of the
Sakra therewith enveloped and cast on the ground the Dasyus'
6Verily mighty is the net of mighty Sakra rich in wealth:
Therewith press all the foemen down so that not one of them
7Great is thy net, brave Indra, thine the mighty match for a
thousand, Lord of Hundred Powers!
Holding them, with his host, therewith hath Indra slaughtered
Dasyus a hundred, thousand, myriad, hundred millions.
8This world so mighty was the net of Sakra, of the Mighty One:
With this, the net of Indra, I envelop all those men with gloom.
9Great weakness and misfortune, pain which words can never
Languor, fatigue, bewilderment, with these I compass all the
10I give those foemen up to Death: bound in the bonds of Death
I bind and carry them away to meet Death's wicked messengers.
11Bear them away, Death's messengers! envoys of Yama! bind
More than a thousand be their slain: the club of Bhava pierce
12Forth go the Sādhyas in their might bearing one netpole raised
One pole the Rudras carry, one the Vasus, and the Ādityas one.
13The Visve Devas from above shall come depressing it with
And in the midst the Angirases, slaying the mighty host, shall go.
14Trees of the forest, trees that bear flower and fruit, and herbs
Quadruped, biped send I forth that they may strike this army
15Gandharvas, and Apsarases, Gods, Serpents, Fathers, Holy
Seen and unseen, I send them forth that they may strike this
16Here spread are snares of Death wherefrom thou, once within
them, ne'er art freed:
Full many a thousand of the host yonder this horn shall smite
17The Gharma hath been warmed with fire: this Homa slays a
Let Bhava, Prisnibāhu, and Sarva destroy that armament.
18Their portion be the fire of Death, hunger, exhaustion, slaughter,
With your entangling snares and nets, Sarva and Indra! slay that
19Fly, conquered, in alarm, ye foes, run driven by the spell away!
Let not one man escape of those when routed by Brihaspati.
20Down fall their weapons on the ground: no strength be theirs
to point a shaft:
Then in their dreadful terror let their arrows wound their vital
21Let Heaven and Earth roar out in wrath against them, and Air
with all the Deities in concert,
Let them not find a surety or a refuge, but torn away go down
to Death together.
22The mules of the Gods' car are heaven's four quarters; their
hooves are sacred cakes, the air its body.
Its sides are Heaven and Earth, its reins the Seasons, Voice is its
hood, its grooms are sky's mid-regions.
23Year is the car, Full Year the seat for driving, Virāj the pole,
the chariot's front is Agni, Indra the warrior, and the Moon
24Hence conquer, conquer, Hail! be thou the victor! Let these be
conquerors and those be conquered.
Good luck to these, ill luck to those men yonder! With the
dark-blue-and-red our foes I cover.
An enunciation of cosmogonical, ritual, and metrical doctrine
1Whence were these two produced? which
was that region?'
From what world, from which earth had they their being?
Calves of Virāj, these two arose from water. I ask thee of these
twain, who was their milker.
2He who prepared a threefold home, and lying there made the
water bellow through his greatness,
Calf of Virāj, giving each wish fulfilment, made bodies for him-
self far off, in secret.
3Which are the three, the mighty three, whereof the fourth divides
This may the Brāhman know by prayer and fervour, whereto
belongs the one, whereto the other.
4Out of the Brihat as the sixth five Salmons have been fashioned
From Brihatī was Brihat formed: whence was the Brihatī com-
5On measure Brihatī is based, and measure on the measurer:
From magic might came magic might, from magic might came
6Vaisvānara's image is the sky above us, so far as Agni forced
both spheres asunder.
Thence from that region as the sixth come praise-songs, and
every sixth day hence again go upward.
7We, Kagyapa! six present Rishis, ask thee—for thou hast prov-
ed things tried and meet for trial
They call Virāj the Father of Devotion: tell her to us thy
friends in all her figures.
8She whom, advancing, sacrifices follow, and when she takes her
station stand beside her,
By whose control and hest the spirit moveth, she is Virāj, in
highest heaven, O Rishis.
9Breathless, she moves by breath of living creatures, Svarāj pre-
cedes, Virāj comes closely after.
Some men behold her not, and some behold her, Virāj meet-
shaped, who thinks of all existence.
10Who hath perceived Virāj's duplication, perceived her seasons
and her rule and practice?
Who knows her steps, how oft, how far extended, who knows
her home and number of her dawnings?
11She here who first of all sent forth her lustre moves onward
resting on these lower creatures.
Exalted power and might are stored within her: the woman
hath prevailed, the new-come mother.
12Both Dawns on wings of song, with rich adornment, move on
together to their common dwelling.
Sūrya's two wives, unwasting, most prolific, knowing their way,
move, rich in light, together.
13The three have passed along the path of Order—three warm
libations have regarded offspring
One quickens progeny, one strengthens vigour, and one protects
the kingdom of the pious.
14She who was fourth was made by Agni, Soma, and Rishis as.
they formed both halves of worship,
Gāyatrī, Trishtup, Jagatī, Anushtup, Brihadarki lightening the
15Five milkings answer to the fivefold dawning, five seasons to
the cow who bears five titles.
The five sky-regions made fifteen in number, one head have
these to one sole world directed.
16Six Elements arose, first-born of Order: the six-day time is
carried by six Sāmans.
Six-yoked the plough is, as each trace is numbered: they call
both broad ones six; six, Earth and Heaven.
17They call the cold months six, and six the hot ones. Which, tell
us, of the seasons is redundant?
Seven sages, eagles, have sat down together: seven metres
match the seven Consecrations.
18Seven are the Homas, seven the logs for burning, seven are the
streams of mead, and seven the seasons.
Into the world have come seven streams of butter; those we
have heard of as the Seven Vultures.
19Seven metres, by four syllables increasing, each of the seven
founded upon another
How are the hymns of praise on these supported, and how are
these imposed upon the praise-songs?
20How hath the Gāyatri filled out three triads? On the fifteen
how is the Trishtup moulded,
Jagatī fashioned on the three-and-thirty? How is Anushtup
formed? how Ekavinsa?
21Eight Elements sprang up, first born of Order: the Priests
divine are eight in number, Indra!
Eight are the wombs of Aditi, eight her children; for the eighth
night is the libation destined.
22So planning bliss for you have I come hither to win your
friendship: kind am I, and gracious.
Born from one source, propitious is your wisdom: knowing
full well to all of you it cometh.
23To Indra eight, to Yama six, seven to the Rishis, seven to
The number five accompanies waters and men and healing
24The Heifer, all his own, poured forth for Indra control and
milk at her first time of milking;
And he then satisfied the four divisions, the Gods and men and
Asuras and Rishis.
25Who is the Cow? Who is the Single Rishi? What is the law,
what are the benedictions?
What on the earth is the one only Spirit? Which of the number
is the Single Season?
26One is the Cow, one is the Single Spirit, one is the law, single
The Spirit dwelling on the earth is single: the Single Season
never is transcended.
A glorification of the mystical abstraction Virāj
1Viraj at first was This. At birth all
feared her; the thought, She
will become this All, struck terror.
2She rose, the Gārhapatya fire she entered. He who knows this
becomes lord of a household, performer of domestic sacri-
3She mounted up, the Eastward fire she entered. He who knows
this becomes the Gods' beloved, and to his call they come
when she invokes them.
4She mounted up, the Southward fire she entered.
He who knows this becomes a fit performer of sacrifice, meet
for honour, shelter-giver.
5She mounted up, she entered the Assembly. He who knows this
becomes polite and courtly, and people come as guests to his
6She mounted up, she passed within the meeting. He who knows
this becomes fit for the meeting, and to his hall of meeting
come the people.
7She mounted up, she entered Consultation. Whoso knows this
is fit to be consulted, and to his consultation come the
8She mounted up, and, into four divided, she took her station in
the air's mid-region.
9Of her the Gods and men said, This she knoweth. That we may
both have life let us invoke her.
10Thus did they cry to her:
11Come, Strength! come, Food! come, Charmer! come, Free-
12Her calf, her well-beloved calf, was Indra: Gāyatri was her
rope, the cloud her udder.
13Two teats she had, Rathantara and Brihat, two, Yajnāyajniya
14With the Rathantara the Gods milked from her the Plants, and
all the wide expanse with Brihat.
15They drew the Waters forth with Vāmadevya, with Yajnayaj-
niya they milked out worship.
16For him who knoweth this, Rathantara poureth out Plants,
and Brihat yieldeth wide expansion.
17Waters from Vāmdevya come, from Yajnāyajniya sacrifice.
18She rose, she came unto the tress: they killed her. A year went
by and she again existed.
Hence in a year the wounds of trees heal over. He who knows
this sees his loathed rival wounded.
19She mounted up, she came unto the Fathers: they killed her:
in a month she re-existed.
Hence men give monthly offerings to the Fathers: who knows
this, knows the path which they have trodden.
20She rose, she came unto the Gods: they killed her: but in a
fortnight she again was living.
Fortnightly, hence, men serve the Gods with Vasat! Who
knows this knows the way which Gods pass over.
21She mounted up, she came to men: they killed her Presently
she regained her life and being.
Hence on both days to men they bring and offer—who knows
this—near-seated in the dwelling.
22She rose, approached the Asuras: they called her: their cry was,
Come, O Māyā, come thou hither.
Her dear calf was Virochana Prāhrādi: her milking vessel was a.
pan of iron.
Dvimūrdhā Ārtvya milked her, yea, this Māyā, The Asuras
depend for life on Māyā. He who knows this becomes a fit
23She mounted up, she came unto the Fathers. The Fathers called.
to her, O Food, come hither.
King Yama was her calf, her pail was silvern. Antaka, Mrityu's.
son, milked her, this Svadhā.
This Food the Fathers make their lives' sustainer. He who•
knows this becomes a meet supporter.
24She mounted up, she came to men. They called her, Come unto-
us, come hither thou Free-giver!
Earth was her milking-pail, the calf beside her Manu Vaivasvata,
Prithi the son of Vena was her milker: he milked forth hus-
bandry and grain for sowing.
These men depend for life on corn and tillage. He who knows
this becomes a meet supporter, successful in the culture of his_
25She rose, she came unto the Seven Rishis. They called her,.
Come, Rich in Devotion! hither.
King Soma was her calf. the Moon her milk-pail. Brihaspati.
Āngirasa, her milker,
Drew from her udder Prayer and Holy Fervour. Fervour and
Prayer maintain the Seven Rishis.
He who knows this becomes a meet supporter, a priest illustri-
ous for his sacred knowledge.
26She rose, she came unto the Gods. They called her, crying, O
Vigour, come to us, come hither!
God Savitar milked her, he milked forth Vigour. The Gods
depend for life upon that Vigour. He who knows this becomes
a meet supporter.
27She rose approached the Apsarases and Gandharvas. They called
her, Come to us, O Fragrant-scented!
The son of Sūryavarchas, Chitraratha, was her dear calf, her pail.
The son of Sūryavarchas, Vasuruchi, milked and drew from her
most delightful fragrance.
That scent supports Apsarases and Gandharvas. He who knows
this becomes a meet supporter, and round him ever breathes
28She mounted up, she came to Other People. They called her,
crying, Come, Concealment! hither.
Her dear calf was Vaisravana Kubera, a vessel never tempered
was her milk-pail.
Rajatanābhi, offspring of Kubera, milked her, and from her
udder drew concealment.
By that concealment live the Other People. He who knows this
becomes a meet supporter, and makes all evil disappear and
29She mounted up, she came unto the Serpents. The Serpents
called her, Venomous! come hither.
Her calf was Takshaka, Visāla's offspring: a bottlegourd suppli-
ed a milking-vessel.
Irāvān's offspring, Dhritarāshtra milked her, and from her udder
drew forth only poison.
That poison quickens and supports the Serpents: He who knows
this becomes a meet supporter.
30One would ward off, for him who hath this knowledge, if with a
bottle-gourd he sprinkled water.
31And did he not repel, if in his spirit he said, I drive thee back,
he would repel it.
32The poison that it drives away, that poison verily repels.
33The man who hath this knowledge pours its venom on his hated
Suggestions for Further Reading
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book One
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Two
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Three
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Four
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Five
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Six
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Seven
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Eight
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Nine
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Ten
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Eleven
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Twelve
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Thirteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Fourteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Fifteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Sixteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Seventeen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Eighteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Nineteen
- The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, Book Twenty
- Hymns Of The Atharva-Veda
- Hymns of the Sama veda
- The Rig Veda translation
- Yajur Veda: The Veda Of The Black Yajus School
- Essays On Dharma
- Esoteric Mystic Hinduism
- Introduction to Hinduism
- Hindu Way of Life
- Essays On Karma
- Hindu Rites and Rituals
- The Origin of The Sanskrit Language
- Symbolism in Hinduism
- Essays on The Upanishads
- Concepts of Hinduism
- Essays on Atman
- Hindu Festivals
- Spiritual Practice
- Right Living
- Yoga of Sorrow
- Mental Health
- Concepts of Buddhism
- General Essays
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 .
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