The Rig Veda Book 5 - Verses 81 to 87

Brahma receiving the Vedas

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

HYMN LXXXI. Savitar.

1. THE priests of him the lofty Priest well-skilled in hymns harness their spirit, yea, harness their holy thoughts.
He only knowing works assigns their priestly tasks. Yea, lofty is the praise of Savitar the God.
2 The Sapient One arrays himself in every form: for quadruped and biped he hath brought forth good.
Excellent Savitar hath looked on heaven's high vault, and shineth after the outgoing of the Dawn.
3 Even he, the God whose going-forth and majesty the other Deities have followed with their might,
He who hath measured the terrestrial regions out by his great power, he is the Courser Savitar.
4 To the three spheres of light thou goest, Savitar, and with the rays of Sidrya thou combinest thee.
Around, on both sides thou encompassest the night: yea, thou, O God, art Mitra through thy righteous laws.
5 Over all generation thou art Lord alone: Pusan art thou, O God, in all thy goings-forth.
Yea, thou hast domination over all this world. Syavasva hath brought praise to thee, O Savitar,


1. WE crave of Savitar the God this treasure much to be enjoyed.
The best, all-yielding, conquering gift of Bhaga we would gladly win.
2 Savitar's own supremacy, most glorious and beloved of all,
No one diminisheth in aught.
3 For Savitar who is Bhaga shall send riches to his worshipper.
That wondrous portion we implore.
4 Send us this day, God Savitar, prosperity with progeny.
Drive thou the evil dream away.
5 Savitar, God, send far away all sorrows and calamities,
And send us only what is good.
6 Sinless in sight of Aditi through the God Savitar's influence,
May we obtain all lovely things.
7 We with our hymns this day elect the general God, Lord of the good,
Savitar whose decrees are true.
8 He who for ever vigilant precedes these Twain, the Day and Night,
Is Savitar the thoughtful God.
9 He who gives glory unto all these living creatures with the song,
And brings them forth, is Savitar.


1. SING with these songs thy welcome to the Mighty, with adoration praise and call Parjanya.
The Bull, loud roaring, swift to send his bounty, lays in the plants the seed. for germination.
2 He smites the trees apart, he slays the demons: all life fears him who wields the mighty weapon.
From him exceeding strong fices e'en the guiltless, when thundering Parjanya smites the wicked.
3 Like a car-driver whipping on his horses, he makes the messengers of rain spring forward.
Far off resounds the roaring of the lion, what time Parjanya fills the sky with rain-cloud.
4 Forth burst the winds, down come the lightning-flashes: the plants shoot up, the realm of light is streaming.
Food springs abundant for all living creatures, what time Parjanya quickens earth with moisture.
5 Thou at whose bidding earth bows low before thee, at whose command hoofed cattle fly in terror,
At whose behest the plants assume all colours, even thou Parjanya, yield us great protection.
6 Send down for us the rain of heaven, ye Maruts, and let the Stallion's flood descend in torrents.
Come hither with this thunder while thou pourest the waters down, our heavenly Lord and Father.
7 Thunder and roar: the germ of life deposit. Fly round us on thy chariot waterladen.
Thine opened water-skin draw with thee downward, and let the hollows and the heights be level.
8 Lift up the mighty vessel, pour down water, and let the liberated streams rush forward.
Saturate both the earth and heaven with fatness, and for the cows let there be drink abundant.
9 When thou, with thunder and with roar, Parjanya, smitest sinners down,
This universe exults thereat, yea, all that is upon the earth.
10 Thou hast poured down the rain-flood now withhold it. Thou hast made desert places fit for travel.
Thou hast made herbs to grow for our enjoyment: yea, thou hast won thee praise from living creatures.


1. THOU, of a truth,O Prthivi, bearest the tool that rends the hills:
Thou rich in torrents, who with might quickenest earth, O Mighty One.
2 To thee, O wanderer at will, ring out the lauds with beams of day,
Who drivest, like a neighing steed, the swelling cloud, O bright of hue.
3 Who graspest with thy might on earth. e'en the strong sovrans of the wood,
When from the lightning of thy cloud the rain-floods of the heaven descend.


1. SING forth a hymn sublime and solemn, grateful to glorious. Varuna, imperial Ruler,
Who hath struck out, like one who slays the victim, earth as a skin to spread in front of Surya.
2 In the tree-tops the air he hath extended, put milk in kine and vigorous speed in horses,
Set intellect in hearts, fire in the waters, Siurya in heaven and Soma on the mountain.
3 Varuna lets the big cask, opening downward, flow through the heaven and earth and air's mid-region.
Therewith the universe's Sovran waters earth as the shower of rain bedews the barley.
4 When Varuna is fain for milk he moistens the sky, the land, and earth to her foundation.
Then straight the mountains clothe them in the rain-cloud: the Heroes, putting forth their vigour, loose them.
5 I will declare this mighty deed of magic, of glorious Varuna the Lord Immortal,
Who standing in the firmament hath meted the earth out with the Sun as with a measure.
6 None, verily, hath ever let or hindered this the most wise God's mighty deed of magic,
Whereby with all their flood, the lucid rivers fill not one sea wherein they pour their waters.
7 If we have sinned against the man who loves us, have ever wronged a brother, friend, or comrade,
The neighbour ever with us, or a stranger, O Varuna, remove from us the trespass.
8 If we, as gamesters cheat at play, have cheated, done wrong unwittingly or sinned of purpose,
Cast all these sins away like loosened fetters, and, Varuna let us be thine own beloved.

HYMN LXXXVI. Indra-Agni.

1. THE mortal man whom ye, the Twain, Indra and Agni, help in fight,
Breaks through e'en strongly-guarded wealth as Trta burst his way through reeds.
2 The Twain invincible in war, worthy to be renowned in frays,
Lords of the Fivefold. People, these, Indra and Agni, we invoke.
3 Impetuous is their strength, and keen the lightning of the mighty Pair,
Which from their arms speeds with the car to Vrtra's slayer for the kine.
4 Indra and Agni, we invoke you both, as such, to send your cars:
Lords of quick-coming bounty, ye who know, chief lovers of the song.
5 These who give increase day by day, Gods without guile for mortal man,
Worthy themselves, I honour most, Two Gods as partners, for my horse.
6 The strength-bestowing offering thus to Indra-Agni hath been paid, as butter, purified by stones.
Deal to our princes high renown, deal wealth to those who sing your praise, deal food to those who sing your praise.


1. To Visnu, to the Mighty whom the Maruts follow let your hymns born in song go forth, Evayamarut;
To the impetuous, strong band, adorned with bracelets, that rushes on in joy and ever roars for vigour.
2 They who with might were manifest, and who willingly by their own knowledge told it forth, Evayamarut.
Maruts, this strength of yours no wisdom comprehendeth: through their gifts' greatness they are moveless as the mountains.
3 Who by the psalm they sing are heard, from lofty heaven, the strong, the brightly shining Ones, Evayamarut;
In whose abode there is no mightier one to move them, whose lightnings are as fires, who urge the roaring rivers.
4 He of the Mighty Stride forth strode, Evayamarut, out of the spacious dwelling-place, their home in common.
When he, himself, hath yoked his emulous strong horses on heights, he cometh forth, joy-giving, with the Heroes.
5 Like your tremendous roar, the rainer with light flashing, strong, speeding, hath made all tremble, Evayamarut,
Wherewith victorious ye, self-luminous, press onward, with strong reins, decked with gold, impetuous and well-weaponed.
6 Unbounded is your greatness, ye of mighty power: may your bright vigour be our aid, Evayamarut;
For ye are visible helpers in the time of trouble: like fires, aglow with light, save us from shame and insult.
7 So may the Rudras, mighty warriors, Evayamarut, with splendid brilliancy, like fires, be our protectors;
They whose terrestrial dwelling-place is wide-extended, whom none suspect of sin, whose bands have lofty courage.
8 Come in a friendly spirit, come to us, O Maruts, and hear his call who praises you, Evayamarut.
Like car-borne men, one-minded with the mighty Visnu, keep enmity far from us with your deeds of wonder.
9 Come to our sacrifice, ye Hnly Ones, to bless it, and, free from demons, hear our call, Evayamarut.
Most excellent, like mountains in the air's raid-region, be irresistible, ye, Wise, to this man'a hater.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Source: An English translation of the Vedas by Ralph T.H. Griffith, 1896.

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