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The Hymns of the Rigveda
Translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith
2nd edition, Kotagiri (Nilgiri) 1896
From the Preface to the first edition, May 25th, 1889

"This work is an attempt to bring within easy reach of all readers of English a translation of the Hymns of the Rigveda which while aiming especially at close fidelity to the letter and the spirit of the original, shall be as readable and intelligible as the nature of the subject and other circumstances permit."


"My translation, which follows the text of Max M\u00fcller's splendid six-volume edition, is partly based on the work of the great scholiast Sayana who was Prime Minister at the court of the King of Vijaynagar - in what is now the Madras District of Bellary - in the fourteenth century of our era. Sayana's Commentary has been consulted and carefully considered for the general sense of every verse and for the meaning of every word, and his interpretation has been followed whenever it seemed rational, and consistent with the context, and with other passages in which the same word or words occur."

Preface to the second edition, October 15th, 1896

"This second edition of my translation is in the main a reprint in compacter and cheapter form, with some corrections and other improvements in text and commentary, of the original four-volume edition."


The English translation by Ralph Griffith is out of copyright since many decades. Ralph Thomas Hotchkin Griffith (1826-1906), who was principal of Benares College, translated the Rigveda and many other Vedic and Sanskrit texts into English.


This PDF file is desiged for students, who have to read a few hymns in translation. If you have to study the complete Rigveda, you are recommended to buy a reprint, because a reprint is much cheaper than making a printout of this entire PDF file.

1. "The Hymns of the Rgveda". Translated with a Popular Commentary by Ralph T. H. Griffith. Edited by Prof. J. L. Shastri, Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, 1 volume, new revised edition 1973, 707 pages, clothbound. Reprint 2004.

2. "Hymns of the Rgveda". Translated into English with a popular commentary,
Munshiram Manoharlal Publ., New Delhi, 2 volumes, 1490 pages. Reprint 1999.
ThisPDF file is based onHTM files, freely downloadable at several websites, e.g.
The purpose of this PDF file is to permit of 1) easy searching and 2) easy extracting.
I wrote a special programme to generate this searchable and extractable PDF file.
1) Searching:

The entire Rigveda text was converted to a clean 7-bit ASCII file for this PDF file, i.e. this file does not contain any diacritical characters. All Sanskrit words are written with all diacritics entirely dropped, e.g. "Rbu", "Vrtra", "Tvastar", "Asvins", etc.

The hymns are searchable by entering [BB-HHH], e.g. [08-020] = Book 08, Hymn 020. You need not enter the square brackets and you need not enter the leading zero for the books in range 1-9, but you must enter leading zeros for specifying the hymns, e.g. both 08-020 and 8-020 work, but 8-20 does not work.

2) Extracting:

You may extract any verse, hymn or book from this PDF file by easy copy and paste. If you copy the extracted text into a word processing programme, no mark-up with a special font is required, since the PDF file does not contain any diacritical characters.

The file contains a lot scanning errors: Proofreaders are hard to come by these days. Nobody is willing to help and nobody is willing to pay for a proofread PDF book file. Therefore, here in Germany, we say: "Never look a gift horse in the mouth".

Ulrich Stiehl, January 2005
[01-001] HYMN I. Agni.

1 I Laud Agni, the chosen Priest, God, minister of sacrifice,
The hotar, lavishest of wealth.
2 Worthy is Agni to be praised by living as by ancient seers.
He shall bring hitherward the Gods.
3 Through Agni man obtaineth wealth, yea, plenty waxing day by day,
Most rich in heroes, glorious.
4 Agni, the perfect sacrifice which thou encompassest about
Verily goeth to the Gods.
5 May Agni, sapient-minded Priest, truthful, most gloriously great,
The God, come hither with the Gods.
6 Whatever blessing, Agni, thou wilt grant unto thy worshipper,
That, Angiras, is indeed thy truth.
7 To thee, dispeller of the night, O Agni, day by day with prayer
Bringing thee reverence, we come
8 Ruler of sacrifices, guard of Law eternal, radiant One,
Increasing in thine own abode.
9 Be to us easy of approach, even as a father to his son:
Agni, be with us for our weal.

[01-002] HYMN II. Vayu.

1 BEAUTIFUL Vayu, come, for thee these Soma drops have been prepared:
Drink of them, hearken to our call.
2 Knowing the days, with Soma juice poured forth, the singers glorify
Thee, Vayu, with their hymns of praise.
3 Vayu, thy penetrating stream goes forth unto the worshipper,
Far-spreading for the Soma draught.
4 These, Indra-Vayu, have been shed; come for our offered dainties' sake:
The drops are yearning for you both.
5 Well do ye mark libations, ye Vayu and Indra, rich in spoil
So come ye swiftly hitherward.
6 Vayu and Indra, come to what the Soma. presser hath prepared:
Soon, Heroes, thus I make my prayer.
7 Mitra, of holy strength, I call, and foe-destroying Varuna,
Who make the oil-fed rite complete.
8 Mitra and Varuna, through Law, lovers and cherishers of Law,
Have ye obtained your might power
9 Our Sages, Mitra-Varuna, wide dominion, strong by birth,
Vouchsafe us strength that worketh well.

[01-003] HYMN III. Asvins

1 YE Asvins, rich in treasure, Lords of splendour, having nimble hands,
Accept the sacrificial food.
2 Ye Asvins, rich in wondrous deeds, ye heroes worthy of our praise,
Accept our songs with mighty thought.
3 Nisatyas, wonder-workers, yours arc these libations with clipt grass:
Come ye whose paths are red with flame.

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