VOLUME I Fasc. 1






Editor's Introduction


Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 1. General introductory definitions. Composition of the Rgveda 2. The text of the Rgveda .. .. 3. Chronology; environment and culture 4. Development of 'schools'; appendices and ancillary literature 5. Commentaries 6. Survival of the Veda .. 7. Study of the Veda 7 15 20 26 39 43 55



Poetry, poet, poem 1. 2. 3. 4. Inspiration and poetry . . .. The poet Sociology and performance .. Ritual application 65 74 79 83

CHAPTER I I I Contents of the Rgveda 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Introduction Invitations and invocations . . . . Apri hymns Praise Prayers Myths .. Legends .. . v History .. .. . . Riddles .. Speculative hymns . . . . . . . . Magic ,v?f 93 101 104 105 108 114 123 128 132 136 142



J. Gonda • Vedic Literature 12. Ecstatic practices 13. Erotic poetry 14. Morals and maxims 15. Lyrics; emotions 16. So-called ballads 17. Nature 18. Animals 19. Labour songs 20. Irony; humour 21. Danastutis 149 151 153 156 159 161 166 167 168 170


The structure of the Rgvedic poems 1. Stanzas and metres 2. Structure of the suktas 3. Introductory and final stanzas 4. Groupings of stanzas 5. 'Composite' hymns 6. Similarities and repetitions 7. Monologues, dialogues, the akhyana theory 173 178 185 189 191 193 . . 198



The style of the Vedic hymns 1. The Rgveda from the stylistic point of view . . . . 2. Formulas, parallelism and its corollaries, variation 3. Epithets 4. Brevity 5. Ambiguity 6. Imagery 7. Similes 8. Other stylistic features 211 221 231 236 240 248 254 261


The Atharvaveda

1. Names and position 2. Genesis and recensions of the Atharvaveda-Samhita 3. The magical sUktas 4. Ritual and speculative suktas 5. Style and structure 6. Ancillary and exegetical literature , . ,, ,, ..

267 272 277 288 298 307


VII 313 323

VII The liturgical Samhitds 1. The Samaveda 2. The Yajurveda


The Brdhmanas 1. General introduction 2. The texts 3. Chronology 4. The brahmanas as historical sources 5. Interpretation and argumentation 6. Disputations 7. Myths, legends and narrative episodes 8. Style and structure 339 344 357 361 368 379 384 410 423 433 437 445



The Aranyakas

Glossary Abbreviations Index


One of the main reasons why Indian thought and Indian civilization make so fascinating a field of study and research lies in their unique history and remarkable structure. Indian civilization has its roots in an ancient heritage, in that pattern of culture which is sometimes called archaic or semi-primitive, sometimes also pre- or non-modern. This culture, or rather structure of the human mind, is, in the main, characterized by presenting, in some essential features, striking contrasts to our modern 'mentalite.' Without being onesidedly intellectual, it gives free scope to the emotional and imaginative sides of human nature; our distinction between the subjective and the objective, our contrast between reality and appearance are almost meaningless; the realm of nature and the realm of man are hardly distinguished; thought often appears wrapped in imagination; logical reasoning is by no means lacking but blended with affective and irrational tendencies; the men of light and leading have a bent for the speculative, more or less visionary, mode of apprehension, transcending experience; they are preferably concerned with man himself, his nature and destiny. On such a basis, reflected in many products of their literature, and without denying these origins, the Indians—anthropologically a mixture of immigrant Aryans and 'autochthonous' peoples of other descent—gradually elaborated a many-sided, highly developed civilization. This civilization is in no small measure characterized by unity in diversity, by homogeneity notwithstanding the utmost variety and complexity of its ethnic composition; by a multitude of languages and a wealth of different cultural patterns; characterized also by considerable diversity in mental character and enormous differences in religion and social customs, beliefs and practices varying widely both regionally and, within a given region, from class to class. While preserving the cohesion of its cultural provinces—religion, art, literature, social organization—to an unusual degree and on the other hand acquiring full scope for intellectual effort and pursuits it can glory in remarkable achievements in various fields. Owing to the integration of a large variety of heterogeneous elements the Indian civilization constitutes a very complex and as to its main current remarkably continuous whole. As it covers the whole of life it has social and religious, economic, artistic and literary aspects. From the religious point of view it is an utterly diverse conglomerate of cults, practices, doctrines and ways of life. Viewed from the angle of sociology it is a stratified system of social classes which is, at least in traditional India, not only given religious sanction

while continually transforming and rejuvenating itself. the recognition of a pristine body of religious literature as an absolute authority. a tendency to mysticism and monistic philosophy. He will hear about cunning and unscrupulous statecraft as well as occasional strenuous effort in the province of applied knowledge and great achievements in art and mathematics. not only tended to the practice of self-denial. that she delighted in the things of the senses no less passionately than in the things of the spirit. with various forms of speculation that. fundamental principle (brahman). the belief in karman. but also to addiction to the pleasures and luxuries of life. however unknown its contents. with mythical formulations of thought which. the belief in an eternal. immense and utterly varied literary production from the Rgveda onward which. of the West. He will be impressed by a luxuriant imagination and a great narrative power. and its complement. witness also . a propensity to assimilate rather than to exclude or to abandon what once has been adopted. a complex 'polytheism' subsumed in a fundamental monotheism. A more than superficial study of many chapters of this literature requires of the reader. by a sense of the beauty of nature as well as recognition of spiritual values. impregnated by a characteristic view of life and the world. tolerance and humanity. a craving for a firm foundation on which to build one's life and ideals. with a more or less pronounced tendency to be in conformity with tradition and socio-religious norms and ideals. as a rule unrestricted by disciplined confrontation with the results of objective and analytical investigation. by the consciousness of man's close and intimate relation with his natural surroundings in general and his fellowship with the other living creatures in particular. are far from being mere fantasy. maintaining. though products of imagination. found unlimited possibilities for development. while aspiring to noble ideals of conduct. like many other fields of human effort. the spread of modern ideas. throughout many centuries. to some degree. If he is not a professional indologist he will learn that India has. the almost generally accepted doctrine of transmigration. The more or less constant elements of this conglomerate.2 Editor's Introduction to the History but also. the ultimate source and goal of all existence. with religious convictions indissolubly associated with social life. and clinging to continuity. the One that is the All and sole reality. has always been subject to processes of adaption and assimilation. that. the conviction that man's best endeavour should be directed towards escaping from impermanence or final emancipation. quietism and asceticism. a deep-rooted want for assuming. This civilization is expressed and reflected by an uninterrupted. the main features of the Indian 'great tradition' are. with a dynamic conception of the cosmic events. familiarization with a non-modern 'mentality'. the influence of western ways of life. Acquainting himself with the 'modern' literatures he will comprehend the impact of Islam. and the confidence that one's own existence and the culture of the community to which one belongs are founded on an eternal and infallible basis. to a considerable extent. she was not averse to extracting all happiness possible from earthly existence.

general and contradictory statements. gradual transitions from a traditional to a modern society. The persons of the authors or compilers are not infrequently obliterated or even fated to remain anonymous for ever. the ancient Sanskrit background. not infrequently. to books of unusual length. striving after grammatical correctness and stylistic elaboration. in the almost absolute dependence on the power of karman and the continuous divine interference in mundane affairs—to a comparatively weak sense of individuality. Muslim and Persian influence extended to all major linguistic areas calling into existence . and circumstances in life of the authors and the dates of the composition of their works are as a rule not so important as in the West. In short. and in many cases primarily. This is not only due to the fact that most literary works are little historically conditioned but also. is—like that of the Middle Indian Pali and Ardha-Magadhi—connected with the spread of religious ideas. Where we would like to base our historical research on reliable facts the only information given to a student of Indian literature often consists of a mythologized biography or some vague. incorrect Sanskrit. With a few noteworthy exceptions all other—medieval and modern—Indian literatures depend on. developed from Old Indian. always endeavoured to comply with the recognized standards. when placed in the context of the cultural inheritance this uniquely rich and many-sided literature will introduce him to the development of the humanitas indica in all its aspects. fond of displaying their erudition. a zeal for reform and remodelling of the orthodox beliefs and traditional habits. and theoretically unchangeable nature of the traditional Indian society and—under the influence of an agelong belief in the secondary reality of all empirical existence. or are largely influenced by. especially in technical or non-brahminical works. In the course of its prolonged literary existence Sanskrit—cultivated for literary purposes long after it had ceased to be a spoken language—underwent various and important changes. abundant evidence of a mixed. to the static.Editor's Introduction to the History 3 remarkable outbursts of intellectual activity. a critical outlook on the past. richness of material and detail and elaborateness of style. frequent repetitions of themes and. To say that Sanskrit literature alone exceeds that of Greece or Rome is an error. after the arrival of Islam. to the wellknown tendency of pre-literate and traditional societies to subordinate the individual to the group. In traditional India the identity. there is. However. It is almost boundless. the reader will also have to accustom himself to an unfamiliar historical background. Whereas. In the majority of cases dates are only known approximately. to poems and prose works of uncommon structure. new aspirations for the future. biography. or popular. in the sense that nobody knows its extent and the number of its writings. It will be seen that the origin of most of the 'modern' literatures of the Indo-Aryan languages which. through a Middle Indian (Prakrit) stage. transformations in social and religious ideas. While many great authors.

primary or secondary sources. . the progress of modern research. old matter had to be brought up to date and a wealth of fresh information to be included. whether factual or critical. However. or even translated from. So. not only the increase in factual knowledge and the widening of our horizon. Modern principles of literary research have as yet hardly been applied to Indian literature and the application of methods that have proved to be appropriate and to the purpose in English or other modern literatures of the West cannot be expected to lead to any considerable result if they are slavishly imitated. In any case. in all four great Dravidian languages the influence of the dominant classical language of the North increased considerably. Their length has to depend on the scope of the particular subjects themselves and their relative importance. In course of time new literary genres were developed. in prolonged preparatory work of small compass. first because research has not to the same extent made progress everywhere. Sanskrit—Hindu revivalism.4 Editor's Introduction to the History some Muslim literatures. The earliest literature of the Tamil South—which next to the Sanskrit North may claim one of the longest literary traditions of the world—was. be put to the test and adapted to the study of Asian literatures before they can give us the lead in producing a comprehensive handbook. A considerable part of the incorporated material has never been described. The dissimilarity of the contributions in size and character can easily be explained. The plan of this work reflects. with a specifically south Indian character and secular. the earliest phase of the 'modern' literatures represent. in richer detail than the size of this History permits. independent of Sanskrit. While much space is allotted to Sanskrit literature. in their devotional poetry and allied productions—much of which strongly influenced by. and the extent of the relevant secondary literature. It should however be realized that every contributor has to make his choice. the literary works written in the Middle Indian languages receive extensive treatment and much more importance than was possible in Winternitz' days had to be given to the modern literatures. Unity of method and approach would be unrealizable in an enterprise undertaken by more than forty collaborators. leaving traces not only in the language but also in the themes of these literatures. Those sections which already found a place in the works of our predecessors are generally much enlarged. because the literature of India is on a gigantic scale and many of its provinces are insufficiently investigated. on the ambit and the state of preservation of the sources. contributors are not sparing with footnotes and bibliographies directing to the textual or historical. but also the changed attitudes of the last sixty years. they should. Since it may be expected that a large class of reader will require more information. and in the second place because it is impossible to insist on so many scholars adhering to one and the same school of literary study.

narrative works and a wealth of other texts as well as upon the characters of the authors' personages.Editor's Introduction to the History 5 each author has been encouraged to deal with his subject in the manner he feels is most appropriate. fables. The works on various religious and scientific subjects. to enlarge upon the cultural significance of a genre or a particular work or on the important influence exerted by the social-religious structure of the Old-Indian society upon the motivation of many poems. it has been our endeavour to give an account of the whole written cultural heritage of the Subcontinent not even omitting occasional references to oral traditions. narratives or grand courtpoetry. dramas. to focus attention on their imagery or narrative procedures. without regard to their standard of merit and without any other limitation. ritual handbooks. They would imply ignoring many of the most representative works. which in Sanskrit outnumber the belles-lettres many times. have had a greater cultural value than the latter. when applied to the Indian literary inheritance. would entail the serious risk of over-emphasizing formal points of view. That is to say. involve an enormous amputation and mutilation. While including. special works on arts and sciences. However. the sort of stories and subjects on which they play their parts. the scenes of action and the atmospheres in which the stories—in the broad sense of the term—take place. All this is by no means a disadvantage because any onesided procedure. over-elaborated prose novels or records of the past composed by men who were more interested in the patterns of events than in the events themselves. especially the exclusive application of an ahistorical method. neglecting historical connexions and eclipsing the significance which the literary works have from . isolating literature from the other provinces of the Indian culture and from the life of the Indian peoples. to discuss questions of authorship and borrowing or to evaluate some literary text from the standpoint of an historian. to study them from the aesthetic point of view. while dealing with 'genres' and subjects which are nowadays in the West not generally included in surveys of literature we have not departed from what in describing Indian literature is long since usual. many works and 'genres' that do not satisfy any modern Western criteria the present editor is fully aware of the fact that those scholars who study so-called modern literatures of the West often exclude all nonconnotative usage of a language from the sphere of their interest. Most 'modern' definitions of literature would. others will have to enter into philological particulars. But many of them will take the opportunity to dwell on style and structure of the poems and prose works under examination. complicated philosophical treatises discussing transcendent reality will arrest no less attention than epics. or limit themselves practically to lyrical poetry. novels and other forms of fiction. Religious hymns. Some collaborators will not be able to omit technicalities peculiar to the branch of knowledge they are dealing with.

devotees of religion. scholars. Indian literature. taken as a whole. disregarding the conditions under which they were produced. the status of their authors as poets. will always remain by far the most essential source of knowledge of a civilization. Literature—in the broad sense of the term—being one of the most important products of a people's intellectual activity. Jan Gonda . January 1975 . is a unique approach to the study of human evolution in general. artistic and philosophical ideas in particular. and of the development of religious. their function in the social and religious life of the Indian continent.6 Editor's Introduction to the History the point of view of the history of civilization.

Eternity and superhuman origin imply sanctity and supreme authority. 11 the Veda is the breath of the Supreme Spirit. &B. 54. The very name Veda. ChU. 9 the main elements of the Veda proceeded from Purusa (Prajapati) (see p.' 2 As might be expected there was some difference of opinion as to the content of the doctrine of the divinity and eternity of the Veda. 11. 8. II. Iff. according to BAU. 135. p. 6. Composition of the Rgveda The literature of the Veda is one of the most original and interesting productions of human endeavour. London 1873. p. 1. 4. Mum. 19. some ancient authorities (cf. General introductory definitions. 3 it came into being from Time.. Whereas according to RV.) preferred to view the sacred scriptures as being extracted by the same High Being from the three deities representing the threefold universe (Agni. III. For other particulars: J. in Univ. Lit. See e. Vayu. 1. 137f. H. 4. DANDEKAB. to AV. of Ceylon Review 11 (1953). KANE. In the post-Vedic period the doctrine of the eternity became an unassailable truth which the 'orthodox' philosophers tried to establish by means of logical arguments (see v. traditionally considered to be eternal2. s. Extending over many centuries and consisting of numerous works dealing with a variety of subjects it bears an exclusively religious1 stamp. 1 . 41). 10. GLASENAPP." designates the 'Sacred Lore' which. 17.Jan Gonda VEDIC LITERATURE CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION TO THE VEDA IN GENERAL AND THE RGVEDA IN PARTICULAR 1. Ind. the orthodox hold that nothing is cited in the Veda from history. 321 (Index. to whom it became a firm foundation—"hence brahman = the (threefold) Veda is the foundation of everything"—. Aditya).Dh. 3. or (&B. 8) taught that it was in the beginning created by that god. primarily signifying "Knowledge. 5. R. 5.).). 352. 90. p.g. Original Sanskrit texts. p.v. N. was believed to enable the experts to know the superhuman powers and the methods The term religious taken in a wider sense including also outlook and 'Weltanschauung.

Medhatithi and Kulluka on Manu 2. 28 and others. Die Hymnen des Rigveda (in transcription. see below. M. p. C. 164. G.L. and the Atharvaveda comprising. The term Veda applies to all works belonging to one of these four divisions (samhitds. 6 vol. (Rgveda-Samhita with Madhava's commentary. B. p. Berlin 1861-1863.. 'Wiesbaden 1955. has contributed to the general application of the name. was often excluded. magical texts. H. Rgveda. MACDONEIX. The hymns of the Rig-Veda. ATJFRECHT.g.8 J. the prose explanations (brahmana). do not appear before AiB." For other definitions see e. 3 "The sacred tradition (comprises) mantras and brahmanas. The last corpus. p. London 1849-1874. good recitation")8 are grouped9 in ten 'books' (mandala 3 According to an Indian belief worded by Sayana (Introduction to AiB. Ai. Gonda • Vedic Literature of influencing them3. The many works constituting this literature are as to contents and outward form very different. VISHVA BANDHTJ. SARTJP. London 1890-1892. in accordance with their contents or after the name of their reputed poet or their initial words. 1.S.. KASHIKAR and others). 51 not improbably surmised that the frequency of the phrase "who knows thus" (ya evam veda) in the brahmanas etc. an Indra . 2Bonn 1877. Rig-VedaSanhita. those of the laudatory stanzas (re: Rgveda). Rgarthadipika. 32. given names: 1. 4.) the Veda gives man information on the supermundane means of attaining what is desired and avoiding what is evil (undesirable). the vydkhyd by Venkata-Madhava and the vrtti by Mudgala. The term Veda is also used in the plural to denote the four different types of samhitd. and finally a considerable number of ritual handbooks (sutra) and ancillary works. 4 vol." In the only recension preserved to us. 1. inter alia.g. Hoshiarpur 1963-1966. beginning asyd vamdsya. 8 vol. In that case the terms "three Vedas" or "threefold Veda" (trayl vidyd) denote the three types of sacred texts collected in the other samhitds. 2 vol. 41). without Sayana). of the sacrificial formulas (yajus: Yajurveda)4. L. p. They comprise the fundamental 'Collections' (samhild) mostly in verse. 8 Already at an early date some sulctas were.. e. of the chants to be sung to certain fixed melodies (sdman: Samaveda). 22). Poona 1933-1946. consists of 1028 'hymns' including the eleven so-called Valakhilyas which are inserted after hymn 48 of the eighth book. by preference in the plural (rcah. 41968. which was only at a later date recognized as canonical. I. Rgveda-Samhita published by the Vaidic Samshodhan Mandal (editors N. 6). 6 With F. Nowadays we are no longer inclined to assume6 as more or less self-evident that this whole body of literature came into existence in three successive periods or as "three well-defined strata.. the Rgveda-Samhita7—"methodically arranged collection of Vedic verses in praise of deities"—as a rule briefly Rgveda. brdhmanas etc. SONTAKKE.. S. 7 The main editions are: F.. 5. 2nd ed. with padapdtha and the available portions of the commentaries by Skandasvamin and Udgitha. TH. Rgveda etc. Lahore 1939-. MAX MULLER (see below. 4 vol.). Kaus. MULLER (with Sayana's commentary). yajumsi etc. 5 Cf.) in general5 as well as to the samhitds in particular. HATJG. These 'hymns' (sukta "well-recited (text). 6. 4 The ancient Vedic texts themselves often use the shorter terms. 8. asyavamlya (sukta) (VasDhS\ 26. 3Varanasi (Benares) 1966. in addition to these the more esoteric dranyakas and upanisads. 46. Suresvara on BAIL 2..

Sect.. to determine the interrelations between Grtsamada and other poets of the family books. Six mandalas. p. Lucknow 1967. 1. C H . p . 9 See e. p.. WEBER. 199 ( = K. OLDENBERG. 17 H. M. iibers. WINTERNITZ. likewise for practical purposes. 104. p. 508. Aminabad 1971. p.g. directed to the Waters (Apah) or to Apam Napat: aponaptriyam (SB. division in "eighths" (astaka) of about equal length. Whereas the division into ten mandalas—invariably followed in the West in quoting from these texts—is. 65 ff. 166 (tradition on the families). p . A. also MACDONELL. relations with Indra). In bulk the whole samhitd is equivalent to the surviving poems of Homer.L. 11 12 P . Uber die Liedverfasser des Rgveda. p .). in Fel. in J A 1887 I. from the dpri hymns. Hum. POUCHA. Charudeva Shastri. 1. or rather 'seen'13.I. 1). 114 suktas respectively. 135 tried. mechanically divided into "recitations" (anuvdka). 10 Mandala I I etc. K. 99) comprising only one stanza. p. II to VII. ZDMG 42. Mandala II contains the hymns of the Grtsamadas15.L. V of the Atris. 12 etc.. RAHURKAR.' and the differences in tradition. 196. 488. V. 199 ( = K. Univ. BERGAIGNE. 10. VI of the Bharadvajas. PANDIT. in ZDMG 41. H . Univ. 39.S. 90 sahasras"irsasukta (more commonly. I.. later and purely mechanical. 1887 I I . We shall have to revert to the importance of family traditions. in Vol. 10. an historical one. 195. VII of the Vasisthas17. as apparent. are homogeneous in character and traditionally regarded as the centre of the whole collection. p . 9). 30.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 9 "cycle") which vary in length. Kaviraj. in SB Berlin 1900. 568). p. in J . p . 75. 5. Vol. See p . RV. there is for didactic purposes another. the occurrence of 'family hymns. p . with uncertain results. an average of about ten stanzas to each hymn. 15 Cf. the shortest hymn (1. 58. BHARGAVA. 601 (in part antiquated or disputable). The number of stanzas is 10462. 14 16 13 Cf. 19 Cf. 87. GRASSMANN. 62. VARMA. OLDENBERG. G. L. for instance. each of the latter into "groups" (varga) of five or six stanzas. India in the Vedic age. Besides. p. except that mandala X contains the same number of hymns (191) as mandala I10.4. p . P . 362 ( = K. p. Each astaka is subdivided into eight "lessons" (adhydya)12.S. by poets of the same family which handed them down as its heritage14. the hymns of each book being composed. the longest (9. D. SHARMA. U. the number of words 165. as will be shown presently. purusaaukta) (GautamaDhS\ 19. one of the facts indicating the artificial character of the arrangement. comprise 43. p . in J A 1889 I. p . stylistic devices. p. The suktas contained in these hymn ascribed to Vasa: vaia (sukta) (AiA. in ArchOr 13. Uber die Liedverfasser des Rigveda. in Centre of Adv. 555.S. p . 103. III of the Visvamitras16. p . H. IV of the Vamadevas. H. ZDMG 42 (1888). 563).. 18 See p . the mandalas are. 29 (poetic merits. 57. . BERGAIGNE. The tradition is born out by internal evidence: there are some typical refrains18. Poona 1 (1972).00711. H. Poona.S. Study in Sanskrit. 1. 211. 25 (1967). OLDENBERG. the names of the 'seers' (rsi) are not infrequently mentioned in the hymns19. 149. A. 105. 42. 568). 97) fifty-eight. 83. M. Delhi 1974.

165ff. 20-23. 1. On the other hand.47. F. Paris 1914. RV. GONDA. Agni owes this position to his being the purohita "domestic priest" (RV. a t J R A S 1887. 1. p. The first group of suktas is invariably addressed to Agni21. p . Recherches sur l'histoire de la Samhita du Rg-Veda. 12-14.64(correspondenceinmetre). 598 (going t o o far in t h e a s s u m p t i o n of eclecticism for ritual purposes). 40) whose task it was to ward off evil and fulfil other priestly functions by being "placed before" (cf. I. and X 27 were not composed each by a distinct family of rsis. p . The series of the hymns within each mandala are.atJUBll. KANE. Bonn 1955. The second part of mandala I (51-191) is held to be the earliest addition to the nucleus formed by the family books.p. but consist of groups of hymns based on identity of authorship28. 617. the internal arrangement of which it follows29. mandalas I. 841). p. 381. p. and especially 169-171. H. likewise arranged according to the diminishing number of their hymns. 27 For a brief survey see GELDNER. 22 For many details see A. because mandala I and part of X consist also of 'family collections. p. 40-42. 23 For observations on the position of particular hymns see e.53. B E R G A I G N E . 617) suggest co-ordinating this order to a successive cult. H. if allowance is made for obvious later additions25.6. importance or precedence of the gods concerned.33. See also below. PINCOTT. p. 518. I. 20 . JA 1886 II. in JA 1886 II. 268. On the arrangement of the hymns of the Rgveda.10 J. 191.VELANKAR. 1. p. RV. with the exception of mandala IV the numbers of their stanzas (429. 10. 26 Cf. SB Berlin 1900. 107). SB Berlin 1900.2. 488 (according t o w h o m some hymns are combinations of fragments). I. 34—36.' 21 One should not (with WEBEE. 191. 726. in RHR 19. also GE:LDNER. 765. 139. 589. 7. p. 193. 1) and ends with one of only six (2. p. II. 134 (= Oeuvres. J A 1887 I I . p. XIV. There are more instances of groups of hymns which belong closely together: 6. JRAS 1884. 51-53. 201f. BERGAIGNE. OLDENBERG. 4.7. Dh. p. the tendency to fall into cycles shows the advanced character of the tradition. in Festschrift Kirfel. 28 P I N C O T T .. 1887 I. p. It consists of nine shorter collections each of which is The term is not too felicitous. II. A.103. 62-63. 29 On the arrangement of the hymns: BERGAIGNE. WEBER. If two or more successive hymns have the same number of stanzas those in a longer metre have precedence. p.g. the second to Indra. 10)24. 5. 8). Within these deity groups the hymns are arranged according to the decreasing number of their stanzas23. Gonda • Vedic Literature 'family-books'20 are arranged on a uniform plan differing from that of the other mandalas. RV. The mandalas II-VII themselves follow each other according to the increasing number of their suktas. 24 Generally speaking. 25 Likewise. These facts combined with the general character of these books render it highly probable that they formed the nucleus of the whole samhitd. BARTH. Occasionally this principle of arrangement did not however prevent the redactors from grouping together hymns in accordance with their metrical structure or their more special contents 26 .R. Thus the Agni group of mandala I I begins with a sukta of sixteen stanzas (2. and those that follow to other gods22. 1. in principle. 603. 3. p.on3. VIII.

New Delhi 1963. Parucchepa. M. Since the poets belong to the same families as the authors of the mandalas II-VII—typical refrains peculiar to those families re-appear in IX—and the family books include not a single hymn to soMa pavamdna—there are only some suktas invoking the god Soma in his general character35—it cannot be doubted that this mandala contains the soMa pavamdna hymns gathered for liturgical reasons into a single collection which was added after the books I-VIH. 67. an arrangement not adopted in the second part. the first being almost exclusively composed in the gdyatrl metre. p . and some of the hymns of I are in the favourite strophic metre (pragdtha)33 which is so prevalent in VIII. V. 271. according to tradition. The hymns 1-60 follow each other according to the decreasing number (10-4) of their stanzas. BERGAIGNE. As a whole this mandala. For mandala IX compare p. More than half its suktas are attributed to members of the Kanva family. 1-50.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular H assumed to be the work of one author (or family).c. p. 33 Seep. The Soma-hymns of the Rgveda. IX. 367. p. in Calcutta Review 179 (1966). p. in both collections many parallel and identical passages. This does not imply that the hymns of IX themselves were in their entirety of recent origin. p. GEROW. G. E. RAHURKAR. p. the second mainly in other metres. 176. CHAKRAVORTY. 3 vol. M. P. Agastya. 37 Cf. 11. 77—see HOPKINS. Gotama. E. Some of them are probably early as accompanying the soma ritual which goes back to the prehistoric period37. but to other poets. at BhV 1. Nodhas. 1-6632. comprising 114 hymns ascribed to more than sixty poets. Kaksivat. I l l . 312. Baroda 1957-1962. Vol. 23. HILLEBRANDT. 32 On the Kanvas: V. S. It is however very difficult to distinguish chronological stages in this collection. 1). Mandala VIII differs in other respects from the family series: it does not begin with Agni hymns and the hymns 67-103 are ascribed. Savya. 111. p. to which belong VIII. V. ParaSara. Book IX. K. Nobel. 1. 36 in JAOS 88^ p. BHAWE. at 22 AIOC II. It can be divided into two parts. p. at KZ 25. p'. (9. D u a l deities. RV. 32. They are distinct from the poets of the family books30. 438. 156 and see GELDNER. . 1 (see also VIII. E. 1. 1. This means that the very core of the Vedic ritual texts is separated from the rest which is on the whole less ritually oriented36. S. in Comm. RENOU. 43 34 On the special position of VIII—which is also apparent from some myths. moreover. 175. I. 31 RV. at JAOS 17. Kutsa. not to Kanvas. 120. Their names are. Dirghatamas. p. G O N D A . V. o. p. p. e. translations in RENOU. p.. RENOU. P. 2. 1-70). consists entirely of suktas addressed to Soma while its juice is in process of clarifying (hence soma pavamdna). concentrating upon 30 For a not wholly successful attempt at establishing the chronological relations between the authors of book I and those of II-VII: A. 35 RENOU. BRUNNHOFER.g. The first part of I31—which must have combined with these collections at a later date—shows considerable affinity with mandala VIII. PATEL. It has fewer hymns than VII and consequently infringes the rules of the arrangement34. 3 6 3 . at JA 1889 I. 8. p. There are. IX.'n.

R. XIV. vibers. 288. p. 191. 50. XVIII. p . p. p. III. 2 I. 1. p.. Altindische Grammatik. II. 59. H. R. Gottingen 1957. p. H. 153. OLDENBERG. S. N. p. V. P. II. Since R. 61-84 constituting twelve groups of two hymns each which are often addressed to the same god and similar or even complementary in content. p. RENOU. RENOU. L. V. Many exceptions in the first collection.Gonda • "Vedic Literature one particular subject. . p. 10-19).g. 7. 2 and others mentioned in notes 44ff. J. It consists of three main collections the first and second of which have much in common: 1-60 comprising thirteen series of 'family groups'40. HIIXEBRANDT. ROTH. Many names of poets were made up by later interpreters. KEITH. at JAOS 21. H. p. 8 see RENOU. WINTERNITZ. Cf. S. 42. p. M. Oxford 1920. I. IT. p. As to 10. while showing some affinity with the younger and additional elements of I-VIII—with IX it has hardly anything in common—exhibit marked deviations from the usual contents of the corpus: speculation on the origin and the mysteries of the universe and on the ultimate principle. I. I. in JA 1887 I. Although it has often been said46 that mandala X displays. being a considerable number of isolated hymns41. MACDONELL. Ascriptions to poets (families) known from other parts of the Rgveda—especial For the contents of mandala IX see also BERGAIGNE. Scholars are long since in entire agreement on the supplementary character of mandala X39. also GRASSMANN. p. 121. p. v. V. p. 148. Lit. 42. its most striking characteristics. P..12 J. V. in Tiibinger Universitatsschrift 1856.. The large majority of the hymns of the third group. Introduction geneVale by 46 45 L. RV. Ph. It must indeed have been the final addition after the nine other books. signs of more recent origin than the bulk of the collection. Ind. 5. is still more uniform in character than most other parts of the samHiTA38. both in subjectmatter and linguistic detail. 41 42 43 44 For a survey: GELDNER. p.g. p. 7. of J. I. and consisting of almost endless variations and combinations of the same or similar phrases. FARQXJHAR. it is generally conceded that it also contains hymns quite as old as the average of those in other books. but there is in the other books nothing that resembles the Yama and funeral texts of the second series (10. E. p. 85-191 (the most recent). See above. because their final redaction was posterior to the completion of the earlier books or because at a later date it seemed expedient to include them also. In arranging these—very often anonymous—texts42 the principle of the diminishing numbers of the stanzas has on the whole been followed43. GLASENAPP. An outline of the religious literature of India. p. 85—are.. reducing mythological references and invocations of other gods. I. besides the presence of gods unknown to the other mandalas. see e. These texts may have found a place here because their subjects were alien to the purposes of the other collections. p. 39 38 See also BLOOMFIELD. RV. 193. MACDONELL. 18. 268. L. the occurrence of 'atharvanic' matter and family rites—the wedding hymn 10. L. H. e. 42. 10. 40 For details: BERGAIGNE. E. 52. WACKERNAGEL. That this book begins with eight Agni hymns44 is hardly due to chance45. V. X. R.

67 and 68. P. H. p. "7. which in the ritual is grouped together with the three stanzas of 7. 'Violation of the principles of arrangement' has since been a recurrent argument in discussions of interpolation50. p. 1 and 2. A reference to a motive or theme53. RV. Vol. 55 See e. 4. V. 22 (on 1. 119. BEBGAIGNE. relative chronology. possible combinations of shorter hymns so as to constitute a whole. 55. XIII. 6. As to the later additions to the whole corpus. P. 242 (comparing parallel texts in the Atharvaveda). p. See MG. P. 9. P. p. 1 and 2. p. p. OLDENBERG. 209. like these. XVI. MALAMOUD. note 12. V. 5. Hoshiarpur 1950. p. E. 8. See e.162 and 163. BERGAIGNE. the genius of the homestead. p. RENOU. R. E. 7. 115. H. 52 V. Thus RV. S. V. p. 25. in JA 1886 II. Vedic hymns. p. 2. IV. 105 and 106). P. p. AsvG. 2). I. he argued. genuineness of refrains. For the possibility of interpolations see e. V. E. See also HIIXEBRANDT. 1 (both addressed to Brahmanaspati). See also 1.g. 54 and. there are many hymns which. 2. invokes Vastospati. 1. in style etc. 26. 31 (inter alia on RV. 29. to be divided into some minor hymns). 5. 1887 I. p. 1. CHATTOPADHYAYA. 156. p. 19. in JA 1889 I. On the other hand. 9.g. p 103). cf. 205. at 8 AIOC. C.. 38-40. 5. M. On the other hand. are more or less closely connected with one another.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 13 ly VII and III—are not infrequently corroborated by internal evidence47. 55. Wiesbaden 1968. 49 60 61 See above.'l and 28. 67 and 68.g. while following each other immediately. . in Melanges Renou. strikingly different from the rest. 2. 8. in Comm. similarity in style or the use of identical phrases in dealing with the same subject54 obviously led the redactors to place two hymns in close proximity also when they are addressed to different deities55. 28-30. APTE. I. 4. these are not. In particular cases doubt has indeed been thrown upon the correct delimitation of two successive hymns. RV. 13 and 14 (RENOU. there has been a controversial dispute between Bergaigne and Oldenberg49. SCHMIDT. 10. p. 15). 83 and 84 (CH. E. 17 (on 1. 51-53). RENOU. VARMA. ARNOLD. and allied problems51. 24 and 25 (compare the final stanzas). 3. the worship of other gods or atharvanic ideas—rather than a distance of time. P. 4. E. 493. at GGA 1889 I. II. 11. 163. 9. also because. 4. p. 44 and 45. I l l . 15 and 16. 2-8 are traditionally held to be lullaby stanzas" (Brhaddevata 6. 27. which (in stanza 1) resumes two words of the final stanza of the preceding sUKTa56 dedicated to the same god. 199. there is room for the supposition48 that the different character of many hymns contained in this book might be due to their originating in other milieus—tending to philosophical speculation. in KZ 37. 116 and 117 (Geldner. The latter was inclined drastically to reduce the number of interpolations adopted by the former. may have originally made up one text with the preceding sUKTa52. I. The smaller Agni hymn 1. E. 85). " 54 See e. cf. 400. HIIXEBRANDT. creates the impres47 48 For details: RENOU. 1. 211. AV. 64 and 65 (RENOU. 6. 1. K. p. 66 Cf. 399. 150. p. Brhaspati und Indra. the possibility of which cannot be denied. V. in GGA 1889 I.g.g.

. 42 and 43. 15. P. 77. Ill. . 36 and 37 which. E. being composed in the same metre and consisting of the same number of stanzas (six) are. 107. XVI. 124 (RENOTT. p. rightly or wrongly. p. V. be made in connection with 2. 12. The above observations are not to say that there do not exist similar relations between non-successive hymns. p. in 10. see e. R. RV. p. 26 and 27. 2 and 3 (cf. RV. Compare also RV. 113 and 1.g. 1. the anukramanikd on 2. 455 on 4.g. E. in JA 1889. I. also ascertained by the ancient interpreters 59 . IV. Associations of this description were. Similar observations can. p. V. I. p. 123. V. RENOU. Gonda • Vedic Literature sion of being a continuation of the latter 57 . 121 there are stylistic reminiscences of 2. like 1. BERGAIGNE. 58 See GELDNER.14 J. 67 Cf.15 (twelve stanzas) to accompany twelve libations to various gods (rtugraha58). 61). OLDENBERG. 1. RENOTX. p. 24 on 1. for instance. 452). 59 See e. 48 and 49. V. E. P. 10. P. 34 and 56. compare also 7. and GELDNER.

1. HILLEBRANDT. 26 Int. I. Comm. 6 2 Cf. 19 AIOC I I (1959). V. 1. 51 (1970).. p . Proc. p. p . D. at 15 AIOC. and improbable. p . WHITNEY. by A. ABORI 48-49 (1968). at GGA 1889. KASHIKAR. 4 See also H. p. 20. 13 tries to distinguish three or more stages ( ?). p ... they were collected and preserved by oral tradition in the families of their poets2. L. p . 245. 405. according to which the redactor has wilfully and purposely changed the word. I I . OLDENBERG. the texts maintained a remarkable high level of authenticity. S. S. I. In any case. rhythm and meaning of the texts. 101. I. At a later. Although a number of undeniable corruptions must belong to this period4— memorization did not exclude the preservation of what had become unintelligible—. K. Vedaforschung. 267ff. D. The text of the Rgveda 15 It is mostly assumed that some hundreds of years must have been needed for the hymns found in the oldest corpus. VON GLASENAPP. p . Nir. M. p. e. on the base 7 6 . p. p. 45. ZDMG 48.g. ( = K. Apart from some minor recasts and additions10 the 1 See W. Yaska. 12. I I I . e. p. 1-20: negligence ?). Poona 1969. guess. BLOCH. p . 726. Varma. 103.. OLDENBERG. Undertaken under the influence of external circumstances ? (cf. Apokryphen. at KZ 26. p. That this unification was effected on the initiative of a powerful chieftain (J. 44. I l l . p. p. 144 (contra OLDENBERG. H. 119. R. APTE.and verseorder. R. J . 1.g.P. but—as appears also from the metrical schemes of many verses—mostly a modification of the phonetic form of the words—mainly an application of other sandhi rules— which was modernized so as to agree with the pronunciation prevailing in the times of the redactors8. undefmable date—but in all probability before ± 600 BC5—they were finally arranged and codified. 6. 44. Congress of Or. FARQTJHAR. 9 Cf. 172 (unification of family rituals). 9) is a mere. p . Vol. and his attempts at restoring. R. 69. p . at 13 AIOC. The views published.. 'Family' not to be taken in the narrower sense. Bombay 1953. 15. in J A 1889 I. 50 (1969). There may be some truth in Yaska's6 statement that this took place when the power of oral reproduction began to decline. 25 AIOC (1969). S. ESTELLER. 8 I t is possible that then also some standardization of language took place. at JAOS 4. I. Textual imperfections of the extant Rgveda. p . in many articles (inter alia in The Indian Hist. p. Febvre. p . ROTH. p. 52. 52. Oxford 1920. at JBBRAS 27. with much repetition. 62 and 18 AIOC. VISHVA BANDHTJ SHASTRI.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Flgveda in particular 2. An outline of the religious literature of India. Bombay 1949. N. The codification7 involved in some cases an archaization. 3). D. p. but we may be sure that they guarded the verbal integrity of the text with extreme care9. G. Vol. 5f. the Rgveda—and for those which have been lost—to come into being1. As to the exact procedure of these redactors we grope in the dark. on RV. 13. cf. KOSAMBI. SCHEFTELO- WITZ. at ZDMG55 (1901). S. p. There is much to be said for the hypothesis that at a given moment the 'family books' (II-VII) came to constitute a collection taught to members of all contributory families3. 1. Paris 1953. 370). p . C. 3 Cf. GELDNER. Hommage L. POTDAR. Les debuts des literatures dans l'lnde. Silver Jubilee Comm. V. 59). p. at Oriental Thought 3 (1957). Stuttgart-Berlin 1905. p. Research Inst.. See also BERGAIGNE.

712. LXII (French transl. p. There is much to be said for the assumption11 that after the redaction of the Rgveda the practice was brought into vogue to combine. ZDMG 40. R. Nagpur 1953. 10 GRASSMANN. The differences from Sakalya's recension seem to have consisted mainly in the number and order of the hymns included. XVII.YA. . 5 there existed texts of other recensions up to the end of the 18th century. in S. Calcutta Review 180 (1966). he was called Veda-Vyasa because he divided the original Veda into four samhitas and distributed them among his four pupils. 246 ( = K. C. 3.. 226) !§akalya must be placed at the end of the brahmana period. are completely untenable. v. O. 15. Mbh. ph. his Sakha (the &akala) being as old as the Vajasaneyi-Samhita. 221. p. BELVAXKAR. p. 20. O. For traditions or lost 'copies' of the Rgveda: P. p. V. the obviously most authoritative recension. 301. JOG. p.. C. 20 For some technical details: KASHIKAR. p. 1. K. XIII (1873). 13 Cf. K. iSankhayana and Mandukeya—and there may have existed different collections for ritual use13. K. c . at 13 AIOC I I (1951). which is foreign to the Veda. 8. MORTON SMITH. CALAND. S.DHYA. o . Heidelberg Acad. 57. see SCHEFTELOWITZ. p. p. S.C. 615). 114. 7. In the Caranavyviha. Although four other recensions are mentioned12—those of Baskala. KASHIKAR. CHATTOPA.g. p. Kl. G. I. p. For these recensions see HILLEBRANDT. at Purana. M. GELDNER. 19 For grammatical study of the Veda see J. SCHEFTELOWITZ. SASTRI. p. p. p. at NIA III. According to an epic and puranic legend. the only one which survived14. 31. at ABORI 28. at BDCRI 2 (1941). the same man who—according to some. below. for mantras cited in the Aitareya-Brahmana. in PO 1. 2. S. was mistaken in regarding about one tenth of the corpus as spurious or additional. according to GELDNER (see note 18) he was a contemporary of Aruni (mentioned in Vedic prose texts) and Yajfiavalkya and lived earlier. 277. 18 ROTH. 9. cf. for liturgical purposes. In this padapdtha. For an attempt to co-ordinate traditions: R. in ZDMG 42. mnemonics20 and a correct preservation of of our present Rgveda—which he thinks is no more than a palimpsest—widely divergent texts of the poets. 11. APTE. at 14 AIOC. hist. 15 The name Vyasa "the Disposer. For the possibility of other losses: A. p. According 12 to S.16 J. Gottingen 1896. For deviations from ^akalya's recension in the f§S\ see W. 16 14 According to OLDENBERG (H. B. at BB 8. p.. 39. 195. simultaneously17—compiled the padapATHa18. 4. Seer Kasyapa and his missing hymns. 45. 49. P. at WZKM 12. RV. 73 and K. SHEMBHAVANEKAR. address. also the same. 1919. p. 17 See already WEBER. in 13 AIOC (see above). portions taken from the heritage of different families. p. 247. I l l . B..: L. p. p. 3 (1969). p. K. 345. 384) and KEITH (at JRAS 1907. is that which a later tradition 15 ascribes to the legendary Vyasa. LIEBICH. in 2 AIOC (1922). RENOTJ. S. p. and modern scholarship to fSakalya16. p. or 'word-text' prepared for purposes of study19. p. at ABORI 27. 209. K. S. in I. Arranger" occurs at TA. 144. See e. SCHROEDER. p. p. Gottingen 1957. p. 35) with bibliographical notes. I. WACKERNAGEL. p. at KZ 26. P. 1. Asvalayana. at Prabuddha Bharata 1947. K. NARAYAN PILLAI. 1. CHAKRAVORTY. who is also supposed to have arranged the other Vedas.C. p. Pres. i§ankhayana-!§rautasutra. 11 OLDENBERG. Altindische Grammatik. P. Gonda • Vedic Literature corpus has since been preserved with marvellous accuracy even in the smallest details. 56. RAJA.

761. Terminologie grammaticale du Sanskrit. K. p. G. p. 55. not with semantics or exegesis. p. RENOU. p. M. . the product of a remarkable comprehension of the structure of the Vedic language. 305. 123. which in the eyes of their authors must have been less important than a correct pronunciation. but in their generalty they may go back to the same class of ancient repertories. Rig-Veda.). BHATTACHARYA. I. one repetition being in inverted order (ab. L. 867). being connected both with that which precedes and that which follows. in KZ 26. p. Banaras Hindu Univ. at IHQ 11. ABHYANKAR." in the pada text: mitrdh Jcrstih dni'misd abhi caste. at IC 12. Das Jatapatala. III. ROTH. all the words of the continuous text (samhitdpdtha) are separated and given in their original form. cba. They are 21 See e. bed etc. abc. at NG 1919. ROTH.": mitrdh devesu dyusu. 22 For details: L. For instance. Zur Litteratur und Geschichte des Weda. accentuation and some questions of grammar and metrics. The others belong to the Taittiriyas. cb. 23 Cf. Edited and translated by F. . M. I. GELDNER. at 2 AIOC. unaffected by the rules of sandhi (euphonic coalition of words etc. p. 321.' because each pair of words was repeated three times. p. 16. V. 6. On this arrangement was in its turn based the form of the text called jatdpdtha23 'the twisted hair arrangement. p. The versified2* Rgveda-pratiSakhya25. be. . 1. The climax of complication to secure the text from all possible error is reached in the ghanapdtha 'the compact text' in which the order is ab. quantities and lengthening of vowels.. K. THIBAUT. p.). complemented by the Jcramapdtha22 or 'step by step arrangement of the text. Leipzig 1870. BELVALKAR. 45. 211. In particulars there are considerable differences between these manuals. 59. 170 ( = K. virtually the earliest rudimentary exegesis of the Rgveda. p. p. at ABORI 52. Auswahl. p. S. .' in which every word of the pada text occurs twice. OLDENBERG. p. among gods and privileged men . is the most important of this class26 of practical aphoristical handbooks compiled 'in every (Vedic) school' which deal with sandhi. most compounds and some derivatives and inflected forms are analyzed. B. II. 1970. abc. I. 430. La forme et l'arrangement interne des Pratisakhya. cb. the Madhyamdinas and (two) to the Atharvaveda27. p. There are not less than eight varieties of the kramapatha. C. OLDENBERG. II. 27 For the Sanaaveda see p. address. S. RV. MULLER. Another safeguard of Vedic texts are the prdtisdkhyas which were composed for the purpose of exhibiting—in oral instruction—all the changes necessary for constituting the samhitd text on the basis of the padapdtha. 381. I. ba. Paris 1942. GHOSH. Stuttgart 1846. moreover. As a means of preserving the sacred text and ascertaining its meaning it was.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 17 the text. rightly or wrongly attributed to $aunaka of uncertain date. ba. 24 H. This ancient analysis of the text. VARMA. 1 c reads in the samhitd text: mitrdh krstir dnimisdbhi caste "Mitra regards the settlements of men without blinking. For discrepancies between the samhitd and pada texts: K. V. already at an early date. Noten. Pres. be . is notwithstanding some obvious inconsistencies and misinterpretations21. . 3. JA 248 (1960). 28 25 RENOU(-FILLIOZAT). Leipzig 1856. and Leipzig 1869. Lehrbuch des Jatapatha fur den Rigveda. ab. RENOXJ. 241.g. 9 a mitrd devesv dyusu "Mitra. be.

e. I.g. of the Rgpratisakhya with the great grammarian Panini cannot be considered here28. 56. PERTSCH. 41. 546). 2. p. OLDENBERG. are not old—e. however. VII. SCHEFTELOWITZ. For some notices on Vedic manuscripts—which. S. BLOOMFIELD. 329.C.C. p. at IHQ 13 (1937). The number and arrangement of the hymns. p. 19). SCHBOEDEB. Panini and the Veda. OLDENBEBG. 30 For some details see RENOU. Upalekha. 33. on 1. p. 3. BRUNNHOFER. CHATUBVEDI. IV. justified. 7 etc. 513 (on RV. n.. 39. Ecoles. e. Gonda • Vedic Literature on the whole of greater interest to the grammarian than the student of literature . H. The date at which the Rgveda was put in writing29 is uncertain30.. p. G. d. p. GBASSMANN. 1. V. LUDWIG. p. THIEMB. M. H. p. that is why the problem of the relations. p. p. B. I. H. p. 277. 173. 723. P. or at least to form an opinion of ancient interpretations of Rgvedic passages. 38. O. p. 34 A. 21 (untenable). Statements such as "not before the 2nd century B. 32 F. CXCI). R. 4. 4. Although after Sakalya the text of the Rgveda has for many centuries remained unaltered—there are no variants32—the fact that before assuming its present form it had been subject to human frailties explains that there nevertheless is occasion for criticism33. 7). 5. 30 and ZDMG 51. at JAOS 27. Rig-Veda. I.18 J. 3. P. 31 XIV. 750. Among those who unconvincingly argue that the Vedic Indians were conversant with the art of writing is V. p. 29. O. 726 ( = K. M. 52. LANMAN. 56 (antiquated). 472 ( = K. The fortunate circumstance that a considerable part of its contents are found also in the other Vedic texts—which however had been more open to alteration and were less accurately handed down afterwards34—enables us so to say to use these as sources of ancient variant readings and differences in the order of the verses35." are hardly more than guesses. 46). R. S. p. RAJWADE.. 33. There can on the other hand be no doubt that many of these 'variants' owe their existence to the desire for a 28 See e. Noten. 9. at Abh. and even the numbers of syllables of our modern editions are identical with those given by Saunaka. at PAOS 1884 (JAOS 11. K.C. S. V. 8 AIOC. see also OLDENBERG. at IHQ 19. 450 and 2. 47. at S. The manuscripts show that the assumption that a written text is less liable to corruption has no general validity. generally speaking. Wiss. p.g. ibidem. Vienna Acad. 13-15. 11. APTE. 18. MULLEB. 10. p. I l l . RV. 32 and at WZKM 21. at NIA 1. 401. 6. Berlin 1854. at WZKM 12. 111. 133 (1896). 35 Cf. p. 85. P. p. VI. at AJPh 27. p. WACKERNAGEL-RENOU (above. and compare LUDWIG. p. 29 On writing and written texts in general: WACKEBNAGEL-RENOU. 67. p. RV. 33 See CH. p. Not all 'emendations' were. CHATTOPADHYAYA.. at NIA 1. For a Kashmir manuscript which is an exception see v. . de Kramapatha libellus. GELDNEB. Vorrede. but there exists some information on comparatively late initiatives taken in this respect31.. KASHIKAB. p. 2. 269. 76. E. see also ROTH. 267). 153. K. VON SCHBOEDEB. Bohmische Ges. p. The Arabian author al-Birunl (11th cent. 27f. RV. p.g. SABUP. L. p. p. 666. 343. p. at ZDMG 55 (1901). at BB 26 (1901).g.) mentions a Veda recently written down in Kashmir (for details: RENOU. p. p. L. at KZ 26. 32 (with the notes). at ZDMG 38 (1884). 1889-90. chronological and other. but compare OLDENBERG. 1. at BDCRI 4 (1942). Allahabad 1935. iibers. R. I.. 44.

the tradition of the other samhitds.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 19 reading that was better adapted to a special liturgical purpose. have thought in terms of fluidity. The authority of the latter seems to have increased after its codification: the younger a mantra in the Yajurveda is the more it resembles its Rgvedic counterpart38. From the point of view of the employment of Rgvedic material for sacrificial purposes these various readings are indeed highly instructive. in 15 AIOC. RV. The redactors of the hymns in their present arrangement must. have preceded the redactors of the brdhmanas. at JAOS 68. O. 3. p. at JAOS 15.. C. 55. 37 For internal borrowings etc.. there is no doubt much truth in his assumption that the mantras and the brdhmanas are in the main based on the same tradition and general conceptions. GONDA. on the whole. Repetitions and. e. 96. that of the Rgveda. 10. p. 1. 2. 38 Cf. 39 BLOOMFIELD. RENOU. 170. p. 54. 177. 144. passim. the brdhmanas and sutras is far less sound than. although we cannot follow Bloomfield39 in considering all hymns of the Rgveda to have been liturgical from the very beginning and in regarding the hymns and brdhmanas as largely contemporaneous modes of literary expression. APTE. there probably existed a recension of theRgveda for ritual use. GELDNER. address. 36 . One should however take full account of the probability that the liturgists had selected Rgvedic material before $akalya's times36 and of the possibility that the compilers of the other samhitds had drawn part of their material from the same traditions as the poets of the Rgveda37. traditions whose exponents must. According to V. to a certain degree.g. Cf. on 7. Moreover. 4. Pres. see also BLOOMTIELD. 131. M. also VISHVA BANDHTJ SHASTBI. Dual deities. 82. 3. It may finally be emphasized that.

7 J. 4 Questions which have no bearing upon the history of Vedic literature. Leipzig 1924. cannot be considered. 377. Digha-Nikaya I. for chronological purposes. 91. Vol.g. 1 . in Mem. The canonical writings of the Buddhists refer not only to the Veda. 8: Yast 10. 9. RV. e. T. environment and culture At this point our account of the history of the Rgveda and the study of its text must be interrupted in order to give that minimum of historical. HERTEL. because. KEITH. p. 58. p. 13 AIOC. p. 3 Cf. C. 80. W. p. A. GLASENAPP. Moscow 1972.20 J. p. some of its texts and passages in the Avesta6 which would point to proximity and a close chronological and cultural relationship7 are based on quicksand. p. SETH. 12. There is indeed no conclusive evidence of an earlier origin of any Rgvedic hymn5. As to the former problem we can only be certain that the Rgveda is anterior to the other collections because it does not presuppose their existence. IF 41. B. THOMAS. SCHMID. p. 2 In view of the oral transmission of this literature little reliance can. JA. 451 (relying on fantastic identifications of persons such as Susravas = Cyrus the great). 6. e. Ind. brdhmanas. V. L. v. 7. geographical and cultural information which is indispensable for a right understanding of what will follow. Sarup. Suggestions to determine the date of the Rgveda on the strength of presumed anti-Zoroastrian allusions in.g. The determination of the terminus a quo is closely connected with the beginning of the Indo-Aryan civilization and the vexed problem of the time at which the Aryans arrived in India4. p. VII) was rightly combatted by PISCHEL-GELDNER. at IF 64. but also to Buddha's conviction that a mere knowledge of that literature does not lead to a transcendent goal3. The chronology of the Veda in general and the Rg-Samhita in particular1 has given rise to much controversial discussion. P. E. and before the spread of the Aryan culture and the establishment of Vedic 'schools' in the South of India. I. 62. Woolner. p. 188. Hoshiarpur 1954. The samhitas. be placed on cross-references and mutual quotation. p. at ABORI 23. 9. p. H. 9. Lit. GRIFFITH. 48. XXII. 7: Yasna 10. Lahore 1940. Chronology. dranyakas and the earliest upanisads must for the greater part have existed in their present form before the rise of Buddhism in the second half of the 6th century B. p. or •striking literary parallels between. Vol.. besides the uncertain date of the For a survey: WINTERNITZ. I. in Comm. I. 8. 47. 137. We must distinguish between absolute and relative chronology on one hand and between the date of individual hymns or component parts and the redaction of the collections on the other. 5 The completely untenable assumption that the Rgveda or part of it was composed in the period of the Indo-European unity (e. RV. p. in Asia Major.C. 235ff. I. 2.Gonda • Vedic Literature 3. ELIZARENKOVA. Most scholars are moreover also in agreement as to the terminus ad quern of the main component parts of the Vedic literature in its entirety. H. J. 1. 290 (partly antiquated). L. 6 Cf. p. for instance the probability of the existence ofpre-Vedic Aryans. S. Rigveda.g. whereas the authors of the latter are more or less acquainted with it2. Die Zeit Zoroasters. H.

Paris 1934. at IC 1939 (61. Congress of Orientalists (1894). N. Proc. and at IA 24 (1895). in R. at Festgruss Roth.C. 1 (25000-15000 B. WEBER were also inclined to ascribe hoary antiquity to many Indian literary works. cf. Wiss. B. JACOBI. London 1951. 1. by R. p.6. L. p. p. in Melanges Renou. 7. 188. p. Leipzig 1924.p. KEITH. 1885. in India. 15 However. K. F. B. 2. in Calcutta Review 174 (1965). p. p. Cf. at GGA 1934. at IA 24. 1 (4000-2450 B. GLASENAPP.. 24. 73. p.C. Bohmische Ges. Akademie Berlin 1919. passim (for criticism see e. 76. History and Culture of the Indian people. PTJSALKER. 1029. stylistic9 and lexicographical10 parallelism between texts of this description do not necessarily point to simultaneity11. SPENCER. p. Woolner. 218. 48. 14 B.. Die Methode der arischen Forschung. p. The attempts at drawing chronological conclusions by the aid of astronomical data. p. (See AGEHANANDA BHARATI. MAJTJMDAR and A. Baudouinde Courtenay.± 1500 B. 1). 245. simultaneously and independently from each other made by Jacobi13 and Tilak14 who came to date at least part of the Veda back to ±4500 B. 151. N. BRUNNHOFER. and S. p. at ZDMG 48. Vol. in ZDMG 84. GODBOLE. A. 99). P. BHATTACHARYA. 105. at 8 AIOC (1935-1937). J. S. Leipzig 1882. TILAK. 629. 16 For detailed discussion and a bibliography—compare OLDENBERG. p. 85. p. 68. p. 663. G. 103.. I. RAY. BLOCH. CH. and especially J. Bombay 1893.g. see also J. Compare also A. HERTEL.C. According to L. 11 See also A. at I F 41 (1923). 245). the cases of cultural8. 13 H. HTJSING. HILLEBRANDT. 10th Int. L'Indo-aryen. 50. BRUNNHOFER. in BB 26. V. and even ± 6000 B. B. 28)—see WINTERNITZ. Others were inclined to believe that the hymns were produced by unsophisticated primitive men (H. C.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 21 Avesta. SCHLEGEL or A. SENGTTPTA. p. ZIMMER. LUDWIG. Cracow 1921. Breslau 1922. I. B. at JRASB. in S. D.und Neuindien. However. Greatly under the influence of the Indian tradition European pioneers such as F. at S. The Indian tendency to date the Veda back to very remote times is closely bound up with the belief in its being eternal. Berlin 1879. 4 and in Comm. H. 267. p.H. Leipzig 1926. Letters.g. I.). e. 50. BENVENISTE. GEIGER. 1 the Rgveda must have been anterior to the Indus civilization (± 2800 . ed. E. at ABORI 42 (1961). The Orion or Researches into the antiquity of the Vedas. H. 137. p. 16 (1950). Die Himmelstore im Veda und im Avesta. in Prace linguistyczne J. p. P. D. Minneapolis 1971. R. 49.). Uber den Geist der indischen Lyrik. p. p. NGGW 1894. p. DIKSHIT. p.g. 643. Altindisches Leben. Paris 1968. Aus Alt. p. d. FORRER. p.C.3. Nor can. p. 76. v.. . p. SARUP. in Religion and Change in contemporary Asia. 470. For Indian traditional history see A. to employ traditional (epic and puranic) evidence for these chronological purposes is idle. The Vedic age. 3. p.!). C. E. Moreover. G. the distance in time between Rgveda and Buddha cannot have been so short as this theory would have us believe. W. at IHQ 1. p.C. 1-2. p. ZDMG 49. 10 For criticism: B. in the opinion of the present author. WiiST. A. D. I. reliable evidence be produced in favour of the supposition12 that certain parts of the Rgveda were composed in Iran or in the Indo-Iranian borderland. p. 12 9 E. 450 ( = K. Tilak's views have ever since found adherence. p. OLDENBERG. 69. Lahore 1940. p. p. p. Hypotheses concerning a polar origin or even polar reminiscences17 8 Cf. *96. PUSALKER. 77). rightly met with violent opposition15: the relevant passages in the Vedic texts are not unambiguous and some of the exegetical assumptions upon which these speculations rest are wholly improbable16.

Leipzig 1887. Bombay 1903 (Poona 1925. G. B. MANKAD. at ArchOr 20. A. The wonder that was India. R. 472 (± 1200). 14 (1965). in 19 AIOC. 34. E. M. D. R. 185 the identity of the Aryan invaders and the people or peoples who contributed to the ruin of the Indus civilization. MAX MULLER. p. S. KEITH. 330 (± 1700-1300). with S. 31. WHEELER. Prehistoric India. Arctic home in the Vedas.. V. p.g. p. About 1500 B. Max Muller's20 chronological estimate. VAIDYA. L. Indore 1961. H. at the latest and the brahmanas between 800 and 600 B. in Proc. Wiss. Zs.g.C. 294 and N. MYLIUS. GONDA. 21. may indeed have much to L. D. R. BASHAM. V. VON SCHROEDER. 1912. 17 B. GAMPERT. p. p. as may appear from the following chapters. London 1950. often been more or less tacitly regarded as nearest to the mark21. 22 See e. . M. at ABORI12. 572. HORSCH. I. p. Calcutta 1965 (supplement to IHQ 36 and 37). 1926). 19 Cf. PIGGOTT.. Indiens Literatur und Cultur. For veddnga see p. 10 Ind. say 13th century B. G. K. also K. but. 106. Hist. 255. p. 1956). p. p. at ABORI 31. also the opinion of L. e. A. N. 21 Cf. 164). London 1891. was e. London 1954 (1956). 28. der Martin Luther Univ. GR. p. has.Gonda • Vedic Literature belong in the realm of fancy. p. History of ancient Sanskrit literature. 18 See J.19. Old Indian. 91. p. DIKSIT. N. that the (earlier) brahmanas could not possibly be compiled in less than 200 years. There are reasons for doubting. 24. V. R. London 1859 (1860. Harmondsworth 1950. p. Five thousand years of Pakistan. Cambridge 1922. Latterly a sort of tacit agreement came into vogue to date the composition of the Rgveda a few centuries earlier22. p. though not devoid of weak points. p. Neither the as yet unsettled linguistic problems connected with the pre-historic presence of Aryans outside India18 nor the conclusions drawn from archaeological finds illuminating their migrations and possible relations with other peoples seem to compel us to assign to the Aryan invasion a date earlier than about 1500 B. GAMPEBT. Assuming that the veddngas and sutras might be approximately synchronous with the origin of Buddhism. 509. I. Physical religion. p.g. Asya vdmasya suktam (RV. at Artibus Asiae 26. 70 etc. APTE. that the composition of the samhitds must have taken at least a similar period he tentatively arrived at the conclusion that the hymns of the Rgveda-Samhita must have come into existence in 1000 B. The question as to how much time elapsed between the invasion—which in all probability took a long time— and the first composition of hymns in their present form or even the first redaction of collections has given rise to divergent guesses.C. without the author's reservations. in The Cambridge History of India.C. For an approximate determination of the origin of its oldest component parts this period.C. 20 F. p. 1. 28. the ideas of chronological succession of 'literary genres' and of corresponding forms of religious interest can no longer be maintained. As far as the Rgveda is concerned this computation is not unreasonable. p. Halle.22 J. Age of the Rgveda. V. Leiden 1971.23. 23 Cf. TILAK. V. LAW. SANKALIA. Congress.C. in ArchOr 20. L. 572. 112. DANDEKAR. 260.

8 AIOC. 30. C. p. 27 A. viz. S. p. TBIVEDI.g. Anyhow. v. See also W. D. address. Lucknow 1956. p. A. p. It is generally assumed that the Aryan invaders entered by the western passes of the Hindu Kush and proceeded thence through the Punjab to the east27. V. I.). 28 For dissentient views see above n. v. BHARGAVA. R. 1966. p. Breslau 1922. 11 AIOC. R. at JAOS 19. I. 7 and e. C. in the hilly and best parts of the Punjab29.). RENOTT. at BSO(A)S 6. DE LA VAI/LEE POUSSIN. etc. Congress (1959). 1. p. PUSALKEB'S view (at Comm. A. Les litteratures de l'lnde. p. 551): the Aryans were autochthones in India. Although there is some difference of opinion regarding the identification of rivers mentioned in the texts. II. CHATTOPADHYAYA. I. L. Nobel. PUSALKER. at !§aradapithapatrika 8 and 6. KAEGI. Allahabad 1947. 16. 144 (2000-1500). 75 (see stanza 5) which significantly is devoted to the laudation of the 24 For divergent opinions: e. other factors than chronology may come into play here. moreover. S. L. 25 E. 31 For a survey: P. HILLEBBANDT. the abundant references to mountains. K. 22 Ind. it is hardly possible to assign25 a comparatively late date to the Rgveda on the strength of references to definite sacrificial ceremonies. Leipzig 1878. India in the Vedic age.C. D. in Comm. Vol. The geographical area recognized in the Rgveda-Samhita is large. 1. Paris 1951. 5 (invasion and oldest hymns ± 2000 B. 549. 19. AUS Alt. p. For the names see MACDONELL and KEITH.C. with K. I. 31. 244. A.g. This river is mentioned only once. 60. KIRFEL. C. 31.und Neuindien. ALTEKAB. 1). in Proc.31 allow us in any case to say that the Rgvedic hymns have their origin in a region that was at a considerable distance from the Ganges. followed by L. On the other hand there is much to be said for the supposition that a good deal of the contents of the Rgveda is separated from the remaining Vedic literature by a comparatively wide chronological distance and for the correctness of the impression that many peculiarities of the former point to a long period of poetical activity26 preceding the transmitted texts that are known to us. p. also because their courses have since considerably changed and their names have varied30. Paris 41909. in H. Der Rig-Veda. Dwarka 1968. L. 229 (uncritical. DIWEKAR. p. Mookerji. WOOLNEB.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 23 recommend it24. s. I.. p. New Delhi 1963. s. because these probably were in process of development and had in the times of the poets and compilers not yet reached the elaborated form known to the authors of brdhmanas and sutras. in part untenable). Pres. Vol. 29 30 HOPKINS. J. I l l (a questionable suggestion to derive information from definite similes). at ABORI 33. WINTEBNITZ. is completely untenable. p. Hist. H. Le Veclisme. in a hymn in mandala X. P. 310 (2500 or 2000-750 or 500 B. p. the streams of the Indus system. Deducing chronological criteria from a preference for definite gods (MANILAL PATEL.g. 26 No sound argument can however be adduced in favour of a hypothesis that the Rgveda was composed in the course of twelve or even sixty-four (!) generations (thus H. p. 9) may easily involve circular reasoning. . p. most of which seem to have been composed in the country round the Sarasvati river. 21971. That advance itself—which in all probability covered some centuries—is not reflected in the hymns28. p. A.

L. P. With brilliant light she dashes up unending surge. It is one thing to argue. W. it is quite another thing to say that Vedic culture has not gone beyond the so-called primitive stage. GELD NEB-NOBEL. The chiefs and noblemen35 were leaders in war and were expected to order. H. but allusions to 'religious life' and the daily cult are much less in number. MACDONELL. LUDWIG. A. MACDONELL and KEITH. not always distinguishable from demoniac beings.24 J. p. BHAWE. a sense of solidarity springing.C. V. p. GHOSHAL. BHARGAVA. the more expensive sacrifices. 314. U. 140. at JOIB 15. L. VI. Das Konigtum im Rg.C. 5) were greatly mistaken in speaking of a primitive and innocent pastoral people. The indigenous inhabitants (dAsa or dasyu)—often but without sufficient evidence identified with the survivors of the Indus culture—were gradually subjugated.Gonda • Vedic Literature Indus and its tributaries. SCHLEBATH. I. 77. O. The Indus onward rushes like a bellowing bull"32. p. O. their poetry had reached a state of marked elaboration and formalization. and defray the cost of.und Atharvaveda. L. Most hymns are replete with mythology. at IC 6. Yet a process of amalgamation of invaders and aborigines was in all probability going on steadily. made a deep impression on the poet: (3) "On earth her roar is striving to reach the vault of heaven. 20 AIOC (1962). p. Whereas in Rgvedic times the Aryans were warlike herdsmen. stockbreeders and agriculturalists. . 31. 34 IV. N. they had not developed anything like a city civilization34. 391). For further information: H. I. 241 contra MACDONELL. p. RAY. Altindisches Leben. For particulars see also A. S. A history of public life. S. p. organized in tribes ruled by chiefs rather than in kingdoms. Calcutta 1945. WEBER. ZIMMER. Wiesbaden 1960. Der Rigveda. They knew the high mountains in the north. there was. underlying the intertribal rivalry of the Aryans. their rituals became gradually more extensive and complicated. However. with caution still useful). as I did.C. S. Akademische Vorlesungen uber indische Literaturgeschichte. Against these enemies. 33 32 KEITH..g. that of transmigration. S. that the outcome of research in the field of cultural anthropology may be helpful in understanding certain aspects of the ancient Indian culture.. The great stream. of the ordinary tribesmen (vii) and the traditional Compare also the two poems addressed to the Sarasvati 7. RUBEN. Their technique was rather advanced. The texts are silent on some of the most typically Indian doctrines. In their tribal structure there was no doubt inherited class division: we hear of nobility (Icsatra). not only from common interests but also from a conscious view of common Aryan religion and culture. 2Berlin 1876. C. 19th century Europeans (see also A. but not the Vindhyas. frequently mentioned. (Compare also H. Prag-Leipzig 1888 (Register). p. 95f. p. 35 B. their priestly schools had already risen in special estimation. B.. Berlin 1879 (too idyllic a picture. H. To the east the Aryans had not expanded beyond the Yamuna (Jumna) which is mentioned three times. O. e. As if the streams of rain pour thundering from the cloud. Only a few words can be said on the political and cultural environment of the poets33. 36 has completely misunderstood my earlier opinions on this point.. RV. BASHAM.

J. 38 This point was much emphasized by KENOU. did not intend to describe their social. P. Unfounded opinions and prejudiced ideas introduced by former generations into Vedic exegesis are not yet completely eradicated. SHASTRI. and especially of the Rgveda. Marriages seem to have as a rule been monogamous. was evidently unknown.. 39 Cf. To what size a family might grow and yet keep together we do not know.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 25 system of four classes—in addition to the above the brahmins (the first order) and the lowest class (sudra)—was crystallizing throughout this period. The position of women in the Vedic ritual. but our knowledge of 'civil' and 'criminal' law is very scanty. their view of the world and religious beliefs. Thesis London 1934 (and elsewhere: DANDEKAB. The hymns seem to allow us to sketch the above cultural situation. B. 37 . is largely due to our ignorance of the Vedic age in a general sense of the term. UPADHYAYA. H. but it must be recalled that their outlook is generally limited to the interests of the leading groups and classes. that is to say to our deficient knowledge of the cultural circumstances behind the texts and the intellectual equipment of the poets. that the poets.g. the current mythology and ideas of the cosmos and transcendent reality. p. The obscurity of considerable parts of the Veda. so usual in later times. p. 36 D. 45. B. the intricacies of the contemporaneous ritual and the hieratic idiosyncrasies then in vogue. Child marriage. The basic unit of their society was the family36. B. 2. V. I. A group of patrilinear families formed a grama. e. also BLOOMFIELD. religious or political life or to supply us with objective information on concrete facts39. S. 15 AIOC. at JAOS 21. CHATJDHARI. 260. a term which in course of time came to denote a settlement or village. Of their domestic life we have a few details. Benares 1941. p. the position of the wives being less subordinate than in the post-Vedic period37. Women in Rgveda. p. N. 167). veiling their thoughts in mythical imagery38.

74. 207 argued in favour of a later date of RV. HATJG. 552. p. 11 For instance. E. The thesis was defended12 that those hymns which have an immediate bearing upon rituals are younger.g. to the milieu of their origin and to the artistic leanings of the poets4. Matters are complicated because even within the same hymn—for instance RV. BLOOMFIELD. R. often easy to point out signs of relative lateness. p. p.g. Madras 1963 (speculative) there were about 300 seers. KTTNHAN RAJA. NORMAN BROWN. p. GEIGER. in JAOS 88. V. Vedic and pre-Vedic. The language on which the decision of the problem as to which hymns are earlier and which later should chiefly rest varies not only according to the age of the texts but also according to their purpose. Development of 'schools'. 1 Cf. at ZDMG 84. 601. There is a great chance that any collection contains older and newer matter brought together without regard to either absolute or relative chronology3. at JAOS 17 (1896). H. p. to differences in the presentation of mythical themes and to mythological traditions10. Gonda • Vedic Literature 4. 1. Ai. GRASSMANN. See above. Old Indian. 12 See e. In the 19th century questions concerning the relative chronology of Rgvedic hymns6 were discussed with reference to the violation of the order of arrangement7—is it a conclusive proof. ' See e. at JAOS 21. 3 Even ARNOLD spontaneously admitted (KZ 38. 196. to likewise disputable conclusions drawn from lexicographical data11. 12 (on RV. HOPKINS. OLDENBERG. I. 1. at KZ 37. p. 8. WEBER. 162). fibers. ARNOLD. p. to determine the relative age of mandala VIII on the strength of the fact that it has many words in common with the 'younger' books I. in SB Berlin 1900. Cf. Cf. 7. 13. RV. 20. 495) that any division of the Rgveda into periods is artificial. p. Repetitions. For criticism: B. Rigveda.' 'poor imagery' or a presumedly early stage of mythological thought9. 33 because it contains many words that are characteristic of the 'popular language' of the Atharvaveda. . 164—there is room for distinguishing 'early' and 'advanced' levels of Vedic thought5. Poet-seers of the Rgveda. but extremely difficult to find any hymns which show positive signs of coming from the period when hymns of the Vedic variety were first composed. *96. 42. p. p. III. p. p. X. 5 6 7 8 9 See GONDA. I. It is therefore also doubtful that the hymns ascribed to a definite poet or collected in the same mandala are. Cf. According to C. IX and X. as a whole. I.26 J. 23 attempted 10 LUDWIG. "The Rgveda is the final expression of its own type of composition" and it is. 203. 4 2 BLOOMFIELD. B. appendices and ancillary literature Bloomfield1 was no doubt in the main right in drawing attention to the poets' awareness of the fact that Rgvedic composition stretched over a long period2 preceding their own time. p. p. consequently. p. or only one of the reasons for regarding certain hymns as of later date?8—. anterior or posterior to other such collections. to suggestions based on an 'unpolished style.

to four successive periods to arrive at the conclusion that the formal scheme reached in his investigations is "a true adumbration of the historical development of the whole literature. p. 374. 19 With regard to mandala VIII there has been much disagreement. C. 726. for instance in their metrical structure. gives evidence of the relations with the prehistoric 'asianic' culture of the 14th cent. BRUNNHOFER. Cambridge 1905. R. ARNOLD. 21 See p . In doing so he assigned. p. p. 21966. 429.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 27 Oldenberg13. discussing comparatively frequent allusions to sheep. 309. LANMAN. After him Arnold14 took upon himself to examine these metrical differences.. Stilgeschichte und Chronologie des Rgveda. 35. p. p. CHATTOPADHYAYA. Roth. p. p. 297. WtiST. in JAOS 17. 207. p. IX and X. 22. is w . found that also those parts of the corpus which were not in his view later additions. at JAOS 10. H. p. at JRAS 1912. without being the oldest part of the Rgveda. . p. 37. p. K. p. i n 2 A I O C (1923). 35. 84ff. KZ 34. ploughing (agriculture) in VIII. 47. at JAOS 21. "the geography of VIII takes us across the Indus to the West more often than to the Punjab. It was rightly observed15 that they take no account of the fact that the so-called popular hymns contain much that is old. in fairly homogeneous groups. Vedic metre in its historical development. 165 mandala VIII. p. at Festgruss v. the hymns. 491. p. in JAOS 16. 38. B. p. 576. 3 2 . WUST. 2. I young and VIII very controversial19—are no more final than Beivalkar's20 attempt to detect literary strata with the help of strata in the lists of difficult words in the Nighantu21. Whereas some scholars (CH. I. According to W. According to HOPKINS mandala V has an intermediate position between VIII and the other family books. 1 1 . p . X). IV very old. They were moreover not in all respects borne out by later statistical investigations.g. Leipzig 1928. 20 S. K . 15 16 17 14 BLOOMFIELD. BLOOMFIELD. 21. in the mistaken conviction that the components of the Veda constitute a continual chronologic succession. at KZ 34.). that they did not recognize that poems antique in form may yet be late in date16. It was argued (HOPKINS.C. others held an opposite view (see e. It must be added that ARNOLD did not "for a moment suggest that the materials permit of any accuracy in details" (Vedic metre. R. that they are not free from discrepancies and not always consistent with other evidence17. JAOS 18.) of 'typological' value. The metrical peculiarities must be left undiscussed. p. at KZ 25. 13 OLDENBERG. B E L V A L K A R . p. p. at JAOS 17 (1896). 297) are on the strength of linguistic arguments of the opinion that it was on the whole the earliest book. 275 this scholar relied on occurrences of numerical formulae. whereas in II-VII the converse is the case") that there are many differences between this book and II—VII in time and habitat. p. 214. 329. adopting the method of statistical calculations in order to delimit the so-called popular portions of the Rgveda. 26 mandala VIIT sides more with I. Repetitions. at WZKM 34. and regarding many of the proper names occurring in it as 'late'. showed some peculiarities. ARNOLD. 145. Those instituted by Wust18—who basing himself on grammatical and stylistic forms or phenomena (including epithets etc. 8 AIOC. KEITH. arrived at the conviction that mandala IX is the oldest." His conclusions did not win general acceptance. according to HOPKINS.

Now see also N. Indian Hist.g. in PO 22. hardly be expected to lead to acceptable results. D. p. Repetitions. 16. POUCHA. in Melanges Renou. metre and language differ from the main body of the poems and associate themselves instead with the Atharvaveda29. 12. p. 11 and elsewhere. A. J. p. Attempts at determining the date of Vedic hymns with the help of puranic passages. PUSAXKER. generally speaking. p. 56. might have been spread over a long period of time30. Bestimmung des relativen Alters der Lieder des Rgveda mit Hilfe zahlenmafiiger Berechnung. while introducing an element of subjectiveness. 23 For other literature see WACKERNAGEL-RENOTJ.g. ArchOr 13. 30 ARNOLD. RAHTJRKAR. They are generally described as 'popular' and regarded as later additions. How are we. assume the character of appen22 P. 225. V. 28 E. Introduction generale (above. M. Most western scholars are nevertheless agreed that the Rgveda contains a number of hymns which by their special characteristics in subject. D.28 J. K. 29 See above. because of the unreliability of legendary traditions. between mandalas VI and VII: H. which. 19). VELANKAB.g. SHENDE. p. Congress 20. 24 Cf. p. 15. bases himself in determining the meaning of words on Grassmann's antiquated translations. too. p. 25 BLOOMFIELD. also BLOOMFELD.g. p. 27 See e. p. G. 103. It may be recalled that after Bloomfield our insight into the significance of formulaic diction and oral poetry in general has considerably deepened. in the second place by the difference of opinion as to the relative weight of the criteria24 and last but not least by the stereotyped literary form of the Rgveda and the probability of recasts and mutual borrowings. These investigations are invalidated by the fact that the statistics of the different criteria are not always in harmony with one another. specific characteristics of oral poetry and differences in milieus and traditions. Conclusions about contemporaneity or difference in generation28 are hazardous. p. n. Bloomfield's25 suggestion to distinguish between inferior repetitions pointing to a later date of the hymns in which they occur and more authentic and older text-places. MTJNSHI. whether or not dealing with Vedic persons26. cannot claim finality in many particulars23. . 65. Paris 1968. Vedic metre. The author disregards possibilities of recast and individual preference of poets.Gonda • Vedic Literature Basing himself on a comparison between obsolete and productive words Poucha22 arrived at conclusions which. Repetitions. 581. p. cf. e. though perhaps probable in some of their main lines. at Proc. Among these hymns are the last parts of certain collections which—like those of many other Sanskrit works—notwithstanding the care bestowed on a well-considered arrangement. Schichtung des Rgveda. cannot—despite the probability of part of his chronological conclusions— obviate this difficulty. to know for certain that one occurrence of a word group is imitative and borrowed from a definite other place where it occurs again ? Were there no floating verses which could be freely used by any poet for new purposes ? 26 See e. 52. p. 44. p. 13. 634. X. in JBBRAS 18. draws unconvincing conclusions from cases of repetition of words. or at finding support of a relative chronology in the few passages which might refer to historical events27 can. 12. p. at JASBombay 41-42. 636.

3. 10. P. those brahmins who recite a definite text or studied it in small 'colleges'44. p. Already at an early time the contents of the Rgveda—like the other Vedas. I I I . 3. IV. II. RV. 46.. style or subject-matter. I l l . E. IX. AV. RV. E. p. Siebenzig Lieder des Rigveda. a subject for oral instruction to male children of the three higher classes—must have been transmitted in. V. etc. p. 10. p. Cf. 68. H. sn contradistinction to the subdivisions called carana which are not in postession of such a text. K. p. p. . 99 (. PISCHEL. 10340. p . V. 17. and (we may add) of origin (social or religious milieu). 39 Cf. 50. I. V. See RENOU. G. Sometimes the atharvanic features are limited to a final stanza: 10. I l l . or even largely one of dialect. S. P. Paris 1947. e. and to a certain extent have developed as. 137: AV. P. AV. 196. 7. with 1. in KZ 37. 121. 5. P. KAEGI. V. 16-2442. 109-11436. 10335. RENOTJ. 8. GELDNER. 32 OLDENBERG. RV. 10. RENOU. 159 (on RV. p. 103). The pertinent hymns or places are either in language and subject-matter reminiscent of the phraseology and contents of the Atharvaveda or recur with or without important variations in that corpus39. 10-11. p. but also. who left them without a padapdtha. 220.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 29 dices31. e. 37 38 BLOOMFIELD.g. 6. V. 191. the former term applies first and foremost to a iext or recension which formed the subject of study. 115. 320. 17. p. O. P. V. V. at JAOS 21. 1233. 12. 3. p. independent traditions or "branches" (sdkhd)i3. RENOU. 58. 83. p. 8. 17 (see S. 97. V. 14 (invocation of four points to which the person speaking can look) or to a group of stanzas at the end of a hymn: 1. E. 4. 36. the so-called praise of the medicinal herbs 10. Noten. p. V. II) 41 . XIII. BHAWE. This stanza belongs. V. 13 and 6. p. E. Old Indian. 9. 5. 47. at Festschrift W.g. R. 32. OLDENBERG. GELDNER-A. E. 128: AV. Rigveda. 31 Cf. 91. 1-3) to the six stanzas which were obviously not recognized as genuine by ^akalya. p. Tubingen 1875. I. the hymn to counteract the disease called yaksma 10. p. one of date. p.A. S. I. XIII. 10. Many of these are also linguistically strongly suggestive of the Atharvaveda: 1. Turning for a moment to the 'atharvanic' passages we do well to distinguish two groups. 109 cf. 10434. the 'battle hymn' 10. 59. the Manyu hymn 10. or exclusively. 209. 107. 113. p. 40 • 41 42 Cf. 190 (. Noten. For differences in phraseology (baroque): RENOTJ. S. 1). 9. B. 28. 19. p. 8732. 4. but here attention may be drawn to the charm against poison and other destructive influences addressed to the gods and goddesses in general 7. 159. X. 7. Bonn 1955. P. 10. 17). RENOU. 368. 44 43 For particulars: RENOU. It was however wisely observed37 that the difference between the hieratic and the popular hymns38 is not necessarily.C. P. p. A discussion of the latter must be postponed to chapter VI. for 10. ARNOLD. Les ecoles vediques et la formation du Veda. 161 (cf. E. E. 34 35 36 33 OLDENBERG. Kirfel. VI. RENOU. cf. 23. 96. LUDWIG. GELDNER. II. the latter to those following it. 5. p. L. However. GONDA. Tradition has it that this name is given to those 'schools' which possess a recension of the samhitd of their own.

Bombay 21925. that divergences in textual or— no doubt in most cases—ritual particulars as well as the spread of Vedism over larger regions led to further divisions which often differ from each other only in insignificant details47. also RENOTJ. 6. 18. Nevertheless the Mimamsa50—and the orthodox in general—taught that the Veda is present in every sdkhd51. p. the arrangement of the mantras and the dosage of Rgvedic and foreign elements led to the compilation of new sutras. L. GUPTA. that is to new caranas. 45 See e. It was a custom of brahminical families and castes to trace their descent from a Vedic rsi and to claim to be hereditary students of the sacred literature and its auxiliaries52. 219. that the mantras of these groups were distinctive. Poona 1950. The early brahmanical system of gotra and pravara. that the increasing authority and influence of the Rgveda Samhita. 2. 49. p. D. AiB. p. in PO' 16. 1. Cf.30 J» Gonda • Vedic Literature They were in all probability the men who possessed or knew many re verses (bahvrca) mentioned in brdhmanasi5. in JA 240. p. Lectures on the Rgveda. that in this way also the followers of the isolated Rgveda came to be equipped with the different ritual works attributed to Asvalayana and fSankhayana48. 6. p. This means that these schools are mainly characterized by the more or less49 faithful conservation of definite texts. The sole distinction between these was that the former recognized the Valakhilyas (see p.C. DIXIT. &B. O. Kathas. G. One should not follow V. 7. What seems certain or may reasonably be conjectured is that in that space of time in which the Vedic ritual was taking the form which is known to us specialists in the mythico-ritual speculation and ceremonial practices and observances must have collected their. that this fourfold Yajurveda seems to have become the model for the constitution of schools of other Vedas which not infrequently differed only in minor details. 50 61 See below. Cambridge . the latter rejected a few verses of these hymns. H. See also Kasikavrtti 2. RENOTJ. &B. 44. that to the activity of these promulgators—after whom the schools were called—and their descendants and followers46 we owe the large collections of the Taittiriyas. 46 47 See also EGGELING. BROXJGH.. K. GHOSH. p. 1. at Purana 15 (1973). p. p. 20. Relation of the epics to the brdhmana literature. P. 52 J. 4. SAGAR RAI. at VIJ 2. 3. A brahmin never belonged to more than one school. The assembly of scholars is a cultural institution of great antiquity in India. formulas. VISHVA BANDHXJ. p. 10. XXV. in Bulletin Chunilal Gandhi Vidyabhavan 15 (1970). MACDONELL. I. V. Maitrayaniyas. either GHATE. 48. 37) integrally as canonical. S. 2. 51. 133. followed by the Vajasaneyins. 36. 47 in regarding these 'colleges' as something like our academies. CHANDRATRE. Many particulars regarding the origin of these 'schools' and the development of Vedism in its entirety will escape us for ever because the texts are silent on many points which we would like to know. p. largely non-Rgvedic. M. p. in IHQ 11. 49 48 Cf. that the later texts followed this scission mainly with a view to utilizing the respective mantras. p. S. 761. which they needed with a view to ritual practice and instruction.g. 140. 5.

p. RENOTT. The position of the brahmanas in ancient Bengal. H. Purana 6. p. U. I. While the Mahabharata overflows with mythical and legendary details on the Veda. SIEGLING. MadhyadeSa. ASvalayana 1953. leaving us almost in the dark about those "branches" that became extinct at an early date. Die Re- zensionen des Caranavyuha. p. 53 KANE. any precise information on the sdkhds and caranas is in the large majority of later works lacking. Vol. 84 A. Vedic index. even in the South. p. Even such traditionalists as the followers of the PUrva-Mimamsa rarely give names or other factual information. the place of origin of the different schools is not identical with that of the samhitds. p. SAGAR RAI. I l l (1855). Of the history and geographical distribution of the Vedic schools we have only a rudimentary knowledge. of the Atharvaveda55—and gives an (incomplete) enumeration of the Vedic schools. The inscriptions. but a learned man may also study texts belonging to different caranas. p. II. 88 For particulars see MACDONELL and KEITH. WEBER. the NW. D. 247. ABORI 46 (1965).Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 31 through family tradition or initiation. all Yajurveda samhitds and several brdhmanas refer to the region of the Kuru-Pancalas (in the Middle Country. Moreover. 8. G. &akhas of the Rgveda as mentioned in the purdnas. It is reckoned among the appendices (parisista) of the White Yajurveda—in another recension. there is a rule that "what is not stated in one's own sdkhd may be taken from others. Leipzig 1906. 328. 85 Atharvaveda-Parisista 49. an in any case post-Vedic anonymous work of little importance. GHOSHAL. AiB. 67. 97. Dh. Hoshiarpur 1950. The Vedic texts themselves seldom mention where they were composed or in which region their authority extended. The author's statement that a pregnant woman who hears this text will give birth to a son who is thoroughly conversant with the Veda (§47) betrays the character of the treatise56. of the Ganges-Yamuna region)58 so that the conclusion is warranted that the Yajurveda and perhaps the 'classical' Vedic ritualism had their origin in that region. Although several jmrdnas and other works know the genealogies of Vedic teachers57 only a few commentators—among whom Sayana and Mahadeva—pay some attention to the geographic situation of the schools. 86 For some details: L. Comm. contain only short notices of the schools. The Vedic schools and epigraphy. The only comparatively ancient source dealing with them as a whole is the metrical Caranavyuha "Exposition of the (Vedic) schools"54. Although authorities strongly dissuaded from adopting customs of those who followed other sdkhds. Siddheswar Varma. Two of these. p. Caranavyuha. S. and W.3. 211. N. The condition of Vedic studies in ancient and medieval Bengal. W. . Thesis Berlin. at I. 67 Cf. On the other hand. Cf. 165. 214. though making frequent mention of brahmins versed in the Rgveda. but certain schools existed elsewhere. OH 3. 14. BHATTACHARYA. II. if it is not found contradictory"53.

JGJRI 16. were widely dispersed: Bengal.Gonda • Vedic Literature and Sankhayana. difficult vocables (naigama). This work. Vol. Woolner. (1969). 64 A similar list including also atharvanic words is preserved as Atharvavedaparisista 48. which. metaphysical) behind which there still was an essential unity62. a classification of divine names (daivata). R. SARTTP. (1972). at JAOS 15. consists of lists of—almost exclusively—Rgvedic words: groups of synonyms. in Vol. localized in Kanauj and Malva—in modern times only in Gujarat59—always remained far behind. edited by L. Yaska65. see BLOOMFIELD. For Yaska's significance in general see H. SARTJP. the Nighantu (usually in the plural. Lahore 1940. handed down in two recensions. 368ff. NAGASWAMY. 24. SINGH. The Nighantu and the Nirukta. are no doubt adherents of the latter tradition60. p. 26 AIOC. 4. p. survive. 192. ROTH. . teachers and students. at JOR 66 5. held in higher esteem.. at 25 AIOC. p.D. e. D. Comm. p.32 J. S. VIJ 3. 61 See p. also H. The Asvalayanas. SIEG. IV.g. Cf. 65 For Yaska as a writer of another work (Taittiriya-Sarvanukramani) see C.—and the sole representative of the veddnga dealing with etymology (nirukta) is a commentary. Jaska's Nirukta. accompanies them with a sort of continuous explanation of the stanzas in which they occur66. E. S. SCHABFE. SARTJP.g. and especially in the South. Lund 1926. p. of kings protecting Vedic scholars. in the Ennayiram inscription of Rajendra I (1014-1044 A. for other details: RENOTT. A good deal of the oldest comment is contained in the ritualistic discussions of the brdhmarias61. the analysis in R. Apart from the brdhmanas the only exegesis originating in the Vedic period is that of the Nirukta63. 10. PB. Oxford 1920 (Delhi 1962). p. p. likewise in two recensions6*. 233 pointed out some cases of faulty interpretation of the Rgveda. Vedic scholars in the ancient Tamil country. compiled by Yaska—who may have lived not later than 500 B. Ancient schools of Vedic interpretation.g. of the Panjab 1927.). P. P. 60 Occasionally we hear of 'colleges' (matha). p. Univ. 63 The Nighantu and the Nirukta. GUPTA. 3. XLVIII. Sagenstoffe. Jodhpur. e. Nighantavah) or Naighantuka. 380. 18. translation and introduction: L.C. 215. it has preserved some reminiscences of other principles of exegesis (etymological. L. SKOLD. KTTNHAN RAJA. V. furnishing his readers with a considerable number of etymological interpretations of these words. of an older work. The Nirukta. of such scholars reciting the Vedas at the times of worship etc. legendary. p. P. VI. for differences between the two: A. 143. 62 S. but the latter. Besides showing that the Rgveda had in its time a very fixed form Yaska's work is of interest in that it gives evidence of the author's purpose in composing it: 59 On the Sankhayanas (Kausitakins) see e. The oft-mentioned non-specified Rgvedins. Gottingen 1847-1852 is still worth consulting. a fact confirmed by the rarity of !§ankhayana manuscripts. 17. extending over large parts of the subcontinent. K. Although this class of literature explains the Vedic stanzas mostly with reference to the rites. In the preceding pages we had occasion to observe that already at an early date the Rgveda was subjected to interpretation.

70 The Brhad-devata attributed to Saunaka. to whom a seer addresses his eulogies with a particular desire and from whom he wishes to obtain his object" (Yaska. hemistich and quarter or pAda (1. 126f. 49. 1). F. and the auxiliary Vedic treatises from memory. MACDONELL. He is capable of giving an (authoritative) opinion as to the intentions (of the mantras) which were contained in them at the time when the mantras were revealed to the rsis (and) as to their correct understanding and (that) of the various ceremonies (connected with them). The Nighantu (transl.: "In every formula one should know the divinity with exactness. edited by A. understands their object. B. declining in (power of) oral communication.. 73 See e. and amplification of Yaska's arguments69. below. at DLZ 1903. 2 vol. Cambridge Mass. is the Brhaddevata70. historically wedged in between the Nirukta and the SarvanukramanI. 1. 75 . p. A. 1904." SARUP. constituting the oldest systematic Sanskrit collection of legends—are inserted to explain the circumstances under which the Rgvedic hymns they are connected with were composed74. While borrowing largely from the former. who. 71 Almost all Rgvedic stories are amplified with an epilogue which is not based on the Samhita. repeated (compiled) this work. MICHALSKI. cf. among which the Aitareya-Brahmana. 72 Part of the pertinent material has been studied by SIEG. the Veda. By oral instruction they handed down the hymns to later generations who were destitute of this insight. Nir. several of the forty legends71 which it contains are historically linked with those of the Mahabharata72. seems to have written his work in order to meet the demand for a good text. the date of a manuscript of his commentary. 68 74 67 Cf. The later generations. The main object of the Brhaddevata—which is quite mechanically divided into eight chapters (adhyayas)—is. "A stanza is held to belong to that deity. for he who knows the divinities of the mantras. But in any case before 1387. 2Delhi 1965. occasionally throw light on it. this metrical text is borrowed from still more abundantly by the latter which in its wording is in all that concerns the deities of the Rgveda based on that of the Brhaddevata. which is in many places repeated verbatim. stanza75. p. Bombay 1912. Another important work. 2302. also S. ?). in RO 24 (1961) p.). These very valuable narrative passages73—approximately one-fourth of the whole work or about 300 slokas. in order to illustrate (comprehend) their meaning" (1. SIVADATTA. MACDONELL (with a translation. Sagenstoffe. 2f. 7. 69 Edited (with the Nirukta) by P.g. elucidation of obscure passages. Of Yaska's commentators67 the most important is Durga. introduction and notes). repeating every word of Yaska. indeed. who erroneously supposed that the Brhaddevata is posterior to the Mahabharata. to state the deity for each hymn. 1). 20). of uncertain date68. Whereas owing to its very nature the connexion of this work with the Rgveda is very close and other Vedic texts. 29.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 33 "The seers had direct intuitive insight. the 'Extensive (repertory) of the gods' (4th cent.C.

GELDNER. H. S. 129-131. 337.g. Adyar Library Pamphlet 22 (Madras 1950). etymology (nirukta). 140-142). e. deities. . S. The text comprises 292 Mokas. 55-57). I. in OH 2 (1954). 125) which consists mainly of a classification of the deities as well as of grammatical matter78 and at the end a section dealing with the gods who preside over various kinds of ritual verses and over the different tones on which they are sung (8. 82 80 For details see MACDONELL. purdnas and especially the dharma texts—looked upon as remembered and handed down by human intermediaries (smrti). 34.34 J. Cf. though not belonging to the veddngas proper. sections of the Rgveda and (the Chandanukramani) 76 77 Cf. 541. in Album Kern. 3. p. 3. which in course of time were to develop into separate branches of science. p. Cf. In contradistinction to the latter which are regarded as "heard" or "revealed.. p. 158-3. Padavidhana of Saunaka. The AnukramanI literature. in WEBER. 107. CH. They are phonetics (siksd). The anukramanis80. of female rsis (2. but the fact that this authority is not less than fifteen times mentioned by name. No more than passing mention can in this context be made of the six so-called "members of the Veda" (veddnga). p. I. Arsanukramani81 and three others82—provide us with lists of rsis. N. in 6 AIOC (1930). Gonda • Vedic Literature However. they were to promote a better reciting and understanding of the Vedic texts and their proper ritual employment. The interpretations given are therefore often neither historically reliable nor such as to satisfy the requirements of modern scholarship77. metrics (chandas). The book contains also other information such as an enumeration of the rsis (2. 41-52). 81 Cf. 32). G. NARAHARI. grammar (vydkarana). 333. 1. KTTHN. ritual or religious practice (kalpa) and astronomy (jyotisa). MACDONELL. 104-123). the Rgveda-Samhita and its brahmanas do not supply us with a comprehensive account of all the circumstances under which the hymns were revealed and the deity is not always known76. 101. C. L. when mention is made of different views. V.C. p. 78 79 Cf. Originating in the Vedic period. KTJNHAN RAJA. of the mounts of the various gods (4. probably between the 8th and 4th centuries B. 273. in Festgruss v. As such they are authoritative as long as they are not contradicted by the sruti. MACDONELL. These succinct versified indexes— Anuvakanukramani. There is a very long introduction (1-2. 132-134. p. cannot be separated from these auxiliary sciences. later including also the upanisads) they were—like the epics. p. the auxiliary subjects of study. Roth." and from the beginning orally transmitted (the eternal and infallible sruti. 164). generally with other authorities among whom Yaska. p. and an account of the Apr! hymns (2. metres. BHATTACHARYYA. a discussion of the character of the Vaisvadeva hymns (2. 82-84). 227 (on RV. A. The work is traditionally attributed to &aunaka. RV. I. whereas the writer several times uses the first person to indicate himself makes us hesitate to affirm that the authorship was iSaunaka's rather than somebody else's who belonged to his school (Asvalayana ?)79..

17. see e. SCHEFTELOWITZ. cf. ALB 33 (1969). in AUFRECHT'S edition there are 25 (2II. 672).C." properly a piece of waste land situated between cultivated fields. 91 Cf. . . V . p. 89. 6. p. C. p.D. Brhad-devata. I. combining the data contained in the metrical anukramanis. see RENOXj(-FiiiLio84 83 ZAT). The term khila does not appear before the Anuvakanukramani and Arsanukramani attributed to Saunaka.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 35 the numbers of the stanzas of the hymns83. Die Sarvanukramanl des Katyayana zum Rigveda. IV. They must have belonged to a recension different from ^akalya's. Belonging to Vedic times they reach back to different periods. RgvedanukramanI of Madhavabhatta. RV. Brhad-devata. G. Breslau 1906. never found admission into the padapdtha and anukramanis. A P T E . 21966. Belonging to the last centuries of the Vedic period ( ± 5th-3rd cent. p. as obviously more recent material. GELDNER. p. A. Bibliography. Several They do not comprise indices of the ritual application of the mantras. Some anukramanis of later origin need not detain us. This collection must have been made at a much earlier date. "that which fills a gap")88. p. XXX. MACDONELL.g. 6. With the SrautasUtra of the White Yajurveda by the same author it has the concise character of its style in common85. by SONTAKKE and KASHIKAR. ed. a t V I J 3 (1965). KEITH. because it has a khila-anukramani of its own. but it is not possible to say to which. 90 Cf. K. 306. 14).). 88 J. those which show affinity in contents with the preceding sukta90 and independent texts. A number86 of appendages (khila87 "supplement. III. Madras 1932. also SCHEFTELOWTTZ. n. I. Hoshiarpur 1966 (DANDEKAR. Oxford 1885. Katyayana's Sarvanukramanl . E. Oxford 1886. V. most of them seem to be contemporaneous with the compilation of the samhitds other than the Rgveda.C. 116). p. at JRAS 1907. it has been edited and studied by SCHEFTELOWITZ (see below. herausgegeben von A. 34. ?). Although they occur in the manuscripts which follow the astaka grouping as annexes to some particular suktas or mandalas89 always in the same places. some editions by VISHVA BANDHTJ and others. with particulars. 891. 155. 88). p. II. p . p. 82. at ZII 1. The whole mass of them constituted already in Sayana's time a separate collection (Khilagrantha)91. Rgveda khilas and the sutras of 87 Asvalayana. Auswahl. KXJNHAN RAJA. MACDONEIX. p. 85 The information given by these texts should of course be critically evaluated. RENOTJ.:L. 86 In the tradition and editions the number varies considerably: the Brhaddevata mentions 37 (MACDONELL. 1. I. which. A. in MAX MTJLLEB'S edition there are 32 of them (2IV. 224. The most important and extensive collection is preserved in a Kashmir manuscript of the Rgveda (1575 A. P. in Rgveda-Samhita ed. C. IV. 519). XXI. p. p.) commentary. 89 I t is c u s t o m a r y t o publish t h e m as a supplement t o t h e Sakala recension. . p. Two groups can be distinguished. PAEAMESWARA AITHAL. they are in the adhydya divisions regarded as non-existent and not commented upon by Sayana. 32. C. including also the Kuntapa hymns at the end of the last book of the Atharvaveda. Sayana. MACDONEI. B. o n A i B . with extracts from Sadgurusisya's (12th cent. is held to have been composed by Katyayana. Die Apokryphen des Rgveda.) they are attributed to Saunaka except the more recent and systematic prose suTRa-work called Sarvanukramanl. M. edited by A. Thesis Leipzig. the famous teacher of the Yajurveda84. a "General Index" ( ± 350 B. KASHIKAR.

Three very small texts. who does not appear before the Vajasaneyi-Samhita. IV. SCHEFTELOWITZ. p. 96. 99 Cf. ZDMG 75. Most of them begin with an invitation to enjoy the oblation. ZDMG 74. formulas recited in the morning before the principal hymn. some of which identical with Rgveda khilas. O. 1. See below. This hymn.. The latter represent the oldest prose preserved from the period of the Rgveda97. 244 ( = K. Rgveda- 93 Samhita. fertility and happiness and guardian deity of the farmers. called Samjnanam (on 92 RENOTT. p. either in an identical form or with variants. p. p.g. 95 See also B. JASB 28 (1859). 6". are of the same supplementary character95. and VS. 123. . 3. On the occasion of a sacrifice in honour of the defunct khilas should. BHISE. Gargya Narayana. HARTMANN. Some places in the praisasuktas are closely related to definite passages of the Rgveda.. JUB 1 T S. 26ff. seem to be of the same age. p. at ZDMG 73. in JA 250. on AsvS\ 1. also OLDENBERG. p. p. which is also handed down separately in many manuscripts and has more than once been commented upon. R. tales and 'purdnas. 212. Special mention must be made of khila 2. HALL. To these apocrypha belong also the small collections of sacrificial litanies of comparatively high antiquity called praisasuktdni. 20. Apokryphen. 232. p. p. Gonda • Vedic Literature Ichilas are also included in other samhitds. 109 f. books on dharma. See G. 94 On Central India: F. Aspects of early Visnuism. Crlsukta. and the nividas. fe 10° For the seven stanzas belonging to the sukta edited by SCHEFTELOWITZ. 902. 613). 204. O. SONTAKKE and KASHIKAR. p. in ZDMG 42. The term occurs already RV. 42. legends. p. Its central part reaches back to the Vedic period. the same. p. 175. 163. 141 and used in the ritual of the praugadastra see SCHEFTELOWITZ. HALL. brdhmanas quote them for liturgical use and the HoTaR recites from them during the performance of minor ritual ceremonies92. 8). 121.e. Occasionally. p. i. 2. Die sieben Purorucas. it supplies us with highly valuable information about this goddess of prosperity. KAPADIA. Khilas are not peculiar to the Rgveda alone. 72. 89. at ZDMG 74. 1. 27. 37. 98 SCHEFTELOWITZ. Apokryphen. (see above. J.C. p. 96 Cf. Utrecht 1954 (2Delhi 1969). GONDA. p. They do not however stand in close relation to the rites in which they are used and were obviously handed down with less care93. be recited together with the Veda. suktas containing directions or invitations addressed to the HoTaR in order to have him recite definite consecratory texts (ydjyd)96. 127ff. S. 19. p. at ABORI 53. Beitrage zur Geschichte der Gottin LaksmI. Thesis Kiel 1933. S.' In some regions of India females of brahmin descent were allowed to read them 94 . p. The so-called purortocas98. according to Manu 3. the well-known Srisukta addressed to the goddess Sri.36 J. p. 204. AV. 29 (1960). 6 etc. 97 For the texts see SCHEFTELOWITZ. H. 1 makes a distinction between the wellstudied and carefully transmitted texts (the samdmnaya) on one hand and the khilas on the other.C. for a discussion: SCHEFTELOWITZ. U. is recited from olden times100. e. "Indra must together with the Maruts have a drink of Soma". The relation of the Khilani with the RVSamhita and their position in Indian literature. 142 and 136. E.

13. for a pseudo-etymology see KB. Rgvidhanam. 1951. p. p. PAEAMESWAEA AITHAL. ibidem. BHAT. OLDENBERG. 163. 59. 200. as an accompaniment of practices widely divergent from the rites described in the drautasiitras. 117. but more prob101 J. The Rgvidhana. but also for predominantly magic purposes. I I . GONDA.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 37 concord and harmony). 4. 73 105 . J. Berlin 1878. 1. Although they were recognized as part of this book in Sakalya's padapATHa they were not commented upon by Sayana. The name is unexplained. on the language and composition of the text: M. The first four pairs (1-8). 30. 104 AiB. at GGA 1907. S. 56. though insignificant.Dh. p. KB. 3. A whole collection of 'magical' effects ascribed to the recitation of hymns or stanzas of the Rgveda is contained in the metrical Rgvidhana107. 192. II. Prolegomena.H. p. in JA 250. at ZDMG 74. p. Rgvedic matter was not only used for what we call sacrificial rites. A small ritual text associated with the Rgveda and probably borrowed from an ancient work on domestic ritual (grhyasutra) is the late Utsarjanaprayoga106. VII. at ZII 1. 102 The Brhaddevata. which run in a curious way parallel104. 22. 107 Edition: R. 188. 6. p. 6. 49-59) in number in the Sakalya. 317. 84. The four chapters of this work pretend to be a concise manual for those who wish to utilize texts of the Rgveda. Utrecht. 4 are aware of this parallelism. 106 See SCHEFTELOWITZ. E. BLOOMFIELD. 105 p o r particulars: SCHEFTELOWITZ. p. SB. N. p. 1. 103 Yor particulars see: AUFRECHT. which according to the commentary on the Caranavyuha was the final hymn of the Baskala-Samhita101. for the Dadhyanc myth of RV. to possess a son or "thousandfold gain. 28. H. 30. Properly speaking the Valakhilyas. GELDNER. at WZKM 35. p. Repetitions. RENOU. of later composition—eleven (8. S. 50. For the Mahanamni verses see below. 815. p. p. 8. refers only to Val. English translation with an introduction and notes. seven in the Baskala recension102—are khilas which found entrance into the Rgveda-Samhita103. The very existence of these 'Precepts regarding the Rgveda' shows that in the Vedic literature there is no hard-and-fast line between a 'magic' and a 'religious' domain. SCHEFTELOWITZ. They are in the Sakalya recension inserted between the sixth and seventh anuvdka of mandala VIII but do not belong to either group. Nairhastyam (an imprecation) and Pradhvaranam (a glorification of Brahman) were sometimes combined so as to constitute a separate Jchila. it contains many quotations from the Rgveda. 494. and some from other Vedic works. p. p. 370. 230. Vedic hymns but are considered to be inferior and half-apocryphal. 39. are older. in order to be freed from disease or enemies. khilas inserted after RV. p. dealing with a ceremony in connection with the cessation of the annual study of the Veda. 426. . Since the authors—according to the tradition again Saunaka. the last three are identical with material belonging to the socalled Sauparna hymns. They are real. for the utsarjana: KANE." to acquire special abilities or a celestial life hereafter. 1. 8. II. 1-8. at JUB. MEYER. R. 33. RV. at ALB 33 (1969).

g. parts of it show the influence of post-Vedic and even post-epic Visnuite rites and practices. So the Rgvidhana must be regarded as the product of a long evolution109: it is one of those works that bear witness to the process of penetration of Vedic with younger Hinduistie belief and ritual and throw light on the adaptation of Vedic subject-matter to the requirements of the Hinduistie period. S. However. e. some of the Atharvavedaparisistas and definite parts of the grliyasutras. KONOW. 109 108 . the Sanaa vidhana108. Terms such as 'interpolation' (R.38 J. some stanzas being even reminiscent of tantric ceremonial. on the other an undeniable similarity to other texts dealing with rites of the above variety.Gonda • Vedic Literature ably teachers belonging to his school—had a certain predilection for definite purposes they did not deal with the Rgveda in its entirety. MEYER) are in their strict sense not applicable to writings of this variety. Their work shows on the one hand many points of resemblance to the Brhaddevata. Das Samavidhanabrahmana. Halle 1893.

had. p. I.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Ilgveda in particular 5. Sanskrit. in OH 1. To the second group belongs Halayudha. at 21 AIOC. 6). 4 For other opinions see p. p. Introduction (see n. Each suggestion that a commentator may have recorded a really ancient tradition deserves consideration on its own merits. Brahmana-sarvasva edited (with a long introduction) by D. OH 2. p. 5. a bias in favour of ritualistic interpretations. Congr. in 19 AIOC. rejecting what we know to be impossible. Little known Vedic commentators of Bengal. In later centuries the Indian interpreters of the Rgveda produced a number of 'explanatory works' (bhdsya)2. and Prakrit Studies. p. sutras. P. Commentaries 39 The study of the Veda was for a long time an important factor in the intellectual activities of the brahmins1. 6 5 . I. D. 1 RENOTJ. moreover. p. They. BHATTACHARYA. S. H. 61. Vedic schools and epigraphy. BHATTACHARYYA. 7 See also KANE. It is interesting to notice that generally speaking Indian authors based themselves on predecessors and often lavishly incorporated earlier literature. 2 For a brief survey: R. containing a large number of authoritative statements from brdhmanas. BHATTACHARYYA. Dh. One of his many works is the Brahmanasarvasva7 in which he explained all the Vedic mantras (not more than 400 in number) prescribed for recitation in the domestic rites as performed by the followers of the Kanva recension of the Vajasaneyi Yajurveda. which continued till late in the 17th century3. and at OH 3. BHATTACHARYYA.. adopting that which is consistent with knowledge gathered from other sources and noting for reconsideration the information which might be correct or valuable but cannot for the moment be checked5. genuine traditions*. generally speaking. Most of these mantras are accordingly prescribed in Paraskara's Grhyasutra. Devoid of a sense of historical development. 141.. 2. 298. M. See V. p. Vedic. and in supplying explanations which are otherwise incorrect. p. 57. published on the occasion of the 26th Int. However. 211. one commenting upon particular samhitds and the other explaining select mantras occurring in Vedic texts. DANDEKAK. Apart from being a commentary on these mantras the book is also a ritualistic digest. must have had its beginnings at an early date. D. 103.± 1205)6. but adapts their meanings also to the requirements of even the minor rites. I. D. Brahmana-sarvasva. In its often highly ritualistic explanations it does not only take the stand that the mantras came into being only for ritual purposes. 3 Cf. the practice of commenting upon the ancient sacred texts. in hinduizing the Vedic texts. We grope in the dark as to how far the commentators may have utilized unbroken. These commentators may be divided broadly into two groups. 1. of Orient. dharmasdstras and other literature. Calcutta I960. p. N. New Delhi 1964. 17 AIOC. Nevertheless their work is not devoid of value. and that in different contexts in different ways. 1. one of the great talents at the court of king Laksmanasena of Bengal (1178. they often err in giving anachronistic interpretations. APTE. We should read it critically. see the same.

in 12 AIOC. 115. the word order of the Rgveda text. but unlike Sayana. How long this tradition was and whether it reached back to the Vedic period proper we do not however know. p. A. II. A. Skandasvamin and Madhavacarya.): it lays emphasis on the sense and purport of the mantras. VENKATASUBBIAH. Cf. in their explanations. 501. D. 1. p. A.g. This author. the compiler of a valuable commentary on the Vajasaneyi Samhita. The problem of Madhava in the Rgvedic commentaries. 8 9 10 By C. KUNHAN RAJA. 1939-1947. references and polemics in the pertinent works: an author who is quoted by nobody else stands a good chance of being the youngest. 256. p. II. it showed that there was before the 14th century a continuous tradition of Vedic studies9. is older than Skandasvamin's work. 30. p. 249 (according to whom the commentary written by another Madhava. 12 AIOC. M. . 361 etc. KUNHAN RAJA. PANTULA. Cf. when necessary. We now proceed to those commentators who dealt with the Rgveda-Sarnhita as such. furnish us with interesting information. 595. VENKATASUBBIAH. VENKATASUBBIAH. (Haridwar 1968. 99 f. Just like Yaska and Madhava. His commentary Vedarthadipika "The lamp of the meaning of the Veda" and another work. JOSHI. who left us a fragmentary commentary. at JOR 32. The chronological problems14 are complicated by the existence of namesakes. C. p. the half-expressed ideas of the seers by introducing words of its own and indicates the relation between the parts of a stanza by bringing them into a more intelligible order. p. On Skandasvamin: M. in JOR 10. at least two commentators called Madhava15. p. I. p. p. 201. wrote also a commentary on the Nirukta and seems to have borrowed from Uvata. Trivandrum 1929-1942. Edited by R. VARMA. MANGAL DEVA SHASTBI. in JOR 5. It is therefore no longer possible to suggest that Sayana—who however does mention predecessors—had no authority to follow except Yaska. at Gurukula Patrika 20. Adyar Library Series. Occasionally an author gives information about himself in the colophons (of the chapters) of his work). a commentary on the SarvanukramanI13. who mentions predecessors. p. J. The Rk-Samhita with the bhdsya of Skandasvamin and the dipikd of Venkatamadhava. 582. 35. 21. before Sayana. in JOR 10 (see above). Indian scholars10 have attempted to determine the date of Skandasvamin11.12. and in his edition of the Rgvedavyakhya Madhavakrta. p. 412. KUNHAN RAJA. in 6 AIOC. 3 vol. see 5 AIOC (1928-1930). JOR 10 (1936). 223. Although the discovery of some pre-Sayana works of this class. in JOR 10.. did not reveal the existence of any really new view or interpretation of the corpus.Gonda • Vedic Literature It nevertheless fulfils the requirements of a good Veda commentary as laid down in the Brhaddevata (2. 12 A relative chronology can in cases such as that before us be established on the basis of quotations. at ± 600 or 650 A. these commentators do not always indicate that they are quoting from predecessors. 316 and 10 (see above).. 2 vol. elaborates.40 J. the author of anukramanis. A. these authors try to preserve. However. 1969). 13 See above. 15 11 KUHAN RAJA. p. A scholar of repute was Sadgurusisya who wrote in the last decades of the 12th century. 14 See e. There have been. in 19268.

I. d. 72. 18 M. Others however were inclined to reject his interpretations altogether21. 5. 2. ROTH. 1. . 750. 22 It was however known that he referred to other authorities. the Rgarthadipika17 'The lamp (illustrator) of the meaning of the Rgveda. G. 10. 32. 5. 6. and he has indeed rendered good services in facilitating the comprehension of the Rgveda. 48. Poona 1946. 23. at JRAS 2. son of SYi-Venkatarya. in Indien. see also GELDNER 17 —who often quotes Sayana—on these and other places. Other exegetical works are in all probability wrongly attributed to him. 7. in many other cases he however gives his readers the option between two possibilities25. 16. 1. 6. ZDMG 21 (1867). 6 . 1.18. 3 (1971).: MULLER. 46. 1. 18. 10. 8. 31. 10. among which commentaries on the Yajurveda. p.' The best known and up to some decades ago the only one known. he could not have drawn from an uninterrupted tradition22. it was assumed.g. some of them even valuable 24 . 64. KASHIKAR. 23. 1. and in the second place because he. 32.g. Western pioneers such as Wilson were of the opinion that he had a knowledge of the Rgveda far beyond the pretensions of any European scholar contemporaneous with themselves." 21 See p. ' l l . 59. who is supposed to have lived in the 10th century.16. 176. 10. 4. H. He was a prolific author who besides his bhdsya on the Rgveda19 composed other 'explanations of Vedic texts' (veddrthaprakdsa). 56. 105 even spoke of "an association of pandits known as Sayana. 25 See e. being too far removed from the period of the composition of the hymns. NIA 1. at JRAS 1866. but actually not the best. p. C. 42. 5. 16. 3. 3. p. because. MUIR. STJRYAKANTA. 4. 2. 26. Wiss. 4. did not view the Veda in its historical perspective. 1. Anzeiger Akad. GRIFFITH. MAYRHOFER. address. p. The second objection is well-founded. 5. 7. p. like his compatriots in general. 24 See e. . 23. 45. 4. 7. 5. 85. 16. 2. 5. 12. explains 16 Cf. 12. we possess a complete commentary. 7. 2. 20 See his own notice in Introduction to PB. 1. in 16 AIOC. p. Law. Edited by L.g. 1. 145. .Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 41 Of Madhavabhatta 16 . 144. 22. 31. 4. 399. RV. st. 160. 4 vol. Pres. 2.. 57 and R. and inserting unnecessary discussions. 58. of these commentators is Sayana. 19 On manuscripts of Sayana's work etc. 4. Uber gelehrte Tradition . 1. 6. 2. Lahore-Banaras 1939-1955 (mandala I-VII). 3. 34. failing in the coherent explanation of stanzas and sentences as wholes. 1. 9. 7. in Vol. 8. 5. 7. 85. L. He was a brother of the famous philosopher and author Madhava with whom he was sometimes confounded. C. 29. 9. 8. I I . 5. 1. p. 2. 8. Wien 108. 4. 4. Sayana and the text of RVSamhita. A good many of his explanations—in principle he explains every word—are of course acceptable23. the Samaveda and the Pancavimsa-Brahmana20. 1. 3. 2. 4. 5. 2. For Sayana see e. but we now know that Sayana was no isolated figure. 13. 5. VII. 6. 1. SARUP. 60. 2. 63. first. B. 3. 23 See e. also J. 47. 1. 1. 8. 7.g. defending wrong etymological or grammatical explanations. 14. 79. 10. 6. 3. it is not always possible to make our choice. 1. Zum Namen Sayana. SARITP (and others). 59. 5. 1. p. 97. 33. 30. This does not however prevent him from proposing many anachronistic misinterpretations. 8. his notes on RV. 426. a brahman of Dravidian descent18 who lived in the second half of the 14th century (f 1387) in Vijayanagara. 11.

5. 14. 14. OERTEL. 33 153.. 3. in 6 AIOC. 2. 2. 125).g. CH. 63. 12.Gonda • Vedic Literature numerous words differently in different places26. 44. 16. p. 38. 166. 31 H. 17. p. 17. 1. 7. I. p. 34 For some particulars: RENOTT. sometimes he quotes from texts that are lost or unknown to us. 79. although he also adopts symbolic. e. 3.42 J. 3. 82. 3. p. 2. 5. 59. Among the works describing the characteristics of the Veda (vedalalcsana) are numerous treatises on compounded words etc. 3. KASHIKAR. 21. 9. Like almost all other commentators31 Sayana indeed maintains mostly the ritualistic tradition of Veda interpretation 32 . 460. at 12 AIOC I. 7. 3. 75. 5). 27 See e. (aningyam). 7.g. 55. that which could serve this end. 1: TS. 3. 11. 173 (on RV.g. 10. p. 36. 5. 2. 150. 28 Cf. 55. Vol. one of which has been edited in IHQ 7. handbooks for the use of officiants and other minor works most of which have remained unpublished34. 1. cf. 2.). 34. 8. at OH 2. G. 2. 2: TS. 1. KXJNHAN RAJA. 37. 211. p. 3. add. 6. I. 156. 2. 11: TS. G. Lahore 1935. 189. This is not to say that the at first sight unconvincing notes should be ignored (cf. 29 Not all quotations found in Sayana's work are traceable (C. 4. 4. 153. very often he is obviously mistaken27 or in any case not to be followed unreservedly28. 54. V. E. 27. He even preferred such explanations as would suit the ritual application of the stanzas and more than once quotes from other works. RV. In his general introduction to the Rgveda he devotes many pages to a systematic exposition of Indian apologetics (H. RV. 101. 3. p. 4. 3. 2. 7. e. Siddheshwar Varma. 38. 19. 32 Cf. 11. NARAHARI. 15. at The Aryan Path 22. 6. .g. 13. e. 1. 11. 7. 3. allegorical and legendary explanations33. 3. 7. (partial) edition: Rgvedabhasya of Udgitha. p. Udgltha's commentary30. 4. Zur indischen Apologetik. 30 C. 261). G. VI. collections of hymns or verses. also MAX MULLER. A history of ancient Sanskrit literature. P. The pertinent 'frame-stories' of hymns which he by way of introduction or interwoven in his notes quotes from brdhmanas are on the whole less reliable than the many valuable indications concerning the ritual application of the texts 29 . BHATTACHARYA. 2. 25. 1. 4. dipika etc. The explanations furnished in the different exegetical works written by or attributed to Sayana are not always consistent.g. 26 There is a large number of 'difficult words' of which neither Yaska nor Sayana had any certain information. p. 15. No more than passing mention can be made of the numerous "elucidations" (vivarana. GELDNER. 1. 535. 20. 10. V. 4. e. 1. 1. 50. 2. 16. Comm. A comparative study of Udgltha's bhasya on the Rgveda. sometimes he does not mention his sources by name or refers to them in his own words. Stuttgart 1930). or proposes completely improbable solutions. KASHIKAR. 10. 5. 18.

p. p. Survival of the Veda 43 As already intimated the Veda has for many centuries—even when manuscripts and. 1 and compare SIEG. p.g. Dh. Delhi 1965). The destiny of the Veda in India. p. appropriately arranged. Nowadays prayoga is almost extinct while many forms of svddhydya have become very rare. 235. 2. printed editions were available—been handed down by word of mouth (dmndya). VI (1960. 107. M. was already at an early date very imperfectly known and understood. The instruction of brahmin boys by a qualified teacher (guru. 11.e. cf. The brahmins' task is indeed twofold : the sacrificial performance in which recitation of Vedic hymns and stanzas. Ancient Indian education. from an occurrence in the year 1742 communicated by WEBER. 5. GONDA. p. 119. Through this recitation—which makes the inherent power of the mantras efficacious—brahmins gain merit and perfection2 and contribute to the preservation of the sacred order of the universe. upddhydya) is elaborately described in grhyasutras and other ancient texts3.g. transl. 269. p. P. VIDHTJSEKHARA. trcas (see p. Change and continuity in Indian religion. RENOXJ. cf. though highly revered. London 1947. 174. A thorough study of the Veda requires an insight into the tradition of this literature in later times and its reception by the Indian posterity4. 246f. V. And this notwithstanding the paradoxical situation that the Veda. in modern times.I. Engl. R. in many cases. Le destin du Veda dans l'Inde. 2 See e. 1. 189) and verses (re). GONDA. 3 For sources and particulars see KANE. The aversion to writing down a Vedic text appears e. For an objective judge this tradition is also a history of attempts at explanation from preconceived points of view.Introduction to the Veda in general and the l^gveda in particular 6. on the one hand the danger of continuous obscuration of the original meaning of the latter and on the other the impossibility. 4 L. Manu 2. The latter regards suktas. ch. also R. at 6 AIOC. 83. in ZDMG 7. Hence the belief that any mistake results in calamities and the preference for oral transmission which was regarded as a safeguard against profanation and divulgement among the unqualified and uninitiated. 66. The right and duty to preserve the tradition —an unbroken succession of teachers and taught (sampraddya)—falls solely to the brahmins who have transmitted this heritage with unparalleled accuracy. p. of knowing whether a certain doctrine or interpretation had not existed long before its first occurrence in writing. I. 7. This conscientiousness is identical with the exactitude with which they acquitted themselves of their ritual duties.. The Hague 1965. E. at BDCRI 4. 11. below. When used for ritual purposes the texts had to be recited without any deviation from A distinction was made between a "general or ordinary application" (sdmdnyaviniyoga). II. See Sayana. J. dcdrya. I. MooKERJI. SB. 1. 268. i. is an important element (prayoga) and study and recitation in the order in which the hymns appear in the great collections (adhydya)1. p. Sagenstoffe. the study (recitation) of the text in the codified order and the "special application" (vigesaviniyoga) in rituals as taught in the sutras. 147. 3. 483. also 4. on RV. H. APTE. 1 . K. V. The practice of oral instruction and exegesis co-existing with the tradition of the texts involved.

103. E.. KANE. 18. 34. 5. in comparative isolation. S. Andhra Pradesh. B. London 1837. gods and application runs the risk of being reborn in an inferior state of life (cf. there exist. II. discussed. 8 "In the regular perusal of the Veda. this scholar brought to light many unknown manuscripts). ATHAVALE. cf. 2. Restricting ourselves to the Rgveda we now know that. II. Fundamental themes of the Atharvaveda. difficult for Western scholars to obtain reliable information on the manner of studying. reciting and chanting as practised by the brahmins11. 1. This neglect of the meaning of the Veda6. metre. the student is required to notice. 3. Tradition indeed has it that the man who teaches or learns the Veda without knowing the rsis. 6. H. VI. RENOTJ. in 15 AIOC. 8. or of those who meditated on its meaning or tried to understand it with a view to obtaining final emancipation10. !§B. 12. also R. moreover. 5. which however do not inform us about particulars as to which Veda or which texts roused the interest of those who "appropriated. 72). which . In general: RENOU. p. Yet there are some stray references to interpretative study of the Veda9. especially. condemned though it was by various authorities7. 1. To understand the meaning . 39. p. I.S. p. . resemble the predominant Yajurveda recitation. 30. 13. at 15 AIOC. Dh.44 J. 8. 4. In reciting it is a general practice to extend the ending portions of a verse with unbroken continuance into the initial portion of the following verse (cf. but even detrimental to the one who pronounces it5. 3. led many modern orthodox brahmins to indulge in the thought that the meaning of the sacred corpus cannot be known8. BHATTACHARYYA. 3. different styles of recitation12 which sometimes coincide with what we know of the geographic distribution of the Vedic schools in ancient times. about these possessions is often very hazy (see D. 9. and purpose of each invocation. a recitation is not only null and void. Outside these two main traditions there exist. 156. 10 11 Cf. the author. is thought less important" (H. in different parts of India. and see TS. 84). HATJG. P. studied and recited" the Veda. 2. VISHVA BANDHTJ. p. S(H)ASTRI. I. . 2. GB. H. Yajnavalkya 3. . P. the sacrificial priests were not interested in interpreting them for men. S. The knowledge of the villagers. p. p. XI. p. Saurashtra. 12 Which. . V. Destin. metres. which is purer and probably richer. 20). 1. some others. quantities etc. This practice is (at least it originally was) to avoid an ominous interruption. in QJMS 37. 14. KANE. p. Dh. . 2. 799. in the South (Madras. however. VaikhSm. WEBER. 8 9 Daksasmrti 2. 13 In some regions of the South £rauta rituals continue to be performed. subject. in ZDMG 17 (1863). cf. Poona 1968. the most interesting of which is that of the Nambudiri 5 Cf. 356. Bhasya on Vedantasutra 1.1. M. 37.g. P. Uttar Pradesh) and one. COLEBROOKE. TH. Sankara. 3. 7 E. There is a tradition of the &akala recension in the West of India with extensions to the North (Maharashtra. &B. Miscellaneous essays. 358. and places such as Manu 12. As the texts were intended for the deities. p. In Eastern India the Vedic tradition is fast dying out. is much practised by Mahrattas and Telingas. Cf. in whose possession important manuscripts remain. 1.Gonda • Vedic Literature what was supposed to be their original form. Without exactitude in the pronunciation of accents. For Sarikara. p. while the texts themselves remained as good as unchanged. p. Mysore)13. Nirukta. Cf. Until recently it was.

N. in fact. p. viz. In many cases J. at ABORI 28. STAAL. Since this often was the result of a later development. 26. Malayalam15. The choice between these three views became left to the judgement of interpreters. According to the first approach the deity of a mantra should. An analysis of Rgvedie recitation.—admits of a threefold interpretation. Nirukta 10. 1. Nambudiri Veda recitation. For the Nambudiris STAAL. viz.g. see p. with reference to the deities (adhidaivata) and with reference to the 'Soul' (adhydtma)16. 499. rites and metaphysical matter. became much inclined to take nonritual matter somehow to be indicative of ritual acts. Already at an early date the doctrine found acceptance that the Veda as a whole—and consequently a given passage of the Rk-Samhita etc.g. Kumbhakonam 1962. p. and prefer a swinging or trembling pronunciation of final vowels. or two virtuous kings. 18 For particulars: SIEG. Ancient schools of Vedic interpretation. F. be inferred from the ritual application. Compare e. p. E. in Art and Letters. much in vogue. from the point of view of the performance of rites (adhiyajna). p. The recitation of these brahmins is rhythmical rather than musical. the Indian study and exegesis differentiated into four main17—non-exclusive and non-inimical—currents or modes of access. The Hague 1961 (for a survey of the geographical distribution of the Mkhds. Sagenstoffe. the explanations of the name and the personalities of the Asvins in Yaska. DANDEKAR. 86. Their Rgveda belongs to the Baskala recension. in case it is not mentioned explicitly. or they are heaven and earth. and philosophers often tried to corroborate their arguments with quotations from the Veda. JGJRI 16. the latter subject being mainly discussed in the wpanisads. According to those who prefer the second and more influential approach the mantras are philosophical allegories which admit of a speculative interpretation on the basis of the monistic doctrine: all Vedic deities are. 14 . Ritualists. In 1956 the Indian Government decided on a more systematic search for surviving centres of traditional transmission of the Veda. 7. GRAY. the poet's intentions were easily missed. dranyakas and wpanisads of the Rgveda. K. in later times. RAGHAVAN. Some minor characteristics are no doubt influenced by their mother tongue. p. 32. 4. 16 Compare e. nasals etc. p. for instance. a philosophical. 143. ibidem. they pay much attention to time units and intervals. and they follow either the Kausitaki (Sankhayana) or the Asvalayana school. 83 and the commentaries on this place. reciting also the brdhmanas. B. V. 1: called after their horses (a§va). An analysis of Nambudiri Rgvedic recitation. BSOAS 22 (1959). 15 See also J. Nir. aspects of the one Atman (adhydtma view). in certain circles. 18).Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 45 brahmans of Kerala14. a ritualistic. In the course of the Vedic period it must have become clear that the sacred literature generally speaking dealt with gods. GUPTA. most interpreters of the Veda were Vedantins. 11. Since etymological interpretation was. R. 12. an etymological and a legendary and mythological one18. Manu 6. 138. 17 For some other 'approaches': S. The present position of Vedic recitation and Vedic $"dkhds.

anachronistic or even surreptitiously reinterpreted though they might be. or. earth and intermediate space—and propagates a traditional exegetical doctrine on the basis of the Naighantuka20. Contradiction of the Veda became the main criterion of heresy25. Mbh. Circulating only among the more intellectual classes of society the ancient texts escaped literal interpretation. 62. p. However. But instead of this they did not escape the prestige of perfection. M. In innumerable cases one believed oneself to be in the wake of this literature which is 'the main sign of Indian orthodoxy. p. 483). p. 15. an adequate understanding of this 19 20 21 See e. 26 See for instance Kautiliya Arthasastra. i n 6 A I O C . such as the Sivaite Pasupatas and the Visnuite Pancaratrins. 33 "that which is found in (the Veda) exists elsewhere. that of the etymological exegetes (nairukta)19. on this Kautsa controversy: RENOU. 1. by means of works based on these and transmitted by human memory (smrti). subsidiarily. 25 Cf. (For particulars: VlDHUSEKHARA &ASTB. The third approach. 68) in which a critic named Kautsa questions the authority of the Vedas and maintains that their stanzas are meaningless. Sagenstoffe. 13ff. 49). It is clear that a modern philologist will in innumerable cases disagree with all these principles of exegesis22. the expressed sense (abhidhd).' viz.46 J. NARAHARI. 2. The conviction that the Veda contains everything23 led many authors to cite it in order to justify their own opinions. who base their interpretations on the traditional belief that the gods are individuals figuring in legends and narratives (itihdsa): thus the Asvins were devout kings. as well as with reasoning flarka).I. in corroboration of their views they often refer to the stories in the brdhmanas. Jains and Materialists (Carvakas) as heretics. in 19 AIOC. the Aitihasikas21. G. 32. See p. Vedic learning never became the common property of the masses. APTE. the implied sense (laksand) and the allusive or suggestive sense (vyanjand)'ii. Yaska." 24 23 That already in Yaska's days there were sceptics appears from a well-known passage (Yaska. p. Nir. whose obscurity is often admitted. The belief in the conclusive force of the (often untenable) etymologies was combatted by the adherents of the fourth method. While aJmost any doctrine might combine with professed allegiance26 and lip service enabled certain religious groups. at BhV 10. 8. In doing so they readily availed themselves of the traditional distinction between three 'semantic aspects. the help of the veddngas being a matter of course. 19 etc. is nowhere. explicit denial of the Veda stamped Buddhists. 2 and 3 (H. ch. 1. Gonda • Vedic Literature this interpretation involved serious misapprehensions. p . embraces more than its name suggests: it reduces the many gods of the Veda to three—viz. 105.g. Destin. 22 Cf. 3. V. 13. the representatives of heaven. to remain within the Hindu fold. For details: SIEG.' whilst actually turning one's back to it. that which is not. Vrtra an asura and so on. In the view of the orthodox—or rather traditionalists—the true meaning of Vedic texts. Nir. . can be explained by the qualified with the help of other revealed (irauta) texts.

.. 4. a. p. M. O. RENOU. 17. 6. In later upanisads31 there are however besides quotations. Tokyo 1954. 27. The theme—inspired by the hostility between snakes and birds of prey—may be very old. p. Die Suparnasage. in Pres. 4. 434. 79 (= K. 35 36 As was CHARPENTIER'S opinion (o. Although it is for the greater part composed in the form of a conversation between the principal figures it should not be described36 as a drama. 40. a 'philological study' atrophied in course of time. I. Modern scholars have rightly differed in opinion from interpretations offered by upanisads (cf. p. Vol. 1912.. 30 Cf. the daughters of Daksa and wives of Kasyapa who became the mothers of the serpents and of the bird Garuda or Tarksya.—of KadrU and Vinata. 979. N. AiUp. p. 1. 29. 336). p. Destin. 182. in J. 28 27 4. in NG 1911. p. Hiriyanna. p. and Indra allots them to him as his food. 8. 782. at IA 5. 115. imitations in a sort of hybrid Vedic idiom32. GRITBE. Uppsala-Leipzig 1920 (with a German translation). . at Comm. 2. to the snakes. 33. 1. but the poem itself cannot go back to the brahmana period35. p. see F. 1. 1. See also H. the victim of her sister's strategems. Among these imitations33 is also the Suparnakhyana 34 . Suparnadhyayah. Nor is it a sort of extract from the more fluent Mahabharata story which for a MaitriUp.g. p. see A. while emphasizing the philosophical value and adhydtma view of the Veda. 357) with a German translation. 26.g. in Vol. 5. OLDENBERG. The upanisads. 4. KEITH. 10. 2: RV. 8f. NARAHARI. 4. ChU. Thesis Leipzig 1875 and at 34 33 WEBER. 5. 273. 3.. B. S. p. e. 9: AV. Vol. 16. KEITH. promising to give the soma. p. KausUp. at ZDMG 37. 3. 7. BAU. at JRAS 1900.c. 1 etc. p. S. 460 ( = 1495).. 32).Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 47 body of literature was lost at an early date. see also E. 1. p. 2. S. p. 5. Kunhan Raja. 4. K. 31 Cf. 14 etc. and the commentators give ample evidence of ignorance and false notions. ChU. Some other details: RENOU. BAU. a poem in pseudo-Vedic style dealing with the story—well known from Mbh. Destin. p. S. This bird is the hero of the story: he frees his mother.C. p. 8: RV. 2. 3.4. 32 For the Nitimafijari. 116. Madras 1946. p. HERTEL. 4. 1. in JRAS 1911. p. (RENOU. NARAHARI. Ind. 10 on RV. a sort of (late) Rgvedic anthology. 1. G. 1. TSTXJI. 3. With HERTEL. at WZKM 23. 6-7. Iff. consider its study an antidote against the miserable condition of the individual soul and man's ultimate refuge27. p. 4. p. Mysore 1952. 3. 395). XIV. J. he does not however hand it to them. 454). 67 ( = K. They moreover already give evidence of the tendency to co-ordinate ('identify') the divisions of the sacred literature with macrocosrnic and microcosmic entities28 and make them the subject of various esoteric speculations29. Miyamoto. 344 (2DiisseldorfKoln. quotations from Vedic texts are—in contrast with the Brhadaranyaka—already absent in the Chandogya and not very frequent in later upanisads30. p. Jena 1919. 1414) and 1919. 3. OLDENBERG. KaUp. for which he goes to the heavenly regions. J. and Buddhist Studies 3. 4. 29 See e. 1. C. NG 1891. 127. CHARPENTIER. KIELHORN. On the other hand. 7. Indische Marchen. 5: RV. an instance is the Baskalamantra-Upanisad.

918. The Hague 1936. V. see A. G. 44 See p. Moreover. and see e. Yajri.Dhs. inter alia. at ZDMG 117. Dh. Der heilige Agastya nach den Erzahlungen des Mahabharata. 9 of which in book XII. I. 2. 140. p. 6 (quotations). 152. 42 See e. Sagenstoffe. and 151. after the oldest dharma works. London-Edinburgh 1861. 12. p. H. SORENSEN. p. the dharmasutras. 43 Cf. 2Delhi 1963. 42 (on RV. AiUp. PO 22. The authoritative writings on dharma are in agreement on the doctrine that the Veda is their first source: "whatever rule Manu has ordained that has been fully declared in the Veda"38. p. absorbed in the Mahabharata40 than to find that puranas in several places quote Vedic texts41. More quotations could be found. 39 For details: RENOTJ. 13. 57. 353. Agastyaparwa. The birth'of Pururavas. I l l . Madras 1946. 20. 1. 27 there are 19 references to Rgvedic passages in the Mahabharata. RV. 14).48 J. 4. KEITH. 10. RV. RATT. 21868.'p. W. 4. P. A. Gonda • Vedic Literature right understanding of the abrupt and badly transmitted text37 must in places be consulted. 1. Moreover. 1. II. passim. 5: RV. 17944. 91. GELDNER. 5. 4. JRAS 1913. KANE. as a teacher and otherwise. 153. quoting. 1. through citations.. The role of Agastya in the Vedic and post-Vedic literature. 95. p. J . KausUp. Brahma Pur. p. MUIR. Agastya.. 1. 16. APTE. p. 4. 18 AIOC. p.. the rsi of RV. KANE. Dh. was.g. p. HOI/TZMANN. 7. 88 Cf. JBBRAS 26. 200 f. 8: RV. 41. H. 19). KANE. 12: RV. 165 ff. Destin. 4. The figure of king Pururavas and especially his being a son of Ila43 was in many variant versions well known to epic and puranic authors according to whom his mother was also his father (or a woman of changing sex) and the daughter of Manu. It is at first sight less surprising to see that a considerable amount of preepical literature is. B. For relations between Rgveda and Mahabharata: SIEG. 109. III. 919 (other purdnas). 10. for other details: RENOU. p. 1. passim. V. 2.g. London 1904. adaptations. 412 combating J. ZDMG 34 (1880). P. Volume C. 4. 18. 5. p. V. Vedic mantras and legends in the purdnas. 6ff. For references to the Veda in smrti texts see J. 14. Vedic texts no longer seem to be quoted39. For a complete list of references: S.g. p. Dh. Destin. V. Kunhan Raja. 15 (paraphrase).. 1. V. p. GONDA. Ap. 589. some Vedic personalities and mythical themes did not fail to appeal to these poets who generally speaking addressed themselves to large audiences. p. 1. on 1. 41 . 6 = RV. MarkPur. at WZKM 25.170 and 1. 34: RV. to have a great future in 37 See e. Generally speaking the smrti often develops ideas expressed in older texts or enshrines interpretations of Vedic passages which then already were traditional. in Volume of studies in Indology P. SVetUp. 8 = RV. p. S. KANE. An index to the names in the Mahabharata. KANE. 158 etc. 27. Manu 2. allusions or imitations. 39. 164. M. 1. 99. 1. ViPur. 4. RAHTJRKAR. Poona 1941. 164. 40 According to V. 16. 2. H. 1. HERTEL. We should however remember that the practice of quoting Vedic passages in support of statements and arguments adopted by the authors of the earlier upanisads^ was pursued not only by philosophers but also by the authors of religious and ritualistic works who pretended to build their doctrines on the foundation of the Vedic tradition. 22: RV. 40 (cf. Original Sanskrit texts. p. and one of the interlocutors of 1. also GELDNER. 722.

129 f. mlmdmsd. 48 See p. for instance.g. Thesis Utrecht. 63.C. See further R. 177). Vienna 1972. 1. B.) survey of the 'orthodox' brahminical literature the four Vedas. JSVOI 1948.) are full of Vedic memories. G. O. Cf. 129). Finally. for Namuci (RV. 1. Ram. JGJRI 25 (1969). 65) and Astavakra (3. 4 (also confused with Vrtra: HOPKINS. the illustrious exponent of the 'orthodox' Nyaya-VaiSesika philosophy Udayana ( ^ 1000 A. TRIPATHI. the four updngas (purdna. The Mimamsakas—i. JRAS 1913. E. 28. among which those dealing with Kanva's hermitage (Mbh.g. E. which together with the four so-called upavedas. V. For other information see DANDEKAR. R. in his opinion the Veda is authoritative because the Lord alone is its author. the adherents of the Purva-mimamsa. B.D. 47 . 53. 25. CHEMPARATHY. This led to a preponderance of the Yajurveda over the Rgveda51. P. HOPKINS. CH. p. cf. 276. medicine (dyurveda). 34. 2. H. Epic mythology. p. music (gdndharvaveda) and political science (arthaMstra) complete the typical and significant number eighteen. p. S. I.v. 397. Jaiminisutra 1. An Indian rational theology. JOSHI. p. JGJRI 22. 118. that so-called orthodox school of philosophical thought which originally devoted itself to the systematic interpretation of the Vedic ritual and injunctions but in course of time elaborated. Strassburg 1915. no doubt as a result of secondary manipulation of the Vedic tradition. According to them. 48 In Madhusudana Sarasvati's (16th cent.): Mbh.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 49 the same genres of literature which also preserved the memory of Angiras and other rsis45. Rgveda and Purvottaramimamsa methods of interpretation. s. an epic which may resume a late Vedic theme and a puranic story that in its kernel is totally different from the Vedic account of the enmity between the two priests47. The stories about Vasistha and Visvamitra and their contest are in post-Vedic literature often narrated and alluded to as if they were real historical tradition. 50 See e. an epistemological technique—believe that the Veda has no other purpose than the performance of sacrifices50. 24. TATACHARYA. S. p. the six Vedangas.g. 29. GOPAL. K. nydya. Vedic sources of the i§arngaka legend of the Mahabharata. 25. the gods are nothing but recipients of oblations and a basis for the eulogies which are a subsidiary of the sacrifices. F. also Sayana. In the so-called orthodox (traditional) view the infallible Veda48 is the exclusive source of higher knowledge and of socio-religious duties49.. VI. 129. dharmaMstra) are said to constitute the fourteen basic collections.. p. 1. the mantras are instruments of offering. p. p. 3. p. to Rgveda-Bhasya and Yajurveda-Bhasya. 885. 3. For doubts about the dogma of infallibility e. T.e. p. but sometimes also mixed up with marvellous incidents and other material46. at Anviksiki 3 (1970). This led to two traditions. See WEBER. Among those who rejected the theory of the eternity of the Veda was. G. KEITH.). Index. the science of archery (dhanurveda). VIVEKANANDA. inter alia. p. 202. I. at 20 AIOC. 132ff. at JRAS 1914. W. II. A. Introd. For a dogmatic orthodox view of the authority of the Veda see e. the scripture in its 45 V. PARGITER. p. 81 D. The fact that in Indian logic the so-called verbal testimony (of the Veda) came to be one of the means of valid knowledge contributed much to safeguarding its authority. certain passages. 49 It would take too long to dwell upon various possibilities of agreement with reservations. Complete works. RAHURKAR. 1. a. 6Calcutta 1964. 7 etc. (Cf. Visvamitra and Vasistha.

in Offenbarung. 2. over 200 of which. 63 According to GARGE. 2. of superhuman origin and supposed to express one homogeneous doctrine.50 J. and of the semi-Vedie tendencies in definite religious communities lies outside the scope of this work See RENOU. Le 'vedisme' de certains textes hindouistes. From the standpoint of the most influential Vedanta or Advaita ('Monism') the whole Vedic literature. The Veda reveals truths which man could discover by the exercise of his own faculties—viz. already in earlier upanisads. e. may be supposed to have been quoted from texts lost to us. to require for a proper understanding knowledge of other works 52 Cf.g. See K. Cf. 3. Die Autoritat des Veda.g. 10. that of "the oneness of the dtman. while regarding all Vedic texts as equally authoritative and speaking. at BDCRI 4. in his Vedarthasamgraha.) cites nearly 2000 passages from Vedic texts. GANGANATHA JHA. 4. 199. Ramanuja (1050-1137). when the teachings of this school crystallized the hymns and many portions of the bralvmanas disappeared beyond the horizon and the original meaning of many stanzas was no longer preserved. 4. MarkPur. J.. 54. 102." is to initiate its students into higher secrets. Hence the predilection for metaphysical interpretation of Rgvedic passages. 531. GARGE. . HEESTERMAN. D. in which all the relevant wisdom of the Veda has. v. JA 255. Gonda • Vedic Literature entirety is the sole means of knowing man's ritual. 329 Sabara (probably 5th cent. p. in those circles which do not recognize the Vedic sacrificial rites as the sole way to welfare and salvation has two aspects56. been embedded. BAIL 1. V. A. at 13 AIOC. 315. and passim. a collection of injunctions to (mostly ritual) actions53. their axiom that a ritual act is particularly effective when it is consecrated by a Vedic text conveying an appropriate and favourable meaning led to misinterpretations54. a discussion of the anti-Vedic attitude of Jainas etc. religious and secular duties52. 41. Destin. p. p. p. the mantras being considered something subordinate55. regarded as authoritative and embodying eternal truth57. actually limits himself to the upanisads. Wien 1974. herausg. at BDCRI 3. p. For instance. 10. 2. Yet Vedic literature preceding the wpanisads was of much less systematic interest to the adherents of this school—which concentrates upon the speculative portions (jndnakdnda) of the Veda—than the latter collection of writings. Manu 12. G.D. The Veda is on the one hand highly revered. Being a faithful adherent of the Vedanta practically means remaining true to the principles of the Veda. cited also to demonstrate Vedic affiliation. p. The attitude towards the Veda adopted. VELANKAR. in their opinion. Restoring the Rk-Samhita to its foremost place among the Vedas this school teaches that this collection is as much concerned with Brahman as the wpanisads and that the names of the individual gods really refer to that Ultimate Principle. 94ff. 67 Cf. BHATTACHARYA. Oberhammer. p. 54 See also RENOU. e. to aid them in experiencing transcendent reality. 86 55 Cf.C. at Annals of the !§ri-Venkatesvara Oriental Institute Tirupati 1. Destin. 1. of the Veda in its entirety. but on the other hand considered to contain lower wisdom. being unidentifiable. 5. However. p. in meditative experience—though it is to our advantage that they are revealed because not all men are able to embark upon such an enterprise.

BhG. 12. 101. 67 See GONDA. The use of Vedic mantras in the ritual texts of the Vaikhanasas. 18. the four divisions of the Veda came to be elements of the speculations of particular groups 59 . use. GUPTA published (Aligarh 1955) an anthology of Vedic mantras for children: Bala-Vedamrta. V. e. p. 353. H. 29. p. 11. p. 8. in Sri Venkatesvara. Mbh. 99. 187. BHATTACHARYA. II. 917. Manu 11. 64 K. Applications of Vedic mantras in tantric rites. 62 58 For particulars see: GONDA. p. e. 59 Cf. G. 1. In domestic rites.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 51 (e. at WZKSA 12-13. in OH 8 (1960).. 42. 9. 9. 8. 2.g. 1. 12. 1100.154)67. not only with the worship of Visnu. 14. e. . as the imperishable Word 65 . e. 75. Dh. 264. 6. Kane. 915. 43. AGBAWALA. in course of time re-interpreted as a key-stone of Visnuite philosophy—and the &rlsukta. 68 For some particulars: RENOTJ. Particular Vedic mantras became associated.g. V. p. 129. 30.Dh. Destin. That means that many ancient mantras have tended to be relegated to personal.g. 2. 5. 44. BAIL 1. but also with various ritual ceremonies. D. IA. 3. KANE. Although the muttering of its mantras destroys all sins. Siva and other gods. 6. Laksmi-Tantra 29. 36. KurmaPur. MarkPur. RV. MuU.g. e. ceremonies for purification or acquisition of special merit or benefit some of the Vedic hymns or mantras continued to have a function beside the Hinduist formulas which. H. 60 Cf. 6. 1 (1964). IV. Dh. intimately associated with the great divine figures of Hinduism60. p. 46. for instance. Authors of ritual handbooks and passages emphasized the practical use and significance of the texts. 5. as a manifestation of Brahman itself. 32.g. Moreover. 10. p. 113. 1 (partly untenable). KANE. 16. generally appreciating and interpreting these from the point of view of their applicability to their own particular purposes and extending their ritual employment (viniyoga) to a wider circle of ceremonies. p. 5.' 61 CH. In tantric rites ancient material was even adapted to the cult of gods unknown to the Veda 61 : for instance. 9066—the famous purusa hymn. KASHIKAR. 3 rd ser. BhagPur. 920. pur anas) which often claim equality with. p. 2. VisnuPur. Some outstanding examples of popular and surviving hymns are—apart from some post-Rgvedic texts—RV. 1. The most famous of the isolated Vedic mantras that remained in ritual use68—however much the spirit of the cult has changed—is Cf. 77. p. CHAKRAVARTI. The Vedic rituals through the ages. the Visnusukta (1. Mbh. the link between mantra and rite often being far-fetched. Journal. H. BhG. in OH (forthcoming). p. 5. certain hymns gained a special vogue and significance64. p. S. 16ff. 1. 53. they were. after the beginning of the Christian era. V. 63 C. though addressed to Agni. that is mainly magic. 1. 17. or even a priority of. it can be dispensed with by devout worshippers of Siva or Visnu58. is used for invoking Durga. 330. 19. H.g. JASBL 18 (1952). Univ. 65 Cf. 66 GONDA.'KANE. Whereas in the post-epic period the performances of srauta sacrifices have gradually become less frequent63. gradually came to the fore62. Dh. 5 (1962). These Vedic texts could not have survived if they had not been regarded as absolutely sacrosanct. the Veda. V. 914. cf. I I J 14 (1972). because their mere recital is believed to be an act of merit. Orient.

10. it is true. AminabadLucknow 1971. BHARGAVA. 81 J. 279. New Delhi 1947. 218. on the continuation of Vedic characteristics in—later Indian literature. Dh. 4. inter alia. royal panegyrics73 and Icdvya poems74. Destin. 729. knowledge of Vedic religion and literature80. p. 351.Gonda • Vedic Literature RV. India in the Vedic age. 300. p. the Sun): "That we obtain that desirable (excellent) radiance of god Savitar who is (may be expected) to stimulate our visions"69. 77 See TODAR MALL. p. Magha has a certain predilection for Vedic mythology. for instance. 25. FILLIOZAT. later kdvya poets79 seem to have been more inclined to displaying their. 6 5 ff. 74 S. Paris 1968. 289. XXIV.52 J. 79 The treatises on poetics did not. Bhavabhfiti ( i 730). RAGHAVAN. 274. I would not say that. who claimed to be a scion of a family of teachers of the Taittirlya sdkhd of the Black Yajurveda77. It can generally speaking be maintained that the more profane the literary works the rarer the allusions to the Veda proper. 72 . P. B. at Melanges Renou. shows traces of familiarity with the Vedic sacrificial phraseology78. p . 76 See BH. 31 (Kalidasa's Meghaduta). JASBombay 31-32. at 17 AIOC. Destin. a vital part of a brahmin's daily worship. pay much attention to the Veda. at JRAS 1914 II. Interestingly enough. partly unproved72. One should not. the metrical variation at the end of a poem) from the Vedic poets. 284. S.7. from remote times to the present day. UPADHYAYA. RV. The muttering of this most sacred mantra—to be ceremoniously imparted by the guru to a 'student' of the Veda70—forms. Oxford 1928. with P. in Journal de Psychologie. at Oriens 16. p. Some. the Gayatrl (because it is composed in the metre of that name) or Savitri (it is dedicated to Savitar. S. p. K. p. 24. 73 L. Already at an early moment it became an object of esoterical speculation and 'mystic' explanation. KEITH. superficial. 1951 p.11 has been the model for Rtusamhara 1. RENOTJ. It is true that the later generations inherited many stylistic and some structural features (various similes. and that the eulogistic literature (panegyrics and stotras "hymns of praise") continued Vedic features75. 76). Whereas Kalidasa's78 poems and dramas show hardly anything worth mentioning in this connection. The Veda was not unknown to the ancient Tamil authors either81. For many details: KANE. GUPTA. There is on one hand a tendency to archaizing imitation in Rajasekhara's Kavyamimamsa (±900) and on the other an inclination to regard its literary value as inferior to that of kdvya (RENOU. however. 78 A. See GONDA. 80 For some details: RENOU. L. 264f. V. India in Kalidasa. p. II. 16. Mahavira-caritam. Their works reflect a 69 70 71 See below. of re-interpretation. p. generally speaking.62. attach conclusive force to places such as Bharatiya Natyasastra 1. 297. modification and adaptation to the requirements of post-Vedic religious currents71. neither the hymns nor the prose of the brdhmanas were in the classical period sources for the renewal of literary art.25. 75 Seep. 283. H. p. observations have been made on the influence exerted by the Veda on—or to express ourselves more cautiously. p. p. 3.

SASTRI. the decline of Vedic literature must be ascribed to the difficulty of style and language of the mantras. Congr. 91 See p. Destin. 88 P.g. p. p. groups and schools.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 53 pan-Indian culture in which this sacred literature ranked among the main elements. BANKIM RACHANAVALI. 156. Collected writings. "the word of God and in some respects even godlier than God himself"84. 57.p. of Orient. in 10 AIOC (1940). S. Pres. S(H)ASTRI. p. addresses. 97. the fact that the Vedic religion had already at an early date ceased to appeal to the feelings. 3. the super-sensual existence. the longing for the summum bonum has been most convincingly revealed"86. "nothing less than the basis of our entire religious and social organization"85. p. 1. S. To mention only some random examples: the frog-hymn RV. In the 19th century many prominent Indians. 5. 1. in 2 AIOC. p. Generally speaking. P. 143. The Vedas. DESHMTJKH. PRADHAN. Autobiography (quoted after the Washington edition 1954). p. BELVALKAR. "Vedic literature has preserved for us the whole story of the growth of our spiritual and philosophical thought"87. 87 H. K. p.K. onesidedness and inaccessability of commentaries. 83 84 M. This lack of first-hand information did not however prevent many Indians from eulogizing the literature exuberantly. specialized. ancient lore with tenets of other provenance. and last but not least. D. Or calling Vedas what really belongs to the wpanisads they combined. R. Poona 1969. and to attract the attention. 10391 has been explained as bearing testimony to 'progressive social consciousness' in a 'critical and sceptical 82 RENOU. its esoteric. 89 85 See e. Calcutta 1969. 6. I l l . among whom for instance Vivekananda (1862-1902). the dispersion of those studying it over various regions. knew so little of the contents of the Veda that they mixed them up with beliefs of Buddhist and Hindu origin82. the rarity.GANDHI. in 13 AIOC (1946). S. Proc. inPO 10(1945). of large groups of the population. 26 Int. S. abstruse or antiquated contents. TARKABHTTSHAN. the use of isolated stanzas or fragments of hymns in the ritual. 67. There is moreover a pronounced tendency to idealize the contents of the Rgveda "which breathes an air of happiness and blithe charm"88 and to propose extravagant anachronistic interpretations and unfounded idealistic views of the Vedic past and of the poetry of the hymns89. some authors exhibiting also tendencies to euhemerism90. 150. We leave unmentioned those publications which intend to show that the Vedic poets had a knowledge of modern technics including even nuclear physics. in QJMS 40.p.thesame. 86 P.inABORI 38 (1957). 47. at ABORI 12. They give us also valuable information on its social and religious position: beside the younger Hindu works (dgama) which could pave the way for final deliverance the ritual set forth in the Veda remained a means of attaining woildly happiness and prosperity. VELANKAR. cf. are "the medium through which the gospel of the life beyond.cf. 7. p. 90 .ch. the emphasis placed upon mechanical recitation. 22. P. like Gandhi83.

S. Gonda • Vedic Literature society'92. S. Vedic Symbolism. Congress of Orient. PTTRANI. moreover. however. 26 Int.g. The mantras. AGRAWALA. P. p. KAPALI SASTRY. See S. S(H)ASTRI. of Rammohan Roy (1772-1833). p. Aurobindo (1872-1950). R. the Divine Will-force. in IHQ 32 (1956). T. 145. by no means scientific. 10. have an esoterieal meaning known only to the initiate who have learned to perform the 'inner sacrifice. 1 (1964).54 J. III. limited in number. 95. Lights on the Veda. GTTPTA. 97 See e. Pondicherry 1947. address. 16. Calcutta Review 58. Hymns of the Atris. 40. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) and S. our helpers: for instance. P. Pondicherry 1964. interpretation95. 23 AIOC. taken allegorically and. ATJROBINDO (GHOSE). at JAOS 15. p. B. at BharatI 6. a widespread tendency to read into the <Veda esoteric implications based upon later usage of definite terms. M. RV. 130. Arya 2.. . p. 154. in the 19th century renaissance of Hinduism. I l l . V. in IA. but in reality the upanisads. Studies in Vedic interpretation on the lines of Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual 10 (1951).. 98 A. gods and demons98. 1) as a patriotic glorification of the 'motherland'93. 25 and compareBLOOMFIELD. Pastoral symbolism from the Rgveda. mystic and symbolical interpretation. namely of an inner exchange between divine power and men. 98 RAM GOPAL. DANGE. JAMBXJNATHAN. if properly called upon by means of the mantras. AGRAWALA. On the world-stage and in the individual soul the same drama is enacted with the same personages.P. Banaras 1962. S. The Vamadeva hymns to Agni. V. |i In a modernizing interpretation. one of the foremost modern exponents of an esoteric. the Veda. There is. at 20 AIOC. Pres. 12. Pondicherry 1946. as living realities. S. The greatness of Indian literature. they are given a socio-politie. 95 Dayananda was also among those spiritual leaders who shared the view that the Veda deals mainly with the Supreme Soul. BOSE. March 1936. 4 (Pondicherry 1915-1917). revealed only to the initiated. p. a truth which makes us unite ourselves with God and pass from mortality to immortality. Introduction. p. psychological. Varanasi (Benares) 1963.. p. 394. at 14 AIOC. The hymns themselves came decidedly to the fore in Dayananda Sarasvati's (18241883) Arya Samaj. views the Veda as a book of esoteric symbols." Being much more than "a superficial liturgy the Veda is the supreme infallible authority for spiritual knowledge. K. representing essential powers of God and as such standing for psychological functions. S. became. a tendency also to interpret it symbolically96 and to discern its spiritual and aesthetic significance by means of a study of the occurrences of these terms in later religious literature97. On the Veda. the famous hymn to the earth (AV.p. A. A. bearers of spiritual power. p. S. The gods. Sparks from the Vedic fire. and in Proc. C. Radhakrishnan (born 1888)." Its central teaching is a truth higher and deeper than that of outward existence. 19 AIOCS. 93 94 V.' The sacrifices also are symbolic. are. where. 9. our leader and path-finder". Hymns to the mystic fire. Agni. almost of spiritual formulae "which masks itself as a collection of ritual poems. 101 as advocating co-operative farming94. an element of living faith among the followers. 1. ~~"~P. p. Poona 1970. is "the inner flame. 3.

Abh. p. KUNHAN RAJA. p. Yet many hitherto unknown commentaries and other works were. p. 95. 285 (not free from circular argumentation and untenable interpretations of texts). AGBAWALA. The Vedas and adhyatma tradition. Others11 vindicate the old adhydtma exegesis of the orthodox 1 Cf. Pres. at IHQ 26. p. however. p. at ZDMG 83. G. International Academy of Indian Culture (successively at Lahore. KTJNHAN RAJA. etc. for whom the Vedas often have a vital and emotional interest and who often find it difficult to be objectively critical. Pres. 27 Int. 300 (and a book under the same title. BHAWE. on the decline2. 3. 8 C. For philological work done by Europeans and Indians in India: E. p. Nagpur. in 2 AIOC. II. . address. p. p. OH 8 (1960). at 16 AIOC. Tilak Vaidic Samshodana Mandal (Poona). 25. the devout fervour of mystic communion which they breathe10. also S. p. address. address. with the result that in the last decades Vedic research is in a modernized form winning ground. India's ancient literature. 4. 193. K.g. 1967 (Wiesbaden 1967). JOIB 13. RAGHAVAN. in 20 AIOC (1959). Philologie und Altertumskunde in Indien. Madras 1956). 73. Many Indian scholars7. Thoughts on aspects of Vedic studies. Delhi). WINDISCH. Proc. 3. at 2 AIOC (1923). 7 In general. C.g. 9 See e. D. p. There is on the other hand merit in promoting Vedic learning: the whole expense of the second edition of MAX MULLEB'S edition of the Rgveda was borne by the maharaja of Vijayanagara (E. 2 Cf. 1. Fortunately. learned societies founded4. BHATTACHABYA.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 7. BELVALKAB. The Vedas and Bhakti. 1. periodicals and several important enterprises started5. 25. 4 Most of these publications are hardly known outside their own region. Vedanta-Kesari 42. KASHIKAB. 24 AIOC (1968). 330.g. V. in 12 AIOC (1947). S. S. Study of the Veda 55 In the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century Indian contributions to modern Vedic research were scanty1. Vishveshvaranand Vedic Research Institute (successively in Lahore and Hoshiarpur). in the course of the last century. Kunde d. K. feel inclined to emphasize the beauty of their language and the majesty of their thought8. IC 5 (1938). 11 E. in The Aryan Path 17 (1946). It is with great regret we have to note that many Indian scholars are at a disadvantage because they are insufficiently abreast of what is going on in the West and especially of literature written in languages other than English. Congress of Orient. THOMAS. SASTBI. Pres. 6 See e. LtiDERS. S. p. S. Too often MAX MUIXEB and his contemporaries are still quoted as representative authorities whose opinions may be generalized. Indian scholars have repeatedly complained of the fact that interest in Vedic studies is. C. few will in this respect equal KEWAL MOTWANI. the same. H.g. p. S.g. 3 See e. their unparalleled significance for religious life9. 10 P. 91). BELVALKAR. STJBYA KANTA. J. V. in universities as well as in the traditional schools. found and—unfortunately not always critically—edited3. Leipzig 1921. 27. The publication of studies and translations written in modern Indian languages shows that nowadays the circles of those interested are widening6. Morgenlandes 15. p. in PrBr 63. p. see e. 4 Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (Poona). p. 262.

1918. E. Histoire de la derniere revolution des Stats du Grand Mogol and three other volumes. points of view and methods adopted by those western scholars who have contributed most to the study of the Veda. Max Muller (1823-1903. at IA 8. The scientific study of the Veda was founded. at JIH 3. COOMARASWAMY. BURNELL. in Verhandlungen Indologen-Tagung 1959. Amsterdam Acad. ritual interest. CALAND. de A. Paris 1928. Vol. Up to the middle of the 19th century the West was very badly informed on Indian literature in general. 21873. COLEBROOKE. p. He was the first to attempt a sketchy survey of the Vedic literature known. CHETHIMATTAM. linguistic. Thesis Utrecht 1917 (see p. at ZDMG 88. H.g. p. O. religious. Quart. 88. p. 14 Cf. 2 vol. TH. Danish and English18 authors who had stayed or travelled in India19. and PH.56 J. ROGERIUS. Berlin-Leipzig 1920. POLEY. p. Contending that the brahmanas already regarded the Veda as 'documents of spiritual culture' and inclining to an intuitively 'mystic' interpretation they sometimes tend to exaggerate the presence of upanisadic and monistic doctrines in the Rgveda12. e. after 1850 at Oxford) we are. and in Miscellaneous essays. p. 17 F. 20 F o r t h e period b e t w e e n ± 1 8 4 0 a n d 1920 see L . Amsterdam 1672. I. PRINTZ. 's-Gravenhage 1915. among many 12 Thus. in Int. THOMAS. 10 (1970). In their eyes "the approach to the deeper meaning of the Veda—the words of which are mere symbols—must be with faith. It may be useful very briefly to characterize the work. C. Leipsic 1847). BALDAETJS. p. re-edited by W. 18 H. Asiatick Researches 8. French17. Leyden 1651. 47. To his pupils Rudolph (von) Roth (1821-1895. London 1837. 19 For general information: W. Gonda • Vedic Literature tradition. Even from this resume it will appear that the history of Vedic researches has first and foremost been a struggle for the most adequate methods and that attention has been focussed mainly on problems of strictly philological. p. New approach. 16 Mention may be made of A. Some scholars for instance favour a 'socio-semantic' method of interpreting the ancient texts. Ontdekkingsgeschiedenis van den Veda. Tubingen) and F. 53. DE JONG. Philos. at IHQ 26. RENOTJ. re-edited by A. inaccurate and unreliable in many details (cf. Gottingen 1960. W. Geschichte der SanskritPhilologie und indischen Altertumskunde. J. 176). 233. Woolner. On the Vedas or sacred writings of the Hindus. Some short and inaccurate references are found in the works of Portuguese. by Eugene Burnouf (1801-1852)20. 13 A. L e s maitres d e l a philologie vedique. 356). and it would be an affectation to speak of them as literature"14. WIJESEKERA. 15 COOMARASWAMY. attempting to glean information regarding prehistoric development from a 'social' analysis of the myths and legends15. p. e. Dutch16. German translation by L. De Open-deure tot het verborgen heydendom. p. 98. A new approach to the Vedas. CALAND. . Afgoderye der Oost-indische heydenen. K. in Paris. spiritual rather than humanistic"13. Paris 1670-1671. A. Strassburg 1917. 161. WINDISCH. J. 369 (also separately Calcutta 1805. That is not to say that the East is inaccessible to new methods and approaches. B. "The lauds are means to happiness rather than to pleasure.g. J. J. Lahore 1940. COOMARASWAMY. translated into French and German. 89.. 52). E. p. CHABPENTIER. K. London 1933 (of. A. in Comm. BERNIER.

Petersburg (1852) 1855-1875. Considering the metrical parts of the Veda. 27 BERGAIGNE. 96. p. 8. However. 22 See above. p. Though often overshooting the mark he also contributed to a better understanding of Rgvedic diction and phraseology. Die indische Literatur. Berlin-Leipzig 1906. ROTH. Zur Litteratur und Geschichte des Weda. 160.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 57 other things. Bergaigne. 25 See below. Sayana and other commentators were continually consulted. Observations sur les figures de rhetorique dans le Rig-Veda. Quarante hymns du Rig-Veda. 28 PISCHEL and GELDNER. ROTH. in interpreting the hymns. It was to be Abel Bergaigne's (1838-1888) task to show that the interpretation of the Rgveda is much more complicated and difficult than was assumed by his predecessors. R. Oldenberg. 1 etc. I. MSL 8. St. F. The activity of Richard Pischel (1849-1908) and Karl F. K. 26 See below. Alfred Ludwig (1832-1912). ritual and moral order. p. not with the help of comparative linguistics or mythology. 58. MSL 4. Very much inclined to call their authority in question he was the first European to emancipate himself from the tradition they represented. His ambitious attempt at explaining the contents of this corpus as a harmonious and systematic whole27—and that without relying on comparative mythology and evidence drawn from the later literature—led to an insight into the indissoluble relations between cult and myth and the belief of Vedic man in the identity of cosmic. GELDNER. p. Roth—to whom Europe owed the first clear information on the Veda23—rightly taught that the aim of Veda interpretation is not to ascertain the meaning which Sayana or even Yaska attributed to the hymns. myths were replaced by legends. Stuttgart 1846. not as products of theological speculation or liturgical practices. V. 23 R. in the 'Vorwort' of the Petersburg Dictionary. indebted for the compilation of the Vedic element in the so-called Petersburg Dictionary21 and the first edition of the Rgveda22. Consequently. I. Sanskrit-Worterbuch.. but with the later. S. in Kultur der Gegenwart. In their eyes the Rgveda is a purely Indian document to be interpreted. BOHTLINGK and R. 60. Geldner (18521929)28 in his younger days was a deliberate and polemical reaction against the prevailing opinions. In this he was followed by Grassmann. PISCHEL.. anything Indian. even the classical Sanskrit literature of the subcontinent. 7. 24 ROTH. The conviction that there were hardly connections between the Veda and later literature and the belief that there was a long distance in time between the hymns and the ritual texts were two of his errors. Auswahl. p. tried—not very successfully—to form an idea of the social and historical reality of which the poets are the exponents. . following Weber26 and reacting against Roth. he tried to view it as a coherent whole. V. R. but as ancient lyrical poetry24 misunderstood by later generations. Whereas Hermann Grassmann (1809-1877)25 had no opinions on Vedic mythology and ritualism. his 'structuralist' approach did not appeal to his contemporaries who thought in terms of historical evolution. 21 O.

RV. 32 Especially in his translation (GELDNEB. 31 The only work which adopted Pischel's points of view is SIEG. 455. p.58 J. could be utilized in elucidation of the Rgveda which. not only in detecting the weaknesses of the Vedische Studien but also in resorting to all reliable resources which might contribute to the understanding of the Veda. 56. for a short review of his principal works: RENOU. less one-sided in his views than most of his predecessors and contemporaries. leaving us numerous first editions and translations35. Yaska.g. Regarding the other Vedic texts as a sort of commentary on the Rgveda he had a keen eye for the possibilities offered by two nascent branches of learning. It was after World War II that it became clear that representatives of a younger generation had resumed the threads. 310. reflects a culture that is not widely different from that of the epic and classical periods29. Stuttgart-Berlin 1905. P. he tried to understand them first and foremost 29 Cf. S. R. I. was perfectly right. Gonda • Vedic Literature including even modern religions and folk-lore. V. 33 One can hardly object to the many—and sometimes critical—references to Say ana. Whereas the Vedische Studien did not fail to make some appeal to the judgment of the American scholars M. Sagenstoffe. 37 Cf. Renou's place in Vedic exegetical tradition. While sticking strictly to the philological facts attested Renou however tended to over-estimate the argumentum e silentio. in Pischel's opinion. cultural anthropology and the comparative study of religions. the purely literary aspects of the ancient Indian literature for linguistic and religious problems. p. Vedaforschung. p. P. they did not meet with much appreciation in Germany31 until. After Oldenberg the study of the Rgveda was for some decades almost stagnant—textcritical studies all but completely discontinued36 — and Caland's death deprived the ritual texts of their most prolific interpreter. 35 Most Vedic texts have appeared in print and the greater part has been translated. at 15 AIOC. JAOS 88. and many other works. XXII.. found in the notes to his translation. In the latter respect he was in the congenial society of Willem Caland (1859-1932) who as a worthy successor of Albrecht Weber (1825-1901) focussed his attention mainly on the brahmanas and sutras. S. p. Geldner himself rightly mitigated32—and in many particulars even abandoned—the onesided and often hazardous method advocated in that collection of studies33.. Maitres. e. also observed that "Pischel and Geldner are notoriously inclined to the belief that a considerable part of the Rgveda consists of fairy-tales" (ZDMG 48. p. like their predecessors. often however neglecting. phraseology and literary significance of the Vedic hymns38. Emphasizing the formulaic character of the hymns and eschewing clarification by means of external facts. Lanman (1850-1941). p. 36 30 See E. however. H. PISCHEL and GELDNEB. . 69 and RO 21. OLDENBEKG.). 38 RENOU. 34 H. V. Bloomfield (1855-1928)30 and Ch. H. Hermann Oldenberg (1854-1920)34. Louis Renou (1896-1966)37 was an honourable exception: in his toany valuable publications there is much that has deepened our insight into the style. Who. GEBOW. in later years. E. but much remains to be done. VISHVA BANDHU. 543). the anukramanis etc. diction.

See also I. Bruxelles 1958)—to our subject is not immediately apparent. one-sided—attempt has been made structurally—more exactly. AGRAWALA. A thorough understanding of the literary peculiarity and significance of the Veda will however require supplementation by historical methods. d. S. also B L O O M F I E L D . B. in Melanges Renou. Recently. reserve and soundness of judgment as well as his anti-dogmatism are a welcome counterpoise to prejudiced and not infrequently speculative 'systematic' views of the Veda. . drawing on later sources only as confirmatory. 7. G.D. 201 (contra V. 42 Cf. 26. problems connected with legends and other post-Rgvedic traditions in their relations to the Rgveda (e. rather than primary evidence40. e. from the view-point of a semiotic approach— to describe part of the contents of the Rgveda on the basis of formal features in such a way that a body of facts comes to stand out "in their systematic relations beyond the ranges of any obligatory interpretation"39. WINTERNITZ. Abh. I.g. A. WEBER. p. while neglecting the literary and aesthetic aspects of the literature in their learned publications42. in J A O S 8 8 . of course. W . p . in J A O S 15. Leipzig 1905. I. Varanasi 1963 (on RV. Paris 1968. Cf. LTJDWIG. 1 5 3 . p.g. 255. Whitney (1827-1894) and A.g. The thousand-syllabled speech. p. the poems of the Vedic sages are no treatises of logic or grammar and we can hardly expect them to give exact answers to all our questions. 1 (Prague 1890)). 1. TH. In these the literary inheritance of ancient India was in most cases dealt with as a source of information on the history of Indian civilization44 rather than for the sake of its own value and 39 40 T.S. We would probably not be far wrong if we relied as far as possible upon material found in the Rgveda itself and in the second place on those Vedic texts which are comparatively close to it. Internal comparison and reconstruction should be supplemented by data and hypotheses furnished by other branches of learning41. It seems beyond dispute that a complete collection of partial descriptions of this type would be greatly helpful as materials for forming a comprehensive idea of what the Rgveda really is. ELIZARENKOVA. 164)). Geschichte der indischen Literatur. Keith (1879-1944) his French lucidity. After the wholesome Anglo-Saxon scepticism of W.. 21876. A. an important—though. L'ideologie tripartie des Indo-Europeens.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 59 by internal comparison. Akademische Vorlesungen iiber indische Literaturgeschichte. e. DUMEZIL. I. but for the educated. tlber Methode bei der Interpretation des Rgveda. 4. N O R M A N B R O W N . Wiss. 21907 (1968) was explicitly intended "not for learned circles. 43 M. From the very beginning of Vedic studies in the West scholars." 44 A perusal of the pertinent publications shows that scholars discussed not only strictly linguistic and philological problems but also the question as to how to form an idea of the Vedic civilization and how to interpret the texts on the basis of such an idea (cf. 41 The relevance of some theories claiming to explain the Vedic view of life and the world from a single principle—such as Dumezil's theory of the three functions (e. Besides. were strongly inclined to deal with these subjects in works intended for a wider circle of readers43. the confused argument to the contrary by the latter in Purana 1 (Varanasi 1959) overlooks the fact that the puranas and similar writings of the later period are not identical with the purana mentioned in Vedic literature. Bohmische Ges.g. Berlin 1852.

after 80 years. BLOOMFIELD. 104. Max Mxiller Bhavan. the books on Indian literature by A. antiquated and methodically defective). 56 H. 73. Paris 1904. Dual deities. V. 1872). Cf. 1971. VON SCHROEDER. Rigveda Sanhita. M. 4 vol. 21870. MICHALSKI. p. in BB 7 (1883). French and German the reader may be referred to the bibliographies and to V. new edition by P. 1926) paid hardly any attention to the literary value of the Veda. New York 1929. 51 E. WILSON. COWELL and W. Milan n. LTJDWIG. 53 A. in AJPh 11 (1890).Gonda • Vedic Literature interest45. Indiens Literatur und Cultur in historischer Entwicklung. BERGER. Langlois53 and Wilson54. 1912.60 J. A. MAX MULLER'S History of ancient Sanskrit literature. addresses. also New York 1968). FOUCAUX. a long introduction and a register). 2 vol. p. republished 1936: a useful repertory of places. a wholly deficient work.. P.. suffered much from the defect that they were based on the (not always correctly understood) commentary of Sayana. with the peculiarities of ancient Indian thought (cf. R. Henry49 paid much more attention to religion. p. Liber primus. 6 vol. PISANI. 55 A. H. Pres. in RHR 21 (1890). London 1838. g. Authors of other works on Indian literature are more interested in the post-Vedic literature51. p. HENRY. with the light shed on the texts by the ritual (e. F. REGNAUD. Controversies upon the character and 'original' or functional significance of gods and myths will continue for many years to come (see e. B. 63). 60 KRISHNA CHAITANYA. London 1850-1858 (vol.I. LANGLOIS. Leipzig 1881. Whereas L. it can be said that the study of the ritual has contributed largely to the understanding of the samhitds). IV-VI edited by E. A. 1961. MACDONELL. 49 V. H. London 1900 (1925. Leipzig 1887 (1922). p. A history of Sanskrit literature. mythology and history of civilization than a modern reader would expect to find in them. in 19 AIOC (1957). nowadays. Der Rigveda. Macdonell48. Kaegi47. WEBSTER. In our days this tradition is continued by Krishna Chaitanya's50 idealizing book. 45 Even F. e. 46 L. Rig-Veda. This translation often deviates from the Worterbuch zum Rig-Veda by the same author (Leipzig 1873. KAEGI. The now completely antiquated work of those pioneers who enthusiastically undertook to translate the whole of the Rgveda52. New Delhi. 52 For translations in languages other than English. with an introduction which was also separately published: Calcutta 1852). 47 A. London 1962. the literature mentioned in GONDA. F. Indian editions in 1958.g. E. 84 H. GRASSMANN. 319. von Schroeder's lectures46 frankly admitted their double interest. at Yearbook 1964. 48 A. Rig-Veda-Sanhita. 6 vol. S.g. Rig-Veda ou Livre des hymnes. 1965. APTE. p. Leipzig 1876-77 (mainly intended for specialists). Grassmann and Ludwig. 298). A new history of Sanskrit literature. semantically unreliable. new edition Bangalore 1925-1928. Les litteratures de 1'Inde. 7).. Prag-Leipzig 1876-1888 (with a commentary. A collection of ancient Hindu hymns. London 1859 (21860.. ROSEN. Ludwig's55 stiff and abrupt style and Grassmann's56 wholly inadequate Germanization and often highly arbitrary attempts to replace an exact rendering of the texts as they have come down to us by the results of what he considered to be higher criticism seriously detracted BENFEY. inferior to Wilson's and F.g. I .d. Storia delle letterature antiche dell'India. V. at RO 24 (1961). Der Rigveda oder Die heiligen Hymnen der Brahmana. Paris 1848-1851 (in one volume. A. .

4 vol. ROTH. MACDONELL'S (somewhat antiquated) Vedic reader for students (containing only thirty hymns). . Siebenzig Lieder des Rigveda. mandala I-IV also Gottingen 1923). in some respects.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 61 from the reliability and readability of their otherwise premature work. between 1955 and 1969. V. Benares 1889-1892 (2 vol. without being much concerned with the results of comparative philology and the dissentient views of his colleagues he took neither the side of those who disregarded the Indian tradition nor that of those who followed it uncritically. V. went. to more recent renderings. justified—conviction that the poets liked ellipses. the incomprehensible remainder could be disregarded. 'double meanings'. the recension by L. The uniformity of his style and choice of words obliterates the considerable stylistic differences between the original texts. p. 4Varanasi (Benares) 1963). GRIFFITH. RENOU. VI). in similar contexts.. However. 45. 182.g. p. partly due to his—often. 64 65 63 OLDENBERG. different translations for the same term. B. Stuttgart 1893. see e. 139. E. J. H. Up to the present day English-speaking non-specialists57 unjustifiably prefer Griffith's58 translation. often and without apparent reason offering. 301. 3 vol. Vedaforschung. An anthology of Indian literature. KAEGI. it is true. though superseding his predecessors. Whereas Roth did not object to omitting epithets. Cf. p. his own way. 16. Oxford 1917 (more than once reprinted) the most recommendable for purposes of study and reference. F. in ZDMG 24 (1870). partly based on Sayana. he thought. The many insertions in brackets are partly to bring out the meaning of the text more clearly. RENOU. E. The hymns of the Rig-Veda translated with a popular commentary. p. ALPHONSO-KARKALA. R. GELDNER und A. beside A. T. 1. in Festgruss Roth. Der Rig-Veda aus dem Sanskrit ins deutsche ubersetzt und mit einem laufenden Kommentar versehen. at GGA 1953* p. A. he missed the exact meaning of many words. 58 R. p.. 1951 (vol. 66 E. RENOU. whose work59 unfortunately was published only thirty years after its completion. Geldner64 and others— optimistically argued against Max Muller in favour of the possibility of an exact and readable metrical rendering which can speak for itself.. V. with clear and sound judgment.g. p. P. those parts which prove untranslatable should. 1. with Geldner61 he tried to take full account of the publications of others on points of major and minor interest. WINDISCH. Tubingen 1875 (cf. also p. 61 62 Cf. 31916. GELDNER. Harmondsworth 1971. Cambridge Mass. p. ROTH. and obscurity62. Windisch66 justly observed that the apparent insignificance of many words can be most 67 See e. Roth63—who was followed by Kaegi. although agreeing. The problem of translating this untranslatable corpus has almost continually been discussed. Renou had to leave his translation 60 —the most recent—unfinished. K. Oldenberg65 was likewise of the opinion that when an adequate and reliable translation of the greater part had come within reach. Mit Beitragen von R. 59 K. Geldner. XII. be omitted. 21896-1897. P. XII. 60 Published in E. V. 1. P. 1.

That in any translation the beauty of the original metre. P. GONDA. a 'literal' rendering of a word may not less pervert the meaning of a place than a guess at what had been the author's choice of words if he had spoken English. While some scholars were right in making high demands upon the translator's knowledge of realia and the cultural background in general67 as well as upon the intelligibility of his work68. V. p. GONDA. 70 For an ample discussion of these points see J. in Melanges Renou. Calcutta-London 1922 (sacrificing a little of verbal exactitude to the taste of the general reader). Connotations and emotive value of many words. JRAS 1932. V. OLDENBERG. A new approach to the Vedas. Hymns from the Rigveda. p. and cultural environment between the authors of the Veda and modern indologists. 15. VII. The very plurality of meanings so frequently given in our dictionaries shows that a modern language cannot in many cases offer one single equivalent of an ancient Indian term—intelligibly enough.g. London 1933. p. I l l . I. for the desirability of keeping the hemistiches apart— W. p.g. 493. The Usas hymns of the Rgveda.C. MALAMOTJD. but the question as to how to present a translation remains in dispute. The distance in time. 22. 67 A. whilst organizing through their semantic systems the world of experience in which they live. K. S.. COOMARASWAMY. e. analyse and categorize this experience differently. p. the incompleteness of our sources. the same. Pondichery 1958. Some notes on the study of ancient-Indian religious terminology. Untersuchungen zur Wortkunde und Auslegung des Rigveda. CH. L. H.g. p. 36 (= K. our observation. 509 (ritual).62 J. p.Gonda • Vedic Literature deceptive. 48 (843). 33. The arrangement of the 'meanings'—often no more than inadequate attempts to give an idea of one aspect of an Indian concept—gives rise to many pseudo-problems and false impressions. 1949. selected and metrically translated. eluding. the word music and much of the imaginative fervour are lost is not in doubt. in Indian art and letters 7 (1933). O. in NG 1918. Vision. Dhaman. p. P. in Archiv fur Religionswissenschaft 14. 243. There is much to be said for the thesis that the general reader makes other demands than the professional scholar71. 345. COOMABASWAMY. The Vedic concept of'amhas. the reinterpretation suggested by the Indian traditionalists and the prejudices and limitations of modern scholarship itself have contributed to a deplorable state of affairs. traditionally define. because the speakers of different languages. For particular semantic difficulties e. See e. E. p. History of Religions 1 (Chicago 1961). P. We can even say that the Veda teems with rather common words which we can understand only to a certain point with the result that our translations often are vaguely general or even more or less conjectural. THIEME. OLDENBERG. p. K. in various cases. 831) preferring "erne in die Form einer blofien Wortiibersetzung nicht faSbare Beschreibung des Vorstellungsbildes" to a plurality of approximations. CALAND. A. also RENOU. Etudes sur le vocabulaire du Rgveda. the same. IIJ 1 (1957). p. 68 A. MACDONELL. 19. Loka. J.g. many others discussed the extreme difficulty with which any translator is confronted who with the help of a modern language tries to express the meaning of the numerous words for concepts relating to Vedic man's view of life and the world69. A. 71 . Halle S. p. of historical developments of'meanings'70. moreover. 69 See e. RENOU. space. and E.

Indian Vedists. Le Veda: anthologie de textes traduits. E. Calcutta-London 1922. D. H. . JA. II (Hymns to Agni. R. 1964. Lieder des Rigveda in metrischen Ubersetzungen. literal prose translation. I (Hymns to the Maruts. H. Tokyo 1967. PATEL. D. The Indian heritage: an anthology of Sanskrit literature. J. TSTJJI. Rg-bhasya-sangraha. Munchen 1953 (with notes). Moscow 1972. Anthologie sanskrite. V. RENOU. contains translations into Japanese. Oxford 1897 (with a commentary). THIEME. translated (with notes) in Russian). T. MACDONELL. Hymnes et prieres du Veda. Lieder des Rgveda. MAX MTTLLER.Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 63 this is generally possible—without aiming at representing the form of the original in the rhythm and length of the lines. Hagen in Westf. Vedic hymns. MANNING. p. ELIZARENKOVA. A. A. III translated and annotated by H. CHANANA. 1968. Paris 1967. L. VARENNE. Calcutta 1952 (a collection of older translations. praises and psalms. 1966. book I-V). 9. N. HILLEBRANDT. are often inclined to interpret mythology as figurative language and so to modernize traditional symbolical interpretations. OLDENBERG. 72 We do not mention the special drawbacks of non-Anglo-Saxons writing English. like the two preceding works hardly recommendable to the general reader). A Vedic reader for students. Bangalore 1956 (21958). Gedichte aus dem Rgveda. Gottingen-Leipzig 1913 (about 140 hymns. London 1923. P. 75 Mention may also be made of some anthologies or translations of groups of hymns: F. with notes. Paris 1942. Delhi 1961.a. Paris 1947. Prayers. Hymnes speculatifs du Veda. Le Veda (series: Le tresor spirituel de I'humanite). Rigveda (selected hymns. Rudra etc. J. Hymns of the Rig-Veda. A. Gedichte des Rig-Veda. 73 M. CH. Paris 1956. SCHWENTNER. LOMMEL. Vedic hymns. Vedic hymns. Oxford 1891. i. Bombay 1963. 1923 (from an aesthetic point of view). Paris 1938. Veda to Upanisad (in Japanese). there will however always be a serious clash of views75. for the translator's right to deviate from the conventions of his own language in order to reproduce more closely the effect of the original Sanskrit72. E.d. 74 In this publication the short translations printed in the text are meant to give an exact rendering of the contents of the original. RAGHAVAN. they believe a translation which. is justified in the light of the results of the traditional interpretation and classical Indian thought73 to be the ideal74. the indented passages are often somewhat freer.). while meeting the requirements of modern scholarship. Paris 1965. 61965). 3Delhi 1967 (with a commentary justifying every word of the translation). La poesie religieuse de l'lnde antique. Hymns from the Rigveda. VELANKAR. Although it is true that both approaches have often ignored each other. Rgveda mandala VII. Oxford 1917 (often republished.. antiquated). in 11 AIOC (1943). Madras n.THOMAS. II. who on the one hand have to hold their own against the traditionalist school of interpretation and on the other find much difficulty in coping with the mass of Western critical literature.


The ancients were well aware of the resemblance between. 139.. in Yaska. 2. 3. he may address them. 11. in Forum der Letteren 1963. BHAWE. Rigvedic theory of inspiration. for his eye 10. A Vedic poet is a seer (rsi)2. 13f. 9. POEM 1. 72. He is inspired and even regarded as 'born of the gods'7. 2. 1. P. in AP 22. 29. 60. S. 8. 10. whose very function was already at an early date explained in connection with their faculty of 'seeing'5. 5. DAS. divinity or transcendent reality6: he associates with gods. 88. 4. 90.g. 159. 1. S. 68. Hence the continuous effort to transcend the empirical level—one of the most striking characteristics of Indian cultural history—and the belief that there are men. at J U B 19. 1. 2. and who through the power of his vision brings the past into the present4. his 1 For details. 7. 52.CHAPTER II POETRY. Iff. 24. 13. the text adding: "Because the selfborn Brahman manifested himself to them while practising austerities they became seers". The hymns are indeed ascribed to individual rsis. 23. 19 (questionable). who. Adyar 1942. 118. also P. 10. 69 etc. e. • Cf. Vision. p. Cf. Nirukta 2. 54. RAGHAVAN. 5. QJMS 37. 130. have access to the realm of the Unseen. 3. 24. and in many cases practical identity of. Studies on some concepts of the Alamkara Sastra. 5 Aupamanyava. SASTRI. with whom is the origin of the ancient rsis8.g. 54. p.g. GONDA. 4. he invites them to do something on behalf of those who have his poem recited. S. and De 'inspiratie' der indische dichters. POET. S. owing to a special gift or a wonderful exertion of will-power. 5. 10. 3. 38. 1. 9. 61. 2. 22. 151 (whose interpretations are partly anachronistic or based on questionable presuppositions). A rsi seeks. and TA. 38. 5. 44. V. 18. S^H^ASTRI. 6. 8. in QJMS 40. 7 RV. 76. 164. 5. 4 Cf. also 7. 2. Inspiration and poetry The Indian spiritual guides have always been convinced of the necessity of having a direct experience of that transcendent reality which is the ground and essence of all empirical existence. p. 555. 164. a gifted man who with his inner or spiritual eye sees things divine and transcendental3. 5. 1. 23. 82. p.. such as seers and yogins. 9. 1. 5. 4. p. the rather extensive terminology in this field often admitting of both translations1. 20. 4. 53. 2 See e. 6. and has an insight into the nature of their greatness. p. 7. . or enters into contact with. poets and visionary sages. 5. p. 139. 5. 3. 3 For "seeing" in the sense of "having an insight into problems which are beyond normal human understanding" see e. 55. M.

p. EMMANUEL. 4f. 20 AIOC (1959). The Vedic poets are not chary of information regarding the 'vision' or 'intuition'—that is their inspiration—which was their only possibility of entering into communication with the transcendental reality12. 1. p. 98. L. 15. see V.e. believed to be free from errors and imperfections. London '1948. reciprocity or rather cyclical process with regard to inspiration and the suprahuman power inherent in inspired poetry. RENOXT. 4 compares himself to a vulture circling and waiting (for an opportunity to snatch away.. e. 3. 45ff. 9. in the same way he himself circles round the Maruts. its sudden appearance. 9. 4. RV. I. The presentation of his subjects and the phraseology of his hymns stamp many of these as products of 'revelation'9. 68). 10.. 37. p. 1. 16. 10. 1. 39ff. 3. 38. 23. 18 Vac is the poetess as well as the deity of RV. 5. RENOU. 59. These views of rsiship were at the root of the belief in the non-. E. 7. 105. Tartu Univ. I. 189. 88. Journal de psychologie 44 (1951). The poets are moreover deeply convinced of the existence of an interplay of factors. also 6. 6. the Veda is. Yaska and Vedapauruseyatva. RADHAKRISHNAN. 18. 125. (100. p. 8. o. and in general. 3. 15f. see RV. 'Registering the intuitions of these perfected souls'11.g. Sur le symbolisme du type chamanique dans le Rgveda. Paying too much attention to his own inspiration may interfere with a poet's spontaneity (P. above the limitations of time and space. Stanza 2 of the short hymn 10. II.) that Sasarparl. 31. 1. eternal. vision (dhi) and his own 'Muse'14 or 'patron saint'15. 15 See also 2. 164. 9. 1968. a prey that comes into its range of vision). 12. 9. suddenly and unexpectedly. 1. 139. 10. La creation poetique.g. RV. 113 and 394. 124. p. 10. 36. 2. Brhaddevata. I. 10. 53. V. p. P. and this speech being inspired thought or wisdom (manlsd) is guarded by the seers on the seat of Rta: that is the celestial source of inspiration considered to be microcosmically represented by the 'heart'17. revealing—not creating—ideas regarded as real and already existent: the poet of 1. P. 90 etc. 261). 4. E. the daughter of the sun— or Brahma—being Speech was the 'Muse' of the Visvamitras. 3. 12 Compare also places such as 5.113f. V. in their eyes. 14 It has not without reason been surmised (GELDNER. BHANDARI. Gonda • Vedic Literature predecessors. the cosmogonical 10 hymns 10. origin of the Veda10. 7. . See also 1. Like their colleagues in other countries they were conscious of receiving inspiration and recognized the importance of this inspiration as an indispensable factor in the creation of literary art13—which. 2. 10.. was not however an onesided production of beauty. 88. OGIBENIN. 17. Now compare also B.4. like the intuitive knowledge of its poets. p. 9. 13 See e. S. i.66 J. They also understood the character of inspiration. Yaska. super-human. 6. 52. The Hindu view of life. 11 S. They expect to receive intuition 8 See RV. 34.c.) 101. 30. 6. 61 (with Geldner's introductory note. 9 Cf. 21. 28. 177 addressed to the Bird—that is the inner light of visionary insight —states that this deity bears or cherishes in its 'mind' or 'heart' (manas) inspired Speech (Vac)16 qualified as radiafcing. 17 Cf.

11. 16. 6. For all practical purposes this means maintaining universal Order and keeping the powers of nature operative. 81). 4. See 3. 2. 79. 7. 99. which are supposed to remain concerned with them also after the moment of 'vision'18. 10 (GONDA. give significance to the early morning as the moment which was especially proper to the manifestation of visions. 18. GONDA. 7. 29 . I.g. R. 172. 11. p. 10. 9. 3. 7. no doubt founded on fact. cf. 2 "this our ancestral inspired poem (dhl). 6. born before daylight. 51. 4. 39. 8. 25 For Varuna see 1. 7 9 . Addressing Dawn (Usas) the poet of 7. 49. p. V. II)20—will continue furthering their inspirations 21 . 94. 134. See also 3. I t is a poet's hope that SarasvatI. also 8. p. and also to protect the poet or reciter CUM suis26. 4. 11. to make the product of poetic vision perfect and successful or to cause it to go straight to its goal. 8. they are implored to favour or further inspiration. That the divinities concerned with 18 Cf. that is to receiving inspiration. 5. p . 2. 5. 10. 4. 71. 65. (is) recited when the sacred functions are performed. 49. 1.. p. See 2. 11. while shining. 154. 5. p. poem (57 or inspiration from. 66. 24 28 23 GONDA. 7 . 34. 19. GONDA. 86. 96. which may be expected to influence19 the deities presiding over the powers. R. 26 See 1. 6. 64. that is to say. to give the eulogist. Agni24. 2 " ( 0 Agni. 102. will bestow 'vision' (dhl) on him. 25. 3. 8. also 9. 3. 66. If. V. 3. 23. p. 268. 1. the divine pair Varuna and Mitra 25 and other gods are said to mediate a poet's vision. 5. ]0. 90. 1. 34.. 8. 3. S. 12. 5. 62. Of special interest are those places which. 2. 1. or through the intermediary of. 8. 25. 5. I. 56. 7' (ibidem. GELDNER. see e. I I . See also 6. 6. 59. 10. 4. p . Vision. 1. the river goddess who in the course of the Vedic period comes to be identified with Speech (Vdc)is. 89. 2. Indra and Varuna 8.) give us that abundant (or. 19 The eulogies are said to "turn to the gods (and influence them)": devayant (J. GONDA. 9. 24. 91 etc. 105. 62. 50. Thus Indra 23 . visions (dhl)" and in 3. 15. 5. This inspiration enables them to compose 'hymns' which conform to the requirements of religious formulas and compositions. 8. dressed in auspicious-and-beautiful white clothes" 29 . Soma is called "Lord of vision" (dhl). 9. 1. 26. 35. 80. 1. 1. the divine powers. 7. 88. 6. 6. together with the vibration of (the poet's) consciousness. 6. 5 implores her "to impart to us. in JOIB 15. 7. 8. 20 See also BERGAIGNE. 35. 2. 6. also 5. 6. 6. 20. phenomena and provinces of the cosmos on which man feels himself dependent and to contribute to the preservation of their specific might. mighty) inspired thought by which thou with all the other deities wilt be pleased" 22 . Vision. Vision. and 1. 307). or to be its source. 9. Strengthened by the hymns of the poets the gods—caressed by them like husbands by their amorous wives (1. see RV. 66. 8. 80). 8.Poetry. This cyclical process is indicated with all clearness desirable a t RV. 1. 3. cf. 27 9. poet. 2. 4. no doubt because he was supposed to be willing to dispense inspirations". 39. 6. the inspired emotional thought (manisd). 2. I I . 61. 12. 21 22 Cf. 2.

8. 16. I. e. 123. RV. Amsterdam Acad. See also 3. 33 See e. 6. The conviction which is shared by other peoples—who. in general. 1966. ch. 8. M. 38 39 Cf. 8. 10. GEBOW'S remarks in JAOS 88. e. BOWRA. R . 35 GONDA. 3 where the father. 8. 8. 2. p. 34 Cf. 15). 278. E. London 1952. in the interior. V . E. 62. 101. together clarified by heart and 'mind' (manas)" (4. I. M. '. to 'translate' it into stanzas and suktas of liturgical applicability. passim. p. GONDA. 85. p. possessed of supranormal knowledge enables his descendants to compose songs. p. 1. 8. 39. R. in later times a celestial musician35—is said to function as such an intermediary. Although RV. 26). GONDA. Cf. I.6)39. New York 1962. 62. and elsewhere Brhaspati is besought to put the poet in possession of the bright substance which procures brilliant light. 4. V. Amsterdam Acad. 47. 51. bright" etc. RENOXT.g. 1. shines powerfully and is resourceful among men (2. 8. RENOTJ. 26. E. 311 do not exactly reflect my views and criticism of Renou's opinions (cf. Cf. C. 35. in AP 22. 2 3 . 427f. of ghee) the words of religious inspiration flow. 5. shining. 73. addressed to Savitar) or Gayatri (after its metre): "We hope to obtain that desirable (excellent) radiance (brightness) of god Savitar. 10. 35. 58. BOWBA. 6. 10. p. also J. and compare also •7. metres and phraseology hardly needs saying37. Gonda • Vedic Literature light and the early morning30 (besides Usas the Asvins. Vision. cf. 21. 266. 172. seems also apparent from AV. 44. 10. Visions often consist in 'light'31. 1. 32 See 3. P. also 1. the socalled Savitri (i. T. 2. Vision. imagery.'S. 6. 26. p. 106. There is a constant use of terms denoting "light. p. P. p. 9. Agni is said to bring the lights of the tremblings of inspiration (3. 16. 3. Loka. 66. 3 (Vayu a s t h e m o r n i n g w i n d ) . 30 31 Cf. 1969. 4. 24. I. 139. 5). 6. attribute poetic inspiration to ancestors appearing in dreams33—the conviction that the divine father of the speaker or a Muse. p. Vision. 82 missed the point. V. 7. I .g. The well-inspired rsi had so to say to give shape to his vision. and. 3. 2. also 1. who will (is expected to) stimulate (inspire) our 'visions'". 1 etc. the Gandharva34—a genius of conception. visitations are attended with luminous apparitions and in order to be effectuated intuitive knowledge needs 'light'.g. 7. GONDA. Primitive song. 6. 1. I. GONDA. p. Heroic poetry. Eye and gaze in the Veda.68 J. 9. Vision. 10.. 5. 4. That in developing inspiration into intelligible speech he had recourse. to transform his vision and creative inspiration into powerful words which could successfully appeal to the gods36. SUrya) acted as mediators is therefore perfectly intelligible. p. 2 . DAS. 50. C. 555. to mention only this. 10. recited up to the present day 3. with regard to the sacral word and the state of bliss: J. So we hear also in the Rgveda of an 'inner light' as a medium of revelation and supranormal insight32. 76. 7ff. not only to his language but also to the traditional style. 36 37 See also M. p. 14. 9. The process which the visions undergo in the poet's heart38 is explicitly described as a purification or clarification: "Like streams (probably. 177.e. I n speaking of t h e idea of " s h i n i n g " a n d t h a t of " s e e i n g " B E K G A I G N E . 10. 8. I. Savitar. 177. 23. p. 6. R. 8. . 1. GONDA. also 6. Best known is the famous stanza.

also 10. 69. 129. E. also RENOTT.g. poem 69 4. see e. 7. 46 Cf. 489. (that) 40 See LUDERS. 26. 22. 1 (and GELDNEB. 5. 4. 72. 2. 61. 17. MACBrhaddevata 7. leaves no doubt that the ghee of the liturgical word. Thesis Groningen 1952. 14. 96. 1. 4. 8. 1. and the 'heart' (or 'mind') as the place where inspiration is received and from which sacred speech originates43. 135. 7)44. I. 6. 1. 349. p. 5. 4X The materialized inspiration is not only like ghee but also accompanied by an oblation of ghee (GONDA. 72. The clarification by which the soma passes into an intoxicating beverage was on the one hand accompanied and viewed as promoted by the activities of the poets and reciters45. 5. 14.' 2. ESSERS. Sacral speech49 has been 'invented' by the ancient seers (st. 3. 2) and when it was located among them discovered by the wise and given to many seers in historical times: "0 Brhaspati. p. 94. Since this ghee has come from another ocean. 9. 64. 9. p.Poetry.. 1. 23. I. p. entirety. 91. V.g. 1. This process of transformation was assumed to be parallel or identical with that which on the sacrificial ground took place in connection with the soMa juice and so was Soma regarded as a clarifier of poetic thought: "In the strainer which discharges a thousand streams the inspired poets clarify their words" (9. 72. 10. 90. 281. 42 Cf. n . From the most interesting 'Hymn of higher knowledge' (jndnasukta. 64. p. 71. 5. XVI. E. regarded as stimulating and furthering their inspiration46. 97. 58. 85. V. 37. P. it is true. also 10. 26. DONELL. the first and foremost part of Speech (Vac)50. For Soma and the Vena hymn 10. p. RV. which may have been believed to be in heaven. 7. 2. its origin. E. RV. who is the reputed poet. the intermediary of the gods. 2. e. three ideas have in all probability coalesced: the heavenly origin of sacred speech. Cf. 1. which was the most excellent (of what they possessed) and pure. 58 is not completely clear40 this atharvanic laudation of the ghee. the problem of sacral speech. 5. 22. I l l . 47. 9. 10. This sulcta. 8. 73. I. 5. 69. Cf. which the gods produce from the seer (st. 6. Vision. 1 and 9. Vision. praises that knowledge "which is immortal light and by union with which one attains to brahman" discusses. I. 123 see the bibliographical note in GONDA.g. 47 GONDA. 1. RENOTT. 5. RV. 44. V. P. 269f. I l l . 132). e. 21.flowsfrom the ocean in his heart42. 7. S. in an archaic and unsystematic way. 48 49 50 . in which according to tradition48 the divine prototype of priesthood Brhaspati. 167. 61. against GELDNER. 126). inter alia as soMa and the sacred word41. p. H. p. V. 11. secret and production. 5. 112. 2 and see GEM>NER. 16. Vision. 105. considering this important sacrificial material in its various aspects. 10. 1. 5. when they (the mythical seers) started instituting name-giving. 65. 10. P. 4. 1. 100. 97. 4). 17. 40. p. 43 44 45 Cf. Varuna. and on the other. See. also 4. and RENOIT. p. 5. p. 33. Vision. P. E. 177. L. p. 107. RENOTJ. GONDA. cf. p. B. 16. 10. with much variation in phraseology. in general. 4. 9. 71 )47 it is perfectly clear that the poets themselves were completely conscious of the different stages through which the process of liturgical composition had to pass and of the functions for which the productions of their genius were intended. Vac. 109. poet. p. 73 in its Cf.

60 One might compare. being interested in the liturgical function of speech) went the way of Speech. The true brahmans. S. cleaning it like ground meal with a sieve.70 J. executing the same ritual or acting as eulogist. .e. 52 The elaboration of a 'vision'or 'thought' is also clearly described in 8. 60. . 95. another singing a hymn. 40. The vision and its mythical subjects must be quickened. worship together while the impulses of their minds (manas) are fashioned in their hearts. p. 17. 24. p. 7. 12. 22. 5-6). 7-11)52. 1. see also RV. that his (Indra's) vigour increases of as of old" (2. 2. Thesis Paris 1930. 32. p. p. 17. . 8. 340. 3. 1. 55 See e. Psalm 33. By means of worship they (the historical seers or next generation. 1. 1. Others are not encouraged to join in the ceremonies because their words have become sterile. SASTRI. the materialized vision. 45. 8. P. 6. Every performance was in a way a renewal of the power inherent in 51 For partners. 8. in the Old Testament. p. 2). a third "enunciating the knowledge of what exists" (st. 5. 49. like a willing wife to her husband. 73 and 10. they fetched her and distributed her over many places (persons). R. 66 J. 104. 26. 14. Ein neues Lied. 109. and so on.". DIWEKAR. must be borrowed from the current myths relating to the god or gods addressed. in IHQ 34. those who see and hear Vac do not always perceive her. kept alive. they discovered her that had entered the rsis (mentioned in st. Whereas the theme may be familiar. nay. 57 Or perhaps only secondarily. 6. 10. 98. 89 (not wholly convincing). GONDA. cf. ZIMMEB. should be fresh and vigorous. 164. 6. 9. 69 Thus H. 7. 1.g. 1. 54 Cf. 15. 58 Thus H. 2. Berlin 1879. the Greek tragedies. 32f. 1. in the New Testament. 11. Les fleurs de rhetorique dans l'lnde. Altindisches Leben. 12. 9. 1-3. RV. . Not infrequently emphasis is laid on the newness of a suKTa55. It is not57 to give expression to the pride he felt at his achievement58 or at the originality of the stylistic devices introduced into his work59 that a poet draws special attention to this newness but because a new text is—not only in ancient India—a means paR excellence of exercising influence upon the much desired renewal of nature and of the powers which are supposed to be active in it or responsible for it—"Start this new (hymn). then the partners (in a collective interest) became conscious of their partnership . 8 and QJMS 37. Compare also 9. 96. 5. 14. 9. It is essential that the power inherent in inspired speech53. WZKM 48. reveals) herself. 8. on the other hand. The man who has deserted a partner51 has no longer a share in Speech and does not know the way of meritorious acts (st. cf. 1. 4. 3. However. resuscitated54. but to another she 'unfolds' (i. . Where the wise seers (those possessing dhi). 3. 18. produced Speech by means of their intentional thought (manas). the text itself must be fresh56. one of the chief officiants developing (increasing) the sacred verses in praise of the gods. 12. 1. 53 For the transcendence of speech see e. 275. e. This is of course not to imply that the hymns were used only once. 2. Apoc. 6. 1. 1. Gonda • Vedic Literature being concealed became manifest through their sympathetic disposition.g. 8. 9. furthered. 177.g. 1)—a means also of inaugurating a new period60.

11. S. A. E . 1. 263. 479. 7. expressed. i n 21 A I O C I I . 18. MICHALSKI. 7.Poetry. 68. I. 5. GONDA. 7. 1. in Scientia 87 (1952). 1. Cf. RV. in Festschrift Weller. p. Cf. 3 .. 110. 259. 42. p . According to RV. in IA III. WBBEB. p. 61 62 GONDA. 139. Paris 1955.the exceptional faculty of acquiring a (sudden) knowledge of transcendent truth or reality—and its materialized form. 5. poem 71 the inspired word61. 3. like other derivatives of the root man-. I l l . 6. Instant et cause. 3.g. 2 it is quite intelligibly characterized as a flash of light71. in 10. 64f. RENOU. p. L. R. 3). 28. 3etc.g. for one-sided views: L. p. 5. 8. p . p . V P . RV. 63 Cf. Cf. A . of religious and artistic inspiration materializing in the vibrant and exalted speech of the moved poet. A priest. 2. 143. 1. in JA 241. distinguished for his fervency and enthusiasm. Vision. a eulogium of which is in 10. poet. 4. GONDA. 70 69 . a modification of the idea of inspired emotional and efficacious thought 70 . Cf. P. 8. H. 180. p. P. 12. in Bull. de Belgique 1961. e. also G. 3. Vision. 5. at J G J R I 25 (1969). 9. in ZDMG 63. 3 . 1. 86. p. D. 99 ( = K l e i n e Schriften. Lettres Acad. The Icavi guards the place (or trace) of Rta. p. 177. 3 (1969). 11. 118 (misunderstood). p. 7. 1. P O K O R N Y . 71 Cf. p. Sometimes it accompanies words such as rsi "a seer" of Tcavi "an inspired sage who possessing esoteric wisdom sees (things hidden from others) with his mental eye" 64 . 8. 41. Varuna-Hymnen des Rigveda. From the same root derives mati72. 284. 36. 1 1 . 360. 33. 3). p . i n F e s t schrift J . a n d P . 75. 72 R. 3. 8. E. 125. GONDA. 2) and is supposed to know answers to mysterious and difficult problems (7. 2 . It seems expedient briefly to discuss some terms—difficult of translation and to a certain extent used promiscuously—which shed some light on the ideas the poets themselves had of their art. HAUSCHILD. 2. 2 3 9 ) . U P A D H Y A Y A .#8. 42. SILBURN. also R E N O U . p. 127. 8. R. The term KARU65 seems to have been preferred to denote the 'spokesman. XVIII. RENOU. H. 95. 3. While by the term dhi the ancient Indians understood something in the nature of vision or inspiration . 46. DUMEZIL. be had experience of spiritual rapture. confirmation' (stu-) are in frequent use. 21. 31. 86. 2. 272. RAY.1. Bonn 1948. 314). V. S. 4 7 . Cl. 3. OTTO. RV. For kavi see &B. 18. 125 put in the mouth of the goddess Vac (Speech. 64 in Journal de Psychologie 44 (1951). E. For 'praising' the gods verbs of various connotations and implications. 23. this word also qualifies a god as a furtherer of rapture. p. 144. I refer to GONDA. 2. THIEME. 9. in Festschrift Weller. 8. 39. 5. F. in#23 AIOC. tentatively rendered by poetic inspiration69 or wisdom. p. 65 66 67 68 J. 69 (on arka). eternal Order and Truth (10. 167. 253. 53. 3 4 . Word) herself62. 298 ( = K. S. strengthening. 5. 4. W i e s b a d e n 1971. Vision. enlightenment and inspiration63. See also P. 656. VELANKAR. 14 not every vipra was a rsi. p. sage or reciter could be called a vipra when. p. V. I. 6. p. manlsd. 8. 186. p. p. P. that is a piece of eulogistic poetry 68 . R V . e. 11 (cf. such as those of 'solemn qualification or description of characteristics' (sams-) or 'praise. 3. 27. p. 6. 10. p. 6. 10. 112. 9. p. 2. 6. 2 1 . S. Vision. RENOU. T H I E M E . OLDENBERG. 135. 177. 8.' the oral poet who was also a performer or eulogist66 on the sacrificial ground67. 1. I n n s b r u c k 1967.

in Melanges Renou. Heidelberg 1963. 73 S. Kurzgefasztes etym. 445. 8. 9. II. 40. 7. for other views e. 6. 3. 114. 88. 5. A. 6. 1. 519. p. DTJMEZIL. Sarup. 3. 6. 56. 5. p. The adjective somya may point to their being inspired by. is up to the present day in use for all units composing the Vedic samhitds which on the grounds explained in these pages are traditionally regarded as sacred. 2. MICHALSKI. 13. 2. 57. 5. 6. GONDA. 18. p. p. 11. bring about communication with the Unseen75. 1. of course. 129. 29. 74 J. be corroborative or minatory. 147. p. 122. 6. and being so a Vedic mantra can. M. Gonda • Vedic Literature this thought materialized. 10. at ZDMG 102. 14. shining. p. 52. THIEME. 4. 1. 1. brhat to their inherent firmness. . 13. S. M. p. Cf.g. 12. 244. 78 As to the ritual see 3. SCHMIDT. 14. The etymologically related manman13 denotes a 'hymn' as the product of this thought. at ArchOr 25. the mantra is 'defined' (nirukta). Oriens 16 (1963). 43. The likewise allied mantra. 43. 152. 41. protective. 50. 4. Worterbuch des Altindischen. Provided it is pronounced in the proper way a mantra. 81. well adorned. Utrecht 1950 and in History of Religions 1 (1961). II. 7. 6. emphasizing the idea of instrumentality. 14. 86. e. and. 3. 14. 138. in the present author's opinion. 14. matchless. 1. 52. 18. 17. 255. 4. 4. 13. 7. 2. which in later times is regarded as the "characteristic" (linga) of the mantra. 12. 77 For a survey of opinions and theories up to 1950 see J. 4. 33. 8. P. Compare also p. 6. 10. 5. A. Volume L. Notes on brahman. 12. 1. 10. the in our eyes perhaps vague idea of 'inherently firm or fundamental supporting principle' this term assumed. 5. 79 See 1. RENOTJ. 3. 4. p. 80 RV. charming and sweet. 41. 53. p.g. I. VII. It is not surprising that such important and indispensable requisites as the eulogies received various qualifications and other contextual particulars which give us some additional information on the ideas the poets formed of their products. 3. protect the people. the divine draught. 162. 7. efficacious and born from the Universal Order (rta)B0. 3. 68. 4. in definite contexts. 388. Brhaspati und Indra. according to the context. dispel darkness79. The gods are strengthened or stimulated by brahman. 1. G. UPADHYAYA. RENOTJ in Mem. MAYRHOFER. the utterly important and much discussed brahman1''. 3. H. exert beneficent influence in the cosmos. 6. it can gain the victory in battles. 13. P. p. E. 31. 76 L. they are above criticism. 138. MEHENDALE. 74. 35. 3. 7. 9. 10. If the meaning or the use of a mantra results from its content alone which is explicit by itself because it contains a characteristic element (linga). 2. 2. Wiesbaden 1968. p. 9. 7. p. p. 51. 68. give offspring. in RHR 138.72 J. in BhV 28 (1968). 243. Expressing. P. 139. or arising together with or like. The Indian mantra. E. V. 134. Cf. 2. 31. 96. 16 and at ZDMG 109. 53. 131. 3. 4. sometimes in a context from which it appears that it has been memorized. 88. viz. 91. RENOTJ. P. 452. becomes effective when the consciousness of the one who possesses it achieves its union with that Consciousness which manifests itself in that 'text' or formula. 8. 5. 154. 50. in other cases it is 'undefined'76. 12. 32. eternal and inherently powerful74. p. 55. 1. V. 2. One other word needs mentioning. 5. 10. 67. 75 In the ritual application the deity addressed is recognizable by his name etc. 1. generally speaking. 1. 2. 49. more specific connotations such as the fundamental power inherent in the holy word and ritual78 and in the vocabulary of the poets their products considered in one of their characteristic aspects. GONDA. 152. p.

T. p .Poetry. EDGERTON. poet. 175. HTT. p . 38. SASTRI. 3. RENOTJ. 7f.TCBEANDT. 1. I l l . p . gods. GELDNER-NOBEL. See below. 274. p.e. 61. 82 83 84 85 See also 1. V. " I have fashioned for thee (Agni) this eulogy like the gifted artisan a chariot" (5. I I . talents and giftedness. poets. any specialized industry presupposed uncommon skill. 150. 209. M. V. 81 E. 5. 130. 'possessed of dHl. P . 55. I. 130. 10. Vision. 4. E. 163. 60. artists and poets were in archaic societies regarded as similar: "gifted" in the above quotation renders dhira i. This should by no means be taken to point to depreciation on the part of the authors. p . VIJ 3 (1965). weaver. 283. BERGAIGNE. S. GONDA. p . W. Moreover. 1. 6. BERGAIGNE. nay inspiration and in this respect specialized artisans. 46. 10. P .. demiurges84.. in JAOS 15. . in QJMS 40. HOPKINS. These verbs have a wide range of 'metaphorical' meanings and are used also of superhuman creative activity 83 . 2. F. 3.' an adjective applying also to sages. J . 9. 2. R.. chariotmaker)81. p . p . 219. 2. 3. p. GONDA. Adhvara and adhvaryu. V. 34. in AJPh 40. also RV. RV. 38. both 'chariots' and poems were means of establishing relations between men and gods85. 10. 1. poem 73 For the poets' technique the hymns often use words which are primarily applied to the work of artisans or manual labourers (carpenter. p. II) 82 . 1. V. p . Cf. VII n. I. 81. cf. 66. 9 etc. 26. IV. 7. 14. 35. 18. R.

62. 130. 5. (8. e. 3. 16. 3. 4. 2 7 8 1 GONDA. The poet of 8. LOBD. 6 it reads: "This the reciters continually say in praise (of thee) this very day just as in former times"5. 76. 24. 56. F. 39. is "not the earliest production of the genius Cf. I I . 28). 1. 33. 3 . the impulse of inner necessity. 7. 101. Vision. cf. Cambridge Mass. 23. 5). 1.g. V. 9. 8. 25. 15. 1960. p . 6). 1. . The seven divine rsis who were associated with the gods11 are at 4. RV. cf. 3. 3. 67. on the part of the poets. p. but also for their subject-matter. This may be taken to imply that in his view all 'visions' (din) are reproductions of one and the same archetype6. See in general also GELDNEB. p. 4. Cf. also 10. 18. 2. 9 (Kusika was Visvamitra's father: 3. The Visvamitras claim to have fulfilled their function from generation to generation9 and Vasistha prides himself on receiving his inspiration from the immortal generations of yore10. 22. p. 7. 8.g. 15. 5)8. 29. 87. 3. The poet As already intimated fresh inspiration. 42. 1. 8 spoken of as "our fathers".g. 97. Primitive art. 5. 15. 4. 6 Cf. 1. 37. 12 See also 1. VII. 5. p. 1. 1. The art of these poets was traditional2. 2. 6. 109. 2. E. 3. 2 praises Varuna at once with his own eulogy and the poetical product of the Fathers. 42. 10 RV. 30. P . 12f. seems to express the opinion that the vision he qualifies as 'ancestral' which comes to him at daybreak is identical with that which manifested itself to his ancestors. 9. 2. 3. 3. cf. 92. 118. 3. 7. 109. RV. the heredity of the gift of poetry7 and eulogistic activity seems to have been quite natural: "On account of our descent from the ancient father we are speaking" (1. 13. this no doubt points to the conviction. e. 50.g. V. as to the Kusikas. 86. 26. 39. p. 3. 5 compare GELDNEB. 193 ff. p. RV. 58. 139. in 8.74 J. 71. 1. I. 4 Cf. 2. For 7. Visvamitra. One can say that this avowed traditionalism is in consonance with what is long since a common opinion of modern Indologists: this poetry which is so polished and so highly developed. 87. p. 11 See 1. 277. phraseology and poetical technique in general. 4. 60. 3. 10. 155. 2. I I . that there has been an unbroken tradition from the mythical archetypes of priestly poetical art until their days12. 67.. The singer of tales. the author of 3. The references to this tradition and the divine origin of their art were no doubt to enhance the efficacy of their products. not only for metrical or syntactic units3. 106. New York 1955. 41. e. These predecessors are sometimes quoted or mentioned4. 7. 10. 118. 87. however detrimental to the inventiveness of the productive artist traditionalism may be. 17. 1. 1. p. e. 21 and cf. Gonda • Vedic Literature 2. 9 RV. 4. e. 2. they stood upon the shoulders of their predecessors and were indebted to these. 5. 109. 20. 6.g. Transmitters of oral traditions often emphasize the exactness of their performances (A. and compliance with the traditional 'literary forms' of the 'genre' are by no means mutually exclusive1. 9. 256 with RENOTJ. 91. 10. In the eyes of Vedic man. 3 Cf. 412. also 8. B. 5 Cf. BOAS. 7. 2. 84. 9. 43. 139.

15)21—but are these always founded on actual fact. of course. 62. see e. 5)20 makes. 120. COOMAKASWAMY. Primitive song. 2. 152. B. 146. of an oath of purgation (7. 18 Seep. for an oratio pro domo 7.. 3. 66. 158. 86. 3f. Seep. 42. poem 75 and devout mind of the ancient Indians"13. p. 7. Studies F . the heavens must consume by their glow the one who hates the brahman" (6. 201. BOWEA.Poetry. 32. 12. 12. 18f. 16). 19. 1. There is. Ai. 44. A place such as 1. Generations of poets and 'family schools' must have preceded those to whom we owe the present collection. 19. 254. recognition and adequate rewards15. 13 "Homage to the greater and the less important. on recent experiences ? 13 HATJG. 15. were. p. 20 . to the young and old (gods). 94. 6. THIEME. 6. due to the author's devout modesty. 21. historically and sociologically. p. cf. 268). 146. 2. 153f. poet. 7. 5. 8.g. 6. I. Iff. p. 56. psychologically. It would not be warranted to dwell too long on what may be called the psychology of these poets of whose innermost thoughts and feelings we have no knowledge other than the little that can. 104. p. 17 For an exaggerated opinion: A. 19 14 GELDNER. 14f. Sometimes a poet devotes a line to his own problems or difficulties—we take cognizance of an apology for an infraction (1. 146*see P. emulation and jealousy: "The mountains must press down that man who despises us or wishes to blame our powerful hymn (brahman) which is in process of completion.. p. 11. 15 For these daksinas see 79. 16 Cf. many old hymns must have been replaced and sunk into oblivion. 7. K. KANTAWALA. 1. 5. 104. exerting a hold on the reciters and listeners through their sounds. in JOIB 20 (1970). Kuiper. 9. for it may be supposed that the poets imitated the themes and techniques of composition of their masters rather than faithfully copied their poems. evidence of enmity. in Indian Art and Letters 7 (1933). 2. 17. 21 Cf. also 1. B. 29. perhaps. S. That they were fully imbued with a sense of their own importance or indispensability and were conscious of criticism may be taken for granted and is apparent from the claims they lay to fame. 5. 15. S. 12. namely the 'songs' which are assumed to have been the basic form of all other forms of poetry14. I. 27. 8. As to the psychological insight they evince17. RV. which doubtless does not represent the whole scope of the contemporaneous 'literary' activity. It would appear that in ancient India also sung or recited poetic productions. 1. 12. also 1. 11. 13. J. perhaps. 31. 9. sense and rhythm. A few lines may be inserted about a point of which we know next to nothing. 1. 7. 8. 383 ( = K. 6. 147. 7. 1. evoking a feeling of mystery and abating troubling thoughts and obsessing anxieties. be inferred from their work. p. the basis of the type of hymn preserved in the Veda. 21. it has been suggested that Visvamitra in his dialogue with the rivers18 took advantage of their feminine vanity19. 31.)16. 373. 105. 14. For 10. 3. 52. a clever hit. we would like to worship the gods if we shall be able" is. The assurance that the Goddess of the jungle has no murderous intentions put into the mouth of the one who is forced to pass the night in that solitude (10. G.

72. 5. 8) see also GRASSMANN. 23. 24 22 See GELDNER. p. I l l . 26 in Festschrift Weller. 33 See p. K. 7 (cf. 'saw. 65 and 66—but also "with the praise of the one who offers the oblation"30. technical names of chanted texts (sdmans)33 H.76 J. 7. p. 34. owes his name (and existence!) to the homonymous word for 'bearing. II. V. K. I. bearer' which occurs four times in this short text28—or rightly suspected of being deduced from the context: the words rdtahavyasya . 314 f. skilled. especially in India. my materialized brahman protects this people of the Bharatas" (3.es sur le point de depart des noms des poetes vediques. but these names are in part obviously what we would call fictive—the word nema ('one. RV. Sanskrit poetics as a study of aesthetics. 31 32 Cf. 3. is according to the SarvanukramanI the poet of 5.). P. 10. p. 20. 199 ( = K. descendant of Atri. 143. 44. For instance. 13 (speculative). stray communications of the authors themselves:—e. 10. 23 RV. 395 (on 3. the Hymn to the Waters32. 7. If so minded one might except Vasistha and Visvamitra24 in their legendary animosity. 35. several') in 8. . Gonda • Vedie Literature At this point we must turn to the individual poets22. as being or acting in consonance with Rta23 but only rarely do we come into relation with a personage or an identifiable individual. "I. it is true. In the third place. Visvamitra. tlber die Liedverfasser des Rgveda. S. 135 offer similar cases. 19. 29 Thus GELDNER. 2. 8. family tradition and the above texts—in the ancillary literature (anukramani etc. have praised Indra. I I . 33. 3 followed by '(he) says' has occasioned the author's name Nema. 77. HAUSCHELD. REGNATJD. 6). RV. cf. Br. 71. RV. 126. 16. 21 ff. 1. inventive. a certain Kavasa Ailusa who was abandoned by other seers and afflicted by thirst in the desert. been more than once regarded as "not unhistorical and unscrupulous"25. 10. I. 12)27—. 274.30. VELANKAR. p. 27 See also 6.19. I. 6. Secondly: incidental communications in the later Vedic texts and the more or less reliable traditions—founded. 35. 9. the reputed author of 5. D E . p. 7. V. JA 10-5 (1905 I). 74. (see also 10. Very often poets remain anonymous. 10) and see GONDA. 2. It is true that the lists of rsis have. 41. RV. but there is no denying that the Indian tradition does not provide us with reliable information on authors or reciters. . but mainly on combination. eloquent. 19. And what is worse. 12. MACDONELL and KEITH. 568). 87. not on historical data concerning the real poets. 66. Dharuna. 38. 422. I. XI. in JBBRAS 18. V. 6. 34. H. the Indians have never been much interested in the poetic personality by which a work of art attained its individual character26. Berkeley 1963.. R. in 2 AIOC Pr. Recherch. 24. See also MACDONELL and KEITH.. st. p.' according to AiB. AUFRECHT. P. 19. 17. Our sources of information are: first. Poets are qualified as knowing. p. 248. S. 2. 81. 28 RV. 7. Vision. 10. 53. I also refer to LUDWIG. .)31. p. 100. mean "with the eulogies of Ratahavya"29—and a man called Ratahavya. p. 1. 100. 6 (also 1. OLDENBERG. 53. p. 87. 46. Ait. See also 5. stdmaik in 5. 2. cf. 15. 4.' p. BELVALKAR. p. 25 S. 9.g. 30 Thus RENOU. D. p. 10. ZDMG 42 (1888). p. p. V. 5. RV. 7. 3 may. E. p.

ABORI 43 (1962). 171. 91 (intr. 2. 1. 18. 5. is held to be the author of various hymns 45 and so is Dirghatamas 46 . possessed definite siiktas and guarded this inheritance. 112. p. The weak sense of individuality and the strong consciousness of family unity and solidarity prevent us from having more than hazy and confused notions of'authorships'and guardianships41.O. descended from a seer. K. 1-3. see however OLDENBERG. 51.Poetry.c. 272. descendants of Mana. 39.. p. 181. The Manas. phraseology and grammatical forms43. A i l . 2 etc. style. 292. RV. 11. 140-164 are traditionally attributed to him. I. note to mandala VI) and N. 1. Cambridge 1953. but is a 34 OLDENBERG. ABORI 31. 590). Sagenstoffe.g. 10. 21. 182. 4. SIEG. also A. 169. 116. KaSyapa. 7.. Medhatithi. 8. AiB. p. 33. RV. 1. 2. This has not deterred scholars from attempts at determining the 'authorship' of part of the hymns and stanzas by a comparison of their contents. Bharadvaja. 4. 116. It is a legitimate supposition that in many cases later generations have either asserted their authorship where there was none or attributed poems of later origin to a famous legendary ancestor42. stereotyped lists of names of ancient rsis who are assumed to be the remote founders of brahmin families36. 9. CHAPEKAR. 18. 2. 19. 26. 43 44 39 See S. II. other works39 speak of a poet called Grtsainada40. reciter and soma-presser. 221 (p. 275. the legendary sage of 9. p.g. viz. Ill. For instance. denoting the whole family which. 1. 48 See e. S. 222(591). while the second mandala of the Rgveda makes only mention of the Grtsamadas (in the plural)38. 41 Cf. I. 1. I. N. e. 46 RV. . 47 See e.g. 32. The early brahmanical system of gotra and pravara. 113 and 114. BROTTGH. 40 Cf. 1. o. p. 45 RV. SATYASRAYI. 1. p. Atri. 5. 14.g. sometimes in the plural. 8. RV. similes used. mentioned frequently in the Rgveda. cf. G. not of individual poets. 4. in PO 18 (1953). 618. C. 88. Names of poets37 occur sometimes in the singular to indicate a member of a family. 13. For attempts at disentangling see e. p. 2. 9. 1. poem 77 pointing to the authors of the corresponding melodies who were considered identical with the poets 34 . Lastly. 5: PB. poet. 22. p. 8. RV. 1. 109 (disfigured by untenable opinions). 71: J B . 8. 2. 10. 96. 9. 6. 184. are in several passages alluded to as singers44. 2. KB.C. Vasistha's name in 7. 12-23. 106. p. some supplementary information is given by the so-called pravara lists35. sprung from Kanva's family. CHAPEKAR. cf. GELDNER. in SB Berlin 1900. also 8. p. 3. 5. Sarvanukramanl. 4. 36 These lists are regularly recited at specific points in the sacrificial ritual. We shall here confine ourselves to mentioning some famous names in addition to those which in a former chapter we saw associated with the divisions of the corpus. 37 38 See also RENOTT (and FIIXIOZAT). in JBORS 26. LTTDWIG. WEBER. 41. Kaksivat appears as a celebrated rsi—the poet of 1. p. 5. G. GUPTA. 8. 22. 151. RV. 18 wishes to be a second Kaksivat—an eloquent eulogist. 35 J. he must have been a Pajra by family and enjoyed the special favour of the ASvins47. 117. See GELDNER. 41-43. 38. occurs in that corpus only once. 22. R.

Exceptionally a woman could receive inspiration and become a seer57. p. Moreover. 82-84 and the Sarvanukramani identifying the speaker mentioned in a hymn and the poet. 9. 7. 116. 62. 147. 3. 8. 9. VS. 8-11 (Visvamitra) = 7. 54. AV. 53. see GONDA. BOWBA. G. 66 RV. 50 S e e 1. the snake Arbuda of 10. 100. 67. 105 Trita Aptya or Kutsa 55 . 125. p. MS. KAHUBKAE. Manyu is seer and deity of 10. Interestingly enough. 51. 51 For long-haired seers etc. the goddess Vac is regarded as the seer of 10. 8-11 (Vasistha). 94. 10. IA III. p. 57-59.78 J. Cf. 6 . 2. 86. 5. p. 3. 39 and 4058. RV. 3. 1. 8. As is well known the profession of a 'bard' is often associated with blindness (see e. Calcutta (between 1931 and 1946) was inaccessible to me. 66 was composed by 'the hundred Vaikhanasas'52—or attributed to two 53 or more 54 sages. 420). 1. and GELDNER. 71. Brhaddevata 7. A. 2. 10. 62 etc. 461. 83 and 84 and Hiranyagarbha is the 'author' of 10. London 1952. 23. p. and Sri as the poetess of the Srlsukta. and for a complete list AUFRECHT. 54ff. 4. 170. 2. 9. 108. 48-50 59 .. 91 and Ghosa whose words are quoted in 10. 52 Also 1. 69 Cf. 165. 121. 1. 58 Brhaddevata 2. 2 . cf. 67. 4. . 95. 31 and cf. 50ff. in Vol. in several cases authorship was. 5. II. 262. 114. I l l .g. 2. 24. also 3. At times. 27. N. 6. KTJMARI DEVI. 3 (1969). 14. p. For other names also M. RV. R. 3. 8. 107 (the seven rsis). PATEL. Although a hymn is generally ascribed to one seer only. 126. 100. Female seers of ancient India. 9. Leipzig 1930. 117. 5. also 1. according to the ancient sources. Deities could indeed also figure as seers: Indra Vaikuntha praises himself in 10. an identical stanza occurring in different suktas is ascribed to two different seers56. RV. 63 Thus 3. Our sources mention a number of human and divine figures among whom the maiden Apala of 8. 57 48 V. In other cases tradition offers a choice between two authors: 1. 4. 41. 55 Cf. 49 See 1. references to blind49 and itinerant 50 poets and eulogists are not lacking51. 5 . 33. cf. C. M. Dandekar. collective—9. 17. 10. 9. 110. 38. 109. Gonda • Vedic Literature common figure in the later samhitas and other works48. 1. Vision. Heroic poetry. Die Danastuti's des Rigveda. 14. 110. 54 Thus 1. 9. 2.

79. 48. Thesis Marburg 1929. 54. 1. 19. 8. They reward. It is however highly improbable that about interest in their work these Vedic poets had any complaint to make. patrons figure largely in them. The patrons who are desirous of divine favour. 1.g. Vallabh Vidyanagar 1961. 7. Although we have no data about the poet's activities in other surroundings it may be surmised that their hymns were enjoyed also by others than the patrons and their dependents: Indians have always been anxious to derive merit from attendance at religious ceremonies. 125. p. 122. 97. H. 76. 9. for instance with imprecations against enemies10. 49. 73. in the god's case with worship. 7. p. 2. 4. 20. 11. Since the employment of mantras for the sake of a livelihood was already in Vedic times forbidden. cf. 7. 8. 10. the relations between poets and patrons were of a ceremonious rather than economic nature8. 7. 27. poet. 5. 2.Poetry. 3. 39. 8. have sacrificial ceremonies performed and earn the ritual and religious merits resulting from these9. 22. Poona 1941. 4f. 51. English translation by B. 2. 34. 33. 31. 3. in the patron's with support12. 11 RV. A considerable part of the hymns may have been made to order and the wealthy. 21. V. A patron is compared to Indra. in Volume P. K. 29. 'Primitive' is used. PATEL. 3 M. besides. cf. 153. Die Danastuti's des Rigveda. 19. 438.g. 26. 1 2 . 7. 1. 192. 11. 2. 10. because in archaic and more or less 'primitive'2 societies. 7 E. 7. the services5 of the poets who pray for their well-being and prosperity6. because both of them are expected to bestow their favours upon those who assist them. interestingly enough. 122. 1. 4. 1. neither as an equivalent of "belonging to the earliest ages" nor to suggest the ideas of rudeness or backwardness but to denote what is characteristic of a culture or society that is not markedly infused with 'modern' rationalism and intellectualism. 8. or are expected to reward. 27. 68. 12 RV. as in other traditional societies. 4. 10. 10. 9. 170 f. 8. 8 Seep. SHASTBI. 19. 1. 5. 11. and Vedic poetry required an audience comprising men initiated into its deeper sense. 5. though sometimes stingy4. 62. 6 E. poem 3. 15. where ceremonies provide a main focus for social life. 5 E. 8. 18 and cf.g. the poets enjoyed the patronage of the noble and the wealthy3. 12. Kane. KAPADIA. 4. 6. 9. 8. 73. 2. in ancient India. 71. 16. The material aspect of the daksind—not to be translated by "fee"—has often been too much emphasized in European books. the composition of poems is a communal affair. 34. 9 See 1. 5. are of course commended for their support. 8. 3. 5. Sociology and performance 79 The genius of a poet cannot expand without the co-operation of his environment1. 2. part of the prayers remembering a patron do not overlook the poet himself7. assisted in difficulties.g. AV. 4 See e. 9. 2. provided—it is sometimes added11—they back the poet's words unreservedly. 74. 10 See 5.

sometimes used expressions such as 'Dichterwettkampfe'14. p. 67. by GELD NEB. 275. 251. p. See also 1. RENOU. 5. in I I J 4. 2. J. p. "The liberal Indra will never refuse us the vdja of his gift because of simultaneous invocation" (7. 11. AiB. THIEME. cf. PH. V. 1. 16. New York 1908. I. 18. 10.g. 28." 18 See e.. at JAOS 77 (1957). Paris 1973. 5. R. GONDA. 1. E. 85. 4). p. V.80 J. Throughout the Rgveda mention is made of verbal contests for which German authors. 18. p. p. p. 82. In his opinion the nucleus of the Rgveda was a textbook for that ritual. 8. 102. Moreover. 217 ingeniously attempts to show that 'wordduels' etc. 22 . 34. 446.. 11. were closely associated with a New Year festival of a type which has not however left clear traces in the Veda. 7. 154 and in Festgabe Jacobi. V.g. 21 20 128. 186. 8. I. P. Like riddle contests. 23.. E. B. F. KEITH. See also p. J. Structure d'un mythe ve"dique. no question of two poets or performers competing for prizes or recognition: "I (row. in French 'joutes oratoires'15. 26. However. as far as I am able to see. 5. 89. E. races and other exhibitions of mental and physical strength contests between two sages or eulogists22 as to who possesses the greater knowledge or more effective formulas are widely 13 14 P. 33. 33. p. 2. I. RENOU (and FILLIOZAT). 3. 6. sacrificers felt themselves compelled to take measures in order to secure their presence. 15 16 17 GELDNER. 6. Utrecht 1954 (2Delhi 1969).. 92. 9.g. P. 144. 2. II. 3. S. C. 35. 1. I. 8. consciously or unconsciously calling to mind "associations with the Nuremberg mastersingers and the minnesangers' tournament of song on the Wartburg" 13 . 52. 7). Iff. striving after generative power (vdja)"18 (8. 8). p. 140. 2. Iff. 256. 7. 66. 27. 53. 3. p. Moscow 1968. (1959). passim. in places such as the following there is. P. K. 5. at ZDMG 109 See e. also H.) so to say. 1. L. E. 70. 31. p. V. GELDNER. RV. 6. 9ff. Aspects of early Visnuism. 297: "Wettbewerb". F. The Hague. 164. If. 20. P. S. These attempts to bring a god over to one's side are sometimes coupled with disparagements of rival eulogists. p. 7. KUIPER. and RENOU. I. Religion of the Veda. "With thy (Indra's) help I (the poet) always run a race about (the materialized) brahman (the hymn). gambling. 2. 1 and compare GELDNER. RV. 7. 53. E. 19 TS. to thee (Indra) the ship of eloquence in the contests" 17 (2. 207: "competition. V. Part of these texts may be elucidated by a reference to the rivalry of sacrificers mentioned in some brdhmanas19: since the gods were not supposed able to be present at several sacrifices at one and the same moment. RV. XVII. Gonda • Vedic Literature We now come to a point of considerable difficulty which seems to have given rise to serious misunderstanding." invitations and captations such as "Come to our Soma festivals"20. 18. p. p. see M. the impression is sometimes created16 that the hymns were primarily designed for what may be called literary contests. 10. 242. 9. OGIBENIN'S book on the Structure of the mythological texts of the Rgveda (in Russian). SCHMIDT. RENOU. Among these measures were the recitation of the explicit invitation: "Come to my sacrifice. 48. 15. This is not all. 66. Compare also B. 29. BLOOMSTELD.g.. I. I) 21 . 4. 16.. hence no doubt also "In the past and nowadays the words of praise and hymns of the rsis have competed for Indra" (6.

see also 4. 15. E. which in its turn awakened the desire to achieve literary perfection. 73. The texts were not sung29.. 17. 83. 53. 78. p. lead the worship forwards (i.e. 32. 18. 101 (st. 5. 14 (39. P . HEETEL'S opinion. 38. 24. 9. RV. 10. 314f. 45 the parallelism between. Vision. The poets themselves are almost reticent about the details of the ceremonious performances of their productions28. 27. but rather—as in other traditional societies—recited in some form of singsong recitative. The ritual handbooks are much more explicit on this point. useful power. 85 Cf. I l l . is seated on a golden cushion. The stanzas of the Rgveda are recited 23 Cf. 2. . in 6. 14. 62. 30. 0 Indra. The performers are also to make these products of the poets' inspiration a means of exerting influence upon the gods or overcoming difficulties: "Make them so as to sound pleasantly. 114. in WZKM 18 (1904). p. and equivalence of. Since the 'price' fell to the share of the reciter who proved himself superior to others. 2) after invoking some of the matutinal deities arouses the reciters to activity27. 7. 5. 1. 0 companions" with these words the poet of RV. 2. 109.Poetry. 52. st. p . poet. p. 27 See GONDA. V. 2)26. 6. eulogists or valiant warriors (8. In view of the preceding words "in the contest (vivdc) of the many eulogists" (st. 19. 30) expresses the wish to win. 2. 8. 5. 38) sometimes inserted "competition" where there is no such indication in the original. 12. 1. 17. V. V. GELDNER. RENOU on 6. 178. the victor identifying himself with Indra. Compare also RENOU. 9. the desirable things mentioned in the hymn25. extend them. 4. 11. 166. 16: E.g. 3). 10. or set in motion. manifestations of vaja. 36. 10). 9. 8. 26 Translators (e. hold the weapons (which will conquer the evil powers) in readiness. 3f. 59. 6 Moka)'see RENOU. 6. 113. evidence of rivalry is here also not lacking: "0 Lord of Speech. 16. 1 do not help us much farther. st. promote it). For 1. 10. 31. There can be no doubt that the significance of the solemn word contributed much to inflaming a competitive spirit among poets and performers. but their indications refer to the fully developed Vedic ritual. races and verbal contests is quite clear: "With inspired poems (dhl) and race-horses we will. 23. 8. RV. GELDNER. poem gl believed to produce beneficial results and to generate." (st. 13. (conquer) the race-horses. 2. with the assistance of the god who is a protector and helps over enmities24. 28 . 6. 2. P. 12) tells the story of Sunahsepa to the king after his consecration.. P. 0 Indra must be that which carries farthest and comes nearest" (st. 6. 29 As was J . 92. V. 164. 16. 2. . It would be hazardous to draw any conclusions as to general customs from the fact that the priest who in the Aitareya-Brahmana (7. Iff. 19. I I . p. The prospect of success held out to a ruler can also in the Veda be attained by means of race-horses. See also 1. with thee (with thy help) the price of the contest. 19. 12)23. construct a ship that ferries across by means of oars. keep these down that in speaking they are inferior to me" (10. 24 Cf. 52. 29) it seems therefore legitimate to suppose that the prayer addressed to the same god "Our eulogy. 3. 7. E. In cases such as 6. the slayer of his rivals (st. X. p.

15 was specially composed for this purpose34. 3. e. 1900. in MO 25. in JAOS 69 (1949). p. AiB. 28ff. Amsterdam Acad. Gonda • Vedic Literature audibly.. let us sing the swelling (song of praise) that is like the sun" it has been inferred that in the poet's times an individual singer and a choir executed ritual hymns by turns. 67 (according to the anukramani the first seven triplets were composed by different poets). insertions and other foreign elements otherwise30. except for those cases where the contrary (whispering. p. 9. to be relieved of their task by the H TR who had to start a recitation32. 44. 279. also K. 1. to a definite number of individual gods (the so-called rtugrahas) and there is no doubt whatever that RV. we grope in the dark about the performance at the time of the poet himself. . 2. See RENOTJ. cf. 1. p.. 48. RONNOW. 87. From a place such as 1. there existed rites in which oblations were presented. Texts pronounced for magical purposes are recited in a low tone31. The words of a stanza are pronounced with the same pitch. and see ZDMG 71. 172f. audible and inaudible utterance—are eliminated in the domestic ritual. 33 GELDNER. 31 W. 30 &S". 86.g. R. 250. OLDENBEBG. 1 "He will start the song (sdman) . 15 was to accompany the ignition of several fires. Altindisches Zauberritual.g. However. 12f. . 34 For particulars see CALAND and HENRY. p. p. 1. 8ff. Other particulars must be omitted here (see e. L'agnistioma. p. 2. 106 uses the term "(strophischer) Rundgesang. Although it is not. RV. indeed. 11 and in JA 250 (1962).82 J. p. S"Asv. 224ff.). by a succession of individual priests and in a fixed order. inaudibly) is expressly stated." See also 6. 322. RV. p. oa Some strophic hymns have made the impression of being intended for alternate recitation33. V. which in all probability required a muttered recitation (japa). 32 GELDNER. II. 97. I. 1. 173. 393. . CALAND. p. difficult to imagine that a sUKTa such as 6. Some strikingly complicated particularities of the srauta performance—recitation and song.. AsvS\ 8.

26. If ritual acts and ceremonies are to be performed successfully the consecratory word is an indispensable requirement.' 54. The problem of the ritual use of the Rgveda-Samhita and its component parts. Sayana on RV. Sayana on RV. 7. V. 166. although he sometimes quotes also domestic rites or incantations and exorcisms (abhicdra)z. 90 etc.. which is to destroy rivals. 4 Hence Sayana's technical term goto viniyogah (e. In those cases in which no ancient text gives any information about the ritual use SayaNa adopted the theory that this use.g. not only to stimulate divine activity—for instance to awake the goddess Dawn (4. BHATTACHARYYA. Kritik der rituellen Bemerkungen Sayanas iiber die Hymnen des Rgveda.g. 97.g. His presupposition. If mantras are not ritually prescribed in the srauta literature. e. including the Rgvidhana etc.Poetry. 53. 10. indeed. poem 4. Kongr. application. 570. 22. that all hymns and stanzas were used in some ritual is however incapable of proof6 because many mantras are quoted in no other text. in OH 3. which. shared by the tradition of the 'orthodox'5. e." See e. their use must be learnt from smdrta texts. 89. 9. The famous commentator distinguishes two applications. 169. sections. whose method deserves a brief characterization1.g. on 6. Ritual application 83 The ancient ancillary literature comprises no index of the ritual applications of hymns and stanzas. In determining the latter SayaNa is greatly indebted to the Aitareya-Brahmana and ASvalayana's SrautasUtra. Intern. p. Some hymns found. of the relations between the hymns and stanzas on one hand and the contemporaneous and later sacrifiS. 82. 64. 40. 186) lit. introd. 10. 1. because the 'orthodox' SayaNa does not consider other Vedas or iakhds than his own. especially among those oimandala IX. for instance advantageously to influence the preparation of the soMa draught7. 10. There are however many liturgical suktas. "the ritual application has gone lost. It is part of a eulogist's functions. 10. is to be understood from the 'characteristics' of the stanzas (the so-called linga)4. BLOOMFIELD also (JAOS 15. single Vedic hymn was ever composed without reference to ritual application. not in drauta." 7 See e. 2 See e. 3 E. 3. 1. though not transmitted.g.g. 6 Cf. the recitation of one's particular Veda as obligatory 'study' (the so-called general application) and the special use of suktas or portions of suktas to accompany ritual acts2. 60. but in domestic rites.g. poet.. and so. Orient. 144) was "incapable . though ritually applied—this appears from the Samaveda literature—are left without the pertinent comment. by solemnly speaking about powerful things. viz. p. Akten 24. 4)—but also to infuse man's sacred activities with the power generated. p." but practically = laingikah "to be learnt from the linga(s). Nor does he take account of the differences between his sources. CH. BISWAS. This deficiency was at a much later time made up by Sayana. Miinchen 1957 (Wiesbaden 1959). which sometimes point to the obsolescence of rites. 75. 52. 46. 5 1 of believing that even a.


J. Gonda • Vedic Literature

cial ritual on the other cannot be left out of consideration. Bergaigne8 at the time ventured the opinion that a certain number of hymns are collections of essentially incoherent stanzas, composed to be used at different moments of one and the same ceremony or of successive ceremonies in a way not different from the use of mantras in the ritual described in the brahmanas and sutras of a later period. Nay, most of the hymns were made for soma sacrifices such as the jyotidoma9 of the sutras. This opinion, which was received with reserve and scepticism10, was refuted by Renou11. The thesis that all Rgvedic hymns were, at least in their present form, written primarily for definite sacrifices12 is not only hazardous but also untenable13. The ritual as we know it from the sutras does not even in the task allotted to the HoTaR and his assistants—the priests entrusted with the Rgveda—agree with the Samhita 14 . The ritual known to the poets of the hymns was not identical with the very complicated ceremonies of the later period15. I t was no doubt growing even while the hymns were composed and the corpus was in process of completion, and the later sacrificial ceremonies do not give an adequate idea of the employment of component parts of the Samhita in earlier times16. There is ample evidence that the poets were, generally speaking, very well acquainted with a variety of rites17. References to sacrifices18, sacred fires, the kindling of the ritual fire19, officiants20, priestly offices21, 'instituters' (yajamdna), ritual performances22, oblations23, requisites24, the sacrificial ground—
A. BERGAIGNE, Recherches sur l'histoire de la liturgie vedique, JA 1889 I (8-13), p. 1; 121; similarly, MACDONEI/L, H. S. L., p. 64. For some general remarks
see also LTJDWIG, RV. IV, p. XII.


This is a general name of the soma festivals that last one day.
A. BARTH, CEuvres, II, Paris 1914, p. 12; OLDENBERG, H. R. I, p. 518.

L. RENOU, Recherches sur le rituel vedique: la place du Rig-Veda dans l'or•donnance du culte, JA 250 (1962), p. 161. 12 Thus S. D. ATKINS, in JAOS 58, p. 419. 13 See already W. CALAND, in WZKM 22, p. 437. The methodological problem •of how to evaluate the Rgvedic evidence in its relation to the later Vedic literature •cannot be discussed in this book.


See GONDA, R. I. I, p. 10; 108; RENOXJ, Recherches, p. 162; 178. On special

•occasions the hotar had to recite texts from other collections. 15 P. S. SASTRI'S opinion (IHQ 30, p. 308), viz. "the poets had very little, if anything to do with the rituals" cannot be defended. 16 See also A. B. KEITH, in JRAS 1911, p. 979. 17 K. R. POTDAR, Sacrifice in the Rgveda, Bombay 1953 (in many respects unconvincing); GONDA, R. I. I, p. 108; C. G. KASHIKAR, in J A I I I , 1 (1964), p. 77. For the interesting sukta 8, 72 see also GELDNER, RV. II, p. 397, for 10, 13 GELDNER, RV. I l l , p. 140. 18 E.g. 1, 45, 7; 4, 9, 3; 7, 56, 14; 103, 7. 19 E.g. 2, 6, 1; 10, 1; 4, 12, 1. 20 E.g. 2, 1, 2; 4, 2, 14; 19; 7, 60, 12; 83, 7; 8, 58, 1. 81 RV. 1, 162, 5; 2, 1, 2; 2, 5; 4, 9, 3ff.; 8, 60, 16; 10, 107, 6 etc. 22 E.g. 1, 142, 3; 2, 48; 3, 56, 5; 8. 23 RV. 1, 18, 8; 153, 1; 3, 58, 8; 7, 64, 1; 84, 1; 8, 31, 2; 93, 23; 9, 7, 3; 10, 90, 6; :116, 8; 124, 6 etc.

Poetry, poet, poem


or the house of the liberal patron25—and the holy grass strewed on it26 and to certain ritual acts27 are very frequent throughout the corpus. In a considerable number of details this Rgvedic ritual is, however, different from the 'classical' Vedic rites28, and the precise meaning of the many technical terms occurring in the poems cannot always be determined. Like any institution the historical sacrifice presupposed an original and exemplary mythical sacrifice of which it is a reproduction29: "Looking back upon the path of the ancestors the wise (inspired) ones have, like charioteers, taken hold of the reins" (10, 130, 7). The relation between the gods and the rites30, the results31 and the significance32 and symbolical value33 of the latter are likewise among the favourite subjects of these poets. RV. 1, 95 deals, partly in riddles and mysterious imagery, with the ritual fire, especially with its origin and Agni's exploits34. In 10, 2 the same god is requested to arrange the sacrifices and make good the mistakes committed by the officiants35. The difficult hymn 1, 151 which contains several allusions to the ritual begins with a stanza addressing the sacrificial fire. Although technical terms pertaining to the ritual are rare, the corpus includes sequences of stanzas which when used ritually bear definite names36. There are unambiguous indications of performances and moments of sacrificial rites: "Born before the day, awake (watchful) recited in the sacrificial ceremony; clad in fine (auspicious), white garments is our inspired hymn here" (3, 39, 2). The stanzas 4-6 of 3, 52,1 beginning with "0 Indra, accept at daybreak our gift of fried barley" make, in the right order, mention of the three offerings of soma, in the morning, at midday, and in the evening. The order in which gods are addressed is sometimes, at least in part, in harmony with a definite ritual order37. According to expectation the ritual practice and technique as such remain in comparative obscurity38. If we knew these, large portions of the Rgveda would no doubt be less obscure.
24 25 26 27 28 29 80 31 32 33

RV. 1, 162, 6; 8, 12, 4; 10, 101; 105, 10 etc. E.g. 7, 74, 4; 8, 13, 10; 22, 3. RV. 1, 13, 7; 9; 26, 4; 84, 4; 8, 102, 14 etc. RV. 5, 15, 4. See A. HILLEBBANDT, Ritualliteratur, Strassburg 1897, p. 11. RV. 1, 83, 4f.; cf. 1, 164, 50; 10, 65, 7; 66, 2; 67, 2; 10, 130. E.g. 1, 3, 10; 135, 3; 4, 42, 10; 47, 1; 4; 6, 68, 10; 8, 20, 10. E.g. 1, 83, 4; 4, 2, 5; 10, 1; 42, 10; 5, 15, 2. E.g. 1, 83; 10, 65, 7; 66, 2; 67, 2. Cf. 1, 164, 34 f.
For 1, 73 GELDNEB, Auswahl, II, p. 12; for 1, 163, p. 28; for 3, 29 see GELDNEB, See e.g. H. D. VELANKAB, in JUB 27 NS (1958), p. 1. For 1, 151 RENOTT,

RV. I, p. 362.

E. V. P. VII, p. 34. 36 See e.g. 8, 68, 1-3 (pratipad); 8, 2, 1-3 (anucara) in the midday service of a
soma sacrifice (CALAND and HENRY, L'agnistoma, p. 300). For 3, 28 see BEBGAIGNE,

Recherches, in JA 1889 (8-13), p. 20. 37 Cf. e.g. 1, 1; 2; 139. 38 Cf. E. W. HOPKINS, in PAOS 1895, p. CCXXXIX.


J- Gonda • Vedic Literature

Some suktas are so clearly recognizable as litanies or sacrificial hymns that there can hardly be any doubt that they were from the beginning intended for the cult of the gods. For instance, 7, 35 ''Let Indra-and-Agni be propitious to us by their favour; let Indra-and-Varuna, to whom sacrifice is offered, be propitious to us," and 2, 14, beginning with a call to offer to Indra, whose deeds are enumerated in the following stanzas39. Quotations deriving from the Rgveda are frequent in the fire ritual40. As to the soma sacrifices41, in the Agnistoma 47 hymns were utilized in their entirety. Among these are for instance RV. 1, 2 and 3 which constitute the second recitation in the morning-service (the praugasastra)*2, and 10, 30 recited when one goes for the water that is required for the ceremonies. The ritualists did not always make the same choice43. Whereas, for instance, 1,1, addressed to Agni, the divine priest who is to invite the gods and to direct the sacrificial activities, and 1, 74, praising the same god, form part of the morning litany of both Aitareyins and Kausltakins, 1, 75 praising Agni and 1, 112 addressing the Asvins were adopted by the former only, 1, 34 and 116 invoking the Asvins, 1, 48 and 49 addressing Usas and 1, 150 directed to Agni by the latter. In addition to these far over 300 isolated stanzas, triplets or groups of stanzas came to be utilized at different stages of the ritual procedure. However, the great recitations of portions of the Rgveda take place on the day on which the soma is pressed out. The recitations of complete hymns—twelve in number in the agnistoma—are a striking deviation from the usual liturgical practice which is characterized by the use of isolated mantras belonging or adapted to the several ritual acts. Because of their special importance they were in the brdhmanas made a subject for symbolical explanation and ritualistic discussion. Among the texts prescribed in domestic rites44 are e.g. 6, 53 and 54, directed to Pvisan, the god of the paths who helps to recover lost objects. These texts are useful in case one is going out on business or wishes to find something lost. The ritual application of stanzas (viniyoga) deriving from the RgvedaSamhita is in many cases not in harmony with their contents45. The acts may even run counter to the sense of the mantras. For instance, the motivation given46 of the use of a stanza addressed to the Waters in the morning litany does not impress us as historically correct. Not infrequently, however, a stanza quoted in a ritual handbook does not contain more than one name or word
39 40 41

Cf. also 3, 21 (BERGAIGNE, at JA 1889 (8-13), p. 22); 4, 6, 11; 5, 7, 1; 10, 88, 7. The quotations are not equally distributed through the books of the Rgveda. See also RENOTT, Recherches, p. 169.
GELD NEB, RV. I, p. 2; CALAND and HENRY, O.C, p. 239; GONDA, Dual deities, Cf. CALAND and HENRY, O.C, p. 505.

p. 209.

AsvG. 3, 7, 9f.; see 7; 10; 3, 6, 4ff. etc. Brhaddevata 5, 95 (and see 94: the application is the more important); RENOTT, Recherches, p. 177. 44 AiB. 2, 16, 1; RV. 10, 30, 12.


Poetry, poet, poem


which can be regarded as suitable for the occasion. There is no evidence that once all mantras did make appropriate words of consecration47. We cannot enter here into a discussion of more or less original or secondary uses of the same mantras in different ritual contexts. One instance may suffice: since RV. 10, 57 was clearly intended to bring back the soul of someone who has died, this sulcta goes better with a rite in honour of the deceased than with a ceremony in connection with a journey48. On the other hand, verses dedicated to a deity whose cult had in later times become less popular may be supposed to have belonged to a hymn which has not been included in the Rgveda49. As already intimated, many parts of the Rgveda were not used in ritual practice50. Some places51 in the hymns themselves might possibly supply argument for the supposition that a poet, being dissatisfied with his work, did not consider it good enough for ritual purposes, but words such as "How can an act of worship be successful?" may also, and more probably, voice the author's modesty. The comparatively infrequent occurrence of soMa hymns belonging to mandala IX in the soMa rites finds its explanation in the fact that these rites are not to worship god Soma. The texts were to promote and consecrate the production of the juice. Many hymns, for instance a considerable part of those contained in the second half of mandala X, were too divergent or specialized in contents to be ritually utilizable. In reading the allusions to the contemporaneous ritual in the Rgveda one should, moreover, be aware of its chiefly eulogistic nature: these hymns are widely different from ritual handbooks and allude to the ceremonies almost exclusively in their mythical and laudatory framework. How far those hymns which are not employed in the ritual were intended to accompany it at a distance, or were in some way or other associated with it, is dificult to decide: that many of them, though addressed to definite gods, were purely literary without any 'application'52 is improbable: like innumerable hymns made in the post-Vedic period they were no doubt highly valued by any adorer and worshipper of the gods53. They may have been used on various occasions of

AsvS~. 2 , 1 9 , 3 6 ; 5 , 4 . A. HILLEBRANDT, in GGA 1889, p. 407 (on Aryaman andTS. 2, 3, 14 t and u). 60 E.g. 1, 151 and 153 (Mitra-Varuna); 171 (Maruts and Indra); 10, 168 (Vata, Wind); 171 (Indra); 182 (Brhaspati); 6, 72 (Indra-Soma). See also RENOIX, Recherches, p. 164. 51 Cf. 1, 120, 1; 7, 29, 3. POTDAR, Sacrifice, p. 20 goes too far. RV. 10, 88, 8 stating that the gods created, in this order, the recitation of texts, the (ritual) fire, and the oblation, cannot (with POTDAR, O. C, p. 37) be taken to point to a period in which the texts existed alone.


As was LUDWIO'S opinion: RV. I l l , p. 71.

Thus L. RENOU, at JA 243 (1955), p. 420. WINTERNITZ, H. I L. I, p. 93 un-

warrantably distinguishes "hymns valued as works of poetic art" from "sacrificial songs put together in a workmanlike fashion." 53 For hymnic poetry in general see F. HELLER, Erscheinungsformen und Wesen der Religion, Stuttgart 1961, p. 322; for a similar difference of opinion in connection with Egyptian hymns: S. MOBENZ, Agyptische Religion, Stuttgart 1960, p. 96.


J. Gonda • Vedic Literature

which we have no cognizance. Tradition indeed distinguishes between Vedic and (otherwise) customary rites54 and we would not be far wrong in assuming that in performing these ceremonies texts, recited or sung, were a mighty means of expressing emotions. Since the stanzas of many Rgvedic hymns are only loosely connected and— at least in our eyes—more or less arbitrarily combined it is not surprising to see that the later Vedic texts often present texts taken from the oldest corpus in an order of stanzas and hymns which is different from the order in the extant Rgveda-Samhita. These differences are not only explicable from the requirements of the ritual which they often serve very well, in many cases they also represent a more natural and satisfactory compilation of the mantras. These facts supplied argument for the hypothesis55 that there has existed a Rgveda for ritual use in a sacrificial system of which we have no exact knowledge, a Rgveda which was superseded by the text preserved down the centuries. Anyhow the formulas recited at the morning oblations before the principal hymn (puroruc), the inserted formularies (nivid)56 and the summons addressed to priests to commence their parts of the ceremony (praisa) collected in chapter V of the Khilas must belong to the earlier period of the development of the Rgvedic corpus. Being closely connected with the ritual they were, parallel with the Rgveda proper, handed down together with the sacrificial technique57. It has often, but incorrectly, been taken for granted that the chronological priority of the Rgveda implies that the subsequent elaborate specialization of the ritual and its concomitant literature derived or developed, directly or completely, from that collection. However, the Rgveda, in a way, occupies an anomalous position: though chronologically older and the source of most of the formulas contained in the Yajurveda, it was peripherical to what became the main tradition of ritualism into which it was intercalated only at a later date58. In some cases a comparison between contents and structure of one or more passages of the Samhita on one hand and of their occurrence in the ritual texts on the other affords evidence for the assumption that hymns or groups of stanzas preserved in the ritual go back to a period anterior to the redaction of the Samhita and that such hymns were, in another order and even in different places, incorporated in the latter. The stanzas accompanying the ritual connected with the sacrificial post (yupa) may furnish an example59. In some brahmanas they constitute a coherent whole in a logical order, but in the Samhita they appear not only distributed over two hymns, but also in different

laukya: "usual in the world" (Brhaddevata 1, 4); cf. RENOU, at JAOS 69, p. 15. V. M. APTE, in Siddha-BharatI, Volume Siddheswar Varma, I, Hoshiarpur 1950, p. 119. 66 See p. 109 f.
57 58



SCHEFTELOWITZ, Apokryphen, p. 8. RENOU, ficoles, p. 210.

AiB. 2, 2; MS. 4, 13, 1 etc.

Poetry, poet, poem


order and amplified with other matter or included in another context 60 . On the other hand, it has also been supposed that the so-called djyasukta (4, 58), extolling the sacrificial butter in its various manifestations, was not composed for the purpose mentioned in the sutra61 but for an uncomplicated soma and fire service62. RV. 10, 11 may have belonged to a matutinal soma service. The most interesting text 10, 98, no doubt a rain charm63, representing itself as composed for the benefit of a certain Aulana who is remembered in some more comprehensive final prayers 64 , begins (st. 1-4) with a dialogue in which Devapi, after imploring god Brhaspati to see that rain will come, receives from the latter that eloquence which will enable him to officiate as a priest in a sacrifice for rain. Thereupon Devapi becomes a HoTar and the purohita of iSantanu and succeeds in producing a shower of rain 65 . The sacrifice meant in this text—the fire is kindled in st. 8 and Agni praised with the following stanzas—must have been one of those uncomplicated rites performed by the domestic priest without assistance on behalf of his patron 66 . The suktas 10, 94, 76 and 175, addressed to the stones used for pressing out the soma are in the midday service of the soma ritual as described in the sutras67 recited by a special functionary. These suktas are no doubt appropriate to the occasion—the potent stones are stimulated into a display of useful energy—and there is no good reason for doubting that they were composed for practical use. However, before, between or after these texts the reciter inserts hymns directed to Soma Pavamana (Soma in process of clarification) as many as he can, in order to fill up time 68 and protect the hearers69. These obviously are more loosely associated with the ritual act. In contradistinction to the few isolated soma hymns in other books of the Rgveda70 which emphasize the effect of the intoxicating draught upon those who drink it the soma hymns of mandala I X deal with its ritual preparation. They are already at 9, 67, 31 f. regarded as a special class of hymns, "the essence collected by the rsis." There is however no question of any detailed, systematic and chronological accompaniment or description of the ritual acts as supplied in the handbooks, for which at a later date suitable mantras were
RV. 3, 8, 1; 3; 2; 1, 36, 13; 14; 3, 8, 5; 4. In RV. 3, 8 there follow 6; there are 18 other stanzas not used in the ritual. 61 AsvS\ 8, 6, 6.


Seep. 143. See st. 1; 3; 5; 6; 7; 8; 10; 12. See st. 10-12, rain, heaven, health etc. 65 For the story see Brhaddevata 7, 155ff.; GELDNER, RV. I l l , p. 308. 66 Cf. KS. 10, 3: 127, i6ff.; W. CALAND, AltindischeZauberei, Amsterdam Acad. 1908, p. 13, n. 18.


GELDNER, RV. I, p. 488; and at ZDMG 71, p. 340.

See also RENOU, Recherches, p. 176. Cf. e.g. Ss\ 7, 15 and for texts needed to fill up pauses in the sacrifice M. WINTERNITZ, in WZKM 22, p. 132. 69 RV. 10, 94 was supposed to destroy eyesight. 70 T&V. 1, 9 1 ; 8, 4 8 ; 7 9 ; 10, 2 5 a n d 1, 187; 8, 7 2 ; 10, 144.


CALAND and HENRY, O.C, p. 269.


J- Gonda • Vedic Literature

taken from this mandala. The poets speak in a general way of the clarification and mixing of the soma, of the sounds accompanying these operations and other particulars and in doing so they create a sphere that is favourable to their main purpose, viz. the laudation of the soma during the process of its clarification, that is, the furtherance of this process71: "Our words shall rear him like cows that have calves" (9, 61, 14). Since however Soma is also the vital element in nature, identical with rain, the juice in the plants, the essence of all life-bearing moisture, of drink and food, the draught of life and of the continuance of life72, the importance of this process—which ritually reproduces and so furthers the circular course of the stream of life in the universe— transcends the immediate ritual needs. Hence also the phraseology: not only is the preparation described as a magnificent religious festival, the images borrowed from natural phenomena such as raining and thunder, from the process of milking, from semen, bull and cow, are more than suggestive73. In this connection the three stanzas of RV. 10, 179 are of special interest. The ritual authorities prescribe the use of this sukta in connection with the so-called dadhigharma libation74, which is an episode of the midday-service of a soma sacrifice. Stanza 1 calls upon the officiants to prepare the oblations, stanza 2 is the invitatory mantra addressed to the gods (puronuvdkyd), stanza 3 the consecratory mantra (ydjyd). These two stanzas are at the same time the priests' answer to stanza 1. In this case the use in the 'classical' Vedic ritual is coincident with the poet's intention. Among those siLlctas which seem to have been composed for ritual purposes are no doubt the funeral hymns 10, 14-1875, which in their entirety—but not without obvious exceptions—seem to present a ritualistic continuity, almost every sUKTa and group of stanzas taking up the thread of events where the preceding section dropped it: adoration of Yama, (the first of the deceased and their ruler); leave-taking of the person who died; rituals in honour of the Fathers; cremation rites; appeasement (purification) and extinction of the fire and a neutralization of the contagion of death; the collection of the bones of the deceased; mantras preluding the Srdddha rites of the later period which were primarily to assure a place in the realm of the Fathers and the security of the survivors. The post-Rgvedic ritual does not however use more than some single stanzas and groups of stanzas of these hymns. It hardly needs comment that the presence in these hymns of passages of great poetic beauty and of some expatiations in which the author(s) voice(s) noble sentiments, is not incompatible with their presumably ritual purpose.

See GONDA, R. 1.1, p. 62; RENOTX, E. V. P. IX, p. 8; S. S. BHAWE, The Soma-

hymns of the Rgveda, 3 vol., Baroda 1957-1962 ;M.PATEL, in BhVl (1940), p, 185. 72 See e.g. 9, 74, 4; 107, 14. 73 See e.g. 9, 34, 3; 41, 3; 65, 5; 74, 1; 84, 3; 86, 28; 89, 3.
74 75

CALAND and HENRY, O.C, p. 283; cf. AsvS. 5, 13, 4f. H. J . POLEMAN, in JAOS 54, p. 276; WINTERNITZ, H. I. L. I, p. 95; KENOU,

H. S., p. 59; 239; Poesie religieuse, p. 74. See also p. 139.

Poetry, poet, poem


Stanzas of 10, 85, the nuptial hymn, traditionally ascribed to the archetypal bride76, Surya the daughter of Savitar (the Sun), are, either directly or through a ritual collection of mantras, used in the wedding ceremonies, to which they are most appropriate 77 : "Be not of evil eye, nor bringing death to your husband, (but) bring luck to the cattle (and) be kindly disposed and full of splendour; give birth to heroic sons, love the gods, be friendly, bring luck to (our) men and animals" (st. 44). RV. 10, 9778 may be quoted in answer to the question as to how an atharvanic or otherwise unexpected suKTa could have gained access to the corpus. This 'praise of medicinal plants' applicable to the cure of a serious illness79 is quoted in !§B. 7, 2, 4, 26, where in a ritual context it is related that the gods, being about to consecrate the ritual fire-place, healed Agni by means of medicine and fifteen stanzas—beginning with "The herbs first grown . . ."—accompanied the same number of libations and a fifteenfold sowing. I t may be supposed that this particular ritual use of the text led to its insertion into mandala X80. There is even room for the observation that some hymns—for instance those addressed to the ViSve Devas81—give evidence of ritualistic symbolism and speculation. Some philosophical speculations are quite intelligibly couched in terms belonging to sacrificial performances82 or, rather, expounded by means of ritual concepts. Some passages83 can be interpreted as pointing to a 'mental sacrifice,' so well known from later works.

See also S. KBAMBISCH, in JAOS 81, p. 116. For bibliographical references: M. J. DRESDEN, Manavagrhyasutra, Thesis Utrecht 1941, p. 24. 78 See p. 168. 79 Cf. Brhaddevata 7, 154. 80 See GONDA, Secular hymns, p. 341.
81 82


RENOU, E. V. P. IV, p. 7. Cf. also 9, 10, 8; 110; 10, 114. E.g. 10, 81, 2; 10, 90; see also 130; K. R. POTDAR, in BhV 12, p. 163.


Cf. 8 , 1 0 2 , 1 6 ; 1 9 .

Their personnel3 consists first and foremost of the more or less prominent higher and lower and in many cases very incompletely Some authors (among whom MACDONELL. on the belief also that these spheres influence each other continuously and that men have. the view of life and the world of the poets and their audiences. is almost exclusively viewed through the eyes of the male. p.. by means of the ritual. V. ritual and the sphere of myth and the divine. 50. the subjects dealt with in its component parts and the 'genres' or varieties of the hymns as far as these can be determined by criteria derived from their contents. Introduction In this chapter it will be our endeavour to study the contents of the Rgveda. 10.. XXV and P. stuti). 10. to play an obligatory part in the maintenance of universal order and the furtherance of their common interests. to be communicated by one single (teacher) to one single person who wants to be instructed' (wpanisad)2. Although the whole of the Rgveda consists of what may for convenience be called 'religious hymns'1. and of the similarity of many passages and the almost obligatory recurrence of topics and motives which should properly find their place under other headings. K E I T H . p. p. some of them were already in the times of the Sarvanukramanl given special names such as 'eulogy' (praise.. 2 Sadgurusisya.CHAPTER III CONTENTS OF THE RGVEDA 1. See GONDA. 34 (the lament of the gambler). 85 (wedding hymn). BHARGAVA. human society. on RV. the lack of homogeneity of the majority of the suktas. 8 1 See MACDONELL and K E I T H . may briefly be defined as based on the belief in an inextricable co-ordination of what we would call nature. V. 1. In the Rgvedic hymns. In doing so we are well aware of the 'mixed' character. V. . R. U. Vedic thought. 173 (consecration of a king) are secular. There seems to be no objection to extending this classification and to surveying a considerable number of hymns or passages under separate headings. that is to say. Secular hymns. Ph. R. I. 'advanced or esoteric doctrine. 'account of the (universe) cominginto existence' (bhdvavrttam). India in the Vedic age. reality. intellectual and 'educated' aristocratic interest. Aminabad-Lucknow 2 1971. paying attention to their function and main characteristics. 340) erroneously assumed that hymns such as 10. mundane or supramundane. 58. L.

is food. 30. natural. 38. in praise of food. It was not the task of the poets systematically to describe their characters and qualities10— which were of minor religious interest—but rather to elucidate their power. P. 10 The main characteristic features of the gods are far from standing out in every passage devoted to them or from being equally delineated in every hymn. very often somewhere in the universe. p. E. 1. mundane. never to give. Moreover.': see CH. also RV. 151) represented as a divine being6. the blessed deceased.g. MACDONE:L:L. This does not alter the fact that we do distinguish characters. then also of demons. .. DE WIJESEKEKA. or social relations over which they preside. 24. abodes or manner of life. 24. Almost everything is. Less felicitously. A peculiar feature is the celebration in pairs of some of the greater gods. Female figures are in the minority7. Especially in the hymns directed to Agni—'the god to be honoured with fuel' (8. In some cases there are no clear lines of demarcation between these categories. 156. 8 GONDA. Gedichte.g. occasionally also of what we would consider a concept or entity (e. V. 1. Rudra is 4 The translation. 428. Mensch und Tier im alten Indien. VII. made up. supermundane. their names forming dual compounds8. priestly figures. S. Madras 1946. because for instance the 'deity' of 1. of the poets themselves and their mythical or legendary ancestors. p. Some deities are believed to appear in groups.94 J. V. 6 J. See also LOMMEL. 6. Gonda • Vedic Literature personified gods4. a god may play the part of a colleague (see e. 2. that is—since some of the main gods are thought to function mainly in the atmosphere—in some indefinite regions between heaven and earth. Kunhan Raja. RENOU. of a few essential qualities. cf. in Melanges Renou.g. 21 and RENOU. e. p. 103 the frogs. 7 Untenable views of O. it is true. 9 As 'personifications' of the divine forces behind the phenomena. H. MALAMOUD. RA2 GHAVAN. p. 1.' immemorial and present at the same time. 1. 4). GONDA. p. The Indian heritage. The gods— not in the first place conspicuous by 'holiness' or morality—exist mainly in their functions and make9 their influence felt in those special events in which they are interested or in the particular provinces of nature. 51. moral standards. p. p. C. some animals5. 3. Studium Generale 20 (1967). demoniac or dangerous beings. 105. 68. of heroes. Dual deities. in our eyes. That is why in the hymns their activity is more emphasized than their persons. Sraddha 'Faith' in 10. 9. 'Henotheistic' tendencies or addresses to anonymous gods are not lacking (1. 101. functions and beneficial activity. Poesie religieuse. in the favours asked from the gods—for instance. 1. The scenes of the mythical events are left undefined or vaguely laid in terrestrial environments or in supermundane and sometimes widely remote regions. of deva by 'god' is somewhat misleading. H. 44. legendary or contemporaneous kings or noble patrons of the poets. in Pres. 493. 9. Varuna is implored to forgive and release from sin. 13. 1)—the poets hardly distinguish between the god Fire and fire. incessantly intermingled. Bangalore 1958. in this 'mythical sphere. 10. L. Index. and the divine. mythical ritual and social 'realities' are. For juxtaposition of a 'god' and his 'substratum': 5. clearly recognizable in the prayers. Vol. of 7. 4). 187. 0 Cf. 83 and 84 directed to Manyu 'Psychical tension inducing fury etc.

19.. 'in (our) house. 11 T. 26. 7. 24. 60. 1. 3. 2)17. 4. 21.g.' 'in (our) village. 4. 21 See e. That man will be happy and fortunate who satisfies the gods18. 15. 75. 34. 47. 5. 4. 61. 10.g. 40. 8. 2.g. 11. 14. 7. set or proverbial phrases and. 3. The relations between men and the divine powers can best be characterized as one of mutual dependence: the former have to strengthen the gods with praise and oblations lest their potency diminishes: "The oblations are ready. 50. 37. 13.g. 5. 4. above all. 27. 72. 16. 7f. and compare places such as 8. 18.. 7. 35. 2. 12. 7. 9. 9. 174. Portraits or characterizations of persons are lacking and the occasional use of the same name for members of a family and their ancestor or for the chief and his people16 reflect the communal character of ancient Indian society. 18 See e. 5f. 5. 8. 18. 7. 5. 22 Cf. 23. Lit. never to come11—combined with others which are proper to divinity in general.. 19 See e. 3. 1. 7. 114. but "one does not win the friendship of the gods without effort" (4. 14 Cf. 84. 131. etc. 11). 38. 2. 1. 5ff. 8. in Melanges Renou. 4. prayers 15 . 2. 70. 117. 8. 1. 1. 5. 2. 13. the divine priest who conveys the oblations to the gods. 20 See e. cf. 5f. Very often a vague 'here' (referring to the sacrificial place). 39. 32. 32. "Favour the one who praises thee. ELIZARENKOVA. 6. 18. 10. OLDENBERG. 20. 3. 4. 10. 8. 81. 28. 2f. Especially with Agni. 16. 101. 15 Cf. 5. 10. 8.. the family friend and lord of the clan. 33. 9. 8. 1. the consciousness of the divine presence and of the power of the ritual technique go a great way towards understanding the directness of speech and the frankness and exactitude with which wishes. 2. Men and gods are friends19. 22. 13 See e.. 62. 7. 6. 1. 21. 8. 34.. 9. 35.g. 5. 32. . 4. 29. 1. 36. e. 25. extend your protection with remedies that are far and near" (8. 1. 9. drink the soma" (8. 4. 7. 78. 2. 2. p. 23 f. they are guests expected to bring goods and blessings20. Vedic man certainly "was not of that opinion. 8. 18 E. Some of the authoress' interpretations are disputable. 23..Contents of the Rgveda 95 asked to save and spare men and their cattle. 83. 44. 2.. Nor was it the poets' intention to provide us with exact information about the regions or localities in which they lived themselves12. p. prayers and mutual obligations are so often stated and formulated22. 18. 3. 8. 36. 147. 19. 11. 17. 7. 4. 11. 31. 7ff.' or 'in the forest'13 was all they needed. 8. 5 etc. 15. 1. 3. 1. Even the brief allusions to wars and predatory expeditions are hardly pictured in their natural setting14. 255. 19. In modern eyes Indra's actions may seem destructive (p. 4. YA. 1. 2. Atri. The unquestioned faith in the gods and in the efficacy of the solemn words. 54. 4. 10. 17 See also 4. RV. see p. e. 1. 61.g. 4.g. 14f.) etc. 8f. 26. 7.). 10. 23. 102. Druhyu. 12 For names of rivers (7. 263). the sacrificers are on an intimate footing21. 5. and the many references to cattle and agriculture are confined to similes. 14. 77. 21. 1. If. 5. 57. 32. 5.g. 45. 3f. 19. 45. 24. 2.

readiness to fight25. Agni30. 2. 9. 6. 6.. in PAOS 1895 (JAOS 16). 347. 131. 3. D.g. 39. 26 25 . GELDNER. RV. forms and abodes. Siddheshwar Varma. generosity. 8 etc. In the pantheon there is no hierarchy in the proper sense of the term. 24. he is also the deity in whom the divine and human spheres most nearly coalesce.g. 60. W. 1. 5. p. 13. This led the poets to assume various interconnections between the human world and superhuman reality 35 . 4.96 J. in JAOS 62. 1. 1. 6. Der arische Kriegsgott. 8. He is on the other hand more closely connected with human life than other gods. 136. priests and reciters address their worship to single deities or groups of deities. 12. unerring weapons and mighty horses the poets are never weary of describing26. I. 4 4 . 10.. 47. 10. 2 3 . 23 H. MACDONELL. Some aspects of the Agni-mythology in the Veda. DANDEKAR. XLVII. the most popular god. Hinduism. . his mythology being mainly concerned with his various origins. 29. p. fond of soma. E. p. JOIB 11 (1962). 60. 14.Gonda • Vedic Literature Surveying the hymns addressed to the greater deities23 we are. 10. 1. 2. 3. exploits. 1. 69. terrible. 4. for surveys of their main characteristics also the introductory notes in A. 7. 28. 3. 3 6 . p. 8. LOMMEL. 1 . 3.. RV. 16. struck by differences in themes. also 4. 1. nor his various metamorphoses fail to attract their attention. 1. 4. I. 31 E. 1. the oblations and conveying them. In the case of no other divinity do we find so plastic a figure and so pronounced a tendency to anthropomorphism as in that of Indra. mighty. Vol. HOPKINS. 9. 6 . as might a priori be expected. 4. Neither his birth and infancy29. 6. 10. 2. C. phraseology etc. 8. 140. 1 . 193 and PAOS 1880 (JAOS 11). 45. heroic. 1. E. 18. 93 and Comm. impetuosity. generous. 2 f . p. 1. at JAOS 11. usually mentioning also other gods more or less closely associated with these. 6 0 . 4. 17. I. His are moreover many spiritual There are no grounds for holding that each god had his exclusive following. 48. Poesie religieuse. 29. ZAEHNER. gracious. 4. 3. 70. whose huge size.g. 5. to the gods34. 3ff. 15. 2. 3. 48. 5 .g. 7. N. NORMAN BROWN. 28 E. Consuming. 1 6 . 91. 34 E . with the light of heaven and that in the atmosphere. A Vedic reader for students. 45. 6. destructive. motives. p. 4. 8. In one and the same hymn27 they may picture him as great. The poets. 1. 51. 58. 49. 33 E. 5 7 . 127. indomitable and a source of afflictions as well as of blessings28. 55. 13. 8. 1 2 . 32 E. PERRY. 2 . 27 E. 4. 55. 2 . p. 36. 6. 6 . for particulars. 30 See also R. RV. 39. IV (Register von J. 3. S. EW 11 (1960). London 1962. as priest. 29 W. 4 . NOBEL). CCXXXVI. p. second in importance to Indra only and rudimentarily anthropomorphized. cf. 1. see also RENOU. Fire in the Rgveda. is on the one hand connected with the sacrificial aspect of fire—then he may be described as flame-haired and butter-backed 31 or be compared to various animals32—. which are closely connected with the characters of the deities and the main features of the mythological and speculative ideas to which they gave rise24. 127. 3 . A.g. 5. His threefold birth corresponds to the structure of the universe. 6. R. London 1917 etc. 6. AGRAWALA. 3. confusedly on Agni symbolism: V. 24 For the gods in general see GONDA. because he lives among men33. p. p. 2f. 35 E. 1 0 . 2. 4 4 .g. Frankfurt 1939. 5. 53. g . 44. 73. R. as fire. 33.

E. and Pani. 1. p. 7f. SCHMIDT. 1. he may be a good shepherd and a psychopompos. KBAMBISCH. Law. Varuna is the guardian of Rta (Cosmic Order. 33. The idea of sin in the Rgveda. 10. 46 See e. 5. Special mention must be made of the Fathers46. The Panis are the mythical prototypes of the reprehensible and detestable wealthy niggards who do not give offering to the gods or daksinas to the priests45. 1. 35. 6.g. 56. 2. 2. the Angirases and overthrown by the sheer power of words. Dual deities. viz. LEFEVEK.g. 40 S. in JAOS 81. 1. 1. 45. 12. 6. 8. 6. 6. Hamburg 1958 (incorrectly: "vow"). rain. always on the move40. wind and thunder-storm42. 5. 25. H. the main image in which he is invoked is that of his path. Wiesbaden 1968. singers with a sense of rhythm. 6. 7. enemies of Indra. he is a wanderer. P. in ALB 50. are E. the god who holds heaven and earth apart and made a path for the sun. UPADHYAYA. 7. E. see e. 19. 3. For particulars see MACDONELL and KEITH. in BhV 25 (1965).Contents of the Rgveda 97 qualities such as wisdon. 3. 8. 6. In spite of the bewildering variety of interests and activity of some of the greater gods. the snake Vrtra. There are among the personages some typical inimical figures. 21. their spears the thunderbolts. p. . 4. 4. the forms they assume and the functions they fulfil will in many cases not seem incoherent if we keep their central conceptions clearly before our mind. 39. the great antagonist of Indra who combats him by force of arms. 310 ff. 106. 38. p. less vigorous than those addressed to Indra. 7. 1.g. 37 38 42 36 RV. 39. 2. SCHMIDT. Brhaspati und Indra. 7. 16. 2f. WtiST. 1. 8 AIOC. 9 (praise). 10. are represented as young men. Truth. 3. GONDA. 1. p. V. are characterized by a certain simple warm-heartedness37. 23. 6. 8. They are more or less deified. as ornaments they bear lightning or lustre. 6. P. 109 (with a symbolical explication). 3. 15. 19. 23. noise-makers and that—in our eyes—in the different spheres of nature. the early or first ancestors. Hymns to Pusan. 8. Brhaspati44. 75. 9 etc. 5. 12. 7. X. See e. Essentially however they are the gods of lightning. 3. lord and upholder of the vratas (fixed and regular behaviour. 188. The Maruts. 44 46 43 RENOTX. vision. 2. 1. A. Vedisch vrata und awestisch urvdta. also W. 1.g. 64. 33. functions. The forces of nature are their weapons. PUsan39 may answer to the qualifications solar and pastoral. H. p. 39 S. 15. cf. 6. more often in the plural43. these are neither exhaustive nor characteristic of his nature. 5. they are a formidable but splendid spectacle. I. Generally speaking his hymns. 6. 52. religion and warfare. 3. 31.. H. p. 471. 27. I.g. 37. p. Reality) and as such the representative of the static aspects of kingship. 14. viewed as a clan41. 10. 9. the punisher of sin. 414. receive oblations and almost divine honours. 13. omniscience36. the enemy of falsehood. 29. 41 RV. P. V. 144. observances38). 7. the representative of the unformed world who prevents the cosmos from coming into existence.

6 1 . GELDNEB. 124. 1 4 . 64. 2 2 . F o r o t h e r i n s t a n c e s see 5. V. and to apply terms of consanguinity to relations existing in the cosmic and superhuman spheres (Dawn daughter of Heavens etc. and alternations of. 168 (introduction to 6. 161 (on 1. concentrates on one idea or grouping of ideas. Tubingen 1930. p . 1. RV. 4 3 . 5 . 1 2 . not only Indra's favourite beverage but also. as a heroicfigure. 5. 6. Agni's (fire's) flames are described as seven sisters whom the god exhibits as a spectacle (10. I . 1 5 .his friend and helper51. 1 . HEIMANN. called personification. R V . sagas and legends with which they deal in their hymns.98 J. Notwithstanding the almost general preference of the poets for an episodic presentation of the myths. 2). 53 54 Many of which will come up for discussion in the following pages. 5. 2 'half-personified'50 between the deities Bhaga and Puramdhi. That is not to say. 4 9 . 34. See e. p .g. 2 . the main subject of others is his cosmic activities and other important 47 See also B. RENOXJ. we deem it expedient here to insert a few observations on some themes dealt with in the hymns addressed to some of the greater deities. 5). 103.). 49. Leaving unmentioned those numerous hymns which mainly consist in praise and 'characterization' of an individual god and those likewise numerous special suktas. B E R G A I G N E . 4). there is in the hymns no more a fixed line of demarcation between person and non-person than between our concrete and abstract ideas. whose names are however also found as an adjective or a common noun. Soma is not only the divine draught but also a great god. 4 . 1 2 . 9 . for a non-exhaustive treatment of their subjects. 4 1 . the same deity is surrounded by females. 6. 32. We must for a moment revert to what is often. but are rarely praised. anthropomorphically. 6 . 5 1 . Cf. 2 7 2 .Gonda • Vedic Literature invoked for aid. 203. for frequent changes in. E. cf. Samsa 'favourable appreciation' is at 7. 30. 52. 7. 101. While. mothers. 6 . P. The central part of many Indra hymns consists of an episode of a combat between this god and a demon54. 5). 7. as prototypes or institutors. the themes and for interspersing their eulogistic and reeollective passages with stray motifs reminiscent of themes or cycles foreign to the main subject broached in a passage. 49 50 48 A . bull or stallion. 107. 6 . II. The poets are much inclined to interpret events and occurrences as caused by persons or more or less personal forces48. 10. 8. 96. 8 . 15. a t M S L 8. 2 3 . but inexactly. generally speaking. RV. 66). 104. A eulogium can like a bird go to Indra (6. Indra's faculties and potencies are represented as his satellites (1. 119. R V . not even the natural phenomena developed into completely personal or abstract gods47. 5. p. Rivers and sources make their appearance as women49. 98. . it is in many cases possible to say that a hymn. 97. 6 e t c . 64. sisters. 35. p. p. Studien zur Eigenart des indischen Denkens. 51 52 R V . 5 . daughters including Heaven and Earth as well as by the fingers of the one who prepares the draught52. As a male par excellence. 22. IX. in substance. which are not intended for the usual laudation of the prominent gods53. 10. also G E L D N E B . 32. rather presented as examples of human behaviour. 9.

9 see GRIFFITH.R6hrscheidl948. GONDA. in ArchOr 3. RV. 13. 15264. E.g. D. 17. 10. in JAOS 81. 2 (1955). 266 ( = BhV 10. or fashioning Indra's two bay steeds67. 85 describes his might. VII. 3. Leipzig 21880. X I I . S. attempts to explain the nature and function of the double deity. in ArtAs 22 (1959). resources and excellent qualities56 or his fondness of soma57. 7. 112.Varuna-HymnendesRigveda. 24. M. 19. RV.21 ('Gewitterpsalm'). 123 the periodicity of Dawn. SILBURN. RV. for instance their making one cup into four. P. The Hague 1957. 36.. RENOU. 67 MACDONELL. 2 he fulfils priestly duties. 5. p. in 7. Whereas. S. 2. 3. 1. 319: 'Agni is the priest's guide and. 39. 5 and 6 his aspect as Vaisvanara. p. contains various ritual allusions. VELANKAR. 65 66 67 68 59 See e. 113(subjective). 22. Of the two hundred odd Agni hymns59 1. 86-88. his power. p. RV. 63 reminds us that rain and thunder-storm are a concern of theirs65. H. 4.p. addressed to Varuna and Mitra. 113 is different from other Soma texts in that it pays much attention to the celestial joy given by the draught. p. 4. in Journal de Psychologie. XV. The Rgvedic myth of the craftsman. 7. the fundamental Order and Truth. in JUB. D. 65 R. UPADHYAYA. in 10. 4 views the god mainly as the destroyer of demons and enemies. 20. p. greatness. majesty and cosmic activity63. 7. 4. The Varuna hymn62 1. 7. RENOU. 29 with the sacrificial fire. Der Rig-Veda.1 there is a tendency to assimilate him with Visnu. P. 7. 5. p. and 10. 25. 66 S. 84 63 See L. the Usas hymn 1. p. KRAMRISCH. 296. 2-4: Ps. 6. 60 J. p. the Universal. 8 and 9. V. 170 centres on the sun as the source of light. 6. V. 53 creates the impression of being an evening hymn. 63. ATKINS. 21. 23 emphasizes his overwhelming power (sahas)60. the most successful classical hymn 5. 1. OTTO.' 48 RENOU. 9 being a profound glorification of Agni as the great immortal conceived as the inner light and placed among the mortals to guide them in the mysteries and intricacies of the ritual61. 131. 2. 4 Agni is eulogized as the god who can give a son. 77 and see WINTERNITZ. I I . 133). in 10. The suKTa 9. 12 associates him with Rta. 151. 36. 24 dwells on the god's mysterious power. 1.) see L. 5. but the next one. 10. for instance. On the other hand. speak with uniform frequency of their great feats of dexterity. 58 deals with forest-fire. 104. 2. seems to be a morning hymn. 1. A. p.-. 2. 85. 61 emphasizes their cosmic significance. VON SCHROEDER. the poet of RV. RV. 14 with the god's birth. at BhV 22 (1962). 3. 5. 61 For 6. E. V. 1949. P.Contents of the Rgveda 99 feats55. 50. p. p. . The ASvin hymn 4. Leipzig 1913. V. 4. the eleven hymns dedicated to the Rbhus66 who have obtained divinity through their wondrous skill.X I V . 45 makes the gods' chariot the centre of interest. p. 'Gods' and 'powers' in the Veda. 5. esoteric and dwelling on the god's associations. 6. 62 deals with the gods' Rta. 19 etc. 95 and 3. 77. teacher. 1. Reden und Aufsatze. H. p. attempts to propitiate him and prays for a long life. E. V. 12. 2. A. RENOU and L.. For a comparison between the Varuna hymns and the Psalms of the Old Testament (RV. KAEGI. 38 endeavours to draw attention to many aspects of Savitar58. 65.1 with his many-sidedness.

be classified undei two headings. Agni is described as fixe. II. because gods may have epithets and characterizations in common. p. 74 See below. be reduced to the two variants of positive and negative requests. LTJDWIG. spiritual principle—may be meant implicitly or alluded to incidentally69. but less varied than the number of mythological figures would have us believe. his other aspects—vital glow. for instance. 68 69 See further on. 73 72 BLOOMFIELD. RENOU. 143ff. or the combats between Indra and his chief antagonists are described with much variation. The sulctas 9. 136 ff. Rigveda. and A. do not repeat a single quarter of a stanza in the same form71. See e. Gedichte. See also ELIZABENKOVA. 36. 1. As oral literature never reproduces mythical or narrative matter in exactly the same words we are not surprised at finding hymns identical in contents. 47 see GELDNER. p. 16. 170 f. 12. and compare also C. Very often. The poet of 1. far from uniform. . p. They are chiefly concerned with praise and characterization of a deity or some deities on the one hand and with invocations and prayers on the other73. 116 and 117. Der Rigveda. Thus the important problem of the origin of the universe70. 71 70 For RV. 12. The above considerations should not however prevent us from observing that a study of a great number of hymns of average contents leads to the conclusion that these contents can. 72 deals with Agni's flight and his being found again. II. Prag 1888. p. Auswahl. p. 6. VI. In reverting to the same subject this poet was not alone72. Repetitions. Hymnes speculatifs. In the ddnastuti hymns74 there is no praise of gods or mythological description75. 96 and RV. S. in the main. RV. the latter aiming at the dissipation or destruction of all that is evil or inimical. 104 and 105.' passages.100 J. 258. p. In the repertories of these poets major themes can of course take several forms. 143. The precative passages may. the former expressing the wish to obtain what is desirable. dealing with the same subject and attributed to the same poet. There are also eulogistic hymns without prayers. LOMMEL. The reader may be referred to GELDNER-NOBEL. p. but varied in outward form.Gonda • Vedic Literature Cases present themselves in which a hymn deals with two or even more mythical themes. of course.g. IV. As to the former. p. 75 In this book no attempt can be made to draw up an inventory of themes and motives occurring in the Rgveda. VENKATESWARAN. Not infrequently two or more subjects are combined and intertwined: when. the prayers follow the eulogies or characterizations. I. with the stolen herd of cattle and with the activity of the gods and 'patriarchs' in connexion with the renascence of the world68. p. p. these are. in BDCRI 2 <1941). in the main. 'descriptive. but not necessarily. though often more or less stereotyped.

10. LOMMEL. 8. or in the East. p. 15. Tvastar7. CALAND-HENRY. The efficacy of a prayer is widely believed to be dependent. In some cases a hymn is. to Indra. &B. 9 H . 224. I I . 4. See e. 68. Some suktas (1. 403. practically speakino-. 1. . p . divine guest1.' RV. AMMER. 32. 7. and. 6. p . I call you" (8. 153. 4). 372. 94. not only upon its correct repetition. I. 107. and are either added to or followed by praise.. 32. 36. 3. 3. p . 47. 2. 8. . 66. or art in thine own residence. 1. p . quite intelligibly. 6. 43. 34. "Whether thou art far away or near . 35. references to the god's exploits or such expatiations as are more or less appropriate to the circumstances4—for instance Indra already drank soma when he was a new-born child. "If you are in the West. I . See also 1. 181. EGGELING. the summons. They accordingly consist of twelve somewhat varied stanzas addressed. but also upon its accuracy and completeness9. . GONDA. 195 spoke of 'Gastmahlspoesie.—Compare also 1. 16. 5. GELDNER. Agni and other gods and pronounced by different officiants. 41. some prayers for the gods' kindness and benevolence3. 23. e . 1. 36. only the concluding stanza of 1. 2 and 1.. . which form a unity. 2. . libations offered to the twelve months. 8. In the large majority of cases these invitations do not however come so much to the fore. addressed to the ASvins. nothing else than a long and varied sticcession of invitations. in Die Sprache 1 (1949). in a fixed order. or. 130. 8. RV. invited to come quickly to the soma offering. p . 69. 8 CAXAND-HENRY. 5). AO 10. the Maruts. This accounts for the occurrence of circumstantial invocations such as "If thou. Dual deities. oi wherever thou a r t . after having drunk soMa he made the sun shine—or they are inserted between eulogies.3.g. See also p . rather. Eine arische Form magiseher Gottesanrufung. 71. repeated requests to come and drink alternate with assurances that the soma has been prepared. C ." (8. p . remain 1 3 3 4 6 6 P . in the 'classical' Vedic ritual. 319. 2. 7 K. 4.g. are in a similar way distributed over seven deities. 4. at ZDMG 107.Contents of the Rgveda 2. THIEME. 23. 6. 239.. or with Druhyu . and. 22. No possibility should be overlooked lest the invitation. used in the praiigasastra. p . " (6. 5. 0 Indra. 97. Invitations and invocations 101 One of the commonest genres or subjects is the invitation addressed to one. 5). A hymn is sometimes described as refreshment or an invigorating drink2. L'agnistoma. hast turned aside. 15.40. or more than one. 16 asks Indra to comply with the speaker's wishes. 1. The seven triplets of 1. statements of the poet's intentions and other subject-matter5. In the ten stanzas of 1. O . 7. See e. 16. 47. After eight stanzas offering hospitality. 7. 36 and 37 which belong together) are to accompany the so-called rtugrahas®. 2. 41 for which see GONDA. the second laud recited at the morning libation8. 36.

45. 55. 8. 17. 1. 1.g. 2. 1. Nobel. 44. 1. 5. 51. Mitra. 59.102 J. 35 is hardly more than an enumeration of names. 10. 1. 46. 6. 186. 14. a name denoting. 42 (where Agni comes to the fore. Savitar). Nobel. in principle of a complete stanza 16 or sometimes of two or three stanzas17. 10. 11 See also 1. 13. 5. 50. Gonda • Vedic Literature ineffective10. Most of the lesser families contributing to the books I. It is a ianti litany ritually used to appease evil (GONDA. Hence invocations such as 5. As might be expected these enumerations are especially frequent in the hymns dedicated to the Visve Devas. 7. 9-37. 35. ye gods. 20. host of the Maruts and Visnu. 31. 16 See e. 4. Rudra and the wives of the gods. the Rbhus. 15 See p. 6. 101. 5. 176. This circumstantiality should not however be put on a par with the mention of the different moments at which a god is expected to come: "I call thee at sunrise. 8. 28. 164. 6. 12. 3. 1. now the gods in general (All the gods). the enumeration of many names of deities helps to reassure the performer with regard to the evil consequences of omissions and negligence. Vol. Vol. Pusan. in Comm. 17 See e. 20) and many hymns of book X. 37 (dedicated to Indra. 3. 35).g. 1. 107. 8. 5. p. 104. 80 In some cases in a very artless manner. 51. amplified by some epithets. In the ritual the ViSve Devas were a distinct 'deity' and in a way regarded as a single personality. p. The addressees are in principle the whole (cf. and requests for bliss and welfare. 136. 57). 73. 65. 1. 177. 1. VIII and X have left no hymn of this type. of deities. extend (your sympathy). 64. 50. 8. 1. 8. 36. 7. 3. 7. 66. 13-15. p. 1. 6. 14. Sarasvati must be pleased"11. See also 1. We would probably not be far wrong if we regarded these suklas as originating in enumerations composed for liturgical purposes18 comparable to the nivids19. 12. 9-11. preceded by an ever repeated Sam ("auspicious"). 6. 52. 5.g. 2: "O Agni. 5. 1 and in Comm. 49. 1. 6. Whilst an exhibition of one's knowledge of a god's abodes or sojourns means making an urgent demand and exercising one's influence upon him. 5. 4. 9. now a separate class of deities (the All-gods)12. 29 (where the gods remain anonymous. 16. 47). 65. rivers and ritual entities considered divine. 2. Varuna. 97. 3.g. cf. 13. 13 See e. 18 This might also account for the fragmentary character of some of these hymns (e.g.g. 39. 5. 10. Yt. 14 See e. which in the course of time were20 amplified and remodelled upon the majority of the hymns. 6. p. 10. among whom mountains. P. 90.g. 45. 52) and part of the whole. 10.g. Irrespective of these enumerations—moulded into a definite syntactic structure 13 or ending abruptly or elliptically14—these hymns—which are scarcely less formulaic and ritualistic than the dpri-suktas15—consist of separate invocations. Both Nasatyas. IV. I call thee at noon" (8. 4. 3. 19 RENOTJ. 13). 43. 7. 12 RENOTT. V. 48) and for the mediocre arrangement and banal phraseology of others (e. In fact the name is traditionally given to the addressees of a variety of hymns including e. E. e. 186. 10 . Indra. 4. 11. 10. Rgvidhana. cf. There are parallels in the Avesta. Bhaga. 7.

72). 103. See e. 81. the names of many legendary persons to whom the ASvins had given help and relief in various difficulties. 8. 2). 83. or he has already died. further. Even in a simile underlining the wish to be escorted as it were by a swift conveyance not less than four parts of a chariot are serially specified (2. 161. their more or less 'enumerative structure'21 remains. 26 . He tries to recover the patient's health irrespective as to whether his life goes to an end. The component parts of the house which in an atharvanic rite25 is given to a brahman so that the giver would in the hereafter have a firmly built mansion are (AV. La doctrine classique de la medecine indienne Paris 1949. 87. 5. p. In the final stanza the performer declares that he has found and recovered the patient and that the latter has come back. Invoking the dual deity Indra and Agni to cure a patient from an illness the poet takes three possibilities into account: the patient suffers either from 'royal consumption' or from the 'unknown consumption' or he may be 'seized' by the female demon called 'Seizer'26 (st. 75 furnishes us with a probably complete list of the equipment of a warrior—welcome information for historians. 39. fiends and demoniac beings are often mentioned in groups. p. 18. amplified by brief statements of the circumstances. P. GONDA. 1. very clear. 14. 107. 2. 23 24 25 See also 1. or even reached the presence of Death (st.Contents of the Rgveda 103 While they exhibit a preference for speculation rather than mythology. 14. 36. 4). 1). 8. RV. E. 2. 5. Enemies. 5ff. in most cases.g. IV. eye and life. 46 (RENOTX. The tendency to minute description and attention to all contingencies imaginable culminates in 'magical' texts such as 10. 11). E. 3) as minutely described as the wonderful structure of man in AV. Savayajnas. He should live a hundred autumns—the usual prayer—. 9. 376. along with other wicked antagonists24. The closely related suktas 1. FILLIOZAT. 118. 6. a hundred springs (st. 2. 116 and 11723 attributed to the same poet commemorate in the form of an enumeration. 10. V. p. warranted to suppose that the tendency to couch descriptive matter and references to collections of persons in catalogue form22 was not foreign to the structure of these hymns. It seems. 4). a hundred winters. 2. The 'Waffensegen' 6. which in an enlarged form recurs in the Atharvaveda (3. sound and safe of body. 5.g. 101. 180 f. 21 22 Seep. For these terms see J.

27. 1. most families indeed possessed one for their own use. BERGAIGNE. 19. 1. 2. 4. 13. III. R. 3. 211. and an imitation: 9. 142 (invoking also Indra) of thirteen. K. 8. Aprl hymns Annexed to the Agni hymns are the so-called Apri-sUktas1. the "hymns of propitiation" of certain deities—among which the three goddesses Bharati. for instance the holy grass on which the gods were supposed to sit down (barhis) and the tree serving as the post to fasten the victim (yupa)2. MS. II. 29. 3. p. Their popularity may have been due to a sort of family ritual associated with them. From the literary point of view these suktas are insignificant—in their totality they are almost a collection of khilas—but for the history of Vedic religion their importance is beyond dispute. Delhi 1957. p. P. Thus RV. Sept. 39. Their use at the animal sacrifice does not exclude the belief that they possessed an autonomous capacity to effect propitiation or to confer much desired qualities on the sacrificer3. 15. 1. though individually largely imitative. Skt. AGRAWALA. 5. Accompanying the ten preliminary offerings (praydja) of the animal sacrifice as consecratory texts (ydjyd). 93 (subjective). 20. V. KB. 1 J. V. POTDAR. Lit. who no doubt were wanted to come at the regular and auspicious moments—and sacrificial requisites regarded as divine. Sachs. 2. 10. p. at JOIB 13. 12 and VS. VII. There are nine of them in RV. in as many stereotyped stanzas. HERTEL. 3 AiB. 2. p. There are serious reasons (for instance. 145. 27. in Ber. KS. TB. 5. in which the ritual had not yet assumed its later proportions. KapS. but elsewhere Narasamsa or TanUnapat and NaraSamsa. 1. 3. and each of the others of eleven stanzas. 5. p. they invoke. RENOTJ. 2 (1946). 12. I. IV. 28ff. KANE. p. Dual deities. 8. KS. 1118. III. they must. 29.. R. at 13 AIOC. 28-36. 15. RV. Ila and SarasvatI. with some variation with regard to the second deity. as a type of sukta. XIV. 2 . 1. They were rather composed for ritual purposes centering round Agni. 47). I. and in JA 1889. 463. V. p. 124. and the pair Dawn and Dusk. 6. lack of internal evidence) for doubting that they were originally intended for the animal sacrifice. X. 6.. 5. K. Being constructed on the same pattern and characterized by fixed key words in corresponding places. Akad. 13 consists of twelve. GONDA. p. 4. 10. These appear in the same order. p.Cronda • Vedic Literature 3. POTDAR. p. 18. MULLER. S.104 J. (cf. belong. p. 2. 25-26. 110 recurs as AWulg. 11-32. V. 3. 4. there is a secondary half-metrical dpri hymn in VS. 90 (1938). 29. p. ch. 17. MS. E. PB. Benares 1947. 16. to a comparatively early period. in 12 AIOC. 6. which in some of them is TanUnapat. JUB 14. eleven deities. &B. R. II. H. TS. Dh. 39. occurring also as AVS\ 5. 19 AIOC.

P. Being first and foremost confirmatory these eulogistic and panegyrical passages influence the 'situation' of a divinity. Hence such statements as 1. 12. who is placed in front3. 61. 1. and smaller eulogistic passages as adornments and digressions. 22. Its sound goes shattering. 2 states that Heaven and Earth. who between heaven and earth has produced fire. is Indra". 2. . 3. driving away all discomfort. For ever the settlers and all inhabitants of the earth rest in his lap. then discharged the waters. 10.e. GONDA. being lauded". 6ff. 4. as Father and Mother. 66. so as to determine it to some result or other. 7: "He slew the serpent. 6. these commemorative statements strengthen the gods (or persons) addressed. 3: "I praise Agni. "Who having slain the serpent released the seven streams. p. praising with recitations. in the literal sense of this term: a consolidation of the power. has at once obtained wealth"4. We proclaim the terrible name of Rudra. 1. . adding that they protect all inhabitants of the world. replenish their resources. VII. 12. (when thou art) praised thou givest remedies to us". who drove out the cows by unclosing Vala. p. commemoration of powerfulness. E. 61). 2. Far from being cordial or beautiful superfluities or nothing more than description2. great and inexhaustible.. enumeration of names and epithets—is a confirmation of a god's power. p. 8. and one of the many other lines dedicated to the same exultingly praised god: 1. the giver of much. p. that the poets whilst inviting the gods to the sacrificial feasts enlarge upon their beneficence. 3 Purohita: see J. 1 "the gods who grow (are fortified) by homage. the god who is the ministrant of the sacrifice. 1. 6. It would however be a serious mistake to regard these sastras. V. 1. 1. greatness and glorious deeds. Kirfel. at which the strenuous sacrificer. 91. splendid in superiority. 57 (on 7. exploits and services rendered. Praise—that is laudatory mention of characteristic deeds and qualities. stating their qualities according to fact: gamsan). "(I will) now (proclaim) the greatness of Vata's (Wind's) chariot. 35. London 1938. 10. 1 See G. When the poet of 1. 7. 168." 430 This term was used by REKOTJ. 27). thundering. 4. victor in battles. of the will. he. "Those indeed. 10. VAN DEB LEEUW. 160. and cleft the caverns of the rugged mountains". though traditional. the hotar. 4. O men. 4. as mere poetical effusions. his emotional. and it also goes over the earth scattering dust". Touching the sky it goes producing ruddy hues. 89 (on 2. Chasing away demons and sorcerers the god has stood (there) towards the evening. 4 See e. with which man finds himself confronted1. 9. Praise X05 It has often and rightly been said that the hymns of the Rgveda are largely eulogistic. 33. in Festschrift W. are far-extending. 51.g. "God Savitar comes from a distance. lauding (i. truly born from Rta. I extol the true lord. 5. 2. "For the ruddybrown and whitish bull (Rudra) I pronounce a mighty eulogy of the mighty one . 8 and compare RV. influence their situation. 107ff. best bestower of treasure". 5. Bonn 1955. those Dawns have formerly been auspicious.Contents of the Rgveda 4. . this continual glorification and magnification. also 4. 7. 32. Religion in essence and manifestation.

1. and this repetition is also psychologically motivated: the performer convinces himself and his audience of the existence. 12. 35. 87. Whether the statements made are founded on experience or sensory perception. whom they when fighting call on for help. 1. O men. 33. from Rudra. Mitra regards the settlements of men without blinking. other flow to the sea" (2. Through the dark space he penetrates to heaven". bringing homage" (1. G. 2: "Golden-handed Savitar . as in the sacrificial ceremonies. 83. 35. or on traditional convictions is a matter of indifference. Divine service was almost entirely the offering of praise. 9) draws attention to the military aspect of the god who elsewhere is lauded as the slayer of Vrtra and the establisher of the cosmos. 9 "The Mighty one. For the Agni hymns in RV. Praise is a form of truth which should be always repeated. . or mechanical repetition of familiar epithets and references. in ancient India not less than elsewhere. O men. 2)5 or attempts to fathom the god's essence such as in the Varuna hymn 7. D. VAN DEB LEEUW. VELANKAR. with firm limbs and many forms has adorned himself with bright gold ornaments. 0 Agni. he guides Surya. He drives away disease. Being from the religious point of view a turning away from oneself and towards the divine6. Even the sinless one flees before him. continual praise of the gods was. It would be a misconception to regard such passages as adornments or embellishments. regarded as an exceedingly important religious duty. day by day we come with an inspired hymn. who moves the immovable: he. who supported heaven: he. 2. 9. The whole world fears him . 15. is Indra". 430. Mitra supports heaven and earth. also 2.106 J. 32. From the ruler of this great world. unalterability and reliability of that power. And so we find banal and self-evident statements—"While some (waters) flow together. directed or presided over by these deities. 59. . p. S. is Indra" (2.C. "Who made firm the quaking earth. I see H. when thundering he smites the evil-doers" (5. 35. who is a match for every one. but a contribution to the maintenance of those important processes and phenomena which are controlled. . to Mitra pour out the oblation rich in sacrificial butter" (3. 1. And passages such as 2. Cf. In praising a god a poet sets himself no limits other than those conditioned by the character of the god itself: "Without whom men do not conquer. 7 at JUB . nature will continue to meet his wants. 7)7. . 12. O. N. Or a reference to the actual oblation is. 2. p. 3)—beside wellconsidered descriptions: "(Parjanya. let not divine dignity depart" attest to the poet's more or less conscious conviction 8 6 The images and similes cannot be considered in this chapter. "To thee. who measures out the air more widely. Rain associated with thunder) shatters the trees and smites the demons. in the very hymn preceded (or followed) by praise: "Mitra he names himself (because) he marshals men in their proper position. as mere flattery. who set at rest the agitated mountains. goes between both heaven and earth.Gonda • Vedic Literature utterance is no sentimental assertion. As long as man's rites and eulogies succeed in supporting and maintaining life and order in the universe. 1).

4)9. neither in form nor in content.Contents of the Rgveda 107 that praise contributes to the maintenance of the powers presiding over the provinces of the universe8. also 2. function and behaviour: "0 Agni. lightnings shoot down. 10. 6). 6. 7)11. also 1. the Soma hymns in book IX. 10 See e. 61. 75. 11 7. 3. 3. illustriousness (which brings) most brilliant fame" (3. also 7. 3)10. 6. . e. Nurture is born for the whole world. 13. 162. 42.g. the plants sprout. the god who supports the cultivators. But these laudations may also induce the poet to an expatiation on the significance and salutary results of the god's activity: "The winds begin to blow. 2. Many instances of praise are exact statements of a god's task. 17.g. 9 Cf. honours and praises Brhaspati" (4. also 2. 61. 61. The poets have no objection whatever frankly to admit that they expect their praise to be rewarded: "That king with his impetuosity and heroism overcomes all hostilities. 273 in deriving the praise of gods from eulogies upon earthly rulers. a strict line of demarcation between praise and its effects: "The assistance of Mitra. 83. 59. 110. I. 7. . 5. There is. 5.1 cannot follow RENOTT (and FILLIOZAT). 7. the sacrifice that thou encompassest on every side. p. who . C. 43. 7. We should remember that the solemn spoken word possesses decisive power in its repetition.1. indeed. that goes to the gods" (1. See e. 50. 8 Cf. 1.6. 63.g. assures (us) gain. 15. 21. 9. the worship. 59. heaven overflows. . when Parjanya quickens the earth with seed" (5. 81. 4. I.

because 'praising. 160 (Heaven and Earth). 5 See e. . 155 (Indra-and-Visnu). 7 . ATKINS. 10. 3. e. 1. 1. BHATTACHARYA. action. . Being addressed.g." See V. but to other potent beings. 2 Cf. 162 and 163 (praise of the sacrificial horse). 154. 2. 7: "Praise is expressed by means of name. let thy missiles lay low another than us" (2. to remind the audience of the character of the text5. Roaring. 102 (Indra). O great ones. 4. GONDA. 33. 35. 195. 84 (Earth). 35. 1). 2. at JAOS 81.the place of sacrifice. SarvanukramanI (Brhaddevata). also 2. 1. 25 (Agni). 96 (of Indra's horses). 2). and sons. 3 See e. 3. 154. 33. 21 (Indra). 1. 10. they likewise purpose their compliance with the performer's wishes or the exigencies of the ritual. 7. Many hymns can indeed be said to consist for the greater part of praise alternating with prayers and references to the god's deeds3. the poet has succeeded to do justice. Very often the desire to emphasize. 71.g. wealth. 38. 16. 160. 5. by means of epithets and allusions. S. being praised be gracious to the eulogist. p. So are questions without answer: "Will he perchance take note of it? "(2. RV. 75 (of the rivers). In cases such as 2. 2. p. 5. 6 Cf. bull. to the main features of the god's character and to the influence he exerts upon the doings of men. 1. in Oriens 2. dedicated to Savitar7a.' takino. "0 Rudra. 1. not to the greater deities. 187 (of food). 2. 154 (Visnu). 337. . in a comparatively limited number of stanzas. D. 49. J. 2. 15). 4. 3. to stimulate them into joining in. I) 4 and forms of verbs of praising are frequently inserted in order to show that he is in earnest. 77. O Rudra. . "Praise Parjanya. mainly. Heaven and Earth. 22 (Agni). 40 : 1 This distinction was made in the Brhaddevata 1. to our invocation. 59. form. also 1. I)2. 102. bestow on us great fame (and) firm dominion" (1. 4. Seek to win him with homage. See 2. 4. 1. but prayer by means of objects such as heaven. Some suktas are traditionally7 known as 'laudations' (stuti). 16 (Indra). be listening here. the bull of quickening gifts places seed in the plants as a germ" (5. in OH 2 (1954). means confirming and strengthening the god's power6." (2. 0 brown one. 27 (of the eagle). a long life. 10). Sometimes the poet is quite explicit on his intentions: "I will now proclaim the heroic deeds of Visnu . 22. 170 (Surya). p. invocations and requests to listen are of course largely conditioned by the tendency to viewing the gods as persons: "So. 6. 35.Or the object in view is formulated right at the beginning: "(Because I am) desirous of generative or creative power (vaja) I emit this piece of eloquence" (2. 4 Cf. 5. and relationship. 155." (1. 1. 7a Cf.108 J* Cronda • Vedic Literature 5. 160. 12. but. a god's own nature fuses with the well-known tendency to henotheism which is so characteristic of religious hymns. 6. 3. 20. These addresses. 83. 4. 5). 42 and 43 (of an ominous bird).g. CH. inasmuch as thou art not angry . 173 and 174 (of the king). Prayers Often praise ends in prayer1: "So being lauded.

Granting riches.Contents of the Rgveda 109 (1) "O Soma-and-Pusan. 51. (2) The gods rejoiced in the birth of these deities. 3. The term occurs in the Rgveda (e. in individual cases. yoked by mind. Calcutta 1961. 348. 1 see GELDNEB. According to expectation part of the tribute paid to the gods consist in captationes benevolentiae: "The creatures are wise owing to the greatness of him who keeps apart even the vast heaven and earth" (7. Ye two born herdsmen of the whole world The gods made the navel of the immortal. (4) The one (Pusan) has made his dwellings in heaven. 1. up in midspace. . 30. V. 175. V. intermingled with supplications and introducing a prayer for a privilege. RENOTJ.g. 16f.' reflecting the general sentiments and attitude of mind of the whole community9 of poets and audience may be taken for granted. 38. The other (Soma) on earth. I) 10 . A considerable part of these hymns or stanzas of praise are like many stanzas of different content more or less traditional and subject to the tendency to formulaic diction.g. 6. 18. 100. stands out so clearly that one funds some difficulty in distinguishing the eulogy proper11. 10. 1. See e. 160—create the impression of being versified and amplified adaptations of nivid formulas. 5. 157. E. in BDCRI 10 11 translation in JAOS 81. . p. and creators of Earth. .12 Some suktas—e. 24. The other (Pusan) travels. Apokryphen. With you two may we win all battles"8. (3) Ye mighty bulls urge on the chariot That measures the space. 111. 2. See the same. rich in food . Edited by SOHEFTELOWITZ. NIYOGI. (5) The one (Soma) has created all the worlds. p. Creators of Heaven. Like thank-offerings traces of real expressions of thanks to tne gods are scanty. That many of them express what has been called 'community-consciousness.g. 18. for 3. P. Soma-and-Pusan. p. p. These two covered the unfortunate dark. 6. Cases are not absent in which this element. 7). 4. 12 13 14 E. 1. With Soma-and-Pusan Indra made cooked food In the cows who yield the unboiled milk. A critical study of the nivids. I.g. the element of personal emotion. further my vision. S. 20 (1960).. beholding all. KBAMRISCH' 9 S. also 1. IV. With the exception 8 Compare S. RENOTJ. 11. 67. at ZDMG 73 (1919). p. S. V. 136. creators of treasure. 10. Nivid ("proclamation") 13 is the technical name of eleven prose formularies consisting of a series of short sentences and containing about 65 words each14. 4. The exclusive car that has five reins. p.g. DASGUPTA. See e. They should release us abundant wealth. It is here also difficult to decide how great was. 2. 86. 96. Iff. p. VII. That rolls to both sides. 47 and less evidently 1. E. has seven wheels. P.

10. 84. 84. Savitar etc. 9. 11. REN'OU. I. 20 21 Cf. in a case such as 10. E. 2. 7. RV. 60. 189 does not wind up with two other stanzas before he has strung together six supplicatory strophes. 26. 8. V. 18). 64. by epithets. end with a prayer for help. see CALAND and HENRY. 1-49. 74. but also their reputed seer or poet. 7. laudatory names and short invocations or references to the god's main deeds and. was regarded as 'the embryo of the litanies' and as constituting. like blessings and curses. because man's solemn word exercises potent influence over men. 3. OLDENBERG. Though usually cast in standard shapes the many prayers contained in these hymns often have a conciseness and dignity of their own. 17 18 19 AiB. This oldest Indian prose16. 299. counterparts of Rgvedic stanzas17. 82. unrestrained by modesty. The Visve Devas nivid may be said to resume the main phraseological peculiarities of the hymns dedicated to these deities19. p. 3. Indra. 9. P. 10 he is represented as addressing the people of the PUrus and the gods and as. E. except for the last. 47. Prosa. 23 We do not however know if it ever was recited when Aryan troops were actually marching to battle. 1-3 see GELDNER. In view of these connections it is not surprising that already at an early date the hymn RV. 48. 57. 4. The ancient authorities qualified some hymns or parts of hymns as self-praise (dtmastuti). 3.HO J. Yet the poet of RV. In performing divine service they were—in order to enhance the effect of the recitation—inserted in definite places of the suktas recited in praise of the gods (dastra). was associated with the nivid dedicated to these deities. prayers. I. 1. 48-50 Indra is not only the deity to whom the texts are addressed. Sarvanukramani on RV. RV. 41 (eleven stanzas) is not unjustly known as a request for victory in battle23—but the prayers proper are introduced by and intermingled with 15 16 For particulars see AiB. p. gods and unseen powers. That is to say. and in 10. 1. 10. Although some of the smaller hymns21 are in their entirety a chain of petitions. IV.g. When properly pronounced. prayers. 61. 6. addressed to Indrawith-the Maruts18. 1.Gonda • Vedic Literature of the last they begin with the name of a deity (Indra and the Maruts. 47. 3 (with GELDNER. 53. laudations and references to divine power and exploits—"Save us. in each of their sentences. 22 . alternations of summons. to be precise. 5. the very sense of these needs give them their directness. lOf. 47.) followed by an invitation to partake of the soMa. p. contemporaneous with the Rgveda-Samhita and no doubt older than many a sukta. in the afternoon in the middle and in the evening at the end15. See e. 114. invitations.g. For the ritual application. 1. p. Being composed to meet practical needs. 89. force and distinction. were believed to be practically operative. in the morning before the sukta. L'agnistoma. singing his own praises20. 65. RV. 27. See also RV. expressions of wishes. 151. Brhaddevata 7. 31. 453. p. RV. thou art the protector"—are most usual22. 70'. For 4. 5.

" (6. 50.. 88 See e. worthy of worship . Aditi. 63. . 15f. . . slay the demons. eulogists as well as patrons. 65. p. "Let these two (messengers of Yama. 20. 31 as a prayer for assistance. Many precatory passages reflect the fundamental needs of the poets and their patrons and.g.16. we might be under thy protection. 0 resourceful one. 8. (and) is attended with children and good offspring" (2. 42. 2.. See e.g. 5. 17.12). 76. "Since we choose thy inspiration (involving thy) benevolence. save us from getting into childlessness. 9. 47). 6. 3. 16. The poet of 10. . rich in cattle" (3. The poet of 5. protecting threefold" (6. repeated to conclude every stanza (10. 54. also 10. 4. 18. 15. 7. our path of life must be rich in children. 52. from the one who intends to injure (us). Prayers of a more general character are however not lacking: "(Agni) VaiSvanara must favour us that we are protected" (6.0 Agni. 31.g. 0 Agni Jatavedas. .. we would offer worship with sacrifices. many of them having well-defined concrete purposes 26 : "Both (groups). be gracious to us. 25 24 . 6. 5. 41. II. 89. 82. he must (may) guide us to the GELDNER. Auswahl. . 0 (Agni) Jatavedas. Protect us from distress. 8. 75 as a petition for help and protection24. 5 prays for spiritual illumination27. 12. 6. 26 See e. 9. 13. his function as the chosen god of raiders and the indispensable reliance placed on him25. 60. 6. 8. 30. O Mitra-Varuna let the sky rain! Or it may follow or precede a declaration of homage or worship. 50. 7. 9. 9)28. 18. 96. 36. 1. 147 prefaces his supplication for the army that goes to war (st. 3. 4. 4. May we (live) a hundred winters. and oblations. 5. 4.. protect us . 14. "To Yama offer an oblation abounding in ghee . .g. not rarely in stereotyped phrases: "May we be lords of wealth" (4. 24. 6). 7). give us offspring possessed of vital power . 6). 5f. 12). . " . 48. 18). 6) is not less than five times used in the Rgveda to occur very often in other works. these needs mostly are of an economic. 27 See e. social and religious nature. 2. 5. 2. 64. 43. resplendent wealth which increases. 187. See also 3. 1. Or the prayer is. The large majority of prayers relate to temporal desires. 19. rich in vigorous (sons)" (6. by way of refrain. obeisance. 130. "Bring us wealth attended with vigorous (sons). 16. . 8. and the famous final prayer "Do ye protect us evermore with blessings" is repeated in more than seventy hymns. although they of course bear the colour of their social setting. A prayer may combine with a corresponding statement of divine power or activity: at 5. 61. 11. 2. 7. also 3. 5. 15. the last) with references to Indra's victory over Vrtra. the supplication proper does not appear before the end of the sukta. the bull. 80. 6 Parjanya (the god of rain) raises his thunderous voice. 9. "Aryaman. the lord of the deceased) give us back here today auspicious life that we may see the sun" (10. O Brhaspati. 6.). 8. 56. . "Then to the father to whom belong all the gods. Sometimes. also 5. 3. 29f. 7. 5. Exert thyself to (give) us possessions. Some of the most frequent petitions tend to recur at the end of hymns. 59. with good offspring and heroes we would be lords of wealth" (4.Contents of the Rgveda \l\ other material—.

87. The deceased ancestors are implored to help their descendants: "Ye Fathers . 147. and in some cases the latter come decidedly to the fore—"ward off the enmities. 5. Cf. 189. and the divine and the human spheres interpenetrating. RENOU.. 2. 62. 28. 62. 7.. 3. in Cf. See also P. 26 (1. 55.. then bestow on us welfare and happiness free from hurt" (10. Prayers may alternate with deprecations33. 8. 35 See 6. S. 10. they would shower gifts and blessings on their worshippers31. 43.. 61. Not infrequently the gods are indirectly implored to answer man's prayers: 6. p. these offsprings we have made for you. Sometimes however avowed hatred compels a poet to lay an enemy under a malediction35. For these see e. 53. for a veiled imprecation: 4. 5.g. 19. 12. 9 "Through thee we would receive enviable goods. the poets often stand on a familiar footing with the gods and are not afraid to tell them that. . requests put into the form of a reference to his beneficent activity. 395. 4. 54. 3. 86. 1 "Protect us. 2ff. 4. that we may live a long life" (10. 68. 6 the wealth which Indra and Varuna bring to others may fall to our share. 34). 8.g. 1. Gonda • Vedic Literature gods. enjoy them . 9. 5. 7. On the other hand.. 25f. 38. far must be (your) fetters. E. 68. 7. Iff. 104). 44. 4ff. 21-24 is an undisguised attack against an anonymous enemy36. 114 (7. 32. 1. 32 XVI.. 11.112 J. 42. . also 5. 36 37 See GELDNER. 14. A personal touch is not foreign to other Varuna hymns either32: there are lamentations of patients and a complaint about calumny. Or a general prayer is immediately followed by the expression of a particular wish: 7. 84. p. 34 Cf. 6ff. 18ff. moreover. 15. QJMS 40. 9. 7. Mythical and actual reality being closely interwoven. 1. 9. 44. 41. crush the malign misers... If. 8. 30 31 29 RV. RV. 1." The poets may. . 88). 52. 2. I. we wish to gain the victory. 1. 65... in Festschrift Schubring. "Being praised. The curse contained in 3. 17)34. 18f. 85. far suffering!" (2. 82. 18. 273. 2. . SASTBI. 23. II. P. (come) hither with aid. 2. It is often impossible for us to draw any clear distiction between prayers and entreaties on the one hand and spells or imprecations on the other37: 2. H. 7. V. there is also the lamentation of Vasistha bemoaning himself because his friendship with Varuna has come to an end (7. statements of the success of those men who have won his favour30. 25. 4. 30. Iff. 48. 29)—and a deprecation may be followed by a veiled curse (6. 79. 4)29. expressions of the wish to be under the god's protection. optatives and other verbal forms expressing a wish or possibility. 14. 7. fulfil our desire" (7." In 7. also 9. p. 10. p. 4. have mercy. 5. 55. e. 6. 1. 23. if they were gods.g. 97. 4 they follow each other complementally: "The moons shall pass without sons for those who See e. 94. 33 See e. . 2. 3). 7f. LOMMEL. clothe their thoughts in varied language and avail themselves of different phrases and grammatical means expressing many delicate distinctions and gradations in their modes of address: imperatives of the second or the third person. p.. 10.g. 7. 14).

he who bends his mind to worship will save the circle of his family. must burst!" 38 •• Cf. p. also RKNOXT. 43." Every stanza of the eulogies upon Agni.Contents of the Irtgveda 113 do not worship. P. E. Indra and Varuna 8. II. . whoever they be. 39-41 ends with the refrain: "The others. V.

32. 21. GONDA. "When thou thro west down (timeless present) the trees on the head of Susna (a mythical antagonist) . 3)5. 5)2. heroes or ancestors did 'in the beginning. p. in the main. The living myth is the parallel of celebration. RV. where those who seek the presence of the gods rejoice7. enjoying the pressed oblation. Tubingen 1933. 32. 3. who will interfere ?" (1. closely related to the ritual. Amsterdam Acad. 1. that he slay Vrtra. p. are identical: "Born for strength and dominion he drove away the enemies and made ample room for the gods" (10. 5ff. 63. p. 71. Told in satisfaction of religious. 1966. 104. Thou causest the waters to flow" (3. 6. 50. A myth refers to the past when a sacred action was first executed. 2. 2. 30. a successful interpretation of this mythical imagery6. Visnuism and &ivaism. 4. The mythical and historical actions run parallel. moral. Iff. "I entreat Indra. 32. See K. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 See also 1. 54. in the mythical past. See also 3. (sun eclipse). 5. T H . 10). 11. London 1970. cf. p. 62.114 6. 3). J. 5.. . . when thou wilt do that today. 31. 1. Gonda • Vedic Literature From the above-mentioned forms of praise commemoration of mythical feats is not essentially different because the essence of myth also lies in its being repeatedly spoken anew: "Thou (Indra) slewest the serpent showing his power as he lay around the flood" (3. See 5. . It is for those who believe in it a true story and. O .' The central mythical feature of the Rgvedic Visnu consists in the three strides he takes traversing the universe. 0 Indra. The rivers flow today because Indra. 40. J. 3ff.. 4. 4ff. 103. Myths J. significant and exemplary. beyond that. VAN DER LEETJW. 5. 2. the powerful one has conquered in (the) battles" (10. also if it explains the course of natural phenomena and leads the believers to abide the issue of these with confidence4. 37. 31. Der religiose Gehalt der Mythen. 5. sacred. Recollection of a myth enables man to repeat what the gods. It is no pseudo-historical tale. 5. 5). 47. 154. PBEUSS. 8. made them their bed (6. not necessarily a subject for contemplation but the reiterated presentation of some event replete with power3. Loka. it is itself verbal celebration. 5). A mythical event is re-iterated in history: "(Indra) struck Vrtra"—the power of obstruction which would prevent him from establishing the cosmos—"fatally. 5 etc. that he secure vdja in the battles" (3. 4. the much invoked one. 7. But all beings are said to dwell (present tense) in these three strides. C . and the time-honoured Indian view of this god as representing spatial extensiveness—and especially that pervasiveness which is essential to the establishment and maintenance of our cosmos and beneficial to the interests of gods and men—seems. II) 1 . 7.. 413. and the steps themselves are full of honey and bliss and it is the poet's hope to reach (in the future) the god's highest domain. social wants or even practical requirements it is a narrative resurrection of a primeval reality. which it certifies: "As with Manu drink. 180. 20. GONDA. 22.

reproduces its reality for his own benefit. 8. OLDENBERG. They serve in a way to explain cosmogonic. 30. p. The myths were no doubt also to enlighten Vedic man on matters which could not be made intelligible to him by analysis or abstract reasoning. 3. 20 the mythical Surya is addressed. it will enable him to defeat the present enemies (3. See J. 107. PISCHEL. I. when he was to slay Vrtra and combat SSambara. the prototype of any marriage on earth—in st. The one who re-enacts a myth. 24. H. 61. 68.Contents of the Rgveda 115 Fulfilling an indispensable function these living myths express and. RV. 10). GGA 1880. H . of his glorious deed (1. birth. 85. 47)8. 3 . describes. 4. p . Or rather. p. 1. who is said to have 8 See also 3. The soMa prepared for ritual use is taken on earth while its birth is. Kutsa. is the prototype of the present sacrifice10. I . 17. is invoked to conduct the dead (10. 4ff. in the form of a loosely knit account of a variety of incidents. formulate belief. The soMa draught offered to Indra is believed to be identical with the mythical beverage which fortified him. Or an allusion to a mythical event is followed by a prayer. In a prayer on behalf of the poet's patron the latter can simply be identified with a mythical figure. 12 71. I . The sacrifice of Manu. in ZDMG 10 See 6. S. the wedding of Surya and Sonia. 166 (whose explanation of the 'symbolism' of this text is completely antiquated). the institutor of sacrificial rites. 6. 25). The most important and remarkably predominant myth of Indra and Vrtra —the chief adversary of the great god. in its second part. 310. the nature of which was clarified by means of myths or mythical examples.). L. in. 104)9. 1 WlNTERNITZ. the belief in the gods and in the effectiveness of texts and rites does not prevent a poet from expressing some doubt: is Indra still able to perform his feats ? u Myths can also vouch for the efficiency of ritual and the legitimacy of the customs and institutions of men. for instance the cycle of procreation. The Suryasukta. on behalf of those speaking. in ZDMG 33 (1879). according to the myth. growth and decay: Pusan. 10. 51. The supposition that these formulas to be recited at the various stages of the ceremony were part of the text from the very beginning13 has much to recommend it. However. 3. 7. the introductory story may serve to found the collection of mantras on mythical fact. V. but any human bride can be meant—adding. 11 Cf. 7. p. in their way. cosmological and meteorological problems or traditional convictions and their principal figures have special rounds of duty in connexion with various events in human life. p. Recurrent events are seen as belonging to cycles. 10. for a repetition. 15. the god who knows the ways and is born on the far path of heaven and of earth. 14. 9 For which see GELDNER. addressed to a god. 3. 61. 18. who was Indra's associate: "Strike once more for the benefit of Kutsa!" (8. a number of pertinent formulas which recur in the ritual manuals to be used at the marriage of ordinary mortals12. EHNI. in heaven (9. 30. or has it re-enacted.

See e. 18. 8. 2. 9. 152. 4. p. 10. 10. 2. 63. For similar stanzas in connection with Varuna: 6. Indra drinks the soma. 14. 20 RV. 47. I. 2. 7. 4. 6. 109 Soma who had apparently abducted Brhaspati's wife gives her back19. 8. 12. 85. Sometimes the prodigies of nature are simply stated as such: 5. 13. . 1. 3. this was expiated by the gods who restored her to Brhaspati. 23. in the cows milk. 3. V. in our hearts inventiveness. S. I. 86. 10. W. have fixed rules. 2)24. A god shows his power and fulfils his mission already as a baby. p.g. 177. 56. 38. p. 5. 7. Kirfel. seizes his bow. 14. 8. 4. as we know now18. 2. 10. 15. 13. surpasses the other gods and reduces heaven and earth to a state of panic. p. S. 3. 15. 379 on RV. Awful admiration for the cosmic miracles is one of the distinctive qualities of this poetry: Visnu alone supports heaven and earth and all beings23. are never oareless and do not end their day's work20. 1. 1.. 165. 58. also 2." Being representatives of the superhuman world gods are portrayed as ideal figures. I. 23 RV. 2.'56. 4. 6. As soon as born. 8. 10. 24 R.g. 19 GELDNER. p. 17. 5. 1. see e. 3. 66.. Gods are capable of doing what is beyond the reach of men: Dawn finds good paths even in the mountains and -crosses windless waters (6. 22 RV. 7. M. so that the sun could rise and the light and rain of the heavens could reach and fertilize the earth18. 85. p. 3. 10. "Over the trees Varuna has spread the atmosphere. 65. 6. in the sky the sun" (5. 66. 3. OTTO. Not a few descriptions of the gods' incomprehensible power (mdyd) were well suited for arousing a sensus numinis and making the audience conscious of the presence of divine will-power. 8. 3. 8. 90. 55. KAPADIA. 55. 17. 85. RV. 66. Varuna-Hymnen des Rig-Veda. 2f. 9. 89. 7. are lords. 8. 6. in Festschrift W. 4 (Indra).. Bonn 1948. H. B. 70. 1. no commemoration of a victory over drought. Their origin. 115. 5. 52. 3. 158. in JOIB 21 (1972). 56. in IHQ 33. . 32. 7 (Agni). . are possessed of the sun-eye and extend their protection to their worshippers21. in the race-horses he has placed vigour. 15. 3 etc.' In RV. P. 154. SASTRI. They stand on firm ground. Gonda • Vedic Literature been born for the very destruction of this snake14 who obstructs the waters and opposes the establishment of an inhabitable world15—is. GONDA. 10. 27. 6. 21 RV. 89. 8. 1. 18 See 1. 10. 4. The purport of a myth may be explicitly mentioned in the form of a sort of 'moral.g. Auswahl. See GELDNER. Iff. R. 51. 1. 45. 199. Cf. 10. 9. 1. 1. 7. birth and adventures are 14 15 16 17 See e. which are above deceit and 'mortality. p. p. 2. 48. 78. 9. 5.' need no sleep. 9. NORMAN BROWN. p. 32. 64. 41. 13.116 J. 1. 5. 4). 3. 2. Says the poet in st. 6 "The gods gave her back and so (should) men do. but a mythical account and explanation of how Indra established a well-ordered world by separating heaven and earth17 and opening up the space between these. 3. II. 17. BHAWE. 57. According to SayaNa—whose explanation may to a certain extent be harmonized with the sUKTa—she was however deserted by her husband because of some 'sin' or defect. MACDONELL. 283. in JAOS 62. as soon as Tborn Agni is an adult so as to go at once the great way of his message22. . S.

22. 4 (Asvins). 1. Cf. transitions—and even practically imperceptible transitions—from the mythical past to actuality add substantially to the obscurity of a suKTa32. The scene of a myth is. 18ff. 66. 1. manifest yourself to Matarisvan" (1.g. re-enacted and in which these persons are seized by the exalting power of the events recollected. 86 Cf. 2 . 22). 7.Contents of the Rgveda 117 unusual25. II. .. 5f. 4. 58. Or the 25 26 27 28 29 See e. 86. GELDNER. 332 (on 10. standing in front of all. and see MACDONEIX."4. RV. Iff. 31. 7. had with his help recovered their cows31. 9. Indra twirling off the head of his antagonist. 3. A shift to another verbal form. allows the poet to present a mythical event as actual past or actuality33. Or he may use the present tense: "The well-matched counterpart of all that exists. 1. 11. 28. e. 143. 4. 5. See e. 132. 1. 1. 28. 37. See also GELDNER. 30 81 MACDONELL. 53. 1 . 72). after praising Indra and commemorating the god's victory over Namuci —the characteristic feature of this conflict. within some hymns. If. or may be. See 8. 2. p. 33. See also 1. explains the sudden transitions. 4. Divine and human reality may in a way coincide so that the poet feels justified in omitting grammatical indications of the changing subjects (see e. they possess miraculous weapons26 and travel through the atmosphere in marvellous vehicles27.g. Or words put into the mouth of a mythical figure are at the same time significant for the present circumstances (4. p. after offering to Indra. 4ff. R V . e. See e. 3. M. 73. the aorist. 4. 8.. 8)—a demon whose conflict with the great god is elsewhere34 fought out in the mythical past35. indeed. 36 32 37 Cf. 6. 1. 36. 38 See 2. 28 on st. 19. 9. 15ff. RV. Thus. 1 4 . and 3. Occasionally. V. Hence also the addition of a request addressed to a god to perform his mythical deed once again immediately after mention has been made of it37. he (Indra) knows all generations: he slays Susna" (3.g. who originally had no divine nature. the plains sank down30. 17. 51. 117. 7.g. is not omitted—the poet passes on to the clan of the RuSamas who. 34 RV. 1. 6 3 . 121. V. became gods by their wonderful manual skill29. 16. heaven and earth trembled. 1. See e. 181. See e. often laid in the present or a god is requested to do now what he is known to do in the myth: "0 Agni. 31. 118. 1. 10. 8.g. 8). 1. 121. Feats of unusual dexterity are so much characteristic of divinity that the Rbhus. M. The intimate relations between mythical reality and the present situation of the poet and his patron in which this reality is. 2. They are physically powerful and able to bring about prodigies28. viz. 1. 1.g. 7. 2 (Maruts). 5. 1.g. 130. from the myth to those events which were the immediate cause of the composition of the poem. 17. the mountains shook. 6 1 . 1. RV. 3)36. cf. 71. 11. Well-known motifs do not fail to occur: when Indra was born. RV. 1. p. p. in ZDMG 71. 96. 4.g. 4. 5.. 1.

t o overcome distress and difficulties. p. 12. p .g. These myths a n d mythical tales are as a rule narrated in a n incomplete a n d fragmentary way 4 5 a n d often only alluded to 4 6 . 44 42 M. 17. 26. 6. 20. 5 . GELDNER. 2 1 . 1. 190 (on 1. rather to sagas. in principle. H. S. p. 6. 3 2 . 72. Cf. 422. I I . 143. 6. 7ff.g. OLDENBEKG. 1 . 1. in J A O S 15. however. 77. 40 E . 10. incompletely given 47 . 32. V a r u n a . 4 . p. 6.g. 1) regard S. Some of these fragmentary tales have long since given rise t o various explanations or been a matter of dispute 4 4 . 12. p . 4f. 2 0 . 6. 8. 13. 97. RV. 43 Cf. 7. in ABORI 31. 22. 48 45 See e. Brhaddevata. 5 . 1-2 (see below).. 1. RV.X18 J . F o r this p o e m see G E L D N E R . Part of these obscure allusions are. Cf. 121. Cf. in a particular context. Geldner. II. for instance. Many places in t h e Rgveda contain allusions t o deeds or adventures of gods which are otherwise unknown or only imperfectly k n o w n : a t 6. 13-15: t h e god seems t o have helped t h e former in combatting t h e latter demon. 6ff. it is selfevident t h a t these words help him.135. 3 9 . 47 Instances are the stories of Agni's flight and of Namuci (BLOOMFIELD. 96. I t seems convenient t o distinguish. 342 ( = K. 5 0 . . in heroic 48 proportions. 6 mentioning Vasistha—preferred t o regard him as a h u m a n enemy 4 3 . 9. . A t 7. p. 2 9 . B L O O M F I E L D . is exceptional. 33. I n most cases See e. R V . 5. 6. among whom t h e demoniac Namuci whose head t h e god twisted off with t h e foam of water (8. 4 . g . 3 0 . LTJDERS. 13). 10. as usual. or mythical narratives. 44. 635) who is right in pointing out that for the poets themselves not all mythical themes may have been equally important). Sayana on RV. 1 T DANDEKAR. 5f. between m y t h s proper a n d stories about gods. 8. 2. e . 1 4 . 11. 39 41 38 See e. in Festgabe Jacobi. 8. I. embroiled in hostilities with various uncanny beings. 45. in general. 3 .. 23 I n d r a is said t o have found t h e divine draught among Trita a n d his brothers in heaven's bright firmament42. g . for instance. See. not (with R. 5. Or t h e poet goes so far as t o identify his own words with the laudation or prayer pronounced by his mythical predecessors 3 9 . 8. g . p . K.. although others—in view of 7. 8. t h a t is tales or stories in which marvellous events are enacted and gods a n d (or) other superhuman beings are the leading figures40. 4. 8). 10. t h e events of these episodes being.g. Gonda • Vedic Literature occurrence of quotations in direct speech in mythical passages 38 contributes t o the actuality of the events narrated or emphasizes those elements of t h e m y t h which are of immediate practical interest.e. 40. Drapsa a n d Krsna in 8. 4 . 325. indeed. 2 1 . 2 6 . 3 2 . 1. GELDNER. Indra as a deified human hero. for instance t h a t of Indra. 96. 109ff. 45. 3 0 . 242. 61. e . 121. 6. 6. I. p. 1.). 14. 26. A h y m n such as 1. also 1. 6 . 7 Agni is related t o have b u r n t one JarUtha who m a y have been a demon. 48 One should. 5 . which makes us acquainted with t h e main incidents of Indra's combat with Vrtra described. because t h e y are well-formulated prayers (10. F. 5 1 . p. at NG 1893. e. a motif which was elaborated in t h e brahmanasiX. 6. As a heroic figure Indra became.

in JAOS 15. 24. . RV. Iff. BTJRNELL. 2.g. 32. whole54. LEVI. GELDNER. 19.. 2ff. A. events or aspects of a god should not be precluded51. 84. p. for instance. that within a large range of variability their oral substrata constituted. It would therefore seem a likely supposition that the myths as we possess them in the Rgveda represent an advanced stage stamped. H. 108 (on 1. 172. 32 is a torso—to say nothing of systematic mythology. 15. 73. 3 as well as cases such as 1. Readers of the Rgveda must try with the help of indices and cross references to form a notion of the facts and events the poets are speaking of. C. VENKATASTTBBIAH. La doctrine du sacrifice dans les brahmanas. 3. Cf. A good deal of the almost innumerable detached allusions and incidents is remarkably consistent. I.II. 65 See BLOOMFIELD. by the successive generations of poets as more or less representative of their view of life and the world. 4.Contents of the Rgveda 119 the poets limit themselves to one or a few typical or characteristic details or to a decisive event. 9. 6f. Tvastar's daughter. 10. p. 46. 10. LUDERS. ambiguous or ques- tionable. This does not however mean that there is in these myths nothing like a trace of harmony and that they.g. in ZDMG 115 (1965). does not furnish us with complete expositions of these themes—for even the above 1. in their main features. 11. Some themes must have been very popular for a long time. The poets are moreover not averse from sudden changes or combinations of mythical themes50 and the possibility that a taboo may have compelled them to omit certain inauspicious names.. I. 537. 6. 49. V. 150. p. 108. though diversified. see e. p. ViPur. because they are also handed down in much later versions.. 6.. the disappearance of Vivasvat's wife. though abounding in mythical themes. 13ff. even when they occur in different collections of hymns. constitute a confused mass of inconsistent beliefs52. p. and to a woman becoming pregnant with the ASvins is a condensed form of a longer story: Saranyu. As far as the missing elements do not remain unknown they have to be found in other hymns and the ancillary literature49 and in some cases to a certain extent—and cautiously—in other Vedic texts. p. e. 84. Varuna. and compare Harivamsa 1. 52 53 50 As was the opinion of A. 7f. R. a fairly consistent. V. 61 S. S. the creation of a woman of the same appearance. as a whole.. 243. barely married to Vivas49 See. RV. Thus the Rgveda. that comprised also parallel or 'duplicate' myths the main events of which follow a similar pattern: between Indra's conquest of Vrtra and his overthrow of Vala there is. 120. 2. Paris 1898. 54 For the poets see also S. 1755 referring to the wedding of Tvastar's daughter. GONDA. 8 PISCHEL. LOMMEL. This may point to the existence of a comparatively homogeneous oral tradition. p. 167. 5. 6. 31. p. p. E. 1. and in this they will not always be successful. on RV. Needless to say that in individual cases allusions are obscure. 9. P. p. The at first sight not completely clear two initial stanzas of RV. for Indra and Dadhyanc GELDNER. 2. 13-15). in JAOS 81 (1961). p. in a long process of selection and amplification. p. KRAMRISCH. 3f. RENOU. 57. V. and st. in ZDMG 99. 1.1. in IA 13. 8-11. 11. 104. much similarity53.

the drinker of soMa59. 94. viz. 377. SIBG. 58. 28.. p. 14. 1. Dual deities. 26 and 27 furnish an example of a Rgvedic myth that is distinctly different from the presentation of the same theme. SCHNEIDER. Roth. SHARMA. The one who initiates the liberation through the falcon is Manu. Cf. his due. The gods. but in concrete cases difficult of demonstration60. the first man. . 40. p. KUIPER. On the in itself not improbable assumption of the existence of an ancient Soma ritual a more recent explanation rightly regards the soma as both juice and person: hence the double imprisonment. the soMa from the heavens and meanwhile to afford Indra—who is the god of 4. in JUPHS 1. 61 See e. 228. Hist. Nor can we enter into a discussion of the possibility of historical elements in the Rgvedic myths62. in Festgabe Jacobi. to this god58. About the interpretation scholars differ in opinion: according to one view the suktas emphasize the falcon's mission to fetch. to offer the soma. the Suparnadhyaya. The possibility of penetration of originally non-Aryan themes and motifs is. a. at Festgruss v. p. 69 U. 60 For Indra and the boar in 1.g. Silver Jub. p.Gonda • Vedic Literature vat. Uppsala 1941. For the Vedic places see BLOOMFIELD. in The Ind. p. Prehistoric transformations of mythical themes lie beyond our scope61. Bombay 1953. 26—an opportunity to fly so that men have. who establishes the Soma sacrifice and so founds a bond between the Aryans and Indra. p. RAHTJRKAR. up to the present day. It is all but impossible to arrive at satisfactory conclusions in regard to the question as to how far popular and priestly versions of the same theme existed beside each other and. B. An Austro-asiatic myth in the Rigveda. Vayu. 149. J. construct her counterpart to take Saranyu's place in Vivasvat's affections. 5.120 J. the rape of Soma. Comm. 57 63 63 V. in holding the Vedic rivers to be mythic streams and the Veda to be devoid of any historical content whatever. Vol. DANDEKAR. Suffice it to say that attempts63 at seeing some reflexions of the historical events in the stories related in connexion with For Yama and Vivasvat see also 10. but after detecting the deception practised upon him he follows SaranyU and begets with her the Asvins. giving birth to the twins Yama58 and Yaml. 1 etc. The closely connected hymns 4. in PO 22 (1957). Wiesbaden 1971. viz. in principle. Amsterdam Acad. Rgvedic rivers. 363. to what extent they have influenced one another. Res. not to be rejected. by order of Indra. a god showing non-aryan influences): R. 21. For Rudra as an aryanized Dravidian god (or less hazardously. 7 see F. Inst. siding with her. 1950 (basing himself mainly on linguistic arguments). in later works57. S. N. G. where it was imprisoned by the enemies of the Aryans. 58 E. when it is pressed out and when it is taken from the celestial stronghold. With her he begets Manu. 62 The absence of lines of demarcation between myth and reality should not lead us to follow B. WIKANDER. is displeased with him and deserts him. in the stems and in the womb and the twofold liberation. R. For various details and the historical background see GONDA. 61. Der Somaraub des Manu. if they did. 1. Mbh.

for SarasvatI H. 65 . B. 5. 10. V. for instance. The Indo-European origin of Vedic myths has. critically judged by others. Paris 1934. the story is also often mentioned in the brahmanas (e. 67 A. Paris 1940 (21948). p. ARNOLD'S (in KZ 37. Cf. Kunhan Raja Comm. for Varuna. for Indra and Varuna (4. 521 mentions a Finnish parallel of the Vala myth. p. Varuna etc. in Comm. KUIPEB. Mitra. 229 and NORMAN BROWN. DUMEZIL takes no account of the very frequent occurrences of cosmic and ritual triads. 9. V. unconditionally rejected by some72. p. Muller—in the last decades especially in numerous publications by G. in RO 17. DUMEZIL. p. since the days of A. The Greek myth of fire. should be the problem of the influence or 'survival' of a (tripartite) organization of the Indo-European society on the structure of the Vedic myths and some of the forms in which they were fixed in verbal expression. 10 describing Soma as winning cows. BOYCE. 49 We should. I. 145. Paris 1949. p. Brussels 1958. Inconsiderate allegations and hazardous conclusions are in this field no rarities69. Sarton. 21. 11. the last element combining the 44 See MACDONELL and KEITH. The question as to how far the Vedic portraits of those gods who were already recognized or worshipped in prehistoric times were retouched by the ancient Indian poets70 should be the concern. J. men. P. So.g. K. inter alia. Dual deities. Mitra-Varuna. p. not only of those interested in the history of religion but also of students of Indian literature. GONDA. 71 E. 14. p. at C. Varuna. in Greece. No attempt can be made here even to survey the main results of the debate... ibidem. Mitra and Aryaman. KUHN. 66 A. not only to a discussion of IndoEuropean origins. 6. 1. Ouranos-Varuna. S. It is however highly uncertain and not capable of textual proof68 whether the complex and enigmatic Vedic MatariSvan may be considered Prometheus' Indian counterpart. 3. 85. p. p. 42). horses and generative power (vdja) really conclusive evidence. G.g. 250. 2. Vol. be highly sceptical about E. 2. Dumezil—often been argued and doubted. M. 5). p. Are places such as RV. 1 T York 1947. 1. New Haven 1957. but also to a comparison between a Greek and an Indian expression of a similar mythological theme67. LUDERS. WILLMAN-GRABOWSKA. RV. L'ideologie tripartie des Indo-Europeens. 3. celestial in origin but brought to earth by a human being66—Prometheus stole it when Zeus had hidden it from man—has given rise. p. DUMEZIL. p. Le troisieme souverain. 42. in BSOAS 22. and of Vasistha in Vedic India. 68 F. in G. in AsSt 25 (1971). 38. J. 215) assumption of an Indo-European myth concerning birth without a mother on the strength of the birth of Pallas etc. an influence fervently vindicated by Dumezil71. PB. 170. Kuhn and M. 171. TB. G. I. 69. dealt with in three hymns65—are far from convincing. 5. 7. ibidem. Die Herabkunft des Feuers und des Gottertrankes. 465. 93. 1. COOMAEASWAMY. RV. 70 For the Asvins see GONDA. for Mitra. too. Vol.Contents of the Rgveda 121 the disputed figure of Agastya64—whose greatest feat was the reconciliation of Indra and the Maruts. in BSOAS 32 (1969). 72 See e. BROUGH. THIEME. Madras 1946.g. 165. Giitersloh 1859 (U886). 9. 6. 11.

9 4 o n 9 . 8 . Amsterdam Acad. 97. 2f. 1 ( ? ) . p. VIII. 8 ( ? ) . 9 8 . p . p. p . 2 0 . IX. p.' that are. XII. 66 on 1. 51 on 9. p. 5 6 o n 9 . 9 1 . 3. that Vedic mythology was merely a product of poetic phantasy and had come into existence as soon as the poets themselves (and their audiences) took their words seriously74 is an untenable thesis.' 'warfare. 5. 9 4 o n 9 . however much they may have been responsible for imagery. p .3 ( ? ) . 6 3 . 142. (forthcoming). in his opinion. The classes of society represent 'religion. 83 ff. 1 . X . s e e a l s o p . 1 1 0 o n 9 .122 J. 17). P . E .' production. 8 . Elsewhere he queries himself (E. 5 0 . 75 For the ritual use and purpose of the mythical texts see chapter II. in Festgabe Lommel. 107 on 9. 1. 1 2 1 o n 1 . p. 64. 4 .p . 8 5 . . P. V . 1 . 13. I X . G-onda • Vedic Literature three others which represent Dumezil's 'trois fonctions. THIEME. 74 P. V. so characteristic of the three classes of society73 ? On the other hand. (?) etc. p. p .p . 109 on 2. variants and amplifications75. 5 1 o n 9 . V I I I . 73 R E N O T J . The present author deals with this problem at greater length in Triads in the Veda.

10. 3 Is. p. p. inaccuracy or licence on the part of the poet on one hand and differences in tradition on the other3. P. CHAPEKAB. to regard the former as a sort of representation of the latter. 2 . Casual references to the same legend are far from rare. to whom the Asvins gave a husband 1 See e. GRASSMANN. S. We shall not enter here into a discussion of problems concerning the historicity or identity of the legendary characters. 657 (unconvincing). BERGAIGNE.g. H. II. Nor shall we discuss the mostly abortive attempts at naturalistic explanations of legendary personages4. p. 369) has been identified with the sun (N. 42). In many cases there is much truth in the supposition that this fragmentary presentation did not interfere with comprehensibility because the audience was not uninformed of the outlines of the main legends. 18 AIOC.. S. I. p. p. P. p. MACDONEIX and KEITH. 61 see S. Too often we have no information on the facts underlying the references to legendary persons—if there have been any—which would enable us to distinguish between. was more appreciated than an historical account. p. for instance. p. BROTJGH. are likewise as a rule referred to vaguely or indirectly or recounted in some essential details but never narrated minutely and systematically. 1. 8. 9. being more typical and exemplary in content.Contents of the Rgveda 7. in the Rgveda often hardly distinguishable from mythical tales. Legends 123 Legends. in ABORI 23. for instance. Or beside a short reference in one part of the Rgveda a longer treatment of the same legend may be found in another hymn: the story of Ghosa. W. 8 as is maintained by Velankar ? 4 Thus Cyavana (on him and RV. G. Apart from the possibility of namesakes.g. Cambridge 1953. at J I H 45. 342. V. for instance the question as to whether there have been one. 15. 53. RV. A. in OT 3. J. 29. Besides. is complete knowledge of a story indispensable when the listeners seek edification and a renewed confirmation of divine power ? Already in this early period a legend. 19 AIOC. Legends may constitute the main theme of a sukta. P. I. The early brahmanical system of gotra and pravara. 10 irreconcilable with st. 15. CHAPEKAR on Sudas. and N. or the suppositions ventured with regard to the Aryan or nonAryan descent of some of these5. in PO 24. be an incident amid praise and prayer. three or four persons bearing the name of Atithigva1. R. JAMBUNATHAN in 17 AIOC. 8. RV. the highly improbable assumptions about Agastya published by M. D. the spinster. two. Nor is there any dispute over the possibility that in many cases legendaiy matter has been rehandled and adapted to the view of life of those who transmitted it and to the ritual and literary purposes of the poets. p. V. we must take into account the existence of family names2—the custom of calling the descendants after their common ancestor—and the propensity to identify a distinguished descendant with the founder of the family. G. S. DANGE. R. or what is more common. VELANKAR. 5 See e.

30. 2. 116. 40.. 10. by the ASvins. 143.. 4. 118. 1. 16. rescue of a foundling (Indra. 116. recovery from blindness and lameness. Some motifs must have been popular: rejuvenation 14 . 6. now by winged horses11. These differences in detail are common to many legends and seeming contradictions occur even in successive stanzas12. It is however a usual practice of the poets to give also in these 'legend hymns' not all the events of a story or even of the episode as conceived by them. MANNING. in RO 24 (1961). 112. For Indra as a helper e. 51. 13. from the mouth of a wolf18. Popular stories19 may be mentioned several times. 68. 10. 20. 6. 3. 10.g. 14 See also 1. 8. 10. is illustrated by quite a number of legends is not surprising8. 19 Compare e. 3ff. 116. 39.g. R. 117. 10. 10. p . 8 with 10. for instance that of Turviti whom Indra aided over • See further on. 11 and 88. p .. 85. RV. 1. another protege of the same gods. 1. 321. 118. 86 is a prayer of Visnapu's father for his son's safe return 6 . S. cf. without any further information worth mentioning.124 J. 8. 22. 12. 117. 158. . 7. 15. Soma. 10 RV. 10. 5. 8. 71. 9. 19. F . 6. 1. G. 10. 5. BAUNACK. 6. 112. 1. 8. 7. 6. 118. 116. 6. 17ff. 117. 39. 1. 119. 119. 7. 6. 39. n. 14. 11. or also with an animated winged boat or with chariots assisted now by birds. 4. 4.g. 68. 117. The story most often referred to10—and occasionally reported with some particulars—is that of the rescue of Bhujyu who. 8. • RV. p . 74. 16 RV. 3. 10. 7 (unsatisfactory).) 10. CH. on RV. 3ff. 5. 16 See e. 24. 1. That the succouring power of the divine physicians. 119. the old man who through divine help obtains a young wife (Indra and Kaksivat. 80. Calcutta 1952. 143. 13. 25. They took him home in a hundred-oared ship. 117. 33. 116. invoked the aid of these twin gods. 117. 3. 8 See e. 7. 14. Hymns of the Rgveda. 59. 7). 116. 118. ASvins and Kali) 15 . T H . Dual deities. 49. st. (181. 3. 4. 18 See 1. 10. 6. 24. also 1. at ZDMG 50. 39. 40. 39. 7. 1. 1.Gonda • Vedic Literature (1. 65. F . 112. 2. 15 and 10. 116. fills the greater part of 10. ASvins)16. 36. cf. in Asia Major 6. 6f. 15. 79. 16. 17 RV. 13 Sayana. among which the story of the quail saved. MULLER. 116. 68. or with animated ships which traversed the air. 3 . 8. 4. 69. 9. 19. services rendered to animals17. 20. 8. 1. 1. 7. No less than seven times9 mention is made of old and decrepit Cyavana to whom they restored youth and strength with the result that he became acceptable to his wife. 4. 118. 1. 62. 117. 4. 21. 48 (with a critical discussion of the main pertinent publications). who saved him from the waters and from imprisonment: RV. 4. 5. 5. on RV. 11 See 1. 263. 1. 12 Compare the story of Rebha. 7.g. 6. MICHALSKI. 17. being abandoned in the midst of the ocean or in the water-cloud. 6. 7 See GONDA. 13. p . 119. 8. When a prominent ancestor was a leading figure in such a story it could become a 'family' legend: according to a tradition handed down by Sayana in explanation of a passage in the Rgveda the Maruts once poured out a spring for the benefit of the rsi Gotama who was tormented by thirst 13 . 12. p . the ASvins7. 118 etc. 112.

4. 86. victorious and sacrificing kings27. 4. 11. Roth. 61. 4. may have belonged to the latter category25. 3. 4. 3.)81. 116. the hero who is associated with Indra in the exploit of defeating the demon Susna28. unexpected vicissitudes are common features and miracles or unheard-of events practically indispensable29. Cf. 103. 1. I. A. I. A. 31 See GONDA.. 63. who was able to fly24. 26 E. 6. p.. 3. 75. not in the natural way. Human miracles and hymns of will-power in the Rigveda. 34. 2. 10f. 174. 9. For Atri in RV. Was there nothing wrong with the rsi Sara (1. the founder of the Vasistha family was. in Festgruss v. 33 B. 5. 30.20) ? It is moreover highly probable 20 21 22 23 RV. Although it is not always clear who is meant 23 the merchant DirghaSravas AuSija. Whereas it is beyond doubt that there is some story (itihdsa. 1. 19. PARAB. 15 AIOC. 25 See e. LANMAN. 10. In some cases we are not sure. a well where there was none. 50. 12.Contents of the Rgveda 125 a flood20. 53. 11. 4. 78. 8. 116. p. 4. reminiscences of. 112. 30 RV. 13. MACDONELL and KEITH. 45. 130. Bombay 1952. 28 RV. While epic compositions are completely lacking in the Rgveda. 117. the poet. 12. Gods.g. 11. RV. 9. 5f. 7. 40 see CH. also 5. 24 . Too little is known of the complete legends and sagas to say which characteristics of these genres came into prominence and which remained in the background or were completely wanting.g. V.. The exceptional deeds of the mighty seers and sages of the past are more than once emphasized. 85. 11. 6.. and cf.116. 7. 13. heroic sagas may perhaps with some reason be found in part of the passages mentioning brave warriors26 or conquering. R. PARAB. but out of her mind (7. 32 See p. 4. 69. 68. as a son of Mitra-and-Varuna. 12Iff. 6. p. produce. is able to repeat them 34 . 1. 5. P. 8. 4. 12 (not in all respects convincing). also to intimate that their descendant. When we take the dialogue between Visvamitra and the rivers32 for a saga. 29 B. 40. 6. 11. it is not always easy to determine what it has been. also 9. whether a person played an important part in a legend or was the principal figure of a saga22. 187. 11 ff. 1. 34 See 4. 3. p. RV. 1. 19. 2. 65. 4. 7ff. 6. 10. 9. traditional account of former events) at the back of a definite hymn. be it the ASvins or the Maruts30. direct contact with gods and divine or demoniac power. 33. Mitra. or that of Visnapu who when lost was restored to his father by the ASvins21. 10. 27 E. 23. 4. 1. or rather models for. 101. 22) except his being thirsty mentioned in the text ? And why did DaSavrajaneed the protection of the ASvins (8. The miraculous and mysterious in Vedic literature. S. The sphere of the numinous. 5.g. Thus there may possibly have existed a more or less coherent story of Kutsa. 20. we may say that the rsi inducing the waters to subside performed a human miracle33. 10. 12. 5. for the benefit of their favourite. 201. born of UrvaSI.8.

32 and who is the main human figure in 5. or how far. . be taken to be the Maruts. 50. V. 179. be judged on its own merits. 52-61. 37 After Roth. 1-4. 81-82. The former's wife gave SyavaSva manifold wealth. CHABPENTIER. 61. 81) who put very little faith in what in their opinion was quasi-traditional 'book-making. the authors. 116. who had introduced him to Purumilha and Taranta. presenting variant forms of the stories.g. SyavasVa was the son of the domestic priest of Rathaviti Darbhya. I l l . 9 (the same miraculous deed now ascribed to the Asvins.Gronda • Vedic Literature that the current legends and sagas were not handed down without change or variation. LOMMEL. 9. found in the Brhaddevata41. Rathaviti did not object. p. in ZDMG 99. see also GELDNEB. The father and son met on their way home their former patrons. P.). speaks highly of a woman. Bloomfield and others were more or less strongly inclined to find valuable material even in comparatively late texts. II. 2). V. drew on an oral tradition or on their own imagination37. Brhaddevata. 109) and GELDNEB. p. 3 (on 5. being herself born in a family of royal seers. on the strength of st. but may. in st. Sagenstoffe. 130 (on 10. who remembered him handsomely. in general. after asking them 'Who are ye V (RV. p. on 1. wanted her to become his daughter-in-law. E. 38 For this point see. It is. When his father was at one time sacrificing for Rathaviti he saw the latter's daughter and. his future patrons.' GELDNEB (V. GELDNEB. 41 Brhaddevata. Max Miiller. for other sources see MACDONELL. 5. The poet. 30. p. 148. S.126 J. 73. p. In other cases we are rather under the impression that stories—be it legends or sagas—narrated in ancient. 39 This supposition was advanced by SIEG. to SyavaSva who is also the reputed author of 5. I. but it is on the other hand too hazardous a supposition39 that the obscure references in the Rgveda put the identity of this presupposed legend with a story narrated in the Brhaddevata beyond doubt. after advising them to go on. p. in book V and VIII. 8. for instance. Taranta and Purumilha. 35-38 and 9. Every case must.8. The material was collected by SIEG. 17 ff. 1). 8. IV. p. do not reflect some form of legend current in the times of the poet38. Then it is not always easy to decide whether. H. 243). 40 See also GELDNEB. 36 See also RENOTT. almost impossible that the references. This lack of uniformity may to a certain extent account for incidental variants concerning the names of persons and similar inconsistencies35. Aufrecht and Oldenberg (at ZDMG 39. RV. 61. would not give her daughter to a man who was not a seer. p. but post-Rgvedic. 68. 225. he recognized them and praised 35 See e. a vision of the poet: he sees some wonderful horsemen without horses whom he does not at once recognize—they remain anonymous. Afterwards he was so fortunate as to meet the Maruts in the jungle and. RV. st. his benefactress. in agreement with his son. 5. also J. a noble patron (mentioned in the hymn. II. RV. S. but his wife. According to the long legend. p. p. Syavasva. 50-81. Pischel. 5. works were based on a suKTa of the Rgveda36. now to the Maruts). without prejudice. RV. 13 ("that was the host of the Maruts"). in WZKM 25. 6140—a hymn of uncommon style and composition—relates. Sagenstoffe.

1. Sagenstoffe. 79. 46 See p.Contents of the Rgveda 127 them with 'They that ride . 17. RV. P. 44 H.125 and 126 deal. 11). 8. 2. was found by king Svanaya. Auswahl. See e. 2. 12. Renou. p. p. in PAOS 1895 (JAOS 16. gave him many presents which Kaksivat coming home showed to his father42. 13. was in fact closely connected with it. p. II. 33. 1. 15. IV. Thereupon he commissioned the goddess Night (who is addressed in 5. 11. SB. OERTEL. in whatever state of uncertainty we may be this should not prevent us from consulting postRgvedic sources and. with Kaksivat who. p. 51. II. This king. according to Sayana. 4. That is why modern authors apply it also to suktas such as 1. 166. p. 9. 284f. I. 52. 22. quoted by Sayana on Rv! 1.g. however. 43 42 . RV. SIEG. Cf. SatB. p. RV. 45 Cf. returning home and resting at night. II. 17). . 12. 47 Sometimes.g. On the legend of Indra's visit to Medhatithi. V. an incomplete reference to a story with their help or from regarding it as being perpetuated in ritual formulas or other later texts. Among the more or less synonymous terms for 'story' which were already at an early date in use in the ritualistic and exegetical literature the above itihdsa was the most common45. in particular cases. on a message to Rathavlti with the stanzas 17 and 18 with the result that the nobleman right willingly offered his daughter to him. I. the term is used in a wider sense (see e. 1. 40 where Indra is said to have. II. GELDNER. CCXL) and in JAOS 26. V.. For critical remarks see GELDNER. 199. However. p. IX. JB. if feasible. it is uncertain if the second containing the proper names. p. 173. p. Although we find considerable difficulty in determining the exact meaning attached to this term by those who introduced it—the commentators are far from sharing the same opinion—it is not unjustly regarded as an indicium of the existence of those lands of sagas and heroic tales from which in the course of time developed much material which entered into the composition of the Mahabharata. in the form of a ram. 61 (%avaSva)47. Whereas the first suKTa is no doubt a general laudation of the man who has lodged a foreigner and dismissed him with some gifts. HORSCH. 1. . Auswahl. 6. 1.. There are more instances of an at first sight suitable exegesis which can be a product of secondary concoction. S. E. 23. cautiously supplementing. 61. L. 194. The comments given in some brdhmanasi3 upon the Subrahmanya formula—an invitation addressed to Indra and others containing the name Medhatithi—recited while the soMa is being conveyed within the sacred enclosure may be connected with RV. an act which made him a seer. GELDNER. etc. 308f. SB. after inviting him. 61. 38. 1. p. 3. Auswahl. WEBER. 10546 (the story of Trita in the well) and 5. p. 292).' (5. G. 1. but seemingly foreign to this theme. 68. carried off Medhatithi44.

or it is Indra who by his help makes some chief victorious6. 77. 2. no resume of a piece of heroic poetry. 7. 61. KEITH.g. 7 RV. sports2. be it in some elementary form.g. 17. 5. in H. 6 (Agni).. although it probably was not kept rigidly apart from sagas and narrative poetry. 53.g. 21. 7) or unidentifiable (6. in The Cambridge History of India. 86. That is why. 5. Gonda • Vedic Literature 8. 3. 10. A. 3 Cf. 8. 99. 73. 50. There was no doubt free scope for exaggeration4. 4. 99. RV. 6 See 1. prayers for booty and victory are in the same hymn followed by references to feats of arms. 8 There are many allusions to acts of heroism. 6). 1. 9 (60099 men are defeated). I. 3. 47. combats. And reminiscences of the gods' former assistance8 are made a means of urging them to new efforts: Assist us. p. P. There are no serious reasons for doubting that this genre—in oral tradition of course—existed. e. 3. 20): a formal declaration of fact followed by a prayer9. it essentially is laudatory poetry and firmly embedded in religious traditions. imagination and one-sided interpretation of facts. 69 addressed to Agni. revenge. Cambridge 1922. changing his form. 27. p. 8. in 6. 4 Cf. although what we know may to a certain extent reflect such heroic poetry. p. 6. 6 See e. 60. 131. 26.. adventures. wooing. 4. 117. heroic as well as supernormal in intertwinement. 10. 9. 1. The themes treated may have been similar to those found in the heroic narrative poetry of other ancient peoples: raids. 4. e. 10. Cf. 5. ye gods (the ASvins). 99. which in their turn alternate with the assurance that "this hymn of praise will strengthen the god"10. 7. 9. be they known from other places (e. 20. Mention is made of battles and victories but these are won by Indra or other gods on behalf of an Aryan nobleman or chieftain or of the Aryans in general5. 32. 11). 26. not in memory of human heroes. 26. However. attacked the stronghold (10. . 6. 245. 5 (Indra and Visnu). 23. 8. 26. a fact commemorated in praise of the god. 99. D. 5. 8. especially chariot-racing3. 8. 10. 7. theft of herds1. 48. when the word of praise radiated he (the god). 16. I. 11 For the Rgveda as an historical source see OLDENBEEG. 66. C. 3. 6. 23. By means of hymns in praise of Indra RjiSvan broke open Pipru's enclosure. 21. 10 Compare also 10. 2 1 PUSALKER. 8. 9f. 3ff.g. I. From the heroic point of view—historiography is altogether out of the question11—there are some outstanding heroes—especially Sudas who with Cf. 83. with the same assistance which you lent to Kanva. 2. 7. 5. e. just as it is this great god who led the Aryans to new abodes abounding in water7. 53. 4. 1. e. 4f. 145 f. 16. 48. Medhatithi and Gosarya (8. A. 1. History Judged on their own merits and dissociated from the contexts or collections of which they form part several passages could be taken to reflect some form of heroic or historical narrative poetry. Vedaforschung. 49.g.g. 4. 9 See p. B.128 J.g. 9. e.

21. in BhV 4 (1943). 23 See also K. 15 See e. 261. 1. iSambara. 48. regarded as a reiteration of. 83. but may elsewhere be a human chief18. 19 RV. 4. 49. and as early as 1846. Through his help and intervention. 2.g. II. who is greatly glorified. 65. 29 Int. 38. 83 (speculative). 3. 8 and 1. 8. . 13 For both categories of enemies. 7. p.g. 7. in QJMS 55. 101.e. 11. 129. KEITH. MACDONELL and KEITH. Gesch. and there are the traditional enemies13.g. dasas and dryas. 104. there are also relics of traditions regarding the eastward progress of the Aryans in the north-west of India16.g. RV. 18 Cf. HIIXEBBANDT. The situation is exhaustively described in the brief prayer: "The gods shall appease the fury of the non-Aryan (ddsa). For 7. 3.g. i. 22 Cf. p.. 3. 3 etc. 33. they shall guide our race to prosperity" (1. III. II. his greatest feat. DANGE. Congr. 51. 6. seems to be a demon in part of the corpus17. I. 56. 21 RV. DANDEKAB. 14 See e. 1. 8. 165. M. 63. 96. 273. 5. S. p. 5. the same gods and upon the common experience of their favours20. 108. 81. 17 See e. in Comm. ends in failure—but Indra's victoriousness23. 6. p. 3.g. 54. 10. VII. in IHQ 6. p. p. 87. for instance. in Cambridge History of India. see 6. p.Contents of the Rgveda 129 divine help won a famous victory over a confederation of ten kings12—and a number of figures pictured in vague outline. based upon the belief in. 33. emphasizing. to which he has been roused by Vasistha's mighty priestly words2*. 7. I. 1. When mention is made of battles—the most important being the contest between Sudas and the ten kings21—the military operations remain largely obscure22. 24) or others as relevant are disputable. 6. 18 many vivid details. the victory is won. 10. 6. 27. 6-8 and see VELANKAB. 6. almost only. For these poets the religious interest outweighs the historical or legendary interest and 12 Cf. 8. 33. V. On the other hand. 1. K. V. 9. 20. 24 RV. 7. 83. 16 Some of the places regarded by GELDNEB (e. It is not always possible to decide whether a definite name belongs to an aboriginal enemy or to a demon. CHATTOPAHDYAYA. 3. MUNSHI. 61. but many of these are varied repetition. 7. 7. Lit. 117. 117. 2. the main. N. p. but so much is clear that Indra's victories over historical or legendary chiefs could be put on a par with. the founder of the Vasistha family. not generalship or splendid strategy—the only strategic initiative. 103. 21. Orient. 22. on the part of the enemies. 19. p. 103. and it is king Sudas' priest. and cult of. 18. 355. There are in 7. S. ROTH. 1. No criterion exists by which human beings can be distinguished in every case from non-human powers. 2). 4. V. Paris 1973. cf. 1. 6. consciousness of 'national identity' is. the Vrtra combat19. A. M. 20 See e. The centre of interest and sympathy does not however shift from the own group to the antagonists. u. 7. I. 33 see GELDNEB. 45. be they the godless non-Aryans14—the black foes whose strongholds are forced and who have to retire leaving their possessions behind—or inimical Aryan tribes15. 103. 10. 10. R. e. as far as appears from the texts.

GONDA. What however we want to signify is our utter scepticism about the prospects of success of attempts at reconstructing real historical—we do not say. FRANKE. 29 For RV. she wins the race. p. 345. in ZDMG 46. p. 27 it is clear that a chief called Abhyavartin conquered the Vrcivants on the river Hariyuplya. 102 see F. It is no part of our task to consider the 'historical data' contained in the Rgveda in their relation to puranic and other later Indian traditions27. H. II. Details concerning the battle are few. From 6. 35 BLOOMFIELD. a hymn which "will figure in the final irresoluble remnant of the Veda. p. 1. 12-13. in Melanges Renou. 53. Mudgala. p. regarding the sukta as an Indra myth. S. 445. 3. 4-6. undertaken by an old gentleman. 1-4. For another. but we are kept in the dark about the political background of this step. at Oriens. 1328. II.C. Rather than a reflection of a historical event32. 182. legendary28—incidents on the strength of the recurrence of Rgvedic names in epics or purdnas29. his young wife holds the reins. Visvamitra. Sastri. but here also it is Indra who has won the victory for his proteges. in an ordinary ox-cart drawn by one single steer. unless a new accession of material should enrich our present apparatus for its reconstruction"30. in WEBER. LOMMEL.Gonda • Vedic Literature their works show no sign of social or really political consciousness. 581. I. O. 346. in Nouvelle Clio 5 (1953). 457). see also RV. ROTH. Mysterium. V. 104. GELDNER. p. p. . in ZDMG 48. E. p.130 J.e. D. p. R. p. and hence as a charm to arrive at the goal of a race or a chariot-expedition in spite of impediments of any kind37. 191): ? 30 BLOOMFIELD. in WZKM 8 (1894). 27. 25 RV. 18-19. p. 130. p. a personal satire33.. DUMEZIL. who seems to have held the priestly office before Vasistha25. As Mudgala himself is too old to drive. S. SASTRI. VON BRADKE. I l l . 541. 32 Thus ancient interpreters. PUSALKER. in part wholly improbable explanation see P. it is Indra who has given an exhibition of his overwhelming power and to whom long laudations are due26. in WZKSA. (compare already R. If Geldner31 was right this sUKTa deals with a chariot-race. I. 10. and cf. 337 drew attention to the Pali Jataka 28 (I. 9. 102. 28 See J. 200. MACDONELL and KEITH. p. 33 34 31 P. believes the theme to be a serious battle. The personages in these passages are aristocratic or make their appearance clanwise. 274. Pargiter. 255 who draws attention to a 'magical' interpretation of st. 27 A. Such a solution was proposed for RV. See also G. Instead of the second ox he puts the yoke upon a block of wood which also appears to smash up the competitors. 316. p. 36 The 'wooden ox' may have been a mascot: the commentator Durga speaks of its supernormal power. PARGITER. p. 26 See 6. 10. p. or a cosmic drama34 this sukta may perhaps be regarded as the description of an achievement during a race or raid35 under enormous disadvantages36. p. passes to the inimical camp. 37 GONDA. O. I. the low number of enemies killed. should not tempt us to suppose that the tradition is reliable. in IHQ 33. VON SCHROEDER. Secular hymns. at JRAS 1910. S.

in Comm. VELANKAR. 1. 15. or of special tribes. Paris 1949. It does not however seem too bold a supposition that the last six stanzas of the sukta. Since. and that. Le mythe de l'eternel retour. 47. 11 and 16. 3S> o. 12 RV. For 1. from the demon Svarbhanu who had enveloped this heavenly body in darkness. 40 V. were regarded as the contribution of Bharadvaja. 152. 1 used in a battle-rite.Contents of the Rgveda 131 Antiquarian speculation on the origin of the own race. Auswahl. 18 and 3. very common among other peoples. with divine help. 165. It actually recurs. Thus RV. this victory is described as taking place in the present time.g. his (reputed) ancestor.. When all creatures looked bewildered and Indra had begun to attack the demon the great ancestor rendered help and succeeded in recovering the sun and in placing it again in the heavens. 5. Most diasceuasts of the family books have included in their collections a hymn in which the praise of some extraordinary and characteristic deed of a great ancestor is sung and the family is glorified39. 5. Divodasa's purohita. 511.c. H. 284). in JBBRAS 18 (1942). by Atri. 33. ELIADE. AIOC III. 42 . to his patron's victory43. as 6.. Varcin and Sambara41.. p. 15. p. in Kaus. 125f. which are a war spell in the Atharvan style42. 7. it does not seem impossible either that a contemporaneous king was—or could be—identified with the legendary Divodasa. It is however only in harmony with the general character of this corpus that the poets are interested in their own ancestors rather than in founders of dynasties38. Lit. 40. p. p. Archetypes et repetition. (CALAND. In the family hymn of the Bharadvajas (6. 223. 161. 244ff. D. 7. M. p. 47) it is Indra whose praises are sounded. 33 see VELANKAR. 44 For these identifications with the mythical prototype see e. J B . M. PB.o.c. is not lacking in the Rgveda. 4040 deals with the rescue of the sun. in the Atharvaveda and is. Allahabad 1970. That these family hymns invariably occur among the Indra hymns of the collection is not surprising: this god is the chief inspirer of extraordinary achievements. 41 See MACDONEIX. 6. 4. G. 53. moreover. because he has helped king Divodasa to the victory over two fiends.. RAHURKAR. 88 OLDENBERG. V. 3. p. 3. his enemies also were regarded as identical with the wicked antagonists of the legend44. some wonderful exploit. 49. The ancestor had direct contact with one of the chief gods or performed. 63. 3. 43 Cf. Vol. according to the usual practice. Umesha Mishra. p.

See e. 4. The poet of 8. 41. II. 476 no god. . IV. 152. 5. . 5). CHADWICK (and V. 6 4 7 8 Cf. 448. solved. I. RV. indirect or paraphrastic expression of thoughts which is so obvious in many parts of the Rgveda1 led the poets sometimes to suppress an essential element.g.g. at Diogene 29. 5. 8. 46. Cambridge 1969. 125. paradoxes and allegories7. See e. 5 See GELDNER. 3. I. paraphrases or riddles in their productions. 87. V. 2)5. of a stanza or a succession of stanzas with the. Auswahl. p. for instance the subject. the secrets of divine power and influence are clothed in riddles. p. 10. 1. no doubt in many cases intended. 145. This type of enigmatic poetry must have been very popular. in the very context: "He is the father of many. 109. is mentioned by name. for instance. 152. This stylistic peculiarity meets the demands of those poets who—driven by curiosity in the presence of the unknown and in conformity with a 'literary' convention which is found to be common in many archaic milieus—like to insert puzzling metaphors. 6. The same tendency to enigmatic expression can be noticed in other hymns addressed to the Visve Devas: in 5. except Mitra-Varuna and Agni in the last stanza. Compare also 1. K. See GELDNER.. 57. 129. V. N. Riddle contests were frequently held among various peoples4. their identity must be understood from some characteristic key words (linga) or other indications: "One of them"—of course Agni. 75. at The Aryan Path 21. numerous are his sons . creates the impression of offering the solution of the long sequence of ambiguities and obscurities of the preceeding stanzas. p. Riddles J. it is true. 95. and compare 1. Gonda • Vedic Literature The propensity to elliptic diction and veiled. the quiver wins the battles" (st. 10. RV. Elsewhere the end of a very difficult sukta. While the audience is left to guess the names and persons of the gods themselves. V. 74.132 9. IV.g. Among the strophes of 6. 5. Bombay 1965. 37. result that they became enigmatic. In general: H. The riddle in Indian life and literature. 403. p. 11. RENOU. 3. When. p. are many riddles of the descriptive type. 252. E. 29 describes various gods without mentioning their names. Thus there is an imperceptible transition to regular riddles which as a rule are clearly recognizable and often occur in succession3. E. are represented as two cows (1. 55 (GELDNER. G. RENOU. NARAHARI. 4. RENOU. It is however important to remember that in these milieus the asking and answering of riddles was traditionally regarded as a test or ordeal applied to people of intellectual pretensions. 399). P. RENOU. E. I)2. as appears from the following words. 56. two female (beings) of different colour are said to wander about. 3. Before actually describing Indra's exploits 1 2 3 See p. p. p. also 1. Oral epics of Central Asia. p. 3. D. e. BHAGVAT. P. which is a blessing of a king's implements of war. 187. Fire—"is seated shining in his place of origin" (st. . 61. day and night are meant which. 114. Cf. P. ZHIRMUNSKY). II. p.

" For explicative notes: GELDNEB. 2 t o the water necessary for the preparation of the draught. and three in the evening?" See also 1. in JUB 22. in the manner of a riddle. p. 16 For an attempt to explain this hymn: V. 4 to the ritual fire9. Thus the solution of 6." which puzzle us 13 . 88. p. is offered a t 10. 10.'or 'Who has observed.114 in which various ambiguities alternating with questions of the type 'Who can tell. Partial solutions given in the text are not however always clear: cf.. alluding in a cryptic way to the three provinces of the universe.Contents of the Rgveda X33 the poet of 2. 13 delineates. Knowledge possessed by the few is a key to mysteries and an avenue t o success 14 : "Varuna told me (the poet). E. are as VS. 18917. VELANKAR. two at noon. . 12 For the occurrence of numerals in Vedic poetry see E. 58. 2. e. . 4. The one who knows the word (of the enigma—the word pada denoting also the trace of the cow). 6ff. stanza 1 alludes to the plant. recited to accompany the 9 H. a man. as an inspired one. 167.RV. . in MO 25 (1931). AGRAWALA. 16 "Who understands these will be the father of the father. 8)11. That part of these riddle sequences were preoccupied with the sacrificial ritual and its supposed correspondence with the natural phenomena—a domain in which the penetration of mysteries was indispensable—appears for instance from 10. 0 gods ? One of you drives in the same chariot after yoking the horses so as to turn to both directions. 3. in VIJ 1 (1963). nine from the west . p. I l l . 18. 56. P. 141. 10. 79. 7 10 : Agni is meant who on the same vehicle carries the oblations to heaven and brings the gods to the sacrificial place. 10. 275. walks on four legs in the morning. 23. . p. Hence also the ritual use of these enigmas. attending and having his eyes upon the herds" (10. A favourite species of riddle is the 'ZahlenratseP: "The one-footed has walked farther than the two-footed. RENOU. 5 : Which mortal is able to understand that. 258. the wise one: 'Thrice seven names does the cow bear. a dog. for instance by giving them the form of questions. RV. 164.III. RONNOW. 40. were no doubt often intended t o convey esoterical information. While many poets know how to formulate the riddles in varied ways. at JUB 1940. 87. they are not always original in devising them. alsoGELDNEB. the four-footed comes t o (obey) the call of the two-footed. K. Compare also 10. in Oriental Studies. cf. 7. W. p. Cryptic numerical statements 12 of the type 10. 5ff. 2. 152. an old man leaning on a stick. p. 14 15 See also 1. S. the soMa sacrifice which essentially is a creation of that god. D. 17 . should pronounce it just as secrets (are revealed).g.' are subservient to an interpretation of the ritual and its cosmic correspondences 16 . 11 The sun. 85. who receives all his strength from it. 3. V. 4) 15 . the two-footed overtakes the three-footed from behind. p. 2. if he wishes. p. 47. 5. 76. Boston 1894.p. 117. .403. . The three stanzas of RV. 114. . . VELANKAB. because the same idea may recur in another part of the Rgveda. RV. 13 10 See GELDNEB. HOPKINS. 59. 269. VII. 18 and 8. We are reminded of the Greek riddle of the Sphinx solved by Oedipus: "What . t o effect (something useful) for the future generation'" (7. 2. eight from the north. 15 "Seven men went up from the south. 27.277. esp. II. 2. 3 t o the officiants.

in JA 237. brahman. 34f.. 61. See also THIEME. V. WINDISCH. p. 457. GELDNER. 4. 63. The vision of Dirghatamas. p. 88. NORMAN BROWN. 5). 16425 has indeed long been considered a series of hardly connected riddles (brahmodyas in a wider sense). 88. p. p.. 29f.g. Leipzig 45. P .. O. see also WINTERNITZ. and see also 10. 10. 8f. 152. R. VS. atZDMG 102. S.22: "I ask thee the earth's extremest limit. 164. 1. Vedische Rathselfragen und Rathselspruche. p. 90. The prodigies of nature lend themselves admirably to enigmatic formulation (5.. Akad.Gonda • Vedic Literature establishment and worship of Agni represented by the sacrificial fires—which are homologized with earth.. Madras 1956. The &B. 21 etc. V. GONDA. S. 23 These stanzas occur also at AV. but also because they reveal some aspect or effect of that fundamental and omnipresent power concept20. E. p. This sacrificial bank is the earth's extremest limit. 1.134 J."23. 20 J . Between these enigmas and the brahmodyas of post-Rgvedic literature 21 there is no break in continuity and an obvious specimen of this dialogic 'disputation regarding the nature of brahman' with a preference for ritual or cosmic problems occurs already at RV. p. speculations on time and (poetic) speech are clothed in allegories and enigmatic questions"27. p . see also RENOTJ. ROTH. 28 E. 353 etc. 26 27 MACDONELL.7. 25. H. . The long and much discussed suKTa 1. E. P . 19 21 18 See L. (RENOXJ. in J. 25 M. this sacrifice of ours is the world's navel. 131. I. where is the navel of the world ?. 11. no doubt because they are not only founded on brahman or are materialized brahman. C. 17ff. part of which defy any attempt at solution: "Nothing here is directly described. p.. in JAOS 88. 61. If. II 28 —others attest to an ability to express philosophical thought in the outward form of beautiful parables. because they are. 199. 14f. which in its turn can lead to some form of control over one of its forces. SB Munchen 1875. 152 the same. . I. p. the language being always symbolical and mystical" 26 . 1. 16f. in ZDMG 46.. in ZDMG 48. 5. I I . 5. 23. 10. 1. by implication. p. 11). p. for RV. in Annales Lyon 38. L. 24 See AV. 759. p. HAXJG. SASTRI. BOHTLINGK. More or less enigmatic passages19 call themselves brahman—translated by 'Geheimwort' or 'formule incomprehensible'—. 102 ( = K. I. I. XVI.. 5f. 10. Asya vdmasya hymn. p. a manifestation of it and for him who understands the passage a disclosure of its mysterious essence. There are more fully developed brahmodyas in the Atharvaveda 24 . P . p. 117. S. 88. "The prodigies of nature and of human life. H. 2. 353. de Psychologie 1949. 227. P . 22 Compare also RV.1. 266 and cf.4. RV. L. S~B.88. but their successful solution means penetrating nature's mysteries. I ask thee. PrBh 62 (1957). p. 61 f. 111). 47. 13f. llf. Ber. 2. E. . 13. Notes on. Utrecht 1950. 10. 9. air and heavens—. W. 18f. Whereas it is immediately clear that some of the problems stated as enigmas have a bearing upon the ritual or the divisions of time—the wheel with twelve spokes in st. SILBTJRN. REGNAITD. RENOTX and L. . a ritual act by which one obtains "all one's desires"18. . KTJNHAN RAJA. 8. 1.

the treatment of them being augmented by statements about Speech (Vac) as the absolute (st. Agni. Untersuchungen zur Wortkunde und Auslegung des Rigveda. While the possibility of the continued operation of the cosmos and the welfare of mankind lies in the activity of the sun. S. Vol. Calcutta 1960. Banerjea. the Sun. p. I. I. Speech is the One Real from which emanated the unorganized material of the universe and the sacrificial ritual needed to organize it30. p. Following Norman Brown's interpretation we may in this hymn distinguish three main themes. the two birds are the waxing and waning moon. 39-46). . one of them eating its fruit. SEN. the tree is the night sky. and the other looking on—"where eagles (in the plural) invoke a share in continued life. taught to the first sacrificer. 29 The so-called tree of knowledge (Geldner). and the sacrifice. 104. J.Contents of the Rgveda 135 stanzas 20-22. 30 For the function of the ritual see GONDA. in Felic. R. 125 tried to show that the parable is based on a didactic animal tale. The rsi Dirghatamas learned all this in mystic vision. the fruit (the fig) light. perching on the same tree. 55. N. Halle S. 1949. after learning it from Vac. p. THIEME. there the wise herdsman of the universe has entered me. even the sun was brought into being and is reborn every morning by the celebration of the sacrifice. the simple one"29—was to have a great future in Upanishads and Vedanta where the birds were re-interpreted as the embodied and the higher self or supreme spirit. the ritual of which Agni. all closely interconnected. viz. the allegory of the two intimately united birds of prey. the plurality of birds the stars. According to the bold explanation proposed by P.

WHITNEY. VELANKAR. Paris 1956. 6 T. Succinct and carefully worded. RENOU. LTJDWIG. e. 118. MICHALSKY. in Istorija kultury drevnej Indii. what was . 81) described in four images—the second of which is moulded into the form of a question—viz. . KTJNHAN RAJA. the first germ borne by the primeval waters. Tracing all things to one principle and declaring opposites such as day and night. Of greater reputation are some other hymns of the tenth mandala. p. 9. His activity is (in 10. Some passing references to the One in the form of the Unborn (st. death and continuance of life to be the self-unfoldment of this One it expresses the quintessence of monism5. MATJRER. H. show that sUKTa 1. ST. p. 8. E. RENOU. What moved intermittently % Where ? Under whose protection ? Was there (or. suggestive of the riddle style.g. p. F. Gonda • Vedic Literature We are imperceptibly led to the speculative hymns1. The creation hymns in RV. C. Vol. D. W. Speculative hymns J. GONDA. CIX. p. 164 also belongs to those— mainly younger—parts of the Rgveda which already disclose the development of a monistic trend. p. 189. the One which the inspired (poets) call by different names (st. Studia A. D.) the (primordial) water. indistinguishable. in PAOS 1882. 81 and 82)3 who is eulogized as the creator of the world. A clearly monotheistic tendency2 is found in the hymns to ViSvakarman (10. P. Hymnes speculatifs du Veda. Kunhan Raja Pres. Vol.. Rome 1969. p. in C. SAHODA. the deep. the smith and the architect. T. H. 50th Anniv. in SB Prague 1895. p. Benares 1963. TOPOROV. R. S. in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 28 (Louvain 1966). P. .136 10. 85. .1. 6. 1294—one of the six or seven which deal with this subject—has rightly been called the least incomplete. in AP 22. in Scientia 87 (Como 1952). M. in Ritsumeikan Univ. M. 1951. V. Congr. and most profound and coherent Rgvedic text of its genre. 33. J. p. 61. N. yet bold and poetical.. Poesie religieuse. . are not answered. 95. V. Moscow 1963. Comm. Paris 1973. The origin of the universe is explained as the evolution of the truly existent cosmos (sat) from the undifferentiated chaos (asat): " . A. DAS. . of the potter. The cosmogonic hymn 10. 168. V. Enveloped in darkness was this universe in the beginning. 41. M. That One breathed without wind (breath) by its own nature. also 1. 14. NORMAN BROWN. nor the firmament which is beyond. V. Pagliaro. p. MAHADEVAN. the source of all worlds and their inhabitants. it heralds highly important and systematically elaborated ideas of the later periods. Or. There was no appearance of (distinction between) day and night. Tartu 284. 556. 319. in JAOS 61. those of the sacrificial priest. 80. in which—in the view of this author—is fixed the One. 100. unfathomable?" These questions. AMBROSINI. Communication 29 Int. XVI. 17 AIOC. 123. S. in Acta et commentationes univ. 1 L. p. In the second poem this primeval creator is identified with the Unborn. Hymn of creation. 164. p. Other than that there was nothing else. 46). 6). 2 Cf. There was not space. AGRAWALA. p. 1971. X. Madras 1946. but the poet continues: "There was not death nor (continuation of) life then. Madras 1963 (very subjective). 4 See MACDONELL. MICHALSKI. 10. p. p. 3 W. Poet-philosophers of the Rgveda. 670.

also 3. A. 90)7 was to exert a powerful and permanent influence upon the mythical and speculative thought of the brahmanas and upanisads and in later times to become the foundation stone of Visnuite philosophy8. J. 108."—because "even the gods did not exist before creation"—the poet. who. p. ELIADE. 101. For cosmogonic speculation in general also F. in JAOS 66. VARENNE. 319 (discussing also the problem of the origin of the theme). J. Indol. it is free from allegorical symbolism and in the second place that (with one exception) it has hardly any contact with other portions of the corpus. and lastly the sun. Sri Venkateshwar Univ. J. For tapas: L. whether it is the result of an act of founding or not. P. J. p. The virtual. on possible relationship with primeval giants in other literatures). 11 (speculative). such as were. BhV 12. in Studies W. viz. at 24 AIOC. p. 165. whence it has arisen. GONDA. Norman Brown. Le mythe de l'eternel retour. "Who knows for certain ? Who can declare here. M. 145 (speculative). the One. Of the other cosmogonic hymns the PurusasUkta (10. like more or less 'primitive' cultures attached much importance to the knowledge of what happened in the primordial Time. B. 57. SCHAYER. p. he who surveys it in the highest firmament. Birth and rebirth. KUIPER. 9 Cf. ST. POTDAR. S. . 6. p. in ArchOr 7 (1935). in st. 7). according to tradition. RENOTJ. whence is this creation-in-differentiation . 25. then the gods were produced. for instance. p. in Hommage L. in JA 243. Paris 1953. 5 (1962). see e. 436. p. at HR 10. London 1970. though resorting to some unavoidable metaphors. II. R. p. AGBAWALA. 10 See K.Contents of the Rgveda 137 something waving. COOMARASWAMY. 227. in JAOS 51 (1931). is Prajapati. proposed in 10. which was covered by the void. concludes this bhdvavrtta ('process of evolution')—as it is traditionally called6—in a sceptical mood: "This creation. who had likewise rejected some simple 'theological' or mythological solutions of the problem. manifesting himself in the realm of our experience. assumed individual existence by the greatness of internal heating (tapas) . p. . 163. in WZKSA 12-13 (1968). in Conferenze 1st. 72 where after various contradictory hypotheses no synthesis is attempted: first the world was forged together by Brahmanaspati. "who is this All"9. 6. It is the first expression of the idea that the creation of the universe is the self-limitation of the transcendent Person (Purusa). p. . 91. MARINA. Torino. the Creator himself—the only one qualified for solving these problems—. The act of creation is here treated as a sacrificial rite10 in which the Purusa— who may perhaps faintly re-echo old popular notions about a primeval giant— was the victim whose members became the portions of the universe: * It may be remembered that archaic. Sacrificial setting of the philosophical hymns in the Rgveda. 8 See e. K. Mus. 7 NORMAN BROWN. Visnuism and givaism. KARMARKAR. Univ. 11 (speculative. In view of the form into which the poet has moulded his speculation it is inconceivable that he does not stand on the shoulders of predecessors.g.g. p. III (1969). P. p. in JBBRAS 18 (glorification of human sacrifice: untenable). p. New York 1958. he only knows—or else he (also) does not know. " After asking. the same. A. Febvre. 38 with the motif of the androgynous primeval being (st. ." What strikes us in this beautiful poem is first that. . V. ELIADE.

53. p. 96. in PBh o. 32. the manuscripts of the Paippalada Atharvaveda found in Orissa have the reading 'To that god . Even a passage such as 2. 10.STRI. 0 Indra. p. in 6 AIOC. His thighs were the vaisya. . whose command all attend. 39." And so we are informed that the air was produced from his navel. RENOTJ. in JAOS 85. .138 J. 13 Otherwise: VIDHTJSEKHARA &5. in Comm. . Le mythe de 1'eternel retour. 4. let 11 F. from his eye the sun. secure light. NORMAN BROWN. 35. 12. 1. (13) From his mind the moon was born.g. it gives an impressive description of a demiurge who is the creator. the sky from his head and so on. Cf. p. London 1965. 12 Interestingly enough. who by his greatness has ever been the sole lord of the world that blinks and breathes. . p. the strength-giver. 14 "I would like. p. 26. . while developing various lines of speculative thought paved the way for the cosmogonies and the philosophic doctrines of the Atharvaveda. New Delhi 1973.Gonda • Vedic Literature (11) "When they divided the Purusa. 3. even the gods. born. The beginnings of Indian philosophy. 238. p. 6. See also p. Whereas continuance of life is eagerly desired16. 12. 14 RENOTJ. p. 27. his arms ? What called his thighs and his feet ? (12) His mouth was the brahmin. p. "In the beginning was evolved the Golden Germ (Hiranyagarbha).. While perhaps containing verbal reminiscences of the 'henotheistic' Indra hymn 2. of whom life and death are the reflexion. 5. J. . The fundamental themes of the Atharvaveda. That special attention was paid to cosmogony is easily explicable: the origin of the universe is continuously repeated in any act of creation15 and its commemoration is necessary to keep this process going. 23. e. animator and ruler of the universe. Patna 1933. from his feet the siidra was born. P. H. p. The background of the Hiranyagarbha concept. how many parts was he made ? What was his mouth. to reach the broad. 3. it (he) was the sole lord of all existence. 7. 57. S. 125.' (D. who rules over these twofooted and four-footed beings . GONDA. . 6. Vol. 2. the last stanza (10) gives Prajapati's name as the answer. . From his mouth Indra and Agni. The so-called hymn to the unnamed god (10. It is however ignored in the padapdtha and almost generally regarded as a later addition13. 502 (unconvincing). . death and life in the hereafter are hardly themes of the poets of the mandalas I-IX17. 19. EDGERTON. II. Raghu Vira.c. VARENNE. " To the repeated question. his arms the man of royal descent. . P. He established heaven and earth . which does not fail to inspire a sense of mystery. 38. p. the brahmanas and the upanisads1*. 57). 8. Who is the life-giver. 12. E. V. 30. 121)11—every stanza except the last ends: "To what god shall we pay homage with oblation?"12—is a good example of tentative monotheism. S. Poona 1968. 16 16 17 ELIADE. 162. Thus many hymns in the tenth mandala. Wind (Vayu) from his breath. BHATTACHARYYA. Being conceived in the spirit of the brahmanas and theopanistically coloured this sUKTa no doubt belongs to the most recent period of the Rgveda. SASTRI.

g. 9) go too far in assuming the 'philosophical' character of definite texts. 71. 190. 14-18. The poet of 10. 168. also Brhaddevata 1. I. 26. II. 10. 10. VELANKAR. 130. AV. 8. 125-are discussed elsewhere. 9. E. attributed to YamI. Cf. after making an attempt to fathom the mysterious character of Agni. Recurring among the funeral stanzas of the Atharvaveda22 it describes the various classes of blessed Fathers. 10. and their situation in the hereafter. 25 Some philosophical hymns—e. Compare also 6. the twaddling reciters of verses" (10. to Yama homage is due. into whose midst the deceased sacrificer will be reborn. who became the chief of those who followed him. e. 2 Savitar alone knew the source of that cosmic ocean from which arose earth and space25. Yama.*41. R. the crematory fire. In mandala X it is otherwise18: from five successive hymns of this final mandala (14-18)19 it appears that the poets. in 18 AIOC. 34. 154 is a bhdvavrtta. p.g. 1. 26 Cf. V. which. H. 149. I. See NORMAN BROWN. the first human being and the archetypal defunct. from the ancestors favour expected (14. 7). that is of the powers presiding over the provinces of the universe (10. Varuna. the sister of Yama. 5. 18. 9) or admit man's ignorance of the ways of the gods. the blessed deceased and rites to be performed on their behalf. 7-12). also 7. 82. not all poets concern themselves with the same problems26. Other passages raise the question of the path that leads to the gods and attest to a vision of man's descent from the great Father (3. another bhdvavrtta. 163 makes it a cosmic entity identical with the 'original horse' and symbolizing the sun. . D. p. 18 and 4. Some authors (e. 2. 100 etc. it is also regarded 18 RENOTT. which has been trodden by the ancestors. 208. has found the path to the hereafter. 2. The deceased are expected to meet their forebears and periodically to return to the sacrifices in their honour (14. 10. 1-6). 12. 149. p. 5. arrives at the conclusion that there is a limit to speculation24. 181. 27 28 See GONDA. The kind of knowledge which the authors of the speculative hymns and passages considered important is metaphysical knowledge regarding the origin20 and operation of the universe and in connexion with this the investigation of the attainment of individual transcendence. 23 For other ritualistic speculation see 10. may be won in mystic sight and vision21. 19 20 21 Cf. the ruler of the deceased. 138. 54. RV. this mythical sacrifice is repeated in all ever recurring actual celebrations23. "Wrapped in mist they walk about. 24 LUDERS.8. While eulogizing the sacrificial horse27 the author of 1. According to 10.g.Contents of the Rgveda 139 not the long darknesses attain us" is a rare occurrence. p. 7). 3. deals with the origin of the sacrifice under the well-known image of a texture. The hymn 10. However. it is believed. 2. in no way rule out a life beyond cremation. while concerning themselves with funeral ceremonies. in JAOS 88. P. p. 18 on RV. 10.

while dealing with Agni's 'births. 7. cf. P. also 10. 88. p. 1967. Thus 1. 4. See e. 10. 58. giving light and warmth to heaven and earth. RV. the poet. beginning with the sacrificial fire. . without indicating the alternation of the subjects. It is difficult to decide whether all passages which Geldner and others stamped as 'mystic' really have an inner. 8). for instance when he describes poetic speech as proceeding in the form of ghee from the ocean in his heart (4. p. portions of 1. HAUSCHILD. 3. LUDERS. R. V. to focus attention on parallelism between divine and human action (1. 1. 159 (on dharman). 5. 72. Dhaman.g. J. Varuna.g. Amsterdam Acad. RENOU. GONDA.g. 1961. I. relates that the birth of Agni VaiSvanara (Universal Fire) meant the appearance of the sun. II) 34 . Loka. It is not my present task to evaluate Vedic literature from the points of view of philosophy. or. identical with Agni. Some hymns are concluded with a speculative statement which does not appear to be intimately connected with what precedes. 40. OERTEL. 140. 55. intimating that this is only one aspect of a wider problem31.140 J« Gonda • Vedic Literature as the prototype of all race-horses. In the last three stanzas he raises the question of the relation between the many manifestations of fire and the one Universal Fire. 2. it is much quoted in later works which affirm the identity of the whole world with the Supreme. BLAIR. in NIA I (1938). In the comparatively profound sUKTa 10. in JA 252. p. part of them may simply be ambiguous or incomprehensible33. 4. E. Heat in the Rig Veda and Atharva Veda. CH. 3. 56. history of religion etc. V. refers to certain secrets revealed to him by the god. p. Not infrequently 'mystical' speculation is indeed closely interlaced with the traditional laudations. 10 theopanistically declares Aditi to be everything existent and 4. inserting eulogies and commemorating Agni's functions. whilst eulogizing Agni. 1966. 5. 317 (on asat). Weller. 62. p. 250 (on manas). Poesie religieuse. 101. 13. 32 31 Cf. p. II. cosmogony and philosophy with mythology and theology29. 24. RENOU. which he now in enigmatic wordings hesitates to divulge30. GELDNER. Cf. 3. the value of the inspired word. 5 eulogizing the horse Dadhikra ends with a comprehensive definition of Rta in the garb of Agni terminology . 58. Although many themes could suggest an unknown background to the poets and induce them to speculate concerning the miracles of nature or the relations between the seen and the Unseen (see e. Or he may wish. which. Cf. is the centre of the world. 7. RV.g. In other cases the poet has resorted to metaphorical phraseology in order to give his audience an idea of religious truths or psychological processes. For some basic concepts the reader may be referred to H. J. 5. 72)35. 180. 38. 5. p. secret meaning32. 85. p. 10. XVI. The poet of the partly obscure sUKTa 4. viz. p. P. New Haven Conn. in Festschrift F. E. e. 89. GRASSMANN. or to discuss those passages which are of interest with regard to the history of ideas or terminology that have a bearing upon the views of life and the world of Vedic men (see also RENOU.' to describe mundane and celestial events at the 28 29 30 For similar exaltation of the sacrificial butter see 4. Amsterdam Acad. 57 and RENOU.g. See e. 6) these observations must suffice. 9. II. whose self (dtman) is the sun-bird28. 5. 33 34 36 Compare e. 5. 149. 141. 269.

302. GRASSMANN. 1949. SAHODA. Or the audience is invited to make sense of a diversity of names and allusions (e. I)36. to study all that has a bearing upon man's existence in this world and the beyond. p. Vol.g. men of special spiritual knowledge who were used to inquire into the relations between the ritual and the natural phenomena. Cf. at NIA 2. and. For some ideas of the poets in their relation to 'philosophy. REGNATTD. 39 See also p. poets who then already handed down their knowledge and methods of interpretation in more or less esoteric instruction38.' 'cosmogony' and ritual see T. 157. to speculate about origins and connexions. Cases are on the other hand not lacking in which fresh light thrown on a hymn forbids the assumption of intended mystic obscurity37. 38 . without establishing integrated systems. S. to investigate the relations between this world and the Unseen which is the Real. I. P. p. p. e. V.g. 9. Comm. in Ritsumeikan Bungaku 50th Anniv. 36 37 GELDNER. 115. There can be no doubt that the poets were. RV. It is possible that sometimes Western scholars believe they encounter mysticism where there is none. generally speaking. it is almost certain that we overlook secret meanings which were intended and easily understood by the initiated39. 240 ff.Contents of the Rgveda 141 same time (3. 83). These few remarks should not however be misunderstood. p. I. 378 and NORMAN BROWN. at RHR 11 (22).

Thus there are two incantations to preserve the life of one lying at the point of death (10. Volume L. Ill. which as 3. Poesie religieuse. 7." (7. 93. 145. to safeguard his health. e. 6) could easily be construed as identical with the harmful witchcraft of the non-Aryan 'magicians' and other enemies who are under various names mentioned throughout the Rgveda 5 : "If I have worshipped false gods or. 60. 85. Magicians in the Rgveda. 7. 1. 191—the last. the normal and desirable state of affairs in the universe. D. 104. Downward milks the cow. suspicion might fall upon an individual poet so that he has to defend himself against calumny: "Unassociated with the evil spirits I invoke the gods . p. VELANKAB. V. 159. the points of the compass . Mem. Magic J. Moreover. S.11: "Downward blows the wind. E. p. 2. . cattle and offspring and simple rites serving the limited and immediate interests of an individual. 10. . 87 is an exorcism. which are concerned with what modern men prefer to qualify as magical notions1 is less surprising if we realize that we should not distinguish between 'religion' or 'official ritual' on the one hand and witchcraft on the other2. 21. 120. . See also 5. P. 221 10.g. 1. 183 (a charm to procure offspring). Sarup. is directed 1 2 s 4 6 See also (on 10. L. H. also cases such as RENOTJ.142 11. wealth. 12. 19. And indeed. Cf. against disease). 'atharvanic' sUKTa of mandala I— to render venomous animals inoffensive. 97. 161 and 163 (exorcisms. but it is not less certain that mandala X contains many atharvanic elements. 5. . Gonda • Vedic Literature The presence of about a dozen poems. . we bring it back. 10. to the heavens. downward must your disease go.)." And 10. 34. Hoshiarpur 1954.). 10. GELDNEB.. 57ff. 10. II. 58.). . RENOU. 60. directed against somebody possessed by an evil spirit. H. but rather between dignified and complicated ceremonials stimulating the gods into a display of their power to maintain. 85. p. RV. 0 Agni. 7-12). 18 occurs also in the Atharvaveda. in the interest of the sacrificer. 162 is to destroy. "in unison with Agni. 9." The purpose of 10." the demon who injures an embryo6. this very day I would die if I am an employer of demons" (7. the earth. 14f. p. p. 10. 55 (to induce sleep). 7 See above. MACDONEIX. diverging also in other respects from the rest of the Rgveda3. 8)4. p. that of 1. RV. . 104. . 16. It is true that the proper place of 'magic' texts is the Atharvaveda. that you will dwell and live here. the activities of sages such as Vasistha who with the help of a deity secured uncommon results (7. it is called an upanisad or esoteric text 7 . 87. downward shines the sun. have a vain conception of the gods . . occurring almost exclusively in mandala X. 6 See also RV. the former characterized by a refrain and an enumeration of possibilities which are so typical of texts of this genre: "If your spirit has gone far away to Yama (.

nor a joke or parody10. Cf. . 5. who takes away the milk of cows . MOSES. we have praised (i. in QJMS 30 (1939). The sUKTa 7. 50 is one of the few Rgvedic texts which were supposed to have the power of healing14. SHASTRI. 13 LOMMEI. 14 Compare also 1. compare also WINTERNITZ. 10. . 25. 0 benevolent one. because they perplex robbers16. S. directed against evil spirits and their human instigators13—"Cut off. " (st. 186. like priests. I. H. P. 115 (on 7. For popular belief in connection with frogs: S. a means of disposing of her by means of a potent herb 8 . I. 117. The SarvanukramanI characterizes these stanzas as well as 10. the so-called froghymn. 145 as wpanisad. L. 41. p. 101-103) and see also H. 10. NORMAN BROWN. 31. T. in IHQ 32 (1956). I burn down all great fiends" (st. "Drive away. 11—13. 75. PREUSS. . 109. Rgvidhana. the troop of the witches . 10 See e. p. 1.. p. 50. In 2. 1039. 87 is an Agni hymn of uncommon tone and vocabulary. in JAOS 37. 2. Gedichte. somewhat hesitating: RENOU. is neither a satire on the brahmans—"The frogs that have been quiet during a year (like) brahmans devoted to a priestly function . 16)—. 104. Secular hymns. . Gedichte. p. p. RV. " (st. GONDA. T H . 155 exorcises evil represented by a witch. 42. p. 3)—invokes Indra to destroy various kinds of evil beings: "muttering these stanzas one kills the evil demoniac powers and subdues one's rivals" 12 .e. BENDER. 77. 313. . 42 and 43 an ominous bird is invoked to give auspicious signs. for parallels: K. 1." Several hymns have an apotropaeic purport." The well-known and often misunderstood sUKTa 7. RV. H. 1. 1)—nor a comic intermezzo. . p. in Globus 95. Mandala VII. 133 — "Both heaven and earth I purify with the Rta. 9 11 8 BLOOMFIELD. After describing the behaviour of the frogs at the beginning of the rains and so furthering the natural phenomenon in producing which these animals. GELDNER. a traveller may also use these texts when he does not see the bird. ascribing it to Indra's wife. in JAOS 37. 10." (st. p. p. also 7. . p. 159. for an untenable 'sociological' view of the hymn: P. Cf. 12 Rgvidhana. with thy glow the heads of the one who smears himself with the bloody flesh of men. this power however derives from Varuna and Mitra who are invoked in the beginning. 0 Agni. 13. in NIA 2. 15 16 VELANKAR. H. strengthened) you once more: so you shall continue to help us. Auswahl." which means: "You have helped us till now. 1). II. 10. but a serious rain-charm11. 117.Contents of the Rgveda 143 against a rival wife and according to the AnukramanI. of counteracting the effects of poison15. p. p. are believed to be instrumental or to play a mediatorial part the poet asks a blessing: "By means of their croaking the frogs have given us riches: the frogs giving (us) hundreds of cows shall extend (our) life at the end of a thousandfold soMa-pressing.g. 394. in casu. See also LOMMEL. 186. p. 166 serves the interests of a man who wants to have the upper hand of his equals: "Here I bind you just as the two ends of the bow with the string.

p. 5. 5f. 19 GELDNER. 18 20 17 21 WINTERNITZ. or even from the very beginning. 320. 6. the brahmans in their solemn ceremonies often borrowed and sanctioned popular rites consecrating these by mantras. are characterized by vigour and outstanding aesthetic merit21. . L. p. 83. See GONDA.144 J. just as a word of consecration dedicates the man addressed to the good or evil condition to which it refers. the occurrence. H. Be victorious without injury to your body. 4. Just as the utterance of a name suffices to make its bearer present. Moreover. See AsvG. sacred texts could as such arouse and exercise power. Nor can the thesis be substantiated that those hymns which were used for so-called magical purposes or in which a magical element seems to predominate were in their generality recast afterwards or enlarged by the addition of charms and incantations. 28 and 10. his argumentation—some verses are distinguished by great poetic beauty. not infrequently. II. 2. 10. 110.Gonda • Vedic Literature However.g. 16917 are blessings of the cows18 and 6. which is onesidedly expounded in the Rgvidhana. in the Rgveda. just as speaking about powerful things generates power. Just as in invoking the gods and in offering sacrifices to them words could be pronounced which shew the belief in man's mastery over powers and natural forces without divine intervention.. of 'popular magic' and the references to uncomplicated popular rites is far from surprising. which has been changed into a battle charm—is unconvincing. See e. finally. Secular hymns. Let the strength of the armour protect you!" Winternitz's20 view of this sUKTa—originally it may have been a war song. 20 and 21. AsvG. among which battle charms. I. in 'sorcery' and incantations. the help of personal gods was. For the ritual practice see ApS\ 20. RV. Thus RV. does not date from an early period. because for instance many 'magical' texts of the Atharvaveda. Since. so. in the same way—that is even automatically and without the intervention of gods or spirits—a word of benediction allocates fortune's gifts to a person and in the same way a mythical tale or holy story possesses decisive power in its solemn repetition which confirms. implored. 4f. others show only the dry inartistic language of incantations—not free from subjectiveness. 10. p. 3. AV. either dangerous or beneficent. There is no hard-andfast line between the magic and religious domain. I. 12. When he plunges into the lap of battle. 75 has rightly been called a "Waffensegen"19. a benediction of the king's weapons of war in order to secure victory in battle: (1) "Like a thunder-cloud the mailed (warrior) looks. 176. 57 is a blessing of the field. 16. 174 is a blessing of a king. See p. renews and reiterates its inherent truth or the events replete with power that form its content. The standpoint that the metrical texts of the Veda are either hymns of high literary merits or dry and artless magical formulas is untenable. It is hardly probable that the possibility of magical application of Rgvedic texts. this is not all.

his obviously infertile field. 292. 202). p. 78. WINTERNITZ. 28 M. in Weber. GOPAL. OLDENBERG. This difference of opinion is as unessential as the disagreement between Yaska25. a cart. Sayana quotes a longer version from the SatBr. AUFRECHT. 12. in JAOS 18. 1. 1. for which see p. Since the text pretends to relate an historical event and girls who were in the unfavourable condition meant by it could probably then already find no husband26. 32 SarvanukramanI 1. p. broke his vow of chastity31 is concluded by two stanzas that according to tradition32 were 'seen' by a student of the Veda—who had 22 TH. 1. p. 5. There are many other instances of this type of sukta29. at ZDMG 39. which may be called 'legend spell'—P. S. 223. p. 391. DRESDEN. and Auswahl.g. J. p. VON SCHROEDER. The story of Agastya. Secular hymns. 4. IV. A. in ZDMG 113. 8. 26. V.S. had a vision of this text and praised with it with the result that she found a soina-stalk. 1. in a naive way. 31 See p. OERTEL. AUFRECHT.Contents of the Rgveda 145 The popular suKTa 8. p. who. Cf. 26 Int. 328. 22023 tells the story of Apala24 who wanted to get rid of a skin-disease. 99ff. 127) (misunderstood). compare also Sayana's introductory note. Brhaddevata. and T H . 132. K. GELDNER. AV. Thesis Utrecht 1941. THIEME. there can hardly be any doubt that the recitation of the sUKTa accompanied by the simple gifts mentioned in it and the popular rite referred to in the concluding stanza—she is three times purified by means of (water sprinkled through) the holes of a chariot. 41. S. GONDA. IV. It is a monologue of the maiden Apala introduced by the statement that once a girl found soma. Agastya und Lopamudra. p. R. and &aunaka. I. 40 (1892). 27 For particulars see M. Indra approached her and she recited the whole sukta. 191. and a yoke37—was supposed to bring about the miraculous cure of girls who were in similar circumstances.. 76 ( = K. p. and MACDONELL'S notes. JB. 23 See H. I l l . S. 69 ( = Kleine Schriften. she chewed it. 3. MG. Thieme30 coined the term 'Legendenzauber'—. 91 may be mentioned as a case in point22. 43. Das altindische Hochzeitsrituell. For a variant in which Indra is said to have fallen in love with her: Brhaddevata. in Speculum 20. and some more are no doubt awaiting detection. are of great moment in her domestic circle. Manu. A non-legendary interpretation of the Apala Sukta. p. I. p. 55 ( = Proc. p. p. Congr. 26 See GG. 202. 8. Wiesbaden 1971. p. 3. 1. in WZKM 22. the bald hair of her father. 6. Denkschrifben Vienna Acad. 43. p. 107. p. . Orient. II. far from being world-shaking. p. to come into contact with Indra and implores him to cure three defects which. 30 P. 25 Cf. 5. 3. The final stanza is indeed used in the domestic rite of sprinkling a bride28. 29 E. succumbing to Lopamudra's entreaties. in VIJ 2 (1964). and her own hairless abdomen. 498). who regards the suKTa as an itihdsa. Manavagrhyasutra. COOMARASWAMY. Whereas the commentator SadguruSisya identified the girl mentioned in the introduction and the person speaking. up to recently they were not however always duly recognized as such. With this and a cake she tries. in WEBER. according to whom it is a hymn addressed to Indra. 8. 6. 24 Apala is traditionally regarded as the rsi or poetess. I. I. 11. viz.

Lie- der.Gonda • Vedic Literature to practise chastity—after taking cognizance of the preceding dialogue (st. 0 Panis. HILLEBRANDT. 41 &G. Here also a spell receives its power from the truth of the preceding story which is analogous to the effect desired. the cows must come forth" can indeed be taken to point in that direction37. SIEG. Ind. 71 (204). II valore cosmico dell'Aurora. 55. 70 (203). 34 For previous interpretations see e. v. in Studi e materiali di storia delle religioni. Cult. 1. 1-4). THIEME. p.C. Compare also SCHMIDT. p. LiiDERS. wished quickly to gain the opposite bank41. 15. Wiesbaden 1973. 10. an autonomically effective formula to be utilized under circumstances similar to those narrated in the suKTa. in its final stanza unconnected with the legend. Now see P. See p. p. OLDENBERG. 34. SCHROEDER. Geldner's39 earlier interpretation—the general prayer in the last stanza is the point which was given greater prominence by the reference to the preceding legend—was modified40 to the effect that the 'truth' immanent in the legend was made. There is something to be said for the supposition35 that the dialogue between Sarama and the Panis36. 108). Winternitz was certainly right in calling RV. For 10. p. 1. at least as long as the final stanza. 120. 33 und Verwandtes. 20. who had hidden the stolen cattle she was directed to recover (10.. by means of the final stanza. 206. I I . 2. Varuna. 201. 2.. FluBiiberschreitung im Rigveda. 65. a most beautiful poem. Sagenstoffe. 111. 108 cf. ALSDORF. 37 39 36 GELDNER. MONTESI. KWELLA. u. p. 33 there can hardly be any doubt that this dialogue hymn could from the very beginning—or. 5. p.e. in ZDMG 39.146 J. In the hymn Agastya also purifies himself with a drink of soma (st.g. p. 35 THIEME. As to 3. 38 Cf. the wish that the waters shall not prevent the cows and vehicles of the army from passing over safely. After recounting how the great sage Visvamitra stopped two mighty rivers at their confluence so as to allow the army of the Bharatas to cross them with all their luggage and booty the sukta expresses. 9. in a different metre. p. O. RV. 40 . p. The final stanza was indeed prescribed in case a bridal train had to pass over a deep river or a man. 24-25 (Bologna 1955). in the midst of a stream. 7. I l l . RV. 26. 34. Lit. p. 5). The 'truth' or rather the 'mythical example' inherent in the story which makes it a means of purification may be formulated as follows: the ascetic who breaches his vow for the sake of his languishing wife is excused provided he ritually purifies himself34. I. belonged to it38—could serve a similar purpose. also G. is likewise a 'legend spell': the words "Go. GELDNER. p. 3f. Auswahl. the soliloquy of a penitent gambler. p. and compare Rgvidhana 1. 374. I. if one would express oneself with certain reservations. Since st. 5 contains a petition for deliverance from sin directed to Sorna whom we know to charge himself with the purification of students who broke their vow of chastity such people were advised to have recourse to it33. 136. 19. 187. but hardly convincing in character33 SVB. Rgvidhana. as far as possible. Brhaspati. in JOIB 13 (1964). See also L.

the throw is most unlucky. in Fel. L. p. M. Munshi. in st. however much it may strike modern Westerns in that light. p. causing him to burn. there your wife. B. I have driven away a devoted wife. I. 90. 112. BEBGAIGNE. 3. . 109. They burn the player. The final stanza. Les literatures d& l'lnde. are piercing and deceitful. The assertion. I. 46 ia NOEMAN BBOWN. also V. Similarly. They overcome the man with hands. though handless. Let another now be held in the power of the brown ones46"—admits also of another interpretation: the gambler adjures the dice to release him from their uncanny power47. An application of the hymn to some form of exorcism. NOEMAN BBOWN. p. L. (7. 49 If of the number of dice thrown. 36. There are your cows. one remains over. R. Bombay 1963. 1007. LTTDEBS. 36. would be in harmony with its content: The dice make the gambler unable to resist their fascination (st. 5-10. 12. your enmity now come to rest. His hope is realized: god Savitar releases him: "Do not play with dice I Cultivate your field! Be content with your possessions. Though cold themselves. S. requesting the dice to make friendship and to be gracious—". 47 Cf. V. Review of Religion. To me and my comrades she was ever kindly. p. A. H. Nor should it be described as didactic43 or moralistic44. 1) and bring ruin on him and his household: (2) She (my wife) wrangles not with me. H.. H. 1. P. 9. I l l . I find a gambler no more useful Than an aged horse that is for sale. (3) Her mother hates me. 429. BTJBLINGAME. in ZDMG 98. p. 3. Viz. Lieder. p. that the person speaking has gambled away all his possessions may indeed be regarded as a formal declaration of fact—"This is truth I say"—with the unspoken prayer for deliverance from the power of the dice. For the 'act of truth' in general: E. 177. p. Paris 1904. L. p. India in the Vedic age. Let your wrath. 9) The dice incite (the gambler). the nuts used as dice. resolution. nor is she angry. Lucknow 1971. . BHABGAVA. W. p. they burn the heart to ashes." 42 WINTEBNITZ. its recitation as an 'act of truth'48. The hymn is never prescribed in solemn rituals and its magic use as a means to come off victorious in the gambling-place45 can hardly be founded on a serious interpretation of the text. 340 ('entirelysecular') and compare RENOXJ. p. 128. Vol. in JRAS 1911. HENRY. KEITH. P. she herself rejects me. p.. HILLEBBANDT. H. do not forcibly bewitch us with magical power. 5 (1940). 8f. The man in distress finds no one who pities. Basing himself upon the perfect performance of his function (vrata) a man pronounces a formal declaration of fact accompanied by a command.Contents of the Rgveda 147 izing it as non-religious42. 43 MACDONELL. in JRAS 1917. . or prayer with the result that his purpose shall be accomplished. Cf. p. For a die that was too high by one49. K. 43 44 Rgvidhana. divided by four.

(it serves) to produce agreement. It also gives a full duration of life. 165 the Maruts who were enraged because Indra had taken away their sacrificial animal. Gonda • Vedic Literature Tradition50 has it that 10. the dwelling of the sea. not with the wish. 5. 1. sons. Thus. "together with kinsmen. allies and friends" wished to establish a kingdom53. Hymnes spe•culatifs. GOPAL. 1. 1. 4. Anukramanika and Sayana. but the situation—not unknown from other Indian literature— is similar. 12 stating that a dream disappears in the morning —the sUKTa in its entirety has nothing to do with dreams. it could. 54. 5f. 1. 9) it could also be recited in case one would prevent the god fropa going to the sacrifice of one's rival52. After describing the destructive force of a conflagration the poet prevents the god of fire from going on by declaring that "here is a receptacle of water. 20. Thus RV. Rgvidhana. Therefore he should perform this hymn for him who is dear to him" (AiB. but with the imperative: "there grass must grow again!" It is therefore most probable that the text was to counteract forest-fire. 14f. removing the consequences of an evil dream54. Brhaddevata 8. As it contains a recognition of Indra's might (st. See R." to conclude the poem. in general. A story may however have several aspects: in 1. 51 60 . 165 produces agreement and continuance (of life). This is improbable. It is therefore perfectly intelligible that the immanent power of the mythical or legendary event referred to in a sUKTa was also turned to profitable use in the frauta ritual: "The hymn RV. in that he (the officiant) recites this (hymn). in Mem. outside the solemn ritual. 120.. the Maruts. 10. in Vol. 1. 3. 52 See PB. 26. 21. 220f. 9. Instances could easily be multiplied from which it appears that often a single word occurring in a stanza sufficed to make it suitable for a definite ritual use. 397. sleep and awakening— is among the texts to be recited at the beginning of the day. 1. 63 Rgvidhana. for the pertinent terminology VELANKAB. Mbh. also RENOTJ. 17. a. Agastya and the Maruts came to agreement. 1. were through Agastya's intervention appeased and so this sUKTa came also to serve the purpose of appeasement. be a means of realizing the ambitions of a man who. p. Allahabad 1970. See. Umesha Mishra. p. 16. 14. 25. 4.).148 J. 142 deals with the epic story of some young birds which succeeded in escaping destruction when Agni was burning a forest51. Volume Sarup *(see above). 54 J§G. Dealing with the reconciliation of Indra and his chief friends and allies. (for) by it Indra.

GONDA. Noten. J. R. OLDENBERG. st. in WZKM 23. 0 thou that art immortal!" (st. The traditional explanation8—Indra praises himself having assumed the form of a quail (laba). 119 the opinion has long prevailed that this text. in WZKM 18. J . 3)11. p .' the precursor of the doctor as well as the priest who in the state of ecstasy possessing a power that is superior to himself. I. as describing the experiences of a bird4. comfort" (varivas. 8 8 7 Cf. p . VON SCHROEDER. combatted by WINTERNITIZ. 136 is to a great extent similar in aim and tendency. Ecstatic practices 149 A few suhtas in mandala X attest to what may broadly be called ecstatic practices or asceticism. p. p . New York 1968. I I . 6 3 P . cf. Die awestische Herrschaftsund Siegesfeuer. a sort of bliss and omnipotence7: in this state he deems himself able to fly or soar. BERGAIGNE. p . D. R. p . 1972) disputed theory. Cambridge Mass. N. can soar into the atmosphere and becomes united with the gods10. what injury devised by a mortal. p . 1. Secular hymns. 202 (cf. It would rather seem that the poet describes his own ecstatic drunkenness6 in which he has reached a supernormal state of being. p. 161. in Festschrift Weller. I I . G. also J .g. p. p. is a monologue of Indra pronounced when one day he had consumed too much of the beverage1. prepared from the fly agaric. I. p . "WeakI See e. 152. freedom. In this connection mention may be made of 8. 333. I. p . p . 23 (1954). Phil. II According to R. 10 OLDENBERG. Others. 168. ASAW 41. p. W. I l l . also RV. A.. DETJSSEN. for particulars see GONDA. P. S. p . Sarvanukramani. to dominate nature. we have found the gods. GONDA. H . 2): "We have drunk soma. 98 (with ?). is filled with the god. 332. A. 247 (the adjective "bearing the oblation" in st. 99. B. HATTER. p. GELDNER. 404. 331. 4 P . HERTEL. I. Soma and the flyagaric. See also H . while rightly rejecting this interpretation unconvincingly regarded the sUKTa as a profane drinking-song3. V. Secular hymns. About 10. p . we have become immortals. Vortrag Orient. G. HERTEL. 5 HATJSCHILD. Secular hymns. Ges. in JRAS 1911. or as a monologue and self-praise of Agni as the sacral fire5. 7. 114. i n J U B .. Stuttgart 1922. RV. 1004. 6 (Leipzig 1931). K E I T H . WASSON'S (Soma. THIEME. V. 2. p . 339. p . 150. L. Auswahl. 344). Mysterum. Die Anfange der Yogapraxis.Contents Of the IJgveda 12. his 'soul' becoming released from the clog of earth. 364. which describes the experiences of a person who has drunk soma. VELANKAR. . Some authors2 even added that the poet wanted to make fun of the god. Sadgurusisya. 13 is elsewhere used of Agni). 48. RENOXJ. a glorification of the soMa as a producer of ecstasy and to give "room. 1972. 85. 10. WINTERNITZ. This sUKTa of the long-haired one (keSin) deals with a 'medicine man. soma was no alcoholic drink but a drug. hence Laba Aindra as the reputed author and Labasukta as the name of the text—may have been based on Indra's fondness for soMa on one hand and a word for 'wing' on the other9. to create or destroy. a H . we have attained to the light. What (trouble) can now enviousness cause us.-Tagung der Deutschen Morgenl. H .

we have come (there).Gonda • Vedic Literature ness and disease stand aloof. they have become afraid. joy and pleasure13. the oppressing ones. where one moves according to one's wishes. 9. where one prolongs one's life-time" (st. in eternal light. in the interior of heaven. 11). p. 5 1 . where are bliss and delight. The mighty soma has entered us. 286. . 236. $V. 13 RENOU. Hymnes spe"culatifs. 12 GBASSMANN. p . through Soma's intermediary. 113. they fled.150 J. in the 'immortal' and imperishable world. In the second part of RV. I I . which was called12 'a prayer for a blissful life'—the poet intuitively foresees superhuman joy—the desire is expressed to be put.

25. Rgvidhana 2. 61 about young Syavasva5 "whose heart was fixed on a princess" is without foundation in that text. the sacral character of these verses makes the occurrence of love poetry a priori improbable3 and the romance told by later interpreters4 in connection with RV. 14) cannot be regarded even as indications of the existence of love poetry. . for instance.Contents of the Rgveda 13. The stanzas 2-4 of the Rgveda version addressed to the house-dog may have been used by others than the lover for whose benefit this 'unequalled soporiferous' text2 was. song (see p. * Brhaddevata. 21. 61. 6 are few in number and those which occur are no more than reproductions of reality9.. 9. 17. Women are a rare subject. This is not to say—with H. 4. RV. 86. 8. 5. 7. 5. an excellent object of enjoyment" (8. p . I I . in similes8. p . I I . 34). 110. GELDNER. P . p. I I . In both collections these stanzas are intended to put to sleep the inmates of a house1. S. my lord and master. 101. IV. The speakers remain anonymous and the formulas can be recited by anyone who is similarly circumstanced. RV. in WEBER. 1. 5. 26." not "Your unfaithfulness is on my mind.g. 337. Die Liebe in vedischer Dichtung. ATTFRECHT. LOMMEL. 50. 229. 3 9 2 See also RENOTJ. S. 5. 95) dialogues7. 10. n. PISCHEI. p. they are mainly mentioned in metaphors and. 7 See p. II. for the emotions and sentiments of those who are supposed to use the stanzas are not revealed. p. 5. 68. Erotic passages such as the above 10. 8 E. 6 See below. 86. viz. Erotic poetry 151 For a clear apprehension of RV. Compare BOWEA. A girl urging the reciter to whom she was 1 For particulars see T H . 6— Indra's wife boasting of her charms—. 156." Any reflection on the poet's or speaker's inner life is suppressed. 7. see SIEG. 55. Prim. E. deal with extraordinary circumstances and relations in the mythical sphere. 8 See above. 102—that Vedic man had not psychologically reached that stage of maturity which makes this genre possible. 174. or an incidental mention of a lover hastening to a woman (9. Says the wife of the man who has recovered his virility: "You wear. as a collectivum. V. Paideuma. 153. p. 3. We read. Places such as 10. True. p. Sagenstoffe. 55 we must anticipate a point which will be dealt with more elaborately in the section dealing with the contents of the Atharvaveda. 10)6 and the Pururavas and Urvasi (10. p . 3 (1944-49). 126. GELDKER. "I languish and yearn for love" or "I shall pierce your heart. p. 50-81. 6). The stanzas 5-8 are in that corpus expanded into a text of seven verses. 4. no doubt recited. though no doubt reflecting human emotions. I. It would therefore be incorrect to speak of love poetry. 5. V. In the KauSikasUtra we become acquainted with manifold kinds of love-magic and "rites in connection with women" for which these spells and formulas were employed. 203 ff. like AV. The Yama and YamI (10. 21. p.

3. bending over the wood which he is to burn. . 7f.. H. on RV. (his) daughter. also 1. Vol. Iff. "(A god) like you will not squat bound by his testicles. in a mythical context. RV. 195. p . With LTJDWIG. E. cf. stood erect. 86. 30.Gonda • Vedic Literature presented and who hopes to enjoy her a hundredfold. 4f. 190f. to a bull about to cover his cows: though erotic in a broad sense. 142. 2) or the theme of 1. cf. in Asia Major 6. 7. R. The greater part of the pertinent passages occur in mandala X11. 175. V. 18 . 12 13 14 15 16 17 11 See also GELDNER'S note. 48. I. In contradistinction to later authorities who saw incest in the primal embrace of the Father and the Daughter15 the poet did not yet apply a moral rule to this 'ontological symbol. 28. a detailed description of a halfway interrupted incestuous coition: "when his (member). 140. Cf. 112. 101. 28. Nor should we take offence at 10. GELDNER. p . 100. but no doubt much with a painful form of confinement12. an exclamation such as 10. giving. 4.. I suppose" has nothing to do with sexual love. RENOU. . RV. no taboo in the poet's society16 and that is why we should not put in an unfavourable light places such as 1. 61. 5f. 10. 1. MULLER. 33. G. 713. 5 addressed to Indra. p. There is no reason whatever to regard such passages13 as spurious. 12. However. I. 139. in Comm. 1. performing the manly deed. 5. 95.' These subjects were. p . 10 GELDNER. Cf. &B. LOMMEL. Nobel. 4 and 10. 7)10. RV. Nor is an occasional reference to genitals (1. also 10. 179 obscene. does not leave him in doubt about her puberty: "I am all hairy like a Gandharian sheep" (1. where the poet compares Agni. 6.152 J. 5ff. P . moreover. when it was inserted . 10.."14. in ZDMG 40. The qualification 'obscene' is not applicable to 9. 6f. when it was at work. 16f. RV. GELDNER. p. 38. the male (partner) drew it away. I l l . F . they are17 far from indecent18. p. he pulled it back again out of the maiden. p . 10. swinging. 6 and 7. I. X I I .126. p . 3. 92. 337. Cf.. AiB.

For other places see S. 6 J. p. p. Weber. KAEMAEKAE. 8. 1. KRAMBISCH. cf. 105 is likewise of the opinion that the sukta—which hardly is 'only a torso'—deals with an old myth of the origin of the human race. p. Lund-Copenhagen 1946. GONDA. 6. London 1956. 86. Poets express the wish to appear free from 'sin'9 for Varuna "who may x See GELDNER. p. p. 51 Adityas. 85. "The gods know how to distinguish between the honest and the dishonest" (8. 118 and S. The all-knowing god. 59 etc.. 5. 15. This does not however interest him at all. RODHE. 18. 2 According to HILLEBRANDT. With all tricks of feminine passion and dialectics Yarn! endeavours to win the love of her brother. 139 they were "a sister and a brother" (not the 'mythical' Yama and his sister). Auswahl. Similar passages occur also in hymns addressed to other deities (6. p. 10. but at the same time the mythical prototype of any pair of twins2. RV. p. 'Sin. even to purify them of antenatal incest5. Indol. 7. in addition to this. Mitra. 1. See also A. G.' or rather offence. 21. left the problem of its real origin unsolved4. for Surya's (the Sun's) all-seeing eye etc. 9 The idea of 'sin' comprises any transgression or pollution. studies Norman Brown. he should desire to win it along the path of Order. This is not to say that there is no moralism in the Rgveda: "A mortal man should disregard wealth. paying homage" (10. 1. SCHNEIDER. I. II.Contents of the Rgveda 153 14. 74. P. Cf. I l l . Mitra. who will aid that mortal man who exerts himself for him. 5 U. PETTAZZONI. For Varuna see also RENOU. 19 (following Sayana). * WINTERNITZ. but he gently and deliberately repels her advances: (2) "blood-relationship should not be considered something different. KANTAWALA. E. in IIJ 10. 145. nor close their eyes who as spies of the gods wander on earth. 164). (8) they do not rest. RV. p. 132. 2). who as a moral governor stands above any other deity8." The contrast between the sister and the brother is as striking as the poetic beauty and dramatic strength of the poem as a whole. p . 65. 7. 31. 118. (4) why should we do now what we have not done formerly. Rigveda. Deliver us from evil. 15). p. VII. The sUKTa should rather be regarded as belonging to a ritual ceremony which was to secure a pair of twins of different sex against the danger of incest and. be it consciously or unconsciously contracted. beholds men with unwinking eye (3. and forgiveness are often motives in the lofty and truly inspired hymns addressed to Varuna7. 5. L. In this case also the myth was exemplary. The well-known dialogue between the twins Yama and Yarn! (10. Morals and maxims Only a few passages in the Rgveda can be said to be moralistic and morals as such are hardly discussed. I l l . e. 59. V. 10) has been quoted as a case in point. 6f. 3 GELDNER. in Festgabe A. 133. p. H. 24. Mitra-and-Varuna. 4. 25. V. 7 For the omniscience in human affairs of Varuna. 8 . 74. p.g. 509. P. and compare also the same. 3 Soma-Rudra. 89. I) 6 . See also S. 120. p. whilst intending to combat the belief that the human race owes its existence to an illicit marriage. at JOIB 15. see R. p. in ABORI 22. I t has been maintained 3 that the poet. These two characters are no doubt the first pair of human beings1. I.

as 'floating verses. 8 AIOC (1935-37). The man who discharges his moral obligations will fare well: the in itself most satisfactory eulogy upon charity (10. 24. Consecutive series of maxims are however very rare 15 . " 0 Varuna. p. though evidencing consciousness of guilt. if thy friend commits 'sins' against thee. p . IA I I I . p. The niggard never finds a pitiful man. 4. 112. 499. Gonda • Vedic Literature be gracious also to the one who gives offence" (7. 3 (1969). The idea of sin in the Rgveda. an inmate—be he a native or a foreigner—loosen this (from us)" (5. However. SHUKXA. H . 11 13 14 10 15 Some hymns (9. 30. Iff. giving food wherever one is and preventing evil from noticing one" 11 . L. "Like a cloud old age alters one's outward appearance" (1. yet it is worth observing that e. I. if he who is thy true and dear companion. Rgvidhana. cf. 1. 23. S. 6). we have committed sin against a friend. . "Many a woman is better than a godless and niggardly man" (5. 71) were (e. H. The man who provokes the enmity of a mightier opponent plans a frontal attack on a mountain (8. 4.. burns up the kingdom and causes discomfort arise in the highest firmament10. 6. 5. L. 109. There is also the statement that the gods bewilder the man at whom they are aiming (2. Proverbial phrases and maxims voicing the feelings and experience of the worldly-wise—part of which may. 25. by MACDONELL. a comrade. 45. 9) or inserted as an admonition: "Not without exertion one wins the gods for friends" (4. AV. LEFEVER.154 J. 129) mistakenly regarded as such.g. errors of commission and omission result in evil and disaster: a king should not abduct the wife of a brahman because she is fearful. 71. "If. V. 89. The fear of punishment is predominant12.' have been common property—are adduced in a dialogue: "Scanty adroitness (of the performer) spoils the music" (4. RV. 33. Cf. 61. I n 10. 1-3 and 7. p . WINTEENITZ. Morality in the Avesta and the Rgveda. RV. A psychology of those who commit offences cannot be expected. ZDMG 44. Rig-Veda.g. 311. N. 51. 7). 115. 117) was used as "a fulfiller of all wishes. See PISCHEL. S. 86. p. may we not atone for it as 'sinners'" (7. 11). 85. 17. 11716 "in praise of food and 'money'" is a collection of maxims exhorting the wealthy to be generous to the poor and hungry: (1) "To kill a man the gods inflict not hunger. Death often falls upon the satiated. 10. I. 10). 7). 87. 10. In view of the great talent of the post-Vedic Indians for aphoristic and sententious poetry it is no great surprise to find some forerunners of this genre in this oldest corpus13. a brother. do not attest to any personal sense of shame before the god. cf. 113f. S. 2 Agni is requested to make good ritual errors and defects. 6). O Varuna. 10. 12 H . 6). 88. The charitable giver's wealth melts not away. 5). I. 139. st. Truth resists even vehement assailants (8. p . p . 16 Cf. 4. 5)14. KAEGI. 4.

" 155 17 Cf. Regarding well the many years hereafter: Fortune. 9. Friends and comrades will they never have: The man who eats alone will meet mishap alone17. now to another. like two chariot wheels revolving. p. I speak the truth: it will be the death of them. Sagenstoffe. Snsa.Contents of the Rgveda (5) Who has the power should content the needy. (6) Useless is the food gained by the foolish. . Now to one man comes nigh.

H. in IHQ 30 (1954). happiness. or believed to find. SASTBI. in JAOS 11. S.g. 347. 6 7 4 Compare. This is however not to contend that for instance the Soma hymns of mandala IX 5 were devoid of any feelings or excitement6. p. this 'lyrical' element was. and QJMS 40. immediate clearness. Not all emotional poetry is lyric and much of what at first sight seems to be.. L. BOWRA. New York 1963. C. Studien zur Eigenart indischen Denkens. 41. M. S. Primitive song. by H. also in later times. 164. Vol. S. p. were largely regarded as lyrical poetry by P . and an intertwinement of personal emotion. his sentiments which in the last resort enabled him to distinguish between the essential and points of secondary importance. p. in general. with many others. wealth and continued life7—. Nor is it probable that the poets of the Soma hymns were not moved by the ritual and mythical correspondences between the terrestrial soMa and its divine form as Soma. 2 For instance. as a perching falcon. DASGUPTA. BRUNNHOFEE. B. 5 Which. impressions of nature and religious experience. often exaggerated2 and the view of the Rgveda as consisting for the greater part of religious lyrics3 can no longer be subscribed to4. BDCRI 20 (Felic. an appeal to senses and feelings. who found. De). in the Veda. See GELDNER-NOBEL. 228. largely responsible for its imagery even if it was for the greater part borrowed from the works of his predecessors. expression of a poet's sentiments is another reproduction of traditional effusions according to more or less fixed patterns or an impressive expression of thoughts and desires tinged with emotion intended to prevail upon the human and divine audience. Although tradition and the requirements of the genre have a considerable range and relevance. . p. RV. tjber den Geist der indischen Lyrik. Lyrics.156 15. However. PERRY. moreover. emotions J. as a kind of married woman. that they felt no delight in the outward appearance and the unseen qualities of the plant and the divine draught produced from it—the procurer of renown. p. or as a bachelor meeting some girls8. Tubingen 1930. 301. Gonda • Vedic Literature It has mainly been the 'lyrical' aspect of Sanskrit literature which. p. 249. See also S. 1 See e. It was. Leipzig 1882. in the beginning of the XIXth century. 63. K. p. in it a happy blend of phantasy. that they could not be transported with genuine joy when they described the stages of the process of clarification as the adornment of a race-horse or a beaming youth. attracted some of the greatest minds of Europe1. HEIMANN. simply because the poet believed in what he said and wanted his poem to be effective. For Soma see also E. 3 MACDONEI/L. The emotional impulse behind a poem was. p. further. Their sensitive eyes must have seen the beauty of the soma enveloped in sunbeams. to emphasize the former and to omit the latter. the brightness and golden brilliance of Dawn. 275. IV. they are no doubt often infused with emotion. The lyric in Sanskrit literature. D.

for instance in 5. 18. 34. 2 1 . 40. 2. 16. etc. With this reserve it may be conceded that there is a tinge of 'lyrical' rapture in other hymns too. 21. See also 3. implored the ASvins to give her a husband. the emotional settings of the pictures were for the reciters and their audience the essential poetic element. wealth and happiness. 2 1 . RV.g. 2. 7. 3. 9. 14. not the objective wordings which alone appeal to those who are not familiar with the emotions of the poets' audiences. 9.e. also 2. though (otherwise. It seems however safer to suppose that. the earth. The seeming concreteness of the pictures too easily misleads a modern reader. oppression. which are for instance apparent from the Surya hymn 10. 96. 93. we have reached a tract of land without good pastures for our cattle. making him assume that the emotional connotation which he would require in poetry must be absent. and even the sun is explicitly called "the Aryan light" (10. 25. Various statements may be taken literally as well as metaphorically: "0 gods. 2. 24. 117. and purposed. in I I J 1. . the story of the maiden Ghosa who. 2. 8 9 RV. 9. 1. 4 1 . 5. and in 10. Being often dislodged from their fields and pastures12 they eagerly longed for broad space and anything representing broadness. 3). 1. 51. also 1. Cf. 117. 4. 4. but religious hymns intended for practical ends. 113. do Thou that art more familiar with localities than man protect us from injury and amhas. 8. 38.Contents of the Rgveda 157 the young woman clad in white. 92. who with her rays opens the gate of heaven9. 7. 3. 101. 170. 51. 47. 32. 11. the special connections of the Aryans with light and the claim they lay to it. 86. 2 etc. Vrtra(s) and the unbelieving (demons and autochthons)14—should not be left unmentioned. addressed to the Maruts. 2—the light of heaven is said to kill enemies. 3. 1. 9. Cf. 4. 7. distress in various senses and applications of these terms. 56. 7)13 is easily intelligible. 10 E. usually) broad. 82. that is narrowness. 11 12 13 14 15 J. ward off all assaults of the injurious powers" (2. 33. 33. 12. After imploring Soma as the herdsman of those praying the poet of 10. 86. p . 43. 55. Cf. of pastures and possibilities of expansion. 58 or 7. 54. partly political need of the Aryans of sufficient room to live in. 14. is no lyrical poetry. the sacrificial god Agni is a light for the Aryan (1. 43. 10. possibilities of expansion. 20). 2). 48. growing old in her father's house. Whereas metaphors such as "We would not take our leave of light" (2. 21." Similar emotional associations were induced by the ideas of light and darkness. 91. 14. 36. 4. 7. 20. and the wish to attain to light eternal (9. 185. But what they composed. 28. and see 9. The Aryans—more than once simply contrasted with the inimical autochthons10—were preoccupied with fear of what they called amhas11. 1. has become narrow" (6. 87.) bring us successfully to the opposite side of distress. 61. Another oft recurring topic is the mainly economic. 4)15. 113. 1. i. 7f. 1. 27. 10. 8 exclaims: "0 Soma. 7) and the inner light of inspiration occur according to expectation. 33. notwithstanding their traditional phraseology. 59. "(0 Rudra. GONDA. 12.

8. 1. 10. 6. 10. 4.158 J. 5. 3. 182. do not elicit any emotional adjective. Otherwise D. 19. 23. 147.g. 84. 10. 7. The difficulties of a girl who lacks the protection of a brother are likewise mentioned objectively. 133. 112. 1. 2. 18 RV. 2. the lame and the blind. 10. 3. 9. 152. 1. 11. 7. SHASTBI. 5. also places such as 9. 96. 6. 4. p. On the other hand. 94. 19. 200. 8. 4. imprecations against the bad intentions of enemies. aaainst slanderers and malevolent enemies are far from. 13. Cf. not emotionally18. 17 See e. 7. 131. 5. 4. 2. . N. 75. in 15 AIOC (1949). 30. 124. 10. 12.Gonda • Vedic Literature The keen insight into human nature fostered by the hard calls of life largely depended on emotions which in places are rather violent: curses directed against the envious and avaricious. rare 16 . 128. 58. 22. though typical objects of divine pity17. 2. 16 Cf.

was felt to be inherent in it from the very beginning. He also slit the bellies of the mountains. simple and concrete in diction. p. GELDNEB. 18. 1. AiB. Like lowing cows rapidly running At once the waters went down to the ocean. objective but more or less dramatic in presentation. SASTRI see below. Those whom Vrtra had obstructed by his greatness At their feet the snake now was recumbent. So-called ballads 159 In order to characterize certain suTctas some modern authors have used the term ballad1. II. ch. But it cannot be said that the most common subject of these "lyrical poems with epic subject matter and dramatic layout"—as Geldner called them—is that of the European ballads. 3. See also M. 1. I. And indeed. in imitation of the poet Hiranyastupa. And irrespective of whether the Vedic Indians told stories of the ballad genre for amusement or transmitted them as a form of heroic poetry. compressed and mainly episodic in narrative scope. Geldner's ballad theory. 26). 2 See p. Which first he performed. 1 . p. has the advantage of forgoing comprehensive hypotheses.g. B. C.Contents of the Ijtgveda 16. love. (8) When as a broken reed there he was lying. P. the function of the Rgvedic 'ballads' is no doubt widely different. S. and. It must be conceded that a suKTa such as 1. 15. viz. 340. He drank of the pressed (draught) in threefold wood. 242. for P.. GHOSH. 32 impresses us as reading like a piece of heroic poetry in the outward form of a ballad: (1) "Now shall I proclaim the heroic deeds of Indra. Marburg 1913. Nor is there any preference for gloomy or tragic themes. 4 (15. 5. (3) Acting like a bull he chose to drink the soma. Calcutta 1925. K. I. fairly uniform in metre. 24. suggestive rather than explanatory and not infrequently proceeding by dialogue interchange. in Some problems of Indian literature. 3 Ftgvidhana. as compared to other explanations of many hymns2. 207. wielding the bolt. Furthermore. Over him flowed the waters for Man. the term is not infelicitous. the highest world after going to Indra's presence3. in Festschrift Univ. WINTERNITZ. cf. (2) He slew the snake which was resting on the mountain —The resounding bolt Tvastar had forged him—. split open the waters. Die indische Balladendichtung. The generous one took his missile. compare also Festgabe Jacobi. also KB. He slew the snake. in H. 93. He slew him that was the first-born of snakes. p. it seems hardly open to doubt that the powerful and conquering force of its theme which enabled the one who recited it to drive one's enemies back without effort and to win. e. 10." However. if we understand by that term a genre of narrative recitation perpetuated by oral tradition. with stanza structure and occasional refrains.

103). a. 207. Cyavana's rejuvenation (in 1. have the upper hand . 7f. It is useless to distinguish a class of martial ballads or ballads of superstition (e. 33. 10. 2. 35). 95 and compare SIEG.".' 6 The dialogue hymns regarded as ballads are discussed on p. 2). p.g. legendary or historical narrative over several hymns—e. in PO 10. HI. in the concluding stanza of 1. 4. 979. RV. 10. 184 and Yaska. 10. RV. 100 (lamentation of a sufferer). P. p. who in PO 10. nevertheless. cf. . LUDERS. 4) or the battle of the ten kings (in 7. 13f. on the other hand. p. parallel with the lamentation and suggesting the long duration of the straitened circumstances. GELDNER. 185 characterizes RV. 15. Besides. e. 81.g. PO 10 (1945). 7. 8. 97 calls this sukta a 'lyrical tragedy.g.) with the result that he is delivered from suffering and captivity. in JRAS 1911. in IHQ 33. Gonda • Vedic Literature This practical use and ritual function is. In this they do not differ from the mythical stories. p. 18. V. 12f. SASTRI. to Sunahsepa bound with fetters (1. the references to the passage of time (st. S. Noten. also J B . related in Mbh. Varuna. 170. p. These facts do not however exclude the existence of cycles of 'ballad-like' compositions which in the course of time may have given rise to dkhydnas or itihasas of greater length or complication8. . stray references to the same incident or the experiences of a legendary person—e. p. 24. This sukta. 83)9— may point in this direction.160 J. 34 as a ballad in the form of a monologue. 7 Also P.g. 75. The distribution of component or complementary parts of the same mythical. p.) and invokes divine assistance (st. he applies this term (also at IHQ 32. 8 9 SASTRI. . explicitly asserted: "May we by this hymn with Indra as an ally.) and here and there (st. 4 H. Sagenstoffe. p. In those sUKTas6 which. it strikes us. E. p. SASTRI. 393) too often (e. 116. 103). However. p. V. B. 19. 10. XVI. p. in JAOS 18. some qualities which may justify the characterization 'beautiful lyrical ballad of choice diction and poetic imagery opening with an enchanting background (moonlight on the water) of the entire situation'5—there are other poetic merits. 39. as an unmistakable legendary commemoration of a man who in an evil plight is mindful of his religious duties (st. p. especially when such an assumption is supported by post-Rgvedic sources. also to 2. Nir. I l l .. 12). 1. 15ff. have been regarded as typifying the genre under discussion7 the poets' prime concern was the narration of sometimes quite unconnected incidents. SASTRI. Always episodic. with or without good reason. 4. RENOTJ. 5. 168. 9. OLDENBERG. 5 P. A. 6. 180. 6. in IHQ 33. p. 18. I. 7)—seem to evidence the existence of ballad-like tales. 10. for the greater part a monologue of a man who has been thrown into a pit or well and abandoned by his companions—about his identity and circumstances there is much difference of opinion4—has. these texts give full scope to imagination. 69. 1. 105. p. S. the contrasts between now and then (st. The Rgvedic ballads. on the one hand. GELDNER. S.g. all our men safe. 92 is ready to concede that a Vedic ballad is no ballad in the modern sense of the term. OERTEL. 136 (the story of Trita in the well. 38. KEITH. 576 (a spell against sun eclipse).

Hoshiarpur 1970 (subjective). cf. 10. and atmospheric phenomena are no rare occurrences. 1. 55. 36. 51. 21. 16. in Scientia 87 (1952). 35 ( = K. B. 39. 2. 55. 8. sun. but See e. 13). 13. 102. 11 For lightning and thunder in connection with Indra and other gods: H. 7 'grassy' (2. 10. 91. HOPKINS. 1. 1. . 8). 7. 6. 13. 48. auspicious and useful8. I I J 6. 10. F . 23. e. moon. 'dreadful' (1. 25. W. 13. The sun rises. Being in close touch with his natural surroundings he is well informed on all phenomena and possibilities which concern him and his search for food and struggle for existence. 93.g. 3. 2. by it. 6. 98. 9. 10. between Surya and the orb of the sun is never lost sight of.g. 7. 36. 3. 68. 103. 12 RV. 86. 51. 3 and see J. 7. 4 See e. a concept which. RV. to control. 22. 3 (whirling wind). 99. 1. 7. HOPKINS. 10 S. 12. 8. CXXI. 3). Die 'Welt' in der vedischen Dichtersprache. 103. 8. 4. 6. the light of heaven3—to fear and appease its adverse sides—drought. 10. 113. 2. 53. gud: clear. In his hymns the forest or jungle outside the village. 75. 4. p. 6. 54. 6. 7. 5.g. 2. . Die vedischen Worte fur 'schon' . 3.' (10. esp. dangerous animals4. moreover. rarely one of beauty7. 6. p . See also E. 65. in PAOS 1882. 6. 28. 2. Nature 161 Vedic man had an extensive knowledge of nature because he lived in it. p. 124. is. 6 Cf. p. also 1. 20. 2 1 . 10. 8 E. cf. 10. 4.S. as a rule. 3 See e. 47. 36. 10. 5.g. This point was not sufficiently noticed by H. 27.. in NG 1918. Lightning11 is viewed as an accompaniment of rain12 and as a weapon of Indra.. Loka. 5. to assuage. cf. When a rare epithet5 occurs it is one of utility6 or of aversion. 1. 191. 10. 49. broad lands to cultivate and live in2. Amsterdam Acad. . 'inoffensive' (1. 47. W. CXXI. with it. 62. 3. 47. the opportunity to contrast the brightness of dawn with the darkness of night was however not missed9. 2. at PAOS 1882. B. 84. 18. p. 8. He knows that there is much more in nature than meets his eye. 35. 5. 180. 41. 100. 2. it is also the seat of supernatural powers whom he attempts to understand.g. 3. MICHALSKI.g. 1. 99. 7. rivers named and unnamed. especially the glaring colours red and yellow. 5 For a qualificatory epithet: 7. 10. because they are divine in character—which not necessarily means distinct divine individuals— and the proper sphere of many great gods who make their influence felt always and everywhere10.Contents of the Rgveda 17. LOMMEL. 9 RV. CHATTBEY. 2. 258. p. 104. SCHLERATH. 'rich in . 10. 830). 10. and this forces him to look on its phenomena with wonder and uneasy awe. in Oriens. 3. 5. 10. p. 1. 2. p . 12. 50. . 180. 8. Treatment of nature in the Rgveda. 190. 2). 180. Compare E. The connexion between the great god Agni and fire. See e. 3. 3. GONDA. 123. 8. 1. a connotation of the good. He is strongly inclined to value the profitable aspects of nature—large and grassy pastures1. OLDENBERG. 19. 1. 190. But nature is not only man's home and hunting-ground. 1966. pure (also in a ceremonial sense) of water: 2. In general: B. 8. 6. 3. It is interesting to notice that the great mass of colour words express the lighter shades. 8. 2.

OLDENBERG. and whose aid and blessing is often implored18. p. 40. surpassing all the streams by her greatness" (st. is a charm against jaundice. but in four hymns and a few scattered stanzas. The river rushes forward. Prayer and invitation are absent in 10. and (in 5) implored for protection. He shines for all the world. 10. 16. Home creatures with feet. 5. 4. of water borne in a jar17. 1. 7. the Waters (Apas) are lauded as mothers or young wives who bestow boons. 191. 10. When the context gives occasion to do so they speak of cows drinking water. 2. 127. 17. mainly addressed to the Sindhu (Indus)19. 4. who cleanse and purify. and bring remedy and a long life. C . 1). 10. 52. 7. as on a road. 50. for men and gods. With light she drives away the darkness. 50. It is very improbable that the poet of 10. 95: "With her nourishing stream this SarasvatI. 75. (5) Home have gone the villagers. As birds to their nest upon the tree. 25. 6." 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 RV. 5. All creatures depend on him. 11. 5. did not find pleasure in the aspects of the bright starlit nocturnal scene which he pictures so attractively: (1) "Night approaching has looked forth In many places with her eyes. 37. Gonda • Vedic Literature is also the rouser of men and their guardian13. Vedic man is able to deal with the forces of nature on two levels. 24. However. All her glories she has put on.g. At whose approach we have come home. 6. 7. 191. 4. the heights. 104. 7. 10. to live is to see the Sun rise16. 23. 4. Home even the busy hawks. 47. 14. 50. 2-4. but from the last stanza it appears that the river is praised because it is the poet's hope that the horses bred on its banks will win a race20. 1. the natural and the supernatural and so are his poets. 37. (4) So to us today (be gracious). See e. the depths. RV. One should not expect the Vedic poets to have composed hymns simply from delight in nature for its own sake—still they are deeply rooted in their natural setting and have almost always some religious purpose in mind so that their senses work at full stretch and they choose their words carefully. RV. O . 1.162 J. RV. 8f. the only hymn invoking Night (Ratrl). 50. 2. 1. and so he is implored to drive away evil and illness15. A rudimental description of nature is given in the hymn to the river SarasvatI. 66 (861). 63. (2) The immortal goddess has pervaded The wide space. RV. 9. RV. then water is udakam. 14. has flowed forth. 1. 164. 60. 4. 7. . with wings.. 20 RV. 1. 63. 7. 4) invited to the sacrifice. 1. dispels the darkness—rolls it up as a skin—but in so doing he triumphs over witches and spirits of obscurity14. a stronghold (against the enemy). dealing with sunrise. 164. the river is (in st.

25 See e.g. I l l . p. 168. 27 . V. on the strength of RV. 91. 5. 5. Young and radiant. p. decked in gay attire. auspicious. but it is more: it evidences the poet's profound insight into the significance of the phenomenon23. p. 296. RV. In 10. P. Being the only female deity to whom with any frequency entire hymns are addressed. But this does not prevent true poets from showing that they are deeply impressed by the power or violence of nature and understand the hidden significance behind the actual events. 57. I l l . O. C.' In short. at ArchOr 3 (1931). see WINTERNITZ. I. 142 dealing with Agni in his destructive aspect is a charm against forest fires. 76. 7." It should not be forgotten that a poet who wishes to control the forces of nature. in Muse"on. 9. Then be easy for vis to pass. 9. 83 is. 7. 1. in Studi e materiali di storia delle religioni 24-25. 86. I l l . 4. H. p. 12. 38. 345. p. 92. p. There is no denying that the poets were impressed by the glories of dawn. I. 21 &G. 3. J. and see JRAS 1932. GHOSH.Contents of the Rgveda 163 But this admiration is informed by considerations of safety and of the necessity to secure Night's kindness: (6) "Ward off the she-wolf and the wolf. 3. beneficial. 62 (857). The Usas hymns of the Rgveda. 157. I. addressed to the storm—and likewise free from mythical imagery—the 'description' of the phenomenon actually is an introduction to the intention expressed in the last words: "Let us worship Storm with a sacrifice. but one should not argue that it was only its beauty which they described: certain adjectives (SresTHa etc. S. Although the physical phenomenon of dawn is never absent from the poets' mind the morning-light becomes a feminine figure. it is true. and not without reason. RV. follow PISCHEL. 24 A. JRAS 1932. II. E. P. ritually applied in case one hears a crow in the dead of night or has a bad dream21. 2. I. L. v. 22 Thus GELDNER. E. 342. 80. 1. regarded as the most beautiful of the whole Rgveda. L. P. which again dissolves in the coloured sky26. 23 26 OLDENBERG. RENOTJ. 258. p. p. JOSHI. V.S. 8). p. RENOXJ. in IA III. L. AiA.. A. 10. a picture of Rain and the rains. They are almost generally25.g.I.) do not only mean 'beautiful' but also 'prosperous. proud of her body. G. 4. to prevail upon the deities presiding over them should evince his knowledge of their characteristics and his comprehension of their essence and function. COLINET. 124. O Night. R. H. p. Cf. MONTESI. a prayer for sufficient rain and the expression of the desire that rain will cease22. not even in these hymns are the natural surroundings seen solely as such and described for their own sake. Ward off the thief. clothed in light. 80. 5. 196 in assuming her to be depicted as a courtesan (P.C. Usas is described as a most charming and graceful maiden borne on a shining car. One should not. I. The twenty hymns addressed to Usas24 (Dawn) deserve special attention. MACDONELL. WINTERNITZ. p. p. p. V. So the Parjanya hymn 5. GLASENAPP. 345. she appears in the east and unveils her charms27. MACDONEIX. 3 (1969).. For the hymn to Savitar (the sun in its dynamic aspect) 2." So this apparent nature-song is a charm. 1. in H. e. p. p.

8f. 1. 4)38. 14. 65. M.e. 11. 13. They should rather be regarded as reflecting the archaic view of the daily return of light.Gonda • Vedic Literature The scarceness of mythological allusions. 1. but also for continuance of life and the unbroken existence of the family37. 33 E. p. and last but not least. that the goddess is always reborn31. 10. 32 Cf. 9. Hence also the frequent occurrence of Dawns (in the plural). 13. 106) according to which Usas cannot be the ishortlived dawn of the tropics is completely untenable. 8. 40. Does it follow that these hymns are mainly 'literary' in character and are preserved because of their 'lyric beauty' and 'the love of nature' of their poets whose only desire it was 'simply to please the deity by flattering songs' ?29 This is highly improbable. 4. but as the subject of perpetual hope. The method adopted by T. 1.e. 6. is a confirmation of Dawn's power and willingness to perform her indispensable task. p. daughter of Heaven. 92. 48. 5. 7. 80. 80. RV. 75. H. 113. also 1. 38 V. 14. see also ELIZAREN- 30 And interpreted as Neujahrslieder by HILLEBRANDT. Dawn. J. in I I J KOVA.. ELIZARENKOVA. 16)32. 5. L. 11. 113. not as a matter of course. 49. not only for this wealth and happiness36. 6. They were made in glorification of the returning light of heaven with a view to securing its unbroken sequence30.g. 243) and F. 5)—and a bringer of the light of heaven34—man's salvation—. V. 37 1. 124. 17. 3. Her daily reappearance means continuation of life: "Rise! The spirit of life has come to us. 15. 36 See also 5. 113. Usas has them perform their ritual duties necessary for the maintenance of the cycles of days. Melanges Renou. 79.. I. Rigveda. She is implored. We have come (there) where (men) prolong their term of life" (1. 2. 2 I. 51. 5.. See e. 1. seasons and years and 28 29 And in the ritual mandala VIII. 77. S. 48. 1. R.10)—Dawn is every day a triumph over darkness and inimical powers33— "Driving away malignity and darkness. 28 (otherwise OLDENBERG.g. the absence of ddnastutis and of priestly subtleties and reminiscences of the ritual. 3. 35 E. and awakening men. has come to us with lustre" (5. V. 92. 4. 5. 80. B. p. 4. 51. 6. 31 . light approaches . 262 has not allowed her to see this point. 4. 92. 9.. APTE'S view (19 AIOC. 7. These requests ('shine!') etc. 10. 223. 113. the independence of their many formulas of hymns dedicated to other gods make us strongly inclined to subscribe to the view that these Usas hymns constitute the oldest stratum of the Rgveda. p. 48.164 J. 34 See 1. are really connected with the addressee. The ever repeated assertion that Dawn has appeared on the horizon and shall continue to do so. p.g. 4. fortune and felicity35. . MACDONELL. 80. 51. 9. 8. 13. 123. 6. KUIPER. 92. M. "Flushing far and wide with rays and lighting up the whole bright sky" (1. 65. 92. ef. Darkness has gone far away. 2. 4. cf. I. 3. and although every Dawn brings him nearer to death—"the always renascent (goddess) causes man to grow old" (1. 61. the comparative simplicity of language and style. 7. their absence in mandala X28. I. Man's life indeed is bound up with the sun in its rising. . 77. 48. 1. GHOSH.

4. The ruddy (horses) must bring thee to the house of the one who offers soMa!" (1. I) 40 . 79. 49. 1. See 1. p. 9. 5. cf. 0 Dawn. 2. 35. also 1. in ZDMG 24. 10. ROTH. 11. 10. 5. Phenomena visible at daybreak are also mentioned in the 'morning hymns' (1. with thine auspicious rays from the luminous expanse of heaven. 5. 2. 38 (R. 123. 13. 113. 189). 80. 51. 301). 4. 6. For evening hymns see 2. 69. 9. 48.Contents of the Rgveda 165 of the stability of the universe39: "Come. 127. 4. 40 39 . 7.

45. 3. M. 33. Fables proper do not occur in the Rgveda. 28. V. 8. 1 may point to the existence. 1. 103. more or less in the form of proverbial sayings occur in 10." etc. They were regarded as able to ward off dangerous animals. B.g. 3. p. 53. 12. 34. 7. 16. 4. A. 4. 1. 1 etc. 39 f. p. 181. 27f.. 1. 6. 10 H. 1. The 'Serpent of the deep' (Ahi Budhnya) was a deified snake mentioned solely in hymns to the Visve Devas13. 16. S. See p. 81.g. 31. 87. 2. I. 1. 4. Often appearing in similes and metaphors4 cows are—for economic as well as religious reasons—appreciated because of their products5 and hence a most eagerly desired possession.. have developed feelings of sympathy about them. 10. 8 RV. 6. in Rgvedic times. 2ff. 9. MACDONELL. Animals Animals are. 11. p. 5. 2. 10. 1. 186. 28. Oxford 1920 (1948). Their love for and care of their calves6 and their daily stay on. 2. 241 etc. 7. Dreadful and noxious are. 12. 6. Famous war-horses of ancient kings were even deified— among them are Dadhikravan and Tarksya eulogized in 4. H. but knowledge of the ways and habits of animals is apparent from their occurrence in similes15. 118. the falcon3 and the racehorse. 4. 6. 11 RV. 133. 7. Some animals play a more important part in the hymns. at KZ 78 (1963). 7 See 3. 64. 34. PISCHEL. 18. 9 RV. 66. 102. 105. SCHMIDT. 8. 10. 7f. 4.' 38. 1 2 RV. and 10. 13 14 15 16 See e. Die Kobra im Rgveda. 35. 3.. References to such tales. first and foremost. 114. 103. as quadrupeds. 12. 7. 109. of real fables16 is utterly uncertain. remembered in prayers and eulogies1. 4. 6 See 1. cf.. 5. 9. demons and diseases9.14 "The hare swallowed the razor in the opposite (wrong) direction. It is not surprising to see that the poets know the habits of these animals very well and. 157. 38. 3. 5 etc. p. p. 8. as bipeds. 9. 12. 8. 45. KEITH. L. 17. 3. The horse8—in India as in other ancient Indo-European countries the favourite animal of the nobility—is often praised as a valuable and victorious winner of prizes. 51. 7. 6. 3. 12 RV. E. 1. 7. snake10 and wolf11. 40. and return from. 34. 11. 104. 8. 5. 22. 10.g. A history of Sanskrit literature. 6. especially the cow2. 5. 1. 6. the lamb or sheep as the latter's victim appearing twice in a simile12. 74. 2. 1. 3. 5 E. their pastures7 are repeatedly mentioned. RV. 9. 1. 6. 242. 28. 38. Cf. 178 respectively. P. . 296. 7. 3 4 E. S. V. 164. watching them with expert eyes. 10. 38. the latter being the tutelary deity of those who compete in running. on a par with—and not subordinated to—men. 9f. 1. Whether such a recognition of a certain kinship between men and animals as the comparison of brahmins to croaking frogs in 7. 27.g. 121.166 J« Gonda • Vedic Literature 18. 72. Man has often presented some point about his own kind which excites his wonder or amusement in a tale about animals. 2. 1. 13. MACDONEIX. 43. 3. 2.

Labour songs 167 A few suktas were not without reason classified as 'labour songs'1. fasten the straps together. which flows well and is filled with water I am drawing: it does not fail. 35. the ripe (fruit) will approach the sickles very near. 10 J. of popular labour songs6." Social life. 1124 and some other Soma hymns5. p. V. p. p. 3 RENOTJ. 5 8 E. Set (plural) the buckets in order. p. I. the success of the useful work. S.g. Utrecht 1954 (8Delhi 1969). spread out the yokes. P. S. 4. p. 4 See p. 41. p. Aspects of early Visnuism. in IHQ 30. 303. in ZDMG 90. however diverting and exciting it could at the same time be. in ZII 10. in Vol. 66.Contents of the Rgveda 19. S. L. p. 28 see LOMMEL. occupations. The suKTa 10. APTE. Poesie religieuse. 28 describing the rapid and simplified preparation of the soma accompanied this activity. GONDA. 1 P. O. I. the wise ones. 8. 133. 23. 1. RV. V. cf. 3. 7. 2. 384. p. H. in H. From the well where the buckets are set in order with good straps.. but a poet's address to his colleagues whom he awakens from sleep and arouses to activity. Altindisches Leben. 5. SASTRI. P. SCHWENTNER. 1. p. Berlin 1879. 107. 179. The inspired poets yoke the ploughs. M. C. The perfect performance of his vrata ('personal function. but under sacred actions. in Nagpur Univ. p. 53. We can indeed easily imagine that a recitation of 1. refrain and content. while we feel an objection to their serving as an accompaniment to any kind of work. 9. also . by their rhythm. However. ZIMMER. not only in carrying out rhythmical activities3—they lessen the feelings of exertion—but also in bringing about. 2 Thus WINTERNITZ. I. For 1. They were to generate beneficial energy10 or continually to reiterate divine primordial acts. 1. DANGE. 9. The references to races and contests9 should not figure under the heading sport. Let us draw from the well filled with water. If the response be in harmony with our invocation. 6. 444. Nobel. In view of the fact that a literature such as this will only embrace what is within a limited horizon this is far ftom surprising. possessions and so on are often passingly mentioned. 8 H. 114. 112. Journal 17 (1967). 111. p. The many similes and metaphorical expressions in which he couches his stimulation are however borrowed from manual labour and therefore of historical interest: "Yoke (plural) the ploughs.' 9. 70. POITCHA. 66. amusements. 288. 5). I. which flows well without failing. for a ritual purpose. 169. 86. but nowhere made the exclusive subjects of even a single passage in a hymn8. 97. This does not imply that they were 'quite secular poems that had got mixed among the sacrificial chants'2: labour songs are helpful. A. 9 E. they may be adaptations or imitations. 158. 110. p. H. they spread their yokes one by one. The wish that the mortar should sound like the kettledrum of the victorious points in the same direction (st. much of what in our eyes seems to be a mere amusement was for the ancient Indians no doubt first and foremost a religious act or ceremony. 46. 69. P. PISCHEL. 8 etc. in order to (earn) benevolence among the gods. p.C. 3. 7 GONDA. 11. sow here the seed in the womb that has been prepared. 2. Vision. As to 9. I. 1) moreover enables an agent to bend cosmic forces. RENOTT. 1017 is no labour song.

welche zu unserer Erfrischung da und dort in den Veda Eingang gefunden h a t " . YA. I I . 339. 7. 2 (GELDNER. 15. irony always includes some element of stating or implying the reverse of. For instance. in ZDMG 25 (1871). 9. D E . 119. 18. Although in Geldner's translation. LUDWIG. or with whom "friendship is impossible" (10. RV. seem to admit of this interpretation4. 645: "Eine Probe der heiteren Gattung. As long as these and the situation in which the poet and his audience found themselves are not sufficiently known ironical interpretations1 stand a good chance of proving serious mistakes.. 97. 8. . I. 7. S. I l l .e. I fail to see why 8. RV. 183. p . VON SCHBOEDER. 154. 139). which contains a number of parallel statements of the divine power inherent in the medicinal herbs and prayers for their help in "saving this man's life." we should rather join the native tradition6 in characterizing this suKTa as a solemn praise of the plants. 70. GRIFFITH. 6 Brhaddevata 7.g. p. 4. 369. and in IHQ 30. 95. 66. 3 4 Incorrectly also GELDNEB. 7. Mysterium. in Festgruss Bohtlingk. Auswahl. 10. Wit. an expression of thanks for a small present. p . preferring "feasting" or "banqueting" to "eating. Cf. p. Cf. p . 157. 21. 828—a farewell address to Indra after the soma oblations—may impress a modern reader as amusing9. an address of a 'doctor' to his herbs. V. 33. 103. The Rgvedic poetic spirit. 10. 9 Similar interpretations were e. was regarded as a sort of facetious intermezzo. 19. 6 ROTH. it has no doubt never appeared in that light to the ancients themselves. V. E. 60. 94. 42 because this animal was notorious for its viciousness: the poet wishes to keep him from attacking the Asvins3. 118). 15)— 1 2 Such. H. but even here we may be in error. RV. wert mortal. P . on RV. ABORI 38 (1957). esp. or more than. e. p. 30. 318. questionably 7. as were proposed by A. Gronda • Vedio Literature Though covering a wide field of techniques. Lit." a text such as RV. 0 Agni. 5. "If you. 307. 25 f. RENOTT. humour J. P. the literal meaning of the words used. 120. I. and I immortal. A. Overlooking the distance between the culture of Vedic India and modern Europe as well as the variety of meanings attached. V. See also 8. 10 SASTRI. 7 GONDA. also 1. 10. There is certainly no ironical reference to the wolf in RV. I I . not only in different languages. PISCHEL. proposed for RV. 3. S. 5. Irony. 17). 13-15. Since however nobody calls in question the serious character of AV. 86. SASTBI. I would not give thee up to malediction and misery" is a specimen of "humour based on a contrast"10. to the terms 'humorous' and 'comic' some authors5 propagated misinterpretations of a number of hymns. 24. 112 (GELDNER. 5. I. p. p . SYRKIN in Materialy po istorii'i filologii Tzentr. K. 1. The stanzas 8.168 20. 19. Secular hymns. 176. p . p. S.g. 8 See also GELDNER. p . Asii 3 (1968). 30. p . 1. It is likewise very dubious whether certain affirmations in connection with wealth or women—who are "indocile" (8. 33. in OH 3 (1955). humour and satire in ancient Ind. S. 1. p . applicable to the cure of a serious disease7. p . XVI.

p. . As to 9. H . those who give": "Let the misers sleep never to wake u p " are an imprecation rather than 20 a sample of the poets' sarcasm. SASTRI. 100.G. 4. W i t h P . GHOSH. the physician somebody who is wounded. S A S T R I . MACDONELL. the author requests the god. 15 16 WlNTERNITZ. the story of Mudgala's race with an ox-cart18 or the 'Frog song' 7. 3 to the prayer "Awake. I. 346ff. "to give everybody the things he longs for" 16 —than 10. p . 117. o . I. p . S.. 17 18 19 P . 111. GELD NEB.o. 325. I I . 10319. in H. P . 130. "a capital yoke" 14 or "a satirical poem. 20 . O Dawn. L. c . 124. A. p. I. p . p. SCHROEDER.. L. I. which derides the manifold desires of mankind"15—on the contrary. o. 346. GONDA. 11 12 13 14 WithDE. See above. 445. 129. I. C. 10. VON BBADKE. DEUSSEN.. 60. c . I. H. ZDMG 46 (1892). o . 1. S. p. 164. p . 51. 143. 158. p. H . in a popular way. B. 10217. K. P . 112—"Different indeed are our skill and talents ." Phil. p . a piece of moralizing mild humour13. in ABORI 29. Ein lustiges Wagenrennen. Auswahl. L. the carpenter wants a thing that is broken. p. . 1. S.: "Burleske. p . VON See above. The words added in RV. I. i n A B O R I 38. p.Contents of the Rgveda 1§9 may 11 be called cynical. the brahman one who presses out the soma"—this is no more a merry song12. WINTERNITZ. 110. p.

p . KAPADIA. The generous patron and Indra share the epithet maghavan "benevolent. the final part of a hymn. with soma. A god may be represented as the real giver of donations wrhieh are to hold the patrons captives with a view to future occasions: "0 friends. Cf. Not all groups of stanzas which we would regard as a danastuti are. 18. at BDCRI 19. p . 18. RV. 126. with (this) word of praise (addressed) to the benevolent ones whose chariot gets off safely. the bountiful Indra. KAPADIA. 30. 28ff. p . 1. and that it should be addressed to kings. 6. 3. in most cases in the form of three to five concluding stanzas2. 5. R. 27 we may speak of a danastuti hymn. GONDA.. 6. women and other wealth3. Satri. 9. 46. 1. 1. by B. 36. chariots. p . 0 giver of horses" (5. 3). Many of these hymns are addressed to Indra. 7f. 48. but in the ddnastutis proper Agni is often invoked: e. 27. gold. in JAOS 15. 21ff. I. H. 6 7 GONDA. traditionally recognized as such. 203. 8. 5. He will no doubt help us to gain that (gift)." This is not to say that a hymn such as 1. Thesis Marburg 1929 (Engl. HEESTERMAN. a prince or important man. 12. 5. about 1.170 J. 20. I. however. 1. exert his power for us distributing possessions" is in its entirety a prayer for a daksind5. 100. horses.. H . with him must remain mighty brilliant dominion" (5. 5. 83 ( = K . 41. Nor should we interpret any passage on gods allotting booty as an allusion to a daksind. B. 33 and compare e.. The supposition is legitimate that these hymns were composed at the request of the donor. 7. whose name is as a rule mentioned. HOPKINS. 1. In cases such as 1. 5. 18. PATEL. 505). 122. which is the technical term for these ceremonial gifts6.g. 19. also RV.. 258. p. 23. Vallabh Vidyanagar 1961). I. also 4. who grants a thousand. Indra. normally. RV. . "I extol. 63. 56) or. 9f. 32f. 126. p. 27. 9). 36. they are agreed that a danastuti is either a complete hymn (cf. 0 Agni.Gonda • Vedic Literature 21. p . The poet—and after him the reciter—praises the man who has presented him with cows—sometimes to the number of ten thousand—bulls. 1.g.g. 22f. For him the waters shall abound uninterruptedly. Ddnastutis There are about forty hymns which contain a 'Praise of generosity' (ddnastuti)1. whose radiance is long-lived. 34. 3 See e. J . 32. 8. These stanzas express the poet's gratitude for the favours received from his noble patron or patrons. "I invoke this (Agni) of yours. Invoking Usas to "bring us wealth and other gifts" the poet of 5. liberal. in J G J R I 17 (1961). 320. 42. p . 125. Indra will not fail to assist the one who presses soma" (6. 79 stands up for his patron as much as for himself7. a shining example of a host. 7. C. V I J 2 (1964). 1 M. also RV. OLDEJNTBERG. 6.. Differences of opinion exist e. J . other animals. S . 19. 43. 4 Cf. 10. 9. 27.g. 8. The exaggeration is obvious. transl. that he. in ZDMG 39 (1885). 16. 2. 8. satiate this friend of yours. 1. 126 or 5. cf. 33. 24. 55. 7. 6 Thus GELDNER. 9)4. Agnivesa's son. Die Danastuti's des Rigveda. 10 containing the words "He is the powerful one. 33. 16. Gifts and giving in the Rgveda. 2 Although there is some difference of opinion between the Brhaddevata and the Anukramani about individual cases.

113. 7. 273. a hymn of its own. 64. 6. I. 12 "Therefore I will have nothing to do with a dream and a rich man who shows no gratitude. &B. 15. GRASSMANN in his translations. I. 2 1 . 82. 6. 15 16 17 cf. 9 12 The daksind was usually presented in the morning: GELDNER. RV. also 4. 10 RV. 128.e. S. V. 6. 6. 16. 1. they both disappear in the morning"13. See e. 27.125) u . 8. L. 27. and K E I T H . 4. PATEL. 5. See e.9 . In style.g. 14 Thus. 36. worshippers or adherents a share in the spoils of war8. but it is difficult to see how such a thesis could be proved. not only the relation between patron and priestly eulogist. I I . 258.g. On the other hand. p . RV. e. 4. being originally intended to accompany the gift the sUKTa praises this as a presentation made to the gods and as the most essential element of the sacrifice. p. 11 See THIEME. However. cf. 1. RENOU(-FILLIOZAT). references or allusions to this concluding element of the sacrificial ceremonies are not rare 9 . 5. 6. 2. The fragment of a dialogue between the guest leaving in the morning—perhaps an itinerant reciter who tenders his services—and the wealthy host. 5. illustrates. I. 1. 1. 13 J .Contents of the Rgveda 171 because a conquering god is. 64. 8ff. to whom the former holds out a prospect of almost unlimited worldly and celestial reward (1. in RV. e. at I I J 3.e. 107. OLDENBERG. 39. otherwise. 42.. The view that the ddnastutis are generally speaking additions 14 is untenable: in part of the cases they are more or less closely connected with the other parts of the suKTa15. 107. 1. RV. HOPKINS. RV. 28. 1. 5. 8. by which the sacrificer himself will benefit most. p. 4 1 .g.C. HEESTERMAN. 10. 363. 33. As poetic products they are negligible. 1. X I . 1. like a king. 23. 9. 3. I. 123. 18. 1. 48. supposed to give all his supporters. i. the hope of a daksind is not always realized: 1. 8.g. in JAOS 15. I t has been suggested17 that hymns of praise addressed to a noble patron have furnished the model for the glorifications of deities. showing a preference for certain words and turns of speech16. PISCHEL. 123. I. 3. 10. S. p . language and sometimes also in their metrum they tend to deviate. but also the high merit and efficacy attaching to this ceremonial gift12. 45.g. Compare also 10. 4 . C. 6. I. p . 10. 76. e. I t was even represented as a goddess10 to receive... p .. p . 120. 9. p . 8 Cf. 30. EGGELING. 34. H. p . 241. Fremdling. .


436. BLOOMFIELD. S. H.CHAPTER IV THE STRUCTURE OF THE RGVEDIC POEMS 1. the tristubh. Amsterdam Acad. K. RAJWADE. Like the formation of longer units by the accumulation of single lines. Repetitions p. 1960. viz. N. p. p. and the jagatl. There are some fragments. The stanzas of all Vedic metrical texts are almost always complete in themselves and are composed in some fifteen different metres. ARNOLD. the line as an individual unit seems to have been widely normal in songs and poems which are not accompanied by a dance. 14. VIII. that means that a large majority of the stanzas is essentially bipartite8. ARNOLD in KZ 37. p. The anustubh stanzas of the Rgveda. VII. e. I. the anustubh stanza consisting of four 'feet'4 (pdda) of eight syllables each5. 99 (consisting of one stanza). 21 Iff. in part very complicated. For an introduction see A. 8 For syntactic and stylistic aspects see p. Stanzas and metres The 'hymns' (suJcta) of the Rgveda consist of stanzas ranging in number from three1 to fifty-eight (9. I. at IHQ 19. A Vedic grammar for students. GONDA. in JAOS 27.). 3 In this section all technical details. p. p. The only comprehensive work of greater compass is in some respects antiquated: E. IL 1958 (R. 7 J. Oxford 1916 (31953). Cambridge 1905. perhaps also 10. 530). pdda (sometimes translated by 'verse') means 'quarter' (from the foot of a quadruped). 456 ( = K. 459. 115). in BSOAS 20. RANDLE. S. the well-known gdyatri for instance consists of three pddas of eight. For some particulars see. only seven of which are frequent3. V. 213. Stanzas are sometimes formed by combining units of different length. Syntaxis en versbouw voornamelijk in het Vedisch. Vedic metre in its historical development. . 523. 97). in ZDMG 38. p. Syntax and verse structure in the Veda.2Delhi 1967. p. p. 2 For a certain predilection for eleven stanzas: OLDENBERG. 176 and some other short hymns. 147. p. are by far the commonest. 5 Pdda etc. inter alia. For 1 references to metrics in the Vedic texts: WEBER. but usually not exceeding ten or twelve2. 1. Stanzas may also contain more or fewer quarters than four. 72.g. 4 Not to be confused with the feet of Greek metrics. composed of four times twelve syllables6. Turner Jubilee Vol. Three of them. ALB 31-32. were already mentioned in the Nidanasutra (WEBER. used in about four-fifths of all stanzas in the RgvedaSamhita. p. 35. 1. p. V. 8 The number of syllables is not always strictly observed. must for reasons of space be omitted. A. S. consisting of four times eleven. From the point of view of syntax and contents a half-stanza (verse or line) is very often a distinct unit7. MACDONELL.

13 H. 32). compare e.g. by a more or less fixed arrangement of long and short syllables11.—In oral poetry of other peoples also a thought is rarely incomplete at the end of a line which is marked by a pause for breath. p. 2d is a short independent sentence. The 'popular' and freer anustubh of the Atharvaveda-Samhita and the grhyasutras—in which the process of fixing the quantities is in a more rudimentary state—may be regarded as structurally and chronologically earlier quarters are indicated by letters. because" etc. 2. stating that the eulogists praise Indra and start a hymn. beyond the stanza they are very rare and sometimes wrongly assumed10. cf. p. Paris 1923. NG 1909. Questions of syntactic and stylistic interest will be discussed in chapter V. cd are one sentence. like those of the ancient Greeks. also C. 4-5. Stanza 5 constitutes one compound sentence—cd are subordinate—both parts of which are of equal length. the main principle governing Vedic metre is isosyllabism. Occasionally two stanzas are syntactically connected by means of a particle ("for. even a 'bard' in the Yugoslav tradition might not be able to tell how many syllables there are between pauses (A. However. 1. S. New York 1962. p. 10. 54 (= K. p. instances of enjambment beyond a line are comparatively infrequent. a and b9 constitute two sentences. a similar structure recurs in the second line. 8. 219 (= K. M. 1216). the systematic alternation of short and long. MEILLET. 1. Stanza 1. 10-11. 300. 6f. Primitive song. Cambridge Mass. 1.174 J. OLDENBEBG. Two telescoped subordinate clauses in 2a and b are continued by a main clause (2c). BOWKA. 66. 65. ZDMG 37. supplemented by the syntactically incomplete second. single. S. Zur Geschichte des gloka. Stanza 3ab and cd constitute two sentences connected by "then. the verb of which is likewise an imperative. 11 See e. p. So there is much to say for the supposition that in the Indo-Iranian period—as is the case in the Avesta—the principle was the number of syllables only12. 87. in all metres more rigidly determined in the latter part of the unit than in the earlier part. In studying Vedic verses scholars have too often had a bias in favour of the implicit assumption that they are the natural continuation of 'original IndoEuropean' verses which in their opinion were characterized. moreover. A. 10. in JA 1897. Les origines indo-europe'ennes des metres grecs. which paraphrases the same idea in poetical imagery." The line 4ab consists of four short sentences (imperatives) equally distributed over the quarters. 12 This is not to say that this versification was 'primitive'. If. p. NG 1915 (1916). Zur Geschichte des Tristubh. 1188). Gonda • Vedic Literature In illustration of the processes adopted by the poets to construct stanzas from lines and quarters containing short. 441). (one compound sentence). cd are one sentence.g. 490 (= K. Such a fixed alternation is. condensed statements an analysis of the first half of RV. B. p. chosen at random may be inserted here. Cf. p. 2. p. 7. In India the quantities tended to become more and more fixed13. or of stressed and weak syllables is an incompletely realized secondary characteristic. The singer of tales.). In 6 the first pada is a complete short sentence. LORD. 1960. S." 9 The 10 .

elsewhere the last and the third last: 1. 140. 41. cf. for instance. 101. 89. 32. Cf. p. 44. 141. compare also the three hymns 7. Variants. be made a serious argument in a discussion of the structure or genesis of the hymn. Repetitions. 41. 37. S. I. 3. 523. 2. 52. 65. p. p. 90. In 2. and compare 1. 104. 51. 120. R. 81. BLOOMFIELD and EDGERTON. 1. 5. . or the second last one: 1. 39. 8. See e. RV. outside the Atri hymns of book V the anustubh hymns are very rare21. 157. especially when there is at the same place a break in the context or a change in the subjects dealt with19. 8. 8. 32. ( = K. 1. A. In a considerable number of instances. The tendency to conclude a series with a longer or 'heavier' end is well known also in other arts and among other peoples. 21. 1. 92. at ZDMG 54. 6. 7. It has not without reason been supposed that this variation was to a certain extent made a stylistic device17. 4. 7. The very 14 BLOOMFIELD. 17. or the first: 7. A typical divergence from this rule was then already to mark the conclusion of the poem with a stanza in a different metre15. 96. 53. 26. 5. An unmistakable predilection for one and the same metrical form in the poems ascribed to the same poet or family of poets is indeed not absent20.g.g. except that they add or subtract a last syllable23. 74. 65-70. 27 etc. O. p. In part of the cases the two last stanzas are in a different metre: 1. In part of the cases—especially those in which a hymn consists of two metrically different sets of stanzas18 —the alternation. the 'popular' form of the metre. 23. . 8. 4. III. in JAOS 10. 56. in the Veda. 56 and see BERGAIGNE in JA 1889 (I = 8-13). 48. 34. p. 8. 21 There is. 137-139 (with curious predilection for interrupted repetition of the type . 1. may. Very often a hymn of the Rgveda consists of stanzas in the same metre throughout. 10. In the Atharvaveda the metres vary in the same hymn more than is customary in the Rgveda16. 17 BLOOMFIELD. Cases are not lacking in which the metre changes more than once: 5. the last and another stanza: 1. or rather interruption of the continuity. the epic iloka. 51. 7. in course of time. 16 Hymns with two or more different metres are RV. G. 24 the only stanza in a different metre (12) constitutes the culmination of the poet's address. 27. 91. 535. p. 151. 9. 52. and in JAOS 17. In many hymns two metres are used alternately: 1. 179. 34. 2. AiB. 64. p. 50. BLOOMFIELD. 22 18 BLOOMFIELD. 158. 13. 36. p. 82.e. RV. another stanza 5. 84. 166. There moreover exists a structural relationship between tristubh and jagatl because in many cases lines composed in these metres are identical. 34. 176. 85. 2. 23 . 1-9 (8). 19 Cf. 103. H. V. I. 53 and 8. p. 529. 85). 46 are examples of a considerable degree of variation. 182. 58. 9. 64. 1. 143. 71. 7. 78 etc. 8. but see also OLDENBERG. 89. 22. 10. B. RV. 36. 8. 5.The structure of the Rgvedic poems 175 than the more strictly regulated 'hieratic' octosyllabic verses14 of the Rgveda which however did not fail to influence. LANMAN. 54. 5. no narrative metre such as its successor. recurrence of otherwise identical pddas is accompanied by changes in the metre which are mostly effected by extensions or abbreviations22.C. 8. 1).. 55. 42. The hymns 5. 10. 59. 8. 46. 3. 20. p. 11. 50. 10. 8. 1. 7. 1. p. 20 See e. 44. 181 OLDENBERG. 55. 30 etc. 15 5. 88. jatdvedasam vipram nd jatdvedasam. 6.

e. 10. V.C. Cf. 8. 8. ARNOLD. 18. A. 164. The comparatively rare dvipadd virdj stanza—two decasyllabic units which because of a rest in the middle consist of two pentads each—is for instance very well adapted to the 'chopped' style. 134 and its many repetitions at the ends of the successive pddas are in harmony with the complicated atyasii strophes (12. p. p. 139. pleasant like one's home (Is) ripe like barley. so free in all matters of form as to preclude. E. .. victor of peoples.3): dddhara ksimam 6Jco nd ranvo ydvo nd pakvo jetd jdndndm.g. The best (draught-horses. 25).. ." The complex and emphatic phraseology of the Vayu hymn 1. 12. 12. 186. 3 . 85. 10. 65-73. cf. 1. "Guarding peace and rest. 8.) in the yoke to draw . 30 See e. G. 14-18. 227 etc. 16. 10. the tristubh to Indra. RENOTT. p. Compare also 10. 43. 8) of which it consists26: (3) vdyur yunhte rohitd vdyur arund vdyti rathe ajird dhuri volhave vdhisthd dhuri volhave . 164. 130. or co-ordinate them with. p. See also BLOOMFIELD. (1.Gonda • Vedic Literature extensive interchange between octosyllabic and long metre lines should not however tempt us to consider24 the latter to have originated from the former. II. .176 J. any decision as to the chronological precedence of a definite metrical type. AV. 4 . . 41. 9. also 1. 27 RV. but also attributed a wonderful creative power to them: "by means of the jagatl stanza and melody the Creator placed the river in the heavens" (1. 66. 8. Since the verses are largely flexible and adaptable to the different themes28. They moreover made an attempt to attribute them to. 9 .. 114. 14. 237. 124. the jagatl to the Visve Devas31. O. Vayu puts to the chariot the two agile (ones) in the yoke to draw. definite deities: the virdj is said to belong to the double deity Mitra-Varuna. In this connection it is worth noticing that already some of the Rgvedic poets not only had a sensitiviness to the metrical structure of their productions29 and were acquainted with some technical terms30. 9 mentioning the creation of metres and melodies. 1 0 . the funeral stanzas in tristubhs27. " It is perhaps no accident that the Vedic wedding hymns are prevailingly in anustubhs. HASKELL. 1. 2. 33. 4f. LX. The diction of the Vedic poets is so imitative and. Wind the two tawny ones. P. 28 See also p. 23ff. 12. 1. a change of mood or subject is not infrequently marked by a change of metrical form. 10. jumping thought and sudden transitions of the Agni hymns 1. "Vayu (Wind) yokes the two chestnut horses. 10. at PAOS 11 (1881). 90. 42 etc. in most cases. V. style and contents of stanzas or groups of stanzas usually form a harmonious whole25. AV. 130. 29 Cf. 10. 31 RV. at the same time. These tendencies became more pronounced in 24 25 26 With W. 111. B.g. 14 or against RV. There is ample evidence that metre. 9. .

4. 11. p.. I. instruments of creation.The structure of the Rgvedic poems 177 the Atharvaveda—where a larger number of technical terms appears to be known32—to be developed into a more systematic whole by the authors of the brahmanas and aranyakas33. cf. 2. is Indra's and co-ordinated with nobility36. Longer metres in Rigveda. 20. Elsewhere they are associates of the gods. After the observations made in chapter II the moot question as to what portions of the corpus were from the beginning intended to serve liturgical purposes and the problem of the character of ritual and liturgy in the early Rgvedic period must be left undiscussed here.. 439 ( = K. 8. P. CHANDRATRE. p. 1. 32 33 AV. 76. 7. 173. . 127. 44 For details see OLDENBERG. the gdyatri and the pragdthai3 of the udgdtarii. 10. is the chief metre of the hotar. 40 See e. 4 .g. 4 . 2. 1. 10. &B. and are even raised higher than the gods38.g. 9. 25. &B. 8. 8 . 1. the tristubh. 9. 16 AJOC II. 2. 4.g. 2. 5. 5. 13ff. AiB. in JA 1889 (8-13). parts of the body. 1. 4. p. 34. 3. animals. 4 . 41 See also BERGAIGNE. 3. 2. but also with other important concepts. 1. 3. Being believed to exert various forms of power and influence39 they impart certain qualities or characteristics to their user 40 . 46 E. 2. 35 E. 1. moreover. 8. 87. 8. 21 etc. 3 . 14. S. If. 4. The gdyatri. The metres become deities themselves37. 7. not only with the gods. the tristubh at the midday service to Indra and the Rudras. 8. 1. 2. 13. 5. TS. 3. 5. 6 . e. 1. 8 . 13.g. p. 2. 5. 4. 7. 134. 7. 5. 1. 513). 42 34 AiB.g. 2. e. 9. T S . Iff. p. 3. 1. in Proc. As far as they are attached to the Rgveda their works are perhaps in a third of all their speculative passages more or less concerned with the metres which are systematically co-ordinated. Cf. 2. the heroic metre paR excellence. For a survey see SIDDHESWAR VARMA. 8.g. 14. in JA 1889 (8-13). the jagatl at the third pressing in the evening to the Visve Devas and the Adityas 42 . 2. 3 . at Bulletin Chunilal Gandhi Vidyabhavan 14 (1969). 7. 10. 111. 6. 12. p. such as the social classes. is Agni's metre 35 . 8. p. 39 See e . e. symbolizing the social order of the brahmins. TS. they moreover came to be closely associated with definite divisions of the ritual: the gdyatri is at the morning service of the soma sacrifice allotted to Agni41 and the Vasus. (See also p. 37 This great significance of the metres and metrical speech in general depends largely on the number of the syllables of which they consist and the belief that objects and concepts are closely connected with another by their numerical values and proportions. Ai. 36 Haug. B. AiB. 4. D. Iff. in JA 250 (1962). p. 166. TS. Cf. 2. The tristubh. 45 Cf. 3. see BERGAIGNE. 16. 1. 19. 1. RENOTJ. 373). The Rgveda shows traces of this distinction between recitative and song. 3. 2. 10. who was of the opinion that most Rgvedic hymns were composed for a soma sacrifice that was not essentially different from that described in the brahmanas and sutras. in ZDMG 38. 12. 2. beside hymns in simple metres are found strophic effects made up of various combinations of series of eight and twelve syllables45 intended for sdman singing46. 1. 38 &B. 43 Pragdthas are formed by combination of units of 8 and 12 syllables. 1. g . the provinces and quarters of the universe34. 1.

NORMAN BROWN. LOMMBII. Lauded by sages of old as well as of today. 12-14 (st. which is not infrequently difficult to trace because of a certain amount of repetition and the insertion of digressive material4.g. RV. 6. 3). are to a remarkable degree characterized by an obviously preconceived plan. 11. p. p.g. 7. P .g. 14. Not infrequently the initial stanza contains an invitation. 3. 201. a statement which we would have expected to follow immediately after stanza 1. 31. The final stanzas (7-9) express the allegiance of those speaking and implore Agni's benevolence. hear the prayer (5). On closer investigation it however appears that in many cases unity in a hymn is more clearly observable than continuity. Gonda. See e. 31). selfcontained stanzas of restricted scope. 55. E.43. he is adjured to bring the other gods to the sacrificial place (st. 13-15. which give them unity8. 9 (cf. in our eyes. 93. in stanza 1. Cf. NORMAN BROWN. 1. 2. exposition or some reference to the main subject of the poem. 10. that will come true (6). 5. The more or less recapitulative recurrence to the theme (or the subject or 1 After dealing. 5-7. many interruptions2. 14. Vol. 4) is incomprehensible. there are disorderly and badly composed or otherwise structurally unsuccessful hymns3. 3 2 See e. 139 (RENOU. 4. by one chief underlying idea or the elaboration of one definite theme. p. 77. who no doubt was acquainted with a great variety of models to choose from5. See e. I V . Gedichte. through him the sacrificer can gain prosperity (st. 27.. indeed. each of which presents—even without any perceptible inner connection—a single aspect or a single situation1. 48. largely the task of the individual poet. The repeated Cf. p. 92. In 1. Vedaforschung. The elaboration of the theme. before saying (in stanza 3) that it is identical with other deities. in JAOS 88. Structure of the suktas J. there are. 4 5 8 7 Cf. 13 continuing 12a. For other interruptions see 1. At the end some conclusion or recapitulation and a final prayer are very common. . I 7 Agni is invoked as the divine priest presiding over the sacrifice who is most lavish in bestowing treasures on his worshipper (st. reference to Dabhiti in 2. Gonda • Vedic Literature At first sight many Rgvedic hymns impress us as consisting of isolated. 23. A thorough examination will indeed often show that many times abrupt transitions find their explanation in a certain vivacity of expression6 and that an at first sight rather incoherent hymn constitutes a well-considered whole. 2). Only that sacrifice will be successful that is encompassed by Agni (4). in Congr. 1). 15. 8 In the second half of the mandala X there are many exceptions. the next stanza an explanation or elaboration of the theme. V. was. 63. 113. A great number of Vedic suktas. with the birth of the primeval horse the poet of 1. while contributing much to the unity of the hymn. 8.178 2. 3. OLDENBERG. 3. In some cases this impression is no doubt correct: many stanzas could be interchanged or even transferred to another sukta without detriment to the intelligibility of the context. 12 in general). 1. 163 proceeds to mention those gods who harness the animal etc. as far as we are able to see. 10. 164. indeed. he will. p. 16.

1. V.g. P . for instance Agni.g. in various cases. 532. 88. or into invocations and requests. moreover. E. 1. 6. SCHXERATH. The theme is not necessarily indicated in the first stanza12. Intern. 9. 11 See 1. I t is impossible to say if all hymns which may give modern readers the impression of fragments (e. RV. 41). 24. 1. 169-171. or dwelling. in the elaboration of the themes and the distribution of the descriptive elements over the poems an unmistakable difference between hymns addressed to. GELDNER.g. In using 9 B. more precise and detailed. 4. 8. ibidem. p . on the same motives or episodes14. 145. 113.g. 3. 17 RENOTJ. In the Asvin hymns (e. also 10. 140. 12 As e. to references to Indra's Vrtra combat in which he was assisted by Soma—in st. 9. 4. 48. Compare also shorter hymns such as 1. Or some motives or secondary themes combine or alternate with the main theme so as to form a varied whole: in 9. 10. in these passages in the middle of the hymn. X. for 4. Usas. 22 both themes combine—. The poems in praise of the Maruts17 are in these respects more varied. Kongr. Very often the theme. Some hymns consist of one long invitation and a very short prayer (e. 13 E. There is. the poet selecting or emphasizing some aspect or incident. 90.g. forced to leave the poem a fragment or torso or to resume the theme in another hymn16. a certain relationship between the beginning and the final part of the poem9. in Akten 24. 23. 5. Minor themes. is throughout the hymn broken into smaller parts. digressions on the draught's significance for man and other matter. 3. 5. 7. 28. 32. 441. 2. 2. Maruts and other deities. insist on definite characteristics of these gods. in varied wordings. 32 and see also 2. 17. 58. . alternating with a confirmation of the god's favour10. 48: RENOTJ. 25. V. 5. 138. 39. although many poets show considerable skill in treating a subject without losing anything that is essential to them. especially when the subject matter is complex. p . IV. 16. Orient. the eulogy may for instance pass into a long prayer. 66. E. can assume various forms suitable to different situations. subsidiary to the larger themes. 2. 1. 14 See e. 32. 87. 4. There are of course many possibilities of variation or complication.g. 24. I. 2.. Paris 1904. I. So a hymn may expand and modify its theme as it proceeds15 and. 10. 16 For 4. 27. 61 eulogistic and precatory references to the process of Soma's purification succeed. 40. p. Compare also the beautiful and well arranged Usas hymn 1. 6. 15 Compare also addresses and invitations such as 4.The structure of the Rgvedic poems I79 situation of the initial stanza) brings about. 3. for 1.g. 116-119) the introduction (invitations) is normally followed by a litany listing the gods' deeds in the same metre. 1. 31. 249. 23. 3. They. The invitation at the beginning is not infrequently followed by a prayer in one of the next stanzas11. RV. 5. p . 1. 19. 7. Les litterafcures de l'lnde. p. it may follow the exordium13. See HENRY. 2. 6. 35. Miinchen 1957 (1959). 58. P . 18. they sometimes are. 24 see SIEG.g. though obviously viewed as a unit. 76) are really torsos. 165. 3f. ' 10 See e. p. Compare e. Sagenstoffe. 30. p . 4 0 . 15. 29.

. 5-10 (after a transition in 4) his activities in the mundane sphere. the poet's technique made also possible short episodic references to a legendary event. E. 16. 10. 5. 1. their having made one cup into four22. whilst enumerating the various achievements of the Rbhus. 2. 129). but before doing so he dwells. slew the serpent. 19. needs two stanzas (6f. The structure of a confirmation of divine power may be illustrated by the Indra hymn 2. 6.. connects the hymn proper and the ddnastuti. There are instances of special skill in constructing transitions from one theme or aspect of a subject to another. to return in the final stanzas to the varied statement that the god was triumphant.). presented in a still more condensed form23. 85.' yet essentially eulogistic—hymn 1. in two stanzas. viz. (relative clauses). 17. 8. 11-12 refer to legends.. 1. In the long Indra hymn 8. 5 that Indra slew Vrtra. 2 1 . by parallelism or close similarity in contents19. 5. On the other hand. 66. will help him (14f. 8 etc. and mentioning some details of the fight in 6 and 7. 35. P . in st. X I V . 104. 7 . on the god's birth. 6. ( R E N O U . 9f. V. Occasionally. lOf. A u s w a h l . the Agni hymn 3. Cf. and especially in passages dedicated to a dual deity. 5. p . 4 an apostrophe to PUsan (st. the god who guides the travelling eulogist. he made firm the quaking earth. adding that among those who were born at the same time were also the Angirases. 30. 23 Cf. e. The beautiful—almost 'epic. 8f. 33. 4. 32 states. 4. 64. 9-12. 7-9. 56. See also 1. 17f. 7. 154.g. 1. 18. 10. Another practice is the insertion of a larger resume of a definite mythical event in a series of shorter allusions: the poet of 4. The essential traits of Visnu's character are. released the waters—. lOf. after a short recapitulation and transition (13) the poet states that the god. 4. 7. 69). 3f. and its results in 2. 6 ( G E L D N E R . interrupting a definite sequence of more or less coherent statements21. 108. 3. g . "our human fathers" who (in 13) are said to have taken away the cows from the Panis18. 21 22 E . 1-3 recall the great feats of the god—the woilds trembled. A closer connection between two successive stanzas can be achieved. 164.g. 1. (questions). 3 1 . 11 and 12. After praising Agni in the stanzas 6-10 the poet of 4. 8-11. 7. 15-18). 1.) for the most frequently mentioned exhibition of their skill. Other hymns consist almost exclusively of an enumeration of the god's 18 19 20 F o r t r a n s i t i o n s see also 2. p. Compare also the typically Rudra hymn 2. inserting flashbacks in 3. 40. 7.180 J.Gonda • Vedic Literature the term theme we should not forget that in many hymns—and now we think first and foremost of the Soma hymns of mandala IX—there is no question of any clear time-sequence or even of a thematic development proper. 10. I I . 1 proceeds to relate the Pani myth (13-17). for instance by continuation of the same syntactic structure. 12: st. in 1.9 . E . strengthened by the faithful worshipper. a stanza is followed by its duplicate20. Many poems do not progress and their composition could in a sense be described as cyclical in that they usually recur to the same minor themes and make use of the same—it is true somewhat varied—images. 33. 3 .

. Intelligibly enough. 108. 4f. invokes Varuna-and-Mitra in 1-9. other deities in 14 (and 15). to address him (in 4-6) with three times repeated "come. in 6 and 7. 1. the god is prepared to come (st. which the poet "saw for the destruction of the demons"28 and indeed essentially is a long exorcism. 18 is more complicated: after informing the hearer. in 2 this request. 8. 102 and cf. Visnu and Sindhu in 12. E. eighty bay horses"—.The structure of the Rgvedic poems 181 cosmic and legendary24 deeds. in JAOS 88 (see above). 50 etc. 12. 21. 8 states that the god (usually) comes. V. 121. st. 47. 16 is an example of what may be described as a manifoldly varied invitation. 1. 8. VII. and to be quite explicit in 7: "come to my hymn.' includes a smaller passage (14-17) in which the poet clears himself from the charge of malpractices. In stanza 1 Indra's horses are requested to convey him to the sacrificial place. to this sacrifice". twenty. generally speaking. 97. RV. 15 (the final stanza is a stereotyped request). the final stanza is a prayer. 28. RV. 29 even anonymously—eulogized by means of appropriate characteristics and references.g. Yt. to refer again to the dual deity in the ddnastuti (st. 178. RV. proceeds to invite him (3). 10. Brhaddevata 6. 12. The composition of the hymns addressed to the ViSve Devas29 is remarkable in that. invoking the help of the dual deity Indra-Soma against demons and their adherents. in 4 and 5 he is invited directly to be urged. p." varied with a climax—"with two. clothed in other descriptive words. 372.). to drink the soma. or of general statements of his power. each stanza is directed to a different deity. st. 2. According to the anukramanika the dual deity is addressed in 1-9 and 13-24. p. continuing the same imagery. at AO (L. that now. See p.).g. RV. Aditi and other gods in 10 (and 11). 8 is a prayer. Vol. 16f. 9 a stereotyped final stanza. between these addresses. 90. 2. 25 26 27 24 28 29 30 NORMAN BROWN. 46. If. 164 may be resolved into three closely linked divisions each of which purports to be a part of the poet's transcendental visions27. p. Nobel. the Visve Devas in 10-12. 13. in Comm. is repeated.. 67. 10. Avesta. E. 1. special or uncommon subjects may require deviations from the above patterns and tendencies. 6.186. in the morning. RV. Compare e. which is—in 8. 7. RENOU. A structural principle which some Vedic passages have in common with the Avesta and therefore are regarded as inherited30 consists in an enumeration of various abodes or places of residence of a deity: the well-known tendency to completeness lest the deity or demon addressed can excuse himself from coming and answering the prayer.49. RV. in figurative wording. RENOU. in 3 it is stated that Indra is called upon in the morning. 17 and. the 'sorcerers. 9-37.. 2. 104. 129 quite rationally start their expositions at the beginning of the evolution which they try to describe. see LOMMEL. The cosmogonic hymns 10. the poet. RV. called a "type of a static hymn"26. 25. 3. 23). alternating with epithets or injunctions to worship him25. 7. P. The difficult and complicated hymn 1. 127 describes the phenomena attending the approach of Night imploring the protection of this goddess.

differ. 322. 31 E. S. On closer examination we can indeed subscribe to Macdonell's opinion: "When we consider that nearly five rmndred hymns of the Rgveda are addressed to two deities (Indra. (2) That he who increases plants. p. H. chiefly of prayers and invitations addressed to the same gods. 33 "Speak": either the god. p. "Udder": the somapress and the rain cloud. the three voices being those which rise when the soma draught is pressed. 34 .MACDONELL. 65.102 (in gayatrl metre. inter alia in the Soma hymns of mandala IX. and in 7. E. Agni) alone. and waters. more than once been noticed31—examples are far from rare in which two hymns which consist. 97 (IndraBrhaspati) presents a greater variety of contents than 4. 46. stanzas of 44 syllables): (1) "Speak out the three voices preceded by light. ELIZABBNKOVA. the women. 32 See GONDA. 101 (in tristubh metre. p. Thus 7. That he will give us refreshment without check". or more plausibly. he makes himself what he wishes. (3) In his mouth offer the oblation. Making as his calf the germ of the plants. the double deity recedes into the background. NORMAN BROWN. Rigveda. Even the Apr! hymns are not wholly stereotyped. I. in the latter the deity is invoked in every stanza. it is in the other hymns circumstantially praised. whereas in the former the compound expressing the name does nor occur32. In 60 and 62 other gods. Cf. he. on many points. A comparison between a shorter and a longer hymn dedicated to the same deity33 and dealing with the same subject matter may show how in the latter this is elaborated and expanded with new ideas. also in their structure. moreover. share in this praise. 60-65) it appears that all of them begin with paying homage to the Sun (Surya). P. the bull. Parjanya. threefold light for our protection.. the mares. the god who rules the entire world. 7. Soma is addressed. 115.182 J." From a comparative survey of six successive hymns dedicated to Varuna-and-Mitra and traditionally ascribed to the same poet (7. the cows. son of heaven. L. p. especially the Adityas. the sweetest one. 37. Gonda • Vedic Literature Although in hymns directed to the same deities the same topics tend to recur—a certain monotony has. (3) In that he is now sterile and now gives birth. for instance. stanzas of 24 syllables): (1) "Start singing to Parjanya. 49 (directed to the same dual deity). the bounteous! He must get us pasturage! (2) (He) who places the germ into the plants. V. in NIA 2. Dual deities. it is surprising that so many variations of the same theme should be possible. provide a triple refuge as our shelter. bellows as soon as (he is) born34. which milk this sweetnessyielding udder. In 60 and 64—which is largely precatory—the poet introduces prayers on behalf of king Sudas. RENOTJ. in 63. Whereas. In part of the hymns this homage expanded into a larger eulogy upon this divine luminary or a prayer for Surya's mediation. p. the 'eye' of the dual deity.g.

1. 5. 30. By it the father increases and the son34. P. 63. 31. at the beginning of the stanzas 1-5 and 10 (the last) and after the caesura in 1. g . 8. 6. years. 24. be more conspicuous if the same word recurs in the greater part of its stanzas38. 42 43 44 Cf. for instance. E. 37 38 35 I. (6) He is the bull impregnating all female beings. at ZDMG 71. 3. also 6. the actual past and the remote past. Most stanzas of 1. E. 5. 1. the plants guarded by the god(s) (be) fruitful. 26 (repeated address with "thou"). 3. See e. Preserve us evermore (.) with fortune and well-being!" Cases are not rare in which these structural tendencies are made obvious by essentially syntactic or stylistic means and processes. increasing the 'father. 20. p. also 1. This manifestation of the universal Order must preserve me for a hundred autumns37. 104. A mythical fact is also transferred to the present. 9. 2-5 are moreover syntactically similar. except the last (8). 63 begin with "thou" (tvam). 104.g. 19. 8. Old Indian. must be ours. 10. RENOU.The structure of the Rgvedie poems 183 The mother accepts the juice of the father. Often an author starts his poem in the mythical past to continue—in a prayer. the terms alluding to the soma vessels and the soma. Rain. 7. 15. (5) These words must lie in the heart of Parjanya. The rain first increases the plants. 87 (Varuna). the prayer. said to take place.g. 6. . they set almost always outside the normal temporal scheme40. pouring out. V.e. This actuality of a mythical fact can however also lead to Juice: the rain. (and) the three heavens. 78. Sometimes they transfer themselves mentally to the past introducing a divine speaker or addressing a mythical figure41. invitation or allusion to a recent event—in the present43. the mother is the earth. 5. cf.g. p. drip abundance of sweetness36. later it returns to the clouds. 41 E. that is to be reiterated. which. and cf. 10. 7 4 . 2 and 9. On all sides the three vessels. Or he returns to the present time of the first stanza44. consist of three or four similes. 39 See e . 319. Leiden 1971. 3. 80 begin with a case form of the name Agni. in the present situation45. the conclusion of this hymn is not marked by a different metre39. GONDA. bringing refreshment.g. 7 the god is invoked or in different case forms mentioned by name. sweetness: the rain. GELDNEB. II. 1. In the Indra hymn 1. Shifts and differences in time are quite common42.' 36 Vessels: the clouds. Cf. 8-10. the autonomous king. The son: the vegetable kingdom. 48 E. 1. In him is the soul of all that moves and stands. 129. (4) He in whom all worlds (and their inhabitants) stand (firmly). All stanzas of 10. that he will take delight in them. 37. All stanzas of 10. The unity of a hymn can. 11. 7 2 . The poets can also resort to grammatical means when they wish to distinguish between the present time. O gods. 3. whether mythical or historical. 40 For grammatical particulars: J. 7. p. (from whom) the waters flow triply. 121 and places such as 2.

Or the mythical— and legendary—events are presented as actual. p. 5. 8. 17. and cf. 5. 6. 86. seen so to say from the point of view of those who witnessed them*7. also 5. 8f. 6. 6 see A. in ALB 28. 55. 13. Gonda • Vedic Literature the reverse identification: at 5. 46 Cf. 18. 6. that has been kindled while the poem is recited. 4—14) contains mainly prayers which are also utilizable in the present. 22 (st. 47 E. . 6. 11. is said to have assisted the legendary Atri 46 . 15. 8. 8. 73. 3.g. 40. 3. 45. VENKATASUBBHIAH.184 J. The long address inserted in 10. 47. 5 the fire. For 1.

20. 9. 4. Introductory and final stanzas Ig5 Special attention may be invitea to the initial and final stanzas of many average suktas. or that the poet has made the hymn8 or that he (the reciter) intends to pronounce it. 11 E. 7. 17 E. 38. 51.g. often an injunction to start the hymn 5 or the statement that "we call on the god" 6 or that the reciters invoke or have invoked him 7 .g. S. 4.g. 18.g. 61. . . 11. e.g. in the Agni hymns 4. 55. 18 60ff. 46. 7. I shall proclaim Indra's heroic deeds"20. which will lead producers and priests to their goal" is expressed in solemn and suitable wording. 1. 5. 15 E. 13. 21 (six stanzas) it covers just the first half of the hymn. 16. sometimes only a prayer 4 . If. I. 6. 71. 1. 4.g. 14. The poet of 10. 2. 4.g. 9. a combination of invocation and prayer3. 61.g. p. HAUG. 5 E. 10. 10. Ai. 2. 6. 1-3. 17. but the author knows how to introduce an amount of variation: " . 12.g. The single pada at the beginning of 10. 27. 10.g. pay homage to Indra. 16 E. 1. 43.g. 34. The exordium. 10. 31. 20. 12 E. 23. cf. 8. proclaiming the god's glorious deeds9. 1-5.gvedic poems 3. 17. 6 E. 1. 2. 3 E. 3.. DANGB. 21. 10. as a rule comparatively short. 1. The introductory stanza. 22. E. 5. 7 E. to the moment or occasion of reciting12 often clothed in suitable imagery. very often contains an invocation1 or invitation2. 4. 12. 2. 7. 2. 2 E. 2. 34.g. 3. 16. 1. I. 18. 3. 4. cf. 25. 1. 10. 40.The structure of the ^. . 19. V.g.g. 2. 7. PISCHEL. 28. 15.g. 16. . B. 19 Cf. 3.g. cf. 369. 68. 4. 11. 10. . 2. The 1 E. 19. 5. 40. 33. 5. 1. 42. A. 10. 3. 13. 14. 6. power or significance16. 2. 2. . 15. signifies his intention to proclaim a god's deeds17. 22.g. 53. also 3. is sometimes expanded into a long introduction: in 2. . S. 20 imploring felicitous inspiration preludes the indications of the topic to be dealt with (adhikdra) of the later suTRa style. 13 E. Iff. 39. 9 E. 4 E. 8 E.g. 4. 25. p. sometimes the deity is roused to activity 14 . 1. 61 19 created a very successful poem in which the thought: "This will be a hymn approved of by the audience. at JIH '45. 44.g. 20 Cf. 14 E. in which the poet enters into communication with the deity. puts one or more questions about the latter's origin or identity 18 . 1. 14. 19. . 10. that he "brings" or offers it 10 . 2. 1. p. 10. 10 E. or his presence or activity is stated 15 . 20. there are also references to sacrificial ceremonies11. 5. There are of course many possibilities of variation. to general and appropriate truths 13 . 23. in the Soma hymns 9. 26.. offer soma to Indra. 9. IIV. Elsewhere the author begins with a statement of the god's functions. 2. cf. . 35.

35. Words of praise are however in the eleven stanzas of the second part not lacking. There are however also hymns without an exordium. but some of them may be worth mentioning. 11. cf. 55. Not infrequently the final stanza mentions a larger number of gods than the preceding parts of the sukta30. 7. 29 See below. 15. 2. RV. Cf. cf. Auswahl.g.g. 26 E. Rgvidhana. ATKINS. GELDNER. 10. e. 419. P. 78. in JAOS 58. 8) over to an appeal to the god in his capacity of an avenger willing to bring the wicked to justice.g. 207. p. in some way or other. Cf. 63. constitute a prologue to —. RENOTT. 87.in JOIB13.12. 5-7—passes (in st. references to the god's achievement etc. begin with a eulogy which (in st. 2 the transition between the invitation in stanza 1 and the mythical story—commemorated to urge the god to helpfulness—is abrupt. 133). RENOTJ. 1. 8-11.g. p. 33. 20.. p. For a difference inmetre of final 'spell stanzas' (e. also 2. 3. 32. 10. 1.g. 7. the final stanza is a prayer22. In 10. 6. 2. the conclusion of a composition. 115 is an instance of a suKTa which at the end returns to the idea expressed in the beginning: it opens and closes with emphasis upon the rising aspect of the sun25. 37. his intention to praise Indra—in which however. the final stanza formulates that wish: 5. 54. directed to Vanma and Mitra21. 32. 4. GONDA. 38. prayer or invocation of the beginning of the poem in the last stanza is rather freqiient26. In 1. which consists of three triplets constituting an invitation. omitting any introduction. Gonda • Vedic Literature poet of 10. 1. 38. 3. 28 E. in Journal de psychologie 1949. 6. mentioned in the last stanza or stanzas and followed only by a prayer28. or in which he repeatedly returns to his starting point. the solution of which is (in 5) said to depend on the two gods who recompense the one who finds it. 35. addressed to the divine helpers and physicians. after expressing. p. 49. 62 the stanzas 1 7 addressing the Angirases. 82. 1. A repetition of the address. he anticipates the eulogies which are to follow in st. 5. 49. RV. 9 is an explanation of the arthavdda type. 21 22 23 24 See L. 1. D. 32. 33 begin abruptly and 1. in a long exordium (st. 40. 28.g. 60. 27 E. the more so as there is an unmistakable tendency to mark. 152. 35. also 2. 51. ends in a prayer for a prosperous delivery after a normal pregnancy29. 15. Thus 1. the Asvins. 7. 10. 2. the ddnastuti in st. 6. 87. H. 25 . brings his hearers in medias res23.186 J. 16.. 30 E. If a hymn is to be recited. 266 ( = BhV 10.33. after various words of praise. 3. 6 and 7. 25. 32 (cf. 7. or at least utilizable for the fulfilment of special desires. also 2. 4. 1-4). 90. 3. 2) changes into a series of enigmas. 8. p. 78. suiting the action to the word.g. 4. II. 33. 7. See e. 10. 122.g. Cases are not absent in which the poet. 104. praise and prayer. 61. 179. 15. 40. 16. Indra's Vrtra combat24. S. 1. It would take too long to make an attempt at describing all structural features of the final portions of the hymns. 9). E.13)seeALSDORF. 89. Elsewhere the closing of a hymn is a sort of recapitulation or repetition of some thoughts expressed in the preceding stanzas27. 1. Or the character of the poem and the aim of its maker are. p. 5. p.

rtdsya ydnim dsadah.g. 16. RENOU. p. 1. is a rare occurrence31. E. This prayer may. that is the 31 32 33 34 38 E. 20. 9. 1. p. 11 (see RENOU. 34. 12 the elaboration of the theme continues in st. 12. 166. 41. 10. 4 . 12-14. 12. 4. 1. a renewed invitation33. at ZDMG 71. 41. The poet. 17. 15. Or it mentions the god's activity or benevolence34. In many hymns. 3. 9-11. viz. mention must be made of the extension put to it. E. . 21. addressed to the god of the hymn.The structure of the Rgvedie poems 187 That is not to say that a simple prayer. st. deviating from it they can bring about a 'destructuration'37. 2. 46. 12. by a different metre42 or in general by a 'destructuration. 23. 20-21. cf. 5. 5. P. 1. who could have added more stanzas of a similar character. As to its outward form.' In 2. 36 37 Cf. 16. Some hymns end in a real epilogue. after praising the god in general terms. Thus final stanzas often interrupt the order in which the subject matter has been expanded. 5. 49.g. 103 see GELDNER. 4. 55. IV. states its intentions. 6. 1. V. 10. the last stanza cannot be said to have any typical feature. 2 1 .. 8f. 5. also GELDNER. 45. 19. P. 8.g. 3. See 1. 7. E. for instance a refrain41. . 5. 14 expresses the poet's confidence in his help. be a request to accept the hymn32. An epilogue may be recognizable by the absence of features common to the preceding stanzas. 3139. 13-16 (in other metres). however.g. cf. 26. 49. 18. 47. 5. e. 3. 10.g. The Agni hymn 3. Auswahl. 5. 20ff. 22. in particular (st. 17-19. 8-11. 4. 46. p. also 6. 5. 39 40 41 42 43 Cf. The last stanza of 3. 15-22. 40. 1.g. 7-10). 170. 48.. the winning of the god's favour40. 45. Another peculiarity of some Rgvedie hymns is an atharvanic ending. 13. 4. 30. the last stanza is without refrain.g. 6. 1. 101.. 10.g.g. 6. sasdsya yonim dsadah36. The final stanza sometimes addresses the reciters or the audience or stimulates them into a display of their eulogistic ability35. 29. 36. 1. 2. 17f. 6. Instances are the enumerative hymns. 21. IV. E. proceeds to implore him to convey the gods who approve of his activity to the sacrificial place (st. 1-6) as the intermediary between worshippers and gods. e. the poem has simply reached its close. e. 13. 16. Mention has already been made of the ddnastutis as concluding portions43. and see 1. 42. whilst expressing the wish that this poem be identical with its mythical prototype. 319.g. 42. in varied wording. 2. 41. 7. 7. 28. 6. 42. p. 6. such as the Apri-sUktas and those addressed to many gods addressed individually38. ends. which is structurally different from the preceding stanzas describing Indra's feats and character. V. 33 and 5. sometimes by means of a repetition of some of the preceding words. . I I . 42. See also 3. the statement that it is welcome to the god. E. For 1. 33. 1. 15 (no names of gods). 6. 185. E. 51. 61. See p. 72). 33 E. 5. 48. E. 51.

47. Dual deities. The tendency to variation or amplification at the end of a division ('song') was to characterize many poetic compositions of later times. (see GONDA.). 9. 45 Cf. 68. 8. AV. 16ff. 1 (TS. 3. 44. 6. 1. p. 9. 7. 11. Some final stanzas. 1. 1 (VS. at the end of a sukta. whether they are of this type or more conformable to the rest of the hymn. 69. 89. 20. 1. 1. 46 E. 261). 6. 2. 7. 44 RV. The two stanzas of AV.188 J.g. 7.2 etc. 13ff.. 59. may create the impression of being additions or supplements46. 7. 23. 22 etc. 135. . 8 = AV. 58 are RV. 23.). lOf. 16: cf. 191. 23: AV. 13. In the first case the stanza may have been quoted or borrowed by the other corpus. 5. RV.Gonda • Vedic Literature addition. of a stanza or a group of stanzas which are either—be it with some differences—found also in the Atharvaveda44 or are atharvanic in contents45. 12.

7. for 1. 51. O . OLDENBERG. 38. cf. in ZDMG 38. 3.' 70. 4. C . 15. 1 (RV. 1. 55. 6. 5. p . I I . 12). 3. also 4. 126. 25. 16.The structure of the Rgvedic poems 4. 1-9 gdyatri. 2. 1. which. 131). In some suktas a final triplet differs in this respect from the preceding part of the hymn. 84. 61. 68. in 10-12 Indra alone). 1-3). 28. 6. RV. 23 see GELDNER. (See also BERGAIGNE at J A 1889 (I = 8-13). 22. 4-6. Yet cases present themselves in which the same syntactic or stylistic features recur in every third stanza so as to mark a grouping in triplets4. and interestingly enough these works sometimes apply the term sUKTa to parts of the hymn which in our Samhita text See e. Sometimes this grouping is easier to determine by the number of stanzas being a multiple of three or by changes in the metre after each third stanza than by disturbances of the continuity of the subject-matter dealt with disconnected as it usually is3. p . 2. 1. cf. 9. 34. p . 3. 4-6. 7. 4 (RV. 80). 31. 7-9 gayatri.g. C . 52. 7 (RV. 13. 9.g. it is not always possible to arrive at a decision. 1-3. 6 E. 17. 1-3. 31. p . 548). 26. OLDENBERG was also right in criticizing the way of distinguishing groups of stanzas followed by K. 3. 8. 4. 2. who rightly distinguishes between suktas consisting of trcas and combinations of originally separate groupings which came to constitute one siikta. 12. 35 (recurrences of identical pddas on corresponding places). 7. 62. 82. 7. 56. I. in 8. 3. 61. 4 (RV. three successive stanzas stand out by a common feature. 9. 34. 6. the hymn consisting of any number of units composed of three stanzas. 1. 1. may in itself also be composed of groups of three stanzas7. 6. 4-6). The most common grouping is that in triplets (trca)2. 7. 9 OLDENBERG. Cases are not lacking in which only part of a hymn consists of triplets (e. 15. 19-21. 8. 1-3). 76 (in 1-9 Indra and the Maruts. 1-3 etc. 6. In other suktas all or some successive triplets are directed to different deities8. 1. 64.g.g. 25. P . 26. cf. 84. V. 10-12 viraj. See e. e. 96. RENOTJ. for instance identity of or correspondence in their initial words5. 26. 4. F .). 8 E. 1-3). 1. then. 4 Cf. 6 Cf. also 2. see also 5. 74 the danastuti at the end is in another metre (anustubh). The three stanzas of a triplet express the same thought in a varied form: 1. 23. 25. 4. 8. Siebenzig Lieder des Rigveda. what is more usual. 31. 1-3. p . 2 The term was already used in the Brhaddevata 2. 16-18. 3 1 For particulars: ARNOLD. 1-6 anustubh. 32.g. 2. O . 12 (rhyme). 7 E. KAEGI. 4. 16-18. 474 (p. 9. 6. 3 . S. 30. 4 (RV. Groupings of stanzas 189 Many hymns1 in praise of one or more gods show a consistent grouping of stanzas. p . 98. 43. 6. 1. 8. 4. 4-6. 8. 13. K B . The large majority of the triplets quoted in the Rgvedic brdhmanas are clearly recognizable as such in the Samhita9. 234. 12. 7-9. 1. 32. 29. However. 4-6. AiB. g. 1. or by the use of the same metre6. 2.g. 27. 525). 451 ( = K. 21. Not infrequently the other samhitds and the brdhmana texts quoting from the Rgveda-Samhita furnish us with valuable information on this point. 8. Tubingen 1875. 7-9. 30. 9. Compare also 8. 13 (12)-18. 3 . 44. . E . Or. 3. 7-9. also 5. 71. 5. 8. 32. features of this kind are often limited to part of a hymn (e. 64. g. GELDNER and A. 52. 29. p .

B. 5. mostly quotes these as triplets11. 13 For other particulars and less usual combinations see ARNOLD. 14.C. 20 etc. Of the other groupings of stanzas mention can only be made of the dyads 13 an example of which is the short hymn RV. Comparatively rare in the Rgveda. 8. p. R. 8-13. 73. 93 (see BERGAIGNE. or even from the beginning. K E I T H . n.g. at J A 1889 (I = 8-13). 14. 6. used in the ritual (see e. 26). &§. (RV. 44. 22. 16 E. 6. 3. 5. p. at different places. p. 470. S"s\ 10. 12. K B . 2. 51.190 J. 8. the Uttararcika of the Samaveda. 4. 8) and satobrhatis (12. 5. 39. &S\ 5. 8)15. RV. 46.g. 31 may be quoted as an instance of a combination of dyads and triplets. 13. 52 mentioning the same three oblations. 3. In all probability these TRcas or poetic compositions in Trca form—and often in the gdyatrl metre—were from an early date. 11. 8 uses the term tTca). 5. 123) could be reconsidered and re-formulated in the light of our present knowledge of the ritual. 3. Moreover. 4 6. 10 (RV. p. 1. 7-9. 27 are. 10 E. 7. Two stanzas in different mixed metres are often combined so as to form a strophe. p. AiB. at J A 1889 (I = 8-13). Gonda • Vedic Literature actually are trcas10. 4. and cf. 15 See e. also 1. intended to be sung by the udgdtar and his assistants. 12 The observations at the time made by BERGAIGNE (JA 1889. 48. 12. at noon and in the evening14. 228. Thus 1. 51. partly of stanzas or groups of stanzas in other metres which in some cases may have been secondary intercalations16. . 1. O.. 12.g. Other hymns are partly composed of triplets. See also 3. 11 Thus two of the five triplets in gdyatrl metre of RV. 8).g. this type of pragdtha is found chiefly in mandala VIII. 4. cf. 16. It may suffice to add one detail: no less than about 50 triplets taken from all mandalas were utilized in the agnistoma12. 71). 14 Se BERGAIGNE. 36 consists of alternating brhatls (8. 28 consisting of three dyads which are explicitly intended for the offering of rice-cakes in the morning. Asvg. presenting the complete texts used in their liturgical order.

is already anticipated as st. a fact that gives the suKTa the indisputable character of a 'double hymn. 6. BLOOMFIELD. GONDA. p. 59)2 we can. actually however the poet. ARNOLD.. 44. RV. . through changing his syntactic and stylistic devices. p. RV. I I . P. VII.The structure of the Rgvedic poems 191 5. continues his exposition of Varum's miraculous power. V. it is true. 53) consists of no less than five clearly distinct parts and the reminiscences of the family's history are loosely strung together. Noten. at JAOS 21. 4. In a hymn such as that dedicated to Mitra (3. Connecticut Acad. 50 eulogizes the god Brhaspati. ubers. 57. 85. p. Although the family hymn of the VisVamitra's (3. GELDNER. 56. 191. There are hymns which. Auswahl. 2 1 See OLDENBERG. However. the king's priest4. 20. though impressing us as bipartite—for instance. it is no doubt conceived as a single whole intended for the glorification of the ancestor5. by one and the same poet can however by no means be excluded3. including a prayer for Agni's blessing. p . Auswahl. 71. 4 5 3 For 'composite' hymns (in different metres) see e. P. 6)—constitute a coherent whole: the first part of 4. p. not on metrical considerations—it is in tristubh throughout—but because at a certain point {in casu after stanza 4) there seems to begin something new. Mitra and Aryaman. 1957. I I . Mitra. 'Composite' hymns Many hymns of different metre have been regarded as owing their genesis to the combination of originally separated compositions of smaller compass1. 55.' In 7.' the smaller second part of which is clearly an addendum to avert the god's anger and to win his favour. 218. 91. the possibility of composition. by means of partly pre-existent material. I. notwithstanding the fact that a thorough study of the texts in relation to the other GRASSMANN. in which the god's functions and benevolence are commemorated and the wish is expressed to be in his good graces. the second his earthly representative. 19-25 tristubh) the final stanza. greatness and protection. Cf. 7-9) has been secondarily added to an Asvin hymn consisting of an invitation (in another metre: 1-3) and mythical material6. p. see e. In a case such as 5. apart from the principles followed by the redactors in arranging these hymns. 8. distinguish between a former part (tristubh). in part of the instances adduced there are. 1 (1-18 virdj. at KZ 37. Cf. hardly objective and convincing arguments in favour of this supposition. p . 392. and a second part (of four gdyatrl stanzas) in praise of his assistance. We find more curious instances of 'composition. THIEME. 78 the probabilities are strongly in favour of the supposition that a charm or conjuration (st. I. RENOU. 100. also 1. p. In other cases the connection between two parts of a hymn is not clear7. was among those who were much inclined to distinguish between earlier and later or spurious component parts of Rgvedic hymns. GELDNER. E. 92.g.g. because of a closing prayer somewhere in the middle (4. 56. 77. Indra's domestic priest. p . 258. 50. Secondary composition by a redactor has also been assumed in cases such as the beautiful Varuna hymn 5.

8. In the ritual texts these six stanzas are however combined with the first fourteen verses (or another number of stanzas) of RV. 44. ritual applications) on one hand and the practicabilities of Vedic life and religion on the other has vindicated many so-called appendages8. e. 153. M. but st. in JA 1889(1 = 8-13). TS. 38-57. 16. 4-14. 6. 8 6 7 E. 9 See V. 134. p. 48 we can distinguish four parts which are directed to Agni. 21. 50 consists of a hymn addressed to the Sun (SUrya) and (in another metre) a shorter spell against jaundice. 1. other suktas—e. ApS". 126. 29. 6.g. 47. FIELD. Vol. 11 . 1-2 are in praise of the dual deity Indra-Agni. See BEBGAIGNE. Allahabad 1970. 22-25 constitute a ddnastuti.g. I. in Comm. 4. p. So far the structure of the sUKTa is clear. of which that deity is expected to cure the person speaking. Pusan. Indra is invoked in 11-13 and praised in 14-21 (the story of his enemy Sambara). RV. and. RV. RV.g. the second part of which is addressed to female deities. p. in Siddha-Bharati. 315). See e. 10 Cf. BLOOM- at JAOS 17. 1. 75. again. In 6. Leaving the question as to the genesis of the poems as we have them now undecided attention may be drawn to some other instances of so-called composite suktas. Vol. Even among the shorter hymns there are not a few which can be divided into some clearly distinct parts. 26-31 are a strange appendix. In RV. 9. Gonda • Vedic Literature Vedic literature (quotations. in JGJRI 27 (1971). For details: V. p. 6f. 125 and 126 where they are to further the success of a war-chariot and a war-drum. ALSDORF. 47 is composed of a longer general part in which the Adityas are implored for the deliverance from evil and a shorter special section addressing Usas and aiming at the annihilation of the results of a bad dream. see above. Umesha Mishra. 32 (GELDNEB. 178. p. consisting of two military charms and constituting a 'Waffensegen': as such they occur in the Atharvaveda-Samhita as 6. G. stanza 1 1 looks like an invocation (sastra) —0 of Indra for the midday pressing of the soma. another 'Waffensegen' intended to accompany the putting on of the armour by a king and the preparation and equipment of his war-chariot11.192 J. 123. 8. 409.g. the family hymn of the Bharadvajas. the Maruts. 7-10 contain prayers and another invitation. APTE.. 61—make the impression of more or less casual conglomerates. EAHURKAB. Siddheshwar Varma. Cases may present themselves in which the arrangement of a number of stanzas in the ritual literature is more harmonious and satisfactory than the grouping of the same collections in our Rgveda-Samhita.g. the Maruts. p. 6. of combinations of parts without any organic connection10. 6. p. 20. 2. in 3-^t they are invited to the soma draught. 42. 1. 51. I. st. In 6. 511. See e. Whereas in this case the unity of subject is unquestionable. Hoshiarpur 1950. VS. 8. also 5. 5-6 deal with riddles in connection with Agni. 59. 5.

The hymns 7. Of greater importance are the very numerous close similarities and partial repetitions found throughout the Rgvedic corpus and the other collections of Vedic mantras. p. For a detailed discussion of all pertinent problems see BLOOMFIELD. 18. In many cases the variations in form suit the differences in theme. 342. 142 have no less than six padas in common. in AJPh 11 (1890). Within the latter category of 1 See e. 5. 6. p. 6. . Repetitions. the Indra hymns 4. 13. 6 E. 7. E. all of them consisting of the same number (25) of stanzas. 7 The dpri hymns 1. 34. a special tie connects the two ASvin hymns of the same length (25 stanzas) RV. Variants. p. 1. 24). 6. 10. also be imposed by the use of different metres. Verse units often appear either in exactly the same or in a more or less changed form in two or more places5. Similarities and repetitions 193 That communities on the same level of culture and adhering to the same religion resorted. 56. partly on the works of their predecessors which they had memorized8. to similar imagery and phraseology is not surprising. We should distinguish between a general similarity between. and a recurrence of the same detailsin. Although there are hymns of related tenor which avoid verbal repetitions of the length of a pdda6. 116 and 117 ascribed to Kakslvat and showing close verbal correspondences3. 10. 24 and 25. were used on the same day in the same ritual (cf. 1. especially the differences in the deity addressed. 2. 3 and 4. 15 and ATJFRECHT. for an exhaustive treatment of the variant readings in the repeated mantras BLOOMFIELD and EDGERTON. 1 and 3. 37. There are however also similar passages in non-successive hymns of one and the same poet4. more or less striking similarities between two hymns are far from rare. The changes may. 34 and 7. As to the former7 it may be supposed that the poets drew partly on ancient. 28.g. 10. prehistoric formularies. Repetitions. For parallelism in wording and structure see also 3. 78 (BERGAIGNE. 18. p. 34 and 35. For instance. 7. of course. compare also cases such as 9. 12. H. 18. 28 (Agni) and 3. this community of material is proper to hymns of obviously ritualistic contents as well as to the mythic or legendary passages. No more than passing mention can be made of those correspondences between hymns which are of interest from the point of view of their liturgical use. 27. 13 and 1. 5. 42 and 43. Anyhow. in JA 1888.The structure of the JJgvedic poems 6. 4. in their literary productions. 5 8 4 See p. 20). &S. 10. See also BLOOMFIELD. R. 9. It is difficult to define the boundary line separating similarities proper and more or less varied repetition.g. 2 Including cases such as e. 40 and 5. two successive hymns ascribed to the same author1 on one hand and a relationship in phraseology etc.g. II. 3 BLOOMFIELD. between other suktas and stanzas on the other2. 16. 23. 104 and 105. p. 1. The pertinent facts do not in all cases point to direct or indirect borrowing on the part of the poets. 52 (Indra).g. 104 and 105.

4): 5. 85. This does not however alter the fact that. 97. In the Rgveda there E. p. 1. words and so on." The number of repetitions in the Rgveda is indeed considerable. For all other aspects of a study of the repetitions see BLOOMFIELD. Repetitions. It seems that the earlier poets had exploited these themes so thoroughly that nothing was left for their successors but to follow their habits10. 3. repeated entirely or partially amount perhaps to a total of about 240013. 10: 1. repeated either in the same or in different books in any part of a sukta. 9. 4. e.C. probably concerns not less than one-fifth of the entire corpus. 36. throughout the Veda. 2. BLOOMFIELD. ArchOr 13. the number of variants. p. Introduction.g. the proper estimate of its metrical habits and sometimes also for questions regarding the relative chronology of hymns or stanzas15. 10. 46.g. That means that the total of repeated pddas. 10 11 9 BLOOMFIELD. p . 257. for a classification. ibidem. O . even in cases of more than average resemblance it is in all probability safer to take the line that two hymns were composed independently than that one was more or less consciously modelled upon the other. recurrences of words being much more frequent at the end of pddas—and prose formulas—than at the beginning. POUCHA. singular and plural. 3. p . 8: 36. A considerable number of stanzas are. As a rule the repeated phrases do not embrace more than two or three words of a given cadence. ibidem. 653. 2. It is self-evident that these repetitions can be made helpful for the interpretation of the text. The similarity of Vedic stanzas is often due to identical cadences11.g. p . In addition to this there are about 150 refrain pddas. the Indians then already had what we would call an imperfect sense of literary proprietorship. BLOOMFIELD. formal as well as syntactic and stylistic. at JAOS 31. occurring in the repeated mantras is enormous: there are many inflexional variations and much more numerous shifts between nominal cases. Cf. srudhi hdvam "hear (my) invocation. 491. Repetitions. Gonda • Vedic Literature suktas the hymns addressed to the same deities—especially to the deities of marked physiognomy and a characteristic mythology or legendary—are very often connected by recurrent expressions9. 168. Groups of stanzas.g. The pddas being repeated on the average nearly 2% times make a total of about 600014. bhuvandni vidvd "all the worlds (and their inhabitants)"—verbs with an object—e. 35. M. parts of stanzas. for their themes. 13 14 12 .g. Cf. all included. 4. 1: 2. p . stanzas. However. but sometimes a longer formulaic succession creates the semblance of repeated pddas12. lines and pddas. for instance. 19.194 J. 56: 10. as far as we are able to see. Yet. 3. 2 (6. C . 3. 33. For the formulaic character and the mnemonic significance of these repetitions: P . 571. p . 49. These cadences are to a considerable extent extremely formulaic set phrases consisting. BLOOMFIELD. repeated a total of about 1000 times. of a noun with a fixed adjective—e. O. 15 See e. Repetitions in the same hymn not included.

9. RENOTJ. 11 ( = 3. 12. 7. 6. 86 the words "Indra is higher than all" (one pAda) end all 23 stanzas. P. 18 Cf. BLOOMFIELD. 21d etc. or number of the stanzas—. O. e. being more or less appendages24 in the same metre. in Oriental Thought. E. 21 The exceptions are 10. 10. 19 20 RV. repeated each a single time16. 0 Sorna. deity Agni).. in JA 1889 (I = 8-13). 95. 30. P. Other refrains concern all or some stanzas of the same sukta. their main characteristic being the identity of their final stanzas19." which has aptly been called a sort of 'seal' authenticating their poems23. E. 19. 1. V. 3. 89. except the last. RENOTJ. 22). and cf. II. Although they generally speaking have no close connexion with the contents of the hymn to which they are attached17. 23 (Agni hymns). SASTRI. O. p. In the Vrsakapi hymn 10. and cf. Thus the Grtsamadas had a special predilection for the closing prayer "We would. but according to tradition of two poets. 34 and 56. may be amalgamated with various surroundings18. 22). 19. These repeated final stanzas. The last three suktas of mandala IX. 22. E. and especially RENOTJ. these stanzas.g. have the same refrain pAda "Flow. 16d. p 494. p. p. in I I I and VII their number is above the average. 118. p. See also BLOOMFIELD. p. P. O. The majority of single stanzas that are repeated verbatim occur at the end of suktas. 23 Cf. in PO 10.The structure of the Rgvedic poems 195 are 23 of them. 13 (Agni hymns of the Bharadvajas). p. 25 Cf. so-called refrains20—43 in number occurring about 130 times—are of special interest. 78. 86. 70. 9. 41. 24 Cf. 2. 1 (1954). 96. All fourth pddas. being mostly rounded wholes. p. IX. in some hymns the entire final stanza is repeated.C . for Indra" in common. 99. 16). 13d. 11. For the ritual use of fixed conclusive stanzas (paridhdniyd) see BERGAIGNE. p. 80. 153. This type is more normal than the repetition of a few words25. 15. 31. 30. 11 = 1. 24. Some hymns seem to have been intentionally constructed on parallel principles—the same general theme. 493. 2. . II. QJMS 40. p. 18 ( = 3. which are probably due to some general similarity in the subjects treated. V. V. not including the recurrences of substantially identical but somewhat varied stanzas. 8. RENOTJ. Repetitions. 9. R. 48. P. 2. 90. but there are also other repetitions of this kind. 7. 37. 1. 5. of the famous Indra hymn 2. p. 12 are concluded by the 16 BLOOMFIELD. The final repetition may be limited to a single pAda22. 104. 22 RV. Many particulars must be omitted in this survey. 6. with vigorous (sons) speak firmly (and impressively) at divine worship. 36 and 37. 238 and cf. 123. 17 In several cases they appear to be added after a typically closing stanza (2. Containing mainly requests for happiness they belong to the inheritance of individual families: with a few exceptions all repetitions of this type occur in the same book21.C. 1. These hymns are usually ascribed to the same rsi or family. 1. 10. 9 (rai Kutsa. p. K. 31). 1. In VIII and IX there are no refrains. POTDAR. S. (cf. metrical structure. for the Vasisthas see. 6. 25. 4.C.

K. I. 10. 10. drawing the hearer's attention to the feats and character of the god lauded in the preceding parts of the tristubh stanzas27. 1. 307. P. p.g. e. In principle. l a is repeated as the refrain of all four stanzas. In 5. 38 SV. p. in SB Berlin 1900. become aware of this" are to prevent valour and strength from flowing away38. 22. B. 58 st. 10.. 13. 321 etc. <GONDA. The occurrence of the same final pAda in three successive stanzas led the ritualists to an esoterical explanation: the words "Indra and Agni. 5. p. 34 RV. Repetitions. Cf. 8. There is no denying that in conjurations refrains may be largely suggestive36. 62. 1-4. in JUB 26 (1957). 12 all (eleven) triplets have internal rhymes of this type.g. end in the same pAda29. SASTRI. Many occurrences of verse repetition are due to the frequent catenary structure of stanzas39. 112 (and in 113f. 49. in 1. 87 one word is repeated at the end of every second pdda. 162. 8. but the supposition that the words " 0 Soma. Occasionally a refrain expresses the theme of the poem: 3. II.. generally speaking. 25 argues that those addressed are 'the people' in general. 5. 107. 1-3 where the refrain is interrupted by other words (VELANKAR.Gonda • Vedic Literature short but emphatic refrain "He. 28 B. rather. 59. The identity of final pddas is sometimes limited to a few stanzas28.) served such a purpose35 seems legitimate. 33 Cf. 59. 100.. 106. I. p. expression occurring in a preceding stanza is often taken up anew G. 89 BLOOMFIELD. PB. Or all stanzas except the last. 10. statement. at JUB 21. . also 7. 33 Such as 1. 4). the last itriplet (expression of thanks) is completely different. 298.g. 105. 38.45. 85 88 38 87 With PISCHEI. V. but rarely in dialogues and more often in triplet suktas or in those poems which are of a less usual type (for instance the so-called ballads). 2 (1952). 82.47. 606 unconvincingly •argued that the themes. 8. 24. Only in a few cases it is an essential part of the contents or the structure of the stanza31. 313. V. 27 In 8. S. 1-3. V. 8. though stylistically important. In the succession of the stanzas of a hymn a motif. and see 10. A. 55 (22 stanzas) "Great is the unique wonderful divine power of the gods!"33 As far as I am able to see there are no explicit indications of their being composed for the reciter's company to be brought into the performance34. 106 (two pddas). RENOU. p. 1. In 9. were adapted to the refrains. P. 12. p. the atharvanic compositions and in those of a comparatively fixed structure32. 163. 1-3. 0 men. 54. The recurrence of Rgvedic refrains in the Samaveda37 shows that these at least were considered to be an integral part of the suktas. also 8.196 J. the poet's audience. 94 and 112 the two final stanzas are excepted. 43. 30 Cf. which then is in a different metre. WEBER. 2. 34 consists of five triplets (invitations) in anustubhs of identical second lines. 29 E. 2-4. E. 112 or 2. this interior refrain. p. appears to be an adventitious element30. R. A. G. at QJMS 40. 73. 1-3.g. is Indra" 26 . 13. 31 E. 423-425 = RV. p. S. In principle these refrains appear in any type of hymn. BHAT. S. 86 could suggest this idea. 162. flow for Indra" in the (adapted) labour song 9.

V." and ends in ". 2-3. in such a way as to modify. 1-2 suprdvih . thou who art born alone" and 4 begins with "one of many . SB Berlin 1900. 2. 3-4 see RENOU. . . e. 2. after concluding stanza 1 with the words " 0 Indra. 8. While in some cases the phenomenon concerns a single word followed at a distance by a related term—e. also RV. . Cf. 5-6. 62-63. 35. 1-2. sydma U . 23-24. Yasna 9. 19. . p. P. . 1. . 85 "When ye (the Maruts are meant) who . 10. prd vihi—in the beginning of 10. 6-7.. 40 41 42 43 See also A V . also 8. shine with your spears have yoked the spotted mares to your cars" precedes 5 "When ye have yoked the spotted mares before your cars. . . ." stanza 2 begins with "like fire violent . . 4 2 . 118. ." begins the next stanza with: "Arisen even before day(break). 1-2. 6. 84 stanza 1 ends in " . take note of the (hymn) which has arisen for thee. 25. 39. For cases such as 1. . . 1. etc. . Stanza 4 of 1.g. and letting them sink into mind and memory of the auditor. 2. 3c "his (Agni's) face is anointed with the ladle" is followed by 4a "Agni is anointed with ghee" 46 ." and ends in ". 67. the poet of 3. 13-14. V. . they discharge the streams . VII. watchful . E. See e. . 607. and also 7. e. . 26. 26-27. 82. 10. 48 Cf. sdm mdgne vdrcasd srja. 25. in 12-13. 81). . also cases such as RV.. A. 118.. 10. Cf. . 14. which can here be illustrated only by some of its varied forms48. . in 1. ddvdne sydma. dispel" and 3 begins with "overpower . . WEBER. it can be realized in various ways42. fire-shaped.". etc. uktMsu . 53. 44 . In 2. iubhrdm . This procedure is also known in the Avesta41. and moisten the earth. p. 4-5 (see RENOU. or carry on further the thought expressed. 60. 23. in 3-4 ." 40 . P. 4-5. 44 45 Cf. 3 the last words of the preceding stanza "the soma juices (which I have) drunk have lifted me u p " are completely and literally repeated 45 . XIV. p. develop. See BLOOMFIELD. inter alia. . uhthair vdvrdhdndh. .g. . 12. 1. 32. 7-8. II 4 3 we find. 47 46 . 1-2. 83. . . . 109. 22. . 4ubhrdh. Yast 5. 34-35. . Repetitions. 4. or the events depicted in the first stanza. p. 9. E. AV. Cf. 5-6. 31-32. . 23-24 Tarn MA sam srja vdrcasd. .g. 16. . . . 119. extends beyond the limits of a single pada." In a number of cases47 concatenation.g. Retarding the progress of the expositions. There even exist cases in which this practice runs through an entire hymn: in 10. explain.The structure of the Rgvedic poems 197 in the next stanza. 17-18. . in 2-3 ..

cf. 3f. 91 )10 is introduced by three narrative pddas and followed by a short account of the cure she had to undergo. Iff. 5. 2f. 6. Monologues. walking round you9. 4. 3 E. 18. 1. 7 RENOU. Compare also cases such as 4. 5): "Ghosa..g.. V. 96. 10. RV. for a reference to the present situation see 1. 3ff. 96. The vision. 4. when a god is urged to slay his enemy—also applicable to the present situation5. 5-12) of the spinster Ghosa. a literal quotation of words supposed to be used by their personages. 14. 1. 37. Occasionally a poet. Here the first part of the monologue which. 31. 30. p.198 J. the dkhydna theory Among those devices of style to which the Vedic poets were not averse is direct speech. 8 See 7. and the passages in direct speech in 10. 8f. 4. 9. 18. 7. • Homage or respectful salutation. VII. O Asvins. 7. 101. 89. 19. When they exceed the compass of a single stanza these 'quotations' may develop into apostrophes or monologues. 7). Speeches are not utilized for lengthening the narrative by repetition. 40. 4 E. This is not surprising since their work bristles with addresses. 4. 89. 22. into the company of the gods. using a pronoun of the second person and a present tense. The structure of the lament of the gambler (10. or—more frequently—interrupt eulogy or a graphic account of mythical events*. 3. Apala's prayer (8.. addressed (you) . 8. 1. For a dialogue between a god and the poet see 10. 10 See p. contains the self-accusation of a man who is unable to resist the fascination of the dice. 31. 1 . 4. 5f. Nor is a true reproduction of a prayer8 merely a literary embellishment: this form enhances its value in the actual situation. and 15. 53. implores the divine twins to give her a husband. 7. narrated in the first person ("I" and "we") in RV. 167. 24. II. Iff. 6-9. 4f. E. (GELDNER. 4ff. cf. 34) is different. . so to say. returning in the last stanza to the theme of the beginning. 2 E. able to make her pregnant. 6 See 6. 87. 69." but when it has come to a conclusion the poet abruptly resumes his own line of thought. 4. after starting with a cwptatio benevolentiae and picturing the joys of the married state.g. 4.. the daughter of a king. 36. 4. 5f. II. 83.G-onda • Vedic Literature 7. 39. also 8. Auswahl. 100. This address is duly introduced (st. 27. starting at the very beginning of the poem.g. 8. 15-18 (apostrophe to Pusan linking the ddnastuti with the Indra hymn). in most cases to gods1. A literal quotation of the words of a god spoken to the poet or heard by him may warrant their authenticity6.. 4.. 93. 7.. An experienced poet knows how to make such a quotation— for instance. 4. 10. 7. The central part of the ASvin hymn 10.. 8. 8 Cf. P. 10. . is no doubt to evoke memories of an intimate relation between poet and deity7. dialogues. 26. sometimes to men2. 4. introduces his hearers. who. 40 is a long prayer (st. 145. 88. p. p. whether the words put into their mouths open the poem impressively3. 6. to the one who institutes the sacrifice (RV. 9f. 33. 22. 15f. 101). 7.

Brhaddevata 2. a conversation or a 11 12 13 GONDA. I. 17 In general see WINTERNITZ. 153 quoting Yaska." a narrative conclusion and a reference to his own situation.. fortified by a divine voice. 10. K. H. P. absent only in the closing stanza where it is replaced by a prayer to six deities. resuscitating the power inherent in the preceding mythical story. 30.. p. the poet of 10. 17. implores Agni to bring rain. cf. P. 4. The LabasUkta (the suKTa of the quail). II. 17. and see above p. both stated in full and adding to the liveliness or solemnity of the diction: e. in the last three stanzas which begin with the statement "(Thus) Trita implores the gods for assistance. mean that the poet. Secular hymns. in JUB 28 N. The theme of the first half of RV. 88. 149. I. 18 2 (1959). p. 342.The structure of the Rgvedic poems 199 is separated from the second part in which he. E.. 98 is partly elaborated in the form of a dialogue. 126. BHAT. p. Real dialogues however characterize about twenty hymns16 that differ from the majority and have. 6f. Repetitions.g. 14 15 See GELDNER. indeed. 127. 97. the so-called hymn of the inebriated Indra12 (10. 105— dealing with the evil plight of Trita in the well14—was pronounced by Kutsa who puts a long lament into the mouth of that unfortunate man to add. 7. The refrain. In a few cases some words and an answer spoken by two partners assume the character of a rudimentary dialogue15. L. "Have I. 44. delivers a monologue. 18f. drunk soMa?. 10. V. S. 15. The refrain. V. uses the story of Trita. 27. p. 135 (RENOTT. p. P. 5. (BLOOMFIELD. In particular cases the ancient authorities were not always unanimous in regarding a sukta or part of it as a real dialogue: it could also be a 'story' (itihdsa). also 1. about twelve others contain short conversations. 8f. 47 etc. . 118. 136. I. 51. not improbably. while praising the medicinal herbs. 10. II. REJSTOU. E. nowhere omitted. in 13 AIOC. 5f. H. 255). II. Nagpur 1946 (1950). who was ultimately freed by Brhaspati. Tradition has it13 that the whole of 1. 146 f. For a short characterization: RENOTX. 119). So does the female speaker of 10. cf. 61. 10.. 7). ably throws the parallelism of both situations into relief." is as essential as it is characteristic. p. conjures the dice to leave him alone.. 159 who prides herself on having the upper hand of her rivals. S. p. S(H)ASTRI. attracted much attention17. 82. the second half. RV. 100. by one single stanza (11) in which the poet provides his hearers with some additional comment11. 6. being in an analogous situation and pleading his own cause. to put pressure upon the higher powers. Seep. G. See p. is in its entirety a soliloquy describing the state of mind of a person who has drunk soma and experiences a state of supranormal bliss and power. This would. p. Already in Indian antiquity they were distinguished as 'colloquies' (samvdda)ls. 16 Fifteen of them are entirely dialogues. Being or impersonating a physician. p.' RV. S. partly in narrative stanzas. in most cases also because of contents. There are also instances of questions and answers. If.

in Allahabad Univ. I I . 102. C. CHARPENTIER. as a reminiscence of a clash between the Aryan Indra religion and a non-Aryan Vrsakapi cult24. RV. G. 1. in WZKM 23. 28 GELDNER. 223. p. I. p . also VELANKAR. p . 21 As to 7. more vital and better arranged than those of Rgveda I-IX. begs Varuna for a cow which is due to him20. in JUB 21. p. P. I. at KZ 37. 465. S. 100. p. 169. p. This genre of composition died out in the later Vedic age. p. XVIII. GELDNER. GELDNER. at last however they succeed in placating his anger29 (1. in QJMS 53. viz. Agastya intervenes in the dispute. 210. Yaska. p. A. I l l . SHAH. V. his wife and the monkey Vrsakapi (10. Since in interpreting these texts much is left to our imagination there has among ancient and modern scholars often been considerable disagreement with regard to particulars21. 273. 242. 11) in which a priest. 153. 155f. 7. 165)30. 209. Cf. 29 30 31 Cf. 22. 427. 237. J .200 J. GELDNER. the dialogues of mandala X are. 163 (on 7.' Cf. 170. Brhaddevata 3. V. p. WEBER. I I . On the other hand. but also as satire on human relations26 or a humorous scene of Indra's family life remarkable for a fine delineation of the characters27. BRADKE. 11. disputes with them because they had disgraced themselves in his eyes by deserting him in the Vrtra contest. 171 and GELDNER. p. p. (on RV. 41. VELANKAR. who seems to have appropriated some sacrificial animals which were destined for his allies. V. Moreover. is a conversation carried on by three persons. VELANKAR. U. as a virility charm23. Vasukra's wife. 1. 22 23 24 25 26 27 K. 86)—according to tradition the god's illegitimate son who obviously had incurred Indranl's displeasure—has been regarded as a piece of erotic mysticism22. which continues the story. the god. p. RV. RV. S. v. one of whom may even be a group of persons. p. 126). S. p. It is difficult to imagine 19 See e. in Festgabe Jacobi. Gonda • Vedic Literature eulogy19. 201. at Nagpur Univ. at ZDMG 46. Saunaka. also 1. 214. and also Sayana did not give a ritual application (viniyoga) prefering to narrate a story in explanation of the text. I I . 16.g. I l l . 2828 which—like the preceding and other dialogue hymns—beginning abruptly. APTE. P. as to 8. generally speaking. There are more instances of a conversation between three interlocutors. 127. WINTERNITZ. p. 86. with the exception of the curious 10. p. in JUB 22. at WZKM 25. 5. . In some texts informing us about a conflict between Indra and the Maruts and their conciliation the god. CHATTOPADHYAYA. 33). in JOIB 8. RV. in PO 22. 40. p. 7. Another sidelight on Indra's family life is thrown in 10. 12 AIOC I. RV. 33 see ARNOLD. p. or even of a primitive age in which a line dividing men from animals was not yet drawn25. 2. DANGE. RAHURKAE. p. cf. in the Atharvaveda there is but one text of this type (5. his son Vasukra and his daughter-in-law. In 1. 1 (1925). 20 Cf. Thus the rather enigmatic conversation between Indra. Studies. Atharvan. advising Indra to make it up31. M. 2.

AJPh 40 (1919). p. Less convincing: J. In their answers. P. Sarama. p. 4 etc. 18.The structure of the Rgvedic poems 201 whether these Agastya suhtas were. ViSvamitra observes that the former god. V. the divine H TR and heavenly representoa ative of the human H TR on the sacrificial place. to resume his task which he alone can perform. p. In the first sukta. 6. (GELDNER-NOBEL. At the end of the conversation the sage. intimating that the rivers came of their own accord and may therefore be supposed to cease flowing if they choose to do so. 141. it is true. Leipzig 1938. 3. But why should it be pure rhetoric ? 35 33 RENOU. as to 1. After a renewed request and an implicit promise they yield to his persuasion. Brhaddevata 7. 72. 36 E. K. 1. a tristubh oa 'stichomyth' between Agni. RV. and the gods—whose spokesman appears to be Varuna—the latter try to persuade the god of fire. 67. 175. 65. p. p. As a messenger of the gods Sarama finds the way to the Panis who have hidden the cows at the ends of the world. but this offer is rejected. Mention has already been made of the beautiful RV. At first the Panis refuse to accord with her wish demanding that Indra should come himself. F. 3. after informing him that they cannot comply with his request because they flow at the command of Indra and Savitar. who had fled from them37. 3. II. 11). p. and the Panis (10. EDGERTON. In order to make the rivers fordable he praises them and requests them to stop for a while. P. in the view of the Vedic audience. Finally they attempt to induce her to remain with them. A good dialogue (in alternate stanzas) is also that between the female dog of the gods. the rivers are represented as pleased with his praise. E. 33. G. p. D. pronounces two impressive stanzas in order to allow them to resume their activity. removed the obstacles. VII. seeing that the king's army has crossed the waters. 37 Agni's flight is a well-known theme: RV. but in the course of the conversation they become more and more impressed by Sarama's minatory speech and her references to such mighty allies as Brhaspati and the rsis. so pointless as they would appear to a modern critic32. which alternate with the words of the sage. V. 145. 95. E. 7. 108)35. Then they ask him to continue to praise them so that the future generations will hear of them. 34 RENOXJ. in JAOS 11. 51-5336 form a sort of trilogy dealing with successive stages in a mythical event of ritualistic import and glorifying the sacrificial performances as presided over by Agni. VELANKAR. PERRY. Studies in the Veda. 62ff. an episode of the mythical story of the stolen cows. The 32 Seep. In the last stanza Sarama enforces the flight of the Pams and the recovery of the cows. 3333—the most successful dialogue of the older Rgveda—in which Visvamitra's personality so to say develops from that of the poet who pronounces the initial stanza to address the rivers—females—in the next one. who speaks the even stanzas. 17. IV. . The dialogue hymns 10. 1. p. 179 see p. Das indogermanische Neujahrsopfer. II. BHAT. D. HERTEL. in JBBRAS 18 (1942). 2. It has not without reason been suggested that this poem was an old family ballad moulded or remoulded into the form of a dialogue34. 117. 125 and H. at ABORI 53. cf.

17. for RV. intend to sacrifice. GELDNER. The discussion in RV. obviously unaware of this. OLDENBERG. the theme of 10. 130. 5.202 J. V. 280. GELD NEK. p. Noten. p. 35. VELANKAR. See NORMAN BROWN. Another dialogue hymn in which the narrator or the poet himself takes part is 10. 1. p. 81. 45 For 1. RV. I. SIEG. but can be interpreted otherwise. RV. Hoshiarpur 1950. promise and injunction to gods and men—forming together a sort of convenant—are the culminating point of the trilogy. who see him. p. 10.. partly by the priests who. 159. I. 18. Varuna. p. p. 10. The last stanza of 1. E. 125 is in the initial stanza introduced by the poet. no longer wishes to be rid of him and so she conceals him. JBBRAS 18 (1942). p . p. RV. Opening with the moment of the god's birth the poet says that when his mother makes an attempt to abandon him he follows her. GELDNER. Finally he addresses Indra himself reminding him of his most desperate hour. 145 and BERGAIGNE R. in JUB 1938. PERKY. a fragment of a discussion between Indra and Agni. he slays Vrtra and releases the streams. 10 see p. becomes Indra's co-regent and sets the waters free. I l l . twins. which makes him visible to his enemies. The much 38 39 Cf. for 10. p. although part of the contents is put into the mouth of the personsfiguringin it44. the god of fire joins those gods who want him to sacrifice. S. I I . V. 124. . slays Vrtra38: a most interesting sample of poetical imagination attempting to account for Varuna's subsidence and the rise of Indra's power in the world of the gods39. Vol. but his mother. 179 seems to be a legend spell40 in the form of the poet's conclusion of a conversation between the sage Agastya and his wife Lopamudra41. 440. however. the divine carpenter. GONDA. in JAOS 62. up to now the ruler. pleased with Agni's return. I. 10. has often been described as a dialogue hymn43. I. referring to his abandonment by his mother and her later adherence to him. Indra. At the request of the Waters. in Siddha-Bharati. p. S. emerging from the concealment. Siddheshwar Varma. R. The poet now extols his deed and victory. in which we find the fullest account of Indra's early days42. Cf. 40 41 42 See p. thereby apparently surprising his mother. 53 is pronounced. 42. I I . 42. V. partly by the god. Indra. puts on his resplendent garment. 95: R. p. 10. 352. RV. 153. 93. the god in reply acknowledging his dire need and the welcome aid he had received at the moment when the falcon brought him the soma. I. in JAOS 11. D. p . 145. PISCHEL. he drinks soMa. with the help of Soma. 183. 394f. 43 44 Thus W. NORMAN BROWN. I. for 10. 4.10 and 10. RV. whose blessing. GOLDMAN. on the request of the former. 179. p . Cf. Sagenstoffe. 179 see p. and of two of the finest specimens of the genre 10. 440 (ballad). II. Now he is strong enough to conquer his enemies. lovers) is the subject of 1. p. at JOIB 18 (1969). 153. p. Cf. 82. p. 273 (speculative). 9545. For this hymn see also PISCHEL. Gonda • Vedic Literature second suKTa contains the stanzas spoken by Agni when he is invested with the office oihotar and a final comment of the poet. and arriving at the house of Tvastar. Love in different forms (conjugal love.

in Orientalia Neerlandica. I. GELDNER. S. in Album Kern. RV. p. p. C. "If he does. S. 57 (discussing brahmana and sutra texts. as a rule. their hearts are like hyenas'. RV. 5. H. GELDNER. in JAOS 20. 304. inter alia. 11. 48 46 E. H. 95) clearly deals with the theme of the impossibility of permanent nuptial ties between a human being and a god. in the third person and therefore possibly narrative. D. J. 494). p. 105. The Vikramorvasiya. p. OLDENBERG.. H. Pururavas observes that it was a ruse which made him lose her (3). because she has disappeared "like the first of the dawns" and is "difficult to be caught. I l l .g. 1. KOSAMBI. 47 See e. Incorporating five stanzas of the s K a this brahmana relates the story.). Thereupon she allowed See e. but he found her when she was. RENOXT. D. It was described either as an exaltation of a popular fairy-tale and the source from which all the later variant versions have originated47 or as a ballad based on the fairy-tale as it appears in the Satapatha-Brahmana. S. 4. lifelong bring me the pleasures of love" (10). BLOOMFIELD. J. H. the nature of the poem and its relation to later versions of the theme. 1.e. They took away a lamb which was tied to her bed. naked as he was. the gandharvas—the natural mates of the apsarases— devised a means how she might come back. Urvasi. 2. p. . Be satisfied with the four years you have had me" (15f. he recalls that the other apsarases coquettishly fled from him. He continues: "May the water-woman. p. but she answers: "Do not die or depart from here. when he is born. DE ZWART. 363 (with a bibliography). p. But after a long time. Urvasi admits that she indeed always followed his will (5). D. p. CALAND. 44f. B^S. UrvaSI stipulated that she should not see him naked. 526 (quite untenably regarding the sukta as a dialogue between the Holy Spirit and the Mother of God and inclined to explain Rgvedic mythology in general with the help of 'parallel material' embodied in the Bible). they produced a flash of lightning . p. Leiden 1948. 15 and 16. Urvasi—to whom modern authors often. imputed cruelty—declares this to be useless. GRIFFITH. not as UT an episode. IV. WRIGHT. flashing like lightning. Urvasi interrupts him: they came out of curiosity to see our son whom they will look after (7). XLIII. 180. made dependent on the conception scholars had of the characters. and when PurUravas. but wrongly. like the wind" (2). GRIFFITH. Urvasi replies: "It is true that you have fecundated me. I. "And our son. swimming in a lake. 298. in the shape of a swan. Taken by itself the course of the dialogue seems to be as follows: Pururavas asks Urvasi for an interview (st. After st. in 6 and 8. 72 ( = K.. 18. I had warned you" (11).The structure of the Rgvedic poems 203 discussed dialogue46 between Pururavas and the nymph (apsaras) Urvasi (10.). 14. I. When. 30 (with untenable conclusions). p. New Delhi 1961. She had vanished. The interpretation of this sUKTa was. sprang up after them. consoles him with the prospect of heaven. in BSOAS 30 (1967). . see S~B.g. . in ZDMG 39. 249. the situation. but in a more complete form: When she wedded PurUravas. I shall send him to you" (13). After a last entreaty (17) she. There they exchanged the words of the stanzas 1.e. or a divine voice. but I cannot stay. p. when she was with child by him. V. I. with which it has all essential elements in common48. Friendship with women is impossible. in JBBRAS 27 (1951). 243 and RV.). VELANKAR. p.g. will he not look for his father and shed tears ?" (12). Pururavas threatens suicide (14).

does the Rgvedic version presuppose the existence of a prose narrative such as the Satapatha version which is much more comprehensible ?. 85 M. 10. the father.204 J. . Let him therefore worship the gods with sacrifices (to have a chance of attaining heaven). 7. In a similar way the Baudhayana-Srauta-sutra 18. MS. p . The sacred hymns of the Brahmans. 3ff. life. 9. 3. 10. dealing with the production of fire by means of a fire-drill the lower piece of wood is identified with UrvasI. 172.. The Rgvedic and Yajurvedic versions may then have developed side by side and led to parallel. 26. 3. 2. 95 in place of that meaning which had already been lost. Melusine. 1. 64 KOSAMBI. London 1869. 5. though not identical applications. 3. why is it couched in dialogue form ? The presence of these dialogues in the Rgveda has indeed given rise to much controversial discussion54. Ap&.C. O. the upper piece with Pururavas. 3. and secondly. the theme. 3. in this brahmana version—realized by means of a sacrificial ceremony. 10. lOff.. p.. 5.C. 22)—which are produced. 53 50 They certainly were no convenient literary device facilitating the expression of a poet's unconventional thoughts. 6. 5: 121. 95 see R. 4. 273. The two pieces of different wood occur in the version of the story in !§B. MULLER. their son—called Ayu "living being. 22. The next morning he obtained the boon to become a gandharva. Nobody nowadays will subscribe to such views of the poem as "naturalistic myth of dawn and sun" or "love romance". genius of vital force"—is the embryo. The clue is perhaps provided by the final stanza: Man is mortal (even if he is temporarily allowed to associate with the divine which must remain unknown)51. inserts a variant form in order to give a mythical foundation for another rite which is recommended to the man who is desirous of offspring49. I. 1. Then we need not subscribe to the hypothesis53 that the brahmana version was made specially to provide a better understanding of the sUKTa 10. in other countries represented by the sagas of Amor (Eros) and Psyche. 3. the fire. If so. And this is why the story is told: anybody who now performs this exemplary sacrifice will become one of the gandharvas. 1. 11. TS. 2. This ambition was—quite intelligibly. 81 For a discussion of this theme in connection with 10. 4. KS. Lohengrin. 13. 82 In &B. it is as difficult to determine the mutual relation of the Vedic versions as it is risky to propose an answer to the question as to why the sUKTa was included in the Samhita50. may in the decidedly ritualistic trains of ancient Indian thought have been reinterpreted and made the foundation of a 'symbolical' interpretation of the production of fire—earthly material inflamed by a heavenly spark— which is the indispensable ritual means of transgressing mundane limitations. Gonda • Vedic Literature him to come the last night of the year. 19. 3. Whereas it is clear that the author of the Satapatha. p. 7. 1. 17. the mother. If. 1 1 . O. 12. VS. Max Muller had already in 186955 conjectured that 49 PB. 1. and of the institution of the above-mentioned fire-rites52. But two questions remain: first. and the sacrifice (&B.Brahmana passage was acquainted with the Rgveda text. 5. 44f. 4ff. GOLDMAN. see CALAND. in JOIB 18. 7: 131.

SCHNEIDEB. union of the pair. see also WZKM 22. 499. v. K.) 19.g. was not successful either. LEVI. Leipzig 1908. 58 L. p. in Globus 95 (1909).The structure of the Rgvedic poems 205 the dialogue RV. 77. 101 ff. 61 J. also U. p. We have seen that the dialogue of Yama and Yarn! (10. p. must have partaken of the nature of sympathetic magic. PBETJSS. p. the other the Maruts and their followers. 981. drama and religion among many so-called primitive and archaic peoples59 and some references to dancing in Vedic texts led him to the conclusion that these plays. BLOOMFIELD. KEITH. 200. p. finally. 31. Oxford 1924 (1970). 23. J. Cf. p. 307. 68. The close relation of dance. B. 534. Le theatre indien. see also WINTEBNITZ. 10) admits of a more plausible explication than that of a fertility drama from which the alleged prudishness of the Vedic age has omitted the. song. compare also HIIXEBBANDT. 13. in JRAS 1909. No conclusion can. mystery plays which must have been an inheritance from prehistoric. Der Somaraub des Manu. A. in WZKM 23. 1. 1 (on RV.g. the rain suktas 7. for instance. music and short dramatic spectacles could be introduced into ritual ceremonies57. See e. 10. Zur Frage nach dem Ursprung und Wesen des indischen Dramas. W. Basing his argument largely on the—untenable—supposition S. p. Wiesbaden 1971. p. HEBTEL. 117. 1911. p. The supporter of a variant dramatic theory. more precisely. probably Indo-European times. in Archiv fur Religionswissenschaft 14. in itself necessary. 119 are relics of Vedic cult dramas. 23. p. 24. There are no indications whatever that. 59. p. 78. 34) was sung to the accompaniment of dances of the personified dice and staged as an interlude in the midst of a sacrifice to recall the dangers of dicing. Leopold von Schroeder58 elaborated the theory that not only these hymns but also monologues such as RV. p. 67 69 66 See e. as appears from other Vedic texts. were sung by a party of brahmins standing in a pool with frogs in it—a performance continuing an ancient mimetic frog-dance—or the suKTa of the gambler (10. 72). in Gedenkschrift W. GONDA. 329. p. The Sanskrit drama. von Schroeder's argument that this fact was due to the aversion of the priests to dancing and singing gods on the stage is unfounded. GONDA. 105 (who was inclined to subscribe to part of VON SCHBOEDEB'S interpretations). p. in WZKM 18. p. J. 1. SCHBOEDEB. KTTIPEB. Mysterium und Mimus im Rigveda. p. 60 . 223. 75. 4. 41. 273. B. p. in JAOS 30. T H ." After him Sylvain Levi56 ventured the opinion that the Rgvedic dialogues in general presupposed dramatic performances of which they formed a sort of libretti. 10. Brandenstein. Innsbruck 1968. while bringing vividly before the people the majesty of the gods.C. the later literature is wholly silent on a ritual diama. CALAND. p. There does not appear any trace of such plays or mimes in the ritual. 179 was staged for ensuring the fertility of the fields. one representing Indra. F . O. Johannes Hertel61. 333. Paris 1891 (1963). 21972. 165 "was repeated at sacrifices in honour of the Maruts or that possibly it was acted by two parties. adding that. 270. ZDMG 64. AO (Lugd. be drawn from the presence of certain 'dramatic' elements in these suktas because this is nearly always found in sacred texts. This theory met with justifiable criticism60. 137. p. Cf. in SBBAW 1914.

In the Rgveda only the verses.g.S. References to Indra as a dancer (e. There is not however sufficient ground for explaining that text—which is no doubt in part narrative—in this forced way. p.206 J. Das Mahabhaxata.S. Gottingen 1922. ZDMG 37 (1883). I. he made an attempt to explain the Suparnadhyaya62 as an actual drama representing in its elaboration a marked advance upon the 'dramas' of the Rgveda. GHOSH. . Geschichte der SanskritPhilologie. 4. That the narrative every now and then took the dialogue form is in view of the preference for direct speech not surprising. 1. A different theory of the character and the purpose of the texts under consideration has. in H. ZDMG 39. but the prose was allowed to deviate from its original 'text. 1395).1. C. Gottingen 1917. after resolute contestation. p. 7) prove a dramatic performance of some hymns no more than a 'dramatic arrangement' of. p. Verh. 1495). 52 ( = K. I. S. NG 1911. For the possibility of interpreting RV. narrative in character and consisting of a mixture of prose and verse. 9 (GELDNER. SCHNEIDER.. Tiber die altirische Sage der Tain B6 Ciialnge. p. Auswahl. complete representatives of this genre. 404). NG 1919. which was not stereotyped. p. GHOSH. Wiesbaden 1971. KOSAMBI. representing the points of highest emotion. 47. 78. OLDENBERG. p. narrative") theory. D. II. in IHQ 31. p. B. M. were—he thought—preserved and the introductory and connecting prose.. 53ff. 441). Considering that the suktas to which he applied his theory are unintelligible as they stand. Somaraub des Manu. 6. The Rgvedic theory of drama. The verses—moments of supreme emotion or the point of the story—remained fixed and were handed down with little change.g. Das altindische Akhyana. 130.S. RV. also 63 62 D. SASTRI. 95 in the light of OLDENBERG'S theory. 75. 339 wisely limits himself to speaking of dramatic dialogues. It was Oldenberg65 whose name came to be most closely associated with this akhyana66 ("tale. 4. p. not necessarily for the stage) and P. p. he assumed the existence of a genre of literature. 203. 474). p. 64 E. S. 66. 26 and 27 as simple cult dramas: U. Windisch64 was the first to advance the opinion that these Vedic suktas represent an old type of literature. p. was lost.' because every narrator was at See p. 54 (= K. which was of epic character and consisted partly of prose. prefers itihdsa "tradition" (used e. Strassburg 1917. recently again met with the attention which it deserves. p. and partly of verses put into the mouth of the principal figures. 79 ( = K. 10. p. p. Akhyana-Hymnen im Rgveda. 89). M. Zur Geschichte der altindischen Prosa.g. e. WINDISCH. K. In short. I. S . p. 21. Leipzig 1879. 441 ( = ' K . preserved also in Celtic sagas. p. this theory resolves itself into a complex of bare possibilities which do not substantially add to the interpretation of the sUKTas63. The narrative passages with inserted verses occurring in the brahmanas are. 15 (cf. p. p. 66 GELDNER. in JBBRAS 27. P. 33. 345 (dramas in embryo. GGA 1909. JGJRI 15 (1957). Philologenversammlung Gera. 1. 46) to akhyana (V. in his view. p. energetic vindication and a long period of negligence. 65 H. Gonda • Vedic Literature that the Vedic hymns were always sung and that it would have been impossible for a single singer to distinguish between the different speakers of a dialogue. p. explaining RV. 13 (superficially and without argumentation) return to the dramatic theory. 284). in Brhaddevata. cf.

69 PISCHEL. H. objected that the tradition shows no trace of knowledge of the supposed characteristic of these suktas. CHARPENTIER. Winternitz70 argued that the dialogues. 77). 159. I. these must have been collected in a prose corpus. 5. Uppsala 1920. 341. or not. GHOSH. but utilized as their principal source by the commentators and the authors and compilers of Brhaddevata. p. p. 71 GELDNER. p. 60. 22. R. Mahabharata and purdnas. see also G. p. 4. 126: S S .g. 8.. 31. 57ff. 306. 11. 307 (whose objection: the hymns and the narratives of the brdhmanas are two parallel offshoots of the same branch composed for different purposes and hence incapable of being intermingled. 72 . Pischel69 had already made an attempt to show that the dkhydna theory was capable of combination with a dramatic character of the suktas under discussion. Geldner71 supposed that the stanzas of the dialogue hymns were detached from the complete stories (itihdsa). Charpentier74 came to regard the disputed texts as pieces of epic poetry not needing any additional prose. S. p.. in GGA 1891. 132. RV. being episodic in form. 165-178: "" Brhaddevata 4. p. p. 1. 10. and was inclined to regard the intermingling of prose and verse in the Sanskrit drama of later times as a relic of this early genre of literature. CHARPENTIER. 16. p. 29 observed that in many cases neither the dkhydna nor the ballad theory can account for all problems. II. 13. p. 67. 13ff.The structure of the Rgvedic poems 207 liberty to alter its from67 or even to supply it according to circumstances. nor do we find any work actually in this form in the Veda. do not presuppose any connective prose73. might very well have served liturgical purposes. inter alia. HORSCH. 417. 44ff. The comparatively detached character of many stanzas was made an argument in favour of the theory: they presupposed a connective text. Oldenberg's most uncompromising opponent. &B. 74 J. yet recognizing four suktas (one single one and a set of three others) as genuine dramas. 1912. and the gunahsepa story in AiB. KEITH. p. See p. 95)68 were composed for the purpose of this type of delivery. 429. however. 7)—Pali Jatakas such as n° 253. Attempting a similar compromise. In contradistinction to Oldenberg. In after years. S. 95 GGA 1890. that is to say. Oxford 1920 (1948). RV. 68 Cf. 10. on*RV. lost to us. In Oldenberg's opinion it even was probable that part of these suktas (e. 5. whether relics of stories in prose and stanzas. For other criticism see J. 76. as dialogized narrative poems which. p. V. Stuttgart 1961. A history of Sanskrit literature. 75 A. 5. (ZDMG 37. Die Suparnasage. on RV. B. Why should 67 In defending his thesis OLDENBERG also drew attention to the Suparnadhyaya —which calls itself an dkhydna (1. G. 73 HILLEBRANDT. p. 11. in WZKM 25. Keith75. o. 179: ibid. L. I. 289. who regarded the original prose portions as lost. 7. VON GLASENAPP.. p. p. 1. does not hold water). 68. V. Rejecting Oldenberg's dkhydna theory as well as the dramatic explanations. 351. Ill. 609 (a confused note with a bibliography). Die Literaturen Indiens. 1. 979. 42.c. in WZKM 23. B. I. V. Geldner sought to explain the longer dialogue hymns as ballads72. p. p. 61.e. L. p. The Sanskrit drama. 91 see also OLDENBERG. p. 70 WINTERNITZ. RV. in JRAS 1911*. 1. and. at ZDMG 39. In his opinion.

the other alleged instances fit the theory. p. the Sarvanukramani 7.g. 221. p. o. p. 1. they all agree in giving the persons figuring in these texts a historical character80. 4. 288. cf. 10. Sayana on RV. some stanzas are quoted because the text on which the story is based is taken from outside the White Yayurveda. 195 ( = Proc 26 Int. 83 L. Poona 1969). L. . 136: part of these suktas are complete ballads. p. p. Lyon-Paris 1956. 808. CALAND. H. 275. ALSDORF.g.Gonda • Vedic Literature this dkhydna prose have disappeared while that of the brdhmanas was carefully handed down ? In the case of PurUravas and UrvaSi the tale of the SatapathaBrahmana does not agree with the stanzas of the Rgveda and must be considered an attempt to work RV. 14 ("perhaps recitatives in cult dramas"). 105. quoted by Sayana on RV. 1942 ^Liechtenstein 1966). in WZKM 22. The dkhydna theory reconsidered. but compare Poesie religieuse.g. RV. 3. also VON SCHROEDEB. L. 81 Cf. in BSOS 2. Scholars did not however fail to notice that the stories and legends handed down in the brahmanas and ancillary literature are far from identical or completely consistent with the suktas to which they traditionally belong79. 79 80 See e. Nor do. 57-60) to constitute the collection of stanzas belonging to the 'original' story. I. others again stanzas accompanying cult dramas). O. O. 18. III. JOIB 13. p. 38 ("plausible"). 82 See e. 1. I. JB. WINTEBNITZ.208 J. H. others relics of tales composed of prose with stanzas intermingled. Basing himself mainly on more modern views of the Buddhist Jatakas82 and what might be called the Jain contribution to the problem under discussion Alsdorf83 arrived at the conclusion that Oldenberg's 76 SIEG. p. p. 102 (cf.L. see also RENOTJ(-FILLIOZAT). p. p.g. I. 53.BABNETT. 33. 119.p. MULLEB. also L. H.D..C. 139. Histoire de la langue sanskrite. in his opinion. 3. C. 224. so-called itihdsas. 78 See e. Or. Yet the theory was accepted by other scholars76. some of them being clear enough without any connecting explication postulated by the theory. But this did not prevent them from considering texts such as the four suktas of the Gaupayanas (10. See M. MACDONEIX. 1964.. The conclusion was drawn that already in the Brahmana period there must have existed a rather extensive narrative literature (itihdsa-purdna "old traditional histories") and that the contents of this collection—which was to become the source of ancient commentators—were known to the poets of the Rgveda-Samhita78. 10. p. p. Congr. SIEG. For differences in opinion between the ancient authorities see e. 95 into the explication of a particular rite. the justifiability of the dkhydna theory was from different sides pleaded again81. 42. 25. I l l . OEKTEL. 77 Cf. 1 etc. 426. S. the legend of Syavasva Atreya (SIEG. 15 (ballads). Bharhut und diebuddhistische Literatur. p. legends or traditions. and that Durga and Sayana refer to these itilidsas failing indications of the ritual application of the texts77. p. It was pointed out that for all suktas discussed by Oldenberg the ancient Indian commentators have handed down stories. in JAOS 18.C.c. EENOTJ. 57. p. p. 102. 14. p. Sagenstoffe. 1. in JRAS 2. SatyB. I. LUDEBS. In recent times. 168. 83ff. in WZKM 23. 50). p. notwithstanding the fact that the traditions of this story are not uniform. GELDNEB. p.

4f. were sound and never convincingly refuted. 77. Congr. the prose being from the beginning a commentary. Alongside with the brdhmanas there may have existed more or lessfixedcompilations of this material. While most of the themes are a matter of common knowledge and the plot and the cast of characters of lectures and dramatic performances are as a rule fixed. However. ROCHEK. the Rgveda contains specimens—few in number. just as from the text of the Jain Uttaraj jhaya it appears that every commentator supplied the old stanzas with his own addition to make the tales selfsufficient. An instance of an incomplete statement or a dialogue becoming clear with the help of other passages is RV. We would for the time being prefer modifying these views of the problem as follows. Since in course of time this oral tradition did not remain unaltered the stories communicated and the information furnished by the ancient commentators and epic and puranic works of later time do not—as 84 L. 18. L. Like all suktas of the Rgveda these poems presuppose a mythical and legendary background known to many85. p. In his opinion this background was the same 'popular' Hinduism as that of the Buddhist Jatakas and the natural surroundings of the stories can best be known from the epics and typically Hinduist purdnas. 27 Int.. 297. which was lost and replaced by the much later prose text that is known to us. there remains one serious question to be solved: can it be taken for granted that the situation and the relations between the oral tradition of 'complete' stories and the stanzas of these Rgvedic suktas were similar to those in the Buddhist or Jain communities of later times ? An attempt to understand this relation was subsequently made by Rocher84. See also HOBSCH. 2: cf. 341. 1967 (Wiesbaden 1971).The structure of the Rgvedic poems 209 arguments. he holds. p. Alsdorf holds. A possible background of the dkhyana hymns of the Rgveda. 45. 4. . 86 Oral explanation of texts or chants which often are hardly intelligible to uneducated members of the audience has for many centuries been a common feature of Indian social and religious life. popular in character. which. 8. 85 It may be remembered that sometimes the narrative stanzas of the poet himself supplied some information. no direct evidence for it has come to us from that early period. If. Or. Regarding the existence of an earlier prototype in verse and prose as unnecessary and in any case as difficult to prove he argues that the hymns under discussion could be understood only by those who were familiar with the background from which they spread and to which they constantly allude. never written down and therefore lost to us. Proc. V. Representatives of this elite drew on this oral tradition whenever they were required to give some explanation or supplementary information86. the information or 'message' is conveyed through the prose parts which—whether they are dialogized or not—permit a great deal of improvisation. contain much older material than is often believed. Just as the Pali Jataka collection originally included the stanzas (gdthds) only.. G. it is true—of a much vaster literature. so. but interpreted and consciously handed down in the light of their own views of life and the world by the spiritual elite. Although this background existed alongside with the Veda. though admitting of some slight modifications.

). 3. p. 1. see ALSDOBJT. The wish to preserve these words in a fixed form can therefore have been one of the factors determining the inclusion of these dialogues in the Rgveda90.g. 4). known to us is not very surprising. 1.g. 90 Generally speaking.C. 108. which is very often present in sacred poems expressing mythical truths or relating traditions about legendary ancestors and intended to secure important results. 33. early or 'primitive' prose often contains passages of fixed and rhythmic form consisting of conversation between the persons who play a part in the story (see e. 89 . F. 205. for instance.. 3. 33 in crossing a river (2. could be greatly expanded by the literal quotation of the words of the divine or deified principal characters. E. BOAS. as legend spells88 or accompany optional rites performed from some interested motive89. O. 165 in the case of a man who wishes to establish a kingdom (1. RV. 83 f. 10. generally speaking. It seems worth recalling that some dialogue hymns are prescribed in the Rgvidhana. Gonda • Vedic Literature far as we are able to see—always tally with the contents of the suktas. p. New York 1955. were—like many other hymns. The fact that these suktas. it should be remembered87—not enjoined in the ritual ceremonies as described in the sutras etc. The dramatic element. 309).210 J. 26. 3f. These texts may have been included in the Rgveda—a corpus of an on the whole considerably different character—because they were believed to be inherently powerful and could be used. 87. Primitive art. 87 88 See p.

H. L. A. S. 463. p.g. I. the Rgveda is neither a collection of primitive popular poems8 (as it was apt to be described at an earlier period of indological studies) nor an anthology of purely literary poems. VII. Uber den Geist der indischen Lyrik. GRASSMANN. cf. HOPKINS. H. at ZDMG 49. It has been observed that the language of the poets had undergone long cultivation and that much of their work must have been 'artificial' and the expression of speculation or of some vague mysticism. only marred by a lack of unity and proportions and an excess of subtleness and metaphysics. in 12 AIOC I. 32. 14. 37. p. iibers. The Rgveda from the stylistic point of view Widely divergent judgements have in the course of the last century been pronounced on the aesthetic value of Vedic poetry1. Bergaigne et l'indianisme. 6 See e. SHASTRI. W. P. KAEGI. 4. in the eyes of an early critic2. 2 B.S. 11. GEIGEB. p. BRTJNNHOFER. VI. 674). 5 See S. GRIFFITH. Indiens Literatur und Cultur. p. the delicacy of thought and feelings so lyrically praised by earlier authors4 was in the eyes of others5 little more than primitiveness or the effect of an accumulation of worn and trivial liturgical formulas. 274. also OLDENBEBG. Paris 1890. It has also been contended that part of the texts were composed by competing poets without religious inspiration7. VON SCHROEDER. 84. According to P. 5. des Savants 1853. L. 3 Cf. The perfection and sublimity of the whole collection of verses. C. Leipzig 1887. sorrow and anger. 94.CHAPTER V THE STYLE OF THE VEDIC HYMNS 1. HILAIRE. I. e. WINTERNITZ. at J. the naive and delightful simplicity. 30. S. 56 the Rgveda is an anthology of beautiful lyrics. RV. p. p. In the presence of "much genuine joy. A. much real poetry" the artificiality of hymns made to order was according to many critics to be condoned6. 33. 8 See also OLDENBERG. E. p . 10. 91. SASTRI (Nagpur Univ. p. 4 See e. I. p. the grandeur of its sentiments. Der Rig-Veda. 11. Journal 12 (1948). KUNHAN RAJA. much beauty of expression.g. 1) is of the opinion that the Rgveda is essentially poetic in character7 KEITH. p. p. W. Vedaforschung. in Nord und Siid 16 (1881). RV.. 172 ( = K. p. p. LEVI. I. in JAOS 15. Leipzig 1878. p. ST. p. p. R. Leipzig 1882. U. p. Nagpur Univ.g. 35. V. of fastidiously elaborated artificial com1 Cf. 204. p. H. . However. 1854. Ph. The unmistakable monotony of part of the prayers and eulogies was as frequently emphasized as the charm of the Usas hymns3. the brilliance of its images and the profundity of its inspiration were. J ..

14 E. The Mitra hymn 3. or bristling with rare. 25. Those authors are no doubt right who have characterized these collections as poetry of very uneven literary merit11. It is rather a body of. 95). at MSL 4 (1881). 51. is nowadays held in much higher estimation than half a century ago16. p. 39. GONDA. GLASENAPP. P. 8. 44. 59. 18 E. DE. If. 29. p. It would however be hardly natural for a corpus comprising the productions of many poets extending over a long period to include no mechanical stanzas and commonplace17 hymns beside crisp and vigorous compositions of • As was BERGAIGNE'S opinion. language and an at first sight curious. XV. S. in NIA 9 (1947). 1. 39. 1957. 77 (RENOU. p. 85. on the whole. e. p. 34). p. 2. 35: RENOTJ. artificial. MACDONELL.g. J. P. FAY. 1. I. p. E. stereotyped. p. HENRY. p. 65. P. skilfully composed religious hymns10 serving useful purposes. PARANJPE. 43. H. 325). Others again have been stigmatized as obscure. 42 (RENOU. 8. VII. However. or confused compilations12. feeble. 91. E. 64. S. 6). 13. 10. 65. RV. 161. 11. P. X. 108. p. 301. 5. 13 Cf. 85 (RENOU. 8. II. 10. I. or a mere string of eccentric rhetorical delicacies and subtleties9. in MSL 9. p. 149: RENOU. V. 106 (GELDNER. E. p. For a modern reader. P. . RV. L. 18 see-GRASSMANN. V. 323. the strophic structure and the persistence of a conventional framework all suggest a traditional literary form. V. K. mediocre or devoid of a deeper meaning13. p. 53. p." 16 Cf. P. New Haven Conn. 4. RV. obscurity as well as banality may be due to our lack of comprehension15. XII. 64). REGNAUD. 151 (RENOU. XVI. Mitra and Aryaman. p. in places formulaic or technical. CCXXIX). 73 (E. 17 The versifier of 8. produced by more or less inspired poets belonging to the sacerdotal class. 13. often almost harmonious. 89. JAOS 16. in 13 AIOC II. p. 8. 66. in KHR 21 (1890). 32. for instance.212 J. 1 (RENOTJ. seems to betray himself by bathos and triviality: "Do not overlook us with thousands of kine and horses. as incoherent or repeating what in other hymns is said in a more felicitous or impressive way. RV. 96. Ill. 41. The often finished phraseology. 18. 93. p. E. E. P. V. 1. 5. p. 73.g.g. in most cases rightly.. 105: GELDNER. 4. Ill. Ill. 129. 15. but on closer investigation highly adequate style. RV. 44 (GELDNER. E. XVI. P. The Vedic god Mitra. 71). there is indeed no denying that some texts are clumsy. 38: RENOXJ. RV. W. at PAOS 1895. 5. p. P. E. See e. 137. V. Leiden 1972. 8. 49. 10 Cf. THIEME. 46). been characterized as banal. ambiguous or enigmatic expressions14. 15 P. 1. p. V. p. its style exhibiting a most interesting. 5. From the stylistic point of view the hymns are neither uniform nor of the same value. V. V. 10. 10. G. IV. Ill. for instance.g.V. V. 10. Although on the whole the hymns proper and other component parts impress us as skilfully composed. 1. p. 71. u :. 170 (GELDNER. 186. Other suktas have. v. the frequent references to inspiration and the poems' functions point to personal impulses. p. p. As to 2. 395).g. Gonda • Vedic Literature positions. ubers. studying the Veda entails being persuaded to perceive an imaginary world through the instrumentality of a difficult. 4. 7. E. for 'elementary' poems see e. L. mixture of archaic and archaistic traditionalism on one hand and functional elaboration on the other.

336. p. 332. p. as far as the selection of syntactic constructions and stylistic 'figures' are concerned. 15. 4. 16. 22 For the stylistic value of grammatical doublets see RENOTJ. 2. IJV. P. I. p. O. See e. highly archaic—and in places archaizing—language. E. 5. BELVALKAR. p.e. 12. 59). II. I. at Silver Jubilee Vol. liturgical or theological. 73. 41. V. 55. 44. I l l . stanzas which in their contents and structure may be supposed to have arisen. as a literary form. V. RENOU. 9. 9. in general. However. p. simple or at least in harmony with well-known tendencies. p.C. I. In many peculiarities of their style20. There is however a considerable amount of truth in the statement23 that in many places the phraseology of the Rgvedic hymns seems to be drowned in an indistinct mass of hyperbolic eulogies. 4. dignified. A great wealth of grammatical forms22. For 'literary strata' also S. GELDNEB. p. 38. only half intelligible to anyone who knows only classical Sanskrit. their obscurity being due to our imperfect understanding of allusions. p. p. I. while being complete in themselves. e. at BSL 61. 13. H. at Die Sprache. Questions relating to a preference for rare or special words must be left undiscussed. p. in ZDMG 40. 327. patchwork19. X. REGNATTD. to 'slang': PISCHEL-GELDNER. 10. 9. 19 18 RV.The style of the Vedic hymns 213 true solemnity18. this is not to endorse the attempts made to distinguish between two genres of Vedic poetry. 11. references and terminology.g. esoteric.21. 392. P. 15). S. Kyoto TJniv. P. 309. 713. 5. p. 20 For the style of the mantras in general see GONDA. 190. Repetitions. often leave full scope for imagination and supplementation. Old Indian. In hymns dedicated to the Maruts there is a certain predilection for terms for "sport* (ing)" (RENOTJ. The largely hieratic. 12. creates the impression of natural vigour. unnatural and symbolical features). RENOTT. 8. 85. p. 8. especially within the hymns addressed to the same deity the same selections of words and expressions are found again Cf. I l l . 5 A. For linguistic questions bearing on stylistics see GONDA. 113. sufficiently nuanced stanzas which. 135. 5. 1 (1949). 127-139. 5. E. passim. 302. 11.g. RV. under the influence of the style of prayer and ritual formula. 427). 5. : 23 RENOTJ. 91. 21 See e. See also BLOOMFIELD. a considerable number of nominal compounds and a copious vocabulary. in those addressed to Dawn for "splendour and prestige" (dyurnha: E. 49. L. 11. and compare. cf. p. genuine religious feeling and real poetical excellence. LTJDWIG. 5. RV. K.g. p. also RV. 3. With the exception of mandala X there are hardly differences of dialect worth mentioning. sometimes technical21. 4. . 54. V. 31. Zinbun-Kagaku Kenkyusyo. anomalous. I l l . in 2 AIOC. p. 153. P. practically all the hymns are. 1. 62. that of the original formulas and the more or less spontaneous expressions of poetic thought and that of learned and complex. 9. (if appearances are not deceptive) rich in stately words and phrases. 6. p. II. 1. 1954. an often concise and elliptic phraseology enable the poets to couch their thoughts in melodious. some of which were never paralleled in later times. and GELDNEB'S notes (cf. 1 (emphasizing the isolated. V. GELDNEB. Surmises have been raised with regard to 'coarse' or 'popular' expressions—often misjudged by westerners—: on 10. 5. p.

V. 93. HOPKINS. in I I J 2. E. 47. Besides. 77 (RENOU." Fixed combinations of words may. in ZDMG 38 (1884). may recur in poems addressed to a subordinate god. Oldenberg at the time found himself unable to detect. for instance to describe Indra. p. 1: 7. p. How often a poet has suppressed a thought which would have smoothed an abrupt transition away we do not know33. 7. 9: 9. 37. 52. p. p. 4. 86. p. 103 (RENOU. 53. 15: 18. B. 69 on RV. RV. 1.. whose range of action has something in common with Indra's. p. 156. Yet the occurrence. 526). 9. GELDNER. on 1. 10. RV. but this also is monotonously repeated27. IV. in PAOS 1895 ( = JAOS 16. RV... 21f. such as Parjanya (5. 26 27 88 29 Cf. IV. P. See also RENOU. X. RENOU. Many passages can be elucidated by parallels in other parts of the corpus34. Das Konigtum im RigCf. 84 . See also K. 8. 162. 27 (GRIFFITH. 452 ( = K. in mandala IX.g. 5. Many descriptive words are moreover vague and applicable to the plurality of divine beings: they are "active. CCXXXVI). RV. 18. JANERT.g. Cf. p. E. 157). Cf. 4. 28 und Atharvaveda. H. SCHLEBATH. P. 5. a typical soma phraseology. 1-4. and cf. 8. 10ff. 6.g. 61. 106. 1-3 OLDENBERG. The phraseology employed. 10. and especially the combination. 29. 83). GELDNER. 47. P. e. 9f. E. in allusive or enigmatic obscurity. L. V. This bent for similar and homogeneous expression and more or less stereotyped phraseology was no doubt promoted by the henotheistic tendencies : the poets were almost always inclined to attribute the same or similar high qualities to the gods eulogized24. 81. in these hymns. RENOU. V. 1. X I I I . but there can be no doubt that in supplying missing links we are liable to exaggerate.S. p. Repetitions. in similar contexts." "zealous. 61. 39. e. 2 a and 3-5 and compare 8." "supporting the cultivators. 5. 1. abrupt transitions31. also E. V. 71. 8. 30. 1. 1: 1. 69. 8. 87. The texts indeed afford numerous instances of interruption. 10. p. 4. 30 31 For an exception see RV. 1: 1. of successions of sentences without any apparent connexion32. Whereas the Usas hymns belong to the easiest parts of the corpus28 other poems are known as complicated 'baroque. 159). 86. 8. anacoluthon. 32 88 Cf. also MAINKAR. 61. p. 24 See e. 88. of certain images and epithets. 3. p. Wiesbaden 1960. 5.Gonda • Vedic Literature and again. E. P. I. W. 6. It is however not always easy to determine whether a passage is 'mystic' or just 'narrative' in character. 93. 5. It must be admitted that the independent and often isolated character of many stanzas does not promote the development of elaborated ideas or chains of reasonings30.g. 44. 1. E.214 J. 9. e. 110). P. 8. and a predilection for typical allusions characterize many passages as dedicated to definite gods even if their names are absent26. there are considerable differences between the hymns in complication. in syntactic constructions. I l l . p. 1. 1. p. 43. 48.' studied or overladen with similes29. 8. 1. 1. 5. 33. 5*: 6. 8. 19. V. many coherent lines of thought. There is.g. See e. 5: 6. 85. 5: 9. suffice to indicate a situation which obviously is not in need of a more detailed description25. IV.

5 . Rigveda. 9 . 73.4.. 3. 36 See e. Moscow 1972. p.. Those dedicated to Parjanya and the frogs (7. 104. F o r some exceptions (of limited c o m p a s s ) : 2. 19. p. to make great play with the possibilities of characterization and descriptive elaboration rather than with an uninterrupted continuation of a theme is already in this earliest document of Indian poetry clearly recognizable. V. 27. This is n o t t o endorse K E I T H ' S ( R . V .6 . P. 4. p. the dpri hymns) see BLOOMFIELD. 45. 40 C o m p a r e also V . 97. passim).1 0 . 3-5.5: 3. 5. 8. 104-105). 2f. 13-14. The tendency to accumulate details. V. in general. NORMAN BROWN. 72. 136. for imitative hymns in general (the Valakhilyas and 4. for particulars. It goes without saying that in many cases the meaning of a stanza is elucidated by another text-place. 16. 1 2 . 111. 82. V. 1: 3. in NIA 2.. see GELDNER'S and RENOTT'S commentaries. 8. 30. 1. 36f.. 66. 5: 7. 2.The style of the Vedic hymns 215 Parallelism or identity of thoughts are indeed extremely frequent35 showing that notwithstanding differences in subject and poetical value the lines of thought are often governed by uniformity36. p . 6. P . 3 . in this respect. 101103) draw in their phraseology from the Indra hymns (W.1 7 . Cf.. 30. 1-3. E. 1. p. 6.56. P h . 7 . 21. 2f.g. 6. for 9. 89. p. 38 See e. that passages are few in which a poet pursues the same subject39. P. ibidem. Dual deities. 7: 2. 22.8 . 7. 589. 4. 36. T. 73. 4. For similarity of obviously ritualistic hymns (e. 6. H E N R Y . allows himself to dwell upon the same event or (what we would call) systematically to relate an important occurrence40. 2ff. 3ff. 4 . 10: 6. 3: S5 We can only touch on the interesting subject of the stylistic interdependence of hymns and groups of hymns. 1-2. Additions or supplementary explanations— for instance after digressing or lingering over a detail—are not uncommon38. " 37 .. 9. 39 Cf. 45.g. 5 (a soma pavamdna hymn modelled upon the dpri hymns) RENOTT. p. 3f.1 3 .6 . Noten. 4. 3. 115). BLOOMFIELD. 10. 5. for the Asvin hymns 5. a motif once introduced is in a frequency of cases somewhat elaborately continued: (When it rains) "the mountains dress in clouds and 'violent' men (the gods of storm) loosen (the garment)" (5. 3. 85. 1: 6. 6) opinion: " w h e n t h e Vedic poet seeks t o compass m o r e elaborate t h o u g h t . 7. 1 6 . E . 4. 2. 2. 52. 3: 10.. 5f. h i s power of expression seriously fails h i m . 23. 5. p . 2: 4. 134.. 2. 7. 1. 34f. ELIZABENKOVA.. 4. 4. 103. 13. L e s l i t t e r a t u r e s d e l ' l n d e . 6f. J A . 23. 10. 74 and 8. 5 .g.. 4)37. the hymns addressed to the double deities have. U .g. 14f. 1. Repetitions. much in common (GONDA. 13. 33. E. etc. 62. Yet many authors prove able to present their hearers with a vivid description of some incident or a sober statement of a mythological fact which would not have been unbecoming in an epic narrative of greater length. P a r i s 1904. 9. OLDENBERG. 9. 6. 68. If. 8. 21. 4. 18. 38. 3. 1. 17. I I . 4-6. etc. 37.5: 3. 186. VIII. p . 22: 7. It is true that generally speaking the way in which these authors compose 'narrative' passages impresses us as irregular and elementary. 30. for the Usas and Soma hymns. Repetitions. 25. 7. RENOTJ.. 44. that many details of the composition are not perceptibly determined by an intrinsic necessity resulting from the structure and character of the whole poem. 30. p. 10. On the other hand. I l l . I . 5. 53. 3 . 4 5 . e.. p. 5f.

are 41 Cf. 11. When at 10. 48 Cf. gold and horses. tried to render assistance. 8: "To Sudas." Descriptive passages in the proper sense of the term. p. it offers us neither a coherent nor a clearly detailed picture of the pertinent procedure. wearing braided hair. 28. 44 RENOTJ. 6. PERRY. in elucidating it by a variety of metaphors and in penetrating its significance. 113. Gonda • Vedic Literature "On high. (GELDNER. 9. 4. For 3. the technique of these poets who generally select some special points from a series of mythological or legendary events. 3ff. D. 1. wrapping himself in mist41. 4ff. 1. narrative final stanzas e. 73. 85. RV. 5. O Indra and Varuna. For Indra's fight with Vrtra see also E. 6). P. HENRY. such as 5.g. Auswahl. 7)42.) is no doubt designed in magnification of divine power. 8. . p. had rushed upon him.. charms etc. 5. 111. for instance war and battle. 291. These narrative portions find their match in the minute and graphic descriptions of the personal appearance and equipment of that most popular deity.g. possessors of poetic inspiration. in MSL 10. glorious in battle. 4. 7." When Indra begins the battle the other gods abandon him for fright: "Shrinking from the snorting of Vrtra all the gods. of which they presuppose a knowledge. S. in the combat with the ten kings surrounded on all sides. 10. 10. 136 and PAOS 1880. the defier of foes. 10 the picture of a warrior who. 11. 83. 93. p. While choosing the episodes with care and emphasizing the critical moments. 6. returns from the battle-field is interrupted by the statement that Agni is his comrade and protector. E. I. 93.. Who. left thee in the lurch" (8. (clad in) white.216 J. 7. VII. 63. While (the clan of) the Trtsus. while weaving marvellous elements around the central themes which they vary according to their purpose and insight. they do not provide us with regular accounts of the events for their own sake. that is such as fill one or a few stanzas and evoke a clear image in the mind of the hearer. 179. Even in a case such as 4. 8. 10 see V. 10. at JAOS 11 (1885). 43 See e. 8 it reads that they cheered him. V. Even highly emotive subjects. Although the ninth mandala consists entirely of hymns dealing with the preparation ('clarification') of soma. Respectfully worshipped with inspired poetry. p. p. is not well suited to anything that borders on real narrative. he (Indra) stood in the air. Indra whose weapon was sharp conquered the enemy. 6. 5. 6. V. II. 32. 96. Hurled his weapon to Vrtra. 113. are likewise comparatively few in number. 78. 14f. What appears to be—and to a certain extent is—a description of the rains (5. p. but this detail is left unmentioned. they may be supposed to have returned. thy companions. Instead of this the poets take delight in viewing it in all aspects. also GELDNER. Notice also the succinct formulations of prayers. 18. On the other hand. 45. 6. 83. XLVII. 33. Ye. 4. laden with booty. In contradistinction to more or less successful recapitulations or succinct indications of a theme43 truly narrative passages of some length are rare and where they occur almost always characterized by what has been called 'immobilism'44. Cf. 158.

in Scientia 87 (1952). 38. N. Many poets do not fail in a certain ability to insert. 5. 2). 284. und das vedische Schonheitsgefiihl. 10). is a varied description of sunset: when Savitar reaches out his arms everything obeys him: the wind dies down. HILLEBBANDT. p. the voracity of the birds of prey is for a moment interrupted.) OLDENBERG also too onesidedly emphasized the aspect of beauty (Die vedischen Worte fur "schon" . S. auspicious. 123. Gottingen-Leipzig 1913. 83. MICHALSKI. The Morning-Wind illuminates heaven and earth. mainly or exclusively. in QJMS 50. 49 Cf. llf. 46 45 . sketchy pictures. 21) can lead to serious misunderstanding. 3). the wayfarer takes a rest. Leipzig 1954. 53. and that is his glory (1. 149. SASTBI. because he brings the day-blush. what is "beautiful" to Vedic man is also. 2 the Sun is said to follow Dawn as a youth runs after a girl. p. NG 1918. F. or at least 'human. p.) who slays with his arrows the unexpecting many that commit great sin. be due to a clash of religious opinions or differences in cult and worship47 is by no means obvious. will answer a call of their husband. pre-eminently useful. 1. 1. 2.." G. 122." (2. 49 is nearer to the mark: the Vedic poet is a revealer and fashioner of (what is his eyes was) truth (cf. 67. 830)). p. R. 6ff. See p. Hymns such as 10. 6. 134. at daybreak. . HAUSCHILD. There are the vigorous descriptions of Savitar. and also 5. 1. 2f. Especially in monologues and dialogues some poets prove to be able to typify their figures successfully. The conclusion that such dramatic or emotional. At 1. p. strings of felicitous characteristics: "(Indra. in Festschrift F. touching images. . 38. RV. the statement that its central theme is "the unravelling and exposition of beauty" (P.The style of the Vedic hymns 217 pictured with a few—though veracious—strokes45.. coming through the firmament in his chariot golden in colour and equipment49. There are many graphic—but almost always short— references to natural phenomena showing that a keen power of observation was often complemented by the gift of pictorial expression.) give a good idea of the former's character or behaviour: claiming everything for himself he denies that the Maruts in any way assisted him while performing his great deeds. 35 ( = K.' passages should. bhadra etc. 71. One should not however subscribe to the view that the Rgveda is a collection of "lyrics of love and beauty". . harmonious and impressive combinations of stylistic procedures48. excellent etc. CHAKBAVABTI. . Yet. 119 (the so-called drunken Indra)46 and 10. p. 34 (the gambler) are among the best examples. RV. in PO 7 (1942). or primarily. 6. 9. when he subdues the Cf. 10. 165. 6. Weller. 47 A. 10. 48 See also S. "suited to its purpose. Throughout the Rgveda there are felicitous stanzas. 2. 2 night and morning. Lieder des Rgveda. 115. 12. the Sun. represented as two wives who. Some stanzas at least of the dialogue between Indra and the Maruts (cf.. who does not forgive the arrogant man his arrogance . 5. 7. 46. to mention only one exception. very often. by way of illustration. the traveller unharnesses his horses. well-expressed thoughts. 4. 2f. 2. 7. In studying the meaning of certain words (sri. 35. In 1. 2. p. 38. are described as a barren woman dressed in a badly woven (or threadbare) garment and as a beauty resplendent in golden attire with the splendour of the sun. of Agni's voracity.S.

80. not always easy to determine. the soma) to Indra. 41. 2. 10. cf. 5. the courser makes haste. 6)52.e. 164. 44." It is self-evident that there often is a strongly religious or ritualistic flavour to these descriptions. 3 and 8. 4 (rains). has appeared. 37. 20. are often inserted to add to the clearness and vividness of a descriptive passage54. who. 58. also P. unites with the brightness of the sun (5.218 J. 9. 121. I l l . 8. 62. 3. thou Goddess Dawn.4. p. 7: (11) "When he has grown. p. fair to travel. Thy radiance. 2-6 the power of the primeval god and see also RENOU. V. in a battle "the ends of the earth made the impression of being covered (with dust). 83. there RV. bright in splendour The radiant Dawns have risen to be glorious. noisy and brilliant troop of the Maruts with their cars. the tumult has risen to the heavens" (7. 37. in the rains the waters gush. She makes all paths easy. 143. the sun is the golden55 (object) of broad compass in the firmament. 35. Shining in majesty. to the sporting. 64: (1) "Like waves of water. Poesie religieuse. 9. 1. 83. (2) Thou showest thyself gracious. 50. p. there is the evocative picture and conjuration of a conflagration in RV. 10. like a warrior the enemies50. The wealthy. 6. greedily (consuming) the foods with his greedy (flame). X. 12. 4. stands up. 6. 5. 2 (Savitar with the golden hand). garlands and golden ornaments in 1. For Usas see also RENOU. night is a black cloth.Gonda • Vedic Literature trees. the trees are swept away (5. Young Agni makes the greedy (wind) his messenger. 4. 1. (race). cf. RENOU. the god of fire is a reddish bull appearing among the dark (cows). 52 Cf. like a bathing (woman) to let herself be seen53. thou makest bare thy bosom. There are references to evening and night in 10. Looking splendid. far shines thy lustre." Sometimes an event or natural phenomenon is in the same stanza pictured as well as mythologically interpreted. 3. radiant with light. 63 RV. The sacrificial fire. E. 5. of rain accompanied by wind and lightning which makes the plants straighten themselves bringing refreshment to all creatures51. 10. 38. RV. 127. the white udder swelled for a man named Black (Krsna). 86 For gold. V. The white and resplendent flashes of lightning are mentioned in the same context as Agni. 7. 142. 36. 26. 64 Cf. 7. P. at ABORI 28. the officiants are invited to offer the extracted reddishbrown filament (i. 1). 7. p. thy splendours have flown up to heaven. 6. also 6. P. 10. 83. 13f. 6. 5. 46. Early in the morning the sun is a brightly coloured animal. 5. SASTRI. sprinkled with butter (and) moving gracefully. S. 85 and elsewhere and a characterization of the goddess Dawn. 42. 4. E. 3). 61 50 . consuming (the foods). 10. Words for colours. He so to say urges the swift one on. 4. being conscious of the beauty of her body. golden—not always suggesting the idea of wealth—see also 1. benevolent Daksina. cf. He follows the roaring of the wind.

45 describing sun- 56 RV. II. Calcutta-London 1922. like (that) of the sun. the fine semantic differences between these. X. 64 A. 3. grind up the evil being as though with a millstone" (7. 75ff. 42. Similar observations have been made with regard to the hymns for the Maruts included in mandala I and many of those occurring in other books62. 12). 65 MACDONELL. p. 3 putting into relief the differences between Agni's two aspects: "Whose appearance is. 150f. Vision. RENOU. (affording) a residence. S. Cf. haya. 48. . 6. inter alia the speckled or yellowish green56. 14. P. That. 31. 105. 39. p. 3. See GONDA. 5. abandon us in this danger in battle. as a little owl. A. 9. 23 a medicinal plant is said to be the upper one. 66 BEBGAIGNE. . 103. p. for instance.g. p. 46 (see also IX. are however as a rule difficult to determine57. For instance. 3 and instances such as RV.g. e. 0 beneficent one (Indra). Cf. 3. 8-13). V. those hymns of Rgveda I X which are composed in the shorter metres are on the whole in a 'light. 61. 5. 67 68 See S. 6. 12 64 . the Indra hymn 2. 1. . 10. 4. L. 14. 20 AIOC I. E. p. I. . 1. P. for instance. so essential for a complete understanding of the texts. 3). 0 beneficent one. 430. 3. Many passages are couched in simple and direct language. the trees its subjects. 10. 63 BEBGAIGNE. 4. the Savitar hymn 2. 3. 12 (cf. I. the suKTa 5.*7. when thine intuition—(and) glowing (thou art)—vigorous. Moreover. some Usas hymns. 104. whereas those in longer metres tend to be 'heavy' and strained61. atya. RV. BHAWE... 3f. There is no lack of eloquent and aptly worded prayers and invitations 60 : "Do not.The style of the Vedic hymns 219 are various classes of frogs. Irrespective of stylistic variations conditioned by differences in subjectmatter the styles of different parts of these collections may vary considerably. 36)—or in the cosmogonic hymns rise to a lofty expression of the underlying thought. 1. 5. 11363.133. 45. p. p. p. to denote objects or concepts the poets often had the choice of a wealth of 'synonyms'—thus a 'horse' may be called asva. (but) terrible. H. R. RENOU. A. 1). 1889 (I. .. 97. 85. "Destroy the fiend (who appears) as a great owl.' simple and uncomplicated style. Bharadvaja knew how to phrase effective contrasts appears from 6. p. 2f. H. 75. sapti. L. sets out for booty58. the same (god) is at night anywhere pleasant. " (1. 48. V. vdjin. 6. whether they are very human prayers—"May I not live to lose a friend or son" (8. 89 60 61 62 Compare also 6. MACDONELL. 6. in J. 54. At 10. 71. Hymns from the Rigveda. See e. 61. 42. 7. 10. on the rubbish . 11. 10. V. WINTEBNITZ. 1. E. 40 addressed to the dual deity Soma and PUsan66. "Dash. 6. 78. p. he the wood-born one" 59 . as a dog . arvat. spotless. for the end of thy might cannot be fully reached" (1. 98. 22). 13. 7. the whole crew of these witches in the lurking place. 13). 38 65 . Among those suktas which various authors have praised for the comparatively high order of their poetical excellence are. 2. S.

VII. 14. happy combinations of words. they contain many hymns and other passages which can. p. 101) or well-considered. the short and comparatively simple eulogy of Agni 10. In appreciating the aesthetic or evocative value of the individual hymns tastes and opinions will always differ. for 7. p. E.C. RENOTJ. and not in the last place of Indian 73 . 85 in honour of Varuna68. as 'profound. II.220 J. simple and imaginative hymn to the Forest" (10. O. VII. AP 22 (1951). 51 (ibidem. 9 (GELDNER.g.' e. 88 and 89 see VON SCHROEDER. is in describing the "richness. 12 AIOC III. V. XXXIV. 6. p. like other modern Indian authors. I. depth and fervour" of these poems too lavish in his use of superlatives. 64: RENOTJ. S(H)ASTRI. 67 68 LUDERS. be appreciated. p. S. RV. 88. also nowadays. MATILAL DAS. 121. the classic hymn 5. 232). and last but not least the cosmogonic hymns 70 10. p. . P. 156. 41. E. "the pure. e. SASTRI.g. ATJROBINDO. in IHQ 34. 12971. H. 72 For a collection of translations prepared for the use of the latter category of readers: RENOTJ. who. 325.g. V. beauty. p. One should however avoid speaking of a 'Rgvedic theory of poetry or literary criticism' (P.e. 5. 153). p. Varuna. p. but the fact that they continue to touch the hearts of modern. Gonda • Vedic Literature rise 67 . IHQ 34. VII). 71 Other hymns are characterized as 'original. II. (see p. 18. but also by readers who try to discover well-expressed thoughts. the sUKTa addressed to SUrya and VaiSvanara 10. p. P. P. harmonious stanzas. 6. 43. P. 73 See e. and others quoted in this chapter. 70 Hyperbolically praised by BRUNNHOFER. p. Although the study of the Vedas is reserved for specialized scholars. not only by those who seek religious edification or a deeper understanding of certain phases of human culture. . 146)69. readers is most gratifying. Pondicherry 1952. 6.' e. p. in QJMS 40. in short poetic beauty 72 . S. 6. 555. p. Hymns 69 to the Mystic Fire. The poetry of the Rigveda.g. 90.

E. p. Zum Problem einer indogermanischen Dichtersprache. OGIBENIN. Die lateinische Dichtersprache. RENOU. p. variation 221 Whereas earlier students of Indian literature were inclined to the view that the Rgveda reflects naive beliefs and sentiments struggling with a language that had never been a vehicle of poetical ideas. SCHAEDER. Our term 'plagiarism' is inapplicable. Semantic aspect of the Vedic poetic language in connection with . B. words. which were on the one hand not in all respects identical with the daily parlance of the communities to which they belonged4 and on the other possibly varied and reduced in number by gifted poets and redactors. e. in Die Weltliteratur 18 (1943). combinations of the type vdyav indras ca 'Vayu (vocative) and Indra (nominative)'9. 582. in ZDMG 40 (1886). . in KZ 2 (1853).The style of the Vedic hymns 2. It became clear2 that these poets must have stood on the shoulders of many generations of predecessors. that a considerable part of their vocabulary. 116 ( = Kleine Schriften. O. Repetitions. A. P. in Melanges Renou. 4. Rome 1969. Repetitions. "undecaying renown" (dhsiti irdvah. RENOU. Among them some pronouns. FICK. phrases. . 135. I I I .g. 2. 3 See R.' i. p. 2. it is true. WtiST. . p. E. vocatives.C. the non-narrative character of these texts no doubt prevented the formulas proper from gaining more importance. in all oral poetry. 8 9 7 RV. BENVENISTE. 19. 4 For a definition see M. Moscow 1971. 276. p. Helping. parallelism and its corollaries. see also BLOOMFIELD. 669. Die ehemalige Spracheinheit der Indogermanen Europas. p. 85. the task of composition these ready-made phrases. certain introductory formulas such P. Nowadays there is hardly any dispute over the hypothesis that already in prehistoric times poets and reciters drew on and chose from a collective inheritance of fixed forms. W. p.e. been brought to light at an earlier date: A. P. p. p. VON BRADKE. BLOOMFIELD. the Indo-European poetic language (Russian). gravitating to certain positions in the verse according to their metrical value had formulaic tendencies. V. I l l . GONDA. Pagliaro. 4. Formulas. 3. many of which variable or adaptable in accordance with the context. Zurich 1959.g. Phraseologie poetique de l'indo-iraneen. 1. Gottingen 1873. Museum Helveticum 4 (1947). the way to a more adequate insight was paved in the last decades of the XIXth century1. E. Rhema 12. 40. p. Dichtung und Dichtersprache in indogermanischer Zeit. p. 1. Wiesbaden 1967. frdvas dksitam)8 which recurs in Homer. Even single words7. LETJMANN. R. "the herdsman of (the) people" for a ruler found also in ancient Greek and German poetry. 251. V. Isolated elements of that 'poetical language' had. 4. L. One of the main characteristics of the idiom of this oral poetry was a considerable number of 'formulas. 131). p. 5 However. 11.. KUHN. 73. Some of them most probably are features of prehistoric tradition because they also occur in other ancient Indo-European literatures. Miinchen 1969. etc. 6. p. 467. S. See e. passim. Studia A. e. 2 6 1 Cf. case forms. p. H.g. Poesie religieuse. proved their worth also from the point of view of the reciter and of the transmission6. 5. of fixed phrases apt to recur in similar circumstances5. SCHMITT. SCHMITT. I l l . Von indogermanischer Dichtersprache. style and technical procedures was inherited3. H.

p. 'whose hand is with the thunderbolt'). 150 on RV. whether Indo-European or not13. 12 Cf. p. I. 164. E. Sequences as for instance "Stop lower one. 62. 49. P. the pre-eminently visual type of nominal compound exemplified by Vedic vdjrahasta 'thunderbolt-handed' (lit. 17 GONDA. . S. p. the language of the Rgveda is by no means a collection of syntactic oddities16 or bizarre 'figures of speech.14 A fair number of these peculiarities are common to both prose and metrical texts15. a good substratum for nursing and preserving widespread and often archaic—but fundamentally normal—forms and structures such as several varieties of parallelism and balanced binary groupings of words17. 93. R. we would like to prosper. S. E. 61. 10. C . RV.222 J. 2 and 5. indeed. 5. Of much greater frequency and importance than the last-mentioned features are however other stylistic peculiarities some of which may for a moment arrest our attention. e. 126 on 7. sequences of questions introduced by "I ask" (1. 153 (also for a review of opinions and misconceptions). though free in sentence and verse construction. O Varuna and Mitra. a 'three-headed and sixeyed' dAsa (demon or barbarian: RV.. attribute etc. I I . S. GELDNER. though 'hieratic' and therefore to some extent exclusive and artificial.. 0 heaven and 10 11 SCHMITT. 127. o . 22. 37. 50. 277. . 9. XIV. 10."10. 6. 1. RENOTJ. 17. O . p. winning. The style of the poetry and the liturgic 'prose' formulas of the Veda was. Among these are certain combinations of a noun and an adjective.' A considerable part of its stylistic pecularities are due to hypertrophy or an onesided development of normal usage rather than abnormalities or the products of eccentric literary inclinations. So. 227 on 10. 20. providing a poet with the shortest means possible of picturing the distinctive quality.. e. and in Language. SCHMITT. 2). p. Gonda • Vedic Literature as (AV. p . 6). 29. 52. of his personages12. Although the number of compounds is higher in descriptive and emphatic passages. P. V. R. Many stylistic 'devices.' often incorrectly described as ornaments or redundancies. KEN'OU. 16 Cf. p. p. p. V. 162 on 6. R. . 15 'Carmen style': GONDA. 13 Cf. p. 6. stop. 14 To avoid repetition Vedic poetry will in the following pages be considered as a whole.1) "Hear. the Vedic poets were far from using them so profusely as did many authors of the later period. p.g. "We would like to win. GONDA. 99. Taking full account of the fact that the styles of literary products vary considerably according to their contents and the occasions for which they are composed the Vedic poems may be said to share in general many features which are characteristic of ancient religious poetry elsewhere. 34)11.g. 30. 201. p. 17 and Old Indian. III. 0 men . 231. invocations or conjurations intended to be solemnly recited. upper one" (AV. It is not surprising that the correspondences in ancient Iran are comparatively numerous. c . substantially add to the special flavour and impressiveness of the Vedic mantra texts which without them could hardly have fulfilled the requirements of archaic prayers.

Orient. often a 'didactic' pleonasm resulting from a desire for exactitude or for emphasizing the thought 18 See e. Like other syntactic structures22 the above symmetrical word groups were often skilfully and even admirably adjusted and harmonized with the norms of versification. 159. There were ample other opportunities for the poets to fit their thoughts into the metrical patterns: thanks to the so-called free. 14. 21. in order to persuade the invisible powers or to restrain them from doing harm. 2. 42. not the single pAda. 4. an abundant supply of indeclinable and often interchangeable words allowed them to fill up their verses if they were in need. 22 GONDA. not quadrupartite20. but by no means arbitrary word order. 6. 6. relieve him. who is of a different region" (AV. AV. 89. 8). 14. 95. 30. p. This effect is not infrequently achieved by adding an epithet or other words to the noun of the second member: "I invoke Mitra (and) Varuna of pure ability" (RV. 8. 12. 1.. in many cases. 6.g. 534). 73. 85. 21 . BEHAGHEL'S (IF 25. p. H. 64. 9. 5. IL 20. 6. 8. 21. in IL 20 (1958). 9. Syntaxis en versbouw voornamelijk in het Vedisch. 7. 2. 10.or fourfold parallel structures may. 50. I. 5.R. In reading the following paragraphs one should remember that many Vedic stanzas are. 9. 1. 7. the positive and negative expression of the same thought. 26 See also 1. 1. 67. 4. 7. prospering" (RV. 2. P. not exceeding the length of a metrical unit. S. 1 (a simile in the form of a parallelism). Kongress. p. 103. 4. Often the half stanza. 33 etc.. 24 Cf. 65.g. 7. 6. 11. 2. 64. 6). 112. RV. 6.. GONDA. 1960. AV. 10. are far from rare18. p. The widespread tendency to start with shorter elements or at least to end with longer ones manifests itself again and again23. 3. 20 GONDA. Wiesbaden 1959. 5. 23. 22. 10. bipartite. 57*. 6. 23 O.. 81. 3. constitutes the substructure of the phenomena under consideration21. V. 9. 10. E. 164.The style of the Vedic hymns 223 earth. 4. 15. 23. RV. 16. p. 14. 4. 1) and their variations such as "Varuna who is of the same region. 18. 102. 15. 98. RENOU. corollaries and related structures may be mentioned also: for instance. 7.g. 2. 13. contribute still more to a certain solemnity of a passage and to emphasizing the ideas denoted by the non-identical terms19. 110) tendency to increasing length or magnitude. 25. 52. 1. p. 16. 15. AV. 6. 19 See e. Iff. 4)26. AV. 62. 25 Compare also instances such as RV. Int. 54.g. 87. in MSS. 12. "who overpowers. the verb which both members of the parallelism have in common is—in consequence of the aversion to long and complicated syntagmata—often placed in the middle so as to make the first member longer. 1. The less frequent instances of three. 87. S. AV. 55. 1. 24. 5. make him also free from disease for me" (AV. p. 17. 1. 35 (cf. 11. 48. Akten24. Some variations25. 8. 10. R. 5. 58. from the point of view of syntax and subject matter. 8. 1). 5. 60. HUMBACH. 7. p. also RV. e. is not overpowered" (RV. 11. 3. Amsterdam Acad. Yet. and increasingly also in their metrical form. 1. 3. 6. "This man of mine—bring him. 64 and especially Syntax and verse structure in the Veda. 5. Multiple parallelisms in which part of the terms are replaced by similar words are sometimes occasioned by context and situation24. See e.

3 . p. 32 33 GONDA. 7. of anaphora29. 2. 17. 4. 4. 24). 4. R."at the beginning of five successive pddas of the final stanza AV.224 J. 84..e. 20. 8. 8. 2) and the predilection for negative terms or combinations of positive and negative terms see GONDA. 11. R. there is no other than thee to pardon him" (1. p. I. 83. V.. 201. 4 7 . 13.g. R. 4. 2. 8. Some poetical aspects of the Rgvedic repetitions. 28 For the prevalence of juxtaposition and additive sentence construction see also RENOU. this parallelism prevented the parts of a stanza from becoming isolated. 31 is more impressive and more suited to accompany ritual acts than a synthetic formulation of the thought "Homage to all of them. Warsaw 1965. 3. S. .. p. Anaphora is in the Veda no more than in other ancient literatures an artificial device invented to add charm or beauty to the style. 10. Enjambement being rare. 16. 15)31. 116. rhyme and other cases of recurrence of the same—or similar—words in the same places in one or more successive utterances30: s'pfdho ddevir abhi ca krdmdma visa ddevir abhy a&navama "we would overpower the godless rivals. 230. RV. There are also the hyperbolic affirmations of the type "Thou alone . 5. S. 24. It is moreover a striking characteristic of many paronomastic word 27 For the 'figure' of the litotes (e." Anaphora is likewise not rare in a frequent type of stanza structure : "If one's life has gone to an end. For other instances see GONDA. 56. 31 Cf. 4 . 11. 2 1 . 177. we would overcome the godless clans" (RV. 2... 6ff. 9. 103. a speaker or author was liable to repetitious speech33. under the influence of emotions. three successive sentences begin with "if. The frequency of parallel sentence structures. The repeated "Homage to . 1. P. Poona 1966. 19). 32. 1. A V . 3. 19. or if one has deceased. S. 1. 9 . of the repetition of sentence patterns that. 4. 5. RENOU. E. MAINKAR. 3 1 . 4f. the emergence of a style in which the tram. 93 and Four studies. 1. 6. 166. i. once adopted. 6. also 6. 6. of thought was broken up into short clauses and sentences28 patterned upon the same models. 49. Contrary to current opinions alliteration32 is another feature of the Vedic literary style. RV. p. Gonda • Vedic Literature expressed in its first member and sometimes incorporated into a larger unity with variations on the same theme27. G. 10. 95. ." the last occupying the second half of the stanza. 3. also R V . 6 1 . 63. in general. wilt estimate the worth of a mortal man. . also T. 6. 12. 2 8 . 113.g. 128. but often rather a natural means of focussing attention on a central or important idea: "Ready are they when I go out early. . e. . 2 5 . 29 Cf. in Symbolae linguisticae G. p. . 84. p. 8. also RV. 4. . 4 . 108. AV. Kurylowicz. 34. ready when I go out late" (RV. Anaphora and an increasing ponderousness of the members of an utterance are a favourite device in emotional or pathetic passages. 1. or if one has been led even to the presence of death". 7. 34. 14. Just as in other languages it was apt to occur when. 34. had proved adequate means of expressing specific thoughts. 30 Cf. 1. 4 . 13. 36. Cf. 3 . entailed a constant occurrence of so-called vertical correspondences. whether they are noisy or hairy or .

6. 111. insistence: in combination with alliteration and paronomasia e. 10. 3 . 86. Icrsyai tvd ksemdya tvd "For land culture thee. 4. 0 Spoon. 5 5 . 38 39 40 See e. 37 34 GONDA. 12. 5 says three times "away" at the beginning of a pada to make the verb belonging to this adverb.g. O. 10. 3. and combinations of synonyms. also RV. MAINKAR. 3 . many prayers or conjurations were made more effective. also RV. lacking in these texts 37 : hvdydmi agnim prathamdm suastdye / hvdydmi mitrdvdrwndv ihdvase "I call on Agni first for welfare.265. also R V . 2.g. I call on Varuna and Mitra here for aid" (RV. A V . deserved to be concealed. 8 .ScHMiTT. 1. issued in honour of A. 28. e. sukrena iocisd "with bright light" (RV. 31 see M. 86. 4. 8. "let loose" the opening word of the last quarter 42 . 156.12andcf. p. 5. complementary terms or other words35. p. 8. COOMARASWAMY.. 14). 6. on 10. . 4. FOWLER. 1. 6 . 35. 26. 54. g . 6. 6. 1. 2. well-filled fly back again" (AV. 1-15). 0 Agni . RV. 16. 7. 6. 7. fly away. 3)40. more fitted to activate divine power by these forms of repetition: The oft-repeated "Thou. 10. 180. 31." is most helpful in suggesting the idea that Fire is the foremost of all gods 41 (RV. 7 and 8. 19. 34. 91. See e . AV.g. most excellent" (10. the giver of sacrificial presents". 186 (linguistically unreliable). 3. 35 See e. p. RV. 5. 3. goes by an upward path" (1. 1. MAINKAR. viz. I) 38 . O. 96. 41 On RV. 103. 16. 1. 3.The style of the Vedic hymns 225 groups34. also POUCHA. 79. 5) 39 . 5. help to picture a variety of sentiments or dispositions or to express consistency. 30. 18. However. Like other forms of responsio (correspondence) it often fulfils a connective function in versification: purnd darve pdrd pata I supurnd ptinar a pata "Full. Invoking Varuna to release him from sin the poet of RV. 6 guild hitdm guhyam gulhdm apsu / HosTe dadhe ddksine ddksindvdn "him (Vrtra) that had secreted himself in a hiding-place. 12. 2 1 . at ArchOr 7 (1935). Nor are various types of rhyme and homoioteleuton. V S . 1. 1. 1.g.g. 2. R. 7. 59. rhyme is another means of welding the parts of a stanza together and of giving it an interior balance: yati devdh pravdtd yaty udvdtd "the god goes by a downward. 21. also R V . p. 164. They occur in twin phrases: presthah Sresthah "dearest. 35. 1. 1.22. London 1947. 3. 9. 35.c. 2. 12. concealed in the waters. 34 see above. 5. on 1. 104. 42 For various cases of anaphora see e. . AV. 40. 7. . 9. 6.C.148.1. 9. 1. 48. S. 7. 1. 4ff. 7 . 3. 10. A V .p.. 4. 2. 1. 1. 7 . 5. 3. 19. 1.C. In short. 39. 7). On paronomasia and 'popular etymology' cf. p. 2. 6. 14. for peace and quiet thee" (VS. 423. 2. 2 1 . the authors of Indian antiquity made no more than their colleagues in the ancient West a consistent or systematic use of rhyme. 22)36. in Art and thought. AV.g.o. obsession. AV. 1.g. e. 8. 3. I t adds to the suggestiveness of many formulas which often derive their efficacy from sound repetition: samudraya svahd sariraya svahd "To the ocean hail! to the heaving sea hail!" (VS. 5.25). 154. 54. 7. 4. 6. See e . 3. 5. 9. 1. 3. K. he (Indra) took in his right hand. 1. 9.5. 5. 143. 2 2 . a n d cf. g . 40. 157. 14. 1 3 . 201. 28. whether or not accompanied by one of the preceding phenomena. 36 See e.12. 32. 2. 83. 29. 1. 5.

likewise of considerable frequency. impel. KENOU. See e. to grant" in hymns dedicated to the Sun47 attest to the authors' well-founded conviction that instigation or impulse (sava) is the god's essential function.g. 48. of emphasizing or amplifying a verbal idea: sudlUbhih su didihi "shine well with good shining" (6. V. "to render. 57. 2. with the etymologically related verb sU. shall aim at us of good fame" (AV. 85. 6. 12. For the 'symbolical use' of sound patterns: V."to set in motion. 47 Cf. 75. R. 132. A. in MSL 109. both in colloquial and literary usage. 1. p. 49. of indicating otherwise nameless powers manifesting themselves in a definite activity: vicitas tvd vicinvantu "let selectors select thee" (VS. p. Like other deviations from a usual or preceding syntactic structure it tends. VII. on the part of the authors. 34. and so on. 54. So these widespread syntactic and stylistic phenomena were often used where modern languages would prefer another phraseology. in Poetics.. 7. 61. 65.g. p. 374 etc." and even more generally. in connection with deeds of this god. 49 50 2. e. Cf. it is not always easy to estimate the suggestive force of occasional paronomastic or assonant combinations48. p. A. 43. 5. XV. H. 41. V. From repetition comes variation: "Set us free from the misdeeds of our fathers. GONDA. 5. are neither due to an eagerness. 24). S. Poetical aspects. 4. 5. 6). 6.g. Savitar. p. 48 Cf. from those that we have committed by ourselves" (RV. 52. 202. 27). N. for puns or humoristic effects44. 17. 1). e. 17. 3). MAINKAR. For the possibility of etymological allusions see RV. 6. 232. Gonda • Vedic Literature Various other patterns of recurrent phonemes. 8. 2. p. 2. 10 (BERGAIGNE. 46 p. V. R. p. 66. AV. such as paronomasia. p. we cannot always distinguish between these assonant phrases of a predominant syntactic and stylistic significance and word combinations determined by the poet's desire to shed light on a hidden connection between ideas or phenomena46. On the other hand. P. 0 Soma. to 43 GONDA. E. E. 703. S. 2. 12. assonance. also vdrsanti vrstdyah "the rains are raining" (RV. to arrest the hearer's attention. . GONDA. 1. 22. 4. figura etymoJogica. and RENOXJ. S. BLOOMFIELD. 14 (anaphora with chiasmus). 10. TOPOROV. 3.g. e. 2). 1. 23. 82. Epithets. p. 1. 85. R. also 10. 84. 5)49.226 J. One of the most popular types of variation is. 12. 3. of elucidating or emphasizing connections: ddityaso dditayah sydma "may we be free (like) the Adityas" (RV. P. 2. cf. 3). the recurrence of the same word in another case form43. V. X. I. chiasmus50. 3. 86. 7. 245. 44 45 Cf. The Vedic poets no doubt readily adopted them as more ponderous means of giving vent to emotions: prdsam prdtiprdso jahi "smite the dispute of (my) opponent" (in the refrain of AV. 14. p. RV.. E. 9. 7. also in the Veda. and see RENOXJ. 164. 7. 273 etc. in MSL 18. RV. 26. nor mainly 'learned' or artificial45. of facilitating syntactic transitions or calling special attention to relations or oppositions: yd nah soma susamsino j duMdmsa ddidesati "whatever ill-famed one. 4. p. 6. p. 1. 5. P. The Hague 1966. MEILLET. Whereas the frequent associations of the name of the sun in its dynamic aspect. 1. 4 etc.

4)52.4 "We wish. on these .. 6. In the chiasmus vi vrksan lianty utd hanti raksdsah "The trees he fells and he fells the demons" (RV. 3. 15. 5. 3f. simultaneity). 21. the fundamental essentiality of the mythical events described are of special importance. 54. 8. In dealing with the same subjects and using the same or similar nouns and verbs the poets are free to vary their modes of expression. 5. 10. 8. another type of variation. 54 65 66 GONDA. 21. to overpower the assailants" "we" is expressed twice57. 4. passing from one phrase to another53. 1.g. 11). 3) there are more complicated cases in which other syntactic tendencies may have made their influence felt: drdtir no md tdrin I md nas tdrisur abhimdtayah51 "The niggard should not get the better of us. 13. in 1. 0 hero. . 8. N. 36. 33. 1. catenary structure of stanzas59 and repetitive concentration on one or more aspects of an 51 The enclitic nas (no) normally occupies the second place. 6. D. 2. Les fleurs de rhetorique dans l'lnde. It would be incorrect to consider58 the repetition in an emotional exclamation such as "Agni. 1. they always invoke with invocations . With H. There is the occurrence of the same word in a principal and a subordinate clause which in archaic. so to say. p. with valiant shooters. There is the repetition of the same word in the same sentence56 which. 67 68 59 Cf. in JBBRAS. E. 12 "Thou conqueredst the cows. p. 35. 18. AV.S. 2. 8. For a classification see H. RV. 2. 52 For other places see e. e. R. 90. . 14.. 1. 13. 1.. is one of the main characteristics of this poetry54. 62. " a mere ornament. II.. 5. longer words tend to follow on shorter elements of the same class. 3. 7. popular and more or less 'technical' usage was so often a conscious or unconscious means of achieving clearness: "Thy paths in the atmosphere. 1. 4. 8. 4 (graphic. See p. 35. DIWEKAR. not should get the better of us the hostile plotters" (2. in one form or other. can also give special prominence to it or. V. 2. 13. 10. The procedures are too numerous and varied to admit of a detailed discussion55.g. 25. 2f. S. your residence is dusky" (AV. See also RENOTJ. 130. with thee as a companion. 53 See L. As a result of this freedom words and meanings often develop. . though no doubt sometimes due to carelesness. If. p. 1. Thus repetition. RENOIT. . 2. 35. p. especially p. also 2. 2) the immediately repeated verb and the great distance between the two objects lend some special force to this quarter of a stanza. 8. 163. For twochiastic pairs of short sentences: 5. be an indicium of emotion: RV. paths do thou (come) today and do thou protect us" (Savitar is invoked: 1. 296. Paris 1930. 4. 118 (with examples from mandala IX). the soma" the verb. by an internal process. 19. When the theme. 3. Beside simple instances such as "Dusky is your place of repose. 5. Agni. to underline an antithesis. 82. 23. 7. 83. 14. 19. 16ff. 32. R. the qualities and exploits of the divine figures invoked. There are various forms of concatenation. There is. . like other forms of repetition. P. they are time and again stressed by iteration. of course. 0 Indra. 4.The style of the Vedic hymns 227 throw one or two elements of the utterance into relief. in Vak 5. VELANKAR. 196. thou conqueredst.. 3. 83.

the verb "to rise" being each time followed or supplied by other epithets. . 111. I l l . Gonda • Vedic Literature important fact such as in 1. If. 32. 12f. A suggestive force residing in the repetition of the same idea is notable in stanzas such as 6. 19ff.228 J. p. 45. 6. 1-4 sunrise is described four times. 10. 3)63. and see GRIFFITH. In a eulogy to Rudra it reads "the mightiest of the mighty" (2. a donor of treasures. 1: tvdm hy ague sddam it samanydvo devaso devdm aratim nyerird ili krdtvd nyerire dmartyam yajata mdrtyesv a devdm ddevam janata prdcetasam visvam ddevarp. 9. images and references to the importance of the phenomenon. also 1. cf. in JRAS 1932. his three strides. Appointed with resourcefulness. A. 1. 63 64 GONDA. p. They engendered the mindful one. his drink and the officiants worshipping him. 130. Epithets. MACDONELL. 62 E. Cf. 33. The repetition of words and ideas. 229. 16 the words for "bull" occur seventeen times in the three stanzas 4-6 this is more than a play on words: the author obviously wishes to pronounce a confirmation of Indra's bull-like character. the god. 2)64. and the one in whom the ways of wealth come together. provide a typical. I.g. the gods have for ever Unanimously appointed their manager. by no means rare. generally speaking. is perhaps meant to emphasize the recurrence of dawn which is the main theme of the poem61.. P. They worshipped the immortal one among the mortals. 6. When in 2. p. 1. . In 7. 91. 123 is conspicuous.same poet. the god's attributes. in Abh. Extended repetition. 6f. are bent on 60 61 See e. A. enlarging upon Visnu's most remarkable feat. (who) belongs to the clan. SCHWYZEB. . 7. like a thirsty bull" (1. R. 127-139. 357.. 7. 1. also RENOTJ. P. the poets. 265. 2 this construction occurs not less than four times. 10. like a bull. 3. 19. 44. 16fF. 226. p. O Agni. 127. They engendered the mindful god (so as to be) devoted to the gods. 226.. The procedure is apt to combine with other forms of repetition. 133. for which the Usas hymn 1. in 1." It will be clear now that. The hymns 1. 63. V. 7f. p. 11. 4. V. p. 5 eulogizing Indra as a possessor of cattle. (who is) devoted to the gods.g. Berlin Acad. H. such as paronomasia. 24. 1. S. 109. 130. I. janata prdcetasam: "Thee. 22. E. all in the same long and complex metre and ascribed to the . but in its consistency unparalleled. RV. For repetition of proper nouns or epithets see e. may become a structural principle •of a sukta: "Drink soma . 150. 5. 9. mentions this point not less than three times60. being also bull-like. p. add to his bull-like potency. where the poet. E. 1941. RENOTX. instance of complicated internal repetition: the last words of the second and fourth pddas and of the sixth and seventh pddas are almost continuously identical.. sensitive to proportion and completeness of form within the limits of a stanza.. Hypercharacterization62 easily assumes the outward form of hyperbolic paronomasia. and GONDA.

68 And in this case almost necessarily. 3. 71 See e. Leipzig 1954. For an extreme case of application of etymological figures: 6. 18. 5. the subject being indicated by two vocatives placed on either side of a caesura in the second and third member74. or st. 10. not only on their form but also on the general emotional trend of the passages in which they occur67. 45. 2. P. 573. is significantly68 given precedence. Orient. The hypothesis that at the base of these 'balancements' is an old rhythmic prose liturgical mode of expression—or rather a traditional 'carmen' style. e. 2. 2. 'From Power he was born. Four studies in the language of the Veda. moreover. R. the so-called tricolon abundans (in which the third member is the longest). V. Weller. p. p. 4. 5 in which vocatives and accusatives alternate to denote the same god. GONDA. 3. Triplication. or as 7. 114. 71. a fact overlooked by RENOU. 80. 1 a preverb occurring at the beginning is anaphorically repeated. 83. 7 are unfounded. Cf. 20. g. 30. XIII. 70 65 Cf. 2. 160. often are in harmony with well-established syntactic rules or stylistic tendencies66. 6). 11. ch. cf. 90. which. 1. A natural sense of variation and aesthetic alternation is apparent from stanzas such as 1. p. yajndsya devdm rtvijam j hdtdram ratnadhatamam™. Journal. 2 in which anaphora. 15. E. 3) and other stylistic features of minor importance. Syntax and verse structure. . 17). E. 5 (GONDA. p. 9 (Tirupati 1966). 6. etc. p. 1. p. other appositions each of them filling a pada are added to expand this short exordium and qualify the addressee: agnim lie purdhitam. 10. P. 129. 12. 2. 37. partial parallelism leading to a climax70. 13. (see above). 4.g.. 72 Space forbids to mention instances of 'analytic expression' of verbal ideas (e. I. HATJSCHILD. 73. Repetitions.g. followed by an apposition belonging to the god's name. 7): RENOU.' that is my thought of him. 1. also instances such as RV. 6. 67 GONDA. Syntaxis. much valued in religious texts. "higher": "lower" (7. 15. 6. 2. Agni. Sri Venkateswara Univ. 4. 59. Parallelism of thought and syntactic structure are supported by word correspondence in instances such as 10. 9. (cf. 44. 69 See e. 119. the two adjuncts in the first and the third.g. 4. S. 8. also such juxtapositions as "few": "many" (RV. V. 6f. 73 74 BLOOMFIELD. 7. 1. internal duplications and amplifications71 do not fail to give strength to a multitude of stanzas72. XII. the verb is placed in the first member. 10: "'From the Horse he came. In 1. 31. 7. 5. AV. chiasmus. 14. The Hague 1959. RV. 4. R. the two objects in the first and the second. ESTELLEB'S speculations on Word-mobility in the Rgvedasamhita. 27. neither 'prose' nor 'poetry' in our sense of the terms—has much to recommend it73. 66 A. 61. 270*). 1. exhibiting an alternation of four datives and three instrumentals.' when they say this. 5. in Festschrift F. 1 the name of the god invoked. 49. 7. Like rhythmic repetitions in general they often have a certain impressiveness that rests. 1. also 3. and a felicitous distribution of five vocatives concur to make it a harmonious whole. after this 'heavy' beginning the verb occupies the second place. 1. p. 1. GONDA.The style of the Vedic hymns 229 achieving well-balanced arrangements of words66. In a tripartite structure of 8.

167. I. 2. Gonda • Vedic Literature From Fury he came. 1. 3. 1 of stanzas containing three sentences distributed over four padas: a. 16. Occasionally the elements of a stanza are distributed according to a principle which in later poetry was retained or even gained in popularity. 10. 13. p. the immortal. There is an unmistakable predilection for combinations of a positive and negative idea: "felling the slow ones by means of the swift ones" (RV. 3 OLDENBEBG. e. 5). We cannot enter into a discussion of possible explanations of individual cases. also 6. 83. RV. E." "knowledge and ignorance"77. 83. in houses took his place. 2) and the Atharvaveda speaks of "growth and diminution. 1. 21ff. 8. 5. 75 76 Cf. 2 of three padas filled by three subordinate clauses followed by the fourth with the principal clause. 7.g. GELD NEB. 120. 71. 1." "generosity and niggardliness. I. R. 6). 31. e. 4 OLDENBERG. 13. GONDA. RV. for RV. b.C. p. 7. GELDNEB. 6 presents a case of the arrangement in the first half of a stanza of all (four) adjectives qualifying a noun that occurs in the second line. Whence he was born. See e. 7)76. Noten. p. 7 and 9 of stanzas with the main point in the last pAda. for 4. 39. 93. O. p. 109. "he made the thoughtless think" (7. 146. 86. 7. cd. p. 14. 24. 167. These observations on sentences which on the whole are highly disciplined do78 not alter the fact that the order of words sometimes creates the impression of an intertwinement whether or not conditioned by rhythmical or psychological reasons79. 10. 2. p. 1. 8 of the initial and final position of two words which syntactically belong together. for 1. 4. S. S. 2). 1. 85. 77 78 AV.C. 4. "thou. 243. 6. 92. 117. 11.15. 87. in JBBRAS N. CCXXXIV. 3 VELANKAB.g.230 J. "he moved the immovable" (2. see. Indra (alone) knows"76. 167. 3. 74. p. 79 Cf. the one who does not know is contrasted with the knowing ones (1. Even when these lines have a ritual character they are—as appears from the many verses that recur in later collections of mantras—not absolutely fixed and variations of a minor kind are apt to occur under different influences. O. 10 and 7. 30. among the mortal ones" (6. FAY. PAOS 1895 in JAOS 16. .g. 25. W.

denoting a quality or attribute which. prayers and magical formulas2. but also their repeated use in the same swKTa5: a means of maintaining the intimate relation with the god. 3. p. are offended. the oblation-bearer. or may be supposed to be. 6. the attentive one. but by no means always superfluous. that makes his 1 J. 14. 1. VII. Notes on. known to the audience and is recognized as true and pre-eminently suitable. Vedic poetry abounds in epithets6. 1. in ZDMG 71. like highly placed persons. 2. 7. the uncommonly strong one. 92. his worshippers emphasize that possibility by pronouncing his favourable epithets— e. is. Believed to indicate the nature and function of its bearer it shares his creative abilities and may furnish the clue to an understanding of facts. 4. 44. The Hague 1959. logically often. added: RV. in Worter und Sachen. 5. 1970. the bearer. It was even believed that gods. ancient India. p. 1. 87. 9. p. Names are therefore an important feature in requests. P. the most kind and liberal one. 3. not only the formulaic or petrified epitheta ornantia.g. p. stylistically significant descriptive attributive adjectives or appositions. 9)—in the conscious or unconscious hope that they make him refrain from evil8. BLOCH. 60. Epithets in the Rgveda. * RV. 1.The style of the Vedic hymns 3. 2. 5. if their complimentary name is omitted3. . but also all non-distinctive. GONDA. 2. A stanza such as 1. 172 is an exception. GONDA. the eulogist who invokes him as the oblation-bearer who performs the sacrifice well intimates that the god also on the present occasion will convey the offerings to their destination7. while being characteristic of a person. 67. 42. 3. 10. E. 4 see GELDNER. 43. 59 (RENOTJ. 2. Epithets 231 It belongs to the style of these hymns that the names and epithets of the gods—the latter often replacing the names—are frequently mentioned. Amsterdam Acad. 5. Hence not only the almost obligatory mention of the name or names of the addressees4 of these hymns. of intimating also that the person speaking knows the various aspects of his personality mentioned together with the name and hence supposes himself to be able to intensify his influence upon him. 8). names and the name of God in. * J. TH. 8 Cf. events and connexions. 5 Cf. Being an actuality expressed in a word and an essential part of the bearer's personality1 a name is loaded with his power and essence. or through. object or event. 33. 103. no doubt for reasons of exactitude or to underline the speaker's importance. 80. e. is ever young.g. gracious and helpful (RV. 317. 3 See CALAND'S note on PB. RV. a term by which we mean. 7 See e. 10. 2. 8. Since the terrible and dreaded god Rudra may by merely abstaining from inimical deeds be friendly and propitious. V. For RV. 2 Sometimes the name of the person praying is. These words often express and affirm universally acknowledged qualities of a god: the god of fire. When duly pronounced it is a potent means of exerting influence upon.g. 7. 1 is an undisguised captatio benevolentiae: "What are we to say to Rudra.

8: "For the ruddy-brown and whitish bull I pronounce a mighty eulogy of the mighty one. 7. 14.3.g. I will adore the glowing one with obeisances. provoker of inspirational attentiveness. 1. 4. 11. Cf. 5. . 12. 1. here the celebrated hero must be our fellow-reveller"11. 61. 174. 111.. 1. 1: W. Four studies in the language of the Veda. 8. also 2. 4. the enemies. 7. Cf. 11. 6. Or divine names in the former part of a stanza are replaced by more or less explicative or illustrative epithets in the latter half.und Beiworte der Sonne im Ijlg. p. 4. O benevolent one16. also 1. open opportunities to introduce variation or to express. 4. 190. Dual deities. 3. 2. e. 8. We extol the awful name of Rudra"13. 16 For the meaning of maghavan see GONDA.und Atharvaveda. 48. 1. However. with property consisting of all desirable things . 1. which are in many cases due to the exigencies of versification. is introduced by a series of significant adjectives. 7. Comm. 2. 6. 2 and see J. an epithet can at the same time be syntactically relevant: for instance. 32. 13 See e. . 14. 7. 8. while the Aditya (Varuna) destroys what is contrary to truth and order. Visnu is "wide-paced" but when he is said to stride out triply—his most characteristic deed—the addition of the adjective at the end of a stanza qualifies the process of striding15. 143. 4. 50. 84. 21. Vol. best granter of freedom (relief)"10. O Indra and Varuna. mentioned at the end. 33. GONDA. 1: "Indra must come near to us in order to favour (us). 5. 7. 42. 73.g. Epithets. 8. Nobel. also 1.232 J. 4: "Supply us. 10 See also 1. 44. 1. 10. it may be a means of appealing to the deity in one of his functions or capacities. 14 See 1. 1 and 8. 10. p. 71. 6. 12. for the sake of emphasis. more or less parallel thoughts: "Being intoxicated by that (drink). 1. also GONDA. 5. 1: "Up rises the genial all-seeing sun"9. 10. 1. p. 11 See 1. 81. 9 . 1.g. Some poet even succeeds in constructing pregnant and elegant lines. Gonda • Vedic Literature heart as happy as possible ?" In opening stanzas a more or less extended series of epithets may help to introduce the god addressed and to throw light upon different aspects of his nature. J. 1. New Delhi 1963. p. 83. 226. 33. 8. "Wisely I have partaken of the palatable food (the soma). the opponents" (6. 0 hero. KIEFEL. 12 See GONDA. 62. 44. relatives or not related. 3. p. 1. A large number of epithets can make a final stanza of a hymn or triplet ponderous and recapitulative 14 . In other stanzas the name. 160. 63. 1. 154. 63. 1. 15 Cf. 3. 5. The various positions of the epithets. The Hague 1959. Vergleichs. 267. 175. 44. 1. 1. 43. 63. 9. 17: Indra is addressed). Epithets. 1. 44. 57. 2. e. the hero (Indra) allots immense wealth"12. A similar end is served by the frequent alternation of epithets and proper names. 1. slay. 51. 81.

to those of their supposed functions. Thus a particular arrangement of names and epithets can effect a well-balanced structure of a stanza.g.g. the conqueror and true warrior" (6. an outcome of the well-known 'idealism' of archaic poetry in general: 17 18 19 80 See See See See e. 3. 11. the killer of Vrtra to drink the soma. promoting sacrifice. 104. manifestations or epiphanies confirm. 4. 9. they may. 3. functions. 4. i. In addressing the Unseen one is by natural instinct inclined to proceed cautiously. 1. 37. 38. 3. 83. stimulate the god into a display of these very qualities and strengthen the efficacy of the invocation18: "I eulogize Indra." The more or less tautological parallelisms in emotional poetry in general and in archaic style in particular are also significant from a religious point of view. also also 6. 74. 5. 2. 16. a certain elegance of style. 1. 8 : "To every libation (that is) pressed out Indra (with a view) to intoxication comes. That means that the frequent addition and cumulation of words referring to his aspects. knowing poetical wisdom of every kind.The style of the Vedic hymns 233 "Indra feels animated to get drunk. 8. e. achieve. 109. Since the divine powers have. many aspects. to which belong as many names and epithets. 10. it was advisable to approach them as effectively as possible and to make an appeal to those sides and aspects of their personalities. Agni. his warlike temperament and his generosity which often go together. and on the other. The ghee-faced one has shone forth wide. 7. 24. 18: "In the abode of mortals the immortal one Has settled down. the bull possessing manly power. 14. 5. Epithets contribute much to a harmonious and homogeneous content of those stanzas which dwell upon a god's character19. 10. 7. 1. 1. 10." Duplication by means of epithets—a by no means rare device—is practised with some skill by the poet of 1. 21. The numerous strings of descriptive or attributive terms occurring in the hymns are not always so varied and unsystematic as we are inclined to believe at first sight. . because he is supposed to distribute the booty20. consolidate or revivify the power present in the ideas denoted. 2.g. 24. viz. 30. 1. be the actual consequence of the poets' emotional mental attitude. sdvase vrtrahd nfbhih)17. or may have. on one hand. while keeping the audience in suspense. by men's doing" (indro mddaya vdvrdhe. 48. 1). or lead to the salvation of those praying. 8. 7. the king. 2. 13. 8. 6.e. Even when they seem to be merely honorific these epithets often have a stylistic and religious function: though an inherited procedure. is an attempt to emphasize two sides of Indra's personality. 1. 10. 3. 6. 4. 174. RV. 5. the slayer of Vrtra (has been strengthened) unto a display of heroic energy. 2. 22. which consists almost entirely of epithets. e. 44. which might produce the result desired. 41.

9. Yet qualifications which are very common in connection with one god are at times applied to one of his colleagues27. the cows which it qualifies must be related to that goddess. More or less fixed. 1. Also in those frequent cases in which they are not purely distinctive or do not play an important part in the conveyance of information they are frequently very appropriately used. 144. a hymn brightly adorned. 6. 6. 3. 2. 5. LOMMEL. 9. 1. H. 126. 96. the weapons. 8. Proc. throw part of the communication into relief or be expressive of the poet's emotion. 8. inventive and able to dispense wealth (8. V. 85. Der arische Kriegsgott. 1. DEVASTHALI. Epithets.234 J. 4. 20. or at least recurrent. the swift See e. 36. also BLOOMFIELD and EDGERTON. 1. 2. 9. point to a connection. Paris 1934. In imploring Indra to give wealth it is not senseless to observe that he is strong. 15. 10. 2. 5.g. a shatterer of strongholds (purbhid)26. 5. 7 is meaningful because these animals are stated to crush the enemies with their feet. E. 51. 77. 9. RENOU. 23 See e. 41. 1 (1964-69). they gave the audience an opportunity to enjoy the familiar and for a moment to slacken their attention. Often epithets are in perfect harmony with the context. Vrtra et Vr&ragna. Part of the epithets are almost exclusively attributed to one and the same divine figure. They may add an element of vividness. 5. evokes the most essential feature of the matutinal phenomenon: "(Usas') bright ray has again become visible"23. 1. benevolent and generous (maghavan). They made the poet's task easier. 26 Congr. 70. 36. 10. 1 evokes the presence of Dawn. 13. Epithets of the Rbhus. call up an image or a quality.g. 49. BENVENTSTE and L. 58. 3. 7. 6. also 1. 20. 92. 27 For transfer of epithets cf. 117. Identification may lead to transfer of an epithet: 9. 26 25 . Or." far from being a superfluity. Indra24 is "the killer of Vrtra" (vrtrahan)25. 68. Since the adjective "reddish" (arusa) in 1. 6. 19. ornaments and vehicles of the gods by means of graphical terms of a certain imaginative force21. 115. opposition or motivation. for instance. 5. 10. 5 the adjective "bright. Gronda • Vedic Literature it is almost a necessity to remind the hearer of the beauty. 10. 118. 9. 28 See e. A king's renown is imperishable. also in connection with other gods28— it may even replace his name is also given to the Dawns (4. pure" (pdvaka) which so often belongs to Agni that—like other epithets. perfection and solidity of. 61. 5. 10). 39. 5. Agni is "the bearer of the oblations" (havyavdhana). V. p. 79. In Vedic poetry there are the black darkness. 6. 5. 48. 29 See also G. 22 24 21 GONDA. 83.g. p. Ill. RV. 75. "of a thousandfold resourcefulness" (satakratu). 3. 188. 59. 3. noun-adjective combinations seem to be an ancient possession of many peoples. Thus the adjective "purifying. 14. In 1. V. 92. The addition of "strong-hoofed" to the king's horses in 6. 19. 6. a cow dedicated to a god of faultless appearance22. 3. p. 2)29. enabling him to loosen the texture of his poem and to proceed calmly. 37. 1939. be suggestive or evocative. 1. 44. 5. Frankfurt/M. I l l . the Asvins "exhibit marvellous skill" (dasra). p. 113.

famous-for-generative power!". 7 1 . 15. 'kenningar'33 such as "the dustless paths" instead of "the air" (6. 31 See 4. 2 . 104. . 10 and cf. consists-in-many-heroic-sons . well-known paraphrases of the type "a brilliant and solid wealth consisting of many sons" (6. . 54. 1). 35. 4 . but it is clear that the poets felt the need for these elements of formulaic diction. 1. 5 . 3 . 7. 19. the uninterrupted protection30. 6. 79.) 1930. 62. 8 9 . O. 117. 10. KRATJSE. 5 . 252. 9. (0 Indra. 6. e. Epithets. 6. 6). The addition of an adjective can be a great help in making the sense of figurative expressions intelligible to the audience. Halle (S. 11. 2 2 . 117. 11. Indra's impetuosity is incessantly excited "like the wind hurried by thundering clouds" (4. compound adjectives: 6. 107. the elliptical use of attributes to denote nominal concepts. for instance. 4 7 . 1 9 . is described as "a noisy serpent like the boisterously impetuous wind" (1. 13. 9 2 . 5. 1. 1.". Geistesw. 5). 17. 1. There exist some interesting relations between characterizing adjectives and similes. 10. 2. brilliant-with-horses. 4 "Do thou. p. the epithets which do accompany it are in most cases an element of a simile: Agni. 33 GONDA. 195. 95.C. 131.g. 5 e t c . if not original. 41. 1. also in connection with proper names whether of gods or of other beings: mighty Indra. Some of the poets knew very well how to use rare. lord of the heart" (Soma: 9. 163. 3 and cf. 3 and cf. Passing mention must also be made of the occurrence of amplifications of epithets such as "knower of hearts. in 6. 3i See also 10. 1 0 . 7. 7)32. 6 6 . the deceitful thief31. 3 . 1.) grant the eulogist refreshments. 3 . 6. 78. Whereas. Schriften der Konigsberger gelehrten Gesellschaft. 179. 4. substantial wealth. . 2 5 . consisting in gifts of cows. p. 30 See 9. SCHMITT. 11). 6. 12)34. 7. 1. 79. p. 84. 2 2 . 6. most occurrences of the word for "wind" are left unqualified. 2 . probably as lightning. 7. 15 the adjectives are meant to characterize the wealthy man: "Give us wealth that goes in a chariot. 49. 1. 51. 5. the wide atmosphere. 277. 2 4 . 10. 8). 2 3 . 4 4 . Die Kenning. 63. 32 W. 8 . They are not quite constant. 10. satisfies-the-cultivators. See below. 9 1 . There could be no doubt that the golden arms of the sun are his beams (6.The style of the Vedic hymns 235 horse. 2. p. 71. 80. "the spotted ones" for "the cows" (1. 7. 9 .

P. p. 137. p. 1964. 8. the waste for the beasts of prey. RENOTI. EEKOU'S translations in E. Ellipsis. RENOTT. and his notes in E. RV. p. XV. 10. 60. Cf. 2. V. p. p. GELDNEB. 26. 15. p.P. 4. words for "both" or "united" suffice to convey the idea of heaven and earth4. H. I I I . II. terseness and condensation are so frequent and in many cases so conspicuous that translators are often forced to insert one or more words. 9. 19. I. p. p.V. e. or stimulation of the higher powers. Other cases of brachylogy—that conciseness which is due to the omission of one or more words that are essential to a logically correct or complete expression of thought or to the immediate understanding—are likewise far from rare. D. 2 See. 326. RENOU. but whereas the second member of the threefold 1 GONDA.g. 7. E. "We would like to overcome the malignities who thy directions" seems to mean "we would like to gain the victory over those who defy thy directions" (6. p. and in Symbolae Kurylowicz. I. 4. P. Brevity in general. 26 Int. verb. cf. Brevity J. economy in the means of expression. To their most characteristic syntactic devices belong ellipses and related forms of brevity in expression1. Soma mixes with milk. P. cf. 55. 41. GELDNEB. 6. 4 RV.Gonda • Vedic Literature The eulogistic and mythological character of many passages does not nullify the essentially utilitarian point of view of the MawTRa-producing poets who in spite of digressions are mostly inclined to concentrate on a given need. 38. the process is simply denoted by "dresses"5. 1. p. at BSL 50. 69. object. 1. 2. 27. 1. 3 It is self-evident that we are sometimes at a loss to supply omissions. 89. 1. strengthening. There are even compound sentences in which both verbs.236 4.2 Intending by ellipsis the phenomenon that part of a current expression or usual construction is omitted because at the moment of speaking it may be dispensed with and is inevitably and as a matter of course supplied by the audience3. 139 and at ABORI 45 (1964). 6. V. Wiesbaden 1969. P. 5 6 RV. 6. 2. 113. or the pronoun or antecedent are brachylogically lacking: "That hymn of praise. Congress of Orient. 7 . the forests for the birds. 10. GONDA. 77 wants to say that Savitar has intended the waters for the fishes. The term 'elliptical' is frequently used vaguely and applied to various forms of brevity in speech. p. p. The adjective "red" indicates Agni's flames. viz. 1. Very often—and not only in invocations and enumerations—the subject. that I as a stimulus" means "listen to that hymn which I pronounce in order to stimulate (thee)" (6. 2). Proc. or name of a god addressed or of an oblation offered is to be mentally supplied6. Word-economy and IRgvedic interpretation. 4. The traditional style as well as the versification of the hymns often permit them a high degree of concentration in a short space. E. 47. 29. 234. 5). we limit ourselves to some examples. 99. V. 8. invitation. RV. In all probability the poet of 2. 1. 10. E. V. 38. Ellipsis. for instance. 58. 146. 15. 140. 7. 214. 45 and XII. 9. 1. VELANKAR. 10. 1 (who is too much inclined to view the pertinent phenomena as conscious art). 73. I. 4. "brown" the wood over which he bends. p. VIII.

6. p. 9.g. P. 3. 7. 68 (cf. 4. 135. 1.g. I. E. Ellipsis. 8. GONDA. 1. 16)9. 13. 14. 25. 19. E. 19 RENOU. 10. Cf. e. p. R. 7. S. V. P . 8 12 8 RENOU. enumerative juxtapositions of the type "companion. 62. p . 55. Preverbs are many times used alone instead of preverb and verb16: stimulating Agni into a display of his power the poet of 3.The style of the Vedic hymns 237 communication is complete. p. 11 The so-called comparatio compendiaria: GONDA. also IV. 88. 4. 6. 10. Ellipsis. 4. 2. Cf. 18. 120. See e. RV. I. 15. 5.g. also cases such as 10. 29. V. p. 44. 4. p. 5). p. 8. 5. also 1." Another phenomenon of frequent occurrence is the sous-entendu. 78. 25. V. it is of course pressed out by the stones and purified by the sieve. 9. 5. 2)14. 16 13 RENOU. 77. 4. 8. C . It is therefore often impossible to draw a hard-and-fast line between comparison and identification. For other condensations see 1. The frequent occurrence of juxtapositions where we would perhaps expect an indication of a comparison12 are not only a characteristic of this style but a natural consequence of the poets' view of the world: where we would prefer to say "a hand sharp like a thunderbolt" the poet of 1. E. 2. 11." instead of "flame up"17. 8. 6 (RENOU. abrupt transitions21. 4. 14. 10 Cf. 4. 26. 162. 1. I I . 19. 15 See e. Similes are sometimes formulated in a condensed form11: "(Agni's) back gleams like (that of) a stallion" (1. 40)10. 6. RV. S. 39. In similes and elsewhere a term. V. RV. 59. p. may function twice: "Fire. cf. 8. 73. 88. 64. 71. p. 4. though mentioned once. 64. V. 2. 24. 124. The words "a ripe branch" in 1 8. 9. E. 45. Among the other peculiarities of the often concise18 style are a predilection for asyndetic co-ordination of clauses or sentences and the absence of any indication of causal or chronologic relation19. V. also places such as 4. 5 (GELDNER. p. relation" (RV. I. 402. 5. GONDA. the soMa is said to be purified by the pressing-stones (1. I. GONDA. p. 4. Furthermore. 69. 30. VII. 65. 280). 125. also RV. P . p. GONDA. 4. 1. 404. 48. I I . RV. 190). e. 61. 50. 3. 5. 1. also 1. 9. p . 1. 8. 8. 2. the upper garment. 5. 69f. 54. also 10. 77. calls the infallibty striking hand (a manifestation of) lightning13. 14 Also 9. cf.g. Ellipsis.g. 45. P . I. GONDA. 8 are no doubt meant to suggest "a branch loaded with ripe fruit. GONDA. 135. 1 (PISCHEL. In many stanzas a word is haplologically omitted15. 4. 23. e. 4. p. 58. . impotent your See e.g. 20 RENOU. friend. Ellipsis. S. p. R. S. e. 27. 97. 21 82 GONDA. Cf. omitting the particle. 1. 66. also 9. 9. antithesis22. 35. 2. 184. p. For other examples see e. 169). 2). V.g. 13. 402. 6. 17 18 Cf. Ellipsis. 3. 35. 12). p. 16. p. 11. Cf.g. 3. 51. S. whom they hold (in hand) like a bracelet (worn) on the hand" (6. 14. 17. 4 says only "up. 3. instances of which are often found in more or less literal repetitions or in parallel utterances subjoined to an—as a rule short—complete statement: "The cloth which they spread under the horse. 100.g. 6 etc. 96. See e. 6)20. 5. 5. 11 (GELDNER. O . the first lacks 'the fishes' as well as a noun or verb indicating that they live in the water8. also 6. cf. R. 6. 8. contrasts of smaller compass: "Virile are you. 1. 40. E. 5. P . 8. the objects golden (under) him" (1.

6. 167. to insert an after-thought or supplementary assertion.S. See e. O splendid Indra. 4 (VELANKAR. 3. 19.g. I. 34. 10. 404. 8. P. has become stronger at our (sacrificial place) thou wilt. For 3. 11.g. 5. 55. 11. 29 Bed: singular. 9. 7. 10. 30. 8 interrupts his exposition to address an invitation or request to the goddess: "Like kine I have delivered to thee a hymn—choose it. some 'parentheses' are nothing but changes in the construction (e. 7. 0 daughter of heaven. 7. also cases such as 7. p. 14. 1. It occurs also as a short 'simile' (homologation) inserted 23 24 25 28 GONDA." A parenthesis can also be introduced to pay homage to a deity. RV. 53. 1. Mention may also be made of abrupt changes in the construction or transitions from a narrative in the third person to an address or quotation 30 .238 J. Stuttgart 1888. 6. S. 7. 7. 17. Having started with some idea the poet is struck by an aspect of his subject that seems more important with the result that he leaves the first part of his sentence syntactically unfinished: "While we . Cf. R. 168. See e. 17. 8. Occasional phenomena such as irregular constructions cannot be considered GONDA. However. 9-12. 5. p. p. W. to add an explanation or motivation. 5. 38. 103. 1. 3. 225. 46. hysteron proteron 25 and other 'figures' recognized by modern scholars —without an intimate knowledge of the language and culture in which they have come into being26. 9. 30 Cf. p. 2. 127. 4. 10. (unpublished) thesis Munchen 1923. 7. e. 25. RV. e. 81. 13 AIOC. 33. 64. . 4. 1. 8. . p. p. In dealing with parallel events or activities— for instance in the sphere of men and that of the gods—an indication of the changing subject may be omitted32. 24. 159. 7.g. 17. 1. 66. 1. p.20. 28 Cf. . In considering these constructions the formulaic composition of many stanzas should not be left out of account. 1. 75. Der Schaltsatz im Rgveda. Ellipsis. 8. PARANJPE. 11.' in FestgruB Bohtlingk. V. 7. . 3. 78. 4. Parenthesis in the Rgveda. 1. 2.Gonda • Vedic Literature rivals" (AV. Anacolutha are far from rare 27 . though not uncommon. 4). of plural first persons including or excluding the person or persons on behalf of whom the poet is speaking31. 92). 10. 5. 5. 29. synecdoche24. E. 5. AUFRECHT. to prepare for a following idea34. 55. 3. 2. we hope. 21. 1. to compensate for something omitted. 14. 19. 2.g. are flowing on in our bed which has been made by the gods29—nor can our rapid course be checked" (3. 27. A stylistic feature which. LOMMEL. 95. 60. V. 30. 1. subdue the barbarian tribes with the sun" (RV. 6. 53. 6. place the splendid bolt in thine arms—when thou. 27 JUB N.g. 186. There is no denying that these syntactic irregularities28 sometimes produce a striking impression of vividness: "Thus we (the rivers) . 11). XII. 3. . p. 113. cf. 1.2)23. 1. 94 (on RV. 1 see RENOTJ. 10. because the poet is speaking at the confluence. G. 2. 2. p. 1. in here.g. 4). 149. was not always completely discerned or recognized. 2. The author of 10. Festschrift Schubring. 1. 6. 33 See GELDNER. RV. Night— like a song of praise to a victor. WtiST. 1. 6. is parenthesis33. 70. 14. 34 See e.g. 47. It is of course impossible to obtain a perfect insight into the value of these and other forms of literary expression—such as e. 1. RV. 32 T H . 31 H. 72).

58 see GELDNER. In some cases it may be a premeditated literary device. Occasional instances of crowded and cumbrous descriptions are not completely absent. yield milk" (AV. L. For the procedure adopted by the poet of 4. RV. P. 1. ALSDOBP. in LUDEBS. especially when it was desired to keep the expression of a complicated thought within compass.2 sunrise is pictured: "A broader course has appeared for the broad (light)—the path of Order has been 'controlled' by the reins (rays). V. 1. Varuna. but the sun itself is left unmentioned.The style of the Vedic hymns . 2. VII.136. E. RENOTJ. 32. 35 Cf. a mother to a son. p. the way in which this oral poetry came into being made its occasional occurrences almost unavoidable. 239 without a particle: "Let the earth to me. p. 12. n. 340. the eye (of the sun) by the reins of Bhaga" 35 . in ZDMG 71. p. .10). 458.

RV. p . p . The religions of India.g. 48. at J I H 45. We have to be familiar with the poets' modes of expressing particular ideas before we can rightly comprehend the real meaning of these passages. 3 E. 7 See e. 50. 1. 53. as a result of philological research. much inclined to project outwardly into cosmos and mythical reality what they had perceived inwardly. 3. 99. in JAOS 10. 6. 167. 1. also 7. p . 7. 9. cf. A. V. p . the frequent remarks on incomprehensibleness of hymns and stanzas made by modern translators and commentators are. 6. 6. I. p . and RENOTT. 2. 73. 4. 87. 8. 4f. 134. 174. 174. 7. 4. 6. p . X I I I .g. 10. RV. Ai. 131. I. 3 . 3). 87. 10. 403. 20. 1. DANGE. 10. P . also BARTHOT. GELDNER. 2. 61). for which cf. 61 and 62). Those scholars who imputed part of these obscurities to the poets themselves are no doubt not always wrong: there is no denying that they in some cases give the impression of revelling in stylistic excesses. 41. p . 3. 99. 489 (on 8. 31. 102. 1).. also ELIZARENKOVA. Our lack of understanding can be due to an imperfect knowledge of the mythological or legendary background2. in ZDMG 37. 161. p . 9. 149. 5. 190. 77. p . 191 (on 5. selected those particulars which had a lure for them and were. at least in part of the pertinent passages.). 2. 3. 8 This is however not to say that we are always unable to understand these secrets. GRIFFITH. S. 5 6 Cf. to unintelligible allusions or to an accumulation of rare or difficult words4. 176. 8. 11. 86. 12.240 5. 226 on 1. S. 8. at least in our eyes. I . RV. 2. 7. 5. B. 2. 106. 10.g. While every sentence of a passage seems intelligible. GELDNER. 44. 116 (on RV. the obscurity has been intentional 7 . p . P. to an. I. 84.OMAE. ROTH. 14. enigmatic expressions and poetic licences of every kind6. 199. p . 4. 30. 5. 23 (on 10. 7. 121. 5. 292 (on 8. P . p . 92 (on 4. to our ignorance of the original occasion of a hymn and an imperfect ability on our part to enter into the ideas and feelings of the poets who. 8. 10. p . 173. moreover. O . 140. 19. 5. 56. 130. 66. on 1. 10. 1. 34. 61). SASTRI. although it would perhaps be more correct to speak of premeditated ambiguity. 1. 8. London (1879) 3 1891.). Cf. 4 1 . 8. 10. 180. . p . 3 . 3 . LANMAN. 3. 56.ning of a larger unit often remains obscure. 8f. There is also reason to subscribe to the opinion that. See also RENOTT. See also BARTH. 71. 105 (VELANKAB. Hymns. 41f. HAXJG.g. GELDNER. p .g. 127ff. XII. e. Their style often allows comfortably for esoteric digression. 4. 9. 22. RV. V. 112). 61 (cf. in I F 25.: 1 Cf. 22. 46. in J U B 23 (1954). Gonda • Vedic Literature Although obscurity is an elastic notion and the number of passages designated as difficult to understand has. E. the same and GRIFFITH. 4 E. 1. 6. Hymns. far from unfounded1. 2. 369 (specula- tive)). 64 (on 10. NOBMAN BROWN. 9. 3) or of "the secret name of Tvastar's cow in the house of the moon" (1. Cf. appealing to congenial audiences5. 20. too high degree of succinctness or condensation in the expression of ideas3. V. 3 1 . I. X I I I . p . 4. C . 23. 33. 38. p . 172. 6. p . but probably not least. 38. and last. 71. 144. E. See e. 3. on 10. also W. cf. p . iibers. 7. Obviously dealing with esoteric knowledge poets may speak of "the hidden or secret tongue of the sacrifice" (RV. 53. 5. 8. 13f. 2 E.g. at JAOS 88. the mea. also GRASSMANN. I I I . 58. on 1. been gradually reduced. 94*. in ABORI 28. p . generally speaking. 53. 8. Ambiguity J. 11 etc. 15)8. 96. 7). also 10. 20 (on 2. 106.

15. 15. fixing thy mind upon wealth. The repetition of the eternal mythical events in the present and the belief that what occurs in nature and in human society or history is made possible because a mythical event. the visible world and the Unseen by means of ambiguous10 expressions or bold or far-fetched allusions and. "sun" is apt to be taken 'metaphorically' (8. Being characterized by a typical kind of fluidity myths often elicit different solutions of their contents and imagery. The myth of Indra's great feat may relate the transformation of primordial chaos into cosmic order. at 9. 10). 60. 37. 3. 1. 6. 58. 9 . 3. 11 The esoterical implications of the texts and the difficulty of literary art are more than once affirmed: some poet speaks of the "secret tongue" or "secret mind. RENOTJ. 14 Cf. 2. connections or parallels between. mythological. 53. regarded as unique but operating now and always. has taken place at the beginning of all happening. The poets availed themselves of the opportunities offered by mythological narratives in general. 2 etc. to intimate that the events and personages dealt with admit of interpretations on more than one level. or identity of. 8 as ambiguous (GELDNER) . 12 Compare also systematic correspondences (correlations) such as RV. 54. 2 or 10. p. to resort to dark or veiled expressions for reasons of taboo or prudence. it implies also that only by the domination of obstructing force an orderly universe and an orderly society can emerge: Indra is implored to kill. 1." another refers to hidden names or functions (cf. 10 L. 3. 161 expresses very emphatic opinions on this point. last but not least. cosmical. 11. 3. V. GONDA. When some people are said to have made the sun shine by their religious chant. Old Indian. or esoterical11 and philosophical12. p. 29. Like the haste of the wind is your praise. for instance. 5)14. 17. P. whilst admitting that we are not in a position to judge and appreciate the dark hymns and passages in the light of a perfect knowledge of all subtleties of the language and a complete cultural congeniality9. 17. 4. E. 5f. 75. It can't be followed by others. 5. 6. or at least suggest. to take full account of the necessity.. all Vrtras and his worshipper is believed to re-enact the deed13. See also RENOU. 1. L'ambiguite du vocabulaire du Rgveda. 45. 10. 3. 39. RV. leads a poet to pronounce the at first sight curious words: "Thou (the fire which is being kindled) hast now. 7. cosmic and terrestrial So there is also a good chance of assuming an ambiguity where there is none. on the poets' side. 1. The actual or assumed correspondence between. e. 5).The style of the Vedic hymns "Their light is the growth of the sun. 10. 158. also now and in the future. 2. also 5. psychological. 191.g. 1 (and in similar contexts) GELDNER'S interpretation is beside the mark." 241 For the time being it seems advisable. saved Atri (who is a legendary figure)" (5. 48. Their greatness profound like the ocean's. I. With their hearts' illumination They seek for the thousand-branched mystery. 9. of their desire also to reveal. 33. JA 231. 13 Cf. It is for instance highly questionable whether the poet's contemporaries would regard places such as 6. p. RV. 9.

92. 4. 2. 4. i« F o r "combat" and "festivity" (e. 4. Wiesbaden 1956. 124.. GELDNER. 92. symbolical or esoterical interpretation are often interwoven: the luminous phenomena connected with dawn appear like—no. p. i. 112. 6. 7. 9. E.g. Vision p. 48. 17. 10. for instance. 14. p. 112. V. Norman Brown. Cf. 62. 10. in ABORI 45. to semantic 'superpositions'23 of. 1 see GELDNER. 63. 72. p. 10 has. 10. 10. RENOTT. 10. 144. 35. E. 113.g. 4. 1.g. 58. p. The 'ocean' as the source of inspiration is in the poet's heart. in Studies W. P. p. as—cows15. A ritualistic interpretation often is as probable as a mythological17.g. RV. 105. to indirect indications—e. 2. 41. 76. 1. XIV. 4. to transference of the terminology of relationship (son. VELANKAR.e. I. 113. 2. Gedichte. 24 25 See e. 12ff. 1. 65. RENOU. I. 5. p. p. P . 9.'2. in connection with Dawn. p. 1. p. 16 RV. V. OLDENBERG. 108. 8. fire (Agni) the son. e. 46. RENOU. 9) see K. in which they manifest themselves26. cf. the phenomena. 23 III. 2. 22 See e. 75.g. 9. 1. 26 Dawn (Usas) is the daughter of the heavens (e. 3. 50. V. Natural phenomena and their mythological. 1). 21 See e. GELDNER. I l l .. 80. X. D. 85.g. 10. father etc. 9. e.) to divine powers and the outer garb. "she that should not be killed" for "cow"25—. 21. 4. 3. V. 105. 1. E. and compare texts such as 9. 8. RV. Some authors28 translated the adjective drapsinah characterizing. 5. 47. 15 See e. 1: GONDA. for 7 H. 6) can be her personal charms as well as her highly valued gifts. 64 on RV. 1. 1. also 9. 90. The Hague 1957). V. 65. 4. E. e. . p. Ritual entities and objects belonging to our mundane sphere can be systematically related to each other20. p.g. 22ff. 48. P. A mythical quest of light (4. 3. 95.g. p. p. p . 61. Sinn und Bedeutung des Wortes dhdsi. Gonda • Vedic Literature phenomena leads to the conviction that fire is the terrestrial form of the sun. 9.g.g. 16. A verb in 1. e. For the black cow as a symbol of night (cf. a reference to earthly life may admit of an esoterical connotation18. 124. 7. 39. 75 (on 1. 1. 8 (compare 9. 84. 3. 67. E.g. 64. 51 (on 1. to be taken to mean "awakening" as well as "making old"27. 8. This leads to a frequent use of words in a double sense or at least with allusive possibilities22. 1. 4. 29. 161 and E. p . 19 Cf. 6ff. The use of a characteristic adjective may suggest a comparison21.242 J . daughter. VELANKAR.g. 2. 1. concrete (sensorial) and abstract (intellectual) meanings. RENOTT. to what might—not always rightly— appear to be cases of zeugma or syllepsis24. see also 1. P . in RV. 1) see LOMMEL. 10. the sun the celestial form of Agni. 48. 28. V. E. RV. 8. L. 1). 5. 7. 20 Cf. 10. 64. at J A 231. for "(enjoyment of) food" RENOU. 2. I. when they are said to have brilliant or golden rays the text may imply: "they 'shine' golden treasures"16. P. 4. 27 28 Cf. XIV. RV. 9. Cf. 281. 2fF. 31. P. cf. 9. RENOXJ. 77. 17 For 1. JANERT. 'Gods' and 'powers' in the Veda. 7). Noten. 92. 71 on 9. 15). The "desirable things" of Usas (5. manifestation or representative of overwhelming power (GONDA. 1. 228. 66 and see RV. Ritual and psychological processes are occasionally paralleled to the point of identification: hence the relation between the soMa filter and the sieve of thoughts19. I l l . 7. XIV. p . 14) may be explained spiritually. I l l .

" In Agni hymns the word for "drops of scw*a" (drapsa) can assume the secondary meaning "spark"29. 63. 71). 5. 1. Cf. 36 See e. XVI. 303 (on 2. 23). 5. 1. XIV. 120. 64. 34 Seep. 8. p. P. 7f. 22). by "bearing banners" as well as "pouring out drops. 3 Indra is implored to urge on the chariot of man we should remember that "chariot" often refers to the sacrifice37. 7. 1. 45.g. In particular cases he has even been suspected of veiling references to personal experiences by allusive wordings39. 6. 9. 5 (cf. p. 1. 96). 130. a double meaning of the verb ("shine"). p. 7. 149. 857). 181. 34. 31. 1. for reasons of 'taboo. 12) the auditor understands that this is rain. XII. 79. 15. also 1. As already intimated the phraseology of many stanzas is. p. 4 (ibid. 5. 2. 6 (GEUXNER. 12. 83 See e. 7. 9. 6. 6 . These ambiguities may help to emphasize parallelism. 166. 7. with regard to passages that admit of more than one interpretation. p.g.). p. I. the Maruts. 69. Needless to say. 5. 1 1 3 . 118. 79 and compare 1.g. See OLDENBERG. The desire. 39 . 1. 1. 37. allusive. in 1. 11. 1. I. 8. Cases of grammatical ambiguity (e. in more than one sense. 36 See e. RV. 51. 21. 10. 41. to indulge in an accumulation of metaphors35 or to replace a god's name by one of his characteristic features36 can detract from the plainness of a passage. etc. 99. p. V. 30 Cf. 88 Cf. 120. 10. V. 65. 117. to avoid. 99. 5. 37 Compare e. I. 11 (RENOTJ. When at 1.g. gods of the winds and shedders of rain. 96. 92. 79. 13. 10. 2 . Many references to ritual acts or mythical events were at least for the contemporary audience clear enough33. p. If he refers to the gift of the Maruts (1. 3 the poet speaks of the gods' worshipper who having started a hymn will receive his share. which many times means clarifying homologations or identifications or correlations between 29 S e e 1. 2. When "wealth" or "length of life" implored on behalf of some person are said to be "rich in progeny"30 a modern reader is perhaps tempted to speak of an unsuccessful case of hypallage31.g. 2. Other instances of ambiguity find their explanation in the metaphorical use of another word in the context: when. on the author's part. e. 74. 1 7 . 4 . 4. RV. See GEI/DNER. 8. 5. 6. 109. 44 (on 1. 163. 49. 31. 5 1 .' unequivocalness34. 11. the allusion to the daJcsind is clear32. 5. 171. RBNOU. 1. 12. RENOTJ. 6. 81 Not infrequently scholars have also been too prone to jump to hasty conclusions. 61. 62 ( = K. 5. 2. I l l . 4. GELDNER. NG 1918. though not impossible. 37. 15. 36). E. 9. 3 the dawns are said to sing hymns (of praise) like women at work.g. 94. P.g. 1. p. S. 15). 8^ 2. who are compared to warriors. modern readers are on the other hand apt to overlook many connotations or appeals to the feelings of the audience. 9. At 1. 3. 3 * See e. 39. 5. 8.. 180. Allusive use of words which in a given context are apt to evoke certain images or emotions is of course not foreign to these texts either: in an offer of sexual intercourse the reference to jolting and rocking wheels cannot be meaningless (10. RV. 4. also 9. 41. 2. E. 73. 4. 10. p.The style of the Vedic hymns 243 1. is questionable and not necessary. 10. 4.175. 7. 10. Not infrequently the ambiguity of the word or words used and our lack of precise information on mythological or legendary facts do not allow us to make certain about the poet's intentions38.. 1) are not necessarily intended. 5.

6.g.g. 1. 8 describes them as adhvaryu priests. 1. Not only are we tempted to assume figurative speech where there is none47. p. S. sacred or celestial reality and ritual 'symbolism' as a participation of the sacred: in 2. p. One should not (with MACDONELL. p. VII. e. 1. p. 46 43 For details see GONDA. 2. 101. 25. 515). I. in Hymns to the Mystic Fire. 9. 9. In references to the Vala myth the idea of liberation of real cows and cosmic events are more than once mixed up41. 97. 42 Cf. between concrete and abstract46. p. R. 79. e. S. 1. HERTEL. 4. Die Sonne und Mithra im Avesta. 9. The fact that the soma juice and the deity Soma are in these hymns almost unrecognizably identified has given rise to an allusive style which is no doubt to call up this identity in the mind of the hearer rather than to invite him to solve the problem as to whether the deity or the juice is meant and whether the processes described take place on the sacrificial ground or in the celestial regions43. busied with an oblation of hot milk. BHAWE.g. 19). p. 22. 62. (see LUDERS. Leipzig 1927. 31. S. 47. 5. 86. 10. 96. in the same context. 97. 4. also 6. 4. 10. One of the difficulties with which a modern reader of the Veda is confronted is the absence of such dividing lines as he usually draws between person and non-person. 10. The identity of god and draught is also apparent from statements such as: the soma. we also run a serious risk of « Cf. 3. Entwick- lungsstufen des indischen Denkens. 66. 36 etc. 29.244 J. 10. 10. and see e.g. 41. 1. the feminine adjective which also suggests the idea of "in those with many embroidered garments" underlines the feminality of the vegetable substance in which fire is known to originate40. in Journal of the Mah. 1 (on 9. 69. Interpretations such as Gotama (a proper name) "most radiant" because of the relations between cows (go) and morning-light are absurd unfounded. 10. 59. 3. 75. 69. in IHQ 30. 6. H. 301. 45 Cf. SASTRI. 9. 2. 68).g. this tendency to identification can. 24. 41 4 Cf. 3. 8. 85. Gonda • Vedic Literature mythical. Varuna. e. Cf. also 9. Hum. 66. 48. 8. 'flows out' heroic sons. vigour and well-being44. E. heated. the poets do not conceal their thoughts and feelings. 3. alternate with a dissociation of both aspects of the divine draught: "One birth (of Soma) is concealed. Although many Soma hymns of mandala IX mainly describe the process of preparing the beverage. sweating. P. the poet of 7. 5. also 5. 4. 62. 23. H. S. of Baroda. 1. 83. and places such as 9. However. 51. 7. e. 16. J. 1 (1961). 3. the other takes place when he is offered" (9. 123. 2. 1940. 35. L. 20. exaggerated. 4. 16. in connection with the frogs 'heated' denotes their being oppressed by the sun. 45. 6. 1. 103. Sayajirao Univ. 2 (RENOU. V. 6 etc. 3. 2. 2f. or suppress the emotions aroused when the juice is extracted42. Halle S.. 68. 4. 9. 4. P. Pondicherry 1952—go decidedly too far in assuming symbolism and allegories. . 7. p. while being purified. 30. 13. 9. 3 dealing with the 'birth' of fire Agni is said to have been the embryo "in those with the many shapes or colours". 29." 47 Some modern mystics and philosophers—among them Aurobindo. 7. 44 Cf. 44. 6. 100) speak of "deifications of abstract nouns. VON GLASENAPP. 5)45. 24. Identifying the frogs with officiants. p. I. 24.

113. 60 See e. show favour to our chariot. 41. 5 stating that the big cow—i. 2. 6. 7 and compare 1. 10. 3. now as non-persons. 101. APTE. p.The style of the Vedic hymns 245 misinterpreting the tenor of a passage. 9.g. It is not surprising that an allegorical expression was more than once borrowed from the usual sacrificial terminology52 or from handwork such as weaving: the rsis. M.). 133. created) the sacrificial ritual. 54. the concluding stanza. 10. I. There is. 32. 61. 366. in ArchOr 26 (1958). 85. The allegorical significance of the word for 'cows' in the Rgveda. WINDISCH. 44. 164. 8. 9. SCHMID. p. expressing the wish to be successful like the horses before the chariot. hazardously explained as a reminiscence of matriarchy by E. in Festgrufi Roth. 4. Stuttgart 1893. in general. 8. p. 227. 5. 2) in which he describes her violence in breaking open the mountains. 42. 3. 29 ff. RV. 5. or to order the kettledrum to drive away." (st. 55 E. 61 p. poetic art—which with her milk gives a thousand gushes is expected to yield now also as if she had gone through the pasture50. See e. 53 For other allegories see e. I. I. The desire to elucidate reality by means of images hardly led to the creation of real parables. almost universal agreement about the poets' intentions to convey. 1. are in 10. another and deeper meaning than the surface one in passages such as 4. In view of the identity of aim and effect54 the activity of the poet is compared to a race: 2. I. 24. 55 (GELDNER. described as having woven (i. 100. 62 See e. 26. 31 (GELDNER. as hazy and obscure as they are now. 114.e. 1. 49 Expressed by R. the enemies. HEROLD. 11. 367). I F 64. 3. 81). explains the allegory55. p. W. 7. 3. RV. For Vedic man all processes in the universe were determined by a co-operation of potencies or power substances which were conceived of now as persons. by the symbols and images of cows49. 12. RENOTJ. Cf. 57. 1. p. 2500 years ago. 47. Iff. . 3. V. 26. our fathers.g. 139. 135 (GELDNER. RV. 48 V. 1). and to impart strength to those speaking (6. 31 "0 Varuna and Mitra. RV. Although we are sceptical about the opinion48 that most allegories of the Rgveda were. p. 12. 7)53. 10. This term is sometimes applied to the well-known stanzas RV. This ambivalence led the poet to address prayers for assistance to the river Sarasvatl in the same stanza (6. p. 47. but the interpretation of many places remains disputed51 and the supposition that definite words always have the same metaphorical meaning would easily lead us astray. P. 152. . 37. 3. p. p. Die Kuh auf der Weide. the ficus indica (nyagrodha) with its aerial roots represents the tree of heaven and the descending rays of light (1. 10. 64. 3. 5. . 2). 399). 20.g. I l l . at KZ 26. 42. 130. GELDNER. also 10. VON ROTH.e. P. 1.g. 227. Nor are allegorical descriptions a strange appearance in speculative contexts: Agni's flames are buffaloes and cows meeting in the same nest (10. 64 See p. 17 AIOC (1953). but at times also as persons and non-persons. it must be admitted that part of them continue to provide food for discussion. 80 f. together with Indra. E. 4.

Gonda • Vedic Literature 1. Vocabulary being a way in which a community classifies the sura total of its experiences. in JGJRI 27. GONDA. it is no play63 but a serious attempt to impress upon the auditor that Indra's weapons. V.246 J. 269 (on RV. cf. 52. 1 and RENOTJ. 3-4 (1971). V. 1. p. Mitra.: two birds.g. Hum. n. 8 and GELDNER. 48 (otherwise BERGAIGNE. 58). Lieder des Rgveda. p. the other looks on without eating56. History of Religions. 379. p. GEROW. The sixteen times repeated "bull" in RV. J. the 'meanings' of words are far from being identical in all languages. DEVASTHALI. 41 continually plays upon two meanings of bhaga. 59)). 62. p. 124. HILLEBRANDT. II. E. word-play for the yamaka etc. 68 GONDA. 101. No. S. may seem an exaggeration not to our taste. GELDNER."to impel. 301. See e. p. 177. 272. 81 See e. I l l . 2. 60 This is not to deny that this Vedic usage was. I (1961). 4). embrace the same tree. I. 1. in MSL 8. expected to accomplish. wherever there is good fortune the god is believed to be active in performance of his special function60. Univ. "good fortune" and a proper name of a god. at JAOS 15. 3. V. 7). one of them eats the sweet fruit (wisdom). 82. 2. 3. Wortspiel. "the Stimulator" (the sun in its dynamic aspect). 280. Sect. 127. set in motion. RENOTJ. RV. 1. p. 164. When Agni after being ignited is said to become Mitra (3. in these hymns. 79. Auswahl. 7. viz. P. Noten. 2. 164. In GELDNER'S commentary the term Wortspiel is a very frequent occurrence (see e. p.v. S. The study of ancient Indian religious terminology. The combination of the name of Savitar. P. 406 (on 3. 113. the god manifests himself in welfare and happiness. being bull-like themselves. 4ff. p. are to preserve this powerful nature. W. If however we understand by 'pun' the use of a term in such a way as to suggest two or more meanings or different associations we should remember that what might seem different meanings to us was not always a case of polysemy in Indian antiquity. 5. s. 4) the poet supposing the latter to make his presence felt in the sacrificial fire is not playing on the name of the god of 'friendship' but stating a temporary identity of divine functions62. 23 (1965).—see E. 243. Poona. p. so that in translating we are often forced to split up the meaning of a Vedic word or to make distinctions where for Vedic man there were none58. a prototype of the classical Mesa or double entendre.g. and RENOTJ. that his drink and all that is needed to prepare it. 63 'Spielerei' GELDNER. 39. We would for instance be quite wrong in saying59 that the poet of RV. 3. p. RV. II. II. 58 Cf. p. SASTRI. at Journal de Psychologic 44 (1951). p." is no play on sound repetition61 but an unequivocal statement of the fact that the god performs the task which he is. with forms of the root su. E. 135 f. V. P. see also OLDENBERG. p. p. II. 20ff. 38. in germ. E. HOPKINS. Authors have often believed to find. many instances of various types of puns or play upon words57. in virtue of his character. horses and chariot participate in his bull-like nature. . 'Double meanings' such as that of amsu 86 57 See chapter III. 1. 58 With A. 71. 180. Gottingen—Leipzig 1913. p. G. p. 16. in IHQ 30. 13. 42.g. For the confusion between these terms—'pun' should be used for the Indian slesa (WKLLER. in Festgabe Von Garbe. inseparable companions. p.

5. rather than a mere 'play. 2. V. AV. 14. a female figure accompanying the Maruts. 15. 13. the bearers of the names: the rivers are called nadi because they resound (nad-. 22.' Making in the same stanza (6. 45 Cf.' an attempt at indicating a discrepancy between the name and the behaviour (notice the privative prefix a-) of the demoniac being. ** Cf. 64. 19. 34. 341. 6." If we take the term 'play' as a means of producing a humorous effect we shall in most cases be mistaken. 81. without being bound himself) and giving lavishly. 16. finally.") is a case of conscious antithesis. p. 11. 24.e. 168. 81. 9 and GONDA. R. X. 3. 61. Even susnam asiisam "the voracious Susna"68 (e. P. 2. Notes on names. at JA 1939. GELD NEB. 4 describing Indra as one who binds without bonds (i.g. the author of 6. 2.The style of the Vedic hymns 247 "stalk (of the soMa)" and "ray (of the sun)"64 find their explanation in the tendency to assimilate or homologize ritual and cosmic entities. p. 7. emphasizing the contrast. 20. . 6)66 mention of rddasl "heaven and earth" as well as Eodasi. 6. Derivatives of the same root often have from the semantic point of view many aspects difficult to translate exactly. 89. 3. E. p. VON BRADKE. Otherwise RENOU. This does not however mean that the text "plays on different meanings. the author suggests a close connexion between both concepts: complete or partial identity in name was believed to point to identity of. RENOTT. V. 1. AV. 117 (overshooting the mark). 1. 1. 66. The sharp juxtaposition of "mortal" and "immortal" in 8. p. RV. Cf. no 'play. (probably) 1. p. 4. 2. 61. 160. . •7 GONDA. 2. Was. 180. II. 5 ("We mortal men contemplate the name of thee that art immortal . in FestgruB Roth. p. only playing in our sense of the term ? 64 For the use of a word in 'two meanings' suggesting identity cf. 6. p.. p. Cf. but at 3. It is Vrtra's (Obstruction's) very nature and function to obstruct69. in JUB 1940. 5)—probably an oxymoron—is. RV. 9. 20. 6. 2. the poet suggesting a second sense of the word which elsewhere can come to the fore65. 9. I)67.1. a fact consciously or unconsciously emphasized by the juxtaposition of object and verb vrtrdm avrnot. Otherwise VELANKAB. 3 the positions are reversed: it is Indra who obstructs the demon. 7. 88 49 See MACDONEIX. or an intimate association between. . notwithstanding the 'play' upon the homonymous verbal roots. M.14.

should not be regarded as poetical ornamentation or as products of poetical fantasy is the identification of a god with one or some of his colleagues (L. L. 8. 8. 82. p. 2. 26. BEBGAIGNE. the more so as they usually draw their images from the natural world about them and so make an immediate impact on thenaudiences. 163. The sacred and the profane. 34. art Indra". Images. Leipzig 1887 (1922). often are evocative and suited to characterize or to reveal what otherwise would remain more or less mysterious2. 9. 6. with CH. 6). to make explicit hidden qualities or relations. 9.248 6. Metaphors. 6. 1. 9. 10f. M. 7. also H. 2. "Thou god Agni art Aditi for the devout worshipper" (RV. cf. 15. 5. often a device to make sense of what is otherwise hard to grasp. 10. 4. 6.' If the soma. Gonda • Vedic Literature Little poetry is possible without imagery1. Imagery J. generally speaking.. 3.g. 37 say that we have. 3. 9." 5 RV. "Thou. 43. 2. 3. in JA 243 (1955). Suggesting ontological as well as perceptual identity or indistinguishability equalizations. 1. 1. p. 12. Iff.. 59. 3. Agni. As soon as a deity is believed to fulfil a function which is commonly attributed to another divine being... 2 Cf. to do with passing metaphors developing into "objects of real belief. Quelques observations sur les figures de rhe"torique dans le Rig-Veda. MSL 4. 3. 5 etc. 3. 9. Expressions such as "navel (of the world)"5 for the sacrificial place which is conceived of as the centre of the universe connected with heaven by the world axis and on earth the place nearest to heaven. 9. 15. 22. p. Agni. For a right understanding of this imagery it is essential to realize that many passages which would strike us as exhibiting a metaphorical use of a noun are rather statements of an equalization or assimilation3. Hymns of the Rgveda. 8. are very frequent throughout these collections. p. omitting any form of explicit comparison. 96. art Rbhu". p. 36. 77): "Thou. Calcutta 1952. 19. . are more than an 'image. 7. voisr SCHROEDEB. 7. 3. That is to say that we run the risk of regarding as an image what in Vedic times was an element of classification or homologation inherent in the outlook of the poets and priests in general4. Iff. 1. 16. 90. the name of the latter can be transferred to him. MANNING. ZU einigen Metapherndes Rigveda. 101. 185. 5. 1. 38. 101. 4 One should not. 43. though favoured by these poets. ZII 5. to familiarize the unfamiliar. 164. 89. cf. ELIADE. p. the addition to a description of this process "a hero with swift chariots" 1 One should decidedly avoid the term 'rhetoric' so often found in the pertinent literature (e. 178. 77. being purified and flowing through the strainer. 2. 420). 39. parallels.g. also 8. A. 19. 101. 9). e. 2. Indiens Literatur und Cultur. 3 Among those devices which. 62. 7 (cf. See e. similitudes help them to express their thought more effectively than plain statement. New York 1961.). RENOU. In this train of thought the celestial prototype of a terrestrial being can be described as its highest form (RV. 5. Especially when a language has not yet formed many abstractions imagery is apt to take their place and speakers and authors quite naturally resort to it when they attempt to express clearly what they feel and want to say. WELLEB.g. 5 etc. is believed to be heroic.

58. The use of "mountain" for the pressing stones is rather conditioned by the belief that an object and its source or material cause are identical than a conscious application of a 'stylistic figure'6. 9. 1. we should remember that it is this beverage which enables Indra to wield that weapon11. continuity and communication are 'symbolized' by the thread or texture which increase in length when they are spun or woven18. GONDA. 142. 8. 84. 3 and cases such as 8. 1. Not all instances of 'metonymy' should be regarded as poetical embellishments either. 1.g. 2 etc. 15. 2: RENOU. 2). 2. 2. 57.. XVI. an important feature in so-called mystical passages and in communications about higher knowledge revealed to a poet. 79. 1) is based on colloquial expressions such as our "bottle" for "wine"8. 9 8 . 8. 168. 82. but other places show us that divine powers mediating the process of inspiration— with the inclusion of Soma himself—are given the same designation10. 9. 17 RV. 10 See 9. P . 22. 8. 5. Whereas it is difficult to say whether "the pressed jar" (10. for the image see e. 3. 2. 3. 6. 6. The cows. 1. p. now to be her harbingers or representatives (7. p . also 9. 33. RV. 4. 7 Cf. When in what may appear to us to be a bold metaphor the soMa is described as a bolt (vajra) when it is eulogized by the poet. 12 See also RENOU. 53. 167. 16 RV. 9. The word of the officiant is on account of its swiftness and efficacy called an arrow13. the frequent cases of "cows" instead of "milk"9 are no doubt mainly due to a belief in the 'identity' of source and product. 2. 1. V. The 'ocean' in the poet's heart is the source of his inspiration. 128. 13. 1 and see 1. Agni is the son of victorious and overwhelming power15. cf. 71. and 7. P . 59. Gods and powers (see above). 14. 10. also 8. Elsewhere the right understanding of an image presupposes an acquaintance with mythological ideas. The 6 Otherwise GELDNER. 4. 73. 1. 1. 1 the soMa juice is called an inspired rsi. 16. 9. 1. E. E. When at 8. 10. V. V.The style of the Vedic hymns 249 is no poetic metaphor in our modern sense of the term. 159. 35.g. 512 is not only due to a failing congeniality on our side. 96. 18 RV. 151. 94. For particulars see RENOU. 77. 1). 7. 8. XIII. RV. 2. p. 72. it is of course true that this title is due to the poet. E. 1. 6. 4. 1 and GONDA. 14 RV. 92. 1. 1. 4. I l l . 12. Heaven and Earth are a pair born of the same womb16. p . 1. 1. RV. 18. 177. 212. 81. which now are said to be fond of Dawn (1. 9. or rather in the inherence of the former in the latter. 296 (hyperbole). Epithets. 14. 3. Cf. p . 92. E. 4. 2. 159. 141. 11 RV. 3. rain is drawn from a heavenly well17. 1) substituted for the phenomenon of daybreak7. 2 etc. generally speaking. are elsewhere (1. 15 RV. cf. 8 etc. 7. 10. 71. cf. 47. 1. 6. 13 RV. P. 4. p . 80. cf. I l l . 6. 85. lightning is a smile14. also 3. a double meaning in 5. 33. 1. 8. we cannot discount the possibility that the difficulty found in understanding texts such as 4. But although images are. VII. 9. hence the identity of heart and ocean in 10. 190. 5. 19. 130. 40.

46. 6. 69." and in order to give an idea of its absolute superiority. Rain is described as a shining dress of sacrificial butter that follows two gods who are believed to dispense it20. BASU. An accumulation of characteristic images and elaborated comparisons may on the other hand concur to achieve very suggestive effects in a hymn such as 1. 4. often described as a bull. 61. 46. 5. e. a nuptial tie between ocean and rivers is suggested at 8. 98. Other images occur in a simpler as well as an elaborate form: Indra.250 J. 4. 22 The absence or rarity in Vedic poetry of other well-known classical images (lotus. a poet describes the juice as the guide of the inspired poets. difficulty or obscurity of some passages25. the buffalo among the animals. Or they mix them24 even to vacillate on the verge of incomprehensibility: the bulls under the yoke of sacred Order whose mouths have arrows are the officiants (1. 19. 9. 16. 3. 8. the milk with which the juice is to mix is 'figuratively' denoted by "cows. p. 6. it reads that the poems lick the (soma) stalks when the poets of the stanzas "go to the bright garment" (to be put on by the soMa during the process of purification).) is partly due to the different geographical surroundings. 4. Some poetic conventions of the classical Sanskrit authors can be traced to the Rgveda. 3. at 9. cf. 6. and vegetation on the other hand. 5. For the lotus see S. 4. The tendency to combining images or metaphors with other 'figures of speech' has not failed to add to the complexity. 11. 10. 44.g. 4 elements in dealing with the production of the soma juice (and parallel to it. 3.. Gonda • Vedic Literature soma in process of purifying itself is addressed as a most splendid bull and invited to gallop near. 39. 84. 69. 4. At 10. 101. a loving woman and her mate to a creeper and a tree (RV. A tendency to complication is indeed not lacking: the soMa stalks are depicted as excavated sources milked with stones (4. 6. 2. the falcon among the birds of prey19. is sometimes fancied as "the bull of the cultivators"21. 2. 5. 7. the god of love etc. 10. 4. 6. 92. 46. cf. 86. 69. RV. 6. we have to understand that the eulogists treat the soma juice like cows their calves. 24 Cf. 6. 1 (a chariot with oars). 16. 1. 7. Other poets combine two images for the same idea—in principle a sort of intensification: thus milk and sacrificial butter are at 9. the rsi among those who experienced spiritual rapture. The ASvins approaching in the morning are compared to a couple of cakravdka ducks which are supposed to be separated during night (2. 66. AV. fig-tree. VIJ 6 (1969). 13. 5. 10. the tongue of the eulogist as a whip producing pleasant sounds (9. 25 See e. 6. 74. 222. 2). 11. 50. of rain)23. 21 See 2. 3). 9. Occasionally a poet succeeds in creating a double or ambiguous image. 16). 10. 53. moonlit night. 47. 18. 6. 96. 8. 1). cf. 2. 8 etc. 1. 6. Now and then an image strikes us as specially successful and at the same time rare or perhaps original. 1. 23 Cf. 5. 64 in which RV. 3. 20 19 . 72. 18. 21. 8. also 5. 3).g. 4 the upper garment of Heaven and Earth must be the celestial luminaries on one. 9. also 2. 5. 62. 35. There are also curious instances of what would appear to be a blend of image and reality: when. 3. 45. 23. 5.

It is not always easy to say where plain statement ends and metaphorical expression begins. 66. O. 66. the rites and the ritual texts. sunk in deepest sleep (4. 174.' but the significance of what in ancient Indian literature is commonly called 'symbolism' should not be missed. 8. 2). 4 0 . The hold which nature has over man comes from the unseen powers within it. 9. 3) is no doubt a reference to their amorous sport29. Cf. 140. leaping over—can also be taken as a continued metaphor28. brilliant (7). between the celestial sphere and human existence30. 58. 8. also RV. L. those passages which could suggest such an evil plight of aquatic animals— deep water. GONDA. 9.C. I l l . Les literatures de l'lnde. 2. 3) represents primordial chaos and inertia31. 86. RV. GELDNER. 102 and compare cases such as 4. The horn embodies the idea of strength (8. 28 29 30 31 Cf. there is hardly any ground for supposing that a Vedic poet did not resort to imagery when he would express himself in covert terms: the race with a hundred strategems performed by a married couple (1. . Paris 1951. Whatever the meaning of the "sea" in 7. are very well characterized as gods of the thunderstorm26. RV. R. shakers who milk the udders of heaven and the thundering source of moisture (5. viz. buffaloes possessed of incomprehensible creative power. RENOTJ. G.g. 1. O:LIPHANT. The Vedic authors were always convinced of the existence of correlations between the visible and the invisible world. 9. I. I. 8. On the other hand. Some 'transferred meanings' or 'figurative expressions' have attracted attention because they occur also in other ancient literatures and here the question 28 27 See e. Vrtra. For the influence of symbolism upon verbal expression see S. also 10. however. swift. 390. but if he knows the correlations. 88. ELIZARENKOVA. 19. 3. 18. 1. bonds. born as bulls (st. We cannot escape the conviction that reference to these symbols many times is of greater importance in the course of thinking than a development of ideas. 69. That is why various living creatures and natural phenomena are so carefully presented and given an ulterior significance. 176. between the ritual acts and natural phenomena or divine agency. 67. 5). 99. 179. able to make the nights lively (8) and described as good shots who have taken arrows in their hands (10). he has the command of a mighty means of influencing and controlling these powers. 10. p. 6). also 1. 3f. traditionally ascribed to a king of fishes or to fishes caught in a net may owe its origin to a fairy-tale on fishes27. The metaphor shades into the 'symbol. the voyage of the rsi Vasistha and Varuna in one and the same ship symbolizes a deepening communion. p.. strong.The style of the Vedic hymns 251 the Maruts. as roaring like lions (8) and devouring the trees like elephants (7). A practical knowledge of the visible world and a correct comprehension of everything in it that is relevant to human life led the rsis to the formulation of correspondences and parallelisms and helped them to bring the remote and the intangible into the range of human comprehension. p. p. 4. Differences between Vedic and post-Vedic symbolism are largely explicable from other geographical or cultural circumstances. as warriors with banners (2). in JAOS 30. p. 6.

1. 38 Cf. 11. 1. 9. 5). 1. Cf. 1. Leiden 1966. 69. 4. 71. P. VS. 42. E. 39. 1. 5. 7. 9. 1). 1. Altheim. 3. For other images: W. GONDA. 9. 185. 6. 283f. 8. 15. 63. 11. 1. The poets figure Indra's swift horses as rivers. Works. I n elucidating religious or ritual conceptions the poets resorted to images familiar from everyday life. 1). 9. RV. 31 (cf. 5. 163. see also 1. p. 7. 5. 152. Dawn is a beaming young woman (1. 3. 1. R. p. III. 3." The fingers preparing the soma are ten ladies (9. 46. 69. 69. WtisT. 47. 73. 105. 7) has. I l l . 46. the god of rain.g. 11. 5. The hymns which go to Indra to invite him are given a lift in an aerial chariot (6. 137. 6.252 J. 2. 34 Cf. R. p. p.31. The imagery of the Rgveda. 10f. 38. 74. 27. 4. 62..g. 10. P. 9. in Studia classica et orientalia A. they found the illustration which they needed in their own surroundings37. 92. Wiesbaden 1967. p. 523. 261. in Festschrift F. 7. 6. 12. 35 RV. Pagliaro. the streams of sacrificial butter "frisk smiling towards Agni like beautiful women to an amorous union. 10. places his seed in the plants (5. 83. 92. O. XV. 115. 46. Ancient Indian kingship. 4. 348. Before proceeding to a systematic discussion of the similes—which among the above quotations were not completely absent—a short survey of some representative images may find a place here. 43. 35. 17. 130. 10. the kindling of the ritual fire See J. 65. 742f. p. by means of friction. SCHMITT. 7) or sisters (3. or are to be explained as instances of 'Eleinentarverwandtschaft. 3. 50. E. 7. 11). 26. a counterpart in Hesiod33. The two pieces of wood used in kindling fixe are Agni's parents (1. When sunlight takes the place of the darkness of night a woven (cloth) remains unfinished: what was extended is rolled together again (1. Cf. other steeds as the wings of their owners.. 93. Varuna used the sun as a measuring instrument to mark out the 'site' for the earth (5.C. Diehtung und Dichtersprache in indogermanischer Zeit.' The king as herdsman of men or of his people occurs RV. W. see SCHMITT. 11 etc. 85. 37 For imagery from occupations and daily life see e. p. 2. 1. 75. 1. RV. likewise in ancient Greece. 3). praiseworthy celestial and terrestrial wealth" 35 are as favourite as phrases of the type "the light of heaven" or "the smoke-bannered one" (for Agni)36. 18. p. 1. Rome 1969. sons for the eulogist (1. 39 40 32 See BERGAIGNE. 35. The image of the wife or mistress is very frequent39: the rivers are Indra's wives and the poet's hymns run towards him in the same capacity. 9. 5. Berlin 1969. 1. Cf.. this process is a copulation. 57. GOPAL. also 6. and the god is able to produce. 5. 4. 127. 19. the proverbial swiftness of a famous horse as a gale 42 . 1. WiisT. ABORI 29. Parjanya.4). 2. at J G J R I 23 (1972). 21. 3. SASTRI. 5. 9). RENOTJ. 113. 10. 281. 1. p. 4)40. 1. 14. 27. 5. II) 38 . 2. V. Spiritual enlightenment and salvation are called light41. 1. S. 5. 42 41 . V. 24f. 1. Circumlocutions such as "the excellent. 9. 532 and the hands with ten branches (10. A paraphrasis of the type known as kenning among the ancient Scandinavian skalds occurs also in RV. 3. 33 Hesiod. 62. 14. Gonda • Vedic Literature arises whether they were borrowed or belonged to an inherited Indo-European poetical phraseology. 38 For the expression "daughter of heaven" or "of the sun" see R. 8 where the plants are said to be "the hair of the earth" 34 .

38. 49 See 5. GONDA. 46 F. 4 8 . 4. In general. 164. 1.. 3. p. . 6 . 8. 6. 18. 1. p. O. but also poetic art and sacrificial technique52. cf. 140. 7 . 127. 5 . in AJPh 40. 2. 5. 4 1 . 1 3 . 43 J. in ABORI 28. 10. 3. cf. cf. 63 84 See e. 4 . 1. 3. 62. 2 1 . 7 . 10. 2 . 139. 17. 1. SASTBI. 7. and especially the idea of rescue and a safe crossing. 45 RV. 1 2 . 6 5 . 61. 10. 87. 1 1 . 7. 2 . 4 2 . 6 the drops flowing through the sieve are like coursers. 5. 10. 100. 3 .g. see e. 22. 5. 160. 48 For the comparison of the activities of the poet to those of the eartwright or carpenter and of that between hymn and car see p. 1 0 . 5 a n d cf. 66. 111. 4 . 5 . 1. Adhvara. 1 7 . of overcoming troubles and difficulties49. 46. 130. It hardly needs mentioning that the Vedic poets. 1. 6 . 1. 8. 6 5 . 7 . 182. 178. 1. Compare e. 15. 7 1 . 1 0 . 178. 1. 13.g. p. 1. 10. 1. g . S. 9. in 9. 5. I. 4 8 . The wolf was detested. 166. 73. It is not surprising that some metaphorical expressions should be in harmony with more elaborated similes so that the latter—to which we have imperceptibly passed on—provide us with a clue to the former: at 9. food. R E N O U . 42. the officiant being the horse yoked to the pole. 8 . 16. V. 105. 94. 10. 3 . 3 8 . 67. 9 . 7. 133. 2. 88. his name more or less clearly transferred to malicious enemies51. 1. 1. 1. 4. The swift motion of the soma drops47 led to the comparison with cars48. 35. 1 0 . Birds symbolize not only swiftness. plenty and liberality. cf. e . cf. 17. V . 18. 129. 2.g. soaring higher and higher and going into unknown regions50. the eulogy as a well-yoked desire45. 14. 9 . 54. the inspired thought as a ship44. 13. p. also 9. E . EDGEBTON. 9. 10. 13. 8. also 1. 120. 164. 29. 3. 20. 6 8 . 8 . 2. 3. 175ff. g . 23. 3 . 7. 21. If. E. 1. 2. 6. 163.e. 4 2 . 16. see also RENOTT. 1. 50 E . P. RV. 51 See 1. describing for instance the Maruts as bards or singers—that is representing the sound of tempest and thunderstorm as a song—and divine attributes on the analogy of things human and mundane53. 73.g. 123. p. 1. 1. 6. e. p. 4f. An important feature in Rgvedic imagery is the cow. 34. 9. 31. 7. 2. 35. 2 . 1. but also the ability of expanding their wings. Ships evoke an image of the movements of the Maruts over the fields. I. P. 37. VIJ 3 (1965).C. 1. 82 See 1. 6. not only milk. 3 3 . like their colleagues elsewhere. 4 . 1 0 . the sacrifice which goes to the gods43 as a chariot.. 74. 17 a n d 175. 47 See 5. 3.. 79. 6. 3. 14. were inclined to transfer earthly circumstances to the world of the gods. 8. driven on by drivers54. 1. 4. 7f. 80. 44 RV. 183) as its being a vehicle conveying the poet's thoughts to the higher powers. 2. 2 9 . which symbolizes. It is not so much the intricate construction of a hymn (EDGEBTON. 85. P . 2 5 . While martial images are rare chariot driving plays a more prominent part46. 7. 5. 26. 16. 2 soma is said to run over the obstacles (i.The style of the Vedic hymns 253 as a process of awakening. 4. 7. 1. 4. Cf. the sieve). 9.

P . 4.: S. the much-prized horse13. 275. p . 46. Cf. clouds. 24. 130. 8. KIRFEL. 1. R . J U B N. 2. 18. 186. 6. 56. RV. 10 Cf. in The Vedanta Kesari. 14(1938). H. 1. They show a vast field of observation3 and experience which are not infrequently flavoured with poetic imagination and encapsulated by traditional belief4. 38. 9. C . 8 Cf. 2. 3. 5. wind. friendship and hospitality 12 . 6. 48. 7. 9. 3. 4. 3 . p . Vedic social life according to the similes in the Agni hymns. 2). 1. VELANKAR. are a valuable source of knowledge of Vedic life. 1 (1911). at JAOS 15. 523. 190. 43. Vol. 2. 6. S. p . 28. p. 27. Cf. 2. I l l (not completely convincing). Similes J Gonda • Vedic Literature The number and variety of similes1 and comparable forms of imagery are. 8. 20. S. 15 Observations on the outward appearance and grammatical construction of similes were made by OLDENBERG. A. 8 See HIRZEL. S. and also R. 86. 69. 2. ELIZARENKOVA. VELANKAR. stars 14 . 1. 5 (parallelism of a race and the production of poetry).1. 3. It is however their stylistic significance which should claim our special attention 15 . 10. Vol. 2. 5. 86. 5 (missiles fall like drops of perspiration). Cf. p. 4. 31. V . 32. 6. 13 Cf. 1. 8. 4. 8. 17. 1. 9. 19. daily pursuits such as hunting and cattle-tending8. J . 68. 1 and 16 (1940). 7. 1.g. e. which often have a tone of sincerity and familiarity5. 7 (HOPKINS. 9. 4. e. 22. 19. 5. p . 4. in ABORI 28 (1947). p. 13. 26. 46. GONDA. 10. 7. 102. 2. 33. 6. 2. 10. 5. 3. 330. 10. 1. natural phenomena. at Comm. 5.254 7. p . religion and civilization in general6. Festgabe von Garbe. p. Vergleichungen im Rigveda. 1. O . 4. 1. Siddheshwar Varma. 6. 34. 1. 2 (those present at a soma offering sit like flies on honey). 1. at 23 AIOC (1966-69). 10. Remarks on similes in Sanskrit literature. 14 Cf. 3. paternal love and filial affection11. 2. Varuna's breath "roars in space like an excited animal that has hunted his prey on the pasture" (7. 54. 71. 12. SASTRI. 10. 21. 8. 87. 26. p . 8. 10. 5. 71. p. 19. 2. 26. 7. H. 1. 7 Cf. J . supply the poets with a good number of examples. 74. 32. Soc. Far from being mere ornaments16 similes belong to the so-called figA. As to the sun see W. in Comm. The figurative use of duhitr (daughter) in the Rgveda. 10. at Bharatiya Vidya 25 (1965). 119. 3. 5. 9. 8. 32. 2. 9. 3. 9. p .g. 5. 4. beautiful and well-dressed girls and women10. 61. 12 Cf. 161. 9. VENKATASTJBBIAH. 5. 5. also 4. 103. 5. 87. D. 12. 7. 6. 134. 67. 31. 7. p . Gleiohnisse und Metaphern im Rgveda in cultur-historischer Hinsicht zusammengestellt. C . considerable. 124. 36. p . 2. transl. Thesis Leipzig 1890 (Engl. H . 1. 178. 2. p. at ALB 28 (1964). 180. 6. 2. 2). 7. WELLER. 9 Cf. 9. 4. 16. 97. 9. 10. 6. RAGHAVAN. p . B. 3 . 13. 102. at JBBRAS N. 4. 8. Family-life7. 127. 54. Wageningen 1939. These similes. 1. 1. 2 (1938). 41. 2. Nobel. 46. 3. 10. 9. 10 and see V. 69. 18. 15. 3. 8. GONDA. TILAKASIRI. 1. 2 3 4 5 1 Attention will also be paid to non-Rgvedic poetry. GRISWOLD. 2. 9. 10. 4. 11 Cf. already in Vedie poetry2. 23. 28. 62. J G J R I 28 (1972). 2. HIRZEL. D. Noten. Panjab Hist. 15. 32. 10. p . 58. 63. 11. OLDENBERG. 272). . GOPAL. and WELLER in note 1 above. O . 1. 10. 53. 69. 126). 116. 7. 6. 31. 5. also 1. p . 9. 4. 13. 31. Leiden 1949. 3 . 9. 2 (1940). 10. 7. 7. 4. 77. 49. sun. 42 (1955). and see 1. 11. Hoshiarpur 1950. the manners and doings of men and animals9. . 7. 4. J . 3. 67. 8. 96. 7. 2. 1. 1. 515. the rising Sun "waves his banner like a warrior" (4. 7. 5. 63.

More abstract ideas are however not lacking: "abiding in beings like speech in the speaker" (AV&. 14. 104. 21 Cf. about 325. In perfect harmony with the normal practice of the speakers of any language Vedic poets insert similes for 'economical reasons'—the Maruts advanced as if drunk (RV. The sun is the very picture of splendour: hence 8. other animals (lion. 1) may be expressive. a woman basket-maker19. Like other references to parallel situations. 5. bow and arrow.) like the celestial thunderbolt. Thesis Lyon 1900. 31. they are selected from human association ( ± 2 2 % ) . 3. 97. 26. 163. also AVi§. p. 6. 1. 6: the sky as a milch-cow. 10. 97). 9. thou goeth between both races (of gods and men). 11. 2.g. 6. 3. 1. intensive and graphical: "Let heat boil the wicked up like a fiery pot" (RV. e. heaven and earth 23 . Thesis Paris 1930. 2. AVS. 5. in giving it the correct and required form of style17. 34. 2. 2. 39. 9. 12. 1. RV. 8. 22 Cf. AV. also 1. p. the sun as a calf. 23 Cf. e. 10)26. 26 Cf. 5. donkey. 176. 24 Cf. 8. 32. 1. in Volume F. 3." Lightning suddenly appears and strikes without fail: 1. AV. 3. 7. a dancing girl. 8. 8. 185. 25 Cf. 3. in JAOS 35. W. 1. . 2. 1. 23. De rhetorica vedica.g. 36. OLIPHANT. 11. 14. AVS. sun and moon. 8) or "turn round like wheels" (1. 6. wolf and tiger— who is almost absent in the other corpus—monkey. 51. 17 This was the original meaning of the term alamkdra which is usually translated b y "(stylistic) ornament" (GONDA. 19. 24). H. among them are 'professionals' such as a hunter. a carpenter. The custom of the geese to walk one behind another helps to form an idea of the manner of walking of celestial horses (1. AV. boat and chariot make their appearance beside trees." The motherly love of the 16 Not to mention those who spoke of rhetoric: A. also RV. ". Beside cow20 and horse. as a messenger like a bridegroom's friend"25. 3. The similes of the Atharvaveda 18 are considerably less in number—exclusive of those which occur also in the Rgveda. 4. 1. 33. 30. 9. 6. hawk and vulture) figure among the animals21. 2. 4. rivers. e. cf. VELANKAR. e. 8. 19 Cf. like cows rushing forth from the stable" (RV. Les fleurs de rhetorique dans 1'Inde. AVg. 4. 39. 3. 3. 4). 10. 14. 18 S.g. 27. AVg. Popular phrases of the type "as deep as the sea" (3. 2. 3. 2. 20 Cf. we carry thee" (in a text accompanying the releasing of a house. e. GTJERINOT. 3: "Slay him. axe and millstone22. G. 17 "red mares which beam like the sun. 9. R. 1. 83. 19. . 5. (0 Indra. DIWEKAB. . Bombay 1939. 3. 7. 7 " 0 Agni. (NIA). 6. 8). in JASBombay 38 (1963). 0 dwelling. 2. 2)24. 8. AV. 1. 25.The style of the Vedic hymns 255 ures of speech which were highly instrumental in making the Vedic sacral language answer its purpose. RV. There are similes that by means of a comparison to human circumstances bring an event or thing nearer to the hearer. 45.g. 2. 3. 15. Of lifeless objects. 5)—or for bringing about a connection with familiar facts: "Like a bride. 7. 1. 85.g. THOMAS. p. 8. 3.

10. 25.256 J. 1. IF 64. 8. 15. 115. 2. 5. 17. Similes are here also used where the intellectual accustomed to abstract expressions would prefer exact formulations. also instances such as RV. 18. 2. 1. 8. 4. For other similes of a formulaic character see BLOOMFIELD. 7. 17 Cf. 86 Cf. 19. . 12. 2. 1 9 . 13. The philosophic significance of similes in ancient Indian thought. In accordance with the tendency to make the end of a composition ponderous there often are one or two similes in the last stanza of a hymn 34 . 9. 3 . 9. 22. 6. 8. 1. . as if from the heat of sunshine with a shady spot" (RV. 19. welltyred. in more or less prolix popular or emotional speech. AV. 1. 163. 8. 2 . also 4. 142. 28. 69. 6. 2 4 . 10. 82 Cf. for the sake of clearness: AVS\ 10. 45. Those of the soMa hymns emphasize the brightness. 104.14 witchcraft and its practicers are enjoined to "go away. 186. A V . 35 See also 2. The affective character of a simile is frequently obvious from the context. SCHMID. 9. 115. 51. L E I DECKER. 33 Cf. 20. 1. p. Repetitions. 72. 18. 4. 17. 9. 5. 10. The Aryan Path 25 (Bombay 1954). 65. 4 . VELANKAR. 0 Agni. 8. Thus the feelings of the man who after travelling in the intense heat of the sun reaches a shady place are immediately clear: "We have sought refuge with thee. well-naved" (AVS\ 4. 21. 67. 6. 36. 4. 94. 231. 33. 4. The graphical concreteness and expressiveness of the vivid descriptions and vigorous phraseology of colloquial usage is at the root of the possibly 'poetical' simile "he continues growing like twigs" said of a man of numerous offspring (2. 5 and see K. 12. 7. 2 inviting the grain to "rise up like the sky" and to be "unexhausted like the ocean"31. 7.g. 1. 17. 17. dhrdjantam) we find "thy mind hurries on like the wind" (1. Similes—sometimes creating a parallel world beyond the apparent one36— are also a means of shedding light on the essence or characteristic qualities of the object compared. Such additions may be serviceable in forming a climax: "Do you here get up. P. 71. run forth (like) a chariot well-wheeled. 583. 7. 29 R V . 6. 28'. like an unfastened she-ass"30. 66. go forth. 4)32.Gonda • Vedic Literature cow is already in the Rgveda a favourite model of affection27. Savitar is the god who has placed a light on high. 2 and W.. 3. 2. 6. 6. 1.g. 6)33.1). . 53. F. 45. also AV. 19. 12. 11. 6. 13. 6. 12. 1. 11 vdta iva dhrdjimdn)28. 1. 9f. 38. 28 For the wind as a model of swiftness see also 1. 8. The Atharvaveda furnishes some good examples of similes added. The man who has no difficulty in finding a treasure is compared to a thief who robs somebody sleeping (RV. 3 . For the cow see e. 72. p. 100. 1. avoiding images or exaggerations: AVS\ 6. 6. 3 vatam . 3. 6. 1). 3. 19. p. 4. RV. 4. Side by side with fixed combinations of nouns and adjectives like "the blowing wind" (4. 38)35. 16. 1. making much noise. 113. 93. 10. 8. 2. 19. 2 . 33. 3 3 . at BhV (see above n. 122. 6. 2. cf. Cf. when Agni is said to have placed such a light like Savitar the latter obviously is typical in this respect29. 34. 5. 3 0 . 30 See also 10. Die Kuh auf der Weide. 32. 11. 34 See e. 105. 3. 7. 31 See also A V . 16. 6. 5 5 . 2 etc. 77. 2. 1.

14. 2. The poet of AV&. a similar result in an analogous case within the human sphere: "As the libujd (a creeping plant) has completely embraced the tree. that he is deeply rooted in his natural setting with which his own existence is inextricably interwoven39. KAPADIA. 1. 145. 7. 2.The style of the Vedic hymns 257 brilliance. Aurangabad 1963. 6 (cf. 32. at MarathGONDA. 25. 1.c. properties of plants and life of nature in general which are felt to be analogous to the emotions or behaviour of man or to the effects desired are called upon to reproduce themselves in the person on whose behalf the rite is executed42. 19. 4. 7. 2. 3. 3. 5. wada Univ. 302. 78. as water on its track. e. 7. o. 9. 18. Comparisons borrowed from nature—intensifying and humanifying nature's life and creating a feeling of being in touch with it—should be viewed in the light of archaic man's conviction that he is part of nature. mythology or human events. 41 Which becomes loosened of itself when the fruit is ripe. 6 (= AV$. the light of dawn becoming a luminous female form. 2. also 3. Journal 3. Rousing the hearer's interest and imagination they help him better to understand the process of clarification. roaring sound. 3. 102. 5. 6. 64. 7. It is not surprising that in many parts of the Veda similes taken from nature are much more frequent than those borrowed from social and spiritual life. 57. 39 This aspect of the use of similes is almost exclusively emphasized by WEIXER. 52. 6. 54. SASTBI. which in its turn dissolves into the brightness of the sky38. to lend the stanzas. P. The Usas hymns show that 'similes' may imperceptibly blend into identifications.g. G. 47. at VIJ 2 (1964). so do you (the woman whose love is to be won) embrace me" (AV$. 2. 54. 113. 4. These activities of animals. Cf. 5. 1. 10. p.1). 1. 6) a woman imprecates upon a rival wife the misfortune that her mind must run after herself as a cow after her calf. at IHQ 30. AVP. 24. 46. 6. Parallels in nature help to illustrate an event and. their specific force because a simile. I cut its bond like the root of a gourd"41 and at RV. p. AV. 139. 19. 45. 4. 38 Cf. 3). 14. 3. 10. 16. in the interest of those pronouncing the formula. 8. 21. 10. 61. 3. 50. RV. 18. 2. 8. 89. Iff. 6. Pestgabe Von. See e.g. 2 it reads "I destroy the catarrh of this man. Garbe. 5. Thus the effective power of the objective fact or event in nature is expected to produce. p. 3. 3. 8. S. strength. exercises a potent influence40.g. BHAT. 79. 3. 1. a text used in a rite for the destruction of enemies by means of an amulet of asvattha wood (fieus religiosa). and swift and restless motion of the beverage37. the mantras. This does not however mean that the poets are generally successful in evoking clear images of the unseen reality in the minds of modern readers. 2. 54. 70. embodying through the power of the spoken word some natural force. etc. 7. For other instances see e. 124. 45. 89. 2. 6. 70. 3. RV. 5. 9. 42 Cf. 2. H. p. 6. was inspired 37 B. 40 . 5. 5. p. who might be inclined to overestimate the poetic value and profundity also of those verses which had to the ancients no other than the emotional appeal of the religious practice. 101. in magical contexts. 2. AV& 6. K. 1.

4. 48 Cf.. 16. 2. 4. 18. 2 where Indra's mighty name occupies the first place. 2. climbing the forest trees you put them below you. Like other emotive elements of a sentence similes pronounced under the influence of strong feelings and sentiments tend to push themselves to the beginning of the utterance: "As a son to a father go. 4. 19. 18. 3 etc. assistance.258 • J. Gonda • Vedic Literature by a peculiarity of that tree: it begins as an epiphyte and as it grows it often squeezes to death its host43: (1) "The male sprung from the male. 10 etc. Many ideas introduced to concentrate the hearer's attention on an important aspect of the communication—i. O. The verb may be repeated to enhance the exactness and efficacy of the formula: AV&.: sky: head. 5. these similes were consciously employed to exercise. . 45 43 RV. 5. 32ff. B. GONDA. 3. 123. p. In poetical as well as colloquial usage strong emotion.g. Otherwise e. 1. skill. 6. quoted at Kaus". .. so do I set your embryo. 9. 36. 10)47. 4. (6) As. So split apart the head of my enemy and get the upper hand.e. Berkeley 1950. 7. 5. EMENEAU. as Indra of Vrtra" (6. 6. 6. many wpamdnas —that stand at the beginning have a great emotional value in themselves: in the Atharvaveda "like a mother" is always placed in that position. an incantating effect. 19. AVS\ 4. 345. 4. 36. See e. 1345. 44) was already known to the author of AVS\ 11. Constituting exactly formulated sentences. 7). Part of them are based on a belief in fixed correspondences between macrocosmic and microcosmic entities: AVS\ 10. sun: eye. 8. 109. 135. 7. 47 46 Cf. in Class. Cf. Let it slay my enemies. 14. p. 27. by means of their inherent parallelism. 53. AV. 3. 2. The height of the heavenly expanse is a favourite standard of comparison46. 30. 32. or prototype are invoked or made effective in a similar way: "Just as thou consumest the shrubs . WHITNEY-LANMAN." Some similes may be regarded as familiar or proverbial. example. Thus the comparison to a hunter following the track of a wounded deer by the drops of blood (Manu 8. 17. 2. 48. The frequent and as a rule varied accumulation of images in a small compass is not necessarily to be regarded as an artificial device. and compare RV. 9 etc. 25.. 1. 117. 5 in a ceremony for conception of a male child: "As this great earth receives the embryo of existences.. 20. 76. which was understood as an identity. 5)48. 2.C. whom I hate and who (hate) me. in Univ. 31. 2." Divine power. and the Rgveda also furnishes many instances. 4. or the desire to express oneself unequivocally may prompt the repetition of the same 'figure of speech': Kaus. 6. strike the enemies" (1. 622. like a constrictor trampled on bite" (AV& 5. 4. 46. 63. 0 bearer of the vajra. 8. cutting to pieces the shoulders of N.. 44 Also AV. and instances such as AV. burn everyone who plots against us" (RV. 1. of California Publ. 3ff. 8. 12. 14. 10. also RV. "I take the thunderbolt. the asvattha from the khadira. for instance. 52. Philology 13. 60. p. . such as.g. O asvattha.N. a vivid imagination. see M. 5. I) 44 . 7. 19. 59. AVS". 35. the emphatic "As if with an iron club. 4. 1.

29. . AV. P. 89.c. 3. 8. 3. 52 See GELDNEB. p. This accumulation is especially suited to lend force to an injunction: "Avoid us. 1. at RV. also RV. 5. 77 in considering the three similes in 9. cf.4. like the tiger of wild beasts" (AVfS. II) 49 . 130. like the ox of moving creatures. Alliteration and homoioteleuton. 42. 65. 4. 149. 1. dashing along like a course. 5f. 7. However. also RV. 37. an occasional simile of a somewhat expanded form shows that some poets at least were able to produce more refined and profound comparisons. 45. 51 I cannot follow RENOU. 2. More complicated or artificial instances of sound repetition. 4. 1. 10. 4. 12. 1 to relate to DUMEZIL'S 'three functions' (viz. g. 6. 10. smite our curser as the thunderbolt from the sky a tree" (AV§. » 88. 12. For the accumulation of similes in\ hymns dedicated to the ASvins: OLDENBEBG. 12. 75. 1. 4. 10. 860). 4. 80. 4. 7. 0 curse. also 1. 3. in NG 1918. 2. 92. 6. 1. I l l . 8. Enthusiastic about the beauty of Usas the poet of RV. frequent in the similes of other peoples. p. 4.. 124. 3. 1. p. 4. E. 9. 32. nobility and husbandry). 22. 150 Cf.g.. 7. 9. that of the priestly order. 35. 4. do not however seem to occur. the amplification is in part of the cases longer than necessary because the object compared (upameya) has nothing corresponding55. Her secret charms Usas bares like a play-girl"52. 71. also RV. occur e. . 7. 1. 1. 3. 45. GONDA. 6. like a spacious abode. Auswahl II. 1. 1. 38. 2. 2. 65 ( = K. . Agni is "pleasant like opulence. 186.The style of the Vedic hymns 259 "You are the best of herbs. AV. 3. Like one who mounts a staging for winning riches. 1. S. 6. " (RV. as a burning fire a lake. 7. BERGAIGNE. so frequent in classical Sanskrit. 20. IX. a source of benefit like a mountain. 2 etc. 19. 5. 1 : surupakrtnum utdye sudtighdm iva goduhe / juhumdsi dydvi-dyavi . 2 {dhana/pal6> dhdneva "as a protector of riches (his) riches"). 2). Well-dressed like a willing wife for her husband. not surprising t o find elliptic or brachylogical similes of the types "I have offered thee hymns « Cf. 149. 1. 77. 2. V. For a combination of simile and adnominatio: AV. P. in view of the often concise character of the syntax. 2. 130. 1. 6 5 6 : "Dawn and Dusk (accomplish) their perfected works for us like two joyful weaving women who in conjunction with each other weave the ingenious form of the sacrifice in the extended weft (of time).Every day we call for assistance Indra who takes a beautiful form As a good milch cow (is called) to the milker"53. • 55 See e. p. p. 38. 11. 3. 47. 64 See e. E. 7 strings four similes together in a well-chosen order to illustrate the increasing splendour of dawn 51 : "Like a brotherless (maiden) she turns towards men. beneficent like a stream of water. 69. 1. like a stream . in MSL 8 (1894). 66 Cf. p. 1. 1." It is. 34. o. 63 Cf. 1. 1. 115.) 50 . Although prolonged or amplified similes are comparatively rare 64 . V. 22. 12. 2. 4. p. RV. 6.g. 1. On some uncertainties in the translation see RENOU. 6. 69. 64.

5. 105. 43. 41. in ALB 28 (1964). 101. I l l . 114. 16. Gonda • Vedic Literature as a herdsman (viz. 29. 27. and cf. 19. VENKATASXJBBIAH. 5. 10. 13. 2. I. 15). 1. 45. 116. 31. Sayana on 6. 1. 22. GELDNER. 3. 1). drives cattle home)" (1. 3.260 J. 4) 57 . 6. 6. Paris 1886. 1. 75. 2. at Melanges Renier. 9. Nor are incoherent combinations of figurative and unfigurative expressions lacking: Agni (the ritual fire) "is awakened by man's fuel awaiting Usas (Dawn) who approaches like a cow" (5. 14. p. p.V. BERGAIGNE. p . compare also his note. 9). 1). also A. 17. p. 21. 2. 4. 1 etc. . 184. 4. 8. 1. "to fill as (the rivers fill) the sea" (RV. 14. 4. 87 See also 1. A. 16. 1. 6. 161 (on 8. 16. 437 (on 4. 323 (on 10.). 52.

8. 2 not only to state that the god has three generative powers and three abodes. 114. 4. 18. Triads in the Veda. 60. 21. 18: 8. for five (see e. cf. in 26 Int. 33. 46. 87. 58 and RENOTJ. e. 6.: The holy numbers of the Rg-veda. JAOS 16. V. 10. proceeds to describe their chariot which has three wheels. to pray them for thrice repeated favours and protection and so on. the curious predilection for numbers such as 60 hundred. (3x 7) 1. 8 See GONDA. 5ff. 34 is even composed on the motif of the three7: beginning with "Three times ye must remember us" the poet. AGRAWALA. 11. 36. 1. * See e. I. p. 25. GONDA. 1. 7. in the waters5. V. 10. 3. Whereas 101. 4. 8 For similar cumulations of the same number: (3) 3. 5. 8 As to 7. 18.. 45. 33. Varuna-Hymnen des Rgveda. 18. Other stylistic features 261 The frequent mention of numerical concepts1 is largely conditioned by the belief that many important things are characterized by a fixed number whether this is founded on fact or supposed to be a reality in the ritual or mythological sphere2. 25 (not completely tenable).g. 4. or argumentations by means of. 10 Cf. 14. Ohio Journal of Religious Studies 1974.The style of the Vedic hymns 8. also 3. 10. 1. 56. 2. mentioning this number 36 times in 12 stanzas. 28. 2 Cf. 2. 3. 10. 67. 3. 7. that identity of number points to identity in essence3. 114. RV.12. 8. 10. Auswahl. (3) 1. 141 (on 3. • See e. 7. e. 25. 3. I.g. 1 (partly fantastic). 1. OTTO. and that gaining an insight into numerical relations enables the expert to detect hidden connections. p. See V. 34. also 10. I. 80. 3. Amsterdam Acad. 4. Cf. 6 See 1. 9. S. That high numerals should be used to suggest the idea of extremely large quantities9 is not surprising. p. . GONDA. 13. 124. 20. 1. 9). (7) 8. E. 10.g. p. 6. 3ff. R. 16. ' This is no play on the number three as is the opinion of HLLLEBBANDT. R. 142. of Orient. 9. 5. Triads in Vedic ritual. Congr. 75. 9. Geldner. 1975. 58. 177. P. 7. For Visnu's three strides etc. 10. 1. 34. 1. London 1970. 1964. 9. 34. 5. 95. 164. The births or birth-places of Agni are three in number: in the sea.g. 10. 9. 10. 10. Bonn 1948. 2. Numerical formulae in the Veda. p. p. a typical 'baker's dozen' number is 1 E. 9. 59. p. 96. p.g. it is not always clear how these numbers are obtained. 10. 3 and 10. RV. 58. 3. S. 45. The ASvin hymn 1. 86. Part of these passages have the character of numerical riddles or of enumerations of. Studies 1894. M. for Triads and heptads etc. p. 2. 275. 9. 53. 7 see GELDNEB. to commemorate three threefold circuits by day and by night. 114. 2. 8. 2 I. p. p. 341. 9. now see J. this led the author of 3. W. 8. XVI. AGBAWALA. 87. 89. for seven. 14) or 60099 (1.12). 60 and 6 (7.2. Then there are the almost inevitable three and seven. 88. II. 24. 1. 140. 9. 109. but also that he possesses three tongues and three bodies6. 1. 86. V. in heavens. expressing modifications of the idea of totality4: Indra is a seven-reined bull who let loose the seven streams to flow (2. 7. 1. three tires and three supports. VIJ 4 (1966). HOPKINS. 164. 7. entities that are vaguely indicated by their numerical value8. Or. 4) p. 98. Visnuism and Sivaism. (7) 1. 53. 6 thousand. p. 9) is however worthy of special attention10.

" Utrecht 1953. 10. progressing and regressing mode of expression which is many times characteristic of passages dealing with mysteries and metaphysical problems: "What will be revealed to me of this word . 3. 27. X. 46. 4 and GELDNER'S note. For questions and answers in riddles see BLOOMFIELD. 86. 0 men.. the Maruts are represented as addressing the poet. with ten . 1. the hymn of praise to the manly host. . 13 Cf. . is Indra" (2. 4. the Maruts"20.g. 13)19. 1. RENOTJ. 3. A degressive series: 2. 56. 8. Questions. 1-3. 164. in 8. 10. 11. 3 . 13. 12. 22 See 1. that he may give that) . There are some instances of progressive multiplication. 16 Cf. Not all pertinent interpretations (cf. instances of aposiopesis (e. 93. for 90 see 3. 8. 5 . 30. 6. 13. with two bay horses. 4. p. interrupt the usual prayers and eulogies21. 53. 6. For 63 (9x7) see 8. with eight. Yet. 5. evil powers and of those devoid of importance12. . 1. 6. 1. 17. 3 . 6. e . 49.262 J. 10. g . Some poets at least knew how to enliven their style14 and to intensify the contact with their auditors by occasionally directing their words to them: "Believe in him: he. 12. 3. by addressing a god more directly as a partner in conversation16. An explicit answer is seldom given22. II. 7. . 29. 10. 8. 1 the plural possessive pronoun accompanying the verb form in the singular seems to show that the audience is included in the address. 7. 166. 76. 3 (incantation). 2 . V. . 5f. 9 (three). 9. Sayana intimating that by their supernormal power the god's two horses multiply themselves indefinitely13. . 8. 4. RV. 1.g. not very frequent: in 5. 96. 8)23. 74. with six. 8. e. or by inserting other forms of address17. 139. 8. 3f. e.. E. 10. 49. 37. 8. 1. 10. 91. 5. . 1.g. also 8. 8.g." (1. Reflections on the numerals "one" and "two. Self-address or selfadhortation18 is a frequent device—it may be emotional: "Inquire also after the mighty generations of the seers!" (3. 1. 130. but sometimes an adhortation is rather directed to the eulogist who is to recite the poem than to the author himself: "Invoke Brahmanaspati with a view to old age (that is. 34f. The priests are addressed e. If. Elsewhere however the poet adds his own name: "Offer. J. 11 RV. V. 13. 8 3 . p. 4. 4-8 (ten questions in succession). P. Cf. 96. 5. 4. 14 There are e. also 6. 5. 10. 56.!" (2. 1. 18 Cf. 38. 1-3 (RENOTT. 53.g. 4. 21 Cf. Repetitions. 86. 7 and above. 53. 66. 55. 21. 21) are tenable. 1. 4). 2. 55. meandering. 2)—. Questions belong also to the hesitating. 19.. 31 (three). 3. 7. the number 99—or nine times 90— is sometimes symbolical of the defectiveness of enemies. 15 See also RV. 4 . . 0 Indra. 12. 1. 101. 19. sometimes in succession. 5. 1. 11. O Nodhas. 61. 5)15. 30. p. in MSL 8. 5-6. 8. 2. 38. Cf. p. 27. Gonda • Vedic Literature not absent11. e. 45. RV. 132.g. 8. p. 72. cf. 5. 16. with four. 12. BERGAIGNE. often in hymns addressed to the Maruts). for 5 x 7 : 10. e. 1. outside the dialogue hymns. partly of the emphatic or emotional (so-called rhetorical) types. 22. 6 . "Come. 6. 1. 84. 17 Cf. 74. 5. GONDA. 4). 10. 120. 12 See 1. 9. 1-3. 168. 36. 3 . 61. 58. 3 8 . 1. 37. 18. P. E. . ?" (4. 8. 7. 38.g. 49. 135. 20 23 19 Cf. 30. direct speech is. 22." 92. 15. 25. 132. 27.

3. 167. 11. p. 7. I. 29. 35. 7. MACDONEIX. 6. 2. 36.. 59. because the events and personages referred to were omnium consensu above earthly limitations and human comprehension. "Indra. CXI) is wide of the mark. 18. 13. 1. 6. In judging these paradoxes29 one should remember that. 170 f. 54. as inherently strong as a mountain" (4. 332 (this scholar often emphasized the paradoxical character of Rgvedic texts). of the mysterious which is beyond the opposites of the phenomenal world is inexpressible. GELDNER. RV.. p. 11. BERGAIGNE. See p. 3. 5). 90.The style of the Vedic hymns 263 A considerable amount of material would be available for studying the instances of hyperbole24 and hypercharacterization which tend to play an important part in all eulogistic poetry. p. 31. V. 16. 6)—were for the Vedic audience not hyperbolic at all. Are we in a position fully to understand all implications of the comparison between the poet's hymn and a mighty torrent notwithstanding the fact that hymns are—more intelligibly—elsewhere compared to flowing water26 ? How far is the presence of the storm-gods in a context dealing with the fanning of fire27 nothing but a 'poetical hyperbole' ? In the light of the belief in the demondestroying power of soMa and of the soMa-drinking god Indra the stones for pressing out the juice could be seen as Indra's tires which without horse and chariot rush at the barbarians (5. 24. the udder of the father (the cloud) or of the bull. 8. R. RV. etc. II. 35. p. 5. see e. 69. 3. 9. 20. 1. 22. 6. 5. I. 10. 28.g.g. M. 352. is an eye or 24 26 26 27 P. 1. 2. 3. 9. The great numbers of cows or women offered as daksind. 6. 2. p. 29 For an instance of oxymoron see 10. AV. p. GELDNER. 30 WHITNEY'S comment (PAOS 1882. the calving barren cow. 1.g. 1. RV.. 141. 2. 2. of the relations between this world and the Unseen. 8). 5. 38. 45. 9. 16. attempts were time and again made to understand these by means of analogies and imagery. 3. 9. 31. although the essential nature of creation and of the divine powers. RV. 3. 55. 28 . 4. 2. 26. see e. 3 etc. 152.. The main question arising in connection with Vedic hyperboles is whether the distortion of the proper relation between subject and attribute or predicate is intentional and consciously introduced. 4. 1. V. S. the paramour of the virgin (Sun and Dawn). 122. 31. the exuberant praise of liberal patrons25 are of course laudatory and honorific. 94. Agni's being the impregnater of his own mother28. discussion of the question of the occurrence of so-called contradictions: the sun sees far (7. 1. 66. 8. 11. at ABORI 28. 74. 188. III. 68. V. produced by two pieces of wood). Many statements—e. cf. 3. 10. Part of what in our eyes would seem exaggerations may have been traditional imagery or a natural consequence of the poet's view of the world. 13ff. Scholars have not failed to notice the predilection of Vedic poets for paradoxes and other impossibilities or at first sight untenable statements such as the child of two mothers (Agni. SASTBI. p. 359. 101. 4. Why then could that which is impossible on the plane of daily experience not be formulated as possible in the sphere of the divine or in a transcendent state30 ? We shall not enter here in a. largely otiose. 95. 3. 103. S.

Incidentally a stanza exhibits. Vol. 1 Heaven and Earth are the bearers of everything is one of the many indicia of the tendency to so-called henotheism. and in stating that the One is given different names the poet of 1. 33. 20 "While soliciting I would not make thee angry" by the following "who would not implore a mighty one ?" is a regular arthdntaranydsa38. does not hear Speech (10. KIKFEL. 34. 38 Cf. when Indra is implored to fell the enemies like trees (6. 6. 46 certainly does not intend to produce an instance of ullekha (the description of one thing as many)40. 1-12): Auswahl. They are a natural consequence of the fluidity of the traditional views of life and the world on one hand and of the freedom of the poets' fancy in penetrating the mysterious on the other. D . 67. 5. is literally incapable—reminds us of the utpreksd35. 25. in Comm. 6)33. GELDNER'S note on RV. 39 F o r a n instance see 4. 5 . BHANDAEKAR. Cf. also 1. 9 5 . in ABORI 28. . in a more or less rudimentary state. 10. 2. 14. 71. 112. Nobel. 4). P. Cf.g. 28. also 1. 172. T h e development of t h e figure of speech in Rgvedic hymnology. That at 3. e. II. See H. 1. p. K a n e . When gods are said to observe the rules of functional conduct as if they trace footsteps. 117. 10. 1. p . 3) the exaggeration (atiiayokti) exists only on the human plane39. 5). turns of speech which could be described by means of one of the technical terms of the classical stylistic theory34. 164. VELANKAR. 37 When the world is turned upside down the rivers flow upstream and the weaker animals attack the stronger ones (10. W. More than the poets of the other mandalas those to whom we owe the last evince the inclination to assume a certain critical attitude and to convey moralizing or dissentient views in aphoristic language32.' When contradictory properties are expressed of the same subject we may speak of 'contradiction' (virodha): in 10. this metaphorical ascription of a mode of behaviour which they have never shown (5. 33 34 35 Cf. 9). 5. 185. However. P. V. is a bird (cf.g. 9). Poona 1941. G-onda • Vedic Literature the eye of the sun-god (5. 56. 164. N. 20. 25). 16. RENOTJ. 4. 5. 7. RV. has a ship (AV. p. 70. V.264 J. 4) might be regarded as an instance oivUesokti: despite the presence of a 'cause' there is no 'effect. 1. p. D. R . 9 cold heavenly charcoals are said to burn the heart37. 17. or a chariot (RV. The justification of the statement contained in 8. is or has a wheel (1. p. 1. 59. E. 130. 10. and at 1. 6. also RV. 10. 7). 47. 85. SASTEI. It is however very difficult to distinguish it from a simile (upamd)36. 10. e. 3)—or of which the subject. 3. S. P . in JBBRAS. 173. 8 Mitra is said to support all the gods. 71. generally speaking. They speak of colleagues whose words bear neither fruits nor blossom (10. 179. 1 5 . When in an author's view of 31 32 Cf. or make their comment upon the female character whose hearts are like hyenas' (10. 1. 3. 7. p. 36 Cf. 75. 58. 8)31. 15) or the significance of paternity (10. 59. 89. The statement that many a one who hears. 50. 10. 95. 68 ( = AV. S. 3. 40 Cf. II. Vol.

1972. 94. We should therefore not object either to the thesis44 that these authors. 10. 2. 167) according to which the Vedic poets had developed a theory of rasa and poetry. 33. 41. p. p. 4.The style of the Vedic hymns 265 the world Agni's body may be supposed to be identical with pure gold41 (4. 45 For the pathetic emotion one quotes places such as RV. 46 This is however not to subscribe to the view pronounced by P. 1 etc. . also 4. 41 See J. 9. 9. Anyhow. 86. p. = Raghu Vira Comm. knew how to evoke sentiments and emotions which later theoreticians would have classified as the marvellous. 4. show that the imagination of the Vedic poets foreshadowed essential features of the classical poetry43. these instances. L. SASTBI (ABORI 38. p. In any case part of their work shows that they had a notion of the fact that the effectiveness of poetry does not depend upon the power of description releasing clear mental images. p. 10. S. 3. 89. 3. TILAKASIBI (Univ. Aminabad-Lucknow 1971. 6). GONDA. 8. India in the Vedic age. 7. P. 382 and ABORI 54. 79. 5. 194. 5. BHABGAVA. 350. of Ceylon Review 13. he is not aware that the theoreticians of a later period could regard his words as a case of metaphorical identification (rupaka)42. tranquil or pathetic45. K. 54) and J. at 26 AIOC S. in Studies in Indo-Asian art and culture 3 (New Delhi 1973. 42 Cf. p. but upon the energy with which words and combinations of words arouse emotions46. also M. VABMA.). see 4. 44 P. Cf. though unaware of the classical Rasa theory. 10. 15. 39. for tranquillity the philosophical hymns. Vol. 1. which could be multiplied. 43 Real Mesas (the intended simultaneous expression of two meanings) are rare.


12. SHENDE. Brahma and Prajapati. 6. J. (1948. AV. The former are a semi-divine family of (mythical) priests3. 8 For particulars: BLOOMFIELD. the compound Atharvaveda appears at GB. 121. 139. and—especially because of Cf.8). 10. 5. SHENDE. See V. B.S. e. ABORI 31. At Kaus. Names and position The oldest name of this Veda is Atharvangirasah1. 92. 30.21. J. 10. Bhrgvangirasah in which the name of another ancient priestly family. 2. W. p. 322. GB. 1. also AVS\ 11. . at JIH 26. 37 rg-yajuh-sdmabhir . XXVI. Mbh. a plural compound formed of the names of two ancient families of priests. said to be closely associated with the god Agni (6. 108. 10. atharvdngirasaih tathd. 14. an "auspicious" and a "terrible. 13. 20 etc. The latter were traditionally regarded as "sons of heaven or of the gods. Cf. which already occurs at AV&. 3 For relevant facts: N." the terrible (ghora) portions of the corpus4. viz. 4. 7 Often in the plural (e.3.CHAPTER VI THE ATHAKVAVEDA 1.. 35. . 4.g. a typical priest and "connection of the gods" (AV& 5. 11).g. 2). p. 13 where the two names occur separately and after each other. 62. p. 1. In a considerable range of the literature especially of older times this name refers to those who occupy themselves with appeasing and auspicious (sdnta) practices. the Bhrgus—who are sometimes magnified above others9—takes the place of that of the Atharvans. at JUB 17 N. 7. See also RV. descendants of Atharvan. 1. H. There are moreover two other names the use of which is practically limited to the atharvanic ritual texts8. 1. 6. 20 after the usual names of the three other Vedas. 12. 10. 21. p. 3.11. 7). 10 where two atharvanic Vedas. LXII etc. BLOOMFIELD. 5 This association is often mentioned in the Rgveda (e. KARAMBELKAR. RV. 11. 3. 5) and emphasized by N". 12. 4. 197." as sages and (mythical) fire-priests and authors of the "hostile sorcery practices. In the texts they are invoked to avert evil or to afflict enemies (2. 1. p.g. 10. e. 43. 13). 23. 1. 2. 8 See GB. A.C. Savayajfias. 3. O. 107. 6 Bhrgu and Angiras receive divine honours together with Agni.g. 8. &B.. The double name clearly reflects the double character of this Veda which is for instance expressed most unequivocally in the Gopatha-Brahmana6.g. 4 For references see GONDA. 1 2 . 9 Cf. p. 12. Angiras in the Vedic literature. 108. the Atharvans and Angirases2. V. 3)5 and called upon together with the Adityas and other deities (2.5. 13. 9. G. 6. 22 and see e. 7. 10." are distinguished. In course of time the name Atharvan and its derivatives became much more usual throughout the literature7.p.

. VON SCHBOEDER. V. Even today brahmins of the other Vedas do not dine or marry with the atharvanic brahmins (paippalddins) of Orissa19. 10. with atharvanic literary activity.. 21. p. Poona 1968. 9. p. See also L. AV. AVS\ 7. to the Atharvaveda may be regarded as one of the indications of the claims laid by the adherents of this religious and ritual tradition to equality with the others. For a long time indeed the Atharvavedins. the latter being.. TB. in JA 243. comes to the fore11—Brahmaveda. SV. 1. lOff. 10. at Kaviraj Abhinandana grantha (Fel. p. RENOTJ. A. p. 14 (st. 13 . 29. 2. on the other hand. 1. MarkP. 90. 5. The Atharvaveda- Samhita (e. V. 418 and see also BLOOMFIELD. RV. Mbh.. Original Sanskrit texts. 17 Manu 1. 2. 2. etc. (cf. p. 12. 13 Cf. cf. HOBSCH. 277) states that this name is due to the fact that the Atharvaveda imparts knowledge about brahman.. Vol. 1. KARAMBELKAR. 11 The Angirasakalpa (see below. p. 23. N. XLIII.. 52ff. L. H. 7. p. 76. See above. AV. p. Lit. p.C. 48. 31ff. &B. 5.Gonda • Vedic Literature its speculative parts10 in which brahman as the Ultimate Principle. Lucknow 1967. 15 G. 3ff. p. 3. In general: BLOOMFIELD. BHATTACHARYA. DEVASTHALI. AV. as poets' names. 5. TS. III. 16 ViP. Compare. 4ff. 18 L. samhitas and in the brahmanas of the Rgveda. YV. Kaviraj). This did not of course prevent Manu 11. MUIR. The names Atharvan. &B. XXVIII. A. G. p. for Narada. 20 adding the Atharvangirasah). 11. 10. The application of the name Brahmaveda. 3. 8. AV. see also J. ViP. 4. p. Ind. G. BLOOMFIELD. found themselves in an inferior position15. Even in modern times there have been brahmins who refused to recognize the authority of the promulgators of the fourth Veda. p.. 1. 3. The descendants of these exalted beings held the same position of honour as the other families of rsis12. Angiras and Bhrgu. The fundamental themes of the Atharvaveda. soul of the universe. 3. for Kasyapa see V. 34 speaks of the Atharvaveda and the Veda. 368. 3. KurmaP. BHATTACHABYYA. 55ff. According to Sayana the Atharvaveda is called Brahmaveda. 7. p. cf. because it was revealed to Brahman (Introd. 33 from allowing brahmins to direct atharvanic texts against their enemies. 10. H. u. XXXII. according to the commentator Nilakantha. because of a certain prejudice prevailing against it18. tending already in atharvanic antiquity to be associated with special practices. 293 f. the three other Vedas. 6. 8. 8.. 1.. Although the doctrine of the fourfold Veda—mythologically represented as proceeding from Brahma's four mouths—found acceptance16 various later texts continued speaking of the Threefold Holy Knowledge17. H. London 1873. came to be traditionally connected. XLVI. V. 11.). which properly indicated the religious literature as a whole embracing the Threefold Veda13 and was as such added to the names of the other collections. 39. 102.g.268 J. owing to the general character of their practices and their slight relation to the Srauta rites14. p. 7. 54. 7.. 11. 3 etc. B. 20). AVS\ 4. 15) mentions also other authorities. See also BLOOMFIELD. H. at OH 5. V. O. 2. p. 205. GB. at PO 28. As soon as the great sacrifices which required the co-operation of officiants mastering the three 10 Cf. 1. DESHPANDE. p. 14 References to the Atharvaveda are absent in the RV. 13. 4. for brahman see below. 37. 171. 3. C. 19 D.

and especially for one of his assistants. AV. 142 etc. 2. H. BLOOMFIELD. the priest in charge of the recitation of Rgvedic stanzas. BLOOMFIELD. Das Vaitanasutra des Atharvaveda. 190. p. 12. actually. e.g. 2). Yajfi. practices and literature and to assert their rights to equality22. XLVI and see e. &B. the importance of their traditions. Amsterdam Acad.The Atharvaveda 269 other Vedas had developed. 18).and Yajurvedas. VI. 3. 11. 293. p. that AVS. H. 1. p. 32ff. Cf. by the same expert27 whose very presence sufficed to "protect the sacrifice" (!§B. no doubt composed in order to supply the Atharvaveda with a Cf.g. Their claims did not however meet with the sympathy of those who transmitted the other Vedas: 21 20 J. 1. 1910. Kaus. AV. accompanies (anumantrana25) and corrects by means of expiatory formulas (prdyascitta) possible accidents and blunders of the officiants26. V. 94. p. 29 The subordination of this functionary to the brahman is due to the eventual schematic division of the sixteen officiants into four groups corresponding with the four Vedas. 8. p. V. W. NEGELEIN. It was for the ritual use of this brahman priest28.. 37. LVII. 2. AV. 5. the largely simple private rites intended to supply the immediate wants also of the common people assumed the character of something extraneous21. 26. R . V (also for technical particulars). p. at WZKM 14. p. 27 For references see also BLOOMMELD. 1. 95. 2. K. p... B. SB. e. H. expresses the view that Atharvaveda was the name given to all the unarranged and unsystematized lore remaining after sifting out the three other Vedas. A. 3 as contrasted with KB. in Festschrift Kirfel. 125 (for a concordance). 26 Cf. I. they not unsuccessfully23 claimed the offices of the influential domestic priest of princes (purohita)2i and of the priest who. 30 W. briefly called the brahman. 24 GONDA. V. the brdhmandcchamsin29. 3. 3. Both functions seem to have been fulfilled. 7. 312.. LXVII. Saman. This induced the Atharvavedins already at an early date to demonstrate. 11. G. 22 For more particulars: BLOOMFIELD. added to the corpus. AV.. 1. RENOU. 2ff. 29. p. as a rule. 4. . 28 Who must be conversant with the Brahmaveda (Vait. 27. 5. 7. Although there are no indications of any systematic polemics against the representatives of the Rg-. V. at AP 21 (1950). 23 Cf.. 7. Brahman and purohita. 7 in connection with AiB. 4 . 3. 115. g . p. he was a subordinate of the hotar. U.g. also Vait. Vait. B. p. p. AVPar. H.. p.. 262. 25 Cf. 1.—It is completely intelligible that the Kausika-Sutra quotes no text from this book. 2. 18. in striking solidarity. 107. 2ff. IHQ 26. BLOOMFIELD. If. TS. 2... Some portions (13 of the 143 suktas) excepted this book consists of literal borrowings from the Rgveda-Samhita30 relating to the soMa ritual and almost entirely consisting of complete Indra hymns. OZA. 1. 1. E.. as their special collection (samhitd). 6. 2. p. 4. 1. e . I . CALAND. 1. 5. 360. 1) and is in this respect contrasted with the representatives of the other Vedas (11. at JAOS 34. v. p. G. been systematized and come to enjoy a good reputation20. AVPar. oversees. P. The Vaitana-SUtra is a collection of ritual directions for the brahman and his assistants which fits easily in the descriptions of the rites as given in the other sutras. KABAMBELKAR. XX was. p. 7. being a Saunakiya-Atharvavedin himself. LXI. A.

commensurate with the universe: a conception which is a logical necessity resulting from the conviction that the sacrificer can transcend the limitations of the finite human condition by means of an adequate ritual technique with the esoteric significance of which he has identified himself34. 11. Their ritualistic works are not free from a polemic and apologetic note. also Vait. at WZKM 18. relegating the other Vedic works to the rear38. 29. at JAOS 11. is an allegoric liturgic exaltation of this sacrificial material (odana) which is conceived of as a potency of world-wide and fundamental significance. 27. 375. at IHQ 34-36. 28. 19. 39 Later atharvanic authorities are not unanimous in explaining the original significance of this name (for the Angirasakalpa see n. 4. At 1. 2. p. AV.C. L'agnistoma. For instance. 6. 21. 7.270 J. C ALAND-HENRY. LVII. GHOSHAL. This means that the sacrificial rice-dish is a cosmic entity. 7. including survival in heaven33. It is personified and deified. 1. 2. Vaitanasutra. 4ff. Vait. 33. N. to mention them (at 1. 13.. for instance. p.13) or part of it should be pronounced as a blessing on the kine 35 . 2. moreover. 10. for an English translation: S. 26. Contrary to the normal relation between srauta and grhya sutras it was compiled later than KauSika's work which it quotes32. 34 GONDA. 4. 38 Cf. Introduction (this work contains a German translation) . 2. urged the importance of special rites of their own which could enter into competition with the srauta rites of other origin. 33 GONDA. 7 and 7. Vait. 19. 35 . 36 Vait. 3. it brings about the fulfilment of various desires. BLOOMFIKLD. H. for the greater part composed in brahmana prose. Generally speaking. p. 28. See below. 1. 3. see also D. and so on. 11. 30. the Atharvavedins allude with special predilection and in terms of praise and commendation to their own literature 37 . and the earth is said to be the cooking vessel in which it is prepared. described as if it were a soMa sacrifice. their comparatively simple rice dish sacrifice (sava) is. 4 the same brahmana praises these compositions as the greatest manifestation of fundamental holy power (brahman). 20. e. 4) accompanying oblations to the deity of good roads (Pathya Svasti) and other divinities36. AV&. See also CALAND. Kaus. 186. p. heaven being the cover of that vessel. O. p. in describing the origin of the universe GB. in OH 5. p. 290. 3. For instance. in the texts. 32 Cf. 3. 14. 16) as the fourth Veda by the name of Brahmaveda39 and to correlate them (at 1. while co-operating in the performance of a soMa sacrifice (agnistoma) the representatives of this Veda should employ AVS. places the Atharvan and Angiras texts at the head. p.14 (AVP. p. The Savayajnas. 9) with the services of the brahman priest during the performance of srauta 31 CALAND. 11. its efficacy is exalted. 1.g. 37 For similar references to their founder and priests: BLOOMFIELD . 31. Gonda • Vedic Literature sUTRa it is no complete and all-embracing ritual handbook31. 1. 1 (AVP.. The use of special texts taken from the Atharvaveda was propagated also in other rites: for instance AV$. The Atharvavedins. 13. BHATTACHARYA. unlike other ancient works which as a rule ignore the Atharvan in this account. or because so many 'theosophicaP upanisads are attached to it: Atharvanarahasya). 3.

If. *• Cf. 7 (BAIL 3. and GONDA. The atharvanic ritual works constantly include their own Veda among the total number of sacred books40 and GB. H. cf.. 1. 42 GB. the highest heaven. GB. but yet the Atharvans and Angirases go beyond to the great worlds of Brahman41.25 explicitly asserts that those who study the Threefold Veda will reach. 2). 40 The Atharvavedins lay special emphasis on the number four." i. Jayantabhatta. In harmony with this statement the learned—and indispensable (cf. 1. p. 1. An effective means resorted to for the achievement of their purpose was the spread of legends and allegorical stories in which the other Vedas are represented as incompetent and the Atharvaveda appears as superior to them46. 1. 11. 2. 2. 1. GB. . 1 according to which Indra made Vasistha his domestic priest is repeated at GB. in JUB 17 N. NARAHARI. also 1. p. GONDA. 43 For the Atharvaveda as embodying also the three other Vedas see e. On the other hand. 1.v. WEBER. it is true. p. 39) does not seem to occur elsewhere. A legend told at TS. and see KB. 13 but the final words "therefore one should choose a descendant of Vasistha as one's brahman priest" are significantly omitted. 19 and see 1. 1.g. S. Loka. J. L. 5. 6). S. 27. 3. 2. p. G. « SB. 2. SHENDE. 108. 235. It is his knowledge which enables him to supervise the ritual ceremonies in their entirety. 137. X. at Vait. Savayajiias. 18. 2. disposer) of the world and of the whole creation.e.e. the statement that the three Vedas follow the Bhrgus and Angirases (GB. e. 19. 18. 439. 9. at AP 22. 192. 14. I. 23. 16. 5 . p. p. 3.2. 6. 15 and see N. 1. cf. 41 Cf. 1. (1948. 34. 14)—brahman priest is described as being "omniscient. 209). For the Atharvaveda as the fourth Veda: MACDONELL. or not yet. refuting also the objection raised to this Veda that it contains texts devoid of sacrificial utility (see H.The Atharvaveda 271 ceremonies. 2. 1. 2. 44 Cf. g. he is said to be the lord (i. p. Index s. as having knowledge of the All (Totality: sarvavid)i2: this implies that he masters religious knowledge as a whole43 and therefore controls all. Nyayamanjarl I. He is indeed—also according to those who do not. 1. S. 17f. 2. SitaUp. 6. acknowledge the claims of the Atharvavedins to his function44—"the physician of the sacrifice"45. 1.

It consists of three well-arranged parts each of which is followed by appendices and is arranged in divisions that are partly rgvedic. however. CXXVII. 46. 421. much better preserved5. Hoshiarpur 1964. The fundamental themes. also RENOU. 472. . G. accented and... 22). Atharvavediya-brhat-sarvanukramanika. SAGAR RAI. AV. A. p. BARRET.272 J. BHATTACHARYYA. and the iSaunakiya. moreover. probably at a later date. p. the books 1-18 were. The iSaunakiya recension is. which is regularly placed at the head of the list. 309. in JAOS 1 Atharvavedapathanukramani. VISHVA BANDHU. p. 4. 26 the Orissa manuscripts have about 8000 mantras. These differences concern. Vedic text-critical studies. Atharvaveda-rsidevatachandonukramanika. p. in I I J 1. metrical. The differences between the two versions are considerable. Texts representing these sdkhds have not been found. See WHITNEY-LANMAN. Fundamental themes. in 20 books (kdnda). It has a samhitdpdtha. 15 (with translations and notes). 253. at JA 252. 8. Hoshiarpur 1966. 4 See L. some denoting professional aspects of atharvanic interests (wandering medicine-men: cdranavaidya etc. at Purana 14.. according to D. some anukramanis7. partly yajurvedic in character. lessons (anuvdka) and 730 suktas8. except for a few portions. are far from agreeing completely: the Paippalada text has hundreds of stanzas more4 (many of which are not found in the fSaunaklya recension) including a large amount of material not known in any other text. 11. VISHVA BANDHU. p. V. 6 7 See below.) rather than real school differences. C. which. RO 21. called after Saunaka3. p. 58. like that of the Rgveda. though similar and largely identical. founded by Pippalada or Pippaladi2. 8 This authority can hardly be identical with the author of the Brhaddevata etc. viz. divided into lectures (prapdthaka). the Paippalada. On the divisions of the Atharvaveda-Samhita: RENOU. The whole is obviously conceived For those pertinent details which can be omitted here: BLOOMFIELD. 2 According to the Angirasakalpa a son of Angiras (D. 58. RENOU. p. Hoshiarpur 1970. a padapATHa. p. called "period hymns" (paryayasukta). ficoles. 59. The Kashmir manuscript has about 6500 stanzas as against about 6000. 8 In addition to the suktas there is also a parallel division of each kdnda in "hymns divided according to sense" (arthasukta) and briefer subdivisions into groups of stanzas (usually ten). 455. Genesis and recensions of the Atharvaveda-Samhitd Tradition is almost unanimous in distinguishing nine 'schools' of the Atharvaveda1 in which its hymns or their employment by the practitioners was diversified. but also the contents themselves.B. the excess consisting of both charms and philosophical passages. ficoles. p. Seven of these are for us mere names. see RENOU. not only the arrangement of the contents.G. One cannot therefore escape the conviction that the material originally collected by the Atharvavedins was already at an early date split up into two—and no more than two—versions. Gonda • Vedic Literature 2. Cf. p. p. BHATTACHARYYA. 5 Cf. p. p. two prdtiddkhyas6. Its text is.

LANMAN (with a long and valuable General Introduction).. Editions: by R. D.. 5. T. AV.P. 7... The padapdtha—probably modelled upon that of the Rgveda12— is frequently in error. Bibl. 31968. 1905. I. p. 21916. . AV. ROTH and W. LXXI. but in harmony with the Yajurveda. p. XIII. been modified by a logical principle such as was recognized in the Yajurveda. p. while contrasting favourably with its sister. 40. BHATTACHARYYA. but there are many deviations. V. Atharva-Veda Samhita. Cambridge Mass. 8. M. LXIX. 331. The hymns of the Atharva-Veda. W. Benares 1895-1896. 4 (5) vol. p. GRIFFITH. . p. 3 respectively. 16 The internal chronology of this corpus (see D. is less correctly preserved. published by H. Tubingen 1879. while being not as strictly carried through as in the Rgveda-Samhita. are minimum numbers. revised . XIII-XVIII) are in their arrangement on the whole based on two principles. PANDTJRANG PANDIT. F. 6. p. seem to have. Bombay 1895-1898 and by VISHVA BANDHU. to a certain extent. The Paippalada recension. Translations: R.. The books I-XVIII—no doubt its oldest components16—are arranged in accordance with numerical principles which. 233. 4 vol. on the other hand. Atharwaweda (poetical. less consistently arranged. p. 6. 2 vol. but generally 'magical' subjects. viz. VIII-XII. It is not accompanied by a padapdtha etc. CXXVI. B. Oxford 1897. 60. In the books I-VI the normal numbers of stanzas per suKTa is 4. However. KREYENBORG). translated with a critical and exegetical commentary. 33) is an utterly difficult problem. 2 Stuttgart 1888. 3Delhi 1967. A. Almost half (52) of the 118 There is a tendency to group two or more suktas of somewhat similar content No doubt because the manuscripts were made for ritual. R. In contradistinction to the Rgveda-Samhita. at 20 AIOC. WHITNEY-LANMAN. anthologies: J. The three great divisions (I-VII which is generally regarded as the original nucleus. and contains more portions in prose.2Delhi 1962. Hoshiarpur 1960-1964. it cannot compare with the samhitds of the other Vedas in exactitude. Berlin 1924. WEBER. written about 1860. 38.. its metrical form is often extremely irregular11. LINDENATX. 10 11 12 9 Cf. CXLII and for many details BLOOMFIELD. WHITNEY. Hymns of the Atharva-Veda. the numerical scheme preventing the grouping of all related suktas. 2 vol. GRILL. H. S. Berlin 1855. RUCKERT.. for older translations see RENOU. p. 17 See WHITNEY-LANMAN. and edited by CH. miscellaneousness or unity of subject and length of the suktas17. not accented10. at JBRS 38 (1952). 13 14 15 Gf. 3Bonn 1966. WHITNEY.. G. p. WHITNEY-LANMAN.S. . D. the only constant fact being that 4 etc. For the Paippalada recension see also STJBHADRA JHA. Fate has decided that the Saunakiya recension has not only been incorrectly regarded as the 'vulgate'14. the information given by the anukramanis is in several respects unreliable13.The Atharvaveda 273 as a systematic great samhitd9.. not for didactic use. 39. See below. The first division comprehends short hymns of miscellaneous. 395. p. but is also much better known and studied in the West15. AV. 309. Hundert Lieder des Atharvaveda. 2by M. Darmstadt 1923. with the commentary of Sayana by SH. a closer examination of the Saunakiya tradition shows that.. p. BLOOMFIELD.

XV deals with the vrdtya. corresponding to the first division of the Saunakiya. The points of difference between both recensions shed some light on their mutual relations and the genesis of the samhitd. not because of this accumulation of one-stanza suktas18.Gonda • Vedic Literature suktas of book VII consist of no more than one stanza. Those very short Saunakiya suktas which recur in the Paippalada text combine with other material to form longer suktas. the longest 73.. These facts seem to allow of the following conclusions22. 3f. p. E. viz. 20 For details: RENOTJ. p. Whereas the material contained in Paippalada I-IV recurs in Saunakiya I-IV and Paippalada XVIXVIII correspond to Saunakiya VIII-XVII. 304. p. but because the total number of its stanzas—which is increasing from 153 in I to 454 in VI—is less than the latter. among which not only texts for magical and otherwise ritual use. and the long hymns of the Saunakiya—part of which are in fact conglomerates. P. 53f. in ZDMG 60. 18 As was LANMAN'S opinion: WHITNEY-LANMAN. The rough and rudimentary arrangement of the Paippalada points to its autonomy and higher antiquity. see also 10. CLI. cf. The third great division consists of long suktas characterized by a general unity of subject: XIII hymns to the Ruddy One (Sun).. 690. With the exception of some isolated stanzas no parts of Saunakiya XV (dealing with the vrdtya). If. although those of XIII-XVIII are characterized by a general unity of subject—are decomposed into—mostly consecutive—shorter suktas. the shortest of the second division has 21 stanzas. ficoles. These very short suktas—which like those of two stanzas are not absent from other books also—• are characteristic of the Atharvaveda. RENOTJ. 7.. XVIII with funeral stanzas. like that of the stanzas. the material of the other books is.. Saunakiya XIX (supplementary hymns)21 is very incompletely represented. 19. 'philosophical. 21 On XIX and XX see below. O. Here also the last book forms an exception. but also so-called mystic. AV. XIV wedding stanzas. 7f. widely dispersed. The last two books (Paippalada XIX and XX) are again mostly 'magical' in character.).C. they were in ritual practice combined with other mantras or prescribed in ceremonies which did not require many formulas. As far as the above principles are recognized their application fluctuates20. 4. The arrangement of the Paippalada recension is considerably different and less rigorous.. 65. . 67.274 J. No sukta is longer than 28 stanzas. 19 Not infrequently. Whereas the longest suKTa of the first division has 18 stanzas. Book VII creates the impression of being an addendum. The number of the suktas is constant (10).' cosmogonical texts and some eulogies. 36f.. II. 22 RENOTX. in the latter. two suktas of similar content follow each other (3. 6f. V. p. is decreasing. p. This division indeed comprises longer 'hymns' of miscellaneous subjects. 5. XVIII (the funeral hymns) and XX are found in the Paippalada text. 28619. 34f.. especially to its books VI and VII. with the exception of book XII (5). in XIII-XVII the number of the hymns. OLDENBERG. 275. p.

10. 8. p. p.g. LXIV (material which is in the RV. The geographical data contained in it furnish no sufficient evidence as to the region or regions in which its suktas were composed29. 1. p. have been compiled at an earlier date than these treatises. at Studies Bloomfield.C. groups of mantras) in common with the Rgveda than its sister24—in amplifying the text of the Rgveda both recensions go their own ways—and that it is more closely related to the yajurvedic tradition25. and cf. in ABORI 24. see also K. by no means 'late' in character. p. 360. Add to this that the Paippalada often has more acceptable readings. 95 (to the ritual fire). 7. 6. 9. 6: TS. 11. 1. . N. V. 80. AVP. 271. P. constitute a regrouping of material found—not infrequently with better readings—in different books of the other recension23. that it has more (readings. Otherwise: E. 8. 29 Cf. in Cambridge History of India. O. at JAOS 15. p. 151. 26 Int. e. 48) are erroneous. so the conclusion is warranted that the text which it represents is more original. AVP. I l l . BLOOMFIELD. BLOOMFIELD. 22. It is only possible to say that regions further to the East and the South than the scene of the Rgveda had come in sight. e. The assumption that part of this material is older than many components of the Rgveda is far from objectionable27. 405. 2. S. R. particularly in arrangement of stanzas. TB. p. 23 See e. R. than that of the Saunakiya26. in JAOS 40. Proc. I. see e. is likely to agree more closely with the RV. KEITH. known to the authors of the Taittiriya-Brahmana and the last books of the Satapatha-Brahmana28 it must. Or. the periods in which their component parts or the ideas expressed were moulded into concrete form (certain atharvanic themes are no doubt older than many rgvedic subjects) and the period of ultimate codification (the Atharvaveda is later). p. 6: 4. tends to agree with yajurvedic texts. p. 203. Attempts have been made to explain passages in the Atharvaveda by means of yajurvedic themes. 11.g. 11. 7. 29. ? AVP. 26 27 S. 24 BARRET.The Atharvaveda 275 The contents of iSaunaklya VI and VII may have been borrowed from Paippalada XIX and XX. SHENDE. SASTRI. 120 (Indra). p. Cf. as a collection of some kind. occurs more frequently also in AVP. KARMARKAR. at JAOS 21. 16: RV. 48. Since the Veda under discussion was. K. There is finally something to be said for the supposition that the compilers of both samhitds drew also from a general store of 'floating' mantras. 263.. We should distinguish between the time at which poems were composed.. 1 and at PAmPhAss 63. has some 15 hymns in common with the RV. &B. 12. 44.g. the version of AVP. Congr. p.'l: TS. Our only source of knowledge with regard to the Paippalada recension has for many years been a single birch bark manuscript discovered. 191 (against venomous animals). than in AVS\.g. AVP. 69. at least in the main. 11. 3. 8. p. 2.. 163 on AVS\ 6. 6. p. TS.. and if in all three texts. 2. OLDENBERG (see H. P. GUPTA'S views of the Paippalada recension (in PO 16. 1: RV. 5. 19. 1. I.1. those of Saunakiya XIX. 157. 14: RV. p. Studies M. 25 Cf. S. p. 404) was too much inclined to doubt the antiquity of non-Rgvedic material. through the 23 Cf. which do not occur in AVS\). at 24 AIOC. p. New Haven 1920. often more authentic.: RENOTT.. 5. also BARRET. 4. 1. ARNOLD. Metre and language hardly allow of chronological conclusions because differences may also be due to social or regional peculiarities.atGGA 1889. See also HiLLEBRANDT. 4. For a completely untenable view of the atharvanic chronology: A. 6.

p. VaikhSm. p. 331. represented by three reciters. Lahore 1940. 19-20. L. p. JASBombay 34-35. XIX and XX. . Tubingen (Univ. p. DISKALKAR.. Allahabad 1935. 148. 1. Book I. 81. 15. p. p. 253. 81 See e. BLOOMFIELD <and R. 5. 18. 39. at OH 3 (1955). For an evaluation of the new manuscripts see also RENOTJ. J. The manuscript was chromophotbgraphically reproduced: The Kashmirian Atharva-veda. p. 75. 30 For the reasons which had led him to surmise its existence already in 1856— relying on a remark made by a traveller he had induced the British government to search—. BARRET. P. (1878). BHATTACHARYYA. p. 38 D. etc. p. Orient. n. Panini and the Veda. ALB 25. 1970 (with introductions). p. 1. LXXX. 1940). p. EDGERTON. 203. must in ancient times have enjoyed a wide recognition32 in various parts of India including the regions to the south of the Narmada33. 395. books I -and II. p. In references to the Atharvaveda BharG. 374. Unfortunately. C. Gonda • Vedic Literature efforts of Roth. on these editions are based the editions in nagari script: Atharva Veda of the Paippaladas. Int. corruptness and peculiarities of the manuscript): WHITNEY-LANMAN. JAOS 50. two of whom did not want to pronounce the inauspicious funeral hymns of AVS\ XVIII. 15) consulted also the oral tradition. communities of followers of this school34 members of which were able to recite the texts from memory35. Der Atharvaveda in Kaschmir. 73. 1. he died before he could edit more than four books of the text36. II. JBRS 38. For criticism: K. 6.) 1875. JAOS 26. p. at OH 1. 233. This view was however successfully combatted by the Indian scholar Durgamohan Bhattacharyya who showed that the school of Pippalada. or even that it was their main sphere of influence31. Lahore 1942. For particulars (inter alia. 8. cf. 104. for notes on book I RENOTJ. See also S. 76. 3 vol. who was perhaps the most important redactor of the Atharvaveda. in Kashmir30. 32 D. also Atti 4 Congr. p. Paippalada Samhita of the Atharvaveda. Baltimore 1901. 89. The funda- mental themes. O. GARBE. in JAOS 26-58 (book VI in JAOS 34 by EDGERTON) and separately (XVI and XVII New Haven 1936. in JA 252.276 J. BHATTACHARYYA. I (Book I). at JA 235. also THIEME. 3. B. in 1957. p. Cf. PO 27. one being shocked by the variants in the manuscripts. p. Studies on the Paippaladi Atharvaveda. New Haven 1906). THIEME. The text has been edited (in transcription) and as far as possible amended by BARRET. p. p. p. 422. there are also a few families in Saurastra and Gujarat. in JA 252. In Orissa and the adjacent parts of West Bengal and Bihar the same scholar discovered. Preface to the facsimile edition of the Kashmir manuscript.. on the bad condition. and a brief comparison with the vulgate: ROTH. AV. 1. II (II-IV). 33 For geographical references see also: D. Calcutta 1964. Atharvaveda and epigraphy. 17 mention the beginning of the Paippalada text (which has been lost in the Kashmir manusoript). p. Lahore 1936. 35 It may be added that Shankar Pandurang (see above. p. JHA. 15.g.C. at •JAOS 34. p. and Atharvaveda brahmanas. 421. 76. edited by M. Hopkins Univ. at IIJ 11. In the Puri district and elsewhere he could lay hands on palm-leaf manuscripts written in Oriya characters. 197 (= Diss. The fact that this manuscript was found in the extreme north of India created the impression that in that region the Paippaladins had held out longer than elsewhere. book 1-13. The Kashmirian Atharva Veda. the history of its epoch-making discovery. for valuable observations in connection with Barret's edition see RENOTJ. 34 BHATTACHARYYA. p. 40. HOFFMANN. F. these manuscripts are in a better state of preservation than the Kashmir document. 14-18. BLOOMFIELD.

to hinder or paralyse (stambhana). 33 (exaggerative). K. R. to bring about hatred (dvesana). Moscow 1965. M. to bring others into subjection by means of charms (vasa). p. p. see also FARQUHAR. like the German Segen.. The difference between this Veda on the one hand and the Rg. 7 M.g. 6 In VISHVA BANDHTJ'S edition. and part of them are interlarded with 'philosophical' speculations that in their turn are also included without any apparent ritualistic purpose. and A. to seduce (dkarsana). B. in H. 319. Just as there is no clear distinction between the 'white' and 'black' elements. 277 It would be incorrect to describe1 the Atharvaveda-Samhita as a collection of magical formulas. ef. H. Atharvavede Sdntipustikarmani. BHATTACHARYYA. Karnatak Univ. many passages are ritualistic without being 'magic'3.) 13 (1969). 8. I. B. at JGJKSV 27. B. BHAWE'S view (20 AIOC I. BLOOMFIELD. N. GERASIMOV. also MAYA MALAVIYA. The magical suktas . viz. 57. p. In modern times. 3 For relations between the Atharvaveda and grhyasutras see BLOOMFIELD. PHILLIPS studied . V. 69 etc. PANTTJLU. G. 7. G. MUNSHI. 117: "a book of witchcraft". K. According to the Angirasakalpa of the Atharvaveda4 there are in the atharvanic tradition ten classes of rites. 4 See below. In surveying the pertinent literature one may however follow the simpler division suggested in the commentary attributed to Sayana5 : the 'magical' elements6 of this Veda are to accompany (consecrate) rites relating to this world (aihika)—and these are either Mntika and paustika7. The Atharvaveda as an original source of the history of ancient Indian culture (in Russian). From the point of view of the history of civilization the study of this corpus is indeed perhaps more rewarding than that of the Rgveda9. AV. p. 40) according to which the 'Vedic people' (Aryans) adopted the magic element from the 'primitive inhabitants' of India is incapable of proof and highly improbable. between material deriving from 'Atharvans' and that originating among 'Angiras' that what is frequently called 'sorcery' is often bound up with domestic ritual. other classifications were attempted8 but it was admitted also that the classes distinguished cannot be rigidly delimited and that many suktas are hard to classify because of the variety of themes and objects presented in them. those that. Fel. Outline. The social significance of the atharvanic hymns. that are to promote welfare (paustika). or imprecatory (abhicdrika)—and rites relating to the other world (dmusmika). V. p. MODAK. 23. and to scare away (vidrdvana). New Haven 1920. 309. 2 S. 6 For an analysis of the magic suktas: A. BLOOMFIELD. p. 387. at J. A. Moreover. p. for the procedure and effect of 'magic': B. p. p. to eradicate (uccdtana). to kill (mdrana). (Hum. p. The 1 With F. 9 D.and Yajurveda on the other as regards 'magic' lies in the degree of its prominence and applicability2. Vol. 8 See e. V. EBGERTON. Varanasi 1967 (including a comparison with similar rites in the other Vedas).The Atharvaveda 3. are to appease or avert evil (Sdntika). V.. Bombay 1963. S. at QJMS 29. in Studies M. MALAVIYA. p. to bewilder (mohana).

bhaisajydni)13. 96. 1. scrofulous sores. 71. also 1. 3. 5." jaundice. 7. G. 44. 1. 1. 4. For the rites: V. cf. headache. 16. 7. 5. La magie dans l'lnde antique. 58 (with many bibliographical notes up to 1899). KARAMBELKAR. 24. that here do we now draw out away from you"18. Pronostics medicaux. V.. B. 438. 105. 85. W. A. AVP. leprosy. 10 Cf. 1. 10. CXIII). 4.g. 2. p. Paris 1943. 4. p. 3. 44-46. 111. 105. 6. 16 AV&. 14. 7. EDGERTON. mantras and rites are largely in concordance—. p. 56. FILLIOZAT. also 6. 1.278 J. cf. 17)—that is to say. 137. 2. 6. 5. constipation and retention of urine. many charms to cure diseases and exorcise demons (the so-called 'medical' charms: bhesaja. 5. of course. heating (them) up like fire consuming. 1.Gonda • Vedic Literature purpose and interpretation of many texts is considerably facilitated by the fact that formulas and ritual actions are more closely allied in this than in any other Veda and that the Kausika-Sutra frequently furnishes us with most valuable indications of the ritual situations within which many Saunakiya texts were conceived10. 1.' poison. 94. G. 83. 25. 6. Paris 1904. 6. 58. Poesie religieuse. 4. p. JA 240 (1952). he has driven the leprosy (ksetriya) in all directions by means of the horn". See J. 513. 17 Viz. 6. baldheadedness. Magie et medecine. 13. cough. As appears from the internal evidence of the suktas themselves. 32. both sorts of evil being not clearly distinguished. to begin with12. at AJPh 35. dropsy. 19. 90. The Atharva-Veda and the Ayur-Veda. disease of the eyes. sexual incapacity. 4. 76. BLOOMSTELD. p. 3. 1. 14 AVg. 8. the horn which is used as a remedy (Kaus. Was his scope not so broad or did he base his prescriptions on a selection ? 11 Cf. Among these there are charms against fever and related diseases14 "which make all men yellow. 6 (AVP. 23. 6. 39. 13 We shall not try here a sub-classification because the names of the diseases are often obscure and the diseases themselves not infrequently grouped in a way divergent from modern classifications. 12. 136. V. BLOOMFIBLD. that these texts also were open to secondary adaptation and that the compiler of the sUTRa may have borrowed from the samhitd to supply some rite or other with appropriate formulas11. 22. 2. AVP. 22. 299. 10. 8). at PAOS 1886 (JAOS 13. 83. 37. 6. I. 5. 5. 4. prayers also to book I-V from a didactic point of view in Prabuddha Bharata 67 (1962). 6. p. A. 9. 6. 12. 109. 18 ' AVS. It must be conceded.e. wounds. but he does not employ all suktas of magical contents. B. and many more. at your limbs and heart. Paris 1949. 2. 'worms. 15 AVg. excessive discharges from the body. 7. 32. 8.. 29): AVS. 1. 93. 12 For a more complete survey of the pertinent texts: BLOOMFIELD. V. Nagpur 1961. the use made by Kausika—who must have been a prominent author—is in many cases demonstrably right (otherwise or incomprehensible e. 7. Doctrine. 31. prayers to or exorcizations of those powers which are conceived as their causes: "The arrow that Rudra hurled at you. 20. 27. Kaus. 23. 2. 100. 6. for ksetriya: FIKLIOZAT. 36. 6. 16. 5. 7. 14. p. poisoning and insanity15. see also RENOTJ. F. There are. HENRY. La doctrine classique de la medecine indienne. invocations of medicinal plants and other objects expected to destroy the cause of a disease16: "On the head of the nimble antelope a remedy grows17. 1. 22. .

Wiesbaden 1967. I. S. 4. Dichtung und Dichtersprache in indogermanischer Zeit. 35 etc. IX.. O ArundhatI26. 4. p. at ALB 25. 90. 4. but overlooks that repetitions are often to enhance the magical effectiveness (cf. 384. p.R. p.). Cause this to grow (heal). Eis. e. WHITNEY-LANMAN. joint with joint. O. 2.. Kaus.. p. 163 etc. besides. Altdeutsche Zauberspruche. Varma. 85. AV. 28 This name which could be explained as "the Non-obstructing. p. together let your bone grow also. at KZ 13. Innsbrucker Beitrage zur Kulturwissenschaft. und allg. SCHXERATH. AVg. 22 Recently: R. BLOOMFIELD. As a source of information on 'primitive' medicine these texts are almost unparalleled in any other literature. "promoting progress" and agreeing in sound with the word rohani here translated by "grower" appears to denote a vegetable ingredient of the decoction. 24 Compare e. 14 and CALAND'S note. p. 28. 9. 4. in Zweiter Fachtagung fur idg. Sonderheft 15 (1962). together your joint with joint. see also SCHMITT. KUHN. cf. 25 Kaus. 14) see VISHVA BANDHU. and is anointed with. p. grower. on the unsatisfactory condition of the text: L. 1. 6. 10. 80. a special mixture of milk and ghee that is made efficacious in the same way25. 3. univ. grower of broken bone. 58. 1666... 1224. For AV&.. in Weber. ALSDORF. 166.' plants or amulets fortified by consecratory formulas. (3) Your marrow shall come together with marrow. 565. 28. A. p. he drinks. a charm to cure external lesions and the fractures of bones: with that end in view the patient is sprinkled with water that has been consecrated with this text. SCHMITT." i. in Vol. 23 Cf. (1) "Grower art thou. I. also B. N. For a comparison with Russian oaths: V. 4. 139. 313. p. . Sprachwissenschaft. in all probability. 386. 6. They give a variegated picture of archaic medicine. 34. Together let what of your flesh has fallen off. AVP. to a parallel development of literary expression in the limited domain of charms and incantations23. p. cf. 19. AV. 386. 5f. the piece of flesh of yours27 that was torn and injured in you. AV. Dhatar must auspiciously put that together again. 47. 201. The striking resemblance between some of them with ancient German medicinal charms21—especially in connection with cures for jaundice and fractures—which have often led to the assumption of original Indo-European prototypes 22 are in any case indicative of typological relationship pointing. TOPOROV in Acta et comm. H. "May the divine waters grant me that cure for heart-ache" 19 . 49. GONDA. S. The text corresponds to AVP. cures being wrought by 'symbolic practices. Hoshiarpur 1950. let this powerful jangida also prolong our life-times"20. st. S. 9. 113. 5. cf.The Atharvaveda 279 those divinities that are able to provide remedies. cf. 6. 1. p. H. Tartu 1969. 27 The patient is addressed. Most quoted is AV&. V.g. 112. charms by means of various amulets (which are largely derived from the vegetable kingdom): "Destruction of magical contrivances is this amulet. GROHMANST. 7. 414. 454. 18. 19. 287. n. BLOOMFIELD. 5. Zauberritual. ALSDORF may be right in considering both texts compilations of parallel and related charms.C. 286 (with bibliographical notes). 5 (AVP. also destruction of hostile beings. p. 24. 19 80 21 AVg. (2) The bone. 6. 15 (with a different order of stanzas and variants). p. also 6. 6. Berlin 1964. G.

11. 96. 4. 15. 3). 367. 32. 2. do ye carry anew to old age his body and his limbs" (3.Gonda • Vedic Literature (4) Let marrow be put together with marrow. 7. a chariot well-wheeled. Generally speaking the pertinent texts belong to—or often coincide with—the enormous quantity of formulas found in drauta and domestic collections that pray for continuance of life and incidentally also for the fulfilment of other wishes such as strength. 4. well-naved. 54) run indeed strikingly parallel. makes mention of various diseases. 6. 32. what is severed put thou together.g. O. 11. 13. bluot zi bluoda. well-tired. 19. One of the characteristic features of this class is the prominence of Agni. 5. also 10. offspring. 76. p. 132. 11. prestige etc. in whose special care life is placed: "Life-breath we drive into you. 14ff. bone to bone" in the Orkney charm (KTJHN. 6)35. I. 2. Let bone grow with bone. lid zi geliden of the German charm of Merseburg and "sinew to sinew. 29. 34 Cf. svdhdl"33. 95. Acta Tartu Univ. 23. if possible the ideal old age of a hundred years30: "Remain ye here. 2. p.g. 83. p. 14. 2. TOPOROV. Diverse substances. p. cattle. also AVS". S. 20 and WHITNEY-LANMAN. WEBER. 9. 5. 4 (1969). between whom there is no clear distinction37. 1. AVP. L. 27. 19. 9. 28. 6. 10. 3. fit together skin with skin. 1. 36 In reading these texts one might remember that evil-doers belonging to milieus that believe in spells and magic can be brought to tremble by an imprecation. 30. 1. 3). O herb.C.C. AVS". 21ff. 19. 1. 53. 1. XVII. (cf. Numerous texts are imprecations directed against demons. 30 E. Thus AV&. 43): " 0 exhalation and inhalation. 15 and 16 (the latter being non-metrical: AVP. (5) Fit together hair with hair. 6. The remedial charms—among which are A VS.280 J. 127. 31 Cf. 40. p. AVP. 19. also RENOU. 28 The words ben zi bena. Doctrine. 29. 2. let flesh grow with flesh. 'sorcerers' and various classes of enemies36. p. 31. exhibiting in the main the character of such an ayusyam. Stand upright firmly! (7) If he has been crushed by falling into a pit. WINTERNITZ. V. 2. 18. 193 and below. are supposed to secure immunity from diseases and expected to be helpful as panaceas32. N. 29 Cf. 32 AVS\ 6. 6)31. 3. 1. AVS. 80.*5. For the curious "water-thunderbolts" of AV. AVP. 7 etc. blood to blood. Zauberritual. H. 6. 33 For the disease called yaksma see FILLIOZAT. among which water and definite plants. 19. zn. .g. As Rbhu the parts of a chariot. Their relationship with the prose formulas of the Yajurveda is especially clear in cases such as AV$. O. 5. 418. he (Dhatar) must fit together joint with joint"28. Kaus. 171. 44 (AVP. 1. protect me from death.. joint to joint. p. sist.. do not go away from here. against snakes AVS\ 10. 8. That this desirable Agni endow us with life-time from all sides" (AV& 7. (6) Stand up. p. p. 30. Let your blood grow with blood. 31. I. 6. 35 Cf. go forth. in JA 243. 1. 5. 10. let skin grow with skin. intended to render 'worms' harmless29—pass imperceptibly over into the group of texts for obtaining health and a long life-time. e. 2. 7. 73. 5 see CALAND. 1. 7. also AVS". 6. or if a stone hurled has smitten him.. 37 E. 53. run forth. 3. 4. 0 exhalation and inhalation. 80. cachexy34 I drive away from you. I. 8.

32. The religion and philosophy of the Atharvaveda. 42 Cf. against the enemy. Others however are more characteristic or even singular: AVS\ 7. the non-metrical 2.. for the colour: T H . BLOOMFIELD. 1. often obscure as to their individual designations.g. in JA 252. 47. 20-23 constitute a secondary development in accordance with specific atharvanic cosmological ideas out of MS. CXXXII). 1. 1939: while here Agni is in a repeated scheme invoked to be hot. A large variety of demons and other evil beings41.42 Among these is the curious AVP. A. 6. formulas reverentially to force the apsarases to go away. 99. AVP. 3. 59. are addressed in more or less elaborate conjurations in order to prevent them from attacking men and cattle or spreading diseases. 7. 2. but described as greedy and voracious.17-20 and 7. 6.. 62. 256.40 are banded together as suktas in 4. to rage. AVP. B. 3. G. Kaus. 65 the plants which are to help the practician discover the adversaries. Poona 1949. 2 which is identical with AVS\ 2. 45 E. 146. 2. AVS". For an amulet see also the longer suktas 8. burn etc. 11 (one of the rites requiring a vegetable amulet: BLOOMFIELD. p.The Atharvaveda 281 What is. The suktas AVS". 18. 49. 70 are to prevent the gods from hearing the enemy's call and to frustrate his sacrifice. p. in 3. SHENDE. variously executed. Poona 1952. 9 an amulet tied to a reddish thread47. AV. at PAOS 1886. For details: WHITNEY-LANMAN. substituting only the names of Wind. See e. Sun. 10 which are to counteract inimical attacks from the different quarters of the universe. 47 . 13. AVS". 1. 430. V. 6. 4. to have a great future. or the invocation addressed to. Cf. 23. colourless and stereotyped. 1. 40 and 5. H. Elsewhere attention is mainly focussed on. p. ZACHARIAE. 43. 11. 5. and Waters for the god of Fire. some object which is supposed to be especially offensive to demons: in AVS\ 1. 10. There is also everything to be said for the supposition38 that the non-metrical texts (of 5 lines each) AVS\ 2. Cf. 3 of AVS\ 2. in 3. Some of them45 are mere curses intended to injure the enemies. 66. The rite belonging to them (cf. Formulas similar to those prescribed at Kaus. 6.g. 31) was. to deprive them of their strength. to destroy their spells. AV. 48 exhibiting only the stanzas 1. 3. p. 5. Moon. Since this 'sorcery' is by no means limited to the Atharvaveda the formulas frequently return in the ritual texts of the other Vedas. 41 N. JAOS 13.16 an amulet of lead or red-lead46. 4. 2. p. 8 and 7. 5.. p. The foundations of the atharvanic religion. 2943. 5. in the atharvanic tradition. ApS". 19. Charms directed against human adversaries or intended to counteract their practices44 are more numerous but on the other hand often quite general. J. 38 BLOOMFIELD. 3. Kaus. also AVS\ 1. distinguished is offensive (abhicdrika) and defensive or retaliatory practices. 14. 6. 46 44 Cf. 95 and 96 are directed against the ureter and kidneys of the enemy. 135 conjures one's own food to swallow up the breath of the antagonist. 43 39 See RENOXJ. in WZKM 17. the other texts are literal repetitions of its words. cf. 9. 7f. 37. 40 For similar formulas: TB. 6.

at IL 1958. 6. journeying and returning54. p. house and field51. also BLOOMFIELD. at JAOS 16. 4-6) is prescribed (Kaus. p. trade and gambling55. 7. 8. 6. 86 Cf. 2. AJPh 7. 477. 19. 6. 58 Cf. Indian Hist. AVS\ 3. AVS\ 3. 80 81 48 Cf. 26. JAOS 14. 22. 1. abundance. 26. 7. (2) Right here. 33 (WHITNEY-LANMAN. 6. 3. and all your twenty claws". M. see BLOOMFIELD. ghee and milk. p. 33. may we resort. 7. safe and sound. Kausika Sutra. 29 (for prestige). With our heroes (sons) unharmed. Ritualliteratur. 169. Cf. 7. 2. Congress 16 (1955). AVS".g. See also AVP. 3. 1. the robber one still more distant. 14 (cf. AV. HILLEBRANDT. 37 (protection from the arrows of the enemy). p. p.g. 1. 9-11. I. S. AVS\ 6. also AVS\ 7. 1. 14-20. O dwelling. 5. 3. 31. AVS". p. e. 40. 11. XIV): cf. 50.282 J. 235). (3) Your eyes and jaws we grind up. 60. 347. 30). kine. 59. 65. 4. 106 (AVP. 23-29. 31. 33. rain52 and grain53. 15 (WEBER. 21. BLOOMFIELD. Rich in horses. XVIII. 55.. 52. man and wolf.g. AVS\ 4. There is a herdsman's charm against wild animals and thieves (AVS\ 4. 12 is to accompany the building of a dwelling: (1) "Right here I erect (my) dwelling firm. Seven hymns of the Atharva-Veda. 41. 50. 4. 15 (anachronistically: R. 70 is a characteristic charm intended to secure the attachment of a cow to her calf. E. concern about cattle50 and horses. That it stand in security. 142. there are various suktas of a general character designed to ward off danger or to procure increase of kine. 84 Cf. at Proc. 55. 109. 19. 305). 38. 43. 69. The performance of the rites and the use of these texts was no less essential than Atharvanlyapaddhati (for this manual for the domestic practices see BLOOMFIELD.). 52 Cf. Forming more than one fifth of the contents of the Atharvaveda they have as main themes exemption and protection from all sorts of distress. 79. 6. p. O house. 3. 5) in a rite with water-plants to prevent conflagration of one's house56. wealth or prosperity58. also 6. (2) The wolf shall go a distant road. sprinkling ghee. 7. p. 75. 1. e. Thus AV& 6. PANDEY. Unto thee. B. Still more than in the domestic literature and in the so-called "rites for special wishes" (kdmyesti) of the srauta texts it is in these suktas that the practical character of Vedic literature and the wish to provide for individual desires and special exigencies are unmistakably evident. 12). cf. 41 (Kaus. 58). Gonda • Vedic Literature The later systematization48 regarded as distinct from the preceding classes of suktas a group of charms described as being "promotive of welfare" (paustikdni). AVS. 6. 55 For success in gambling: AVS\ 4. p. Erect thyself for ample happiness"57. Rich in vigour. AVS\ 3. 5. 1-4. Iff. 49 Cf. AVP. tiger. 19. do thou stand firm. 53 Cf. 8): (1) "Three have gone away from here. Besides. 15. 8. 57 . at AJPh 11. 2. danger49 and calamity. 24. 6. 7. WILLIS. AVP. AVS". 18 (the rite requires inter alia the use of worn shoes and an offering to the Maruts: Kaus.

sUKTas .

If. 2. 117 (partly improbable). 14. Cf. 2. 9 (1897). AVS". 27). 14. 7. 6.g. at JGJRI 17. when he grows up. GUPTA. 145). 67. on the other hand. but an imprecation. Zauberritual. AVS. the conciliatory charm AV&. CALAND. 6. HENRY. B. 25. at JA IX. The same sUKTa—e. as fire (is quenched) with water. German parallels). LOMMEL. AV. 3. 3. 1. 5) "Ascend (a girl is addressed) the full unexhaustible ship of Bhaga (the god of gifts and happiness).g. PANDEY. p. p. here also. 35. . "As if fire is burning him. S. p. at Kaus. to defeat a rival etc. AVS\ 7. 7. 68. 19. K. 7. 77 As to the interpretation of AVS. 1. 81. 1. Now shall. 6.284 J.. 25. 18 (RV. 9-11): Kaus. 19. 12. Hindu Samskaras. 412. 4. also AVS". 14: H. p. 46. 60. 328. 110 (AVP. 3). AV. 23. 4) 77 . AVP. another woman (other women) go to her wedding -feast". 6. 138. HEROLD. 522). O Aryaman (the god of domestic and conjugal happiness). 113. the words AV&. 76 Thou: the water to be drunk by the person who has to undergo the cure. 46. 45. 17. p. e. 45. 11. Gonda • Vedic Literature obtain a son72.. from being torn up by Yama.. AVP. as an arrow into a quiver" explains the use of that object. AVP. attached to the woman's neck75. 79 (untenable).): "Save him. 5. 140 (AVP. without fail. "Indra shall with a pair of pressing stones break both his testicles" (AVf§. his father nor injure his mother"78. p. It is difficult to draw a hard and fast line between these texts and the charms intended to secure harmony. 2. 2 "Into your womb shall enter a male embryo. . O Agni. the 'ceremony' being a quasi-casual affair (Kaus. 5 (AVP. do thou78 quench this jealousy of his. as if a forest-fire burns in various directions. 5. 21. p. 6. 6." Many stanzas reveal undisguised passion or hatred: "With the incantation of . 60. 36. 1. 12. Cf. Other passages give us an idea of the troubles and straitened circumstances which forced these Vedic men and women to have recourse to these rites. WHITNEY-LANMAN. Kasyapa do I shut up your vulva" (AV& 1. 18. 10. 34—is employed to win love as AVg. in Zs. Thus the simile AV$. 79 For these see R. see also 1. for the popular belief see V. 35. p. Banaras 1949 (cf. Ph. 78 See Kaus. Many stanzas should. reflect parental care and grief. be read together with the pertinent passage in the ritual handbook. f. The sUKTas pertaining to child-birth and child-life. the stanza should be whispered. 20. to make a woman sterile. has wearied of going to wedding-assemblies of other women. 74 . 1. 6. AVP. 2: "This girl. 1. 72 73 74 75 . 49. 43ff. 23. E. deutsches Altertum 73 (1936). 2. SHENDE. also AVS. 38 (Kaus! 36. 245 (no epithalamium. Rel. 11 etc. at ArchOr 24. but also charms to allay jealousy73. 6. Let him not slay. influence among fellow-men etc. 3. 15. 3. 36. in case a child is born under an unlucky star one should recite AV&. 7. Part of these texts are in close touch with the corresponding 'sacraments' (samskdra) of the grhyasutras™. 120). with that bring hither the suitor who is responsive to your love" are to be pronounced when the girl ascends a properly prepared boat.

^Saunaklya .

" While its stanza 3 is identical with RV.). SCHLERATH. 22. 38. 95 TB. 37. 19 intended to put courage into the soldiers of one's own king87. 3. . 4 is a prayer for the benefit of a king who has been called or chosen and is to be inaugurated: "The kingdom has come to you. p. Vol. 15. 3. 16. 38. cf. 16. BLOOMITELD. 22. N. p. Kaus. stride upon (this) tiger-skin (victorious) unto the great regions of the universe . noon. 27f. 185. fully conscious of their worthiness and dignity. 19. 151. strength. 6. 12 see R. 3 which are to restore a king to his rule and honours (Kaus. 86. 24. snatch her son to her arms and run. 87. If. 15. 14. Gonda • Vedic Literature army (KauS. endowed with lustre!" (st. BARUA. at AJPh 7. The many prayers and imprecations in the interest of the brahmins. Vol. 77. HEESTERMAN. splendour. 45 etc. PAOS 1886 (JAOS 13. 19.). most of its stanzas are also found in chapters of yajurvedic works dealing with that srauta rite95. Gauhati 1966. 36. 108. 12ff. 7. 26f. 484. let she. p. XVIII. 100. B.). evening and night90. (st. RENOTJ. C. suppliant. 2. 94 80 See R. 84. 7. There are also prognostic texts: 5. also 4. J. 99. and their manifold claims—of 87 88 89 Cf. sharpened up. 4. 128 (AVP. 91 AVS\ 4. 16-18) the smoke of cow-dung. 5: "When the wife of the enemy hears the voice of the drum which speaks to a distance. 88. p. P. A number of suktas are designed to ensure to a prince superiority over other noblemen91 or to secure to him success92 or specific qualities such as prestige. arise. 50. AV& 4. p. 8 has been elicited by the consecration of a king—Vait.286 J. N.. 5): "(Yourself) a tiger. Gauhati 1966. K. 14. victorious be the undecaying authority (of those) of whom I am the domestic priest. glory or even the vigour of an elephant93. The ancient Indian royal consecration. 37. 16." 1. 13ff. p. at Festgrufi Bohtlingk. at Comm. DANDEKAR. st. In AV$. B. 4 where it refers to Indra. 20. at Comm. p. starting up at the sound. 1. 20 and 21 are addressed to the battle-drum. invoked as a king entrusted with the auspicious day. (where it predicts the weather). . 9 and 3. sharpened up heroism. DANDEKAK. ROTH. is requested to give propitious weather and an auspicious morning. the terror of the enemy (KauS. 7 prescribes its use at the rajasuya unction when the officiant (the brahman) causes the royal sacrificer to sit down on a tiger-skin and anoints him. 3. cf. 3. 17if. I)94. The suktas 5. 31 and 32: Kaus. Wiesbaden 1960.). p. I. 39. . K. H. p. 5. With the lustrous energy of all these heavenly waters I sprinkle you. 9. 689 is helpful in knowing whether one is going to come out alive (KauS. KS. 9. 8.und Atharvaveda. 3. 6. S. Cf. 93 AVS". 92 For the interpretation of AVS\ 7. A few hymns concerned with royal rites are conceived in a higher spirit. Thesis Utrecht 1957. WEBER. 6. Das Konigtum im Rig. AVS. frightened at the clash of arms"88. CXXXIII). 54. S. Bhuyan. Cf. 1: "Sharpened up is this charm-power of mine. 32.

Varuna .


J. Gonda • Vedic Literature

4. Ritual and speculative suktas

Turning now to those suktas which were somewhat infelicitously called ritualistic1 we direct attention first to a considerable number of texts which state distinctly that they are accompanied by an oblation (havis, a normally 'vegetarian' offering consisting of milk, butter, rice, a cake etc.). AV$. 1, 15 (AVP. 1, 24) is prescribed in a general rite for prosperity to accompany the bringing of water, by two persons, from two navigable streams and the partaking of a dish of mixed grain (Kaus. 19, 4ff.):
(1) "Together, together let the rivers flow, together the winds, together the birds. This sacrifice of old, let them enjoy, I offer with an oblation of confluence. (3) The fountains of the streams that flow together, even unexhausted, With all those confluences we make wealth flow together for me" 2 .

Other suktas of this class3 make mention of an oblation which is to increase as renown, of safety brought about by "the oblation of the seven seers," of concord or harmony, success against enemies ("I hew off the arms of the foes with this oblation"), or prosperity expected in the same way. From places such as 6, 41, 2; 75, 1; 7, 77, 1 it appears that definite gods (in casu the Maruts) could be invoked to enjoy the oblation. Although the Rgveda occasionally mentions such special havis in suktas of atharvanic character4 these libations for limited purposes—which might be inserted in rites of wider scope and objective—were to assume in the Atharvaveda, where they found their proper place, a more technical and independent form. At this point we have for a moment to return to the relations between the Atharvaveda and the Srauta rites5. In its present form the atharvanic corpus does not only, to a certain extent, give evidence of acquaintance with irauta rites—on which it is a better source of information than the Rgveda-Samhita— it includes also texts for use in the great solemn rites in which it is occasionally, in a detached manner and in accordance with its own purposes and points of view, interested6. It can hardly be doubted that in the circles of those who kept up the atharvanic traditions at least some rites were performed that may be regarded as, probably simpler, counterparts of srauta ceremonies. For instance, AVS. 6, 47 (AVP. 19, 43, 10-12)—a prayer for protection, property,
1 BLOOMFIEI/D, A. V. G. B., p. 91. As appears from the preceding pages many other hymns are prescribed in atharvanic rites. 2 Similarly, AVS". 2, 26 (st. 3 " I offer with a havis of confluence"); 19, 1. 3 AVS. 6, 39 (st. 1); 40 (st. 1); 64; 65 (st. 2; cf. 66); 75; 78; see also 5, 21, 2; 6,

80; 87; 7, 94 etc.; see BLOOMFIELD, A. V. G. B., p.


RV. 6, 75, 8; 10, 173, 6 ( = AVS". 7, 94, 1); LTJDWIG, Rig-Veda, I I I , p. 371;

BLOOMFIELD, A. V. G. B., p. 93.

5 For details: EENOU, at J A 243, p. 417. On the other hand, the long and interesting AV&. 12, 2 (AVP. 17, 30-35) on the flesh-eating and the householder's fire is Kaus. 69, 7 used in the ceremony of preparing the domestic fire. 6 For a refutation of the erroneous assumption that the Atharvavedins could ever celebrate srauta rites of their own: CALAND, at WZKM 14, p. 115; 18, p. 190.

The Atharvaveda


a long lifetime etc.—making mention of libations in the morning, at noon and in the evening, contains the term savana which usually denotes the pressing out and libation of the soMa juice. The small text is, interestingly enough, known also to authorities of the Yajurveda7 but not quoted by Kausika. According to an atharvanic instruction the brahman priest has, as a collaborator in a drauta rite, also to offer some oblations to the accompaniment of stanzas from the Atharva-Samhita8 which in case the rite should include an incantation must be replaced by AV&. 2, 19 ("0 Agni, be hot with the heat that is thine against him who hates us, whom we hate") and 6, 75 (to eject a rival: "I thrust that man out of home, the rival who fights us")9. On the occasion of the immolation of a he-goat—an episode of the ritual preparation of the sacred fire-place (agnicayana)—the brahman priest has to recite AV!§. 2, 6 (cf. AVP. 3, 33) which, while praising Agni, clearly refers to his being kindled and his ritual functions10. These instances may suffice11. This use of atharvanic texts furnishes an explanation of the fact that part of them, recurring with variations in irauta works12, hardly differ from yajus formulas. This ritual interest of the Atharvaveda is however not always free from speculation and from the tendency to interpret socio-religious customs and ceremonies as events of universal import or manifestations of fundamental power. The long prose sUKTa AVS. 9, 6 (AVP. 16, 111-117) dealing with the significance of the reception and entertainment of guests and identifying these with acts and requisites of the srauta ritual is a case in point13. A guest arriving at somebody's house is a manifestation of brahman, the parts of his body are identified with the texts of the three Vedas; when his host meets him with his eyes he looks at a sacrifice; when the host greets him he is consecrated; what is presented to a guest is a libation that annihilates the 'sins' of the host; incorrect behaviour towards a guest results in loss of ritual merits, and so on. One of the characteristics of texts of this genre is the effort made to demonstrate,

TS. 3, 1, 9, If.; KS\ 9, 3, 21. Cf. also Vait. 21, 7 and


A. V. G. B.,

8 AVS\ 4, 39, 9 ("with homage I offer to Agni who is continually to be found in the fire"); 10; 5, 29, 1 (likewise addressed to Agni); 2, 35, 5 (an invitation to the gods); 7, 97, 3-8 (that the sacrifice will prove a success); for details: CALAND, at WZKM 14, p. 121. 9 Cf. Kaus. 47, 8; 10. 10 Vait. 28, 4; the text occurs also in the Yajurveda (TS. 4, 1, 7 etc.); for an in all probability secondary use: Kaus. 59, 15. 11 See also AVS\ 7, 27; also at ApS\ 4, 13, 4, not used by KauS., in Vait. 3, 15 prescribed to accompany the invocation of Ida (representing the essence of the offering, 'Opfersegen'); 7, 28 dealing with sacrificial implements, prescribed at Vait. 4, 12 to accompany an act which in all probability is to be performed by the brahman, whereas at KS. 3, 8, 1 it is incumbent upon the wife of the sacrificer; 7, 73; 98; 99 etc. 12 E.g. the non-metrical AVS\ 6, 48 (not in AVP.), but see TS. 3, 2, 1, 1; &B. 12, 3, 4, 3ff.; S"S". 6, 8, lOff.; KS\ 13, 1, 11; and AVS\ 7, 97.

p. 92; KEITH, V. B. Y. S., p. 231.

RENOU, in JA 243, p. 421.





J- Gonda • Vedic Literature

other Vedas, to have been a receptacle of a considerable variety of previous and contemporaneous speculations and attempts at solving the problems under consideration in which its authors are much more interested than most poets of the Rgveda. Whereas the latter almost exclusively concentrated upon cosmogony clad in mythological garb and spoke of the unborn Primeval One, the former were acquainted with a variety of conceptions, terms and 'theories' with regard to the origin and structure of the universe and the relations between the phenomena and the Unseen, the Transcendent "in which everything becomes of one form" (AV$. 2, 1, 1; AVP. 2, 6, 1). In the two abstract and often obscure suktas AVi§. 10, 7 and 8 (cf. AVP. 17, 7-11; 16, 101-103) fine-drawn speculations on the "support or pillar of creation" (skambha)**—which, though sustaining heaven and earth, and bearing the gods, seers, sacred verses and formulas, death and continuance of life, and though revered as the Highest (10, 7, 21), is utterly mysterious—do not only raise questions about the 'relative position' in the universe of divine powers and important 'concepts' such as asceticism and Order, about the nature of the divisions of time, etc., but deal also with other ideas of the Highest Principle such as brahman, Prajapati, the Golden Germ. Though unconnected with any ritual these suktas do not fail to hold out a prospect of 'knowledge' and the realization of identity; 10, 7, 17: "Whoever know the brahman in man, they know the most exalted One45; Who knows the most exalted One,6and whoever knows Prajapati, Who knows the chief brahtnana* , they accordingly know also the skambha" and hence, of freedom from darkness and evil (10, 7, 40). It has rightly been observed47 that there is an unmistakable harmony between many speculative passages of this corpus in that they, in the form of alternating and cumulative names, concepts and images, attempt to delimit and determine the last cause of things. These poets are, moreover, less inclined to make the traditional mythological figures an element of their speculations48. Most of the gods, it is true, retain their functions49, but the new-comer Kama (Desire) is though on one hand, as a divine person, revered and called upon for help, on the other minutely described in his aspects and functions (AV$. 9, 2; AVP. 16, 76-78) and not regarded as distinct from desire as the "first seed of mind" (AV& 19, 52, 1; AVP. 1, 30, 1 which reminds us of RV. 10, 129, 4; cf. AV& 9, 2, 19). The tendency to deal with the highest categories figuratively rather than mythologically or

Cf. e.g. SCHERMAN, o.c, p. 50; M. LINDENAU, at ZII 3, p. 235; E. A. SOLOMON,

at JOIB 9, p. 233; RENOU, O.C, p. 46.
46 46

This term (paramesthin) does not occur in the Rgveda. That or who is connected with brahman.
RENOU, O.C, p. 47. See also BLOOMFIELD, A. V. G. B., p. 89 on AVS\ 4, 1;

7, 2; 8, 9 and 10. 48 See also BLOOMFIELD, A. V. G. B., p. 90. Mythology is, of course, not absent; cf. e.g. AVS\ 10, 7, 18; 22; 30. 49 On Varuna, RENOU, at Festgabe Lommel, Wiesbaden 1960, p. 122.

The Atharvaveda


philosophically is, for instance, also apparent from the two silktas devoted to Time {kola: AV&. 19, 53f.; AVP. 12, 2) 50 : (1) "Time, the steed, drives with seven reins, thousand-eyed, unaging, rich in seed, Him the seers mount, of inspired thought; all the beings (worlds) are his wheels." AV&. 9, 1 (AVP. 16, 33f.) may be regarded as an attempt at comprehending the significance of a mythological concept, in casu the honey-whip of the Asvins, mentioned in the Rgveda51. Whereas these atharvanic texts are most important as evidence of older Vedic thought a special value attaches to them also because they are the immediate harbingers of the oldest upanisads and as such attest to the continuity of the ancient speculative reasonings and reflections. The dtman concept gains in prominence52, and there are connections between the suKTa to the (cosmic) breath (prdna: AV& 11, 4; AVP. 16, 21-23) "in whose control is this All" and which is described as the enlivening principle of everything 53 and the PrasnaUpanisad54. It is however difficult to decide how to judge the outward form of the speculative hymns and passages—were they preserved by the redactors in a very corrupt form55 ?—and their exact relation to parallel texts in other Vedic works56. The stage of speculative thought represented by them and the fact that this thought is more varied, more prominent and creates the impression of greater originality than comparable passages of the Rgveda allow us to regard them as approximately synchronous with the Yajurveda-Samhitas and the chief brdhmanas: notice the occurrence of passages in 'didactic' prose57 and of 'argumentation' by means of equivalences and identifications, e.g. "Breath is virdj, . . . the sun, the moon, breath they call Prajapati" (AV$. 11, 4, 12). I t is moreover not certain that Rgvedic parallels are in every case more original. Yet one can hardly escape the conviction that the Atharvaveda reproduces, and often enlarges, Rgvedic material 58 , or—to express it more cautiously—material Cf. F. O. SCHRADER, tJber den Stand der indischen Philosophie zur Zeit Mahaviras und Buddhas, Thesis Strassburg 1902, p. 20; D. B. KSHIRSAGAR, at 26
AIOC, S. P., p. 360.



See WHITNEY-LANMAN, AV., p. 518; RENOTT, in Bull, (see above, n. 29), p. 44.

See e.g. AVS\ 5, 1, 7; 5,7; 9, 7; 6, 53, 2; 7, 67, 1; 9, 4, 10 and especially 10, 8,

44 (on which see DETJSSEN, O.C, p. 334; WHITNEY-LANMAN, AV., p. 589). 83 EDGERTON, O.C, p. 121; cf. also J. FILLIOZAT, in Revue philosophique 1933, p. 410; BODEWITZ, J . B . , p. 349.

Cf. e.g. AVS\ 11, 4, 19: PrUp. 2, 7 and see P . DETJSSEN, Sechzig Upanishad's des Veda, Leipzig 31921 (Darmstadt 1963), p. 562.


As is assumed by EDGERTON, O.C, p. 128; 135; see also BLOOMFIE:LD, A. V. G.

B., p. 88 on AVS\ 19, 6: RV. 10, 90 etc. 56 One can for instance have grave doubts about the correctness of WEBER'S (I. S. XVIII, p. 9) view of the relation between AVS". 4, 2 (AVP. 4, 1) and RV. 10, 121: the atharvan compilers have, in his opinion, adopted (and garbled) the rgvedic text on the golden embryo only to sacrifice with gold (Kaus. 45, 1). 57 See below, p. 305. The term brdhmana is found in the prose sukta 9, 16 (st. 18). 58 Compare also AVS". 9, 9f. (AVP. 16, 66ff.): RV. 1, 164; AVS\ 13, 2, 16-24
(AVP. 18, 22, 1-9): RV. 1, 50, 1-9; cf. also RENOTT, O.C, passim.


J- Gonda • Vedic Literature

that was, in variant wordings or verse order, also included in the RgvedaSamhita. In doing so the Paippaladins seem to have had somewhat more sympathy for, if not more familiarity with, the Rgvedic material than did the Saunakiyas. To conclude with one more example: several speculative thoughts of the Atharvaveda are modelled upon the image of the Primeval Cosmic Giant from whose limbs the world came into existence59. However, there is an unmistakable tendency to outline a new development, that is to graft a brahman doctrine upon Purusa speculation: the hearer of AViS. 10, 2 is gradually led to understand that brahman is the sole creator and disposer, that it is omnipresent and that man is its 'stronghold' (piir, hence purusa "man"). This brahman speculation is reflected more conspicuously in the Paippalada recension60 where the concept of the oneness of the world in brahman is taught in a somewhat developed form61. Reverting to the relations between the more popular Atharvaveda and the hieratic Rgveda62 it may briefly be noted that, in spite of the different character of these collections, about one fifth of the contents of kdndas I-XIX of the former is also found in the latter (more precisely, about 2950 passages, of which about 600 in AVS". XX). There is, as stated above, atharvanic material in the Rgveda and the Atharvaveda has borrowed from the other corpus (especially from the mandalas X, I, VIII): there is no fixed line of demarcation between solemn and predominantly 'magical' private rites. Moreover, the Atharvaveda no doubt is an early example of an Indian work that has tended to some form of encyclopaedic comprehensiveness. Shorter borrowings are mostly found in AVS\ I-VII; XIX, identical passages of some extent, mainly from RV. X, mostly—with comparatively less variants—in VIII; IX; XIII, XIV; XVIII. Many of the longer suktas have nothing in common with the Rgveda; most Rgvedic material occurs in texts consisting of disjointed stanzas. Among the borrowings are many suktas of one stanza or isolated stanzas which often coincide also with Yajurvedic texts. Solemn panegyrical verses have rarely been received in the new surroundings. A stanza of Rgvedic origin is sometimes adapted or atharvanized but in other cases inserted without motivation perceptible63. An instance of adaptation is RV. 1,164,49 addressed to the goddess
See e.g. AV&. 10, 2; 11, 8 and cf. RENOU, in JA 243, p. 437; Bull, (see above, n. 29), p. 48.


Cf. e.g. AVP. 8, 9, 2; 12; 16, 61, 7; 8; 18, 25, 10; 26, 1 and see 16, 103, 6 on the sole god, 6, 3, 2 on Prajapati, on Rudra 20, 32, 6. According to Mbh. 13, 16, 47f. B. the reciters of the Atharvaveda extol the Supreme Brahman.



28, p.


BLOOMFIELD, A. V. G. B., p. 44; RENOU, at JA 243, p. 405; N. J. SHENDE,

at JAS Bombay 41-42, p. 56. 63 For questions bearing upon metrical divergences, interpolation etc. see
BEBGAIGNE, at JA 1886, p. 195 and especially BLOOMFIELD, A. V. G. B., p. 41.

The metres of the Atharvaveda are on a level with those of the grhyasutras, that is freer and more irregular than their rgvedic counterparts, which should not neccessarily (with E. V. ARNOLD, at JAOS 22, p. 309 (cf. JAOS 17, p. 2)) be regarded as more original. On the contrary, considering the development of the metrical

complications etc.10 as a formula to be used when a child is seized by a demon when it is being nursed by its mother 64 . H.and Yajurvedins66. For some particular cases. VELANKAR. 9. in kdnda XX the rsis and deities are the same in both corpora. schemes and other prosodic properties as a whole it can be said that there exists a tendency of formal regularity to increase with the passage of time. 109 and AVS\ 5. 90 and AV. in Studies M. at JAOS 1968. D. NORMAN BROWN. 10. p. 19. 64 Cf. 1 and CALAND. 5 (AVP.The Atharvaveda 297 Sarasvati and expressing the wish to suck her breast: it reappears at AV&. in these cases the Atharvaveda ascribes the passage mostly to Atharvan. p.g. Bloomfield. 45 (RV. or also to other non-rgvedic rsis65. 10. p. in ZDMG 53. 32. L. 302 etc. 10. 23. 1. 17 (RV. . Irrespective of whether there exist Rgvedic occurrences many sulctas or sequences of stanzas are common property of Atharva. 65 However. J. 2 (1941). see e. 66 For philosophical material see also p. S. The relations between rgvedic and atharvavedic material in general and its distribution in particular—occasionally. There are more than a hundred instances in which material occurring in both corpora is ascribed to different seers. p. 17). 164 and AV. Kaus. 1. S. in JUB 1 T S. Hum. W. Zauberritual. N.g. SHENDE. Poona. 7. BARRET. 201 (RV. p. p. 103. a complete rgvedic sukta is divided among different sulctas in the Atharvaveda—should be subjected to special studies taking the ritual applications into account (see e. J. BHAWE. p. New Haven 1920. 6). 109). at Festschrift Kirfel. 9 and 10). C. 224. S. 109). Univ.

12. o. It must be conceded that their imagery and phraseology hardly appeal to modern westerners who often find so many difficulties in understanding2 what is meant that they overlook the aesthetic qualities. that translations are as a rule necessarily inadequate and little helpful. 9. 1. 7. 8. On the Paippalada recension: RENOU. 6. 5. AVP. yet we should neither. AVS". 7. 8. tacitly ignore the aesthetic qualities of this corpus. that the subject matter was not often poetical in our sense of the term. C H . 1. 99. 2 For some remarks on the language of the Atharvaveda see BLOOMITELD. 96. 3. e. 2.S. 27. 4. 1. However. 1. 1. in Univ. 225. the successions of short 1 With M. GONDA. P. AVS". Hoshiarpur 1973 (in Hindi). AVS~. 1-3. 8. 55.. 5ff. 15. alliteration etc. 1. 8. 6. LANMAN. 6. 11. Bull. e. AVP.g. 353. Those contained in this corpus not infrequently do so because of the elaboration of their themes. on the other hand. 1. 6. V. AVS". 17. 7 Cf. J. 1. p. Poona 1967. 'symbolism. 10. 95. 302. 15. 2. Kavi and kavya in the Atharvaveda. AVP. 6. 6 Cf. in general. 9. 12. 5.298 5. the appositeness of its imagery3. 16. 19. AVS".. p.30. 17. 1 etc. 9. RENOU. 6. for triplication and threefold or manifold parallelism5. 13. Atharva-Veda. any composition that fulfils its requirements can produce remarkable aesthetic effects. 96.g. 19. p . 9. in Album Kern. B. Iff. 16.' for descriptions of nature. M.g. 2. always the risk of regarding as aesthetically successful and even as intendedly 'poetical' what actually was meant to be of value from a utilitarian point of view. Many 'magical' texts concerning recurrent situations and standardized wishes may be stereotyped and in our eyes monotonous. a literary study. 2. 404. 45. 3. of California Publ. 115. 1. e. 1 (Tokyo 1955). in WZKM 14. TBIVEDI. 4. 16. Translators often overlooked the use of the imperative in conjurations. 8. 25.g. See. 9. Old Indian. Style and structure J> Gonda • Vedic Literature It may be true that many of these compositions can be called poetry only on account of their metrical form. 1. 3.. E. 4. 1. evaluating it onesidedly according to the merits of its contents. V. Phil. 42. » Cf. 12.. for the 'figures of speech' N. AVP. their well-balanced diction4. 16. 259. 2. 5. 105. for anaphora and various forms of antithesis6. p. 19. 96.g. 1. 9. 1. 4-6. 2. There are many rare words and also many untranslatable cases of homophony. 1. R. images. 85. 3. 14. S. 11. 3. 4 . p. e. B. 12. 6 Cf. 6. * Cf. EMENEAU. the predilection for metaphors. 19. 1. 10. 6. 2.g. e. the relief in which important terms are placed by repetition or other stylistic devices7.c. 6. SHENDE. e. p. 25. N. 11. 45. 6. 51. 11.p. 21. 99. the evocative enumerations—sometimes in symmetrical order—contributing to the earnest character of prayers or invocations9. RENOU. 8 Cf. 4. 38. p . 105. 18. that there is. 8. La poesie de l'Atharvaveda. the frequent successions of words of the same class8. 4. in Class. 19. 8. 1. I l l . 1. as uninspired and less-educated versifiers. 7. 35. 34. 8. 6. 1. they are far from dull and dreary. GONDA. A. 3 See also chapter V.5 . WINTEBNITZ. . R. p. L. 2. G. AV&. de la maison francojaponaise.29. with many previous authors. 28. nor by way of unwarranted generalization characterize1 its authors as less able handlers of the poetical technique.

116. 6. 16 Cf. 6. 4. Iff. 4. 19. 3. 4. e. 21 E. 1. 1. e. 11. 33.. 5. 14. 1. 57. 32. the frequent and repeated references to parallel events13 add to the liveliness of the style. divine helpers. 20. 2. AVS. 19. 10. 6. 31. 1. 56. manifestations of evil or danger.g.g. 10. dangerous or inimical powers (which imply knowledge of their nature and a possibility of successful defence or attack)18. 21. 2. 4. 113. 3. 7. and cosmic relations to its loftiness14. 6.. AVS.g. If. 116. 32. 3. 2. 9. 36. 6. 2. 4. to origins. AV&. 10. 37. 2f. 2. 13. 22. 1.. Boasting may have a stimulating effect. 3. 14 Cf. 2. 22. 2. 8. 39. 2. 2. Moscow 1964. 8. 19 E. 35f. 1. 4. 85. 41. 12. Impersonality is often balanced by vivid detail. 1. If. 18 Cf. 5. 6. 45. of the power of his words which affirm or describe what he wants to come to pass21. 25. 1. 105. 12. 17 Cf. 1. GERASIMOV. its phraseology more precise. 7.. 1. as persons11. 1. 1. 12 Cf. 22. p. 1. 57. 39. 5. 5. 23. The contents of the hymns of the Atharvaveda (Russian). 5. 25f. 19. 12. 2. 1. 7. 6. 1. 40. 5. 44. 3. 25. 1. 10. 4. AVg. often more simple and flexible. 8f. statements of the operator's knowledge and power. 22. 1. 25. 62. 95. 3. 20 Cf. 50. 23. AVP. 23 E.g. 16. 6.. 1. 1. The frequent statement that he who knows transcends the ordinary human condition15. 18. 4. 12. 6. 6. 5. 7. 7. 12. AVS. the continuous concern about man's health and well-being. prayers and 10 Cf. 1. 37. 6. 47. 25. also more concrete because the authors' interest was less diffuse and often concentrated upon immediate needs. V. 31. e. 4. 19. AVg. 1. 6. directions given to these expedients20. 1. 14. 25. 24. the almost omnipresent assumption of relations or parallelism between the visible world and the Unseen. e. 138. 9. cf. 29. 6. AVg. 2ff. 3. 1. 22. 19. 19.g. 3. 76. 10. 11. 6. 11. If.g. 3.g. 9. 16 Cf. . 1. 55. Some very brief observations may be made on the structure and component parts of the magical texts17. 1.. 3. 1. 6. 5. e. 18. 3. mythical prototypes. or speak of. 3. 6.g. various forms of exorcism22 or of expulsion of the evil to others23. 2... as well as the bent for referring to the highest and most general categories. 6. 15. 1. There are descriptions of the nature. 4. 19. 13. 15. 4. 1. 17. 83. AVS. 20. 5. AV. 5. cf. 4. 5ff. 7. 5. The tendency to address.. 5. 2. the many identifications and suggestive images12. 8. the very choice of words describing cosmic events and functions16 do not fail to lend to many places a touch of weirdness or sublimity. statements of the might and names of the manifestations of evil and of the objects used in defence19. 10. 2. aspects or appearance of evil or references to the origin of the dreaded. A. 19. e. AVg.g.. 5. 5. AVg. 24. 1-6. 140. 2. 2. 3.The Atharvaveda 299 parallel clauses or sentences involving rhythmical variation10.g. 6. Though shorter than the Rgveda-Samhita the Atharvaveda is more varied in contents. 7. 4. 8. 4. 4. ritual instruments. 11. 7.g. 5. AVg. 14. 5. 3. 13. 19. 2. 6. 4. 3. the beyond. 76. 3. e. 56. 12. 1. 2. 6. 4. 7. 24. 2. AVS. e. 18. e. 7. 1. Its diction is generally speaking more uniform.g. 1. 13 Cf. 3. 10. 19. 105. 1.g. 22. 5. AVP. cf. 22 E. 8. 25. 19. 19. 1. 11 Cf. 1. 1. 6. 4. Indija v drevnosti. 32.

Iff. 33 AVS". length and order of words. some suktas assuming the character of a prayer for help or deliverance from evil26. 2. 32. 2. 3. 29. recurrent situations and identical or similar means of defence. 6ff. p. in kine. 44. 10. 30. 32 Cf. If. 12. sprinkling ghee. assail and attack. 4. 5. 1. " 24 E. "Just here I fix (my) dwelling firm. e. Sometimes the choice.g. 25 Thus AVP. 1. 3. 3. 6. 6. 42. 5.300 J. 1. 8.3. 3. 2. 10. 73. 1. 2. 5. 26. 3. If. 5ff. 1. 28. 1. 42. 105. 6. 4. AVS". 11.g. 11. 3. 2. slay enemies. let it stand safely. 27 E. 1. 4. Iff. 8 and 2. in JA 252. 19. The self-reliance of the performers of the rites is apparent from statements such as "I shall cause you to live unto old age"34. . . Just here stand firm. also 2. 109. Gonda • Vedic Literature invocation of divine assistance24 not infrequently combining with spells and charms25.. 5. . 14. 1. 2. or almost entirely. 1. 5. 3. and make those who wear them invincible. 36. 6. 53. 10. 43. 2. AVS\ 1. 1. . Iff. Mention of structures in accordance with directions or points of the compass has already been made30. O dwelling. 5. 89. 2.g. 1. 111. AVS\ 1. 5. 10. 2. they are full of force.g. Many suktas consist entirely.. 3. an analogous—and successful— deed of an ancient authority or parallels in nature27. for protection against the regrettably large number of deaths. 3. those aiming at a long life-time ask for a life that will last a hundred years. 4. 64. 5. 6 (cf. 281. 10. 1. 3. 2. 36. 1. 4. AV$. 4. 26 E.g. 5. 19. rich in horses. 1. 29 E. 137. (AVP. 53. 23. in pleasantness . 1.. 6. O dwelling. .. 9. 3. 6. 40 (RENOTJ. 7. In the love-charms the formula "that you shall be bent to my will. 12. 3. 50. 2. 25. cf. 10. shall follow my intent" is a frequent occurrence33. 31 AVS". 10. a lion or a tiger35. 2ff. 5. 3. Iff. 31. 25. 3. 2. 5). 1.g. 4 (to a plant). 1. Into thee. 83ff. 28. 82. 43. 1. 20. 434) is to reduce various gods to subjection. 6. 4. 1. our good energetic (sons) safe and sound. 3. 3. The protective power of amulets is exuberantly praised. 28 E. cf. See e. 1. (just before the end of a sukta) statements of the successful completion of a rite28. 5. 5. 6. 6. of combinations of these elements29.. 3. or implore breath not to leave the body etc. 91.): ihaivd dhruvdm ni minomi idldm ksime tisthdti ghrtdm uksdmdnd j tdrn tvd sale sdrvavirdh suvlrd dristavlrd upa sdm carema // ihaivd dhruva prdti tistha Sale 'svavatl gomatl sunftdvati / . 3. 34. 8. 81. 1. also AVS". Suktas belonging to the same class not infrequently exhibit limited numbers of 'catchwords' denoting the stereotyped wishes. parallelism and repetitions converge to achieving a most suggestive passage. 90. 8. 35 AVS". 2. 1. 15. cf. 6. cf.. 23. 4. 22. 2. 7. 52. 3.. p. 11. 8. 6. 2. 40. also AVS\ 2. 7. 30. 2. AVS\ 2. may we enter. 74. 7. 1. 3. 6. cf. 7. 5. 30 See above. 2. 16ff. 3. 2. 36. 8. 3. 11. 34 AVS". 1. 10. 6. 7. 1. 2. 5. 5.32.1. 74.g. 4. 1. 8. 2. 2ff. references to a divine example. Thus the charms and prayers aiming at harmony and concord insist on unity of mind and appeasement of anger31. 8. 23. 1. AVS\ 1. 4. 4. 10.

is the main theme of a sUKTa: in 1.. in time is name . 18. H. 6. also AVS\ 6. 2. Cf. A. 7 (to medicinal herbs) and 8 (against enemies: a string of imprecations. Thus when in AV$. hast become The slayer of the impious man. 104) a similar invocation to Indra-and-Soma. O Agni. 3Iff. Then. . the atmosphere of 2 (AVP." 38 See e. and the Sun. R. For thou.The Atharvaveda 301 But in many other places sound or deep thoughts expressed in well-chosen words alternate with repetitions of the same scheme and analytical enumerations. 16. Announce to us the wizards. In some cases38 the invocation of a god. 26. Welcome this oblation. 95. 8) = Agni. Visnu. a defence which is "to drive the witchcraft backward" and makes its possessor a lion or a tiger." Not to mention the wooden syntax and limited scope of. the long hymn to Rudra AVS".). Sukta 5 enlarges upon the power of an amulet. Let them all.). 19. together with Indra. interrupted by stanzas addressed to Agni or other gods. 87. . (5) We would like to see thy might. 8. 1 (AVP. 9ff. with the same purpose. 1-23)36 is a graphic and emphatic address to Agni the slayer of demons and 'sorcerers'. 5 (Indra). p. 6 (Agni). 37 Cf. 7. 1-23 are identical with RV. convey hither The wizard and the evil spirit.. 739 the incantation prevails upon Agni to make those who practise offensive 'sorcery' come out and proclaim their true character (for as soon as they reveal their name and nature they become innocuous): (1) "Proclaiming himself do thou. 17. Some of these suktas are below the usual standard (e. followed by the refrain "Let them free us from distress. 16ff.2 (AVP. 38 See e. 27 prescribing st. 16. 3. and RV. 33.g. burnt by thee in front. 1. 78. 82." Or 11. 246. 39 Cf. 23 (Agni). yajuslike formulas such as AV&. Agni). Announcing themselves come to this place. is more ritual.g. 2 Indra receiving soma (but at KauS." its general tone being that of a conjuration. 104-106). Indra) or obscure (6. 7. 1 (AVP. 77 (Maruts). O Jatavedas. the dominant thought is "remain here. BLOOMFIELD. which is to achieve the continuation of somebody's life. in time is breath. Sukta 3 (AVP.p. O god. OLDENBEBG. There is also unity of subject in 6 (against demons attacking a pregnant woman with a recurrent "make them disappear"). 16. when praised. O thou that watches men. In AV& 8. do not leave this world. . 10. time also these earths . a prayer and praise to Indra. B. 6. for instance. 16. 16. a long series of addresses and names of deities. If. 49. 2. repeated again and again. 3. I. 21 stanzas). 11. O Agni.) In prevailing upon deities to help or spare them the poets often resort to homage and praise37. Most of the longer 'magic' texts contained in book VIII are characterized by unity of theme and elaboration with a considerable degree of variation. 20 (Agni and other gods). 29. 7. also 1. do not perish. . 7. 4. 5. . AVP. 11. V.. 6ff. (3) The sorcerers shall cry and the devouring spirits. 3ff. 53 after 5 "Time generated yonder sky. 2 no mention is made of this offering). G." it reads: "In time is mind. 4 (AVP. Jatavedas (in 1.g.

the poets—e.302 J. wields influence upon elementary force and fundamental powers. Eranos-Jahrbuch 22 (Zurich 1954).S. and to dwell on its aspects. 18. Let her. importance and ineomprehensive power of the celestial body. the name Rohita remaining in the background. p. its various cosmic and mythological aspects and speculative implications with the interruption of st. On the other hand. K. 17. properties. the power of the sun as creator. 5. H. Sukta 3 is mainly welded into a whole by the refrain wording a typically atharvanic anathema against the one who injures brahmins43 which is only absent 40 I t has the distinction of being the most frequently translated sukta of the Atharvaveda: e. Jacobi. as the universal mother and dispenser of many benefits. REGNATTD. 61—tend to overlook the aesthetic aspects. of the four Rohita suktas*2 of book XIII (1 and 2: AVP.. 27-31. HENRY. Le mythe de Rohita. Stuttgart 1934. at AJPh 12. TTJCCI. Let the earth make for us wide room. S. 12. 199. H. 287. or rather the starting-point. Much inclined to anthropomorphism the poet pushes the traditional mythology into the background. delineating the phenomena accompanying the appearance of sunlight. . one of the most beautiful Vedic suktas.. cf. p. paying homage to the earth as a great goddess who. SASTBI. at IHQ 30. Les hymnes Rohitas. p. AV. RENOTT. see S. at VIJ 6. 429. though surpassing all magical texts proper by its length (63 stanzas). place me in fortune. P. see also BLOOMFIELD. (63) O Mother Earth. M. at QJMS 58. In concord with Heaven. in referring to nature. Der Hymnus an die Erde. 34. also RENOU. V. propitiously set me down well-founded. In the famous Hymn to the Earth. p." Whereas the poet of 12. C. in prosperity.g. BECKH. U. 15ff. P. the more so as most of its stanzas—and many of them emphatically in their last quarter—express the personal desires of the poet and his fellows: (1) " . our planet is with much variation celebrated under various aspects: as the bearer and residence of animate and inanimate beings. the theme. in Festgabe H. now called Aditya. p. the spirit of the hymn is in harmony with these. mistress of what is and what is to be. to whom every being owes his existence. Sukta 1. p. p. 41 Generally speaking. 1 (AVP. less precative in character. p. the depth of its descriptions and the broadness of its outlook. For a translation: V. Paris 1892. and see also G. . O sage. 101. at Yggdrasill 1938. at AP 19. 1-6)40. 323.g. . imprecations against rivals addressed to Agni. BLOOMFIELD. Indra and other deities. p. p. plants etc. In 2. describes the phenomenon of sunrise and the safety and other benefits resulting from it. 42 See also above. SRIVASTAVA. 293. as the indispensable ground for sacrificing and divine and human activity. 189. 547. come to the fore. 248. OZA. Paris 1891.Gonda • Vedic Literature The very themes of some of the larger suktas gave their poets an opportunity to describe the essence of the entity chosen as their theme. the functions. 122. LINDENAU. while sharing in man's cares and interests. 161. of AVS\ 4. U. BASXJ. 1 does not deviate from his subject. Without neglecting such motifs as her origin and speculations about her odour he has an eye for the natural scenery41.) is repeatedly lost sight of. AV$. Bonn 1926. 43 See above. p. p.

38. AV. but rather such a charm in which the author has. p. BLOOMFIELD. (2) Whoever stands. H. 66. KAEGI. CXIII. 17) for instance is not a hymn to lightning and a charm against the diseases attributed to it 44 . 7 against bad weather and superfluous rain) is another thing. WINTEBNITZ. p. (5) AH this king Varuna sees.11 (AVP. B. are a favourite 44 BLOOMFIELD. The sublime and justly admired hymn to Varuna AV& 4. 43. Tubingen 1856. LOMMEL.. 12 (AVP. H. p. L. .The Atharvaveda 303 in the last (26th) stanza. 46 R. S. closely. 1 against certain diseases. O Varuna. but questions. 1. WHITNEY-LANMAN. let the speaker of untruth not escape thee. A. H. vision and eloquence which occasionally were within the reach of these poets: (1) "The firm governor watches them." With the probable exception of AVS. Numbered by him are the winkings of people. 5. in the usual way. 144. 247 (where inany particulars regarding the interpretation). homage and the expression of the wish to be spared and freed from disease45. Der Rigveda. in the man who knoAvs this all gods become one. as a gambler the dice. talk. I. although the initial stanzas identified him with other divine powers.1) there are no dialogue suktas. AV. The exceptional statement of divine omniscience. 37. 8. 1." And then in (7) "With a hundred snares. . 26. who moves. p. in this petty water is he hidden. so does he fix these (things). 452. WEBER. 176. p. what beyond. 28. p. H. Abhandlung iiber den Atharvaveda. What two sitting down together. at ZDMG 92. I. ROTH. V. 390 (with a bibliographical note). The two oceans are his paunches. p. as it were. apparently quite original in the Atharvaveda—part of its stanzas are also found in AVP. We should however proceed with caution in assuming a double or composite character of a text: AV&. surround him. . 89 (with parallels from the Old Testament). p. 1646. who hiddenly (or) in secret ( ?).. G. Who thinks to go on stealthily—all this the gods know. in PAOS 1886 at JAOS 13. A. p. (3) Both this earth is king Varuna's. who crookedly goes. and yonder firm sky with distant margins.. included references to the origin and effects of lightning. O watcher of men . which in the transitional stanza 13 are said to "become one" in him. 32—betrays its purpose in its second half which should not be considered a later magical addition degrading a beautiful piece of art into the exordium of an exorcism. I. XVIII. king Varuna as the third knows that. The larger part of the last text has nothing to do with the adoration of the Sun. whether introductory or intercalary. what is between heaven and earth. omnipresence and almighty power is only an extreme instance of the heights of poetical fervour.. 5. AV. p. 2Leipzig 1881. 45 That the ritualists had a double employment for the text (Kaus. 1. some groups of two or more successive stanzas being more closely connected by common catchwords.

sUTRas .

Book XVIII58 in four suktas containing the funeral stanzas is another version of the corresponding materials in the Rgveda. 2. AJPh 11. p. in general. WINTEBNITZ. the daughter of the Sun57. amplified however with a considerable number of stanzas that are found in other parts of that corpus or are even completely foreign to it59. The 'brahmana' prose of the samhita occurs in larger autonomous and coherent texts—8. 25. M. p. I. About one-sixth of the Saunakiya Samhita consists of prose which generally is of the brahmana variety61.C. as well as some thirty other suktas scattered in other books (mainly in the second and third great divisions) are entirely unmetrical. p.The Atharvaveda 305 with Surya. Book XV. p. The twenty-seven suktas comprising book XV and almost the whole of XVI. st. 11. Only a few stanzas are in different places found in the Paippalada recension. in JAOS 81. 116. 64 See RENOTT. P. AV. KBAMBISCH. CXXXIII. p. p.. V. Two types must be distinguished. 71. 3. 57 68 69 60 See also S. glorifies the vrdtya*5. either isolated or serially—but never to form longer suktas—in all parts of the sawHiTA. These 'yajus' are presumably less modified by the versified rgvedic mantras than the. The former occurs. V. Cf. at Zs. an unmistakable monotony. f. A typical specimen is AV. 95. Outside this book there are in the Atharvaveda many other allusions to certain funeral practices60. 82 I t is not always easy to distinguish whether a piece is composed in prose or extremely free verse. In the suktas mentioned last this prose and the metrical elements are generally speaking tolerably well blended. 471. . 17ff. p. CHABPENTIEB. in addition to these also parts or single stanzas of over a hundred suktas62. st. 355. give me (this) power" (the person speaking wishes to benefit by the statement of a truth). part of which are grouped to accompany the same episode of the ceremonies. 12. 65 The vratyas have given rise to much and partly unsettled controversial dispute: T H . for a study: RENOU. the term applies to an internal division of these extended compositions. O. In comparison with the brahmanas it is however stiff. B. 17. A. the 'yajus' and the 'brahmana' prose. 9.. Constituting in all probability the oldest Indian prose extant this mode of expression seems to have developed together with the formation of the speculative portions of the corpus. 1 6jo 'sy ojo me ddh "(inaugurative) power art Thou. 410 ff. 121 (translation). p. 61 For a list of these passages: WHITNEY-LANMAN. are consecratory formulas. the representative of unorthodox. Buddhismus 1924-25. 7.S. 10. 5. 6-16 deal with the requisites and functionaries present at the ceremony. 15—all of them being parydya ("period") hymns63. p. E. AUFBECHT. below p. 336. in contents and style like the brahmanas and divided into 18 short chapters (parydya). It is characterized by typically brahmana constructions. more uniform and morphologically poorer. AV. p. 151. J . BLOOMFIELD. For particulars see BLOOMFIELD. I. in WEBER.. and the use of some formal categories which are foreign to the Rgveda6*. and so on. 6. 63 WHITNEY-LANMAN. 81 and. 1011. I. probably contemporaneous. G. corresponding yajurvedic formulas. at WZKM 23.

Der Vratya. HOKSCH. p. S. Winternitz. section 10-13 describes the prospect of blessings held out to a king who receives a vrdtya as his guest. p. through which the deified vrdtya makes a creative tour. BANEBJEA. L. 86 See HORSCH. LAL MTJKHERJEE. p. 17. C. at I I J 6. Gonda • Vedic Literature but Aryan. CH. p. a cult and a decidedly ritualistic speculative thought of their own—they did not study the Veda (PB. at JOIB 12. *53 and Vratyastoma. A. Thesis Berlin 1955. J. C. p. 401 (with a bibliographical note). HEESTERMAN. SAMPUBNANAND. G.306 J. 288. W. SEN. HAUEB. The Atharvaveda Vratyakanda. p.. at ZDMG 105. p. In these rather abstruse chapters. . B. Delhi 1963. Madras 1956 (following Sayana). 48. 1. 1. p. 406. the vrdtya is exalted as having become the Lord. at JASBengal 1925. 2)— which must have maintained intimate connections with the Atharvavedins66. BISWAS. p. Studies in the brahmanas. errant groups with traditions. sections 2-6 and 14 are arranged in accordance with the well-known system of the regions of the universe. 179. J. 143. 81. V. o.c. which are almost completely wanting in the Paippalada tradition and are not quoted in the two sutras. Stuttgart 1927 and at Festschrift M. Leipzig 1933.

2 (on the acquisition of a kingdom). KOHLBBUGGE. 19 describe the same Indra festival: GONDA. Hence also the passages that urge the necessity for appointing a purohita who alone can avert evil8. For 'transition' see also 34. 513. but their language. 8 (1964). 447. in the older parts in Vedic metres. M.. Atharvaveda-pari&sta iiber Omina. 1. 2 Atharvanic authorities are frequently mentioned (e. from the atharvanic point of view2—of various kinds of religious practices in vogue in definite milieus in the late Vedic and early Hindu period. 4ff. 28. reminds us of that of the purdnas. very often in the s"loka. GOODWIN. Kaus. 70. Iff. Edition: G. 4 To avoid misunderstanding: there are also many parallels in Vedic texts or in. 4 (the daily ceremonies to> be 9performed by that functionary). J. 14. D. some of which in sutra style. AVPar. 3. They are a well-considered collection of 72 longer or shorter texts3. e Compare e. 31 (see above. CALAND. 1 . The text is often corrupt. p. ch. BOLLING and J. 93-136 (expiatory ceremonies). NEGELEIN. VON NEGELEIN. 7. 7— their compilation must have taken place late. portents9. 6 Notice also the resemblance between AVPar. 7 Cf. Poona 1951 (not published). 45 on the agnihotra is in close agreement with Vait. 140 and AVPar.g. 2. 2. valuable and informative survey—of course. 23. Appendices)1 of the Atharvaveda actually constitute a detailed. others metrical. Although the method of operation of these texts is genuinely atharvanic and in accordance with the method used by KauSika5—ch. The style often tends to enumerative exactness. Some texts—for instance 45—while creating the impression of being a sutra inculcate the doctrine of the indispensability of an atharvanic functionary for those who want to perform sacrifices or other ritual7. p. 5. in the younger sometimes in complicated younger metres. 117.g. sometimes even ungrammatical. n. in Studies Bloomfield. 27. 37 and Kaus. Ancillary and exegetical literature 307 The so-called PariSistas (Supplements. Thesis Utrecht 1938:. p. 31 deals with a ritual which Atharvan once performed for Siva and must be reproduced by the purohita. EDGERTON. atharvanic Rudra-f§iva ceremonies in 36. 15). The ritual of a ceremony in honourof Skanda is described in 20 (translated by C. They attest. 4. 23. J. for instance.g. 3 (1959). p. 65. MODAK. 413. at JAOS 87. A study of the ancillary literature of the Atharvaveda. O.C).The Atharvaveda 6. p. Leipzig 1909 (containing also references to older literature). to the 'transition' of Rudra to iSiva6. being the rules for an ascetic performance in honour of Rudra as Pasupati. 44. p. parisistas to other Vedic works (see CALAND. (JAOS 15). R. at OLZ 11 (1908). at PAOS 1890. and the ample room given to omens. 21 (the objects required at a ceremony). This peculiarity is in harmony with the fact that the rites and customs mentioned are not infrequently also described in other works that doubtless belong to the post-Vedic period4.. Many of its chapters are Vedic in their general contents. 8 See e. B. 6). p. with special reference to the parisistas. AVPar. at Archiv fur Religionswissenschaft 14. The Parisistas of the Atharvaveda. also 5 (lustration ritual). 1. and in Journal Karnatak Univ. 100. 8 See v. V). 40 a Paiupatavratam. 14.

AtharvaprayaScittani .

Rgveda pRATiS^KHya ANgirasakalpa .

KauSika^ SUtra RSiS Paithlnasi. puraNas. BadarayaNa's KauSikasUtra-Darilabhasya . Bharatlya-NatyaSastra Samaveda.

N. P. The influence exerted by the Atharvaveda upon spiritual life of later times. between 1826 and 1832. V. wrote an Atharvanarahasya35 in which he explains its significance as an authoritative part of scripture and lays special emphasis upon its philosophical aspects. 36 36 See BHATTACHAHYYA. Among them was DhiragovindaSarman who. p. 97. 10. RENOU. p. PANTULU. 153. cannot be considered in this chapter36. at JUB 19. J. the link it constitutes between older and later thought. 28. K. p. at QJMS 27. . VI. V. E. p. I refer to N. in Melanges Renou.The Atharvaveda 311 tinued to take interest in it. SHENDE.


BENFEY. An outline of the extant Samaveda literature. With the commentaries of Madhava and Bharatasvamin ed. 87. by C. SIMON. CALAND. Kiel 1889. S. viz. 8. Purana 8. Benares 1893 (41963. 5. some others are fitted together out of sundry verses of the Rgveda. Some of them are atharvanic in character and may derive their origin from that corpus. translation etc. For the Ranayaniyas see below. imperfect). 4 The Aranyakasamhita (see below) not included. D. p. Leipzig 1848. I. 5 As distinct from sdman (see below). Die Jaiminiya-Samhita mit einer Einleitung iiber die Samavedaliteratur. I. 2 W. and of the Jaiminlyas or Talavakaras2. the four ganas and annexed texts were moreover edited by SATYAVRATA SAMASRAMI. Sakhas of the Samaveda in the purdnas. 11. Most of these stanzas are composed in gdyatn metre or pragdtha stanzas and doubtless See R. Translations: J. p. Most of them belong exclusively to the Kauthuma and (in the Purvarcika) Jaiminiya traditions. I. SATAVAXEKAR. N. Tokyo 1948 (in Japanese). Die Hymnen des Sama-Veda.). mainly from the books VIII and IX of that corpus7. distributed in two books called "collections of re stanzas" (drcika)5. STEVENSON.. CALAND. the arcikas being a kind of libretti. &B. The Kauthuma-Samhita3 consists of 1810*—or if the repetitions are excluded 1549—stanzas. all these stanzas are taken from the Rgveda-Samhita. The tradition is confused. Adyar-Madras 1941. The Samhita.CHAPTER VII THE LITURGICAL SAMHITlS 1. 1 etc. p. text. H. For particulars see RENOU. 6 A few may perhaps be regarded as borrowed from a recension—or rather from a khila collection—unknown to us. AiB. London 1842. Breslau 1907. reprint 1968-69 (text. 318. G. Other editions etc. 3 Edited and translated by TH. by S. Pardi 1956. R. also EGGELING. 1 . The Sdmaveda Although jmrdnas and other later works make mention of no less than a thousand sanihitds of the Sanaaveda1 only two have come down to us. 32. 76 excepted (a few of these occur in other satnhitds or works on ritual6). Calcutta 1871-1878. in the Vedic bibliographies.KUNHAN RAJA. Generally speaking these stanzas seem to be insertions added at an early date. GRIFFITH. Calcutta 1906 (much antiquated). Ecoles. T. 7 Cf. PB. p. p. This name is most appropriate because. p. Beitrage zur Kenntnis der vedischen Schulen. 5. 3. TSTJJI. RENOU. 115. 5 vol. at JA 240. RAI. those of the Kauthumas (considered the vulgate). XXI. 27. A considerable part of these stanzas is however up to rgvedic standard. 133. The name Samaveda occurs at SB. p.

of which 287 are triads. p. 15 Cf. Gonda • Vedic Literature from the beginning intended for singing8. 156 and for the use of the term sdman in connection with Indra e. 45 of which are not found in the Rgveda. closelj connected with the rest of the group. Normally these groups are triads: of these there are 28714. H. The second book (Uttararcika... The hypothesis suggested by A. R. 10 Often briefly drcika. HERTEL. those of the following thirty-six chiefly to Indra12. arrangement in three collections (kdnda or parvan). II. 62. at WZKM 17. 16 8 In ritual practice the udgdtar and his assistants share the divisions (usually five) of a chant among themselves. R. For pragdtha etc. Now. The stanzas follow each other roughly in accordance with deities and metres. at JA 240. WHITNEY. the Purvarcika10. p. at WZKM 17 See RENOU. p. This was See OLDENBERG. 1. at ZDMG 38. Zur Textkritik der dem Samaveda mit dem 8. The triads and other groups are arranged according to the order of the principal sacrifices15. the last one however nine) small groups of stanzas13. there are some other departures from the rule. D. p. p. those of the last eleven to Soma. PB. To teach the melodies is their very purpose. of which there are six11. The first book of the collection under consideration. for which see BENFEY'S edition and RENOU. W. Ritualliteratur. in contents. 18. at BDCRI 4. There is another. p. they are arranged in decades (daiat). sections (ardha "half"). CLXXXIV (the larger part of the stanzas is wholly identical). Some of these Rgvedic verses appear with different readings which must be explained as due to alterations introduced when the words of the texts were set to music9. 328. consists of 585 single (unconnected) stanzas (TC). OLDENBERG. in WZKM 18. in IIJ 1. 513. 173. APTE. 13 The sum total of the groups is 399. 5.g. p. 439. p. and perhaps older. BLOOMFIELD. J. BLOOMFIELD. ten decades forming a "lecture" (prapdthaka). p. A brahmin who wished to be trained as an udgdtar17—the priest who at srauta rites chants the hymns of the Samaveda—had first to learn the melodies (saman)18. Strassburg 1897.314 J. H. 1225 stanzas of which 31 non-Rgvedic) contains nine "lectures" each of which is divided into two. p. 2. Each of the twenty-two sections consists of a number (from eleven to twenty-three. 18 286. 11 The sixth prapdthaka has only nine decades. no doubt in imitation of the samhitd of the Rgveda.. A. 177. in PAOS 1883.S. 289. 12 Cf. Thus those of the first twelve decades are addressed to Agni. The first in the group is usually found in the PUrvarcika also and. 14 For details see also CALAND. in both books the essential element is not the texts—the Samavedins are less interested in the meaning of the words than in prosodic correctness16— but the melody. 538). 133. see p. . HILLEBRANDT. Thesis Kiel 1909. and sometimes three. HIIXEBRANDT. Die Sonnwendfeste in AltIndien. 59 erroneously denied any difference between recitation and chant. p. p. For particulars see V. 1. 99. J. In contradistinction to the first drcika the Uttararcika is only concerned with soma sacrifices. RV. M. BRUNE. 9 AUFRECHT. 464 (= K. Romanische Forschungen 5 (1889-1890). Mandala des Rgveda gemeinsamen Stellen. XXXVIII. p.

and J. like the barking of dogs and the cries of wolves. B. 1. I. from its concluding part. to which already in prehistoric times religious songs were sung at various celebrations. BTJRNELL. H. Thesis Amsterdam 1929 (compare CALAND. 167 has—in a modified form—much to recommend it: part of the oldest sdmans were presumably popular melodies. Tirupati 1967. 9. conciliation. Generally speaking. 2) it was of special value (BhG. the most important being the oft-mentioned raihamtara and brhat20. a practice surviving and systematized in the Samavidhana-Brahmana. jackals and owls. S. from the purpose or object for which it is chanted. at the chief sacrifices. These names. 32. 89 (characteristics of 220 sdmans as found in the Samaveda brdhmanas). comparable to a song-book which contains the complete texts. a reason for discontinuing the study of the Veda (ApDh. are sometimes meaningful. 19 Compare RV. 2. mostly derivatives. p. 25. CH. 712. at DLZ 1930. Arseya Brahmana (with the Vedarthaprakasa). Das Samavidhanabrahmana. p. 21 J. 161 and WINTERNTTZ. 1. 284) it could have denoted a "propitiation. usually consisting of three—ritually connected—stanzas (trca). part II. Considering a melody to be sung upon a particular stanza. OLDENBERG. The Vedic chant studied in its textual and melodic form (with a bibliography). 123f. 19) seems also to point in that direction. The fact that the sound of sdmans and musical instruments was. Mangalore 1876. Many of them derive from the name of the rsi who is assumed to have composed the chant. being chanted and regarded as the essence of the Rgveda (ChU. They have given rise to various 'symbolical' speculations. 22). SHARMA. For the impurity of the Samaveda see also Manu 4. RENOTT. Having memorized the melodies the aspirant had to learn the complete texts. XXXVIII. 1. 164." is not another word (cf. the melodies21 themselves—which in the earliest times were in all probability a matter for oral instruction—are by means of musical notes designated in the song-books proper (gdna). These gdnas contain the texts in the form which 17. if sdman "kind words. 1.C. 181. 444). The Uttararcika containing these "hymns of praise" (stotra) is therefore the essential completion of the PUrvarcika. N. M. The Arseyabrahmana. at JUB N. others—especially those that were interspersed with exclamations (see below)— may have originated in circles which attributed a decidedly 'magical' power to certain tunes and chants." For a survey see SH. p.C. L. MITRA. p. KONOW. 26. See A. 1. I.S. sung to the same melody. I. . which are. 20 Cf.The liturgical Samhitas 315 done with the aid of the'purvdrcika. in PrBh 49 (1944). 10. while it is presumed that the melodies are already known. 10. As however a stanza can be sung to various melodies—and vice versa—the 585 single stanzas of the PUrvarcika are in practice sung to about double the number of tunes19. 3. p. in GGA 1908. definite stanzas are the regular yonis for certain melodies. tradition describes the former as having originated out of the latter which therefore is called its "womb" (yoni). R. p. p. The etymology and original meaning of the term sdman are not clear.for to the stanzas of this collection belong the melodies that are to be used at the sacrificial rites. VAN DEE HOOGT. GAYATONDE. On the other hand. 10. p. While both parts of the Samhita give us the texts in their spoken form. from initial or other phrases of a stanza. These numerous melodies have various names. p. I. Thesis Halle 1893.

The Gramageyagana26—the songs of which could be practised in the village (grama)—belongs to the PUrvarcika. o. these melodies follow each other in exactly the same order as the stanzas in the Arcika27. 1. the last For variant definitions see v. For similar transformations of recitals into chants or the use of "unintelligible emotive noises repeated to fill the space of a recurring tune" see e. insertions. 10 dgna d ydhi vitaye grndno havyaddtaye "O Agni. addressed to Indra. FADDEGON. Primitive art. 13)—corresponding to SV. render them abnormal as pieces of literature. lengthening) of syllables. often briefly stobha)—which. 37) gives five sdmans29. also H.). whatever their spiritual significance for the believers. 315. come to the banquet. p. p. 20). Tiruvadi 1889. 48. in JOR 9. 1. 4)28—the Gramageyagana (6. 1. the stobhas their hairs. 71. For instance for SV. 1. F. Gonda • Vedic Literature they take in singing. 295).' padastobha. the sound of the melody their flesh. the sdmans of the stanzas of that corpus. n. could serve esoteric purposes—and short inserted sentences (vdkyastobha). hoi (so-called 'chanted interjections. 1951. 387). on which v. New York 1955. HOOGT. 58 (cf. SAMASRAMI'S edition II. hai is the air" etc. Since the essence of Vedic chant is just the combination of words and music and its aim is precisely the establishing of contact with creative power24—the effects upon the Unseen of tones sung in a certain way and at a certain pitch in relation to other tones is of great importance—the four "song-books" constitute an integral part of the Samavedic literature. p.g. A. 28 The figure 2 denotes the Uttararcika. RV. etc. 177. 236 (1. 519). 5. BAKE at PrBh. 83 based his catalogue. admitting of a mystical interpretation 23 . 2. BOAS. It contains. ungrammatical mutilations. modifications (e. 29 An example is the first quarter of RV. 24 A. 8.C. at ZDMG 102. 1. p. JaiminiyaSamhita (see below. 1. that is with the stobhas.g. NILAKANTHA SASTRI. LOSCH. we have become immortal" (cf. p. p. discussed by B. n. viz. 25 See W. 35 (2. Stobha22 is a comprehensive term for all modifications to which a re is subjected when it is sung to a melody of the Samaveda. For the contents see also B. 23 See ChU. d. usually the stanzas of each of the two divisions of the Samhita are numbered continuously. Sdmavedasarnhitdydm kauthumasdkhdydh veyagdnam. "Shout" may be an approximate translation. p. An instance of a vdkyastobha is aganma jyotir amrtd abhuma "we have gone to light. 1. According to SVB.c. HOOGT. insertions of apparently insignificant words or syllables such as hoyi. New York 1962. 3. 88. 3 and KRSNASVAMIN &RAUTIN. 26 For editions see above. 3). 1. A. 1 the Purvaxcika. 50). n. There exists a collection of stobhas arranged in the order of the first two gdnas: staubhika (S. 1. D. 13 ("the sound hau is this world. BOWBA. CALAND. M. 1. repetitions. breaking up of words. The quotation is from RV. in Indian art and letters 8 (1934). in 17 sections (prapdthaka). Amsterdam Academy 1907 (English translation by K. De wording van den Samaveda. 10 the texts (re) are the bones of the sdmans. 8. huva. 1. Primitive song. 53. I t will on the other hand be clear that the luxuriant ornamentation of sdman chants effected by repetitions. O. Studies on the Samaveda. p. 62. p. 27 The names of these sdmans are mentioned in the Arseya-Brahmana (see above. 6. p. p. Amsterdam Acad. Four gdnas25 have been handed down. 16. being extolled. 64. FADDEGON. to the gift of offerings.316 J. C. at AO 5." 22 . p.

but nine of them. Moscow 1875. 317. belong to the Uttararcika and were used by the chanters in fulfilling their duties at soma sacrifices. at 6 AIOC.and the Uhyagana. because of their dangerous character the student should be blindfold (GG. It is clear that the Samaveda stands completely apart from the rgvedic and yajurvedic recitations. these are however made a triplet by partial repetition. the year-long sacrifice. at NG 1915. p. p. 412). p. 34 The number of gdnas contained in them is 1145. the one-day-rites. OLDENBERG. For particulars: KEITH. 517. p. The Uhagana containing the sdmans Gramageyagana 1. the Aranyagana—which was because of its dangerous and esoteric character to be studied in the forest or desert (aranya)—belongs likewise to the Purvarcika. Berlin 1868. see CALAND.. CALAND. It comprises six sections and. p. R. 3. Delhi 1966). It includes the stanzas of the Aranyaka-Samhita32. are known to all Vedas. 375 (= K. I. 30 For technical particulars see CALAND-HENRY. Hence also the distribution of their contents over seven chapters (parvan): the chants of the ten central days of a long soMa sacrifice (sattra). L'agnistoma. a Naigeyasakhanukramanl has been edited by S. RENOU. the oblique stroke marks units to be chanted with one breath). 1 4 2rr 1 1 r 2r 1 1 (1) om I •o'gna'i 11 a ydhVS voitoyd'2i / grndno ha. The two other gdnas. I.OLDENBERG. 1915. those in the syllables the ornamental tones. p. p. 723. viz. 2. the r denotes lengthening. the Una. the sdmans of which were more efficacious33. Monatsber. SCHEFTELOWITZ. Apokryphen.p. . FORTUNATOV. at ZII 1. the sattras. on this sdman the stanzas mentioned in the Uttararcika are to be chanted as the so-called prsthastotra executed at the midday libation of soma sacrifices30. an appendix to the PUrvarcika.C. The second song-book. The study of these verses—in the desert—is connected with many observances. being the kernel. 284. Lit. p. VARMA. Of its 59 stanzas 13 are foreign to the Rgveda. (The Naigeyas seem to have possessed a slightly different recension of the Aranyakasamhita.DSCHMIDT./ vyaddtoyd'2i j toyd'2i 4 5 4r5r 4 1 1 r r r 2 (2) agna dydhi vV 11 taycPi / grndno havyaddtd'23 yd% 11 4 5 4r5r 4 4 1 r r 2 2 2 (3) agna dydhi / vd'5i taydi j grndno havyada'l td'3ye 11 (the figures over the letters indicate the essential notes in descending sequence. 62. Ind. For samavedic accentuation: S. 318. The Aitareya Aranyaka. 33 Cf. p. p. 36). NG. gives three melodies. p.p. the rites of two till ten days.The liturgical Samhitas 317 of which is called naudhasa. 58. in GGA 1908. 394.. GOI. 32 Editions also: S. Oxford 1909. For transcripts: VON GLASENAPP. Iff. It may be observed that the Uttararcika gives only two stanzas. Akad. PB. 228 and F. a group of three triplets to be sung on various occasions31. I. 31 Elsewhere 10 or 11 stanzas (11 also as a khila to the Flgveda: SCHEFTELOWITZ. p. Der Vllte prapdthaka des Samaveda-Arcika in der Naigeyasakha. prdyascittas and the rites for the fulfilment of special wishes34. S. SEHGAL. as an appendix. 11. the mahdndmnis.. Jaimimya-Samhita. 258. 134).

3 2 1 a n d C A L A N D . the PUrvarcika and the Aranyakasamhita. p. 1884. p. Leipzig 1908. especially the PuspasUtra40 which came into existence at a later date. 713. 4 (combatting WINTERNITZ.I. together with the lists of yonis that belonged to them. 107. The Uhyagana—the name is an abbreviation of Uharahasyagana. 214. 38 CALAND. As to the hypothesis of an older sdman collection see OLDENBERG. 37 Neither collection is perfectly in tune with the ritual as we know it. at DLZ 1909. Gonda • Vedic Literature in their ritual order adapts (uh-) the melodies of the Gramageya to the exigencies of the ritual praxis. p .L. n. much more probably. Technicalities werefixedin the sutras. for the last two gdnas also CALAND. The chants accompanying the rites—Trcas on the same melody in the soMa rites. at GGA 1908. a predecessor of the Uttararcika extant—must have existed before the latter which was only to register the melodies used37. p . p. 95. . A.. Der Arseyakalpa des Samaveda. SURYA KANTA. 722. p. 94. 23. As to the relative chronology and interdependence of these worKs the theory proposed by Caland36 may with slight modifications still be adopted. KEITH. p. PB. 538). The differences between the samhitds of the Kauthumas and another ddkhd. p. For another view: KENOTJ. Contrary to the prevailing opinion according to which a text equivalent to our Uttararcika is of later origin than the PUrvarcika. 65). a t D L Z 1909. rahasya "secret" being synonymous with dranyaka—has the same relation to the Aranyakagana with which it is affiliated35. p. p. 41 42 Cf. 436. Jaiminiya-Samhita. which do not mention them. p. ficoles. B. in ZDMG 38. the Ranayanlyas42. XIV) after some serious objections raised by OLDENBERG at GGA 1908. RENOU. are slight. p. p. 714. 10. ' Both names are rare in the Vedic literature proper (RENOTJ. Although the tradition of the latter school is not 35 For many particulars concerning the gdnas and their relation to the drcikas see CALAND's articles mentioned in the preceding notes. also R E N O T J . CALAND.318 J. p. in other rites also single sToTRa stanzas—were collected in a samhild that came to be differentiated in the schools of the Samavedins: the Uttararcika. p. ficoles. There are no grounds for supposing that the redaction of these works took place at wide intervals41. p. VIII. 43. Wording. 5. 40 39 S e e b e l o w . ficoles. ficoles. The last two gdnas containing the elaborated rules must have been compiled after the brdhmanas and sutras. See OLDENBERG. at JRAS 1932. 166. 89). 145 of the German edition). Which makes mention of sdman singers (2. In order to facilitate the memorization the first and second gdnas were drawn up. 1 8 8 3 . 6). Caland argued that the former collection of texts which were used at the ritual ceremonies—or. 699. p . 38 Cf. 514 (compare p. Before our Uttararcika and the collection or collections preceding it came into existence—the author of the Pancavimsa-Brahmana is not acquainted with it—the chanters seem to have borrowed their stanzas—not without adjustments it is true38—directly from the Rgveda-Samhita39. Rktantram (below. 1. the author modified his views (WZKM 22. I. H.

O.C. there are Ranayaniyas in Mathura (RAGHAVAN. p. (forthcoming). This iakha has a samhitd of its own50 which generally speaking has a strong resemblance to that of the Kauthumas51. moreover. 49 For a survey see PARPOLA. RENOU. Mangalore 1876: The Arseyabrahmana. there seem to have existed. References to the Jaiminiyas in Indian literature are rare (VEDA VYASA. Jaiminiya-Samhita. C. Hemadri.. the dranyaka has ten stanzas more. 46 CALAND. p. 62 The Jaiminiya Arseya-Brahmana. a pupil of Vyasa (see p. Helsinki Acad. . Nowadays. 16. Siddheswar Varma. p. 217) the Kauthumas (they are now also in Bengal. 47 For particulars see V. which for a long time were the only ones that had come to light. DEVASTHALI. Tirupati 1967 is mainly based on BURNELL'S edition. p. were over a hundred years ago discovered by A. JaiminiyaSamhita. 127 and in Vol. See also RAI. p. 17. Their PUrvarcika shows hardly any difference worth mentioning. Mangalore 1878 records the names of the chants comprised in these two gdnas. 46 This is an epithet of the rsi Jaimini. p. 50 CALAND. references to him in ancient literature being vague (G. Bull. O. Eene onbekende recensie van den Samaveda. the Ranayaniyas in Maharastra. Amsterdam Acad. Lahore 1938 (a complete edition).C. According to tradition (RENOU. of Traditional Cultures. p. the reputed founder of the school—one of these authorities of whom we hardly know anything but his name. of the SV. 16). 97. 61 See also CALAND. especially in the arrangement of the stanzas. edited by BURNELL (The J. B. Burnell whose manuscript collection48 was until the recent finds of new material a source of copious information that has mainly been made accessible by Caland and some of his pupils49. for instance in respect of affiliation of ancillary. p. RENOU. 17. 292). ficoles.C. I. 97. the Jaiminlya Uttararcikahas 184 stanzas less. 63). c . A. PABPOLA.). are uncertain: CALAND. p. Jaimini's name became associated with this sdJehd only at a later moment. text of the A. Jaiminiya-Samhita (see above. in the tradition of the Samaveda also. see PARPOLA. Sraddhakalpa. Variants are rare but usually more than mere corruptions. p. 87. C. contain 3681 items as against 2722 in the Kauthuma collection. its deviations from the Rgveda are however less in number. PARPOLA. 1905. Present position. p. V. they are in a better state of preservation52. 14 and in later commentaries.The liturgical Samhitas 319 yet extinct43. 44 Many points. An edition etc. RAGHU VIRA. p. The epithet occurs at JG. Inst. the second being that of the Jaiminiyas44. 18). also by BURNELL. only two main currents. 48 A. The Jaiminiyas45—also called Talavakaras "Musicians"46—now a very rare Vedic school surviving in Kerala and Tamilnadu47. Most differences exist between the Uttararcikas. RENOU. The literature and study of the Jaiminiya Samaveda in retrospect and prospect. in 5 AIOC I. 30. 48 and o . p. 125. Kanauj and elsewhere. RAGHAVAN. Sama-Veda of the Jaiminiyas. p. ficoles. ficoles. in ABORI 21. 16). Jaiminiya-Samhita. n. The first two gdnas. 1. Catalogueof a collection of Sanskrit manuscripts. SHARMA. Jaimini and Samaveda. 1973. Jaiminiyarseya-Jaiminiyopamsad-Brahmanas. See also CALAND. Mimamsa. including an abbreviated edition of the drcikas. O. 22. BURNELL. p. p. London 1869. p. the epigraphical data attest to their being scattered almost everywhere) lived in Gujerat. R. Madras 1957. All material 43 For the 13th century cf. ficoles. parisista and dharma texts. Lit. the Jaiminiyas in Karnataka. 2). 1078 (CALAND. Present position of Vedic chanting.

. The Samhitopanisad60. Edited by A. p. apotropaeic and magical application of sdmans which are assumed to be more efficacious than the texts to which they are chanted 64 . the same. in a mixture of prose and verse. definite effects. F. 17. etc. at WZKM 27. R. BURNELL. Jaiminiya-Samhita. 13. p. 37 f. 76. edited also by S. p. at GGA 1908. B. n. A number of soi-disant brahmanas really are anukramanls (belonging to the latest period of Vedic literature) and other compilations raised to the rank oiiruti. O. 16. the chant of the Nambudiris. The treatise explains how to achieve. PARPOLA. 64 The other Kauthuma treatises do not belong to this chapter. WEBER. Ecoles. I. Mangalore 1877. p. 103). See above. p. As already mentioned. Mangalore 1873.c. We cannot enter here into a discussion of the ways of singing of the Jaiminiyas 55 or into their peculiar notation which has intrigued many scholars56.Gonda • Vedic Literature proper to the Jaiminiyas is also found in other Vedas53. p. The key of the latter can be found in Sabhapati's Dharanalaksanam57. 21. there are many other ancillary works dealing with the technicalities of the chant. SHARMA. enumerates prdyascittas and gives instruction in the medical. for the greater part in sUTRa style. 63 62 . 59 60 61 For a survey: CALAND. 99. Jaiminiya-Brahmana. 18. p.C. the sdmans of the first two gdnas. 66 54 Cf. Nambudiri Veda recitation. o. Nambudiri Veda recitation. stanzas. B. which has left us the most complete collection of Vedic manuals59. p. viz. 5 (1971). the etymologies of their names. Tirupati 1964 (cf. 18. SHARMA. o. which gives also valuable information on the sdmans. In recent times the previously unknown gdnas belonging to the Uttararcika were transcribed from an oral source. p.c. 68 67 CALAND. Cf. and compare RAGHAVAN. belongs to the category of the vidhdnas which came to be very important in the sama vedic tradition. The Hague 1961. with the execution of the chants and its effects. and more succinct than its Jaiminlya counterpart. Edited by A. in suTRa style. RENOU. is a conglomeration of older fragments. PARPOLA. the transformation of rcas into sdmans. the Arseya-Brahmana enumerates. SIMON. p. another of the six Kauthuma works traditionally called "secondary brahmanas" (anubrdhmana). 371. 55 For details see BAKE. etc. For a synopsis' of the extant Jaiminlya literature see PARPOLA. p. 25. R. Generally speaking. dealing. by means of sdmans. 58 . metres etc. Present position. 9. p. 305. Tirupati 1965. IV. at IA III. they are worthless from a literary point of view. and discovered in gdna manuscripts54. 19. O. For particulars see PARPOLA. STAAL. O. J. Edited by A. R. it is handed down with a commentary (VedarthaprakaSa) to the name of Sayana. for the genre vidhana see p. STAAL. SHARMA. The Samavidhana-Brahmana63. The likewise short Devatadhyaya-Brahmana 62 deals with the gods to whom the sdmans are addressed. The short Vamsa-BrahmaNa61 contains a list of samavedic authorities. C. BURNELL. 736. 53 See OLDENBERG.C. S. R. SHARMA. 17.C. Tirupati 1965. 64. Besides this Jaiminlya treatise. The large majority of them are affiliated with the Kauthuma school. Tirupati 1965.320 J. R. p. p. C. an attempt at analyzing their relations. B.

SIMON'S studies of the Puspasutra throw light on the execution of the chants in ancient days. cf. o . S. XVII. Mention may only be made of the NidanasUtra. better known as Puspa. Cf.. 602. the Rktantra65. p. Vienna 170 (1912). 37. Trichinopoly. and CALAND(-HENEY). and the typically samavedic Samapratis'akhya. C. p. A. 143. 127. comprises. "the (collection of) aphorisms (in the form) of flowers" or "the developed aphorisms. especially with the Nambudiri Brahmans of Kerala72. SIMON. p." and sometimes attributed to Gobhila or Vararuci. Tanjore. however. in Journal of the Music Academy.or Phullasutra66. at I. BHATTACHARYYA. cf. Lahore 1939 (2Delhi n.P. 66 Edited and translated by R. 1. p. cf. inter alia. 461. 315. For some similarities between Samavedic and later Indian music: V. Calcutta 1930. BHATTACHARYYA. D. 33 (Madras 1962). p. referring also to many unknown Vedic works67. a (rare) Jaiminiya tradition in Tinnevelly71 and Malabar. BHATNAGAR. 1. for a pre-Sayana commentary: Chandogyamantrabhasya of Gunavisnu. most of them are not very reliable. edited by D. at ZDMG 63. being made in Bengal and Rajputana where the Samaveda tradition is not sound. The latter. p. with an appendix: Samavedasarvanukramani. The practice of Samaveda.). 79. 64.d. at ZDMG 64. Edited by B. 67 K. at OH 2.3. rules indicating how to adapt the sdmans to rcas that are not given as corresponding to them in the gdna and the correct liturgic content of the words of the Arcika as used in the melodies. GUPTA.The liturgical Samhitas 321 There are two prdtisdkhyas. L'agnistoma. treatise on the metres. melodies and rites. FELBER. WEBEB. SHARMA. K. up to recent times the study of Samavedic practice was badly neglected69 to the point that it could incorrectly be declared extinct70. K. at 18 AIOC. at ALB 5. SIMON. Chidambaram. Only E. BTTRNEI/L was an exception. 3ff. However. p. ch. BAKE. 730. R. I t proved very difficult to induce the brahmans to sing before a stranger. CALAND.) 1909. N. gave a description of some phonographic records. The melodies were not however what one would Edited by SURYA KANTA (with a long introduction dealing with the Samaveda in general). D. 71 . improbably attributed to the grammarian Patafijali. somewhat exceptional in its grammatical rather than phonetic contents. viz. S. S. Nidanasutram. Lahore 1933 (2Delhi 1970). though difficult. HOOGT.p. deities and rsis and intended to be a work of reference for the chanters68. BHATTACHARYYA. p. For other works see S. also Mlmamsasutra 2. an instructive. p. D. SB Acad. VARMA. Tirupati 1967. 35ff. Die indische Musik. RAGHAVAN. From the above survey it will become clear that the content of the Samaveda can be approached theoretically (by means of the texts) as well as practically (starting from the chant at the actual services). p. p. c . at 6 AIOC. A. A. The complicated sUTRa literature cannot be dealt with in this chapter. in Kumbakonam. 55. In the thirties of the present century a living orthodox Kauthuma tradition was brought to light in the neighbourhood of Baroda. at 15 AIOC. 7 AIOC. 85 p. 69 70 68 v. Munchen (Munich Acad. The Samavedarseyadlpa of Bhatta-Bhaskaradhvarlndra is a technical text of the anukramani type recording metres. MADHAVA KRISHNA SARMA. lit. 128. 347.

Gonda • Vedic Literature have expected after reading the ancient texts—there are insertions. 10 is. moreover. 16. not the form of the chants as executed at the time of the sacrifices. LEVY and J. . . on one hand. RAGHAVAN. replacements of syllables. a considerable difference between the present-day ways of chanting of the Kauthumas and the Jaiminlyas73.— but it should. 29) stanza RV. Kumbhakonam 1962. F. The present position' of Vedic recitation and Vedic sakhas. There is. For other particulars see V. The first quarter of the above (n. 6. STAAL). etc. and on the other that the gdnas impart knowledge of the melodies as memorized by the students individually. Some Samaveda recordings may be found in Asch Mankind Series Album AHM 4126. 44 f. in Jaiminiya recitation: o agnd i / a yd hi vo i to yd i / to yd i / grndno ha / vya dd to yd i / to yd i . be borne in mind that not all treatises are known. 73 72 . New York (with an introduction dealing with many particulars by J.322 J. For the Nambudiris see p.

Each Mkhd aspires to self-sufficiency producing sutras and other texts of its own. What is lacking is the original YajurvedaSamhita. I. also N. p. V. A. Cf. Das altindische Neu. IX. p. WINDISCH. ^coles. 10. except for some sections. at QJMS 27. B. brdhmanas. in each Samhita. offer a definite cake to Agni. 6 As opposed to animal and soma sacrifices. the royal consecration—have the character of appendices. p. p. K. IV those for the piling of the fireplace. Darstellung der altindischen 'Wunschopfer. in a different place. its contents are intimately connected with the cult.' Amsterdam Acad. EGGELING. A philological study of the fundamental sources of the Vedic ritual (in Japanese). Y. The various texts—samhitas. Jena 1880. 1908. the construction of the great fireplace7. p. 8. V. Tokyo 1970. 141. 7 Other rites—among them the animal sacrifice—are scattered in the sections dealing with the above.. one should. 8 W. WEBER. In the description of the other rites the correspondence between the Samhitas is much less in evidence.Ti type6). LXXV.g.—belonging to this Veda are well-grouped. &B. PANTnxti. RENOTT. their contents well-defined4. HILLEBRANDT. p. In the fundamental portions—which follow each other in an order that is essentially the same in all samhitas—even the Black Yajurveda does not intermingle the mantras with their brdhmana explanations. S. Thus TaittirlyaSamhita book I contains the mantras for the fortnightly and the Soma sacrifices. the 1 N. the expert members of the brahminical order to whom the proper observance of the highly complicated ritual was entrusted1. This nucleus comprises the Full and New Moon sacrifices (the model for all sacrifices of the is. 3: "If one desires rain. For the spurious so-called Ezour-Vedam see E. others—e. 30.The liturgical Samhitas 2. 4 In later times the name Yajurveda was sometimes applied to encyclopedic surveys of traditional Hindu learning (cf." 2 Cf. sutras etc. The Yajurveda 323 The Yajurveda is thoroughly ritual in character. Geschichte der Sanskrit-Philologie. at ZDMG 7. so far as that subject-matter is concerned which must have been the nucleus of this Veda the Samhitas extant are in entire agreement5. 5 For a detailed survey see KEITH. B. Y.. . TSUJI. the Soma sacrifice. For instance. that the substantial methods of sacrificial practice were developed and explored2. These interpretations contained in the brdhmanas (or brdhmana passages) are of considerable prominence. The considerable differences between the idkhds extant do not even allow us to attempt its reconstruction. However. An instance is KS. p. Existent Yajurveda literature. inserted.g. Altindische Zauberei. among which that dealing with the horse sacrifice.und Vollmondsopfer. 235). Strassburg 1917. e. This Veda contains liturgical formulas arranged in accordance with the ritual practice—not to mention various interruptions and deviations from the order of the ritual acts as described in the sutras3—and the explanation of their raison d'etre. in which the adhvaryu does most of the officiating. CALAND. XLVII. V. the rites for special advantages (kdmyesti)* are lacking in the White. It was among its exponents. S. 3 For particulars see KEITH.

135. According to the tradition preserved in the Caranavyuha10. 9 and 10 explain 2. 7 and 8. As to the first. that of the Carakas. Varahas and others. 2. p. I. 87. 5. For a Yajurvrksa (a chart on which the 'Yajus tree' is drawn. 2. 1-7. Another number. 10. 43: 6. On the other hand TS. 135. 61. Their agreement is often even verbal. 2. among others. Ecoles. the reputed first promulgator of the Black Yajurveda see RENOTX. 1. usually called Kathas. 3. ibidem. 86 of the Black and 15 of the White Yajurveda12. 12 See EGGELING. S. at Journal of Vedic •Studies 2 (Lahore 1935).324 J. with its 101 branches reaching to every corner of India) see RAGHTT VIRA.7: TB. 10. as TS. what has survived has crystallized in three groups. 5. So we are led to assume that. 6. 31. at Purana 7. 1: 2. 15 These borrowings consist either of single stanzas or of longer passages. for the Black Yajurveda G. much the same. cf. Yet. while part of these collections developed from one common source. In any case. p. the Aukheyas and the Khandiklyas14. 1. that of the Maitrayanlyas and that of the Taittirlyas. 4. 1. Among the Maitrayanlyas there were Manavas. iScoles. The less elaborated or secondarily annexed sections are. 129. 235. 13 The mantra and brahmana portions are often widely separated and part of the latter—concerning the fortnightly rites—are found in the Taittiriya Brahmana. the portions containing directions and injunctions (vidhi) have a stronger resemblance to each other than the legends. 2. Gonda • Vedic Literature pravargya9 is absent in the Black Yajurveda. the ramification of the Krsna (Black) Yajurveda—later so called because its followers collected mantras as well as explanatory matter of the brahmana type in their samHiTAs13—must have been rather complex. 4. As to the explanatory prose. Ecoles. 330. in the Samhitas. 133. commentaries and puranas there were 101 schools of the Yajurveda11. amplified according to a similar plan or similar principles. 27. e. Their material and its distribution point to an organic unity. they were. viz. . 6. p. there have also been other affiliated branches. rarely of whole hymns (e. 2. The Samhitas of the Black Yajurveda form a closely connected group. in view of the often verbal similarities between mantras and the brahmana portions the former must have been collected before the redaction of the latter. RENOTJ. p. after their separation. However. 14 For the nine pupils of Vaisampayana. 3. Though representing a later stage the language of the mantra portion on the whole agrees with that of the Rgveda. 10 See p. 4.g. 4. TS. 1. Moreover. p. p. p. the Kathaka-Samhita—of which the Kapisthala text is no more than a variant—and that of the Maitrayanlyas are generally speaking more nearly related to each other than to the 9 See below. 1. 7. 1. RAI. 14: RV. especially in those mantras which were borrowed from the Rgveda15. to the Taittirlyas belonged. 1. XXVIII. 9 and 10). S"B. 4. stands a better chance of being based on reality. For particulars 11 see RENOTJ. p.g. for the less complicated ramification of the Sukla Yajurveda. the long sacrifices (sattra) are almost disregarded outside the Taittiriya branch. 1. 1. 6. 4 (15 stanzas). 1. there are Kathas proper and the Kapisthala(Kathas). 1. 6. 1: 6.

ROER. the Samhita has a very accurate padapdtha23 and is the subject of a good PratiSakhya24. RENOTJ. WEBER. 1912. in Festgabe Weber. XXXIV. Eeoles. they were picked up by the other pupils who were turned into partridges (tittiri). for some serious reason called upon the latter to give up all that he had learnt. LXXIV. NARAYANA SASTRI. (The Kandanukrama. See below and compare CALAND. Most of the contents of the Brahmana and the Aranyaka are however supplementary in character. p. for which see RENOTJ. ANNANGARA- CHARYA. S. p. Translation: A.. 215 and 6 AIOC. 20 For the divisions of the texts of the Yajurveda see RENOTT. Dravid. WINDISCH. 144.. p. I l l . S.) according to which Vaisampayana. They have distributed their samhita material over three collections18. S. gave them to him. XII. p. 1914. The Samhita of the Black Yajur Veda (with Madhava's commentary). v. after having taught the Yajurveda to his disciple Yajfiavalkya. e. Vol. Berlin Acad. B. 339. SCHROEDER. 541. p. Calcutta 1854-1899. Ecoles. 3. B. Yet the mantras and the brdhmana portions of the Samhita show in general close and intimate relations. by E. p. I. Krsna-Yajurvedlya-Taittirlya-Samhita. KTJNHAN RAJA. p. p. V. 375. R. p. The Taittiriyas—whose name. thereupon Yajfiavalkya vomited forth the texts stained with blood. at AO (Lugd. V. hence the names Vajasaneyin and 'bright' (Sulda) Yajurveda. Leipzig 1871-72. P. Maitrayani Samhita (see below. B. an index of the kdndas (chapters)—see K. Allahabad 1971. V. However. S. B. I. 2 vol. 17 There is a no doubt secondary puranic legend (cf. Iff. the Brahmana and the Aranyaka21 and in all three collections included mantra and brdhmana portions. p.. so that many formulas quoted remain unexplained22. viz.' Amsterdam Acad. Calcutta 1872. COWELL and others. D.g. 2Delhi 1967 (for justified criticism: CALAND. Y. S. p. the Samhita19 proper divided into seven books (kdnda)20. WEBER. 21957 (see also the bibliographies). Die Taittiriya-Samhita. A. 1893. 37). n. see also KEITH. by S.) 2. p. 266—claims to belong to the Atreya Sakha. 87. There is 16 See e. hence the "black" Yajurveda and the name Taittiriya. 151. 21 See below. A. . I.g. p. It is however hardly possible to decide whether the Taittiriya-Samhita represents an older or a younger version. Y. VisnuPur. 18 For a survey based on the Kandanukramanika (edited by WEBER. p. in Fel. 22 For some particulars and an exception see KEITH. Pardi 1945. 429. p. 64. XI. XI and XII. B. p.The liturgical Samhitas 325 text of the Taittiriyas16. at IIJ 1. 6 (704). like that of the other school names. 5. XXVII. the latter being clearly dependent on the former. 19 Edited by A. in JOR 5.. Y. B.S. 6. The Sun. p. XIII. For extensive quotations from the Sarvanukramani of the Taittiriya-Samhita see C. 350) see KEITH.. Y. Yajfiavalkya then sorrowfully induced the Sun to impart him those yajus texts which his teacher had not possessed. tfber die Konigsweihe. V. The Veda of the Black Yajus School entitled Taittiriya Samhita. must be a patronymic17—seem to have arranged and systematized their traditions at an early moment and in any case in a peculiar way. E. p. as a horse (vajin). V. by R. Kanva-recensie van het Brahmana der 'Honderd Paden. the brdhmana portions deal only with that which is of interest from the compiler's special point of view. 24 The Taittiriya Pratisakhya ed. p.. 2 vol. p. XXX. In contradistinction to the Brahmana etc. 23 See WEBER. 134). 1. 22). Cambridge Mass. and p. MITRA. S. SATAVALEKAR. KEITH. as to the Taittiriya-Samhita. KEITH. B. at ABORT 39. E. 6 vol..

at ZDMG 49. at Festgabe Weber. 145. of mythical character—that do not occur in the latter.Gonda • Vedic Literature a comparatively brief commentary by Bhatta-BhaskaramiSra (12th cent. 277. Leipzig 1900-1912 (21923).. R E N O U . 6. ZDMG 51. p. . 137 (1897).S. MAHADEVA SASTRI and K. I. p. also T S . 253. Special mention may be made of the so-called rcakas of the Kashmir Kathaka.. though not faultlessly. VON SCHROEDER. preserved29. viz. 79. 4 vol. 437. I. I. Only the Samhita has been completely. S. meticulously subdivided. These anuvdkyds (mantras t o be recited b y t h e hotar. series of rg verses adapted to practical purposes for the use of yajurvedins officiating as hotar priest33. SCHROEDER. or his assistant t h e maitrdvaruna. a disciple of Vaisampayana28. Compare v. 133 (1896). v. p. I. p. a t WZKM 12. 26 Edited by L. 12. the corresponding brdhmanas in II 31 and III). and practically without variants— and are handed down in numerous manuscripts. p . Its contents30 are less complete than those of the Taittiriya-Samhita. Die Samhita der Ka^ha-sakha.. p. 609). SCHROEDER. Mysore 1894-1898. p. p. IV being an Index verborum by R. 83. SIMON). SCHROEDER. they are quoted in pairs and contain. RENOTJ. see also RENOU. 31 32 Cf. p. I-III comprising the rites that may be regarded as the nucleus (the mantras mostly in I. a t J A 250. correspond in the main (and taking no account of variations in order) to TS. at JAOS 68. 22 etc. RANGA. 1. according to tradition compiled by Katha. CarakaSakha. at IIJ 1. Book II is called "the middle one". . 1. 30 27 Cf. p . 165 (p. XIII. B. I n the MS. the one to whom the oblation is offered. Many of these stanzas do not occur in the Kathaka. occurs in the colophons of our manuscripts and the school calls itself Carakakatha. The Kathaka-Samhita (or briefly Kathaka)27.CA. S. CLXXIII. Ecolesi p . WEBER. (vol. GONDA. See OLDENBERG. p . 3 Wiesbaden 1970-1972. 451. 8. P a r t of the ydjydnuvdkyds of t h e fullgrown Vedic ritual were secondarily used for t h a t purpose. Dual deities. in ZDMG 42. is perhaps a branch of the Caraka school—this name. Compare e. I-VI. p . part of which under the title Krsna-yajurveda-samhita. 33 Cf. 666. 29 See v. p. 240 ( = K. WEBER. WEBER. 11. t h e name of the same deity. S. Ill. This branch has indeed long been regarded as the Yajurveda par excellence™.326 J.I I I (similarly in TS. they constitute a khila. 15. V. to invite a god to partake of an offering) a n d ydjyds (mantras t o be pronounced b y the same officiant to accompany and consecrate a libation offered by the adhvaryu) are stanzas belonging to the ritual of the Rgveda. p . and VS. and part of them exhibit deviations from our Rgveda-Samhita. p .g. The texts of this school have been well preserved— they are accented.) they are not repeated in t h e edition. K K S .RYA in The Taittiriya Samhita .)25 and a longer one by Sayana. p . . but there are also passages—inter alia. and at SB Vienna Acad. explicitly or implicitly. 4. 1. see also KEITH. omit them. There are 5 books and 40 chapters. Y. Kathakam. 180). 5. Since these are also found a t t h e end of sections of I . S. 7. 10. V is a collection of khilas pertaining to the horse sacrifice. Book IV contains sacrificial formulas32. 28 Cf. They moreover contain brdhmana passages which have a close resemblance to the brdhmana portions of the Taittirlya-Aranyaka or constitute the 'com26 Edited by A.

The liturgical Samhitas 327 mentary' on the mantras of that work34. F o r a n o longer interesting discussion of t h e n a m e of t h e Sdkha— Maitrayaniya appears comparatively late—see the bibliography at RENOU. ihr Alter. 20. although it omits many longer and shorter portions and has for instance in the division of the text—undergone a greater influence of the Rgveda36. 41 See also v. 7 etc. p . H . I. 76. 177. The mantras are as a rule—with variant readings from the Taittirlya-Samhita—identical with those of the Kathaka40. E d i t e d b y L . the founder of this branch42. The name derives from Vajasaneya. p. deriving its name from the rsi Kapisthala who founded the s"dkhd—it is extinct nowadays—is practically a variant of the Kathaka. F o r t h e brdhmana see p . These facts allow of the conclusion that the Kathas must have had a brdhmana (and an dranyaka) of their own.. I. according to tradition. p . 6. it lacks. 339 e t c . ihre sprachliche und historische Bedeutung. K a p i s t h a l a . SCHBOEDEB. E d i t e d b y R A G H U V I B A . dealing w i t h cattle rites a n d ritual for t h e fulfilment of special desires. Maitrayanl Samhita. p. 39 Two parisistas. but the brdhmana portions are often widely different. the patronymic of Yajnavalkya. in the manuscripts usually MaitrayanlyaManava38—the Manavas left us several sutras—is better preserved than the Kathaka. PBABHAKAB. The White Yajurveda is represented by the Vajasaneyi-Samhita. h a v e been edited b y R A G H U V I B A in J o u r n a l of Vedic Studies 1 (Lahore 1934). and is free from the explanatory matter that is collected in separate brdhmanasii. which are. 41 See EGCELING. So both schools are rightly regarded as autonomous developments of the same plan41. 40 For characteristic phonetic particulars see v. p. 6. see Ramakrsna. 9 1 . 2. Vedische Schulen. L. p. 64. 30. 157. 6. which has been preserved in two recensions. ihr Verhaltnis zu den verwandten sdkhds. 152. The Maitrayani-Samhita37. 6. &B. some sections occupying another place. o n t h e C h a n d o n u k r a m a n i R A G H U V I B A a t J R A S 1932. 154. p. as compared with the Taittirlya-Samhita. p. p . especially in mythological passages.S a m h i t a . p . Generally speaking the contents are the same as those of the Kathaka. Ecoles. Lahore 1932. R E N O U . 37 . 43 With the exception of a few places (VS. 3. Ecoles. often caused b y splits o r secessions. tjber die Maitrayani-Samhita. Leipzig 1 8 8 1 1886 ( 2 1923. O E B T E L . 24. 547. 5. XXVII and also C. almost the same portions as that collection. a r e n o t u n c o m m o n . ZDMG 33. 38 D o u b l e n a m e s of sdkhds o r caranas.C. There is a padapdtha giving some interesting variants and a small number of minor texts39. on the whole. more satisfactorily presented. ficoles. Samskaraganapati. 76f. This corpus is called "White" or "Clear" (sukla) because43 it consists entirely of a conveniently arranged collection of mantras to be recited at sacrifices. 42 See JB. the 34 35 36 See R E N O U . in SIMON. p. 2 (4) vol. 3. O. and especially BAU. VON SCHKOEDEB. the famous authority on questions of ritual and. XXIX and at ZDMG 33. BAU. The Kapisthala-Samhita35. p . The Samhita.K a t h a . at BhV 28 (1968). SCHBOEDEB. 2. 184. a t S B M u n c h e n 1934. Though richer in contents. 2 Delhi 1968. 5). 3 Wiesbaden 1970-1972).

Kunhan Raja. 46 Cf. APTE. with the commentaries of Uvata and Mahidhara. S. DTJMONT. Benares 1912-1915. the order of its suktas is independent of the order of the sacrifices. The mantras proper. I. (with Sayana's commentary at Benares 1915). the obligatory morning and evening burnt-oblation of milk (agnihotra)*9 and for the fourmonthly sacrifices at the beginning of the three chief seasons (cdturmdsya). There are also Indian editions. V. R. It may be recalled that there are numerous suktas in the Rgveda without any ritual application. SATAVALEKAR. at Aundh 1940. 233. The adhydyas I and II give the formulas for the Full and New Moon sacrifices (darsapurnamdsa). 47 .g. in fact this work is an edition of the Madhyandina recension with a probably incomplete reference to the Kanva deviations. Madras 1946. &B. p. SATA- VALEKAR. p. The following short description of the contents of the Vajasaneyi-Samhita will illustrate the general character of its long collections of mantras and throw light on the mutual relations of its main component parts. The Kanva Samhita was published at Anandvan 1915. by S. D. 352.e. e. In IV to VIII follow the formulas for the soMa sacrifice in general including the animal sacrifice belonging to it. moreover. L'agnihotra. E. by W. XXX and see below. Pardi 1957. Gonda • Vedic Literature Kanva and the Madhyamdina45. many of which in fact rgvedic verses. P. P. 49 Cf. The arrangement is better adapted to the sequence of the rites. C.. Berlin-London 1852. WEBER. the vdjapeya. are more numerous and important than in the Black Yajurveda. M. Chapter III contains the mantras for the daily fire-cult. the regular performance of which is obligatory on the brahminical householder. 21929. most of which (over 700) occur also in the Rgveda. The text has however in course of time been much enlarged. viz. D. 48 Cf. The Vajasaneyi-Samhita in the Madhyandina. whereas the contents of the other adhydyas are found again only in the Brahmam and Aranyaka of the Taittiriyas. Bombay 1912. L. i. which was connected with a chariot-race intended to win vigour or 45 Edited by A. SAKALA MISRA (with the same commentaries). Vol. in Comm. Baltimore 1939. I-XVIII are older than the later chapters. Half of this Samhita consists of verses. p. Only this portion (I-XVIII) and a few passages relating to the asvamedha in the adhydyas XXII-XXV47 contain mantras in prose and in verse which recur in the Samhitas of the Black Yajurveda.328 J. comprises 40 chapters (adhydya). Not to mention a few more or less isolated passages. In IX and X we find the texts required for the performance of two important modifications of the soma sacrifice. 4 vol. SASTRI PANSIKAR. because they are the only ones that coincide with the ancient parts of the Black Yajurveda and are alone in being commented upon in the corresponding first nine books of the Satapatha-Brahmana46. The other stanzas as well as the many prose formulas must have originated in the circles of the ritualists when the developing ritual required additional mantras*8. no more than a few quotations from the following chapters being found in that voluminous work. EGGELING.and the Kanva-sakha with the commentary of Mahidhara. On the strength of external as well as internal evidence it is generally assumed that the chapters VSM.

let there be born in the kingdom the brahmin illustrious through sacred knowledge. p. agnicayana in VI-IX. p. Paris-Louvain 1927. HEESTERMAN.RENOtr.54. Aditi by name. success etc. 70 the asvamedha is a later insertion in the Yajurveda in general." "With the splendour of Soma I (the officiant) sprinkle you. with Surya's lustre (energy). In generation of vaja we worship with words the Great Mother. 22 the adhvaryu whispers the blessings which the royal sacrificer hopes the sacrifice will secure for his kingdom57: "O Brahman. 9. briefly GONDA.cf. p. . with Agni's brilliance. and 13. the ox good at drawing. in I I . p. P. 51 J. agnihotra etc. In that let god Savitar bring forth for us sunshine. &B. which only a mighty king can perform55. 53 For other versions see KS. 12. In 22. DUMONT. 17: "Thou (the chariot) art the thunderbolt of Indra. p. Thesis Utrecht 1957. esp. Let acquisition and preservation of property fall to our share!" 50 Cf. E. For these rites see &B. WEBER. S. with Indra's power. 62 Compare. BHAWE. Asvamedha. The ancient Indian royal consecration. The following three chapters (XIX-XXI) contain the mantras for the sautrdmani. the prolific housewife. I. C. a (good) chariot-fighter. 57 Cf. . skilful shot. If. Let to this sacrificer a plucky son be born who is victorious. 173. S. 54 Cf. with thee may this (man) win vaja. SB Berlin Acad. winner of vaja. L'asvamedha. vajapeya and rajasuya in V. 43. 765. This is not however to speak depreciatingly of the level of its religious and literary qualities. Protect against the missiles!" In the chapters XI to XVIII follow the numerous sacrificial formulas for the construction of the great fireplace (agnicayana)52. and the royal consecration (rdjasuya)51. Yajus'. 115. R. the cow which yields (abundant) milk. 7ff. in the Satapatha-Brahmana: Full and New moon sacrifices in book I. eloquent in the assembly. 13. XXII-XXV those connected with the horse sacrifice (asvamedha). 65. 55 Cf. I. in 20 AIOC I. 64. Among these is the Satarudriya (XVI).MS. 1892. the nobleman.The liturgical Samhitas 329 vegetative force (vdja)50. 17. soma sacrifice in III and IV. The liturgical formulas of the Yajurveda relating to this sacrifice were analyzed and studied by BHAWE in Die Yajus' des Asvamedha. the swift steed. p. I. a great warrior. Be lord of princely powers. 9. a litany accompanying no less than 425 oblations and addressed to the hundred forms and powers of the god Rudra53: an early instance of the well-known Indian enumerations of divine names the recital of which is considered most effective as a means of compelling a god to fulfil wishes and meritorious as a work of devotion and a method of entering into spiritual contact with a deity. R. Stuttgart 1939. I. DUMONT.9. A. heroic.11. The complex XIX-XXV creates the impression of being additions56. 5 and 10. p.p.Poesiereligieuse. 159. 2. tJber den Vajapeya. Let Parjanya send rain according to our desire. a good marksman. 1. 56 According to BHAWE. Let our (nutritive and medicinal) plants ripen. on whom this whole world has settled. a ceremony recommended to expiate and counteract the effects of excessive soMa drinking and a means of assuring victory. GONDA.

p. Indische Geisteswelt.1. It is not directly connected with sacrificial ceremonies. THITE. 13. 63 64 With the exception of stanzas 5-17. it indeed sums up an esoteric doctrine about the one God who is Brahman and Prajapati. The sections XXXVI-XXXIX —chiefly prayers for health. but 58 Adhyayas XXVI-XXIX even contain formulas connected with the rites dealt with in previous chapters: a clear indication of their supplementary character. 69 There are no indications of its being actually performed. 66 Cf. security etc. some litanies. 1-6 are likewise. Some chapters are remarkable in that they interrupt the sequence of the mantras: just like XXIV which contains an exact enumeration of the animals to be dedicated to a number of gods. GONDA. 34. the sacrifice of all property in order to gain universal success (sarvamedha). 24). The sections XXVI-XXXV are even by the Indian tradition itself designated as additions (khilas)5*. 837. The last chapter (XL) is63 the Isa-Upanisad which occurs in all collections ofupanisads61. VON GLASENAPP. VAN BTTITENEN. 60 Cf. 1-16 is a version of RV. It is followed by the Uttara-Narayana litany with which the Sun is to be worshipped: the first performer of the human sacrifice gained the form of that deity. being made red-hot. R. In continuation of this sacrifice chapter XXXI. DETJSSEN. 102. For the application of the texts of the White Yajurveda in smdrta ritual: G. as Sivasamkalpa-Upanisad.. the aSvamedha. Leipzig 1897. The Pravargya. 1 (Poona 1972). H. at Centre of Advanced Study in Sanskrit Studies. Baden-Baden 1958. I. In the ^ukla-Yajurveda it is a 'symbolic' rite (&B. at JAOS 85. 1. 2. S. THIEME. Poona 1968. to be recited to the assembled human victims. Gonda • Vedic Literature The supplementary character of the last fifteen chapters is beyond doubt.—are devoted to the pravargya ceremony at which milk that is to be offered to the ASvins is boiled in a cauldron which. This hymn describing the self-immolation of Primeval Man which is the origin of all creation is incorporated in those Vedic texts that deal with the purusamedha60. 61 Most of its stanzas recur in the beginning of the Maha-Naxayana-Upanisad. counted among that class of texts (see P. Chapter XXXV contains some funeral stanzas. 153. B. glorifications. p. unimpaired faculties. chapter XXX enumerates the people who are to be sacrificed at the purusamedha59. MACDONELL. The next section containing texts to be used at the sarvamedha is considered to be an upanisad61. 65. p. prayers and formulas connected with the sacrifice to the deceased ancestors (pitaras). 62 J. p. Sechzig Upanishad's des Veda. part of which are taken from the Rgveda-Samhita. 89. P. GONDA. length of days. 13).330 J. They contain supplementary mantras and other material connected with various sacrifices (including the sautrdmani. 10. at WZKSA 12-13. p. H. VS. 6. represents the sun62. 4Darmstadt 1963. Teaching that life in the world and life in the Divine Spirit are not incompatible provided one disengages oneself spiritually from the shackles of the world this adhydya reflects an advanced stage of speculative thought65. U. 65 . the Purusa hymn. p. 179 (not correct in all particulars). L. 90. the human sacrifice which is modelled upon the asvamedha. p. A. The attempts at distinguishing several chronological strata in this work66 are indeed not futile.

ficoles. p. I. The Orissan recension of the Kanva Samhita. who. 21. MORTON SMITH. Although the name of Kanva occurs already in the Rgveda and that of Madhyamdinayana not before later works70 the Kanva recension impresses us as being not only younger than its sister but the most recent of all Vedic Samhitas71. 21927. See L. He is also credited with eighteen paridistas73. a t 2 1 A I O C I . . to the Madhyamdhina the valuable commentaries by Uvata and Mahidhara75. It is also in a better state of preservation.and grhyasutras of thenschool . in East and West 16. there is no padapdtha. 6. 1. EWes. See D . VIJ 2 (1964). p. e. RENOU. at PO 16. 4. Of the two nearly related recensions that of the Madhyandinas68 is more complete and more systematically arranged than that of the Kanvas69. p. K. B H A T T A C H A R Y A . 68 R. misunderstood by WINTERNITZ. in a generally disputable argument. The Madhyamdinas possess various ancillary texts. at IL 2 (1932). passim. p. both attributed to Katyayana72. but also the main organizer of the learning of the Vajasaneyins. 72 73 74 75 See RENOU. Although Katyayana in his Srautasutra and other ritualists quote from their collection the Kanvas gradually fell into the background. at 20 AIOC. while tending also to conform to the Taittiriya school. GRIFFITH. and many other places (cf. this observation applies also to the corresponding chapters of the Kanviya BrahmaNa which therefore may have been composed simultaneously with the Samhita (I-III). L. 159. B l U . 73. p. among which a (late) PratiSakhya and a SarvanukramanI. p. 8. To the Kanviya recension belongs a commentary ascribed to Sayana74. 162. ficoles. 2. cf. 4. In quoting the Rgveda the Kanviya text is often more 'conservative'—a closer relation to that corpus is essential in many later texts—. 6 3 . 69 For many particulars see RENOU. at JA 236. p. For particulars see RENOU. R. 112 attempts. SARUP. according to tradition. T. I. no prdtiidkhya. injure him whom we injure" (VS. 70 71 See RV. RENOU. 18. p . C. ACHARYA. injure him who injures us. The texts of the White Yajurveda translated. S. 11). injure the injurer. see P.P. 7.. 31957. it sometimes exhibits inferior readings. 54. IV-XI and VSM. 23. H. Cf. p. 49. H. 31. GUPTA. addressed to the yoke of a chariot) and riddles of the & a RH modya class67 did not fall into disuse when speculative thought made some progress. p. S. Between VSK. S. 36. Benares 1899. lOf. p. there are no srauta. The former has attracted much more attention. TS. was not only the founder of a ritual school of the White Yajurveda. As compared with Maharastra and other manuscripts Orissan manuscripts of VSK. Most of the differences between the two texts occur in the initial chapters. 67 See 134. compare also S. 79. 183 ("for amusement of the priests"). 161. almost all commentaries known to us refer to the other recension. p. in JA 236.g. p. 1. IV-X there are many more differences than between the later chapters. VS. MISRA.The liturgical Samhitas 331 we should bear in mind that formulas of the atharvanic type such as "A yoke art thou. to fix the date of the split between the Kanvas and Madhyandinas at i 375 B. present peculiar features.

" P.. in the manner of Angiras. 33 ( = BAIL 6. younger78. " "The Vasus must fashion thee with the gdyatrl metre. in the manner of Angiras. Cult. Berlin 1970. according to which the White Yajurveda is younger than the Black76. " "Homage to the golden-armed leader of hosts. protect my inspiration. Thou art the atmosphere. . K. protect my expiration. Giver of splendour art thou. disparagingly of those who used these texts. PRABHAKAB. 327. p. 9. see above. to the lord of cattle homage! . Thou art Viraj. 78 CALAND. 79 KEITH. B. . exhibiting such characteristics of archaic prose as repetition. R. 4. 4. in the manner of Angiras. XCIV. 6. 1969. Lit. and the mantras of the White branch are not infrequently corrupt and. p. Yajus'. . the other name only in much later works. OLDENBERG. S. 248. protect my eye. 3: "Thou art the queen. quicken my mind. As to the KrsnaYajurveda. 76 See above. strengthen my voice . The pupil of Vrtra's eye art thou. the southern quarter. are generally in prose and. from which the Yajurveda takes its name and which are its most characteristic element.C. 2.'Y. which seems to have arisen in opposition to texts in which yajus and brahmana portions were not separated. p. Give me splendour. p. V. chiasmus. The Rudras must fashion thee with the tristubh metre. consequently. n. in principle. Ruben. GODE.. the western quarter . 113. u. 3). Giver of eyes art thou. 5. TS. the Satapatha. Berlin 1917. at ABORI 21. 81 See GONDA. BHAWE. Gonda • Vedic Literature The legend. . 1. H. p. VS. sacrificial formulas. Ind. occurs already in the SatapathaBrahmana77. 14. often polemize against the Black Yajurveda. 325. similarity of word order. L. authorities of the former tradition contributing to its Brahmana. . Moreover. n. 4. Thou art Samraj. is from the chronological point of view right. enumerations81. 17. p. 70. it has—on the strength of incomplete data—been argued80 that the chronological order of its fundamental collections is MaitrayanI. . . 12. . anaphora. 3. 154.. Thou art the sky . Protect my life-time. Kanva-recensie (see above. " "The milk of the great ones (the cows) art thou. On the commentators of the Yajurveda in general: C. and to the lord of quarters homage! Homage to the trees with green tresses. passim. intended to be muttered by the adhvaryu. K. S. Thou art the earth. 17). W. 2. the eastern quarter. 80 . after Keith who regarded its samhitds as contemporaneous79. 4. The name !§ukla-Yajurveda. with VON SCHROEDER. . The Adityas must fashion thee with the jagatl metre. 421 assumes that the Taittirlya-Samhita was compiled about 650 B. 5. p. The yajus. parallelism.332 J. p. in Vol. 77 SJB. The prose of these short addresses and invocations cannot always be denied a formal aesthetic value. 5. . MYLIUS. Zur Geschichte der altindischen Prosa. . Taittirlya and Katha. Give me eye (vision). protect my ear. p. 4. There is no reason whatever to speak. it is often markedly rhythmical. at Research Journal Bangalore Univ.

When the officiant takes any utensil into his hand he pronounces the oft-recurring formula: "At god Savitar's instigation. TS. 28. 6. lc). "For food thee. cf. 2. 11." thus bringing the utensil into relation with a deity.1. for strength (vigour) thee" words accompanying the cutting of a branch with which the calves are driven away from their mothers when milk is required for the offering84. homage paid85: "To Agni hail! (svahd). 1. Yast 13. S. . 18. 1. has his beard shaved. directions given. e. Lit. 10. with the hands of Pusan" therewith raising the act to a divine rank. 10. 1. 244 ( = K. Ind. v. 182 seems to have been affected by their style83.g. A throne is placed on a tiger's skin with the words "Thou art pleasant. 26). Cult. but this place does not prove the existence of a complete yajus material at the time of the poet. I take thee with the arms of the Asvins. 1. &B. 3.1 etc. averts accidents. u. 1. 4. There are very short yajuses—e. By means of these consecratory formulas the officiant identifies or locates these objects. 6. MS. many mantras are not addressed to gods. 5.The liturgical Samhitas 333 Part of these formulas are no doubt very old82 and a text such as RV. 4. an attentive one.g. 9. cf. formulates the purpose in handling them. 2 "He means to say 'for that foodessence which springs from rain. 7. their powerful deeds commemorated. 2. simple juxtapositions of mighty terms: 6HUR bhuvah svah (the three regions of the universe)—and long or very long litanies in which many gods are successively addressed. SCHROEDER. . 50. 6. is addressed: "0 axe. 1. the initial formula of the Yajurvedins TS. . 7. when the officiant girds his wife he says: "A zone for Aditi art thou. 6. TS. 3. dedicatory formulas such as "This (thee) for Agni" with which an oblation is offered. 1. MS. at ZDMG 42. 1. in short. statements of the type "Surya is light. 1. 2. Some of these formulas are (with the variation required) repeated more than fifty or a hundred times. 13. he makes them fit to be offered or used successfully. imparts a sacred character to them. 84 For an explanation see e. 1. 10. 19. do not hurt him!" (TS. Of special interest are the numerous identifications by which the objects addressed are filled with higher power and made a means of achieving the purpose of the ritual act87: while the purport of the complete formula TS. TS. good to sit on" (VS. Hail!"... light is SUrya. KS. wishes formulated. many other formulas 82 There was an Avestan counterpart of the introductory formula ye yajamahe. To Soma hail! To Savitar hail! . connects them or declares them identical with important power concepts86. when he is consecrated. 90. 4. KS. 86 See e. 1. 7. or the effects to be achieved through them. may I be overcoming among my kinsmen. 2c "Thou art overcoming. " Characteristically enough. overcoming. KS. p. 6. states their useful or auspicious qualities. 19. e. 34. 613). 5ff. see also OLDEN- BERG. 5. 1. TS. 6. 3. 7. The razor with which the sacrificer. 87 Cf. 8. 40. 4. 1. but to the offerings and the sacrificial utensils. 1.g. 2. 129. 83 The term yajus occurs already at RV.g. p. 15. 13. 4. finding (bestowing) wealth" directed to one of the sticks which are to encircle the sacral fire is in itself clear. 1.'" 85 Cf. 1. p..g.

The black antelope skin verily is the manifestation of the Re and the Saman. No long quotations are needed to illustrate the structure and the style of the brahmana passages. the words "Thou art the maker of wide room" TS. 2a) he takes up the horse's halter. 23. 11. " In other cases a brahmana passage—even a longer one—is digressive in character or only secondarily connected with mantras. the less so as this topic will be more elaborately discussed in the next chapter. 14 Agni is all the gods. 1. MS. 7a find their explanation in 5. 3. inter alia. runs as follows: "That part of the sacrifice is unsuccessful which is performed without a yajus. c) (he halters) the ass. . " And KS. 9. 1.' they conquered this (earth). 6. He ties up a black antelope skin. Die Yajus'. b) he halters the horse. 10 "I cut off the necks of the demons. . e. 4. 9) dealing with a rain rite: " 'The wealthy gods. If. 8. 1 being the brahmana for the mantras of 4. 2.' 11. 3. . 3. the mantras 88 See e. also TS. and prospers . Visnu the sacrifice (so that by means of an offering to Agni-and-Visnu one wins both gods and sacrifice). . verily he proclaims its greatness in this form. KS. TA. . 69. 91 BHAWE. 2. priests with deities90. 10 (brahmana belonging to the mantras in 11.. . 89 Cf. a series of esoteric mantras used in irauta as well as domestic ritual. 1. 2. . 2. conquers these worlds. A specimen of 'magico-speculative. See P. . 2. 4. 4.g. p. e. 1. is furnished by the Caturhotaras. 11. Verily he establishes the ass on the non-existent. (It is therefore) with Re and Saman (that) he wishes rain for him .' as it were upanisadic formulas. For instance. 2. 1. showing also the absence of a hard-andfast line between samhitd and dranyaka material. . Iff. I cut off the neck of him who has hostile intentions against me. 4 a definite act must be performed with the tristubh metre because it is (generative) power. 5. 2)8«. be he my equal or not my equal"89.334 J. 5. A few instances chosen at random may suffice: TS. In the MaitrayanI and the Vajasaneyi Samhitas the succession of the yajus is in harmony with the order of the rites91. p." The formula is at a given moment to be repeated by the officiant while handling definite bricks: "He for whom these (bricks) are put down becomes greater. 3. JA 1970. the gods saw these bricks (to be used in constructing the fireplace). 1. they put them down . (With the words) 'Swiftly run hither. 90 MS. . the sheltering gods . (with) 'Thou art the maker of wide room. 261.g. Gonda • Vedic Literature of this type require the explanations given in the brahmana portions of these collections. MS. 9.g. For instance. to consecrate with a yajus and to make the sacrifice successful. (With the words) 'They grasped this bond of Order' (TS. 1. La litanie des quatre oblateurs. O steed' (ibid. That is why the ass is less real than the horse . 4. . . 4. Iff. With them he daily wishes rain for him. Here also 'magic' is interwoven with 'religion': part of the yajus are by their very terms and tenor atharvanic in character. 11. 1. VS. 1: "The gods and the asuras were in conflict . (With the words) 'Yoke ye the ass' (ibid. ROIXAND. " (5. .' these gods are lords of rain. identifying.

Yama. 240. 1. 5. 11 the word "of three constituents" (tridhdtu) is used. For the number three see J. GONDA. By means of the metres one calls (one's) cattle up (near) again. .). p. p. in Festgabe Jacobi. (detrimentally) associated with the cattle. viz. 2. For the god Rudra in the Yajurveda: S. 93 For some other legends see MS. 94 See K. 1. 12. The gods begged Yam! (to allow) him (to come) along (with them). 12 (Agni's adultery with Varuna's wife). 367. is the third god and Indra. 14-16 and KS. when detached from their contexts and combined. also CALAND. and this word is. 6. having become night. Whatever he should desire for that the one who practises the agnihotra should solicit Agni.' Now. 2) Prajapati. That is why they say: 'Days and nights make (men) forget suffering. in Melanges Renou. the way they are introduced and the way they serve as a foundation of ritual acts: "He gives for ever who practises the daily fire service (agnihotra). In a partial duplicate of this story (2. 10. in the atmosphere and in the sky and in correlation therewith there is three times a gift and an acceptance of power: "That is why the threefold is called threefold" (2. in the course of the events. 5. being created. p. HOFFMANN. MS. 1. 12 may be quoted as an instance of a typical mythical tale93 illustrating also the context and background of many of these narratives. 10. and narrates how through Visnu's mediation the disturbance resulting from this deed—Tvastar ritually produces Indra's enemy Vrtra—came to an end. The gods created night. 11. one should know. 2. 1. The (other) gods released them from Varuna by means of the metres.' That is why he should not be worshipped at that moment. in ABORI 41. 13 (the winged mountains). Then it became the next day. 4. "That was the origin of that fever. That falls to his share.The liturgical Samhitas 335 quoted at TS. 4. These passages successively are: Cf. produces from himself that fever which is marked by alternating cold and burning heat. whilst offering soMa excluded Indra. 5. 1974. one should know. she said: 'He has died today. 85. in the long comment given at 2. explained by a mythical tale in 2. 92 . BHATTACHARJI. devoured the cattle. meets with the gods who solicits them for ever. This begins with the god Tvastar. 2. 4. 4. 4. Let us create night. " Occasionally it seems possible to detect the method adopted by a compiler in composing a text. 3. 3f. In this narrative the number three is explained: Visnu placed himself on the earth. 8. night. 2. When one worships then one perceives (one's) cattle by means of the metres. Thereupon she forgot him. 5.' Then. is not slain by it" (2. By means of the metres they called them up (near) again. By means of the metres one . in its turn. who. When they asked her. seem to constitute a more or less coherent narrative. He who knows that the origin of that fever was thus. 8-1094 contain four passages which. not Indra. in Ohio Journal of religious studies. 7)92. 5. 4. 11 are found in 3. The gods perceived the cattle by means of the metres. 36. there was no night. it was day. . MS. Then they say: 'Varuna. p. one should know. With regard to this they say: 'He.'They said: 'Thus she does not forget him. an episode of Indra's Vrtra combat which is the more interesting as it is not known from other works. 6. died. 12.

. e. 98 For further information see e. 1 and the improbable objections raised by L. I. as the times of the later samhitds and the brahmanas are often called. in this new ritual context.C. KEITH." The Yajurveda introduces us to a geographical area to the east of that of the Rgveda. KALLA. and N. PUSALKER. What is relevant is the explanation of the ritual fact that in the sacrifice under discussion the Maruts (and (Agni) receive oblations under names which occur in this text. Its main inhabitants were the Kurus97 and Paficalas. why did Indra not stay with the gods ?. in Journal of Vedic Studies 2."—"Indra had set out (on a voyage) far from both (parties). In the brahmana period. p. p. 96 The name Madhyadesa occurs at Manu 2. v. 116. Cambridge 1922. p. p. the centre of the Aryan civilization is Kuruksetra95. though not completely aryanized and brahminized. The Yajurveda 95 For Kuruksetra as the home of the Kapisthalas see RAGHU VIRA. 65. or whose? (i. Cook!' They cooked this rice-dish. I. 21 etc. in Cambridge History of India. They made (him) dare to fight (Vrtra). 139. p. successively make their appearance in the texts98.' After associating himself with these gods. the first passage begins abruptly: Indra's name is not even mentioned. The gods put down for Indra (his) portion (of rice. See also RAGHU VIRA. v. . 97 For the Vajasaneyi-Pratisakhya and the country of the Kurus: WEBER. * in H. The Maruts continuously pranced (in exultation) about him. whose brahmins gained fame and eminence. he marched out (to fight) with the Maruts as men . the country to the west of the upper course of the Yamuna (Jumna) in which the typically brahminical religious doctrines and social system are developed to spread over other parts of India. When he had reached Vrtra and saw him. When they came to his vulnerable spot he moved (again). A wider Aryan territory is the Middle Region96."—"Intending to slay Vrtra the next morning the gods waited while abstaining from food. the Vindhya—which does not seem to have been reached in Vedic times—in the south. at 7 AIOC. S. e. I. IV.Gonda • Vedic Literature "He (Indra) desired: 'I would like to slay Vrtra.g. MACDONELL and KEITH. the confluence of the Ganges and Jumna in the east and the place where the Sarasvati river disappears in the west.g." While it is clear that these four short passages belong together and may be taken to represent a pre-existent version of the Vrtra combat. O. A.336 J. no matter who will rule tomorrow. 251. Bihar). he set out to slay Vrtra.g. I. the land between the Himalaya in the north. the story shows traces of adaptation to the ritualistic explanation which it is to furnish: e. While the Punjab has receded in importance. p. s. are not relevant. has come into prominence and the eastern countries of the Magadhas and the Videhas (the modern S. V. he (suddenly) stopped. thinking): 'Since a portion has been put down for him he will tomorrow choose us."—"When the next day had come. afflicted by a paralysis of his thighs. s..g. I. in the first passage there is an (untranslated) reference to Agni which must be an insertion for ritualistic purposes. we are kept in the dark about those elements of the story. the land of the Kosalas. 61. which. the Doab (between the two great rivers). D. "this rice-dish" must refer to the sacrificial material. . "exultantly prancing Maruts. The Maruts rushed unto him. shrinking from (the attack). we must eat). P. They tried to pass him (without touching him). C.e. They said: 'Whose will this (dominion) be tomorrow.

e. Ecoles. 99 and R. for instance. I. 189.The liturgical Samhitas 337 Samhitas and most of the brahmana literature were compiled in this large tract of land. 221. S. S~B. at IA 1 (1872). CALAND. H. SIEGMNG. Hiranyakesin and Baudhayana originated107. W. Maitrayanl Samhita. DhS". 50. 620. 102 See e. at VIJ 2 (1964). and represented also in the east108. I. 44. I. p. Apastamba and Baudhayana were authors of sutras. Thesis Berlin 1906. the Middle Region.. How the dispersion of the schools came to pass remains obscure102 but the epigraphic records. p. the origins of manuscripts and various other data103—for instance Mahidasa's commentary on the CaraNavyUha (16th century)104— concur in evidencing the following distribution of the sdkhds in later times105. RENOTT. V. Leipzig 1903. to mention only this. a hereditary tradition waning day by day see P. KASHIKAR. G. because there are—outside the Sandilya books100 which point to the north-west—some indications of a more easterly origin101. S. p. far from certain that the earliest seat of the above Taittiriya schools was in the south110. RENOTT. 507 (mainly relying on partly questionable post-Vedic traditions). C. p. G. 956. 108 YOT pandits in Orissa reciting from memory the entire Sukla-YajurvedaSamhita. S. in JBBRAS 1917. 14. KANE. 199. in Vol. the Apastambins. The Madhyamdinlyas covered many regions of India. p. no representatives of the Taittiriya idlchd as a whole109. 10. The only schools known in epigraphy are those the texts of which are still extant. Die Rezensionen des Caranavyuha. RENOTT. p. 79. I. WEBER. . 101 Cf. Oxford 1879. 107 Cf. The sacred laws of the Aryas. The historical data must however be evaluated in the light of the fact that. 21898. G.g. p. 353 f. p. viz. p. XCII. V. XLI. 100 See below p. BUHLER. 6 AIOC (1933). The White Yajurveda may to a certain extent be excepted. and that on the other hand tradition is silent about various points concerning the samhitas and brahmanas: it is. Cf. 99 For particulars see v. EGGELING. p. nowadays the Madhyamdina school is dispersed in many regions of the north and the centre of India. 27. 110 CALAND. 219. Uber das rituelle Sutra des Baudhayana. at GGA 1898. also RENOXJ. p. CHAK- LADAE. Ecoles. Varma. 163. Lucknow 1967. 109 A difficulty is that some sources seem to speak of Taittirlyas when more precisely they mean the foremost representatives of this 6akha. B. in Vol. p. especially the north-east and east. in Vol. Y. p. 47. the Taittirlyas must have been widespread in the South whence such prominent exponents of their school as Apastamba. I. p. p. Contributions of Bihar to Vedic culture. 106 See also C. the Kanvas seem to have been everywhere. X I X . W. 11. I. BHANDARKAE. ACHARYA. SCHROEDER. p. VARMA. 103 See the books mentioned in n. XXXII. 105 104 KANE. S. p. Kaviraj. H. p. I. The Katha-Kapisthalas were spread in the Punjab and Kashmir. KEITH. the Maitrayaniyas (very rare in modern times) in Gujerat106 and the region north of the Narmada. in which the four Vedas in general must have been forming before they dispersed in 'schools'99.


Many particulars are stated only in outline or omitted altogether. p. A.' the SadvimSa) and Jaiminiya-Brahmanas.p. Thus the ceremonies gave occasion for speculative thought which was to justify them and to show their indispensability.or Kausitaki-Brahmanas. the Taittiriya-Brahmana of the Black and the $atapatha of the White Yayurveda and the Gopatha-Brahmana which is a text of the Atharvavedins. L. in a final redaction. p. are compiled for practical purposes. 188.or Tandyamaha. which belong to the Rgveda. but to explain the origin. V. and raison d'etre of the ritual acts to be performed and to prove their validity and the significance and suitability of the mantras and chants used as well as the mutual relations of the acts and their connections with the phenomenal reality. This means that to understand these works. B. General introduction The main works with which we shall be concerned are the Aitareya. meaning. collections of a floating mass of views and discourses on the ritual ceremonial. Jena 1921. S.. Vol. . D. HIIXEBRANDT. p. 138. The practically all-powerful sacrificial (drauta) rites are the one and only theme from which all discussions start and on which everything including the secondary themes hinges. 444).g. 4 A. These mostly voluminous prose works are essentially digests or. p. as far as man's interests are concerned. 133. D. in ZDMG 54. the world and the powers operating in Cf. HELI/EBRANDT. Ritualliteratur. 189 (= K. OLDENBERG. Ph. XL. KEITH.(and its 'appendix. Vedische Opfer und Zauber. whilst often following their brahmanas.and $ankhayana. AUS Brahmanas und Upanisaden. an indispensable requirement4. I. the Samavedic PancavimSa. N. SHENDE. J. Though viewing almost all topics discussed from the ritual angle2 the authors generally supposed their audience to be well acquainted with the course of the ritual. WINTEBNITZ. 2 1 See e. R. H. 18. S. p.. its terminology and technicalities3. The authors endeavoured to expound systems of ritualistic speculations in order to explain. LEVI. Strassburg 1897. p. p. at Comm. The exponents of this tradition often belonged to the same families that were already productive 'authors' in Rgvedic times1.CHAPTER VIII THE BRAHMANAS 1. 3 Many special directions presupposed in the brahmanas are found in the ritual sutras which. Bombay 1965. H. The very aim of the compilers is not to describe. 313. GONDA. 93). R. for the modern reader also. (and OERTEL at AJPh 20. I. I. Velankar. I. a general knowledge of the complicated sacrificial ritual is.

—deal—in those sentences which contain an order expressed in the optative—with the Tules or modes of conducting sacrificial ceremonies (karma-vidhdnaoTvidhi).. elevating man—the only earthly creature who can sacrifice—. 1. 1. •orders enjoining something not otherwise known fapurvavidhi). B. 1. Vorwissenschaftliche Wissenschaft. 14. Introduction to RV. SCHAYER. p. 5. they believed. GONDA.R. 176. 3. 7. 17. save man from evil and misfortune in this world and beyond. a great regulating cosmic power. &B. 2. is important beyond compare. 23 and (for more detailed distinctions) Madhusudana Sarasvati quoted by WEBER. 5. 1 "a brdhmana is an explanation of a ritual act and of the mantras belonging to it. 12. 3) are •clearly distinguished. could. 13. The latter part comprises9 censure 5 See e. Die Weltanschauung der Brahmana-Texte. OLDENBERG. I."). granting all wishes. 3. names of sacrificers etc. 6. at ALB 29 (1965). indispensable for the gods. who owe their supreme authority to it. p. 2. 8 Cf. 197. g. 3. 2. At AiB. 3. or at least exerting influence upon. g. 6. 12.4. . indeed. . 9. 1. 3. at JA 237.p. 1. these powers by means of the ritual which. 3. 13. 45. 4." and on AiB. 16. p. H. also Bhatta-Bhaskara. S. 2. orders insisting upon a definite alternative or possibility in performing an act (niyamavidhi) and orders concerning actions known but not necessarily as possible alternatives fpari•sankhyavidhi). 3. something unknown and uncontradicted stated authoritatively (bhutdrthavdda). in Zs.GoNDA. 7 . 3. 171. Buddhismus 6. Known only to the initiate—or as the brdhmanas have it—to "the one who knows"5 these connections and relations with the Unseen. that it must be possible to maintain beneficial relations with the supra-mundane sacred order and that this possibility was most appropriately realized through ritual institutions made them establish a system of liturgic-cosmical equivalences. 11. The arthavddas are likewise threefold: something contradicting everyday evidence (gunavada). to exclusion of the mantras.LI. 6 See e. 8 brdhmana portions and metrical texts of the Veda (chandas. the so-called bandhu(s)6. if properly understood and accurately performed. something known from other sources of knowledge (anuvdda). p.p. 3. 241. 3. not always avoiding speculative digressions. p. Introd. 210. This discussion is as a rule carried on with minuteness and intricate argumentation.g. 10. 5. The sacrificial ritual. with the reasons why a certain rite must be performed in a definite way (arihavada)*. 4. 3. 4. 276. I. p. 11. 10. p. 3. 49. E. also HAUG. 1. Cf. 3.340 J. According to an ancient authority.Gottingenl919. and with exegesis of mantras and rites. on TS. 1. 1. According to the later Mimamsa school of thought there are three classes of injunctions. 1. redeeming from death and support of the universe. S. The belief in the efficacy of the rites founded on the conviction that all things and events are connected with one another. 2. cf. but it should be performed with a perfect knowledge of its technical intricacies and a full understanding of its higher significance7. that there exist correspondences between ritual acts and the natural forces and supernatural influences. 6. f. Apastamba (ApS. also Sayana. 272. 18. 9 Cf. were he not to sacrifice . 5. are one of the most characteristic subjects for discussion. Gonda • Vedic Literature it and to establish the methods of controlling.). viz. I. Ai. 4. !§B. 1. 3. 32ff. 1. 9. 5 ("the sun would not rise. brahmanas proper—that is. RENOTT. 1. 1. 16. 24. 1.

Yajurvedic 10 See e. i. Declare this brdhmana to them. S~B. 'I have not deprived you of a portion. 1. 3. E. 368 ff. liberal sacrificers etc. do not recognize any distinction between brahmanas. 2).: "Manu (the first man) divided his property among his sons. recommendation (SamsA: the performance of a rite with the proper knowledge produces the effect desired): "he offers in the dhavaniya fire. 2. The many myths contained in these portions have. 42. 189. why a ritual act is to be performed in a definite way. 9. 11.e. The term brdhmana was then also applied to collections of such explanations. and precedents or the achievements of others (parakrti): stories of certain performances of brahmins who were conversant with sacred knowledge (s'rotriya). 1015. cf. 4. 1. 11 The author of the PaficavimSa. p. 3. 15. therefore) silver is not a suitable gift. 2. of any portion. to sections of the Satapatha and to works of this class in general14. 2. 14 On the possibility of shorter works of this class preceding those known to us: WILLMAN-GBABOWSKA. for instance. In this collective meaning it occurs.g. PB. who lived as a Veda student. i. in 4. 1. 1. 7. what is its effect. 21. the explanation of this has been given. He deprived Nabhanedistha. 2. 4f. For a right understanding of the brahmanic 'sacrifice' they are essential. 3.e. 1 f. in JtO 6. 9. I. 1. 1. "comment upon brahman. MINABD. 1). in TA. brought into relation with it. They explain how a rite originated. . using the term for "ritual explanations. 5. 1. T. 15. 20ff. These prose explanations are called brdhmana. for it has arisen from tears" (TS. they cannot discern the world of heaven. 12 See also TS. p. AiB. 51. the Angirases here are performing a long soma sacrifice. 13 RENOTJ. 'How have you deprived me of a portion ?' He replied. polemizes against the Kausftakins. G. together with the four Vedas (Samhitas). and said. 8. a bearing upon the ritual or are. 6.e. "(the tear shed by Agni became silver.. what is the significance and result of definite practices and so on10.. e. JB. TS.g. 4.. the Veda12." viz. 17. 18 See also HORSCH.' and the advantages to be gained by means of the rites11. This one went to him. p. 1. 1: "the difficult mounting is the world of heaven". 1. why a definite utensil should be used.1 "He mounts the difficult mounting. For a distinction between purely illustrative and exegetieal matter see below. The above means that the contents of the brahmanas may be classified under the heads of sacrificial directions.' polemical or 'philosophical' speculations on the great rites and their 'connections. in some way or other. 'mythological. Iff.' He told them that and they going to the world of heaven gave him their cattle"13. L. V. 25. The sutras." i.The Brahmanas 342 or controversy (nindd). and the success they achieved. 25. in any case. p.. 5. the numerous mythical stories of primeval events (and gods as originators) to which the origin of many rites is attributed. When they go to the world of heaven they will give you their cattle. references to the (exemplary) performance of sacrificial acts in 'former times' (purdkalpa). at JA 237. 3 where the latter are blamed for an incorrect ritual procedure. explanations and exegetical." not for definite corpora. 2. p. verily he makes him go to the world of heaven" (6. For instance.

to find that unity. in ZDMG 49. Gonda • Vedic Literature samhitds and aranyakas as regards their brahmana portions16. I. p. L. The provenance of manuscripts—e. . disorder and anomaly. however. 46).. in Melanges Renou. DIXIT. it became necessary to distinguish other classes of literature. a wholly unparalleled superstructure to which Oldenberg's18 felicitous qualification 'prescientific science' is perfectly applicable. In many respects these authors have. .) or origin. 393). It is in these works that we witness a spirit of inquiry and a speculative urge as well as the desire systematically to make the knowledge of the highest categories resulting from these speculations and the insight into the transcendent truth gained subservient to man's highest goal. D. p. p. 172). at RO 6.D. However. On the basis of premises that are characteristic of so-called primitive and archaic civilisations—of which they are authentic documents—their authors erected. . Poona 1950. . "aberrations of the human mind" (W.g. in Bhatta-Bhaskara's Andhra Pradesh—. 7). WHITNEY. 367). their importance as the oldest body of Indian prose extant and as religious and speculative documents can hardly be overrated. KAEGI. 187). "tristes Bild . "unerquicklich" (K. p. Leipzig 1878. 170). n. in Govindasvamin's case Kerala. SadguruSisya on the Aitareya making mention of Govindasvamin—. irrender Phantasie" (A. p. the desire to penetrate the mysteries of the world. date (Sadgurusisya: 1177 A. As to the ancient commentators on this class of literature they are generally very sparing of information on their identity. B. Der Rig-Veda. geographical data. "sterile" (V. p. the more esoterical aranyakas and the upanisads of which the brdhmanas were the harbingers and into which they lead almost by insensible gradation. to explain every word by synonyms and For particulars: KEITH. "unpalatable" (WINTERNITZ. references to predecessors—e. 5. . with refined acuteness and remarkable consistency. HOFFMANN. Up to the present day many depreciatory judgments have been passed upon the contents and the literary value of these works17. p. Y. From these data it appears also that part of the commentaries are lost. laid the foundations of the Indian speculative thought of the later centuries. V. However interested the motives of the authors and their disciples might have been in the quest for an explanatory theory basically it was the desire to place all things in a causal context wider than that provided by common sense. order and regularity which underlie apparent diversity. Sayana is inclined to quote grammatical rules.342 J. Whereas Govindasvamin tries to be as brief as possible. 18 See above. "Wunderliche Erzeugnisse . quotations in other works are our main help in filling the gaps in our knowledge.. "most unattractive" (WIIXMAN-GRABOWSKA. In course of time. V. H.g. endloser Spitzfindigkeiten" (OLDENBERG. LXXVIII. in AJPh 3. together with their colleagues of the Atharvaveda. The brdhmanas represent the intellectual activity of a sacerdotal class which had succeeded in arranging and systematizing the older forms of belief and worship and in transforming them into a highly complicated system of sacrificial ceremonies. p. S. I. Relations of the 16 17 epics to the Brahmana literature.

The Brahmanas


to illustrate his argument with theories. In his bhdsyas (commentaries of wider scope) on the Taittiriya texts Bhatta-Bhaskara keeps the mean between them. SadguruSisya, giving a brief explanation (vrtti), preferred writing in verses. Commentators often quote, not only ancient authorities19 but also parallel passages in order to substantiate their own statements and opinions20. Some of them furnish their readers with stanzas giving summaries or constituting explanatory links between two chapters. Bhatta-Bhaskara often inserts a simple indication of the subject matter.

Sayana, for instance, was acquainted with many texts and predecessors. On quoting in general, S. R. SEHGAL, at NIA 5 (1943), p. 280. 20 E.g. Samasramin on 2, 6, 8, quoting, inter alia, TS. 2, 3, 2, 8; &B. 6, 2, 1, 18 in favour of the thesis that in the primitive time there were human sacrifices.



J. Gonda • Vedic Literature

2. The Texts Of the two brdhmanas attached to the Rgveda^—and intended for the priest who functioned as HoTaR—the more important is the Aitareya1. In its present form the work, which is written in a simple, though often crude style, consists of forty chapters ('lessons'; adhyaya), divided into eight books called 'pentads' (pancika) because each of them contains five sections2. It is recognized by tradition as handed down by Sayana as the work of one person, Mahidasa Aitareya3, but this man, who may have been an authority of some distinction, cannot have been more than the redactor of the present text. There is indeed no reason to doubt that this work is not of one hand or time4. That the last ten adhydyas {pancika VII and VIII), which deal with the animal sacrifice, expiations and the royal consecration, were a later addition is more than probable both from a comparison with the nearly related Kausltaki-Brahmana which contains nothing corresponding to these subjects and from the fact that the real theme of the Aitareya-Kausitaki is the soma sacrifice (AiB. I-VI, adhyaya 1-16 agnistoma, 17-18 gavdm ayana, 19-24 twelve days' rite or dvddaidha, 25-32 agnihotra; KB. VTI-XXX)5, on which the account of the consecration related in the latter portion of the work—an account that has nothing parallel in other works—has no bearing (the king's sacrificial drink is not soMa)8. In 8, 24-28, the—no doubt late—last section, the text passes to a doctrine of the resolution of the deities, lightning, rain, moon, sun, fire, in brahman; this doctrine is represented as a practical device for enabling the domestic priest to conquer the enemies of his royal patron. The first part of pancika VII deals with the division of the sacrificial animals among the officiants. The authenticity of pancika VT7 has, moreover, with good reason been doubted, not only because
1 Edited and translated (with an introductory essay) by M. HATJG, 2 vol., Bombay 1863 (II 2Allahabad 1922; cf. WEBEE, I. S. IX, p. 177); TH. AUFRECHT, Das Aitareya-Brahmana (with extracts from Sayana etc.), Bonn 1879 (1972); by P. S. SAMACRAMI, 4 vol., Calcutta 1895-1906 (with Sayana); other Indian editions; translation: KEITH, Rigveda Brahmanas, Cambridge Mass. 1920 (Delhi 1969). 2 In the West the work is usually quoted after books and shorter chapters. 3 See ATJFRECHT, O.C, p. I l l ; KEITH, Ai. K., p. 16. His name occurs at AiA. 2, 1, 8; 3, 7; ChU. 3, 16, 7 etc.

of the Rgveda, JAS Bombay 38, p. 122. Neither brahmana, however, treats of all the sacrificial rites; see KEITH, R. B., p. 33; 54. 6 AiB. 7, 28, 1 ". . . then Indra was deprived of the drinking of soma> and in accordance with the deprivation of Indra the lordly power was deprived of the drinking of soma," chapter 29f. informing us that soma is the food of the brahmans, curds that of the vaisyas, water that of the sudras; a nobleman should, as a sacrificer, take the fruits of various fig trees. In connection with such passages KEITH, R. B., p. 29 speaks of "a spirit of brahmanical self-assertion, which is at any rate not prominent in the rest of the Aitareya."
* Cf. HATJG, AiB. I, p. 65; WEBER, I. S. IX, p. 372; KEITH, R. B., p. 31.


HATJG, Ai. B. I, p. 68; KEITH, R. B., p. 28. Cf. also N. J. SHENDE, Soma in the brdhmanas

The Brahmanas


it makes the impression of a supplement, but also because it shows many signs of such defects as confusion and repetition and inconsistency with passages in the preceding part of the work. As to the procedure adopted by the redactor his main purpose is to account for and justify the deities addressed, the mantras applied—i. e. their use in their ritual setting8—, the sacrificial material used and the ritual acts prescribed9. His devices to realize these intentions are emphasis placed upon a single word of a rgr-stanza, illustrative stories of exemplary ritual performances, references to analogy (for instance in daily experience)10. In doing so he quotes rival authorities11, siding with the ritualists, not with those who occupy themselves with the esoteric significance of hymns and rites (the brahmavddins). Never speaking in the first person he considers it part of his task to recommend certain practices and reject others. A point of interest concerns the handling of the mantras12. Those mantras which in the eyes of the compiler are much suited to the occasion are valued as "perfect in form," e.g. AiB. 1, 16, 8: "(RV. 6, 16, 13b) 'Atharvan produced fire' is perfect in form; that in the sacrifice is perfect which is perfect in form, that rite which as it is performed the mantra declares"13. Other formulas serve to allude to an authority for a particular ritual act even in the very Rgveda-Samhita, e.g. "Beholding this the rsi declares . . ."14. There is ample room for the observation that the expansion of the ritual on the one hand and the preservation of mantras which were not16, or no longer, ritually used on the other, necessarily led the ritualists to look for applicable mantras and to argue that these had the sanction of rsis of the Samhita or otherwise to adapt the mantra material to the exigencies of the ritual practice. Since it was often difficult to fit an old mantra into a new ritual frame, part of the Rgvedic passages adduced to explain particular features in the ritual impress us as forced or anachronistic. Thus in explanation of the fact that Indra and Vayu have an oblation of soMa in common AiB. 2, 25 has the story
The Aitareya-Brahmana quotes 647 rg-verses, of which 119 are repeated, the number of repetitions being 216. However, part of the partial fpratikena) quotations stand for a complete sukta—about 150 complete suktas are quoted: OLDENBERG, at ZDMG 38, p. 473 (K. S., p. 547)—, so that the total amount of verses quoted is much higher. In order and composition of stanzas and triplets there are some divergences between Brahmana and Samhita. 9 It may be recalled that these aim at earthly prosperity as well as fitness for union and communion with the Highest.


See V. CH. BHATTACHARYYA, at OH 1 (1953), p. 289. Cf. e.g. AiB. 1, 1; 1, 7;

2, 13; 2, 23; 3, 47; 5, 1; 6, 9; 6, 23. 11 Cf. 1 T J. SHENDE, at Comm. Vol. H. D. Velankar, Bombay 1965, p. 133. S.

13 14 15

See V. CH. BHATTACHARYYA, at OH 3, p. 239; 4, p. 99.

Cf. e.g. also AiB. 1, 17, 2; 25, 7; 2, 2, 32; KB. 8, 7, and see V.


CHARYYA, at OH 4, p. 99; 227; 5, p. 119; RENOTT, in JA 250, p.

See e.g. AiB. 2, 33, 6; 3, 12, 5; 20, 1. According to the traditional ('orthodox') view—which is untenable—all stanzas of the Rgveda-Samhita were originally intended for ritual use.


J. Gonda • Vedic Literature

of a race during which Indra, perceiving that Vayu was winning, asked his colleague to win together with himself if he might receive a fourth of the soma, which was the prize. The text adduced, RV. 4, 46, 2 or 48, 2 "with Indra as a charioteer," is only apposite if in the compiler's milieu a charioteer was entitled to a fourth of the prize and if this custom obtained already in Rgvedic times16. While working together, in this way, mantras, itihdsas, ritualistic rules and expositions the redactor confined himself for the most part to the duties of the H TR and his assistants17. oa There are four commentaries18, by Govindasvamin, Bhatta-Bhaskara, SadguruSisya (rather elaborate) and Sayana19. The Kausitaki- or Sankhayana-Brahmana20, comprising thirty chapters (adhydya), and of a more limited size, is more harmonious, uniform and systematic in character and less discursive and descriptive in the treatment of its subjects than the companion text. The author's deliberate intention to be brief led him to avoid repetitions, to omit many narrative passages, ritual precepts and explanations of the applicability of mantras, to refer to ritual particulars in a more succinct way, and to leave the search for many links in his argumentation to his audience. On the other hand, the so-called ritual mysticism is a more prominent feature of his work21. As already mentioned, the main subject of this book is the same as that of the original part of the Aitareya. However, the regular exposition of the soma sacrifice does not begin before chapter VII. The first six chapters are devoted to the establishment of the fires (agnyddhdna), the agnihotra, the Full and New Moon offerings, special sacrifices, the seasonal rites and the part to be played by the brahman priest22. Some sections have a counterpart in the Aitareya, which on the other hand does without a number of sections of the chapters VII, XI, XVIII etc.23. In their discussions and argumentations, in their attitude to the gods, in their general similarity both works strongly impress us as belonging to the same tradition. They seem to have borrowed much of their material from one and the same source. The coHence also such laboured attempts to fit the mantras in the rites and environments as AiB. 1, 13; 1, 16, 2ff.; otherwise e.g. AiB. 1, 21; 1, 27; 2, 2.
17 18


Cf. N. J. SHENDE, at JUB 32 (2), p. 48. C. KUNHAN RAJA, at ALB 3, p. 17; 63.

19 C. KUNHAN RAJA, at 12 AIOC II, p. 25. For Sayana's commentary see above (p. 344, n. 1) and compare BOHTLINGK, at BSGW 52, p. 413; for Sadgurusisya, the

edition by R. SASTRI and P. K. NARAYANA PILLAI, Trivandrum 1942-1955; cf.

also M. M. PANTULTT, at 25 AIOC, S. P., p. 371. I t may be observed that the commentaries on Vedic prose texts are generally speaking better than those on the metrical texts. 20 Edited (Kausltaki-Brahmana) by B. LINDNER, Jena 1887; E. R. SREEKRISHNA SARMA, Wiesbaden 1968 (cf. H. CH. PATYAL, at JOIB 20, p. 102); translated by
KEITH, R. B., p. 345 (cf. CALAND, at AO (Lugd.), 10, p. 305).

Cf. also R. LOBBECKE, tjber das Verhaltnis von Brahmanas und ^rautasutren, Thesis Leipzig 1908, p. 46; KEITH, R. B., p. 22; 36.
22 23


See also WEBER, I. S. II, p. 288. For particulars see KEITH, R. B., p. 13.

The Brahmanas


existence of the two brahmanas may have resulted from a lack of unanimity among those engaged in ritual practice24. Because of its wider subject-matter25 the Kausitaki (30 chapters) has been regarded as a sort of expanded supplement to (the first 30 chapters of) the other brahmana and therefore as later than that26. There is however much to be said for a date posterior to the original part and prior to the extension of the Aitareya27. Proceeding now to the brahmanas of the Samaveda it is interesting to notice that Sayana, whilst enumerating eight28 of them, does not mention the most important Jaiminlya, possibly because he did not reckon it among the works of the Kauthumas29. Curiously enough, considering the bulk of this work and the number of the legends contained in it, it is, moreover, almost unknown to the ancillary literature of the Veda30; it has no commentary or paddhati. However, since the commentator of the other great Brahmana, the Paficavimsa, was a Ranayaniya31, the probabilities are in favour of the supposition that these works were common property of the two sdkhds. The Paficavimsa or Tandyamaha-32 (Maha- or Praudha-)Brahmana33, consisting of twenty-five chapters—hence its former name—and the other great work, also called Talavakara-Brahmana34, pursue the same object: they

Cf. RENOTT, Ecoles, p . 217.

It does not however represent the whole of the brahmana tradition of the gankhayana school: see SA. I and I I , & " XIV-XVI (KEITH, R. B., p. 38). S.


For the relative chronology see LINDNER, O.C, p. I X ; MACDONELL, H. S. L.,
KEITH, Ai. A., p. 31; 34; R. B., p. 47.

p. 208.

Five of these works have already been dealt with (above, p. 320). As to the Upanisad-Brahmana (Chandogya-Brahmana) of this school, the first two sections contain mantras for various domestic rites, rites for special purposes etc. (edited and translated, under the title Mantra-brahmana, I, by H. STONNER, Thesis Halle 1901; I I , by H. JORGENSEN, Thesis Kiel 1911. The other sections constitute the Chandogya-Upanisad. Cf. also D. BHATTACHARYYA, Chandogya-Brahmana with the commentaries of Gunavisnu and Sayana, Calcutta 1958, and at OH 2, p. 203.


See V. CH. BHATTACHARYYA, at OH 7, p. 91.

H. OERTEL, at Actes 11 Congr. Intern. Orient. I, p. 225. (Cf. Sayana, on AiB. 2, 22).



See CALAND, PB., p. XXVI; RENOTJ, ficoles, p. 91; 100 on the name of the promulgator, Tandya or Tandin, of whose authorship there is no evidence in the text itself.


Editions by ANANDACHANDRA VEDANTAVAGISA, Calcutta 1869-74; A. CHIN-

NASWAMI SASTRI, Benares 1935-36. Translation: W. CALAND, Pancavimsa-Brahmana, Calcutta 1931.

Edition by RAGHTJ VIRA and LOKESH CHANDRA, Nagpur 1954. There is no

complete translation. For partial translations see H. W. BODEWITZ, Jaiminiya Brahmana I, 1-65 (with copious notes) and the portions translated by CALAND, in Das Jaiminiya-Brahmana in Auswahl, Amsterdam Acad. 1919 (1960). Book I was
also edited by RAGHU VIRA, Lahore 1937; II, 1-80 by LOKESH CHANDRA, Thesis

Utrecht 1950. Before, in the twenties and thirties of this century, new manuscripts were found a complete edition and a satisfactory translation were impossible. Men-


J. Gonda • Vedic Literature

interpret the acts pertaining to the srauta ritual as far as regards the Samaveda—or, the task of the udgdtar and his assistants—and, particularly, define and illustrate its most essential element, the sdmans. Consequently, they deal exclusively with soMa rites. The contents of both works run, in the main, parallel without corresponding in particulars35. The first great section of the Jaiminlya, I, 1-65, dealing with the daily fire cult (agnihotra), has no counterpart in the PancavimSa, but I, 66-364, containing the comments upon the agnistoma, correspond to PB. VI-IX; II, 1-80 dealing with the gavam ayana, i.e. the year-long basic form of the periodic rites (ayana) of the sattra type, correspond to PB. IV and V; II, 81-234, with the one-day soMa sacrifices (ehdha), to PB. XVI-XIX36; II, 235-333, with the sacrifices lasting up to twelve days (ahlna) to PB. XX-XXII; II, 334-370 with those sacrifices which last more than twelve days (sattra), to PB. XXIII-XXV; II, 371-442 again with the gavdm ayana; all 386 sections of book III with the rite of twelve days, to PB. X-XV. The first chapter of the PancavimSa contains, instead of a brdhmana text, a collection of yajus formulas (I) to be muttered by the chanters on various occasions—a small prayer book, like those of the domestic ritual, no doubt modelled upon similar collections of the Black Yajurveda and composed after the main portion of the work37. Chapters II and III discuss the so-called vistutis, the different modes of forming, out of a triplet, the number of verses required for a laud. However, in spite of the fact that both brdhmanas have much material in common, they differ widely in style and presentation. Whereas the PancavimSa, of a technical matter-of-factness, and notorious for its stylistic aridity, does not give more than what is strictly necessary and is often so succinct that some narrative portions (mythical tales etc.) are hardly comprehensible, the Jaiminlya is much more prolix, inserting mythical tales and liturgical anecdotes, many of which new. Yet, fundamental differences are rare and, where they occur, mainly due to the inclination of the more eclectic Jaiminiya to borrow
tion must be made of a number of Contributions from the Jaiminiya-Brahmana to the history of the brdhmana literature (editions, translations and discussions of numerous passages) by H. OEBTEL, in JAOS 18, p. 15; 19, p. 97; 23, p. 325; 26, p. 176; 306; 28, p. 81; Trans. Connecticut Acad. 15,p. 155; Actes 11 Congr. Int. Orient, (see above); see also JAOS 15, p. 233; Journal of Vedic Studies 1 and 2; VEDA VYASA, at 5 AIOC I, p. 292. On the Jaiminiya literature in general see W. CALAND, Jaiminiya Samhita (see above, p. 319, n. 50); Over en uit het Jaiminiya-Brahmana, Amsterdam Acad. 1914 (on the contents, language, and relative position of this work in the Vedic literature). See also RENOU'S and DANDEKAB'S Bibliographies and (also for an evaluation of the work done) A. FBENZS tJTaer die Verben im JaiminiyaBrahmana, Marburg 1966, p. IX; BODEWITZ.O. c , p. 2; PABPOLA, Literature (see above, p. 319, n. 45), p. 6. 35 Cf. also CALAND, Over en uit . . ., p. 3. 36 PB. 17, 1-4 deal with the interesting vrdtya-stomas; cf. JB. 2, 222 (CALAND, Auswahl, p. 183). See above, p. 305.


The Brahmanas


from other schools, whereas the Pancavimsa hardly ever departs from the Kauthuma tradition38. The chronological relation of the two works is disputed. Whereas Caland39, mainly on the strength of ritual arguments, hesitatingly arrived at the conclusion that the Jaiminlya must be older than the other work, Keith40 and Renou41 inclined to the opposite view. This chronological problem is complicated by the existence of a considerable number of quotations—in SayaN& and other commentators—from a SatyayanaBrahmana42 (Satyayanakam) which could be identified with the Jaiminlya— many of them can be traced almost literally in the latter—, were it not that the Jaiminiyas consider the iSatyayana school to be different from theirs43. We have no doubt to do here with one of those slightly duplicate versions that are far from rare in Vedic literature. The name of its author, Satyayani, is already, beside Tandya, mentioned in the iSrautasUtra of the Jaiminiyas44. He no doubt was an authority of repute45, whose brdhmana, lost to us, may have been taken over or recast and amplified by the Jaiminiyas46. The SadvimSa-Brahmana47 is, in accordance with its name, the "Twentysixth," and its desultory character intended to be a kind of supplement to the PaficavimSa48. It consists49 of five 'lectures' (prapdthaka) which deal with (I) the subrahmanyd litany by which the sacrifice is announced to the gods; the metres and sdmans of the agnistoma; ceremonies to be performed before the morning recitation (prdtaranuvdka), the duties of the brahman priest, expiatory rites, the pap (caru) offered to Soma; (II) the singing of the so-called bahispavamdna-stotra, the functions of the main priests, mantras to be pronounced by the sacrificer etc.; (Ill) the expiatory bath (avabhrtha), vistutis, incantations; (IV) various topics. Prapdthaka V, the so-called Adbhuta-Brahmana, is devoted to

CALAND, PB., p. XXII; RENOU, ]£coles, p. 101, and compare HOPKINS, in

Trans. Connecticut Acad. 15, p. 19.

40 41

42 BUBNBLL, at The Academy, 15 (1879), p. 126; OERTEL, at JAOS 18, p. 15; CALAND, Over en uit . . ., p. 5; B. GHOSH, Collection of the fragments of lost brahmanas, Calcutta 1935.

KEITH, in JRAS 1932, p. 699. RENOU, Ecoles, p. 101.

Edited by D. GAASTRA, Bijdrage tot de kennis van het Vedische ritueel, Thesis Utrecht 1906, p. 2 (JS\ 1). 45 A fairly old Satyayana-Sutra dealing with the expiations of the domestic ritual is also (rightly ?) attributed to him (CALAND, Brahmana- en Sutra-aanwinsten, Amsterdam Acad. 1920, p. 475).


Cf. RENOU, ficoles, p. 106; PARPOLA, O.C, p. 7; 9; BODEWITZ, O.C, p. 11.

Edited (with the commentary attributed to Sayana) by H. F. EELSINGH, Thesis Utrecht 1908; B. R. SHABMA, Tirupati 1967; prapdthaka I also by K. KLEMM, Das Sadvimsabrahmana . . . nebst einer tibersetzung, Giitersloh 1894; translation: W. B. BOLLEE, Sadvimsa-Brahmana, Thesis Utrecht 1956. 48 Hence also Tandyasesa-Brahmana (comm. on SB. 1, 1, 1). 49 For a longer survey (in Dutch) see EELSINGH, O.C, p. XX.




J- Gonda • Vedic Literature

ominous events50. The Sadvimsa is no doubt a comparatively late compilation51. In contradistinction to the more autonomous brdhmanas of the other Vedas those of the Yajurveda follow the ritual closely. As already mentioned in the preceding chapter the Maitrayaniyas have not left us an independent brdhmanah2, the prose portions of their samhitds serving that purpose. The Taittiriyas, however, emulating the Rgvedic tradition, possess a separate Brahmana which, generally in the same style, and containing mantras as well as prose, is a natural continuation or supplement to their Samhita53. Thus only the special methods of building the fireplace54 are dealt with in the Brahmana, because the normal form has been abundantly treated in the Samhita55. TB. 1, 6 amplifies some deta