Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Rig Veda 1.1.1 (1st verse of the Hymn to Agni)

This hymn, attributed to the lineage of Vishvamitra and is in the Gayatri metre. It's probably the most translated and familiar Vedic hmyn, being the very 1st hymn in the oldest of the Vedas - the Rig Veda. Yet, as many  online sources as I have seen, there seem to be as many translations... As I said with 'Vande Mataram,' poetic licence is often taken while translating. Add to that the fact that Vedic Sanskrit differs from Classical Sanskrit! I'm sure there are much more beautiful translations you could find but here's what the grammar says:



अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवं ऋत्विजं  |
होतारं रत्नधातमम्  ||

vigraha from the padapāṭha:

अग्निम् ईळे  पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवं ऋत्विजं होतारं रत्नधातमम् 

I venerate Agni, the priest (lit. who is placed on the seat of honour/in the East), divine ministrant of the sacrifice, bestower of treasure, par excellence. 


अग्निम् - [अग्नि को ] accusative singular of Agni, Vedic god of fire. As you would expect, since the verb is in 1st person, 'I venerate', the rest of the verse is mostly in the accusative. agnim, hotaaram, ritvijam etc.

ईळे  - [I] venerate; 1st person singular from root ईड् (2A) - to implore, to extoll

पुरोहितम् - [पुरोहित को] priest, placed on the seat in the East [पुरः+हित] or placed ahead; accusative singular  

यज्ञस्य - of the sacrifice; genitive singular of यज्ञ masc. noun

देवम् - divine, if taken as an adjective; [देव को] if read as acc. singular of deva, masc. noun 

ऋत्विजम् - priest; accusative singular

होतारम् - priest who recites hymns of the Rig Veda

रत्नधातमम् - superlative of 'bestower of treasure/wealth' रत्न+धाता; accusative bahuvrihi compound, refering to Agni.


I shall continue with the translation of the rest of the hymn verse by verse. Feedback and comments welcome!

26 comments:

Unknown said...

In short, this verse means that Agni bestows wealth to Purohita, Devata of Yagya and to the Hota...

For extra info, this hymn is composed by Madhuchhandas Vaishvamitra, the eldest of the 51 sons of Vishwamitra Gathina.

Rohini Bakshi said...

Thanks. I would also like to direct readers to Ashutosh's blog. Articles are well researched and presented. Related to this post is: http://historyindianized.blogspot.in/2012/11/the-names-of-composers-of-rigveda.html

Anonymous said...

perhaps it is of interest to add Sri Aurobindo's translation here:
"I adore the Flame, the vicar, the divine Ritwik of the Sacrifice, the summoner who most founds the ecstasy."

somewhat strange to see here the vocabulary of the Anglican communion - especially "vicar" in this context.

CodeNameV said...

I have a question not completely relevant to this suktam but in an indirect way:

Akshara ळ् appears in the very first suktam in Rg veda. However, this vyanjana somehow doesnt appear in Maheshwara sutrani.

The tragic consequence is that ळ् is dubbed as a dravidian consonant that influenced Aryan Sanskrit. Is there an explanation for why ळ् is curiously missing in Panini sutrani and Maheshwara Sutrani that doesnt involve Aryan-Dravidian theory?

Rohini Bakshi said...

The time gap between the Rig verses and Panini is nearly 2,000 years even by a conservative estimate. Sanskrit changed a lot, by the admission of the grammarians. Akshara ळ् survives in languages like Marathi, which derive from Sanskrit. I don't have a more detailed answer immediately. I will try to find out and revert to you on the blog. Thanks.

Rohini Bakshi said...

Wayne, more than the vicar ref (common enough when the Brits were around to use their register) I'm intrigued by the insertion of ecstacy, of which there is no indication in the Sanskrit. With due respect, I find Aurobindos 'translations' more an expression of an inspired poet than anything else. It's how he responds to the verse.

Pratik Maheshwari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pratik Maheshwari said...

रोहिणी जी, मुझे संस्कृत सीखनी है.. बिलकुल शुरुआत से.. कुछ सुझाव दें..

Rohini Bakshi said...

pl get class 6,7,8,9,10 books of CBSE,and Robert Goldman's primer 'Devavanipraveshikaa' any problems, pl tweet me.

Ruchi said...

Dear Ms. Rohini,
I am a complete layman and I feel a strong calling to know more about our Ancient texts and religion. I do not have any guru at this moment and am reffering to material available online and in Libraries. Can you please suggest where do I start. Also can you offer advice on good sources that I can read. I am currently reading materials related to the foundation of the vedas.
Please advise.

Meghu said...

Rigveda is Sanskrit ancient text and is considered to be sacred for people who follow Hindu religion. Rigveda is a part of Vedas – a very popular collection of text in Hindu religion.

Anonymous said...

Madam Meghu, Rig Veda 'was' and not "is" considered as sacred book for people who follow Hindu religion."Was" because it is not completely relevant to this
age.Religion is a briefcase of principles which guide the people and tries to protect human values. It is said to be sacred so that people don't get the courage to go against its principles. But it is only relevant to that period only. Our social scenario and ideas change with the flow of time.Religion which is stagnant cannot bring fruits.What the men thought in good old days cannot be thought by the present day generation. We should omit or include thoughts by rationalizing and analyzing what the Rishis wrote. Then only the Vedas will bring fruit today.Upanishads and the Brahma shutras are the oduct of rational thoughts.

Unknown said...

The first Verse Rig Ved itself shows that neither Sanskrit nor Veads are older than Indian Prakrut and other languages like Dravidian languages and Marathi . What ever Videshi Brahmins say in India Vedas are in praise of sacrifice of innocent animals in the fire place where the main purpose seems to eat the roasted meat .Some of the verses shown as composed by Videshi Brahmins are in fact stolen ideas from Native Indian religions like Buddhist in later days inserted afterwards as tenents of Vedas . Ved is Bheda and not Indian or Satya Hindu Dharm but Videshi Brahmin Dharam having much of Vikruti and Adharm that Dharm and benevolence to all human beings . It is simply fit for condemnation and deep burial .

Unknown said...

The first Verse Rig Ved itself shows that neither Sanskrit nor Veads are older than Indian Prakrut and other languages like Dravidian languages and Marathi . What ever Videshi Brahmins say in India Vedas are in praise of sacrifice of innocent animals in the fire place where the main purpose seems to eat the roasted meat .Some of the verses shown as composed by Videshi Brahmins are in fact stolen ideas from Native Indian religions like Buddhist in later days inserted afterwards as tenents of Vedas . Ved is Bheda and not Indian or Satya Hindu Dharm but Videshi Brahmin Dharam having much of Vikruti and Adharm that Dharm and benevolence to all human beings . It is simply fit for condemnation and deep burial .

Anonymous said...

D.D. Raut, after so many centuries you are still sore, calling people videshi brahmins. So what do you want, you want all brahmins to leave?

Grow up, historical injustices are affecting your judgement. Don't just blame brahmins, most oppressors of lower castes were just a couple of steps higher in the hierarchy.

Unknown said...

Vedas are a storehouse of knowledge and wisdom of the times (1-2 K BC) documented by a very perceptive people. They were simple pastoral people on the move with their cows and horses from the steppes of Eurasia towards the valleys of Indus in search of "greener pastures". Rig Veda verses classify them into two categories - poets and warriors. Brahminisation came much later, when vedas were literally "highjacked" by a greedy priestly class who encouraged more and more rituals to amass wealth.
India is a land of immigrants. Some of them may have landed via sea from Africa to the coastal India as early as 10K BC. Another infusion has been going on for thousands of years via the North West. They all eventually become "deshis", each stream bringing a different sweetener to the Indian Milk pot.
As for eating habits, the vedic Aryans coming from cold climates may have been meat eating folks. But once they took to agriculture in the Indo-Gangetic plains, they were smart enough to convert to vegetarianism. One can clearly see this "culinary transformation" in the Manusmriti!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I don't understand , why people are still talking about Aryan invasion theory? When we have many evidences that this theory was put forward by the English people for their own reasons. For example: as per Aryan invasion theory, Aryans arrived at Indus region around 1500B.C., established them self and started Vedas, Sanskrit etc...If we consider Rigveda:The river saraswati was mentioned in many hymns.As per the ASI survey,sattelite pictures and water resources found along the dried river path, it was found that this river was dried up around 3000BC. Now the point is, If the saraswati river got dried up @ 3000BC, how Aryans(who arrived @1500BC), praises this river in the rigveda hymns. This analysis makes it clear,that the rigveda is not owned by so called Aryans. In harappa sculptures , pasupati is in yogaasana, which represents lord siva, i.e.@ 3000BC.So please stop theories like videshi Brahmins etc... In recent DNA analysis carried out by reaserchers also establishes not a big DNA differences are present in Indian communities.

Unknown said...

I don't understand , why people are still talking about Aryan invasion theory? When we have many evidences that this theory was put forward by the English people for their own reasons. For example: as per Aryan invasion theory, Aryans arrived at Indus region around 1500B.C., established them self and started Vedas, Sanskrit etc...If we consider Rigveda:The river saraswati was mentioned in many hymns.As per the ASI survey,sattelite pictures and water resources found along the dried river path, it was found that this river was dried up around 3000BC. Now the point is, If the saraswati river got dried up @ 3000BC, how Aryans(who arrived @1500BC), praises this river in the rigveda hymns. This analysis makes it clear,that the rigveda is not owned by so called Aryans. In harappa sculptures , pasupati is in yogaasana, which represents lord siva, i.e.@ 3000BC.So please stop theories like videshi Brahmins etc... In recent DNA analysis carried out by reaserchers also establishes not a big DNA differences are present in Indian communities.

Anonymous said...

Hey videshi Raut, take a DNA test and tell if it is different.

HenryKrishna said...

There is great wisdom to be gleaned from the Rig Veda, even in the present day. Although it is unfortunate that there is still so much lingering of British ( and other outside) influence in the thinking and the politics that play out in the ongoing power struggle to control the unfolding of the future of India as a nation ... sometimes we must recognize that there will be certain members of society, that have not yet been liberated from the mental slavery to the past, that have not yet tuned into the increasing truth vibrations in the atmosphere, and for their sake, we must forgive them, for they know not of what they speak.
Ultimately the light must come from within, and shine out of your eyes, and onto the page, and the text that you read will shine with brilliance and teach you everything about your Self. According to what is your kind of mind, will guide you through everything that you will find. Some people see politics, and some see history, some will see ritual, while others see wisdom!!!

Unknown said...

AGNI is revered as Purohita or the mediator between you and the divine. In both materialistic and spiritual achievements. For material pleasure you perform Homa...Yagna and for the Spiritual journey to perform Dhyana and Meditation one needs to have Agni in the form of Deepam in order to have increased ethnic aura and ether around...which helps one to reach Agna & Sahasrara with the help of Dhyana.

Mindvalley said...

Very Good & much Great. You are successful because you share all the Knowledge you know with others. That’s a Great sign! Good Luck to the Future and thanks.
https://blog.mindvalley.com/vedas

Unknown said...

Word by word explanation is good. The grammatical functions are explained clearly.

adn said...

Thank you for the vigraha and the word to word translation , I would be grateful if all words could be written in roman letters so that we can follow easily.

adn said...

Thank you for the vigraha and the word to word translation , I would be grateful if all words could be written in roman letters so that we can follow easily.