Mandala 1 – Hymn 161 [Rig Veda]

1. WHY hath the Best, why hath the Youngest come to us? Upon what embassy comes he? What have we said? We have not blamed the chalice of illustrious birth. We, Brother Agni, praised the goodness of the wood. 2. The chalice that is single make ye into four: thus have the Gods commanded; therefore am I come. If, O Sudhanvan’s Children, ye will do this thing ye shall participate in sacrifice with Gods. 3. What to the envoy Agni in reply ye spake, A courser must be made, a chariot fashioned here, A cow must be created, and the Twain made young. When we have done these things, Brother, we turn to you. 4. When thus, O Rbhus, ye had done ye questioned thus, Whither went he who came to us a messenger? Then Tvastar, when he viewed the four wrought chalices, concealed himself among the Consorts of the Gods. 5. As Tvastar thus had spoken, Let us slay these men who have reviled the chalice, drinking-cup of Gods, They gave themselves new names when Soma juice was shed, and under these new names the Maiden welcomed them. 6. Indra hath yoked his Bays, the Asvins’ car is horsed, Brhaspati hath brought the Cow of every hue. Ye went as Rbhus, Vibhvan, Vaja to the Gods, and skilled in war, obtained your share in sacrifice. 7. Ye by your wisdom brought a cow from out a hide; unto that ancient Pair ye gave again their youth. Out of a horse, Sudhanvan’s Sons, ye formed a horse: a chariot ye equipped, and went unto the Gods. 8. Drink ye this water, were the words ye spake to them; or drink ye this, the rinsing of the Muñja-grass. If ye approve not even this, Sudhanvan’s Sons, then at the third libation gladden ye yourselves. 9. Most excellent are waters, thus said one of you; most excellent is Agni, thus another said. Another praised to many a one the lightning cloud. Then did ye shape the cups, speaking the words of truth. 10. One downward to the water drives the crippled cow, another trims the flesh brought on the carving-board. One carries off the refuse at the set of sun. How did the Parents aid their children in their task! 11. On the high places ye have made the grass for man, and water in the valleys, by your skill, O Men. Rbhus, ye iterate not to-day that act of yours, your sleeping in the house of him whom naught can hide. 12. As, compassing them round, ye glided through the worlds, where had the venerable Parents their abode? Ye laid a curse on him who raised his arm at you: to him who spake aloud to you ye spake again. 13. When ye had slept your fill, ye Rbhus, thus ye asked, O thou whom naught may hide, who now hath wakened us? The goat declared the hound to be your wakener. That day, in a full year, ye first unclosed our eyes. 14. The Maruts move in heaven, on earth this Agni; through the mid-firmament the Wind approaches. Varuna comes in the sea’s gathered waters, O Sons of Strength, desirous of your presence.



Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The Rig Veda is intended to be chanted (rather than read). Here is a link to: Rig Veda Full Chanting.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.