Mandala 1 – Hymn 163 [Rig Veda]

1. WHAT time, first springing into life, thou neighedst, proceeding from the sea or upper waters, Limbs of the deer hadst thou, and eagle pinions. O Steed, thy birth is nigh and must be lauded. 2. This Steed which Yama gave hath Trita harnessed, and him, the first of all, hath Indra mounted. His bridle the Gandharva grasped. O Vasus, from out the Sun ye fashioned forth the Courser. 3. Yama art thou, O Horse; thou art Aditya; Trita art thou by secret operation. Thou art divided thoroughly from Soma. They say thou hast three bonds in heaven that hold thee. 4. Three bonds, they say, thou hast in heaven that bind thee, three in the waters, three within the ocean. To me thou seemest Varuna, O Courser, there where they say is thy sublimest birth-place. 5. Here-, Courser, are the places where they groomed thee, here are the traces of thy hoofs as winner. Here have I seen the auspicious reins that guide thee, which those who guard the holy Law keep safely. 6. Thyself from far I recognized in spirit,–a Bird that from below flew through the heaven. I saw thy head still soaring, striving upward by paths unsoiled by dust, pleasant to travel. 7. Here I beheld thy form, matchless in glory, eager to win thee food at the Cow’s station. Whene’er a man brings thee to thine enjoyment, thou swallowest the plants most greedy eater. 8. After thee, Courser, come the car, the bridegroom, the kine come after, and the charm of maidens. Full companies have followed for thy friendship: the pattern of thy vigour Gods have copied. 9. Horns made of gold hath he: his feet are iron: less fleet than he, though swift as thought, is Indra. The Gods have come that they may taste the oblation of him who mounted, first of all, the Courser. 10. Symmetrical in flank, with rounded haunches, mettled like heroes, the Celestial Coursers Put forth their strength, like swans in lengthened order, when they, the Steeds, have reached the heavenly causeway. 11. A body formed for flight hast thou, O Charger; swift as the wind in motion is thy spirit. Thy horns are spread abroad in all directions: they move with restless beat in wildernesses. 12. The strong Steed hath come forward to the slaughter, pondering with a mind directed God-ward. The goat who is his kin is led before him the sages and the singers follow after. 13. The Steed is come unto the noblest mansion, is come unto his Father and his Mother. This day shall he approach the Gods, most welcome: then he declares good gifts to him who offers.

 

 


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.

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