Atharva-Veda Samhita/Book I/Hymn XII
|←Book I, Hymn XI||Atharva-Veda Samhita , translated by William Dwight Whitney
Book I, Hymn XII
|Book I, Hymn XIII→|
12. Against various ailments (as results of lightning?).
[Bhṛgvan̄giras.—yakṣmanāçanadevatākam. jāgatam: 4. anuṣṭubh.]
Found also in Pāipp. i. It is reckoned (Kāuç. 26. 1, note) as belonging, with many other hymns, to a takmanāçana or takman-destroying gaṇa, and is used (26. 1) to accompany the drinking of various things in a healing ceremony (comm. says, against disease arising from hurtful changes of wind, bile, or phlegm), and also (38. 1) in one against bad weather (durdina), or (Keç.) for the prevention of rain. The third verse further is added to the Mṛgāra hymns in connection with lavation in another healing rite (27. 34).
Translated: Weber, iv. 405; Griffith, i. 15; Bloomfield, JAOS. xiii. p. cxiii ff. (= PAOS. May 1886); AJP. vii. 469 ff.; SBE. xlii. 7, 246.—Bloomfield regards it as addressed to "lightning, conceived as the cause of fever, headache, and cough." See his elaborate comment. Weber made it relate to fever, puerperal or infantile (on account of jarāyujá, 1 a).
1. First born of the afterbirth, the ruddy (usríya) bull, born of wind and cloud (?), goes thundering with rain; may he be merciful to our body, going straight on, breaking; he who, one force, hath stridden out threefold.
The translation implies emendation in b to vātābhrajás or -jā́s, as suggested by 3 c; it is proposed by Weber, and adopted by Bloomfield, being a fairly plausible way of getting out of a decided difficulty. Weber renders, however, "with glowing wind-breath"; R., "with scorching wind" (emending to -bhrajjās). The comm. reads vātavrajās (a couple of SPP's mss., which usually follow him, do the same), and explains it as "going swiftly like the wind," or, alternatively, "having a collection of winds." The 'bull' is to him the sun, and he forces this interpretation through the whole hymn. Neither he nor Kāuç. nor the latter's scholia see anywhere any intimation of lightning; yet this is perhaps most plausibly to be suspected in the obscurities of the expression (so R. also). The first words in a are viewed as signifying 'just escaped from its fœtal envelop (in the cloud).' Ppp. is wholly defaced in the second half-verse; in the first it offers no variants, merely combining -jaṣ prath- in a, and reading -bhraja st- in b. Emendation in d to yásyāí' kam would improve both meter and sense. Tredhā́ in d must be read as three syllables (as in RV.) to make the verse a full jagatī. ⌊At OB. vi. 59 b, vā́ta-dhrajās is suggested—by R.?⌋
2. Thee, lurking (çri) in each limb with burning (çocís), we, paying homage, would worship (vidh) with oblation; we would worship with oblation the hooks, the grapples, [him] who, a seizer, hath seized this man's joints.
Or yás, at beginning of d, is abbreviation for 'when he' or 'with which he.' ⌊Render, rather, 'hath seized his (accentless) joints.' The patient is in plain sight of the exorcist. Emphatic pronoun is therefore needless; so enam vs. 3.⌋ Some of our mss., by a frequent blunder, read in a çiçṛy-. The prolongation of the final of asya in d is noted by the comment to Prāt. iv. 79. Ppp. has a very different (and corrupt) text:...çiçriyāno yo gṛhīta parasya gṛbhīti: an̄ko tam an̄ko haviṣā yajāmi hṛdi çrito manasā yo jajāna. The definition of this verse and the next as triṣṭubh seems to have been lost from the Anukr., which reads simply dvitīyā before antyā 'nuṣṭubh.
3. Release thou him from headache and from cough—whoever hath entered each joint of him; the blast (? çúṣma) that is cloud-born and that is wind-born, let it attach itself to forest-trees (vánaspáti) and mountains.
Ppp. has sṛjatām for sacatām in d. The comm. takes kāsás in a as nomin., explaining it as hṛtkaṇṭhamadhyavartī prasiddhaḥ çleṣmarogaviçeṣaḥ; vātajā́s to him is kāuṣṭhyād vāyor utpannaḥ. ⌊For çīrṣakti, see Knauer, Indogermanische Forschungen, Anzeiger, vii. 225; Bloomfield, AJP. xvii. 416; Böhtlingk, Berichte der sächsischen Ges., 1897, xlix. 50, who takes it as 'a stiff neck with head awry.'⌋
4. Weal [be] to my upper member (gā́tra), weal be to my lower, weal to my four limbs; weal be to my body.
Ppp. has a quite different text: in a, b, te both times for me, and parāya for avarāya; for c, çaṁ te pṛṣṭibhyo majjabhyaḥ ca; in d, tava for mama: the address to a second person is decidedly to be preferred. This is found also in the corresponding verse in VS. (xxiii. 44) and TS. (v. 2. 122), with readings in part agreeing further with those of Ppp.: çáṁ te párebhyo gā́trebhyaḥ çám astv ávarebhyaḥ: çám asthábhyo majjábhyaḥ çám v astu tanvāì táva: but TS. has for d çám u te tanúve bhuvat.