Atharva-Veda Samhita/Book VI/Hymn 12
|←Book VI, Hymn 11||Atharva-Veda Samhita , translated by William Dwight Whitney
Book VI, Hymn 12
|Book VI, Hymn 13→|
12. Against the poison of snakes.
Found also in Pāipp. xix. Used by Kāuç. (29. 28) in a remedial rite against the poison of serpents.
Translated: Ludwig, p. 501; Florenz, 262 or 14; Griffith, i. 250; Bloomfield, 28, 461.—See Bergaigne-Henry, Manuel, p. 149.
1. I have gone about the race of snakes, as the sun about the sky, as night about living creatures other than the swan (haṅsá); thereby do I ward off thy poison.
It would appear from this that the haṅsa is regarded as exempt from the dominion of night, doubtless as remaining awake; cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. x. 23. But Ppp. reads, in c, d, rātrāu jagad ivāṁ ni dhvaṅsād avādīr imaṁ viṣam. The comm. reads and explains janim āgamam in b; and in c derives haṅsa from root han, and makes it mean the soul (ātman), to which alone poison does not penetrate! The Anukr. does not heed the redundant syllable in c. ⌊Ppp. combines ahīnām, without elision.⌋
2. What was known of old by priests (brahmán), what by seers, what by gods; what is (bhūtá), is to be, that has a mouth—therewith do I ward off thy poison.
Ppp. has uditam for viditam in b, and āsunvat at end of c. The comm. explains āsanvat to mean āsyayuktaṁ: teno ’ccāryamāṇamantrasahitam.
3. With honey I mix (pṛc) the streams; the rugged (? párvata) mountains [are] honey; honey is the Páruṣṇī, the Cī́pālā; weal be to thy mouth, weal to thy heart.
The comm. reads at the beginning madhv ā pṛñce; he takes the streams for the Ganges etc., the mountains (párvata) for the Himālaya etc., and the hills (girí) for their foot-hills; the paruṣṇī for the great river of that name, and çīpālā as adj., 'rich in water-grass' (çāivāla): all these are to pour on (ā siñcantu) poison-removing honey. The Ppp. text is quite different: abhi nā pṛkṣa nadyaṣ parvatāi ’va girayo madhu: madhu pṛṣṭī çīpālā samāste ‘stu çaṁ hṛdaya. Perhaps paruṣṇī signifies here an 'eddying' brook, and çīpālā a pool 'rich in water-plants.' ⌊Considering that the effect of snake-bite upon heart and blood must have been well known to even the most unlettered Hindu, I am tempted to suggest emendation of āsné to asné.⌋ ⌊In R. and W's ed., correct nadyò3 to nadyà1ḥ.⌋