Atharva-Veda Samhita/Book VI/Hymn 30

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Atharva-Veda Samhita , translated by William Dwight Whitney
Book VI, Hymn 30

30. To the çamī́ plant: for benefit to the hair.

[Uparibabhrava.—çāmyam. jāgatam: 2. triṣṭubh; 3. 4-p. kakummaty anuṣṭubh.]

Found also in Pāipp. xix. Verse 1 is wholly unconnected in meaning with the others, nor do these clearly belong together. Used by Kāuç. (66. 15) in the savayajñas, at a sava called pāunaḥçila (pāunasira, comm.); and vs. 2 (2 and 3, comm.) in a remedial rite (31. 1).

Translated: Ludwig, p. 512; Florenz, 288 or 40; Griffith, i. 261.—See also Bergaigne-Henry, Manuel, p. 151.


1. This barley, combined with honey, the gods plowed much on the Sarasvatī, in behalf of Manu (?); Indra, of a hundred abilities, was furrow-master; the liberal (? sudā́nu) Maruts were the plowmen.

Ppp. has this verse only by citation of its pratīka, as if it had occurred earlier; but it has not been found elsewhere in the text. It occurs also in TB. (ii. 4. 87; exactly repeated in ĀpÇS. vi. 30. 20; PGS. iii. 1. 6), MB. ii. 1. 16, and K. (xiii. 15). The TB. version begins with etám u tyám mádh- (so MB. also), and it gives in b sárasvatyās and manā́v: cf. manā́v ádhi, RV. viii. 61. 2; ix. 63. 8; 65. 16; and the translation follows this reading; MB. has vanāva carkṛdhi. The comm., too, though he reads maṇāú, explains it by manuṣyajātāu. In a, he has saṁjitam (for saṁyutam). He explains acarkṛṣus by kṛtavantas, as if it came from root kṛ! ⌊SPP. reads maṇāú, without note of variant.⌋


2. The intoxication that is thine, with loosened hair, with disheveled hair, wherewith thou makest a man to be laughed at—far from thee do I wrench [out] other woods; do thou, O çamī́, grow up with a hundred twigs.

Even the lines of this verse seem unrelated. Ppp. has, in a, mado vikeço vikeçyo; and its c, d are entirely different: bhrūṇaghno varivāṇā janitvaṁ tasya te prajayas suvāmi keçam. SPP. reads çatávalçā in d, with a part of the mss. (including our P.M.K.Kp.). The comm. explains vṛkṣi by vṛçcāmi; but its connection and form, in the obscurity of the verse, are doubtful. ⌊W. Foy discusses root vṛj, KZ. xxxiv. 241 ff., and this vs. at p. 244.⌋ R. writes: "The fruit of the çamī, the pod or kernels, is regarded (Caraka, p. 182, 1. 6) as injurious to the hair; and from the designation keçamathanī in Rājan. 8. 33 is to be inferred that it makes the hair fall out. But nothing is said of an intoxicating effect. To the two trees usually identified with çamī, Prosopis spicigera and Mimosa suma, belongs neither the one nor the other effect. Nor is either 'of great leaves.'" ⌊The Dhanvantarīya Nighaṇṭu, p. 188 of the Poona ed., also speaks of çamī as keçahantrī and of its fruit as keçanāçana.⌋


3. O thou of great leaves, blessed one, rain-increased, righteous! as a mother to her sons, be thou gracious to the hair, O çamī́.

It is possible to read sixteen syllables out of the second half-verse (accenting then mṛḍá), but the description of the Anukr. implies 8 + 8: 8 + 6 = 30 syllables ⌊as does also the position of the avasāna-mark, which is put after mṛḍa⌋. Ppp. eases the situation by inserting nas before çami in d; it also reads ūrdhvasvapne (for varṣavṛddhe) in b.