Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/256

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know for certain whether he is reading about the sun or soma, the moon, or the winds.

To take another example; we open Mr. Max Müller's translation of the Rig-Veda at random, say at page 49. In the second verse of the hymn to the Maruts, Mr. Müller translates, "They who were born together, self-luminous, with the spotted deer (the clouds), the spears, the daggers, the glittering ornaments. I hear their whips almost close by, as they crack them in their hands; they gain splendour on their way." Now Wilson translates this passage, "Who, borne by spotted deer, were born self-luminous, with weapons, war-cries, and decorations. I hear the cracking of their whips in their hands, wonderfully inspiring courage in the fight." Benfey has, "Who with stags and spears, and with thunder and lightning, self-luminous, were born. Hard by rings the crack of their whip as it sounds in their hands; bright fare they down in storm." Langlois translates, "Just born are they, self-luminous. Mark ye their arms, their decorations, their car drawn by deer? Hear ye their clamour? Listen! 'tis the noise of the whip they hold in their hands, the sound that stirs up courage in the battle." This is an ordinary example of the diversities of Vedic translation. It is sufficiently puzzling, nor is the matter made more transparent by the variety of opinion as to the meaning of the "deer" along with which the Maruts are said (by some of the translators) to have been born. This is just the sort of passage on which a controversy affecting the whole nature of Vedic mythological ideas might be raised. According to a