The Rig Veda/Mandala 10/Hymn 71

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The Rig Veda
Mandala 10, Hymn 71
Translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith
1. WHEN-men, Brhaspati, giving names to objects, sent out Vak's first and earliest utterances,
     All that was excellent and spotless, treasured within them, was disclosed through their affection.
2. Where, like men cleansing corn-flour in a cribble, the wise in spirit have created language,
     Friends see and recognize the marks of friendship: their speech retains the blessed sign imprinted.
3. With sacrifice the trace of Vak they foIlowed, and found her harbouring within the Rsis.
     They brought her, dealt her forth in many places: seven singers make her tones resound in concert.
4. One man hath ne'er seen Vak, and yet he seeth: one man hath hearing but hath never heard her.
     But to another hath she shown her beauty as a fond well-dressed woman to her husband.
5. One man they call a laggard, dull in friendship: they never urge him on to deeds of valour.
     He wanders on in profitless illusion: the Voice he heard yields neither fruit,nor blossom.
6. No part in Vak hath he who hath abandoned his own dear friend who knows the truth of friendship.
     Even if he hears her still in vain he listens: naught knows he of the path of righteous action.
7. Unequal in the quickness of their spirit are friends endowed alike with eyes and hearing.
     Some look like tanks that reach the mouth or shoulder, others like pools of water fit to bathe in.
8. When friendly Brahmans sacrifice together with mental impulse which the heart hath fashioned,
     They leave one far behind through their attainments, and some who count as Brahmans wander elsewhere.
9. Those men who step not back and move not forward, nor Brahmans nor preparers of libations,
     Having attained to Vak in sinful fashion spin out their thread in ignorance like spinsters.
10. All friends are joyful in the friend who cometh in triumph, having conquered in assembly.
     He is their blame-averter, food-provider prepared is he and fit for deed of vigour.
11. One plies his constant task reciting verses. one sings the holy psalm in Sakvari measures.
     One more, the Brahman, tells the lore of being, and one lays down the rules of sacrificing.