Atharva-Veda Samhita

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For other English-language translations of this work, see Atharvaveda.
Atharva-Veda Samhita  (1905) 
edited by
Charles Rockwell Lanman,
translated by
William Dwight Whitney

Volumes VII and VIII of the Harvard Oriental Series.


Plates, one in each volume of this work
Portrait of Whitney, facing page xliii
Facsimile of Kashmirian text, birch-bark leaf 187 a, just before page 471
Prefatory and biographical and related matter xvii–lxi
Paragraphs in lieu of a preface by Whitney xvii–xxi
Announcement of this work xvii
Statement of its plan and scope and design xviii
The purpose and limitations and method of the translation xix
Editor's preface xxiii–xlii
Whitney's labors on the Atharva-Veda xxiii
The edition of the text or the "First volume" xxiii
Relation of this work to the "First volume" xxiv
And to this Series xxiv
External form of this work xxiv
Its general scope as determined by previous promise and fulfilment xxv
Of the critical notes in particular xxvi
Scope of the work as transcending previous promise xxvii
Evolution of the style of the work xxvii
Partial rewriting and revision by Whitney xxvii
Picking up the broken threads xxviii
Relation of the editor's work to that of the author xxviii
Parts for which the author is not responsible xxviii
The General Introduction, Part I.: by the editor xxix
The same, Part II.: elaborated in part from the author's material xxix
The editor's special introductions to the eighteen books, ii.–xix. xxx
The special introductions to the hymns: additions by the editor xxx
His bibliography of previous translations and discussions: contained in The paragraphs beginning with the word "Translated" xxx
Added special introductions to the hymns of book xviii. etc. xxxi
Other editorial additions at the beginning and end of hymns xxxii
Other additions of considerable extent xxxii
The seven tables appended to the latter volume of this work xxxii
Unmarked minor additions and other minor changes xxxiii
The marked minor additions and other minor changes xxxiv
The revision of the author's manuscript. Verification xxxiv
Accentuation of Sanskrit words xxxv
Cross-references xxxv
Orthography of Anglicized proper names xxxv
Editorial short-comings and the chances of error xxxv
The biographical and related matter xxxvi
General significance of Whitney's work xxxvii
Need of a systematic commentary on the Rig-Veda xxxvii
The Century Dictionary of the English Language xxxviii
Acknowledgments xxxviii
Human personality and the progress of science xl
The same in English verse and in Sanskrit verse xli–xlii
Biographical and related matter xliii–lxi
Brief sketch of Whitney's life: by the editor xliii
Estimate of Whitney's character and services: by the editor xlvii
Select list of Whitney's writings: by Whitney lvi
General Introduction, Part I.: by the editor lxiii—cvii
General Premises lxiii–lxiv
Scope of this Part of the Introduction lxiii
Scope of the reports of the variant readings lxiii
The term "manuscripts" often used loosely for "authorities" lxiv
Which authorities are both manuscripts and oral reciters lxiv
Difficulty of verifying statements as to authorities lxiv
1. Readings of European manuscripts of the Vulgate recension lxiv–lxv
Reports include mss. collated, some before, and some after publication lxiv
Interpretation of the records of the Collation-Book lxv
2. Readings of Indian manuscripts of the Vulgate lxvi
By "Indian mss." are meant those used by S. P. Pandit lxvi
His reports not exhaustive lxvi
3. Readings of Indian oral reciters of the Vulgate lxvi–lxvii
By "Indian oral reciters" are meant those employed by S. P. Pandit lxvi
Errors of the eye checked by oral reciters lxvi
4. Readings of the Hindu commentator lxvii–lxviii
The critical value and the range of his variant readings lxvii
Excursus: Was he identical with Sāyaṇa of the Rig-Veda? lxviii
5. Readings of the Pada-pāṭha lxix–lxx
Reported in Index Verborum, and since published in full lxix
Illustrations of its deficiencies lxix
In verb-compounds and various other combinations lxix–lxx
6. The Prātiçākhya and its commentary lxx–lxxi
Character of Whitney's editions of the Prātiçākhyas lxx
Their bearing upon the orthography and criticism of the text lxx
Utilization of the Atharvan Prātiçākhya for the present work lxxi
7. The Anukramaṇīs: "Old" and "Major" lxxi–lxxiv
More than one Anukramaṇī extant lxxi
The Pañcapaṭalikā or "Old Anukr." or "Quoted Anukr." lxxi
Manuscripts thereof lxxii
The Bṛhatsarvānukramaṇī or "Major Anukr." lxxii
Manuscripts thereof lxxii
Text-critical value of the Anukramaṇīs lxxiii
The author of the Major Anukr. as a critic of meters lxxiii
His statements as to the seers of the hymns (quasi-authorship) lxxiv
8. The Kāuçika-Sūtra and the Vāitāna-Sūtra lxxiv–lxxix
The work of Garbe and Bloomfield and Caland lxxiv
Bearing of Sūtras upon criticism of structure and text of Saṁhitā lxxv
Grouping of mantra-material in Sūtra and in Saṁhitā compared lxxv
Many difficulties of the Kāuçika yet unsolved lxxvi
Value of the Sūtras for the exegesis of the Saṁhitā lxxvii
Kāuçika no good warrant for dogmatism in the exegesis of Saṁhitā lxxvii
Integer vitae as a Christian funeral-hymn lxxviii
Secondary adaptation of mantras to incongruous ritual uses lxxviii
9. Readings of the Kashmirian or Pāippalāda recension lxxix–lxxxix
Its general relations to the Vulgate or Çāunakan recension lxxix
The unique birch-bark manuscript thereof (perhaps about A.D. 1519) lxxx
Roth's Kashmirian nāgarī transcript (Nov. 1874) lxxxi
Arrival (1876) of the birch-bark original at Tübingen lxxxi
Roth's Collation (June, 1884) of the Pāippalāda text lxxxi
Roth's autograph nāgarī transcript (Dec. 1884) lxxxii
The facsimile of the birch-bark original (1901) lxxxii
Roth's Collation not exhaustive lxxxiii
Faults of the birch-bark manuscript lxxxiii
Collation not controlled by constant reference to the birch-bark ms. lxxxiv
Such reference would have ruined the birch-bark ms. lxxxiv
Care taken in the use of Roth's Collation. Word-division lxxxv
Kashmirian readings not controlled directly from the facsimile lxxxv
Provisional means for such control: the Concordance (pages 1018–1023) lxxxv
Excursus: The requirements for an edition of the Pāippalāda: lxxxvi
1. A rigorously precise transliteration lxxxvii
2. Marginal references to the Vulgate parallels lxxxvii
3. Index of Vulgate verses thus noted on the margin lxxxvii
4. Accessory material: conjectures, notes, translations. lxxxviii
10. Readings of the parallel texts lxxxix–xci
The texts whose readings are reported lxxxix
The method of reporting aims at the utmost accuracy lxxxix
Completeness of the reports far from absolute xc
Reports presented in well-digested form xc
11. Whitney's Commentary: further discussion of its critical elements xci–xciii
Comprehensiveness of its array of parallels xci
Criticism of specific readings xci
Illustrations of classes of text-errors xcii
Auditory errors. Surd and sonant. Twin consonants xcii
Visual errors. Haplography xciii
Metrical faults. Hypermetric glosses, and so forth xciii
Blend-readings xciii
12. Whitney's Translation and the interpretative elements of the Commentary xciv–xcix
The translation: general principles governing the method thereof xciv
The translation not primarily an interpretation, but a literal version xciv
A literal version as against a literary one xciv
Interpretative elements: captions of the hymns xcv
Interpretations by Whitney xcv
Exegetical notes contributed by Roth xcvi
The translation has for its underlying text that of the Berlin edition xcvi
This is the fact even in cases of corrigible corruptions xcvi
Cases of departure from the text of the Berlin edition xcvii
Whitney's growing skepticism and correspondingly rigid literalness xcvii
Poetic elevation and humor xcviii
13. Abbreviations and signs explained xcix–cvi
General scope of the list: it includes not only xcix
The downright or most arbitrary abbreviations, but also xcix
The abbreviated designations of books and articles xcix
Explanation of arbitrary signs:
Parentheses; square brackets c
Ell-brackets (⌊ ⌋); hand (☞) c
Small circle; Italic colon; Clarendon letters, a, b, c, etc. c
Alphabetic list of abbreviations c
14. Tabular view of translations and native comment cvi–cvii
Previous translations.—Native comment cvi
Chronologic sequence of previous translations and discussions cvii
General Intoduction, Part II.: partly from Whitney's material cix—clxi
General Premises cix
Contents of this Part cix
Authorship of this Part cix
1. Description of the manuscripts used by Whitney cix–cxvi
The brief designations of his manuscripts (sigla codicum) cix
Synoptic table of the manuscripts used by him cx
Table of the Berlin manuscripts of the Atharva-Veda cx
Whitney's critical description of his manuscripts:
Manuscripts used before publication of the text (B. P. M. W. E. I. H.; Bp. Bp.2) cxi
Manuscripts collated after publication of the text (O. R. T. K.; Op. D. Kp.) cxiv
2. The stanza çaṁ no devīr abhiṣṭaye as opening stanza cxvi–cxvii
As initial stanza of the text in the Kashmirian recension cxvi
As initial stanza of the Vulgate text cxvi
3. Whitney's Collation-Book and his collations cxvii–cxix
Description of the two volumes that form the Collation-Book cxvii
Whitney's fundamental transcript of the text cxvii
Collations made before publication of the text cxviii
The Berlin collations cxviii
The Paris and Oxford and London collations cxviii
Collations made after publication (made in 1875 or later) cxviii
Haug, Roth, Tanjore, Deccan, and Bikaner mss. cxviii
Other contents of the Collation-Book cxviii
4. Repeated verses in the manuscripts cxix–cxx
Abbreviated by pratīka with addition of ity ekā etc. cxix
List of repeated verses or verse-groups cxix
Further details concerning the pratīka and the addition cxix
5. Refrains and the like in the manuscripts cxx–cxxi
Written out in full only in first and last verse of a sequence cxx
Treated by the Anukramaṇī as if unabbreviated cxx
Usage of the editions in respect of such abbreviated passages cxxi
6. Marks of accentuation in the manuscripts cxxi–cxxiii
Berlin edition uses the Rig-Veda method of marking accents cxxi
Dots for lines as accent-marks cxxi
Marks for the independent svarita cxxii
Horizontal stroke for svarita cxxii
Udātta marked by vertical stroke above, as in Māitrāyaṇī cxxii
Accent-marks in the Bombay edition cxxii
Use of a circle as avagraha-sign cxxii
7. Orthographic method pursued in the Berlin edition cxxiii–cxxvi
Founded on the usage of the mss., but controlled by the Prātiçakhyā cxxiii
That treatise an authority only to a certain point cxxiii
Its failure to discriminate between rules of wholly different value cxxiii
Items of conformity to the Prātiçakhyā and of departure therefrom cxxiv
Transition-sounds: as in tān-t-sarvān cxxiv
Final -n before ç- and j-: as in paçyañ janmāni cxxiv
Final -n before c-: as in yāṅç ca cxxiv
Final -n before t-: as in tāṅs te cxxiv
Final -t before ç-: as in asmac charavaḥ cxxv
Abbreviation of consonant groups: as in pan̄kti cxxv
Final -m and -n before l-: as in kaṅ lokam cxxv
Visarga before st- and the like: as in ripu stenaḥ cxxvi
The kampa-figures 1 and 3 cxxvi
The method of marking the accent cxxvi
8. Metrical form of the Atharvan Saṁhitā cxxvi–cxxvii
Predominance of anuṣṭubh stanzas cxxvi
Extreme irregularity of the metrical form cxxvii
Apparent wantonness in the alteration of Rig-Veda material cxxvii
To emend this irregularity into regularity is not licit cxxvii
9. Divisions of the text cxxvii–cxl
Summary of the various divisions cxxvii
The first and second and third "grand divisions" cxxvii
1. The (unimportant) division into prapāṭhakas or 'lectures' cxxviii
Their number and distribution and extent cxxviii
Their relation to the anuvāka-divisions cxxviii
2. The (fundamental) division into kāṇḍas or 'books' cxxix
3. The division into anuvākas or 'recitations' cxxix
Their number, and distribution over books and grand divisions cxxix
Their relation to the hymn-divisions in books xiii.–xviii. cxxx
4. The division into sūktas or 'hymns' cxxxi
The hymn-divisions not everywhere of equal value cxxxi
5. The division into ṛcas or 'verses' cxxxi
6. Subdivisions of verses: avasānas, pādas, and so forth cxxxii
Numeration of successive verses in the mss. cxxxii
Groupings of successive verses into units requiring special mention: cxxxii
Decad-sūktas or 'decad-hymns' cxxxii
Artha-sūktas or 'sense-hymns' cxxxiii
Paryāya-sūktas or 'period-hymns' cxxxiii
Differences of the Berlin and Bombay numerations in books vii. and xix. cxxxiv
Differences of hymn-numeration in the paryāya-books cxxxiv
Whitney's criticism of the numbering of the Bombay edition cxxxvi
Suggestion of a preferable method of numbering and citing cxxxvi
Differences of verse-numeration cxxxvii
Summations of hymns and verses at end of divisions cxxxviii
The summations quoted from the Pañcapaṭalikā cxxxviii
Indication of extent of divisions by reference to an assumed norm cxxxviii
Tables of verse-norms assumed by the Pañcapaṭalikā cxxxix
The three "grand divisions" are recognized by the Pañcapaṭalikā cxxxix
10. Extent and structure of the Atharva-Veda Saṁhitā cxl–clxi
Limits of the original collection
Books xix. and xx. are later additions cxli
The two broadest principles of arrangement of books i.–xviii.: cxlii
1. Miscellaneity or unity of subject and 2. length of hymn cxlii
The three grand divisions (I., II., III.) as based on those principles cxlii
The order of the three grand divisions cxlii
Principles of arrangement of books within the grand division: cxlii
1. Normal length of the hymns for each of the several books cxliii
2. The amount of text in each book. Table cxliii
Arrangement of the hymns within any given book cxliii
Distribution of hymns according to length in divisions I. and II. and III. cxlvi
Tables (1 and 2 and 3) for those divisions (see pages cxliv–cxlv) cxlvi
Grouping of hymns of book xix. according to length cxlvi
Table (number 4) for book xix. cxlvii
Summary of the four tables. Table number 5. cxlvii
Extent of AV. Saṁhitā about one half of that of RV. cxlvii
First grand division (books i.–vii.): short hymns of miscellaneous subjects cxlvii
Evidence of fact as to the existence of the verse-norms cxlviii
Express testimony of both Anukramaṇīs as to the verse-norms cxlviii
One verse is the norm for book vii. cxlix
Arrangement of books within the division:
1. With reference to the normal length of the hymns cxlix
Excursus: on hymn xix. 23, Homage to parts of the Atharva-Veda cl
Exceptional character of book vii. cli
Book vii. a book of after-gleanings supplementing books i.–vi. clii
2. Arrangement of books with reference to amount of text clii
Résumé of conclusions as to the arrangement of books i.–vii. clii
Departures from the norms by excess cliii
Critical significance of those departures cliii
Illustrative examples of critical reduction to the norm cliii
Arrangement of the hymns within any given book of this division cliv
Second grand division (books viii.–xii.): long hymns of miscellaneous subjects clv
Their hieratic character: mingled prose passages clv
Table of verse-totals for the hymns of division II. clvi
General make-up of the material of this division clvi
Order of books within the division: negative or insignificant conclusions clvii
Order of hymns within any given book of this division clvii
Possible reference to this division in hymn xix. 23 clvii
Third grand division (books xiii.–xviii.): books showing unity of subject clviii
Division III. represented in Pāippalāda by a single book, book xviii. clix
Names of the books of this division as given by hymn xix. 23 clix
Order of books within the division clix
Table of verse-totals for the hymns of division III. clix
Order of hymns within any given book of this division clx
The hymn-divisions of books xiii.–xviii. and their value clx

Cross-references to explanation of abbreviations and so forth

To explanation of abbreviations (pages xcix–cvi) clxii
To explanation of abbreviated titles (pages xcix–cvi) clxii
To explanation of arbitrary signs (page c) clxii
To key to the designations of the manuscripts (pages cix–cx) clxii
To synoptic tables of the manuscripts (pages cx–cxi) clxii
To descriptions of the manuscripts (pages cxi–cxvi) clxii
To table of titles of hymns (volume VIII., pages 1024–1037) clxii
The Atharva-Veda Saṁhitā: Translation and Notes . . . 1–1009
1. First Grand Division.—Books I.–VII. 1–470
Seven books of short hymns of miscellaneous subjects
[For table of the titles of the 433 hymns, see p. 1024]

[Volume VII. ends here with book vii.]

[Volume VIII. begins here with book viii.]

2. Second Grand Division.—Books VIII.–XII. 471–707
Five books of long hymns of miscellaneous subjects
[For table of the titles of the 45 hymns, see p. 1034]
3. Third Grand Division.—Books XIII.–XVIII. 708–894
Six books of long hymns, the books showing unity of subject
[For table of the titles of the 15 hymns, see p. 1035]
Book xiii.: hymns to the Ruddy Sun or Rohita (seer: Brahman) 708–737
Book xiv.: wedding verses (seer: Sāvitrī Sūryā) 738–768
Book xv.: the Vrātya (seer:—) 769–791
Book xvi.: Paritta (seer: Prajāpati?) 792–804
Book xvii.: prayer to the Sun as Indra and as Vishṇu (seer: Brahman) 805–812
Book xviii.: funeral verses (seer: Atharvan) 813–894
4. Supplement.—Book XIX. 895–1009
After-gleanings, chiefly from the traditional sources of division I.
[For table of the titles of the 72 hymns, see p. 1036]
Pāippalāda excerpts concerning book xx. 1009
Indexes and other auxiliary matter 1011–1046
1. The non-metrical passages of the Atharvan Saṁhita 1011
Tabular list 1011
2. Hymns ignored by the Kāuçika-Sūtra 1011–1012
Tabular list 1012
3. The two methods of citing the Kāuçika-Sūtra 1012
Tabular concordance 1012
4. The discrepant hymn-numbers of the Berlin and Bombay editions 1013
Tabular concordance 1013
5. Pāippalāda passages corresponding to passages of the Vulgate 1013–1023
Primary use of the table, its genesis and character 1013
Incidental uses of the table 1013
Vulgate grand division III. and Pāippalāda book xviii. 1014
Conspectus of the contents of Pāippalāda book xviii. 1015
Explanation of the table 1016
Manner of using the table 1017
Tabular concordance 1017–1023
6. Whitney's English captions to his hymn-translations 1024–1037
They form an important element in his interpretation of this Veda 1024
In tabular form, they give a useful conspectus of its subject-matter 1024
Table of hymn-titles of Division I., books i.—vii. 1024–1032
[Stop-gap: the division of this work into two separately bound volumes] 1033
Table of hymn-titles of Division II., books viii—xii. 1034
Table of hymn-titles of Division III., books xiii—xviii. 1035
Table of hymn-titles of the Supplement, book xix. 1036–1037
7. The names of the seers of the hymns 1038–1041
Whitney's exploitation of the Major Anukramaṇī 1038
Doubtful points 1038
Entire books of division III. ascribed each to a single seer 1038
Value of these ascriptions of quasi-authorship 1038
Prominence of Atharvan and Brahman as seers 1039
Hymns of Atharvan and hymns of Aṅgiras: possible contrast 1039
Consistency in the ascriptions 1039
Palpably fabricated ascriptions 1040
Alphabetical index of seer-names and of passages ascribed to them 1040–1041
8. Brief index of names and things and words and places 1042–1044
An elaborate index uncalled for here 1042
Alphabetical list of names and things 1042
Alphabetical list of Sanskrit words 1044
List of AV. passages 1044
9. Additions and corrections 1044–1046
Omissions and errors not easy to rectify in the electrotype plates 1045

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1928.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1941, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 81 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.