Atharva-Veda Samhita/Book VI/Hymn 110

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110. For a child born at an unlucky time.

[Atharvan.—āgneyam. trāiṣtubham: 1. pan̄kti.]

This hymn is not found in Pāipp. Kāuç. (46. 25) applies it for the benefit of a child born under an inauspicious asterism.

Translated: Ludwig, p. 431; Zimmer, p. 321; Griffith, i. 305; Bloomfield, 109, 517.—With reference to the asterisms, see note to ii. 8. i; Zimmer, p. 356; Jacobi in Festgruss an Roth, p. 70.


1. Since, an ancient one, to be praised at the sacrifices, thou sittest as hótar both of old and recent—do thou, O Agni, both gratify thine own self, and bestow (ā-yaj) good fortune on us.

The verse is RV. viii. 11. 10 (also TA. x. 169). Our text has several bad readings, which are corrected in the other version: kám in a should be kam, satsi should be sátsi, and piprā́yasva should be -práy- (TA. has, in a, pratnóṣi, which its comm. explains by vistārayasi!): this last the comm. also reads, but renders it ājyādihaviṣā pūraya. The verse is not at all a pan̄kti, although capable of being read as 40 syllables.


2. Born in jyeṣṭhaghnī́, in Yama's two Unfasteners (vicṛ́t)—do thou protect him from the Uprooter (mūlabárhaṇa); may he conduct him across all difficulties unto long life, of a hundred autumns.

The consecutiveness of the verse is very defective, inasmuch as 'born' (jātás, nom.) in a can hardly be understood otherwise than of the child, while Agni is addressed in b, and spoken of in third person in c, d. Three asterisms are here ⌊and in 112⌋ referred to, all in our constellation Scorpio: Antares or Cor Scorpionis (either alone or with σ, τ) is usually called jyeṣṭhā 'oldest,' but also (more anciently?), as an asterism of ill omen, jyeṣṭhaghnī 'she that slays the oldest'*; mūla 'root,' also in the same manner mūlabarhaṇī ⌊or -ṇa⌋, lit. 'root-wrencher,'* is the tail, or in the tail, of which the terminal star-pair, or the sting (λ, υ), has the specific name vicṛtāu. ⌊See note to ii. 8. i.⌋ The comm. takes yamasya as belonging to mūlabarhaṇāt. By a misprint, our text begins with jyāi- (read jye-). *⌊See TB. i. 5. 28.⌋


3. On the tiger day hath been born the hero, asterism-born, being born rich in heroes; let him not, increasing, slay his father; let him not harm his mother that gave him birth.

We should expect at the beginning vyāghryé or vāíyāghre; the comm. paraphrases the word with vyāghravat krūre. ⌊In d, read sá mā́ mātáram?—As to minīt, see Gram. §726.⌋