Atharva-Veda Samhita/Book VI/Hymn 122

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122. With an offering for offspring.

[Bhṛgu.—pañcarcam. vāiçvakarmaṇam. trāiṣṭubham: 4. 5. jagatī.]

Verses 2, 3 are found in Pāipp. xvi. ⌊For vss. 1-3, cf. v. Schroeder, Zwei Hss., p. 15, Tübinger Kaṭha-hss., pp. 75-76.⌋ It appears in Kāuç., with the hymn next following,* in the savayajñas (63. 29), accompanying the offering of saṁsthitahomas; and the comm. regards vs. 5 (instead of xi. i. 27, which has the same pratīka) as intended at 63. 4, in the same ceremonies, with distribution of water for washing the priests' hands. Vāit. (22. 23) has both hymns in the agniṣṭoma, with vii. 41. 2, as recited by the sacrificer. ⌊For the whole anuvāka, see under h. 114.⌋ *⌊And with x. 9. 26.⌋

Translated: Ludwig, p. 432; Griffith, i. 312.


1. This portion I, knowing, make over [to thee], O Viçvakarman, first-born of right; by us [is it] given, beyond old age; along an unbroken line may we pass (tṛ) together.

The connection in this verse is obscure; prathamajā́s 'first-born' in b can only qualify "I" grammatically; doubtless it should be vocative, belonging to Viçvakarman. The comm. connects dattam directly with bhāgam, which he explains by pakvam annaṁ havirbhāgaṁ vā. The second half-verse corresponds to TA. ii. 6. is c, d (in immediate connection with the two preceding verses of our text also), which differs only by reading at the end carema; and this the comm. also reads. The first half-verse in TA. is as follows: sá prajānán prátigṛbhṇīta vidvā́n prajā́patiḥ prathamajā́ ṛtásya; and Ppp. apparently intends a similar reading; it has taṁ prajānan ity ekā, as if the verse had occurred earlier in the text; but it has not been found.


2. Some pass along the extended line, of whom what is the Fathers' [was] given in course (? ā́yanena); some, without relatives, giving, bestowing—if they be able to give, that is very heaven.

The TA. (ii. 6. 26) has this verse also, with variants: ánu sáṁcaranti for taranti (besides the preceding ánu) in a, ā́yanavat at end of b, -yácchāt at end of c (Ppp. has -yachān), çaknuvāṅsas* for çíkṣān and eṣām for evá in d. Both comm's understand ṛṇám 'debt' with pítryam, and abandhú (which appears to be used adverbially) as equivalent to abandhavas: though without descendants, they too reach heaven as reward of their gifts. Ppp. has also te for cet in d. *⌊The Calc. ed. seems to have çaknúvāṅsáḥ sv-. Does it intend caknúvān (or çaknávān—see Gram. §701) sá sv-?⌋


3. Take ye (both) hold after, take hold together after; to this world they that have faith attach themselves (sac); what cooked [offering] of yours is served up in the fire, combine ye, O husband and wife, in order to the guarding of it.

The verse is found in TA. (ii. 6. 27), with great differences of text: anu- is omitted at the beginning; anu, second time in a, is accented, ánu; b is samānám pánthām avatho ghṛténa; pūrtám for pakvám is read (also by Ppp.), and yád inserted before agnāú, in c*; d is tásmāi gótrāye ’há jā́yāpatī sáṁ rabhethām. The reading pūrtám is against our understanding pakvám of the body prepared by fire for the other world. The comm. explains páriviṣṭam by prakṣiptam, the TA. comm. by pariprāpitam, both apparently taking it from root viç. The verse is found repeated, with a different beginning, as xii. 3. 7. It is too irregular to be called a simple triṣṭubh. *⌊Thus rectifying its meter.⌋


4. The great sacrifice, as it goes, with mind, I ascend after, with fervor (? tápas), of like origin; being called upon, O Agni, may we, beyond old age, revel in joint reveling in the third firmament.

The connection of mánasā, in a, is probably with anvā́rohāmi; that of tápasā is possibly with sáyonis; but the comm. understands "connected with the sacrifice in virtue of penance"; he guesses two different interpretations of the half-verse. Some of our mss. (P.M.H.p.m.O.) make in c the combination úpahūtā ’gne which the meter demands. Neither this verse nor the next ⌊save its a⌋ has anything of a jagatī character.


5. These cleansed, purified, worshipful maidens I seat in separate succession in the hands of the priests (brahmán); with what desire I now pour you on, let Indra here with the Maruts grant me that.

The verse occurs again, with a slight variation at the end, as xi. 1. 27, and, with much more important differences, as x. 9. 27. In the latter verse, instead of the figurative appellation "maidens," we have "the divine waters (fem.)" themselves addressed.