Atharva-Veda Samhita/Book VI/Hymn 139

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139. To compel a woman's love.

[Atharvan.—pañcarcam. vānaspatyam. ānuṣṭubham: 1. 3-av. 6-p. virāḍjagatī.]

The hymn is wanting in Pāipp. Kāuç. (36. 12) uses it in a women's rite, with vi. 129 and vii. 38: see under the former.

Translated: Weber, Ind. Stud. v. 247; Ludwig, p. 515; Griffith, i. 323; Bloomfield, 102, 539.


1. Nyastikā́ hast thou grown up, my good-fortune maker; a hundred [are] thy forth-stretchers, three and thirty thy down-stretchers. With this thousand-leafed [herb] I make dry thy heart.

The great majority of mss. (including of ours all but Bp.D.R.Kp.) read subhāgaṁk- in b, and this appears to be probably the true saṁhitā-reading, with -bhag- for pada-reading, although neither the Prāt. nor its commentary notes the case; SPP's edition, like ours, reads -bhag-. The comm. explains nyastikā as nitarām asyantī 'casting downward' (namely, any omen of ill-fortune). OB. takes it as a fem. of nyasta-ka 'stuck in'; perhaps rather diminutive of nyasta, as if 'something thrown down, cast away, insignificant.' The comm. understands the plant intended to be the çan̄khapuṣpikā (Andropogon aciculatus: "creeping; grows on barren moist pasture-ground. Of very coarse nature. I never found it touched by cattle." Roxburgh). The comm. ends vs. 1 with the fourth pāda, adding the other two to vs. 2.


2. Let thy heart dry up on me, then let [thy] mouth dry up; then dry thou up by loving me; then go thou about dry-mouthed.

Read perhaps rather māṁ-kāména. Two pādas count an extra syllable each.


3. A conciliator, a love-awakener (?), do thou, O brown, beauteous one, push together; push together both yon woman and me; make [our] heart the same.

The mss. hardly distinguish ṣy and ṣp, but ours, in general, seem, as distinctly as the case admits, to read samuṣyalā́ in a; yet SPP. has -uṣpa- (noting one ms. as reading -uṣya-), and, as he has living scholars among his authorities, the probability is that he is right. Save here and at xiv. 1. 60 (úṣyalāni or úṣpa-), the word appears to be unknown. The comm. gives a worthless mechanical etymology, samyak uptaphalā satī. ⌊is samubjalā́ (root ubj) intended, as a marginal note of Mr. Whitney's suggests?⌋ Our P.M.I. read amúm at beginning of c.


4. As the mouth of one who has not drunk water dries away, so dry thou up by loving me, then go thou about dry-mouthed.

The third pāda has a redundant syllable.


5. As a mongoos, having cut apart, puts together again a snake, so, O powerful [herb], put together the divided of love.

This capacity of the mongoos is unknown to naturalists, nor have any references to it been noted elsewhere.