Atharva-Veda Samhita/Book XI

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Book XI.

⌊This eleventh book is the fourth book of the second grand division of the Atharvan collection. As to the general make-up of the books of this division, see page 471. The Old Anukramaṇī describes the length of hymns 6 and 8 by stating the excess of each over 20 verses. All of the book except hymns 3 and 8 has been translated by Bloomfield in Sacred Books of the East, vol. xlii.; and all of it by Victor Henry, Les Livres X, XI et XII de l'Atharva-véda traduits et commentés, Paris, 1896. Here again we have the bhāṣya for the entire book.⌋

⌊The ritual uses of this book are confined for the most part to the first hymn, nearly every verse of which is quoted in Kāuçika 60-63 and 65 in connection with the details of the sava sacrifice. Of the other nine hymns only sporadic citations are made by Kāuçika; and in the Vāitāna, only a single quotation (of 2. 1) is made out of the whole book.⌋

Paryāya-hymns: for details respecting them, see pages 471-2. The paryāya-hymn of this book is hymn 3, with 3 paryāyas.]

Discrepancies of hymn-numeration, as between the two editions, in so far as they are occasioned by the counting of each paryāya as a separate hymn by the Bombay edition. The matter is discussed at this place because it is in this book, page 625, that Whitney has condemned the procedure of the Bombay edition. The facts are as follows:⌋ ⌊☞ See p. cxxxiv and p. 1013.⌋

⌊In book viii., the Bombay edition, counting separately each of the 6 paryāyas of our last hymn (h. 10), makes for that book a total of 15 hymns; but, since the discrepancy is confined to our last hymn, the plus of 5 does not affect the numeration of the preceding 9.⌋

⌊In book ix., the Bombay edition, counting separately each of the 6 paryāyas of our hymn 6 (its 6-11), has a plus of 5 for our h. 7 (its 12) and the following. Our h. 7 is also a paryāya-hymn; but since it has but 1 paryāya, the plus remains a constant from our h. 7 to the end. The total is again 15.⌋

⌊In book x. there is no paryāya-hymn to affect the numeration.⌋

⌊In book xi., the Bombay edition, counting the 3 paryāyas of our hymn 3 as its 3 and 4 and 5, has a plus of 2 for our 4 (its 6) and the following. Its total is therefore 12.⌋

⌊In book xii., the Bombay edition, counting separately each of the 7 paryāyas of our last hymn (h. 5), makes for that book a total of 11 hymns; but, since the discrepancy is confined to our last hymn, the plus of 6 does not affect the numeration of the preceding 4.⌋

⌊In book xiii., the Bombay edition, counting separately each of the 6 paryāyas of our last hymn (h. 4), makes for that book a total of 9 hymns; but the discrepancy is confined to our last hymn (as in books viii. and xii.), and the plus of 5 does not affect the numeration of the preceding 3.⌋

⌊Book xiv. contains no paryāya-hymn. Books xv. and xvi. consist wholly of paryāyas, the former of 18 and the latter of 9, and there is accordingly no practical discrepancy between the two editions.⌋

⌊In his Critical Notice (prefixed to vol. i.), pages 19-23, S. P. Pandit rests his procedure in this matter of numeration upon the authority of the Major Anukr. and of the Minor or Old Anukr. (Pañcapaṭalikā): see especially his page 23, end. His citations undoubtedly prove the right of each paryāya to be presented separately, and they are so presented in the Berlin edition. But the mss., in numbering the verses of each paryāya, begin anew each time with 1; perhaps this is required by the prescription of the Old Anukr. (Critical Notice, p. 23), paryāyeṣv avasānānām ṛgbhis tulyo vidhir bhavet. Accordingly, R. and W. may be wrong in numbering the verses of a group of paryāyas continuously (see above, p. 472, top). But I am not sure that independent verse-numbering for each paryāya forbids the grouping of several related paryāyas into one sūkta. This is the real point at issue between the two editions and I will not try to decide it.⌋

⌊I will say, however, that the uniformity of structure in books viii.-xi. as books of ten hymns each (see p. 471), which uniformity results from counting the paryāyas in groups, seems to support the procedure of R. and W. Moreover, as W. says (p. 472, top), the paryāyas of a given group taken together do "evidently constitute each ⌊group⌋ a whole"; and he is borne out by the comm. (at vol. iii., p. 5622), who speaks of the "rice-dish-triad," our xi. 3, as constituting one "subject-matter-hymn" (arthasūkta: but not in its narrower technical sense).—It may be added that the Major Anukr., at the end of its 7th paṭala and of its treatment of our book xi., says evaṁ ṣaṭtriṅçad arthasūktāni: that is right; for books viii.-xi. have, according to the Berlin count, (4 × 10 hymns =) 40 hymns, of which 4 hymns (our viii. 10, ix. 6, ix. 7, and xi. 3) are paryāya-sūktas, leaving 36 artha-sūktas. But this does not prove that our 4 paryāya-sūktas should not be counted as 16 (cf. p. 471, end).⌋

⌊The anuvāka-division of the book (as is explained on page 472) is into five anuvākas of two hymns each. The "decad"-division likewise is as described on page 472. A tabular conspectus for book xi. follows:

Anuvāka 1 2 3 4 5
Hymns 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Verses 37 31 56¶ 26 26 23 27 34 26 27
Decad-div. 10+10+10+7 10+10+11 3P 10+10+6 10+10+6 10+13 10+10+7 10+10+14 10+10+6 10+10+7

Here ¶ means "paragraph of a paryāya" (such as is numbered as a "verse" in the Berlin edition) and P means "paryāya." The last line shows the "decad"-division. Of these "decads," anuvākas 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 contain respectively 7, 3, 5, 6, and 6 (in all, 27 "decads"); while anuvāka 2 has 3 paryāyas. The sum is 27 "decad"-sūktas and 3 paryāya-sūktas or 30 sūktas.⌋

XI. Book the eleventh
1 Accompanying a rice-dish offering 612
2 To Rudra, especially as Bhava and Çarva 620
3 Extolling the rice-dish (odaná) (fourth paryāya-hymn, with 3 paryāyas) 625
4 Extolling the breath (prāṇá) 632
5 Extolling the Vedic student (brahmacārín) 636
6 To many different gods: for relief 640
7 Extolling the remnant (úcchiṣṭa) of the offering 643
8 Mystic: especially on the constitution of man 647
9 To conquer enemies: to Arbudi 651
10 To conquer enemies: to Trishandhi 655