Page:A history of Sanskrit literature (1900), Macdonell, Arthur Anthony.djvu/91

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the east. He removes evil dreams and drives away demons and sorcerers. He bestows immortality on the gods as well as length of life on man. He also conducts the departed spirit to where the righteous dwell. The other gods follow Savitṛi's lead; no being, not even the most powerful gods, Indra and Varuṇa, can resist his will and independent sway. Savitṛi is not infrequently connected with the evening, being in one hymn (ii. 38) extolled as the setting sun:—

Borne by swift coursers, he will now unyoke them:
The speeding chariot he has stayed from going.
He checks the speed of them that glide like serpents:
Night has come on by Savitṛi's commandment.
The weaver rolls her outstretched web together,
The skilled lay down their work in midst of toiling,
The birds all seek their nests, their shed the cattle:
Each to his lodging Savitṛi disperses.

To this god is addressed the most famous stanza of the Rigveda, with which, as the Stimulator, he was in ancient times invoked at the beginning of Vedic study, and which is still repeated by every orthodox Hindu in his morning prayers. From the name of the deity it is called the Sāvitrī , but it is also often referred to as "the Gāyatrī" from the metre in which it is composed:—

May we attain that excellent
Glory of Savitṛi the god,
That he may stimulate our thoughts (iii. 62, 10).

A peculiarity of the hymns to Savitṛi is the perpetual play on his name with forms of the root , "to stimulate," from which it is derived.

Pūshan is invoked in some eight hymns of the Rigveda. His name means "Prosperer," and the con-