Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 42.djvu/28

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XXIV HYMNS OF THE ATHARVA-VEDA.

exercise against hostile powers those fierce qualities which are later in a broader sense regarded as Angirasic. Thus RV. X, 164, 4 = AV. VI, 45, 3\ certainly exhibits this function of the divine purohita, and the composer of AV. X, i, 6, when he exclaims, ' Prati/^ina (" Back-hurler ") the descendant of Ahgiras, is our overseer and officiator (puro- hita) : do thou drive back again (pratikUi) the spells, and slay yonder fashioners of the spells,' has also in mind the divine purohita ^. The stanza foreshadows the later forma- tion pratyahgiras, discussed above. We look in vain, how- ever, for statements of the reason why the word atharvan should be especially associated with santa. and bhesha^a, and must assume that this was accomplished by secondarily contrasting it with ahgiras after the sense of ghora, abhi/?'ara had incrustated itself ovfer it ^. The uncertainty of all this does not endanger the result that at a comparatively early time the terms atharva/^a/z, in the sense of ' holy charms,' and ahgirasa//, in the sense of ' witchcraft charms,' joined the more distinctively hieratic terms rika./i, ya^uwshi, and samani, as characteristic types of Brahmanical literary performances. But this distinction was at a later period again abandoned ; in the end the name atharvan and its derivatives prevail as designations of the practices and charms of the fourth Veda without reference to their strongly diversified character.

The stem atharvan is modulated in a considerable variety of waj^s by derivative processes, the simple stem itself, or forms in the singular from it, being decidedly rare, and not at all early. I have noted Nn'siwhapurvatapani Up. I, 4, ngya^/zsamatharvarupa// surya/i. Plural forms are less rare : atharva;/o veda/^, 5at. Br. XIII, 4, 3, 7 ; atharva;/am,

' yad indra brahmawas patebhidrohaw Hramasi, pra-freta na afigiraso dvishat^w patv awhaaa/i.

° RV. IV, 50, 7-9 prescribes that kings shall keep in honour (subhr/tam) a b;7haspati, i. e. a Brahman purohita, in archaic language whose sense coincides completely with the later Alharvanic notions. Barring the diction the passage might stand in any Atharva-Parijish/a ; cf. below, p. Ixviii, note.

'■' A dash of popular etymology may have helped the process : a-tharvan, 'not injuring;' cf. thurv in the sense of 'injure,' Dhatupa///a XV, 62, and perhaps Maitr. S. II, 10, i ; also tiic roots turv and dhurv with similar meanings.

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