Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 42.djvu/34

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XXX HYMNS OF THE ATHARVA-VEDA.

��Still unwritten, and the following pages aim to supply the necessary data.

In the hymn to the Purusha, the primaeval cosmic man

(RV. X, 90, 9), the three Vedic categories, rikdih samani

. • . • ysigwh, are mentioned ; a fourth term,

the AV. in Manda;;zsi, is generic, embodying the metrical

the Rig- canons, or the metrical compositions as a whole, but the opportunity to mention the Atharvan is neglected ^. The names atharvan, ahgiras, and bhr/gu, which occur frequently elsewhere in the RV., designate mythic personages, intimately connected with the production of the fire, and the soma-sacrifice ; nowhere do they seem to refer to any kind of literary composition. Even the expression brahma;/i, used in connection with atharvan, RV. I, 80, 16, can claim no special interest, be- cause, as will appear later (p. Ixvi), the word brahma is never used as a specific designation of Atharvan charms. No great importance is to be attached to this silence ; the praises to the gods in connection with the great soma- sacrifices, with their prevailing mythical colouring, darkened very often by priestly mysticism, offer but scant occasion for the mention of sorcery, or the plainer practices of every- day life. Yet sorcery and house- practices there were in India at all times ^. The failure of the Rig-veda to mention any systematic redaction of charms by a collective name like atharvangirasa/^ must be gauged by the slenderness of its opportunities to mention the Veda as a generic name (cf. VIII, 19, 5), or Vedic collections or redactions in par- ticular (X, 90, 9) 3. There is no proof that even the oldest

��' For RV. X, 71, II, which also hints at the three Vedic types, and the brahma that embraces them all, see the full discussion below, p. Ixiv ff.

° Cf. e. g., RV. I, 191 ; VII, 50, and especially VII, 104, 16.

^ The familiar mention of compositions called rik, saman, uktha, stotra, jastra, &c., does not, it is important to note, refer to collections at all, but to types of poetic productivity ; they are moreover all of them such as were dis- tinctly connected with the soma-sacrifice. Their presence simply accentuates the preoccupation of the body of the Rig-vedic collection with the great priestly sacrifices, and the consequent absence of the more general terms for Vedic classes of writings. The stem yaj-u/;, in the sense of collection of formulas of the Ya^ur-veda, occurs only in the above-mentioned passage, X, 90, 9.

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