Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 42.djvu/36

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


xxxii HYMNS of the atharva-veda.

��it augurs no contempt or neglect of the Atharvan, if in a charm constructed for the purpose of obtaining a know- ledge of the Vedas, AV. VII, 54 (Kaus. 42, 9), only r/k, saman, yagu/i, veda, and oblation (havi/^) are mentioned : the person who here desires Vedic learning is not in training for Atharvan priesthood, and therefore does not take care to include this specialistic learning ^ And similarly a con- siderable number of additional Atharvan passages, IX, 6, I. 2; XI, 7, 5. 24; 8, 23; XII, 1,38; XV, 3, 6-8; 6, 3, in which the Atharvan is not mentioned with the other Vedic compositions, betray no sign of conscious exclusion or con- tempt of the Atharvan. On the other hand, this very omission ensures the interesting result that the Sa7//hita of the AV., unlike its ritualistic adjuncts (see p. Ivii fif.), is in no wise engaged either in self-glorification, or in polemics against the other Vedas. It seems altogether evident that the Atharvan diaskeuasts were totally uncon- scious of any disadvantages inherent in their text, or any contemptuous treatment on the part of the adherents of the other Vedas.

In addition to the explicit designation of the Atharvan compositions as atharvaiigirasa//, bhesha^ani, atharva/zani, &c., there is to be noted in the 5aunakiya-text of the hymns a decided advance in the association of the names Atharvan, Arigiras, and Bhrzgu with the practices and conditions which these hymns are aimed at. The older, broader, and vaguer mythic personality of all three which appears, e.g. in RV. VIII, 43, ^3 ; X, 14, 6 ( = AV. XVIII, T, 58); X, 92, 10, is still continued in the Atharvan (VI, 1, 1 ; XI, 6, 13; XVI, 8, 11-14): Atharvan, Ahgiras, and Bhr/gu are at times simply semi-divine, or wholly divine

mentioned as the fourth Veda the poet lapses into the more familiar traividya, in a stanza which, like st. 20, aims to state that the Vedas are derived from Skambha (Brahma), a monotheistic personification ; cf. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, V, 378.

» A similar passage in a Sutra of the RV. (A5v Grih. Ill, 3, 1-3, on the same occasion, namely, the study of the Vetla, does not hesitate to include the Atharvan along with many other Vedic texts. This does not argue conscious preference, any more than the Atharvan passage indicates conscious exclusion ; cf. below, p. xliv.

�� �