Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 42.djvu/52

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xlvili HYMNS OF THE ATHARVA-VEDA.

��Vas. XXI, 6-8 ; XXV, 13 ; Vish;ni LV, 9. Certain vows called 5iras, Baudh. II, 8, 14, 2; Vas. XXVI, 12, also emanate from the sphere of Atharvanic practices ; so Govinda at Baudh. loc. cit. More pointedly, and without the company of the traividya, the sacred texts of the Atharvan and Angiras (j-rutir atharvahgirasi//) are recom- mended as the true weapons with which the Brahma;/a may slay his enemies, Manu XI, 33 ; the king must choose for his chaplain (purohita) one who is skilled in the Atharvan and Aiigiras (atharvangirase), Ya^;7av. I, 312^; and the same recommendation is implied at Gaut. XI, 15. 17, where the king is enjoined to take heed of that which astrologers and interpreters of omens tell him, and to cause the puro- hita to perform in his house-fire among other expiatory rites (i-anti), rites for prosperity (mangala), and witchcraft practices (abhiy^ara) against enemies ^. Such a purohita is eo ipso an Atharvan priest. In the Atri-sa;«hita (GW^- nanda's collection, vol. i, p. 45) ^'■yotirvido . . . atharva;/a/i;,

  • Atharvan priests skilled in astrology ' are recommended

for the performance of j-raddhas and sacrifices (cf. Vish^zu III, y^ ; Ya^;7av. I, 332). The sn^taka must not live in a country without physicians, Vish;m LXXI, 66, and the king should consult his physicians in the morning, Ya^;/av. I, 332. At Vish;ai III, 87, the king himself is urged to be conversant with incantations dispelling the effects of poison and sickness, and at Manu VII, 217, the food of the king is rendered salubrious by sacred texts that destroy poison : these passages evidently refer to Atharvanic bhai- sha^yani (cf p. 25 ff.), and Atharvan priests skilled in their use. AtBaudh. II, 8, 15,4; Vish;/u LXXIII, 11 ; LXXXI, 4, the demons called yatudhana are driven out by means of sesame, in perfect accord with AV. I, 7, 2.

Thus far then the dharma-literature expresses regard for the Atharvan, and distinct dependence upon its literature and its practices. But the ever dubious quality of the fourth Veda sounds from notes pitched in a different key. In the

  • The king himself is urged (ib. I, 310) to deyote himself to the trayi.

^ This is the stereotyped summary of the functions of the AV., j'antapush/i- kabhi/Oarika ; see p. xxix.

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