Atharva-Veda Samhita/Book XV/Paryaya 5

5. Paryāya the fifth.

[ṣoḍaça. mantroktarudradevatyāk. 1 a. 3-p. samaviṣamā gāyatrī; 1 b. 3-p. bhurig ārcī triṣṭubh; c of 1-7. 2-p. prājāpatyā ’nuṣṭubh; 2 a. 3-p. svarāṭ prājāpatyā pan̄kti; b of 2-4, 6. 3-p. brāhmī gāyatrī; a of 3, 4, 6. 3-p. kakubh; a of 5, 7. bhurig viṣamā gāyatrī; 5 b. nicṛd brāhmī gāyatrī; 7 b. virāj.]

In this hymn, again, the division made by the mss. and the Anukr. is very strange and obviously opposed to the sense. Sixteen subdivisions ⌊the reckoning is explained above at p. 772, ¶ 3⌋ are made by reckoning the last 16 syllables ⌊following ī́çānaḥ and⌋ (beginning with nā́ ’sya) as belonging only to verses 1 and 7; and the mss. set no avasāna-mark after tiṣṭhati, where alone it has reason, but, in vss. 1, 7, introduce it after ī́çānaḥ, in the middle of a sentence. Rather than put it in so out of place, we have omitted it in our text. One ms. (R.), it may be noticed, fills out to tiṣṭhati॰: nā́ ’sya paçū́n ná sa-॰, showing that it understands vss. 2-6 to be carried out in full, like 1 and 7; the other mss. stop at diçáḥ, ⌊but at anuṣṭhātā́ in vs. 6⌋.

Translated: Aufrecht, Ind. Stud. i. 132; Muir, iv.2 338; Griffith, ii. 189.


1. ⌊1.⌋ For him, from the intermediate direction of the eastern quarter, they made the archer (iṣvāsá) Bhava attendant. ⌊2.⌋ The archer Bhava attends him [as] attendant from the intermediate direction of the eastern quarter; not Çarva, not Bhava, not Īçāna ('the lord') ⌊3.⌋ injures him nor his cattle nor his fellows who knoweth thus.

A resolution is needed in a to make 24 syllables (10 + 6 + 8), also in b to make the meter bhurij. ⌊This paragraph is reckoned to the rāudra gaṇa; see note to Kāuç. 50. 13.⌋ ⌊The word "him" after "injures" is part of the second avasāna.⌋


2. ⌊4.⌋ For him, from the intermediate direction of the southern quarter, they made the archer Çarva attendant. ⌊5.⌋ The archer Çarva attends him as attendant from the intermediate direction of the southern quarter; not Çarva etc. etc.

3. ⌊6.⌋ For him, from the intermediate direction of the western quarter, they made the archer Paçupati ('lord of cattle') attendant. ⌊7.⌋ The archer Paçupati attends him as attendant from the intermediate direction of the western quarter; not Çarva etc. etc.

4. ⌊8.⌋ For him, from the intermediate direction of the northern quarter, they made the archer, the formidable god, attendant. ⌊9.⌋ The archer, the formidable god, attends him as attendant from the intermediate direction of the northern quarter; not Çarva etc. etc.

At the beginning, read in our text tásmā for tásmāi.


5. ⌊10.⌋ For him, from the intermediate direction of the fixed quarter, they made the archer Rudra attendant. ⌊11.⌋ The archer Rudra attends him as attendant from the intermediate direction of the fixed quarter; not Çarva etc. etc.

6. ⌊12.⌋ For him, from the intermediate direction of the upward quarter, they made the archer Mahādeva ('great god') attendant. ⌊13.⌋ The archer Mahādeva attends him as attendant from the intermediate direction of the upward quarter; not Çarva etc. etc.

7. ⌊14.⌋ For him, from all the intermediate directions, they made the archer Īçāna attendant. ⌊15.⌋ The archer Īçāna as attendant attends him from all the intermediate directions; not Çarva, ⌊not Bhava, not Īçāna, 16. injures him nor his cattle nor his fellows who knoweth thus⌋.

The mss. vary in a and b between sárvebhyo ant- and -bhyo ‘nt-; in a, only P.M.W.E. have -bhyo ‘nt-; in b, ⌊at least two, E. and⌋ Bs. Probably our text ought to give in both places -bhyo ant-; ⌊so SPP. with all but two of his authorities⌋.

After the definition of the c of 1-7 the Anukr. adds: hinasti vyāghrādiṣv avagantavyaḥ; which apparently means that in 2-6 is to be understood the verb hinasti, which is expressed only in 1 c and 7 c; vyāghrādiṣu is probably a corruption.

⌊After its metrical definition of xi. 1. 36, the Anukr. inserts the words vyāghrādiṣv avagantavyā; and after that of xiv. 1. 60 occur the words (see p. 740) ity, or parāviny, edhiṣīmahīti vyāghrādiṣv avagantavyaḥ.—One ritual use of xiv. 1. 60 is as a prayer for the safety of the bride as she sets out for her new home. In that connection, a specification of the safety as "in respect of tigers and so forth" would be entirely appropriate. And it is also appropriate here, at xv. 5.—The verse xi. 1. 36 is used in the ritual (Kāuç. 63. 9) with iv. 14. 5 in the sava offering: the former, as a prayer for safety on the road to heaven (ágne patháḥ kalpaya devayā́nān) the latter, somewhat similarly (svàr yantu yájamānāḥ svastí). Although tigers more frequently accelerate than retard a Hindu's transit to heaven, the verses may nevertheless be conceived as used secondarily for safety on terrestrial paths.—Accordingly the remark of the Anukr is perhaps intended as exegetical, but it is at any rate most unexpected.—The vs. AV. xii. 1. 49 furnishes testimony (quite superfluous) to the familiarity of the ancient Hindus with "man-eaters."⌋