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The Rigveda is the oldest Sanskrit text, consisting of over one thousand hymns dedicated to various divinities of the Vedic tradition. Orally composed and orally transmitted for several millennia, the hymns display remarkable poetic complexity and religious sophistication. As the culmination of the long tradition of Indo-Iranian oral-formulaic praise poetry and the first m The Rigveda is the oldest Sanskrit text, consisting of over one thousand hymns dedicated to various divinities of the Vedic tradition. Orally composed and orally transmitted for several millennia, the hymns display remarkable poetic complexity and religious sophistication. As the culmination of the long tradition of Indo-Iranian oral-formulaic praise poetry and the first monument of specifically Indian religiosity and literature, the Rigveda is crucial to the understanding both of Indo-European and Indo-Iranian cultural prehistory and of later Indian religious history and high literature. This new translation represents the first complete scholarly translation into English in over a century and utilizes the results of the intense research of the last century on the language and the ritual system of the text. The focus of this translation is on the poetic techniques and structures utilized by the bards and on the ways that the poetry intersects with and dynamically expresses the ritual underpinnings of the text.


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The Rigveda is the oldest Sanskrit text, consisting of over one thousand hymns dedicated to various divinities of the Vedic tradition. Orally composed and orally transmitted for several millennia, the hymns display remarkable poetic complexity and religious sophistication. As the culmination of the long tradition of Indo-Iranian oral-formulaic praise poetry and the first m The Rigveda is the oldest Sanskrit text, consisting of over one thousand hymns dedicated to various divinities of the Vedic tradition. Orally composed and orally transmitted for several millennia, the hymns display remarkable poetic complexity and religious sophistication. As the culmination of the long tradition of Indo-Iranian oral-formulaic praise poetry and the first monument of specifically Indian religiosity and literature, the Rigveda is crucial to the understanding both of Indo-European and Indo-Iranian cultural prehistory and of later Indian religious history and high literature. This new translation represents the first complete scholarly translation into English in over a century and utilizes the results of the intense research of the last century on the language and the ritual system of the text. The focus of this translation is on the poetic techniques and structures utilized by the bards and on the ways that the poetry intersects with and dynamically expresses the ritual underpinnings of the text.

30 review for The Rigveda: The Earliest Religious Poetry of India (3 Volumes)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Morton

    Apologies in advance, this is quite long and rambling – a lot of this is my notes as I tried to organize my thoughts during my read of this; it has been edited for cohesiveness, but I’m a lousy self-editor. Back when I started reading the Murty Classical Library of India books (which I need to get back into now that some further volumes of interest – to me – have come out) I spent a lot time hopping around various websites in an attempt to bolster my knowledge of Indian Mythology, Religion, and H Apologies in advance, this is quite long and rambling – a lot of this is my notes as I tried to organize my thoughts during my read of this; it has been edited for cohesiveness, but I’m a lousy self-editor. Back when I started reading the Murty Classical Library of India books (which I need to get back into now that some further volumes of interest – to me – have come out) I spent a lot time hopping around various websites in an attempt to bolster my knowledge of Indian Mythology, Religion, and History – in the course of all that research this book ended up on my Amazon wishlist. That’s not to say that the Rigveda in general ended up on my wishlist, but that this very specific (and very expensive) three volume set ended up there. It looks like – based on incomplete research I’m sure – that this is the only way currently to get the full text in English. I’m sure there are versions of the previous Griffith translation – as far as I can tell this was the last complete English translation of the work, and was translated back in 1889-92 – but this looks like it as far as recent and available translations go. Of course, at $350 it was always going to sit on my wishlist for a looooong time. Then I realized I could just ILL it, and here we are. Also, a couple months ago a paperback version of this was released; it’s still $175, but at least it’s slightly more attainable. If you don’t know – I didn’t – the Rigveda is a collection of 1028 hymns; their primary purpose is to entice specific gods (or various gods, or “All Gods”) to attend a specific sacrifice. The poet of the hymn would have been hired by the “sacrificer” in order to call attention to the sacrifice. Basically there were a lot of these going on, and through the skills of the poet the sacrifice could be made successful (for which the poet was paid a portion). Think of it as very old and very complex advertising. So, general background; and most of this comes from the (very well laid out and informative) 80ish page introduction to this edition (plus Mandala and Hymn introductions), but I’m also copying and pasting from Wikipedia where the sources overlap as it’s considerably easier than trying to OCR or paraphrase passages from the print edition. First – the Rigveda is old. Like, really old. It’s old enough that it’s time of original composition is mostly a guess – there are historical references in the work that allow for a narrowing in of a time frame; an interesting note is that iron is not referenced in the work and this is also used in the pre-iron age dating of the work. Consensus is that the first texts were composed somewhere in the 1500 – 2000 BCE range. Which means this is roughly 3500 – 4000 years old: one of the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language. Amazingly, the oldest manuscript of this dates from around 1040 CE, which means it existed in oral form for some 2500 years. That’s crazy; as far as I’m coming up with its largely thanks to shakhas (theological schools specializing in learning Vedic texts) that this was passed down through many, many centuries. The other thing about its age is that some of the major figures one thinks of in Hindu mythology are vastly different here, and pantheon in general is of a different makeup; at the time of the Rigved’a writing Shiva is still known by their ancient name (Rudra); Vishnu is given much lesser attention that one would assume (only 6 of the 1028 hymns are dedicated to Vishnu); and the two gods given the most attention and prominence are Indra and Agni. At the time that these hymns were composed Indra was basically the main god (he was the king of heaven) – especially in relation to sacrifice/ritual invocation for intersession; he both killed/smashed Vritra to release the contained waters of the Earth, as well as releasing the captive cattle in the Vala myth – in this way he is the remover/smasher of obstacles, and his prominence in these hymns is understood. He is of considerably lesser stature in post-Vedic mythology, but is very much one of the main guys here. The other god of prominence is Agni, who is fire, primal fire, the ritual fire, and the god of fire; due to the prominence fire played in these rituals, Agni’s inclusion also makes sense. The third “focus” of these hymns is Soma – as far as I can tell there is no deistic aspect of Soma (as opposed to Agni) at the time these hymns were composed (Soma is a deity in post-Vedic Hinduism though) – though the translators do on occasion refer to Soma as a god, so I could easily be misinformed on that; Soma was the ritual drink offered to the gods in these ceremonies, and actually has an entire Mandala dedicated to it in the Rigveda, as well as a handful of other hymns in other Mandalas; age effects our comprehension here as well: what actually is contained in Soma is not certain (the narcotic plant Sarcostemma acidum is the one most commonly cited though) and is a matter of scholarly disagreement. Related to it’s age, this was composed in Vedic Sanskrit, which is sufficiently old on its own, but the iteration used in the composition of the Rigveda directly descends from the ancient (like, really ancient) Avestan language; as such, some portions of the Sanskrit utilized in the Rigveda is essentially untranslatable (or at best comes down to guessing or estimating) due to a lack of other sources; basically there are numerous hapaxes within the work, and without any other example of the word in context at best reasonable guess can be made. Some (very few thankfully) of the terms are complete mysteries. The overall structure of the text is both simple (as in we can define the rules of organization) and complex (which I’ll elaborate on a bit, but mostly comes down to the structure being formalized at a certain point, with changes occurring later that do not adhere to the rules as defined). The text is composed of 1028 hymns (containing 10,600 verses) broken into 10 Mandalas. The oldest of these Mandalas are Mandala 2 through 7, commonly referred to as the “family books” because each Mandala consists of hymns composed by members of the same clan; the “core” (more on that in a moment) of these Mandalas should be considered of one work, with deisticly focused “cycles” within. These Mandalas are ordered from shortest (least number of hymns) to longest (most hymns). Which seems simple, however if you look at the hymn counts: Mandala 2 comprises 43 hymns Mandala 3 comprises 62 hymns Mandala 4 comprises 58 hymns Mandala 5 comprises 87 hymns Mandala 6 comprises 75 hymns Mandala 7 comprises 104 hymns You will see that this is not strictly true. This is because the “core” of the Mandalas were in place at the time the ordering of these Mandalas were formalized, however hymns were later added to some of these books which changed the hymn counts. Within each of the Mandalas the hymns are grouped by the deity they address – So the Agni hymns are all together, followed by the Indra hymns, followed by groupings addressing other gods (or, in some cases, “All Gods”) – within these groupings the hymns are ordered by their descending counts of verses. So the longest hymn within the grouping goes first and the count descends from there (in the instances where two hymn have equal verses there is a meter/syllable count tie breaker). But even these rules are not strictly followed; some hymns appear to have had verses tacked on after ordering was formalized; some appear to have been combined; and some verses are included in the “three verse” portion of the cycle based on their tṛca composition (made up of three verse stanzas). Additionally, some of the later additions to the Mandalas (referenced above) stand out because they are appended to the end of deistic cycles (or to the Mandala as a whole) and do not follow this ordering logic. Outside of the “family books” are Mandalas that were added later – Mandala 8 is primarily attributed to the Kāṇva family (dominating the first 2/3rds of the Mandala) and the Anukramaṛī family (the latter 1/3rd), but the hymns contained within should be studied as separate works, as opposed to the deistic cycle structure of the “family books” as they are not viewed as linked in the same structural way; they do get organized by poet, then deity, then descending verse count: but many of the groupings contain 3-6 hymns of almost no connection outside of the poet. Mandala nine – commonly referred to as Soma Mandala – consists of 114 hymns entirely focused on Sóma Pávamāna or "Purifying Soma" (which is why a Soma hymn is included in Mandala 8 and elsewhere; these address Soma, but not specifically Sóma Pávamāna). As these hymns were compiled based solely on the common theme, their organization is different – they are organized by poetic meter, then descending verse count. Seeing as the organization is neither based on set cycles, nor on specific poet, they should be considered separately, lacking unifying textual themes (absent the overall theme of the entire Mandala). The last Mandalas added to the formal structure of the Rigveda were Mandala 1 and Mandala 10 – both consist of 191 hymns, and are the largest two Mandalas in the work. Though they are the “newest” of the Mandalas, they contain some of what are considered to be the oldest hymns in the work (this would appear to mostly apply to Mandala 1, it seems like 10 is mostly made up of the newest hymns in the Rigveda). One other note – and this was merely something that interested me – I found the idea of Vedic poetic meter to be fascinating; this is likely because I don’t read a ton of poetry; and moreover I do not read much eastern poetry in scholarly editions (like this) where I am exposed to the details of the meter as it exists in the original translation. I know this sounds stupid (because it kind of is) but it never really occurred to me that poetic meter would be substantially different across languages and cultures and eras, but of course it is. I’m pulling this from Wikipedia (because it’s really difficult to seek out all the keyboard combinations to write these in the way they are – probably correctly – written in this edition; complete with accents and diacritics) – but here are the major meters utilized in the Rigveda; I was aware of exactly zero of these prior to reading this book: Gayatri – 24 syllables; 3 verses of 8 syllables Ushnih – 28 syllables: 2 verses of 8; Anushtubh – 32 syllables: 4 verses of 8 syllables; 1 of 12 syllables Brihati – 36 syllables: 2 verses of 8; 1 verse of 12; 1 verse of 8 syllables Pankti – 40 syllables: 5 verses of 8 syllables Tristubh – 44 syllables: 4 verses of 11 syllables Jagati – 48 syllables: 4 verses of 12 syllables If you type the word syllables more than three times it ceases to look like a word… Before I give my general thoughts on the Rigveda itself I want to go into a bit of detail about this particular edition, and why it’s the one I recommend (from your library unless you’ve got deep pockets) if you want to tackle this work. As noted previously, there is an 80+ page introduction – this gets into a ton of detail about the historical context of the work, the composition of the work as a whole, the structure of the work, the background of the poets, the difficulties of translating Vedic Sanskrit in general, the added difficulty of translating the Rigveda (especially because of its use of ellipsis in the text), and the overall presentation decisions made by the translators in the text itself. That’s a lot of stuff, and it all was really helpful in reading the material. Additionally, the translators have chosen to not use footnotes in the text (thank god), instead they’ve included an introduction to each Mandala; where appropriate they’ve provided an introduction to each poet as their groupings come up; and they’ve included an introduction to each hymn (yes, all 1028 of them, and only a handful are short introductions, and those are typically because the hymn in question was discussed in tandem with a preceding complimentary hymn). These introductions provide background on the rituals themselves, the myths and stories referenced in the hymns, the difficulty in translating certain passages, the riddles contained in the hymns, the general critical reception and discussions around questionable passages, and so on. I honestly can’t imagine trying to muddle through these hymns without the commentary – most of the hymns that are not specific invocations tend to only reference events and people, with an apparent expectation that the reader has a working knowledge of (at the time current, now deeply ancient) religious/mythic/ritualistic workings. Even having read some of the older texts as provided through the Murty series, most of the references here so vastly pre-date those works that very little of my knowledge ended up applicable to the work as a whole. So, finally (only took 2000+ words to get here), my general thoughts on the Rigveda itself. Mandala 1 is a slog – there are certainly exceptional individual hymns contained, but it didn’t really click with me while I was reading it (even the translators indicated in its introduction that it was underwhelming). That said, the “family books” that make up the core of the Rigveda are exceptional, and the fairly cohesive structure across these books really heightened my enjoyment of these Mandalas. There are a number of stand-out hymns in Mandala 8, but taken as a whole it was a bit of a letdown following the “family books”. I had anticipated a certain level of tedium when approaching Mandala 9 (the Soma Mandala) as 100+ hymns dedicated specifically to Sóma Pávamāna seemed to have the potential towards tedium. Surprisingly, despite the limited scope, I found this Mandala just as exhilarating as the “family book” Mandalas; there is a great deal of variety in the way Sóma Pávamāna is approached in this Mandala, and I found myself breezing through it. I found that there was much more to enjoy in Mandala 10 (vs Mandala 1) but am left wondering if my initial reaction to Mandala 1 was driven more by lack of reference in approaching it (which of course slowly resolved as I read through all of these Mandalas); but it’s a question that will need to remain unanswered, as I’m not really willing to dedicate ~300 pages of re-reading to confirm or refute this hypothesis. I actually found that I enjoyed reading all of the introductions (the overall introduction, the Mandala introductions, and the Hymn introductions) as much as reading the hymns themselves (which is of course good as these account for probably half of the page count here). There is a wealth of information imparted in these introductions – from historical and mythological background to explications of the non-translatable (but exceptionally notable) poetic devices being utilized in the Vedic Sanskrit. I have a hard time envisioning reading all 1028 without these scholarly introductions, and would likely have stopped reading at a fairly early point just because I would have been quickly and thoroughly lost. This really isn’t for everyone – the comparison I’m about to make is flawed in a number of ways, but does get the overall point across: as this is a collection of 1028 hymns (some connected thematically, many standing firmly on their own), one should likely consider the enjoyment they would get by picking up a Christian hymnal (though three times their normal size) and reading straight through it. Now, again, that’s a flawed comparison, seeing as the Christian hymnal would not have the same formal structure, organization, or weight of history behind it; also the variety of hymn here is without parallel in western religious hymns; the variety of mythology described is vastly more interesting in the limited “praise” structure of the Christian hymns; and you certainly would not find the blatant and inferred eroticism (not to mention the adversarial tone taken with the gods in some of these hymns) in the that church hymnal. But the point that I’m trying to make is that this – at 10,600 verses this as long as many ancient epic poems, without the overall unifying story/journey that those epics contain. So it is a much different kind of reading than I had done when reading the Murty Classical Library of India books, and I did not have a good frame of reference at all in approaching this work. That said, I am exceptionally glad that I did, and that I did so with this particular edition as my guide. I feel considerably more knowledgeable leaving this work than I did going in, and that is of a value that cannot be overstated.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Omar Ali

    Full Disclosure: I have not actually read every hymn in the book, but I jdid read multiple hymns in each of the 10 books of the Rig Veda. The hymns are (as expected) very repetitive, but they do give you a picture of the culture of the Indo-Europeans who came to India around 1800 BC (or so we believe these days, this may be adjusted as ancient DNA from Indian sites yields its secrets). It is a window (and probably the most complete and most ancient window we have) into the Indo-European world th Full Disclosure: I have not actually read every hymn in the book, but I jdid read multiple hymns in each of the 10 books of the Rig Veda. The hymns are (as expected) very repetitive, but they do give you a picture of the culture of the Indo-Europeans who came to India around 1800 BC (or so we believe these days, this may be adjusted as ancient DNA from Indian sites yields its secrets). It is a window (and probably the most complete and most ancient window we have) into the Indo-European world that played such a huge role in the creation of the present cultures of much of Eurasia.. from Western Europe to India (and beyond). The heroic age, so to speak. This is a translation by Indologist Ralph Griffith, who lived most of his life in India (he was the pincipal of Benares college in the Hindu holy city of Benares) and is buried in South India. A more recent and scholarly translation is now available but is very expensive. This one is free to download on kindle and is available in its entirety at http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigve... In the original Sanskrit, the hymns are arranged in stanzas and follow particular rules of rhyme and meter. They are meant to be sung and still are, in religious ceremonies and sacrifices to the Gods. The ten books were not all composed at the same time, or by the same authors and there are differences in style and subject. The tenth book in particular is different from the others and is more didactic and philosophical and is thought to be the last to be composed (and was composed by persons well acquainted with the earlier books). There are three hymns about creation in the tenth book and one of them has a certain skeptical and questioning tone that has made it the best known piece from the Rig Veda, frequently anthologized and quoted. I am reproducing it in full here, but also adding the two others that follow it, to give a more complete flavor of the original context: HYMN CXXIX. Creation THEN was not non-existent nor existent: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it. What covered in, and where? and what gave shelter? Was water there, unfathomed depth of water? 2 Death was not then, nor was there aught immortal: no sign was there, the day's and night's divider. That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever. 3 Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscriminated chaos. All that existed then was void and form less: by the great power of Warmth was born that Unit. 4 Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit. Sages who searched with their heart's thought discovered the existent's kinship in the non-existent. 5 Transversely was their severing line extended: what was above it then, and what below it? There were begetters, there were mighty forces, free action here and energy up yonder 6 Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation? The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then whence it first came into being? 7 He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it, Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not. HYMN CXXX. Creation. THE sacrifice drawn out with threads on every side, stretched by a hundred sacred ministers and one, This do these Fathers weave who hitherward are come: they sit beside the warp and cry, Weave forth, weave back. 2 The Man extends it and the Man unbinds it: even to this vault of heaven hath he outspun, it. These pegs are fastened to the seat of worship: they made the Sāma-hymns their weaving shuttles. 3 What were the rule, the order and the model? What were the wooden fender and the butter? What were the hymn, the chant, the recitation, when to the God all Deities paid worship? 4 Closely was Gāyatrī conjoined with Agni, and closely Savitar combined with Usnih. Brilliant with Ukthas, Soma joined Anustup: Bṛhaspati's voice by Brhati was aided. 5 Virāj adhered to Varuṇa and Mitra: here Triṣṭup day by day was Indra's portion. Jagatī entered all the Gods together: so by this knowledge men were raised to Ṛṣis. 6 So by this knowledge men were raised to Ṛṣis, when ancient sacrifice sprang up, our Fathers. With the mind's eye I think that I behold them who first performed this sacrificial worship. 7 They who were versed in ritual and metre, in hymns and rules, were the Seven Godlike Ṛṣis. Viewing the path of those of old, the sages have taken up the reins like chariot-drivers. HYMN CXC. Creation. FROM Fervour kindled to its height Eternal Law and Truth were born: Thence was the Night produced, and thence the billowy flood of sea arose. 2 From that same billowy flood of sea the Year was afterwards produced, Ordainer of the days nights, Lord over all who close the eye. 3 Dhātar, the great Creator, then formed in due order Sun and Moon. He formed in order Heaven and Earth, the regions of the air, and light. The hymns of the ten books (as long in total as the poems of Homer) tell of a people who worship many Gods, with a few being mentioned very frequently, including Agni, Indra, Varuna and Soma. The hymns are obsessed with great warriors, with “beauteous horses and of kine, In thousands”, with lots of soma drinking and fort-breaking.. These warriors hoped to win ” wealth, renowned and ample, in brave sons, troops of slaves, far-famed for horses”. They also had priests who wanted the warriors to be generous with gifts (including mead). And they gambled, and got into trouble because of it: The following hymn is fascinating, but also a rarity in being unusually didactic: HYMN XXXIV. Dice, Etc. “1. SPRUNG from tall trees on windy heights, these rollers transport me as they turn upon the table. Dearer to me the die that never slumbers than the deep draught of Mujavan’s own Soma. 2 She never vexed me nor was angry with me, but to my friends and me was ever gracious. For the die’s sake, whose single point is final, mine own devoted wife I alienated. 3 My wife holds me aloof, her mother hates me: the wretched man finds none to give him comfort. As of a costly horse grown old and feeble, I find not any profit of the gamester. 4 Others caress the wife of him whose riches the die hath coveted, that rapid courser: Of him speak father, mother, brothers saying, We know him not: bind him and take him with you. 5 When I resolve to play with these no longer, my friends depart from me and leave me lonely. When the brown dice, thrown on the board, have rattled, like a fond girl I seek the place of meeting. 6 The gamester seeks the gambling-house, and wonders, his body all afire, Shall I be lucky? Still do the dice extend his eager longing, staking his gains against his adversary. 7 Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe. They give frail gifts and then destroy the man who wins, thickly anointed with the player’s fairest good. 8 Merrily sports their troop, the three-and-fifty, like Savitar the God whose ways are faithful. They bend not even to the mighty’s anger: the King himself pays homage and reveres them. 9 Downward they roll, and then spring quickly upward, and, handless, force the man with hands to serve them. Cast on the board, like lumps of magic charcoal, though cold themselves they burn the heart to ashes. 10 The gambler’s wife is left forlorn and wretched: the mother mourns the son who wanders homeless. In constant fear, in debt, and seeking riches, he goes by night unto the home of others. 11 Sad is the gambler when he sees a matron, another’s wife, and his well-ordered dwelling. He yokes the brown steeds in the early morning, and when the fire is cold sinks down an outcast. 12 To the great captain of your mighty army, who hath become the host’s imperial leader, To him I show my ten extended fingers: I speak the truth. No wealth am I withholding. 13 Play not with dice: no, cultivate thy corn-land. Enjoy the gain, and deem that wealth sufficient. There are thy cattle there thy wife, O gambler. So this good Savitar himself hath told me. 14 Make me your friend: show us some little mercy. Assail us not with your terrific fierceness. Appeased be your malignity and anger, and let the brown dice snare some other captive.” There are also occasionally names of rivers, astronomical observations, names of animals and plants that may point to where the composers were living and what was going on around them. …One thing is clear, a lot of fighting was going on. So naturally, there are hymns to weapons, including this one which not only mentions bows and arrows, but also the coiled arm-guard that would protect an archer from the friction of the bowstring: From Book 6 HYMN LXXV. Weapons of War He lays his blows upon their backs, he deals his blows upon their thighs. Thou, Whip, who urgest horses, drive sagacious horses in the fray. 14 It compasses the arm with serpent windings, fending away the friction of the bowstring: So may the Brace, well-skilled in all its duties, guard manfully the man from every quarter. 15 Now to the Shaft with venom smeared, tipped with deer-horn, with iron mouth, Celestial, of Parjanya's seed, be this great adoration paid. 16 Loosed from the Bowstring fly away, thou Arrow, sharpened by our prayer. Go to the foemen, strike them home, and let not one be left alive. 17 There where the flights of Arrows fall like boys whose locks are yet unshorn. Even there may Brahmaṇaspati, and Aditi protect us well, protect us well through all our days. 18 Thy vital parts I cover with thine Armour: with immortality King Soma clothe thee. Varuṇa give thee what is more than ample, and in thy triumph may the Gods be joyful. 19 Whoso would kill us, whether he be a strange foe or one of us, Book 9 is unique in being entirely devoted one diety: Soma. The identity of Soma remains disputed to this day, but it was clearly the juice of a plant and was much admired for its ability to give vigor in battle and clarity in thought. The following extracts give a flavor of these hymns: HYMN XXIII. Soma Pavamana. 1. SWIFT Soma drops have been effused in streams of meath, the gladdening drink, For sacred lore of every kind. 2 Hither to newer. resting-place the ancient Living Ones are come. They made the Sun that he might shine. 3 O Pavamana, bring to us the unsacrificing foeman's wealth, And give us food with progeny. 4 The living Somas being cleansed diffuse exhilarating drink, Turned to the vat which drips with meath. 5 Soma gows on intelligent, possessing sap and mighty strength, Brave Hero who repels the curse. 6 For Indra, Soma! thou art cleansed, a feast-companion for the Gods: 1ndu, thou fain wilt win us strength 7 When he had drunken draughts of this, Indra smote down resistless foes: Yea, smote them, and shall smite them still. From HYMN XXX. Soma Pavamana. Pour on us, Soma, with thy stream manconquering might which many crave, Accompanied with hero sons. 4 Hither hath Pavamana flowed, Soma flowed hither in a stream, To settle in the vats of wood. 5 To waters with the stones they drive thee tawny-hued, most rich in sweets, O Indu, to be Indra's drink. 6 For Indra, for the Thunderer press the Soma very rich in sweets, Lovely, inspiriting, for strength. With a little imagination you can imagine an HBO series about these people (and it would be worth watching). The underlying philosophy is pagan and heroic and may not strike many of us as particularly deep, though I guess that someone like Christopher Beckwith (who writes about central Asian history with great feeling) would say this IS a deep philosophy, even an attractive one. And of course these are, after all, hymns that are meant to be recited. Their very sound is supposed to have quasi-magical properties. Their addressees are higher beings who can bestow favors or withdraw them. This level of usefulness is meaningless to a modern secular person, but even a modern secularized Hindu may feel the recitation creates a psychological connection to his or her people, to their language and sounds, and to their traditions and community values. .. Just like reciting the Quran and hearing it being recited provides some psychosocial connection/rootedness/whatever to an Arab (or a wannabe Arab for that matter) and (magical or placebo) benefits to the true believer. All of which is not without consequences. All in all, worth downloading on Kindle for free. It seems to me that Shinto and Japanese cultural traditions may be a good example of what a successful and relatively intact pagan religion of this type might look like today. Modern Hinduism may be too much of a "wounded civilization" to be a good model of what the original Indo-European religion could have evolved into...the day of old are by now buried under centuries of dust, reinvention, editing, myth-making and plain old monotheist beating-down. But who knows, those wandering warrior pagans may rise again.. The closing hymn of book 10: HYMN CXCI. Agni. 1. THOU, mighty Agni, gatherest up all that is precious for thy friend. Bring us all treasures as thou art enkindled in libation's place 2 Assemble, speak together: let your minds be all of one accord, As ancient Gods unanimous sit down to their appointed share. 3 The place is common, common the assembly, common the mind, so be their thought united. A common purpose do I lay before you, and worship with your general oblation. 4 One and the same be your resolve, and be your minds of one accord. United be the thoughts of all that all may happily agree.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Holybooks.com

    ‘Rigveda’ means praise/verse of knowledge. It is counted among the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism known as the Vedas. The others are Yajur Veda or Yahurveda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. The Rig Veda is the oldest of them and it consists of 1,028 Vedic Sanskrit hymns and 10,600 verses in all, organized into ten books. Public domain PDF version here: https://www.holybooks.com/rig-veda/ ‘Rigveda’ means praise/verse of knowledge. It is counted among the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism known as the Vedas. The others are Yajur Veda or Yahurveda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. The Rig Veda is the oldest of them and it consists of 1,028 Vedic Sanskrit hymns and 10,600 verses in all, organized into ten books. Public domain PDF version here: https://www.holybooks.com/rig-veda/

  4. 5 out of 5

    Srinivas Nidugondi

    So, finally, i did finish reading the Rg Veda even if it were in English. It too over a month to go through this book and I must say except for being fascinated of some verses; confused on many and a bit disappointed on some others I am none the wiser. Without any notes and no context many of the verses are not really comprehensible. One day to learn Sanskrit and get to the import of our revered text y

  5. 5 out of 5

    anon

    in 96: https://5cense.com/20/717.htm in 96: https://5cense.com/20/717.htm

  6. 5 out of 5

    M

    https://global.oup.com/academic/produ... https://global.oup.com/academic/produ...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Butterfield

    Since translations of the Rigveda Samhitas are mostly universally panned, I tried to read this with a grain of salt. There are a number parallels with other religious and mythological traditions that I found interesting: prosperity theology, Indra wielding lighting and slaying the serpent, deification of heavenly bodies, etc. But part of me wonders how much some of these parallels were amplified through Griffith's interpretations. Since translations of the Rigveda Samhitas are mostly universally panned, I tried to read this with a grain of salt. There are a number parallels with other religious and mythological traditions that I found interesting: prosperity theology, Indra wielding lighting and slaying the serpent, deification of heavenly bodies, etc. But part of me wonders how much some of these parallels were amplified through Griffith's interpretations.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Edward Butler

    The complete Rig Veda, in a serviceable, if literal, translation; augment with Aurobindo's Secret of the Veda, New U.S. Edition and Vedic Symbolism. No Sanskrit here, but then one could hardly expect that in a single volume edition. The only real drawback is the lack of an index. The complete Rig Veda, in a serviceable, if literal, translation; augment with Aurobindo's Secret of the Veda, New U.S. Edition and Vedic Symbolism. No Sanskrit here, but then one could hardly expect that in a single volume edition. The only real drawback is the lack of an index.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ankur

    good

  10. 4 out of 5

    Milos

    https://global.oup.com/academic/produ... https://global.oup.com/academic/produ...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Madhav

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Carl

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adam Cummings

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelly K.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Max

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sugoi10

  17. 4 out of 5

    Satyaveer

  18. 5 out of 5

    Martin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Milind

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gary

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  23. 4 out of 5

    Juan Yepez

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anush Venkataraman

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eugene E Kuntz

  26. 5 out of 5

    Den

  27. 5 out of 5

    Teri

  28. 5 out of 5

    Drrao

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

  30. 4 out of 5

    'samme

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