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MAṆḌALA 1

Sūkta 17

 

1. Info

To:    indra, varuṇa
From:   medhātithi kāṇva
Metres:   gāyatrī (1-3, 6-9); pādanicṛt (4-5)
 

 

2. Audio

 

▪   by South Indian brahmins

 

▪   by Sri Shyama Sundara Sharma and Sri Satya Krishna Bhatta. Recorded by © 2012 Sriranga Digital Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

 
 

 

3. Preferences

 
 

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3. Text

01.017.01   (Mandala. Sukta. Rik)

1.1.32.01    (Ashtaka. Adhyaya. Varga. Rik)

01.04.058   (Mandala. Anuvaka. Rik)

Samhita Devanagari Accented

इंद्रा॒वरु॑णयोर॒हं स॒म्राजो॒रव॒ आ वृ॑णे ।

ता नो॑ मृळात ई॒दृशे॑ ॥

Samhita Devanagari Nonaccented

इंद्रावरुणयोरहं सम्राजोरव आ वृणे ।

ता नो मृळात ईदृशे ॥

Samhita transliteration accented

índrāváruṇayorahám samrā́joráva ā́ vṛṇe ǀ

tā́ no mṛḷāta īdṛ́śe ǁ

Samhita transliteration nonaccented

indrāvaruṇayoraham samrājorava ā vṛṇe ǀ

tā no mṛḷāta īdṛśe ǁ

Padapatha Devanagari Accented

इन्द्रा॒वरु॑णयोः । अ॒हम् । स॒म्ऽराजोः॑ । अवः॑ । आ । वृ॒णे॒ ।

ता । नः॒ । मृ॒ळा॒तः॒ । ई॒दृशे॑ ॥

Padapatha Devanagari Nonaccented

इन्द्रावरुणयोः । अहम् । सम्ऽराजोः । अवः । आ । वृणे ।

ता । नः । मृळातः । ईदृशे ॥

Padapatha transliteration accented

índrāváruṇayoḥ ǀ ahám ǀ sam-rā́joḥ ǀ ávaḥ ǀ ā́ ǀ vṛṇe ǀ

tā́ ǀ naḥ ǀ mṛḷātaḥ ǀ īdṛ́śe ǁ

Padapatha transliteration nonaccented

indrāvaruṇayoḥ ǀ aham ǀ sam-rājoḥ ǀ avaḥ ǀ ā ǀ vṛṇe ǀ

tā ǀ naḥ ǀ mṛḷātaḥ ǀ īdṛśe ǁ

interlinear translation

I [2] am choosing [6] protection [4] of all-rulers [3] Indra and Varuna [1], may they [7] be gracious [9] to such [10] as we [8].

01.017.02   (Mandala. Sukta. Rik)

1.1.32.02    (Ashtaka. Adhyaya. Varga. Rik)

01.04.059   (Mandala. Anuvaka. Rik)

Samhita Devanagari Accented

गंता॑रा॒ हि स्थोऽव॑से॒ हवं॒ विप्र॑स्य॒ माव॑तः ।

ध॒र्तारा॑ चर्षणी॒नां ॥

Samhita Devanagari Nonaccented

गंतारा हि स्थोऽवसे हवं विप्रस्य मावतः ।

धर्तारा चर्षणीनां ॥

Samhita transliteration accented

gántārā hí sthó’vase hávam víprasya mā́vataḥ ǀ

dhartā́rā carṣaṇīnā́m ǁ

Samhita transliteration nonaccented

gantārā hi stho’vase havam viprasya māvataḥ ǀ

dhartārā carṣaṇīnām ǁ

Padapatha Devanagari Accented

गन्ता॑रा । हि । स्थः । अव॑से । हव॑म् । विप्र॑स्य । माऽव॑तः ।

ध॒र्तारा॑ । च॒र्ष॒णी॒नाम् ॥

Padapatha Devanagari Nonaccented

गन्तारा । हि । स्थः । अवसे । हवम् । विप्रस्य । माऽवतः ।

धर्तारा । चर्षणीनाम् ॥

Padapatha transliteration accented

gántārā ǀ hí ǀ stháḥ ǀ ávase ǀ hávam ǀ víprasya ǀ mā́-vataḥ ǀ

dhartā́rā ǀ carṣaṇīnā́m ǁ

Padapatha transliteration nonaccented

gantārā ǀ hi ǀ sthaḥ ǀ avase ǀ havam ǀ viprasya ǀ mā-vataḥ ǀ

dhartārā ǀ carṣaṇīnām ǁ

interlinear translation

For [2] {you two} are [3] coming [1] for protection [4] to the call [5] of such illumined seer [6] as me [7], upholders [8] of men that see [9].

01.017.03   (Mandala. Sukta. Rik)

1.1.32.03    (Ashtaka. Adhyaya. Varga. Rik)

01.04.060   (Mandala. Anuvaka. Rik)

Samhita Devanagari Accented

अ॒नु॒का॒मं त॑र्पयेथा॒मिंद्रा॑वरुण रा॒य आ ।

ता वां॒ नेदि॑ष्ठमीमहे ॥

Samhita Devanagari Nonaccented

अनुकामं तर्पयेथामिंद्रावरुण राय आ ।

ता वां नेदिष्ठमीमहे ॥

Samhita transliteration accented

anukāmám tarpayethāmíndrāvaruṇa rāyá ā́ ǀ

tā́ vām nédiṣṭhamīmahe ǁ

Samhita transliteration nonaccented

anukāmam tarpayethāmindrāvaruṇa rāya ā ǀ

tā vām nediṣṭhamīmahe ǁ

Padapatha Devanagari Accented

अ॒नु॒ऽका॒मम् । त॒र्प॒ये॒था॒म् । इन्द्रा॑वरुणा । रा॒यः । आ ।

ता । वा॒म् । नेदि॑ष्ठम् । ई॒म॒हे॒ ॥

Padapatha Devanagari Nonaccented

अनुऽकामम् । तर्पयेथाम् । इन्द्रावरुणा । रायः । आ ।

ता । वाम् । नेदिष्ठम् । ईमहे ॥

Padapatha transliteration accented

anu-kāmám ǀ tarpayethām ǀ índrāvaruṇā ǀ rāyáḥ ǀ ā́ ǀ

tā́ ǀ vām ǀ nédiṣṭham ǀ īmahe ǁ

Padapatha transliteration nonaccented

anu-kāmam ǀ tarpayethām ǀ indrāvaruṇā ǀ rāyaḥ ǀ ā ǀ

tā ǀ vām ǀ nediṣṭham ǀ īmahe ǁ

interlinear translation

O Indra and Varuna [3], enjoy [2], riches [4] as you wish [1], those [6] you [7] we want [9] most close [8]

01.017.04   (Mandala. Sukta. Rik)

1.1.32.04    (Ashtaka. Adhyaya. Varga. Rik)

01.04.061   (Mandala. Anuvaka. Rik)

Samhita Devanagari Accented

यु॒वाकु॒ हि शची॑नां यु॒वाकु॑ सुमती॒नां ।

भू॒याम॑ वाज॒दाव्नां॑ ॥

Samhita Devanagari Nonaccented

युवाकु हि शचीनां युवाकु सुमतीनां ।

भूयाम वाजदाव्नां ॥

Samhita transliteration accented

yuvā́ku hí śácīnām yuvā́ku sumatīnā́m ǀ

bhūyā́ma vājadā́vnām ǁ

Samhita transliteration nonaccented

yuvāku hi śacīnām yuvāku sumatīnām ǀ

bhūyāma vājadāvnām ǁ

Padapatha Devanagari Accented

यु॒वाकु॑ । हि । शची॑नाम् । यु॒वाकु॑ । सु॒ऽम॒ती॒नाम् ।

भू॒याम॑ । वा॒ज॒ऽदाव्ना॑म् ॥

Padapatha Devanagari Nonaccented

युवाकु । हि । शचीनाम् । युवाकु । सुऽमतीनाम् ।

भूयाम । वाजऽदाव्नाम् ॥

Padapatha transliteration accented

yuvā́ku ǀ hí ǀ śácīnām ǀ yuvā́ku ǀ su-matīnā́m ǀ

bhūyā́ma ǀ vāja-dā́vnām ǁ

Padapatha transliteration nonaccented

yuvāku ǀ hi ǀ śacīnām ǀ yuvāku ǀ su-matīnām ǀ

bhūyāma ǀ vāja-dāvnām ǁ

interlinear translation

truly [2], {we want} more [6] your [1] powers [3], your [4] right thinkings [5] giving abundance [7].

01.017.05   (Mandala. Sukta. Rik)

1.1.32.05    (Ashtaka. Adhyaya. Varga. Rik)

01.04.062   (Mandala. Anuvaka. Rik)

Samhita Devanagari Accented

इंद्रः॑ सहस्र॒दाव्नां॒ वरु॑णः॒ शंस्या॑नां ।

क्रतु॑र्भवत्यु॒क्थ्यः॑ ॥

Samhita Devanagari Nonaccented

इंद्रः सहस्रदाव्नां वरुणः शंस्यानां ।

क्रतुर्भवत्युक्थ्यः ॥

Samhita transliteration accented

índraḥ sahasradā́vnām váruṇaḥ śáṃsyānām ǀ

kráturbhavatyukthyáḥ ǁ

Samhita transliteration nonaccented

indraḥ sahasradāvnām varuṇaḥ śaṃsyānām ǀ

kraturbhavatyukthyaḥ ǁ

Padapatha Devanagari Accented

इन्द्रः॑ । स॒ह॒स्र॒ऽदाव्ना॑म् । वरु॑णः । शंस्या॑नाम् ।

क्रतुः॑ । भ॒व॒ति॒ । उ॒क्थ्यः॑ ॥

Padapatha Devanagari Nonaccented

इन्द्रः । सहस्रऽदाव्नाम् । वरुणः । शंस्यानाम् ।

क्रतुः । भवति । उक्थ्यः ॥

Padapatha transliteration accented

índraḥ ǀ sahasra-dā́vnām ǀ váruṇaḥ ǀ śáṃsyānām ǀ

krátuḥ ǀ bhavati ǀ ukthyáḥ ǁ

Padapatha transliteration nonaccented

indraḥ ǀ sahasra-dāvnām ǀ varuṇaḥ ǀ śaṃsyānām ǀ

kratuḥ ǀ bhavati ǀ ukthyaḥ ǁ

interlinear translation

Indra [1] become [6] a will [5] of givers of thousand [2], Varuna [3] {become} an utterance [7] of all that must be expressed [4].

01.017.06   (Mandala. Sukta. Rik)

1.1.33.01    (Ashtaka. Adhyaya. Varga. Rik)

01.04.063   (Mandala. Anuvaka. Rik)

Samhita Devanagari Accented

तयो॒रिदव॑सा व॒यं स॒नेम॒ नि च॑ धीमहि ।

स्यादु॒त प्र॒रेच॑नं ॥

Samhita Devanagari Nonaccented

तयोरिदवसा वयं सनेम नि च धीमहि ।

स्यादुत प्ररेचनं ॥

Samhita transliteration accented

táyorídávasā vayám sanéma ní ca dhīmahi ǀ

syā́dutá prarécanam ǁ

Samhita transliteration nonaccented

tayoridavasā vayam sanema ni ca dhīmahi ǀ

syāduta prarecanam ǁ

Padapatha Devanagari Accented

तयोः॑ । इत् । अव॑सा । व॒यम् । स॒नेम॑ । नि । च॒ । धी॒म॒हि॒ ।

स्यात् । उ॒त । प्र॒ऽरेच॑नम् ॥

Padapatha Devanagari Nonaccented

तयोः । इत् । अवसा । वयम् । सनेम । नि । च । धीमहि ।

स्यात् । उत । प्रऽरेचनम् ॥

Padapatha transliteration accented

táyoḥ ǀ ít ǀ ávasā ǀ vayám ǀ sanéma ǀ ní ǀ ca ǀ dhīmahi ǀ

syā́t ǀ utá ǀ pra-récanam ǁ

Padapatha transliteration nonaccented

tayoḥ ǀ it ǀ avasā ǀ vayam ǀ sanema ǀ ni ǀ ca ǀ dhīmahi ǀ

syāt ǀ uta ǀ pra-recanam ǁ

interlinear translation

Truly [2], with their [1] protection [3] let us [4] conquer [5] and [7] hold by thougt [8], and [10] let outpouring1 [11] be there [9].

1 pra-recana. At 1912 and 1915–17, Sri Aurobindo: purification. Sayana, Jamison: surplus; Wilson, Dutt: abundance; Griffit: enough, and still to spare; Kapali: superbly exceeding; Kashyap: unlimited; Ganguly: enough to cast out dasyus; T. Elizarenkova: (And) let there be else residue; Sarasvati: it must be preserved and multiplied. Monier-Williams: abundance, plenty. The word recana has several meanings, including (1) purging, purification; (2) emptying, emission, evacuation. Prefix pra means moving forward. It is seems, that Rishi wants to obtain riches, possess them at his thought, and use them outwardly – its outpourings.

01.017.07   (Mandala. Sukta. Rik)

1.1.33.02    (Ashtaka. Adhyaya. Varga. Rik)

01.04.064   (Mandala. Anuvaka. Rik)

Samhita Devanagari Accented

इंद्रा॑वरुण वाम॒हं हु॒वे चि॒त्राय॒ राध॑से ।

अ॒स्मान्त्सु जि॒ग्युष॑स्कृतं ॥

Samhita Devanagari Nonaccented

इंद्रावरुण वामहं हुवे चित्राय राधसे ।

अस्मान्त्सु जिग्युषस्कृतं ॥

Samhita transliteration accented

índrāvaruṇa vāmahám huvé citrā́ya rā́dhase ǀ

asmā́ntsú jigyúṣaskṛtam ǁ

Samhita transliteration nonaccented

indrāvaruṇa vāmaham huve citrāya rādhase ǀ

asmāntsu jigyuṣaskṛtam ǁ

Padapatha Devanagari Accented

इन्द्रा॑वरुणा । वा॒म् । अ॒हम् । हु॒वे । चि॒त्राय॑ । राध॑से ।

अ॒स्मान् । सु । जि॒ग्युषः॑ । कृ॒त॒म् ॥

Padapatha Devanagari Nonaccented

इन्द्रावरुणा । वाम् । अहम् । हुवे । चित्राय । राधसे ।

अस्मान् । सु । जिग्युषः । कृतम् ॥

Padapatha transliteration accented

índrāvaruṇā ǀ vām ǀ ahám ǀ huvé ǀ citrā́ya ǀ rā́dhase ǀ

asmā́n ǀ sú ǀ jigyúṣaḥ ǀ kṛtam ǁ

Padapatha transliteration nonaccented

indrāvaruṇā ǀ vām ǀ aham ǀ huve ǀ citrāya ǀ rādhase ǀ

asmān ǀ su ǀ jigyuṣaḥ ǀ kṛtam ǁ

interlinear translation

O Indra and Varuna [1], I [3] call [4] both of you [2] for varied [5] riches [6]; make [10] us [7] well [8] victorious [9].

01.017.08   (Mandala. Sukta. Rik)

1.1.33.03    (Ashtaka. Adhyaya. Varga. Rik)

01.04.065   (Mandala. Anuvaka. Rik)

Samhita Devanagari Accented

इंद्रा॑वरुण॒ नू नु वां॒ सिषा॑संतीषु धी॒ष्वा ।

अ॒स्मभ्यं॒ शर्म॑ यच्छतं ॥

Samhita Devanagari Nonaccented

इंद्रावरुण नू नु वां सिषासंतीषु धीष्वा ।

अस्मभ्यं शर्म यच्छतं ॥

Samhita transliteration accented

índrāvaruṇa nū́ nú vām síṣāsantīṣu dhīṣvā́ ǀ

asmábhyam śárma yacchatam ǁ

Samhita transliteration nonaccented

indrāvaruṇa nū nu vām siṣāsantīṣu dhīṣvā ǀ

asmabhyam śarma yacchatam ǁ

Padapatha Devanagari Accented

इन्द्रा॑वरुणा । नु । नु । वा॒म् । सिसा॑सन्तीषु । धी॒षु । आ ।

अ॒स्मभ्य॑म् । शर्म॑ । य॒च्छ॒त॒म् ॥

Padapatha Devanagari Nonaccented

इन्द्रावरुणा । नु । नु । वाम् । सिसासन्तीषु । धीषु । आ ।

अस्मभ्यम् । शर्म । यच्छतम् ॥

Padapatha transliteration accented

índrāvaruṇā ǀ nú ǀ nú ǀ vām ǀ sísāsantīṣu ǀ dhīṣú ǀ ā́ ǀ

asmábhyam ǀ śárma ǀ yacchatam ǁ

Padapatha transliteration nonaccented

indrāvaruṇā ǀ nu ǀ nu ǀ vām ǀ sisāsantīṣu ǀ dhīṣu ǀ ā ǀ

asmabhyam ǀ śarma ǀ yacchatam ǁ

interlinear translation

O Indra and Varuna [1], now [2], now [3] at {your} thougts [6] desiring gettings [5] sustain [10] for us [8] your [4] peace [9].

01.017.09   (Mandala. Sukta. Rik)

1.1.33.04    (Ashtaka. Adhyaya. Varga. Rik)

01.04.066   (Mandala. Anuvaka. Rik)

Samhita Devanagari Accented

प्र वा॑मश्नोतु सुष्टु॒तिरिंद्रा॑वरुण॒ यां हु॒वे ।

यामृ॒धाथे॑ स॒धस्तु॑तिं ॥

Samhita Devanagari Nonaccented

प्र वामश्नोतु सुष्टुतिरिंद्रावरुण यां हुवे ।

यामृधाथे सधस्तुतिं ॥

Samhita transliteration accented

prá vāmaśnotu suṣṭutíríndrāvaruṇa yā́m huvé ǀ

yā́mṛdhā́the sadhástutim ǁ

Samhita transliteration nonaccented

pra vāmaśnotu suṣṭutirindrāvaruṇa yām huve ǀ

yāmṛdhāthe sadhastutim ǁ

Padapatha Devanagari Accented

प्र । वा॒म् । अ॒श्नो॒तु॒ । सु॒ऽस्तु॒तिः । इन्द्रा॑वरुणा । याम् । हु॒वे ।

याम् । ऋ॒धाथे॑ इति॑ । स॒धऽस्तु॑तिम् ॥

Padapatha Devanagari Nonaccented

प्र । वाम् । अश्नोतु । सुऽस्तुतिः । इन्द्रावरुणा । याम् । हुवे ।

याम् । ऋधाथे इति । सधऽस्तुतिम् ॥

Padapatha transliteration accented

prá ǀ vām ǀ aśnotu ǀ su-stutíḥ ǀ índrāvaruṇā ǀ yā́m ǀ huvé ǀ

yā́m ǀ ṛdhā́the íti ǀ sadhá-stutim ǁ

Padapatha transliteration nonaccented

pra ǀ vām ǀ aśnotu ǀ su-stutiḥ ǀ indrāvaruṇā ǀ yām ǀ huve ǀ

yām ǀ ṛdhāthe iti ǀ sadha-stutim ǁ

interlinear translation

Let the perfect laud [4] attains [3] you [2], O Indra and Varuna [5], by which [6] I call [7], which [8] you accomplish [9], which is praising both of you [10].

Translations and commentaries by Sri Aurobindo

1. Circa 1915–171

1-17-1. O Indra, O Varuna, you indeed are emperors; we welcome you as our protectors; you two, rise in us in that state.

1-17-2. Because you come to protect the sacrifice of the wise who can uphold the power, you indeed are supporters of all action.

1-17-3. Enjoy, as you desire, the abundance of delight in the instrument. O Indra, O Varuna, we want to live very close to you.

1-17-4. May we remain established under the strong domination of the powers and the helpful thoughts which increase our inner wealth.

1-17-5. O Indra, become the desired lord of all that brings power; and you, Varuna, of all that is vast and great.

1-17-6. Under the protection of you two, may we live happily and peacefully and become capable of deep meditation. May our purification be complete.

1-17-7. O Indra, O Varuna, we perform sacrifice with the hope to obtain many-hued felicity from you. Make us always victorious.

1-17-8. O Indra, O Varuna, may all the faculties of the intellect submit to you; by establishing yourselves in these faculties, give us peace.

1-17-9. O Indra, O Varuna, may you enjoy the beautiful hymn which we offer you as sacrifice; you indeed nourish and fulfil these words of prayer.

Commentary

Whenever the ancient Rishis prayed for the help of the gods in the spiritual battle against the formidable attack of the inner enemies, for the establishment of fulness, the durable and compact state of force in the mind as they became aware of their own incompleteness after going a little way on the path of sadhana, or else when they invoked the gods to found, increase and protect the plenitude of inner illumination and delight, we find that, to express their feelings, they often addressed the gods in pairs, in the same hymn and in identical words. The two Ashwins, Indra and Vayu, Mitra and Varuna are typical examples of this combination. In this hymn by combining, not Indra and Vayu, or Mitra and Varuna, but Indra and Varuna, Medhatithi of the line of Kanva is praying for delight, high accomplishment and peace. His mood is now lofty, vast and tranquil. He wants a free and elevated action. He wants a mighty, fiery spirit but a might which will be founded on a pure, deep and permanent knowledge, and an ardour which shall fly in the sky of action, borne by the two immense wings of peace; even while floating on the infinite ocean of Ananda and being tossed about in the colourful waves of delight, he wants the experience of that tranquillity, greatness and stability. He is unwilling to dive and lose his consciousness in that ocean, unwilling to sink and rise alternately, buffeted by its waves. Indra and Varuna are worthy gods who can help to realise this sublime aspiration. Indra is the king and Varuna is the emperor. The mental ardour and energy from which proceed all the functions of mind, its existence and effectiveness are given by Indra who also protects them from the attacks of the Vritras, the demons. All the noble and generous moods of mind and character, for want of which, arrogance, narrowness, weakness or indolence inevitably result in thought and action, are established and guarded by Varuna. That is why right in the beginning of this Sukta, Rishi Medhatithi welcomes their help and friendship; indrā-varuṇayorahamava āvṛṇe, “O Indra, O Varuna, we welcome you as our protectors”, as our samrājoḥ, emperors, because they indeed are emperors. So īdṛśe, in this condition or on this occasion (the state of mind which I have just described), he invoked the delight of the gods for others and for himself, — tā no mṛḍāta īdṛśe.

When all the faculties and efforts of body, life, mind and the supramental part are poised in equality and self-contained in their respective places; when no one has domination over the being, and there is no revolt or anarchy; when each one accepts the sovereignty of its respective godhead of the Higher Nature and is accustomed to execute its special work with joy at the time and in the measure fixed by the Divine; when the Being is Lord of its own dominion, real emperor over the inner kingdom of its instrument; when there is deep peace along with a mighty luminous and boundless power of action, when all its faculties listen to its order and accomplish the work perfectly with mutual cooperation for the joy of the being, or when it tastes fathomless peace and ineffable delight by plunging into a deep, shadowless inaction at will: such a state of being was called by the Vedantists of the earliest times the kingdom (dominion over self) or the empire (dominion over others). Indra and Varuna particularly are masters of this state; they are emperors. Indra when he becomes emperor sets in motion all the faculties, and Varuna when he becomes emperor governs the faculties and exalts them.

But all are not qualified to receive the help of these two sublime immortals. Only when one has knowledge and is established in tranquillity, can he claim their help. One has to be vipra, a māvān. The word vipra does not mean a brahmin; the root vi signifies to manifest, to illumine and the root vip means the play or vibration or full flooding of manifestation, illumination; one in whose mind the knowledge has dawned, the door of whose mind is open for the mighty play of knowledge, he is verily the vipra. The root signifies ‘to hold’. The mother holds the child in her womb, that is why she is known as mātā. The founder and life of all action, the god Vayu, is known as Matarisvan, “he who extends himself in the Mother or the container, the sky” — the sky which holds in its womb the birth, the play and the death of all creatures and beings and yet remains for ever serene and unperturbed. One who is patient like the sky that has the power to contain and endure the wild play and remain silently plunged in its happiness even when the violent cyclone cleaves the horizon with lightnings and roaring madly smites down trees, animals and houses in a furious and destructive dance of divine rapture, one who can turn his own body into an open space for the play of unbearable physical and vital pain and yet remain impassive, full of self-delight, capable of withstanding it like a witness, he, indeed, is a māvān. When such a māvān is vipra, (illumined), when such a serene knower offers his body as the altar of sacrifice and calls on the gods, then Indra and Varuna move freely in it, sometimes they come even of their own accord, protect the oblation, become the support and foundation, dhartārā carṣaṇīnām (‘You are indeed the upholders of all action’), of all his desired actions and bestow upon him great felicity, power and illumination of knowledge.

2. Circa 19132

4. “Let us become” or “For we would effect in ourselves the full energy of the powers, the full energy of the right thoughts which give substance” to our inner state or faculties.

3. 19123

1. Of Indra and Varuna, the high rulers, I choose the protection, may they be gracious to us in this our state (of attainment).

2. For ye are they who come to the call of the enlightened soul that can contain you; you are they who are upbearers of his actions.

3. Take ye your pleasure to your hearts’ content in the felicity, O Indra, O Varuna; so we desire you utterly near to us.

4. May we gain the full pitch of the powers, the full vigour of the right thoughts that give men the assured plenty.

5. Indra is the desirable Strength of all that gives force, Varuna of all that is ample and noble.

6. By their protection may we remain in safety and meditate, may there be indeed an utter purification.

7. Indra and Varuna, I call you for rich and varied ecstasy, do ye render us victorious.

8. Indra and Varuna, now may our understandings be entirely obedient to you, that in them you may give to us peace.

9. May the good praise be grateful to you, O Indra and Varuna, which I call aloud to you, the fulfilling praise which you bring to prosperity.

So much Varuna does but what is he actually? We cannot tell with accuracy until we have separated him from his companion Mitra. We come across him next no longer in company with Mitra, but still not by himself, accompanied this time by Indra and helping him in his work, in the seventeenth sukta of the first Mandala, a hymn of Medhatithi Kanwa, a hymn whose burden is joy, calm, purity and fulfilment.

We are no longer with Madhuchchhanda Vaiswamitra. It is Medhatithi of the Kanwas who has taken the word, a soul of great clearness and calmness who is full of a sort of vibrating peace. Yet we find the same strain, the same fixed ideas, the same subjective purpose and spiritual aspiration. A few words here and there in my translation may be challenged and given a different meaning. Throughout the Veda there are words like radhas etc to which I have given a sense based on reasons of context and philology but which must be allowed to remain conjectural till I am able to take up publicly the detailed examination of the language and substance of the Rigveda. But we have sumati again and the ever recurring vaja, the dhartara charshaninam, holders of actions, and rayah which certainly meant felicity in the Veda. It is clear from the third verse that Varuna and Indra are called to share in the felicity of the poet’s soul,— that felicity is his material of sacrifice,— “anukamam tarpayetham,” he says, Delight in it to your heart’s content; and again in the seventh shloka he tells them, Vam aham huve chitraya radhase, a phrase which, in view of verse 3, I can only translate “I call you for rich and varied ecstasy”; for it is evidently meant to describe that felicity, that heart-filling satisfaction which he has already offered in the third sloka. In return he asks them to give victory. Always in the Veda there is the idea of the spiritual battle as well as the outer struggles of life, the battle with the jealous forces of Nature, with Vala, the grudging guardian of light, with the great obscuring dragon Vritra and his hosts, with the thieving Panis, with all the many forces that oppose man’s evolution and support limitation and evil. A great many of the words for sacrifice, mean also war and battle, in Sanscrit or in its kindred tongues.

Indra and Varuna are called to give victory, because both of them are samrat. The words samrat and swarat have in Veda an ascertained philosophical sense. One is swarat when, having self-mastery and self-knowledge, and being king over his whole system, physical, vital, mental and spiritual, free in his being, [one] is able to guide entirely the harmonious action of that being. Swarajya is spiritual Freedom. One is Samrat when one is master of the laws of being, ritam, rituh, vratani, and can therefore control all forces and creatures. Samrajya is divine Rule resembling the power of God over his world. Varuna especially is Samrat, master of the Law which he follows, governor of the heavens and all they contain, Raja Varuna, Varuna the King as he is often styled by Sunahshepa and other Rishis. He too, like Indra and Agni and the Visvadevas, is an upholder and supporter of men’s actions, dharta charshaninam. Finally in the fifth sloka a distinction is drawn between Indra and Varuna of great importance for our purpose. The Rishi wishes, by their protection, to rise to the height of the inner Energies (yuvaku shachinam) and have the full vigour of right thoughts (yuvaku sumatinam) because they give then that fullness of inner plenty (vajadavnam) which is the first condition of enduring calm and perfection and then he says, Indrah sahasradavnam, Varunah shansyanam kratur bhavati ukthyah. Indra is the master-strength, desirable indeed, (ukthya, an object of prayer, of longing and aspiration) of one class of those boons (vara, varyani) for which the Rishis praise him, Varuna is the master-strength, equally desirable, of another class of these Vedic blessings. Those which Indra brings, give force, sahasram, the forceful being that is strong to endure and strong to overcome; those that attend the grace of Varuna are of a loftier and more ample description, they are shansya. The word shansa is frequently used; it is one of the fixed terms of Veda. Shall we translate it praise, the sense most suitable to the ritual explanation, the sense which the finally dominant ritualistic school gave to so many of the fixed terms of Veda? In that case Varuna must be urushansa, because he is widely praised, Agni narashansa because he is strongly praised or praised by men, — ought not a wicked or cruel man to be nrishansa because he is praised by men? — the Rishis call repeatedly on the gods to protect their praise, and Varuna here must be master of things that are praiseworthy. But these renderings can only be accepted, if we consent to the theory of the Rishis as semi-savage poets, feeble of brain, vague in speech, pointless in their style, using language for barbaric ornament rather than to express ideas. Here for instance there is a very powerful indicated contrast, indicated by the grammatical structure, the order and the rhythm, by the singular kratur bhavati, by the separation of Indra and Varuna who have hitherto been coupled, by the assignment of each governing nominative to its governed genitive and a careful balanced order of words, first giving the master Indra then his province sahasradavnam, exactly balancing them in the second half of the first line the master Varuna and then his province shansyanam, and the contrast thus pointed, in the closing pada of the Gayatri all the words that in their application are common at once to all these four separated and contrasted words in the first line. Here is no careless writer, but a style careful, full of economy, reserve, point, force, and the thought must surely correspond. But what is the contrast forced on us with such a marshalling of the stylist’s resources? That Indra’s boons are force-giving, Varuna’s praiseworthy, excellent, auspicious, what you will? There is not only a pointless contrast, but no contrast at all. No, shansa and shansya must be important, definite, pregnant Vedic terms expressing some prominent idea of the Vedic system. I shall show elsewhere that shansa is in its essential meaning “self-expression”, the bringing out of our sat or being that which is latent in it and manifesting it in our nature, in speech, in our general impulse and action. It has the connotation of self-expression, aspiration, temperament, expression of our ideas in speech; then divulgation, publication, praise — or in another direction, cursing. Varuna is urushansa because he is the master of wide self-expression, wide aspirations, a wide, calm and spacious temperament, Agni narashansa because he is master of strong self-expression, strong aspirations, a prevailing, forceful and masterful temperament; — nrishansa had originally the same sense, but was afterwards diverted to express the fault to which such a temper is prone,— tyranny, wrath and cruelty; the Rishis call to the gods to protect their shansa, that which by their yoga and yajna they have been able to bring out in themselves of being, faculty, power, joy,— their self-expression. Similarly, shansya here means all that belongs to self-expression, all that is wide, noble, ample in the growth of a soul. It will follow from this rendering that Indra is a god of force, Varuna rather a god of being and as it appears from other epithets, of being when it is calm, noble, wide, self-knowing, self-mastering, moving freely in harmony with the Law of things because it is aware of that Law and accepts it. In that acceptance is his mighty strength; therefore is he even more than the gods of force the king, the giver of internal and external victory, rule, empire, samrajya to his votaries. This is Varuna.

We see the results and the conditions of the action of Varuna in the four remaining verses. “By their protection we have safety from attack”, sanema, safety for our shansa, our rayah, our radhas, by the force of Indra, by the protecting greatness of Varuna against which passion and disturbance cast themselves in vain, only to be destroyed. This safety and this settled ananda or delight, we use for deep meditation, ni dhimahi, we go deep into ourselves and the object we have in view in our meditation is prarechanam, the Greek katharsis, the cleansing of the system mental, bodily, vital, of all that is impure, defective, disturbing, inharmonious. Syad uta prarechanam! In this work of purification we are sure to be obstructed by the powers that oppose all healthful change; but Indra and Varuna are to give us victory, jigyushas kritam. The final result of the successful purification is described in the eighth sloka. The powers of the understanding, its various faculties and movements, dhiyah, delivered from self-will and rebellion, become obedient to Indra and Varuna; obedient to Varuna, they move according to the truth and law, the ritam; obedient to Indra they fulfil with that passivity in activity, which we seek by Yoga, all the works to which mental force can apply itself when it is in harmony with Varuna and the ritam. The result is sharma, peace. Nothing is more remarkable in the Veda than the exactness with which hymn after hymn describes with a marvelous simplicity and lucidity the physical and psychological processes through which Indian Yoga proceeds. The process, the progression, the successive movements of the soul here described are exactly what the Yogin experiences today so many thousands of years after the Veda was revealed. No wonder, it is regarded as eternal truth, not the expression of any particular mind, not paurusheya but impersonal, divine and revealed.

This hymn differs greatly, interestingly and instructively, from the hymn in which Varuna first appears. There the object is to ensure the ananda, the rayah and radhas spoken of in this hymn by the advent of the gods of Vitality and Mind-Force, Indra and Vayu, to protect from the attack of disintegrating forces the Soma or Amrita, the juice of immortality expressed in the Yogin’s system. Varuna and Mitra are then called for a particular and restricted purpose to perfect the discernment and to uphold it in its works by the sustaining force of a calm, wide, comprehensive self-expression full of peace and love. The Rishi of that sukta is using the amrita to feed the activity of a sattwic state of mind for acquiring added knowledge. The present hymn belongs to a more advanced state of the Yoga. It is sadhastuti, a hymn of fulfilment or for fulfilment, in which peace and a calm, assured, untroubled activity of the soul are very near. Varuna here leads. He is here for Indra’s purposes, but his activity predominates; it is his spirit that pervades the action and purpose of the hymn.

 

1 The Rigveda [: In Bengali] // Sri Aurobindo. Bengali Writings: [Translated from Bengali into English] / Published by Madanlal Himatsingka. Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust.– Pondicherry: All India Press, 1991, pp. 42-54.

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2 The Gods of the Veda / The Secret of the Veda // CWSA.– Vol. 14.– Vedic and Philological Studies.– Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2016, pp. 139-149.

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3 The Gods of the Veda // CWSA.– Vol. 14.– Vedic and Philological Studies.– Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2016, pp. 24-62. 1-st published: Sri Aurobindo: Archives & Research: a biannual journal.– Volume 8, No1 (1984, April), pp. 17-52.

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