The University of Texas at Austin; College of Liberal Arts
Hans C. Boas, Director :: PCL 5.556, 1 University Station S5490 :: Austin, TX 78712 :: 512-471-4566
LRC Links: Home | About | Books Online | EIEOL | IE Doc. Center | IE Lexicon | IE Maps | IE Texts | Pub. Indices | SiteMap

Ancient Sanskrit Online

Lesson 8

Karen Thomson and Jonathan Slocum

In many of the poems of the Rigveda divine powers are addressed dev-devah 'god after god'. In this lesson text the poet's song praises gods of creation, weather and earthly provision in turn, concluding with an appeal to the twin horsemen, who of all gods are gmistha 'most willing to come', to convey all resulting gifts to man safely.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The text is verses 13-18 of V, 42 (396), an eighteen-verse poem addressed to vve devh 'all the gods'. The metre is tristubh, with the exception of the penultimate verse, which is a rare ekapad ('one-line') virj. The god of the first verse is unnamed, as often in such litanies, but the riddle is easily solved. The 'good shelterer' is the divine artificer Tvashtar (see example 267 in section 39), who moulds the 'forms' of existence, from Heaven and Earth to the beasts of the field: y im dyvaprthiv jnitr, rpar pimsad bhvanni vv (X, 110, 9) 'who fashioned this Heaven and Earth, the two parents, with the forms, all living things'; tvst rpni h prabhh, pan vvn samnaj (I, 188, 9) 'for Tvashtar presides over the forms, he has made manifest all the beasts'.

The rain god of the next verse is often attended by the Maruts, the lightning-speared warriors of the storm (I, 168, 5 and V, 52, 13), named in the verse that follows. The Maruts inspire fear - pr vepayanti prvatn, v vicanti vnasptn (I, 39, 5) 'they make the mountains tremble, tear the trees apart', but when accompanied by the god of rain bring welfare: pr vt vnti patyanti vidyta, d sadhr jhate pnvate svh, r vvasmai bhvanya jyate, yt parjnyah prthivm rtasvati (V, 83, 4) 'the winds blow forth, the lightnings fall; the plants shoot up, heaven yields abundance; nourishment is born for all living things when Parjanya quickens the earth with seed'.

Although severally named in poems of this kind, the power of the gods is ultimately one, and the divine parents moulded by Tvashtar, dyas pit (Greek Zeus patr, Latin Iupiter) and mt prthiv, are united as the source of all sabhagni 'gifts of fortune': rjam no dya ca prthiv ca pinvatm, pit mt vivavd sudmsas (VI, 70, 6) 'power for us, may Heaven and Earth yield abundance, the Father, Mother, all-providing, wonderful'.

pr s mah suaranya medhm
gram bhare nvyasm jyamnm
y han duhitr vaksnsu
rp minn krnod idm nah

  • s -- particle; <s> well, surely -- verily
  • mah -- adjective; dative singular masculine of <mh> great -- to the great
  • suaranya -- noun; dative singular masculine of <suaran> good shelterer, good protector -- good shelterer
  • medhm -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <medh> wise thought -- a wise thought
  • gram -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <gr> song -- a song
  • pr bhare -- verb; 1st person singular middle present of </bhr, bhrati> bring, bear + preverb <pr> forth -- I offer up
  • nvyasm -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <nvyms> newer -- newer
  • jyamnm -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of present middle participle of </j, jyate> be born -- being born
  • ys -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ys, y, yt> who, which -- who
  • hans -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <hans> abundantly productive -- abundantly productive
  • duhitr -- noun; genitive singular feminine of <duhitr> daughter -- of the daughter
  • vaksnsu -- noun; locative plural feminine of <vaksn> fertile place -- in the fertile places # See the Series Introduction for the indological translation of this word.
  • rp -- noun; accusative plural neuter of <rp> form -- the forms
  • minns -- participle; nominative singular masculine present middle participle of </m, minti> vary, transgress -- varying
  • krnot -- verb; 3rd person singular active imperfect of </kr, krnti> do, make -- made
  • idm -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <aym, iym, idm> this -- this world
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- for us

pr sustut stanyantam ruvntam
ils ptim jaritar nnm ayh
y abdimm udanimm yarti
pr vidyt rdas uksmnah

  • sustuts -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <sustut> fine hymn of praise -- a fine hymn of praise
  • stanyantam -- participle; accusative singular masculine present active causative participle of </stan> thunder -- thunder-maker
  • ruvntam -- participle; accusative singular masculine present active participle of </ru, ruvti> roar -- roaring
  • ils -- noun; genitive singular feminine of <d> refreshment -- of refreshment # In the Rigveda d between two vowels becomes l.
  • ptim -- noun; accusative singular masculine of <pti> lord -- lord
  • jaritar -- noun; vocative singular masculine of <jaritr> singer -- O singer
  • nnm -- adverb; <nnm> now -- now
  • pr ays -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist optative of </am, anti> reach + preverb <pr> forth -- may it reach # For *ayst, a precative form.
  • ys -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ys, y, yt> who, which -- who
  • abdimn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <abdimnt> consisting of storm-clouds -- storm-clouded
  • udanimn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <udanimnt> rich in water -- rich in water
  • yarti -- verb; 3rd person singular active of </r, yarti> go, send -- goes
  • vidyt -- noun; instrumental singular feminine of <vidyt> lightning flash -- with a lightning flash
  • rdas -- noun; accusative dual feminine of <rdas> world -- the two worlds
  • pr uksmnas -- participle; nominative singular masculine present middle participle of </uks, ukste> sprinkle + preverb <pr> forth -- deluging

es stmo mrutam rdho ch
rudrsya snmr yuvanymr d ayh
kmo ry havate m suast
pa stuhi prsadavm aysah

  • ess -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ess, es, ett> this -- this
  • stmas -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <stma> eulogy -- eulogy
  • mrutam -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <mruta> of the storm gods, the Maruts' -- the Maruts' # See section 17.1 for this formation.
  • rdhas -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <rdhas> troop -- troop
  • cha -- preverb; <cha> towards -- to # As in the Lesson 3 text, a verb 'goes' or 'is sent' is understood with cha.
  • rudrsya -- noun; genitive singular masculine of <rudr> Rudra -- of Rudra
  • snn -- noun; accusative plural masculine of <sn> son -- the sons
  • yuvanyn -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <yuvany> ever young -- ever young
  • t ays -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist optative of </am, anti> reach + preverb <t> up -- may it reach up to
  • kmas -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <kma> longing -- longing
  • ry -- noun; dative singular masculine of <ray> possession, treasure -- for treasure
  • havate -- verb; 3rd person singular middle of </h, hvate> invoke, call upon -- calls to
  • m -- personal pronoun; accusative singular enclitic form of <ahm> I -- me
  • svast -- noun; instrumental singular feminine of <svast> wellbeing -- with wellbeing
  • pa stuhi -- verb; 2nd person singular active imperative of </stu, stus> praise + preverb <pa> up to -- send up praise to
  • prsadavn -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <prsadava> with white-flecked horses -- with white-flecked # The Maruts, or gods of the storm.
  • aysas -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <ays> nimble -- the nimble ones

pras stmah prthivm antriksam
vnasptmr sadh ry ayh
dev-devah suhvo bhtu mhyam
m no mt prthiv durmata dht

  • ess -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ess, es, ett> this -- this
  • stmas -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <stma> eulogy -- eulogy
  • prthivm -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <prthiv> earth -- earth
  • antriksam -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <antriksa> airy space, atmosphere -- the atmosphere
  • vnasptn -- noun; accusative plural masculine of <vnaspti> forest lord, tree -- the lords of the forest
  • sadhs -- noun; accusative plural feminine of <sadhi> plant -- the plants
  • ry -- noun; dative singular masculine of <ray> possession, treasure -- for treasure
  • pr ays -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist optative of </am, anti> reach + preverb <pr> forth -- may it reach
  • dev-devas -- iterative compound; <dev-devas> god after god -- god after god
  • suhvas -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <suhva> easily invoked -- easily invoked
  • bhtu -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist imperative of </bh, bhvati> be -- may he be
  • mhyam -- personal pronoun; dative singular of <ahm> I -- for me
  • m -- particle; <m> not, that not -- not
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- us
  • mt -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <mtr> mother -- Mother
  • prthiv -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <prthiv> earth -- Earth
  • durmata -- noun; locative singular feminine of <durmat> bad thought, envy -- in disfavour
  • dht -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist injunctive of </dh, ddhti> place, grant -- let her place

ura dev anibdh siyma

  • ura -- adjective; locative singular masculine of <ur> broad, spacious -- in spacious
  • devs -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <dev> divine, god -- O gods
  • anibdh -- noun; locative singular masculine of <anibdh> liberty -- liberty
  • syma -- verb; 1st person plural active optative of </as, sti> be -- we would be

sm avnor vas ntanena
mayobhv suprnt gamema
no raym vahatam t vrn
vvni amrt sabhagni

  • avnos -- noun; genitive dual masculine of <avn> horseman, Ashvin -- of the two horsemen
  • vas -- noun; instrumental singular neuter of <vas> help -- help
  • ntanena -- adjective; instrumental singular neuter of <ntana> now existing -- present
  • mayobhv -- adjective; instrumental singular neuter of <mayobh> bringing happiness -- bringing happiness
  • suprnt -- noun; instrumental singular feminine of <suprnti> safe guidance -- with safe guidance
  • sm gamema -- noun; 1st person plural active aorist optative of </gam, gchati> go + preverb <sm> together -- may we partake of # This combination of verb and preverb with a specialised sense has occurred before, in the second verse of the Lesson 4 text. It takes the instrumental case.
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vaym> we -- us
  • raym -- noun; accusative singular masculine of <ray> possession, treasure -- treasure
  • vahatam -- verb; 2nd person dual active imperative of </vah, vhati> conduct, bring + preverb <> (intensifies or reverses meaning) -- convey
  • ut -- conjunction; <ut> and -- and
  • vrn -- noun; accusative plural nominative of <vr> hero, man, strong son -- strong sons
  • vvni -- adjective; accusative plural neuter of <vva> all -- all
  • amrt -- adjective; vocative dual masculine of <amrta> immortal, undying -- O immortal pair
  • sabhagni -- noun; accusative plural neuter of <sabhaga> gift of fortune -- gifts of fortune # From subhga, with strengthened first syllable.

Lesson Text

pr s mah suaranya medhm
gram bhare nvyasm jyamnm
y han duhitr vaksnsu
rp minn krnod idm nah

pr sustut stanyantam ruvntam
ils ptim jaritar nnm ayh
y abdimm udanimm yarti
pr vidyt rdas uksmnah

es stmo mrutam rdho ch
rudrsya snmr yuvanymr d ayh
kmo ry havate m suast
pa stuhi prsadavm aysah

pras stmah prthivm antriksam
vnasptmr sadh ry ayh
dev-devah suhvo bhtu mhyam
m no mt prthiv durmata dht

ura dev anibdh siyma

sm avnor vas ntanena
mayobhv suprnt gamema
no raym vahatam t vrn
vvni amrt sabhagni

Translation

Verily I offer up a wise thought, a newer song being born,
To the great one, the good shelterer,
Who, abundantly productive, in the fertile places of the daughter
Varying the forms made this world for us.
May a fine hymn of praise now reach the roaring thunder-maker,
Lord of refreshment, O singer,
Who goes, storm-clouded, rich in water,
With a lightning flash deluging the two worlds.
This eulogy goes out to the Maruts' troop,
May it reach up to the ever-young sons of Rudra;
Longing for treasure with wellbeing calls to me,
Send praise up to the nimble ones with white-flecked horses.
May this eulogy reach the earth, the atmosphere,
The lords of the forest, the plants, for treasure;
May god after god be easily invoked for me,
Let not Mother Earth place us in disfavour.
We would be in spacious liberty, O gods.
May we partake of the present help of the two horsemen,
Bringing happiness with safe guidance;
Convey to us treasure, bring us strong sons,
Bring us all gifts of fortune, O immortal pair.

Grammar

36. Secondary stems in -n.

Like the stems in -vant and -mant, this suffix, which carries the accent, usually has the sense 'possessing' (occasionally a v is interposed before the suffix). The majority of these adjectives are masculine; a feminine form is made, as with the -vant and -mant stems, using the secondary suffix - described in section 17.3. Examples of this formation are vajrn 'armed', from vjra 'weapon', mansn 'thoughtful' from mans 'thought', paksn 'winged' from paks 'wing', avn 'horseman' from va 'horse', and atn 'a hundredfold', sahasrn 'a thousandfold'; with v interposed dvayvin 'not duplicitous', with the accent lost to the privative prefix. The table uses vjn 'strong', possessing vja, to show the masculine forms that occur.

    Singular   Dual   Plural
Nom   vj   vjn   vjnas
Acc   vjnam   vjn   vjnas
Ins   vjn   vjbhym   vjbhis
Dat   vjne   vjbhym    
Gen   vjnas   vjnos   vjnm
Abl   vjnas        
Loc   vjni   vjnos   vjsu
Voc   vjin       vjinas
  • brhtsumnah prasavt nivano, jgata sthtr ubhyasya y va (Lesson 2 text) 'the bringer to life, the source of rest, of high benevolence, who is the one who holds sway over (possesses va 'will, power') both the moving and the standing world' [239]
  • ut ty davy bhisj, m nah karato avn (Lesson 5 text) 'and those divine healers, the two horsemen, will bless us' [240]
  • sm avnor [avnos] vas ntanena, mayobhv suprnt gamema (lesson text) 'may we partake of the present help of the two horsemen, bringing happiness with safe guidance' [241]
  • n grmso aviksata, n padvnto ni paksnah, n yensa cid arthnah (X, 127, 5) 'people have gone to rest, to rest the footed and the winged, even the purposeful (possessing rtha 'intention') eagles' [242]
  • sm tv ryah atnah sm sahasrnah, suvram yanti vratapm adbhya (I, 31, 10) 'treasures a hundredfold, a thousandfold accompany you, not to be deceived, great hero protecting holy law' [243]
  • so vjena vjini prcet, stmam jusasva grnat maghoni (III, 61, 1) 'O Ushas strong with power, the mindful one, enjoy the eulogy of the singer, O gracious lady' [244]
37. Introduction to the Aorist System: the aorist tense.

The aorist tense is used to describe an event in the immediate past. Like the imperfect, which is used to describe events in the distant past ("Indra destroyed the dragon"), it has a prefixed augment - and the secondary verbal endings described in section 23. There are three distinct kinds of aorist: the simple, reduplicating, and the sigmatic aorist.

Many modal forms, that is, forms of moods like the subjunctive and optative, are assigned to the Aorist System, but of the aorist tense itself only six examples have so far been encountered in the lesson texts. Four of these are found in Lesson 2, where the poet is describing an event that he has just observed. Savitar "has proffered his gift to us" (d ayn, a sigmatic aorist), "has filled the airy spaces" (aprs, a sigmatic aorist), "has stretched out his arms" (asrk, another sigmatic aorist) and "has created (jijanat, a reduplicating aorist) a boon worthy of holy song", which is the immediate cause of his poem, the 'holy song' itself. In the Lesson 3 text, similarly, the exchange between the poet and the streams is brought about by the appeal that the poet has just made: "Desiring help, I, son of Kushika, have made the invocation (ahve, a simple aorist)"; and the poem to dawn, the Lesson 4 text, is composed on the waking of the poets -- "You, O daughter of heaven, we have wakened (abhutsmahi, a sigmatic aorist) eager to meet, O dawn".

37.1. The simple aorist.

The simple aorist either adds the endings with a connecting -a- or directly to the root. Forms of the aorist can be distinguished from forms of the imperfect in that there is no corresponding present tense form. The following elementary table distinguishes sample forms of the third person active singular from those of the imperfect.

    Present   Imperfect   Aorist
/gam   gchati   gachat   gam-a-t
/g   jgti   jigt   g-t
/dh   ddhti   dadht   dh-t
/sth   tsthati   tisthat   sth-t
/bh   bhvati   bhavat   bh-t

These are the forms that would occur if made from /vid, vindti 'find', which adds the endings with a connecting -a-.

        Active           Middle    
    Singular   Dual   Plural   Singular   Dual   Plural
1   vidam   vidva   vidma   vide   vidvahi   vidmahi
2   vidas   vidatam   vidata   vidaths   videthm   vidadhvam
3   vidat   vidatm   vidan   vidata   videtm   vidanta

Third person plural endings can vary. In roots which add the ending without connecting -a- the active ending is frequently -ur, gur, dhur, sthur (but bhvan), and the middle ending is often -ran, as drran (from /dr) in example 250 below.

Forms of the simple aorist that have already occurred in examples are assembled below.

  • abh dvijnm tr rocanni, vv rjmsi uucn astht (I, 149, 4) 'of double birth, (Agni) has risen above the three spheres of light, all the airy regions, shining bright' [245] (=170)
  • vve jnanti mahin yd gd [ gt], ndrasya krma skrt purni (III, 30, 13) 'all know when she has come in her glory -- the many deeds of Indra are well done' [246] (= 223)
  • t sryo brhd arcmsi aret (VII, 62, 1) 'the sun has shed rays up on high (from /ri)' [247] (=92)
  • samudrd rmr mdhumm d rat (IV, 58, 1) 'from the sea the wave of sweetness has arisen (from /r 'go)' [248] (=94)
37.2. The reduplicating aorist.

The reduplicating vowel of this aorist is long, and is most often --; compare the short -i- of the reduplicating syllable of desideratives. The endings are attached to the root with a connecting -a-. The table shows the active forms that would occur if made from /jan 'produce, create, bear'. No dual form occurs, and middle forms are rare. This aorist often has a causative sense.

Active   Singular   Plural
1   jjanam   jjanma
2   jjanas   jjanata
3   jjanat   jjanan
  • satysya nvah sukrtam apparan (IX, 73, 1) 'the ships of truth have borne across the virtuous one (sukrt (m); the verb is from /pr 'pass')' [249]
  • et u tyh prty adrran purstj, jytir ychantr usso vibhth, jjanan sryam yajm agnm, apcnam tmo agd [agt] justam (VII, 78, 3) 'now these have come into view before us (purstt), the shining dawns, spreading light; they have given birth to the sun, to worship, to fire, the unloved dark has retreated (lit. 'has gone backwards')' [250]
37.3. The sigmatic aorist.

The sigmatic aorist adds a sibilant to the root, sometimes with a connecting -i-. As with the imperfect, the endings of the 2nd and 3rd person singular active often disappear because of the phonological law described in section 18 of Lesson 3. In the Lesson 2 text aprs 'he has filled' occurs for the phonologically impossible *aprst, and asrk and ayn, two more sigmatic aorists, have lost both the -s- and the -t. Where the sigmatic form is -is- the second and third persons singular active ending becomes -s (for is-s) and -t (for is-t). The 3rd person plural active regularly ends in -ur. Middle forms, like bhutsmahi in the Lesson 4 text, are of frequent occurrence. Dual forms are rare.

These are the middle forms of /stu 'praise' that would occur.

Middle   Singular   Plural
1   stosi   stosmahi
2   stosths   stodhvam
3   stosta   stosata

The penultimate example below illustrates both simple and sigmatic aorists, and the last the three different types. Both verses conclude the poem in which they occur.

  • n grmso aviksata, n padvnto ni paksnah, n yensa cid arthnah (X, 127, 5) 'people have gone to rest (from /vi), to rest the footed and the winged, even the purposeful eagles' [251] (= 242)
  • stosata svbhnavo, vpr nvisthay mat (I, 82, 2) 'the poets, self-luminous, have sung praises with their newest thought' [252]
  • jaismdysanma [jaisma ady sanma] ca, bhmngaso [bhma nagsas] vaym, so ysmd dusvpnyd, bhaismpa [bhaisma pa] td uchatu, anehso va tyah, sutyo va tyah (VIII, 47, 18) 'now we have conquered and won, we have become free of sin. O dawn, we have been afraid of a bad dream (from /bh 'fear' which takes the ablative), may she shine that away; your aids are incomparable, your aids are good aids' [253]
  • varsr [varss] varsm d u s [s] grbhya, kar dhnvni tietav [ti-etava] u, jjana [jjanas] sadhr bhjanya km, ut prajbhyo avido [avidas] mansm (V, 83, 10) 'you have shed rain, now wholly cease; you have now made the deserts passable. You have produced plants for nourishment, and you have originated a poem for creatures' [254]
38. Omission of the verb.

Omission of the verb 'be' is a regular feature of the language of the Rigveda, as it is of Homeric Greek. A simple example was given in lesson 2: y no dt s nah pit (VIII, 52, 5) 'He who (is) a giver to us (is) a father to us' (example 39). Another regular characteristic is the omission, or elision, of the preceding verb. In the first example in the last section, n grmso aviksata, n padvnto ni paksnah, n yensa cid arthnah (X, 127, 5), the sense of the verb aviksata is carried through all three lines of the verse simply by the repetition the preverb n. Compare the use of t in the verse quoted in the introduction to Lesson 6, d [t] ratm vara t prsa, n [t] madhyamh pitrah somysah (X, 15, 1), literally 'may they rise up, the more recent, up the distant, up those from the middle past, the inspired fathers', and of in the last line of the lesson text: no raym vahatam t [ ut] vrn, vvni amrt sabhagni.

In the Rigveda elision of the verb is frequent, even when the elided verb has not just appeared, if it can be understood from the context. A preverb is often present to suggest the missing verb, as in the Lesson 3 text: pr sndhum ch brhat mans 'a lofty poem (goes) forth to the river', and as in this lesson text, again with cha: es stmo mrutam rdho ch.

  • pr ririce div [divs] ndrah prthivy [prthivys], ardhm d asya prti rdas ubh (VI, 30, 1) 'Indra surpasses heaven and earth, indeed one half (ardh masculine) of him equals both the two worlds' (omission of the verb 'be', here sti with preverb prti in its specialised sense 'is equal to'; see example 203) [255]
  • dha pr s na pa yantu dhtyo, devm ch n dhtyah (I, 139, 1) 'then may our thoughts surely go forth, thoughts (that go) as it were to the gods' [256]
  • ndra [ndre] okym didhisanta dhtyo, devm ch n dhtyah (I, 132, 5) 'thoughts will long to have (subjunctive desiderative of /dh) a refuge in Indra, thoughts (that go) as it were to the gods' [257] (the formulaic last line occupies the same position in this and the previous example, in both concluding a long (atyasti) verse)
  • rdat path vrunah sryya, pr rnmsi samudry nadnm (VII, 87, 1) 'Varuna hewed a pathway for the sun, (he sent) forth the floods of streams belonging to the sea' (the supplied second verb srjat, suggested by the preverb pr, is confirmed by the past participle srst in the line that follows) [258]
  • tm devnm bhvanasya grbha, yathvam carati dev esh, ghs d asya rnvire n rpm (X, 168, 4) 'the breath of the gods, the germ of being, this god goes as he wills. His sounds indeed are heard, his form is not (seen)' (supplying dadre; compare I, 164, 44, also of the wind: dhrjir kasya dadre n rpm 'of one the passage is seen, not the form') [259]

The vitality of preverbs is used to sophisticated poetic effect in the Lesson 5 text, where in two verses they indicate a change of verbal direction:

  • ut sy no dv matr, ditir tiy gamat, s mtti myas karad pa srdhah (VIII, 18, 7) 'and that (is) our thought by day: Aditi will come with help. She will make (karat) blessed happiness, banish (pa [karat]) misfortunes' [260]
  • m agnr agnbhih karac, chm nas tapatu sriyah, m vto vtu arap pa srdhah (VIII, 18, 9) 'Agni will bless with fires, let the sun warm a blessing for us, let the wholesome wind blow (vtu) a blessing, blow away (pa [vtu]) misfortunes' [261]
39. Three nouns with mixed stems.

The word na (f), Greek naus, 'boat' declines as if from two stems, na- and nv-, showing elements of both the vowel and consonantal declensions. These are the forms that occur in the Rigveda.

    Singular   Plural
Nom   nas   nvas
Acc   nvam    
Ins   nv   naubhs
Gen   nvs    
Loc   nv    
  • s nah parsad ti durgni vv, nvva [nv iva] sndhum duritti agnh (I, 99, 1) 'so will Agni bear us over all hard ways and dangers, as with a boat over a river' [262] (=124)
  • vd [vda] y vnm padm, antriksena ptatm, vda nvh samudryah (I, 25, 7) '(Varuna) who knows the course of the birds flying through airy space, the course of the sea-faring boat (lit. 'belonging to the sea'; compare example 258 above)' [263] (=160)
  • ys te psan nvo [nvas] anth samudr, hiranyyr antrikse cranti, tbhir ysi dtym sryasya (VI, 58, 3) 'O Pushan, those golden (hiranyy, feminine of hiranyya) ships of yours that move within the sea, within the atmosphere, with those you travel on the sun's embassy' [264]
  • tm hathur naubhr tmanvtbhih (I, 116, 3) 'you (Ashvins) carried him with boats under sail' (lit. 'possessing breath'; compare example 259 above, where the wind is tm devnm) [265]

The word ray 'treasure, precious thing', is usually masculine, but can also be of feminine gender. It declines as if from two stems, ray- and ry-. In the Rigveda the word is usually used in a non-material sense, and desire for treasure and offspring frequently go together, as in the lesson text. The table gives the usual forms.

    Singular   Plural
Nom   rays   ryas
Acc   raym   rys, ryas
Ins   ry   raybhis
Dat   ry    
Abl   rys    
Gen   rys   rynm
  • nissdhvars ta sadhr utpo, raym ta indra prthiv bibharti (III, 55, 22) 'the plants and the waters are full of your benefits (feminine of nissdh-van), earth bears your treasure, Indra' [266]
  • vrtrbhih suaran no astu, tvst sudtro v dadhtu ryah, tn no ryah prvats tn na pas, td rtisca sadhr ut dyah, vnasptibhih prthiv sajs, ubhe rdas pri psato nah (VII, 34, 22, 23) 'with protections may he be a good shelterer for us, may Tvashtar the good giver distribute treasures (acc); then there are treasures (nom) for us, the mountains, and the waters, the ones accompanied by gifts (rtisc), the plants and the sky, the earth in concert with the trees, may both worlds guard us safe' [267]

Of the ancient complex of meaning given as dy, dv (m) 'sky, heaven, day' in the glossary the forms dyas, dvam, divs (genitive singular), div and dvas (an anomalous feminine accusative plural form) have occurred in the lesson texts, all with the meaning 'heaven, sky'. In the second verse of the Lesson 7 text Heaven and Earth appear together in the dual compound dyvprthiv, and in the third the iterative compound div-dive 'day after day' demonstrates the other, related sense of the word. The meaning 'day' has also been encountered in the fixed form dv 'by day', often juxtaposed, as in the Lesson 1 text, with the accusative nktam 'by night'.

The alternative accusative plural dyn most frequently occurs in the formula nu dyn, like div-dive with the meaning 'day after day'. The dual dyv is also occasionally found as an abbreviated form of the compound dyvprthiv, as in example 270.

    Singular   Plural
Nom   dyas   dyvas, dvas
Acc   dym, dvam   dyn, dvas
Ins   div   dybhis
Dat   div    
Abl   dys, divs    
Gen   dys, divs    
Loc   dyvi, div    
  • pa sadhr ut no avantu, dyar [dyas] vn giryo vrkskeh (V, 41, 11) 'may the waters and the plants favour us, the sky, the woods, the tree-tressed hills (gir (m))' [268]
  • tvm dym ca mahivrata, prthivm cti jabhrise (IX, 100, 9) 'you, mighty of law, bear yourself above heaven and above earth' [269]
  • s m satyktih pri ptu vivto, dyv ca ytra tatnann hni ca (X, 37, 2) 'so may true praise safeguard me on every side, where Heaven and Earth and days will stretch out' (the two lines that complete the verse are example 214 in the last lesson) [270]
  • gne v paya brhatbh [brhat abh] ry, ism no net bhavatd [bhavatt] nu dyn (III, 23, 2) 'O fire, discern with lofty treasure, be for us leader of refreshments day after day' (the rare imperative in -tt has a sustained future sense, like the Latin forms in -to, -tote)' [271]
40. Formulaic cadences and repetitions.

The conclusion of this lesson text is formulaic in nature, and its lines are repeated elsewhere. The poem that immediately follows this one, V, 43, is also addressed to a range of divinities, and has the same coda, repeating the text from m no mt prthiv durmata dht to the end. The last verse of the lesson text, verse 18, is also used to conclude two poems to the Ashvins later in the same book, V, 76 and V, 77. This use of formulae has already been encountered, in the introduction to Lesson 4, where two lines describing dawn in VII, 81 also occurred in I, 48. The last two lines of the first lesson text, I, 98, are a familiar refrain: tn no mitr vruno mmahantm, ditih sndhuh prthiv ut dyah concludes 19 poems between I, 94 and I, 115, and supplies the end of the last verse of IX, 97, indicating that it originally also belonged with the poems in the first book.

Repetition frequently takes place within the same poem, as in example 212 in the last lesson. Each of the first six verses of a seven-verse supplication, I, 106, has as its last line vvasmn no mhaso ns pipartana 'from all trouble deliver us', the seventh ending with the usual refrain of this group described in the last paragraph.

  • ev na indra vryasya prdhi, pr te mahm sumatm vevidma (VII, 24, 6; VII, 25, 6) 'so, Indra, fill us with bounty, may we ever find great favour with you' (concluding two successive poems) [272] (=221)
  • so ysmd dusvpnyd, bhaismpa td uchatu, anehso va tyah, sutyo va tyah (VIII, 47, 18) 'O dawn, we have been afraid of a bad dream, may she shine that away; your aids are incomparable, your aids are good aids' (the last two lines conclude every verse of this eighteen-verse poem) [273] (=253)
  • nissdhvars ta sadhr utpo, raym ta indra prthiv bibharti, skhyas te vmabhjah syma, mahd devnm asuratvm kam (III, 55, 22) 'the plants and the waters are full of your benefits, earth bears your treasure, Indra; may we be friends who share in your weal. Mighty is the single sovereignty of the gods' (the final verse of a poem addressed, like the lesson text, to vve devh, each verse of which ends with this line affirming the unified power of the gods) [274] (the first two lines =266)