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Ancient Sanskrit Online

Lesson 8

Karen Thomson and Jonathan Slocum

In many of the poems of the Rigveda divine powers are addressed devó-devaḥ '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 gámiṣṭha '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 víśve devā́ 'all the gods'. The metre is triṣṭubh, with the exception of the penultimate verse, which is a rare ekapadā ('one-line') virāj. 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: yá imé dyā́vapr̥thivī́ jánitrī, rūpaír ápiṃṣad bhúvanāni víśvā (X, 110, 9) 'who fashioned this Heaven and Earth, the two parents, with the forms, all living things'; tváṣṭā rūpā́ṇi hí prabhúḥ, paśū́n víśvān samānajé (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 - prá vepayanti párvatān, ví viñcanti vánaspátīn (I, 39, 5) 'they make the mountains tremble, tear the trees apart', but when accompanied by the god of rain bring welfare: prá vā́tā vā́nti patáyanti vidyúta, úd óṣadhīr jíhate pínvate svàḥ, írā víśvasmai bhúvanāya jāyate, yát parjányaḥ pr̥thivī́ṃ rétasā́vati (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, dyaúṣ pitā́ (Greek Ζεὺς πατήρ, Latin Iupiter) and mātā́ pr̥thivī́, are united as the source of all saúbhagāni 'gifts of fortune': ū́rjaṃ no dyaúś ca pr̥thivī́ ca pinvatām, pitā́ mātā́ viśvavídā sudáṃsasā (VI, 70, 6) 'power for us, may Heaven and Earth yield abundance, the Father, Mother, all-providing, wonderful'.

prá sū́ mahé suśaraṇā́ya medhā́
gíram bhare návyasīṃ jā́yamānām
yá āhanā́ duhitúr vakṣáṇāsu
rūpā́ minānó ákr̥ṇod idáṃ naḥ

  • -- particle; <> well, surely -- verily
  • mahé -- adjective; dative singular masculine of <máh> great -- to the great
  • suśaraṇā́ya -- noun; dative singular masculine of <suśaraṇá> good shelterer, good protector -- good shelterer
  • medhā́m -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <medhā́> wise thought -- a wise thought
  • gíram -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <gír> song -- a song
  • prá bhare -- verb; 1st person singular middle present of <√bhr̥, bhárati> bring, bear + preverb <prá> forth -- I offer up
  • návyasīm -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <návyāṃs> newer -- newer
  • ́yamānām -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of present middle participle of <√jā, jā́yate> be born -- being born
  • yás -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <yás, yā́, yát> who, which -- who
  • āhanā́s -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <āhanás> abundantly productive -- abundantly productive
  • duhitúr -- noun; genitive singular feminine of <duhitŕ̥> daughter -- of the daughter
  • vakṣáṇāsu -- noun; locative plural feminine of <vakṣáṇā> fertile place -- in the fertile places # See the Series Introduction for the indological translation of this word.
  • rūpā́ -- noun; accusative plural neuter of <rūpá> form -- the forms
  • minānás -- participle; nominative singular masculine present middle participle of <√mī, minā́ti> vary, transgress -- varying
  • ákr̥ṇot -- verb; 3rd person singular active imperfect of <√kr̥, kr̥ṇóti> do, make -- made
  • idám -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <ayám, iyám, idám> this -- this world
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vayám> we -- for us

prá suṣṭutí stanáyantaṃ ruvántam
iḷás pátiṃ jaritar nūnám aśyāḥ
yó abdimā́m̐ udanimā́m̐ íyarti
prá vidyútā ródasī ukṣámāṇaḥ

  • suṣṭutís -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <suṣṭutí> fine hymn of praise -- a fine hymn of praise
  • stanáyantam -- participle; accusative singular masculine present active causative participle of <√stan> thunder -- thunder-maker
  • ruvántam -- participle; accusative singular masculine present active participle of <√ru, ruváti> roar -- roaring
  • iḷás -- noun; genitive singular feminine of <íḍ> refreshment -- of refreshment # In the Rigveda between two vowels becomes .
  • pátim -- noun; accusative singular masculine of <páti> lord -- lord
  • jaritar -- noun; vocative singular masculine of <jaritŕ̥> singer -- O singer
  • nūnám -- adverb; <nūnám> now -- now
  • prá aśyās -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist optative of <√aṃś, aśnóti> reach + preverb <prá> forth -- may it reach # For *aśyāst, a precative form.
  • yás -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <yás, yā́, yát> who, which -- who
  • abdimā́n -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <abdimánt> consisting of storm-clouds -- storm-clouded
  • udanimā́n -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <udanimánt> rich in water -- rich in water
  • íyarti -- verb; 3rd person singular active of <√r̥, íyarti> go, send -- goes
  • vidyútā -- noun; instrumental singular feminine of <vidyút> lightning flash -- with a lightning flash
  • ródasī -- noun; accusative dual feminine of <ródas> world -- the two worlds
  • prá ukṣámāṇas -- participle; nominative singular masculine present middle participle of <√ukṣ, ukṣáte> sprinkle + preverb <prá> forth -- deluging

eṣá stómo mā́rutaṃ śárdho áchā
rudrásya sūnū́m̐r yuvanyū́m̐r úd aśyāḥ
́mo rāyé havate mā suastí
úpa stuhi pŕ̥ṣadaśvām̐ ayā́saḥ

  • eṣás -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <eṣás, eṣā́, etát> this -- this
  • stómas -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <stóma> eulogy -- eulogy
  • ́rutam -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <́ruta> of the storm gods, the Maruts' -- the Maruts' # See section 17.1 for this formation.
  • śárdhas -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <śárdhas> troop -- troop
  • ácha -- preverb; <ácha> towards -- to # As in the Lesson 3 text, a verb 'goes' or 'is sent' is understood with ácha.
  • rudrásya -- noun; genitive singular masculine of <rudrá> Rudra -- of Rudra
  • sūnū́n -- noun; accusative plural masculine of <sūnú> son -- the sons
  • yuvanyū́n -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <yuvanyú> ever young -- ever young
  • út aśyās -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist optative of <√aṃś, aśnóti> reach + preverb <út> up -- may it reach up to
  • ́mas -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <́ma> longing -- longing
  • rāyé -- noun; dative singular masculine of <rayí> possession, treasure -- for treasure
  • havate -- verb; 3rd person singular middle of <√hū, hávate> invoke, call upon -- calls to
  • -- personal pronoun; accusative singular enclitic form of <ahám> I -- me
  • svastí -- noun; instrumental singular feminine of <svastí> wellbeing -- with wellbeing
  • úpa stuhi -- verb; 2nd person singular active imperative of <√stu, stuṣé> praise + preverb <úpa> up to -- send up praise to
  • pŕ̥ṣadaśvān -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <pŕ̥ṣadaśva> with white-flecked horses -- with white-flecked # The Maruts, or gods of the storm.
  • ayā́sas -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <ayā́s> nimble -- the nimble ones

praíṣá stómaḥ pr̥thivī́m antárikṣaṃ
vánaspátīm̐r óṣadhī rāyé aśyāḥ
devó-devaḥ suhávo bhūtu máhyam
́ no mātā́ pr̥thivī́ durmataú dhāt

  • eṣás -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <eṣás, eṣā́, etát> this -- this
  • stómas -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <stóma> eulogy -- eulogy
  • pr̥thivī́m -- noun; accusative singular feminine of <pr̥thivī́> earth -- earth
  • antárikṣam -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <antárikṣa> airy space, atmosphere -- the atmosphere
  • vánaspátīn -- noun; accusative plural masculine of <vánaspáti> forest lord, tree -- the lords of the forest
  • óṣadhīs -- noun; accusative plural feminine of <óṣadhi> plant -- the plants
  • rāyé -- noun; dative singular masculine of <rayí> possession, treasure -- for treasure
  • prá aśyās -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist optative of <√aṃś, aśnóti> reach + preverb <prá> forth -- may it reach
  • devó-devas -- iterative compound; <devó-devas> god after god -- god after god
  • suhávas -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <suháva> easily invoked -- easily invoked
  • bhūtu -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist imperative of <√bhū, bhávati> be -- may he be
  • máhyam -- personal pronoun; dative singular of <ahám> I -- for me
  • ́ -- particle; <́> not, that not -- not
  • nas -- personal pronoun; accusative/dative/genitive enclitic form of <vayám> we -- us
  • mātā́ -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <mātŕ̥> mother -- Mother
  • pr̥thivī́ -- noun; nominative singular feminine of <pr̥thivī́> earth -- Earth
  • durmataú -- noun; locative singular feminine of <durmatí> bad thought, envy -- in disfavour
  • dhāt -- verb; 3rd person singular active aorist injunctive of <√dhā, dádhāti> place, grant -- let her place

uraú devā anibādhé siyāma

  • uraú -- adjective; locative singular masculine of <urú> broad, spacious -- in spacious
  • devās -- noun; vocative plural masculine of <devá> divine, god -- O gods
  • anibādhé -- noun; locative singular masculine of <anibādhá> liberty -- liberty
  • syāma -- verb; 1st person plural active optative of <√as, ásti> be -- we would be

sám aśvínor ávasā nū́tanena
mayobhúvā supráṇītī gamema
ā́ no rayíṃ vahatam ótá vīrā́n
ā́ víśvāni amr̥tā saúbhagāni

  • aśvínos -- noun; genitive dual masculine of <aśvín> horseman, Ashvin -- of the two horsemen
  • ávasā -- noun; instrumental singular neuter of <ávas> help -- help
  • ́tanena -- adjective; instrumental singular neuter of <́tana> now existing -- present
  • mayobhúvā -- adjective; instrumental singular neuter of <mayobhū́> bringing happiness -- bringing happiness
  • supráṇītī -- noun; instrumental singular feminine of <supráṇīti> safe guidance -- with safe guidance
  • sám gamema -- noun; 1st person plural active aorist optative of <√gam, gáchati> go + preverb <sám> 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 <vayám> we -- us
  • rayím -- noun; accusative singular masculine of <rayí> possession, treasure -- treasure
  • ā́ vahatam -- verb; 2nd person dual active imperative of <√vah, váhati> conduct, bring + preverb <ā́> (intensifies or reverses meaning) -- convey
  • utá -- conjunction; <utá> and -- and
  • vīrā́n -- noun; accusative plural nominative of <vīrá> hero, man, strong son -- strong sons
  • víśvāni -- adjective; accusative plural neuter of <víśva> all -- all
  • amr̥tā -- adjective; vocative dual masculine of <amŕ̥ta> immortal, undying -- O immortal pair
  • saúbhagāni -- noun; accusative plural neuter of <saúbhaga> gift of fortune -- gifts of fortune # From subhága, with strengthened first syllable.

Lesson Text

prá sū́ mahé suśaraṇā́ya medhā́
gíram bhare návyasīṃ jā́yamānām
yá āhanā́ duhitúr vakṣáṇāsu
rūpā́ minānó ákr̥ṇod idáṃ naḥ

prá suṣṭutí stanáyantaṃ ruvántam
iḷás pátiṃ jaritar nūnám aśyāḥ
yó abdimā́m̐ udanimā́m̐ íyarti
prá vidyútā ródasī ukṣámāṇaḥ

eṣá stómo mā́rutaṃ śárdho áchā
rudrásya sūnū́m̐r yuvanyū́m̐r úd aśyāḥ
́mo rāyé havate mā suastí
úpa stuhi pŕ̥ṣadaśvām̐ ayā́saḥ

praíṣá stómaḥ pr̥thivī́m antárikṣaṃ
vánaspátīm̐r óṣadhī rāyé aśyāḥ
devó-devaḥ suhávo bhūtu máhyam
́ no mātā́ pr̥thivī́ durmataú dhāt

uraú devā anibādhé siyāma

sám aśvínor ávasā nū́tanena
mayobhúvā supráṇītī gamema
ā́ no rayíṃ vahatam ótá vīrā́n
ā́ víśvāni amr̥tā saúbhagāni

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 -ín.

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 vajrín 'armed', from vájra 'weapon', manīṣín 'thoughtful' from manīṣā́ 'thought', pakṣín 'winged' from pakṣá 'wing', aśvín 'horseman' from áśva 'horse', and śatín 'a hundredfold', sahasrín 'a thousandfold'; with v interposed ádvayāvin 'not duplicitous', with the accent lost to the privative prefix. The table uses vājín 'strong', possessing ́ja, to show the masculine forms that occur.

    Singular   Dual   Plural
Nom   vājī́   vājínā   vājínas
Acc   vājínam   vājínā   vājínas
Ins   vājínā   vājíbhyām   vājíbhis
Dat   vājíne   vājíbhyām    
Gen   vājínas   vājínos   vājínām
Abl   vājínas        
Loc   vājíni   vājínos   vājíṣu
Voc   ́jin       ́jinas
  • br̥hátsumnaḥ prasavītā́ nivéśano, jágata sthātúr ubháyasya yó vaśī́ (Lesson 2 text) 'the bringer to life, the source of rest, of high benevolence, who is the one who holds sway over (possesses váśa 'will, power') both the moving and the standing world' [239]
  • utá tyā́ daívyā bhiṣájā, śáṃ naḥ karato aśvínā (Lesson 5 text) 'and those divine healers, the two horsemen, will bless us' [240]
  • sám aśvínor [aśvínos] ávasā nū́tanena, mayobhúvā supráṇītī gamema (lesson text) 'may we partake of the present help of the two horsemen, bringing happiness with safe guidance' [241]
  • ní grā́māso avikṣata, ní padvánto ni pakṣíṇaḥ, ní śyenā́saś cid arthínaḥ (X, 127, 5) 'people have gone to rest, to rest the footed and the winged, even the purposeful (possessing ártha 'intention') eagles' [242]
  • sáṃ tvā rā́yaḥ śatínaḥ sáṃ sahasríṇaḥ, suvī́raṃ yanti vratapā́m adābhya (I, 31, 10) 'treasures a hundredfold, a thousandfold accompany you, not to be deceived, great hero protecting holy law' [243]
  • úṣo vā́jena vājini prácetā, stómaṃ juṣasva gr̥ṇató 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 á- 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" (úd ayān, a sigmatic aorist), "has filled the airy spaces" (aprās, a sigmatic aorist), "has stretched out his arms" (asrāk, another sigmatic aorist) and "has created (ájijanat, 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   gáchati   ágachat   ágam-a-t
√gā   jígāti   ájigāt   ágā-t
√dhā   dádhāti   ádadhāt   ádhā-t
√sthā   tíṣṭhati   átiṣṭhat   ásthā-t
√bhū   bhávati   ábhavat   ábhū-t

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

        Active           Middle    
    Singular   Dual   Plural   Singular   Dual   Plural
1   ávidam   ávidāva   ávidāma   ávide   ávidāvahi   ávidāmahi
2   ávidas   ávidatam   ávidata   ávidathās   ávidethām   ávidadhvam
3   ávidat   ávidatām   ávidan   ávidata   ávidetām   ávidanta

Third person plural endings can vary. In roots which add the ending without connecting -a- the active ending is frequently -ur, águr, ádhur, ásthur (but ábhūvan), and the middle ending is often -ran, as ádr̥śran (from √dr̥ś) in example 250 below.

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

  • abhí dvijánmā trī́ rocanā́ni, víśvā rájāṃsi śuśucānó asthāt (I, 149, 4) 'of double birth, (Agni) has risen above the three spheres of light, all the airy regions, shining bright' [245] (=170)
  • víśve jānanti mahinā́ yád ā́gād [ā́ ágāt], índrasya kárma súkr̥tā purū́ṇi (III, 30, 13) 'all know when she has come in her glory -- the many deeds of Indra are well done' [246] (= 223)
  • út sū́ryo br̥hád arcī́ṃṣi aśret (VII, 62, 1) 'the sun has shed rays up on high (from √śri)' [247] (=92)
  • samudrā́d ūrmír mádhumām̐ úd ārat (IV, 58, 1) 'from the sea the wave of sweetness has arisen (from √r̥ 'go)' [248] (=94)
37.2. The reduplicating aorist.

The reduplicating vowel of this aorist is long, and is most often -ī-; 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   ájījanam   ájījanāma
2   ájījanas   ájījanata
3   ájījanat   ájījanan
  • satyásya nā́vaḥ sukŕ̥tam apīparan (IX, 73, 1) 'the ships of truth have borne across the virtuous one (sukŕ̥t (m); the verb is from √pr̥ 'pass')' [249]
  • etā́ u tyā́ḥ práty adr̥śran purástāj, jyótir yáchantīr uṣáso vibhātī́ḥ, ájījanan sū́ryaṃ yajñám agním, apācī́naṃ támo agād [agāt] ájuṣṭam (VII, 78, 3) 'now these have come into view before us (purástāt), 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 aprās 'he has filled' occurs for the phonologically impossible *aprāst, and asrāk and ayān, two more sigmatic aorists, have lost both the -s- and the -t. Where the sigmatic form is -iṣ- the second and third persons singular active ending becomes -īs (for iṣ-s) and -īt (for iṣ-t). The 3rd person plural active regularly ends in -ur. Middle forms, like ábhutsmahi 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   ástoṣi   ástoṣmahi
2   ástoṣṭhās   ástoḍhvam
3   ástoṣṭa   ástoṣata

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.

  • ní grā́māso avikṣata, ní padvánto ni pakṣíṇaḥ, ní śyenā́saś cid arthínaḥ (X, 127, 5) 'people have gone to rest (from √viś), to rest the footed and the winged, even the purposeful eagles' [251] (= 242)
  • ástoṣata svábhānavo, víprā náviṣṭhayā matī́ (I, 82, 2) 'the poets, self-luminous, have sung praises with their newest thought' [252]
  • ájaiṣmādyā́sanāma [ájaiṣma adyá ásanāma] ca, ábhūmā́nāgaso [ábhūma ánagāsas] vayám, úṣo yásmād duṣvápnyād, ábhaiṣmā́pa [ábhaiṣma ápa] tád uchatu, aneháso va ūtáyaḥ, suūtáyo va ūtáyaḥ (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 √bhī 'fear' which takes the ablative), may she shine that away; your aids are incomparable, your aids are good aids' [253]
  • ávarṣīr [ávarṣīs] varṣám úd u ṣū́ [sū́] gr̥bhāya, ákar dhánvāni átietavā́ [áti-etavaí] u, ájījana [ájījanas] óṣadhīr bhójanāya kám, utá prajā́bhyo avido [avidas] manīṣā́m (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: yó no dātā́ sá naḥ pitā́ (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, ní grā́māso avikṣata, ní padvánto ni pakṣíṇaḥ, ní śyenā́saś cid arthínaḥ (X, 127, 5), the sense of the verb avikṣata is carried through all three lines of the verse simply by the repetition the preverb . Compare the use of út in the verse quoted in the introduction to Lesson 6, úd [út] īratām ávara út párāsa, ún [út] madhyamā́ḥ pitáraḥ somyā́saḥ (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 ā́ in the last line of the lesson text: ā́ no rayíṃ vahatam ótá [ā́ utá] vīrā́n, ā́ víśvāni amr̥tā saúbhagāni.

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: prá síndhum áchā br̥hatī́ manīṣā́ 'a lofty poem (goes) forth to the river', and as in this lesson text, again with ácha: eṣá stómo mā́rutaṃ śárdho áchā.

  • prá ririce divá [divás] índraḥ pr̥thivyā́ [pr̥thivyā́s], ardhám íd asya práti ródasī ubhé (VI, 30, 1) 'Indra surpasses heaven and earth, indeed one half (ardhá masculine) of him equals both the two worlds' (omission of the verb 'be', here ásti with preverb práti in its specialised sense 'is equal to'; see example 203) [255]
  • ádha prá sū́ na úpa yantu dhītáyo, devā́m̐ áchā ná dhītáyaḥ (I, 139, 1) 'then may our thoughts surely go forth, thoughts (that go) as it were to the gods' [256]
  • índra [índre] okyàṃ didhiṣanta dhītáyo, devā́m̐ áchā ná dhītáyaḥ (I, 132, 5) 'thoughts will long to have (subjunctive desiderative of √dhā) 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 (atyaṣṭi) verse)
  • rádat pathó váruṇaḥ sū́ryāya, prá árṇāṃsi samudríyā nadī́nām (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 ásr̥jat, suggested by the preverb prá, is confirmed by the past participle sr̥ṣtá in the line that follows) [258]
  • ātmā́ devā́nām bhúvanasya gárbha, yathāvaśáṃ carati devá eṣáḥ, ghóṣā íd asya śr̥ṇvire ná rūpám (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 dadr̥śe; compare I, 164, 44, also of the wind: dhrā́jir ékasya dadr̥śe ná rūpám '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:

  • utá syā́ no dívā matír, áditir ūtiyā́ gamat, sā́ śáṃtāti máyas karad ápa srídhaḥ (VIII, 18, 7) 'and that (is) our thought by day: Aditi will come with help. She will make (karat) blessed happiness, banish (ápa [karat]) misfortunes' [260]
  • śám agnír agníbhiḥ karac, cháṃ nas tapatu sū́riyaḥ, śáṃ vā́to vātu arapā́ ápa srídhaḥ (VIII, 18, 9) 'Agni will bless with fires, let the sun warm a blessing for us, let the wholesome wind blow (vātu) a blessing, blow away (ápa [vātu]) misfortunes' [261]
39. Three nouns with mixed stems.

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

    Singular   Plural
Nom   naús   ́vas
Acc   ́vam    
Ins   nāvā́   naubhís
Gen   nāvás    
Loc   nāví    
  • sá naḥ parṣad áti durgā́ṇi víśvā, nāvéva [nāvā́ iva] síndhuṃ duritā́ti agníḥ (I, 99, 1) 'so will Agni bear us over all hard ways and dangers, as with a boat over a river' [262] (=124)
  • védā [véda] yó vīnā́m padám, antárikṣeṇa pátatām, véda nāváḥ samudríyaḥ (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)
  • ́s te pūṣan nā́vo [nā́vas] antáḥ samudré, hiraṇyáyīr antárikṣe cáranti, tā́bhir yāsi dūtyā́ṃ sū́ryasya (VI, 58, 3) 'O Pushan, those golden (hiraṇyáyī, feminine of hiraṇyáya) ships of yours that move within the sea, within the atmosphere, with those you travel on the sun's embassy' [264]
  • tám ūhathur naubhír ātmanvátībhiḥ (I, 116, 3) 'you (Ashvins) carried him with boats under sail' (lit. 'possessing breath'; compare example 259 above, where the wind is ātmā́ devā́nām) [265]

The word rayí 'treasure, precious thing', is usually masculine, but can also be of feminine gender. It declines as if from two stems, rayí- and rāy-. 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   rayís   ́yas
Acc   rayím   rāyás, rā́yas
Ins   rāyā́   rayíbhis
Dat   rāyé    
Abl   rāyás    
Gen   rāyás   rāyīṇā́m
  • niṣṣídhvarīs ta óṣadhīr utā́po, rayíṃ ta indra pr̥thivī́ bibharti (III, 55, 22) 'the plants and the waters are full of your benefits (feminine of niṣṣídh-van), earth bears your treasure, Indra' [266]
  • várūtrībhiḥ suśaraṇó no astu, tváṣṭā sudátro ví dadhātu rā́yaḥ, tán no rā́yaḥ párvatās tán na ā́pas, tád rātiṣā́ca óṣadhīr utá dyaúḥ, vánaspátibhiḥ pr̥thivī́ sajóṣā, ubhe ródasī pári pāsato naḥ (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 (rātiṣā́c), 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 dyú, dív (m) 'sky, heaven, day' in the glossary the forms dyaús, dívam, divás (genitive singular), diví and dívas (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 dyā́vāpr̥thivī́, and in the third the iterative compound divé-dive 'day after day' demonstrates the other, related sense of the word. The meaning 'day' has also been encountered in the fixed form dívā 'by day', often juxtaposed, as in the Lesson 1 text, with the accusative náktam 'by night'.

The alternative accusative plural dyū́n most frequently occurs in the formula ánu dyū́n, like divé-dive with the meaning 'day after day'. The dual dyā́ is also occasionally found as an abbreviated form of the compound dyā́vāpr̥thivī́, as in example 270.

    Singular   Plural
Nom   dyaús   dyā́vas, dívas
Acc   dyā́m, dívam   dyū́n, dívas
Ins   divā́   dyúbhis
Dat   divé    
Abl   dyós, divás    
Gen   dyós, divás    
Loc   dyávi, diví    
  • ā́pa óṣadhīr utá no avantu, dyaúr [dyaús] vánā giráyo vr̥kṣákeśāḥ (V, 41, 11) 'may the waters and the plants favour us, the sky, the woods, the tree-tressed hills (girí (m))' [268]
  • tváṃ dyā́ṃ ca mahivrata, pr̥thivī́ṃ cā́ti jabhriṣe (IX, 100, 9) 'you, mighty of law, bear yourself above heaven and above earth' [269]
  • ́ mā satyóktiḥ pári pātu viśváto, dyā́vā ca yátra tatánann áhāni 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]
  • ágne ví paśya br̥hatā́bhí [br̥hatā́ abhí] rāyā́, iṣā́ṃ no netā́ bhavatād [bhavatāt] ánu dyū́n (III, 23, 2) 'O fire, discern with lofty treasure, be for us leader of refreshments day after day' (the rare imperative in -tāt 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 ́ no mātā́ pr̥thivī́ durmataú dhāt 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: tán no mitró váruṇo māmahantām, áditiḥ síndhuḥ pr̥thivī́ utá dyaúḥ 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 víśvasmān no áṃhaso níṣ pipartana 'from all trouble deliver us', the seventh ending with the usual refrain of this group described in the last paragraph.

  • evā́ na indra vā́ryasya pūrdhi, prá te mahī́ṃ sumatíṃ vevidāma (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)
  • úṣo yásmād duṣvápnyād, ábhaiṣmā́pa tád uchatu, aneháso va ūtáyaḥ, suūtáyo va ūtáyaḥ (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)
  • niṣṣídhvarīs ta óṣadhīr utā́po, rayíṃ ta indra pr̥thivī́ bibharti, sákhāyas te vāmabhā́jaḥ syāma, mahád devā́nām asuratvám ékam (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 víśve devā́, each verse of which ends with this line affirming the unified power of the gods) [274] (the first two lines =266)