Sacred Books of the East eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 533 pages of information about Sacred Books of the East.

X

Like unto excellent wealth, like unto the shine of the sun, like unto living breath, like unto one’s own son, like unto a quick takvan Agni holds the wood, like milk, like a milch cow, bright and shining.  He holds safety, pleasant like a homestead, like ripe barley, a conqueror of men; like a Rishi uttering sacred shouts, praised among the clans; like a well-cared-for race-horse, Agni bestows vigor.  He to whose flame men do not grow accustomed, who is like one’s own mind, like a wife on a couch, enough for all happiness.  When the bright Agni has shone forth, he is like a white horse among people, like a chariot with golden ornaments, impetuous in fights.  Like an army which is sent forward he shows his vehemence, like an archer’s shaft with sharp point.  He who is born is one twin; he who will be born is the other twin—­the lover of maidens, the husband of wives.  As cows go to their stalls, all that moves and we, for the sake of a dwelling, reach him who has been kindled.  Like the flood of the Sindhu he has driven forward the downward-flowing waters.  The cows lowed at the sight of the sun.

XI

The Hotri goes forward in order to fulfil his duty by his wonderful power, directing upwards the brightly adorned prayer.  He steps towards the sacrificial ladles which are turned to the right, and which first kiss his foundation.  They have greeted with shouts the streams of Rita which were hidden at the birthplace of the god, at his seat.  When He dwelt dispersed in the lap of the waters, he drank the draughts by the power of which he moves.  Two beings of the same age try to draw that wonderful shape towards themselves, progressing in turns towards a common aim.  Then he is to be proclaimed by us like a winner in a contest.  The charioteer governs all things as if pulling in the reins of a draught-horse.  He whom two beings of the same age serve, two twins dwelling together in one common abode, the gray one has been born as a youth by night as by day, the ageless one who wanders through many generations of men.  The prayers, the ten fingers stir him up.  We, the mortals, call him, the god, for his protection.  From the dry land he hastens to the declivities.  With those who approached him he has established new rules.  Thou indeed, O Agni, reignest by thy own nature over the heavenly and over the terrestrial world as a shepherd takes care of his cattle.  These two variegated, great goddesses striving for gloriousness, the golden ones who move crookedly, have approached thy sacrificial grass.  Agni!  Be gratified and accept graciously this prayer, O joy-giver, independent one, who art born in the Rita, good-willed one, whose face is turned towards us from all sides, conspicuous one, gay in thy aspect, like a dwelling-place rich in food.

[Footnote 8:  The sun.]

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Sacred Books of the East from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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