28.1.3: THE VEDAS - STYLE AND CONTENT : Pt.2
We shall now see four prayers, a very tiny sample, from the massive ritualistic contents of the Vedas :
1. Jayadi Homam from Krishna Yajur veda : III-4-4 ;
2. Prithvi Suktam from the Atharva Veda and
3: The profound Anna Suktam from Taittiriya Brahmanam -2-8.
4. A passage from Yajurveda and atharva vedas, which constitutes something like a national prayer
1. Jayadi homam
The name itself suggests that this homa is for victory; for the success of all that we have done so far. During this procedure, mantras are chanted to appease the various forces of nature like wind, sun, moon, earth, rains, oceans, etc. the performer also expresses gratitude to all these forces of nature for it is with their cooperation that the homa has been possible. This homam is the concluding part of every ritualistic homam that the householder does with a particular objective. The text portion that describes this adopts its standard capsuling method by which it lists all the parts of this homam in one mantra. Only when the homam is done the word ‘svAhA’ is pronounced after each, while the offering is done to Agni. But the text adds ca (=and) to each, without getting tired !
Cittam ca : May the mental storehouse be in my control
CIttish ca : Success in the form of of formless knowledge
AkUtam ca What has been visualised
AkUtish ca: Visualization
VijnAtaM ca : Object that is known
VijnAnaM ca :Knowledge
Manash ca : Mind
ShakvarIsh ca : Cognitive senses
Darshash ca: Ritual of Darsha (New Moon)
pUrnamaasash ca : Ritual of Full Moom
brihac ca: The sAma music of brihat
rathamtarash ca :The sAma music of rathamthara
In the 6th anuvaka, following the above there is a long passage beginning with ‘RRitaashhAD, which constitutes an Appeal to Gandharvas and apsaras to protect the yagya being performed and the following is repeated after naming the Gandharvas:
Sa idaM brahma kshhatraM pAtu tA idaM brahma kshhatraM pAntu
Meaning, May the gandharva favour and protect this yajna and may the apsaras also do the same.
2. PrithvI sUktaM (with the profound theme of Environment-Consciousness )
सत्यं बृहद् ऋतमुग्रं दीक्षा तपो ब्रह्म यज्ञः पृथ्वीं धारयन्ति।
सा नो भूतस्य भव्यस्य पत्न्युरुं लोकं पृथ्वी नः कृणोतु॥
Greatest Truth, Unassailable rhythm, Purity, tapas, spiritual exaltation,
yajna, these are the ones which form the support of the Earth. May this earth, the mistress of that which was and which shall be,
prepare for us a broad domain!
यत्ते भूमे विखनामि क्षिप्रं तदपि रोहतु।
मा ते मर्मविगृग्वरि मा ते हृदयमर्पिपम्॥
oh mother Earth, Whenever I dig you and plant whatever, may it flourish soon: Oh, Purest Purifier, May we not hurt your inner regions or core content
यस्यां पूर्वे पूर्वजना विचकिरे यस्यादेवा असुरमभ्यवर्तमन्।
गवामश्वानां वयसश्च विष्टा भगं वर्चः पृथ्वी नो दधातु॥
The earth upon which of old the first men unfolded themselves, upon
which the gods overcame the Asuras, shall procure for us (all) kinds
of cattle, horses, and fowls, good fortune, and glory
As we have already said, while rigveda samhita is all poetry, and yajurvedasamhita is mostly prose and sAmaveda samhita is all songs, the brAhmaNas are all made up of simple sentences. WE shall take one small but profound portion called annasUktam from the Taittiriya brAhmaNam second ashtakam, eighth anuvakam . It has just 16 riks. It occurs also in Rig veda.It goes like this . It is a soliloquy by annadevata, therefore talking in the first person. Because He the Absolute is residing in food (annam annAda eva ca – Vishnu sahasranama). You can see the majestic richness of the content by enjoying the style of the language and its meaning.
a̱ham a̍smi prathamaj̱ ā ṛ ̱tasya̍ | pūrva̍ṁ de̱vebhyo̍ a̱mṛta̍sya̱ nābhi̍ḥ |
I am the first progenitor of yajna; the first yajna was born of me. At the very early timesit is I who became the nucleus of amrita for the divines
2. yo mā ̱ dadā ̍ti̱ sa ide̱va mā’’vā ̎ḥ | a̱ham annam anna ̱ ̍m a̱danta̍madmi |
The one who gives me is in fact the one who obtains me. The one who does not give is consumed by me.I am the annadevata and I eat the one who does not give the anna.
3. pūrva̍ṁ a̱gner api̍ daha̱tyannam̎ | ya̱ttau hā ̍’’sāte aham utta̱reṣu̍ |
The one who eats before giving is consumed by the food that he eats, even before the food itself is consumed by the digestive fires. Between the one who gives before eating and the one who eats without giving, the former is the worthy one. I am with him.
4. vyāttamasya pa ̍ ̱śavas su ̍ ̱jambham̎ | paśya̍nti̱ dhīrā ̱ḥ praca̍ranti̱ pākā ̎ḥ |
The other is indeed like an animal. For such animal-like ones the sharp-toothed jaws of the annadevata are wide open. The wise know this; while the ignorant continue to indulge in eating without givi
5. jahā ̎mya̱nyam na ja̍hāmyanyam | a ̱ ̱ham annaṁ̱ vaśa̱ṁ iccha̍rāmi
I forsake the one who eats without giving, I never forsake the one who gives before eating. I am the annadevata. I come and go according to my own discipline.
6 sa̱mā ̱nam arthaṁ̱ parye̍mi bhu̱ñjat | ko māṁ anna̍ṁ manu̱ṣyo̍ dayeta
I nurture the one for whom giving carries the same significance as eating. To him I reach in plenty. I remain out of reach of the other, who eats without giving. Who amongst men can deter me, the annadevata, from my course?
7. parā ̍ke̱ anna̱ṁ nihi̍taṁ lo̱ka e̱tat | viśvai̎r de̱vaiḥ pi̱tṛbhi̍r gu̱ptam annam̎
The food that is offered in this world — for the devas, bhutas, pitrs, and manusyas —becomes the food set apart for the giver in the world hereafter. The devas of the world and the pitrs keep such food securely preserved for the giver.
8. yad a̱dyate̍ lu̱pyate̱ yat pa̍ro̱pyate̎ | śa̱ta̱ta̱mī sā ta̱nūr me̍ babhūva |
The food that is eaten, that which decays, and that which is given away, does not amount to even a hundredth part of the total extent of mine: I, annadevata, am much larger than all the food that is eaten, wasted or given in this world.
9 ma̱hāntau̍ ca̱rū sa̍kṛd du̱gdhena̍ paprau | diva̍ṁ ca̱ pṛśni̍ pṛthi̱vīṁ ca̍ śā ̱kam
Just as the cow fills great pots of milk in no time, so does a little food offered by the giver suffuse both this world and the world hereafter. The wise, partaking of the food that has been first offered to the devas, bhutas, pitrs and manusyas, do no injury to the anna or to themselves.
10. tat sa̱ṁpiba̍nto̱ na mi̍nanti ve̱dhasa̍ḥ | naitad bhūyo̱ bhava̍ti̱ no kanī ̍yaḥ
The food consumed by the wise that follow such discipline is neither so much as to cause indigestion, nor so little as to fail to assuage hunger.
11. anna̍ṁ prā ̱ṇaṁ anna̍m apā ̱naṁ ā ̍huḥ | anna̍ṁ mṛ ̱tyuṁ tam u̍ jī ̱vātu̍m āhuḥ |
Anna is said to be both prana and apana, the two forms of the breath of life that permeate the body. Anna is the giver of life, and also the extinguisher of it.
12. anna̍ṁ bra̱hmaṇo̍ ja̱rasa̍ṁ vadanti | anna̍m āhuḥ pra̱jana̍naṁ pra̱jānā ̎m |
Those who know ayurveda, the science of life, know anna to be the cause of aging. Anna is said to be the progenitor of all progeny.
13. mogha̱m anna̍ṁ vindate̱ apra̍cetāḥ | sa̱tyaṁ bra̍vīmi va̱dha itsa tasya̍ |
Anna that comes to the one who does not give is indeed a waste. This is the truth. I, the annadevata, say it.
14 nārya̱ma̱ṇaṁ puṣya̍ti̱ no sakhā ̍yam | keva̍lāgho bhavati kevalā ̱dī
The food that such a one obtains is not only .wasted, it in fact comes as his very death. He feeds neither the devas nor the men, who arrive at his door as atithis, abhyagatas and friends. Eating for himself alone, he becomes the partaker of sin alone. Cf. B.G. yaGYa shishhTAshinaH santo mucyante sarvakilbishhaiH . bhunjate te tvaghaM pApAH ye bhajantyAtmakAraNAt
15. a̱haṁ me̱ghaḥ sta̱naya̱n varṣa̍nnasmi | mām adantya ̍ ̱ham a̱dmya̱nyān
I am the cloud that thunders and pours rain on earth. Those, who give before eating, eat me; I eat the others, who partake of me without giving.
16. a̱haguṁ sada̱mṛto bhavāmi | madā ̍di̱tyā adhi̱ sarve̍ tapanti |oṁ
For the former I become amrta, the preserver of life. The great fire of the suns of the universe indeed arises from me.
4. Vedic National Prayer
आ ब्रह्मन् ब्राह्मणो ब्रह्मवर्चसी जायतामास्मिन् राष्ट्रे राजन्यः
इषव्यः शूरो महारथो जायतां दोग्ध्री धेनुर्वोढानड्वानाशुः
सप्तिः पुरन्धिर्योषा जिष्णू रथेष्ठाः सभे यो युवाऽस्य यजमानस्य वीरो जायतां
निकामे निकामे नः
पर्जन्यो वर्षतु फलिन्यो न ओषधयः पच्यन्तां योगक्षेमो नः कल्पताम्॥
Aabrahman brAhmaNo brahmavarchasI jAyatAmAsmin rAShTre rAjanyaH
iShavyaH shUro mahAratho jAyatAM dogdhrI dhenur voDhAnaDvAnAshuH saptiH purandhiryoShA jiShNU ratheShThAH sabhe yo yuvA.asya yajamAnasya vIro jAyatAM nikAme nikAme naH parjanyo varShatu phalinyo na oShadhayaH pachyantAM yogakShemo naH kalpatAm
Krishna Yajur Veda, 7-5-44 & Shukla Yajurveda 22-22
"O God! Let there be born in the kingdom 'brAhmaNas' with 'brahmatejas' (divine lustre) who are well versed in the Vedas; let there be born the 'RAjanya', heroic, skilled kings, archers and mighty selfless warriors; cows giving abundant milk; oxen good at carrying; the swift coursers; industrious, cultural women. May 'Parjana' send seasonal rains; may our fruit-bearing plants and trees ripen; may the 'yogakShemam' (spiritual and prosperous well-being) of our people increase steadily."
Shraddh time. North India.
This is a national prayer that can be used as our vedic national anthem