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ThouArt
08 August 2006, 12:37 PM
Namaste:

Occasionally I encounter passages, hymns from the Rig Veda and am swept away with the beauty of their poetry and meaning. I would like to attempt reading the Rig Veda (I've been told it's a daunting undertaking) and would like to obtain the purest translation of it. It must be an English text (just learning hindi and devanagri) and would appreciate any suggestions any of you have.

Thank you

Thou Art

saidevo
08 August 2006, 07:51 PM
An English translation with phrase-wise transliteration, meaning and explanation with nuances and hidden meanings would be the ideal thing. Is there any such translation done by Hindu Vedic pundits?

yajvan
18 September 2006, 09:52 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

Namaste ,

agnimilie purohitm yajnasya devam rtvijam
hotaram ratna dhatamam RV 1.1.1

Agni I adore, placed in front, of jajna, deva, the rtvik summoning priest, ecstasies, founds excellently

Agni I adore, the leader who carries out the yajna. He does and gets done the yajna in due season. He, as the summoning priest, is capable of bringing the devas ( shining ones) to the yajna performed here. He establishes excellent felicities in the aspirant ( sadhu or upasaka).

If this type of transpostion is of interest, I am studying the first 121 suktas of the Rk Ved. This is by RL Kashyap, who is part of Sri Aurobindo's learning and teaching. He brings insight to the devas and their meaning of Agni, Indra, Muruts, Saraswathi, the cows, Asvins, etc.

If any one can bring other books and studies to consider, of this great work, pls suggest the books that bring you insight.

Pranams,

sarabhanga
23 September 2006, 06:35 AM
ओं ऋग्वेदाय स्वाहा
om rigvedāya svāhā

ओं अग्निमीले पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवमृत्विजम् । होतारं रत्नधातमम् ।१.१.१।
om agnimīle purohitam yaj˝asya devamritvijam | hotāram ratnadhātamam |1.1.1|

yajvan
23 September 2006, 05:59 PM
ओं ऋग्वेदाय स्वाहा




om rigvedāya svāhā


ओं अग्निमीले पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवमृत्विजम् । होतारं रत्नधातमम् ।१.१.१।


om agnimīle purohitam yaj˝asya devamritvijam | hotāram ratnadhātamam |1.1.1|

Namaste Sarabhanga,
Thank you for this post ( and assume others that will follow)
This mantra from the Rk Ved is wonderful... If possible, and if you have the time, can you included the rishi ( in this case Madhuchcchandah) the meter ( chhandas) in this mantra gayatri, and maybe if I may ask, the mantram in english?
Agni I adore, placed in front , the God (deva) of yajna (or sacrifice) rtvik ( or the one that performs the yajna) summoning priest (or hotaram, the one that calls the deva's) ecstasies, found excellently.

I have studied Agni as Divine Will... the root of agni is ang indicating a strong and luminious movement (and a very lovely biga mantra in itself).

Ile - is adore.

purohitam is based upon purohit - the pundit that directs the performace of the yajya, but in this mantra meaning 'placed in front' - so says R.L. Kashyap in his works.
deva - we know as cosmic power, Lord... I have difficulty with "God" as it does not ( for me) hit the mark. I like its root of div or light/luminious.

yajnasya devam - Lord of the yajya. Many call 'yajya' as another name of Visnu.
rtvik - rtu in the Ved, as I understand it is the order of the truth (satyam) and its arrangement in time. Hense , Agni, is the cosmic representative who sacrifices (offers) according to the correct order, season.

hotaram - the priest that summons/invites the deva's to the yajna. The root of Hotr, who offers the havis, is hu , is to shout/proclaim. So, as Agni, he calls out the ther cosmic powers to help the aspirant/sadhu of the yajna.

ratnadhataman - ratna is happiness/bliss/ecstasy; we also see this word as 'gem'. The rathnadha is one who bears happiness + tam or excellent, so one that receives excellent happiness from the yajna.

Please point out any mala (stain) in my understanding....

Special thank you to R.L. Kashyap's book on the 'Secrets of the Rig Ved' first 121 suktas.

All Glory to Him Who Breathes Out the Ved

sarabhanga
23 September 2006, 11:27 PM
RSi madhucchandA invokes the vaishvAmitra with gAyatrI praise:


agnimILepurohitaMyaj˝asyadevamRtvijam | hotAraMratnadhAtamam ||

agnimILe purohitaM yaj˝asya devamRtvijam | hotAraM ratnadhAtamam ||

agnim ILe purohitaM yaj˝asya devam Rt vi jam | hotAraM ratnadhAtamam ||

ag nim I Le pu ro hi taM ya j˝a sya de vam Rt vi jam | ho tA raM rat na dhA ta mam ||

Varoon Arya
27 December 2006, 05:36 PM
Namaste,

Before one can correctly translate the Veda Samhitas, one must be properly educated in the techniques of Vedic interpretation established in the Vedangas, particularly the Nirukta. This is a point that has escaped not only all western indologists, but also the wide majority of modern Hindu translators. Although it would be impossible for me to explain everything that is contained in the science of Nirukta, I would like to point out a few aspects that may be of service to others here who are taking their first steps towards understanding the deeper meaning of the Vedas.

One important thing to remember is that there are three primary types of words in Vedic Sanskrit recognized in the science of Vedic interpretation. These are:

Rudhi: This type of word names a particular object in such a way that the connotation of the word gives no clue as to the object denoted by it. It is a word of more or less arbitrary significance. In other words, it cannot be analyzed or broken down into meaningful parts.
Yogarudhi: This type of word indicates a meaning 'fixed' to a particular object by virtue of its dhatu or root. A typical example of this type is the word pankaja. The dhatus of the word are panka and ja, which, when combined, give the meaning 'that which is born or lives (ja) in mud (panka)'. Of course, this could theoretically be applied to many things in the world. However, in practice it is applied to one thing only: the lotus. Therefore, pankaja is a yogarudhi word.
Yaugika: This type of word indicates a meaning built up of one or more dhatu in conjunction with any prakritis (inflective bases) and pratyayas (suffixes) which may appear along with it. A yaugika word is always purely connotative, and never concrete in meaning. For example, the word agni is yaugika, built up of the dhatus aRc (to illuminate) and nI (to lead). Therefore, agni signifies 'the leading illuminator', with 'leading' in the sense of 'best'. In regular interpretation work, this is usually to be rendered as simply 'the illuminator', but the notion of leading is always to be kept in mind. It is for this reason that the word agni can signify many things, such as fire, the sun or God - literally anything which is a 'great illuminator'.(There is also a fourth type, called yaugika-rudha, but which does not play a significant role in the interpretation of the Veda Samhitas.)

This distinction between types of words is very important in interpreting the Vedas correctly. For example, Acharya Yaksa in the Nirukta Vedanga and Acharya Panini in the Ashtadhyayi Vedanga say that the words used in the Vedas are yaugika and must necessarily be interpreted in that sense.

What this means pratically is that each word in the Samhitas must be traced back to its dhatu and interpreted as what it connotates. It is not to be taken as a proper name of what it may indicate in the particular context.

A second important point to remember is that there are three levels of meaning in each word of the mantras. These are:

Adhyatmika: The spiritual or psychological level: pertains to God, the soul, etc.
Adhiyajñika: The ritualistic level: pertains to the performance or works, particularly rituals.
Adhidaivika: The naturalistic or cosmological level: pertains to natural science and the laws of nature.All of the great ancient commentators before Sayana recognized these three levels of interpretation. Acharya Durga, in his commentary to Yaska's Nirukta, says:

"Interpretations of the mantras vary corresponding to the various applications. (The sense) of the mantras changes in accordance with the intention of the user because the power of expression (of the hymns) has never been restricted. They have unlimited implications and are hard to be fully comprehended. As a good or better horseman makes a horse good or better, so the mantras denote good or better senses when they are handled by a learned or a more learned interpreter. Thus the exlanations of words given in this treatise (i.e. the Nirukta) are indicative and suggestive of other meanings (not contained herein). They have adhyatmika, adhiyajñika and adhidaivika applications. Therefore, whatever meaning appears most reasonable pertaining to any category of the above-mentioned meanings should be accepted as right. None should find fault here."

This three-fold method of interpretation survived in one form or another up to the time of Sayana. He, however, was interested in the adhiyajñika level of meaning only, as he was writing to expound the doctrines of the Purva Mimamsa school. Therefore, his entire interpretation and commentary is focused on the ritual-aspect of the mantras, and he almost completely ignores the spiritual and naturalistic aspects. This would eventually have a huge impact on the modern interpretations of the Vedas, as all of the western indologists - Müller, Griffiths, Wilson, etc. - relied entirely upon Sayana's Veda-Bhashya in order to translate the Vedas into English. Thus, almost all modern translations are completely one-dimensional and focused purely upon the ritualistic interpretation of one individual who was actually breaking off from the orthodox tradition.

Seeing as how this topic began with a discussion of Rig Veda 1.1.1., I would like to present a more traditional interpretation of the mantra with all three levels of meaning. To do this, I will give the dhatu of each word, its meaning on the three levels (indicated by A [adhyatmika], Y [adhiyajñika] and D [adhidaivika] respectively), followed by its grammatical analysis (prakritis and pratyayas) in modern terms. This will then be followed by the interpretations/translations themselves.



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WûÉåiÉÉUÇ U¦ÉkÉÉiÉqÉqÉç ||1|1|1||


agniméÿe purohitaà yajïasya devamåtvijam
hotäraà ratnadhätamam


agnim: [aåc: to illuminate + né: to lead] (Ä) the illuminator: (Y) holy or sacrificial fire; (D) mundane or industrial fire. [A. Sing.]

éÿe (éò): [éÿe(éò): to praise, to glorify] (Ä) praise; (Y) revere; (D) appreciate. [1st Sing. Pres. Perf.]

purohitam: [på: full, complete, first + hu: to sacrifice, to conduct] (Ä) the foremost or supreme leader; (Y) best means of conduct; (D) preferred medium. [A. Sing.]

yajïasya: [yaj: to exalt, to offer] (Ä) exalted action; (Y) sacred offering, sacrifice; (D) purification. [G. Sing.]

devam: [div(u): to shine with power] (Ä) glorious one; (Y) deity; (D) force.[A. Sing.]

åtvijam [å: to guide rightly, to steer + vij: to arouse, to strengthen] (Ä) one who is aroused in righteousness (Y) that which arouses virtue; (D) that which leads in industriousness. [A. Sing.]

hotäram: [(1) hvä: to call; (2) hu: to sacrifice, conduct] (Ä) caller of all;(Y) announcer of offerings; (D) conductor of forces. [A. Sing.]

ratna: [ram: to be or make content, to please](Ä) that which is pleasant; (Y) (spiritual) wealth; (D) precious goods.[N. Sing.]

dhätamam: [(1) dhä: to put, to order, to set in place; (2) dhå: to hold, to sustain] (Ä) creator and sustainer; (Y) bestower; (D) producer. [A. Sing.]



ädhyätmika interpretation

I praise the Illuminator, the Foremost Leader of Exalted Action, the Glorious One Who is Aroused in the Performance of Righteousness, Who Calleth All unto Himself, the Creator and Sustainer of All that is Pleasant.


ädhiyajïika interpretation

I revere the holy fire, the best means of conducting the sacrifice, that great deity which arouses to virtue, the announcer of the offering, the bestower of great spiritual wealth.


ädhidaivika interpretation

I appreciate the industrial fire, the preferred medium of the purification of the elements, that great power which leads in industriousness, the conductor of forces, the best aid in the production of precious goods.


For comparison purposes, I now present various interpretations by modern scholars, both eastern and western in origin:

First, the adhyatmika interpretation of Maharishi Swami Dayanand.

I glorify the Self-Effulgent God, the Supreme Leader, the Eternal Support of the Universe, the Illuminator of All Noble Activity, the Only Object of Adoration in all seasons, the most Bounteous and the Greatest Bestower of splendid spiritual and material wealth.

Next, the interpretation of H. H. Wilson based on the adhiyajñika commentary of Sayana:


I glorify Agni, the high priest of the sacrifice, the divine, the ministrant, who presents the oblation and is the possessor of great wealth.


Finally, the adhidaivika interpretation of Maharishi Swami Dayanand:


I long for the acquisition of or make use of fire (including electricity) which gives many articles produced with the help of science and industries and the upholder of sustenance, attraction, etc., to be used in every season, the producer of gold and other beautiful articles, the giver of victory in battles through weapons and the illuminator of all objects.


You may have noticed that two of the translations above are from the same person, Maharishi Swami Dayanand. He was one of the first eastern scholars to rediscover the ancient three-fold method of interpretation, and thus his Veda-Bhashya contains two translations for nearly every verse, one spiritual and one naturalistic or scientific. He avoided the ritualistic interpretation due to its having been 'done to death' by everyone else. Besides, his translation would have become unwieldy in size if he had included all three levels. Even with two levels, his translation and commentary of the first Mandal of the Rig Veda alone is ca. 2500 pages long. The entire Rig Veda Bhashya is over 10 volumes long, with each volume averaging 1000 pages.

I do not claim that the interpretations I have given above are absolutely correct or final in any way. It is simply my humble attempt at providing a traditionally accurate form of Vedic interpretation according to the teachings of the ancient sages.

I hope that these few notes may help some of you as you begin your own exploration of the truly limitless depth and beauty of our most Holy Scriptures.

My Namaste,

Varoon

yajvan
27 December 2006, 08:59 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

Namaste,

Before one can correctly translate the Veda Samhitas, one must be properly educated in the techniques of Vedic interpretation established in the Vedangas, particularly the Nirukta. This is a point that has escaped not only all western indologists, but also the wide majority of modern Hindu translators. Although it would be impossible for me to explain everything that is contained in the science of Nirukta, I would like to point out a few aspects that may be of service to others here who are taking their first steps towards understanding the deeper meaning of the Vedas.

Namaste Varoon,
this is brilliant and advances our thinking... thank you for your post. Please advise on the best way to secure a copy of this first mandala interpretation.

pranams,

saidevo
27 December 2006, 09:33 PM
Namaste Varoon Arya.

Thank you for your illuminating explanation on the interpretation of Vedic verses. As the 'Varoon' in your name signifies, you pour the heavenly waters of knowledge and kindle the fire of inquiry in the readers. Why don't you compile just the three levels of meaning (let people do their own look up for the phrasewie meanings) for the Rig Veda verses and post it here?

Please give the details of publication of Maharishi Swami Dayanand's Rig Veda translations (10 volumes) and what it might cost. Has Swamiji published interpretations of other Vedas too?

A brilliant explanation, kudos to you! Please examine my suggestion of compiling a compendium of our Vedas, having just the three levels of meanings. Also share with us (if you would) as to how you acquired so much of knowledge in such a young age.

satay
27 December 2006, 10:05 PM
I hope that these few notes may help some of you as you begin your own exploration of the truly limitless depth and beauty of our most Holy Scriptures.

My Namaste,

Varoon


namaste Varoon Arya,
Welcome to HDF and what a brilliant first post!

Looking forward to more...