Front Page Titles (by Subject) MARÚTAS - A Vedic Reader for Students
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
MARÚTAS - Misc (Rigveda), A Vedic Reader for Students 
A Vedic Reader for Students, by Arthur Anthony MacDonnell. Containing Thirty Hymns of the Rigveda in the original Samhita and Pada Texts, with Transliteration, Translation, Explanatory Notes, Introduction, Vocabulary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1917).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
This group of deities is prominent in the RV., thirty-three bymns being addressed to them alone, seven to them with Indra, and one each to them with Agni and Pūṣan (vi. 54). They form a troop (gaṇá, śárdhas), being mentioned in the plural only. Their number is thrice sixty or thrice seven. They are the sons of Rudra (ii. 33) and of Pṛśni, who is a cow (probably representing the mottled storm-cloud). They are further said to have been generated by Vāyu, the god of Wind, in the wombs of heaven, and they are called the sons of heaven; but they are also spoken of as self-born. They are brothers equal in age and of one mind, having the same birthplace and the same abode. They have grown on earth, in air, and in heaven, or dwell in the three heavens. The goddess Rodasí̄ is always mentioned in connexion with them; she stands beside them on their car, and thus seems to have been regarded as their bride.
The brilliance of the Maruts is constantly referred to: they are golden, ruddy, shine like fires, and are self-luminous. They are very often associated with lightning: all the five compounds of vidyút in the RV. are almost exclusively descriptive of them. Their lances represent lightning, as their epithet ṛṣṭí-vidyut lightning-speared shows. They also have golden axes. They are sometimes armed with bows and arrows, but this trait is probably borrowed from their father Rudra. They wear garlands, golden mantles, golden ornaments, and golden helmets. Armlets and anklets (khādí) are peculiar to them. The cars on which they ride gleam with lightning, and are drawn by steeds (generally feminine) that are ruddy or tawny, spotted, swift as thought. They are great and mighty; young and unaging; dustless, fierce, terrible like lions, but also playful like children or calves.
The noise made by them, and often mentioned, is thunder and the roaring of the winds. They cause the mountains to quake and the two worlds to tremble; they rend trees, and, like wild elephants, devour the forests. One of their main activities is to shed rain: they cover the eye of the sun with rain; they create darkness with the cloud when they shed rain; and they cause the heavenly pail and the streams of the mountains to pour. The waters they shed are often clearly connected with the thunderstorm. Their rain is often figuratively called milk, ghee, or honey. They avert heat, but also dispel darkness, produce light, and prepare a path for the sun.
They are several times called singers: they are the singers of heaven; they sing a song; for Indra when he slew the dragon, they sang a song and pressed Soma. Though primarily representing the sound of the winds, their song is also conceived as a hymn of praise. Thus they come to be compared with priests, and are addressed as priests when in the company of Indra.
Owing to their connexion with the thunderstorm, the Maruts are constantly associated with Indra (ii. 12) as his friends and allies, increasing his strength and prowess with their prayers, hymns, and songs, and generally assisting him in the fight with Vṛtra. Indra indeed accomplishes all his celestial exploits in their company. Sometimes, however, the Maruts accomplish these exploits alone. Thus they rent Vṛtra joint from joint, and disclosed the cows.
When not associated with Indra, the Maruts occasionally exhibit the maleficent traits of their father Rudra. Hence they are implored to ward off the lightning from their worshippers and not to let their ill-will reach them, and are besought to avert their arrow and the stone which they hurl, their lightning, and their cow-and man-slaying bolt. But like their father Rudra, they are also supplicated to bring healing remedies. These remedies appear to be the waters, for the Maruts bestow medicine by raining.
The evidence of the RV. indicates that the Maruts are Storm-gods. The name is probably derived from the root mar, to shine, thus meaning ‘the shining ones’.
i. 85. Metre: Jagatī; 5 and 12 Triṣṭubh.
See Page Number 22, Hymn Number 1 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
The wondrous sons of Rudra, the racers, who on their course adorn themselves like women, the Maruts have indeed made the twoworlds to increase. The impetuous heroes rejoice in rites of worship.
jánayas: 99, 1 a. yá̄man: loc., 90, 2. sudáṃsasas: accent, p. 455, 10 c α. cakriré: 3. pl. Ā. pf. of kṛ; with dat. inf., p. 334, b. mádanti: with loc., 204, 1 a. vidátheṣu: the etymology and precise meaning of this word have been much discussed. It is most probably derived from vidh worship(cp. p. 41, f. n. 1), and means divine worship.
See Page Number 23, Hymn Number 2 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
They having waxed strong have attained greatness: in heaven the Rudras have made their abode. Singing their song and generating the might of Indra, they whose mother is Pṛśni have put on glory.
té: N. pl. m. of tá that, 110. ukṣitá̄sas: pp. of 2. ukṣ (= vakṣ) grow. āśata: 3. pl. Ā. root ao. of aṃś attain. Rudrá̄sas: the Maruts are often called ‘Rudras’ as equivalent to ‘sons of Rudra’. ádhi: prp. with the loc. diví; 176, 2. janáyanta indriyám: that is, by their song. ádhi dadhire: 3. pl. Ā. pf. of ádhi dhā, which is especially often used of putting on ornaments. śríyas: A. pl. of śrí̄ glory; referring to the characteristic brilliance of the Maruts.
See Page Number 23, Hymn Number 3 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
When they whose mother is a cow deck themselves with ornaments, shining they put on their bodies brilliant weapons. They drive off every adversary. Fatness flows along their tracks.
gómātaras: as the sons of the cow Pṛśni. yác chubháyante: Sandhi, 53. dadhire: pf. with pr. sense, they have put on = they wear. ápa: prp. after the vb. and separated from it by other words. 191 f; p. 468, 20. ánu rīyate: 3. pl. Ā. pr. of ri flow. ghṛtám: ghee = fertilizing rain. The meaning of d is: the course of the Maruts is followed by showers of rain. eṣām: unemphatic G. pl. m. of ayám, p. 452, 8 B c.
See Page Number 24, Hymn Number 4 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Who as great warriors shine forth with their spears, overthrowing even what has never been overthrown with their might: when ye, O Maruts, that are swift as thought, with your strong hosts, have yoked the spotted mares to your cars,
súmakhāsas: a Karmadhāraya cd. according to its accent (cp. p. 455, 10 c α), but the exact meaning of makhá is still somewhat uncertain. pra-cyāváyantas: pr. pt. of cs. of cyu move; though this cs., which occurs frequently in the RV., always has a long. radical vowel in the Saṃhitā text, it invariably has a short vowel in the Padapāṭha. Marutas: change from the 3. to the 2. prs., in the same sentence, a not infrequent transition in the RV. manojúvas: N. pl. radical ū stem mano-jú̄, 100, II a(p. 88). rátheṣu á̄: 176, 2. pṛ́ṣatīs: the spotted mares that draw the cars of the Maruts. áyugdhvam: 2. pl. Ā. root ao. of yuj yoke.
See Page Number 25, Hymn Number 5 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
when ye have yoked the spotted mares before your cars, speeding, O Maruts, the stone in the conflict, they discharge the streams of the ruddy (steed) and moisten the earth like a skin with waters.
áyugdhvam: with loc., cp. 204, 1 b. ádrim: the Maruts hold lightning in their hands and cast a stone. utá: here comes before the first instead of the second of two clauses, as ca sometimes does (p. 228, 1). áruṣasya: the ruddy steed of heaven; cp. v. 83, 6 where the Maruts are invoked to pour forth the streams of the stallion; and in v. 56, 7 their ruddy steed (vājí̄ áruṣaḥ) is spoken of. ví ṣyanti: 3. pl. pr. of sā bind; Sandhi, 67 a; change back from 2. to 3. prs.; cp. 4 c d. undanti: 3. pl. pr. of ud wet. bhú̄ma: N. of bhú̄man n. earth (but bhūmán m. abundance).
See Page Number 25, Hymn Number 6 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Let your swift-gliding racers bring you hither. Swift-flying come forward with your arms. Sit down on the sacrificial grass: a wide seat is made for you. Rejoice, O Maruts, in the sweet juice.
raghu-ṣyádas: Sandhi, 67 b. raghupátvānas: as belonging to this Pāda to be taken with prá jigāta (gā go). bāhúbhis: with outstretched arms as they drive. sí̄data á̄: 2. pl. ipv. pr. of sad sit with prp. following (p. 468, 20). sádas: Sandhi, 43, 2 a. kṛtám: as finite vb., 208. mādáyadhvam: cs. of mad rejoice, with gen., 202 A b. mádhvas: gen. n. of mádhu, p. 81, f. n. 12; the sweet juice is Soma.
See Page Number 26, Hymn Number 7 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Self-strong they grew by their greatness: they have mounted to the firmament; they have made for themselves a wide seat. When Viṣṇu helped the bull reeling with intoxication, they sat down upon their beloved sacrificial grass like birds.
tè ’vardhanta: Sandhi accent, p. 465, 17, 3. mahitvaná̄: inst. of mahitvaná, p. 77, f. n. 3. á̄ tasthúr: vb. of a principal sentence accented according to p. 468, β. Víṣṇus: the mention of wide space (a conception intimately connected with Viṣṇu, cp. uru-gāyá, &c.) in 6 c and 7 b has here probably suggested the introduction of Viṣṇu (i. 154), who is in various passages associated with the Maruts (especially in v. 87) and who also forms a dual divinity (Índrā-Víṣṇū) with Indra. dha: Sandhi, 54. á̄vat: 3. s. ipf. of av favour; Viṣṇu helps Indra, aided by the Maruts, in his conflicts. vṛ́ṣan: dec., 90, 1; both this word and madacyút are applied to Soma as well as Indra, but the meaning of the vb. av and the use of the ipf. are in favour of Indra being intended, the sense then being: ‘when Viṣṇu and Indra, associated in conflict, came to the Soma offering, the Maruts, their companions, came also.’ váyas: N. pl. of ví bird. sīdan: unaugmented ipf. of sad sit.
See Page Number 27, Hymn Number 8 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Like heroes, speeding like warriors, like fame-seeking (men) they have arrayed themselves in battles. All creatures fear the Maruts: the men are like kings of terrible aspect.
iva: note how this pcl. interchanges with ná in this stanza. yetire: 3. pl. pf. Ā. of yat: 137, 2 a. bháyante: 3. pl. pr. Ā. of bhī fear; the pr. stem according to the bhū class is much commoner in the RV. than that according to the third class. Marúdbhyas: 201 A b. náras: the Maruts; N. pl. of nṛ man, 101, 1.
See Page Number 27, Hymn Number 9 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
When the skilful Tvaṣṣṛ had turned the well-made, golden, thousand-edged bolt, Indra took it to perform manly deeds: he slew Vṛtra, and drove out the flood of waters.
The association of ideas connecting Indra with the Maruts is continued from 7 c d. That Tvaṣṭṛ fashioned Indra’s bolt for him is mentioned, in a similar context, in i. 32, 1 c and 2 b: áhann áhim, ánv apás tatarda; Tváṣṭā asmai vájraṃ svaryàṃ tatakṣa he slew the serpent, he released the waters; Tvaṣṭṛ fashioned for him the whizzing bolt. dhatté: 3. s. pr. Ā. used in the past sense (212 A 2). kártave: dat. inf. of purpose, in order to perform (kṛ), 211. náryápāṃsi is here and in viii. 96, 19 analysed by the Pada text as nári ápāṃsi. The only possible sense of these words would be deeds against the hero (Vṛtra). On the other hand náryāṇi appears once (vii. 21, 4) and náryā twice (iv. 19, 10; viii. 96, 21) as an attribute of ápāṃsí; the epithet náryāpasam, analysed by the Padapāṭha (viii. 93, 1) as nárya-apasam doing manly deeds is applied to Indra. It thus seems preferable to make the slight emendation náryá̄pāṃsi (to be read náriá̄pāṃsi) in the Saṃhitā text, and náryā|ápāṃsi in the Pada text. nír aubjat: 3. s. ipf. of ubj force(cp. 23 c).
See Page Number 27, Hymn Number 10 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
They have pushed up the well with might; they have split even the firm mountain. Blowing their pipes the bountiful Maruts have performed glorious deeds in the intoxication of Soma.
ūrdhvám: have pressed (the bottom) upward, that is, overturned, poured out; avatám: the cloud; = they have shed rain. dādṛhāṇám: pf. pt. Ā. of dṛh make firm, with long red. vowel (139, 9), shortened in the Pada text. bibhidur vi: p. 468, 20. párvatam: cloud mountain; another way of saying the same thing. dhámantas: with reference to the sound made by the Maruts; cp. árcantas, 2 c. máde sómasya: Indra is constantly said to perform his mighty deeds in the intoxication of Soma, so his associates the Maruts are here similarly described.
See Page Number 27, Hymn Number 11 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
They have pushed athwart the well in that direction: they poured out the spring for the thirsty Gotama. Of brilliant splendour they approach him with help; may they satisfy the desire of the sage by their powers.
jihmám: so as to be horizontal and pour out the water, much the same as ūrdhvám in 10 a. táyā diśá̄: this expression is obscure; it may mean, in the quarter in which Gotama was; cp. 199 A 4. īm: him, Gotama, p. 220. víprasya: of Gotama. tarpayanta: cs. of tṛp be pleased; the inj. is more natural here, coming after a pr., than an unaugmented ipf. would be.
See Page Number 30, Hymn Number 12 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
The shelters which you have for the zealous man, extend them three-fold to the worshipper. Extend them to us, O Maruts. Bestow on us wealth together with excellent heroes, mighty ones.
śárma: N. pl. n. (90, 2) śaśamāná̄ya: pf. pt. Ā. of śam labour. tridhá̄tūni: used appositionally (198). dāśúṣe: dat. of dāśvá̄ṃs, 157 b. yachata ádhi: prp. after vb., p. 468, 20; ipv. pr. of yam stretch. asmábhyam: p. 104. ví yanta: 2. pl. ipv. root ao. of yam stretch(cp. p. 172, 5). dhatta: 2. pl. ipv. of dhā put(p. 144 B b). su-ví̄ram: that is, accompanied by warrior sons; cp. vīrávattamam, i. 1, 3 c.
[P. 28, line 1,]read [Page Number xxxii, Line Number 2 in PDF for Sanskrit Version]