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UṢÁS - 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).
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The goddess of Dawn is addressed in about twenty hymns. The personification is but slight, the physical phenomenon always being present to the mind of the poet. Decked in gay attire like a dancer, clothed in light, she appears in the east and unveils her charms. Rising resplendent as from a bath she comes with light, driving away the darkness and removing the black robe of night. She is young, being born again and again, though ancient. Shining with a uniform hue, she wastes away the life of mortals. She illumines the ends of the sky when she awakes; she opens the gates of heaven; her radiant beams appear like herds of cattle. She drives away evil dreams, evil spirits, and the hated darkness. She discloses the treasures concealed by darkness, and distributes them bountifully. She awakens every living being to motion. When Uṣas shines forth, the birds fly up from their nests and men seek nourishment. Day by day appearing at the appointed place, she never infringes the ordinance of nature and of the gods. She renders good service to the gods by awakening all worshippers and causing the sacrificial fires to be kindled. She brings the gods to drink the Soma draught. She is borne on a shining car, drawn by ruddy steeds or kine, which probably represent the red rays of morning.
Uṣas is closely associated with the Sun. She has opened paths for Sūrya to travel; she brings the eye of the gods, and leads on the beautiful white horse. She shines with the light of the Sun, with the light of her lover. Sūrya follows her as a young man a maiden; she meets the god who desires her. She thus comes to be spoken of as the wife of Sūrya. But as preceding the Sun, she is occasionally regarded as his mother; thus she is said to arrive with a bright child. She is also called the sister, or the elder sister, of Night (x. 127), and their names are often conjoined as a dual compound (uṣá̄sā-náktā and náktoṣá̄sā). She is born in the sky, and is therefore constantly called the ‘daughter of Heaven’. As the sacrificial fire is kindled at dawn, Uṣas is often associated with Agni, who is sometimes called her lover. Uṣas causes Agni to be kindled, and Agni goes to meet the shining Dawn as she approaches. She is also often connected with the twin gods of early morning, the Aśvins (vii. 71). When the Aśvins’ car is yoked, the daughter of the sky is born. They are awakened by her, accompany her, and are her friends.
Uṣas brings the worshipper wealth and children, bestowing protection and long life. She confers renown and glory on all liberal benefactors of the poet. She is characteristically bountiful (maghónī).
The name of Uṣas is derived from the root vas, to shine, forms of which are often used with reference to her in the hymns in which she is invoked.
iv. 51. Metre: Triṣṭubh.
See Page Number 93, Hymn Number 1 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
This familiar, most frequent light in the east, with clearness has stood (forth) from the darkness. Now may the Dawns, the daughters of the sky, shining afar, make a path for man.
tyád: see p. 297, 5. purutámam: because appearing every morning; hence Uṣásas the Dawns in d. támasas: abl. dependent on asthāt = úd asthāt. The word vayúna, though very frequently used, is still somewhat uncertain in meaning. The commentators explain it variously as mārga road, prajñāna cognition, and kānti beauty. Pischel favours the first of these. Sāyaṇa here explains vayúnāvat as ‘very beautiful or possessed of knowledge = showing everything’. It probably here means ‘making the way clear’, cp. gātúm in d. nūnám: note that in the RV. this word always means now. divó duhitáras: from the point of view of the daily recurrence of the phenomenon, Dawn is pl. throughout this hymn. gātúm: cp. vi. 64, 1: ‘she makes all fair paths easy to traverse’. kṛṇavan: 3. pl. sb.; explained by Sāyaṇa as 3. pl. ipf. ind., akurvan.
See Page Number 94, Hymn Number 2 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
The brilliant Dawns have stood in the east, like posts set up at sacrifices. Shining they have unclosed the two doors of the pen of darkness, bright and purifying.
Uṣásas: that is, each of the preceding Dawns and the present one. mitá̄s: pp. of mi fix. sváravas: that is, shining with ointment; cp. i. 92, 5: sváruṃ ná péśo vidátheṣu áñjañ, citráṃ divó duhitá̄ bhānúm aśret the daughter of heaven has spread her brilliant beam, like one who at divine worship anoints the post, the ornament (of the sacrifice). Note that u in c is lengthened though followed by two consonants (p. 437 a 3). vrajásya: a simile with iva omitted; cp. i. 92, 4; gá̄vo ná vrajáṃ ví Uṣá̄ āvar támaḥ Dawn has unclosed the darkness as the cows their stall. dvá̄rā: the two folds of the door, the dual of dvá̄r often being used thus. ví: to be taken with avran, 3. pl. root ao. of vṛ cover. uchántīs: pr. pt. of 1. vas shine. śucáyaḥ pāvaká̄ḥ: these two adjectives very often appear in juxtaposition. On the pronunciation of pāvaká see p. 437 a.
See Page Number 94, Hymn Number 3 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Shining to-day may the bounteous Dawns stimulate the liberal to thegiving of wealth. In obscurity let the niggards sleep, unwakening in the midst of darkness.
citayanta: 3. pl. Ā. inj.; explained by Sāyaṇa as an indicative: prajñāpayanti they instruct.
See Page Number 95, Hymn Number 4 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Should this be an old course or a new for you to-day, O divine Dawns: (is it that) by which ye have shone wealth, ye wealthy ones, upon Navagva, Aṅgira, and Daśagva the seven-mouthed?
babhūyá̄t: op. pf. of bhū, accented on account of kuvít (cp. notes on ii. 35, 1. 2). The general meaning is the hope that Dawn will bring wealth to-day as of old. Navagva, Aṅgiras, and Daśagva are the names of ancients associated with Indra in the release of the cows enclosed by the Paṇis and by Vala. The allusion in saptá̄sye is uncertain; in iv. 50, 4 it is an epithet of Bṛhaspati, who is also associated with the capture of the cows and may therefore be meant here. The meaning would then be: bring us wealth to-day as ye did to Navagva, Aṅgiras, Daśagva and Bṛhaspati. revatī revát: these words are found connected in other passages also. ūṣá: 2. pl. pf. act. of 1. vas shine.
See Page Number 95, Hymn Number 5 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
For you, O goddesses, with your steeds yoked in due time, proceed around the worlds in one day, awakening, O Dawns, him who sleeps, the two-footed and the four-footed living world, to motion.
pariprayāthá: accented owing to hí; on the accentuation of verbal prepositions see p. 469 B a. prabodháyantīs: cp. i. 92, 9, víśvaṃ jīváṃ caráse bodháyantī wakening every living soul to move. cátuṣpād: note that catúr when accented as first member of a cd. shifts its accent to the first syllable. This word, dvipá̄d and jīvám are all neuter.
See Page Number 96, Hymn Number 6 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Where, pray, and which ancient one of them (was it) at which they (the gods) imposed the tasks of the Ṛbhus? When the beaming dawns proceed on their shining course, they are not distinguished, alike, unaging.
āsām: of the dawns. yáyā: in a temporal sense = at whose time. vidadhúr: they, the gods, enjoined: this probably refers to the most distinctive feat of the Ṛbhus, that of making one bowl into four; cp. i. 161, 2: ékaṃ camasáṃ catúraḥ kṛṇotana, tád vo devá̄ abruvan ‘make the one bowl four’, that the gods said to you; that was one of their vidhá̄nā tasks. śúbham: cognate acc. ná ví jñāyante: they are always the same; cp. i. 92, 10, púnaḥ-punar já̄yamānā purāṇí̄ samānáṃ várṇam abhí śúmbhamānā beingborn again and again, ancient of days, adorning herself with the same colour, where dawn is, as usually, spoken of as a single goddess reappearing day after day, whereas in this hymn many individual dawns that appear successively are referred to.
See Page Number 97, Hymn Number 7 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Those indeed, those Dawns have formerly been auspicious, splendid in help, punctually true; at which the strenuous sacrificer with recitations praising, chanting, has at once obtained wealth.
On purá̄ with pf. see 213 A. ījānás: pf. pt. Ā. of yaj sacrifice. śaśamāná: pf. pt. Ā. of śam labour. stuváñ cháṃsan = stuván + śáṃsan (40, 1). The general meaning of the stanza is: former dawns have brought blessings to the sacrificer; may they do so now.
See Page Number 97, Hymn Number 8 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
They approach equally in the east, spreading themselves equally from the same place. The goddesses waking from the seat of order, like herds of kine let loose, the Dawns are active.
samaná̄: always in the same way. samānatás; cp. i. 124, 3: prajānatí̄ iva, ná díśo mināti as one who knows (the way), she loses not her direction. ṛtásya sádasaḥ: abl. dependent on budhāná̄ḥ (cp. 10); cp. i. 124, 3; ṛtásya pánthām ánv eti sādhú she follows straight the path of order. budhāná̄s: ao. pt., awaking (intr.), not = bodhayantyas wakening (trans.) according to Sāyaṇa; when Ā. and without an object, budh is intr.; cp. ábodhi has awoke, said of Uṣas (i. 92, 11; iii. 61, 6; vii. 80, 2). gavá̄ṃ ná sárgāḥ: cp. iv. 52, 5, práti bhadrá̄ adṛkṣata gávāṃ sárgā ná raśmáyaḥ the auspicious rays (of dawn) have appeared like kine let loose. jarante: are awake = are active, are on the move (cp. á̄ caranti in a and 9 a, b); are praised (stūyante) according to Sāyaṇa.
See Page Number 98, Hymn Number 9 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Those Dawns even now equally the same, of unchanged colour, move on; concealing the black monster, bright with gleaming forms, brilliant, beaming.
On the accentuation of nv èvá see p. 450, 2 b. ábhvam: cp. i. 92, 5, bá̄dhate kṛṣṇám ábhvam she drives away the black monster (of night). rúśadbhis: m. form irregularly agreeing with the f. tanú̄bhis. Note that the Pada text does not separate the endings bhyām, bhis, bhyas, su from f. stems in long vowels, nor of m. stems in a because the pure stem in these cases appears in an altered form, e. g. priyébhis, but pitṛ́५bhis.
See Page Number 98, Hymn Number 10 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
O daughters of Heaven, do ye shining forth bestow on us, goddesses, wealth accompanied by offspring. Awaking from our soft couch towards you, we would be lords of a host of strong sons.
yachata: pr. ipv. of yam, here construed with the loc.; the usual case is the dat. (200 A 1). pratibúdhyamānās: with á̄ and abl., cp. budhāná̄ with abl. in 8 c.
See Page Number 98, Hymn Number 11 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
For that I whose banner is the sacrifice, O daughters of Heaven, implore you that shine forth, O Dawns: we would be famous among men; let Heaven and the goddess Earth grant that.
vibhātí̄r: to be taken with vas. úpa bruve: with two acc. (p. 304, 2). yajñáketus: the singer thus describes himself; in i. 113, 19 the Dawn is called yajñásya ketúḥ the signal of the sacrifice. yaśáso (accent, p. 453, 9 A a) jáneṣu: this phrase frequently occurs in prayers. vayám: the poet having in b spoken in the sing. on his own behalf, now changes, as often, to the pl., so as to include the others who are present. dhattá̄m: 3. du. of dhā, accented, though not beginning a sentence, because of ca . . . ca (see p. 468 β).