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PITÁRAS - 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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Two hymns (x. 15 and 54) are addressed to the Pitaras or Fathers, the blessed dead who dwell in the third heaven, the third or highest step of Viṣṇu. The term as a rule applies to the early or first ancestors, who followed the ancient paths, seers who made the paths by which the recent dead go to join them. Various groups of ancestors are mentioned, such as the Aṅgirases and Atharvans, the Bhṛgus and Vasiṣṭhas, who are identical in name with the priestly families associated by tradition with the composition of the Atharvaveda and of the second and seventh Maṇḍalas of the Rigveda. The Pitaras are classed as higher, lower, and middle, as earlier and later, who though not always known to their descendants, are known to Agni. They revel with Yama and feast with the gods. They are fond of Soma, and thirst for the libations prepared for them on earth, and eat the offerings along with him. They come on the same car as Indra and the gods. Arriving in their thousands they range themselves on the sacrificial grass to the south, and drink the pressed draught. They receive oblations as their food. They are entreated to hear, intercede for, and protect their worshippers, and besought not to injure their descendants for any sin humanly committed against them. They are invoked to give riches, children, and long life to their sons, who desire to be in their good graces. The Vasiṣṭhas are once collectively implored to help their descendants. Cosmical actions, like those of the gods, are sometimes attributed to the Fathers. Thus they are said to have adorned the sky with stars, to have placed darkness in the night and light in the day; they found the light and generated the dawn. The path trodden by the Fathers (pitṛyá̄ṇa) is different from that trodden by the gods (devayá̄na).
x. 15. Metre: Triṣṭubh; 11 Jagatī.
See Page Number 176, Hymn Number 1 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Let the lower, let the higher, let the middlemost Soma-loving Fathers arise; let those Fathers who, friendly, knowing right, have gone to life eternal, favour us in our invocations.
úd īratām: note that cd. verbs are often repeated by means of the prp. (here úd twice) alone. ávare (on the dec., see 120 c 1) &c.: these three words refer to the Pitṛs dwelling in the three divisions of the world, earth, air, heaven (cp. yé pá̄rthive rájasi in 2 c; and the division of heaven into three, the lowest, the middlemost, and the third in which the Fathers sit: AV. xviii. 2, 49). Sāyaṇa thinks that here the degrees of their holiness is meant, but in this same stanza, when it appears in the AV. (xviii. 1, 44), he thinks that degrees of merit or of age are intended; but degrees of age are expressly mentioned in 2 b by pú̄rvāsas and úparāsas. ásum: life in the heavenly world, immortal life (the Pitaras are called immortal in AV. vi. 41, 3) as opposed to terrestrial life. īyur: 3. pl. pf. act. of i go.
See Page Number 177, Hymn Number 2 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Let this obeisance be made to-day to the Fathers who have departed earlier and later, who have seated themselves in the terrestrial air or who are now in settlements with fair abodes.
pú̄rvāsas: in x. 14, 2. 7 the prn. form pú̄rve is used (see 120, 2). īyúr: in x. 14, 2. 7 the more distinctive cd. pareyúr appears. á̄ níṣattās (pp. of sad sit, cp. 67 a, b; cp. á̄ niṣádya in x. 14, 5). pá̄rthive rájasi: in the atmospheric region above the earth; here the Pitaras in the air intermediate between heaven and earth are meant, while in b and d those in heaven and on earth respectively are intended. suvṛjánāsu vikṣú: cp. the frequent má̄nuṣīṣu vikṣú human settlements, with reference to the Fathers present at the funeral offerings on earth.
See Page Number 178, Hymn Number 3 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
I have won hither the bountiful Fathers and the grandson and the wide stride of Viṣṇu: they who, sitting on the strew, shall partake of the pressed drink with the offering to the dead, come most gladly here.
á̄-avitsi (1. s. Ā. s ao. of 2. vid find); = I have induced to come to this offering. nápātam: it is somewhat uncertain who is meant by this; according to Prof. Geldner’s ingenious explanation Yama (with whom the Pitaras are associated) is intended, because in the VS. (xxix. 60) Viṣṇu (here coupled with nápātam) is called the husband of Aditi, whose son (TS. vi. 5, 6, 2) was Vivasvant, the father of Yama (see note on x. 14, 1); but it is doubtful whether this later statement was part of the mythological belief of the RV., where Yama is the grandson of Tvaṣṭṛ (x. 17, 1). On the other hand, the word may be used elliptically to designate Agni = sáhaso nápātam (Agni is called náptre sáhasvate in viii. 102, 7) = sáhasaḥ sūnúm son of strength, a frequent epithet of Agni, for which once (vi. 4, 4) sūno son alone is used in an Agni hymn; and below (9 c) Agni is invoked to come with the Fathers: á̄gne yāhi suvidátrebhiḥ pitṛ́bhiḥ. There is here also a good example of the fanciful interpretations of Sāyaṇa: Víṣṇor (= yajñasya) nápātam (= vināśābhāvam) the non-destruction of the sacrifice. vikrámaṇam: Viṣṇu’s third step (= the highest heaven), where the Fathers dwell (cp. i. 154, 5). bhájanta: 3. pl. inj. Ā. of bhaj share, with partitive gen. (202 A e). pitvás: gen. of pitú (p. 81). á̄-gamiṣṭhās: accent, p. 453, 9 A b.
See Page Number 179, Hymn Number 4 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Ye Fathers that sit on the strew, come hither with aid; these offerings we have made to you: enjoy them; so come with most beneficent aid; then bestow on us health and blessing free from hurt.
bárhiṣadaḥ pitaraḥ: see note on viii. 48, 7 c. ūtí̄: inst. of ūtí (p. 81, f. n. 4). arvá̄k: hither; the vb. á̄ gata come is easily to be supplied from c. cakṛmā: with metrical lengthening of the final syllable. juṣádhvam: accented because it forms a new sentence (p. 466, 19 b). té: as such, as enjoying our offerings. gata: 2. pl.[ ] ipv. root ao. of gam go. áthā: metrically lengthened. dadhāta: 2. pl. pr. ipv. of dhā place, with irr. strong form of the pr. stem instead of the normal dhatta (p. 144 B 1 b).
See Page Number 179, Hymn Number 5 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Invited are the Soma-loving Fathers to the dear deposits placed on the strew; let them come; let them listen here; let them speak for us; let them aid us.
úpa-hūtās: pp. of hū call. nidhíṣu: the offerings deposited on the sacrificial grass. gamantu: 3. pl. ipv. root ao. of gam go. śruvantu: 3. pl. ipv. root ao. of śru hear.
See Page Number 180, Hymn Number 6 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Bending the knee, sitting down to the south do ye all greet favourably this sacrifice; injure us not, O Fathers, by reason of any sin that we may have committed against you through human frailty.
á̄-acyā (gd. of ac bend): note that the suffix -yā is much oftener long than short (164), but in the Pada text it is always short. já̄nu: probably the left knee; cp. the ŚB. ii. 4, 2, 2, where the gods bend the right knee, the Fathers the left knee. In rites connected with the dead, the auspicious direction is reversed, left being substituted for right. dakṣiṇatás: to the right (of the védi altar), that is, to the south, because the south is the region of Yama and the Pitaras. gṛṇīta: 2. pl. ipv. of 1. gṛ sing. hiṃsiṣṭa: 2. pl. inj. iṣ ao. of hiṃs injure. kéna cid yád á̄gaḥ for kéna cid á̄gasā yád, the substantive being put into the rel. instead of the principal clause. vas: dat. of disadvantage (p. 314 B 1). puruṣátā: inst. s. identical in form with the stem (97, 1, p. 77). kárāma: 1. pl. root ao. sb. (p. 171); in the sense of an indefinite past.
See Page Number 180, Hymn Number 7 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Sitting in the lap of the ruddy (dawns) bestow wealth on the worshippingmortal. To your sons, O Fathers, present a share of those riches; so do ye here bestow strength.
á̄sīnāsas: irr. pr. pt. Ā. of ās sit: 158 α. aruṇí̄nām: aruṇá ruddy is the colour of dawn, and the f. of this adj. sometimes appears as an epithet of the dawns; that these are here meant is also indicated by vii. 9, 1; 63, 3, where Agni and Sūrya are said to awake or arise uṣásām upásthāt from the lap of the dawns. dhatta and dadhāta: here both the regular and the irr. ipv. of dhā are used (cp. note on 4 d). tásya vásvaḥ: referring to rayím in b; on the form of the gen. see p. 81. té: anaphoric use (cp. p. 294 b).
See Page Number 181, Hymn Number 8 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Those forefathers of ours, the Soma-loving, the Vasiṣṣhas, who fare after him to the Somadraught, with them let Yama, sharing their gifts, eat the oblations at pleasure, he the eager with them the eager.
anu-ūhiré: the derivation and meaning are somewhat doubtful; most probably pf. of vah drive, in this case meaning who have driven after Yama to the Soma-draught; it may possibly come from ūh consider, then meaning who have been considered worthy of the Somadraught. Vásiṣṭhās: as one of the groups of ancient seers. saṃrarāṇás (pf. pt. Ā. of rā give): sharing with them their gifts to their descendants (cp. 7 b c).
See Page Number 181, Hymn Number 9 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Who, gasping, have thirsted among the gods, knowing oblations, having praise fashioned for them with songs: with them the bountiful Fathers, the true, the wise that sit at the heating vessel, come hither, O Agni.
tātṛṣúr: pf. of tṛṣ, with long red. vowel (139, 9); such vowels regularly appear in their short form in the Pada text (cp. note on iii. 59, 1 b). devatrá̄: in heaven; trā is one of the suffixes which in the Pada text is separated, being treated as the second member of a cd. stomá-taṣṭāsas: this Tp., fashioned with praise, otherwise used with matí = hymn, is here applied to persons and thus comes to have the sense of a Karmadhāraya Bv. (189, 1) = taṣṭá-stomāsas; the latter kind of cd., with a pp. as first member, does not exist in the RV. arkáis: to be taken with the preceding word = by means of songs. arvá̄ṅ: 93 b. kavyáis: this word occurs in only two other passages, the original meaning apparently being = kaví wise (cp. kavyá-tā wisdom); here it may be intended to denote a particular group of Fathers (cp. x. 14, 3). gharmasádbhis: probably in heaven; cp. x. 16, 10, sá gharmám invāt paramé sadhásthe: may he (Agni) further the gharma in the highest abode; this word as well as jéhamānās may be intended to contrast with tātṛṣúr; cp. vii. 103, 9.
See Page Number 181, Hymn Number 10 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
They who are true, eating the oblation, drinking the oblation, having the same car with Indra and the gods, with those thousand god-praising remote forefathers that sit at the heating vessel, come, O Agni.
sa-rátham: this word, primarily a Bv., having the same car, is then often used as a cognate acc. (p. 300, 4) with yā = go (on a journey) with the same car (here with dhā in place of yā); then adverbially (p. 301, 5 b). dádhānās: pr. pt. Ā. of dhā put(cp. p. 460, f. n. 3); the pf. pt. Ā. would be dadhāná̄s (159). sahásram: agreeing with pitṛ́bhis: more usual would be sahásreṇa pitṛ́bhis: cp. 194 B 1 b(p. 291); párais: the primary meaning of this word is farther (opposed to nearer ávara, less often úpara, ántara), more remote, then also higher; there is no opposition here to pú̄rvais (opposed to which are ávara and úpara), which in any case would be in the reverse order, pú̄rvaiḥ paráiḥ; the meaning is the remote, the early Fathers; cp. vi. 21, 6, párāṇi pratná̄ remote, ancient deeds opposed to ávarāsas later men.
See Page Number 183, Hymn Number 11 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Ye Fathers that have been devoured by fire come hither; sit you down each on his seat, ye that have good guidance; eat the oblations proffered on the strew; then bestow wealth accompanied entirely by strong sons.
Ágni-ṣvāttās: with the voc. accent on the first syllable; the ordinary accent would be Agni-ṣvāttá̄s like other Tps. formed with Agni, but such cds. with a pp. as second member usually accent the first (cp. p. 456, 2 α). svāttá̄s: pp. of svād sweeten(cp. 67 b). sádaḥsadaḥ: itv. cd. (p. 282 a; p. 454, 10 a), governed by sadata. sadata: 2. pl. ipv. a ao. of sad sit(147, 5). supraṇītayas: having good guidance, well led, coming in good order; the Pada text does not recognize the cerebralization of the n (65 a, b). attá̄, áthā: final a metrically lengthened. prá-yatāni: pp. of yam. dadhātana: irr. strong form (cp. note on 7 d) and suffix tana (p. 925).
See Page Number 184, Hymn Number 12 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Thou, O Agni, having been implored, O Jātavedas, hast conveyed the oblations, having made them fragrant. Thou hast presented them to the Fathers; with the funeral offering they have eaten them; do thou, O god, eat the oblations proffered.
īḷitás: by us. jāta-vedas: a very frequent and exclusive epithet of Agni; it is a Bv. as its accent shows, meaning having knowledge of created things as explained by the RV. itself: víśvā veda jánimā jātávedāḥ Jātavedas knows all creations(vi. 15, 13); this is also the explanation of Sāyaṇa here: jātaṃ, sarvaṃ jagad, vetti, iti jātavedāḥ. ávāṭ: 2. s. s ao. of vah carry(144, 5). ḍhavyá̄ni: for havyá̄ni (54). kṛtví̄: gd. of kṛ (163, 1). adās: 2. s. root ao. of dā (148, 1 a). akṣan: 3. pl. root ao. of ghas eat(p. 170, e). addhí: 2. s. ipv. of ad eat.
See Page Number 185, Hymn Number 13 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Both the Fathers who are here and who are not here, both those whom we know and whom we know not, thou knowest how many they are, O Jātavedas; enjoy the sacrifice well prepared with funeral offerings.
yé ca: supply sánti. vidmá 1. pl. pf. of vid know(p. 154, 3); the 1. pl. pr. is vidmás. yá̄ṃś ca: Sandhi, 40 a. yāṁ̆ u: 39, and p. 25, f. n. 2. pra-vidmá: know exactly. vettha: 2. s. pf. of vid know(p. 154, 3). yáti: cp. 118 a. té: supply sánti.
See Page Number 185, Hymn Number 14 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Those who, burnt with fire and not burnt with fire, are exhilarated by the funeral offering in the midst of heaven, as sovereign ruler do thou with them fit his body according to thy power for this spirit-guidance.
yé̆ ánagnidagdhāḥ: that is, buried. mádhye diváḥ: note that the Fathers enjoy in heaven the funeral offering conveyed to them by Agni, as well as eating the oblations offered them on the sacrificial grass (11 c). tébhis: in association with them (199 A 1), as they know the path of the dead. svará̄ṭ: as sovereign lord who acts according to his will (yathāvaśám); the subject is Agni who is addressed in 9 c and 10 c (Agne), and in 12 a and 13 c (jātavedas) or mentioned in 11 a (Ágniṣvāttās), and in this stanza itself (Agnidagdhá̄s). tanvàṃ kalpayasva: the body of the deceased; the words svayáṃ tanvàṃ kalpayasva (VS. xxiii. 15) are explained in ŚB. xiii. 2, 7, 11: svayáṃ rūpáṃ kuruṣva yādṛ́śam ichási assume thyself the form that thou desirest; cp. also iii. 48, 4 b and vii. 101, 3 b yathāvaśáṃ tanvàṃ cakra (= cakre) eṣáḥ he has taken a body according to his will; the corresponding Pāda in the AV. (xviii. 3, 59) reads yathāvaśáṃ tanvàḥ kalpayāti may he fashion our bodies according to his will; cp. also in the following funeral hymn (x. 16, 4) the hemistich: yá̄s te śivá̄s tanvò, jātavedas, tá̄bhir vahainaṃ sukṛ́tām u lokám with those which are thy auspicious bodies, O Jātavedas, conduct him to the world of the righteous. ásunītim etá̄m: dependent, like tanvàṃ, on kalpayasva: prepare his body and this spirit-leading = prepare it for this spirit-leading; Agni conducts the spirit (ásu| of the dead man, who is cremated, to the next world (cp. x. 16, 4, just quoted) where it unites with a new body (tanú̄); cp. x. 14. 8 cd: ástam ehi; sáṃ gachasva tanvà̄ go home; unite with thy (new) body; and x. 16, 5 sáṃ gachatá̄ṃ tanvà̄, jātavedaḥ let him (the deceased) unite with a (new) body, O Jātavedas.
[P. 179, line 26,]for té read té̆
[P. 184, line 17,]for tĕ read té̆.