The Rigveda (Sanskrit: ऋग्वेद ṛgveda, from ṛc “praise, shine” and veda “knowledge”) is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns. It is one of the four canonical sacred texts (śruti) of Hinduism known as the Vedas. The text is a collection of 1,028 hymns and 10,600 verses, organized into ten books (Mandalas). A good deal of the language is still obscure and many hymns as a consequence are unintelligible.

The hymns are dedicated to Rigvedic deities.  For each deity series the hymns progress from longer to shorter ones; and the number of hymns per book increases. In the eight books that were composed the earliest, the hymns predominantly discuss cosmology and praise deities. Books 1 and 10, which were added last, deal with philosophical or speculative questions about the origin of the universe and the nature of god, the virtue of dāna (charity) in society, and other metaphysical issues in its hymns.

Vedas Categories

Rigveda Book - 1

HYMN I. Agni.

I Laud Agni, the chosen Priest, God, minister of sacrifice,

The hotar, lavishest of wealth.

Worthy is Agni to be praised by living as by ancient seers.

He shall bring hitherward the Gods.

Through Agni man obtaineth wealth, yea, plenty waxing day by day,

Most rich in heroes, glorious.

Agni, the perfect sacrifice which thou encompassest about

Verily goeth to the Gods.

May Agni, sapient-minded Priest, truthful, most gloriously great,

The God, come hither with the Gods.

Whatever blessing, Agni, thou wilt grant unto thy worshipper,

That, Aṅgiras, is indeed thy truth.

To thee, dispeller of the night, O Agni, day by day with prayer

Bringing thee reverence, we come

Ruler of sacrifices, guard of Law eternal, radiant One,

Increasing in thine own abode.

Be to us easy of approach, even as a father to his son:

Agni, be with us for our weal.

Rigveda Book - 2

HYMN I. Agni.

THOU, Agni, shining in thy glory through the days, art brought to life from out the waters, from the stone:

From out the forest trees and herbs that grow on ground, thou, Sovran Lord of men art generated pure.

Thine is the Herald’s task and Cleanser’s duly timed; Leader art thou, and Kindler for the pious man.

Thou art Director, thou the ministering Priest: thou art the Brahman, Lord and Master in our home.

Hero of Heroes, Agni! Thou art Indra, thou art Viṣṇu of the Mighty Stride, adorable:

Thou, Brahmaṇaspati, the Brahman finding wealth: thou, O Sustainer, with thy wisdom tendest us.

Agni, thou art King Varuṇa whose laws stand fast; as Mitra, Wonder-Worker, thou must be implored.

Aryaman, heroes’ Lord, art thou, enriching all, and liberal Aṁśa in the synod, O thou God.

Thou givest strength, as Tvaṣṭar, to the worshipper: thou wielding Mitra’s power hast kinship with the Dames.

Thou, urging thy fleet coursers, givest noble steeds: a host of heroes art thou with great store of wealth.

Rudra art thou, the Asura of mighty heaven: thou art the Maruts’ host, thou art the Lord of food,

Thou goest with red winds: bliss hast thou in thine home. As Pūṣan thou thyself protectest worshippers.

Giver of wealth art thou to him who honours thee; thou art God Savitar, granter of precious things.

As Bhaga, Lord of men! thou rulest over wealth, and guardest in his house him who hath served thee well.

To thee, the people’s Lord within the house, the folk press forward to their King most graciously inclined.

Lord of the lovely look, all things belong to thee: ten, hundred, yea, a thousand are outweighed by thee.

Agni, men seek thee as a Father with their prayers, win thee, bright-formed, to brotherhood with holy act.

Thou art a Son to him who duly worships thee, and as a trusty Friend thou guardest from attack.

A Ṛbhu art thou, Agni, near to be adored thou art the Sovran Lord of foodful spoil and wealth.

Thou shinest brightly forth, thou burnest to bestow: pervading sacrifice, thou lendest us thine help.

Thou, God, art Aditi to him who offers gifts: thou, Hotrā, Bhāratī, art strengthened by the song.

Thou art the hundred-wintered Iḷā to give strength, Lord of Wealth! Vṛtra-slayer and Sarasvatī.

Thou, Agni, cherished well, art highest vital power; in thy delightful hue are glories visible.

Thou art the lofty might that furthers each design: thou art wealth manifold, diffused on every side.

Thee, Agni, have the Ādityas taken as their mouth; the Bright Ones have made thee, O Sage, to be their tongue.

They who love offerings cling to thee at solemn rites: by thee the Gods devour the duly offered food.

By thee, O Agni, all the Immortal guileless Gods cat with thy mouth the oblation that is offered them.

By thee do mortal men give sweetness to their drink. Bright art thou born, the embryo of the plants of earth.

With these thou art united, Agni; yea thou, God of noble birth, surpassest them in majesty,

Which, through the power of good, here spreads abroad from thee, diffused through both the worlds, throughout the earth and heaven.

The princely worshippers who send to those who sing thy praise, O Agni, guerdon graced with kine and steeds,—

Lead thou both these and us forward to higher bliss. With brave men in the assembly may we speak aloud.

Rigveda Book - 3

HYMN I. Agni.

THOU, Agni, who wilt have the strong, hast made me the Soma’s priest, to worship in assembly.

Thou shinest to the Gods, I set the press-stones. I toil; be joyful in thyself, O Agni.

East have we turned the rite; may the hymn aid it. With wood and worship shall they honour Agni.

From heaven the synods of the wise have learnt it: e’en for the quick and strong they seek advancement.

The Prudent, he whose will is pure, brought welfare, allied by birth to Heaven and Earth in kinship.

The Gods discovered in the midst of waters beautiful Agni with the Sisters’ labour.

Him, Blessed One, the Seven strong Floods augmented, him white at birth and red when waxen mighty.

As mother mares run to their new-born you ling, so at his birth the Gods wondered at Agni.

Spreading with radiant limbs throughout the region, purging his power with wise purifications,

Robing himself in light, the life of waters, he spreads abroad his high and perfect glories.

He sought heaven’s Mighty Ones, the unconsuming, the unimpaired, not clothed and yet not naked.

Then they, ancient and young, who dwell together, Seven sounding Rivers, as one germ received him.

His piles, assuming every form, are scattered where flow sweet waters, at the spring of fatness;

There stood the milch-kine with full-laden udders, and both paired Mighty Mothers of the Wondrous.

Carefully cherished, Son of Strength, thou shoncst assuming lasting and refulgent beauties.

Full streams of fatness and sweet juice descended, there where the Mighty One grew strong by wisdom.

From birth he knew even his Father’s bosom, he set his voices and his streams in motion;

Knew him who moved with blessed Friends in secret, with the young Dames of heaven. He stayed not hidden.

He nursed the Infant of the Sire and Maker: alone the Babe sucked many a teeming bosom.

Guard, for the Bright and Strong, the fellow-spouses friendly to men and bound to him in kinship.

The Mighty One increased in space unbounded; full many a glorious flood gave strength to Agni.

Friend of the house, within the lap of Order lay Agni, in the Sister Rivers’ service.

As keen supporter where great waters gather, light-shedder whom the brood rejoice to look on;

He who begat, and will beget, the dawnlights, most manly, Child of Floods, is youthful Agni.

Him, varied in his form, the lovely Infant of floods and plants the blessed wood hath gendered.

Gods even, moved in spirit, came around him, and served him at his birth, the Strong, the Wondrous.

Like brilliant lightnings, mighty luminaries accompany the light-diffusing Agni,

Waxen, as ’twere in secret, in his dwelling, while in the boundless stall they milk out Amṛta.

I sacrificing serve thee with oblations and crave with longing thy good-will and friendship.

Grant, with the Gods, thy grace to him who lauds thee, protect us with thy rays that guard the homestead.

May we, O Agni, thou who leadest wisely, thy followers and masters of all treasures,

Strong in the glory of our noble offspring, subdue the godless when they seek the battle.

Ensign of Gods hast thou become, O Agni, joy-giver, knower of all secret wisdom.

Friend of the homestead, thou hast lightened mortals: carborne thou goest to the Gods, fulfilling.

Within the house hath sate the King immortal of mortals, filling full their sacred synods.

Bedewed with holy oil he shineth widely, Agni, the knower of all secret wisdom.

Come unto us with thine auspicious friendship, come speeding, Mighty, with thy mighty succours.

Grant us abundant wealth that saves from danger, that brings a good repute, a glorious portion.

To thee who art of old these songs, O Agni, have I declared, the ancient and the later.

These great libations to the Strong are offiered: in every birth is Jātavedas stablished.

Stablished in every birth is Jātavedas, kindled perpetual by the Viśvāmitras.

May we rest ever in the loving-kindness, in the auspicious grace of him the Holy.

This sacrifice of ours do thou, O Mighty, O truly Wise, bear to the Gods rejoicing.

Grant us abundant food, thou priestly Herald, vouchsafe to give us ample wealth, O Agni.

As holy food, Agni, to thine’invoker give wealth in cattle, lasting, rich in marvels.

To us he born a son, and spreading offspring. Agni, be this thy gracious will to us-ward.

Rigveda Book - 4

HYMN I. Agni.

THEE Agni, have the Gods, ever of one accord, sent hither down, a God, appointed messenger, yea, with their wisdom sent thee down.

The Immortal, O thou Holy One, mid mortal men, the God-devoted God, the wise, have they brought forth, brought forth the omnipresent God-devoted Sage.

As such, O Agni, bring with favour to the Gods thy Brother Varuṇa who loveth sacrifice,

True to the Law, the Āditya who supporteth men, the King, supporter of mankind.

Do thou, O Friend, turn hither him who is our Friend, swift as a wheel, like two car-steeds in rapid course, Wondrous! to us in rapid course.

O Agni, find thou grace for us with Varuṇa, with Maruts who illumine all.

Bless us, thou Radiant One, for seed and progeny, yea, bless us, O thou Wondrous God.

Do thou who knowest Varuṇa, O Agni, put far away from us the God’s displeasure.

Best Sacrificer, brightest One, refulgent remove thou far from us all those who hate us.

Be thou, O Agni, nearest us with succour, our closest Friend while now this Morn is breaking.

Reconcile to us Varuṇa, be bounteous enjoy the gracious juice; be swift to hear us.

Excellent is the glance, of brightest splendour, which the auspicious God bestows on mortals-

The God’s glance, longed-for even as the butter, pure, heated, of the cow, the milch-cow’s bounty.

Three are those births, the true, the most exalted, eagerly longed-for, of the God, of Agni.

He came invested in the boundless region, pure, radiant, friendly, mightily resplendent.

This envoy joyeth in all seats of worship, borne on his golden car, sweet-tongued Invoker:

Lovely to look on, with red steeds, effulgent, like a feast rich in food, joyous for ever.

Allied by worship, let him give man knowledge: by an extended cord they lead him onward.

He stays, effectual in this mortal’s dwelling, and the God wins a share in his possessions.

Let Agni -for he knows the way- conduct us to all that he enjoys of God-sent riches,

What all the Immortals have prepared with wisdom, Dyaus, Sire, Begetter, raining down true blessings.

In houses first he sprang into existence, at great heaven’s base, and in this region’s bosom;

Footless and headless, both his ends concealing, in his Bull’s lair drawing himself together.

Wondrously first he rose aloft, defiant, in the Bull’s lair, the homeof holy Order,

Longed-for, young, beautiful, and far-resplendent: and sevendear frieuds sprang up unto the Mighty.

Here did our human fathers take their places, fain to fulfil the sacred Law of worship.

Forth drave they, with loud call, Dawn’s teeming Milch-kine bid in the mountainstable, in the cavern.

Splendid were they when they had rent the mountain: others, around, shall tell forth this their exploit.

They sang their song, prepared to free the cattle: they found the light; with holy hymns they worshipped.

Eager, with thought intent upon the booty, the men with their celestial speech threw open,

The solid mountain firm, compact, enclosing, confining Cows, the stable full of cattle.

The Milch-cow’s earliest name they comprehended: they found the Mother’s thrice-seven noblest titles.

This the bands knew, and sent forth acclamation:with the Bull’s sheen the Red One was apparent.

The turbid darkness fled, the heaven was sp, endid! up rose the bright beam of celestial Morning.

Sūrya ascended to the wide expanses, beholding deeds of men both good and evil.

Then, afterwards they looked around, awakened, when first they held that Heaven allotted treasure.

Now all the Gods abide in all their dwellings. Varuṇa, Mitra, be the prayer effective.

I will call hither brightly-beaming Agni, the Herald, all-supporting, best at worship.

He hath disclosed, like the milch cows’ pure udder, the Sorria’s juice when cleansed and poured from beakers.

The freest God of all who should be worshipped, the guest who is received in all men’s houses,

Agni who hath secured the Gods’ high favour,—may he be gracious, to us Jātavedas.

Rigveda Book - 4

HYMN I. Agni.

Agni is wakened by the people’s fuel to meet the Dawn who cometh like a milch-cow.

Like young trees shooting up on high their branches, his flames are rising to the vault of heaven.

For worship of the Gods the Priest was wakened: at morning gracious Agni hath arisen.

Kindled, his radiant might is made apparent, and the great Deity set free from darkness.

When he hath stirred the line of his attendants, with the pure milk pure Agni is anointed.

The strength-bestowing gift is then made ready, which spread in front, with tongues, erect, he drinketh.

The spirits of the pious turn together to Agni, as the eyes of all to Sūrya.

He, when both Dawns of different hues have borne him, springs up at daybreak as a strong white charger.

The noble One was born at days’ beginning, laid red in colour mid the well-laid fuel.

Yielding in every house his seven rich treasures, Agni is seated, Priest most skilled in worship.

Agni hath sat him down, a Priest most skilful, on a sweet-smelling place, his Mother’s bosom.

Young, faithful, sage, preeminent o’er many, kindled among the folk whom he sustaineth.

This Singer excellent at sacrifices, Agni the Priest, they glorify with homage.

Him who spread out both worlds by Law Eternal they balm with oil, strong Steed who never faileth.

He, worshipful House-Friend, in his home is worshipped, our own auspicious guest, lauded by sages.

That strength the Bull with thousand horns possesses. In might, O Agni, thou excellest others.

Thou quickly passest by all others, Agni, for him to whom thou hast appeared most lovely,

Wondrously fair, adorable, effulgent, the guest of men, the darling of the people.

To thee, Most Youthful God! to thee, O Agni from near and far the people bring their tribute.

Mark well the prayer of him who best extols thee. Great, high, auspicious, Agni, is thy shelter.

Ascend to-day thy splendid car, O Agni, in splendour, with the Holy Ones around it.

Knowing the paths by mid-air’s spacious region bring hither Gods to feast on our oblation.

To him adorable, sage, strong and mighty we have sung forth our song of praise and homage.

Gavisthira hath raised with prayer to Agni this laud far-reaching, like gold light to heaven.

Vedas Categories