The Horse
RgVeda, Hymn CLXII
, Book 1


  1. Slight us not Varunu, Aryaman, or Mitra, Rbhuksan, Indra, Ayu, or the Maruts, when we declare amid the congregation the virtues of the strong Streed, God-descended.
  2. What time they bear before the Courser, covered with trappings and with wealth, the grasped oblation, the dappled goat goeth straightforward, bleating, to the place dear to Indra and to Pusan.
  3. Dear to all Gods, this goat, the share of Pusan, is first led forward with the vigorous Courser, while Tvastar sends him forward with the Charger, acceptable for sacrifice, to glory.
  4. When thrice the men lead round the Steed, in order, who goeth to the Gods as meet oblation, the goat precedeth him, the share of Pusan, and to the Gods the sacrifice announceth.
  5. Invoker, ministering priest, atoner, fire-kindler, Soma-presser, sage, reciter, with this well ordered sacrifice, well finished, do ye fill full the channels of the rivers.
  6. The hewers of the post and those who carry it, and those who carve the knob to deck the Horse's stake; Those who prepare the cooking-vessels for the Steed, - may the approving help of these promote our work.
  7. Forth, for the regions of the Gods, the Charger with his smooth back is come; my prayer attends him. In him rejoice the singers and the sages. A good friend have we won for the God's banquet.
  8. May the fleet Courser's halter and his heel-ropes, the head-stall and the girths and cords about him. And the grass put within his mouth to bait him, - among the Gods, too, let all these be with thee.
  9. What part of the Steed's flesh the fly hath eaten, or is left sticking to the post or hatchet, or to the slayer's hands and nails adhereth, - among the Gods, too, may all this be with thee.
  10. Food undigested steaming from his belly, and any odour of raw flesh remaining, this let the immolators set in order and dress the sacrifice with perfect cooking.
  11. What from thy body which with fire is roasted, when thou art set upon the spit, distilleth, - Let not that lie on earth or grass neglected, but to the longing Gods let all be offered.
  12. They who observing that the Horse is ready call out and say, the smell is good ; remove it; And, craving meat, await the distribution, - may their approving help promote our labour.
  13. The trial-fork of the flesh-cooking caldron, the vessels out of which the broth is sprinkled, the warming-pots, the covers of the dishes, hooks, carvingboards, - all these attend the Charger.
  14. The starting place, his place of rest and rolling, the ropes wherewith the Charger's feet were fastened, the water that he drank, the food he tasted, - among the Gods, too, may all these attend thee.
  15. Let not the fire, smoke-scented, make thee crackle, nor growing caldron smell and break to pieces. Offered, beloved, approved, and consecrated, - such Charger do the Gods accept with favour.
  16. The robe they spread upon the Horse to clothe him, the upper covering and the golden trappings, the halters which restrain the Steed, the heel-ropes, - all these, as grateful to the Gods, they offer.
  17. If one, when seated, with excessive urging hath with his heel or with his whip distressed thee, all these thy woes, as with the oblations' ladle at sacrifices, with my prayer I banish.
  18. The four-and-thirty ribs of the swift Charger, kin to the Gods, the slayer's hatchet pierces. Cut ye with skill, so that the parts be flawless, and piece by piece declaring them dissect them.
  19. Of Tvastar's Charger there is one dissector, - this is the custom - two there are who guide him. Such of his limbs as I divide in order, all these, amid the balls, in fire I offer.
  20. Let not thy dear soul burn thee as thou comest, let not the hatchet linger in thy body. Let not a greedy clumsy immolator, missing the joints, mangle thy limbs unduly.
  21. No, here thou diest not, thou art not injured: by easy paths unto the Gods thou goest. Both Bays, both spotted mares are now thy fellows, and to the ass's pole is yoked the Charger.
  22. May this Steed bring us all-sustaining riches, wealth in good kine, good horses, manly offspring. Freedom from sin may Aditi vouchsafe us: the Steed with our oblations gain us lordship!

Extracted from "Hymns of the Rgveda", Ralph T.H. Griffith, Volume 1, page 227-230

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