HYMN VI. Agni.

PRIEST of our rite, stand up erect, O Agni, in the Devas’ service best of creators, for over evei y thought thou art the Ruler: thou furtherest e’en the wisdom of the pious.

He was set down mid men as Monk unerring, Agni, wise, welcome in our holy synods.

Like Indra he hath lifted up his splendour, and like a builder raised his smoke to Heaven.

The glowing ladle, filled with oil, is lifted; choosing Devas’ service to the right he circles. Eager he rises like the new-wrought pillar which, firmly set and fixed, anoints the victims.

When sacred grass is strewn and Agni kindled, the Adhvaryu rises to, his task rejoicing. Agni the Monk, like one who tends the cattle, goes three times round, as from of old he wills it.

Agni himself, the Monk, with measured motion, goes round, with sweet speech, cheerful, true to Order. His fulgent flames run forth like vigorous horses; all creatures are affrighted when he blazes.

Beautiful and auspicious is thine aspect, O lovely Agni, terrible when spreading. Thy splendours are not covered by the darkness: detraction leaves no stain upon thy body.

Naught hindered his production, Bounteous Giver: his Mother and his Sire were free to send him. Then as Friend benevolent, refulgent, Agni shone forth in human habitations.

He, Agni, whom the twice-five sisters, dwelling together, in the homes of men engendered, Bright like a spear's tooth, wakened in the morning, with powerful mouth and like an axe well-sharpened.

These thy Bay Coursers, Agni, dropping fatness, ruddy vigorous, speeding straightly forward, and red steeds, wonderful, of mighty muscle, are to this service of the Devas invited:

These brightly-shining games of thine, O Agni, that move forever restless, all-subduing, like falcons hasting eagerly to the quarry, roar loudly like the army of the Devas.

To thee, O flaming Deva, hath prayer been offered. Let the Monk laud thee: give to him who worships. Men have established Agni as Invoker, fain to adore the glory of the living.