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Aitareya-Aranyaka: Second Aranyaka, Second Adhyya, Third Khanda

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Third Khanda

1. While Visvmitra was going to repeat the hymns of this day (the mahvrata), Indra sat down near him[70]. Visvmitra (guessing that Indra wanted food) said to him, ?This (the verses of the hymn) is food,? and repeated the thousand Brihat verses[71]. By means of this he went to the delightful home of Indra (Svarga).

2. Indra said to him: ?Rishi, thou hast come to my delightful home. Rishi, repeat a second hymn.[72]? Visvmitra (guessing that Indra wanted food) said to him, ?This (the verses of the hymn) is food,? and repeated the thousand Brihat verses. By means of this he went to the delightful home of Indra (Svarga).

3. Indra said to him: ?Rishi, thou hast come to my delightful home. Rishi, repeat a third hymn.? Visvmitra (guessing that Indra wanted food) said to him, ?This (the verses of the hymn) is food,? and repeated the thousand Brihat verses. By means of this he went to the delightful home of Indra (Svarga).

4. Indra said to him: ?Rishi, thou hast come to my delightful home. I grant thee a boon.? Visvmitra said: ?May I know thee.? Indra said: ?I am Prna (breath), O Rishi, thou art Prna, all things are Prna. For it is Prna who shines as the sun, and I here pervade all regions under that form. This food of mine (the hymn) is my friend and my support (dakshina). This is the food prepared by Visvmitra. I am verily he who shines (the sun).?



[70] Upanishasasda, instead of upanishasda. The mistake is probably due to a correction, sa for sha; the commentator, however, considers it as a Vedic license. Skro 'dhikas khndasah.

[71] These are meant for the Nishkevalya hymn recited at the noon-libation of the Mahvrata. That hymn consists of ten parts, corresponding, as we saw, to ten parts of a bird, viz. its body, neck, head, root of wings, right wing, left wing, tail, belly, chest, and thighs. The verses corresponding to these ten parts, beginning with tad id asa bhuvaneshu gyeshtham, are given in the first ranyaka, and more fully in the fifth ranyaka by Saunaka. Though they consist of many metres, yet, when one counts the syllables, they give a thousand Brihat verses, each consisting of thirty-six syllables.

[72] Although the Nishkevalya is but one hymn, consisting of eighty trikas, yet as these eighty trikas were represented as three kinds of food (see Ait. r. II, 1, 2, 2-4), the hymn is represented as three hymns, first as eighty Gyatr trikas, then as eighty Brihat trikas, lastly as eighty Ushnih trikas.

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