There are some folks whose prolific, brilliant accomplishments make me ashamed to be considered part of their species. Śrī Aurobindo is certainly one of these.
An actual post from me is forthcoming, but in the meantime, two brief quotes from this giant of Veda and verse.
“Indra arising gazed from the heights of his mental realms and the moonbeams surprising flowed on him out of the regions immortal; their nectar slowly mixed with the scattered roses of dawn and mastered us wholly.”
–from The Descent of Ahana
Ṛgveda III.46, Aurobindo’s translation:
“Very noble are the heroic deeds of mighty Indra, the thunderer, the bearer of the Word, warrior and powerful emperor, the ever young god resplendent, imperishable and possessor of tranquil strength.
O Great, O Puissant, thou art great; by the action of thy expansive power forcefully wrest from others the wealth we desire. Thou art one, king of all that is visible in the whole universe; inspire man in the battle; establish him in the abode of peace, worthy of conquest.
Indra manifesting himself as radiance crosses all measures of the universe surpassing even the gods in every way and infinitely he becomes inaccessible to them. This power that drives straight, by his strength in the mental world, surpasses the wide material universe and the great vital world.
Into this wide and deep, violent and powerful from his very birth, all-manifesting ocean-like Indra, the ordainer of all thoughts, enter the intoxicating universal currents of delight like fast-flowing rivers issuing from the mouth of the mental world.
O puissant Indra, for the satisfaction of thy desire, the mental world and the material universe hold this wine of felicity as a mother holds the unborn child. The priest who accomplishes the sacrifice is for thy sake only, O Bull; he drives the flow of delight so that thou mayst drink it; he refines that delight for thy sake only.”
Such a difference that an excellent English rendering, made with respect and understanding, can make! Having only read this hymn through Griffith’s translation before, I see the two versions now like night and day.
A question I have long had: I know that the respectful, correct way to cite Vedic verse is by recalling the ṛṣi, devatā, and chandas of the hymn. But from what I’ve seen so far, all of the online translations omit information on the Seer and Metre, telling only the Deva(s) praised.
Does anyone know of a website, or an available print source, that gives this information? (Edit: Please see the comments to this post, for some responses!)
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