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Rigveda - Hymn 33 - To Rudra (Siva) - Prayers and Offerings, God's Compassion and Grace for Mankind

Father of the storms! [a] May Your grace [b] come [down]:

Do not withhold from us the vision of the sun!

May our warriors on horseback remain unscathed:

O God, may we bring forth abundant descendants!


2 Most healing are the remedies You give;

By these I'd live for a hundred years!

Hatred, distress, disease drive far away,

God, dispel them,—away, on every side!


3 You are the most glorious, of fiercest strength

Of all that's born, the Storm [c], wielder of the bolt!

Deliver us to safety, to the shore beyond distress;

Fend off [from us] all assaults of injury [and disease].


4 May we not provoke Your anger!

By bowing down,

By praising the unsuitable,

By confusing You with other [sins].

Raise up our men with healing remedies,

You are—the best doctor and healer.


5 To God, all things are offered up

Offerings [d]—Prayers [e] [for assistance]:

Him would I appease,

To God, with songs of praise.


Compassionate is He,

Easy to invoke;

Tan and Brown, [his body],

Lovely His lips: [f]

May God not deliver us

Up to His fearful wrath!


6 With tough, compelling force

O God, the Lord of storms

Has cheered my humble heart.

As shade in scorching heat,

Would I, be pain free and attain [You],

Win Your [saving] grace.


7 O God, where is Your caressing hand,

[The hand] that heals, [the hand] that cools,

[The hand] that bears away god-given hurt?

[Great] God, be patient with me!


8 The bull's white spotted markings,—for this,

The great,—great, boundless praise I offer.

I will bow down—deep is my exhausted devotion—

To my wise and artistic God: His fearful name we praise.


9 Solid are his limbs, many are his forms;

Tawny and strong, You have adorned [nature]

With ornaments of lustrous beauty and purpose.


Lord of this remote and distant world:

God [is His name].

Never will celestial sovereignty [g]

Part company with Him!


10 How fit is it that You should birth

Children and parents: [h]

How fit, that You create and wear

A many-colored necklace, adorned [of men]:

How fit it is that You should dispose

Of all this shattering power:

God, there is nothing more powerful than You!


11 Praise, the widely known Son,

Enthroned, by his determination,—like a beast,

Feared and strong, ready for the sacrifice. [i]

We sing praise to you, God, show him mercy;

Let Your chosen ones avoid trouble,—not us!


12 As a son bows down to a father who admires him,

So, God, I bow to You as I draw closer:

The giver of much, the Lord of truth I praise,—

And have praised, You give us healing remedies.


13 Pure are your remedies, the natural disasters; [j]

Healing they bring, Thankfulness they inspire:

Our father, [k] chose them; these I accept and desire

With health and God's blessing.


14 May Evil's arrow pass us by;

May the great ill-will of the awful one pass on!

For the sake of your patrons, slacken Your drawn [bow-string]:

O rich in grace [m], have mercy on our children!


15 O God, O tawny Bull, who knows all, but You?

Let Your fury be restrained, do us no harm!

Listen here to this, our invocation: [n]

Rich in spiritual warriors, loud would we speak out

In assembly [devoted to Your worship]!



Footnotes


a. Winds, thunder storms. The Maruts. Sanskrit. storm deities represented as sons of Rudra and Prisni.

b. Sumna, Sanskrit. joy, happiness, protection.

c. Rudra. Sanskrit. Dreadful and praiseworthy. The unpredictable and destructive justice in nature, a divine archer who shoots arrows of death and disease.

d. A gift or contribution. Something sacrificed: time, money and attention.

e. Invocations

f. Wisdom

g. Asurya, Sanskrit. Spiritual or divine nature. The collective body of spiritual beings. Supreme power and authority. Supreme Spirit. Holy Spirit.

h. Or, arrows and bow

i. To prepare to win. To defeat someone in an argument when that person is already in a weak position:

j. Winds and storms directed by God. Marut-Bulls

k. Manu, Sanskrit. Refers to first evolutions of the Earth, the first man, Primal Man.

m. Milvat. Olio. A collection of different followers and supporters.

n. Prayer or call for assistance.



Hindu Scriptures

Hindu Scriptures / translated from Sanskrit by R. C. Zaehner, copyright © 1966 J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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