Rigveda 10.85 – Vivāha Sūktam – Soma, Sūryā-Soma marriage, Blessings and charms
Ṛṣi: Sūryā Sāvitrī
Chandas: Anuṣṭubh, with Triṣṭubh, Jagatī, Urobṛhatī verses too
Rig Veda. Mandala 10. Sukta 85 (Audio: South Indian Brahmins)
स॒त्येनोत्त॑भिता॒ भूमि॒: सूर्ये॒णोत्त॑भिता॒ द्यौः ।
ऋ॒तेना॑दि॒त्यास्ति॑ष्ठन्ति दि॒वि सोमो॒ अधि॑ श्रि॒तः ॥१॥
सोमे॑नादि॒त्या ब॒लिन॒: सोमे॑न पृथि॒वी म॒ही ।
अथो॒ नक्ष॑त्राणामे॒षामु॒पस्थे॒ सोम॒ आहि॑तः ॥२॥
सोमं॑ मन्यते पपि॒वान्यत्स॑म्पिं॒षन्त्योष॑धिम् ।
सोमं॒ यं ब्र॒ह्माणो॑ वि॒दुर्न तस्या॑श्नाति॒ कश्च॒न ॥३॥
आ॒च्छद्वि॑धानैर्गुपि॒तो बार्ह॑तैः सोम रक्षि॒तः ।
ग्राव्णा॒मिच्छृ॒ण्वन्ति॑ष्ठसि॒ न ते॑ अश्नाति॒ पार्थि॑वः ॥४॥
यत्त्वा॑ देव प्र॒पिब॑न्ति॒ तत॒ आ प्या॑यसे॒ पुन॑: ।
वा॒युः सोम॑स्य रक्षि॒ता समा॑नां॒ मास॒ आकृ॑तिः ॥५॥
रैभ्या॑सीदनु॒देयी॑ नाराशं॒सी न्योच॑नी ।
सू॒र्याया॑ भ॒द्रमिद्वासो॒ गाथ॑यैति॒ परि॑ष्कृतम् ॥६॥
चित्ति॑रा उप॒बर्ह॑णं॒ चक्षु॑रा अ॒भ्यञ्ज॑नम् ।
द्यौर्भूमि॒: कोश॑ आसी॒द्यदया॑त्सू॒र्या पति॑म् ॥७॥
स्तोमा॑ आसन्प्रति॒धय॑: कु॒रीरं॒ छन्द॑ ओप॒शः ।
सू॒र्याया॑ अ॒श्विना॑ व॒राऽग्निरा॑सीत्पुरोग॒वः ॥८॥
सोमो॑ वधू॒युर॑भवद॒श्विना॑स्तामु॒भा व॒रा ।
सू॒र्यां यत्पत्ये॒ शंस॑न्तीं॒ मन॑सा सवि॒ताद॑दात् ॥९॥
मनो॑ अस्या॒ अन॑ आसी॒द्द्यौरा॑सीदु॒त च्छ॒दिः ।
शु॒क्राव॑न॒ड्वाहा॑वास्तां॒ यदया॑त्सू॒र्या गृ॒हम् ॥१०॥
ऋ॒क्सा॒माभ्या॑म॒भिहि॑तौ॒ गावौ॑ ते साम॒नावि॑तः ।
श्रोत्रं॑ ते च॒क्रे आ॑स्तां दि॒वि पन्था॑श्चराचा॒रः ॥११॥
शुची॑ ते च॒क्रे या॒त्या व्या॒नो अक्ष॒ आह॑तः ।
अनो॑ मन॒स्मयं॑ सू॒र्याऽऽरो॑हत्प्रय॒ती पति॑म् ॥१२॥
सू॒र्याया॑ वह॒तुः प्रागा॑त्सवि॒ता यम॒वासृ॑जत् ।
अ॒घासु॑ हन्यन्ते॒ गावोऽर्जु॑न्यो॒: पर्यु॑ह्यते ॥१३॥
यद॑श्विना पृ॒च्छमा॑ना॒वया॑तं त्रिच॒क्रेण॑ वह॒तुं सू॒र्याया॑: ।
विश्वे॑ दे॒वा अनु॒ तद्वा॑मजानन्पु॒त्रः पि॒तरा॑ववृणीत पू॒षा ॥१४॥
यदया॑तं शुभस्पती वरे॒यं सू॒र्यामुप॑ ।
क्वैकं॑ च॒क्रं वा॑मासी॒त्क्व॑ दे॒ष्ट्राय॑ तस्थथुः ॥१५॥
द्वे ते॑ च॒क्रे सू॑र्ये ब्र॒ह्माण॑ ऋतु॒था वि॑दुः ।
अथैकं॑ च॒क्रं यद्गुहा॒ तद॑द्धा॒तय॒ इद्वि॑दुः ॥१६॥
सू॒र्यायै॑ दे॒वेभ्यो॑ मि॒त्राय॒ वरु॑णाय च ।
ये भू॒तस्य॒ प्रचे॑तस इ॒दं तेभ्यो॑ऽकरं॒ नम॑: ॥१७॥
पू॒र्वा॒प॒रं च॑रतो मा॒ययै॒तौ शिशू॒ क्रीळ॑न्तौ॒ परि॑ यातो अध्व॒रम् ।
विश्वा॑न्य॒न्यो भुव॑नाभि॒चष्ट॑ ऋ॒तूँर॒न्यो वि॒दध॑ज्जायते॒ पुन॑: ॥१८॥
नवो॑नवो भवति॒ जाय॑मा॒नोऽह्नां॑ के॒तुरु॒षसा॑मे॒त्यग्र॑म् ।
भा॒गं दे॒वेभ्यो॒ वि द॑धात्या॒यन्प्र च॒न्द्रमा॑स्तिरते दी॒र्घमायु॑: ॥१९॥
सु॒किं॒शु॒कं श॑ल्म॒लिं वि॒श्वरू॑पं॒ हिर॑ण्यवर्णं सु॒वृतं॑ सुच॒क्रम् ।
आ रो॑ह सूर्ये अ॒मृत॑स्य लो॒कं स्यो॒नं पत्ये॑ वह॒तुं कृ॑णुष्व ॥२०॥
उदी॒र्ष्वात॒: पति॑वती॒ ह्ये॒३षा वि॒श्वाव॑सुं॒ नम॑सा गी॒र्भिरी॑ळे ।
अ॒न्यामि॑च्छ पितृ॒षदं॒ व्य॑क्तां॒ स ते॑ भा॒गो ज॒नुषा॒ तस्य॑ विद्धि ॥२१॥
उदी॒र्ष्वातो॑ विश्वावसो॒ नम॑सेळा महे त्वा ।
अ॒न्यामि॑च्छ प्रफ॒र्व्यं१ सं जा॒यां पत्या॑ सृज ॥२२॥
अ॒नृ॒क्ष॒रा ऋ॒जव॑: सन्तु॒ पन्था॒ येभि॒: सखा॑यो॒ यन्ति॑ नो वरे॒यम् ।
सम॑र्य॒मा सं भगो॑ नो निनीया॒त्सं जा॑स्प॒त्यं सु॒यम॑मस्तु देवाः ॥२३॥
प्र त्वा॑ मुञ्चामि॒ वरु॑णस्य॒ पाशा॒द्येन॒ त्वाब॑ध्नात्सवि॒ता सु॒शेव॑: ।
ऋ॒तस्य॒ योनौ॑ सुकृ॒तस्य॑ लो॒केऽरि॑ष्टां त्वा स॒ह पत्या॑ दधामि ॥२४॥
प्रेतो मु॒ञ्चामि॒ नामुत॑: सुब॒द्धाम॒मुत॑स्करम् । यथे॒यमि॑न्द्र मीढ्वः सुपु॒त्रा सु॒भगास॑ति ॥२५॥
पू॒षा त्वे॒तो न॑यतु हस्त॒गृह्या॒ऽश्विना॑ त्वा॒ प्र व॑हतां॒ रथे॑न ।
गृ॒हान्ग॑च्छ गृ॒हप॑त्नी॒ यथासो॑ व॒शिनी॒ त्वं वि॒दथ॒मा व॑दासि ॥२६॥
इ॒ह प्रि॒यं प्र॒जया॑ ते॒ समृ॑ध्यताम॒स्मिन्गृ॒हे गार्ह॑पत्याय जागृहि ।
ए॒ना पत्या॑ त॒न्वं१ सं सृ॑ज॒स्वाधा॒ जिव्री॑ वि॒दथ॒मा व॑दाथः ॥२७॥
नी॒ल॒लो॒हि॒तं भ॑वति कृ॒त्यास॒क्तिर्व्य॑ज्यते ।
एध॑न्ते अस्या ज्ञा॒तय॒: पति॑र्ब॒न्धेषु॑ बध्यते ॥२८॥
परा॑ देहि शामु॒ल्यं॑ ब्र॒ह्मभ्यो॒ वि भ॑जा॒ वसु॑ ।
कृ॒त्यैषा प॒द्वती॑ भू॒त्व्या जा॒या वि॑शते॒ पति॑म् ॥२९॥
अ॒श्री॒रा त॒नूर्भ॑वति॒ रुश॑ती पा॒पया॑मु॒या ।
पति॒र्यद्व॒ध्वो॒३ वास॑सा॒ स्वमङ्ग॑मभि॒धित्स॑ते ॥३०॥
ये व॒ध्व॑श्च॒न्द्रं व॑ह॒तुं यक्ष्मा॒ यन्ति॒ जना॒दनु॑ ।
पुन॒स्तान्य॒ज्ञिया॑ दे॒वा नय॑न्तु॒ यत॒ आग॑ताः ॥३॥१
मा वि॑दन्परिप॒न्थिनो॒ य आ॒सीद॑न्ति॒ दम्प॑ती ।
सु॒गेभि॑र्दु॒र्गमती॑ता॒मप॑ द्रा॒न्त्वरा॑तयः ॥३२॥
सु॒म॒ङ्ग॒लीरि॒यं व॒धूरि॒मां स॒मेत॒ पश्य॑त ।
सौभा॑ग्यमस्यै द॒त्त्वायाऽथास्तं॒ वि परे॑तन ॥३३॥
सू॒र्यां यो ब्र॒ह्मा वि॒द्यात्स इद्वाधू॑यमर्हति ॥३४॥
आ॒शस॑नं वि॒शस॑न॒मथो॑ अधिवि॒कर्त॑नम् ।
सू॒र्याया॑: पश्य रू॒पाणि॒ तानि॑ ब्र॒ह्मा तु शु॑न्धति ॥३५॥
गृ॒भ्णामि॑ ते सौभग॒त्वाय॒ हस्तं॒ मया॒ पत्या॑ ज॒रद॑ष्टि॒र्यथास॑: ।
भगो॑ अर्य॒मा स॑वि॒ता पुरं॑धि॒र्मह्यं॑ त्वादु॒र्गार्ह॑पत्याय दे॒वाः ॥३६॥
तां पू॑षञ्छि॒वत॑मा॒मेर॑यस्व॒ यस्यां॒ बीजं॑ मनु॒ष्या॒३ वप॑न्ति ।
या न॑ ऊ॒रू उ॑श॒ती वि॒श्रया॑ते॒ यस्या॑मु॒शन्त॑: प्र॒हरा॑म॒ शेप॑म् ॥३७॥
तुभ्य॒मग्रे॒ पर्य॑वहन्त्सू॒र्यां व॑ह॒तुना॑ स॒ह ।
पुन॒: पति॑भ्यो जा॒यां दा अ॑ग्ने प्र॒जया॑ स॒ह ॥३८॥
पुन॒: पत्नी॑म॒ग्निर॑दा॒दायु॑षा स॒ह वर्च॑सा ।
दी॒र्घायु॑रस्या॒ यः पति॒र्जीवा॑ति श॒रद॑: श॒तम् ॥३९॥
सोम॑: प्रथ॒मो वि॑विदे गन्ध॒र्वो वि॑विद॒ उत्त॑रः ।
तृ॒तीयो॑ अ॒ग्निष्टे॒ पति॑स्तु॒रीय॑स्ते मनुष्य॒जाः ॥४०॥
सोमो॑ ददद्गन्ध॒र्वाय॑ गन्ध॒र्वो द॑दद॒ग्नये॑ ।
र॒यिं च॑ पु॒त्राँश्चा॑दाद॒ग्निर्मह्य॒मथो॑ इ॒माम् ॥४१॥
इ॒हैव स्तं॒ मा वि यौ॑ष्टं॒ विश्व॒मायु॒र्व्य॑श्नुतम् ।
क्रीळ॑न्तौ पु॒त्रैर्नप्तृ॑भि॒र्मोद॑मानौ॒ स्वे गृ॒हे ॥४२॥
आ न॑: प्र॒जां ज॑नयतु प्र॒जाप॑तिराजर॒साय॒ सम॑नक्त्वर्य॒मा ।
अदु॑र्मङ्गलीः पतिलो॒कमा वि॑श॒ शं नो॑ भव द्वि॒पदे॒ शं चतु॑ष्पदे ॥४३॥
अघो॑रचक्षु॒रप॑तिघ्न्येधि शि॒वा प॒शुभ्य॑: सु॒मना॑: सु॒वर्चा॑: ।
वी॒र॒सूर्दे॒वका॑मा स्यो॒ना शं नो॑ भव द्वि॒पदे॒ शं चतु॑ष्पदे ॥४४॥
इ॒मां त्वमि॑न्द्र मीढ्वः सुपु॒त्रां सु॒भगां॑ कृणु ।
दशा॑स्यां पु॒त्राना धे॑हि॒ पति॑मेकाद॒शं कृ॑धि ॥४५॥
स॒म्राज्ञी॒ श्वशु॑रे भव स॒म्राज्ञी॑ श्व॒श्र्वां भ॑व ।
नना॑न्दरि स॒म्राज्ञी॑ भव स॒म्राज्ञी॒ अधि॑ दे॒वृषु॑ ॥४६॥
सम॑ञ्जन्तु॒ विश्वे॑ दे॒वाः समापो॒ हृद॑यानि नौ ।
सं मा॑त॒रिश्वा॒ सं धा॒ता समु॒ देष्ट्री॑ दधातु नौ ॥४७॥
As you might have known, the Vivāha sūkta is one of the oldest hymns still in popular use in rituals, and is the basis of Brahmanic marriage. Interestingly, the hymn is mostly from the point of view of a woman, and the poetess takes the name of Sūryā Sāvitrī, whose marriage is celebrated, and is the archetype for Vedic Brahmanic marriage. You shouldn’t be surprised if you see many of the metaphors and careful choice of words completely in opposition with the patriarchal view of marriage. Just for one instance, Savitā the father of Sūryā bestows Soma as her husband as she wishes him by her mind. The act of bestowing (√dā) which is classically seen in the “gift of bride” (as in the classical era phrase “kanyādānam”) to the bridegroom is seen completely the opposite way by the woman sage here. It is also interesting how she maintains, in this sūkta, that “wife enters her husband” instead of the normal idea that husband enters the wife. This is also a popular culture hymn, and has therefore several inputs from outside sage culture which includes a long list of hapaxes in vocabulary and common practices of those days. Being the part of popular culture, there are many concepts and charms here which are so non-Rigvedic otherwise. This hymn, in that way, translates to have an Atharvanic character, and not surprisingly, is elaborated in a whole Atharvaveda kāṇḍa.
Earth is supported by satya,
Dyaus is supported by sun,
Ādityas are supported by Ṛta,
Soma rests upon the sky.
By Soma are the Ādityas strong,
By Soma is the wide earth great,
Lo! Among these constellations
Soma has been set in the midst.
He thinks he has drunk Soma
When they pound the plant together
The Soma which the formulator sages know
No one partakes indeed, of that.
Sheltered by rules, hidden by lofty (/Bṛhatī) verses,
The Soma stands guarded.
O you, who do stand hearing the announcers of pressing,
No earthy indeed partake of you.
When they “drink” you forth, O Deva,
You just waxen from there again.
Vāyu is the guardian of Soma,
With moon, the lunar months are shaped.
Raibhī song was gifted along,
Nārāśaṃsī ballad the dweller.
Sūryā’s truly auspicious garment
Flies embellished by Gāthā songs.
Perception was her couch,
Vision was her unguent,
The sky-earth her casket
When Sūryā traveled to her husband.
Hymns were the cross-bars,
Metre the covered seat,
Aśvinā accompanied Sūryā,
Agni moved in front.
Soma was the bridegroom,
Both Aśvinā the accompanying ones,
When to the Sūryā who wished by her mind,
Savitā bestowed Soma as her husband.
Thought was her carriage,
And the sky was the canopy,
Dazzling ones were the two draft-animals,
When Sūryā drove to the home.
The two draft-cows of yours,
Harnessed to Ṛk-Sāman are harmonious,
Hearing was your wheels,
Path in the sky kept moving on.
Bright were your wheels as you drove,
The Vyāna breath was the fixed axle.
Sūryā mounted the carriage of thoughts
As she drove forth to her husband.
Sūryā’s conveying went on,
As Savitā let it flow on,
In Aghā days they loosen the cows,
In Arjunī days she is conveyed.
When, O Aśvins, you drove, asking her,
By the Three-wheeled car, to Sūryā’s conveying,
Viśvedevas approved you two to it.
Pūṣan the son, selected the two fathers.
When you both drove, O lords of pleasantness,
To Sūryā, to accompany her,
Where was the one wheel of yours?
Where did you stand for the declaration?
O Sūryā, your two wheels,
The formulator-sages, know, by seasons,
Then that one wheel which is hidden,
Only just those meditated to it, know.
To Sūryā, to the Devas,
To Mitra, and to Varuṇa,
These who discern forth of what has been,
To them have I made this reverence.
Forward-backward, the two move by Māyā
As two children playing, they drive around the eternal.
One of them peeks into all beings,
Establishing seasons, the other is born again.
New, he becomes new, while being born,
As the sign of days, he moves to the first of dawns,
He sets apart the shares of Devas.
Moon extends forth his longevity.
Well-blossomed, well-crafted, of all forms,
Of golden hue, well-turning, well-wheeled,
Mount, O Sūryā, the spot of immortality,
Make the wedding easy for your husband.
Rise up, this lady is with her husband,
I reverently sing to you – O Viśvāvasu,
Seek another one, adorned, sitting with her father,
That is inherently your fate, know it.
Rise up from here, O Viśvāvasu,
Reverently I laud you myself.
Seek another woman who is to be married,
Send the lady to her husband.
Unharming to man, straight, be the paths,
By which the companions go to the ceremony,
Together Aryamā, together lead us Bhaga,
Let the united house be connected well, O Devas!
I release you forth from the bonds of Varuṇa,
With which the well-kind Savitar bound you.
At the source of Ṛta, at the spot of the well-done,
I establish you, unharmed, with your husband.
I release you from here, not from there.
I have made her well-bound there.
By which way, O Indra the Bestower,
She would be of good offspring, of good fortune.
May Pūṣan lead you on from here, holding your hand,
May the Aśvinā convey you by the chariot,
Go to the home, so that you will be the mistress of house,
As a crowd-pulling lady, you will speak to the vidatha.
Here, age together through your prajas,
Be aware for the ruling of the house,
With this husband, create your tanu together,
So that, as an experienced couple, you both would speak to vidatha.
She becomes blue, red. The attached enchantress is shooed off.
Her relatives are excited, the husband is bound in the relation.
Pass the śāmulyam garment to the sages, who portion the goods,
She the enchantress having flown away, here the lady enters the husband.
His tanu becomes inauspicious, gleaming due to the Evil that way,
When the husband puts the bride’s garment unto his own body part.
The diseases from people that follow the lustrous wedding
May the worship-worthy Devas lead those to there from where they came.
Let the way-wanderer rogues who lie waiting,
Not find the married couple.
Let them cross the hard passages through easy courses,
Let the malignancies be driven away.
Auspicious is the bride here.
Go together, and look at her!
Wishing good luck for her,
Return back to your home.
This is coarse, this is pungent,
Pointed, Poisonous, this is not for eating.
The formulator sage who knows Sūryā
Just he deserves this thing of bride.
The piercing in, piercing out,
And then the cutting apart :-
Behold the forms of Sūryā,
However, the sage makes them clean.
I hold your hand for good fortune,
So will we age together with me the husband,
Bhaga, Aryaman, Savitar, Puraṃdhi –
To me the Devas have given you to rule the house.
O Pūṣan, stir her who is the most auspicious,
In whom men shed their seed,
She who lovingly spreads her thighs apart,
In whom, we can lovingly insert the tail.
To you they conveyed her first –
Sūryā and her wedding procession,
Give the lady to husbands,
Agni, with the progeny.
Agni has given the mistress –
Along with longevity and lustre,
Who as her husband, would live
For a hundred autumns.
Soma first gained her, Gandharva gained afterwards,
Third husband of yours is Agni, fourth the one born of man.
Soma gave for Gandharva, Gandharva gave for Agni,
Riches and offspring, and this lady has Agni given to me.
Blessing to the bride
Stay both, just here, do not separate apart,
Reach the whole of lifespan.
Playing with children and grandchildren,
Happily, in your own home.
Let Prajāpati generate progeny for us,
Let Aryamā smoothen you to old age.
Without any inauspiciousness, enter the spot of your husband,
Become blessing to us, to the biped, blessing to the quadruped.
Free from evil glance, not smiting husband,
Gentle to tame animals, of good thought, of good lustre,
A heroic mother, beloved of devas, pleasant,
Become a blessing to us, to the biped, blessing to the quadruped.
This lady, O Indra the Bestower, make her
Of good offspring, of good fortune.
Confer offspring upon her ten,
Make her husband the eleventh.
Become the sovereign queen over your father-in-law,
Become the sovereign queen over your mother-in-law,
Become the sovereign queen over your sister-in-law,
Become the sovereign queen over brothers-in-law.
Let Viśvedevas streamline both of us,
Let Waters unite both of our hearts.
Together Mātariśvan, together Dhātā,
Together let Deṣṭrī set both of us.
Gandharva is the lord of grace and music. Gandharva is the one who gives the horse and the women their “grace”.
Just like how a brahmacārin is born twice, a girl is first attended by Soma giving her beauty and intellect, then Gandharva (Viśvāvasu = “all the grace”) giving her grace, and then Agni giving her maturity. The fourth lord is the human one, who can marry her after she is blessed by these ones.
The human one, on the other hand, gains the lordship of his father first, and then his teacher – including the divine teachers of Agni and Indra as well, before he is married.
In this hymn, the marriage part of Sūryā, and the blessing parts would be the ones which should be original. The other ones are based on the customs and rituals followed in those days, and were made into the hymn.
Marriage did have much relevance as a rite. Though the symbolization of ritualistic part actually belongs to Atharvaveda sections.