Battle hymn from r.g veda – apratiratha aindra sUkta

As’valAyana gr.hya sUtra (3-12) gives the rituals to be performed by the royal purohita before a battle. The hymn of pAyu bhAradvAja (RV 6-75) is prescribed in this ritual along with those of apratiratha aindra (RV 10-103), s’Asa bhAradvAja (10-152) and the second sauparn.a sUkta (pra dhArA yantu – RV khila 1-3). aitareya brAhman.a (8-10) mentions the uttering of the same three suktas in order to conquer enemies.

br.haddevatA (8.13) states that the sUkta of apratiratha aindra was sung by seer of the same name in order to gain victory in battle. We shall look at the apratiratha aindra sUkta in this post.

RV (10-103)

  1. indra, fast moving, who is like a bull sharpening his horns, terrifying, exciter of men, roaring, with ever vigilant eyes (lit. eyes that never close), the only hero (ekavIra), defeated a hundred armies (s’atam senA ajayat).
  2. with the roaring indra, who has eyes that never close, victorious, makes war, unconquerable, violent, showerer of arrows which he holds in his hand as the ally, O you (refers to the soldiers), conquer the enemies in battle.
  3. indra, the warrior who faces several enemies and subdues them, with marut gan.a-s holding arrows in their hands as his company, victorious in battle, drinker of Soma, strong armed, with a ferocious bow, shoots arrows aimed true.
  4. br.haspati, killer of rAks.asa-s, tormentor of enemies (who are driven away by him), who breaks armies to smithereens, destroyer, ever victorious in battle, come with your chariot and protect our chariots.
  5. well known for strength, powerful, foremost of heroes, victorious, manly, fierce conqueror, attended by heroes (“..vIryavanto (a)nucarA..” says sAyan.a) and mighty warriors, son of strength, possessor of water, O indra, ascend your victorious chariot..
  6. destroyer of clouds/mountains, possessor of water, wielder of vajra, Indra destroys his enemies with great strength. Follow him, O warrior kinsmen. Like indra, my friends, show great zeal and power.
  7. may indra, who bursts through the clouds opening them with great strength, pitiless, hero, with great anger (hundred-fold anger – “s’atamanyu”), unconquerable, destroyer of armies, invincible, protect our armies.
  8. May indra lead this army. May br.haspati,, yajn~a and soma go in front. May the marut-s be the vanguard of this devasenA, which is ever victorious and a destroyer of enemies.
  9. May the strength of indra, king varun.a, Aditya-s and the fierce hosts of marut-s be ours. The roar of the ever victorious, magnanimous deva-s has arisen and caused the world to tremble.
  10. O indra, energize my weapons, galvanize the spirit of my warriors, increase the strength of my horses and the noise raised by the conquering chariots.
  11. When our banners come together, o indra, make our arrows be victorious. May our warriors be superior in battle (be victorious); O gods, protect us when the call for battle is given.
  12. O apvA/apivA (a goddess), bewilder the minds of our enemies, seize their limbs and depart. Go near them and burn their hearts with sorrow. May they be kept in great darkness.
  13. O men, advance and conquer. May indra grant you happiness. May your arms be so strong that you remain invincible.
  14. O marut-s, let this army of our enemy which is proceeding towards us clamoring for fight be covered in darkness by you such that they could not even identify each other.
  15. O enemies, may you become blind and friendless like the headless ahi (a serpent snake killed by indra). Let the chief among you, who are being burnt, be killed by indra.

The last two are not found in the popular RV samhita text. They are taken from the As’valAyana samhita. But the appear to be old and do not seem to be interpolations of much later period. Thus, we have included them here. B.B.Chaubey has done a great work by bringing out the text of As’valayana samhita with translation of the additional mantras found in the samhita (which are not found in the popular s’Akala samhita). We wish that vaidika scholars indulge in such important projects to save the texts from extinction as well as to protect them from anti-hindu white indologists, who will otherwise remain unopposed.