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Wales Professor of Sanskrit in Harvard University

Vol. VII



Ve.A<x«,. A + V\a. rva ve A <a_ .



With a Critical and Exegetical Commentary



Late Professor of Sanskrit in Yale University, Knight of the Royal Prussian Order Pour le Mcrite , Corresponding Member of the Imperial Russian Academy of Sciences, of the Institute of France, and of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences, Foreign Member of the Royal Academy dei Lincei of Rome, Honorary Member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the German Oriental Society, etc., Editor-in-Chief of The Century Dictionary, an Encyclopedic Lexi- con of the English Language





Introduction. Books I to VII

Pages i-clxii and 1-470





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First edition, first issue, 1905. One thousand copies








Plates, one in each volume of this work

Portrait of Whitney, facing page

Facsimile of Kashmirian text, birch-bark leaf 187 a, just before page

Prefatory and biographical and related matter

Paragraphs in lieu of a preface by Whitney

Announcement of this work

Statement of its plan and scope and design

The purpose and limitations and method of the translation

Editor’s preface

Whitney’s labors on the Atharva-Veda

The edition of the text or the First volume

Relation of this work to the First volume

And to this Series

External form of this work

Its general scope as determined by previous promise and fulfilment . .

Of the critical notes in particular

Scope of the work as transcending previous promise

Evolution of the style of the work

Partial rewriting and revision by Whitney

Picking up the broken threads

Relation of the editor’s work to that of the author

Parts for which the author is not responsible

The General Introduction, Part I. : by the editor

The same, Part II.: elaborated in part from the author’s material . . .

The editor’s special introductions to the eighteen books, ii.-xix

The special introductions to the hymns : additions by the editor . . .

His bibliography of previous translations and discussions : contained in

The paragraphs beginning with the word Translated”

Added special introductions to the hymns of book xviii. etc

Other editorial additions at the beginning and end of hymns . . . .

Other additions of considerable extent

The seven tables appended to the latter volume of this work . . . .

Unmarked minor additions and other minor changes

The marked minor additions and other minor changes

The revision of the author’s manuscript. Verification

Accentuation of Sanskrit words


Orthography of Anglicized proper names

Editorial short-comings and the chances of error








xviii xix




xxiv xxiv xxiv


xxvi xxvii xxvii xxvii




xxix xxix





xxxii xxxii xxxii




xxxv xxxv xxxv xxxv

x Contents of Prefatory and Related Matter


The biographical and related matter xxxvi

General significance of Whitney’s work xxxvii

Need of a systematic commentary on the Rig-Veda xxxvii

The Century Dictionary of the English Language xxxviii

Acknowledgments xxxviii

Human personality and the progress of science xl

The same in English verse and in Sanskrit verse xli-xlii

Biographical and related matter xliii-lxi

Brief sketch of Whitney’s life : by the editor xliii

Estimate of Whitney’s character and services: by the editor .... xlvii

Select list of Whitney’s writings: by Whitney lvi

General Introduction, Part I. : by the editor lxiii— cvii

General Premises lxiii-lxiv

Scope of this Part of the Introduction lxiii

Scope of the reports of the variant readings lxiii

The term manuscripts often used loosely for authorities . . . lxiv

Which authorities are both manuscripts and oral reciters lxiv

Difficulty of verifying statements as to authorities lxiv

1. Readings of European manuscripts of the Vulgate recension lxiv-lxv

Reports include mss. collated, some before, and some after publication . lxiv

Interpretation of the records of the Collation-Book lxv

2. Readings of Indian manuscripts of the Vulgate lxvi

By Indian mss.” are meant those used by S. P. Pandit lxvi

His reports not exhaustive lxvi

3. Readings of Indian oral reciters of the Vulgate lxvi-lxvii

By “Indian oral reciters are meant those employed. by S. P. Pandit . lxvi

Errors of the eye checked by oral reciters lxvi

4. Readings of the Hindu commentator lxvii-lxviii

The critical value and the range of his variant readings lxvii

Excursus: Was he identical with Sayana of the Rig-Veda? lxviii

5. Readings of the Pada-patha lxix-lxx

Reported in Index Verborum, and since published in full lxix

Illustrations of its deficiencies lxix

In verb-compounds and various other combinations lxix-lxx

6. The Pratifakhya and its commentary lxx-lxxi

Character of Whitney’s editions of the Prati^akhyas lxx

Their bearing upon the orthography and criticism of the text .... lxx

Utilization of the Atharvan Pratigakhya for the present work .... lxxi

7. The Anukramanls: Old and Major lxxi-lxxiv

More than one Anukramani extant lxxi

The Pancapatalika or Old Anukr.” or Quoted Anukr.” lxxi

Manuscripts thereof lxxii

The BrhatsarvanukramanI or Major Anukr.” lxxii

Manuscripts thereof lxxii

Text-critical value of the Anukramanls lxxiii

The author of the Major Anukr. as a critic of meters lxxiii

His statements as to the seers of the hymns (quasi-authorship) . . . lxxiv

Contents of General Introduction , Part I. xi


8. The Kaupika-Sutra and the Vaitana-Sutra lxxiv-Ixxix

The work of Garbe and Bloomfield and Caland lxxiv

Bearing of Sutras upon criticism of structure and text of Sarhhita . . lxxv

Grouping of mantra-material in Sutra and in Sarhhita compared . . lxxv

Many difficulties of the Kauqika yet unsolved lxxvi

Value of the Sutras for the exegesis of the Sariihita lxxvii

Kaucjika no good warrant for dogmatism in the exegesis of Sarhhita . lxxvii

Integer vitae as a Christian funeral-hymn lxxviii

Secondary adaptation of mantras to incongruous ritual uses .... lxxviii

g. Readings of the Kashmirian or Paippalada recension lxxix-lxxxix

Its general relations to the Vulgate or £aunakan recension .... Ixxix

The unique birch-bark manuscript thereof (perhaps about a.d. 1519) . lxxx

Roth’s Kashmirian nagarl transcript (Nov. 1874) lxxxi

Arrival (1876) of the birch-bark original at Tubingen lxxxi

Roth’s Collation (June, 1884) of the Paippalada text lxxxi

Roth’s autograph nagarl transcript (Dec. 1884) lxxxii

The facsimile of the birch-bark original (1901) lxxxii

Roth’s Collation not exhaustive lxxxiii

Faults of the birch-bark manuscript lxxxiii

Collation not controlled by constant reference to the birch-bark ms. . Ixxxiv

Such reference would have ruined the birch-bark ms Ixxxiv

Care taken in the use of Roth’s Collation. Word-division .... lxxxv

Kashmirian readings not controlled directly from the facsimile . . . lxxxv

Provisional means for such control : the Concordance (pages 1018-1023) lxxxv

Excursus : The requirements for an edition of the Paippalada : . . . lxxxvi

1. A rigorously precise transliteration lxxxvii

2. Marginal references to the Vulgate parallels lxxxvii

3. Index of Vulgate verses thus noted on the margin lxxxvii

4. Accessory material : conjectures, notes, translations lxxxviii

10. Readings of the parallel texts lxxxix-xcj

The texts whose readings are reported lxxxix

The method of reporting aims at the utmost accuracy lxxxix

Completeness of the reports far from absolute xc

Reports presented in well-digested form xc

11. Whitney’s Commentary : further discussion of its critical elements . . xci-xciii

Comprehensiveness of its array of parallels xci

Criticism of specific readings xci

Illustrations of classes of text-errors xcii

Auditory errors. Surd and sonant. Twin consonants xcii

Visual errors. Haplography xciii

Metrical faults. Hypermetric glosses, and so forth xciii

Blend-readings xciii

12. Whitney’s Translation and the interpretative elements of the Commentary xciv-xcix

The translation : general principles governing the method thereof . . xciv

The translation not primarily an interpretation, but a literal version . xciv

A literal version as against a literary one xciv

Interpretative elements : captions of the hymns xcv

xii Contents of General Introduction , Part I.



Interpretations by Whitney . * xcv

Exegetical notes contributed by Roth xcvi

The translation has for its underlying text that of the Berlin edition . . xcvi

This is the fact even in cases of corrigible corruptions xcvi

Cases of departure from the text of the Berlin edition xcvii

Whitney’s growing skepticism and correspondingly rigid literalness . . xcvii

Poetic elevation and humor xcviii

13. Abbreviations and signs explained xcix-cvi

General scope of the list : it includes not only xcix

The downright or most arbitrary abbreviations, but also xcix

The abbreviated designations of books and articles xcix

Explanation of arbitrary signs:

Parentheses; square brackets c

Ell-brackets ( |_ J ) ; hand c

Small circle; Italic colon; Clarendon letters, a, b, c, etc c

Alphabetic list of abbreviations c

14. Tabular view of translations and native comment cvi-cvii

Previous translations. Native comment cvi

Chronologic sequence of previous translations and discussions .... cvii

General Introduction, Part II. : partly from Whitney’s material cix-clxi

General Premises cix

Contents of this Part cix

Authorship of this Part cix

1. Description of the manuscripts used by Whitney cix-cxvi

The brief designations of his manuscripts (sigla codicum) cix

Synoptic table of the manuscripts used by him cx

Table of the Berlin manuscripts of the Atharva-Veda cx

Whitney’s critical description of his manuscripts:

Manuscripts used before publication of the text(B. P. M. W. E. I. H.; Bp. Bp.2 3 4) cxi Manuscripts collated after publication of the text (O. R. T. K. ; Op. D. Kp.) cxiv

2. The stanza pam no devir abhistaye as opening stanza cxvi-cxvii

As initial stanza of the text in the Kashmirian recension cxvi

As initial stanza of the Vulgate text cxvi

3. Whitney’s Collation-Book and his collations cxvii-cxix

Description of the two volumes that form the Collation-Book .... cxvii

Whitney’s fundamental transcript of the text cxvii

Collations made before publication of the text cxviii

The Berlin collations cxviii

The Paris and Oxford and London collations cxviii

Collations made after publication (made in 1S75 or later) cxviii

Haug, Roth, Tanjore, Deccan, and Bikaner mss cxviii

Other contents of the Collation-Book * . cxviii

4. Repeated verses in the manuscripts •. cxix-cxx

Abbreviated by pratlka with addition of ity eka etc cxix

List of repeated verses or verse-groups cxix

Further details concerning the pratika and the addition cxix

Contents of General Introduction , Part II. xiii


5. Refrains and the like in the manuscripts exx-exxi

Written out in full only in first and last verse of a sequence .... exx

Treated by the AnukramanI as if unabbreviated exx

Usage of the editions in respect of such abbreviated passages . . . exxi

6. Marks of accentuation in the manuscripts cxxi-cxxiii

Berlin edition uses the Kig-Veda method of marking accents . . . exxi

Dots for lines as accent-marks exxi

Marks for the independent svarita cxxii

Horizontal stroke for svarita cxxii

Udatta marked by vertical stroke above, as in Maitrayani .... cxxii

Accent-marks in the Bombay edition cxxii

Use of a circle as avagraha-sign cxxii

7. Orthographic method pursued in the Berlin edition cxxiii-cxxvi

Founded on the usage of the mss., but controlled by the Prati^akhya . cxxiii

That treatise an authority only to a certain point cxxiii

Its failure to discriminate between rules of wholly different value . . cxxiii

Items of conformity to the Prati<jakhya and of departure therefrom . cxxiv

Transition-sounds : as in tan-t-sarvan cxxiv

Final -n before q- and j- : as in pa^yafi janmani cxxiv

Final -n before c- : as in yang ca cxxiv

Final -n before t- : as in tans te cxxiv

Final -t before q- : as in asmac charavah exxv

Abbreviation of consonant groups : as in pankti exxv

Final -m and -n before 1- : as in kan lokam exxv

Visarga before st- and the like : as in ripu stenah cxxvi

The kampa-figures 1 and 3 cxxvi

The method of marking the accent cxxvi

8. Metrical form of the Atharvan Samhita cxxvi-cxxvii

Predominance of anustubh stanzas cxxvi

Extreme irregularity of the metrical form cxxvii

Apparent wantonness in the alteration of Rig-Veda material . . . cxxvii

To emend this irregularity into regularity is not licit cxxvii

9. Divisions of the text cxxvii-cxl

Summary of the various divisions cxxvii

The first and second and third “grand divisions” cxxvii

1. The (unimportant) division into prapathakas or ‘lectures’ . . . cxxviii

Their number and distribution and extent cxxviii

Their relation to the anuvaka-divisions cxxviii

2. The (fundamental) division into kandas or ‘books’ cxxix

3. The division into anuvakas or recitations cxxix

Their number, and distribution over books and grand divisions . . cxxix

Their relation to the hymn-divisions in books xiii.-xviii exxx

4. The division into suktas or hymns cxxxi

The hymn-divisions not everywhere of equal value cxxxi

5. The division into rcas or verses cxxxi

6. Subdivisions of verses : avasanas, padas, and so forth .... cxxxii

xiv Contents of General Introduction , Part II.


Numeration of successive verses in the mss cxxxii

Groupings of successive verses into units requiring special mention : . . cxxxii

Decad-suktas or 4 decad-hymns cxxxii

Artha-suktas or 4 sense-hymns cxxxiii

Paryaya-suktas or 4 period-hymns cxxxiii

Differences of the Berlin and Bombay numerations in books vii. and xix. . cxxxiv

Differences of hymn-numeration in the paryaya-books cxxxiv

Whitney’s criticism of the numbering of the Bombay edition cxxxvi

Suggestion of a preferable method of numbering and citing cxxxvi

Differences of verse-numeration cxxxvii

Summations of hymns and verses at end of divisions cxxxviii

The summations quoted from the Pancapatalika cxxxviii

Indication of extent of divisions by reference to an assumed norm . . . cxxxviii

Tables of verse-norms assumed by the Pancapatalika cxxxix

The three 44 grand divisions are recognized by the Pancapatalika . . . cxxxix

io. Extent and structure of the Atharva-Veda Samhita cxl-clxi

Limits of the original collection cxl

Books xix. and xx. are later additions cxli

The two broadest principles of arrangement of books i.-xviii. : . . . . cxlii

i. Miscellaneity or unity of subject and 2. length of hymn cxlii

The three grand divisions (I., II., III.) as based on those principles . . cxlii

The order of the three grand divisions cxlii

Principles of arrangement of books within the grand division : cxlii

1. Normal length of the hymns for each of the several books cxliii

2. The amount of text in each book. Table cxliii

Arrangement of the hymns within any given book cxliii

Distribution of hymns according to length in divisions I. and II. and III. cxlvi Tables (i and 2 and 3) for those divisions (see pages cxliv-cxlv) . . . cxlvi

Grouping of hymns of book xix. according to length cxlvi

Table (number 4) for book xix cxlvii

Summary of the four tables. Table number 5 cxlvii

Extent of AV. Samhita about one half of that of RV ’. . . cxlvii

First grand division (books i.— vii.) : short hymns of miscellaneous subjects cxlvii

Evidence of fact as to the existence of the verse-norms cxlviii

Express testimony of both Anukramanis as to the verse-norms .... cxlviii

One verse is the norm for book vii cxlix

Arrangement of books within the division :

1. With reference to the normal length of the hymns cxlix

Excursus: on hymn xix. 23, Homage to parts of the Atharva-Veda . . cl

Exceptional character of book vii , cli

Book vii. a book of after-gleanings supplementing books i.-vi clii

2. Arrangement of books with reference to amount of text clii

Rdsumd of conclusions as to the arrangement of books i.-vii clii

Departures from the norms by excess cliii

Critical significance of those departures cliii

Illustrative examples of critical reduction to the norm cliii

Arrangement of the hymns within any given book of this division . . . cliv

Contents of the Main Body of this IVorh xv


Second grand division (books viii.-xii.): long hymns of miscellaneous subjects civ

Their hieratic character : mingled prose passages civ

Table of verse-totals for the hymns of division II clvi

General make-up of the material of this division clvi

Order of books within the division : negative or insignificant conclusions . . clvii

Order of hymns within any given book of this division clvii

Possible reference to this division in hymn xix. 23 clvii

Third grand division (books xiii.-xviii.): books showing unity of subject . . clviii

Division III. represented in Paippalada by a single book, book xviii. . . . clix

Names of the books of this division as given by hymn xix. 23 clix

Order of books within the division clix

Table of verse-totals for the hymns of division III clix

Order of hymns within any given book of this division clx

The hymn-divisions of books xiii.-xviii. and their value clx

Cross-references to explanation of abbreviations and so forth clxii

To explanation of abbreviations (pages xcix-cvi) clxii

To explanation of abbreviated titles (pages xcix-cvi) clxii

To explanation of arbitrary signs (page c) clxii

To key to the designations of the manuscripts (pages cix-cx) clxii

To synoptic tables of the manuscripts (pages cx-cxi) clxii

To descriptions of the manuscripts (pages cxi-cxvi) clxii

To table of titles of hymns (volume VIII., pages 1024-1037) clxii

The Atharva-Veda Samhita: Translation and Notes . . . 1-1009

1. First Grand Division. Books I.-VII 1-470

Seven books of short hymns of miscellaneous subjects [For table of the titles of the 433 hymns, see p. 1024]

[Volume VII. ends here with book vii.]

[Volume VIII. begins here with book viii.]

2. Second Grand Division. Books VIII.-XII 471-707

Five books of long hymns of miscellaneous subjects [For table of the titles of the 45 hymns, see p. 1034]

3. Third Grand Division. Books XIII.-XVIII 708-894

Six books of long hymns, the books showing unity of subject [For table of the titles of the 15 hymns, see p. 1035]

Book xiii. : hymns to the Ruddy Sun or Rohita (seer: Brahman) . . 708-737

Book xiv. : wedding verses (seer: SavitrT Surya) 738-768

Book xv. : the Vratya (seer : ) 769-791

Book xvi. : Paritta (seer : Prajapati ?) 792-804

Book xvii.: prayer to the Sun as Indra and as Vishnu (seer: Brahman) 805-812 Book xviii. : funeral verses (seer: Atharvan) 813-894

4. Supplement. Book XIX 895-1009

After-gleanings, chiefly from the traditional sources of division I.

[For table of the titles of the 72 hymns, see p. 1036]

Paippalada excerpts concerning book xx 1009

xvi Contents of Appended A uxiliary Matter


Indexes and other auxiliary matter 1011-1046

1. The non-metrical passages of the Atharvan Samhita 10 1 1

Tabular list 10 11

2. Hymns ignored by the Kaupika-Sutra 101 1-1012

Tabular list 1012

3. The two methods of citing the Kaupika-Sutra 1012

Tabular concordance 1012

4. The discrepant hymn-numbers of the Berlin and Bombay editions ... 1013

Tabular concordance 1013

5. Paippalada passages corresponding to passages of the Vulgate .... 1013-1023

Primary use of the table, its genesis and character 1013

Incidental uses of the table 1013

Vulgate grand division III. and Paippalada book xviii 1014

Conspectus of the contents of Paippalada book xviii 1015

Explanation of the table 1016

Manner of using the table 1017

Tabular concordance 1017-1023

6. Whitney’s English captions to his hymn-translations 1024-1037

They form an important element in his interpretation of this Veda . 1024

In tabular form, they give a useful conspectus of its subject-matter . 1024

Table of hymn-titles of Division I., books i.-vii 1024-1032

[Stop-gap : the division of this work into two separately bound volumes] 1033

Table of hymn-titles of Division II., books viii.-xii 1034

Table of hymn-titles of Division IIP, books xiii.-xviii 1035

Table of hymn-titles of the Supplement, book xix 1036-1037

7. The names of the seers of the hymns 1038-1041

Whitney’s exploitation of the Major AnukramanI 1038

Doubtful points 1038

Entire books of division III. ascribed each to a single seer .... 1038

Value of these ascriptions of quasi-authorship 1038

Prominence of Atharvan and Brahman as seers 1039

Hymns of Atharvan and hymns of Angiras : possible contrast . . . 1039

Consistency in the ascriptions 1039

Palpably fabricated ascriptions 1040

Alphabetical index of seer-names and of passages ascribed to them . 1040-1041

8. Brief index of names and things and words and places 1042-1044

An elaborate index uncalled for here 1042

Alphabetical list of names and things 1042

Alphabetical list of Sanskrit words 1044

List of AV. passages 1044

g. Additions and corrections 1044-1046

Omissions and errors not easy to rectify in the electrotype plates . . 1045


[Announcement of this work. The following paragraphs from the pen of Professor Whitney, under the title, “Announcement as to a second volume of the Roth-Whitney edition of the Atharva-Veda,” appeared about two years before Mr. Whitney’s death, in the Proceedings for April, 1892, appended to the Journal of the American Oriental Society, volume xv., pages clxxi-clxxiii. They show the way in which the labor done by Roth and Whitney upon the Atharva-Veda was divided between those two scholars. Moreover, they state briefly and clearly the main purpose of Whitney’s commentary, which is, to give for the text of this Veda the various readings of both Hindu and European authorities (living or manuscript), and the variants of the Kashmirian or Paippalada recension and of the corresponding passages of other Vedic texts, together with references to, or excerpts from, the ancillary works on meter, ritual, exegesis, etc. They are significant as showing that in Mr. Whitney’s mind the translation was entirely subordinate to the critical notes. Most significant of all the last sentence makes a clear disclaimer of finality for this work by speaking of it as “material that is to help toward the study and final comprehension of this Veda.” C. R. L.J

When, in 1855-6, the text of the Atharva-Veda was published by Professor Roth and myself, it was styled a first volume,” and a second volume, of notes, indexes, etc., was promised. The promise was made in good faith, and with every intention of prompt fulfilment; but circumstances have deferred the latter, even till now. The bulk of the work was to have fallen to Pro- fessor Roth, not only because the bulk of the work on the first volume had fallen to me, but also because his superior learning and ability pointed him out as the one to undertake it. It was his absorption in the great labor of the Petersburg Lexicon that for a long series of years kept his hands from the Atharva-Veda except so far as his working up of its material, and definition of its vocabulary, was a help of the first order toward the understand- ing of it, a kind of fragmentary translation. He has also made important contributions of other kinds to its elucidation : most of all, by his incitement to inquiry after an Atharva-Veda in Cash- mere, and the resulting discovery of the so-called Paippalada text, now well known to all Vedic scholars as one of the most important finds in Sanskrit literature of the last half-century, and of which


xviii Paragraphs in lieu of a Preface by Whitney

the credit belongs in a peculiar manner to him. I have also done something in the same direction, by publishing in the Society’s Journal in 1862 (Journal, vol. vii.) the Atharva-Veda Pratitpakhya, text, translation, notes, etc.; and in 1881 L Journal, vol. xii.J the Index Verborum which latter afforded me the opportunity to give the pada- readings complete, and to report in a general way the corrections made by us in the text at the time of its first issue. There may be mentioned also the index of pratlkas, which was published by Weber in his Indische Sttidien , vol. iv., in 1857, from the slips written by me, although another (Professor Ludwig) had the tedious labor of preparing them for the press.

I have never lost from view the completion of the plan of pub- lication as originally formed. In 1875 I spent the summer in Germany, chiefly engaged in further collating, at Munich and at Tubingen, the additional manuscript material which had come to Europe since our text was printed ; and I should probably have soon taken up the work seriously save for having been engaged while in Germany to prepare a Sanskrit grammar, which fully occupied the leisure of several following years. At last, in 1885-6, I had fairly started upon the execution of the plan, when failure of health reduced my working capacity to a minimum, and rendered ultimate success very questionable. The task, however, has never been laid wholly aside, and it is now so far advanced that, barring further loss of power, I may hope to finish it in a couple of years or so; and it is therefore proper and desirable that a public announcement be made of my intention.

LStatement of its plan and scope and design.] My plan includes, in the first place, critical notes upon the text, giving the various readings of the manuscripts, and not alone of those collated by myself in Europe, but also of the apparatus used by Mr. Shankar Pandurang Pandit in the great edition with commentary (except certain parts, of which the commentary has not been found) which he has been for years engaged in printing in India. Of this extremely well-edited and valuable work I have, by the kind- ness of the editor, long had in my hands the larger half ; and doubt- less the whole will be issued in season for me to avail myself of it throughout. Not only his many manuscripts and frotriyas (the living equivalents, and in some respects the superiors, of


Plan and Scope and Design of this Work

manuscripts) give valuable aid, but the commentary (which, of course, claims to be Sayana’s ”) also has very numerous various readings, all worthy to be reported, though seldom offering anything better than the text of the manuscripts. Second, the readings of the Paippalada version, in those parts of the Veda (much the larger half) for which there is a corresponding Paippalada text; these were furnished me, some years ago, by Professor Roth, in whose exclusive possession the Paippalada manuscript is held. Further, notice of the corresponding passages in all the other Vedic texts, whether Samhita, Brahmana, or Sutra, with report of their various readings. Further, the data of the AnukramanI respecting author- ship, divinity, and meter of each verse. Also, references to the ancillary literature, especially to the Kaut^ika and Vaitana Sutras (both of which have been competently edited, the latter with a translation added), with account of the use made in them of the hymns and parts of hymns, so far as this appears to cast any light upon their meaning. Also, extracts from the printed commentary, wherever this seems worth while, as either really aiding the under- standing of the text, or showing the absence of any helpful tradi- tion. F'inally, a simple literal translation; this was not originally promised for the second volume, but is added especially in order to help “float” the rest of the material. An introduction and indexes will give such further auxiliary matter as appears to be called for.

The design of the volume will be to put together as much as possible of the material that is to help toward the study and final comprehension of this Veda.

|_The purpose and limitations and method of the translation. In a critique pub- lished some six years earlier, in 1SS6, in the A?nerican Journal of Philology, vii. 2-4, Whitney discusses several ways of translating the Upanishads. His remarks on the second “way” leave no doubt that, in making his Veda-translation as he has done, he fully recognized its provisional character and felt that to attempt a definitive one would be premature. His description of the “third way,” mutatis mutandis, is so good a statement of the principles which have governed him in this work, that, in default of a better one, it is here reprinted. C. R. L.J

One way is, to put one’s self frankly and fully under the guid- ance of a native interpreter. . . . Another way would be, to give a conspectus, made as full as possible, of all accessible native inter- pretations— in connection with which treatment, one could hardly


Paragraphs in lieu of a Preface by Whitney

avoid taking a position of critical superiority, approving and con- demning, selecting and rejecting, and comparing all with what appeared to be the simple meaning of the text itself. This would be a very welcome labor, but also an extremely difficult one ; and the preparations for it are not yet sufficiently made ; it may be looked forward to as one of the results of future study.

A third way, leading in quite another direction, would be this : to approach the text only as a philologist, bent upon making a version of it exactly as it stands, representing just what the words and phrases appear to say, without intrusion of anything that is not there in recognizable form: thus reproducing the scripture itself in Western guise, as nearly as the nature of the case admits, as a basis whereon could afterward be built such fabric of philo- sophic interpretation as should be called for ; and also as a touch- stone to which could be brought for due testing anything that claimed to be an interpretation. The maker of such a version would not need to be versed in the subtleties of the later Hindu philosophical systems; he should even carefully avoid working in the spirit of any of them. Nor need he pretend to penetrate to the hidden sense of the dark sayings that pass under his pen, to comprehend it and set it forth ; for then there would inevitably mingle itself with his version much that was subjective and doubt- ful, and that every successor would have to do over again. Work- ing conscientiously as Sanskrit scholar only, he might hope to bring out something of permanent and authoritative character, which should serve both as help and as check to those that came after him. He would carefully observe all identities and paral- lelisms of phraseology, since in texts like these the word is to no small extent more than the thing, the expression dominating the thought : the more the quantities are unknown, the less will it answer to change their symbols in working out an equation. Of all leading and much-used terms, in case the rendering could not be made uniform, he would maintain the identity by a liberal quotation of the word itself in parenthesis after its translation, so that the sphere of use of each could be made out in the version somewhat as in the original, by the comparison of parallel pas- sages ; and so that the student should not run the risk of having a difference of statement which might turn out important covered from his eyes by an apparent identity of phrase or the contrary.

Purpose , Limitations , and Method of the Translation xxi

Nothing, as a matter of course, would be omitted, save particles whose effect on the shading of a sentence is too faint to show in the coarseness of translation into a strange tongue; nor would anything be put in without exact indication of the intrusion. The notes would be prevailingly linguistic, references to parallel pas- sages, with exposition of correspondences and differences. Sen- tences grammatically difficult or apparently corrupt would be pointed out, and their knotty points discussed, perhaps with suggestions of text-amendment. But it is needless to go into further detail ; every one knows the methods by which a careful scholar, liberal of his time and labor toward the due accomplish- ment of a task deemed by him important, will conduct such a work.


Whitney’s labors on the Atharva-Veda. As early as March, 1851, at Berlin, during Whitney’s first semester as a student in Germany, his teacher Weber was so impressed by his scholarly ability as to suggest to him the plan of editing an important Vedic text.1 The impression produced upon Roth in Tubingen by Whitney during the following summer semester was in no wise different, and resulted in the plan for a joint edition of the Atharva-Veda.2 Whitney’s preliminary labors for the edition began accordingly upon his return to Berlin for his second winter semester. His fundamental autograph transcript of the Atharva-Veda Samhita is contained in his Collation-Book, and appears from the dates of that book3 to have been made in the short interval between October, 1851, and March, 1852. The second summer in Tubingen (1852) was doubtless spent partly in studying the text thus copied, partly in planning with Roth the details of the method of editing, partly in helping to make the tool, so important for further progress, the index of Rig-Veda pratikas, and so on; the concordance of the four principal Sarhhitas, in which, to be sure, Whitney’s part was only “a secondary one,” was issued under the date November, 1852. During the winter of 1852-3 he copied the Pratigakhya and its commentary contained in the Berlin codex (Weber, No. 361), as is stated in his edition, p. 334. As noted below (pp. xliv, 1), the collation of the Paris and Oxford and London manuscripts of the Atharvan Samhita followed in the spring and early summer of 1853, just before his return (in August) to America. The copy of the text for the printer, made with exquisite neatness in nagarl letters by Mr. Whitney’s hand, is still preserved.

The Edition of the text or First volume.” The first part of the work, containing books i.-xix. of the text, appeared in Berlin with a provisional preface dated February, 1855. The provisional preface announces that the text of book xx. will not be given in full, but only the Kuntapa-hymns, and, for the rest of it, merely references to the Rig-Veda ; and promises, as the principal contents of the second part, seven of the eight items of accessory material enumerated below. This plan, however, was changed,

1 See the extract from Weber’s letter, below, p. xliv. The text was the Taittirlya Aranyaka.

2 See the extract from Roth’s letter, below, p. xliv.

3 See below, p. cxvii.



Editor s Preface

and the second part appeared in fact as a thin Heft of about 70 pages, giving book xx. in full, and that only. To it was prefixed a half-sheet containing the definitive preface and a new title-page. The definitive preface is dated October, 1856, and adds an eighth item, exegetical notes, to the promises of the provisional preface. The new title-page has the words Erster Band. Text,” thus implicitly promising a second volume, in which, according to the definitive preface, the accessory material was to be published.

Relation of this work to the “First volume” and to this Series. Of

the implicit promise of that title-page, the present work is intended to complete the fulfilment. As most of the labor upon the