Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": 'MAKE ME IMMORTAL'

A HYMN TO SOMA PAVAMANA


('Rig Veda,' IX, 113, 7-11)

7. 0 Pavamana,1 place me in that deathless, undecaying world Wherein the light of heaven is set, and everlasting lustre shines.

Flow, Indu,2 flow for Indra's sake.

8. Make me immortal in that realm where dwells the king,3 vivasvan's son,

Where is the secret shrine of heaven, where are those waters, young and fresh.

Flow, Indu, flow for Indra's sake.

9. Make me immortal in that realm where they move even as they

list,

In the third sphere of inmost heaven,4 where lucid worlds are full of light.

Flow, Indu, flow for Indra's sake.

10. Make me immortal in that realm of eager wish and strong desire,

The region of the golden Sun, where food 5 and full delight are found.

Flow, Indu, flow for Indra's sake.

11.. Make me immortal in that realm where happiness and transports,

where

joys and felicities combine, and longing wishes are fulfilled.

Flow, Indu, flow for Indra's sake.


Notes

1 'flowing dear,' an epithet of soma, the elixir of life, derived from the root pit, 'to make clean, purify.' The juice is poured from the pressing through a woolen filter and into jars or vats.

2 The 'bright drop,' soma, intoxicates the warrior Indra for his cosmic struggle with the demon Vritra.

3 Yama, ruler of departed spirits, son of Vivasvan.

4 In the highest heaven, which Vishnu's third stride encompassed, dwell Yama and the Fathers. Soma itself is found in the three worlds, just as in the ritual soma, pressed thrice daily, is held in three tubs.

5The translator has followed Sayana here, the word is svadha and is obscure


Translation by Ralph T. H. Griffith, in his The Hymns of the Rigveda, XV (Benares, 1892), pp. 105-106

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