Rig Veda Samhita, Hymns to Indra from Secret of the Veda

Sri Aurobindo chose a series of hymns from the Rig Veda to quickly illustrate and support his insight to the psychological meaning of the Veda and the dual-sense of the symbols chosen by the Rishis.

It is difficult to systematically study and appreciate the Rig Veda other than through audio programs, inasmuch as considerable force of the revelation comes through in the poetic force and recitation of these verses, and thus, we have created a series of audio files which include the recitation of the Sanskrit text of the Rig Vedic hymns chosen, and the English translation provided by Sri Aurobindo. All recordings were created in 1973 at Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Commentary and Translation by Sri Aurobindo. Recitation in Sanskrit by Sri Vinayak. English recitation by Santosh Krinsky. Click on the enclosed links to go directly to each of the audio files included here. Page references to the U.S. edition of The Secret of the Veda by Sri Aurobindo, published by Lotus Press are provided for further elucidation and reading on the subject of each hymn.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “My object has been to show in as brief a compass as possible the real functions of the Vedic gods, the sense of the symbols in which their cult is expressed, the nature of the sacrifice and its goal, explaining by actual examples the secret of the Veda. I have purposely selected a few brief and easy hymns, and avoided those which have a more striking depth, subtlety and complexity of thought and image, — alike those which bear the psychological sense plainly and fully on their surface and those which by their very strangeness and profundity reveal their true character of mystic and sacred poems. It is hoped that these examples will be sufficient to show the reader who cares to study them with an open mind the real sense of this, our earliest and greatest poetry. By other translations of a more general character it will be shown that these ideas are not merely the highest thought of a few Rishis, but the pervading sense and teaching of the Rig-veda.”

Chapter 8 of the Secret of the Veda provides something of an overview to the role of Indra, and in particular translates those verses of Mandala I, Sukta 3 that are a direct invocation of Indra.

Rig Veda Samhita, Mandala I, Sukta 3 Hymn to Ashwins, Indra, Vishwadevas and Saraswati pp. 78-85 and 517-519 (the translation here was taken from Chapter 8 of The Secret of the Veda. For an alternative translation, refer to pages 517-519.

Later in the Secret of the Veda, in a section titled Other Hymns, Sri Aurobindo undertakes to translate a number of additional hymns to Indra:

Rig Veda Samhita, Mandala I, Sukta 5 Hymn to Indra, pp. 491-501 (includes an introduction by Sri Aurobindo from Secret of the Veda to the role of Indra)

Rig Veda Samhita, Mandala I, Sukta 7 Hymn to Indra, pp.502-503

Rig Veda Samhita, Mandala I, Sukta 8 Hymn to Indra pp. 504-505

Rig Veda Samhita, Mandala I, Sukta 9 Hymn to Indra pp. 506-507

Rig Veda Samhita, Mandala I, Sukta 10 Hymn to Indra pp. 508-510

Rig Veda Samhita, Mandala I, Sukta 11 Hymn to Indra pp. 511-512

Rig Veda Samhita, Mandala VIII, Sukta 54 Hymn to Indra and Vishwadevas pp. 513-514

Rig Veda Samhita, Mandala X, Sukta 54 Hymn to Indra pp. 515-516

The following hymns were included by Sri Aurobindo in The Secret of the Veda, Selected Hymns:

Rig Veda Samhita Mandala I, Sukta 170 The Colloquy of Indra and Agastya, pp. 241-244

Rig Veda Samhita Mandala I, Sukta 4 Indra, Giver of Light, pp. 245-253

Rig Veda Samhita Mandala I, Sukta 171 Indra and the Thought-Forces, pp. 254-262

Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, Hymns to Indra, pp. 241-262 and 491-521

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