A discourse on a shiva mantra and ArSha usage in it

stomaM vo adya rudrAya shikvase kShayadvIrAya namasA didiShTana |
yebhiH shivaH svavAn evayAvabhir divaH siShakti svayashA nikAmabhiH || RV10.92.9

stomaM=a chant (accusative singular); vaH= personal pronoun; adya= today (adverb); rudrAya= rudra (dative singular); shikvase= skilled-one (*ArSha* dative singular); kShayadvIrAya= lord of heroes (dative singular); namasA (instrumental singular); didiShTana= to present; yebhiH= pronoun plural; shivaH= shiva, i.e. auspicious (nominative singular) svavAn= good protector (nominative singular); evayAvabhiH=swift-moving (instrumental plural); divaH= sky (ablative singular of dyaus); siShakti= accompanied by; svayashA= evidently famous (nominative singular); nikAmabhiH= eager ones (instrumental plural).
Present your chant today that pays obeisance to the rudra, the skillful one, the lord of heroes;
shiva, the good protector, of great fame, comes from the sky accompanied by those one who are swift and eager.
Who are the swift and eager ones? They are the horses yoked to the chariot that bears rudra to the ritual where the chant is being recited. An alternative, although to me less likely, interpretation is that they are the marut-s who are accompanying rudra. The only element in support of this the term evaya which sometimes might be used for marut-s.

Some words of note:
kShayadvIra – this term is commonly used for rudra. The great Vijayanagaran commentator sAyaNa notes that kShayeNa means aishvaryeNa. Some have interpreted kShayadvIra as destroyer of heroes. This does not seem to be appropriate especially when the epithet is used for puShaN or even indra. But sAyaNa is evidently correct because this kShaya is the Indo-Aryan cognate of the Iranian khShay – the root meaning to rule. This is attested in the Avestan and later khShAyathiya for lord or king (also related to kShatra).
shikvas- The declension of this word in dative singular as shikvase is the point of interest. In classical saMskR^ita, the masculine noun of the form shikvas would tend to decline in dative as shikuShe. However, the vaidika shikvas declines as shikvase following the same formula as its twin noun in the shruti, shikvan, which declines in dative as shikvane. My interlocutors in bhArata called this declension of shikvas as an element of the ArSha language. Of course it was a regular for the declension of such nouns in the Vedic layer, though they seem to have been replaced by the -van suffixes in the later layers of the language. The -vas/van suffix twins are similarly seen in other cases in the veda: R^ibhvan/R^ibhvas which also means skilled and the somewhat similar case of dhanuSh/dhanvan. Thus, if a -vas suffix masculine noun is encountered in the veda it will decline similarly to the van suffix twin but retaining the ‘s’ in place of ‘n’.

A common misconception among the unerudite is that the name shiva is not applied to rudra in the shruti. The above is one instance showing that to be wrong.

~ by mAnasa-taraMgiNI on September 13, 2010.

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