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Rg Veda – Hymn to Night

September 6, 2014

The goddess Night has drawn near, looking about on many sides with her eyes. She has put on all her glories.

The immortal goddess has filled the wide space, the depths and the heights. She stems the tide of darkness with her light.

The goddess has drawn near, pushing aside her sister the twilight. Darkness, too, will give way.

As you came near to us today, we turned homeward to rest, as birds go to their home in a tree.

People who live in villages have gone home to rest, and animals with feet, and animals with wings, even the ever-searching hawks.

Ward off the she-wolf and the wolf; ward off the thief. O night full of waves, be easy for us to cross over.

Darkness – palpable, black, and painted – has come upon me. O Dawn, banish it like a debt.

I driven this hymn to you as the herdsman drives cows. Choose and accept it, O Night, daughter of the sky, like a song of praise to a conqueror.

Translation by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty


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