ASIAN 224 'Traditions of Poetry in India'

RV 7.103 The Frogs

(tr. by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty)

1. After lying still for a year, Brahmins keeping their vow, the frogs have raised their voice that Parjanya (god of rain) has inspired.

2. When the heavenly waters came upon him dried out like a leather bag, lying in the pool, then the cries of the frogs joined in chorus like the lowing of cows with calves.

3. As soon as the season of rains has come, and it rains upon them who are longing, thirsting for it, one approaches another who calls to him, 'Akhkhala', as a son approaches his father.

4. One of the two greets the other as they revel in the waters that burst forth, and the frog leaps about under the falling rain, the speckled mingling his voice with the green.

5. When one of them repeats the speech of the other, as a pupil that of the teacher, every piece of them is in unison, as with fine voices you chant over the waters.

6. One lows like a cow, one bleats like a goat; one is speckled, one is green. They have the same name but they differ in form, and as they speak they ornament their voices in many ways.

7. Like Brahmins at the overnight sacrifice who speak around the full bowl of Soma, so you frogs around a pool celebrate the day of the year when the rains come.

8. Brahmins with Soma raise their voices offering the prayer for the beginning of the year; the officiating priests come forth heated and sweating. None remain hidden.

9. They have kept the order of the twelve-month as ordained by the gods; these men do not neglect the season. When the season of rains has come, after a year, the hot fires come to an end.

10. He who lows like a cow has given, he who bleats like a goat has given, the speckled one, the green one has given us riches. By giving hundreds of cows, the frogs have prolonged the life in a thousand Soma-pressings.

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