Vrtraghni Vasti Sustutim – The Hailing Of Ma Saraswati As Unstoppable Warrior Goddess

वर्त्रघ्नी वष्टि सुष्टुतिम
Vrtraghni Vasti Sustutim
‘Foe-Slayer Claims Our Eulogy’

RV VI 61 [Griffith Translation]:

1 To Vadhryasva when he worshipped Her with gifts She gave fierce Divodāsa, canceller of debts
[Variant Translation: She gave […] Divodasa Who shakes the debtor]
Consumer of the churlish niggard, one and all, Thine, O Sarasvatī, are these effectual boons.

2 She with Her might, like one who digs for lotus-stems [note ‘flood’ connection], hath burst with Her strong waves the ridges of the hills.
[VT: “broke the back of the mountains with Her powerful waves]
Let us invite with songs and holy hymns for help Sarasvatī who slayeth the Paravatas.
[VT: Sarasvatī, Who smashes the foreigners, we would entice here for help with well-plaited (hymns), with visionary thoughts.]

3 Thou castest down, Sarasvatī, those who scorned the Gods, the brood of every Bṛsaya skilled in magic arts.
Thou hast discovered rivers for the tribes of men, and, rich in wealth! made poison flow away from them.
[Note: the sense of the verse is providing water resource for [our] settlements, whilst sending poison in flow to the enemy]

4 May the divine Sarasvatī, rich in Her wealth, protect us well,
Furthering all our thoughts with might
[VT: Let goddess Sarasvatī, rich in prize mares, with Her prizes
help us—the helper of visionary thoughts]

5 Whoso, divine Sarasvatī, invokes Thee where the prize is set,
Like Indra when He smites the foe.

6 Aid us, divine Sarasvad, Thou who art strong in wealth and power
Like Pūṣan, give us opulence.

7 Yea, this divine Sarasvatī, terrible [terrifying] with Her Golden Path,
Foe-slayer, claims our eulogy.

8 Whose limitless unbroken flood, swift-moving with a rapid rush,
Comes onward with tempestuous roar.
[VT: Whose boundless, unswerving, turbulent, roving flood,
Her onslaught, proceeds ever roaring.]

9 She hath spread us beyond all foes, beyond Her Sisters, Holy One,
As Sūrya spreadeth out the days.

10 Yea, She most dear amid dear stream, Seven-sistered, graciously inclined,
Sarasvatī hath earned our praise.

11 Guard us from hate Sarasvatī, She who hath filled the realms of earth,
And that wide tract, the firmament!
[VT: Having filled the earthly (places), the broad realm, the midspace, [i.e. The Three Worlds]
let Sarasvatī protect (us) from scorn.]

12 Seven-sistered, sprung from threefold source, the Five Tribes’ prosperer, She must be
Invoked in every deed of might.
[VT: Having three seats and seven parts, strengthening the five peoples,
at every prize contest She is worthy to be invoked.]

13 Marked out by majesty among the Mighty Ones, in glory swifter than the other rapid Streams,
Created vast for victory like a chariot, Sarasvatī must be extolled by every sage.
[VT: The one who by Her greatness shines ever more brightly among the great (rivers), (beyond) the others by Her brilliance, the busiest of the busy,
like a chariot lofty and fashioned for wide ranging, She is to be praised by (every) observant one—Sarasvatī]

14 Guide us, Sarasvatī, to glorious treasure: refuse us not Thy milk, nor spurn us from Thee.
Gladly accept our friendship and obedience: let us not go from Thee to distant countries.
[VT: O Sarasvatī, lead us to a better state. Do not spring away with Your milk; do not come up short for us.
Take delight in our partnerships and communities. Let us not go from You to alien dwelling places]


So, as we say:

वर्त्रघ्नी वष्टि सुष्टुतिम
Vrtraghni Vasti Sustutim
‘Foe-Slayer Claims Our Eulogy’

A maxim which I have expounded upon capaciously elsewhere, including ‘Saraswati Puja – The Power Of The Smiter Of Foes‘, ‘The Sieger Of Forts And The Slayer Of Dragons – Several Athena Hailings & Durga Comparatively Considered‘, and, of course
Foe-Slayer Claims Our Eulogy – Understanding RigVeda VIII 100: Indra, Vak‘ … to mention but three.

Now, in the RigVedic Hymnal that excellent hailing comes from, it applies to Saraswati. And helps to eloquently express a perhaps rather different side to the Goddess than might be presumed based around the somewhat beatific looking veena-playing iconographic form commonly thought of today.

Although in truth – there is no contraindication. If you know how to look, the features in the modern depictions, too, stand for unfathomable power – as expressed through sound.

And so, I declare it again:

वर्त्रघ्नी वष्टि सुष्टुतिम
Vrtraghni Vasti Sustutim
‘Foe-Slayer Claims Our Eulogy’

Jai Mata DI !

One thought on “Vrtraghni Vasti Sustutim – The Hailing Of Ma Saraswati As Unstoppable Warrior Goddess

  1. Pingback: Vrtraghni Vasti Sustutim – The Hailing Of Ma Saraswati As Unstoppable Warrior Goddess – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

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