The night is dark and deep when Ushas rises and her mother, the sky, begins to adorn her. She uses hope to cloth her, life to anoint her with and light for her ornaments. Her sister, the night, lends her the magic while retaining the mystery. Ushas has the magic of looking at everybody at the same time.
|Usha, the goddess of dawn|
1. THE radiant Dawns have risen up for glory,
in their white splendour like the waves of waters.
She maketh paths all easy, fair to travel, and, rich,
hath shown herself benign and friendly.
2. We see that thou art good: far shines thy lustre; thy beams,
thy splendours have flown up to heaven.
Decking thyself, thou makest bare thy bosom,
shining in majesty, thou Goddess Morning.
3. Red are the kine and luminous that bear her
the Blessed One who spreadeth through the distance.
The foes she chaseth like a valiant archer,
like a swift warrior she repelleth darkness.
4. Thy ways are easy on the hills: thou passest Invincible!
Self-luminous! through waters.
So lofty Goddess with thine ample pathway,
Daughter of Heaven, bring wealth to give us comfort.
5. Dawn, bring me wealth: untroubled,
with thine oxen thou bearest riches at thy will and pleasure;
Thou who, a Goddess, Child of Heaven,
hast shown thee lovely through bounty when we called thee early.
6. As the birds fly forth from their restingplaces,
so men with store of food rise at thy dawning.
Yea, to the liberal mortal who rernaineth at home,
O Goddess Dawn, much good thou bringest.
7. SHEDDING her light on human habitations
this Child of Heaven hath called us from our slumber;
She who at night-time with her argent lustre
hath shown herself e'en through the shades of darkness.
8. All this with red-rayed steeds have they divided:
the Dawns on bright cars shine in wondrous fashion.
They, bringing near the stately rite's commencement,
drive far away the night's surrounding shadows.
9. Dawns, bringing hither, to the man who worships,
glory and power and might and food and vigour,
Opulent, with imperial sway like heroes,
favour your servant and this day enrich him.
10. Now is there treasure for the man who serves you,
now for the hero, Dawns! who brings oblation;
Now for the singer when he sings the praise-song.
Even to one like me ye brought aforetime.
11. O Dawn who standest on the mountain ridges,
Angirases now praise thy stalls of cattle.
With prayer and holy hymn they burst them open:
the heroes' calling on the Gods was fruitful.
12. Shine on us as of old, thou Child of Heaven,
on him, rich Maid! who serves like Bharadvaja.
Give to the singer wealth with noble heroes,
and upon us bestow wide-spreading glory.
Usha-Ushas, Sanskrit for "dawn", is a Vedic deity. She is the chief goddess (sometimes imagined as several goddesses, Dawns) exalted in the Rig Veda. She is portrayed as a beautifully adorned, sexually attractive young woman riding in a chariot. She is the daughter of Dyaus "Heaven" and the sister of Ratri, the goddes of night. Twenty out of 1028 hymns in the Rig Veda are dedicated to the goddes of Dawn: Book 7 has seven hymns, books 4–6 have two hymns each, and the younger books 1 and 10 have six and one respectively.
|when the day awakens, and dawn is rising, than the darkness of night has to depart|
|Upo ruruce yuvatirma yosa - visvam jivam prasuvanti carayau|
Abhud Agnih samidhe manusanam - akar jyotir badhamana tamamsi
Like a youthful maiden, Usas shines brightly forth, Stirring to motion every living creature.
Divine Fire was kindled for the use of men; Dawn created light, driving away the dark.
Visvam pratici sapratha udasthad - rusad vaso bibhrati sukramasvait
Hiranya varna sudrsika samdrg - gavam mata netry ahnam aroci
Sending out her beams, she rose facing all, In brilliant robes, resplendent, radiating--
Golden-colored and glorious to behold, Mother of plenty, mistress of the days she shone.
Devanam caksuk subhaga vahanti - svetam nayanti sudrsikam asvam
Usa adarsi rasmabhir vyakta - citramagha visvamanu prabhuta
Blessed, bearing the sun, the eye of the Gods, Leading her white horse, magnificent to see,
Usas reveals herself, arrayed in beams of light, And with boundless glory she transforms the world.
Antivama dure amitram uccha - urvim gavyutim abhayam krdhi nah
Yavaya dvesa a bhara vasuni - codaya radho grnate maghoni
O fair one, banish the enemy with light! And prepare for us broad pastures free from fear!
Ward off hatred, bring us your priceless treasure! O bountiful, shower blessings on the singer!
Asme sresthebhir bhanubhirvi bhahi - Uso devi pratiranti na ayuh
Isam ca no dadhati visvavare - gomad asvavad rathavac ca radhah
Illumine us with your glorious splendor, O divine Usas! Enrich and lengthen our lives,
O Goddess full of grace! Grant us fulfillment, And cows, horses, and chariots in abundance!
Yam tva divo duhitar vardhayanti - Usah su jate matibhir vasisthah
Sasmasu dha rayimrsvam brhantam - yuyam pata svastibhih sada
O Daughter of Heaven, Usas of noble birth, Whom the men of glory celebrate in hymns,
Establish in us wealth sublime and mighty! O Gods, protect us always with your blessings!