This page mentions all the Sanskrit Shlokas of the Rig Veda. Here is the very first one

अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवमृत्विजम् । होतारं रत्नधातमम् १

I tried looking for translations by an Indian author, with no avail. The most prominent translation is by a guy called Ralph Griffith (the one on the sacred-texts website) which for a lack of better words 'sucks thoroughly'. (The Sanskrit Shloka mentioned on this site also has mistakes)

I can figure out that it starts with invoking Agni (which I was surprised to find).

In any case, does anyone have a proper translation for the Shloka?

  • 2
    Well, if you want a translation by Indian authors, there is the translation given in agniveer.com, but the Agniveer translations are far worse than Griffiths; they're complete distortion of the meaning designed to conform with the views of Arya Samaj. Griffith does a tolerably good job of translating the Rig Veda, as does H.H. Wilson though he hews closer to Sayana's commentary. But in my opinion the best translation is the newly released one by Stephanie Jamison and Joel Brereton. I can post the first verse of that if you like. May 15, 2016 at 20:18
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    @KeshavSrinivasan Ya, the agniveer site rarely posts good content (atleast, according to my taste). Also, I don't really trust English authors in this. Griffith translates होतारं into O Hotaram! like its a person. Originates from no experience in the culture. Anyway, I just found a really good translation of a couple of Shlokas, including this one, albeit at an unexpected place: srichinmoylibrary.com/dcg-6 I am starting to feel the need of learning more Sanskrit! May 16, 2016 at 6:57
  • This site may have answer for your question.
    – The Destroyer
    Jun 2, 2016 at 12:52
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    Minor nitpick: That is not a shloka. A shloka is a verse in a specific metre; the ṛk-s are different. Jul 27, 2016 at 14:37
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    Isn't it 'agnim-īḷe'? With 'agni' in the accusative case (agnim)? Aug 25, 2017 at 23:17

2 Answers 2


Let me post the relevant part from the comment here for the benefit of the users.

Sri Chinmoy was a spiritual master who wrote on various topics especially in the form of poetry. Here, he talks about Agni and the first Shloka of the Rig Veda:

‘Agni’ means fire. This fire refers to the aspiring flame that rises from our inmost being; again, ‘Agni’ also refers to the fire god himself. We are all aspirants; we are all seekers of the infinite Truth. It is we who have to embody Agni, the flame of aspiration, in the inmost recesses of our hearts. We also have to grow upwards with this flame until we become the embodiment of Agni, the fire god himself.

I wish to offer you the following sloka from the Rig Veda:

Agnimile purohitam

yagyasya devamrtvijam

hotaram ratnadhatamam

Agni mile means “I adore or worship the flame, Agni.” Purohitam yagyasya means “the priest, the household priest, of the sacrifice.” Devam means divine and rtvijam is the priest or minister who officiates at the sacrifice. Hotaram is the Summoner or the Invoker. Ratnadha means “the one who founds or establishes the jewel of ecstasy, the inner wealth, the nectar"; tamam is the superlative of Ratnadha. Ratnadhatamam is “the one who more than anyone else establishes the inner ecstasy.” So the first verse in the Rig Veda dedicated to Agni runs thus in free translation:

“O Agni, I adore Thee,

O priest, O divine minister

Who officiates at the divine Sacrifice,

Who is also the invoker, the Summoner,

Who most bestows the divine wealth upon us.”

He also continues to mention the limitation of this translation:

I would like to say that translation can never do justice to these sublime and profound Sanskrit words. I use the English words ‘priest’ and ‘minister’, but I get to be excused for doing so. These English equivalents can never convey the meaning of the word rtvik, the invoker, the Summoner of the Supreme, the one who officiates at the sacrifice. Anyone who knows both Sanskrit and English will immediately feel that there is a yawning gulf between the Sanskrit words rtvik and hotaram and the English words ‘priest’ and ‘minister’ and so forth.

For more, read here: http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/dcg-6

  • seems wrong explaination to me, for inner aspiring flame we use jwala word, Agni here refers to the fire itself Aug 28, 2018 at 14:34

The most accurate transaltion is provided by Jamison and Brereton on page 89.

अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवमृत्विजम् । होतारं रत्नधातमम् १

  1. Agni do I invoke—the one placed to the fore, god and priest of the sacrifice, the Hotar, most richly conferring treasure.

The most tricky part is to translate puróhitam which earlier translator interpreted as sacrificer or priest which is now interpret as place in front

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