1 O heroes lordliest of all, who are ye that have singly come
Forth from a region most remote? ...
5 May she gain cattle for her meed, hundreds of sheep and steeds and kine,
Who threw embracing arms around the hero whom gyavaiva praised.
6 Yea, many a woman is more firm and better than the man who turns
Away from Gods, and offers not.
7 She who discerns the weak and worn, the man who thirsts and is in want
She sets her mind upon the Gods.
8 And yet full many a one, unpraised, mean niggard, is entitled man: Only in weregild is he such.
9 And she, the young, the joyous-spirited, divulged the path to Śyāva, yea, to me.
Two red steeds carried me to Purumīlha's side, that sage of far-extended fame,
10 Him who, like Vaidadasvi, like Taranta, hath bestowed on me A hundred cows in liberal gift.
11 They who are borne by rapid steeds, drinking the meath that gives delight,
They have attained high glories here....
17 O Urmya, bear thou far away to Darbhya this my hymn of praise,
Songs, Goddess, as if chariot-borne.
18 From me to Rathaviti say, when he hath pressed the Soma juice,
The wish I had departeth not.
The story behind this hymn is told in this excerpt from the Brihaddevata, a work by the sage Shaunaka. It's a beautiful love story. Atri's son sage Archananas once performed a Yagna for a king named Rathaviti. During the Yagna, Archananas' son Shyavashva saw Rathaviti's daughter and immediately fell in love with her. So Shyavashva asked Rathaviti permission to marry his daughter. Rathaviti was quite willing, but Rathaviti's came from a family of Rajarishis, so she wanted her daughter to marry someone who is the seer of a Vedic mantra. Since Shyavashva wasn't the seer of any Vedic mantras, the marriage proposal was rejected. So Archananas and Shyavashva came back from the Yagna disappointed. On the way, they met a royal family, who gave Shyavasva a lot of wealth. But that only made Shyavasva more miserable, because he realized that all the wealth in the world would not get him the woman he loved. Finally Shyavasva came home, and then the Maruts appeared before him. Upon seeing them he suddenly became the seer of Vedic mantras, specifically mantras addressed to Maruts. So then Shyavashva finally got to marry the princess:
There was a royal seer famous by the name of Rathaviti Darbhya. That king being about to sacrifice went to Atri and propitiated him. And making known his identity and the object he had in view, as he stood with folded hands, he chose the seer Archananas, the son of Atri, to officiate as (his) priest. He, accompanied by his son, went to the king for the performance of the sacrifice. Now the son of Archananas, Atri's son, was Shyavashva, who had been gladly taught by his father all the Vedas with their members (anga) and subordinate members (upanga). Then Archananas having gone with his son, performed the sacrifice for the king. And as the sacrifice was in progress, he saw the illustrious daughter of the king. The thought occurred to him that the princess might become his daughter-in-law. Then the heart of Shyavashva too became fixed on her; and so he said to the institutor of the sacrifice: "Ally yourself with me, O king."
The king wishing to give his daughter to Shyavashva, said to his royal consort: "What is your opinion? I (desire to) give the girl to Shyavashva. For a son of Atri would be no contemptible (adurbala) son-in-law for us." She on her part said to the king: "I have been born in a family of royal seers; one who is not a seer should not be our son-in-law; this (youth) has not seen formulas. Let the girl be given to a seer: she would this become a mother (amba) of the Veda; for a certain seer regards one who sees formulas as a father of the Veda." The king, after conferring with his wife, refused him (saying), "No one is worthy to be (our) son-in-law who is not a seer." The seer, being rejected by him, returned, when the sacrifice was over; but the heart of Shyavashva returned not from the girl.
So these two returned; they both met Shashiyasi and Taranta and king Purumilha. Now the two kings Taranta and Purumilha were seers, sons of Vidadashva. These two kings paid homage to the two seers. And the king (Taranta) showed the seer's son to his royal consort; and with Taranta's approval she gave manifold wealth, goats and sheep, cows and horses, to Shyavashva, did Shashiyasi. Father and son, (thus) honored by the institutions of the sacrifice, went to their hermitage of Atri. And they saluted Atri, the great seer, of brilliant splendor. (But) Shyavashva thought: "Because I have not seen (any) formula, I have, alas! not obtained the maiden beautiful in all her limbs. Could I but become a seer of formula, my joy would be great."
To him as he thus reflected in the forest the host of the Maruts appeared. He standing at his (atmanah) side, quite (iva) similar in form and equal in age, the Maruts, with gold on their breasts. Seeing the gods similar in age, with the figures of men, Shyavashva, astonished, then asked the Maruts, "Who are ye?" (ke shtha: v.61.1). Then, however he became aware that they were the divine Maruts, the sons of Rudra. Having observed (this), he also praised them with the stanzas "They that ride" (ya im vahante: v.61.11). For the seer considered it a great transgression on his part, that, as soon as he had seen them, he did not praise them, and that he asked them, "Who are ye?" Being praised and being delighted with their praise, the sons of Prishni (the Maruts) as they went along, taking off the gold from their breasts, gave it to him.
Now when the Maruts had gone thence, the illustrious Shyavashva went in thought to the daughter of Rathaviti. He only just (sadyah) a seer, wishing to declare himself to Rathaviti, commissioned Night on a message with the two (stanzas) "This my song of praise" (etam me stomam: v.61.17,18) and to her (Night) who did not see (Rathaviti), he discerning (him) with the eye of a seer, said, "Here he dwells" (esha ksheti) "on a delightful ridge of the Himavat". Urged by the goddess Night, after learning his instructions, the son of Darbha, taking the girl with him, approached Archananas, and after clasping his feet, standing bent forward with folded hands, he announced his name (saying), "I am Rathavithi, son of Darbha: inasmuch as I refused you formerly when you desired an alliance with me, forgive me for that. I pay homage to you; and do not, adorable one, be wroth with me. You are the son of a seer, a seer yourself you are, adorable one, the father of a seer. Come, accept this (girl) as your daughter-in-law." So said the king, and honoring him with water to was his feet (padya), with the water of hospitality (arghya) and with a mixture of honey (madhuparka), and giving him a hundred white (shukla) steeds, he dismissed him to his home. And the seer, on his part, having praised Shashiyasi, and Taranta, and king Purumilha with the six (stanzas) "May she gain" (sanat: v.61.5-10), departed to his abode.
My question is, what scriptures describe this love story of Shyavashva Atreya?
Is the story described in the Brahmanas or Aranyakas of the Vedas? Purumilha and Taranta, the two kings who gave wealth to Shyavashva, are described in this excerpt from the Panchavimsha Brahmana of the Sama Veda and this excerpt from the Jaiminiya Brahmana of the Sama Veda. But these excerpts seem to be about a completely unrelated story involving Purumilha and Taranta.
On a side note, the term "Maruts" and "Rudras" are often used interchangeably, so the gods who appeared before Shyavashva may have been the Rudras. Also, does anyone know the family that Rathaviti's wife belonged to? It's interesting that all of her ancestors were Rajarishis.