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Rig Veda Book - 10 Hymn 58 is dedicated to Maanas which Griffith translates as Spirit. I am sharing the mantras here:

1 THY spirit, that went far away to Yama to Vivasvān's Son, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

2 Thy spirit, that went far away, that passed away to earth and heaven, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

3 Thy spirit, that went far away, away to the four-cornered earth, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

4 Thy spirit, that went far away to the four quarters of the world, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

5 Thy spirit, that went far away, away unto the billowy sea, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

6 Thy spirit, that went far away to beams of light that flash and flow, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

7 Thy spirit, that went far away, went to the waters and the plants, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

8 Thy spirit, that went far away, that visited the Sun and Dawn. We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

9 Thy spirit, that went far away, away to lofty mountain heights, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

10 Thy spirit, that went far away into this All, that lives and moves, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

11 Thy spirit, that went far away to distant realms beyond our ken, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

12 Thy spirit, that went far away to all that is and is to be, We cause to come to thee again that thou mayst live and sojourn here.

It seems to me it is an exhortation to the soul to come back from afterlife to resume its journey in the mortal realm once again. But I want to know if any commentaries tell us what is the purpose or intention of this particular verse.

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    @Dr. Vineet Aggarwal - The answer is not as easy as given by other user or is correct either.Rig vedic Hymns are mantras to be used in rituals and is not a collection of stories . These hymns are not telling the story of Subandu or the deity Manas used in these hymns is spirit of subandhu , but the story of subandhu is just used here to show that as Subandus spirit is called back let the host's spirit also return here with him or us , while he is performing the sacrifice or departing to the other lands. – SwiftPushkar Jun 14 '18 at 21:44
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    As you can see this Mans is denoted as separate devata , and the story part is of few mantras. Rest of the mantras are is for various other deities . Otherwise if this spirit is Subandu's spirit the devata can not be manas , because manas is common term ,and called as devata here. So this manas is not only Subandus manas but is general consciousness of all which is denoted as devata . – SwiftPushkar Jun 14 '18 at 21:44
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    Although there is story of Subandhu in RV 10.57 ,59 & 60 . The specific hymn 10.58 is independent of the story and can be used independently in ritual part , as the story is just used to relate the phenomena of calling back the consciousness or the mind as Subandhu is called , and its purpose is same to be happen with the host. So my answer is equally accurate – SwiftPushkar Jun 14 '18 at 21:45
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    The Brihad Devata is just telling us the myths and legends associated with Rig-Veda and its not the interpretation of Rig-Veda , so the Brihad Devata is just telling us that story of subandhu is here linked with worship part of these Hymns. And just mentioned to describe the purpose. – SwiftPushkar Jun 14 '18 at 21:47
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    So the story is not to be highlighted here but only used in relation with the purpose. For that read my answer , Pandit Shree Ram Sharma did not highlighted the story part but the whole purpose of business. Sayana is also is relating the story for its purpose.The core message of these Hymns can be accurately read from my answer – SwiftPushkar Jun 14 '18 at 21:53
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The intention behind the hymn 58 will not be understood if the only the mantras of that hymn is read. The complete story starts in the previous hymns and concludes in the next hymn.

The manas who is called here is Subandhu's manas (mind or spirit) into his body which fell unconscious and not our own spirit or manas.

In the hymn 58, the manas (mind) is called back into the body of Subandhu who has lost his consciousness due to attack of his foes. The story is mentioned in Bṛhaddevatā. The same story is said by Sāyaṇācārya in his commentary on Rigveda. In his work Bṛhaddevatā, Sage Shaunaka gives says the story in detail. From Bṛhaddevatā

  1. The hymn beginning 'Which' (yat: X.58), coming after that is connected with a story: hear it from me desirous of telling it. When he had lost consciousness from stupefaction, having been struck down by an enemy,

  2. Subandhu’s life is (here) recalled a (jivāvritti) or (the hymn) is (in) praise of Mind (manas). King Asamãti, of the race of Ikväku b, the Rathaprostha, cast off (vyudasya) his domestic priests

  3. Bandhu and the rest who in the Mandala of the Atris (v. 24) are seers of Dvipadas (dvaipadah). The two crafty priests named Kirita and Akuli.

  4. Asamãti made his domestic priests; for he considered them the best. These two priests having become pigeons and having gone against the Gaupãyanas

  5. fell upon Subandhu with their crafty power and their magical art (yoga). From the pain (caused) by their attack he swooned and fell.

  6. When they had plucked out (ālucya) his spirit (asu), they went to the king. Then, after Subandhu had fallen lifeless to the ground, the three brothers,

  7. the Gaupãyanaa, all together muttered, as a spell for good luck, (the hymn) ‘Not’ (mā: x. 57); for bringing back his soul (mana-āvartana) they had recourse to (abhi-yā) the hymn ‘Which’ (yat; X.58)a.

  8. And the following (triplet) which, (beginning) ‘Let be prolonged’ (prā. tāri: x. 59), they muttered with a view to remedies is the first triplet of the hymn (1—3): it is there meant to drive away (apanodana) Dissolution (nirṝiti:)’.

  9. Now the three verses ‘Not at all’ (mo su: L 59. 4) are addressed to Soma, the last (4) to Nirṝiti: this whole stanza being addressed to Soma and Nirṝti. The following two (stanzas: 5, 6) are (in) praise of Asunīti.

The translator gives more references about these people from Sarvanukramani and many other works. Reading that definitely helps understanding the sukta even better.

So, it is clear the manas who is asked here is Subandhu's and not our own spirit. There was an Ikshvaku king named Asumāti (We find his mention in Rigveda 10th mandala hymn 60 as Rathaprostha). He cast off four brothers (Bandhu, Subandhu, Śrutabandu, Viprabandhu) who were formerly his priests. He appointed two new priests named Kirata and Abali. Subandhu's manas (mind or spirit) was taken away by the priests appointed by the Ikshvaku king Asumāti. . So, the other brothers of Subandhu i.e., the other Gaupayanas first ask the fathers ((pitrs) 10.57.5) and then the Soma for the return of mind into his body. In the hymn 58, there is the mention of different places like heaven, earth, four quarters of the world etc., by the seers in a rather poetic way.

In the next hymn, they mutter the mantras so that the Nirṝiti (dissolution) would not disturb mind's path. There is also a mantra dedicated to Asuniti ( possibly another name of Yama) to return back the life of Subandhu. These brothers are called Gaupāyana or Laupāyanas because they are descandants of Vaśiṣta's descendants (Mentioned Matsya Purana Chapter 200 verse 3).

The same story is mentioned in Rigveda Bhashya by Sāyaṇācārya. This story is also mentioned in Bringing the Gods to Mind: Mantra and Ritual in Early Indian Sacrifice by Laurie L. Patton and many other books written by various authors on Rigveda.

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    Wow this adds a new perspective to what SwiftPushkar said. Seeing that your answer has the references from the commentaries I'll select it as the right one. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Jun 14 '18 at 18:52
  • @Dr.VineetAggarwal SwiftPushkar's answer is his opinion ad he doesn't give reference that it is our own soul. See the sentence "I think not calling the spirits.." Even the translation quoted by him doesn't support it. Because the very first line says "O Brother! your mind which is wandering.." so that also implies that it is Subandhu's mind and his brotehrs are muttering mantras for its return. – Sarvabhouma Jun 15 '18 at 3:40
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The Hymn you quoted in the question is Rig-Veda 10.58 Whoes Devata is Mana Avartana and Rishis are Bandhu-Subandhu , Shrutabandhu ,Viprabandhu , Goupayana or Loupayana. As we can see from the Devata it is Mana and Mana means our mind , but as Griffith translated the meaning spirit is not much appropriate here. Because Spirit word is more associated with Atman or Soul and mostly used for that purpose. Where as Mana (मन) is our mind which comprise of our consciousness , our thoughts and Brain etc.


I am mainly taking the help for answering the question from Hindi translation by Pandit Shree Ram Sharma Acharya , from AWGP. Because not much information is available on this particular Hymn and Deity Mana , because its not considered as actual deity like Wind ,Fire ,Agni etc. But just brought forward as a deity.

From the available description about the Hymn by above author it looks like that the purpose of this Hymn is to control our mind which is wandering in all sort of things here and there and bring back the wandering mind in union with our body in order of proper functioning of the body.


The idea here is that the mind should always remain bound to our body and in its radious , so that we can carry out good deeds for ourselves as well as for rest of the society. If our mind will get lost in external things too much it will be difficult for us to live life in positive and in good , healthy manner. So the purpose of this hymn is to bring back the lost and wandering mind ( in various things and places like space and in trees , in material desires , heaven ,and all sort of tempting things etc. as mentioned in mantras.) in accordance and in union with our physical body so that the activities of life will go on smoothly . For that purpose our mind is evoked by these mantras and these mantras are reminding , calling our mind to come back into union with ourselves if lost too much here and there in various things.
The meaning of Avartana is is turning or return and Mana is our mind so this Hymn is calling back our mind involved or lost anr engage excessively in outside world back near to our body. As our mind is too speedy and fast. Its necessary to control it and to gain control on it. I think not calling the spirits or soul to come back again on this world.


Below are some of the sanskrit Mantras and i am translating them as it is from the book .

यत्ते॑ य॒मं वै॑वस्व॒तं मनो॑ ज॒गाम॑ दूर॒कं ।
तत्त॒ आ व॑र्तयामसी॒ह क्षया॑य जी॒वसे॑ ॥1||

O brother ! your mind which is wandering near the Yama son of Vivaswan (surya or sun) , we bring it back from there to here. Because you are in this bodily form to live life in this world.

This mantra is for bringing back our mind which is wandering too much in the idea of after death or Yama loka.


यत्ते॒ दिवं॒ यत्पृ॑थि॒वीं मनो॑ ज॒गाम॑ दूर॒कं ।
तत्त॒ आ व॑र्तयामसी॒ह क्षया॑य जी॒वसे॑ ॥2||

Your mind which is wandering near the distant divine abodes ,we bring it back from there to here. Because you are in this bodily form to live life in this world.

This mantra is for bringing our mind back which is wandering too much in the idea of Swarga or Heaven or divine abodes


यत्ते॒ भूमिं॒ चतु॑र्भृष्टिं॒ मनो॑ ज॒गाम॑ दूर॒कं ।
तत्त॒ आ व॑र्तयामसी॒ह क्षया॑य जी॒वसे॑ ॥3||

Very unstable , your mind which is wandering at distant places on this world , we bring it back from there to here. Because you are in this bodily form to live life in this world.

This mantra is for bringing our wandering mind in distant lands back to earth and near to ourselves


यत्ते॒ चत॑स्रः प्र॒दिशो॒ मनो॑ ज॒गाम॑ दूर॒कं ।
तत्त॒ आ व॑र्तयामसी॒ह क्षया॑य जी॒वसे॑ ॥4||

Your mind which is wandering at very far distant place , far away ,we bring it back from there to here. Because you are in this bodily form to live life in this world.


यत्ते॑ समु॒द्रम॑र्ण॒वं मनो॑ ज॒गाम॑ दूर॒कं ।
तत्त॒ आ व॑र्तयामसी॒ह क्षया॑य जी॒वसे॑ ॥5||

Your mind which is wandering on Oceans full of water or in deep space or inside deep into Ocean and in space , far away ,we bring it back from there to here. Because you are in this bodily form to live life in this world. This mantra is for bringing our mind wanderingin too much in Oceans or in deep space back to earth and near to ourselves.


यत्ते॒ मरी॑चीः प्र॒वतो॒ मनो॑ ज॒गाम॑ दूर॒कं ।
तत्त॒ आ व॑र्तयामसी॒ह क्षया॑य जी॒वसे॑ ॥6||

Your mind which is wandering near the far wide rays of the sun , we bring it back from there to here. Because you are in this bodily form to live life in this world.


यत्ते॑ अ॒पो यदोष॑धी॒र्मनो॑ ज॒गाम॑ दूर॒कं ।
तत्त॒ आ व॑र्तयामसी॒ह क्षया॑य जी॒वसे॑ ॥7||

Your mind which is wandering inside deep ocean and inside the trees and plants , we bring it back from there to here. Because you are in this bodily form to live life in this world.


यत्ते॒ सूर्यं॒ यदु॒षसं॒ मनो॑ ज॒गाम॑ दूर॒कं ।
तत्त॒ आ व॑र्तयामसी॒ह क्षया॑य जी॒वसे॑ ॥8||

Which is wandering near the sun and goddess usha far away we bring it back from there to here. Because you are in this bodily form to live life in this world.

NOTE - Not much commentaries are available on this Hymn , Swami Dayananda also did not translated this book and the Hymn . So i am just for the time is taking ref. from the available translation by above author.


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  • Wow this certainly helps. If no one else answers from any other commentary I'll accept this as the right answer. Thanks :) – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Jun 14 '18 at 12:03
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    @Dr.VineetAggarwal Well, the manas or mind here is not our own mind. It is Subandhu's mind which was lost and his brothers are praying for that mind's return. This is said in Brihaddevata, Sayana commentary and other author's books. – Sarvabhouma Jun 14 '18 at 16:02

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