Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry ISBN: 978-93-5210-230-3
About Hymns to the Mystic Fire
Hymns to Agni from the Rig-Veda translated in their esoteric sense with original Sanskrit text, a Foreword, and an essay, "The Doctrine of the Mystics".
In the Foreword and in the "Doctrine of the Mystics", Sri Aurobindo summarises the philosophic system of the Vedic mystics, the inner meaning of the Vedic rites, and the significance of the more important Vedic deities and symbols. On his rendering of these hymns to Agni, Sri Aurobindo comments: "This is a literary and not a strictly literal translation. But a fidelity to the meaning, the sense of the words and the structure of the thought, has been preserved: in fact the method has been to start with a bare and scrupulously exact rendering of the actual language and adhere to that as the basis of the interpretation; for it is only so that we can find out the actual thoughts of these ancient mystics. But any rendering of such great poetry as the hymns of the Rig-veda, magnificent in their colouring and images, noble and beautiful in rhythm, perfect in their diction, must, if it is not to be a merely dead scholastic work, bring at least a faint echo of their poetic force, – more cannot be done in a prose translation and in so different a language."
Contents: translation from nine of the ten mandalas of the Rig-veda, Five essays: "The First Rik of the Rig-veda", "Riks of Madhuchachandas", "The Vamadeva Hymns to Agni", "A Great God has been Released" and "Word-Formation."