The Misguided Translations of the Vedas
I consider the translation of the Vedas by Acharya Sayan, Mahidhar, Bhattacharya, Prof. Max Muller, Ralph TGH Griffith, Monier Williams, Maurice Bloomfield and other like minded scholars to be incorrect and misleading. Below is an example of a prejudiced translation from Wikipedia (on line encyclopaedia):
The Rigveda (8.48.3, tr. Griffith) states,
a ápāma sómam amŕtā abhūmâganma jyótir ávidāma devân c kíṃ nūnám asmân kṛṇavad árātiḥ kím u dhūrtír amṛta mártyasya
We have drunk Soma and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered. Now what may foeman's malice do to harm us? What, O Immortal, mortal man's deception?
The Ninth Mandala of the Rigveda is known as the Soma Mandala. It consists entirely of hymns addressed to Soma Pavamana ("purified Soma").
Let’s see the correct translation as per the Rishis:
Nirukta (the greatest authority on the translation of the Vedas) 4/3/13/44 has described the Soma as medicine promoting long life and youthful strength. The colour of Soma has been said of Harit Varna or green colour (yellow or tawny as per Wikipedia).
Sushrut (termed as father of Ayurveda medicine and surgery) in his Chikitsa Sthanvarti Chapter 8 has given 24 divisions of Soma. He has also termed Soma as the destroyer of old age and death (etymologically meaning promoting long life and youthful strength).
Nirukta Bhashya 5/1/3/13 and Rig Veda 10/89/6 have described Soma as a peaceful natured Soul.
Nirukta Bhashya 5/1/3/13 and Rig Veda 9/107/9 have described Soma as cow’s milk.
Similarly, Nirukta Bhashya 11/1/10/7 describes Soma as moon.
Now let’s see the translation of the above mantra as per Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in line with Nirukta Bhashya. This mantra describes the advantages of grain eating.
“(Soma) Oh Lord! (apam) We drink the juice of the grain. (amritah abhum) We become amrit i.e. have long life; (jyotih aganm) we strive to achieve bodily strength and eternal glow; (avidaam) may we achieve (devaan) the strength of our senses; (kin krinvat) what can (asman) our (aratih) internal enemies do to us (noonam) in this condition? (amrit) Oh deathless Ish or God! (kim) what can (dhurtih) violent and (martasya) murderous people do to me?"
The ninth Mandala of Rig Veda describes the peaceful qualities of the almighty and not as stated by Griffith.