I have been wanting to do an ongoing thread. To an Arya the entire shruti is inspiring but there are particular sUkta-s and mantra-s that especially so (other students of the shruti might create their own parallel thread of this kind if interested). It is hard to say this is the
most inspiring sUkta. However, to me there is some set which might be called "among the most inspiring" or "the essence of religion". From that set I'll place as first sUkta: RV 2.12: yo jAta eva prathamo manasvAn... of gR^itsamada shaunahotra: It is replete with sublime mantras
It is also found as AV vulgate 20.34. Within it one of the most inspiring R^ik-s are:
dyAvA chid asmai pR^ithivI namete
shuShmAch chid asya parvatA bhayante |
yaH somapA nichito vajrabAhur
yo vajrahastaH sa janAsa indraH ||
Indeed heaven and earth bow to him;
verily the mountains fear his impetuosity;
The soma-drinker famed as the vajra-armed
who wield the vajra in hand– he, O men, is Indra.
yo jAta eva prathamo manasvAn
devo devAn kratunA paryabhUShat |
yasya shuShmAd rodasI abhyasetAM
nR^imNasya mahnA sa janAsa indraH ||
Who, even at birth, was the first of intelligent,
the god who by his own power strove for the gods,
before whose fury the world-halves trembled
from the fear of greatness of his manliness, he, O men, is indra
yasmAn na R^ite vijayante janAso
yaM yudhyamAnA avase havante |
yo vishvasya pratimAnam babhUva
yo achyutachyut sa janAsa indraH ||
Without his law men do not win,
whom those in battle call for aid,
who became the prototype of all,
who moved the immovable, he O men is indra
Next sUkta: RV 1.85: pra ye shumbhante janayo na saptayo... of gotama rAhUgaNa.
pra ye shumbhante janayo na saptayo
yAman rudrasya sUnavaH sudaMsasaH |
rodasI hi marutash chakrire vR^idhe
madanti vIrA vidatheShu ghR^iShvayaH ||
Those who go forth decked like ladies, yoked on their
course, the sons of rudra, possessing great energy
the marut-s made the world-halves expand
the heroes are exhilarated, ones joyous at the ritual
shUrA ived yuyudhayo na jagmayaH
shravasyavo na pR^itanAsu yetire |
bhayante vishvA bhuvanA marudbhyo
rAjAna iva tveSha-saMdR^isho naraH ||
The brave ones, like charging warriors,
like those seeking glory in battle they are arrayed,
All worlds are afraid of the marut-s
manly ones impetuous in appearance like kings
Next 2 sUkta-s viShNor nu kaM vIryANi pra vochaM...
& pra vaH pAntam andhaso dhiyAyate... composed by the ancestor of the gotama-s, dIrghatamas auchathya. Like many of his sUkta-s this 1 too is replete with brahmodya riddles.The SM audience of H with modern conditioning might not
be ready for the discussion of some of those.
pra tad viShNu stavate vIryeNa
mR^igo na bhImaH kucharo giriShThAH |
yasyoruShu triShu vikramaNeShv
adhikShiyanti bhuvanAni vishvA ||
Thus viShNu is praised for his heroic acts
like a ferocious lion prowling in the mountains
in whose three wide strides
are situated all the worlds.

In this sUkta we already notice the conception of viShNu of as a lion that was to play an important role in his later mythology &
iconography. Another notable point is that he is termed as being in the mountains. The mountain appears several times in these two sUkta-s: giriShThAH; girikShita; sAnuni parvatAnAm; What is this reference to the mountain? It is a metaphor for the world axis that is important
in defining viShNu as the quintessential time-deity.
yasya trI pUrNA madhunA padAny
akShIyamANA svadhayA madanti |
ya u tridhAtu pR^ithivIm uta dyAm
eko dAdhAra bhuvanAni vishvA ||
Whose three steps, filled with honey,
inexhaustible, rejoice in their own might,
who indeed the tripartite heaven and earth
solely supports with all the worlds

The three steps like honey-pools are identified with the 3 regions of space which are seen as self-generative.
chaturbhiH sAkaM navatiM cha nAmabhish
chakraM na vR^ittaM vyatIMr avIvipat |
bR^ihach CharIro vimimAna R^ikvabhir
yuvAkumAraH praty ety Ahavam ||
With the 4 x 90 ninety names (days in year),
like a wheel rolling with a pair horses he made oscillate (day& night)
With a gigantic body measuring out [the universe] with meters
the youth who is [now] not boy goes to fight back

This apart from explicitly indicating his role as
as the time deity also provides the 1st attestation of his famous mythologem of conquest of the worlds from daitya-s by expanding from a boy to a gigantic form.Notably he is said to span the universe with meters - measuring out of metrical mantra-s is now compared world-measuring
Next sUkta RV 5.3.1: tvam agne varuNo jAyase yat... composed by vasushruta Atreya:
tvam agne varuNo jAyase yat
tvam mitro bhavasi yat samiddhaH |
tve vishve sahasas putra devAs
tvam indro dAshuShe martyAya ||
You, o agni, are varuNa when you emerge
you become mitra when kindled [with fire-sticks samidh-s]
In you o progeny of friction are all the gods;
you are indra when worshipped by the mortal.
tvam aryamA bhavasi yat kanInAM
nAma svadhAvan guhyam bibharShi |
a~njanti mitraM sudhitaM na gobhir
yad dampatI samanasA kR^iNoShi ||
You become aryaman when you of the girls (marital fire);
O one of independent might you bear a secret name;
They anoint [you as] mitra, the faithful with ghee
when you make householder couple of one mind (i.e. to perform the ritual)
tava shriye maruto marjayanta
rudra yat te janima chAru chitram |
padaM yad viShNor upamaM nidhAyi
tena pAsi guhyaM nAma gonAm ||
For your opulence the marut-s adorn themselves
o rudra, when you emerged lovely&wonderful
the step of viShNu which is placed as the highest
with that you protect the secret name of the cows

This sUkta is important for the Arya ritualist at it captures the special role of agni.
the visible god whom he sees in front of him. But within him as indicated are the other gods and they are laid manifesting in agni in the different stages of his blazing forth at the ritual altar. With that identification in mind the ritualist perceives them at his ritual.
next sUkta: RV 8.9 A nUnam ashvinA yuvaM... Here the sarvAnukramaNi has recorded the R^iShi wrongly. However, from the sUkta we know it was composed by vatsa kANva. It is unusual in using 7 ChandAMsi. This trait of the kANva-s presages the later day kAvya displaying many meters
Also AV 20.139 onwards
A nUnam ashvinA yuvaM
vatsasya gantam avase |
prAsmai yachChatam avR^ikam
pR^ithu chChardir yuyutaM yA arAtayaH ||
Now o ashvin-s, come here
you 2 to the aid of vatsa.
bestow him protection from the wolf
with a big house & ward off whatever are hostile
yad apsu yad vanaspatau yad
oShadhIShu purudaMsasA kR^itam |
tena mAviShTam ashvinA ||
What [medicine] in the waters, what in the tree, what in plants, you made o you of foremost wondrous powers,
with that help me, o ashvin-s.
yAtaM ChardiShpA uta naH paraspA
bhUtaM jagatpA uta nas tanUpA |
vartis tokAya tanayAya yAtam ||
yad indreNa sarathaM yAtho ashvinA
yad vA vAyunA bhavathaH samokasA |
yad Adityebhir R^ibhubhiH sajoShasA
yad vA viShNor vikramaNeShu tiShThathaH ||
Drive [here] as house protectors, also our protectors from afar;
become protectors of our animals, also protectors of our bodies.
Drive your car for our son and grandson -
when you o ashvin-s come with Indra on the same chariot when you come to the same house with vAyu
when you are satisfied together with the Aditya-s and the R^ibhu-s
when you strand among the strides of viShNu.
Next sUkta: RV1.20 ayaM devAya janmane...
The R^ibhu-s are the divine elf-like engineers in the entourage of the rudra-s.
ya indrAya vachoyujA
tatakShur manasA harI |
shamIbhir yaj~nam Ashata ||
They who for Indra the speech-yoked
[car] fashioned with their mind yoked to 2 golden horses
they obtained the ritual share by their works

takShan nAsatyAbhyAm
parijmAnaM sukhaM ratham |
takShan dhenuM sabardughAm ||
They designed for the ashvin-s
the earth-circling, comfortable car
they made the good milk-yielding cow.

yuvAnA pitarA punaH
satyamantrA R^ijUyavaH |
R^ibhavo viShTy akrata ||
They made their parents young again;
They of true mantra-s, aiming straight;
the R^ibhu-s through toil
uta tyaM chamasaM navaM
tvaShTur devasya niShkR^itam |
akarta chaturaH punaH ||
Also this new mug
which the god tvaShTR^i had made
you again made into four.

There are several wonderworks of R^ibhu engineering that the A~Ngiras vipra-s typically allude to. Making their withered
parents young again; making the mug of tvaShTR^i into 4.
What is the meaning of all this? In short, we hold that these have calendrical significance: The old parents are the old year halves which are revived as the new year. The cup being made into 4 can be seen as the year
divided into four parts by the 3 R^ibhu-s. Their significance might also be understood as the deities at the second rung from the gods who "fine-tune" their productions.
next sUkta: ud vAM chakShur varuNa... by maitrAvaruNi vasiShTha:
ud vAM chakShur varuNa supratIkaM
devayor eti sUryas tatanvAn |
abhi yo vishvA bhuvanAni chaShTe
sa manyum martyeShv A chiketa ||
Upward, the eye, o varuNa, of beautiful form
rises, of you 2 gods, the sun has extended himself
He who looks upon all the worlds
monitors the fury among the mortals

here the eye of mitra & varuNa (the sun) is described as monitoring the constant conflict that characterizes life
proror mitrAvaruNA pR^ithivyAH
pra diva R^iShvAd bR^ihataH sudAnU |
spasho dadhAthe oShadhIShu vikShv
R^idhag yato animiShaM rakShamANA ||
O mitra and varuNa, in front of the wide earth,
in front of the great high heaven o liberal ones,
You set your spies among the plants and the families,
guarding unwinkingly against the one going apart from the law
shaMsA mitrasya varuNasya dhAma
shuShmo rodasI badbadhe mahitvA |
ayan mAsA ayajvanAm avIrAH
pra yaj~namanmA vR^ijanaM tirAte ||
I praise the laws of mitra and varuNa
whose great power constantly impresses on the 2 world halves
The months of non-ritualis will pass without offspring
[but] he whose mind is set on ritual extends his settlement
Next (upasUkta):8.46.25-28 composed by vasha ashvya, a mysterious R^iShi, who is said to have been aided by the ashvin-s. His style is very distinctive in using various ChandAMsi like the kANva-s with whom his sUkta occurs. But we have no evidence that he was a kANva himself.
Some of these ChandAMsi are not found elsewhere in vaidika tradition suggesting that he represent a R^iShi at the edge of Indo-Aryan tradition. The next notable point is his association with dAsa rulers who gave him a wife, camels & horses. This again suggests he was operating in
both the Indo-Aryan (mention of king nahuSha) and Iranian domains; he call the latter (the dAsa -> Iranic daha clan) as the people of vAyu suggesting that they were indeed the early vAyu-focal Iranians. It also provide evidence for our contention that RV belongs to the undivided
or only slightly differentiated I-Ir period in its core. Coming to the upa-sUkta (the first R^ik has echoes of paruchChepa daivodAsi)
A no vAyo mahe tane
yAhi makhAya pAjase |
vayaM hi te chakR^imA bhUri dAvane
sadyash chin mahi dAvane ||
O vAyu, to us, for the great extension [of life]
drive here, for the active ritual;
Indeed, we have performed the [rite] for you to give much,
to give greatly at once.
yo ashvebhir vahate vasta
usrAs triH sapta saptatInAm |
ebhiH somebhiH somasudbhiH
somapA dAnAya shukrapUtapAH ||
The who journeys here with his horses at dawning
of day; with 3 x 7 x 70 (horses?)
with these soma pressings by the soma-pressers,
[worship you] o soma-drinker, drinker of clear filtered soma for boons.
This related to the morning rite of the first soma offering which is made to
vAyu. The number 1470 is rather enigmatic. If anyone might have cracked its true significance it would be good to know. for factor 21:

uchathye vapuShi yaH svarAL
uta vAyo ghR^itasnAH |
ashveShitaM rajeShitaM shuneShitam
prAjma tad idaM nu tat ||
Of praise-worthy body, who is the self-ruling emperor,
and you o vAyu are also drenched in ghee.
horse-borne, dust-borne, dog-borne
now this train of yours sets forth.

Mention of the dog-cart for vAyu is quite unique. It reminds 1 of the AshvalAyana shrautasUtra which states
that the shunAsIra ritual relating to the divine dog (Canis Major) is to vAyu and indra. yAska also indicates that shuna of that ritual is vAyu. Thus, this R^ik give the ancient vAyu-dog connection (perhaps relating to morning rite associated with helical rising of Can Maj)

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