Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 111

BY: SUN STAFF - 4.10 2018

A serial presentation of the Satapatha Brahmana, translated by Julius Eggeling in 1882.


Second Kânda - The Agnyâdhâna, The Agnihotra, The Pindapitriyagña, The Âgrayaneshti, And The Kâturmâsyâni


2:6:2:13 - 13. Let the maidens then also walk round, thinking, 'May we enjoy prosperity!' That sister of Rudra, named Ambikâ, indeed is the dispenser of happiness: hence the maidens also should walk round, thinking, 'May we enjoy prosperity!'

2:6:2:14 - 14. The text (prescribed) for them is (Vâg. S. III, 60 b), 'We worship Tryambaka, the fragrant bestower of husbands. Even as a gourd (is severed) from its stem, so may I be severed from this. (world), not from thence (yonder world)!' By saying 'from this,' she means to say 'from my relatives;' and by saying 'not from thence,' she means to say 'not from husbands.' Husbands, doubtless, are the support of woman: hence she says 'not from thence.'

2:6:2:15 - 15. Then they (the Sacrificer and priests) again walk round thrice sunwise, beating their right thighs, with the same text. As to why they again walk round thrice sunwise,--they think, 'Sunwise this sacred work of ours shall be accomplished,' and therefore they again walk thrice round sunwise.

2:6:2:16 - 16. The Sacrificer now takes those (remains of the cakes) into his joined palms and throws them upwards higher than a cow can reach [1]. Thereby they cut out his (Rudra's) darts from their bodies. If they fail to catch them [2], they touch (those that have fallen to the ground). Thereby they make them medicine, and hence, if they fail to catch them, they touch them.

2:6:2:17 - 17. Having then packed them into two net-work baskets and tied them to the two ends of either a bamboo staff or the beam of a balance, he steps aside towards the north; and if he meets with a tree or a stake or a bamboo or an ant-hill, he fastens them thereon, with the text (Vâg. S. III, 61), 'These, O Rudra, are thy provisions; therewith depart beyond the Mûgavats!'--(supplied) with provisions people indeed set out on a journey: hence he thereby dismisses him supplied with provisions whithersoever he is bound. Now in this case his journey is beyond the Mûgavats: hence he says, 'Depart beyond the Mûgavats!'--'with thy bow unstrung and muffled up--,' whereby he means to say, 'Depart propitious, not injuring us [1];' 'Clad in a skin,'--whereby he lulls him to sleep [2]; for while sleeping he injures no one: hence he says, 'Clad in a skin.'

2:6:2:18 - 18. They then turn to the right about, and return (to the uttaravedi) without looking back. Having returned thither, they touch water; for they have been performing a ceremony relating to Rudra [3], and water is (a means of) purification: with water, that (means of) purification, they accordingly purify themselves.

2:6:2:19 - 19. Thereupon he shaves his hair and beard, and takes up the fire (of the uttaravedi),--for only after changing his place (to the ordinary sacrificial ground) he performs the (Full-moon) sacrifice on that fire, since it is not proper that he should perform the Agnihotra on the uttaravedi: for this reason he changes his place. Having gone to the house, and 'churned out' the fires [1], he performs the Full-moon offering. The Seasonal offerings, doubtless, are detached sacrifices; whereas the Full-moon offering is a regular, established sacrifice: hence he finally establishes himself by means of that regular sacrifice, and therefore changes his place (to the ordinary sacrificial ground).



438:1 This refers to the so-called prânadâna, or 'bestowal of life (or soul),' that is, the anointing of the sacrificial dishes with ghee, previously to their being placed on the altar. The anointing takes place with the text (Vâg. S. ed. p. 35), 'That life (or soul, prâna) of thine which has entered into the cattle, and becomes diffused through the various forms of the gods,--endowed with (that) life (âtmanvân)--for thou art laden with ghee--go to Agni, O Soma! and obtain bliss (svar) for the Sacrificer!' Katy. II, 8, 14. At the new and full-moon sacrifice, this ceremony is not even alluded to in our Brâhmana, either in this or the Kânva recension. See I, 3, 4, 16. The Kânva text reads, 'They may be anointed,' so they say, &c.

439:1 'He offers on a cross-road, for such is the halting-place (padbîsa) of the Agnis,' Taitt. Br. I, 6, 10, 3.

439:2 'The central leaflet of the palâsa-leaf is the Brahman,' Kânva text. The leaf of the palâsa (Butea Frondosa) consists of three leaflets,--leathery, above shining and pretty smooth, and below slightly hoary; the central (or terminal) one being obovate and considerably larger than the lateral ones (which, according to Roxburgh, Flora Ind., III, p. 244, are from 4 to 6 inches long, and from 3 to 4½ broad). 'Palâsasâkhâyâm yâni trîni parnâni tatra madhyamam parnam prasastayâ srugrûpam,' Sây. on Taitt. S. I, 8, 6.

440:1 He consecrates, by the usual fivefold lustration, some spot on a cross-way, to the north of the sacrificial ground, and after laying down the fire-brand taken from the Dakshinâgni, he offers thereon, using the central leaflet of a palâsa-leaf as the offering-spoon.

440:2 In Taitt. Br. I, 6, 10, 4, this sister of Rudra is identified with the autumn, wherewith the god is wont to kill (viz. by means of catarrh, fever, &c., Sây.). See also Weber, Ind. Stud. I, 183; Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, vol. iv. p. 321.

440:3 'Âkhûtkara;' 'âkhukarîsha,' Kânva text. Possibly a mouse-hole, or the earth thrown up by a mouse, is meant. See p. 278, note 3. Cf. Taitt. Br. I, 6,10, 2: 'N.N. is thy victim,' thus saying, let him indicate the one he (the Sacrificer) hates; thereby he delivers over to him (Rudra) the one he hates. If he hate no one, let him say, 'the mole (mouse) is thy victim.'

440:4 'Thus he makes over to him only the mole as victim, and puts it into his mouth,' Kânva text.

442:1 'Yathâ gaur nodâpnuyât' 'Yâvad gaur nodâpnuyât tâvat,' Kânva text. Sâyana takes go to mean 'earth,' and interprets, 'in such a way that the earth does not obtain it (i.e. that they do not fall to the ground).' Kâty. prescribes, V, 10, 18, The Sacrificer, with his joined open hands, throws the Rudra-cakes upwards as high as not to be reachable by a cow (agohprâpanam); 19, He catches them; 20, If they cannot be (caught), then touching (of those that have fallen on the ground).

442:2 I adopt (not without reluctance) Sâyana's interpretation of vilipsantah (= labdhum asaktâh), which seems to be that of Kâtyâyana also. The St. Petersburg Dict. takes it in the sense of (if they are) desirous of distributing them.' Taitt. Br. I, 6, 10, 5 has merely utkiranti bhagasya lîpsante,' 'they throw (them) up, (whereby) they desire to obtain prosperity.' Âpastamba, as quoted by Sây. on Taitt. S. I, 8, 6, says,--Having thrown up the cakes and caught them again (pratilabhya), and having, with 'We worship Tryambaka,' put them into the Sacrificer's joined palms; and having taken them up separately (? apâdâya), with (or thinking) 'We desire to obtain you of (? from) Bhaga;' let them put them together (samâvapeyuh) thrice in this way.

443:1 In the Vâg. Samhitâ this forms part of the text, but it is clearly a gloss taken from the Brâhmana. The Kânva recension of the Brâhmana has '--pinâkâvasa ity ahimsan nah sivah sânto 'tîhîty evaitad âha,' which has likewise found its way into the Samhitâ of that school. On the Mûgavats, see Muir, Orig. Sanskrit Texts, vol. ii. p. 352.

443:2 According to Kâty. V, 10, 22, he mutters the word 'skin-clad' while steadying the two baskets.

443:3 See p. 2, note 2.