Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 22

BY: SUN STAFF - 9.4 2018

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


First Kânda - The Darsapûrnamâsa-Ishtî or New And Full-Moon Sacrifices

Fourth Adhyâya – First Brâhmana

1:4:1:1 - 1. He recites after uttering (the syllable) 'Hiṅ!' Sacrifice, they say, is not (performed) without the Sâman; and neither is the Sâman chanted without 'Hiṅ' having been uttered. By his uttering 'Hiṅ!' the peculiar nature (rûpam) of the word 'Hiṅ' is produced (in the sacrifice); and by the sacred syllable (om) it assumes the nature of the Sâman. By uttering 'Om! Om [1]!' this his entire sacrifice becomes endowed with the Sâman.

1:4:1:2 - 2. And (another reason) why he utters 'Hiṅ!' is this. The word 'Hiṅ' means breath, for the word Hiṅ' does indeed mean breath: he cannot therefore pronounce the word 'Hiṅ,' when he closes his nostrils. The rik (verse) he recites with his voice. Now, voice and breath are a pair, so that a productive union of the sâmidhenîs is thereby effected at the outset: for this reason he recites, after uttering 'Hiṅ!'

1:4:1:3 - 3. He utters the word 'Hiṅ' in a low voice. Were he, on the contrary, to pronounce 'Hiṅ' aloud, he would make 'voice' of both the one and the other: for this reason he utters the word 'Hiṅ' in a low voice.

1:4:1:4 - 4. He recites with 'â (hither)!' and 'pra (forth or thither) [1]!' He thereby joins a gâyatrî verse directed hitherward to one directed away from here: the one which tends from hence carries the sacrifice to the gods, and the one which tends hitherward pleases the men. For this reason he recites with 'â' and 'pra.'

1:4:1:5 - 5. And (another reason) why he recites with 'â' and 'pra,' is this. 'Pra (forth)' clearly means out-breathing, and 'â (hither)' means in-breathing: hence he thereby obtains out-breathing and in-breathing (for the sacrificer). For this reason he recites with 'â' and 'pra.'

1:4:1:6 - 6. Yet (other reasons) why he recites with 'hither (â)' and 'thither (pra),' are these. 'Thither' the seed is cast, and 'hither' birth takes place. 'Thither' the cattle disperse (for grazing), 'hither' they return. Indeed, everything here (moves) 'hither' and 'thither:' for this reason he recites with 'â' and 'pra.'

1:4:1:7 - 7. He recites [1], 'Forth go your viands, heavenward!'-- hereby, then, the 'thither' is (realised). And (in the second verse), 'Come hither, Agni, to expand [1]!'--by this, on the other hand, the 'hither' is (realised).

1:4:1:8 - 8. Now, in reference to this point, some people say, 'Both these (texts) surely result in a "thither [2]."' This, however, is beyond the ordinary understanding: the text, 'forth go your viands, heavenward!' is clearly (directed) away from (the sacrificer); and the text, 'Come hither, Agni, to expand!' is (directed) towards (him).

1:4:1:9 - 9. He recites (the first kindling verse), 'Forth go your viands, heavenward!' this, then, tends in a forward direction. 'Viands' (vâga) [3] he says, because viands mean food: hence food is obtained (for the sacrificer) by this recitation. 'Heavenward' he says, because those that tend heavenward are the half-moons: it is, therefore, the half-moons which he obtains by this recitation. 'In havis rich' he further says, because those that are rich in havis (milk, butter) are the cattle; it is cattle, therefore, that he thereby obtains through the recitation.

1:4:1:10 - 10. 'With buttered (spoon)--' he adds. Now Mâthava, the (king of) Videgha [1], carried Agni Vaisvânara in his mouth. The Rishi Gotama Râhûgana was his family priest. When addressed (by the latter), he made no answer to him, fearing lest Agni might fall from his mouth.

1:4:1:11 - 11. He (the priest) began to invoke the latter with verses of the Rig-veda, 'We kindle thee at the sacrifice, O wise Agni, thee the radiant, the mighty caller to the sacrificial feast (Rig-veda V, 26, 3)!--O Videgha!'

1:4:1:12 - 12. He (the king) did not answer. (The priest went on), 'Upwards, O Agni, dart thy brilliant, shining rays, thy flames, thy beams (Rig-veda VIII, 44, 16)!--O Videgha-a-a!'

1:4:1:13 - 13. Still he did not answer. (The priest continued), 'Thee, O butter-sprinkled one, we invoke! (Rig-veda V, 26, 2);' so much he uttered, when at the very mentioning of butter, Agni Vaisvânara flashed forth from the (king's) mouth: he was unable to hold him back; he issued from his mouth, and fell down on this earth.

1:4:1:14 - 14. Mâthava, the Videgha, was at that time on the (river) Sarasvatî [1]. He (Agni) thence went burning along this earth towards the east; and Gotama Râhûgana and the Videgha Mâthava followed after him as he was burning along. He burnt over (dried up) all these rivers. Now that (river), which is called 'Sadânîrâ,' flows from the northern (Himâlaya) mountain: that one he did not burn over. That one the Brâhmans did not cross in former times, thinking, 'it has not been burnt over by Agni Vaisvânara.'

1:4:1:15 - 15. Now-a-days, however, there are many Brâhmans to the east of it. At that time it (the land east of the Sadânîrâ) was very uncultivated, very marshy, because it had not been tasted by Agni Vaisvânara.

1:4:1:16 - 16. Now-a-days, however, it is very cultivated, for the Brâhmans have caused (Agni) to taste it through sacrifices. Even in late summer that (river), as it were, rages along 1: so cold is it, not having been burnt over by Agni Vaisvânara.

1:4:1:17 - 17. Mâthava, the Videgha, then said (to Agni), 'Where am I to abide?' 'To the east of this (river) be thy abode!' said he. Even now this (river) forms the boundary of the Kosalas and Videhas; for these are the Mâthavas (or descendants of Mâthava).