Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 28

BY: SUN STAFF - 23. 42018

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 – Fifth Brâhmana

1:4:5:1 - 1. When he (the Adhvaryu) is about to make the second libation with the offering-spoon (sruk), he (twice) lays his joined hands (añgali) on the ground before the two offering-spoons (guhû and upabhrit), with the formulas (Vâg. S. II, 7 b), 'Adoration to the gods!' 'Svadhâ to the fathers!' Thereby he propitiates the gods and the fathers, now that he is about to perform the duties of the sacrificial priest.

With the formula, 'May ye two be easy to manage for me!' he takes the two offering-spoons: he thereby means to say, 'May ye two be easy to handle for me; may I be able to handle you!'--He further says (Vâg. S. II. 8), 'May I this day offer up the butter to the gods unspilt!' whereby he means to say, 'May I to-day perform an undisturbed sacrifice to the gods!'

1:4:5:2 - 2. And again, 'May I not sin against thee with my foot, O Vishnu!' Vishnu, indeed, is the sacrifice: it is the latter therefore that he propitiates by saying, 'may I not sin against thee!' Further, 'May I step into thy wealth-abounding shade, O Agni!' whereby he says, 'may I step into thy auspicious shade, O Agni 1!'

1:4:5:3 - 3. Further, 'Thou art the abode of Vishnu!' Vishnu, indeed, is the sacrifice, and near to this he now stands: this is why he says, 'thou art the abode of Vishnu!'--'Here Indra performed his heroic deed [2];' for it was while standing in this place that Indra drove off towards the south the evil spirits, the Rakshas: for this reason he says, 'here Indra performed his heroic deed.'--'Erect stood the cult;' cult, namely, means sacrifice, hence he thereby says 'erect stood the sacrifice.'

1:4:5:4 - 4. Further (Vâg. S. II, 9): 'O Agni, take thou upon thyself the office of Hotri, take thou upon thyself the part of messenger!' for Agni is both Hotri and messenger to the gods: hence he thereby says, 'know thou [1] both (offices) which thou art (holding) for the gods!'--'May earth and heaven guard thee! Guard thou earth and heaven!' there is nothing obscure in this.--'Indra, by this butter-oblation, may be the maker of good offering (svishtakrit) for the gods! Svâhâ!' Indra, indeed, is the deity of sacrifice; therefore he says 'Indra, by this butter-oblation . . . 'It is for speech that he makes this sprinkling, and Indra is speech' so say some; and for this reason also he says Indra, by this butter-oblation. . .'

1:4:5:5 - 5. Having then returned (to his former position behind the altar), without letting the two offering-spoons touch each other, he mixes (some of the butter left in the guhû) with (that in) the dhruvâ. Now the second libation (which he has just offered) is the head of the sacrifice, and the dhruvâ is its body [2]: hence he thereby replaces the head on the body. And the second libation, moreover, is the head of the sacrifice, and the head (siras) represents excellence (srî), for the head does indeed represent excellence: hence, of one who is the most excellent (sreshtha) of a community, people say that he is 'the head of that community.'

1:4:5:6 - 6. The sacrificer, assuredly, stands behind the dhruvâ, and he who means evil to him stands behind the upabhrit [1]. Hence if he were to mix (the butter remaining in the guhû) with (that in) the upabhrit, he would bestow excellence on him who means evil to the sacrificer; but in this, way he bestows that excellence on the sacrificer himself: for this reason he mixes (the butter in the gull with (that in) the dhruvâ.

1:4:5:7 - 7. He mixes it, with the text (Vâg. S. II, 9 h), 'Light with light!' for light (lustre), indeed, is the butter in the one (spoon) and light also is that in the other. Thereby these two lights unite with each other, and for this reason he mixes (the butter) in this manner.

1:4:5:8 - 8. Now a dispute once took place between Mind and Speech as to [2] which was the better of the two. Both Mind and Speech said, 'I am excellent!'

1:4:5:9 - 9. Mind said, 'Surely I am better than thou, for thou dost not speak anything that is not understood by me; and since thou art only an imitator of what is done by me and a follower in my wake, I am surely better than thou!'

1:4:5:10 - 10. Speech said, 'Surely I am better than thou, for what thou knowest I make known, I communicate.'

1:4:5:11 - 11. They went to appeal to Pragâpati for his decision. He, Pragâpati, decided in favour of Mind, saying (to Speech), 'Mind is indeed better than thou, for thou art an imitator of its deeds and a follower in its wake; and inferior, surely, is he who imitates his better's deeds and follows in his wake.'

1:4:5:12 - 12. Then Speech (vâk, fem.) being thus gainsaid, was dismayed and miscarried. She, Speech, then said to Pragâpati, 'May I never be thy oblation-bearer, I whom thou hast gainsaid!' Hence whatever at the sacrifice is performed for Pragâpati, that is performed in a low voice; for speech would not act as oblation-bearer for Pragâpati.

1:4:5:13 - 13. That germ (retas) the gods then brought away in a skin or in some (vessel). They asked: 'Is it here (atra)?' and therefore it developed into Atri. For the same reason one becomes guilty by (intercourse) with a woman who has just miscarried (âtreyî); for it is from that woman, from the goddess Speech, that these (germs) originate [1]. Footnotes

127:1 The sweeping of the fire is performed with the straw-band with which the fire-wood was tied together (Katy. III, 1, 13), and which is here compared with the lash of a whip.

128:1 While he pronounces this formula (and while the Hotri recites the formula of invitation to the gods, cf. note on I, 4, 2, 26) the Adhvaryu steps to the south side of the altar (and Âhavanîya fire) and in so doing must take care always to keep the left foot before the right (Kâty. III. 1, 16, 18) and not to touch the top of the prastara, ib. 17, schol. In returning (par. 5) to his former position he has to keep the right foot before the left.

128:2 With this and the succeeding formulas, the Adhvaryu makes the second libation (cf. note on I, 4, 4, 1). Before the butter is poured into the fire the sacrificer pronounces the dedicatory formula, 'Om! for Indra this, not for me!'

129:1 Veh, in the formula, our author refers to vid, 'to know,' instead of to vî, 'to strive after, undertake.'

129:2 Cf. I, 3, 2, 2, and Taitt. S. II, 5, 11, 7-8. The second libation (âghâra) has just been made with the guhû.

130:1 The same idea has been expressed above, I, 3, 2, 11.

130:2 Cf. Taitt. S. II, 5, 11, 4: 'Mind and Speech (or Voice) were contending against one another.' 'I will carry the oblation to the gods!' said Speech. 'I (will carry it) to the gods!' said the Mind. They went to Pragâpati to question him. Pragâpati said (to Speech), 'Thou art the handmaid (dûtî) of the mind, for what one thinks in one's mind that one speaks with one's speech.' [Speech replied], 'Then indeed they shall not offer to thee with speech!' For this reason they offer to Pragâpati with the mind; for Pragâpati, as it were, is the mind, &c.

131:1 'Tasmâd apy âtreyyâ yoshitainasvy etasyai hi yoshâyai vâko devatâyâ ete sambhûtâh,' [ete laukikâh sarve garbhâhsambhûtâh, Sây.]--The Kânva text has, 'Tasmâd api striyâtreyyainasvîty âhur etasyâ hi sa yoshâyâ devatâyâ vâkah sambhûta iti' ['--for it is from that woman, from the goddess Speech, that he (Atri) originated'].