Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 30

BY: SUN STAFF - 25.4 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

Fifth Adhyâya – First Brâhmana, Part Two

1:5:1:16 - 16. 'Together with father Vaisvânara,'--for the father Vaisvânara ('common to all men'), doubtless, is the year, is Pragâpati (lord of creatures); hence he thereby propitiates the year and thus Pragâpati.--'O Agni! O Pûshan! O Brihaspati! speak forth and offer up sacrifice (pra-yag)!'--he (the Hotri), namely, will have to recite the anuvâkyâs and the yâgyâs [1]; he therefore now propitiates those gods: do ye recite, 'do ye offer!' thus (he thereby says).

1:5:1:17 - 17. 'May we partake of the bounty of the Vasus, of the wide sway of the Rudras! may we be beloved of the Âdityas for the sake of (aditi) security from injury, free from obstruction!'--these, to wit, the Vasus, Rudras, and Âdityas, namely, are three (classes of) gods: 'may we enjoy their protection' he thereby says.

1:5:1:18 - 18. 'May I this day utter speech that is agreeable to the gods;'--by this he means to say 'may I this day recite what is agreeable to the gods,' for auspicious it is when one recites what is agreeable to the gods.

1:5:1:19 - 19. 'Agreeable to the Brahmans,'--by this he means to say 'may I this day recite what is agreeable to the Brâhmanas (priests);' for auspicious it is when one recites what is agreeable to the Brâhmanas.

1:5:1:20 - 20. 'Agreeable to Narâsamsa [1],'--man (nara), namely, is a creature: hence he says this for all the creatures; thereby it is auspicious, and whether or not he knows (forms of speech that are agreeable), they are uttered (and received with applause), 'well he has recited! well he has recited!'--'What at the Hotri choice may escape the crooked eye this day, that may Agni bring back here, he, the knower of beings (gâtavedas), the nimble one (vikarshani)!'--by this he means to say, 'even as those (three) Agnis, whom they first chose for the Hotriship, passed away [2], (but thou, the fourth Agni, wast then obtained,) so do thou make good for me whatever mistake may have been committed at my election!' and it is accordingly made good for him.

1:5:1:21 - 21. He now touches the Adhvaryu and the Âgnîdhra: for the Adhvaryu is the mind, and the Hotri is, speech: thus he thereby brings mind and speech together.

1:5:1:22 - 22. At the same time he mutters [3], 'From anguish may the six spaces protect me, fire, earth, water, wind, day, and night [4]!'--'may these deities protect me from disease!' thus he thereby says; for he whom these deities protect from disease, will not stumble (or fail).

1:5:1:23 - 23. He steps beside the Hotri's seat, takes one stalk of (reed) grass from the Hotri's seat and casts it outside (the sacrificial ground), with the formula, 'Ejected is the wealth-clutcher (parâvasu, lit. "off-wealth")!' Formerly, namely, the Hotri of the Asuras was one Parâvasu by name: him he thereby ejects from the Hotri's seat.

1:5:1:24 - 24. He then sits down on the Hotri's seat, with the formula, 'I here sit down on the seat of the wealth-bestower (arvâvasu, lit. "hither-wealth")!' for one Arvâvasu by name was the Hotri of the gods [1], and on his seat he accordingly sits down.

1:5:1:25 - 25. At the same time he mutters, 'O All-maker, thou art the protector of lives! do not ye two (fires) scorch me away (from this) [2], injure me not! this is your sphere;' with this he moves slightly northwards: by this (mantra, he indicates that) he sits midway between the Âhavanîya and the Gârhapatya, and thus he propitiates these two; and in accordance with what he says, 'do not scorch me away from this! injure me not!' they do not injure him.

1:5:1:26 - 26. He then mutters whilst looking at the (Âhavanîya) fire, 'All ye gods, instruct me, how and what I am to mind while seated here as the chosen Hotri! declare my share (of the sacrificial duties), how and by what road I am to convey the oblation to you!'--for as one says to those for whom food has been cooked, 'order me how I am to bring if you, how I am to serve it up for you!' in like manner he is desirous of directions regarding the gods, and for this reason he mutters thus, 'instruct me how I may utter the Vashat-call for you in its proper order, how I may bring you the oblation in its proper order!'



131:2 The Hotri, on concluding the invitation of the gods, sits down with raised knees in the same place where he has been standing (see p. 95, note 1), parts the sacrificial grass of the altar, and measures a span on the earth, with the text (Âsv. I, 3, 22), 'Aditi is his mother, do not cut him off from the air. With the aid of Agni, the god, the deity; with the threefold chant, with the râthantara-sâman, with the gâyatrî metre, with the agnishtoma sacrifice, with the vashat-call, the thunderbolt,--I here kill him who hates us, and whom we hate!' The Adhvaryu having thereupon walked round the Hotrifrom left to right, steps behind the utkara (heap of rubbish) with his face to the east and the fuel-band in his hand, and calls on (âsrâvayati) the Âgnîdhra, with Õ srâvaya (or Õm srâvaya, i.e. â srâvaya; or simply 'srâvaya;' cf. Sâyana on Taitt. S. I, 6, 11). The Âgnîdhra (whilst standing north of the Adhvaryu, with his face to the south, and taking the wooden sword and the fuel-band from the Adhvaryu) responds (pratyâsrâvayati) by 'astu sraushat.'

132:1 See p. 127, note 1.

133:1 Thus our author. It should rather be 'May (he) worship the gods, he the wise, the considerate one.'

133:2 Cf. p. 115, note 1.

134:1 Except the beginning, these formulas are entirely different from those given by Âsv. S. I, 3, 23-24.

135:1 The yâgyâs (offering-prayers) are the prayers which the Hotri pronounces when the offerings are poured into the fire (this being done simultaneously with, or immediately after, the van shat, 'may he carry it,' with which the yâgyâ ends, is pronounced). At the chief oblations the offering-prayer is preceded by an anuvâkyâ or puro 'nuvâkyâ (invitatory prayer) by which the gods are invited to come to the offering, and which ends with 'om.'

136:1 Narâsamsa ['the hope or desire (âsamsâ) of man (nara)'] is a mystical form of Agni, invoked chiefly in the Âprî-hymns at animal sacrifices. 'Yathâ sarve 'pi narâ â sarvatah samsanti tathâvidhâya.' Sâyana.

136:2 See the legend I, 2, 3, 1 seq.

136:3 This and the succeeding formulas also are entirely different from those given in Âsv. S. I, 3, 27 seq. The Sâṅkhây. S. I, 6 (Hillebrandt, Neu and Vollm. p. 91) seems to coincide, to some extent, with those given by our author.

136:4 The six spaces or wide expanses (urvî) are several times referred to in Vedic texts, but the conception seems to have been very vague. They are generally supposed to include the space above, the space below, and the four quarters. In Rig-veda VI, 47, 3-5 it is stated that they have been measured out p. 137 by Indra, and that outside of them there is no being (bhuvanam); and they are then enumerated thus: the expanse of the earth, the height (varshman,? highest point or sphere) of the sky (div), the sap (pîyûsha) in the three elevations [? i.e. flowing, animating moisture, as rain, rivers, sap, &c.], the atmosphere, the ocean (? arnas,? of light, air), and the sky (div). The enumeration of six objects in Atharva-veda II, 12, 1 seems to refer to the same conception: heaven and earth (dyâvâprithivî), the wide atmospheric region, the genius (fem.) of the field (kshetrasya patnî), the far-strider (Sun, Light), the wide atmospheric region (uru-antariksham as before; cf. the double enumeration of div in the Rik passage); and what has the Wind for its guardian (vâtagopa). Cf. Weber, Ind: Stud. XIII, p. 164. Sânkb. Grihya-sûtra I, 6, 4 gives heaven and earth, day and night, water and plants (St. Petersburg Dictionary s.v.).

137:1 According to the Kaushît. Br. VI, 10, Arvâvasu was the Brahman of the gods. Weber, Ind. Stud. II, 306.

137:2 The Hotri's seat stands north of the north-west corner of the altar, the Âhavanîya and the Gârhapatya fires being about equidistant from it towards south-east and south-west respectively.