Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 33

BY: SUN STAFF - 2.5 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 – Third Brâhmana, Part Two

1:5:3:16 - 16. Now at the fourth fore-offering, to the barhis, he pours (butter) together (into the guhû [1]). The barhis, namely, represents descendants, and the butter seed: hence seed is thereby infused into the descendants, and by that infused seed descendants are generated again and again. For this reason he pours together (butter) at the fourth fore-offering, that to the barhis.

1:5:3:17 - 17. Now, a battle, as it were, is going on here when any one performs the fore-offerings; and whichever of the two combatants a friend (an ally) joins, he obtains the victory: hence a friend thereby joins the guhû from out of the upabhrit, and by him it (or he) obtains the victory. This is why he pours together (butter) at the fourth fore-offering, that to the barhis.

1:5:3:18 - 18. The sacrificer, doubtless, (stands) behind the guhû, and he who means evil to him, (stands) behind the upabhrit: hence he thereby makes the spiteful enemy pay tribute to the sacrificer. The consumer, doubtless, (stands) behind the guhû, and the one to be consumed behind the upabhrit hence he thereby makes the one that is to be consumed pay tribute to the consumer. This is the reason why he pours (butter) together at the fourth fore-offering, that to the barhis.

1:5:3:19 - 19. He pours (the butter) together without (the two spoons) touching (each other). If he were to touch (the one spoon with the other) he would touch the sacrificer with his spiteful enemy, he would touch the consumer with the one to be consumed: for this reason he pours (the butter) together without touching.

1:5:3:20 - 20. He holds the guhû over the upabhrit). Thereby he keeps the sacrificer above his spiteful enemy, he keeps the consumer above the one to be consumed: for this reason he holds the guhû over (the upabhrit).

1:5:3:21 - 21. The gods once said, 'Well then, now that the battle has been won, let us establish the entire sacrifice on a firm basis; and should the Asuras and Rakshas (again) trouble us, our sacrifice will then be firmly established!'

1:5:3:22 - 22. At the last fore-offering they established the entire sacrifice by means of the Svâhâ ('hail!'). With 'Svâhâ Agni!' they established the butter-portion for Agni; with 'Svâhâ Soma!' they established the butter-portion for Soma; and with (the second) 'Svâhâ Agni!' they established that indispensable sacrificial cake which there is on both occasions (i.e. at the new- and full-moon sacrifices).

1:5:3:23 - 23. And so with the (other) deities respectively [1]. With 'Svâhâ the butter-drinking gods!' they established the fore-offerings and the after-offerings (anuyâgas), for the fore-offerings and after-offerings, doubtless, represent the butter-drinking gods. With the formula 'May Agni graciously accept of the butter!' they established Agni as Svishtakrit ('maker of good offering'), for Agni is indeed the maker of good offering. And till this day that sacrifice stands as firm as the gods established it. This is the reason why at the last fore-offering he prays with Svâhâ! Svâhâ!' according to the number of oblations (there are at the chief sacrifice). After he (the sacrificer) has won his battle, he establishes the entire sacrifice on a firm basis, so that, if after this he should violate the proper order of the sacrifice, he need not heed it; for he will know that his sacrifice is firmly established. Now what with exclaiming 'Vashat,' with offering, and with calling out 'Svâhâ,' this same sacrifice was well-nigh exhausted.

1:5:3:24 - 24. The gods were anxious as to how they might replenish it, how they might again render it efficient and practise (worshipping) with it, when efficient.

1:5:3:25 - 25. Now what was left in the guhû of the butter wherewith they had established the sacrifice, with that they sprinkled the havis (dishes, or kinds, of sacrificial food) one after another, and thereby replenished them and again rendered them efficient, because the butter is indeed efficient. Hence after offering the last fore-offering, he sprinkles the havis one after another, and thereby replenishes them and again renders them efficient, because the butter is indeed efficient [2]. Hence also from whatever sacrificial food he (afterwards at the principal oblations) cuts off (a portion for a deity), that he again sprinkles (with butter), that he replenishes and renders efficient for the (Svishtakrit) maker of good offering. But when he cuts off the portion for the maker of good offering, then he does not again sprinkle (the sacrificial food out of which the portion has been cut), since after that he will not make any other oblation in the fire from the sacrificial food [1].



44:1 In reality prayâga (from yag, 'to sacrifice') has, of course, nothing to do with pragaya (from gi, 'to conquer').

145:1 Though the author does not state expressly that this change of position in performing the five fore-offerings is advocated by some other ritualists, he apparently argues in this passage against an actually adopted theory and practice, which the Sûtras also mention as optional. In the case of the Adhvaryu changing his position, he is at each successive fore-offering to pour the butter on a part of the fire east of the preceding one. Kâty. III, 2, 18-21.

146:1 On the necessity of avoiding sameness of ritualistic practices cf. note on I, 3, 2, 8. The five fore-offerings (prayâga, here identified with the five seasons) are addressed respectively to the kindling-sticks (samidh), to Tanûnapât (or Narâsamsa, both mystical forms of Agni), to the Ids (personifications of the forms of devotional feeling), to the sacrificial grass-covering of the altar (barhis), and to Agni and Soma (or other deities). Since, in introducing the first fore-offering, the Adhvaryu has mentioned its recipient, he is not to do so in the case of the remaining four.

147:1 Such as lizards, alligators. Sâyana.

148:1 See further on, par. 22. As to Svâhâ! marking the conclusion of the sacrifice, see the Samishtayagus I, 9, 2, 25-28.

148:2 The first offering-prayer (to the logs) is 'yê yagâmahe samidhah, samidho agna âgyasya vyantû vâushat!' i.e. 'we who pronounce the offering-prayer to the Samidhs,--the Samidhs, O Agni, may accept the butter! vâushat!' Similarly at the other fore-offerings; but at the second and fourth, where the object of worship is a single one (viz. Tanûnapât and the Barhis respectively), 'may he (or it) accept (vetu)!' has to be substituted for 'may they accept (vyantu)!' The difference of number in these verbal forms is symbolically explained as implying a distinction of sex, for the reason that there may be more wives to one man, but only one husband to a woman. The elliptic expression ye yagâmahe is thus explained by Sâyana on Taitt. S. I, 6, 11: 'All we Hotri priests that are urged on by the Adhvaryu calling "Recite (thou)!" we do recite, we do pronounce the yâgyâ.' This introductory part of the offering-formula is called âgur, 'acclamation, assent' (Âsv. I, 5, 4); it is alluded to in Mahâbhâr. Vanap. I2480 (cf. Muir, O. S. T. I, p. 135), and apparently by Pân. VIII, 2, 88 (cf. Haug, Ait. Br. II, p. 133 n.).

149:1 In making the oblation, the Adhvaryu holds the guhû over the upabhrit and pours some of the butter from the guhû over the spout of the upabhrit into the fire. At the third prayâga he empties all the butter remaining in the guhû into the fire, and thereupon, for the fourth oblation, replenishes the empty spoon with half the contents of the upabhrit, after which he proceeds as before.

151:1 Cf. p. 118, note 3. The words 'Svâhâ Agnim' &c. are preceded by 'ye yagâmahe,' see before, p. 148, note 2.

151:2 After the Adhvaryu has performed the last fore-offering, he p. 152 steps back behind the altar and sitting down beside the dishes of sacrificial food, anoints, with the butter remaining in the guhû, first the (butter in the) dhruvâ, then the several sacrificial dishes; and finally the (butter in the) upabhrit. Kâty. III, 3, 9.

152:1 What remains of the dish of sacrificial food, after the oblation to Agni Svishtakrit (I, 7, 3, 1 seq.) has been made, is eaten by the priests and the sacrificer, and in their case the several portions are basted with butter, as they are cut off, but not the dish of food from which the portions have been taken.