Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 73

BY: SUN STAFF - 20.7 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

I. The Agnyâdhâna Or Establishment Of The Sacred Fires.

Second Adhyâya – First Brâhmana - The Oblations, Part Two

2:2:1:15 - 15. Now when he makes offering to Agni Pavamâna, he thereby obtains that form of his (Agni's) which he laid down on this earth; and when he makes offering to Agni Pâvaka, he thereby obtains that form of his which he laid down in the ether; and when he makes offering to Agni Suki, he thereby obtains that form of his which he laid down in the sky: and thus he lays down the entire Agni unmutilated. For this reason also he should take out the oblations subsequent (to the full-offering).

2:2:1:16 - 16. The first oblation has a barhis (altar-covering of sacrificial grass) to itself; the two following ones have one barhis in common. Now the first oblation represents this world, the second one that ether, and the third one the sky. But this earth is compact; and the ether and yonder sky are, as it were, trembling: and in order that these two may counterbalance that (earth), the (last) two (oblations) have one barhis in common.

2:2:1:17 - 17. All these sacrificial cakes (for Agni) are on eight potsherds; for of eight syllables consists the (pâda of the) gâyatrî, and the gâyatrî is Agni's metre [1]: with its own metre he accordingly establishes that fire. In all, these potsherds amount to twenty-four; for of twenty-four syllables consists the gâyatrî (stanza), and the gâyatrî is Agni's metre: with its own metre he accordingly establishes that fire.

2:2:1:18 - 18. He then offers a potful of boiled rice to Aditi. For he who performs those (preceding) oblations moves away, as it were, from this world, since he moves in the ascent of these worlds [2].

2:2:1:19 - 19. Now when he offers a potful of boiled rice to Aditi,--Aditi being this earth, and this earth being a firm resting-place,--he thereby again takes his stand on this firm resting-place. This is why he offers a potful of boiled rice to Aditi.

2:2:1:20 - 20. For her, they say, the two samyâgyâs [3] should be virâg verses; for the virâg is this (earth); or trishtubh verses, for the trishtubh is this (earth); or gagatî verses, for the gagatî is this (earth). Still, however, they should be virâg verses.

2:2:1:21 - 21. The priests' fee for (offering to) her consists of a cow; for this (earth) is, as it were, a cow: she milks out for men all their desires. The cow is a mother, and this (earth) also is a mother, for she bears the men: for this reason the priests' fee is a cow. This is one mode (of performing those offerings).

2:2:1:22 - 22. Then there is this other. He simply offers a cake on eight potsherds to Agni, and thereby, implicitly, to Agni Pavamâna, Agni Pâvaka, and Agni Suki; and immediately after he visibly sets him up (as Agni). For this reason he offers (a cake) to Agni [1], and then a potful of boiled rice to Aditi. The treatment of the potful of rice (in that case) is the same (as before).



302:1 Previously to the performance of the full-offering, the other fires (if there are any more) are laid down. An integral part of the laying down of the Sabhya, or hall-fire, which seems to have been kept up only by Kshatriyas, is a game of dice, played by the priests, with a cow, offered by the sacrificer, for the stake. On an ox-hide, spread north of the sacrificial ground, they place a brass vessel upside down, and on it throw four times five cowries (or, if such are not to be had, five sticks) with 'Even I win, uneven thou art won (or defeated)!'

302:2 The pûrnâhuti, or 'full-offering,' is an oblation of a spoonful of clarified butter. Kâty. IV. 10, 5, and comm., supply the following particulars, applying to all ordinary guhoti-offerings: He puts butter into the butter-pot and places it on the Gârhapatya to p. 303 melt. Having then wiped the dipping-spoon (sruva) and offering-spoon (guhû) with sacrificial grass in the manner described at I, 3, 1, 6 seq., and taken the butter-pot off the fire, and strained the butter with the two stalks of darbha serving as strainers, he fills the guhû with the sruva. He now takes one stick, steps over to the north side of the Âhavanîya fire, strews grass around it, and puts the stick on the fire. He then sits down with bent right knee, and, while the sacrificer takes hold of him from behind, he pours the spoonful of butter into the fire with 'Svâhâ!' the sacrificer pronouncing the dedicatory formula (tyâga), 'This to Agni!'

303:1 After the full-offering the sacrificer breaks the silence, imposed on him, by the words, 'I give a boon,' Kâty. IV, 10, 6; presents, p. 304according to the commentary, being then made to the Adhvaryu and the Brahman. This ceremony is succeeded by the silent performance of the Agnihotra.

304:1 The pûrnâhuti, which marks the close of the Agnyâdheya proper, is followed by the Agnihotra, performed with the texts pronounced in a low voice. Not less than twelve days after the Agnyâdheya (if at all)--the three fires being kept up during the interval--the young householder has to get performed for him (on the model of the new and full-moon offering, mutatis mutandis, there being neither the uddharana, or taking out of fire from the Gârhapatya, nor the choosing of a Brahman, &c.) the three ishtis mentioned above. At the first ishti, the special havis (sacrificial dish) consists of a rice-cake on eight potsherds for Agni Pavamâna;--at the second of two such cakes for Agni Pâvaka and Agni Suki respectively;--at the third of a potful of boiled rice for Aditi. The three havis of the first two ishtis being (according to Taitt. Br. I, 1, 6, 3) considered as representing the three bodies (tanu) of Agni; these offerings are called tanûhavir-ishtis. They are, however, also called Pavamâneshtis. At these the name of the recipient (Agni Pavamâna, &c.) has to be pronounced in a low voice in the formulas used at the chief offering. The Taitt. Br. mentions, besides, the usual Indrâgni cake (of the new-moon sacrifice) which is to be offered before the offering to Aditi.

304:2 Sâyana, on Taitt. Br. I, 1, 5, 10, takes pavamâna as 'pure' or 'purified by himself' (svayam sriddha); pâvaka as 'purifying (others);' and suki as 'shining.'

306:1 Viz. the practice of performing the full-offering only, see par. 5. The Kânva text reads: Tad vâ etat samânam eva sad viparyastam iva.

307:1 The Kânva text remarks that the anuvâkyâs (invitatory prayers) and yâgyâs (offering prayers) at the three offerings of cake are in the gâyatrî metre; and such indeed is the case. The anuvâkyâs of the oblations to Agni Pavamâna, Agni Pâvaka, and Agni Suki are Rig-veda IX, 66, 19; I, 12, 10; and VIII, 44, 21 respectively: and the yâgyâs are IX, 66, 21; V, 26, 1; and VIII, 44, 17 respectively; all of which are gâyatrî stanzas. See Âsv. Sr. II, 1, 20-25. Cf. also I, 7, 2, 15, with note. At the Svishtakrit of these two ishtis also both formulas are in the gâyatrî metre: the puro'nuvâkyâs being Rig-veda III, 11, 2, and III, 11, 6; and the yâgyâs III, 11, 1, and I, 1, 1 respectively.

307:2 Prakyavata iva vâ esho 'smâl lokât . . . imân hi lokân samârohann eti. The Kânva text has: 'For he who takes out these oblations makes his self, as it were, depart from this world of men for the world of the gods, since he, as it were, moves rising upwards (ûrdhva iva hi samârohann eti).' Cf. paragraphs 14-16.

307:3 For these (virâg) samyâgye, or invitatory and offering prayers at the Svishtakrit, see p. 164, note 2.--Âsv. Sr. II, 1, 29.

308:1 According to the Kânva recension, the anuvâkyâ and yâgyâ, in that case, should consist of the verses containing the word mûrdhan ('head'), viz. Vâg. S. XIII, 14, 15; cf. Sat. Br. I, 6, 2, 12.