Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 74

BY: SUN STAFF - 25.7 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 – Second Brâhmana, Part One

2:2:2:1 - 1. Now, in performing that sacrifice, they slay it; and in pressing out the king (Soma), they slay him; and in quieting and immolating the victim, they slay it. The haviryagña they slay with the mortar and pestle, and with the two mill-stones.

2:2:2:2 - 2. When slain, that sacrifice was no longer vigorous. By means of dakshinâs (gifts to the priests) the gods again invigorated it: hence the name dakshinâ, because thereby they invigorated (dakshay) that (sacrifice). Whatever, therefore, fails in this sacrifice when slain, that he now again invigorates by means of gifts to the priests; whereupon the sacrifice becomes successful: for this reason he makes gifts to the priests.

2:2:2:3 - 3. He may give six (cows) [1]; for six seasons, indeed, there are in the year, and the sacrifice, Pragâpati, is the year: thus as great as the sacrifice is, as large as its extent is, by so many (gifts, dakshinâs) does he thereby invigorate it.

2:2:2:4 - 4. He may give twelve; for twelve months there are in the year, and the sacrifice, Pragâpati, is the year: thus as great as the sacrifice is, as large as its extent is, by so many (gifts) does he thereby invigorate it.

2:2:2:5 - 5. He may give twenty-four; for twenty-four half-moons there are in the year, and the sacrifice, Pragâpati, is the year: thus as great as the sacrifice is, as large as its extent is, by so many (gifts) does he thereby invigorate it. Such is the measure of the priests' fees; but he may give more, according to (the depth of) his faith. The reason why he gives fees to the priests is this.

2:2:2:6 - 6. Verily, there are two kinds of gods; for, indeed, the gods are the gods; and the Brâhmans who have studied and teach sacred lore are the human gods. The sacrifice of these is divided into two kinds: oblations constitute the sacrifice to the gods; and gifts to the priests that to the human gods, the Brâhmans who have studied and teach sacred lore. With oblations one gratifies the gods, and with gifts to the priests the human gods, the Brâhmans who have studied and teach sacred lore. Both these kinds of gods, when gratified, place him in a state of bliss (sudhâ) 1.

2:2:2:7 - 7. Even as seed is poured into the womb, so the officiating priests place the sacrificer in the (heavenly) world [2], when he now makes gifts to those who, he hopes, will make him go thither. Such, then, (is the manner) of gifts to priests.

2:2:2:8 - 8. Now the gods and the Asuras, both of them sprung from Pragâpati, were contending with each other. They were both soulless, for they were mortal, and he who is mortal is soulless. Among these two (classes of beings) who were mortal, Agni alone was immortal; and it was through him, the immortal, that they both lived. Now whichsoever (of the gods) they (the Asuras) slew, he, indeed, was so (slain).

2:2:2:9 - 9. Thereupon the gods were left inferior. They went on praising and practising austerities, hoping that they might be able to overcome their enemies, the mortal Asuras. They beheld this immortal Agnyâdheya (consecrated fire).

2:2:2:10 - 10. They said, 'Come, let us place that immortal element in our innermost soul! When we have placed that immortal element in our innermost soul, and become immortal and unconquerable, we shall overcome our conquerable, mortal enemies.'

2:2:2:11 - 11. They said, 'With both of us is this fire (Agni): let us then treat openly with the Asuras [1].'

2:2:2:12 - 12. They said, 'We shall set up (or, establish within ourselves, â-dhâ) the two fires,--what will ye do then?'

2:2:2:13 - 13. They replied, 'Then we shall lay it down (ni-dhâ), saying, Eat grass here! eat wood here! cook pap here! cook meat here!' Now that fire, which the Asuras thus laid down, is this same (fire) wherewith men prepare their food.