Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 78

BY: SUN STAFF - 31.7 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.


2:2:3:25 - 25. He recites 3, '[The divine Barhis] may accept (the offering) for Agni's abundant obtainment of abundant gift! Vaughak!'--'[The divine Narâsamsa] may accept (the offering) for abundant obtainment, in Agni, of abundant gift! Vaughak!'--'The divine Agni Svishtakrit . . . .' this third (after-offering) is already in itself of the nature of Agni; and thus he makes the after-offerings relate to Agni.

2:2:3:26 - 26. Those same case-forms (of agni) 4, which he recites in the offering-prayers, are six; namely, four at the fore-offerings, and two at the after-offerings. Now there are six seasons; and the seasons he (Agni) entered: out of the seasons he accordingly thereby produces him.

2:2:3:27 - 27. There are either twelve or thirteen syllables (in these six case-forms) 5. Now there are either twelve or thirteen months in a year 6; and the year, the seasons, he (Agni) entered: out of the seasons he accordingly thereby produces him. In order to avoid sameness, no two (of these forms) are alike; but (the fault of) sameness he would undoubtedly commit, were any two of them alike. The characteristic form of the fore-offerings is (alternately), 'May they accept,' 'May it (or he) accept 1;' and that of the after-offerings is, 'For the abundant obtainment of abundant gift.'

2:2:3:28 - 28. The priests' fee for this (sacrifice) consists of gold 2, This sacrifice belongs to Agni, and gold is Agni's seed 3: this is why the priests' fee consists of gold. Or it may be an ox; for the latter is of the nature of Agni as far as its shoulder is concerned, since its shoulder (by carrying the yoke) is as if burnt by fire. Moreover, Agni is oblation-bearer to the gods, and that (ox) bears (or draws, loads) for men: this is why an ox may be given as the priests' fee.



313:1 The Kânva text has: He said, 'Speak ye not thus; be thou a restrainer of speech!'--'Speak ye not,' so (he said); for, having established the two fires, one should not speak untruthfully (mrishâ), nor should he who utters speech speak untruthfully. He should, therefore, strive to speak nothing but the truth.

313:2 If the householder who has set up his fires, finds, after a year or more, that he does not prosper in his undertakings, or if he has otherwise met with misfortunes, and thus his âdheya has not proved successful, he should set up his fires a second time. The old fires have to be put out, either early in the day on which the performance is to take place, or from three nights to a whole year previous to the ceremony. With the exceptions noticed in the sequel, the performance is the same as that of the âdhâna.

314:1 Compare the corresponding legend Taitt, S. I, 5, 1; according to which the gods deposited their precious goods (vâmam vasu) with Agni; and Pûshan and Tvashtri, on performing sacrifice to Agni exclusively (the punarâdhyeya), became possessed of the cattle, whence the latter are said to belong to Pûshan (paushna) and to Tvashtri (tvâshtra). Afterwards Manu and Dhâtri (here identified with the year) also performed the ceremony. See also Sat. Br. II, 3, 4, 1 seq.

314:2 Or, since it is to Tvashtri that all form belongs.

315:1 Gyotir amutra punyalokatvâ, lit, 'a light by (way of) blissful state.' The Kânva text has the same reading.

315:2 This speculation is based on the identity of the words for year (varsha; also 'rain') and the rains, or rainy season (varshâh).

315:3 The characteristics of the seasons here selected are supposed to have a special connection with the rain and rainy season.

316:1 During the autumn, or sultry season succeeding the rains, there are frequent displays of sheet-lightning along the horizon at night.

317:1 Calotropis Gigantea. These cakes (apûpa, not purodâsa, have first to be cooked either on the Avasathya, or on a secular fire. Before the cakes are then put on the Gârhapatya and Âhavanîya fire-places, the latter have to be consecrated in the usual way (cf. p. 2); and, after the putting on of the cakes, the fire-places are sprinkled by the Adhvaryu, while the sacrificer holds on to him from behind. Katy. IV, 11, 8, Schol.

317:2 Viz. he performs an ishti with such a rice-cake for the havis, as a substitute for the tanûhavir-ishtis, offered after the full-offering, at the âdhâna. See II, 2, 1, 6, and note.

317:3 The paṅkti consists of five octosyllabic pâdas. The anuvâkyâ and yâgyâ at the chief offering are Rig-veda IV, 10, 2 and 4; those of the svishtakrit, ib., verses 4 and 1.--Âsv. II, 8, 14.

317:4 The offering prayers of all libations and offerings at this ishti must therefore contain Agni's name. At each of the fore-offerings and after-offerings a different case-form of agni is added after the respective objects of those offerings,--thus, '. . . samidho agne p. 318 'gna âgyasya vyantu,' 'tanûnapâd agnim agna . . .,' 'ido agninâgne . . .,' &c. See par. 19; also p. 148, n. 2; I, 5, 4, 1 seq.; I, 8, 2, 1 seq. The two butter-portions otherwise offered to Agni or Soma respectively (cf. I, 6, 1, 20 seq.) are in this case offered to Agni; the anuvâkyâs, according to Âsv. II, 8, 7, being Rig-veda VIII, 44, I, and VI, 16, 16 respectively. See, however, paragraphs 21 seq.

318:1 Viz. the Adhvaryu calls, Õ srâvaya, 'cause (him or one) to hear!' and the Âgnîdhra responds by Astu sraushat, 'yea, may he (or one) hear!'

318:2 Here, at the first fore-offering, an option is apparently left between the former, regular summons (see I, 5, 3, 8), and the latter, modified so as to make it apply directly to Agni. Katy. IV, 11, 11 allows the same option for the first prayâga and anuyâga. For the latter, however, see further on, par. 24. The Kânva recension has as follows:--Now when the Adhvaryu, on stepping over (to the south side) and uttering his call (for the Âgnîdhra) to bid attention, says, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the Samidhs!' then that, indeed, is one of Agni's forms of manifestation (âgneyam eva tad rûpam); but here let him say, as it were, p. 319 in a mystic way, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the Agnis!' (paroksham iva tv agnîn yageti haiva tatra brûyât.)

319:1 See p. 317, note 4.

319:2 A modification of the ordinary vaushat. The Kânva text has here and in par. 25, as usual, vaushal.

319:3 At the fifth fore-offering; see I, 5, 3, 22 seq.

319:4 See II, 2, 1, 6, and note; also II, 2, 1, 22.

319:5 This points forward to the second butter-portion, which is offered to Agni Pavamâna or Agni Indumat, instead of Soma; the first being offered to Agni simply. Kâty. IV, 11, I2.

319:6 Rig-veda V, 14, 1. See, however, the formulas prescribed by Âsvalâyana, p. 317, note 4.

319:7 The fire laid down at the âdheya is removed when the punarâdheya is to be performed.

320:1 Viz. that second butter-portion which by right belongs to Soma (see I, 6, 1, 20 seq.), but is here offered to Agni.

321:1 For the formulas of the chief offering and Svishtakrit, see p. 317, note 3.

321:2 That is, at the altar-offerings; see I, 8, 2, 14. Cf. also p. 318, note 2.

321:3 See I, 8, 2, 15. Here a different case-form of the word agni (viz. agneh and agnau) is inserted in the offering-formulas of the first two anuyâgas, immediately after the word indicating the object of the offering; the formula of the third and last anuyâga already containing the nominative agnih in the same place.

321:4 See p. 317, note 4.

321:5 The locative case agnau, inserted in the offering-prayer of the second after-offering, is optionally made trisyllabic by being written and pronounced agnâ-u.

321:6 For other allusions to intercalary months in the Vedic texts, see Weber, Naxatra, II, p. 336.

322:1 See I, 5, 3, 35.

322:2 See also II, 2, 4, 15. In Taitt. S. I, 5, 12 (referred to Kâty. XI, 2, 37) 'white gold' (ragatam hiranyam), i.e. silver, is expressly mentioned as unsuitable for the dakshinâ. The reason adduced is that, when the gods claimed back the goods deposited with Agni, he wept, and the tears he shed became silver; and hence, if one were to give silver as a dakshinâ, there would be weeping in his house before a year had passed.

322:3 See II, 1, 1, 5.