Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 79

BY: SUN STAFF - 1.8 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.


2:2:4:1 - 1. Pragâpati alone, indeed, existed here in the beginning. He considered, 'How may I be reproduced? He toiled and performed acts of penance. He generated Agni from his mouth; and because he generated him from his mouth, therefore Agni is a consumer of food: and, verily, he who thus knows Agni to be a consumer of food, becomes himself a consumer of food.

2:2:4:2 - 2. He thus generated him first (agre) of the gods; and therefore (he is called) Agni, for agni (they say) is the same as agri. He, being generated, went forth as the first (pûrva); for of him who goes first, they say that he goes at the head (agre). Such, then, is the origin and nature of that Agni.

2:2:4:3 - 3. Pragâpati then considered, 'In that Agni I have generated a food-eater for myself; but, indeed, there is no other food here but myself, whom, surely, he would not eat.' At that time this earth had, indeed, been rendered quite bald; there were neither plants nor trees. This, then, weighed on his mind.

2:2:4:4 - 4. Thereupon Agni turned towards him with open mouth; and he (Pragâpati) being terrified, his own greatness departed from him. Now his own greatness is his speech: that speech of his departed from him. He desired an offering in his own self, and rubbed (his hands); and because he rubbed (his hands), therefore both this and this (palm) are hairless. He then obtained either a butter-offering or a milk-offering;--but, indeed, they are both milk.

2:2:4:5 - 5. This (offering), however, did not satisfy him, because it had hairs mixed with it. He poured it away (into the fire), saying, 'Drink, while burning (osham dhaya)!' From it plants sprang: hence their name 'plants (oshadhayah).' He rubbed (his hands) a second time, and thereby obtained another offering, either a butter-offering or a milk-offering;--but, indeed, they are both milk.

2:2:4:6 - 6. This (offering) then satisfied him. He hesitated: 'Shall I offer it up? shall I not offer it up?' he thought. His own greatness said to him, 'Offer it up!' Pragâpati was aware that it was his own (sva) greatness that had spoken (âha) to him; and offered it up with 'Svâhâ!' This is why offerings are made with 'Svâhâ!' Thereupon that burning one (viz. the sun) rose; and then that blowing one (viz. the wind) sprang up; whereupon, indeed, Agni turned away.

2:2:4:7 - 7. And Pragâpati, having performed offering, reproduced himself, and saved himself from Agni, Death, as he was about to devour him. And, verily, whosoever, knowing this, offers the Agnihotra, reproduces himself by offspring even as Pragâpati reproduced himself; and saves himself from Agni, Death, when he is about to devour him.

2:2:4:8 - 8. And when he dies, and when they place him on the fire, then he is born (again) out of the fire, and the fire only consumes his body. Even as he is born from his father and mother, so is he born from the fire. But he who offers not the Agnihotra, verily, he does not come into life at all: therefore the Agnihotra should by all means be offered.

2:2:4:9 - 9. And as to that same birth from out of doubt,--when Pragâpati doubted, he, while doubting, remained steadfast on the better (side), insomuch that he reproduced himself and saved himself from Agni, Death, when he was about to devour him: so he also who knows that birth from out of doubt, when he doubts about anything, still remains on the better (side).

2:2:4:10 - 10. Having offered, he rubbed (his hands). Thence a Vikaṅkata 1 tree sprung forth; and therefore that tree is suitable for the sacrifice, and proper for sacrificial vessels. Thereupon those (three) heroes among the gods were born, viz. Agni, that blower (Vâyu), and Sûrya: and, verily, whosoever thus knows those heroes among the gods, to him a hero is born.

2:2:4:11 - 11. They then said, 'We come after our father Pragâpati: let us then create what shall come after us!' Having enclosed (a piece of ground), they sang praises with the gâyatrî stanza without the 'Hiṅ [2]:' and that (with) which they enclosed was the ocean; and this earth was the praising-ground (âstâva).