Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 80

BY: SUN STAFF - 3.8 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.


2:2:4:12 - 12. When they had sung praises, they went out towards the east, saying, 'We (will) go back thither!' The gods came upon a cow which had sprung into existence. Looking up at them, she uttered the sound 'hiṅ.' The gods perceived that this was the 'Hiṅ' of the Sâman (melodious sacrificial chant); for heretofore (their song was) without the but after that it was the (real) Sâman. And as this same sound 'Hiṅ' of the Sâman was in the cow, therefore the latter affords the means of subsistence; and so does he afford the means of subsistence whosoever thus knows that 'Hiṅ' of the Sâman in the cow.

2:2:4:13 - 13. They said, 'Auspicious, indeed, is what we have produced here, who have produced the cow: for, truly, she is the sacrifice, and without her no sacrifice is performed; she is also the food, for the cow, indeed, is all food.'

2:2:4:14 - 14. This (word 'go'), then, is a name of those (cows), and so it is of the sacrifice: let him, therefore, repeat [1] it, (as it were) saying, 'Good, excellent!' and, verily, whosoever, knowing this, repeats it; (as it were) saying, 'Good, excellent!' with him those (cows) multiply, and the sacrifice will incline to him.

2:2:4:15 - 15. Now, Agni coveted her: 'May I pair with her,' he thought. He united with her, and his seed became that milk of hers: hence, while the cow is raw, that milk in her is cooked (warm); for it is Agni's seed; and therefore also, whether it be in a black or in a red (cow), it is ever white, and shining like fire, it being Agni's seed. Hence it is warm when first milked; for it is Agni's seed.

2:2:4:16 - 16. They (the men) said, 'Come, let us offer this up!'--'To whom of us shall they first offer this?' (said those gods).--'To me!' said Agni.--'To me!' said that blower (Vâyu).--'To me!' said Sûrya. They did not come to an agreement; and not being agreed, they said, 'Let us go to our father Pragâpati; and to whichever of us he says it shall be offered first, to him they shall first offer this.' They went to their father Pragâpati, and said, 'To whom of us shall they offer this first?'

2:2:4:17 - 17. He replied, 'To Agni: Agni will forthwith cause his own seed to be reproduced, and so you will be reproduced.' 'Then to thee,' he said to Sûrya; 'and what of the offered (milk) he then is still possessed of, that shall belong to that blower (Vâyu)!' And, accordingly, they in the same way offer this (milk) to them till this day: in the evening to Agni, and in the morning to Sûrya; and what of the offered (milk) he then is still possessed of, that, indeed, belongs to that blower.

2:2:4:18 - 18. By offering, those gods were produced in the way in which they were produced, by it they gained that victory which they did gain: Agni conquered this world, Vâyu the air, and Sûrya the sky. And whosoever, knowing this, offers the Agnihotra, he, indeed, is produced in the same way in which they were then produced, he gains that same victory which they then gained;--indeed, he shares the same world with them, whosoever, knowing this, offers the Agnihotra. Therefore the Agnihotra should certainly be performed.



325:1 The sruva, or dipping-spoon, and the Agnihotra ladle, for instance, are made of this wood; see p. 331, note 2.

325:2 On 'hiṅ' as an essential element in the recitation of Sâma-chants, see I, 4, 1, 1 seq.

326:1 Pariharet [? 'let him avoid it (the term go in the sense of sacrifice), thinking that it is too holy']. Sâyana merely remarks, that both the cow and the sacrifice are here represented as extremely auspicious (utkrishtam punyam). Perhaps we have here a play on the words upanâma, 'a by-name,' and upanâmuka, 'inclining to (him).' 'Go' (for go-shtoma) is the designation of one of the days of the Abhiplava at the Gavâmayana.