Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 81

BY: SUN STAFF - 7.8 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.

THIRD ADHYÂYA. FIRST BRÂHMANA – Part One

2:3:1:1 - 1. The Agnihotra, doubtless, is the Sun. It is because he rose in front (agre) of that offering [1], that the Agnihotra is the Sun.

2:3:1:2 - 2. When he offers in the evening after sunset, he does so thinking, 'I will offer, while he is here, who is this (offering);' and when he offers in the morning before sunrise, he does so thinking, 'I will offer, while he is here, who is this (offering):' and for this reason, they say, the Agnihotra is the Sun.

2:3:1:3 - 3. And when he sets, then he, as an embryo, enters that womb, the fire; and along with him thus becoming an embryo, all these creatures become embryos; for, being coaxed, they lie down contented [2]. The reason, then, why the night envelops that (sun), is that embryos also are, as it were, enveloped.

2:3:1:4 - 4. Now when he offers in the evening after sunset, he offers for the good of that (sun) in the embryo state, he benefits that embryo; and since he offers for the good of that (sun) in the embryo state, therefore embryos here live without taking food.

2:3:1:5 - 5. And when he offers in the morning before sunrise, then he produces that (sun-child) and, having become a light, it rises shining. But, assuredly, it would not rise, were he not to make that offering: this is why he performs that offering.

2:3:1:6 - 6. Even as a snake frees itself from its skin, so does it (the sun-child) free itself from the night, from evil: and, verily, whosoever, knowing this, offers the Agnihotra, he frees himself from all evil, even as a snake frees itself from its skin; and after his birth all these creatures are born; for they are set free according to their inclination.

2:3:1:7 - 7. Then, as to his taking out the Âhavanîya (from the Gârhapatya) before the setting of the sun;--the rays, doubtless, are all those gods; and what highest light there is, that, indeed, is either Pragâpati or Indra. Now all the gods approach the house of him who performs the Agnihotra: but whosesoever (offering) they approach before the fire has been taken out, from that the gods turn away, and he fails in it; and after the failure of that (offering) from which the gods turn away, people say, that, whether one knows it or not, the sun went down on account of that (fire) not having been taken out.

2:3:1:8 - 8. And another reason why he takes out the Âhavanîya before the setting of the sun, is this. In like manner as, when one's better comes to visit one, he would honour him by trimming his house, so here: for whosesoever (offering) they approach, after the fire has been taken out, his Âhavanîya (house) they enter, in his Âhavanîya they repose.

2:3:1:9 - 9. Now when he offers in the evening after the sun has set, he thereby offers to them after they have entered his fire-house; and when he offers in the morning before sunrise, he offers to them before they go away. Therefore Âsuri said, 'The Agnihotra of those who offer after sunrise we regard as useless [1]: it is as if one were to take food to an empty dwelling.'

2:3:1:10 - 10. That which affords (the means of) subsistence is of two kinds; namely, either rooted or rootless. On both of these, which belong to the gods, men subsist. Now cattle are rootless and plants are rooted. From the rootless cattle eating the rooted plants and drinking water, that juice is produced.

2:3:1:11 - 11. Now when he offers in the evening after sunset, he does so thinking, 'I will offer to the gods of this life-giving juice: we subsist on this which belongs to them.' And when he afterwards takes his evening meal, he eats what remains of the offering, and whereof oblative portions (bali) have been distributed all round [2]; for he who performs the Agnihotra eats only what remains of the offering.

2:3:1:12 - 12. And when he offers in the morning before sunrise, he does so thinking, 'I will offer to the gods of this life-giving juice: we subsist on this which belongs to them.' And when he afterwards takes his meal in the day-time, he eats what remains of the offering, and whereof oblative portions have been distributed all round; for he who performs the Agnihotra eats only what remains of the offering.