Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 82

BY: SUN STAFF - 9.8 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.


2:3:1:13 - 13. Here now they say,--All other sacrifices come to an end, but the Agnihotra does not come to an end. Although that which lasts for twelve years is indeed limited, this (Agnihotra) is nevertheless unlimited, since, when one has offered in the evening, he knows that he will offer in the morning; and when one has offered in the morning, he knows that he will again offer in the evening.

Hence that Agnihotra is unlimited, and in consequence of this its unlimitedness, creatures are here born unlimited. And, verily, he who thus knows the unlimitedness of the Agnihotra, is himself born unlimited in prosperity and offspring.

2:3:1:14 - 14. Having milked 1 he puts that (milk) on (the Gârhapatya fire), because it has to be cooked. Here now they say, 'When it rises to the brim, then we shall offer it!' He must not however let it rise to the brim, since he would burn it, if he were to let it rise to the brim; and unproductive indeed is burnt seed: he must not, therefore, let it rise to the brim.

2:3:1:15 - 15. He should not offer it without having put it on the fire; for since this is Agni's seed, therefore it is hot (srita, 'cooked'); and by putting it on the fire, it is indeed heated: let him, therefore, offer (of the milk) only after he has put it on the fire.

2:3:1:16 - 16. He illumines it (with a burning straw) [1] in order that he may know when it is done. He then pours some water to it (with the sruva), both for the sake of appeasement, and in order to supplement the juice. For when it rains here; then plants spring up; and in consequence of the plants being eaten and the water drunk, this juice is produced: hence it is in order to supplement the juice (that he pours water to it); and therefore, if it should happen to him to have to drink pure milk, let him have one drop of water poured into it, both for the sake of appeasement, and in order to supplement the juice.

2:3:1:17 - 17. Thereupon he ladles four times (milk with the sruva into the Agnihotra ladle [2]), for in a fourfold way was that milk supplied [3]. He then takes a kindling-stick (samidh), and hastes up (to the Âhavanîya, with the ladle) to make the libation on the burning (stick) [4]. He offers the first libation (pûrvâhuti) without putting down (the spoon) beside (the fire, on the grass-bunch). For, were he to put it down beside (the fire), it would be as if, in taking food to somebody, one were to put it down on one's way thither. But when (he makes the libation) without previously putting it down, it is as if, in taking food to somebody, one puts it down only after taking it to him. The second (libation he then makes) after putting it down: he thereby makes these two (libations) of various vigour. Now these two: libations are mind and speech: hence he thereby separates mind and speech from each other; and thus mind and speech, even while one and the same (samâna), are still distinct (nânâ).

2:3:1:18 - 18. Twice he offers in the fire, twice he wipes (the spout of the spoon), twice he eats (of the milk), and four times he ladles [1];--these are ten (acts), for of ten syllables consists the virâg stanza, and the sacrifice is virâg (shining): he thereby converts the sacrifice into the virâg.

2:3:1:19 - 19. Now what he offers up in the fire, that he offers to the gods; and thereby the gods are (admitted to the sacrifice) [1]. And what he wipes off (the spoons), that he offers to the fathers and plants; and thereby the fathers and plants are (admitted). And what he eats after offering, that he offers to men; and thereby men are (admitted).

2:3:1:20 - 20. Verily, the creatures that are not allowed to take part in the sacrifice are forlorn; to those creatures that are not forlorn he thus offers a share at the opening of the sacrifice; and thus beasts (cattle) are made to share in it along with (men), since beasts are behind men [2].

2:3:1:21 - 21. On this point Yâgñavalkya said, 'It (the Agnihotra) must not be looked upon as a (havis-) sacrifice, but as a domestic sacrifice (pâkayagña); for while in any other (havis-)sacrifice he pours into the fire all that he cuts off (from the sacrificial dish and puts) into the offering spoon,--here, after offering and stepping outside [3], he sips water and licks out (the milk); and this indeed (is a characteristic) of the domestic offering.' This then is the animal characteristic [1] of that (Agnihotra), for the domestic offering pertains to beasts (or cattle).

2:3:1:22 - 22. Now the first of these libations, doubtless, is the same as that which Pragâpati offered in the beginning [2]; and as those (gods) thereupon continued (to sacrifice) [3],--namely, Agni, that blower (Vâyu), and Sûrya,--so this second libation is offered.