Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 76

BY: SUN STAFF - 26.7 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.


2:2:3:1 - 1. Now Varuna established this (fire), being desirous of sovereignty. He obtained sovereignty; and, accordingly, whether one (who has established the fires) knows (this) or not, they call him 'king Varuna.' Soma (established the fire), being desirous of glory.

He became glorious, and, accordingly, whether one obtains a hold on Soma, or whether one does not, they both obtain (glory),--for it is glory that people thereby get to see. Glorious therefore he becomes, and sovereignty he obtains, whosoever, knowing this, establishes a sacrificial fire of his own.

2:2:3:2 - 2. Now once upon a time the gods deposited with Agni all forms (rûpa) [1], both domestic and wild; either because they were about to engage in battle, or from a desire of free scope, or because they thought that he (Agni) would protect them as the best protector.

2:2:3:3 - 3. But Agni coveted them, and seizing them he entered the seasons with them. 'Let us go back thither,' said the gods, and betook themselves to the place where) Agni (was) concealed. They were disheartened and said, 'What is here to be done? what counsel is there?'

2:2:3:4 - 4. Then Tvashtri beheld that re-consecrated fire (Punar-âdheya). He established it and thereby gained an entrance to Agni's beloved abode. He (Agni) gave up to him both kinds of forms, domestic and wild: hence they call them Tvashtri's forms; since it is from Tvashtri that all form proceeds [2]; but all other creatures of whatever kind undergo it.

2:2:3:5 - 5. It is for him (Tvashtri), then, that one must re-establish the fire: for thus he enters Agni's beloved abode, and the latter gives up to him both kinds of forms, domestic and wild. In that (fire) those two kinds of forms are seen: such is the ascendancy (which one obtains by the punarâdhyeya),--people, indeed, envy him; thus he thrives, and a conspicuous position (is obtained by him).

2:2:3:6 - 6. To Agni belongs this sacrifice. Agni is the light, the burner of evil: he burns away the evil of this (sacrificer): and the latter becomes a light of prosperity and glory in this, and a light of bliss [1] in yonder, world. This, then, is the reason why he should establish the fires (a second time).

2:2:3:7 - 7. Let him establish the fires (the second time) in the rainy season. The rains are all the seasons, for the rains are indeed all the seasons: hence, in counting over years, people say, 'In such and such a year (or rain, varsha) we did it; in such and such a year (or rain) we did it.' The rains, then, are one of the forms of manifestation (rûpa) of all seasons [2]; and when people say, 'To-day it is as if in summer,' then that is in the rainy season; and when they say, 'To-day it is as if in spring,' then that, too, is in the rainy season. From the year (or rain, varsha), indeed, (is named) the rainy season (varshâh).

2:2:3:8 - 8. There is, moreover, an occult form (through which the rains manifest themselves in the seasons) 3. When it blows from the east, then that is the characteristic sign of spring:--when it thunders, it is that of summer;--when it rains, it is that of the rainy season; when it lightens, it is that of autumn [1];--when it ceases to rain, it is that of winter. The rains are all the seasons. The seasons he (Agni) entered: from out of the seasons, therefore, he now produces him.

2:2:3:9 - 9. But the sun also is all the seasons: when he rises, then it is spring;--when the cows are driven together (for milking), then it is summer;--when it is mid-day, then is the rainy season;--when it is afternoon, then it is autumn;--when he sets, then it is winter. At mid-day (madhyandina), therefore, he should establish his fires, for then that (sun) is nearest to this world, and hence he produces that (fire) from the nearest centre (madhya).

2:2:3:10 - 10. Verily, this man is affected with evil, as with a shadow. But then (at mid-day) that (evil) of his (like his shadow) is smallest, and shrinks, as it were, beneath his foot: hence he thereby crushes that evil, when it is smallest. For this reason also he should establish his fires (the second time) at mid-day.