Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 100


Bharadwaja Rishi
Company School, Patna, 19th c.
British Museum Collection

Sep 11, 2018 — CANADA (SUN) — 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


2:5:1:12 - 12. After that (follows), as a foundation for the curds, a cake on seven potsherds for the Maruts. The Maruts indeed are the people (visah), the people of the gods. They roamed about here entirely unimpeded. Having approached Pragâpati, when he was sacrificing, they said, 'We shall destroy those creatures of thine which thou art about to create by means of this offering [2].'

2:5:1:13 - 13. Pragâpati reflected, 'My former creatures have passed away; and if those (Maruts) destroy these (creatures), then nothing will be left.' He accordingly set aside for them that share, the Maruts' cake on seven potsherds; and that is this same cake on seven potsherds for the Maruts. The reason why it is one of seven potsherds, is that the host of the Maruts is (distributed in troops) of seven each [3]. This is why there is a cake on seven potsherds for the Maruts.

2:5:1:14 - 14. Let him offer it to the 'self-strong' (Maruts); since they gained that share for themselves. [If], however, they (the priests) do not find an invitatory and an offering prayer (addressed) to the 'self-strong' (Maruts) [4], let it be (offered) simply to the Maruts. It is offered for the safety of creatures: hence it is offered to the Maruts.

2:5:1:15 - 15. Thereupon follows the oblation of curds (payasyâ). Now it is on milk that the creatures subsist, it was by means of milk that they were preserved: hence he now offers to them that by which they were preserved, and whereon they subsist; and the beings whom he creates by means of the foregoing offerings, subsist on that milk, on that oblation of curds.

2:5:1:16 - 16. Therein a union takes place: the curdled milk (payasyâ, fem.) is female, and the whey is seed. From that union the infinite All was gradually generated; and since the infinite All was gradually generated from that union, therefore it (the offering of curds) belongs to the All-gods.

2:5:1:17 - 17. Then follows a cake on one potsherd for Heaven and Earth. Now when Pragâpati had created the living beings by those offerings, he enclosed them within heaven and earth; and so they are now enclosed within heaven and earth. And in like manner he, who by means of those oblations creates living beings, thereby encloses them within heaven and earth: this is why there is a cake on one potsherd for Heaven and Earth.

2:5:1:18 - 18. Now as to the course of proceeding. They do not raise an uttara-vedi [1] in order that it (the sacred work) may be unobstructed, that it may be entire, that it may be (worthy) of the All-gods.--The barhis is tied up in three (bunches), and then again in one 1; for such is the characteristic form of generation, since father and mother are a productive (pair), and what is born forms a third element: hence that which is threefold is again (made) one. Thereto flowering shoots (of sacrificial grass) are tied: these he uses for the prastara [2]; for this is a productive union, and productive indeed are flowering shoots: this is why he takes flowering shoots for the prastara.

2:5:1:19 - 19. On putting the, sacrificial dishes in their place, they churn the fire [3]. For it was after Agni was born that Pragâpati's offspring was born;. and so for this (sacrificer) also offspring is born after Agni (the fire) has been produced: this is why they churn the fire, after they have deposited the sacrificial dishes in their place.

2:5:1:20 - 20. [At the Vaisvadeva-offering] there are nine fore-offerings and nine after-offerings [1]. Now the virâg metre consists of ten syllables: hence, he obtains both times an inferior (incomplete) virâg for the sake of production, because it was from that inferior (lower) source of production 2that Pragâpati twice produced creatures--both the upright and those looking to the ground. This is why (the Vaisvadeva) has nine fore-offerings and nine after-offerings.

2:5:1:21 - 21. There are three Samishtayagus [3]; for this (offering) is decidedly greater than an (ordinary) havir-yagña [4], since it has nine fore-offerings and nine after-offerings. However, there may also be only a single Samishtayagus, since this is a havir-yagña. The priest's fee for it (consists of) the firstborn calf (of the season).

2:5:1:22 - 22. And what race, what prosperity accrued to Pragâpati from his offering this sacrifice, that same race he produces, that same prosperity he attains whosoever, knowing this, offers this sacrifice: let him therefore perform this sacrifice.


384:1 Or, Pragâpati alone was this (universe). Cf. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, p. 70.

384:2 By pragâh, or (living) beings, mammalia--especially man and domestic animals--seem to be understood.

385:1 Âtmana evâgre; the Kânva text has âtmany evâgre.

385:2 Rig-veda VIII, 90, 14.

385:3 Or perhaps better, as Ludwig takes it, 'On high he took his place within the worlds.'

386:1 ? Or, Pragâpati, the real, the existent, 'Pragâpatim bhûtam.'

386:2 Instead of the preliminary Anvârambhanîyâ-ishti (see p. 7), a special ishti may be performed on this occasion, with a cake on twelve potsherds to Agni Vaisvânara, and a potful of boiled rice (hare) to Parganya, for oblations. Kâty. V, 1, 2-4.

386:3 According to Taitt. S. I, 8, 2, it is one on twelve potsherds.

386:4 Madhyatah, lit. 'from the middle.'

387:1 While the five preceding oblations are common to all the seasonal offerings (Kâty. V, I, 15), the succeeding ones are peculiar to the Vaisvadeva.

387:2 The Kânva text adds, 'if thou wilt not assign a share to us.'

387:3 In Rig-veda VIII, 96, 8, the Maruts are said to be sixty-three in number, divided into nine troops of seven each.

387:4 The Kânva text has: Tad uta yâgyânuvâkye svatavatyau na vindanti; yadi yâgyânuvâkye svatavatyau na vinded api mârutyâv eva syâtâm.

388:1 The uttara-vedi, or northern (or upper) altar, is not required at the performance of the Vaisvadeva, but at that of the Varunapraghâsâh; see II, 5, 2, 5 seq.

389:1 Three bunches of sacrificial grass are tied together with one band. Kâty. V, 1, 25.

389:2 For the prastara, or bunch of grass representing the sacrificer, see I, 3, 3, 5 seq.; I, 8, 3, II seq.

389:3 Kâty. V, I, 27 seq. supplies the following details:--With the text (Vâg. V, 2 a, &c.), 'Agni's birth-place art thou,' the Adhvaryu takes up a piece of wood and puts it on the altar. With 'the two testicles are ye' he lays on it two stalks of sacrificial grass. With 'Urvasî thou art' he places the lower arani (see p. 294, note 3) thereon. With 'Âyus (old age, or the son of Purûravas and Urvasî) thou art' he touches the butter in the pot with the upper arani; and with 'Purûravas thou art' he puts it down on the lower arani. He then calls on the Hotri to recite 'to the fire being churned out.' With the three formulas 'with the gâyatrî (trishtubh, gagatî) metre I churn thee!' he churns thrice from left to right, and then alternately both ways until fire is produced. He then calls on the Hotri to recite 'to the born fire' (Sâṅkh. III. 13, 21); and in carrying the fire towards the Âhavanîya he makes him recite 'to (the fire) being carried forward.' With the text V, 3, he throws it down on the Âhavanîya hearth; and (having put a kindling-stick on it) he makes two libations of butter thereon with V, 4.

390:1 The same number of prayâgas and anuyâgas are prescribed for the Varunapraghâsâh (see II, 5, 2, 30 and 41, with notes) and for the Mahâhavis of the Sâkamedhâh. Kâty. V, 2, 8.

390:2 Or rather, from that productive nyûna (womb, lit. defective, lower); see II, 1, 1, 13.

390:3 See I, 9, 2, 25 seq. The formula used, if there be only one Samishtayagus, is the same as at the Darsapûrnamâsa, viz. II, 21 b (VIII, 21). If there are three, they are offered to the wind (vâta), the sacrifice, and the lord of sacrifice respectively; the formulas Vâg. S. VIII, 22 a b being used with the second and third. Kâty. V, 2, 9. For the Varunapraghâsâh and Sâkamedhâh three Samishtayagus are prescribed, and for the Sunâsîrîya only one.

390:4 Viz. such as the new and full-moon sacrifice, which serves as the model sacrifice, and at which there are only five fore-offerings and three after-offerings. See I, 5, 3, 1 seq.; I, 8, 2, 7 seq.


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