Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 18

BY: SUN STAFF - 30.3 2018

A serial presentation of the Satapatha Brahmana, translated by Julius Eggeling in 1882.

First Kânda - The Darsapûrnamâsa-Ishtî or New And Full-Moon Sacrifices

Third Adhyâya – Second Brâhmana

1:3:2:1 - 1. Now the sacrifice is the man. The sacrifice is the man for the reason that the man spreads (performs) it; and that in being spread it is made of exactly the same extent as the man [1]: this is the reason why the sacrifice is the man.

1:3:2:2 - 2. The guhû (spoon) further belongs to that (man-shaped sacrifice), and so does the upabhrit; and the dhruvâ [2] represents its trunk. Now it is from the trunk that all these limbs proceed, and for this reason the entire sacrifice proceeds from the dhruvâ.

1:3:2:3 - 3. The dipping-spoon (sruva, masc.) is no other than the breath. This breath passes through (or, goes to) all the limbs, and for that reason the dipping-spoon goes to all the offering-spoons (sruk, fem.).

1:3:2:4 - 4. That guhû further is to him no other than yonder sky, and the upabhrit this atmosphere, and the dhruvâ this same (earth). Now it is from this (earth) that all the worlds originate: and from the dhruvâ, therefore, the whole sacrifice proceeds.

1:3:2:5 - 5. The dipping-spoon then is no other than that blowing one (the wind); it is this that sweeps across all these worlds: and for that reason the sruva goes to all the offering-spoons.

1:3:2:6 - 6. Now when this sacrifice is being performed, it is performed for the gods, the seasons, and the metres (or sacred texts). To the gods belongs what sacrificial food there is, to wit, king Soma and the sacrificial cake: all this he takes, while announcing it with the formula, 'I take thee, agreeable to so and so!' for thus it becomes theirs.

1:3:2:7 - 7. And whatever oblations of butter are taken, they are taken for the seasons and the metres. Every one of them he takes in the form of butter without announcing it (to any particular deity). In the guhû he takes of it four times (with the sruva from the pot), in the upabhrit eight times [1].

1:3:2:8 - 8. Now when he takes of it four times (with the sruva) in the guhû, he takes it for the seasons, since he takes it for the fore-offerings [1], and the fore-offerings are the seasons: all this he takes in the form of butter without making any announcement, in order to avoid sameness; for if he were to take it with the formulas 'For Spring (I take) thee!' 'For Summer--thee!' he would commit (the fault of) a repetition [2]: he therefore takes it in the form of butter without making any announcement.

1:3:2:9 - 9. When, on the other hand, he takes eight times (with the sruva) in the upabhrit, he takes it for the metres [3], since it is for the after-offerings 1 that he takes it; and the after-offerings are the metres: all this he takes in the form of butter without making any announcement, in order to avoid sameness; for were he to take it with the formulas 'For the Gâyatrî--thee!' 'For the Trishtubh--thee!' he would commit a repetition: he therefore takes it in the form of butter without making any announcement.

1:3:2:10 - 10. Again, when he takes four times (with the sruva) in the dhruvâ, he takes it for the whole sacrifice, and all this he takes in the form of butter without making any announcement. To whom indeed should he announce it, since he cuts it off for all the deities? He therefore takes it in the form of butter without making any announcement.

1:3:2:11 - 11. Now the sacrificer stands behind the guhû, and he who means evil to him stands behind the upabhrit. The eater stands behind the guhû, and what (or, he who) is to be eaten stands behind the upabhrit. And the guhû, indeed, is the eater, and the upabhrit is that which is to be eaten. In the guhû he takes four times (with the sruva), and in the upabhrit eight times.

1:3:2:12 - 12. Now when he takes four times (butter) in the guhû, he thereby makes the eater more limited, smaller; and when he takes eight times in the upabhrit, he makes that which is to be eaten more unlimited, more abundant: for a flourishing condition indeed exists where the eater is smaller and that which is to be eaten more abundant.

1:3:2:13 - 13. In taking four times in the guhû, he takes (altogether) more butter, and in taking eight times in the upabhrit he takes less butter.

1:3:2:14 - 14. For when, in taking four times (butter with the sruva) in the guhû, he takes more butter, he thereby, in making the eater more limited, smaller, imparts vigour and strength to him. And when, in taking eight times in the upabhrit, he takes less butter, he thereby, in making that which (or, him who) is to be eaten more unlimited, more abundant, makes it (or, him) vigourless and weaker. And thus a king who has established himself among a numberless people, subdues them even from a single dwelling, and takes possession of whatever he likes [1]: with that very same energy (the Adhvaryu acts) when he takes a greater quantity of butter in the guhû. Now what he takes in the guhû, that he offers with the guhû; and what he takes in the upabhrit, that also he offers with the guhû.

1:3:2:15 - 15. And in reference to this point they say: 'Wherefore then is he to take it in the upabhrit, if he does not offer it with the upabhrit?' Now, if he were to offer it with the upabhrit, those subjects (of the king) would assuredly become separated from him, nor would there be either an eater or what is to be eaten. When, on the other hand, he pours (the butter) together and thus offers it with the guhû, thereby the people pay tribute to the Kshatriya. Hence by what he takes in the upabhrit, the Vaisya (man of the people), under the rule of the Kshatriya, becomes possessed of cattle; and when he pours (the butter) together and offers it with the guhû, thereby the Kshatriya, whenever he likes, says, 'Hallo Vaisya, just bring to me what thou hast stored away!' Thus he both subdues him and obtains possession of anything he wishes by dint of this very energy.

1:3:2:16 - 16. These butter-portions, then, are taken for the metres. Now what he takes in the guhû (by ladling) four times (with the sruva), that he takes for the gâyatrî; and what he takes in the upabhrit (by ladling) eight times, that he takes for the trishtubh and gagatî; and what he takes in the dhruvâ (by ladling) four times, that he takes for the anushtubh. For the anushtubh is speech, and from speech all this (universe) springs: hence it is from the dhruvâ that the whole sacrifice originates. The anushtubh also is this (earth), and from it all this (universe) originates: hence it is from the dhruvâ that the whole sacrifice originates.

1:3:2:17 - 17. He takes (butter with the sruva), with the text (Vâg. S. I, 31), 'Verily, thou art the favourite resort (or, dainty) of the gods!' He thereby makes that butter the most favourite resort of the gods: for this reason he says, 'verily, thou art the favourite resort of the gods!'--'An unassailable means of worship!' the butter is indeed a thunderbolt: therefore he says, 'an unassailable means of worship!'

1:3:2:18 - 18. Once he puts (butter with the sruva) into the guhû with this formula, three times silently. With the same formula he puts (butter) once into the upabhrit, seven times silently. With the same formula he puts once (butter) into the dhruvâ, three times silently. Now, as to this, they say, 'Thrice he should take with the formula in each case, for threefold is the sacrifice.' Nevertheless (it is done) only once with each (spoon), for it is just in this way that the taking thrice (with a formula) is accomplished.

 

Footnotes

78:1 The sacrifice is the representation of the sacrificer himself; and hence its dimensions are to be those of a man, viz. the altar (vedi) on its western side is to measure a fathom, or space between the extreme ends of the outstretched arms (? of the sacrificer), which is supposed to be equal to the size of a man; see I, 2, 5, 14. Originally these measurements were no doubt relative to the size of the sacrificer; but it is doubtful whether this was still the case at the time of our author.

78:2 For a description of these spoons, see p. 67, note 2. The guhû is supposed to represent the right, and the upabhrit the left arm, and the dhruvâ the trunk.

79:1 He takes butter in the guhû and upabhrit by four or eight ladlings with the dipping-spoon. As we learn further on, the quantity taken in the guhû, by ladling four times, should exceed that in the upabhrit, although the latter requires eight ladlings. Cf. Katy. II, 7, 13.

80:1 On the prayâgas, or oblations of clarified butter introductory to, and the anuyâgas, oblations of the same material made subsequently to, the chief sacrifice, see I, 5, 3, 1 seq., and I, 8, 2, 1 seq.

80:2 Repetition of one and the same sacrificial act on the same day is to be avoided, as far as possible. The repetition in the present case would consist in his announcing the butter-oblations to the several deities in the same way as he has done in regard to the rice-portions. See I, 1, 2, 17-18.

80:3 On the frequent symbolical employment of the metres in the ritual, as the embodiment of supreme harmony and the efficacy of prayer, see Weber, Ind. Stud. VIII, 8 seq. The three principal Vedic metres are the gâyatrî (three times eight syllables), the trishtubh (four times eleven syllables), and the gagatî (four times twelve syllables); and three anuyâgas there are at these sacrifices, viz. to the barhis or sacrificial grass, to Narâsamsa and Agni Svishtakrit respectively. In the present instance (see par. 16) the trishtubh and gagatî metres are taken together as one, and as a fourth is added the anushtubh (four times eight syllables).

82:1 Tasmâd uta râgâpârâm visam prâvasâyâpy ekavesmanaiva ('by one who has a single dwelling, i.e. by himself,' Sâyana) ginâti tvad yathâ tvat kâmayate tathâ sakate. The MS. of the Kânva text has: 'Tasmât kshatriyo râgotâpârâd visam prâvasâya ginâti tvad yathâ tva(t) kâmayate tat karoti.'