Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 32

BY: SUN STAFF - 27.4 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

Fifth Adhyâya – Third Brâhmana

1:5:3:1 - 1. The fore-offerings (prayâga), assuredly, are the seasons: hence there are five of them, for there are five seasons.

1:5:3:2 - 2. The gods and the Asuras, both of them sprang from Pragâpati, were once contending for this sacrifice, (which is) their father Pragâpati, the year: 'Ours it (he) shall be!' 'Ours it (he) shall be!' they said.

1:5:3:3 - 3. Then the gods went on praising and toiling. They saw these fore-offerings and worshipped with them. By means of them they gained (pra-gi) the seasons, the year; they deprived their rivals of the seasons, of the year: hence (the fore-offerings are) victories (pragaya), for, assuredly, pragaya is the very same term as prayâga (fore-offering) [1]. And in the same way this one (the sacrificer) wins by means of them the seasons, the year; deprives his rivals of the seasons, of the year. This is the reason why he performs the fore-offerings.

1:5:3:4 - 4. The sacrificial food at these offerings consists of clarified butter. Now the butter, indeed, is a thunderbolt, and with that thunderbolt, the butter, the gods gained the seasons, the year, and deprived their rivals of the seasons, of the year. And with that thunderbolt, the butter, he now, in the same way, gains the seasons, the year, and deprives his enemies of the seasons, of the year. For this reason clarified butter forms the sacrificial food at these (offerings).

1:5:3:5 - 5. Now this butter is the year's own liquor: hence the gods gained it (the year) by means of its own liquor; and in the same way he also now gains it by means of its own liquor. This is the reason why clarified butter forms the sacrificial food at these (fore-offerings).

1:5:3:6 - 6. Let him (the Adhvaryu) not move from that same spot where he may be standing when he calls for the fore-offerings. A battle, it is true, is witnessed whenever any one performs the fore-offerings, and whichever of the two combatants is worsted, that one, no doubt, retreats; and he who obtains the victory, advances still nearer: he (the Adhvaryu) might therefore (feel inclined to) step nearer and nearer (to the fire), and offer the oblations (while moving) nearer and nearer [1].

1:5:3:7 - 7. This, however, he should not do; he should not move from that same spot where he may be standing when he calls for the fore-offerings. Let him rather offer the (five) oblations in that part (of the fire) where he thinks there is the fiercest blaze; for only by being offered in blazing (fire), oblations are successful.

1:5:3:8 - 8. He (the Adhvaryu), having called (on, and having been responded to by, the Âgnîdhra), says (to the Hotri), 'Pronounce the offering-prayer (yâgyâ) to the Samidhs (kindling-sticks)!' Thereby he kindles the spring; the spring, when kindled, kindles the other seasons; the seasons, when kindled, generate the creatures and ripen the plants. In the same (formula) he also implies the (four) remaining seasons, and in order to avoid sameness, he introduces the others by merely saying each time, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer!' For were he to say, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to Tanûnapât!' 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the Ids!' and so on, he would commit (the fault of) repetition: hence he introduces the remaining (seasons or fore-offerings) by merely saying each time, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer [1]!'

1:5:3:9 - 9. He (the Hotri) now pronounces the offering-prayer (yâgyâ) to the Samidhs. The samidh (kindler), doubtless, is the spring. The gods, at that time, appropriated the spring, and deprived their rivals of the spring; and now this one (the sacrificer) also appropriates the spring, and deprives his rivals of the spring: this is the reason why he pronounces the offering-prayer to the Samidhs.

1:5:3:10 - 10. After that he pronounces the offering-prayer to Tanûnapât. Tanûnapât, doubtless, is the summer; for the summer burns the bodies (tanûn tapati) of these creatures. The gods, at that time, appropriated the summer, and deprived their rivals of the summer; and now this one also appropriates the summer, and deprives his rivals of the summer: this is the reason why he pronounces the offering-prayer to Tanûnapât.

1:5:3:11 - 11. He then pronounces the offering-prayer to the Ids. The Ids (praises), doubtless, are the rains; they are the rains, inasmuch as the vile, crawling (vermin) 1 which shrink during the summer and winter, then (in the rainy season) move about in quest of food, as it were, praising (îd) the rains: therefore the Ids are the rains. The gods, at that time, appropriated the rains, and deprived their rivals of the rains; and now this one also appropriates the rains, and deprives his rivals of the rains: this is the reason why he pronounces the offering-prayer to the Ids.

1:5:3:12 - 12. He then pronounces the offering-prayer to the Barhis (covering of sacrificial grass on the altar). The barhis, doubtless, is the autumn; the barhis is the autumn, inasmuch as these plants which shrink during the summer and winter grow by the rains, and in autumn lie spread open after the fashion of barhis: for this reason the barhis is the autumn. The gods, at that time, appropriated the autumn, and deprived their rivals of the autumn; and now this one also appropriates the autumn, and deprives his rivals of the autumn: this is why he pronounces the prayer to the barhis.

1:5:3:13 - 13. He then pronounces the offering-prayer with 'Svâhâ! Svâhâ 1!' The Svâhâ-call, namely, marks the end of the sacrifice, and the end of the year is the winter, since the winter is on the other (remoter) side of the spring. By the end (of the sacrifice) the gods, at that time, appropriated the end (of the year); by the end they deprived their rivals of the end; and by the end this one also now appropriates the end; by the end he deprives his rivals of the end: this is why he pronounces the offering-prayers with 'Svâhâ! Svâhâ!'

1:5:3:14 - 14. Now the spring, assuredly, comes into life again out of the winter, for out of the one the other is born again: therefore he who knows this, is indeed born again in this world. 1:5:3:15 - 15. In order to avoid sameness he prays (alternately) with 'may they accept!' and 'may he (or it) accept [2]!' for he would commit (the fault) of repetition, if he were to pray with 'may they accept!' each time, or with 'may he accept!' each time. By 'may they accept!' doubtless, females (are implied); and by 'may he accept!' a male (is implied): thereby a productive union is effected, and for this reason he prays (alternately) with 'may they accept!' and 'may he (or it) accept!'