Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 45

BY: SUN STAFF - 24.5 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

Seventh Adhyâya – Third Brâhmana, Part Two

1:7:3:13 - 13. [The Hotri continues to recite]: 'May he sacrifice to his own greatness!' When, on that occasion [2], he asks him (Agni) to bring hither the deities, he also makes him bring hither his own greatness; but before this no worship of any kind has been offered to 'his (Agni's) own greatness:' and he therefore now gratifies him, and thus that (fire) has been established so as to prevent failure on his (the sacrificer's) part. This is the reason why he says 'may he sacrifice to his own greatness.'

1:7:3:14 - 14. 'By sacrifice may he obtain for himself food worthy of sacrifice [3]!' the food, doubtless, is these creatures: he thereby makes them eager to sacrifice, and these creatures go on sacrificing, worshipping and performing austerities.

1:7:3:15 - 15. 'May he, the knower of beings, (perform) [1] the sacred cult; may he graciously accept the sacrificial food!' Thereby he prays for success to this sacrifice; for when the gods graciously accept the sacrificial food, then he (the sacrificer) gains great things [2]: for this reason he says 'may he graciously accept the sacrificial food!'

1:7:3:16 - 16. The reason why on this occasion the invitatory and offering-formulas are made closely to correspond to each other (avakliptatama), is that the svishtakrit (is equivalent to) the evening libation, and the evening libation, doubtless, belongs to the Visve Devâh (the 'All-gods ) [3]. 'Gladden thou the longing gods, O youngest!' this much in the invitatory formula refers to the Visve Devâh [4]. 'O Agni, Hotri of the cult! when this day (thou comest) to the men [5];' this much in the offering-formula refers to the Visve Devâh. And because such is the form of these two (formulas), therefore they are of the form of the evening libation; and this is why the invitatory and offering-formulas on this occasion are made closely to correspond to each other.

1:7:3:17 - 17. They are both trishtubh verses; for the svishtakrit is, as it were, the residue (or site, vâstu) of the sacrifice, and the residue (or, a vacant site) is without energy [1]. Now the trishtubh means manly power [2], energy: hence he thereby imparts manly power, energy to that residue, the svishtakrit. This is why they are both trishtubh verses.

1:7:3:18 - 18. Or they are both anushtubh verses. The anushtubh is residue (or site, vâstu), and the svishtakrit also is residue: hence he thereby puts a residue to a residue [3]. And, verily, one who knows this, and whose (invitatory and offering-formulas) are two anushtubh verses, his homestead (vâstu) is prosperous, and he himself prospers in regard to progeny and cattle.

1:7:3:19 - 19. Now here Bhâllabeya [1] made the invitatory formula (consist of) an anushtubh verse, and the offering-formula of a trishtubh verse, thinking, 'I thus obtain (the benefits of) both.' He fell from the cart, and in falling, broke his arm. He reflected: 'This has befallen because of something or other I have done.' He then bethought himself of this: '(It has befallen) because of some violation, on my part, of the proper course of the sacrifice.' Hence one must not violate the proper course (of sacrificial performance); but let both (formulas) be verses of the same metre, either both anushtubh verses, or both trishtubh verses.

1:7:3:20 - 20. He cuts (the portions for Agni Svishtakrit) from the north part (of the sacrificial dishes) 2, and offers them up on the north part (of the fire): for this is the region of that god, and therefore he cuts from the north part and offers on the north part. From that side, indeed, he arose [3], and there they (the gods) appeased him: for this reason he cuts from the north part, and offers on the north part.

1:7:3:21 - 21. He offers on this side (in front), as it were, of the other oblations. Following the other oblations cattle are produced, and the Svishtakrit represents Rudra's power: he would impose Rudra's power on the cattle if he were to bring it (the Svishtakrit) into contact with the other oblations; and his (the sacrificer's) household and cattle would be destroyed. For this reason he offers on this side, as it were, of the other oblations.

1:7:3:22 - 22. That (fire)---to wit, the Âhavanîya--is, indeed, that sacrifice by which the gods then ascended to heaven; and that (other fire) which was left behind here, is the Gârhapatya: hence they take out the former from the Gârhapatya, (so as to be) before (east) of it.

1:7:3:23 - 23. He may lay it (the Âhavanîya) down at the distance of eight steps (from the Gârhapatya); for of eight syllables, doubtless, consists the gâyatrî hence he thereby ascends to heaven by means of the gâyatrî.

1:7:3:24 - 24. Or he may lay it down at the distance of eleven steps [1]; for of eleven syllables, indeed, consists the trishtubh: hence he thereby ascends to heaven by means of the trishtubh.

1:7:3:25 - 25. Or he may lay it down at the distance of twelve steps; for of twelve syllables, indeed, consists the gaga: hence he thereby ascends to heaven by means of the gagatî. Here, however, there is no (fixed) measure: let him, therefore, lay it down where in his own mind he may think proper [2]. If he takes it ever so little east (of the Gârhapatya), he ascends to heaven by it.