Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 51

BY: SUN STAFF - 6.6 2018

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


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


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

Eighth Adhyâya – First Brâhmana, Part Three

1:8:1:29 - 29. 'Hither are called the primeval, law-abiding, divine (fem.) heaven and earth, whose sons are gods.' He thereby calls to him those two, heaven and earth, within which all this (universe) is embraced.--'Hither is called this sacrificer:' thereby he calls the sacrificer to him. Why he does not mention his name on this occasion, is that this is a mysterious benediction on the idâ. Were he, on the contrary, to mention the name, he would do what is human, and the human certainly is inauspicious at the sacrifice: hence he does not mention the name, lest he should do what is inauspicious at the sacrifice [1].

1:8:1:30 - 30. 'Hither (he is) called for future worship of the gods;' he thereby in a mysterious manner invokes the blessing of life on this (sacrificer); for as he sacrificed heretofore, so, while living, he will sacrifice hereafter.

1:8:1:31 - 31. Moreover, he thereby in a mysterious manner invokes the blessing of offspring for him; for whosoever has offspring,--while he, on his part, goes to yonder world, his offspring sacrifice in this world: hence future worship of the gods means offspring.

1:8:1:32 - 32. Moreover, he thereby in a mysterious manner invokes the blessing of cattle for him; for whosoever has cattle, will sacrifice hereafter, as he has sacrificed heretofore.

1:8:1:33 - 33. 'Hither (he is) called for more abundant havis-offering;' he thereby in a mysterious manner invokes the blessing of life on him; for as he has sacrificed heretofore, so while living will he hereafter again and again make offerings.

1:8:1:34 - 34. Moreover, he thereby in a mysterious manner invokes the blessing of offspring for this (sacrificer); for whosoever possesses offspring,--though he, of his own self, be one only, yet that offering is made tenfold by his offspring: hence offspring means more abundant offering.

1:8:1:35 - 35. Moreover, he thereby in a mysterious manner invokes the blessing of cattle for him; for whosoever possesses cattle, will make offering again and again, as he has sacrificed heretofore.

1:8:1:36 - 36. This then is the benediction (implied in these formulas), 'May I live, may I have offspring, may I obtain prosperity!' Now in praying for the blessing of cattle, he prays for prosperity; for cattle means prosperity: hence through these two benedictions everything is obtained; and therefore these two benedictions are here pronounced.

1:8:1:37 - 37. [He continues to call], 'Hither (he is) called to this (sacrifice, for the prayer 1), "May the gods graciously accept this my offering (havis)!''' he thereby invokes complete success on the sacrifice; for what offering the gods graciously accept, by that one gains great things: for this reason he says, 'may they graciously accept [2].'

1:8:1:38 - 38. They (the priests and sacrificer) eat it (the idâ), and do not offer it up in the fire; for assuredly the idâ means cattle: hence they do not offer it in the fire, lest they should throw the cattle into the fire.

1:8:1:39 - 39. In the vital airs rather it is offered, partly in the Hotri, partly in the Sacrificer, partly in the Adhvaryu. Now, when he has broken off the forepart of the (Agni) cake, he places it before the dhruvâ-spoon. But the dhruvâ represents the sacrificer: hence this will be eaten by the sacrificer. And if he does not now visibly eat it, lest he should eat before the sacrifice is completed, it nevertheless is now (symbolically) eaten by him. All of them eat (of the idâ): 'May it be offered for me in all!' thus (he thinks). Five eat of it,--the idâ indeed means cattle, and cattle are fivefold: hence five eat of it.

1:8:1:40 - 40. Now when he (the Hotri) intones (in a loud voice) [1], he (the Adhvaryu) divides the (Agni) cake into four parts, and lays it on the barhis (the sacrificial grass covering the altar). Here it lies in place of the fathers; for there are four intermediate quarters, and the intermediate quarters represent the fathers: for this reason he divides the cake into four parts, and lays it on the barhis [2].

1:8:1:41 - 41. And when he recites, 'Hither are called heaven and earth,' he hands it (the shadavatta [1]) to the Âgnîdhra. The Âgnîdhra eats (the two pieces), with the respective texts (Vâg. S. II, 10-11), 'Hither is called mother Earth; may mother Earth call me to her! Agni (am I) by virtue of my Âgnîdhraship. Hail!' 'Hither is called father Heaven; may father Heaven call me to him! Agni (am I) by virtue of my Âgnîdhraship. Hail!' He, the Âgnîdhra, truly is the representative of heaven and earth, and therefore he eats (the shadavatta) in this manner.

1:8:1:42 - 42. And when (the Hotri) pronounces the benediction [2], then (the sacrificer) mutters (Vâg. S. II, 10 a), 'May Indra bestow on me that power of his! may abundant riches accrue to us! may there be blessings for us! may there be true blessings for us!' For indeed this is a receiving of blessings: hence what blessings the priests on this occasion invoke on him, those he thereby receives and makes his own.

1:8:1:43 - 43. [On the conclusion of the invocation and the eating [3] they cleanse themselves (with water poured) through the two strainers (pavitra, 'purifier'). For they have now performed the idâ, which represents the domestic offerings; and thinking, 'Purified by the purifiers we will now perform what part of the sacrifice remains still unaccomplished,' they cleanse themselves with the strainers.

1:8:1:44 - 44. He (the Adhvaryu) then throws the two strainers on the prastara [1]. The prastara, doubtless, represents the sacrificer, and the two strainers the out-breathing and in-breathing: hence he thereby invokes out-breathing and in-breathing on the sacrificer; and for this reason he throws the strainers on the prastara.



216:1 For other translations of this important legend of the deluge, see A. Weber, Ind. Streifen, I, p. 9 (Ind. Stud. I, 161 seq:).; Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 425; J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, I, p. 182. For the later versions of the same legend, especially the one from the Mahâbhârata (Vanaparvan 22747-12802), see Original Sanskrit Texts, I, p. 196 seq.

216:2 According to the scholiast, 'it will carry away all these creatures that live in Bharatavarsha to some other country.'

216:3 ? Sasvad dha ghasha âsa, sa hi gyeshtham vardhate 'thetithîm samâm tad augha âgantâ. 'Bald war er ein Grossfisch (ghasha), denn er wuchs gewaltig,' Weber. 'He became soon a large fish. He said to Manu, "When I am full-grown, in the same year the flood will come,"' Max Müller. 'Straightway he became a large fish; for he waxes to the utmost,' Muir. Perhaps ghasha is here intended for the name of some fabulous horned fish (cf. sriṅgi, sriṅgî). In the Black Yagur-veda (Taitt. S. I, 7, 1; II, 6, 7) the idâ is represented as a cow, produced by Mitra and Varuna (see below, par. 24). Perhaps it was this version and the symbolical representation of the idâ as meaning cattle, which suggested the notion of a horned fish, in adapting an older legend.

217:1 I adopt here, though not without hesitation, the interpretation proposed in the St. Petersb. Dict. (s.v. upa-âs), which the separation of mâm from the verb favours. Professor Max Müller translates: 'Build a ship then, and worship me.' Dr. Muir: 'Thou shalt, therefore, construct a ship, and resort to me.' The Mahâbhârata has: 'When standing on the ship, thou shalt look out for me: I shall be recognisable (by my being) furnished with a horn,' which, after all, may furnish the correct explanation of our passage.

217:2 Or, 'it,' that is, either the ship, or the fish. That abhi-dudrâva, the reading of the Kânva school, is the right one, seems to follow from the next paragraph. Professor Weber's edition has ati-dudrâva, as read by his best MS., 'it (or he) sailed across the mountain.' The reading of the other MSS. adhi-dudrâva must be a clerical error, most likely for abhi-dudrâva. Professor Müller translates: 'The fish carried him by it over the northern mountain.' Dr. Muir: 'By this means he passed over (or, he hastened to) this northern mountain.'

217:3 Antaskhaitsît,? 'cut thee asunder,' Max Müller; 'wash thee away;' 'fortspült,' Weber; 'abschneiden, intercludere,' St. Petersb. Dict. I adopt this last meaning, = 'leave thee stranded.'

218:1 According to the version of the Mahâbhârata, 'the peak of the Himâlaya to which the ship was tied, was afterwards called naubandhana, 'the tying of the ship.' Professor Weber also draws attention to Ath.-veda XIX, 39, 8, where the term nâvaprabhramsana or 'gliding down of the ship' is used in connection with the summit of the Himavat.

218:2 Pibdamânâ-iva, as taken by the St. Petersb. Dict. The meaning 'dripping with fat, unctuous,' offered by the commentator, was probably suggested to him by what follows in the text; and by the cow-version (p. 216, note 3), Taitt. Br. II, 6, 7, 1.

218:3 Or, as the commentator takes it, 'she both promised and did not promise it;' that is to say, she promised, inasmuch as she (Idâ) is called maitrâvarunî (belonging to, or the daughter of, Mitra or Varuna; see XIV, 9, 4, 27), but refused, inasmuch as Mitra and Varuna have no share in the in portions.

219:1 Idayâ karati has the double meaning 'lives with Idâ (the woman)' and 'practices sacrificial rites with the idâ-ceremony.'

219:2 See p. 16, note 1.

219:3 The technical expression used for this fivefold cutting of the idâ is sam-ava-do, 'to cut off completely (or together),' or, according to the St. Petersb. Dict., 'to divide and collect the pieces.' The five cuttings of the idâ consist of the upastarana, or underlayer of butter in the idâpâtrî; of two cuttings of each of the havis (or dishes of sacrificial food) from their southern and central parts respectively; and of two drippings (or bastings, abhighârana) of butter, as in the case of the svishtakrit (see Kâty. III, 4, 6, and note on I, 7, 3, 20). According to some authorities, the idâ consists of four cuttings only (cf. Hillebrandt, Neu- and Vollm. p. 122).

220:1 According to Kâty. III, 4, 8, 9, he does so without quitting his hold of the idâ; and he withdraws the latter from the Hotri; when he anoints him.

220:2 A gesture here indicates the two middle joints (or, according to Harisvâmin, the intermediate links) of the Hotri's right fore-finger, viz. first the lower joint, and afterwards (par. 15) the upper joint; whereupon the Hotri applies the respective joints to his lips and smears the butter on them, cf. Âsv. S. I, 7, 1; Kâty. III, 4, 9; Hillebrandt, op. cit., p. 124. In Sat. Br. XII, 2, 4, 5 the fore-finger is called annâditamâ, or the finger 'which eats most food;' cf. Weber, Pratigñâsûtra, p. 97.

221:1 Enâm hotari srayati, literally 'he makes it enter into, remain in, the Hotri.' The author, however, here, as in I, 6, 4, 7, mixes up the verb sri with srâ, 'to cook.' The reason for this see p. 177, note 4.

221:2 This, according to Âsv. Sr. I, 7, 3, and comm., is effected in the following way: the Hotri takes the idâ with his joined hands (añgali) and makes it lie in his left hand; whereupon the Adhvaryu cuts the (fivefold cut) avântaredâ from the idâ into the Hotri's right hand, the fingers of which point northwards; the five cuttings apparently consist of the 'underlayer' of butter, two pieces cut from the idâ, and drippings of butter on them. Cf. Hillebrandt, op. cit., p. 125.

221:3 During the invocation of the idâ the Hotri holds the butter (as well as the avântaredâ), and the other priests (except the Brahman) and the sacrificer touch the idâ (or, according to Karka, the Hotri). Kâty. III, 4, 11, 12.

222:1 There are considerable differences between the text of, the Hotri's call to the idâ as here given and that given in Âsv. S. I, 7, 7. The text of the Black Yagur-veda (Taitt. Br. III, 5, 8; Taitt. S. II, 6, 7; I, 7, 1), on the other hand, only differs from ours in one or two points. According to Âsv. S. I, 5, 28, the calls are to be uttered in the highest pitch (cf. Hillebrandt, Neu- and Vollmondsopfer, p. 126, note).

222:2 Viz. the Hotri, as the representative of the officiating priests. Schol.

222:3 On the rathantara and brihat sâmans, see p. 196, note 2. The vâmadevya sâman is Sâma-veda II, 32-34: kayâ nas kitra â bhuvad ûtî sadâvridhah sakhâ, 'with what favour will he assist us, the wonderful, ever-gladdening, friend,' &c. Cf. Haug, Ait. Br. II, 246.

222:4 For upahûtâ gâvah, the Taitt. reads upahûtâ dhenuh, 'called hither is the cow.' Âsval. Sr. has upahûtâ gâvah sahâsirah--upahûtâ dhenuh saharishabhâ. Here and after the succeeding calls we have apparently to supply the inverse formulas, 'May the cows together with the bull call us,' &c., as in Taitt. Br., they being likewise omitted in Taitt. S. II, 6, 7.

223:1 The seven Hotris comprise the Hotri with his assistants, the Maitrâvaruna (or Prasâstri), and Akkhâvâka; and the chief assistants of the Brahman, viz. the Brâhmanâkkhamsin, Âgnîdhra, Potri, and Neshtri. The Grâvastut, another assistant of the Hotri, is often added as eighth Hotri. Cf. Haug, Ait. Br. II, p. 147. Instead of upahûtâ saptahotrâ in our text, the Kânva text and the Black Yagur-veda read upahûtâh saptahotrâh, 'called hither are the seven Hotriships;' Âsval. Sr. upahûtâ divyâ sapta hotârah, 'called hither are the seven divine Hotris.'

223:2 Bhaksha, 'the eating, enjoying;' perhaps the author here takes it in the sense of 'feeder,' in that of 'eater, quaffer;' Sâyana, on Taitt. S. II, 6, 7, 3, takes it as Soma-drink (somapîtha).

223:3 Apparently, like hikkâ (verb hikk), imitative of the internal sound of the hiccough. The Kânva MS. has harik instead; and the Black Yagus ho, which it identifies with the self (âtman).

224:1 After 'May Idâ also call us to her,' he repeats 'Idâ is called hither! Called hither (thither) is Ida!'

224:2 See I, 8, 1, 7-8, with note 3.

224:3 Brahma devakritopahûtâ; the Black Yagur-veda and Âsval. Sr. read 'brahma devakritam upahûtam.' Cf. Taitt. S. I, 7, 1, 5, brahma vai devânâm brihaspatih.

225:1 ? The commentator remarks: 'He says, The divine Adhvaryus assuredly are the calves,' because, in his opinion, the sânnâyya constitutes the sacrificial food which contains the Adhvaryus (havis--adhvaryuvat). In I, 1, 2, 17 we met with the Asvins as the two divine Adhvaryus.

226:1 With this and the following paragraphs cf. I, 9, 1, 12 seq.

227:1 See Sâyana's comm. on Taitt. S. II, 6, 7, 6.

227:2 Before this formula the Black Yagur-veda inserts, 'Called (he is) to the heavenly abode!' and after it as the final formula, 'All that is dear to him (the sacrificer) is called! Called (he is) of (? by) everything dear that is called!' Taitt, Br. III, 5, 9, 3. For the modifications of the concluding mantras in the case of the idâ being invoked for the mistress of the house (Sat. Br. I, 9, 2, 5), see Taitt. Br, III, 5, 13.

228:1 Viz. 'Ida is called hither!' see par. 24. According to Kâty. III, 4, 12, all (the other priests and the sacrificer, probably with the exception of the Brahman) touch the idâ (or, according to Karka, they touch the Hotri who holds the idâ) whilst the invocation of the idâ takes place. The quartering of the cake, according to ib. 13, is done with the text, 'Make swell, O ruddy one! milk me life; milk me offspring; milk me cattle; milk me brahmahood; milk me kshatriyahood; milk me people! Fatten through the progeny, through the cattle of him who hates us, whom we hate!'

228:2 According to Kâty. III, 4, 14, the Adhvaryu puts the four parts on the barhis and assigns one to each priest. But according to the commentary and to other Sûtras, it is the sacrificer who allocates the portions by laying them down so as to correspond with the four intermediate regions, commencing in the south-east (or Agni's) region, and saying, 'This for the Brahman,' 'This for the Hotri,' 'This for the Adhvaryu,' 'This for the Agnîdh.' The sacrificer then shifts his Brâhmanical cord from the right to the left shoulder, and while touching the four portions, and looking towards the south (the region of the fathers), murmurs (Vâg. S. II, 31), 'Here, O fathers, regale yourselves! Like bulls come hither (âvrishâyadhvam) each to his own share!' He then quits his hold of the portions, and murmurs, 'The fathers have regaled themselves: like bulls they came each to his own share!' See Sat. Br. II, 4, 2, 20 seq.; Vâg. S. p. 57. [The Kânva text of the Brâhmana does not mention the formulas here any more than does our author.] He then shifts the cord back on his left shoulder, touches water, and hands the portions to the priests for them to eat. Kâty. III, 4, 16-18.

229:1 Kâty. Sr. III, 4, 19. There is some uncertainty as to the particular time when the Adhvaryu cuts the shadavatta; cf. Hillebrandt, p. 123. Mahîdhara on Vâg. S. II, 10 remarks: When the Hotri pronounces the call to heaven and earth, then he (the Adhvaryu), having put one piece of each of the two cakes in (the two bowls of) the Shadavatta (vessel), gives it to the Agnîdh; and the latter eats it with the formulas 'Hither is called (the mother Earth),' &c. The 'six cuttings' of the Shadavatta consist of a piece of the Agni cake with an 'underlayer' and a dripping of butter for each of the two bowls of the Shadavatta dish.

229:2 That is, the formula 'Hither is called the sacrificer,' see par. 29.

229:3 The priests eat first their quarter of the cake and then, with the sacrificer, their share of the idâ. The Hotri eats also the avântaredâ, with the text (Âsv. S. I, 7, 8), 'O Idâ, accept graciously our share!' &c.

230:1 See I, 3, 2, 5 seq. The Kânva text omits this paragraph.