Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 53

Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 53

BY: SUN STAFF - 8.6 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

Eighth Adhyâya – Second Brâhmana, Part Two

1:8:2:12 - 12. In the second place he offers to Narâsamsa. Now, Narâsamsa is the air. Man (nara), namely, means (human) being; and these same beings move about in the air speaking aloud. And when he (man) speaks, they say 'he chants (sams);' and therefore Narâsamsa is the air [1]. But the trishtubh also is the air [2], and for this reason they have placed the trishtubh second.

1:8:2:13 - 13. Then Agni is the last (to whom offering is made). Agni assuredly is the gâyatrî; and therefore they placed the gâyatrî last. In this way they established the metres in complete and proper order; and hence no confusion here takes place.

1:8:2:14 - 14. The Adhvaryu [3] says (to the Hotri), 'Pronounce the offering-prayer (yâgyâ) to the gods!' and the Hotri (begins his prayer) at all (the three offerings) with 'The divine . . . .' For the metres assuredly are the gods of the gods, since they are their cattle, and cattle means a home, and a home is a safe resting-place. The after-offerings, doubtless, are the metres: therefore the Adhvaryu says, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the gods!' and at all of them the Hotri begins with 'The divine . . . [4].'

1:8:2:15 - 15. ['The divine Barhis (or Narâsamsa) may accept (the offering)] for abundant obtainment of abundant gift! [Vaushat!]' For a deity only the vashat-call is pronounced, to a deity only offering is made; but here at the after-offerings there is no (proper) deity [1]. When he says 'The divine Barhis,' in this there is neither Agni, nor Indra, nor Soma; when he says 'The divine Narâsamsa,' neither is there in this anything whatever (of the nature of a god); and what Agni there is (in the third offering-prayer), he indeed is virtually the gâyatrî.

1:8:2:16 - 16. The reason, then, why he offers with the formula 'for abundant obtainment of abundant gift [2],' is that Agni is the obtainer of wealth, and Indra is the recipient of wealth; and Indra and Agni are indeed the (joint) divinity of the metres: and in this way it is for a deity that the vashat is pronounced, and to a deity that the offering is made.

1:8:2:17 - 17. After he has made the last after-offering, he pours together (the butter which remains in the upabhrit with that which attaches to the guhû), and offers it (by pouring it from the guhû in a line from west to east into the fire). For doubtless these are the after-offerings to the fore-offerings: hence even as there, at the fore-offerings [1], he makes the spiteful enemy pay tribute to the sacrificer, and the one to be consumed pay tribute to the consumer; so now he makes him pay tribute at the after-offerings.



231:1 See I, 4, 1, 38. The Adhvaryu takes the fresh stick (samidh), asks the permission of the Brahman to step forward for the after-offerings; and orders the Âgnîdhra to put the stick on, and trim, the fire. Whilst the Brahman mutters his formula (Vâg. S. II, 12-13), 'This thy sacrifice, O divine Savitri, they proclaimed to Brihaspati, the Brahman,' &c. (see I, 7, 4, 21), the Âgnîdhra executes the Adhvaryu's orders. Kâty. III, 5, I; II, 2, 21.

231:2 That is to say (as would appear), if the Hotri follows a school which does not recognise this particular ceremony as belonging to the Hotri's ritual. Thus the Âsval. Sr. makes no mention of it, and hence a Hotri belonging to the Sâkala or Bâshkala sâkhâs would not undertake the recitation of this consecratory formula. The Sâṅkhây. Sr., on the other hand, does prescribe it (cf. Hillebrandt, Neu- and Volim. p. 135, note 4), and a Hotri of the Kaushîtaki-sâkhâ would accordingly claim it as his privilege or duty to consecrate the samidh. For a somewhat different view, cf. Weber, Ind. Stud. X, 155; V, 408.

232:1 See I, 4, 4, 14. While, on the former occasion, the Âgnîdhra in sweeping moved round the fire, on the present occasion he remains standing on the north side of it. Katy. III, 5, 4.

232:2 See I, 3, 2, 8, 9.

233:1 See, for instance, I, 3, 4, 6.

233:2 For this myth, see I, 7, 1, 1.

234:1 That is, because man (nara) speaks, chants, (samsati) in it.

234:2 Either because both are in the middle (viz. the trishtubh of the three chief metres, and the air between heaven and earth), or because they consist of eleven parts (viz. the trishtubh of eleven syllables, and the air having ten directions, Sat. Br. VI, 2, 2, 34; VIII, 4; 2, 13, with itself as the eleventh), or because they are both connected with Rudra. Comm.

234:3 As on previous occasions, the Adhvaryu first calls on the Âgnîdhra, 'Bid (Agni) hear (o srâvaya)!' and the latter responds by 'Yea, may (he) hear (astu sraushat)!' This is repeated before each of the two other after-offerings. See I, 5, 2, 16.

234:4 The drift of the argument of this paragraph is not quite clear to me. The after-offerings have for their deities the metres, and hence the latter are apparently called the deities of the deities, that is, of the recipients of the offerings. The difference between the fore-offerings and after-offerings in regard to the offering-formula lies in this, that at the first fore-offering the Adhvaryu, in calling on the Hotri, names the particular object of the offering, viz. 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the samidhs!' while for the remaining prayâgas he merely calls 'Pronounce the offering-prayer!' and the Hotribegins all his prayers (after the introductory âgur-formula) with the name of the respective recipient of the oblation. At the after-offering, on the other hand, the Adhvaryu calls each time, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the gods' (or, according to Kâty. III, 5, 8, optionally without 'to the gods,' the second and third times), and the Hotri's prayers begin with 'The divine (Barhis, or Narâsamsa, or Agni Svishtakrit) . . .: See I, 5, 3, 8 seq.

235:1 Agni Svishtakrit, the recipient of the third after-offering, is, as we saw, regarded as representing the gâyatrî metre.

235:2 Vasuvane vasudheyasya.(vetu); perhaps better, as Sâyana, on Taitt. S. II, 6, 9, takes it, 'May he partake of the gift of wealth for the (sacrificer's) obtainment of wealth.' 'For the wealth-desirer of wealth-gift' = 'for the desirer of wealth-possession,' St. Petersb. Dict. Our author apparently takes it in the sense of 'for the obtainer of wealth and for the receiver of wealth;' and Mahîdhara (Vâg. S. XXII, 48; XXVIII, 12) interprets it 'for the giving (or obtainment) of wealth and for the depositing of treasure (i.e. for burying a treasure in the sacrificer's house!)' Harisvâmin takes vasuvaue as vocative; but the accent is against his view.

236:1 See I, 5, 3, 18.