Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 55

BY: SUN STAFF - 12.6 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 – Third Brâhmana, Part Two

1:8:3:11 - 11. He now takes the prastara-bunch 4. The prastara assuredly is the sacrificer: hence whithersoever his sacrifice went, thither he thereby wishes him good-speed 5! Now it is to the world of the gods that his sacrifice went; and to the world of the gods accordingly he thereby takes the sacrificer.

1:8:3:12 - 12. Should he desire rain, let him take up (the prastara), with this text (Vâg. S. II, 16 d), 'Be ye in harmony with each other, O heaven and earth!' for when heaven and earth are in harmony with each other, then indeed it rains 1: for this reason he says, 'be ye in harmony with each other, O heaven and earth!'--'May Mitra and Varuna favour thee with rain!' whereby he says, 'may he who rules over the rain favour thee with rain!' Now he that rules over the rain is undoubtedly that blowing one (Vâyu, the wind); and he, it is true, blows as one only; but, on entering into man, he becomes a forward and a backward moving one; and they are these two, the out-breathing and the in-breathing. And Mitra and Varuna assuredly are the out-breathing and in-breathing; and hence he says by that (prayer), 'may he who rules over the rain favour thee with rain!' Let him then take it up, with this text, for then the rain will at all times be propitious. He anoints it (the prastara): thereby he makes him (the sacrificer) an oblation, thinking, 'May he, as an oblation, go to the world of the gods!'

1:8:3:13 - 13. He anoints the top (of the prastara with the butter) in the guhû, the middle part (with that) in the upabhrit, and the lower end (with that) in the dhruvâ; for the guhû is, as it were, the top, the upabhrit the middle, and the dhruvâ the root.

1:8:3:14 - 14. He anoints (each time), with the text (Vâg. S. II, 16 e), 'May (the gods) eat, licking the anointed bird 1!' He thereby causes it (the prastara and hence symbolically the sacrificer) to be a bird and fly up from this world of men to the world of the gods. He then draws it twice (towards the Âhavanîya) alow (near the ground). The reason why he must draw it alow (is this): the prastara is the sacrificer; and in this way he does not remove him from this firm footing of his; and he, moreover, secures rain for this locality.

1:8:3:15 - 15. He draws it along, with the text (Vâg. S. II, 16 f), 'Go to the spotted (mares) of the Maruts!' He means to say, 'Go to the world of the gods,' when he says, 'Go to the spotted (mares) of the Maruts 2!'--'Having become a spotted cow, go to the sky and thence bring us rain hither!' The spotted cow, doubtless, is this (earth): whatever rooted and rootless food is here on this (earth), by that this (earth) is a spotted cow. 'Having become this (earth), go thou to the sky!' this is what he thereby says. 'Thence bring us rain hither!' From rain certainly spring vigour, sap, well-being: for this reason he says, 'thence bring us rain hither!

1:8:3:16 - 16. He then takes a single stalk from it. The prastara-bunch is the sacrificer; and therefore, if he were to throw the whole prastara (at once) into the fire, the sacrificer would speedily go to yonder world. In this way, however, the sacrificer will live long; and what the full measure of human life here on earth is, for that he takes this (single stalk) therefrom.

1:8:3:17 - 17. Having held (the prastara) for a moment, he throws it into the fire: whither his (the sacrificer's) one (part of) self (or, body) 1 went, thither he thereby causes it to go 2. But were he not to throw it into the fire, he would cut off the sacrificer from (yonder) world. In this way, however, he does not cut off the sacrificer from (yonder) world.

1:8:3:18 - 18. He throws it (with its top) to the east, for the east is the region of the gods; or to the north, for the north is the region of man. With the fingers only they should smooth it down, not with pieces of wood; since it is with sticks that they pierce any other corpse. Fearing, lest they should treat it in the same way as any other corpse, they should smooth it down with the fingers only, not with pieces of wood. When the Hotri recites the song of praise,--

1:8:3:19 - 19. The Âgnîdhra says (to the Adhvaryu), 'Throw (the single stalk) after (the prastara)!'--'whither his (the sacrificer's) other self went, thither make it now go,' this is what he thereby says. [The Adhvaryu] having thrown it silently after, touches himself 1, with the text (Vâg. S. II, 16 f): 'Guardian of the eye art thou, O Agni; guard mine eye!' In this way also he does not throw himself into the fire after (the prastara or sacrificer).

1:8:3:20 - 20. He (the Âgnîdhra) then says 2 (to the Adhvaryu), 'Discourse together!'--he thereby says, 'Make him (the sacrificer) discourse with the gods.' [The Adhvaryu asks], 'Has he gone (to the gods), Agnîdh?' whereby he says, 'Has he really gone?'--'He has gone!' replies the other.--'Bid (the gods) hear!' by these words he (the Adhvaryu) means to say, 'Make him (the sacrificer) be heard, make him be noticed by the gods!'--'May (one or they) hear (sraushat)!' thereby he (the Âgnîdhra) means to say, 'They know him, they have recognised him.' Thus the Adhvaryu and the Âgnîdhra lead the sacrificer to the world of the gods.

1:8:3:21 - 21. He (the Adhvaryu) then says, 'Good-speed to the divine Hotris 3!' The divine Hotris assuredly are these enclosing-sticks, since these are Agnis (fires): it is to them that he thereby bids good-speed, and therefore he says, 'good-speed to the divine Hotris!'--'Success (svasti) to the human!' thereby he desires that this human Hotri may not fail.