Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 90

BY: SUN STAFF - 23.8 2018

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


Second Kânda - The Agnyâdhâna, The Agnihotra, The Pindapitriyagña, The Âgrayaneshti, And The Kâturmâsyâni

I. The Agnyâdhâna Or Establishment Of The Sacred Fires.


2:3:4:12 - 12. Thereupon the verse to Indra and Agni (Vâg. S. III, 13), 'You two, O Indra and Agni, I will invoke; you two I will delight together with kindly office; you two, the givers of strength and wealth,--you two I invoke for the obtainment of strength!' Indra, doubtless, is the same as that burning (sun); when he sets, then he enters the Âhavanîya;--hence he now approaches these two that are thus united, thinking, 'May the two, united, grant me favours:' this is why the Indra-Agni (verse is muttered).

2:3:4:13 - 13. [He continues, ib. 14 seq.], 'This is thy natural womb, whence born thou shonest forth: knowing this, arise, O Agni, and increase our substance!'--substance, doubtless, means affluence: 'grant to us ever-increasing affluence!' is what he thereby says.

2:3:4:14 - 14. 'First was he founded by the founders here, the best offering priest, worthy of praise at the sacrifices; he whom Apnavâna and the Bhrigus kindled [1], shining brightly in the wood, and spreading from house to house:'--even as a supplicant would speak politely, 'Surely thou art the descendant of so and so! surely thou art able to do this!' so in this (verse). And what he (Agni) really is, as such he speaks of him when he says 'spreading from house to house,' for he does indeed spread from house to house.

2:3:4:15 - 15. 'In accordance with his old (pratna) splendour, the dauntless have milked the shining juice from the wise one that giveth a hundredfold.' The richest of gifts, indeed, is the hundredfold gift; and in order to obtain that (giver) he says, 'the wise one that giveth a hundredfold.'

2:3:4:16 - 16. This is a hymn of six verses collected (from the Rik); the first of them containing (the word) 'upon,' and the last containing (the word) 'old' (pratna). And this we recited, because she (the earth) is the one that contains the (word) 'upon;' and that which is 'old' doubtless is yonder (sky), for as many gods as there were 'of old,' in the beginning, so many gods there are now, and hence the 'old' means yonder (sky). Now within these two (worlds) all desires are contained; and these two are in accord with each other for his (the sacrificer's) benefit, and concede all his wishes.

2:3:4:17 - 17. Thrice he mutters the first (verse) and thrice the last; for of threefold beginning are sacrifices, and of threefold termination: therefore he mutters thrice the first and the last (verses).

2:3:4:18 - 18. Now, in offering the Agnihotra, whatever mistake one commits, either in word or deed, thereby he injures either his own body, or his life, or his vigour, or his offspring.

2:3:4:19 - 19. Accordingly (he mutters the texts, V. S. III, 17), 'Thou, O Agni, art the protector of bodies: protect my body! Thou, O Agni, art the giver of life: give me life! Thou, O Agni, art the giver of vigour: give me vigour! O Agni, what defect there is in my body, supply that for me!'

2:3:4:20 - 20. And whatever mistake he commits, in offering the Agnihotra, either in word or deed, thereby he injures either his own body, or his life, or his vigour, or his offspring: 'make that up for me!' he thereby says; and accordingly that (defect) is again made up for him.

2:3:4:21 - 21. [He continues, Vâg. S. III, 18], 'Kindled, we enkindle thee, the brilliant one, a hundred winters--;' he thereby says, 'may we live a hundred years;' and 'so long we enkindle thee, the great one,' he says, when he says 'we enkindle thee, the brilliant one.' '--We, the vigorous--thee, the invigorating; we, the strong--thee, the giver of strength--;' whereby he says, 'may we be vigorous, mayest thou be invigorating! may we be strong, mayest thou be a giver of strength!' '--We, the uninjured--thee, the uninjurable injurer of enemies!' whereby he says, 'by thine aid may we render our enemies utterly miserable!'

2:3:4:22 - 22. 'O thou, rich in lights, may I safely reach thine end!' this he mutters thrice. She that is rich in lights (kitrâvasu) doubtless is the night, since the latter, as it were, rests (vas) after gathering together the lights (kitrâ): hence (at night) one does not see clearly (kitram) from afar.

2:3:4:23 - 23. Now it was by means of this same (text) that the Rishis reached safely the end of the night; and because of it the evil spirits, the Rakshas, did not find them: by it, therefore, he also now reaches safely the end of the night; and because of it the evil spirits, the Rakshas, find him not.--This much he mutters while standing.

2:3:4:24 - 24. Thereupon, while seated, (he mutters, Vâg. S. III, 19 seq.), 'Thou, O Agni, hast attained to Sûrya's lustre--;' this he says, because, in setting, the sun enters the Âhavanîya; '--to the praise of the Rishis--;' this he says, because he himself now approaches (and worships, praises, the fire); '--to the favourite abode (or dainty);' his (Agni's) favourite abode doubtless are the offerings: 'to offerings' he thereby says. '--May I attain to long life, to lustre, to offspring, to increase of wealth!' whereby he says, 'Even as thou didst attain to those (qualities), so may I attain to long life, lustre, offspring, affluence,--that is to say, to prosperity.'