Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 91

BY: SUN STAFF - 28.8 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.


2:3:4:25 - 25. He then approaches the cow [1], with the text (Vâg. S. III, 20), 'Food ye are: may I enjoy your food! wealth ye are: may I enjoy your wealth!'--whereby he means to say, 'whatever energies are yours, whatever riches are yours, may I enjoy them.'--'Strength ye are: may I enjoy your strength!' whereby he says, 'sap ye are: may I enjoy your sap!'--'Affluence ye are: may I enjoy your affluence!' whereby he says, 'abundance ye are: may I enjoy your abundance!'

2:3:4:26 - 26. 'Ye prosperous ones, disport yourselves--;' cattle are prosperous: therefore he says, 'ye prosperous ones, disport yourselves--;' '--in this seat, in this fold, in this place, in this homestead: remain here, go not from hence!' this he says with reference to himself,--'go not away from me!'

2:3:4:27 - 27. He then touches the cow, with the text (Vâg. S. III, 22 a), 'Motley thou art, of all shapes;'--for cattle are indeed of all shapes: therefore he calls her all-shaped; '--come to me with sap and possession of cattle!' when he says 'with sap,' he means to say 'with juice;' and when he says with possession of cattle,' he means to say 'with abundance.'

2:3:4:28 - 28. He then steps up to the Gârhapatya, and renders homage to it, with the text (ib. 22 b), 'Thee, O Agni, illuminer of the night [1], we approach day by day with prayer, paying homage unto thee.' He thus renders homage to it in order that it may not injure him.

2:3:4:29 - 29. [He continues, ib. 23 seq.], 'Thee that rulest over the sacrifices, the brilliant guardian of the sacred rite, thriving in thine own house;'--whereby he means to say, 'thine own house is this (house) of mine: make it ever more flourishing for us!'

2:3:4:30 - 30. 'O Agni, be thou accessible unto us, even as a father is to his son! lead us unto well-being!'--whereby he says, 'As a father is easy of access to his son, and the latter in no wise injures him, so be thou easy of access to us, and may we in no wise injure thee!'

2:3:4:31 - 31. Then the dvipadâ verses (Vâg. S. III, 25, 26), 'O Agni, be ever nigh unto us, a kindly guardian and protector! as wealthy Agni, famed for wealth, come hither and bestow on us glorious riches! Thee, the most bright and resplendent, we now approach for happiness to our friends: be with us, hear our call, and keep us safe from every evil-doer!'

2:3:4:32 - 32. Now when he approaches the Âhavanîya, he prays for cattle: he therefore approaches it with metres great and small, since cattle are of great and small size. And when he approaches the Gârhapatya, he prays for men: hence the first tristich is in the gâyatrî metre, since the gâyatrî is Agni's metre, and he thus approaches him with his own metre.

2:3:4:33 - 33. Thereupon (he mutters) the dvipadâ (two-footed) verses. The dvipadâ, doubtless, is man's metre, since man is two-footed, and men are therewith prayed for: and as he now prays for men, therefore (he uses) dvipadâ verses. And whosoever, knowing this, approaches (the two fires), becomes possessed both of cattle and men.

2:3:4:34 - 34. He then goes (again) to the cow, with the text (Vâg. S. III, 27), 'O Idâ, come hither! O Aditi, come hither!' for both Idâ and Aditi are cows. He touches her with, 'Come hither, ye much-desired!'--for men's wishes are fixed on them, and hence he says, 'come hither, ye much-desired;'--'Let there be for me the fulfilment of wishes from you!' whereby he says, 'may I be dear to you!'

2:3:4:35 - 35. Thereupon, while standing between the Âhavanîya and Gârhapatya and looking eastward at the (former) fire, he mutters (Vâg. S. III, 28-30), 'O Lord of prayer, make him sweet-voiced, the offerer of Soma, Kakshîvat, Usig's son!--Be he with us, he the opulent, the killer of woe, the bestower of wealth, the increaser of prosperity, he the nimble!--Let not the curse of the evil-doer reach us, nor the guile of the mortal: preserve us, O Lord of prayer!'

2:3:4:36 - 36. Now when he approaches the Âhavanîya, he approaches the sky; and when (he approaches) the Gârhapatya, (he approaches) the earth. Hereby now (he approaches) the ether, that being Brihaspati's region; and that region he thereby approaches: this is why he mutters the prayer to Brihaspati.

2:3:4:37 - 37. [He continues, Vâg. S. III, 31-33], 'May the mighty, the heavenly, the unassailable favour of the three, Mitra, Aryaman, and Varuna, be (with us)! For the wicked enemy lords it not over them (that are protected by these gods), neither at home nor on dangerous paths: for those sons of Aditi bestow undying light on the mortal that he may live!'--In this (prayer) he says, 'nor on dangerous paths;' for dangerous indeed are the paths that lie between heaven and earth: those he now walks, and therefore he says, 'nor on dangerous paths.'

2:3:4:38 - 38. Then follows a verse to Indra (Vâg. S. III, 34); for Indra is the deity of the sacrifice, and with Indra therefore he now connects the fire-worship: 'At no time, O Indra, art thou barren; and never dost thou fail the worshipper--;' the worshipper, doubtless, is the sacrificer: 'never dost thou harm the sacrificer,' this is what he thereby says: '--but more and evermore is thy gift increased, O mighty god!' thereby he says, 'do thou make us ever more prosperous here!'

2:3:4:39 - 39. Then follows a verse to Savitri [1] (Vâg. S. III, 35),--for Savitri is the impeller (prasavitri) of the gods; and thus all his (the sacrificer's) wishes are fulfilled, impelled as they are by Savitri.--(He mutters), 'May we obtain the glorious light of the divine Savitri, who, we trust, may inspire our prayers!'

2:3:4:40 - 40. Thereupon a verse to Agni (Vâg. S. III, 36),--whereby he finally makes himself over to Agni for protection: 'May thine unapproachable chariot, wherewith thou protectest the worshippers, encircle us on every side!' The worshippers, doubtless, are the sacrificers; and what unassailable chariot he (Agni) possesses, therewith he protects the sacrificers. Hence he thereby means to say, 'what unassailable chariot thou possessest, wherewith thou protectest the sacrificers, therewith do thou guard us on every side.' This (verse) he mutters thrice.

2:3:4:41 - 41. He then pronounces his son's name [1]: 'May this son (N.N.) carry on this manly deed of mine!' Should he have no son, let him insert his own name.



348:1 The Kânva text has: 'And when he approaches (the fires), that (represents) the sacrificer's wish for blessing: what there is here for him, that indeed he thereby makes his own (âtmani kurute).'

349:1 Or, 'this All' (idam sarvam). The Kânva text has bhûmânam, 'abundance,' instead.

349:2 The mode of approaching and worshipping the fires (agnyupasthâna) detailed in pars. 9-41 is ascribed to Vatsaprî (author of Rig-veda IX, 68; X, 45 and 46), and therefore termed vâtsapraupasthâna. It is, however, also called mahopasthâna (or dîrghopasthâna), or great (long) worship, as distinguished from the so-called kshullakopasthâna (or laghûpasthâna), or little (short) worship, described in II, 4, 1, and ascribed to Âsuri.

349:3 Or 'upa-kîryate,' according to the Kânva text.

350:1 Or, as Grassmann, in his translation of the Riksamhitâ, takes it, 'he whom the active Bhrigus kindled.'

353:1 Viz. the Agnihotra cow, which has supplied the milk for the morning and evening libation; or any cow, if other material than milk be used.

354:1 Doshâvastar, 'the illuminer of the dusk;' or perhaps, as Professor Ludwig proposes, 'We approach thee, day by day, at dusk and dawn (in the evening and morning), with prayer.'

356:1 Or, the Sâvitrî, that is, the sacred prayer to Savitri, the sun, also called Gâyatrî, Rig-veda III, 62, to. Cf. p. 344, note 1.