Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 93

BY: SUN STAFF - 30.8 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


2:4:2:1 - 1. Now the living beings once approached Pragâpati--beings doubtless mean creatures--and said, 'Ordain unto us in what manner we are to live!' Thereupon the gods, being properly invested with the sacrificial cord [1] and bending the right knee, approached him. To them he said, 'The sacrifice (shall be) your food; immortality your sap; and the sun your light!'

2:4:2:2 - 2. Then the fathers approached, wearing the cord on the right shoulder, and bending the left knee. To them he said, 'Your eating (shall be) monthly; your cordial (svadhâ) your swiftness of thought; and the moon your light!'

2:4:2:3 - 3. Then the men approached him, clothed and bending their bodies. To them he said, 'Your eating (shall be) in the evening and in the morning; your offspring your death; and the fire (Agni) your light!'

2:4:2:4 - 4. Then the beasts approached him. To them he granted their own choice, saying, 'Whensoever ye shall find anything, whether in season or out of season, ye shall eat it!' Hence whenever they find anything, whether in season or out of season, they eat it.

2:4:2:5 - 5. Thereupon--so they say--the Asuras also straightway 1 approached him. To them he gave darkness (tamas) and illusion (mâyâ): for there is indeed what is called the illusion of the Asuras. Those creatures, it is true, have perished; but creatures still subsist here in the very manner which Pragâpati ordained unto them.

2:4:2:6 - 6. Neither the gods, nor the fathers, nor beasts transgress (this ordinance); some of the men alone transgress it. Hence whatever man grows fat; he grows fat in unrighteousness, since he totters and is unable to walk because of his having grown fat by doing wrong. One should therefore eat only in the evening and morning; and whosoever, knowing this, eats only in the evening and morning, reaches the full measure of life; and whatever he speaks, that is (true); because he observes that divine truth. For, verily, that is Brâhmanic lustre (tegas), when one knows to keep His (Pragâpati's) law.

2:4:2:7 - 7. Now that (lustre) indeed belongs to him who presents (food) to the fathers once a month. When that (moon) is not seen either in the east or in the west, then he presents (food) to them; for that moon doubtless is king Soma, the food of the gods. Now during that night (of new moon) it fails them, and when it fails, he presents (food to them), and thereby establishes concord (between the gods and fathers). But were he to present (food) to them when it is not failing, he would indeed cause a quarrel between the gods and fathers: hence he presents (food) to them when that (moon) is not seen either in the east or in the west.

2:4:2:8 - 8. He presents it in the afternoon. The forenoon, doubtless, belongs to the gods; the mid-day to men; and the afternoon to the fathers: therefore he presents (food to the fathers) in the afternoon.

2:4:2:9 - 9. While seated behind the Gârhapatya, with his face turned toward the south [1], and the sacrificial cord on his right shoulder, he takes that (material for the offering from the cart) [2]. Thereupon he rises from thence and threshes (the rice) while standing north of the Dakshina fire and facing the south. Only once he cleans (the rice) [3]; for it is once for all that the fathers have passed away, and therefore he cleans it only once.

2:4:2:10 - 10. He then boils it. While it stands on the (Dakshina) fire, he pours some clarified butter on it;--for the gods they pour the offering into the fire; for men they take (the food) off the fire; and for the fathers they do in this very manner: hence, they pour the ghee on it while it stands on the fire.

2:4:2:11 - 11. After removing it (from the fire) he offers to the gods two libations in the fire. For, in establishing his sacrificial fires, and in performing the new and full-moon sacrifice, that (householder) resorts to the gods. Here, however, he is engaged in a sacrifice to the fathers: hence he thereby propitiates the gods, and being permitted by the gods, he presents that (food) to the fathers. This is why, on removing (the rice), he offers to the gods two libations in the fire.

2:4:2:12 - 12. He offers both to Agni and Soma [1]. To Agni he offers, because Agni is allowed a share in every (offering); and to Soma he offers, because Soma is sacred to the fathers. This is why he offers both to Agni and Soma.

2:4:2:13 - 13. He offers [2] with the formulas (Vâg. S. II, 29 a, b), 'To Agni, the bearer of what is meet for the wise, svâhâ!' 'To Soma, accompanied by the fathers, svâhâ [3]!' He then puts the pot-ladle on the fire, --that being in lieu of the Svishtakrit [4]. Thereupon he draws (with the wooden sword) one line (furrow) south of the Dakshina fire [5], --that being in lieu of the altar: only one line he draws, because the fathers have passed away once for all.

2:4:2:14 - 14. He then lays down a firebrand at the farther (south) end (of the line). For were he to present that (food) to the fathers, without having laid down a firebrand, the Asuras and Rakshas would certainly tamper with it. And thus the Asuras and Rakshas do not tamper with that (food) of the fathers: this is why he lays down the firebrand at the farther end (of the line).

2:4:2:15 - 15. He lays it down, with the text (Vâg. S. II, 30), 'Whatsoever Asuras roam about at will [1], assuming various shapes [2], --be they large-bodied or small-bodied [3], --may Agni expel them from this world!' Agni is the repeller of the Rakshas, and therefore he lays (the firebrand) down in this way.