Satapatha-Brâhmana, Part 97

BY: SUN STAFF - 6.9 208

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

FOURTH ADHYÂYA. FOURTH BRÂHMANA 
THE DÂKSHÂYANA SACRIFICE – Part One

This peculiar modification of the new and full-moon sacrifice seems to have been originated and generally to have been practised among the Dâkshâyanas, a royal family which was evidently still flourishing at the time of our author [2].

Here also two days were, as a rule, required for the performance, both at full and new moon; but while, at the ordinary sacrifice, the first day was completely taken up with the preliminary ceremonies, the Dâkshâyanas spread the special offerings over both days, making each time two separate ishtis of them. The special havis, or sacrificial dishes, were, at the ordinary full-moon sacrifice, a rice-cake (to Agni, and another) to Agni and Soma; and at the new-moors sacrifice, a cake (to Agni, and another) to Indra and Agni, or, as an alternative, a dish of curds (sânnâyya) prepared of sweet and sour milk, offered to Indra (or Mahendra). The Dâkshâyanas, on the other hand, offered the Agni-Soma and Indra-Agni cakes in the fore-noon of the first day, that of full and new moon respectively.

The afternoons of the same days were then taken up with preliminary rites, such as the eating of fast-day food, the cutting of a palâsa branch, driving away of the calves from the cows, &c. The second day's performance commences (after the Agnihotra) with the election of the Brahman. The chief oblations of the day are (a cake to Agni, and) sour and sweet milk, offered separately to Indra at full moon; and mixed (as sânnâyya or payasyâ) to Mitra and Varuna at new moon.

At full moon some authorities add a special ishti to Indra Vimridh ('the Averter of evil'). The new-moon performance concludes with libations of whey to the divine coursers (the horses of the gods); and, optionally, with an ishti to Âditya.

The performance of the Dâkshâyana sacrifice was held to be obligatory only for a period of fifteen years (see XI, 1, 2, 13), whereas the ordinary new and full-moon offerings had to be performed for double that period from the setting up of the sacred fires. Nay, even the daily performance of it with certain modifications, for a whole year, was supposed to acquit the householder of any further obligation in this respect; his sacrificial duties being henceforth limited to the performance of the Agnihotra, or morning and evening libations. The daily performance of the Dâkshâyana is so regulated that an afternoon and following forenoon are alternately assigned to the two days' ceremonies of the ordinary fortnightly Dâkshâyana sacrifice.

2:4:4:1 - 1. In the beginning Pragâpati, being desirous of offspring, sacrificed with this sacrifice: 'May I abound in offspring and cattle; may I obtain prosperity; may I become glorious; may I become an eater of food!' so he thought.

2:4:4:2 - 2. Now he was indeed Daksha: and because he sacrificed in the beginning with this sacrifice, it is called Dâkshâyana-sacrifice. Some, however, call it the Vasishtha-sacrifice; for he (Pragâpati) is indeed vasishtha (the best) 1, and after him they call it. He sacrificed with that sacrifice; and what race, what prosperity of Pragâpati was then produced through his performing that sacrifice, that same race he procreates, that same prosperity he obtains, whosoever, knowing this, performs that sacrifice: let him therefore perform that sacrifice.

2:4:4:3 - 3. Now that same sacrifice was afterwards performed by Pratîdarsa Svaikna; and he indeed was an authority [2] to those who emulated him. An authority, therefore, he will become, whosoever, knowing this, performs that sacrifice: let him, therefore, perform that sacrifice.

2:4:4:4 - 4. Him Suplan Sârñgaya approached for the sake of sanctity; and accordingly he was taught that sacrifice and another [3]; and having learnt it he went back to the Sriñgayas. Now they knew that he was coming to them after studying the sacrifice for their sake. They said, 'Verily, with the gods (saha devaih) he has come to us who has come after studying the sacrifice:' thus he (was called) Sahadeva Sârñgaya; and even now the saying is, 'Lo, Suplan has taken another name!' He performed that sacrifice; and what race and prosperity of the Sriñgayas was then produced through his performing that sacrifice, that same race he procreates, that same prosperity he obtains, whosoever, knowing this, performs that sacrifice: let him, therefore, perform that sacrifice.

2:4:4:5 - 5. That same sacrifice was afterwards performed by Devabhâga Srautarsha. He was Purohita both to the Kurus and the Sriñgayas. Now a very high position (is held by him) who is the Purohita of one kingdom: how much higher, then, is the position (of one) who (is the Purohita) of two (kingdoms). A very high position accordingly he obtains, whosoever, knowing this, performs that sacrifice: let him, therefore, perform that sacrifice.

2:4:4:6 - 6. That same sacrifice was afterwards performed by Daksha Pârvati; and even to this day these (descendants of his) the Dâkshâyanas are possessed of the royal dignity: royal dignity he, therefore, here obtains, whosoever, knowing this, performs that sacrifice: let him, therefore, perform that sacrifice.--Day by day there is one cake [1]: thereby Fortune (srî) is (wedded) to him without a rival wife and undisturbed. He offers on two days of the full moon and on two of the new moon: for two means a pair, so that a productive pair is thereby obtained.

2:4:4:7 - 7. Now when [2], at full moon, he offers a (cake) to Agni and Soma on the first day,--these are two deities, and two means a pair: hence a productive pair is thereby obtained.

2:4:4:8 - 8. And on the morrow there are Agni's cake and Indra's Sânnâyya [3],--these are two deities, and two means a pair, so that a productive pair is thereby obtained.

2:4:4:9 - 9. Again when, at new moon, he offers a (cake) to Indra and Agni on the first day,--these are two deities, and two means a pair, so that a productive pair is thereby obtained.