by C. G. Kashikar | 1964 | 166,530 words

The English translation of the Bharadvaja-Srauta-Sutra, representing some of the oldest texts on Hindu rituals and rites of passages, dating to at least the 1st millennium BCE. The term Srautasutra refers to a class of Sanskrit Sutra literature dealing with ceremonies based on the Brahmana divisions of the Veda (Sruti). They include Vedic rituals r...

Praśna 2, Kaṇḍikā 3

1. One should prepare the altar of one, who is desirous of cattle, by procuring earth from outside; that of one, who is desirous of offspring, by digging. So is it said.

2. There is a view that one should take out the original earth and then pour out another portion of earth. There is another view that one should pour out another portion of earth within the undigged altar.[1]

3. He should murmur the formula[2] relating to the digging, if only he has to dig out the altar.[3]

4. In the Full-moon sacrifice, he should prepare the altar after the oblations have been placed over the fire.

5-7. In the New-moon sacrifice, on the previous day, before the fetching of the sacrificial grass, (he should prepare the altar). After the rites, which are to be performed prior to the second tracing out of the altar have been gone through, the sacrificer should observe fast. The rest should be similar.

8. The Adhvaryu should address the Brahman with the words, “O Brahman, I shall make the second tracing out of the altar.”

9. Impelled by the Brahman, he should trace the altar by means of the wooden sword towards the south with the formula, “Thou art the right,”[4] towards the west with the formula, “Thou art the seat of right,”[4] and towards the north with the formula, “Thou art the glory of right.”[4]

10. With the rest of the anuvāka beginning with the formula, “Thou art the holder, thou art the self-holder, thou art broad, thou art good”[5] he should level it out by means of the wooden sword (from the east) towards the west.

11. He should fix the wooden sword crosswise within that portion of the rear half of the altar which remains after leaving out the(westernmost) third part (of the altar), and give out a call (to the Āgnīdhra) with the words, “Do you place the prokṣaṇī-water (within the altar), place the sacrificial grass and faggot (near the altar), cleanse the spoon and the ladles, fasten the girdle[6] round the waist of the sacrificer’s wife, and come up with the clarified butter.”

12. There is a view that the Āgnīdhra should do these acts; there is another view that the Adhvaryu himself should do them.[7]

13. should pour the prokṣaṇī-water[8] on the line drawn by means of the wooden sword and place the prokṣaṇī-ladle towards the south of the wooden sword and not touching the same.

14. The Adhvaryu should think of him whom he hates.

15. With the formula, “Thou art hundred-spiked, of wood, the deadly weapon for the enemy,” he should throw on the rubbish-heap the wooden sword from east to west.

16. He should utter the name of one whom he hates.

17. He should wash his hands, and then wash the wooden sword. He should not touch its top.

18. After having prepared the altar, he should not touch the sacrificial utensils without first having washed his hands.

19. (The Āgnīdhra) should place from the west (to the east) the sacrificial grass and faggot with their ends towards the east, towards the north of the praṇītā-water.

Footnotes and references:


This view relates to the first part of sūtra 1.




This sūtra relates to the latter part of sūtra 1.


Taittirīya-saṃhitā I.1.9.3.


Taittirīya-saṃhitā I.1.9.3.


CALAND takes saṃnahya in Āpastamba-śrauta-sūtra II.3.11 as a gerund. It is better to take it as an imperative form.


Āpastamba-śrauta-sūtra II.3.12 optionally prescribes that the Adhvaryu should not give out the call, apparently meaning that he himself should do these acts.


The word barhis in barhir āsādayati cannot be explained, reads bahvīr which can be explained. Āpastamba-śrauta-sūtra II.3.13 has no word parallel to barhir. According to Āpastamba, the wooden sword should be removed before the prokṣaṇī-ladle is placed within the altar.

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