by Hermann Oldenberg | 1892 | 37,649 words

Hiranyakeshin (Hiranyakeshi) was the founder of a ritual and scholastic tradition belonging to the Taittiriya branch of the Black Yajurveda. Alternative titles: Hiraṇyakeśin-gṛhya-sūtra (हिरण्यकेशिन्-गृह्य-सूत्र), Hiranyakeshin, Hiraṇyakeśī (हिरण्यकेशी), Hiranyakeshi, Hiranyakesin, Grhya, Hiraṇyakeśīgṛhyasūtra (हिरण्यकेशीगृह्यसूत्र), Hiranyakesigr...

Praśna II, Paṭala 5, Section 14

1.[1] We shall explain (the festival of) the Aṣṭakā.

2. The eighth day of the dark fortnight that follows after the full moon of Māgha, is called Ekāsnṭakā.

3. On the day before that Aṣṭakā, under (the Nakṣatra) Anūrādhās, in the afternoon he puts wood on the fire, strews southward-pointed and eastward-pointed Darbha grass around it, and turns rice out of four shallow cups over which he has laid one purifier, with (the Mantra), 'I turn out, impelled by the god Savitṛ, this cake prepared from four cups (of rice), which may drive away all suffering from the Fathers in the other world. On the impulse of the god Savitṛ, with the arms of the two Aśvins, with Pūṣan's hands I turn thee out, agreeable to the fathers, the grandfathers, the great-grandfathers.'

4.[2] With the same purifier he silently strains the Prokṣaṇī water; he silently sprinkles (with that water the rice and the vessels), silently husks (the rice), silently bakes it in four dishes like a Puroḍāśa, sprinkles (Ājya) on it, takes it from the fire, sprinkles (water) round (the fire) from right to left, and puts a piece of Udumbara wood on (the fire). With the (spoon called) Darvi which is made of Udumbara wood, he cuts off in one continual line which is directed towards south-east, (the Avadāna portions) one after the other, spreading under and sprinkling over them (Ājya), and sacrifices them, one after the other, in one continual line which is directed towards south-east, with (the Mantras), 'The mortars, the pressing-stones have made their noise, preparing the annual offering. Ekāṣṭakā! May we be rich in offspring, in valiant sons, the lords of wealth. Svadhā! Adoration!

'God Agni! The cake which is prepared with ghee and accompanied by (the word) svadhā, that the Fathers may satiate themselves—(this our) offering carry duly, Agni. I, the son, sacrifice an oblation to my fathers. Svadhā! Adoration!

'Here is a cake, Agni, prepared from four cups (of rice), with ghee, rich in milk, in wealth, in prosperity. May the Fathers gladly accept it all together; may it be well sacrificed and well offered by me. Svadhā! Adoration!'

5. Then he makes oblations of (other) food with (the verses), 'The one who shone forth as the first,' 'The Ekāṣṭakā, devoting herself to austerities,' 'She who shone forth as the first' (Taitt. Saṃhitā IV, 3, 11, I. 3. 5).

6. Cutting off (the Avadānas destined for the Sviṣṭakṛt oblation) together from the cake and from the (other) food and mixing them with clarified butter, he makes an oblation thereof with (the formula), 'To Agni Kavyavāhana Sviṣṭakṛt svadhā! Adoration!'

7.[3] That (cake) with ghee and honey and with the food (mentioned in Sūtras 5. 6) he touches in the way prescribed for the Śrāddha ceremony and puts down lumps (of it) according to the ritual of the Piṇḍa offerings.

8. (The remains of) that (cake, &c.) he serves to learned Brāhmaṇas.

9. He gives them food and presents as at the Śrāddha ceremony.

10.[4] The known (rites) down to the pouring out of the handfuls of water (are performed here) as at the monthly (Śrāddha).

Footnotes and references:


14, 1. Hiraṇyakeśin describes only one Aṣṭakā, the Ekāṣṭakā, while the other texts speak of three or four Aṣṭakās; comp. the quotations in the note on Śāṅkhāyana III, 12, 1.


The rules of the Śrauta ritual regarding the baking of the Puroḍāśa are given by Hillebrandt, Neu- and Vollmondsopfer, p. 43.


Comp. above, chap. II, 4; 12, 2 seq.


See above, chap. 12, 13.

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