by Julius Eggeling | 1882 | 730,838 words | ISBN-13: 9788120801134

This is Satapatha Brahmana III.8.5 English translation of the Sanskrit text, including a glossary of technical terms. This book defines instructions on Vedic rituals and explains the legends behind them. The four Vedas are the highest authortity of the Hindu lifestyle revolving around four castes (viz., Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaishya and Shudra). Satapatha (also, Śatapatha, shatapatha) translates to “hundred paths”. This page contains the text of the 5th brahmana of kanda III, adhyaya 8.

Kanda III, adhyaya 8, brahmana 5

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. He makes the additional by-offerings:--with 'Go thou to the sacrifice[1], Hail!' The sacrifice is water, and seed is water: he thus casts seed.

2. 'Go thou to Soma, Hail!' Soma is seed: he thus casts seed.

3. 'Go thou to the heavenly ether, Hail!' The heavenly ether is water, and seed is water: he thus casts seed.

4. 'Go thou to Agni Vaiśvānara, Hail!' Agni Vaiśvānara ('belonging to all men') is this earth, and she is a safe resting-place: upon that safe resting-place he thus produces (creatures).

5. He then touches his mouth, with, 'Give me mind and heart!' thus indeed the by-offerer does not throw himself after (the oblations into the fire).

6. Thereupon[2] they perform the Patnīsaṃyājas with the tail (of the victim), for the tail is the hind-part, and from the hind-part of woman offspring is produced: hence offspring is produced by the Patnīsaṃyājas being performed with the tail.

7. For the wives of the gods he cuts portions from the inside, since it is from the inside of woman that offspring is produced; for Agni the householder from above, since it is from above that the male approaches the female.

8. Thereupon they betake themselves, with the heart-spit, to the purificatory bath[3]. Now, the anguish of the victim, in being slaughtered, concentrates itself into the heart, and from the heart into the heart-spit; and whatever part of cooked (food) is pierced that becomes palatable[4]: therefore let him roast it on the spit after piercing it. Uppermost on the thrice-moved (portions of the) victim he places that heart after pulling it off (the spit).

9. He (the slaughterer) then hands the heart-spit (to the Adhvaryu). Let him not throw it on the ground, nor into the water; for were he to throw it on the ground, that anguish would enter into the plants and trees; and were he to throw it into the water, that anguish would enter into the water: hence neither on the ground, nor into the water.

10. But on going down to the water, let him bury it at the place where the dry and the moist meet. But if he feel disinclined to going down (to the water), he pours out a vessel of water in front of the sacrificial stake and buries (the spit) at the place where the dry and the moist meet, with (Vāj. S. VI, 22), 'Injure thou not the waters nor the plants!' thus it injures neither the waters nor the plants; 'From every fetter[5]--therefrom deliver us, O king Varuṇa! That they say, we swear by the "Inviolable (cows)," by "Varuṇa[6],"

therefrom deliver us, O Varuṇa!' Thereby he delivers him[7] from every noose of Varuṇa, from all (guilt) against Varuṇa.

11. He then addresses (the water)[8] with, 'May the waters and plants be friendly unto us, unfriendly to him who hateth us, and whom we hate!' For when they proceed with that (spit), the waters, forsooth, as well as the plants, keep as it were receding from him; but hereby he now makes a covenant with them, and so they again approach to him, and that expiation is performed (to them). He does not perform (the spit-bath) at the animal offering to Agni and Soma, nor at that to Agni, but only at that of the Anūbandhyā-cow[9], for therewith the whole sacrifice attains to completion. And in that they perform (the ceremony) with the heart-spit at the cow (offering), thereby indeed it comes to be performed also for the animal offering to Agni and Soma, as well as for that to Agni.

Footnotes and references:


The Kāṇva text (as the Taitt. S.) reverses the order of this and the following formula. Nor does it begin a new Brāhmaṇa here.


Having completed the last after-offering, the Adhvaryu, in the p. 215 first place, throws the first chip of the sacrificial stake into the fire, in accordance with III, 7, 1, 32. For the four Patnīsaṃyājas, the deities of which are Soma, Tvaṣṭṛ, the wives of the gods, and Agni the householder, see part i, p. 256, The first two offerings may consist only of ghee, or, as the last two, of a piece of the tail.


The technical term for this purificatory ceremony is śūlāvabhṛtha, or spit-bath.' On the present occasion it is not performed (see paragraph 11), but it is inserted here because it forms the conclusion of the ordinary animal offering, not connected with the Soma-sacrifice (nirūḍha-paśu), as well as of the offering of a sterile cow (termed anūbandhyā) to Mitra and Varuṇa, which concludes the Soma-sacrifice. See part i, p. 379, note 1, and IV, 5, 2, 1 seq.


? Alaṃjuṣa, 'sufficient for eating,' Sāyaṇa, 'sufficient in itself,' St. Petersburg Dict. The Kāṇva text has the probably preferable reading,--atha alaṃguṣaṃ śritam eva paritṛndanti,--they then pierce (with the spit) what is already sufficiently cooked.


This is a doubtful rendering in accordance with the suggestion in the St. Petersburg Dict., that 'dhāmno-dhāmnaḥ' in this passage is an old corruption of 'dāmno-dāmnaḥ.' The Taitt. S. has the sane reading. Sāyaṇa and Mahīdhara take it in the sense of 'from every place (infested by enemies, or, rendered fearful by thy noose) deliver us!' Could 'dhāmno-dhāmnaḥ' be taken as gen. to 'rājan?'


? Or, 'That they say (i.e. mention the word) "Cows,"--that we swear by "Varuṇa,"--therefrom deliver us, O Varuṇa!' If the mentioning of words for cow (as well as the taking in vain of Varuṇa's name) is meant to he censured in this passage, Śat. Br. II, 2, 4, 14 (part i, p. 326 note) may be compared. It seems, however, doubtful whether the author of the Brāhmaṇa took the term aghnyāḥ as referring to 'cows' here. The St. Petersburg Dict., s.v. śap, translates, 'when we swear by the name of Varuṇa.' Instead of 'Yad āhur aghnyā iti varuṇeti śapāmahe,' the Taitt. S (I, 3, 11, 1) reads 'Yad āpo aghniyā varuṇeti śapāmahe,' which Sāyaṇa explains by 'O ye waters, O ye Aghnyāḥ (? inviolable ones, cows, waters), O Varuṇa! thus we solicit thee (to avert evil from us);' adding a passage to the effect that he who approaches his better (addressing him) by name, wishes him 'puṇyārti;' while in the present mantra, he contends there is no mere 'taking the name of Varuṇa in vain.'


I.e. the sacrificer (or the victim representing the sacrificer).


According to the Kāṇva text and Kāty. VI, 10, 5 they (the priests and sacrificer) touch the water while muttering the formula--'From every fetter . . . . and whom we hate.'


See IV, 5, 1, 5 seq.

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