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

This is Satapatha Brahmana IV.2.5 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 IV, adhyaya 2.

Kanda IV, adhyaya 2, brahmana 5

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. Having drawn the cups of Soma, and gone out (of the cart-shed to the high altar)[1], he offers the oblation of drops[2]. The reason why he offers the oblation of drops is this. Whatever drops of that (Soma) are spilt here, to them he now wishes a safe journey to the Āhavanīya, for the Āhavanīya is the resting-place of offerings: this is why he offers the oblation of drops.

2. He offers with (Vāj. S. VII, 26; Rig-veda X, 17, 12), 'Whatever drop of thine leapeth away, whatever stalk of thine,'--whatever particle (of Soma) is spilt, that is a drop, that indeed he means; and by 'whatever stalk of thine' he mentions the stalk;--'stone-pressed, from the lap of the press-bowls;' for pressed by the stone[3] it leaps away from the two press-bowls;--'be it from the Adhvaryu or from the strainer,'--for it leaps away either from the Adhvaryu's hands or from the strainer,--'that I offer unto thee in my mind consecrated by Vaṣaṭ, Hail!' whereby it becomes for him as an offering consecrated by Vaṣaṭ.

3. Thereupon the Adhvaryu takes two stalks of grass from the covered altar. The two Adhvaryus[4] proceed first (to the chanting-place beside the pit), as the out-breathing and in-breathing of the sacrifice; then the Prastotṛ, as the voice of the sacrifice; then the Udgātṛ, as the self (or body), the Prajāpati, of the sacrifice; then the Pratihartṛ, either as the physician or the through-breathing[5].

4. The Sacrificer holds on to those five priests from behind[6], for as much as those five priests are, so much is the whole sacrifice, the sacrifice being fivefold: hence the Sacrificer thereby holds on to the sacrifice.

5. He (the Adhvaryu) then throws one of the two stalks of grass forward towards the pit[7], with, 'Thou art the ascent of the gods!' for when the gods through the sacrifice attained to the heavenly world, it was from that pit that they went upwards to the heavenly world: he thus makes the sacrificer look along the road to heaven.

6. He then throws down the other stalk in front of the chanters, silently, for those chanters represent the hymn of praise (stotra), Prajāpati (the sacrifice),--he (Prajāpati) draws to himself everything here, and takes possession of everything here: it is to him that that stalk is offered, and thus he does not draw the Adhvaryu to himself, and take possession of him. And when they mutter[8],--for the chanters mutter now[9],--

7. Then he bespeaks the chant, saying, 'Soma becometh pure!' He bespeaks the chant right off[10], and they chant right off; for these chants, the Pavamānāḥ[11], are directed towards the gods, since the gods thereby attained to the heavenly world right off (straightway): therefore he bespeaks the chant right off, and right off they chant.

8. With 'Turn ye back[12]!' (he bespeaks) the other chants (viz. the Dhuryas), and turning back (or repeating) they chant the Dhuryas[13], for the latter are directed towards these creatures: whence creatures are produced here repeatedly.

9. And as to why they chant the Bahiṣpavamāna here (near the cātvāla). In the beginning, forsooth, yonder sun was here on earth[14]. The seasons embraced him and ascended from hence to the heavenly world: there he burns firmly established in the seasons. And in like manner do the priests thereby embrace the sacrificer and ascend from hence to the heavenly world: this is why they chant the Bahiṣpavamāna h ere.

10. The Bahiṣpavamāna[15] chant truly is a ship bound heavenwards: the priests are its spars and oars, the means of reaching the heavenly world. If there be a blameworthy one, even that one (priest) would make it sink: he makes it sink, even as one who ascends a ship that is full would make it sink. And, indeed, every sacrifice is a ship bound heavenwards: hence one should seek to keep a blameworthy (priest) away from every sacrifice.

11. Thereupon, when the chanting is over[16], he utters this speech,--'Agnīdh, spread the fires! strew the barhis! Prepare the cakes! go on with the victim!' The Agnīdh spreads the fires, that is to say, kindles them[17]; he strews that barhis[18], thinking, 'When the barhis is strewn, I will offer to the gods on the kindled (fire).'--'Prepare the cakes,' he says, because he is about to proceed with the cakes; and, 'Go on with the victim,' because he is about to get ready the victim[19].

12. Having again entered (the cart-shed) he draws the Āśvina graha[20]. Having drawn the Āśvina graha he goes out and girds the sacrificial stake[21]; and having girt the stake he gets ready the victim: he thereby puts flavour (juice) into him (Soma--the sacrificer).

13. Having been slain at the morning feast, it continues being cooked till the evening feast; whereby he puts flavour (juice) into the whole sacrifice, imbues it with flavour.

14. Let him therefore, at the Agniṣṭoma, slay a (victim) sacred to Agni, for there is harmony when, at the Agniṣṭoma, he slays a (victim) for Agni. If it be an Ukthya sacrifice, let him slay one to Indra and Agni in the second place, for songs of praise (uktha)[22] refer to Indra and Agni. If it be a Ṣoḍaśin sacrifice, let him slay one to Indra in the third place, for the sixteenfold chant (Ṣoḍaśin)[23] means Indra. If it be an Atirātra, let him slay one to Sarasvatī in the fourth place, for Sarasvatī is speech, and speech (vāc, fem.) is female, as the night (rātri, fem.) is female: he thus duly distinguishes the forms of sacrifice[24].

15. Thereupon he proceeds with (the offering of) the cakes of the Soma feast. Now Soma is a god, for Soma was in the heaven;--'Soma, forsooth, was Vṛtra; the mountains and stones are his body: thereon grows that plant called Uśānā,' said Śvetaketu Auddālaki; that they bring hither and press.'

16. Now when he slays the victim, he thereby puts flavour into it; and when he proceeds with (the offering of) the Soma feast cakes, he puts sap into it: thus it becomes Soma for him.

17. They all belong to Indra; for Indra is the deity of the sacrifice: that is why they all belong to Indra.

18. And as to why there are a cake, parched barley-grain, a porridge, sour curds, and clotted curds,--it is that those who are the deities of the sacrifice shall be well-pleased.

19. For, when one has eaten cake here, he wishes, 'I should like to take parched grains, I should like to eat porridge, I should like to eat sour curds, I should like to eat clotted curds!' All these (are Objects of one's) wishes: it is in order that those who are the deities of the sacrifice shall be well-pleased. Now as to why that offering of clotted curds (payasyā) is prepared only at the morning libation, and not at the two other libations (Soma feasts).

20. The Gāyatrī, forsooth, bears the morning libation (to the gods), the Triṣṭubh the midday libation, and the Jagatī the evening libation,--but, then, the Triṣṭubh bears the midday libation, not alone, (but) with both the Gāyatrī and the Bṛhatī[25]; and the Jagatī (bears) the evening libation, not alone, (but) with the Gāyatrī, the Kakubh, and Uṣṇih, and the Anuṣṭubh[26].

21. The Gāyatrī alone bears singly the morning libation,--with those two sets of five (paṅkti)[27], the set of five chants, and the set of five oblations: there are four Ājya (chants)[28] and the Bahiṣpavamāna is the fifth,--the Paṅkti metre is five-footed with that paṅkti of chants, not alone, the Gāyatrī bears the morning libation.

22. To Indra belongs the cake, to the two bay steeds the parched grains (dhānāḥ)[29], to Pūṣan the porridge (karambha), to Sarasvatī the sour curds (dadhi), and to Mitra and Varuṇa the clotted curds (payasyā)[30],--the Paṅkti is five-footed--with that paṅkti of oblations, not alone, the Gāyatrī bears the morning libation (to the gods): for the sake of completing that paṅkti, that oblation of clotted curds to Mitra and Varuṇa is prepared only at the morning libation, and not at the two other libations.

Footnotes and references:


The libations (grahas) having been taken, and the remaining Nigrābhyā water, mixed with Soma-juice, poured from the Hotṛ's cup into the Droṇakalaśa (p. 256, note 1), the Adhvaryu, Pratiprasthātṛ; Prastotṛ, Udgātṛ, Pratihartṛ, and Sacrificer walk out of the Havirdhāna shed, each following one touching the hem of the garment of the one before him, and betake themselves to the altar.


The vipruḍ-homa, an expiatory oblation for the Soma spilt during the pressing, consists of a pracaranī spoon full of ghee. According to Āśv. V, 2, 6, and Lāṭy. I, 11, 9, it would seem that each of those taking part in the Sarpaṇa (see p. 299, note 2) makes two oblations (called 'pravṛtta-homa' by Lāṭy. Sr. and Pañcaviṃśa Br.).


'Grāva-cyuta' seems to be taken by the author in the sense of set in motion by the (pressing) stone.' The Rig-veda reads 'bāhu-cyuta;' also 'dhiṣaṇāyāḥ' instead of 'dhiṣaṇayoḥ.'


That is, the Adhvaryu and his assistant, the Pratiprasthātṛ.


Ait. Br. II, 20 enumerates Adhvaryu, Prastotṛ; Pratihartṛ; Udgātṛ, and Brahman (see also Āśv. V, 2, 4-5); the Lāṭyāy. Sūtra I, 11, Adhvaryu, Prastotṛ, Udgātṛ; Pratihartṛ, Brahman, and Sacrificer.


That is, each holds on to the hem of the garment of the one who precedes him.


The Udgātṛs (chanters) also throw stalks of grass to the south with their left hands, with the text, Pañcav. I, 3, 3.


And when he thinks 'they have muttered' (atha yadā manyate ’jāpishur iti)--for the chanters mutter now. Kāṇva text.


For the mantras the Udgātṛs have to mutter on this occasion, previous to the chanting, see Tāṇḍya Br. I, 3, 4-6. The recitation of the Ājyaśastra, by the Hotṛ, succeeding the chanting of the Bahiṣpavamāna-stotra, is likewise preceded by a prayer muttered by that priest, for which see Ait. Br. II, 38; Āśv. V, 9.


That is, without repeating that formula, in the same way as the Pavamāna chants are performed without repeating single verses. See p. 308, note 2.


The first stotra at each pressing is called pavamāna (purifying, i.e. during the chanting of which the Soma becomes clarified), viz. the Bahiṣpavamāna at the morning, the Mādhyandina pavamāna at the midday, and the Ārbhava (or tṛtīya) pavamāna at the evening pressing. The other stotras are called Dhurya, 'to be harnessed, belonging to or forming a team.' For the correspondence between the stotra and śastra, see p. 325, note 2.


This is Sāyaṇa's interpretation of 'upāvartadhvam,' instead of 'draw near,' as translated by me at I, 5, 2, 12. He is probably right in connecting it with the repetitions which certain verses have to undergo in the dhurya-stotras.


There are many different stomas, or forms of chanting stotras, named from the number of verses produced in each form (generally by repetitions of certain verses). Those required for the Ṣaḍaha and Dvādaśāha (see IV, 5, 4, 1 seq.) are: trivṛt (9), pañcadaśa (15), saptadaśa 07), ekaviṃśa (21), triṇava (27), trayastriṃśa (33), caturviṃśa (24), catuścatvāriṃśa (44), and ashtacatvāriṃśa (48). The first four of these are those most frequently used, and the only ones used at the Agniṣṭoma. All these stomas, with one exception (24), have two or more different varieties or arrangements, called viṣṭuti, differing from one another either in the order in which the several verses are to be chanted, or in regard to the number of repetitions which the corresponding verses have to undergo. Besides, stomas are generally performed in three turns or rounds, paryāya, consisting of a triplet of verses (some of which may have to be repeated more than once), and preceded by the sound 'huṃ' (Hiṅkāra). Thus the first Ājyastotra, Sāmav. II, 10-12, (consisting of three verses, a, b, c,) is to be performed in the pañcadaśa-stoma; that is, the three verses have to be so treated, by repetitions, as to produce fifteen verses in three turns. Now, as there are three different varieties of performing the pañcadaśa-stoma, the stotra might be chanted in one or other of the following three arrangements:--


Cf. Tāṇḍya Br. VI, 7, 24.


The Bahiṣpavamāna-(stotra), or 'outside-pavamāna,'--so called because (on the first day of a Soma-sacrifice) it is performed outside the altar (commentary on Pañcav. Br. VI, 8, 10-11; or outside the Sadas, Sāy. on Sāmav. S. p. 47),--is chanted in the Trivṛt, or threefold, stoma; consisting, as it does, of three gāyatrī triplets (Sāmav. II, 1-9 for the Agniṣṭoma), and none of its verses being chanted more than once. This stoma has three different varieties, viz. the udyatī, or ascending mode, the first turn of which consists of the first verses of the three triplets, the second turn of the second verses, and the third turn of the last verses, hence a1 a2 a3--b1 b2 b3--c1 c2 c3; the parivartinī, or reverting mode, following the natural order, a1 b1 c1--a2 b2 c2--a3 b3 c3; and the kulāyinī, or web-like mode, performed in the order a1 b1 c1-b2 c2 a2--c3 a3 b3. Cf. Haug, Transl. Ait. Br. p. 237, where, however, these forms are described quite differently. The term used for the natural order of verses in the parivartinī viṣṭuti is 'parācī,' i.e. thitherwards, straight off. From the statement in paragraph 7 above, that 'they chant straight off (parāk),' one might therefore infer that that particular mode of chanting ought to be used for the Bahiṣpavamāna-stotra; but the term 'parāk' may also be taken as referring to each of the several verses being chanted 'straight off,' without any repetition. Haug, Transl. Ait. Br. p. 120 note, remarks: 'Each of these verses is for the purpose of chanting divided into four parts: Prastāva, i, e. prelude, the first being preceded by hum̃, to be sung by the Prastotar; Udgītha, the principal part of the Sāman, preceded by Om, to be chanted by the Udgātar; the Pratihāra, i.e. response [? rather check, stop; cf. IV, 3, 4, 22], introduced by hum̃, to be chanted by the Pratihartar; and the Nidhana, i.e. finale, to be sung by all three. To give the student an idea of this division, I here subjoin the second of these ṛcas in the Sāman form, distinguishing its four parts:--


Lāṭy. I, 12; II, 1; Tāṇḍya Br. VI, 7 seq. give the following details: The Prastotṛ takes the prastara (bunch of grass, representing the Sacrificer) from the Adhvaryu and says, 'Brahman, we will chant, O Praśāstar!' The Brahman and Maitrāvaruṇa having given their assent (Āśv. V, 2, 12-14). the Prastotṛ hands the prastara to the Udgātṛ. The latter touches his right thigh with it (or bends his right knee thereon) and 'harnesses' (introduces) the chant by the formula, 'with Agni's fire, with Indra's might, with Sūrya's brilliance, may Bṛhaspati harness thee,' &c. (Tāṇḍya Br. I, 3, 5); whereupon he mutters, 'I will make food,' &c. (ib. 6); and after looking towards the pit and a vessel of water and the sun. he commences the chant. The three chanters are seated west of the Adhvaryu and Pratiprasthātṛ (who look towards them), viz. the Udgātṛ facing the north, the Prastotṛ the west, and the Pratihartṛ the south (or south-east). To the west of them are seated three, four, or six subordinate singers, or choristers (upagātṛ), who accompany the chanting in a deep voice with the sound 'Ho.' When the chant is completed, the Udgātṛ says, 'I have made food,' and makes the sacrificer mutter the formula, 'Thou art a falcon,' &c. (Pañc. Br. I, 3, 8); whereupon he takes a stalk of grass from the prastara, cuts off the top and bottom, so as to make it of the length of four thumbs’ breadths, and throws it into the pit with, 'If it has been chanted,' &c. (ib. II, 1, 8). They then pour out the vessel of water into the pit, with, 'I send you to the sea,' &c., and make 3, 5, 7 or 9 steps northwards outside the altar, p. 312 whereupon they betake themselves to the Āgnīdhrīya. During the chanting, the Unnetṛ pours the Soma-juice from the Ādhavanīya trough through the strainer into the Pūtabhṛt.


The Agnīdh takes burning coals from the Āgnīdhrīya fire, and puts them on the dhiṣṇya hearths, in the order in which they were raised. See p. 148, note 4.


He spreads a layer of (ulapa) grass along the 'spine' (the line from the middle of the back to the middle of the front side) of the altar.


Paśuṃ hy ālipsyamāno (!) bhavati. Kāṇva MS.


Having taken this cup of Soma or libation (with the formula, Vāj. S. VII, 11) from the Droṇa-kalaśa or the Pūtabhṛt, he makes the sacrificer eye the several cups and Soma vessels, as set forth IV, 5, 6, 1 seq.; the Āśvina being looked at sixth in order (or fourth of the grahas), not tenth (as was its order of drawing). See IV, 1, 5, 16.


See III, 7, 1, 19 seq.


Or, the (three) Uktha-stotras (Sāmav. II, 55-62) and śastras, the characteristic feature of the Ukthya sacrifice. Cf. p. 325, note ; and IV, 6, 3, 3.


The ṣoḍaśi-stotra (Sāmav. II, 302-304) chanted in the ekaviṃśa stoma is the characteristic stotra of the Ṣoḍaśin sacrifice. The term meaning 'having a sixteenth' (viz. stotra), it evidently refers originally to the sacrifice, and has then also been applied to the stotra and śastra. See also Haug, Ait. Br. Transl. p. 255, note 2.


On this occasion the same rites are performed as at the sacrifice of the Agnīṣomīya buck (III, 6, 4, 1 seq.), viz. from the girding of the stake (III, 7, 1, 19) to the election of the Hotṛ (III, 7, 4, 9). Then the other priests are elected, viz. Adhvaryu (and Pratiprasthātṛ), the Praśāstṛ (Maitrāvaruṇa), the Brāhmaṇāchaṃsin, the Potṛ, the Neṣṭṛ, the Āgnīdhra, and finally the sacrificer himself; after which each of them makes two election oblations (pravṛtahoma) of ghee, the first with, 'May I be well-pleasing to Speech, well-pleasing to the Lord of speech: O divine Speech, what sweetest, most pleasing speech is thine, therewith endow me! Hail to Sarasvatī!' the second with, 'May the holy Sarasvatī, of abundant powers, rich in devotion, accept favourably our sacrifice!' Thereupon they proceed with the animal offering up to the offering of the omentum (vapā) and cleansing (III, 8, 2, 30); after which all the eighteen priests and the sacrificer perform the Sarpaṇa (see p. 299, note 2), that is, they step up to the eight dhiṣṇya hearths (with formulas Vāj. S. V, 31 a-d; 32 a-d respectively), the Adhvaryu then pointing out the Āhavanīya, the Bahiṣpavamāna place, the Cātvāla, &c. (with Vāj. S. V, 32 e seq.); and touching the Sadas and its door-posts, and addressing Sūrya (the sun), the Ṛtvijs (officiating priests) and dhiṣṇya hearths (with V, 33-34). Kāty. IX, 8, 8-25. For the duties of the Udgātṛs, see Lāṭy. Śr. II, 2, 10 seq.


For the metres of which the Mādhyandina-pavamāna stotra is composed, see p. 333, note 1.


The Ārbhava or Tṛtīya-pavamāna stotra, Sāmav. II, 39-52 (see note on IV, 3, 5, 24), is made up of five parts, composed chiefly in the Gāyatrī, Kakubh, Uṣṇih, Anuṣṭubh, and Jagatī metres respectively. It is chanted in the Saptadaśa-stoma, the seventeen verses being obtained in the following way. The Gāyatrī triplet (II, 39-41) is chanted twice, in the Gāyatra and Saṃhita tunes, making six verses. Then verses 42 and 44 once each, in the Sapha and Paushkala tunes respectively. Then the triplet II, 47-49 twice, in the Śyāvāśva and Āndhīgava tunes (six verses). And finally the triplet II, 50-52 once, in the Kāva tune (three verses). This makes together seventeen verses. Verses 43, 45, and 46 of the Saṃhita are omitted in the chanting.


Paṅkti means both 'a set of five,' and the paṅkti metre, consisting of five octosyllabic feet.


See p. 325, note 2.


Taitt. Br. I, 5, 11 assigns them to the Aśvins, for the reason that they performed cures therewith.


These five sacrificial dishes, called savanīyāḥ (or aindrāḥ) puroḍāśāḥ, are placed together in one vessel (pātrī)--the puroḍāśa proper, or rice-cake to Indra, being placed in the centre--and oblations are made from them to the respective deities at one and the same time, two pieces being cut from each dish into the juhū for the chief offering, and one piece from each into the upabhṛt p. 316 spoon, for the sviṣṭakṛt. While cutting the portion he calls on the Maitrāvaruṇa to 'Recite (the invitatory prayer) of the cakes of the morning feast for Indra!' The anuvākyā (Rig-veda III, 52, 1) having been recited by the Maitrāvaruṇa, the Adhvaryu steps to the fire, calls on the Āgnīdhra for the Śrauṣaṭ formula (see I, 5, 2, 16, with note), and thereupon on the Maitrāvaruṇa to Urge the cakes of the morning feast brought forward for Indra!' That priest then urges, 'Let the Hotṛ pronounce the offering prayer to Indra! May Indra with his bays eat the grain! [O Hotar, pronounce the offering prayer!]' Whereupon the Hotṛ recites, We who worship (part i, p. 142, note),--May Indra with his bays eat the grains, with Pūṣan the porridge; with Sarasvatī, with Bhāratī, the sour curds, with Mitra and Varuṇa the clotted curds! [cf. Ait. Br. II, 24; Taitt. Br. I, 5, 11; Āśv. V, 4, 3] Vauṣaṭ!' when the Adhvaryu pours the oblation into the fire. For the oblation to Agni Sviṣṭakṛt the invitatory prayer is Rig-Veda III, 28, 1, and the offering formula 'Havir agne vīhi,' 'graciously accept the offering, O Agni!' The offerings completed, the dishes of sacrificial food. are placed on the Hotṛ's hearth.

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