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

This is Satapatha Brahmana IV.5.3 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 3rd brahmana of kanda IV, adhyaya 5.

Kanda IV, adhyaya 5, brahmana 3

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. The Shodaśin[1] (graha) forsooth is Indra. Now, at one time the beings surpassed (ati-ric) Indra--the beings being the creatures--they were in a state of equality, as it were, with him.

2. Indra then bethought himself, 'How can I stand forth over everything here, and how may everything here be beneath me?' He saw that graha, and drew it for himself. Then he stood forth over everything here, and everything here was beneath him. And, verily, for whomsoever, knowing this, they draw that cup of Soma, he stands forth over everything here, and everything here is beneath him.

3. Wherefore it has been said by the Ṛṣi (Rig-veda III, 32, 11), 'The sky hath not reached thy greatness, when thou didst rest on the earth with thine other thigh,'--for, verily, yonder sky did not reach up to his other thigh[2]: so did he stand forth over everything here, and everything here was beneath him. And, verily, for whomsoever, knowing this, they draw that cup of Soma, he stands forth over everything here, and everything here is beneath him.

4. He draws it with a verse to the lord of the bay steeds (Indra Harivant); they (the Udgātṛs) chant verses to (Indra) Harivant, and he (the Hotṛ) afterwards recites verses to (Indra) Harivant. For Indra seized upon the strength, the fury (haras) of his enemies, the Asuras; and in like manner does he (the sacrificer) now seize upon the strength, the fury of his enemies: therefore he draws the graha with a verse to (Indra) Harivant; they chant verses to Harivant, and he (the Hotṛ) afterwards recites verses to Harivant.

5. He draws it with an Anuṣṭubh verse; for the morning press-feast belongs to the Gāyatrī, the midday feast to the Triṣṭubh, and the evening feast to the Jagatī. The Anuṣṭubh, then, is over and above[3] (ati-rikta), and he thus makes that (Soma of the Ṣoḍaśin) to remain over: hence he takes it with an Anuṣṭubh.

6. He draws it in a square cup; for there are three worlds: these same worlds he gains by three corners, and by the fourth corner he makes that (Soma) to remain over;--therefore he draws it in a square cup.

7. Let him draw it at the morning pressing, after drawing the Āgrayaṇa. Having been drawn at the morning pressing, it reposes apart from that time: he thus makes it to outlast all (three) pressings.

8. Or he may draw it at the midday pressing, after drawing the Āgrayaṇa,--but this is mere speculation: let him rather draw it at the morning pressing, after drawing the Āgrayaṇa: having been drawn at the morning pressing, it reposes apart from that time.

9. He thus draws it therefrom with (Vāj. S. VIII, 33; Rig-veda I, 84, 3), 'Mount the chariot, O slayer of Vṛtra, thy bay steeds have been harnessed by prayer! May the stone by its sound draw hitherward thy mind!--Thou art taken with a support: thee to Indra Ṣoḍaśin (the sixteenfold)!--This is thy womb: thee to Indra Ṣoḍaśin!'

10. Or with this (verse, Vāj. S. VIII, 34; Rig-veda I, 10, 3), 'Harness thy long-maned, girth-filling bay steeds! Come hither to us, O Indra, drinker of Soma, to hear our songs! Thou art taken with a support: thee to Indra Ṣoḍaśin!--This is thy womb: thee to Indra Ṣoḍaśin!'

11. Thereupon he returns (to the sadas) and bespeaks the chant with, 'Soma has been left over: Turn ye back[4]!' for he indeed causes it to remain over by that (Ṣoḍaśin graha). He (the Adhvaryu) bespeaks it[5] before the setting of the sun; and after sunset he (the Hotṛ) follows it up by reciting the śastra: thus he thereby joins day and night together,--therefore he bespeaks (the stotra)[6] before the setting of the sun, and after sunset he follows it up by reciting the śastra[7].

Footnotes and references:


The author has now completed his exposition of the simplest form of Soma-sacrifice, viz. the Agniṣṭoma, the libations of which are accompanied by twelve chants (stotra) and as many recitations (śastra), and which (on the press-day) requires one victim to Agni (see IV, 2, 5, 14). He has also incidentally (IV, 4, 2, 18) touched upon the characteristic features of the Ukthya sacrifice, viz. its second victim, a he-goat to Indra-Agni, and three additional Uktha stotras and śastras (p. 370 note 1). He now proceeds to p. 398 consider another libation which, with its accompanying stotra and śastra, forms the distinctive feature of the Ṣoḍaśin sacrifice, i.e. the one having sixteen or a sixteenth (hymn). This sacrifice also requires a third victim on the press-day, viz. a ram to Indra. By the addition, on the other hand, of the Ṣoḍaśin graha, with its chant and recitation, to an ordinary Agniṣṭoma, another form of one day's (ekāha) Soma-sacrifice is obtained, viz. the Atyagniṣṭoma, or redundant Agniṣṭoma, with thirteen stotras and śastras. This form of sacrifice is, however, comparatively rarely used, and was probably devised on mere theoretic grounds, to complete the sacrificial system. A somewhat more common form is the Atirātra, lit. 'that which has a night over and above,' differing as it does from the Ṣoḍaśin in that--besides a fourth victim (a he-goat to Sarasvatī)--it has in addition a night performance of libations, with three rounds (paryāyas) of four stotras and śastras each (one for the Hotṛ and for each of his three assistants), and concluding at daybreak with one more stotra, the sandhi (twilight) stotra, and the Aśvina śastra and offering. These are the forms of Soma-sacrifice referred to in the present book, as required for the performance of sacrificial sessions (twelve days and more) of which its concluding portion treats. With another form, the Vājapeya sacrifice, the author deals in the next Kāṇḍa. These--with the Aptoryāma, which to the Atirātra adds another course of four Atirikta, or superadded stotras--constitute in the later official classification the seven fundamental forms (saṃsthā) of Soma-sacrifice. This term, meaning properly 'termination, consummation,' probably applied originally to the concluding rites of the Soma-sacrifice proper, as the distinctive features of the several forms of sacrifice, but by a natural transition, became the generic terms for the complete forms of sacrifice. See Professor Weber's somewhat different explanation, Ind. Stud. IX, 229.


? Or either of his thighs. The situation depicted in this verse would seem that of the warrior Indra lying or kneeling on Vṛtra, whom he has thrown on the ground.


Or, additional, in excess; see IV, 4, 3, 4.


See IV, 2, 5, 8. The verb, here and elsewhere translated by 'to bespeak,' is upā-kṛ, the proper meaning of which would seem 'to be to prepare, to introduce, to bring up' the chant. As the same verb is, however, also used for the 'driving up, or bringing up' of cattle (to the stable), it may perhaps have a similar meaning in connection with the stotra; the metres of the chant (which are often called the cattle of the gods) being, as it were, 'led up' (or put to') by the Adhvaryu, to be 'harnessed' or 'yoked' (yuj) by the Udgātṛ; see p. 311, note 1. Instead of the Prastara, handed to the Udgātṛ on the occasion of the Pavamānas, two stalks of sacrificial grass are generally used with other chants; but certain stotras and sāmans require to be 'introduced' by special objects, such as a fan, or the two churning sticks (for producing fire), or water mixed with avakā plants, or an arrow.


? Read 'tad' for 'tam;' or 'he calls upon him (the Udgātṛ).'


The ṣoḍaśi-stotra usually consists of the Gaurivita Sāman (S. V. II, 302-4); but the Nānada Sāman (ib. II, 790-3) may be used instead. It is performed in the ekaviṃśa stoma, i.e. the three verses are chanted in three turns, so as, by repetitions, to produce twenty-one verses; the usual form being a a a-b b b-c; a-b b b-c c c; a a a-b-c c c. For some modifications in the present case, see Haug, Transl. Ait. Br. p. 258 note. The first turn is to be performed in a low voice, while the sun is going down; the second in a middle voice, when the sun has disappeared, but not entirely the daylight; and the third turn in a loud voice, when darkness is closing in. If, for some reason or other, the stotra is entirely performed after sunset, it is chanted with a loud voice throughout. During the chanting a horse (black, if possible), or a bullock, or he-goat is to stand at the front (or back) gate of the sadas, facing the latter. Besides, a piece of gold is to circulate among the chanters, each of them holding it, while his turn of chanting lasts, and the Udgātṛ (or all three) doing so during the nidhana or finale.


The ṣoḍaśi-śastra is minutely described in the Ait. Br. IV, 3 seq. The opening verses are in the Anuṣṭubh metre (of sixteen syllables), but otherwise also the Hotṛ has by means of pauses and insertions of formulas (nivid) to bring out its 'sixteenfold' character so as to accord with its designation.

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