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

This is Satapatha Brahmana IV.5.4 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 4th brahmana of kanda IV, adhyaya 5.

Kanda IV, adhyaya 5, brahmana 4

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. Now, at first the gods were all alike, all good. Of them, being all alike, all good, three desired, 'May we be superior[2]!'--Agni, Indra, and Sūrya.

2. They went on praising and toiling. They saw those Atigrāhyas 4, and drew (grah) them for themselves over and above (ati): hence the name Atigrāhyas. They became superior, even as they are now superior[4] and verily he becomes superior for whomsoever, knowing this, they draw those cups of Soma.

3. And at first there was not in Agni that lustre which is now in him. He desired, 'May that lustre be in me!' He saw this graha, and drew it for himself, and henceforth that lustre was in him.

4. And at first there was not in Indra that power which is now in him. He desired, 'May that power be in me!' He saw this graha and drew it for himself, and henceforth that power was in him.

5. And at first there was not in Sūrya that splendour which is now in him. He desired, 'May that splendour be in me!' He saw this graha and drew it for himself, and henceforth that splendour was in him. And verily for whomsoever, knowing this, they draw those cups of Soma, he takes unto himself those same fires (energies), those same powers.

6. Let him draw them at the morning pressing, after drawing the Āgrayaṇa; for the Āgrayaṇa is the self (body), and many parts of this self are one each (and thus) over and above (the others), such as the lung[5] and heart, and others.

7. Or he might draw them from the Pūtabhṛt, at the midday pressing, after drawing the Ukthya, or when about to bespeak (the chant), for the Ukthya indeed is the same as that undefined self of his. But this is mere speculation: let him rather draw them at the morning pressing, after drawing the Āgrayaṇa.

8. They are offered after the offering of the Māhendra graha; for that, the Māhendra, is Indra's special cup; and so are the (Nishkevalya) stotra and śastra specially his. But the sacrificer is Indra; and for the sacrificer's benefit (these cups) are drawn: therefore they are offered after the offering of the Māhendra graha.

9. He thus draws them therefrom [the first with

Vāj. S. VIII, 38; Rig-veda IX, 66, 21][6], 'O Agni, skilful in works, become thou pure, bestowing upon us lustre and manly vigour, and upon me health and wealth!--Thou art taken with a support: thee to Agni, for lustre!--This is thy womb: thee to Agni, for lustre!'

10. [The second with Vāj. S. VIII, 39; Rig-veda VIII, 76, 10], 'Uprising by thy power didst thou move thy jaws, O Indra, drinking the cup-drawn juice!--Thou art taken with a support: thee to Indra for power!--This is thy womb: thee to Indra for power!'

11. [The third with Vāj. S. VIII, 40; Rig-veda I, 50, 3], 'His beacons have appeared, his beams, wide and far over the people, shining splendidly like fires!--Thou art taken with a support: thee to Sūrya for splendour!--This is thy womb: thee to Sūrya for splendour!'

12. The drinking of these (cups is performed by the sacrificers with the resp. texts), 'O lustrous Agni, lustrous art thou among the gods: may I be lustrous among men!--Most powerful Indra, most powerful art thou among the gods: may I be the most powerful among men!--Most splendid Sūrya, most splendid art thou among the gods: may I be the most splendid among men!' And, verily, these same splendours, these same powers he takes unto himself for whomsoever, knowing this, they draw these cups.

13. Let him draw them on the first three days of the Pṛṣṭhya ṣaḍaha[7]; namely, the Agni cup on the first day, the Indra cup on the second, the Sūrya cup on the third--thus one day by day.

14. Some[8], however, draw them on the last three days; but let him not do so: let him rather draw them on the first three days. But should he intend to draw them on the last three days, let him first draw them on the first three days and let him then draw them on the last three days. In like manner they are drawn (all three) in their proper order, on one and the same day, at the Viśvajit[9] with all the Pṛṣṭhas.

Footnotes and references:


The Dvādaśāha, or twelve days’ performance, forms the connecting link between the so-called Ahīna sacrifices (consisting of between two and twelve press-days) and the sattras, or sacrificial sessions (of twelve press-days and upwards); since it can be performed as one or the other. As a sattra (which seems to be its usual character) it consists of the Daśarātra, or ten nights’ (or days’) period, preceded and followed by an Atirātra, as the prāyaṇīya (opening) and udayanīya (concluding) days. The Daśarātra, on its part, consists of three tryahas (or tridua), viz. a Pṛṣṭhya ṣaḍaha (see note  4), and three Ukthya days, the so-called Chandomas (on which see Haug, Ait. Br. Transl. p. 347). These are followed by an Atyagniṣṭoma day, called Avivākya (i.e. on which there should be 'no dispute, or quarrel').


Ati-tiṣṭhāvānaḥ, lit. 'standing forth over (all others,' see IV, 5, 3, 2). In this, as in the preceding Brāhmaṇa, the prefix ati has to do service repeatedly for etymological and symbolical purposes.


I.e. cups of Soma 'to be drawn over and above' (Weber, Ind. Stud. IX, 235; for a different explanation see Haug, Ait. Br. Transl. p. 490). These three grahas are required at the Pṛṣṭhya ṣaḍaha, which forms part of the Dvādaśāha (see note  2), and of sacrificial sessions generally. The ṣaḍaha, or period of six Soma days, which (though itself consisting of two tryaha, or p. 403 tridua) may be considered as forming a kind of unit in sattras, or sacrificial sessions, is of two kinds, viz. the Abhiplava ṣaḍaha and the Pṛṣṭhya ṣaḍaha. Both require (for the Hotṛ's pṛṣṭha-stotra at the midday pressing) the use of the Rathantara-sāman on uneven, and that of the Bṛhat-sāman on even days. The chief difference between them is that while the pṛṣṭha-stotras of the Abhiplava are performed in the ordinary (Agniṣṭoma) way, the Pṛṣṭhya ṣaḍaha requires their performance in the proper pṛṣṭha form, see p. 339, note 2. Besides, while the Abhiplava ṣaḍaha consists of four Ukthya days, preceded and followed by one Agniṣṭoma day; the first day of the Pṛṣṭhya ṣaḍaha is an Agniṣṭoma, the fourth a Ṣoḍaśin, the remaining four days being Ukthyas. There is also a difference between the two in regard to the stomas, or forms of chanting, used; for while the Pṛṣṭhya requires successively one of the six principal stomas (from the Trivṛt up to the Trayastriṃśa, as given p. 308, note 2) for each day, the Abhiplava requires the first four stomas (Trivṛt to Ekaviṃśa) for each day, though in a different order. In this respect, three groups or forms are assumed for the performance of the stotras at the Agniṣṭoma and Ukthya, viz. the Jyotiṣṭoma [a. Bahiṣpavavamāna in the Trivṛt; b. Ājyastotras and c. Mādhyandina-pavamāna in the Pañcadaśa; d. the Pṛṣṭha-stotras and e. Ārbhava-pavavamāna in the Saptadaśa; and f. the Agniṣṭoma sāman in the Ekaviṃśa stoma]; the Goṣṭoma [a. Pañcadaśa; b. Trivṛt; c. Saptadaśa; e. f. (and g. Ukthastotras) Ekaviṃśa]; and Āyuṣṭoma [a. Trivṛt; b. Pañcadaśa; c. d. Saptadaśa; e. f. g. Ekaviṃśa]. These forms are distributed over the two tridua of the Abhiplava in the order: Jyotiṣṭoma, Goṣṭoma, Āyuṣṭoma; Goṣṭoma, Āyuṣṭoma, Gyotiṣṭoma.


Lit. even as they are now the superiority, i.e. a superior power.


That is, the right lung (kloman), the left lung being called by a different name. See St. Petersb. Dict. s. v.


The Kāṇvas use a different formula, viz. Rig-veda IX, 66, 19. See Vāj. S. ed. Weber, p. 254 (XII).


See page 402, note 4. In conjunction with the Rathantara p. 406 (Sāma-veda II, 30-31) and Bṛhat (II, 159-60) sāmans, the other four principal pṛṣṭha sāmans--viz. the Vairūpa (II, 212-13), Vairāja (II, 277-9), Śākvara (II, 1151-3; or Mahānāmnī, 1-3), and Raivata (II, 434-6)--are used respectively by the Hotṛ on the last four days of the ṣaḍaha. As regards the Hotṛ's assistants, while the Maitrāvaruṇa always uses the same sāman, as at the Agniṣṭoma, viz. the Vāmadevya (II, 32-34), the sāmans used by the other Hotrakas are given in the Sāma-veda immediately after the respective sāman of the Hotṛ, mentioned above.


The Kāṇva text ascribes this practice to the Carakas.


Regarding the sacrificial session, called Gavām ayana, of which the Viśvajit forms part, see p. 426, note 3.

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