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

This is Satapatha Brahmana IV.6.5 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 6.

Kanda IV, adhyaya 6, brahmana 5

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. Now the graha[1], forsooth, is he that burns yonder, since by him all these creatures are held (swayed). Hence they say, 'We take (grab) the grahas,' 'They walk, seized by the grahas.'

2. The graha, forsooth, is Vāc (speech); for by speech everything is swayed (grab) here[2],--what wonder, then[3], that Vāc is the graha?

3. The graha, forsooth, is the name, for everything is held (fixed) by a name here,--what wonder, then, that the name is the graha? We know the names of many, and are they not thereby held by us[4]?

4. The graha, forsooth, is food; for by food everything is kept (grah) here: hence as many as eat our food, all those are kept by us. Such is the natural order of things.

5. And as to this graha of Soma, that is food; for whatever deity one draws this graha, that deity, being seized by this graha, fulfils that wish of his for which he draws it. He approaches either the rising or the setting sun, thinking, 'Thou art the seizer, seize thou N.N. by such and such a disease! may N.N. not obtain such and such!' (naming) him whom he hates; or with, 'May such and such a wish not be fulfilled to him!' and, assuredly, that wish is not fulfilled to him for whom he thus approaches (the sun).

Footnotes and references:


That is, the seizer, holder, swayer. According to the St. Petersb. Dict. the word 'graha' probably has not already in this passage the later meaning of 'planet' as the one holding or influencing man; but that of some demoniac being. The whole Brāhmaṇa is a play on the word 'graha' in its active and passive meanings of seizer, holder, influence; and draught, libation. The corresponding Brāhmaṇa of the Kāṇva text (V, 7, 1) differs widely from our text. Its general drift is as follows: The graha is the breath,--the graha of that breath is food,--the graha of that food is the water,--the graha of that water is fire,--the graha of the fire (Agni) is the breath,--thus the deities are seized by him, and he wins a place in the world of the deities.


Perhaps with the double-entendre, 'everything (libation &c.) is drawn with speech here.'


? Kimu tad yad vāg grahaḥ. The usual meaning of kim u, 'how much more,' 'still more so,' seems hardly to suit this passage.


? Or, 'are not those of us (that have a name) held (known) thereby?' In either case, however, the interrogative force of 'atha,' without any other particle, is rather unusual.

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