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

This is Satapatha Brahmana V.4.1 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 1st brahmana of kanda V, adhyaya 4.

Kanda V, adhyaya 4, brahmana 1

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. He puts a piece of copper[1] into the mouth of a long-haired man, with (Vāj. S. X, 10), 'Removed by sacrifice are the mordacious.' For verily he who performs the Rājasūya escapes all kinds of death, all murderous blows, and old age alone is his death: hence whatever kind of death, whatever murderous blow there is, past that he now guides him, as past the mordacious ones.

2. And as to why it is of a long-haired man,--such a long-haired man is neither woman nor man; for being a male, he is not a woman, and being longhaired (a eunuch), he is not a man. And copper (or bronze) is neither iron nor gold; and those mordacious ones (snakes) are neither worms nor non-worms. And as to its being copper,--reddish to be sure are mordacious ones: therefore (he throws it in the face) of a long-haired man.

3. He then makes him ascend the regions, with (Vāj. S. X, 10-14), 'Ascend thou the East! May the Gāyatrī (metre) protect thee, the Rathantara-sāman, the threefold stoma, the spring season, the Priesthood, that precious treasure!'

4. 'Ascend thou the South! May the Triṣṭubh protect thee, the Bṛhat-sāman, the fifteenfold stoma, the summer season, the Knighthood, that precious treasure!'

5. 'Ascend thou the West! May the Jagatī protect thee, the Vairūpa-sāman, the seventeenfold stoma, the rainy season, the Peasantry, that precious treasure!'

6. 'Ascend thou the North! May the Anuṣṭubh protect thee, the Vairāja-sāman, the twenty-onefold stoma, the autumn season, fruit, that precious treasure!'

7. 'Ascend thou the upper region! May the Paṅkti protect thee, the Sākvara and Raivata-sāmans, the thrice-ninefold and the three and thirtyfold stomas, the winter and dewy season, spiritual lustre, that precious treasure!'

8. And as to why he makes him ascend the quarters,--that is a form of the seasons: it is the seasons, the year, that he thereby makes him ascend; and having ascended the seasons, the year, he is high, high above everything here, and everything here is below him.

9. On the hind part of the tiger's skin[2] a piece of lead is laid down. He kicks it off with his foot, with (Vāj. S. X, 14), 'Kicked off is Namuci's head!' Now there was once an Āsura, Namuci by name. Indra knocked him down, and trod with his foot upon him. And in that he, thus trodden upon, bulged out, that (is the origin of) a rupture. He tore off his head with his foot, and therefrom sprang a goblin (Rakṣas). That one kept calling out to him, 'Whither art thou going? Where wilt thou rid thyself of me?'

10. He beat it off with (a disk of) lead: hence lead is soft, for it has lost its spring, as it beat off (the goblin) with all its might. Hence also, while being like gold, it is not worth anything; for it has lost its spring, as it beat off (the goblin) with all its might. And so, indeed, he (Indra) thereby beat off the fiends, the Rakṣas; and in like manner this one (the king) thereby beats off the fiends, the Rakṣas.

11. He then makes him step upon the tiger's skin, with (Vāj. S. X, 15), 'Thou art Soma's beauty;'--For because when Soma flowed through Indra, he (Indra) thereupon became a tiger, and therefore he is Soma's beauty: this is why he says, 'Thou art Soma's beauty;'--'May my beauty be like unto thine!'--The tiger's beauty he thereby bestows upon him: therefore he says, 'May my beauty be like unto thine!'

12. Below (the king's foot) he throws a (small) gold plate, with, 'Save (him) from death!'--Gold is immortal life: he thus takes his stand on immortal life.

13. Then there is (another) gold plate, perforated either with a hundred, or with nine, holes. If with a hundred holes,--man here lives up to a hundred (years), and has a hundred energies, a hundred powers; therefore it is perforated with a hundred holes. And if with nine holes,--there are in man those nine vital airs: therefore it is perforated with nine holes.

14. That (gold plate) he lays upon his head, with, 'Might thou art, victory thou art, immortality thou art!' Gold being immortal life, he thus lays immortal life into him. And as to why there are gold plates on both sides,--gold being immortal life,--he thus encloses him on both sides with immortal life: this is why there are gold plates on both sides.

15. He then lifts up his arms, with (Vāj. S. X, 16[3]), 'Golden-bodied, ye two lords rise like the sun: mount ye the chariot, O Mitra and Varuṇa, and thence behold Aditi and Diti!' Mitra and Varuṇa verily are the two arms, and the chariot (-seat) is the man: therefore he says, 'Mount ye the chariot, O Mitra and Varuṇa!'--'thence behold Aditi and Diti!' By this he means to say, 'See ye your own (property) and that of others''

16. Let him not lift up (the king's arms) with that one, but let him rather lift them up with, 'Thou art Mitra, thou art Varuṇa;' for Mitra-Varuṇa are the two arms, and by his arms the Rājanya belongs to Mitra and Varuṇa: let him therefore lift up his arms with, 'Thou art Mitra, thou art Varuṇa.'

17. And as to why he anoints him (standing) with upstretched arms;--those arms in truth are the Rājanya's power, and power also is that collected essence of the waters wherewith he now anoints him: 'Lest that power, the collected essence of the waters, weigh down (paralyze) this power of mine, the arms,' thus he thinks, and therefore he anoints him (standing) with upstretched arms.

Footnotes and references:


Lohāyasa, literally, 'red metal,' apparently either copper, or an alloy of copper and some other metal,--The eunuch is sitting in the Sadas.


This was spread out in front of the Maitrāvaruṇa's hearth, see V, 3, 5, 3.


In Ṛk S. V, 62, 8 the verse runs as follows:--At the glow of the dawn, at the rising of the sun, ye, O Mitra and Varuṇa, mount your golden-formed, iron-pillared chariot; thence ye behold Aditi and Diti (? the boundless space and the bounded).

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