Satapatha-brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana VI.5.1 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 VI, adhyaya 5.

Kanda VI, adhyaya 5, brahmana 1

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. That water (used for working the clay) has been boiled by means of resin of the palāśa tree (butea frondosa), just for the sake of firmness. And as to why (it is done) by palāśa resin;--the palāśa tree doubtless is Soma[1], and Soma is the moon, and that (moon) indeed is one of Agni's forms: it is for the obtainment of that form of Agni (that palāśa resin is used).

2. He pours it on (the clay), with (Vāj. S. XI, 50-52; Ṛk S. X, 9, 1-3), 'Refreshing ye are, O waters[2]!' To whatever deity a Ṛk-verse, and to whatever deity a Yajus formula applies, that Ṛk-verse is that very deity, and that Yajus formula is that very deity: hence this triplet (XI, 50-52) is these waters, and they are those very waters which appeared as one form[3]: that form he now makes it.

3. He then produces foam and puts it thereto: the second form which was created (in the shape of) foam[4], that form he thus makes it. And the clay he now mixes is that very clay which was created as the third form. It was from these forms that he (Agni) was created at the beginning, and from them he now produces him.

4. He then mixes it with the goat's hair, just for the sake of firmness. And as to why with goat's hair,--the gods then collected him (Agni) from out of the cattle, and in like manner does this one now collect him from out of the cattle. And as to why with goat's hair, it is because in the he-goat (is contained) the form of all cattle; and as to its being hair, form is hair[5].

5. [Vāj. S. XI, 53] 'Mitra having mixed the earth and ground with light,'--Mitra doubtless is the breath, and the breath first did this sacred work;--'I mix (fashion) thee, the well-born knower of beings, for health to creatures,'--as the text, so its meaning.

6. Then there are these three kinds of powder (dust)--(sand of) gravel, stone, and iron-rust--therewith he mixes (the clay), just for firmness. And as to why (it is mixed) therewith, it is because thereof this (earth) consisted when it was created in the beginning: thus whatlike this (earth) was created in the beginning, such he now makes it (the earth, or fire-pan).

7. [Vāj. S. XI, 54] 'The Rudras, having mixed the earth, kindled the great light;'--for this Agni is yonder sun: thus it is that great light which the Rudras, having mixed the earth, did kindle;--'yea, never-failing and brilliant, their light shineth among the gods;'--for that never-failing and brilliant light of theirs does indeed shine among the gods.

8. With two (verses) he mixes (the clay),--two-footed is the Sacrificer, and the Sacrificer is Agni as great as Agni is, as great as is his measure, so great he thus mixes (fashions) him.

9. He then kneads it, with(Vāj. S. XI, 55), 'Mixed by the Vasus, the Rudras,'--for this (clay) has indeed been mixed both by the Vasus and the Rudras: by the Vasus, because by Mitra and by the Rudras, because by the Rudras;--'by the wise, the clay suitable for the work;'--for wise those (gods) are, and suitable for the (sacred) work is this clay;--'making it soft with her hands, may Sinīvalī fashion it!'--Sinīvalī doubtless is speech: thus, 'May she, having made it soft with her hands, fashion it!'

10. [Vāj. S. XI, 56] 'Sinīvalī, the fair-knotted, fair-braided, fair-locked,'--for Sinīvalī is a woman, and that is indeed the perfect form of woman, to wit, the fair-knotted, fair-braided, fair-locked: he thus makes her perfect;--'may she place the fire-pan into thy hands, O great Aditi!'--the great Aditi doubtless is this earth: it is to this earth that he says this.

11. [Vāj. S. XI, 57] 'Let Aditi fashion the fire-pan, by her skill, her arms, her wisdom!'--for by her skill, by her arms, and by her wisdom she does indeed fashion it;--'may she bear Agni in her womb, even as a mother (bears) her son in her lap!'--that is, 'as a mother would bear her son in her lap, so may she (Aditi) bear Agni in her womb!'

12. With three (formulas) he kneads (the clay),--threefold is Agni: as great as Agni is, as great as is his measure, with so much he thus kneads him. With two (verses) he mixes,--that makes five;--of five layers consists the fire-altar (Agni); five seasons are a year, and the year is Agni: as great as Agni is, as great as is his measure, so great does this become. With three (formulas) he pours water thereto,--that makes eight;--of eight syllables the Gāyatrī metre consists, and Agni is Gāyatra: as great as Agni is, as great as is his measure, so great does this become. And, moreover, as one of eight syllables[6] this (earth) was created in the beginning: thus as great as this (earth) was created in the beginning, so great he thus makes this (fire-pan representing the earth).

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

See part i, p. 183.

[2]:

The whole triplet runs thus: 'Refreshing ye are, O waters; lead us to strength, to see great joy!--whatever is your most benign sap, therein let us share, like loving mothers!--For you we will readily go to him, to whose abode ye urge us, O waters, and quicken us.'

[3]:

See VI, 1, 1, 12.

[4]:

VI, 1, 1, 13.

[5]:

That is, the hair of cattle is the most obvious characteristic of their outward appearance.

[6]:

See VI, 1, 2, 6-7.

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