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Kāṇḍa VII, adhyāya 4, brāhmaṇa 2

SECOND BRĀHMAṆA.

1. He puts a Svayam-ātṛṇṇā (naturally-perforated brick) on (the gold man);--the (first) naturally-perforated one being this earth, he thus puts this earth thereon. He puts it on so as not to be separate from the man; for the naturally-perforated one means food, and the naturally-perforated one means this earth, and this earth is food, since it is on her that all food ripens: he thus places food close to him (the man, Agni). Upon (the man he puts it): he thus places the food upon him 1.

2. And, again, why he puts on a naturally-perforated one;--the naturally-perforated (brick) is the breath (or vital air), for the breath thus bores itself (svayam ātṛntte) through the body: it is breath he thus bestows on it. He puts it so as not to be separate from the man; for the naturally-perforated one is the breath, and the naturally-perforated one is this earth, and this earth is the breath, since this earth bears everything that breathes: he thus puts the breath so as not to be separate from him. Upon (the man he places the brick): he thus puts the breath upon him[1].

3. And, again, why he puts thereon the naturally-perforated one. The deities, taking up the disjointed Prajāpati, separated; and, having obtained a resting-place in them, thus separated, he settled down.

4. Now that Prajāpati who became disjointed is this very Agni (fire-altar) that is now being built up; and that resting-place (or, foundation) is this first naturally-perforated (brick);--thus when he now puts it on, he thereby puts upon this (altar-site) that (foundation[2]) which there was for his body: that is why he now puts it on.

5. He puts it on by means of Prajāpati, for Prajāpati thereby took back to himself (that foundation) of his body. [Vāj. S. XIII, 16] 'Steady thou art,' that is, 'Firm thou art, or established thou art;'--'supporting,' for that which supports is a foundation;--'laid down by Viśvakarman;' Viśvakarman is Prajāpati, thus, 'laid down by that one;'--'May the ocean, may the bird not injure thee!' the ocean doubtless is the gold plate, and the bird is the man: thus, 'May those two not injure thee!'--'Not shaking, steady thou the earth!' as the text, so the meaning.

6. [Vāj. S. XIII, 17] 'May Prajāpati settle thee'--for Prajāpati saw this first layer[3];--'on the back of the waters, on the way of the ocean,' the back of the waters doubtless is this earth, and the way of the ocean is this earth;--'thee, the wide, the broad one!' for this earth is both wide and broad;--'broaden thou: thou art the broad one!' that is, 'broaden thou, and thou art the broad (earth, pṛthivī).'

7. [Vāj. S. XIII, 18] 'Thou art the earth (bhū),' for this is the earth;--'thou art the ground (bhūmi),' for this is the ground;--'Thou art Aditi,'--Aditi is this earth, for this earth gives (dad) everything here;--'the all-containing,' for on this earth everything is contained;--'supporter of all the world,' that is, supporter of the whole world;--'sustain the earth, steady the earth, injure not the earth!' that is, sustain thyself, steady thyself, injure, not thyself!

8. [Vāj. S. XIII, 19] 'For all breathing, out-breathing, through-breathing, and up-breathing;' for the naturally-perforated (brick) is the breath, and the breath serves for all that;--'for a resting-place, for a moving-place;' the naturally-perforated (bricks) are these worlds[4], and these worlds are the resting-place, the moving-place;--'May Agni guard thee'--that is, may Agni protect thee!--'with mighty well-being!' that is, with great well-being;--'with the safest roof,' that is, with whatever roof (abode) is the safest. Having 'settled' it[5], he pronounces the Sūdadohas[6] on it: the meaning of this has been explained. He then sings a Sāman: the meaning of this (will be explained) further on.

9. Here now they say, 'How is it that that (gold) man is not held (weighed) down by the naturally-perforated (brick)[7]?' Well, the naturally-perforated (brick) is food and breath; and man is not held down either by food or by his breath.

10. He then lays the Darya-brick[8] thereon;--the Dūrvā-brick being cattle; it is with cattle he thus endows it: these are the same cattle together with which Agni on that former occasion approached[9]; it is them he now puts thereon. He lays it down immediately on the naturally-perforated (brick); the naturally-perforated (brick) being this earth, he thus places the cattle immediately on this earth. Upon (the brick he places it): upon this earth he thereby places cattle.

11. And, again, why he lays down the Dūrvā-brick. The hair of Prajāpati which were lying on the ground when he was disjointed became these herbs. The vital air then went out from within him, and, that having gone out, he fell down.

12. He said, 'Verily, this (vital air) has undone me!' and because he said, 'it has undone (dhūrv) me,' hence (the name) 'dhūrvā;' 'dhūrvā' doubtless being what is mystically called 'dūrvā,' for the gods love the mystic. That (dūrvā grass) is the ruling power (Kṣatra), for it is this vital sap, the breath; and the other plants are the hair: in laying down that (dūrvā plant) he lays down all (kinds of) plants.

13. When the gods restored him, they put that life-sap, the breath, inside him; and in like manner does this (Sacrificer) now put it into him. He lays it down immediately on the naturally-perforated (brick); the naturally-perforated one being this earth, he thus places the plants immediately on this earth. Upon (the brick he lays it): upon this earth he thus places the plants. It should be with root and top, for completeness' sake. Let him lay it on in such manner that while lying on the naturally-perforated (brick) it touches the ground (with its tops)[10], for on this earth those (plants) spring up, and along her they grow.

14. He lays it on, with (Vāj. S. XIII, 20-21), 'Growing up joint by joint, knot by knot;' for joint by joint, and knot by knot that (grass) does grow up;--'so do thou prolong us, O Dūrvā (plant), by a thousand, and a hundred (descendants)!' as the text, so its meaning.

15. 'Thou that spreadest by a hundred, and branchest out by a thousand (shoots);' for by a hundred (shoots) it spreads, and by a thousand it branches out;--'to thee, O divine brick, we will do homage by offering;' as the text, so the meaning. With two (verses) he puts it on: the meaning of this has been explained. Having 'settled' it, he pronounces the Sūdadohas upon it: the meaning of this has been explained.

16. He then puts down a Dviyajus[11] (brick). Indra and Agni desired, 'May we go to the heavenly world!' They saw that dviyajus brick, even this earth, and laid it down; and having laid it down, they went to the heavenly world from that foundation. In like manner when this Sacrificer lays down a dviyajus (brick), (he does so) thinking, 'I want to go to the heavenly world by the same means (rūpa), by performing the same rite by which Indra and Agni went to the heavenly world!' And as to its being called 'dviyajus,' it is because two deities saw it. And as to why he lays down a dviyajus one: the dviyajus doubtless is the Sacrificer.

17. Here now they say, 'If (the dviyajus) is that same Sacrificer who is that gold man, which then is that (real) form of his?' Well, that (gold man) is his divine body, and this (brick) is his human one. As to that gold man, that is his immortal form, his divine form; gold being immortal. And as to this (brick) being made of clay, it is because this is his human form.

18. Now were he only to lay down that (golden man), and not to let this dviyajus (brick) remain[12], the Sacrificer surely would quickly pass away from this world; but now that he allows this (brick) to remain, he thereby leaves to him this human form of his; and so he attains with this body the full (measure of) life.

19. And were he not to put it on after (the gold man), he assuredly would not afterwards find out that divine body[13]; but now that he puts it on thereafter, he does so afterwards find out that divine body. He lays it down close to the dūrvā-brick the dūrvā-brick being cattle, he thus establishes the Sacrificer in (the possession of) cattle.

20. Here now they say, 'How do those two bodies of his come to be connected together by the breath, and not severed?' Well, the naturally-perforated (brick) is the breath, and the dūrvā-brick is the breath, and the dviyajus (-brick) is the Sacrificer:

and inasmuch as he lays down the dūrvā-brick close to the naturally-perforated one, he thereby connects and joins breath with breath; and inasmuch as he lays down the dviyajus one close to the dūrvā-brick--the dūrvā-brick being the breath, and the dviyajus the Sacrificer--those two bodies of his (the human one and the divine one) thus become connected together by the breath, and not severed.

21. [He lays down the dviyajus brick, with Vāj. S. XIII, 22, 23] 'O Agni, what lights of thine in the sun overspread the sky by their beams, with all those help us to light and to people!--O ye gods, what lights of yours are in the sun, and what lights are in kine and horses, O Indra and Agni, with all those bestow light upon us, O Bṛhaspati!' for 'light' he prays each time: light being immortality, it is immortality he thus bestows on him (Agni, and the Sacrificer). With two (verses) he lays it down: the significance of this has been explained. And, moreover, it is because that material form (of the brick) is a twofold one, (consisting as it does of) clay and water. Having 'settled' it, he pronounces the Sūdadohas upon it: the significance of this has been explained.

22. He then lays down two Retaḥsic (seed-shedding bricks);--the seed-shedders doubtless are these two worlds, for these two worlds do shed seed;--this (terrestrial world) sheds seed upwards from here (in the form of) smoke; it becomes rain in yonder world, and that rain yonder world (sheds) from above: hence (creatures) are born within these two worlds, and therefore these two worlds are seed-shedders.

23. [He lays them down, with Vāj. S. XIII, 24]

'The wide-ruling one contained the light;' the wide-ruling ones doubtless is this (terrestrial) world: it contains this fire, the light.--'The self-ruling one contained the light,' the self-ruling[14] one doubtless is yonder world: it contains yonder sun, the light. And the wide-ruling one and the self-ruling one being these two worlds, he lays them down separately, for separate are these two worlds. He 'settles' them once: he thereby makes them one and the same (or, joined together), whence the ends of these two worlds meet.

24. And, again, why he lays down two seed-shedders; the seed-shedders are the testicles, for only he who has testicles sheds seed. 'The wide-ruling one contained the light;--the self-ruling one contained the light,' he says; for the wide-ruling and the self-ruling ones are the testicles: they contain that light, the seed, Prajāpati. He lays them down separately, for separate are these testicles. He 'settles' them once: he thereby makes them one and the same, whence they have a common connecting-part. He lays them down close to the dviyajus (brick)[15]: the dviyajus being the Sacrificer, he thus puts the testicles together with the Sacrificer.

25. He then lays down a Viśvajyotis (all-light brick)[16];--the first 'all-light' (brick)[17] is Agni, for Agni is all the light in this (terrestrial) world: it is Agni he thus lays down. He lays it down close to the seed-shedding ones,--the seed-shedding ones being these two worlds, he thus places Agni together with these two worlds. He lays it down between (the two Retaḥsic[18]), for Agni (the fire) is within these two worlds.

26. And, again, why he lays down an 'all-light' (brick);--the 'all-light' (brick) is progeny, for progeny is all the light: he thus lays generative power (into Agni). He lays it down so as not to be separated from the seed-shedding (bricks),--the seed-shedders being the testicles, he thus makes the generative power inseparable from the testicles. He lays it down between (those two), for within the testicles progeny is produced.

27. [He lays it down, with Vāj. S. XIII, 24] 'May Prajāpati settle thee'--for Prajāpati saw this first layer[19];--'on the back of the earth, thee the brilliant one!' for on the back of the earth this brilliant Agni indeed is.

28. 'For all breathing, out-breathing, through-breathing,'--the all-light (brick) is breath, and breath is (necessary) for this entire universe;--'give all the light!' that is, 'give the whole light;'--'Agni is thine over-lord,' he thus makes Agni the over-lord of this earth. Having 'settled' it[20], he pronounces the Sūdadohas upon it: the significance of this has been explained.

29. He then lays down two Ṛtavya (seasonal bricks);--the two seasonal (bricks) being the same as the seasons, it is the seasons he thus lays down. [Vāj. S. XIII, 25] 'Madhu and Mādhava, the two spring seasons,'--these are the names of those two: it is thus by their names that he lays them down. There are two (such) bricks, for two months are a season. He 'settles' them once[21]: he thereby makes (the two months) one season.

30. And as to why he now lays down these two;--this Agni (fire-altar) is the year, and the year is these worlds; the first layer is this (terrestrial) world thereof, and the spring season also is this world thereof; and when he now lays down those two (bricks), he thereby puts back into him (Agni-Prajāpati) what those two (the first layer and the spring) are to that body of his[22]: this is why he now lays down those two (bricks).

31. And, again, why he now lays down these two;--this Agni is Prajāpati, and Prajāpati is the year; the first layer is his foundation, and the spring season also is his foundation;--thus when he now lays down these two (bricks), he thereby puts back into him what those two are to that body of his: this is why he now lays down those two (bricks). He lays them down close to the 'all-light' brick: the 'all-light' brick being progeny, he thus lays progeny close together with the seasons; whence progeny is produced in accordance with the seasons, for by seasons people compute (the age of man) whilst in the state of embryo, and by seasons when he is born.

32. He then lays down the Aṣāḍhā (invincible brick)[23],--the 'invincible one' being this earth, it is this earth he thus lays down. He puts it on the fore-part (of the altar-site), for this earth was created first.

33. And as to its being called Aṣāḍhā. The gods and the Asuras, both of them sprung from Prajāpati, strove together. The gods saw this invincible brick, even this earth; they put it on (the altar); and having put it on, they conquered (and drove) the Asuras, the enemies, the rivals, from this universe; and inasmuch as (thereby) they conquered (asahanta), it is called Aṣāḍhā. In like manner the Sacrificer, after putting on that (brick), conquers (and drives) his spiteful rival from this universe (or, from everything here).

34. And, again, why he lays down the Aṣāḍhā. The Aṣāḍhā is speech, and by speech[24] the gods then indeed conquered (and drove) the Asuras, the enemies, the rivals, from this universe; and in like manner the Sacrificer, by means of speech, conquers (and drives) his spiteful rival from this universe: it was speech the gods then laid down (or bestowed on Agni), and in like manner the Sacrificer now lays down speech.

35. This earth is the bearer of what is desirable; for--the desirable being the vital airs--this earth bears everything that breathes, and for that reason this earth is the bearer of what is desirable. But speech (the mouth) also indeed is the bearer of what is desirable; for the desirable is the vital airs, and for the (channels of) the vital airs food is put into the mouth: therefore speech is the bearer of what is desirable.

36. Now the Aṣāḍhā is the same as those vital airs; he lays it down in the fore-part (of the altar): he thus bestows (on Agni the organs of) the vital airs in front; whence there are here (organs of) the vital airs in front (of the body). Let him not in this layer enclose this (Aṣāḍhā) in front by any other brick which has a special prayer of its own, lest he close up (the organs of) the vital airs.

37. And as to why he lays down in front five Apasyās[25],--water (ap) is food, and by food (the organs of) the vital airs are not closed up. He lays down (the Aṣāḍhā) close to the two seasonal ones: he thereby establishes speech in the seasons, and hence speech (the mouth) speaks here, firmly established in the seasons.

38. Here now they say, 'If the Viśvajyotis (brick) is progeny, and the Aṣāḍhā speech, why does he put the two seasonal ones between them?' Well, the seasonal ones being the year, he thus separates speech from progeny by the year, and hence children utter speech at the time (or age) of a year.

39. [He lays down the Aṣāḍhā, with Vāj. S. XIII, 26] 'Thou art Aṣāḍhā, the conquering,' for the gods thereby conquered the Asuras,--'conquer the enemies! conquer the hostile!' as the text, so the meaning;--'thou hast a thousand energies: do thou speed me!' a thousand means all: thus, 'thou hast all energies, do thou speed me!' When he has 'settled' it, he pronounces the Sūdadohas on it: the significance of this has been explained.

40. Here now they say, 'Why are those other bricks placed in front of the naturally-perforated one?' Let him say, There are two wombs (birthplaces)--the one being the womb of the gods, the other the womb of men: the gods have their birthplace in the east, and men in the west; and when he lays down those (bricks) in front, he thereby causes the Sacrificer to be born from the womb of the gods.

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Footnotes and references:

1.

? Viz. inasmuch as the food is introduced into the body from above. It might also mean, he makes the food superior to the body, inasmuch as the body cannot exist without it. Similarly as regards the breath in the next paragraph.

2.

The 'pratiṣṭhā' (basis) of the bird-shaped Agni includes the parts on which the bird stands or sits, viz. the feet, and the hind-part of the body. Sāyaṇa, on the other hand, takes it to mean the 'puṃliṅga,' which seems very improbable.

3.

See VI, 2, 3, 1.

4.

See p. 155, note 8.

5.

. That is, by adding the formula, 'By that deity, Aṅgiras-like, lie thou steady!'

6.

See p. 301, note 3.

7.

That is to say, How will he (the Sacrificer) be able to rise upwards to heaven, when that brick is lying on him?

8.

See p. 187, note 3.

9.

See VI, 2, 3, 2.

10.

The root is to lie on the brick from which (as representing the earth) it is supposed to have sprung; the tops then spreading along the ground.

11.

This brick is placed close beside the svayamātṛṇṇā (naturally-perforated one) in front (east) of it, on the 'anūka' or spine.

12.

The verb 'apa-śiṣ' is taken similarly by Sāyaṇa (avaśeṣayet); whilst the St. Petersburg dictionary assigns to it the meaning 'to omit, leave out' (weglassen), which can hardly be correct (? misprint for übriglassen). It might, however, possibly be taken in the sense of 'vi-śiṣ,' to specify, to single out.

13.

That is to say, he would not, after quitting his mortal body, know or find out that divine body with which he wishes to invest himself.

14.

Or, the wide-shining . . . the self-shining one.

15.

The two Retaḥsic bricks are laid down immediately in front (east) of the Dviyajus one, one on each side of the 'spine,' which thus coincides with their line of separation.

16.

See VI, 5, 3, 3.

17.

As in the case of the Svayamātṛṇṇās (naturally-perforated bricks, see pp. 155, note 8; 187, note 2), so there are three Viśvajyotis or 'all-light' bricks, placed in the first, third, and fifth layers p. 385 of the altar, and representing the light (or ruling deity) of the respective world represented by the svayamātṛṇṇā of the same layer.

18.

In reality the Viśvajyotis brick is not placed between the two Retaḥsic, but in front of the line separating them from each other.

19.

He 'saw' the first naturally-perforated brick, which, as the central brick of the first layer, represents the latter, as well as the lowest of the three worlds, the earth. See VI, 2, 3, 1.

20.

Viz. by adding, 'by that deity, Aṅgiras-like, lie thou steady!'

21.

That is, he pronounces the sādana-formula once only.

22.

Viz. its foundation.

23.

See VI, 5, 3, 1-2.

24.

Viz. by threats, vituperation, &c., Sāy.

25.

See VII, 5, 2, 40 seq.

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