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

This is Satapatha Brahmana X.1.5 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 X, adhyaya 1.

Kanda X, adhyaya 1, brahmana 5

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. This built fire-altar, in truth, (includes) all these sacrifices:--when he slaughters an animal victim, that is the Agnyādheya (establishment of the sacred fires)[1]; when he collects (the materials for) the fire-pan, that constitutes the oblations of the Agnyādheya; when he performs the initiation, that is the Agnihotra; and when the initiated puts two logs on (the fire)[2], these are the two oblations of the Agnihotra.

2. He puts them on in the evening and in the morning, for in the evening and in the morning the Agnihotra oblations are offered;--with one and the same formula, for with one and the same formula the two Agnihotra oblations are offered[3]. Then the driving about (of the fire in the pan[4]), and the taking down (to the water) of the ashes, these two (constitute) the New and Full-moon offerings; and when he builds the Gārhapatya hearth[5], that is the Cāturmāsya (seasonal offerings); and what takes place from (the building of) the Gārhapatya up to the (sowing of) all-herb (seed[6], that constitutes) the iṣṭis[7], and what takes place after the all-herb (sowing) and prior to (the building of) the layers, that is the animal sacrifices[8]; and the Viṣṇu-strides[9] which are (performed) at these sacrifices are just these Viṣṇu-strides; and what muttering of formulas there is that is the Vātsapra[10].

3. The first layer is the Soma-sacrifice; the second the Rājasūya as prior to the consecrations[11]; the third the Vājapeya; the fourth the Aśvamedha (horse-sacrifice); and the fifth the Agnisava[12]. Then the sāmans he sings around the built (altar) are the Mahāvrata(-sāman); the Udgātṛ's preliminary muttering (of the text of his chants) on that occasion is the Śatarudriya; the 'shower of wealth' the Great Litany; and what takes place subsequent to (the singing of) the sāmans, and prior to the shower of wealth, that is the Hotṛ's preliminary muttering on that occasion; and what takes place after the shower of wealth is the Gṛhamedhas[13] (house-sacrifices). Such are all the sacrifices: these he secures by (building) the fire-altar.

4. Now, then, as to the powers (conferred by the performance) of sacrifices. Verily, he who (regularly) performs the Agnihotra eats food in the evening and in the morning (when he comes to be) in yonder world, for so much sustenance is there in that sacrifice. And he who performs the New and Full-moon sacrifice (eats food) every half-month; and he who performs the Seasonal sacrifice (does so) every four months; and be who performs the animal sacrifice (twice a year, eats food) every six months; and the Soma-sacrificer once a year; and the builder of the fire-altar at his pleasure eats food every hundred years, or abstains therefrom[14]; for a hundred years is as much as immortality[15], unending and everlasting: and, verily, for him who knows this, there shall thus be immortality, unending and everlasting; and whatever he as much as touches, as it were, with a reed, shall be for him immortal, unending and everlasting.

Footnotes and references:


Though no animal sacrifice takes place at the Agnyādhāna, the latter, as the fundamental ceremony pre-supposed by all subsequent sacrificial performances, is here compared with the immolation of five victims (VI, 2, 1, 15 seq.) which, taking place as it does on the Upasavatha, or day of preparation, i.e. the day before the Soma-sacrifice on the newly built fire-altar, is, as it were, a preliminary ceremony.


This refers to the two samidhs (kindling-sticks) put on the Ukhya Agni,--one in the evening, and one in the morning,--after the ashes had been cleared out of the fire-pan (ukhā); see VI, 6, 4, 1 seq.


Both in the evening and in the morning two libations of milk are offered (the pūrvāhuti and the uttarāhuti), but only the first is offered with a formula, the evening formula being, 'Agni is the light, the light is Agni, hail!' whilst the morning formula is, 'Sūrya is the light, the light is Sūrya, hail!' See II, 3, 1, 30. For alternative formulas--'With the divine Savitṛ, with the Night (or Dawn, respectively) wedded to Indra, may Agni (or Indra, respectively) graciously accept, hail!' see II, 3, 1, 37. 38.


See VI, 8, 1, 1 seq. Sāyaṇa takes it to refer to the Agnipraṇayana, or leading forward of the fire to the fire-altar; but that would not fit in well with the ceremony next referred to, viz. the removal of the fishes of the Ukhyāgni, or fire in the pan; for which see VI, 8, 2, 1 seq.


VII, 1, 1, 1 seq.


Viz. on the newly ploughed altar-site, see VII, 2, 4, 13 seq.


That is, offerings for the fulfilment of some special wishes.


That is, animal sacrifices performed independently of other ceremonies.


See VI, 7, 2, 12 seq.


See VI, 7, 4, 1 seq.


That is, the ceremonies connected with the Vājaprasavīya oblations, V, 2, 2, 4 seq.; and the devasū-havīṃshi, or oblations to the Divine Quickeners (by whom the king is supposed to be first consecrated), V, 3, 3, 1 seq.


See IX, 3, 4, 7. 9. It is strange that the Agnisava should be mentioned here, as it is said to be confined to the Agnicayana. It would seem that some independent ceremony, such as the Bṛhaspatisava (consecration of Bṛhaspati, cf. V, 2, 1, 19; and part iii, introd. p. xxiv seq.), may he referred to.


Sāyaṇa identifies these with the offerings of sacrificial sessions (sattra), during which the Sacrificer is indeed called the Gṛhapati, or master of the house; see IV, 6, 3, 5 seq.; and part ii, p. 97, note 1.


That is to say, the food eaten the first time will sustain him for a hundred years, after which time he may, or may not, take food, being sure of everlasting life and a godlike nature.


Or, perhaps, for so long lasts the Amrita (the food of the immortals);--agniṃ citavān puruṣas tu śatasaṃkhyākeshu saṃvatsareshu teshu kāmam aparimitam aśnāti yato yāvantaḥ śataṃ saṃvatsarās tāvad amṛtam devatvaprāpakam anantam aparimitam annum bhavati. Sāy.

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