Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana X.3.4 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 4th brahmana of kanda X, adhyaya 3.

Kanda X, adhyaya 3, brahmana 4

1. Śvetaketu Āruṇeya[1], once upon a time, was about to offer sacrifice. His father said to him, 'What priests hast thou chosen to officiate?' He said, 'This Vaiśvāvasavya here is my Hotṛ.' He asked him, 'Knowest thou, Brāhmaṇa Vaiśvāvasavya,--

2. The four great (things)?'--'I know them, sir,' he said.--'Knowest thou the four great ones of the great?'--'I know them, sir,' he said.--'Knowest thou the four rites (vrata)?'--'I know them, sir,' he said.--'Knowest thou the four rites of rites?'--'I know them, sir,' he said.--'Knowest thou the four relating to Ka[2]?'--'I know them, sir,' he said.--'Knowest thou the four deepest of those relating to Ka[3]?'--'I know them, sir,' he said.--'Knowest thou the four flames[4]?'--'I know them, sir,' he said.--'Knowest thou the four flames of flames?'--'I know them, sir,' he said.

3. 'Knowest thou the Arka[5]?'--'Nay, but thou wilt teach us[6], sir!'--'Knowest thou the two Arka-leaves?'--'Nay, but thou wilt teach us, sir!'--'Knowest thou the two Arka-flowers?'--'Nay, but thou wilt teach us, sir!'--'Knowest thou the two pod-leaves[7] of the Arka?'--'Nay, but thou wilt teach us, sir!'--'Knowest thou the two coops[8] of the Arka?'--'Nay, but thou wilt teach us, sir!'--'Knowest thou the Arka-grains?'--'Nay, but thou wilt teach us, sir!'--'Knowest thou the bulge[9] of the Arka?'--'Nay, but thou wilt teach us, sir!'--'Knowest thou the root of the Arka?'--'Nay, but thou wilt teach us, sir!'

4. Now, when he said, 'Knowest thou the four great (things)? Knowest thou the four great of the great?'--the great one is Agni (the fire), and the great (thing) of that great one are the plants and trees, for they are his food; and the great one is Vāyu (the wind), and the great (thing) of that great one are the waters, for they are his (the wind's) food; and the great one is Āditya (the sun), and the great (thing) of that great one is the moon, for that is his food; and the great one is Man, and the great (thing) of that great one is cattle, for they are his food:--these are the four great things, these the four great of the great;--these are the four rites, these the four rites of rites;--these are the four relating to Ka, these the four deepest relating to Ka;--these are the four flames, these the four flames of flames.

5. And when he said, 'Knowest thou the Arka?' he thereby meant man;--'Knowest thou the two Arka-leaves?' he thereby meant his ears;--'Knowest thou the two Arka-flowers?' he thereby meant his eyes;--'Knowest thou the pod-leaves of the Arka?' he thereby meant his nostrils;--'Knowest thou the two coops of the Arka?' he thereby meant his lips;--'Knowest thou the Arka-grains?' he thereby meant his teeth;--'Knowest thou the bulge of the Arka?' he thereby meant his tongue;--'Knowest thou the root of the Arka?' he thereby meant his food. Now that Arka, to wit, man, is Agni; and verily, whoso regards Agni as the Arka and the man, in his (altar-) body that Agni, the Arka, will be built up even through the knowledge that 'I here am Agni, the Arka.'

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

That is, grandson of Aruṇa (Aupaveśi), and son of (Uddālaka) Āruṇi (II, 3, I, 35. 34; IV, 5, 7, 9).

[2]:

Sāyaṇa takes 'kya' to mean 'those useful to, or pleasing to (hita), Ka, i.e. Prajāpati.'

[3]:

Literally, 'the four Kya of the Kya.' For more symbolical speculation on these terms, see X, 4, 1, 4.

[4]:

Or, fires (arka), used of the sun, the fire and the lightning, as well as of the Arka plant. Sāyaṇa, however, here explains 'arkāḥ' by 'arcanīyāḥ,' 'worthy of being praised, or honoured.'

[5]:

That is, the Arka plant (Calotropis gigantea), apparently so called (= 'arka,' lightning) from the wedge-like shape of its leaves. Cf. IX, 1, 1, 4, where the leaf is used in offering the Śatarudriya oblations. The other meanings of 'arka,' especially that of 'flame, fire,' however, are likewise implied in these mystic speculations.

[6]:

Or, simply, 'Thou wilt tell us, then (atha vai), sir.'

[7]:

? Or, the pods, sheaths; arkakośyau kośyākāre phale (or puṭake). Sāyaṇa.

[8]:

? Or, 'seas' (samudra). Sāyaṇa explains it as two opened 'lip-parts' at the top of the Arka-pod (arkakośāgre vidalitauṣṭhabhāgau).

[9]:

That is, according to the St. Petersb. Dict., 'the globular, cake-shaped, hardened cicatrix of the Calotropis gigantea.' Sāyaṇa p. 335 explains it by, 'arkakośamadhye vistareṇa (? v. l. gihvāstāraṇa-) vartamānā tūlī.'

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