Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana X.6.1 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 X, adhyaya 6.

Kanda X, adhyaya 6, brahmana 1

1. Now at the house of Aruṇa Aupaveśi[1] these came once together,--Satyayajña Paulushi, Mahāśāla Jābāla, Buḍila Āśvatarāśvi, Indradyumna Bhāllaveya, and Janaśārkarākṣya. They took counsel together regarding (Agni) Vaiśvānara, but did not agree as to Vaiśvānara[2].

2. They said, 'There is that Aśvapati Kaikeya who knows Vaiśvānara thoroughly[3]: let us go to him!' They went to Aśvapati Kaikeya. He ordered for them separate dwellings, separate honours, separate Soma-sacrifices each with a thousand gifts. In the morning, still at variance with one another, they came again to him, with fuel in their hands[4], saying, 'We want to become thy pupils.'

3. He said, 'How is this, venerable sirs, when ye are learned in the scriptures, and sons of men learned in the scriptures?' They replied, 'Venerable sir, thou knowest Vaiśvānara thoroughly: teach us him!' He said, 'I do indeed know Vaiśvānara thoroughly: put your fuel on (the fire), ye are become my pupils[5].'

4. He then said to Aruṇa Aupaveśi, 'O Gautama, as whom knowest thou Vaiśvānara[6]?'--'As Earth only, O king;' he replied.--'Yea,' he said, 'that indeed is Vaiśvānara, the foundation; and because thou knowest the Vaiśvānara Foundation (pratiṣṭhā) therefore thou art firmly established (pratiṣṭhita) with offspring and cattle; and, verily, he who knows that Vaiśvānara Foundation, repels Death and attains all life. But, in truth, these are only the feet[7] of Vaiśvānara, and thy feet would have withered away, hadst thou not come hither; or the feet would be unknown to thee, hadst thou not come hither[8].'

5. He then said to Satyayajña Paulushi, 'O Prācīnayogya, as whom knowest thou Vaiśvānara?'

--'As Water only, O king;' he replied.--'Yea,' he said, 'that indeed is the Vaiśvānara Wealth; and because thou knowest that Vaiśvānara Wealth, therefore thou art wealthy and prosperous; and, verily, he who knows that Vaiśvānara Wealth, repels death and attains all life. But, in truth, this is only the bladder of Vaiśvānara, and thy bladder would have failed thee, hadst thou not come hither; or the bladder would be unknown to thee, hadst thou not come hither.'

6. He then said to Mahāśāla Jābāla, 'O Aupamanyava, as whom knowest thou Vaiśvānara?'--'As Ether only, O king,' he replied.--'Yea,' he said, 'that, indeed, is the Vaiśvānara Plenteous; and because thou knowest Vaiśvānara Plenteous, therefore thou art plentiful in offspring and cattle; and, verily, he who knows that Vaiśvānara Plenteous, repels death and attains all life. But, in truth, this is only the trunk of Vaiśvānara, and thy trunk would have failed thee, hadst thou not come hither; or the body would be unknown to thee, hadst thou not come hither.'

7. He then said to Budila Āśvatarāśvi, 'O Vaiyāghrapadya, as whom knowest thou Vaiśvānara?'--'As Air (wind) only, O king;' he replied.--'Yea,' he said, 'that indeed is the Vaiśvānara of divers courses; and because thou knowest that Vaiśvānara of divers courses, therefore divers rows of cars follow thee; and, verily, he who knows that Vaiśvānara of divers courses, repels death, and attains all life. But, in truth, this is only the breath of Vaiśvānara, and thy breath would have failed thee, hadst thou not come hither; or the breath would be unknown to thee, hadst thou not come hither.'

8. He then said to Indradyumna Bhāllaveya, 'O Vaiyāghrapadya, as whom knowest thou Vaiśvānara?'--'As Sun only, O king,' he replied.--'Yea,' he said, 'that indeed is the Vaiśvānara of Soma's splendour[9]; and because thou knowest the Vaiśvānara of Soma's splendour, therefore that Soma-juice never fails to be consumed and cooked[10] in thy house; and, verily, he who knows that Vaiśvānara of Soma's splendour, repels death, and attains all life. But, indeed, this is only the eye of Vaiśvānara, and thine eye would have failed thee, hadst thou not come hither; or the eye would be unknown to thee, hadst thou not come hither.'

9. He then said to Jana Śarkarākṣya, 'O Sāyavasa, as whom knowest thou Vaiśvānara?'--'As Heaven only, O king,' he replied.--'Yea,' he said, 'that indeed is Vaiśvānara Pre-eminence; and because thou knowest the Vaiśvānara Pre-eminence, therefore thou art pre-eminent among thine equals; and, verily, he who knows that Vaiśvānara Preeminence repels death, and attains all life. But, indeed, this is only the head of Vaiśvānara, and thy head would have failed thee, hadst thou not come hither; or the head would have been unknown to thee, hadst thou not come hither.'

10. He said to them, 'Ye then, knowing different Vaiśvānaras, have been feeding on different kinds of food; but verily, the well-beknown gods have attained, as it were, the measure of a span[11]; but I will so tell them unto you that I shall make them attain no more nor less than the measure of a span.'

11. Pointing at the head he said, 'This, indeed, is the Vaiśvānara Pre-eminence;'--pointing at the eyes he said, 'This, indeed, is the Vaiśvānara of Soma's splendour;'--pointing at the nostrils he said, 'This, indeed, is the Vaiśvānara of divers courses;'--pointing at the space in the mouth he said, 'This, indeed, is the Vaiśvānara Plenteous;'--pointing at the water in the mouth he said, 'This, indeed, is the Vaiśvānara Wealth;'--pointing at the chin he said, 'This, indeed, is the Vaiśvānara Foundation.'

This Agni Vaiśvānara is no other than the Puruṣa; and, verily, whosoever thus knows that Agni Vaiśvānara as Puruṣa-like, as established within the Puruṣa, repels death, and attains all life; and, verily, Vaiśvānara does no harm to him that speaks of him.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Chāndogyop. V, 11, where another version of this story occurs, has here the name of Aruṇa's son, Uddālaka Āruṇi; and, instead of Mahāśāla Jābāla, it has Prācīnaśāla Aupamanya.

[2]:

Sāyaṇa takes this to mean, 'he (Aruṇa) was unable to instruct them in regard to Vaiśvānara,'--soruṇas teṣāṃ satyayajñādīnāṃ pañcānāṃ vaiśvānaravidyāṃ bodhayituṃ na samiyāya saṃgataḥ śakto nābhavat,--probably, however, 'samiyāya' is better taken impersonally ('there was no agreement between them'), as is done by the St. Petersb. Dict.; though Chānd. XI, 3 favours Sāyaṇa's view.

[3]:

Sāyaṇa takes 'samprati' in its ordinary sense of 'now.' The knowledge of Vaiśvānara implied here, according to Sāyaṇa, means the knowledge of the supreme deity (parameśvara).

[4]:

That is, in the way in which pupils approach their teacher.

[5]:

Literally, 'Ye have entered (my tuition);' upetā stha upāsīnā bhavatha. Sāy.

[6]:

Or, perhaps, 'what Vaiśvānara knowest thou?'

[7]:

'Pratiṣṭhā' (rest, foundation) also commonly means 'the feet.'

[8]:

It is not quite clear whether the words 'or the feet, &c.' really (as Sāyaṇa takes them) form part of the king's speech, or whether they are merely meant as explanatory of the latter part of the king's remarks. If Sāyaṇa be right, the words 'the feet would be unknown by thee,' seem to admit of a double meaning, viz. 'thou wouldst p. 395 have become footless,' or 'not even Vaiśvānara's feet would have been known by thee;' though in the latter sense some particle such as 'eva' might have been expected. Sāyaṇa, however, seems to take these words in yet another sense (if, indeed, he had not another reading before him),--vaiśvānarasyājñānāt pādau te tava viparītagrāhiṇo amlāsyatām amlānau gamanāsamarthāv abhavishyatāṃ yadi māṃ nāgamishyaḥ; itthaṃ doṣaparyavasānayuktam ekadeśajñānam eva nāvaśeṣa ity āha, pādau to viditāv iti vaiśvānarasya pādamātraṃ tvayā viditaṃ na tu kṛtsno vaiśvānaraḥ; ataḥ sādhv akārṣīr yat tvam āgatosīty abhiprāyaḥ.

[9]:

Or, perhaps better, 'of Soma's fire.' The Chāndogya-upaniṣad has 'Sutejas (of beautiful splendour, or light),' instead of 'sutatejas.'

[10]:

According to Sāyaṇa, this refers to the cooking, or baking, of the cakes (puroḍāśa) connected with the Soma-sacrifice.

[11]:

Sāyaṇa apparently takes this thus: but the gods, knowing well that (essential element) which is merely of the space of a span, have become successful;--yat tv evaṃ yathoktāvayavaiḥ pṛthivīpādādibhir dyumūrdhāntair avayavair viśiṣṭam ekaṃ vastu tat prādeśamātraṃ prādeśapramāṇam iva devāḥ suviditaḥ samyag jñātavantobhisampannāḥ prāptaphalā babhūvur ity arthaḥ. Though this interpretation looks very plausible, the accent of 'súvidita' would scarcely admit of the word being taken as a bahuvrīhi compound. In the words which follow, Sāyaṇa takes 'them (enān)' to refer to the bodily parts of Vaiśvānara, identified with the imperfect doctrines of the king's disciples. It is, indeed, quite possible that 'the gods' are here identified with the special Vaiśvānaras, the unity of whom, in the one Puruṣa, or Atman (self), the Brāhmaṇa endeavours to inculcate.

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