Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XI.1.1 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 XI, adhyaya 1.

Kanda XI, adhyaya 1, brahmana 1

1. Verily, Prajāpati, the Sacrifice, is the Year: the night of new moon is its gate, and the moon itself is the bolt of the gate.

2. And when one lays down the two fires at new moon[1],--even as one would enter a stronghold by the gate, when the gate is open, and would thence reach the world of heaven, so it is when one lays down the fires at new moon.

2. And if one lays down the fires under a (special) asterism[2],--just as if one tried to enter a stronghold, when the gate is closed, in some other way than through the gate, and failed to get inside the stronghold, so it is when one lays down the fires under an asterism: let him therefore not lay down the fires under an asterism.

4. On the same day on which that one (the moon) should not be seen either in the east or in the west, let him fast, for it is then that he (the moon) comes to this world[3], and on that (day) he abides here (on the sacrificial ground).

5. And all the gods abide (here), all the spirits, all the deities, all the seasons, all the Stomas (hymn-forms), all the Pṛṣṭhas[4], and all the metres.

6. And, verily, it is for all the gods, for all spirits, for all deities, for all seasons, for all Stomas, for all Pṛṣṭhas, and for all metres that the fires of him are laid down who lays them down at new moon: he should therefore lay them down at new moon.

7. He may lay down the fires on the new moon which falls in the (month) Vaiśākha, for that coincides with the Rohiṇī (asterism); for the Rohiṇī means the self, offspring and cattle[5]: he thus becomes established in a self, in offspring and cattle. But, indeed, the new moon is the form of the Agnyādheya: let him therefore lay down the fires at new moon;--let him perform the preliminary ceremony[6] at full moon, and the initiation ceremony at new moon.

Footnotes and references:


For the performance of the Agnyādhāna, or setting up the sacrificial fires, see part i, p. 274 seqq.


For the Nakṣatras, or lunar mansions, under which the Agnyādhāna may be performed, see II, 1, 2, 1 seqq., and especially II, 1, 2, 19, where the practice of regulating the time of the ceremony by the Nakṣatras is discouraged.


See I, 6, 4, 5.


For the six Pṛṣṭha-sāmans, see part iii, introd., p. xx seqq.


See II, 1, 2, 6. 7.


For the Anvārambhaṇīyā-iṣṭi, lit. 'taking-hold offering,' see part ii, p. 40, note 1.

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