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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XI.1.4 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 XI, adhyaya 1.

Kanda XI, adhyaya 1, brahmana 4

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. Now, some people enter upon the fast[1] when they (still) see (the moon, on the fourteenth day of the half-month), thinking, 'To-morrow he will not rise,'--either on account of clouds or not having ascertained properly, they enter upon the fast, and (in the morning) he rises over him. Now if he (the moon) should rise on (the material for) the oblation being not yet taken out, then that approved (procedure is followed) and the same fasting-observance. The sour curds from last night's milking they use for coagulating the sacrificial food[2]; they let the calves join (their mothers), and drive them away again[3].

2. In the afternoon he drives them away with the parṇa-branch; and as there that approved oblation of the New-moon offering (is prepared) so here. But if he should not care to undergo (again) the fasting-observance, or if (the moon) were to rise over (the material for) the oblation already taken out, then let him do otherwise: having properly cleansed the rice-grains of the husks, he cooks the smaller ones as a cake on eight potsherds for Agni Dātṛ (the Giver).

3. And the sour curds (from the milk) milked on the day before (he prepares) for Indra Pradātṛ

(the Bestower); and those (larger) rice-grains[4] he cooks in boiled fresh milk as a pap for Viṣṇu Śipiviṣṭa (the Bald); for a pap it is whenever rice-grains are thrown (into milk or sour curds).

4. And as to this being so, it is because that moon is no other than King Soma, the food of the gods;--he (the Sacrificer) at that time sought to secure him[5], and missed him: Agni, the Giver, gives that (moon) to him, and Indra, the Bestower, bestows that one upon him; Indra and Agni give that (moon, Soma) as a sacrifice to him, and that sacrifice given by Indra and Agni he offers. And as to why (he offers) to Viṣṇu, the Bald, it is because Viṣṇu is the sacrifice; and as to why to the Bald[6] (śipiviṣṭa),--it is that his missing him whom he sought to secure is the bald part (? śipita) of the sacrifice, hence to the Bald one. And on this occasion he should give (to the priests) as much as he is able to give, for no oblation, they say, should be without a dakṣiṇā. And let him observe the fast just (on the day) when he (the moon) does not rise.

Footnotes and references:


As, for the Full-moon offering, the Sacrificer should enter on p. 8 the fast at the very time of full moon (I, 6, 3, 34), so, for the New-moon offering, he should do so at the time when the last sign of the moon has disappeared, cf. I, 6, 4, 14.


Literally, they make it the means of coagulating the havis; that is to say, they put the sour-milk (of last night's milking) into the milk obtained from the milking of this, the second, day so as to produce the sour curds required on the next, or offering-day. See I, 6, 4, 6 seq.;--pūrvedyuḥ sāyaṃdugdhaṃ payo yad dadhy ātmanā vidyate parasmin divase punaḥ karaṇīyasya sāyaṃdoharūpasya haviṣa ātañcanārthaṃ kuryuḥ, Sāy.


See I, 7, 1, 1 seq. The milk of the evening milking will be required for the sour curds and whey to be mixed with the sweet (boiled) milk of the following morning in the preparation of the Sānnāyya.


According to Katy. Śrautas. XXV, 4, 40, the rice-grains are sorted in three different sizes; those of medium size being used for Agni Dātṛ, the largest for Indra Pradātṛ, and the smallest for Viṣṇu Śipiviṣṭa.


That is, at the time of new moon when Soma is supposed to stay on earth.


The native dictionaries also assign the meaning 'affected by a skin-disease' to 'śipiviṣṭa.'

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