Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XI.2.1 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 2.

Kanda XI, adhyaya 2, brahmana 1

1. Verily, man is born thrice, namely in this way:--first he is born from his mother and father; and when he to whom the sacrifice inclines performs offering he is born a second time; and when he dies, and they place him on the fire, and when he thereupon comes into existence again, he is born a third time;--wherefore they say, 'Man is born thrice.'

2. He (the Hotṛ) recites those eleven kindling-verses[1],--there are these ten vital airs in man, and the body in which these vital airs are established is the eleventh,--so great, indeed, is man: he thus causes him to be born complete. And what comes after the kindling-verses that is the foundation: thus, having caused him to be born, he establishes him.

3. There are nine utterances of impulsion (or quickening)[2],--there are these nine vital airs in man: he thereby causes him to be born a second time; and the (Adhvaryu's) call and (the Āgnīdhra's) response[3] are the foundation. And when there, on the occasion of the throwing[4] (of the grass-bunch into the fire), birth is spoken of, he thereby causes him to be born a third time: on this occasion the Patnīsaṃyājas[5] are the foundation.

4. For thrice, indeed, man is born, and it is just in this way that he causes him to be born thrice from the sacrifice. Of those eleven (kindling-verses) he recites thrice the first and last:--

5. This makes fifteen kindling-verses,--there are two libations of ghee (āghāra[6]), five fore-offerings, the Iḍā, three after-offerings, the Sūktavāka, and Śamyorvāka[7]--that makes thirteen oblations. And when there, at the Patnīsaṃyājas, he takes up at the same time (the two spoons); and the Samiṣṭayajus[8]:--

6. That makes fifteen oblations:--for these fifteen oblations those fifteen kindling-verses (serve, as it were, as) invitatory formulas; and for these invitatory formulas these (serve as) offering-formulas--whatever formula (is used) there (at those oblations) and what Nigada (is used at the invocation of the Iḍā[9]) that is of the form of offering-formulas. Thereby, then, those oblations of his come to be supplied with invitatory formulas through those kindling-verses; and through those oblations those invitatory formulas come to be supplied with both offering-formulas and oblations.

Footnotes and references:


See part i, p. 95 seqq.


According to Sāyaṇa, this refers either to the formula by which the Adhvaryu calls on the Hotṛ to recite the kindling-verses, and which, he says, consists of nine syllables (samidhyamānāyānubrūhi); or to nine preliminary formulas (forming a nigada) pronounced by the Hotṛ before the performance of the fore-offerings, see I, 5, 2, 1 seqq. These latter formulas are probably those intended by the author; the former formula being the less likely to be referred to, as, in its above form of nine syllables, it is indeed allowed to be used optionally by the Āpastambasūtra, but not by the authorities of the white Yajus, who use the formula '(Hotar) Agnaye samidhyamānāyānubrūhi;' see Śat. Br. I, 3, 5, 2. 3.


Viz. the two calls--'Oṃ śrāvaya' and 'Astu śrauṣaṭ,' see part i, p. 132, note.


The word 'sṛṣṭi' usually means 'creation,' but in accordance with the primary meaning of the verb 'sṛj,' it apparently refers here (as Sāyaṇa seems to think) to the throwing of the anointed Prastara, as the representative of the Sacrificer, into the Āhavanīya fire, thus insuring for the Sacrificer his despatch to, and renewed life in, the heavenly world. With reference to p. 25 this throwing of the grass-bunch into the fire (I, 8, 3, 11 seq.; 9, 2, 19) some of the Sūtras use, indeed, the verb 'sṛj,' cf. Hillebrand, Das Altindische Neu- and Vollmondsopfer, p.146.


See part i, p. 256 seqq.


See part i, p. 124 seqq.


Part i, p. 236 seqq.


See I, 9, 2, 19; 25 seqq.


See part i, p. 222 seqq.

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