Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XI.5.7 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 7th brahmana of kanda XI, adhyaya 5.

Kanda XI, adhyaya 5, brahmana 7

1. Now, then, the praise of the study (of the scriptures). The study and teaching (of the Veda) are a source of pleasure to him, he becomes ready-minded[1], and independent of others, and day by day he acquires wealth. He sleeps peacefully; he is the best physician for himself; and (peculiar) to him are restraint of the senses, delight in the one thing[2], growth of intelligence, fame, and the (task of) perfecting the people[3]. The growing intelligence gives rise to four duties attaching to the Brāhmaṇa--Brāhmaṇical descent, a befitting deportment, fame, and the perfecting of the people; and the people that are being perfected guard the Brāhmaṇa by four duties--by (showing him) respect, and liberality, (and by granting him) security against oppression, and security against capital punishment.

2. And, truly, whatever may be the toils here between heaven and earth, the study (of the scriptures) is their last stage, their goal (limit) for him who, knowing this, studies his lesson: therefore one's (daily) lesson should be studied.

3. And, verily, whatever portion of the sacred poetry (chandas) he studies for his lesson with that sacrificial rite[4], offering is made by him who, knowing this, studies his lesson: therefore one's (daily) lesson should be studied.

4. And, verily, if he studies his lesson, even though lying on a soft couch, anointed, adorned and completely satisfied, he is burned (with holy fire[5]) up to the tips of his nails, whosoever, knowing this, studies his lesson: therefore one's (daily) lesson should be studied.

5. The Ṛk-texts, truly, are honey, the Sāman-texts ghee, and the Yajus-texts ambrosia; and, indeed, when he studies the dialogue that (speech and reply) is a mess of milk and a mess of meat.

6. And, indeed, he who, knowing this, studies day by day the Ṛk-texts for his lesson, satisfies the gods with honey, and, thus satisfied, they satisfy him by every object of desire, by every kind of enjoyment.

7. And he who, knowing this, studies day by day the Sāman-texts for his lesson, satisfies the gods with ghee; and, being satisfied, they satisfy him by every object of desire, by every kind of enjoyment.

8. And he who, knowing this, studies day by day the Yajus-texts for his lesson, satisfies the gods with ambrosia; and, being satisfied, they satisfy him by every object of desire, by every kind of enjoyment.

9. And he who, knowing this, studies day by day the dialogue, the traditional myths and legends, for his lesson, satisfies the gods by messes of milk and meat; and, being satisfied, they satisfy him by every object of desire, by every kind of enjoyment.

10. Moving, indeed, are the waters, moving is the sun, moving the moon, and moving the stars; and, verily, as if these deities did not move and act, even so will the Brāhmaṇa be on that day on which he does not study his lesson: therefore one's (daily) lesson should be studied. And hence let him at least pronounce either a Ṛk-verse or a Yajus-formula, or a Sāman-verse, or a Gāthā, or a Kumbyā[6], to ensure continuity of the Vrata[7].

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Or, as Sāyaṇa takes it to mean, of intent, undistracted mind,--yuktam avikṣiptam ekāgraṃ mano yasya sa yuktamanāḥ.

[2]:

Sāyaṇa seems to take 'ekārāmatā' in the sense of 'remaining always the same,'--eka eva sann ā samantād bhavatīty ekārāmas tasya bhāvaḥ.

[3]:

Or, perfecting the world,--tadyukto yo lokas tasya paktiḥ paripāko bhavati, Sāy.

[4]:

The study of the Veda being 'the sacrifice of the Brahman,' the reading of a portion is, as it were, a special rite, or form of offering, belonging to that sacrifice. Sāyaṇa, on the other hand, takes it to mean that the student performs, as it were, the particular rite, or offering, to which the portion he reads may refer. It may, indeed, be implied, though it certainly is not expressed in the text.

[5]:

Thus A. Weber, Ind. Stud. X, p. 122;--śarīrapīḍanena tapastapto bhavati, Sāy.

[6]:

A 'Kumbyā,' according to Sāyaṇa, is a Brāhmaṇa-passage explanatory of some sacrificial precept or rite (vidhyarthavādātmakaṃ brāhmaṇa-vākyam); whilst, on Aitareyār. II, 3, 6, 8, the same commentator explains it as a verse (ṛg-viśeṣa) conveying some precept of conduct (ācāraśikṣārūpa), such as 'brahmacāryasyāpośānaṃ karma kuru, divā mā svāpsīḥ,' &c. Cf. Prof. F. Max Müller's transl., Upaniṣads I, p. 230, note 2.

[7]:

This is in keeping with the mystic representation of this and p. 102 the preceding chapters which represent the daily study of the scriptural lesson as a sacrifice continued day by day. The student, as the sacrificer, has accordingly, during the sacrifice (that is, during the period of his study of the Vedas, or for life), as it were, to limit his daily food to the drinking of the Vrata-milk, which rule he obeys symbolically by reciting such a verse or formula.

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