Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XI.7.1 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 7.

Kanda XI, adhyaya 7, brahmana 1

THE ANIMAL SACRIFICE[1].

1. He performs the animal sacrifice. Now the animal sacrifice means cattle: thus, when he performs the animal sacrifice (paśubandha, the binding of the animal), it is in order that he may be possessed of cattle. Let him perform it at his home, thinking, 'I will bind (attach) cattle to my home.' Let him perform it in the season of abundant fodder, thinking, 'I will bind to myself cattle in a season of abundant fodder.' For, whilst he is offering[2], the Sacrificer's fires become worn out, and so does the Sacrificer, along with the worn-out fires, and along with the Sacrificer his house and cattle.

2. And when he performs the animal sacrifice, he renews his fires, and so, along with the renewal of his fires, does the Sacrificer (renew himself), and along with the Sacrificer his house and cattle. And beneficial to life, indeed, is that redemption of his own self[3]; for whilst he is offering the Sacrificer's fires long for flesh; they set their minds on the Sacrificer and harbour designs on him. In other fires[4] people do indeed cook any kind of meat, but these (sacrificial fires) have no desire for any other flesh but this (sacrificial animal), and for him to whom they belong.

3. Now, when he performs the animal offering. he thereby redeems himself--male by male, for the victim is a male, and the Sacrificer is a male. And this, indeed, to wit, flesh, is the best kind of food: he thus becomes an eater of the best kind of food. Let not a year pass by for him without his offering; for the year means life: it is thus immortal life he thereby confers upon himself.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Whilst a full account is given in the third Kāṇḍa (part ii, p. 162 seqq.) of the animal sacrifice performed on the day before the Soma-sacrifice, the Brāhmaṇa, in the last two adhyāyas of the present Kāṇḍa, touches on certain features in which the performance of the animal sacrifice of the pressing-day differs from that of the preceding day.

[2]:

Viz. the Agnihotra every morning and evening.

[3]:

That is, the ransoming of one's own life from the sacrificial fires, by offering an animal victim to them in lieu of his own self.

[4]:

That is, in ordinary, culinary fires.

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