Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XI.7.2 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 2nd brahmana of kanda XI, adhyaya 7.

Kanda XI, adhyaya 7, brahmana 2

1. Now there is one animal sacrifice of the Haviryajña order[1], and another of the order of the Soma-sacrifice. Of the Haviryajña order is that at which he (the Adhvaryu) brings him fast-food[2], leads water forward[3], and pours out a jarful of water[4], and at which (the Sacrificer) strides the Viṣṇu-strides[5]; and of the order of the Soma-sacrifice is that (animal sacrifice) at which these (rites) are not performed.

2. Concerning this they ask, 'Is the animal sacrifice an iṣṭi or a great (Soma-) sacrifice?'--'A great sacrifice,' let him say; 'for in that (other) case[6] thou hast made the animal sacrifice an iṣṭi, and shattered it.' Thus he should say to him.

3. Its fore-offerings are the morning-service[7], its after-offerings the evening-service, and its sacrificial cake[8] the midday-service.

4. Now, some bring up the Dakṣiṇās (presents to the priests) when the omentum has been offered[9];

but let him not do so, for if, in that case, any one were to say of him, 'Surely, this (Sacrificer) has brought the Dakṣiṇās outside of the vital airs (or, of life), he has not strengthened his vital airs: he will become either blind, or lame, or deaf, or paralyzed on one side;' then that would indeed he likely to come to pass.

5. Let him perform it in this way:--when the Iḍā of the cake-offering has been invoked, he should bring up the Dakṣiṇās; for to Indra belongs this vital air in the centre (of the body): by means of the Dakṣiṇās he thus strengthens this vital air in the centre (of the body); and to Indra also belongs the midday Soma-service, and at the midday-service the Dakṣiṇās are brought up: therefore. he should bring up the Dakṣiṇās after the invocation of the Iḍā of the cake-offering.

6. Here now they say, 'Seeing that the want of the purificatory bath in the case of the initiated is improper, Adhvaryu, when didst thou initiate him?' Well, let them[10] sustain him till the purificatory bath,--to wit, the Adhvaryu, the Pratiprasthātṛ, the Hotṛ, the Maitrāvaruṇa, the Brahman, and the

Āgnīdhra, for it is through these that this (formula) is called 'ṣaḍḍhotṛ[11]': having rapidly muttered that 'ṣaḍḍhotṛ,' he offers, performing either one or five oblations of ghee[12],--'The heaven is his[13] back, the air his body, O Vācaspati, by his limbs he gave rise to the sacrifice, by his forms to the earth; by his flawless voice and his flawless tongue to the god-gladdening invocation, Hail!' This, indeed, is his initiation.

7. As to this they say, 'Seeing that the want of the purificatory bath in the case of the initiated is improper, Adhvaryu, when didst thou take him down to the purificatory bath?' Well, when they perform with the heart-spit[14], that is his purificatory bath.

8. Madhuka Paiṅgya once said, 'Some perform the animal sacrifice without Soma, and others do so with Soma. Now, Soma was in the heavens, and Gāyatrī, having become a bird, fetched him; and inasmuch as one of his leaves (parṇa) was cut off[15], that was how the Parṇa-tree arose:' such, indeed, is (the passage in) the Brāhmaṇa that is told. And some, it is true, perform the animal sacrifice without Soma, and others with Soma; for he who makes the sacrificial stake other than of Palāśa wood, performs the animal sacrifice without Soma; and he who makes the sacrificial stake of Palāśa performs the animal sacrifice with Soma: therefore let him make his sacrificial stake of Palāśa wood.

Footnotes and references:


That is, the offering of the Agnīṣomīya he-goat which takes place on the day before the press-day (see part ii, p. 162 seqq.); whilst the Savanīya-paśubandha is performed on the day of the Soma-sacrifice itself; the victim being slaughtered during the morning-service, and the flesh-portions cooked during the day and offered at the evening-service (cf. part ii, p. 313, note 3; p. 356, note 3).


That is, milk from the Vratadughā cow (which may be mixed with some rice or barley; III, 2, 2, 14), the only food to be taken by the Sacrificer during his dīkṣā, or period of initiation--in this case on the day before the Soma-sacrifice.


That is, the so-called 'praṇītāḥ' used for sacrificial purposes generally, and especially for supplying what is required for pressing the Soma. Cf. the comm. on Kāty. VI, 7, 19, where the 'praṇītāpraṇayana' is expressly referred to as a necessary element of the performance of the Agnīṣomīya.


For the pouring out of the water on the south side of the Vedi, at the end of the Haviryajña, see I, 9, 3, 1 seqq.


The Sacrificer intercepts with his hands some of the water poured out, touches his face therewith, and then strides the three Viṣṇu-strides; cf. I, 9, 3, 8 seqq.


Viz. in case of the animal sacrifice being performed on the Haviryajña or Iṣṭi model; which, strictly speaking, would involve the use of no other offering-material except milk, ghee, and dishes made of cereals.


The usual order of subject and predicate would require the translation, 'the morning-service is its fore-offerings,' which would hardly be in accordance with the author's reasoning.


For the paśu-puroḍāśa, III, 8, 3, 1 seqq.


That is, prior to the offering of the 'animal cake' (paśu-puroḍāśa), whilst the presentation of the dakṣiṇās--a head of cattle, or a milch-cow, or some other desirable object--according to Kāty. VI, 7, 29, should take place after the offering of the Iḍā, which marks the end of the Paśu-puroḍāśa-iṣṭi.


Sāyaṇa supplies 'janāḥ,' 'the people;' but possibly the text of the commentary may be corrupt in this place. The author's meaning would seem to be that, as there is no purificatory bath at the end of the animal sacrifice performed on the Soma-day, the Sacrificer's strength is to be kept up by the Ṣaḍḍhotṛ formula (representing the six priests themselves) which will carry him as far as the purificatory bath at the end of the Soma-sacrifice. I am, however, far from sure that this is the real meaning of the passage. The Ṣaḍḍhotṛ is performed (at the animal sacrifice of the pressing-day) shortly after the beginning of the ceremonies connected with the Paśubandha, viz. immediately after the 'yūpāhuti,' see part ii, p. 162 seqq.


That is, one containing (mentioning), or requiring, six offering-priests, the number required for the animal sacrifice.


In either case the offering consists of five ladlings of ghee; and in the case of a single oblation, according to Sāyaṇa, a different dipping-spoon (sruva) would seem to be used for each ladling; unless, indeed, 'ekaikena sruvena' mean 'with one sruva-full each.' According to Kāty. VI, 1, 36, the formula is merely 'run through mentally.'


Sāyaṇa interprets 'thy back'; and he apparently supplies 'prāpnoti' at the end of the first half-verse, whilst 'airayat' he takes to stand for the second person singular.


That is, when the heart is roasted on the spit prior to its being offered; see III, 8, 3, 16. This use of the spit is to take the place of the purificatory bath, the technical term of which is 'spit-bath' (śūlāvabhṛtha), the spit being on that occasion buried at the point where the dry and the moist meet,' see III, 8, 5, 8-10.


Either a leaf of Soma or a feather of Gāyatrī was cut off by an p. 123 arrow shot by an archer pursuing Gāyatrī, and, on its falling to the earth, a Palāśa, or Parṇa, tree (Butea frondosa) sprang forth, see III, 3, 4, 10.

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