Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XI.7.4 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 7.

Kanda XI, adhyaya 7, brahmana 4

1. Now, when he who is about to perform an animal sacrifice makes a stake one cubit long, he thereby gains this (terrestrial) world; and when (he makes) one two cubits long, he thereby gains the air-world; and when be makes one three cubits long, he thereby gains the heavens; and when he makes one four cubits long, he thereby gains the regions. But, indeed, that sacrificial stake of the (ordinary) animal sacrifice is either three or four cubits long, and one that is above that belongs to the Soma-sacrifice.

2. As to this they say, 'Should he offer the butter-portions or not?'--'Let him offer them,' they say; 'for the two butter-portions are the eyes of the sacrifice, and what were man without eyes?' For as long as a co-sharer is not bought off by (receiving) a share of his own, so long does he consider himself not bought off; but when he is bought off by a share of his own, then, indeed, he considers himself bought off: when the Hotṛ, on that occasion[1], recites, 'Endow the Rakṣas with blood!' he buys him off by (assigning to him) a share of his own.

3. For on that occasion[2] the anguish of the victim, in being slaughtered, becomes concentrated in the heart, and from the heart (it flows) into the spit. Thus, if they (were to) cook the animal together with the heart, the anguish would again spread all over the animal: let him therefore cook it (the heart) after spitting it from the side on a stick.

4. He makes an underlayer of ghee (in the offering-ladle): this he makes a type of the earth; he then puts a chip of gold thereon: this he makes a type of fire; he then puts the omentum thereon: this he makes a type of the air; he then puts a chip of gold thereon: this he makes a type of the sun; and what (ghee) he pours upon it, that he makes a type of the heavens. This, then, is that five-portioned omentum,--fivefold is the sacrifice, fivefold the sacrificial animal, and five seasons there are in the year: this is why the omentum consists of five portions[3].

Footnotes and references:


Viz. at the time when the victim is cut up. Cf. Ait. Br. II, 7,--'Endow ye the Rakṣas with blood!' he says; for by (assigning to them) the husks and the sweepings of the grain the gods deprived the Rakṣas of their share in the Haviryajña, and by the blood (they deprived them) of that in the great (Soma-) sacrifice: thus by saying, 'Endow ye the Rakṣas with blood!' he dispossesses the Rakṣas of the sacrifice by assigning to them their own share.--The Adhvaryu then smears a stalk of grass with the blood with, 'Thou art the Rakṣas’ share,' throws it on the heap of rubbish, and treads on it with, 'Herewith I tread down the Rakṣas,' &c. Cf. III, 8, 2, 13-15.


See III, 8, 5, 8.


Or, cuttings; see III, 8, 2, 26.

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