Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XIII.1.3 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 3rd brahmana of kanda XIII, adhyaya 1.

Kanda XIII, adhyaya 1, brahmana 3

1. Even as some of the havis (offering-material) may be spilled before it is offered, so also (part) of the victim is here spilled in that they let loose the sprinkled (horse) before it is slain. When he offers the Stokīyās (oblations of drops), he offers that (horse) as a complete offering[1]--so as to make good any spilling[2]; for unspilled is any (part) of the offered (material) that is spilled. A thousand (oblations of drops) he offers for the obtainment of the heavenly world, for the heavenly world is equal in extent to a thousand.

2. Concerning this they say, 'Were he to offer measured (a specified number of oblations), he would gain for himself something limited:' he offers unspecified (oblations) for the obtainment of the unlimited. And indeed Prajāpati spake, 'Verily, upon the oblations of drops I establish the Aśvamedha, and by it, when established, I pass upward from hence.'

3. [He offers, with Vāj. S. XXII, 6,] 'To Agni, hail!'--to Agni he thus offers it (the horse[3]);--'to Soma, hail!'--to Soma he thus offers it;--'to the joy of the waters, hail!'--to the waters he thus offers it;--'to Savitṛ, hail!'--to Savitṛ

he thus offers it;--'to Vāyu, hail!'--to Vāyu (the wind) he thus offers it;--'to Viṣṇu, hail!'--to Viṣṇu he thus offers it to;--'Indra, hail!'--to Indra he thus offers it;--'to Bṛhaspati, hail!'--to Bṛhaspati he thus offers it;--'to Mitra, hail!'--to Mitra he thus offers it;--'to Varuṇa, hail!'--to Varuṇa he thus offers it:--so many, doubtless, are all the gods: it is to them he offers it. He offers them straight away[4] for the obtainment of the heavenly world, for straight away, as it were, is the heavenly world.

4. But, verily, he who offers the oblations straight away, would be liable to fall (pass) right away[5]: he turns back again[6], and establishes himself in this (terrestrial) world. And this[7] indeed he (Prajāpati) has declared to be the perfection of the sacrifice, so as to prevent falling away (spilling), for unspilled is what is spilled of the offered (material).

5. And even as some of the offering-material may be spilled before it is offered, so also (part) of the victim is here spilled in that they let loose the sprinkled (horse) before it is slaughtered. When he offers (the oblations relating to) the Forms[8] (rūpa), he offers that (horse) as one that is wholly offered, so as to make good any spilling; for unspilled is what is spilled of the offered (material). With (Vāj. S. XXII, 7-8[9]),'To the Hiṅ-call, hail! to the (horse) consecrated by Hiṅ, hail! . . .' (he offers them); for these are the forms (qualities) of the horse: it is them he now obtains.

6. Concerning this they say, 'The Forms are no offering: they should not be offered.' But, indeed, they also say, 'Therein assuredly the horse-sacrifice becomes complete that he performs (the oblations relating to) the Forms: they should certainly be offered.' And, indeed, one puts that (Sacrificer) out of his resting-place, and raises a rival for him when one offers for him oblations elsewhere than in the fire[10], where there is no resting-place.

7. Prior to the (first) oblation to Savitṛ[11], he (the Adhvaryu) offers, once only, (the oblations relating to) the Forms[12] in the Āhavanīya, whilst going rapidly over (the formulas): he thus offers the oblations at his (the Sacrificer's) resting-place, and raises no rival for him. He offers at each opening of sacrifice[13], for the continuity and uninterrupted performance of the sacrifice.

8. Concerning this they say, 'Were he to offer at each opening of sacrifice, he would be deprived of his cattle, and would become poorer.' They should be performed once only: thus he is not deprived of his cattle, and does not become poorer. Forty-eight (oblations) he offers;--the Jagatī consists of forty-eight syllables, and cattle are of Jāgata (movable) nature: by means of the Jagatī he (the Adhvaryu) thus wins cattle for him (the Sacrificer). One additional (oblation) he offers, whence one man is apt to thrive amongst (many) creatures (or subjects).

Footnotes and references:


Cf. I, 2, 4, 3; 3, 3, 16 seqq.; IV, 2, 5, 1 seqq.


Lit., for non-spilling, i.e. to neutralise any spilling that may have taken place.


Harisvāmin seems rather to lay the stress on the direct object:--agnaye param evāśvaṃ juhoti na kevalam ājyam. The context, however, does not admit of this interpretation.


According to Kāty. XX, 2, 3-5, he offers either a thousand oblations, or as many as he can offer till the dripping of the water from the horse has ceased. For every ten oblations he uses the formulas here given, after which he begins again from the beginning. The 'straight on' apparently means that he is neither to break the order of the deities, nor to offer more than one oblation at a time to the same deity.


That is, he would die; 'praitīty arthaḥ,' Comm. The St. Petersburg Dict., on the other hand, takes 'īśvaraḥ pradaghaḥ' in the sense of 'liable to fall down headlong' (abstürzen).


That is, by commencing the ten oblations again from the beginning.


Viz. repetition of performance,--etām eva ca sa prajāpatir āvṛttimattāṃ yajñasya saṃsthitim (uvāca). On repetitions in the chanting of stotras, see III, 2, 5, 8; cf. also XII, 2, 3, 13.


These forty-nine oblations performed after the letting loose of the horse, are called Prakramas (i.e. steps, or movements); cf. XIII, 4, 3, 4; Kāty. XX, 3, 3.--Harisvāmin remarks, aśvarūpāṇāṃ hiṅkārādīnāṃ nishkramaṇātmikā (!) rūpākhyā āhutaya ucyante, tā evātra prakramā iti vakṣyante.


These (rather pedantic) formulas, all of them ending in 'svāhā,' occupy two Kaṇḍikās of the Saṃhitā, consisting of 24 and 25 formulas respectively:--1. To the hiṅkāra, svāhā! 2. To the one consecrated by 'hiṅ,' hail! 3. To the whinnying one, hail! 4. To the neighing, hail! 5. To the snorting one, hail! 6. To the snort, hail! 7. To smell, hail! 8. To the (thing) smelled, hail! 9. To the stabled one, hail! 10. To the resting one, hail! 11. To the clipped one, hail! 12. To the prancing one, hail! 13. To the seated one, hail! 14. To the lying one, hail! 15. To the sleeping one, hail! 16. To the waking one, hail! 17, To the groaning one, hail! 18, To the awakened one, hail! 19. To the yawning one, hail! 20. To the untethered one, hail! 21. To the upstarting one, hail! 22. To the standing one, hail! 23. To the starting one, hail! 24. To the advancing one, hail!-25. To the trotting one, hail! 26. To the running one, hail! 27. To the bolting one, hail! 28. To the flighty one, hail! 29. To the geeho, hail! 30. To the one urged on by geeho, hail! 31. To the prostrate one, hail! 32. To the risen one, hail! 33. To the swift one, hail! 34. To the strong one, hail! 35. To the turning one, hail! 36. To the turned one, hail! 37. To the shaking one, hail! 38. To the shaken one, hail! 39. To the obedient one, hail! 40. To the listening one, hail! 41. To the looking one, hail! 42. To the one looked at, hail! 43. To the out-looking one, hail! 44. To the winking one, hail! 45. To what it eats; hail! 46. To what it drinks, hail! 47. To the water it makes, hail! 48. To the working one, hail! 49. To the wrought one, hail!


According to Kāty. XX, 3, 3, the Prakramas are to be offered in the Dakṣiṇāgni; but our Brāhmaṇa, whilst mentioning, at XIII, 4, 3, 4, both that fire, and the horse's footprint as optional places of offering, there as well as here decides in favour of the Āhavanīya; whence Harisvāmin remarks:--anyatrāgner iti anvāhāryapacane vāśvapade vā parilikhite vakṣyamāṇakalpāntaranindā.


See XIII, 1, 4, 2.


That is to say, without repeating them, when he has come to the end, as he did in the case of the 'oblations of drops.' Nor are they to be repeated day after day throughout the year, as some of the other offerings and rites are.


Viz., according to Harisvāmin, at (the beginning of) the dīkṣaṇīyā, prāyaṇīyā, ātithyā, pravargya; the upasads, agnīṣomīya, sutyā, avabhṛtha, udayanīyā, and udavasānīyā offerings (iṣṭi). This view is, however, rejected by the author.

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