Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XIII.1.4 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 XIII, adhyaya 1.

Kanda XIII, adhyaya 1, brahmana 4

1. Prajāpati poured forth the life-sap of the horse (aśva-medha)[1]. When poured forth, it went straight away from him and spread itself over the regions. The gods went in quest of it. By means of offerings (iṣṭi) they followed it up, by offerings they searched for it, and by offerings they found it. And when he performs iṣṭis, the Sacrificer thereby searches for the horse (aśva) meet for sacrifice[2] (medhya).

2. They (the iṣṭis[3]) belong to Savitṛ; for Savitṛ is this (earth): if any one hides himself thereon, if any one goes elsewhere[4], it is on this (earth) that they find him; for no one (creature), whether walking erect or horizontally (like an animal), is able to go beyond it. Their belonging to Savitṛ thus is in order to find the horse.

3. Concerning this they say, 'Surely the horse disappears when it goes straight away; for they do not turn (drive) it back[5].' Now when he performs the Dhṛti offerings[6] in the evening--dhṛti (keeping) meaning peaceful dwelling, and the night also meaning peaceful dwelling--it is by means of peaceful dwelling that he keeps it; whence both men and beasts rest peacefully at night. And when he performs offerings in the morning, he seeks that (horse); whence it is in daytime that one goes to seek for what is lost. And again when he offers the Dhṛtis in the evening, and the (Savitṛ) iṣṭis in the morning, it is security of possession the Sacrificer thereby brings about, whence security of possession is brought about for the subjects where this sacrifice is performed.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Or, as it might also be translated. Prajāpati produced (created) the Aśvamedha.

2.

Or, for the horse full of life-sap; or, simply, the sacrificial horse.

3.

Viz. three oblations of cakes on twelve kapālas to Savitṛ Prasavitṛ, Savitṛ Āsavitṛ; and Savitṛ Satyaprasava respectively. For particulars see XIII, 4, 2, 6 seqq.

4.

Harisvāmin seems to take this in the sense of 'who moves about elsewhere (in another sphere),' and mentions, as an instance, a bird which flies in (? up into) the air--pakṣyādir antarikṣe gacchati--but is ultimately caught on earth.

5.

See XIII, 4, 2, 16.

6.

The four Dhṛtis are performed on the Āhavanīya after sunset on the first day; cf. XIII, 4, 3, 5. For the four formulas used with these oblations ('here is joy,' &c.), see XIII, 1, 6, 2.

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