by Julius Eggeling | 1882 | 730,838 words | ISBN-13: 9788120801134
This is Satapatha Brahmana XIII.2.5 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 5th brahmana of kanda XIII, adhyaya 2.
1. Prajāpati poured forth the life-sap of the horse (aśva-medha); when poured forth it went from him. Having become fivefold it entered the year, and they (the five parts) became those half-months. He followed it up by means of the fifteenfold (sets of victims), and found it; and having found it, he took possession of it by means of the fifteenfold ones; for, indeed, they--to wit, the fifteenfold (sets)--are a symbol of the half-months, and when he seizes the fifteenfold ones, it is the half-months the Sacrificer thereby takes possession of.
2. Concerning this they say, 'But, surely, the year is not taken possession of by him who spreads out (performs sacrifice for) a year in any other way than by means of the Seasonal sacrifices.' The Seasonal sacrifices, doubtless, are manifestly the year; and when he seizes the Seasonal victims, he then manifestly takes possession of the year. ‘And, assuredly, he who spreads out the year in any other way than with the (victims) of the set of eleven (stakes) is deprived of his offspring (or subjects) and cattle, and fails to reach heaven. This set of eleven (stakes), indeed, is just heaven, and the set of eleven (stakes) means offspring (or people) and cattle and when he lays hands on the (victims) of the (two) sets of eleven (stakes) he does not fail to reach heaven, and is not deprived of his offspring and cattle.
(beasts). He found it, and, having found it, he took possession of it by means of the sets of ten: when he seizes the sets of eleven (beasts), the Sacrificer thereby takes possession . of the Virāj. He seizes a hundred, for man has a life of a hundred (years) and a hundred energies: vital power and energy, vigour, he thus takes to himself.
4. Eleven decades he seizes, for the Triṣṭubh consists of eleven syllables, and the Triṣṭubh means energy, vigour: thus it is for the obtainment of energy, vigour. Eleven decades he seizes, for in an animal there are ten vital airs, and the body: (trunk) is the eleventh: he thus supplies the animals with vital airs. They belong to all the gods for the completeness of the horse (sacrifice), for the horse belongs to all the gods. They are of many forms, whence beasts are of many forms; they are of distinct forms, whence beasts are of distinct forms.
Footnotes and references:
Or the Paṅkti metre, consisting of five octosyllabic pādas.
Viz. as consisting of thrice five days.
See above, XIII, 2, 2, 11.
On this point, cp. II, 6, 3, 1.--'Verily, imperishable is the righteousness of him who offers the Seasonal sacrifices; for such a one gains the year, and hence there is no cessation for him. He gains it in three divisions, he conquers it in three divisions. The year means the whole, and the whole is imperishable (without end). Moreover, he thereby becomes a Season, and as such goes to the gods; but there is no perishableness in the gods, and hence there is imperishable righteousness for him.'
The Cāturmāsyas are the victims enumerated Vāj. S. XXIV, 14-19. The first six of them are the last (of the set of fifteen) bound to the thirteenth stake; whilst the remaining victims make up all the seven sets of fifteen victims bound to remaining stakes (14-21)--thus amounting to 121 domesticated animals, cf. XIII, 5, 1, 13, seq. In counting the stakes the central one is the first, then follows the one immediately south, and then the one immediately north of it, and thus alternately south and north. The reason why the name 'Cāturmāsya' is applied to the victims here referred to is that the deities for whose benefit they are immolated are the same, and follow the same order, as those to whom (the chief) oblations are made at the Seasonal sacrifices (viz. the constant ones--Agni, Soma, Savitṛ, Sarasvatī, Pūṣan, and special ones, see II, 5, 1, 8-17; 5, 2, 7-16; 5, 3, 2-4; 5. 4, 2-10; 6, 1, 4-6; 6, 2, 9; 6, 3, 4-8).
That is to say, he who seeks to gain the year by immolating only the Seasonal victims, and the sets of fifteen victims, and does not offer likewise the victims of the set (or rather two sets) of eleven p. 310 stakes. These two sets of eleven victims, tied to the twenty-one stakes (two being tied to the central stake), are to constitute the regular 'savanīyāḥ paśavaḥ' of the pressing-days of the Aśvamedha; and in XIII, 5, 1, 3, and 5, 3, 11, the author argues against those who (on the first, and third days) would immolate only twenty-one such victims, all of them sacred to Agni. As regards the second day, the author does not mention these particular victims, but this an scarcely be interpreted as an approval of twenty-one such victims, even though the number twenty-one certainly plays an important part on that day--seeing that Kātyāyana, XX, 4, 25, makes the two sets of eleven victims the rule for all three days. For the third day, on the other hand, the author of the Brāhmaṇa (XIII, 5, 3, 11) actually recommends the immolation of twenty-four bovine victims as 'savanīyāḥ paśavaḥ.' The deities of the first set of eleven victims (as perhaps also of the second set of the first day) are the same as those of the ordinary 'ekādaśinī' (see III, 9, 1, 62 1; and Vāj. S. XXIX, 58), whilst the second set (of the second day, at all events) has different deities (Vāj. S. XXIX, 60). On the central day these victims are added to the sets of fifteen victims bound there to each of the twenty-one stakes; the mode of distribution being the same as on the other two days, viz., so that the first victim of each set--that is the one devoted to Agni--is bound to the central stake, whilst of the remaining twenty victims one is assigned to each stake.
Viz. inasmuch as the stakes stand right in front (to the east) of the sacrificial fire and ground, and the Sacrificer would thus miss the way to heaven if he were not to pass through the 'ekādaśinī.'
The Virāj metre consists of (three) decasyllabic pādas.
After the (349) domesticated animals have been secured to the stakes, sets of thirteen wild beasts are placed on the (twenty) spaces between the (twenty-one) stakes, making in all 260 wild beasts. From the 150th beast onward (enumerated Vāj. S. XXIV, 30-40) these amount to 111 beasts which here are called eleven decades; the odd beast not being taken into account, whilst in paragraph 3 above the first ten decades are singled out for symbolic reasons. These beasts are spread ever the twelfth (only the last seven Beasts of which belong to the first decade) and following spaces.