Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XIII.3.6 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 6th brahmana of kanda XIII, adhyaya 3.

Kanda XIII, adhyaya 3, brahmana 6

1. When the horse was slaughtered, the life-sap[1] went out of it; it became the Aśvastomīya (set of oblations[2]): when he offers the Aśvastomīya (oblations) he indeed supplies the horse with life-sap.

2. He performs it with ghee; for ghee is life-sap, and the Aśvastomīya is life-sap: by means of life-sap he thus puts life-sap into it. He performs with ghee, for that--to wit, ghee--is the favourite resource of the gods: he thus supplies them with their favourite resource.

3. Having performed the Aśvastomīya (set of) oblations, he offers the Dvipadās[3]; for the Aśvastomīya is the horse, and the Dvipadā is man, for man is two-footed (dvipād), supported on two (feet): he thus supplies him with a support.

4. Concerning this they say, 'Is the Aśvastomīya to be offered first, or the Dvipadā?' The Aśvastomīya, surely, is cattle, and the Dvipadā is man: inasmuch as he performs the Dvipadās after performing the Aśvastomīya, man subsequently establishes himself amongst cattle.

5. Sixteen Aśvastomīya oblations he performs, for animals (cattle) consist of sixteen parts[4]: that is the measure of cattle, and he thus supplies cattle with their (right) measure; Were he to offer either less or more, he would deprive cattle of their (right) measure. Sixteen he offers, for cattle consist of sixteen parts: that is the measure of cattle, and he thus supplies cattle with their (right) measure. He offers no other as a final oblation[5]: were he to offer another as a final oblation, he would lose his support. The Dvipadās he offers last, for Dvipadās are a support: he thus finds a support (establishes himself). With, 'To Jumbaka hail!' he offers, at the purificatory bath, the last oblation[6]; for Jumbaka is Varuṇa: by sacrifice he thus manifestly redeems himself from Varuṇa. He offers it on the head of a white-spotted[7], baldheaded (man) with protruding teeth[8] and reddish brown eyes; for that is Varuṇa's form: by (that) form (of his) he thus redeems himself from Varuṇa.

6. Having stepped out (of the water) he prepares twelve messes of cooked rice for the priests, or performs twelve iṣṭis. Concerning this they say, 'These to wit, iṣṭis--are a form of sacrifice: were he to perform iṣṭis, the sacrifice would be ready to incline towards him; but he would become the worse for it, for, surely, of exhausted strength now are the metres (offering formulas) of him who has performed the Soma-sacrifice;--how could he make use of them so soon? For when the sacrifice is complete, Vāc (speech and sacred writ[9]) is wholly gained, and, being gained, it now is exhausted in strength, and, as it were, wounded and mangled; but sacrifice is speech: hence he should not make use of it.'

7. Having stepped out (of the water) he should certainly prepare twelve messes of rice for the priests; for cooked rice is Prajāpati, and Prajāpati is the year, Prajāpati is the sacrifice: it is the year, the sacrifice, he thus gains, and the sacrifice becomes ready to incline towards him, and he does not become the worse for it.

Footnotes and references:


Or, sacrificial essence.


See p. 336, note 2.


The formulas of the six dvipādās--i.e. (verses) consisting of two pādas--are found Vāj. S. XXV, 46-47.


See XII, 8, 3, 13; for a highly artificial explanation of the sixteen parts of the man Prajāpati, probably intended here, X, 4, 1, 17. Elsewhere those of animals are explained as including head, neck, trunk, tail, the four legs and eight claws; see Weber, Ind. Stud. IX, p. 111, note.


This would seem to be directed against the practice of performing the oblation to Heaven and Earth immediately after the Aśvastomīyās, see p. 336, note 2.


See p. 336, note 1.


? Or, pale. Sāyaṇa, on Taitt. Br. III, 9, 15, 3, explains 'śukla' by 'citrin' (? having white spots, or affected with white leprosy). Harisvāmin does not explain the word.


Harisvāmin explains 'viklidha' by 'dantura,' i.e. one who has projecting teeth; whilst Sāyaṇa, l.c., explains it by either 'given to perspiring (svedanaśīlaśarīra),' or 'moist-bodied (? leprous, or, old, in bodily decay, viklinnadeha).'


Cf. V, 5, 5, 12 'that triple Veda is the thousandfold progeny of Vāc.'

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