Satapatha-brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XIII.4.3 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 4.

Kanda XIII, adhyaya 4, brahmana 3

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. Having set free the horse, he (the Adhvaryu) spreads a cushion wrought of gold (threads) south of the Vedi: thereon the Hotṛ seats himself. On the right (south) of the Hotṛ, the Sacrificer on a gold stool[1]; on the right of him, the Brahman and Udgātṛ on cushions wrought of gold; in front of them, with his face to the west, the Adhvaryu on a gold stool, or a slab of gold.

2. When they are seated together, the Adhvaryu calls upon (the Hotṛ), saying, 'Hotṛ, recount the beings: raise thou this Sacrificer above the beings[2]!' Thus called upon, the Hotṛ, being about to tell the Pāriplava[3] Legend, addresses (the Adhvaryu), 'Adhvaryu!'--'Havai[4] hotar!' replies the Adhvaryu.

3. 'King Manu Vaivasvata,' he says;--'his people are Men, and they are staying here[5];'-householders , unlearned in the scriptures, have come thither[6]: it is these he instructs;--'The Ṛk (verses) are the Veda[7]: this it is;' thus saying, let him go over a hymn of the Ṛc, as if reciting it[8]. Masters of lute-players have come thither: these he calls upon, 'Masters of lute-players,' he says, 'sing ye of this Sacrificer along with righteous kings of yore[9]!' and they accordingly sing of him; and in thus singing of him, they make him share the same world with the righteous kings of yore.

4. Having called (on the masters of lute-players), the Adhvaryu performs the Prakrama oblations[10], either on the southern fire, or on a footprint of the horse, after drawing lines round it--whichever is the practice there; but the former[11] is the established rule.

5. Prior to the (first) offering to Savitṛ he offers, once only, the (oblations relating to the) Forms[12] in the Āhavanīya fire, whilst going rapidly over (the formulas). And in the evening, whilst the Dhṛtis[13] (oblations for the safe keeping of the horse) are being offered, a Rājanya lute-player, striking up the uttaramandrā (tune) south (of the vedi), sings three stanzas composed by himself (on topics[14] such as), 'Such war he waged,--Such battle he won:' the meaning of this has been explained.

6. And on the morrow, the second day, after those (three) offerings to Savitṛ have been performed in the same way, there is that same course of procedure. 'Adhvaryu!' he (the Hotṛ) says.--'Havai hotar!' replies the Adhvaryu.--'King Yama Vaivasvata[15],' he (the Hotṛ) says, 'his people are the Fathers, and they are staying here;'--old men have come thither: it is these he instructs;--'The Yajus-formulas are the Veda: this it is;' thus saying, let him go over a chapter (anuvāka) of the Yajus[16], as if reciting it. The Adhvaryu calls in the same way (on the masters of lute-players), but does not perform the Prakrama oblations.

7. And on the third day, after those (three) offerings have been performed in the same way, there is that same course of procedure. 'Adhvaryu!' he (the Hotṛ) says.--'Havai hotar!' replies the Adhvaryu.--'King Varuṇa Āditya,' he says; 'his people are the Gandharvas, and they are staying here;'--handsome youths have come thither: it is these he instructs;--'The Atharvans are the Veda: this it is;' thus saying, let him go over one section (parvan) of the Atharvan[17], as if reciting it. The Adhvaryu calls in the same way (on the masters of lute-players), but does not perform the Prakrama oblations.

8. And on the fourth day, after those (three) offerings have been performed in the same way, there is the same course of procedure. 'Adhvaryu!' he (the Hotṛ) says.--'Havai hotar!' replies the Adhvaryu.--'King Soma Vaiṣṇava[18],' he says; 'his people are the Apsaras, and they are staying here;'--handsome maidens have come thither: it is these he instructs[19];--'The Aṅgiras are the Veda: this it is;' thus saying, let him go over one section of the Aṅgiras[20], as if reciting it. The Adhvaryu calls in the same way (on the masters of lute-players), but does not perform the Prakrama oblations.

9. And on the fifth day, after those (three) offerings have been performed in the same way, there is the same course of procedure. 'Adhvaryu!' he (the Hotṛ) says.--'Havai hotar!' replies the

Adhvaryu.--'King Arbuda Kādraveya[21],' he says; 'his people are the Snakes, and they are staying here;'--both snakes and snake-charmers[22] have come thither: it is these he instructs--'The Sarpavidyā (science of snakes) is the Veda: this it is;' thus saying, let him go over one section of the Sarpavidyā[23] as if reciting it. The Adhvaryu calls in the same way (on the masters of lute-players), but does not perform the Prakrama oblations.

10. And on the sixth day, after those (three) offerings have been performed in the same way, there is the same course of procedure. 'Adhvaryu!' he (the Hotṛ) says.--'Havai hotar!' replies the Adhvaryu.--'King Kubera Vaiśravaṇa,' he says; 'his people are the Rakṣas, and they are staying here;'--evil-doers, robbers[24], have come thither: it is these he instructs;--'The Devajanavidyā[25] (demonology) is the Veda: this it is;' thus saying, let him go over one section of the Devajanavidyā, as if he were reciting it. The Adhvaryu calls in the same way (on the masters of lute-players), but does not perform the Prakrama oblations.

11. And on the seventh day, after those (three) offerings have been performed in the same way, there is the same course of procedure. 'Adhvaryu!' he (the Hotṛ) says.--'Havai hotar!' replies the Adhvaryu.--'King Asita Dhānva[26],' he says; 'his people are the Asura; and they are staying here;'--usurers have come thither: it is these he instructs;--'Magic[27] is the Veda: this it is;' thus saying, let him perform some magic trick. The Adhvaryu calls in the same way (on the masters of lute-players), but does not perform the Prakrama oblations.

12. And on the eighth day, after those (three) offerings have been performed in the same way, there is the same course of procedure. 'Adhvaryu!' he (the Hotṛ) says.--'Havai hotar!' replies the

Adhvaryu.--'King Matsya Sāmmada[28],' he says; 'his people are the water-dwellers, and they are staying here;'--both fish and fishermen[29] have come thither: it is these he instructs;--'the Itihāsa 3 is the Veda: this it is;' thus saying, let him tell some Itihāsa. The Adhvaryu calls in the same way (on the masters of lute-players), but does not perform the Prakrama oblations.

13. And on the ninth day, after those (three) offerings have been performed in the same way, there is the same course of procedure. 'Adhvaryu!' he (the Hotṛ) says.--'Havai hotar!' replies the Adhvaryu.--'King Tārkṣya Vaipaśyata[31],' he says; 'his people are the Birds, and they are staying here;'--both birds and bird-catchers[32] have come thither: it is these he instructs;--'the Purāṇa[30] is the Veda: this it is;' thus saying, let him tell some Purāṇa[33]. The Adhvaryu calls in the same way (on the masters of lute-players), but does not perform the Prakrama oblations.

14. And on the tenth day, after those (three) offerings have been performed in the same way, there is the same course of procedure. 'Adhvaryu!' he (the Hotṛ) says.--'Havai hotar!' replies the Adhvaryu.--'King Dharma Indra[34],' he says, 'his people are the Gods, and they are staying here;'--learned śrotriyas (theologians), accepting no gifts[35], have come thither: it is these he instructs; 'the Sāman (chant-texts) are the Veda: this it is;' thus saying, let him repeat[36] a decade of the Sāman. The Adhvaryu calls in the same way (on the masters of lute-players), but does not perform the Prakrama oblations.

15. [In telling] this revolving (legend), he tells all royalties, all regions, all Vedas, all gods, all beings; and, verily, for whomsoever the Hotṛ, knowing this, tells this revolving legend, or whosoever even knows this, attains to fellowship and communion with these royalties, gains the sovereign rule and lordship over all people, secures for himself all the Vedas, and, by gratifying the gods, finally establishes himself on all beings. This very same legend revolves again and again for a year; and. inasmuch as it revolves again and again, therefore it is (called) the revolving (legend). For thirty-six ten-days’ periods he tells it,--the Bṛhatī (metre) consists of thirty-six syllables, and cattle are related to the Bṛhatī metre: by means of the Bṛhatī he thus secures cattle for him.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

At XI, 5, 3, 4; 7 'kūrca' seems to mean a bunch or pad of grass, used as a seat. In the present instance it is explained as p. 361 a seat with feet (sapādam āsanam, Schol. on Kāty. XX, 2, 19), or as a seat or stool which has the appearance of a pad (pīṭhaṃ kūrcākṛti,? i.e. with a pad on it). According to Āśv. Śr. X, 6, 19) the king is surrounded by his sons and ministers.

[2]:

Or, perhaps, 'raise this Sacrificer above (or, up to) the things of the past;' but see paragraph 15.

[3]:

That is, the 'revolving, recurrent, or cyclic legend,' so called because it is renewed every ten days during the year.

[4]:

Harisvāmin explains this interjection, as if it were 'hvayai' = pratihvayai, 'I will respond, I am ready to respond;' and, though this is probably a fanciful explanation, the arrangements made on this occasion are clearly such as to suggest a studied resemblance to the call and counter-call of the two priests on all occasions of a solemn utterance of sacrificial formulas, or the recitation of hymns, as at the Prātaranuvāka (part ii, p. 226 seqq.). Kāty. XX, 3, 2, accordingly, calls it the Adhvaryu's 'pratigara,' or response. Āśv. Śr. X, 6, 13 makes the Adhvaryu's answer 'ho hotar'; and Sāṅkh. Śr. XVI, 1 'hoyi hotar.'

[5]:

The Hotṛ's utterances on the ten days of the revolving period (as set forth in passages 2-14) occur also, with some variations of detail, in the manuals defining the Hotṛ's duties, viz. the Āśvalāyana (X, 7) and Śāṅkhāyana (XVI, 2) Sūtras (whilst the works of the Taittirīyakas seem to have nothing corresponding to this performance). Both Sūtras omit 'rājā' each time. Āśvalāyana, moreover, omits also the 'iti' along with it, because he does not interrupt the formula by an insertion, as is done here (ity āha) p. 362 and in the Śāṅkh. S. (iti prathame, &c.). Gārgya Nārāyaṇa, on Āśv. X, 7, 1, takes the opening words 'prathame (&c.) 'hani' to form part of the formulas:--'on the first day Manu Vaivasvata (is king); but it is clear from the other two authorities that this cannot have been intended by the author of that Sūtra.--The commentator on Śāṅkh. S. XVI, 2 remarks, 'Manur Vaivasvato rājety-evam-ādikam ākhyānaṃ pariplavākhyaṃ prathamāhany ācaṣṭe . . . tasya rājño manushyā viśaḥ prajās ta ima āsate'dyāpi svadharmān na calanti,' thus apparently taking 'rājā' to form part of the formula, or rather of the topic of which the legend to be recited was to treat. This commentary thus apparently assumes that the legend begins with 'Manur Vaivasvato rājā'; and that the subsequent clause leads on to the recitation of the Vedic text that is to follow (cf. note on paragraph 8);--though. possibly this latter clause (as Professor M. Müller seems to take it) may only be an argumentative one, giving the reason why the householders are to be instructed. Cf. M. Müller, Hist. of Anc. Sansk. Lit., p. 37 seqq.

[6]:

'Householders should be brought thither' (i.e. should be made to join this performance); Āśv.-sūtra. Śāṅkh. has merely 'thereby he instructs householders.' Gṛhamedhinaḥ are those who regularly perform the five great domestic sacrifices (mahāyajña).

[7]:

Or, more closely, the Veda is the, or consists of, Ṛc (verses). Sāṅkh. S. reads 'ṛco vedaḥ' (the Veda of the Ṛc, gen. sing.) instead of 'ṛcaḥ' (nom. pl.), and in the subsequent paragraph also, it repeats the word 'veda' (Yajurveda, Atharvaveda, Aṅjiraso vedaḥ).

[8]:

That is, as would seem,--as if he were to recite it (or, as when he recites it) in the course of the ordinary sacrificial performance--as in Śastras, the Prātaranuvāka, &c. The text would, however, also admit of the translation--'thus saying, let him go over (the legend) as if he were reciting a hymn of the Ṛc,' but it is not quite easy to see how a similar interpretation would suit subsequent paragraphs (11-14). Moreover, both Āśv. and Sāṅkh. omit 'vyācakṣāṇa iti,' and read 'nigadet,' 'let him recite (a hymn),' p. 363 instead of 'anudravet (let him run, or go, over = anupūrvam uccārayet, Harisv.).' Yet, the commentary on Śāṅkh. supplies the 'iva,' explaining as he does, 'sūktaṃ kiṃcid ācakṣāṇa ivānuvadet;' from which (if it is not simply quoted from our Brāhmaṇa) it would almost seem as if he, too, thought of the legend rather than a hymn of the Ṛc. The verb 'vyā-cakṣ,' as against 'ni-gad,' seems to imply a clear articulation--perhaps even with all the stops or pauses, at the end of every half-verse, or pāda, as the case might be. Sāyaṇa (on Taitt. Br. II, 2, 1, 4; 2, 6) explains 'vyācakṣīta' by 'vispaṣṭam uccārayet (or, paṭhet).' The available MS. of Harisvāmin's commentary on our text is, as usual, incorrect, but as far as it goes, it seems to favour the recitation of the legend at this place,--'vyācakṣāṇa iti vākyaśas cidan (r. chindan) agaiś cābhidad (?) ity arthaḥ,'--which I take to mean that he is to pause after each sentence, as he would do when reciting a hymn.

[9]:

That is, according to Harisvāmin,--'Compare this Sacrificer in song with the old righteous kings.' Katy. XX, 3, 8 refers to these latter as 'rājarshis,' or royal sages--in which case the recitation of the legend itself would only come in here.

[10]:

For the formulas used with this series of forty-nine oblations, see XIII, 1, 3, 5 with notes thereon.

[11]:

That is to say, according to Harisvāmin, the course of procedure laid down in XIII, 1, 3, 7, according to which these oblations are to be made on the Āhavanīya, and not either on the southern fire, or on a footprint of the horse.

[12]:

That is to say, the Prakramas which are only performed on the first day of the year, whilst the three oblations to Savitṛ are repeated each day.

[13]:

See XIII, 1, 4, 3; 6, 2. These oblations are made just prior to the evening performance of the Agnihotra, when the Āhavanīya has been got ready for the latter. The Taittirīyakas seem to make these four oblations on the horse's feet at the place where the keepers pass the night (viz. the carpenter's house) during the greater part of the year; and only in the last month, when a stable of Aśvattha wood has been put up for the horse near (or on) the offering-ground, these oblations take place on the Āhavanīya. See comm. on Taitt. Br. III, 8, 12 (p. 609; cp. p. 700). At III, 9, 14 (p. 703), on the other hand, it is stated that the Rājanya's singing is to take place in the evening at the time of the Dhṛti-homas.

[14]:

Taitt. Br. III, 9, 54, 4, again mentions three topics, one for each stanza--viz. 'thus (i.e. in the same way as Pṛthu, Bharata, Bhagīratha, Yudhiṣṭhira &c., comm.) didst thou overpower (the enemies), thus (i.e. surrounded by heroic warriors, fighting on elephants, steeds, chariots, and on foot, with bows and arrows, spears, swords, &c.) didst thou battle, thus didst thou fight such and such battle (i.e. like Yudhiṣṭhira, Dushyanta, &c., having engaged in a battle attended by thousands of great heroes, thou, armed only with thy sharp sword, didst slay the king of Kashmir, Magadha, Puṇḍra, &c., comm.).'

[15]:

When the comm. on Śāṅkh. S. remarks, 'Yamo Vaivasvato rājety āheti divitīya evāhani Śatapathe darśanāt,' this would seem to refer to the addition of either 'rājā,' or 'ahani,' but not to any legend of Y. V., since such a one does not occur in this work; though various passages in the Ṛc might no doubt have sufficed to construct some such legend as would have served on this occasion.

[16]:

The same commentator refers to the 'Āśvamedhika' as the section to be recited,--'prakaraṇāt,' because of the treatment (therein of this subject).

[17]:

Instead of 'atharvaṇām ekaṃ parva,' the Śāṅkh. S. has 'bheṣajam (medicine),' which the commentator--against the opinion of those who take it to mean the hymn Ṛg-veda X, 97 (treating of the magic powers of herbs)--makes a special work of the Ātharvaṇikas; whilst the Āśv. S. reads 'yad bheṣajaṃ niśāntaṃ p. 366 syāt tan nigadet'--'let him tell some approved medicine (i. e: some specific, or charm against disease).'

[18]:

The comm. on Sāṅkh. S. remarks, 'Somo Vaiṣṇava iti caturthe; Somo Vaiṣṇavo rājeti Satapathaśruteḥ; pratīkagrahaṇāny etāni.' This seems to show clearly that he takes this as merely the opening words of the legend. Here, again, his words can hardly be taken to refer to a legend regarding Soma in the Satapatha-Brāhmaṇa.

[19]:

'Yuvatīḥ śobhanā upadiśati, tasyaitāḥ (? tasyaitābhyaḥ) sabhāyām anyāsām apraveśāt,' comm. on Śāṅkh. S., --? because no other (Apsaras) but these come to his court.

[20]:

The Śāṅkh. S. has 'let him recite the Ghora'--which the commentator again takes to be the title of a special work of the Atharvans--whilst the Āśv. S. reads 'let him recite some approved ghora (magic spell or operation).'

[21]:

'Arbudaḥ Kādraveyo rājety āheti śruteḥ (thus also on the name of the next king),' comm. on Śāṅkh. S.

[22]:

Lit. '(men) knowing about snakes'--which the comm. on Āśv. S. explains by 'those knowing the Kāśyapīya and other treatises (tantra) on venoms.' Instead of the conjunctive double 'ca,' the Śāṅkh. S. has a single 'vā'--the snakes, or (rather) snake-charmers--and Āśv. S. an explanatory 'iti'--the snakes, i.e. snake-charmers.

[23]:

The Śāṅkh. S. has, 'let hire recite the Sarpavidyā' (i.e. either the Gāruḍā or Kaṅkaniyā sarpavidyā, as the comm. explains); the Āśv. S. 'let him recite the Viṣavidyā (science of venoms).'

[24]:

The etymology and exact meaning of 'selaga' is doubtful:--here, again, whilst 'pāpakṛtaḥ' is added either appositionally, or attributively (wicked selagas), the Śāṅkh. S. adds it by means of 'vā,' and the Āśv. S. by 'iti'--both apparently meant in an explanatory sense. The Ait. Br., on the other hand, has VII, 1, 'selagā vā pāpakṛto vā;' and VIII, 11, 'niṣādā vā selagā vā pāpakṛto vā.' The comm. on Āśv. S. explains 'selaga' by 'maddened by a snake;' the comm. on Śāṅkh. S. by 'selagāḥ seṇyāgāyanyaḥ (?) pāpakṛto vā mlechāḥ.'

[25]:

That is, the science, or knowledge of the divine (or supernatural) beings. The Śāṅkh. S. has, 'the Rakṣovidyā is the Veda, . . . let him recite the Rakṣovidyā'--on which the commentator remarks 'prasiddhaiva kuhukurūpā rakṣovidyeti.' (? = 'kuhakarūpā,' cheats, or deceitful imps). Āśv. S. has 'yat kiṃcit piśācasaṃyuktaṃ niśāntam,' 'some approved (spell or operation?) connected with the Piśācas, or demons.'

[26]:

Śāṅkh. S. has 'Asita Dhānvana.'

[27]:

The two Sūtras read 'Asuravidyā'--asuravidyendrajālādinā tannirdeśān māyām api kāṃcit kuryād aṅgulinyāsarūpām ('a trick by sleight of hand,' M. Müller), comm. on Sāṅkh. S. On 'indrajālavidyā' ('magic art, trickery'), cf. Daśakum., p. 25, 1. 12. The association of the black art with the usurer or money-lender (kusīdin) is rather curious.

[28]:

'Matsyaḥ Sāmmada ity aṣṭame, Matsyaḥ Sāmmado rājeti śruteḥ pratīkagrahaṇam etat,' comm. on Śāṅkh. S.

[29]:

'Jātisambandhena matsyavido vā, mainikān pāṭhīnādiviśeṣavikalpān vidanti ye tan vā,' comm. on Śāṅkh. S.

[30]:

Regarding the Itihāsa (cosmogonic account) and Purāṇa (ancient legend), see p. 98, note 4. The Āśv. S. connects the Itihāsa with the ninth, and the Purāṇa with the eighth day. 'Itihāsam ācakṣīta, itihāsavedasya pṛthagbhāvena darśaṇāt,' comm. on Śāṅkh. S.

[31]:

Āśv. S. has Tārkṣya Vaipaścita.--'Tārkṣyo Vaipaśyato rājety āheti pratīka(ṃ) śruteḥ,' comm. on Śāṅkh. S.

[32]:

Lit., men acquainted with the science of birds (vāyovidyika). The two Sūtras, on the other hand, here identify the birds with 'brahmacāriṇaḥ,' or religious students.

[33]:

According to the comm. on Śāṅkh. S., it is the Vāyupurāṇa (purāṇaṃ vāyuproktam) that is to be recited (from), and not the hymn Ṛg-veda X, 130 ('tasya vedaikadeśatvāt'). This hymn is probably referred to in this connection chiefly on account of the passage 'yajñe jāte purāṇe' in verse 6.

[34]:

'Dharma Indra iti daśame, Dharma Indro rājety āheti Śatapathe pratikadarśanāt,' comm. on Śāṅkh. S.

[35]:

The two Sūtras still further qualify them as 'young śrotriyas who accept no gifts,' 'manu(shya)devā hi ta ity abhiprāyāt,' comm. on Śaab.; cp. Śat. Br. II, 2, 2, 6, 'ye brāhmaṇāḥ śuśruvāṃso'nūcānās te manushyadevāḥ.'

[36]:

The text has 'brūyāt,' 'let him say;' whilst the two Sūtras read 'sāma gāyāt,' 'let him sing a Sāman' ('yat kiṃcid anindyam evāśvāmedhikaṃ vā prakaraṇāt,' comm. on Śāṅkh. S.).

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