Satapatha Brahmana

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

This is Satapatha Brahmana XIV.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 XIV, adhyaya 1.

Kanda XIV, adhyaya 1, brahmana 4

1. Now, when the Adhvaryu here steps up and says, 'The Gharma is aglow,' they step up and revere it (the Mahāvīra) with the Avakāśa[1]; but the 'avakāśa' are the vital airs: it is thus the vital airs he lays into it. Six of them[2] step up to it, for six in number are these vital airs in the head: it is these he thus lays into it.

2. [Vāj. S. XXXVII, 14,] 'The child of the gods,'--the child (garbha) of the gods, in truth, is he that shines yonder, for he holds (grabh) everything here, and by him everything here is held; and the Pravargya also is that (sun): it is him he thus gratifies, and therefore he says, 'The child of the gods.'

3. 'The father of thoughts,'--for he (the sun) is indeed the father of thoughts;--'the lord of creatures,'--for he is indeed the lord of creatures.

4. 'The god hath united with the god Savitṛ,'--for the god (the Mahāvīra) has indeed united with the god Savitṛ (the sun);--'with Sūrya he shineth,'--for (equally) with Sūrya (the sun) he has indeed shone.

5. [Vāj. S. XXXVII, 15,] 'Agni hath united with Agni,'--for Agni (fire) has indeed united with Agni;--'with the divine Savitṛ,'--for with the divine Savitṛ he has indeed united;--'with Sūrya he hath shone,'--for with Sūrya he has indeed shone.

6. 'Hail! Agni hath united with his heat,'--for Agni has indeed united with his heat; the call of hail he places first, and the deity last: the significance of this is the same as before;--'with the divine Savitṛ,'--for with the divine Savitṛ he has indeed united;--'with Sūrya he hath shed light,'--for with Sūrya he has indeed shed light.

7. These, then, are three 'avakāśa,'--for there are three vital airs, the in (and out)-breathing, the up-breathing, and the through-breathing: it is thereby that he lays it (the vital air) into him.

8. [Vāj. S. XXXVII, 16,] 'The sustainer of the sky, and of heat upon earth, shineth forth,'--for as the sustainer of the sky, and of heat on earth, that (sun, and Mahāvīra) indeed shines forth;--'the divine sustainer of the gods, he, the immortal, born of heat,'--for he is indeed the divine sustainer of the gods, the immortal one, born of heat;--'grant unto us speech, devoted to the gods!'--speech doubtless is worship: he thus means to say thereby, 'bestow upon us worship whereby we shall please the gods!'

9. [Vāj. S. XXXVII, 17; Ṛg-v. I, 164, 31; X, 177, 3,] 'I beheld the guardian, the never-resting[3],'--he who shines yonder is indeed the guardian, for he guards everything here; and he does not lie down to rest: therefore he says, 'I beheld the guardian, the never-resting;'- 10, 'Wandering on paths hither and thither,'--for he indeed wanders hither and thither on the divine[4] paths;--'arraying himself in the gathering and the radiating,'--for he indeed arrays himself in the gathering (converging) and the radiating regions, or rays;--'he moveth to and fro within the spheres,'--for again and again he wanders moving within these worlds.

11. [Vāj. S. XXXVII, 18,] 'O lord of all worlds, O lord of all thought, O lord of all speech, O lord of every speech!' that is, 'O lord of all this (universe);'--'Thou art heard by the gods, O god Gharma, as a god, guard thou the gods!' in this there is nothing hidden, so to speak.

12. 'Give thy countenance hereafter to the divine feast of you two,'--it is with regard to the two Aśvins that he says this, for it was the Aśvins that then restored the head of the sacrifice: it is them he thus pleases, and therefore he says, 'Give thy countenance hereafter to the divine feast of you two.'

13. 'Honey to the two lovers of honey! honey to the two longing for honey!'--for Dadhyañc the Ātharvaṇa indeed told them (the Aśvins) the Brāhmaṇa called Madhu (honey), and this is their dear resource: it is by means of that (dear resource) of theirs that he approaches them, and therefore he says, 'Honey to the two lovers of honey! honey to the two longing for honey!'

14. [Vāj. S. XXXVII, 19,] 'To the heart (I consecrate) thee, to the mind thee, to the sky thee, to the sun thee: going upwards take thou the sacrifice to the gods in heaven!' in this there is nothing hidden, so to speak.

15. [Vāj. S. XXXVII, 20,] 'Thou art our father: be thou our father!'--for he who shines yonder is indeed the father, and the Pravargya is that (sun): it is him he thus gratifies, and therefore he says, 'Thou art our father: be thou our father!'--'Reverence be unto thee: injure me not!'--it is a blessing he thereby invokes.

16. Thereupon he uncovers the head of the (Sacrificer's) wife, and makes her say whilst she is looking at the Mahāvīra, 'Together with Tvaṣṭṛ will we serve thee: (bestow thou sons and cattle upon me! bestow thou offspring upon us! may I remain unscathed together with my husband!)'--the Pravargya (m.) is a male, and the wife is a female: a productive pair is thus produced.

17. And, verily, whosoever either teaches, or partakes of, this (Pravargya) enters that life, and that light: the observance thereof is the same as at the creation[5].

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Avakāśa (looks, or possibly, apertures) is the technical designation of the verses Vāj. S. XXXVII, 14-20 a.

[2]:

Viz. the Sacrificer and the priests with the exception of the Prastotṛ.

[3]:

Or, as Mahīdhara and Sāyaṇa take it, the never-falling.

[4]:

One might expect 'daívaiḥ pathíbhiḥ' or 'devaíḥ pathíbhiḥ,' which Mahīdhara explains by 'devamārgaiḥ.'

[5]:

See p. 458, note 1.

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