The Upanishads, Part 1 (SBE01), by Max Müller, , at sacred-texts.com
1. He who knows one sacrifice above another, one day above another, one deity above the others, he is clever. Now this great uktha (the nishkevalya-sastra) is the sacrifice above another, the day above another, the deity above others 1.
2. This uktha is fivefold. With regard to its being performed as a Stoma (chorus), it is Trivrit, Pañkadasa, Saptadasa, Ekavimsa, and Pañkavimsa. With regard to its being performed as a Sâman (song), it is Gâyatra, Rathantara, Brihat, Bhadra, and Râgana. With regard to metre, it is Gâyatrî, Ushnih, Brihatî, Trishtubh, and Dvipadâ. And the explanation (given before in the Âranyaka) is that it is the head, the right wing, the left wing, the tail, and the body of the bird 2.
in each hymn. This, is the first round. He then sings the three middle verses in each hymn. This is the second round. He lastly sings the last three verses in each hymn. This is the third round. This song is called Udyatî.
The Pañkadasa stoma is formed out of one Sûkta only, consisting of three verses. In the first round he sings the first verse p. 225 three times, the second and third once. In the second round he sings the middle verse three times, in the third round he sings the last verse three times. This song is called Vishtuti.
The Saptadasa stoma is formed in the same manner, only that in the first round he sings the first verse three times, in the second the middle verse three times, in the third round the middle and last verses three times. This song is called Dasasapta.
The Ekavimsa stoma is formed in the same manner, only that in the first round he sings the last verse once, in the second the first verse once, in the third the middle verse once, while the other verses are each repeated three times. This song is called Saptasaptinî.
The Pañkavimsa stoma is formed in the same manner, only that in the first round he sings the first verse three times, the second four times, the last once; in the second round the first once, the second three times, the third four times; in the third round the first five times, the second once, the last three times; or he sings in the third round the first verse four times, the second twice, the last three times.
Sâyana in his commentary on the Ait. Âr. takes the Trivrit stoma to be formed out of three hymns, each consisting of three verses, while he says that the other stomas are formed out of one hymn only. B. and R., sv. trivrit, state that this stoma consists of verses 1, 4, 7; 2, 5, 8; and 3, 6, 9 of the Rig-veda hymn IX, 11, but, according to Sâyana, the stoma consists (1) of the first verses of the three Sûktas, upâsmai gâyata, davidyutatyâ, and pavamânasya at the beginning of the Sâma-veda-Uttarârkika, (2) of the second, (3) Of the third verses of the same three hymns. Mahîdhâra (Yv. X, 9) takes the same view, though the MSS. seem to have left out the description of the second paryâya, while Sâyana in his commentary to the Tândya-brâhmana seems to support the opinion of B. and R. There is an omission, however, in the printed text of the commentary, which makes it difficult to see the exact meaning of Sâyana.
The Pañkadasa stoma is well described by Sâyana, Tândya Br. II, 4. Taking the Sûkta agna â yâhi (Uttarârkika I, 1, 4 = Rv. VI, 16, 10-12), he shows the stoma to consist of (1) verse 1 × 3, 2, 3 (2) verse 1, 2 × 3, 3; (3) verse 1, 2, 3 × 3.
The five Sâmans are explained by the commentator. The p. 226 Gâyatra is formed out of the Rik (III, 62, 10) tat savitur varenyam. The Rathantara is formed out of the Rik (VII, 32, 22) abhi tvâ sûra nonuma. The Brihat is formed out of the Rik (VI, 46, 1) tvâm id dhi havâmahe. The Bhadra is formed out of the Rik (X, 57, 1) imâ nu kam. The Râgana is formed out of the Rik (VII, 27, 1) indram naro nemadhitâ.
The metres require no explanation.
In identifying certain portions of the Nishkevalya hymn with a bird, the head of the bird corresponds to the hymns indram id gâthinah, &c.; the right wing to the hymns abhi tvâ sûra, &c.; the left wing to the hymns tvâm id dhi, &c.; the tail to the hymns imâ nu kam, &c.; the body to the hymns tad id âsa, &c. All this was explained in the first Âranyaka.
3. He performs the Prastâva in five ways, he performs the Udgîtha in five ways, he performs the
[paragraph continues] Pratihâra in five ways, he performs the Upadrava in five ways, he performs the Nidhana in five ways 1. All this together forms one thousand Stobhas, or musical syllables 2.
4. Thus also are the Rik verses, contained in the Nishkevalya, recited (by the Hotri) in five orders. What precedes the eighty trikas, that is one order, then follow the three sets of eighty trikas each, and what comes after is the fifth order 3.
5. This (the hymns of this Sastra) as a whole (if properly counted with the Stobha syllables) comes to one thousand (of Brihatî verses). That (thousand) is the whole, and ten, ten is called the whole. For number is such (measured by ten). Ten tens are a hundred, ten hundreds are a thousand, and that is the whole. These are the three metres (the tens, pervading everything). And this food also (the three sets of hymns being represented as food) is threefold, eating, drinking, and chewing. He obtains that food by those (three numbers, ten, hundred, and thousand, or by the three sets of eighty trikas).
224:1 The uktha is to be conceived as prâna, breath or life, and this prâna was shown to be above the other powers (devatâs), speech, hearing, seeing, mind. The uktha belongs to the Mahâvrata day, and that is the most important day of the Soma sacrifice. The Soma sacrifice, lastly, is above all other sacrifices.
224:2 All these are technicalities connected with the singing and reciting of the uktha. The commentator says: The stoma is a collection of single Rik verses occurring in the trikas which have to be sung. The Trivrit stoma, as explained in the Sâma-brâhmana, is as follows: There are three Sûktas, each consisting of three verses, the first being upâsmai gâyata, S. V. Uttarârkika I, 1, 1 = Rv. IX, 11. The Udgâtri first sings the first three verses a
224:a Hiṅkri with dative is explained as gai with accusative.
226:1 The Sâmagas sing the Râgana at the Mahâvrata, and in that Sâman there are, as usual, five parts, the Prastâva, Udgîtha, pratihâra, Upadrava, and Nidhana. The Prastotri, when singing the Prastâva portions, sings them five times. The Udgâtri and Pratihartri sing their portions, the Udgîtha and Pratihâra, five times. The Udgâtri again sings the Upadrava five times. And all the Udgâtris together sing the Nidhana five times.
226:2 The Stobha syllables are syllables without any meaning, added when verses have to be sung, in order to have a support for the music. See Kh. Up. I, 13. In singing the five Sâmans, each five times, one thousand of such Stobha syllables are required.
226:3 There are in the Nishkevalya hymn, which the Hotri has to recite, three sets of eighty trikas each. The first, consisting of Gâyatrîs, begins with indro ya ogasâ. The second, consisting of Brihatîs, begins with ya kid anyad. The third, consisting of Ushnihs, begins with ya indra somapâtama. These three sets form the food of the bird, as the emblem of the sastra. The hymns p. 227 which precede these, form the body, head, and wings of the bird. This is one order. Then follow the three sets of eighty trikas each; and lastly, the fifth order, consisting of the hymns which form the belly and the legs of the bird.