Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Satapatha Brahmana  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Satapatha Brahmana Part 1 (SBE12), Julius Eggeling tr. [1882], at



1:9:1:11. Now 2 when (the Adhvaryu) says, 'The divine Hotris are summoned for the proclamation of success,

p. 248

the human one is called upon for the song of praise (sûkta-vâka);' and when the Hotri thereupon recites, he recites good words only 1: he thereby invokes a blessing on the sacrificer. It is indeed after the sacrifice that he thus invokes a blessing. A twofold reason there is for his invoking the blessing after the sacrifice.

1:9:1:22. He who sacrifices, assuredly, is the producer of the sacrifice, since it is by his order that, the priests spread it, that they produce it. He (the Hotri) now invokes a blessing; and that blessing invoked by him, the sacrifice, on its part, realises for this (sacrificer), knowing as it does that he has produced it. For this reason he invokes a blessing after the sacrifice.

1:9:1:33. He who sacrifices, assuredly, pleases the gods. Having pleased the gods by that sacrifice,--that is, partly by Rik-verses, partly by Yagus-formulas, and partly by oblations,--he obtains a share among them.

When he has obtained a share among them, then (the Hotri) invokes a blessing (on him); and that (blessing, invoked by him, the gods realise for this sacrificer), knowing as they do that he has pleased them. For this reason also he invokes a blessing after the sacrifice.

1:9:1:44. He intones 2,--'Successful this has turned out, O heaven and earth--,' for successful indeed it has turned out, when one has completed the sacrifice.--'We have completed the song of praise, and the

p. 249

utterance of worship 1,' for indeed these two, the singing of praises and the utterance of worship, form the sacrifice: and accordingly he thereby says, 'We have accomplished the sacrifice, we have obtained possession of the sacrifice.'--'Thou, O Agni, art the voice of praise at the listening 2 of heaven and earth,' he thereby says to Agni, 'Thou art the voice of praise, while heaven and earth listen.'--'May heaven and earth be propitious to thee, O sacrificer, at this sacrifice!' whereby he says, 'May heaven and earth abound in food for thee, O sacrificer, at this sacrifice.'

1:9:1:55. 'They, propitious to the cattle 3, profuse in gifts,' he thereby says, 'May they both be propitious to the cattle, and profuse in gifts.'--'They, the fearless and inscrutable 4;' he thereby says, 'Mayest thou not be afraid of anybody; may no one obtain before thee this thy wealth!'

p. 250

1:9:1:66. 'They, of wide abode, the afforders of safety;' he thereby says, 'May they both be possessed of wide abodes and exempt from danger.'--'They, the rain-skied, the water-pouring,' he thereby says, 'May they both be possessed of rain.'

1:9:1:77. 'They, the genial and beneficent;' he thereby says, 'May they both be genial and beneficent.'--'They, the rich in sap and substance;' he thereby says, 'May they both abound in moisture and afford the means of subsistence.'

1:9:1:88. 'They, of easy access and good abode;' he thereby says, 'May yonder (sky), which thou approachest from below, afford thee easy access; may this (earth) on which thou abidest (or movest) afford thee good abode.'--'With their knowledge--,' thereby he says, 'Both of these approving--'

1:9:1:99. 'Agni has graciously accepted this oblation, he has grown in strength, he has acquired greater power,' he thereby refers to Agni's butter-portion.--'Soma has graciously accepted this oblation, he has grown in strength, he has acquired greater power,' he thereby refers to Soma's butter-portion.--'Agni has graciously accepted this oblation, he has grown in strength, he has acquired greater power,' he thereby refers to the indispensable cake which is (offered) on both occasions (the new- and full-moon sacrifice).

1:9:1:1010. And in the same way according to the respective deities. 'The butter-drinking gods have graciously accepted the butter, they have grown in strength, they have acquired greater power;' thereby he refers to the fore-offerings and after-offerings; for the butter-drinking gods truly are the fore-offerings and after-offerings.--'Agni, by virtue of his Hotri-ship, has graciously accepted this oblation, he has

p. 251

grown in strength, the has acquired greater power;' thereby he refers to Agni, in virtue of his Hotriship. With 'has graciously accepted' the thus enumerates those deities to whom offering has been made: in saying 'Such a one has graciously accepted the oblation, such a one has graciously accepted the oblation,' he accordingly prays for the accomplishment of the sacrifice; for whatever oblation the gods graciously accept, by that he gains great things: hence he says, '(he) has graciously accepted it.' And '(he) has grown in strength' he says, because what the gods delight in, they make mountain high: for this reason he says '(he) has increased.'

1:9:1:1111. '(He) has acquired (lit. made for himself) greater power' he says; for assuredly the power of the gods is the sacrifice: it is the latter therefore which they make still greater; and for this reason he says '(he) has acquired greater power.'

1:9:1:1212. 'May he prosper in this sacrifice which goes to the gods!' he thereby says, 'May he be successful in this sacrifice which goes to the gods.'--'Thus prays this sacrificer, N.N. 1;' here he gives the name, and thereby makes him directly successful in his prayer.

1:9:1:1313. 'He prays for long life,' what there (viz. at the invocation of the idâ) 2 was (called implicitly) 'future worship of the gods,' that is here (called) expressly 'long life.'

p. 252

1:9:1:1414. 'He prays for abundant offspring,'--what then was 'more abundant offering,' that is here expressly 'abundant offspring.' He who proceeds in this way will ensure dominion. He may, however, say, 'He prays for future worship of the gods,' for thereby (he ensures) long life, offspring, cattle 1.

1:9:1:1515. 'He prays for more abundant offering,' thereby (he prays for) that same object. 'He prays for dominion over his co-evals (or countrymen);'--his co-evals, doubtless, are his vital airs, for he is born along with his vital airs: hence he thereby prays for vital airs.

1:9:1:1616. 'He prays for a heavenly abode;'--he who sacrifices assuredly sacrifices with the desire that there may be for him also (a place) in the world of the gods: he thereby confers on him a share in the world of the gods 2. 'May he obtain, may he accomplish what he prays for through this offering!' he thereby says, 'May all, that he prays for through this offering, be fulfilled to him!'

1:9:1:1717. These five prayers for blessings he offers now, and three (he offered) at the idâ, these are eight. Of eight syllables, truly, consists the gâyatrî metre, and the gâyatrî means vigour: hence he thereby imparts vigour to the prayers.

1:9:1:1818. Let him not offer more than these; for if he offered more, he would do what is in excess; and what is in excess at the sacrifice, that remains over

p. 253

for the benefit of his spiteful enemy: hence he should not offer more (prayers) than these.

1:9:1:1919. Even less,--seven (he may offer) 1.--'May the gods vouchsafe him that!' he thereby says, 'May the gods grant him that.'--'May the god Agni solicit that from the gods, we men from Agni--,' he thereby says, 'May the god Agni solicit that from the gods, and we will then solicit it for this (sacrificer) from Agni--'

1:9:1:2020. '--What was searched for and found 2;' they indeed searched for the sacrifice, and found it: therefore he says, 'what was searched for and found.'--And 'may both heaven and earth guard this one (enam) from anxiety!' he thereby says, 'may both heaven and earth protect him from suffering.'

1:9:1:2121. Here now some say, 'And may both heaven and earth guard me (mâ 3) . . .,' arguing that in this way the Hotri does not exclude himself from the benediction. Let him not, however, say this; for, surely, the benediction at the sacrifice is for the sacrificer: what then have the officiating priests to do with it? Whatever blessing the officiating priests invoke at the sacrifice, that is for the sacrificer only. On the other hand, whoever says, 'and may both heaven and earth guard me . . .,' does not establish

p. 254

that blessing anywhere: let him therefore say, 'and may both heaven and earth guard this one. . . .'

1:9:1:2222. 'Hither lies the course of any boon;' he thereby makes over to this (sacrificer) whatever is excellent in the sacrifice: for this reason he says, 'hither lies the course of any boon.'

1:9:1:2323. 'And this adoration (shall be offered) to the gods!' having attained the completion of the sacrifice, he thereby renders adoration to the gods: for this reason he says, 'and this adoration to the gods!'

1:9:1:2424. Thereupon he pronounces the 'All-hail and blessing' (sam-yos) 1. Now it was Samyu Bârhaspatya who perceived, in its true nature, the consummation of the sacrifice. He went to share in the world of the gods. Thereupon that (knowledge) was entirely lost to men.

1:9:1:2525. It then became known to the Rishis, that Samyu Bârhaspatya had perceived, in its true nature, the consummation of the sacrifice, and had gone to share in the world of the gods. By pronouncing the samyoh, they attained to that same consummation of the sacrifice which Samyu Bârhaspatya had perceived; and to that same consummation of the sacrifice, which Samyu Bârhaspatya had perceived, this (Hotri)

p. 255

attains by pronouncing the sam-yoh. For this reason he pronounces the 'All-hail and blessing.'

1:9:1:2626. He intones, 'We long for that All-hail and blessing (sam-yoh);' whereby he says, 'We long for that consummation of the sacrifice which Samyu Bârhaspatya perceived.'

1:9:1:2727. 'Success to the sacrifice, success to the lord of sacrifice!' he who wishes for the consummation of the sacrifice, thereby wishes success to the sacrifice and success to the lord of sacrifice.--'Bliss (svasti) to us, bliss to men!' he thereby says, 'May we enjoy bliss among the gods, bliss among men!'--'May the means of salvation ascend on high!' he thereby says, 'May this sacrifice secure for us the world of the gods!'

1:9:1:2828. 'All-hail, for us, to the two-footed, all-hail to the four-footed 1!' for so far as the two-footed and the four-footed (extend), so far does this universe (extend). Having now attained the consummation of the sacrifice, he bids All-hail to this (sacrificer), and for this reason he says, 'All-hail, for us, to the two-footed, all-hail to the four-footed!'

1:9:1:2929. He then touches (the earth) thus with this (finger) 2. Non-human, verily, he becomes at the

p. 256

time when he is chosen for the office of sacrificial priest; and, this earth being a safe standing-place, he thereby (viz. by touching the earth) stands on this safe standing-place; and he thereby also again becomes human: for this reason he thus touches (the earth) with this (finger).


247:2 The author now proceeds to give in detail the formulas to be recited by the Hotri during the ceremonies treated in the preceding Brâhmana (see p. 236, note 2); pars. 1-23 treating of the sûktavâka; pars. 24-29 of the samyuvâka.

248:1 Sûktaiva tad âha, which the commentator paraphrases by sûktâṅy âha. It is apparently intended as an explanation of the term sûktavaka. The word sûkta here has exceptionally the accent on the penultimate.

248:2 See p. 240, note 2. The formulas are given Taitt. Br. III, 5, 10; Âsv. S. I, 9, 1.

249:1 'Sûktavâkam uta namovâkam.' Our author seems to refer these terms to the Rik-verses and the Yagus-formulas used during the sacrifice. Sâyana, on Taitt. S. II, 6, 9, takes 'namovâka' in a more restricted sense, viz. as referring to the formula 'namo devebhyah.' Both the Black Yagur-vela and Âsv. S. add 'ridhyâsma sûktokyam,' which has probably to be taken in the sense of 'May we accomplish that which is expressed in the sûktas.' [Sâyana, 'May we succeed with the sûkta yet to be pronounced.']

249:2 For upasrutî the Black Yagur-veda has upasrito, which Sâyana explains, 'Since thou art established in heaven and earth, thou art able to recite the sûkta.'

249:3 Samgavî seems to be a corruption of Samgayî (propitious to the household), which is the reading of the Black Yagur-veda and Âsv. S. (cf. Rig-veda IX, 97, 17).

249:4 ? Apravede, according to Sâyana, on Taitt. S. I, 1, 13, in an active sense, 'they who do not tell of, do not betray, our faults' (hence 'verschwiegen,' reticent, discreet, St. Petersb. Dict.) 'Difficult to obtain,' Harisvâmin. Our author apparently takes it in the sense of 'not obtained before.'

251:1 Âsv. S. reads twice asau 'N.N., N.N.;' and the commentary remarks that the Hotri has here to pronounce both the ordinary name of the sacrificer, and his nâkshatra name (i.e. the mystic name given him for the duration of the sacrifice, and derived from the respective lunar mansion, or its tutelary deity). This practice was probably not yet in vogue in the time of our author. Cf. Weber, Nakshatra II, p. 316 seq.

251:2 See I, 8, 1, 30 seq.

252:1 The ritual of the Black Yagur-veda (Taitt. Br. III, 5, 10; Taitt. S. II, 6, 9, 7) and the Âsv. S. prescribe both these formulas. The order of formulas also, as there given, differs somewhat from that of our work.

252:2 The Black Yagur-veda and Âsv. S. insert here, 'He prays for all that is dear to him.'

253:1 That is, if he chooses to omit the second formula mentioned in par. 14.

253:2 'Ishtam ka vittam ka.' This is also the reading of the Âsv. S. (? 'What was wished for and obtained'). The Kânva text reads 'ishtam ka vittam kâbhût.' Our author seems here to refer to the legend in I, 5, 2, 6 seq., or to that in I, 6, 2, 1 seq. The reading of the Black Yagus, ishtam ka vîtam ka, 'what has been offered up and accepted (eaten by the gods),' is probably the original and correct one.

253:3 The Kânva recension, the Black Yagur-veda, and Âsv. S. read no, 'us.'

254:1 See p. 247, note 2. The original meaning of the terms sam yos, as they occur in the Rig-veda, is happily rendered by Professor Max Müller (Translation of the Rig-veda, I, p. 182) by 'health and wealth.' In the sacrificial ceremonial a deeper significance bas come to be attached to this benedictory formula, for which it is difficult to find an exact equivalent. The entire samyuvâka, as here given, forms part of a khila to the last book of the Rik-Samhitâ; cf. Max Müller's edition, vol. vi. p. 32; A. Weber, Ind. Stud. IV, p. 431. The Black Yagus version of the legend regarding Samyu Bârhaspatya (Taitt. S. II, 6, 10) is quite different from ours; they were both invented to explain sam yos.

255:1 This formula occurs almost identically in Rig-veda VI, 74, 1; VII, 54, 1; (IX, 69, 7.) Cf. Max Müller, Translation of the Rig-veda, I, p. 180, where attention is drawn to a somewhat similar phrase in the Umbric prayers of the Eugubian tables.

255:2 In Kâty. III, 6, 21 the touching of the altar is prescribed, with the text Vâg. S. II, 19 b; the commentators differ as to whether the sacrificer or the Adhvaryu is to do this. The Kânva Samhitâ omits that formula, and hence assigns this touching to the Hotri. Harisvâmin remarks that the Hotri touches the earth with the little finger of his right hand, as stated in the Kânva recension. The latter reads 'with the little finger.' No mention is made in the Âsv. S. of this touching of the earth on the part of the Hotri.

Next: I, 9, 2. Second Brâhmana