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




2:2:3:11. Now Varuna established this (fire), being desirous of sovereignty. He obtained sovereignty; and, accordingly, whether one (who has established the fires) knows (this) or not, they call him 'king Varuna.' Soma (established the fire), being desirous of glory. He became glorious, and, accordingly, whether one obtains a hold on Soma, or whether

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one does not, they both obtain (glory),--for it is glory that people thereby get to see. Glorious therefore he becomes, and sovereignty he obtains, whosoever, knowing this, establishes a sacrificial fire of his own.

2:2:3:22. Now once upon a time the gods deposited with Agni all forms (rûpa) 1, both domestic and wild; either because they were about to engage in battle, or from a desire of free scope, or because they thought that he (Agni) would protect them as the best protector.

2:2:3:33. But Agni coveted them, and seizing them he entered the seasons with them. 'Let us go back thither,' said the gods, and betook themselves to the place where) Agni (was) concealed. They were disheartened and said, 'What is here to be done? what counsel is there?'

2:2:3:44. Then Tvashtri beheld that re-consecrated fire (Punar-âdheya). He established it and thereby gained an entrance to Agni's beloved abode. He (Agni) gave up to him both kinds of forms, domestic and wild: hence they call them Tvashtri's forms; since it is from Tvashtri that all form proceeds 2; but all other creatures of whatever kind undergo it.

2:2:3:55. It is for him (Tvashtri), then, that one must re-establish the fire: for thus he enters Agni's

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beloved abode, and the latter gives up to him both kinds of forms, domestic and wild. In that (fire) those two kinds of forms are seen: such is the ascendancy (which one obtains by the punarâdhyeya),--people, indeed, envy him; thus he thrives, and a conspicuous position (is obtained by him).

2:2:3:66. To Agni belongs this sacrifice. Agni is the light, the burner of evil: he burns away the evil of this (sacrificer): and the latter becomes a light of prosperity and glory in this, and a light of bliss 1 in yonder, world. This, then, is the reason why he should establish the fires (a second time).

2:2:3:77. Let him establish the fires (the second time) in the rainy season. The rains are all the seasons, for the rains are indeed all the seasons: hence, in counting over years, people say, 'In such and such a year (or rain, varsha) we did it; in such and such a year (or rain) we did it.' The rains, then, are one of the forms of manifestation (rûpa) of all seasons 2; and when people say, 'To-day it is as if in summer,' then that is in the rainy season; and when they say, 'To-day it is as if in spring,' then that, too, is in the rainy season. From the year (or rain, varsha), indeed, (is named) the rainy season (varshâh).

2:2:3:88. There is, moreover, an occult form (through which the rains manifest themselves in the seasons) 3. When it blows from the east, then that is the characteristic sign of spring:--when it thunders, it is that of

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summer;--when it rains, it is that of the rainy season; when it lightens, it is that of autumn 1;--when it ceases to rain, it is that of winter. The rains are all the seasons. The seasons he (Agni) entered: from out of the seasons, therefore, he now produces him.

2:2:3:99. But the sun also is all the seasons: when he rises, then it is spring;--when the cows are driven together (for milking), then it is summer;--when it is mid-day, then is the rainy season;--when it is afternoon, then it is autumn;--when he sets, then it is winter. At mid-day (madhyandina), therefore, he should establish his fires, for then that (sun) is nearest to this world, and hence he produces that (fire) from the nearest centre (madhya).

2:2:3:1010. Verily, this man is affected with evil, as with a shadow. But then (at mid-day) that (evil) of his (like his shadow) is smallest, and shrinks, as it were, beneath his foot: hence he thereby crushes that evil, when it is smallest. For this reason also he should establish his fires (the second time) at mid-day.

2:2:3:1111. He takes it out (from the Gârhapatya) by means of sacrificial grass. By means of fire-wood, indeed, he takes it out the first time; and (were he to take it out) with fire-wood the first time, and with fire-wood the second time, he would commit a repetition, and raise a conflict. Now sacrificial grass means water, and the rainy season also means water. He (Agni) entered the seasons: with water he accordingly produces him from out of the waters; this is why he takes it (the fire) out by means of sacrificial grass.

2:2:3:1212. Having prepared an (ordinary) rice cake on

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two arka 1 leaves, he puts it in the place where he is about to establish the Gârhapatya fire, and thereon lays down the Gârhapatya.

2:2:3:1313. Having prepared a (second) barley cake on two arka leaves, he puts it in the place where he is about to establish the Âhavanîya fire, and thereon lays down the Âhavanîya. [Some do so] arguing, 'Thereby we cover them with the first two fires;' but let him not do so, for it is by the nights that they come to be covered.

2:2:3:1414. He then offers to Agni a sacrificial cake (purodâsa) on five potsherds 2. Its offering prayers and invitatory prayers consist of paṅkti strophes of five pâdas each 3; for there are five seasons, and the seasons he (Agni) entered: from the seasons he accordingly produces him.

2:2:3:1515. The whole (sacrifice) belongs to Agni; for it was thereby that Tvashtri entered Agni's beloved abode, and therefore the whole (sacrifice) belongs to Agni 4.

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2:2:3:1616. They perform it (with the formulas pronounced) in a low voice; for if one wishes to prepare anything specially for a relative or friend, one must take care to keep it secret. Now the other sacrifice belongs to all the deities, but this belongs specially to Agni; and what is (kept) secret, that is (spoken of) in a low voice: this is why they perform it in a low voice.

2:2:3:1717. The last after-offering he performs aloud; for then he has completed his work, and every one becomes aware of what has been done.

2:2:3:1818. Having uttered his call (and having been responded to by the Âgnîdhra) 1, he says (to the Hotri), 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the Samidhs (kindling-sticks)!'--the latter being one of Agni's mystic forms of manifestation (rûpa); but he may also say, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the fires!'--that being Agni's real (exoteric) form 2.

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2:2:3:1919. He (the Hotri) recites 1, '. . . They (the Samidhs), O Agni, may accept of the butter! Vaughak 2!' '. . . He (Tanûnapât) may accept the fire of the butter! Vaughak!' '. . . . They (the Ids) may, through Agni, accept of the butter! Vaughak!' '. . . It (the barhis), the fire, may accept of the butter! Vaughak!'

2:2:3:2020. He then says 3, 'Svâhâ Agnim!' with reference to Agni's butter-portion;--'Svâhâ Agnim Pavamânam!' if they determine upon (offering to) Agni, the blowing 4; or 'Svâhâ Agnim Indumantam!' if they determine upon Agni, the drop-abounding 5;--'Svâhâ Agnim!'--'Svâhâ, the butter-drinking Agnis! May Agni graciously accept of the butter!'--this is the offering-prayer he (the Hotri) pronounces.

2:2:3:2121. He (the Adhvaryu) then says, with regard to Agni's (first) butter-portion, 'Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni!' He (the Hotri) recites 6, 'Awake Agni with praise, enkindling the immortal, that he may take our offerings to the gods!' For, indeed, when Agni is removed (from the hearth) 7, he, as it were, sleeps: he (the priest) now awakens, rouses

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him. For the offering-prayer he recites, 'May Agni graciously accept of the butter!'

2:2:3:2222. And, if they determine upon (offering the second butter-portion to (Agni Pavamâna, let him then say, 'Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni Pavamâna;' and he (the Hotri) recites (Rig-veda IX, 16, 19), 'O Agni, thou breathest forth life; produce thou food and sap for us! drive far away misfortune!' For thus, indeed, it becomes of the nature of Agni. Pavamâna (the one that becomes purified) means the Soma; but this (Soma-element) they eliminate from the butter-portion of Soma 1. For the offering-prayer he recites, 'May Agni Pavamâna graciously accept of the butter!'

2:2:3:2323. If, on the other hand, they determine upon (offering to) Agni Indumat, let him say, 'Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni Indumat!' He (the Hotri) recites (Rig-veda VI, 16, 16), 'Come hither, I will gladly sing to thee yet other songs, O Agni! mayest thou grow strong by these draughts (indu, drop).' Thus, indeed, it becomes of the nature of Agni: the draught doubtless means Soma, but this (Soma-element) they eliminate from the butter-portion of Soma. For the offering-prayer he recites, 'May Agni, the drop-abounding, graciously accept of the butter!' And thus he makes it all of the nature of Agni.

2:2:3:2424. He then says, as to the chief offering (havis), 'Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni!' 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to Agni!' 'Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni Svishtakrit (the maker of good offerings)!' 'Pronounce the offering-prayer

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to Agni Svishtakri1!' Then where (otherwise) he would say, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the gods 2!' he now says, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the Agnis!'

2:2:3:2525. He recites 3, '[The divine Barhis] may accept (the offering) for Agni's abundant obtainment of abundant gift! Vaughak!'--'[The divine Narâsamsa] may accept (the offering) for abundant obtainment, in Agni, of abundant gift! Vaughak!'--'The divine Agni Svishtakrit . . . .' this third (after-offering) is already in itself of the nature of Agni; and thus he makes the after-offerings relate to Agni.

2:2:3:2626. Those same case-forms (of agni) 4, which he recites in the offering-prayers, are six; namely, four at the fore-offerings, and two at the after-offerings. Now there are six seasons; and the seasons he (Agni) entered: out of the seasons he accordingly thereby produces him.

2:2:3:2727. There are either twelve or thirteen syllables (in these six case-forms) 5. Now there are either twelve or thirteen months in a year 6; and the

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year, the seasons, he (Agni) entered: out of the seasons he accordingly thereby produces him. In order to avoid sameness, no two (of these forms) are alike; but (the fault of) sameness he would undoubtedly commit, were any two of them alike. The characteristic form of the fore-offerings is (alternately), 'May they accept,' 'May it (or he) accept 1;' and that of the after-offerings is, 'For the abundant obtainment of abundant gift.'

2:2:3:2828. The priests' fee for this (sacrifice) consists of gold 2, This sacrifice belongs to Agni, and gold is Agni's seed 3: this is why the priests' fee consists of gold. Or it may be an ox; for the latter is of the nature of Agni as far as its shoulder is concerned, since its shoulder (by carrying the yoke) is as if burnt by fire. Moreover, Agni is oblation-bearer to the gods, and that (ox) bears (or draws, loads) for men: this is why an ox may be given as the priests' fee.


313:1 The Kânva text has: He said, 'Speak ye not thus; be thou a restrainer of speech!'--'Speak ye not,' so (he said); for, having established the two fires, one should not speak untruthfully (mrishâ), nor should he who utters speech speak untruthfully. He should, therefore, strive to speak nothing but the truth.

313:2 If the householder who has set up his fires, finds, after a year or more, that he does not prosper in his undertakings, or if he has otherwise met with misfortunes, and thus his âdheya has not proved successful, he should set up his fires a second time. The old fires have to be put out, either early in the day on which the performance is to take place, or from three nights to a whole year previous to the ceremony. With the exceptions noticed in the sequel, the performance is the same as that of the âdhâna.

314:1 Compare the corresponding legend Taitt, S. I, 5, 1; according to which the gods deposited their precious goods (vâmam vasu) with Agni; and Pûshan and Tvashtri, on performing sacrifice to Agni exclusively (the punarâdhyeya), became possessed of the cattle, whence the latter are said to belong to Pûshan (paushna) and to Tvashtri (tvâshtra). Afterwards Manu and Dhâtri (here identified with the year) also performed the ceremony. See also Sat. Br. II, 3, 4, 1 seq.

314:2 Or, since it is to Tvashtri that all form belongs.

315:1 Gyotir amutra punyalokatvâ, lit, 'a light by (way of) blissful state.' The Kânva text has the same reading.

315:2 This speculation is based on the identity of the words for year (varsha; also 'rain') and the rains, or rainy season (varshâh).

315:3 The characteristics of the seasons here selected are supposed to have a special connection with the rain and rainy season.

316:1 During the autumn, or sultry season succeeding the rains, there are frequent displays of sheet-lightning along the horizon at night.

317:1 Calotropis Gigantea. These cakes (apûpa, not purodâsa, have first to be cooked either on the Avasathya, or on a secular fire. Before the cakes are then put on the Gârhapatya and Âhavanîya fire-places, the latter have to be consecrated in the usual way (cf. p. 2); and, after the putting on of the cakes, the fire-places are sprinkled by the Adhvaryu, while the sacrificer holds on to him from behind. Katy. IV, 11, 8, Schol.

317:2 Viz. he performs an ishti with such a rice-cake for the havis, as a substitute for the tanûhavir-ishtis, offered after the full-offering, at the âdhâna. See II, 2, 1, 6, and note.

317:3 The paṅkti consists of five octosyllabic pâdas. The anuvâkyâ and yâgyâ at the chief offering are Rig-veda IV, 10, 2 and 4; those of the svishtakrit, ib., verses 4 and 1.--Âsv. II, 8, 14.

317:4 The offering prayers of all libations and offerings at this ishti must therefore contain Agni's name. At each of the fore-offerings and after-offerings a different case-form of agni is added after the respective objects of those offerings,--thus, '. . . samidho agne p. 318 ’gna âgyasya vyantu,' 'tanûnapâd agnim agna . . .,' 'ido agninâgne . . .,' &c. See par. 19; also p. 148, n. 2; I, 5, 4, 1 seq.; I, 8, 2, 1 seq. The two butter-portions otherwise offered to Agni or Soma respectively (cf. I, 6, 1, 20 seq.) are in this case offered to Agni; the anuvâkyâs, according to Âsv. II, 8, 7, being Rig-veda VIII, 44, I, and VI, 16, 16 respectively. See, however, paragraphs 21 seq.

318:1 Viz. the Adhvaryu calls, Õ srâvaya, 'cause (him or one) to hear!' and the Âgnîdhra responds by Astu sraushat, 'yea, may he (or one) hear!'

318:2 Here, at the first fore-offering, an option is apparently left between the former, regular summons (see I, 5, 3, 8), and the latter, modified so as to make it apply directly to Agni. Katy. IV, 11, 11 allows the same option for the first prayâga and anuyâga. For the latter, however, see further on, par. 24. The Kânva recension has as follows:--Now when the Adhvaryu, on stepping over (to the south side) and uttering his call (for the Âgnîdhra) to bid attention, says, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the Samidhs!' then that, indeed, is one of Agni's forms of manifestation (âgneyam eva tad rûpam); but here let him say, as it were, p. 319 in a mystic way, 'Pronounce the offering-prayer to the Agnis!' (paroksham iva tv agnîn yageti haiva tatra brûyât.)

319:1 See p. 317, note 4.

319:2 A modification of the ordinary vaushat. The Kânva text has here and in par. 25, as usual, vaushal.

319:3 At the fifth fore-offering; see I, 5, 3, 22 seq.

319:4 See II, 2, 1, 6, and note; also II, 2, 1, 22.

319:5 This points forward to the second butter-portion, which is offered to Agni Pavamâna or Agni Indumat, instead of Soma; the first being offered to Agni simply. Kâty. IV, 11, I2.

319:6 Rig-veda V, 14, 1. See, however, the formulas prescribed by Âsvalâyana, p. 317, note 4.

319:7 The fire laid down at the âdheya is removed when the punarâdheya is to be performed.

320:1 Viz. that second butter-portion which by right belongs to Soma (see I, 6, 1, 20 seq.), but is here offered to Agni.

321:1 For the formulas of the chief offering and Svishtakrit, see p. 317, note 3.

321:2 That is, at the altar-offerings; see I, 8, 2, 14. Cf. also p. 318, note 2.

321:3 See I, 8, 2, 15. Here a different case-form of the word agni (viz. agneh and agnau) is inserted in the offering-formulas of the first two anuyâgas, immediately after the word indicating the object of the offering; the formula of the third and last anuyâga already containing the nominative agnih in the same place.

321:4 See p. 317, note 4.

321:5 The locative case agnau, inserted in the offering-prayer of the second after-offering, is optionally made trisyllabic by being written and pronounced agnâ-u.

321:6 For other allusions to intercalary months in the Vedic texts, see Weber, Naxatra, II, p. 336.

322:1 See I, 5, 3, 35.

322:2 See also II, 2, 4, 15. In Taitt. S. I, 5, 12 (referred to Kâty. XI, 2, 37) 'white gold' (ragatam hiranyam), i.e. silver, is expressly mentioned as unsuitable for the dakshinâ. The reason adduced is that, when the gods claimed back the goods deposited with Agni, he wept, and the tears he shed became silver; and hence, if one were to give silver as a dakshinâ, there would be weeping in his house before a year had passed.

322:3 See II, 1, 1, 5.

Next: II, 2, 4. Fourth Brâhmana