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

Satapatha Brahmana Part II (SBE26), Julius Eggeling tr. [1885], at



4:4:5:11. He now betakes himself to the expiatory bath (avabhritha). The reason why he betakes himself to the expiatory bath is this. What vital sap there has been in him (Soma and the sacrificer), that (sap) of his he (the priest) has produced (extracted) for the offerings. Now that body (of Soma, i.e.

p. 379

the Soma-husks),--there is no sap in it; (yet) it is not to be cast away: they take it down to the water and--water being sap--he puts that sap into it. Thus he unites him with that sap, and thus he produces him from it,--he (Soma), even when produced, produces him (the sacrificer) 1: and because they take it down (ava-hri 2) to the water, therefore (the bath is called) avabhritha.

4:4:5:22. In the first place he performs the Samishtayagus offerings, for the Samishtayagus are the extreme end of the sacrifice. As soon as he has performed the Samishtayagus, they go together to the kâtvâla (pit) with whatever he (the sacrificer) has about him 3: both the black-deer's horn 4 and the girdle he throws into the pit,--

4:4:5:33. With (Vâg. S. VIII, 23), 'Be thou nor adder nor viper!' Now when they take the Soma-husks down to the water, that forsooth is the wishing of 'good-speed 5!' to it, and this now is the 'good-speed!' to him (the sacrificer); for snakes are like rope, and snakes' haunts are like wells (pits), and there is as it were a feud between men and snakes: 'Lest that should spring therefrom,' he thinks, and therefore he says, 'Be thou nor adder nor viper!'

p. 380

4:4:5:44. He then makes (the sacrificer) say (Rig-veda I, 24, 8), 'Broad forsooth is the path which king Varuna hath made for the sun to walk along,'--whereby he means to say, 'even as there is for the sun that broad path, free from danger and injury, so may there be for me here a broad path, free from danger and injury.'

4:4:5:55. 'For the footless hath he made feet to put down 1,' for, although he (the sun) is footless, yet he is able to walk;--'And the forbidder is he of all that woundeth the heart,'--thus he frees him from every guilt and evil of the heart.

4:4:5:66. He then says, 'Sing the Sâman!' or 'Speak the Sâman!' but let him rather say 'Sing,' for they do sing the Sâman. The reason why he sings the Sâman is that the evil spirits may not injure that body of his outside the sacrifice, for the Sâman is a repeller of the evil spirits.

4:4:5:77. He (the Prastotri) sings a (verse) to Agni, for Agni is a repeller of the evil spirits. He sings in the Atikhandas; for this, the Atikhandas, is all the metres 2: therefore he sings in the Atikhandas.

4:4:5:88. He sings, 'Agni burneth, Agni encountereth with flames,--Ahâvah! Ahâvah 3!' Thus he drives the evil spirits away from here.

p. 381

4:4:5:99. They walk out (from the sacrificial ground) northwards, along the back of the pit and the front side of the Âgnîdhra: then they proceed in whatever direction the water is.

4:4:5:1010. Where there is a standing pool of flowing water, there let him (the sacrificer) descend into the water--for whatsoever parts of flowing water flow not, these are holden by Varuna; and the expiatory bath belongs to Varuna--to free himself from Varuna. But if he does not find such, he may descend into any water.

4:4:5:1111. While he makes him descend into the water, he bids him say, 'Homage be to Varuna: downtrodden is Varuna's snare!' thus he delivers him from every snare of Varuna, from every (infliction 1) of Varuna.

4:4:5:1212. Thereupon, taking ghee in four ladlings, and throwing down a kindling-stick (on the water), he offers thereon, with (Vâg. S. VIII, 24), 'The face of Agni, the waters, have I entered, escaping from the power of demons, O son of the waters! In every homestead offer thou the log, O Agni! let thy tongue dart forth towards the ghee,--Hail!'

4:4:5:1313. Now, once on a time, the gods made so much of Agni, as would go in 2, enter the water, in order that the evil spirits should not rise therefrom; for Agni is the repeller of evil spirits. It is him he kindles by this kindling-stick and by this

p. 382

oblation, thinking 'On the kindled (fire) will I offer to the gods!'

4:4:5:1414. Then, having taken ghee a second time in four ladlings, and having called for the (Âgnîdhra's) Sraushat, he says, 'Pronounce the offering prayer to the Kindling-sticks!' He offers four fore-offerings, omitting that to the Barhis 1--the Barhis being offspring, and the expiatory bath belonging to Varuna--lest Varuna should seize upon his offspring. This is why he offers four fore-offerings, omitting that to the Barhis.

4:4:5:1515. Then follows a cake on one potsherd for Varuna. For whatever sap there had been in him (Soma), that sap of his he has produced (extracted) for the offerings. Now that body: there is no sap in it. But the cake is sap: that sap he puts into it. Thus he unites him with that sap, and so produces him from it,--he (Soma), even when produced, produces him (the sacrificer): hence there is a cake on -one potsherd for Varuna.

4:4:5:1616. Having made an 'underlayer' of ghee (in the offering-spoon), he says, while making the cuttings from the cake 2, 'Recite (the invitatory prayer) to Varuna!' Here now some make two cuttings from the Soma-husks, but let him not do so; for that (heap of husks) is an empty body, unfit for offering. He makes two cuttings (from the cake) and bastes them once with ghee, and anoints (replenishes the places whence) the cuttings (have been made). Having called for the Sraushat, he says, 'Recite the

p. 383

offering prayer to Varuna!' and offers as the Vashat is uttered.

4:4:5:1717. Then, having made an underlayer of ghee, he says, while putting the (remainder of the) cake (into the spoon), 'Recite the invitatory prayer to Agni and Varuna!' This is for (Agni) Svishtakri1; and as to why he does not say 'To Agni,' it is lest Varuna might seize upon Agni. If before he has cut twice from the Soma-husks, he now does so once, but if (he did) not, he need not heed it. He then bastes it twice with butter on the upper side; and having called for the Sraushat, he says, 'Recite the offering prayer to Agni and Varuna!' and offers as the Vashat is uttered.

4:4:5:1818. Now these are six oblations; for there are six seasons in the year, and Varuna is the year: hence there are six oblations.

4:4:5:1919. This is the course of the Âdityas 2; and these Yagus, they say, belong to the Âdityas. Let (the Adhvaryu) endeavour to perform as much of it as is his (the sacrificer's) wish. And if the sacrificer tell him to do otherwise, then he should do otherwise. He may also perform those same four fore-offerings,--omitting that to the Barhis--two butter-portions, (the oblations of cake) to Varuna and Agni-Varuna, and two after-offerings,--omitting the one to the Barhis;--this makes ten. Now the virâg consists

p. 384

of ten syllables, and the sacrifice is virâg: thus he makes the sacrifice to be like the virâg.

4:4:5:2020. This is the course of the Aṅgiras. Having performed the offerings either way, (the Adhvaryu) makes the pot, in which the husks are, float with (Vâg. S. VIII, 25), 'In the ocean, in the waters, is thy heart (O Soma)'--for the ocean is the waters, and water is sap: that sap he now puts into him (Soma), and thus he unites him with that sap, and produces him therefrom; and he (Soma), even when produced, produces him (the sacrificer);--'May the plants and the waters unite with thee!'--thereby he puts two kinds of sap into him, that which is in plants, and that which is in water,--'that we may serve thee, O lord of the sacrifice, in the singing of praises and the utterance of worship 1, with Svâhâ!' Whatever is good in the sacrifice, that he thereby puts into him.

4:4:5:2121. Thereupon, letting it go, he stands by it with (Vâg. S. VIII, 26), 'Ye divine waters, this is your child,'--for he (Soma) indeed is the child of the waters,--'bear ye him, well-beloved, well-nourished!' he thereby makes him over to the waters for protection--'This, O divine Soma, is thine abode: thrive thou well therein, and thrive thou 2 thoroughly!' whereby he means to say, 'Be thou therein for our happiness, and shield us from all inflictions!'

p. 385

4:4:5:2222. He then immerses it with (Vâg. S. VIII, 27), 'O laving bath, laving thou glidest along: with the help of the gods may I wipe out the sin committed against the gods; and with the help of the mortals that committed against mortals!'--for the sin committed against the gods he has indeed wiped out with the help of the gods, namely, with the help of king Soma; and the sin committed against mortals he has wiped out with the help of mortals, namely, by means of the animal victim and the sacrificial cake--'Preserve me, O god, from injury from the fiercely-howling (demon)!' whereby he means to say, 'Preserve me from all inflictions!'

4:4:5:2323. Thereupon both (the sacrificer and his wife) having descended, bathe, and wash each other's back. Having wrapped themselves in fresh garments 1 they step out: even as a snake casts its skin, so does he cast away all his sin,--there is not in him even as much sin as there is in a toothless child. By the same way by which they came out (from the sacrificial ground), they return thither 2; and, having returned, he puts a kindling-stick on the Âhavanîya (at the front hall-door) with, 'Thou art the kindler of the gods!' He thereby kindles the sacrificer himself,

p. 386

for along with the kindling of the gods the sacrificer is kindled 1.


379:1 ? That is, as the Soma plants become juicy again, so the sacrificer has his vital sap or spirit restored.

379:2 Or, according to the St. Petersburg Dictionary, 'they throw it into the water.'

379:3 Or, whatever is connected with Soma (?). According to Kâty. X, 8, 12, 19 the throne (âsandî) and Audumbarî, as well as the Soma vessels, Dronakalasa, &c., are to be carried in the first place to the kâtvâla, and from there to the water.

379:4 See III, 2, 1, 18. The Pratiprasthâtri is silently to throw after the lady's zone and peg (for scratching herself).

379:5 For the 'svagâkâra,' see I, 8, 3, 11.

380:1 Or, 'To the footless he has given to put down his feet:' in either sense it seems to be taken by the author of the Brâhmana (and the St. Petersburg Dictionary). Perhaps, however, 'apade' had better be taken, with Mahîdhara (and Sâyana?), in the sense of 'padarahite,' i.e. 'in the trackless (ether) he caused him (the sun) to plant his feet.' Similarly Ludwig, 'Im Ortlosen hat er sie die Füsse niedersetzen lassen.'

380:2 'Eshâ vai sarvam ati yad atikhandah,' Kânva text. Atikhandas, i.e. over-metre, redundant metre, is the generic term for metres consisting of more than forty-eight syllables.

380:3 All the priests, as well as the sacrificer, are to join in the p. 381 nidhana (finale, or concluding word of the Sâman). According to Kâty. X, 8, 16, 17 the Sâman is chanted thrice, viz. in starting from the kâtvâla, midway, and at the water-side.

381:1 Or guilt against Varuna. See p. 221, note 1.

381:2 Agner yâvad vâ yâvad vâ. Cf. p. 371, note 3.

382:1 For the usual five prayâgas, see I, 5, 3, 8-13.

382:2 As a rule, cakes on one potsherd are to be offered entire. The present cake, however, is to be an exception, and the usual two portions are to be cut from it. See part i, p. 192, note.

383:1 See I, 7, 3, 7 seq.

383:2 Professor Weber, Ind. Stud. X, p. 393, refers us to XIV, 9, 4, 33, where it is stated that the Vâgasaneyin Adhvaryu has to study the Yagus of the Âditya Rishi. One might also be inclined to think that, by 'Adityânâm ayanam' and 'Aṅgirasâm ayanam' the author intended to connect the Agnishtoma with the sacrificial sessions designated by those terms, for which see Âsv. Sr. XII, 1-2; Ait. Br. IV, 17, with Haug's notes.

384:1 See part i, p. 249, note 1.

384:2 'Vakshva' is by Mahîdhara (and apparently by the author of the Brâhmana) referred to 'vah;' by the St. Petersburg Dictionary to 'vas' for 'vatsva.' I have referred it to 'vaksh.' The Kânva text reads, Pari ka vakshi sam ka vakshîti pari ka no gopâya sam ka na edhîty evaitad âha.

385:1 According to the Mânava Sûtra, as quoted on Kâty. X, 9, 6, the sacrificer wraps himself in the cloth in which the Soma stalks were tied (somopanahana), and his wife in the outer cloth tied round the Soma bundle (paryânahana). The Soma vessels and implements are likewise thrown into the water.

385:2 While going thither they all mutter the Âmahîyâ verse, Rig-veda VIII, 48, 3, 'We have drunk Soma, we have become immortal, we have gone to the light, we have attained to the gods: what now can the enemy do unto us, what the guile, O immortal, of the mortal?'

386:1 The sacrificer sits down behind the sâlâdvârya fire and spreads the black deer-skin over his knees; the Adhvaryu then making an oblation of ghee from the dipping-spoon.

Next: IV, 5, 1. Fifth Adhyâya. First Brâhmana