Satapatha Brahmana Part V (SBE44), Julius Eggeling tr. , at sacred-texts.com
14:1:3:11. Now at the time when he there 2 proceeds with the guest-meal, he who intends to perform the Pravargya, prior to the Upasads 3, spreads Kusa grass with its tops directed towards the east, in front of the Gârhapatya, and places the vessels thereon in pairs 4,--the Upayamanî (tray) and the Mahâvîra (pot), the pair of lifting-sticks 5, the
two milking-bowls, the two Rauhina-plates, the two offering spoons for the Rauhina (cakes), and whatever other (implement) there is,--these make ten, for the Virâg consists of ten syllables, and the sacrifice is Virâg: he thus makes this to be equal to the Virâg, the sacrifice. And as to their being in pairs,--a pair means strength, for when two take hold of each other they exert strength; and a pair (couple) means a productive union: with a productive union he thus supplies and completes it.
14:1:3:22. Then the Adhvaryu takes the (lustral) sprinkling water, and, stepping up, says, 'Brahman, we shall proceed: Hotri, sing praises!' for the Brahman is seated on the right (south) side as the guardian of the sacrifice: to him he thus says, 'Sit thou undistracted: we are about to restore the head of the Sacrifice;' and 'Hotri, sing praises!' he says, because the Hotri is the sacrifice: he thus thereby says to him, 'Restore the head of the sacrifice!' and accordingly the Hotri begins to recite--
14:1:3:33. [Vâg. S. XIII, 3,] ‘The Brahman, firstborn from afore 1,--the Brahman, doubtless, is yonder
sun, and he is born day by day from afore (in the east); and the Pravargya also is that (sun): it is him he thus gratifies, and therefore he says, 'The Brahman (n.), firstborn from afore.' He then sprinkles (the vessels): the import of this is the same as before 1.
14:1:3:44. He sprinkles (the chief Mahâvîra) with (Vâg. S. XXXVII, 11), 'For Yama thee!'--Yama, doubtless, is he who shines yonder, for it is he who controls (yam) everything here, and by him everything here is controlled; and the Pravargya also is that (sun): it is him he thus gratifies, and therefore he says, 'For Yama (I sprinkle) thee.'
14:1:3:55. 'For Makha thee!'--Makha, doubtless, is he who shines yonder, and the Pravargya also is that one: it is him he thus gratifies, and therefore he says, 'For Makha thee.'
14:1:3:66. 'For Sûrya's heat thee!'--Sûrya, doubtless, is he who shines yonder, and the Pravargya also is that one: it is him he thus gratifies, and therefore he says, 'For Sûrya's heat thee.'
14:1:3:77. Having taken out a post 2 by the front door (of the sâlâ), he drives it into the ground on the south side (of the sâlâ 3), so that the Hotri, whilst singing praises, may look upon it; for the Hotri is the sacrifice, and he thereby restores the sacrifice to this (earth), and she causes the Gharma (milk) to rise.
14:1:3:88. Having turned round the Emperor's throne-seat 1 in front of the Âhavanîya, he places it south thereof, and north of the King's (Soma's) throne-seat 2, so as to face the east.
14:1:3:99. It is made of Udumbara wood, for the Udumbara means strength: with strength, with vital sap, he thus supplies and completes it (the Pravargya).
14:1:3:1010. It is shoulder-high, for on the shoulders this head is set: he thus sets the head upon the shoulders.
14:1:3:1111. It is wound all over with cords 3 of Balvaga grass (Eleusine indica). When the sacrifice had its head cut off, its vital sap flowed out, and thence these plants grew up: with that life-sap he thus supplies and completes it.
14:1:3:1212 And as to why he places it north (of Soma's seat),--Soma is the sacrifice, and the Pravargya is its head; but the head is higher (uttara): therefore he places it north (uttara) of it. Moreover, Soma is king, and the Pravargya is emperor, and the imperial dignity is higher than the royal: therefore he places it north of it 4.
14:1:3:1313. And when the Hotri recites this (verse, Rig-v. V, 43, 7), 'Whom the priests anoint, as if spreading him . . .,' he anoints that Mahâvîra which is to be used, all over with ghee 1, with, 'May the god Savitri anoint thee with honey!' for Savitri is the impeller of the gods, and honey means everything whatever there is here: he thus anoints it (or him) all over with everything here, and Savitri, as the impeller, impels it for him,--this is why he says, 'May the god Savitri anoint thee with honey!'
14:1:3:1414. Now sand has been strewed 2 on the north side of it: below that he (previously) throws (a plate of) white gold 3, with, 'Protect it from contact with the earth!' For at that time the gods were afraid lest the Rakshas, the fiends, might injure that (Pravargya) of theirs from below; and that, to wit, gold, being Agni's seed, it (serves) for repelling the fiends, the Rakshas. But, indeed, the Earth also was afraid of this lest this (Pravargya), when heated and glowing 4, might injure
her: he thus keeps it separate from her. White it is, for white, as it were 1, is this earth.
14:1:3:1515. And when the Hotri recites this (verse, Rig-v. I, 36, 9), 'Sit thee down: thou art great . . .,' sheaths of reed-grass are kindled on both sides 2, and throwing them (on the mound), he puts (the Mahâvîra pot) thereon. When the sacrifice had its head cut off, its life-sap flowed away, and therefrom these plants grew up: with that life-sap he thus supplies and completes it.
14:1:3:1616. And as to why they are kindled on both sides: he thereby repels the Rakshas, the fiends, from all the quarters. Whilst this (pot) is being heated, the (Sacrificer's) wife covers her head, thinking, 'Lest this one, when heated and glowing, should rob me of my eyesight,' for it indeed becomes heated and glowing.
14:1:3:1717. He puts it on with, 'Flame thou art, glow thou art, heat thou art;'--for the Gharma is he who shines yonder, and he indeed is all that: it is him he thus gratifies, and therefore he says, 'Flame thou art, glow thou art, heat thou art.'
14:1:3:1818. He (the Sacrificer) then invokes blessings on this (earth) 3, for the sacrifice is this (earth): it is thus (whilst being) on her that he invokes blessings, and she fulfils them all for him.
14:1:3:1919. [Vâg. S. XXXVII, 12,] 'Unmolested thou art in front (in the east),'--for unmolested by the Rakshas, the fiends, indeed, this (earth) is in front;--'in Agni's over-lordship,'--he thus makes Agni her over-lord for the warding off of the fiends, the Rakshas;--'grant thou life unto me!'--he thus secures life for himself, and accordingly he attains the full (term of) life.
14:1:3:2020. 'Possessed of sons towards the south,'--in this there is nothing hidden, so to speak;--'in Indra's over-lordship,'--he thus makes Indra her over-lord for the warding off of the fiends, the Rakshas;--'grant thou offspring unto me!'--he thus secures offspring and cattle for himself, and accordingly he becomes possessed of sons and of cattle.
14:1:3:2121. 'Well to live on behind (towards the western region),'--in this there is nothing hidden, so to speak;--'in god Savitri's over-lordship;'--the god Savitri he thus makes her over-lord for the warding off of the fiends, the Rakshas;--'grant thou eyesight unto me!'--he thus secures eyesight for himself, and accordingly he becomes possessed of eyesight.
14:1:3:2222. 'A sphere of hearing towards the north,'--'causing (sacrificial calls) to be heard 1,' is what he thereby means to say;--'in the creator's over-lordship,'--the creator he thus
makes her over-lord for the warding off of the fiends, the Rakshas; 'grant thou prosperity (increase) of wealth unto me!'--wealth, prosperity, he thus secures for himself, and accordingly he becomes wealthy and prosperous.
14:1:3:2323. 'Disposition above,'--'disposing 1 above' is what he thereby means to say;--'in Brihaspati's over-lordship,'--Brihaspati he thus makes her over-lord for the warding off of the fiends, the Rakshas;--'grant me vigour!'--vigour he thereby secures to himself, and accordingly he becomes vigorous, strong.
14:1:3:2424. On the right (south) side (of the Mahâvîra) he (the Sacrificer) then makes amends by (laying down) the hand with the palm upwards, with, 'Shield me from all evil spirits!' whereby he means to say, 'Protect me from all troubles!' When the sacrifice had its head cut off, its life-sap flowed away, and went to the Fathers, but the Fathers are three in number 2: it is with these that he thus supplies and completes it (the Pravargya).
14:1:3:2525. Thereupon, whilst touching her (the earth) 3,
[paragraph continues] 'Thou art Manu's mare,' for, having become a mare, she (the earth) indeed carried Manu, and he is her lord, Pragâpati: with that mate, his heart's delight, he thus supplies and completes him (Pragâpati, the Pravargya, and Sacrificer).
14:1:3:2626. He then lays pieces of (split) Vikaṅkata wood round (the Mahâvîra), two pointing to the east 1, with (Vâg. S. XXXVII, 13), 'Hail! be thou encompassed by the Maruts!'--the call of 'hail!' he places first, and the deity last 2; for the call of 'hail!' is he who shines yonder, and the Pravargya also is that (sun): it is him he thus gratifies; and hence he places the call of 'hail!' first, and the deity last.
14:1:3:2727. 'Be thou encompassed by the Maruts,' he says; for the Maruts are the (common) people: he thus surrounds the nobility by the people, whence the nobility here is surrounded on both sides by the people. Silently (he lays down) two pointing to the north 3, silently (again) two pointing to the east, silently two pointing to the north, silently two pointing to the east.
14:1:3:2828. He makes them to amount to thirteen, for there are thirteen months in the year, and the
year is he who shines yonder, and the Pravargya also is that (sun): it is him he thus gratifies, and hence he makes them to amount to thirteen.
14:1:3:2929. He then places a gold plate (weighing a hundred grains) on the top (of the pot), with, 'Protect it from contact with the sky!' For at that time the gods were afraid lest the Rakshas, the fiends, might injure that (Pravargya) of theirs from above; and that--to wit, gold--being Agni's seed, it (serves) for repelling the fiends, the Rakshas. But, indeed, the Sky also was afraid of this lest this (Pravargya), when heated and glowing, might injure it: he thus keeps it separate therefrom. It is yellow, for yellow, as it were, is the sky.
14:1:3:3030. He (the Adhvaryu) then fans (the fire) thrice by means of (three) fans 1, whilst muttering, 'Honey!' each time; for honey means breath: he thus lays breath into it. Three (fans) there are, for there are three breathings, the out (and in)-breathing, the up-breathing and the through-breathing: it is these he thus lays into it.
14:1:3:3131. They then fan it thrice 2 in the non-sunwise way. When the sacrifice had its head cut off, its life-sap flowed away, and went to the Fathers,--the Fathers being three in number 3: with them he thus supplies it.
14:1:3:3232. But, indeed, the breathings depart from those who perform the fanning at the sacrifice. They
fan again thrice in the sunwise way,--this makes six; and six in number are these breathings (vital airs) in the head: it is these he thus lays into it. They cook the two Rauhina (cakes). When a blaze is produced, he takes off the gold (plate).
14:1:3:3333. And when the Hotri recites this (verse, Rig-v. I, 112, 24), 'Successful, O Asvins, make ye our voice,' the Adhvaryu steps up, and says, 'The Gharma is aglow 1.' If it be aglow, he may know that the Sacrificer will become more prosperous; and if it be not aglow, he may know that he will become poorer; and if it be neither aglow nor the reverse, he may know that he (the Sacrificer) will become neither more prosperous nor poorer: but indeed (the pot) should be fanned so (long) as to be aglow.
14:1:3:3434. 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 2.
458:2 That is, at the Soma-sacrifice, of the preliminary day (upavasatha) of which the guest-meal to, or hospitable reception (âtithya) of, King Soma forms part (see part ii, p. 85 seqq.). The assumption here is, that the performance of the Pravargya takes place on that day before the Pressing-day, whilst in reality it has been performed for at least two days before that.
458:3 See III, 4, 4, 1. The Upasads are performed twice daily, for at least three days, up to the day before the Soma-sacrifice; and if the Pravargya is to be performed likewise, it precedes immediately each performance of the Upasad. Cf. also XIV, 3, 1, 1 with note.
458:4 Prior to this, the doors of the sâlâ are to be closed, to keep the Mahâvîra from being seen; see p. 452, note 2. The entire performance of the Pravargya indeed has to be kept secret from the eyes of unauthorised persons.
458:5 The 'parîsâsau' (also called 'saphau,' XIV, 2, 1, 16) are two p. 459 pieces of wood or laths apparently fastened together by a kind of clasp (or a cord) at one end, so as to serve the purpose of a pair of tongs (parîsâsau samdamsâkârau, comm. on Kâty. XXVI, 2, to) for taking up the Mahâvîra pot, which must not be handled in any other way. According to Haug, Ait. Br., Transl., p. 51, they are placed underneath the pot in lifting it, but this seems very improbable, seeing that, at the end of the sacrifice, the Adhvaryu, by means of them, turns the pot upside down so as to pour the remainder of its contents into the offering spoon (see Kâty. XXIV, 6, 17 with comm.); nor could the blackened pot in that way be cleansed properly and placed on the supporting tray (XIV, 2, 1, 16-17).
459:1 For the complete verse, see VII, 4, 1, 14. For the complete p. 460 series of texts recited by the Hotri, see Ait. Br. I, 19 seqq.; Âsv. Sr. IV, 6.
460:1 Viz. he makes the vessels sacrificially pure (I, 3, 3, 1).
460:2 For tying the cow that is to furnish the milk for the Gharma. Near it a peg is driven into the ground to tie the goat to whose milk is to be used afterwards.
460:3 That would be, south of the southern door (Âpast. XV, 6,-23).
461:1 The Pravargya is styled 'samrâg,' or universal king, emperor; as distinguished from King Soma, for whose seat, reaching only up to the navel, see III, 3, 4, 26 seqq. (Cf. also that of the Ukhya Agni, which is only a span high, VI, 7, I, 1, 22 seqq.)--For a similar attribution of imperial dignity (sâmrâgya)--as well as royal dignity (râgya)--to him who is consecrated by the Sautrâmanî (where the seat used is knee-high), see XII, 8, 3, 4 seqq.
461:2 Âpast. XV, 6, 10 places it in front (east) of the seat for Soma.
461:3 Cf. XII, 8, 3, 6.
461:4 According to Katy. XXVI, 2, 27 (Âpast. XV, 6, II), the black antelope-skin is then spread over the seat, and the two unused Mahâvîra pots (as well as the reserve piece of clay and the spade, Katy.) placed thereon.
462:1 Katy. XXVI, 2, 4 refers to the pot as 'containing ghee (âgyavant),' which the comm. takes to mean 'filled with consecrated ghee;' whilst Âpast. XV, 7, 5 leaves the option between greasing it (añg) and filling it (abhipûr) with ghee. It would doubtless, at all events, be abundantly greased inside.
462:2 North of the Gârhapatya and the Âhavanîya in the sâlâ two mounds (khara) are formed, covered with (or consisting of) sand. The one north of the latter fire is here alluded to.
462:3 That is, a silver plate weighing a hundred grains.
462:4 Though 'taptah' and 'susukânah' are here translated as if they were actually co-ordinate predicates, I am not sure whether we should not rather take the passage to mean,--that this glowing one, when heated; or rather, this one when heated so as to be glowing. Cf. XIV, 2, 1, 18; 3, 1, 14, where I prefer to subordinate one of the participles to the other.
463:1 I read, 'ragateva'; cf. the corresponding 'harinîva hi dyauh,' XIV, 1, 3, 29.
463:2 That is, by dividing the sheaths in the middle lengthwise, and lighting both halves in the Gârhapatya fire.
463:3 According to Katy. XXVI, 3, 5 he makes a span (of thumb and index)--or spreads his hand with the palm downwards--over the pot whilst muttering the respective formulas; apparently changing the position of the hand according to the point of the compass referred to in the formula.
464:1 Or, calling for the 'sraushat'; cf. part i, p. 131, note 2. The masculine form of the participle is somewhat peculiar as the term it is meant to explain refers to the earth. It has probably to be understood in the sense of, 'where he (viz. the Adhvaryu) calls for the sraushat.' Mahîdhara explains the term 'âsruti' by 'where they, the priests, utter the sacrificial calls,' i.e. 'meet for sacrifice.'
465:1 Here the masculine gender can hardly be understood otherwise than in the sense 'where (Brihaspati, or Brahman) disposes on high.' Mahîdhara takes no notice of this interpretation of the Brâhmana, but explains 'vidhriti' as either 'one who upholds (dhârayati) in an especial manner,' or where 'the offering spoon, &c., is held upwards (uparishtâd dhriyate,--? who holds it upwards),'--an explanation which can hardly commend itself.
465:2 This specification of the number seems to have no other object but that of limiting the general term of 'Fathers,' or deceased ancestors, to the specific signification it has at the Srâddha, where offering is made to the father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
465:3 According to Katy. XXVI, 3, 8, he does so whilst spanning the earth north of the Mahâvîra pot.
466:1 That is, along the north and the south sides of the pot, on the burning sheaths of reed grass; or rather on hot cinders heaped thereon. Katy. XXVI, 3, 9. They would partly serve the purpose of the ordinary (three) enclosing-sticks; and Âpast., indeed, calls them 'paridhi.'
466:2 Literally, the call of 'hail!' (svâhâ-kâra) he makes to be the nearer, and the deity the farther.
466:3 That is, along the west and the east sides of the pot. According to Âpast. Sr. XV, 8, 1-4, two pieces of wood are laid down alternately by the Adhvaryu and the Pratiprasthâtri, the last pieces being then laid down (on the south side) by the former priest.
467:1 They consist of pieces cut from the black antelope-skin (with black and white hair, according to Âpast. XV, 5,12), fastened to sticks.
467:2 That is, the Adhvaryu, Pratiprasthâtri, and Agnîdh then take each one of the fans, and move round the fire whilst keeping it on their left side (the Agnîdh going in front).
467:3 See p. 465, note 2.
468:1 That is, apparently, red-hot, glowing (sukita), or perhaps, entirely ablaze, enveloped in flames--outside as well as inside, owing to the ghee with which it was greased all over; hence hardly, 'bestrahlt' (illumined shone upon), as the St. Petersb. Dict. takes it; cf. susukâna, XIV, 2, 1, 18; 3, 1, 14. According to Âpast. Sr., the three priests, having completed their circumambulation, sit down on the east, south, and north side respectively, and continue to fan the pot, at the same time oiling it with ghee, until the pot is ablaze, when the Adhvaryu takes off the gold plate. According to Kâty., on the other hand, the Pratiprasthâtri proceeds with the baking of the cakes, whilst the Adhvaryu sprinkles the pot with ghee each time that the Hotri, in his recitation, utters the syllable 'om' at the end of a verse. Before the last verse, the twenty-fifth, of the same hymn concluding the first part of the recitation, a special verse, IX, 83, 3, is inserted. Âsv. Sr. IV, 6, 2-3.
468:2 See p. 458, note 1.