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The Upanishads, Part 1 (SBE01), by Max Müller, [1879], at

p. 154 p. 155


p. 156 p. 157




1. Now follows the Mahâvrata ceremony.

2. After having killed Vritra, Indra became great. When he became great, then there was the Mahâvrata (the great work). This is why the Mahâvrata ceremony is called Mahâvrata.

3. Some people say: 'Let the priest make two (recitations with the offering of the) âgya (ghee) on that day,' but the right thing is one 1.

4. He who desires prosperity should use the hymn, pra vo devâyâgnaye (Rv. III, 13, 1).

5. He who desires increase should use the hymn, viso viso atithim (Rv. VIII, 74, 1).

p. 158

6. The people (visah) indeed are increase 1, and therefore he (the sacrificer) becomes increased.

7. But (some say), there is the word atithim (in that hymn, which means a guest or stranger, asking for food). Let him not therefore take that hymn. Verily, the atithi (stranger) is able 2 to go begging.

8. 'No,' he said, 'let him take that hymn.

9. 'For he who follows the good road and obtains distinction, he is an atithi (guest) 3.

10. 'They do not consider him who is not so, worthy to be (called) an atithi (guest).

11. 'Therefore let him by all means take that hymn.'

12. If he takes that hymn, let him place the (second) tristich, âganma vritrahantamam, 'we came near to the victorious,' first.

13. For people worship the whole year (performing the Gavâmayana sacrifice) wishing for this day (the last but one)--they do come near.

14. The (next following) three tristichs begin with an Anushtubh 4. Now Brahman is Gâyatrî, speech is Anushtubh. He thus joins speech with Brahman.

15. He who desires glory should use the hymn, abodhy agnih samidhâ ganânâm (Rv. V, 1, 1).

p. 159

16. He who desires offspring and cattle should use the hymn, hotâganishta ketanah (Rv. II, 5, 1).


157:1 That it should be one only is proved from the types, i. e. from other sacrifices, that have to be followed in the performance of the Mahâvrata. The first type is the Agnishtoma, where one sastra is enjoined as âgyasastra, viz. pra vo devâyâgnaye. In the Visvagit, which has to follow the Agnishtoma, another hymn is put in its place, viz. agnim naro dîdhitibhih. In the Mahâvrata, which has to follow the Visvagit, some people recommend the use of both these hymns. But that is wrong, for there must be in the sacrifices which follow the Agnishtoma twelve sastras altogether; and if there were two here, instead of one, we should get a total of thirteen.

158:1 The word visah, which occurs in the hymn, means people. The commentator says that because the Vaisyas or tradespeople increase their capital, therefore they are called increase.

158:2 Able, or liable; cf. Ait. Âr. II, 3, 5, 7.

158:3 Atithi is here explained by yo bhavati, and bhavati is explained as walking on the good road. One expects yo vâ atati. The obtaining of distinction is probably derived from ati, above, in atithi.

158:4 In the first and second the Anushtubh is followed by two Gâyatrîs.

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