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1. Practise righteousness, not unrighteousness; speak truth, not untruth; look far, not near; look towards the Highest, not towards that which is not the Highest.

2. A Brâhmana is a fire. 2

3. For the Veda (says), 'Agni, forsooth, is a Brâhmana.' 3

4. And how is that?

5. And it is also declared in the Kâthaka, 'On that (occasion) the body of the Brâhmana who represents the sacrificial seat is the altar, the vow to perform the rite is the sacrifice, the soul is the animal to be slain, the intellect the rope (with which the animal is bound), the mouth of (the Brâhmana) who represents the seat is the Âhavanîya fire, in his navel (is the Dakshinâ fire), the fire in his abdomen is the Gârhapatya fire, the Prâna is the Adhvaryu priest, the Apâna, the Hotri priest, the Vyâna the Brahman, the Samâna the Udgâtri priest, the organs of sensation the sacrificial vessels. He who knowing this offers a sacrifice to the organs through the organs.' . . . 5

6. Now they quote also (the following verses): 'An offering placed in the mouth-fire of a Brâhmana

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which is rich in Veda-fuel, protects and saves the giver and (the eater) himself from sin.'

7. 'But the offering made through the mouth of a Brâhmana, which is neither spilt nor causes pain (to sentient creatures), nor assails him (who makes it), is far more excellent than an Agnihotra.' 7

8. After performing a mental sacrifice at which meditation (takes the place of the sacred) fire, truthfulness (the place of) the sacred fuel, patience (the place of) the oblation, modesty (the place of) the sacrificial spoon, abstention from injuring living beings (the place of the) sacrificial cake, contentment (the place of) the sacrificial post, (and a promise of) safety given to all beings which is hard to keep (the place of) the reward given to the priests, a wise man goes to his (eternal) home. 8

9. The hair of an aging man shows signs of age, (and) the teeth of an aging man show signs of age, (but) the desire to live and the desire for wealth do not decay even in an aging man.

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10. Happiness (is the portion) of that man who relinquishes (all) desire, which fools give up with difficulty, which does not diminish with age, and which is a life-long disease.

11. Adoration to Vasishtha Satayâtu, the son of Mitra and Varuna and Urvasî!


138:2 XXX. See above, III, 10.

138:3 Satapatha-brâhmana I, 4, 22.

138:5 Krishnapandita divides the passage into thirteen Sûtras, and connects tatra, 'on that occasion,' with the preceding Sûtra. 'On that (occasion),' i.e. if a Brâhmana is fed.

139:7 Manu VII, 84; Yâgñavalkya I, 315. Krishnapandita's reading, nainam adhyâkate ka yah, which occurs also in B., is nonsense. I read with Bh. nainamadhyâpatekka yat, and take adhyâpatet, 'assails (the giver),' in the sense of 'troubles him by causing the performance of penances, on account of mistakes committed.' Manu's version, na vinasyati karhikit, 'and never perishes,' is of course an easier one, but it seems to me doubtful whether it is older than Vasishtha's.

139:8 The passage, which is probably a quotation from an Upanishad, is very corrupt in the MSS. and Krishnapandita's text. I correct it as follows:

Dhyânâgnih satyopakayanam kshântyâhutih
sruvamhrîh purodâsamahimsâ samtosho
yûpah krikkhram bhûtebhyo ’bhayadâkshinyam iti
kritvâ kratum mânasam yâti kshayam budhah.

[paragraph continues] But I am not confident that all the difficulties have been removed.

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