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

p. 361




2:4:2:11. Now the living beings once approached Pragâpati--beings doubtless mean creatures--and said, 'Ordain unto us in what manner we are to live!' Thereupon the gods, being properly invested with the sacrificial cord 1 and bending the right knee, approached him. To them he said, 'The sacrifice (shall be) your food; immortality your sap; and the sun your light!'

2:4:2:22. Then the fathers approached, wearing the cord on the right shoulder, and bending the left knee. To them he said, 'Your eating (shall be) monthly; your cordial (svadhâ) your swiftness of thought; and the moon your light!'

2:4:2:33. Then the men approached him, clothed and bending their bodies. To them he said, 'Your eating (shall be) in the evening and in the morning; your offspring your death; and the fire (Agni) your light!'

2:4:2:44. Then the beasts approached him. To them he granted their own choice, saying, 'Whensoever ye shall find anything, whether in season or out of season,

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ye shall eat it!' Hence whenever they find anything, whether in season or out of season, they eat it.

2:4:2:55. Thereupon--so they say--the Asuras also straightway 1 approached him. To them he gave darkness (tamas) and illusion (mâyâ): for there is indeed what is called the illusion of the Asuras. Those creatures, it is true, have perished; but creatures still subsist here in the very manner which Pragâpati ordained unto them.

2:4:2:66. Neither the gods, nor the fathers, nor beasts transgress (this ordinance); some of the men alone transgress it. Hence whatever man grows fat; he grows fat in unrighteousness, since he totters and is unable to walk because of his having grown fat by doing wrong. One should therefore eat only in the evening and morning; and whosoever, knowing this, eats only in the evening and morning, reaches the full measure of life; and whatever he speaks, that is (true); because he observes that divine truth. For, verily, that is Brâhmanic lustre (tegas), when one knows to keep His (Pragâpati's) law.

2:4:2:77. Now that (lustre) indeed belongs to him who presents (food) to the fathers once a month. When that (moon) is not seen either in the east or in the west, then he presents (food) to them; for that moon doubtless is king Soma, the food of the gods. Now during that night (of new moon) it fails them, and when it fails, he presents (food to them), and thereby establishes concord (between the gods and fathers). But were he to present (food) to them when it is not failing, he would indeed cause a quarrel between the gods and fathers: hence he presents

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[paragraph continues] (food) to them when that (moon) is not seen either in the east or in the west.

2:4:2:88. He presents it in the afternoon. The forenoon, doubtless, belongs to the gods; the mid-day to men; and the afternoon to the fathers: therefore he presents (food to the fathers) in the afternoon.

2:4:2:99. While seated behind the Gârhapatya, with his face turned toward the south 1, and the sacrificial cord on his right shoulder, he takes that (material for the offering from the cart) 2. Thereupon he rises from thence and threshes (the rice) while standing north of the Dakshina fire and facing the south. Only once he cleans (the rice) 3; for it is once for all that the fathers have passed away, and therefore he cleans it only once.

2:4:2:1010. He then boils it. While it stands on the (Dakshina) fire, he pours some clarified butter on it;--for the gods they pour the offering into the fire; for men they take (the food) off the fire; and for the fathers they do in this very manner: hence, they pour the ghee on it while it stands on the fire.

2:4:2:1111. After removing it (from the fire) he offers to the gods two libations in the fire. For, in establishing his sacrificial fires, and in performing the new and full-moon sacrifice, that (householder) resorts to the gods. Here, however, he is engaged in a

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sacrifice to the fathers: hence he thereby propitiates the gods, and being permitted by the gods, he presents that (food) to the fathers. This is why, on removing (the rice), he offers to the gods two libations in the fire.

2:4:2:1212. He offers both to Agni and Soma 1. To Agni he offers, because Agni is allowed a share in every (offering); and to Soma he offers, because Soma is sacred to the fathers. This is why he offers both to Agni and Soma.

2:4:2:1313. He offers 2 with the formulas (Vâg. S. II, 29 a, b), 'To Agni, the bearer of what is meet for the wise, svâhâ!' 'To Soma, accompanied by the fathers, svâhâ 3!' He then puts the pot-ladle on the fire,--that being in lieu of the Svishtakri4. Thereupon he draws (with the wooden sword) one line (furrow) south of the Dakshina fire 5,--that

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being in lieu of the altar: only one line he draws, because the fathers have passed away once for all.

2:4:2:1414. He then lays down a firebrand at the farther (south) end (of the line). For were he to present that (food) to the fathers, without having laid down a firebrand, the Asuras and Rakshas would certainly tamper with it. And thus the Asuras and Rakshas do not tamper with that (food) of the fathers: this is why he lays down the firebrand at the farther end (of the line).

2:4:2:1515. He lays it down, with the text (Vâg. S. II, 30), 'Whatsoever Asuras roam about at will 1, assuming various shapes 2,--be they large-bodied or small-bodied 3,--may Agni expel them from this world!' Agni is the repeller of the Rakshas, and therefore he lays (the firebrand) down in this way.

2:4:2:1616. He then takes the water-pitcher and makes (the fathers) wash (their hands ) 4, merely 5 saying, 'N.N., wash thyself!' (naming) the sacrificer's father; 'N.N., wash thyself!' (naming) his grandfather; 'N.N., wash thyself!' (naming) his great-grandfather. As one would pour out water (for a guest) when he is about to take food, so in this case.

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2:4:2:1717. Now those (stalks of sacrificial grass) are severed with one stroke, and cut off near the root;--the top belongs to the gods, the middle part to men, and the root-part to the fathers: therefore they are cut off near the root. And with one stroke they are severed, because the fathers have passed away once for all.

2:4:2:1818. He spreads them (along the line) with their tops towards the south. Thereon he presents [to the fathers the three (round) cakes of rice] 1. He presents them thus 2;--for to the gods they offer thus; for men they ladle out (the food in any way they please) 3; and in the case of the fathers they do in this very way: therefore he presents (the cakes to them) thus.

2:4:2:1919. With, 'N.N., this for thee!' he presents (one cake) to the sacrificer's father. Some add, 'and for those who come after thee!' but let him not say this, since he himself is one of those to whom (it would be offered) in common 4: let him

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therefore merely say, 'N.N., this for thee!' as to the sacrificer's father; 'N.N., this for thee!' as to his grandfather; and 'N.N., this for thee!' as to his great-grandfather. He presents (the food) in an order (directed) away from the present time, because it is away from hence that the fathers have once for all departed.

2:4:2:2020. He then mutters (Vâg. S. II, 31 a), 'Here, O fathers, regale yourselves: like bulls come hither, each to his own share!' whereby he says, 'Eat ye each his own share!'

2:4:2:2121. He then turns round (to the left), so as to face the opposite (north) side: for the fathers are far away from men; and thereby he also is far away (from the fathers). 'Let him remain (standing with bated breath) until his breath fail,' say some, 'for thus far extends the vital energy.' However 1, having remained so for a moment--

2:4:2:2222. He again turns round (to the right) and mutters (Vâg. S. II, 31 b), 'The fathers have regaled themselves: like bulls they have come each to his own share;' whereby he means to say, 'They have eaten each his own share 2.'

2:4:2:2323. Thereupon he takes the water-pitcher and makes them wash themselves 3, merely saying,

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[paragraph continues] 'N.N., wash thyself 1!' (naming) the sacrificer's father; 'N.N., wash thyself!' (naming) his grandfather; 'N.N., wash thyself!' (naming) his great-grandfather. Even as one would pour out (water for a guest) when he has taken his meal, so here.

2:4:2:2424. He then pulls down the tuck 2 (of the sacrificer's garment) and performs obeisance. The tuck is sacred to the fathers (pitridevatyâ): therefore he performs obeisance to them after pulling down the tuck. Now obeisance means worship (or sacrifice): hence he thereby renders them worthy of worship. Six times he performs obeisance; for there are six seasons, and the fathers are the seasons: for this reason he performs obeisance six times. He mutters (Vâg. S. II, 32 g), 'Give us houses, O fathers!' for the fathers are the guardians (îsate) of houses; and this is the prayer for blessing at this sacrificial performance. After the cakes have been put back (in the dish containing the remains of boiled rice) he (the sacrificer) smells at (the rice); this (smelling) being the sacrificer's share. The

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[paragraph continues] (stalks of sacrificial grass) cut with one stroke he puts on the fire; and he also again throws away the firebrand 1.


361:1 Yagñopavîtin, 'sacrificially invested,' i.e. wearing the sacrificial cord in the ordinary way, on the left shoulder and under the right arm. In any performance connected with the deceased ancestors, the cord has to be shifted from the left to the right shoulder and under the left arm (prâkînopavîtin, lit. 'eastward invested').

362:1 Sasvat = 'repeatedly,' Comm.; sasvad api, 'endlich auch (at last also),' St. Petersb. Dict.

363:1 Dakshinâsînah; the Commentator interprets it by 'sitting south of the cart.'

363:2 The Kânva text has,--etam karum grihnâti, 'he takes that pot, or potful, (of rice).' Doubtless, he is to take from the cart the quantity of rice sufficient for the offerings and put it in the pot (karu). According to Kâty. IV, I, 5-7 he is to take the but-partly-filled pot, or a spoonful (or, according to the Schol., rather less than a spoonful).

363:3 Compare the detailed account in I, 1, 4, 1 seq.

364:1 According to Taitt. Br. I, 3, 10, 3, some make a third oblation, viz. as Sâyana states, to Yama (the chief of the fathers), with the formula, 'To Yama, accompanied by the Aṅgiras and fathers, svadhâ! namah!' see note 3.

364:2 The commentary on Kâty. IV, 1, 7 supplies the following particulars:--Having removed the pot off the Dakshina fire on the south side, the Adhvaryu takes it, along the east, to the north side of the fire. He then shifts the sacrificial cord to his left shoulder (as he is about to offer to gods), puts three sticks on the fire, and sitting down with his face towards the east offers some boiled rice with the pot-ladle (mekshana).

364:3 The Taittirîyas use svadhâ! namah instead of svâhâ! They also offer first to Soma, with 'To Soma, drank by the fathers' (but cf. Taitt. Br. I, 6, 9, 5), and then to (Yama, and finally to) Agni. Taitt. Br. I, 3, 10, 2-3.

364:4 See I, 7, 3, 1 seq.

364:5 Or west (gaghanena) of the fire [from north to south], according to the Kânva text; optionally, according to Kâty. IV, 1, 8. Kâty. also gives the text 'Expelled are the Asuras, the Rakshas, seated on the altar' (Vâg. S. II, 29 c) to be muttered during the act.

365:1 Or, as the Commentator takes svadhayâ, '(attracted) by the svadhâ (offering to the fathers).'

365:2 That is, according to the Schol., assuming the shapes of deceased ancestors.

365:3 This explanation of the words parâpurah and nipurah, proposed by the Scholiast, is doubtful.

365:4 The Adhvaryu (having again shifted the sacrificial cord to his right shoulder) pours water through the "fathers' space" (pitritîrtha, i.e. the space between the thumb and fore-finger), from right to left, into the line, at its beginning, centre, and end. Kâty. IV, 1, 10, and Schol.

365:5 See paragraph 19.

366:1 According to the Paddhati on Kâty. the first ball is to be of the size of a fresh âmalaka, or fruit of the Emblic Myrobalan, and each of the two others is to be larger than the preceding one.

366:2 Here the teacher indicated by gesture the part of the hand sacred to the fathers (see p. 365, note 4); and then in the same way that dedicated to the gods, viz. the tip of the fingers.

366:3 The Kânva recension reads here also 'thus they take out (the food) for men;' the part of the hand dedicated to man being, according to the commentary on Kâty. IV, 1, 10, the part about the little finger (kanishthikâpradesa).

366:4 Svayam vai teshâm saha yeshâm saha. According to the commentary, the author apparently means to say, that if he were to add, 'and those who come after thee (i.e. after his father),' he would include the sacrificer himself, and the latter would consequently offer the pinda to himself. The form of the presentation-formula rejected by our author is the one adopted in Âsval. Sr. II, 6, 15, except that 'atra' is added there ('who here come after thee'). p. 367 The Kânva text mentions and rejects the two alternative readings, 'ye ka tvâm anvâñkah' and 'yâms ka tvam anvaṅ asi' ('and those whom thou followest'). In Taitt. Br. I, 3, 10, no presentation-formula is mentioned at all.

367:1 The Kânva recension has tad u instead of sa vai.

367:2 'Formerly the gods and men and fathers (deva-manushyâh pitarah) drank visibly together, but now they do so invisibly.' Sat. Br. III, 6, 2, 26.

367:3 Viz. by pouring water on the obsequial cakes. According to Âsval. Sr. II, 7, 5, and other treatises, he also puts down some p. 368 ointment, oil, or butter on the pindas, saying, '(Father), N.N., anoint thyself!' &c.; see Donner, Pindap., p. 25.

368:1 See paragraph 19.

368:2 Nîvim udvrihya = paridhânîyasya vâsaso dasâ tâm udvrihya visramsya, Sâyana. According to Mahâdeva, he (who presents the pindas, viz. either the Adhvaryu or the sacrificer) has previously to put on a garment with a tuck (nîvimat paridhânam), i.e. with the dasâ, or unwoven edge of the upper garment, tucked up under the waistband. This he is to pull out. Kâtyâyana has the following rules: IV, I, 15, Having made (them) wash themselves as before, and having loosened (visramsya) the tuck, he makes obeisance with 'adoration to your vigour, O fathers!' &c. (Vâg. S. II, 32 a-f). [According to the Comm., he adds the formula, 'Give us houses, O fathers! we will give to you of what is (ours).' Vâg. S. II, 32, 9.] 16, With 'Put on this your garment, O fathers!' (Vâg. S. II, 32 h), he throws three threads (pieces of p. 369 yarn), one on each cake. 17, Or, woollen fringe [or, wool or fringe (dasâ), according to others]. 18, Or, hairs of the sacrificer (pulled out from the chest near the heart), if he is advanced in years. 19, He pours [the water, left in the pitcher, on the cakes] with 'Ye (O waters) are a refreshing draught, ye, that bring sap, immortal ghee and milk and foaming mead: gladden my fathers!' (Vâg. S. II, 34.) 20, [The Adhvaryu] having laid (the cakes on the dish) the sacrificer smells at them. 21, The firebrand and the once-cut stalks of grass (he throws) into the fire. 22, The wife, if desirous of a son, eats the middle cake with, 'Bestow offspring on me, O fathers, a boy crowned with lotuses; that there may he a man here!' (Vâg. S. II, 33.) [According to the comment, the other two cakes are thrown into the water or fire; or eaten by a priest.] For other variations, see Donner, Pindapitriyagña. The Kânva recension, on the whole, agrees with our text.

369:1 The Kânva text has as follows: 'Therefore he says, Give us houses, O fathers!' He then smells at the pot (ukhâ): that is the sacrificer's share. They again put down the cakes together (with the rice in the pot! samavadadhati). The once-severed (stalks of grass) they put on the fire. The firebrand he again shifts to (the fire; apy-argati).

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