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




3:3:4:11. In the enclosed space (of the cart) 1 he (the Adhvaryu) lays down the black deer-skin, with the text (Vâg. S. IV, 30), 'Thou art Aditi's skin;' its significance is the same (as before) 2. Thereon he places him (Soma), with, 'Seat thee on Aditi's seat!' for Aditi being this (earth), and she being indeed a safe resting-place, he thereby places him on that safe resting-place: therefore he says, 'Seat thee on Aditi's seat!'

3:3:4:22. He then makes (the sacrificer) say, after touching (the Soma), 'The bull hath propped the sky, the welkin 3.' For, when the gods were spreading the sacrifice, they were afraid of an attack on the part of the Asura-Rakshas. Now by what he says, 'The bull hath propped the sky, the welkin,'

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thereby they rendered it (the sacrifice or Soma) superior to the deadly shaft 1.

3:3:4:33. 'He hath measured the breadth of the earth;'--thus he gains through him (Soma) these worlds, for there is no slayer, no deadly shaft for him by whom these worlds have been gained: therefore he says, 'He hath measured the breadth of the earth.'

3:3:4:44. 'As all-ruler hath he taken his seat over all things existing (bhuvana);'--thus he gains through him this All, for there is no slayer, no deadly shaft for him by whom this All has been gained: therefore he says, 'As all-ruler hath he taken his seat over all things existing.'

3:3:4:55. 'Verily, all these are Varuna's ordinances;'--thereby he makes here everything whatsoever obedient to him, and every one that is refractory: therefore he says, 'Verily, all these are Varuna's ordinances.'

3:3:4:66. Thereupon he wraps (the Soma) up in the Soma-wrapper, lest the evil spirits should touch him. For this one doubtless is an embryo, and hidden (tiras), as it were, are embryos, and hidden also is that (which is) wrapped up;--hidden, as it were, are the gods to men, and hidden is that which is wrapped up: therefore he wraps him up.

3:3:4:77. He wraps him up, with the text (Vâg. S. IV, 31; Rig-veda V, 85, 2), 'Over the woods he hath stretched the welkin,' for over the woods, over the tops of the trees, that welkin (or air) is indeed stretched;--'strength (hath he laid) into the coursers, milk into the kine,'--strength means

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manliness and the coursers are the men: he thereby bestows manliness upon men; and 'milk into the kine' he says, because this milk is indeed contained in the kine;--'Into the hearts Varuna (hath laid) wisdom, into the homesteads 1 fire;' for into the hearts that wisdom, the swiftness of thought, has indeed entered; and 'into the homesteads fire' he says, because that fire is in the homesteads, with the people;--'Into the heaven hath he placed the Sun, and Soma upon the rock;' for that sun is indeed placed in the heaven; and 'Soma on the rock' he says, because Soma is in the mountains. This is why he says, 'In the heaven hath he placed the Sun, and Soma upon the rock.'

3:3:4:88. If there are two deer-skins 2, he then puts up the other by way of a flag 3;--and if there is only one, he cuts off the neck of the deer-skin and puts it up by way of a flag;--with the text (Vâg. S. IV, 32), 'Mount thou the eye of Sûrya, the eye-ball of Agni, where thou fliest along with the dappled (horses), shining through the wise (Sûrya).' He thereby places Sûrya (the sun) in front, thinking, 'May Sûrya, in front, ward off the evil spirits!' They now drive (Soma) about on a safe (cart), unmolested by evil spirits.

3:3:4:99. At the fore-part of the shafts two boards have been put up: between them the Subrâhmanyâ 4

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stands and drives. He (Soma), indeed, is too high for (the driver) mounting beside him, for who is worthy of mounting beside him? Therefore he drives while standing between (the boards).

3:3:4:1010. He drives with a palâsa branch. Now when Gâyatrî flew towards Soma 1, a footless archer aiming at her while she was carrying him off, severed one of the feathers (or leaves, parna), either of Gâyatrî or of king Soma; and on falling down it became a parna (palâsa) tree; whence its name parna. 'May that which was there of the Soma nature, be here also now!' so he thinks, and for this reason he drives with a palâsa branch.

3:3:4:1111. He urges on the two oxen. If they be both black, or if either of them be black, then let him know that it will rain, that Parganya will have abundance of rain that year: such indeed is science.

3:3:4:1212. He (the Adhvaryu) first yokes them, with the text (Vâg. S. IV, 33), 'Ye oxen, come hither, patient of the yoke!' for they are indeed oxen, and they are patient of the yoke;--'Let yourselves be yoked, tearless!' for they are now being yoked; and tearless means unscathed;--'not man-slaying,' this means 'not doing wrong;'--'speeding the Brahman,' for they are indeed speeders of the Brahman (worship, or the priests);--'Go ye happily to the sacrificer's dwelling!' this he says in order that the evil spirits may not injure them on the way.

3:3:4:1313. Having then gone round to the back (of the

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cart) and taken hold of the drag 1, he says (to the Hotri2, 'Recite to the bought Soma!' or,'--to Soma, now driven about!' whichever way he pleases.

3:3:4:1414. He then makes (the sacrificer 3) say the text (Vâg. S. IV, 34), 'Thou art gracious unto me, go forth, O Lord of the world--,' for he (Soma) is indeed gracious to him, wherefore he heeds no other but him. Even his (Soma's own) kings 4 come (to

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him) to attend the assembly, and he is the first to salute the kings, for he is gracious. This is why he says, 'Thou art gracious.' 'Go forth, O Lord of the world,' he says, because he (Soma) is the lord of beings. 'To all dwellings,' 'all dwellings' doubtless means the limbs; with reference to his limbs he says this, 'May no prowling enemies meet thee! may no waylayers meet thee! May no malicious wolves meet thee!' this he says lest the evil spirits should meet him on his way.

3:3:4:1515. 'Having become a falcon, fly away!' he thereby makes him fly forward after becoming a falcon; for the evil spirits fly not after what is fearful: now he, the falcon, forsooth is the most fearful, the strongest of birds, and as such a one he makes him (Soma) fly forwards when he says, 'Having become a falcon, fly away!'

3:3:4:1616. Now they (can) only hit his body 1. 'Go to the sacrificer's dwelling,--that is the place prepared for us.' In this there is nothing obscure.

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3:3:4:1717. Thereupon he recites the Subrahmanyâ litany. Even as one would say to those for whom he intends to prepare a meal, 'On such and such a day I will prepare a meal for you;' so does he thereby announce the sacrifice to the gods. 'Subrahmanyôm! Subrahmanyôm! Subrahmanyôm!' thus he calls, for the Brahman indeed moves the gods onward. Thrice he says it, because the sacrifice is threefold.

3:3:4:1818. 'Come, O Indra!' Indra is the deity of the sacrifice: therefore he says, 'Come, O Indra!' 'Come, O lord of the bay steeds! Ram of Medhâtithi 1! Wife of Vrishanasva 2! Bestriding buffalo! Lover of Ahalyâ 3!' Thereby he wishes him joy in those affairs of his.

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3:3:4:1919. 'O Kausika 1, Brahman, thou who callest thee Gautama 2.' Just so has this (formula) been devised in these days by Âruni, to wit, 'thou who callest thee Gautama:' he may say it, if he choose, and if he does not choose, he need not attend to it 3. 'In so and so many days, to the Soma-feast,' (stating) in how many days from hence the pressing is to be.

3:3:4:2020. 'Ye gods and priests, come hither 4!' This he says to the gods and Brâhmans, because it is of these two, the gods and Brâhmans, that he has need.

3:3:4:2121. Thereupon the Pratiprasthâtri steps up to the front of the hall with the victim for Agni and Soma. Now Agni and Soma have seized him, who consecrates himself, between their jaws, for that consecration-offering above 5 belongs to Agni and Vishnu, and Vishnu, forsooth, is no other than

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[paragraph continues] Soma, and the offering is he himself who is consecrated: thus they have seized him between their jaws; and by this victim he now redeems himself 1.

3:3:4:2222. Now, some take a firebrand from the Âhavanîya, saying, 'Here is Agni, and here is Soma: with these two thus being together we will redeem ourselves.' But let him not do this; for wheresoever these two are, there they are indeed together.

3:3:4:2323. It (the victim) is two-coloured, because it belongs to two deities: 'For the sake of concord between the two deities let it be a black-spotted (buck)!' they say; 'for that is most like those two (gods).' If he be unable to obtain a black-spotted buck, it may be a red-spotted one.

3:3:4:2424. Thereon he makes (the sacrificer) say (Vâg. S. IV, 35; Rig-veda X; 37, 1); 'Homage be to the eye of Mitra and Varuna! perform ye diligently this holy service to the god! sing ye unto the far-seeing, god-born light, to Sûrya, the son of the sky!' Thereby he renders homage to it (the victim) and makes it a token of the covenant.

3:3:4:2525. The Adhvaryu then removes the Soma-wrapper. With (Vâg. S. IV, 36) 'Thou art Varuna's stay,' he props (the cart) with the prop. With 'Ye two are the rest of Varuna's stay,' he pulls out the two wedges. The reason why he says, 'Ye two are the rest of Varuna's stay 2,' is that he, the bought Soma, now indeed is of Varun3.

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3:3:4:2626. Thereupon four men take up the king's throne; two men, it is true, take it up for the human king, but four take up this for him who rules over everything here.

3:3:4:2727. It is of udumbara wood--udumbara meaning sap and food--for (the sacrificer's) obtainment of sap and food: therefore it is of udumbara wood.

3:3:4:2828. It reaches up to his navel, for it is there that the food settles, and Soma is food: therefore it reaches up to his navel. Moreover, there is the seat of the seed, and Soma is seed: therefore it reaches up to his navel.

3:3:4:2929. He (the Adhvaryu) touches it with, 'Thou art the rightful seat (ritasadanî) of Varuna!' He then spreads on it the black deerskin with, 'Thou art the rightful seat (ritasadanam) of Varuna!' and places him (Soma) thereon with, 'Seat thee on the rightful seat of Varuna!' The reason why he says, 'Seat thee on the rightful seat of Varuna,' is that he (Soma) is now of Varuna's nature.

3:3:4:3030. Thereupon he makes him (king Soma) enter the hall; and in making him enter, he causes (the sacrificer) to say (Vâg. S. IV, 37; Rig-veda I, 91, 19), 'Whatsoever powers of thine they worship with offering, may they all encompass the sacrifice 1! Go forth to our dwellings, O Soma, prospering our homes, ever helpful, bestowing abundance of men, not slaying our

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men!' dwellings meaning houses, he thereby means to say, 'Go forth to our houses, kind, propitious, not doing evil.'

3:3:4:3131. Some now pour out a vessel of water beside him, saying that this would be as. one would bring water for a king that has come to him. But let him not do this, for they (who do this) do at the sacrifice what is human, and inauspicious for the sacrifice forsooth is that which is human: let him therefore not pour out water, lest he should do at the sacrifice what is inauspicious.


75:1 The cart stands south of the place where the purchase of Soma took place, with the shafts towards the east, fitted with all the appliances, and yoked with a pair of oxen. The antelope skin is spread with the hairy side upwards, and the neck part towards the east.

75:2 See I, 1, 4, 1 seq. The Kânva text has: 'the significance of this yagus is the same.'

75:3 In Rig-veda VIII, 42, 1, this verse relates to Varuna. In adapting it to the present sacrificial requirements, 'vrishabho (rishabho, K.) antariksham' has been substituted for the original 'asuro visvavedâh;' Soma being meant by 'the bull.'

76:1 Or, superior to (beyond the reach of) the slayer (or the blow), 'gyâyâmsam vadhât.'

77:1 'Into the waters (apsu),' Rig-veda.

77:2 See III, 2, 1, 1 seq.

77:3 He is to fasten it to a staff fixed to the pole of the cart near the yoke. Kâty. VII, 9, 9.

77:4 The Subrâhmanyâ is one of the assistants of the Udgâtri (chanter of Sâma-hymns). He stands on the ground between the two shafts in front of the yoke; the two planks, according to Sâyana, reaching up to his chin.

78:1 See I, 7, 1, I; part i, p. 183. According to Ait. Br. III, 26, Krisânu the Soma-keeper's arrow cut off one of the talons of Gâyatrî's left foot, which was turned into a porcupine.

79:1 Apâlamba, a piece of wood fastened to the back part of the cart to prevent its running backwards when going up-hill; or, according to others, a rope used for retarding the progress of the cart in going down-hill. Kâty. VII, 9, 15 comm. The cart stands with the oxen towards the east; it is then wheeled round towards the right to the west and driven to the hall, in front of which it is turned towards the north; the Soma being then taken down. See Ait. Br. I, 14.

79:2 The duties of the Hotri, while the Soma-cart is driven to the hall, are set forth Âsv. Srautas. IV, 4: He stands three feet behind the cart between the two wheel tracks, and throws thrice dust towards the south with the fore-part of his foot without moving the heel, with the formula, 'Thou art wise, thou art intelligent, thou upholding all things: drive away the danger arising from men!' Thereupon, after uttering the sound 'Him,' he recites eight verses, or, the first and last being recited thrice each, in all twelve verses. Cf. Ait. Br. I, 13. He first remains standing in the same place and recites thrice the first verse. Then in following the cart he recites the five following verses. The cart having now stopped, he walks round it on its right (south) side, and while looking on the Soma follows it while it is placed on the throne. He then touches it and completes his recitation by the last two verses. The first of these two verses is the same which the sacrificer is to mutter (with the Adhvaryu) while Soma is carried into the hall, and which is given in paragraph 30.

79:3 While the Soma is driven to the hall, the sacrificer has to hold on to it from behind.

79:4 'Asya râgânah sabhâgâh;'--Soma seems to be compared here with an emperor or overlord of kings (adhirâgo râgñâm, V, 4,2,2), who is holding a royal court (ragasabhâ), or a Darbar, to which the under-kings are flocking. Sâyana seems to interpret the passage differently: apy asya râgânah iti sabhâgâ ity anena râgñâm anatikramanîyam p. 80 uktam bhavati; api sambhâvanâyâm madhuparkam âha 'râgñe kâkâryasvasurapitrivyamâtulânam keti' (Âsv. Grihyas. I, 24) sambhâvanîyânâm madhye râgñâm prathamato nirdisena (!) sreshthyâvagamâd itarapûgyopalakshakatvenâpy asya râgâna iti nirdesa iti mantavyam, râgña âgatân svayam prahva eva san pûrvas tebhyah prâg evâbhivadati vâgvyavahâram karoti. The Kânva text reads: For he is his gracious lord, therefore he heeds not even a king; and yet (?) he is the first to salute the kings: thus he is indeed gracious to him: 'esha vâ etasya bhadro bhavati, tasmâd esha na râgânam kanâdriyate ’tho pûrvo râgño ’bhivadati tathâsyaisha eva bhadro bhavati(!).'

80:1 Or, they can only shoot after his body, 'sarîram evânvavahanti.' The Kânva text has athâsyedam sarîram evânasâ ’nvâvahanti,' i.e. 'Now they only bring his body with the cart.' The MS. of Sâyana also has 'anvâvahanti,' but it explains it by 'syenîbhâvâd upâdeyasya sârâmsasya bâdhâbhâvâd dhantâ sarîram evânugatya hanti nâtmânam.'

81:1 This myth, according to which Indra was supposed to have assumed the form of a ram and to have carried off Medhâtithi, the Kânva (or, according to others, to have robbed him of his Soma), appears to be alluded to in Rig-veda VIII, 2, 40. On the possible connection of the myth with the Greek one of Ganymede, see Weber, Ind. Stud. IX, p. 40. Sâyana does not explain the Subrahmanyâ formula, but remarks, that he has already done so in the Sâma-brâhmana (viz. in the Shadvimsa).

81:2 According to Rig-veda I, 51, 13, Indra became the wife (menâ) of Vrishanasva (Mena); the reason for this transformation being, according to the Shadvimsa Br., that he was in love with Menâ or Menakâ, the daughter of that king (or sage). Ind. Stud. I, p. 38. The later explanation of the simple statement of the Rik seems of doubtful authenticity, unless the choice of the word menâ for 'wife' was intended by the bard as an allusion to the name of the king's daughter. It is more likely that the myth alluded to in the Rik had been forgotten at the time of the Brâhmanas, and a new version of it was invented, based on the 'menâ' of the original. Haug, Transl. Ait. Br. p. 383, takes Menâ here as a name.

81:3 This is another of Indra's love-myths about which very little is known. Ahalyâ (Maitreyî) is said to have been the wife of the Rishi Gautama (or of Kausika, according to Shadv. Br.) and to have been loved by Indra.

82:1 According to Sâyana on Rig-veda I, 10, 11 (where Indra is called Kausika, 'favourable to the Kusikas') Kusika desired to have a son equal to Indra, whence the latter was born as Kusika's son Gâthin (Gâdhin). Differently Sây. on Taitt. Âr. I, 12, 4.

82:2 The Shadv. Br. (Ind. Stud. I, p. 38) explains this as follows:--The Gods and Asuras were at war with each other. Gotama was performing austerities between them. Indra went up to him and said, 'Go out as our spy.' 'I cannot,' he replied. 'Then I will go in your form.' 'As thou thinkest fit!' And because he (Indra) went about in the form of Gotama, passing himself off as Gotama, therefore he says, 'thou who callest thee Gotama.'

82:3 The Kânva text also states that this last portion of the formula was devised by Âruni, but nothing is said as to its use being optional.

82:4 For variations of this concluding part of the Subrahmanyâ in different schools, see Lâty. Sr. I, 3, 3 seq.; also notes to III, 9, 3, 10; IV, 9, 6, 25 (?); Haug, Transl. Ait. Br. p. 383.

82:5 See III, 1, 3, 1 seq.

83:1 'By this victim he redeems himself, the victim, and with that redeemed self, now his own, he sacrifices.' Kânva rec.

83:2 Skambha visarganî ('support or pin of the prop') is taken by Sâyana in the sense of 'offshoot of the prop' or 'that which is let go (srishta) by the prop.'

83:3 I.e. belongs to Varuna or is of Varuna's nature (varunyo p. 84 bhavati). Sâyana (if the MS. is correct) takes it in the sense of 'is Varuna himself,' etasmin krîtâvasare somo varuno bhavati.

84:1 Or, 'may the sacrifice encompass them all,' if, with Grassmann and Ludwig, we read 'yagñah' instead of 'yagñam.' This verse is likewise recited (? at the same time) by the Hotri, see p. 79, note 2.

Next: III, 4, 1. Fourth Adhyâya. First Brâhmana