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



4:6:4:11. Then as to the Mahâvratîya (graha) 2. Now when Pragâpati had created the living beings, his

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joints were relaxed: with his relaxed joints he was unable to raise himself. Then the gods went on praising and toiling. They saw this Mahâvratîya (cup) and drew it for him: thereby they restored his joints.

4:6:4:22. With his joints thus restored, he approached this food, what food of Pragâpati there is,--for what eating is to men, that the vrata (fast-food, or religious observance generally) is to the gods. And because (they say), 'Great, indeed, is this vrata whereby he has raised himself,' therefore it is called Mahâvratîya.

4:6:4:33. Now, even as Pragâpati then was, when he had created the living beings, so are those who sit (in sacrificial session) for a year; and as Pragâpati then, after a year, approached food, so do they now, after a year, approach food, for whomsoever that knows this, they draw that cup.

4:6:4:44. Let him draw it for Indra Vimridh (the Averter of scorn), for, verily, the scorners of those who sit for

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a year are smitten, and all is won by them: hence for Indra Vimridh,--with (Vâg. S. VIII, 44; Rig-veda X, 152, 4), 'Scatter thou our scorners, O Indra, lay them low that war against us, and send them, that persecute us, to the nethermost darkness!--Thou art taken with a support: thee to Indra Vimridh!--This is thy womb: thee to Indra Vimridh!'

4:6:4:55. Or for Visvakarman (the All-worker), for all work is done, everything is won by those who sit in session for a year: hence for Visvakarman,--with (Vâg. S. VIII, 45; Rig-veda X, 81, 7), 'Vâkaspati Visvakarman, the thought-speeder 1, let us invoke for protection in our struggle 2 this day: may he, the all-beneficient worker of good, delight in all our offerings 3 for our protection!--Thou art taken with a support: thee to Indra Visvakarman 4!--This is thy womb; thee to Indra Visvakarman!'

4:6:4:66. But if he knows the (verse) referring to Indra (and) Visvakarman, let him draw it thus 5 (Vâg. S. VIII, 46), 'O Visvakarman, with strengthening libation madest thou Indra an invincible champion: to him did the people bow down of

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old, because 1 he, the mighty, is worthy of adoration.--Thou art taken with a support: thee to Indra Visvakarman!--This is thy womb: thee to Indra Visvakarman!'


429:2 The drawing of this cup forms part of the performance of the last but one day of the Gavâm ayana, the so-called Mahâvrata (great vow) day, on which the following particulars are supplied by Kâtyâyana XIII, 2, 16 seq. The particular form of sacrifice prescribed for the day is the Agnishtoma. A victim to Pragâpati is to be immolated. The Mahâvratîya-graha is drawn as an additional libation (like the Atigrâhyas,). The signal for the chanting of the Prishtha-stotras is given by (a Brâhman) playing, with a rattan plectrum, on a harp with a hundred strings of p. 430 Muñga grass. During the chanting and recitation, the Udgâtri sits on an arm-chair, the Hotri on a hammock or swing, the Adhvaryu on a board, and the other priests on cushions of grass. Then follow several curious ceremonies, performed partly inside and partly outside the Vedi. The performance of the Sattra is alternately lauded and vituperated by two persons [the one, a Brâhman, seated at the front door of the Sadas; the other, a Sûdra, at the back door; both facing each other;--thus Lâty. IV, 3, according to which authority, however, they are merely to say respectively, 'These Sattrins have not succeeded!'--'They have succeeded!'] At the same time a harlot and a theological student (brahmakhârin) upbraid one another (in front of the Âgnîdhrîya fire shed); while (south of the Mârgâlîya) a sham contest takes place between an Ârya (Vaisya) and a Sûdra for the possession of a round white skin, the Sûdra having to give in (after the third effort, when the Ârya beats him with the skin). Thereupon a couple is shut up in an enclosed space south of the Mârgâlîya (or behind the Âgnîdhrîya, Lâty.) for maithuna.

431:1 Or, the thought-swift (manogû).

431:2 For the different meanings of 'vâga' see Max Müller, 'India, what can it teach us?' p. 164.

431:3 Or, in all our invocations (havana).

431:4 The identification of Visvakarman with Indra was probably suggested by the final pâda of the preceding verse of the hymn (Rig-veda X, 81, 6): 'May there be (or may he, Visvakarman, be) for us a Sûri Maghavan' (a rich patron; terms frequently applied to Indra). But cp. Muir, O. S. T. vol. iv, p. 7.

431:5 The Kânva text does not give the verse, but remarks merely,--But if he can get (vindet) an aindrî vaisvakarmanî (verse), let him draw it therewith.

432:1 I see no other way of rendering 'yathâ-asat' in this passage.

Next: IV, 6, 5. Fifth Brâhmana