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Satapatha Brahmana Part III (SBE41), Julius Eggeling tr. [1894], at

p. x p. xi


THE first of the three Kândas contained in the present volume continues the dogmatic discussion of the different forms of Soma-sacrifice, in connection with which two important ceremonies, the Vâgapeya and Râgasûya, are considered. From a ritualistic point of view, there is a radical difference between these two ceremonies. The Râgasûya, or 'inauguration of a king,' strictly speaking, is not a Soma-sacrifice, but rather a complex religious ceremony which includes, amongst other rites, the performance of a number of Soma-sacrifices of different kinds. The Vâgapeya, or 'drink of strength' (or, perhaps, 'the race-cup'), on the other hand, is recognised as one of the different forms (samsthâ) which a single Soma-sacrifice may take. As a matter of fact, however, this form hardly ever occurs, as most of the others constantly do, in connection with, and as a constituent element of, other ceremonies, but is almost exclusively performed as an independent sacrifice. The reason why this sacrifice has received a special treatment in the Brâhmana, between the Agnishtoma and the Râgasûya, doubtless is that, unlike the other forms of Soma-sacrifice, it has some striking features of its own which stamp it, like the Râgasûya, as a political ceremony. According to certain ritualistic authorities 1, indeed, the performance of the Vâgapeya should be arranged in much the same way as that of the Râgasûya; that is, just as the central ceremony of the Râgasûya, viz. the Abhishekanîya or consecration, is preceded and followed by certain other Soma-days, so the Vâgapeya should be preceded and followed by exactly corresponding ceremonies.

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The preceding Kânda was chiefly taken up with a detailed discussion of the simplest form of a complete Soma-sacrifice, the Agnishtoma, serving as the model for all other kinds of one-day (ekâha) Soma-sacrifices; and it also adverted incidentally to some of the special features of such of the remaining fundamental forms of Soma-sacrifice as are required for the performance of sacrificial periods of from two to twelve pressing-days--the so-called ahîna-sacrifices--as well as for the performance of the sacrificial sessions (sattra) lasting from twelve days upwards. As the discussion of the Vâgapeya presupposes a knowledge of several of those fundamental forms of Soma-sacrifice, it may not be out of place here briefly to recapitulate their characteristic features.

The ekâha, or 'one-day' sacrifices, arc those Soma-sacrifices which have a single pressing-day, consisting of three services (or pressings, savana)--the morning, midday, and third (or evening) services--at each of which certain cups of Soma-liquor are drawn, destined to be ultimately consumed by the priests and sacrificer, after libations to the respective deities have been duly made therefrom. At certain stated times during the performance, hymns (stotra) are chanted by the Udgâtris; each of which is followed by an appropriate recitation (sastra) of Vedic hymns or detached verses, by the Hotri priest or one of his assistants. An integral part of each Soma-sacrifice, moreover, is the animal sacrifice (pasubandhu); the number of victims varying according to the particular form of sacrifice adopted. In the exposition of the Agnishtoma, the animal offering actually described (part ii, p. 162, seq.) is that of a he-goat to Agni and Soma, intended to serve as the model for all other animal sacrifices. This description is inserted in the Brâhmana among the ceremonies of the day preceding the Soma-day, the animal offering to Agni-Soma being indeed a constant feature of that day's proceedings at every Soma-sacrifice; whilst the slaughter of the special victim, or victims, of the respective sacrifice takes place during the morning service, and the meat-oblations are made during the evening service of the pressing-day. The ritualistic works enumerate a considerable number of 'one-day' sacrifices, all of them with special features of their

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own; most of these sacrifices are, however, merely modifications of one or other of the fundamental forms of ekâhas. Of such forms or samsthâs--literally, 'completions,' being so called because the final chants or ceremonies are their most characteristic features--the ritual system recognises seven, viz. the Agnishtoma. Atyagnishtoma. Ukthya, Shodasin, Vâgapeya 1, Atirâtra, and Aptoryâma.

The Agnishtoma, the simplest and most common form of Soma-sacrifice, requires the immolation of a single victim, a he-goat to Agni; and the chanting of twelve stotras, viz. the Bahish-pavamâna and four Âgya-stotras at the morning service; the Mâdhyandina-pavamâna and four Prishtha-stotras at the midday service; and the Tritîya (or Ârbhava)-pavamâna and the Agnishtoma-sâman at the evening service. It is this last-named chant, then, that gives its name to this sacrifice which, indeed, is often explained as the 'Agnishtoma-samsthah kratuh 2,' or the sacrifice concluding with 'Agni's praise.' The term 'sâman,' in its narrow technical sense, means a choral melody, a hymn-tune, without reference to the words set thereto. Not unfrequently, however, it has to be taken in the wider sense of a chanted verse or hymn (triplet), a chorale; but, though the distinction is evidently of some importance for the ritual, it is not always easy to determine the particular sense in which the term is meant to be applied, viz. whether a specified sâman is intended to include the original text set to the respective tune, or whether some other verses to which that tune has been adapted are intended. In the case of the Agnishtoma-sâman, however, the word 'sâman' cannot be taken in its narrow acceptation, but the term has to be understood in the sense of 'a hymn chanted in praise of Agni.' The words commonly used for this chant, are the first two verses of Rig-veda S. VI, 48, a hymn indeed

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admirably adapted for the purpose of singing Agni's praises. For the first verse, beginning 'yagñâ-yagñâ vo agnaye,' the chief tune-book, the Grâmageya-gâna, has preserved four different tunes, all of which are ascribed to the Rishi Bharadvâga: one of them has, however, come to be generally accepted as the Yagñâyagñîya-tune κατ᾽ ἐξοχήν, and has been made use of for this and numerous other triplets 1; whilst the other tunes seem to have met with little favour, not one of them being represented in the triplets arranged for chanting in stotras, as given in the Ûha and Uhya-gânas. Neither the Yagñâyagñîya-tune, nor its original text, is however a fixed item in the chanting of the Agnishtoma-sâman. Thus, for the first two verses of Rig-veda VI, 48, the Vâgapeya-sacrifice 2 substitutes verses nine and ten of the same hymn, and these are chanted, not to the Yagñâyagñîya, but to the Vâravantîya-tune, originally composed for, and named after, Rig-veda I, 27, 1 (S. V. I, 17; ed. Calc. I, p. 121) 'asvam na tvâ vâravantam.'

The Ukthya-sacrifice requires the slaughtering of a second victim, a he-goat to Indra and Agni; and to the twelve chants of the Agnishtoma it adds three more, the so-called Uktha-stotras, each of which is again followed by an Uktha-sastra recited by one of the Hotrakas, or assistants of the Hotri. As the evening service of the Agnishtoma had only two sastras, both recited by the Hotri, the addition of the three sastras of the Hotrakas would, in this respect, equalize the evening to the morning and midday savanas. The word 'uktha' is explained by later lexicographers either as a synonym of 'sâman,' or as a kind of sâman 3; but it is not unlikely that that meaning of the word was directly derived from this, the most common, use of the word in the term 'uktha-stotra.' The etymology of the word 4, at all events, would point to the

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meaning 'verse, hymn,' rather than to that of 'tune' or 'chant;' but, be that as it may, the word is certainly used in the former sense in the term 'mahad-uktha,' the name of the 'great recitation' of a thousand brihatî verses 1, being the Hotri's sastra in response to the Mahâvrata-stotra at the last but one day of the Gavâm-ayana. And, besides, at the Agnishtoma a special 'ukthya' cup of Soma-juice is drawn both at the morning and midday pressings, but not at the evening savana. This cup, which is eventually shared by the three principal Hotrakas between them, is evidently intended as their reward for the recitation of their 'ukthas.' At the Ukthya-sacrifice, as might have been expected, the same cup is likewise drawn at the evening service. Though it may be taken for granted, therefore, that 'uktha' was an older term for 'sastra,' it still seems somewhat strange that this terns should have been applied specially to the additional sastras and stotras of the Ukthya-sacrifice. Could it be that the name of the additional Ukthya-cup, as a distinctive feature of this sacrifice, suggested the name for the sastras and stotras with which that cup was connected, or have we rather to look for some such reason as Ait. Br. VI, 13 might seem to indicate? This passage contains a discussion regarding the different status of the Hotrakas who have ukthas of their own, and those who have not; and it then proceeds to consider the difference that exists between the two first and the third savanas of the Agnishtoma in respect of the Hotrakas’ ukthas. It is clear that here also, the term 'uktha' can hardly be taken otherwise than as referring to

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the sastras--though, no doubt, the stotra is sometimes said to belong to the priest who recites the sastra in response to it--and this paragraph of the Brâhmana reads almost like the echo of an old discussion as to whether or not there should be recitations for the Hotrakas at the evening service of a complete Soma-sacrifice. If, in this way, the question of uktha or no uktha had become a sort of catchword for ritualistic controversy, one could understand how the term came ultimately to be applied to the three additional stotras and sastras.

Not unfrequently, the Ukthya is treated merely as a redundant Agnishtoma, as an 'Agnishtomah sokthah,' or Agnishtoma with the Ukthas 1. Considering, however, that the term Agnishtoma, properly speaking, belongs only to a Soma-sacrifice which ends with the Agnishtoma (sâman), and that the addition of the Uktha-stotras also involves considerable modifications in the form of most of the preceding chants, a new term such as Ukthya, based on the completing and characteristic chants of this form of sacrifice, was decidedly more convenient. In regard to the composition of the preceding stotras, with the exception of the Mâdhyandina-pavamâna and the Agnishtoma-sâman, the Ukthya, indeed, may be said to constitute a parallel form of Sacrifice beside the Agnishtoma 2, the succeeding samsthâs following the model of either the one or the other of these two parallel forms.

The Shodasin-sacrifice requires, as a third victim, the

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immolation of a ram to Indra; and one additional chant, the shodasi-stotra, with its attendant sastra and Soma-cup. The most natural explanation of the name is the one supplied, in the first place, by Ait. Br. IV, 1 (as interpreted by Sâyana)--viz. the sacrifice which has sixteen, or a sixteenth, stotra 1. But, as the name applies not only to the sacrifice but also to the stotra and sastra, the Brâhmana further justifies the name by the peculiar composition of the shodasi-sastra in which the number sixteen prevails 2. Very probably, however, the name may have belonged to the sacrifice long before the sastra, for symbolic reasons, had assumed the peculiar form it now presents.

In this summary of the characteristic features of the forms of Soma-sacrifice presupposed by the Vâgapeya, no mention has yet been made of the Atyagnishtoma, or redundant Agnishtoma, which usually occupies the second place in the list of samsthâs. This form of sacrifice is indeed very little used, and there can be little doubt that it was introduced into the system, as Professor Weber suggests, merely for the sake of bringing up the Soma-samsthâs to the sacred number of seven. This sacrifice is obtained by the addition of the shodasi-stotra to the twelve chants of the Agnishtoma, as well as of the special Soma-cup and sacrificial victim for Indra, connected with that chant. It may thus be considered as a short form of the Shodasin-sacrifice (though without the full complement of stotras implied in that name), which might have suited the views of such ritualists as held the sastras of the Hotrakas at the evening service to be superfluous 3.

The distinctive feature of the Atirâtra-sacrifice, as the name itself indicates, is an 'overnight' performance of chants and recitations, consisting of three rounds of four stotras and sastras each. At the end of each round

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[paragraph continues] (paryâya) libations are offered, followed by the inevitable potations of Soma-liquor. That the performance, indeed, partook largely of the character of a regular nocturnal carousal, may be gathered from the fact, specially mentioned in the Aitareya Brâhmana, that each of the Hotri's offering-formulas is to contain the three words--'andhas,' Soma-plant (or liquor), 'pâ,' to drink, and 'mada,' intoxication. Accordingly, one of the formulas used is Rig-veda II, 19, 1 apâyy asyândhaso madâya, 'there has been drunk (by Indra, or by us) of this juice for intoxication.' The twelve stotras, each of which is chanted to a different tune, are followed up, at daybreak, by the Sandhi-stotra, or twilight-chant, consisting of six verses (Sâma-veda S. II, 99-104) chanted to the Rathantara-tune. This chant is succeeded by the Hotri's recitation of the Âsvina-sastra, a modification of the ordinary 'prâtar-anuvâka,' or morning-litany, by which the pressing-day of a Soma-sacrifice is ushered in 1. The Atirâtra also requires a special victim, viz. a he-goat offered to Sarasvatî, the goddess of speech. As regards the ceremonies preceding the night-performance, there is again a difference of opinion among ritualists as to whether the shodasi-stotra, with its attendant rites, is, or is not, a necessary element of the Atirâtra 2. Some authorities 3, accordingly, distinctly recognise two different kinds of Atirâtra,--one with, and the other without, the shodasin. In Kâtyâyana's Sûtra, there is no allusion to any difference of opinion on this point, but, in specifying the victims required at the different Soma-sacrifices, he merely remarks (IX, 8, 5) that, 'At the Atirâtra there is a fourth victim to Sarasvatî.' This would certainly seem to imply that there are also to be the three preceding victims, including the one to Indra peculiar to the Shodasin. Âsvalâyana (V, 11, 1) also refers incidentally to the shodasin as part of the

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[paragraph continues] Atirâtra, though it is not quite clear from the text of the sûtra whether it is meant to be a necessary or only an optional feature of that sacrifice. The Aitareya Brâhmana (IV, 6), on the other hand, in treating of the Atirâtra, enters on a discussion with the view of showing that the night-performance of that sacrifice is in every respect equal to the preceding day-performance; and accordingly, as the three services of the day-performance include fifteen chants and recitations (viz. the twelve of the Agnishtoma, and the three Ukthas), so, during the night, the three rounds of in all twelve stotras, together with the sandhi-stotra, here counted as three stotras (triplets), make up the requisite fifteen chants. This Brâhmana, then, does not recognise the shodasin as part of the Atirâtra, and, indeed, the manuals of the Atirâtra chants which I have consulted make no mention of the shodasi-stotra, though it is distinctly mentioned there among the chants of the Vâgapeya and the Aptoryâma. The passage in the Aitareya, just referred to, also seems to raise the question as to whether the Atirâtra is really an ekâha, or whether it is not rather an ahîna-sacrifice. On this point also the authorities seem to differ; whilst most writers take the Atirâtra. and the analogous Aptoryâma, to be 'one-day' sacrifices, the Tândya Brâhmana (XX) and Lâty. IX, 5, 6 class them along with the Ahînas 1; and they may indeed be regarded as intermediate links between the two classes of Soma-sacrifice, inasmuch as, in a continued sacrificial performance, the final recitations of these sacrifices take the place of the opening ceremony of the next day's performance. Such, for instance, is the case in the performance of the Atirâtra as the opening day of the Dvâdasâha, or twelve days’ period of sacrifice; whilst in the performance of the twelfth and concluding day, which is likewise an Atirâtra, the concluding ceremonies of the latter might be considered in

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a manner superabundant. It is probably in this sense that Lâty. (IX, 5, 4) calls the overnight performance of the last day of an ahîna (e. g. the Dvâdasâha) the yagñapukkha, or tail of the sacrifice, which is to fall beyond the month for which, from the time of the initiation, the ahîna is to last.

The Aptoryâma-sacrifice represents an amplified form of the Atirâtra. It requires the shodasi-stotra and the ceremonies connected with it as a necessary element of its performance; whilst its distinctive feature consists in four additional (atirikta-) stotras and sastras, chanted and recited after the Âsvina-sastra, the concluding recitation of the Atirâtra. These four chants are arranged in such a manner that each successive stotra is chanted to a different tune, and in a more advanced form of composition, from the trivrit (nine-versed) up to the ekavimsa (twenty-one-versed) stoma. In the liturgical manuals, the Aptoryâma, moreover, performs the function of serving as the model for a sacrificial performance with all the 'prishthas 1.' Though this mode of chanting has been repeatedly referred to in the translation and notes, a few additional remarks on this subject may not be out of place here. When performed in its 'prishtha' form, the stotra is so arranged that a certain sâman (or chanted triplet) is enclosed, as the 'garbha' (embryo), within some other sâman which, as its 'prishtha' (i.e. back, or flanks), is chanted a number of times before and after the verses of the central sâman. The tunes most commonly used for forming the enclosing sâmans of a Prishtha-stotra are the Rathantara and Brihat; and along with these, four others are singled out to make up the six Prishtha-sâmans κατ᾽ ἐξοχήν, viz. the Vairûpa (with the text Sâma-veda II, 212-13), Vairâga (II, 277-9), Sâkvara 2 (chanted on the Mahânâmnî verses,

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[paragraph continues] Aitar. Âr. IV), and Raivata 1 sâmans., These six sâmans are employed during the six days’ sacrificial period called Prishthya-shadaha, in such a way that one of them, in the order in which they are here enumerated, is used for the first, or Hotri's, Prishtha-stotra on the successive days of that period. In that case, however, these stotras are not performed in the proper 'prishtha' form 2, i.e. they have no other sâman inserted within them, but they are treated like any other triplet according to the particular stoma, or mode of composition, prescribed for them. But, on the other hand, in the Aptoryâma, when performed 'with all the Prishthas,' not only are a number of stotras chanted in the proper 'prishtha' form, but the 'prishtha' element asserts itself in yet another way, viz. by the appearance of all the six 'Prishtha-sâmans' in the course of the performance of the different stotras, in this way:--the Rathantara-tune forms the middlemost of the seven triplets of which the Madhyandina-pavamâna is composed;

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the Brihat forms the 'garbha,' or enclosed sâman, of the Agnishtoma-sâman 1; the Vairûpa the garbha of the third, the Vairâga that of the first, the Sâkvara that of the second, and the Raivata that of the fourth, Prishtha-stotra. It is doubtless this feature which gives to certain Soma-days the name of 'sarvaprishtha,' or one performed with all the (six) Prishthas. Then, as regards the particular stotras that are chanted in the proper 'prishtha' form, these include not only the four so-called Prishtha-stotras of the midday service, but also the four Âgya-stotras of the morning service, as well as the Agnishtoma-sâman and the three Uktha-stotras of the evening service,--in short, all the first fifteen stotras with the exception of the three Pavamâna-stotras. Of the stotras which succeed the Ukthas, on the other hand--viz. the Shodasin, the twelve chants of the three night-rounds, the Sandhi-stotra, and the four Atirikta-stotras--not one is performed in the 'prishtha' form. How often the several verses of the 'prishtha-sâman,' and those of the 'garbha' are to be chanted, of course depends, in each case, not only on the particular stoma which has to be performed, but also on the particular mode (vishtuti) prescribed, or selected, for the stoma. Thus, while all the four Âgya-stotras are chanted in the pañkadasa, or fifteen-versed-stoma; the four Prishtha-stotras are to be performed in the ekavimsa (of twenty-one verses), the katurvimsa (of twenty-four verses), the katuskatvârimsa (of forty-four verses), and the ashtâkatvârimsa (of forty-eight verses) respectively. Now whenever, as in the case of the pañkadasa and the ekavimsa-stomas, the number of verses is divisible by three, one third of the total number of verses is usually assigned to each of the three parts of the stotra, and distributed over the respective (three or sometimes four) verses of that sâman 2

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[paragraph continues] To illustrate this tripartite composition, the Hotri's Prishtha-stotra, performed in the twenty-one-versed stoma. may be taken as an example. For the 'prishtha,' the manuals give the Brihat-sâman, on its original text (Sâma-veda II, 159,160, 'tvâm id dhi havâmahe,' arranged so as to form three verses), though the Rathantara may be used instead 1. For the 'garbha,' or enclosed sâman, on the other hand, the Vairâga-sâman (with its original text, S. V. II, 277-9, 'pibâ somam indra mandatu tvâ') is to be used, a most elaborate tune 2, with long sets of stobhas, or musical ejaculations, inserted in the text. Of the twenty-one verses, of which the stoma consists, seven verses would thus fall to the share of the 'garbha,' and seven verses to that of the prishtha,' as chanted before and after the 'garbha.' Thus, in accordance with the formula set forth in p. xxii, note 2, the three verses (a, b, c) of the Brihat would be chanted in the form aaa-bbb-c; then the verses of the Vairâga-sâman (as 'garbha') in the form a-bbb-ccc; and finally again the Brihat in the form aaa-b-ccc. Stotras, the total number of verses of which is not divisible by three, of course require a slightly different distribution. Thus, of the third Prishtha-stotra, the stoma of which consists of forty-four verses, the two parts of the 'prishtha' obtain fifteen verses each, whilst the 'garbha' has only fourteen verses for its share.

The Vâgapeya, the last of the seven forms of a complete Soma-sacrifice, occupies an independent position beside the Atirâtra and Aptoryâma, whose special features it does not share. Like them, it starts from the Shodasin, to the characteristic (sixteenth) chant (and recitation) of which it acids one more stotra, the Vâgapeya-sâman, chanted to the Brihat-tune, in the Saptadasa (seventeen-versed) stoma, and followed by the recitation of the Vâgapeya-sastra. The Saptadasa-stoma, indeed, is so characteristic of this sacrifice that--as has been set forth at p. 8 note

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below--all the preceding chants, from the Bahishpavamâna onward, are remodelled in accordance with it. Besides, over and above the three victims of the Shodasin-sacrifice, the Vâgapeya requires, not only a fourth one, sacred to Sarasvatî, the goddess of speech, but also a set of seventeen victims for Pragâpati, the god of creatures and procreation. As regards other rites peculiar to the Vâgapeya, the most interesting, doubtless, is the chariot-race in which the sacrificer, who must be either of the royal or of the priestly order, is allowed to carry off the palm, and from which this sacrifice perhaps derives its name. Professor Hillebrandt 1, indeed, would claim for this feature of the sacrifice the character of a relic of an old national festival, a kind of Indian Olympic games; and though there is perhaps hardly sufficient evidence to bear out this conjecture, it cannot at least be denied that this feature has a certain popular look about it.

Somewhat peculiar are the relations between the Vâgapeya and the Râgasûya on the one hand, and between the Vâgapeya and the Brihaspatisava on the other. In the first chapter of the fifth book, the author of this part of our Brâhmana is at some pains to impress the fact that the Vâgapeya is a ceremony of superior value and import to the Râgasûya; and hence Kâtyâyana (XV, 1, 1-2) has two rules to the effect that the Râgasûya may be performed by a king who has not yet performed the Vâgapeya. These authorities would thus seem to consider the drinking of the Vâgapeya-cup a more than sufficient equivalent for the Râgasûya, or inauguration of a king; they do not, however, say that the Râgasûya must be performed prior to the Vâgapeya, but only maintain that the Vâgapeya cannot be performed after the Râgasûya. The Râgasûya, according to the Brâhmana, confers on the sacrificer royal dignity (râgya), and the Vâgapeya paramount sovereignty (sâmrâgya). It might almost seem as if the relatively loose positions here assigned to the Râgasûya were entirely owing to the fact that it is a purely Kshatriya ceremony to which the

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[paragraph continues] Brâhmana has no right, whilst the Vâgapeya may be performed by Brâhmanas as well as Kshatriyas. But on whatever grounds this appreciation of the two ceremonies may be based, it certainly goes right in the face of the rule laid down by Âsvalâyana (IX, 9, 19) that, 'after performing the Vâgapeya, a king may perform the Râgasûya, and a Brâhmana the Brihaspatisava.' With this rule would seem to accord the relative value assigned to the two ceremonies in the Taittirîya Samhitâ (V, 6, 2, 1) and Brâhmana (II, 7, 6, 1), according to which the Vâgapeya is a 'samrâtsava,' or consecration to the dignity of a paramount sovereign, while the Râgasûya is called a 'varunasava,' i.e., according to Sâyana, a consecration to the universal sway wielded by Varun1. In much the same sense we have doubtless to understand the rule in which Lâtyâyana defines the object of the Vâgapeya (VIII, 11, 1), viz. 'Whomsoever the Brâhmanas and kings (or nobles) may place at their head, let him perform the Vâgapeya.' All these authorities, with the exception of the Satapatha-Brâhmana and Kâtyâyana, are thus agreed in making the Vâgapeya a preliminary ceremony, performed by a Brâhmana who is raised to the dignity of a Purohita, or head-priest (so to speak, a minister of worship, and court-priest), or by a king who is elected paramount sovereign by a number of petty râgas; this sacrifice being in due time followed by the respective installation and consecration ceremony, viz. the Brihaspatisava, in the case of the Purohita; and the Râgasûya, in that of the king. In regard to the Brihaspatisava, which these authorities place on an equality with the Râgasûya, our Brâhmana finds itself in a somewhat awkward position, and it gets out of its difficulty (V, 2, 1, 19) by simply identifying the Brihaspatisava with the Vâgapeya, and making the Vâgapeya itself to be 'the consecration of Brihaspati;' and Kâtyâyana (XIV, 1, 2) compromises matters by combining the two ceremonies in this way that he who performs the Vâgapeya is to perform the Brihaspatisava for a fortnight before and after the Vâgapeya.

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The Râgasûya, or inauguration of a king, is a complex ceremony which, according to the Srauta-sûtras, consists of a long succession of sacrificial performances, spread over a period of upwards of two years. It includes seven distinct Soma-sacrifices, viz. 1, the Pavitra, an Agnishtoma serving as the opening sacrifice, and followed, after an interval of a year (during which the seasonal sacrifices have to be performed), by 2, the Abhishekanîya, an Ukthya-sacrifice, being the consecration (or anointing) ceremony. Then follows 3, the Dasapeya, or 'drink of ten,' an Agnishtoma, so-called because ten priests take part in drinking the Soma-liquor contained in each of the ten cups. After another year's interval 1, during which monthly 'offerings to the beams (i.e. the months)' are made, takes place 4, the Kesavapanîya, or hair-cutting ceremony, an Atirâtra-sacrifice; followed, after a month or fortnight, by d, and 6, the Vyushti-dvirâtra, or two nights’ ceremony of the dawning, consisting of an Agnishtoma and an Atirâtra and finally 7, the Kshatra-dhriti, or 'the wielding of the (royal) power,' an Agnishtoma performed a month later. The round of ceremonies concludes with the Sautrâmanî, an ishti the object of which is to make amends for any excess committed in the consumption of Soma-liquor.

The fifth book completes the dogmatic discussion of the ordinary circle of sacrifices, some less common, or altogether obsolete, ceremonies, such as the Asvamedha (horse-sacrifice), Purushamedha (human sacrifice), Sarvamedha (sacrifice for universal rule), being dealt with, by way of supplement, in the thirteenth book.

With the sixth Kânda, we enter on the detailed explanation of the Agnikayana, or building of the fire-altar, a very solemn ceremony which would seem originally to have stood apart from, if not in actual opposition to, the ordinary sacrificial system, but which, in the end. apparently by some ecclesiastical compromise, was added

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on to the Soma ritual as an important, though not indispensable, element of it. The avowed object of this ceremony is the super-exaltation of Agni, the Fire, who, in the elaborate cosmogenic legend with which this section begins, is identified with Pragâpati, the lord of Generation, and the source of life in the world. As the present volume contains, however, only a portion of the Agnikayana ritual, any further remarks on this subject may be reserved for a future occasion.

Since the time when this volume went to press, the literature of the Soma myth has been enriched by the appearance of an important book, the first volume of Professor A. Hillebrandt's Vedische Mythologie, dealing with Soma and cognate gods. As it is impossible for me here to enter into a detailed discussion of the numerous points raised in the work, I must content myself for the present with the remark that I believe Professor Hillebrandt to have fully established the main point of his position, viz. the identity of Soma with the Moon in early Vedic mythology.


xi:1 See Katy. Sr. XIV, 1, 7; Lâty. Sr. VIII, 11, 7-11.

xiii:1 In this enumeration the Vâgapeya is often placed between the Atirâtra and Aptoryâma; Lâty. V, 4, 24.

xiii:2 Thus on Sat. Br. V, 1, 3, 1 Âgneyam agnishtoma âlabhate, Sâyana remarks, 'agnih stûyatesminn ity agnishtomo nâma sâma, tasmin vishayabhûta âgneyam âlabhate, etena pasunâsmin vâgapeyegnishtomasamstham kratum evânushthitavan bhavati.' In IV, 2, 4, 9 seq., also, the term 'agnishtoma' would seem to apply to the final chant rather than to the whole sacrifice.

xiv:1 Each Sâman-tune is usually chanted thrice, either each time on a special verse of its own, or so that, by certain repetitions of words, two verses are made to suffice for the thrice-repeated tune.

xiv:2 So also does the Agnishtut ekâha, cf. Tândya Br. XVII, 7.

xiv:3 Sâyana, to Sat. Br. IV, 3, 3, 2, explains it by 'stotra;' but see IV, 2, 3, 6-9 where it undoubtedly refers to the recited verses (rik), not to the sâman.

xiv:4 Viz. from root 'vak' to speak. I cannot see the necessity for taking p. xv 'brihad vakas' in Rig-veda VII, 96, 1 in the technical sense of Brihat-tune, as is done by Prof. Hillebrandt, in his interesting essay, 'Die Sonnwendfeste in Alt-Indien,' p. 29, merely because it is used there in connection with Indra; whilst he himself is doubtful as to whether it should be taken in the same sense in III, 10, 5 where it occurs in connection with Agni. Though the Brihat-sâman is no doubt frequently referred to Indra, and the Rathantara to Agni, the couplets ordinarily chanted to them (Rig-veda VI, 46, 1-2 and VII, 32, 22, 23) are both of them addressed to Indra. Both tunes are, however, applied to verses addressed to all manner of deities.

xv:1 See Catalogue of Sanskrit MSS. of the India Office, No. 434. In Kaush. Br. XI, 8, 'sadasy ukthâni sasyante,' also, the word has undoubtedly the sense of sastra, or (recited) hymn. In part i, p. 346, note 3 of this translation read 'great recitation or sastra,' instead of 'great chant.'

xvi:1 See, for instance, Tândya Br. XX, 1, 1.

xvi:2 Perhaps the most characteristic point of difference between these two forms in which the fundamental stotras are chanted is the first (or Hotri's) Prishtha-stotra at the midday service. Whilst the Agnishtoma here requires the Rathantara-tune chanted on the text, Sâma-vela S. II, 30, 31; the Ukthya, on the other hand, requires the text, S. V. II, 159, 160, chanted to the Brihat-tune. Professor Hillebrandt, l.c., p. 22, has, indeed, tried to show that these two tunes play an important part in early India in connection with the celebration of the solstices. A similar alternation of sâmans to that of the Hotri's Prishtha-stotra obtains at the third, or Brâhmanâkkhamsin's Prishtha-stotra; the Naudhasa-sâman (II, 35, 36) being used at the Agnishtoma, and the Syaita-sâman at the Ukthya-sacrifice. As regards the second (or Maitrâvaruna's) and fourth (or Akkhâvâka's) Prishtha-stotras, on the other hand, the same sâman--viz. the Vâmadevya (II, 32-341 and Kâleya (II, 37, 3S respectively--is used both at the Agnishtoma and Ukthya.

xvii:1 This is also the explanation of the term given by Sâyana in his commentary on Tândya Br. XII, 13, 1.

xvii:2 See this translation, part ii, p. 402, note 1.

xvii:3 See part ii, p. 402, note 2, where it is stated that the tenth and last day of the Dasarâtra is an Atyagnishtoma day, called Avivâkya, i.e. one on which there should be no dispute or quarrel.

xviii:1 See part ii, p. 226 seq. On the present occasion the Prâtur-anuvâka is, however, to consist of as many verses as, counting their syllables, would make up a thousand brihatî-verses (of thirty-six syllables each). The three sections of the ordinary morning-litany from the body of the Âsvina-sastra which concludes, after sunrise, with verses addressed to Sûrya, the sun.

xviii:2 Cf. Lâty. Sr. VIII, 1, 16; IX, 5, 23 with commentary.

xviii:3 Notably Tândya Br. XX, 1, 1 seq.

xix:1 The Aitareya Brâhmana (VI, 18) in discussing the so-called sampâta hymns inserted in continued performances, with the view of establishing a symbolic connection between the several days, curiously explains the term 'ahîna,' not from 'ahas' day, but as meaning 'not defective, where nothing is left out' (a-hîna).

xx:1 From Âsvalâyana's rule (IX, 11, 4), 'If they chant in forming the garbha (i.e. in the 'prishtha' form), let him (the Hotri or Hotraka) recite in the same way the stotriyas and anurûpas,' it seems, however, clear that the Aptoryâma may also be performed without the Prishthas.

xx:2 The original text of the Sâkvara-sâman is stated (by Sâyana on Aitar. Br. IV, 13; Mahîdhara on Vâg. S. X, 14, &c.) to be Sâma-veda II, 1152-3, 'pro shv asmai puroratham,' but the Sâma-veda Gânas do not seem to give the tune p. xxi with that text, but with the Mahânâmnî verses (ed. Bibl. Ind. II, p. 371). The Tândya Br. XIII, 4 (and comm.), gives minute directions as to the particular pâdas of the first three Mahânâmnî triplets which are singled out as of a sâkvara (potent) nature, and are supposed to form the three stotriyâ verses of the sâkvara-sâman, consisting of seven, six, and five pâdas respectively. The asâkvara pâdas are, however, likewise chanted in their respective places, as is also the additional tenth verse, the five pâdas of which are treated as mere supplementary (or 'filling in') matter.

xxi:1 That is, the Vâravantîya-tune adapted to the 'Revatî' verses. The Vâravantîya-tune is named after its original text, Rig-veda I, 27, 1, 'asvam na tvâ vâravantam' (Sâma-veda, ed. Bibl. Ind. I, p. 121). When used as one of the Prishtha-sâmans it is not, however, this, its original text, that is chanted to it, but the verses Rig-veda I, 30, 13-15, 'revatîr nah sadhamâda' (Sâma-veda II, 434-6, ed. vol. iv, p. 56), whence the tune, as adapted to this, triplet, is usually called Raivata. The Raivata-sâman, thus, is a signal instance of the use of the term 'sâman' in the sense of a chanted verse or triplet.

xxi:2 The statement, in part ii, p. 403 note (and repeated in the present part, p. 6, note 2), that, while the Prishtha-stotras of the Abhiplava-shadaha are performed in the ordinary (Agnishtoma) way, the Prishthya-shadaha requires their performance in the proper Prishtha form, is not correct. In both kinds of shadaha, the Prishtha-stotras are performed in the ordinary way (viz. in the Agnishtoma or Ukthya way, see p. 4 note); but whilst, in the Abhiplava, the Rathantara and Brihat sâmans are used for the Hotri's Prishtha-stotra on alternate days, the Prishthya-shadaha requires a different Prishtha-sâman on each of the six days. The two kinds of shadahas also differ entirely in regard to the sequence of stomas prescribed for the performance of the stotras.

xxii:1 Either the Rathantara or the Brihat also forms the 'prishtha,' or enclosing sâman, of the fist Prishtha-stotra.

xxii:2 Whenever the stotra is not performed in the 'prishtha' form, but consists of a single sâman or triplet, the repetitions required to make up the number of verses implied in the respective stoma, are distributed over the three verses of the sâman in such a way that the whole sâman is chanted thrice, each time with various repetitions of the single verses. The usual form in which the p. xxiii ekavimsa is performed may be represented by the formula aaa-bbb-c; a-bbb-ccc; aaa-b-ccc, making together twenty-one verses.

xxiii:1 Âsval. Sr. IX, 3, 4-5.

xxiii:2 It is given somewhat imperfectly in the ed. Bibl. Ind. V, p. 391.

xxiv:1 Vedische Mythologie, p. 247.

xxv:1 Cf. Sâṅkh. Sr. XV, 13, 4, 'for it is Varuna whom they consecrate.'

xxvi:1 The Brâhmana (V. 5, 2, 2), however, would rather seem to dispense with this interval by combining the twelve oblations so as to form two sets of six each.

Next: V, 1, 1. First Adhyâya. First Brâhmana