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



5:4:4:11. He proceeds with the curds for Mitra-Varuna. Whilst the Svishtakrit of it remains yet unoffered, they bring a throne-seat for him (the king); for truly he who gains a seat in the air, gains a seat above (others): thus these subjects of his sit below him who is seated above,--that is why they bring him a throne-seat. It is of khadira (acacia catechu) wood, and perforated, and bound with thongs as that of the Bhâratas.

5:4:4:22. He places it (on the tiger's skin), in front of the Maitrâvaruna's hearth, with (Vâg. S. X, 26), 'Thou art pleasant, thou art soft-seated!'--he thereby renders it kindly and auspicious.

5:4:4:33. He then spreads a mantle over it, with, 'Thou art the womb (seat) of knighthood!'--he thus

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makes it (the king's throne) the very womb of knighthood.

5:4:4:44. He then makes him sit down on it, with, 'Seat thee on the pleasant one! seat thee on the soft-seated!'--whereby he says, 'Seat thyself on the kindly and auspicious (seat)!'--'Seat thee in the womb of knighthood!'--thus he places him in what is the very womb of knighthood.

5:4:4:55. Having touched him on the chest, he then mutters (Vâg. S. X, 27; Rik S. I, 25, 10), 'He hath sat down, the upholder of the sacred law,'--the king indeed is the upholder of the sacred law, for he is not capable of all and every speech, nor of all and every deed; but that he should speak only what is right, and do what is right, of that he, as well as the Srotriya (the Brâhman versed in sacred writ), is capable; for these two are the upholders of the sacred law among men: therefore he says, 'He hath sat down, the upholder of the sacred law;'--'Varuna, in the home-steads,'--the home-steads are the peasants (clans, people): 'among the peasants' he means to say;--'for supreme rule, he the wise!'--'for kingship' he means to say when he says, 'for supreme rule, he the wise.'

5:4:4:66. He then throws the five dice 1 into his hand,

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with (Vâg. S. X, 28), 'Dominant thou art: may these five regions of thine prosper!'--now that

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one, the Kali, is indeed dominant over the (other) dice, for that one dominates over all the dice: therefore he says, 'Dominant thou art: may these five regions of thine prosper!' for there are indeed five regions, and all the regions he thereby causes to prosper for him.

5:4:4:77. They (the Adhvaryu and his assistants) then silently strike him with sticks on the back;--by beating him with sticks (danda) they guide him safely over judicial punishment (dandabadha): whence the king is exempt from punishment (adandya), because they guide him safely over judicial punishment.

5:4:4:88. Thereupon he chooses a boon; and, verily, whatsoever boon he who has been anointed chooses, that is completely fulfilled for him: therefore he chooses a boon.

5:4:4:99. 'O Brahman!' thus he addresses (the priest) the first time 1, thinking, 'I will first utter the (word)

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[paragraph continues] Brahman, I will speak speech sped by the Brahman:' this is why he first addresses him with 'O Brahman!' The other answers, 'Thou art Brahman! Thou art Savitri of true impulsion!'--he thereby lays vigour into him, and causes Savitri to be of true impulsion.

5:4:4:1010. 'O Brahman!' thus he addresses him the second time. The other answers, 'Thou art Brahman! Thou art Varuna of true power!'--he thereby lays vigour into him, and causes Varuna to be of true power.

5:4:4:1111. 'O Brahman!' thus he addresses him the third time. The other answers, 'Thou art Brahman! Thou art Indra, mighty through the people 1!'--he thereby lays vigour into him, and causes Indra to be mighty through the people.

5:4:4:1212. 'O Brahman!' thus he addresses him the

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fourth time. The other answers, 'Thou art Brahman! Thou art Rudra, the most kindly!'--he thereby lays into him (the king) those former energies, and he appeases him (Rudra); and he, Rudra, therefore, is gracious to every one, because he (the priest) appeases him.

5:4:4:1313. 'O Brahman!' thus he addresses him the fifth time. The other answers (undefinedly), 'Thou art Brahman!'--undefined means unlimited: thus heretofore he laid limited vigour into him; but now he answers undefinedly; and undefined meaning unlimited, he thereby lays complete, unlimited vigour into him: therefore he answers here undefinedly.

5:4:4:1414. He then hails him as one bearing auspicious names,--'Much-worker, better-worker, more-worker 1!' Whoever bears such names speaks auspiciously even with a human voice.

5:4:4:1515. A Brâhmana then hands to him the sacrificial (wooden) sword,--either the Adhvaryu, or he who is his (the king's) domestic chaplain--with, 'Indra's thunderbolt thou art: therewith serve me!'--the sacrificial sword being a thunderbolt, that Brâhmana, by means of that thunderbolt, makes the king to be weaker than himself; for indeed the king who is weaker than a Brâhmana, is stronger than his enemies: thus he thereby makes him stronger than his enemies.

5:4:4:1616. The king hands it to the king's brother, with, 'Indra's thunderbolt thou art: therewith serve me!' Thereby the king makes his brother to be weaker than himself.

5:4:4:1717. The king's brother hands it either to the

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[paragraph continues] Sûta (minstrel and chronicler), or to the Governor, with, 'Indra's thunderbolt thou art: therewith serve me!' Thereby the king's brother makes the Sûta, or the Governor, to be weaker than himself.

5:4:4:1818. The Sûta, or the Governor, hands it to the Grâmanî (village-headman 1), with, 'Indra's thunderbolt thou art: therewith serve me!' Thereby the Sûta, or the Governor, makes the headman to be weaker than himself.

5:4:4:1919. The Grâmanî hands it to a tribesman 2, with, 'Indra's thunderbolt thou art: therewith serve me!' Thereby the headman makes the tribesman to be weaker than himself. And as to why they mutually hand it on in this way, they do so lest there should be a confusion of classes, and in order that (society) may be in the proper order.

5:4:4:2020. Thereupon the tribesman and the Pratiprasthâtri 3, with that sacrificial sword, prepare the gaming-ground, (close) by the original fire 4, with the puroruk verse of the Sukra 5. The Sukra is the eater: he thereby makes (him) the eater.

5:4:4:2121. With the puroruk verse of the Manthin 6 they then put up a shed (vimita). The Manthin cup is

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he that is to be eaten,--thus having first made (him) the feeder, they now make for him one to be fed upon: that is why they put up a shed with the puroruk verse of the Manthin cup.

5:4:4:2222. The Adhvaryu then takes clarified butter in four ladlings, places a piece of gold on the gaming-ground, and offers with (Vâg. S. X, 29), 'May ample Agni, the lord of rites, delighted,--may ample Agni, the lord of rites, accept of the butter, hail!'

5:4:4:2323. He (the Adhvaryu) throws down the dice, with, 'Hallowed by Svâhâ, strive ye with Sûrya's rays for the middlemost place among brethren!' For that gaming-ground is the same as 'ample Agni,' and those dice are his coals, thus it is him (Agni) he thereby pleases; and assuredly in the house of him who offers the Râgasûya, or who so knows this, the striking 1 of that cow is approved of. On those dice he says, 'Play for the cow!' The two draught oxen of the original (hall-door) fire are the sacrificial fee.

5:4:4:2424. He then says, 'Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni Svishtakrit!' And as to why that ceremony is performed between two oblations,--verily, Pragâpati is that sacrifice which is here performed, and from which these creatures have been produced,--and, indeed, they are even now produced after this one;--thus he places him (the Sacrificer) in the very middle of that Pragâpati, and consecrates him in the very middle: that is why that ceremony is performed between two oblations.

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[paragraph continues] Having called for the Sraushat, he says, 'Pronounce the offering-formula to Agni Svishtakrit,' and offers as the Vashat is uttered.

5:4:4:2525. He then puts the idâ on (the fire). After the invocation of Idâ, he touches water and draws the Mâhendra cup. Having drawn the Mâhendra cup, he sets the chant agoing. He urges him (the Sacrificer) forward to the chant: he gets down (from the throne-seat); he is in attendance at the chant (stotra), in attendance at the recitation (sastra).


106:1 The allusions to the game of dice in the early literature are not sufficiently definite to enable us to form a clear idea as to the manner in which the game was played. Sâyana, on our passage (as on Taitt. S. I, 8, 16), remarks that the dice here used consisted either of gold cowries (shells) or of gold (dice shaped like) Vibhîtaka nuts. That the (brown) fruit of the Vibhîtaka tree (Terminalia Bellerica)--being of about the size of a nutmeg, nearly round, with five slightly flattened sides--was commonly used for this purpose in early times, we know from the Rig-veda; but we do not know in what manner the dice were marked in those days. According p. 107 to the commentators, the game is played with five dice, four of which are called krita, whilst the fifth is called kali; and if all the dice fall uniformly (ekarûpa)--i.e. with the marked sides either upwards or downwards--then the player wins, and in that case the kali is said to overrule the other dice. In this case the kali would seem to represent the king. Kâty. Sr. XV, 7, 18-19, however, admits of another mode of playing, by which the kali represents the sagâta (tribesman), whilst the king and those that come after him (in the enumeration in paragraphs 15-20) play the krita, &c, To understand this mode, we have probably to turn to Khandog. Up. IV, 1, 4, where it is said of the saint Raikva, that everything good fell to him, just as the lower dice (or casts) submit to the conquering krita. Here the commentators assign the names krita, tretâ, dvâpara, and kali to different sides of the die, marked respectively with 4, 3, 2, and 1 marks (aṅka).--In Taitt. Br. I, 7, 10 the game at dice, at the Râgasûya, is referred to as follows:--With, 'This king has overcome the regions,' he hands (to the king) five dice; for these are all the dice: he thereby renders him invincible. They engage (to play) for a dish of rice (odana), for that is (a symbol of) the chief: he thus makes him obtain every prosperity. He addresses them (with the epithets of) 'far-famed, most prosperous, true king.' The Commentary and Sûtras then supply the following explanations:--The keeper of the dice (akshâvâpa), having (marked off and) raised the gambling-ground (by means of the wooden sword), and sprinkled it, throws down more than a hundred--or more than a thousand--gold dice. From them he takes five dice and hands them to the king: these, as representing the five regions, are taken to include all those dice. These explanations, so far from clearing up the doubtful points, seem rather to add to them. It may be noted, however, that in the well-known hymn, Rik S. X, 34, in which the gambler's state of mind is pictured in very expressive language, the dice of the game are apparently spoken of as tripañsa vrâta, or 'the troop of fifty-three' (or thrice five, according to Ludwig's rather improbable conjecture). For other particulars see R. Roth, Zeitsch. d. deutsch. morg. Ges. II, p. 122; A. Weber, Ind. Stud. I, p. 284. According to Goldstücker (s.v. abhishekanîya) this game of dice is intended to symbolize the victory of the present age, or kali-yuga, over the former ages; but the commentator rather takes it as symbolizing the king's dig-vigaya, or victorious sway in every quarter.

108:1 If it were not for the clear and unmistakable interpretation of the commentators on the Brâhmana and Kâtyâyana, one might feel inclined to translate, 'thus he addresses the first--the second,' &c., so as to bring it into accord with the practice of the Black Yagus. This practice is as follows (Taitt. S. I, 8, 16, with commentary).--The priest moves the previously uplifted arms of the Sacrificer down to the Vaisvadeva dish of curds (cf. above, V, 4, 3, 27), with, 'Thou art Mitra!--thou art Varuna!' He then places the khâdira throne-seat on the vedi, covers it with a leathern (or fur) cover, with, 'Thou art the navel of the Kshatra, the womb of the Kshatra,' and makes the king sit down with, 'Seat thee on the pleasant one, seat thee on the soft-seated!' The king sits down, with, 'May it not injure thee! may it not injure me!' The priest then addresses him, with, 'He hath sat down, the upholder of the sacred law, Varuna in the homesteads, for supreme rule, he the wise!' The priests and Ratnins (see V, 3, 1, 1 seq.) then sit down in a circle round the king in. order to do homage to him,--the Adhvaryu being seated towards the east, the Brahman towards the south, the Hotri p. 109 towards the west, the Udgâtri towards the north. The king then addresses the Adhvaryu, with, 'O Brahman, (Om)!' That priest replies, 'Thou, O king, art Brahman, thou art Savitri of true impulsion.' In the same way the king addresses the Brahman, 'O Brahman!' and that priest replies, 'Thou, O king, art Brahman, thou art Indra, of true energy!' Then the Hotri, who replies, '. . . thou art Mitra, the most kindly!'--the Udgâtri: '. . . thou art Varuna, of true laws!' Thereupon the Brahman hands the sacrificial sword to the king, with, 'Indra's thunderbolt thou art!' He then hands to him five dice, with, 'This king has overcome the regions!' see next note.--The charioteer, treasurer, and chamberlain are invited by the king (to the game?) by auspicious epithets ('far-famed one,' 'most prosperous one,' 'true king'). Thereupon the Hotri recites the story of Sunahsepa, whereupon follows the offering of the svishtakrit of the cake of the Maruts, and the dish of curds to the Visve Devâh.

109:1 Or, he whose strength is the people (vis, visa),--that is, the Maruts, in the case of Indra, and the subjects or peasantry in that of the king. Sây.

110:1 That is, increaser of the prosperity of himself and his people.

111:1 See p. 60, note *1*.

111:2 The sagâta would seem to be one of the peasant proprietors or 'sharers' constituting the village 'brotherhood' ruled over by the headman, and often actually belonging to the same family as the latter (Gaugenosse, clansman).

111:3 The first assistant of the Adhvaryu.

111:4 That is, north of the Âhavanîya fire, where the cart stands, containing the original (hall-door) fire.

111:5 For this verse (Vâg. S. VII, 12; Rik S. V, 44, 1), preceding the ordinary formula with which the Soma-cups are drawn, see IV, 2, 1, 9 (part ii, p. 280).

111:6g. S. VII, 16; Rik S. X, 723, 7; see IV, 2, 7, 70.

112:1 Thus (not the slaying) according to the commentary on Kâty. Sr. XV, 7, 20, hantis kâhananamâtro na mâranârthah.--The cow is the one staked by the tribesman (sagâta).

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