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



6:8:1:11. 'Let him drive Agni about while keeping him up,' so they say. The gods and the Asuras, both of them sprung from Pragâpati, were contending. The gods drove about on wheels (cars), and the Asuras stayed at home. The gods, while driving about on wheels, saw 1 this rite (sacrificial performance), for it was indeed in driving about on wheels that they saw this rite: hence it is to the cart that the formulas relate at the (performance with) sacrificial cakes 2, and to the cart in the building of the fire-altar 3.

6:8:1:22. Now he who drives Agni about goes to the gods by the sacred performance, for divine is the rite performed by him; but he who does not drive him about goes to the Asuras by the sacred performance, for demoniac is the rite performed by him.

6:8:1:33. Here now some say, 'It is by himself that he (Agni) is driven about; for by the Vishnu-strides he drives forward, and by the Vâtsapra he unyokes.' Let him not think this to be so; for divine (to the gods) is that progress of his, to wit, the Vishnu-strides; and divine the unyoking, to wit, the Vâtsapra. But human would be that progress of his, which he makes in this manner, and human the unyoking he makes.

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6:8:1:44. This Agni is Pragâpati; and Pragâpati is both the gods and men. Now when the Vishnu-strides and the Vâtsapra are (performed), he thereby makes up that form of his which is divine; and when he drives him about he thereby makes up that form of his which is human. Verily, then, he who, knowing this, drives him about, makes up that whole and entire Pragâpati: let him therefore by all means drive him (Agni) about.

6:8:1:55. Now on any day on which he may intend to drive, he gets the chariot placed north of the fire (with the pole) to the east; and puts a kindling-stick on it (the fire); for at that time the gods first regaled him (Agni) with food, with that kindling-stick, when he was about to start: and in like manner does this one now first regale him with food, with that kindling-stick, when he is about to start.

6:8:1:66. [Vâg. S. XII, 30; Rik S. VIII, 44, 1] 'With fuel serve ye Agni!'--that is, 'with fuel worship ye Agni!'--'with draughts of ghee awake ye the guest, offer ye libations unto him!'--that is, 'with (draughts of) ghee do ye awake the guest, and offer libations unto him!'--with a (verse) containing (the verb) 'awake' he awakens him for the starting.

6:8:1:77. He then lifts him (the fire) up, with (Vâg. S. XII, 31), 'Upwards may the All-gods bear thee, O Agni, by their thoughts!'--at the beginning all the gods did indeed bear him upwards by their thoughts, for that (or, he) was then their thought: in like manner does this (Sacrificer) now bear him upwards by his thoughts, for this now is his thought;--'be thou gracious unto us, of fair look, and rich splendour!'--as the text, so its meaning. From the south he places him (Agni) northwards

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on (the chariot)--the significance of this has been explained. Having put the Gârhapatya into a pot, he places it on (the chariot) behind (the Âhavanîya, or Ukhya Agni). If he choose, he himself may mount up beside him (Agni), or he may walk by the side (of the chariot).

6:8:1:88. He then yokes two oxen, first the right one, then the left one: so (it is done) with the gods, otherwise in human (practice). And in whatever direction he may intend to drive, let him first drive east, for the east is Agni's region: he (Agni) thus proceeds towards his own region.

6:8:1:99. [Whilst driving thither, he mutters, Vâg. S. XII, 32] 'Go forth, O Agni, brilliant thou with propitious flames!'--that is, 'Brilliant, O Agni, go thou forth with propitious, shining flames!'--'Beaming with great beams injure not my people with thy body!'--that is, 'With great shining flames do not injure my people by thyself!'

6:8:1:1010. Whenever the axle creaks, let him mutter that prayer (Vâg. S. XII, 33); for demoniacal is that voice which is in the axle: he thereby appeases that (voice) and makes it as of the gods.

6:8:1:1111. And, again, why he mutters that prayer;--with whomsoever, mounted (on a chariot), the axle creaks, this is his own voice: hence when the axle creaks while Agni is mounted, this is the voice of Agni himself. It was Agni indeed whom the gods thereby praised and magnified; and in like manner does this (Sacrificer) thereby praise and magnify him: 'Agni roared like the thundering sky,'--the meaning of this has been explained 1.

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6:8:1:1212. If he unyokes before (reaching) his dwelling, let the fire remain on the chariot itself; but when he unyokes for (staying at) his dwelling, he stops the chariot (with the pole) to the east; and north of it he raises and sprinkles (a place) where he takes it (the fire) down. He takes it down from south to north: the meaning of this has been explained.

6:8:1:1313. He then puts a kindling-stick thereon; for on that occasion the gods regaled him (Agni) with food, with that kindling-stick, after he had travelled: in like manner does this (Sacrificer) now regale him, after he has travelled, with food, with that kindling-stick.

6:8:1:1414. [He puts it on, with Vâg. S. XII, 34; Rik S. VII, 8, 4] 'Far, far famed is this Agni of the Bharata (tribe),'--the Bharata 1, doubtless, is Pragâpati, for he sustains (bhar) this entire (universe);--'that his great light shineth brightly, as the sun,'--that is, 'that, like the sun, his great light shines brightly;'--'he who overthrew Pûru in battles,'--Pûru, by name, was an Âsura-Rakshas: him Agni overthrew (abhi-sthâ) in battles;--'blazed up hath the divine guest, gracious unto us;'--that is, 'being kindled, the divine guest is gracious to us.' With a (verse) containing (the verb) 'sthâ' (he performs), for he thereby makes him stop (sthâ) for (staying at) his home.

6:8:1:1515. Now, then, the (symbolic) correspondence,--with the first (formula) he puts on a kindling-stick, with one he lifts him up, with one he starts, with one he addresses the axle, with the fifth he puts on a

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kindling-stick, that makes five,--of five layers consists the fire-altar, five seasons are a year, and the year is Agni: as great as Agni is, as great as is his measure, so great does this become.


289:1 Sâyana says, 'vîrasiddheh,' 'by the heroes’ success.'

289:2 See I, 1, 2, 5.

289:3 Sâyana refers to Vâg. S. XII, 31, 'upwards may the All-gods bear thee . . .' (paragraph 9) below, as a passage in point.

291:1 See above, VI, 7, 3, 2.

292:1 Mahîdhara, in accordance with Nigh. III, 18 (priest), explains 'bharata' as the one who brings (blear) offerings; and, with Sâyana, identifies the Bharata with the Sacrificer.

Next: VI, 8, 2. Second Brâhmana