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Satapatha Brahmana Part IV (SBE43), Julius Eggeling tr. [1897], at




8:2:1:11. He lays down the second layer. For now the gods, having laid down the first layer, mounted it.

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[paragraph continues] But, indeed, the first layer is this (terrestrial) world: it is this same world which, when completed, they mounted.

8:2:1:22. They spake, 'Meditate ye!'--whereby, doubtless, they meant to say, 'Seek ye a layer! Seek ye (to build) from hence upwards!' Whilst meditating, they saw this second layer: what there is above the earth, and on this side of the atmosphere, that world was to their mind, as it were, unfirm and unsettled.

8:2:1:33. They said to the Asvins, 'Ye two are Brahmans and physicians: lay ye down for us this second layer!'--'What will therefrom accrue unto us?--'Ye two shall be the Adhvaryus at this our Agnikityâ.'--'So be it!'--The Asvins laid down for them that second layer: whence they say, 'The Asvins are the Adhvaryus of the gods.'

8:2:1:44. He lays down (the first Âsvinî 1 brick, with

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[paragraph continues]g. S. XIV, 1), 'Thou art firmly-founded, firmly-seated, firm!' for what is steady and settled, that is firm. Now that world was to their minds, as it were, unfirm and unsettled: having thereby made it firm, steady, they (the Asvins) went on laying down (bricks).--'Seat thee fitly in thy firm seat!'--that is, 'Seat thee fitly in thy steady seat;'--'enjoying the first appearance of the Ukhya,'--the Ukhya, doubtless, is this Agni; and that first layer is indeed his first appearance: thus, 'enjoying that.'--'May the Asvins, the Adhvaryus, settle you here!' for the Asvins, as Adhvaryus, did lay down (this brick).

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8:2:1:55. [The second Âsvinî he lays down, with Vâg. S. XIV, 2], 'Nest-like, fat, wise,'--a nest, as it were, is indeed the second layer 1;--'seat thee in the soft seat of the earth!'--the second layer, no doubt, is the earth: thus, 'Sit on her pleasant seat!'--'May the Rudras, the Vasus sing thy praises!'--that is, 'May those deities sing thy praises!'--'Replenish them, O Brahman, for happiness!'--that is, 'Favour them, O Brahman, with a view to happiness.'--'May the Asvins, the Adhvaryus, settle thee here!' for the Asvins, as Adhvaryus, did lay down (this brick).

8:2:1:66. [The third Âsvinî brick he lays down, with Vâg. S. XIV, 3], 'By thine own powers seat thee here, a holder of powers,'--that is, 'By thy own energy seat thee here;'--'in the gods’ favour for high joy!' that is, 'for the favour of the gods, for great joy 2;"--'be thou kind, as a father to his son!'--that is, 'As a father is gentle, kind, to his son, so be thou kind!'--'rest thou readily accessible with thy form!'--the form, doubtless, is the body: thus, 'rest thou with readily accessible body!'--'May the Asvins, the Adhvaryus, settle thee here!' for the Asvins, as Adhvaryus, did lay down (this brick).

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8:2:1:77. [The fourth Âsvinî he lays down, with Vâg. S. XIV, 4], 'Thou art the earth's soil-cover,'--the first layer, doubtless, is the earth, and this, the second (layer) is, as it were, its soil-cover (purîsha)--'her sap 1, in truth,'--that is, 'her essence, in truth,'--'May the All-gods sing thy praises!'--that is, 'May all the gods sing thy praises!'--'Seat thee here, laden with stomas, and rich in fat!'--whatever hymn-forms he will be spreading (constructing) thereon by them this (brick) is laden with stomas 2;--'Gain for us by sacrifice wealth (dravinâ, pl.) with offspring (adj. sing.)!'--that is, 'Gain for us, by sacrifice, wealth (dravinam, sing.) with offspring!'--'May the Asvins, the Adhvaryus, settle thee here!' for the Asvins, as Adhvaryus, did lay down (this brick).

8:2:1:88. These (bricks) are those regions (quarters); he places them on the range of the two retahsik (bricks), for the retahsik are these two (worlds): he thereby places the regions within these two (worlds), whence there are regions within these two (worlds). He lays down (these bricks) in every direction: he thus places the regions in all (the four) directions, whence the regions are in all directions. [He places them] on all sides so as to face each other 3: he thereby

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makes the regions on all sides face each other, and hence the regions on all sides face each other. He lays (the bricks) down separately, settles them separately, and pronounces the sûdadohas over them separately, for separate are the regions.

8:2:1:99. He then lays down the fifth regional (or Âsvinî brick). Now that region is the one above 1; and that same region above, doubtless, is yonder sun: it is yonder sun he thus places thereon. He places this (brick) within the southern regional one 2: he thus places yonder sun within the southern region, and therefore he moves within the southern region.

8:2:1:1010. [He lays it down, with Vâg. S. XIV, 5], 'I settle thee upon the back of Aditi,'--Aditi doubtless is this (earth): it is upon her, as a foundation, that he thus founds him (Agni);--'the holder

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of the air, the supporter of the regions, the ruler of beings,'--for he (the sun) is indeed the holder of the air, the supporter of the regions, and the ruler of beings;--'thou art the wave, the drop, of water,'--the wave, doubtless, means the essence;--'Visvakarman is thy Rishi!'--Visvakarman (the all-shaper), doubtless, is Pragâpati: thus, 'Thou art fashioned by Pragâpati.'--'May the Asvins, the Adhvaryus, settle thee here!' for the Asvins, as Adhvaryus, did lay down (this brick).

8:2:1:1111. Now as to why he lays down these Âsvinî (bricks). When Pragâpati had become relaxed (disjointed), the deities took him and went away in different directions. Now what part of him there was above the feet and below the waist, that part of him the two Asvins took and kept going away from him.

8:2:1:1212. He said to them, 'Come to me and restore unto me that wherewith ye have gone away from me!'--'What will accrue to us therefrom?'--'That part of my body shall be sacred unto you!'--'So be it!' so the Asvins restored that (part) unto him.

8:2:1:1313. Now these five Âsvinî (bricks) are that same (part) of his (Agni's) body; and when he now puts them into this (layer of the altar), he thereby restores to him what (part) of his body these (bricks) are: that is why he puts them into this (layer).

8:2:1:1414. 'Thou art firmly founded, firmly seated, firm,' he says, for whatsoever is steady and established that is firm. Now that part of his (Pragâpati-Agni's) body was, as it were, unsteady, unfirm; and having made it steady and firm they (the Asvins) restored it to him.

8:2:1:1515. 'Nestlike, fat, wise,' he says, for this indeed

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is as a nest for his body.--'By thine own powers seat thee here, a holder of powers,' he says, for they did make that (part) of him powerful.--'Thou art the Earth's soil-cover,' he says, for that (lower part) of his body is, as it were, in connection with the soil-cover. At the range of the Retahsik (he places the bricks),--the Retahsik are the ribs, for level with the ribs, as it were, is that (part) of his body. He places them on every side, for on every side the Asvins restored that (part) of his (Pragâpati's) body.

8:2:1:1616. He then lays down two Ritavyâ 1 (seasonal bricks);--these two, the Ritavyâ, are the seasons (ritu): it is the seasons he thus bestows thereon. [He lays them down, with Vâg. S. XIV, 6], 'Sukra and Suki, the two summer-seasons;'--these are the names of these two: it is with their names that he thus lays them down. There are two bricks, for a season consists of two months. He settles them once only: he thereby makes (the two months) one season.

8:2:1:1717. And as to why he lays down these two in this (layer):--this Agni (fire-altar) is the year, and the year is these worlds. Now that part of him which is above the earth and below the atmosphere, is this second layer; and that same part of him (Agni, the year,) is the summer season. And when he lays down those two in this (layer), he thereby restores to him (Agni) that part of his body which these two are: this is why he lays down these two (bricks) in this (layer).

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8:2:1:1818. And, again, as to why he lays down these two in this (layer). This fire-altar is Pragâpati, and Pragâpati is the year. Now that (part) of him which is above the feet and below the waist is this second layer; and that same part of him is the summer season. Thus when he lays down those two in this (layer), he thereby restores to him that (part) of his body which these two ale: this is why he lays down these two (bricks) in this (layer).


22:1 Viz. in the south-east corner, or on the right shoulder, of the altar. From these two lokamprinâs (or space-fillers) he starts filling up, in two turns, the still available spaces of the 'body' of the altar, as also the whole of the two wings and the tail. For other particulars as to the way in which these are laid down, see VIII, 7, 2, 1 seqq. The 'body' of an ordinary altar requires in this layer 1028 lokamprinâs of three different kinds, viz. a foot (Ind.), half a foot, and a quarter of a foot square, occupying together a space of 321 square feet, whilst the 98 special (yagushmatî) bricks fill up a space of 79 square feet. Each wing requires 309 lokamprinâs of together 120 square feet; whilst the tail takes 283 such bricks, of together 110 square feet. The total number of lokamprinâs in the layer thus amounts to 7929 of all sizes, equal to 671 square feet. If (as is done in Kâty. Srautas. XVII, 7, 21) the 21 bricks of the Gârhapatya (part iii, p. 304) are added to this number, the total number of lokamprinâs is 1,950. Similarly, in the second, third, and fourth layers; whilst the last layer requires about a thousand lokamprinâs more than any of the others, viz. 2,922, or, including the special hearths, 3,000. The total number of such bricks required--including the 21 of the Gârhapatya--amounts to 10,800. Cp. Weber, Ind. Stud. XIII, p. 255.

22:2 See VIII, 7, 2, 1 seq.

22:3 See VIII, 7, 3, 1 seq.

23:1 The main portion of the special bricks of the second layer consists of five, or (if, for the nonce, we take the two southern sets of half-bricks as one) of four sets of four bricks each, or of together sixteen bricks, each measuring a foot square, placed on the range of the retahsik bricks so as to form the outer rim of a square measuring five feet on each side, and having in the middle a blank square of nine square feet. Each of the four sides of the retahsik rim contains a complete set of four bricks; but as there are five bricks on each side, the one in the left-hand corner (looking at them from the centre of the square) is counted along with the adjoining set. Each set, proceeding from left to right (that is, in sunwise fashion), consists of the following bricks,--âsvinî, vaisvadevî, prânabhrit, and apasyâ, the last of these occupying the corner spaces. The southern bricks consist, however, of two sets of half-bricks (running with their long sides from west to east), counted as the second and fifth set respectively. The eastern and western bricks are laid down so that their line-marks (which, in the case of the bricks of the second and fourth layers, are of an indefinite number) run from west to east; whilst those of the southern p. 24 and northern ones run from south to north. All the five bricks of each class, beginning with the âsvinîs, are laid down at the same time, proceeding again in sunwise fashion (east, south, &c.); the


order of the procedure being only interrupted by the two Ritavyâ bricks being laid down, immediately after the placing of the five âsvinî, exactly over the two ritavyâs of the first layer, that is to say in the fifth (easterly) space from the centre, north and south of the spine. The only other special bricks of the second layer are nineteen vayasyâs placed at the four ends of the two spines, viz. four in the east, and five in each of the other quarters.

25:1 This comparison doubtless refers to the way in which the central portion of the special bricks of this layer are arranged so as completely to enclose an empty space in the middle.. In the first layer there was, no doubt, a similar enclosure of bricks as the retahsik range, but the central space was not left quite empty. In the end, however, the empty spaces are in both cases filled up by 'space-fillers.'

25:2 The author seems to take 'rasa' as an adjective (= ramanîya), as does Mahîdhara, who interprets the formula as meaning 'for the gods’ great, cheerful happiness.'

26:1 The word 'apsas,' which western philologists usually take to mean 'cheek,' is here apparently connected with 'ap,' water.

26:2 Literally, 'having stomas on her back.' Mahîdhara interprets 'stoma-prishthâ' by 'possessed of stomas and Prishthas.' Sâyana, on Taitt. S. III, 7, 2, 7, by '(Prishtha-)stotras performed with stomas.'

26:3 'Samyañk' may either mean 'tending to one and the same point,' or 'running in the same direction, parallel to each other.' It is probably in the former sense that we have to take it here, though not quite literally, but in so far as the line-marks of these p. 27 bricks, if continued towards the centre of the altar, intersect one another. As applied to the quarters this meaning would then modify itself to that of 'facing each other.' On the other hand, it is quite possible that the meaning of 'tending in the same direction' is the one intended; and it would in that case probably apply to the fact that the sets opposite to each other have their line-marks running in the same direction, or are parallel to each other; and this meaning would seem to be implied to the quarters where the author supports his argument by the fact that the wind blows, and the rain falls, in the same direction in all the four quarters (VIII, 2, 3, 2; 5). It is curious that the expression is used by the author in connection with the âsvinî, prânabhrit, and apasyâ, but not with the vaisvadevî, the line-marks of which all meet in one central point, which is not the case with the others. At VIII, 3, 1, 11, on the other hand, it is used again in connection with the Disyâ bricks, which, in the third layer, occupy exactly the same spaces as the Vaisvadevîs do here.

27:1 Or, that direction is the one upward (from here).

27:2 That is to say, he places it immediately north of the southern âsvinî, so as to fill up the unoccupied, inner half of the space (of a foot square).

29:1 These two bricks are placed exactly upon the two Ritavyâs of the first layer, that is, in the fifth space from the centre; see p. 1, note 1.

Next: VIII, 2, 2. Second Brâhmana