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


p. 281




10:1:1:11. In the first place that Agni (the Fire-altar), the year, is built 1; thereafter the Great Litany (mahad uktham) is recited 2. When Pragâpati became relaxed, the vital fluid flowed upwards 3.

10:1:1:22. Now, that Pragâpati who became relaxed is the year; and those joints of his which became relaxed are the days and nights.

10:1:1:33. And that Pragâpati who became relaxed is this very Fire-altar which here is built; and those joints of his, the days and nights, which became relaxed are no other than the bricks;--thus, when he lays down these (in the layers of the altar), he thereby restores to him those joints of his, the days and nights, which had become relaxed: and thus

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it is even in this (building of the altar) that this Yagus is built up 1 and secured (for Pragâpati).

10:1:1:44. And that vital fluid (essence) of his which flowed upwards (became) the Great Litany: it is in quest of that vital fluid that (the priests) go by means of the Rik and Sâman. And when the Yagus marches in front in this (quest) 2, it is in order to fetch something that that (Veda) goes--even as (one might say), 'That one thing there is mine, I will fetch it,' so does that Yagus go in front (or forward). That (vital fluid) they obtain in the course of a year 3.

10:1:1:55. The Adhvaryu takes (draws) it by means of the Graha (Soma-cup); and inasmuch as he thereby takes (grab) it, it is (called) Graha 4. The Udgâtri puts the vital fluid into it by means of the (sâman of the) Great Rite (mahâvrata 5); but, indeed, the

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[paragraph continues] (sâman of the) Great Rite is (equivalent to) all these (other) sâmans (hymn-tunes): it is thus by means of all the hymn-tunes that he puts the vital fluid therein. The Hotri puts the vital fluid therein by means of the Great Litany; but, indeed, the Great Litany is the same as all these rik (hymn-verses) 1: it is thus by means of all the hymn-verses that he puts the vital fluid into it (the Soma-cup).

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10:1:1:66. When those (Udgâtris) chant (the stotra), and when he (the Hotri) recites (the sastra) afterwards, then he (the Adhvaryu) offers that (vital fluid, in the form of Soma) unto him (Agni-Pragâpati) at the Vashat-call; and thus this vital fluid enters him. For, indeed, they do not see it to be the Great Rite that lies there being praised, nor the Great Litany, but it is Agni alone they see; for Agni is the self (body), and thus those two, the Rik and the Sâman, enter him in the form of the vital fluid; and thus they both enter (join) the Yagus.

10:1:1:77. Now, that Agni (fire-altar) consists of pairs--the first layer and the second, and the third and fourth; and of the fifth layer the fire which is placed on the built (altar) is the mate. And, indeed, this body consists of pairs.

10:1:1:88. The thumbs (and great toes, 'aṅgushtha,' m.) are males, and the fingers and toes ('aṅguli,' f.) females; the ears ('karna' m.) are males, and the eyebrows ('bhrû,' f.) females; the lips ('oshtha,' m.) are males, and the nostrils ('nâsikâ,' f.) females; the teeth ('danta,' m.) are males, and the tongue ('gihvâ,' f.) is a female: indeed the whole (body) consists of pairs, and with this body, consisting of pairs, that (vital fluid) enters this Agni (the fire-altar), consisting of pairs 1.

10:1:1:99. This, then, is the entering therein;--even thus, indeed, he (Agni) consists of pairs 2; but in this

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way also he consists of pairs:--the fire-altar here built up is no other than this speech, for with speech it is built up; and the fire which is placed on the built (altar) is the breath; and the breath ('prâna,' m.) is the male, the mate, of speech ('vâk,' f.). And, indeed, this body is speech; and the breath which is in the body is its mate: with this mated body that (vital fluid) thus enters into the mated Agni.

10:1:1:1010. This also is the entering therein;--there is indeed no fear of him (Agni) being without offspring to whosoever thus knows these two, the body and Agni, to be a pair; but, indeed, this body is food, as is said by the Rishi (Rig-veda X, 107, 7), 'The Dakshinâ winneth food which is our own self (breath).'

10:1:1:1111. Now, this food, when eaten, becomes of two kinds,--that part of it which is immortal (remains) above the navel: by the upward vital airs it moves upwards and enters the air; but that part of it which is mortal tends to move away: it passes beyond the navel, and, having become twofold, enters this (earth), as urine and faeces. Now that which enters this (earth) enters the fire-altar 1 built here; and that which enters the air enters that fire which is placed on the built (altar). This also is the entering therein.


281:1 Or, possibly, 'that Agni is built in a year,' as paragraph 4 might seem to suggest. Sâyana, however, takes it in the above sense,--eshognih Samvatsarâtmakah purastât pûrvam kiyate. The Agnikayana, when properly performed, requires a full year, whence Agni-Pragâpati is constantly identified with the year and the seasons.

281:2 According to Sâyana, the intermediate Mahâvrata-sâman (see note 1, p. 283), chanted prior to the recitation of the Mahad uktham, is likewise implied here.

281:3 Thus--ûrdhvalokam agakkhat--Sâyana takes 'agram.'

282:1 Viz. inasmuch as yagus-formulas have to be used with the laying down of many of the bricks (the so-called 'yagushmatîs'). Whilst, in the case of the Rik and Sâman, other rites are necessary to secure them for the restored Pragâpati, the Yagus is secured for him in the very act of building up his body, the fire-altar.

282:2 The Adhvaryu priest has to do all the practical work connected with the sacrificial performance, the building of the altar, &c.; and inasmuch as it is with yagus-formulas he does so throughout, the Yagus is said here to take the lead; cf. X, 3, 5, 3.

282:3 Viz. by means of the sacrificial session of sacrificing, chanting, and reciting, called 'Gavâm ayanam' (procession of the cows), lasting for one year, on the last day but one of which the Mahâvrata, or Great Rite, is performed.

282:4 The particular cup of Soma here referred to is the Mahâvratîya-graha, the special cup of the Great Rite; cf. X, 4, 1, 12 seq.

282:5 The central feature of the Mahâvrata consists in the chanting, at the mid-day service--as the Hotri's Prishtha-stotra--of the so-called Mahâvrata-sâman. It consists of five different parts which,--like those of which the Mahad uktham, recited after it, is p. 283 composed,--are considered as representing different parts of Agni-Pragâpati's body, viz.: I. Gâyatra-sâman, representing the head; it is chanted in the trivrit-stoma (nine-versed hymn-form) and consists of the triplets, Sâma-v. II, 146-8 (= Rig-veda I, 7, 1-3: indram id gâthino brihat), II, 263-5 (indro dadhîko asthabhir), and II, 800-2 (ud ghed abhi srutâmagham); though, according to others, the Sâma-triplets corresponding to Rig-veda I, 7, I-9 may be chanted instead. 2. Rathantara-sâman (Sâma-v. II, 30-I), representing the right wing, chanted in the Pañkadasa-stoma, or fifteen-versed form. 3. Brihat-sâman (II, 159-60), the left wing, in the Saptadasa-stoma, or seventeen-versed form. 4. Bhadra-sâman (on II, 460-2; Of. Calc. ed., vol. v, p. 402), the tail, in the Ekavimsa, or twenty-one-versed form. 5. Râgana- sâman (on II, 833-5; cf. Calc. ed., vol. v, p. 449), the body (âtman), in the Pañkavimsa-stoma, or twenty-five-versed form; instead of this the Vâmadevya-sâman (on II, 32-4) may be chanted in the pañkanidhana form (Calc. ed., vol. v, p. 45I).--The chanting of this Stotra is preceded by the singing of thirteen sâmans, called parimâdah (see X, 1, 2, 8), followed by certain ceremonies--buckling armour on a nobleman, driving in a sunwise direction round the sacrificial ground, shooting arrows at two ox-hides, beating of drums, &c.--apparently symbolising the driving off of evil spirits from the sacrifice, or a combat for the possession of (the light of) the sun. The chanting itself is, according to some authorities, performed by the Udgâtris, whilst, according to others, all the priests (except the Hotri, for whom the Maitrâvaruna acts), as well as the Grihapati, or Sacrificer, take part in turn in the singing of the sâmans; the Prastotri and Pratihartri; assistants of the Udgâtri; joining in with the successive performers in the Nidhanas, or finales.

283:1 See p. 110, note 3; p. 112, note 1. During his recitation of the Great Litany, the Hotri is seated on a swing, the Adhvaryu p. 284 making his responses whilst standing on a plank, and the Hotri's assistants being seated on bundles of grass.

284:1 Or, with this body as a mate it thus enters this Agni, its mate; literally, with this body forming one of a (productive) pair, it thus enters this Agni, forming one (i. e. the other) of a pair.

284:2 That is, he has in him the generative energy. Apparently p. 285 'mithuna,' m. has also the sense of paired,' 'mated,' i.e. 'one who has his complement or mate,' and so perhaps here.

Next: X, 1, 2. Second Brâhmana