Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Satapatha Brahmana  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Satapatha Brahmana Part V (SBE44), Julius Eggeling tr. [1900], at



12:2:2:11. Here, now, they say, 'Whereby are the Abhiplavas possessed of light (gyotis) on both sides 1,

p. 149

and the Prishthya of light on one side only?' Well, the Abhiplavas are these worlds, and these worlds are indeed possessed of light on both sides--through the fire on this side, and through the sun on yonder side; and the Prishthya is the seasons, and the seasons are indeed possessed, of light on one side only: he who burns yonder (the sun) is their light.

12:2:2:22. Verily, those two wheels of the gods, established on the Prishthya 1, revolve crushing 2 the Sacrificer's evil; and, indeed, if during a sacrificial session any one speaks evil of such initiates as know this, those two wheels of the gods cut off his head: the (chariot-) seat is the Dasarâtra, and the two wheels are the Prishthya and Abhiplava.

12:2:2:33. Concerning this they say, 'Seeing that the two wheels (of a cart) are alike, and those stomas unlike, how are those stomas one after another performed alike for him?' Let him reply, 'Thereby, that there are six of the one, and six of the other.'

12:2:2:44. 'Let him make the Prishthya and Abhiplava two warps 3,' said Paiṅgya; 'let him make their

p. 150

[paragraph continues] Stotras and Sastras run together:' inasmuch as he makes them run together, these (channels of the) vital airs, though separate from one another, run together, with one and the same aim 1, into a common web; but were he not to make them run together, the Sacrificer would be liable to perish; and liable to perish, indeed, is one who is either blind or deaf.

12:2:2:55. The Agnishtomas amount to nine in a month 2;--now, there are nine vital airs: it is the vital airs he thus lays into them (the Sacrificers); and thus they attain the full term of life, and so, indeed, they do not depart this world before the (full) term of life.

12:2:2:66. And the Ukthyas (amount) to twenty-one;--now, there are twelve months in the year, five seasons, and three worlds, that makes twenty, and he who burns yonder (the sun) is the twenty-first 3,

p. 151

[paragraph continues] --that consummation (he attains), and by that consummation he ascends month by month to the world of heaven, and gains, in monthly portions, the world of heaven, and the twenty-one-fold Stoma, and the Brihatî metre 1.

12:2:2:77. The Agnishtomas amount to thirty-four in a month 2--for the obtainment of all the gods; for there are thirty-three gods, and Pragâpati is the thirty-fourth. And there is one Ukthya with the Shodasin (stotra); for the Ukthya means food, and the Shodasin vital strength.

12:2:2:88. By means of that food and vital strength the gods obtained all their desires, and secured all their desires; and in like manner does this (Sacrificer); by means of that food and vital strength, obtain all his desires, and secure all his desires: with a view to that object he who is initiated for (a sacrificial session of) a year should therefore perform the Prishthya and Abhiplava (-shadahas).

p. 152

12:2:2:99. Now, the Âdityas and the Aṅgiras, both of them sprung from Pragâpati, were contending together saying, 'We shall be the first to reach heaven,--we shall be the first!'

12:2:2:1010. By means of four Stomas, four Prishthas 1, and light (simple) hymn-tunes, the Âdityas sailed across to the heavenly world; and inasmuch as they sailed (abhi-plu) to it, they (these six-days’ periods) are called Abhiplava.

12:2:2:1111. By means of all the Stomas, all the Prishthas 2, and heavy (complicated) hymn-tunes, the Aṅgiras, coming after (the gods), as it were 3, touched (reached) the heavenly world; and inasmuch as they touched (spris) it, it (this six-days’ period) is called Prishthya 4.

12:2:2:1212. It is a six-days’ Abhiplava, because it consists of six days; or a five-days’ Abhiplava, because it consists of five days, for the last day is the same as the first; or a four-days’ Abhiplava, for there are four Stomas (used) in it--the thrice-threefold (trivrit), the fifteen-versed, the seventeen-versed, and the twenty-one-versed one; or a three-days’ Abhiplava, for it is of three orders--Gyotis, Go, and

p. 153

[paragraph continues] Âyus 1; or a two-days’ Abhiplava, for there are two Sâmans (used) in it--the Brihat and the Rathantara 2; or a one-day's Abhiplava, for it is performed with the Stomas of a one-day's (Soma-sacrifice 3). Twelve Stotras and twelve Sastras of the four Ukthyas are in excess 4--they make a seventh Agnishtoma, and thus the Agnishtomas amount to seven.

12:2:2:1313. Now, Proti Kausâmbeya 5 Kausurubindi dwelt with Uddâlaka Âruni as a religious student. The teacher asked him, 'My son, how many days did thy father 6 consider that there are in the year?'

12:2:2:1414. 'Ten,' he replied.--'Ten, indeed,' he said; 'for the Virâg consists of ten syllables, and the sacrifice is of Virâg nature;--

15. But how many are there really?'--'Nine,' he replied.--'Nine, indeed,' he said; 'for there are nine vital airs, and by means of the vital airs the sacrifice is performed;--

p. 154

12:2:2:1616. But how many are there really?'--'Eight,' he replied.--'Eight, indeed,' he said; 'for the Gâyatrî consists of eight syllables, and the sacrifice is of Gâyatrî nature;--

12:2:2:1717. But how many are there really?'--'Seven,' he replied.--'Seven, indeed,' he said; 'for there are seven metres (successively) increasing by four (syllables), and by means of the metres the sacrifice is performed;--

12:2:2:1818. But how many are there really?'--'Six,' he replied.--'Six, indeed,' he said; 'six seasons make up a year, and the sacrifice is the year; and one and the same day are those two, the opening and concluding (Atirâtra 1);--

12:2:2:1919. But how many are there really?'--'Five,' he replied.--'Five, indeed,' he said; 'the sacrifice is fivefold; the sacrificial animal is fivefold 2; there are five seasons in the year, and the sacrifice is the year;

p. 155

and one and the same day are those two, the Katurvimsa and the Mahâvrata.;--

12:2:2:2020. But how many are there really?'--'Four,' he replied.--'Four, indeed,' he said; 'animals are four-footed, and animals constitute a sacrifice; and one and the same day are those two, the Prishthya and Abhiplava;--

12:2:2:2121. But how many are there really?'--'Three,' he replied.--'Three, indeed,' he said; 'there are three metres, three worlds; and the (Soma-) sacrifice consists of three services; and one and the same day are those two, the Abhigit and Visvagit;--

12:2:2:2222. But how many are there really?'--'Two,' he replied.--'Two, indeed,' he said; 'for man is two-footed, and the sacrifice is man; and one and the same day are the Svarasâmans;--

12:2:2:2323. But how many are there really?'--'One,' he replied.--'A day, indeed,' he said; 'the whole year is just that day after day:'--this is the mystic import of the year; and, verily, whosoever thus knows this mystic import 1 of the year grows more (and more) glorious up to (the end of) it; he becomes possessed of a (new) body, he becomes the year, and in the shape of the year he joins the gods.


148:1 The difference between the Abhiplava-shadaha and the Prishthya-shadaha was thus explained in part iii, introd., p. xxi, note 2:--'In both kinds of shadaha, the Prishtha-stotras (at the Mâdhyandina-savana) are performed in the ordinary way--viz. either in the Agnishtoma or the Ukthya way (see ib., p. xvi, note 2, as the correct reference is);--but whilst, in the Abhiplava-shadaha, 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.' It is this difference in the 'sequence of Stomas' which is referred to in our passage. On the six days of the Abhiplava-shadaha, the sequence of Stomas (the first four of which, viz. Trivrit, Pañkadasa, Saptadasa, and Ekavimsa, are only used) varies from day to day in this way: 1. Gyotishtoma; 2. Goshtoma; 3. Âyushtoma; 4. Goshtoma; 5. Âyushtoma; 6. Gyotishtoma (for the difference between these, see part iv, p. 287, note 2). It will thus be seen that the Abhiplava has the 'gyotih (stoma)' on both sides, on the first and the last days. For the Hotri's Prishtha-stotra on these successive days the Rathantara-sâman and Brihat-sâman are used; and, as the Goshtoma and Âyushtoma are Ukthya-days, the usual practice which requires the Brihat-sâman for such days, is not followed; just as the final Gyotishtoma in this case requires the Brihat-sâman.--As regards the Prishthya-shadaha, each successive day requires for its stotras a single Stoma, in the ascending order: Trivrit, Pañkadasa, Saptadasa, Ekavimsa, Trinava, Trayastrimsa;--a different Prishtha-sâman being used for the Hotri's Prishtha-stotra p. 149 on each of the six days. Here only the first day has the same Stoma at the beginning, as the Gyotishtoma,--whence it has 'gyotis' on one side only.

149:1 This 'prishthyapratishthite' looks rather strange,--perhaps the correct reading is 'prishthapratishthite,' 'established on the prishtha-sâmans'; unless, indeed, 'pratishthita' has to be understood here to refer to the Abhiplava, as the established, or ordinary, Shadaha, which doubtless would make the best sense,--'those two wheels of the gods, the Prishthya and the established (Abhiplava-) shadaha.'

149:2 Or, as we would rather say, whilst revolving, crush the Sacrificer's evil.

149:3 ? Or, possibly, two kinds of threads, those of the warp and the woof (or weft), which are combined into one web. The St. Petersb. p. 150 Dict., on the other hand, takes 'tantra' here in the sense of 'model form, type,'--and, indeed, the one meaning constantly passes into the other. The MS. of the comm. is too corrupt to be of much use.

150:1 This is a doubtful rendering of 'ekoti.' Though, doubtless, the juxtaposition of 'ekoti' and 'samânam ûtim' cannot be accidental, the word 'ûti' may probably have a different derivation and meaning in the two occurrences. Cf. Kern, Saddharmapundarîka, introd., p. xvii; Journ. of the Pâli Text Society, 1885, pp. 32-38.

150:2 During five complete months of the first half, and four complete months of the second half, of the year four Abhiplava-shadahas and one Prishthya-shadaha are performed. Now, the six clays of the Abhiplava-shadaha consist of 1. Agnishtoma; 2-5. Ukthyas; 6. Agnishtoma; and those of the Prishthya-shadaha of 1. Agnishtoma; 2. 3. Ukthya; 4. Shodasin; 5.6. Ukthya. For the four Abhiplavas and the one Prishthya of each month this, accordingly, gives nine Agnishtomas, twenty Ukthyas, and one Shodasin (counted, however, as an Ukthya in paragraphs 6 and 7).

150:3 The reason why the Sun is so often referred to as the twenty-first or twenty-one-fold, is not easy to discover. Possibly it may be from the fact that the Vishuvat day, or central day of the great session and the longest day of the year, is identified with the Sun, p. 151 and that this day is flanked on both sides by ten special days which together with the central day, form a special group of twenty-one days. But, on the other hand, it may be exactly the other way, viz. that this central group was made one of twenty-one nays because of the already recognised epithet of Âditya as the 'ekavimsa.' Cf. A. Hillebrandt, Die Sonnwendfeste in Alt-Indien, p. 6 seq.

151:1 Here the twenty-one Ukthyas are symbolically identified with the twenty-one-versed hymn-form; and the nine Agnishtomas (of paragraph 5) with the Brihatî metre which consists of four pâdas of nine syllables each.

151:2 This number is evidently arrived at by counting the twenty Ukthyas as Agnishtomas (hence 9 + 20), and adding thereto five more Agnishtomas obtained by the calculation referred to in paragraph 12 (see note thereon), according to which the characteristic Stotras and Sastras of the Ukthya make one additional Agnishtoma in every four Ukthyas. The Shodasin, thus, is not taken into account in this calculation.

152:1 Besides the Rathantara and Brihat, used on alternate days for the Hotri's Prishtha-stotra at the Abhiplava, the Vâmadevya and Kâleya-sâmans, used on each day for the Maitrâvaruna's and Akkhâvâka's Prishtha-stotras, seem to be counted here as making up the four Prishtha-sâmans of the Abhiplava-shadaha. For the four Stomas, see p. 148, note.

152:2 See ib., and part iii, introd., p. xxi.

152:3 The 'iva' would seem here (as, indeed, pretty frequently) to have the meaning of 'eva,' 'indeed,' thus--coming considerably after (the gods). Cf. Ait.-Brâhm. IV, 17, 5, where the Aṅgiras are said to have reached heaven sixty years after the Âdityas.

152:4 This etymology is of course not meant to be taken seriously, the word 'prishthya' being derived from 'prishtha,' 'back' (XII, 1, 4, 1).

153:1 See p. 148, note; part iv, p. 287, note 2.

153:2 These two principal Prishtha-sâmans are used on alternate days of the Abhiplava-shadaha for the first (or Hotri's) Prishtha-stotra at the midday-service.

153:3 Viz. with the four Stomas used at the ordinary Agnishtoma-sacrifice.

153:4 Whilst the Agnishtoma includes twelve Stotras and twelve Sastras, the Ukthya-sacrifice has three additional (Uktha-) Stotras and Sastras, which in the four Ukthya days of the Abhiplava-shadaha make up another twelve chants and twelve recitations.

153:5 That is, either a descendant of Kusâmba; or, as Harisvâmin takes it, a native of the city Kausâmbî; cf. Weber, Ind. Stud. I, p. 193.--Prakrishtabhûpati-kosâmbînivâsi-kusurabindasyâpatyam; MS. comm.

153:6 Harisvâmin applies to the father the epithet 'mahâyâgñika,' or performer of the great sacrifices.

154:1 In the scheme of the Gavâm ayanam, given above (p. 139, note 1), there is one day in excess of the year, viz. either the central Vishuvat day (XII, 2, 3, 6) or the final Atirâtra; but by making this latter day identical with the opening Atirâtra, Uddâlaka would seem to bring the whole within the compass of one year of six seasons. In the next paragraph, on the other hand, the same result is obtained by the identification of the second and the last but one days of the session. Another, and perhaps more probable, explanation of Uddâlaka's calculation would, however, be this. In the scheme of the sacrificial session there occur, as not included in the different sacrificial groups or periods (the shadahas, svarasâmans, &c.), seven special days--the opening and final Atirâtras, the Katurvimsa and Mahâvrata days, and the Abhigit, Vishuvat, and Visvagit days. These seven days he here successively reduces to six and five days. The further reduction of this number by the identification of the Prishthya and Abhiplava, as well as of the Svarasâman days, requires no explanation. Cf., however, the Addenda.

154:2 For the 'pâṅkta' nature of the sacrifice, see III, 1, 4, 19. 20; XIII, 2, 5, 1, for the five kinds of sacrificial animals, VI, 1, 2, 32 seqq.

155:1 Prof. Oldenberg (Zeitschr. d. Deutschen Morg. Ges., vol. 50, p. 460) takes 'upanishad' in the sense of 'worship'--'this is the worship to be offered to the year.' Perhaps 'meditation' might be the more appropriate rendering:--'this is the form in which the year should be meditated upon.' Cf. X, 4, 5, 1; 5, I, 1.

Next: XII, 2, 3. Third Brâhmana