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

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

p. 274






13:1:1:11. He (the Adhvaryu) cooks the priests’ mess of rice 2: it is seed he thereby produces. Having greased a rope with the ghee which is left over 3, he takes it; for ghee is (a type of) fiery spirit, and the horse is sacred to Pragâpati 4: he thus endows Pragâpati with fiery spirit. Impure, and unfit for sacrifice, indeed, is that (animal), to wit, the horse.

13:1:1:22. The rope consists of darbha grass (poa cynosuroides);--for darbha stalks 5 are a means of purification: he thus purifies that (horse), and immolates it as one purified and meet for sacrifice.

13:1:1:33. Now, when the horse 6 was immolated, its

p. 275

seed went from it and became gold 1: thus, when he gives gold (to the priests) he supplies the horse with seed.

13:1:1:44. Pragâpati produced the sacrifice 2. His greatness departed from him, and entered the great sacrificial priests 3. Together with the great priests he went in search of it, and together with the great priests he found it: when the great priests eat the priests’ mess of rice, the Sacrificer thereby secures for himself the greatness of the sacrifice. Along with the priests’ mess of rice he presents gold (to the priests); for the mess of rice is seed, and gold is seed: by means of seed he thus lays seed into that (horse, and Sacrificer). It (the gold 4) weighs a hundred (grains); for man has a life of a hundred (years), and a hundred energies: it is life, and energy, vigour, he lays into his own self. At midday he takes Vasatîvarî 5 water of four kinds; it is brought together from the (four) quarters, for food is in (all) the (four) quarters, and water is food: by means of food he thus secures food for him.


274:1 The ceremonies treated of in the first six chapters (brâhmanas) refer to the setting apart of the horse for its sacred office, a year before the sacrifice, and to the intervening period during which the horse is allowed to roam about, though under careful supervision.

274:2 For further particulars regarding this opening ceremony of the sacrifice see XIII, 4, 1, 1 seqq.

274:3 Viz. from the ghee used for greasing the four dishes of cooked rice.

274:4 Or, the horse is of the nature of Pragâpati.

274:5 See above, p. 195, note 1.

274:6 That is, as would seem, Pragâpati in the form of a horse, see part iv, introd., p. xiv seqq.

275:1 Pragâpati is Agni, and gold is Agni's seed, cf. II, 1, 1, 5; III, 3, 1, 3 &c.

275:2 That is, the Asvamedha sacrifice, and thus the immolation (or emptying out) of his own self, so to speak.

275:3 That is, the four principal officiating priests, Brahman, Hotri, Adhvaryu, and Udgâtri. Cf. VIII, 4, 3, 1 seqq., where it is the vital airs that, in their capacity as Rishis, assist Pragâpati in the first sacrifice.

275:4 That is to say, each piece of gold weighs as much. According to Kâty. XX, 1, 6 he is to give to the priests 4000 cows and as many Satamâna coins.

275:5 For this water used for the Soma-sacrifice where, however, it is taken from a cistern, or some course of flowing water, see part ii, p. 222 seqq.

Next: XIII, 1, 2. Second Brâhmana