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

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




13:2:1:11. Pragâpati assigned the sacrifices to the gods; the Asvamedha he kept for himself. The gods

p. 296

said to him, 'Surely, this--to wit, the Asvamedha--is a sacrifice: let us have a share in that also.' He contrived these Anna-homas (food-oblations) for them: thus when he performs the Annahomas, it is the gods he thereby gratifies.

13:2:1:22. With ghee he makes offering, for ghee is fiery mettle: by means of fiery mettle he thus lays fiery mettle into him (the horse and Sacrificer). With ghee he offers; for that--to wit, ghee--is the gods’ favourite resource: it is thus with their favourite resource he supplies them.

13:2:1:33. With parched groats he makes offering; for that--to wit, parched groats--are a form of the gods 1: it is the gods he thus gratifies.

13:2:1:44. With grain he makes offering; for this--to wit, grain--is a form of the days and nights 2: it is the days and nights he thus gratifies.

13:2:1:55. With parched grain he makes offering; for this--to wit, parched grain--is a form of the Nakshatras 3 (lunar asterisms): it is the Nakshatras

p. 297

he thus gratifies. He offers whilst mentioning names, with (Vâg. XXII, 23-33), 'To the in- (and out-) breathing hail! to the off-breathing hail 1!' . . . he thus gratifies them by mentioning their names. [Vâg. S. XXII, 34], 'To one hail! to two hail! . . . to a hundred hail! to a hundred and one hail!' He offers in the proper order: in the proper order he thus gratifies them (the gods). He performs oblations successively increasing by one 2, for single, indeed, is heaven: singly he thus causes him (the Sacrificer) to reach heaven. Straight away 3 he offers in order to the winning of heaven; for straight away, as it were, is heaven.

13:2:1:66. But, verily, he who offers the oblations straight

p. 298

away 1, is liable to fall (pass) right away. He does not go beyond a hundred and one: were he to go beyond a hundred and one, he would deprive the Sacrificer of his vital power. He offers a hundred and one, for man has a life of a hundred (years), and his own self is the one hundred and first: he thus establishes himself in a self (or body), in vital power. With 'To the Dawn hail! to Heaven hail!' he offers the two last oblations; for the dawn is the night, and heaven (the realm of light) is the day: it is day and night he thus gratifies.

13:2:1:77. As to this they say, 'Were he to offer both either by day or by night, he would confound day and night with one another 2.' With 'To the Dawn hail!' he offers before the sun has risen, and with 'To Heaven hail' when it has risen, to avoid confusion between day and night.


295:2 There are three Sutyâs, or Soma-days, at the Asvamedha--viz. an Agnishtoma, an Ukthya, and an Atirâtra--the most important p. 296 of which is the central day. The first day offers no special features, as compared with the ordinary Agnishtoma; except that the stotras are chanted on the 'katushtoma' model (see note to XIII, 3, 1, 4); and that the animal sacrifice of this day requires twenty-one sacrificial stakes, with twice eleven victims, two of which are tied to the central stake; see note on XIII, 2, 5, 2. The offerings referred to in the present Brâhmana, are performed, not during the day itself, but during the following night, as a preliminary to the important features of the second Soma-day.

296:1 Viz., according to the commentary, because of the (particles of) groats being connected with each other.

296:2 The commentary does not explain this comparison. It would seem to suit better the parched grain.

296:3 Viz. on account of the capability (samarthatvât) of the (raw) grains; but whether this is meant to refer to their power of germinating and growing is not explained.

297:1 These eleven anuvâkas consist of altogether 149 such short dedicatory formulas--addressed to the vital airs, the regions, the waters, wind, fire, &c.--each ending with 'svâhâ (hail).' These are followed, in anuvâka 34, by formulas addressed to the cardinal numbers from 1 to 101; succeeded by two formulas addressed to the dawn and to heaven respectively,--all of these again ending with 'svâhâ.' The Annahomas themselves, offered by the Adhvaryu's assistant, the Pratiprasthâtri, are not, however, limited to any number; but their performance is to be continued throughout the night in such a way that each of the four three-hours’ watches of the night is to be taken up with as many oblations of one of the four kinds of offering materials--in the order in which they are enumerated in the text--as can be got into the space of three hours. The formulas addressed to the cardinal numbers--(which are on no account to extend beyond 101)--are apparently supposed amply to suffice to fill up the time till dawn, when the Adhvaryu makes an oblation of ghee to the Dawn, followed by one to Heaven (or the realm of light) after sunrise.

297:2 That is, in offering with the formulas addressed to the cardinal numbers.

297:3 That is to say, without repeating any formula, or commencing again from the beginning, when the whole series is exhausted.

298:1 That is, without stopping.

298:2 There is no 'iti' here; and the quotation, therefore, may perhaps extend to the end of the paragraph.

Next: XIII, 2, 2. Second Brâhmana