First Kanda – Second Adhyaya
1Now the one (viz. the Âgnîdhra) puts the potsherds on (the Gârhapatya fire); the other (viz. the Adhvaryu) the two mill-stones (on the black antelope skin): these two acts are done simultaneously. The reason why they are done simultaneously (is this):
2The head of this sacrifice is (represented by) the rice-cake: for those potsherds (kapâla), no doubt, are to this (rice-cake) what the skull bones (kapâla) are to the head, and the ground rice is nothing else than the brain. Now this (combination of skull and brain) certainly forms one limb: ‘Let us put that (which is) one together! Let us make it one!’ thus they think; and therefore, the two acts are done simultaneously.
3He who puts the potsherds on (the fire), takes the shovelling-stick (upavesha), with the text (Vâg. S. I, 17 a): ‘Bold (dhrishti) art thou!’ For since with it he, as it were, attacks the fire boldly, therefore it is called dhrishti. And since with it he touches (the coals) at the sacrifice, since with it he attends to (upa-vish) this (Gârhapatya fire), therefore it is called upavesha.
4With it he shifts the coals to the fore-part (of the khara or hearth-mound), with the text (Vâg. S. I, 17 b): ‘O fire! cast off the fire that eateth raw flesh! drive away the corpse-eating one!’ For the raw flesh-eating (fire) is the one with which men cook what they eat; and the corpse-eating one is that on which they burn (the dead) man: these two he thereby expels from it (the Gârhapatya).
5He now pulls toward himself one coal, with the text (Vâg. S. I, 17 c): ‘Bring hither that (fire) which maketh offerings to the gods!’ He thinks: ‘On that (fire), which makes offerings to the gods, we will cook the oblations! on that one we will perform the sacrifice!’ and for this reason he pulls (one of the coals) toward himself.
6On it he places the central potsherd. For the gods, when they were performing sacrifice, were in fear of a disturbance from the Asuras and Rakshas. They were afraid lest those evil spirits, the Rakshas, might rise from below them. Now Agni (fire) is the repeller of the Rakshas, and for this reason he thus places (the potsherd) on it. The reason why it is just this (coal) and no other (on which the potsherd is put) is, that this one, having been consecrated by the (above) sacrificial formula, is sacrificially pure: that is why he places the central potsherd on it.
7He puts it on, with the text (Vâg. S. I, 17 d): ‘Thou art firm; make thou the earth firm!’ For under the form of the earth he renders this same (sacrifice) firm; by it he chases away the spiteful enemy. He adds: ‘Thee, devoted to the Brahman, devoted to the kshatra, devoted to the (sacrificer’s) kinsmen, I put on for the destruction of the enemy!’ Manifold, indeed, are the prayers for blessing in the sacrificial texts (yagus): by this one he prays for the priestly and military orders, those two towers of strength (vi rye, energies). ‘Thee, devoted to the (sacrificer’s) kinsmen,’ he says, because kinsmen mean wealth, and wealth he thereby prays for. When he says, ‘I put thee on for the destruction of the enemy,’ whether or not he wishes to exorcise, let him say, ‘for the destruction of so and so!’ The moment it (the potsherd) has been put down (and while it is still being touched) with the (fore-)finger of his left hand.
8He seizes a (second) coal, lest the evil spirits, the Rakshas, should in the meantime rush in here. For the Brâhman is the repeller of the Rakshas: hence, the moment it (the potsherd) has been put down (and while it is still being touched) with the finger of his left hand,
9He pushes the coal on it, with the text (Vâg. S. I, 18 a): ‘Accept, O Agni, this holy work (brahman)!’ He says this, lest the evil spirits, the Rakshas, should rush in here before; for Agni is the repeller of the Rakshas: this is the reason why he pushes it on (the potsherd).
10He then puts on that (potsherd) which is (to stand) behind (or west of the first or central one), with the text (Vâg. S. I, 18 b): ‘A support art thou! make firm the aërial region!’ Under the form of the atmosphere he makes this (sacrifice) firm; by this he chases away the spiteful enemy. He adds: ‘Thee, devoted to the brahman, devoted to the kshatra, devoted to the (sacrificer’s) kinsmen, I put on for the destruction of the enemy!’
11He then puts on that one which is (to stand) before (i.e. east of the first potsherd), with the text (Vâg. S. I, 18 c): ‘A stay art thou! do thou make firm the sky!’ Under the form of the sky he makes this same (sacrifice) firm; by it he chases away the spiteful enemy. He adds: ‘Thee, devoted to the brahman, devoted to the kshatra, devoted to the kinsmen, I put on for the destruction of the enemy!’
12He now puts on the one that is (to stand) on the right (i.e. south of the first), with the text (Vâg. S. I, 18 d): ‘For all the regions I put thee on!’ What fourth (world) there is or is not beyond these (three) worlds, by that indeed he thereby chases away the spiteful enemy. Uncertain, no doubt, is what fourth (world) there is or is not beyond these (three) worlds, and uncertain also are all those regions; for this reason he says, ‘For all the regions I put thee on!’ The remaining potsherds he puts on either silently, or with the text (Vâg. S. I, 18 e): ‘Layer-forming are ye! heap-forming are ye!’
13He then covers them over with (hot) coals, whilst muttering the text (Vâg. S. I, 18 f): ‘May ye be heated with the heat of the Bhrigus and Aṅgiras!’ for it is indeed the brightest light, that of the Bhrigus and Aṅgiras. He covers them with the view that ‘they shall be well heated.’
14Now he who puts the two mill-stones on (the black antelope skin), (in the first place) takes up the black antelope skin, with the text (Vâg. S. I, 19): ‘Bliss-bestowing art thou!’ He shakes it, with the text (ib.): ‘Shaken off is the Rakshas, shaken off are the enemies!’ the import and application of which is the same (as above, I, 1, 4, 4). He spreads it (on the ground) with the neck-part turned towards west, whilst muttering the text (ib.): ‘The skin of Aditi (the inviolate or boundless earth) art thou! May Aditi acknowledge (receive) thee!’ the import (of this formula) being the same (as before, I, 1, 4, 5).
15He then puts the lower mill-stone on it, with the text (Vâg. S. I, 19): ‘A rock-bowl art thou! May the skin of Aditi acknowledge thee!’ for it is a bowl (dhishanâ) and a rock too; and by saying, ‘May the skin of Aditi acknowledge thee,’ he establishes an understanding between it and the black antelope skin, so that ‘they will not hurt each other.’ This one (the lower mill-stone) represents the earth.
16He now puts upon (the west side of) it the wedge with its point turned towards north, whilst muttering the text (Vâg. S. I, 19): ‘The stay of the sky art thou!’ that is to say, it represents the atmosphere; for by means of the atmospheric region those two, the sky and the earth, are firmly kept asunder; and for this reason he says, ‘The stay of the sky art thou!’
17He then puts the upper mill-stone on (the lower one), with the text (Vâg. S. I, 19): ‘A rock-born bowl art thou! May the rock acknowledge thee!’ For this one being smaller is, as it were, the daughter (of the lower mill-stone); for this reason he calls it ‘rock-born.’ ‘May the rock acknowledge thee!’ he says, because one of the same kin acknowledges (receives the other): thereby he establishes an understanding between those two millstones, thinking ‘they will not hurt one another!’ This one, as it were, represents the sky; (or) the two mill-stones are, as it were, the two jaws, and the wedge is the tongue: that is why he beats (the mill-stones) with the wedge, for it is with the tongue that one speaks.
18He now pours the rice on (the lower stone), with the text (Vâg. S. I, 20): ‘Grain (dhânyam) art thou! do thou gratify (dhi) the gods!’ for it is grain; and it is with the intention ‘that it may gratify the gods’ that the rice-oblation is taken.
19He then grinds it, with the text (Vâg. S. I, 20): ‘For out-breathing (I grind) thee! for in-breathing thee! for through-breathing (pervading vital air) thee! May I impart a long duration to the life (of the sacrificer)!’ He pours it (the ground rice on the skin), with the text (ib.): ‘May the divine Savitri, the golden-handed, receive thee with a flawless hand!’ ‘For his (the sacrificer’s) eye (I look at) thee!’
20The reason why he thus grinds it, is that the sacrificial food of the gods is living, is amrita (ambrosia, or not dead) for the immortals. Now with the mortar and pestle, and with the two millstones they kill this rice-offering (haviryagña).
21When he now says: ‘For out-breathing thee! for in-breathing thee!’ he thereby again imparts out-breathing and in-breathing (to it), and by saying ‘for through-breathing thee!’ he imparts through-breathing (to it). By ‘may I impart a long duration to the life!’ he bestows life on it. By ‘may the divine Savitri, the golden-handed, receive thee with a flawless hand!’ he says: ‘May they be well received!’ By ‘for the eye thee!’ he bestows eye-sight on it. Now these (attributes) are those of a living being; and thus that sacrificial food for the gods is indeed living, is amrita (ambrosia, or not dead) for the immortals. This is the reason why he thus grinds (the rice). (Whilst) they are grinding the (ground) grains, (and whilst) they are heating the potsherds,
22Some one pours clarified butter (into the âgyasthâlî, or butter-pot). Now whatever oblation, in being taken, is announced to a (particular) deity, that belongs to the respective deity, that he takes with a special prayer; but in taking this oblation, to wit, the butter, he does not announce it to any particular deity, and therefore takes it with an undefined formula, viz. with (Vâg. S. I, 20): ‘Juice of the great ones art thou!’ For ‘the great ones’ some (take to be) a name for the cows; and their juice indeed it is: for this reason he says, ‘The juice of the great ones art thou!’ And thus, moreover, is some of that (butter) taken with a sacrificial formula: and for this reason also he says, ‘The juice of the great ones art thou!’
 This idea was no doubt suggested by the derivation of the word purodâs (rice-cake), from puras, ‘before, in front, at the head,’ and dâs, ‘to offer’ (see I; 6, 2, 5 ); the double meaning of kapâla (shell or cup and skull) being made use of to complete the simile.
 The upavesha, or dhrishti, is made of fresh varana or palâsa wood, a cubit (aratni) or span (vitasti) long; one of its ends having the shape of a hand (hastâkriti), to serve as a coal shovel; cf. Mahîdh. and Schol. on Kâty. I, 3, 36; II, 4, 26. Dhrishti is apparently derived from the root dhrish, ‘to be bold.’
 The burning coals have been hitherto lying on the western side of the Gârhapatya hearth, and as this side, which has been well heated by this time, will be used for the potsherds to be put on, he shifts the coals to the eastern or fore-part of the hearth.
 Viz. to the centre of the cooking-place.
 In Yâgñika Deva’s commentary on Katy. II, 4, 37, full explanations are given regarding the manner of arranging the potsherds (kapâlas) on which the sacrificial cakes are spread, and which vary in number and shape. The Adhvaryu is first to describe a circle, the diameter of which is six aṅgulas (an aṅgula or thumb’s breadth=about ¾ inch). This circle he then divides into three parts by drawing across, from west to east, two parallel lines at a distance of two aṅgulas from one another, so as to make the two outer (or southern and northern) segments of equal size. The middle division he then covers with three equal square potsherds (measuring two aṅgulas on each side), by laying down first the central one, then the one behind or west of it, and lastly the front or eastern one. He then lays down another (the fourth) south of the first or central one; after which he divides the still remaining potsherds equally between the southern and the northern segments, or, in case of that number being uneven, assigns the odd potsherd to the southern division. Thus, in the present case, where in the first place a cake on eight potsherds is to be offered to Agni; after laying down the three intermediate ones and the fourth, or central one of the southern division, he divides the remaining four equally between the southern and northern segments, beginning, in laying them down, in the south-east corner, and moving around from right to left, so as to end in the north-east. Similarly in the case of the cake on eleven potsherds for Agnîshomau, after laying down the first four potsherds, he assigns four of the remaining seven to the southern, and three to the northern division. Thus with cakes requiring an uneven number of potsherds, the number of those of the southern division exceeds that of the northern one by two; and in the case of an even number, by one only. This is the rule applying to cakes requiring at least six potsherds. When one potsherd only is required, it is to be of the size of a hand; when two, they are to form a circle divided into two equal parts by a line drawn from south to north; when three, the circle is divided into three sections from south to north; when four or five, it is divided into two halves from west to east; and in the one case three potsherds are placed in the southern and one (of half-moon shape) in the northern half; in the other case three in the northern and two in the southern division. The potsherds, though mostly irregular in shape, must always exactly fit one another, so as not to leave any space between. This is effected by rubbing the edges. The cake itself is to be of the shape of a tortoise; the convex shield, or carapace, of the latter consisting of plates arranged in a somewhat similar way as the potsherds of most cakes, viz. in a central (dorsal) and two lateral sets.
 For special prayers for the two highest castes, in the Vâgas. Samh., cf. Weber, Ind. Stud. X, 27.
 Cf. I, 1, 4, 6.
 Mahîdhara admits the alternative interpretation, ‘Receive (me) the priest!’
 Viz. dividing them in the manner explained at p. 34, note 1, and beginning (south)-east, and moving around from left to right (i.e. following the course of the sun). Mr. Ralph Griffith (Translation of the Rámáyan, I, p. 90) has compared this Hindu rite of pradakshina or dakshinîkarana with the Gaelic deasil, as described in the following passage of Sir W. Scott’s The Two Drovers: “But it is little I would care for the food that nourishes me, or the fire that warms me, or for God’s blessed sun itself, if aught but weel should happen to the grandson of my father. So let me walk the deasil round you, that you may go safe out into the far foreign land, and come safe home.” Robin Oig stopped, half embarrassed, half laughing, and signing to those near that he only complied with the old woman to soothe her humour. In the meantime she traced around him, with wavering steps, the propitiation, which some have thought has been derived from the Druidical mythology. It consists, as is well known, in the person, who makes the deasil, walking three times round the person who is the object of the ceremony, taking care to move according to the course of the sun.’ Cf. note at p. 45. Note also the etymological connection between dakshina and deiseil (Old Ir. dessel, from dess, Gael. deas, south or right side). For the corresponding rite (dextratio) at the Roman marriage ceremonies see Rossbach, Römische Ehe, pp. 315, 316; Weber, Ind. Stud. V, p. 221.
 The old families of the Bhrigus and Aṅgiras are frequently mentioned together, and often also in conjunction with the Atharvans: it is indeed to these three families that the native authorities attribute the texts and ritual of the Atharva-veda, or fourth Veda, which is generally referred to in the later Vedic writings under the designation Atharvâṅgirasas. It is probable that the Bhrigu-Aṅgiras in the above formula of the Vâgas. Samhitâ are intended as equivalent to the latter term. Cf. Weber, Omina et Portenta, p. 346.
 Viz. the Adhvaryu; cf. I, 2, 1, 1.
 According to the corresponding rule of Kâtyâyana (II, 5, 4) and to his commentators (and Mahîdhara on Vâg. S. I, 19) and the Black Yagur-veda, he does not lay the wedge on the lower millstone, but inserts it under the west or back-part of the stone, so as to make the latter incline towards east and to steady it.
 In the Gobhilîya Grihya-sûtra II, 1, 16 the upper stone is similarly called ‘the son or child’ of the lower one [drishatputra], which the editor, Kandrakânta, interprets as ‘drishad and its son;’ or optionally, ‘the son of the drishad.’ Cf. Weber, Ind. Stud. V, p. 305 note.
 See I, 1, 4, 13.
 Mahîdhara derives dhânya from the root dhi; and apparently allows to it here the double meaning ‘corn or grain,’ and ‘that which satisfies or pleases.’
 On the three kinds of breathing, see I, 1, 3, 2-3.
 According to Kâtyâyana (II, 5, 7) and Mahîdhara, this last formula (‘May I,’ &c.) should be joined to the one that follows, and pronounced by the Adhvaryu whilst he pours the ground rice on the skin. Mahîdhara interprets it thus: ‘I put thee, (O rice! on the black antelope skin) for (increasing) the life (of the sacrificer) with a view to a long continuance (of the sacrificial work);’ or ‘I place thee along the long expanse (i.e. the skin) for thy (the rice’s) long life!’
 See I, 1, 4, 23.
 Thus, according to Kâty. or Mahîdh., whilst he looks at the ground rice on the skin.
 Pimshanti pishtâni; the grinding of the ground or grinding of flour (pishta-peshana) is a common expression in later Sanskrit for doing a useless work (‘carrying owls to Athens,’ or coals to Newcastle’). In the present passage, however, the phrase has to be understood, according to Sâyana, as meaning ‘whilst they (the sacrificer’s people) carry on the work of grinding begun by the Adhvaryu.’
 The Âgnîdhra or somebody else, according to Sâyana; but according to the Schol. on Kâty. II, 5, 9, it is done by the sacrificer himself, who thereupon prepares the veda or bunch of sacrificial grass, tied in the middle, and cut straight at each end, and used for sweeping, &c. Cf. Kâty. I, 3, 21-22; II, 5, 9.