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Satapatha Brahmana – Third Kandha – Ninth Adhyaya

The Vasatîvarî water.

Second Brâhmana

1Now, when the head of the sacrifice (victim) was struck off, its sap, running, entered the waters. It is by that very sap that those waters flow; that very sap is believed to be flowing there[1].
2And when he goes for the Vasatîvarî water, he fetches that same sap and puts it into the sacrifice, and makes the sacrifice sapful; this is why he goes for the Vasatîvarî water.
3He distributes it over all the Savanas (Soma-pressings)[2]; thereby he imbues all the pressings with that sap, makes all the pressings sapful: this is why he distributes it over all the pressings.
4Let him take it from flowing (water); for that sap of the sacrifice was moving[3]: let him therefore take it from flowing (water).
5Moreover, it is taken for the purpose of protection. Now, everything else here on earth, whatever it be, takes rest, even yonder blowing (wind); but these (waters) alone take no rest: therefore let him take it from flowing (water).
6Let him take it by day, thinking, ‘Seeing, I will take the sap of the sacrifice[4]:’ therefore let him take it by day. For it is for him that burns yonder (the sun) that he takes it, since he takes it for all the gods, and all the gods are his rays of light: therefore let him take it by day. For it is by day alone that he (shines): therefore, then, let him take it by day.
7And again, all the gods, forsooth, now come to the sacrificer’s house; and if one takes the Vasatîvarî water before the setting of the sun, it is as when one’s better comes to visit one, he would honour him by trimming his house. They draw nigh to that sacrificial food, and abide (upa-vas) in that Vasatîvarî[5] water, that is the Upavasatha (preparation-day).
8And if the sun were to set on any one’s (Vasatîvarîs) not having been taken, then expiation is made. If he have performed a (Soma-)sacrifice before this, let him (the Adhvaryu) take it from his tank[6], since that (water) of his has been taken before (sunset) by day. But should he not have offered before, if there be one who has offered (Soma) settled close by or somewhere thereabout[7], let him take it from his tank, since that (water) of his has been taken before, by day.
9But if he cannot obtain either kind (of water), let him seize a firebrand and betake himself (to the flowing water), and let him take thereof while holding that (firebrand) close above it; or let him take it while holding a piece of gold close above it: thus it is made like yonder burning (sun).
10He takes therefrom with the text (V4;. S. VI, 23), ‘Rich in havis are these waters,’ for the sap of the sacrifice entered into them, wherefore he says, ‘Rich in havis (sacrificial food) are these waters;’ ‘One rich in havis wooeth for (them),’ for the sacrificer, rich in havis, woos for (wishes to obtain) them; wherefore he says, ‘One rich in havis wooeth for (them).’
11‘Rich in havis (may be) the divine cult;’ cult, namely, means the sacrifice; thus he makes the sacrifice for which he takes it rich in sacrificial food, therefore he says, ‘Rich in havis is the divine cult.’
12‘May Sûrya be rich in havis!’ For he takes it for yonder burning (sun), since he takes it for all the gods, and all the gods are his (the sun’s) rays of light; therefore he says, ‘May Sûrya (the sun) be rich in havis!’
13Having fetched it, he deposits it behind the Gârhapatya[8], with (Vâg. S. VI, 24), ‘I seat you in the seat of Agni, the safe-housed;’ whereby he means to say, ‘I seat you (waters) in the seat of Agni, whose house is unimpaired.’ And when the animal offering to Agni and Soma comes to a close, then he carries (the Vasatîvarî water) round. He says (thrice), ‘Disperse!’ The sacrificer is seated in front of the Soma-carts (holding Soma on his lap[9]). He (the Adhvaryu) takes it (the water standing behind the Gârhapatya).
14He walks out (of the hall) by the south (door), and puts it down on the south hip (of the high altar), with, ‘Ye (waters) are Indra and Agni’s share!’ for he takes it for all the gods, and Indra and Agni are all the gods. He takes it up again and puts it down in front of the lady (who, seated behind the Gârhapatya, touches the water-jar). Walking round behind the lady he (again) takes it.
15He walks out (of the hall by the east door), along the north side (of the altar), and puts down (the water) on the north hip (of the high altar), with, ‘Ye are Mitra and Varuna’s share!’ Let him not put it down in this way[10] that is redundant, and no fitting conclusion is thus attained. Let him rather (here also) say, ‘Ye are Indra and Agni’s share!’ only thus there is nothing redundant, and so a fitting conclusion is obtained.
16That (Vasatîvarî water) is carried round for the sake of protection; Agni is in front (of the sacrificial ground), and now that (water) moves about all round, repelling the evil spirits. He puts it down in the Âgnîdhra (fire-house) with, ‘Ye are all the gods’ share!’ whereby he makes all the gods enter it. It is a desirable object (vara) to the dwellers (vasat), hence the name Vasatîvarî[11], and verily he who knows this, becomes a desirable object to the dwellers.
17Now there are here seven formulas; with four he takes (the water), with one he puts it down behind the Gârhapatya, with one he carries it round, with one (he puts it down) in the Âgnîdhra, this makes seven. For when the metres were produced from Vâk (speech), the one consisting of seven feet, the Sakvarî, was the last (highest) of them; that completeness (he brings about): hence there are seven formulas.


[1] Yatra vai yagñasya siro ‘khhidyata tasya raso drutvâpah prâvisat sa esha rasa eti yâ etâ âpah syandante tenaivainâ etad rasena syandamânâ manyante yah sa yagñasya rasas tam evaitad rasam syandamânam manyante, Kânva rec.
[2] ‘He divides it into three parts for all the pressings,’ Kânva text. See note on IV, 2, 3, 4.
[3] Aid hi; see p. 222, note 1.
[4] Or perhaps, ‘I will take it while I see the sap of the sacrifice.’
[5] ‘Vasatîvarî’ seems to mean ‘affording dwelling;’ or perhaps, ‘that (water) which abides, remains (over night).’ Cf. par. 16.
[6] ‘Ninâhya’ (ninấhyah kumbháh, Kânva rec. each time); a vessel or cistern, dug into the ground for keeping water cool.
[7] Upâvasito vâ paryavasito (prátiveso, Kânva text instead) vâ.
[8] That is, behind the old Âhavanîya of the Prâkînavamsa, where the altar would be prepared at the ordinary haviryagña.
[9] According to Kâty. VIII, 9, 16.
[10] ‘Some put it down with this (formula), but let him not put it down so, for thus completeness is left behind (or, has a surplus, sampad rikyate).’ Kânva text.
[11] Cf. Taitt. S. VI, 4, 2, ‘devâh … abruvan, vasatu nu na idam iti, tad vasatîvarînâm vasatîvaritvam.’

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