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HomeSatapatha Brahmana - Third KandhaSatapatha Brahmana - Third Kandha - Second Adhyaya

Satapatha Brahmana – Third Kandha – Second Adhyaya

The Prâyanîyeshti, or opening-sacrifice.

Third Brahmana

1He prepares the Prâyanîya rice-pap for Aditi. Now while the gods were spreading (performing) the sacrifice on this (earth) they excluded her (the earth) from the sacrifice. She thought, ‘How is it that, in spreading the sacrifice on me, they should exclude me from the sacrifice?’ and confounded their sacrifice: they knew not that sacrifice.
2They said, ‘How comes it that our sacrifice was confounded, when we spread it on this (earth)? how is it that we know it not?’
3They said, ‘In spreading the sacrifice on her, we have excluded her from the sacrifice: it is she that has confounded our sacrifice, let us have recourse to her!’
4They said, ‘When we were spreading the sacrifice on thee, how was it that it became confounded, that we know it not?’
5She said, ‘While spreading the sacrifice on me, ye have excluded me from the sacrifice: that was why I have confounded your sacrifice. Set ye aside a share for me; then ye shall see the sacrifice, then ye shall know it!’
6‘So be it!’ said the gods: ‘Thine, forsooth, shall be the opening (prâyanîya[1]), and thine the concluding (udayanîya) oblation!’ This is why both the Prâyanîya and the Udayanîya (pap) belong to Aditi; for Aditi truly is this (earth). Thereupon they saw and spread the sacrifice.
7Hence, when he prepares the Prâyanîya rice-pap for Aditi, he does so for the purpose of his seeing the sacrifice: ‘After seeing the sacrifice I shall buy (the Soma) and spread that (sacrifice);’ thus thinking he prepares the Prâyanîya pap for Aditi. The sacrificial food had been prepared, but offering had not yet been made to the deity (Aditi),
8When Pathyâ Svasti[2] appeared to them. They offered to her, for Pathyâ Svasti (the wishing of ‘a happy journey’) is speech, and the sacrifice also is speech. Thereby they perceived the sacrifice and spread it.
9Thereupon Agni appeared to them: they offered to him; whereby they perceived that part of the sacrifice which was of Agni’s nature. Now of Agni’s nature is what is dry in the sacrifice: that they thereby perceived and spread.
10Then Soma appeared to them: they offered to him; whereby they perceived that part of the sacrifice which was of Soma’s nature. Now of Soma’s nature is what is moist in the sacrifice: that they thereby perceived and spread.
11Then Savitri appeared to them: they offered to him. Now Savitri represents cattle, and the sacrifice also means cattle: hence they thereby perceived and spread the sacrifice. Thereupon they offered to the deity (Aditi), for whom the sacrificial food had been prepared.
12It is to these same five deities, then, that he offers. For that sacrifice, when thrown into disorder, was in five parts; and by means of those five deities they recognised it.
13The seasons became confounded, the five: by means of those same five deities they recognised them.
14The regions became confounded, the five: by means of those same five deities they recognised them.
15Through Pathyâ Svasti they recognised the northern (upper) region: wherefore speech sounds higher here[3] among the Kuru-Pañkâlas; for she (Pathyâ Svasti) is in reality speech, and through her they recognised the northern region, and to her belongs the northern region.
16Through Agni they recognised the eastern region: wherefore they take out Agni from behind towards the east[4], and render homage to him; for through him they recognised the eastern region, and to him belongs the eastern region.
17Through Soma they recognised the southern region: hence, after the Soma has been bought, they drive it round on the south side; and hence they say that Soma is sacred to the Fathers; for through him they recognised the southern region, and to him belongs the southern region.
18Through Savitri they recognised the western region, for Savitri is yonder burning (sun): wherefore he goes towards the west, for through him they recognised the western region, and to him belongs the western region.
19Through Aditi they recognised the upper region, for Aditi is this (earth): wherefore the plants and trees grow upwards on her; for through her they recognised the upper region, and to her belongs the upper region.
20The hospitable reception[5] (of King Soma) verily is the head of the sacrifice, and the opening and closing oblations are its arms. But the arms are on both sides of the head, and hence those two oblations, the Prâyanîya and Udayanîya, are made on both sides of (before and after) the reception.
21Now, they say that whatever is done at the Prâyanîya should be done at the Udayanîya[6], and the barhis (grass-covering of the altar), which is used at the Prâyanîya, is also used at the Udayanîya: he lays it aside, after removing it (from the altar). The pot (in which the rice-pap was cooked) he puts aside with the parched remains of dough, and (so he does) the pot-ladle after wiping it. And the priests who officiate during the Prâyanîya, officiate also at the Udayanîya. And because of this identical performance at the sacrifice the two arms are alike and of the same shape.
22But let him not do it in this way. Let him rather[7] (at the proper time) throw both the barhis and the pot-ladle after (the prastara, into the fire[8]), and let him put the pot aside after rinsing it. The priests who officiate during the Prâyanîya, officiate also at the Udayanîya; but should they (in the mean time) have departed this life, others may officiate instead. It is because he offers to the same deities, and the same oblations, that the two arms are alike and of the same shape.
23To five deities he offers at the Prâyanîya, and to five at the Udayanîya: hence there are five fingers here and five there. This (Prâyanîya offering) ends with the Samyu. They perform no Patnîsamyâgas[9]. For the arms are on the fore-part of the body, and the fore-part of the sacrifice he perfects by this (opening ceremony). This is why it ends with the Samyu, and why no Patnîsamyâgas are performed.

NOTE:

[1] At IV, 5, 1, 2, the name prâyanîya is derived from pra-i, to go forth, because by means of this offering they, as it were, go forth to buy the Soma. Similarly, udayanîya is explained as the offering he performs after coming out (ud-i) from the bath. In Ait. Br. I, 7, on the other hand, the name prâyanîya is explained as that by means of which sacrificers go forward (pra-i) to the heavenly world. In the Soma sacrifice, the Prâyanîyâ and Udayanîyâ may be said to correspond to the Fore-offerings and After-offerings (prayâga and anuyâga) of the New and Full-moon Sacrifice; though, of course, the Fore- and After-offerings form part of the prâyanîyâ and udayanîyâ, as ishtis. But they are peculiar in this respect, that offering is made at both to the very same deities, and that the invitatory prayers (anuvâkyâ) of the prâyanîyeshti form the offering-prayers (yâgyâ) of the udayanîyeshti, and vice versâ. For these formulas, see Âsval. Srautas. IV, 3; Haug, Ait. Br. Transl. p. 16. The offering formula of the oblation to Aditi at the Prâyanîyâ (and invitatory formula at the Udayanîyâ), strange to say, is not a Rik-verse, but one from the Atharvan (VII, 6, 2).
[2] I.e. ‘welfare on the road, or a happy journey,’ a genius of well-being and prosperity.
[3] Atra,? ‘there.’ In the St. Petersb. Dict. uttarâhi is here taken in the sense of ‘in the north,’ instead of ‘higher.’ See also part i, pref. p. xlii, note 1; Weber, Ind. Stud. I, p. 191.
[4] That is, from the Gârhapatya to the Âhavanîya fire-place.
[5] See III, 4, 1.
[6] See p. 48, note 1. For the Udayanîya, see IV, 5, 1.
[7] Or, perhaps, ‘let him, if he chooses (kâmam)…;’ see Kâty. VII, 5, 16-19; cf. also note on III, 2, 4, 14.
[8] See I, 8, 3, 19; 9, 2, 29.
[9] For the Samyuvâka, see I, 9, 1, 24; for the Patnîsamyâgas, I, 9, 2: 1 seq.

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