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HomeSatapatha Brahmana - Fourth KandhaSatapatha Brahmana - Fourth Kandha - First Adhyaya

Satapatha Brahmana – Fourth Kandha – First Adhyaya

Third Brâhmana

1The Aindra-vâyava (graha), forsooth, is his speech; and as such belonging to his self[1]. Now Indra, when he had hurled the thunderbolt at Vritra, thinking himself to be the weaker, and fearing lest he had not laid him low, hid himself. The gods also hid themselves away in the same place.
2The gods then said, ‘Verily, we know not if Vritra be slain or alive: come, let one of us find out, if Vritra be slain or alive!’
3They said unto Vâyu Vâyu, forsooth, is he that blows yonder ‘Find thou out, O Vâyu, if Vritra be slain or alive; for thou art the swiftest among us: if he lives, thou indeed wilt quickly return hither.’
4He spake, ‘What shall be my reward then?’ ‘The first Vashat of king Soma!’ ‘So be it!’ so Vâyu went, and lo[2] Vritra slain. He spake, ‘Vritra is slain: do ye with the slain what ye list!’
5The gods rushed thither, as (those) eager to take possession of their property, so (it fared with) him (Vritra Soma)[3]: what (part of him) one of them seized, that became an ekadevatya (graha, belonging to one deity), and what two of them, that became a dvidevatya[4], and what many (seized), that became a bahudevatya; and because they caught him up each separately (vi-grah) by means of vessels, therefore (the libations) are called graha.
6He stank in their nostrils, sour and putrid he blew towards them: he was neither fit for offering, nor was he fit for drinking.
7The gods said to Vâyu, ‘Vâyu, blow thou through him, make him palatable for us!’ He said, ‘What shall be my reward then?’ ‘After thee they shall name those cups.’ ‘So be it!’ he said, ‘but blow ye along with me!’
8The gods dispelled some of that smell, and laid it into the cattle, this is that foul smell in (dead) cattle: hence one must not close (his nose) at that foul smell, since it is the smell of king Soma.
9Nor must one spit thereat[5]; even though he should think himself ever so much affected, let him go round it windward[6]; for Soma means eminence, and disease meanness: even as at the approach of his superior the meaner man would get down (from his seat), so does disease go down before him (Soma).
10Then Vâyu blew a second time through him and thereby made him palatable; whereupon he was fit for offering and fit for drinking. Hence those (vessels), though belonging to various deities, are called ‘vâyavya (Vâyu’s vessels)[7].’ His (Vâyu’s) is that first Vashat of king Soma, and, moreover, those vessels are named after him.
11Indra then thought within himself: ‘Vâyu, forsooth, has the largest share of this our sacrifice, since his is the first Vashat of king Soma, and, moreover, those vessels are named after him: nay, but I, too, will desire a share therein!’
12He said, ‘Vâyu, let me share in this cup!’ ‘What will then be?’ ‘Speech shall speak intelligibly[8]!’ ‘If speech will speak intelligibly, then will I let thee share!’ Thus that cup henceforward belonged to Indra and Vâyu, but theretofore it belonged to Vâyu alone.
13Indra said, ‘One half of this cup is mine!’ ‘Only one fourth is thine!’ said Vâyu. ‘One half is mine!’ said Indra. ‘Only one fourth is thine!’ said Vâyu.
14They went to Pragâpati for his decision. Pragâpati divided the cup (of Soma) into two parts and said, ‘This (half) is Vâyu’s!’ Then he divided the (other) half into two parts and said, ‘This is Vâyu’s! This is thine!’ then he assigned to Indra a fourth part for his share one fourth is the same as a quarter: henceforward that cup belonged, one fourth of it, to Indra.
15Now with this libation there are two puroruk[9] formulas, the first belonging to Vâyu alone, and the second to Indra and Vâyu; and two invitatory prayers (anuvâkyâ), the, first to Vâyu alone, and the second to Indra and Vâyu; and two praisha (directions), the first belonging to Vâyu alone, and the second to Indra and Vâyu; and two offering prayers (yâgyâ), the first to Vâyu alone, and the second to Indra and Vâyu: thus he assigns to him (Indra) each time a fourth part for his share.
16He said, ‘If they have assigned to me a fourth part each time for my share, then speech shall speak intelligibly only one fourth part!’ Hence only that fourth part of speech is intelligible which men speak; but that fourth part of speech which beasts speak is unintelligible; and that fourth part of speech which birds speak is unintelligible; and that fourth part of speech which the small vermin here speaks is unintelligible.
17Wherefore it has been thus spoken by the Rishi (Rig-veda I, 164, 45): ‘Four are the measured grades of speech; the Brâhmans that are wise know them: three, deposited in secret, move not; the fourth grade of speech men speak.’
18He now draws (the graha) from that (stream of Soma)[10], with (Vâg. S. VII, 7; Rig-veda VII, 92, I), ‘Come nigh to us, O Vâyu, sipping of the pure (Soma)! Thine are a thousand steeds, O bestower of all boons! Unto thee hath been offered the gladdening juice whereof thou, O God, takest the first draught! Thee for Vâyu!’
19And, having withdrawn (the cup), he again fills it[11], with (Vâg. S. VII, 8; Rig veda I, 2, 4), ‘O Indra and Vâyu, here is Soma-juice: come ye hither for the refreshing draught, the drops long for you! Thou art taken with a support[12]! Thee for Vâyu, for Indra and Vâyu!’ with ‘This is thy womb[13]: thee for the closely united!’ he deposits (the cup). As to why he says, ‘Thee for the closely united,’ he who is Vâyu, is Indra; and he who is Indra, is Vâyu: therefore he says, ‘This is thy womb: thee for the closely united!’

NOTES:

[1] That is, to Yagña’s body (madhyadeha, Sây.) as distinguished from his limbs. The Petersb. Dict. takes adhyâtmam in the sense of ‘in regard to the self (or person).’ See IV, 1, 4, 1, with note; IV, 2, 2, 1 seq.
[2] At I, 6, 2, 3; II, 2, 3, 9, I erroneously supplied a verb of motion with the particle ed, following the original interpretation in the Petersb. Dict. and Weber’s Ind. Stud. IX, 249. I now adopt the later explanation put forth in the ‘Nachträge.’ Professor Whitney, Amer. Journ. of Phil., III, p. 399, apparently draws from the same source.
[3] ‘As (those) wishing to take possession of their property, so did they seize upon him each for himself (evam tam vyagrihnata);’ Kânva text. The construction of our text is quite irregular.
[4] The dvidevatya grahas (libations belonging to two gods) at the morning Soma feast are the Aindra-vâyava (Indra and Vâyu), the Maitrâ-varuna (Mitra and Varuna), and the Asvina.
[5] That is, because of it, or away from it. Perhaps, however, it.. belongs to the next clause, ‘therefore, even …’
[6] That is, in order to inhale as much of the strong smell of the Soma as possible (?).
[7] See p. 158, note 1.
[8] Or, articulately, distinctly (niruktam).
[9] Puroruk (lit. ‘fore-shining’) is the designation of the formulas preceding the Upayâma, ‘Thou art taken with a support, &c.’
[10] See p. 256, note 1.
[11] When the cup is half-filled he withdraws it for a moment from the stream of Soma flowing from the Hotri’s cup into the Dronakalasa trough; after which he again holds it under to have it filled completely. For the shape of this cup, see IV, I, 5, 19.
[12] See IV, 1, 2, 6, with note.
[13] See IV, 1, 2, 9 with note.

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