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Satapatha Brahmana – Fourth Kandha – Third Adhyaya

Satapatha Brahmana

Fourth Kânda – Third Adhyâya

First Brâhmana

1Having drunk (Soma)[1] and said, ‘We are invited together[2],’ he (the Adhvaryu) rises. He takes a piece of the cake, and at the place where the Akhâvâka, being seated, is now (about to) recite, he puts the piece of cake in his hand and says, ‘O Akhâvâka, say what thou hast to say!’ Now, the Akhâvâka was excluded (from the Soma)[3].
2Indra and Agni preserved him for the production of creatures, whence the Akhâvâka priest belongs to Indra and Agni. But it is by means of that sacrificial food, the piece of cake which he now puts in his hand, and by means of that (saying) of the seers which he now recites, it is thereby they (Indra and Agni) preserve him.
3When the Akhâvâka has (again) taken his seat (behind his hearth), he (his Adhvaryu) proceeds with the libations of the seasons (Ritugraha). The reason why he proceeds with the libations of the seasons when the Akhâvâka is seated, is that the Akhâvâka represents a sexual union, since the Akhâvâka belongs to Indra and Agni, and Indra and Agni are two, and a productive union means a pair: from that same productive union he produces the seasons, the year.
4And again why he proceeds with the libations of the seasons, when the Akhâvâka is seated. The seasons, the year, are everything; he thus produces everything: this is why he proceeds with the libations of the seasons when the Akhâvâka is seated.
5Let him draw twelve of them, twelve months there are. in the year: therefore he should draw twelve (cups of Soma). But he may also draw thirteen, for, they say, there is a thirteenth month[4]. Let him nevertheless draw twelve only, for such is completeness.
6He draws them from the Dronakalasa (Soma trough), for the Dronakalasa is Pragâpati, and from out of that Pragâpati he produces the seasons, the year.
7He draws them by means of double-mouthed cups[5]; for where is the end of those two (cups) that are double-mouthed? Hence this year revolves without end. When he has drawn this (libation), he does not deposit it: whence this year is ceaseless.
8He recites no invitatory prayer; since one invites with an invitatory prayer, and the present season has already come, either by day or by night. Nor does he utter a second Vashat, lest he should turn away the seasons. Simultaneously they (the Adhvaryu and Pratiprasthâtri) draw the two first and the two last libations: thus they embrace everything here by means of the year, and everything here is embraced within the year.
9Out (of the Havirdhâna shed) walks the one, in steps the other, whence these months pass following one another. But were both to walk out together, or were both to enter together, these months would assuredly pass separated one from the other: therefore while out walks the one, in steps the other.
10Six times they perform[6] with, ‘With the season’ thereby the gods created the day; and four times with, ‘With the seasons’ thereby they created the night. And, assuredly, were only this much (used), there would be nothing but night: it would never pass away.
11Over and above they perform twice with the formula ‘With the season;’ thereby the gods subsequently gave the day (again), whence it is now day there, then it will be night, and to-morrow day.
12By ‘With the season’ the gods forsooth created the men, and by ‘With the seasons’ the beasts; and because they created the beasts in the middle of those (men), therefore these beasts (cattle), being shut in on both sides, have come into the power of men.
13And having performed six times with, ‘With the season,’ they both turn round their vessels to the other side; and having performed four times with, ‘With the seasons,’ they turn round their vessels to the other side: from the one side (or mouth) indeed the gods created the day, and from the other side the night; from the one side the gods created men, and from the other beasts.
14Now he draws the cups (for the seasons) therefrom[7], with (Vâg. S. VII, 30), ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Madhu!’ the Adhvaryu takes (the first); with ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Mâdhava!’ the Pratiprasthâtri (the second). These two are the spring (months[8]): because in spring plants sprout and trees are brought to ripeness, therefore these two are Madhu (sweet) and Mâdhava.
15With ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Sukra!’ the Adhvaryu draws (the third); with ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Suki!’ the Pratiprasthâtri (the fourth). These two are the summer (months): because during them it burns fiercest, therefore these two are Sukra (clear) and Suki (bright).
16With ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Nabhas!’ the Adhvaryu draws (the fifth); with ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Nabhasya!’ the Pratiprasthâtri (the sixth). These two are (the months) of the rainy season: it rains from yonder sky, and hence these two are Nabhas (mist, cloud) and Nabhasya.
17With ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Ish (sap)!’ the Adhvaryu draws (the seventh); with ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Ûrg (food)!’ the Pratiprasthâtri (the eighth). These two are the autumn (months): because in autumn food (ûrg) and juice, (namely) plants, ripen, therefore these two are Isha and Ûrga.
18With ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Sahas!’ the Adhvaryu draws (the ninth); with ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Sahasya!’ the Pratiprasthâtri (the tenth). These two are the winter (months): because the winter by force (sahas) brings these creatures into his power, therefore these two are Saha and Sahasya.
19With ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Tapas!’ the Adhvaryu draws (the eleventh); with ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee for Tapasya!’ the Pratiprasthâtri (the twelfth). These two are (the months) of the dewy season: because during them it freezes most severely, therefore these two are Tapas and Tapasya.
20With ‘Thou art taken with a support: thee to Amhasaspati (lord of trouble)!’ he (the Adhvaryu) draws the thirteenth libation, if he draw a thirteenth. The Pratiprasthâtri then pours his residue into the Adhvaryu’s vessel, or the Adhvaryu pours his residue into the Pratiprasthâtri’s vessel. He (the Adhvaryu) takes it (to the Sadas) for the purpose of drinking it[9].
21Thereupon the Pratiprasthâtri draws the Aindrâgna graha with the vessel not used for the drinking. The reason why he draws the Aindrâgna libation with the vessel not used for drinking is that no second Vashat is pronounced on the Ritugrahas, and for them he is about to take the Aindrâgna graha: thus they become consecrated for him by a second Vashat through the Aindrâgna.
22And again, why he draws the Aindrâgna graha. By drawing the libations to the seasons he has generated this All, and having generated this All, he now establishes it on the out-breathing and in-breathing: hence this All is established on the out-breathing and in-breathing, for Indra and Agni are the out-breathing and in-breathing, and these two, heaven and earth, are the out-breathing and in-breathing, and within these two this All is established.
23And again, why he draws the Aindrâgna cup. By drawing the libations to the seasons he has generated this All, and having generated this All, he lays the out-breathing and in-breathing into this All: hence these two, the out-breathing anti in-breathing, are laid into (or beneficial, hita, in) this All.
24He now draws it from that (dronakalasa trough) with (Vâg. S. VII, 3, 1; Rig-veda III, 12, 1), ‘O Indra and Agni, through our songs come ye hither to the Soma, to the agreeable fume: drink thereof, urged by our hymn! Thou art taken with a support: thee to Indra and Agni!’ with ‘This is thy womb: thee to Indra and Agni!’ he deposits it (on the mound), for it is for Indra and Agni that he draws it.
25Thereupon he draws the Vaisvadeva cup[10]. For by drawing the Ritugrahas he has generated this All; but were there nothing but that, there would indeed be only as many, creatures as were created in the beginning: no (more) would be generated.
26Now, in that he draws the Vaisvadeva graha, thereby he sends forth this All, these creatures in due order: whence these creatures are generated again repeatedly. He draws it with the Sukra cup, for the Sukra (bright) is yonder burning (sun), and what rays of his there are, they are the All-gods: therefore he draws it with the Sukra cup.
27He draws it from that (Soma in the Dronakalasa) with (Vâg. S. VII, 33; Rig-veda I, 3, 7), ‘Ye protectors and supporters of men, O All-gods, come hither, ye givers, to the giver’s liquor! Thou art taken with a support: thee to the All-gods!’ with ‘This is thy womb: thee to the All-gods!’ he deposits it[11], for it is for the All-gods that he draws it.


[1] The Purodâsa offerings, described in the preceding paragraphs, are followed by libations from the dvidevatya cups, viz. the Aindravâyava, Maitrâvaruna, and Asvina. Each time the Adhvaryu is about to make a libation, the Pratiprasthâtri draws Soma-juice into the Âditya cup (pâtra) and makes libations therefrom immediately after the Adhvaryu on the north side of the fire. And each time he pours the remains from the Âditya cup into the Âditya sthâlî with, ‘Thee to the Âdityas!’ finally covering the latter with the former (see IV, 3, 5, 6). Then follows the filling of the cups of the Kamasins (see p. 287, note 2), and the libations from the Sukra and Manthin grahas (already anticipated in IV, 2, 1, 13 -31) and from the cups of the Kamasins. Thereupon the Adhvaryu goes to the Sadas and sits down opposite the Hotri; and in alternate draughts and with mutual ‘invitations’ they empty the dvidevatya cups. The remains are poured into the Hotri’s cup, and portions of the purodâsas having then been put into those cups, they are deposited in the left track of the southern cart. The Adhvaryu and Pratiprasthâtri then drink the remains of the Sukra and Manthin cups; the other priests also drinking from their cups, without, however, quite emptying them, after which the cup-bearers deposit them in the Havirdhâna, behind the axle of the southern cart. Henceforward, till the Vaisvadeva cup is drawn (IV, 3, 1, 25), those cups are called nârâsamsa. The Adhvaryu then takes a piece of the sacrificial cake and rises, calling out, ‘We are invited together;’ after which follows the rehabilitation of the Akhâvâka, referred to above. Being called upon by the Adhvaryu, he recites the verse Rig-veda V, 25, 1 (beginning with ‘akhâ,’ whence perhaps his name), ‘Hither will I sing Agni the god for your protection,’ &c., and then says, ‘Ye Brâhmans, invite us Brâhmans also!’ whereupon the Adhvaryu says, ‘This Brâhman desires an invitation: invite him, Hotri!’ Being then invited, he pronounces an anuvâkyâ, and his cup-bearer fills his cup, which henceforth ranks last but one, thus preceding that of the Âgnîdhra. He now drinks from his cup, and the latter is then deposited along with the other Kamasas; whereupon the priests, who have taken part in the offering of the purodâsas, and the sacrificer eat the Idâ in the Âgnîdhra fire-house.
[2] Or rather, we have been mutually invited.
[3] See III, 6, 2, 12.
[4] See part i, p. 321, note 6.
[5] The two Ritu vessels are made of kârshmarya or asvattha wood, of the shape of spoon-bowls, with spouts on both sides. Kâty. IX, 2, 13.
[6] The twelve Ritugrahas are drawn alternately by the Adhvaryu and Pratiprasthâtri the first two and the last two simultaneously, the others singly, so that the one enters the cart-shed while the other leaves. Both in entering and leaving the Pratiprasthâtri passes by the Adhvaryu on the north side, and for a moment encircles him by passing his arms round him and holding his own vessel south of him. With the exception of the last two libations, the libations are offered up entire (holocausts). When either of them is about to offer one of the first six libations, he calls on the Maitrâvaruna to ‘Prompt (the Hotri, &c.) by the season!’ and at the four succeeding ones (after turning round the vessels so as to put the other mouth in front) to ‘Prompt by the seasons!’ For the last two libations they again reverse the vessels to the previous position and call on him to ‘Prompt by the season!’ The Maitrâvaruna’s formula runs thus: ‘Let the Hotri pronounce the offering prayer to Indra! From the Hotri’s cup, from heaven to earth, may he drink Soma together with the season (or, seasons)! O Hotri, pronounce the offering prayer!’ Whereupon the Hotri (Potri, &c.) recites ‘We who worship, From the Hotri’s cup, from heaven to earth, may he drink Soma together with the season (or, seasons)! Vaushat!’ These formulas are slightly varied according to the deity to whom the libation is offered, and the priest who pronounces the offering prayer and Vaushat. The deities and offering priests of the twelve libations are: 1. Indra the Hotri; 2. the Maruts the Potri; 3. Tvashtri and the wives of the gods the Neshtri; 4. Agni the Âgnîdhra; 5. Indra-Brahman the Brâhmanâkhamsin; 6. Mitra-Varuna the Maitrâ-varuna; 7-10. Deva Dravinodas the Hotri Potri; Neshtri, and Akhâvâka respectively; 11. the Asvins the Hotri; 12. Agni Grihapati the Hotri. For this last libation, the Maitrâvaruna in the first place calls on the sacrificer with, ‘O lord of the house, pronounce the offering prayer!’ and the sacrificer then again on the Hotri with, ‘O Hotri; pronounce the offering prayer upon this!’ whereupon the Hotri pronounces the (sacrificer’s) offering prayer. Kâty. IX, 13; Sâṅkhâyana Sr. VII, 8; Haug, Transl. Ait. Br. p. 135.
[7] Viz. from the Dronakalasa trough; see paragraph 6.
[8] The Kânva text adds ritû in each case.
[9] The Kânva text has ‘bhakshyam’ instead of ‘bhaksham.’ Each of the priests who have pronounced the offering prayer and Vaushat partakes of this Soma in his respective order, the Hotri thus taking four draughts; and the Adhvaryu and Pratiprasthâtri (who, after drawing the Aindrâgna cup, join them in the Sadas) drinking alternately from the same vessel with those Hotri priests, who pronounced the Vashat at their libations. As at the drawing of the libations, the vessel is turned round after the sixth and tenth offering priests have drank. The vessel having been emptied, the Adhvaryu takes it outside the Sadas, and then sits down in front of the Hotri’s hearth, with his face to the east, till the recitation of the Sastra (IV, 3, 2, 2).
[10] According to Kâty. IX, 13, 33 seq. the order of performance is as follows. In the first place the first Âgya-sastra is recited. Thereupon the Adhvaryu fetches the Aindrâgna cup from the Havirdhâna (where it was deposited by the Pratiprasthâtri), makes a libation from it after calling on the Hotri, as at all libations accompanied by a sastra, ‘Singer of praises, recite Soma’s offering prayer;’ the nârâsamsa cups being shaken by the cup-bearers at the same time and then drinks the remaining Soma with the Hotri. Thereupon he draws the Vaisvadeva cup from the Dronakalasa, pours the remaining juice from the latter into the Pûtabhrit, and spreads the straining-cloth over the empty vessels for the midday pressing. He also prepares the Savanîya purodâsas (see p. 315, note 4), for the midday feast, omitting however the dish of clotted curds (payasyâ). Then follows the chanting of the first Âgya stotra by the Udgâtris, and the recitation of the Praüga-sastra by the Hotri, after which takes place the Vaisvadeva libation (and emptying of the cup) in the same way as with the Aindrâgna the kamasas being also drained of their contents by the respective priests. Then follows the distribution already referred to IV, 2, 3, 11 seq. of the Soma in the Ukthya bowl into three parts for the three Hotrakas, now about to recite their sastras (preceded by their respective stotras). The Adhvaryu takes one portion of the Soma, calls on the Udgâtris to chant the stotra, and afterwards on the Prasâstri (Maitrâvaruna) to recite his sastra; after which he makes a libation from the portion of Soma, and pours the remainder into the Prasâstri’s cup, to be drunk by that priest. In the same way the Pratiprasthâtri then proceeds with the portions of the two other Hotrakas, viz. the Brâhmanâkhamsin and Akhâvâka. Each time also the ten kamasas are filled, and after libations therefrom, are emptied by the Kamasins. See also p. 287, note 2. At the end of the performance the priests pass silently out (nihsarp, see p. 299, note 1) of the Sadas by the back-door and out of the Vedi; the midday performance afterwards beginning with the pratisarpana, or ‘creeping back’ to the Sadas, with homage to the dhishnya hearths, &c.
[11] Viz. in the place of the Sukra cup, on the south-east corner of the khara or mound.

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