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Satapatha Brahmana – Fourth Kandha – Fifth Adhyaya

The Satapatha Brahmana

Fourth Kânda – Fifth Adhyâya

First Brâhmana

1He proceeds with the rice-pap to Aditi, as the concluding oblation. The reason why there is a rice-pap for Aditi is this. Because, on that former occasion[1], the gods said to her, ‘Thine forsooth shall be the opening, and thine the concluding oblation,’ therefore he prepares that share for her at both ends (of the Soma-sacrifice).
2And because, on that occasion, he offers when about to go forth (upa-pra-i) to buy the king (Soma), therefore that (opening oblation) is called Prâyanîya. And because he now offers after coming out (ud-â-i) from the expiatory bath, therefore this (concluding oblation) is called Udayanîya[2]. For this indeed is one and the same oblation: to Aditi belongs the opening, to Aditi the concluding (oblation); for Aditi is this (earth).
3To Pathyâ Svasti he offers first (at the opening sacrifice): then the gods, through speech, saw their way in what was unknown to them, for by speech the confused becomes known. But now that it is known, he performs in the proper order.
4To Agni he offers first, then to Soma, then to Savitri, then to Pathyâ Svasti, then to Aditi, Now Pathyâ Svasti (the wishing of a ‘happy journey’) is speech, and Aditi is this (earth): on her the gods thereby established speech, and thus established thereon speech speaks here.
5Thereupon he slaughters a barren anûbandhyâ[3] cow for Mitra and Varuna. And this indeed is performed as a different sacrifice, and that an animal offering; for the Samishtayagus form the end of the sacrifice.
6The reason why there is a barren cow for Mitra and Varuna is this. Whatever part of his (sacrifice)[4] who has offered is well-offered that part of his Mitra takes, and whatever is ill-offered that Varuna takes.
7Then they say, ‘What has become of the sacrificer?’ whatever well-offered part of his (sacrifice) Mitra here takes, that he now again surrenders to him, being pleased with this (cow); and whatever ill-offered part of his Varuna takes, that indeed he makes well-offered for him, being pleased with this (cow), and surrenders it again to him. This forsooth is his own sacrifice[5], his own merit.
8And again, why there is a barren cow for Mitra and Varuna. Now, when the gods caused the cast seed to spring, there is that sastra called Âgnimâruta[6]: in connection therewith, it is explained how the gods caused that seed to spring. From it the coals (aṅgâra) sprung, and from the coals the Aṅgiras; and after that the other animals[7].
9Then the dust of the ashes which remained: therefrom the ass was produced, hence when it is dusty anywhere, people say, ‘A very place for asses, forsooth[8]!’ And when no sap whatever remained, thence was produced that barren cow belonging to Mitra and Varuna; wherefore that (cow) does not bring forth, for from sap seed is produced, and from seed cattle. And because she was produced at the end, therefore she comes after the end of the sacrifice. Hence also a barren cow for Mitra and Varuna is the most proper here: if he cannot obtain a barren cow, it may also be a bullock[9].
10Then the Visve Devâh applied themselves[10] a second time: thence the Vaisvadevî (cow) was produced; then the Bârhaspatyâ: that is the end, for Brihaspati is the end.
11And whosoever gives a thousand or more (cows to the priests), he will slaughter all these; indeed, everything is obtained, everything conquered by him who gives a thousand or more. Those (three) cows are everything, (when offered) thus in the proper order: first one to Mitra and Varuna, then one to the All-gods, then one to Brihaspati.
12And those who perform a long sacrificial session, for a year or more, they will slaughter all these[11]; indeed everything is obtained, everything conquered by those who perform a long sacrificial session, for a year or more: those (cows) are everything, (when offered) thus in the proper order.
13Thereupon he performs the Udavasânîyâ ishti (completing oblation). He prepares a cake on five potsherds for Agni. Its invitatory and offering prayers are five-footed paṅktis[12]. For at this time the sacrifice of him who has sacrificed is, as it were, exhausted in strength: it, as it were, passes away from him. Now all sacrifices are Agni, since all sacrifices are performed in him, the domestic sacrifices as well as others. He thus takes hold again of the sacrifice, and thus that sacrifice of his is not exhausted in strength, and does not pass away from him.
14The reason why the cake is one on five potsherds, and the invitatory and offering prayers are paṅktis (verses of five feet), is that the sacrifice is fivefold. He thus takes hold again of the sacrifice, and thus that sacrifice of his is not exhausted in strength, and does not pass away from him.
15The priests’ fee for it is gold; for this is a sacrifice to Agni, and gold is Agni’s seed: therefore the priests’ fee is gold. Or an ox, for such a one is of Agni’s nature as regards its shoulder, since its shoulder (bearing the yoke) is as if burnt by fire.
16Or[13], he takes ghee in five ladlings, and offers it with the verse to Vishnu (Vâg. S. V, 38), ‘Stride thou widely, O Vishnu, make wide room for our abode! drink the ghee, thou born of ghee, and speed the lord of the sacrifice ever onwards, Hail!’ For Vishnu is the sacrifice: he thus takes hold again of the sacrifice, and thus his sacrifice is not exhausted in strength, and does not pass away from him. And let him on this occasion give as much as he can afford, for no offering, they say, should be without a Dakshinâ. When this Udavasânîyâ-ishti is completed, he offers the (ordinary) evening (milk) offering[14], but the morning offering at its proper time.


[1] See III, 2, 3, 6.
[2] See p. 48, note 1.
[3] The meaning of this technical term would seem to be ‘to be bound (or immolated) after’ the sacrifice.
[4] Or, of him, the sacrificer.
[5] That is, the sacrifice of his own self.
[6] The same passage occurs at I, 7, 4, 4, where I erroneously supplied ‘samabhavat.’ It is a broken, incoherent construction. The explanation, referred to in these two passages, may be Ait. Br. III, 34, though in that case one might have expected a somewhat closer adherence to the order of production there proposed; see part i, p. 210, note 1. Regarding the Âgnimâruta sastra, see above, p. 369 note.
[7] ? Or, the others, the animals (tad any anye pasavah). Cp. the French idiom, ‘Les femmes et nous autres hommes.’ The Kânva text reads, tad anu pasavah.
[8] The Kânva reads, And when they (the coals) became dust of ashes, the ass was produced therefrom: hence they call ‘asses’ place’ where the dust of the ashes (lies).
[9] Kâty. X, 9,15 allows, in lieu of the animal offering, an oblation of clotted curds (payasyâ or âmikshâ). See also II, 4, 2, 1 4.
[10] ? They applied their minds, or, they took hold (amarîmrisanta): ‘Tad u visve devâ marimrisâm kakrire tato dvitîyâ vaisvadevî samabhavat.’ Kânva text. Perhaps the verb has here the same meaning as ‘dhû’ in the passage of the Ait. Br. referred to, tad (reto) maruto ‘dhunvan.
[11] The immolation of the three anubandhyâ cows is prescribed at the end of the Gavâmayana (see note on IV, 5, 4, 14), and at other Sattras (sacrificial session) lasting at least a year, and endowed with fees of at least a thousand cows, except the Sârasvata Sattra. Kâty. XIII, 4, 4, 5.
[12] The Udavasânîyâ ishti is performed, with certain modifications, on the model of the Paunarâdheyikî ishti, or offering for the re-establishment of the sacred fire; for which see II, 2, 3, 4 seq., and especially the notes on part i, p. 317 seq. It is to be performed somewhere north of the sacrificial ground on a fire produced by the churning of the aranis or (pairs of) churning-sticks, with which the priests have previously ‘lifted’ their several fires. See p. 90, notes 4 and 5; and part i, p. 396, note 1.
[13] According to Kâty. X, 9, 20 (as interpreted by the commentator) this (Vaishnavî) âhuti may optionally take the place of the Udavasânîyâ ishti. ‘Atho’ has evidently the force of ‘or’ here, as in IV, 6, 4, 5. The Kânva text has atho apy âhutim eva guhuyât; with the same meaning, cf. I, 1, 3, 3; also ‘uto,’ note to IV, 5, 2, 13.
[14] For the Agnihotra, or morning and evening libation of milk, see II, 2, 4; 3, 4. The performance being completed, the temporary erections, as the Sadas, cart-shed, Âgnîdhra fire-house, &c., are set on fire, and the sacrificer and priests go home.

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