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HomeSatapatha Brahmana - Fourth KandhaSatapatha Brahmana - Fourth Kandha - Sixth Adhyaya

Satapatha Brahmana – Fourth Kandha – Sixth Adhyaya

Satapatha Brahmana

Fourth Kânda – Sixth Adhyâya

First Brâhmana

1Now, the Amsu (graha), forsooth, is no other than Pragâpati: that (cup) is his (Yagña’s or the Sacrificer’s) self[1], for Pragâpati is the self. Hence when they draw that (cup) they produce that self of his. Therein they lay these vital airs, according to as these vital airs, the grahas, are explained[2]; and verily the sacrificer is born with his whole body in yonder world.
2Where they draw that (cup), then that is (like) having a hold[3]; and where they do not draw it, then that is (like) having no hold: therefore, then, he draws the Amsu.
3He draws it with a vessel of udumbara wood; for that (cup) is Pragâpati, and the udumbara tree is Pragâpati’s own: therefore he draws it with a vessel of udumbara wood.
4He draws it with a square vessel; for there are here three worlds: these three worlds he obtains by three (corners). And Pragâpati is the fourth over and above these three worlds: thus he obtains Pragâpati by the fourth (corner): therefore he draws it with a square vessel.
5Silently he takes up the pressing-stone; silently he throws down the Soma-plants (amsu); silently he pours water thereon; silently raising (the stone), he presses once; silently he offers that (libation) without drawing breath: thus he makes him (the sacrificer) to be Pragâpati.
6Now there is a piece of gold in that (spoon): that he smells at. And if he either galls or scratches himself at this (sacrifice), gold being immortal life, he lays that immortal life into his own self.
7As to this Râma Aupatasvini said, ‘Let him freely breathe out and freely breathe in: if he but offers silently, thereby he makes him (the sacrificer) to be Pragâpati.’
8Now there is a piece of gold in that (spoon): that he smells at. And if he either galls or scratches himself at this (sacrifice), gold being immortal life, he lays that immortal life into his own self.
9As to this Budila Âsvatarâsvi said, ‘Let him draw it after merely raising (the stone), and let him not press; for they do press for other deities: thus he does different from what he does for other deities; and in that he raises (the stone) thereby indeed the pressing takes place for him.’
10As to this Yâgñavalkya said, ‘Nay, let him press: “The unpressed Soma delighted not the mighty Indra, nor the outpressed draughts without prayer,” thus spake the Rishi (Rig-veda VII, 26, I). For no other deity does he strike but once: thus he does different from what he does for other deities, therefore let him press!’
11Twelve heifers pregnant with their first calf are the priests’ fee for this (graha). Now there are twelve months in the year, and Pragâpati is the year, and the Amsu is Pragâpati: thus he makes him (the sacrificer) to be Pragâpati.
12They have twelve embryo calves, that makes twenty-four. Now there are twenty-four half-moons in the year, and Pragâpati is the year, and the Amsu is Pragâpati: thus he makes him to be Pragâpati.
13Now Kaukûsta[4] indeed gave as many as twenty-four heifers with their first calf as dakshinâs, and a bull as the twenty-fifth, and gold; and truly that is what he gave.
14This (graha) should not be drawn for everyone, since this is his (Yagña’s) self. It should only be drawn for one who is well known, or one who is his (the Adhvaryu’s) friend, or one who, being learned in sacred lore, would acquire it by his study.
15It should be drawn at a (sacrifice with) a thousand (cows as the priests’ fee); for a thousand is everything, and this (graha) is everything. It should be drawn at (a sacrifice) where the entire property is given away, for the entire property is everything, and this (graha) is everything. It should be drawn at a Visvagit with all the Prishthas, for the Visvagit (‘all-conquering’) is everything, and this (cup) is everything. It should be drawn at a Vâgapeya and Râgasûya, for that is everything. It should be drawn at a sattra (sacrificial session), for the sattra means everything[5], and this (cup) means everything. These are the drawings.

NOTES:

[1] Or body (âtman); amsu meaning the Soma-plant, and hence the body of the Soma. This graha seems to consist of imperfectly pressed Soma-plants in water. Cf. Kâty. XII, 5, 6-12. See also Sat. Br. IV, I, I, 2; Taitt. S. VI, 6, 10; Sây. on Taitt. S. I, p. 603. In the Kânva text this Brâhmana is followed by one on the Adâbhya graha, which is identified with speech.
[2] Or, perhaps, according to as the grahas are explained as being these vital airs.
[3] Or, like something that has a handle. The Kânva text reads, for whomsoever they draw that (cup), his vital airs are, as it were, supplied’ with a firmer hold, and, as it were, firmly established (ârambhanavattarâ iva pratishthitâ iva). And for whomsoever they do not draw it, his vital airs are, as it were, without any hold (‘haltloser’) and quite unrestrained (anârambhanatarâ ivâsyâyatatarâ iva prânâh).
[4] The Kânva MISS. read ‘Kaükthasta.’
[5] Perhaps the author here means to connect sattra (satra) with the adverbs satram, satrâ, ‘altogether, always,’ instead of with the verb sad, to sit; but cf. IV, 6, 8, 1.

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