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HomeSatapatha Brahmana - Fifth KandhaSatapatha Brahmana - Fifth Kandha - Third Adhyaya

Satapatha Brahmana – Fifth Kandha – Third Adhyaya

Satapatha Brahmana

Fifth Kânda – Third Adhyâya

First Brâhmana

1Having taken up both (the Gârhapatya and Âhavanîya) fires on the two kindling-sticks[1], he goes to the house of the Commander of the army, and prepares a cake on eight potsherds for Agni Anîkavat; for Agni is the head (anîka) of the gods, and the commander is the head of the army: hence for Agni Anîkavat. And he, the commander, assuredly is one of his (the king’s) jewels[2]: it is for him that he is thereby consecrated (or quickened), and him he makes his own faithful (follower). The sacrificial fee for this (jewel-offering) consists in gold; for Agni’s is that sacrifice, and gold is Agni’s seed: therefore the sacrificial fee consists in gold.
2And on the following day, he goes to the house of the Purohita (the king’s court chaplain), and prepares a pap for Brihaspati; for Brihaspati is the Purohita of the gods, and that (court chaplain) is the Purohita (‘praepositus’) of that (king): hence it is for Brihaspati. And he, the Purohita, assuredly is one of his (the king’s) jewels: it is for him that he is thereby consecrated, and him he makes his own faithful follower. The sacrificial fee for this is a white-backed bullock; for to Brihaspati belongs that upper region, and there above lies that path of Aryaman (the sun)[3]: therefore the fee for the Bârhaspatya (oblation) is a white-backed (bullock).
3And on the following day he prepares a cake on eleven potsherds for Indra at the dwelling of him who is being consecrated (the king); for Indra is the Kshatra (ruling power), and he who is consecrated is the Kshatra: hence it is for Indra. The sacrificial fee for this is a bull, for the bull is Indra’s own (animal).
4And on the following day, he goes to the dwelling of the Queen, and prepares a pap for Aditi; for Aditi is this Earth, and she is the wife of the gods; and that (queen) is the wife of that (king): hence it is for Aditi. And she, the Queen, assuredly is one of his (the king’s) jewels: it is for her that he is thereby consecrated, and he makes her his own faithful (wife). The sacrificial fee, on her part, is a milch cow; for this (earth) is, as it were, a milch cow: she yields to men all their desires; and the milch cow is a mother, and this (earth) is, as it were, a mother: she bears (or sustains) men. Hence the fee is a milch cow.
5And on the following day, he goes to the house of the Sûta (court-minstrel and chronicler), and prepares a barley pap for Varuna; for the Sûta is a spiriter (sava), and Varuna is the spiriter of the gods: therefore it is for Varuna. And he, the Sûta, assuredly is one of his (the king’s) jewels: it is for him that he is thereby consecrated; and him he makes his own faithful (follower). The sacrificial fee for this one is a horse, for the horse is Varuna’s own.
6And on the following day, he goes to the house of the Headman (Grâmanî[4]), and prepares a cake on seven potsherds for the Maruts; for the Maruts are the peasants, and the headman is a peasant: therefore it is for the Maruts. And he, the headman, assuredly is one of his (the king’s) jewels: it is for him that he is thereby consecrated, and him he makes his own faithful follower. The sacrificial fee for this (jewel) is a spotted bullock, for in such a spotted bullock there is abundance of colours; and the Maruts are the clans (or peasants), and the clan means abundance; therefore the sacrificial fee is a spotted bullock.
7And on the following day he goes to the house of the Chamberlain (kshattri), and prepares a cake on either twelve, or eight, potsherds for Savitri; for Savitri is the impeller (prasavitri) of the gods, and the chamberlain is an impeller: hence it is for Savitri. And he, the chamberlain, assuredly is one of his (the king’s) jewels: it is for him that he thereby is consecrated, and him he makes his own faithful (follower). The sacrificial fee for this (jewel) is a reddish-white draught-bullock; for Savitri is he that burns yonder, and he (the sun) indeed moves along; and the draught-bullock also moves along, when yoked. And as to why it is a reddish-white one; reddish-white indeed is he (the sun) both in rising and in setting: therefore the sacrificial fee is a reddish-white draught-bullock.
8And on the following day he goes to the house of the Charioteer (samgrahîtri), and prepares a cake on two potsherds for the Asvins; for the two Asvins are of the same womb; and so are the chariot fighter[5] and the driver (sârathi) of the same womb (standing-place), since they stand on one and the same chariot: hence it is for the Asvins. And he, the charioteer, assuredly is one of his (the king’s) jewels: it is for him that he is thereby consecrated, and him he makes his own faithful follower. The sacrificial fee for this (jewel) is a pair of twin bullocks, for such twin bullocks are of the same womb. If he cannot obtain twins, two bullocks produced by successive births (of the same cow) may also form the sacrificial fee, for such also are of the same womb.
9And on the following day he goes to the house of the Carver (bhâgadugha[6]), and prepares a pap for Pûshan, for Pûshan is carver to the gods; and that (officer) is carver to that (king): therefore it is for Pûshan. And he, the carver, assuredly is one of his (the king’s) jewels: it is for him that he is thereby consecrated, and him he makes his own faithful follower. The sacrificial fee for this (jewel) is a dark-grey bullock: the significance of such a one being the same as at the Trishamyukta[7].
10And on the following day, having brought together gavedhukâ (seeds) from the houses of the Keeper of the dice (akshâvâpa[8]) and the Huntsman (govikartana[9]), he prepares a gavedhukâ pap for Rudra at the house of him who is consecrated. These two, while being two jewels (of the king), he makes one for the purpose of completeness. And as to why he performs this offering, Rudra is hankering after that (cow) which is killed here in this hall; now Rudra is Agni (fire), and the gaming-board being fire, and the dice being its coals, it is him (Rudra) he thereby pleases. And verily whosoever, that knows this thus, performs the Râgasûya, in his house that approved (cow) is killed. And he, the keeper of dice, and the huntsman, are (each of them) assuredly one of his (the king’s) jewels: it is for these two that he is thereby consecrated, and these two he makes his own faithful followers. The sacrificial fee for this (jewel) is a bicoloured bullock either one with white fore-feet, or a white-tailed one, a claw-shaped knife, and a dice-board[10] with a horsehair band[11]; for that is what belongs to those two[12].
11And on the following day he goes to the house of the Courier, and having taken ghee in four ladlings, he offers the ghee to the way, with, ‘May the way graciously accept of the ghee, hail!’ For the courier is to be dispatched, and when dispatched goes on his way: therefore he offers the ghee to the way. And he, the courier, assuredly is one of his (the king’s) jewels: it is for him that he is thereby consecrated, and him he makes his own faithful follower. The sacrificial fee for this (jewel) consists in a skin-covered bow, leathern quivers, and a red turban, for that is what belongs to him.
12These are the eleven jewels (ratna) he completes; for of eleven syllables consists the Trishtubh, and the Trishtubh is vigour: it is for the sake of vigour that he completes the (eleven) jewels. Then as to why he performs the oblations of the Ratnins: it is their king he becomes; it is for them that he thereby is consecrated, and it is them he makes his own faithful followers.
13And on the following day he goes to the house of a discarded (wife) and prepares a pap for Nirriti; a discarded wife is one who has no son. He cooks the pap for Nirriti of black rice, after splitting the grains with his nails. He offers it with (Vâg. S. IX, 3), ‘This, O Nirriti, is thy share: accept it graciously, hail!’ For a wife that is without a son, is possessed with Nirriti (destruction, calamity); and whatever of Nirriti’s nature there is in her, that he thereby propitiates, and thus Nirriti does not take possession of him while he is consecrated. The fee for this (oblation) consists of a black, decrepit, diseased cow; for such a one also is possessed with Nirriti. He says to her (the wife), ‘Let her not dwell this day in my dominion[13]! thus he removes evil from himself.

NOTES:

[1] Each of the two ‘aranis’ is held for a moment to one of the two fires, which are thereby supposed to become inherent in them till they are ‘churned out’ again for the new offering fire required. For this ‘mounting’ of the fire see part i, p. 396.
[2] Ratna, jewel, precious thing; whence the eleven offerings described in this section are called ratna-havis, or ratninâm havîmshi; the recipients of these sacrificial honours, on the part of the newly-consecrated king, being called ratninah, ‘possessed of the Jewel (offering).’ In the ritual of the Black Yagus (Taitt. S. I, 8, 9; Taitt. Br. I, 1, 3) the order of the Ratninah, at whose houses these oblations are performed on successive days, is as follows 1. Brahman priest (a pap to Brihaspati); 2. Râganya (a cake of eleven kapâlas to Indra); 3. Consecrated Queen (pap to Aditi); 4. The king’s favourite wife (pap to Bhaga); 5. A discarded wife (pap to Nirriti); 6. Commander of the army (cake of eight kap. to Agni); 7. Sûta (charioteer, Sây. cake of ten kap. to Varuna); 8. Grâmanî (cake of seven kap. to Maruts); 9. Kshattri (chamberlain, or superintendent of seraglio, Sây. cake of twelve kap. to Savitri); 10. Samgrahîtri (treasurer, Sây. cake of two kap. to Asvins); 11. Bhâgadugha (collector of taxes, Sây. pap to Pûshan); 12. Akshavâpa (dyûtakara, superintendent of gambling, Sây. gavîdhuka pap to Rudra). Finally the king offers in his own house two cake-oblations (of eleven kapâlas) to Indra Sutra-man (the good protector) and Indra Amhomuk (the deliverer from trouble).
[3] Whence the back of that upper region is white, or bright.
[4] The exact function of this officer is not clearly defined. Though the term is also used of an ordinary village headman (Patel, Adhikârin, Adigar), this could hardly apply here. Sâyana, on one passage, indeed explains the term by ‘Grâmam nayati,’ but elsewhere he explains it by ‘Grâmânâm netâ;’ and some such meaning it may perhaps have here, the head of communal administration, either for a district (like one of Manu’s lords of a hundred, or a thousand villages), or for the whole country. If, however, the headman of a single village be intended (as the coupling of the office with the Maruts might lead one to suppose), he would probably be a hereditary territorial proprietor residing near the place where the inauguration ceremony takes place. Cf. V, 4, 4, 18; and Zimmer. Altindisches Leben, p. 171.
[5] Savyashthri (otherwise savyeshthri, savyeshtha; savyastha, Kânva rec.) is explained by the commentaries as a synonym of sârathi, charioteer (with which it is compounded in savyeshthasârathî, Taitt. Br. I, 7, 9, 1, where Sâyana makes them the two charioteers standing on the left and right side of the warrior), but it seems more probable that the former terms refer to the warrior (παραβάτης) himself (as savyashthâ, Atharva-veda VIII, 8, 23, undoubtedly does), who stands on the left side of the driver (sârathi, ἡνίοχος); the Change of meaning being perhaps due to caste scruples about so close an association between the Kshatriya warrior and his Sûdra servant, as is implied in this and other passages. (Cf. V, 3, 2, 2 with note.) On Taitt. S. I, 8, 9, Sâyana explains samgrahîtri as the treasurer (dhanasamgrahakartâ kosâdhyakshah), but on I, 8, 16 optionally as treasurer or charioteer; while the Sûta is I, 8, 9 identified by him with the charioteer (sârathi). It is more probable, however, that at the time of the Brâhmana the Sûta occupied much the same position as that assigned to him in the epics, viz. that of court-bard and chronicler. The connection of the samgrahîtri with the Asvins can also scarcely be said to favour the interpretation of the term proposed by Sâyana (who, moreover, is himself compelled, on Taitt. S. I, 8, 15; Taitt. Br. I, 7, 10, 6, to take it in the sense of charioteer).
[6] The meaning ‘tax-gatherer, collector of tithes (or rather, of the sixth part of produce)’ assigned to the term by Sâyana, both here, and on Taitt. S. I, 8, 9, might seem the more natural one, considering the etymology of the term. See, however, the explanation given of it in our Brâhmana I, 1, 2, 17: ‘Pûshan is bhâgadugha (distributor of portions) to the gods, who places with his hands the food before them.’ This clearly is Homer’s δαιτρός, Od. I, 141-2: δαιτρὸς δὲ κρειῶ πίνακας παρέθηκεν ἀείρας παντοίων, παρὰ δέ σφι τίθει χρύσεια κύπελλα
[7] See V, 2, 5, 8.
[8] ‘The thrower, or keeper, of the dice,’ according to Sâyana. At V, 4, 4, 6 the verb â-vap is used of the throwing the dice into the hand of the player; and it is perhaps that function of the keeper of the dice which is meant to be expressed by the term (‘der Zuwerfer der Würfel’).
[9] Literally, the cutter up of cows, the (beef-) butcher. But according to Sâyana, this official was the constant companion of his master in the chase.
[10] Or, a dice-box, as ‘akshâvapanam’ is explained by some commentaries. akshâ upyanteऽsminn ity akshâvapanam aksha(?akshadyûta-)sthânâvapanapâtram, Sây.
[11] Or, fastened with a hair-chain (romasragâ prabaddham, Sây.).
[12] That is to say, the knife and the dice-board are the objects those two officials have chiefly to do with.
[13] According to the commentary on Kâty. Sr. XV, 3, 35 she has to betake herself to a Brahman’s house, where the king has no power.

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