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Satapatha Brahmana – Fifth Kandha – Fifth Adhyaya

Satapatha Brahmana

Fifth Kânda – Fifth Adhyâya

First Brâhmana

1There is a cake on eight potsherds for Agni: this he places on the eastern part (of the Vedi). There is either a cake on eleven potsherds for Indra, or a rice-pap for Soma: this he places on the southern part. There is a pap for the Visve Devâh (All-gods): this he places on the western part. There is a dish of curds for Mitra-Varuna: this he places on the north part. There is a pap for Brihaspati: this he places in the middle. This is the five-holed pap[1]; what five sacrificial dishes (havis) there are, for them there are five holes: hence the name ‘five-holed pap.’
2And as to why the performer of the Râgasûya should perform this offering: because he (the priest) makes him ascend the regions, the seasons, the hymns and metres, he now redeems him therefrom by this (offering). But were the performer of the Râgasûya not to perform this offering, then verily he would become intoxicated (with pride)[2] and would fall down headlong: that is why the performer of the Râgasûya performs this offering.
3And why he proceeds with the cake on eight potsherds for Agni, because he makes him ascend the eastern region, the seasons, the hymns and metres, he now redeems him therefrom by this (oblation). The remains of it he pours on the Brihaspati pap.
4And why he proceeds with the cake on eleven potsherds for Indra, or with the pap for Soma, because he makes him ascend the southern region, the seasons, the hymns and metres, he now redeems him therefrom by this (oblation). The remains he pours on the Brihaspati pap.
5And why he proceeds with the pap to the All-gods, because he makes him ascend the eastern region, the seasons, the hymns and metres, he now redeems him therefrom by this (oblation). The remains he pours on the Brihaspati pap.
6And why he proceeds with the dish of curds for Mitra-Varuna, because he makes him ascend the northern region, the seasons, the hymns and metres, he now redeems him therefrom by this (oblation). The remains he pours on the Brihaspati pap. And in that he pours those remains on the Brihaspati pap, he thereby bestows food upon him[3] (the Sacrificer); and hence food is brought to the king from every quarter.
7And why he proceeds with the Brihaspati pap, because he makes him ascend the upper region, the seasons, the hymns and metres, he now redeems him therefrom by this (oblation).
8And what cake on eight potsherds there is for Agni, the priest’s fee for that is gold; for that offering is for Agni, and gold is Agni’s seed: therefore the fee is gold. He gives it to the Agnîdh; for he, the Âgnîdhra, is really the same as Agni: therefore he gives it to the Agnîdh.
9And what cake on eleven potsherds there is for Indra, the fee for that is a bull, for the bull is Indra. And if there be a pap for Soma, then the fee for that is a brown ox, for the brown one is sacred to Soma. He gives it to the Brahman, for the Brahman guards the sacrifice from the south: therefore he gives it to the Brahman.
10And what pap there is for the All-gods, the fee for that is a piebald bullock; for abundance of forms (marks) there is in such a piebald bullock, and the Visve Devâh are the clans, and the clans mean abundance: therefore a piebald bullock is the fee. He gives it to the Hotri, for the Hotri means abundance: therefore he gives it to the Hotri.
11And what dish of curds there is for Mitra-Varuna, the fee for that is a sterile cow, for that one is sacred to Mitra-Varuna. If he cannot procure a sterile cow, any unimpregnated one will do; for every sterile cow is indeed unimpregnated. He gives it to the two Adhvaryus; for the Adhvaryus are the out-breathing and the in-breathing, and the out-breathing and in-breathing are Mitra-Varuna: therefore he gives it to the two Adhvaryus.
12And what pap there is for Brihaspati, the fee for that is a white-backed bullock; for to Brihaspati belongs that upper region[4], and above that there is that path of Aryaman[5]: therefore a white-backed (bullock) is the fee for the Brihaspati (pap). He gives it to the Brahman, for Brihaspati is the Brahman of the gods, and this one is his (the Sacrificer’s) Brahman: therefore he gives it to the Brahman. Even a vishthâvrâgin[6] who is desirous of food may perform this offering: he (the priest) thereby bestows food upon him from all quarters, and verily he becomes an eater of food.

NOTES:

[1] According to Sâyana (MS. I. O. 657) the term ‘Pañkabila’ is derived from the circumstance that the vessel (pâtrî) on which the five sacrificial dishes are placed when taken about to be ‘deposited’ on the vedi, contains five holes or openings for the dishes to be taken out. The Pañkabila oblations are to be performed during the light fortnight succeeding the performance of the Dasapeya, that is to say, during the fortnight commencing with the new moon of Vaisâkha, or in the latter part of April. The Taittirîya ceremonial calls these oblations the ‘Disâm aveshtayah,’ i.e. ‘Sacrifices performed for the appeasement of the regions.’
[2] Or, would become giddy (in flying through space), cf. Taitt. Br. I, 8, 3, 1.
[3] Or, puts food into him.
[4] Or rather, that upward direction.
[5] That is, the region of light, of the sun. See V, 3, 1, 2 with note.
[6] The meaning of this compound is unknown. Sâyana explains it as meaning ‘one who does not move from one spot, one who always remains in one and the same place.’ Hence the St. Petersburg dictionary conjectures: ‘One whose herd (or cattle-pen, vraga, vrâga) is stationary.’ Similarly, Prof. Weber, in Böhtlingk’s Dictionary. See, however, the Kânva reading above, p. 50, note 1, according to which the word would seem to mean one afflicted with a certain malady (? cholera or dysentery). The ‘Pañkabila’ offering may be performed as a special ishti, independently of the Râgasûya.

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