Third Brahmana

1He now prepares two strainers (pavitra) , with the text: ‘Purifiers (or strainers, pavitra) are ye, and belonging to Vishnu!’ For Vishnu is the sacrifice; so that he thereby says, ‘You belong to the sacrifice.’
2Two there are of them: for means of cleansing (pavitra) is this (wind) which here ventilates (pavate); and this, it is true, ventilates as one only; but on entering into man, it becomes a forward and a backward one, and they are these two, to wit, the prâna (breathing out) and the udâna (breathing up or in) . And as this (clarifying process) takes place in accordance with the measure of that (process of breathing), therefore there are two (strainers).
3There may also be three: for the vyâna (or pervading vital air) is a third (kind of breathing); but in reality, there are only two. Having then strained the sprinkling water with these two (strainers), he sprinkles with it. The reason why he strains it with the two (strainers) is this:
4Vritra in truth lay covering all this (space) which here extends between heaven and earth, and because he lay covering (vri) all this, therefore his name is Vritra.
5Him Indra slew. He being slain flowed forth stinking in all directions towards the water; for in every direction lies the ocean. And in consequence of this, some of the waters became disgusted, and, rising higher and higher, flowed over: whence (sprung) these grasses (of which the strainers are made; for they represent the water which was not putrified. With the other (water), however, some matter has become mixed up, inasmuch as the putrid Vritra flowed into it. This he now removes from it by means of these two strainers; whereupon he sprinkles with the (sacrificially) pure water. This is the reason why he strains it through them.
6He strains it, with the text ‘By the impulse of Savitri I purify thee with this flawless purifier (or ventilator, pavitra), with the rays of the sun!’ For Savitri is the impeller (prasavitri) of the gods, so that he strains this (water) as one impelled by Savitri. ‘With this flawless purifier (ventilator, pavitra),’ he says, because this (wind) which here ventilates (or purifies, pavate) is a flawless purifier. ‘With the rays of the sun’ he says, because they, the rays of the sun, are certainly purifying; and for this reason he says, ‘With the rays of the sun.’
7Having taken it (the water with the ladle) in his left hand, he makes it spirt upwards with his right hand, and eulogises and glorifies it, with the text: ‘Shining (or divine) waters! ye the first-going, the first-drinking ones!’ For the waters are shining; and for this reason he says: ‘Shining waters!’ ‘First-going,’ he calls them, because they flow towards the sea and are therefore going in front (or forwards). ‘First-drinking,’ he calls them, because they are the first that drink of king Soma and are therefore ‘drinking first.’ And further: ‘Forward now lead this sacrifice, forward the Lord of Sacrifice, the liberal, god-loving Lord of Sacrifice!’ whereby he says: ‘Well (lead) the sacrifice, well the sacrificer!’
8And further: ‘You Indra chose (for his companions) in the battle against Vritra!’ For Indra, when he was battling with Vritra, did choose them (the waters) and with their help he killed him; and for this reason he says: ‘You Indra chose in the battle against Vritra!’
9‘You chose Indra in the battle against Vritra!’ for they, too, chose Indra when he was battling with Vritra, and with them he killed him: therefore he says, ‘You chose Indra in the battle against Vritra!’
10And further: ‘Consecrated by sprinkling are ye!’ With these words he makes amends to them. He then sprinkles the (first) oblation. One and the same meaning applies to the (whole process of) sprinkling, viz. he thereby makes sacrificially pure that (which he sprinkles).
11He sprinkles, with the text: ‘Thee, agreeable to Agni, I sprinkle!’ Thus, for whichever deity the oblation is intended, for that one he thereby renders it sacrificially pure. When he has in the same way as before sprinkled (all) the oblations,
12He then sprinkles the sacrificial vessels, with the text, ‘Be ye pure for the divine work, for the sacrifice to the gods!’ for it is for the divine work, the sacrifice to the gods, that he consecrates them. ‘Whatever, that belongs to you, the impure have defiled by touching, that I hereby purify for you!’ For whatever belonging to them some impure one either a carpenter or some other impure person has on this occasion desecrated by touching, that he thereby renders sacrificially pure for them by means of the water; and therefore he says, ‘Whatever, that belongs to you, the impure have defiled by touching, that I hereby purify for you!’