Second Brahmana

1Now it was by means of the Vaisvadeva that Pragâpati produced living beings. The beings produced by him ate (ghas) Varuna’s barley corn; for originally the barley belonged to Varuna. And from their eating Varuna’s barley corn the name Varunapraghâsâh (is derived).
2Varuna seized them; and on being seized by Varuna, they became rent all over ; and they lay and sat them down breathing in and breathing out. The out-breathing and in-breathing forsook them not, but all the other deities forsook them; and owing to these two, the creatures did not perish.
3Pragâpati healed them by means of that oblation: both the creatures that were born and those that were unborn he delivered from Varuna’s noose; and his creatures were born without disease and blemish.
4Now when this (sacrificer) performs these offerings in the fourth month (after the Vaisvadeva), he does so either because thus Varuna does not seize his offspring, or because the gods performed (the same offering); and both the children that have been born to him and those that are yet unborn he thereby delivers from Varuna’s noose, and his children are born without disease and blemish. This is why he performs these offerings in the fourth month.
5At this (sacrifice) there are two altars and two fires . The reason why there are two altars and two fires, is that thereby one frees the creatures from Varuna’s noose both ways, on the one side (he frees) the upright, and on the other those looking to the ground: this is why there are two altars and two fires.
6On the northern (uttara) altar he raises the uttara-vedi (upper or north altar), not on the southern one. Varuna, doubtless, is the nobility, and the Maruts are the people: he thus makes the nobility superior (uttara) to the people; and hence people here serve the Kshatriya, placed above them. This is why he raises the uttara-vedi on the northern, not on the southern altar.
7In the first place there are those five oblations. For by means of those five oblations Pragâpati produced the creatures, with them he freed the creatures both ways from Varuna’s noose, on the one side (he freed) the upright, and on the other those that tend to the ground: this is why there are those five oblations.
8Then follows a cake on twelve potsherds for Indra and Agni. Indra and Agni indeed are the out-breathing and in-breathing: thus this is like doing a good turn to one who has done him a good turn; for it is owing to these two that his creatures did not perish. Hence he now restores his creatures by means of the out-breathing and in-breathing, bestows out-breathing and in-breathing on them: this is why there is a cake on twelve potsherds for Indra and Agni.
9On both (fires) there is an oblation of curds. It is on milk that the creatures subsist and by means of milk that they were preserved: hence it is with that by which they were preserved and whereon they subsist, that he delivers them both ways from Varuna’s noose, on the one side (he delivers) the upright and on the other those looking to the ground. This is why there is an oblation of curds on both (fires).
10The northern one is offered to Varuna, since it was Varuna who seized his (Pragâpati’s) creatures: hence he thereby directly delivers them from Varuna’s noose. The southern one is offered to the Maruts. It is for the sake of diversity that it is offered to the Maruts; for a repetition he would undoubtedly commit, were he to offer both to Varuna. Moreover, it was from the south that the Maruts intended to slay his (Pragâpati’s) creatures, and with that share he propitiated them: for this reason the southern (oblation of curds) belongs to the Maruts.
11Upon both (dishes of curds) he scatters karîra-fruits ; for with karîra-fruits Pragâpati bestowed happiness (ka) on the creatures, and so does he (the sacrificer) thereby bestow happiness on the creatures.
12Upon both of them he also scatters samî-leaves; for with samî-leaves Pragâpati bestowed bliss (sam) on the creatures, and so does he now thereby bestow bliss on the creatures.
13Then follows a cake on one potsherd for Ka (Pragâpati); for by that cake on one potsherd to Ka Pragâpati indeed bestowed happiness (ka) on the creatures, and so does he (the sacrificer) now bestow happiness on the creatures by that one-cup cake: this is why there is a cake on one potsherd for Ka.
14And on the first day, after husking and slightly roasting barley on the Dakshinâgni, they prepare therewith as many dishes of karambha as there are members of the (sacrificer’s) family, exceeded by one.
15At the same time they also prepare a ram and a ewe; and if he be able to procure wool other than from edaka sheep, let him wash it and stick it on both the ram and the ewe; but should he not be able to procure wool other than from edaka sheep, tufts of kusa grass may also be (used).
16The reason why there are a ram and a ewe is chat the ram manifestly is Varuna’s victim, so that he thereby manifestly delivers the creatures from Varuna’s noose. They are made of barley, because it was when they (the creatures) had eaten barley that Varuna seized them. A pair they form, so that he delivers the creatures from Varuna’s noose through conjugal union.
17The ewe he places on the southern, and the ram on the northern dish of curds; for in this way alone a proper union is effected, since the woman lies on the left (or north) side of the man.
18The Adhvaryu places all the (other) sacrificial dishes upon the northern altar; and the Pratiprasthâtri places on the southern altar that dish of curds (belonging to the Maruts).
19Having thus placed the sacrificial dishes, he churns the fire; and having churned it and placed it on (the hearth) , he offers thereon, The Adhvaryu in the first place says (to the Hotri) , ‘Recite to the fire that is being kindled!’ Both (the Adhvaryu and the Pratiprasthâtri) then put firewood on (the fire) and both reserve one kindling-stick each; and they both pour out the first libation (âghâra). Thereupon the Adhvaryu says, ‘Agnîdh, trim the fire!’ Although the summons is given, the trimming does not take place (immediately).
20Thereupon the Pratiprasthâtri returns (to where the sacrificer’s wife is seated). When he is about to lead the wife away, he asks her, ‘With whom holdest thou intercourse?’ Now when a woman who belongs to one (man) carries on intercourse with another, she undoubtedly commits (a sin) against Varuna. He therefore thus asks her, lest she should sacrifice with a secret pang in her mind; for when confessed the sin becomes less, since it becomes truth; this is why he thus asks her. And whatever (connection) she confesses not, that indeed will turn out injurious to her relatives.
21He then makes her say the text, ‘We invoke the Maruts, the voracious consumers of enemies, delighting in their porridge.’ This (verse) is (of like import) as the invitatory prayer she therewith invites them to these dishes.
22Of these (dishes) there is one for each descendant; as many (children) as there are in the (sacrificer’s) family, so many (dishes) there are, exceeded by one. There being one for each descendant, he thereby delivers from Varuna’s noose one by one the children born to him; and there being an additional one, he thereby delivers from Varuna’s noose those children of his that are as yet unborn: this is why there are (the same number of dishes) exceeded by one.
23(In the form of) dishes they are, because it is from dishes that food is eaten; and of barley they are prepared, because it was when they (the creatures) had eaten the barley corn that Varuna seized them. From the winnowing basket she offers, because food is prepared by means of the winnowing basket. The wife offers (together with her husband): thus he delivers his offspring from Varuna’s noose through conjugal union.
24She offers previously to the sacrifice, previously to the oblations, since the people do not eat offerings, and the Maruts are the people. Now when Pragâpati’s creatures, being seized by Varuna, became rent all over, and sat and lay them down, breathing in and breathing out, then the Maruts destroyed their sin; and so do the Maruts now destroy the sin of his (the sacrificer’s) offspring. This is why she offers previously to the sacrifice, previously to the oblations.
25He offers in the southern fire, with the text, ‘Whatever (sin we have committed) in the village and forest,’ for both in the village and in the forest sin is committed; ‘whatever in society and in our own self,’ by ‘whatever (we have committed) in society,’ he means to say ‘against man;’ and by ‘whatever in our own self’ (indriya), he means to say ‘against the gods;’ ‘whatever sin we have here committed, that we expiate by offering, Svâhâ!’ whereby he says ‘whatsoever sin we have committed, from all that we rid ourselves.’
26Thereupon he mutters the (verse) addressed to Indra and referring to the Maruts. Now when the Maruts destroyed the sin of Pragâpati’s creatures, he thought within himself, ‘I hope they will not destroy my creatures.’
27He muttered that (verse) addressed to Indra and referring to the Maruts. Indra indeed is the nobility, and the Maruts are the people; and the nobility are the controllers of the people: ‘They shall be controlled,’ he thought; and therefore is addressed to Indra.
28‘Let there not, O Indra, be (fight) for us here in battles with the gods, since there is a share for thee in the sacrifice, O fiery one! for thee, the mighty showerer of gifts, whose Maruts the song of the offerer stream-like celebrates.’
29He then makes her say the text, ‘The men skilled in the work have done the work,’ those skilled in the work have indeed done the work; ‘with pleasing song;’ for with song they have done it. ‘Having done the work for the gods;’ for the gods indeed they have done the work; ‘go home, ye companions!’ they are now together with her while she is led thither from an other place: hence she says, ‘ye companions’ (sakâbhû, ‘being together’). ‘Go home,’ she says, because that wife doubtless is the hind part of the sacrifice, and he has just now made her take her seat to the east of the sacrifice. ‘Home’ doubtless means the house, and the house is a resting-place: hence he thereby makes her rest in that resting-place, the house.
30Having led her back (to her seat) the Pratiprasthâtri returns (to his place by the side of the southern altar). They now trim the fire . When the fire has been trimmed, both (the Adhvaryu and Pratiprasthâtri) make the second libation (of butter). Thereupon the Adhvaryu, having called (on the Âgnîdhra) for the ‘Sraushat,’ chooses the Hotri. The chosen Hotri then seats himself on the Hotri’s seat beside the northern altar; and having seated himself, he urges (the Adhvaryu and Pratiprasthâtri) to proceed. Being thus urged to proceed, they both take up the spoons and step across (to the south side of the fires). After stepping across and calling for the ‘Sraushat,’ the Adhvaryu says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer on the kindling-sticks!’ and ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer!’ at each (subsequent fore-offering). Pouring (the butter in the spoons) together (into the guhû) at the fourth , they both proceed with the nine fore-offerings .
31Thereupon the Adhvaryu says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni!’ referring to Agni’s butter-portion . Both (the Adhvaryu and Pratiprasthâtri) having taken four ‘cuttings’ of butter, they step across (to the north side of their respective fires). Having stepped across and called for the ‘Sraushat,’ the Adhvaryu says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the offering-formula to Agni!’ After the ‘Vashat’ has been uttered, they both pour out the oblation.
32The Adhvaryu then says, ‘Pronounce (the invitatory prayer) to Soma!’ referring to Soma’s butter-portion. Both having taken four cuttings of butter, they step across. Having stepped across and called for the ‘Sraushat,’ the Adhvaryu says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer to Soma!’ After the ‘Vashat’ has been uttered, they both pour out the oblation.
33Thus whatever has to be done by speech, that the Adhvaryu does, and not the Pratiprasthâtri. Now as to why the Adhvaryu alone calls for the ‘Sraushat.’ Here indeed when the ‘Vashat’ is pronounced.
34The Pratiprasthâtri is merely the imitator of what is done (by the Adhvaryu). For Varuna is the nobility, and the Maruts are the people: hence he thereby makes the people the imitators, the followers of the nobility. But were the Pratiprasthâtri also to call for the ‘Sraushat,’ he would doubtless make the people equal in power to the nobility: for this reason the Pratiprasthâtri does not call for the ‘Sraushat.’
35The Pratiprasthâtri sits down, after taking the two offering-spoons in his hand. The Adhvaryu then proceeds with those oblations, viz. Agni’s cake on eight potsherds, Soma’s pap, Savitri’s cake on twelve or eight potsherds, Sarasvatî’s pap, Pûshan’s pap, and Indra and Agni’s cake on twelve potsherds.
36Thereupon, being about to proceed with those two oblations of curds, (the Adhvaryu and Pratiprasthâtri) exchange (the ram and ewe): the ram which was on the Maruts’ (dish of curds) he (the Adhvaryu) places on that of Varuna; and the ewe which was on Varuna’s (dish of curds) he (the Pratiprasthâtri) places on that of the Maruts. Now the reason why they make this exchange, is this, Varuna is the nobility, and the male represents energy: hence they thereby bestow energy on the nobility. The female, on the other hand, is without energy; and the Maruts are the people: hence they thereby cause the people to be without energy. This is why they make this exchange.
37The Adhvaryu now says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Varuna!’ He then pours an ‘under-layer’ of butter (into the guhû), takes two cuttings from Varuna’s curds, and with either of the two cuttings puts the rant (in the spoon). He then pours butter thereon, replenishes (the place whence) the two cuttings (have been made), and steps across (to the south side of the fire). After stepping across and calling for the ‘Sraushat,’ he says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer to Varuna!’ and, on the ‘Vashat’ being uttered, he pours out the oblation.
38Thereupon the Adhvaryu takes both spoons in his left hand; and taking hold of the Pratiprasthâtri’s garment, says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the invitatory prayer to the Maruts!’ The Pratiprasthâtri then makes an ‘under-layer’ of butter (in his guhû and two cuttings from the curds of the Maruts, and with either of the two cuttings puts the ewe (in the spoon). He then pours butter thereon, replenishes (the place of) the two cuttings, and steps across (to the south of the fire). The Adhvaryu, having called for the ‘Sraushat,’ says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer to the Maruts!’ and on the ‘Vashat’ being uttered, (the Pratiprasthâtri) he pours out the oblation.
39The Adhvaryu then proceeds with the cake on eleven potsherds for Ka; and having made that offering, he says, ‘Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni Svishtakrit (” the maker of good offering”)!’ The Adhvaryu then takes cuttings from all (his) oblations, one from each; and the Pratiprasthâtri also takes one cutting from that oblation of curds (to the Maruts). They then pour twice butter upon (the portions), and step across (to the south side of the fires). On stepping across and calling for the ‘Sraushat,’ the Adhvaryu says, ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer to Agni Svishtakrit;’ and after the (concluding) ‘Vashat,’ they both pour out the oblation.
40The Adhvaryu now cuts off the fore-portion. Having then cut off the Idâ piece by piece, he hands it to the Pratiprasthâtri; and the Pratiprasthâtri puts thereon two cuttings from the Maruts’ curds. He (the Adhvaryu) then pours twice butter thereon. After invoking (the Idâ), they cleanse themselves .
41Thereupon the Adhvaryu says, ‘O Brahman, shall I step forward?’ Having put on the (remaining) kindling-stick he says, Agnîdh, trim the fire! He, the Adhvaryu, then pours the clotted butter (in the prishadâgya-upabhrit) into the two spoons (the guhû and upabhrit); and the Pratiprasthâtri also, if he have any clotted butter, divides it into two parts and pours it (into the two spoons); but if there is no clotted butter, he divides the butter in the upabhrit in two parts and pours them out separately. Then both step across (to the south side of the fires). The Adhvaryu, having stepped across and called for the ‘Sraushat,’ says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the offering-formula to the gods!’ and, ‘Pronounce the offering-formula!’ at each (subsequent after-offering). Thus they both perform the nine after-offerings , pouring together (the butter from the spoons) at the (or at every) fourth after-offering. The reason why there are nine fore-offerings and nine after-offerings, is that he thereby delivers the creatures both times from Varuna’s noose, by the former (he delivers) the upright and by the latter those looking to the ground: for this reason there are nine fore-offerings and nine after-offerings.
42They both then separate the spoons , after laying them (on the altars). Having separated the spoons, and anointed the enclosing-sticks; and having thereupon taken hold of the (middle) enclosing-stick, and called for the (Âgnîdhra’s) ‘Sraushat,’ the Adhvaryu thus addresses (the Hotri) , ‘The divine Hotris are summoned for the proclamation of success; the human is called upon for the song of praise!’ The Hotri then intones the song of praise (sûktavâka). Thereupon both seize their prastara-bunches and throw them (into the fires); both take a single straw each therefrom and remain sitting by (the fires); when the Hotri recites the song of praise,
43The Âgnîdhra says, ‘Throw after!’ Both (the Adhvaryu and Pratiprasthâtri) throw (the stalk) after (the prastara); and both touch themselves.
44He (the Âgnîdhra) then says, ‘Discourse (with me)!’ [The Adhvaryu asks,] ‘Has he gone (to the gods), Agnîdh? He has gone!’ ‘Bid (the gods) hear!’ ‘Yea, may (one) hear!’ ‘Goodspeed to the divine Hotris! Success to the human!’ -The Adhvaryu also (afterwards) says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the “All-hail and blessing!”‘ They both throw the enclosing-sticks (into the fire); and after taking up the spoons together, they both place them on the wooden sword.
45Thereupon the Adhvaryu returns (to the Gârhapatya fire) and performs the Patnîsamyâgas . The Pratiprasthâtri, in the meantime, remains waiting. After performing the Patnîsamyâgas, the Adhvaryu steps up (to the northern fire).
46He (the Adhvaryu) performs the three Samishtayagus (with the respective texts); the Pratiprasthâtri takes up his spoon (and performs those oblations) silently. The same garments, worn by the sacrificer and his wife at the Vaisvadeva, should be put on also on this occasion. They now take (the havis) mixed with the burnt scrapings of the Varuna curds, and betake themselves to (the place of) the expiatory bath (avabhritha). This (ablution) stands in relation to Varuna, (being performed) with a view to deliverance from Varuna’s power. No Sâman-hymn is sung on this occasion, for at this (sacrifice) nothing whatever is performed with a Sâman-hymn. Having silently walked thither and entered (the water), he (the Adhvaryu) immerses (the vessel containing the scrapings).
47With the text, ‘O laving bath, laving thou glidest along: with the help of the gods may I wipe out the sin committed against the gods, and with the help of mortals the sin committed against mortals! Preserve me, O God, from injury from the fiercely-howling (demon)!’ Those (garments worn while bathing) he may give to whichever (priest) he chooses, since they are not the garments of an initiated person. Even as a snake casts its skin, so does he cast away all his sin.
48Thereupon they shave (the sacrificer’s) hair and beard; and take up the two fires , for only after changing his place (to the ordinary sacrificial ground) he performs that (other) sacrifice , since it is not proper that he should perform the Agnihotra on the uttaravedi: for this reason he changes his place. Having gone to the house and ‘churned out’ the fires, he performs the full-moon offering. These seasonal offerings doubtless are detached sacrifices; whereas the full-moon offering is a regular, established sacrifice: hence he finally establishes himself by means of that regular sacrifice; and therefore he changes his place (to the ordinary sacrificial ground).