First Brahmana

1Now after the performance of the Agnihotra he (optionally) approaches the fires with, ‘Earth! ether! sky!’ In saying ‘Earth! ether! sky!’ he renders his speech auspicious by means of the truth, and with that (speech) thus rendered propitious he invokes a blessing: ‘May I be well supplied with offspring!’ whereby he prays for offspring; ‘well supplied with men!’ whereby he prays for men (heroes); ‘well supplied with viands!’ whereby he prays for prosperity.
2That long (form of) fire-worship is a prayer for blessing, and so is this (short) one a prayer for blessing: hence even with this much he obtains all, and he may therefore worship the fires with it. ‘Therewith, indeed, we perform,’ so spake Âsuri.
3Now, when he is about to set out on a journey , he approaches first the Gârhapatya, and thereupon the Âhavanîya.
4The Gârhapatya he approaches with the text, ‘Thou, that art friendly to man, protect my offspring!’ He (Agni Gârhapatya), truly, is the guardian of offspring; and therefore he now makes over to him his offspring for protection.
5He then approaches the Âhavanîya, with ‘Thou, that art worthy of praise, protect my cattle!’ He (Agni), truly, is the guardian of cattle, and therefore he now makes over to him his cattle for protection.
6Thereupon he walks or drives off; and having got as far as what he considers to be the boundary , he breaks silence. And when he returns from his journey he maintains silence from the moment he sees what he considers to be the boundary. And even though there be a king inside (one’s house), one must not go to him (or any other person before one has rendered homage to the fires).
7He first approaches the Âhavanîya fire, and thereupon the Gârhapatya. The Gârhapatya doubtless is a house (grihâh), and a house is a safe resting-place: so that he thereby (finally ) establishes himself in a house, that is, in a safe resting-place.
8He approaches the Âhavanîya fire, with the text, ‘We have approached (thee), the all-knowing, the most liberal dispenser of goods: O Agni, sovereign lord, bestow on us lustre and strength!’ Having then sat down he sweeps the blades of grass (into the fire).
9Thereupon he approaches the Gârhapatya, with the text, ‘He, Agni Gârhapatya, is the lord of the house, the most liberal dispenser of goods to our offspring: O Agni, lord of the house, bestow on us lustre and strength!’ Having then sat down, he sweeps off the blades of grass. In this way (householders) mostly approach the fires with muttered prayer.
10However, one may also approach the fires silently, and that for this reason: If in the place (where one lives), a Brâhman or noble in short, a better man resides, one dares not say to him, ‘I am going on a journey, take care of this (property) of mine !’ Now in this (sacrificial ground) one’s betters indeed reside, viz. the divine Agnis: who, then, would dare to say to them, ‘I am going on a journey, take ye care of this (property) of mine!’
11The gods assuredly see through the mind of man: that (Agni) Gârhapatya therefore knows that he (the householder) now approaches in order to give himself up to him. Silently he approaches the Âhavanîya fire: that (Agni) Âhavanîya knows that he now approaches in order to give himself up to him.
12Thereupon he walks or drives off; and having got as far as what he considers the boundary line, he releases his speech. And when he returns from the journey, he maintains silence from the moment he sees what he considers to be the boundary. And even though there be a king inside (one’s house), one must not go to him.
13He first approaches the Âhavanîya, and thereupon the Gârhapatya. Silently he approaches the Âhavanîya; and silently he sits down and sweeps away the grass-blades. Silently he approaches the Gârhapatya; and silently he sits down and sweeps away the grass-blades.
14Then as to the observances in regard to (the entering of) his house. Now when a householder comes home from a journey, his house trembles greatly for fear of him, thinking, ‘What will he say here? what will he do here?’ It is therefore for fear of him that speaks or does anything on this occasion that the house trembles and is liable to crush his family; but him who neither speaks nor does anything, his house receives with confidence, thinking, ‘He has not spoken here, he has not done anything here!’ And should he be ever so angry at anything on this occasion, let him rather do on the next day whatever he might wish to say or do. This then is the observance in regard to the house.