Third Brahmana

1Now Varuna established this (fire), being desirous of sovereignty. He obtained sovereignty; and, accordingly, whether one (who has established the fires) knows (this) or not, they call him ‘king Varuna.’ Soma (established the fire), being desirous of glory. He became glorious, and, accordingly, whether one obtains a hold on Soma, or whether one does not, they both obtain (glory), for it is glory that people thereby get to see. Glorious therefore he becomes, and sovereignty he obtains, whosoever, knowing this, establishes a sacrificial fire of his own.
2Now once upon a time the gods deposited with Agni all forms (rûpa) , both domestic and wild; either because they were about to engage in battle, or from a desire of free scope, or because they thought that he (Agni) would protect them as the best protector.
3But Agni coveted them, and seizing them he entered the seasons with them. ‘Let us go back thither,’ said the gods, and betook themselves to the place where) Agni (was) concealed. They were disheartened and said, ‘What is here to be done? what counsel is there?’
4Then Tvashtri beheld that re-consecrated fire (Punar-âdheya). He established it and thereby gained an entrance to Agni’s beloved abode. He (Agni) gave up to him both kinds of forms, domestic and wild: hence they call them Tvashtri’s forms; since it is from Tvashtri that all form proceeds ; but all other creatures of whatever kind undergo it.
5It is for him (Tvashtri), then, that one must re-establish the fire: for thus he enters Agni’s beloved abode, and the latter gives up to him both kinds of forms, domestic and wild. In that (fire) those two kinds of forms are seen: such is the ascendancy (which one obtains by the punarâdhyeya), people, indeed, envy him; thus he thrives, and a conspicuous position (is obtained by him).
6To Agni belongs this sacrifice. Agni is the light, the burner of evil: he burns away the evil of this (sacrificer): and the latter becomes a light of prosperity and glory in this, and a light of bliss in yonder, world. This, then, is the reason why he should establish the fires (a second time).
7Let him establish the fires (the second time) in the rainy season. The rains are all the seasons, for the rains are indeed all the seasons: hence, in counting over years, people say, ‘In such and such a year (or rain, varsha) we did it; in such and such a year (or rain) we did it.’ The rains, then, are one of the forms of manifestation (rûpa) of all seasons ; and when people say, ‘To-day it is as if in summer,’ then that is in the rainy season; and when they say, ‘To-day it is as if in spring,’ then that, too, is in the rainy season. From the year (or rain, varsha), indeed, (is named) the rainy season (varshâh).
8There is, moreover, an occult form (through which the rains manifest themselves in the seasons) . When it blows from the east, then that is the characteristic sign of spring: when it thunders, it is that of summer; when it rains, it is that of the rainy season; when it lightens, it is that of autumn ; when it ceases to rain, it is that of winter. The rains are all the seasons. The seasons he (Agni) entered: from out of the seasons, therefore, he now produces him.
9But the sun also is all the seasons: when he rises, then it is spring; when the cows are driven together (for milking), then it is summer; when it is mid-day, then is the rainy season; when it is afternoon, then it is autumn; when he sets, then it is winter. At mid-day (madhyandina), therefore, he should establish his fires, for then that (sun) is nearest to this world, and hence he produces that (fire) from the nearest centre (madhya).
10Verily, this man is affected with evil, as with a shadow. But then (at mid-day) that (evil) of his (like his shadow) is smallest, and shrinks, as it were, beneath his foot: hence he thereby crushes that evil, when it is smallest. For this reason also he should establish his fires (the second time) at mid-day.
11He takes it out (from the Gârhapatya) by means of sacrificial grass. By means of fire-wood, indeed, he takes it out the first time; and (were he to take it out) with fire-wood the first time, and with fire-wood the second time, he would commit a repetition, and raise a conflict. Now sacrificial grass means water, and the rainy season also means water. He (Agni) entered the seasons: with water he accordingly produces him from out of the waters; this is why he takes it (the fire) out by means of sacrificial grass.
12Having prepared an (ordinary) rice cake on two arka leaves, he puts it in the place where he is about to establish the Gârhapatya fire, and thereon lays down the Gârhapatya.
13Having prepared a (second) barley cake on two arka leaves, he puts it in the place where he is about to establish the Âhavanîya fire, and thereon lays down the Âhavanîya. [Some do so] arguing, ‘Thereby we cover them with the first two fires;’ but let him not do so, for it is by the nights that they come to be covered.
14He then offers to Agni a sacrificial cake (purodâsa) on five potsherds . Its offering prayers and invitatory prayers consist of paṅkti strophes of five pâdas each; for there are five seasons, and the seasons he (Agni) entered: from the seasons he accordingly produces him.
15The whole (sacrifice) belongs to Agni; for it was thereby that Tvashtri entered Agni’s beloved abode, and therefore the whole (sacrifice) belongs to Agni.
16They perform it (with the formulas pronounced) in a low voice; for if one wishes to prepare anything specially for a relative or friend, one must take care to keep it secret. Now the other sacrifice belongs to all the deities, but this belongs specially to Agni; and what is (kept) secret, that is (spoken of) in a low voice: this is why they perform it in a low voice.
17The last after-offering he performs aloud; for then he has completed his work, and every one becomes aware of what has been done.
18Having uttered his call (and having been responded to by the Âgnîdhra), he says (to the Hotri), ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer to the Samidhs (kindling-sticks)!’ the latter being one of Agni’s mystic forms of manifestation (rûpa); but he may also say, ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer to the fires!’ that being Agni’s real (exoteric) form .
19He (the Hotri) recites, ‘…They (the Samidhs), O Agni, may accept of the butter! Vaughak!’ ‘…He (Tanûnapât) may accept the fire of the butter! Vaughak!’ ‘…They (the Ids) may, through Agni, accept of the butter! Vaughak!’ ‘…It (the barhis), the fire, may accept of the butter! Vaughak!’
20He then says, ‘Svâhâ Agnim!’ with reference to Agni’s butter-portion; ‘Svâhâ Agnim Pavamânam!’ if they determine upon (offering to) Agni, the blowing ; or ‘Svâhâ Agnim Indumantam!’ if they determine upon Agni, the drop-abounding; ’Svâhâ Agnim!’ ’Svâhâ, the butter-drinking Agnis! May Agni graciously accept of the butter!’ this is the offering-prayer he (the Hotri) pronounces.
21He (the Adhvaryu) then says, with regard to Agni’s (first) butter-portion, ‘Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni!’ He (the Hotri) recites , ‘Awake Agni with praise, enkindling the immortal, that he may take our offerings to the gods!’ For, indeed, when Agni is removed (from the hearth) , he, as it were, sleeps: he (the priest) now awakens, rouses him. For the offering-prayer he recites, ‘May Agni graciously accept of the butter!’
22And, if they determine upon (offering the second butter-portion to (Agni Pavamâna, let him then say, ‘Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni Pavamâna;’ and he (the Hotri) recites, ‘O Agni, thou breathest forth life; produce thou food and sap for us! drive far away misfortune!’ For thus, indeed, it becomes of the nature of Agni. Pavamâna (the one that becomes purified) means the Soma; but this (Soma-element) they eliminate from the butter-portion of Soma . For the offering-prayer he recites, ‘May Agni Pavamâna graciously accept of the butter!’
23If, on the other hand, they determine upon (offering to) Agni Indumat, let him say, ‘Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni Indumat!’ He (the Hotri) recites (Rig-veda VI, 16, 16), ‘Come hither, I will gladly sing to thee yet other songs, O Agni! mayest thou grow strong by these draughts (indu, drop).’ Thus, indeed, it becomes of the nature of Agni: the draught doubtless means Soma, but this (Soma-element) they eliminate from the butter-portion of Soma. For the offering-prayer he recites, ‘May Agni, the drop-abounding, graciously accept of the butter!’ And thus he makes it all of the nature of Agni.
24He then says, as to the chief offering (havis), ‘Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni!’ ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer to Agni!’ ‘Pronounce the invitatory prayer to Agni Svishtakrit (the maker of good offerings)!’ ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer to Agni Svishtakrit !’ Then where (otherwise) he would say, ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer to the gods !’ he now says, ‘Pronounce the offering-prayer to the Agnis!’
25He recites , ‘[The divine Barhis] may accept (the offering) for Agni’s abundant obtainment of abundant gift! Vaughak!’ [The divine Narâsamsa] may accept (the offering) for abundant obtainment, in Agni, of abundant gift! Vaughak!’ ‘The divine Agni Svishtakrit…’ this third (after-offering) is already in itself of the nature of Agni; and thus he makes the after-offerings relate to Agni.
26Those same case-forms (of agni) , which he recites in the offering-prayers, are six; namely, four at the fore-offerings, and two at the after-offerings. Now there are six seasons; and the seasons he (Agni) entered: out of the seasons he accordingly thereby produces him.
27There are either twelve or thirteen syllables (in these six case-forms) . Now there are either twelve or thirteen months in a year; and the year, the seasons, he (Agni) entered: out of the seasons he accordingly thereby produces him. In order to avoid sameness, no two (of these forms) are alike; but (the fault of) sameness he would undoubtedly commit, were any two of them alike. The characteristic form of the fore-offerings is (alternately), ‘May they accept,’ ‘May it (or he) accept;’ and that of the after-offerings is, ‘For the abundant obtainment of abundant gift.’
28The priests’ fee for this (sacrifice) consists of gold , This sacrifice belongs to Agni, and gold is Agni’s seed: this is why the priests’ fee consists of gold. Or it may be an ox; for the latter is of the nature of Agni as far as its shoulder is concerned, since its shoulder (by carrying the yoke) is as if burnt by fire. Moreover, Agni is oblation-bearer to the gods, and that (ox) bears (or draws, loads) for men: this is why an ox may be given as the priests’ fee.