Third Brahmana

1Verily, imperishable is the righteousness of him that offers the Seasonal sacrifices; for such a one gains the year, and hence there is no cessation for him. He gains it (the year) in three divisions, he conquers it in three divisions. The year means the whole, and the whole is imperishable (without end): hence his righteousness is indeed imperishable. Moreover, he thereby becomes a Season, and as such goes to the gods; but there is no perishableness in the gods, and hence there is imperishable righteousness for him. This, then, is why he offers the Seasonal sacrifices.
2Then as to why he should perform the Sunâsîrya offering. The prosperity (srî) that accrued to the gods on performing the Sâkamedha offerings, and gaining the victory (over Vritra), is suna; and the essence (rasa) that belonged to the year gained by them is sîra . Now that same prosperity which accrued to the gods on performing the Sâkamedha offerings, and that same essence which belonged to the year gained by them, both these he takes possession of and makes his own: that is why he performs the Sunâsîrya.
3The mode of its performance (is as follows): They prepare no uttaravedi; they do not use clotted butter; nor do they churn the fire . There are five fore-offerings, three after-offerings, and one Samishtayagus.
4Then, in the first place, there are those five (regular) oblations. By means of these oblations, indeed, Pragâpati produced creatures; with them he delivered the creatures both ways from Varuna’s noose; with them the gods slew Vritra and gained that victory which was gained by them. And so does he, by means of them, obtain and make his own, both that prosperity which accrued to the gods from performing the Sâkamedha offerings, and that essence of the year which was gained by them. This is why those five oblations are (offered).
5Then follows a Sunâsîrya cake on twelve potsherds. The import of this Sunâsîrya oblation is what we have stated before.
6After that there is an (oblation of) milk to Vâyu. Now it is to milk that living beings readily take, when they are born: ‘May the creatures readily take to me now that I have gained the victory (by means of the Sâkamedha offerings) for my prosperity, glory, and support!’ so he thinks, and hence that (oblation of) milk.
7Then as to why it is (offered) to Vâyu. Now Vâyu, indeed, is yonder blowing (wind); it is he that makes swell whatever rain falls here. But it is by the rain that plants grow; and on the plants being eaten and the water drunk, milk is produced out of that water. Hence it is he (Vâyu) that produces it; and for this reason it is (offered) to Vâyu.
8Then follows a cake on one potsherd for Sûrya. Now Sûrya, indeed, is yonder scorching (sun); it is he that governs all this (world), now by means of a good, now by a bad (king); he assigns its place to everything here, now under a good, now under a bad (king): ‘Now that I have obtained the victory, may he, in his pleasure, govern me through a good (king), may he assign to me a place under a good (king)!’ thus he thinks; and for this reason there is a cake on one potsherd for Sûrya.
9The priests’ fee for this (oblation to Sûrya) is a white horse; whereby it is made of the characteristic form of yonder scorching (sun). If he be unable to procure a white horse, it may be a white bull; whereby it is likewise made of the characteristic form of yonder scorching (sun).
10He may offer the Sunâsîrya at the same time when he performs the Sâkamedha offerings. By offering (Seasonal sacrifices) three times in the year, he indeed obtains the (whole) year: he may therefore offer (the Sunâsîrya) at any time .
11Here now some wish to take possession of the nights; and should he wish to take possession of the nights, let him offer the Sunâsîrya (on the day) when, previously to the full-moon of Phâlguna, (the new moon) becomes visible in yonder sky.
12Let him then get consecrated (for the Soma-sacrifice), lest the Phâlguna full-moon again pass by without his offering (Soma). For were the Phâlguna full-moon again to pass by without his having offered (Soma), he would certainly have to begin anew (to perform the Seasonal offerings): hence the Phâlguna full-moon should not again pass by without his offering Soma. Such (is the rule) for him who discontinues (the Seasonal offerings).
13And in the case of one who recommences (the Seasonal offerings), let him perform the Sunâsîrya on the day preceding the Phâlguna full-moon, and on the following day the Vaisvadeva, and after that the Full-moon offering. This, then, (is the rule) for him who recommences (the Seasonal offerings).
14Then as to (the Sacrificer) shaving his head all round . Now yonder sun, indeed, faces every quarter; it drinks up whatever (moisture) it dries up here: hence this (Sacrificer) thereby faces every quarter and becomes a consumer of food.
15This fire also faces every quarter, since it burns all they put into it from whatsoever quarter: hence this (Sacrificer) thereby faces every quarter and becomes a consumer of food.
16This man, on the other hand, faces but one quarter; but by shaving his head all round he comes to face every quarter; and whosoever, knowing this, has his head shaved all round, becomes just such a consumer of food as those two: let him therefore have his head shaved all round.
17And on this point Âsuri said, ‘What in the world has it to do with his face, even if he were to shave off all the hair of his head! It is by offering thrice in the year that he comes to face all the quarters and becomes a consumer of food: let him therefore not trouble himself about shaving his head.’