Fourth Brahmana

1Verily the Upasads (homages or sieges) are the neck of the sacrifice, and the Pravargya is its head. Hence when it is performed with the Pravargya, they perform the Upasads after performing the Pravargya, and thereby they put the neck in its place.
2The anuvâkyâs (invitatory prayers) in the forenoon are the yâgyâs (offering prayers) in the afternoon; and the yâgyâs are the anuvâkyâs. He thus interlinks them, whence those joints and those bones of the neck are interlinked.
3Now the gods and the Asuras, both of them sprung from Pragâpati, were contending against each other . The Asuras then built themselves castles in these worlds, an iron one in this world, a silver one in the air, and a golden one in the sky.
4The gods then prevailed. They besieged them by these sieges (upasad); and because they besieged (upa-sad) them, therefore the name Upasads. They clove the castles and conquered these worlds. Hence they say, ‘A castle is conquered by siege;’ for it is indeed by beleaguering that one of these human castles is taken.
5By means of these sieges, then, the gods clove the castles and conquered these worlds. And so does this one (the sacrificer) now, no one, it is true, builds for himself castles against him in this world; he cleaves these same worlds, he conquers these worlds: therefore he offers with the Upasads.
6They have clarified butter for their offering material. For ghee is a thunderbolt, and by that thunderbolt, the ghee, the gods clove the strongholds and conquered these worlds. And so does he cleave these worlds by that thunderbolt, the ghee, and conquer these worlds; therefore they (the Upasads) have ghee for their offering material.
7He takes eight times (ghee) in the guhû, and four times in the upabhrit; or conversely, they say, he is to take of it only four times in the guhû and eight times in the upabhrit.
8He takes eight times in the guhû, and four times in the upabhrit. He thereby makes the thunderbolt heavy in front, and with that thunderbolt heavy in front he cleaves these worlds and conquers these worlds.
9Agni and Soma verily are yoke-fellows among the gods: for these two he takes (ghee) in common. For Vishnu (he takes) singly. He makes only the one libation (âghâra) which (he makes) with the dipping-spoon (sruva). For when he has made the northern (higher) libation he retires: ‘May I conquer for conquest’ so he thinks, and therefore he makes only the one libation, that with the dipping-spoon.
10When he has called on the Âgnîdhra) for the Sraushat, he does not elect the Hotri. ‘Seat thee, O Hotri!’ he says. The Hotri sits down on the Hotri’s seat. Having sat down he urges the Adhvaryu; and he, thus urged, takes the two offering-spoons.
11While passing over (to the south side of the fire and altar) he says (to the Hotri), ‘Recite the invitatory prayer to Agni!’ and having called for the Sraushat, he says, ‘Pronounce the offering prayer to Agni!’ and pours out the oblation when the Vashat is uttered.
12Thereupon he says, ‘Recite the invitatory prayer to Soma!’ and having called for the Sraushat, he says, ‘Pronounce the offering prayer to Soma!’ and pours out the oblation when the Vashat is uttered.
13Thereupon, while pouring the ghee which is in the upabhrit, together (with what is left in the guhû), he says, ‘Recite the invitatory prayer to Vishnu!’ and, having called for the Sraushat, he says, ‘Pronounce the offering prayer to Vishnu!’ and pours out the oblation when the Vashat is uttered.
14The reason why in offering he remains standing in one and the same place and does not move about as he is wont to do here in performing, is that he thinks ‘I will conquer for conquest!’ And the reason why he offers to those deities is that he thereby constructs the thunderbolt: Agni (he makes) the point (anîka), Soma the barb (salya), and Vishnu the connecting piece (kulmala).
15For the thunderbolt is the year the day is Agni, the night Soma, and what is between the two, that is Vishnu. Thus he makes the revolving year.
16The thunderbolt is the year: by that year, as a thunderbolt, the gods clove the strongholds and conquered these worlds. And so does he now by that year, as a thunderbolt, cleave these worlds, and conquer these worlds. This is why he offers to those gods.
17Let him undertake three Upasads; for, there being three seasons in the year, it is thereby made of the form of the year: he thus makes up the year. He performs twice each.
18These amount to six; for, there being six seasons in the year, it is thereby made of the form of the year: he thus makes up the year.
19And should he undertake twelve Upasads, there being twelve months in the year, it is thereby made of the form of the year: he thus makes up the year. He performs twice each.
20These amount to twenty-four; there being twenty-four half-moons in the year, it is thereby made of the form of the year: he thus makes up the year.
21As to his performing in the evening and in the morning, it is because only thus completeness is obtained. When he performs in the forenoon, then he gains the victory; and when he performs in the afternoon, he does so that it may be a good (complete) victory; and when he offers the Homa, (it is as if) people fight here for a stronghold, and having conquered it, they enter it as their own.
22When he performs (the upasads), he fights; and when (the performance) is completed, he conquers; and when he offers the Homa, he enters that (stronghold) now his own.
23He offers it (with the verse) with which he will have to perform twice in one day, ‘What most excellent iron-clad body is thine, O Agni, established in the deep, it hath chased away the cruel word, it hath chased away the fearful word; Hail!’ for such-like it was, it was indeed iron.
24Again he offers (with the verse) with which he will have to perform twice in one day, ‘What most excellent silver-clad body is thine, O Agni, established in the deep, it hath chased away the cruel word, it hath chased away the fearful word; Hail!’ for such-like it was, it was indeed silver.
25And again he offers (with the verse) with which he will have to perform twice in one day, ‘What most excellent gold-clad body is thine, O Agni, established in the deep, it hath chased away the cruel word, it hath chased away the fearful word; Hail!’ for such-like it was, it was indeed golden. If he undertakes twelve Upasads, let him perform each of them for four days.
26Now then of the fast homages. Some Upasads get wider and wider, others narrower and narrower: those at which he milks out one (teat) on the first day, then two, and then three, are those that get wider and wider; and those at which he milks out three on the first day, then two, and then one, are those that get narrower and narrower. Those getting narrower and narrower are (as good as) those getting wider and wider; and those getting wider and wider are (as good as) those getting narrower and narrower.
27Verily, the world is conquered by austere devotion. Now, his devotion becomes ever and ever wider, he conquers an ever and ever more glorious world and becomes better even in this world, whosoever, knowing this, undertakes the Upasads that get narrower and narrower: let him, therefore, undertake the Upasads that get narrower and narrower. And should he undertake twelve Upasads, let him have three (teats) milked out for four days, two for four days, and one for four days.