Fourth Brahmana

1In the enclosed space (of the cart) he (the Adhvaryu) lays down the black deer-skin, with the text, ‘Thou art Aditi’s skin;’ its significance is the same (as before). Thereon he places him (Soma), with, ‘Seat thee on Aditi’s seat!’ for Aditi being this (earth), and she being indeed a safe resting-place, he thereby places him on that safe resting-place: therefore he says, ‘Seat thee on Aditi’s seat!’
2He then makes (the sacrificer) say, after touching (the Soma), ‘The bull hath propped the sky, the welkin .’ For, when the gods were spreading the sacrifice, they were afraid of an attack on the part of the Asura-Rakshas. Now by what he says, ‘The bull hath propped the sky, the welkin,’ thereby they rendered it (the sacrifice or Soma) superior to the deadly shaft .
3‘He hath measured the breadth of the earth;’ thus he gains through him (Soma) these worlds, for there is no slayer, no deadly shaft for him by whom these worlds have been gained: therefore he says, ‘He hath measured the breadth of the earth.’
4‘As all-ruler hath he taken his seat over all things existing (bhuvana);’ thus he gains through him this All, for there is no slayer, no deadly shaft for him by whom this All has been gained: therefore he says, ‘As all-ruler hath he taken his seat over all things existing.’
5‘Verily, all these are Varuna’s ordinances;’ thereby he makes here everything whatsoever obedient to him, and every one that is refractory: therefore he says, ‘Verily, all these are Varuna’s ordinances.’
6Thereupon he wraps (the Soma) up in the Soma-wrapper, lest the evil spirits should touch him. For this one doubtless is an embryo, and hidden (tiras), as it were, are embryos, and hidden also is that (which is) wrapped up; hidden, as it were, are the gods to men, and hidden is that which is wrapped up: therefore he wraps him up.
7He wraps him up, with the text, ‘Over the woods he hath stretched the welkin,’ for over the woods, over the tops of the trees, that welkin (or air) is indeed stretched; ‘strength (hath he laid) into the coursers, milk into the kine,’ strength means manliness and the coursers are the men: he thereby bestows manliness upon men; and ‘milk into the kine’ he says, because this milk is indeed contained in the kine; ‘Into the hearts Varuna (hath laid) wisdom, into the homesteads fire;’ for into the hearts that wisdom, the swiftness of thought, has indeed entered; and ‘into the homesteads fire’ he says, because that fire is in the homesteads, with the people; ‘Into the heaven hath he placed the Sun, and Soma upon the rock;’ for that sun is indeed placed in the heaven; and ‘Soma on the rock’ he says, because Soma is in the mountains. This is why he says, ‘In the heaven hath he placed the Sun, and Soma upon the rock.’
8If there are two deer-skins , he then puts up the other by way of a flag ; and if there is only one, he cuts off the neck of the deer-skin and puts it up by way of a flag; with the text, ‘Mount thou the eye of Sûrya, the eye-ball of Agni, where thou fliest along with the dappled (horses), shining through the wise (Sûrya).’ He thereby places Sûrya (the sun) in front, thinking, ‘May Sûrya, in front, ward off the evil spirits!’ They now drive (Soma) about on a safe (cart), unmolested by evil spirits.
9At the fore-part of the shafts two boards have been put up: between them the Subrâhmanyâ stands and drives. He (Soma), indeed, is too high for (the driver) mounting beside him, for who is worthy of mounting beside him? Therefore he drives while standing between (the boards).
10He drives with a palâsa branch. Now when Gâyatrî flew towards Soma , a footless archer aiming at her while she was carrying him off, severed one of the feathers (or leaves, parna), either of Gâyatrî or of king Soma; and on falling down it became a parna (palâsa) tree; whence its name parna. ‘May that which was there of the Soma nature, be here also now!’ so he thinks, and for this reason he drives with a palâsa branch.
11He urges on the two oxen. If they be both black, or if either of them be black, then let him know that it will rain, that Parganya will have abundance of rain that year: such indeed is science.
12He (the Adhvaryu) first yokes them, with the text, ‘Ye oxen, come hither, patient of the yoke!’ for they are indeed oxen, and they are patient of the yoke; ‘Let yourselves be yoked, tearless!’ for they are now being yoked; and tearless means unscathed; ‘not man-slaying,’ this means ‘not doing wrong;’ ‘speeding the Brahman,’ for they are indeed speeders of the Brahman (worship, or the priests); ‘Go ye happily to the sacrificer’s dwelling!’ this he says in order that the evil spirits may not injure them on the way.
13Having then gone round to the back (of the cart) and taken hold of the drag , he says (to the Hotri) , ‘Recite to the bought Soma!’ or,’ to Soma, now driven about!’ whichever way he pleases.
14He then makes (the sacrificer ) say the text, ‘Thou art gracious unto me, go forth, O Lord of the world ,’ for he (Soma) is indeed gracious to him, wherefore he heeds no other but him. Even his (Soma’s own) kings come (to him) to attend the assembly, and he is the first to salute the kings, for he is gracious. This is why he says, ‘Thou art gracious.’ ‘Go forth, O Lord of the world,’ he says, because he (Soma) is the lord of beings. ‘To all dwellings,’ ‘all dwellings’ doubtless means the limbs; with reference to his limbs he says this, ‘May no prowling enemies meet thee! may no waylayers meet thee! May no malicious wolves meet thee!’ this he says lest the evil spirits should meet him on his way.
15‘Having become a falcon, fly away!’ he thereby makes him fly forward after becoming a falcon; for the evil spirits fly not after what is fearful: now he, the falcon, forsooth is the most fearful, the strongest of birds, and as such a one he makes him (Soma) fly forwards when he says, ‘Having become a falcon, fly away!’
16Now they (can) only hit his body . ‘Go to the sacrificer’s dwelling, that is the place prepared for us.’ In this there is nothing obscure.
17Thereupon he recites the Subrahmanyâ litany. Even as one would say to those for whom he intends to prepare a meal, ‘On such and such a day I will prepare a meal for you;’ so does he thereby announce the sacrifice to the gods. ‘Subrahmanyôm! Subrahmanyôm! Subrahmanyôm!’ thus he calls, for the Brahman indeed moves the gods onward. Thrice he says it, because the sacrifice is threefold.
18‘Come, O Indra!’ Indra is the deity of the sacrifice: therefore he says, ‘Come, O Indra!’ ‘Come, O lord of the bay steeds! Ram of Medhâtithi ! Wife of Vrishanasva ! Bestriding buffalo! Lover of Ahalyâ !’ Thereby he wishes him joy in those affairs of his.
19‘O Kausika, Brahman, thou who callest thee Gautama.’ Just so has this (formula) been devised in these days by Âruni, to wit, ‘thou who callest thee Gautama:’ he may say it, if he choose, and if he does not choose, he need not attend to it. ‘In so and so many days, to the Soma-feast,’ (stating) in how many days from hence the pressing is to be.
20‘Ye gods and priests, come hither !’ This he says to the gods and Brâhmans, because it is of these two, the gods and Brâhmans, that he has need.
21Thereupon the Pratiprasthâtri steps up to the front of the hall with the victim for Agni and Soma. Now Agni and Soma have seized him, who consecrates himself, between their jaws, for that consecration-offering above belongs to Agni and Vishnu, and Vishnu, forsooth, is no other than Soma, and the offering is he himself who is consecrated: thus they have seized him between their jaws; and by this victim he now redeems himself .
22Now, some take a firebrand from the Âhavanîya, saying, ‘Here is Agni, and here is Soma: with these two thus being together we will redeem ourselves.’ But let him not do this; for wheresoever these two are, there they are indeed together.
23It (the victim) is two-coloured, because it belongs to two deities: ‘For the sake of concord between the two deities let it be a black-spotted (buck)!’ they say; ‘for that is most like those two (gods).’ If he be unable to obtain a black-spotted buck, it may be a red-spotted one.
24Thereon he makes (the sacrificer) say; ‘Homage be to the eye of Mitra and Varuna! perform ye diligently this holy service to the god! sing ye unto the far-seeing, god-born light, to Sûrya, the son of the sky!’ Thereby he renders homage to it (the victim) and makes it a token of the covenant.
25The Adhvaryu then removes the Soma-wrapper. With: ‘Thou art Varuna’s stay,’ he props (the cart) with the prop. With ‘Ye two are the rest of Varuna’s stay,’ he pulls out the two wedges. The reason why he says, ‘Ye two are the rest of Varuna’s stay,’ is that he, the bought Soma, now indeed is of Varuna .
26Thereupon four men take up the king’s throne; two men, it is true, take it up for the human king, but four take up this for him who rules over everything here.
27It is of udumbara wood udumbara meaning sap and food for (the sacrificer’s) obtainment of sap and food: therefore it is of udumbara wood.
28It reaches up to his navel, for it is there that the food settles, and Soma is food: therefore it reaches up to his navel. Moreover, there is the seat of the seed, and Soma is seed: therefore it reaches up to his navel.
29He (the Adhvaryu) touches it with, ‘Thou art the rightful seat (ritasadanî) of Varuna!’ He then spreads on it the black deerskin with, ‘Thou art the rightful seat (ritasadanam) of Varuna!’ and places him (Soma) thereon with, ‘Seat thee on the rightful seat of Varuna!’ The reason why he says, ‘Seat thee on the rightful seat of Varuna,’ is that he (Soma) is now of Varuna’s nature.
30Thereupon he makes him (king Soma) enter the hall; and in making him enter, he causes (the sacrificer) to say, ‘Whatsoever powers of thine they worship with offering, may they all encompass the sacrifice ! Go forth to our dwellings, O Soma, prospering our homes, ever helpful, bestowing abundance of men, not slaying our men!’ dwellings meaning houses, he thereby means to say, ‘Go forth to our houses, kind, propitious, not doing evil.’
31Some now pour out a vessel of water beside him, saying that this would be as. one would bring water for a king that has come to him. But let him not do this, for they (who do this) do at the sacrifice what is human, and inauspicious for the sacrifice forsooth is that which is human: let him therefore not pour out water, lest he should do at the sacrifice what is inauspicious.